"That letter shows an utter incomprehension of what journalism is for, what it's about, what its purpose is. I don't think you should have to pass a test to have an opinion on something — imagine the chaos that would create in our pundit classes — but this is truly base-level ignorance."* kofi wishes the UN (and the world) was more like FIFA and the World Cup:
"Thirdly, the World Cup is an event that takes place on a level playing field where each country participates in conditions of equality. Only two assets count in this game: talent and teamwork. I would like us to have more playing fields like this one in the global arena. Free and fair exchanges without the interference of subsidies, barriers, or tariffs. Each country having a chance to promote its strengths on the global scene."* blumenthal:
"On June 14, the Pentagon dispatched a document titled "Iraq Floor Debate Prep Book" to Republicans in the House. A Pentagon public affairs officer admitted to the Washington Post that the 74-page document originated in the White House but was repackaged as a Pentagon publication. It is a cut-and-paste rush job to refute advocates of "cut and run." It is also a representative document of the Bush administration: Evidence is cherry-picked, slogans substitute for facts, falsehoods are sold as truth, and "victory" is promised. Connections between al-Qaida and Iraq are slyly hinted at. The old accusations against Jose Padilla as the "dirty bomber," no longer being pressed against him, reappear. The Pentagon document, eagerly seized upon by congressional Republicans as a treasure trove of talking points, accurately gauges the White House's estimate of their ability to assess information on their own."
"At one briefing in 2002, Suskind writes, Bruce Gephardt, deputy director of the FBI, told Bush that a group of men of "Middle Eastern descent" in Kansas had been discovered offering "cash for a large storage facility." "Middle Easterners in Kansas," said Bush. "We've got to get on this, immediately." Bush is reported to like barking orders, almost at a shout. The next day, he demanded a report. "Mr. President, the FBI has Kansas surrounded!" "That's what I like to hear," Bush replied. But it turned out that the men of Middle Eastern descent were operators of flea markets, not would-be terrorists. The diligent FBI had closed in on their accumulated piles of old clothing and Sinatra records.
At a Dec. 13, 2002, year-end review of the war on terror for the president in the Cabinet Room conducted by two dozen senior officials, Bush had some difficulty following the complex details and lack of a simple story line. When Kenneth Dam, deputy secretary of the Treasury, informed him, "Mr. President, the majority of the funders for al Qaeda are Saudis," Bush "looked at Dam, perplexed, as though he either hadn't read the handout in front of him, or was somehow surprised -- though this was all but common knowledge." "That's enough for today," said the president."