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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Thursday DAYBOOK: Jobless Benefits, and Al Gore, in Peril? More in Afternoon Updates

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 all day. Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Jamie McIntyre, formerly of  CNN, now a prof, hits Lara Logan for her attack on Michael Hastings -- though faults the latter, too....  Amy Davidson at The New Yorker also criticizes Logan strongly (and you can watch the video in question there)  ...  Rolling Stone's Hastings on Democracy Now! today.

NYT's defense of not routinely calling waterboarding "torture", here, in chat with Mike Calderone of Yahoo!   But their argument that they were just adopting a "middle ground" and aware of political conditrions is slammed by many,  including here. Also here.

Bits & Pieces:  New site from Free Press called Corruption Road, on "How Corporate Money and Astro Turf Pollute Media Policy" .... Eric Schlosser urges Senate to pass food safety bill (VIDEO)....  The Guardian Without its immunity, can the Vatican survive? ... Those "FEMA trailers" banned post-Katrina because of formaldehyde now being used for Gulf cleanup workers.  Just "new car smell"? 

Andrew Sullivan vs. Breitbart on offering to pay $100,000 for  JournoList archives,  Breitbart and others hit back, and then Sullivan returns serve, all here.  Don't worry, Palin is involved here somewhere.

If you don't know, Willie Geist -- late of Morning Joe, now on Today -- was the kid in his dad's Little League Confidential memoir.   I later wrote my own book  Joy in Mudville starring my kid.

Paging Samuel L. Jackson:   Falling maggots from overhead bin force a US Airways flight to return to gate.

Fun Contest::  We hope you like the new logo for Media Fix at top of page.  Now, be the first to identify the seven sources of the letters that make up the new MediaFix  (the @ is generic) and win a cool prize!   They all come from major sites or media companies.  Enter in Comments below or mail me at:  epic1934@aol.com

-- MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC

Nick Kristof  from the West Bank:  "The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is widely acknowledged to be unsustainable and costly to the country’s image. But one more blunt truth must be acknowledged: the occupation is morally repugnant."  For example there's the question of who gets electricity and who doesn't (guess who).

THIS IS TORTURE  Study finds that media called waterboarding "torture" for decades—until our side started doing it, as Glenn Greenwald notes.    Will Bunch, calling the media on "appalling cowardice,"  has much more here.  

WITHOUT BYRD IN HAND   Senate Dems now one vote short on help for jobless, Harry Reid admits....  Olbermann last night on GOP and average folks: from "voodoo economics" to "screw you economics." ...  Sen. Sharrod Brown -- no recess until jobless benefits passed!  McClatchy with more here.

GETTING HITCH  Longtime Nation columnist Christopher Hitchens canceled book tour amid mystery, then announced yesterday is being treated for cancer of the esophagus.  Best wishes on that.

"HOT" SPY CASE   Media frenzy continues over the alleged Russian espionage agents, but mainly all anyone cares about is the sultry one, as Wash Post piece proves.

KOS AND EFFECT:  Latest fallout on DailyKos vs. its pollster Reearrch 2000 and suggestion that allegedly bogus survey offered false narrative on Arkansas Senate primary, raising false hopes for Bill Halter, producing shockwaves for Democrats when, maybe, Blanche LIncoln had race in bag all along.   Pollster is fighting back hard.

FEINGOLD AND FIN REG  Sen. Feingold on why he is not backing current form of FinReg bill,  which won't see vote in Senate until next week ..... Ezra Klein with wrapups on House passing FinReg. ... NYT shocker: TARP on the way out?  

GORE-SEX?   AP:  Porltand, Ore. police to re-open Al Gore "sex assault" case after another National Enquirer edition.  Gore spokesperson responds.    Dan Abrams on TV today: charges not likely.

BITS & PIECES     Coming Sunday, NYT Mag cover story on the great Mariano Rivera, posted now.... .  Roger Ebert continues his crusade against video games.

OBAMA: GIRL?   Kathleen Parker—newly named CNN co-host—writes today that Obama is the First Female President, and that''s why he is failing. "Obama may prove to be our first male president who pays a political price for acting too much like a woman." Although she notes he is "endowed." 

AFGHAN REALTY   Yesterday's list of U.S. dead in Afghan -- Joseph Caskey, Daane DeBoer, Edwardo  Loredo, Jared Plunk, Robert Repkie, William Richards, Blair Thompson.   And five more today.... My new piece here: "Who'll Be the Last Soldier to 'Die for a Mistake' in Afghan?" And, yes, we know who it was in Vietnam.

PAGING BRUCE WILLIS   We've had fun running a couple of those wacky campaign ads by Alabama's Rick Barber lately (you, he keeps seeing dead people--former U.S. presidents).  Now Chris Matthews has talked to him about this neurosis. Stop making Sixth Sense?  

PULLING A BOEHNER    Gail Collins mocks Scott Brown and John Boehner, and quotes Joe Scarborugh on the latter:  “Every Republican I talk to says John Boehner, by 5 or 6 o’clock at night, you can see him at bars. He is not a hard worker."   ...  And at a NYT blog,  David Brooks discusses  with Gail the Weigel and Hastings episodes and his own "balanced" approach to reporting and punditry -- "fuddy duddy" and  "Old Media and proud of it."  It may make you scream.

FOR EMILY,  WHEREVER WE MAY FIND HER   Slate: Sordid sex on Emily DIckinson's couch—while she was upstairs and knew all about it! Yes, it's true.


-- TODAY's LAFF

 The 100 greatest movie insults ever.   You lookin' at me?

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC

As timely now as in the late 1960s-- when it was banned from TV, for awhile -- here's Pete Seeger singing "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," though now it might have to be change to "Big Sandy" or "Big Rocky." 

 

Who'll Be The Last Soldier 'To Die for a Mistake' in Afghanistan?

In the midst of weeks of debate  over the economy, jobs, and the deficit, media and public attention have once again drifted from Afghanistan, even as the killing, and the stalemate, go on.   I follow that war more closely than most, and even I cannot recall the president's latest promise or when exactly he is supposed to announce the next step.   Polls show the public is so obsessed with the economy that few call for getting out of our wars as a top priority, even though our military spending is a prime cause for our budget problems.

Yet when the top media commentators or veteran war reporters do discuss the Afghanistan war -- e.g. Dexter Filkins, formerly of The New York Times and now at The New Yorker, on Bill Maher's HBO show last Friday --  they almost always describe it as a lost cause for the U.S., or at least beyond our control.  So I would like to update John Kerry's famous question in 1971: "How do you ask someone to be the last American soldier to die for a mistake?"

This has caused me to wonder: Well, who was the last soldier to die for the Vietnam mistake? And what can we learn from that example in our previous "longest war"?

To my surprise, with a little research, I discovered that there is a consensus on who that individual was. We'll get to his name in a moment, but what's most relevant is that he died almost exactly -- get ready -- five years after that "mistake" was widely acknowledged. How many will die from now until the last American perishes in Afghanistan? Gallup and other polls show that a clear majority of Americans, for about five years now,  have  labeled the current mission in Afghanistan, in its ninth year, a "mistake." 

We are at a haunting juncture in the Afghan war. Forgive me for another "back in the day" reference -- especially since Obama has claimed that "Afghanistan is not Vietnam" -- but I recall very well that the public only turned strongly against the Vietnam conflict with the mass realization that young American lives were not only being lost but truly wasted.

Now, who was that last American to die in Vietnam?

According to Arlington National Cemetery, and numerous other sources, he was Army Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, a 43-year-old father of five. He was killed Jan. 27, 1973, near An Loc -- just 11 hours before the U.S. signed the Paris Peace Accords -- when an artillery shell exploded nearby.

This is how Time magazine reported it the following week:   "The last hours of the Viet Nam War took a cruel human toll. Communist and South Vietnamese casualties ran into the thousands. Four U.S. airmen joined the missing-in-action list when their two aircraft were downed on the last day. Another four Americans were known to have been killed--including Lt. Lieut. Colonel William B. Nolde, 43, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., who was cut down in an artillery barrage at An Loc only eleven hours before the ceasefire. He was the 45,941st American to have died by enemy action in Viet Nam since 1961."

His Wikipedia entry opens:  "Born in Menominee, Michigan, Nolde was a professor of military science at Central Michigan University before joining the army. As an officer, he served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, acting as an adviser to the South Vietnamese forces in the latter. . . .While other Americans lost their lives after the truce was enacted, these were not recorded as combat casualties. During his time in the armed forces, he had accumulated four medals, including the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit."

His full military funeral was so momentous -- it included the same riderless horse that accompanied President Kennedy's coffin -- it was covered on the front page of The New York Times on Feb. 6, 1973. That story began: "The Army buried one of its own today, Bill Nolde. And with him, it laid to rest--symbolically, at least--its years of torment in Vietnam."

How many more years of torment and wasted lives remain in Afghanistan?

Greg Mitchell's latest book, his 12th,  is Atomic Cover-up.

Wednesday DAYBOOK: Kathleen Parker on Obama as First Girl President—and More Afternoon Updates!

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 all day. Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Kathleen Parker—newly named CNN co-host—writes today that Obama is the First Female President, and that''s why he is failing. "Obama may prove to be our first male president who pays a political price for acting too much like a woman." Although she notes he is "endowed."  

Glenn Greenwald: Study finds that media called waterboarding "torture" for decades—until our side started doing it.  And more on media "servitude"... Meanwhile, Joe Klein interrupts his vacation to attack Greenwald,  for hitting his pal, Jeffrey Goldberg, and ends up suggesting Glenn is  "a twisted, deluded soul." Of course, Klein has long been ripped by Glenn in his own right—and expect more of same later today.

Sen. Feingold on why he is not backing current form of FinReg bill.

Slate: Sordid sex on Emily DIckinson's couch—while she was upstairs and knew all about it! Yes, it's true.

My new piece here: "Who'll Be the Last Soldier to 'Die for a Mistake' in Afghan?" And, yes, we know who it was in Vietnam.

Hurricane Alex may actually help the gulf oil situation, and probably won't hurt it in any case.

-- WEDNESDAY ON THE LINKS 

Full wrapup on the Kagan hearings at Talking Points Memo, with conclusion: "She sailed through," even though Sen. Jeff "Not In" Sessions basically called her a liar over and over. Fun revelation about Jews like her tending to spend Christmas Day in Chinese restaurants... She'll  join Roberts Court already super-activist, despite GOP denials.

Tweet of the Day from Stephen Colbert: "Why does looking at animals covered in oil make me sad, but looking at animals covered in oil and deep-fried make me hungry?" He also has more serious take on BP making light of disaster.

Rolling Stone brought  war home—Afghanistan tops survey of news coverage 1st time in 7 months... Petraeus in hearings Tuesday claimed he backed Obama's plan/hope to withdraw troops next July but flexible on that. Also, might loosen rules of engagement—so Afghan civilians, beware.

Birther control: New CBS poll finds one in four Americans believe Obama born outside the USA, but NYT's Ross Douthat says, Aw, they don't really mean that, nothing to see here. Also he takes heart from the fact that many of these people simply don't know that Hawaii is one of our fifty states.

STIMULATION NATION  Dave Leonhardt: This is no time to stop stimilus spending, private sector not ready to pick up load.

BREITBART OR BLACK BART?  Andrew Breitbart puts a $100,000 bounty on archives for Ezra Klein’s (now closed) liberal list-serv, the one that got Dave Weigel in trouble (and Dave then wrote a mea culpa for Breitbart's site). But even if someone wanted to help him, might be a little difficult to get at.

WARNING TO MSNBC FANS  Network has just hired Mark Halperin as senior poltiical analyst, meaning he'll be on all the campaign panels with Keith, Rachel, Chris, Pat...

DEMS HAVE NO ENERGY?  They compromise and compromise on climate bill  and still getting nada from the GOP.   Also still struggling on Fin Reg.

KING ABDICATES  Larry King announces retirement (but will he stick to withdrawal timetable?)  The last time I was on his show it was, to say the least, memorable: seated next to man who dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki, one of the crimes of the century.

JON ON BUSH-WHACKING  Stewart tackles Fox News and others complaining about Democrats blaming everything on Bush—by showing how same folks blame everything on Clinton, even today. Also Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon figures in it.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Blame
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

KOS AND EFFECT  Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos going after his longtime pollster Research 2000 for allegedly producing fraudulent results. When FiveThirtyEight put in its two cents, the pollster sent a cease and desist letter, which Nate Silver says he will ignore.

PALIN's DUTCH TREAT  Eureka! Sarah Palin gets a Reagan fact very wrong, at a college no less. Meanwhile, a candidate in Nevada she helped inspire, Sharron Angle finally sits down with prominent media guy in Nevade to defend her wackiness and walk back of her views, such need for insurrections against Obama.

FOOLS RUSSIAN  Those arrested suburban "spies" seem more out of The Russians Are Coming than a great cold war thriller. What secrets were sending home from, say, Montclair?  Perhaps the location of David Carr's backyard grill there.

PENTAGON TURNS JAPANESE?  Marc Ambinder:  "What used to be known in warfighting as 'psychological operations'—or 'psyops'—will formally be known to the Pentagon as 'Military Information Support Operations'—or MISO—pronounced,  Miso, as in the soup."

DC CONFIDENTIAL  Jay Rosen: "Did you know the Washington Post's rules on confidential sources are themselves confidential? Ombud can't link to them."

-- TODAY's LAFF

It's only June and we've already featured half a dozen wacky ad spots/videos for GOP candidates, and no surprise, most come from Alabama or Arizona. Here's the latest from gun-toting a Mama Grizzly from Arizona. Aw, shoot.

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC

More true today than ever: This ain't no party, this ain't no disco.

 

Tuesday DAYBOOK: Afternoon Updates With Henry Rollins on Petraeus and War, Much More

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 all day. Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Petraeus hearings start. Key: What is he saying about withdrawal and deadlines? In testimony he suggests he may relax the rules of engagement that McChrystal tightened to cut civilian deaths. Glenn Greenwald tweets: "It seems every day Petraeus finds a new way to water down the July, 2011withdrawal date even further." More that here. Indeed, under  questioning, Petraeus says neither he nor any officer he knows argued for deadline.

Noted strategic expert Henry Rollins discusses McChrystal exit, Rolling Stone story, closes with sage advice: Time to get out of Afghanistan...  If you've missed, today might be apt time to look at my Nation piece on Petraeus's link to high-level suicide in Iraq.

Birther control: New CBS poll finds one in four Americans believe Obama born outside the USA, but NYT's Ross Douthat say, Aw, they don't really mean that, nothing to see here. Also he takes heart from the fact that many of these people simply don't know that Hawaii is one of our fifty states.

Glenn Greenwald, a prominent skeptic re: Elena Kagan, tweets after this morning:  "On the whole day, session made me mildly more positive about Kagan, though she really hasn't been pressed on anything."

Andrew Breitbart puts a $100,000 bounty on archives for Ezra Klein’s (now closed) liberal list-serv, the one that got Dave Weigel in trouble.  

 Eric Boehlert blasts Peggy Noonan's latest column and its "shameless" attempt to "rewrite history" about her cheerleading for Iraq war... Dana Goldstein in major piece at Daily Beast says administration, and Hillary Clinton, not doing enough about mass rape in Congo, despite money and effort...  Very oily protest of BP at the Tate in London, sparks debate.

The Onion:  Life Jackets Issued To All Americans For Some Reason

--  NUGGETY GOODNESS FOR TUESDAY

KAGAN & MARSHALL Follow the second day of the Kagan hearings via TPM's constant wire. Reviewing yesterday's attacks on Thurgood Marshall, Dana Milbank comments: "Republicans may still have time to make cases against Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Gandhi."

INEPT SPIES?  Not exactly the Hiss or Rosenberg case, but 11 arrested as Russian helpers (espionage not among charges yet) in cities and suburbs across USA, and one is an El Diario reporter.

WEIGEL RETURNS  Deposed Wash Post blogger Dave Weigel hired by MSNBC as contributor—for starters, on Olbermann last night. Meanwhile, The Nation's Ari Melber finds fault with Weigel's explanation yesterday about what he did wrong leading to losing his Post post.

BATTLE OF HASTINGS  Yesterday it was Glenn Greenwald, today it's Matt Taibbi going after Lara Logan of CBS and her attack, with few facts, on Rolling Stone's  Michael Hastings. "I thought I'd seen everything when I read David Brooks saying out loud in a New York Times column that reporters should sit on damaging comments to save their sources from their own idiocy," Taibbi writes, but turns out, Logan tops that.

COLBERT TRUTH  Stephen Colbert to Rolling Stone's Hastings last night:  "What were YOU doing in Afghan hanging out with the soldiers anyway—and, by the way, what are our troops doing there?" Hastings defended story, of course, and denied being out to "get" McChrystal. Watch:

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rolling Stone Article on McChrystal - Michael Hastings
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

 

DAY IN COURT  NYT editorial blasts Court rulling expanding gun owner rights. Court also says it won't stop lawsuit against Vatican saying it transferred a priest despite repeated sexual abuse accusations.   

BYRD WATCHERS    Former Senate colleagues—from George McGovern to John Ashcroft—share memories of Robert Byrd in joint op-ed.

AFGHAN AWAY?  House Dems move to strip money from Afghans due to corruption... Nancy Pelosi to Huff Post promises there will be big drawdown of troops next July... Rachel Maddow will be hosting show from Kabul next week.


DUNDER HEAD?  Steve Carell says he'll leave "The Office" after one more year. Show might go on with new boss. "I'm done here." "That's what she said."

NO TEA IN THE DESERT  Sinking fast, tea partiers cancel big convention in Vegas—after discovering that, gee, it gets hot there and, what do ya know, there are midterm elections coming up... Meanwhile, GOP tea party fave who is opposing Harry Reid in Nevada is also running—from the cameras, so local TV stations trying new ways to reach her.

BITS & PIECES  FinReg now in deep trouble in Senate, good WSJ overview here... Marketwatch:  Deficit "hawks" need to consider the 3 biggest "inconvenient" myths about the economy... ProPublica  probe: Scandal of nurses in California still working after problems elsewhere... FIFA president apologizes to England, Mexico, for ref errors that led to World Cup eliminations, reopens debate on goalline technology.

NOT SO TWEET  Reuters's Felix Salmon on the big error WSJ made in its Twitter feed yesteday on SCOTUS decision.

-- TODAY's LAFF

Rick Barber, GOP candidate for House in Alabama who we've met before, returns with another campaign video in which he summons a dead president—and likens Obamacare to slavery and the Holocaust. And that's just for openers. 

 

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC

Billy Bragg's "Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie," borrowing from Dylan's "Hattie Carroll."   

 

 

Monday DAYBOOK: Sen. Robert Byrd Dies, Krugman on Likely 'Depression'

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 all day. Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Naomi Klein at Huff Post on the G20 results and Toronto, which seems "like a crime scene to me" after hundreds of arrests. ....Simon Johnson, meanwhile, says Krugman should be new budget director --  to save us from The Age of Auserius.

Glenn Greenwald on "two poles" of journalism, hitting CBS's Lara Logan for ripping Rolling Stone's MIchael Hastings.  Logan actually charged: "Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has."  She also says her policy is to tell interviewers all key subjects she'll raise before talking to them... .

Dave Weigel, axed by Wash Post, with very honest assessment of his career (at Breitbart's site), "hubris" and getting too "cocky" and snarky on that list-serv, and what he hopes to do next. 

TPM with great live blog of Kagan hearings right now.  Only took a few minutes for Sen. Sessions to mention the word "socialism." ....   Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling  puts local, state gun bans at risk....  Court also says it won't stop lawsuit against Vatican saying it transferred a priest despite repeated sexual abuse accusations. 

Rachel Maddow will be hosting show from Kabul next week. ... House Dems move to strip money from Afghans due to corruption.... Nancy Pelosi to Huff Post promises there will be big drawdown of troops next July.

ProPublica  probe:  Scandal of nurses in California still working after problems elsewhere.  e

 

-- TOP O' THE MORNING TO YOU

Senator Robert Byrd has died, lively and detailed obituary here. Classic clip of Byrd railing against Iraq war and Bush.  NBC's Chuck Todd tweets:  "One of my first political TV memories was Robert Byrd playing his fiddle on Hee-Haw."  Colleagues pay respects.  Appointed successor could serve until 2012 -- or, depending when takes office, face tough GOP challenge this November-- rundown on that here.  Current Gov. Manchin seen as successor sooner or later.

With G20 leaders opting for deficit cutting over spending, Paul Krugman fears U.S. entering only its third "depression" in its history, and it's largely due to policy., "the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times."  Bunch of good links on G20, Obama's call for more stim spending, and FInReg here from Ezra Klein.

The great David Carr gets one wrong  in claiming charges against McChrystal  way overblown -- though he's right on one thing,  few in media probably read full story.   Note to Carr: Judgment and temperament, not "insurbordination," were key charges.   Hastings defends reporting on story against belated claims stuff used was off-the-record on Kurtz show.  And the magazine is in midst of major comeback. 

OUT OF AGHANISTAN?  New Newsweek poll shows most Americans do not support war, and number declining.  Plus they support McChrystal exit....  Time of thing we  predicted: Sen. Diane Feinstein, a top Dem on foreign affairs, says if Petraeus wants to extend troop drawdown deadline for gosh sake "give it to him."  Ross Douthat of NYT today agrees we must stay to make sure find "success" ...  The Independent from London:  McChrystal's last briefing for NATO said expect no progress next six months, could take years.

KAGAN's DAY  NYT with tough editorial on Elena Kagan--time for her "enigmatic" status to end, senators need to ask tough questions.  And E.J. DIonne's view on how hearings will highlight new liberal "populism" on economics.

THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS  We've been hitting the clownish, if dangerous, Jeffrey Goldberg that past couple days (everything from Israel to Weigel) so it's good to see Glenn Greenwald arrive with a full skewering today: "he's so representative of the American media because the more discredited his journalism becomes, the more blatant propaganda he spews, the more he thrives in our media culture."  Greg Sargent at Wash Post also slams Goldberg. 

STOUT FELLOWS?  When Obama and David Cameron met in Canada  they made good on their soccer bet (a tie) by exchanging beers.  Here's what they picked.

STILLER CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS  What the Focker? Yahoo signs up current affairs Web show directed by Ben Stiller--and starring his parents.

AFGHAN MEDIA BOSS:   Coming from New Yorker this week:  Ken Auletta on  Afghanistan's biggest media mogul. 

BITS & PIECES  Boston Globe's troubling new evidence in worst fatal fire in Lowell, MA history in 1982 -- wrong culprit fingered?...  Cable host Dylan Ratigan profiled: Former biz journalist now anti-banker ...  4 Norwegian soldiers die in Afghan blast; nation's highest number killed in attack in war... Very good video from Afghan by NBC's Richard Engel.

TODAY's LAFF

Our friends at Funny or Die poke fun at the new iPhone ads, which promise to change everything all over (again).  Also can serve as sexual aid.

 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

The London Times' headline this morning:  "HUMILIATION."   To try to cheer up England's soccer squad -- and to the mark the passing of original Kinks bass player Pete Quaife last week -- here's The Kinks tribute to the queen, when the Brits really ruled, "Victoria."   And yes, I did interview Ray Davies a couple of time for Crawdaddy.

 

Sunday DAYBOOK: Bacevich, Filkins, Rich on Afghanistan -- World Cup Aftermath & More

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 all day. Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

SUNDAY UPDATES

We've been hitting the clownish, if dangerous, Jeffrey Goldberg that past couple days so it's good to see Glenn Greenwald arrive with a full skewering today: "he's so representative of the American media because the more discredited his journalism becomes, the more blatant propaganda he spews, the more he thrives in our media culture."

Important Andrew Bacevich op-ed in Wash Post on the endless Afghan war and how that won't change under Gen. Petraeus. Concludes:  "The responsibility facing the American people is clear. They need to reclaim ownership of their army. They need to give their soldiers respite, by insisting that Washington abandon its de facto policy of perpetual war."

Think Progress: On ABC this morning, CIA chief Leon Panetta admits maybe only 50 to 100 al-Qaeda in Afghan, meaning at least 1,000 U.S. troops per...  As we predicted: Sen. Diane Feinstein, a top Dem on foreign affairs, says if Petraeus wants to extend troop drawdown deadline for gosh sake "give it to him."

The Independent from London:  McChrystal's last briefing for NATO said expect no progress next six months, could take years.

Frank Rich: McChrystal should have been canned earlier and whole affair puts doubts on Obama handling of Afghanistan (not to mention inept mainstream media leaving story to Rolling Stone, which is on a real winning streak).... Important Dexter Filkins follow on his mindblower of a couple weeks back on Karzai trying to strike deal with the Taliban:  this has the latter's biggest foes in the country hopping mad ... Great new NYT multimedia project following one U.S. battalion in Afghanistan....

NY Post front page head: "This Sport is Stupid Anyway."  The Onion tweets:  "Ghana Defeats U.S. Interest in Soccer."  When Obama and David Cameron met yesteday they made good on their soccer bet (a tie) by exchanging beers.  Here's what they picked.   England loses badly to Germany--with USA not there to save them this time.

It used to be said of the Brits, but now, according to Camille Paglia it might now apply to us: "Sorry, no sex, we're American."  ...  

150 arrested as peaceful Toronto summit protest splinters, turns violent...  Gitmo of the same, for years:  Don't bet on it closing any time soon. ...Geraldo Rivera equates Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone scoopster, to al-Qaeda. 

FireDogLake:  Sunday show lineup, including "60 Minutes" and Katrina vandenHeuvel on CNN with Fareed Zakaria.

 --SATURDAY ON THE LINKS

McCHRYSTAL SHATTERED   Atter little made of this before his exit, now McChrystal allies claim Rolling Stone abused "ground rules" for interviewing.   And  Wash Post lets them hide behind anonymity--on what basis?  Total lack of journalism ethics.  Rolling Stone ably defends itself.  Update:  Now ABC pulls same anonymity trick.

WEIGEL OUT OF IT  The very valuable Dave Weigel  out at Wash Post over caustic private emails leaked from a private list-serv.  New  wrap-up here.   Ezra Klein, also now at the Post, who started the "JournoList" list-serv, now announces he will shut it down, and talks about Weigel here.    Which member of the list serv blew whistle on Weigel? At The Atlantic a critique of Wash Post ombud column on all this.  Sam Stein at Huff Post has the back story.

KVETCH-22  Jeffrey Goldberg, on the other hand, celebrated Weigel's passing at his Atlantic blog, saying like most young journos today he lacked "toilet training" and wrote stuff off the top of his head.  A few hours later, Goldberg apologized for writing such a harsh view off the top of his head.  Goldberg reveals himself further as a clown here.  

DEMENTED  Bob Herbert on "nightmare" of Afghanistan:  "The American public gave up on the war long ago, and it is not at all clear that President Obama’s heart is really in it. For us to even consider several more years of fighting and dying in Afghanistan — at a cost of heaven knows how many more billions of American taxpayer dollars — is demented."

WHAT's UP, DOCK?  HE WAS  Edwin Jackson of Diamondbacks pitched no-hitter last night while walking ton of guys--much like the great Dock Ellis when he was on LSD.  If you've never seen the classic video "cartoon" about Dock tripping his way to glory:

  

TURNING OVER STONE   NYT factcheck Oliver Stone today re: new "South of the Border" film.  Rare when they do this for documentary.  No doubt Stone has done more harm to USA than, say, Judy Miller.

FUN READ FOR THE DAY:  A comedian leads his party to victory in Iceland.  "A polar bear display for the zoo. Free towels at public swimming pools. A 'drug-free Parliament by 2020.'  Iceland’s Best Party, founded in December by a comedian, Jon Gnarr, to satirize his country’s political system, ran a campaign that was one big joke. Or was it?"  Stephen Colbert for U.S. President in 2012?

GENERAL PRINCIPLES  See my new piece here on Gen. Petraeus' link to high-profile suicide by top officer in Iraq -- he was even named in suicide note. 

DEM BLUES  Charles M. Blow: Yes, Dems may be in for tough year, but all demographic signs in ne study look great longterm: "the country is becoming more diverse, more educated and less religious — all bad news for Republicans." ....  What's good, what's bad, what's left out of FinReg bill.

NOT RIGHTEOUS, BROTHER:   NYT tomorrow probes new film on Phil Spector, which uses full-length version of his songs,  and the rules of "fair use. "

NEIL DOWN  If you have ever wished to see Fox's Neil Cavuto called an "asshole" on live TV you won't want to miss this, courtest of AFL-CIO chief economist.  Cavuto had accused him of getting his degree from "a baking school."

TODAY's LAFF

Don't miss "Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger," starring David Horowitz, Michele Bachmann and more, then head for the hills, the Commies are coming!

 

TODAY's MUSIC

Read NYT rave for Beethoven's towering "Missa Solemnis" performed by New York Philharmonic (I am attending tonight).  Here's just one highlight, depicting the Holy Spirit -- or as I would prefer to think of it, wholly spirit -- coming down to earth.

 

DAYBOOK for Friday: Dave Weigel Canned by 'Wash Post' and More Media/Politics Debates

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 all day. Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

MIchael Hastings, author of that Rolling Stone piece, claims via Huff Post that most soldiers he's heard from are glad McChrystal canned, he put too many lives at risk, and so on. ... The great Andrew Bacevich on PBS's Need to Know tonight talking about this subject, his new book and our current wayward wars.

Great piece by former Marine and author at Virginia Quarterly on McChrystal and the media  (until now) failures....  See my new piece here on Petraeus' link to high-profile suicide by top officer in Iraq -- he was even named in suicide note. 

The very valuable Dave Weigel out at Wash Post over caustic private emails leaked from a list-serv.  Ezra Klein, also now at the Post, who started the "JournoList" list-serv, now announces he will shut it down, and talks about Weigel here.   Jeff Goldberg, on the other hand, celebrated Weigel's passing at his Atlantic blog.  Ben Smith of Politico pinned blame on Wash Post--which should have known Weigel was more liberal than they thought. Sam Stein at Huff Post has the back story.

More on Weigel:  A Twitter storm among politics writers on left akin to Conan O'Brien uproar (Weigel is all over the map politically).  David Corn:  "The guy did apologize for a few angry semi-private emails. Too bad he wasn't in a sex scandal; then he'd have a CNN or FOX gig."  John Cole:  "Weigel's mistake was saying nasty things via private email. The route to success at WaPo is cheerleading torture on the opinion page."  Glenn Greenwald: "The WashPost fired Dan Froomkin and Dave Weigel, while hiring torture advocate/low-level propagandist Marc Theissen."   So we can expect a David Brooks defense of Weigel's "kvetching"  tomorrow (see item below)? 

American Prospect cover story on why the important "local food revolution" is doomed.

-- T.G.I.   FRIDAY   LINKS

BROOKS MISS  Don't miss: The Economist says war in Afghan "being lost," some bad moves by McChrystal, bleak outlook.... With a week still go, coalition deaths in Afghan hit new monthly high:  80, and counting.... Politico says "House liberals" finally to make push against Obama on the war.... David Brooks defends McChrystal -- general was just "kvetching" but that's all today's journalists care about.  Not like the good old days when they covered up for generals and politicians.... Great piece in London's The Independent on how McChrystal's years in secretive and brutal Black Ops shaped him -- and his downfall.

VICTORY AND DEFEAT  Lawmakers finally agree on financial reform bill, a surprise, at 5:39 this morning, vote next week.  WSJ claims tougher provisions than many thought.  Others consider sellout.... Democrats cave on attempt to extend aid to jobless in face of GOP filibuster, moving on now.

WITH RUSSIAN -- ON IT   Obama takes Russian chief Medvedev for burger in D.C. and the latter remarks, "It's not quite healthy but it's very tasty & you can feel the spirit of America." Obama later jokes that since both me "tweet" the fabled "red phone" no longer needed.

TURNING PALIN Sarah Palin settles ethics complaint, has to return $386,000 from fund.   Meanwhile, new poll explodes frequent media claim that she is popular and a likely  election asset.

FENCING WITH RAND PAUL  Huff Post's Sam Stein updates Rand Paul's proposal for an underground, electric fence at the U.S.-Mexico border.

DEADLY LEAK   GOP governors along the Gulf finally getting hit for performance in oil leak crisis.... My new piece on Gulf boat captain, hired by BP, who put a bullet in his head Wednesday....   CJR picks "best" BP propaganda bits, including "ballet at  sea."

MILITIA WATCH   Courtland Milloy:  double-standard in accepting  rise in white militia groups, while obsesses with foreign and domestic terrorists.

THE MEDIA ON THE MASSAGE   If you're following the Al Gore thing.

EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED  NYT on Oliver Stone's new movie "South of the Border"  opening today: "provocative" and "valauble" if "naively idealistic." Describing section of Hugo Chavez:  "Mr. Chávez comes across as a rough-hewn but good-hearted man of the people whose bullheaded determination is softened by a sense of humor. At a corn-processing factory, he jokes: 'This is where we build the Iranian atomic bomb. A corn bomb.'” 

 

BLOODY AFTERMATH  Peter Pringle, who covered the Bloody Sunday aftermath back in the day, writes here at The Nation that the recent report clearing the victims of any wrongdoing doesn't go far enough -- none of the architects of the deadly 1972 shootings were held to account.

IN IRAQ:  FREEDOM FRIES?  Joe Brinkley in L.A. Times on Iraq reverting to "freedom-less ways."   Opens:   "As American troops withdraw from Iraq this summer, expect the democratic freedoms Iraqis have enjoyed in recent years to recede as well. Already, the Iraqi government is restricting freedom of the press, expression and assembly. It's toying with Web censorship, torturing political prisoners and killing political opponents."

BITS & PIECES  .Why the Dems have hope for holding on to seats in November (thank you, Rust Belt?) ....   Sydney Schanberg on his new book and the language of war--napalm, for example, is "soft ordnance." .... NYT on famed baseball announcer Vin Scully at 60 -- years in the booth, that is.

TODAY's LAFF

Stephen Colbert probes Glenn Beck's alleged special connection to God.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yahweh Or No Way - The Blues Brothers & Glenn Beck
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

 

 TODAY's MUSIC

A true meeting of the giants:  one of the great jazzmen, Sonny Rollins, and perhaps our greatest songwriting poets, Leonard Cohen.   "Who in mortal chains? Who in power? And who shall I say is calling?"

DAYBOOK for Thursday: Afternoon Updates--the Forever War in Afghanistan and More

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

With a week still go, coalition deaths in Afghan hit new monthly high:  80, and counting....Cato writer at Alternet:  5 reasons those who argue we must stay in Afghan are wrong.. . Andrew Sullivan: move to Petraeus makes matters "worse," hawks firmly in control and troop reduction in peril.... Day after Megyn Kelly on Fox said Petraeus "won" war in Iraq, wave of attacks on police there, more unrest:, assasinations continue. 

Jon Stewart:  If U.S. wins World Cup, rest of world has to stop calling the game "football."

My new piece on Gulf boat captain, hired by BP, who put a bullet in his head yesterday....  Rand Paul talks to Dave Weigel and confirms he is a real know-and-say-nothing ...  CJR picks "best" BP propaganda bits, including "ballet at  sea" .... Joe Scarborough takes on Rep. Joe Barton--and Eric Cantor. ..  Doobie Brothers parody hits BP's "Black Water":  It will "fill the Gulf soon but we'll keep refining."

In hearings next week, Elena Kagan to be accused by GOP of being "political operative."  Another good thing for her:  hearings may be overshadowed by Petraeus testimony.

TPM looks behind the "sexual advance" charges against Al Gore, which have gone mainstream after National Enquirer fame.... "Up in the Air" author Walter Kirn tweets: "Al Gore must be wishing he didn't invent the Internet today."

Obama takes Russian chief Medvedev for burger in D.C. and the latter remarks, "It's not quite healthy but it's very tasty & you can feel the spirit of America." Obama later jokes that since both me "tweet" the fabled "red phone" no longer needed.

-- THURSDAY ON THE LINKS

GENERAL CATASTROPHE   Wash Post  suggests Petraeus may not be fully down with current Obama policy -- may fight or slow troop reductions.  Another decade of war on tap? .... Thomas Barnett:  Whatever Petraeus wants, Petraeus gets -- he is the real "Pope" and Obama won't be able to say no to giving him more time or more troops....  MIchael Hirsh in Newsweek:  Counter-insurgency simply isn't working....  

CNN reports that Sec. Robert Gates advocated keeping Gen. McChrystal on -- but Obama overuled him.  Gates later says he agrees w/ Obama now, in any case....Mike Allen with insider account of exactly how Biden, Obama and others first responded to Rolling Stone article....

My 2008 article on Petreaus' close link to infamous 2005 suicide in Iraq by top officer and ethicist, Col. Ted Westhusing. 

GIVE THEM  A MANUTE   Nick Kristof:  the late Manute Bol was great humanitarian.  Remember him by helping to build schools in the Sudan.

AFGHAN AFTERMATH  NBC's Richard Engel reports that thanks to Rolling Stone piece, there's now a media "blackout" in Afghanistan.... NYT   editorial suggests maybe Eikenberry and Holbrooke should go as part of Afghan team, too.  The former is most skeptical about the current surge and the latter is toughest on Karzai.  So: does that mean TImes accepts inevitable further escalation in a few months? ... Video of Restrepo filmmakers on Maddow show....  Tom Engelhardt:  Is US going the way of the Soviet Union in pouring too much money into military?

FIRE, AWAY Tim Egan of NYT on making this month's firing squad execution in Utah the last --but what about all executions?  Or maybe we need to televise them.

CLIENT NUMBER 9 AT 8  CNN announces new 8 p.m. show with Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker -- snarky take by Times' James Poniewozik here.   Keith Olbermann responds to Greta Van Susteran's claim new show will really hurt him.   BTW, 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.


RUB OUT  AP (then NYT) pick up on National Enquirer story about woman masseuse charging that Al Gore made unwanted sexual advances on her in 2006 (no legal case followed).

McCHRYSTAL CRACKS   Gail Collins unearths McChrystal's tweets.  "Restaurant — ultra-Gucci. No Bud Light Lime. Damn. Wish I was on foot patrol in Kandahar. :( "    

DON'T SNICKER  Certainly the headline of the week.

BITS & PIECES  In turning point, Dem money going to Chuck Crist in Florida....  Longtime Middle East and Iraq war reporter Megan Stack with new book ....  Jack Abramoff: From prison to job in a pizzeria (kosher, of course) .... For another good chuckle: Glenn Beck upset with Weekly Standard cover story on him, considers calling for boycott of it! ...  I love this NYT pan of heralded new book on video games (of course, I agree with it).... Yes, President Medvedev of Russia just joined Twitter as a verified guy: @KremlinRussia_E

TODAY'S LAFF

Joln Stewart told that now that USA is good at soccer our decline is complete and we have truly become a Third World nation.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
World Cup 2010: Into Africa - US Beats Algeria
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

 TODAY's MUSIC

Remember when Steve Earle's "John Walker's Blues" caused such a stir?  

 

'Despondent' Boat Captain, Hired by BP for Gulf Cleanup, Commits Suicide

"I hate to say it, but I'm surprised something like this hasn't already happened." This, tragically, was the death by suicide of a charter boat captain hired by BP to take part in oil leak cleanup or protection efforts in the gulf.

The quote comes from Jason Bell, who worked for William Allen "Rookie" Kruse, 55,  for three years as a deckhand and pilot. Kruse put a bullet through his head this morning at a marina in Fort Morgan, Alabama. His boat was about to launch today and he was reportedly upset with the oil leak, the cleanup efforts and loss of income, and wondering how he would be paid for taking part in the Vessel of Opportunity program.

The local coroner ruled that the gunshot was self-inflicted. Kruse was found right on the captain's bridge.  He had no known health problems, and leaves behind a wife and four children.

"He had just let his deckhands off the boat and sent them to get something," Baldwin County Deputy Coroner Rod Steade  told the local newspaper, the Press-Register. "He was going to meet them at the fuel dock. They heard a pop and when the boat didn't come around, they went back and found him."

The newspaper related that Baldwin County Coroner Stan Vinson "said witnesses told investigators that Kruse had been upset about the loss of business caused by the closing of fishing grounds and public perceptions of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."

Perhaps ominiously, Bell said,  "He wasn't any more aggravated with the whole situation than any of the rest of us. "

Mayor Tony Kennon of nearby Orchard Beach told the newspaper  he's concerned about residents'  mental health:  "I've got people coming into my office every day breaking down."

Coroner Vinson added, "All the waters are closed. There's no charter business anymore. You go out on some of the beaches now, with the oil, you can't even get in the water. It's really crippled the tourism and fishing industry here."  

National experts warn of coming surge in mental health problems related to the oil leak.  The Washington Post has a lengthy article on "the mental stain."

Kruse had told the Montgomery Advertiser last month, "The phone has stopped ringing."  Yet Admiral Thad Allen, the Coast Guard chief,  said, according to The New York Times, that Kruse's death was not "directly related" to the oil disaster.

Ironically,  other local fishermen, who admired Kruse, had  turned to him for advice on working for BP in the cleanup program. . The Washington Post  talked to Capt. Chris Garner, who recalled Kruse telling him, "Don't try to rationalize it. . . . Just sign your name and get on your boat, and don't try to tell anybody how to run the program, and don't try to tell 'em what the local knowledge is."   Garner told him, "Rookie, that sounds an awful lot like prison."   Kruse replied, 'That's a pretty good analysis, Chris. It's just like prison.'"  Less than a week later, he was dead. 

The website for Kruse's boat operation, with photos and video, is here.  

Follow me on Twitter @GregMitch.    See my daily collection of media and politics items and videos here.

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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