. . . comes via CIA-agent-turned-blogger Larry Johnson, who's flacking Valerie Plame's new book and reveals this tidbit from it: In 2004 the FBI received intelligence that Al Qaeda hit teams were enroute to the United States to kill *** Cheney, Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame. The FBI informed Valerie of this threat.
Former TNRer Ryan Lizza's piece on Mitt Romney in this week's New Yorker frames the former governor's Mormon problem in an interesting new way. Here's a scholar of Mormonism, as quoted in the article: "Mormonism was a cult, just as Christianity was a cult in the beginning," she told me. "But a cult, when it grows up, becomes a culture, and the people who are a part of it take on an ethnic identity, a peoplehood. Romney is not Mormon the way, say, Ted Kennedy is Catholic. Romney is Mormon the way Ted Kennedy is Irish. That's the difference.
Valerie Plame Wilson's memoir comes out today, and as you may have heard, the CIA censors have gone to town on it (so much so that she and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, sued unsuccessfully in federal court in an attempt to be allowed to publish more of it). As a result, we're a bit puzzled by what Wilson is trying to say in several of the book's key passages--so we're asking for your help. In the two passages below, please let us know what you think Wilson might have written before the CIA got its hands on the book.
I think Kathryn Jean Lopez is joking when she urges Lynn Cheney to run for president. Then again, I initially thought the whole Fred Thompson boomlet was a joke, too. --Jason Zengerle
The Times had a "Sunday Styles" piece about the Hollywood "eco-wives" (the environmentally conscious spouses of entertainment industry bigwigs) who descend upon Washington to lobby for green causes such as a tough climate change bill. Looking to combat all those ugly stereotypes about politically active La-La Landers having more money than sense, these gals come armed with tales of their first-hand struggles with global warming. For instance, Colleen Bell, wife of "The Bold and the Beautiful" executive producer and head writer, Bradley Bell, shared with Sen.
At a reading at Carnegie Hall on Friday night, J.K. Rowling disclosed the fact, long suspected but never before confirmed, that her beloved character Albus Dumbledore was gay. I'm with Ross Douthat on this: Rowling had seven books, comprising approximately eleventy thousand pages, in which to share with readers the details of her characters' lives. Retroactively adding nuance seems a bit unsporting to me.
From America's Most Trusted News Source (no less): Waffle House brawl lands Kid Rock in jail So predictable. --Jason Zengerle
You might not be taking Stephen Colbert's presidential candidacy seriously, but Josh Green is. Auditioning for the job of Colbert's campaign manager, Josh has come up with a surprisingly detailed blueprint for how Colbert could actually win a delegate or two in either one of the South Carolina primaries: In the Republican primary, Colbert should focus on the First District, which stretches along the coast from Colbert's hometown of Charleston up to Myrtle Beach.
Over at The Stump, Noam recaps last night's GOP debate with a very smart point: The GOP race has become a contest between ideological purity (as advocated by Romney and Thompson) and authenticity (which is what Rudy and McCain are selling). But, as Noam argues, it's a shame that Romney decided not to run on authenticity--since the authentic Romney is certainly more attractive than the contrived ideologically pure Romney: Romney had two very solid answers tonight.
To paraphrase: "It's good we supported 'freedom fighters' in Central America because now El Salvador has at least five so many soldiers in Iraq." --Isaac Chotiner