Sunday, February 11, 2007

A habit of blunt speaking

Secretary of War Robert
gates 27
was exposed to a blistering attack on American world dominance and unilateral military actions by a cranky Vladmir Putin. “Why should we start bombing and shooting now at every available opportunity?” he asked. I assume that’s a trick question.

Gates dismissed that as Cold War rhetoric. “Old spies,” he said, “have a habit of blunt speaking.” He added that the problem with America’s reputation in the world couldn’t possibly be American policies but that we haven’t explained them well enough. He said that in the 20th century, most people believed that “while we might from time to time do something stupid, that we were a force for good in the world.” Now, of course, they think that while we might from time to time do something good, we are a force for stupid in the world.

A NYT article about politicians finding new ways to circumvent rules about taking money from lobbyists contains this reassuring comment from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA): “Only a moron would sell a vote for a $2,000 contribution.”

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