Year: 2006

A contrast in leadership styles

A CONTRAST IN LEADERSHIP STYLES…. I’ve been a little surprised by the analyses drawing parallels between Ford’s presidency and that of George W. Bush. Other than taking office under dubious circumstances, they don’t seem particularly similar. And yet, plenty of news items have been published like this one, from Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey,… Read more »

Ethnic cleansing ‘sad but tranquilizing’?

ETHNIC CLEANSING ‘SAD BUT TRANQUILIZING’?…. When it comes to the war in Iraq, George Will has not always been entirely unreasonable. He’s denounced neocons, and in a surprisingly hard-hitting 2004 column, described the war as “untenable,” compared it to Vietnam, and said the war could “unmake” Bush’s presidency. With this in mind, I was a… Read more »

Ford: Bush ‘made a big mistake’

FORD: BUSH ‘MADE A BIG MISTAKE’…. Late on Tuesday, after the Ford family announced the passing of the former president, President Bush released a statement praising Gerald Ford for his “quiet integrity, common sense, and kind instincts.” As it turns out, Bush was more right than he realized — Ford’s common sense and instincts served… Read more »

A little out of date

A LITTLE OUT OF DATE…. National Review’s Cliff May published this comment today from an unnamed Marine in Iraq. [M]orale among our guys is very high. They not only believe that they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they… Read more »

Taking the high road

TAKING THE HIGH ROAD…. In a Republican-led Congress, life in the minority was surprisingly unpleasant. Legislation was written without Democratic input; bills were passed without letting Democrats read it; Democrats’ bills were denied hearings and votes; they weren’t allowed to offer amendments to legislation; they weren’t even allowed to use hearing rooms. If Dems managed… Read more »

Don’t call it a ‘surge’

DON’T CALL IT A ‘SURGE’…. A surprising amount of the debate surrounding the war in Iraq has been about word choice. We’ve had debates about whether or not there’s a “civil war,” whether there’s an “insurgency,” what the meaning of “last throes” is, whether we’re “winning,” whether we can characterize the conflict as part of… Read more »

Sacre Bleu

SACRE BLEU!….I’ve been doing crossword puzzles lately, so Marian got me a copy of the companion book to Wordplay for Christmas. Here, from p. 74, is an excerpt from NYT crossword editor Will Shortz’s guidelines for contributors: Do not use….uncommon abbreviations or foreign words. Do not use foreign words?!? Allow me to translate: “Do not… Read more »

The company McCain keeps

THE COMPANY MCCAIN KEEPS…. Earlier this month, Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) exploratory committee announced that Terry Nelson, a veteran GOP campaign operative, would be McCain’s national campaign manager for the 2008 campaign. It was an odd choice, not because Nelson isn’t qualified to run a national campaign, but because he seems to represent everything the… Read more »

Ignatius sees a ‘weary’ president

IGNATIUS SEES A ‘WEARY’ PRESIDENT…. After noticing that Atrios had named David Ignatius today’s “Wanker of the Day” because of his column in the Washington Post, I checked out the piece to see what all the fuss is about. Lo and behold, it’s pretty bad. Ignatius believes that the burdens of leadership during the crisis… Read more »

Prager can’t stop digging

PRAGER CAN’T STOP DIGGING…. About a month ago, right-wing talk-show host and writer Dennis Prager became something of a laughing stock by arguing that Rep.-elect Kieth Ellison (D-Minn.), Congress’ first Muslim, will literally “undermine American civilization” and “embolden Islamic extremists” if he takes the oath of office on a Koran instead of a Christian Bible…. Read more »