The Plank

I Regret That I Have But One Life To Give For 'outputs'


If lawmakers remain in Baghdad, said one senior American official who did not want to be identified because he was discussing internal White House deliberations, "we'll have some outputs then." He added, "That's different from having outcomes," drawing a distinction between a sign of activity and a sign of success, which could take considerably longer.

--Michael Crowley

Dept. Of Pots And Kettles

"Any attempts to change the [Anti-Ballistic Missile] treaty will shake the strategic root and trunk of world peace and security." --Russian President Vladimir Putin urging the Bush administration in February 2001 not to abandon the pact, months before it ignored him and withdrew anyway.

"These are treaty obligations, and everyone is expected to live up to treaty obligations." --Condoleezza Rice lecturing the Russians last week not to scuttle a 17-year-old weapons treaty with Europe.

Bush The Metrosexual

Thank goodness our president isn't the kind of man who would spend $400 on a haircut. Why, I imagine he washes his face in a frying pan and combs his hair with a wagon wheel. Except, of course when (like John Edwards) he's running for president, and finds it necessary to plunk down $275 (in 2000 dollars) for a little prettifying. And what's this about his wearing makeup? Is he some kind of cross-dresser?

Who Won Last Night's Debate?

I don't think I saw the same debate that the Daily Kos poll readers did. They think that John Edwards won the debate, followed by Barack Obama. I have nothing against John Edwards--in fact, I have often argued that, on paper, he is best Democratic candidate for president, although not the best prepared to be president--but I thought that if there was one loser among the top tier candidates, it was Edwards. His responses appeared canned and phony.

Zero To Hero

Oh well. At least Gilbert Arenas is playing somewhere.

--Christopher Orr

That's It???

The big New York Times front-pager on George Tenet's new book is nothing if not disappointing. Sure, it's nice to have some context for the famous slam-dunk comment. But besides this, where's the good stuff? Cheney was set on war, no matter what the intelligence or the cost? Okay, but we knew that. Doesn't the book have anything sexier? I guess we'll have to wait for Powell's memoirs.

--Isaac Chotiner

So Much For The City Of Love

From today's New York Times on the competitive private life of French presidential candidate Segolene Royal and her Socialist life partner, Francois Hollande:

Tenet, Bush, And "slam Dunk"

Today's NYTimes has some details from Tenet's forthcoming memoir and, combined with the quotes from the CIA director's upcoming "60 Minutes" appearance, it's clear that, while Tenet has all sorts of ill will toward Cheney and Rice and Hadley, he isn't all that pissed at the President.

Race To The Bottom

Is Rudy Giuliani trying to outpander Mitt Romney? As Brad notes below, it appears so. Last night, he "came out" to the the New York Sun with news that he opposes the civil unions bill recently passed by the New Hampshire State Senate, expected to be signed into law by the Republican Governor.

Where's The Beef?

George Bush discovers what ails modern Japan:

"I'm absolutely convinced the Japanese people will be better off when they eat American beef."

--Michael Crowley