Monday, June 13, 2005

Guarino responds to the news that Rep. Walter Jones wants a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq by saying "the national media is focusing once again on transitory setbacks and inflating the significance of certain negative events."

Hmm. This national media story doesn't sound so great, but it's certainly not about a "transitory setback" or of "inflated significance": "Americans working with the Iraqis in the field believe that it could be several years, at least, before the new Iraqi forces will be ready to stand alone against the insurgents."

Another recent article in the national media reports something very similar: "'I know the party line....The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period,' said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., the executive officer of McGovern's company, who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. 'But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then.'"

I don't think Joe is incorrect to say, "Leaving Iraq to be potentially taken over by al Qaeda should not be part of the menu of options available to us." Of course, that wasn't a real danger before we invaded, so shouldn't the folks who planned the invasion and occupation bear the responsibilty for where we are now?

Blaming the media is too easy -- those reporters in Iraq seem to be doing yeoman work. Somebody made some serious mistakes in planning this war. Shouldn't they be the ones held accountable?

5:56:17 PM   permalink   comment []

"Plagiarists, take note: Google will get you."

Alerted by a tip from Chapel Hill blogger (and town councilwoman) Sally Greene, Tom Bartlett of  The Chronicle of Higher Education shows how a Missouri college dean appears to have plagiarized a graduation speech by Cornel West.

At least he didn't tell the kids to wear sunscreen...

5:39:57 PM   permalink   comment []

Why newspaper editors should blog: so they can argue with the newspaper's opinion columnists. I had the same reaction to the Lambertson column that Lex did.

2:24:35 PM   permalink   comment []

Salon's Tim Grieve has a Q&A with Virginia gov Mark Warner, who seems to be running for President (click thru ad to read it.)

Warner: "If the Democratic Party continues to think that the way back to national prominence is to somehow focus on 16 states, and then -- if everything breaks right -- get a 17th state that gets you to 270 electoral votes, well, the party is doomed to be a regional party at best. I mean, it's lunacy."

Lots more. Interesting stuff.

Earlier, Newsweek's Howard Fineman makes the case and lists the caveats for a Warner candidacy.

Warner has ties to the tech industry, but I don't have a sense of how he will use the web in a campaign.

2:20:20 PM   permalink   comment []

Jarvis on the proposed memorial at the World Trade Center site. He's into rantland by the second one, although the sexy movie idea has possibilities.

I'll stick with my comment on his first post: "I would like a peaceful place to remember my lost friends, and pay respect to all who died that day, and to honor the heroism of regular people. Everything else is noise."

7:37:21 AM   permalink   comment []

NYT: "Red State Humor Turns Blue"

The big drinking guy, Ron White, is the funniest. "I didn't know how many of those guys it was going to take to kick my ass...but I knew how many they were going to use."

Larry the Cable Guy is weird enough to be funny sometimes. Engvall, eh. (Lisa and I watched a recent Chris Rock special in which he spent a lot of time talking about being married, and I said he's turned into Engvall with rougher language. Not a compliment.)

Foxworthy has some wit, although the "....redneck" schtick is played out; he is a cousin of Lisa's friend Patty, and at a wedding party for her some years ago in Atlanta, long before he was famous, he did an impromptu routine in the driveway that was one of the funniest things I've ever heard (I remember none of it).

Full disclosure: My father loved Hee-Haw. Yes, this guy, "one of the finest minds I have ever encountered." No accounting for taste.

7:32:59 AM   permalink   comment []

Gadflyer: What the NYT didn't tell you about Social Security reform. "Incredibly, in an article which is entirely devoted to the impact of life expectancy increases on social security's finances, the authors do not, one single time, mention the fact that the Social Security Trustees (and the Congressional Budget Office) factor life expectancy increases into their assessment of the program's long-term well-being."

7:22:36 AM   permalink   comment []