September 29, 2006

Bob Woodward Still Hunting Nixon

Notwithstanding that the 37th President is dead, crack reporter Bob Woodward sees the fact that President Bush has met with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as some kind of proof that Richard Nixon's legacy lives on with the White House's current occupant.

The premise of his new book - which oddly enough is coming out just before an election, imagine that - is that Bush is hiding the bad news in Iraq from the American people. Nixon is Bush and Vietnam is Iraq. Get the connection here? Woodward still pines for his golden days when his investigations blew the lid off of Watergate, leading to Nixon's resignation. Maybe he's hoping for a sequel to "All The President's Men". And Robert Redford would be only too happy to play him again. Once again, he'd be the darling of the media elite. Oh, to force Bush to resign! Just think of that!


As further "evidence" of some kind of White House cover-up, Woodward points to the increase in the number of attacks in Iraq against coalition forces. Like this is news? As if the MSM isn't thumping the drum on this one already? Whatever.

A senior administration official saw little new in Woodward's charges "except that Bob believes he has a lot of making up to do since the Washington establishment criticized him for being too soft in his first two books (on the Bush administration)."

"We've seen this movie before, and we shouldn't be surprised of another critical book about the Bush administration 40 days before an election," said the official.

Bush's Republican Party faces a strong challenge from Democrats as it seeks to retain control of Congress in the November 7 elections. The unpopular war in Iraq is a major issue in the campaign.

The official added there was nothing revealing in Woodward's account of the daily attack numbers. "You print them all the time."

The American people are not exactly looking at Iraq with rose-colored glasses. Yet Woodward is spinning his book on "60 Minutes" this weekend as if he is releasing the 21st Century equivalent of the Pentagon Papers.

It's time for Bob Woodward and the rest of the aging Boomer Left to exorcise the ghost of Nixon and get over their paranoia. It's really sad.

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September 21, 2006

Reading The NY Times Backwards

My lovely wife has a style of communication that is endearing but one that I've needed to adjust my comprehension skills to really appreciate.

In a nutshell, she tells long stories. I mean really long stories, often including details and information that I as the listener find to be unnecessary and even distracting. I often tell her, "Hon, give me the punchline first. Then go back and fill in the details" (in a gentle way, of course, from which she does not take offense).

That is similar to the way I read a New York Times article. I go to the punchline first.

Case in point is yesterday's article on a recent poll related to the performance of the U.S. Congress, "Poll Finds Most Americans Displeased With Congress". Starting with the headline and meandering through the opening paragraphs, the article paints a picture of a Congress that is ripe for turnover:

With the midterm elections less than seven weeks away, Americans have an overwhelmingly negative view of the Republican-controlled Congress, with substantial majorities saying that they disapprove of the job it is doing and that its members do not deserve reelection, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The disregard for Congress is the most intense it has been since 1994, when Republicans captured 52 seats to end four decades of Democratic control of the House and retook the Senate as well. It underlines the challenge the Republican Party faces in trying to hold onto power in the face of a surge in anti-incumbent sentiment.

The following paragraphs are dedicated to the statistical unpopularity of George W. Bush, something that - in my opinion, anyway - bears little relevance to how the public feels about Congress. Now the Times is clearly implying that dissatisfaction with the performance of the Senate and the House of Representatives (and oh, by the way, the President as well) is a harbinger of a Democratic takeover, similar the the GOP wins in 1994. And a lazy reader (or one who is eager to accept this notion) would stop there and come away with that conviction. The paper is probably anticipating this result.

But wait. If you bother to continue down (and way down) to the end of the article you get this observation:

For all the clear dissatisfaction with the 109th Congress, 39 percent of respondents said their own representative deserved re-election, compared with 48 percent who said it was time for someone new. What is more, it seems highly unlikely Democrats would experience a sweep similar to the one Republicans experienced in 1994. Most political analysts judge only about 40 House seats to be in play at the moment, compared with more than 100 seats at this point 12 years ago, in large part because redistricting has created more safe seats for both parties...

...Voters said that Democrats were more likely to tell the truth than Republicans when talking about the war and Iraq and about the actual threat of terrorism. And 59 percent of respondents said that Mr. Bush was hiding something when he talked about how things were going in Iraq, while another 25 percent said he was mostly lying when talking about the war.

Not that Democrats should draw any solace from that: 71 percent of respondents said they believed Democrats in Congress were hiding something when they talked about how well things were going in Iraq — while 13 percent said they were mostly lying.

See what I mean?

So here's my advice: when reading the Times, read the punchline first. I't could save you from a big waste of time.

And I think that "punchline" is an apt term, considering what a joke that paper has become.

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September 06, 2006

Selective Poll Results

In the week leading up to Labor Day and continuing into this week, we've all noticed the MSM going into full campaign mode (now that McCain-Feingold has officially muzzled free speech from other sources), beating the drum that the GOP is in deep, deep doo-doo because of an angry, disaffected electorate.

The electorate is pretty surly these days, true. But the part they've been leaving out is that there is absolutely no polling data to suggest that voters are ready to turn over control of Congress to the Dems. Granted, the GOP seems to be going out of its way to anger its base and turn off everyone else. But the Democrats offer no reasons for voters to move in their direction.

Here's the bottom line: Voters are disaffected. What else is new? And in different times that would be enough reason to expect a change of control in Congress. But these are dangerous times - serious times. And with the safety of our nation so much at risk, swing voters may look at the Republicans and hold their nose. But when they look at the Democrats they hold their stomachs.

Dems hold an advantage in polls focusing on the generic Congressional ballot. Can anyone remember a time when this was not the case heading into an election? And how many times in the past ten years have those poll advantages led to Democrats taking over either chamber of Congress? Republicans can still do a lot to screw themselves up. And as I've said all year, the GOP will lose seats in the House and the Senate. It would be historically unprecendented if they didn't.

But as long as Democrats keep taking the bait and talking about national security, the uncertainty and uneasiness of handing the reigns over to the party that thinks we should release all the detainees at Gitmo so they can try and kill Americans again, eliminate surveillance programs that monitor the activities of terrorists, repeal the Patriot Act and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq will make the possibility of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi replacing "minority" with "majority" in their titles highly unlikely.

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NY Times On Plame Debacle: Fitz Or Get Off The Pot

Even the Gray Lady sees the writing on the wall:

Like most others, we saw Mr. Fitzgerald as a good choice. Now we fear he has succumbed to the prosecutorÂ’s foot-dragging disease. He kept the case open after I. Lewis Libby, Mr. CheneyÂ’s chief of staff, was indicted. At the time he hinted that he would have more to say on the original crime he was investigating. That was last October.

ItÂ’s time for Mr. Fitzgerald to provide answers or admit that this investigation has run its course.

Personally, I'm all for a new investigation. An investigation into a special prosecutor who knowingly pursued a bogus witch-hunt when he knew the answers the whole time. Or maybe one into Richard Armitage and Colin Powell who sat on their hands and let this silliness drag on while it distracted their Commander-In-Chief during a time of war.

At the very least, the White House needs to call out Patrick Fitzgerald for the partisan hack he is. And they should do it every day for the next two months.

h/t: Captain Ed

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Petulant Media Prima Donna Has Another Hissy Fit

NBC White House Correspondent David Gregory got into another "I know you are but what am I" tussle with the White House Press Secretary yesterday. Only this time around it wasn't Gregory beating up on the fat kid.

No, this time he pulled his "assertiveness training" routine with Tony Snow.

Big mistake.

Gregory could usually get former Press Secretary Scott McClellan's goat. But the Snowman wasn't having any of it. When he suggested that Gregory's question was a nice summary of "the Democratic point of view" on Iraq, the White House Correspondent lost his cool (not that he really possesses any). Part of the exchange:

MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.

Q But hold on, let's not let you get away with saying that's a Democratic argument.

MR. SNOW: Okay, let me -- let's not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.

Q Excuse me. Don't point your finger at me. I'm not being rude.

MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.

Q Don't try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I'm speaking fact.

MR. SNOW: Well, okay -- well, no --

Q You can do that to the Democrats; don't do it to me.

MR. SNOW: No, I'm doing it to you because the second part was factually tendentious, okay? Now, when you were talking about the fact that it failed to adapt, that's just flat wrong. And you will be -- there has been -- there have been repeated attempts to try to adapt to military realities, to diplomatic realities, to development of new weapons and tools on the part of al Qaeda, including the very creative use of the Internet. So the idea that somehow we're staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong.

No who's getting who's goat?


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September 04, 2006

ABC's "The Path to 9/11"

But what really caught my attention was when I clicked on a link on my sitemeter that showed all these liberal blogs in hysterics over it. Then I knew this was a gem worth checking into.-The Chatterbox Chronicles

When anything gets under the skin of the libs, that's a good enough endorsement for me to support it. I first heard about this over at Hugh Hewitt. Despite the pressure on ABC by the pro-Clinton Left, Hewitt doubts there will be any last minute editing changes because there have been a sufficient number of reviewers who have already seen it; and to make changes now under political pressure by the liberal Left, would have a negative backlash.

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