Thus in 2004, President Bush basically ran as America's defender against gay married terrorists. He waited until after the election to reveal that what he really wanted to do was privatize Social Security.
--"Class War Politics," Paul Krugman, New York Times, June 19, 2006, Page 19. [Emphasis added]
President Bush's vision of an ''ownership society'' is built, as much as anything else, on a sweeping promise: that he will transform Social Security so younger workers can divert some of their payroll taxes into private investment accounts.
At a rally in Pennsylvania last week, Mr. Bush declared, as he does at almost every campaign stop nowadays, that ''younger workers ought to be able to take some of their taxes and set up a personal savings account, an account that they can call their own, an account that the government cannot take away and an account that they can pass on from one generation to the next.''
--"Bush Revisiting Social Security, And Fight Is On," by Robin Toner and David Rosenbaum, New York Times, September 17, 2004, Front Page. [Emphasis added]
**--This is an inaccurate shot, of course. Krugman doesn't need to check NEXIS--he remembers perfectly well that Bush campaigned on his Social Security plan. On October 19, a few weeks before the election, Krugman himself wrote that he'd "never believed Mr. Bush's budget promises" in part because "his broader policy goals, including the partial privatization of Social Security -- which is clearly on his agenda for a second term--would involve large costs ...." [Emphasis added] Bush's plan was misguided and costly, but it was hardly hidden from voters. 4:21 A.M. link
A stunningly cynical move by Senate Democrats. ... Note: The posturing Dems opposed amnesty for all Iraqis "who have attacked ... members of the U.S. Armed Forces," not just those who've actually killed Americans. [Emphasis added] That would seem to rule out amnesty for most of the insurgents the Iraqi government is trying to win over, no? .... 3:45 A.M.
Influence Peddler dissents from the emerging herd wisdom that--thanks to the unpopularity of the Senate's legalization approach with actual voters--there will be no immigration bill before the election. Thanks to the unpopularity of the Senate's legalization approach with actual voters there will be a bill, IP predicts. It will be a House-style, enforcement-oriented bill that will give Democrats fits. According to this theory, which I buy, Speaker Hastert's current intransigence is a feint. ... P.S.: But isn't the House-Senate conference committee stacked with pro-legalization types? IP explains why this is not an insoluble problem. ... 6:34 P.M.
It's a Connecticut Thing: Ryan Sager thinks Joe Lieberman's new campaign ad is awful. So does Josh Marshall. You make the call. .. P.S.: It seems juvenile to me. But doesn't its effectiveness hinge on whether (and how much) Connecticut Democrats hate Lowell Weicker? ... Update: The ad revives a cartoon Lieberman used 18 years ago, and may be designed to remind state voters why they elected Lieberman in the first place. ... 3:19 P.M.
Touting Mark Warner--Suellentrop's Secret Scooplet: If the NYT's Chris Suellentrop had a scooplet about Kos crony/Mark Warner payee Jerome Armstrong and the S.E.C. but nobody read it--because it a) wasn't in the NYT print edition and b) on the Web it was stuck behind the TimesSelect subscription wall--would it make a sound? ... Update: Not total silence. ... But not totally behind the subscription wall either. ... More: The Plank has an excerpt:
[S]ome people ... compare the blog boomlet [Kos and Armstrong] helped create for Dean to the work of online bulletin-board posters who touted dodgy Internet stocks during the boom market without disclosing that they were being paid for their words.
Which, interestingly, is precisely what the Securities and Exchange Commission, in court documents filed last August, alleges that Jerome Armstrong did in 2000. (The original S.E.C. complaint is here.) In a subsequent filing, the S.E.C. alleges that "there is sufficient evidence to infer that the defendants secretly agreed to pay Armstrong for his touting efforts" on the financial Web site Raging Bull.
Without admitting or denying anything, Armstrong has agreed to a permanent injunction that forbids him from touting stocks in the future. The S.E.C. remains in litigation with him over the subject of potential monetary penalties.
Next question--Suellentrop's Props: If Suellentrop breaks a story behind the TimesSelect wall, and the story gets out, will he get credit for his scoop? Not here. .. TimesSelect could become a secluded free-fishing zone for reporters from other publications. In this case, the TimesSelect wall lets the New York Post get credit for a New York Times scoop. Good work, Pinch! ... Caveat: Is it really possible that this story didn't come out in late 2003, when Armstrong is said by the Post to have "signed off on" the settlement of the S.E.C. charges? I can't find a mention on Nexis or in Wikipedia, but I have a vague memory of something like this .... I'd check Suellentrop's published version again ... if I could get to it. But it seems to have re-disappeared behind the TimesSelect wall. Another example of TimesSelect inhibiting the blogosphere's search for truth! ...
I've never met a career military man who was a conservative on social issues. I think they tend to see questions such as abortion and marriage as essentially uninteresting, private and not subject to the movement of machines. (Connected to this, I suspect [Democratic Senate candidate James] Webb will benefit to some degree by the high number of military retirees in Virginia. They're always assumed to be hawks on Iraq. From personal experience I'd say a high percentage have been dubious about the war, many from the beginning.) [Emphasis added]