September 8, 2006

‘They Can Run, But They Can’t Hide’ Update (‘Buzz’ Patterson Elaborates)

In the update at this previous post, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson (author of “Dereliction of Duty“) was reported as claiming that in terms of conveying how the Clinton administration handled its opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden, ABC’s “The Path to 9/11″ is “100 percent factually correct.”

Patterson, who has seen the uncut version of “The Path to 9/11,” was just on Michael Savage tonight from about 8:40 – 9:00, and emphasized that the Clinton Administration had eight chances to get Bin Laden and in each instance, Bill Clinton chose to pass on it or to make no decision (which in essence was a decision, as the opportunity passed).

Further elaborating in the World Net Daily article, Patterson says:

The scene in “The Path to 9/11,” as Patterson recalled from the preview version, unfolds with CIA operatives at the camp on the phone with Berger, who is expressing concern that an attack could result in innocent bystanders being killed. An agent says he sees swing sets and children’s toys in the area. The scene ends with Berger hanging up the phone.

Patterson says his recollection is that Clinton was involved directly in several similar incidents in which Berger was pressing the president for a decision.

“Berger was very agitated, he couldn’t get a decision from the president,” Patterson said.

Patterson noted (he) wasn’t sure what Berger wanted to do — whether the national security adviser wanted the answer to be yes or no — but the frustration, at the very least, was based on the president making himself unavailable to make a decision.

“The Path to 9/11″ does not show Clinton himself ever pulling back; in that sense, it’s very inaccurate, and very much in his favor (wayyyyy too much, IMO). And yet, he and his party want it pulled. They should be thankful for the relative pass Clinton himself appears to be getting.

Here’s a suggestion that should make everyone interested in historical accuracy happy: Instead of showing a composite situation, ABC should run individual scenes accurately portraying ALL EIGHT, complete with Clinton’s passive or active halts!

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UPDATE: Savage’s first hour plays after his third hour here, and he says this is unprecedented in American history. I certainly can’t remember anything like it.

UPDATE 2: Allah’s roundup at Hot Air definitely shows that the all-out push is on for cancellation. Patterico says we shouldn’t be surprised. I’m not surprised; I’m shocked at the clumsiness and the risk of a backlash the intimidators are running. I would have thought they’d have quietly been on this at least 60 days ago.

Don’t Tell Instapundit (Gas-Price Plunge Continues)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy — Tom @ 6:39 pm

He just paid $2.50 a gallon on his last fill-up.

He could have paid a lot less in Greater Cincinnati (prices displayed below will obviously change over time):

CincyGas090806

Local Election Coverage: Less Noyse and More News, Please

I find The Cincinnati Enquirer’s obsession with 2nd District Congressional write-in candidate Nate Noy not merely pathetic, but highly offensive.

The newspaper itself has devoted at least three full articles to Mr. Noy’s Ohio Elections Commission antics, and

The Enquirer’s blog has been saturated with “Marathongate” (working backwards): here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and herejust in the past 10 days. The only people in the country more obsessed with something so obviously orchestrated were the fools chasing JonBenet Ramsey non-killer Mark Karr around and keeping a diary of his dietary habits a couple of weeks ago, long after it became clear likely that he wasn’t involved in her awful murder.

At one level all of this is funny. But I’m not laughing, as I’m blessed/cursed with memory longer than the past few weeks:

  • I remember a GOP challenger to incumbent US Senator Mike DeWine, one Bill Pierce, defeating Mr. DeWine at the endorsement meeting of Knox County Republicans in January. I don’t remember any Enquirer or Politics Extra coverage of that event, because there wasn’t any.
  • I remember Pierce similarly defeating DeWine in Clermont County, which, last time I checked, is in the heart of the Enquirer’s market. I don’t remember any Enquirer or Politics Extra coverage of that event, because there wasn’t any.
  • I remember Pierce being cheated out of challenging DeWine by Hamilton County’s Republican leadership in a completely scripted, mass-endorsement process. (Don’t believe me? The script used is at the post.) Though there was, and still is, no doubt as to what really happened in Hamilton County, the Enquirer accepted the county party’s horse-manure rendition of the event and did no follow-up.
  • I remember Pierce fighting DeWine to a tie in Preble County, about 62 miles from downtown Cincinnati. There was no newspaper or blog coverage.
  • Oh, but when Mike DeWine won in Miami County, about 75 miles from downtown, well — imagine that — Politics Extra was all over it!

Other than courtesy articles when their candidacies were announced and an election-eve article about all of the US Senate candidates of both parties, and despite the series of newsworthy stories I just chronicled (more newsworthy than the legitimacy of a 13 year-old marathon photo, doncha think?), The Cincinnati Enquirer and its Politics Extra blog had no coverage of DeWine challengers Bill Pierce or David Smith.

I wouldn’t mind the Enquirer killing time, bandwidth, and trees on trivialities like Marathongate if it also covered the real news — but all too often, with rare exceptions, it usually hasn’t, and still doesn’t. While Marathongate has raged, Schmidt challenger Vic Wulsin, never mind the merits or demerits of her candidacy, hasn’t been able to get a word in edgewise. That’s not right.

So we can excuse future political candidates if they believe the road to success in getting media coverage is paved with sock-puppetry, false accusations, legally questionable shenanigans, and overall, well, I’ll be nice and stick with “eccentricity.” How this relates to a newspaper’s obligations to serve its readers or the political process is beyond me.

During the spring primary, Bill Pierce was told by one media person that it wasn’t their job to “promote” his campaign. Message: “We’re not going to give you coverage until you do something we simply can’t ignore.” Humiliating an incumbent by winning multiple pre-primary party contests obviously doesn’t count. Nate Noy has, probably by accident, figured out what does. We’re all poorer for it.

Fun with Tom, Rex, and the Housing Market: Delayed Response Notice

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 2:56 pm

Yesterday, MarketWatch reporter Rex Nutting responded at this post chronicling our communication exchange with this comment:

Clearly, I won this “debate.” Unlike Tom, I do not have my mind made up before I see the facts. Unlike Tom, I looked at the evidence and followed where it led me. Unlike Tom, I am not fixated on dictionary definitions, but on what’s happening in the real world. Unlike Tom, I can call a spade a spade. Unlike Tom, I don’t see this as some sort of media or political conspiracy, where the only thing that matters is whether you’ve scored a debating point against the hated MSM or DNC.It’s not a liberal or a conservative view to see that the housing market is in a free fall. Just look at a few facts: Starts down 13% y-o-y; new home sales down 21.6%; existing home sales down 11.2%; home builders stocks down 40% y-o-y.

If Tom had had his way, I suppose we’d have seen lots of headlines in 2001 saying: The Nasdaq hasn’t been in a bubble; it’s just returning to normal!!!!

Or this one in 1638: “Don’t worry about losing your life savings!!! Tulip prices are just returning to normal!”

“Normal” can be a long ways down, my friend. A lot of money can be lost on the way to “normal.”

One more thing: If home prices are now returning to “normal,” what were they before? Maybe…. abnormal??

Mr. Nutting also e-mailed these graphs separately, graphs that he must think somehow prove the points he so carefully articulated above reduced for space reasons (click on each individual graph to see larger version):

Wow. that’s a lot to absorb. It looks like I’ve been bowled over by the sheer weight of Mr. Nutting’s data, eh?

Well, no. In fact, quite the opposite.

I don’t have time today to create the necessary comprehensive rebuttal, which involves much more that merely refuting the data presented; that may very well be the easy part. That rebuttal will have to wait until tomorrow, and a post will go up tomorrow afternoon. Given that it’s likely no one will care about anything other than the 5th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on Monday, I will carry forward that rebuttal to Tuesday.

Stay tuned.

Who Is Michael Scheuer?

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:38 pm

Before you decide whether or not the attempt to prevent the showing of “The Path to 9/11″ is no big deal, read Scheuer’s Washington Times op-ed from July and NewsBusters’ discussion with Scheuer earlier this week.

Note that Scheuer is currently a bitter critic of the War in Iraq who I am told appears frequently on cable news shows.

I’ll only quote the last para from Scheuer’s WashTimes piece:

So, I look forward to ABC’s mini-series, as well as to seeing the quality of the network’s fact-checkers. If they do their job well, some of the September 11 Commission’s whitewash may start to be peeled away. If they fail, however, the reality that Bill, Dick and Sandy helped to push Americans out of the windows of the World Trade Center on that September morning will be buried in miles of fantasy-filled celluloid.

Read both items.

While I’m thinking of it, why aren’t other broadcasters defending ABC’s free-speech and free-press rights?
________________________________

UPDATE: The plot thickens (HT Sticky Notes) –

Clinton aide says 9/11 film ‘correct’
Producer consulted with military attache´ who saw aborted attacks on bin Laden

A former military aide to President Clinton who claims he witnessed several missed opportunities to capture or kill Osama bin Laden says the producer of the ABC mini-series “The Path to 9/11″ came to him in frustration after network executives under a heavy barrage of criticism from former administration officials began pressing for changes to the script.

In an interview with WND, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson said producer and writer Cyrus Nowrasteh called him the morning of Sept. 1, explaining he had used Patterson’s book “Dereliction of Duty” as a source for the drama.

Later that day, Nowrasteh brought a preview copy of “The Path to 9/11″ to Patterson for him to view at home. Patterson, who says he has talked with the director seven or eight times since then, also received a phone call from an ABC senior vice president, Quinn Taylor.

Patterson told WND he recognizes the television production conflates several events, but, in terms of conveying how the Clinton administration handled its opportunities to get bin Laden, it’s “100 percent factually correct,” he said.

UPDATE, Sept. 10: Jack Tapper’s Politcal Punch blog at ABC reports that Scheuer has weighed in with him:

On the other hand, this morning we received an email from Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Osama bin Laden Unit at the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (and the previously “Anonymous” author of “Imperial Hubris”) who is clearly no fan of either the Bush nor the Clinton Administrations — nor the 9/11 Commission. He writes the following:

“This whole business over ABC’s movie is amazing. Now Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and a pack of political whores who pass themselves off as ‘historians’ have come out four-square for pre-publication censorship.

“As I have told you, the core of the movie is irrefutably true: the Clinton administration had 10 chances to capture of kill bin Laden. Had the 9/11 Commission not whitewashed events, personal culpability would have been assigned and we as a nation could have moved on to fight al-Qaeda. The Commission turned out to be hack-dominated, however, and ignored the documents that were presented to them, as well as the testimony it received under oath. Instead of telling the American people that the intelligence regarding bin Laden, al-Qaeda and their intentions was abundant, precise, and not acted on, the Commissioners blamed ‘the structure of the intelligence community’ for the failure and then proceeded to wreck the community with a horrendous reform package.

“The solution is really quite simple, I think. Declassify the documents and testimony of the men and women who risked their lives to collect the intelligence that Clinton and his lieutenants failed to act on. Present this information to the American people — and perhaps put some of those officers on TV to answer questions — and then let the chips fall where they may. If the critics of the ABC movie are so confident they are right, they would surely welcome this process.”

I believe that the historical record will ultimately show exactly what Scheuer alleged — that the Clinton alums who were on the 9/11 Commission abused their positions to airbrush history.

Spitzer’s Retreat, The 527 Media’s Gullibility, and His True Motivations

The Wall Street Journal calls out the truth, in a subscription-only editorial, about something that really is imploding — that would not be the housing market, as we have seen, but Spitzer’s civil prosecution of former AIG chief executive Hank Greenberg:

Last year, as the whole world knows, Mr. Greenberg was drummed out of the insurance empire he created after Mr. Spitzer accused him of presiding over a firm that was a “black box” of accounting scandals. AIG settled with Mr. Spitzer, but Mr. Greenberg refused to roll over. Mr. Spitzer’s spokesman, Darren Dopp, characterized this week’s changes to the complaint as little more than a “routine amendment.” Really?

The prosecutor has in fact abandoned nearly every substantive claim he’d made against the insurance titan, claims that helped lose Mr. Greenberg his job. Gone are charges that Mr. Greenberg deceived regulators about AIG’s relationship with offshore reinsurers Union Excess and Richmond Reinsurance. Gone are charges that AIG falsely reported income from investments as underwriting income; and that AIG deliberately under-reported workers’ compensation premiums it collected. Mr. Spitzer even removed inflammatory suggestions that Mr. Greenberg had improperly manipulated trading in AIG shares.

Post retreat, about the only material charge that remains relates to an AIG deal with General Re. That accusation is one of the flimsiest — centering on what’s known as “finite reinsurance.” Such products are widely used, though there has always been controversy over how to account for them.

….. By the numbers, this story gets even worse. Of the $1.64 billion Mr. Spitzer wrenched from AIG, the charges he continues to press against Mr. Greenberg represent $25 million. So what we really have is a philosophical disagreement over how a near-negligible transaction was accounted for at a $150 billion to $200 billion company. Only in this case, Mr. Spitzer used that trifling dispute to ruin a man’s career.

….. Surfing along on a wave of prosecutorial “triumphs” — of which the Greenberg case was feted as one of those most significant — he is cruising toward the governor’s mansion. It’s getting harder to believe that many of his suits weren’t brought solely for that purpose.

Given his record of intimidation without trial (here and here), his loss at trial when it did occur one time (if there were other actual trials, I missed them), and his failure to do anything meaningful about New York’s fraud-riddled Medicaid system, I can think of no other purpose. The “business is evil, so anyone going after business must be good” 527 Media has given Spitzer a virtual free pass for so many years that most people simply assume he’s in the right. If only they knew.

New Yorkers will apparently get a cheap-shot artist and schoolyard bully as governor. Heaven help ‘em. And heaven help us all if Steve Bainbridge is right.

Ho-Hum Hiring Headline (090706)

Filed under: Business Moves — Tom @ 8:05 am

Comcast to Add 3,000 Jobs Nationwide:

PHILADELPHIA (AFX) – Comcast Corp., the country’s largest cable operator, said Wednesday that it will hire more than 3,000 people nationwide by the end of the year to keep pace with the increasing popularity of its bundled package of cable TV, high-speed Internet and digital voice service.

Comcast said most of the jobs will be in customer service or service installation. It could ramp up hiring again next year if customer demand stays strong, the company said.

I’m Delegating a Discussion of Wages and Productivity

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:00 am

….. to this guy (HT Instapundit).

The Blade Bleeds, and Tries to Portray Union Greed

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 7:55 am

Newshound has a great post on the how an arch-liberal monopoly newspaper is handling a labor dispute — publishing what its employees earning in wages and benefits.

The Blade’s behavior in this instance and others relating to its managament lockout “strangely” seems to resemble that of a few of those evil capitalists it loves to criticize.

How Much More of This Is Happening?

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:50 am

Fake polling data:

Pollster guilty of fake data conspiracy

BRIDGEPORT — A polling company owner admitted participating in a conspiracy to falsify data in order to meet deadlines for clients, which included the campaigns of President Bush, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Mayor John M. Fabrizi.

Tracy Costin, 46, of Madison, admitted to U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall that she participated in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud

…… Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Chang said the firm’s employees conducted telephone interviews using a scripted questionnaire.

But Chang said on several occasions when the company was running up against a deadline to complete a job, results were falsified. Sometimes, the respondent’s gender or political affiliation were changed to meet a quota, other times all survey answers were fabricated.

FBI Special Agent Jeff Rovelli said 50 percent of information compiled by DataUSA and transmitted to Bush’s campaign was falsified.

With results like these, you have to wonder how many of Ohio’s polls have false data as their basis.

Apple Getting into the Movie Download Business? If So, There’s a Competitor.

Filed under: Business Moves — Tom @ 7:45 am

And it’s no slouch.

The competition is good news for entertainment buffs.

Positivity: Little Brendan McCarthy Has Turned the Corner

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am
He was given a 1% chance to survive. I guess he wasn’t listening:

Brendan McCarthy was born four months premature and his chance of survival was a mere one percent. The tiny baby overcame those odds and now Brendan can look forward to full, healthy life.

Brendan McCarthy was born at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta 16 months ago. If he had arrived after nine months, this would be Brendan’s first birthday.

The nurses at Kennestone have celebrated lots of birthdays for Brendan, relishing each week that Brendan is still breathing. Brendan was in the nurses’ care for 123 days.

Brendan’s struggle for life has been amazing and his parents have many reasons to be thankful. It was truly a celebration when Brendan finally got to go home.

Brendan now weighs 19 pounds and he’s getting healthier every day. When he was born he was the size of Beanie baby.

Brendan’s doctors and nurses don’t like to use the word, ‘miracle’. They prefer to point to the good care; medical breakthroughs and love that helped Brendan make it through such insurmountable obstacles.

Brendan overcame a one percent chance of survival to smile his way into the hearts of the ones around him.

‘They Can Run, But They Can’t Hide’ Department

By now, almost everyone knows that Bill Clinton and members of his administration have succeeded in altering to some undetermined extent ABC’s “The Path to 9/11″ mini-series that will air on September 10 and 11. People connected with the project who spoke with Hugh Hewitt could not specifically say (because I believe they did not know) what the ABC suits had decided to alter. The Chicago Tribune (link requires free registration) reports that among the revised scenes is one involving Sandy Burglar, er Berger.

Scholastic.com has also decided to remove “materials originally created for classroom use in conjunction with the ABC Television Network docudrama….”

Finally, national Democrat legislators have, by reminding the network that it has a public license to operate, essentially threatened to have ABC’s license to broadcast reviewed.

It appears possible that ABC will cancel.

Who is chilling free speech now?

On the very bright side, this attempted free-press suppression is largely falling victim to online reality:

  • This MSNBC report (HT Gateway Pundit) from 2004 by Lisa Myers (the same reporter who covered Juanita Broaddrick’s accusation that she was raped by Bill Clinton in the late 1970s), showing that the Clinton Administration literally had Osama Bin Laden in their sights and failed to pull the trigger, isn’t going anywhere.
  • The uncut version of “The Path to 9/11″ has apparently already shown up in Europe’s bootlegging bastions.
  • Dan Riehl, with a small assist from yours truly, has recovered most of the Scholastic teaching materials.
  • As Hugh Hewitt notes (and Blue Crab Boulevard agrees), the negative publicity about the thuggish behavior on the part of those who don’t want the project to air is going to very negatively influence the election prospects of the party that believes it will take over both houses of Congress this fall.