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Happy Hour Roundup

* Activists on the aid ship bound for Gaza say they won't resist if Israeli forces board, making a confrontation unlikely.

* Latest: The containment cap seems to be successfully capturing oil, though no one is sure precisely how much.

* Breaking: Obama showed a "flash of anger" with BP during his trip to the Gulf today, according to the pool report.

* The occasion for Obama's anger: The $50 million the company is reportedly spending on an ad campaign to burnish its image.

* Stephen Stromberg asks: What if all the calls for Obama to show more emotion are actually hampering cleanup of the Gulf spill, by forcing him to take needless theatrical trips down there that tax local officials?

* But the White House says Obama will only visit as often as thinks would be "productive."

* Obama to nominate retired Gen. James Clapper for the thankless and difficult job of Director of National Intelligence -- a gig where you only get noticed when you're not doing too well.

* But some members of Congress want someone from a civilian background.

* Good read: Adam Serwer on the Obama adminstration's larger project of (gasp!) separating terrorism and religion.

* Dave Weigel says GOP uber-donor Fred Malek still needs to come clean on his counting of Jews for Nixon, particularly if he wants to remain a credible conservative leader today.

* Another good read: Marc Ambinder calls on journalists to stop giving attention to the Andrew Romanoff tale.

* Also in that link: Ambinder responds to criticm that the White House political operation is weak -- by arguing that's a good thing.

* The new Research 2000 poll for DailyKos shows Bill Halter now leading by four.

* Ben Smith says I shouldn't have accused Blanche Lincoln of demonizing unions.

* And is it time for the GOP to divorce South Carolina?

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 4, 2010; 5:43 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Liz Cheney attacks Obama for saying flotilla deaths were "tragic"
Next: Saturday Roundup: Hearst won't say whether Helen Thomas will keep job

Comments

I think the SC GOP bigoted comments are excellent news. For the GOP.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 4, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Dueling op-eds by Bill Nelson and Mary Landrieu in US News & WR:

http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2010/06/04/Bill-Nelson-Gulf-Oil-Spill-Shows-Danger-of-Offshore-Drilling.html

http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2010/06/04/Mary-Landrieu-Safe-Offshore-Drilling-Is-Key-for-Our-Energy-Future.html

Take a guess at which one covers for the oil/gas industry and which one is critical of the industry and their "safe-technology claims".

Mary Landrieu is just the worst.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 4, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

What else? Well Arizona is in the news again. This time it's an environmentally friendly mural at a school in Prescott. What's wrong with it, the faces of the children, actual students, are too brown. Below is from C&L, but Digby has a post up about it as well. You go Arizona.

"Instead of removing it, the school principal asked the artists to lighten the faces of the children in the picture. This request follows harassment of those same artists by drive-by wingers flinging racial epithets at them while they were painting it. Welcome to Arizona."

"Lighten the skin tone on the faces of the children in the picture, because we cannot have brown children representing the children of Prescott."

"Hear that, Arizona? That's the sound of the term racist being slapped all over your state whether it's deserved or not. That's the sound of Rupert Murdoch bringing his peculiar brand of thought-cleansing to your backyards. Do not, under any circumstances, make brown children look beautiful without changing their skin color."

http://crooksandliars.com/

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

yah, just saw that AZ thing. Crazy.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 4, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Greg, I think it was at Dkos not hullabaloo where I also read about it. Digby has a great piece up about the "new Fema" camps rumor spreading through the right wing conspiracy theory blogs and radio stations.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG, Arizona, takes the breath away... Seriously, before this whole immigration flap I had NO IDEA how racist the state is. I don't have any reason to go there, but I will definitely not ever go back there until/unless things change dramatically.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 4, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Digby fan but I think she worries too much about what's going on in the fever swamps.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 4, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Great weekend all, Greg, lmsinca, everyone :) cheers!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 4, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, AZ will be it's own worst enemy in this case, I don't care what some of the polls say regarding their bizarre laws and discriminatory attitudes. And no matter what Jan Brewer says, I'm hearing the boycott IS having an affect on the economy. We have lots of family and friends there and drive through several times a year on the way to NM.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg, agreed on Digby, she makes some really insightful points and expresses them very well, but sometimes she worries too much about the small percentage of crazies out there. I'm more worried about Liz, she totally creeps me out, what's not tragic about the flotilla incident?

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Greg, i freaking love your blog, but its the only place, aside from one Huff Post story i saw and that NYT editorial, that is talking about Obama's anger RE: the oil spill. You live in DC right? Are people really and seriously talking about his anger and emotion besides Maureen Dowd? And are they actually offended? Sometimes I wonder how different DC is from the rest of the world.

Posted by: adammc123 | June 4, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

adam, I mean it ironically. :)

I agree it's ridiculous to be preoccupied with Obama's anger, and yeah, people are talking about it here.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 4, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Tony Hayward's gaffes finally caught up with him.

"BP is to hive off its Gulf of Mexico oil spill operation to a separate in-house business to be run by an American in a bid to isolate the "toxic" side of the company and dilute some of the anti-British feeling aimed at chief executive Tony Hayward, the company said today.

The surprise announcement was made during a teleconference with City and Wall Street analysts in which Hayward attempted to shrug off the personal criticism saying words "could not break his bones".

BP has faced mounting anger in the US over the accident on 20 April when the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up and sank with the loss of 11 oil workers' lives.

The Macondo well continues to spew out oil although a containment cap was placed on top of the leak today. Hayward said it would take a further 48 hours to know whether it was successful.

Responsibility for the leaking well and the clean-up strategy will placed in the hands of Bob Dudley, one of the company's most able directors."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/04/deepwater-horizon-leak-bp-criticism

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, have a good weekend yourself. It's going to be hot here, so I'll either be at the beach or in the pool. I've enjoyed reading your ongoing conversations with qb and ScottC, keep in mind they keep moving the goalposts though.

Have a nice weekend all, summer finally came to CA. Best wishes for the Gulf and stopping the damn gusher.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Ben Smith is still upset that you called him out for his Sarah Palin fetishization. He'll what other word than demonize would accurately describe what Lincoln has done wrt union since the day they backed Halter over her? I can't think of any

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 4, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the Liz Cheney bit. And there's nothing even slightly surprising about it.

Whatever this President or administration is doing, she will attack it. Always attack. Never defend. Never show "weakness". It's just her mode of operation.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 4, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"What's wrong with it, the faces of the children, actual students, are too brown."

I can't now remember where I read this (maybe Andrew Sullivan's blog?), but that fits with the general phenomenon of what's going on in AZ. The age cohorts over age 35 or 40 are overwhelmingly Anglo, but the younger cohorts, particularly the elementary school age cohort, are something like 45% Latino.

This is why the anti-immigrant laws being passed in AZ now are guaranteed to wipe out the GOP's clout in that state, just as the passage of Prop. 8 did in CA.

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 4, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

EU economy suffering severe heartburn. At least there hasn't been any devaluation yet of the pound against the kilogram.

Posted by: jzap | June 4, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

As I mentioned last week, the Washington State Dino Rossi candidacy is one to study. His campaign manager is Pat Shortridge, former Dick Armey aide and former senior lobbyist for Enron. In other words, this guy is a classic corporate Republican candidate and it's very likely that Rove/Gillespie's group has convinced him to run and is pulling in the big bucks for him...
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/rossi-raising-cash-at-a-halter-like-pace-in-wa-sen.php?ref=fpi

Posted by: bernielatham | June 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

mike-arlington: Oh, that's idiotic.

Posted by: jzap | June 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

woops, sorry i didnt make it clear. i get that you're being ironic. i just find it crazy that people care about such things FOR REALZ

Posted by: adammc123 | June 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Richard Lawson is seriously pissed. I'm out again, but had to post this one.

"Seriously, educators of Prescott, Arizona, when some creep demands you whiten the faces of your own students on a mural, the correct response is to say, "No, we will not be doing anything of the sort."

This story really should be blasted, far and wide. You cable news producers need to get this story in the mix with a quickness. And let me be clear to you all: there are no "two sides to this story." This is not something you need to have a panel discussion about. CNN, I don't want to see you plumbing the depths of your counterintuition on your website, or lending credence to the notion that the gutless mopes in their cars, shrieking racial slurs at the images of children have an interesting point of view that we should "hear out" because of the need to be "balanced." This is your moment to decry, condemn, and brutalize these evil people.

Blast them to hell, or go jump in the Gulf of Mexico."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Very bright piece by Ackerman on Israel/US. Here's just one graph...

"Netanyahu offers the evangelicals a key defeat for Obama’s foreign-policy agenda, helping pave the way for a conservative restoration. The evangelicals offer Netanyahu rear-guard counter-pressure against Obama’s peacemaking efforts. They are not likely to fret about dead or dying Palestinians or dead “aid workers” – or are they terrorists? – aboard a flotilla off of Gaza. They share Netanyahu’s instinctual contempt for humanitarian do-gooders, his opprobrium for international institutions, and his antipathy to an independent Palestine as an endgame for the conflict."
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100604/REVIEW/706039978

Posted by: bernielatham | June 4, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:
"Activists on the aid ship bound for Gaza say they won't resist if Israeli forces board, making a confrontation unlikely."

Well, y'see? It may take an IDF boarding party, but even the moonbat passengers and crew of the MV Rachel Corrie seem to be educable.

Start a donnybrook with an Israeli Marine Boarding Party while you're trying to run their blockade, and you're liable to be shot in the head four times.

That's one of the reasons so many of us hold the IDF in such respect...they can often be so direct and effective.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 4, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh. Ambinder thinks Palin is going to run... http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/why-sarah-palin-endorsed-terry-branstad-in-iowa/57690/

Posted by: bernielatham | June 4, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Double Sheesh...Kilgore finds the thesis reasonable... http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/06/palin_endorses_branstad_hmmmmm.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | June 4, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh Bernie, this is too funny. After I read your links re Palin I went to her facebook page it's all aglow with angst. Here's one:

"My name is Russ Saffell, I am the Communications Director for the Des Moines Tea Party. It has come to our attention that you have endorsed Mr. Terry Branstad for Governor of Iowa. The Executive Committee of the Des Moines Tea Party discussed this in last night... See More’s meeting. We all concluded that this endorsement has been made in error. The Des Moines Tea Party respects your involvement in the Tea Party movement throughout the nation; however we feel that you have strayed from your principles by supporting Mr. Branstad. We have been recognized as one of the top 7 best organized Tea Parties in the nation by the National Tea Party Patriots. Yet your decision to back a candidate for Governor in our state without even consulting with us is appalling!"

"We have dealt with Mr. Branstad before. His record speaks for itself. An ounce of research would have shown you that he is absolutely wrong choice!"

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

But here's my personal favorite:

Larry Smith
"I have long been a Sarah Palin supporter. I made sticky and magnetic "Sarah Palin for President" signs at a tremendous cost since I had only a few of each made. BUT NOW - WITH HER BRANSTAD SUPPORT I AM TAKING THE SIGNS OFF MY CAR. They don't go with the Vander Plaats signs anymore. I am so very disappointed in her. I had thought she would be the Margaret Thacher for America. It is obvious the wrong people got hold of her and she swallowed it hook, line and sinker."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the links, Bernie.

Posted by: jzap | June 4, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

"I've enjoyed reading your ongoing conversations with qb and ScottC, keep in mind they keep moving the goalposts though."

You shouldn't mistake your own inability to make progress towards the goalposts with others moving them on you.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 4, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I've really missed your rapier wit Scott.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 4, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"Dave Weigel says GOP uber-donor Fred Malek still needs to come clean on his counting of Jews for Nixon, particularly if he wants to remain a credible conservative leader today."

Why do you suppose it was wrong for Malek to count Jews for Nixon, but it was perfectly fine for Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to count Latinos for Berkeley?

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 4, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"But the White House says Obama will only visit as often as thinks would be "productive.""

Productive towards what end? Fixing the problem or distracting people from his complete and utter inability to do so?

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 4, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"Mary Landrieu is just the worst."

Worse than the worst. She is a total sell-out to Big Business and a special ho for Big Oil. She is Blanche Lincoln in a fat suit and a blonde wig. Her state is being literally being DESTROYED by Big Oil and she still can't help but roll over and DEMAND that more deadly deepwater drilling take place. Landrieu is all that is wrong with the Democratic Party. And since the Democratic Party fully occupies the spectrum of rational political thought in this country today, that means Landrieu is all that is wrong with America. Bye bye Mary. You and Blanche can take your payoffs from your corporate pimps and retire on an oil-glob in the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, and save a little room for Ben Nelson.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 5, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"Ben Smith says I shouldn't have accused Blanche Lincoln of demonizing unions."

Yup. And you shouldn't accuse the Pope of being Catholic either, Greg. Wouldn't be (Villager) prudent.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 5, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

As politicians in Louisiana plea for deep-water drilling to be continued so their state doesn't suffer the job losses, you can't help but think about Florida's economy and how that state is taking such a devastating hit in tourism this summer.

Posted by: Beeliever | June 5, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

What's the difference between Landrieu and Vitter?

Seriously, I can't tell anymore.

Better Democrats, please.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 5, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

ScottC asks:
"Why do you suppose it was wrong for Malek to count Jews for Nixon, but it was perfectly fine for Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to count Latinos for Berkeley?"

As I mentioned to you earlier, I am happy to see you around again as I think the discussions more valuable when viewpoints/claims are well challenged. But the above is really pretty careless.

The problem at issue isn't the act of counting. It is what/who is counted and for what purposes. Here's three examples:

1) German lieutenant counting the number of Jews in a cattle car and ordering 25 more to be stuffed inside.

2) A Texas businessman, contemplating which DC country club he ought to join, checks membership lists to see which club has the fewest Jewish and black members (or preferably none at all) and joins that one.

3) A school principal counts the number of kids in her (predominantly black and Scots/Irish neighborhood) who arrive without a proper lunch and sets to organizing a lunch program so that those students will be more likely to perform as learners and go on to more successful lives.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Greg and the Plum Line! Both were mentioned on satellite radio channel POTUS yesterday. Greg was quoted from his post on Nate Silver's move to the NYT.

Posted by: Andy94 | June 5, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Excerpt rom a very thoughtful and interesting blog at Ha'aretz...

"But Israel’s leadership has gone into a bunker mentality. Like a city besieged in the times before telecommunications, nothing reaches its hearts and minds. To the extent they will even read Grossman, Oz, Levy and countless others, the reaction will be "all these pundits and intellectuals; what do they know about the world! We need to stick to our inner truth; we know what’s right for Israel. We don’t need the usual gibberish of intellectuals; soft-hearted, unrealistic people who don’t have a clue about how the real world works."

It may be more surprising that Israel’s leadership doesn’t even listen to its own professional intelligence echelon. During the media frenzy of the last days a crucial headline has received close to no attention: Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Knesset’s Foreign Relations Committee that Israel is gradually turning from a strategic asset into a liability for the United States of America.

As it’s a bit difficult to brush aside Dagan as a softheaded idealist, our policy makers will find another way not to listen. They will say, "this would never have happened under George W. Bush; this is only because the Obama administration is not friendly towards Israel. We simply need to wait for Obama to end this term; he won’t get reelected."

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have heard warnings that Israel is becoming a strategic liability for the U.S. from Americans, including high ranking members of the George W. Bush administration, for years. The only difference is that during the Bush years, nobody in the administration would say this on record or for attribution."
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/strenger-than-fiction-israel-s-bunker-mentality-1.293767

Note particularly that second last graph. It is in the perceived interests of the American right, particularly that portion of it allied with the Israeli right and the Netanyahu government to co-ordinate messaging and strategy to bring down the Obama government. It's naive to imagine this isn't going on.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

PS...if you go to Ha'aretz front page, you'll see that coverage is almost entirely on the flotilla attack matter.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Here's Charles Lane at this paper...

"We all know the first rule of polite society: If you can’t think of something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all. In certain bien pensant circles, however, there is a corollary: If you can’t think of anything nice to say -- say something bad about George W. Bush.

Consider Paul McCartney. Last night, the ex-Beatle accepted the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at a White House ceremony, with President Obama and the first lady in attendance. Upon concluding his performance, McCartney aimed a bolt of sarcasm at Obama’s predecessor. “After the last eight years,” he quipped, “it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.” The audience erupted in laughter.

Sorry, I don't get the joke"

First, let's note that "polite company" clearly can't include the Cheneys (or FOX) who take every opportunity to smear the sitting President as a non-American, non-patriot, functionally evil presence in American civic life and governance. That all seems to me a tad more serious than McCartney's implication re Bush and libraries.

Second, if Lane doesn't "get the joke" then he's really a fairly stupid man. That Laura is a librarian (and set up programs to enhance libraries) has what to do with her husband? My wife is a psychoanalyst and that doesn't make me sane.

If Lane had some integrity in this piece, he'd address the issue of Bush's constantly evident anti-intellectualism and lack of curiosity.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"The problem at issue isn't the act of counting. It is what/who is counted and for what purposes."

True.

In Malek's case, he was counting Jews (presumably) for the purpose of determining if there were "too many" of them in high positions within the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and by implication not enough non-Jews.

In Sotomayor's case, she was counting Latinos for the the purpose of determining if there were too few of them in high positions within the judiciary, and by implication too many non-Latinos.

So skip the non-sequiturs about Germans and cattle cars, and tell me why the former is objectionable but the latter is perfectly acceptable (and perhaps even obligatory!).

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer, again at this paper, wrote his column yesterday under the rather counter-factual title "Israel, Disarmed". Yeah, that's Israel alright.

But take this bit of deceit...

"Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory."

Is 4000 a correct number? Might be. What this unimpressive ideologue leaves out is the number of Israeli's killed by all those threatening rockets. Zero. Not a single Israeli was killed by them.

He also leaves out that the retributive attack on Gaza killed some 1000 people.

But they weren't really "people". So they don't count.
http://article.nationalreview.com/435513/israel-disarmed/charles-krauthammer

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The Weekly Standard's idea of the great American leaders lineage...
http://www.weeklystandard.com/sites/all/files/imagecache/teaser-large/images/teasers/15-37.Editorial.Kristol_New.jpg

The irony here is, apparently, not perceived by Mr. Kristol. Are we surprised it isn't?

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Well, slap my mother...the first image is a Brit.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, I think irony is just lost on most conservatives. That was truly amazing and somehow sad and even presumptuous. I think as November 2010 and 2012 approach the battle lines are being clearly drawn.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 5, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Conason joins me in taking on Gerson is his column of the day before...
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joe_conason/index.html?story=/opinion/conason/2010/06/04/gerson

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Come on, Scott. That response is really just dishonest.

Using your formulation, Hitler and the Nazis did what they did to Jews because, by implication, they merely desired a population distribution higher in non-Jews.

Nixon set Malek to Jew-counting to verify his paranoid fears of a Jewish cabal out to get him politically and to get rid of someone he perceived as a political enemy.
http://hnn.us/articles/42970.html

To seek greater inclusion of an or of all ethnic groups in the participation of a democratic community has a motivation 180 degrees from exclusionary or racist policies.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Golly, I really do like Matt Yglesias...

"REQUEST

Do readers think it would be possible to arrange some more condescending emails from people who’ve spent more time in China than I have pointing out that ten days on a semi-official junket can only give you a superficial understanding of a very large country? I’m actually a complete idiot, who doesn’t understand this at all. Also the underlying premise of my blog is in no way that a smart person who writes quickly can entertain and inform with non-expert commentary and aggregation on a wide array of subject." http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Yglesias on criticism of Israeli policies. He links to Ackerman's piece I recommended yesterday (and recommend again today)...

"Of course irrational bias against Israel is a real phenomenon, but the habit of deploying this concept to deflect criticism has blinded a lot of people to the real opinion dynamics in the world. It’s just stunning to me how swiftly Peter Beinart has been shifted (along with me, Ezra Klein, Eric Alterman, and a seemingly endless list of liberal American Jewish writers) into the category of “knee-jerk Israel-hater who we should dismiss.” And of course that’s to say nothing of how non-Jews (and even worse, Europeans!) who have bad things to say about Israel are treated. The problem with this isn’t that individual people are being treated poorly (I’m fine, Beinart is fine, even the much-slandered Steven Walt is fine) but that Israel seems increasingly sealed off from the notion that there’s a cause-effect relationship between Israeli actions and hostile public responses. All harsh criticism is by definition a manifestation of a worldwide anti-Jewish conspiracy that rather implausibly runs from Kenneth Roth to Richard Goldstone and has unaccountably intensified during a period when, by coincidence, Israeli politics took a hard right turn.

Which is perhaps a long way of introducing the idea that I hope people over there will read Spencer Ackerman’s review of Start-Up Nation and take it to heart, but I’m quite sure they won’t." http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/06/israel-cocoon-of-denial.php

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I understand that John Boehner is forcefully demanding that Dennis Miller apologize for the the impolite things he has said about Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and the sitting President. Boehner didn't yet demand a retraction/apology of Miller for the bum-smooch to Cheney for that "Go f yourself" line but we expect his press office will add that demand too. The integrity of Boehner's office and his soul has me assured of it.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - You ought to be advised that a post which includes the first letter (f) and last letter (k) of the copulative verb, even including two asterisks in the middle, will result in that post being taken out back and shot.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"If Lane had some integrity in this piece, he'd address the issue of Bush's constantly evident anti-intellectualism and lack of curiosity. "

You are hardly covering yourself in glory on the integrity front here, Bernie. You are not stupid enough to believe that Laura Bush's literacy and public library efforts had nothing whatsoever to do with her husband the governor and president. And if you are, Lane was kind enough to link to all the relevant information for you to inform yourself.

Second, you pretend that McCartney's classless behavior either was intended to or ought to prompt a serious discussion about Bush's "evident anti-intellectualism and lack of curiosity." Why? Because McCartney himself is such an evident genius? Please.

McCartney's "joke" was a boorish cheap shot, and it was perfectly reasonable of Lane both to call him out on his graceless behavior as well as to point out McCartney's own obvious stupidity. Lane's point, namely that if you are going to ridicule someone's intellect by suggesting they are ignorant of a certain topic, it is probably best not to choose a topic in which they are in fact and famously quite well-versed, was a perfectly reasonable one to make and in no way at all calls into question Lane's own integrity.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Using your formulation, Hitler and the Nazis did what they did to Jews because, by implication, they merely desired a population distribution higher in non-Jews."

They did. Do you actually deny this obvious truism?

"To seek greater inclusion of an or of all ethnic groups in the participation of a democratic community has..."

...absolutely nothing at all to do with whether there are 10 or 40 or 100 Latino circuit court judges.

Bean counting the racial or ethnic makeup of something in order to make sure it is the "right" makeup implies that one finds substantive value in race or ethnicity. I find that notion to be a nefarious one, whether it is held by a paranoid Dick Nixon or a wonderfully "empathetic" Sonia Sotomayor. You apparently think it is a perfectly reasonable notion, provided of course it is being used towards ends of which you approve.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC - I don't think I've ever said anything negative about Laura. I actually like the lady and consider she has a great deal of integrity (my wife's daughters went to the same private school as the Bush twins and spent time at the Bush home). But I've no reason to imagine that any library initiatives would have arisen out of Bush were it not for her.

McCartney was probably wrong to make the comment in the venue he made it but as to the magnitude of that impropriety...please. Compare with what Liz Cheney says every time she opens her mouth or, as above, what Dennis Miller says about those other individuals.

But though McCartney ought not to have said what he said, he was absolutely astute in thinking it. Bush is incurious and is anti-intellectual and was ridiculously under-educated for such an office.

And yeah, I'll call out Lane for his lack of integrity as he acknowledges none of what I've just delineated and gets everything of importance upsidedown as a consequence.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

All, Saturday roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/saturday_roundup_4.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 5, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Bernie: "Using your formulation, Hitler and the Nazis did what they did to Jews because, by implication, they merely desired a population distribution higher in non-Jews."

Scott: "They did. Do you actually deny this obvious truism?"

Of course not. It was, for Hitler, a matter of fairness and justice. There were too many Jews about in proportion to Aryans and as a consequence, those Aryans were disadvantaged. To set this right, 6 million were aroma-therapied with sweet-as-junipers Zyclon B.

Pointing to mathematics really has you on the right track to imagining the proper role of government. Congrats.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"I don't think I've ever said anything negative about Laura."

I don't think I ever said you did.

"But I've no reason to imagine that any library initiatives would have arisen out of Bush were it not for her."

Perhaps, but nor would they have arisen out of her if not for her husband. To suggest, as you did, that Laura's initiatives had nothing whatsoever to do with her husband is, frankly, beyond absurd. Bush's role as governor of Texas and then President of the US was instrumental in getting those initiatives implemented. Of course he was involved in them.

"McCartney was probably wrong to make the comment in the venue he made it..."

Which is precisely the point. had he made the comments in any other venue, they would have been nothing more than the silly spouting of yet another ignorant celebrity. No one would have cared. The fact that he made them where and when he did is the only reason anyone is paying attention to them.

"...he was absolutely astute in thinking it."

Please. The notion of Bush as an ignoramus isn't astute thinking in the slightest, it is a mindless cliche. In fact, as mindless cliches go, it is the mother of them all, although I admit that you lefties are doing your utmost to challenge that status with your Palin-as-an-ignoramus cliche.

"And yeah, I'll call out Lane for his lack of integrity as he acknowledges none of what I've just delineated..."

Again, do you honestly think that McCartney's classlessness was either intended to prompt, or ought to have prompted, a serious discussion about Bush's intellect? If the tables were turned, and a has-been celebrity guest of the next president started telling boorish jokes about the arrogance and God complex of the previous inhabitant of the White House, would you honestly expect criticism of the jokes to seriously address the underlying reality that gave the jokes resonance? If you say yes, Lane has nothing on you when it comes to a lack of integrity.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Pointing to mathematics really has you on the right track to imagining the proper role of government."

It's unfortunate to see your willingness to honestly address my actual points hasn't changed in my absence.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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