And the winner is George W. Bush in Florida, at least according to the Knight Ridder newspaper chain. So what are the implications of this press recount? That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

Spearheaded by The Miami Herald and USA Today, the recount looked at the undervote, ballots that were rejected by Florida voting machines because punch holes were not clear. Mr. Bush emerged as the clear winner when those undervotes were counted, and USA Today editorialized, "The results should quiet grumbling that Bush is not a legitimate, but that's unlikely." What a true statement that is.

Partisans on all sides of politics are more than ever before locked into propaganda that serves their agenda. Do you think that Barbra Streisand is going to apologize for writing a letter accusing President Bush of stealing the election? Of course she's not because, I believe, Ms. Streisand doesn't want to know the truth. She wants to live in her own world where liberalism is good and conservatism is bad.

The best example of propaganda finding its way into the national discourse right now is the tax-cut debate. The left continues to hammer the theme that President Bush wants only to please the rich, to give the government's money to the wealthy, while poor Americans suffer terribly. That's what the left fervently believes.

Yeah. I can just see the meeting. Bush, Cheney, Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and assorted around going, "You know we've got to find a way to give more money to the rich guys. Let's give the stuff and let the other 90 percent of Americans suffer." Yeah, that sounds like good politics, doesn't it?

It's absurd. Mr. Bush believes that paying a third of your income to the Feds is enough. He is following the Republican mantra, smaller government, fewer taxes for everybody, because you should keep more of your own money. That's who the Republicans are. Now you may disagree with that philosophy, and I'll respect your belief, but don't sit there trying to tell me there's some secret pact to make the rich richer. The truth is the wealthy will still pay the overwhelming portion of federal income taxes.

Now some people don't like the rich and want to punish them, some people want to buy votes from the poor and working class, and some people are simply not so smart, but the relentless propaganda continues, "A tax cut for the rich," just like "Every vote must count," just like, "It's only about sex." Enough already! Political disagreement is good. Hysterical propaganda is bad.

Mr. Bush won the election fair and square, and he believes in lower taxes across the board. That's the truth, and that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Peter Johnson wrote a nice piece in USA Today highlighting the increasing ratings of the Fox News Channel and The O’Reilly Factor. And as part of the story, Mr. Johnson asked my boss, Roger Ailes, why The Factor continues to do so well. Here's the paragraph:

"Ailes thinks viewers are gravitating to O'Reilly's ‘opinionated, populist style. O'Reilly beats up anybody who doesn't buy his book.’ says Ailes."

This is my boss, who didn't even buy the book because I gave him a copy. And I didn't beat him up. You know, I can't catch a break anywhere these days. Everybody is making fun of me. Might be ridiculous.

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