Sunday, November 20, 2005

Run For Cover Week In Review

Bush ran to China and came back with NOTHING. Which is understandable, given that the Chinese hold 52% of our debt. Since China is no longer pegging its yuan to the dollar, it means China is buying more bonds in euros, yen and other currencies and less in US dollars. It hasn’t come to the point where China is selling off US treasuries, but a sell-off would be disastrous for us. So it’s understandable that Bush would kiss-ass in China. But let’s be clear, he made no headway, either on the balance of trade front or regarding China’s human rights offenses. There is no sign that Beijing intends to release anyone on the list of human rights cases that Bush gave to Chinese President Hu Jintao in New York in September. So the Bush trip to China simply got Bush out of the US but it accomplished nothing. And while Condoleezza Rice is condemning everyone and everything that doesn’t conform to her personal concept of God as a Christian Republican, she found time to say that she is not the White House official who leaked Plame’s status to Bob Woodward. And National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley says it’s not him. Most people think it’s Bush, Cheney or Rove. But since Woodward had his little tête-à-tête with the WH official in mid-June of 2003, the leaker could have been Colin Powell or John Ashcroft for that matter. If I were a Plame-outing bookie, I’d be highly favoring Colin Powell as the leaker. I had high hopes for the article that WaPo ombudsman Deborah Howell said she was working on re Bob Woodward. It was published today. She also gave us NOTHING. Howell said, “The Post took a hit to its credibility with readers last week…Woodward is part of the DNA of the Post newsroom…Woodward is listed as assistant managing editor, he has no management duties…The Post’s story Wednesday put the paper in a terrible light…many readers think Woodward ought to be fired or disciplined…He (Woodward) believes that when it all comes out readers will understand a lot more…Woodward said he hadn’t told (Executive Editor Len) Downie about what he knew because he was afraid of being subpoenaed…What now? Woodward ought to have an editor.” So there you have it. Nothing, but nothing. And yet, what’s that about Woodward not telling Downie about his talk with a senior official because he was afraid of being subpoenaed? Woodward talked to the White House official in mid-June of 2003 and Patrick Fitzgerald took over the Plame investigation from Ashcroft on December 20, 2003. That’s six months that Woodward surely had no fear of being subpoenaed by Bush-crony Ashcroft. Well, there’s a whole new ballgame now that Fitzgerald is convening a new grand jury. And Woodward is going to need a lot more than an editor.

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