Nota Bene #32

Got hot links if you want ’em!

In “Yes We Can,” his response to the skepticism he expected Al Gore’s speech to be met with, the New York Times’ Bob Herbert writes: “When exactly was it that the U.S. became a can’t-do society?”

Naomi Klein on the ease of accessing Iraq’s oil, as opposed to elsewhere: “. . . stick a straw in the ground and suck.”

Don Banks of on Brett Favre’s appearance on Greta Van Susteren’s show: “For a minute there I thought Favre might have some new information on the Natalee Holloway disappearance.”

Elaine Sciolino of the New York Times reports that international talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions ended in deadlock on Saturday: “. . . for some, it is hard to understand why the Americans have made a diplomatic gesture. . . at this time. America’s negotiating partners, particularly Britain, had wanted an American presence when they traveled to Tehran last month to present an enhanced package of incentives.” Besides, this time, Iranians had give no “strong signal that it was going to be different from the past.” Like going to the Security Council before invading Iraq, maybe it’s just a pro forma step on the part of the administration preceding an attack, or sanctioning one by Israel, on Iran.

Justin Raimondo at “The American elites are unanimous in their verdict that the US must establish and maintain an American enclave in the Middle East: the only debate’ is over where the main forward base is to be located. McCain says Iraq, and Obama prefers Afghanistan.”

Laura Rozen at Mother Jones actually got David Wurmser, former Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, to talk: “What those in the administration who don’t want Israel to act probably won’t want is for [the matter] to be taken to the highest level. They would always be afraid that [the president] might not be so tough on the Israelis. If the Israeli [government] really intends to do something, they would go to the highest level without a lot of people knowing.”

The Washington Post’s Ann Scott Tyson quotes Defense Secretary Robert Gates on our militarized foreign policy: “‘We cannot kill or capture our way to victory’ in the long-term campaign against terrorism, Gates said, arguing that military action should be subordinate to political and economic efforts to undermine extremism.”

In “Who’s killing aid workers in Somalia?” Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times writes: “Some Western security analysts theorize that in the violent murkiness that has overtaken the country, unsavory elements within the Somali government may be killing aid workers to discredit Islamist opposition groups and draw in United Nations peacekeepers, who may be the government’s last hope for survival.”

Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side, an account of how our torture regime came into existence: “I personally doubt there will be large-scale legal repercussions inside America for those who devised and implemented ‘The Program.’ . . . My guess is that the real accountability for President Bush will be in the history books, not the court room.”

At Politico, John Bresnahan writes: “Capitol Hill Democrats have begun to complain privately that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is insular, uncooperative and inattentive to their hopes for a broad Democratic victory in November. ‘They think they know what’s right and everyone else is wrong on everything,’ groused one senior Senate Democratic aide. ‘They are kind of insufferable at this point.'”

At In These Times, Terry Allen writes that, as an aging man, McCain is “on numerous drugs for a panoply of age-appropriate ailments: Hydrochlorothiazide for kidneys, Simvastatin for high cholesterol, occasional Ambien CR for sleeplessness, aspirin to prevent blood clots, and Zyrtec and Claritin for allergies. The amiloride he takes to preserve potassium in the blood also lowers blood pressure.” As Allen says, age-appropriate — and that’s the problem.

James Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation: “With the death of the IndyMac Bank last week, and. . . Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac laying side-by-side in the EMT van on IV drips, headed for the Federal Reserve’s ever more crowded intensive care unit, there was a sense of the American Dream having passed through the. . . opening of a black hole.”

Brian McKenna at Smirking Chimp on skin cancer: “Australia and New Zealand have the highest melanoma rates on the planet and as a result have taken dramatic public health measures to fight the disease. They have a ‘No Hat, No Play‘ rule. Every child must wear a hat to play outside. Recess times are often scheduled outside the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. time frame. Soccer games, played without hats under the high sun in the U.S. are delayed till a safer time Down Under. Children have begun wearing neck-to-knee swimsuits on beaches and at pools.”

At Alternet Ursula Sautter and Mary Desmond Pinkowish write about noise pollution: “‘We have lost our rights to enjoy our own property without the intrusion of noise,’ says Ted Rueter, founder and director of Noise Free America. ‘Noise is a form of trespassing.'”

Madonna’s brother Christopher Ciccone has written a less-than-complimentary book about her. On her marriage to Sean Penn: “Sean also loves his friend, the writer Charles Bukowski, who lumbers into the house, day or night, blind drunk and puking. The moment he arrives, my sister escapes into the bedroom, disgusted. She loathes few things more than an undisciplined drunk.”


Former Oakland Raiders star receiver Tim Brown on what’s got into Brett Favre: “If this was anybody else, this wouldn’t be a conversation, because they’d be like, ‘Man, you’re retired. Go on about your business. What’s wrong with you?'”

“That’s Manny” Department

Writes Dan Shaughnessy in the Boston Globe: “However, two innings later, he looked positively hideous when he turned Maicer Izturis’s shallow pop behind short into a triple. Manny flopped on the field like a seal and didn’t know where the ball was until he realized he was sitting on it. Manny got a good chuckle out of his blunder as the Sox were being routed. Sitting behind the backstop in the front row, Theo Epstein did not appear amused. Ditto for No. 1 enabler Francona.”

1 reply »

  1. Perhaps someone should tell the writers at that Afghanistan is not in the Middle East, but Central Asia.

    I recently read a piece that puts a twist on our new found desire to talk to Iran. Gazprom is busy building a near global monopoly over natural gas. Deals in Africa have already been inked, and a deal with Iran is getting closer. Russia and Iran have the #’s 1 and 2 natural gas reserves in the world. It may well be a rouse for military action, but it could also be a fear that we’re about to get spanked at the “great game” again.

    Up here in Packer country (i live behind enemy lines amongst traitors), Favre’s recent antics are even upsetting the loyal cheeseheads. He’s about as good at legacy building as G.W. Bush.

    I’ve never hoped for a career ending injury like i do with Manny. Can he be set up for gambling on baseball?