Monday, July 30, 2007

Bush Health Official: The Public Must NOT Learn The Facts

We got yet another Michael “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heckuva job” Brown type in the Bush administration. This time it’s a never-qualified Bush political hack killing official reporting of the Surgeon General.
Bush Aide Blocked Report

By Christopher Lee and Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 29, 2007; A01

A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.

(Here is his picture, this is the guy without any background or expertise in medicine or public health who kept the surgeon general’s report from being released to the public:)

The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate. A copy of the report was obtained by The Washington Post.

Three people directly involved in its preparation said its publication was blocked by William R. Steiger, a specialist in education and a scholar of Latin American history whose family has long ties to President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Since 2001, Steiger has run the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services.

(Here is how Steiger responded to the charge that he has no background at all in medicine or public health and that he got the job because he was a political hack who would suppress surgeon general reports if they didn’t puff the administration:)

...(Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona) told lawmakers that, as he fought to release the document, he was "called in and again admonished . . . via a senior official who said, 'You don't get it.' " He said a senior official told him that "this will be a political document, or it will not be released."

(Here is how the 37 year old Steiger looked when he told the Surgeon General that he did not "get it," that his report on health would not be released if he does not turn it into a pro-Bush political document.)

...After a long struggle that pitted top scientific and medical experts inside and outside the government against Steiger and his political bosses, Carmona refused to make the requested changes, according to the officials. Carmona engaged in similar fights over other public health reports, including an unpublished report on prison health. A few days before the end of his term as the nation's senior medical officer, he was abruptly told he would not be reappointed.

(In this picture, Steiger has just told Carmona that he will no longer be surgeon general. The press was calling Steiger for comment when this picture was being taken, but Steiger would not answer the phone. He just stared and smiled, and let the phone ring and ring and ring...)

...Steiger said that "political considerations" did not delay the report; "sloppy work, poor analysis, and lack of scientific rigor did." Asked about the report's handling, an HHS spokeswoman said Friday that it is still "under development."

("Mr. Steiger, how does your life experience and background--a Latin American studies degree-- qualify you to dismiss a serious study by the nation’s public health experts and call it “sloppy and lacking in scientific rigor?” Steiger's response:)

...The draft report itself, in language linking public health problems with violence and other social ills, says "we cannot overstate . . . that problems in remote parts of the globe can no longer be ignored. Diseases that Americans once read about as affecting people in regions . . . most of us would never visit are now capable of reaching us directly. The hunger, disease, and death resulting from poor food and nutrition create social and political instability . . . and that instability may spread to other nations as people migrate to survive."

(Here is Steiger reacting to the news that “diseases that Americans once read about as affecting people in regions . . . most of us would never visit are now capable of reaching us directly.” He looks like he’s okay with that, and even if he isn’t, he looks happy about the good job he did suppressing that finding.)

(The surgeon general’s report’s) underlying message is that disease and suffering do not respect political boundaries in an era of globalization and mass population movements.

("Mr. Steiger—don’t you think it’s important for the American people to be told that disease and suffering do not respect political boundaries in an era of globalization and mass population movements?" Steiger's response:)

...The report was compiled by government and private public-health experts from various organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Catholic Medical Mission Board and several universities.

("Mr. Steiger—don’t those public and private heath experts have more expertise than you do on health issues? How the hell can you, a silly little 37 year old jerkoff with a mere Latin American studies degree, dismiss the work of so many experts in the medical and public health fields as “sloppy”--and then attempt to suppress it entirely? You are not even slightly qualified for the appointment you accepted, are you, Steiger? You’re just a Bush lackey, another “Brownie,” aren’t you?" Steiger's response:)

...Richard Walling, a former career official in the HHS global health office who oversaw the draft, said Steiger was the official who blocked its release. "Steiger always had his political hat on," he said. "I don't think public health was what his vision was. As far as the international office was concerned, it was a political office of the secretary. . . . What he was looking for, and in general what he was always looking for, was, 'How do we promote the policies and the programs of the administration?' This report didn't focus on that."

("We’re not paying you to run the HHS as a publicity service for the Bush administration, Steiger, we’re paying you to get the facts out. How did you even get this job, Steiger, you fact-suppressing dick?" Steiger's response:)

...Steiger, 37, (THIRTY SEVEN YEARS OLD?) is a godson of former president George H.W. Bush and the son of a moderate Republican who represented Wisconsin in the House and hired a young Dick Cheney as an intern. The elder Bush appointed Steiger's mother to the Federal Trade Commission in 1989. A biographical sketch of her on the American Bar Association's Web site states that Steiger's parents, now deceased, were "lifelong friends" of many members of the same congressional class, including the Rumsfelds and the Bushes.

(There were about one hundred thousand people in America more qualified to do your job than you are, weren't there, Mr. Steiger? And there are about 170 million people more principled. Now get out of here, you political hack who only got the job because he had Bush family connections. And wipe that stupid fucking expression off your face, Steiger.)


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hillary responds to "Cleavage" story in Washington Post

It’s time to get stupid again—real stupid, I’m talking fashion writer stupid. You may have seen this in the WaPost last week.

Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip Into New Neckline Territory

By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 20, 2007; Page C01

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable...

...The last time Clinton wore anything that was remotely sexy in a public setting surely must have been more than a decade ago, during Bill Clinton's first term in office when she was photographed wearing a black Donna Karan gown that revealed her shoulders. It was one of Karan's "cold-shoulder" dresses, inspired, Karan once noted, because a woman's shoulders remain sensuous and appealing regardless of her age.

...To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a provocation. It requires that a woman be utterly at ease in her skin, coolly confident about her appearance, unflinching about her sense of style. Any hint of ambivalence makes everyone uncomfortable. And in matters of style, Clinton is as noncommittal as ever.

Tonight the Clinton campaign people are on it, of course. From the NYT:

Latest Campaign Issue? One Candidate’s Neckline

Published: July 28, 2007

In an e-mail message titled “Cleavage,” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign has an eye-catching pitch for campaign contributions.

The subject line of the message refers to a July 20 article in The Washington Post about the neckline on an outfit Mrs. Clinton wore during a floor speech she gave two days earlier. It “sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape,” said the article, by Robin Givhan, a style writer who had watched the speech on C-Span2...

...Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, not at all happy about the article, is hoping its attack on it will prove to be a lucrative tool. “Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting,” says the fund-raising e-mail message, written by the senior Clinton adviser Ann Lewis and distributed yesterday...

...In big letters, the note reads: “Clothes? Makeup? Cleavage? What’s really important in this race? Help Hillary fight for what matters.”

...Asked about the criticism, Ms. Givhan said her type of reporting had a role in election coverage.

"I do think that when people are delivering a message, the message is essentially consumed in different ways, and that depends on how it is delivered," she said. "The tone of voice, the appearance, the context, these things all come into play."

Boy, Ms. Givhan is “deep,” isn’t she? So is the Washington Post, for giving her 750 words to analyze what Clinton’s fashion choice “means.” Has Givhan written similar articles analyzing the political significance of Edwards’ haircut or Bush’s Krocs? I remember when AP journalists breathlessly reported “what Condi was wearing” when she was touring the world, failing to make peace.

That kind of “analytical journalism” fell out favor once things began “to get all serious;” by then the press had some kind of epiphany and realized that what Condi was doing or failing to do was more important than what she was wearing. Nobody ever did a piece on Secretary of State Henry Kissinger highlighting the “smart, flawlessly cut Brooks Brothers suit” he was wearing when he authorized the Christmas bombing of Hanoi—did Madeline Albright have to put up with this pointless nonsense?

We will await the Washington Post’s fashion reporting on “what the other presidential candidates are wearing.” Hillary is certainly not the only candidate wearing clothes; I hope that Givhan and her editors will be around to do more lengthy articles on the “sexual message” her male competitors are sending us via their wardrobe choices. I don’t think the WaPost reports on what Alberto Gonzales wears when he’s lying to Congress, not unless he shows up in a Mankini—that would justify a story; this doesn’t. It’s sexist bullshit to single out Hillary.


Friday, July 27, 2007

"The Cat Who IS Death" To Replace "Elephant" as symbol of GOP

Have you seen the cat who is in the photograph below? You have? UH-OH...
Feline intuition

By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff | July 25, 2007

PROVIDENCE --Oscar the cat makes his grand entrances just as life is about to leave...

..."He's a cat with an uncanny instinct for death," said Dr. David M. Dosa, assistant professor at the Brown University School of Medicine and a geriatric specialist. "He attends deaths. He's pretty insistent on it."

In the two years since Oscar was adopted into the third-floor dementia unit of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, he has maintained close vigil over the deaths of more than 25 patients, according to nursing staff, doctors who treat patients in the home, and an article in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine, written by Dosa.

When death is near, Oscar nearly always appears at the last hour or so...Animal behavior experts have no explanation for Oscar's ability to sense imminent death. They theorize that he might detect some subtle change in metabolism -- felines are as acutely sensitive to smells as dogs -- but are stumped as to why he would show interest...

Well, I can tell you why Oscar shows interest. I know something about cats. Oscar likes the way the patients feel as they “cool off”—it’s like in the hot weather and your pillow feels hotter as your head warms it and you can’t sleep. But Oscar’s “pillows” feel “cooler” the longer he sleeps next to them; it’s more comfortable, that’s why he’s so “interested.” It’s the same reason a cat is “interested” in finding a sunny spot on a window sill to sleep on.

But that is not the political point of this story. The political point is that Oscar has been seen hanging around the McCain campaign lately. Which is worrisome to the remaining six McCain supporters. Whenever McCain’s picture appears on the hospice’s TV during news programming, Oscar climbs on top of the TV and snoozes there as McCain prattles on about how he is going to reinvigorate his candidacy.

Oscar was also seen writing in his appointment diary when a news story about the most recent staff shake up in the Fred Thompson campaign was broadcast. A hospice employee said that he had been planning to vote for Thompson until he read the entry in Oscar’s scheduler. “Oscar’s penciled the Thompson campaign in for December. He doesn’t think much of any of the GOP chances next year, and he wants to be around when they “cool off.”" The employees added quickly: "He says it’s got nothing to do with Fred’s cancer or Rudy’s cancer or Tony Snow’s cancer, or anything like that, they’re all going to live a long time, so don’t write Oscar or anybody else and send angry letters and emails and stuff about that. But Oscar clearly thinks that their campaigns--their CAMPAIGNS--are moribund. And he thinks that Gingrich's is already starting to stink; they's flies around it.”

Republican politicians have responded to “The Grim Hairballer” in various ways. Some shag bricks at him and tell him to “get on outta here, ya damned feline”; others have tried to wall him up alive only to have their conscience haunted by him, causing them to have fits of insanity and tear out the wall to reveal the still living Oscar and the bodies of their murdered spouses as horrified police personnel look on.

Other Republicans welcome Oscar as a sweet release, an end to stressful and debilitating political careers that had quickly degenerated into corruption after election. Still others believe that Oscar should replace the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party.

“He’s a much better symbol of what we’re all about,” said one GOP insider. “The GOP is a political party about death, conservatism is a political movement about death—Katrina, no health care for the working poor, sending an endless parade of American troops to their deaths in Iraq on a military mission doomed to failure. Oscar’s a much better symbol for the GOP than that elephant. He should start “visiting” with that elephant, if you know what I mean.”


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mrs. Fred Thompson Purges Thompson Campaign?

They’re executing top staff at the Thompson campaign and replacing them with former Bush energy secretary Spencer Abraham. That little minx Mrs. Fred Thompson is in “one of her moods,” apparently:

Fred Thompson shakes up campaign staff

By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 17 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson is shaking up his still-unofficial campaign, replacing his top aide with a former Michigan senator and a veteran Florida strategist.

The shake-up comes amid consternation inside the campaign about the active role played by Thompson's wife, Jeri, a lawyer, media consultant and former Republican National Committee official.

(Is she really a lawyer? Wow. I mean, Wikipedia says that she worked as a political media consultant at a law firm—but she has a law degree and passed the bar? Really? I’ve looked around the Internet and can’t find a record of that, even though several news outlets have already reported that she is indeed an attorney. Anyway:)

...Thompson has a conservative Senate record and casts himself in the mold of former President Reagan. He was a reliably conservative vote against abortion, in favor of President Bush's tax cuts, for oil drilling in Alaska and against criminal background checks for gun show purchases...

...Republicans familiar with the Thompson circle said (Jerry Kehn Thompson) is an influential figure and that her role has been a cause of concern for some operatives signing on to the fledgling exploratory campaign.

She’s probably pissed at all the bad press about Fred lately. That “makes Daddy look bad,” she’s a media political consultant who thinks that “Daddy should look good.”

So is she running around firing the people who make Daddy look bad? Is that what the former Thompson staffers are referring to?

“Jeez, Ms. T, he told the Nixon White House that the Senate knew he had their conversations on tape, he told them that secretly when he was supposed to be investigating them, it’s not our fault that Fred fed them inside information when he was supposed to be investigating them—“
“I DON’T CARE! That’s not supposed to get in the papers!”
“But it’s on the record already, it’s a fact, we can’t stop the papers from printing a fact—“
“I DON’T CARE! P.U., you’re stinky! Get out! Tell him he’s fired, Freddie—“
“But sugar-lips—“
“Okay. (mumbles) You’re fired, son.”
“Me? For what?”
“It says in this paper that Freddie lobbied for a pro-choice group! Everybody knows that Freddie is a conservative, he’s AGAINST abortion!”
“But Ms. T, Freddie—I mean, Senator Thompson--*did* lobby for pro-choice, everybody knows he did, they’ve got the billing records—“
“AAAAAAA! I don’t want to hear it! Fire him, Freddie!”
“But angel-buns—“
“Oh, okay... You’re fired too, son. I’m sorry, but I’m takin’ her home, not you...dang, she’s a cute little thing though, ain’t she? A fine, *shapely* young girl--”
“I’M SICK AND TIRED OF THIS SHIT! I WANT NEW CAMPAIGN PEOPLE! I WANT CREDIBILITY! Get me Spencer Abraham, he can black out all the bad stuff about Freddie, he blacked out the whole United States once! I WANT HIM! I WANT SPENCER ABRAHAM, NOW, FREDDIE, I WANT HIM NOW!!”


Monday, July 23, 2007

Poll: Hillary Leads Obama; GOP voters patently insane

You have seen the Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that Hillary leads the field of Democratic candidates. But what do the polls tell us about the GOP contenders?

Poll Shows Clinton With Solid Lead Among Democrats

By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, July 23, 2007; Page A07

By a wide margin, Democrats view Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) as the party's candidate best positioned to win the general election, and she holds a double-digit lead over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in the race for the nomination, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

How competitive the Democratic contest becomes could turn on the question of whether voters are significantly more interested in a fresh face or in a candidate they see as projecting strong leadership…

…This Post-ABC News poll also gauged how comfortable Americans are at the prospect of a barrier-breaking president. Large majorities said they would be comfortable with a woman, African American or Hispanic president, but fewer would be "entirely comfortable."

Eight in 10 said they would be comfortable with a female head of state; 86 percent said so of an African American, as did 74 percent of a Hispanic. But fewer said they would have no reservations: Fifty-four percent would be "entirely comfortable" with a female president, 56 percent with an African American and 44 percent with a Latino…

The prospect of a barrier-breaking president is also being entertained by Republican voters. The poll was conducted my me among a random sample of Republican voters just hanging around and bitching and has a margin of sampling error of between two and three percent.

Seventeen percent of GOP voters said they would be “entirely comfortable” voting for a self-styled conservative TV character actor who had worked as a part-time pro-choice lobbyist and had secretly fed the Nixon administration inside intelligence from the Senate Watergate committee when he was supposed to be investigating the Nixon administration, provided he promised to lower their taxes and support family values.

Nearly forty percent of GOP voters said they “somewhat comfortable” supporting a self-styled conservative who had been sitting on the political oil well of the September 11 terrorist attacks when it went off, even if he had appeared at public events with his mistress or in a gold-lame dress and wig, provided he promised to lower their taxes and support family values.

About thirty percent of Republican voters indicated that they were “okay with” a liberal Republican who claimed to have become a conservative about twenty minutes ago, provided he had access to a lot of money and could convince the religious right that he was “not really that Mormon”, and provided that he promised to lower their taxes and support family values.

But only five percent of Republican voters said that they would vote for a candidate who had spent the last two years kissing up to the religious right that he formerly denounced as a pernicious influence on American politics and had vowed to continue a bloody pointless occupation of Iraq, even if he *did* promise to lower their taxes and support family values. The support for such a candidate swells to six percent if he sings “Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb bomb Iran” to the Beach Boys tune “Barbara Ann” at a press conference.

Support for barrier-breaking candidates is not a new phenomenon in GOP voting. Twenty-six per cent of Republican voters still indicate that they would be "entirely comfortable" with a homicidal circus clown as chief executive if he had promised to lower their taxes while actually increasing their tax burden. The same percentage said they would support a vice president that had been regularly lying to them about the progress of a foreign war for more than five years.


Friday, July 20, 2007

US Armed Forces: If you're a terrorist--let's negotiate!

You know in the eighties they had all these action movies about American tough guys (usually played by Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger) who just killed the terrorists; screw this negotiation stuff, just kill ‘em.

But now in Iraq—it’s officially become a part of the US military strategy, you CAN negotiate with terrorists.

Deals in Iraq Make Friends of Enemies
In Tactical Shift for U.S., Informal Amnesties Win Some Insurgents' Cooperation
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 20, 2007; Page A01

U.S. forces in Iraq are striking a variety of "handshake agreements" with Iraqi insurgents and militia groups, sometimes resulting in the release of fighters detained for attacking coalition forces, U.S. military officials said in several recent interviews.

Such informal deals mark a significant tactical shift in the Iraq war and represent a potentially risky effort to enlist former U.S. foes in the battle against hard-line militants...

Though no formal arrangement exists for granting amnesty to insurgents, the current deals amount to a kind of don't-ask-don't-tell pardon system...

...First, the leaders of the groups agree to stop attacking U.S. and Iraqi forces. Then they pledge to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq. Finally, U.S. and Iraqi officials try to get them to become part of Iraqi security forces, usually the police.

"There are no signed agreements," Odierno added. "They are . . . handshake agreements."

Well, I can tell you one thing for sure. The morons who sit at home and insists we fight on in Iraq see the world and its politics through the prism of these action movies and “shoot ‘em up” video games. They are not going to want to acknowledge that this “negotiate with terrorists” policy is a reality. And they are never going to pay to see a movie that ends with Arnold or Rambo offering a job to the bad guys who killed his best friend. “Bitte, mein friend—it looks like I blew dis game—you vant to come vork for me? I pay you gut if you shtop tryink to kill at me, hokay?” THE END.

And you are never going to see a “shoot ‘em up” video game with a walkthrough like this:

“LEVEL TEN. You immediately see three Al Qaeda as soon as you enter this level. Kill them, using the submachine gun from your inventory. As soon as you kill them, twenty more Al Qaeda terrorists appear in their place, and beginning shooting at you. There are also a hundred Shi’ite militia members who show up, and some rogue Baath’ists; they will shoot at you, too. Hide in the Green Zone until they are re-loading. Don’t shoot any of them because every time you kill one three fully armed enemy combatants will to take his place. If you’ve reached this level and its’ more than four years later and you still haven’t captured Baghdad, reach into your inventory and get out “the White Flag of Truce.”

Wave it, like you should have done three years ago. The Al Qaeda enemies won’t come over, but some of the Shi’ites and Baathist warlords will. (If they don’t, wave “cash”, which is also in your inventory.) When the Shi’ites and Baathists join you behind the table, press the “negotiate from a position of weakness” button on your console (not the “negotiate from a position of strength” button; you lost that button four years ago.)

Avoid incoming Al Qaeda fire as you “promise and beg” (by pressing R and “Negotiate” button at the same time); but be careful not to “cry”, as the enemy will see that as “weak and womanly”--if they see you cry you’ll have to kill a whole bunch of them and start over again.

If negotiations go well and these enemies agree to stop shooting you in exchange for money and inside security information about your puppet government, one of them will ask you: “How do you know you can trust us, Rambold?” To answer, press the “handshake” button. That makes the deal and temporarily stops them and their thousands of troops from trying to kill you—temporarily, remember!

The deal will break down without warning, and they will go back to try to killing you again, but this will buy you time to try to get to LEVEL ELEVEN: “Getting the Fuck Out of Iraq.” In the meantime, don’t worry about how many time they “kill you.” Remember that this is not like other video games. You aren’t restricted to losing only three “lives” before “Game Over” comes up on the screen. “Creating A Free, Peaceful and Democratic Iraq” is the only game that gives you more than 4,000 lives to lose—and hundreds of thousands of lost civilian lives don’t count against you at all! So just keep playing, year after year after year, until your term of office is over...”


Jesus: "And I Say Unto Thee--Veto Children's Health Care"

Set the time machine for the GOP candidates debate in Des Moines, Iowa, December 1999:

Each candidate was asked what "philosopher or thinker" he identified with most. Bush, the third candidate to answer in the debate, said, "Christ, because he changed my heart."

Now, back to the present day:

Bush: No Deal On Children's Health Plan

President Says He Objects On Philosophical Grounds

By Christopher Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 19, 2007; Page A03

President Bush yesterday rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance.

The president said he objects on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan Senate proposal to boost the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years...

Scene: The White House, two days ago. It is late at night. The Oval Office. Bush is pacing back and forth.

Bush: Hmm. Permit Congress to fund health care for poor children...Boy, that sure is a toughie...Hard to say no to that one. Little poor kids, needin’ health care...Me already spendin’ Seven hundred jillion-de-billion-dy dollars a year on this damn war that General Petraeus Maximus don’t think he can win...Thirty five billion to fund better health care for America’s kids seems like a little sand off a beach, when you compare to that...Don’t know what to do...

(Bush stops in his tracks suddenly. Outside the window of the Oval Office is a mysterious figure, glowing in the dark, rapping on the window to get Bush’s attention.)

Bush: (hair standing on end) JESUS!

(Bush rushes to the window, throws it open, helps Jesus climb into the room, which he does a bit clumsily. Jesus is a little chubby, he can’t manage the gown, but he’s got the long hair, crown of thorns, and he’s white, so Bush gets him in there.)

Jesus: Getting too old for this...

Bush: (brushing him off) Boy, am I glad to see you tonight, Lord—

Jesus: (slaps Bush’s hands away) Hey, hey, no touching, remember, I told you about that—

Bush: Sorry, Lord. How did you get past the secret service?

Jesus: I-I turned ‘em into frogs, or something--

(Bush bites knuckle)

Jesus: Don’t worry, I’ll turn ‘em back on the way out, I’m Jesus, remember? I think I got a Charlie horse or something getting in here--

Bush: Man, it’s amazing how you always show up just when I need you most—

Jesus: Yeah, well...that’s why I get... the big money. I’m like... Jiminy Cricket, and you’re, uh, uh (snaps fingers, trying to remember name)

Bush: Pinocchio?

Jesus: Yeah, that’s it. Look--you got a glass of water or something around here, Pinocchio? I’m dyin’ up here, my heart’s beating like a roller disco--

Bush: (pouring him a glass of water) Sure. Boy, I tell you, Lord, this SCHIP funding thing has been keeping me up tonight. I slept right through the battle of Fallujee, but this one’s got me worried, Lord...

Jesus: (drinks water) Ah...that’s better. Give me a chance to get my breath back, kid, gimme a minute here.

Bush: Sure thing. You just sit right back in that chair right there. The Dems want me to fund this children’s health care thing, and I don’t know—

Jesus: What did Dick tell you?

Bush: Well, he told me not to fund it, he said “Screw the poor kids, the poor kids don’t vote—“

Jesus: What did I tell you about doing what Dick said?

Bush: (thinks, then) You said I should always do what Dick said.

Jesus: And you find that hard to remember, do you?

Bush: But, I figured—I figured you might be *for* this kind of thing, you know, making sure kids get their vaccinations, and see doctors so they don’t get sick—

Jesus: We don’t want big government getting in there and doing it, numbnut! Let the private sector take care of it! When they get sick enough, the private sector will step in and take care of it. You gotta have a little faith, that's all. Big government is no solution.

Bush: Okay. But “No Child Left Behind” was a big government—

Jesus: That was different. This is real money we’re talking about, with this children’s health care stuff. NCLB is just about giving public schools bad report cards, that costs peanuts.

Bush: But—

Jesus: But what? You think this is a cartoon you’re talking to here? (points to Bush) Who’s you’re favorite philosopher?

Bush: Well, you are, of course—

Jesus: So who are you going to listen to—me, or a bunch of liberal Dems and RINOs?

Bush: You, sir—

Jesus: Okay, then—case closed. Remember what I said in the Bible? “Suffer the little children.” “Suffer!” I already spelled it out for everybody, remember that from Bible study?

Bush: Yeah... (goes to desk, gets out veto pen, scribbles) I’ll tell ‘em that I oppose it on philosophosockical grounds. I’ll tell ‘em you told me to—

Jesus: No! No attribution. This is strictly on background. You keep my name out of it, remember. Except when you’re speaking at a, a church or something. Now I gotta go. I got to do another wedding in Canada or Cana or wherever the hell it is, I have to be there, I’m bringing the liquor. (Starts climbing out window, begins to glow again as he reaches the darkness.) Farewell, farewell, my beloved son. (raises his hand in benediction) And always remember—(he slips and falls into the bushes outside.)

(Bush rushes to window.)

Bush: (yelling out window) Jesus! Jesus! Are you alright? (Bush turns around, aghast.) He’s gone!

(In the bushes outside the window. Two secret service men help Jesus to his feet.)

Jesus: Is he still looking? No? My God, this Jesus stuff is killing me. (he peels off beard, it’s Cheney) Where’s my glasses? I can’t do this any more, boys, we’ve got to find someone else to do this.

Secret Service man
: Won’t he notice the difference if we use someone else, sir?

Cheney: I don’t care, we’ll tell him it’s a miracle, we’ll tell him it’s like “Dr. Who” or something, but I can’t make that window anymore. Where’s my pills? And I think I’m allergic to this paint, too...


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Iraqi Government: "Stay in Baghdad? IN THIS HEAT?"

Don't you love how Tony Snow's arguing that you can't expect the Iraqi government to stay in town for the surge because it gets too hot in Baghdad in August? Gee, it’s too bad nobody foresaw the fact that Baghdad gets hot in the summer. You’d think that the Bush guys would have seen that "big issue" coming, after we spent four years there...

US says Iraqi lawmakers to take August break
Published: Friday July 13, 2007

The White House said Friday that Iraq's parliament may take the month of August off but downplayed the impact on political reconciliation efforts seen as key to quelling deadly violence.

"My understanding is at this juncture they're going to take August off, but you know, they may change their minds," said spokesman Tony Snow, who refused to say whether there had been US efforts to dissuade them.

(“Members of the Iraqi government! This is Ryan Crocker, your new American ambassador. Look at this, a line of gorgeous girls, right here in the capital, all for you, look at them go! Kick-turn, kick-turn, kick-turn, you go, girls, look at those birqahs whirl! And wheel barrows full of Yankee cash, fabulous prizes, all the non-alcoholic champagne you can drink, why go off on vacation when everything you need is right here in amazing Baghdad, fun capital of the—“
“Forget it, yankee lackey, we’re splitting.”
“Come on guys. We’re spending a hundred and twenty-five million dollars a day over here, we got this band, and the girls... Can’t you take your vacation in December?”
“Sorry, dude. It’s a time-share thing. If we don’t go now, we eat that money. Goddam condos, you know, heh heh—“
“Can we tell the American people you might change your minds?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah... sure. Tell ‘em we might change our minds at the last minute and decide to spend the deadliest month of this year in Baghdad...heh heh heh...did you hear that one, boys? I told the Americans we might change our minds and stay...heh heh this our cooler?”
“But this really sends the wrong message about your commitment to—hey, look at this! the casino is now open, just for your exclusive use of you, the Iraqi government, right here in the middle of the Green Zone! Look at the entertainment lineup, it’s Cirque de Soleil, Wayne Newton singing the call to prayer! And how about that new twenty four hour buffet that serves breakfast any time, hey, why travel abroad now, when fabulous Baghdad is your magic carpet ride to fun, fun, fun-“
“Put some new tags on our luggage, fellows. If it gets lost during the trip we want it sent to Switzerland, not back here.”
“Couldn’t you just take a one week vacation at the beginning of August, and then the rest of the vacation later?”
“No. We lose our sick days if we do that. (to bellboy) Careful with that one! There’s gold in there!”)

"You know, it's 130 degrees (54 Celsius) in Baghdad in August..." (Tony Snow) said when a reporter asked about the impact on an Iraq progress report due by September 15.

Reminded that the heat affected the roughly 160,000 US troops in Iraq, Snow replied: "You know, that's a good point. And it's 130 degrees for the Iraqi military."

(And for everybody who’ll get killed while the Iraqi government's on vacation, right, Tony? Good point. And it's not like you can have air-conditioning in Baghdad, you know. Because if they put glass in the windows of the Green Zone government buildings to keep the air conditioning in, the glass explodes whenever the bombs go off--and then you’re talking another trip to the hospital, my friends. Or the morgue.

No, I’m not kidding about that last part. My Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, made a one-day visit to Baghdad and met with Ambassador Ryan Crocker in his office in the Green Zone. She reported that the ambassador has no glass in the windows of his office, which was under mortar and rocket attack when she was visiting. Actually it’s a good thing that there’s no glass in the windows; that way the rockets and bombs just shoot straight through one window and out the window on the other side of the room, with any luck at all.

Anyway, Bachmann had to wear seventy pounds of body armor and a Kevlar helmet during her one day visit to the Green Zone, and she said it’s 130 degrees in Baghdad right *now*, this month. I can’t figure out why Snow thinks it matters that it’s 130 degrees in August, *too.*)

...Vice President Dick Cheney and the US ambassador, Ryan Crocker, have tried to convince the Iraqi parliament not to take such a long break at a time when US soldiers are fighting and dying and US support for the war is at a low ebb...

(“But this looks just awful, please don’t take a month off now, for Christ’s sake, you haven’t met any of the benchmarks and you’re insisting on a month long vacation, and all the time you’re on vacation our kids are fighting and dying out there to save your government —“
“So are our kids, Cheney! That’s why we’re taking *our* kids with us, on vacation. Why don’t you guys take a vacation, too? Take your kids with you. Then you have nothing to worry about, see? Oh, look the armored limos are here. (takes sip from coconut with little parasol in it, toasts) Aloha, my American friends! Tell your soldiers we’ll send a postcard to Walter Reed, eh?”)


Is that REALLY bin Laden in that new Al-Qaeda video?

That can't be real, that tape of bin Laden that's out on the web, now:

Osama bin Laden Appears in 'New' Al-Qaeda Video
Sunday July 15, 2007 Staff

A new videotaped message purportedly from Osama bin Laden has surfaced on a radical Islamist website...

...Bin Laden was last heard from in a July 1, 2006, audio tape in which he voiced support for the new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and warned countries not to send troops to fight a hardline Islamic regime that had recently seized power in Somalia.

Officials are trying to verify the authenticity of the tape.

Yeah, well there are some questions about the authenticity of the tape. There are always questions about the authenticity of a bin Laden tape. The White House and Defense Department spend billions of dollars on intelligence every year, and Rumsfeld used to joke about how he didn’t know whether bin Laden was dead or alive. I didn’t think that was funny; we’re paying you to kill bin Laden, you schmuck and you’re up there joking about how you don’t know whether he’s dead or alive? Get out, you’re fired, asshole.

Anyway, the new bin Laden tape is kind of suspect. It looks more like someone’s audition tape than Islamic radicalism, but you be the judge.

(bin Laden emeges from behind flap of tent, to huge applause and music from the band. He nods, smiles, “salutes” band leader, then makes a little “cut-throat” gesture to band leader to kill the music.)

Bin Laden: Thank you. Thank you, ladies and germs, you’re very kind. And may the Bird of Paradise spread its wings in your fox-hole! (laugh track)

Seriously though, it’s fantastic to be back here again in—(thinks, then mouths silently to bandleader: “Where the hell are we?”, gets answer looks back)—“undisclosed.” (laugh track) Always a pleasure, but the weather is really something, I tell you it was cold last night, very cold...brrr...


Bin Laden:
It was so cold that the hostages from Southern California had TWO sweaters tied around there necks. (laugh track, bin Laden tags it with:) Why do they do that? What does that MEAN, tying a sweater around your neck instead of wearing it? What is THAT all about?...(looks at crowd) Okay...that joke’s over, I guess—well, moving along...(someone applauds)...oh, thank you very much, sir. Now I finally know what it means to be loved. (laugh track) Anyway—I performed in Baghdad last week, and I have to say--I went over big with that crowd, very big, I killed ‘em, ladies and gentlemen. (pause) No, I mean—I killed ‘em! Really! (laugh track) But it’s true, I am very big in Baghdad these days. Very big, they love me there. When I got in at the airport, the Americans sent a big limo to get me. (pause) I got out of the way just in time! (laugh track, he wipes forehead, “whew!” gesture.) Well, that’s enough of this hilarity, eh? We gotta great show for you tonight, our guests are my good friend Charles Manson, the lovely and talented Winona Ryder, and George W. Bush—(snaps fingers) oh, that’s right, he can’t make it, he hasn’t been able to find his way here for six years. (laugh track) (bin Laden waves to camera) Hello, dummy, wherever you are! Anyway, we’ll be back after these messages...

(Band strikes up with theme song, applause, bin Laden blows kisses to the audience, thanks them, pantomimes pulling pin out of hand grenade with his teeth and tossing it into audience, pantomimes 747 hitting side of building, crowd goes wild, bin Laden bows.)



Saturday, July 14, 2007

McCain Campaign Chair: "Prostitute? What? Where am I?

Oh no... a day after four top officials resign from the Hindenburg—I mean, the McCain campaign--his campaign chairman in Florida gets busted for soliciting prostitution...

McCain campaign official denies soliciting for prostitution

(CNN) -- A day after four of Sen. John McCain's top political strategists stepped down, the co-chairman of his Florida campaign was arrested Wednesday for allegedly offering an undercover police officer money for a sex act, Titusville police said.

(Okay, time to do damage control. Was it a male undercover police officer, or a female? Not that there’s anything wrong with it, we just need to know for the evangelical voters in Florida...)

Rep. Bob Allen leaves the Brevard County, Florida, jail Wednesday night after his arrest.

Florida state Rep. Bob Allen faces charges of solicitation for prostitution after he was arrested in a Titusville city park that had been under surveillance, police said.

He allegedly offered an undercover police officer $20 for the unspecified act.

(Twenty dollars? Where did the McCain people come up with that kind of dough, all of a sudden?)

Allen told CNN affiliate WFTV the incident was "a very big misunderstanding."

"This is a very gross mistake, a very big mistake," he said, adding that this is what the judicial system is for.

(For busting Republicans looking for hookers??? There must be more to the judicial system than that--)

Allen said he helped build the park, and was there looking around.

I could see that happening...he was just looking’s within the realm of possibility... taking a walk around the park at night, you want to see what it’s like, now that it’s completed, if for the park you approved is working out—what the attendance is like here, in the evenings. Very nice, very nice trees... yes, there’s the swing set, just where it should be, all well and good...You see an attractive young thing—well, here’s a citizen enjoying the park in the evening, that’s very heartening. Think I’ll strike up a conversation...who knows, maybe this citizen is a McCain supporter.

“Hi! Enjoying the park? Good, good...say—Maybe we could go somewhere and I could introduce you to a little thing I call “the Straight Talk Express.” I feel that that the “surge” is working, are you interested in the “surge”? Really? How much?”

Hmm. This citizen is misunderstanding. I’ll show this citizen my campaign credentials, reach into the old pants pocket for my wallet—OH! A twenty dollar bill fell out, that’s embarrassing—I’ll just pick it up. Huh? Oh, no, I wasn’t offering YOU twenty dollars, no way, I’m a happily married man, I just happen to be out in the middle of the park at night, looking around—you’re a what? An undercover—hey, what is this—hey you guys, let go of me, Prosti-what? That’s ridiculous, I’m a state representative, I’m a Republican campaign chairman, I’m not out to screw anybody—hey, don’t handcuff me! I’m with the McCain campaign, HEY! Gimme that twenty back, we need that money—“

Music: “Bad boys, bad boys/whatcha gonna do/whatcha gonna do when they come for you” (etc.)

Now tell the truth--who among us has this NOT happened to, guys? It seems like every time I’m in a park taking a look around these days, I’m getting busted for offering an undercover police officer twenty bucks for an unspecified sex act. Total misunderstanding, happens every day.

For God’s sake, when will this madness stop? It should help McCain in Louisiana, though.

UPDATE: It has now been revealed that the "undercover cop"/prostitute Allen approached was indeed a male. This is what happens when you write to deadline. I've taken out the gender specific language, in light of these new developments.

But I will say this. Allen allegedly wanted to blow this cop, and offered him twenty bucks. That's disgusting. Senator Vitter (R-LA) was paying that DC madame $275 an hour for a female hooker. Twenty bucks to blow a cop is ridiculous; an insult to the thin blue line that protects us every day. Citizens like Allen should consider it a privilege to blow a cop; the rates should at least be competitive. What is happening to America?


Thursday, July 12, 2007

GOP Presidential Contenders Fear Opening of Nixon Archive

The Nixon Archives have now become public documents, and that spells BIG trouble for some GOP presidential candidates.

07 12 07 Federal Archivists Take Control of Nixon Library

By Gillian Flaccus
Associated Press
Thursday, July 12, 2007; Page C09

YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- The privately operated Richard M. Nixon Library & Birthplace was officially handed over to federal archivists yesterday, and researchers can pore over documents and tapes detailing "the good, the bad and the ugly" on the 37th president and his legacy...

...The new library director is taking some of the whitewash off the scandal resulting from the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington and the subsequent White House cover-up. The revised account is a precondition for receiving 42 million pages of the former president's papers and nearly 4,000 hours of tapes, which will be moved to California in several years.

Boy, get to work on that stuff fast, guys! Before next year’s elections! There’s bound to be some big bombshells in there! Stuff like this:

(Tape recording of Oval Office conversation. President Nixon meets with White House Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman.)

Nixon: Okay, Bob, you got five minutes. What the (expletive deleted) is so important?

Haldeman: Well, Mr. President, we’ve got to take care of some Republican problems. We’ve got some guys who need their asses covered. They’re calling in favors, sir.

Nixon: (Expletive deleted)! Why are you bothering me with this (unintelligible).

Haldeman: I don’t want to sir, but some of this affects some very promising young GOP members. We’re going to need these guys to preserve your legacy. For example—you know Fred Thompson?

Nixon: That dumb (characterization omitted) from Tennessee on the Watergate investigating committee?

Haldeman: Yes. He’s getting very jumpy. He’s been secretly feeding us all this inside information from the Committee.

Nixon: So what? That’s his job, isn’t it? He knew he’d be ratting out the investigating committee when he took the job, what’s he complaining about, the (adjective deleted) hick.

Haldeman: He’s afraid if the press finds out, he’ll get disbarred. I mean, he would be disbarred, if the Committee found out he was feeding us inside information when he was supposed to be investigating us. It would ruin his career.

Nixon: His career? Now I’ve got to take care of this Gomer’s career, too? (Expletive deleted)...Okay. Tell the little (characterization omitted) that if he keeps playing along, we’ll get him in the movies.

Haldeman: The movies?!

Nixon: Yeah, yeah... I know people in Hollywood. I’ll get him something in the movies. Don’t promise him top billing or anything. Character parts. He can play, I dunno, a principled politician or a law enforcement official. He’s good at pretending he’s principled, he’ll get work. Okay, who’s next?

Haldeman: Well, we got this guy John McCain, he’s still a P.O.W. in Nam, we got an offer to do a prisoner exchange for him--

Nixon: Is he a Republican?

Haldeman: Well, we think he’s gonna be when he gets out—and he’s very gung-ho on the idea of war—

Nixon: So is everybody in the GOP, so what?

Haldeman: Yes sir, but you know that most of our GOP guys take deferments to get out of fighting in the war—it would be really nice to have someone who actually saw combat in the GOP, once in a while. Of course, McCain’s a little more liberal than we’d like—

Nixon: (Expletive deleted) him then, let him rot with the Cong. He's not going anywhere until he becomes a conservative Republican. Tell him to flip and become conservative, then we'll talk about prisoner exchanges.

Haldeman: Well--we could bribe the Cong to let him go sir--McCain himself doesn't have much money--

Nixon: Idiots like this McCain never have any money! You call the guy thirty years from now and he STILL won't have any money. Let him rot! What else?

Haldeman: Well, I got this urgent request from George Bush—

Nixon: What does that (characterization omitted) want?

Haldeman: It seems his son’s gone AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard again.

Nixon: What am I supposed to do? Go out and look for the little (expletive deleted)?

Haldeman: Well, apparently George Junior isn’t too bright, his dad says he might be out somewhere doing coke or drunk driving or something—

Nixon: And that’s my problem, all of the sudden? Tell Bush I’m not gonna call out the FBI to find his congenital idiot coke-sniffing son for him. In fact, tell him that if we do find him we’ll shoot the little (characterization omitted) for desertion.

Haldeman: Bush senior could be a big help to you in this Watergate thing, sir.


Nixon: Oh alright then. Tell the FBI to put a couple of guys on it. Tell ‘em to follow the line of white powder and empty liquor bottles until the Bush kid shows up on the other end. Tell Bush we’ll cover it up for him. But when the archives come out and the American people find out I did this—they’re gonna regret it, believe you me. (Expletive deleted.)


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pray for the blogger, Bill Prendergast

How long, Oh Lord? How long?

What have I done wrong? How have I offended Thee?

Why, why hast Thou given me this political representation?

I have two homes, one is in the Sixth Congressional district of Minnesota. The other is in New Orleans.

My congresswoman in Minnesota is a fundamentalist GOP nut, Michele Bachmann--a staunch proponent of Bush, the Iraq war, and the surge. She just returned from a one day tour of Iraq, claiming the surge needs time to work, after she spent the entire day inside the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone—which was under mortar attack during her visit. Four years after we “captured Baghdad,” she spent her day there wearing full body armor and a Kevlar helmet under mortar fire in what is supposed to be the most secure spot in Iraq—and she concludes that it’s too early to say whether or not Bush’s escalation is improving the security situation. (She hopped on a plane home that same day; she’s crazy, not stupid.)

In Louisiana, my Congressman is Democrat “Cold Cash” Jefferson, the guy who the feds busted with $90,000 dollars in cash stashed in Tupperware in his freezer. He was recently rated the least influential member of Congress—a definite minus for the citizens of a city depopulated and reeling from the biggest urban natural disaster in U.S. history.

And now we got my Senator, David Vitter, another GOP stalwart. Look at this:

Senator's number on escort service list

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer 45 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C. Madam."

Vitter's spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the statement in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press.

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in the statement. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there — with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

He’s saying “God, forgive me for cheating on my wife with a prostitute”; just a couple of years back he was saying “God, I could really use a handjob.”

Did you catch that, in the quote? He said “several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife.” Now, I can understand how you can claim, truthfully, that you “asked for and received” forgiveness from your wife. She screams, maybe punches you a few times, you say “I swear I’ll never, never do it again”, she forgives you (if you’re lucky) and bingo! You’ve asked for and received forgiveness. You’re home free, Vitter.

But how the hell can anyone claim publicly that he’s asked for and received forgiveness from God? What, did God send you a note, or something? “That’s okay, my Son, I understand, it was just a handjob, you were horny. I forgive thee, thou art representing the party of family values. But next time don’t call the escort service from thine own phone, schmuck.”

God doesn’t send out notes like that. It’s too bad He doesn’t (it would really help if you could show a note like that when you’re asking for forgiveness from the wife, too.) But He doesn’t. So Vitter can’t claim that it’s a fact that he “asked for and received God’s forgiveness,” and his wife will tell you what his word’s worth; it’s worth the same as his wedding vow.

It would be different if Vitter claimed that he had actually received a vision from God, one in which God appeared to him and forgave him in person. (My Minnesota Congresswoman, Bachmann *does* claim that she gets visions from God. Yes, she really does, we have her claiming that on tape, you can see it on YouTube.) But right now, all we have is Vitter’s word for it that God forgave him for the Dial-a-Hoe thing.

Silas Lee, a political analyst and pollster in New Orleans, spoke Monday about the possible political impact on Vitter.

"In the short term, I think the issue will dominate the discourse for a few days and weeks, and though he's up for re-election in 2010, it should dissipate by then," Lee told WWL-TV in New Orleans.

"But for some of his very conservative constituents, it might not be as easy. In their mind and eyes, they may not be able to forgive. The majority may overlook it in time depending on his job performance and how sincere voters believe he wants them to forgive him."

What, so Vitter’s career prospects are the problem here? He’s the one with the problem? How about us? What are we, the “Job” constituency, that we have to suffer through political representation like this?

And I love how this political analyst says this whole thing’s gonna blow over in a few weeks. He must be drinkin’. Are you kidding me? This is New Orleans; when you do something like Vitter did, they make a twenty-five foot float about the incident for Mardi Gras and put it in a parade! They pull it through the streets of the French Quarter all night with a team of donkeys! You can already see it: a ten-foot statue of Vitter, cell phone in hand, standing by a twenty foot motel room bed, with an eight foot prostitute putting her pantyhose back on, and a twenty foot statue of God, presiding over all, saying “I forgive you, Dave” in a Biblical font.

How long, Oh Lord... How long...


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Wall Street Journal: WE Will Fight, In Iraq

Well, I’ll tell you who’s not retreating from Iraq—the editors of the Wall Street Journal, that’s who!

Republican Retreat
July 9, 2007; Page A14

The last of the brigades President Bush ordered for his military surge in Iraq only arrived in the country last month, and they have been heavily engaged with al Qaeda in the Sunni triangle around Baghdad as part of the new military strategy. So it's especially distressing that Republican Senators should decide that this is the time to separate themselves from Mr. Bush on Iraq.

(The schweinhunds!)

"I do not doubt the assessments of military commanders that there has been some progress in security," Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declared on the Senate floor late last month. But that didn't stop Mr. Lugar from concluding that its chances of success are "very limited." Why? The "short period framed by our own domestic political debate" won't allow it, he says...

(That is in fact the most horrible admission ever by the Republican party; telling the world that American troops should come home now—because if they don’t it will cost the GOP biiiiggg again in next years elections! So *that’s* what it takes to make the GOP fold up on a failed war that costs hundreds of thousands of lives and created a new kind of slaughterhouse in Iraq. “Hey, you know us, we’d keep ‘em over there forever, it’s no skin off our ass how many of our kids get killed or maimed. But this is serious now—this thing could cost us our POLITICAL CAREERS! So that’s it, the GOP is bailing out.”)

Last week, New Mexico's Pete Domenici noisily joined this bandwagon, as have several other Republican Senators, some of whom face tough re-election fights next year.

Yup. This is as low as you can go in American politics—a de facto admission that the reason you kept our troops there this long, is because you didn’t really believe it would hurt your own election chances. The GOP and the conservatives are truly bottom-feeders; sociopaths.

Now remember: the editors are speaking here of the conservative Republican leadership that they endorsed for office. The WSJ is a conservative/GOP organ: it recommended the conservatives that it is now accusing of cowardice and careerism. Why *did* you recommend this party of cowardly careerists for high public office, WSJ?

The WSJ wants to continue the war. Victory may be just around the corner, if the US is willing to commit troops for another year. Or two. Or three. Or whatever: retired General Jack Keane told the New York Sun: "The tragedy of these efforts is we are on the cusp of potentially being successful in the next year in a way that we have failed in the three-plus preceding years, but because of this political pressure it looks like we intend to pull out the rug from underneath that potential success."

The promise, after four years of war, has moved from “they’ll greet us with open arms” to “it’s just a few dead enders” to “there is a claim of potential for success from a retired general.” Oh really? That’s not what the Pentagon thinks. From the Times:

Robert Gates, the defence secretary, is drawing up plans to reduce troop levels in Iraq in anticipation that General David Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, will not be able to deliver an upbeat progress report in September on the American troop surge.

The WSJ is “on drugs.” Even if we drive al Qaeda out, we still have a shitstorm of a religious and ethnic civil between Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds, an ethnic and religious struggle with untold oil reserves as the prize for the most genocidal—and we still have US soldiers continuing to stand at the wrong end of this shooting gallery. *That* scenario does not enter the WSJ’s calculus: even if you beat al Qaeda (and they can’t even promise that), you’ve still got a murderous civil war to “win.”

But give us more time, pleads the WSJ. And to show you they’re sincere—this is unprecedented, it’s never happened before—they are forming a new volunteer combat force to go to the area and relieve American combat troops who have already done two or more tours of duty. Can you believe it? It’s incredible, isn’t it? The editors of the Wall Street Journal are so sure of final victory and so convinced of the worthiness of the cause, that they themselves are going to leave their desks, enter basic training, and go to fight in Iraq as combat troops. That’s how sure they are that we’re going to stabilize Iraq within the next year or so, and this strategic alliance thing is going to pay off.

Yes, the editors of the WSJ want a piece of the action, before this whole Iraq thing is over. They’re not just a bunch of conservative desk jockeys who are trying to string this thing out, they’re going to put their money where their mouths are and FIGHT! Former editor Jude Wanniski is actually returning from his GRAVE to general the brigade of armed-to-the-teeth finance editors, senior reporters, trickle-down economics pundits and wannabe interns—as they conduct nightly house to house patrols in suspect terrorist havens and engage in streetfighting in Sadr City. That’s how convinced they are that victory is just around the corner, can you believe it? There’s nothing like it in the history of American journalism.

You find that hard to believe?

Well, then...would you believe...that the WSJ editors have announced that all their kids and grand kids who are eligible for combat have signed up to go and fight in Iraq for the next two years? They’re sending their own kids, would you believe it?

Okay... uhhh....

Would you believe--they're sending one very angry "supply-side" economics fan with a graph on a cocktail napkin?

Oh, forget it. They’re not fucking going, who am I kidding.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Fred Thompson: Watergate Investigator/Nixon Rat

Boy, it just keeps getting worse for Fred, doesn’t it? Yesterday the media reported that Fred was once a pro-choice lobbyist (kills him with pro-lifers); today the media reveals that Fred was secretly feeding the Nixon administration inside information and pimping for the administration he was supposed to be investigating. (Kills Fred with the five or six Republican voters who are actually interested in integrity in government.)
Fred Thompson aided Nixon on Watergate

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press Writer
Sat Jul 7, 12:24 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Fred Thompson gained an image as a tough-minded investigative counsel for the Senate Watergate committee. Yet President Nixon and his top aides viewed the fellow Republican as a willing, if not too bright, ally, according to White House tapes.

Thompson, now preparing a bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, won fame in 1973 for asking a committee witness the bombshell question that revealed Nixon had installed hidden listening devices and taping equipment in the Oval Office.

(That’s good.)

...It was Thompson who tipped off the White House that the Senate committee knew about the tapes.

(That’s bad. Real bad. Prosecutor Thompson tipping off the target of the investigation that the Senate already knew about the tapes and that they were going to ask that “bombshell” question anyway, whether Thompson took credit for asking it or not. It turns out that Fred Thompson was actually Nixon’s “secret agent” on the investigating committee...When a lawyer does that, it’s considered...”unethical”, as in, “you should be disbarred” unethical...)

Nixon was disappointed with the selection of Thompson, whom he called "dumb as hell."

(I have to agree with Nixon, there.)

..."Oh shit, that kid," Nixon said when told by his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, of Thompson's appointment on Feb. 22, 1973.

"Well, we're stuck with him," Haldeman said.

(They were right. Nixon: prison, if Ford hadn’t pardoned him. Haldeman: prison.)

(Howard Baker, Thompson’s mentor) had secret meetings and conversations with Nixon and his top aides, while Thompson worked cooperatively with the White House and accepted coaching from Nixon's lawyer, J. Fred Buzhardt, the tapes and transcripts show.

"We've got a pretty good rapport with Fred Thompson," Buzhardt told Nixon in an Oval Office meeting on June 6, 1973. The meeting included a discussion of former White House counsel John Dean's upcoming testimony before the committee...

Nixon expressed concern that Thompson was not "very smart."

"Not extremely so," Buzhardt agreed.

"But he's friendly," Nixon said.

"But he's friendly," Buzhardt agreed. "We are hoping, though, to work with Thompson and prepare him, if Dean does appear next week, to do a very thorough cross-examination."

..."I found Thompson most cooperative, feeling more Republican every day," Buzhardt said. "Uh, perfectly prepared to assist in really doing a cross-examination."

Later in the same conversation, Buzhardt said Thompson was "willing to go, you know, pretty much the distance now. And he said he realized his responsibility was going to have be as a Republican increasingly."

(His responsibility as a Republican, which conflicted with his responsibility as an investigating attorney and as citizen of the United States.)

Thompson, who declined comment for this story ("I ain't talkin', see?), described himself in his book, "At That Point in Time," published in 1975, as a Nixon administration "loyalist" who struggled with his role as minority counsel. "I would try to walk a fine line between a good-faith pursuit of the investigation and a good-faith attempt to insure balance and fairness," Thompson wrote

(He left out the part where he crossed the fine line regularly to feed Nixon insider info about what was going on inside the investigating committee. We got that stuff on tape.)

...At a hearing on July 16, Thompson asked former White House aide Alexander Butterfield: "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?"

Butterfield's confirmation of the recordings set off a cascade of events that led to Nixon's resignation 13 months later.

The question made Thompson instantly famous. His political Web site — — prominently notes: "Friends in Tennessee still recall seeing the boy they'd grown up with on TV, sitting at the Senate hearing-room dais. He gained national attention for leading the line of inquiry that revealed the audio-taping system in the White House Oval Office."

What rarely is mentioned is that Thompson knew the answer to the question before he asked it. Investigators for the committee had gotten the information out of Butterfield during hours of behind-the-scenes questioning three days earlier, on July 13.

(Yes, that is rarely mentioned. Why does Fred rarely mention that?)

Thompson was not present, but a Republican investigator immediately tracked him down at the Carroll Arms Hotel bar where he was meeting with a reporter. Thompson called Buzhardt over the weekend to tip off the White House that the committee knew about the tapes.

(Secret phone call from “Mr. Integrity”/Fred to Nixon’s lawyer: “INCOMING! Dey know about da tape recordin’! What does ya want me ta do next, boss?” Fred is playing a character like Matt Damon played in “The Departed,” see—except he’s playing it in real life...)

...Scott Armstrong, a Democratic investigator for the committee who was part of the Butterfield questioning, said he was outraged by Thompson's tip-off.

"When the prosecutor discovers the smoking the gun, he's going to be shocked to find that the deputy prosecutor called the defendant and said, 'You'd better get rid of that gun,'" Armstrong said in an interview.

(It’s not shocking if you know the Republican attitude towards the law and towards ethics. Playing the Nixon rat on the investigating committee sure paid off for Fred, though, didn’t it?)

Watergate: STILL an issue for Republicans in the 2008 elections. Can't they find a conservative candidate with just a little integrity?


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fred Thompson: Pro-Abortion Lobbyist

So, since the McCain campaign is so strapped for funds that they’re eating out of the same can of Beefaroni and sleeping under a blue tarp these days—the road is wide open for upstart candidate Fred Thompson of TV’s “Law and Order”? Right?

All the ducks were lined up: Thompson’s agent had a meeting with the GOP, they were cold at first—they told the agent to leave Thompson’s headshot and resume at the desk with the girl, “don’t call us, we’ll call you” bullshit...But Thompson’s agent kept calling them, he kept dipping his wick. Selling them on how absolutely right he’s be for this “Mr. President” part, starting the “buzz.” He arranged a series of public appearances at some very high profile venues—“real classy stuff, Freddy, no supermarket openings, no leg-and-fanny shots—“ “That’s good, because I’m an artist—“ “We know, baby, we know—“

And all that payed off. It culminated with Thompson’s appearance before the evangelical powerbrokers’ secret society, the Council For National Policy. This was a make or break audition for Thompson. You got to have the evangelical millionaire media in your corner; they’re make or break in the sticks. And it’s not like Freddy nailed it—he’d wanted to open with the big number from “Cats”, but thank God, his handlers talked him out of that and instead he talked to the Jesus marketers about what a raw deal Scooter Libby was getting...

What were they thinking? Freddy plays a conservative, he can do it in his sleep, and this is the audition for the Council For National Policy—the big time; this is Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, the Hunts from Texas, the ex-John Birch Society nuts who are using Jesus’ name to take political power! They don’t wanna hear you play a sad song on the smallest violin in the world about Scooter Libby—they want to hear you talk about family values, how you’re gonna role back Roe v. Wade if you get in—

Still, it wasn’t a total disaster. Freddy didn’t exactly nail it, but he was still in consideration. They told him he’d have to do a screen test (which is kind of an insult to a star of Freddy’s stature) but he agreed to eat shit at least until the latest numbers on the potential candidates came in.

And Freddy’s numbers were good; he was trouncing McCain, even. You gotta understand how important this part was to Freddy—if he was to get this “President” thing, it would do for his career what playing “The Godfather” did for Brando (an artist that Freddy very much admires.) He really wanted this part bad, he’s pacin’ up and down his trailer sayin’ to himself “I hope I get this, I hope I get this—“

Then, today: disaster. I mean we’re talkin’ a real shit sandwich, delivered hot and ready for Freddy to eat. In the New York Times, yet.

Group Says It Hired Fred Thompson in Abortion Rights Bid

Published: July 7, 2007

Former Senator Fred D. Thompson, who has positioned himself as an opponent of abortion rights as he prepares to run for president, was hired as a lobbyist 16 years ago by a group on the other side of the issue, according to documents and people involved with his hiring.


The group, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, hired Mr. Thompson in 1991, three years before he was elected to the Senate from Tennessee, as part of the group’s effort to overturn a ban on federally financed family planning clinics giving women information about abortion, according to the group’s board minutes and former president.

(Oh my God! THIS is why he wouldn’t do his big “abortion” number at the Council For National Policy audition!)

In the group’s board minutes of September 1991, Ms. DeSarno (of the NFPRHA) reported hiring Mr. Thompson to “aid us in discussions with the administration.” Ms. DeSarno, who provided the minutes, said in an interview that Mr. Thompson served as the group’s liaison to the White House.

A spokesman for Mr. Thompson said yesterday that Mr. Thompson had “no recollection of doing any work on behalf of this group.”

(No recollection! You fuckin’ putz, you know how much money we got sunk into promoting you for this part? You got anything else you want to tell us now, Fred? Did you ever play a gay Scoutmaster in a porn video, maybe, and you’re not “recollectin” that? We have to find out about this by readin’ it in the New York Times, for Christ’s sake?)

In a questionnaire that he answered during his successful 1994 Senate campaign in Tennessee, Mr. Thompson or his campaign staff checked a box stating that he believed abortion should be legal under any circumstance during the first three months of a pregnancy. In a televised debate the same year, Mr. Thompson appeared to tell the moderator that he personally disagreed with outlawing abortion. “Should the government come in and criminalize let’s say a young girl and her parents and her doctor?” Mr. Thompson said. “I think not.”

(Oh, my God (hits intercom) Clarisse! Where are my fuckin’ pills, get in here with my pills and a glass of water, this fucking actor is givin’ me a STROKE! How could you do this to us, Fred?)

...Ms. DeSarno said Mr. Thompson gave her regular updates by phone and that she met him on at least two occasions in person. Over dinner at the Washington restaurant Galileo one night, she said Mr. Thompson told her he had spoken with John Sununu, then the White House chief of staff, about the matter.

“Fred had a big smile and he said, how about if only the doctors can talk (about abortion) but not all these other nurses and volunteers,” Ms. DeSarno recalled, referring to a potential compromise on the ban. “It wasn’t formal. It was, ‘How about this?’ ”

("A big smile"...Oh, my God—my heart, Fred. You killin’ me, Fred, you’re killin’ me...fucking show business...)


Bush to Dems: Come on, guys, cut it out, that hurts, OW, cut it out...

The White House is outraged by all these time-wasting investigations of the Justice Department and illegal wire-tapping and the Fourth Branch of government theory and stuff. "Why all the negative energy, man?" Look:

White House raps recent flurry of probes

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer Thu Jul 5, 5:28 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The White House on Thursday pushed back against congressional investigations of the Bush administration and said lawmakers should spend more time passing bills to solve domestic problems.

(I wish Bush had focused more on passing bills to solve domestic problems over the past seven years—instead of campaigning for Republican candidates and screwing up other countries. Wait a minute—no, I don’t wish he’d spent more time on domestic problems. I take that back. Anyway:)

In a constitutional showdown with Congress, the administration claimed executive privilege and rejected demands for White House documents about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

(Isn’t *that* a “domestic problem?* Trying to use the Justice Department to criminalize your political opposition and disenfranchise voters? I know it’s near the top of my list...)

The House and Senate Judiciary committees have set a deadline of 10 a.m. next Monday for the White House to explain its basis for the claim.

The administration has not said when or if it will respond.

(“We’re not *saying* how we’ll respond, how do you like them apples, smarty pants?” Oh, that's mature.)

Spokesman Scott Stanzel said Thursday the White House has received a many requests for information since Democrats took control of Congress in January and has turned over 200,000 pages of documents.

(Except for the documents that Congress wants.)

"They've launched over 300 investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and interviews and they have had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100 days," Stanzel said.

(Well, that’s hardly their fault. Why don’t you just give ‘em what they’re asking for, then we could wrap this whole thing up and you guys could go home. Or, to prison...)

..."His numbers are as faulty as the intelligence they used to make their case for war," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

(Ouch! A little snark there, from the old man.)

Subpoenas have been delivered to the offices of Bush, Cheney, the national security adviser and the Justice Department about the administration's warrantless wiretapping program.

(Free ride’s over, Bush boys. This is Washington, you don’t go around begging for mercy and respect for the office after the way Republicans treated the Clintons. Your guys spent more than seven years investigating Whitewater—a decades old banking scandal that turned out to be no scandal at all. The Dems have only spent a hundred days investigating crap that going on right now at the White House. This president's gonna get all the "deference and fair play" that the Republican Congress showed to Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, because this "police state" stuff's a a hell of a lot more important.)

In a letter to Congress last week, White House counsel Fred Fielding said the administration had rejected subpoenas for documents through the claim of executive privilege. That letter also made it clear that neither former presidential counsel Harriet Miers nor former White House political director Sara Taylor would testify on Capitol Hill next week, as directed by the subpoenas.

(“We refuse to testify on the grounds that it may—What we mean is, nobody’s talkin’, see? Dat’s why we sprung Scooter, see? If we let him go into da stir, dey’d all be singin’ like canary-boids, see? So nobody’s talkin’, see? M’yeah...)

That’s my “Little Caesar” imitation, for all you youngsters out there. He’s the new counsel to the Justice Department, see? M’yeah...


Friday, July 06, 2007

A-ha, So THAT'S Why Bush Poll Numbers Are So Low

by Dirk Dodd

(Editor's note: Who is the author, Dirk Dodd? He's guy I grew up with in New Jersey. At school I used to beat him up and take his milk money; now he's old like me and he lives in New York City where he observes the political scene, when people are not beating him up taking his milk money. Here are Dirk's thoughts on the current Bush public relations strategy:)

George W. Bush is deliberately trying to drive his approval polling numbers down; down to where not only GOP lawmakers and the Republican party as a whole have abandoned him, but to where the Religious Right stops taking his calls, Laura moves back in with her folks, and Barney, the dog, is routinely taking chunks out of the president’s leg.

Sound crazy? Trace the behavior, pay attention to the numbers...

March 2005 - Social Security privatization. Opinion polls taken after Bush’s hard sell of the plan reveal an eye-popping plunge in approval, from 52% down to 45% according to a USA TODAY/ CNN/Gallup poll. Okay, privatization didn’t sell. What’s a seven percent drop in approval, anyway? I see ten easy every time I leave the toilet seat up. Nobody’s asking me for a divorce.

September 2005 - ‘Heckuva job’ Hurricane Katrina fumble. Bush is looking at approvals in the mid-to-low 40s. Hmmm… ‘But he’s a Republican,’ I say to myself, ‘Republicans don’t believe in federal assistance.’ Bush’s nose-thumb to hurricane victims conforms to an ideological aversion to government meddling, denying citizens their right to self-determined drowning. Doesn’t mean he’s given up trying…does it?

February 2006 - Dubai Ports deal. Bush dips to 34% in approval. Wait a sec… Did he not see the backlash coming on that? Placing our nation’s port security in the hands of Middle Easterners? Where’s your post-9/11-world common sense, man?

December 2006 - The Iraq Study Group. Yikes! Grim findings indeed on the prospects for achieving success in Iraq. But good news: the report leaves a little face-saving drawdown-of-troops strategy for the President to sign on to. A road map out of the quagmire! Beautiful! If it doesn’t work, it’s Baker’s fault! Incredibly, though, Bush re-buffs it. What? No he di-n’t! Oh, yes he di-id. And America responds by dropping Bush three more approval ratings points down, from 38% to 35% in a week’s time. ‘A lifeline’s being tossed you, dummy…grab hold!’

January 2007 - Troop ‘surge’ into Iraq. Oh, for the love of God… Another plunge, this time to the range of 35 to 33 percent. Overwhelmingly Americans want us out of Iraq; Bush ratchets up the troop strength instead some twenty thousand plus. Jack the Ripper numbers, that’s where this thing’s headed.

Now this, the latest presidential turd dropped into the punchbowl of public opinion:

July 2007 - The ‘Scooter’ Libby sentence commutation. Game over! A resounding 70 percent of Americans polled agree: the guy’s a felon, he must serve time. Bush says, “Nope… too harsh.”

There’s no other way to interpret this—he wants lower approval ratings.

And I know why. As bad as the numbers get for this president, his vice president enjoys even more dismal job approval ratings; some polls, at times, dipping down as low as into the high teens! This drives the uber Competitor-in-Chief Bush to the brink of insanity.

“He’s made every major decision of my presidency, every one…MY presidency!” sputters Bush, ramming his fist through a wall in the Oval Office. “By God, I’ll not let him out-poll me into the crapper, as well. Let me win something, will ya!? If not the presidency, then the month-to-month Least Popular Sweepstakes!”

Bad news for W. He’ll never realize his ambition of beating Cheney in the ‘Hate Derby.’ Let’s face it, even if Bush firebombed an orphanage tomorrow there’s still a diehard 20 percent of Americans who would remain steadfast as ever in their support of him…

“Those kids had it comin’ to ‘em! With their demands for porridge, and sips of water, and 10-minute breaks from the task of asbestos removal in the main dining hall—they brought it upon themselves! Anyway, all those lucky little boys and girls just got fast-tracked to Heaven, where right now they’re sitting pretty on the lap of Jesus…”

Bush’ll never make a dent in that 20% no matter what. My advice then to the President: forget Cheney, go for the history books…Worst President Ever.

Opinions vary among presidential historians, of course, but most agree the guy to beat here is James Buchanan, our 15th president…staunchly pro-slavery; failed to deal decisively with the South’s secession, prompting our nation’s bloody and divisive Civil War (some argue he fairly encouraged it…’Bring it on!’ he was once overheard saying to his Secretary of War.)

In the absence of hard polling data, but judging from newspaper opinion pieces at the time, letters-to-the-Editor, and the number of rocks and rotten eggs hurled in the direction of Buchanan’s passing presidential carriage, Buchanan today would be polling at roughly 24%.

Twenty-four percent? This President could do that standing on his pointy little head with one hand tied behind his back, right George…?

“Buchanan? Hah! Amateur! Our nation’s civil war will look like a tea party compared to Iraq when I get through there. I’m preparing a public statement right now, in fact, denigrating the prophet Mohammed that’ll light a fire in North America you’ll be able to see from outer space. Worst President Ever? That title’s as a good as MINE…!



Worst White House Press Conference Ever?

You could almost—(almost)—feel sorry for some of the Bush administration guys, if they hadn’t caused the deaths of so many people, so needlessly. Including our own troops.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post chronicles what must be Tony Snow’s worst press conference, ever. (Including his first one, where he refused to take any questions about foreign policy.)

Milbank uses a somewhat overwrought Jabberwocky metaphor to highlight the fact that the administration’s statements have now degenerated into outright nonsense.

He needn’t have. Here’s the juicy bits...

Through the Looking Glass, Darkly

By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, July 4, 2007; A02

...“I'm sure that the vice president may have expressed an opinion, but the fact is, the president understands the -- and he may have recused himself; I honestly don't know.”
-- (Tony Snow) White House press briefing, yesterday.


...President Bush, fielding questions yesterday after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed, declared that "the jury verdict should stand" -- and then, in answer to the same question, said he was open to vacating the verdict by granting Libby a full pardon.

("I believe in the rule of law--uh, no, wait a minute, I don't.")

Logic suffered a more serious challenge when Bush press secretary Tony Snow, in his briefing, made the following points about Libby's case:

• That Bush wasn't "granting a favor to anyone" but that the case got his "special handling."

• That it was not done for "political reasons" even though "it was political."

• That it was handled "in a routine manner," yet it was also "an extraordinary case."

• That "we are not going to make comments" on the case, even though Bush had already issued a 655-word statement commenting on the case.

(Jee-zus...remember in 2004, when Bush's main argument against a Kerry presidency was that he was a flip-flopper?)

...That Snow was standing there at all was an act of courage. His hair is thinning and his frame is gaunt from his battle with cancer, and he has a port in his chest into which chemotherapy drugs are injected. And Bush has made things increasingly difficult for Snow since the press secretary took the job 15 months ago. The president's popularity has plunged into the 20s, he has lost both houses of Congress, the Iraq war is a debacle, and his vice president has attempted to remove himself from the executive branch. Richard Nixon had been the standard by which presidential failures are measured, but even Nixon was not this low this long...

(Yes, it takes courage for a man with cancer to stand up there and spout nonsense to the press. He's a sick man; why the hell can't they find someone else to stand up there and spout bullshit to the press? Is this part of the new Bush "go for the pity fuck" public relations strategy?)

...(Snow) crossed his ankles behind the lectern and established his opening position: that "the president does not look upon (the commutation of Libby's sentence) as granting a favor to anyone."

(Yeah, he looks on it as way to keep the other indictable henchmen from spilling their guts.)

"Why shouldn't it be thought of as a bestowal of a favor," asked Plante, "when there are dozens of other people who would probably make the same case that their sentences were too heavy and should have been commuted?"

"Well, I'm not sure that there are dozens of others," the spokesman ventured.

Indeed, there aren't dozens. "There are more than 3,000 current petitions for commutation," ABC's Ann Compton informed the spokesman. "Will all 3,000 of those be held to the same standard?"

Snow cut his losses. "I don't know," he demurred.

("I don't know, I just don't know..." I think he does know the answer to that one. If those 3,000 petitioners can't put the finger on Cheney, their sentences ain't gonna be commuted.)

Ken Herman of Cox News Service tried to get Snow to justify his claim that the Libby commutation was handled by the book. "How could it not be extraordinary to grant something to someone who didn't even ask for it?"

Snow ultimately surrendered to Herman with a shrug.

(Boy, that response wouldn't make the grade on "Jeopardy!", I can tell you that...)

...CNN's Ed Henry asked why Bush adviser Karl Rove, now known to have leaked Plame's identity, was not being held to Bush's promise in 2004 to fire anybody involved in the leak.

"We are not going to make comments in detail until the legal process is over," Snow parried -- only to be reminded by several reporters of Bush's two-page statement on the case from Monday, and the prosecutor's view that the case is done.

(Fire Rove? Do you know what that would do to our reputation for integrity? He sets the ethical standard for the rest of the administration. And the guy's a political genius; he was the guy who sold the country on the Iraq war...)

Read the entire article at the link above; more amazing statements. Snow sounds like he's conducting a press conference on the Hindenburg. ("Why is it blowing up? I don't know... I don't know... (shrugs)"


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Libby Ain't Outta Da Woods Yet!

What happens to Libby now that he don’t have to do no hard time? The soldiers fighting in Baghdad and Anbar province are probably staying up nights worrying about that one. But it’s a tough question, according to the following article:

Jul 3, 5:23 PM EDT

Legal Confusion Follows Libby Decision

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush forced the CIA leak case into uncharted legal territory when he commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a federal judge said Tuesday.

Bush eliminated Libby's 2 1/2-year prison term and left in place his two years of supervised release. But supervised release - a form of probation - is only available to people who have served prison time. Without prison, it's unclear what happens next.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton posed the question to Libby's attorneys and to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald: Does this mean Libby won't actually be required to serve supervised release? Should he just have to report to probation officials as if he spent time in prison?

I tried to find out. The first thing that should happen is that Libby should get familiar with the system, so he can’t get into trouble again. There’s an FAQ for probationers I found on line that could answer a lot of Libby’s questions:

* What should I not bring to my appointment with my Probation Officer?

You will pass through a metal detector and be searched, so you should not bring the following:

* Weapons or anything that can be used as a weapon. (We don’t want you goin’ batshit on the Probation Officer with a Blackberry or something.)
* Recording devices. (The last thing you want is a record of what you actually said, Scooter, that’ll land you back in the clink in no time.)
* Camera cell phones. (No pictures! We might have to bat you around with a phone book or something, if you try to get tough.)

Can I carry a firearm?

* No probationer may possess any firearms if on probation for a felony…

(And dat means you, Scooter. This obviously goes double for Libby, since he was Cheney’s right-hand man when he got into all that “law trouble.” No more huntin’ trips with Dick, Scooter. Yer just askin’ fer it, if ya do that.)

What do I do if I am arrested?

* If you are arrested, charged with any offense, or have any police contact, contact your Probation Officer, no later than 48 hours of it happening. You may do this in person or by telephone.

(Either that or call the President and tell him you might talk. He’ll spring ya again. That Domestic Policy Adviser of Bush’s who was ripping off Target stores didn’t have to do no time.)

“Tips for Success”

* Review and understand all of your conditions of probation.

(That’s gonna be tough, in Libby’s case. It turns out that even the judge and the prosecutor don’t understand the terms of Libby’s probation. There ain’t no precedent. This is apparently the first time in U.S. history a convicted felon was put on probation without doing any time at all. But the usual advice from a probation officer will almost certainly apply: “Keep your nose clean, Scooter. People, places and things—stay away from the old crowd, the old hang-outs, the sensitive files—we got our eye on you, Scooter, we’re right behind ya every step of the way…”)

* Think before you act. Slow yourself down and think a few steps ahead.

(Yeah. Don’t be so impulsive about repeatedly leakin’ the identity of covert operatives. Think, before you do that, next time.)

* Surround yourself with law abiding people who really want to see you do well, such as friends, family, co-workers, and formal support groups.

(That’s another tough one for Libby. Most of his “friends and co-workers” are already in some kind of jam with the law, including the Attorney General of the United States. If I were you, Scooter, I’d head straight for the “support group” option. If there ain’t one in your neighborhood, you could start one: “The Bush Officials Who Skate Because They’re Above The Law Support Group.” You could sit around the living room and drink bad coffee and talk about your feelings and tell each other how bad you feel ‘cause you never had to pay your debt to society. There may not be too many members now, but it’s sure to fill up before Bush leaves office. Say—there might be some kind of tax break you could get, too—or maybe you could form it as one of them off-shore companies and attract investors….yeeeahhh…)

* Take ownership of your probation by becoming an active participant.

(Yeah! Don’t just lay there on the couch all day and make us buzz that little bracelet around your ankle to get you to come in for your appointment. Be pro-active! Meet with at-risk kids from schools of government, do a “Scared Straight” program for ‘em. Tell ‘em not to tell outright lies to law enforcement officials, tell ‘em the correct answer is always “I ain’t got no recollection.”)

* The responsibility for making changes in your life is yours.

(Ain’t that the truth. Bush is only gonna be there two more years to keep you and your pals outta stir. After that, it’s all up to you, punks. Get a job, a real job. Become a media evangelist, like Chuck Colson. That’s where the real money is, anyway.)