Author Archives: mweiss

 

Desperately Seeking Puppetmaster

Does this Craigslist ad contradict itself? Very well, it contradicts itself. It contains multitudes. Excellent career opportunity for Boy Genius Excellent career opportunity!!! Seeking Deputy White House Chief of Staff to take over all United States domestic affairs! Run the entire country from your office in the West Wing. Direct and instruct POTUS, CIA, and top journalists (NYT, Time, etc.) on all issues of national importance. Read more on Desperately Seeking Puppetmaster…
 

The Only Story Is The Raw Story

Try to tenderize a scoop of uncooked turkey and see what happens to you. This just landed in our in-box from an editor at The Raw Story, sent from his on-the-record and very hush-hush Gmail account: Read more on The Only Story Is The Raw Story…
 

The Frontline Documentary and Follow-Up

For those who didn’t tune into PBS’s Frontline last night to watch the chilling documentary, “The Torture Question,” the Post has just conducted a Q&A with its producer Michael Kirk. The metaphor that recurred so often as to become a trope of the film was one of “gloves coming off.” This was used by officials like Donald Rumsfeld to indicate the fulcrum moment in intelligence gathering (or better say, intelligence “extraction”) following 9/11, and then again after the first wave of jihadist attacks in Iraq. Interesting way of phrasing it, since the level of sadism resorted to at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay would indicate that gloves were the very least of the garments purposefully put on to bloody, intimidate, and abase. (Unless of course it’s just a coincidence that inappropriate interrogation methods were defined as the infliction of any injury resulting in “organ failure.”) –MICHAEL WEISS Read more on The Frontline Documentary and Follow-Up…
 

All Over But the Shooting

David Ignatius is employing the noir western trope to describe the near-completed UN probe into the murder of Lebanese reformer Rafiq Hariri: A warning of the bloody denouement of this drama came last week, when Syria’s interior minister, Ghazi Kanaan, was found dead in Damascus of a reported suicide. Almost nobody takes that at face value. One version has it that Kanaan was killed (or handed the gun and told to do the honorable thing) as a fall guy in the Hariri killing. I tend to doubt that version, because Kanaan had been close to both Hariri and Washington. Instead, I wonder if his death was a counter-coup by pro-Assad operatives in Damascus who feared Kanaan as a potential rival. I’m told that [UN investigator Detlev] Mehlis asked to examine Kanaan’s body before it was quickly buried, but was refused. Read more on All Over But the Shooting…
 

Bush and Bono

My Irish half has been aching all week to end my troubles with Bono. I fucked up my first day on the job by assuming rumors of his Good Friday Agreement with Rick Santorum were true. (They were not. Also, that whole “intelligent design theory” as scooped by Newsmax? Less than reliable. You heard it here first.) Read more on Bush and Bono…
 

“I’ll Hammer Anyone Involved, But Snow-Job Y’All Into Thinking He’s Fired”

The worst part about Bush having known two years ago of Boy Genius’s role in this silly little kerfuffle? Mixed metaphors: As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nears a decision, perhaps as early as today, on whether to issue indictments in his two-year probe, Bush has already circled the wagons around Rove, whose departure would be a grievous blow to an already shell-shocked White House staff and a President in deep political trouble. Read more on “I’ll Hammer Anyone Involved, But Snow-Job Y’All Into Thinking He’s Fired”…
 

New York Times Resorts to Tween Girl IM-Speak

That’s “two,” not “to,” but you actually have to read the article to figure out that the cast of The O.C. isn’t in charge of writing the headlines these days. Space-saving maneuvres evidently apply only when the Times isn’t apologizing for some major blunder. It’s a nice idea, though. Read more on New York Times Resorts to Tween Girl IM-Speak…
 

Who Can It Be Now?

The New York Daily News indicated in this morning’s story about Cheney being a possible indictee that it’s likely someone within the White House is playing the role of what Matt Cooper would call a super duper top secret rat. Read more on Who Can It Be Now?…
 

Harriet the Sly

Well, that was easy. You don’t run for local office without being hit with a barrage of PAC and interest group questionnaires. Not to answer them means receiving no endorsements; and we all know how Harriet Miers hungers for those. Frankly, I’m surprised this “revelation” didn’t happen weeks ago to someone who once had the option to vote for her for Dallas City Council. It’s all public record. She answered “Yes” straight down the line on the Texans for United Life sheet. Among the queries: If Congress passes a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit abortion except when it was necessary to prevent the death of the mother, would you actively support its ratification by the Texas Legislature? If the Supreme Court returns to the States the right to restrict abortion, would you actively support legislation that would reinstate our 1973 abortion law that prohibited all abortions except those necessary to prevent the death of the mother? More after the jump. –MICHAEL WEISS Miers Backed Abortion Ban in 1989 [WaPo] The Docs [AP] Read more on Harriet the Sly…
 

Dubya: A Columbus of the Very Near-at-Hand

Before the National Review goes to war with the other Families of intellectual conservatism (“That’s alright, this thing’s gotta happen every five years or so — ten years — helps to get rid of the bad blood”), in swoops Adam Bellow to argue that the real problem is what Harriet Miers doesn’t know, not necessarily whom she does. Bellow is of course the author of the book In Praise of Nepotism: A History of Family Enterprise from King David to George W. Bush, and must be thanking every one of his outstretched bootstraps that the current tussle over the president’s Supreme Court pick has him working again. (Outstretched definitions, too: he’s the one conflating cronyism with nepotism). But hang on a minute: Read more on Dubya: A Columbus of the Very Near-at-Hand…
 

Zen and the Art of Federal Emergency Management

When FEMA was absorbed into the greater Homeland Security apparatus, the protocol for immediate disaster relief operations changed. An event labeled an “incident of national significance” — like Hurricane Katrina — meant an automatic realignment of bureaucratic hierarchy, and Michael Brown was technically demoted before he should have been fired. The Washington Post snagged some 80 e-mails which were furiously sent back and forth among now-high-profile incompetents, who also don’t talk so good: Read more on Zen and the Art of Federal Emergency Management…
 

Righty Fratricide: No One Gets Away Clean

The first thing we do is kill all the better-qualified lawyers. Then we sack the think-tankers. Bruce Bartlett of the Dallas-based conservative brains trust, the National Center for Policy Analysis, has been axed from his position there as a senior research fellow. Now, we’re not saying it’s because he recently scribbled this: Read more on Righty Fratricide: No One Gets Away Clean…
 

Are You Ready, Boots?

The footwear: Personalized/emblemized black leather cowboy boot. The man: Texas Senator John Cornyn. The setting: Monday’s press conference on the immigration bill. The fearful: All. –MICHAEL WEISS Roll Call
 

SHARI-BGB’s

Reason Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie exposes the fussy evolution of fissile pride: Some 50 years ago, Allen Ginsberg told “America” to “Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.” A decade or two after that, Frank Zappa noted that having nuclear weapons and football teams helps, but “you can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline.” Read more on SHARI-BGB’s…
 

The Paddy Wagon: Then and Now

At just 45 years-old, Patrick Fitzgerald may be only a hatchling of an independent prosecutor, but his deposition skills have been forced to mature rather quickly. This is because they haven’t always been used for good; they were formerly used for even better. And once again, African intrigue related to occluded intelligence about Saddam’s WMD program was at the heart of the matter. Read more on The Paddy Wagon: Then and Now…