In Desperate Move, White House Reaches Out To 'Three Wishes'
With Terrorism, Indictments and Nominations On The Edge, President Signals To Call In Hit NBC Show
Said to be beleaguered, weary and "dripping with anxiety", President Bush signaled White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan this morning to "call in" the hit NBC television series, 'Three Wishes', to see if he can get his administration back on track.
What appears to have pushed President Bush to hang on to only hope and wishes were the reports that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has summoned White House Special Council, and longtime advisor to the President, Karl Rove to testify again in front of the Grand Jury looking into the matter of who in the Bush Administration leaked information that identified a covert CIA Agent.
For Rove, this will be his fourth appearance in front of the Grand Jury and there was the added warning by Fitzgerald that his testimony does not exclude him from a possible indictment.
"Well, that would be one wish, certainly," offered McClellan, in a briefing to reporters. "I'm confident the President would want to help Karl out, if in fact, he needs such assistance. I do want to point out that no indictments have been handed down at this time."
For McClellan, this is an about-face, as for months, he insisted that Rove, or others in the White House, were not involved in the leak case.
McClellan did state, that "the President is the only one who will make the wishes" if the show chooses to come to Washington.
When reached, Andrew Glassman, who along with Jason Raff, is an executive producer for 'Three Wishes', was ecstatic.
"Wow, to be able to pitch our wishes tent on the South Lawn, in front of the White House … That would be huge … Phenomenal … I don't know if we'd use it for the Fall or Spring Sweeps but we'll fit it in there alright …"
For President Bush to appear on 'Three Wishes', this would be the second member of the Bush family to appear on a reality television program.
Last month, First Lady Laura Bush appeared on the ABC program, 'Extreme Makeovers: Home Edition' that will air sometime in November.
The program, 'Three Wishes' debuted this season on NBC and is hosted by Grammy-award-winning singer, Amy Grant. Grant, and a bevy of correspondents drop into a town - any town - pitch a 'wishes tent' and put out the word that they will grant three wishes to that town.
The wishes range from giving an unsung hero praise, to life-threatening medical situations. With two episodes aired to-date, 'Three Wishes' has visited Clovis, New Mexico and Sonora, California.
The news of Rove's return to the Grand Jury comes in the middle of a fierce battle the White House is waging, with it's own supporters, over the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Republican members of the Congress and the Senate, as well as influential conservative groups have railed against the President for his choice of Miers, with charges ranging from cronyism to flatly stating Miers is not qualified for the post.
Just yesterday, after a harsh report issued by the Government Accountability Office, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings ordered conservative journalist Armstrong Williams to endorse and promote the President and Miers in the same manner and spirit he endorsed - for payment - the D.O.E. 'No Child Left Behind program.
Along with taking responsibility, with a special congressional panel investigating the matter, the governments horrendous response to Hurricane Katrina, the President, as the head of the Republican Party, is also facing having his Senate Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-TN) and his Congressional Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-TX) under investigations and indictments for illegal activities.
Glassman believe his 'Three Wishes' program can help the President.
"We've had tremendous results, so far," said Glassman. "I've only had a conference call with Scott, and some others in the White House. I haven't spoken with the President yet."
Glassman indicated that he was sure that McClellan, and the White House, understood, that they get only three wishes.
"That means, between Rove, Frist, DeLay and Miers, someone gets left out, someone doesn't get their wish."
McClellan confirmed the conference call and said that they know they only get three wishes.
"The President is aware of this," stated McClellan. 'I can tell you there is no decision yet on the wishes. President Bush could use the wishes to help out some of the people we have talked about this morning, or, he could go in a completely different direction. He could surprise a lot of people."
No surprise in President Bush giving a forceful speech about the War On Terror and, coincidentally, on the same day, there is an elevated terrorist alert.
Speaking at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, President Bush gave a speech, similar to many he has offered in the past as to "staying the course", and focusing on terrorism, however, the President add that " the United States and its partners had disrupted 10 serious plots since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001." The President did not state any specifics about the plots, or their targets.
Then, a mere few hours later, New York City was rocked with the news of a specific terrorist plot to attack the New York City subway system in the second week of October. Extra police and security were moved into place and Mayor Bloomberg urged residents and subway riders to be vigilant.
McClellan quickly issued a statement after the briefing, that read in part, "The subway terror alert in New York City yesterday was not one of the wishes of the President or, in any way, related to the 'Three Wishes' program the President may participate in."
FEMA came under new criticism today, when relief and construction workers in New Orleans and throughout the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast charged that no ladders have been provided for the reconstruction effort.
Friday, October 07, 2005
9. That the President learns to ride a bicycle properly and not run into Secret Service agents
8. Dick Cheney could, legally, stay in his secret bunker and not have come into the White House
7. Texas jury convicts and imprisons Tom DeLay, getting that greasy slimball out of Congress for good
6. New amendment - Third Term for President Bush
5. Come up with some Whitewater charges that stick to Hillary
4. Go back in time and keep the feeding tube in Terry Schiavo, until, at least, the 2008 Presidential election
3. New Law - Can give support to Pat Robertson to assassinate Huge Chavez
2. Finally, find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq
1. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicts only Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Spellings, DOE To Have Williams Endorse President, Miers Pro Bono
Hopes to "Satisfy" Blistering GAO Report, To Return Propaganda Funds; Much of Monies Spent in Branson
Coming on the heels of a stern rebuke and blistering Government Accountability Office report citing violations of laws and ethics, Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced this morning that she will direct conservative journalist Armstrong Williams to "publicly back President Bush's decision and to publicly endorse the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court."
Williams endorsement will be "pro bono", as a gesture to pay back some of the nearly quarter-of-a-million-dollars he received for promoting the Bush Administrations controversial 'No Child Left Behind' legislation, on his nationally syndicated television show, in nationally syndicated columns, as well as endorsing NCLB in public appearances. During the time Williams was under contract to the DOE, he urged other black journalists to do the same.
"We're not going to do anything under the radar here," said a somber Spellings. "No deals, no back rooms … It's all out in the open and above board."
The contract, a $1-Million deal with the public relations firm Ketchum, which the GAO reports says violated the "publicity and propaganda" law, called for Ketchum to produce prepackaged new reports (also known as video news releases, or VNRs in the industry) that were designed to look like news reports and were used to promote No Child Left Behind.
The Bush administration used similar releases last year to promote its Medicare prescription drug plan, prompting a scolding from the Government Accountability Office, which called them an illegal use of taxpayers" dollars.
For both violations, the GAO directed the Department of Education to invoke the Federal "Anti-Deficiency Act" to begin the process of recovering the misspent taxpayer dollars.
Since the President announced Miers as his choice for the Supreme Court, he's come under a hailstorm of criticism, mostly from conservatives and the Right, and the Administration has been lobbying Cabinet members and Republican congressmen and senators to speak up and defend the move.
Williams, speaking through a spokesperson, confirmed that he will endorse the President and Harriet Miers. He said that he said. "I thought this contract was a blessing at the time."
Williams stated that he did provide Spellings with a "accounting of the monies received". Some of it went to his business expenses and a significant amount was used for "travel and entertainment". Armstrong indicated that he often "entertained" clients with trips to Branson, Missouri, for shows and relaxation.
William's mea culpa and payback will come with guests booked on his show that will also endorse the President and Ms. Miers, as well as writings of endorsement in his columns. Ketchum will contribute in this effort with producing television spots, featuring Williams and other prominent conservatives offering their endorsements of Miers and the President.
Spelling made clear in her announcement today that "No Williams funds were used" in her efforts, earlier this year, to kill off the PBS program ""Postcards From Buster,"
Spellings sent a strongly-worded letter to PBS CEO Pat Mitchell, expressing her "concern" over an episode in which Buster, the animated rabbit, visits a Vermont maple sugar farm run by gay parents. Spellings ominously reminded Mitchell that "the show is being funded in part by the Education Department."
PBS ended up pulling the show, but not before some of its' affiliate stations broadcast the program.
Williams indicated that "he's never seen the Buster show."
In a related matter, Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavit reached out to Armstrong Williams, and other African-American journalists and commentators to gage their interest in promoting and defending Former Education Secretary William Bennett, who has been under fire since last week, when on his radio program, Bennett made controversial remarks, associating black Americans with crime.
"That's what I said David, we've got one endorsement for the President's Supreme Court Justice nonimation so far ... Just one and I'm not goint to answer the rest of your question ..."
9. Lost a bet with the First Lady
8. Afraid if he sent up a conservative Hispanic male, would confuse committee with his talk about "Béisbol"
7. Burnt out and delirious from trips to hurricane areas and thought he was saving an evacuee
6. Was thinking along the lines of television and it being Extreme Makeover: Supreme Court Edition
5. Three Words - Magic 8-Ball
4. Confused his 'Short List' with his 'Will Piss Off Conservatives List'
3. As Cheney started going under from anesthesia for surgery, thought he heard him say "Pick Harriet"
2. Showing off for Cabinet; Asked Asked "Higher Father" to speak to group with choice; After 10-minutes and nothing, panicked …
1. Pay-Off: She was in the room - along with Rove, Cheney and Libby - when plans made to leak Valerie Plame's name
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Accuweather, NWS, NHS Woo Franklin Graham For Hurricane Forecasting
"Pipeline To God Would Corner Market"; Some Say Could Lead To First Weather Emmy"
Saying he could be a "tremendous asset" to the prediction of future hurricanes and major storms, three of the nation's weather giants are pursuing signing evangelist Franklin Graham to their team with, what an industry insider said would be, "the largest contract paid in the weather business."
Accuweather, the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center all want Graham, son of the legendary Billy Graham and head of the Samaritans Purse organization, after his comments that "God is going to use that storm to bring a revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose."
"Having a pipeline to God," said Accuweather Founder and President Joel Myers, "That would allow us to corner the market. We'd be untouchable … Our Neilson's would go through the roof."
Frank Lepore, Public Affairs Officer for the National Weather Service wouldn't comment on the offer made to Graham.
"Having him would be a tremendous asset," said Lepore.
While his organization is in the hunt for Graham, Max Mayfield, of the National Hurricane Center, took a more cautious tone when speaking about Graham.
"He certainly has a unique perspective," said Mayfield. "We have the science and technology end of this handled pretty well. Perhaps he can help fill in some of the background."
In an interview Tuesday, with John King on CNN's 'The Situation Room', Graham embellished his forecasting skills.
"God will use this storm in a way that will benefit the people of New Orleans and the people of Louisiana and Mississippi in a much stronger way in the years to come."
For Accuweather to land Graham, this would be the second coup of the year for them. Earlier this year, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) filed Senate Bill 786, which will limit the National Weather Service to delivering severe weather forecasts, not daily local forecasts that are profit makers for commercial weather forecasters.
AccuWeather is the largest (325 employees) of 14 commercial weather forcasting companies in Pennsylvania.
Noticeably absent for the Graham pursuit is The Weather Channel.
"We have no changes to our on-air personnel or forecasting staff planned," said spokesperson Kathy Lane.
"I don't see TWC sitting this one out," says Diane Strzesak, who speculates on weather futures for the investor newsletter "Blowing Winds'.
"Whoever lands this guy [Graham], is going to see a huge bump in their stock prices, revenue streams, right down the line. This will raise 'Must-See-TV' to a whole new level."
Tom Shales, the Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic of The Washington Post agrees.
"We could see the first Emmy given to a weather broadcast."
Graham has refused comment on the speculation of taking on a weather post and there is no date set yet on when the weather services hope to have him signed.
"We still have a few weeks left of the hurricane season, " said Myers. "Then it's winter and the blizzards and we'd love to hear what he has to say on that."
Mirimax announced tofday that former ambassador Joe Wilson, and his wife, Valerie Plame, who are at the center of the special prosecutor's investigation into the Bush Administration leaks, will star as Nick and Nora Charles, in an updated version of the famous 'Thin Man' series.
OJ, Vatican Said To Sign Deal, Merge Hunts
O.J. Simpson, coming with the 10th Anniversary of his acquittal on the criminal charges of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, announced he has signed a deal with the Vatican. Simpson was later convicted in civil court on the wrongful death charge counts and has a $33-Million judgment against him.
Simpson has maintained his innocence and, for the past 10-years, has claimed to doggedly pursue the person or persons responsible for the deaths.
A spokesperson for the Vatican later confirmed the arrangement.
Simpson says he will assist the Vatican in their hunt for gay priests, and, in return, the Vatican, with their with their considerable resources, will assist Simpson in his pursuit of the killers.
Earlier this year, Simpson announced that he was outsourcing the job of finding the killers, as a means to be more productive and efficient.
Sources say that it was in this vetting process of hiring a firm that Simpson and the Vatican began their talks. Subsequently, the talks were postponed, due to the death of Pope John Paul II but recently were revived as the anniversary date approached.
Last month, the Vatican announced that the church is now banning gay priests and has formed a posse to visit all churches and seminaries to find and expel such priests.
In a statement released by Simpson, he stated that "be believes the Vatican will be an enormous help and is confident their efforts will be rewarding."
Simpson also said in the statement that "he can spot a gay priest as easy as if someone was handing him a three-dollar-bill."
The Vatican in a brief statement acknowledged their "association with Mr. Simpson" and will bring "all appropriate resources to bear" in assisting him. The also stated that they are giving a special waiver to priest, related to finding the Simpson killers, to "suspend the sacrament of confession" and notify "both Simpson and the appropriate authorities" should a priest hear someone confessing to the killings.
9. If he starts wearing tights, that they don't have an "S" on them, it might be time to move to San Francisco
8. Hmmn, the old George Reeves series or the Christopher Reeve movies … Tough choice on what to let him watch
7. Lobby the pregnant neighbor, who is having a girl, to name her Lois Lane
6. Kryptonite-proof the house
5. Start to, instead of swearing in front of the kid, learn to say "Great Caesar's Ghost"
4. Get lead doors and walls for the bedroom
3. Call Neiman-Marcus to see if you can get a retro telephone booth,so the kid has something he can change in every day
2. Figure out how to tell the kid, because of the real estate bubble, he doesn't have a special, secret ice house in North Country
1. Start the kid off slow, by just having him jump over ranch houses
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Cheney to Miers: "Way To Go There Girl"
VP Gave Advice, Coached To Choose Herself; Longtime Prez Cook and Gardener On Short List
President Bush yesterday ended the suspense of who would replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and created a new level of controversey, when he nominated his longtime aide, Harriet E. Miers, to the Supreme Court.
Miers, who up to her nomination, served as the White House Counsel, and, previously had been Bush's personal attorney, as well as his general counsel to his two gubernatorial campaigns in Texas.
Sources say that the President had a short list, which included his longtime chef and gardener
And Miers was the person who the President put in charge of researching and building a list of potential Supreme Court candidates.
No one was more proud of the moment than Vice President Dick Cheney.
"I feel like a coach," said the Vice President, "who has just seen that scrappy, second-stringer, take the big shot and become the team leader."
Cheney himself ascended to the Vice Presidency under similar conditions.
In 2000, when serving as CEO of Halliburton, Cheney was placed in charge of the Search Committee for the Bush Campaign. Bush disregarded Cheney's findings and choose Cheney himself to be his running mate.
"I think, on one day, I jotted down some names," recalls Cheney. "Just in case they asked me something."
"For the most part, I did crossword puzzles. Every now and then, I flew out to Peeble Beach, for some golf. I'd tell them I was going to California to interview so-and-so. I never busted a sweat over it."
Cheney says when Miers was placed with the responsibility, he had a meeting with her, to lay out the route for Miers to get the nomination.
"We got alittle nervous when the President chose Roberts. But, as soon as Rheinquist croaked, we tweaked our strategy and we knew she'd sail into it."
"I'm happy for Harriet," said Cheney, "but I do have alittle pang that maybe I should have headed the search. I wouldn't mind ending my career sitting on the big bench."
While the Democrats response to the Miers nomination has been surprisingly soft, and in some instances, positive, by contrast, the Conservatives have been harshly criticizing the President.
Bill Kristol, editor of 'The Weekly Standard', said he was "disappointed, depressed and demoralized" by the choice.
"Kristol," huffed Cheney, "gets depressed if it's a cloudy day, or if his shoe becomes untied … I wouldn't worry about him."
Appearing on the MSNBC program, 'The Situation', with host Tucker Carlson, conservative pundit, and former presidential candidate and Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan, with steam coming out of his ears, charged the President with "cronyism". Carlson siliently concurred, with his bow tie twirling like a jet propeller.
Sources tell The Garlic that, with it unlikely that the President will have anymore opportunities to shape the Supreme Court in his final two-years, attention now turns to mapping out a Presidential Library for Bush.
"There's a real dogfight brewing over that one," says the source close to the White House. "They know, the staffer that gets that job, of searching out a location, has a pretty good chance of getting their name on the library."
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed suit this morning against four newborns, their parents and a hospital in Chicago for alledgedly illegally downloading music
9. Will remind you, ad nausem, that a person is innocent until proven guilty
8. Despite not being qualified, you get offer from him to head an International Think Tank
7. Scheme is so lucartive, he can have his whole family on the payroll
6. His colleagues in Congress try to change rules to protect him
5. He starts taking lobbyists on junkets
4. There's so many investigations centered on him, you think he's became a co-anchor on Fox News
3. You get a letter from him, asking if you want to invest in Indian casinos
2. He gets a nickname, like a tool or something
1. The District Attorney can't stop himself from lining up indictments against him
Monday, October 03, 2005
Disney Tosses Hat Into Hurricane Ring; Said To Make Bid To Purchase New Orleans
Multiple Themes Parks Already There; Deal Would Give Disney Channel Exclusive Hurricane Coverage Through 2011
Sources are telling The Garlic that the Walt Disney Company, this past weekend, placed a bid with General Thad Allen to purchase the city of New Orleans.
The price Disney is willing to pay is, reportedly, well above the $200-Billion mark being debated by the Bush Administration and Congress. The offer was made on Saturday, in New Orleans as both the city and federal government continue with the clean-up efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the city slow begins to allow citizens back in.
Disney would pay for the purchase in both cash and stocks, and leverage additional benefits from the government in tax breaks and with the President Bush's new Gulf Opportunity Zone.
"It's a bold move." said Lou Lundberg, who tracks Disney deals in his investors newsletter, 'All Ears'.
"But Disney has the imagination, vision and diverse resources to pull it off."
General Allen was said to be "stunned" by the offer.
Disney has been trying to get this on the table for the past two-weeks, according to Lundberg, and other sources. With no city, state or federal official firmly with authority, Disney decided to approach General Allen as "he seemed to be the only one that knows what's going on."
Mayor Ray Nagin, who on Friday launched a ''Bring New Orleans Back Commission', could not be reached, and is believed to be in Dallas.
Governor Kathleen Blanco was said to be "interested" in the proposed sale but "could not make any commitments at this time."
There's numerous other committees that have a stake in the "new" New Orleans, including Committee for a Better New Orleans/Metropolitan Area Committee (CBNO/MAC) and various Congressional committees looking into funding and overseeing the rebuilding of the city.
It's unclear if President Bush is aware of the Disney offer.
Reportedly aides, who are allegedly weary of giving the President hurricane-related news for fear of being dressed down angrily by the President, are preparing a video of Disney clips for the President to view.
Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security, released a statement that "he hasn't watched television the past few days" and is "unaware of any Disney offer."
'More New Urbanism'
For Disney, this would be the second effort in running a community, following their conceiving and building of Celebration, Florida back in 1994. It follows the vision laid out by the late founder, Walt Disney, as to building advanced communities that people could live in, such as his original conception of Epcot.
"It's almost as if New Orleans was made for Disney," said Lundberg. "You got two, maybe three theme parks already built. The French Quarter and the Garden District are there and ready for the Disney Touch."
Elements of the deal that were leaked out include;
- Keeping the Lower 9th Ward flooded and turning it into 'Pirates of the 9th Ward'
- Live, real-time experience of being in a flooded house; extra fee required to experience helicopter rescue
- The popular Café du Monde would become the Café du Petit Monde, the centerpiece of a 'Small World Park' that would replace the Riverwalk area.
- Speculation Disney would move it's pro hockey team, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to New Orleans, partly out of leverage for having a new "Superdome" built, with the state adding infrastructure and other funding to the construction.
New Orleans residents would have 'first choice' at the jobs generated by the Disney purchase of New Orleans, however, Disney's experience and resources would take a lot of jobs away from the city, according to Lundberg.
'Disney's pioneering of their Audio Animatronics," said Lundberg, "is going to save Disney a bundle on labor."
Lundberg speculates that many of the tourist-related jobs, like street artists and the ropers for the clubs in the French Quarter will be Audio Animatronics.
The purchase of New Orleans by Disney would also include the official broadcasting rights to any new storms or hurricane that hit or threaten New Orleans, through 2011. It's likely that the Disney Channel, as well as other holdings of Disney, such as ABC and ESPN would share in the broadcasting of these storms.
Miramax, which is also held by Disney, would have exclusive rights as to shooting and producing any movies in New Orleans. The city has a long history for being the location of choice for Hollywood.
There was no word on if Disney will keep Mardi Gras as the one-time-per-year spectacle that it has been, or, if it will become a daily attraction for the French Quarter Park, similar to the parades and fireworks shows that take place in other Disney theme parks.
"It's being discussed," says Lundberg. "When you look at places like Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and Solvang, California, it's completely doable for Disney to have a constantly running Mardi Gras … It's a money-maker."
Money is the key to the deal, according to Lundberg.
"There's always the speculation the DisneyEurope is on the block … It's been hemorrhaging money for years … And we're starting to pick up some chatter that the Asians are already bored with Hong Kong Disneyland."
"The cities main industry, for years, has been tourism and conventions so Disneyland New Orleans would be a homerun for the company. The Big Easy will turn into 'Big Money' for them"
New evidence emerged in the congressional hearings looking into the governments' response to Hurricane Katrina. Charges surfaced that FEMA was aware of the levee breaks earlier than stated and contracted a vendor to try to hold the levee waters back
9. Assured him, they will have Anna Nicole Smith in the court when her case is heard
8. Traditionally hazing with giving him a robe three sizes too small
7. Warn him, that if brings in his energizer-bunny kid into the chambers, they're going to fire gavels at him
6. Even though he's Chief Justice, he's still a rookie and must carry briefcases and luggage
5. Tell him there was a snafu with swearing in and that he has to go through process again, including hearings and vote
4. More hazing: Gave him the gavel that will break in two first time he pounds it on the bench
3. Emailed him the form letter he can send anonymously to the IRS, to have audit conducted on Senators who voted against him
2. Asked him if he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade in his first year, or wait alittle while
1. Told him it was okay if he didn't wear anything under his robes; they all do it often enough
Sunday, October 02, 2005
To aid in his fight against the conspiracy indictment, Congressman Tom DeLay has had a bank of microphones surgically attached to his body so he can plead his innocence and smear District Attorney Ronnie Earl and the Democratic Party
EPA officials and scientists are baffled at the sudden growth of polka dot bowling pins popping out of the infected waters that have flooded New Oreans
Vice President Dick Cheney, to dispel rumors of his health status following his recent surgery, announced that he has signed on for the lead role of Don Lockwood in a Broadway revival of "Singing In The Rain", slated to open in the Spring of 2006
"Barry, I don't know if you took steroids or not, but I wanted you to be the first to know that I am filing a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and appealing to Congress, to protect my homerun record"
"In our politburo, it's Maxwell House just doesn't have the same ring as the song with the firefighters ... Can we try it again?"