by Chris Colvin, Nightly News writer
Hi. We're back and refreshed from the unofficial last weekend of summer, and as the White House would want it, looking at Bush's fly-by-night episode to Anbar; Al Gore's first real comments on how the media treated him in 2000; lots of detail on what might be in the planning for a U.S. strike on Iran; and a critic of the U.S. way of life of late gets sanguine about the coming... ummm... disaster?
So President Bush swoops into Anbar Province and declares things going so well the U. S. might be able to draw down troops. NYT's Cloud and Myers. But a rather brutal story from the WaPo's Sudarsan Raghavan uses words like "tenuous, temporary, illusory" to describe the Surge. And the LA Times Tina Susman uses another word: failure. Wretchard at the Belmont Club looks at surge architect Fred Kagan's pronouncement that Bush's visit to the heavily fortified airbase in Anbar was the Iraq war's "Gettysburg." Digby, also noting the Lincoln comparison, is at the end of her rope. Joe Sudbay at Americablog has a problem with Bush meeting with those former insurgents. And the Boston Globe's Bombardieri reports that Democrats got an earful from constituents over the August recess, about the whole capitulating to Bush in Iraq thing.
Lots of attention today on a new book about the Bush presidency by former Texas Monthly reporter Robert (not Donald!) Draper, and right off the bat the President seems to have been caught in a rather significant fib... though there is a somewhat tortured explanation from a spokesperson that, when the president said the policy was NOT to disband the Iraqi army but that "didn't happen" all he meant was that it "couldn't happen." OK. Slate has excerpts from the book, titled "Dead Certain."
Glenn Greenwald links to David Rosen's NYT Magazine piece about another book.. by Jack Goldsmith, former head of DoJ's Office of legal counsel. Oof. Goldsmith quotes Cheney counsel David Addington as relishing the thought that the administration was one terrorist bombing away from abolishment of the FISA court. Of course this makes Greenwald's blood pressure gauge burst.
At Salon today Alex Koppelman takes on a big sacred cow on the right.. those 2 border patrol agents in jail for shooting an unarmed drug dealer fleeing across the border. Paging Lou Dobbs.
Now to the way the press treated Al Gore during the 200 campaign. Lots has been written about this already, but Vanity Fair taps the daughter of former New Republic chief and Al Gore supporter Marty Peretz to sum up, and actually get Gore to talk about it. And when I say a lot has been written on this subject.. spend some time wandering around Bob Somersby's Daily Howler if you want more on the wretched excesses of political coverage.
OK Iran. Is there a similar "rollout" coming.. similar to the one we so famously saw in 2002? Yes, per a "friend" of Barnett Rubin at a think tank on the right. And [RawStory] reports on a paper by two British academics pondering a U.S. air campaign. Here's a direct link to the paper. Interesting reading. More interesting reading from the (London) Telegraph. And Rupert Murdoch's Times (of London) weighs in with the "Three Day Blitz."
Now to the credit crunch and speaking of interesting papers you too can download.. the geniuses at the Economist have come up with three scenarios for the world economy going forward. Soft landing, to which they give a 60% likelihood; wicked recession that spills across the globe: 30% chance; wicked recession that becomes something worse 10%. Hmm the fact that the 10% is even on the board at this point is significant, if you asked me. Krishna Guha writes in the FT on the credit crisis being an old-fashioned run on the bank, just not in the traditional banking sector.
But wait, Barclay's is a giant British bank. What is going on there? And according to Marketwatch Merrill Lynch is not so bullish on banks' profitability going forward. Oh and that huge TXU private equity deal... the king of them all? The bankers want out, according to The Times (of London).
The Fed today is "urging" lenders to help people stay in their homes. Ummm. OK. Urge away. If people bought overpriced homes that are losing value.. not sure what the urging will actually do to help.
This is funny, but raises a serious point about why it is exactly that losing money on a house is any different than losing money in a dot-com company stock. Via Business Week.. Dude Where's my bailout? Hat tip: riskcapital in Calculated Risk comments.
And the call: dude, where's my bonus, may become dude where's my job? Marketwatch says the Wall St. hiring machine has shifted to neutral.
Tanta at Calculated Risk rips Marketwatch for its consumer advice on how to get a mortgage right now.
Kunstler is weirdly peaceful with all of it today.. like he's entered the Kubler-Ross "acceptance" phase.
And speaking of acceptance, yeah I love Donald (not Robert) Draper on Mad Men, but I do still miss the Sopranos. Hat tip to FFDIC in CR comments for posting this classic.