September 29, 2003

The transcript is finally up from today's Crossfire on CNN. Here is what Bob Novak had to say about Wilsongate: Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this. In July, I was interviewing a senior administration official on Ambassador Wilson's report when he told me the trip was inspired by his wife, a CIA employee working on weapons of mass destruction. Another senior official told me the same thing. As a professional journalist with 46 years experience in… Read more

September 29, 2003

Here's another article on an issue that burns me up. Auto insurers are using customers' credit ratings as a factor in pricing their insurance. The upshot — poor people pay more than rich people do. (See this earlier post.) As James Baldwin says, "It's expensive bein' poor." And it's not just auto insurance. More and more, credit rating is being used for all kinds of things other than extending credit. And in every case, what it means is that people… Read more

September 29, 2003

Today's "daily mis-lead" reminds us that President Bush promised to create 510,000 new jobs in 2003. You have to love the specificity of that number — not "half a million new jobs," but 510,000. Even stranger, the White House also predicted that the jobs bonanza would continue throughout 2004, with 891,000 more jobs created next year. The oddball concreteness of that number is downright goofy. But so was the baseless optimism of these predictions. As the misleader points out, so… Read more

September 29, 2003

It's time for all the peripheral, celebrity, vanity and joke candidates to accept reality and do the right thing. According to the latest CNN poll, a majority of Californians intend to vote "yes" on the recall, with action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger leading with a purality of scab candidates. If this poll is accurate, and if nothing changes during the next week (both of which are big "ifs"), then Arnold Schwarzenegger will be governor of California on Oct. 8. This… Read more

September 29, 2003

Josh Marshall has posted excerpts of this morning's press gaggle with White House spokesman Scott McClellan. You can smell the panic and flopsweat even through the online transcript: QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this — McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved. QUESTION: How does he know that? QUESTION: How does he know that?… Read more

September 29, 2003

Rebecca Traister of The New York Observer (scroll down past Kate) reports on a really bad idea: November will see the debut of a new comic book from G.I. Joe publishers Image Comics. "Heaven’s War" focuses on the Inklings, the scholarly cabal that was centered around … C.S. Lewis … J.R.R. Tolkien and … Charles Williams. … According to an advertisement in the Previews catalog published by Diamond Comic Distributors Inc., the book will be set in 1938, with the… Read more

September 28, 2003

I can't be the only one who had to look up this evocative phrase. The dictionary wasn't terribly helpful: frog-march vt [Informal, Chiefly Brit.] to grasp by the arms and force to walk along So why "frog"? Word-wizard comes through: Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang FROGMARCH verb [mid-19th century and still in use] to carry someone face down, one person holding onto each limb; used on drunks or recalcitrant prisoners. And: Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang FROG-MARCH verb [shift… Read more

September 28, 2003

Today's column from David Broder in The Washington Post demonstrates why Broder is "The Dean." Which is to say it demonstrates why he is the ultimate Washington insider. Which is to say it shows that he's completely freaking out of touch. Broder's theme is "discontent" among the electorate. He examines the California recall and "the Howard Dean phenomenon" as evidence of anti-establishment sentiment among the hoi polloi and ponders how these relate to previous periods of electoral "discontent" and their… Read more

September 28, 2003

Earlier today, while some of us were still sleeping or watching the Eagles game, more responsible bloggers were already kneedeep in posts about today's big news — which is sure to be big news for many days to come. Mike Allen and Dana Milbank of The Washington Post have dug deep and discovered an honorable official in the Bush administration. The bombshell of the week was this report from MSNBC.com, revealing that the CIA had formally requested the Justice Department… Read more

September 26, 2003

"The Curious Case of Sidd Finch" was one of the greatest April Fools pranks of all time. For that, and for scores of other reasons, this is sad news: George Plimpton, the New York aristocrat and literary journalist whose exploits in editing and writing seesawed between belles lettres and the witty accounts he wrote of his various madcap attempts to slip into other people's high-profile careers, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan. He was 76. Plimpton's writing gave other… Read more

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