Perhaps you thought Bob Woodward was “last week’s news” but today the Post pulled an old/new trick out of its sleeve and led the front page with a story by Bob Woodward himself. Since they don’t identify whether bylines indicate “Washington Post staff writer” anymore they get around that awkwardness. The Bob Woodward version of the Bob Woodward story is slightly more nuanced and sophisticated from the media clusterfuck version of the Bob Woodward story, and also uh, considerably less blindly worshipful of our military leadership, who come across as insubordinate jerks who rig war games, whine incessantly to the media and repeatedly ignore Obama‘s requests for options that involve anything less than tripling the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 108,000, or at least that’s my impression from an alarming new chart Woodward dutifully “obtained.” In one section, Gen. David Petraeus calls “a Washington Post columnist” to say that the war would be “unsuccessful if the president held back on troops.” The war is going to be pretty unsuccessful no matter what of course, not that I would expect anyone in the Beltway punditocracy to point that out, but it says something that the guy Petraeus phoned up was W. speechwriter Michael Gerson, who ended the column in question thusly:
And this much is clear: It is not a serious strategy to exaggerate American obstacles in Afghanistan, to discount hopeful alternatives, and to speak with airy vagueness about how it will all work out if we retreat. It is a fantasy world of our own unmaking.
In other news, America’s worst run criminal enterprise/zombie bank just lured away some top talent from Switzerland’s worst run criminal enterprise/zombie bank. A $30 million pay package was all it took. Citigroup was so disastrously managed that the two years of repeated rounds of federal money bombing that restored all the other Wall Street banks to world domination has not been enough and the U.S. Treasury still owns 17.5% of the damn thing. So you see, nothing to see here our interests as citizens are perfectly aligned with that of this gazillionaire Houston-based oil hustler.
Phil Collins is writing a book about the Alamo.
Nick Denton looks just like his mother.
The nation’s libraries are being outsourced with great alacrity to private companies. This makes sense, because everyone knows how lucrative the book business is these days.
Valerie Plame will be played by Naomi Watts in a movie that comes out at some as yet undetermined point this fall. Naturally Sean Penn plays her blowhard yellowcake sleuthing husband. The Times quotes Karl Rove‘s lawyer gleefully dissing the couple as “a little past their sell-by date.” I think Valerie Plame is actually prettier than Naomi Watts and should have been played by ScarJo or something but what do I know.