I’ve been asked many times over the past week why would people who already have so many platforms for expressing their views -- books, movies, columns, talk shows -- bother to blog?
Today Norman Mailer gives public voice to what many of our contributors have told me privately: When something happens to which you want to -- have to -- respond, there is nothing like blogging. You don’t have to wait for the New York Times to run your op-ed, you don’t have to drive to a TV studio and get into make up, and you certainly don’t have to wait until your book is between hard covers or your movie hits the screens. You can blog about it… unfiltered, uncensored, unedited.
Among those doing just that right now on The Blog are Robert Kennedy Jr, Catherine Crier, Larry Gelbart, Hilary Rosen, James Pinkerton, and Mailer himself.
The Coalition Provisional Authority, which we ran, has lost 8.8 billion dollars. By lost, I mean it’s totally unaccounted for. Not only has Congress not "looked into" this $8.8 billion and who might have it now, but it seems that some members are completely unaware that this staggering sum, which was supposed to go toward rebuilding Iraq, is missing. The Sunday morning after the White House Correspondents dinner, I ran into Senator George Allen at a brunch thrown by John McLaughlin and his wife. Allen had never heard of the missing $8.8 billion, or at least that's what he told me. And he's on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
I'm beginning to see why one would want to write a blog. At present, I have a few thoughts I can certainly not prove, but the gaffe over the Michael Isikoff story in Newsweek concerning the Koran and the toilet is redolent with bad odor. Who, indeed, was Isikoff's supposedly reliable Pentagon source? One's counter-espionage hackles rise. If you want to discredit a Dan Rather or a Newsweek crew, just feed them false information from a hitherto reliable source. You learn that in Intelligence 101A.
For 15 years King Coal and Big Oil, led by the Exxon Corporation, have funded dozens of Washington think tanks stocked with aberrant scientists (known as biostitutes) to persuade the public and the press that the science is still out on global warming and give political cover to the industries’ indentured servants on Capitol Hill -- corporate toadies like James Inhofe and Tom DeLay.
A purely political maneuver by the Republican majority, this is nevertheless an affront to one hundred eighty years of Senate practice. All of us who care about precedent, about established rules of engagement, should voice objection to this clear attempt to move the goal post when it’s your turn to kick.
What's going on? Why do so many Americans support the preservation of the filibuster -- a parliamentary rule they don't fully understand?
The answer in a nutshell: “because of George W. Bush.”
For all the people who’ve been terrified that a Villaraigosa mayorship means ``Los Angeles, Mexico’’ - just like it said on those billboards for a Spanish-language TV news show - I predict that Antonio Villaraigosa’s first mayoral proclamation will be to calm everyone’s fears by declaring that the official food of Los Angeles is macaroni and cheese.
The election of a Spanish-speaking liberal Latino to preside over America’s second largest city carries huge political symbolism especially at a time when the national immigration debate is simmering.
Wouldn’t it be delicious if the female orgasm were the thing that tips the scales in favor of the Intelligent Design crowd? It would make for a great closing argument: "The female orgasm is so complex and strange, it could only have come from God. The reason there is no evolutionary purpose to it is because there is no evolution!
For one day, let's put away our clickers (why change channels any more, when each one carries the same story over and over and over and over again?), let's let our morning papers lie (turnabout is fair play) where they've fallen in our driveways or on our front porches. For one day, let us not tune in to our favorite show; or our favorite wife, serial, or child killer.
Newsweek offers its own version of “doublethink,” which Orwell described in 1984 as the ability “to know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies.” That’s Newsweek’s contribution to Newspeak: the non-retracting retraction.
You just gotta hope that the emasculation of Arlen Spector last year by the right wing has these moderate Republican members wanting to break out. There is no future for them unless they can first demonstrate and then survive independence from the Radical Right.
Pick up tips. These are all designed to make your target comfortable enough to leave the bar with you:
1) Wear a rugby shirt. This makes you seem like as a decent sort of guy. What kind of predator wears a rugby shirt? Answer: None.
How wonderfully ironic that, just as the Times is running a series on class in America, it's introducing a measure that will profoundly divide readership by class.
Boy and girl have sex. While girl is on top, girl shifts her body in a way that causes a painful injury to boy. Boy then sues girl, for negligence. I love the law; never a dull moment.
A French woman spends an entire year eating nothing but fois gras, drinking red wine and smoking three packs of filterless Gauloises a day, and finds that not only does she remain thin, but that her life expectancy increases over that of her American counterpart.
Have the neo-cons turned yak-eating surrender llamas in the steppes of middle Asia? After five years of lacerating attack from America for "not seeing the danger in Saddam", Europeans are understandably watching to see how America reacts to Karimov.
I hope Sen. Frist and his jackals carry the day. Let them remove those safeguards which have assured the minority party a continuing voice in the Senate, and then let them fret about it for thirty years after the pendulum swings back our way in 2008.
Halliburton, king of corporate war profiteers, conducts its annual shareholders' meeting Wednesday in Houston. There will certainly be a lot to discuss. Bribery in Nigeria and Iraq, accounting fraud, contract fraud in the Balkans and Iraq, dealing with former CEO Cheney's "Axis of Evil" (Iran), etc. It's hard to keep track.