November 29, 2006

Yo, Blair: Kendall Myers, a senior State Department analyst, told an academic forum in D.C. last night that "for all Britain’s attempts to influence US policy in recent years, 'we typically ignore them and take no notice — it’s a sad business'," according to the Times of London. Apparently, the "special relationship" has now morphed into one where Americans suffer British participation out of a sense of pity. Myers went on to state that "[I]t was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes . . . there was nothing. There was no payback, no sense of reciprocity."

But maybe we'll let them win in the World Cup four years from now.
It's comforting to know that Michael Richards has at least one ally out there.
Domenick Dunne, I believe, has a very unique niche in the annals of journalism, in his ability to make the most odious of murderers and criminals seem sympathetic. Truman Capote and Norman Mailer also had that skill, but with the difference that they were trying to humanize their subjects; Dunne seems to have come upon his literary gift quite unintentionally. It is hard to read Vanity Fair and not come away with a great deal of pity and sympathy for O.J. Simpson. While any rational person would see him as a narcissistic jock who manipulated the system to get away with the murder of two innocent victims, Dunne, with his condescending tone and Westside attitude, managed to make him seem like a modern-day Bigger Thomas.

Well, Mr. Samgrass has outdone even the master. Taking as his jumping-off point the aborted release of Mr. Simpson's "confession," Christopher Hitchens manages to combine racial code (his insistance on refusing to use his subject's first name) with assorted trivialities (his discovery that O.J. may have been barely as bright as Lindsay Lohan, an odd criticism coming from the man who shed such copious tears for the late Ricky Ray Rector) and a complete lack of awareness of the underlying story (ie., his feigned empathy to the "Coleman [sic] and Goodman [sic]families." That's right: OJ murdered Gary Coleman and Benny Goodman.) On the heels of a boneheaded article about Ian Fleming that failed to distinguish between the James Bond books and the subsequent movies with the same titles, he may have finally reached his nadir. [link via Roger Ailes]

November 28, 2006

I think I'm gonna have a mancrush on Senator Webb....
For those who desire the Democratic Party become more like the Church of Scientology, or the Popular Front Era Communists, here are eight simple rules, courtesy of MyDD. To wit, Rules One and Four are inherently contradictory, Rules Two and Five are geared more towards ensuring comfortable living for campaign consultants than giving liberals more bang for their buck, Rules Three and Eight are banal, boilerplate dodges, and I have no idea what the hell Rules Six and Seven mean. Each of these eight rules could just as easily have been embraced by Tom DeLay, and I doubt it is any progressive's objective to follow a path that would so easily lead to the sort of abject defeat the Republicans suffered this year.
Wannabes [Part III]: More on the A-hole tendency among lefty bloggers, here:
There are lazy reporters and facile commentors out there. And there are, we have come to learn, actual Armstrong Williamses out there, who have no independence or integrity. They deserve a lot of scorn. But Tom Edsall and Dana Priest are not among them. Like everyone, they sometimes get things wrong. They look at facts and interpret them differently, they forget certain facts, they try to construct tight arguments and wind up misstating a case, or they don't have very good answers on the spur of the moment.

And we challenge them on it, as we should. It's a great world we live in that makes such a rapid, thorough discussion of a question possible. But the rush to find a nefarious motive (the "Armstrong Williams check"), or to disqualify a writer entirely as "drinking the Beltway Kool-Aid" doesn't further that discussion or add to our understanding.

I like the philosophy of Wikipedia: Make it easy to make mistakes and easier to correct them. Imagine how Wikipedia would be if every contributor who got something wrong were banned forever. Yet that's often the tone of these blog attacks. We're all on a quest to understand just what's gone on in our public life the last few years and how to fix it. When we see an answer we think is wrong, we can't just declare the writer a "wanker" or a "courtier-servant," or whatever. Just respond to the argument. We're all going to be wrong sometimes.
--Mark Schmitt, Tapped

November 27, 2006

The Limbaugh Doctrine: Rush has a modest proposal for solving the troubles in the Middle East:
Fine, just blow the place up. Just let these natural forces take place over there instead of trying to stop them, instead of trying to use -- I just -- sometimes natural force is going to happen. You're going to have to let it take place. You can spend all the time you like with diplomacy, and you can spend all the time you want massaging these things with diplomatic -- you're just -- you're just delaying the inevitable.
It's not quite the Pottery Barn Rule, Mistah Kurtz.
Let me be the umpteenth blogger to send kudos to Matt Welch for his well-written dissection of McCainism as a potential governing philosophy. The L.A. Times needs more Welch in the op-ed, and less everybody else....