Pun and (War) Games


The book "is a story of the symmetry between a father and son, and their times," the AP's Ron Fournier writes. And there's politics: "For six decades, we learned the lessons of the Nuremberg men and women well," Dodd writes. "We didn't start wars -- we ended them. We didn't commit torture -- we condemned it. We didn't turn away from the world -- we embraced it. But that has changed in the past few years."

Another campaign break-in, this one at former governor Mitt Romney's gleaming waterfront headquarters in Boston's North End. The haul included seven laptops and Spencer Zwick's 37-inch plasma TV -- but the campaign's not worried about internal documents getting out, The Boston Globe's Michael Levenson reports. "There is no Woodward or Bernstein book at the end of this caper," said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.

That doesn't mean there's no room in the campaign for dirty tricks. An anti-Thompson Website that was abruptly shut down yesterday appears to have been connected to "at least two top members of Mitt Romney's South Carolina operation," Michael Luo reports in The New York Times. "The Web site, PhoneyFred.org, had attacked Mr. Thompson's conservative credentials, opening with the line: 'Phoney Fred. Acting like a conservative,' " Luo writes. "But Internet queries reveal connections between the site and Warren Tompkins, a South Carolina political consultant hired by Mr. Romney, and Terry Sullivan, Mr. Romney's South Carolina state director."

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., made it official yesterday: He's not running for reelection or for the White House in 2008. "He emphasized that he has 16 months remaining in office and said he would continue taking an active role in the debate on Iraq war policy," write Robynn Tysver and Jake Thompson of the Omaha World-Herald. Said Hagel: "I intend to be very engaged in this war debate as I have been for the last five years."

Hagel's departure makes a bad electoral map worse for Republicans, as former senator Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., eyes a return to politics. But the New York Sun's Josh Gerstein sees a fight looming with liberals if Kerrey does seek to come back to the Senate. "If Nebraskans replace Mr. Hagel with Mr. Kerrey, they will be trading a Republican who has called the war 'hopeless' and 'an absolute replay of Vietnam' for a Democrat who has insisted that the invasion was justified and that an abrupt withdrawal would hand an unacceptable win to Al Qaeda," Gerstein writes.

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, filed court papers yesterday fleshing out the wide-stance/witch-hunt/not-gay defense. "While in this state of intense anxiety, Senator Craig felt compelled to grasp the lifeline offered him by the police officer, namely that if he were to submit to an interview and plead guilty, then none of the officer's allegations would be made public," Craig's lawyers wrote in a court filing.

And don't forget that other sex scandal: Larry Flynt is planning a 1 pm PST press conference in Los Angeles to unveil additional allegations against Sen. David Vitter, R-La., ABC's Jake Tapper reports. And "a woman who used to work as a prostitute in New Orleans passed a lie detector test averring that she had a 'sexual relationship' with Vitter that lasted at least four months," reports Kate Moran of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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