Political Animal

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING….Today’s guest star,

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING….Today’s guest star, from Chico, California, is Grayson ? no explanation needed for the name, I think. As you can see, Grayson spends his time deciding whether to come indoors to play, and when he does he makes himself useful by protecting us from errant copies of TV Guide. Apparently he doesn’t think much of Kelly Clarkson.

Next week: Inkblot and Jasmine return!

BUSH AND LOYALTY….Tapped recommends this

BUSH AND LOYALTY….Tapped recommends this article from the Washington Post about George Bush’s ability to hold a grudge pretty much forever:

Although all administrations use political muscle on the opposition, GOP lawmakers and lobbyists say the tactics the Bush administration uses on friends and allies have been uniquely fierce and vindictive….The fear is that Bush will either freeze them out of key meetings or hold a grudge that might deprive them of help in other areas, the lobbyists said. When the Electronic Industries Alliance declined to back Bush’s dividend tax cut, the group was frozen out when the White House called its “friends” in the industry to discuss the tax cut, according to White House and business sources.

I’ve noticed the same thing myself. Bush seems to have an almost pathological desire for obsequious loyalty, and when he says “either you’re with us or you’re against us,” he means he expects you to be with him on everything. The result, though, as Democrats learned last year and Republicans are learning now, is that there’s not much payoff for supporting Bush unless you’re willing to toe the line as thoroughly as Waylon Smithers donating a kidney to his boss. If you’re not ? well, you might as well be Al Gore as far as Bush is concerned.

Sadly, I imagine Tony Blair is going to learn this lesson too when the war is over. He probably deserves better, but I imagine that the first time he crosses Bush their relationship will be all over.

Even Bush’s father apparently agrees that Jr. ought to lighten up a little. My own advice, however, is a bit simpler than his: put down the Old Testament for a bit and read a few passages from the New Testament now and again. There’s some good counsel there.

SHRILL? ME?….Who says Paul Krugman

SHRILL? ME?….Who says Paul Krugman doesn’t have a sense of humor?

To accuse the current administration of wrecking the federal budget sounds, well, shrill ? and we don’t want to sound shrill, do we?

Heh heh. And speaking of Krugman, here is Donald Luskin in NRO explaining how Krugman does it:

But more important is his limitless willingness to prevaricate, exaggerate, character assassinate, use innuendo, and scare-monger ? whatever it takes to make his case.

This is coming from National Review? It was all I could do to keep from choking on my Milky Way bar when I read that last night. I guess NRO has a sense of humor too.

Luskin’s piece is an example of that second most favorite of online activities: fact checking their asses. Like most people who play this game, Luskin seems to think he has scored some devastating hits on Krugman’s veracity but instead ends up sounding mostly juvenile and ridiculous ? rather like a 15-year-old proudly trumpeting a newfound proof that God doesn’t exist. Typical is his effort to “prove” that Krugman was lying when he said that Bush “mortally insulted the Turks.” Luskin is outraged! “They’re still alive,” he says cleverly, apparently referring to Bush’s diplomatic triumph in getting approval to keep our warships bobbing happily in the Mediterranean.

Of course, Luskin gives away the game at the beginning of his article anyway. It’s neither Krugman’s shrillness nor his dedication to the truth that bothers him, but rather that he uses his column “like a flamethrower aimed at everything conservatives and libertarians hold dear.”

Indeed he does, and may he continue to do so for as long as the Times allows him to.

CALPUNDIT AT WAR….I was hoping

CALPUNDIT AT WAR….I was hoping the war would be over by the time I got back home, but no dice. This is bad news for everyone actually fighting the war, of course, but also bad news for blogging ? on this blog, at least.

I mean, let’s get serious: if you want war news, tune in to CNN or Fox or NBC or CBS or ABC or just about any other channel, all of whom seem to be covering the war 24/7. But don’t come here, where all I can do is regurgitate what some “embedded” reporter just told us via an artifact-ridden-two-frames-per-second videophone report from a desert alleged to be in Iraq somewhere. And analysis of how the war is going? Don’t make me laugh.

I do wish the networks would knock off the continuous coverage, though. They’ve all proven they can do it ? except for ABC, of course, which mysteriously decided to stop covering the war during their actual scheduled news segment on Thursday ? and they can always break in if there’s any genuine news. Frankly, I’d reather watch Jeopardy at 7:00 than another half hour of non-news from Iraq.

Like Atrios, I will try to keep warblogging to a reasonable level here. This may be hard, since apparently normal news all halts while a war is going on, but I’ll try to track down a few non-war items here and there. We’ll see how it goes.