President Bush said Tuesday that the international community should continue to pressure Iran on its nuclear programs, saying a new U.S. intelligence report finding that Tehran halted its development of a nuclear bomb provides an opportunity.
"I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the program," Bush said. "The reason why it's a warning signal is they could restart it."
Bush spoke one day after a new national intelligence estimate found that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program late in 2003, largely because of international scrutiny and pressure. That finding is in stark contrast to the comparable intelligence estimate of just two years ago, when U.S. intelligence agencies believed Tehran was determined to develop a nuclear weapons capability and was continuing its weapons development program.
"To me, the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) provides an opportunity for us to rally the international community -- to continue to rally the community -- to pressure the Iranian regime to suspend its program," the president said. "What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program."
At some point the White House press corp just quit taking notes figuring that eventually someone would come out and interpret the gibberish for them. Most of them spent the rest of the press conference playing "Hangman". D_MB_SS.
After a one-year hiatus -- and a whole lot of water under the bridge since then -- the World Bank is bringing back the office Christmas party.
Last year, bank leadership, under then-President Paul Wolfowitz, pulled the plug on holiday festivities, or at least strongly nudged divisions to do so, arguing that such revelry was inappropriate and wasteful at an organization devoted to fighting world poverty. Staffers were encouraged to volunteer or otherwise devote the money to good causes. Explained one bank source: "It wasn't Grinch-like." Still, many employees groused that the parties had been a rare chance to socialize with colleagues.
But Wolfowitz stepped down last spring after allegations that he engineered a hefty pay raise for girlfriend Shaha Riza. And now, signs of the season are reappearing at the bank, with most units starting to organize parties.
Before she was detailed over to the State Department, Riza was earning $132,660, according to the bank's payroll records obtained by the Governmental Accountability Project. Had the bank's board adhered to its ordinary rules, as Riza was shifted over to the State Department, she should have only been eligible for a raise of about $20,000. Instead she was given a raise of $47,340, whereupon her salary became $180,000. Then last year, she received yet another raise which brought her salary to $193,950. That salary increase not only meant that Riza earned more than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but apparently made her the single highest paid State Department official.
You'd be surprised at what kind of party you can throw for the same amount of money that it takes to get someone to fuck Paul Wolfowitz.
Our man Mitt! has blown several lifetime's worth of tithing on his campaign, and this is the thanks he gets?
Mike Huckabee's surge apparently isn't just happening in Iowa — he's moving up nationwide, too. The new Gallup poll has Huck in a three-way tie for second. Rudy Giuliani leads with a 25% plurality, with Huckabee at 16%, Fred Thompson 15%, John McCain 15%, and Mitt Romney 12%. Huckabee has gone up an amazing ten points in the last month.
Part of the Romney Master Plan for the United States of New Zion was to sell America on God (well, his god anyway) and family. But it looks like America prefers Huckabee's God and family instead.
The Romney boys:
It looks like it has finally reached the time to unleash Jon-Jon Romney:
But instead I spent the evening letting Tony Kornheiser annoy the crap out of me on Monday Night Football. Jesus, he sucks. I don't know why I didn't just turn the sound off. Normally I would suggest the enthusiastic and profane mrs tbogg as his replacement but I think viewers would eventually get tired of "Gettthimmmm!" followed by "Oh fuck." every time Tom Brady dropped back to pass.
Back when I was a Catholic (Jesus Christ, that was, like, a shitload of years ago) I used to have to go to confession. And when you're only ten years old you don't have much to confess since you're hardly old enough to understand, much less commit, any of the really cool sins. I was pretty much limited to the "name in vain" one and the one about lying; adultery wasn't really an option. After weeks of admitting to not listening to my parents or owning up to the occasional "hell" (this was the early sixties, mind you) I'd start to feel guilty, believing that the priest would think I was holding out on him. So I would plan out my confession for each week (actually practicing it hoping I would sound believable) , throwing in a made-up venal sin or two (" I stole some candy", " I was the second gunman on the grassy knoll"). The fact that I was committing another sin by lying about sinning never crossed my mind, an early indication that going to theological school was not part of my destiny. Which is something else I also don't believe in.
Romney campaign insiders want to keep a tight lid on information about the Romney faith speech, scheduled for Thursday. Romney himself made the decision to give it, they say, he'll decide what to say, and he'll write it. "This is a very personal speech," one campaign aide told me tonight. "This will be a speech from the heart."
Romney and his team have carefully studied JFK's 1960 speech (which we should post in its entirety here; it's really fascinating).
Considering that this speech has been talked about since last February I find myself skeptical that Mitt's speech hasn't yet been written, focus-grouped, re-written, compared to the Kennedy speech, re-written again, re-focus-grouped, and tightened up once more.
But maybe that's just me. I lack faith, don'cha know.
Faced with the prospect of Michelle Malkin hiding out in the bushes and reporting on her kitchen counters ("...appear to be strewn with empty Chunky Monkey tubs. Communist ice cream!") K-Lo blubbers out an apology of sorts over the Lying in Lebanon affair:
Michelle Malkin says there isn't a "just blogging" excuse — and that cuts to the heart of my thinking, and what I hope one can get out of my Friday post in "The Corner" on Lebanon "Tank" reporting from earlier this fall. Your (our, anyone's) audience relies on you if you're writing a book or a piece, ranting on the radio, giving a sound-bite on TV, or blogging.
The only point being here doing any of this is to play it straight. One of the greatest benefits of blogs is you can actually let people see more. You see NRO writers with their differences of opinion and mood swings and varying considerations about 2008 candidates. You get notes that would get cut out of pieces in a print forum because of space. And you can tell stories as they're developing. In even small bits, you have the opportunity get a an even fuller and more transparent view of things.
But with great power and opportunity comes great responsibility. We take that seriously and should have done better and will.
Sunday Five Brothers Blogging - Mormon Firedrill Edition
I realize that most Romney's look alike but, when playing flag/touch/light tackling football, do they really need to wear colored bibs to figure out who is on which team? "Throw it to the white guy! Throw it to the white guy!"
I don't even want to get into the weird sexual dynamic of wearing one of your flags by your penis... unless you're playing Badtouch Football.
Did yesterday's hostage crisis teach us anything about Hillary Clinton?
You might think we got a chance to see how she deals with a crisis, but that's not really so. She had no executive authority in the matter. The local police had to handle the situation. We did get to see how she looks upon a crisis from a distance — or, at least, how she allows us to look upon her looking upon a crisis from a distance
Afterwards, she used the occasion to make a show of her emotions (or did you think she was cold and mechanical?). She said:
"It affected me not only because they were my staff members and volunteers, but as a mother, it was just a horrible sense of bewilderment, confusion, outrage, frustration, anger, everything at the same time."
Is that what you want in a President? Someone who feels extra confusion because she's a mother?
But I don't believe that for one minute. I think that was just what was considered a good script. I don't happen to think it is a good script, because I don't want a President to roil into a mommyesque ball of emotion when a few people are in danger. Yet that's not Hillary. The only question is why she thought a statement like that was a good one. She probably wanted to make sure not to confirm the widely held belief that she's unemotional, and, while she was at it, delight all the ladies out there who lap up emotional drivel.
Oh, great. Let's just hope there aren't copycats out there ready to turn their despondent drinking binges into a day of fame that helps their favorite political candidate.
Instead they should put their despondent drinking binges to better use by helping their favorite American Idol contestant.