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June 02, 2004

We Link, You Decide

Well, so far today, I don't have anything interesting to say. So I'll do a link-dump of things I've read and found interesting.

Jay Nordlinger's column is pretty much a blog in column format, and just about everything he writes today is interesting. Media bias, an Iranian dissident calling the US "our only friend in the world," and Edward Jay Epstein's debunking of the conventional liberal media wisdom that a Mohammed Atta-Al-Ani meeting in Prague has been "disproved." It hasn't been "disproved." Says who? Says George Tenet, morons. Catch up.

A Harris poll shows American optimism on the rise. Here's what I find interesting:

Asked in a Harris poll if their personal situation has improved over the past five years, 56 percent of Americans said it had, up 7 percent from last year.

For a while I've been attempting to prove a theory. I think that people view their personal economic situation fairly positively, but then rate the national economy poorly. There's a big disparity there.

And there shouldn't be. The national economy is, after all, just made up of millions of individuals. If individuals are mostly saying their own economic situation has improved, then, logically, that ought to be reflected in how they rate the national economy.

But it isn't, because the media continues telling everyone the national economy is in a shambles. Thus the disparity between personal and national economic ratings.

I wish some blogger with access to historical Gallup polls would examine the gap between these two measurements under Clinton, as compared to Bush. I'm guessing there was no disparity between the two numbers under Clinton, or even a slight bias in favor of the national, not-me-personally economic rating.

And that's because the media was determined to let everyone know the great economic news.

When will I know that George Bush will be safely elected?

When the media, doing its economic reports, starts using that B-roll footage of the US Treasury printing out money on a press, montage'd with cash registers beeping and opening and slamming shut. That's the visual and audio cue the media uses to indicate "We're all doing okay!"

I saw that montage eighteen bazillion times when Clinton was President. They'd even run it for entirely unrelated stories. Clinton could be talking about trimming operating costs at the Commerce Department, but the liberal media would still run that fricking printing press montage, punctuated by the Monopoly guy handing poor children a $500 bill.

So-- when we will we get the printing-press/cash-register montage?

Ummm, how about the next of Never?

Byron York takes down the Ace of Spades HQ's favorite reporter, Dana Milbank. Good stuff. The media has apparently decided that slanting alone won't cut it; they've decided it's now okay to actually lie.

Which leads directly into Howell Raines' delcaration that yes, it's time for the media to start (ahem) actively indulging in deliberate disinformation, in order to convince stupid Americans of the liberal truth via useful lies. It pains me to link Andrew Sullivan, but his commentary on this is must-reading.

And then he segues right into whining about gay marriage. Oh, well. Just stop reading when you get to "That Virginia Law."

Another piece on Atta/al-Ani, and again must reading. I think I got this from Instapundit, which means that everyone's already read it, but it's so damn good it can't hurt to quote it again:

At least two separate lines of evidence point to a pre-9/11 Saddam-Osama axis of evil. The Czechs have always maintained that 9/11 mastermind Mohammad Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer, Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, in Prague in April, 2001. The CIA, on the other hand, has maintained Atta was in the US at the time. But in fact, Atta's whereabouts cannot be established between April 5 and 11, and on the 4th, he and another of the 9/11 hijackers cashed an $8,000 check in Virginia Beach, VA.

Atta and al-Ani also apparently met in May and June of 2000 after which Atta flew from Prague to Newark. It all sounds like Atta was an Iraqi intelligence "asset," and al-Ani was his handler. Newsweek is now claiming that the whole story was a fiction made up by Ahmed Chalabi (wasn't everything?) but people who've followed the trail closely aren't buying it.

Newsweek may not believe in an Iraq/al-Qaeda connection now, but they used to. In their January 11, 1999 issue, they wrote: "Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas-- assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer." Well, as I said once before in this article, that was then, this is now. Then, the Clinton Administration wanted a connection, and even that paragon of honesty, Richard Clarke, told the Washington Post there were links, a statement the Post would duly print in January of 1999. Now, with a Republican administration, Clarke will not admit, and the media establishment will not publish, anything suggesting a connection.

Damning. Utterly damning. We may not have smoking-gun proof of The Connection yet, but we do have smoking-gun proof of media bias. Saddam and OBL were connected when Clinton said they were; they could never have any connection when Bush said they did.

Did someone say "cowbell"? Larry Kudlow repeats what can't be repeated often enough by my lights:

The much-maligned factory sector is booming. Not rising. Not improving. Booming.

According to just-released data from the Institute of Supply Management, which tracks the manufacturing sector, new orders, production, order backlogs, export orders, and employment were very strong in May. The industrial sector is so strong that the speed of supplier deliveries has hit its highest level since April 1979. This means that firms cannot produce fast enough to meet rising demand, which is why commodity prices continue to climb. As a result, capacity use keeps growing and inventories are still too low in relation to skyrocketing sales.

Meanwhile, new factory hiring has jumped to a 31-year high, the best since 1973. Of more than 400 industrial firms surveyed, 36 percent added workers in May while just 7 percent had fewer workers. This is another nail in the coffin of the jobless recovery. As the inventory-rebuilding process ratchets up over the next year, expect even more job creation to follow.

Election-year battleground states in the Midwest industrial heartland are reporting significantly lower unemployment rates compared to one year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April, Michigan registered a 6 percent jobless rate compared to 7.2 percent in April 2003. Ohio’s jobless rate fell to 5.8 percent from 6.2 percent. Pennsylvania’s dropped to 4.9 percent from 5.4 percent. West Virginia reported 5.4 percent from 6.6 percent a year earlier. Missouri’s jobless tally dropped to 4.5 percent from 5.5 percent.

Imagine, in your head, the Treasury printing presses churning out hundred-dollar bills, and Macy's cash-registers beeping and blinking like an old Coleco football game.

Because that's the only place you're going to see it.

Correction: I made a dunderheaded goof reporting on the Harris poll. I've edited out my error, because I certainly don't want to report erroneous "facts," but mostly because it was really, really embarassing.

Thanks to Nathan for pointing it out in the comments.

Ouch.


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posted by Ace at 02:44 PM

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