I’m apologizing in advance for being somewhat out of sorts today.

• Don Rumsfeld has emerged to criticize the President for claims about unmet reinforcements in Afghanistan during his tenure. Rummy calls the claims “a disservice to the truth.” Gen. McKiernan, the former commander in Afghanistan, says otherwise:

“There was a saying when I got there: If you’re in Iraq and you need something, you ask for it,” McKiernan said in his first interview since being fired. “If you’re in Afghanistan and you need it, you figure out how to do without it.”

In other words, resources didn’t flow to Afghanistan because it was eventually seen as futile to even ask for them. With that knowledge, it’s hard to see how Rumsfeld is correct in any way.

• Obama explained his decision in a lunch with reporters yesterday. Here’s an… interesting turn of phrase:

“In fact if your economy doesn’t thrive over the next couple of decades, that will have a direct impact on our military and our ability to project power around the world.”

• The war cabinet does seem to understand that this is really the last chance on Afghanistan.

• GM’s CEO gets forced out just as the Chevy Volt gets released for sale in at least California next year. Marcy has more.

• You can add to the 30,000 troops in the escalation, and the 68,000 already in country, another 104,000 private military contractors in Afghanistan. That’s 200,000 people employed by America, chasing 100 al Qaeda operatives. And the number will probably only go higher. The commitment is staggering.

• And what do ordinary Afghans think?

• Eric Cantor basically said that no taxes should be raised until unemployment is under 5%. After that, he’ll say that no taxes should be raised while unemployment is low or we’ll ruin the recovery. It’s an endless cycle.

• Obama Defense Department personnel are giving speeches to the American Enterprise Institute.

• Nate Silver doesn’t seem to think that the majority of threatened incumbents in 2010 are conservative Democrats. Um, they are, and the good ones should be defended with little energy expended on the rest.

• Good thing John McCain has a lot of time on his hands to appear on television approximately every 30 seconds. Glad to see that traditional media is getting creative in their bookings.

• Read Barbara Ehrenreich on the overheated debate over mammograms and the need for a new women’s health movement. I miss Barbara subbing for Maureen Dowd in the New York Times.

• Staffers are already starting to leave Mike Huckabee’s PAC, after the bad pub surrounding the Maurice Clemmons story.

• Following up on an earlier item, Abel Maldonado will run for Lt. Governor regardless of whether he actually gets to be the incumbent or not. This means Democrats can get a 2/3 majority in the State Senate by 2010, if they simply win seats where they have a registration advantage.

• The US shipped four Guantanamo detainees abroad to face trial, which again brings up the weird dichotomy of using military commissions for some other trials, presumably those that have less evidence to convict.

• Here’s the Ben Smith piece on Jane Hamsher and the efforts of Firedoglake.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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