Thursday Morning Quick Hits
Tom Friedman says it is better to go ahead with the January 30 Iraqi elections, because we are already in a civil war in Iraq, a war he says is being instigated by Saddam’s Sunni Baathists working with Islamofascists so that the Sunnis can retain power. In other words, if Friedman is correct, (which I am not saying he is) somehow after years of not working with each other because the Baathists were secular, we have created a situation where the Al Qaeda/Zarqawi folks are working to support the Baathists’ attempt to hold onto power? Really? Gee, I thought the Islamofascists were working to get control of Iraq for their own purposes.
Frank Rich today does a bang-up job of spelling out how some of the Beltway media seems to still treat Armstrong Williams with kid gloves, even after it is revealed that he is still doing work for the White House, and points out that Williams was shilling for the White House and Cheney’s efforts to defend Halliburton. And of course the details of Robert Novak’s conflicts of interest are always fun to read. But Rich does a good job also of pointing out that Williams of all people has been making the rounds of the talk shows over the last several years during the Bush Administration to flame others on media ethics, including taking swipes at CBS News on the Bush National Guard memo story.
The New York Times editorial board today, from the paper that gave us Judith Miller’s propaganda on WMDs, reminds us that the final Iraq Survey Group report confirming that Saddam didn’t have the WMDs or programs that Miller and the Bush Administration claimed to lead us into an illegal war of choice is itself proof that the UN inspections and the sanctions worked. Gee, thanks for that guys.
Even after Abu Ghraib blew up, as late as October our new Secretary of State-designee was arguing that a pending piece of legislation to limit the techniques used by our intelligence officers in interrogations of foreign prisoners should be opposed. And its good to see how the Bush Administration's continual support for methods contrary to international law put it out of touch with the American public, which is against such tactics and is worried about what this behavior and attitude from the Administration has done to American interests and how we are viewed around the world. But then Kerry didn't run on Abu Ghraib, did he?
Are some of the firms that have been giving money to Tom DeLay about to roll over on him?
And while December retail sales rose 1.2% in December, it should be noted that first time weekly filings for unemployment insurance went up again last week, continuing a recent trend.