‘Really do set themselves apart’: John Farrell
contemplates Bernie’s Rome appointment and wonders if there really is a difference between the Vatican and Citibank.
‘Fails to appreciate the significant financial strain ...':
The Dem political establishment is now asking the MBTA to slit its financial throat
for the DNC. ... Good for the MBTA for rejecting the money-losing request, though they may find out it’s never nice to fool with Mother Establishment. ... The MBTA might be one of the few public or private entities to actually make a buck off of this, after balancing off its increased security costs/closure of some lines vs. probable overall increased ridership. But, nooooooo, the politicos seen determined to spread the misery around, convincing themselves the masses will be appeased by FREE rides. ... Question: If the MBTA goes freebie that week, what post-DNC transit program or service will have to be cut to make up for loss of a full work-week’s worth of revenue? Have the politicos thought of that? Never mind. ...
Don’t forget the shop owners
who had their financial throats slit without being asked. ...
‘Only 100,000 people will die in Darfur’:
Man, talk about guilt. Hub Blog hasn’t paid that much attention to tragic events unfolding in the Sudan. Nicholas Kristof
really brings home the horror of what’s happening there and the utter hypocrisy of the global anti-American/Israeli do-gooders.
... ‘Sudden attacks by the camel-riding Janjaweed Arab militia’ ... ‘Concentration camps.’ ... ‘A strategy of systematic and deliberate starvation.’ ... ‘Deliberate effort to eliminate three African tribes in Darfur so Arabs can take their land.’ ...‘200,000 have fled to Chad.’ ... Chad?
Have you ever been to Chad? If there’s one country on this earth incapable of feeding another 200,000
mouths, it’s Chad. They’re goners there.
Just do it to Just did it:
Not sure if it’s a flip-flop
or a trial balloon
gone wrong, per se. Instead Kerry’s let’s-do-it in Boston nomination decision probably came down to simple math and what’s best for Kerry, not grumbling from other Dems. ... Notice how the Dem establishment is now praising his decision. ... Kerry’s way of making up to Mayor Menino: Calling the DNC and Boston a “world-class stage, in a world-class city.” Music to Menino’s ears, fingernails across the chalkboard for the rest of us. ... The NYT
touches upon Mickey Kaus’
‘Brilliant Kerry Scheme’ theory, to wit: Maybe it’s in Kerry’s best interest to lay low and shut up. Mickey’s snide observation: “One day we may look back and realize that not
cancelling Kerry's Boston acceptance speech was the crucial mistake of his campaign.” ...
FYI: Still get a kick out of my spellcheck that interprets ‘Kerry’s’ for ‘Query’s.’ One of these days I’m going to ignore the ‘ignore’ prompt and hit ‘change,’ just to see if anyone notices. ... Bumper sticker: John Query for President!
‘Boston Dirt Dogs go corporate’:
The Boston Dirt Dogs
have been bought by Boston.com
(via Adam Gaffin’s Boston Common
). Obviously good news for people like Steven Silva who make some well-earned cash for just being funny. Good also for Boston.com. Hope the Dogs don't get buried and/or lose some of their original hilarity, though. ... Who’s next? Adam Gaffin himself? What a great site he’s built.
‘About to join Harvard’s empire on the Charles’: Niall Ferguson
, the celebrity Brit professor and controversial empire advocator, is heading to Harvard. A very thorough and impressive article by Crimson staffers Joshua D. Gottlieb and Ella A. Hoffman, who cover all the bases and clearly get the dynamics of academic empire building. ...But can they write flowery concert reviews? Hah!
A tale of two classes: the establishment and everyone else:
Merrimack Valley chamber official
: "Many people we have talked to can't afford just to take that week off." U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano
: “The average guy in the street could not care less what Kerry is doing.” ... Oh, just a couple million people inconvenienced for ‘bloodless’ politics. ...Margery Eagan
(sub. req.): “It's all about the shrimp.” ... Adrian Walker
is most definitely NOT sucking up to get a White House speechwriting job.
‘Romney booed ... ’:
Not a big fan of students booing speakers off the podium, whether it’s Mitt
or E.L Doctorow.
But you gotta admit: Mitt’s handling of the entire gay-marriage affair has been dreadful. I’m not talking about his use of the 1913 law. The law is the law. Andrew Sullivan
today is noting that gay activists shouldn’t push their luck by using anti-federalist judicial subterfuge to advance their cause to other states. ... So why does Romney irk? Because everyone has a little BS detector in them -- and everyone knows Mitt’s been pandering on an issue he knows (or should know) won’t be changed by grandstanding. It’s a waste of his and our time. ... Asking Tom Reilly, a probable gubernatorial candidate, to enforce the 1913 law was real cute -- and real cynical. Reilly’s letter to clerks was real smooth -- and real smart. Advantage: The AG. ... Reilly is looking better by the day.
-- ‘Romney rides volatile issue onto US stage.’
... That pretty much sums it up. ... Any move on the Quinn Bill, Mitt? Oh, forgot. It’s local. And the State Police endorsed you.
-- A reader writes in to say that Mitt did, in fact, get a standing ovation
at Suffolk University after his speech. Point well taken. But that's not really what my post was about.
‘The Great Equivocator in all respects ...’:
Reader No. 1 on JFK:
“I saw a quick interview with JFK on Fox 25 -- he may be the Great Equivocator in all other respects, but there was no doubt in his voice when he said ‘I'm not going to put myself at a competitive disadvantage...’
“Suggestion for journalists: look up the provision of campaign law which so disadvantages JFK, and find out his voting record on it. Oh... never mind, we all know what it will tell us... Let's not lose sight of one thing: whether or not he accepts the nomination, it is ludicrous to close down the Greater Boston area for 4 days, at taxpayer expense, so that the political class can pat themselves on the back. It's only slightly
more ludicrous if he opts for cyber-nomination (which sounds like an Al Gore idea...)
“Let's not lose sight of another thing, at the risk of sounding like a broken record: he'll suffer no penalty for this massive selfishness in Massachusetts, because we are a one party state, and Bush Is Bad.”
'Just do it':
The Democratic establishment
is rallying behind Kerry. Naturally. But Mayor ‘Just do it’
Menino isn’t. Sort of. The public generally isn’t. Naturally. Notice the gaps. ... Turns out this is over an estimated $12 million to $15 million spending gap. A lousy $12 million to $15 million. ...
This stings: NYC
isn’t shutting down, so no misery loves company. I understand that trains run multi-floors underneath the Garden, protecting it if there was ever an explosion. But why no widespread road closings? Is it possible to revisit the issue here? Makes no sense. Sounds like the elected NY leaders exerted more veto power over the wedding/security planners than the pols did here.
‘Cavalier way we're approaching foreign policy’:
I’m sure there are a few sharpening their rusty denunciations of Richard G. Lugar
, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for daring to criticize/critique the Bush administration’s war policies. But their credibility has been shot, so maybe they’ll start listening
a bit more ...
-- Billy Kristol et gang
are now switching from Woodrowism to Lincolnianism. ... WWII. Midway. Singapore. George McClellan. Abraham Lincoln. William T. Sherman. The fall of Atlanta. It’s all there. In their minds. And it works on paper too. Thanks for the Armchair General Pundit cerebral history lesson, guys. ... Maybe they should read Tom Friedman
, who notes we’re now fighting a completely different enemy in 2004 ...
Just For Kerry in full display:
A grand-scale JFKism to top all JFKisms: Kerry might not accept the Dem nomination at July’s DNC in Boston so he can get his mitts on more campaign dough. Never mind the sacrifices of local residents, local business owners and local civic cheerleaders trying to make this a success. Never mind the embarrassing blow he just dealt Menino, who now looks like a complete fool. All that’s important to John Kerry is: John Kerry. ... The Herald
stories. ... Hub Blog is eagerly anticipating the first national ‘jilted lover’ story about Bostonians’ reaction to the latest Kerryism. But, of course, they’d be wrong if they took that angle. The city has been deeply and cynically ambivalent about this convention all along. Kerry’s latest selfish antic merely deepens the cynicism and eliminates the ambivalence. The DNC has become a full-scale joke. We all know it. ... Just For Kerry. ...
To have been in the room and seen Mayor Menino’s reaction to the news. Did he stagger and sit down? Did he clutch his heart? Did his aides notify him by shoving a note under the door and then running for their lives? ... The timing and cold-calculation of Kerry’s move is what’s so shocking. The city had less then 24 hours to digest the news that the Hub will be all but shut down due to draconian security measures -- disrupting the lives of literally millions of people. Repeat: MILLIONS of people. Then the next day Kerry’s camp nonchalantly drops a bomb that reemphasizes the meaningless nature of the whole event. ... Just For Kerry. ...
Put yourself in the shoes of a Dem delegate from, say, Iowa: Would you be more tempted NOT to come to the convention if there’s no nomination? What about media members and TV networks
? What about lobbyists who figure a fall in attendance doesn’t make the trip worth their schmoozing/throw-the-bucks-around time? How about loss of the ‘worldwide’ attention that was touted? How about a $50 million loss turning into $100 million loss? But fear not: Kerry needs the $75 million. That’s a net plus for Kerry. So that’s what counts. ... THE NATION NEEDS HIM!!! ...
‘Valuable lessons from the DNC Shutdown’:
From Reader No. 1, sent yesterday, before the JFKism:
“1. The local political establishment has effectively used The Big Dig as a template: promise vast and undeliverable benefits to the region, get buy-in from the go-along types at the Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the result: an overtime bonanza for the public safety industry.
“2. The 'Economic Benefits'
of the Convention have turned out to be the equivalent of WMD in Iraq. Except that we've discovered a larger quantity of WMD in Iraq then we are likely to see in economic benefit from the DNC (unless of course you are a State Trooper pulling overtime.)
“3. Things are bad when I agree with a Globe Editorial
. Well, most of it. But this is what you get with a one-party political culture (for which the Globe has been one of the foremost cheerleaders: no accountability). ...
“4. If the security risks are so great, why not just evacuate the city during Convention Week? Everyone in the Back Bay has to leave their apartment or condo for the week.
“5. Memo to the publicity-savvy Red Sox: how about renting out Fenway Park available during the week to the unfortunate folk who WILL have to commute in to work at the bars, restaurants and hotels? People could pitch tents in the outfield!
“6. ‘How ironic,’ and how obvious, that an event which was supposed to show the great vitality of the city will instead will contribute to its further decline as the shutdown reminds employers of the benefits of surburban office parks: faster commutes, less-crowded roads, and more responsive local political officials.
“7. Let's not forget this is John Kerry's hometown. If you like this management style, you'll love the next four years in Washington.”
‘We are now going to close the interstate highway system’:
If they’re worried about some sort of dirty bomb, I understand. But in my gut I think this is more a case
of security officials, like anal wedding planners, going crazy with the details
as the big day arrives. They are out of control. They are shutting down the city. ...
‘It’s Hairy Lewis’: The heir apparent.
Brigham’s has gone cute ...:
Brigham’s new owners have ignored my advice
and gone cute with ice cream flavor names. Couldn’t be worse: ‘Reverse the Curse,’
complete with testimonials from ‘celebrities.’
... OK, I know Briggies had a prior cutesy ‘Big Dig’ flavor. But it was an aberration. Most of their flavors have/had straight forward names: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate, Strawberry, etc. ... What next? ‘Bleeding Green Lemon-Lime’? ‘Maine Munchies’? ‘Cape Cod Berry Werry’? ... Horrifying prediction: The new owners are teeing up Briggies for sale to huge conglomerate who will theme-park the New England angle.
‘No way to run a war’:
Reader No. 1 sends along this latest criticism
of the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq, coming from a still-staunch supporter of the cause. Don't agree with the “year-and-a-half delay” argument. More like a “year-and-a-half rush” if you ask me, not that anyone listened to or asked me. No matter. I liked the piece’s “deliberate contempt for history, strategy and thought” part and, most amazing, the regret over the “allies who would have been with us.’’ ... Allies? But didn’t we not need them and/or have a coalition of the willing at the same time? Now they tell us. ... David Brooks
, who recently went wobbly, sounds like he’s covering his ass in case things work out. Still, he has a good line: “There are, for example, members of Congress from both parties who feel estranged from this administration. They feel it does not listen to their ideas. But in this troubled hour, they are desperate to help. If but a call were made, they would burst forth with intelligent suggestions: about Iraq, about political tactics, about getting additional appropriations.” ... Listen? To moderates? This administration? ... Tom Oliphant
, a pro-war moderate, has something Europeans should listen to: get over the Bush obsession and start helping the administration now, otherwise John Kerry, if he should win in November (big if), will call in the big multilateralist chips next January.
‘No flag’ -- American athletes are being asked not to wave the flag
this year at the Olympics due to the world hating us these days. ... But, wait, turns out they were upset with U.S. flag waving four years ago -- before Bush was in office, before 9/11, before Iraq. ... There’s one thing I can’t stand more than this administration: Lefty European anti-American weenie whiners.
Gay marriage and the media herd:
Congrats to CSM for running slides
of yesterday’s gay-marriage events that actually show and note the media hordes, rather than cropping out views of the media and pretending it wasn’t a gargantuan media circus. ... Check out the bride on the left.
... Sorry! Couldn’t resist. Hey, I support gay marriage. I’m entitled to a politically incorrect slip.
Did the world end yet?:
I’m still here. Reading stories like this
So I must be here. ... I’m with Joe:
‘To the rest of us - it’s Monday.’ ... The only regrets about today are: A.) It was court imposed and B.) we have to put up with the same type of photo shots of the exact same activists over and over again -- minus the horde of photo journalists taking the photos. ... Y’all remember this one
, right? Now think about Cambridge City Hall last night.
-- Now THIS
is disturbing. It’s only mid-May and Casper the Friendly Shaughnessy is already in hyper Curse mode. He’s outdone himself. I didn’t think it was possible, but he did it. ...
‘Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy, issued Oct. 12,’ Part II:
No pity for the prison-guard grunts
in Iraq. They were quite a crew. But, please, don’t tell me it was the actions of a ‘few.’ The NYT
and Seymour Hersh
weigh in today with Higher Up stories. But WaPo, which has another documented story
today on a very specific case, pretty much established the higher-up link a week ago.
The question is how higher up is higher up. ... Still say follow the photos. Private England apparently identified some military intelligence officers in photos. What were they doing there? Where were the photos and videos kept? In the grunts’ tents? In a flimsy box within a closet that investigators just happened to stumble upon? ... Those dismissing this scandal, ie the Armchair General Pundits, say that Americans’ revulsion and demand for justice mitigates, to a degree, the tragedy. They’re right. It does. But not if there’s kangaroo-court justice that covers up most of the truth. If that happens, we’ll suffer a double whammy propaganda setback. ...
‘Most Europeans themselves, or their parents and grandparents ...’:
Re Europe’s alleged new ‘Iraq generation,’
Reader JL from Maine writes:
“Most Europeans themselves, or their parents and grandparents, collaborated and sometimes sympathized with the Nazis or the Communists, sometimes both, and they know very well that it was the US that often saved them from themselves -- as recently as in Kosovo. Having that knowledge about oneself must be demoralizing. One way to appease that guilt is to say, ‘well, others do it too, so we're not so bad.’ That explains why Europeans are so vehement in their opposition to Israel and so generous to the Palestinians. Just a couple of generations ago, many, maybe most, Europeans were complicit in the near extermination of Jews. What an opportunity it is, then, to regain one's moral stature by criticizing Jews for seeming to act the same way towards Palestinians.
“Never the less, the fact that critics are guilty hypocrites does not excuse the US or Israel or anyone from legitimate criticism of their actions. Indeed, the beheading of Nick Berg has saved Rumsfeld by exposing the nature of our adversaries.”
The Charles Street and Cambridge Street contrasts:
Hub Blog, your self-appointed Downtown Sidewalk Superintendent, has been closely following the big street project on Cambridge Street. Progress report: Very little. Moving at a snail’s pace. There are many/most days when workers aren’t visible. ... But, oh, the DNC is coming and major portions of Charles Street’s brick sidewalks were quickly ripped up a few weeks ago and have already been mostly replaced. The contrast between the two projects couldn’t be more stark.
-- On one of the brick pallets on Charles Street, there was a sign touting them as ‘original’ Boston City Hall Pavers. Someone scribbled a note on the sign, saying that, no, they weren’t true classic Boston City Hall Pavers and that the ones recently plunked on Charles Street were cheapo versions. ... Only in Boston. ... I pointed out the dispute to a friend in the construction business and he gave me a long-winded explanation about the raging debate over the best City Hall Pavers. Google it and you’ll see there’s a whole City Hall Paver world out there.
‘Appealed for calm ...’:
Maybe I live in a cocoon and don’t have a feel for the public mood on Monday’s big gay marriage day. Or maybe Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley
lives in a cocoon and knows all the kooks who are about to fly off the handle on Monday. ... Otherwise, I haven’t heard a peep of angst about Monday, the day the world is supposed to end. ...
‘Not that the current US administration was very popular ...’: Oh please.
The Euros are now saying a new “Iraq generation” is springing up like the “Vietnam generation.” As if they needed a catchy slogan and inglorious incident to justify anti-Americanism that existed well before 9/11 and Iraq. ... On the opposite end of the Iraq-debate spectrum, the tough-guy Armchair General Pundits have found a new rallying call: the rest of us are engaging in ‘moral panic.’
That’s the new beehive buzz you’ll be hearing a lot more of in coming weeks as the Bush fanatics regroup. ... Hub Blog thoroughly enjoyed hearing pro-war conservatives like Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks actually expressing doubt about some of their intellectual presumptions about the war, occupation and the previously infallible Bush administration. It was a long overdue and welcome bout of honesty. ... Enough on Iraq. ... Oooooops.
Damn Blogger Pro!
-- Reader No. 1 makes a good catch on above Oooooops item: "Let voters
judge"? Emphasis added.
‘That is not the values of America’:
Rummy needed to go to Iraq and say the obvious.
Despite the recent efforts of tough-guy Armchair General Pundits to dismiss the Abu Ghraib debacle, Rumsfeld is too smart not to understand the propaganda defeat we -- and especially he -- suffered. ... Jim Hoagland
doesn’t strike me as an overly fancy and off-the-handle pundit, but he has a good column today giving a deserved shellacking to all the right people, Bush, Kerry, etc. ... He’s right: The stakes are too high to get bogged down in trivial presidential politics. Move on. Enough with Iraq. ...
Damn Blogger Pro. Accidently linked to something. .... Oooooops.
Damn! ... Oooooops.
‘How do you expect the M.P.'s to get it straight ...’:
Two good quotes from Ted. The first
came during a prison-abuse hearing in which a general and Pentagon civilian gave conflicting statements about command at Abu Ghraib. Ted: "How do you expect the M.P.'s to get it straight if we have a difference between the two of you?" ... The second
is in reaction to the beheading of Nick Berg. Ted: “This vicious attack is a painful new reminder that al-Qaeda is determined to strike and kill Americans.'' ... Now I know Ted has said some damn silly things lately, i.e. war plots hatched in Texas etc. I also know the Bushies will come at anyone and everyone who dares to quote Ted favorably. But anyone want to dispute the substance of the above quotes? Not that they’re overly profound. ...
What did the president say last year about terrorists concentrating their efforts in Iraq? ‘Bring ‘em on’? No, that’s Kerry line. But it was something like that. Well, we now have a top al-Qaeda murderer, who used to be cornered in Afghanistan/Pakistan, beheading Americans in Iraq instead of Afghanistan/Pakistan. This is called ‘success.’ ...
The Catholic church
is condemning abuses and cover ups. The Catholic church. ... FYI: WaPo
continues its top-notch coverage of Abu Ghraib: A general is pointing the finger in the direction of two other Army generals in Iraq.
‘It's that very contrast that inspired leaders of Lexington ...’:
Sometimes I wonder about the CSM. They’re based in Boston, but sometimes don’t seem to know Boston. This article on METCO
is a case in point. It brings up Lexington’s pioneering efforts with METCO, a truly good-intentioned program worthy of support, but doesn’t mention the full context of METCO’s creation in regards to school desegragation and bussing. ... For that full context, one has to read ‘Common Ground’
to discover some interesting tales about Lexington of the ‘60s. It ain’t pretty. J. Anthony Lukas covers Lexington’s not-so-welcoming response to blacks attempting to buy homes in Lexington at the very time they were creating METCO. Suburban guilt and hypocrisy were also at play, as Lukas notes.
Iraq: ‘Right war, wrong time, wrong way’:
That was said to me by a close Hub Blog friend this weekend. ... Chalk up David Brooks
as another conservative war backer with second thoughts, albeit somewhat condescending second thoughts, i.e. “They resent us for our power ...” etc. Nice line: “We went into Iraq with what, in retrospect, seems like a childish fantasy.” But, again, it’s written in a condescending way that places much emphasis on “irony.” Well, maybe it’s “irony” to a person who expected a different outcome. It’s not “irony” to those who repeatedly warned about the realistic outcome. ... FYI: Hub Blog was a wobbly supporter going into Iraq, kicking and screaming about the wrong time and wrong way etc. I’m still proudly wobbly. But we have work to do in Iraq, Afghanistan (where we should have concentrated a bit more) and the ‘new Afghanistan.’
Just hope there’s enough credibility left to finish the jobs. ...
‘Blogs colliding with traditional media’:
So it wasn’t a Russkie web hoax. The Dems really are inviting bloggers to apply for semi-press credentials
for the 2004 DNC in Boston. Interesting. ... I decided not to conduct a crack investigation into the offer as mentioned last week.
The idea of staying cooped up during summer evenings within the FleetCenter security zone didn’t sound appealing, particularly without extended bar hours afterward.
‘Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy, issued Oct. 12':
If you’re going to read one story about Abu Ghraib today, make it this WaPo story.
It’s all here: The long-term impact of dismantling the Iraqi army and intelligence services, the growing insurgency, the lack of troops, the lack of guard training and ... a visit by one Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller from Guantanamo Bay. Here’s the buried money graf: “The prison system's new ‘Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy,’ issued Oct. 12, came in the wake of Miller's recommendations. According to the Taguba report, the ‘numerous photos and videos portraying detainee abuse by Military Police personnel’ were dated soon after the policy was adopted, sometime between October and December.” ... Follow the photos. ... An accused soldier’s dad:
“Apparently, he was told to take a picture and he did what he was told. ... He was just following instructions.” ... Who ordered the photos? Who were they given to? Why? When? ... Follow the photos.
‘Doing the Hokey Pokey’: Pokey
: “You do the Hokey Pokey and you circle all around... that's what its all about.” ... Pokey Power.
‘A Republican resurgence in Massachusetts’?:
I wouldn’t call it a ‘resurgence,’
but it’s good to see political competition
in Massachusetts for a change. ... A Hub Blog friend, a very staunch and somewhat prominent Dem, made the exact same point to me yesterday. ... Keep in mind this is only the latest GOP ‘resurgence.’ The ‘90 election did lead to a veto-sustaining gain for the party and Weld. But the rest of the decade and early into the new century was one long, slow slide toward the compromising hack ineptness of bottom-of-the-barrel ex-legislators Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift ... The ultimate prize, almost impossible to imagine, is to get hold of the gerrymandering apparatus at the State House, not the corner office. The next best thing is to graduate legislators to district attorney posts, Congress, other statewide offices etc., giving future pols hope they can actually use the GOP as a legitimate party to advance their ambitions. Too many Dems today are closet Republicans who would have run as Republicans if the Republicans had their act together.
'Who is this parade for anyway?':
One of those ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ type of stories. Charlie Sennott
interviews Spanish troops returning from Iraq to staged welcome-home parades by the government. The troops aren’t too proud of their government's decision. "America's reason for going to war was cynical," said one soldier. "But when you are there on the ground, you see the poverty and people living in mud houses next to Saddam's palaces, [and] the work we were doing seems justified. It had valor."...
‘There are a lot more photographs and videos that exist’:
It obviously wasn’t all valor. Jules Crittendon
, Philip G. Zimbardo
and the NYT
all have pieces this morning on the prison tortures in Iraq, taking the there’s-depravity-everywhere and ill-trained angles. Agreed. But there’s something else at work here, to wit: The photos. Why were they taking them? Why would depraved people committing heinous crimes take incriminating photos of themselves? If we get answers to those questions, we’ll probably find out how far up this goes. I strongly suspect, as do others, the photos were taken for others (i.e. future prisoners) to see. This smacks of a deliberate, albeit ill thought out, interrogation strategy. ...
, yesterday, reported on more shocking evidence yet to come: “The unreleased images show American soldiers beating one prisoner almost to death, apparently raping a female prisoner, acting inappropriately with a dead body, and taping Iraqi guards raping young boys, according to NBC News.” ... Again: The photos. The videos. Why? ...
-- OK, here we go. WaPo
now reports how the higher-ups at the Pentagon approved "a legal way to jack up the pressure'' during interrogations. No, they didn't approve Abu Ghraib-style torture. I doubt any evidence will emerge implicating those at the White House and Pentagon. This is not what they wanted. But there was a tone set that filtered down to the grunts. At what point did someone misconstrue/abuse the orders? ... The string to pull is the photos. Question to be asked of those snapping the photos: Who did you give these to?
‘Oh, brother. The travails of Bill Clinton’: John Farrell
has a mini-Clinton gem on the writing of his memoirs: “I am literally hardly sleeping. I am working around the clock. I am killing myself because I want (my memoirs) done.” But ... read John.
The Boston Herald: The talk of the town:
Good. Steve Bailey
spelled all the names right. ... The Boston Herald: Available at newsstands and your local store. Or subscribe online here.
Have you tried the Herald today? ... I love it. More attention, please.
... The badboys
of the Hub.
‘The Democratic National Convention Committee is pleased to announce’:
Either I’m a sucker for Russian web scams or this is cool: the DNC
is inviting bloggers to apply for press credentials
for this summer’s convention in Boston. ... FYI: I’m checking into it a bit more before applying. You should too. The same invitation isn’t offered at another 2004 DNC
web site. ... Those damn Russkie hackers. Gotta stay on your paranoid toes.
‘You don't need liquor to have a good time’:
Oh come on, mayor. Lighten up.
Open the spigots. Jeez. ... The extend-the-bar-hours idea was not a ‘rumor.’ It was a trial balloon. A few people whined. The mayor backed down. Typical. ... He’s still gloating over the smoking ban. His finest achievement: allowing a non-elected board to impose the ban through regulatory fiat, only after the mayor determined it was politically safe to do so, health-care issues being of secondary concern, of course.
‘Bush scolds Rumsfeld ...’:
Yes, but for the right reason? The Herald:
“Bush was unhappy he was not told about incriminating pictures before they were shown on television or about a 2-month-old Pentagon report on the abuses before it turned up in the news.” ... The NYT:
"The president was not satisfied or happy about the way he was informed about the pictures, and he did talk to Secretary Rumsfeld about it." ... Joan Vennochi
has a good perspective on the scandal.
‘Under-estimating Kerry’: Andrew Sullivan
isn’t buying the conventional wisdom about Kerry either. ... Conventional wisdom: Bush had a horrible month and Kerry still hasn’t budged the numbers. Conventional wisdom forgets: Bush just dropped $50 million on ads and still hasn’t budged the numbers. ... Conventional wisdom: Kerry overreacted to the medals controversy. Non-conventional wisdom: He fought back, as he said he would. ... Still think Bush will win. But never count Kerry out, even when he’s in one of his infamous Hamlet funks.
What is he up to?: Oppose gay marriages? Check
. ... Support death penalty? Check.
... Propose tax cuts? Check.
... Systematic and relentless assault on hackerama such as taking on Pacheo law or Quinn perks, etc. etc.? Too local. ... What is Mitt up to? You figure it out.
is noting the same big-issue-of-the-day trend.
‘Let's beat up Khldoon’:
No WMD. No utopian transformational democracy by the looks of it. No victory in Falluja. A Saddam loyalist put in charge. A sick torture-chamber PR debacle. ... But we still have the likes of Khldoon Abdullah Mahmood
on our side. His types are dwindling. Fast. Read until the end for a ray of hope amidst one hell of a mess. ....
, who has been parking them lately on Iraq
, on Bush’s most recent Woodrowism: “Being steadfast in defense of carefully considered convictions is a virtue. Being blankly incapable of distinguishing cherished hopes from disappointing facts, or of reassessing comforting doctrines in face of contrary evidence, is a crippling political vice.”
Oliver Willis is off to the great capital:
Boston blogger Oliver Willis
is headed south to join up with David Brock’s ‘Media Matters for America.’
Glad for Oliver, assuming his past blogging has led to a paying gig from that $2 million Brock has allegedly raised. ... As for Brock, well, I cautiously drop the word ‘allegedly’ whenever he makes a claim. ... Oliver: Bite the proverbial coin come first pay day. ...
... Sorry for the light blogging of late. Under the weather a bit. Must be the shock of actually experiencing May weather in May.