"What's unraveling within the Labour Party could prove fateful for the Bush administration as well. It carries far more import than any of the longwinded speeches Bush has been making this week and eating up the clock on cable news. For without Blair planted beside him on the summit stage, translating and amplifying his vision into mellifluous oratory to meet the world-historical moment (his hair crackling with an urgent air of crisis), Bush will look denuded, orphaned, like an Everly Brother out there alone. Who else is there? Berlusconi is gone, and good riddance. Putin, into whose soul Bush once peered, has turned aside. Australia's John Howard is too many time zones away. He desperately needs Blair, no matter how shabbily he has treated his junior partner (as evidenced by the "open mike" episode in St. Petersburg, where, as Anatole Kaletsky put in the Times UK, "Mr Blair went beyond the wildest parody in his sycophantic fawning to President Bush"). With Blair badly weakened or dropped down the trap door by his fed-up party, Bush will be even more diminished in his last two lame-duck years."yay, australia.
"Bush's relationship with Rice is perhaps the strangest of his many strange relationships. The mysterious attachment involves complex transactions of noblesse oblige and deference, ignorance and adulation, vulnerability and sweet talk... She shields him from worst-case scenarios, telling him to ignore criticism that misunderstands his greatness, and showers him with a constant stream of flattery that he is a world-historical colossus.
This May, as the situation in Iraq drastically worsened, Rice directed the senior staff that she wants no more reporting from U.S. embassies. She announced in the meeting, according to one participant, that people write memos only for each other and that no one else reads them. She said she didn't and wouldn't read them. Instead of writing reports, the diplomats should "sell America," she insisted. "We are salesmen for America!""
"The day a Democrat suggests an alternative, viable place for our troops to be stationed in the Middle East in order to protect our nation's addiction to oil is the day when a real plan for redeployment can be taken seriously.
"Thanks to everyone’s generaous contributions today, we’ve now raised $13,000 — an excellent start to our goal of $65,000 for the production of Marcy Wheeler’s book on the CIA leak case.
Just think of Judy Miller biting her nails down to the quick at the thought of Marcy actually writing a book and enjoy yourself pressing the "send" button."
* jennifer nix:
"Scholastic: If you simply cannot stop yourself from serving this propaganda up to America’s high school students, how about also showing "9/11 Press for Truth" as well. Allow teachers to lead discussions that will compare and contrast the two movies. You may not have heard about this movie , because it doesn’t have $30 million and a corporate network behind it, but it is a well-documented film, which does not fictionalize scenes but relies on interviews with those who were closest to what happened. The filmmakers have said this film features exclusive interviews with the families of 9/11 victims and 9/11 researcher Paul Thompson, author of the "The Terror Timeline," which pieces together stories from over 7000 media reports about 9/11."
* christy on plame/corn:
"Did you catch it? The JTFI was ramped up several months before 9/11 even occurred. Well, THAT is new, isn’t it? I do not recall that ever being discussed in any of the Senate Intel reports or the 9/11 Commission report or anywhere else for that matter. Does anyone else? I spent a little time yesterday going back through my notes and some of the documents, and I cannot find a reference to this pre-9/11 ramp up on Iraq at the CIA anywhere."