by Ted on August 5, 2004

JuliusBlog has assembled a timeline of terror alerts, along with the bad news for the Bush Administration that preceeded them. They’ve done a good job of finding links and backup.

My take: It looks like a pattern- bad news for Bush is followed by a terror alert or the announcement that a terrorist has been captured- but I don’t think that I buy it. Any administration will consistently face a stream of bad news, large and small, bogus and legitimate. Even if the dates had been chosen by throwing darts at a wall calendar, a dedicated researcher could probably come up with a timeline that looked much like this.

I don’t think that it’s too hackish to say that a lot has gone wrong for Bush in the last year, but many of the most harmful stories were not met by a timely terror warning or capture announcement. I’m thinking of Richard Clarke, Valerie Plame, and the first release of pictures from Abu Ghraib.

I just don’t want to see this approach turned around on President Kerry, I guess.

Reasons for despair

by Ted on August 5, 2004

* Michael Savage, the nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host with two best-selling books under his belt, said this yesterday:

“When you hear “human rights,” think only one thing: someone who wants to rape your son. And you’ll get it just right. OK, you got it, right? When you hear “human rights,” think only someone who wants to molest your son, and send you to jail if you defend him.”

* “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” come in for a debunking from Matt Gunn, and more from Bob Somersby. For example: I had heard of Grant Hibbard, Kerry’s former commanding officer who has questioned Kerry’s first Purple Heart. Many, many sources have repeated his recollection that Kerry’s wound “resembled a scrape from a fingernail.” I had not heard that his recollection was so bad that he misidentified where Kerry was wounded. (Hibbard said that he recalled the “scrape” on Kerry’s forearm; medical records show that the shrapnel was actually removed above Kerry’s elbow.)

I think what I find most disappointing are the people who know better. They know that this group is untrustworthy, but they find the charges too useful not to promote. And yes, I’m sure that there are ample ways to turn this charge around on liberals. Poetic justice as fairness, once again.

* Roy Edroso points to an old article by Mark Goldblatt about how his debut novel, 176 pages of racial shock-jockery called Africa Speaks, has been “whiteballed” because he hasn’t gotten any big-name reviews. There’s a lot of competition for this title, but I really believe that this self-pitying tripe may be the Worst National Review Article Since They Stopped Openly Supporting Segregation. Worse than “I hate Chelsea Clinton.” Worse than “Howard Dean’s incest vote.” Worse than their stint hosting Donald Luskin’s Poor and Stupid blog. It may be worse than Ann Coulter’s “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”- at least Ann had the excuse that she was in genuine state of grief and shock. Yes, the competition is stiff, but this scrappy guy is a real contender.

(Fun fact: did you know that there were 175,000 books published last year? It’s true!)

I cannot tell you how good Daniel Drezner and The Volokh Conspiracy look to me right now. We need rational right-wingers more than ever.


by Chris Bertram on August 5, 2004

Most of the on-line obituaries for Henri Cartier-Bresson are photograph-free, which is a bit pointless. But the “New York Times is an exception”:http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/04/arts/04CND-CARTIER.html?hp , and includes links beyond to Magnum and elsewhere.

UPDATE: _Libération_ has “a good set of links”:http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=228457 to HCB galleries on the web.