The group blog of The New Republic
July 9, 2007
Cars.com has announced its annual list of the "Top Ten movie cars":
No. 10: 2003 Mini Cooper S, "The Italian Job"
No. 9: 1959 Cadillac Ambulance, "Ghostbusters"
No. 8: 1974 Dodge Monaco, "The Blues Brothers"
No. 7: 1932 Ford coupe, "American Graffiti"
No. 6: 1976 AMC Pacer, "Wayne's World"
No. 5: 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390, "Bullitt"
No. 4: 1964 Aston Martin DB5, "Goldfinger"
Back at his own blog our friend Alex Massie catches a gem from Alastair Campbell's newly-released diaries. Writes Campbell of one dreary meeting:
War Cabinet. [Secretary of State for International Development] Clare Short rabbiting on more than ever. I slipped Tony a note about the time Saddam shot his health minister at a meeting because he was annoying him and did he want me to get a gun? 'Yes', he scribbled.
Another family-values conservative bites the dust. Tonight Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has copped to procuring the services of the infamous "DC Madam." The same Vitter who last year said of a gay marriage ban: "I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one." More from the June 11 2006 New Orleans Times-Picayune (no link):
July 7, 2007
I don't think I've been a particularly passionate defender of Scooter Libby, as Jon Chait says. If I had my way, President Bush would pardon--not just commute the sentences of--each and every non-violent drug offender in the country. But I don't see that happening anytime soon and thus don't feel all that compelled to harp on it. The Libby case is big news, and just because there a lot of people more deserving of commutations or pardons does not suddenly make Libby's case any less compelling.
Not long ago, The Nation published a symposium on Cuba, in which it gave space to a Cuban government lackey who attacked pro-democracy activists in his country. He labelled them "so-called 'dissidents.'"
This week, The Nation publishes a nauseating tribute to Vilma Espín, the late wife of Raul Castro and the de facto first lady of Cuba, who died last month. The author of the piece is a columnist for Juventud Rebelde, the newspaper of Cuba's Union of Young Communists.
July 6, 2007
The sky, thankfully, has not fallen.
Andrew kindly calls me out for labeling the Libby commutation critics "Cassandras." Did I not mean "Chicken Littles?" No, I was being sarcastic. Those saying our country is one step closer to authoritarianism by the president's exercising his constitutional duty--Andrew, Glenn Greenwald, et. al.--see themselves as Cassandras, and I was attempting to mock. Perhaps I ought to have inserted "self-identified."
Foreign policy is not often a major factor in British elections. You could argue it's not decided a general election since Labour argued for unilateral nuclear disarmament in 1983 (part of a party manifesto memorably described as "the longest suicide note in political history"). Despite the tensions of the Blair-Bush years, it's not hugely likely that foreign policy will be a major factor in the next election either.