Thursday, September 16, 2004

Interesting results from the Rasmussen poll: Know what Dan Rather's favorable and unfavorable ratings are? 42%-33% -- a 9-point difference in his favor. Know what Bush's favorable and unfavorable ratings are? 53%-46% -- a 7-point difference in his favor. So people who have an opinion like Dan more than they like Shrub. Word to the right-wingers: Don't congratulate yourself on a successful revolution until you've taken at least one city.


Meanwhile, Maureen Dowd writes today about the theory that Karl Rove had something to do with those forged Killian documents. Dowd calls the theory "preposterous" and "paranoid" -- but she gives it two thirds of her column, and she never suggests any concrete reason why you shouldn't believe it. So, do you really believe it's preposterous, MoDo?

But I guess now the conventional wisdom is official: Following up on a Newsweek story, The Washington Post and The New York Times have settled on the notion that the documents came from Bill Burkett, a retired Texas National Guard officer and Bush foe who has said (see the Post story) that in 1997 he heard about the destruction of Bush Guard records, and later saw some of the records in the trash. The "smoking gun," according to the Post, is that marks on the document indicate that they were faxed from the only Kinko's near Burkett's home.

But here's what's odd: Newsweek says Mary Mapes, a CBS producer, flew to Texas to interview Burkett. So why didn't he just give her the documents at that time?

You know, anyone can go to Abilene, Texas, walk into the Kinko's, and fax a few forged documents -- it's a free country.

Or did Burkett generate -- or mysteriously receive -- some documents after talking to Mapes? And if he mysteriously received them, who mysteriously gave them to him?

James Moore, coauthor of The Karl Rove book Bush's Brain, doubts that Burkett's the culprit, according to the Post:

Author James Moore, who relied on Burkett as a primary source for a book attacking Bush as having wriggled out of his Guard service, said in an interview yesterday that he did not think Burkett provided the memos to CBS. "His life is complicated enough already, and I don't know why he would make further complications for himself," Moore said.

On the other hand, Burkett's response is limited to this:

Burkett ... did not return telephone calls to his home. His lawyer, David Van Os, issued a statement on Burkett's behalf saying he "no longer trusts any possible outcome of speaking to the press on any issue regarding George W. Bush and does not choose to dignify recent spurious attacks upon his character with any comment."

That doesn't sound like how you'd react if you were being framed.

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