A great overview of Rudy Giuliani’s shameless cronyism in today’s Washington Post:
Giuliani “had a blind spot when it came to people he knew well” and “very little respect for the vetting process,” [Jerome] Hauer said. “The competent people in the administration all tended to leave because they got tired of the borderline-incompetent people who got in. He ran off the professionals because they were difficult to work with. If they didn’t do things the way he wanted or overshadowed him, he got furious.”
While expressing hopes that the situation would not lead to military action against Iran, [Richard Perle] warned that this might be needed if other tactics failed to prevent the country developing nuclear arms.
And Mr Perle, a former assistant Secretary of Defence to President Reagan, predicted that such a move would have an unexpected level of both international and domestic support.
John McCain may have gotten the endorsement of 9/11 Commission co-chairman Thomas Kean Monday, and he may be heading to Iraq to spend Thanksgiving with the troops, but Rudy Giuliani has planned a little November surprise of his own: He and his wife will host a breakfast on Thanksgiving for families of emergency workers who died on 9/11.
Something tells me these folks, sure to be thrown into the wingnut meatgrinder if Rudy gets the nomination, won’t be attending.
I’ve just learned that David Letterman and his producers yesterday morning announced to his Late Show staff that they will be paid through the end of the year even though the show isn’t on the air during the writers strike. “Dave’s not doing this to get good press, which is why it hasn’t been reported for almost two days,” a source tells me. “This is really significant because, as opposed to all of the other shows, this money comes out of Dave’s own pocket.” When Late Show stopped making new episodes last week, CBS ceased paying Letterman’s production company on November 5th.
In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.
At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”
By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”
The proposed sanctions would hurt the team’s playing members financially. “I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions,” Debbie Rosenberg, a team member, said. “So being barred would directly affect much of my ability to earn a living.”
It calls for a one-year suspension from federation events, including the World Bridge Olympiad next year in Beijing; a one-year probation after that suspension; 200 hours of community service “that furthers the interests of organized bridge”; and an apology drafted by the federation’s lawyer.
It would also require them to write a statement telling “who broached the idea of displaying the sign, when the idea was adopted, etc.”
Alan Falk, a lawyer for the federation, wrote the four team members on Nov. 6, “I am instructed to press for greater sanction against anyone who rejects this compromise offer.”
Greenberg said she decided to put up the sign in response to questions from players from other countries about U.S. interrogation techniques, the war in Iraq and other foreign policy issues.
“There was a lot of anti-Bush feeling, questioning of our Iraq policy and about torture,” Greenberg said. “I can’t tell you it was an overwhelming amount, but there were several specific comments, and there wasn’t the same warmth you usually feel at these events.”
Rosenberg said the team members intended the sign as a personal statement that demonstrated American values and noted that it was held up at the same time some team members were singing along to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and waving small American flags.
I always thought that people who play Bridge, a needlessly complicated card game, were harmless enough, though they certainly could be making better use of their time. But I had no idea that that the world of competitive Bridge was a hotbed of anti-American feeling.
MORE: A wingnut weighs in with the twisted logic that you should never protest in a place where protests aren’t allowed. Or at least you shouldn’t protest about anything expect how you’re upset that you can’t protest there. Or something like that. And, surprise surprise, just like TBogg predicted, Malkin is on the case, though she really should have pinched my post title.
Chalabi’s caravan hurtles through the streets of Baghdad at speeds of up to 100 mph. It is an awesome show of force. There are perhaps 20 vehicles in the convoy, many of them armored trucks bristling with armed guards. The trucks block traffic at intersections so Chalabi’s white Suburban can barrel through; then the trucks race past the convoy to block the next intersection.
SANDRA’S HAVING HER BRAIN OUT: I wasn’t aware that the Soft Boys’ fun-as-shit debut album A Can of Bees, featuring Robyn Hitchcock, has been out-of-print for a few years, but Egg City Radio is graciously giving it away (scroll down). (Hint: delete the track “(I Want To Be An) Anglepoise Lamp” that isn’t marked “Live” and doesn’t have a track # ... it’s actually a repeat of “Ugly Nora.”)
I’m no big fan of Hillary Clinton, but the results of this Forbes poll are pretty ridiculous:
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., remains the presidential candidate percieved as coldest among both Democrats and Republicans—and by a wide margin, according to the October edition of the Forbes ‘08 Tracker poll. But since July, she has managed to trim three points from her frostiness quotient.
Some 25% of voting-age Americans polled in the latest survey named “coldness” as an attribute of Clinton’s, ranking her five times frostier than her principal Democratic opponent, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who just 5% of those polled considered cold. He is followed closely by Republican Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, who 6% labeled as cold.
Neither Forbes.com nor ePoll, the California market research company conducting the polling, defines any of the 46 attributes on which it polls its sample population. These are the same traits it has used to select high-level spokespeople for its own advertising campaigns for more than a decade.
In some cases, candidates who have put substantial effort into polishing their image have gotten results. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is considered “cold” by 7% of those polled, while Fred Thompson, who spent five years as the gruff but homespun Manhattan district attorney on Law & Order is rated as cold by 8%.
Clinton is nearly 4x “colder” than Giuliani? Are we talking about the same rude, arrogant and egomaniacal mayor I lived with for eight years? The same married scumbag who fazed out one mistress to pony up, very publicly, with another one? The same heartless bastard who let his wife know he wanted a separation during a press conference? The same loathsome douchebag who alienated nearly every black citizen of New York City during his tenure? The same fuckhead who has been shamelessly dry humping the memories of 9/11 and layering on THE FEAR for personal gain? That dude is nearly 4x less cold than Hillary?
Wait until America finds out what we New Yorkers know. I can’t wait.
Quote from George “Executive Privilege” Bush today during his press conference:
Now, in terms of whether or not it’s possible to reprogram the kind of basic Russian DNA, which is a centralized authority, that’s hard to do. We’ve worked hard to make it appear in their interests—we made it clear to them that it is in their interests to have good relations with the West. And the best way to have good long-term relations with the West is to recognize that checks and balances in government are important, or recognize there are certain freedoms that are inviolate.
GORED: TBogg, who has been on fire lately, perfectly skewers the nutters’ obsession with demonizing Al Gore in two simple paragraphs.
DOWD AND OUT: Stephen Colbert does a guest editorial in Maureen Dowd’s spot while she follows John Edwards around looking for cum jokes to tumble out of his pockets.
PELOSI’S STUPIDITY: Yes, I’m a lefty but, first and foremost, I’m a realist. For that reason, I agree with Condi Rice and John Boehner (yes, you read that right) regarding the Congressional resolution that’s pissing off Turkey. If Turkey invades northern Iraq, the Democrats are going to pay dearly for this, regardless of how much the DOD would be way more responsible for looking the other way when it came to the PKK. What a fucking mess. More here (2nd link via Eschaton).
A former Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal.
Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week.
Details about the alleged NSA program have been redacted from the documents, but Nacchio’s lawyer said last year that the NSA had approached the company about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans’ phone records.
In the court filings disclosed this week, Nacchio suggests that Qwest’s refusal to take part in that program led the government to cancel a separate, lucrative contract with the NSA in retribution. He is using the allegation to try to show why his stock sale should not have been considered improper.
Nacchio’s account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts.
So I guess now we have to change the wingnuts’ all-purpose dismissive phrase to “(he or she) has a pre-2/27 mindset”? Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?
Neocons can’t help but slink around Washington, D.C. The Iraq War has given the neoconservatives—who favor the assertive use of American power abroad to spread American values—something of a bad name, and several of the Republican candidates seem less than eager to hire them as advisers. But Rudy Giuliani apparently never got that memo.
The former top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq slammed the handling of the war and gave a bleak assessment of the current situation in Iraq.
“There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a convention of military journalists on Friday.
“From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power,” Sanchez said.
Continuing changes to military strategy alone will not achieve victory, rather it will only “stave off defeat,” he said.
“The administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially the State Department, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure and the American people must hold them accountable.”
“I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion,” he said.
Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark.
And look for the nutters to do everything possible to destroy Sanchez’s reputation as a balm for the sting on their swollen behinds. You know, the area that serves as holsters for their heads.