Friday, December 08, 2006

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The National Christmas Tree Lighting

News Item: Bush Lights National Christmas Tree

10. This is the second tree they brought in ... Rumsfeld picked out the first one... It had scrawny branches and hardly any bark

9. I heard there’s a simulcast thing going on ... They’re making Maliki put up and light a tree in Baghdad, but it will be built into the security thing over there

8. I don’t see the Cheney’s but the daughter’s wife is here

7. I heard we were going to call it the “National Holiday Tree” until Bill O’Reilly started flapping his gums

6. Did you know this is the most expensive National Christmas Tree ever - Halliburton decorated it and strung the lights

5. Look, the First Lady’s dress is the same color as the tree!

4. I think he’s a little steamed ... He kept pacing, mumbling something about lighting the tree isn’t something Baker is making him do

3. Nice touch with the “Tree Lighting Accomplished” banner

2. It’s a new lighting system this year ... The Park’s people found this really cool design on the “Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal” Website

1. I can’t stay long ... I have to go over to the private tree lighting ceremony over at Dick Cheney’s Secret Bunker

He kept pacing, mumbling something about lighting the tree isn’t something Baker is making him do

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Breaking News! ISG Offers New Option For Bush Legacy

Baker Group Recommends New Reality Show For Iraq Solution

Hybrid of “Lost Meets Extreme Makeover”; Winner Gets To Replace Maliki And Run Country

Stunningly, saying that the group “endeavored mightily to stay within our current historical period”, the final report of the Iraq Study Group delivered to President Bush today includes a chapter, which notes offers the best chance for success, that calls for the White House to stage a reality television show that will produce the solution for the Iraq situation.

Sources close to the White House, and who shared a copy of the report with The Garlic, say that this chapter is classified, and will not be released in the public version of the report.

An earlier recommendation from the ISG pointed to having President Bush “re-do” his invasion of Iraq.

The proposal for a reality television show offers, according to the report, “the avenue to reach the broadest possible ideas for a resolution.”

The proposed reality show, which the ISG also offers titles, such as “Lost In Iraq”, “Extreme Diplomacy Makeover” and “Who Wants To Be An Iraqi Prime Minister” goes further, suggesting that the program be produced by an American television network, and al-Jazeera in the Middle East.

Along with the television broadcasts, the program would be covered by and Reality TV Magazine, under exclusive agreements already reached with the Iraq Study Group.

With the two separate programs, the respective winners would meet in what the report calls “The Ultimate World Super Bowl”, that would be broadcast over two nights, and, the reports predicts, would “shatter, completely” all television rating records. Furthermore, the ISG report forecasts that “billions” in advertising revenue would be generated, and suggests splitting the profits between the television networks and a fund that would go towards reconstruction projects for Iraq

The winner of the reality television program would then replace Nuri al-Maliki as Prime Minister of Iraq, and serve in that post until the next Iraq election, or, until the following years’ reality television program, whichever comes first.

Best Chance For Legacy

In a section of this Reality Television Chapter, James Baker confronts a topic that had to be difficult for the President to read.

Baker, bluntly, confronts the “Bush Legacy” and suggests that “with military and political options for success looking ever more bleak” President Bush should consider this reality television program to “salvage some level of accomplishment.”

“While the meter twitches slowly to ‘Worst President’, legacy status can be achieved via this reality television program. The history books will say one thing, however, popular culture will recognize you as the greatest television producer of the most-watched program in history.”

The ISG report notes very few, “unprecedented” events could top “The Ultimate World Super Bowl”, citing things like the marriage of the Pope , the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, or the first interviewer of Elvis Presley, upon his return.

Wide Open Field of Contestants

The ISG Report also suggests for the reality television program there be virtually no restrictions as to who can participate as a contestant.

The show would be open to anyone, including politicians, both currently in office as well as retired. So far, according to Baker, two have signaled they would like to audition for the program - former Secretary of State Alexander Haig and former Green Party Presidential nominee Ralph Nader.

Rumors, according to the sources who supplied the copy of the report to The Garlic, say the soon-to-leave Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has shown interest in being on the program, as has the recently voted out of office Senator, Rick Santorum.

As a subplot to the American broadcast, the report suggests having the contestants “engage in some level of tension, like a border dispute or immigration issue” with the participants of the Canadian reality program, “The Next Great Prime Minister Contest”.

Baker cautions President Bush not to overload the program with “office holders and policy wonks”, suggesting a “robust field of contestants,” with as many “Average Joe’s” as possible.

Again, being brutally open, Baker says that “the country, and world as seen what you and your administration as wrought. Contestants with no political or foreign policy experience will likely garner support from viewers and will be ratings-drivers.”

ISG To Serve As Judges

To “preserve continuity”, Lee Hamilton, the co-leader of the Iraq Study Group, indicates that the group will serve as judges of the program, adding in “celebrities” as dictated by current events around the time of the broadcasts.

Lee cites an example, saying if the reality show was being broadcast today, the group will likely add to the judging panel Michael Richards, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears and “a real ratings-grabber, the Bush Twins.”

The report says the al-Jazeera will be free to compose their own judge’s panel and, there will be no restrictions. President Bush is encouraged to reach out to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to increase efforts to locate Osama bin-Laden, suggesting that having the Al Qaeda leader, via remote, on the panel would “guarantee that weeks’ ratings top spot.”

Prisoners held at Guantanamo, as well as secret CIA Prisons, would be eligible to be on the reality series, either as contestants or judges, as much as their scheduled harsh interrogations allow.

Special Caveats Embedded In Reality TV Proposal

Baker notes that President Bush will automatically join the Judging Panel upon his leaving office, including if he is impeached, which would “really boost the ratings.”

It will be written into the contract with the both the American network and al-Jazeera, that the Carlyle Group and Halliburton have the option of “specially discounted” advertising rates.

Lastly, Baker, speaking directly to President Bush, cites how Dick Cheney became Vice President, and stipulates the ISG reserves the right to cancel the reality television show and name himself - Baker - as Prime Minister of Iraq.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Breaking News! Iraq Study Group Report Likely To Be Ignored

President Putting New Policy Suggestions In “Iraq Jar”; Rarely Pays Attention To It

First Lady “Always Harping” Aides Say; Rumsfeld Memo Completely “By Chance”, Luck Of The Draw

Against the backdrop of the hearings to confirm Robert Gates, and the drum roll for the release of the Iraq Study Group report, a bombshell disclosure emerged from the White House that has Washington buzzing.

Sources have told The Garlic not to expect much action after the Iraq Study Group issues their report tomorrow, as President Bush, for months, has been placing all new ideas for his course in Iraq in an old, large “olive jar”, and rarely opens it to review the policy suggestions.

It’s a Classic Jar

It’s known around the White House as the “Iraq Jar”, and sits on a small table, off to the side, in the Oval Office.

“It’s about half full,” said one White House aide. “All different sized scraps of paper. Every now-and-then, when he’s talking on the telephone, pacing around, he might twist the jar, center it on the table, but he rarely ever opens it.”

It’s the type of jar, said the aide, which you would find in a bulk, discount supermarket. It was brought into the White House from the President’s ranch down in Crawford, Texas.

“I’ve seen the jar and it’s a classic,” gushed Maxwell Throckmorton, Director of the Chore Jar Association. “We featured it a few years ago, in our magazine, “Chores and Love - It’s All In The Jar”. It was our cover shot and we got a tremendous boast in membership for a few months. People would be surprised how a well-maintained Chore Jar saves marriages.”

“I can’t imagine,” marveled the White House aide, how long it took to eat all those olives.”

First Lady, President Clash Over Iraq Jar

Another source says that the Iraq Jar has become a major point of contention between the President and First Lady.

“They’ve had some terrific rows,” said the source, with intimate knowledge of the White House.

“The First Lady has, on numerous occasions, stormed into the Oval Office and they’ve gone at it about the Iraq Jar. Forget about the policy issues, she’s really pissed he brought it up from Texas ... Throws of the décor in the room.”

Mrs. Bush has, according to the source, repeatedly requested the President to take a Saturday off, and go through the Iraq jar and clean it out

Multiple sources have told The Garlic that the President rarely dips into the Iraq Jar.

As new ideas and suggestions come in, or if items are clipped from the newspaper, they just get dumped into the Iraq Jar with barely a glance.

Leaked Rumsfeld Memo Pulled From Jar

It was only due to an argument, aboard Air Force One, between the President and First Lady that led to the leak of the memo for outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Allegedly, just two-days before he was forced to resign, Rumsfeld penned a length memo, covering nearly every possible condition for changes in Iraq.

“Rumsfeld has just about everything in that memo,” said David Aaronson, editor of 'What Color Is My Coat Today?, the Capital Hill Newsletter that tracks politicians who turn on their own party. ‘I think he even predicts who the Super Bowl winner is this year. It’s a classic Washington cover-your-ass move.

Returning to the White House, the President and First Lady marched into the Oval Office, opened up the Iraq Jar and the President pulled out a piece of paper, which turned out to be the Rumsfeld memo

President Flip-Flopping on his Iraq policy

For much of the past three-years, it has been “Stay The Course”, until recently, when the Bush White shifted over to “Hello, I Must Be Going”, denying they were ever advocating “Stay The Course”.

Then, last week, in Jordan, President Bush, after meeting with, and endorsing as the “right guy for Iraq” despite a leaked State Department memo question his competency, Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and promised to “complete the mission” and that “I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq," he said. "This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all."

NSA Aide Stephen Hadley defended President Bush on a round of television appearances over the weekend, denying that the President was staying with, or abandoning “Stay The Course”.

“We have not failed in Iraq,” offered Hadley. "We will fail in Iraq if we pull out our troops before we're in a position to help the Iraqis succeed."

“We certainly hope that the President doesn’t pull out of Iraq and that he ignores the report,” says Holly Martins, Publisher of Axis of Evil Illustrated, a quarterly publication, that is rumored to be a house magazine for the Project for The New American Century.

‘We not only want to see him stay the course in Iraq, but also start to do something in Iran ... Which I believe the Vice President is handling those plans ... With the State of the Union speech not too far off, we want to see some action taken on the Axis members, it’s long overdue.”

It’s not clear if the President will immediately drop the Iraq Study Group report into the Iraq Jar. Some close to the West Wing say that Vice President Dick Cheney’s office will take the document and vet it, making sure there is nothing in it that goes towards diluting or eliminating the Executive Powers of President Bush, or Cheney’s ability to control policy.

“I think it’s a safe bet, said Aaronson, “that unless this report gives him instant legacy, the President will throw it in the Iraq Jar. He’s not going to change his stripes at this late date.”

Multiple sources have told The Garlic that the President rarely dips into the Iraq Jar.

Retro Bolton II ... Our Man At The U.N. Slinks Off Into The Sunset

Geez, the new 110th Congress is sure seeing its’ playthings getting pulled off the shelf in a hurry.

First, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gets thrown under the bus, now we have United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton jumping off the cliff.

So much for those heated, contentious, fireworks-producing open hearings to warm our winter. Memorable sound bites never to be. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will have to find new issues that cause him to pound his head on the podium.

Here’s a retro look at our intrepid diplomat - Garlic Special - It’s A Bolton Kind Of Thursday!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Top Ten Cloves: Other Ways NBC Thought About Announcing They Were Calling Iraq A Civil War

News Item: This Just In: Matt Lauer Says Iraq in Midst of Civil War

10. Thought about putting it in one of the “Deal Or No Deal” briefcases, but couldn’t predict when that one would be picked

9. With Jack Welch finally gone, they could take a few chances without being yelled at

8. Was going to have Brian Williams apologize for the delay in calling it a Civil War

7. One Hour Special of Tim Russert holding up his little white board with the words “Civil War” written on it

6. Patricia Arquette came to them with a premonition

5. New Thursday night “Must-Account-For-Civil-War-TV!

4. Hardball’s Chris Matthews was nearly foaming at the mouth against calling it a Civil War, so we knew we had to go the other way

3. Three-episode storyline in new show “Friday Night Lights”

2. CNBC’s Jim Kramer had been ranting for weeks “Booyah! Civil War” and news division thought there might be something to it

1. Was waiting for Katie Couric to leave before making the announcement

New Thursday night “Must-Account-For-Civil-War-TV!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 3 December 2006

The 4th Annual Beirut Marathon started and finished at the same moment, as the shot from the starter's pistol to begin the race was met with a barrage of gunfire, mortar attacks and car bombs, killing 14, injuring 37 and at least a dozen confirmed kidnappings.

Organizers of the event said they will try it again next year

Russian President Vladimir Putin claims he has an alibi and couldn’t have poisoned Alexander Litvinenko, telling officials that he was having dinner with former NFL star O.J. Simpson and actor Robert Blake

In a related story, the Fox Network and Judith Regan are said to be in discussions with Putin, to have the Russian President appear in a television special, and pen a book, tentatively titled “I Didn’t Kill Anybody ... But If I Did, Here’s How I Would Poison My Critics”

After apologizing last week, for the error of this years’ hurricane season forecast, saying “...We have a confession. We got something wrong," admitting that the stream of "dire predictions" reported earlier in the season "wasn't even close...", NBC Anchor Brian Williams said he was sorry and feels “just awful” about the early-season snowstorm that slammed the Midwest and Northeast on Friday

The Congressman-elect from Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Muslim, has drawn the ire of the Conservative Right by indicating he will use the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in

In an effort to see that the situation doesn’t mushroom into a bigger controversy, Ellison has proposed substituting the Quran with Noam Chomsky’s 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States’

The State Department admitted today that they were close, very close to conscripting Paris Hilton and Britney Spears and sending them to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to aid and chaperone the Bush Twins, before asking the President’s daughters to leave the country

Okay ... After I meet with Maliki, I come out and say what - “Heck of a job he’s doing” or “He’s the right guy for Iraq”?... And that there are no graceful exits and we’re staying there ... And I should keep on blaming Al Qaeda for all the violence ... What about, do I throw in any mushroom clouds, or blame it all on Rumsfeld...

It's Getting To The Point Of Being Beyond Scary ... The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll

Earlier this week, New York Times War Cheerleader Columnist Thomas Friedman had a piece suggesting “We need to face our real choices in Iraq: Either we get out in a phased withdrawal or we start over, reinvade and rebuild from the ground up” (sorry for no tag as we haven’t paid to breech the wall over there at Times Select). Nearly two weeks ago, The Garlic offered “Baker-Hamilton To Say “Start Over”; Reinstall Saddam And Retake Country, This Time With Plans”

This weeks’ Garlic Poll offered choices on how our Court-Appointed President was going to deny that the Iraq War (okay, really the Iraq Invasion and Occupation) has now lasted longer then World War II. Today, New York Times Columnist, the on-the-money Frank Rich asks “Has He Started Talking to the Walls?” (This is primo Rich and a must-read!)

It’s really getting beyond the point of being scary, especially, with just this past week, CAP Bush went out and heatedly blamed Al Qaeda for the over-the-top violence and Michael Browned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki with “He’s the right guy for Iraq

Perhaps the majority leaders of the upcoming 110th Congress needs to engage in some flip-flopping, from what they said during the Midterm campaign, and, before the session starts, head on out to Crate & Barrel or Ikea and see about picking up a very large table.

The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll November 26 - December 2, 2006

With the War in Iraq now longer than World War II, President Bush will likely...

1. Claim it’s not longer by using Karl Rove’s ‘The Math” Tally 34%

2. Blame the Democrats for counting the calendar, keeping track of it, saying it proves they support the terrorists Tally 32%

3. Prepare a Signing Statement that will say, officially, World War II was longer Tally 25%

4. Consider legislation to ban such references, putting it under the law of the Patriot Act Tally 9%

This week’s Poll - After President Bush receives the Iraq Study Group Report this week, he’ll...

Scroll up to the top right corner to place your vote

Has He Started Talking to the Walls?