Monday, October 10, 2005

Kudos, Kudos, and Kudos

I have praise for two unlikely recipients today:

First, I predicted that Bill Maher would mention Bill Bennett's comments about abortion, without criticizing the fact that the White House spokesman criticized Bennett. You see, Maher was outraged that former press secretary Ari Fleisher spoke ill of Maher's own comments after 9/11. It is true that Maher did not mention the White House condemnation, but he did defend Bill Bennett. Kudos for Bill Maher.

The other unlikely recipient of my praise is the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Let's start with the Associated Press story from Friday morning.

Last update: October 7, 2005 at 10:23 AM
Senate OKs $50 billion more for wars
Associated Press
Published October 7, 2005

WASHINGTON--The Senate voted Friday to give President Bush $50 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. military efforts against terrorism, money that would push total spending for the operations beyond $350 billion.

* * *

Me: How's that for editorializing? Some may argue that Iraq is not part of the war on terrorism, but Afghanistan? More here:

* * *
Passage comes at a time when public support for Bush and the Iraq fighting has slipped, U.S. casualties have climbed and Congress has grown increasingly frustrated with the direction of the conflict.

The Senate bill provides $5 billion more for the wars than the House version. The final bill is expected to include the full $50 billion extra after House-Senate negotiators work out their differences over the coming weeks.

* * *

Senators rushed to finish the bill before leaving Friday for a 10-day recess because military officers have informally told them they will need the money by mid-November to continue war operations. The Bush administration has not formally requested more war money, but costs are certain with no end to the Iraq conflict in sight.

* * *

Me: Plenty to chew on here. Inconsistency in whether "war" is singular or plural. General inconsistency in switching between Iraq alone, and the entire war on terrorism. "No end...in sight." Is it a "conflict" or a war? Glee at the unpopularity of the war. No mention of successes in Afghanistan.

Where does the praise for the Strib come in, you ask? Well, to its credit, the Strib corrected many of the problems in the Associated Press story:

Last update: October 7, 2005 at 11:03 PM
Bush gets additional $50 billion for war in Iraq from Senate
Published October 8, 2005

The Senate voted Friday to give President Bush $50 billion more for the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and the overall war on terrorism, money that would push total spending for the operations beyond $350 billion.

In a 97-0 vote, the GOP-led Senate signed off on the money as part of a $445 billion military spending bill for the budget year that began Oct. 1. The measure would also put restrictions on the treatment of detainees who are suspected terrorists -- a provision that has drawn a White House veto threat and demonstrated a willingness by Republican lawmakers to challenge Bush.

The Senate bill provides $5 billion more for the wars than the House version. The final bill is expected to include the full $50 billion extra after House-Senate negotiators work out their differences in the coming weeks. Overall, both the Senate and House bills provide for a 3.1 percent pay raise for the military and increased benefits. Associated Press

Me: The Strib got this one right.

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