FROM THE FISHING STORY:
Bush's glee over his catch has a definite ring of truth for those of us who watch the president closely. Bush had part of his 1,600-acre estate in Crawford, Tex., dug out and flooded so he could go fishing at his doorstep...
Two years later, in another walking tour with reporters, he returned to the topic close to his heart.
"Q Is this man-made, sir?
"THE PRESIDENT: Man-made.
"Q How many acres?
"THE PRESIDENT: About 11 acres lake, 17 foot deep. The deepest spot, I put 600 black bass in there a few years ago, and about 30,000 bait fish. And they're about two-and-a-half to three pounds now."
And it's worth noting that from the get-go, Bush was determined not to let work get too much in the way of his favorite pastime.
As Frank Bruni wrote in the New York Times, two days after Bush's first inauguration: "In a recent interview, when the subject turned to the bass in a lake on his ranch, a reporter remarked that he would probably not get to fish there very often.
"'I bet I do,' Mr. Bush said. 'More than you think.'"
[Paul's note: Next time Bush is playing the 'just an average guy' card, someone totally needs to ask how many of his fellow Americans have 1,600 acre ranches, and 11 acre manmade lakes.]
HAYDEN AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT:
One thing we do know is that Hayden didn't only misinterpret the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution during a January speech at the National Press Club; he sanctimoniously tried to correct a reporter who got it right.
Here's the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
When Jonathan Landay of Knight Ridder Newspapers properly characterized it, Hayden insisted, incorrectly, that that requirement for search and seizure was reasonableness, rather than probable cause.
Said Hayden: "Just to be very clear - and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me - and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one - what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is 'reasonable.' And we believe - I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable."
BUSH AND... WORLD WAR THREE:
Here's video of a largely overlooked interview Bush had with conservative CNBC host Lawrence Kudlow on Friday.
Kudlow asked Bush to comment on the new movie, "United 93," about the September 11 uprising on a United Airlines plane before it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
Bush said he hadn't seen the movie, but said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, and who recently called the uprising the "first successful counterattack in our homeland in this new global war - World War III."
Said Bush: "I believe that. I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III."
This was not the first time Bush has described the war on terror as World War III. As I wrote in my June 29 column, he publicly endorsed Osama bin Laden's assertion that "This Third World War is raging" in Iraq.
That's pretty fiery rhetoric - especially considering that the term "World War III" is generally reserved for the sort of avoid-at-all-costs nuclear catastrophe that would presumably destroy the world.