Rock, Scissors, and Rediscovered Paper
Historians are going to have a field day when they get around to sorting out all the events of this election! Unlike any other election in our history, so much is going on - and is well-documented - that the footnote pages should outnumber those of text!
I'm going to take the title categories in reverse order.
The Pentagon on Friday released newly discovered payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard, though the records shed no new light on the future president's activities during that summer. A Pentagon official said the earlier contention that the records were destroyed was an "inadvertent oversight."
"Previous attempts to locate the missing records at the Federal Records Center had been unsuccessful due to the incorrect records accession numbers provided," the Pentagon's Office of Freedom of Information chief C.Y. Talbott said in a letter Friday to The Associated Press. "The correct numbers were obtained ... and the records were found."
Scissors Cut Paper
The final report of the 9/11 commission confirms many of the panel's preliminary findings that have--or should have--embarrassed the Bush administration. And it is true that the report does point to screw-ups and negligent policymaking committed during both the Bush II and Clinton administrations.
But George W. Bush is the incumbent president who has to face the voters in November. Although Republicans in recent days have been highlighting the mistakes of the Clinton years, it is not inappropriate for voters to focus on what report tells us about Bush and his administration.
If Bush wants this election to be a referendum on how he has handled the
threat posed by al Qaeda, this report--available now in local bookstores and online at the 9/11 commission's site - ought to be read by those 49 swing voters in Ohio who will be deciding the election for the rest of us.
Rock Blunts Scissors
Imagine "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker Michael Moore and singer Linda Ronstadt onstage in Las Vegas, singing "America the Beautiful" at the very same casino resort where she was booed and told not to come back, because of remarks praising Moore.
It could happen - as early as September. That's when the Aladdin is expected to change hands, to a new consortium of owners including Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl, in a deal that is mostly done but is awaiting a gambling license. He says he'd invite both Moore and Ronstadt to appear at the hotel, which is to be renamed Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino.
"We respect artists' creativity and support their rights to express themselves," says Earl. "We were very sorry to hear about the unfortunate circumstances of this past Saturday night and want to make it clear that Planet Hollywood has never, in our 13 year history, restricted any artists' right to free speech and we will continue with that policy once we take ownership."
Game, set, match.
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