Sunday, April 11, 2004
Meet the Press
Didn't Paul Bremer look like he's not getting much sleep lately?
He had a cute slip of tongue while talking about the driver who, despite having spent two years in prison during the Saddam regime, thinks Americans are worse than he. But because of my patriotism I'll refrain from... well, here it is; his reaction to the driver's comment, explained to him by Russert, was that it was great that he was able to freely express his ideas to a Western journalist.
was what he'd originally wanted to say, but at the first take, something like this came out:
Pardon the expression.
I know I'd said before that I was going to write more about it, but "Rice Sliced and Diced", as well as many other works out there make a very good job of analyzing the testimony. And by the way, I think you should all sign up for the progress reports of The Center for American Progress.
Wouldn't you know it... I had considered it a waste of time when Atrios had mentioned it, but I felt like I could spend those few minutes when I saw the Which Town Hall Pundit Are You? test again while catching up with Body and Soul. You can guess who I am now, can't you?
Friday, April 09, 2004
Attacked Us For Who We Are
Sorry... I'm sure the expression deserves a substantially more analytical response, but how can someone who is a "political scientist" (and not because they have an undergraduate degree from a pol-sci department but because they hold a PhD degree in the field) utter a sentence like this, even if their boss has a world view that has to dilute issues down to notions that are oversimplified in order for his capability to assess not to be "overheated" in the process of perception? Yes, I promised a more detailed "response", but I had no idea some things in her testimony would be so appalling. Still watching the rerun; Roemer is grilling right now.
Here's Your Interruption
Well, as bad a junkie as I am, it's clear to me that even when I'm most intensely focused on politics and events, I can and do allow other "thoughts" to rip through my psyche when they appear. It might be time that it's clear to you too:
The sight of her eyes makes my heart beat in ways that I would never imagine possible before. Watching her face makes me realize that I knew no true beauty until I tasted the exquisiteness of the lines and curves that make up hers. Hearing her voice quenches my soul of a thirst that drowns me in my loneliest hours, haunts me through my coldest nights. And one touch, one kiss, even just one breath of her flawless skin makes me surrender to sleep with the most soothing of contentments at night... and wakes me up in the morning to be the strongest man who ever lived; existing to conquer everything that's bad, to right everything that's wrong, and to change everything that's before us: For a better, brighter, more beautiful future - for us, and for the rest of the deserving world.
The Guardian has a decent report on the latest status in Iraq. There's much in it that one could quote from, instead I'll suggest that you just go read the whole thing. Seriously.
And sorry for the sequence of posts that could've been compacted into a single one with somewhat better planning but I'm on a roll and do not want to interrupt my pace...
The Testimony on Thursday
I was at work and luckily able to listen to most of it thanks to C-SPAN and shall have more to say about it when I have more time (watching its after-midnight reruns on C-Span right now.), but for now, please take a look at the piece by Fred Kaplan who went to graduate school with Richard Clark, and oh yes, the lead editorial from tomorrow's New York Times. I would've also linked to the lead editorial of tomorrow's Pravda on the Potomac, but the appraisals at the intro have somehow turned me off on some of the truly good points that came later on in the piece. Also, William Saletan seems to have something promising, but given how frequently he's managed to piss me (and probably so many others among us) off in the recent past, I'd say read it at your own peril. It's 1:30, I still have some actual work to do, and I'm really tired, so I won't be able to get to it until, perhaps, Friday afternoon.
Uniter not a Divider
Billlmon had written beautifully on signs of this before, along with thorough, realistic viewpoints on the tactical issues underlying the matter. More news seems to be coming along those lines now:
I will also quote the last two paragraphs from this article in tomorrow's New York Times before I underline the one sentence that says it all:
And yes, here's what I'm sure you've all bitterly read and re-read:
As "Cyrus the Damn Virus" would appreciate: "Nice work, Poe. Truly nice work."
I know with all the noise with the September 11 Commission and the catastrophy in Iraq it's been kind of hard for the Kerry campaign to voice anything that wasn't immediately drowned by the media. I do think, though, with good timing, Kerry should reiterate his call for monthly presidential debates, perhaps phrased as follows:
"I suggest that we hold monthly debates with the president on issues facing our country now and in the future. And if he's not totally comfortable with the idea, he can bring Mr. Cheney along too."
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Which NYT Columnist
I, too, took the test, thanks to Atrios, and I'm Dr. Krugman. Oh, and I think the answer choices for the question "What's your take on the war in Iraq?" are quite orthogonal. Don't you?
Separation of Powers
Why does everyone let them (Karen Hughes on Meet the Press, this time) get away with claiming, that Rice's testimony before the Commission has something to do with separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches, every time they do? Why?
Peter Bergen and Scott Armstrong are op-ed contributors in today's New York Times with a total of fifteen questions they suggest for the National Security Advisor. Check it out.
Saturday, April 03, 2004
My Two Cents
Folks, amidst all the talk about what the administration was up to and what they were not on and before September 11, 2001, I thought I should remind everyone of some things that I just remembered today, thanks to Senator Biden's appearance on Air America Radio.
Both the legal and budgetary implications of the NMD (National Missile Defense) program were being debated in the months leading up to September 2001. Everyone can and will remember the budget talks, NMD funding, etc.
Does everyone also remember how eager the administration was in their plans for deployment in the coming years? Good.
Does everyone remember the ABM Treaty complications they were trying to take care of?
I didn't, until Google took me to a news article by the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers on the Council for a Livable World's website. And here, friends and foes, are a couple of remarks on the administration's NMD passion:
Sen. Joseph Biden (DE), Ranking Democrat, Foreign Relations Committee, May 1, 2001:
Sen. Dick Durbin, Select Intelligence Committee, May 2, 2001:
Now fast forward to September 11...
I recall having a hard time trying to keep worried, e-mailing friends overseas up-to-date on what was transpiring here in DC on that fateful day, communicating with my mother on Yahoo Messenger and with my then-girlfriend in New York on MSN, who was filling me in on what was going on in Manhattan.
One of my first reactions was: "This was done [by the terrorists] as if to say to this administration: 'No matter what kind of shields you surround yourselves with, we will find a way to penetrate them and hurt you.' " (For all the idiots who want to misinterpret my self-quotation: I did not mean that al-Qaida attacked as a response to the NMD efforts or talks or that the plans for the attacks could have been conceived during that brief time period. Notice the "as if"? Sorry everyone else, I'm still adjusting the magnitude of my own Doctrine of Pre-emption.)
And then I found an e-mail --a forwarded article-- that I'd sent those friends as a little note about NMD, that made me think that perhaps that was why the NMD issue was so fresh in my mind. I called it their "NMD passion" a moment ago; on September 5, 2001, MoDo had called it His Magnificent Obsession:
What do you think? One more paragraph before I close for the night; this one from David Corn's The Dark Smoke, from the October 1, 2001 issue of the Nation. You may remember that plain but striking black-and-blue cover with the Twin Towers:
Now pretty much everyone knows --or thinks-- they were only interested in toys that one can show off --no matter how unusable-- and not real work against terrorism, concededly because they just didn't think it was that important; and they will continue asserting that they did take it seriously and did real work and planning. Which leaves one burning question...
Why do they seem to have convinced everyone so solidly that NMD was all that they cared about?
Allocated funds, published articles, speeches... All point to one and only one obsession they had, which, um, wasn't exactly fighting terrorism.
Hence, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to suggest a new phrase that can hereinafter be used for their ambitious efforts which seem to be nowhere except in their recent claims: Faith-based Counterterrorism Initiative
Anyone with a better idea, or evidence that this idea is not new, please let me know.