Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

Using language that has a painfully contemporary echo, Kissinger and Nixon very quickly came to private conclusions about Vietnam that they never revealed publicly and denied entertaining. "In Saigon the tendency is to fight the war to victory," Nixon told Kissinger, according to the transcript of a 1969 phone conversation. "But you and I know it won't happen—it is impossible." Even so, according to Haldeman's unpublished diaries, Nixon later urged that Democratic critics making this same point should be labeled "the party of surrender."

President Bush and his advisers have made a lot of ridiculous charges about critics of the war in Iraq: they’re unpatriotic, they want the terrorists to win, they don’t support the troops, to cite just a few. But none of these seem quite as absurd as President Bush’s latest suggestion, that critics of the war whose children are at risk are too “emotional” to see things clearly.

Dead men tell no tales. But if they did, the ones they would tell about Alberto Gonzales would by now be familiar: an expert in giving his boss, George W. Bush, precisely what he wanted. The dead men in this case are the ones who were executed while Bush was governor of Texas and Gonzales was his legal counsel. Sometimes, as often seems true with Gonzales, the details eluded him.

Clearly, those details could have made the difference between life and death -- or, given the realities of the Texas system, death and a remote chance of a reprieve. But since Bush was not likely to temporarily block any execution or even to raise his voice in mild objection to a particularly heinous railroading, Gonzales kept his death penalty memos short and to the point. Almost always, the point was that the execution should proceed.


No reports have yet surfaced that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks the halls of Congress repeating to himself over and over again: “I am less than the dust beneath his feet.” But surely it’s just a matter of time.


I think [presidential campaign fund raising is]an overrated indicator. I lost track of how many big-name political journalists told me in late 2003 that Howard Dean was nearly unstoppable for the nomination because he was the Democrats' leading fundraiser. But his $40 million -- some of which had been frittered away earlier -- didn't do him much good once he got to the Iowa caucuses. All the money in the world doesn't help a candidate who can't close the sale.

I got bleary-eyed in 1996, reading all the glowing pieces about how strong a candidate Phil Gramm was because he was raising truckloads of money. Gramm never made it to New Hampshire. The donors might have been buying, but the voters weren't.

There’s been one interesting development in the continuing-to-unfold story of the Menu Foods pet food recall. Officials of the Chinese exporter that supplied the presumed-to-be contaminated wheat gluten and officials of the Chinese government have spoken up to deny a role in the problem.

A simpler, more promising solution to the poppy harvest would seem to be Christopher Hitchens': legalize it and tax it. And, presumably, let the Afghans sell it to whomever they want. The price of heroin would fall. There would be more addicts. But fewer American British soldiers would have to die in Afghanistan--and we might actually win the war they're dying in.

Is there really any doubt that women writing on the Web are subject to more abuse than men, simply because they're women? Really? I've been following the Kathy Sierra blog storm, thinking I had nothing new to say, but the continued insistence that Sierra, and those who defend her, are somehow overreacting, or charging sexism where none exists, makes it hard for a mouthy woman to stay silent.

I say this as a mouthy woman who has tried for a long time to pretend otherwise: that Web misogyny isn't especially rampant -- but even if it is, it has no effect on me, or any other strong, sane woman doing her job. But I wasn't being honest. My own reactions and those of others to the Sierra mess served to wrestle the truth out of me, and it wasn't what I hoped.

Did you know that making less money than men is a good thing? Oh, you like paying the bills and feeding your kids? Well don't fret, Carrie Lukas is here to set you straight!


One of the greatest bulwarks against men accepting the feminist movement is that they seem to think that women gaining power must necessarily dilute their own exclusive powers and status. But in so holding onto this erroneous notion, they forget that they themselves are powerless in the face of the corporate plutocracy that now weighs down so heavily upon all of us. If they could get their heads around the fact that they too are powerless and insignificant and ignored, they would stop trying to beat up on the kids they perceive to be weaker and instead acknowledge their own weakness, ally themselves with them, and move forward with them in a new movement that would grant greater freedoms for all of us. It shouldn’t be about trying to maintain some illusory advantage over others. It should be about trying to create concrete advantages for all of us.

No comments: