In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Plan to ‘spin’ Iraq report draws anger

Anti-war Democrats on Thursday accused President George W. Bush of plotting to lace a potentially pivotal report on his Iraq troop surge strategy with “White House spin.”

The attack came as senior congressional aides were reported as saying the White House tried to block public testimony in Congress next month from war commander General David Petraeus and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker.

Democrats are also angry the assessment on the surge, required under US law, will be written at the White House, not personally by Crocker and Petraeus.

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Long on talk, short on specifics

Republicans rushing to embrace Fred Thompson’s would-be presidential candidacy might have trouble figuring out what he would do if he actually won the White House.

On most public policy issues, the former Tennessee senator and “Law & Order” actor has offered few, if any, specifics. Even on the dominant issue of the 2008 campaign — the war in Iraq — Thompson has carefully stopped short of wading into what he would do about the conflict should he inherit it, although he has generally backed President Bush.

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The vacationer-in-chief

Recently Trent Lott, the Senate Republican whip, ominously advised his colleagues as they were debating terrorism issues that now was a good time to get out of Washington.

“I think it would be good to leave town in August, and it would probably be good to stay out until September the 12th,” he said, and then quickly left on vacation.

He didn’t say why the 12th particularly, but there’s nothing like an unspecified terrorist threat to make those of us who live here start thinking about our own vacations, even though August is an improbable time for a terrorist attack.

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Gonna be a long, boring campaign

I don’t know about you, but even I– who has spent much of my adult life concerned with politics at one level or another– have become utterly disenchanted in the current, almost stultifying presidential campaign despite the fact it may produce the first woman or the first black chief executive in history.

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Bush’s prying eyes in the sky

The Bush administration plans to give state and local law-enforcement and other domestic agencies access to intelligence from military spy satellites and airborne sensors.

Looked at one way, the program makes a certain amount of sense. We’ve paid for this information, a limited number of federal agencies already have it in hand, so we might as well put it to good use.

The eye-in-the-sky intelligence presumably would be used in combating terrorism, smuggling and illegal immigration and tracking assorted natural disasters like floods, wildfires and hurricanes.

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A stupid lawsuit

Kia Vaughn says Don Imus ruined her reputation when he called members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos,” but it’s something else entirely that stands to hurt her name: a lawsuit she’s filed seeking money from the shock jock.

The suit on behalf of this star center of the team says “defamatory, sexually denigrating and slanderous statements and comments against the women athletes … were heard, believed and understood by millions of listeners … as factual pronouncements concerning the character, chastity and reputation of the plaintiff.”

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The myth of Mitt Romney

With his confident style and crowd-pleasing smile, Ames, Iowa, straw-poll winner Willard Mitt Romney looks like a formidable contender for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. If he’s lucky, he can leave voters so dazzled that they ignore his record.

Rather than see stars, Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Boston’s Northeastern University placed Romney’s rule as Massachusetts governor beneath their statistical microscope. Let’s hope what they discovered is not contagious.

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FBI expands probe of Ted Stevens

The FBI is investigating the National Science Foundation’s award of up to $170 million in contracts to the oil-field-services company that oversaw renovations on U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens’ home.

The firm, Veco Corp., captured a lucrative five-year NSF contract in 1999 to provide logistics and support for polar research, although it had no previous experience in that field. During the same time period, Veco’s top executive managed renovations that doubled the size of the longtime Republican senator’s Girdwood, Alaska, home — the scene of a July 30 FBI raid.

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Working the labor vote

Peel back the label of all the top Democratic presidential contenders, and they want you to see two words in big, bold letters: “Union made.”

The candidates weren’t soft-pedaling their support for organized labor at the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO convention in Waterloo on Wednesday.

They bragged about marching in picket lines. They each touted the labor movement as the thing that won American workers better wages, shorter work weeks, better working conditions and the like.

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