PRE-FACE – Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Good morning!

  • Clean out State? Porter Goss is giving the CIA a bath, and something similar might be needed at the State Department. The Washington Post has the career guys as unhappy and bitter that Dr. Condoleezza Rice will be their new boss:
    "State Department officials dislike her intensely because they love Powell and believe her staff demeaned the State Department," said one former State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he frequently interacts with Rice.
    There has been no indication that these old sticks-in-the-mud will be shown the door, but the stubborn myopia has to go. Bush really ought to push this spirit throughout the Executive Branch.

  • John McCain provided a needed bit of veteran's credibility to the President in the recent Presidential run, but perhaps he's starting with the political capital he has earned with Bush. The Arizona Senator was harping on climate change in a recent interview. Scientists have evidently shown that the permafrost might change in a hundred years. McCain wants energy-rationing based on "junk science."

  • Jacques Chirac went on the haughty defensive against critics of his worldview in an interview with British journalists recently:
    "It is like that nice guy in America — what’s his name again? — who spoke about ‘old Europe’. It has no sense. It’s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States.”
    In the same interview, M. Chirac said that they were building a Europe against the United States. And Prime Minister Blair recently outlined the division between France and Britain: Britain, he said, wants a Europe which works as a partner with the United States, while France wants a Europe antagonist towards the U.S.. A counterbalance to the U.S. "hyperpuissance," as the French put it.

    To paraphrase London's Daily Mirror: "How can 25,540,873 Frenchmen be so dumb as to vote for Chirac?" The country, the home on Berlioz and Poulenc, is sliding backwards. History is waving as it goes by a withered nation carrying a protest sign.


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