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Friday, August 13, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Amid widespread skepticism that sanctions will stop Tehran's nuclear development and grudging, belated recognition that the Green Movement will not deliver a more pliable Iranian government, a growing number of commentators are asking the question, 'What does President Obama do next on Iran?' For hawks, the answer is war. Last month, in The Weekly Standard, Reuel Marc Gerecht made the case for an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear targets. With the publication of Jeffrey Goldberg's 'The Point of No Return' in the Atlantic, the campaign for war against Iran is now arguing that the United States should attack so Israel won't have to. To be sure, Goldberg never explicitly writes that 'the United States should bomb Iran.' But he argues that, unless Israel is persuaded that Obama will order an attack, "there is a better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July." And Goldberg's Israeli interlocutors readily acknowledge that the United States could mount a far more robust air campaign against Iranian nuclear targets than Israel could. A much more limited Israeli strike 'may cause Iran to redouble its efforts-this time with a measure of international sympathy-to create a nuclear arsenal [and] cause chaos for America in the Middle East,' he acknowledges. Goldberg believes the Obama administration understands that 'perhaps the best way to obviate a military strike on Iran is to make the threat of a strike by the Americans seem real.' But there is a clear implication that, if threat alone does not work, better for the United States to pull the trigger than Israel." (ForeignPolicy)



"There is an article in today’s London Daily Mail about Princess Anne, the Princess Royal who is celebrating her 60th birthday this coming Sunday. I was struck by the picture of the princess at 21. You will be too. Forty years later, the horsey princess prefers looking dowdy and even severe. Years ago in Los Angeles, a friend of mine had a butler who’d come from the Royal Household where he was employed as a footman (no butlers, only footman for the monarchs). Naturally when I had a chance, I asked him what the Royals 'were like.' I already knew that the Royal Household’s former (and even present) staff talk about the family all the time. Which is understandable – it’s at the center of their lives. My friend’s butler was very respectful of all of them although he had favorites, as did his co-workers. The Queen was right on the top of the list although the Queen Mum was at the very top 'because she cared about her staff' almost more than anything else. Charles was okay and so were Andrew and Edward. The two whom he didn’t like so much were Prince Philip and Princess Anne. Arrogant in their treatment of their underlings, was the impression I got. The piece in the Mail, however, is far more favorable." (NYSocialDiary)



"President Obama swings into full campaign mode next week, crisscrossing the country for a string of fundraisers aimed at boosting Democrats before the November elections. Obama will kick off the week with a Monday fundraiser for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett before heading to Los Angeles that night for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event hosted by John Wells, the NBC executive producer of 'ER' and 'The West Wing,' reports our Roll Call colleague Jennifer Bendery. The DCCC has been making an appeal to grassroots groups in the lead-up to the Southern California event: The organization e-mailed supporters Wednesday with a letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging them to enter a contest to win a free trip to Los Angeles and attend the affair as her guests. President Obama swings into full campaign mode next week, crisscrossing the country for a string of fundraisers aimed at boosting Democrats before the November elections ... On Tuesday, Obama will head to Seattle to host a fundraising luncheon for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Washington voters head to the polls that day and will select a Republican nominee to run against her in November. From there, the president will headline fundraisers in two more states on Wednesday -- in Ohio, for Gov. Ted Strickland, and in Florida for a state Democratic Party event with Senate candidate Kendrick Meek." (CQPolitics)



"I love Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). I count on him to resist the sirens of extremism constantly luring him toward the rocks of demagoguery. So I was surprised and disappointed to see him calling for a narrowed definition of birthright citizenship, now granted to all who are born here by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Has history been forgotten? Republicans freed the slaves. Congressional Republicans passed the 13th Amendment despite nearly unanimous opposition by Democrats. And, Republicans granted citizenship to freed slaves and their children in the 14th Amendment, against the total resistance of congressional Democrats. We were the party that welcomed people to America. Now some are sending the signal, 'You're not wanted here. Go home.'" (MarkMcKinnon)

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