I was going to give this post some sophisticated, hidden reference title, but in the interest of calling a spade a general-purpose personal excavation tool…

Josh Marshall collects a couple of quotes to make the following points:

  • Bush says that there will not be a draft
  • Bush says we can fight another war at any point, if needed, with existing resources
  • We have a Selective Service to prepare for a draft

You may be able to see an inherent contradiction between the first two points and the last one. But look closer and you’ll see that the second point is, shall we say, outside the ‘reality based community‘.

The UK government has just approved the transfer of around 850 members of the Black Watch to replace existing US units, freeing up the Americans for other combat operations. The move is necessary because suitable forces don’t exist on the US side.

Remember, Bush says we could man another theater if needed, without the draft. Figure something the size of Iraq, 130,000 US troops. Yet we can’t find 850 combat and support troops to cover for a redeployed unit? In my book that makes Bush a liar. The only question is if he’s lying about
a) the need for British troops, or
b) the capability to wage a second war without the draft.
I’ll let you decide, but here’s a hint: the answer is b.

Incidentally, the Guardian article ends with this familiar-sounding quote:

“The prime minister said yesterday that the Black Watch would be home for Christmas. “

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Andrew Sullivan has a post that contains the following line:

The contrast between a man who can make an argument and one who can simply assert what he believes to be a truth was striking.

This neatly sums up the difference I see. I’d prefer it if Kerry was 20% more resolute, and that’s certainly the image he’s tried to portray in the last week. In fact I suspect he is sufficiently resolute (if there is such a thing) about terrorism, it’s just being seen to be resolute that’s the issue. But what would I want from Bush? For him to be 20% more thoughtful? 20% more considerate? 20% more in touch with reality?

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Faucets of Marianna

Under the Headline “Faucet Company Donates To Man Who Lost All But Spigot To Twister” a Florida news station reports:

“To say James Abney lost everything in his rental trailer during a tornado spawned by Hurricane Ivan doesn’t do justice to his loss: the only thing left where his home had been standing was his kitchen faucet, supported by narrow water pipes.

But the lonely faucet became a beacon of hope, towering at sink-level in a devastated trailer park.”

The photographer did a nice job too.

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Old Lies

A while ago I mentioned that Bush lied about the growth in discretionary spending under his administration. Well, it appears he’s doing it again.

Bush says: Clinton 15%pa, me 1%pa
The Congressional Budget office says: Clinton 2.5%, Bush 8.2%pa

At the time I noted that Gore got hammered for supposedly lying about all manner of trivialities, but the actual President actually lies about actual issues.

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