We get a lot of really interesting feedback, and it is always appreciated. I'm going to try and put more of the stuff up here going forward, so please keep sending it...email@example.com
It's also pretty low for Reid to even suggest, as he does in the last line of the quote you provided, that GEN Petraeus and LT GEN Odierno might undermine the next administration's national security strategy, whatever that might be. Reid is essentially suggesting that these fine professional soldiers (the same ones, BTW, who have "fixed our [previously] costly strategy in Iraq" with "fresh, independent and creative thinking") are merely political operatives of the Bush Administration. Reid is beneath contempt.
Re: Kristol's An Impressive Candidate
I have to admit that this campaign is causing me to develop a grudging respect for Sen. Clinton. Even her most ardent foes have to admire the grit she has shown during this campaign. Do I want her as President? Absolutely not! But I don't see her as the caricature she was before the campaign. These near death experiences have made her more human to the electorate. I think Republicans are beginning to realize that she would be the more difficult to defeat in November.
Re: Matus's Explaining the Appeal of CNN's Election Coverage
Nice observations in re MATCH GAME, but the clear answer, at least for me, is that CNN's HD coverage, aside from being better eye candy even apart from lines of resolution, fills my big screen. Fox has become my little screen news network.
Fox News' failure to go HD is, for me, the great uncovered media SCANDAL of the '08 election. God help us all if they don't complete the switchover (they're already HD on their business channel and of course on the big network) by convention time.
Re: Noonan's Gates Still Knuckling it out with USAF Brass
You've got it. As an active duty Major (physician) in the Air Force I can tell you that the President could fire 2/3 of the active duty Lt Cols, Cols, and Generals tomorrow and not only would no one notice, but the Air Force and American public would be better served. In addition, the Air Force has way too many lawyers on the payroll, and we all know what damage they can do.
Long ago as an Air Force Captain waiting to pin on oak leaves, I was invited to address the Air Force Science Board, a group of industry elders who provide policy advice to upper management. This was a very good gig. The topic I was to brief on was "Aging Aircraft Support" and how technology could be used to improve said support. My aircraft at the time was the F-111 (and subsequently the A-10) so I was definitely in the aging aircraft support business. However, I decided to brief my own subject since I didn't see technology as a major factor in the problem. So I focused on the real problem - the vast bureaucratic tar pit that prevented timely and cost-effective upgrades using off the shelf technology. The budget rice bowl/color of money barriers that precluded shuffling of funds from lesser to more important needs, the long lead for serious money, and the tendency, when all the ducks have been placed in order over the years and the long awaited funding has arrived, for that money to be reprogrammed to fund the latest crises, or priority, or presidential junket to the PRC - and these were just the money problems. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (which probably stack up to 3 or 4 feet) are one big Wall of China preventing barbarians with new ideas from invading the motherland. I would refer to them as "scar tissue" since the rules were mostly created in response to someone somewhere making a mistake and evoking a rule to prevent it from EVER HAPPENING AGAIN.
I got a nice pat on the back from the Chief Engineer of the F-22 program (another briefer).
What I didn't get were any more promotions.
Getting to the point, I am neither surprised nor sympathetic to the problems the Air Force is having getting anything done. After all, a 2Lt could have joined the ATF(F-22) program, stayed in the program office his whole career, and made O-6 if not beyond without ever delivering a production aircraft.
Now that's slow.