What bokononists whisper whenever they think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.


By Elton Beard

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't. I don't.


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ARCHIVE ARCHIVE ARCHIVE

Sunday, September 14, 2003
2:00 PM PT

Shorter Jim Hoagland:
Giving Iraqis a Stake

  • The key to pacifying Iraq is in adopting precisely Saddam Hussein's strategy of bribing all Iraqis that matter, and who are willing to be bought, to help eliminate those who are not.

Friday, September 12, 2003
3:00 PM PT

CNN: We're Fair And Balanced Too! On CNN Crossfire today, the following exchange took place between Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala:

CARLSON: ...In an interview with Wolf Blitzer Dean said - and we are not making this up - "members of Hamas are soldiers" in the war in the Middle East. So, members of Hamas are soldiers. That's the headline. This was news to the State Department, which classified members of Hamas as terrorists. It might also come as a surprise to the families of the many Israeli children murdered on city buses by those soldiers of Hamas. Maybe Dr. Dean can explain further what he means, we cannot wait to hear it.

BEGALA: Reminiscent of - of course Hamas are not soldiers. They are terrorists...

CARLSON: They're not? Should we take sides do you think?

BEGALA: You're right. Of course we should...

CALRSON: Ha ha ha ha ha.

BEGALA: You're right to make that point. But what's interesting is that these are similar mistakes to what our current president, then a governor himself made in the last campaign. Democrats tried to pounce on Bush for his rare and raw ignorance of all things international and it didn't do any good. I suspect your attacks on Dean won't do any good either.

Carlson, of course, uses his silver forked tongue very effectively on behalf of his cause. But as to champion of the left Paul Begala - oy. This boy does not do his homework.

CNN must think that increasing the number of falsehoods per minute will help it catch up with Fox in the ratings. They really don't seem to get this whole personality thing.

Update: Here's the Crossfire transcript. The original Wolf Blitzer interview with Howard Dean is mysteriously missing from this transcript.

Thursday, September 11, 2003
9:00 PM PT

Fox News: Howard Dean is worse than France! Fox News Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron delivered a story about Howard Dean today on Shepard Smith's Fox Report. Here is the money shot:

...Dean insists that he does back U.S. policy supporting Israel, but his last statements about the Hamas terror group raise new questions. Wednesday in an interview, Dean said "there is a war going on in the Middle East, and members of Hamas are soldiers in that war." Now Dean did condemn terrorism but his description of Hamas as "soldiers in a war" conflicts completely with U.S. policy, which lists Hamas as a terrorist group. That's a designation of Hamas that the European Union even approved just last week.
And the oleaginous Cameron drove home his point with a graphic:

Leaves the distinct impression that Howard Dean would grant Hamas fighters the status of legitimate soldiers, doesn't it? And even the Europeans have declared Hamas a terrorist organization! Could Dean be more pro-terrorist than (gasp!) the French?

Not so fast, Sherlock. Let's check the actual CNN report:

Asked if he would oppose the Israeli policy of selectively killing leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, Dean said, "I think no one likes to see violence of any kind."

But he also said that "there is a war going on in the Middle East, and members of Hamas are soldiers in that war, and, therefore, it seems to me that they are going to be casualties if they are going to make war."

It's amazing what you can do with out-of-context quotes, isn't it? Here in reality, Dean was clearly expressing the opposite of support for Hamas - in fact he endorsed, or at least declined to oppose, the Israeli policy of assassinating Hamas leaders. He called Hamas leaders "soldiers" in the sense of "combatants", and hence subject to being killed, as opposed to being merely political leaders. Yet Fox's Carl Cameron played it as if Dean, although he thankfully "did condemn terrorism", was practically endorsing Hamas. Slick.

Howard Dean probably shouldn't stoop to the level of responding to Fox News, but maybe CNN could take them on for disfiguring their original reporting beyond recognition.

Fair and Balanced Bonus: Fox News Foreign Affairs Analyst Mansoor Ijaz explains to Brit Hume why Democratic candidates who disaffirm a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 are all wet.

Update: Carl Cameron's tall tale about Dean also appears in this Fox News article.

4:00 AM PT

Shorter George F. Will:
Lieberman Looks Ahead

  • Democrats, being stupid, are advised to vote the opposite of their own preference, for their own good.

Shorter concept originated by Daniel Davies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
12:00 AM PT

Shorter William Safire:
Baudelaire's Bird

  • European democracies may not approve our conduct, but the Arab League's monarchs and dictators are totally cool with the puppet government we've installed in Iraq.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003
2:00 AM PT

Shorter David Brooks:
Whatever It Takes

  • Behind the Bush administration's deceptive fašade of ideological rigidity and obtuse indifference to facts operates an astute and highly flexible chief executive who will stop at nothing to achieve his own aims.

Sadly, no provides a Shorter meta-take on Brook's inaugural New York Times column, while uggabugga has an interesting juxtaposition.

Plus: Brad DeLong is not impressed, CalPundit takes note and Digby dissects the dada of bobo.

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2005
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Busy, busy, busy.

What bokononists whisper whenever they think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.


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