Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sweat & Urine and "extreme dining" make the front page, real news is trapped inside this morning's New York Times

A new portrayal of John R. Bolton describes him as having so angered senior State Department officials with his public comments that the deputy secretary of state, Richard L. Armitage, ordered two years ago that Mr. Bolton be blocked from delivering speeches and testimony unless they were personally approved by Mr. Armitage.
The detailed account was provided to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Lawrence S. Wilkerson, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Mr. Wilkerson said that Mr. Bolton, who was then an under secretary of state, had caused "problems" by speaking out on North Korea, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other delicate issues in remarks that had not been properly cleared.
"Therefore, the deputy made a decision, and communicated that decision to me, that John Bolton would not give any testimony, nor would he give any speech, that wasn't cleared first by Rich," Mr. Wilkerson said, according to a transcript of an hourlong interview with members of the committee staff last Thursday.
In an e-mail message on Monday, Mr. Wilkerson said of the restrictions imposed on Mr. Bolton that "if anything, they got more stringent" as time went on. "No one else was subjected to these tight restrictions," he said.

The above is from page A9's "No. 2 at State Dept. Was Said to Put Restrictions on Bolton" by Douglas Jehl. Apparently, whether you're turned on by piss or sweat is front page news (a study on sexual attraction out of Sweden) as it the "clamber" ing "down rocks as slippery as wet spinach" in pursuit of "the wild abalone." But potential UN ambassador is "inside the paper" news. This sort of "lifestyle" front paging occurs every Sunday but it's really sad that it's now happening during the week as well.

Lily e-mails to note Carlotta Gall's "Top Suspects in Afghanistan Are Included in Amnesty:"

The head of Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation commission offered an amnesty on Monday for all rebels fighting American and government forces, and even extended the offer to two of the most wanted Afghan terrorism suspects: the Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and the renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. However, an American military spokesman seemed to suggest that the two suspects could not be included in the program.
[. . .]
However, a United States military spokesman in Kabul, Col. James Yonts, seemed to cast doubt on Mr. Mojadeddi's offer to Mullah Omar and Mr. Hekmatyar, though he did not mention the two specifically. He said that while the military supported the reconciliation program and would offer assistance, all those guilty of terrorism or other serious crimes would not be allowed to join. All candidates would be screened by the National Security Council and intelligence officers, he said.

Lily: I wasn't even aware that Afghanistan had a National Security Council!

Lily's using humor to make a point: "We sure seem to have our fingers, and other protusions, in everything these days. I missed the headlines about Afghanistan being our new colony, I'm guessing."

We'll also note that this story appears on page A6. (Maybe if it were about sweat and urine . . .)

Mark e-mailed to note Neil A. Lewis and Carl Hulse's "Jockeying Intensifies in Battle Over Judicial Nominees" (which appears on A13):

"Let's step away from the precipice," said Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the minority leader. "Let's try cooperation rather than confrontation."
The Republicans declined, interested in maintaining indignation over other blocked nominees to fortify themselves to change the filibuster rules.
The majority leader, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, said there should be a floor vote on all the nominees.

Mark: Harry Reid is so disgusting and so willing to roll over and practice appeasement. Everyone needs to read the thing at A Winding Road.

Wally e-mails to note David D. Kirkpatrick's "Republican Suggests a Judicial Inspector General:"

"The judiciary isn't supposed to write law, and the Congress cannot determine how a court will rule," he added. "But the branches are interdependent entities as well."
Mr. Sensenbrenner's remarks, in which he called "judicial activism" a growing problem, were an indication of what steps Congress might take in a developing power struggle with the courts.

Wally: If ever a fleeting mention called for a "news analysis," this latest attack on the judiciary is it.

That story (like the one above it) appears on A13.

Lastly, Billie e-mails to note Kate Zernike's "Behind Failed Abu Ghraib Plea, A Tale of Breakups and Betryal:"

To some, the grave misdeeds at Abu Ghraib, where the three soldiers worked for six months in 2003, have become a twisted symbol of the American military occupation of Iraq. But the scandal is also one rooted in the behavior of military reservists working at the prison, an environment that testimony has portrayed as more frat house than military prison, a place where inmates were routinely left naked and soldiers took pictures of one another simulating sex with fruit.
The reservists' treatment of Iraqi prisoners and their entanglements with one another - pieced together from documents, court testimony, e-mail and interviews - have produced a dark soap opera, one whose episodes have continued to play out in the months since the scandal erupted, and culminated in the Texas courtroom last week.

On the subject of the urine & sweat story, Marica e-mails to note the headline which reads "For Gay Men, Different Scent of Attraction."

Marcia: Maybe it's time for a panel on headline writers? Gay men are the "other" in the headline. Why is that? Why not "For Straight Men, Different Scent of Attraction?" And were lesbians left out of the study?

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