“Facing staff shortages in Iraq, the State Department announced Friday that diplomats would have no choice but to accept one-year postings in the hostile environment or face losing their jobs.”
Thirty one percent of Americans say recycling is one of the most important things they can do to avoid catastrophic climate change. Four percent cite reduced consumption of fossil fuels. This kind of thing should, I think, indicate that public opinion on different policy options is probably highly malleable (in both good and bad ways) since people obviously don’t understand this issue at all.
In honor of his trip to France, there’s been a legal complaint filed against Donald Rumsfeld in French court alleging that he “authorized and ordered crimes of torture to be carried out … as well as other war crimes.” Obviously, this isn’t going to result in a prosecution in the near-term, but I hope Rumsfeld and others involved in Bush-era war crimes will find themselves unable to travel to much of the world and maybe someday some of the younger ones will actually face the trials they so richly deserve. Back in the day I think I’m not the only one who didn’t adequately consider the hypothesis that Team Bush’s opposition to the International Criminal Court might be driven more by self-interest than by ideology per se.
Robert Farley really nails my sentiments precisely. I’ll just say it’s too bad, because until the movie entered Plot Twist Land it was quite good if not quite as groundbreaking as it seemed to think it was. I think Ben Affleck may have more promise as a director than as an actor. He’s just going to need to find himself a story that makes some sense on some level.
Meanwhile, the film also features Michael Williams (i..e, Omar from The Wire) in a small part and I have to say that while I wish him well I think his career’s going to be hurt by the fact that he has this giant scar on his face. For the Omar character, of course, that works great. But in his Gone Baby Gone role it implies some dramatic scar-creating backstory that the script doesn’t cash out in any way. And why should it? After all, relatively few characters have a giant facial scar as part of their backstory. But it totally dominates his face
Not only can you watch Ross & I arguing on BloggingHeadsTV, but BHTV now has a shiny new flash player, and an association with The New York Times. Yes. Click here to see the Times‘ preferred excerpt in which we puzzle over Rudy’s GOP rivals’ inability to thus far knock a baby-killing, sanctuary city declaring, cross-dresser and friend to child abusing priests out of the race. Or go over to the BHTV site to see the whole thing or other excerpts like is this immigrant-bashing sealing the GOP’s long-term future?
I recently “won” a Thinking Blogger award — not exactly the Nobel Prize but you take what you can get in the blogosphere.
Even my modest amount of modesty forbids me from repeating what Michael Connelly at Corrections Sentencing blog had to say about ClimateProgress. All I’ll say about Michael Connelly is that I don’t even know him, and this was the first I even heard of his blog, a “place for corrections/sentencing policy readers seeking latest information and research” — not really my forte.
But someone gave him a Thinking Blogger award and this award is sort of a virtual chain letter. So here are the five blogs I would give the thinking blogger award to:
Laura Bush visits the Middle East, wears a headscarf she’d been given as a gift, gets denounced by frothing-at-the-mouth rightwingers. I’d kind of hoped that the mass smear campaign against Nancy Pelosi for doing the same was motivated by crass partisanship and not an actual principled belief in xenophobia over all else.
Despite the Bush administration directly threatening Iran, talking up “World War III,” imposing unilateral sanctions, and requesting a “bunker buster” from Congress in recent weeks, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks is convinced of the President’s peaceful intent.
In a PBS interview yesterday, Brooks said that Bush’s “body language” when discussing Iran made him “reasonably confident there’s going to be no military” confrontation:
[I]f you look, read his language, if you look at his body language, you see a man that’s totally different than before Iraq. He is preparing the way for the next administration to have some means to deal with the situation. He believes in the diplomacy. But unless I totally misread him, I think he has no inclination to launch a military action.
During the interview, Brooks said he is part of a group of right-wing columnists who meets regularly with President Bush. “I’m sort of the Fidel Castro of the group. I’m on the far left,” Brooks said.
Transcript of the program available here.
Philip Gordon offered some mostly sensible views on Iran in congressional testimony last week, including the key points that “the United States should also take care to avoid unnecessary clashes with Russia and China, which only make them even less willing to work with issues of importance to Washington.” Also:
Fifth and finally, the United States should complement its efforts to increase the price Iran pays for lack of compliance with the will of the international community with incentives for Iran to cooperate. So long as Iranians believe the United States is implacably opposed to their country no matter what they do they are unlikely to compromise on the nuclear issue. But if Iranians can be convinced not only that there are high costs of pursing nuclear weapons but also concrete benefits for not doing so, there is a chance that an agreement can be reached.
Right. It’s maddening how many people out there seem to think that stopping Iran from building a nuclear bomb is sufficiently important to be worth risking a catastrophic war over, but not important enough to consider worth building a cooperative relationship with the other major powers over, or offering Iran a path to re-normalization of relations with the United States.
Photo by Flickr user Kiapix used under a Creative Commons license
In an interesting piece for TAP, Shannon Brownlee argues that we shouldn’t let the “managed care” debacle of the 1990s discredit the successful HMO model on which it was supposed to be based. She says “There are only a few real HMOs in the U.S.,” and “a cousin of the HMO, the salaried group practice, is only a bit more common.” I won’t try to summarize the analysis, since I think I’d do a bad job. I think, though, that this tends to support the politically unpalatable conclusion that for-profit insurance companies would have very little role to play in a well-functioning health care system. Obviously, people who need to try to make changes in the real world don’t want that to be the case, but “saying no” to patients is an important part of a well-functioning system, but when the institution saying no is a profit maximizing firm patients will, with good reason, believe that “no” is being said to protect the bottom line rather than for their own good.