Posted: Jun 12, 2006 12:01 AM

  • A pretty good political week for the Republican Party generally (the victory in California 50), and the President in particular (the death of Zarqawi), generated a spirited counterattack by our friends in the popular press.
  • The Washington Post showed up on our doorstep Sunday morning with a dire front pager informing us “Democrats Closing Funding Gap with Republicans,” which led me to believe the GOP was no more than about a day away from sending the staff out onto K Street wearing hand-lettered signs saying: “Will do Turnout Models for Food.”
  • The piece, by Jim VandeHei, points out that Democrats are doing better in fundraising than they have in the past. You have to read down to the eleventh graf to see just to how minuscule the funding advantage for the GOP has become:
    • “The RNC has far more money in the bank than the DNC – $44.7 million to $9.4 million as of the end of April – heading into the peak of the campaign season. The party is also likely to benefit from a summertime fundraising push by the White House.”

  • Whoa! Check, please. 44.7 minus 9.4 is … seven minus four is three, four minus nine … borrow one from the tens column 14 minus 9 is 5 … 3 minus zero is three. So, the RNC’s money advantage is 35.3. Million. Dollars.

  • Hey, that IS close.
  • Of the six national committees only the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has an actual fundraising lead over its GOP counterpart – about $56 million to $50 million – which probably has more to do with the fundraising expertise of the two chairs: Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is a known world-class arm twister whereas Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) is not.
  • New Topic: Most papers carried the suicides of three of the murderers being held in Guantánamo, which was presented as a bad thing.
  • The New York Times version, written by James Risen and Tim Golden, had a fact I had not previously known: “There have been 41 suicide attempts by 25 detainees since the facility opened.”
  • Three guys committing suicide on the same night is probably not a coincidence. Maybe they wanted to join Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. If so, I’m glad they got their wish.
  • In case – like me – you didn’t grasp how dreadful this was, a guy from Amnesty International helped us understand by saying, "People [at Guantánamo] have been indefinitely detained for five years without any prospect of ever going home, or ever seeing their families, or ever being charged, or having any resolution.”
  • Ok, hold that thought.
  • The AP’s Lee Keath wrote a piece about a statement which was released by al-Qaida in Iraq. al-Qaida (about whose members, Amnesty International is so concerned) “vowed Sunday to carry out ‘major attacks,’ insisting it was still powerful after the death of leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi” and saying “it ‘renews its allegiance’ to Osama bin Laden.”
  • The statement went on to say al-Qaida is preparing “major attacks that will shake the enemy like an earthquake and rattle them out of sleep.”
  • Where are Amnesty International’s crocodile tears for the thousands of absolutely innocent people who have been killed by al-Qaida around the world? What had they been charged with? What about their families? What about their prospects of “ever going home?”
  • Let’s extend this Guantánamo suicide thing to its logical conclusion: If all al-Qaida members worldwide killed themselves on the same day in a paroxysm of martyrdom, would the world would be a better place or not?
  • I agree.
  • Last thing: A month ago you couldn’t turn on a newscast without someone cheerfully reporting that the President’s job approval numbers were continuing to sink.
  • In Mid-May the President’s numbers were in the 29 to 31 percent range. As of the most recent polls (all of which were taken BEFORE the Zarqawi news) the AP has the President at 35%; USA Today/Gallup at 36%; and Cook/RT Strategies at 37%.
  • Two words: Tony Snow.
  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Washington Post piece, the AP article, and a website which tracks national polling numbers. Plus another silly Mullfoto from New York City and a Catchy Caption of the Day.