Thursday, March 30, 2006

All I Know About Politics I Learned From Tony Soprano [a rant]

So it seems Jack Abramoff will soon be a guest of the federal government. His five-year, 10-month sentence was the minimum allowed under federal guidelines for wire fraud. The judge may have been swayed by some 260 letters written by Abramoff's friends attesting to his fine character. Among other good deeds, the uber-lobbyist would fetch water for guests in his tony DC restaurant, and once tried to locate a friend's lost hamster.

Jack Abramoff, the first Jewish saint.

Other rodents who've enjoyed Abramoff's largesse were less forthcoming. He received no letters on his behalf from Tom DeLay, Senators Robert Ney or Conrad Burns, or any of the White House staffers with whom Abramoff met nearly 200 times in a single year. They must not have any of those new 39 cent stamps yet.

Abramoff is looking at an additional 11-year stretch for other white collar crimes, including bribery and influence peddling. But what's not been widely reported so far is his uncomfortable proximity to a gangland-style murder.

The saga begins in 2000, when Abramoff and his business partner in crime, Adam Kidan, tried to buy SunCruz Casinos using Monopoly money. They did it by forging a bank transfer for $23 million (their end of the deal) and financing the rest. A neat trick if you can manage it: "Own a $150 million floating gambling empire -- for no money down!" Only they got caught; hence Abramoff's and Kidan's upcoming stretch in the pokey.

Five months after the deal closed, the guy who sold them SunCruz, Konstantinos ''Gus'' Boulis, got whacked in a Mafia-style hit. The alleged hit men -- Anthony "Big Tony'' Moscatiello, Anthony "Little Tony'' Ferrari, and James "Pudgy'' Fiorillo -- were all on the SunCruz payroll, thanks to Adam Kidan.

Kidan paid Big Tony -- a former bookkeeper for the Gambino family -- $145,000 for "consulting, site inspection, and catering," even though apparently no consultations or catering ever took place. (Perhaps he was planning to bake Boulis into a moussaka and serve him at the company picnic.) Kidan paid Little Tony and Pudgy $95,000 for "surveillance" and security services.

When Boulis died, Abramoff and Kidan owed him $60+ million -- a considerable sum even by Republican standards.

Pudgy says Kidan ordered the hit. Kidan denies it. So far neither he nor Abramoff have been charged in connection with the crime, whose trial has just gotten underway. But that doesn't mean they're in the clear. To quote the March 24, Washington Post:

"Prosecutor Brian Cavanagh said his office had not intended on calling Abramoff as a witness in part because he would be given immunity from prosecution for anything he says under those conditions. Cavanagh also said that Kidan has not been cleared as a suspect in the Boulis slaying."

In other words, stay tuned for next week's episode of The Sopranos Go South.

Gambling, bribery, fraud, and now murder. All these years the Republicans have been talking about "family values," and it turns out the family they had in mind was the Mafia. Who knew?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Satire or Real? You Make the Call


WASHINGTON (March 28) - Jack Abramoff is getting a makeover, compliments of friends who want him spared a harsh prison sentence.

The fallen superlobbyist may have fleeced clients of millions of dollars and endeared himself to politicians with free trips, meals and donations on his way to becoming the public face of Washington's latest corruption scandal.

But more than 260 friends, relatives and beneficiaries of Abramoff's largesse have written letters to a federal judge who is sentencing him Wednesday, asking that he be shown mercy and viewed in a different light.

He was, they said, a champion for the underprivileged who donated much of his riches - even the ill-gotten - to charity; a principled racquetball player who called fouls on himself; a dedicated father who once spent a night searching for a lost hamster.

"Tragically, Mr. Abramoff led two lives - a very flawed and reckless professional life but on the other hand his personal life was dedicated to helping others," friend Eli W. Schlossberg of Baltimore wrote.

Dozens of religious leaders weighed in with similar letters. Former pro basketball player Ledell Eackles chimed in. So too did a journalist, a couple of lawmakers, military officers and neighbors.

Even one of Abramoff's more infamous clients offered a different take of the controversial lobbyist.

Auditors in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands once questioned Abramoff's lobbying expenses as excessive. But the islands' current governor wrote Abramoff was a "personal friend and political champion" of the "beleaguered" Pacific islands.

"He was a natural crusader and political activist, with great sympathy for our un-represented Commonwealth," Marianas Gov. Benigno R. Fitial wrote, using official government stationery.

The Marianas, known for their low-paying garment factories, hired Abramoff to keep the islands' workers exempt from U.S. laws like the minimum wage.

Others argued that Abramoff's glitzy capital restaurant, Signatures, wasn't just for wining and dining lawmakers or hosting political fundraisers. It also was a place where Abramoff gave free meals and advice to friends down on their luck.

"Jack was the kind of person who would offer his guest a glass of water if a server wasn't around to do so," friend Monty Warner wrote, noting Abramoff always picked up the check as he counseled friends on financial, marital or career problems.

The arena skybox where he treated lawmakers to a bird's-eye view of events was also opened to children, whom Abramoff frequently brought to games at his own expense to help teach sportsmanship.

"Jack is a good person, who in his quest to be successful, lost sight of the rules," National Hockey League referee Dave Jackson wrote, relating to the judge the time when Abramoff took 14 kids to his dressing room before a game.

Abramoff and a former colleague each face prison sentences of just more than seven years when they are sentenced Wednesday in Florida. Abramoff faces separate prison time in a corruption case in Washington. He is cooperating with prosecutors investigating possible corruption in Congress and the administration.

The letters, which ask the judge for lowest possible sentence, also were a reminder of how far Abramoff has fallen. Once a household name on Capitol Hill where he doled out political donations by the dozens and lent his restaurant to lawmakers for fundraisers, Abramoff got just a single letter of support from a member of Congress, his longtime friend Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.

"Over many years, I've known a far different Jack than the profit-seeking megalomaniac portrayed in the press," Rohrabacher wrote. "Jack was a selfless patriot for most of the time I knew him."

In an interview, Rohrabacher explained why he took a risk others in Congress wouldn't in writing the letter. "Jack was a good friend, and even your good friends at times do wrong things," the lawmaker said.

A former top Republican official in California's Assembly, Steve Baldwin, and two military officers were the others with government connections willing to attach their names to letters appearing in Abramoff's court case.

Air Force Capt. Andrew Cohen, a chaplain, wrote the court about Abramoff's generosity in taking in Cohen's family of seven for several weeks last year when the military family couldn't find housing.

Cohen wrote that Abramoff was a complete stranger and his act of generosity arose from "humanitarian considerations" and a "sense of national service and duty to assist a service member and his family."

The letters from average citizens - many from Abramoff's Orthodox Jewish community - were strewn with references to his generosity, like the time the lobbyist gave $10,000 to a rabbi "overwhelmed by medical bills."

Abramoff is "a man of exceptional generosity and kindness, often to those he doesn't even know," former ABC News reporter Tim O'Brien wrote.

No anecdote seemed too small to mention. Dr. Gene Colice told the judge about the time Abramoff tried to "find a lost hamster on a Friday night." And Attorney Laurence Latourette called his racquetball playing partner as someone who "always acts honorably, and will call himself on infractions."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bush Names New Chief of Staff

Singer Michael Bolton to join presidental team

Special to The Witlist
28 March 2006

WASHINGTON, DC -- In the first staff shakeup since ascending to the Office of President more than five years ago, President Bush has named a new chief of staff.

At a press conference earlier today, the president announced that pop star Michael Bolton will head up day-to-day management of the executive branch, effectively immediately.

The president praised Bolton's "soulful yet not excessively sexy" singing, saying he'd make a fine addition to the team. The curly-haired pop singer, recently engaged to "Desperate Housewives" star Nicollette Sheridan, crooned "President Bush is a wonderful thiiiiiing" but declined further comment.

Bolton succeeds Andrew Card, who had served as chief of staff since January 2001. Mr. Card did not speak with reporters but did offer a hand gesture popularly known as 'the Scalia Salute.'

To the public, Card may be best known as the aide who walked calmly into a Florida classroom on the morning of September 11, 2001, and unsuccessfully tried to pry the book "My Pet Goat" out of the president's hands.

Card also served under the president's father, George Herbert Walker Bush. When the elder Bush became violently ill at a banquet honoring the Japanese Prime Minister, Card ran in the opposite direction, shouting "Somebody bring me a towel, I've got presidential hurl butter all over my suit!"

President Bush praised Card, saying he did not blame him for the series of disastrous policy decisions that has led to the president's rock-bottom popularity ratings. However, Mr. Bush did note that "under Mr. Bolten's steady leadership we're unlikely to re-invade Iraq or sit idly by while Hurricane Katrina destroys a great American city."

Mr. Card is one of the rare Bush appointees to leave the White House without being immediately arrested.

Update: An earlier version of this story confused Michael Bolton with another Bush appointee, Mr. John Bolton. The latter Mr. Bolton continues to serve as US Ambassador to the UN. However, he plans to take a brief leave of absence later this year to star as Ned Flanders in the upcoming live action film "The Simpsons." The Witlist regrets the error.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bowtie Institute Welcomes Ben Domenech

Former Washington Post blogger becomes Institute's youngest research fellow

27 March 2006

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Bowtie Institute, a leading center for conservative thought, is proud to announce the addition of Ben Domenech as its newest Research Fellow.

Mr. Domenech stepped into the national spotlight last week as the author of Red America, a newly launched conservative blog hosted by Mr. Domenech resigned his post at the Post three days later amidst allegations of rampant plagiarism. He is accused of having lifted entire paragraphs from sources such as Salon, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post itself over the past six years and passing them off as his own.

"We prefer to think of it as 'recycling' -- taking spent prose and putting it to new and more productive uses," says BTI director P. Cyrus Bloman. "The Bowtie Institute is founded on the belief that privilege should not entail sacrifice, and that it's far better to reap the fruits of other people's labor than your own. No one exemplifies that approach more than Ben."

At one time the youngest political appointee in the Bush White House, the 24-year-old Domenech boasts a rich conservative heritage. As White House liaison for the Department of the Interior, his father Doug Domenech helped coordinate political favors for the Indian tribal clients of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Domenech's White House connections were part of what attracted the Institute's attention.

"From the president on down, knowing the right people has always been more important than knowing the right things," says Bloman. "Any idiot knows it's better to be rich -- or have rich friends -- than be smart or even competent."

With experience as both a journalist and an editor of such conservative luminaries as Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt, Domenech is expected to head up BTI's publications division. His position at the Institute should not impact his duties as co-founder of the blog, where he routinely publishes lighthearted racist satire under the penname "Augustine."

"At the tender age of 24, Mr. Domenech has achieved a level of public humiliation most conservatives don't attain until much later in life, if at all," notes Bloman. "We believe he has a long, bright future ahead of him."


The Bowtie Institute (BTI) provides in-depth analysis on issues of interest to conservatives, providing intellectual justification for policies that benefit the rich and powerful. Give us sufficient funds, and we’ll produce the facts you require.

The Bowtie Institute: Putting the Clothes on Naked Self Interest Since 2004

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


(With sincere apologies to Lewis Carroll's ghost)

'Twas Cheney and the Slimy Rove
Didst Rice and Rumsfeld in the shade
Convince the mimsy Bush to go
And to Iraq invade

Beware the Chickenhawks, my dear
They'll start new wars ad infinitum --
As long as someone else will fight 'em --
To keep us all in fear

"Once Iraq has been set free
They will love us, wait and see
Osama's plans we soon will foil
And we'll pay for it with oil"

No matter that no bombs were found
No germs, no nukes, no Qaeda ties
Just Saddam hiding in the ground
Next to some Freedom Fries

Beware the Chickenhawks, my sons
Whose fierce unwavering battle cry
Invariably involves a lie
That's why they call them neo-cons

"With Saddam gone," the hawks did boast,
"Our mission is accomplished -- mostly.
"Democracy will spread," they said,
"Like margarine on toast."

The insurgents though, would not be quelled
By Sunnis spoiling for a fight
And Chickenhawks then found themselves
Up to their necks in Shiite

Don't ask them when the war will end
They'll say "Peace? It's round the bend
This year, or next, or 2010."
Beware the Chickenhawks, my friend

'Twas Cheney and the Slimy Rove
Didst Rice and Rumsfeld in the shade
Convince the mimsy Bush to go
And to Iraq invade

-- Dan Tynan (The WitList)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Media Fails to See Sunni Side of Iraq War

Coverage full of Shiite, says scholar

20 March 2006

WASHINGTON, DC -- American media outlets have painted an unnecessarily dim portrait of the war in Iraq, says P. Cyrus Bloman, senior research fellow at The Bowtie Institute.

By focusing on casualties and the failure to make any real progress during the past three years, the media has failed to recognize the many positive things the war has wrought, says Bloman, a specialist at the DC-based conservative think tank.

Bloman points to the following examples:

  • Thanks to food shortages, Iraqis have lost a collective 1.8 billion pounds (800 million kilograms) since the beginning of the war, far exceeding the total of that Jared guy from the Subway commercials.

  • With most of the country still without power, Iraq has been able to reduce its dependence on foreign oil to practically nothing.

  • During their recent parliamentary elections, Iraqis endured less voter fraud than anyone living in Ohio or Florida.

  • After protracted negotiations, the United States' Navy succeeded in obtaining a full refund for the "Mission Accomplished" poster that was draped across the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003. As a goodwill gesture, the White House agreed to pay for dry cleaning the president's flight suit, which became soiled as his plane touched down upon the carrier deck.

"The mark of any truly great war is its longevity, and we need to start thinking about Iraq as a Great War," says Bloman. "We've already blown past The War of 1812, the Mexican and Spanish Wars, World War I, the Korean Conflict, and the first Gulf War, and I am confident we'll overtake WWII and the American Civil War before the year is out. That would leave just the Revolutionary War and Vietnam in front of us."

Even Iraqi's turn toward a sectarian civil war plays to our strengths, Bloman explained.

"Americans know what it takes to win a civil war," he says. "We also know what it takes to lose one. That gives us twice as much experience with it as any other country."

* * ** * *


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

The Bowtie Institute: Putting the Clothes on Naked Self Interest Since 2004

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Draft of Bush Speech on 3rd Anniversary of Iraq War

For reasons that defy easy explanation, I received an early draft of a speech scheduled to be given tonight by President Bush. I cannot vouch for its authenticity, so I publish it here without editorial comment. -- The WitList

My Fellow Americans.

This week we will mark the third anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since that day more than 2500 American soldiers and 30,000 Iraqis have given their lives to remove a toothless dictator who posed no threat to us. I think that's something we can all be proud of.

Today also marks the first meeting of the newly elected Iraqi Parliament. Though small arms fire was exchanged between the Sunni and Shiite representatives, no rocket launchers were used. I view that as a sign of progress.

Since the despicable attacks of September 11, 2001, I have devoted my presidency to stopping terror at our nation's shores. And since that day we have seen not a single attack inside the US. True, Al Qaeda has continued to kill civilians in Madrid, London, Indonesia, and elsewhere, but none of those people voted for me.

In addition, radioactive mutant lizards have not rampaged through our nation's cities. I take full credit for that as well.

Yet my opponents would have you believe that I am the enemy. They would have Americans believe that -- just because I broke a few laws about spying and torture and detentions, defied Congress and defiled the Constitution -- that your commander in chief is the enemy.

Well I am not the enemy. Senator Russell Feingold is the enemy. Michael Moore and George Clooney, they're the enemy. (And all you blog people out there, you Huffington Posties, don't think for a minute that we don't have all your names and addresses.)

Many Americans think things are not going well in Iraq. They are tired of the war. They believe our presence there only makes things worse, that we have created a breeding ground for terrorists who will haunt us for generations to come.

Well I am here to say that I hear your concerns. I value your input. And I'm prepared to do something about it. Since you don't like the old war, we're going to give you a new one, with a new enemy.

Iran. It's like Iraq, only with an 'n' on the end. Condi taught me that. Like in Iraq, they wear bathrobes in public and have unpronounceable names. They don't like Jesus. And they've got oil coming out of their ears.

(Though I have spoken of ending our addiction to foreign oil, a few barrels of crude sounds really good right now. I mean, really really good.)

But this time there's one big difference: they actually do have weapons of mass destruction. Nuculear weapons. Dick told me. He looked very serious when he said it. So war is our only option.

The war on terror has demanded huge sacrifices of many Americans (though none I happen to know personally). Operation Iraqi Freedom has cost $250 billion -- money that could have gone into tax cuts for the extremely wealthy -- and there's no end in sight. But tonight I am going to ask my fellow Americans to sacrifice a little more.

The truth is, we've run out of soldiers. Our professional armed forces are exhausted, and our few remaining National Guard troops have gone into hiding (I know a little something about that). So I'm asking for volunteers.

We'll take anyone between the ages of 16 and 60, stone cold killers or just plain crazy. We're not picky.

If you love your country and hate terrorists, if you believe in the power of democracy, if you're willing to swallow anything that drops from my lips and, especially, if you voted for Kerry in the last election, please sign up. Your country needs you.

Otherwise, you might wake up one day to find a mushroom cloud on your front lawn instead of mushrooms.

Thank you, and may God bless America.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Democrats Report Break in at Party Headquarters

Thieves steal goods worth nearly $100

Special to The WitList
15 March 2006 -- 15:39 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC -- Officials at Democratic National Committee headquarters at 430 South Capitol Street reported a break in last night. According to DC Metro Police, the thieves made off with the contents of a locked vault believed to have contained the DNC's family jewels.

However, sources familiar with the investigation say the jewels may have disappeared long before the break in was reported.

The jewels were last seen in public on September 10, 2001, shortly before the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Around that time, Beltway Democrats decided to put their collective testicles in a trust and only bring them out again after Osama Bin Laden had been captured. Newly elected Democrats were also asked to join the so-called Cojones Consortium (or CoCo), leading to the short-lived but memorable marketing campaign, "I'm coo-coo for CoCo (nuts)."

A handful of Democrats -- including Congressmen John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi, and Senators Russell Feingold and Robert Byrd -- refused to join the consortium. Since then they have been cut off from party funds and must use the janitor's restroom in the Capitol basement.

According to a source inside the DNC, the Democrats decided that subsuming their collective manhood was the only way to maintain a seat at the table during the war on terror. However, the source admits, even today the Demos are only allowed to eat from dog dishes, with their hands bound behind their backs.

The Democrats' unwillingness to muster an attack against one of the nation's most unpopular and spectacularly inept presidents is a sure sign that their balls have gone missing, he says.

"We fear they may be gone for good."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Crime Wave Engulfs Bush White House

Claude 'the Fraud' Allen just tip of iceberg

Special to The Witlist
13 March 2006 -- 04:28 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC -- Former senior White House advisor Claude Allen was arrested last week and charged with 25 counts of retail fraud. According to the Montgomery County Police Department, Allen purchased $5,000 worth of goods from Target and Hechts stores and stowed them in his car. He then returned to the stores with his receipts, took identical items off store shelves, and demanded refunds for them.

Allen resigned his $161,000-a-year job in the Bush White House last month, saying he wanted to spend more time shoplifting with his family. Among his other duties Allen led the White House's response to Hurricane Katrina, but his primary responsibility was letting the president be seen in public with a black person who wasn't Condoleeza Rice.

A White House official says West Wing staffers are still in shock. "Only $5,000?" said the aide, who insisted on anonymity. "Really? You sure you're not missing a couple of zeroes in there?"

In a related story, Interior Secretary Gale Norton resigned last week after security cameras recorded the staunch anti-environmentalist attempting to steal six microwave burritos from a Georgetown 7-11. Norton, who enjoys close financial ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, claims she merely slipped the steaming hot burritos inside her shirt in an effort to stay warm.

"Washington can be a very cold place," Norton said while being led away by DC Metro police.

A forensic examination has revealed that the .28 gauge birdshot used in the shooting of Harry Whittington on a Texas ranch last month was stolen from a nearby Wal-Mart. The hunting party had stopped by the store to pick up a couple of six packs and more ammo, according to vice presidential munitions spokeswoman Katherine Armstrong. When the clerk asked for payment, the vice president instructed him to perform an anatomically impossible act. Whittington took responsibility for the theft, saying he accidentally stepped between the vice president and the cashier at a crucial moment.

Florida congresswoman Katherine Harris is expected to end her bid for Democrat Bill Nelson's Senate seat this week after revealing that she took part in a series of armed robberies across three southeastern states. Harris is also expected to confess that she shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. While the crimes constitute multiple felonies, legal experts say they pale in comparison to Harris's theft of the 2000 presidential election while serving as Florida's Secretary of State.

At a press conference in the Indian city of Bangalore, President Bush admitted to taking more than $1.6 trillion from the US Treasury, but said it was just a temporary loan and that he'd planned to pay it back before anybody noticed. He issued himself an immediate pardon and said he now considered the matter closed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

You, Too, Could Be President [a quiz]

If you want to cut hair, sell real estate, or neuter somebody's cat, you have to pass a test. But if you want to become President of the United States, all you need to do is be a white male US citizen, over the age of 35, and not in a coma (though the coma requirement is flexible -- see Reagan, Ronald W.)

Don't you think the leader of the free world should be required to demonstrate his qualifications before he's allowed to put his finger on the button? I do. That's why I've created this handy 10-question quiz.

Remember: Please use a sharpened Number 2 pencil, and if you are caught cheating, be sure to blame the media.

1. The leader of a small third-world country requests a meeting where he can have his photo taken with the president of the United States. He hints that he'd be willing to pay for the privilege. You should...

a) Explain that the office of the presidency is not for sale, but you'd be happy to hire his country to provide security for our nation's ports

b) Warn him that you'd have your photo taken with him but the camera would probably steal his soul

c) Instruct him to bring a shopping bag containing $1.2 million in small unmarked bills and leave it with your pal Jack

d) Tell him that for another $100K he can have his picture taken with live bunnies

2. You've just been briefed about an impending natural disaster that could kill thousands and leave over a million people homeless. Only immediate executive action can cut through the red tape and keep these citizens out of harm's way. Your first response is to...

a) Boost the country's morale by attending a series of Republican fundraisers

b) Make sure no major GOP donors are in the hurricane's path

c) Go biking with Lance Armstrong

d) Re-read your favorite passages from My Pet Goat

3. In your state of the union address you talk about "ending our addiction to foreign oil." To prove you're serious about this radical shift in energy policy, you should...

a) Ride your bike on Interstate 395

b) Chug a gallon of Pennsylvania Crude

c) Enroll in the Betty Ford Clinic for Fossil Fuel Dependency

d) Try not to smirk when you say it

4. A lobbyist who met with your staff nearly 200 times and raised more than $100,000 for your campaign has been indicted for bribery, influence peddling, money laundering, and other white collar crimes. The appropriate course of action is to...

a) Instruct your staff to purge any photos showing you and the lobbyist in the same ZIP code

b) Promote the prosecutor in charge of the investigation to the federal bench, just as the case is coming to trial

c) Vow to fire anyone on your staff who took meetings with the lobbyist, with the exception of those who actually did

d) Practice saying, 'Jack who?' without smirking

5. You've ordered the NSA to eavesdrop on American citizens in clear violation of federal law. In your defense, you argue that...

a) The law you broke was 28 years old and needed replacing anyway

b) The U.S. Constitution, a 217-year old law, gives you the right to do anything you damned well please, so neener-neener

c) The spying program makes us all safer in some really important ways which you'd gladly explain, but then you'd have to kill us

d) Karl made you do it

6. Complete the following sentence: "When Iran or North Korea explode a nuclear device and launch World War III, I'd want to be trapped in a bomb shelter with..."

a) Dick Cheney

b) Lynn Cheney

c) Lon Chaney

d) Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre

7. An evil terrorist launches an attack that kills thousands of innocent Americans. You vow to capture him "dead or alive." Nearly half a decade later he is not only not dead, but tanned, trim, and looking like he's spent the last five years at a spa. You must immediately...

a) Redefine the word "dead" to include the phrase, "resting comfortably"

b) Insist that if he dies of old age it still counts

c) Keep launching wars against other countries until everyone forgets what you originally said

d) Osama who?

8. Which of the following statements best summarizes your highly nuanced views on the war in Iraq?

a) As the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down

b) As Iraq blows up, we'll fall over

c) As our poll numbers drop, we'll pull out

d) As the oil dries up, we'll fade away

9. You want to reward your top supporters but all the jobs running federal agencies have been filled, so you settle for T-shirts instead. Choose one of the following slogans to be silk screened on each shirt:

a) I just can't quit you, Karl

b) Fascism: It's not just for Nazis anymore

c) My country invaded Iraq and all I got was 2300 dead soldiers, a civil war, and this stupid T shirt

d) Osama who?

10. Despite spending nearly $2 billion on a massive propaganda effort (including the purchase of several journalists), your public approval rating has sunk to a new low of 34%. This leads you to an obvious conclusion:

a) You bought the wrong journalists

b) Two-thirds of Americans hate America

c) As an optimist, you prefer to look at the glass as one-third full

d) You're doing a heckova job

Scoring: The answer to each question is "e) all of the above." Give yourself 4 points for each correct answer, subtract 1 point for each incorrect one, then divide your final score by 2. If you can do that math correctly, you're obviously not presidential timber. This country needs someone who can lead on faith, not facts.

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