May 28, 2004
How Dare Repubs Campaign Against Daschle
"The bare-knuckle partisanship that divides Capitol Hill came to this sparsely populated state on Saturday, as Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Republican leader, took the unusual step of campaigning against his Democratic counterpart, Tom Daschle, on Mr. Daschle's home turf.Democrats in Washington and also independent scholars say that the majority leader is violating an unwritten Senate code not to campaign against another leader." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg on Democrat Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, May 23.
The "Inflammatory" Bill Cosby
"Bill Cosby, known mostly as a genial father figure who contributes to a wide range of black philanthropic causes, found himself immersed in controversy this week. After making inflammatory remarks on Monday about the behavior and values of some poor black people, Mr. Cosby said yesterday that he had made the comments out of concern and because of his belief that fighting racial injustice must also include accepting personal responsibility." - Felicia Lee, May 22.
"Lower-economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.These people are not parenting. They are buying things for their kids-$500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.'.They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English." - some of Cosby's comments at a gala in Constitution Hall marking the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education.
"Defending" Donald Rumsfeld
"The central point is that we have no proof that Mr. Rumsfeld bears direct responsibility for the torture.The better argument for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster is that he led us, poorly prepared and clutching the hands of a charlatan, Ahmad Chalabi, into a quagmire." - Columnist Nicholas Kristof's "defense" of Donald Rumsfeld, May 22.
Reveling in Michael Moore's Left-Wing Cheap Shots
"In Mr. Moore's candid-camera portraits, a particularly unappetizing spectacle is provided by Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of both the administration's Iraqi fixation and its doctrine of 'preventive' war. We watch him stick his comb in his mouth until it is wet with spit, after which he runs it through his hair. This is not the image we usually see of the deputy defense secretary, who has been ritualistically presented in the press as the most refined of intellectuals-a guy with, as Barbara Bush would have it, a beautiful mind." - Frank Rich's review of Michael Moore's documentary "Fahrenheit 9-11," May 23.
Bush the Bubble Boy is Back
"All presidents live in a bubble, but Democrats, European officials and a group of moderate Republicans say that Mr. Bush lives in a bigger bubble than most. As the problems of the occupation and insurgency in Iraq have intensified, they say, Mr. Bush has appeared to retreat more than ever into his tight circle of aides.This past weekend, Mr. Bush seemed more inside his bubble than usual." - Elisabeth Bumiller, May 24.
Remembering a "Heroic, Romantic, Tragic" Communist Thug
"Che Guevara is widely remembered today as a revolutionary figure; to some a heroic, Christ-like martyr, to others the embodiment of a failed ideology. To still others, he is just a commercialized emblem on a T-shirt. But for Latin Americans just now coming of age, yet another image of Che is starting to emerge: the romantic and tragic young adventurer who has as much in common with Jack Kerouac or James Dean as with Fidel Castro." - Larry Rohter, May 26.
Anti-Christian Satire Not Cruel Enough
"Some Christians may object that 'Saved!,' in the end, promotes liberal humanist piety at the expense of religious belief, and there is some truth to this complaint. At the same time, satire can never be evenhanded, and it's possible that this movie would have been better if it had indulged in a little more cruelty. As it is, the picture is unlikely to offend or provoke very many people. Unfortunately, it is also unlikely to satisfy too many, either." - Movie critic A.O. Scott, May 28.
Can't Stop Thinking About Abu Ghraib
"It was toward the end of the speech that Mr. Bush suddenly pledged that the United States would pay to build a new prison in Baghdad, relocate Abu Ghraib detainees there and then, if the new Iraqi government agreed, demolish what has become a notorious symbol of abuse by both Saddam Hussein and American soldiers." - Elisabeth Bumiller, May 27.
"A transcript of this 1969 telephone conversation, with its uncanny echoes of the Iraq war and the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, at least in the fact of the photographs, if not in the severity of the wrongdoing, was released on Wednesday by the National Archives as part of 20,000 pages of records of Mr. Kissinger's telephone conversations." - Elizabeth Becker, May 27.
This Will Help Ease Tensions In Iraq
"Iraqi officials, seen by some Iraqis as puppets of foreign governments, will almost certainly continue to be the targets of assassination attempts after that date." - From a May 28 report from Baghdad by Edward Wong and Christine Hauser.