My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Quick Hits

:I think this guy gets it

Maliki held his first cabinet meeting on Sunday. Security, the overwhelming top concern of Iraqis now, took priority. "We will use maximum force against the terrorists and killers who are causing the bloodshed," Maliki told reporters after the cabinet session.

I wonder if the Iraqi press will have a giant hissy-fit if a few prisoners get "humiliated" in this process?

:In case you'd forgotten

This is who we're fighting against:

In public statements and in interviews with Arab media, [Mustaffa S.] Nasar said he was happy to work with al-Qaeda but emphasized that he was an independent operator. His theories of decentralization had already taken shape: It would be a mistake, he said, for the global movement to pin its hopes on a single group or set of leaders.

"My guess is that he saw bin Laden as a narrow-minded thinker," said Jarret Brachman, research director for the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. "He clearly says that al-Qaeda was an important step but it's not the end step and it's not sufficient."

Nasar's theories of war also called for the most deadly weapons possible. In Afghanistan, he worked with al-Qaeda leaders to train fighters in the use of "poisons and chemicals" at two camps near Jalalabad and Kabul, according to the State Department. After the Sept. 11 hijackings, Nasar praised the attacks. But he said a better plan would have been to load the hijacked airplanes with weapons of mass destruction.

Yep. No amount of death and suffering is good enough.

:And some odd electoral analysis re:evangelicals

This month, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean -- yes, that would be the Howard Dean who dismissed Republicans last year as "pretty much a white, Christian Party" -- went on Pat Robertson's "700 Club," asserting that Democrats "have an enormous amount in common with the Christian community, and particularly with the evangelical Christian community." Randy Brinson, founder of Redeem the Vote (think Rock the Vote meets Jesus), met last week with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. . . .

Democrats have a shot at luring some of them, but it's a long shot, and one that poses dangerous temptations for the party as it tries to narrow the God gap . . .

To some extent, Democrats could help themselves with evangelicals simply by showing up -- at the megachurches, on Christian radio and in other venues where Democrats have been scarce. Whether the Democrats are deploying the right messengers is more questionable: a liberal San Francisco Democrat and a civil union-signing Vermont governor may not be the party's best bet with evangelicals. More important, occasional drop-bys and clunky dropping of biblical references aren't going to do the trick. These voters weren't born again yesterday.

Please, oh puh-LEEEZ spend your time, energy and money tryng to get evangelicals to vote Democratic. Go to as many churches as you can and talk about the "freedom" of abortion and gay marriage--let a good pastor have a swing at your rhetorical garbage.

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