Saturday, January 31, 2004

A bit more on George AWOL Bush:

Via Democratic Veteran, we went to Bolo Boffin who has a post that goes into some detail about Bush's final two years of Guard Duty - specifically, something called a Statements for Points Earned.


Visualizing Talking Points Memo:

Josh Marshall has written a guide to the current situation regarding WMD: Who claimed what, who was wrong, what should be investigated. In particular, he notes that in the key areas of nuclear weapons and ties to al Qaeda - without which war would have been a very hard sell - it was the White House and not the intel agencies that made "mistakes". There were mistakes made all around, but on the significant issue of war-justifying-arguments, it's pretty much a pure White House responsibility. In any event, we felt compelled to cook up a diagram to represent the situation.


Friday, January 30, 2004

"Has happened" ?

We read in the New York Times story, Debate Over Iraqi Arms Poses Risk to President: (emphasis added)
One White House official said Thursday that there was clearly a risk that an inquiry [into the erroneous WMD claims] could spin out of control, exactly what many administration officials fear has happened to the inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks.
To repeat: Has happened?

Are there some surprises in store for us as that inquiry moves forward - and when it issues its report?

Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 29, 2004

What a friggin' moron!

Stealing from Jack O'Tool and from Crooked Timber's Ted, we read that Andrew Sullivan has written the following: (emphasis added)
SPOT THE MISSING PIECE: Josh Marshall has written an engaging and artful essay about the notion of an American empire for the liberal New Yorker magazine. I read it yesterday and then re-read it. Josh manages to write about the Clinton era "soft-imperialism" and the Bush era "hard imperialism" with nary a mention of a certain even that occurred on September 11, 2001. Maybe I missed something. I doubt if his editors noticed the lacuna. Why should they? For the Clintonites, 9/11 didn't really happen. Everything the Bush administration has tried to do in foreign policy is perverse, neocon imperialism - despite the fact that Bush ran as less interventionist than Al Gore in 2000. It doesn't seem to have occurred to them that this administration's hard line against terror-sponsoring regimes and those developing WMDs was not some ideological plot - but a reaction to events. It's important to remember that Marshall isn't some namby-pamby dove. In contrast to many Democrats, he takes national security issues seriously, and is not averse to the use of force. At one point, he even seemed to favor action against Saddam, until it appeared it couldn't be accomplished under perfect and optimal circumstances. After that, he deferred to president Jacques Chirac. So if Marshall hasn't noticed 9/11, what chance is there that the rest of the Democratic foreign policy establishment has? Look, I know I've been critical of the president's domestic shortcomings recently. But in the larger choice in this war there really isn't a choice. It's self-defense or winging it. When the consequences of winging it could be a biological/chemical/nuclear catastrophe in one of our cities, I'm not sure we have any real option but Bush.
- 12:13:48 AM
Josh Marshall wrote in his essay:
After September 11th, a left-wing accusation became a right-wing aspiration: conservatives increasingly began to espouse a world view that was unapologetically imperialist.
We've often checked stories for specific words, and to be sure of our facts we will search the text when appropriate. Sullivan apparently didn't have the time to do the following: (with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but other browsers have similar capabilities)
Edit / Find on this page / "11" / Find Next
Which would have resulted in this:
Re Sullivan's "Maybe I missed something.":
Maybe you're a partisan hack. Maybe you insert qualifiers so that you can slime somebody, yet have an out should you be called to account.




Wednesday, January 28, 2004

In search of the Ur-text:

The Washington Post has an editorial that makes light of the current jobless situation. Many in the blogosphere have attacked it, including Brad DeLong. As bad as the editorial is, we did a little textual criticism and it sure looks like a rewrite of an unpleasant Robert Samuelson column of 14 January, The Specter of Outsourcing. In the Post editorial, we read:
If a U.S. firm shifts employment abroad, the savings flow back to the United States in the form of lower prices for consumers and higher dividends for shareholders; the consumers and shareholders will direct their new spending power at things that create employment.
Samuelson, two weeks earlier:
Cheap foreign labor has threatened individual U.S. workers but not the economy as a whole.

The reason is that imports also create gains. Despite job losses, consumers or companies gain. Lower prices boost purchasing power or profits. That creates more demand at home. Consumers can spend more; businesses can invest more.
Samuelson - the man behind the curtain.


Glaring error by Bush missed by the august New York Times:

The New York Times has a story today, entitled: Bush Backs Away From His Claims About Iraq Arms, but nowhere in that story is this quote by the president:
Well, I think the Iraq Survey Group must do its work. Again, I appreciate David Kay's contribution. I said in the run-up to the war against Iraq that -- first of all, I hoped the international community would take care of him. I was hoping the United Nations would enforce its resolutions, one of many. And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.
Nobody seems to care - at least at the extremely liberal New York Times - that Bush is wrong about that. Weapons inspectors were crawling all over the country in early 2003.

Like Mel Brooks said, "It's good to be the king."


Monday, January 26, 2004

A good line:

Heard on Harry Shearer's Le Show this Sunday:
Where there's smoke, there's fire-related program activities.


Ignorance is bliss?