Sunday, August 8, 2004

Sunday Reading

Check out some interesting articles in the papers:

From the New York Times there’s speculation on how would Henry Kissinger have handled Iraq. Differently, I’m sure.

Would the Kissinger of the 70’s have favored invading Iraq? It’s unclear. He would have voiced concerns about a war’s impact on regional stability. The horrors of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny would not have much bothered him, much less stirred him to battle. Certainly, he would have ridiculed the neoconservative notion that toppling Mr. Hussein would unleash some inherent impulse for Western-style democracy. In his 1994 book, “Diplomacy,” Mr. Kissinger derided, as a touching but naïve American fantasy, this “image of a universal man living by universal maxims, regardless of the past, of geography, or of other immutable circumstances.”

It is, in any case, inconceivable that he would have blown off traditional allies, much less boasted of the rift, as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did by touting the “new Europe” of Bulgaria and Poland over the “old Europe” of Germany and France. Alliances play a central role in any vision of balance-of-power politics, and in Mr. Kissinger’s, alliances with France and Germany were indispensable.

Trust me, I do not miss Kissinger (except that with this cold I can to do a killer imitation of his voice). But Bush makes me miss Nixon – at least he knew when the jig was up – thirty years ago today.

Carl Hiaasen takes a look at the shameful management at the Florida Department of Children and Families.

How to explain why Regier is still at DCF

Jerry Regier has obviously got Polaroids of Gov. Bush in drag, or an equally kinky secret.

Nothing else could explain why Bush hasn’t fired this knucklehead from the Department of Children & Families, where Regier has served two damaging years as secretary.

Arguably the most important appointment of the governor’s tenure — choosing the person to lead Florida’s scandalized child-welfare agency — has proven to be one of the worst decisions that Bush has ever made.

A scalding report by the governor’s chief inspector general has revealed that high-ranking DCF officials handed out fat and dubious contracts to pals and political cronies, and accepted gifts, favors and lodging from outside contractors.

As a result, three of Regier’s top administrators have quit and Regier himself has been reduced to defending his own outrageous socializing with a DCF contractor.

Would it be an understatement to say that Florida politics are weird?

And today I’m taking it easy. I’ve got my usual miserable summer cold, so I’m curling up with the crossword puzzle, chicken soup for lunch, several gallons of water in the Brita, and waiting for Six Feet Under.