Monday, October 09, 2006

Notable today

Of course the news is all about North Korea, and if you want to see what people are saying in blogs and news reports Memeorandum is a good place to start. Al's Morning Meeting also has lots of links.
(Added later: also, for a different perspective, see Amy Gahran in Poynter's E-Media Tidbits, asking why news organizations can't find out with a quick Google search what is the best source for definitive answers on nuclear tests: the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization._

But some other things caught my eye:

Alicia Shepherd, whose coming book I need to put on my Amazon wish list, has a profile of Bob Woodward in the Chicago Tribune that's quite revealing:
This time, everyone has decided that Woodward must really be a Democratic ideologue because the latest book skewers the president. But wait: People thought the 63-year-old veteran Washington Post reporter was a toady for Republicans after his last two books on the Bush White House.

Fact is, Woodward is apolitical. True, his father was a prominent Republican judge, and Woodward quoted Sen. Barry Goldwater in a high school speech. He even voted for Richard Nixon in 1968, just a few years before he helped bring him down.

The Raleigh News and Observer ran a series on religion and politics in the South a few days ago, based on that survey we saw reported last week: God as Fearsome Father?, with related stories.

In The Nation, a story on the Virgina senate race, focusing on Jim Webb: Virginia's Rumbling Rebels. Webb, author of some interesting historical novels and the book about the Scots-Irish I really want to read, Born Fighting. is running against the infamous Sen. George Allen but is not catching up very fast. Maybe because he is a rebel:
Webb's gonzo campaign--chaotic, underfunded and featuring a candidate who refuses to pander or even, at many campaign appearances, to so much as crack a smile--grew out of his exasperation with Allen's unwavering support for George W. Bush's Iraq adventure. Webb had been warning against military intervention in Iraq, insisting that it would destabilize the Middle East and spawn dangerous anti-Americanism, since the late 1980s.
...Webb might have been a hellacious soldier--one of the most highly decorated to return from Vietnam, in fact--but he has never been a go-along guy, to say the least. His stint as Navy Secretary, for instance, ended with Webb abruptly resigning after just ten months, protesting the Reagan Administration's refusal to fully fund the 600-ship fleet he insisted was necessary.

More discussion of Webb's political chances from Facing South, with lots of links.

The Secret Letter from Iraq, in Time magazine, from a Marine who says it like it is. Somehow the letter has been making the rounds:
Perhaps inevitably, the "Letter from Iraq" moved quickly beyond the small group of acquantainaces and hit the inboxes of retired generals, officers in the Pentagon, and staffers on Capitol Hill.

Time decided to publish it after verifying the author and authenticity. Some tidbits are telling:
Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."

(Thanks to Lynne for the link.)


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