"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Monday, June 30, 2008

At Last!

We all know that the Internet provides the solution to all modern problems.

Global Warming? Work from home via the Internet;
Too young to buy pornographic magazines? Use the Internet;
Need investment advice? Consult with Nigerian royalty via the Internet;
Are you a lonely, aging geek? Acquire a teenage Ukrainian bride via the Internet.

But now the Internet can provide you with the decision-making tool you've been waiting for. Trying to decide whether to build that house? Can't decide whether to invest in gold or your brother-in-law's coal distributorship? Need to know whether to take an umbrella this morning?

Problem solved!

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Those below a certain age may be forgiven for having formed their appreciation of The Beatles backwards, with an introduction via Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, or Abbey Road, or even Rubber Soul.

But those of us above a certain age experienced The Beatles forwards, in real time, and so were introduced via the first song they released in the United States (January, 1964) which they then famously performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964. At the time, of course, we didn't know what was to come, and we didn't know to look for "(Lennon/McCartney)" after the title.

Like all good love songs it's neither complicated nor sophisticated, but instead simply expresses something everyone has experienced, "and when I touch you I feel happy inside."


Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Kickboxer

Actually, he's the Box Kicker. Some NSFW language.


Friday, June 27, 2008

We Don't Know Either

We have no idea what THIS is all about, or if it's actually "about" anything at all. We do know that there have been times when the inside of our head has looked a lot like this, but somehow that doesn't actually help very much.

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June 27, 1951


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ambivalence You Can Believe In

The latest Gallup poll of registered voters reports a tie. Thus the post-primary dead cat bounce for Saint Barry has run its course.

That was quick. More HERE.


Monday, June 23, 2008


Remember this story, from last week's Time magazine, "Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High":
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.
The story created a blogstorm of comment, and we confess to having been tempted to join in. But there was something about the story, despite its source in the increasingly irrelevant legacy media, that sounded fishy.

Turns out we were right. The Associated Press now reports:
GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- The Gloucester, Mass. principal who claimed that some of the 17 pregnant girls in his school had made a pact to become pregnant will not attend a meeting of city leaders on the subject.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk did not say why Principal Joseph Sullivan would not be at the meeting she called for Monday with other school, health and city leaders.

Kirk said she and the superintendent have been in close touch with the principal. She reiterated they had no independent information to back up his assertion that some of the 17 girls who became pregnant this year had planned to become pregnant and raise their babies together.

Sullivan has not returned calls for comment since a Time magazine article last week.
The moral of the story? Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Didn't Take Long

In a move surprising exactly no one with an IQ above freezing, Senator Obama has announced that he's black and scary:
JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

"It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy," Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"
Cassandra observes:
For an ostensibly post-racial candidate raised by a white mother (mind you, this is the half of the parental equation which actually cared enough to stick around and make sure he was fed, clothed, and received an education) Barack Obama sure spends a lot of time talking about being black. It's almost as though he were trying to convince himself - or us - of his street creds. I don't get it.
Sure you do, babe, sure you do. This is precisely like any discussion respecting a fundamental tenet of the Unreformed Church of Secular Orthodoxy, such as AIDS or Global Warming. If they're looking for funding, then AIDS is so contagious it's about to spread to the general population via doorknobs or handshakes. But if it's time to bash some homophobic parent who questions whether it might be a good idea for their HIV positive dentist to wear gloves, then it's virtually impossible to catch. Similarly, an active hurricane season is another catastrophic consequence of man-made global warming, while a relatively calm season is merely a statistical blip.

So here's the thing: If you want to vote for Barack Obama because he's black (despite the fact that he is without experience, credentials, or new ideas), then that's great. But if you think you might vote against him because he has the most left-wing voting record in the Senate, then you're a racist.

Is that clear?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who Knew?

My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

I don't exactly see anyone lining up to make an offer. But I'm open to them.


¿Está quemando Portland?

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

G&S Has Productive Days at the Office

"This Made Me Laugh Out Loud" is a common and acceptable rejoinder among my friends (and by 'friends', I mean 'people I email 40 times a day and see twice a year'). I have yet to see anything more deserving of such a comment than this:

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Harry Lied, People Died

It's important to identify those of our political leaders who possess judgment and wisdom upon which we may rely. Thus, a stroll down memory lane, before this goes down the memory hole:

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Two Places

In the first place: We are filled with awe.

In the second place: The guy (and you know it was a guy) who is responsible does not date a whole lot. Let's just leave it at that, eh?

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Monday, June 16, 2008

G&S Reads Old Media

From the newly free, and ever-relevant, Atlantic Monthly:
Like Sen. Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates strongly doubted the wisdom of invading Iraq. Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group, which, except for a throw-away sentence about a temporary surge of forces in Baghdad, was inclined to withdraw our forces from combat operations back in 2006. Therefore, when Gates became defense secretary, many assumed he would push for a retreat from our commitment to the Baghdad government. But he did the opposite.


The Democrats may well be right that the invasion was a strategic mistake that cost us greatly both in the Middle East and in the rest of the world. But their dire predictions from two years ago don't look very good in hindsight. And so they need to start thinking constructively about Iraq, not destructively. To wit, as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage -- another opponent of the war -- has said, the United States will be known and remembered as much by how it got out of Iraq as by how it got in. Armitage is thinking constructively in a way that Obama and company need to.


In other words, the closer we get to the election, the more consequences Obama's public position may have for events on the ground in Iraq. And Obama's position can surely evolve in a direction that acknowledges the need to stay tough there, even as he continues to claim credit for having been against the project from the beginning. Rather than blur the distinction between him and McCain, he can subtly shift on Iraq in a way that demonstrates just how serious a thinker he is on foreign policy.
Read the whole thing.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day -- 2008

With an MSRP of only $2,400, the Browning Citori over/under is an appropriate Father's Day gift well within any budget. Feel free to use this LINK.


Treatment of Post-Vacation Depression

Your humble proprietor has now himself returned to the land of reasonable connection to the InterWebs. Having spent a week at Punta Cana in the Republica Dominicana, we confess that we were able to conduct substantial research into this medication and its effects.


Hat tip to Uncle Michael, whose degeneracy only increases with age.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Figuring it out.

I'm going on a two-week long roadtrip from SF to Philadelphia in
August. I would like to share some pictures on the way, so let's give
this post a try to see if I can't blog from my iPhone on the road.
Yuppies of the world, unite.

And We're Back

...and jetlagged, and exhausted from the complicated and demeaning ordeal that is now domestic air travel. No word yet from the Gentleman Farmer, who returns sometime tonight with Dengue Fever and a pocket full of pesos.

It was worth it, though, as your faithful contributor was able to spend an incredible week relaxing, reading, and grunting contentedly on the shores of Canandaigua Lake in New York:

I wonder if the Gentleman Farmer would have preferred the vacation week that I had with Kickball Girl's family: we ate steak, shot skeet, read books, and slept. Like many trips I've had with those folks, it was best described as something of a fantasy camp for the Gentleman Farmer. On a related note, we're now taking cheeky pseudonym suggestions for Kickball Girl and her ilk.

Other observations:
1. The wines of western New York are not as good as those of northern California.
2. Plainsong, by Kent Haruf, is an excellent novel, and easily the best I've read featuring calf-birthing.
3. Soft-serve ice cream can be sublime.
4. Mosquitoes like me.
5. Showering is nice, but bathing in 429 billion gallons of water can be much, much nicer.

You'd think that traveling to such far-flung places (you know, those without internet) would indicate otherwise, but your contributors were, in fact, a good 1400 miles closer to one another than normal. Back off, GF - yer crowdin' me.

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Robot Post Week: She's a Good Girl

We've been holding on to this old Tom Petty video since we were reminded of it a few weeks ago over at Miss Julie's, of all places. It's 20 years old, so Petty doesn't yet look as if his skin is three sizes too big for his face. It's a great song.

If all has gone as scheduled, your humble and obedient servant will shortly be on an airplane, returning to civilization. In the meantime, if you'd like your buttons pushed, push the play button below:

UPDATE (9 am PDT, 5/14/08): I feel obligated, and not just in the comments section, to mention that this music video was the first I ever watched on MTV (that is, back when they actually aired music videos). -Hired Hand

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Robot Post Week: We Have Seen Our Future

And we think we don't like it very much.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Robot Post Week: G&S Loves Fireworks!

"A little too much magnesium, I guess . . . "

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Robot Post Week: For Your Procrastination

I work in second-tier client support. This means I don't actually have to SPEAK to clients very often, but it does mean I get my fair share of idiot questions. Of course, stupid questions aren't limited to those from clients. With that in mind, I find Not Always Right extremely freaking funny, for content like this:

(At the Dollar Store in Milford, CT):
(I’m shopping in the dollar store, fully clothed in my Taco Bell uniform. I even have the hat on, too.)

Customer: “Excuse me, sir, do you work here?”

Me: “Does it LOOK like I work here?”

Customer: “Yes?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Oh…well, do you know how much this is?”

Me: “It’s a dollar.”

Customer: “How did you know that if you didn’t work here?”

Me: “Lady, do you have ANY idea where you are right now? You are in a dollar store. Do you know what that means?”

Customer: “That’s impossible.”

Me: “…what?”

Customer: “This store doesn’t sell dollars.”

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Robot Post Week: G&S Likes Hillary

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Robot Post Week: Blondie

You'd think we'd have outgrown this sort of thing, but we retain a soft spot in our heart for Debbie Harry (and we've never much liked blonds, come to think of it).

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Robot Post Week: One Too Many Calls

to the Help Desk:

Office Worker Goes Absolutely Insane - Watch more free videos

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Robot Post Week: G&S Loves Museums

I don't understand why we drag kids to museums and art galleries and even zoos when they're in the 4th grade. It always seems to be raining, and your coat is hot and steamy (but you have to wear it or else you'll lose it), and you're sort of afraid that you'll get lost, at the same time getting lost seems like it might not be such a bad idea. The worst is the worksheet that Mrs. Cipriano gave to you – the one that forces you to write something about the Plains Indians exhibit, and the mastodon, and the creepy Eskimo diorama. And you have to keep up with the class -- heaven forbid you actually get interested in something and hang back to look at it longer.

[The only up side to such outings is the bus trip to and from school. If things work out and you're lucky, you'd be sitting on the bus near that cute girl you were afraid to talk to. If God was truly smiling, she might even be assigned as your line partner, so you'd sit together both to and from the museum. If she’s just nearby, then the opportunity to impress her and make your true feelings known by hitting her with something was presented. If you sat with her, of course, the possibility of discorporation was quite real. It would be bad enough if she spent the whole trip talking to her best friend in the seat in front of you, or across the aisle. How to show your intense feelings? How stupid and obnoxious and jerky can you possibly act, anyway? (Girls really like stupid and obnoxious and jerky, you know.) But what if you tried to say something, and she said you smelled bad? What if you DO smell bad?]

It's as if the purpose was to be part of a long-term solution to the problem of museum overcrowding, since the effect was certainly to associate museums and galleries with (at best) life-threatening boredom.

It was many years before it occurred to me that if I left my office, and walked down the street, and went into a museum or gallery, I didn't have to wear my heavy coat (or boots), didn't have to pack a lunch in a paper bag, didn't have to write anything for Mrs. Cipriano, didn't have to keep up with the class, and could stay for 5 minutes or 5 hours, and nobody would say a word. I learned that I was even allowed to walk right by some paintings without looking, while I was permitted to stand in front of others for as long as I wanted. I was allowed to decide that something was stupid and ugly, while something else was pretty cool, and I didn't have to know why I thought that, nor explain it to anybody. Not only that, but I could even get close to the painting without getting yelled at.

Who knew?

And there’s even been progress with that cute girl: I can now talk to her, so long as (while doing so) I keep my eyes fixed firmly on the toes of my shoes.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Robot Post Week

Both of your primary contributors are out of town, out of the country, out of reach of the InterWebs, or some combination of these. As a consequence, we are taking advantage of a relatively new feature, which permits the stockpiling of posts and their publication at future dates. Hence: Robot Posting Week, as our Blogger robot will be in charge.

It will be interesting to see whether this works at all and, if it does, how well we’ve anticipated our readers’ mood (not to mention current affairs) for the immediate future. We don’t have the advantage of having perfected Psychohistory – Hari Seldon did that, of course – and we can’t help but recollect that that didn’t turn out very well, either.

So wish us luck.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Please Help

Please confirm that this guy's kidding. Please, please tell us that THIS is not serious. Please.

Via LGF.


Attention Idiots

Please leave. We'll wait a moment.

All right then. The rest of you, please don't omit Charles Krauthammer's column from your reading list today:
So now we know: The price point is $4.

At $3 a gallon, Americans just grin and bear it, suck it up and, while complaining profusely, keep driving like crazy. At $4, it is a world transformed. Americans become rational creatures. Mass transit ridership is at a 50-year high. Driving is down 4 percent. (Any U.S. decline is something close to a miracle.) Hybrids and compacts are flying off the lots. SUV sales are in free fall.


Some things, like renal physiology, are difficult. Some things, like Arab-Israeli peace, are impossible. And some things are preternaturally simple. You want more fuel-efficient cars? Don't regulate. Don't mandate. Don't scold. Don't appeal to the better angels of our nature. Do one thing: Hike the cost of gas until you find the price point.

Unfortunately, instead of hiking the price ourselves by means of a gasoline tax that could be instantly refunded to the American people in the form of lower payroll taxes, we let the Saudis, Venezuelans, Russians and Iranians do the taxing for us -- and pocket the money that the tax would have recycled back to the American worker.

This is insanity. For 25 years and with utter futility (starting with "The Oil-Bust Panic," the New Republic, February 1983), I have been advocating the cure: a U.S. energy tax as a way to curtail consumption and keep the money at home. On this page in May 2004 (and again in November 2005), I called for "the government -- through a tax -- to establish a new floor for gasoline," by fully taxing any drop in price below a certain benchmark. The point was to suppress demand and to keep the savings (from any subsequent world price drop) at home in the U.S. Treasury rather than going abroad. At the time, oil was $41 a barrel. It is now $123.

But instead of doing the obvious -- tax the damn thing -- we go through spasms of destructive alternatives, such as efficiency standards, ethanol mandates and now a crazy carbon cap-and-trade system the Senate is debating this week. These are infinitely complex mandates for inefficiency and invitations to corruption. But they have a singular virtue: They hide the cost to the American consumer.
Read the whole thing.

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Facebook Nation

Is it true that Bill Clinton has updated his Facebook profile to change his status from "married" to "it's complicated"? And under "looking for" we hear that he's added "friendship," "dating," and "a relationship." Facebook has clearly come of age. More HERE.

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Ahh, Peggy . . .

Tell us what you really think:
We will hear a lot of tasteful tributes this weekend to Hillary Clinton's grit and fortitude. The Washington-based media may go a little over the top, but only out of relief. They know her well and recoil at what she stands for. They also know they don't like her, so to balance it out they'll gush.

But this I believe is the truth: America dodged a bullet. That was the other meaning of the culminating events of this week.

Mrs. Clinton would have been a disaster as president. Mr. Obama may prove a disaster, and John McCain may, but she would be. Mr. Obama may lie, and Mr. McCain may lie, but she would lie. And she would have brought the whole rattling caravan of Clintonism with her—the scandal-making that is compulsive, the drama that is unending, the sheer, daily madness that is her, and him.

We have been spared this. Those who did it deserve to be thanked. May I rise in a toast to the Democratic Party.
Peggy Noonan.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Some Things are Always Funny

People falling down. Always funny. Kids ratting out their parents' embarrasing behavior. Always funny. But the all-time most reliable always-funny topic is gas. Flatulence. Always, always funny.

Hence, this story from The Daily Telegraph:
New Zealand scientists claim to have developed a "flatulence inoculation" aimed at cutting down on the massive amount of methane produced by its sheep and cows.

Such animals are believed to be responsible for more than half of the country's greenhouse gases, causing huge environmental problems.

But Phil Goff, New Zealand's trade minister, told an Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris yesterday that a solution was in sight.

"Our agricultural research organisation just last week was able to map the genome ... that causes methane in ruminant animals and we believe we can vaccinate against" flatulent emissions, Mr Goff said.


Sheep, cattle, goats and deer produce large quantities of gas through belching and flatulence, as their multiple stomachs digest grass.
We leave it to our creative readers to make their own jokes. You're welcome.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Divine Professor Althouse

Opines respecting the edgy Governor Palin.


It Must Be Nice . . . .

. . . . to belong to a denomination that can actually do stuff:
The firebrand pastor of St. Sabina parish was removed from his duties there Tuesday, according to a statement released by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In the statement, Cardinal Francis George says he asked the Rev. Michael Pfleger, 59, to "take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties." The statement said Pfleger "does not believe this to be the right step at this time." "While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church's regulations for all Catholic priests," George said.
Full story (including Father Pfleger's odd performance at Barack Obama's (sort of) former church) HERE.

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The Democratic Party

Bill Bennett (himself a recovering Democrat) observes:
[T]he Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of George McGovern, albeit without McGovern’s military and political record. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far-left candidate in the tradition of Michael Dukakis, albeit without Dukakis’s executive experience as governor. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of John Kerry, albeit without Kerry’s record of years of service in the Senate. The Democratic party is about to nominate an unvetted candidate in the tradition of Jimmy Carter, albeit without Jimmy Carter’s religious integrity . . . .
Everyone who thinks this is likely to turn out well, raise your hand.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Henri Ennui

By will braden, who also may be the world's greatest (or only) composer of cat haiku:

let me get this straight
you sleep just 8 hours a day?
how do you function?

when I sneeze, it’s cute
when I barf up grass, you’re mad
make up your damn mind

you shower each day
yet your tongue works perfectly
I just don’t get you


Burn After Reading


Monday, June 02, 2008

Science Marches On

Real headline from yesterday's Sunday Times (the real Sunday Times, you twit):

Tissue of Dead Humans to be Cloned

We are perhaps being dense, but exactly what is the utility of artificially producing more dead humans? Dead turkeys, we understand, as they can be deep fried. But dead humans? We must be missing something.


Google Maps -- Street View

California, of course: One picture.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

G&S Loves Spelling Bees



Feminist Manifesto

Just give us that Old Time Feminism:
In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a ‘new feminism’ which rejects the temptation of imitating models of ‘male domination,’ in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.
Via NRO, much more HERE.

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Do Tell

As the New York Times slips ever deeper into the pit of irrelevance, the Washington Post seems determined to establish itself as the only major American newspaper with both semi-reliable reporting, and editorial writers who don't require anti-psychotic meds.

Not that you'd know it from reading the Times or watching NBC, but we've basically been winning the war in Iraq lately. And while the Democrats are certainly capable of accomplishing their goal of defeat and humiliation of the United States, they're going to have to hurry. [No, we don't believe that Senator Obama, let alone Senator Clinton, stay up late devising new ways to weaken the United States. But we do think that an irresistible portion of the Democratic Party is so fixed on the goal of the destruction of George W. Bush that if accomplishing that end includes collateral damage that is contrary to the interests of the United States as a whole, then they are indifferent (at best) to those consequences.]

But we digress.

Today's Washington Post editorial observes:
THERE'S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks -- which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington's attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have "never been closer to defeat than they are now."


If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq's 2009 elections will be crucial. It also should mean providing enough troops and air power to continue backing up Iraqi army operations such as those in Basra and Sadr City. When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.

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