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The [Friday] Papers

If today's front-page account in The New York Times is any indication, Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, is a blockbuster. Among the revelations as reported by the Times:

* "The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there."

* "As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: 'I don't want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don't think we are there yet.'"

* "Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld . . . [was] so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls."

* "Vice President Cheney is described as a man so determined to find proof that his claim about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was accurate that, in the summer of 2003, his aides were calling the chief weapons inspector, David Kay, with specific satellite coordinates as the sites of possible caches. None resulted in any finds."

* "On July 10, 2001, the book says, [then CIA director] George Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, met with Ms. Rice at the White House to impress upon her the seriousness of the intelligence the agency was collecting about an impending attack. But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Ms. Rice had not taken the warnings seriously."

* "In the weeks before the Iraq war began, President Bush's parents did not share his confidence that the invasion of Iraq was the right step, the book recounts. Mr. Woodward writes about a private exchange in January 2003 between Mr. Bush's mother, Barbara Bush, the former first lady, and David L. Boren, a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a Bush family friend.

" The book says Mrs. Bush asked Mr. Boren whether it was right to be worried about a possible invasion of Iraq, and then to have confided that the president's father, former President George H. W. Bush, 'is certainly worried and is losing sleep over it; he's up at night worried.'"

* "The book describes an exchange in early 2003 between Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the retired officer Mr. Bush appointed to administer postwar Iraq, and President Bush and others in the White House situation room. It describes senior war planners as having been thoroughly uninterested in the details of the postwar mission.

"After General Garner finished his PowerPoint presentation - which included his plan to use up to 300,000 troops of the Iraqi Army to help secure postwar Iraq, the book says - there were no questions from anyone in the situation room, and the president gave him a rousing sendoff."

Texas Straight-Talker
"Woodward: Bush Concealing Level Of Iraq Violence."

Fairy Tale
The Tribune editorial page thinks our "Goldilocks economy" is just swell. And it is - for people like them.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: The economy. David, you`re up in Harvard. Is this economy doing great or not?

DAVID GERGEN: Depends on whether you're in the investor class or not, and you know, what you own.

This is a great economy in terms of growth . . . If you look at the numbers on the growth side, it looks great. But in terms of my actual life, most people find that their incomes are stagnant and they cannot afford the higher cost of health care and many other - and gasoline and many other things that are coming their way, and that`s why they're very unhappy . . . a lot of people are hurting. You know, it's a great economy for some people at the top half of the scale. All of us here on this program doing pretty darn well. I think we're all happy.

The Smartest Columnist on Earth
Neil Steinberg argues today that blacks are better off because of slavery and Jews are better off because of the Holocaust.

King Richard I
We already have a Cook County board president, and his name is Richard M. Daley.

King Richard II
"[A]lmost as soon as the LaSalle Central TIF receives its stamp of approval from the City Council it will jack up property taxes and start diverting what will eventually be hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for the schools, parks, and county into a slush fund controlled by the mayor," Ben Joravsky writes in the Reader this week, in his latest installment on Daley's secretive tax districts. Had enough?

On Message
Mike Noonan, Todd Stroger's campaign manager, said on Chicago Tonight earlier this week that his candidate "has an important message."

I think it might be that he's had enough too and he's voting Peraica.

Spot the Tool
"'The voters are starting to realize the truth about phony Tony. Tony Peraica would say anything and do anything in order to implement his radical rightwing agenda on the good people of Cook County,' said Mike Noonan, Stroger's campaign manager.

"Stroger's campaign manager did not, however, answer repeated questions about Stroger's relationship with Gerald Nichols, except to say that Nichols is not part of the campaign."

Putnam County Press
I usually don't point out ticky-tack stuff like spelling errors in the papers because, God knows, I make enough of them myself, though I don't have a team of people paid specifically to keep such mistakes out of print. Nonetheless, I thought it worth mentioning, amusedly, that a colleague points out the Sun-Times spelled both Mahatma and Gandhi wrong in a story this week.

Pick to Click
I'm not sure I can think of a better thing to do over the weekend than this. Whack-a-Mole and a Heavy Metal Note Holding Challenge.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Make a little history.


Posted on September 29, 2006

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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