Friday, August 26, 2005

Short Attention Span Theater
Here's some worthwhile reading for the start of your weekend, and it won't weigh you down as you head out the door to have some fun.

Steve Clemons has been filling in for Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, and he's been following the arrival of John Bolton at the United Nations, who's sticking to the script: screw the whole UN, and screw your own State Department if you have to in the process. (Something between the lines of the linked post makes me think that there might be something to Bob Woodward's supposition from earlier this month that Dick Cheney might be considering a bid to succeed Bush. The neocons aren't going to risk the next guy going off the script, and who'll hold the next guy's feet to the fire?

Interesting stat at Salon's War Room today: a new AP poll shows opposition to the Iraq war at levels comparable the level of opposition to Vietnam in August 1968. In 1968, you may remember, mass protests occurred in the streets. In 1969, they became bitter and more violent in 1969. In 1970, the authorities started killing protesters, and the protesters did some killing of their own. Buckle up.

Cecil Adams of the Chicago Reader writes in his latest column about Operation Able Archer, a set of American war games that nearly provoked the Soviets to go nuclear. It happened in November 1983--the same anxious season of the Korean airliner shootdown, the attack on Grenada, the barracks bombing in Lebanon--and only two weeks before the apocalyptic TV movie The Day After.

I have written before (but I lack the attention span to find the link) that one of the problems in Washington is that the press corps really wants to buddy up with the people they're covering. Well, last night about 50 of them attended a totally off-the-record shindig at the mansion in Crawford. Thank goodness a few of them seemed uncomfortable with it. On this, at least, they're not whores.

I was pleased to see that Bush served Shiner Bock, a very good Texas beer. I'd have pegged him as the kind of guy who'd buy whatever was cheap--and then shake them up and shoot them into his mouth.

It's a bit early, but as I used to say on Fridays when I was in corporate life, there's a pint out there somewhere with my name on it and I'm going to go and get it. Cheers. . . .

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