December 2, 2005
You Only Think It's a Strong Economy
"By most measures, the economy appears to be doing fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming. But as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.It all means the economy is likely to end the year with a splash. But before you splurge on a new car, consider this: Many economists do not expect the party to continue, especially if the Federal Reserve continues taking the punchbowl away and raises interest rates. That could further slow the housing market, damp consumer spending and crimp corporate profits." - Economics reporter Vikas Bajaj in a November 30 front-page story.
And Just Who Put Sheehan on Stage?
"Mr. Bush's advisers said that his speech and the document were long overdue, and that the need for such a statement dated to last summer, when antiwar sentiment coalesced around Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq who staged a month long protest outside the president's Texas ranch. In the view of some of Mr. Bush's advisers, the president lost a connection with the American people in August, when Ms. Sheehan commanded the stage and Mr. Bush spent much of the month out of sight." - White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, December 1.
And He's a News Reporter
"And in the shadow of the bleak and often horrific news emerging from Iraq nearly every day, historians and political experts are finding at least a wan hope in those imperfect historical analogies. Even in the absence of a sudden and dramatic shift on the battlefield toward a definitive victory, there may still be a slight opening, as narrow as the eye of a needle, for the United States to slip through and leave Iraq in the near future in a way that will not be remembered as a national embarrassment." - From reporter James Glanz's November 27 story for the Week in Review section.
Another Anti-PBS "Putsch" by Conservatives
"Defenders of public broadcasting now must guard against still another conservative putsch - a Congressional move to cut financing for the corporation's $400 million budget of vital aid for local stations. This time, the 'balance' zealots may resort to irony by citing the very chaos wrought by [former Corp. for Public Broadcasting Chairman Kenneth] Tomlinson." - From a November 28 editorial. This is the second time this year the page has referred to conservatives who want to cut taxpayer funding of public broadcasting as pushing a "putsch."
Smuggling in Democratic Anti-War Talking Points as Fact
"Mr. Cheney repeated a formulation from a speech he made last week, calling the suggestion by some senators that the administration manipulated prewar intelligence 'dishonest and reprehensible.' Democrats immediately rejected that characterization. They also objected to Mr. Cheney's assertion that members of Congress had had access to the administration's prewar intelligence and that 'they concluded, as the president and I had concluded, that Saddam Hussein was a threat.' Mr. Cheney did not mention that the administration had access to far more extensive intelligence than Congress did, like the highly classified daily briefing provided for the president by the Central Intelligence Agency." - White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, November 22.
Bush Used "Extra Dose of Politics" to Push for Dubious War
"For the most part, supporters of Mr. Bush do not deny that his administration has put an extra dose of politics in the government. They approve of it, even if some might draw the line before he draws his. Some say they would go even further, although no one would go as far as calling it acceptable to lead the country into war based on a lie, if that turns out to be the case." - David Rosenbaum, November 20 Week in Review.
"Nave Liberal Paranoid" Sounds About Right
"Someone is sure to complain that the world doesn't really work the way it does in 'Syriana': that oil companies, law firms and Middle Eastern regimes are not really engaged in semiclandestine collusion, to control the global oil supply and thus influence the destinies of millions of people. O.K., maybe. Call me nave - or paranoid, or liberal, or whatever the favored epithet is this week - but I'm inclined to give [writer-director Stephen] Gaghan the benefit of the doubt. And even if the picture's rendering of current events turns out to be entirely off base, the energy, care and intelligence with which it makes its points are hard to dismiss." - Movie critic A.O. Scott in his November 23 review of "Syriana."