Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Would it have been different if Lucianne had been a stay-at-home mom?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

At National Review, Jonah Goldberg says liberals are hypocrites. Oh, one asks wearily, pre-emptively shielding oneself from the spray of cracker crumbs that will accompany the reply, how so? Because

Liberals in the 1990s argued – sometimes with nuance, sometimes starkly – that the bright line for intervention was genocide... I am open to [John Derbyshire's] prediction that genocide may not be in the offing if we leave Iraq. Ultimately, none of us knows. But what I find fascinating is the growing acceptance among liberals – who are often quite strident about the need to intervene in Darfur, for example – that even if our departure results in genocide, that’s not reason enough to stay... For liberals to have supported Kosovo or who now agitate for intervention in Darfur on the grounds that America should put steel in the words “never again” to suddenly say that genocide largely caused by the US is irrelevant is astounding to me. And it won’t be forgotten. The next time liberals want to stop mass slaughter in country X where we have no interests, it will be pointed out to them that they abetted slaughter in Iraq when our vital national interests were involved.

In other words: liberals like to say they care about genocide, but they obviously don't, because they want to leave Iraq, which stands poised at the brink of genocide (or maybe doesn't, he isn't sure) thanks to the efforts of Jonah Goldberg et alia.

Goldberg is a little like a hostage-taker who, when seized after a ten-hour standoff, wants everyone to know that the hostage negotiator's arguments were really intellectually inferior to his own.

And I'm sorry, but whatever you think of the Kosovo intervention, Iraq makes Kosovo look like we gave everyone in Serbia ice cream and then flew them to heaven in a private jet.

I have a better way of preventing genocide in our client states, and stage one involves the removal of Jonah Goldberg and his colleagues from spheres of government influence via the election to government office of non-retards.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Here's the whole thing. Here's a sample:

Thank God Joseph Heller and James Jones and Erich Maria Remarque and countless others aren't trying to write their books today. They'd be burned as heretics by a bunch of nasty boys and girls who have fetishized "the troops" into a strange form of Boy Band eroticism --- the empty, nonthreatening form of masculinity that the tweens use to bridge the scary gap between puberty and adolescence. Private Peter Pan reporting for duty.

The real men for them are the civilians on 24 torturing suspected terrorists for an hour each week, keeping the Lil'est Tough guys safe from harm with hard sadism and easy answers. That's where this wingnut war is really being fought. With popcorn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tim was right: Already the Worst President (and Administration) Ever

This is pretty amazing (I mean that the War Street Journal has now joined the left-wing media conspiracy. Also, I should note for the record that the KKRB website complies with and exceeds the White House directive of mentioning George Bush's name at least three times on every page):

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finds that her star is fading
Joel Brinkley
Sunday, July 22, 2007

I remember the heady days for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

About 2 1/2 years ago, when she was new in office, I accompanied her on her first trip around the world, with stops in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and China. Crowds gathered to see her limousine drive past; people whistled, waved and cheered. Interviewers routinely asked her whether she was planning to run for president. One TV reporter in India told her she was "arguably the most powerful woman in the world." She chuckled but did not exactly agree -- or disagree.

How things change.

A few months ago, she decided to write an opinion piece about Lebanon. She enlisted John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco Systems as a co-author, and they wrote about public/private partnerships and how they might be of use in rebuilding Lebanon after last summer's war. No one would publish it.

Think about that. Every one of the major newspapers approached refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state. Price Floyd, who was the State Department's director of media affairs until recently, recalls that it was sent to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and perhaps other papers before the department finally tried a foreign publication, the Financial Times of London, which also turned it down.

As a last-ditch strategy, the State Department briefly considered translating the article into Arabic and trying a Lebanese paper. But finally they just gave up. "I kept hearing the same thing: 'There's no news in this.' " Floyd said. The piece, he said, was littered with glowing references to President Bush's wise leadership. "It read like a campaign document."

Floyd left the State Department on April 1, after 17 years. He said he was fed up with the relentless partisanship and the unwillingness to consider other points of view. His supervisor, a political appointee, kept "telling me to shut up," he said. Nothing like that had occurred under Presidents Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush. "They just wanted us to be Bush automatons."

Does that sound familiar? Earlier this month, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona told Congress that Bush administration officials had repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because they clashed with administration dogma. He said he was ordered to mention Bush three times on every page of his speeches. Floyd's experience shows that the same close-minded zealotry afflicting many departments of government under Bush has descended on the State Department, too. In effect, as Rice's power and influence has waned along with Bush's, intolerance and monomania have taken its place.

Rice did have her moment. But little came of it. Under her predecessor, Colin Powell, major foreign policy decisions were made at the White House or Defense Department. The neo-conservative heavyweights -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, among others -- set the policies in Iran and Iraq, North Korea and Israel.

Powell left frustrated. But Rice came into office with Bush's inarguable support; she wore their close relationship on her sleeve. And, for awhile, that worked for her. She called mini-summits on Iraq, Israel and other topics. Everyone showed up. In many countries, she met with the president instead of her bureaucratic counterpart, the foreign minister. Wherever she went, she was a star.

But what has she accomplished? Iraq has slid far downhill in the past 2 1/2 years. Iran is no closer to giving up its nuclear weapons than when she took office. Even though the Bush administration has done more than any other country to help the victims in Darfur, the carnage there continues unabated. Last week, the Sudanese government began bombing Darfur civilians again.

Relations with Russia, her area of speciality, have steadily worsened; a week ago, Russia dropped out of a key arms control treaty. Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, has evolved from an irritant to a menace as he moves to nationalize Venezuela's oil industry. Despite many visits to Israel and the Palestinian territories, she has had no appreciable impact on events there.

North Korea has shut down its nuclear reactor. That's an accomplishment. But I give most credit to Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state who continued pushing for a diplomatic solution even as administration hardliners disparaged his work. Hill despised them, and ultimately outlasted them.

From his new position at the American Enterprise Institute, John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador, continues to call for "repudiation of the Feb. 13 deal" that Hill negotiated. But now Bolton is powerless.

Where does that leave Rice?

"I think there is nothing they can do now," Floyd argues. "It's too late. The negatives," primarily Iraq, "are too big. They take all the oxygen out of the room."

Joel Brinkley is a professor of journalism at Stanford University and a former foreign policy correspondent for the New York Times. Contact us at insight@sfchronicle.com.