December 29, 2008

Vanity Fair Finds Attempts Comprehensive Bush Hit Piece, Misfires Badly

BushTeam2001.jpgWell, it seems that the folks at Vanity Fair realized that they won’t have George W. Bush to kick around any more. So they decided to launch the journalistic equivalent of thermonuclear war against him in an attempt to get its shot at a “draft of history.”

In a 14 web-page tome (the photo at the top right is at its beginning) that fancies itself an “oral history,” the magazine hauls out every criticism, real or imagined, hurled at the president during the past eight years. It reminds everyone that the media’s favorite stereotype of conservatives and Republicans is that they’re dumb (I guess Ike’s orchestration of D-Day was some kind of accident, and George W. Bush’s MBA — he is the first president to hold one — was some kind of gift from Poppy).

Sadly, the magazine finds a few former administration officials to pile on. One of them likens Bush to Sarah Palin (that’s supposed to be an insult). We’re left with the long-discredited meme of Dick Cheney as puppet master and Bush as impotent since Katrina (then how did Bush get that Iraq Surge past everyone and make it stick anyway?).

All you really need to know to spare yourself a truly painful read is what is in the tease paragraph after the headline. Brace yourself:

The threat of 9/11 ignored. The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated. Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. Hurricane Katrina. The shredding of civil liberties. The rise of Iran. Global warming. Economic disaster. How did one two-term presidency go so wrong? A sweeping draft of history—distilled from scores of interviews—offers fresh insight into the roles of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other key players.

Gosh, I don’t really want to do this, because it’s so easy. But I’ll pick off some of the low-hanging fruit, and let commenters handle the rest. Here goes:

  • The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated? Uh, there were weapons of mass destruction (yes …. there …. were), not to mention 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium. Really, guys. Oh, and “the sixteen words” (“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”) were, and still are, true. Take the blinders off.
  • The shredding of civil liberties? You guys must be referring to that FISA law that Barack Obama voted to keep in place.
  • Global warming? Vanity Fair, that is so 1998. Didn’t you know that “2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved“?
  • Economic disaster? You must be referring to the economic disaster brought on this June, just as the economy was growing again, when the Democrats’ leading lights gave rise to the “POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy.” The terrible triumvirate’s promises to starve the economy of the energy it needs to keep growing and to radically raise taxes as soon as they had control of the Oval Office and Congress caused businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst. The Democratic-driven, decades-in-the-making debacles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — enterprises that were run into the ground by Democratic cronies — ultimately led to the perceived (but, in my opinion, not actual) need for Treasury’s giant SUCKUP (the Seemingly Unlimited Cash Kitty Under Paulson) and the other bailouts that followed. If Bush and the GOP are at fault, it’s for not screaming loud enough or early enough, and for acquiescing to the bailout blackmail. But, as Billy Joel would say, “they didn’t start the fire.”

Commenters can feel free to expand on these points and deal with the others I didn’t touch on.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE, Dec. 30: A great comment from Jerry at NewsBusters –

Let’s see….

The threat of 9/11??? Grown and cultivated under Clinton (D)….    Ignored under Clinton (D)….  Meet with CIA heads twice in 8 years, Clinton (D)….  Bin Laden’s extradition turned down, Clinton (D).

Threat of Iraq??? Eliminated by Bush (R).

Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib??? Americans protected by Bush (R).

Hurricane Katrina??? Threat ignored by Gov. Blanco (D)…    ignored by Mayor Nagin (D)…   Lack of any hurricane evacuation plan in a major city that is BELOW sea level,  Nagin (D)…  Delay at requesting federal assistance, Blanco (D).

Shredding of Civil Liberties??? Denial of school choice, (D)…  Denial of retirement investment choice, (D)…  Denial of baby’s right to LIFE, (D)…  Denial of right to communicate with terrorists, (R).

Global warming??? A get rich SCAM invented by Gore (D).

Economic disaster??? Brought on by Frank (D), Dodd (D), Raines (D).

UPDATE 2, Dec. 30 — Thanks to Instapundit for the Instalanche.

Globaloney ‘I Told You So’ of the Day: ’2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved’

Somebody please tell Barack Obama, Carol Browner, and all the greenies in Washington who want to tax us (oh, I’m sorry, cap-and-trade us) into oblivion the news, as relayed by Christopher Booker of the UK Daily Telegraph (bolds are mine):

Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.

The first, on May 21, headed “Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts” , reported that the entire Alpine “winter sports industry” could soon “grind to a halt for lack of snow”. The second, on December 19, headed “The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation” , reported that this winter’s Alpine snowfalls “look set to beat all records by New Year’s Day”.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the “hottest in history” and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.

Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to “natural factors” such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely “masking the underlying warming trend”, and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a “scientific consensus” in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world’s most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that “consensus” which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. …..

Read the whole thing.

Things I’d Like To Post About Today ….. (122908, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 6:01 am

…..  But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Cue the Laugh Track I — “Democrats Try to Lower Expectations.” Translation: They want their special-interest payoffs, and they really will do wonders, just not very quickly. Jerome Nadler’s says it won’t turn around in two years. If we’re really lucky and the media doesn’t successfully bury it, there may be decent evidence of recovery in two months. Oh, how they do NOT want that.
  • Cue the Laugh Track II — “Biden Says Stimulus Won’t Include Earmarks.” Somebody forgot to tell the nation’s mayors, who have a $73 billion wish list (“Bridges to Everywhere”) that includes $1.5 million to fight prostitution in Dayton. The Wall Street Journal calls Obama’s Transportation Secretary nominee is Ray LaHood (talk about an eponymous name) “Secretary of Earmarks.” I guess all of these things will magically turn into “targeted investments.” Zheesh. Update: I guess none of what Ted Strickland wants is an “earmark” either. Puh-leeze.
  • Bad news for states — “Lottery No Longer Recession-Proof.” Maybe that’s good news for the few states that have resisted.
  • He’s not even president yet, and ….. there’s a market for disillusionment (HT Instapundit).
  • Jake Tapper generally has been a pleasant surprise since he got heavily involved in the presidential primaries, and it’s not just because he referenced a BizzyBlog post at one point (though that didn’t hurt :–>). He lays it out as he or his correspondents see it. In this case, ABC’s Sunlen Miller reports on the reception given president-elect Obama by military personnel he visited in Hawaii: “As Obama entered the room, it was absent of the regular fanfare of cheering and clapping. The diners were polite, staying seated at their respective tables and waited for the president-elect to come to them to stand up.” I doubt that he’ll be a lapdog. I fear there will be few like him in what’s left of the media in the coming four years.
  • Caroline Kennedy has told the Associated Press that “she will have to work twice as hard as others if she is picked for the U.S. Senate.” Twice as hard as other Senators? Here I thought she was trying to impress us.

Positivity: Riley throws holiday party for returning soldiers

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Miami:

Posted Dec 26 2008 5:01PM

MIAMI (AP) — Chance Evans has a story like many others these days.

He was a specialist in the U.S. Army when he returned home from Operation Iraqi Freedom four years ago. He bounced from job to job after leaving the military, eventually being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. With a wife and two children, very little money coming in and an arduous transition to civilian living, life has not been easy.

“With bills and keeping the family together, it’s been very difficult,” he said. “I’m doing a little better now, but the last two or three years, it’s been really rough.”

Pat Riley cringes when he hears stories like those.

On Friday, the Miami Heat president and Basketball Hall of Famer surprised the Evans clan and five other families of those who have recently returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan with a holiday party. They toured the Heat’s Championship Alley, had lunch and a meet-and-greet with players, then received presents and gasoline, restaurant and store gift cards.

“It means the world,” said Kenya Evans, Chance’s wife. “When I got the phone call, it was the biggest blessing that we have ever, ever received. It makes you feel so good, and when other soldiers who are over there hear about it, it lets them know there’s somebody that really cares about honoring us when we come back.”

A team marketing official said Riley personally spent more than $10,000 on the event, part of the Heat’s HomeStrong initiative that he started nearly three years ago. Returning veterans are honored after the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at each Miami home game.

“Believe me, it’s very minor in comparison to what they deserve,” Riley said. “These are very proud people. These are families that are a little bit dire right now, for a lot of different reasons.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.