March 06, 2009
Still More On Walt!
James Fallows' case for Chas Freeman is much better than the "anything that's bad for the Israel lobby must be good" rationales I've seen. Yet it still leaves me unconvinced. Fallows argues that Freeman, while not the kind of person you'd want running U.S. foreign policy, is a useful "contrarian" to have around. But Freeman isn't a contrarian so much as a man with extremely rigid views that run contrary to what most people believe.
Last night on Larry King Live, Sanjay Gupta confirmed earlier reports that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for the surgeon general post. According to Gupta, the reasons for his decision are both professional (he would no longer be able to perform neurosurgery) and familial: “You know, I have two daughters,” he told King. “Our third daughter is now imminent.
What Is Pork, Really?
This is why we love Mike Grunwald: A whip-smart Time piece cutting through the BS around earmarks: The point is that most Americans think of pork as waste. That's why Republicans called the stimulus bill "Porkulus," even though it had no actual earmarks. The fact that money is earmarked does not prove it is wasted, and the fact that money is not earmarked does not prove it is not wasted. This is common sense, when you think about it.
Having written that Obama's private letter to Russian president Dmitri Medvedev was probably leaked by the Russians, I am ready to abandon that theory. The final straw is this post by Radio Free Europe's Brian Whitmore, who notes something I hadn't realized--the original report about the letter in the Russian press was attributed to "sources close to the White House." Not having seen that, I had assumed the Kremlin was playing footsie with its local media; apparently not. Don't believe me? Read the original story here: ???????????? ? ??????? ?????? ????? ???????????? ??? ??????? ???????
Roger Kimball has been a strident, highly polemical right-winger for a long time. But he's also very smart and highly literate. He writes with authority about art and philosophy, literature and politics. He knows a lot about history. And the quarterly he co-edits with Hilton Kramer (The New Criterion) has published erudite commentary and criticism on culture and the arts for more than a quarter century. What, then, are we supposed to make of this astonishing post?
Cramer Vs. Obama, Round 1
Having been criticized by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs the other day, stock guru Jim Cramer decided to respond with--you guessed it--another rant, this time in his column. It has less of the blood pressure and spit than a live Cramer rant, but it's still worth reading.
Eliot Spitzer's Next Move
According to The Wall Street Journal: The former New York governor, who resigned in disgrace a year ago after getting caught patronizing a prostitute in a Washington hotel, has purchased a prominent office building blocks from the White House through his father's real-estate company. The Spitzers are paying $180 million to buy 1615 L St.
Thursday's White House summit on health care was all about cooperation and optimism. Republicans promised to work with Democrats. Corporate lobbyists pledged to find common ground with liberal activists. If you support comprehensive reform to make health care affordable for all, it was hard to walk away without feeling enthusiastic--about both President Obama and what he's trying to do. But at least one forum participant, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, wasn't feeling so cheery. Rockefeller is no enemy of reform.
Now, I may be wrong. In which case, my credibility as an "insider" will be shot. But I am not an "insider" and my conclusion comes only from putting myself in Barack Obama's shoes and realizing that Chas Freeman represents almost nothing--forgive my pretension--that I do. And why "almost"? Freeman actually represents nothing for which the president stands. My first objection is a professional matter. You see, Freeman has absolutely no experience in intelligence. Yes, you read me right.
Today At Tnr (march 6, 2009)
What Should Obama Do About Darfur? Now That An Arrest Warrant Has Been Issued For President Bashir, Our Expert Panel Debates The Next Step. by Alex de Waal, Richard Just, Eric Reeves, Elizabeth Rubin, and Alan Wolfe TNRtv: Why Rush Limbaugh Is The Karl Marx Of Talk Radio, by Eve Fairbanks The Movie Review: ‘Watchmen.' The Famous Comic Was Long Believed To Be Unfilmable. I Still Agree. by Christopher Orr How The Economic Crisis Could Mean The End Of Recycling, by Jeffrey Yoskowitz Did The Supreme Court Just Put Too Much Faith In Juries? by Peter H.