Copyright © 2006 Frank Lynch.
Me: Frank Lynch
These are my mundane daily ramblings.
Is it just me, or is Maria Carey looking like Bert Lahr's "Cowardly Lion"? Don't get me wrong, she's a helluva singer, pretty, and maybe even a fine person, but the long hair, the high forehead, the skin tone... Of course, I would kick the Cowardly Lion outta bed for eating crackers.
Sorry for the lack of posts the past few nights: big meeting
in DC on Friday is keeping me away from any serious writing here.
In fact, you won't even get a pick-a-cher for Friday. Enjoy the
one above doubly, I guess.
I guess this whole upending tyranny thing
is going well. That's why Bush mentions it so often as a
reason why we invaded Iraq. And how many times did he mention the
trial of Saddam Hussein in his State of The Union Address this
zilch? Of course he's not going to bring it up,
especially when you have a circus which few Americans would
embrace. Today Hussein's lawyers say the US has
denied them access to their client. Let freedom ring!
Toxic. As someone who has tried to get a book published (so far unsuccessfully, in spite of my agent's best efforts), I have to admit to a combination of amusement and disgust over the entire James Frey and A Million Pieces thing. I'm not an insider by any stretch, and I'm not surprised that the publisher didn't vet the work as thoroughly as The New Yorker does; in some ways, that's a pointless comparison, since, with The New Yorker vetting so thoroughly (I've helped them, so I know...), that's like carping that Mickey Mantle's BA wasn't as high as Shoeless Joe's. It's just not an informative standard, because it's overly discriminating.
Still, that having been said, the tale seems reminiscent of our country's decision to invade Iraq: too much of the whole thing was propelled by trust and too few questions. One of the hypotheses about why we invaded Iraq in spite of intel which suggested that Saddam Hussein no longer had WMDs is that there was too much reliance on conventional wisdom and belief that, since others believed, it must be OK. (As an aside, have you read Thomas Berger's The Houseguest? It's a scary tale of a crook who insinuates himself into a vacation home, with each resident thinking that someone else invited him...)
If you've been following the burst of the balloon over Frey's book subsequent to revelations that his tale of redemption has too much fiction in it, you've noticed that almost everyone involved has made an effort to distance themselves from the author and the book; it hasn't been so immediate as when the ball gets thrown up in a game of Spud and everyone but the one player whose number was yelled spurts for the hinterland, but it's been pretty obvious. Oprah Winfrey was an early defender and then regretted her mistake in a very public way; so too with the publisher and the imprint of the publisher under which the book came out.
But today we read something really baldfaced. Frey's editor had once said not only that he had talked about the veracity of the book with Frey...
The tale has another ending for Mr. McDonald, it seems: the tune is now not that "I can vouch, I asked him," but "Poor Poor Pitiful Me." Let's be clear, it doesn't read as if McDonald did anything to verify Frey's tales beyond listening to Frey and what Frey had to say. But geez, why would you base your reputation on an eye-to-eye look? Has no one been around an addict? Does no one know about enabling? How could anyone, or any company, invest so much (money and reputation) without some background work even with consultants about how addicts can be convincingly lying scum? (Not all of them, mind you, but enough of them to make you aware?)
Balance = partisan. That's John
Hinderaker's complaint against the Congressional Research
Service. Apparently, its views should be reflective of the
majority party, not those of an independently minded group. Gawd,
they really hate
I can understand a complaint about over-speculation, but in the report which has caught his ire, the CRS clearly says they don't have enough to go on in order to be conclusive. But honestly, it's not helped by White House secrecy and refusal to turn over the contents of internal debates about the warrantless wiretapping program. If Hinderaker thought for a moment, and reversed his subject matter into something like "travelgate" he'd realize just how two-faced he's being. When the subject was some minor Clinton scandal, he'd have been completely blind to the calls of "cover up!" emanating from his co-hacks. And in the meantime, were he to consider the fact that Bush's program raises Constitutional issues he might have some sense of the severity of what's going on with it.
The full extent of Scooter Libby's lying? You may recall how, when Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald issued his indictment of Scooter Libby — Cheney's chief of staff and an adviser to Bush — that the counts centered on obstruction of justice, and not for leaking Valerie Plame's covert role to the press. Some on the right scoffed, as if the obstruction of justice were suddenly unimportant, sort of a "That's all?"
Well, you may also recall that Fitzgerald said he didn't know the full extent of the truth due to the obstruction of justice; memorably, he discussed how kicking sand in the umpire's eyes can prevent him from seeing the play. (And you may recall that Fitzgerald said he was not going to suggest guilt where he couldn't put up a real case.)
Well, thanks to a request by the Wall Street Journal, we now know more about Fitzgerald's thinking; formerly redacted sections of Fitzgerald's work no longer need to be redacted, and guess what?
Fitzgerald has strong suspicions that Libby lied about a lot more than just his conversation with Tim Russert (in which Libby alleged that Russert told him about Plame, contrary to Russert's recollection that Libby called to complain about a broadcast and that was all they spoke about).
Fitzgerald believes that Libby lied about not
talking to the press about Plame, as well as lying about what
Cheney had told him about Plame (contrary to what then press
secretary Ari Fleischer testified about what Libby had told
him). All things considered, you get the impression that
Scooter was quite the little loyal troublemaker. And an arrogant
one, to boot.