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Running Scared?

Two pieces this AM point to increased tension in the halls of the White House on what to do about Iraq. Following on the heels of a long delayed mea cupla by the paper of record, we find that whispers of withdrawal are popping up in the Oval Office.
White House officials fear that the last pillars of political support among Senate Republicans for President Bush’s Iraq strategy are collapsing around them, according to several administration officials and outsiders they are consulting. They say that inside the administration, debate is intensifying over whether Mr. Bush should try to prevent more defections by announcing his intention to begin a gradual withdrawal of American troops from the high-casualty neighborhoods of Baghdad and other cities.

Mr. Bush and his aides once thought they could wait to begin those discussions until after Sept. 15, when the top field commander and the new American ambassador to Baghdad are scheduled to report on the effectiveness of the troop increase that the president announced in January. But suddenly, some of Mr. Bush’s aides acknowledge, it appears that forces are combining against him just as the Senate prepares this week to begin what promises to be a contentious debate on the war’s future and financing.

Now logic dictates that we take such info with copious amounts of sodium chloride. Especially since it comes courtesy of David Sanger, who blog pal Cernig likes to call "Judy in Drag". This could very well be a cosmetic lipsticking of the proverbial pig and reading through the rest of the article quoted above, I'm inclined to agree with some that this is indeed just a head fake to buy another Friedman. I'd also offer it up as a possible "pity the poor prez" piece designed to make us want to ease up on the big lug. Certainly the Beltway elites will be suggesting just that soon enough (countdown to David Broder 3...2...).

There's another piece that also leaves me questionable of the Times article. Robert Novak writes that National Security Advisor Steven Hadley had a sitdown with prominent Repubs before the July 4th break. Ostensibly the meeting was to determine what brought about recent defections from Bush. But it left the GOPers concerned that the Bush bubble is still preventing any sort of serious discussion of the matter.

And both of the articles still leave out any indication of how The Decider feels. But if past is prologue, we can infer that he's liable to still be his ole' ornery self. Thus all the more reason to wonder if we truly are on the verge of some sort of shift in the waters of the Potomac or if that's just Cheney flushing what's left of the Constitution down the toilet.

More via Meme.

(Filed at State of the Day)

Chimpy's gonna put some more lipstick on that pig, even if he gets confronted with 67 Senators. This is not a boy accustomed to hearing "no," except within the confines of his bedroom.

The wingnutosphere is 100% unanimous that things are "getting better" in Iraq, in spite of the bombings, the fact that local militias actually own most of Baghdad, the spike in American deaths, 140,000 Turks ready to come down for a long visit, etc. They would crow about their moronic monkey Messiah if their daughters were being exported to China to satisfy those debts we've run up. Chimpy only hears Chimpletons, of course, so he's as convinced as they are.

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