Friday, October 14, 2005

NY Times Response To Its Lack of Coverage On Judith Miller

In a story from Editor and Publisher, some of the New York Times' Op-Ed columnists responded to the factthat the Times lacked any real coverage on the Judith Miller story. Here is part of the piece:
Frank Rich, [when] asked about the lack of commentary, replied: "We are independent operators who work outside the newsroom." Thomas Friedman said: "We are truly home alone. We can write whatever we want."

John Tierney, however, explained, "I didn't feel a need to weigh in," indicating that his "Nadagate" column represented all he had to say on the issue. "A column really works best when you really have something to say about something. I haven't had a great original thought on this."

Tierney also said that he did not have any more information on the case than any other Times reader, so he was reluctant to give an opinion. When asked if he could have at least acknowledged the issue in a column and written about how it is affecting the media or Washington, he dismissed such an approach. "An awful lot of my columns are not about Washington," said Tierney, who is based in the nation's capital. "I don't have inside knowledge of this case and when I write a column, I try to say something that is original..."

But when asked why he could not have weighed in on the matter during the past few months as Miller waited in jail and the topic received major scrutiny in several news outlets -- including the Times own supportive editorial page -- Friedman repeated that he "just had nothing important to say."

These excuses are simply cop-outs. New York Times Op-Ed columnists never have "nothing important to say." The opinions of these journalists are a major "information" source for a large number of lefties, not to mention a guiding standard for how the rest of the MSM will eventually weigh in on issues.

To say that there was "nothing important to say" is like saying that the people of the New York Times support the president. It simply isn't true. These columnists ALWAYS have something to say, and their reason for not speaking up is merely because they did not want to investigate one of their own, for fear of what they might find.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Big Split?

Newsweek's Howard Fineman claimed yesterday that "the Conservative Crack-Up" is beginning. He writes:
The “movement” – that began 50 years ago with the founding of Bill Buckley’s National Review; that had its coming of age in the Reagan Years; that reached its zenith with Bush’s victory in 2000 — is falling apart at the seams.

Fineman claims that the Republican party base and the conservative coalitions are going to "go there separate ways" and turn from their support for president Bush.

This is categorically false. Power Line explains why.

The most striking aspect of Power Line's rebuttal to Fineman is their comparison of the approval ratings of the past seven presidents. While there has been much talk of Bush's dip in approval and the threat it potentially poses, the president is actually not in that bad of shape.

His approval rating of 41.7% is the lowest of his presidency. But consider the lowest approval ratings of the past seven presidents:

Johnson: 35%
Nixon: 24%
Ford: 37%
Carter: 28%
Reagan: 35%
Bush I: 29%
Clinton: 37%

Surprised?

So while liberal journalists like Fineman who yearn for a Democrat-dominated United States can contest that conservatism as we know it is coming to and end, we can be certain that it most definitely is not, and will not be any time soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Like His Confidence

President Bush has shown unwavering support for Harriet Miers as a member of the SCOTUS. Today both he and the First Lady made appearances defending Miers and seeking to bolster support for her confirmation in the Senate. From AP:

"Harriet Miers is going to be confirmed and people will get to see why I put her on the bench," Bush said in a television interview on NBC's "Today" show.

"She won't change," Bush said. "I mean, the person I know is not the kind of person that is going to change her philosophy and her philosophy is, is that she is not going to legislate from the bench."

As I've argued before, the president's certainty about Miers should offer some comfort to those conservatives still upset with her nomination. Her experience on the front lines in the White House has hardened her to the tough partisan politics in Washington, and her 5 years of close proximity to the president means he knows her quite well. If after that period of time the president is convicted enough to appoint Miers to the SCOTUS, we can be sure that he's also confident in how she'll vote on the crucial issues.

So with the confirmation hearings on the horizon I am rooted firmly in the President's camp, as is much of the party's base, despite what much of the conservative punditry is saying. Each new day my support for Harriet Miers grows, and this response to the Miers critics is part of the reason why. So is this interview. Take these into consideration, they'll surely shed some light on the issue.

Dick Morris' New Book

In a book co-written with his wife, Dick Morris preposes that the presidency is Hillary's in 2008 unless Condi decides to run against her. The book provides a striking contrast between the two women, with Condi coming out on top in the majority of the comparisons.

This is the only article I could find that summarizes some of the main points of the book, but the article itself is considerably biased toward Mrs. Clinton. Towards the end of the piece, the author strays from summary of the book to criticism of it, questioning Morris' arguments and stating that "Morris has made a second career out of bashing the Clintons."

Nonetheless, the book offers a provocative thesis and is likely to provide at least an entertaining read.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bombs At Georgia Tech... And UCLA

The Georgia Tech incident:
Three explosive devices found in a courtyard between two Georgia Tech dormitories on the East Campus Monday morning were part of a "terrorist act," an Atlanta police official said.

One of the devices exploded, injuring the custodian who found them inside a plastic bag. Two others were detonated by a bomb squad.

The custodian suffered ringing to the ears and was treated at a local hospital. The events led to a temporary evacuation Monday morning.

"It is a terrorist act at this point and depending on the outcome of the investigation it potentially could become a federal violation as well," said Major C.W. Moss of the Atlanta Police Department.


The UCLA incident:
A calm and quiet Westwood was briefly disrupted Friday afternoon when the Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad inspected and detonated an explosive device found within the Midvale Plaza apartment complex on the 500 block of Midvale Avenue.

After responding to a call made at 11:13 a.m., the bomb squad arrived at 527 Midvale Ave. to find "an improvised explosive device" in the building's open-air courtyard, said Grace Brady, a spokeswoman for the LAPD.

No injuries were reported, but authorities have been slow to release details about the incident and the device.

This is scary stuff, and after the NYC subway threats it isn't hard to be weary of terrorism. Heightend security measures will obviously be taken, and if Americans want to hear less about bomb threats and terrorism scares, we should be committed to eradicating the culprits when we get the chance, instead of some of the catch and release tactics that are going on in Iraq.

Furthermore, the Iraqi elections are coming this week. These are going to be crucial and should be followed accordingly.

Bird Flu Pandemic

From Breitbart:
The likelihood of a human flu pandemic is very high, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt warned Monday as he sought Southeast Asian cooperation to combat the spread of bird flu.

Leavitt and the director of the World Health Organization are touring Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to seek their collaboration in preparing for the anticipated public health emergency linked to the H5N1 strain of the disease.

While there have been no known cases of person-to-person transmission, World Health Organization officials and other experts have been warning that the virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people. In a worst-case scenario, millions could die.

This is a huge story that the MSM has hardly given any attention to in the past month or two. Journalists are just now realizing how impactful and enormous the bird flu story could be, and are finally giving it some thought, especially after the statement by Michael Leavitt.

With the potential that this virus has for humans, health and human service organizations all across the United States should be sharpening up their plans in case infection strikes. We've seen what preparedness (or lack thereof) can do in the face of disaster after Katrina and Rita hit, so it iss essential for local, state, and government planners to be wise and organize methods of attack should the flu reach the United States.

Stay tuned as there will surely be more to come.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Response To The Miers Critics

Hugh Hewitt offers an extremely comprehensive and well-written post in reponse to the critics of Harriet Miers' nomination to the SCOTUS. Key graphs:
The idea that Miers cannot go toe to toe with the giant brains on the Supreme Court is a very odd argument, on a number of fronts. It assumes that the business of judging is very difficult and that only scholars and intellectuals are suited to the task, when in fact scholars and intellectuals have brought us to the point where the SCOTUS has become such a political problem...

There are two other aspects of the "not smart enough" critique that deserve response. Beldar, and now Mrs. Bay, have extensively chronicled the exact talents it requires to accomplish what Harriet Miers has accomplished. To deny the value of these accomplishments because they are unfamiliar to the critics is like throwing away Euros upon landing in the States. It is also to risk an incredible amount of scorn from Red State folks who value the talents she embodies because they are the talents they have relied upon for decades in building up their families, businesses, communities and churches.

The other argument is a subdivision of the "not smart enough" argument, and it suggests that even though she is smart, ConLaw played at its highest level requires a lifetime of practice, either in the classroom, the federal courts, or at least as an appellate litigator like the new chief justice.

From this I especially dissent. Simply put: It isn't that hard. It is wrong to argue that it is so. It is anti-democratic to argue that it is so. The Left wants you to believe it is so, and the center-right should resist that.

Hewitt's post is provacative to say the least, but a must read. It accurately displays the main arguments both for and against the Miers nomination, and will certainly be cited as the confirmation hearings begin.