Goodbye, Neocons

From Salon.com:

The neoconservatives who dreamed up America’s Iraq nightmare are rushing desperately about, searching for scapegoats. Their favorite whipping boy is yesterday’s jutting-jawed hero, Donald Rumsfeld, who has been unceremoniously tossed onto the scrapheap. But they also blame the National Security Council, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, Paul Bremer, Gen. Tommy Franks and George W. Bush himself. The only thing they don’t blame is the actual culprit — neoconservative ideology itself.

The neocon finger-pointing over who lost Iraq, recently showcased in Vanity Fair, obscures the fact that Bush’s war was a laboratory in which their doctrine was tested — and completely failed. This failure was manifested on the ground and confirmed by the midterms. Most Americans don’t even know what neoconservatism is, but they know a failure when they see it — and they decisively rejected it.

Unfortunately, Bush himself and the key figures in his administration continue to cling, with the fervor of true believers, to neoconservative ideology. Bush has taken some potentially positive steps, like dumping Rumsfeld and replacing him with the more pragmatic Robert Gates, and saying he’s open to “any idea” on Iraq. And he is now under enormous pressure, not just from Democrats but also from his own party, to implement profound changes in his Middle East policies. But it remains doubtful whether a figure as dogmatic and inflexible as Bush, who regards his “war on terror” as a sacred duty, will be able to change his approach. It is essential that the fundamental failure of neoconservatism be recognized, to prevent more foreign policy debacles like Iraq. Continue reading

The Big Auto 3 meet with Bush

So, why are the CEO’s of GM, Ford and D-C meeting with Bush?  Moolah?  Do they want tariffs?  A loan? Pension relief?  Healthcare?  (BTW, why is the auto industry the only one crying about healthcare costs?)

I have been very critical of the American Auto Companies.  I think that they haven’t been thinking out of the box.  The cars still are dull and not that reliable.  Isn’t that the problem?  Did you see that the new Lexus can parallel park itself?  So, what is cool and neat in the Caddy or Lincoln?  Anything?

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From CNN.com:

Top executives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler got their meeting with President Bush Tuesday, and while they left saying they were pleased by the talks, they also left without any firm pledges of help from the administration.

Still, in comments outside the White House after the afternoon meeting in the Oval Office, the executives said there was progress – and promises of more dialogue and negotiations ahead.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner said a couple of times that the executives and the president were not in agreement.

There were “some areas where, frankly, we might see it differently – exchange rate policy in particular,” he said. But still he and the other executives said they felt Bush was supportive of their overall goals.

“He didn’t make any promises other than making sure that the playing field is even on both sides,” said Tom LaSorda, the head of Chrysler Group, the North American unit of DaimlerChrysler, speaking about the president’s upcoming trip to an Asia-U.S. trade summit later this week. “It was a tremendous dialogue with the president this time.”

Murtha ain't a pushover

Getty Images/FileFrom CNN.com:

Rep. John Murtha, the anti-war congressman who is the likely new House speaker’s pick for majority leader, fended off what he called “swift boat-style attacks” on his ethics record Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania Democrat also blasted his rival for majority leader, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, for siding with President Bush on Iraq.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who as the House Democratic leader is in line to be the next speaker, has backed Murtha against Hoyer, who is currently the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Democrats are slated to vote Thursday on who will take the chamber’s leadership posts when the Congress reconvenes in January.

Hoyer insists he has commitments from a majority of the caucus. He picked up the public endorsement of a bloc of moderate Democrats on Tuesday.

The Maryland congressman also rebutted Murtha’s accusation that he backed the war, saying he has sided with Democratic calls for a “phased redeployment” of U.S. troops. more

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I like Murtha’s thoughtfulness and fight.  So much for Democrats being pushovers.