“Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush’s first press secretary, added to the growing criticism of Vice President Dick Cheney’s handling of the weekend shooting incident in Texas, telling E&P this afternoon that it ‘crosses the threshold of news worthiness that ought to be announced and explained.’”
Corpus Christi Caller-Times photographer (and avid quail hunter) George Gongora simulates the impact of Cheney’s shotgun on Mr. Harry Whittington. Here is an image of how much lead would have struck Mr. Whittington:
From the article:
“We can pretty much see that at least over 200 BBs have touched this area right here,” Gongora said, motioning to the face and torso area of the target.
You can also watch the video of the simulation.
In related news, the White House public relations strategy this morning was to crack jokes.
“In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society…Scalia criticized those who believe in what he called the ‘living Constitution.’ ‘That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break. But you would have to be an idiot to believe that.’”
For 22 hours, the White House concealed the fact that Vice President Cheney had inadvertantly shot a 78-year old man, Harry Whittington.
The White House continues to withhold critical information from the press. In a press conference today, hospital administrator Peter Banko said that the White House had been informed that Mr. Whittington suffered a heart attack between 9:30-10AM this morning. Watch it:
But at today’s White House Press Briefing, which started after 12PM, Scott McClellan didn’t tell the press. CNN confirmed that McClellan “was notified [about the heart attack] just before the briefing.” But McClellan suggested to reporters that he had no new information:
I don’t want to make this about anything other than what it is. It is what it is. I was very respectful and responsive to your questions yesterday. I provided you the information I knew based on the facts that were available… I’m just not going to go back through it again.
McClellan concluded “You’re welcome to continue to focus on these issues. I’m moving on.” Too bad Mr. Whittington can’t do the same. He’ll be in the hospital for at least another week.
Banko press conference transcript: Read more
Breaking from MSNBC: “Man Cheney shot had minor heart attack, birdshot lodged in heart.” More from CBS: “Texas hospital officials say birdshot from the vice-president’s shot provoked a ‘minor heart attack’ in the vp’s hunting companion.”
UPDATE: AP report.
Under pressure from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Justice Department may begin releasing internal legal memos related to warrantless domestic spying as early as March 3. The New York Time reported earlier that the memos “may contain far-reaching and potentially explosive legal theories similar to those advocated by Mr. [John] Yoo and others, and later disavowed by the Justice Department, regarding policies on torture.”
More bad news for President Bush: the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that Americans put more confidence in the United Nations to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons than they do the Bush administration.
How confident are you in the Bush administration’s ability to handle the situation in Iran?
– Very or Somewhat Likely: 45%
– Not Too Confident or Not At All Confident: 55%
How confident are you in the United Nations’ ability to handle the situation in Iran?
– Very or Somewhat Likely: 47%
– Not Too Confident or Not At All Confident: 51%
Two other responses from the poll explain why President Bush isn’t trusted. By nearly 40-point margins, Americans fear President Bush won’t do enough to address the problem, and that he’s likely to rush into war:
How concerned are you that the U.S. will not do enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
– Very Concerned or Somewhat Concerned: 67%
– Not Too Concerned or Not Concerned At All: 30%
How concerned are you that the U.S. will be too quick to use military force in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
– Very Concerned or Somewhat Concerned: 69%
– Not Too Concerned or Not Concerned At All: 30%
Still figuring out how all this fits into Karl Rove’s “strong on defense” strategy for ’06. We’ll keep you posted.
The NYT says Saturday night:
Sheriff Salinas said he sent his chief deputy, Gilbert Sanmiguel, to the Armstrong Ranch that night. He said Mr. Sanmiguel interviewed Mr. Cheney and reported that the shooting was an accident.
That would be significant because it would suggests Cheney cooperated with the investigation, which is ongoing.
But the AP reports that Cheney didn’t agree to be interviewed until Monday morning:
At least one deputy showed up at the ranch’s front gate Saturday evening and asked to speak to Cheney but was turned away by the Secret Service, [Secret Service spokesman Eric] Zahren said. There was some miscommunication that arrangements already had been made to interview Cheney the next morning, he said.
Who has the story right? How did these two papers get conflicting information?
its comprehensive report documenting the right-wing tilt on Sunday political talk shows.