The Ankle Biter Chorus - the usual columnists, pols and activists - are again trying to get between the president and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The latest (post-Zinni) round comes from Generals Newbold, Swannack and Batiste who call for Rumsfeld's firing because he didn't do what they and their fellow officers recommended in Iraq. Problem is, as Gen. Peter Pace said the other day (and as former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers said many times) Rumsfeld DID follow their advice, though he put them through a tough reasoning wringer to argue their points.
The Spectacle Blog
If you're a governor looking at a presidential run, how much can you compromise to look good before it starts looking bad? That may be a question Mitt Romney's asking himself.
Scott Lehigh in the Boston Globe casts the bill signing ceremony as a carefully crafted presidential campaign photo op that quickly unraveled. Even though he nearly gave away the farm to his Democratic rivals, Romney won't find them praising his "bipartisanship" when the TV cameras come calling. (This is what happens when Republicans compromise their principles -- different from a little political horse trading -- Democrats, sensing weakness, will show no gratitude but instead ask for more.)
1. Best signals source says that Tehran chief brain and strategist Rafsanjani is now in Damascus for a round of meetings with the terror camps, from the al-Assads to Nasrallah of the Hizb to the usual suspects of PFLPGC, Hamas, IJ, Al Aqsa: the topic is agreed: the struggle to liberate the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the whole of Palestine, is the same struggle as to liberate Iraq. Iran means to crush Israel and retake Palestine just as if this was the end of the second crusade.
2. The Damascus meetings turn on what is to be done to prep for the pre-empt that the Iranians aim to launch before October showdown with the UNSC. The collective attack on Israel will soften the resistance to the general assault in the Gulf region on the oilfields.
3. Rafsanjani next heads to Kuwait to warn the Sunni princes of oil that they either turn the Americans out of their back acres or they will burn with the Americans. This same message will be delivered to Bahrain and the UAE. Burn later or surrender now.
Read this headline, and you'd think - ever so hopeful - that Rep. Tom DeLay finally did what so many Republicans would pay a lot of money to do.
But no. Rep. Patrick "Patches" Kennedy just got hit in the mouth with a tool. Of course, reading the headline quickly, you'd think it was simply affirming the general state most people believe a Kennedy to be in: Hammered.
Both of those pages are the result of "googlebombing." Here's how it works: Google ranks search results according to relevant links. If you get a whole bunch of people from different websites to link to a page with a certain word or phrase, you can push that page to the top of the search results. "I'm feeling lucky" simply grabs the first search result.
Google discourages googlebombing, but they've yet to figure out what to do about it. The comment and trackback spam that plagues many blogs, by the way, is a form of googlebomb; the scoundrels are trying to raise their search-engine profiles. (The American Prospect was actually shut down by comment spam earlier this week.)
Tax Day is quickly upon us. Some of you are still working out those last-minute returns. For you others, don't forget the Alternative Minimum Tax is still out there and growing as a threat to your income. As Daniel Gross points out, the President and Congress bleat about it every spring, but fail to act. If a GOP Congress and White House won't squelch an outrageous hidden tax hike, who will?
Quin, don't jump the gun here. This works both ways: when you type in "French military victories" and hit I'm Feeling Lucky, you get an outside site made to look like a Google results page that says those terms did not match any documents and, "Did you mean french military defeats."
So if these guys were smart enough to game the system, who's to say Google's responsible for the President Bush/failure stunt? We don't know if they are. And if we assume they are, then they have a sense of humor that works both ways.
Courtesy of Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO comes this outrage. To save you the trouble, I'll tell you what happens: When you go to Google and type in the word "failure" and then press the "I'm feeling lucky" button, what you get is the official White House biography of President Bush. That's outrageous. I'd suggest boycotting Google, but, well, it is so dadgummed convenient.