Thursday, April 26, 2007

18-Month Quiz

We are just over 18 months from the November election in 2008. Friends and I have begun bandying about possible scenarios for the final segment of the Bush adminstration and the lead-up to the war. What follows is a quiz we developed. Get your bids in now. No prizes, just bragging rights.

Foreign Policy

1. Iran.
A) Iranians comply with international pressure, submit to inspections and dismantle their enrichment program; US stands pat.

B) Iranians continue to play coy about enrichment, bringing some international support against the US and manage to hold off inspections through the election; Bush rattles his tin sabre but the US stands pat.

C) Tensions escalate, the US pushes a UN sanction, and Iran refuses to comply. Embargoes ensue and the international community slowly progresses toward a confrontation, led by Bush. Congressional hearings conclude before any declarations and the US stands ready to invade.

D) Scenario C progresses more rapidly, without UN support, and Bush begins selective bombing of suspected enrichment sites. Congress neither approves nor opposes the action.

E) Bush is opposed by the international community, Congress (including key GOP leaders), and the joint chiefs, and launches a covert nuclear attack.

F) Other _____________________
2. Iraq
A) The surge improves things marginally in Baghdad; Bush and McCain declare victory, begin withdrawing troops while ignoring the continued violence.

B) The status quo continues; violence and unrest and the steady decline to a hot civil war. The Dems can't convince Bush to withdraw and the death toll mounts.

C) After the surge fails and the elections approach, the GOP breaks rank with the White House and joins the Dems in a call for troop withdrawal. Nothing is binding, but Bush, without admitting defeat, begins a slow withdrawal.

D) The GOP join Dems to cut off funding, forcing Bush to pull out the troops in advance of the election.

E) Other ______________________
3. War on Terror
A) There are no attacks against Americans and the half-assed policies of the President lumber forward.

B) Dems force substantial changes in security issues (ports, funds for cities, etc.) and win favor for "engagement" diplomacy; no attack on US soil.

C) An attack hits the US, strengthens Bush's hand for first-term-style politics.

D) An attack hits the US; Bush's approval plummets and precipitates Congressional intervention (including, possibly, impeachment).

E. Other _____________________
4. Foreign Policy Surprise (Open ended)

5. Identify the unlikely doomsday scenario that might emerge before the election. (Open ended)


6. The Democratic Nominee
A. Hillary Clinton
B. John Edwards
C. Al Gore
D. Barack Obama
E. Other ________________
7. The Republican Nominee
A. John McCain
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Rudy Guiliani
D. Mitt Romney
E. Fred Thompson
F. Other ________________
8. Dem Vice Presidential Nominee (open-ended)

9. GOP Vice Presidential Nominee (open-ended)

10. The Next President
A. John McCain
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Rudy Guiliani
D. Mitt Romney
E. Fred Thompson
F. Hillary Clinton
G. John Edwards
H. Al Gore
I. Barack Obama
J. Other __________________
11. Prescient piece of information you see about the electorate that people are overlooking. (open ended)

12. The House

A) Dems gain seats
B) Dems lose seats, hold the House
C) Dems lose seats, lose the House
D) Very little or no change.
13. Senate
A) Dems gain enough seats to have a fillibuster-proof majority
B) Dems gain some seats
C) Dems lose seats (and therefore the majority)
D) Senate stands pat at 50-49-1.
13a. (Oregonian subquestion) Who will be the next Senator from Oregon?
A) Steve Novick
B) Earl Blumenauer
C) Ben Westlund
D) Gordon Smith
E) Other _______________


14. The Bush Presidency
A) Scandals continue to plague the President, who slides further into isolation and disapproval. Congressional hearings and investigations reveal gross malfeasance and the suggestion of crime.

B) Either because of White House foreign policy bellicosity or because of scandal, Bush is impeached.

C) Bush, isolated and embattled, provokes an encounter with Iran.

D) Bush, isolated and embattled, declares martial law and suspends the election.

E) Congress loses interest in Bush, gets caught up in the '08 election, and the Bush presidency plays out with few successes and few failures, doomed to be remembered as a cautionary tale of incompetence and corruption.
15. The previously important issue that fails to excite interest in the coming year is:
A) tax cuts
B) abortion
C) terrorism
D) Iraq
E) gay rights/marriage
16. The emergent issue in the coming year is:
A) health care
B) global warming
C) gas prices
D) Iran
E) gun control
17. The unexpected development(s) in the next 18 months will be? (open ended)

Friday, April 20, 2007


"Thanks to you, I die like a martyr of Islam to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people."

Had that been the quote of a Muslim who slaughtered three dozen in an American city, we'd invade Iran. Of course, it was Cho, who actually said "die like Jesus Christ." The phrase "nappy-headed hos" got a man fired in one instance, but the subsequent 11,000 times (according to Google News), it was considered journalism or commentary. In a time increasingly dominated by religious fundamentalism, when submission is favored above reason, we ignore the context of things. "Moral clarity" is favored above anything that looks relativistic, even when the nuanced view is the only way to gain actual insight into a situation.

We're lucky Cho wasn't a Saudi, or this week's news would have an entirely different spin.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Flaunting My Vocabulary

Stanzel, possibly unwittingly, offered one possible explanation for why the rule on preservation was flaunted so widely: Because there was apparently no prospect of personal consequences. "There are no personal violations of the Presidential Records Act, but you can have a personal violation of the Hatch Act," he said.
flaunt (v) - to parade or display oneself conspicuously: to flaunt one's wealth.

flout (v) - to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock: to flout the rules of propriety.

The article's pretty good, though.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Offer They Could Refuse

Bush to Harry Reid: I offer to discuss your capitulating to my every demand on this war supplemental.

Reid to Bush: No.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

When Bullies Compromise

Not really back blogging, but I couldn't resist an observation on Bush's press conference today.

Take one:
Democrat leaders in Congress seem more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than in providing our troops what they need to fight the battles in Iraq.
Take two:
If Democrat leaders in Congress are bent on making a political statement, then they need to send me this unacceptable bill as quickly as possible when they come back.
Take three:
In a time of war, it's irresponsible for the Democrat leadership, Democratic leadership, in Congress to delay for months on end while our troops in combat are waiting for the funds.
It's the little things, right?