Thursday, January 15, 2004
About Face From O'Neill?
We've all seen the stories since Ron Suskind and former Shrubbery Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill started their publicity for "The Price of Loyalty." For instance, see the review by Sid Blumenthal, who is still not Atrios, who is also not Gene Lyons. For instance:
When the political team distorts basic economic numbers on tax cuts and inserts them into the 2001 State of the Union address, O'Neill yells, "This is complete bullshit!"This is a bit hard to reconcile with some of O'Neill's statements as Treasury Secretary. It was in an interview with Financial Times where O'Neill proposed giving to corporations the same tax-exempt status given to churches. Yes, really. According to O'Neill in May of 2001, corporations should pay zero taxes. In real time, the Financial Times described his proposals as "radical" and "political dynamite". A few New York Newsday columnists picked up on it, as well as Thomas DeFrank of the New York Daily News, then it dropped off the face of the earth. When DeFrank had called the White House seeking their reaction to it, they pretty much threw O'Neill under the bus.
Given that Suskind's collaboration with O'Neill has produced quite a contradiction with O'Neill's past public statements when he held office, it leads to some obvious questions. Like, were O'Neill's radical proposals on corporate taxation really his, or were they a trial balloon floated by someone expendable so Bush didn't have to take the heat for it? I'm guessing the latter. It would reconcile the book version of O'Neill with the cabinet official version of O'Neill. And it's so like the Bushies to pull crap like that.
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
From the Seattle P-I comes a story about cattle ranchers who serve the public better than our elected public servants, if only a little. Or Shorter George Nethercutt: "Sell them downer cows. It's for your own good."
Link via TBogg
Andrew Fastow, late of Enron shenanigans, and his wife Lea will both plead guilty to charges related to the financial collapse of Enron. The former Enron CFO will go to prison for 10 years (oh, really?), and Lea Fastow will go to prison for 5 months. Two juicy quotes, though. From Sherron Watkins about Fastow, "I think he'll bring [Jeffrey] Skilling with him," he being the even bigger Enron dog. And the final graf:
Lay, who has a doctorate in economics, has portrayed himself as clueless about the true financial state of the company he headed. Skilling, the former chief executive, had more day-to-day dealings with Fastow.Ha ha ha.
UPDATE: He's done it.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
After spending the last four years in prison for killing 15 of his patients. Dr. Harold Shipman strung himself up in his cell early this morning at Wakefield Prison. He had been serving 15 consecutive life sentences for murdering his patients, and an inquiry later found that he had (allegedly) injected fatal doses of morphine it at least 200 more cases.
Apparently not. The same day as the argyle sweater report, The LA Times put out their story of the same Wesley Clark events. (Registration required. Go on. You can do it.) First difference? No clothes chatter. Second difference? According to the NYTimes, Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins had accompanied Clark to an event to make him more accessible to women. According to the LATimes, Watkins introduced Clark at an event where Clark detailed a plan to shut down corporate tax shelters, mentioning that Watkins is a leading voice for corporate tax reform.
Now that's a difference. Straight news. Who'd have expected that?
Other parts of the article included quotes from Clark supporters and the typical A attacks B who counterattacks A (on the issues) that belongs in these campaigns.
Conclusion: For "straight news", ignore the NYTimes and WaPo during this campaign season. You won't get any. However, to lampoon spin and opinion masquerading as news, go ahead and read the NYTimes and WaPo.
All I have to ask about this NYTimes article is this: Where's the content? The only take-home message I could find: Every Democrat dresses wrong. And don't forget John Kerry's excellent cheesesteak adventure.
UPDATE: From Best Of Both Worlds, Ha ha ha...
It turns out, we are told, he is wearing more Argyle sweaters in an effort to chase the women's vote. Who knew that the sweater had this connotation? Was Jimmy Page thinking about a run for office when he wore one in the fabulous 1970 Royal Albert Hall Led Zeppelin concert? According to the political scribes, the only answer is Yes.
Monday, January 12, 2004
To quote myself:
But with "journalism" like Edward Wyatt's, Bob Somerby will never finish his incomparable takedown of Zig Zag Zell Miller.And for your enjoyment, today's Howler on MoDo and Edward Wyatt of the Times.
Some media whore at the New York Times says it, and that's all that stupid columnists will talk about. And get this, the focus on Clark's sweaters is now Clark's fault.
Press coverage this year is going to be absolutely worthless.
UPDATE: Because I feel the need to be encouraged by something, at least Slate's columnist following Clark around saw the real motivation. They were at LL Bean's getting Clark some winter clothes. High temperature in that part of Maine the day said columnist filed the report was zero degrees F. The motivation? It was freaking cold.
SON OF UPDATE: Another instance of a columnist conflating spin with fact.
Sunday, January 11, 2004
The punditocracy is already blabbering about argyle.