"You're a funny man, Sully ...

that's why I'm going to kill you last."


Friday, October 15, 2004


Security is one word. How can it possibly be a “misnomer,” a term in our experience usually applied to multi-word phrases referring to specific things.

Did he mean, perhaps, to say that the minTaqah al-khaDraa' (OK, we’ve been looking for a long time to use the Arabic for “Green Zone” in a post) is itself a misnomer?

posted by Sully 10/15/2004 11:25:00 PM


Matt Yglesias looks askance at Boot and Kagan:
Neither of those claims is exactly wrong, but if Bush’s conduct of the war on terrorism was actually sound, it doesn’t seem that it would make much sense to welcome his being booted from office just in order to try and widen the circle of people managing the terrorism problem. The reality being avoided here is that the smarter conservative national-security thinkers are contemplating the virtues of a Kerry administration precisely because Bush’s approach hasn’t been successful and there’s no reason to think four more years of the same will achieve anything worthwhile.

posted by Sully 10/15/2004 01:39:00 PM


Why were these sites not guarded? Not enough troops.

Nope. There were enough troops, even with the reduced numbers Rummy made available. Even without 4ID.

Why weren’t they guarded? Because the administration really thought Ahmad Chalabi could come right in and take over just like that. That was, and will remain, the tragic flaw of the Iraq War. And we will be paying for it for years.

posted by Sully 10/15/2004 11:29:00 AM


Fox News will tar President Kerry as a wimp every night no matter what he does. It's what they do. It's all they do.

posted by Sully 10/15/2004 11:25:00 AM

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Sebastian answers one of Sullivan’s questions.

posted by Sully 10/14/2004 02:04:00 PM


P O’Neill looks into Smalltown Boy’s sudden embrace of Hibernia.

posted by Sully 10/14/2004 01:57:00 PM


Jo Fish notes a key omission from Sullivan’s post-debate coverage.
Sullivan spends zillions of electrons doing an e-butt sniffing of His Hero. But, he forgot despite all his analysis of the debate to point out the Osama Gaffe...which is like the edu-macation gaffe, but different. Now, knowing that the Duchess likes 'em firm and resolute, how could he have missed this? Tool.

Remember, in this context, that within weeks of 9/11 Sullivan was advocating an attack on Iraq in TNR.

posted by Sully 10/14/2004 01:49:00 PM

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


We suppose we should say something ourselves about the passing of Jacques Derrida, whom we once actually went to hear speak and got him to autograph a copy of Writing and Difference afterwards, which we now treasure (and that’s all ... not like we actually really managed to read it, which wound up not mattering in the ensuing class discussion. That we can safely say we share with the Blog Queen).

But others have the best stuff. Starting with his death, Adam Kotsko had a long series of posts and reflections, and Michael Bérubé, who elegantly bridges the gap between lit-crit and blogging, has a nice reading of one essay that had a significant effect on him as a student.

As bloggers ourselves, we took to heart his maxim il n’y a rien hors de texte in what we think was a novel way: to justify our anonymity. Perhaps, in a strange way, that was really the best way we could have paid tribute. We don’t understand how, but we somehow see this.

posted by Sully 10/13/2004 01:44:00 PM


As we said last month, there is some relief in seeing the side of Sullivan that lacerates Amy Tan ... it reminds us of why we started this blog in the first place.

Still, though, is it just us or did he add that self-deprecating finale later? Otherwise, we were going to point out that an openly gay Provincetown resident with a history of soliciting unprotected sex online is hardly the person to bash the eggheads to the squares.

posted by Sully 10/13/2004 01:39:00 PM


Wait a minute ... isn’t suicide bombing bad no matter who does it and how much you dislike them? What if Michael Moore blew himself up on the floor of, say, the Republican convention while he had been covering it and took out several dozen delegates? Or on Commercial Street, for Pete’s sake. Would it be so cute then?

How would he defend himself to the victims’ families had he made such a remark?

On the lighter side, we can guess Kos has arrived when Sullivan feels the need to call him a “rabid apparatchik,” although the barb doesn’t carry the weight it once did given Sullivan’s declining influence and relevance.

BTW, he left out this part of Kos’s complaint:

The movie does best when satirizing blockbuster movies (one dimensional characters, groan-inducing one-liners, stilted love scenes), or when showing us the limits of what marionettes can do on film (they don’t strut, fight, or have sex too smoothly). The soundtrack was stellar, and gut-busting funny.

... Politically, the movie would've been better served to dish out the satire in a bipartisan fashion.

posted by Sully 10/13/2004 01:26:00 PM


Given his past comments (many) disparaging Ann Coulter, why is he so happy she’s advertising on his site?

Couldn’t have anything to do with all those referrals he gets from Drudge, would it?

posted by Sully 10/13/2004 01:15:00 PM

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Diana Moon wonders if Sullivan is ripping her (bark) off. As well as Chris Matthews.

posted by Sully 10/12/2004 04:42:00 PM


Jo Fish, who hasn’t really beaten up on Sullivan good in a while, makes up for lost time:
It amazes me that someone as edumacated (allegedly) as the Duchess talks about the War on Terra™ as if it were World War Second. I guess that’s what the brainwashing after consumption of Karl’s kool-aid does to you ... bends reality like light passing over the Event Horizon of a black hole. If the Baroness of the Bong would stop and think about it, the War on Terra™ is a much more equal to the War on Drugs than an actual war. Given her cannabinoid cravings, it’s amazing that there is so little understanding of this, and her the inability to draw that parallel. I guess actual thinking would be involved, instead of wingnut sloganeering. Well, “smoking marijuana is more fun than drinking beer...but a friend of ours got captured and they gave him thirty years*” ... sounds about right for the Fearless Leader/Asscrack War on Terra™, but I guess that the Duchess missed the part where in the War on Terra™ Asscrack has yet to have a successful prosecution, but got Tommy Chong locked up.

posted by Sully 10/12/2004 04:37:00 PM


P O’Neill takes a little issue with both comparing Bush to Gladstone and Sully’s own brief attempt to suggest he grew up in Ulster.

posted by Sully 10/12/2004 04:23:00 PM


Steve Gilliard on why the easy retaking of Samarrah is not something to be happy about:
Wait a month. The boys have nothing but time.Wait until
they start telling the Guardsmen the hell that awaits them for serving the infidels, the rapists of Abu Gharib. The locals and the boys are not stupid and they know the Americans often react like puppies, waiting to be loved by everyone for being good people. Well, they smile and nod and then threaten the Guardsmen when we aren’t looking.

American officers still don’t get the obvious: they were
allowed to retake Samarra without much of a fight because the resistance, the boys, know they can wear the Guardsmen down by kidnappings, killings and propaganda. Why shoot it out with the US when you can just turn the guardsmen a month later by killing one and kidnapping the commander’s son. It’s cheaper, more effective and saves lives.

American officers keep looking for the bright spot when there are none, when we are constantly outhought by the Iraqi Army in the shadows and don’t have the intel to even think we know who we're fighting. These guys think kids are waving to them when they’re really getting the range and time for the boys watching the highway. They still think the Iraqis like and trust them when smiling in one's face is a survival technique developed under centuries of dictatorship and imperial rule.

So yeah, they think we won in Samarra and the boys want them to think that. Of course, this is a strategy designed to lure the US into overconfidence and setting the stage for something truly nasty, like the destruction of an entire unit.

posted by Sully 10/12/2004 04:12:00 PM


Why the hell did it take Sullivan two days to read that Times story on the Australian election? Even by his standards, that’s appallingly slack.

Bonner’s interpretation, BTW, is not just spin but supported by two Howard voters interviewed for the story:
“This country is too wealthy” to vote for Labor, said Antonino D’Albora, a 60-year old taxi driver, capturing the political ambience here. He was voting at a school in Bondi, in the heart of one of the wealthiest districts in Australia, within sound and sight of the famed beach.

Voting is mandatory in Australia, and George Harris, 44, wearing only his bathing suit and tennis shoes, walked into the Bondi surf club to cast his ballot for the Liberals.

“It’s purely a matter of economic management,” he said.

posted by Sully 10/12/2004 04:02:00 PM


When Powerline starts defending what Kerry said against the Bush campaign’s rhetorical depredations, Bush is seriously in trouble.

posted by Sully 10/12/2004 04:00:00 PM

Monday, October 11, 2004


Steve Brady catches Sullivan still trying to make Bush seem heroic.
Seriously, does anyone honestly think that Gore would not have liberated Afghanistan? Unless, of course, he had hired less moronic people who might have stopped 9/11 in the first place, although that still might have lead to the liberation of Afghanistan. And, of course, I would argue that he would have done it better.

It also occurs to us, now that the Bushies have something from Afghanistan, however fleeting it may be (we hope not but we are not optimistic, given the Bushies’ tendency to treat a war so important as an old toy they outgrew) that they can point to as an accomplishment, just how little regard they seemed to have for this accomplishment as early as summer 2002, when they were all touting a confrontation with Iraq as what the United States had to do to make a statement to the terrorists, as if Afghanistan had been some war game they downloaded, tried the night before and decided not to buy.

posted by Sully 10/11/2004 09:57:00 PM


As most of you who read other liberal blogs probably know, New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent committed a major breach of privacy yesterday when he published the name of a reader who sent reporter Adam Nagourney a seemingly threatening email.

We gave Sullivan the usual 24 hours to pick this story up and say something about it. He has not.

This might, at first, seem peculiar. He likes to think he owns the whole privacy issue, after all.

But maybe not. In fact, definitely not. Certainly not where this is concerned.

As longtime readers may recall, he did exactly the same thing himself once upon a time almost two years ago, publishing the name and a critical, invective-laced private email, without bothering to get the original author’s permission, from a Yale history professor he had nominated for a Sontag Award based on something she wrote in the Yale Daily News, a publication we’re sure is on every Middle American breakfast table.

This was, you see, at a time when he was making a big deal out of his own respect for the privacy of readers’ email. When he promised that no email would be published without the express authorization of the reader. That’s why his letters page remains anonymous.

And after he made a big deal of not sharing an email from The Boston Globe’s Alex Beam. After he took Slate’s Tim Noah to the woodshed for being the first to post the (by then widely forwarded) Danielle Crittenden email that (whatever he said) cost her husband his job at the Bush White House.

So, like so many other issues, he himself is fatally and personally compromised on this and prevented from raising his voice.

posted by Sully 10/11/2004 09:15:00 AM


Howard Dean must be delighted and thrilled in some way that he’s getting more mention in this campaign from the opposition candidate than any other unsuccessful presidential candidate in recent memory. Gee, even Nixon didn’t turn Gene McCarthy into a stick to beat Hubert Hunphrey with like Bush is doing with Dean.

Of course, as even Sullivan despite his estrangment from the Bush crew has, they do so only to distort him, hoping people will assume that just because the media described Dean as the most liberal candidate, that just because a lot of his strongest supporters were some of the most obviously liberal people out there, that he would “relent” in the War on (Some) Terror.

This is a rather funny way to treat a candidate who got savaged from the left for saying we need more troops in Iraq earlier this year (He was right). A man who said that Saddam Hussein’s capture didn’t make Americans or our troops any safer (He was right). A man who said as recently as this summer that we should not pull troops out of Iraq.

And here’s what he himself said late last year, during those golden days when he was the front runner:

First, we must strengthen our military and intelligence capabilities so we are best prepared to defend America and our interests.

When the cold war ended, Americans hoped our military’s job would become simpler and smaller, but it has not.

During the past dozen years, I have supported U.S. military action to roll back Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, to halt ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, to stop Milosevic’s campaign of terror in Kosovo, to oust the Taliban and al Qaeda from control in Afghanistan. As President, I will never hesitate to deploy our armed forces to defend our country and its allies, and to protect our national interests.

And, as President, I will renew America’s commitment to the men and women who proudly serve our nation — and to the critical missions they carry out.That means ensuring that our troops have the best leadership, the best training, and the best equipment.

It means keeping promises about pay, living conditions,
family benefits, and care for veterans — so we honor our commitments and recruit and retain the best people.

It means putting our troops in harm’s way only when the stakes warrant, when we plan soundly to cope with possible dangers, and when we level with the American people about the relevant facts.

It means exercising global leadership effectively to secure maximum support and cooperation from other nations, so that our troops do not bear unfair burdens in defeating the dangers to global peace.

It means ensuring that we have the right types of forces with the right capabilities to perform the missions that may lie ahead. I will expand our armed forces’ capacity to meet the toughest challenges — like defeating terrorism, countering weapons of mass destruction, and securing peace — with robust special forces, improved military intelligence, and forces that are as ready and able to strengthen the peace as they are to succeed incombat.

Yet Dean has become the Republican’s surrogate for an appeasing peacenik. Go figure. It must make him want to scream.

Oh, and, at the time, Sullivan responded to Dean’s speech thusly:

... it’s difficult to see any distinction between Dean’s policy and Bush’s.

Now if this were any other pundit save Sullivan, we’d say Dean has the amazing power to turn his critics into flip-floppers.

ADDENDUM: Go back and read Dean’s speech, and Sullivan’s critique, again. Then ask just where Sullivan gets off being such a critic when he is now saying exactly what Dean was:
But it’s in America’s interests also to show that we can reach out to moderate Muslims, placate the Europeans, and expand the anti-terror alliance.

posted by Sully 10/11/2004 08:49:00 AM

... however crude Bill Safire's spin.

When has it ever not been?

posted by Sully 10/11/2004 08:47:00 AM

Sunday, October 10, 2004


So, without any fanfare, the place occupied in turn by such classics as “too vile to read” and “Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!” has now been devoted to the sarcastic deployment of a Dick Cheney quote. At least we think so.

Can’t wait to hear him explain this.

posted by Sully 10/10/2004 01:59:00 AM


If Sullivan wants to link to the Hatemonger’s Quarterly again in the future, he might want to consider that they seem to think that there is something inherently giggly about African-American history and culture:

So, to sum up for our friends unfamiliar with the scholarly world of “black studies,” Ms. Morgan produced one paltry book, no rap CDs, and nary a music video. Tenure material? We think not.

It is particularly interesting to note that Ms. Morgan received tepid reviews from her students, even though she was instructing them on the finer points of such heavyweights of the Western canon as the Beastie Boys and Run DMC. Perhaps she gave them too much reading — we mean, listening — to do for homework?

Instead of keeping such a tight focus on the crucial sub-field of “hip-hop,” the department, thanks to Mr. Summers’ guidance, appears more interested in the far more nugatory subject of African languages. (Apparently, Mr. Summers doesn’t count Ebonics, and its illustrious precursor, Jive, as languages.)

One wonders who is going to fill the gaping holes in the African and African-American Studies’ curriculum, now that the Bobos have packed up their red noses and clown shoes, and headed to the West coast. To make matters worse, Cornel West has already taken his Buckweat-inspired hairdo and rap CD to Princeton.

Who is going to save the department, the university, and Western culture, by endowing a new DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince Chair? It’s going to cost a lot more than 50 Cent.

[/rimshot] We thought it couldn’t get worse than misspelling Buckwheat, but somehow it does:

To quote some rap “artist” or other: O tempora! O mores! (We think LL Cool J said that, but we’d have to defer to the greater knowledge of Ms. Morgan on this subject.)

One might even venture to expound that Harvard is wack. And the department be illin’.

If we weren’t so above the fray, we’d suggest that someone ought to bust a cap in Mr. Summer’s posterior. (Or is that booty?) Harvard has allowed two professors to hip and hop out of its comfy purlieus, and take up shop in the sordid, second-tier world of Stanford. Oh, dear.

How will Harvard students become informed on such key subjects as “human beat boxes”? How will they be able to tell a rap artist” from a common street criminal? How will they learn to listen to souldeadening anti-music that glorifies violence and kindred social pathologies?

We never thought we’d come to appreciate and respect Vanilla Ice this much.

Really, guys, we’re laughing but not with you, if you know what we mean?

Can’t imagine what’s going to happen when TBogg gets ahold of this (though we sort of have an idea). We’re not even sure we want to watch.

UPDATE: Again, they come back for more, attempting to respond to the arguments above but utterly ignoring some of the points we made below in our last update.


  • If you want to make great hay out of supposed grammatical blunders, it would do well to actually cite a valid one. The only one they actually note, our use of the third person plural to refer to them and their blog, is naturally justified by their own use of the first-person editorial “we” throughout their blog. (Also, isn’t it rather affectatious to call a blog a “quarterly”? OK, Gentlemen’s Quarterly is now published every month, but the magazine went to being just GQ a long time ago).
  • “Again in the future” may be redundant indeed but it’s actually quite common. Complaining about it is, alas, like complaining about “free gift.”
  • To clarify and reiterate: It’s plain from the quoted material that African-American culture is just one big setup line to these guys. No, they’re not Klansmen, they wouldn’t pass the entrance exam ... but this kind of attitude is what sustained minstrel shows for so many years.
  • Hey! Look at us! We used “wack” and “Harvard” in the same sentence! Word! Too bad we couldn’t work in “playa” somewhere along the line.
  • OK, they do seem to have watched MTV sometime in the last 15 years.
  • Yes, there are and have been white rappers (long before Eminem, in fact). But saying that the historical fact of the Beastie Boys’ existence diversifies rap is about as true as saying that Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice (well, maybe not her) prove the Bush Administration isn’t white. It’s technically accurate but it misses the point.
  • Seems like your attitude about rap is shared by some of our really upstanding citizens. (Note who signed the petition first). Whatever you think about it, it’s here to stay, and most conservatives have made their peace with it.
  • As for imagining that we think it to be the apex of black culture and then using that to impute racism to us, well, that act of intellectual gymnastics must have seemed like a good idea at the time ... They lean on a year-and-a-half-old post on the now-abandoned An Age Like This blog to try to make it stick (and the only response that post ever actually generated from any of the blogger’s readers was a clever comment, now deleted, about how clever it was that worked a line from a Morrissey song into one of our criticisms of Smalltown Boy).
  • “[A] serious and respected journalist.” Serious? The longer he has blogged, the more Sullivan has become a joke within his old community. Respected? For running hypocritical Internet personals? For running dubious fundraising appeals? For seriously pissing off most of the right-wing blogging community who finally saw the intellectual inconsistency the rest of us did? Please, Andrew, even at this point in your life you deserve better quality groupies than this!

It also occurs to us to say again that the Hatemongers lose on points: as we still have no problem pointing out, we’ve been around longer and get more regular hits than they do. Or will. (As of 10:45 p.m. EST, at the end of a US holiday weekend, we were at 520 hits, more than twice their total of 204 on the day).

Technorati also seems to suggest that we’re stickier. We don’t think it’s just the fact that we’ve been around longer, either.

posted by Sully 10/10/2004 01:12:00 AM

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Blogging the Blog Queen


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The fisking of Norah Vincent

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Excerpts from Lee Siegel's 2001 Harper's piece

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Who Was That Masked Man?

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How the media lynched O.J. Simpson

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Journalists behaving badly, updated.

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"Bush reveals his poisonous colours"

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"The Princess of Provincetown"

Jim Capozzola goes further in that direction than we would ever dare.


Sullivan urges the Bush Administration to lie to the public

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The Washington Times: An irredeemably left-wing rag

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