Cottage Industry: December 8

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Cottage Industry: December 8

IconHappy Pearl Harbor Day plus one, Cheap-Seaters. Let's have a special welcome for the Industry's new Minister of the Obvious, Jumpin' James Baker.

Study Buddies, Lesson 1: The Iraq Study Group published its findings on the Iraq war Wednesday, ending months of anticipation from both ends of the political spectrum. The bipartisan commission's report included seventy-nine specific recommendations for new policy in Iraq, most of them focused on international diplomacy, American military strategy, and internal Iraqi politics. As a side note, the commission also expressed "profound disbelief" that the BCS shut Michigan out of the Fiesta Bowl.

Study Buddies, Lesson 2: Some critics expressed disappointment at the lack of genuine novelty in the report, pointing out that the commission's primary insights are essentially rote regurgitations of conventional wisdom. In Arizona, Dennis Green disagreed, saying that the commission's work had inspired him to formulate a new blueprint for success in Arizona: Win more games.

Study Buddies, Lesson 2.1: As per usual, Green followed that announcement with fifteen minutes of incoherent self-loathing.

Study Buddies, Lesson 2.2: Nobody stopped him.

Study Buddies, Lesson 3: With their work on Iraq complete, commission chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton say they're eager to apply their expertise to the domestic side of the American ledger. Next up for the dynamic duo: policing the Cincinnati Bengals.

Study Buddies, Lesson 3.1: Not really, though, because even two stooges like Baker and Hamilton know a lost cause they see one.

Study Buddies, Lesson 3.2: And let's be honest—Marvin Lewis is no Nouri al-Maliki.

Study Buddies, Lesson 3.3: If you actually got that joke...feel free to explain it to us.

Secretary's Day: Elsewhere in Washington, the United States Senate confirmed Robert Gates as the country's new Secretary of Defense. Gates replaces Donald Rumsfeld, who resigned following November's midterm elections. Rumsfeld deferred all questions about the confirmation to his newly-hired career counselor, Larry Coker.

Secretary's Day, But Seriously: With the Senate vote, Gates inherits a post that has become the focus of intense popular criticism in the last three years. When pressed, the new Secretary denied that such scrutiny would keep him from doing his job. Early word out of the Mayo Clinic's mental ward was that Alex Rodriguez begged to differ.

Secretary's Day, No We Really Mean It This Time: All boos and no cheers makes A-Rod a dull boy. All boos and no cheers makes A-Rod a dull boy. All boos and no cheers makes A-Rod...

Can You Believe...?: Finally this week, NASA announced plans on Tuesday to construct a fully-operational lunar base near the moon's south pole by the year 2024. Some skeptics balked at the base's $500 billion dollar price tag, but NASA officials said they had the utmost confidence in the project's chief financial adviser, George Steinbrenner.

Can You Believe...?, Again: NASA planners anticipate that the base will be the focal point of a joint international effort, with countries from all over the world undertaking various parts of the construction process. Unfortunately, early hopes for collaboration with Japan were dashed when Scott Boras...

Can You Believe...?, Again and Again: And you know where that one's going.

Can You Believe...?, Encore: Seriously though—five hundred billion dollars? For that much money, the country could embroil itself in a bloody and intractable boondoggle which would both tarnish its reputation abroad and polarize its population at home...

Can You Believe....?, Encore and Again: Oh wait.

Which is just about all we've got for now, faithful patriots. Stop by again next Friday, when the motif of the week will be "What Does a Guy Have to Do?", with special guest moderator Lloyd Carr...

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