Friday, December 31, 2010


Hi, it's Steve ... just got in and I thought I'd end the year with some kvetching.

So ... how much does the Beltway press love Haley Barbour? Well, check out today's New York Times. First there's this story about Barbour's offer to release Jamie and Gladys Scott, two African-American sisters who are serving a life sentence for an $11 robbery in which no one was hurt, on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to Jamie, who's now on dialysis -- and there's no mention whatsoever of the likely reason that Barbour is making this offer of (semi-)mercy, namely the bad publicity he recently received when he downplayed civil-rights-era racism in his hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Then, elsewhere in the paper, there's this, in a story about how the public has reacted to various politicians' reactions to storms and natural disasters:

For all the criticism [Louisiana governor Kathleen] Blanco endured after Hurricane Katrina, Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, became a national star through his handling of his state's problems that year.

Haley Barbour became a what? A star? In what universe?

The answer, of course, is in the insular little universe of establishment political journalists. Out here, in the real world, normal people across the country barely noticed Barbour. But the journos love him, so, like tween girls obsessively following Justin Bieber's Twitter feed, they can't imagine anyone not thinking of him as dreamy, can they?

Argh -- can't wait for this guy to crash and burn in 2012, just because the surprise of the insiders will be so much fun to watch.

And with that, let me wish you a happy new year. And thanks again, Zandar. (Two links in one Crooks & Liars blog roundup? Nice one, Z....)


UPDATE, NEW YEAR'S DAY: I'm sure this won't surprise you, but Bob Herbert is not a Barbour cultist:

... The prison terms were suspended -- not commuted -- on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to Jamie, who is seriously ill with diabetes and high blood pressure and receives dialysis at least three times a week. Gladys had long expressed a desire to donate a kidney to her sister, but to make that a condition of her release was unnecessary, mean-spirited, inhumane and potentially coercive. It was a low thing to do.

Governor Barbour did not offer any expression of concern for Jamie's health in his statement announcing the sentence suspension.

He said of the sisters: "Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott's medical condition creates a substantial cost to the state of Mississippi."

By all means, get those medical costs off the books if you can....

And Herbert, in this column, does not fail to mention Barbour's Weekly Standard interview.

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