Allies Get Contracts
What would it be like if we actually let some Operation Iraqi Freedom allies win some contracts -- I wonder...
WASHINGTON - Today Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, announced the winning bids of Iraqi reconstruction contracts. In addtion to Halliburton, some of the prime contracts were awarded to staunch American allies. Uzbekistan's SNB, Inc. won a contract to provide boiling equipment to be used in water purification plants. Eritrea will be providing assistance in land mine detection and removal and also won a contract to provide game theorists experienced in border negotiation to help settle disputes between Iraq and Turkey, Iran and Syria.
Piling on Krauthammer
In his crazed op-ed last week, Charles Krauthammer tries to defend
media-friendly FCC rules by saying that:
Some clinicians consider this delusion -- that Americans can get their news from only one part of the political spectrum -- the gravest of all. They report that no matter how many times sufferers in padded cells are presented with flash cards with the symbols ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times -- they remain unresponsive, some in a terrifying near-catatonic torpor.
If you take into account that some of these outlets are part of the same conglomerate (what does Chaz think the NBC in MSNBC stands for?) and that the concerns are with broadcast, not print or on-line, media, then you halve even this cherry-picked list. Also, the point is that we want more local broadcasts, so listing six unique national brands doesn't even start to address the issue.
More interest in this editorial here
The President's Tell
When President Bush (or any of his spokespeople) is asked a hard question -- one which they have no good answer for -- he knows where to pass the buck:
The American people know my position, and that is, is that regime change is in the interests of the world.
The American people know that we're doing everything we can to protect the homeland, and run down these killers.
The American people know that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.
Q: Do you worry that Enron creates a negative perception about you or your policies?
THE PRESIDENT: Our administration has done the exact right thing. There has been a couple of contacts with people in my Cabinet. And my Cabinet officers said, no help here. And we're starting an investigation before anybody started paying attention to Enron. Last December, Elaine Chao started an investigation of pensions. And I'm absolutely confident the American people know that my administration has acted the right way
Many more examples can be found in Google
). In looking for quotes I found this article in the Washington Post
from June 2002.
This is no verbal tic. By invoking the American people (not the informal "Americans") when confronted with a thorny issue or a hostile question, Bush and his aides give the impression that the matter is some inside-the-Beltway intrigue that is out of step with public opinion.
and of course in defending the decision to bar France, Germany, Russia and Canada from bidding on Iraqi contracts, he threw a little curveball
The taxpayers understand why it makes sense for countries that risk lives to participate in the contracts in Iraq.
Sure, I understand exactly why my taxes are given to Halliburton to overpay for gas -- so that they will contribute to your campaign, Mr. President.
That Wascally Bush
"I KNOW this defies the law of gravity, but, you see, I never studied law!"
-Bugs Bunny, High Diving Hare (1949)
"I don't know what you're talking about by international law. I better consult my lawyer."
George W. Bush (2003)
And we expect France, Germany, and Canada to stay in Afghanistan why exactly? If they want to hurt Bush (like with the retaliation tariffs), they should threaten to pull out. That would certainly make Bush unelectable
Queer Eye for the Debate Guy
Last nights debate questions were so awful that about halfway into it I started flipping back and forth to Queer Eye
. Here is the best moment:
KOPPEL: When you hear some of your colleagues here -- you know, I get a little bit of a sense of sour grapes here, that if anyone else on this stage had gotten Al Gore's endorsement, he would have been happy to have it. What do you think?
KUCINICH: Well, I can't say I was really counting on it.
But let me say, Ted, let me say -- let me say that some of the best talent in American politics is on this stage right now.
And with all due respect to you, Ted Koppel, who I've admired over the years greatly...
KOPPEL: There's a zinger coming now, isn't there?
To begin this kind of a forum with a question about an endorsement, no matter by who, I think actually trivializes the issues that are before us.
Amen to that. Then I switched over to Queer Eye
and Carson called Ted Koppel a jackass. I switched back and heard this:
KOPPEL: We're talking about two things. We're talking about money and we're talking about ultimately standing in the polls. There are only a couple of ways that you can measure how someone is doing at this stage in the election process, money and polls. You're not doing terribly well with money; you're doing even worse in the polls.
KOPPEL: When do you pull out?
KUCINICH: After I -- when I take the oath of office, when you're there to cover it...
... and I can tell you, Ted, you know, we started at the beginning of this evening, talking about an endorsement. Well, I want the American people to see where the media takes politics in this country.
To start with endorsements...
We start talking about endorsements, now we're talking about polls, and then we're talking about money. Well, you know, when you do that, you don't have to talk about what's important to the American people.
I think Kyan thought that Koppel was high on product at this point, but it was hard to follow. Carson did reiterate that Koppel was a jackass, though.
Wholly Unfounded Predictions
The Al Gore announcement has inspired me to make some predictions.
1. Donna Brazile will replace Terry McAuliffe as DNC Chair. She is a Gore operative and contested and lost the Chair to Terry in 2000.
2. Chris Lehane will say something bad about Gore soon -- It might come from the Clark camp or Lehane directly.
3. Gore could lead the VP search for Dean, but unlike Cheney will not suggest himself. He would be great, but "been there, done that"
4. Dean wins Tennessee in the general.
Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto
I love Al Gore. I couldn't wait for him to be President during the Clinton years and was heartbroken when he lost. I'm not as sure as some seem to be that his endorsement cinches it for Dean. I will say that had Clark stayed in the Iowa caucuses, he would be more poised to benefit from Kerry and Gephardt withdrawals.