Monday, October 31, 2005

Deserved Headlines

Just enough to make me smile on a Monday morning.

From the WaPo, a set of poll results and the headline, "White House Ethics, Honesty Questioned":

Some highlowlights:
A majority of Americans say the indictment of senior White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby signals broader ethical problems in the Bush administration, and nearly half say the overall level of honesty and ethics in the federal government has fallen since President Bush took office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News survey.

The poll, conducted Friday night and yesterday, found that 55 percent of the public believes the Libby case indicates wider problems "with ethical wrongdoing" in the White House, while 41 percent believes it was an "isolated incident." And by a 3 to 1 ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush.

It appears the American public is finally starting to tune-up their B.S. meters and apply them to anything coming out of the White House. It's about time, welcome to the partynightmare.

The next headline surprised me, to be honest, because one-half of the piece's authorship is Howard Fineman. He has been a reliable attack dog against the Democrats for the past five years, but perhaps he is more of an opportunist than a shill. He'll kick whomever is down.

From the Nov. 7th issue of Newsweek, "Flying Blind":

Now Fitzgerald's probe is aimed at the operational inner sanctum of Bush's "war presidency"—and, by extension, at Bush's anchoring view of what his administration has been about since the 9/11 attacks. As he prosecutes "Cheney's Cheney" for perjury, false statements and obstruction, Fitzgerald will inevitably have to shine a light on the machinery that sold the Iraq war and that sought to discredit critics of it, particularly Joseph Wilson. And that, in turn, could lead to Cheney and to the Cheney-run effort to make Iraq the central battleground in the war on terror. As if that weren't dramatic enough, the Libby trial—if there is one—will feature an unprecedented, high-stakes credibility contest between a top government official and the reporters he spoke to: Tim Russert of NBC, Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matt Cooper of Time magazine. Another likely witness: Cheney himself. White House officials were admonished not to have any contact with Libby about the investigation. That presumably includes the vice president.

The piece continues to describe the setting of Cheney's star in the Administration, the emergence of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in his place, and the implications of the tone-deaf circle of advisors that surround the Boy President.

...For a political figure who rose to power on the strength of strategic "rollouts," Bush seemed to be oddly lacking a grand plan.

There is, as yet, no master plan to breathe life into the second term with dramatic new initiatives...


"Now isn't the time for a long ball," said a senior aide. "It's time for simple blocking and tackling. We have to demonstrate that we can make sound, competent decisions.

"That won't be as easy as it sounds, given the decision Bush was facing: whom to nominate to the high court in place of his White House counsel.

Clearly there is a lot at stake in the coming days. Today is the expected announcement of George's replacement for the Harriet Miers SCOTUS debacle and this week will see a return of torture to the headlines.

Will the American people finally demand that George W. Bush govern from the center? Or will the Chimperor be allowed to continue to drag our country into the depths of his compassionate conservative hell... Stay tuned.

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