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Bush and Bullets

There's no better way to energize our Readers Who Comment than to write that a few things (not the polls) are going President Bush's way. Peter Baker has really energized the RWC this morning. For the most part they find his premise disgusting, dismiss Baker as an uninformed tool of GOP talking points, and the newspaper (for which Baker has a long history of careful reporting) as a liberal rag. Such is the state of civil discourse these days.

Another big story, a joint project by the Post and CBS News's 60 Minutes, reports that the FBI has abandoned as unreliable a bullet test used as evidence in many criminal trials. The specifics of one case -- and whether the conviction now under review was valid -- are discussed in today's chapter. With a few exceptions our RWC find this situation appalling.

First, the Bush story.

We'll start with an exchange between theOtter and puciret, which pretty much captures the context of the entire discussion. theOtter said, "...GWB isn't perfect, nor even close. His verbal gaffes are the stuff of legend and his policies (and politics) aren't always the great boon... Still... I see a basically good man, honestly trying to do what's best for the nation he loves..."

To which puciret replied, "...And the 3 bears lived happily ever after."

gasmonkey was one of those who thinks we're missing the story, saying, "...It's simple fatigue. The media simply no longer amplifies the embarrassing gaffes that occur nearly daily. How about the woman in Immogration who awarded a prize to the white agent in blackface? The faked news conference? The hundreds of Bush political appointees who are now burrowing in to career civil servant jobs so they can remain on the gravy train? That never gets covered."

And ccatmoon said, "Of all the delusional pieces I've read in the WaPo, this one is right up there. The press has set the bar so low for BushCo that when any routine event occurs (i.e., the gummint doing its job) that would barely be a blip on the record of any other administration, it's called a "success" by the WaPo...So put away your cheerleading pompoms, stopped fooling people a long time ago."

And just to prove that you can't make anyone happy, bobmoses said, "...As usual, the Post wraps any good news for Bush along with a bunch of bad news. This is similar to the today's story about declining violence in Iraq [mentioned high in Baker's analysis], with a few examples to the contrary... Just a further example of the Post's overt liberal partisanship. If the media wasn't marchhing in lockstep against Bush, his approval ratings would be in the 60s."

But chiefnugt wrote, "Because the violence in Iraq is lessening does not in any way excuse George Bush for starting an unnecessary war based on lies. He's still responsible for thousands of casualties and $1.5 trillion of our tax money wasted - that's simply unforgiveable, regardless of the war's outcome."

And danigo, quoting the article, said, " 'The war in Iraq seems to have taken a turn for the better' means what? Are the Turks not preparing to invade? Are veterans not committing suicide in large numbers? Is the quiet in the streets of Bagdhad the only criteria? Maybe the Iraqis are exhausted and are being quiet in Bagdhad to allow the US to leave. If the US does not leave, this will be a lull before another disaster."

nads1 said, "Sounds like Karl Rove wrote this one. Excuse me while I puke."

And Lamentations asked, "What about Musharraf in Pakistan? That's really going well, isn't it?"

But Baker has his supporters. vatownsend said, "Yo Pete, you can't write something like this in the Washington Post and expect the liberal readers to be nice to you. I know what you are doing and saying but it ain't gonna work here bubba. LOL!!"

Now we'll turn to the Post-CBS report on the abandoned bullet-testing process and the questions about justice that it raises.

bghgh said, "Thank you Washington Post and 60 Minutes for this expose. The FBI lab has long been known for poor work, but covering up a faulty test that put people in jail is not poor science or technology, it is a moral failure... Here is something worthwhile for all those US Attorneys to do instead of cooking up cases against Democrats in their states."

lotsacats wrote, "The window for appealing a conviction based on new scientific evidence should never close. The very idea of a time limit flies in the face of the concept of protecting the innocent..."

rmbus54 noted that "This is yet one more argument against the death penalty. Why is it that so many of those who say government cannot do anyting right have so much faith in government when it comes to capital punishment?"

phila_reader added, "It's extremely disappointing, but not surprising, to read of an erroneous prosecution practice that is more likely to affect low income defendants than high income defendants. Unfortunately the low income defendants can't afford the high-priced lawyers that may have prevented them from serving decades in prison unjustly."

Today's article brought many similar comments, but also an opposing view from aldous, who wrote, "Liberal Trial Lawyers at work. Freeing murderers. Think about the victims, for once."

But edwcorey responded, saying, "...So it's OK, in your fascist ghoul world, to convict anyone on concocted evidence? Give me a liberal any day, if justice is the goal. Your lynch-mob mentality is anachronistic, unevolved, and sickening."

robert17 wrote:
The FBI should be stripped of its many extra roles and return to only operating in their area of expertise, whatever that is. These clowns should not be in charge of counter-espionage or counter-terrorism, or anything that might force them to use a computer.
11/19/2007 1:38:15 AM

We'll give the last word today to lou1, who said, "They have to give this guy a new trial. If the evidence is sufficient, they will get a guilty verdict. But they cannot leave a man in jail with testimony from an "expert witness" who clearly perjured himself."

All comments on the Bush article are here.

All comments on Part One of the bullet testing series are here.

All comments on Part Two are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 19, 2007; 10:05 AM ET
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Posted by: fprcqgbx nlvshfj | December 6, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Talk about liberal rags or conservative rags for that matter: . . Has anyone ever written an column about OVERPOPULATION? . . . . No.

Overpopulation is an important part of resource depletion, water depletion, oil prices, immigration, urban sprawl, global-warming, etc, yet no one will write or speak about it. . . . . Gee, they won't even utter the syllable. . . . One question you will never see in a debate is: . . Do you believe overpopulation is a problem?

Overpopulation, the unspeakable issue.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 27, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Baker's article was indeed a shameless piece of propaganda. The bar has now been set so low with regard to Bush and the Republicans that the fact that they stop once in while doing something stupid or downright criminal is cause for rejoicing. Pathetic!

Posted by: Gatsby1 | November 25, 2007 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Funny how the abbreviation for "Readers Who Comment" is the same as "Right Wing Conspiracy."

Posted by: noah | November 22, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse


First we set the stage; The American Dollar, since 2000, the year G.W.Bush became president, has lost over 60 cents in value during his tenure. A barrel of oil has gone from $37 a barrel to over $98 a barrel during his tenure. When you put oil men in the White House what do you expect to happen? We have allowed the stewardship of our country to fall into the hands of lessor men. Due to our in-attention We Are Doomed.

Every other day there is a new revelation of substantial subprime loss. First it was New Century in March, then American Mortgage and Countrywide in September, then it got worse as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Credit Suisse First Boston and Citibank came out of the woodwork. Last Friday it was Wachovia (US's 4th largest), and on Tuesday it was Etrade. Not one major bank dealing with mortgages was immune. If there is such a thing as systemic risk, we are sure looking at it, and we should expect a lot more skeletons to come out of the closet in the months to come. According to Washington Mutual's CFO, Thomas Casey, "I have never seen housing credit conditions change so significantly over such a short period of time." In other words, at this point, all bets are off." Washington Mutual announced a 75 percent drop in its third-quarter income. This would mean that its net income would be around $187 million as compared to $748 million one year earlier

General Motors Corp. said on May 3rd, 2007, its first-quarter profit plunged 90%, as an improvement in its key North American car business wasn't enough to make up for the brutal impact the subprime loan fiasco had on the automaker's financing operations. NOTE: Residential Capital's bonds continued to fall on Friday ,November 19th, 2007, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the mortgage lending unit of GMAC could be in danger of violating the covenants of its loan agreements in the fourth quarter.

GMAC, is 51% owned by Cerberus Capital Management. DaimlerChrysler sold a controlling interest in its struggling Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management of New York, Hmmm, Cerberus was recently involved in a controversy surrounding its contributions to Republican Congressman Jerry Lewis. MCI, a company owned by Cerberus, had a $1 billion contract to create the Navy/Marine computer network. However, the Defense Appropriations subcommittee released a report critical of MCI. Mr. Lewis, the head of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, received over $110,000 in contributions from Cerberus and acknowledged that the fundraising efforts of Cerberus "played a very significant role" in winning the post. Before her dismissal, US Attorney Carol Lam began an investigation of Lewis's contributors in 2006.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle ( you know, the man who couldn't spell "potato" ) has been a prominent Cerberus spokesperson for years and runs one of its international units. CERBERUS STOCKHOLDERS, I THINK THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW !!! GOOD LUCK, YOU'LL NEED IT

Posted by: Marcus Taylor | November 22, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kevin Larmee | November 21, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: vqobn dsifyz | November 21, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...I've always considered WaPo to be conservative. . . maybe not as wallowed into it as the WSJ, but certainly a more conservative bent than say even the NYT. Sort of like thinking of UC/Berkeley as more free-thinking than say Harvard. They both turn out similar products, just tweaked differently. . . oh well, different tweaks for different tweakers. . .

Posted by: Cymric | November 20, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

only at the Post could Baker's article provoke such liberal nonsense and angry missives about Bush...while narry a peep is voiced - ever - about a real dictator like Chavez!

bahahahahaha.....speak about self-deluded frauds who have no more principle than their targets!

here's a clue: for more and more of are not our fellow citizens.

Posted by: lmao | November 20, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Iraq is lost, who cares that people there are safer now since the "Surge". Our military have murdered thousands of innocents there and Bush is a criminal! We should disband the military and throw them all in jail. This paper isn't liberal enough! Damn them for reporting ACTUAL reality. Where is Deepthroat when we need him most?

Viva Che and Hillary!

Posted by: Anotherliberalwhiner | November 20, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The frustrating thing for me is how far the Post has fallen from its' glory days in the 70's. My dad was the night managing editor during watergate. You had men (mostly) of integrity and courage runnin the paper back then. You brought down the President. You published the Pentagon Papers. You helped end the war. Now we get Freddie Hiatt and his goon squad cheerleading us into war. We get he said she said reporting, nstead of honest analysis. We get the mealy mouthed Dave Broder and even the so called Librul, Richard Cohen was all for this crappy war.
Then we're treated to the reich wing say "look, even the librul Washington post agrees (insert reich wing position here).
I liked the comment yesterday: Missing: Washington Post librul bias.Please return.

Posted by: mikelemm | November 20, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I am a political analyst but even the most naive reader could detect dismissal of criticism in Deaver's summary:

"Bush and Bullets
There's no better way to energize our Readers Who Comment than to write that a few things (not the polls) are going President Bush's way. Peter Baker has really energized the RWC this morning. For the most part they find his premise disgusting, dismiss Baker as an uninformed tool of GOP talking points, and the newspaper (for which Baker has a long history of careful reporting) as a liberal rag. Such is the state of civil discourse these days."

Deaver was obviously trying to defend Baker. His defense, however, was an attitude of contempt toward the readers who objected to Baker's article. Cleverly mixing pros and cons to the article--those who objected to the Baker reportage were not the same ones who called the Washington Post a liberal rag--Deaver dismissed them: "Such is the state of civil discourse these days."

I am one of the posters who took issue with Peter Baker's article. In his first two paragraphs, Baker set the tone of the article,"For Bush, Advances But Not Approval" by presenting President Bush's political fortunes as improving.

But in so doing, Baker glossed over the critical situation in Pakistan where dictator Musharraf has been repeatedly thumbing his nose at Bush. Baker referred to a budget deficit which is supposedly falling, but said nothing about the dollar tanking, the ascending price of petroleum, and the economy in a shambles because of the sub-prime disaster. Last, Baker minimized the public's irate reactions to Mukasey's response to the issue of torture, i.e. water-boarding, by passing them off as "objections from the left."

Only after repeating the White House spinners, including the less-than- venerable Rove, did Baker include opinions which dismantled the White House spin.

If Baker had reversed the order, readers would have laughed at the White House's feeble efforts to spin Bush's image.

Baker may be a very experienced reporter, but we all make mistakes, and Baker made one with this article. The majority of WaPo's readers saw this clearly. And Doug Deaver compounded the error with his dismissive contempt.

Posted by: Fedup1 | November 20, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Sigh... Just to let you know that what I wrote above was sarcasm. Though I admit I read enough stuff on Redstate to fake being a wingnut.

Posted by: Aldous | November 20, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Negroponte to the Rescue
US deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte rushed to Islamabad in an apparent attempt to save Pakistan. But it turned out to be an attempt to save Musharraf instead. In the process, the most outrageous thing Bush Administration has done is to tell Musharraf that it is OK to fire Senior Supreme Court judges.

This US Administration talks about bringing Democracy to Iraq and yet it has acquiesced with dismantling of a fundamental organ of democracy - judiciary. The protests on the streets of Pakistan by lawyers, students, human right activists and others are not about bringing one political party or another into power, they are about the blatant disregard of the constitution and mistreatment of senior judges by a military leader.

US Government's tacit approval of this is likely to cause a strong anti-American feeling amongst Pakistani public and that does not bode well for fighting extremism.

Posted by: blameislam | November 19, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

As a 'reader who comments' I have to say that from out here in the real world Peter Baker of the Washington Village Elite doesn't seem to even read the paper he works for. Very Broderesque of him I thought.

A few things going his way? Not the dollar, the stock market, real estate prices, gas prices, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the deficit, bankruptcy rates, rates of military suicides, investigations too numerous to mention, poverty rates, foreclosures, the rising costs of things real people actually buy: I could go on and on but hey, we all know these are matters too trivial to get in the way of reporting a 'good' story fed to you and you alone by some Hot Administration Insider. He'll be starting his 'big comeback' any day now.

Like I said before, "Don't drink the cool-aid."

Posted by: Unrepentant Liberal | November 19, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

excellent point, BOSCOBOBB, plus the millions driven from their homes into neighboring countrie are absolutely victims of violence, yet their absence can only be part of the drop. Even deaths in Iraq can only be estimated. The population is being treated as infinite. This phony number 55 and last week 77 aren't just bones thrown to the base. They're thrown are Congress to keep our troops dying. As WaPo proves, they're used to justify Bush's judgment so we'll trust him. How like the run-up to the war is this run-on! BTW, according to a Bushie report on No Child's Behind Left (maybe you saw this in yesterday's WaPo), the District has no violent schools notwithstanding police reports very much to the contrary.

Posted by: jhbyer | November 19, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Baker is merely following the WaPo's rule always to present both sides of an issue; no matter whether two sides exist.

Your man aWol will go down in history; the sooner the better.

Posted by: Bartolo | November 19, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that the people criticizing the Baker piece are calling the Washington Post a "liberal rag." It is more likely that the august group of on-line reviewers call the Post something either Soviet, like the Times' appellation of "Pravda on the Hudson," or something from pre-1945 Germany. I can never tell if the Post is Trud, Krasnaia Zvezda, or Krokodil.

Posted by: H. Sap. Modernensis | November 19, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Oooo, much nicer photo of Mr. Feaver.

Posted by: jhbyer | November 19, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Feaver, the problem with Peter Baker's "analysis" is that its patently uninformed, or perhaps as a result of his discussions with Mssrs. Black, Gillespie and Rove disinformed.

Why is violence down in Iraq? I was curious. We don't have enough soldiers or tactics to make a hill of beans difference, so the result must be a change among the Iraqis. WIthin 2 minutes - yes, less than 120 seconds - a key answer was found.

Here's the REAL STORY why killings are down- we're NEGOTIATING WITH TERRORISTS!

"Top U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus has met with representatives of Muqtada al-Sadr, once one of the top enemies fueling the insurgency against the elected Iraqi government, FOX News has confirmed.

"The general has not met personally with al-Sadr, the military said, but the meetings come as the Pentagon is softening its approach to the firebrand Shiite leader who recently eased his hard-line stance with a ceasefire call last August.

"Al-Sadr's aides have been quietly working with U.S. military officials to discuss security operations."

If FAUX NEWS reports it, it's gotta be the official military story.

But how does this square with...

"No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death."
- G.W. Bush, 4/4/2002

So let's give Petraeus credit for negotiating with the Sunni terrorists, the Shia terrorists, the Iranians, the Saudis and other emirates who fund the Sunnis, etc.

If Bush wants to take credit for reducing violence is he wiling to take credit for negotiating with terrorists to do so? If he were a pragmatic CEO he would. But I wouldn't hire this guy to run my HR & company morale department, much less my strategic planning group.

That's why those of us outside the beltway get disgusted. Baker has been spun yet again.

Posted by: boscobobb | November 19, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I consider Peter Baker to be our very own Baghdad Bob.

Posted by: khoreia | November 19, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

That pro-bush article has to be some kind of sick joke. So is the layout of this page. It's all broken in Firefox on Ubuntu.

Posted by: wmd404 | November 19, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Peter Baker is delusional.When he describes success in Iraq he is not considering that the Petraeus counterinsurgency program pits tribe against tribe which doesn't add to Iraqi unification. Where Baker sees a decrease in violence in Anbar, I see ethnic cleansing. Further, look at the mess in Pakistan which is of serious concern. If Bhutto agrees to join governmentally with Musharef the country wouldn't be on the road to democracy or anything like it.Is he forgetting that Nawaz Sharif, another opposion leader and also former PM, Musharef would not let into the country.Where is Baker coming from? He doesn't understand the Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iraq situation and should refrain from addressing subjects about which he has so little knowledge.

Posted by: Jayne K. | November 19, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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