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At Target tonight, the young woman who checked us out saw we had bubble wrap. “I didn’t know you could buy that!” she said. Then she confessed, “Until recently I’d never seen this stuff before. My boyfriend’s family lives in Texas and Arizona, and they sent us Christmas gifts wrapped in it. I was amazed!”

K asked, “Have you ever moved?”

“Yeah! I wrap stuff in in newspaper.”

“Newspaper works,” I said.

“I have seen those big inflated plastic bubbles before, like Amazon uses.”

When we got home, neither of us had the stomach to watch the escalation speech. K read The Road, which I finished this weekend, and I wrote. Unfortunately, my commentary on it must be slight until the weekend: it’s a deadline week at work. But of course it hardly matters what I thought of the speech in particular, because I know it represents all the worst policy choices possible, both for America’s and Iraq’s interests. Why it represents the worst choices is perhaps a more interesting question, but why is largely irrelevant so long as the worst choices remain made. As Nero reaches for his fiddle, too many good people continue to die for naught.

Unless J wants to post analysis, the comments here are as good a place as any to talk about it.



I tuned in for about 5 minutes somewhere in the middle of it. It was a bunch of boilerplate and stale rhetoric. Then the connection cut off, and I didn’t bother trying to restore it.

My guess is we’re going to tread water over there for another six months or so, then something major will happen and upend things again.

I agree, but your timeline is off: water will be tread for two years.

There’s a number of questions brewing about what exactly the speech means. For example, when GWB says that there were too many restrictions on US troops in the past, does he mean 1) that the rules of engagement were to strict, and that it would be in troops’ best interests to shoot what moves (if so, that rubs against the notion that occupation should make the people you shoot love you); or 2) that it’s preface to a full-scale assault on Sadr City and the Mahdi Army? I suspect probably the latter more than the former, though there have been enough people clamoring for the former that it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what he meant, too.

Meanwhile, Michael Gerson claims victory-by-boldness.

j obviously didn’t post nothing.

with the many articles and the one book that j’s juggling, he stopped paying attention to the news.

Smart man.

But certainly better food and drink helps the despair go down more smoothly.