“A veteran Washington Post special correspondent was shot to death Sunday in southwest Baghdad while on assignment, the first reporter for the newspaper to be killed during the Iraq war.” According to the Committee to Project Journalists, at least 118 journalists have been killed in Iraq while on duty, including nearly 100 Iraqis.
I kept wondering when contemporary rightwingers would recognize that they’re not, at the end of the day, the heirs to the mainstream anti-communist tradition at all. Rather, they’re the heirs to the “rollback” fantasists whose counsels Dwight Eisenhower wisely rejected and pushed to the margins of the American political debate. Orrin Judd t the rescue:
Unfortunately for the hundreds of millions of victims of Communism, our willingness to follow the Kennan model meant that the Cold War lasted for decades, during which we stood by as tens of millions were murdered and the rest lived in near slavery. To the extent that Kennan was responsible for our not settling Soviet hash in the late 40s, he (and we) enabled the repression and mass murder of a significant portion of the human population for a disturbingly extended period of time. The cost of his accuracy was catastrophic to them and morally disabling to us. Four decades of compromising with evil led directly to the spiritual malaise that even Jimmy Carter could diagnose and lament — though, having bought into the Kennanesque status quo, he was incapable of snapping us out of it.
Ah, yes, settling Soviet hash through a massive war during which, one assumes, no bloodshed or suffering or any other unpleasantness would have taken place. Too bad we listened to weak-kneed Harry Truman. Peter Robinson proves that not all conservatives have lost their marbles on this one.
I know that a lot of liberals are fond of trying to draw linkages between the need for energy policy reform and national security issues, but I worry when I read things like this from Thomas Friedman:
Yes, Iraq was always going to be hugely difficult, but the potential payoff of erecting a decent, democratizing government in the heart of the Arab world was also enormous. Yet Mr. Bush, in his signature issue, never mobilized the country, never punished incompetence, never made the bad guys “fight all of us,” as Bill Maher put it, by at least pushing through a real energy policy to reduce the resources of the very people we were fighting. He thought he could change the world with 50.1 percent of the country, and he couldn’t.
It’s true, obviously, that the government of Saudi Arabia is not run along incredibly admirable lines. Nor is the Al-Sabah family of Kuwait a crew I’m enthusiastic about. And, again, much the same can be said about the regime in Teheran. Nevertheless, none of these are the very people we were fighting unless you think we’re just fighting “Muslims” or “Arabs” writ large.
Photo courtesy of ping News
With 462 days left in his term, President Bush “has left whole agencies of the executive branch to be run largely by acting or interim appointees — jobs that would normally be filled by people whose nominations would have been reviewed and confirmed by the Senate.” The New York Times adds:
In many cases, there is no obvious sign of movement at the White House to find permanent nominees, suggesting that many important jobs will not be filled by Senate-confirmed officials for the remainder of the Bush administration. [...]
While exact comparisons are difficult to come by, researchers say that the vacancy rate for senior jobs in the executive branch is far higher at the end of the Bush administration than it was at the same point in the terms of Mr. Bush’s recent predecessors in the White House.
Currently, three executive agencies are being headed by interim officials.
On Friday, ThinkProgress noted that the day before Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Fox News hosted New York Sun editor Seth Lipsky, who argued that Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, deserved the Nobel instead of Gore. As Nicole Belle points out today, Fox hosted another Sun columnist, Seth Gitell, on Friday after Gore received the award. In the segment, Gitell continued Fox’s attacks on Gore, again arguing in favor of Petraeus.
This interesting Newsweek profile of Mitt Romney gives a couple of great examples of exactly how hesitant he is to discuss his Mormon background in an honest way:
Nothing is more politically vexing or personally crucial for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney than the story of his faith. Raised in a devout Mormon family by parents who were both principled and powerful, Romney has downplayed both his religion and his own family history. Instead, he has talked up his résumé as a private-sector “turnaround artist” who reversed the fortunes of troubled companies and the faltering Salt Lake City Olympics and now can come to his party’s—and country’s—rescue. Mindful of the sway of evangelical Christians over the GOP base, he has positioned himself as the candidate with conservative principles and strong faith, even adopting evangelical language in calling Jesus Christ his “personal savior” (vernacular not generally used by members of the Mormon Church). But when he’s pressed on the particulars of his own religious practice, his answers grow terse and he is quick to repeat that his values are rooted in “the Judeo-Christian tradition.” [. . .]
Romney’s biography is fully Mormon. When asked by NEWSWEEK if he has done baptisms for the dead—in which Mormons find the names of dead people of all faiths and baptize them, as an LDS spokesperson says, to “open the door” to the highest heaven—he looked slightly startled and answered, “I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.”
I’m not sure this is really such a sound approach. I always felt that Joe Lieberman (despite whatever else one might say about him) made a good run at being the first non-Christian on a national ticket precisely because he was so very clearly a practicing Orthodox Jew that it cleared the air. Romney, by acting weird and secretive, seems to be re-enforcing the idea that his faith is weird.
Mickey Kaus’ long post here about John Edwards’ alleged affair with Rielle Hunter is almost self-refuting. Basically, we have an anonymous source saying Hunter said she had an affair with Edwards, versus Hunter, on the record, saying that’s not the case. Then there’s Edwards, also saying it’s not the case. But Kaus initially deems Edwards’ denial too vague and non-specific. But then:
Update: The AP has Edwards adding “It’s completely untrue, ridiculous” and saying the story was “made up.” By the Enquirer? Or by one of the people the Enquirer cites? Either way, it’s a direct attack on the integrity of someone (not necessarily a smart move for a politician in Edwards’ position). …
[Banging my head against the wall] Basically what we have here is that if we assume the anonymous hearsay is true and the on-the-record first-hand denial is false, then Edwards is either mishandling the story by denying it too vaguely (“the story is false”) or else is mishandling it by denying it too directly (“made up”) but what if the story’s not true? No doubt by now we’ve had all the legitimate news organizations in the country looking into it and it seems that . . . nobody can come up with any evidence. As we saw with Scott Beauchamp, and the fake John Kerry intern affair story, if you just operate from within an assumption of guilt it’s very hard for someone to prove his innocence but that’s why we . . . don’t operate with an assumption of guilt!
Why are the characters uniformly white, with old-money names like Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen that hark back to a time when high society was not integrated? Why are there no Jewish characters? It’s interesting, because on “The O.C.” I went out of my way to make those characters Jewish, not what you would expect to find in Orange County. But in New York, weirdly, I failed. I was working off of the source material.
Fair enough, but if accurate this just seems like a serious flaw in the source material. Asking for Jewish characters in a depiction of rich people in New York City isn’t a plea for diversity for diversity’s sake, it’s just that New York day schools are full of Jews.
Mary Alice Carr, vice president for Communications at NARAL Pro-Choice New York, still has a proclamation signed by Giuliani that made Jan. 22, 1998 “Roe v. Wade Anniversary Day” in the city. She also provided a copy of a NARAL questionnaire from 1997, signed by Giuliani.
Would he support unrestricted Medicaid funding for abortions? Would he oppose legislation that made minors get parental or court approval before getting an abortion? Did he agree with the Roe v. Wade decision?
Giuliani circled Yes, Yes and Yes.
Obviously, with things like his promise this weekend to veto any effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment, Giuliani’s trying to flip-flop to a less pro-choice posture, but that seems likely to expose him to (accurate, it seems to me) charges of lack of principle without really assuaging pro-lifers’ doubts.
Sara Taylor, the former White House political director who was heavily involved in the U.S. attorney scandal, has been hired to be a partner with Designated Market Media, a leading Republican media consulting firm. Pat McCarthy, a partner with the firm and a former NRSC senior aide, called Taylor “top-flight talent.”
UPDATE: BLT has Taylor’s lobbying registration HERE.