Features

Nota Bene #19

Got hot links if you want ’em!

Nobody took off George Stephanopoulous and Charles Gibson’s heads and handed them to them better than Will Bunch at Attytood. But, in an interview, he also asked Barack Obama, if elected, whether he would prosecute the Bush administration after it’s out of office. “Obama sent a clear signal that — unlike impeachment,” he writes, “which he’s ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility — he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush.”

Bill Ayers responded to the furor George Stephanapoulos incited over his history — or lack thereof — with Obama. “I’m sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say ‘no, I don’t regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.’ . . . This is then elided: he has no regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings.”

In an article on Salon, “Hey, Obama boys: back off already!,” Rebecca Traister quotes New Orleans lawyer Becca O’Brien. She spoke of people, especially young men, who object to Hillary’s “personality and record in specific terms, an antipathy they feel comfortable voicing.” Thus is “the energy of the first [personality] expressed in words of the second [record].” Traister also notes that “it’s just as bad for older feminists to instruct women that they have some kind of ovarian, fallopian responsibility” to vote for Hillary.

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In his Counterpunch piece, “Teeth in the Jellyfish,” military analyst William Lind writes: “In his testimony on Tuesday, General David Petraeus . . . said, ‘We’ve got to continue. We have our teeth into the jugular, and we need to keep it (sic) there.’ . . . What we have our teeth into in Iraq is a jellyfish.” Umm, yummy.

In his Los Angeles Times piece, “Target: bin Laden,” Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars,” reports that bin Laden may finally be within our grasp. But, this “has almost nothing to do with the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism strategy. . . . It is a consequence, instead, of dramatic political changes in Pakistan, where Bin Laden is believed to be hiding and where Al Qaeda’s local mistakes and the restoration of civilian democracy have combined to make him considerably less safe.”

In his Knoxville Voice blog, “Bush Defense Secretary Admits 9/11 Was Blowback,” Don Williams writes: “In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 10, 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made the following jaw-dropping statement: ‘We were attacked from Afghanistan in 2001, and we are at war in Afghanistan today, in no small measure because of mistakes this government made.’ . . . Gates is the first high official in the Bush administration to acknowledge what war critics have been lambasted for even suggesting.”

In an article in London’s the Independent, “US and Iran holding ‘secret’ talks on nuclear programme,” Anne Penketh reports on Iran-US ‘back channel’ discussions on nuclear and other matters: “One of the participants, former senior US diplomat Thomas Pickering, explained that a group of former American diplomats and experts had been meeting with Iranian academics and policy advisers ‘in a lot of different places, although not in the US or Iran. . . . The Bush administration ‘did not discourage us,’ he added.” The neocons: They never met a message they couldn’t mix.

In a Washington Post article, “Risk of Nuclear Attack on Rise,” Mary Beth Sheridan writes: “A hearing, called by the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, featured charts showing the horrific effects of a small nuclear device detonating near the White House. . . . ‘Burn care is a nightmare. And we’re completely unprepared,’ [an expert said.] ‘Ninety-five percent of burn victims will not receive care. And most of them will die.'” The good news: If you’re outside the blast zone and the path of the nuclear plume, stay in your home (and pray that you’re not the victim of looters.)

Marvelous Marvin Hagler finds peace in the valley. In his American Scholar piece, “Meeting Marvin,” Brian Doyle quotes the great boxer. “People think I quit because of the last fight with Leonard but that’s not why. It was just time. Fighting is a way to get somewhere and I finally got there.” He adds: “Sweet science, my ass. It’s who wants it more. I wanted it more.”

In his Sports Illustrated piece, “Chien-Ming Wang Has A Secret,” Albert Chen reports on the successful New York Yankees pitcher: “The reason Wang isn’t a star in New York City, where he freely walks the streets undisturbed, is the same reason that so many Taiwanese embrace him: Fans see Wang as humble, quietly hardworking, uncontroversial.” What’s that say about his two respective towns?

In his Sports Illustrated article, “Now is the time to appreciate Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas,” Tom Verducci writes of the steroid era: “To be a ballplayer, especially a home run hitter, at the end of the century has become the historical equivalent of serving in the Nixon White House in the time of Watergate. . . . But now seems like a good time to appreciate Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas, two of the last [steroid-free] remnants of value from that era.”

Never mind Obama and Bill Ayers, in his Huffington Post piece, “Hillary And The Commies,” Marc Cooper writes: “In the summer of 1969, when Hillary was just entering Yale Law School, she went to work for the foremost radical law firm in, yes, Berkeley.” Then he quotes from Carl Bernstein’s book on Hillary, “Woman in Charge”: “They defended the Panthers. Two of their partners were members of the Communist Party — including Bob Treuhaft [whom Bernstein talked to] not long before he died, and he said he was certain that Hillary came there because she subscribed to some of the kind of law they practiced and the kind of clients they defended.”

Appendix

Responding to the above, commenter Bluedog12 writes:
“Here is what I don’t get. Hillary started the 60’s as a Goldwater Girl and ended as Squeaky Fromme. Go figure.”