Sunday, October 01, 2006

Enough with the Election Rhetoric, Already

It’s been an interesting morning here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington. First and foremost, I was up at oh-dark-thirty. Way too early for a Sunday, and more like the middle of the night. But, it is what it is. I’ve frequently mentioned Sunday is my day off from politics, but that was before football season. Saturday has now effectively become my day off, such as it is.

So…this morning I was reading this and that on memeorandum before Washington Journal came on. Or, as much as I could, what with alternately rebooting the computer and the modem in a vain effort to figure out why I was losing my ‘net connection. Again. Still. This erratic connectivity issue is driving me nuts and makes me wonder, for the 54th time, is it me (my computer/NIC/cable/modem or any combination of the four) or is it the ISP? I’ve decided the truly paranoid should never be allowed near a computer.

Washington Journal came on about the time the ‘net came back, so I quit surfing and shifted the focus of my attention to WJ. The main subjects today seemed to be about the brouhaha unleashed in the WaPo over excerpts (here, too) from Woodward’s latest book and What It All Means. What it means, to me, is just another round of pre-election rhetoric and hot air. Frankly, I’m getting sick of it already and it’s only just begun—we have five more weeks of this krep to get through. I find it interesting that a recurring meme among and around the Left is the awfulness of “the Republican attack machine.” The Republicans have nothing on the Left, now that the WaPo and the NYT are getting their election campaign wound up and in full swing. For what it’s worth, the White House has released a rebuttal to some of the charges Woodward makes in his book. It’s here, with a couple of excerpts below.

MYTH #3: Woodward Claims Condoleezza Rice Brushed Off George Tenet And Cofer Black's July 2001 Warning About Al Qaeda. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

· FACT: According To State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, The Recollections Portrayed By Woodward Do Not Reflect Tenet And Black's 9/11 Commission Testimony. "But Rice and other State Department officials denied [Woodward's claim], noting that the report of the Sept. 11 commission, which had sworn testimony from Tenet and others at the meeting, made no mention of the July 10 encounter. 'The recollections as portrayed in the Woodward book in no way reflect the public and private testimony under oath of those individuals to the 9/11 commission,' said Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman." (David E. Sanger, "White House Disputes Book's Account Of Rifts On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/30/06)

MYTH #5: Woodward Claims Then-Chief Of Staff Andy Card Tried To Remove Sec. Rumsfeld, And Mrs. Bush Also Wanted Him Removed. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

· FACT: Card Has Made Clear That Woodward Ignored The Situation's Context. "'Right after the election, I went to Camp David and talked to the president, and we talked about a lot of changes, starting with the chief of staff,' Mr. Card said, recounting how he used to tote around what he called his 'hit by a bus book,' a notebook of lists of potential replacements for senior White House staff members and top cabinet officials. 'It's not inaccurate to say that we talked about Rumsfeld,' he said. 'I can understand why Bob would try to create a climate around these conversations.' But he added: 'There was no campaign, and I didn't go out and solicit others to back any view about getting rid of anyone. I could talk about these things with the president, and plant seeds, because there is a cadence to life in Washington and you raise these issues periodically.' Mr. Card acknowledged that he renewed the question of replacing Mr. Rumsfeld this year, but again insisted that it was not part of a specific effort to single out the defense secretary for removal." (David E. Sanger, "White House Disputes Book's Account Of Rifts On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/30/06)

· FACT: "Mrs. Bush's Office Has Said, Not True ... Flatly Not True." (Tony Snow, Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 9/29/06)

That’s two out of five “myths,” as the White House described them. I’m glad to see the White House isn’t taking this laying down, but I’m not happy to see the Administration put on the defensive. Still, as I said in the beginning, it’s just more election hot air, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know if this is the end of a bad week, or the beginning of another, what with last Sunday’s NIE flap followed by the hyperventilating over the detainee/torture legislation. One frickin’ thing after another, eh?

It doesn’t help the Republicans any that a personal scandal involving a highly visible Representative, sex, and young boys has just blown up, either. The scandal is one thing, but that’s a personal, not a party issue. The cover-up by Speaker Hastert is quite another thing, on the other hand. Captain Ed has it exactly right:

It's the dishonesty and the butt-covering that I find unacceptable in a House Speaker, who is two heartbeats away from the Presidency.

More fodder for the Left and their “Culture of Corruption” meme. Oh, Goody. WTF was Hastert thinking, anyway? Is he that frickin’ stupid? And if he knew Foley was a pervert, why the Hell didn’t he take action? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Mark Steyn is good today, as always. He’s just back from Gitmo and has some cold, hard fat and juicy facts for the Democrats about detainee abuse and torture down Gitmo way.

When visitors like yours truly swing by, the camp likes to serve them the same meal the prisoners get. This being Ramadan, Adm. Harris was particularly proud of the fresh-baked traditional pastries his team had made for the holy month. And he was right: The baklava was delicious. "Baklava" is said by some linguists to come from the Arabic for "nuts" -- and, indeed, in that sense this entire war can sometimes seem like one giant baklava. There was a film out earlier this year called ''The Road To Guantanamo,'' and the poster showed the usual emaciated prisoner hung by shackles against a dungeon wall. No doubt the actor in question did the full Robert De Niro and lost 40 pounds to get himself looking that cadaverous.

If they've got anything like that going on at the real Gitmo, they must be doing it behind the confectioner's sugar at the back of the pastry chef's cupboard. If you're hoping to hear about the old wooden chair under a bare lightbulb swinging on its cord, here's the reality: The detainees are interrogated on either a La-Z-Boy recliner or a luxuriously upholstered sofa -- blue plush with gold piping.

Oh, The Horror! Read it…

Today’s Pic: Something from Former Happy Days…one of my favorite pics of SN3 as a baby (not quite 18 months old). Rochester, NY. July, 1998.


  1. Great picture of a beautiful boy!

  2. Very handsome young man! It is too bad that SN1 and SN2 are older and married and that SN3 is too young - cause I'd be for setting them up with Jes. I have been accused of using my blog to find her a husband. Whatever.

  3. Thanks, Ladies! He IS pretty cute, eh? (Spoken as a completely bias-free observer, of course.)

    Who accused you of using your blog to find a husband for Jessie, Lou? Whoever they are, they can't see very well. I don't think Jess needs any help at all, unless it would be to help drive the boys AWAY...


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