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Wednesday DAYBOOK: McChrystal Out and Petraeus In | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Wednesday DAYBOOK: McChrystal Out and Petraeus In

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon. Plus: Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Obama announces Gen. McChrystal out (accepts his resignation) and Gen. Petraeus taking over, which may blunt criticism from some. Obama says no different on policy with McChrystal, and not insulted, but general showed poor conduct and eroded "trust." Then promises full effort in Afghanistan.  Rachel Maddow blogs:  "The nameplates change. The behavior may get more politic. The war grinds on." 

Did Petraeus faitn earlier this month during hearing because he saw this coming? 

Don't miss Garry Wills at NY Review of Books: "McChrystal Does Not Matter." That's because the war is a disaster.  A "fool's errand."  Time for us to "get out"... NBC's Richard Engel reports that thanks to Rolling Stone piece, there's now a media "blackout" in Afghanistan... Tom Engelhardt:  Is US going the way of the Soviet Union in pouring too much money into military? 

CNN announces new 8 pm show with Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. I've talked to Parker and she is a very nice person and flexible politically—but  she wrote an awful column in 2008 questioning Obama's Americanism.  

Amazing ABC story on aide to Sen. David Vitter, with headline: "Drove Drunk, Attacked Girlfriend, Still on Job."  Yes, he is the senator's expert on  "women's issues" ...  Jon Voight in letter to Obama, published by (natch) Wash Times, says he has caused "destruction" of this country. And abandoned Jewish people, too.

Two cleanup worker dead in gulf—and cap removed, allowing oil to gush again... Rep. Joe Barton tweets what seems like taking back his apology to BP—then deletes it. 

Glenn Greenwald vs. Jonathan Chait,  on Obama, Part II... For a good chuckle: Glenn Beck upset with Weekly Standard cover story on him, considers calling for boycott of it!

I love this NYT pan/review of heralded new book on video games (of course, I agree with it).

WEDNESDAY ON THE LINKS

GENERAL DISASTER  ABCs George Stephanopoulos reports today on "Good Morning America": "The White House has asked the Pentagon for a list of possible replacements" for Gen. Stanley McChrystal." For full range of opinions on whether he should get fired, see my collection of views here.

Thomas Friedman: McChrystal is not indispensable, so the key is the war: "The ugly truth is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it—or had the courage to pull the plug. That is not a sufficient reason to take the country deeper into war in the most inhospitable terrain in the world."

TILLMAN FILM  New documentary on Pat Tillman death and coverup—including McChrystal's role—coming in August. Trailer below and more clips here—first one there shows Jon Krakauer, who wrote book on case, exposing McChrystal on Meet the Press.

 

CUT FROM ARTICLE?  Jon Stewart imagines the general informing Rolling Stone writer:  "I may be a four star general and you may be a reporter for some hippie magazine, but I feel like I can trust you." Video here.

NO BAN AID  US judge overturns Obama moratorium on offshore driling after families complained. No surprise: Judge owned Transocean stock. Secretary of Interior Salazar plans to order new ban... Joel Achenbach of Wash Post is skeptical of that new worst-case-scenario circulating: that trying to stop oil leak in one spot has already caused other eruptions underground nearby.

THE BATTLE WITH ALGIERS:  US fate for next round of World Cup to be decided this morning in big game.

GENERAL DISARRAY   WSJ editorial:  Aw, c'mon, McChrystal just guilty of a little poor judgment...  Clip of author of Rolling Stone piece on Maddow... Stars & Stripes front page deservedly got a lot of face time on cable news last night:  "A General's Contempt"... Pat Tillman's mother had written Obama to urge him not to promote McChrystal,  accuse of helping coverup details of Pat's death. Maureen Dowd in column today agrees... Troops in Afghanistan, says C.J. Chivers of NYT, unhappy for another reason—have been restricted from using as much "lethal force" as they want. 

ON THE CAN-PAIN TRAIL  Nikki Haley, as expected, wins S. Carolina GOP primary for governor.  Any other shoes to drop?... Tim Scott, black lawmaker, defeats Strom Thurmond's son, Paul, in GOP runoff for House nomination... Kentucky paper lists Rand Paul's "controversial" views... ABC reports RNC chief Michael Steele paying "hush money"...

GOING ROVE  Karl Rove demands NYT and Gail Collins correct claim that President Bush suggested Americans "go shopping" after 9/11. Text of letter. Fact-checking surely to come. The Rude Pundit finds somewhat similar Bush quote. 

GOING TO THE ORWELL ONE MORE TIME  Sydney Schanberg's new book is Beyond the Killing Fields, a look at the language of war.  

SUICIDE WATCH  McClatchy:  military suicides still high—especially among reservists...  Two US troops in  Afghan killed overnight in bomb attack.

TODAY's LAFF

In honor of President Obama's meeting with McChrystal today, we bring you another famous episode when a general challenged a president, featuring the one and only Buck Turgidsen.

 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

And while we're on the subject of the war, let's hear from a master of protesting it.

 

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