Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2002
Double-cross purposes: As in an Altman film, there are often multiple simultaneous conversations in the Chatterbox Fray. Currently, at least two of those are responses to Tim Noah's most recent pieces. The first is an exercise in political semantics stemming from the uses and abuses of "fifth column" by Andrew Sullivan and Al Gore. Engram here finds Noah's parsing
Curious. Sullivan gets roundly criticized for labeling those who prefer to allow the Taliban to oppress the people of Afghanistan while running terrorist training camps as being part of a fifth column, whereas Gore is let off the hook for implying that our own president is the real enemy.
The second conversation is an exercise in deep Machiavellianism pondering Henry Kissinger's intentions as head of the commission investigating intelligence failures before 9/11. Here, the key issue is whether Kissinger's self-protective/vengeful instincts will overwhelm his Republican partisanship. TrentLottsHairpiece thinks the entire commission is another anti-Democratic campaign here:
The Kissinger Commission will exonerate both Bush administrations and lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Clinton administration. The report will be out shortly before the presidential election to maximize its negative effect on Gore's candidacy.
But Thrasymachus sees it the other way here: "Even if he wasn't Deep Throat, I don't think he's a slave to the Republican Party."
There is an especially good Chatterbox thread beginning with Cato-the-Censor's protestation here that
Noah's speculation that Kissinger would use the investigation of this most horrific event to settle some personal vendetta is beyond creepy. I don't want to believe it. I prefer to think of Dr. Kissinger as a mendacious war criminal. … 1:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 2, 2002
57 varieties of dislike: Mickey Kaus asks: Why is John Kerry "loathsome"? and offers a prize for the best answer. No winners yet (I think), but excellent snipage. The great hair debate—Kaus lacks; Kerry has, but it might be store-bought—begins with historyguy's post here; in another thread, MarcEJohnson has his mock-dudgeon on here:
While we're on the very important subject of misleading facial hair, I think it's high time that speaks up about Mickey Kaus's disingenuous nose hairs. Are we really to believe them? I personally think that they raise serious questions about Kaus's fitness to blog, and feel that our nation's political discourse will not be whole until we have a full public airing of all complaints regarding such dangerous features.
TODAY IN SLATE
Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada
Now, journalists can't even say her name.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.