Posts from June 21, 2004



: It’s said that porn leads in every possible online arena, from subscriptions to video. But I haven’t seen anything about porn via RSS (not that I’ve been looking, mind you). What does that mean?

Iranian hostages… again

Iranian hostages… again

: Iran has seized three British boats.

And how to do you feel about that, Mr. President?

And how to do you feel about that, Mr. President?

: There’s a rash of psychoanalyzing of the President going on in media. The New York Times today on Bush hanging Saddam’s pistol in the White House:

In other words, the gun is more than a gun, at least according to the Freudians.

“It’s the phallic equivalent of a scalp – I mean that quite seriously,” said Stanley A. Renshon, a psychoanalyst and political scientist at the City University of New York…

And in the Guardian, plugs/quotes a book by a shrink putting Bush on the couch:

Justin Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, argues that the president’s inclination to see the world in black-and-white, good-versus-evil terms, and his tendency to repeat favourite words and phrases under pressure, are not simply politics as usual, but classic symptoms of untreated alcoholism….

Well, it could be that today, the world is black-and-white, good-versus evil. And repeating favorite words and phrases? That’s showbiz.

The market for breasts

The market for breasts

: This is absurd when you think about it for, oh, two seconds:

The FCC is raising its current fine for indecency — not related to huge fines still being proposed in Congress — from $27,500 to $32,500 because of “inflation.”

What, breasts are getting more expensive? Or is that they’re getting bigger (wrong inflation)? What costs more about indecency such that you need to raise the fines?

More idiocy from the FCC.

The runaway 9/11 Commission

The runaway 9/11 Commission

: William Safire has a great column this morning dissecting the recent sins of the 9/11 Commission with its al Qaeda-Iraq link stories.

Background: Remember last week, there were headlines aplenty saying that the Commission says there is no link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks.

Uh, but that wasn’t the real issue. To my knowledge, few if any people in power said that Iraq was behind the attacks. But many did say that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda and that they had ties.

But this “Commission report: yielded many when-did-you-stop-beating-your-Iraqis headlines as the “Commission” denied something that didn’t need denying, putting the Administration on the defensive as Cheney had to say, well, but there are ties.

And then the Commision itself had to backtrack and conceded that, well there were ties indeed. Bob Kerrey (see breakfast club post below) says that there were links, “no question.” His No. 2, Lee Hamilton, says the Commission does not disagree with Cheney when he says there are connections and he even backs away from saying there was “no credible evidence” of a 9/11 link to saying that it was “not proven one way or the other,” Safire reports.

But by then, the headline damage was done. It looks to the world like another hammer with which to beat up American and its President over the Iraq war. But it’s a rotten red herring.

Safire explains that this mess. He says that the headlines came from an interim report of “the commission’s runaway staff, headed by the ex-N.S.C. aide Philip Zelikow.” The staff “twisted the two strands together to cast doubt on both the Qaeda-Iraq ties and the specific attacks of 9/11.”

Turns out that the Commission members “do not get involved in staff reports,” Kerrey said yesterday. So this report did not come from the “Commission.” It is shocking that the commission would allow this to happen. It is another indication of the Commission’s incompetence and the politicization of 9/11 it has allowed and fostered.

Safire gives five suggestions for how the Commission can regain its nonpartisan credibility.

Horse. Barn. Gone.

The Commission should be tripping over itself to try to set the record straight but I have no hope of that.

But I do second Safire’s fifth suggestion: “5. Stop wasting time posturing on television and get involved writing a defensible commission report.” I’d add that they should stop wasting time on $22 bagels and have an Egg McMuffin, too (see below).

: Further, Safire lets the media off the hook: “Cheney’s ire was misdirected. Don’t blame the media for jumping on the politically charged Zelikow report.”

Wrong. The media have Google and archives and could and should have untwisted these two strands the Commission staff twisted together.