Democrats in a Quagmire?

I don’t think the left has any idea what to do after winning the 2006 elections. All hat and no cattle comes to mind when describing the party these days.

These are not the happiest of times for Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the anti-war crowd who imagined that the November election results gave congressional Democrats a mandate to put the president in his place. Mr. Reid doesn’t have the votes to pass resolutions denouncing the war and heap scorn on the sacrifices our fighting men in Iraq. Like Mrs. Pelosi, he lacks the courage of his convictions, to stand on principle and cut off the money for the war.
The House Democratic leadership has endured five days of free-fall, beginning with last Thursday’s dueling press conferences on Capitol Hill, where several prominent congressmen, including House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, stumbled over facts and dates as they tried to describe how their legislation would make it impossible for American troops in the field to do their jobs. The following day, Mr. Obey, now in his 20th term, felt compelled to publicly apologize for a shouting match with anti-war demonstrators, during which he called his critics “idiot liberals” who couldn’t understand that Democrats are using a supplemental appropriations bill “to end the war in Iraq.” (This may demonstrate the actual depth of how strongly Mr. Obey “supports the troops.”)

With Ted Koppel and the Los Angeles Times both speaking against the Democrat policy, or lack thereof, there must be trouble in paradise.

A larger problem — one that could be more damaging in the long run — is that some on the moderate left are publicly concerned about how Congress is dealing with the war. Ted Koppel, the television interviewer, appearing as a guest on “Meet the Press,” criticized the way lawmakers are setting “milestones” that Iraq must meet to continue receiving U.S. support. If Iraq meets these milestones, the U.S. stays to help Iraqis defend their country. If they fail, we abandon them. “It doesn’t make any sense at all,” Mr. Koppel said. “It ought to be the other way around.” Democrats are making a mistake by demanding that the Americans leave Iraq, because the larger global war against radical Islamists will continue no matter what, he said.
On Monday, the Los Angeles Times, clearly no fan of President Bush’s conduct of the war, denounced Pelosi & Co. for setting benchmarks and conditions to force out U.S. troops. Referring scornfully to “General Pelosi,” the paper opined: “Imagine if Dwight Eisenhower had been forced to adhere to a congressional war plan in scheduling the Normandy landings, or if in 1863 President Lincoln had been forced by Congress to conclude the Civil War the following year. This is the worst kind of congressional meddling in military strategy.” Let the backlash begin.

From the Washington Times

Retreat from Anbar

Much encouraging news from Iraq in the past few days has made its way into the MSM. General Patraeus says it’s too early to say for sure, but it sure is nice to have good news from Iraq instead of the constant drumbeat of negative news.

Iraqslogger is reporting that much the same progress is being made in al-Anbar province.

Al-Mada quoted unnamed “sources” (perhaps the same sources that had informed the paper about events in Hit and Ramadi in the last weeks) who told the newspaper that al-Qa’ida is “in its death throes” in Falluja. Falluja is seen by Iraqis and Americans alike as a bastion of opposition to the US occupation and the pro-American Iraqi government. Eliminating al-Qa’ida from the city, or even significantly weakening it, would be seen as a major step in depriving al-Qa’ida from its safe havens in Iraq.

Al-Qa’ida is resorting to harsher tactics as its popularity plummets in Anbar, claimed al-Mada. Among those new methods is the liquidation of ex-supporters who have left the organization, and different forms of collective punishment against communities that ally themselves with al-Qa’ida’s enemies.

This is terrible news for the dems. Although, I’m sure they will say that it was their threat of doing whatever they couldn’t decide to do that scared the Iraqi government into getting serious.

New biofuels process developed

How big is this?


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., March 14 (UPI) — U.S. chemical engineers have created an environmentally friendly process for producing huge amounts of liquid fuels from plant matter.

The Purdue University scientists said the new technology can produce liquid fuels from biomass in amounts that can provide all of the fuel needed for the entire U.S. transportation sector.

The technique involves adding hydrogen from a “carbon-free” energy source, such as solar or nuclear power, during a step called gasification.

Chemical engineering Professor Rakesh Agrawal said adding hydrogen during that step suppresses the formation of carbon dioxide and increases the efficiency of the process, making it possible to produce three times the volume of biofuels from the same quantity of biomass.


This touches all the right “hot buttons”

carbon-free, environmentally friendly, renewable fuel sources, biomass, sustainable fuel supply.

This is potentially a culture-changing event.

(h/t swamps)

Update: here is the pdf of “Sustainable Fuel for the Transportation Sector”, by Rakesh Agrawal, et al, published online March 14, 2007.

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didja hear?  Gitmo works! 


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