Bloggers are analyzing House Democrats' plan to slap a timetable on U.S. involvement in Iraq. They are also buzzing about the apparent deaths of the "peak oil" meme and Captain America.
Iraq pushback: House Democrats on Thursday proposed an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would start the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and would have U.S. troops completely removed by August 2008.
Bullwinkle at the conservative Bullwinkle Blog spies a stratagem: "If [House Democrats] feel that strongly that the war is wrong why wait until right before the November 2008 elections to pull out? The only thing they feel strongly about is holding onto their majorities and putting a Democrat in the White House. They couldn't care less about the military, if they did they'd prove it by forcing an immediate withdrawal."
Likeminded Rob at Say Anything argues that Democrats set the timetable "so that the Democrat Presidential candidate doesn't have to campaign on Iraq. So that people like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton don't have to explain their 'I voted for it before I was against it' positions on Iraq during the 2008 campaign."
Word of the People blogger Teethwriter doesn't believe that a corollary to the amendment that allows President Bush to waive any one of the standards will have the intended effect of embarrassing him: "This President is beyond embarrassment. You have enough embarrassing material on Bush to make a series of DVDs hosted by Bob Saget, but at the end of the day he's programmed to 'stay the course,' even when his notes tell him that he never said 'stay the course.' "
Libertarian blogger TexasFred sees the plan as a proper answer to a hopeless situation: "[I]f the Iraqis aren't fully trained and capable of taking care of their own nation by the fall of '08, maybe we do need to get out…It's pretty obvious that the way this mission has been, and continues to be executed is wrong, we didn't take control of Iraq, we kicked Saddam out and disbanded his army, organized and guarded the elections and then we let the Iraqis run Iraq, and that move was as wrong as any we could have ever made…[T]he Iraqis had no idea what it took to govern, they had never done it, and now all they can do is conduct their sectarian wars (read: civil war) in an attempt to establish an 'Alpha Dog'… "
Read more about the proposed timetable.
Crude estimates: The New York Times reported Monday that technology and high oil prices have combined to make previously out-of-reach oil reserves easier to access. Some have called it an "obit" for the peak-oil meme, but bloggers remain skeptical.
International oil analyst Raymond J. Learsy warns in TheHuffington Post, "Now that the truth about oil resources has been revealed by America's most famous newspaper, we can at least hope that the scarcity threat has lost its punch. But if the truth is going to set us completely free, we have to keep the pressure on Congress to rein in our consumption of fossil fuels while giving more support to the development of alternatives."
Reason science correspondent Ronald Bailey at Hit & Run waxes skeptical at the idea that technology can save the day: "The Times does overlook the worrying problem that an 'oil crisis' could erupt anyway because of stupid or malicious behavior on the part of corrupt governments that 'own' 77 percent of currently known reserves. In fact, the vile Hugo Chavez has just seized a multibillion dollar oil project from Exxon Mobil and will likely do that to other companies soon. Venezuela's oil production is already falling below its OPEC quota … "
Conservative blog The Countertop Chronicles chided popular discourse: "Here's a clue - whenever any one side shrieks of coming, certain, doom and the need to do something political to change it (while at the same time keeping their head in the sand about the on going march of technological progress and its interplay with market economics) don't believe em."
Read more about the death of "peak oil."
Cappin' America: The latest Captain America comic book puts the Marvel superhero in the path of a sniper's bullet, though three gunshots from a former girlfriend finish him off. Much of the blogosphere discussed the cultural implications of the fallen shield-bearer, while a number of bloggers anticipated a quick return.
Freelance journalist Jason A. Zwiker at Wicked Winter griped, "The thing is that I enjoy reading superhero comic books, always have since I was a kid. What annoys the hell out of me is the way the industry waffles. One minute there is all this talk about how mainstream superhero books have matured, how the stories are cutting-edge and realistic, and then they turn around and nudge, nudge, wink, wink, suggest that we don't know what death means for a Kryptonian like Superman. I guess it won't be long before we learn that we don't know what death means for a super-soldier like Captain America."
John at Eurocentric blog Iberian Notes undercut ideas that Captain America served as a symbol of U.S. culture: "One problem with Europeans' ideas about the United States is that most of them come from American popular culture, which as we all know has little or nothing to do with reality. They tend to take images very seriously as well, because they're much easier to understand than the complicated reading that would be necessary to have informed ideas about American governmental policy, much less the society as a whole or its history."
Read more about Captain America's demise.