Three items in the news today have a single common thread. Can you guess what it is?
Item 1: Michael Barone is probably the single best political commentator in the field today. His article in US News[*1] reports on the state of the U.S. economy. It’s not quite what you’d think it was if your sole source of news is the Today Show:
But if we look at some other numbers, we’ll findthat we are living not in the worst of times but in something muchcloser to the best. What do I mean?
First, economic growth. In 2005, as in 2004, the world economy grew by about 5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF projects similar growth for several years to come. This is faster growth than in all but a few peak years in the1980s and 1990s, and it’s in vivid contrast to the long periods ofstagnation or contraction in history. The great engine of this growth is, of course, the United States, which produces more than one fifth of world economic product and whose gross domestic product has been growing at around 4 percent–4.8 percent in the latest quarter. Other engines are China and India, each with about a sixth of the world’s people, and with economic growth of 10 and 8 percent, respectively. But other areas are growing, too: eastern Europe (5 percent), Russia (6 percent), East Asia (5 percent), Latin America (4 percent), even the Middle East (6 percent) and sub-Saharan Africa (5.5 percent).
Item 2: Lou Dolinar writes in Real Clear Politics[*2] about something I had not heard about until today: did you know that the National Guard headquarters for the Katrina disaster response was at the Louisiana Superdome? Neither did I . . .
“The Coast Guard, the National Guard, the military in general performed heroically,” said Sen. Robert Barham, R-Oak Ridge, who monitored the Superdome operation from Baton Rouge as head of the Louisiana State Senate’s Homeland Security Committee. His opposite number in the Louisiana House, Rep. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, said,”They (the Guard) did a yeoman’s job.” Both said they were getting very different pictures from TV than they got from the Guardsmen at the Dome, and the state fish and wildlife department, another key player in the rescue operation.
“TV of the Superdome was perplexing to most folks,” Thompson said.”You had them playing the tapes of the same incidents over and over, it tends to bias your thinking some, you tend to think it’s worse than it really is.” Official estimates at this point suggest the Guard, working from the Dome, saved 17,000 by air and uncounted thousands more by boat.
Let’s try that again: The cavalry wasn’t late. It didn’t arrive on Thursday smoking a cigar and cussing. It was there all along.
Item 3: Last, and least surprising, Peter Wehner, an assistant to the President, tries once again in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal[*3] to speak truth to media power:
Iraqis can participate in three historic elections, pass the most liberal constitution in the Arab world, and form a unity government despite terrorist attacks and provocations. Yet for some critics of the president, these are minor matters. Like swallows to Capistrano, they keep returning to the same allegations–the president misled the country in order to justify the Iraq war; his administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments; Saddam Hussein turned out to be no threat since he didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction; and helping democracy take root in the Middle East was a postwar rationalization. The problem with these charges is that they are false and can be shown to be so–and yet people continue to believe, and spread, them. Let me examine each in turn:
And so he does, de-bunking yet again each of the myths. The problem for Wehner and the Bush Administration is that nobody cares about the truth.
So, can you guess what the single common thread is? What could possibly explain these three egregious abuses of public trust (and I’m not talking about elected office here–oops, that’s another hint).
Oh, that’s right, it’s these critiques which are not true. We know the only infallible instuitution in modern society, don’t we? They never make mistakes, and they always get it right. That 90% of them vote for the minority party is of no consequence. (Of course, they always get everything right, don’t they?)
Yup, nothing to see here, folks, move along.
Hat tips: Power Line[*4] , Instapundit[*5] , Free Republic[*6] .