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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Uncommon Sense: "Pelosi v. Bush, The Slapdown"

Hammer time

Thanks to Uncommon Sense for this great post!

I stand in awe of Nancy Pelosi. She just taught our president a lesson in being presidential.

George W. Bush has been on one sustained tantrum for the last couple of weeks. He never misses an opportunity to issue warnings about the grave consequences of not letting his occupation of Iraq continue indefinitely.

Here is Bush on March 19, in remarks regarding the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion:

It can be tempting to look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude our best option is to pack up and go home. That may be satisfying in the short run, but I believe the consequences for American security would be devastating. If American forces were to step back from Baghdad before it is more secure, a contagion of violence could spill out across the entire country. In time, this violence could engulf the region. The terrorists could emerge from the chaos with a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they had in Afghanistan, which they used to plan the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. For the safety of the American people, we cannot allow this to happen.
Days later, on March 23, Bush attacked Democrats for writing a timetable for withdrawal into his request for supplemental war funding.

Democrats want to make clear that they oppose the war in Iraq. They have made their point. For some, that is not enough. These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen. Our men and women in uniform need these emergency war funds. The Secretary of Defense has warned that if Congress does not approve the emergency funding for our troops by April the 15th, our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions, and so would their families.
The president's rhetoric intensified the next day in his national radio address.

By choosing to make a political statement and passing a bill they know will never become law, the Democrats in Congress have only delayed the delivery of the vital funds and resources our troops need. The clock is running. The Secretary of Defense has warned that if Congress does not approve the emergency funding for our troops by April 15, our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions -- and so will their families.
And today, the Democrat bashing continued as Bush fed some red meat to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Now, some of them believe that by delaying funding for our troops, they can force me to accept restrictions on our commanders that I believe would make withdrawal and defeat more likely. That's not going to happen. If Congress fails to pass a bill to fund our troops on the front lines, the American people will know who to hold responsible.
Shrill, ain't he?

Well, in a brilliant move, House Speaker Pelosi just turned the tables on Little Mister Fussypants. How did she do it? Mommy gave junior a spanking. In public.

"On this very important matter, I would extend the hand of friendship to the president, just to say to him, 'calm down with the threats.' There's a new congress in town. We respect your constitutional role. We want you to respect ours.

"This war must end. The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of the war. Let's see how we can work together.

"This war is diminishing the strength of our military, not honoring our commitment to our veterans, and not holding the Iraqi government accountable."
Calm down with the threats. It doesn't get any better than that.

See the video here.

Bush has grown more hysterical by the day as it has dawned on him that he cannot intimidate this congress into bowing before his majesty the way the previous one did. With the Iraq timetable and the U.S. Attorney purge investigation happening at the same time, he is beside himself. It's all falling apart around him, and he is responding to it by throwing fits and making threats. Presidents should be better at handling adversity. Nancy Pelosi just showed him how.

Well done, Madam Speaker.

- posted by Uncommon Sense

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