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The Corner’s John Derbyshire:

Now here’s a subversive little thought about that Khalidi tape that the Los Angeles Times is guarding like a cargo of plutonium.

  • Item:  The Los Angeles Times is owned by the Tribune Co.
  • Item:  The Tribune Co. is based in Chicago.
  • Item:  “In 2008, Tribune is struggling under a $13 billion debt load, much of it incurred in taking the company private in 2007, and from plummeting advertising income at its newspapers.” (Wikipedia. A business friend tells me the current figure is actually $14.7 billion.)
  • Item:  Tribune Chairman and CEO Sam Zell is a major Republican donor. Why would he not want his paper to release the Khalidi tape?
  • Item:  The federal government is sitting on a bailout fund of $700 billion.
  • Item:  It’s not likely the Treasury can disburse more than one or two hundred billion of that before the next administration comes in.
  • Item:  The next administration will therefore have at least half a trillion greenies to hand out to anyone it deems worthy of being bailed out. Anyone — there are no hard and fast rules.
  • Item:  14.7 billion is a very small proportion — less than three percent — of half a trillion.
  • Which of course it is. Perfectly ridiculous. Utterly, impossibly ridiculous. Preposterous. Totally preposterous … (Rinse and repeat.)

    When Sam Zell’s office was called and asked about this (by a friend of mine who requests deep anonymity), they said the thought was ridiculous.

John Derbyshire: cuckoo for conspiracy—any conspiracy—that will aid Republicans in painlessly rationalizing next week’s loss. (What else do the poor saps have?) I think I’d take up smack if I had to wear the scarlet “R” after Nov. 4.

Erik Wemple nailed shut this bullshit-laden coffin earlier today.