I need to figure out where my classes meet tomorrow, but I want to slap up a few entertaining items.

(1) Maureen Dowd is her “on again” self this week:

Painting himself as the noble agent for “the transformational power of liberty” abroad, he said “there have always been doubters” when America uses its “strength” to “advance freedom”: “In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to Allied forces, a journalist in The New York Times wrote this: ‘Germany is a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. European capitals are frightened. In every military headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed.’ End quote. Maybe that same person’s still around, writing editorials.”

She isn’t. Anne O’Hare McCormick, who died in 1954, was The Times’s pioneering foreign affairs correspondent who covered the real Axis of Evil, interviewing Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Patton. She was hardly a left-wing radical or defeatist. In 1937, she became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and she was the first woman to be a member of The Times’s editorial board.

The president distorted the columnist’s dispatch. (download a PDF of the original column)The “moral crisis” and failure she described were in the British and French sectors. She reported that the Americans were doing better because of their policy to “encourage initiative and develop self-government.” She wanted the U.S. to commit more troops and stay the course – not cut and run.

Mr. Bush Swift-boated her.

Sometimes Dowd makes me nuts with her lazy recitations of unsubstantiated rumors. (A great line in James Wolcott’s tasty new book Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants, in a recap of the media Goring of Kerry, characterizes Dowd thusly: “If the Gore pattern holds, attack poodles will draw first blood with Kerry, leaving the pundits and analysts to finish the job, and Maureen Dowd to paint clown lips on the corpse.”) But right now, I like her again!

(2) Which reminds me, I started reading James Wolcott’s new blog at this hysterically catty entry on Laura Bush, and I keep going back. Check him out.

(3) Hmm. Not just random records missing from Bush’s National Guard file, but very specific records missing (via the Shrill Blog). Boy, he gets some lucky breaks, doesn’t he?

(4) Garrison Keillor wonders what happened to Republicans:

“The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.”

(5) Yikes. Let the mud wrestling begin.

(6) Perhaps you’ve heard about the upcoming book by Bob Graham, in which he allegedly presents more solid evidence of links between hijackers and the Saudi government (remember all those pages the White House redacted from the congressional inquiry report?). I love the diagrams Uggabugga puts up, and here’s a good one making the case in one page.

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