Attention, " Fait Accompli " Brigade : This chart seems to be going in the wrong direction for health care reform, even if you discount the lopsided FOX poll (for Nate Silverish reasons --they only get the big support/oppose question after asking a series of spoiling questions). ... P.S.: Does this suggest that the much-derided insurance industry study (suggesting premiums would rise after reform) had an impact? ... It could also reflect increased dissent on the left, from public-option supporters, as hinted by the new WaPo survey . (See, for example, question 13.) ... 9:55 P.M.
On Sunday, William Kristol argued it was "reckless" for Obama to delay surging in Afghanistan while he waits to see how legitimate our "Afghan partner" will be:
If the president issued the order now, he could always delay or revoke it later, if the political situation seemed truly insupportable....
Why do I get the feeling that if Obama ordered a surge of troops today and revoked it in two weeks, Bill Kristol would be among the first to savage him for being indecisive and prone to sudden reversal? There's a virtue in making the decision once, and then being able to stick with it, as Kristol surely knows. ... P.S.: I would suspect Kristol of adding his bad faith argument so he'd have three bullet points, but he already had his three. So no excuse! ... P.P.S.: Won't Kristol's post--which sneers that the White House had "failed" to improve the election process--look awfully silly if Obama's delay turns out to force Karzai to accept a cleaner runoff? ... 10:21 P.M.
Gawker got hold of the first few words of ex-President Clinton's private twitters , including this entry:
Twitter / Bill Clinton: John Edwards ... why did you ...
You'd think Clinton, of all people, would know that answer to that one. ...
Update: In a slyly invisible, joke-ruining revision , Gawker 's Anthony De Rosa now says the twitters were probably captured from the account of a Bill Clinton imposter. ... P.S.: Is De Rosa the new night guy or the new ex-night guy? ... 10:50 P.M.
Odd sloppiness in Monday's big N.Y. Times story with possible dirt on GOP N.J. gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie:
1) The Times writes that
interviews with federal law enforcement officials suggest that Ms. Brown [to whom Christie had loaned $46,000] used her position in two significant and possibly improper ways to try to aid Mr. Christie in his run for governor. [E.A.]
Motive is very hard to prove. The Times doesn't come close to showing that Brown was trying to aid Mr. Christie's run for governor if (as alleged) she a) supervised a FOIA request by the Corzine campaign of her and Christie's travel records and b) argued for making a big corruption arrest before Christie left office. In (a), she might have been trying to cover her own a--, since the FOIA request included her own records, no? In (b), maybe she just thought her friend and boss (rather than his successor) deserved to get full props for his hard work. I suppose the facts do "suggest" that Brown was trying to aid Christie's political run, but it's still a weird, easily abused way to write a lede. The first arrests at the Watergate suggested that the White House was a lawless operation headed by a crook who was trying to spy on his Democratic rivals, but I don't think that's how Woodward & Bernstein's nut graf read. The allegation about Brown's motive was hardly necessary to make a good story--all the Times had to say was that in both cases Brown seems to have taken actions that actually helped Christie's campaign.
2) In its tour of anti-Christie accusations, the Times refers to
reports that [Christie] discussed a run for governor with Karl Rove in 2006 led Democrats to assert he had violated the Hatch Act, which forbids candidates from "testing the waters" for a run for office. [E.A.]
The Hatch Act forbids candidates from "testing the waters"? There's your story! A whole lot of politicians are going to jail if that's the case. But maybe the Times "computer assisted reporting team" should hit the keyboards to find out what the Hatch Act says first. (And is talking to Karl Rove "testing the waters"?)
3) "$20,000 in mileage reimbursements during his seven-year tenure" is less than $3,000 per year-- not that much . Even if it does include $79 to see a Mets game.
It would be wrong of me at this point to mention the famous Howell Raines Spike (of reports damaging to Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli when he was running for reelection) as evidence that the NYT is trying to elect Dems in New Jersey. It certainly "suggests" that! But we're in the age of partisan media and if the NYT wants to try to elect Dems the way Fox wants to elect GOPs, that's their right. ...
P.S.: If you believe the Feiler Faster Thesis , this story was dropped way too soon. Plenty of time before November 3 for Christie to change the narrative. But maybe in New Jersey Feiler is slower. ... 10:52 P.M.