Newspapers went to bed across the country last night as the West Virginia mine worker story unfolded, and USA Today wasn't the only one to celebrate early. Mediabistro scans pages and finds even the L.A. Times mixed it up with their late deadline. But don't blame the papers in this case -- they went with whatever story they had at their deadline. And with later and online editions, they can quickly correct the misinformation.
The Spectacle Blog
To the poor families who were yet so close to regaining their loved ones, only to find that the inverse casualty rate was true: one miner survived being trapped inside a coal mine, while the other twelve are confirmed dead.
USA Today made the unfortunate error of going to print too early -- an honest mistake, but one that'll be difficult to live down. Much is being made of those three hours in which the miners were thought to have survived, and the hope it gave families. Let us pray that for them, the hope hasn't died with the newspaper headlines.
It now appears -- based on this morning's NYT report -- that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and her staff have been part of the leaking crew on the NSA story. In having her letter to the then-head of the NSA declassified, Pelosi has been able to keep the NSA story alive, and even furthered it a bit. Parts of her letter were redacted due to national security concerns, yet the Times was able to find "sources" familiar with the full letter able to confirm what the redacted areas dealt with. Gee, a classified letter between Nancy Pelosi and the head of the NSA, who might know what the redacted sections involve, and who could the source be who talked to the NYT?
According to a Pelosi aide based in California, the House Democrat is cooperating with the NYT on several fronts on the NSA story: "She hopes there will be a series of two or three more articles she can help them generate," says the source. "She believes the American people have the right to know what their government is doing."
We've reported on several occasions about Sen. John McCain's early forays into the 2008 Presidential race, and make no mistake, he is putting the pieces in place for a run. He's been holding fundraisers across the country, with some success, but certainly not at a level you expect from a politician with a national following.
McCain has also been creating media events for himself, whether it be with congressional hearings on steroids in sports or the embarrassing lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associates with the 5th Amendment assertions the media loves to play over and over on TV.
McCain has been particularly bloodthirsty when it comes to the Abramoff scandal, and one has to wonder why, particularly since he has not been hesitant to reach out to some of Abramoff's former clients to sign them up as prospective charter members of his 2008 campaign's version of the Bush campaign's "Ranger" fundraising program.
The NYT is, at least of the prospect that the crimes committed in leaking to their reporters -- and those of the WaPo -- will be investigated and the leakers punished. In one of their editorials today, the Times tries to pull the same stunt that Chuckie Schumer tried yesterday.
First, they say that it's different when someone rats out the White House than when someone in the White House, for political reasons, strikes at someone illegally. Which, of course, is not at all what happened in the revelation of Valerie Plame's employment. But the Times wants us to believe that pure-hearted whistleblowers should be protected even from investigation so long as they are leaking information that is damaging to the president. Balderdash.
Is the White House having the McCain torture bill both ways? After strongly opposing McCain's amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which President Bush signed last month, the White House appeared to cave to popular and political sentiment. However, the Boston Globe reports that President Bush, citing his Constitutional authority as commander-in-chief, is interpreting the law to have exceptions when national security is at risk.
I appreciate that White House lawyers have found a way around McCain's potentially disastrous law. But if they're correct, and the loopholes are Constitutional, wouldn't that suggest that the McCain bill is unconstitutional? And that, knowing this, the President signed it anyway? As with campaign finance, another sad, unconstitutional deal with the gentleman from Arizona, it appears that the President did the popular thing while crossing his fingers behind his back.
Judge Samuel A. Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court enjoys strong popular support despite the coordinated opposition campaign from the left, the Washington Times reports today. If he performs nearly as well in his hearings, scheduled to begin next Monday, January 9, then we'll see him on the Court in no time.
Can't let the night go by without noting the latest from the offices of Kathleen Caligula Blanco, governor of the People's Republic of Louisiana. Whilst people remain homeless (and voteless due to Blanco's postponing the New Orleans mayoral election lest Ray Nagin have to get a real job), Mizz Blanco has decided to continue with plans to renovate her staff offices to the tune of about $500 large.
According to this report, "At the time of her decision, Blanco also was hinting at deep budget cuts to state programs and the possibility of laying off 20 percent of the state workforce." We have no report that the layoffs could include Mayor Nagin, or that the Gov plans to replace him with her horse. We expect that report any moment.
To know that Iranian Prez Ahmadinejad thinks the world's reaction to his denial of the Holocost was positive, according to an Iranian MP quoted in their official news service. In characterizing the reactions as positive, he probably wasn't thinking of the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff remark that the Iranian nuke program positively can be destroyed. Though the Israeli probably lack the capacity to do that, I'm told it would be one long afternoon for four or five B-2s.