Yesterday we weighed in at the doc's office to discover we'd lost 17 pounds since our previous visit six weeks back, the day we jumped on the wagon and started our Cold Turkey Diet. The doc shook our hand and congratulated us on a job well done, and the gal who recorded our weight high-fived us. Who knew health maintenance could be so much fun? At this rate, we should be able to achieve our ideal weight [To be announced] by September 18, the 156th anniversary of the debut in 1851 of The New-York Daily Times, which would become The New York Times, that other "gray lady" who seems to be shedding some weight -- in terms of both gravitas and advertising dollars -- of late. Chelsea Gray lady Tiny, above, on reconnaisance in the garden yesterday morning.
"Today, Iraq is a different place from what it was six months ago . . . What has changed is the disposition of U.S. forces, which are now actively working to expel the enemy from its safe havens rather than ignoring them," writes Kimberly Kagan in Opinion Journal, summing up the good news that's been bubbling up all over the 'sphere for weeks. Anyone who's been keeping up with Michael Yon's reports from the front will already be frustratingly familiar with the gist of Kagan's argument. We say "frustratingly" because of what General David "hard is not hopeless" Petraeus refers to as the wilfully unhelpful disconnect between the "Washington clock" and the "Baghdad clock." From the beginning of the surge, Petraeus has appealed for time to make it work, even as Bush-bashing politicians and their fellow travelers in the media have been forever demanding benchmarks and timetables for defeat. Kagan explains:
Reports from the field show that remarkable progress is being made. Violence in Baghdad and Anbar Province is down dramatically, grassroots political movements have begun in the Sunni Arab community, and American and Iraqi forces are clearing al Qaeda fighters and Shiite militias out of long-established bases around the country.
This is remarkable because the military operation that is making these changes possible only began in full strength on June 15. To say that the surge is failing is absurd. Instead Congress should be asking this question: Can the current progress continue?
"Welcome back to the West Wing . . . sort of," quipped President Bush this morning at the official reopening of the White House Press Corps briefing room, an $8 million renovation featuring big-screen TVs and fiber optics. According to a NYT reporter, "some news organizations are pulling back on their White House coverage," partly because "the trips are expensive and the news industry is in rough shape" [Check.] and partly because "reporters and editors also say there are more compelling stories elsewhere." [Uh huh. They say a lot of things to convince themselves they are masters of the universe.] As the Times acknowledges, quoting the Washington bureau chief for Cox Newspapers,“He’s still the most powerful man on the world stage.” Master and mistress of the side yard Baby and Tiny, above, on watch yesterday morning.
But for BDS sufferers, the surge MUST fail. Their very psychological survival depends upon it. Bloggers were all over the pathetic, last-gasp denial and projection -- in the Dr. Sanity sense -- of the graying lady's lead editorial on Sunday. Neo pulls out the Times' telling quote:
Unbelievable that this narcissistic, whiny adolescent brand of "thinking" has continued to set the national agenda for so many of our fellow citizens through these twilight years of dumbed-down debate amongst liberal elites. For a man of honor like President Bush, whatever his human frailties -- and for us, his inability to communicate his heartfelt vision of the shining city upon a hill in a sustained way to the average American is the most regrettable -- staying the course is not a bumper sticker slogan, to be pasted over after the next election.
Update: Carnival of the Cats #172 at Mind of Mog is a touching and visually stunning tribute to her beloved Krissie, "who crossed over the rainbow bridge" a week ago Monday.