Ross Mackenzie

Brief comments on items in the news...

-- Ah, yes: The October surprise that -- in the run-up to November 2 -- would turn the elections left. Would it be the certifiable death of Osama bin Laden? How about negotiations with the Taliban? What about an Israeli-Palestinian agreement -- on something? None of the above. Nancy Pelosi has promised a vote in the post-election lame-duck session on a $250 bonus for all 58 million recipients of Social Security.

-- During the summer the people at Wikileaks released 77,000 classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan -- compromising the lives of Americans and their allies. Now they are about to post 400,000 stolen classified documents relating to the war in Iraq -- compromising the lives of Americans and their allies there. The Wikileakers are malign, possibly mad, and certainly out of control. What they are doing is unconscionable.

-- Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, commenting in September on Vietnam, said America wanted compromise. Hanoi wanted victory. And America lost. So what are the prospects for America in its war of the hour when -- according to Bob Woodward's new "Obama's Wars" -- President Obama's mantra in discussions a year ago regarding what to do in Afghanistan was, I want an exit strategy?

-- How conservative -- how adamantly anti-leftist and anti-Democrat -- are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars? This much. No sooner did the VFW's political arm endorse Democratic incumbents -- including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid -- than VFW Commander-in-Chief Richard Eubank fired all the committee's directors and moved to shut the committee down. Masses of outraged veterans, it seems, viewed the committee's endorsements as beyond nonsense.

-- Michelle Rhee, the stellar superintendent of D.C.'s schools, has resigned. Her political patron, Mayor Adrian Fenty, lost his re-election bid to an opponent who said Ms. Rhee was too tough on the city's unionized teachers, demanding they meet standards too high. Or something. Expect to hear more from Michelle Rhee -- perhaps as a public instruction overseer in an administration where the pols take seriously their mandate to give children a solid academic foundation.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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