The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates.

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Feb. 1 2003 11:19 AM

Signifying Everything

First Fray reactions to the Space Shuttle disaster.

(Continued from Page 6)

Was anyone else put off by those pre-filmed spots where the stars cuddled with the trophy and waxed philosophic about what it means to win it … ? REALLY poor taste.

If there ever was a sign of the coming End Of Football As We Know It, it has to be these graceless, shameless bits of bad karma. Hell, NHL players won't even get in the same room as the cup beforehand.

BOTF SOTU=BUST FOOT forward: The Best of the Fray is a place to go for advice—sometimes financial (as in this thread)—sometimes unsolicited, as in locdog'soffer to give the Bush administration some help with the Iraq war part of the SOTU here:

in essence, it's the famous speech bush made to the league of united nations delegates last year, with a reminder of the threat hussein represents to domestic tranquility mixed in for good measure … [reagan speechwriter peggy] noonan wants bush to think globally but act domestically, to forget about that speech and give the one the critics are howling for, but in the long run he'll be worse off for doing so. so will everyone but for a few unimportant diplomats.

locdog thinks bush needs to base the case for iraq on iraq, not america.

The best response—and it's prickly—comes from daveto, "the curve, and where you are on it":

This is precisely what they've spent the last year trying to do. They've failed miserably. if you believe that you're smarter than the Bush team perhaps you should put something together for them, you still have the better part of a day.

As for the case for war (as opposed to the speech for the case), Engram apologizes for running through an old argument here; daveto's response here dispatches with several points quickly:

[R]educing or eliminating state-sponsored terrorism from Iraq depends on what happens after the war, and you haven't addressed that at all. (It could easily be argued that the resumption of the multi-billion dollar drug trade in Afghanistan is fueling terrorism to a degree that rivals or surpasses what was going on there in during the halcyon days of the drug-free Taliban gang.)

In fact, given that there is virtually no state-sponsored terrorism in Iraq right now (otherwise the likelihood is extremely high that we would have been provided proof by now), installing or ensuring a successful, friendly and clean post-war government is paramount to declaring "success" for any Iraqi intervention scenario.

Rub-a-dub-dub, it's SOTUB: But BOTF is also the place to go for State of the Union Bingo! Historyguy is running it this year; I'll kick in a prize: the chance to rewrite any paragraph of the speech and have it run in Fraywatch (subject to the usual caveats).

You've got debt: In his analysis of AOL Time Warner's decision to sell its publishing arm, Daniel Gross makes this comment: "If AOL was really serious about slashing its debt and ridding itself of units that aren't growing, it would keep the books unit and jettison the AOL unit instead." Geoff pounces here:

[Gross actually] makes a wonderful argument for WHY AOL-TimeWarner should jettison it's book publishing. Yes, it's profitable. However, as he points out, it's one of the odd ducks in the conglomerate's line up. It's operations cannot be easily consolidated. …

What's more, it's worth money and AOL isn't. … Let's say you're a buyer. ... Do you want to grab the $9 billion worth of debt-laden flailing distressed assets? No. You want something that will make you some money. Meanwhile, as the conglomerate sheds it's profitable, detachable units, it preps itself for a bankruptcy too... the easiest way to weasel out of $9 billion in debt payments.

Later in the thread, RobertMolineaux quips:

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