The surge of troops in Iraq has been fully staffed, and Congress will get a report in September about the result of this troop surge. But Democrats in Congress are not willing to wait until September. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has three times said that we have lost in Iraq, and Democrats as a party have embraced defeat in Iraq. But rarely do Democrats stand up and so clearly state the truth that Democrats have wedded themselves to failure in Iraq. But Rep. James Clyburn, House Majority Whip, has said exactly that, as reported in a Washington Post report.

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be “a real big problem for us.”

Did you catch that? Positive news in Iraq would be a real big problem for Democrats. I’ll state it again: America winning in Iraq is a real big problem for Democrats. And one last time: America winning is a problem for Democrats.

Do you understand now why Democrats scream when people question their patriotism? They scream because it is a question that cuts them to the quick.

Remember the really nasty hurricane season of 2005? Twenty-eight storms formed that year and 15 made it to full-fledged hurricane status. The images of devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina so terrified the nation that former Vice President Al Gore used the image of a hurricane on the poster and DVD cover of his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Coming off that year, experts predicted that 2006 would give us 17 storms with nine hurricanes, but the actual results were almost half that at ten storms and five hurricanes. As of this writing, there have been only two named storms for 2007, neither of which became a hurricane. This calm year has led hurricane forecaster WSI Corp. to change its season predictions from 15 named storms and eight hurricanes to 14 named storms and six hurricanes.

The failed forecast for 2006 and the shifting of the forecast in 2007 has led Investor’s Business Daily to ask a very good question of the Global Warming crowd:

If scientists can’t get near-future projections in a limited area right, how can they predict the climate decades from now?

A reasonable response is: They can’t. But the global warming climate of fear did not blow in on the soft breezes of reason, but by the storm winds of emotion.

Professional meteorologists have a difficult time making an accurate forecast two days in the future, let alone accurately predicting the temperature two weeks from now. If they have that much trouble predicting the very near future, how much confidence can we put in the long-range forecasts of global warming proponents?

Short answer: not much at all.

  • Telling people “Don’t touch that!” only to watch them touch it seconds later. They heard me. I saw them look at me when I said it, but they did it anyway. When I asked why they did it, the response was “Uh… I don’t know.”
  • Men who go into a restroom stall to pee when there are urinals available. This always happens after I have the extra-spicy burrito for lunch.
  • Animated Internet ads. Few things will make me less likely to buy something than an ad with a dancing alien or yet another Flash ad proclaiming “Shoot the [whatever] to win!”
  • People who talk loudly on their cell phones in public places. Nobody in the restaurant cares about the results of your cousin’s colon polyp surgery. Trust me on this. While I can understand the usefulness of having a cell phone during an emergency, or standing in the store and calling home to ask whether the wife needs a vanilla or chocolate cake mix, I don’t understand the overwhelming urge to just call people and talk loudly in public about private and personal things.
  • People who don’t shut off their cell phones in the theater. I like it when theaters run a little reminder before the movie asking people to silence their cell phones. If you are waiting for a critical call, what are you doing watching a movie? At least put it on vibrate. And go out in the lobby to take your call!
  • People who bring little kids or babies to late-night movies. I once went to a midnight showing of Dracula, and at most every scene with loud noise a little baby would start crying. Either spend the money to hire a babysitter, or wait for the DVD.
  • Commercials at movie theaters. I recently saw the fifth Harry Potter movie and counted more commercials than previews, and there were seven previews!
  • Commercials on DVDs! Argh! I bought the movie because I wanted to watch the movie, not wade through a load of previews or product commercials. The best DVDs are the ones that auto-play the movie when you put them in.
  • People who insist on talking to you while they eat. With their mouths full of food. Spraying crumbs and half-chewed bits all over. Eww. Happily it has been many months since this last happened, but eww.
  • People who can’t keep a secret. The New York Times was able to review the seventh Harry Potter novel and not give away the ending, but they couldn’t keep a secret involving national security. And don’t give me that tired “the people have a right to know” excuse.
  • Mosquitoes. Is there anyone not annoyed by them?
  • Bloggers who don’t post often enough. Uh… oh crap!

After seeing the Democrat-led Senate go through the silly over-night stunt to push a cut-and-run bill through, I have a rather simple question for everyone out there: is there anyone not convinced at this point that Democrats comprise the party of white flags, surrender, and running away?

And there’s a follow-up question: when has running away from people who hate and want to kill you ever made things better?

Here is the first part of an interesting article by the Associate Press.

Nev. Couple Blame Internet for Neglect

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.

Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” series, to give their children proper care.

“They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games,” Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

It’s the Internet’s fault these kids were starved and mistreated! I don’t understand why they don’t specifically blame Turbine Games for putting together Dungeons & Dragons Online. While we’re at it, how about blaming Wizards of the Coast for the Dungeons & Dragons game itself? Or how about blaming Gary Gygax for coming up with Dungeons & Dragons in the first place? And hey, why isn’t Al Gore being blamed for inventing the Internet?

Or we could just blame the two parents.

I have a problem with the blaming the thing and not the person. The wine didn’t leap on its own into the person’s stomach — the person opened the bottle and drank. The knife didn’t move on its own into the shop owner — the person stabbed with it. The SUV didn’t rocket on its own past the speed limit — the person stomped on the accelerator.

Michael and Iana Straw should have the book tossed at them for their criminal neglect. If I were the judge, I’d be tempted to rule that they are unable to own or use a computer for anything other than a work-related activity.

The vacation was a blast, and I put about 2,200 miles on the rental car. Good thing I had unlimited mileage. Before we headed out, TPK found a fun game online that required only something to draw with, a fun imagination, and lots of blank white cards. This game is commonly called 1000 Blank White Cards.

Play begins with a bunch of blank white cards and pens. We passed 5-10 blank cards around to the players and told them to make up some cards. We preferred them to have a title at the top, some sort of drawing, and then a description of what the card does. “But what does the card do?” Whatever you want. It’s easy to draw up a card that gives you a bazillion points, but it’s easy for someone else to draw up a card that takes your points away. Once you have some cards drawn up (either from right then or from a previous game), you shuffle up the blanks and the drawn cards and deal out 5 cards to each player. Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer drawing a new card from the center pile and playing a card. Any blank cards you pull can be turned into something fun with your pen and a bit of time.

“So how do you win?” The game ends when there are no more unused cards to be picked up and no more cards in people’s hands. Normally the person with the most points at the end of the game wins. Once the game is over, it’s time to go through the deck and winnow out the keeper cards. Our basic rule was that any card specifically targeting someone would be tossed. A card that removes all of Mom’s points is only useful if Mom is always in the game.

The resulting pile of good cards can be divided out among the players, given either to the person who drew them or the person who shamelessly begs the most for them. Or the host can just keep the stack for a later game. This method motivates the players to host their own games. If you didn’t get the highest points in the game, you can still secretly congratulate yourself as the winner if there are more of your cards in the keeper pile, or if they were the ones fought over the most.

Here are 12 examples of cards we created in our games. Clicking the cards will bring up a higher-resolution image to make it easier to read the text.

Have fun!

It’s really interesting the way the mainstream media reports a non-story. Here’s a bit from an Associated Press article that caught my eye today:

President Bush on Thursday acknowledged publicly for the first time that someone in his administration likely leaked the name of a CIA operative, although he also said he hopes the controversy over his decision to spare prison for a former White House aide has “run its course.”

“And now we’re going to move on,” Bush said in a White House news conference.

The president had initially said he would fire anyone in his administration found to have publicly disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and a CIA operative. Ten days ago, Bush commuted the 30-month sentence given to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby by a federal judge in connection with the case.

I had to laugh at the first paragraph. I can almost hear the media hounds barking over the tired old bone of who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the media. *bark*bark* “Bush admits his administration did it!” *bark*bark*

But it is the third paragraph that really cheesed me off. It contains two sentences that have nothing to do with each other, but by placing them together, the media gets a twofer. First, they get to *tsk-tsk* the President for saying he’d fire someone who leaked the name and didn’t, and second, they bring up Libby right after, linking his sentence and commutation with the President’s pledge to fire the leaker.

But Libby didn’t leak the name. And shame on the unnamed Associated Press hack(s) who wrote this story to make people believe he did. They know Libby didn’t leak the name. When Patrick Fitzgerald started his investigation into the leak, he knew Libby wasn’t at fault. Attorney General John Ashcroft knew that Libby wasn’t the leaker. They all knew who the leaker was.

The leaker was Richard Armitage, the number two man under then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. And President Bush couldn’t fire him because he had already left his post as Deputy Secretary of State on Feb. 22, 2005.

But isn’t it interesting that in the entire AP story, Armitage’s name never even appears?