Saturday, October 14, 2006


I went out last night around 7:30 and walked by a bank that had a TV in the window tuned to CNN. Wolf Blitzer was delivering "BREAKING NEWS" -- CNN had learned from U.S. officials that a test had detected radioactivity in the vicinity of North Korea's nuclear test.

Curious timing for this leak.

When the Bushies don't want you to pay attention to a certain bit of news, that news gets released late in the day on Friday. When they really don't want you to pay attention, they release it on Friday after the network news.

That's when this news came out.

The Bushies are afraid of this story. They're afraid it makes them look inept and weak. Forget what you've heard about Republicans being grateful for a national-security story that bumped Foley from the front page -- they don't like this. They desperately want to downplay the nuclear risk. Why do you think a story by a complaisant reporter for the White House's favorite newspaper, The Washington Times, declared on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials didn't think the blast was nuclear? Why do you think the WashTimes story was leaked to Matt Drudge before publication? Why do you think President Bush went ahead with his school safety conference on Tuesday? Don't you think that, if the Bushies thought this story was an electoral winner for Republicans, this event would have been canceled and the White House would have announced another Series of Speeches by the President on the Grave and Gathering Threat?

You can't blame them for wanting to downplay this, of course -- there aren't a lot of good options here, and the U.S., as I write, can't even seem to get a UN resolution passed, despite having made several compromises to please Pooty-Poot in Russia and our economic overlords in China.

But they failed their way into this mess, and Democrats shouldn't be afraid to say so. If the Bushies don't want to talk about something, that's a sure sign the Democrats should.

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