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Newsweek's Michael Isikoff reports that a) Chandra Levy's cell phone records show
few calls to Rep. Condit's special contact
number after mid-April -- and, during the crucial last week in
April, "no calls at all" to the line "or any other number used by the
congressman;" and b) "Levy's home phone records also show
no calls to Condit during this period." ... Hmmm. Doesn't the dearth of
phone calls 'prove too much,' as they say
in law school. If Condit and Levy's relationship was as copacetic as Condit
apparently claims, wouldn't you expect at
least some calls? Or, alternatively, doesn't the absence of calls
suggest that Levy had some other channel of communication with Condit? ...
column by Tucker Carlson, who claims the congressman
is the victim of "sexual snobbery" because he's considered
"a farm-team pickup artist in polyester pants" whom it's "easy to imagine ... cruising for chicks in some racquetball
club in central California." Interesting contrarian thesis, except that it's Carlson who's the
sexual snob in the piece, noting that "neckties knotted
together"--cited in the press
as evidence of "kinky sex"--are a square's idea of kinkiness. "Maybe in Modesto," he sniffs. ... So Condit's critics are bad because they're
sexual snobs, and they're bad because they're sexually unsophisticated. Which is it? Hello! Editor! ... Carlson finishes
off with a description of Condit's behavior so tendentious (Summary: "Condit has cooperated, and about as fully as anyone could")
it would make Marina Ein blush. ...
One of the most obviously shaky bits of the paleoliberal party line
has been the claim that the halving of
the welfare caseload since 1996 (and the dramatic
increase in work among single mothers) has been the
product of the booming economy, not of the 1996 welfare reform. Why is it shaky?
Because we've had booming economies before, and nothing like what's happening now has
ever happened before. (During the '80s boom the caseload actually rose. And the
original "welfare explosion" -- resulting in a tripling of the rolls -- occurred during
the great 1960s expansion.) But if this common sense doesn't convince
you, ex-CBO chief
June O'Neill and M. Anne Hill have regression equations. They
estimate that welfare reform "accounts for more than half of the decline
in welfare participation and more than 60 percent of the rise in employment among
single mothers." ... They've also dug up an
embarrassing, rigorously, down-the-line wrong prediction of doom from Katha Pollitt --
" ... we know how welfare reform will turn out, too: wages will go down, families will fracture, millions of children will
be more miserable than ever."
In the event, wages have gone up [PDF],
families are forming, not fracturing,
child poverty has plummeted. No wonder the conventional left wants to give
the credit to the economy. The alternative is too grim to contemplate. ...
All those arrangements to be made with the watch case, and the phony lie detector test, and the
hours spent not talking to the press or his
constituents, and Rep. Gary Condit still has time to
make EBay take down a collage about Chandra that
some poor artist has made, reports LAT.
Condit's office claimed it violated his "right of publicity." ... This guy is
tidy! He ties up all the loose ends. ... Bonus Media Angle: How dumb is the LAT to run this as an "Internet" story below the fold
in the business section? ...
Condit in a box:
Come to think of it, why would Condit throw out a watch box? If he
was covering up evidence of a
romantic gift, wouldn't the watch itself be the key thing? The box doesn't add any evidentiary value -- unless it had some sort of inscription, or
fingerprints, blood, or other chemical evidence, or the watch
itself is lost or missing, or (most intriguingly) Condit didn't want police asking what had
happened to the watch. ... Josh Marshall -- who happily seems to have overcome his American-Prospectish jitters about becoming too Chandra-centric --
the key question: Where's the watch? ...
The needle has
finally moved in the Chandra case. ... Bad news for Dan Rather! ...
Michael Doyle's excellent Condit/Levy coverage for the Bee papers captures a
lot of what it's
like to deal
with the dissembling Condit camp as a reporter. Also what it was like
to work in the Congressman's office over
the years. Hint: bring lots of Kleenex, for those
tearful, emotionally-distressed female aides. And now, bring a lawyer! ... Meanwhile,
James Risen of the NYT gets a key fact wrong, Josh Marshall points out. ...
Were you aware of the controversy over the right-wing's demonization of Tom
Daschle? I wasn't. (You can get a fill on the
site Spinsanity and
Prospect piece.) Some of the anti-demonizing complaints seem overblown -- why shouldn't the right be able to
call Daschle "partisan"? It's not a meaningless concept, and does seem to fit Daschle.
"Puff Daschle," meanwhile, is just too
dumb to stick. Perhaps Rush Limbaugh's analogy of Daschle with "Satan" went a
little too far. But since the people of Vermont voted for
a Republican, doesn't Daschle's means of ascent (Jeffords) make him at least a little bit
"illegitimate," as charged? ...
At the same time, there is something objectionable (and relatively new)
about mounting a coordinated instant
anti-Daschle campaign using any weapon that
falls to hand -- which also seems to be what's happening. The damn-Daschle strategy has a
lot to do with Limbaugh's need to
earn his reported $250 million fee by keeping his listeners charged up (and the
need of all the would-be Limbaughs to do the same). If it were only votes at
stake, everyone would be a lot
calmer. ... (7/26)
The LAT, long considered a temple of political correctness, actually has a
anti-PC "wacky items" column buried on page E2. ...
update on the Brian Dalton case (he's the man sentenced to
prison for writing child-porn fantasies in a private diary). Rallying support for free
thought requires portraying Dalton's situation as dire. But just between us, it's
a total lock. Even the
Family Research Council expert says "this seems to me to
be a case of punishing a person's thoughts." The Ohio prosecutor who called that
a "breakthrough" is now declining comment. ... [Maybe this is what got
you spiked at AOL--ed. But OpinionJournal.com was on the Dalton case early,
and AOL hasn't touched them.]
Despite all the fuss, did the Hispanic vote really amount
to only 5.4 percent of the electorate? UPI's Steve Sailer examines
unpublicized Census data to deflate some of the
current Hispanic hype. ... Mexican-Americans accounted
for just 3 percent of the vote. ... African-Americans (who may actually
be annoyed by Bush's flamboyant courtship of Latinos) cast 11.5 percent of the votes, twice as many as
Hispanics and almost four times as many as Mexican-Americans. ... In 2004 the Hispanic share is expected to rise, but only
to 6 percent. ...
I recommend the Great "Hater" Debate going on in the Letters page of
Romenesko's MediaNews. It all started when
Mark Shields attempted to say something nice to WaPo about Paul Gigot, upon the latter's promotion to head of the
WSJ editorial page:
He is a committed conservative, no question about it, but he's not a hater."
Shields, as some of Romenesko's readers have pointed out, is saying a
good deal more about his own philosophy here than
about Gigot's. Shield's clearly thinks that a) liberal
motives are usually purer and better than conservative motives, and
b) it's fair to judge politicians by their motives (as opposed to, say, the outcomes of their
policies). There's a lot of smug
self-satisfaction here, and a blindered quality too. In the PBS/NPR/CNN culture in which he swims,
Shields probably never expected that his remarks would even be controversial. ... I don't think I'm asserting a false
symmetry -- the point isn't that if
a conservative said this about a liberal he'd be pilloried. You can't really imagine
a typical conservative saying this about a liberal. It's a peculiarly liberal sin. ...
Now ... "Explicitly Mature"! Access to kausfiles.com is now being blocked
by AOL's parental
filtering controls, even when they're set at the "mature teens" level (which
in theory only blocks "sites with explicitly mature content"). ...
It must have been that racy German labor market item. ... Or is kausfiles another
victim of Gary Condit and pregnant chad? [More likely the "fuck" in
the Chris Rock
joke.--ed. That was
artistically necessary.] ... Yet Slate,
Joshua Marshall, Virginia
Postrel, and even Andrew
Sullivan remain unsuppressed! Is that fair? ...
Eugene Volokh was certainly right about "censorship envy." ...
Gerald Reynolds, Bush's nominee to a
key civil rights post at the Dept. of Education, is being attacked from the left
on the grounds that he might
loosen regulations that equalize funding between men's and women's
college sports. Why not attack him because he opposes racial
preferences in admissions (which he apparently does)? Is it because
defense of race-based affirmative action has
become a political loser? That's
columnist Robert George's theory. ...
It does seem as if, ten years ago, Reynold's
would have been instantly lambasted for wanting to "turn back the
clock" on race preferences. ... Maybe
the anti-preference position will become so popular that
President Bush might actually dare to embrace it in public! ...
Germany now has about 9 percent unemployment. When VW
proposed hiring 5,000 workers for 5,000 marks a month (about $27,000 annually) to
build a new minivan, thousands of job-seekers "flocked to company headquarters in Wolfsburg
the next day." But the big IG Metall union "vetoed the new hires because they would be paid
below union scale and
the jobs were guaranteed only for three years, not the usual
lifetime," reports LAT's
Carol Williams. ... Stories about how inflexible European-style labor
power is preventing economic
progress in Germany have become hardy perennials--for a reason. (They
continue to be true.) Williams' also features a recent Eurosclerotic ur-quote from
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder:
"If we look at the claims for flexibility ... each
is connected with a demand that the government take away from large groups
of working people parts of their security and ability to plan for their lives. We do not want this kind
of change. This would contradict all German and European traditions."
A security-obsessed mindset seems
unlikely to succeed in a New Economy. Is it time to start worrying about Germany again?
UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh (who runs the Web site Center-Right) makes a
(to me) point about the proposed flag-burning amendment -- it would set
loose a highly divisive emotion, "censorship envy." You've banned burning
the American flag? What about flying the Confederate flag? How easy
will it be to tell aggrieved groups
"We've suppressed the symbolic speech we don't like, but not the speech
you don't like?" ...
40,340 visits to kausfiles from 14,785 distinct Internet addresses last week.
Half a million minutes
of viewing time. Thank you! We're on track
becoming profitable next year. ... No wait! That's Amazon.com.
We're profitable now! ...
The N.Y. Post buries
the lede, or at least the significant pro-Condit news that 1) "[T]he California
minister who said his teen daughter had an affair with the married congressman
now admits fabricating
the story"; 2) "[A] man who worked with Chandra ... and sometimes walked her home at night has
refused to take a lie-detector test for D.C. cops." The man was "the last
person Levy phoned before vanishing" ... Even the Post's anti-Condit top
angle--he was seen "dumping something in a street
trash bin before cops searched his apartment"--has a pro-Condit aspect. What he was
dumping was apparently evidence of
a gift from yet another woman. The sheer extent of Condit's secret
life--and his paranoia that if he publicly admits one affair the press might
unravel it all--remains the most innocent explanation for
his continued silence. So any evidence of his paranoia about having his sex life become public--even furtive
dumping of gift boxes--tends, perversely, to partially exculpate him. ...
Nepal's Prince Paras, now next
in line to that country's throne, is an arrogant bad boy who has a habit of
backing over people in his four-wheel drive luxury vehicle. In order to succeed as king,
he will need
an attractive queen and some top-notch PR work. ... Lizzie Grubman is
an attractive, skilled PR woman who just backed over some people in her four-wheel-drive luxury vehicle. She
needs a glamorous way to leave New York and start a new life, perhaps
in some exotic foreign
country with laxer traffic laws. ... Am I crazy, or did a light bulb just go on here! ...
July 15, 2001: Kausfiles criticizes Democratic House staffer Julian Epstein for
his ubiquitous TV punditry on behalf of Rep. Gary Condit, which associates Democrats with a scandal
they could otherwise stay out of.
July 16, 2001: Roll Call reports Epstein is being criticized by House Democrats.
July 19, 2001: WaPo reports Epstein is leaving his job "to start his own lobbying
firm and pursue opportunities in television and teaching."
Kausfiles gets results!
Concern for the First Amendment tends to evaporate when the
discussants include parents and the expression at issue is child pornography.
So Bob Herbert gets
credit for taking up the cause of Brian Dalton, a 22-year-old who
has been sentenced to seven years in
prison for writing down private thoughts, involving
fictional characters, in a private journal he never
intended anyone else to see. (It was discovered in a
search of his home.) ...
It's hard to believe that Dalton's incarceration doesn't violate the Constitution and that he
won't be sprung soon, thanks in part to
James Taranto's "Best of the Web" blog at OpinionJournal denounced the
Dalton sentence two
weeks ago. Shame on kausfiles for not immediately
joining the cause. ... Next civil-libertarian point to make: It's not
illegal to be a hate-filled racist
either! The David Brock article in the current Talk magazine ridicules Ann Coulter for
pointing this out. But Coulter is right and Talk is (smugly) wrong. ...
Gossip columnist Jeannette Walls--a hero because she's funny, fearless and
mocks the celebrity culture she reports on--finally
unloads on publicist Lizzie Grubman, the
national spokesmodel for the crowd-dispersal capabilities of the Mercedes ML55 AMG sport-utility vehicle.
... The newsletter version of Walls'
article has some bonus autobiographical grafs describing the Hamptons as a
Petri dish of social inequality:
A woman I visited once got angry with me for
tossing a ball to the 5-year old son of her live-in help. "It will
make them feel too equal," she impatiently explained.
Then there's the one about the producer who wanted to
turn his beach house into a moss-bedecked Southern plantation. When it was explained that
moss wouldn't grow on Long Island, the producer yelled "Import
the soil! Create the climate!" ... Grubman is a fine
person to pay for all this. And nobody was killed! She's The Perfect Story ...
Condit's flack pushes Chandra's "history of one night stands." In Salon,
Josh Marshall points out this isn't
very effective PR, and also doesn't seem to be true. ... If it were true, it would
certainly be relevant. But it would still
be dumb PR. ... (Memo to kausfiles' friend Marina Ein: You
gotta go "off the record" when you're calling
the victim a slut!) ...
Roll Call reports that Rep. John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary
Dems, says he
has told committee aide and aspiring all-purpose gasbag Julian Epstein (denounced here by kausfiles) to stop
being a Condit pundit on TV. But there appears to have been some miscommunication! ...
One other obvious explanation for why Chandra Levy might have left her apartment without her ID or her purse, of course, is
that she was just going to visit a neighbor or someplace in her building. Newsweek
"Police interviewed a man
in Levy's building who had been arrested four times on assault charges." But they've found "no evidence connecting him" to Levy's
disappearance. Still, kausfiles, who is not as uninformed as it may seem, suggests it might be worth keeping an eye
on that corner of the investigation. ...
School's Out! Don't worry, you do not have to read that
endless, multi-sidebarred front-page
NYT story about ... well, something scandalous involving the
overseas absentee vote in Florida last November. That's because, while you spend precious
leisure time with your loved ones, kausfiles' proprietary
Series-SkipperTM technology will be employed to process all
397 column inches, the better to tell you what (if anything) you missed. ...
Enjoy your Sunday! ... P.S.: If you don't want to wait for
Series-SkipperTM, Eric Umansky
dispatches the NYT package in four
grafs in Slate's "Today's Papers". ...
Joshua Marshall redeems himself with
exegesis of the resume of
Barry Colvert, who conducted the in-house lie-detector
test of Gary Condit. ... It turns out Colvert performed a similar
stunt for ex-Teamster president Ron Carey, another Marina Ein client. ...
Don't Go CBS on Us, Josh!
The usually reliable Josh
report on Gary Condit's alleged affair with
an 18-year-old because it "doesn't seem to have any relevance to this case." But of
course it's highly relevant! It's relevant if Chandra Levy's mother
talked to Chandra about the affair,
as both the ex-18-year-old's father and Mrs. Levy assert in the WaPo. It's even more relevant if, as Mrs. Levy
says, Chandra later said she'd talked to Condit
about the alleged prior affair, and he had "explained it all" to her. That was two weeks
before she disappeared. ... If Chandra confronted Condit about
the prior affair, that certainly let Condit know that
Levy could conceivably blab about more than just their own affair.
According to various sources, Condit was quite concerned about such
information coming out, something that's pretty obvious
from his own behavior since Levy's disappearance.
... Why would it matter that Chandra could blab about some other
affair when she could always blab
about her own affair? Two affairs might not do much more damage than one -- but her
knowledge of the prior affair makes it
much more likely that Levy would have blabbed, or threatened
to blab, or thought of blabbing, or led Condit to think she would blab. She was in love, remember (or so it seems). In her
mind, her own affair wasn't
anything to threaten anybody with, because there was nothing
wrong with it. But a prior affair? ... At this point, there are so many pieces of the puzzle to fit
together that it's almost irresponsible not to speculate about this sort of scenario, along with all the others.
... P.S. Aldrich Ames passed a lie detector test too. Three times! ...
"People were on that list for years and years with great hopes,
built their lives around that list. If you got on it, it
might take a while, but eventually you would get in."
That's Jenny Laurie, executive director of the N.Y Metropolitan Council on
Housing, lamenting the decision of the huge Stuyvesant Town apartment complexes
to rent out vacant wait-listed units at market rents of $2,100/month or more,
rather than at
"rent-stabilized" rents of about $1,000. Is it healthy for a city to have people "build their lives" around
a waiting list? Isn't it better for them to build their
lives around something else, like doing their best work? The Stuyvesant
Town story is the latest indication that the
rent control compromise of 1997, long considered a sellout by
Gov. George Pataki to rent-control forces, is gradually allowing large numbers of apartments to escape control, and will
have a big impact on the nature of
New York City life, probably for the better. ... Certainly better for Brooklyn! ...
Broder notes a relatively subtle, insider's reason some Democrats don't really want to ban soft money:
... the proposed ban on federal officials raising soft money for their
state and local parties would deprive them of influence at home and, potentially, leave
them more vulnerable to challenge in primaries or redistricting disputes ....
In an annoyingly skillful
essay, New Republic editor Peter Beinart argues that
with "Bush's approval ratings plummeting" it's clear that "for the foreseeable future, corporation-bashing is good politics." One problem with Beinart's
approval rating just rebounded. The deeper problem -- since Bush's numbers may drop again --
that nowhere in the essay does Beinart betray any sign that he
thinks corporation-bashing is right. He says "private corporations-airlines and HMOs and software
giants ... seem arrogant, overbearing and callous." Sure. But are
overbearing, and callous? And if so, is their arrogance and
overbearingness really the most important challenge confronting American citizens
today? I can't believe Beinart really thinks the answers are yes, but he doesn't
seem (handy word!) to feel
an obligation to answer at all. Corporation-bashing works
in the polls -- that's good enough for him. ... But often bad (wrong) politics is good (effective)
politics. Just ask Gray
Policy Statement: In response to the Andrew
Sullivan advertising controversy, and in order to maintain the highest possible ethical standards,
kausfiles, like Sullivan, has decided to "set up a very
strict editorial/corporate wall" hermetically sealing off our editorial
department, headed by Mickey Kaus, from our advertising sales department, headed
by R. M. Kaus. ... Have you ever seen both of them at the same party? That's how
separate they are! ...
Neal ("I was conned by
Denise Rich") Travis says that the long-rumored Don Van Natta anti-Bush NYT investigative piece on
absentee ballots in Florida -- flagged in kausfiles over a month
ago (the item's still down there somewhere!) -- is
about to be published. ...
Dick Morris does
job than kausfiles [You beat him by eons!--D.Manning] of explaining Bush's predicament: Bush had a
"limited agenda," has fulfilled three of his 5 basic promises, and "has, basically,
nothing left to do." With no
issues of his own to credibly push, he's forced to deal with what
others thrust upon him (e.g. patients bill of rights, stem cells). ... But Morris's
list of twelve potential Bush issues seems weak. Sample: "Funding to promote
conflict-control and anger-management courses in schools." ...
Kausfiles' fellow me-ziner Andrew Sullivan has backed himself into
a corner with his strangely mechanical defense of Rep. Condit's right to
freedom from media interest in his sex life. Now
is saying it's "completely irrelevant" that
Condit may have
under his bed and voiced "peculiar" sexual
fantasies (in the words of one of Condit's lovers'
lawyers). But since people not infrequently die having a sort of sex that
involves semi-strangulation, it's not irrelevant
at all -- but rather a clue that might help solve the mystery. ... Maureen
Dowd is a voice of sanity
today on this issue. It's fine to have a presumption of
privacy surrounding sex. But when you run for office, you
give up a little bit of it -- and when somebody's been missing for months,
and you're an obvious suspect, and you've indeed
behaved in a highly suspicious manner (hiding, lying, delaying), the
presumption's got to give. When there's a non-trivial possibility that the missing
person was actually killed during sex itself, what remains of the
taboo on discussing the subject goes out the window, no? If ever there
were a case for sex police, this is it! ...
Kausfiles recently harnessed the power of the Web to
help President Bush meet his current challenge,
which is finding "issues" that will
both appeal to moderates and give his presidency an achievable purpose. (Setting up private Social Security accounts, never an easy task, now
looks non-achievable.) Thanks to all who emailed. The most promising
suggestions (other than the earlier idea of boosting, yet again, the Earned
Income Tax Credit) seem to be:
1. Drug liberalization: Either easing up on marijuana, or
softening excessively harsh penalties in general, or reducing disparities in the
treatment of rock and powdered cocaine. This has become one of
those "cross-wired" issues on which only Republicans dare take the
sensible, more liberal position.
Indeed, Bush may be the President who could most effectively use
the non-legislative "new Presidency" model that Clinton (according to his
speechwriter, Michael Waldman) pioneered after his 1994 setback. Clinton had
a substantial, conventional legislative agenda -- he just lost
control of Congress and couldn't get it through, so he turned to speechifying.
Bush doesn't have a big legislative agenda
to begin with (and he's already accomplished half of it). ...
2. Establish some sort of broad, federally-funded after-school program. Teachers get paid more; working parents don't have
to worry about what their children are doing between 3 and 6 P.M.. ...
3. Some sort of immigration reform. The National Review Online
has the most effective
idea (in terms of impact-for-effort) -- sponsor a constitutional
amendment to allow immigrants to become President. But there are undoubtedly other, nuts-and-boltsier reforms.
4. Fight fat! Obesity has become a major public health problem. Encouraging better nutrition and exercise would
be a useful employment of the bully pulpit -- a Clintonesque use, maybe, but not phony
because obesity's a real problem and a publicity drive could have a large impact. The campaign would also have the salutary side
effect of undermining exaggerated liberal claims about
widespread hunger and under-nutrition.
Not a home run: Time's Margaret Carlson adds an important
detail in the Chandra Levy case -- "investigators
determined that her running shoes were in her apartment,"
seemingly eliminating one explanation of what she might have been
doing leaving without her purse, and also eliminating one popular pro-Condit
scenario (random abduction while jogging). ...
Kausfiles' public affairs
department has issued
Help Bush find something to do! According to both LAT's
Ron Brownstein and
WaPo's Thomas Edsall, the Bush administration is
conducting an in-house search for the "next phase" of issues that
will expand the GOP base into the center and into new groups such as Hispanics. According to Brownstein, these will
be "new initiatives -- in areas such as education and the poor -- that could help Bush reinforce his
credentials as a centrist 'compassionate conservative.'" ... Three points:
come to this -- an "internal review" to drum up new
initiatives -- already! Clinton didn't reach
this point until several years into his term, if I
remember. ... Maybe if "compassionate conservatism" had more
content to it, they wouldn't need a search party. ...
2) One reason the prospect of "new initiatives" is so dreary is that Bush
seems unlikely to take a strong stand in two
areas where Republicanism might have some transformative bite.
They are a) choice in education and b) ending racial preferences. On choice,
Bush has already retreated, compromising away vouchers and staking his reform on testing. (A big push for charter
schools is a thought, though.) On race preferences, Bush
either doesn't care much about ending them or he
isn't willing to take the Reaganesque risk of being
on the losing end of
the argument for a while, especially when an anti-preference stand
will be portrayed as hostile to the minority groups he's supposed
to be wooing. ...
3) So what can
Bush's issue-hunters come up with that's not a Dick Morris school-uniform
micro-issue? I can think of one thing: expanding the Earned Income
Tax Credit, which helps the working poor without raising the
minimum wage. The press loves this tax credit; I'm sure it polls well. True, a few
conservatives (such as Sen. Nickles)
have opposed the EITC over the years, but even they've been largely beaten down.
Reagan liked it! Clinton expanded the EITC dramatically (it now offers a $3,888 bonus
to a $10,700-a-year minimum wage worker with two children) -- but
it can always be boosted a little more! At some point, the credit might get so large that toxic side effects (e.g. workers working less) will
set in. But there's no indication we're near that point. ...
Reader suggestions of other Bush base-expanders will be accepted. ...
Send emails to "Help Bush Find a Purpose," c/o kausfiles ... Be constructive! ...
Any smart lobbyist with a pet issue would recognize the Bush policy vacuum as a chance
to get something
Marina goes meta: Even in staid Washington, PR people have taken to publicizing how
well their publicity is going. "That was a home run," Marina Ein, publicist for
Rep. Gary Condit, said after D.C.'s police chief announced that
Condit had answered all the cops'
questions and wasn't a suspect. ... Isn't "Home run!" the sort
of thing you're supposed to
tell the client, not the press? ... Next WaPo headline: CONDIT SPOKESWOMAN CLAIMS VICTORY IN GETTING
POST TO PRINT THIS HEADLINE/"We got the Times too!" says Ein. ...
Salon's new slogan: "We're
dead yet ..." -- David Talbot, Salon editor-in-chief.
"And I really have some big news or something important to tell. Call me."--message left by Chandra Levy on
her aunt's answering machine on April 29, the day before Levy was last seen. ... WaPo
the lede! ... The nasty logic: With each indication that Chandra Levy's
disappearance occurred at the time of some
important scheduled event in her relationship
with Gary Condit, the odds that she just
happened to be a victim of some
random street crime at the same time would seem to grow longer. It's also
increasingly unlikely she
committed suicide (no body) and unlikely that she would
voluntarily disappear and put her parents through he
torture they are experiencing. That leaves ...
Even the liberal New Republic ... ! The classic issue the mainstream press misreports,
because it "wants to believe" a particular
story, is union organizing. In part this is because the reporters who
gravitate to the
organized-labor beat tend to be even more pro-labor than the average
journalist. (You probably wouldn't
want to attend lots of AFL-CIO meetings in Bal Harbour
if you thought unions shouldn't exist. Nor would the unions
particularly want to talk to you.) A union resurgence
would be an interesting development to report,
complicating the plot and allowing all sorts of stirring human-interest sidebars. ... So how many
stories have you read over the past few years
on AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney's energetic leadership, or labor's success in
organizing this or that group of workers? (Here's
one from today's NYT.) You'd think labor was on the comeback trail. ...
John Judis in The New Republic. Sweeney's organizing efforts have basically flopped. Under Sweeney, the percent of the
American workforce that's unionized "has fallen at an even faster rate than it did
during [Lane] Kirkland's
last five years." The absolute "number of private sector union workers
fell by 252,000," even in a healthy economy. Labor lost members even if you count the public sector. ...
Judis fingers some of the main factors in labor's decline -- "the shift
from manufacturing to services and from large factories to small offices." But he
leaves out one other factor: non-union factories are
outperforming union factories even in manufacturing -- in the auto industry, for example.
I bet non-union Honda isn't shrinking its U.S. workforce! ... When it comes to
organized labor, kausfiles has
always taken a stand in solidarity with its comrade, former Labor Secretary
Robert Reich, when he said, "The
jury is still out on whether
the traditional union is necessary for the new workplace." But the jury's coming back. ...
The insufferable Jonathan Tasini claims the lawsuit he
recently won is part of an "unrelenting war against creators of every
stripe, a battle that is a threat to the survival of
independent thought, our culture and freedom
of expression." Wow! At least he didn't overstate
his case! ... And here I thought his lawsuit was about freelancers' contract
rights during the transition to new technologies (e.g. the Web) that have obviously
resulted in more freedom of expression, not less. ... But Tasini doesn't
have a democratic
view of expression. In his world, there are "creators" -- a "we" that includes "actors screenwriters, phtographers,
artists, illustrators and writers" -- and then there's everyone else. ... Please
keep this megalomaniacal, elitist, self-promoting backward-looking union hack away from
my copyrights! Thank you! ...
I'll never beat this site for
Chandra-obsessiveness ... and won't try. ...
(Kausfiles does not vouch for its reliability. ... We link. You decide!) ...
Wait! Maybe it's not the coverup, it's the crime! If Gary Condit really told flight attendant
Anne Marie Smith
I'm going to have to disappear for a while. I think I may be in some trouble.
and if he told her that before he learned from Chandra Levy's parents that Levy had
disappeared, that would tend to implicate him in her disappearance, no? That's not a
coverup point. It's a
crime point! ... The press, by focusing on the
obstruction-of-justice aspect of Smith's charges, may be
burying the lede here. ... And why would Condit risk an obvious
obstruction-of-justice problem unless he had an awfully good reason -- i.e. unless there really was some justice
to obstruct? ... Joshua Micah Marshall cleverly points out that Condit's denial of Smith's "don't talk to the FBI" charge
was really another non-denial, if you parse it. ... Then Marshall ties himself in
gratuitous knots trying to distinguish the Levy case, in which he's obviously interested, from
the Clinton case, where he claims the
press' interest wasn't legitimate. He also notes that he's been
trying to stay away from writing about Levy. ... Memo to Josh: You were Chandra Central! What
happened -- did some old lefty buddy sit on you over lunch? ...
Americans favor legalized abortion by only a 52-43 margin, according
to an ABC News-Beliefnet poll.. Isn't
that relatively big news? You won't find
it in the NYT or WaPo ....
Fox won't stop: The
revelation. All together now: "It's not the crime, it's the ..."
My favorite blind quote from Marjorie Williams's excellent Vanity Fair piece on the Clinton/Gore split:
"The whole bus tour, the foursome thing, the press really wanted to believe that," says a former White House
official. "The press went with it, and there was no reason for the president or the vice president to
shoot it down."
Now we know that the press, in large part, got it wrong. What current stories is the
press going with largely because it
wants to believe them? The Bush-Kennedy "odd couple" relationship, I
suspect. And almost anything having
to do with resurgent unionism, rising Latino power, or John McCain. ... Additional
nominations accepted. ... [You liked that better than the Boorstin penis quote?-ed.
That wasn't blind!] ... One beef with Williams' piece: She argues that
the sharp Democratic debate about
why Gore lost is really the personal "Clinton-Gore divorce
dressed up in ideological clothing," accepting
a blind quotester's characterization of it as "a lot of false
choices." No! It's a lot of
real choices! Either you are for greater unionization or you're
skeptical. Either you're for race-based preferences or you're not. Either you think the
problems facing average Americans are mostly caused by rich,
powerful interests that must be
defeated, or you think they are mostly just difficult problems that
need to be solved, often by defeating
non-rich, powerful interests. Either
you think welfare programs are unpopular because they're targeted
to the poor and are freighted with racist stereotypes, or you think
welfare programs are unpopular because they
send cash to people who could be working but aren't. These are choices Democrats
may be able to put off, but they aren't false choices and they predate both Clinton and Gore. ...
I have a little list: Bush's decline in the polls isn't a bogus story, but is
his "ship" really "listing,"
as this NYT
headline declares? ... I don't know ships, but it seems to me that when
you start "listing," you're in real
trouble in a way Bush is not. Yet. ... Raines hasn't taken over already, has he? ...
More than 114,000 visits to kausfiles in June -- from 33,428 distinct
Internet addresses. That's 66,856 eyeballs and over a third
of a million fingers! At 11.39 minutes a visit, it also
represents approximately 1,303,608 minutes of
viewing time. By that measure this was kf's best month ever. ... Thank you!
August 2001 archive
June 2001 archive