David Brooks and the Bob Dole Fallacy

A mostly political Weblog.
Aug. 16 2005 3:05 AM

Brooks and the Bob Dole Fallacy

Plus--kf's jejune swoon!

(Continued from Page 5)

Perhaps Robert Novak stormed off the set of "Inside Politics" because CNN's Ed Henry was about to throw the book at him, the gigantic "Who's Who in America," in which the famously outed CIA agent Valerie Plame's name appears. Henry had the book sitting in front of him during Thursday's show and, before Novak's spectacular on-air fit, planned to ask the Prince of Darkness something like: Is this where you got Plame's name? Or did it come from Karl Rove? [Emph added]

That would be the precise "Anne Kornblut question." ... P.P.S.: Novak may have pulled a similar walk-off a day earlier, in clear reaction to Plame questioning. It's like mentioning "Skull & Bones" to him! He has to leave the room. ... 2:34 A.M. link

Waas/NotWaas: Murray Waas reports in The American Prospect  that "Scooter" Libby and NYT reporter Judith Miller did meet "and discussed CIA operative Valerie Plame"  prior to her outing by Robert Novak. If true, Waas story moves the ball several yards downfield, although it appears to be consistent with both the Judy-as-source and Judy-as-leak-recipient theories. But Waas has three odd paragraphs lower down in the piece that seem to suggest that President Bush should order Libby to waive whatever promise of confidentiality he received from Miller:

At least two attorneys representing private clients who are embroiled in the Plame probe also privately questioned whether or not President Bush had encouraged Libby to provide a personalized waiver for Miller in an effort to obtain her cooperation.

In a memorandum distributed to White House staff members shortly after the investigation became known, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who at the time was White House counsel, wrote, "The president has directed full cooperation with this investigation." Bush himself said: "[I]f there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of."

Congressman Rush Holt, Democrat of New Jersey and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, while sidestepping the specifics as to whether Bush should order Libby to provide a personalized waiver for Miller, said in an interview Friday evening: "I would say the president has the power to help us get to the bottom of this matter. And we in Congress want to do this not so much for what has happened but to prevent such a thing from happening again." [Emph. added]

I don't understand. If President Bush ordered or even "encouraged" Libby to provide a "personal" waiver to Miller, wouldn't that waiver be just as "coerced" as the "general" waivers that Miller has rejected as insufficiently voluntary? (The implicit threat: "Give her a waiver or lose your administration job.") In fact, wouldn't a Bush order taint as "coerced" even a private, unsolicited, sotto voce release given personally by Libby to Miller? This seems like a bogus basis for sniping at Bush. ... Maguire makes a similar point.

Meanwhile: Arianna reports that the NYT's Doug Jehl has been assigned to actually find out the truth about Miller. Yikes! ... Is she a source--or a target? ... 2:00 A.M. link

“The governor doesn’t do negotiations.”  Now there's a weak response, from New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine, explaining why his romance with the president of a union that represents 9,000 state workers won't present a troubling conflict of interest. But Corzine's $470,000 gift to his labor-leader ex-girlfriend only helps his case, no? From the voters' point of view, it's better that she owe him than he owe her. ... Too bad they "remain good friends." [Via NewsAlert] 10:55 P.M.

Craig Crawford argues that Bush's allegedly impolitic adoption of the Schiavo cause actually helped pass CAFTA--not by pleasing Bush's base, but simply by distracting the press from Speaker Tom DeLay's ethical troubles at a crucial time. ... Sure, it's self-serving White House spin (as Crawford notes). And it ignores the honorable idealistic motives for intervening. That doesn't mean it's wrong! ... 5:48 P.M.

Special for kf weekend readers: Secrets of the Huffington Post revealed! Go here. Click on "Author bio." You have now located Maxim UK editor Greg Gutfeld's "double secret hidden blog," which he uses to take clandestine shots at the Hollywood Left types who populate the HuffPo front page. Sample:

christ is it me OR IS THE HUFFPOST GETTING BORINGER? the celebs try to be smart, which is like watching a blind kid ride a bicycle. then the noncelebs try to be witty and cool -- AND THAT'S EVEN FUNNIER!!!! ...[snip]

THE HUFFPO HYPOCRISY: SUVS the unspeakable truth about the anti-SUV crowd.they only hate those vehicles because every one in America can afford them. If SUVs were too expensive for middle class Americans, then only people like laurie david and Arianna would drive them. But since we can afford to drive them, and they are wildly popular and all over town, THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM. If we all could afford private jets - then Arianna would want to ban them. But since only she can afford to charter them, she's ok with it. THAT'S THE GIST! ...

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