Heartening vs. Disheartening…


I went to the gym 6 out of the last 9 days.


Defense Secretary Robert Gates knows that war in Iran is futile. Thanks, Wikileaks:

Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, in a meeting with his French counterpart in February of this year, said that “he believed a conventional strike by any nation would only delay Iranian plans by one to three years, while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker.”


I came across this last night on National Geographic. Fantastic documentary. Even more fantastic? Captain Kearney, the Captain of this battalion. He is smart, compassionate, tough as nails and tries hard to understand and work with the Afghan people. It’s heartening to know that there are people like him in the military. Sometimes it’s hard not to picture it as a bunch of Private Pyles led by a bunch of bloodthirsty Dick Cheneys-in-waiting.


The usual. The fact that this idiot princess thinks she can pick and choose WHO she speaks to. And the really disheartening? She’s getting away with it.

“I studied journalism, who, what, where, when, and why of reporting. I will speak to reporters who still understand that cornerstone of our democracy, that expectation that the public has for truth to be reported. And then we get to decide our own opinion based on the facts reported to us.”—To Sean Hannity, in a Fox News interview, Nov. 22, 2010.


A decent morning…

Pre-wig era Phil Spector

I am listening to Phil Spector tunes in all of their glorious weirdness. Drinking coffee and researching Wagner. What’s all this for? I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

Alex Pareene is dropping Truth Bombs all over Salon.com

in the form of his Hack 30 list, the 30 worst political pundits…. there are some doozies, such as:

Peggy Noonan might be the single funniest Op-Ed writer currently working, and for that I do, honestly, respect her. Her red wine-and-laudanum-inspired tales of wandering the Upper East Side in search of some clue to the Contemporary American Mood, her ability to wring a column out of the phenomenon of seeing a Mexican, her sentence fragments and Golden Books prose — all of this makes for a reliably entertaining Friday read. It’s certainly much more fun than a Krauthammer column.

The dotty old Morning-in-America charm is what made her Reagan’s finest speechwriter, and it also helps explain why no one ever calls her on her dog whistles.

Her recurring theme is a return to the innocence and purity of the past. Specifically the “Mad Men” era, or just before it. She allows herself Camelot-worship (as Reagan did), but it’s Eisenhower she pines for. Never mentioned, of course, is the fact that those days were a time of simple joy only for the people lucky enough to be considered fully American by the law and in the culture. She longs for the day when black people, gays and even Beatniks could be safely ignored — the time before they started causing trouble.

And most of her columns follow a similar pattern: Rambling anecdote (probably involving Reagan), misty-eyed reminisce of a Catholic girlhood in a more pleasant America, paean to Grown-up Seriousness in our politicians, pro forma endorsement of some randomly selected item from the Republican Party platform. Things were better before, and that is why we need tort reform, or English as our official language, or tax cuts. Amusing as she is, she’s also predictable.