No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post
I’ll start with the good news. The Obama administration announced it would buy an Illinois prison for housing Guantánamo detainees. Glenn has reservations; however, getting detainees on American soil is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for getting them in our established justice system and out of the ill-considered netherworld thrown together around them. There was another step in the right direction this week as well.
Spencer Ackerman had the best take on Tony Blair’s extraordinary admission that the reasons for going to war were not as important as getting the thing cranked up:
I suppose it’s past time to start a fund to create Tony Blair’s headstone, just to have this craven, blithe admission of pretext permanently affixed to his legacy. Yes, Prime Minister, “obviously” once the justification for a war that has killed tens if not hundreds of thousands of people turns out to be disproven, one must pivot to a new rationale for its existence. What one must never do is recognize that the war is in error and work to correct it.
Because for Blair it’s not an error, “obviously.” Whatever he told us is whatever he needed to tell us at that moment, as the war was a fixed idea.
Here is my contribution to the English language.
divo (n.): A male diva.
The most substantive discussion on health care reform has been on the liberal blogosphere. Nate Silver initiated a back and forth series of posts that really illuminated the details under consideration. Meanwhile, mainstream outlets preferred to focus on the arias being belted out by the preening, narcissistic and sociopathic divos Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson. And no, I will not link to any of them.
Tis the season for block quotes.
- David Kravets:
Google prides itself on doing brave and innovative things that other companies wouldn’t even consider doing, just because it’s the right thing to do.A lot of the objectionable policies from the government wouldn’t be happening without the participation of some of our best known companies.
But instead, Google has chosen to side with the rest of the industry and refuse, on principle, to be open with their customers. That makes us think Google agrees with some peers that suggest that the public simply can’t handle the truth.
- David Paul:
Our commercial banks are not, and should not be, hedge funds. U.S. dollar carry trades and writing credit default swaps are not core commercial banking functions. They are not necessary to the efficient functioning of our financial system.
- Nathan Hodge on how conventional wisdom gets generated and bolted into place:
When think tanks are often a revolving door for government service, what happens when reporters who become office-mates of past or future political appointees? How do you keep national security reporting from becoming an echo chamber of the Beltway policy elite?
Lambert alerted me to this. It’s not exaggeration to call it Dred Scott II because the Supreme Court has literally denied the humanity of an entire class of people. It’s more than bad law - it’s evil.
Presidential Medal of Freedom winner George Tenet all but admitted the CIA has been infiltrating media outlets and compromising journalists.
The Department of Homeland Security has been doing exactly what a reasonable person could expect from an agency granted expansive, unaccountable powers.
Would we be better off if women ran Wall Street (via)? Probably in the short to medium term. There would be singular attention on the pioneers, meaning they would be held to actual performance standards. Their traditional exclusion from the top would probably make them more vigilant about cracking down on abuses at first, too. But as time went on and they became increasingly integrated they would become creatures of that culture, not transformers of it - just like in politics (Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln) and elsewhere in business (Carly Fiorina). Still, a temporary improvement is better than none at all, so: Go Ladies!
This is off my beat, but James Wolcott is an astonishingly talented stylist. I couldn’t pull off something this good in my dreams:
Yes, while the rest of us were blithely going on with our Christmassy lives and preparing our aluminum poles for Festivus, an ugly blogwar broke out in the right hemisphere of Godzilla-versus-Mothra scope and fury, featuring volley after return volley of fiery halitosis and hair-splitting pedantry. Escalating a minor dispute into an all-engulfing shit fit, Protein Wisdom’s Jeff Goldstein and Patterico’s Pontifications’ Patrick Frey locked themselves in a mutual-destruction danse macabre that couldn’t be more gaudy and futile if I had scripted it myself, in my recurring role as Mischievous Trickster. The catalyst for this duel at Diablo was an inquiry into whether certain moldy comments written in the nineties by conservative journalist and carnival barker Robert Stacy McCain revealed telltale residue of racism. This evolved into a Goldstein tutorial on authorial intent full of jargon and bluster which was met by Patrick Frey in a tedious display of his own brand of bravado, with ratfucky posters rushing to and fro from the comments sections of the two blogs with pipsqueak Iago poisonings of innuendo and incitement to keep everything at full spite.There you go. I started with some good news and I’ll leave you with a laugh. Happy Holidays!