White House To Ice Down Rove, PR Effort
New Charges Emerge As GOP Rallies Around Leaker
Just as news was breaking that White House Chief Strategist Karl Rove was one of the two sources for columnist Robert Novak's column, exposing CIA agent Valerie Plame, wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who criticized the Bush Administration, the White House announced late last night that there will be changes made in Rove's schedule and workload.
Beginning today, Rove, and not President Bush, will take long bicycle rides when urgent and critical matters are discussed. Additionally, Rove will begin working out of Vice President Dick Cheney's secret bunker, in an effort to lower his public profile.
Chief of Staff Andy Card announced the changes, as, throughout the day yesterday, the GOP Chairman, as well as others, defended Rove.
Card indicated that the President was "disappointed" and will miss ride his bicycle but was understanding of the need "to make this sacrifice, for the good of the country".
Documents show that Rove gave information to Time Magazine Reporter Matthew Cooper, referencing Plame, but not directly naming her.
Ken Mehlman, GOP Chairman, vehemently defend Rove, saying that "he was just warning Cooper off a bad story".
"Karl has always been helpful to reporters", said Mehlman. "He confirms stories, gives them leads and other information that allows them to do there jobs better, more accurately"
Sen. John Cornyn said;
“Sadly, These attacks are more of the same kind of anger and lashing out … While Republicans focus on accomplishing an ambitious agenda for the American people, some Democrats, and their allies in the hyper-partisan interest groups continue on their path of smear and distract …"
Rove will also be given an iPod and must wear it when in public, so he will not comment on any questions he may be asked, according to Card.
"It's a successful exercise" stated Card. "We've used it with the President, around the White House, many times … Very effective results"
Robert D. Luskin, Rove's lawyer, said yesterday, "Any pertinent information has been provided to the prosecutor." Mr. Luskin contends that he was advised by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that Rove that he is not a target in the case and is not likely to be charged with a crime.
"We can't take any chances" offered Card.
Card would not say if a similar program will be in place for White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.
McClellan, who early on in this now two-year-old case, said that it was "ridiculous" to suggest that Mr. Rove had any role in the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's name, has come under intense fire this week from the media and has refused any further comment on the matter.
"Having to give press briefings" stated Card, "I don't think we could get away with Scott using an iPod".
Card was asked if this meant that the President would be more involved in the critical matters, Card was non-committal.
"We have some other changes in place that I can't discuss at this time"
Card would not comment on the report that the White House has hired a Pilates instructor.
Friday, July 15, 2005
White House To Ice Down Rove, PR Effort
NHL Players, Owners Reach Historic Agreement To End Lockout
Players Now Must Pay Owners; Some Media Coverage With 'Please Watch TV'
A tentative labor agreement was reached between The National Hockey League owners and players, pending ratification next week, that appears to end the 301-day lockout, and the longest work stoppage in North American professional sports history.
The 600-plus-page, six-year agreement covers a range of contract and revenue changes, most notably that the players now must pay the owners in order to participate in league-sanctioned games.
Professional sports club owners around the world are stunned with the historic reversal and the new agreement is expected to send waves through other sports as their labor contracts get closer to expiring.
The lockout by the owners, who held a hard line during negotiations, and the player's refusal to compromise, ended up forcing the cancellation of the NHL's 2004-2005 season.
NBC has signed on for a two-year deal for what they call a 'partner-revenue-share' agreement, carrying for Saturday broadcasts seven regular-season games, six playoffs games and up to four Stanley Cup Final games.
NBC will market the NHL games as "Please Watch TV"
9. Offers to be their Fact Checker
8. Guarantees journalists, not only does he speak for the President, he also thinks for the President
7. In case of favorite journalist, gives him a back rub while they write their article
6. Gives them is favorite Mountblanc pen to write with
5. Begins a smear campaign so the journalist has something to write about
4. Keeps his Press Secretary in the dark to juice up the story for journalists
3. Conveniently loses CD-ROMs that has information on it - information that journalist just happens to be doing article on
2. Gives them info that keeps them out of jail, while letting other journalist on same story gets sent to jail
1. Comes up so many with false stories and rumors that it give dozens-and-dozens of journalists work
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Santorum Adds Red Sox Win To List On Priest Abuse
Says Belief In Curses, Hatred Of Yankees Shows Liberal Decadence
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), when given the chance to retract, or clarify remarks from three-years ago, tying Boston's "liberalism" with the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal, reached back and went for the fences.
Santorum added to his remarks, saying that the Red Sox stirring World Series victory in 2004 was "yet another sign of Boston's liberal decadence".
"This is a city that has believed in a curse for 85-years", stated the junior senator, who is chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. "It's probable that they cursed themselves into the that type of sexuality"
Three years ago, on a website called Catholic Online, Santorum stated that Boston's priest abuse scandal was due to Boston offering a ''sexual license" and ''sexual freedom" that nurtured an environment where sexual abuse would occur.
In the interview Monday, The Boston Globe reported Santorum believing that ''The basic liberal attitude in that area . . . has an impact on people's behavior. 'If you have a world view that I'm describing [about Boston] . . . that affirms alternative views of sexuality, that can lead to a lot of people taking it the wrong way," Santorum said.
Santorum went on, saying that the Red Sox rivalry with the New York Yankees is "basically unhealthy, promiscuous and clearly on the side of evil".
"They hate the Yankees so much, they want to be just like those type of New Yorkers … To act like the degenerates who inhibit that city … To engage in those type of activities".
In 2004, in the American League Championship, with the Yankees leading three-games-to-one, saw the Red Sox roar back to win the title, 4-3 and then move on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. It was the Red Sox first World Series victory since 1918.
Legend in New England believes the long championship drought was the 'Curse of the Bambino'. That the Red Sox were cursed for trading star player Babe Ruth to the rival Yankees.
Santorum was elected to the House in 1991 and was part of a group of young conservatives. Santorum won election to the Senate in 1994, he gained attention in Republican ranks for his vocal opposition to abortion, stem cell research, and the right-to-die movement.
''It is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm" of the clergy sexual abuse scandal", stated Santorum
"And look at the Red Sox" said the senator. "You have one player trying to look like Jesus, you have another being worshipped because is ankle bled during a game … They engaged, very actively, in homosexual behavior with all the 'Cowboy Up' nonsense .. It all adds up".
Representative Martin T. Meehan, Democrat of Lowell, said, ''There's not much you can say about someone who claims to have read the Bible cover to cover and came away from it thinking it encourages hatred for fellow human beings
Former Red Sox star, Bill "Spaceman" Lee, when apprised of Santorum's comments, said "after I drill Babe in the ass, I'll zip one right in that jerks face".
Bush Considers Reality TV Show To Determine Next Justice
Meets With Producers, Scans Video of Favorite Shows; May Let Public Decide
In what could be an unprecedented move, President Bush is said to be considering launching a television reality show to get the next justice for the Supreme Court.
Sources close to the White House say the President is getting "stressed out" over the decision of who to nominate to replace the retiring Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, and potentially, ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Add to this the scandal-in-the-making involving the CIA leaks and his Chief Strategist, Karl Rove and the brewing controversy with his spokesperson, Scott McClellan.
It was being reported last night that a "tiff" has developed between Rove and McClellan. Rove was said to be walking by McClellan's office, and, in a sing-song voice, taunting McClellan with "I know something you don't know … I know something you don't know".
Advisors have urged the President to make his choice for the Supreme Court, in hopes that would place the Rove-McClellan issue on the backburner.
Adding to the speculation, famed reality show producer Mark Burnett was seen entering and leaving the White House yesterday. A spokesperson for Burnett refused comment.
Over the weekend, the President was reportedly huddled with Senate Leader Bill Frist, and the two dug into Frist's vast video collection to watch a number of different reality shows. The President is said to be a big fan of such program as 'Survivor', which was created by Burnett, and 'Fear Factor'.
"The President sees a reality show as a good avenue to get his next court pick", said a source close to Frist. "He avoids the showdown fight in Congress and engages the public at the same time."
The show President Bush sees to get his Supreme Court Justice would be a multi-faceted show.
"Think American Idol-meets-Survivor-Meets-Fear-Factor ... Add in Who-Wants-To-Be-A-Millionaire", said the source. "You have all the elements - smarts, physical brawn, talent and at the end, the public votes for the candidate to go to the court."
In choosing the winner, all the candidates will be on stage. The yet-to-be-named host will come out with a black robe and, after a suspenseful interlude, with a retro throwback to the early days of television, the 'Queen For A Day' program, the host will place the robe on the winner's shoulders and hands the winner a gold gavel.
"You get a new Supreme Court Justice and boffo television ratings … What could be more the American way?"
Ebbers Gets 25-Years; Judge Needs To Explain Sentence in Context
Bernard J. Ebbers, the former chairman of WorldCom, was sentenced yesterday to 25-years in prison for the scandal he caused, a record $11 billion fraud that toppled the telecommunications company he founded and built.
Mr. Ebbers's sentencing came three years after the collapse of WorldCom, prompting lawmakers to approve the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the most comprehensive changes in securities laws since the Depression.
"Bernie Ebbers's criminal actions wiped out billions of dollars belonging to WorldCom investors, cost thousands of employees their jobs and retirees their pensions," Alan G. Hevesi, the New York State comptroller and court-appointed lead plaintiff in the WorldCom securities class action, said in a statement. "That's why it is so important to send a strong message with a severe sentence for Ebbers."
After handing down the sentence, Judge Barbara S. Jones of Federal District Court in Manhattan saw that Ebbers had a perplexed look on his face, as if not understanding the number or terms of the sentence.
"Think of it this way Mr. Ebbers", said Judge Jones. "I'm really giving you a sentence of 325-years, but, like the mathematics and values you used with your company, it's really only worth 25-years".
According to federal guidelines, Mr. Ebbers must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. That is the equivalent of 21 years and 3 months in prison, which would make him 85 upon his release.
9. Funny video clip of Morley Safer and Mike Wallace learning how to use the blog
8. Any problems using blog, CBS sends cast of 'Without A Trace' to you for fixing it within 60-minutes
7. 'Boxer Cam' : Watch CBS Evening News anchorman, Bob Schieffer, getting dressed for the broadcast
6. Early Show page closes down at 10AM
5. Dan Rather's page has interactive feature; You can type your name on Bush's National Guard Papers and print out
4. When you leave the blog, CBS eye logo winks at you
3. It's not your computer - Kevin James really is that large
2. Instead of digital time, rightside skyscraper brings back Grandfather Clock
1. Edward R. Murrow Tribute Page has 'Smoke-a-Vision'
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
McClellan Battered, Digs Deeper Hole Over CIA Leak
President Disputes Having Confidence In Staff; Cites Rove and now, Press Secretary
Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, was rebuffed by his boss, President Bush, late last night, over comments made related to the growing CIA Leak scandal.
Earlier in the day, after being battered by the White House Press Corps, over refusal to comment on the new information confirming Karl Rove as the source for Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper, McClellan was asked if the president still had "confidence in particular individuals, specifically Karl Rove."
"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president," stated McClellan. "They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't."
Last night, addressing a small group of reporters, the president was asked the same question and advised on what McClellan said.
"He is wrong", offered the President, showing signs of annoyance. "How can I have confidence in Karl? He could be indicted at any moment. I have to have confidence my staff is going to do their jobs while I'm out planting the seeds of … freedom. I can't sit and watch them all day."
It was two-years ago, when the story first broke, after an Op-Ed column in the New York Times, written by former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, that disputed the president's assertion, which the president included in his State-of-the-Union speech, that Saddam Hussein was seeking to purchase uranium in Niger, Africa. Wilson accused the administration of manipulating intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.
The White House sought to discredit Wilson, that his report was inaccurate. Later, columnist Robert Novak wrote about the story and, citing information from two "senior administration officials", that Wilson's wife, Valeria Plame was a CIA undercover agent.
A 1982 law prohibits the deliberate leaking of CIA agents' names
For nearly two years, White House officials have maintained that Rove had nothing to do with the exposure of Plame's identity. McClellan even categorized the charges as "ridiculous" at the time.
President Bush also denied the leak came from the White House and promised that, if someone was leaking information, and if a crime had been committed, that person "would be dealt with".
McClellan, who for a second straight day, faced an angry press corps, who demanded to know if he, and the White House, stood by their comments from two-years ago, or is the new information that Rove is the leaker, accurate.
McClellan continually repeated that he could not comment on a on-going investigation. He added fuel to the fire when he, whether purposefully or unwittingly, evoked Nixon Press Secretary Ron Zeigler, when he said that the statements from two-years ago are "inoperative"
"I think it was ridiculous of Scott to say it was ridiculous" offered the President. "Geez, I have my hands full with trying to find these weapons of mass destruction, now I have to go out and find the person, or persons, on my staff who are leaking classified information".
Democrats are demanding Rove's resignation or firing, including former democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry. of Massachusetts. Kerry said that Rove "ought to be fired"
Republicans, some nervous that Rove is guilty of a crime, have rallied around the man the president calls "Boy Genius"
''I support Karl Rove,'' said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
The President indicated the Rove-McClellan issue would be a top priority today, following right after he gets back from his daily bicycle ride.
9. Too bad you're not healthy Schilling … They could'a made the movie 'The Fantastic Five'
8. Sorry Matt, we don't talk to glib media people
7. I heard that any Yankee that even looks at a Red Sox, Steinbrenner hits'em with a fine
6. I'm kinda glad the Olympics dropped baseball … I was thinking about going out for the Water Ballet team, anyway
5. Is that Karl Rove and Jeff Gannon sitting over there?
4. I heard you had your Mom fill out 200,000 ballots to get you in here
3. These new All-Star steroids are pretty good
2. We better get over there … Rogers is punching out another photographer
1. I hope it doesn't come out here that I'm Judith Miller's confidential source
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Cheney Says Rehnquist is in "Final Throes"
Everybody Swears "Today Is The Day" Resignation Comes
Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview yesterday that Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist is in his "final throes".
Washington has been steeped in speculation on the pending retirement of Rehnquist, with administration sources, pundits like Robert Novak and Russ Limbaugh, all offering daily predictions that the Chief Justice was retiring "today".
Novak had Rehnquist standing on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base last week, resignation letter in-hand, to give to President Bush as he returned from the G8 Summit.
Instead, what the mob got was the retirement announcement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Cheney, himself rumored to be a candidate for the high court (See The Garlic 6 July - Cheney Emerging As Next Justice Pick By Bush Feared), was blunt in his assessment of Rehnquist being in his "final throes"
"We've set up an panel and there's a constitutional process in place now. Later this year there'll be a vote. I think the months immediately ahead will be difficult months. We're making progress".
Cheney believes the democrats will "do everything they can to disrupt that process, but I think we're strong enough to defeat them."
Rehnquist has given no indication of his plans.
By mid-day yesterday, there were 17 different reports on the retirement of Rehnquist, all saying it would be conducted before the end of the day.
Cheney denied all reports that his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, leaked any speculation on the judge's retirement.
"No, Lewis wouldn't do that", said the Vice President. "He only leaks classified information"
Did You Mean Low Market Share and Worse Prospects?
Google Goes For Hot Red Star Searching But Beijing Cool To New Money System
Along with censorship issues, being forced to set up a local office, and having the country's hottest search company about to go public, Google's venture into China may be as tall and long as the Great Wall.
Sources close to Google say the Chinese government has rejected Google's new monetary system of 'Googlets' (See The Garlic - 21 June - Google Drops Bombshell - Will Compete With U.S. Treasury ).
Google had high hopes of establishing the 'Googlet' in China, believing the huge Chinese marketplace of billions would accelerate the acceptance of the 'Googlet' throughout Asia and into Europe.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Google won't exactly say what they are doing in China, quoting Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost on Google's strategy;
``Google is interested in China and is working to learn more about the Chinese market,'' she said.
Frost wouldn't comment on Google's purchase of a 4% stake in Baidu, the leading search engine among seven others in China and has been rebuffed from gaining a larger stake in the company. Baidu's offers an interactive search platform, known as zhidao.baidu.com.
Recently, the Chinese government would not let Google take its portion of advertising revenue unless Google had a local office. Last May, Google obtained a license to operate in China and also set up a local office in Shanghai.
After overcoming these hurdles, Google learned that the Chinese Government rejected the Google Monetary System, leaving in doubt if Google will force the issue and stay in China, or pull out and look for another landing spot in Asia.
One observer of business in China suggests a solution to Google's troubles.
"Since Disney caved in and won't serve it, perhaps Google can offer Shark Fin Soup with their searches."
9. What he plans to do to the British for releasing the Downing Street Memos
8. Nickname in the 6th Grade (Hint: Think common kitchen appliance that would have arms and legs)
7. His favorite White House Press Room reporter who is no longer credentialed
6. A certain item in 'Citizen Kane', which hangs over the entire movie, that turned out to be a sled
5. Other classified information he leaked to other reporters
4. Who authorized wiretapping his favorite White House Press Room reporter who is no longer credentialed
3. Code for getting the President to ride his bicycle whenever something big is happening
2. Person who came up with saying Saddam was trying to purchase uranium in Niger
1. His Therapist
Monday, July 11, 2005
London Bombings Force Blair To Name Own Axis of Evil
Bush Upset; May Sue In International Court To Force Name Change
A rift has developed between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and American President George Bush, following a heated meeting at the recent G8 Summit, in which, following the terrorist bombings in London, Blair advised Bush that he will soon announce his own 'Axis of Evil'.
Once spoken of being "staunch allies" of each other, Bush was said to be furious with Blair, according to sources at the summit.
Bush was overheard, shouting at Blair about copyright infringement and "messing up the whole plan".
It's not known when Blair will announce the British Axis of Evil, but it is rumored that France is on the list, for both historical and general reasons, as well as the recent insults offered by French President Jacques Chirac regarding British cuisine (see The Garlic, 7 July - London Wins Olympic Bid, But With A Catch )
When it became public, the White House snapped into action.
Chief Strategist Karl Rove immediately began researching members of parliament who had wives or husbands that may be undercover operatives of MI5, so he could leak that information to the British Press. Columnist Robert Novak volunteered to write the article for Rove, if necessary. Time Magazine also stepped in to say they stand ready to turn over any files and emails on the subject, if they write about it, should the case go to court.
Teams of White House lawyers began pouring through international law books on copyrights, malicious infringement of business and a host of other possible charges that can be pursued in court. One source indicated that, if they can't stop Blair from naming his own Axis of Evil list, they may be able to tie him up for years before he could implement and announce the list.
Senate Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), after spending the weekend viewing hours of videotape, including the DVD movies 'Chariot's of Fire' and 'Alfie' (the Michael Caine version), will present a resolution condemning Blair, and the British for "stealing United States military assets".
Blair, so far, has stood is ground, and with the full support of parliament. Blair's office released a new round of 'Downing Street Memos', showing there was some evidence the Bush Administration manipulated the data to come up with their version of an Axis of Evil list.
Sources close to Blair say that he hasn't ruled out placing the United States on the list, if President Bush doesn't tone down the rhetoric over it.
The White House released a statement over the weekend, that said, in part, changes to the Axis of Evil list would be forthcoming, and perhaps expanded.
"We've never been locked into just having three nations on the list", offered Scott McClellan, White House Spokesperson.
McClellan added, almost going out of his way to point out that the United States Axis of Evil list is the "official list".
IOC Dumps Baseball; Fewer HR's and Little Scandal Potential
New MLB Ban On Steroids Limits PR Effort of Games, IOC TV Time
Seeing that their television appearances may be limited in the 2012 Olympics Games, the International Olympic Committee, and the lack of homerun potential, the 2012 Games have dropped Baseball.
Members of the committee cited, with Major League Baseball's new crackdown on steroid use, there will likely be a decline in the number of homeruns hit, as is already occurring in MLB, and taking excitement out of a game most member nations already find lacking such.
Additionally, some members saw the lack of primetime television appearances. Without any steroid controversy, individual member and committee heads would see their media appearances, both for television and radio, decline
."We know from past experience", said one committee member, "that banning an athlete due to steroid use ups attendance at that event by more then 20%. We also get more television coverage due to the controversy, particularly if the athlete protests his-or-her innocence".
Officially, the IOC says the reason for dropping baseball and softball is part of an overall effort to downsize the Summer Olympics,
which has blossomed, from 4,100 athletes and 136 medal events in 1948 to more than 11,100 and 300 last summer. The IOC voted three years ago for a cap of 10,500 athletes and 301 events.
Baseball and softball were nearly cut-out from the Beijing Olympics' list (along with modern pentathlon in 2002) but IOC members felt, that with the games in China, there was enough potential controversy to keep them in. With China emerging in the world market, along a natural rivalry with Japan, a baseball-crazy nation, there'll be ample fireworks on-hand.
Major League Baseball was frantic upon receiving the news of being cut from the Olympics, fearing they will lose a key asset in their efforts to market baseball as a wholesome, family activity.
So desperate were they, according a source close to the Olympics, they offered an 11th-hour deal to guarantee Texas Ranger pitcher Kenny Rogers would be on the squad and he has agreed that he would abuse and rough up the international media.
9. We're going to EuroDisney!
8. Thank Luxembourg for their vote but now, they can go to the back of the room, sit down and be quiet
7. Won't have to use those damn awful Eurodollars anymore so they can get back to bilking tourists on the exchange rates
6. Brace themselves for Bill Frist to pull the 'Nuclear Option' and force the vote on the constitution
5. Pool all the money they will save together so they can get the Manchester United cable package
4. Get boring lectures on democracy from Condoleezza Rice, about having a united Europe
3. Intimidate the Italians, just for the fun of it, so they cancel their government and hold new elections
2. Blame France, but only after agreeing with Chirac that the food in England sucks
1. Get on the agenda of the next G8 Summit for debt relief and billions in aid