Clarifying Our Goals in Afghanistan

Today’s NYT story “U. S. Seeks Aid from Pakistan in Peace Effort” says that Pakistani leaders “are confused by a lack of clarity in the administration’s long-term goals in Afghanistan.”

Our long-term goals are to get our troops the heck out of there and let the Afghanis go back to enjoying the seventh century.  The British learned they couldn’t bring Afghanistan into the nineteenth century, the Russians learned they couldn’t bring it into the twentieth century, and we have learned that we can’t bring it into the twenty-first.

We really have no interest in Afghanistan qua Afghanistan.  We just need to use a little bit of their territory so our drones and special forces can attack terrorists in Pakistan.

I hope that’s clear now.  You’re welcome, Pakistan.

Herman Cain Makes It Worse

The inexperience of Herman Cain and his campaign team is really showing today as they struggle to deal with the allegations of sexual harassment during Cain’s time as head of the National Restaurant Association (the NRA with food, not guns).  Smart political operatives who have been around the block know that you don’t do drip, drip, drip, you get your response out in a full and coherent fashion, and then you stick to it.

But Cain, having denied knowing even if there were financial settlements paid to the women, let alone the details of them, back-tracked in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, admitting to knowledge about the settlements.

Once you get caught in a lie about an allegation, as Cain now has, you lose credibility for the rest of your version, even if you’re telling the truth.

However serious these allegations are, Cain and his staff are doomed to make the situation worse simply because of who they are, untested and unready.  Whoever got the story to Politico — Mitt Romney? Rick Perry? — would have known that because they knew they were hitting a bunch of amateurs.

Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas

I thought it was odd back in May, when Herman Cain told Byron York in an interview for The Washington Examiner, that he was ready for a “high-tech lynching.”

It made no sense to me that Cain would want to associate himself with Clarence Thomas in that way.  But now it’s clear that Cain knew allegations of sexual harassment would eventually come out, as they have today on Politico.  So he was trying to inoculate himself.

We’ll see if the white guilt strategy works as well for him as it did for Thomas.  It’s such an insult to all the African-Americans who were murdered in low-tech lynchings.


Don’t worry, this event didn’t feature bear burgers or kabobs, it was an online meeting of Sarah Palin fans, held to discuss what they should do now that she’s broken their hearts by not running for president.

May I suggest they sign up for classes to get their GED’s?  Or file a class action suit to get their donations back?  I would have called the event Grifterfest, given how shamelessly La Palin has pried money from these pathetic people.

I love the irony of their holding the event over Halloween weekend, given that their beloved Sarah has more skeletons in her closet than Carrie Bradshaw has shoes.

Bow Tie Versus Magic Underwear

George Will, the poster child for inside-the-beltway pomposity, is calling Mitt Romney a “recidivist reviser of his principles.”  I think that’s elitist for flip-flopper.

He also compares Mitt to poor Michael Dukakis, in the most unfair slur against Dukakis since the Willie Horton ad.  When the GOP compares you to Dukakis, they’re basically calling you the anti-Christ.

Man Up, Rick Perry!

It’s an enormous mistake for Rick Perry to skip some of the upcoming GOP primary debates.  The answer is not to hide from them, but to perform more impressively at them.  It’s not a great mystery what the questions are going to be and the lines of attack his opponents are going to direct at him.  So it’s all about preparation and practice.

If you’re not on stage, you’re admitting to voters that you don’t belong there, that you can’t cut it.  That’s a fatal admission.

As Alex the Parrot would say, “Try better.”

Safer in Iraq Than in Oakland

What does it say about this country and this moment that Scott Olsen served two tours of duty in Iraq and emerged unscathed, but got his skull bashed in by the Oakland police while demonstrating peacefully?

Occupy Wall Street says, “We are all Scott Olsen.”  This would be a much better country if that were true.  Most of us are only pale shadows of Scott Olsen.

Herman Cain Is the Scariest Thing This Halloween

Presidential candidates are parental figures.  They are supposed to make us believe they will protect us from all the scary things out there.  Neither presidential candidates, nor parents, are supposed to be scary themselves.  Or extremely weird.

But watch Herman Cain’s “Cigarette” ad or his “Yellow Flowers” ad and tell me your skin doesn’t crawl.  These ads aren’t dumb like Carly Fiorina’s “Demon Sheep”” or Christine O’Donnell’s “I Am Not a Witch” or John Huntsman’s Zen guy on motorcycle in the desert.  Cain’s ads are the weirdest I’ve ever seen and his smile at the end is the creepiest.

My initial response to Cain was that he was a Joker.  Now I’m convinced that he’s not playing with a full deck.