First, I'd like to gloat that Anne and I had dinner last night at Charlie Trotter's, to celebrate our anniversary. Wow. I mean, wow. We've decided to save up to go again, which we hope we can do before our children graduate college.
Now back to the program.
Frank Rich (sub.req.) today reminds us that, despite the new story making the rounds about how the Administration (919 days, 3 hours) is trying a new foreign policy, the fact remains the Administration does not have now and has never had a foreign policy of any kind:
The only flaw in this narrative—a big one—is that it understates the administration’s failure by assuming that President Bush actually had a grand, if misguided, vision in the first place. Would that this were so. But in truth this presidency never had a vision for the world. It instead had an idée fixe about one country, Iraq, and in pursuit of that obsession recklessly harnessed American power to gut-driven improvisation and P.R. strategies, not doctrine. This has not changed, even now.
And yesterday, Josh Marshall summed up the differences between Republicans and Democrats:
Democrats seem to have a highly evolved (and perhaps misplaced) sense of sportsmanship: magnanimous in victory; chastened in defeat. Whereas Dems will rise to a political fight when they deem circumstances warrant, Republicans consider politics nothing but a fight, with peace the exception, not the rule.
I think this hypothesis has legs. We Democrats want to live in peace and not be bothered, pretty much. The Republicans claim the same things, but to them, the fight is never done. Even if they got everything they wanted, they'd still fight, because that, more than the things they're fighting for, is more important.
Fortunately, I think most people just want to be left alone, which is why the Republican strategy always over-reaches.
Finally, I'd like to complain that Chicago weather has taken a turn for the worse, with temperatures expected today around 37°C (99°F). This will not stop me from going to Wrigley Field this evening.
Excellent. I hope she takes them for millions, because in the immortal words of Billy Ray Valentine: "You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people."
The Washington Post also has the story:
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney, Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of revealing Plame's CIA identity in seeking revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration's motives in Iraq.
Update, 20:30 UTC: Talking Points Memo has the entire complaint online.
The President (922 days, 4 hours remaining) still has not yet appointed an Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Cyberterrorism, despite computer security problems up the ying since before the post was created:
Critics say the year-long vacancy is further evidence that the administration is no better prepared for responding to a major cyber-attack than it was for dealing with Hurricane Katrina, leaving vulnerable the information systems that support large portions of the economy, from telecommunications networks to power grids to chemical manufacturing and transportation systems.
"What this tells me is that [Chertoff] still hasn't made this a priority," said Paul Kurtz, formerly a cybersecurity adviser in the Bush administration and now a chief lobbyist for software and hardware security companies. "Having a senior person at DHS...is not going to stop a major cyber-attack on our critical infrastructures," he said, "but [it] will definitely help us develop an infrastructure that can withstand serious attacks and recover quickly."
Just to expand on the notion that computer security is a big problem right now, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has estimated that 88.9 million identity records have been compromised since Choice Point announced its security breach in February 2005. That's just in the United States, by the way.
For my part, I nominate Bruce Schneier to be our top cyber-security official. I wonder if he'd even take the job, given its total lack of administration support.
I love that the first hurricane of the Eastern Pacific season this year is named "Bud."
This is too funny, and too sad:
It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified "Beach at End of a Street."
The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.
Now, don't you feel more secure? By the way, Illinois has only 2,059 assets listed, which list presumably does not include the Lincoln Park Zoo Farm. Too bad, because those moo-cows are sitting ducks! Or something like that...
I've spent the past few days drafting an analysis of my business. It turns out to be a lot harder than writing software. That is all.
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."—Jan L.A. Van De Snepscheut
The designer that I've hired a few times for Inner Drive projects will be on VH-1's World Series of Pop Culture tomorrow night. If she's as knowledgeable about pop culture as she is about XHTML, her team should kick butt.