"Do you expect me to surrender?" No, Mr. Taliban, I expect you to DIE!" Allowing terrorists to surrender so they can live to kill another day? No, says Rumsfeld. Bravo. I'm sure the MeFi pacifist club will squeal, but you don't let murders go to have another crack at you.
Blair's Road to Nemesis "There will come a day when the Government commits suicide" Columist of the year, Andrew Rawnsley's devastating critique of new labour is also supported by the BBC's Mark Mardell "Blair will get bored of just being the British PM soon". Ex-labour deputy leader Roy Hattersley says He must be stopped
blair postpones freedom of information act until 2005, despite being a labour party pledge for 25 years...... after the undemocratic anti-terrorism legislation forced through parliament on monday, what hope for real civil liberties in the uk?
blair to declare state of emergency, suspend human rights there is some scary stuff included in these proposals. including internment without trial there are serious implications here, and i find it frightening.
President Gore? The recount results are in. Will this only serve to undermine Bush's authority in a time of crisis? Should the media have sat on this until the current situation becomes more stable?
What bin Laden and Bush Don't Talk About: The Politics of Oil, an article on alternet.org. The title is better than the article, but it's food for thought anyway.
Lee Atwater - The Movie Yep, coming to your town will be a film based on the career and life of Lee Atwater, former Republican national chairman and (insert description here). Jay Mohr is set to star as Atwalter, no word on who will be playing Willie Horton.
"The sky won't fall, it will probably just trickle down." On whom? (Guess who.) Out here in Washington State voters just approved another in a series of initiatives that, collectively, choke off the state government's primary funding sources. What else are the results of the initiative process around the country? And are The People responsible enough to be trusted with it?
Is John Ashcroft paying back the Christian right? Or is he simply enforcing existing laws? But then what about pursuing Eric Rudolph?
Erudite op-ed piece on current events by Mark Morford of SF Gate. Pro-America does not mean pro-war. Or pro-Bush. Or anti-Afghanistan. Or pro-little-flags-on-SUV-antennas. [via BR]
Seeing as Camp David has now taken on new importance for President Bush [NYTimes link], now might be a fun time to take a tour (sort-of) of the highly secretive compound. Or perhaps you would like a more detailed history of the Presidential retreat, or even some personal stories as told by people "in the know." (Though for the life of me I can't find more info on the person who developed these sites.)
Drastic changes due for America after terror attacks We are to become a garrison state, for better or worse, with the CIA more intimately involved with internal (domestic) doings and the FBI taking on new duties.
Is Blood Thicker Than Water? It seems to be for President Bush. He's refused to campaign for Republican governor candidates in Virginia and New Jersey facing the voters next week, even though they are both behind in the polls and could use the help. But the Washington Post says Bush is likely to do a fundraiser for brother Jeb who is not up for re-election until 2002. Bush cancelled another fundraiser just last week. (Via Political Wire.)
Are We Witnessing A Republican Implosion? The Los Angeles Times has three GOP contenders for governor violating Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment by attacking fellow Republicans. In traditionally Republican Virginia, the Washington Post says a Democrat is well on his way to becoming governor next week. In New Hampshire, Roll Call describes what is to be a very bitter primary against an incumbent GOP senator. And finally, the Robert Novak says the GOP is abandoning its candidate for governor in New Jersey. (More Republican News via Political Wire.)
Saudis in the worst squeeze play yet. SA is in a triangulation of criticism from Afghanistan, from within the country, and from Washington. The fall of this Muslim regime, a US ally, with a horrible human rights record and repressive culture, the largest supplier of oil in the world, and huge supplier of contract business for the US, is not something to take lightly. Catch-22.
Oops. So, the governor of Texas appoints you as the new point-man for domestic safety in the state. Some say it's pay-back for staying out of the Republican Senate primary (where the governor's friend is running) and deciding to run for Lt. Governor. Despite some criticism, you run a four-page glossy ad in a Texas magazine touting your qualifications for Lt. Governor, including your recent appointment as the Texas anti-terrorism czar. The ad features a waving American flag and a patriotic soldier. Only one problem: it's a German soldier.
Buffoon Of The Day? Sen. Joe Biden criticized the war in Afghanistan and is now being called the "buffoon of the day" by the National Review. Roll Call says he's been criticized by top Republicans and the Washington Times notes that a top fellow Democrat is pretty upset too. The New Republic has another less-than-flattering piece on Biden before he made his comments. Did Biden just kill his chance to run for president in 2004? (via Vote.com and Political Wire)
It looks like McGreevey Leads Schundler in NJ governors race and Virginia's race is too close to call. With election day just around the corner, which election races are you watching?
It's getting worse : As part of their "Operation Potomac" The National Reform Association, a Christian Reconstructionist group, is starting a political action committee to groom political candidates at the federal level. House Whip Tom DeLay is highly involved. They've already had meetings with Ashcroft's staff in the White House. Truly frightening.
Iowa Businessman Bob Vander Plaats announced his campaign for governor saying he wants to "run government like a business," according to the Des Moines Register. The Quad City Times notes that Vander Platt says his management experience "forms the foundation of his run for the GOP nomination." Taegan Goddard and Chris Riback say in an essay from their book that you can't run government like a business. Who is right?
Bush Winning Gore Backers' High Praises I never thought I would see this in the New York Times; praise for President Bush. "Many Democrats who once dismissed Mr. Bush as too naïve and too dependent on advisers to steer the United States through an international crisis are now praising his and his advisers' performance. Some are even privately expressing satisfaction that Mr. Gore, who tried to make his foreign affairs expertise an issue in the campaign, did not win." I cannot agree more!
Berlin held mayoral elections on Sunday. The winner, Klaus Wowereit, is the town’s first openly gay politician. “I'm gay and it's good that way,” became a campaign slogan, website and catch phrase. Hints of Paris and Bertrand Delanoe.
Boycott Berkeley, in the wake of the extreme leftist views expressed by the inhabitants of the California town, some are calling for the boycott of the boycotters. I find this ironic and extremely funny. If Berkeley doesn't want to support the US then the US shouldn't support them. (Via OpinionJournal)
Top 10 contradictions regarding the US bombing of Afghanistan.
Washington's New Wise Men are detailed in the latest issue of the Washingtonian magazine. There are some changes from the Cold War era -- like including women in the list. Did they miss anyone? (via Political Wire.) Also from this site: the latest terrorism news and Taliban news.
Falwell-Robertson-Bin Laden Quiz Can you tell their statements apart?
Have You Seen This Man? Where is the Vice President of the United States? In the past, the VP was largely a non-actor; waiting in the wings for something bad to happen. However VP RC has hardly been that to President Bush. Is he "hiding," purely for security reasons, or is something else going on?
"They control culture. They control ideas. And I think the revolt of Sept. 11th was about 'F--- you! F--- your order'."
"They control culture. They control ideas. And I think the revolt of Sept. 11th was about 'F--- you! F--- your order'." Maybe Oliver Stone is an idiot. Don't kill the messenger here, but I think he's on to something... [more inside]
Why am I and a few others the only ones interested in this angle of the war story. I have been doing research about our disappearing VP and have found lots more than I can link here. No implied conspiracy theory, just more of those things that make you say Hmmmm. See if you can connect the dots!
Yes, it's an Onion link, but with lines like "It is therefore urgent," Rumsfeld continued, "that all Americans be quiet, stop asking questions, accept the orders of authorities, and let us get on with the important work of defending liberty, so that America can continue to be a beacon of freedom to all the world.", they really nail the problem with the prevailing attitude (one that comes up in many MeFi threads as well). Does anyone else think Fleischer is especially creepy in this regard? And how do you attempt to instill reason into the debates around you? Any luck so far?
With friends like these... "The Left in 2001 needs a media upgrade in the worst way. It needs to figure out a way to communicate its message that doesn't cause a vast majority of Americans to roll their eyes. Change in this country comes about through numbers, and continually alienating the bulk of the nation with old, tired tactics isn't going to change anything. "
Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem? A really fine left liberal answer to Berkely and all the faint hearts. And it fits right in with my own thinking. It's time we stood up and got counted for human rights against any "culture" or "religion" that denies them. Polly Tonybee writes an excellent and timely piece. Liberals too, should not "go wobbly" out of a plain cowardly "respect" for reactionary strains of Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What do you think?
Tony Blair For President! Seriously, I'd vote for him. What are the chances that the Democrats can recruit Mr. Blair to run? Also, the LA Times thinks Tony Blair Puts Bush to Shame. What do you think?
Dr. Seuss Went to War. This page has many of the comics that show up in the book of the same name. WWII era political cartoons from Dr. Seuss.
What did you think of West Wing last night? Beyond the fact that it was preachy and simplistic, did you think that it was a good or bad approach to handling complex issues through a show that is respected for presenting political dialogues in a pop culture format? Additionally, what do you think of the way in which pop culture seems to have returned to normal? This topic appears in both the NY Times and USA Today, today, as it becomes clear that prime time ratings are stronger than ever after the attacks.
"Whatever else is going on, the liberal-left alliance has taken as big a hit as the conservative-fundamentalist alliance after the blame-America remarks of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson ... It may be [...] that the far left's bluff has been finally called ... For the first time in a very long while, many liberals are reassessing--quietly for the most part--their alliance with the anti-American, anticapitalist forces they have long appeased, ignored or supported." Andrew Sullivan in Thursday's Opinion Journal. Strong piece, but is he correct? I've seen a few people reassessing here and there, but not a lot, at least not yet.
The Politics of Central Asia "The US will be under pressure to pitch its tent in Russia's back yard and help to clean the place up."
Minn. Nat'l Guard Replace Strikers 22,000 state workers on strike and the media isnt reporting it? Odd in these propaganda filled times?
US-Israel Foreign Policy I dont agree completely with the writer but foreign policy is important. Interesting article nevertheless.
"I have no hesitation in describing this mentality, carefully and without heat, as soft on crime and soft on fascism. No political coalition is possible with such people and, I’m thankful to say, no political coalition with them is now necessary. It no longer matters what they think." Christopher Hitchens says that intellectuals of the left who seek to understand the new enemy are no friends of peace, democracy or human life. Two different versions of the same article here and here. Along the same lines, a piece from The Economist arguing that "Whatever its mistakes, the idea that America brought the onslaught upon itself is absurd."
Crackpot Sunday Brunch: Would You Like a Canadian Club to Go With That Bloody Mary, Sir? No, not from The Onion. Much better. A real-life, in-all-sincerity, 100% Canadian solution to all the U.S.'s current problems. (More inside)
Disturbing Search Requests is redirecting all traffic from search engine results to this page as a statement about America's response to the terrorist attacks. (To see how this works, click the first result in this search.) Is this really the right message to put in the minds of newbies looking for Britney naked?
Infinite Justice is out, Enduring Freedom is in. "The change was made after the initial name -- 'Operation Infinite Justice' -- last week ran into objections from some Islamic scholars on grounds that only God, or Allah, could mete out infinite justice in their view."
White House Reprimands Bill Maher... Remarking on Bill Maher's recent (and ill-timed) comments, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said "Americans ... need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.''
Mr Fleischer: there's never a time for a comment like that from the White House.
Mr Fleischer: there's never a time for a comment like that from the White House.
From many voices, onevapproach via NY Times (reg req'd). Facts now coming out indcate that there are many cells, worldwide, that have been set in place over the years and are (or were) to be activated in a continupous terror assault. What our leaders are saying, then, about the length of time requried may in fact be in recognition of the huge job ahead in rooting these cells out.
A survey of the political climate surrounding President Clinton's strike against bin Laden. Warning: ancient history (1998). Was he really "wagging the dog", or did he have a valid objective after all?
Here's a New Republic article that provides some background on Afghani politics and an interesting argument on the Taliban's weakness. Here's a provocative quote: In 1999, when the United States devastated Belgrade and humiliated Milosevic, the Serbs eventually ousted him. In 1991, when the United States devastated Baghdad and humiliated Saddam, the Kurds and Shiites rose up, and might have toppled the regime had the United States not abandoned them. Historical parallels, of course, are never perfect. But the Taliban are no stronger than those two previous U.S. foes; in fact, they are probably weaker. Comments?
National Defense Panel predicted WTC-style attack in 1997. Also contains link to report. Haven't read it yet (it's pretty long), so I don't know what it suggests. But apparently the Administration is paying attention now. "Unanticipated asymmetries," indeed.
Fault Lines This piece counters the arguements of the self-laceration folks who blame the attack upon America as the result of our foreign policy, as though there can be no other explanation for Jihad. An apt title, since we are now seeing the split between far Right, Middle and far Left. Readers will, no doubt believe or argue with this relative to their perspective.