The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, February 06, 2003  

A Few Things I’ve Read, A Few Things You Should

THIS IS NOT A RHETORICAL QUESTION: I ask yet again, What the hell is happening to this country?

Rice . . . a threat to the national security.

And so again I say, welcome to the Age of Unseriousness.

[Link via Body and Soul.]


THE RIGHT HONORABLE BLOGGER: Be sure to visit D-Squared Digest as the author works on his latest project, let’s call it, “Briefing den Beste.”

Never before has one blogger done so much with so little. Or should I say, never before has one blogger done so little with so much?


BEST LINE OF THE WEEK: Roger Ailes for this: “The New York Times gets its McDougal correction completely wrong. Geez, it’s like failing an open-book test.”


THE MAGNIFICIENT MR. SOMERBY: Bob Somerby crushes, as only he can, oh-so-modest Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).


PIN PRICK: Michelangelo Signorile sticks a pin in the gasbag known as Rush Limbaugh and finds nothing but the sweaty, foul-smelling breath of a trough-feeder past his prime.

[Post-publication addendum (February 10): In the interest of full disclosure: At the time I posted this item I should have mentioned, as I have in the past, that Signorile is a friend of mine.]

[Post-publication addendum February 16): This is the type of “full diclosure” that is required by those whose work occasionally finds a home in the traditional print media, including newspapers and magazines, but that is not consistently adopted by bloggers and those who send e-mail to bloggers, including -- I’m surprised to say -- very close friends of those whose work occasionally finds a home in the traditional print media.]


BE SCARED. BE VERY SCARED: Joe Conason catches a glimpse of the neocon future, courtesy of Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation:

“The full extent of the ties between Iraq and al-Qaida will only be revealed,” promised Dr. Nile Gardiner, “once Iraq has been liberated by Allied forces.” The same goes for weapons of mass destruction and the extent of human rights violations by the Baghdad regime.

In other words, the case in favor of going to war cannot be fully proved until after the war is over. This is an unanswerable assertion, at least for the moment. It's also the kind of assertion that would only be made by someone with a fairly casual attitude toward sending soldiers in harm's way, let alone raining ordnance on thousands of innocent civilians. Incidentally, the Heritage expert also promises that if he and his cronies have their way, the war in Iraq will merely be “the first of a number of potential conflicts to be fought in the early part of the 21st century.”

It’s not pretty, is it?


PUNDITS & CELEBRITIES: Greg Beato of SoundBitten takes on Andrew Sullivan for taking on comedian Janeane Garofalo: “Like celebrities, pundits have easy access to the media, and as Sullivan puts it, ‘the terrible temptation’ to use the power that that access affords. But actual political experience? Not necessarily. For example, it's possible that Andrew Sullivan used to be in the House of Lords, or maybe he’s now a city councilman somewhere. But in the 1,000-word exercise in fulsome Sullivanity that serves as his website biography, there is no mention of such accomplishments. Instead, Sullivan appears to be nothing more than a writer and editor: all he has ever done to earn the privilege of dispensing political commentary is express his opinion. Which basically means that he’s Janeane Garofalo with a fancier pedigree and a less refined sense of humor.”


IN RAREST FORM: Neal Pollack with a blow-by-blow, so to speak, on President Twelve Steps' State of the Union address. If you’re not laughing out loud when you read this, seek professional help.

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