Saber Rattling And Other Boy Stuff With Spencer Attackerman

Illustration for article titled Saber Rattling And Other Boy Stuff With Spencer Attackerman

Hey, there, so, I'm a really terrible friend. Well, actually, I'm a good friend to some people, but I managed to abandon other people in the process. I'm currently in Germany, slightly besoffen from my friends' civil marriage this morning and as a result, Moe totally cheated on me with Spencer Ackerman.They talked about stuff. Moe told me that it was war related. It was more crazytown than not sleeping on an airplane, reading a book about polygamy and trying to remember 10 years of German you haven't spoken in almost 10. Oh, and I'm still posting on Glamocracy. For real, shit is crazy today, and it's not the 2 bottles of champagne talking. It might be the weird three-way Crappy Hour though.


MOE: OMG someone named Emily Weiss just befriended me on Facebook and I thought it was the Stepfordy Teen Vogue intern from The Hills but it's not, it's just some other girl born in 1984. I am sure she is an infinitely nicer and better and more appealing person than the F-list socialite Emily Weiss but you know.

$PENCER: ok go

are you sure you just IMd that to the right person

because i don't know at all who any of your reference refer to

MOE: What is going on today besides this Jackson thing and FISA? Did you read the front page spy story in the Times? Because I did not, although I made an admirable effort at the deli.

$PENCER: no, but if you want an excellent recap of what just happened with FISA, i refer you to the Windy's Mike Lillis

MOE: Oh that picture is fierce

$PENCER: did you see Ta-Nehisi Coates' reaction to JJ?

i know it's like Chris Dodd is Oliver Hardy

anyway here's Ta-Nehisi getting all Too Hot For The Root or the Atlantic:

My Dad is gonna kill me. But here's Jesse—on Fox News no less—telling some other dude that he'd like to cut Obama's nuts out. Nice. I'm not even sure this hurts Obama in anyway. Even Jesse's own son condemned him. There is a certain strain of the civil right era that really just needs to have a Jack and Coke and call it a day. It's not that we aren't grateful. We so really are. But this is getting embarrassing...

MOE: oooooh too hot for The Root??? But The Root is the hotness ...

$PENCER: about that spy story, i leave all things China to you

MOE: one of the links on The Root's blogroll is something called "Conversate is not a word" and that blog has made this point before w/r/t Wright and Sharpton and I think Clinton and maybe we could add Linda Hirshman to that mix.

$PENCER: i use conversate

don't make me call the Grammar Police


so give me your thoughts on China and then I want to talk about the other huge fucking deal that people are ignoring, which is that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq just endorsed Barack Obama's Iraq policy

MOE: Well the thing about Chinese espionage that I think is kind of the point of the story is that they can't really decide if its spying for the government or just intellectual property infringement, and while spying is inherently awesome patent law is less so so the use of the word "Spy" in the headline does not guarantee amazing content. Although I'm mining it.

$PENCER: interestingly enough this was kind of the plot of one of James Webb's lesser-known war novels from 1991

except with employees of a Japanese company selling secrets of (deep breath) a software firm that had a Pentagon contract to nefarious North Koreans

in order to divert attention from the scandal, a chickenhawk defense secretary entangles the U.S. in an Eritrean-Ethiopean war

... and to thinkWebb could have been vice president

MOE: Oh that would be a big deal, please share your ideas. So basically the Iraq president agrees that it was a stupid idea to invade the Iraq even though that is the only reason he got to be president of the Iraq and yes, that is how much Iraq sucks that he is willing to say he would rather step into a time machine back to when he was hanging out in Syria or whatever?

$PENCER: unfortunately only the Iranians make the component parts for the Wayback Machine, so to step into it would be to admit the close ties between Baghdad and Teheran so Ryan Crocker really doesn't want that, but anyways

let's conversate on Iraq

on Monday, maliki went to the UAE to get some debt relief, and said "You know what? We should really set a timetable for the US to withdraw"


MOE: Oy!! Can we get an awkward press conference clip or not right now? How often does the State Dept have to give press conferences anyway?

$PENCER: but then a longtime U.S. (and Iranian!) stooge named Mowaffaq al-Rubaie met with the most important Shiite religious leader in Iraq, and said explicitly that we need to get the hell on

i think that was Sean McCormack's tuesday am briefing

anyway here's the best part

Maliki was like, no, I really mean it

from today's Wash Post:

Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in Baghdad on Wednesday that a U.S. pullout could be completed in several years. "It can be 2011 or 2012," he said. "We don't have a specific date in mind, but we need to agree on the principle of setting a deadline."

so now you tell MOE: how does Barack Obama lose the Iraq debate?

MOE: Okay here's the ish on the China spy shit: for one thing, all this shit seems to involve Taiwanese. Taiwan is supposed to hate China but actually they are a little too interested in cheap labor and gargantuan consumer market to bother with that, you understand, so anyway, blah blah blah a few big things China would like to figure out how to make: night vision goggles, military-grade accelerometers for smart bombs and "refinements that make missiles more difficult to detect." mmmmmm yeah I'm not sure how sexy this is. What's an accelerometer look like even?

$PENCER: oh wow gurlz know NOTHING about defense LOL

it looks like this, duh

so nothing to see in the NYT china spy story but Pulitzer-bait?

what a shame, Ting Ting

MOE: oooh cylindrical like a TAMPON. btw I was explaining to my 2 girlfriends yesterday that missile test stories i.e. The Iran yesterday are sooooo boring to cover, because they invariably boil down to the shop-worn cliche of "sabre-rattling" and my BFFs were like "whoa, really? They use that term, 'sabre rattling'?" And then they started fighting with imaginary sabres and i was like "No seriously guys it's THAT STUPID."

MOE: Lolz. And yeah it's not Pulitzer material. No Efraim Diveroli that's for sure.

$PENCER: yeah what you don't see in Pentagon press conferences is the pre-conference saber rattling that reporters do with their DONGS

poor Martha Raddatz and Pam Hess, always left out of the fun

no wonder Pam moved to the AP intelligence beat

MOE: What's this about Obama regretting letting his kiddies on TV?

$PENCER: you tell me!

MOE: I mean, sure, Access Hollywood isn't Charlie Rose, but…

$PENCER: before I have to go — — i need you to say, just once in CH, what you think about a story of the day

MOE: Here is that. I certainly respectfully disagree. I actually had a dream the other night that Michelle got knocked up again in the White House.

$PENCER: oohhh NPR i forgot how it soothes my liberal's soul now that i have no radio

so you disagree with the decision to put the Obama girls on TV?

i need to know what the age's best working writer thinks about this!

MOE: I don't think I know what to think of Jesse Jackson. On one hand, wait, what?That really happened? On the other hand, of course it happened, because this entire campaign has consisted of a marathon real time PSA dedicated to hammering it home to our generation time and time fucking again that Boomers Are Officially Unfit To Run The Country; In Fact They Fucking Always Were; We Were Just Too Busy Updating Our Myspace Pages To Notice And Hey, By The Way, What Happened To The Economy?

MOE: I think you compromised a bit of the credibility you built up calling me the world's greatest living writer by implying that it was a good thing no one ever turned in Bill Clinton for sexual assault because you see while the whole sexual assault thing was resurfacing to embarrass him in the media he heroically tried to distract the country by bombing Al Qaeda.... comparing me to Bill is just a messy analogy is all I'm saying. Unless it was purposely that way?

$PENCER: wait huh?

i was making a point about clinton and al-qaeda, and the structure of Winstead's argument, not Clinton and sexual assault

victim blaming

i don't think Clinton is a problematic analogy at all under those circumstances and in this context

MOE: I was just kidding!

$PENCER: ok i am reading galleys way way past deadline so i am unable to catch the subtler points made by our finest living writer


westvillagegirl (now available in Brooklyn)

@BlowJoy: Regarding the Colombian rescue, I was watching NBC Nightly News last night, and in the teaser opening, Brian Williams referred to Betancourt simply as a "rescued mother." No mention of her being a presidential candidate or activist. No mention that she was basically a political prisoner. Now, I'm not saying being a mother is not important, but I think it's kind of slap in the face to Betancourt to simply call her a "mother." That's not why she was kidnapped! Fuck you, NBC News.

I'm not even going to talk about the schmaltzy interview with Ann Curry. "What did they do to you?" I was so glad that Betancourt said she wasn't going to talk about it. You could see Ann still trying for gory details, though.