Ok, fuck Atrios already. He's been relentless in hounding liberals who supported the war, and some gloating is fine, but enough's enough.
a bunch of liberal-to-moderate hawks considered support for the Iraq war to be a testosterone test - whether or not you had the cojones to kill a few people and send someone else's kids off to war for the good old USA.
I laid out my reasons for supporting the war, and I can still say, despite having been lied to, and despite the botched execution of the post-war occupation, that the reasons still seem good to me, and I'm not even convinced that the invasion won't turn out, on balance, to have been for the best.
Now, I might be (or might have been) wrong, but I certainly wasn't irrational, and there's no clear line from my position and my reasons to the base motives Atrios so blithely ascribes to "liberal hawks."
UPDATE: Atrios responds, and clarifies what he meant and who he meant to indict.
No doubt the phenomenon Atrios and Noah describe is real and a problem. But reasons matter, whether they were adduced for or against the war. So you bet I think that Paul Berman, for example, is still more credible than say, Mickey Z.
Personally, I didn't care if the administration's stated reasons for war were valid; I assumed that they weren't. What I got very wrong (and I said as much, without prodding, months ago) was the competence with which the operation was carried out. On this score, the one person (I know of) who can tell me to shut up and shove it is Daniel Davies, who really was prescient.
In any case, as one of Atrios's commenters put it, this is a discussion for November 3. I didn't like feeling as though my motives were being impugned, but I'm satisfied with the response, and the business at hand is getting John Kerry elected.
The Panama City News Herald gives us a bit of what US District Court Judge Stephan Mickle wrote about then-Sheriff Guy Tunnell's 1997-8 actions to shut down a black nightclub:
"When these factors are considered in the instant case, taking the evidence in the light most favorable to Ms. Farr, a reasonable jury could conclude that the defendants [Tunnell and his deputies] acted with a discriminatory purpose," Mickle wrote.
Mickle wrote that a study of dispatch reports "supports a conclusion that the Sheriff directed far more walkthroughs (by deputies) and maintained a heavier presence at the Sundancer, even though more serious problems were reported at the other clubs where there were less Black patrons."
Mickle noted Tunnell requested the County Commission file an action to shut down the club, an "action (that) was unprecedented..."
Mickle found a "genuine issue" that Tunnell and the commission "undertook to close the Sundancer down solely because the neighbors (and as a consequence they, too) did not want a Black club around."
Tunnell was hand-picked by Jeb Bush to head the Florida agency that now appears to be trying to intimidate elderly African-American voters.
Maybe I'll get to overheated charges of media bias later, but this is just a case of alternate realities. The Times ran a much-linked piece on the Swift Vets. Here's Kevin Drum's reaction.
The conservative blogosphere is finally getting what they asked for: mainstream media attention to the charges from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The results, though, aren't pretty.
Something tells me that before long George Bush is going to be sorry he didn't step up to the plate and disown this group from the start. Their story, tattered from the start, looks worse and worse every time somebody shines a light into another of its dank corners.
And here's Glenn Reynolds.
PATTERICO WRITES on the New York Times SwiftVets piece mentioned below:
I don't think I have ever seen such a partisan hit piece in my life. . . .
Tellingly, he notes that the Cambodia story is buried at the end:
What is both amazing and utterly predictable is that the "Christmas in Cambodia" story is saved for the very end. This is the one accusation made by the Vets where the facts are clear -- and the facts show that Kerry was not truthful, as even the Kerry campaign has had to admit. How does the New York Times characterize the "Christmas in Cambodia" story? Take a deep breath. It says that the story is "the one allegation in the book that Mr. Kerry's campaign has not been able to put to rest."
They're spinning furiously.
The Cambodia story is straightforward, and easy to understand, and the Kerry campaign has already admitted that it wasn't true. It makes Kerry look terrible. So naturally it's minimized in favor of complex eye-glazing stuff. Did I call it, or what?
Why do we even debate this stuff, or talk to each other? Welcome to post-truth.
Who's heading the Florida agency that's sending armed cops into elderly black voters' homes, claiming to be investigating a voting-fraud case that turns out to have been closed long ago?
Guy Tunnell, whom Jeb Bush appointed to head the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, was hired from outside the finalist pool and without the usual background check. Unfortunately for Florida, such a background check might have turned up Tunnell's history of harassing law-abiding African-Americans.
Holy crow, Tron guy was just having fun, but these folks are getting married.
It says Children's Fairyland, people.
Headline in today's Philadelphia Metro.
This might have been a great re-branding opportunity for Catholics, who would just get down with their freaky, horny selves...
Deal W. Hudson, the publisher of the conservative Roman Catholic journal Crisis and the architect of a Republican effort to court Catholic voters, says he is resigning as an adviser to the Bush campaign because of a Catholic newspaper's investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct involving a female student at a college where he once taught.
And Hudson's instincts were right on.
"At the time, I dealt with this in an upright manner..."
Too bad, he's not a real Catholic, and I don't think it'll wash with the masses.
Mr. Hudson, a former Southern Baptist who converted to Catholicism at the age of 34, has been an influential adviser to President Bush and a close friend of the White House political strategist Karl Rove since the late 1990's.
I guess the whole post-pubescent female thing was a clue...
via political wire
Cartoonist Hugh Macleod makes an interesting point.
I think one of the main reasons I stayed in advertising is simply because hearing "change that ad" pisses me off a lot less than "change that cartoon". Though the compromises one has to make writing ads can often be tremendous, there's only so much you have to take personally. It's their product, it's their money, so it's easier to maintain healthy boundaries. With cartooning, I invariably found this impossible.
That's just the right issue for people pursuing creative projects to consider: Is it preferable to compromise creative control in return for being paid to do something similar to what you love, or give up a lot of time and energy to a job that would allow you to retain complete control over what you love?
The key, of course, is "compromise." MacLeod explains his "Sex & Cash" theory.
THE SEX & CASH THEORY: "The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task in hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense duality will always play center stage. It will never be transcended."
As soon as you accept this, I mean really accept this, for some reason your career starts moving ahead faster. I don't know why this happens. It's the people who refuse to cleave their lives this way- who just want to start Day One by quitting their current crappy day job and moving straight on over to best-selling author... Well, they never make it.
1. Maxim has crowned the Fat Darrell the country's best sandwich. (Click photo for caption.) Chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, and who-knows-what-else. (It's made at a sandwicherie in New Brunswick -- where I had my first White Castle slider just a couple weeks ago.)
2. There's a documentary, Sandwiches That You Will Like, which takes the viewer on a grand tour of America's great sandwich treasures. (Note that I brazenly call it a documentary, though some will dismiss it as just more pro-po-boy propaganda.)
3. Dutch falafel giant Maoz has just opened its first US location -- six (maybe eight) blocks from my house in Philadelphia! This is excellent news, as I've sworn off cheesesteaks forever. Now if we could only get a Pret.
I once sat next to Emily Saliers's parents at a wedding. People are unexpected.
Any suggestions for naming the following mood? Totally mopey, with a short temper. ("Joy to be around" doesn't count. The fragility of office relationships: I gave a co-worker such a dirty look yesterday, I'm still making it up to him, even though neither of us has said anything).
The definitive analysis of the Swiftvets ad.
UPDATE: More from Kevin Drum, including on Cambodia.
Bush has taken a lot of guff for reading My Pet Goat while the nation was under attack, but he's gotten no credit for having internalized the storytelling tone we all find so comforting in children's books. (via low culture)
But we've got some strong allies, starting with the Prime Minister of Iraq, Prime Minister Allawi. They tell me the story of him. He was in London, England. He was in exile from his country because Saddam hated him. He wakes up one night and an ax-wielding group of men tried to hatchet him to death, or ax him to death. I guess, you don't hatchet somebody with an ax. (Laughter.) And you don't ax them with a hatchet. (Laughter.) He wakes up, the glint of the blade coming at him, and he gets cut badly, escapes. The guy hit his wife who never recovered, really. So he's seen what it means to be chased down and tried to kill by a tyrant. He -- this guy believes that Iraq can and will be free.
Now, the fact that Allawi was attacked is barely relevant to any policy discussion, and doesn't help us decide anything, but even so, the story is damn dramatic, and if you're going to be a demagogue...
The attack came about 3 o'clock on the morning of Feb. 4, 1978. Allawi was asleep in bed with his wife at his home in Surrey, outside London. He was awakened by a noise, and then saw a shadowy figure and the glint of something shiny. He felt the ax's blow and the sensation of hot fluid, a spume of blood, bursting from his head. The ax fell again, nearly severing his right leg at the knee, and then again into his chest. The attacker fled, leaving him for dead.
Tear down the republic, if you must, but can you leave us a little dignity and do it with a competent demagogue?
This is a kick in the teeth. Illinois has told insurance companies to make public those records that can help blacks research their ancestry, and you can go online to see the lists. It's galling enough to see the property relation presented so starkly, but the lack of last names for the slaves just makes me want to throw things.
Thinking about smashing windows or overturning cars during the Republican National Convention? Think again: that will cost you a discounted buffalo chicken salad from Applebee's or a cheaper ticket to see "Tony n' Tina's Wedding."
Mr. Bloomberg conceded yesterday that not everyone who wore a button [which reads, "Peaceful Political Activists,"] would be strictly vetted for his or her peacefulness. "Unfortunately, we can't stop an anarchist from getting a button," he said, though he doubted any of them would want to wear one.
Maybe "Avenue Q" tickets would go over better.
I don't know if I've mined my failure to be amused to its depths.
Gary says, "This is one of the funniest pieces of web writing I've ever read." So I clicked, because Gary's a reliable guy. Didn't laugh once. I did want to kick Margret's ass, but that's not the kind of entertainment I was promised.
Also, I once forced myself to read every last word of Me Talk Pretty One Day and, again, I wanted to kick Sedaris's ass, but I only laughed three times, and each time, he was quoting someone.
I couldn't even watch Seinfeld.
Yeah, and I don't like the Beatles, though I suppose they're kinda funny.
Just in case you haven't seen it, this is worth reading. It's what happened to Joe Darby after he helped blow the whistle on Abu Ghraib.
It was no coincidence that Joe lived only a short drive from many of the men and women in those photos from Abu Ghraib. It was no coincidence that he knew Lynndie England and Jeremy Sivits, who lived just a few miles from his house. They were in his local unit, the 372nd Military Police Battalion. They trained together, deployed together, lived together on assignments, and when they finally came home on leave, passing through the streets of their small towns in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, the flags and banners that hung from storefront windows were there for all of them.
Outside these communities, in most of America, the pictures from Abu Ghraib met with instant outrage and contempt, and Joe Darby became a hero. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld praised his actions as "honorable and responsible." The House Armed Services Committee praised him for risking his career in pursuit of "what is right." But inside the little towns of Jenners and Somerset and Windber and Johnstown, many neighbors weren't so quick to celebrate. Abu Ghraib became a litmus test of the American mood; reactions split along political and economic lines. On campuses and in the halls of government, even within the upper echelons of the military command, few would question what Joe had done. But in his own hometown, plenty of people did. Some had seen the face of battle themselves and had made their own moral compromises, which were easier not to remember. Others had family members who served in the first gulf war and had a hard time feeling sorry for Iraqis. Still others had relatives in Iraq this time, some of whom would never come home. So if a few prisoners got beaten up, if they were humiliated or even abused, well, shit happens all the time. War is war. Joe Darby's decision didn't make him honorable; it made him a traitor.
I'll be travelling for a few days. I'm sure Ogged will step up as required.
Given that theater screens have been steadily shrinking since I've been going to the movies, sometimes it takes a bit of head scratching to figure out why I still pay $10 to do it. I got a little reminder when I went to see The Manchurian Candidate, and sat next to an older couple--a nice, pasty white gentleman of around 70, and his feisty Asian wife, about the same.
About halfway into the credits, the man, sitting right next to me, fell asleep. In a few minutes, he was snoring...just for my benefit at first, to the amusement of our section of the theater later. His wife made a few attempts to jostle him, but she'd been through this before, and mainly just ignored him. Anyway, she was engrossed by the film: anytime Meryl Streep showed up on the screen in the second half of the film, there was a sharp loud whisper from my right, "Devil! She's the devil!"
I'd missed this. Bush's campaign people demanded to know the race of a journalist assigned to photograph Dick Cheney. "To ensure the safety of ... the vice president." Of course.
To the Arizona Daily Star's credit, none of the editors disclosed their reporter's race.
I don't know if I'm back, 'k? (It's not like I'm away, and it's not like I'm not near a computer all day, but I'm trying to exercise a bit of discipline here...).
So I was watching this clip that Matt Yglesias linked to and it took me a while--several minutes of "what the??"--but now I realize it's damn funny.
A reader points me to this very cool page of movie scenes with the people deleted, and notes that, contrariwise, if we insert a man (or two) into the picture of the volleyballer below...
When all is said and done, isn't the Olympic spirit all about getting tendonitis?
Admit it: this brings back memories.
State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.
Now, said Mr. Egan, the fear generated by state police officers ... is threatening to undo much of the good work of the [Orlando League of Voters]. He said, "One woman asked me, 'Am I going to go to jail now because I voted by absentee ballot?' "
According to Mr. Egan, "People who have voted by absentee ballot for years are refusing to allow campaign workers to come to their homes. And volunteers who have participated for years in assisting people, particularly the elderly or handicapped, are scared and don't want to risk a criminal investigation."
I ran across this on the back of an SUV last night. It's a nice combination of tasteless and demonstrably false: the Book of Mormon of bumper stickers.
For an opposing view, consider this.