But the warning signs about Petreaus' core dishonesty have been around for years. Here's a brief summary: We can start with the persistent questions critics have raised about his Bronze Star for Valor. Or, that in 2004, during the middle of a presidential election, Petraeus wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post supporting President Bush and saying that the Iraq policy was working. The policy wasn't working, but Bush repaid the general's political advocacy by giving him the top job in the war three years later.
There's his war record in Iraq, starting when he headed up the Iraqi security force training program in 2004. He's more or less skated on that, including all the weapons he lost, the insane corruption, and the fact that he essentially armed and trained what later became known as "Iraqi death squads." On his final Iraq tour, during the so-called Surge, he pulled off what is perhaps the most impressive con job in recent American history. He convinced the entire Washington establishment that we won the war.
The whole thing is worth a read. In 20/20 hindsight, the Afghanistan surge was probably the biggest mistake of Obama's Presidency, so far, and Petraeus is the guy who sold it.
Jill: Note to Republicans: You can't do it
Who was supplying the Kool-Aid to the GOP?
The Gallup polling folks. They had a 7% bias towards Romney.
By "bias", I mean the statistical kind, not the bigoted kind.
The problem, of course, is that polling done by telephone tends to reach people with landlines. Technology is changing, more and more people only have cell phones, and this seems to be especially true of younger and poorer voters. Traditional polling doesn't reach them.
This is not a new problem. In 1936, the Literary Digest poll predicted a landslide for Alf Landon. But they sampled three groups: Their subscribers, car owners and telephone users-- which meant that they were sampling people who had disposable income in the depths of the Great Depression. You probably remember that FDR won handily, 60% of the popular vote and all but two states (ME and VT).
This election ought to be a wake-up call for Gallup and the other big pollsters.
Seemingly ignoring that over than 3 million more Americans voted for President Obama than Mitt Romney on Tuesday, Congressional Republicans are moving quickly to embrace Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) call to adopt a tax "compromise" that is virtually identical to the tax proposal that Romney made the centerpiece of his failed campaign.
The running theme this week is what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the "Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale" that the country can increase revenues simply by lowering tax rates:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): On ABC's This Week, Chambliss said, "Bowles-Simpson said, look, eliminate all these tax credits and tax deductions. You can generate somewhere 1 to 1.2 trillion in additional revenue. You can actually lower tax rates by doing that. And I think at the end of the day, what's got to happen, George, we've got to get this economy going again.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): In a Friday column, House Budget Committee member Cole wrote: "However, raising tax rates is not the only way to increase revenue, nor is it the best way. Speaker Boehner has proposed comprehensive tax reform to raise revenue and lower rates. Eliminating inefficient loopholes and deductions will generate economic growth while creating a simpler, fairer tax code."
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX): In a Wednesday Tweet, House Ways and Means Committee member Brady opined: "Stronger economic growth from tax reform that lowers rates and closes loopholes will generate higher revenue to bring the deficit down.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA): In a letter to his Republican caucus, the House Majority Leader wrote: "What would be best is a fundamental reform of the tax code that lowers rates, broadens the base, makes America's businesses competitive again, and reduces the burden imposed by taxes on work and investment."
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI): In a Wednesday press release, the House Ways and Means Chairman wrote: "There is a better path forward than simply increasing tax rates, and one in which both sides can claim victory. We can address both our jobs crisis and our debt crisis by focusing on tax reform that strengthens the economy. There is bipartisan support for tax reform that closes loopholes and lowers rates."
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA): On Fox News Sunday, House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Price, a member of both the Ways and Means and Budget Committees, said "We can increase revenue without increasing the tax rates on anybody in this country."
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says there will be no significant negative impact on the economy should the lower rates on the wealthiest Americans be allowed to expire. And the notion that lowering rates will magically create more revenue is indeed a right-wing pipe dream.