Nota Bene #41

Links of the Week (as opposed to the Weakest Link):

Stop the presses: John McCain tells the truth. Laurence Vance at explains: “In an interview with 60 Minutes in 1997, McCain mentioned the confession his North Vietnamese captors forced him to write: ‘I was guilty of war crimes against the Vietnamese people. I intentionally bombed women and children.’ The truth, of course, is that what McCain wrote under duress is actually an accurate statement.”

Juan Cole in his post this 9/11: “Convincing the Pushtun population generally to put up with 70,000 US and NATO troops and with air strikes that kill civilian villagers is a fool’s errand.”

At Esquire, Ron Suskind writes about President Bush’s decision to issue tax-rebate checks: “He was convinced, he told Bush, that the president’s position would soon enough be seen as ‘bad policy.’ This, it seems, was the wrong thing to say to the president. … President Bush looked at the man. ‘I don’t ever want to hear you use those words in my presence again,’ he said. ‘What words, Mr. President?’ ‘Bad policy,’ President Bush said. ‘If I decide to do it, by definition it’s good policy. I thought you got that.” There’s no chance he was being facetious, is there?

Mark Leibovich of the New York Times on Joe Biden’s poorly covered campaigning. When both Biden and McCain “were at Columbia University last week on the Sept. 11 anniversary, Mr. Biden had a staff member try to arrange a dressing-room visit with Mr. McCain. But Mr. Biden was told not to come. … ‘I walked down anyway,’ Mr. Biden said. ‘And who the hell is going to stop me?’ Mr. McCain looked up and was ‘like, what is this about?’ Mr. Biden said. Mr. McCain hugged Mr. Biden’s wife, Jill, and the two senators shared a quick handshake, but there was no time for any discussion.”

At Daily Kos, Devils Tower writes about the small town values that John McCain and Sarah Palin evoke: “It’s not an appeal to the ideals of people who generally make less and have less than their urban relatives. It’s not a call to equality regardless of social position or geographic location. What McCain and Palin offer is a chance to indulge in the ugliest aspects of small town culture. It’s a heady opportunity to sneer at the achievements of those who have excelled. … It’s an exciting enticement to wallow in public hate flavored with the forbidden spice of racism.”

Fred Kaplan of Slate: “There are several appropriate responses to watching Sarah Palin answer Charlie Gibson’s questions on foreign policy and national security — sorrow, pity, incredulity, fear.”

Roger Simon of Politico interviews Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000: ‘Obama’s voice is strong and articulate, but people don’t feel attached to him, and they have got to feel attached to him. That would answer some racial aspects that simmer below the radar and sometimes percolate over the top. … but I still think he can pull this off.’ And if he doesn’t? ‘If he doesn’t, then Obama didn’t lose. … The country just wasn’t ready.”

At Huffington Post, Lincoln Mitchell writes on why the economy might not swing the election in Obama’s favor: “While economic times certainly were better during the Clinton years than during the Bush years, many middle class Americans were still worried about their economic futures, paying off debts, lack of good healthcare, etc. … Accordingly, many Americans. . . no longer see the economy as something which a president can fix. Therefore it becomes less salient in their vote choice.”

Paul Krugman: “When Bear went under, many people talked about the need for a mechanism for ‘orderly liquidation’ of failing investment banks. Well, that was six months ago. Where’s the mechanism?”

Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post: “At the risk of speaking ill of the dead, what good was Lehman Brothers, anyway? And if Merrill Lynch was so bullish on America, why is it that, despite the torrent of foreign investment that flowed in to Lehman, Merrill and their Wall Street peers over the past half-decade, so few jobs were created in America during that period of ‘recovery’?”

Thomas Friedman: “Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? [It] reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. ‘Typewriters, baby, typewriters.'”

Michael Lewis in “Let the Heads Roll” from the Big Money: “Even if they were to be somehow dragged out into the square for a shaming, no one would understand what they did. It’s impossible to publicly humiliate a derivative.”


After intercepting a pass, the New York Giants outstanding defensive end Justin Tuck said: “I looked at the Jumbotron and saw I had enough room to slow down. … I don’t need to sprint into the end zone. I like to act like I’ve been there.”

Peter King at “I really have to be careful not to go overboard on Justin Tuck. He’s one of the five best defensive players in football right now, and he’s just scratching the surface.”

Manny Being Manny Department

Curt Schilling on Manny Ramirez: “He was very kind, and well-mannered, but there were spurts and times when you didn’t know who he was. … he’d show up. . . and say, I’m through with this team, I want out now.'”

2 replies »

  1. I’ve been loving scrogues since i found it a few months ago. I like this NB feature too; there’s always at least one or two articles I hadn’t known about that are great. So I don’t want to come across as negative when I say that I would probably like this even better if you just put up these links as you came across them rather than wait for a weekly(?) mega link dump. It would be a little more useful for me, but this is alright too.

  2. Thanks, Lorenzo. Ideally that’s what I’d like to do and I’ll consider it. It’s just a matter of finding the time.