Thursday, January 27, 2005

All hail, Madam Secretary!

From the guy who writes the memos Condi shitcans:

The invasion of Iraq was a godsend to Osama bin Laden, very literally, because it validated so much of what he has said and told Muslims: that the Americans want Arab oil; that the Americans will destroy any Muslim regime that appears to be powerful; the Americans will destroy any country that appears to be a threat to the Israelis; and they're willing to invade any Muslim country if it suits their interests.

… That's what Iraq has done. It's increased danger in Europe, but also [in] the United States, Canada and Australia, the Far East -- danger in the sense of not bin Laden command and control, but danger in the sense of Muslims striking back for the invasion of Iraq, which, after all, is the second holiest place in Islam.

-- Michael Scheuer 22-year CIA veteran who headed a special unit to track Osama bin Laden.

But hey, what does he know?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Sessile No More!

I wasn't going to say anything. Let them have their day, even in the pages of our paper of record.

If some Harvard psychology twit wants to claim his research proves that Bush isn't so bad after all and that this is really the best of all possible worlds, well, why not? We all know that social science is as harmless as it is lazy.

If William Safire wants to dodder into his retirement proclaiming W's limp tone-deaf bleat one of the 5 best second inaugurals of the 20 delivered, let him. He's old enough to have attended all 20 and he'll be out of our hair and our Times soon enough. Plus, as even the Harvard guy could probably calculate, ranking in the top 5 of 20 isn't very impressive.  That would be like the Bulls standing, and they're as cold as this town.

(For a better analysis see... a better columnist.)

But then the family values thugs overplayed their hand (as they always do).  Giving us 4 more years of hate and hypocrisy was one thing, but then they came after Sponge Bob.

Look, you joyless perverts, go back to your obscene phone calls, fourth wives, and looting of the treasury.  But leave Sponge Bob alone.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

And the band played on

With this triumphal, spare-no-expense, invitation-only ("Keep out: this means you!") inaugural, Bush and his minions confirm what many of us have felt all along:

Not my president.

"This is a civic liturgy," said George Will on ABC's This Week, "This is where they reward people who pay the bills and do the work."  What a cozy conflation of religion and cronyism.  How very Bush.

Whatever happened to, "With malice toward none, with charity for all."

I guess Bush isn't your great-great-grandfather's gay Republican president.

Not my president.

But make no mistake, this is still my country.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Just a Theory

Yesterday in my little midwest prison town the day started with ice-fog. Mists trailing from snowbanks,drifting over roadways. Cars colliding. At noon it was 62 degrees. I took the dog for a walk past flooding streams and the matted bodies of drowned fieldmice, surprised in their beds. In the evening, we had a full-bore thunderstorm, the second this January. I turned off the TV and sat watching lightning arc across the winter sky. I thought about flying. I thought about never flying again.

Global climate change may just be a "theory" (you know, like evolution). But it has captured our attention, in this season between Scott Peterson and Robert Blake. You have to wonder.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Freedom's legacy

At the end of NPR's second hour today, just before the M&M story, Steve Inskeep announces the death of James Forman, who "organized Freedom Rides to protest desegration on busses" [in the South].

Today's grammar tip: "protest" means "against".

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Highlights of 2005

Worst New Year’s Call.
5…4…3…2…1… Welcome to ground zero!  --Host, NPR Toast of the Nation.

Worst Prediction Headline.
Who’ll Make Waves in ’05?  --Chicago Tribune

Inquiring minds want to suggest.
Do the major media present fair and balanced coverage of Christmas or biased coverage that undermines the traditional meaning of Christmas? 
--Media Research Center Daily Poll Question.

Best pundit summaries of the thorny situation in the Mideast. (3-way tie):

Comparatively challenged.
The bad things got more bad and the good things got more good. --David Brooks, NYT, on News Hour.

Warning: dangerous parallel construction ahead. Pull up! Pull up!
This is the year that will vindicate or… question Bush policy. --Robin Wright, Washington Post, on This Week.

No arguing with that.
Isn’t it always something we didn’t expect that surprises us?  --Evan Thomas, Newsweek, on Meet the Press.