Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The October Surprise: Throw Money and Call It Coincidence

by Ken Houghton

Got scandal? Throw money at it.
The timing was perfect: [four-term Rep. Thomas M.] Reynolds [announced that President Bush would authorize millions of dollars in federal disaster aid for his Congressional area] hours after testifying before the House Ethics Committee about his role in the Mark Foley sex scandal—knocking reports on the scandal out of the spotlight.

For those who believe "I gave at the office":
The White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will provide the funds, say [Karl] Rove exerted no influence on the decision to grant relief or on the timing of the announcement.

"The stars were aligned. It was a coincidence," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

But other evidence doesn't point that way:
In Missouri, Sen. Jim Talent is struggling to retain a seat that is considered vital to maintaining the GOP's Senate majority.

Talent, whose mother died of breast cancer, has made support for fighting the disease an element in his campaign. Recently, Rove's deputies arranged for First Lady Laura Bush to appear with Talent to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Once a year, the National Park Service bathes the soaring Gateway Arch that dominates downtown St. Louis in pink light—the signature color of the breast cancer awareness campaign. This year, the pink lighting coincided with Laura Bush's visit. The White House says it encouraged the action.

Twice is parody, third time's a pattern:
Similarly, the Transportation Department, responding to White House prodding, dispatched the federal highway administrator to Columbus, Ohio, last week to announce grants for a transportation hub to facilitate moving freight among air, rail and highway carriers. The event was designed, an administration official said, to boost prospects for Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the No. 4 Republican in the House, who is trailing her opponent.

And when environmentalists from the San Francisco Bay Area sharpened their attacks on Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), chairman of the House Resources Committee, the White House political office arranged for President Bush to stop in his district to sign legislation protecting wetlands—with Pombo standing by his side.

As they say in the blogsphere, read the whole thing. And then compare that with the Democrats who are trying as hard as possible to excoriate their base (via MyDD):
Representative Ellen O. Tauscher of California, a co-chairwoman of the 47-member New Democrat Coalition, said that 27 of the top 40 contested House seats were being pursued by Democrats who have pledged to become members of the group, which says its chief issues are national security and fiscal responsibility.

"I think there's tremendous agreement and awareness that getting the majority and running over the left cliff is what our Republican opponents would dearly love," Ms. Tauscher said, adding that this was something "we've got to fight."

Nice to know that rallying to the cause with get us spat upon. I feel so motivated.

UPDATE: PGL at AngryBear reads the article in the LA Times and notes:
So when President Bush says we should spend taxpayers’ monies on priorities, you get the idea what he really means.

Note to voters: the White House thinks you are ill-informed at best, stupid enough to believe a parlor trick at worst.
The stars were what? aligned? I B gotohell.
Ok, "The stars were aligned." is that said with a straight face? With eye-to-eye contact? The very same 'deep look into your soul' kinda contact?
Did you notice anything out of the ordinary --like hats maybe? Any glowing spheres? How about smoke? Did everybody have their shoes on?
The investigation continues...for me, intrepid reporter calmo who can smell something fishy even with stars and their alignments. He can.
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