Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spinning Both Ways At Once: Two Timely Examples

It's sad yet funny the way spin comes flying back at you like a boomerang. It leaves you wondering if there was any point to it in the first place. Consider the following:

1. Hillary Clinton has fiercely denounced the Dubai Port World's purchase of administrative contracts for major US ports. Her web page proclaims, "This sale will create an unacceptable risk to the security of our ports" while adding that,"This issue transcends philosophical posturing and partisan bickering – it is about our nation’s security."

Where's the twist? The twist is that Hillary's husband and former Commander-In-Chief of the United States, Bill Clinton, has been in Dubai consulting with the government and Port World and advising them on what they need to do to get the contract approved by the US Congress.

So, are we to assume that Hillary is right and her husband is busy helping to "create an unacceptable risk to the security of our ports?" Or are we to assume that Bill Clinton is convinced that there is no security risk while Hillary is simply bloviating, posturing and bickering about our nation's security?

Hmmm. Could the fact that Bill picked up $300,000 from making a speech at a Dubai conference back in 2002 have anything to do with his enthusistic support for Dubai Port World? (2002 was, by the way, the year the United States invaded Afghanistan in order to overthrow the Taliban regime that had been sheltering, protecting and supporting Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, a regime that was vocally and enthusiastically supported by the government of Dubai, a minor matter that did not deter Bill from claiming his paycheck from Dubai at the time).

Those Clintons! They have never let a few dollars ever get in the way of sucking up to our nation's enemies (remember China?) and, if they can play it both ways at the same time, all the better! What a crock!

2. Meanwhile, Texas Democrats are arguing before the US Supreme Court that the 2003 Republican majority Texas legislature had no business gerrymandering the state voting districts because the 1991 Democratic-controlled Texas legislature had done a perfectly fair and impartial job of redistricting and gerrymandering the state themselves just 12 years earlier.

Democratic lawyers argued that the recent redistricting was racially motivated and has denied minorities their right to influence the outcome of elections.

The New York Times even published this graphic showing how the Republicans had effectively reduced Texas' minority representation in Congress by one.Image hosting by Photobucket Click on picture to enlarge it.

What both the graphic and the New York Times article fail to tell you can be found in the AP version of the story: ie. that, at the moment,
(s)ix Hispanics and three blacks represent Texas in the House of Representatives — an increase of one more black congressman from before the 2003 map was put in place.
The AP story also takes time to mention that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep before the two-hours of legal arguements were completed. Although the NY Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times stories of today's SCOTUS hearing did not mention Justice Ginsburg's nap, Captain Ed wonders if they would have been so polite, tactful and silent had the napping Justice been Scalia, Alito or Thomas? Any fair-minded person can make an educated guess on that question!

Spinning both ways at the same time in defiance of priciples of physics . . . and of reason!