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Sounding like a parody of a liberal, but in all seriousness, NPR and ABC reporter Nina Totenberg charged on Inside Washington, at the end of a discussion about how National Guard equipment deployed to Iraq is supposedly impairing rescue efforts, that “for years, we have cut our taxes, cut our taxes and let the infrastructure throughout the country go and this is just the first of a number of other crumbling things that are going to happen to us.” An astounded Charles Krauthammer pleaded: “You must be kidding here.” But Totenberg reaffirmed: “I’m not kidding.”

In fact, under the Bush administration domestic spending has soared much faster than inflation, a trend illustrated by the huge transportation bill this year packed with spending on infrastructure projects. And if infrastructure spending has suffered in some way, massive new spending on such things as a prescription entitlement program are just as responsible.

Video: Real or Windows Media


Full transcript, and more about Inside Washington, follows.



A Los Angeles Times article suggests that NBC made a mistake during last night's "Concert For Hurricane Relief" when it edited from its West Coast feed rapper Kanye West’s assertions that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”:



You'd think Kanye West's ill-informed remark ("George Bush doesn't care about black people": Newsbusters link) would be enough to illustrate how misguided it is to politicize a serious fundraiser. But MSNBC's blogger for the NBC/Red Cross event, Mike Miller, could not restrain himself as well. Is it that hard for some people to set aside political differences for just one hour in order to raise some money for some people who are really hurting? From Mike Miller's blog at MSNBC.com, in which he gave a chronological, running commentary of the event (emphasis mine):

5:41: ... "George Bush doesn't care about black people," West said. Myers turns to him and clearly has no idea what to say ...

5:54: Still can't believe Kanye West ripped Bush. That was great.

"Great"? What was great about it? West's view is flat-out wrong. As President, Bush has given tremendous support to Africans and African-Americans.



Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died late Saturday evening.  As reported by Gina Holland of AP:

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening of cancer, ending a remarkable 33-year tenure on the Supreme Court and creating a rare second vacancy on the nation's highest court.

Rehnquist, 80, was surrounded by his three children when he died at his home in suburban Arlington.

Sadly, the AP couldn’t wait to remind its readers of Mr. Rehnquist’s political leanings, his involvement in the Florida Recount Debacle, or that this will likely impact the upcoming hearings for the appointment of John Roberts to replace the recently retired Sandra Day O’Connor:



When David Brooks first joined the NY Times in September 2003, it initially seemed that he was going to be able to keep his conservative leanings, and would be a fine replacement for William Safire once the latter had retired.  However, lately it seems that Mr. Brooks is being co-opted by others on the Times editorial staff.

In fact, his latest op-ed sounds like it could have been written by either Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd:

The scrapbook of history accords but a few pages to each decade, and it is already clear that the pages devoted to this one will be grisly. There will be pictures of bodies falling from the twin towers, beheaded kidnapping victims in Iraq and corpses still floating in the waterways of New Orleans five days after the disaster that caused them.

And:

Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are.



Over at That Liberal Media, Jim Miller notes that the September issue of the American Enterprise magazine has three numbers from a Nexis search that tell a tale about the news media's priorities in covering the war in Iraq. Paul Smith, a 33-year-old married man with two children, won the Medal of Honor for giving his life for his country. Lynndie England won infamy for grinning through pictures of prisoner humiliation at Abu Ghraib. "Koran abuse" was all the rage as a news story soon after.



        There's been a lot of doozies from liberal voices this past week in the wake of hurricane Katrina, but as Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer noted, a recognition must be made to Air America's Randi Rhodes. The anti-Bush vitriol from the left continues to reach new lows. From her show this past Wednesday (August 31, 2005):



Here is the lede paragraph from a Washington Post Editorial today (3 September), entitled “Left Behind”:


The AP's Ron Fournier has got another news analysis piece up (Newsview: Rhetoric Not Matching Reality) that is filled with negative spin on President Bush. But he's gone a little bit further this time, as he's using several "facts" that are not, in fact, facts.
  • "On Iraq alone, the rhetoric has repeatedly fallen far short of reality. Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.


CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday afternoon repeatedly prodded reluctant Congressional Black Caucus member Elijah Cummings to blame racism for delays in rescuing hurricane victims in New Orleans. Blitzer asked Cummings on The Situation Room: “Do you believe, if it was, in fact, a slow response, as many now believe it was, was it in part the result of racism?” When Cummings demurred from such a blanket accusation, Blitzer wouldn’t give up: “There are some critics who are saying, and I don't know if you're among those, but people have said to me, had this happened in a predominantly white community, the federal government would have responded much more quickly. Do you believe that?"

Later, on CNN’s NewsNight, Aaron Brown took up the same agenda with Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones: “What I'm wondering is, do you think black America's sitting there thinking, if these were middle class white people, there would be cruise ships in New Orleans?” When she wouldn’t take the bait, Brown lectured: “Now, look, here's the question, okay? And then we'll end this. Do you think the reason that they're not there or the food is not there or the cruise ships aren't there or all this stuff that you believe should be there, isn't there, is a matter of race and/or class?”

Opening the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams predicted that the "catastrophic hurricane strike, and the U.S. government response to it, will in the years or decades to come, perhaps necessitate a national discussion on race, on oil, politics, class, infrastructure, the environment and more.” ABC’s Ted Koppel charged on Nightline that “the slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina has led to questions about race, poverty and a seemingly indifferent government.”

Transcripts follow.



Well, we all knew this was coming.  A New York Times editorial quite strongly suggests that income tax rates in our nation should now be raised as a result of Hurricane Katrina:

Congress and the president had better get the message: an extraordinary time is upon the nation. The annihilation in New Orleans is an irrefutable sign that the national tax-cut party is over. So is the idea that American voters cannot be required to accept sacrifice or inconvenience, no matter how great the crisis. This country is better than that.

Yep.  With higher fuel prices, along with what are sure to be higher heating and electricity bills this winter, what all those suffering from hurricane damages definitively need is higher federal income taxes.



With little fanfare, the Houston Chronicle reported that Vice President Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, had been awarded a contract to assist in post-Katrina cleanup efforts:

The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.

Given the media’s fascination with this company, along with the ongoing insinuations that the war in Iraq has been a financial boon for Halliburton, one has to wonder how this announcement will be disseminated by a currently scandal-hungry press.



People sometimes call MRC HQ and tell us that a cable network has mysteriously dumped out of live coverage in a way that seems suspiciously political. My first impulse is to think that sometime daytime producer on their third coffee might have just glitched a bit. I saw a weird case of this jumping in and out of live coverage this morning at 10:40 AM Eastern time. At a Congressional Black Caucus event, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.


Our friends over at the AP who never tire of using any excuse to Bush-bash are at it again in style.



Jaws dropped across America in the middle of NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, hosted by Matt Lauer. In between musical numbers, stars would report on the damage and call for help. Comedian Michael Myers made a serious pitch. Then rapper Kanye West started rambling, clearly improvising, saying that black families are called looters, while white families are described as just looking for food. That must have put the NBC folks on the button, but West shortly after blurted out: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."