Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What W Really Meant to Say Last Night

A slightly edited transcript of President Bush's speech

28 June 2005

Thank you and good evening. I am pleased to visit Fort McBragg, home of the army and other military things. My greatest responsibility as President is to protect the American people from the truth, and your responsibility is to protect me from them. We thank you for your service, your courage, and your sacrifice. America is grateful – and so is your Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately, Dick Cheney couldn’t be here tonight, so they sent me instead.

(That was a joke. Karl thought it would be a good idea to start with a joke. Lighten the mood.)

The terrorists who attacked us – and the terrorists we face – hate freedom, reject tolerance, and despise all dissent. Do not be fooled into mistaking them for members of the Republican Party. These people wear towels on their heads and sleep with camels. Republicans wear bowties and sleep with their mistresses. Towels... bowties. Camels... mistresses. It’s something I think about every day.

The people we are fighting today are just like the people who attacked us on 9/11. They have the same names and everything. Many appear to be named Mohammed. You’d think they’d get confused, but.... because we’re unable to catch the ones who plotted the attacks on 9/11, we’re going after these guys. Think of them as a consolation prize.

A great terrorist once said.... “the whole world is watching this war,” which is true, except for my wife Laura, who usually watches Desperate Housewives. He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation." Again, just like Desperate Housewives. I can’t remember his name -- really tall, long grey beard, wears a turban.... any clues?

Our progress has been uneven, but progress is being made. We are building roads, and schools, and clinics..... and rebuilding them after they get blown up. Sometimes four or five times. The McDonalds in Baghdad has just introduced the McFlurry. Three out of five Iraqi children can sing the Oscar Mayer Weiner song. There’s no running water, but there is hope, and that’s something.

Over 40 nations have committed billions of dollars to the reconstruction efforts. We thank them, and Halliburton thanks them.

One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people. They haven’t noticed yet, but someday they will—and they’ll be grateful.

In January 2005, 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair. That’s more than you can say about the people of Ohio.

Have I mentioned 9/11 yet?

We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens – and Iraq is where they are making their stand. We tried to convince them to make their stand in the Bahamas, which has some great hotel deals this time of year, but they refused. They insisted on making their stand in Iraq... which is a total pit – no water or electricity, the restaurants blow, and you can walk for days before you’ll find a working toilet. But there’s no arguing with these people.

So we will fight them there … we will fight them across the world – and we will stay in the fight until either the fight is won or we decide to attack another country. I’m thinking Iraq, but Rummy and Dick are itching to invade Syria. We may just flip a coin.

The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists – and that is why we are so offensive. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi Security Forces so that they can defend their people and we can go start another war.

Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. And as they roll over and play dead, we will play Red Rover Red Rover, Won’t You Come Over. It’s a fun game. You really ought to try it.

I refuse to set a timetable for the removal of our troops. The White House is not a train, and I am not a conductor. I did have a Lionel train once, but it never really worked right. Jeb kept stealing pieces of the track. Once he hid a mouse in the tunnel. Where was I?

We will stay in Iraq as long as there is oil left to be sucked out of the ground—and not one day longer.

The American people know what it means to fight for freedom. We fought a revolution, and a civil war, and against tyranny in the 20th century, just so I could be placed into the highest office in the land by a Supreme Court made up of my dad’s golfing buddies. Grotesque riches and unchecked power for the privileged few--that’s what makes this country great.

So as you celebrate July 4th, please remember to support our troops. Wave a flag, send a letter to a soldier, or find someone with a “no blood for oil” bumpersticker and beat the living crap out of him.

After September 11, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult – and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult, and we have prevailed. We’ve got both houses of Congress, more than half of the Supreme Court, and we just annexed PBS.

Our liberal enemies are brutal—and so are the terrorists. But they are no match for the men and women of the Republican Party.

Thank you. And may God help us all.

Monday, June 27, 2005

PBS Rocked by New Scandal

Associated Press

WASHINGTON, DC -- Ken Tomlinson, the controversial Bush appointee who heads the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has come under fire for hiring another Republican consultant to report on alleged bias in long-running PBS programs.

The Associated Press has learned that ex-Republican pollster Maynard Krebs was secretly paid $14,567 to watch the popular Sesame Street program and report on signs of avian bias.

In the report, a copy of which was obtained by AP, Krebs noted that on several occasions Big Bird made gratuitious references to flying, feathers, eggs, and other avian-leaning activities without offering equivalent coverage of other land or sea animals.

Krebs remarked on other suspicious activity in his report. In one example, he noted that though many of the actors on the show have grown visibly older over time, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and even little Elmo have shown no signs of aging.

Krebs speculated that these cast members may have obtained unlicensed ‘youth’ drugs purchased in Canada, in violation of FDA and FCC regulations.

In other news, Tomlinson dispelled rumors that the “Journal Editorial Report,” a news and opinion show featuring the editors of The Wall Street Journal, has been retitled “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.”

“PBS is not the place to discuss topics like evolution or the dinosaur myth,” Tomlinson said. “These should remain issues between a person and his or her Christian God.”

Corrections to "Rove Responds to Critics"

Gentle Readers:

Due to irregularities in the editing process, the previous entry, "Rove Responds to Critics," contained several errors of omission and commission that may have offended the delicate sensibilities of our readers. We would like to take the opportunity to correct the entry at this time.

The sentence that begins "We crap bigger than the Democrats ".... should in fact have said "We do crafts better than the Democrats." Similarly, the phrase "The Democrats can kiss my ass" should be corrected to read "The Democrats can blow me....a kiss."

The words "...exceedingly well hung" should read "...exceedingly well padded."

Where the words "sex" or "have sex" appear, the phrase should be amended to "baking cookies."

Finally, the sentence that reads "So being trussed up with pantyhose and crying out ‘Spank me daddy, spank me!’ is not sex".... should be changed to read "So being trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and crying out 'Stuff me, daddy, stuff me' is not baking cookies."

The WitList regrets the errors.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Rove Responds to Critics

As part of a publicity campaign to boost President Bush’s sagging popularity, senior adviser Karl Rove recently conducted an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. However, some questions and answers didn’t make it onto the final broadcast. We’ve obtained a transcript of the material that was not shown. The answers are illuminating. – Editor.

Q. In a recent speech to the New York Conservative Party, you claimed that “liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.” But no one ever said anything like this, while Democrats in Congress voted overwhelmingly to support the war in Afghanistan and pass the Patriot Act. Top Democratic officials have called for your resignation. How do you respond?

A. First, let me say that despite wielding enormous power, I have never been elected to any office. I serve at the pleasure of the President. So the Democrats can kiss my ass. Furthermore, we have no plans to relinquish power in 2008, so I’m not going anywhere. I got a drunken ex-frat boy with the IQ of a fencepost elected president. In my business, that’s what’s known as “job security.”

Q. During the Bush presidency, the US suffered the most devastating attack in its history. Osama Bin Laden continues to roam free, terrorist attacks worldwide are up more than 300%, US ports and airports are no more secure than they were before 9/11, and Iraq has become a virtual Petri dish for terrorists. How can you say the Bush administration is winning the war on terror?

A. Let me just say this: We crap bigger than the Democrats. They can’t be trusted to protect our country from the threat of global terrorism. They’re mincing little fairies wearing diapers and crying in the corner while we fight the bad guys. And I might add, all of us are exceedingly well hung. It’s not just Dick Cheney.

Q. The Red Cross, Amnesty International, and the UN have all condemned the United States for detaining and torturing innocent people, including shackling them to the floor and denying them access to water and toilets. How do you respond to these charges?

A. Some people call that torture; I call it an average weekend in New York. The fact is, we’re in a war to protect the freedom and dignity of American citizens, which means denying the freedom and dignity of others. There’s only so much of that stuff to go around, and we need it more than they do. If you have a problem with that, we still have plenty of room at Guantanamo.

Q. Rumors have circulated that alleged reporter and former male prostitute Jeff Gannon was given special access privileges to the White House in order to service your needs. Would you care to comment?

A. Let me state for the record: I did not have sex with that man. The GOP handbook explicitly defines sex as “an act between a married man and a woman.... lasting not more than two minutes.” So being trussed up with pantyhose and crying out ‘Spank me daddy, spank me!’ is not sex. But it can be a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Is the Right Worried....

.... about the Downing Street Memos? You bet. And you can tell by the hopelessly contradictory ways they're trying to spin it:

  1. the memos are forgeries
  2. the memos are genuine but inaccurate
  3. the memos tell us stuff we already know
  4. bush lied about WMDs, but so what? we won in Iraq (or will....someday...maybe) and everyone's better for it.

So let's take these one at a time.

1) AP, the Washington Post, and other news outlets have independently confirmed the authenticity of the memos' content. The only Redstaters who believe the forgery theory are brain dead (Rush Limbaugh, your cell phone is vibrating).

2) Inaccurate? Hmm, let's see. The memos say evidence of WMDs was thin. Turns out it was so thin as to be invisible. They strongly imply that evidence of WMDs was either fabricated or cherrypicked. Both are true -- the Niger 'yellowcake' memo was a forgery, and "curveball" -- the primary intelligence source for chemical and biological weapons -- was not only a liar on a grand scale but a close relative of an aide to Ahmed Chalabi, the Bushies' hand-picked man to lead Iraq. I could go on at length, but I won't.

3) The memos confirm things we've long suspected. Big difference. These are official documents on the scale of the Pentagon Papers. Taken by themselves, they are damaging; in conjunction with what we know about the manipulation of intelligence in the Bush Administration, they're damning.

4) I suggest anyone who thinks Iraq is in better shape today than it was three years ago should move there, immediately. But even if it were, the essential fact remains that the Bush White House used the threat of WMDs as a pretext for a war they'd already started. They knew if they revealed their real intentions (and you can fill in the blank here -- from regime change to democracy in the middle east to oil profits), the American people would not have supported the war.

That's not how things are supposed to work in a democracy. Assuming, that is, we still live in one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

White House Responds to Downing Street Memo

Spokesperson says US did not fabricate evidence about WMDs

22 June +3:58 GMT

CNN -- After six weeks of stonewalling, the White House has issued an official response to the documents known as the Downing Street Memo. This series of communiques, leaked from the British Foreign Office, suggest that the Bush Administration falsified evidence of WMDs as a pretext for the war in Iraq.

At a press conference in the White House briefing room, press secretary Scott McClellan issued the following statement:

“Contrary to what has been stated in the so-called ‘Downing Street Memos,’ the Bush Adminstration did not fabricate evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction prior to waging war on Iraq. We truly believed, and some in the adminstration continue to believe, that Saddam possessed chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons that posed a grave danger to our country.

“But there is a perfectly logical explanation for the discrepancy. Our intelligence was lacking. And when I say ‘intelligence,’ I mean our collective, personal intelligence. We based our entire rationale for war on information from a guy code-named ‘Curveball.’ How stupid is that?”

McClellan noted that despite the fact the UN, France, Germany, Russia, and Britain—our lone ally in the war—did not believe Iraq possessed WMDs, the US continued to insist it knew the exact location of the nonexistent weapons.

“We’re just really, really thick,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

McClellan was asked about the infamous “yellow cake” memo, which allegedly proved Iraq was seeking to buy nuclear materials from Niger. Though the CIA quickly determined the document was a forgery in October 2002, the information still made its way into the President’s 2003 State of the Union address.

“Dumb as fenceposts,” said McClellan. “Really.”

Contrary to claims made in the memos, McClellan says the Bush Administration did indeed have a plan for postwar Iraq. It consisted of a single 3-by-5-inch index card containing the following bullet points:

  • Accept the undying gratitude of the Iraqi people
  • Take all the oil
  • Win reelection in 2004

“Still, we got two out of three,” he said. “If this were baseball we’d be all stars.”

McClellan concluded the press conference by urging the public to leave the memos behind and move onto more pressing issues, such as the President’s sinking popularity ratings.

“Let me be clear: There is no need for a Congressional investigation into these memos,” he said. “The war in Iraq has been won... even if the fighting continues. Anyone who thought we could capture Saddam, liberate Iraq, and bring freedom and democracy to an entire region over the course of a long weekend had to be unbelievably dim. That would be us.”

Monday, June 20, 2005

OP-ED: Are Republicans the “White Christian” Party? Oh Pish Posh.

by J. Pierpont Morgan

As a lifelong Republican, I must add my voice to those deploring Howard Dean’s statements about the GOP being “pretty much a white Christian party.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. This form of racial and religious discrimination has got to end -- here, now, today.

In fact, some 18 percent of Republicans claim to be neither white nor Christian, according to a CNN/Gallup poll. That’s means if five Republicans were playing a round of golf, almost one of them would be a Christ-hating noncaucasian (though not at my club).

We Republicans have a proud history of helping the lesser races. Even while filibustering against civil rights legislation, southern Republicans went out of their way to embrace Afro-Americans. Strom Thurmond in particular embraced women of color, spreading the seeds of racial equality far and wide.

As US Civil Rights Commissioner (and Republican corporate attorney) Peter Kirsanow points out in the National Review, George Wallace, Bull Conner, and Lester Maddox were Democrats. Of course, if they were alive today they would be proud NASCAR Republicans, just like all their children, grandchildren and the rest of the trailer park. Some call that prejudice; I call it progress.

Republican administrations have a proud record of minority appointments: Condi Rice, Al Gonzalez, Clarence Thomas, ....and three or four others, I’m pretty sure. In fact, nearly every college-educated black person who’s ever voted Republican has got a government job somewhere. If that’s not enlightened racial relations, I don’t know what is.

The Republican Party has also found common ground with many leading members of the black evangelical community. It turns out they hate fags as much as we do. What a stroke of luck!

We must never forget that Republicans are the party of Lincoln. Also Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes, and Lexus. When it comes to high-end luxury automobiles, the GOP plays no favorites.

In short, Republicans love people of all races, whether they’re darkies, spics, wops, hebes, or pickaninnies. We need these people. Somebody’s got to mow the lawn and do the dishes.

Of course, they won’t be going to heaven. That’s reserved for folks like you and me. But they’ll have plenty of company in hell. And Howard Dean is sure to be among them.

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Study Shows Rich People Need Money More Than Poor People

PR NEWSWIRE -- The New York Times reported last Sunday that the richest 0.01 percent of Americans are accruing wealth at a rate 18,000 times faster than the rest of the population.

However, a new report released today by The Bowtie Institute demonstrates that the Times’ report misses a very basic principle: If the ultra-rich have more money, it’s because they need it more than everyone else.

“It’s a matter of simple biology, really,” states Institute Fellow Phineas Taylor Varnum, Ph.D. “In the natural world, the fatter you are, the more calories you need to maintain your weight. It’s the same with the rich. Our studies show that someone with a net worth of $1 billion needs an average daily income of $8.7 million just to maintain his economic status. The simple fact is, being rich costs money.”

The Institute’s study also reveals that being poor saves money. For example, a person working full-time at the minimum wage would earn slightly more than $10,700 a year, or about $7,000 below the official poverty line for a family of four.

“But these figures fail to take into account what I call the ‘McD Factor’,” says Dr. Varnum. “Most of these people are already working in fast food restaurants, where yummy nutritious food is available at a discount. By purchasing Happy Meals, they can avoid the expense of buying toys for their children, and later sell these toys for a small profit. In addition, the Styrofoam burger containers can be repurposed and used for shoes or other household items, thus helping with national recycling efforts.”

Without a continued increase in the overall net worth of the top 0.01 percent, several vital industries would be imperiled. These include:

  • Yachts
  • Vacation homes
  • Luxury automobiles
  • High-priced escort services
  • Conservative think tanks

“Grotesque Croesus-like wealth is the engine that drives the world’s economy,” notes Dr. Varnum. “Without all that extra cash, land developers would be unable buy up natural wetlands and turn them into resort condominiums. The cost of fossil fuels would skyrocket, people’s life savings would be wiped out, and terrorists would run wild in the streets, though exactly how all this would happen we’re not at liberty to say.”

The Institute recommends the Bush Administration implement a new “Income Max” plan, where the top money earners receive all tax dollars paid by the other 99.99 percent.

“The ultra-rich give us so much,” says Dr. Varnum. “Shouldn’t they get something in return?”

© 2005 The Bowtie Institute: Putting the clothes on naked self interest since 2004

About the Bowtie Institute

The Bowtie Institute believes deeply in a return to America’s fundamental values. Ours is a country founded by rich white male landowners, and that’s how they intended it to stay. We started it, we own it, we can do what we want with it.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Gays Responsible for Iraq, Michael Jackson

Study Reveals Worldwide Homosexual Conspiracy

Special to CNN - 4 June 2005 03:28 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC -- An independent study by conservative think tank The Bowtie Institute has uncovered a massive conspiracy to turn every man, woman, and child on the planet gay.

The Global Gay Conspiracy (GGC) is a real and present danger, warned C. Manfred Swallow, primary researcher for the study. “They already control the entertainment industry, design, hair styling, and restaurants,” said Swallow. “Now they’re trying to take over the world.”

The 537-page report demonstrates that the GGC has been secretly operating for years. Among its findings:

  • As a child, Michael Jackson was once touched by a gay man, leading to a lifetime of perversion. Jackson’s physical recoil from this touch lead to the development of the singer’s trademark “moonwalk” dance move.

  • Nearly 98% of Amnesty International is gay or has had gay thoughts. This has resulted in excessive prissiness over the forced incarceration and abuse of innocent Arab Americans.

  • Everything that has gone wrong for the last five years is the fault of the Gay Liberal Media (GLM). This includes the attacks on 9/11, the failure of the Bush Social Security privatization plan, and the ongoing carnage in Iraq.

“If it wasn’t for all those limp-wristed blow-dryer anchor-queens, we’d have won the war back when we said we did,” said Swallow.

The report offered several recommendations, including outright bans on bottle-brush mustaches, disco music, and tasteful pastel patterns. All gay men would be relocated to re-education camps, where they would be forced to memorize the Bible, watch televised sports, and master the manly art of spitting.

The new restrictions would not apply to lesbians, because lesbians are hot, says Swallow. However, all suspected Sisters of Sappho would be weighed and tagged; those in excess of 145 pounds would qualify as “bull dykes” and be eligible for discounts to World Wrestling Federation events.

The report calls for the establishment of a Federal agency to monitor the activity of gay and gay-friendly Americans. The new Department of Homo Security would be funded by taxes levied on the sale of show tunes, said Swallow.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How to Make 4,000 Terrorists (and One Reporter) Disappear Overnight

Any day now I expect to open my door and find two beefy guys wearing crew cuts and JC Penny suits, flashing badges and asking me tough questions.

This is what happened to Bill Conroy, an online journalist who published the details of a memo leaked from the Department of Homeland Security on NarcoNews.com.

(It’s also happened to dozens of left-wing political activists; see my previous WitList entry -- Your Pocket Guide to the Patriot Act.)

The memo, which was not classified, instructed employees of US Customs to “sanitize” its database of 4,000 terror suspects by re-categorizing them as something else. For example, a terrorist investigation related to cash smuggling would be reclassified as simply “smuggling.”

The reason? About 18 months ago the DHS was ordered to consolidate its 12 separate ‘terrorist watchlists’ into one Big Kahuna watchlist, to be overseen by the new Terrorist Screening Center. The Customs Department apparently didn’t get that memo, and now it’s frantically trying to catch up. But rather than figure out which of those 4,000 people are actual terrorists, the department decided to simply wipe the list. Presto! No more terrorists. Isn’t bureaucracy wonderful?

This also happens to fit neatly with the ongoing effort to turn the Patriot Act into a general purpose crime fighting tool (for more on that, see my last blog entry).

Essentially, Customs employees were instructed to rewrite the past. In case this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s what Winston Smith did for a living in Orwell’s 1984. And the DHS did not want the public to know about it.

Here’s the scary part. A few weeks after Bill Conroy reported this story, he got a visit from two Federal agents at his home and then at his place of work. They demanded that he turn over his source for the memo. Conroy refused. They then tried to intimidate his boss, who also stood firm. They did this even though a) no crime had been committed, b) they had no warrant, and c) Conroy wrote the story on his own time for a Web site unrelated to his day job.

The agents also refused to allow Conroy to record their conversation and failed to adequately identify themselves.

Conroy is author of a online book titled “Borderline Security: A Chronicle of Reprisal, Corruption, and Cronyism in the US Customs Service.” You think maybe that might have had something to do with that social call from US Customs?

Yes, this has happened in the past. The McCarthy Red Scare in the ‘50s; the Co-Intelpro program to infiltrate anti-war groups in the ‘60s and early ‘70s; the harassment and surveillance of El Salvador and Nicaraguan support groups in the ‘80s. Each time, we vowed we wouldn’t let them do this to us again. Well, they’re doing it to us again.

Here’s what’s different this time: What you’re looking at right now. With email, blogs, and the Web, abuses of power like this are harder to keep quiet. As individuals, we can’t keep history from repeating itself. All we can do is turn on the lights and wait for the cockroaches to scramble back to their holes.

So let’s turn on a few lights by sharing this blog entry with your friends and with the media. We all could do with fewer roaches.
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