• Alzheimer's has all but pushed real life to the margins the past several days. I keep trying to write about it, but it's tough to stand outside it all and put it on paper. You imagine you're prepared, and that you see how bad things are, and then they get worse, and once in a while you see through that enough to realize the end result is a life erased.
• I never got around to mentioning the November 30 agreement between Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter and Planned Parenthood of Indiana which has ended Carter's attempt to grab the medical records of girls under fourteen years of age. Carter has agreed not to appeal the Appeals Court ruling that upheld Planned Parenthood's request to stop the seizures, which had been described as a naked political ploy pandering to anti-abortion forces by at least one blogger matching my general description. Whether the November elections had anything to do with Carter's decision is merely obvious. Whether there is truth to the rumor that Carter's Medicare Fraud Unit minions obtained the original batch of records by misrepresenting themselves and their legal status to a selected, part-time clerk will apparently not be litigated now that the suit has been upheld, leaving us no choice but to assume there is.
• Reader quiz: In the following comment:
"The genius of Tom DeLay is now seriously in question," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.
Which is the ameliorating factor: "political science professor" or "Southern Methodist University"?
• Army, Marine Corps To Ask for More Troops
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 13, 2006; A01
...Senior Pentagon officials stress that the U.S. military has ample air and naval power that could respond immediately to possible contingencies in North Korea, Iran or the Taiwan Strait.
"If you had to go fight another war someplace that somebody sprung upon us, you would keep the people who are currently employed doing what they're doing, and you would use the vast part of the U.S. armed forces that is at home station, to include the enormous strength of our Air Force and our Navy, against the new threat," Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a briefing last month.
Got that? Prior to the Iraq disaster Army doctrine called for 400,000 troops in response to an invasion of South Korea by the North. Now it's 1/4 of that (our strategic reserve, once crack regular troops, now composed of actual reservists) and the Air Force. It's actually been that way since around Spring 2004 at the latest. Jesus (and Bush 41) wept.