August 31, 2010

Lucid Links (083110, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:38 am

“Your” Department of Education, not at work:

“ED staff are invited to join Secretary Arne Duncan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and other leaders on Saturday, Aug. 28, for the ‘Reclaim the Dream’ rally and march,” began an internal e-mail sent to more than 4,000 employees of the Department of Education on Wednesday.

…. Education Department spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya defended Duncan’s decision. “This was a back-to-school event,” she said.

Sharpton’s pathetic public gathering only came about as a counter to Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally. Sharpton’s achievement of perceived legitimacy as a “civil rights leader” after the Tawana Brawley case (more here) is something I’ll never understand.

“ED” apparently stands for Educational Dysfunction.


Historical revisionism in progress:

At Monday’s White House briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs gave reporters a preview of President Obama’s speech on Iraq. Obama will apparently take credit for withdrawing U.S. troops — “We are completing a drawdown of almost 100,000 troops that…many did not think was possible,” Gibbs said — but is unlikely to acknowledge any special role played by George W. Bush’s troop surge. Gibbs said Obama plans to call Bush before the speech, but through repeated questioning would not admit that the surge played any especially important role in the war’s progress.

I don’t expect that Obama will recognize that our troops achieved victory in Iraq even before he took office thanks to the surge strategy that apparently won’t be cited, or that the majority of Iraqis don’t like the fact that our combat troops are gone. With violence escalating, the possibility that ultimate defeat might be snatched from the jaws of victory now exists. If so, it won’t be George W. Bush’s fault.


Related grim milestone: Did you know that more U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year than in any other full year of the war there?

I’m surprised the media isn’t all over this (/sarc).

Related, from Mark Steyn in early July:

And so here we are, nine years, billions of dollars and many dead soldiers later, watching the guy we’ve propped up with Western blood and treasure make peace overtures to the Taliban’s most virulently anti-American and pro-al-Qaeda faction in hopes of bringing them back within the government. Being perceived as the weak horse is contagious: today, were Washington to call Moscow for use of those Central Asian bases, Putin would tell Obama to get lost, and then make sneering jokes about it afterwards. Were Washington to call Islamabad as it did on Sept. 12, the Pakistanis would thank them politely and say they’d think it over and get back in 30 days. The leaders of Turkey and Brazil, two supposed American allies assiduously courted and flattered by Obama this past year, flew in to high-five Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The new President wished to reposition his nation by forswearing American power: he thought that made him the nice horse; everyone else looked on it as a self-gelding operation—or, as last week’s U.S. News & World Report headlined it, “World sees Obama as incompetent and amateur.”

If the Taliban return to even partial power in Afghanistan, the unctuous State Department spokesmen will make the best of it. But the symbolism will be profound, and devastating in what it says about American will.

It’s amazing what can be undone in 19 months.


Kathleen Sebelius thinks we need “reeducation” on the wonders of ObamaCare.

With a number of polls showing a sustained level of opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform efforts more than five months after passage, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the Obama administration has “a lot of reeducation to do” heading into the midterms.

By all means, Ms. Sebelius should introduce us to ObamaCare’s de facto 100%-plus marginal tax rates.



  1. If anyone in the Bush admin had used the term ‘reeducation’ the left would have had a conniption.

    Gibbs is an idiot. What’s so special about withdrawing troops? Any fool can do that, you simply issue the order and tell everyone to come home. It doesn’t take any doing other than a few words and some paperwork. Achieving victory, as what occurred under Bush, is what is really hard.

    That fact the Iraqis don’t want us to go is telling, considering the liberal propaganda about all the horrible things our troops supposedly did to them.

    Comment by zf — August 31, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  2. #1, the idea that there is even a tiny chance that Iraq may crumble after all of this is really hard to take.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 31, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  3. I don’t think it will crumble and the country and the region will still be better off as a whole than under Saddam, but the fact that Obama allowed any slippage like he did and pulled this ill-advised and arbitrary little trick so he could score political points (“I ended the war!”) is indeed hard to take.

    Comment by zf — August 31, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

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