Related Google News Links
Related Google News Links
As I read this article I had several different interesting thoughts and observations, and I think the 2008 Republican presidential race is really going to heat up once this session is closed. The Senate is going to be under the leadership of Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and (judging by the debate this weekend on Meet the Press) Rick Santorum (R-PA). Bill Frist is going to be out of the picture, and depending on the measures he takes up during this last month, he could have a stellar ending to his legislative career. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dr. doesn't set up shop immediately in Iowa and New Hampshire- he is going to need every minute of face-time he can get with ordinary Americans if he is going to have any chance against Guiliani's charisma.
There is no question Senator Frist is qualified to be President of the United States (there may be no other person more qualified), but he is a drip, and unless he finds himself on the campaign trail his candidacy is over before it even begins. If he can push though an aggressive national security package he sets himself up well to establish his agenda throughout the heartland and the south, there he stands to perform very well against his more liberal primary opponents. I doubt he has what it takes, but I would never count him out.
NOVA | The Elegant Universe | PBS
One of the most fascinating science programs I have ever seen. I first heard of it about a year ago, and I have gone back to rewatch it at least five times since then with friends. Brian Greene, Columbia University physicist and "string theorist" presents very complex concepts in an easily comprehended manner, using very creative teaching techniques and entrancing digital graphics. When you finish the roughly three hour documentary you will find yourself waiting in eager anticipation of scientific break-throughs in things you had never previously heard of, like "super-symmetry" and the "graviton". It is an absolute must-watch, and best of all-- it is totally free.
End of an Affair- Washington Post
"End of an Affair"
It turns out that the person who exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame was not out to punish her husband.
Friday, September 1, 2006; A20
WE'RE RELUCTANT to return to the subject of former CIA employee Valerie Plame because of our oft-stated belief that far too much attention and debate in Washington has been devoted to her story and that of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, over the past three years. But all those who have opined on this affair ought to take note of the not-so-surprising disclosure that the primary source of the newspaper column in which Ms. Plame's cover as an agent was purportedly blown in 2003 was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage.
Mr. Armitage was one of the Bush administration officials who supported the invasion of Iraq only reluctantly. He was a political rival of the White House and Pentagon officials who championed the war and whom Mr. Wilson accused of twisting intelligence about Iraq and then plotting to destroy him. Unaware that Ms. Plame's identity was classified information, Mr. Armitage reportedly passed it along to columnist Robert D. Novak 'in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip,' according to a story this week by the Post's R. Jeffrey
Smith, who quoted a former colleague of Mr. Armitage.
It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House -- that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson -- is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage's identity been known three years ago.
That's not to say that Mr. Libby and other White House officials are blameless. As prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has reported, when Mr. Wilson charged that intelligence about Iraq had been twisted to make a case for war, Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney reacted by inquiring about Ms. Plame's role in recommending Mr. Wilson for a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, where he investigated reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium. Mr. Libby then allegedly disclosed Ms. Plame's identity to journalists and lied to a grand jury when he said he had learned of her identity from one of those reporters. Mr. Libby and his boss, Mr. Cheney, were trying to discredit Mr. Wilson; if Mr. Fitzgerald's account is correct, they were careless about handling information that was classified.Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
--This Washington Post editorial did a wonderful job of summing up the most pathetic attempt by Chris Matthews and his cronies to take overt shots at the credibility and conduct of the Bush White House. Shame on you all.
- Google News-- Beslan Massacre Two Years Out
It has been two years since the tragic hostage situation at the Beslan school in North Ossetia, in which 333 people were killed, more than half of them children. A survey released this week by the independent Levada Centre in
Since 9/11, I have tried very hard to imagine how a terrorist network would best inflict fear in the hearts of the
This article inspired several interesting thoughts as I read through it.
First, Newt Gingrich is doing a great job of being straight forward with the media on the reasons why it is so important for the Republicans to retain control of the House of Representatives. Who cares if they lose the Senate- they deserve to- but Speaker Pelosi is one of the most frightening thoughts I can imagine.
Second, it seems clear that Newt has serious ambitions of running for president, mainly because I don't think he is scared to death of the second scariest thing I can imagine- President Hilary Clinton- YIKES!!! Though I think I would be a formidable candidate, he may not be the wisest choice for the Republicans, but he is without question the next best thing. That is why he should be Rudy Guiliani's running mate. This would allow Guilliani to not worry too much about the more conservative elements of the party and instead focus on taking votes away from Clinton at her base. As far as I am concerned this duo is the closest thing to unbeatable.
Third, Joe Biden is a deeply irresponsible person and though he is correct about North Korea being the greatest threat- as you may have read me say in my post from a few days ago- it is ridiculous for him to assert that the Iranians don't have the capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon to harm our interests in the region. Since when is a missle the only way to deliver a nuclear payload. Why could they just sneak it into Baghdad and let it blow outside of the Green Zone?
These are just random ramblings, but I think these are all reasonable points.