Greg Sargent

Recent Articles

PLEASE, NO MORE...

PLEASE, NO MORE JACKBOOTS STOMPING ON HUMAN FACES! To add a slightly more frivolous point to Matt 's post below about Jonah Goldberg , isn't it high time to retire the "jackboots-stomping-on-a-human-face" clich� that Goldberg quotes " Derb " as using? I mean, does any military outfit itself with jackboots anymore? That's a real question. Anybody know? My inclination is to think that the only people who wear jackboots and might want to stomp on human faces these days are off begging on St. Mark's Place in New York's East Village. Such people stopped seriously stomping on human faces in the early 1980s, if they ever really did it at all. Even if there are jackboots in military use today, it's still a very bad idea to use the phrase. It unwittingly reveals a writer's sneaking belief that he or she is the modern-day re-incarnation of George Orwell , who famously wielded the image to great effect. Sure, many people who do this for a living have a germ of a desire somewhere to be a modern-...

UNITED NATIONS OFFICIALLY...

UNITED NATIONS OFFICIALLY DECLARES IRAN DRESS CODES STORY UNTRUE. OK, you read it right here first: The U.N. has done an investigation and declared the bogus dress codes story to be false. Now can we finally throw the last shovel of dirt on top of this story? -- Greg Sargent

IF BUSH WELCOMES...

IF BUSH WELCOMES IMMIGRANTS, WHY PANDER TO THEIR ENEMIES? In today's Times , Elisabeth Bumiller offers a rather remarkable take on President Bush 's immigration speech. She basically said that because his rhetoric was more accommodating than his actual policy proposals , it meant that his approach is "more subtle" than his proposed real-world solutions suggest. She tells us that "what was remarkable to people in Texas was how much he still believes in the power of immigration to invigorate the nation," and adds paragraph after paragraph about Bush's embrace of immigrants while in Texas. Why, he even likes to joke with Hispanic people! (Or maybe not, as Atrios notes .) Look, Bush probably does think immigration is a positive force. But that only makes Bush's speech more cynical, not less. In the real world -- as opposed to the alternate universe of Bush's welcoming rhetoric -- his speech moves us away , not toward, a solution that fully acknowledges this. The largest policy proposals...

THE POLITICAL IMPORTANCE...

THE POLITICAL IMPORTANCE OF PLACING THE NSA SCANDAL IN A WIDER CONTEXT. We need to look at the latest NSA scandal not in isolation, but as part of a much larger pattern of presidential lawlessness -- a view Matt has rightly insisted upon -- and now we have some proof that this way of seeing it is politically more potent, too. Take a look at the USA Today poll that Atrios flagged . One of its key findings : About two-thirds are concerned that the program may signal other, not-yet-disclosed efforts to gather information on the general public... By nearly 2-to-1, 62%-34%, they support immediate congressional hearings to investigate it. These two numbers are clearly connected, and that's really important. In isolation the thought of phone companies sharing call records may not be particularly terrifying. But folks are prepared to see this one program as part of a widening cesspool of presidential abuse, and when they do, they not only start to get worried, but they want to know more, too...

WHEN IN DOUBT,...

WHEN IN DOUBT, LIE. In Laura Bush �s interview yesterday with Fox News, in which she blamed the media for her husband's abysmal poll numbers, the first lady said this: And I think right now what we're seeing with these poll numbers is a lot of fun in the press with taking a poll every other week and putting it on the news, on the front page of the newspaper. When his polls were really high, they weren't on the front page. (Emphasis added.) Really? Here's a list of headlines from The New York Times and The Washington Post about polls taken when President Bush wasn't on such hard times. Every one of these was on the front page: 1) January 29, 2002, the Post : Bush and GOP Enjoy Record Popularity; Poll Finds Broad Support Despite Doubts on Economy 2) March 11, 2002, the Post : Poll: Strong Backing for Bush, War; Few Americans See Easy End to Conflict 3) July 17, 2002, the Post : Poll Shows Bush's Ratings Weathering Business Scandals 4) Dec. 17, 2003, the Times : Bush's Approval Ratings...

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