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POINTS AND FIGURES: What’s Up With The Democrats In Illinois? “I hate to see the Democratic Party continually demonize Americans that are successful. What? Should we all be failures?”

Yes. They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please. . . .

THE REAL REASON THE LEFT HATES WORK: Liz Peek offers up a variety of actual, real-life, shovel-ready jobs just waiting for the otherwise-exhausted Obama administration to promote, and concludes:

Some on the right think this strategy is part of a grand plan. They see an increase in the number of Americans who are dependent on the federal government as beneficial to Democrats, who largely win the votes of those to whom they offer ever-higher benefits and welfare. I refuse to imagine that any such insidious thinking is behind the left’s refusal to embrace job creation.

I believe, instead, that it springs from a wide-spread lack of private sector experience. President Obama believes the government can right all wrongs – that’s the wellspring from which community activists derive their inspiration. It is a philosophy that has done great damage to this country in recent years – and we’re not out of the woods yet.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please, to coin an Insta-phrase.

ROGER SIMON: The Democrats’ War On Work. “You don’t have to be a Freudian to see the truth in the father of psychoanalysis’ oft-quoted pronouncement that ‘love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness,’ really the keys to our daily sanity. If you undermine our ability to work, to be gainfully and fully employed, you undermine our self-respect, virtually no matter what our occupation. . . . People on the dole are almost always a depressed lot, sometimes terminally.”

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

KYLE SMITH: Here’s Proof The Obama Administration Doesn’t Care Whether You Work Or Not.

Such thinking is consistent with the elite character of the Obama administration — some 40 percent of the president’s men and women hold Ivy League degrees, with more of them receiving degrees from Oxford than from any American public school. When they shrug off jobs as limitations, Obama and Co. have in mind their gifted and talented friends.

This is magical thinking. Most people are not entrepreneurs, geniuses or novelists. Most people don’t have big ideas. Most people get by and advance in small steps, not giant leaps. Jobs are the principal way people improve themselves, their lives and the lives of their families, and leave their children better off than they were.

The White House response to the CBO report is in direct opposition to its supposed stance on inequality and class mobility. More long-term unemployment, even the unemployment of people who leave the workforce willingly in order to “pursue their dreams,” in the Oprah Winfrey-style phrasing of Jay Carney, means more people stuck on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

You say, “mired in squalor and dependency.” They say, “reliable Democratic voters.” They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

MORAL HAZARD: ObamaCare vs. The Self-Sufficient. Like the song says, they’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

JAMES TARANTO: Brendan Mahoney Saves ObamaCare: Great news! They got a 30-year-old dude to sign up!

He tried logging in to the exchange’s website at 8:45 a.m. yesterday, which is impressive in itself. Most young people don’t get up that early. “He said the system could not verify his identity.” So he called the toll-free help line, whose operator also encountered computer trouble. “But then he logged on a second time, he said, and the system worked.”

“Once it got running, it was fast,” Mahoney tells the Courant. “It really made my day. It’s a lot like TurboTax.” He obtained insurance through ObamaCare. Now, he says, “if I get sick, I’ll definitely go to the doctor.” Even better, if he stays healthy, he won’t need to go to a doctor, and his premiums will support chronically ill policyholders on the wrong side of 40.

So, how much of a premium is strapping young Brendan Mahoney paying to help make ObamaCare work? Oops. The Courant reports that Mahoney “said that by filling out the application online, he discovered he was eligible for Medicaid. So, beginning next year, he won’t pay any premium at all.”

So the great success story of ObamaCare’s first day is the transformation of a future lawyer who was already paying for insurance into a welfare case.

Sadly, I think they probably do regard that as a success. They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

THEY’LL TURN US ALL INTO BEGGARS CAUSE THEY’RE EASIER TO PLEASE: Ed Morrissey: The Great Obamacare Workforce Exodus.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Only 47% of Adults Have Full-Time Job. “If today the same proportion of Americans worked as just a decade ago, there would by almost nine million more people working. Just in the last year, almost two million Americans have left the labor force. With a majority of the population not holding a full-time job, it isn’t surprising that economic growth has been so weak.”

Romney’s 47% number keeps coming up. They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please. . . .

Related: 54 Months: Record Stretch of 7.5%+ Unemployment Continues. “Since January 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as president, the United States has seen 54 straight months with the unemployment rate at 7.5 percent or higher, which is the longest stretch of unemployment at or above that rate since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started calculating the national unemployment rate.”

SALENA ZITO: Washington Reflects Victim, Entitlement Culture.

In today’s society, especially in large inner cities and affluent suburbs, we have been enabling at least two generations of Americans who do not know how to win in sports or in academics, by handing out rewards for everyone so no one’s feelings are hurt.

Parents and teachers alike obsess over the negative effects of a child losing any sort of competition, ignoring the critically valuable skills of teamwork, healthy sportsmanship and, most important, learning how to lose.

“It’s as if, as a society, we are embarrassed to award excellence for fear it will offend someone who is less than excellent,” said Bruce Haynes, a media partner at the bipartisan Purple Strategies consulting firm in Washington. “Rather than a drive to the top, it creates a drive to the bottom.”

In other words, if you build a better mousetrap, you might have to apologize to other mousetrap manufacturers, then to the Humane Society, for your accomplishment.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

THEY’LL TURN US ALL INTO BEGGARS ‘CAUSE THEY’RE EASIER TO PLEASE: National Journal: Forget the Unemployment Rate: The Alarming Stat is the Number of ‘Missing Workers.’ “The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 7.5 percent in April, but that’s little consolation for the millions of workers who have dropped out of the labor force altogether.”

THEY’LL TURN US ALL INTO BEGGARS ‘CAUSE THEY’RE EASIER TO PLEASE: ObamaCare and the ’29ers’– How the new mandates are already reducing full-time employment.

Here’s a trend you’ll be reading more about: part-time “job sharing,” not only within firms but across different businesses.

It’s already happening across the country at fast-food restaurants, as employers try to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases we’ve heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King or Wendy’s to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts. . . .

Because other federal employment regulations also kick in when a firm crosses the 50 worker threshold, employers are starting to cap payrolls at 49 full-time workers. These firms have come to be known as “49ers.” Businesses that hire young and lower-skilled workers are also starting to put a ceiling on the work week of below 30 hours. These firms are the new “29ers.” Part-time workers don’t have to be offered insurance under ObamaCare.

The mandate to offer health insurance doesn’t take effect until 2014, but the “measurement period” used by the feds to determine a firm’s average number of full-time employees started last month. So the cutbacks and employment dodges are underway.

The savings from restricting hours worked can be enormous. If a company with 50 employees hires a new worker for $12 an hour for 29 hours a week, there is no health insurance requirement. But suppose that worker moves to 30 hours a week. This triggers the $2,000 federal penalty. So to get 50 more hours of work a year from that employee, the extra cost to the employer rises to about $52 an hour—the $12 salary and the ObamaCare tax of what works out to be $40 an hour.

Moving to 33 hours a week costs the employer about $10 an hour more in ObamaCare tax. Look for fewer 30-35 hour-a-week jobs. The law that was sold as a way to help business and workers is thus yanking a few more rungs from the ladder of economic upward mobility.

How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?

MICHAEL BARONE: Soul-Crushing Dependency.

“This is painful for a liberal to admit,” writes liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in soul-crushing dependency.”

Kristof is writing from Breathitt County, Ky., deep in the Appalachian mountains, about mothers whose Supplemental Security Income benefits will decrease if their children learn to read. Kristof notes that 55% of children qualifying for SSI benefits do so because of “fuzzier intellectual disabilities short of mental retardation,” far more than four decades ago when SSI was just a new program.

Evidently SSI administrators decided to be more generous to parents of such children. But, as Kristof notes, giving parents an incentive to keep children from learning to read works against the children’s long-term interest.

Kristof’s column makes a point similar to that in my De. 2 Examiner column on the vast rise in people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments. As with SSI, one imagines that those responsible for extending benefits to those not previously eligible did so out of a sense of generosity. But as I noted, “there is also a human cost. Consider the plight of someone who at some level knows he can work but decides to collect disability payments instead. That person is not likely to ever seek work again, especially if the sluggish recovery turns out to be the new normal. He may be gleeful that he was able to game the system or just grimly determined to get what he can in a tough situation. But he will not be able to get the satisfaction of earned success from honest work that contributes something to society and the economy.” Generosity that produces “soul-crushing dependency” is not really generosity.

No, it’s not about generosity. It’s about power. They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Foodstamps Soar By Most In 16 Months: Over 1 Million Americans Enter Poverty In Last Two Months.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

THE FEDERAL WELFARE EXPLOSION: “Welfare is now the largest item in the federal budget, and under Barack Obama’s budget–the one that didn’t get any votes, but may nevertheless be a blueprint for the next four years–it is slated to grow another 30% in Obama’s second term.”

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

INDIANA: Mr. President, You Could Learn A Lot From A Farmer.

The unemployment rate of people in the 20s and 30s is over 50%. They see the American workplace as having no place for them.

The result of this is that there is a significant segment of our society does not see getting up and going to work as something they need to do. Not having a job was once considered a sign of laziness or personal failure. Today, it is becoming an accepted norm and someone else’s fault. Big business, big banks, the government, foreign competition, NAFTA, big unions, China, and a host of other factors are blamed for people’s inability to find work.

The government’s response to this situation has fostered this change in the American work ethic.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

JEFF CARTER: Some Quick Thoughts on Unemployment. “No, I don’t think the number was manipulated. Was it correct? I doubt it. When are government statistics correct the first time they are released? Crop reports are never right, and private estimates of crop size are generally closer. . . . I always discount the headline number anyway. U-6 didn’t budge. The headline number probably can be explained by technicalities over counting part time workers. But what worries me is the macro situation we have. 114K of non-farm jobs is pitiful. America needs to create over 300k jobs per month to really dent our employment problems. Additionally, GDP is more pitiful than the employment statistics. America needs 3-3.5% growth to keep moving ahead, creating wealth and more importantly, being ahead of inflation. At lower than 2% growth we are gradually becoming a nation of paupers.”

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): US Foodstamp Usage Rises To New Record High.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

ELECTION 2012: An Army Of Davids vs. . . An Army of Peggy Josephs?

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

Related: Where Do “Obama Phones” Come From?

CHART: Over 100 Million Now Receiving Federal Welfare.

Like the song says, They’ll Turn Us All Into Beggars ‘Cause They’re Easier To Please.

A STATE-BY-STATE GUIDE to EBT fraud and abuse.

Like the song says, they’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? US Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Since 1960s.

That’s not a bug, it’s a feature: They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please. . . .

ANDREW KLAVAN: Happy Dependence Day!

Like the song says, They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

THE “FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT:” CNN: Government wants more people on food stamps.

Like the song says, They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

DAVID HARSANYI: Who The Hell Is Julia, And Why Am I Paying For Her Whole Life?

In the new Barack Obama campiagn piece The Life of Julia, voters can “Take a look at how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime — and how Mitt Romney would change her story.” It is one of the most brazenly statist pieces of campaign literature I can ever remember seeing.

Let’s for the purposes of this post forget about the piece’s misleading generalizations regarding policy (no one is innocent on that account, obviously). What we are left with is a celebration of a how a woman can live her entire life by leaning on government intervention, dependency and other people’s money rather than their own initiative or hard work. It is, I’d say, brazenly un-American, in the sense that it celebrates a mindset we have — outwardly, at least — shunned.

It is also a mindset that is offensive and patronizing. When they’re old enough, I hope my own two daughters would find the notion that their success hinges on the president’s views on college-loan interest rates preposterous. Yet, according to the “Life of Julia,” women can’t do anything, not without the guiding hand of Barack Obama.


They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.
Women and children first, apparently.

Plus this: “If you think Social Security benefits allow you to live your retirement without worry, you deserve Barack Obama.”

Related: “Julia is the Sandra Fluke of composite hypothetical non-existent women.”

Plus: “#Julia at 67: ‘Why is there a big open trench in the community garden?’”

UPDATE: Julia In Real Life.

ANOTHER UPDATE: David Steinberg: #Julia, and Leftism’s New Media Problem. “On my count, the last five hashtags introduced by Obama’s campaign have been instant public relations disasters; another smear tactic backfired into the legendary #ObamaEatsDogs. They keep trying, however.”

ON THOSE NEW JOBLESS NUMBERS: “The recession may have ended in mid-2009 according to the economists, but the normal rate of growth in the size of the labor force stopped in 2008 and has yet to return. Heck of a job, Mr. President. If you drive enough Americans out of the labor force, unemployment will get down to the 4 to 6 percent range it was during the Bush years!” They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please. . . .

MONEY POLITICS: “American liberals find high incomes more upsetting than poverty.” They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please. . . .

With, ahem, certain exceptions.

MICHAEL WALSH: What’s Really Behind The Debt Fight. “The debt-ceiling cage match is the culmination of the Democrats’ 75-year-long fight to establish a voting bloc of dependents under the false flags of ‘compassion’ and ‘social justice.’ It’s sapped our strength, created a welfare mentality and, if unchecked, will reduce us to a nation of aging, resentful beggars with eyes cast permanently toward Washington.”

Like the song says, They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

GOOD GRIEF: Pelosi: Health-Care Reform Will Finally Allow Artists to Focus on Being Unemployed, Comfortably. Translation: They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

MARY KATHARINE HAM: The Sad Tale of Juan Diego Castro: How the federal government turns givers into takers. Like the song says: They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

ROUGHING UP THE MIDDLE CLASS. “For decades there has been debate about how to help the poor without discouraging work, saving or marriage. Yet with almost no notice just such disincentives have crept up the income ladder, observes economist C. Eugene Steuerle, a former Treasury official and expert on the taxation of families. . . . Work isn’t the only middle-class virtue that is getting punished. The system penalizes savings, too–not just through taxes, but also through programs that reward debtors, the profligate and college families that show up at the financial aid office with empty pockets. Yet another series of tax and benefit rules penalizes marriage. ‘This is a big social experiment. We really don’t know what the long-term effect of all these incentives is going to be,’ Steuerle says.”

My prediction: You’ll get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish. But maybe the political class is okay with that. “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.”

ANOTHER NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM THAT DOESN’T WORK: PROMISES, PROMISES: Indian health care needs unmet.

CROW AGENCY, Mont. – Ta’Shon Rain Little Light, a happy little girl who loved to dance and dress up in traditional American Indian clothes, had stopped eating and walking. She complained constantly to her mother that her stomach hurt.

When Stephanie Little Light took her daughter to the Indian Health Service clinic in this wind-swept and remote corner of Montana, they told her the 5-year-old was depressed.

Ta’Shon’s pain rapidly worsened and she visited the clinic about 10 more times over several months before her lung collapsed and she was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Denver. There she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, confirming the suspicions of family members. . . . On some reservations, the oft-quoted refrain is “don’t get sick after June,” when the federal dollars run out.

This is what Obama wants for your family — or, at least, it’s what he’ll deliver in the end. Fix this — and Medicare — first!

UPDATE: Reader Col. Douglas Mortimer writes: “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, everything on an Indian reservation is run by a government – either tribal or federal. And everything there is pretty much always a f*cking disaster.”

Prophetic words from a brave man. Like the song says, They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

AN INTERVIEW WITH BOB WALKENHORST, who’s now performing Government Cheese again. Excerpt:

Give a man a free house and he’ll bust out the windows / Put his family on food stamps, now he’s a big spender / No food on the table and the bills ain’t paid / ’cause he spent it on cigarettes and PGA / They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please / They’re feeding our people that government cheese / It’s the man in the White House, the man under the steeple / Passing out drugs to the American people.

Read the whole thing.

PLANNED IMPOVERISHMENT? “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.”

“THEY’LL TURN US ALL INTO BEGGARS ‘CAUSE THEY’RE EASIER TO PLEASE:” 20% in Los Angeles County receive public aid.

THE WHITE HOUSE ENCOURAGES SANTELLI, ON PURPOSE: “They’d rather the opposition be identified with Santelli and stock brokers than with, say, a Joe the Plumber type.”

Related item: “My husband and I always discuss, ‘Why do we try to better ourselves, when it seems if you do nothing, you get all the help in the world?’”

Like the song says, they’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

UPDATE: C.J. Burch isn’t buying the White House strategy: “It was a stupid attack all the same, and will look more stupid next week as their plans for the bank bail out become more obvious. Not even a press as supine as this one can allow itself to become the president’s red headed step child.” I dunno, I’m expecting heavy orders for henna . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Frank Hosford notes Obama’s thin skin: “The Obama White House started with Hannity, then Rush, & now CNBC?? I’m confused: I thought we had freedom of the press?”

MORE: Reader Kyle Lagrois isn’t buying the White House take (via Ambinder, above) either:

Have you ever noticed Marc Ambinder is the reliable, go-to guy to give a reasonable or political explanation AFTER Obama does something that may look like a screw-up? . . .

Today, Gibbs called out a reporter in a very unseemly way, and Ambinder wants to paint it as some sort of strategic genius.

Keep an eye on it. He is- somehow- able to channel how Obama might want you to view what’s happened.

Meanwhile, Dan Riehl thinks that the White House isn’t upholding its dignity very well. “Although I might be concerned about any private info on file with the government were I Santelli. I think we’re seeing a WH that looks like it’s being run more like a Chicago Ward, than the house that most presidents lived in. This is about attacking everyone and everything that opposes you. In the end, it demeans the office and raises serious concerns as to whether these people can be trusted with the power they now have.”

Plus, Tom Elia wonders what, exactly, Gibbs brings to the table:

The most interesting thing about White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs response to CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s criticism of the Obama Administration’s anti-foreclosure plan was Gibb’s assertion that Santelli ‘doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’

Before joining CNBC, Santelli spent 20 years in the trading business, both on and off the trading floor.

Gibbs has spent his whole life in politics and apparently has no business experience, spending most of his professional career as a political spokesman.

To be fair, Gibbs has at least as much business experience as Barack Obama or Joe Biden.

MORE: The Anchoress emails:

Can anyone imagine Bush calling out Randi Rhodes, or his press sec mocking a member of the press?

Bush’s White House did not go after members of the press, or get defensive toward them. The press hated him, and his whole staff, but the admin never returned in kind.

Class tells.

Indeed it does.

THE STIMULUS BILL: Undermining welfare reform? “Specifically, it would apparently reward states that expand their welfare caseloads–even if the increase is only the product of loosened work requirements rather than a worsening local economy. . . . If a state somehow succeeds at placing would-be recipients in jobs, it’s out of luck under this provision. To get the extra federal money, it has to get more people on welfare.”

Like the song says, they’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: From Market Economy to Political Economy. Like the song says, “they’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.”

MEGAN MCARDLE ON THE HOUSING BILL:

Instead of moving to put FM/FM into a more easily understood model–either nationalizing them, or privatising–they’re making the GSEs even weirder, and of course, piling on more debt.

It’s time for Congress to bite the bullet: nationalize them, or take them private. But keeping pet companies on a leash so that you can use them as a sort of housing market slush fund, while pretending that the liabilities you thereby create don’t really affect the government, is the kind of thing one expects to see in a banana republic, not a free and prosperous nation.

I sometimes think that our political class would prefer a banana republic, as they’d be able to steal more and lord it over the common folk to a greater extent. And then there’s the bill on oil speculation:

The first thing I think is that my liberal friends should stop saying their party is more credible on economic issues. Because this is even stupider than McCain’s doubling down on the gas tax holiday–and McCain’s gas tax mania is plenty stupid. At least McCain’s gas tax manipulations won’t actually do something except give a small amount of additional money to oil companies and loathesome governments. This monstrous bill, on the other hand, might actually do some damage.

As the song says, “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.”

THOUGHTS ON RETIREMENT, FROM JERRY POURNELLE:

I discovered to my horror just how much the Feds tax retirement including Social Security! Having collected taxes for my lifetime — including to this day — on self-employment to pay into the Social Security account, they hand me a miserable pittance compared to what I would have got had I simply put the money into a money market account; then they tax part of it away.

Same with retirement accounts. They tax Roberta’s State Teacher’s Retirement income. They tax my TIAA retirement income from my academic years. Incidentally, a few years of TIAA/CREF generated a very sizable fraction of the income I get from Social Security from paying into that all my life. I have taken the “minimum distribution” option from TIAA, so I could get a lot more; my theory is that Mr. Heinlein was right, we writers are professional gamblers, and it’s well to have your house and car paid for and sock something away for a bad year, because you are likely to have one. Robert ran scared all his life.

Clearly the government wants us to spend ourselves broke and throw ourselves on welfare. Then they will stop fining us every year. They fine us for speeding, for spitting in the streets, for doing things they don’t want us to do: they also fine us for improving our property, investing money to grow the economy, saving money; the implications are pretty clear?

As the Rainmakers sang, “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.”

HMM: There’s this: “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said that if she became president, the federal government would take a more active role in the economy to address what she called the excesses of the market and of the Bush administration.”

And there’s this: “The stock market was in meltdown today as nearly £60billion was wiped off London shares as fears of a US recession sparked a global sell-off.”

Coincidence, I’m sure.

UPDATE: “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

“THEY’LL TURN US ALL INTO BEGGARS ’cause they’re easier to please.” I ain’t gonna eat no government cheese.

A LOOK AT MULTICULTURALISM AND THE FOSTERING OF DEPENDENCY IN BRITAIN: It reminds me of the line from The Rainmakers — “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.”

That song (Government Cheese) isn’t available online. But my one of my favorite Rainmakers songs — Let My People Go-Go — can be heard here. I’d rather that politics comported with that vision than with the rather gloomier, and more accurate, one in Government Cheese. But at least the music’s good! And there’s a video for Downstream. Check out the Harry Truman line.

GREG DJEREJIAN says that The New York Times has no shame in its treatment of the Berger story:

Rarely have I seen a major newspaper play a story in such brazenly partisan fashion.

It truly beggars belief.

Check out today’s lead NYT story on the unfolding Sandy Berger scandal by Eric Lichtblau and Dave Sanger.

Boy, is it a whopper. . . . Your baffled NYT readers might be excused, at this juncture, from thinking George Bush himself was stuffing docs down his socks and trousers.

Read his dissection. I think this tells us that they’re really scared that this story has real substance, and legs. As with Pravda, you have to read between the lines. And this Washington Post story may explain why they’re scared:

Last Oct. 2, former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger stayed huddled over papers at the National Archives until 8 p.m.

What he did not know as he labored through that long Thursday was that the same Archives employees who were solicitously retrieving documents for him were also watching their important visitor with a suspicious eye.

After Berger’s previous visit, in September, Archives officials believed documents were missing. This time, they specially coded the papers to more easily tell whether some disappeared, said government officials and legal sources familiar with the case. . . .

The government source said the Archives employees were deferential toward Berger, given his prominence, but were worried when he returned to view more documents on Oct. 2. They devised a coding system and marked the documents they knew Berger was interested in canvassing, and watched him carefully. They knew he was interested in all the versions of the millennium review, some of which bore handwritten notes from Clinton-era officials who had reviewed them. At one point an Archives employee even handed Berger a coded draft and asked whether he was sure he had seen it.

At the end of the day, Archives employees determined that that draft and all four or five other versions of the millennium memo had disappeared from the files, this source said.

This makes the “inadvertence” defense look less plausible, and the uniqueness of each draft — with different people’s handwritten notes — explains why he might have taken them all.

No wonder the Times people are frantically spinning. Ed Morrissey has more thoughts, and also links this story on more suspicious-sounding behavior:

WASHINGTON – Former national security adviser Sandy Berger repeatedly persuaded monitors assigned to watch him review top secret documents to break the rules and leave him alone, sources said yesterday.

Berger, accused of smuggling some of the secret files out of the National Archives, got the monitors out of the high-security room by telling them he had to make sensitive phone calls.

Berger also took “lots of bathroom breaks” that apparently aroused some suspicion, the source added.

It is standard security procedure to constantly monitor anyone with a security clearance who examines the type of code-word classified files stored in the underground archives vault in the building where tourists view the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Asked if guards left Berger alone in the classified reading room while he made calls, archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper replied, “I’m not going to say I haven’t heard that.”

Curiouser and curiouser. I suppose that it’s possible that this could all be innocent — but it sure doesn’t sound that way, does it?

UPDATE: Martin Peretz writes in The New Republic:

I do not like Sandy Berger; and I have not liked him since the first time we met, long ago during the McGovern campaign, not because of his politics since I more or less shared them then, but for his hauteur. . . . Still, here’s his story about the filched classified materials dealing with the foiled Al Qaeda millennium terrorist bombing plot from the National Archives: He inadvertently took home documents and notes about documents that he was not permitted to take from the archives; secondly, he inadvertently didn’t notice the papers in his possession when he got home and actually looked at them; and, thirdly, he inadvertently discarded some of these same files so that they are now missing.

Gone, in fact. One of his lawyers attributes this behavior to “sloppiness,” which may better explain his career as Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser and certainly describes his presentation of self in everyday life. But it is not an explanation of his conduct in the archives or, for that matter, at home. . . .

So my question is: Did Berger, who knew that he was under scrutiny since last fall, alert Kerry to the combustible fact that he was the subject of a criminal probe by the Justice Department and the FBI? My guess is not. Kerry is far too smart, too responsible to have kept him around had he known. But if Kerry didn’t know, it tells you a lot about Berger, too much, really.

(Emphasis added in all cases.) Yes. And, I should note, the New York Times’ frantic spinning of such a major story tells us a lot about the Times. Too much, really.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More disappearing documents here. Interesting.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Dave Johnson finds the phone-call bit intriguing: “Who was he calling and what where they talking about? The Feds should subpoena his Cell phone records. Then they need to see who that person called. This story has legs.” Perhaps they’ve already done that.