Life Imitates "the Thick Of It"
July 09, 2007
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. --Michael Crowley
July 09, 2007
by Linda Hirshman, Courtney Martin, and Deborah Siegel Linda Hirshman: Last week I went to the Twenty Sixth Annual Women's Studies Association Convention. It was my first such meeting since some law professor thing I attended in 1987, where the food was all vegetarian and there were no hangers in the dorm room closet. "Never again," I muttered, driving away in my (liberal) limousine. But here I am, with Get to Work out in paperback and dying to convince the women's studies teachers to teach its eponymous message to their young students. Before, as the new jacket copy says, it's too late.
July 07, 2007
At least two friends have criticized me for defending Scooter Libby against the ravages of political justice. One being Jonathan Chait whotakes me on for saying that I know that Libby has not profited--i.e., retained cash--from the Libby Defense Fund. He complains that I recite no facts. Well, I get my facts from the Libby Defense Fund on whose board I sit. His grievance is really against Chris Orr who first made the charge on this web-site and who I wrote hadn't the slightest idea of the finances of the Libby case and still accused Libby of making financial gains from his troubles.
July 05, 2007
Meanwhile, the French are focusing on an issue of great importance: is it acceptable for Nicolas Sarkozy to a) be so keen on jogging and b) flaunt that enthusiasm so publicly?
Gordon Brown's Burden?
July 04, 2007
One of the consequences of the unfortunate developments in Iraq is that intervention anywhere else anytime in the future is going to be a tougher thing to sell. Many will welcome this of course. Still, there is one small country where at least some people would welcome the arrival of the Royal Marines: "ZIMBABWE'S leading cleric has called on Britain to invade the country and topple President Robert Mugabe.
Reagan And The 4th
July 04, 2007
Since all the conservative websites are posting their favorite Reagan speeches about freedom in honor of July 4th, some of us at The Plank thought we should post a few of our favorite words from the former president: Question: Are we going to put any kind of pressure on the Turkish government about giving a just solution to the Cyprus problem?President Reagan: To the which problem?Q: To the Cyprus problem.Reagan: Oh. I wish the Secretary of State were here. We're aware of that but I don't know that we have involved ourselves directly and deeply in that.
Glasgow's Jack Bauer
July 03, 2007
In the aftermath of the thwarted attack on Glasgow airport, one man has emerged as the hero of the hour. Step forward baggage handler John Smeaton who, while enjoying a sly cigarete break, witnessed the attack and rallied to help the police take down the terrorists. You may well have seen him on CNN or Fox. A tribute website--www.johnsmeaton.com--has become a phenomenon, attracting more than 500,000 page views. More than 1,000 people have each pledged money to buy a pint for Mr. Smeaton at the Glasgow Airport Holiday Inn.
July 02, 2007
Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, doesn't come up in the news very often. And why would it? There's no war or ethnic strife. The city is poor, but not outlandishly so--in fact, thanks to a stable government and a lucrative mining industry, Botswana is one of Africa's rare economic success stories.
The Global Warming Hoax
June 25, 2007
by Cass Sunstein What follows is a short op-ed I recently received from a climate change skeptic at a well-known conservative institution. Because it captures some widespread views, I thought that I would reprint it here. (Or might it be a parody, produced right here at Open University? To see what it might be parodying, see the over-the-top op-ed by Vaclav Klaus--President of the Czech Republic!--in the Financial Times.
The New Star Wars
June 22, 2007
Turns out The Onion's absurd top story this week ("Bush Calls for Development of National Air Conditioner") might not be very far from the truth.