Who’s in Charge Here? Saturday, Oct 23 2010 

A news report on why Thomas Donilon was appointed White House national security advisor informs us that Donilon is skeptical about the prospect of winning the war in Afghanistan and “Obama wants another ally in the coming bureaucratic knife fight”  over withdrawal.

Question:  Since when does a President of the United States need an “ally” to get his way in a policy dispute with the Pentagon?  Or is it too much to ask that the Commander-in-Chief show the same willingness to face up to opposition in the Situation Room as the Campaigner-in-Chief does at political rallies?

Sports Quote of the Week Saturday, Oct 23 2010 

“Ninety percent of the colleges are abiding by the NCAA rules, doing things right. The other ten percent are going to bowl games.”

University of Cincinnati coach Tony Mason (1975)

Old McDonnell Had a Forum Friday, Oct 15 2010 

At a Tea Party rally in Richmond last week, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell (pronounced Mc DONN-el) and Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli (pronounced KOOK-inelli) took turns regaling the crowd with anti-Washington rhetoric, McDonnell going so far as to endorse a constitutional amendment that would allow states to nullify federal laws.  Throughout the rally, much chatter about “taking our country back.”

I have two questions: First, back to what? Obviously McDonnell has in mind the Articles of Confederation; which leads to Question Two: (more…)

Advice for a Wide-Eyed Electorate Friday, Oct 15 2010 

“Don’t trust nobody but your mama.  Even then, look at her real good.”

— Bo Diddley

Who needs the Plumbers? Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

About Bob  Woodward’s “Obama’s Wars”:  Washington Post columnist  Ruth Marcus is appalled that President Obama’s telling Woodward the country “can absorb a terrorist attack” has been taken out-of-context.

I’d be amazed if it hadn’t. You’d  think that after more than a year-and-a-half  in office a president with a reputed gift for nuance would weigh his words more carefully — especially when speaking on-the-record to the most widely read reporter  in  the business.

No, what appalls me — to the extent that I have any mileage left on my White House appall-o-meter — is a president so fixated on the idea of “transparency” that he gives a journalist full access to Situation Room deliberations as well as to classified memoranda sent to his generals and the National Security Council.

A former president hired a group known as the Plumbers to locate the source of White House leaks to the media. No need for Nixon’s Plumbers  this time around. The source — though it’s not so much a leak as a torrent — is the Oval Office itself.

CNN discrimination Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

As a Southerner inured to Eastern media ridicule whenever one of our   politicians embarrasses himself and his state, I confess to a certain degree of satisfaction when reading about New York’s inability to find a governor or gubernatorial candidate who isn’t a socks-wearing adulterer, a crony-favoring incompetent, or an e-mailing idiot. That said, why is it our Southern scumbags are discriminated against by the cable networks? Now that Eliot Spitzer has been redeemed, when, I want to know, is CNN going to offer David Vitter a prime-time spot as a news anchor?

The more things change…. Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

“Never could notoriety exist as it does now, in any former age of the world, now that the news of the hour from all parts of the world, private news as well as public, is brought day by day to every individual  . . .  by processes so uniform, so unvarying, so spontaneous, that they almost bear the semblance of natural law.”

— John Cardinal Newman (1849)