CBS hires Clinton for $1M price tag

Fresh from Drudge (no permalink yet):
CBS NEWS plans to revive commentary segment 'Point/Counterpoint' on 60 MINUTES -- With Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, beginning this Sunday night, newsroom sources say... Clinton has signed for 10 weeks in a deal reportedly worth $1 million... Spot will be 45 seconds a week, about 90 words; $100,000 for each commentary, and over $1000 for each word...
There's some must-avoid tv. The last thing I need to see while there's the serious business of a war going on is that feckless, reckless, irresponsible and now irrevelevant asshole explaining why it was absolutely necessary that he practice his violin while the empire was burning down and getting paid $1000 a word to do it. [Initial alert via The Corner]

Update already: CBS files the story under entertainment.


The Great Pretender

Via the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, the latest from Chrissie Hynde, currently touring as a Keith-Richards-wannabe Geezerette Rock Survivortm:
Between songs, the pugnacious Hynde, in a classic black T-shirt and jeans, bantered and battled with the crowd. She dedicated "You Know Who Your Friends Are" to "all you junkies and f--," gave a shout-out to the late Joe Strummer, opined that she hopes the United States loses if it goes to war with Iraq ("Bring it on! Give us what we deserve!"), and introduced the song "Fools Must Die" with the self-deprecating quip, "I'll show you how it's done."
First, who the hell are you calling "us"? Second, I hope you break a hip. And third, for the love of GOD, stop invoking Joe Strummer; it's the kind of cheap appeal to sentiment he'd rightly have punched you in the face for.


France surrenders!

To the inevitable. According to Le Canard, Jacques Chirac has backed off the threat of veto, since he realizes (only now?) that Bush is hell bent for leather and must have his war:
"France is doing everything it can, but the problem is that it is impossible to stop Bush from pursuing his logic of war to the end," Chirac was quoted as saying by Le Canard, a satirical newspaper that is known to have well-informed sources.
So we're relying on L'Oignon for straight news now?

Le Canard also quoted Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin as privately telling a group of conservative lawmakers on Feb. 25 that "using the right of veto would be shooting the Americans in the back."
Like this just occurred to them.
The newspaper did not say how it obtained the information.
"Nous fumee d'un spleef*," most likely. [Link via The Corner.]

*Apologies for my terrible fake French.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Found this fascinating New Yorker article by Simon Schama about the history of the European perception of the ugly American linked at The American Scene. It's a terrific article, but the author, of whom I know nothing, seems to reach the conclusion that the Europeans who see the US as uneducated, uncouth, and dictatorial on a global scale are correct, quoting the waspish Mrs. Trollope (whose disappointment in proving unable to make her fortune here he chronicles in the article) in his conclusion:
“If the citizens of the United States were indeed the devoted patriots they call themselves, they would surely not thus encrust themselves in the hard, dry, stubborn persuasion, that they are the first and best of the human race, that nothing is to be learnt, but what they are able to teach, and that nothing is worth having, which they do not possess.”
That statement ignores the fact that Americans spring from (or were kicked out of), and have learned from, every other culture, that what has made the US so successful is the amalgamation of all those disparate cultures into a uniquely strong and self-reliant whole. We have made mistakes, of course, but we acknowledge them and we try to do better. I dispute that the US sees itself as the font of all goodness (and God knows there are enough Americans out there who seem to see the US as Evil Incarnate but for some reason won't move to Europe where they'd feel better about themselves), but neither are we about to grovel at the feet of the Old Country in mortified gratitude for being allowed to exist. And the idea that maybe we should strikes me as absurd.

Or maybe I've just got a big ol' chip on my shoulder today. Whatever.
Forget Indy. Focus the next movie on Sallah.

Really, I can't quite pinpoint the exact moment when I began to suspect Harrison Ford was not a brilliant thinker. I suspect it might have begun during his Mosquito Coast period, then when he dumped his wife and showed up sporting an earring...well, let's just say this doesn't really surprise me. I'd like to blame Calista Flockhart--for everything--but really, it's just Ford himself, proving to be a bear of very little brain. And that makes me sad. (It pisses Kevin Parrott off, but at least that makes for fun reading.)
This is really inappropriate.

In today's column James Lileks examines one of the handouts from the Minneapolis Early Childhood Family Education program to see how the school system is directing the parental units in the area to brainwash their children--and I am not exaggerating.
What if your child asks this: What about bad people who try to hurt us, like Saddam Hussein? The answer to this question will vary according to the age of your child. Young children need lots of reassurance. Tell them that Mom and Dad will always protect them and when they are in school, their teachers and principal will do everything possible to keep them safe from any threat. Then, tell them about the United Nations, and stress that the UN was formed to help the countries of the world live together in peace. Let them know that the United Nations is working on exactly that right now. Also tell them about the World Court and how this was set up to bring bad people to justice.
Holy crap. They're right, young children need a lot of reassurance, but nebulous concepts like the UN and the World Court aren't going to do it. Personally I was reassured by the fact that my father owned several guns and my absolute confidence that he wouldn't hesitate for a nanosecond to use them in my defense. I feel sorry for any kids whose parents actually think this is going to make them feel better.
Leftover blather.

Was going to blog this bit of flotsam from the Mirror [link via the Opinion Journal] yesterday but ran out of time (and forgot to take my laptop home.) No real need to comment on any of it; the first part is Peter Gabriel running down the anti-war checklist--"It's all about the ooooiiiiilllll, what about North Korea and China," blah blah blah, and then this gem:
"I'd like to see a reinforced UN weapons inspection team in Iraq and disarmament much more in line with the French and German proposals."
Reinforced with what? Just what do you imagine is keeping Saddam Hussein from booting Hans Blix and his merry band out of the country? The threat of a really severe chat from the UN?

The second part is some really breathtaking hubris from Bono, who apparently was just made an honorary Frenchman and decided to celebrate by taking a hilariously off-center swipe at the US:
"I think America has no experience with terrorism or even with war.

"In Europe, we know a little bit more about these things."
Um...yeah. He's right, though. America has absolutely no experience with rolling over for terrorists. As for that war thing, it's lucky for us the Europeans--particularly the French--were there to pull our asses out of the fire again and again last century.



Still the prettiest.

Cassie Claire finally posted Legolas' v. secret diary. Go, her.
Couldn't they at least wait for the film crews to get there?

Steve H. at Little Tiny Lies links to a Washington Times article linked by Misha of the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler (who got it from Halcyon Media. Phew.) to the effect that the Iraqis are already starting to defect.
Morale is low in the Iraqi army and many soldiers are preparing white flags of surrender, we are told by someone in northern Iraq who recently interviewed two defectors from Saddam Hussein's army.

One was a captain who defected from the 5th Mechanized Division of the 1st Corps, based near the northern city of Kirkuk. The captain told our informant that the heavy division was only 35 percent combat-effective. The captain said morale was so low that younger soldiers are speaking openly about surrendering - before the first shot has been fired.

A second soldier, a senior noncommissioned officer, defected from the same division's 34th Brigade, based south of the northern city of Mosul.

This soldier said that of the 28 tanks in his care, only six were working. The others were broken down or otherwise in need of repair.

"He said the whole division was at about 25 percent effectiveness and most soldiers were hiding their white flags," said our source, who spoke recently to both defectors.
I suspect this is just going to ruin George Clooney's day when he hears about it.
Spare the metal, spoil the child.

Michele of A Small Victory has a new piece at Raising Hell about teaching her children how to separate the wheat from the chaff musically.
Natalie thinks Avril Lavigne is punk. DJ thinks Matchbox 20 is hard. We sit in the living room watching the Grammys and I listen to them discuss music. I shake my head in sad disgust and ask my husband where we went wrong. Finally, when Natalie insists that Good Charlotte defines the new punk movement, we realize it's time for action.

Obviously they don't remember the days of turning the living room into a mosh pit while listening to Metallica's Black Album. If they did, they wouldn't be calling Puddle of Mudd heavy metal.

We drag them over to the CD case. It's time to teach these kids right from wrong. Mind you, I don't care what kind of music they listen to. But I insist they pay homage to the bands of my wreckless youth properly.

They sit on the floor, more frigthened than Dave Matthews in a mob of Guns n Roses fans.

This, I say, is punk. I spit when I say the word punk. I'm holding a Misfits album. Yes, album. As in vinyl. I don't have a turntable to play it on, but they get the point by just looking at the album cover. I run through my vinyl collection. I call out the names of the bands and shout PUNK! after each of them. My husband punctuates this by yelling out New Found Glory, NOT PUNK!
Bwaha. I used to think I might have to stage an intervention with my niece, whose mother is a big Michael Bolton fan, but she's turning to old 70s rock bands on her own. Every generation rebels in its own way, I suppose.

Dean Esmay notes the arrest of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and observes that leftist claims that the US has forgotten about Al Qaeda in its determination to intervene in Iraq have been exposed as a 'bunch of crap.'
Capturing Al Qaeda is mostly the job of the CIA and the FBI, while Iraq is mostly the Defense and State Departments' job. Just because most pundits can't walk and chew gum at the same time doesn't mean the government can't. Rounding up Al Qaeda is the job of a completely different set of people from those dealing with Iraq.
Good point, but it doesn't make any difference to people who are already incapable of distinguishing the multiple reasons the government is pushing for action in Iraq in the first place.
Poleaxed by reality, ctd.
(Having some mysterious blog post length problem. Bear with me.)

Telegraph UK link below via LGF, via Russell Wardlow, who is persuaded that the shields are dupes rather than traitors:
As, for the "traitor" talk, since these people have now left before the actual beginning of hostilities, I am persuaded to now think they're merely idiots, dupes and moral cretins, but [not] traitors. I certainly would want them to be shunned and hissed at wherever they go, but not to be tried for treason and executed. I wouldn't share a drink with them, but nor would I now applaud them being lined up against a bullet-riddled wall.
I don't think changing their minds warrants a recasting of their intent; sometimes you have to be held accountable for your actions. By all means, put them on public trial and let them be internationally humiliated not only as traitors, but as cowards. I'm not advocating a firing squad, but I am advocating the equivalent of putting a note in their permanent record that marks them as traitorous, backstabbing ninnies, none of whom should ever be allowed to hold a position of public trust.
Poleaxed by reality.

I heard on the radio this morning that nine of eleven British meatshields have decided to go home rather than actually shield Iraqi military targets from American bombs.
Nine of the original 11 activists decided to pull out after being given an ultimatum by Iraqi officials to station themselves at targets likely to be bombed in a war or leave the country.


The Iraqi warning follows frustration among Saddam Hussein's officials that only about 65 of the shields had so far agreed to take up positions at the oil refineries, power plants and water-purification sites selected by their hosts.

It heightened fears among some peace activists that they could be stationed at non-civilian sites. Mr Meynell and fellow protesters who moved into the power station in south Baghdad last weekend were dismayed to find it stood immediately next to an army base and the strategically crucial main road south to Basra. Iraqi officials said there was little point in guarding what they considered to be low-risk targets.
This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. And this damn sure ain't no foolin' around.