Real wages are falling, gas prices are shooting up - but in fact, we're Rich. Yes Frank Rich is back at the Times. Thank your Grey Old Lady.
In today's piece he does depress the reader by noting that unless Bush were to come clean about his lies that led us into War, we will have a deteriorating disaster on our hands. Purely cosmetic changes like the hiring of Tony Snow, or even if Rumsfeld were to be fired, could not be sufficient. Either the President must change; or we must change the President.
Despite this, there is joy in Mudville again. Frank Rich is back.
It's depressing, yet fascinating, to watch the Right praise "United 93" while they politicize 9/11 and denounce the goal that the writer/director had for his film. As I posted yesterday, the director's hope that the movie could be a uniting force is being destroyed by right wing bloggers.
One of the themes running through right-wing blogs is their pleasure that the movie was not made by a guy with "guts", and not some liberal type.
"This is no PC film crafted by moral relativists in Malibu" (national review)
"I thank God that director Paul Greeengrass and Universal Pictures have the guts to show some of out American heroes during the hours of our nation's darkest day." (gaypatriot)
"This movie is not PC. It sticks to the story as it happened." "Perhaps that is why the hijab-wearing woman I saw and her Muslim male companion walked out of the film with big frowns on their faces. I think they wanted this film to make the hijackers Samoans or Icelanders." (debbieschlussel) [I'm surprised at the implication here -that good American Christians came out of the movie smiling??]
For the record at least two of Greengrass's previous films were on subjects that are "liberal" and he calls the war in Iraq "the most calamitous decision of our generation."
But the right likes his film, so he can't be a "leftie." They have to create their own reality.
One of the reasons that they like the movie is because they believe it shows how evil our "enemy is - and thus it justifies the war in Iraq and our courageous President.
"I suspect others though would just as soon the rest of us not remind ourselves of why we're angry." (daveintexas)
"The only people likely to object to this film are those who don't want Americans to become aware of just how conscienceless,cruel and depraved our enemy is." (dennisprager, quoted in new republic)
Somehow, this movie, released by Universal, also proves how horrible Hollywood is.
"if Americans are interested in seeing more flag-waving films and less Oliver Stones, they would be wise" to see the movie... "ever since Vietnam, Hollywood has tried to make America bashing cool." (OPFOR)
"The Democrat Party and their collaborateurs at the TV network news divisions have tried to bleach from our memories those horrific images of 9/11/2001."(gaypatriot)
Many of the wing nuts like to express their outrage at the N.Y. movie theater which stopped showing the preview, after some customers were in tears and complained that it was too soon, too painful to watch. But they know that the movie is late if anything, and they know who must see it.
"the crowd whined, "Too Soon!" (debbieschlussel)
The movie must be seen by "Assorted ACLU-style lawyers and activists" (schlussel)
"Teenagers and older children in particular should see this film..."Young Americans need to know the nature of whom we are fighting." (schlussel)
A commenter at Schlussel "The only ones screaming; "Too Soon" are LIBERALS (who want to see America destroyed), and the Muzlum propagandists"
GayPatriot "How dare we offend Upper West Side sensibilities! " by showing this movie.
The right's reaction to the film shows the ownership that they believe they have of 9/11. So what if the majority of the deaths occurred in Blue New York? Flight 93 was going between a New York suburb and San Francisco: how blue can you get.
In the end Greengrass failed at making a film that United us - the right's need to politicize our national tragedy makes that impossible.
Today's weather in New York was great, and there was some good news coming out of Washington. Still, I've been down most of the day. I hope that I'm wrong, but I fear that the contagion of hate injected into out politcal life by the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove Neo-Republican party has so divided and damaged our country that we will not recover.
My despair today actually began on a good note - I was pleased at the enthusiastic response of liberals, conservatives, and of the families of the dead, to the movie "Flight 93." I started downhill when I realized that only a liberal would make a movie that tried to unite us and that did not politicize what took place on 9/11. Neo-Republicans view every single event through a political power-hungry lens. It's depressing.
We needed the liberal Spielberg, whose "Saving Private Ryan" gave us the most vivid, definitive portrait of a soldier's bravery during the D-Day invasion in WWII, and it took the liberal Greengrass to give us "Flight 93." London's Times sums Greengrass up as one who "may have gone to Hollywood, but he still wears his politics on his sleeve. A tall, burly and long-haired 48-year-old in John Lennon specs, he's verbose and opinionated. "It's the most calamitous decision of our generation," he says of the Iraq war.'" His previous work has a decidedly leftist bent. In "The Murder of Stephen Lawrence" he looked at institutional racism in the English Police Department, after the murder of a young black man had been poorly investigated. "Bloody Sunday" is named for, and is based on, the day on which Irish civil rights activists were slaughtered by English soldiers.
"Flight 93" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, in one of New York's most liberal neighborhoods. It's also a neighborhood quite close to where the World Trade Center once stood, and one that was greatly damaged by 9/11. Sister Toldja led me to the Op-Ed on the Opinion Journal by David Beamer, whose son died on the flight. He wrote of Director Greengrass's going "about the task of telling this story with a genuine intent to get it right... [his] extensive research included all the families who had lost loved ones".. on the flight..."And Paul and his team got it right."
Referring to Greengrass, the far right writer Michael Smerconish wrote of the apparent "universal acceptance of his final product... This is not a movie for only red or blue America,...but for all Americans."
While a liberal will produce something powerfully uplifting and uniting from a terrorist attack, the Republican Mel Gibson takes the life of Christ to give us a divisive, obscene, hate-filled screed on film.
A Republican politician will use 9/11 to insult and divide us. Remember Karl Rove, speaking in New York about a year ago? "Conservatives saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
I only felt worse as the day progressed and I visited some other right wing sites. The vast majority praised the movie, but there were those who were beginning to get ugly and starting to smear. I never expected a Michelle Malkin to apologize for having used 9/11 to advance her personal and political agenda, while a leftist produced a movie that simply told a truth without spin. But I was unprepared for the innuendo: " Yes, I will go see it. Yes, I support Hollywood finally coming through with a movie that celebrates the heroism of the passengers and crew... But there is a side of [their] marketing "that hasn't been exposed yet or confronted...jihadist rhetoric is being echoed by the official United 93 discussion site run by Universal Studios." She links to the site Libertas who talks of "censorship from liberals because the cultural left wants to de-couple the emotionally shocking events of 9/11 with the ongoing War on Terror... The thought police have won on this one." (Read some of the comments here if you are missing your daily dose of hate.)
Once again Greengrass does the right thing. He did confess to his crime: "I didn't want ...to divide the audience." A united, United States, is something the Right will not allow.
In a recent attack on Juan Cole of Informed Comment, John Fund wrote in the the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal, that Cole had called "Israel the most dangerous regime in the Middle East." In part, the smear was an attempt to prevent Cole's being hired by Yale University. It is a lie.
Cole has been asking for a retraction, a correction or an apology from Fund, but instead Fund issued an insult.
Here is his "Clarification":
"Prof Cole says that the statement that he "calls Israel the most dangerous regime in the Middle East' is libelous because what the really wrote was, "The most dangerous regime to United States interests in the Middle East is that of Ariel Sharon."
There is a big difference in the meaning of those two statements and Fund is thoroughly dishonest to imply otherwise.
Please let the Wall Street Journal know that you can recognize a despicable liar when you see one.
A lot of news about the news today. Bush's appointment of Tony Snow as Press Secretary could enliven our political discourse. Naming a pundit to the post is an unprecedented appointment, and a real sea change from the weak, ineffective McClellan. A lot of centrist journalists have talked of Snow's honesty, and it should be fun to see how he copes with all of the lying that Bush has made a prerequisite of the position. He will be incapable of playing the innocent boob that was Scott's life boat when the waters got rough. Apparently they wanted a professional in place before Rove is over.
Maureen Dowd was in fine fettle in today's Op-Ed entitled "A Prius in Every Pot." She clearly laid the blame for our disaster of an oil policy exactly where it belongs - on the Republican "Oilman in the Oval," and pointed out how profitable this administration has been for the oil barons who made it all possible. (An added bonus was her use of "ahold of" in a Times editorial.
Adam Cohen wrote for TimesSecret on the blunderbuss that is Justice Scalia. The piece was useful in itemizing the unprofessional, embarrassing and damaging antics of Antonin, but was overly restrained and respectful, IMHO.