Saturday, January 29, 2005
AND NOW A DISSENTING VIEW FROM OUR SPONSOR:
Just when it seems Andrew Sullivan couldn’t give his former buddies on the right side of the blogosphere any more ammo to work with, he runs an ad for oilforfoodfacts.org, a site set up by the UN Foundation that defends the UN against charges that it and its officials benefited from corruption in the program.
Mind you, even after Abu Ghraib and the end of the great Iraqi WMD hunt, Sullivan has held onto OFF corruption charges as the last slender reed upon which to justify the war and batter critics.
Yet here he is now running an ad which leads you to a site that directly questions and contradicts that. Are his cashflow problems that bad?
posted by Sully 1/29/2005 10:41:00 PM
THINGS WE CATCH IN THE NEW YORK TIMES THAT NO ONE ELSE SEEMS TO:
Maybe someone should follow the lead of Veiled Conceit and blog the Times’ obit pages. Because this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
Today we just happened to catch this at the bottom of the page:Cordelia Scaife May, the publicity-shy sister of the billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife and one of the country's richest people, died on Wednesday at her home in Ligonier in southwestern Pennsylvania. She was 76.
To give AP some credit, they mention the important thing right there in the lede. And then almost at the end:
In 1974, she secretly married Robert Duggan, a Pittsburgh district attorney and a longtime family friend.
Mr. Duggan was indicted on federal corruption charges later that year and was found dead the same day. His death was ruled either an accident or a suicide.
[Then-US Attorney for Western PA and future governor Dick] Thornburgh was preparing a tax-evasion case against Duggan, and made preparations to interview Cordelia Scaife, to squeeze her for information about Duggan. She and Duggan quickly got married, meaning that she could not be compelled to provide evidence against her husband. Dickie, according to one account, “was intensely upset. He went into orbit.” Shortly after that, Dickie and Cordelia stopped speaking with each other; by all accounts, they have not spoken since.
On March 5, 1974, Thornburgh got a federal grand jury to hand down a six-count indictment for tax fraud against Duggan. But, a few hours before the indictment came down, Duggan was found dead, apparently of a blast from a shotgun which was found nearby without any fingerprints on it. Duggan’s death was officially ruled a suicide —although, according to a number of sources, Cordelia has always believed Duggan was murdered, as has Duggan’s family.
OK, you don’t have to require that AP put every conspiracy theory about a subject in its obits, and granted this does come from a LaRouche-affiliated site.
But Scaife’s status as the virtually-unchallenged eminence grise of American conservatism should at least prompt that Robert Duggan’s death and the murky circumstances around it be better noted. (Nor is it the only one connected to Scaife).
posted by Sully 1/29/2005 06:38:00 PM
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU LINK TO:
The Galley Slaves blog, where Sullivan says someone again imputed his change of heart about the Iraq war to AIDS dementia (that got old way back when Justin Raimondo was imputing The Blog Queen’s unqualified and zealous support for the war and the administration to the same cause; see what this commentator has to say), although we can’t seem to find it, had this interesting comment way down near the bottom by one Miklos Rosza:I had read him daily, even assisted in anti-Susan Sontag research (since he hadn’t read her)
(Emphasis ours). Hello? He was proceeding to demonize Susan Sontag yet relied on others to collate and filter the information for him? How much other help did he get on his supposed solo blog that he hasn’t yet disclosed (much less paid, we’re sure)? What other topics that he writes about did he rely on outside help for.
As we always knew, he rarely reads the links he clicks on. But now he doesn’t seem to do the in-depth reading, either.
No wonder he renamed the Sontag Award ... he had (imagine!) a guilty conscience.
The blogger in question, Jonathan Last, also sharply observes:Kaus’s baiting has been so demonically successful that he has even succeeded in prompting Sullivan to pop off against Glenn Reynolds, Power Line, and the Belmont Club. (And the ease with which Sullivan does so suggests that he’s been spoiling to to claw at these other blogs for some time now.Well, yes, because they’re all putting up the kind of readership numbers he once did.
To once again quote the wisdom of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen:Now your patrons have all left you in the red,
Your low rent friends are dead
(This life can be very strange).
All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
They've joined the human race.
Some things will never change.
Son you were mistaken
You are obsolete
Look at all the white men on the street ...
posted by Sully 1/29/2005 06:18:00 PM
Friday, January 28, 2005
MAYBE HE WAS REPRESENTING THE FASHION VICTIMS:
Just about every left-wing blog has commented, and drawn some humor from, on Dick Cheney’s inexplicable and indefensible decision (unless his health is in worse shape than we have been told, which is very possible) to appear at the diamond anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz yesterday clad as if he were planning to go ice fishing immediately afterwards.
While it certainly deserves the punchlines as possibly topping the flight suit for worst sartorial misstep by the Bush Administration, and the worst such ever since Colonel Parker showed up at Elvis’s funeral in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, there ought not to be too much levity where Auschwitz is concerned (except that by Tadeusz Borowski).
So, to make up to the world for this stunning display of American bad taste, to show the world that some of us get what it was about, we send you to this Flash version of Auschwitz survivor Charlotte Delbo’s haunting poem, “O You Who Know.” (Not the best translation, alas ... here’s a page with the original).
posted by Sully 1/28/2005 01:27:00 PM
Where the hell does Sullivan get the idea that a ski area banning smoking has something to do with the state? Van Bakel says nothing in his post about this.
And as many of his commenters note, this is entirely a private matter. Less and less people are smoking these days, and it’s entirely likely that thus more and more of them will be averse to the smell of tobacco smoke (particularly if they are trying to stay quit) and take their lift ticket and overpriced hamburger money somewhere else if they can.
In fact, if you actually schuss down to the ski area’s website, you’ll discover that, while it’s owned by a non-profit, it’s not a state-owned area. There are certainly better known and more popular ski areas in Maine.
We can also think of a couple of good practical reasons why a ski area would want to do this over and above attracting smoke-free business — namely, the fire hazard (which, to be sure, has always been there) of someone flicking a still-lit cig stub into a dry trailside wood (You think forest fires can’t happen in winter? You want to be the ski area that gets into the news and has to close down on a big weekend to fight the fire?).
Funny how at least some libertarians are all for the free market until they don’t like the results.
posted by Sully 1/28/2005 01:05:00 PM
Thursday, January 27, 2005
“LUNATIC FRINGE ... WE ALL KNOW YOU’RE OUT THERE ...”:
Well, since we are getting visitors from LGF, we suppose that they deserve some sort of ... acknowledgement (welcome would be insincere on our part).
Red Rider does the honors.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 11:07:00 PM
LGF: NOT COMPLETELY USELESS:
It is, in fact, from the Streicherites over there that we learned that the Weakly Standing has responded in kind to his anti-Phillip Nobile blogburst a couple of weeks ago.The Scrapbook hasn’t yet been able to find anybody here at the magazine who understands what it is precisely we’re supposed to correct.
The Scrapbook can report, however, that everybody here at The Standard now seems fully inclined to endorse Mr. Sullivan’s judgment that C.A. Tripp “cannot defend himself.” And not just because Tripp is dead. Instead, we’re inclined to think Tripp defenseless because it’s come to our attention that most other “Kinseyite social scientists” gave up defending the manas far back as 1998, when he was still very much alive and active.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 11:02:00 PM
A LINE HAS BEEN CROSSED:
Sullivan has now felt the sting of the infamously Der Stürmer-esque Little Green Goofballs comment section ... you know, the one he used to totally ignore while praising Charles Johnson’s determination to tell us the truth about what devils the Palestinians were?
Not that some of these people don’t have some of the same points often made by lefty observers of Sully’s work (no links due to our longstanding anti-LGF policy; go follow his):
If only Bush had supported gay marriage, Sullivan would still love him, and would probably volunteer to go down to Guantanamo to organize the naked pyramids
It is so sad, though. Sullivan got it. He understood the danger of Islamo-facism. He understood the stakes of the Israel-Palestinian situation. He understood the need to take out Saddam Hussein in the context of 9-11.
Then the Mass Supremes said hooray for gay marriage, GWB said not so fast, and all of a sudden Bush can do no right.
Andrew Sullivan is little more than a petty, malignant narcissist at this point. BTW, isn’t it about time for another “pledge drive"? What did the last one raise $80,000 dollars? All for “increased bandwidth expenses associated with his site. I swear his website is the only one I’m aware of that requires a constant infusion of cash [Maybe, but there are plenty that just like receiving cash ... like us, too – SW]
And so forth ... there’s only so much mouth-breathing and knuckle-scraping we can sit through.
We have to admit, that if someone two years ago the LGF gargoyles would turn their wrath on The Blog Queen, we’d have laughed in your face.
QUICK ADDENDUM: This bit of logic from Mac Donald is just priceless:I have not read the two document collections that he is reviewing, though I have read the key documents that they contain. If this damning allegation is presented therein, however, we would have heard about it in the press.
In other words, I consider so-called liberal bias in the media to be such a metaphysical certainty that I let it do my work for me.
This is your brain on conservatism, folks.
UPDATE: Oh boy. Charles has gotten pissed (go to LGF if you must; look at “Sullivan Off the Rails Again” ... apparently we got linked) and wants an apology.
He almost sounds a little like Amy Welborn, and indeed we’d put him in the running for Andrew Sullivan Victim of the Year 2005 if he didn’t so deserve it.
Good comment here (scroll down):I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Sully decides to honor all us LGFers with a special award. He already has the Derbyshire, the Malkin, the Moore, and others too numerous to mention.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Hairy Fish Nuts gets its first link from us for this comment on the whole mud-wrestling match.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 10:26:00 PM
From the Arnold Kling piece:To wage a war for oil would be to offend the sensibilities of large numbers of decent, well-educated people.
We have this funny idea that’s more than just a hypothetical at this point.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 03:50:00 PM
YOU FORGOT THE LINK!:
Wholly Without Merit John on Sullivan’s latest self-serving bleatings about out outing (as opposed, of course, to the bitchy little non-outing outings that he does all the time).
(And all it needed was this)
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 10:24:00 AM
AT LONG LAST WE KNOW:
Those of you who have read this blog from the beginning may recall the days when we had a partner in crime, the now-defunct Smarter Andrew Sullivan.
Regretfully, SaSSy yielded the field to us two years ago (Has it been that long? [headscratch]).
Like us, SaSSy was anonymous. It was clear from his writing, however, that he was a wonderfully literate and imaginative person, someone whose quotes and links made this blog better when we included them.
Now, thanks to Roger Ailes, we learn that he was none other than ...
... Jim Capozzola!
Going back over the blog entries, it makes sense now. (It always does, doesn’t it?)
Jim, we’d just like to thank you retroactively for all the help and links you gave. Someday, we don’t know when, we can sit at the same table offline as well as on.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 10:18:00 AM
THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE HOPE?:
Read Riverbend’s latest dispatch from Iraq and pretend you are living this way. Now try to imagine the elections making a dman bit of difference in your life.
There hasn’t been a drop of water in the faucets for six days. six days. Even at the beginning of the occupation, when the water would disappear in the summer, there was always a trickle that would come from one of the pipes in the garden.
Now, even that is gone. We’ve been purchasing bottles of water (the price has gone up) to use for cooking and drinking. Forget about cleaning. It’s really frustrating because everyone cleans house during Eid. It’s like a part of the tradition. The days leading up to Eid are a frenzy of mops, brooms, dusting rags and disinfectant. The cleaning makes one feel like there's room for a fresh start. It’s almost as if the house and its inhabitants are being reborn. Not this year. We’re managing just enough water to rinse dishes with. To bathe, we have to try to make-do with a few liters of water heated in pots on kerosene heaters.
Water is like peace — you never really know just how valuable it is until someone takes it away. It’s maddening to walk up to the sink, turn one of the faucets and hear the pipes groan with nothing. The toilets don’t function … the dishes sit piled up until two of us can manage to do them- one scrubbing and rinsing and the other pouring the water.
People in many areas are being told that if they don’t vote — Sunnis and Shia alike — the food and supply rations we are supposed to get monthly will be cut off. We’ve been getting these rations since the beginning of the nineties and for many families, it’s their main source of sustenance. What sort of democracy is it when you FORCE people to go vote for someone or another they don’t want?
Allawi’s people were passing out pamphlets a few days ago. I went out to the garden to check the low faucet, hoping to find a trickle of water and instead, I found some paper crushed under the garden gate. Upon studying it, it turned out to be some sort of “Elect Allawi” pamphlet promising security and prosperity, amongst other things, for occupied Iraq. I’d say it was a completely useless pamphlet but that isn’t completely true. It fit nicely on the bottom of the cage of E.’s newly acquired pet parakeet.
It’s amazing how as things get worse, you begin to require less and less. We have a saying for that in Iraq, “Ili yishoof il mawt, yirdha bil iskhooneh.” Which means, “If you see death, you settle for a fever.” We’ve given up on democracy, security and even electricity. Just bring back the water.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 01:43:00 AM
THE EVIDENCE NOT SEEN:
P O’Neill provides yet more evidence that Arthur Silber was dead on (see last sentence).
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 01:37:00 AM
AXIS OF EQUIVOCATION:
To say Dexter’s Lab fisks Sullivan’s Times Book Review torture piece is inadequate. He does a number on it.
This Sunday, the NYTBR features another long essay and review by Andrew Sullivan, a writer of talent with absolutely no vision or perspective at all, and who in turn possesses some mastery of equivocating with a capital “E.”
Sully and fellow Axis members try to give nuance or color in shades of gray to lunatic gestures — like torture — or psychotic impulses — like imperalism and genocide, in addition to completely ignoring history whenever it’s convenient. In essence, they attempt to give the sociopathic structures of the state more credit than it's inherent sickness allows.
I’m simply pointing out the shaky foundations and shitty drywall on this stinky little house Andrew Sullivan’s attempting to pass off as a charming bungalow.
The point is not whether or not “members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban” deserve humane treatment. The point is that this country is a signatory to the Geneva Convention and it will treat prisoners according to such. Either you’re party to it or you’re not. This is like saying that just because one team's power forward is a no-account brute and is just in a game to foul your best player, you get to travel with the ball or punch out the other team's coach.
So — because Sullivan still can’t logically, with appropriate context, explain the invasion of Iraq and it's links to the war on terror (whatever and wherever that is) — graf #33 is a series of mental and moral contortions and utter bullshit straight out of Friedman's playbook, but without his smug brevity.
Bravo! As we have seen, and preferred to delegate to other critics, Sullivan’s current focus on the torture cases still leaves something to be desired.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 01:17:00 AM
BEGINNING TO GET IT, BUT NOT QUITE, UPDATE:
The blogger we linked to in this post responds somewhat sarcastically, but without really clarifying whether he is truly opposed to the genocide of Muslims.
He does, however, show that perhaps Imam As-Sudais is an antisemite and best ignored anyway. Perhaps Sullivan should do more research before he jumps on these things.
posted by Sully 1/27/2005 01:12:00 AM
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
AND THE GREAT MESSAGE MIXER RETURNS:
Blahlah wonders how he can laugh at the fake VW ad while deploring Gonzales and torture.
posted by Sully 1/26/2005 11:53:00 PM
ANOTHER STORY HE CAME TO QUITE LATE:
Joshua Foust again notes how long ago that “crunchycons” story was covered.It’s good to know Sully is on top of the trends, though. Maybe soon he’ll tell us all about metrosexuals, and what they mean for the future of fashion.
posted by Sully 1/26/2005 11:46:00 PM
NEVER TERRIBLY GOOD AT MATH:
Roger Ailes is the latest to check Sullivan’s arithmetic.
posted by Sully 1/26/2005 08:52:00 AM
BUT NOT US ... HMMM:
Once again, link recirculation via Atrios and The Poor Man brings us to Brad DeLong, who responds to Sully’s insinuation that the Financial Times is somehow anti-American for reporting that central banks in certain foreign countries are getting leery of investing in the dollar because of the Bush Administration’s reckless accumulation of debt:What’s supposed to be anti-American here? That the FT is worrying and reporting about the possibility of a dollar crash when foreign central banks find that they have to stop purchasing Treasury bonds. I have news for Andrew: if that’s anti-American, every single international finance economist — including political appointees — at the U.S. Treasury, at the CEA, and at the Federal Reserve is anti-American. And the overwhelming bulk of international economists worldwide. And me.
I half understand Sullivan's position. Since he’s converted to Paul Krugman’s view of Bush administration fiscal policy, of the competence of Bush’s neoconservative national security advisers, of torture, and of the moral standing of the Bush administration in general, he would look like a real idiot if he continued his Krugman-bashing campaign. So he needs to pick another target.
The real gem here, of course, is what The Poor Man says:Andrew Sullivan, blogging from the Hundred Acre Woods, reads a Financial Times article which says that when foreign central banks are lose confidence in the dollar that’s a bad thing, and declares that the Financial Times is “anti-American.” Brad DeLong, an economist, who apparently thinks that when foreign central banks are lose confidence in the dollar that's a bad thing, and who objects to the idea that he is enemy of the United States, responds cruelly and factually, by pointing out what a total farce is the career of Sully the Pooh:
Love it! New nickname!
And it only gets better:Andrew Sullivan gave DeLong no reason to say those cruel true things, for Andrew Sullivan accuses people of opposing his current country of residence the way other men breathe. Or perhaps the way a dog barks — as a way of signaling displeasure or discomfort, or just as a way of drawing attention to itself, but with no real “meaning,” at least not such as can be ascribed to human speech. In addition to conventionally-trained economists who hold conventional economic views, here is a list, by no means complete, of other people, groups, organizations and inanimate objects which Andrew Sullivan has identified, at one time or another, as enemies of the United States.
Go see the list ... although DeLong reprinted it, we think it’s too long.
UPDATE: Jo Fish throws in his two cents.I guess that part where you know, the news service of another country might report from the point of view of say, their countrymen must have just whizzed right by the Duchess. Sort of like that property tax bill, or something.
posted by Sully 1/26/2005 08:28:00 AM
Monday, January 24, 2005
ALMOST RIGHT DOWN THERE WITH THE INFAMOUS PIZZA JOKE:Just when you thought that the new Jew-hatred may not be so bad ...Even if he was trying to be flip, antisemitism is really not a good subject for a joke. Especially when he mentions Auschwitz in the very next line.
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 11:40:00 PM
MONTHS LATE AND ... OH, FORGET IT:
Again, we just have to point out that that profound insight about how the outrage over that towel sketch on Monday Night Football was racially tinged was widely remarked upon by liberal bloggers at the time (go ahead, Google and find one, we thought Atrios had a great link to a Samuel T. Francis column that explicitly states the racial angle, but we can’t find it right now).
As usual, though, along comes Sully, convinced he’s onto something.
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 10:38:00 PM
BEATEN TO THE PUNCH, AS USUAL:
The Gonzales story was covered on Daily Kos over the weekend.
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 02:45:00 PM
DOWNSIDE RISK:My own view is that a successful democracy in Iraq, and more speeches like the Inaugural, may be just as effective as military threats in the next few years in bringing the mullahs to heel.
But what of the pitfalls of failing to establish a successful democracy in Iraq? Wouldn’t that as much tend to strengthen the mullahs’ hand? Did anyone think about that before we started the war?
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 02:42:00 PM
BEGINNING TO GET IT, BUT NOT QUITE ALL THE WAY YET:The problem with Bush is not his ideals. It’s his ability to put those ideals into practice.
No, you don’t quite understand. For the Bushists who long ago replaced true conservatives, whatever Bush does is ipso facto putting his ideals into practice. That’s what being “faith-based” is all about.
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 11:51:00 AM
ALL BECAUSE OF ME ... I AM (APOLOGIES TO U2):Do you know Leonard Cohen’s song, “The Anthem”? It helped me get through my own AIDS deaths.
Your own? Last we could see, Sully boy, you’re still alive, as you never fail to remind us when you talk about this subject.
Yes, we know what he meant, but here how he phrased it revealed yet more of the attitude so artfully dissected by Arthur Silber, that to Sullivan the tragedies that befall the world and other human beings in it are at their most tragic when they discomfit Andrew Sullivan.
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 11:47:00 AM
Looking over other blogs for possible comment on the Arab News story (one of which was not Little Green Goofballs, unsurprisingly), we found this from Juan Cole:[Helena Cobban] can’t understand why I think things could get worse if the US withdrew precipitously. I can’t understand why it would be hard to understand. The Baathists would begin by killing Grand Ayatollah Sistani, then Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, then Ibrahim Jaafari, and so on
down the list of the new political class. Then they would make a coup. Once they had control of Iraq’s revenues, they could buy tanks and helicopter gunships in the world weapons bazaar and deploy them again against the Shiites. They might not be able to hang on very long, but it is doubtful if the country would survive all this intact.
Had the US not dissolved the Iraqi army, I’d be out in the streets now demanding an immediate US withdrawal.
You will note that Sistani, who is not shy about these things, has not demanded an immediate withdrawal of US forces.
... the US has made a big enough mess in Iraq without compounding it by hanging the Iraqis out to dry and decamping suddenly. By the way, Iraqis have more than once pleaded with me to argue against precipitous withdrawal by the US.
So Cole cannot be counted among the “Bring the Troops Home Now!” crowd. And he should know. Remember this the next time Sullivan makes one of his backhanded potshots at him.
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 11:21:00 AM
PAINTED INTO THEIR OWN CORNER:Is there some reason this didn’t get more play? It strikes me as important.
Because you and those beating the war drums like you once did have no interest in deviating from a narrative that all Muslims are irredeemably violent and pathologically anti-Western, the better that we kill them all?
(See this blogger’s take for an example of same, in most recent update).
posted by Sully 1/24/2005 11:12:00 AM