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October 09, 2005


Well, since you ask, I think you shouldn't have mixed up two perfectly blogworthy together. The first should have everyone howling in disgust at the way the administration (yet again) comports itself, the second, we have the altogether too rare pleasure (at least in the past handful of years) of possibly sitting back and watching just desserts dished out. I just wish I had a comprehensive list of all those conservatives who said that if the admin did out a CIA asset, they would never support it again.

Firedoglake's take is in a new post here, with lots of interesting links

I have to admit, going to the emptywheel post was a bit depressing, because that one is updated to explain (quite plausibly, but then again, I'm pretty easy to convince on this) who leaked the fact that Judy found her old notes and what they contained.

In short, the easiest, obstruction of justice-free way he could tell Libby and Rove and Hadley and Cheney and Bolton and Bush and so on and so on that they should get to high ground is to leak the news that Judy had submitted a second set of notes.

Update 2: Yeah, I'm betting it was Bennett. Check out the way Reuters describes the note release:

A New York Times reporter has given investigators notes from a
conversation she had with a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney weeks earlier than was previously known
, suggesting White House involvement started well before the outing of a CIA operative, legal sources said.

Times reporter Judith Miller discovered the notes -- about a June 2003 conversation she had with Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby -- after her testimony before the grand jury last week, the sources said on Friday. She turned the notes over to federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and is expected to meet him again next Tuesday, the sources said.

Miller's notes could help Fitzgerald establish that Libby had started talking to reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, weeks before Wilson publicly criticized the administration's Iraq policy in a Times opinion piece, the sources said. [emphasis mine]

This passage tells the Neocon thugs precisely what is in those notes. This not only tells them to run like hell for higher ground. But it gives them survival advice in case they make it to higher ground.

They are going to get out of this scot-free, I just know it. God help us.

Kleiman has also updated with some reader given speculation about why Fitz wasn't really going back to Judy with the Sword of Damocles (the perjury version) hung over her head. *sigh*, the depression of having to pay attention to plausible explanations makes me consider becoming a conservative supporting this admin.

Re Katrina reconstruction, the New York Times should be boiled in oil. I got so furious while reading this that I had to stop before I could see if they even mentioned Allbaugh. No good deed deed by a Democrat goes unpunished.

There goes my good mood about the great baseball today.

Actually, as the article goes on, it seems to describe why Witt was so good at what he does.

His years at FEMA contrast sharply with stumbles by the Bush Administration, which replaced its chief disaster official just days after Hurricane Katrina hit. Mr. Witt won wide praise from both Republicans and Democrats for FEMA's response to disasters like the Oklahoma City bombing and the devastating earthquake in the Northridge section of Los Angeles, as well as the 1993 Midwest floods. After years of slogging through mud and debris, Mr. Witt's reputation among local disaster officials is unparalleled.

He rode a Greyhound bus through the night, sitting next to the bathroom, to get to the Midwest floods when no plane was available; another time, he stopped long enough to marry two evacuees from Hurricane Marilyn. Even President Bush singled Mr. Witt out for praise in the 2000 presidential debates.

"A lot of people in our own office of emergency preparedness started mentioning his name," Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana said in an interview. "People would say, 'If you can get James Lee Witt, get him.' "

Mr. Witt became the governor's primary consultant for dealing with FEMA, advising Ms. Blanco on what programs and opportunities were available and how the state should respond.

A very schizophrenic article, and thinking about hilzoy's post and the Pinch and Judy show, I have to wonder if we are just looking at a news organization in disarray.

But until I read this, it hadn't occurred to me to wonder whether Bush will actually bother to try to rebuild the Gulf at all.

We know he plans to rebuild Trent Lott's house.

The whole Katrina thing has been a weird kind of deja-vu, hasn't it? A replay of Iraq in minature, only this time fewer conservatives are defending Bush even though his behavior is exactly the same. I wonder what the Gulf equivalent of the flypaper theory will be?

Conservative Republican pressure has delivered the New York Times exactly to their desired transformation: from a very fine news organization with some identifiable, but not important, liberal bias, to a useless rag, little better than talk radio.

Congrats. Another institution down the you know what.

The charred remains of Ann Coulter's hijacked airplane did more damage than
than anyone is willing to admit. Who says metaphor and rhetoric aren't as effective as the real thing?

Krugman, the most partisan pundit in the land, is predictable, not interesting. All the more reason not to send a penny to the NYT. Jay Rosen is right, the Washington Post has surpassed Pinch's paper.

That index would mean more if the current Administration weren't so woefully inept, inadequate and generally craptacular, Charles, and if Krugman hadn't been ahead of the curve in realizing it. I know you're enamored of simple counting arguments but please realize that they aren't the conversation-stopper you seem to think they are unless they're refined well beyond any that I've seen you reference.

Charles, as a guy on the Daily Show once said, "the facts are biased".

I think that you know that, deep inside. That's why you accused him of being partisan rather than wrong. Thats why others so often accuse him of being shrill, rather than wrong. Because discussions of partisanship or shrillness are much better than discussions of truth and falsehood.

But everyone knows that true balance means praising and criticizing everyone equally, regardless of their merits. Right Charles?

I agree with Anarch that the index Charles cites is worthless.

It seems to take the bizarre view that the Bush Administration is perfectly balanced between good and bad, and that any pundit whose columns are not also perfectly balanced is thus a "partisan," and should be ignored, no matter how sound the points raised.

It further seems to weight all references the same, without regard for the accuracy of the comment or the importance of the matter discussed.

The "index" is completely idiotic.

From the "Methods" section of Charles' link:

Each correctly-tagged Democratic or Republican reference is evaluated as positive, negative or neutral. Both the immediate context of the reference and the overall tone of the column is considered. If a column is a partisan screed, nearly every reference to the despised party is usually evaluated as negative. If a column is more nuanced, close calls are usually evaluated to be neutral.

This does not sound very objective to me. It would be easy for bias to creep in in the evaluators' analysis.

What's wrong with partisanship per se, anyway? Partisanship does not imply, for example, dishonesty as far as I am concerned. Evaluating dishonesty is independent of evaluating partisanship. The same holds for patriotism, incompetence, corruption, whatever.

I'm sure that the Republicans intend to rebuild New Orleans. Some small details might have to be changed, however. Like, it would be much easier to work on it if it was located just outside of Dallas.

Yet more shoot-the-messenger from Charles. Care to address the substance of the article, or are you just here to crusade against the evils of liberal bias?

suddenly Republicans in Congress have become concerned about the deficit.

The tendency of so-called deficit/debt hawks on the political right to reveal that the deficit/debt is largely or only a vehicle to get to the real and deeper goal of cutting social spending and cutting taxes is very common in places outside the USA as well.

Through out the early and mid 1990s, when the fever over Canada's public deficit/debt was at its height, the business press and political right were in hysterics about our imminent descent into Third World status. But somehow it was even more important to, for example, imcrease spending on the military and to cut taxes as well. Curious.

My favourite example of the mindset came when Alberta was lauded to the skys as the first province to return to a balanced budget (even the Wall Street Journal joined in as I recall). Curiously though, it was simply not true that Alberta, with its Conservative government slashing social spending with vim and vigour, was the first. Saskatchewan had done so the previous year to no adulation what so ever. That province you see, was governed by those dastardly pinkos the NDP who had combined more modest spending cuts with tax increases to bring its budget into balance.

Just curious. When did the world begin requiring punditry on an editorial page be objective, non-partisan, or even factual?

I mean, I realize that, say, in Marcos' Philippines during post-martial law times, the Filipino press achieved perfection in these areas, until Imelda, her shoes, and Michelle Malkin moved to my country.

There's another problem with the index Charles cited: someone on the very far right- or left-wing will probably evaluate as more moderate than someone in the mainstream of their wing. At least, anyone like Michael Moore or Pat Buchannon who frequently ciritizes the moderates in their own party will come out as more moderate. (Or: is Ann C really more moderate than Maureen Dowd?)
In fairness, anyone with a high partisan score probably is a partisan in reality, but low paritsan scores don't necessarily mean moderation.
I wonder how the fact that Repoublicans control all three branches of government affects these ratings.

Im also puzzled as to why this would, in and of itself, mark someone as uninteresting. Most of our elected officials would score as very partisan, but their comments are still very interesting to me.
What is uninteresting is a reporter who doesn't have an opinion & therefore has nothing to add to the conversation.


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