Sunday, February 01, 2004

The Sunday Papers 

LA Times

GOP already focussed on the endgame and have spent millions on Campaign 2004, report Maura Reynolds and Doyle McManus. "Hand-held computers have been purchased so canvassers daily can download voter data — including information about their special interests and concerns — into a central database." I wonder if they can upload data—say, to an insecure Diebold black box voting machine. Of course, it can't happen here (ha). Newsflash: Iraq officials are corrupt, meaning Halliburton should fit right in. The Times downplays the Panel on Prewar Findings, where staff writers Greg Miller and Peter G. Gosselin author a lovely subhead [5:34EST]: "Quote, heds and blue are new ... plus I tweaked the last sentence of the second graf a bit." Since that tweaked sentence is the money—..."[Kay] We were almost all wrong"...—I wonder how it read before? Down the memory hole! Meanwhile, the liberal blogosphere—who got it right on WMDs and Bush's ever-changing stories from the beginning, not that the millionaire pundits will ever, ever admit this—is gleefully pouring gasoline on the flames of The Bay of Thugs: the world's first Google-assisted administration meltdown (Atrios; Kos; Tom Tomorrow). Pass the popcorn!

Washington Post

The Bay of Thugs doesn't get top billing in WaPo, either, though, and somehow the word "cherry-picked" never appears. And since the White House has successfully stonewalled two 9/11 inquiries and the Plame Affair, they probably don't have a lot to worry about. Glenn Kessler and Walter Pincus give detail on those UAVs that poor old Powell went so wrong on (along with the aluminum tubes, the yellowcake, the vials of toxin, the trailers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera). "You can't buff a turd", as they say in the Navy. Interesting articles on nanotech: turns out that tiny nano-particles could be a worse industrial hazard than asbestos, but of course nobody's testing for that. And the Episcopalians in Virginia avoid a split on Gay Bishops in time-honored Episcopalian fashion: they set up a commission.

The New York Times

The Times actually gives The Bay of Thugs top billing, with the important detail that the report on pre-war Iraqi intelligence failures Bush has now agreed to will not be delivered until after the 2004 elections. Funny. I thought Bush wanted to run on his wartime record. So why should this report worry him? And who's going to be the chair? Henry Kissinger? The Times covers poor deluded Colin Powell as well. The Bush, the deserter meme continues to propagate successfully (and why not? Well, see The Howler). Even if it's Terry McAulliffe doing the propagating. I'm not so sure on the tactics of this one: $130 million buys a lot, including (the missing) paperwork and (the missing) witnesses who actually saw aWol serve. Tactically, the Republicans have this down: this kind of attack they leave to (disposable, and well-rewarded afterwards) surrogates and MWs. They don't do it from the candidate's platform. And speaking of ratfucking, The Ethicist gives a mild form of it the Times Imprimatur (for what that's worth these days): "Friends and I have been contributing money to a leading Democratic presidential candidate. We are, however, Republicans...." To which the Ethicist replies, essentially, "politics ain't beanbag." Although I do seem to recall the Mighty Wurlitzer reverberating with outrage when Gray Davis did the same thing. The Magazine as an interesting long article on the Black vote, with the interviews done in South Carolina:

I'd heard this kind of thing throughout Orangeburg: the Democratic Party is reactive, ``spinally challenged'' ...

[Gilda] Cobb-Hunter, like every African-American I spoke with, has not forgotten that in 2000 the party pulled virtually everything out of the South to concentrate on Florida, then refused to see beyond hanging chads and go to the mat over the tens of thousands of voters, the majority black and Hispanic, said to have been improperly labeled felons and stripped from the rolls. ''Any message that the Democratic Party wanted to send, they sent in 2000, and '04 is just a continuation of that message,'' she said. ''It's up to the Democratic Party whether they want to change the story. Because if they don't, we will not carry one Southern state. Let me just add that if the Democratic Party is not serious about dealing with the issues of race and class that are so prevalent in this country but particularly in the South, then they may as well write it off, because there's no point in coming in here with cosmetics.''

Interestingly, in this part of the base, Dean got points for being angry. Too bad Iowa and New Hampshire aren't, well, more of a statistically valid sampling. And to wrap it all up, the Times has an absurdly condescending editorial—Headline: Come back, little Deanies—that concludes "Then you realize that the real heroics come from you and your friends with the pamphlets, stolidly going door to door." Going door to door in the face of the howling shitstorm generated by the SCLM and the Times itself (this was not an Op-Ed), one might add. Another alternative might to emulate "little" Mr. Liberal, get some real information out there, undermining the state-run media and the business model that make the lifestyles of the millionaire pundits possible. Just a thought. I love newspapers, but I love a free press more. The Times ombudsman can be found here.
Uncovered stories

Potential GOP ratfucking in Democratic primaries. They have the means (and how!), the motive, and the opportunity, so ... And it looks like our own Philly might have been a proving ground for Thug dirty tricks to come. And just to remind us all that you have to keep up with the news world-wide: The Observer reports that Senior American officials concluded at the beginning of last May that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq". Wow. What did the Kay report cost? $900,000,000, was it?

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