“I have to raise tens of millions of dollars because of the junk you feed the people of Pennsylvania,” Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) told the reporter, who had earlier mentioned the senator’s “rocky relations with the press.” Santorum “then used an expletive to describe the coverage and slammed down a newspaper.”
Craig Jerald wonders about the “soft eyes” reference in the title and dialogue of Wire 4.2 — I don’t really get it either. Google does, however, reveal the existence of a book called To Teach With Soft Eyes: Reflections on a Teacher/Leader Formation Experience which is a possible referent.
For all the Wire-blogging you can stomach, check out this site dedicated entirely to the show. On a more substantive note, this here from Sam Harris about how liberals are too soft on terrorism (or something) is totally, utterly, incredibly whack, but MovableType keeps eating by draft posts about exactly how whack it is. Fortunately, Kevin Drum’s on the case but as usual he’s a bit too nice. Why is Harris perpetrating these smears that he knows perfectly well he has no evidence for? Why is The LA Times publishing them? It’s a messed up world.
Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) was asked whether Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) should step down from Congress. Ney pled guilty last week to federal corruption charges, admitting to prosecutors that “he had accepted tens of thousands of dollars in illegal favors from Abramoff and from a Syrian businessman nicknamed ‘the Fat Man.’”
Apparently, in Boehner’s mind, this doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from serving in Congress. Boehner twice refused to answer whether Ney should step down, saying only that it was a decision Ney should make for himself. Watch it:
Boehner has reportedly been more candid with Ney in private, but Ney “hasn’t taken the hint.”
Full transcript: Read more
For every few hundred climate scientists who believe global warming is an urgent threat, there is one global warming denier, often funded by the fossil fuel industry, who downplays the danger. So why do we have so many more profiles of the deniers in the media?
The Washington Post has run its second profile of the the Deniers this year, featuring Virginia’s Patrick Michaels and Oregon’s George Taylor. Earlier in the year, the Post ran a major cover story by Joel Achenbach in their Sunday magazine profiling a number of Deniers. The journalists writing these articles seem to think that they are hanging the Deniers with their own words or, as Achenbach said, “the skeptics as they present their case tend to undermine it.”
But that is typically true only for someone who reads the piece closely and already knows climate science well enough to see how ridiculous their arguments are. Yes, sometimes a Denier is so out in left field he or she will say something that anyone can see is absurd, as when meteorologist William Gray told Achenbach, “Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews.”
But most Deniers are highly skilled in sounding reasonable, even when they smear the entire scientific community. So these articles mainly serve to give a lot of free air time–often with little serious rebuttal–to people whose main activity in life is to stop the nation in the world from acting in time to afford catastrophic warming. Many readers I talk to come away thinking either the subject is just too complicated for them or that the Deniers must have legitimate arguments if prestigious publications are giving them so much ink.
The recent Post article quotes a wholly unjustified smear on climate scientists (and the media) by Michaels:
The guest list included Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Michael Medved, Laura Ingraham, and Mike Gallagher. (Rush Limbaugh was unable to attend.) Friday’s off-the-record talk, set for 30 minutes, ended up lasting 90 minutes, where Bush told his guests that the war on terror has to be about right versus wrong, “because if it’s about Christianity versus Islam, we’ll lose.” He also showed them the pistol Saddam Hussein had when he was captured.
Gristmill addresses the rumors and predicts what the administration’s new policy might look like. Includes a drinking game.
Tune into C-Span at 10:45AM to find out.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Path to 9/11 writer Cyrus Nowrasteh defends his screenplay as accurate. Nowrasteh writes:
I felt duty-bound from the outset to focus on a single goal–to represent our recent pre-9/11 history as the evidence revealed it to be. The American people deserve to know that history: They have paid for it in blood…Fact-checkers and lawyers scrutinized every detail, every line, every scene. There were hundreds of pages of annotations.
ABC’s claimed inaccurate material was included because Path to 9/11 was a “docudrama.” It’s clear now that was just spin. The people who created the film regard it as “the truth” and it was marketed as such. Nowrasteh doesn’t address the multiple glaring inaccuracies in the film, including:
– A scene where former National Security advisor Sandy Berger pulls the plug on a clear chance to take out Osama Bin Laden. According to the 9/11 Commission report, this never happened.
– A scene where Madeleine Albright overrules military commanders and insists on informing the Pakistanis about a missile strike on a suspected Bin Laden hideout. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, this never happened.
– A scene indicating Bush demanded aggressive action after receiving the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” According to Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 commission, this never happened.
Nowrasteh dismisses criticism of the movie as “politically driven hysteria.” He doesn’t mention that many prominent conservatives — including Bill Bennett, Bill O’Reilly and Brent Bozell — criticized the film for factual inaccuracies.
Norwasteh also denies he is a “political conservative.” He has a funny way of showing it. He described himself in an interview as “more of a libertarian than a strict conservative.” Last year, Nowrasteh spoke on a panel titled, “Rebels With a Cause: How Conservatives Can Lead Hollywood’s Next Paradigm Shift.” In advance of Path to 9/11 he gave interviews to a variety of right-wing websites.
In short, Nowrasteh’s defense of Path to 9/11 is about as accurate as the film itself.
Jackson Diehl explains that “the still-evolving unity pact” between Hamas and Fatah to form a coherent government in the Palestinian Authority and a unified approach to Israel and the West, “isn’t likely to impress either Olmert or Bush, since it almost certainly won’t commit Hamas or the new government to formal recognition of Israel or an unqualified renunciation of violence.” I have to say that I find this kind of mindset — which was also in evidence last week when I discussed these issues with an Israeli politician — a little bit puzzling. From where I sit, it seems to me that formal recognition of Israel and an unqualified renunciation of violence would be Israel’s main objectives in a negotiation aimed at a permanent status treaty.
Such a treaty would demarcate the borders of Israel and Palestine, provide for the mutual recognition of those borders by the two states, entail recognition of the two states by the rest of the world’s countries, and establish peace between the two states. That’s the goal — something that would be the outcome of negotiations, not a precondition for them. That’s how wars end; first you have a cease-fire to facilitate negotiations, then if you reach an agreement the agreement contains provisions for recognition and a renunciation of violence. Insofar as Hamas simply isn’t amenable to any kind of reasonable settlement (which certainly seems plausible) it seems to me that it would be in Israel’s interest to get that fact plainly on the table rather than having everything stuck in a meta-negotiation about preconditions.
Clearly, one of The Wire‘s great strengths is its ability to draw parallels between the different domains of Baltimore life it depicts. Sometimes, though, I feel like the get too blunt and heavy-handed with this stuff. Having Clay Davis directly echo that one hopper’s words on the ethics of accepting cash gifts from drug dealers seemed like a bridge too far. The parallel was clearly there in the story one way or the other, and bludgeoning you with it struck me as an atypical lack of respect for the audience’s ability to “get it” by just watching events unfold.