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The Hearings Begin

Monday, September 12, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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NEW ORLEANS — Workers here were picking up trash yesterday, a small miracle under the circumstances. The airport opened to cargo traffic. A bullhorn-wielding volunteer led relief workers in a chorus of “Amazing Grace.” Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught, the day was marked by signs that hopelessness was beginning to lift in this shattered city. While the final toll from the disaster remains unknown, there were indications New Orleans had begun to turn a corner. “You see the cleaning of the streets. You see the people coming out,” said the volunteer with the bullhorn, Norman Flowers. “The people aren’t as afraid anymore.” Mr. Flowers, deployed by the Southern Baptist Convention, stood in the bed of a pickup truck on Canal Street, leading police, firefighters and relief workers in song, punctuated by the exuberant honk of a firetruck nearby.

So begins the Washington Times this morning, which contrasts with the agenda journalism of The New York Times’ Elisabeth Bumiller:

From the political perspective of the White House, Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than an enormous swath of the Gulf Coast. The storm also appears to have damaged the carefully laid plans of Karl Rove, President Bush’s political adviser, to make inroads among black voters and expand the reach of the Republican Party for decades to come.

The Bumiller piece deserves a very close read, which will reveal that the ax-grinding Bumiller recycles Howard Dean and Kayne West to reach her conclusion, along with an anonymous source quoted as saying “I said, ‘Grab some black people who look like they might be preachers….'”

My favorite line is Bumiller’s desrciption of the Rev. T.D. Jakes: “Bishop Jakes, a multimillionaire and best-selling author, is to deliver the sermon this Friday at the Washington National Cathedral, his office said, where Mr. Bush will mark a national day of prayer for Hurricane Katrina’s victims.”

Just making sure you know what you need to know about Pastor Jakes, you see.

Bumiller’s soft bigotry is on display throughout the article, but it doesn’t matter at all. The time when the Times led public opinion is long past, and the partisan polemics of bitter bystanders don’t even move the left anymore.

Powerline has examined a second piece of agenda journalism this AM –Newsweek’s assessment of the progress in the war on terror. That article is anothe howler. No matter how often they try, though, the MSM is never going to convince the country that Hillary and the gang are to be preferred as leaders in the GWOT.

Campaign 2008 may come down to the Dems warning that hurricanes are more likely than terrorist attacks. But then there’s that Blanco problem.

Former Solicitor General Ted Olson writes in this morning’s OpinionJournal.com:

For nearly 25 years, I have known and practiced law with and against John Roberts. I cannot imagine a more gracious, thoughtful and warm individual–or a more highly qualified person to occupy a seat on the Supreme Court. There is simply no legitimate or rational basis for the carefully orchestrated, heavily bankrolled, hyperbolic and often plain nasty attacks being launched against him.

As though that matters. Ted seems to believe a rebirth of decency is possible on the left. That isn’t going to happen, at least not until the left suffers a few more stunning electoral slams. The collective ability of the left to shake of the realities of 2002 and 2004, and their quick embrace of Cindy Sheehan and whacko Katrina conspiracies tells us again that no only will Judge Roberts and the next nominee have to put up with their nonsense, so will we all at least until 2008 is behind us. Perhaps then the grown-ups in the Democrtaic Party will send the kids to bed and take up the business of an effective as ooposed to moonbat opposition again.

In the meantime we get the opening statements today from the “four Clouseaus and the new Nixon,” a phrase I used to New Yorker writer Nick Lemann about which I have received some angry mail from Nixon defenders who resent the Schumer-Nixon comparison. (They do onot object to my description of Senators Leahy, Biden, Kennedy and Durbin.)

Though I understand the distress of my correspondents, keep your eye on the Schumer five-o’clock shadow, as well as the other obvious similarities in style. This bit from the New York Times is hilarious:

One Democrat, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, was so concerned with his performance that he held a mock hearing in his office on Sunday, with a Harvard law professor playing Judge Roberts.

It is all about Chuck, don’t you know, not Judge Roberts, the Court and the Constitution.

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