Political Animal


“LET THE MIGHTY EAGLE SOAR”….This Guardian article about John Ashcroft’s, um, peculiar style of running the Department of Justice is a year old, but I just happened to run across it today whilst trying to educate myself about the connection between Ashcroft and calico cats (thanks a lot, Digby). It’s an oldie, but, yes, it’s a goodie. Take a couple of minutes and go check it out.

(There’s even some video of Ashcroft doing his own imitation of a Vegas lounge lizard. It’s worth the price of admission all by itself.)

THE HOURS….I just got back

THE HOURS….I just got back from seeing The Hours. I really only went to see it because I wanted to see all the Best Picture nominees before the Academy Awards ceremony, so I wasn’t expecting much. Somehow a review of melancholic women of the 20th century didn’t seem all that appealing.

But I was wrong: it’s a terrific movie. Granted, if you just don’t understand depressed people and find their screen incarnations terminally annoying, there’s not much to like here. But if you can get past that, the portraits of the three women are genuinely moving and the depiction of depression is one of the best I’ve seen. You really get a sense of how the world just seems to cave in unbidden on people like this, often set off by small things that most of us would just shrug off.

I think I agree that the Ed Harris character wasn’t that good, but he wasn’t on screen all that much anyway. The three stars all gave compelling performances, and that’s what counts. Thumbs up.

ANOTHER RECRUIT….Ah, excellent. Just as

ANOTHER RECRUIT….Ah, excellent. Just as Glenn Reynolds and Steven Den Beste have corralled genuine dead-tree pundit William Safire into their conspiracy theory about French perfidy, Tim Dunlop directs my attention to GDTP Howard Fineman, who today joins my conspiracy theory about the possibility of Colin Powell resigning if we invade Iraq without UN authorization.

Everything is going exactly according to plan. Soon all of Washington DC will be mine…..

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING….Andrew Sullivan on

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING….Andrew Sullivan on why working with the UN is worth the effort:

If, by some miracle, we get a majority and France vetoes, the impact will be huge for the worldwide legitimacy of the war and – just as importantly – for the marginalization of Paris. A few days is worth that effort, even if it fails. But more important, what matters is the appearance of effort.

Yep, got to keep up pretenses. We wouldn’t want anyone to think that we’d been planning to go to war all along no matter what, would we?

Don’t tell Sullivan, but I have a feeling that no one’s been fooled.

MORE SULLIVAN: He follows this up with a show of disgust over Hans Blix’s comment that in combatting terrorist “we have to look at the social problems as well.” Says Sullivan: “You see in this interview every half-baked European rationale for ignoring the threat we face.”

But here’s a bit more of what Blix said: “…to get at the social conditions ? better democracy, more education in the Middle East, giving the hope for the many youngsters in that part of the world ? now that’s harder.”

Hmmm, more democracy. That sounds familiar. In fact, Sullivan himself is a big proponent of the neocon proposition that America is going to ignite a tidal wave of democracy in the Middle East that will transform the entire region and put an end to terrorism. If that’s not an attempt to solve a “social problem,” what is?