Friday, October 03, 2003

Two quickies. Three, actually. Long, long day. The real action, to my mind, is over at Ben's place (here is a good start).

Three things:

* Good heavens, Tennessee's insurance law is woefully underdeveloped. C'mon, you filthy ambulance chasers. Sue recklessly and help an insurance company create precedent, one way or another. I know you have it in you. Y'know, I hear State Farm has virtually no financial resources to withstand a lawsuit, and they're settling everything. Would I lie to you?

* This is one hell of a long blog post, and is also funny as hell:

I have to admit, I love that lower lip thing Bill does. Men are immune, but women eat it up.


Bill: [spreading hot molasses on nude intern handcuffed spreadeagled on Oval Office desk] Baby, I thought you were out of town at the Conference of Dateless Vegan Women Against Leg Shaving!

Intern: Bill, the cuffs...

Hillary: [tongues of fire gushing from her eye sockets as six-inch talons emerge from her fingertips] I HAVE HAD IT WITH YOU! BY THE POWER VESTED IN ME BY SATAN, I CONSIGN YOU TO THE FLAMES OF HELL! [prepares to zap him with a magic ray from her right index claw]

Intern: The CUFFS, Bill.

Bill: Aw,'s not what you think. I came in here lookin' for a box of Mallomars and I found this sweet thing cuffed to the desk, surrounded by slobberin' Republicans. I chased 'em off with my nine iron, and now I'm scrapin' the molasses off her body with this soft pastry brush.

Hillary: How STUPID do you think I AM? [serrated horns spiraling out of her forehead]

Intern: Excellent question, Mrs. C!

Bill: Aw, baby, you know you cain't stay mad at ol' Bill. [bites lower lip]

Hillary: I....I....what are you doing to me....I can actually feel my ovaries throbbing...


Bill: [biting a little more] I feel your pain, baby.

Hillary: Bill...sweetheart...what's going on? How did I get here? What's that poor girl doing on your desk?

Intern: [mesmerized by Bill's lip] Yeah, what am I doing on your desk?

Bill: I'll tell you all about it in a second, Hillsy, but for are...a CHICKEN!



Bill: Not you, stupid.
The man is wasting himself as a lawyer.

* What's really sad is that this is so very right it's disgusting. When I'm Pope...

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Can we just nuke them now, for the love of Pete?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Victory for Ben My Brother The Fans of Washington, D.C. People Irritated by Greg Easterbrook Everywhere!
Ok, so she was maybe undercover.

(I'd say I find it hard to believe that she was undercover, given that you could find her name connected with the government in all sorts of places on the web before this broke, but let's be honest: The CIA couldn't off a cigar-smoking tyrant for decades of trying. This isn't surprising.)

Same stand as before: Find the ones who broke the law and punish them. But let's not pretend that this was an idea masterminded at the top -- neither Bush nor Rove nor any of the top guns are so stupid as to do something like this, if for no better reason than it was pointless.

UPDATE: Or maybe she wasn't. Novak comes out swinging:

The leak now under Justice Department investigation is described by former Ambassador Wilson and critics of President Bush's Iraq policy as a reprehensible effort to silence them. To protect my own integrity and credibility, I would like to stress three points. First, I did not receive a planned leak. Second, the CIA never warned me that the disclosure of Wilson's wife working at the agency would endanger her or anybody else. Third, it was not much of a secret.


During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.
He adds that he was assured that she was no longer covert.

Thank God I don't watch TV. Or read Josh Marshall.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of the front-runners for the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.

Who believes in time travel. And thinks we can achieve it.

Ahead, Mr. Sulu. Warp Six.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Can someone explain the big deal about the Plame, or Plume, or whatever, affair? I don't watch TV except for Enterprise (this week's episode looks... interesting) and British comedies, so I'm kinda outta the loop here, but from what I can figure, it goes like this:

*Idiot former (UPDATED) ambassador says bad things about his own country while country is at war.

*Someone at White House outs his wife -- who, like her husband, is an American citizen -- as CIA to beat reporter/columnist.

*CIA stands for "Central Intelligence Agency" of the United States of America.

*Wife is not in deep cover in some dangerous place when this "outing" happens. Wife is, in fact, at a cocktail party.

*This "outing" is allegedly done as payback, or for vengeance, or as a warning, or something.

*Now, wife will have to work a cushy desk job.

*Wife is not dead.

*Ambassador is not dead.

*Neither was fired.

*Neither was threatened with violence or (job) termination.

Thus, when the loony left responsible left of center says that

This episode exposes the viciousness and amorality at the very heart of the Bush administration, and I hope it opens some conservative eyes about the nature of the administration they support. These guys are not who you think they are and they aren't pursuing their policies for the principled reasons you think they are. After all, if they went to war with Iraq because of a genuine commitment to humanitarian relief and Middle East democracy, don't you think they would have paid a little more attention to postwar planning? What does it tell you that they didn't?
...I'm left to conclude that there is a great deal of fury out there for no good reason.

(What does it tell me? That they made a bad call about postwar planning. They got the war right, and the aftermath wrong, so far. In other words, they're "human."

Hey, wait -- if the dread neocons were running this, and doing it to enlarge the American empire, and to forcibly spread American democracy abroad, shouldn't there have been more postwar planning on their part? I mean, we can, I think, generally agree that the stereotype neocon is a [Jewish] intellectual ivory tower sort; doesn't the absence of all-seeing postwar planning suggest that it wasn't a neocon cabal? Just asking.)

I'm actually serious -- and this invitation is open to any outside of the fever swamps of left or right: Tell me why l'affaire Plame is such a big deal. Please. I'm willing to listen. Otherwise, like Glenn Reynolds is suggesting, I don't see the big deal, other than a bunch of folks who normally hate the CIA suddenly developing a swollen heart for one of its agents.

Email address to the left.

UPDATE: Little Tiny Lies has something on this -- and the comments are worth reading. Tacitus is never very taciturn.

And I should add: I understand the danger to real contacts Ms. Plame may have had. But as payback, these seems reeeaaally stupid, awkward, and ineffective -- and let's be honest, the White House political operation is none of these.

And, like one of Steve's commenters noted, if this were Karl Rove doing the leaking, do you really think he'd need to hit six reporters before he got one to print for him? Puh-lease.

UPDATED AGAIN: Clifford May says this wasn't a secret in the first place and asks a good question: How messed are the folks at Langley?

ONE MORE TIME: Drudge is now carrying a quote from Novak to the effect that no one told him to run the name, no one narrowed it down for his attention, and by crackey, the woman was an analyst, not an operative. Seals the deal, to my mind. Link when it becomes available.
I shouldn't carp when a New York Times writer -- let alone an editor -- says something nice about evangelical Christians (a group that now apparently includes Catholics).

But carp I must: What exactly is a "Pentecostalist"? I know what a Pentecostal is -- I grew up in the South, for the love of Heaven. Is this Kristof dealing clumsily with something he doesn't get, or is this a function of me being cut off from way too many things for way too long?