Is anyone truly surprised that our Democratic leaders caved in so quickly to give Bush precisely what he has wanted - a bill with no withdrawal date? Oh, they did suggest some benchmarkes - but then they decided he should be able to wave them if he wishes. What kind of utter nonsense is this? Do democrats think they were elected in the last election to allow Bush to just continue his insane and fruitless "war?" It is as I have feared for some time now - democrats don't want this endless "war" to end any more than Republicans. There is absolutely no reason to believe that we are ever going to withdraw our troops from Iraq. Bush is now secretly sending even more troops, apparently up to bring the total up to 200,000. The Pentagon is making plans to provide troops for years to come. The city-sized embassy is progressing as are other permanent bases. If the Iraqis can be coerced into signing the oil bill giving most of the profits to the oil companies we might withdraw a few troops. But obviously we would have to leave some to protect our "interests." If they refuse to sign the bill we'll have to stay anyway to protect our interests. If Bush thinks the Iranians are going to help us steal the Iraqi oil I think he is going to be very disappointed.
There is a report that the Iraqi army is being prepared for the rapid evacuation of our troops. What this is all about is a mystery to me as I can see no conceivable withdrawal in any foreseeable future (short of being forced out against our will). It is being reported that the British will withdraw their troops (in another two years)? Is this merely wishful thinking on the part of the Iraqis? Could they possibly think that because the British will be leaving we will also? I don't think so. I really don't know what this is all about. But I don't believe we will be leaving Iraq anytime soon no matter who becomes President (unless it might be Richardson or Kucinich).
I do not believe there will be any immigration bill passed this year in spite of all the talk about bipartisanship and hard work. The proposals they are making are simply absurd on the face of them. A $5000 fine and an eight year waiting period, after having returned to the homeland? A massive new wall? Some kind of new point system to decide who is worthy and so on. It just isn't going to fly. It's too complicated and impractical.
I began reading Anthony Bourdain's book, Typhoid Mary. Interesting, but if you eat a lot in restaurants I don't advise reading it. It will make you feel that many of the unpleasant things you think might happen in restaurant kitchens actually do happen. We seldom eat out these days, mainly because there are no real restaurants here in Bonners Ferry and with the price of gasoline, driving very far to find a decent restaurant is most unrewarding. Besides, Linda is a super cook and excellent foodstuffs are available here: chemical free Highlands beef, chemical free pork and lamb, venison, buffalo, even yak steaks, free-ranging chickens, organic vegetables, the works. On top of that we have a super dentist, super mechanic, super library, super bookstore, and great neighbors. There are no hurricans, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods (where we are located), poisonous snakes, snails, termites, or what have you. Of course there are ticks and mosquitoes and the airport is too far away. But what the hell, you can't have everything (but we are close to it). See Bonners Ferry and live! But don't come here, it's getting too crowded already.