OUTRAGE ON THE DEFAMATION FRONT. Just to elaborate on the story Ezramentioned: The NYU historian Tony Judt was invited to speak October 3 on the subject of �The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy� to a discussion group entitled Network 20/20, which always holds its meetings at Manhattan�s Polish Consulate. But Judt received a call from Patricia Harrington, the president of the group, canceling his talk. She told Judt (as he recounted in a widely distributed e-mail) that the Consulate had been threatened by the Anti-Defamation League, who �warned them off hosting anything involving Tony Judt.�
HE WANNA GET AWAY. Ah, pity poor Chris Hitchens. As one shall-remain-nameless friend chuckled to me recently, Hitch must have needed a good, long week with his face in a large bowl of vodka to recover from the revelation in Bob Woodward�sState of Denial that none other than his bete noir, Henry Kissinger, is a key Iraq adviser to President Bush, SecDef Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the war architects for whom Hitchens has been fashioning increasingly creative apologies.
TRENDS. Without sucking up to the new boss too much, let me highly recommend this Harold Meyersonpiece responding to Kos's Libertarian Democrats manifesto. I recommend it despite finding it an enormously frustrating piece of work -- I have, after all, spent the last few months of blogging and my September feature story trying to say what Harold does in these three paragraphs:
IF WE'VE LOST FAREED ZAKARIA ... Some slightly belated weekend thoughts on Iraq: As Kevin Drumnoted on Sunday, Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek (not to mention PostGlobal and his own TV show) has become a bellwether for establishment views on foreign policy. And now, he no longer thinks the U.S. can do enough good to merit our commitment to Iraq.
SYMPATHY FOR THE SCALIA. The New York Times is running a superb multi-part series about the increasing number of legal privileges and breaks being given to religious institutions, which has generated some attention and commentary.
TIME FOR ANOTHER LEFT-RIGHT ALLIANCE! Following up on the questions as to whether speech suppressed through perceived intimidation truly threatens free expression everywhere, I await the uproar over revelations that Abe Foxman and other prominent Jewish leaders "convinced" the Polish Embassy to cancel Tony Judt's talk on the Israel lobby for being "too controversial." The Embassy killed the event not on theoretical grounds, but in response to actual calls by prominent Jews, and it happened in New York, not Germany.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: TACTICAL RETREAT.Matt's happy to hear the news that the U.S. military may finally be getting serious about counterinsurgency doctrine. But he hopes this newfound commitment won't be taken by anybody -- not the military, not policymakers, not the public -- as the end-all and be-all of lessons learned from the Iraq debacle.
XYBERNAUT. To get the full scoop on the awesome tech company on whose board George Allen sat in the late nineties and whose stock options Allen repeatedly failed to disclose to Congress (according to a new AP investigation), definitely read Garance's piece from the September print issue of the Prospect.
GO WEST. On Sunday, the New York Times Magazine ran a piece by Mark Sundeen on the Democrats and their rising fortunes out West, with a focus on Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Good reading and, obviously, a trend which I agree is crucial to, and an indicator of, the Democrats� revival nationally.
HELP AMERICA BELIEVE IT CAN VOTE. E.J. Dionne has a good column today about H.R 515, Rep. Rush Holt's augmentation of the Help America Vote Act to ensure paper trails, create routine, random audits of two percent of precincts, and keep voting machines offline where they can't be remotely tampered with. The bill currently has 219 sponsors (which means, a majority of the House), a fair chunk of them dragging an "R" behind their names.