Monday, October 31, 2005

Josh Marshall: The Italian Connection.

Wilson went to Niger to investigate reports that Saddam was buying uranium. The reports were based on forged documents. Who created the forgeries?

3:53:08 PM   permalink   comment []

I am having a problem with NC State football and today I was able to talk about it with a State alum and talking about it made me feel better.

My problem is that I have come to enjoy State losing football games more than I enjoy other people winning football games. I know this is not healthy. I know it is not right.

It wasn't always this way. At first, I enjoyed the Amato era. I liked Philip Rivers.

But then State fans got confused about Amato's mission. He was hired to lead the program to national prominence, but State fans seemed to decide that hiring Amato was in and of itself enough to make the program nationally prominent. They started talking like Amato was going to lead them back to a place they deserved to be, rather than elevating them to new heights.

They forgot to get good before they started breaking bad. And that changed me, for the worse.

Of course I was happy when Carolina beat them, again, this year. But after that it got a little twisted. My glee after the Clemson and Wake games was unseemly.

When I found myself rooting hard for Southern Mississippi to beat a North Carolina school on Saturday, I realized I was in too deep.

Why do I care if State fans burden themselves and their team with high expectations? It's not my problem.

I have problems of my own. And I'm trying to get rid of this one.

3:05:16 PM   permalink   comment []

DarkTimes: Krugman ("Ending the Fraudulence") says Bush has been exposed as incompetent and out of touch. "It sometimes seems as if President Bush and Mr. Cheney are Midases in reverse: everything they touch -- from Iraq reconstruction to hurricane relief, from prescription drug coverage to the pursuit of Osama -- turns to crud...

"Pundits may try to resurrect Mr. Bush's reputation, but his cult of personality is dead...So the Bush administration has lost the myths that sustained its mojo, and with them much of its power to do harm. But the nightmare won't be fully over until two things happen.

"First, politicians will have to admit that they were misled. Second, the news media will have to face up to their role in allowing incompetents to pose as leaders and political apparatchiks to pose as patriots."

Herbert ("Smoke Gets in Our Eyes") continues the attack: "Most members of the administration are more artful than Scooter Libby when they send out the smoke that is designed to hide the truth on important matters...The art of Bush-speak is to achieve the effect of a lie without actually getting caught in a lie...This is an insidious way of governing, and the opposite of what the United States should be about."

9:04:45 AM   permalink   comment []

Why doesn't the media report on all the good news about rebuilding Iraq?

One reason: much of the news about rebuilding Iraq is not very good. 

According to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, the rebuilding effort is almost out of money, with many projects unfinished and no means of funding operations for some that are done. We're spending a quarter of the budget on security, and losing more money to scams.

Here's how the Wall Street Journal puts it: "The ambitious U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq is likely to fall far short of its goals...The report by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., paints a grim picture of the violence, corruption and incompetence plaguing the rebuilding effort. Foreign contractor deaths increased more than 70% in recent months, mainly because of terrorism, while tens of millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money appears to have been lost as a result of poor oversight and outright criminality."

The NYT reports that the US government has a rosier outlook than the independent auditor, but notes that some projects claimed as successes may be less than successful. For example, "The five electrical substations examined by the inspector general's office...were built in southern Iraq at a cost of $28.8 million. 'The completed substations were found to be well planned, well designed and well constructed,' the report says. Unfortunately, the system for distributing power from the completed substations was largely nonexistent.

"'No date for installing the distribution system was given,' the report says."

Damn liberal media, reporting on the independent auditor's findings instead of all the good news that isn't in the independent auditor's findings.

8:36:42 AM   permalink   comment []

Grim days for the newspaper business. Dan Rubin on the forced exodus of talent from the Philadelphia Inquirer: You could put out the best newspaper in America with the people we've helped walk out the door over the 17 years I've been here. I think we once did.

8:04:29 AM   permalink   comment []