Today's Blogs

Oy Revolt

Bloggers are waiting impatiently for Ehud Olmert’s resignation. They also gibber about President Bush’s veto of the war-spending bill and wait breathlessly for that new pill that makes women skinny and horny at the same time.

Oy revolt: In the wake of the blistering report from the Winograd Committee (Israel’s version of the Iraq Study Group), which was tasked with uncovering the failures of the country’s war against Hezbollah, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert finds himself with few defenders outside of his own Kadima Party. Even within it, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is clamoring for her boss’s resignation. So are most bloggers.

Conservative Daily Pundit says: “The truth in the report is that Olmert & co. bungled the job. However, they did so not because they moved too quickly, intensively or massively but because they scarcely moved at all, and when they did it was only for show, to mollify a public enraged over the abduction of Israel’s soldiers. The latter stages of the Lebanon campaign would make this especially clear, and perhaps that’s why the inquiry cut off where it did. To show the Labor coalition as fundamentally unwarlike in the face of threats might damage the coalition’s political fortunes severely.”

Doctoral candidate Omri Ceren at Mere Rhetoric offers the first Kadima X-factor: “If Kadima members think that Olmert’s overthrow is inevitable, then they’ll want to do it themselves. But now it becomes a weird game theory headache, where they have to decide whether to (a) support him so he looks like he has enough internal support to face the opposition or (b) get to him before the opposition does. It’s probably optimal for them to have him stay in power until July, but if they don’t think that’s possible they may try to get to him first.” Grandmuffti at Jewlicious writes: “[T]hese sorts of political struggles to keep power generally go badly. .…Maybe the report will spur Olmert into intelligent action; most likely, and regretably, we have painful months of squirming ahead of us as Israel goes slowly towards new leadership. Olmert, have some dignity and quit while you are behind.”

Leftist Richard Silverstein at Tikun Olam asks: ” ’[W]hat next?’ As Akiva Eldar noted on NPR today: if Olmert calls for new elections then Netanyahu comes to power. He would be even worse than Olmert (if that’s possible). There is the possibility that a popular internal Kadima figure like Tzipi Livni could assume the prime ministership from Olmert without elections. But her mandate would be a frail one given the disrepute into which Olmert has brought the government and, by extension, his party. I am sorry to say that Amir Peretz’s career effectively seems to be over. Not just as defense minister, but as Labor Party leader. I thought he had such promise.”

Righty Chuck Freilich at Human EventsThe Front Page wants to redirect the focus back on the war and not on Olmert: “Domestic developments in Israel obscure a more positive reality than might otherwise be understood. The war’s serious failings notwithstanding, the bottom line is that it did achieve some important outcomes. Hizballah took a severe hit, which will undoubtedly inform its future behavior, the new international force in southern Lebanon has proven more substantive than initially thought and makes it harder for Hizballah to reconstitute and attack Israel.”

Read more about the call for Olmert to resign. In Slate, Shmuel Rosner critiqued the Winograd report.

Twice rejected: As promised, President Bush on Tuesday vetoed a the war-spending bill designed to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. The House failed to override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote Wednesday.

Anthony Levensalor at media criticism blog Watching the Watchers writes, “Congressional leaders need to do two things: Precipitate a responsible end to the war in Iraq, and protect the troops serving until that can be accomplished. … Effectively, ‘requiring’ troops to be withdrawn if benchmarks are not met and ‘allowing’ the President to ignore those restrictions is another way to give the president a blank check on a failed policy in the Middle East.” Liberal Connecticut Bob argues that Bush is in a worse spot than congressional Democrats: “Does anyone really think that George Bush will insist our forces to stay in Iraq beyond the date when supplies run out? At the cost of their lives? Not likely. They’ll come home. However, I fear our Democratic leaders will fail us and cave to Bush.”

Righty Stanford Matthews at writes: “The Dems are concerned about looking as though they will not fund the troops, not like that is anything new. After all the problems the former Republican majority of 12+ years allowed to happen and continue, it is rather remarkable that after losing the majority in the midterms a chance to substantially recover and reduce the Dems majority to a paper tiger has emerged this soon.”

Read more about Bush’s veto. In Slate, Michelle Tsai explains  how the Pentagon can cover its expenses for at least a few months.

Hard to swallow: According to the BBC, in about a decade there may be a pill that will boost women’s libidos while also helping them to lose weight.

Leslie at An Explanation of What describes her mixed feelings: “I’m horrified that my first reaction was, Wow! I can eat a third less and want sex with my boyfriend more than once a week. Bring it! But then the feminist in me wanted to know, What’s the catch? This kind of too-good-to-be-true medical breakthrough can’t actually be good for you, can it? It must cause cancer or blindness or make your throat and tongue swell.”

Peter at Health Reporter cries, lies, all lies! “Does this sound too good to be true? Well, in fact at the moment it is, as it is little more than a preliminary finding. A version of this pill ‘may’ be available in a ‘decade.’ … It appears to me that the BBC succumbed to the lure of a sensational story that includes both sex and slimming and its editorial judgement went out of the proverbial window.”

Read more about the magic libido/weight-loss pill.