Standing Eight had some unexpected guests sleeping in our offices this weekend, so we could not make our usual 2am runs to the keyboard as insight hit us. Here are a few brief items from the long weekend. As you probably know, nothing much happens in DC over turkey day, since the turkeys have all gone home to roost with their constituents. Nonetheless:
Abramoff: The first rule of blogging about the Abramoff case is: Don't. Because anyone who cares about it gets plenty of info from many sources and it's hard to add anything new, and those who don't care will think you a wingnut for attempting to bring the scandal (and it is a scandal,) some small notice. That said, it's hard to deny that it exploded over the past week. On Saturday in the WaPo, under the headline "Lawmakers Under Scrutiny in Probe of Lobbyist" Schmidt and Grimaldi feel confident to report that, "...prosecutors on the Abramoff case are focused on at least half a dozen members of Congress." (See It Now) But by late Sunday US News was telling a different, or bigger story. In a story dated 12/5/05 (explain that to us for a free steak dinner,) Silla Brush reports that, "the conduct of at least a dozen representatives and senators is now being scrutinized by a small army of federal prosecutors and FBI agents." (See It Now) Granted that these two statements are not exclusive. Focus and Scrutiny are not the same word, and "at least" means "at least," but we would still point out that the bigger number of paramecia under the microscope came with the later reporting.
The Pie-Eyed Innocence of Frank Rich: Standing Eight rule of 21st Century politics #1A, (The Franking Privilege): If it is of genuine import to the reality-based community, it will end up in Frank Rich's column. That said, we think he's being a bit wishful with this closing sentence:
That's why it's Mr. Cheney's and the president's own words that are being thrown back now - not to rewrite history but to reveal it for the first time to an angry country that has learned the hard way that it can no longer afford to be without the truth. (See It Now)
Italics ours, but does the eminent Mr. Rich really believe that the country has learned anything, or that it will be that much harder to defraud the American public the next time a president needs to? Standing Eight believes rather that the single shining lesson of everything that's happened since, oh, pick an arbitrary date, say, 11 September 2001, is that we are very dupe-able, we will exchange Eastasia for Eurasia instantly, and not just in our words, in our very hearts, as a people, if the guy at the megaphone is megalomaniacal enough to convince, (which they always are,) and if supposedly good men stand silent, or worse yet, willingly participate in the Two Minutes Hate despite the questions and doubts that we can't stop our brains from nagging us with. (Little flowery on the prose there, we have been hosting the whole fam-damily, but the point remains.)
Rolling Stone Does News?: Again, we've had guests and hosting responsibilities, so we must confess that we have not yet absorbed the Very Important article by James Bamford about the selling of the war in RS this week. But you don't have to wait for our biased synopsis! You can See It Now.