• Sunday night's top story on the CBS Evening News: video of Mohammed Atta and Osama bin Laden found six years ago in Afghanistan. No, really. The top story.
• Which relegated coverage of former Rep. Mark "How Much To Rent The Last Boy Scout?" Foley to one of the bridesmaid slots, which meant I almost missed it due to a severe case of Lester Holt, who--and I mean this sincerely--should be doing local weather somewhere. He's just that good.
Regardless, I stuck around and was rewarded with a half-dozen reminders that it is the Democrats who would like to make this a national campaign issue. No, really. A U.S. Representative--and not just any U.S. Representative, but the Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children--sends hot, sweaty pederastic emails to one or more Congressional boy pages, and the House leadership knows and ignores it, and it's a partisan issue?
All I can figure is the gang at CBS expected the Democrats to try to understand why Foley would choose to act that way. Y'know, like they're always doing with terrorists.
• Meanwhile, you have to love Dennis Hastert's explanation: "I didn't know anything about it. I was merely informed." The perfect microcosm of our politics, in other words.
• And this was mere prelude to a 60 Minutes interview with Bob Woodward, whose unparalleled Washington insider access has apparently allowed him to figure out what's gone wrong in Iraq a scant thirty-six months after the rest of us.
• Which puts him two months ahead of the "Rummy Must Go!" curve.
• "It raises questions about the hyper-partisanship of the Clinton era."
--professional weasel Chris Wallace to Charlie Rose, proving that despite the passage of several days he still had no clue what had gone on on his own show, in case there was somebody out there who'd missed the point initially.
• Extra credit to Rep. Peter "The Amityville Congressman" King, the microencephalic who is now the apparent public face of GOP moderation, for, on the same show, managing to work Michael Moore into the discussion.
• And kudos to John Harris of WaPo and former journalist Al Hunt who spent their five-minute segment of the show proving that the idea that Conventional Wisdom is the height to which most pundits aspire is, if anything, overly optimistic. Hunt: "The core Democraic base loves the fact that Hillary jumped in." Harris: "Bush tends not to care what the Washington commentariat has to say."
• So which is worse, exactly--an administration that gets advice from Laura Bush, or an administration that doesn't take it and then it turns out they could have used it?
• I'm really sorry that the past two weeks of self-indulgence and self-abuse have caused me to short Indiana politics at High Noon of its silly season, because: a) Mitch's boy in the Department of Natural Resources ruled that for the next twelve months Hoosiers will be able to pursue their Constitutional freedoms by arming themselves in State Parks. This was followed the very next day by the Chief High Lord CEO himself declaring that the election year sop to the NRA was, and I quote, "a coincidence," suggesting it's high time we brought back the Constitutional right to tar and feathers; b) In another election-year shocker, poster-boy for Hoosier entrepreneurial incompetence Joel Silverman resigned as High Commissioner and Official Golf Shirt Color Selector of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Silverman's resignation became effective roughly four floors after he was tossed out his office window. The following day, announcing that the move was purely coincidental, Mitch again shouldered the blame for the total meltdown of the BMV computer system Silverman had overseen, immediately before he pointed out that the problem was really caused by everyone else. No word yet on what lucky Fortune 500 firm will be snapping up Mr. Silverman's services, but we do know it won't be Galyan's*.
By the way, on his resignation letter, just under the signature, Silverman left reference to a Bible verse which I've now lost, but I'm sure it had something to do with humility. And I had to renew our license plates this month, and when I got to my car our new entrepreneurial-approved computer system coughed up our address from fifteen years ago. Which, I imagine, is where the damn thing went, since it hasn't arrived and the others got here three weeks ago.
• And the race for Indianapolis prosecutor--the last city office held by the once invincible Republican machine--got dirty fairly quickly, but the highlight for me so far came last week as incumbent Carl "Tanning Bed" Brizzi led the charge as his office served search warrants on the Coroner's office. Brizzi is a world-class camera hog even in off-years, but he's still a piker compared to his predecessor Steve "Goldsmythe" Goldsmith, who once mounted a bulldozer to help knock down a "crack house" at precisely 5:00:15 one PM. Anyway, the issue at the Coroner's office is, apparently, the theft of money from a corpse which occurred two years ago, and the release of a body for cremation before the family and prosecutor's office knew about it. Just the sort of thing that calls for a Prosecutor undaunted by the requirement to jump out of a car while the cameras roll and sprint ten yards to the front entrance. I'm tardy, and I've lost the quote, but someone in the Coroner's office told the Star something to the effect that you could tell Brizzi took the case seriously by the amount of makeup he was wearing.
* That would be the major sporting goods retailer which Silverman managed to lose under the couch while he served as its CEO.