Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Olberman takes Bush to task for his idiotic statement in Viet Nam

Several days ago Bush proved once again that some village in Texas is missing its assigned idiot. He stood there in the nation he misused the Air National Guard to avoid visiting in the late 60's and early 70's and said of what he had learned from the Viet Nam War:
"One lesson is," he said, "that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."

"We'll succeed," the President concluded, "unless we quit."
In other words, we lost Viet Nam because we simply quit, and he stood there in the revitalized and peaceful Viet Nam that has resulted from us stopping the carnage and getting out and said that we should have kept the carnage going and stayed. That was the lesson he was carrying into Iraq.

Now I know that Bush is ignorant, that he either reads a speech someone with more knowledge than he has written for him, or if he says something off-the-cuff it reflects something someone in his entourage has said to him recently. This was off-the-cuff, and he has been listening to Henry Kissinger who still believes we lost Viet Nam because we left, not because we were defeated.

When I heard it, I just sort of cringed a little and muttered to myself "Oh, My God."

Now I learn that Keith Olberman has expressed the proper outrage at Bush's disgusting ignorant statement. Here it is at Crooks and Liars. Go listen.

[h/t to Tristero at Digby.]

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The future for Iraq looks extremely bleak

There is no good future outcome for Iraq whether we stay or leave, but here is a report in the Washington Post that describes how bad it is right now.

With the U.S. military in Iraq it is currently a disaster. Trisecting the nation will be worse, leading to a great deal more ethnic cleansing. If the U.S. leaves Iraq will almost certainly become a failed state that spreads its violence to the nations around it.

I wonder what the Baker-Hamilton Commission could possibly say that will change the prospect there?

Bush invaded Iraq four years ago with the intent of creating a democratic nation based on free market principles that would establish a beacon for the other nations around it in the Middle East. Instead it appears that Bush's legacy will be a failed state spreading its cancer of destruction to the nations around it and perhaps to the rest of the world.

The U.S. and the entire world will spend a generation trying to recover from the series of disasters that the Bush administration and the Republican Party in America have inflicted on all of us.

A healthier population is a wealthier population

Marketwatch a MSN Money reports the results of a study relating health and wealth. The study reports that height, lower body mass index, and male gender are all related to greater wealth.

More interesting:
"In an analysis of 26 rich countries between 1960 and 2000, reductions in cardiovascular mortality emerged as a robust predictor of subsequent economic growth," McKee's study says. "In one model, a 10% fall in cardiovascular mortality is associated with a 1% increase in per-capita income. Although this may not seem large, it amounts to a substantial contribution over the long term."
This suggests that increased spending on and increased effectiveness of national healthcare is an investment in the economy. Public spending on healthcare will provide benefits for all of us.

It would be interesting to see a similar study of general obesity related to per-capita income. I'd be willing to hypothesize that significant reduction in obesity would correlate to both increased per-capita income and to lower per-capita spending on health care.

For people who object to growth in government, this increased health and lowered obesity is a public good. That is, it is a benefit that the private market cannot sell for a profit. So this is clearly a reason to expand government services.

Just some fact-inspired thoughts for your early morning perusal.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How did the Democrats win the election?

The Hotline provides an excellent analysis. Essentially it came down to the outside-the-beltway Democratic Party making its efforts work, and the DCCC and SDCC figuring out how to take advantage of those efforts in the last minutes before the election when Schumer and Emanuel begain to realize what was happening. The key was when the State Democratic Chairpersons elected Howard Dean to the Chair of the Democratic National Committee and the Netroots began to have local effects and to prove they could raise money.

Go read the article. It will give you a much better idea what was really happening in the Democratic Party. Then consider - this was only the beginning.

[H/T to Christy Hardin Smith at FireDogLake.]