Articles from Contributor

You’re Not Missing Much

The Libby trial unfolded verrrry sllooooowly this morning, with a return visit to the question of the government’s evidence and a debate over releasing the audio of the Libby grand jury testimony. The debate was between the defense and the Associated Press, and the Press won, though Judge Walton gave a nice passive-aggressive threat …

Black People Love Us

There’s is probably something to the speculation that Barack Obama is somehow not “black enough” to win overwhelming support from black voters in the Democratic primary. But in this case “something” seems to mean reporters going to editors and saying “I have asked black people about the issue and they have opinions on it.” Here, I can do …


I’m sorry that no one in Swampland has gotten out to say this sooner, as I’m sure we were all thinking it: Rest in peace, Molly Ivins.

She was the first woman I came by who wrote in a way that was funny yet seriously smart and sober about policy. And she had red hair! My dad particularly enjoyed having introduced me to her writing and …

If It’s Monday, It Must Be Beat the Press

The court spent all much of the day dealing with evidentiary issues. When we broke for lunch at 12:30, a reporter sitting next to me estimated that the jury had heard actually testimony for a grand total of seven minutes so far. There’s a tendency to assume testimony is more exciting than the legal minutiae that happens when the jury’s …

Goodfellas on Trial?

From all the references to getting thrown under a bus, putting one’s “neck in a meat grinder,” and, today, having one’s “feet planted in cement,” you’d think U.S. v Libby was a mob trial.

This White House does have a certain wise guy aspect (you’re either with us or against us), and the defense’s case rests on portraying 1600 …

The Comedian and the Momma’s Boy

There was much less dish in the afternoon’s testimony, and lots of the same kind of niggling that has made the defense so unpopular with the audience. A significant portion of the cross examination today dealt with whether it might be POSSIBLE that Matt Cooper meant to type an “n” when he really typed an “r”… and thus, could it be …

Everyone Hates Chris

Jurors on the Libby trial are learning many things about the inner workings of unofficial Washington. Just today they were told that “There are a lot of bureaus in Washington” (from Judy Miller’s testimony on intial confusion about where Valerie Plame worked) and that the Chevy Chase Club doesn’t allow cell phones or Blackberries on its …

At the Rally

Protesters were waterboarding someone near Charlie Palmer’s. Really. They were pretending to interrogate a guy in an orange jumpsuit, but the rest wasn’t for pretend. They poured water through a cloth held over on his face as he lay on a steep incline, his head near the ground. He was screaming.

About five or six people were taking …

Re: UnCheneyed Melody

Like Joe*, I’m also enjoying the Libby trial’s revelations about the level of pettiness and backbiting at the White House in 2003. The spectacle has become a “Behind the Music” for the Iraq War (compared to Bob Woodward’s more Ken Burns-ish approach): apparently the band was falling apart long before anyone knew.

The only person who’s …

Re: Cheney Blasts Wolf

A transcript of yesterday’s remarkably contentious CNN interview is up here (and some video here and here). I admit, I was most amused by the verbal sniping between Blitzer and Cheney over Blitzer’s fame relative to that of certain major terrorists (if only it was Wolf they had to catch!). But, as many have pointed out (including here,

Vice President Blasts Wolf Blitzer

Though disappointingly metaphorical. From the rather testy interview on CNN:

Q We heard the President mention Osama bin Laden last night in his State of the Union address. Why can’t you find this guy?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, obviously, he’s well hidden. We’ve been looking for him for some time. I think the fact is he’s gone

Kerry Out

Kerry’s decision not to run in 2008 is a disappointment only to his consultants and to Republicans, and perhaps to people like me, who appreciated his dogged ability to provide ever-replenishing examples of the three or four jokes we liked to tell about him. While he made it hard not to be lazy, he also made, ahem, an enormous …

Re: Best Response Ever

My colleague Jay is easy to mock, it is in fact one of his most endearing characteristics, but I can’t find much to poke fun at in his mash note to Jim Webb. Webb’s message was an articulate, passionate brief against the war — if only the latest — and it’s nice to see the Dems present a rebuttal that’s elegant as well as earnest. To …

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