"the House Intelligence committee staffer whose clearance was suspended by chairman Hoekstra last week is fighting back, filing affidavits saying he did not leak the NIE to anybody."* froomkin:
"John Dickerson writes in Slate: "What's being lost in the semantic game over 'stay the course' is the new set of choices that really confront the administration. They are not tactical. They are strategic and they are all painful: partitioning Iraq into semiautonomous regions, changing the Al-Maliki government, asking for diplomatic cooperation from neighboring countries like Syria and Iran, or adding more U.S. troops. If the administration were as flexible as it has been proclaiming recently, it would be talking about these options. It has either refused to consider them or stayed mum. If the White House is doing away with the old slogan, perhaps it should mint a new one: 'All options are ugly.'"* froomkin:
Harold Meyerson writes in his Washington Post opinion column: "The president has fled the field from 'stay the course,' signaling not just the unwinnability of his war but the bankruptcy of his political strategy. For as the president and his party grope for an alternative plan of action in Iraq, Karl Rove's bright line between Republican resolve and Democratic defeatism has become irreversibly fuzzed."* froomkin:
Joseph Curl writes in the Washington Times: "So far this year, Mr. Bush has done 10 times as many closed-press fundraising events compared to 2002. He has also not appeared at a single major Republican rally, unlike four years ago, when he did 32."
"Q Are the terrorists trying to influence our election in your view?* froomkin liveonline:
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think they're very much aware of our political calendar here, I really do. And when you see the kinds of things that happened this year, for example, when the Democratic Party in Connecticut purged Joe Lieberman, in effect, drummed him out of the party on the grounds that he had supported the President in the global war on terror, that sends a message to the terrorists overseas that their basic strategy of trying to break the will of the American people may, in fact, work. . .
" I thought Bush's comment about accountability today was absolutely fascinating.
In essence, he said: You missed me. You had your chance in 2004, and you missed me. And to some extent, he's right.
What happened in 2004, in my opinion, is that Karl Rove used a complicit press to to turn the election into a referendum on John Kerry, rather than on Bush.
Since then, of course, things in Iraq have gotten a heck of a lot worse, and the evidence of credibility problems has continued to mount, etc.
Now, ironically, Bush is not on the ballot. But he's having a heck of a time demonizing his opponent. So the focus is more on him than it was last time."