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The 6 month extension would have expired going into the 4th of July holiday, where the Senate Democrats and their 4 or 5 rinos could have used similar tactics for another short term extension. This would make the Patriot Act an 2006 election talking point.

Well, the renewal of the Patriot Act by only 5 weeks can hardly be characterized as a Bush victory, can it?

For instance, "The Economist", hardly a left-wing publication, writes:

"Despite the Democrats' incoherence, Mr Bush appears to have lost two battles on the home front this month. First, barring a sudden breakthrough in the Senate, he has failed to get the Patriot Act, key provisions of which expire at the end of the year, renewed. Second, he has been forced to drop his threat to veto an anti-torture amendment sponsored by John McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona."

Note from David: The quote from "The Economist" doesn't address my point: that the 1-month extension of the House was not a Bush defeat. Check my posting for details.

@hingerl

"For instance, "The Economist", hardly a left-wing publication, writes:"

Depends what you define as left-wing. I read the "Financial Times", harldy a left-wing publication [for european standards], several times a week since 2001, but I noticed since 9-11 how shrill and anti-American the commentaries and staff articles have been. The majority of the guest commenataries from America are usually from Berkley, Standford, Columbia or other leftist ivory tower bastions on the east coast.

Congress is aping politics. Nothing new. When push-comes-to-shove, expect more "shock and dismay" when the Patriot Act gets renewed with fist-pumping charades and class B acting from congressional democrats.

@David

I see your point, there's still a chance that the Patriot Act will get renewed indefinitely.

However, I cannot see how the 5-week extension is not a defeat—or at least a "setback"—for the White House, since this is not what they were asking for. They wanted an indefinite extension.

Here's what's bothering me about German press coverage of the Patriot Act: Germans always act like they're shocked at the level of government intrusion into private citizens' lives allowed by the Patriot Act. What most Germans fail to see is that what the German government is allowed to do (and is probably doing) in this respect far outweighs the provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act. Also, there's practically no public discussion about protecting individual liberties in Germany. Government spying is almost completely tolerated—after all, if the German government is doing it it must be a good thing.

This is a Rove trap.

Think back to the Department of HomeLand Secuirty.

That worked well for the demos too.

With luck the demos will block this along with having a huge outcry over NSA.

This is going to play very well for the Republicans in November.

@hingerl: However, I cannot see how the 5-week extension is not a defeat—or at least a "setback"—for the White House, since this is not what they were asking for. They wanted an indefinite extension.

Of course it would have been better to get the full, indefinite extension. But that was not going to happen, no way, no how. A 6-month extension James W deconstructed perfectly above... it would have come down at precisely the right time to become a big, hairy issue for the 2006 Legislative elections. Given the choice between that and a 1-month extension (the indefinite extension being an unreasonable expectation from today's Democrats), the 1-month fills the bill best. They'll have to take the issue up immediately upon returning to DC from their holiday break, and will be completed with it before the 2006 elections get into the swing of things.

You can add this headline from the (surprise) Frankfurter Rundschau (left-of-center rag) from the other day...I think it read, "Der Senat straft Bush ab". Oy vey....

Buckeye Abroad,

Here's a sincere question: if the Financial Times and The Economist are now defined as left-wing (or, I presume, at least "shrill and anti-American"), what news outlets qualify as reasonable and objective ?

I guess it also depends on how one defines "shrill and anti-American". Seems to me that there's as much probability that the spectrum on which one rates the FT and Economist has shifted to the right since 2001 as there is that the FT and Economist have shifted their respective editorial positions to the left.

Cheers,

The German media's reporting on the matter can safely be described as misleading, with a massive anti-Bush bias

No more misleading that what the American MSM is reporting. I don't think this one can be blamed on the "German Media" alone.

what news outlets qualify as reasonable and objective ?

Duh, FoxNews of course.

Well, Alan... we can always count on you for comic relief. Aren't you going to lecture us about Kyoto and global warming again today? ;-)

But seriously... You suggest Fox only tongue-in-cheek because it's probably something you wouldn't be caught dead watching. I'm not qualified to say... we don't get Fox here so I can only judge from the web presence and that may not be completely telling, and I personally can't get excited about it. To be honest, I'm STILL LOOKING for something reasonable and objective in the MSM -- in any language -- I can't say I've found it. If you have, I hope you share it with us. Oh, I forgot: You probably think NYT, CBS, SPON, SDZ, BBC etc. are all perfectly all right.

It's hardly surprising, but ludicrous nevertheless, that the German media wrings its hands about the Patriot Act as another betrayal of "liberal values," while pretending to take no notice of the massive and intrusive day-to-day domestic spying to which the German government has subjected its citizens for decades in the form of the Einwohnermeldeamts. According to Article IV of the US Bill of Rights, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." To see how that works in Germany, try buying a TV set and watching it without reporting the fact to Big Brother.

You've got that right Helian! They're trying to tell me that even the little radio I listen to at work has to be reported to the GEZ....fortunately, nobody has enforced it (yet).

As far as Fox News being "fair and balanced", I think they are "fair and balanced" compared to the rest of the mainstream. There was a recent (in the last year or so) poll that indicated that more American people believe Fox News is the most "fair and balanced" television (cable?) news source in America.

I think a lot of people get caught up by the way Fox News is open and candid about their ideological leaning. Therefore, many never even bother to watch because they hear that Fox News is a "right-wing" organization..."we can't take them seriously".

@James W -
As far as Fox News being "fair and balanced", I think they are "fair and balanced" compared to the rest of the mainstream. There was a recent (in the last year or so) poll that indicated that more American people believe Fox News is the most "fair and balanced" television (cable?) news source in America.

Roughly two years ago I ran across a comparison of the way different news organizations were rated for bias by two groups, FAIR (liberal) and AIM (conservative). It was interesting that, if you were to graph their metrics and overlay them, you'd see very similar lines running almost paralell to each other. The liberal group rated everyone to the right of the conservative group's rating (or did the conservatives rate to the left of the liberals?), but if you made an adjustment to both to bring their ratings centerwards, they were pretty close in their assessments. Both rated FNC as conservatively biased, and scored it closer to being moderate than left-leaning major outlets like CBS, etc. Looking at their web sites today, they both seem a shade more partisan than they did back then, so I don't know how they'd compare today...


@Scout -
The web presence really isn't going to tell you much about the channel. They have a mix of conservative and liberal air personalities that you aren't going to see there, and not presented as it is on TV. As James says, they make little effort to hide ideological leanings - after you watch a few broadcasts, you'll have a pretty good idea that Sheppard Smith & Juan Williams are libs, E.D. Hill & Brit Hume are cons, and Mara Liasson & Morte Krondrake are probably about as close to moderate as real people get (but it should be be clear that there are more cons than libs overall).

The way they come off as moderate is in that presentation of bias. Outside of straight news segments, the host's bias is usually contrasted against guests of the other flavor. When it isn't, such as in straight news segments, the host themself will often present the other side's case (the notable exceptions are probably John Gibson and Dave Asman, who both annoy the hell out of me) - and doing this credibly, not in the "Of course, there are some nutjobs who think that..." manner. Imagine a German outlet running a story about "Bush's war", but adding prominently that the Iraq invasion had wide support in Congress, including pre-war statements from congressmen who now posture as anti-war, mentioning more than one of the reasons provided for the war, presenting it properly, and perhaps even pointing out that America hasn't spirited away Iraq's oil resources. If you can imagine a presenter doing that, you've got some idea what the channel's about.

Thanks Doug... I've been outside the CONUS for so long now, that I missed the whole Fox phenomena. As I said, I'm still searching. Volkskrant (NL) isn't bad... but I still haven't found ANY German-language MSM that even comes close to being fair toward the US. Even the so-called conservative elements need the occasional scapegoat, and we're it. Even our local paper (Rheinpfalz) which certainly can't be called SPD-friendly has in recent years really picked up on the anti-American rhetoric.

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