Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pelosi in Syria

The right-wing uproar about Pelosi visiting Syria sure is strange, especially considering that a Republican delegation has just been visiting Syria as well.

And these types of responses are mind-bogglingly deranged:
She's off to meet with Dictator Assad of Syria.

That pretty much sums up the Dems these days, doesn't it? Go make deals with our enemies and diss our friends. You can't invent these people.

God forbid that our foreign policy should involve visiting people with whom we have differences, and that we should invest any time in talking. These folks of Ledeen's ilk really have no idea how to govern.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pittsburgh

I think the Derb might have hired Andy Rooney as his ghost-writer.

Incidentally, I think I stayed in the same hotel where he is. I was in Pittsburgh for the first time last Fall, and was staying directly across the river from the baseball stadium, where the Mets and Pirates were playing. My view was astounding, such that I could look right into the stadium.

Contra Derb, I loved that their bridges were named after people like Warhol, Carson and Clemente.

Goldberg and Chait

There are a lot of problems with this post and The Editors dissect it with more wit and thoroughness than I can muster at the moment, but I do want to take issue with one thing in particular:
The liberals treat the hard leftist icons — say Saul Alinsky — reverentially and with warm nostalgia. They welcome former radicals into the ranks of respectable liberalism with open arms, very rarely offering a hint of concern that they once cheered the Black Panthers or some such.

The problem is that the entire cornerstone of the neoconservative movement is a contingent of former Trotskyists who have been embraced by the greater conservative movement (though the embrace seems to be weakening quickly). Not only were figures such as Burnham and Kristol radicals in a past life, they became radicals in a new life - espousing a new kind of 'permanent revolution' on the international scale. Now, I'm all for giving people a chance to renounce their past if their past was indeed an unsavoury one, but it's worth pointing out that the original neoconservatives never renounced their radicalism.

And if you want to try to taint an entire movement by pointing out its worst members, as Goldberg is trying to do to liberalism, you could counter by questioning why mainstream conservatives treat Limbaugh, Coulter and Malkin as serious thinkers who deserve to be listened to.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gonzales Lied

It's now clear that Alberto Gonzales lied about his involvement in discussions to remove US attorneys. The guy has got to go. He has no credibility.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Letter from America

Episcopal Statement on Homosexuality

Very cool:
After a five-day meeting in Texas, the US bishops said: "We proclaim a gospel that welcomes diversity of thought and encourages free and open theological debate as a way of seeking God's truth. If that means others reject us and communion with us, as some have already done, we must with great regret and sorrow accept their decision."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

AG

If you have some time and want to help TPM comb through the document dump, head here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

McCain

This is interesting. On the one hand, it seems that McCain has sold his soul to win the nomination (a seemingly fruitless endeavour) and will say anything to please the Republican religious base. On the other hand, he's snubbed two of the most powerful conservative groups in the past weeks. What is the rhyme or reason for when he decides to be a pragmatist and when he decides to stand up for what he thinks is right?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jonah's "Liberal Fascism" Tome

From Roger Ailes:
It's taking longer than expected for Jonah Goldberg's ghostwriter to finish his long awaited worstseller, I Heart Hitler: Without You, Adolf, I'm Nothing. Back in 2003, the Pantload's publisher was promising a 2005 release date. As 2005 passed, Goldberg promised a March 2007 release date, and then a September 11, 2007 (!) release date.

The dupes at Doubleday are now announcing a December 26, 2007 release date which, no doubt, will roll over to a 2008 date by the end of Spring.

Maybe the universally harsh reception to D'Souza's book has given Goldberg cold feet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Goldberg on D'Souza and Liberals

I don't know how Goldberg gets this so wrong. Here's an email I just sent him:
Jonah,

You say:

"As O'Donnell succinctly puts it, "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." A spate of new books touting atheism, well received on the left, gild the same lily.

Anyway, along comes Dinesh's book, which makes a similar comparison, only this time it's the left which is the real Taliban wing in American politics. In response, Alan Wolfe famously insisted in The New York Times that D'Souza be shunned like an Amish tart for his anti-American..."


D'Souza isn't comparing the American left to the Taliban. He's saying that the Taliban (and international jihadis in general) are right to loathe the American left, that American liberals have brought terror upon themselves by a supposedly decadent and corrupt culture we espouse. So...the opposite of what you are saying. Rather than accusing liberals of being like the Taliban, he's saying that the Taliban is justly opposed to liberal America. Thus, Dinesh's book is evidence of what Sullivan and O'Donnell and others mention in your first paragraph, i.e. that Dinesh is finding common cause with the Taliban. In what way do you think that D'Souza's accusation is similar to liberals pointing out that some Christians find common cause with Islamists? If liberals were saying that conservatives brought 9/11 upon themselves and somehow deserved it, then you'd have a point and liberals should be apologizing for something. As it is, D'Souza is simply providing proof of the liberal accusation that some conservatives have a Talib
viewpoint.

Gabriel

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chait on Lieberman

This post from The Plank is a very well-worded and correct response to conservatives who claim that liberals spend more time worrying about Bush than about terrorism. A taste:
But Lieberman is simply making a classic conservative error. Yes, most American liberals devote more energy to opposing domestic conservatism than to opposing foreign totalitarianism, even though the latter is vastly worse. Lieberman's mistake is in assuming that this is because liberals think Bush is worse than bin Laden. In fact, it's because our society aggrees that Islamist extremism is evil, but it doesn't agree that the Bush administration is very bad, so we spend most of our time debating the point of contention. Likewise, American conservatives spent more of their time complaining about American liberals than complaining about Islamist extremists. This doesn't mean they think Nancy Pelosi is worse than bin Laden. (Except, of course for Dinseh D'Souza, who apparently does think this.)

Deal with the Devil

This is a pretty good summary of the Republican crisis.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

50th

Osama bin Laden turned 50 today, assuming he's still alive. I'd recommend sending some spooks round to the Quetta Chuck E. Cheese for a look.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rough Justice

The mass firing of federal prosecutors:
A political tempest over the mass firing of federal prosecutors escalated yesterday with allegations from the departing U.S. attorney in New Mexico, who said that two members of Congress attempted to pressure him to speed up a probe of Democrats just before the November elections.

David C. Iglesias, who left yesterday after more than five years in office, said he received the calls in October and believes that complaints from the lawmakers may have led the Justice Department to fire him late last year.

Talking Points Memo and TMPMuckraker have been all over this.