: Condi Rice has been doing a very good job in her testimony before the 9/11 commission. Richard Ben Veniste, on the other hand, is an ass, acting like a prosecutor getting his moment in the TV sun. He’s hostile and political. That kind of behavior is both unproductive, it harms the mission of the commission and its reputation and thus the veracity of the report it will issue.

: Bob Kerrey says: “It’s not a war on terrorism. It’s a war on radical Islam. Terrorism is a tactic.”

: Kerrey is acting like Dennis Miller did when he interviewed Eric Alterman. Petulant little boy.

: Kerrey also goes political. Rice said Bush was tired of “swatting flies” and wanted to go after al Qaeda. Kerry asked what flies he swatted and says he didn’t swat any. “How the hell could he be tired?”

Rice gives it back a few minutes later and quotes a Kerry speech saying that the best thing we could do after the attack on the Cole was to go after Saddam Hussein. “It’s an asymmetic approach… It was a brilliant way of thinking about it. It was thinking about it strategically, not tactically.”

:Kerrey says in front of Rice, “We don’t want to use the N-word in here.” Exactly what N-word are you referring to, Senator?

: Update: Jason Calacanis says it was “M-word” as in “mistake.” I made an M-word.

: UPDATE: On Al Franken’s Air America show, Michael Kinsley said he hates to say this on Franken’s show but he feels some sympathy for Rice and Bush because Washington is a town that engages in “orgies of hindsight.”

If anyone truly had known what was going going to happen they would have done something to stop it, of course, he says. A reasonable voice.

: LATE UPDATE: Tom Shales says Condi won:

If it were to be viewed as a battle, or a sporting event, or a contest — and of course that would be wrong — then Condoleezza Rice won it. Indeed, the national security adviser did so well and seemed so firmly in command of the situation yesterday, when she testified under oath before the 9/11 commission, that one had to wonder why the White House spent so much time and energy trying to keep her from having to appear….

As usual, Rice was a model of dignity and composure, even when some commissioners got testy…. She probably could have done the whole thing with a teacup and saucer balanced on her head. She’s that cool.