Friday, February 20, 2004

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
D'oh! John Edwards isn't on the ballot in Vermont on March 2. Seems the Edwards campaign decided to concede the state to Howard Dean last fall--but now Dean is gone and Edwards is stuck. Edwards may be trying to land a bigger fish next door, however--New York. He hopes to peel off enough votes in the moderate upstate regions to counteract John Kerry's expected advantage in the heavily urbanized areas. After all, it worked for Hillary. It better, because with Kerry snagging the AFL-CIO endorsement yesterday, the urbanized areas will turn out for him bigtime.

Blog news: TomPaine.com has replaced its "Take on the News" blog with "The Dreyfuss Report" by investigative reporter Bob Dreyfuss, which will focus on national security and Iraq. One of his first topics is the coming handover of power. We sometimes forget that even after the transition this summer, there will still be American troops stationed there--perhaps forever, as in Germany and South Korea (or until the coming civil war gets too dangerously unmanageable for us to stay). Agreeing to let us stay will be job one for the new government. As Dreyfuss puts it, "What's at stake is the future of the American presence in the country (and Vice President Cheney's dreams of empire): What will be the legal basis for the U.S. troops that stay in Iraq? Will they be able to kill Iraqi insurgents? A million questions surround this issue, making it all-important that the new Iraqi government be led by Iraqis who support the occupation and who will look favorably on a long-term U.S. presence there." Which gives a nice opening to a Shi'ite, say, who opposes the long-term presence to score big electoral points by promising to throw us out.

If you think everybody is getting a blog nowadays, you're right. Even Allah has one. (It's the ultimate source of yesterday's new John Edwards campaign poster I linked to via Wonkette.) Allah says his blog started "as a parody of the radical Islamist mindset with which Americans have become only too familiar in the past two years." Who knew Allah had a sense of humor, or that's it's so dry? His nickname for our favorite departed presidential candidate: "Mujahid-Dean." (I don't believe that's a compliment, but it's still funny.)

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