* stirling's place is still dead. grrr.
"Forget Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, the most popular leader on the Arab Street is Hugo Chavez. That's according to Al Jazeera's Dima Khatib, who has penned a disturbing article on the cult of Chavez emerging in the Arab world. Khatib reports that Chavez's decision to withdraw his charge d'affairs from Tel Aviv has helped him create a following so dedicated that "many [Arabs] declare they are 'ready to die for' Chavez.""
"Even if we assume that this is all transparent White House spin, and that the president didn't read "The Stranger" or much else from his reading list, the question then becomes, why bother with this narrative anyway?* salon interviews scarborough about the IDIOT segment:
USNWR's Walsh wrote that "portraying Bush as a voracious reader is part of an ongoing White House campaign to restore what a senior adviser calls 'gravitas' to the Bush persona. He certainly needs something."
I agree he needs "something," but does anyone seriously believe that producing bogus reading lists will suddenly give people the impression that Bush is "a man of letters"? A voracious reader? An intellectual heavyweight?
C'mon. We're talking about a guy who's supposed to be folksy and simple. It's an image the White House has worked hard to cultivate over the years. The president seems to enjoy it — otherwise he wouldn't openly mock people with PhDs.
The fact that the White House gang is experimenting with a new persona — Bush, the reader — is embarrassing. He's not supposed to be about book learnin'; he's about governing by instinct and relying on the advice of educated people who tell him what he wants to hear. Switching gears now is not only literally unbelievable, it's pointless. The die is already cast."
"I think, really, one of the most telling parts of [Bob] Woodward's book "Bush at War" is when he asks Bush if he talked to Colin Powell about the invasion of Iraq, and he says, "No, I didn't feel the need to, because I knew how we was going to respond, that he was against the war," which sort of sends a chill up your spine, because those are the people you want the president talking to. You want him asking tough questions of aides who actually disagree with him. If you talk to people at the DoD or at the State Department or Capitol Hill, they'll all tell you basically the same thing, that the president is a man who's not only politically incurious, but is also a leader who does not like dissent, and I think that's very dangerous.
It is unfortunate for the Republican Party that loyalty to conservative causes has been linked with George W. Bush. I have a friend, an evangelical pastor, who says it's much worse in churches, where a year or two ago, if he ever questioned what George Bush did, his faith in God was questioned!"
"Iran's navy has fired upon and siezed a Romanian oil rig...the oil Company has stated they have no contact with the ship and the Iranians are still in control of it."this story has had no coverage at all. weird.
* the dailyshow takes on the president. again. (vid)
* someone tried to get on a plane with craig murray's book. the book mentions terrorism.