Flew into Washington early this morning on the first real cold day of the year. At dawn, the pink light over the Whitestone Bridge looking eastward on Long Island was stunningly beautiful; and sipping my steaming coffee in the shuttle terminal, the pink grew into a warmer read and then lifted and disappeared into the blue of day, as the jetliners rolled in. Picked up the cab at National (note: you can usually tell the political party of the shuttle pilots by whether they say "National" or "Reagan") and we immediately hit traffic.
"Funeral," said the driver as he tapped the steering wheel in an impatient rhythm. "Arlington." Indeed, a long line of car with lights on. so we actually looped around toward the cemetery, around the Pentagon, and slipped below the Lee Mansion onto Memorial Bridge.
And there was the funeral cortege coming over the bridge - military, flags flying from the hearse and the limousines and the SUVs all in line. No way of knowing if it was for some old general or some young sergeant, body flown home recently from Iraq.
I watched them pass as we drove toward the Lincoln Memorial. Big day in Washington: the President to announce his famed "surge." Twenty-thousand fresh troops - well, not so fresh really; back for more tours. All for a troop level that is actually less than the number of American soldiers in Iraq last year. All for a shameful political cover story - a hail mary pass with young American lives.
It was so cold, and fresh and clear in Washington today. The city looked like shiny gem in limestone and gold leaf, as it sometimes does. Maybe, as it always does when a constitutional crisis beckons - because that's what is clearly happening - the legislative branch is on a collision course with an imperial presidency run off the rails.
And complete fools like Michael Ladeen write things like this in ole Billy Buckley's rag:
We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.
What a lying, shameful shank of cowardly column gristle.