Mr. Snow's White House press briefings are going to be nice to watch. The press does not want to appear to be ungracious and oppositional. They have an investment in demonstrating that the tensions each day in Scott McClellan's press briefings, with David Gregory's rants and Helen Thomas's free-form animosities, were the fault of Mr. McClellan, not the press.I have no idea what she means. That the press will exalt Snow to slur McClennan? The idea is not to get a story, or even to make Bush look bad, but to lay obloquy at the doorstep of Scotty McClellan? "McClellan delenda est!" snarls the sleeping White House reporter in his pinstriped pajamas, clutching fiercely his saluting John Kerry doll...
But more striking than the mental hiccups is the reasoning. Three foci proposes Noonan for her unwitting freelance clients, and two of them involve getting the President to better explain the actions of his Administration -- the idea being that everything's great but the rabble aren't getting the message.
Point one is "Renew attention to Afghanistan. The American invasion of that country had the support of the world... Talk about what's being done, and how, and why." So hey, how's it going over there?
The Army's chief of staff said Wednesday that he was frustrated by security lapses at Bagram air base in Afghanistan that led to the loss of potentially sensitive data, and that the military must learn how to be more careful with new technology.annnnnd...
Weeks after revelations that flash drives carrying sensitive and classified information have turned up for sale in a bazaar outside Bagram, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker said the Army was trying to improve how soldiers used and secured flash drives.
Mariam Rawi, a member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), has told the forum that despite Afghanistan receiving billions of dollars in aid, little has been done to address the country's lack of health services.annnnd...
"(Afghanistan) is a land that is facing (a) health disaster worse than (the) tsunami," Ms Rawi told a lecture at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre in Adelaide.
"Seven hundred children and 50 to 70 women die on (a) daily basis due to the lack of health services...."
Australia warned Thursday of a high threat of terrorist attacks in the Afghan capital during celebrations marking the overthrow of communist rule by mujahedeen fighters...annnnd... scene. Though you can go back to the well and get corkers like this just about anytime. Curse that Em Ess Em!
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul posted a warning Thursday advising Americans to limit their travel in the next two days due to the holiday and two bombings Tuesday on the road leading to Kabul's airport, which wounded two people...
Item number two is our wonderful economy, about which The People are not sufficiently sanguine. CJL tries a couple of angles of explanation: first, "Americans, a deeply savvy lot, never want to tell a politician he's doing well on the economy because their applause may lead him to feel he can shift focus to, say, colonizing Mars." (Pffft, yeah, like that'll stop him!)
Then -- and with this passage, the buzzing of a fly or a distant car horn may have suddenly shifted the Crazy Jesus Lady back to our temporal sphere -- "The biggest complaint I hear now from people who email me from all parts of the country is that they're being worked to death, longer hours at the office, can't see the kids. Gas prices are up and up, etc..."
Well, yeah. While even the hated MSM laud our "hot" economy, the punters are none too pleased with how things are going financially. As I've said before, higher productivity numbers mean that people who have jobs are working harder than before, and my uneducated guess is that most of those accelerating rat-racers aren't just laying up extra scratch for a Cayman Islands vacation or a summer home. We're a hardworking people, but in the face of wages and job security that are each going in the wrong direction, who wouldn't wonder why he has to run faster just to stay in place, and suspect that profits benefit from his sweat more than wages?
(Forgive my belaboring the point a moment, but this really is the hardest thing for conservatives to understand. They say things like this: "Pointing out the market's marvels will not console the worker who lost his job to a machine or a foreign worker. To him the process remains vicious and absurd. 'Why cut my job to save a few bucks?'" -- and then console the poor stiff by pointing out that "Job security no longer means fighting to keep the same job for 30 years, it means keeping ourselves marketable." Oh, well, great! I'm different from a 14th Century peasant, because I also have to go to night school! Get a further reality check here.)
The third CJL talking point shows that she is but mad north-by-northwest: when the wind is southerly, she can racebait like a champ. Americans are skeptical about Mexicans working on American soil. The results of the poll are inconclusive -- respondents seem to be responding more to drift in U.S. policy than to xenophobic impulses -- but a less generous reading warms the cockles of Buchananite hearts.
CJL recalls what a split between the Bush family and Pat's pitchfork brigade did in 1992, and hopes that, if she flings herself hard enough against the White House barricades, the Great Man will miraculously walk out and lift her lips to his ear, and take the populist bait. It may be, then, that she buried her lede. She may imagine that she is communicating in a code based upon the Rule of Three, with the first two ridiculous ideas as mere cover. Maybe such a code has been prearranged, and the boys and girls in the West Wing are now reducing it to simple words that the Commander in Chief can understand. We'll see soon enough.