Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Politico's DNA ... The Other Iraq ... And He's a Bible-Thumper Now ... Around The Garlic Patch

Another installment (in what has been my bad, of being too infrequent) of Around The Garlic Patch

Must Read - Glenn Greenwald's Scoop On The Politico's DNA

Let's get this off the chest, first and foremost.

Can we not have anymore more presidential candidate debates held and hosted at presidential libraries? In in particular, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Between the debate itself (somewhere between 20-30 tributes to the old, doddering drooler), and the pre-and-post MSNBC television coverage, it became a veritable Reagan Love-In.

I didn't watch every minute of the coverage, but I suspect no one brought up the irony of having the debate in the hanger that housed the old Air Force One that Reagan (and other Presidents) traveled on.

The airplane of the union-busting President.

It was Reagan who broke up PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization), two-days after they began a strike for better working conditions. Not only did he fire them, but he also banned them from federal employment.

Since Reagan is, quite erroneously, credited with bringing down the Soviet Union (more like it happened on his watch, the cumulative effect of previous administrations maintenance of the Cold War), perhaps PATCO was his test run (Can't you just hear him, practicing "Tear down that control tower" over and over?).

There. Feel better.

The main purpose of this post is to bring your attention to, and encourage you to read through it, the exceptional reporting/writing of Salon's Glenn Greenwald on the DNA of the spanking new media outlet, the on-line political magazine, The Politico.

They pulled in some big name journalists from The Washington Post, Time Magazine and other places and it was going to be a new day. There's also ties to Matt Sludge but that, more-or-less, is unofficial and not in their masthead.

Well, Greenwald lays it all out.

The Republican Candidates Debate Thursday evening was sponsored by MSNBC and (quick, take a guess), The Politico. How did a fledgling start-up media company score such a hit?

Greenwald, quoting Mike Allen of The Politico;

"She [Nancy Reagan] was escorted out of the hall by Frederick J. Ryan Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, and president and CEO of The Politico."

Not only is The Politico's DNA and money coming from a long-time Reaganite, but also from a long-time friend and supporter of Chilean Dictator and murderer, Augusto Pinochet. Friendship, plus business ties.


Who funds and runs the Politico?

The Politico: Exhibit A for our broken political press

GOP Presidential Candidates Transcript

Of Dead Policies, Boxes in Boxes, Meme's, Links and Lazy Saturday Afternoons ... Around The Garlic Patch

Around The Garlic Patch ... A Few Good Links To Check Out

If he were alive and in business today, would Pinochet be a subscriber to The Politico?

This Wasn't In The Brochure

Perhaps you've seen the slick television commercial, promoting the campaign of "The Other Iraq".

Kurdistan. You know, those good Iraqis. The one's not fighting, or killing, U.S. soldiers.

In fact, as AntiWar.Com notes, the Kurdish Regional Government hired Russo Marsh & Rogers (RM&R) – a Sacramento, Calif.-based public relations firm with close ties to the Republican Party - to produce the campaign "... that will thank the American people for supporting the war in Iraq, and encourage Americans to visit and invest in the Kurdish region."

Well, there was a most disturbing (sickening, actually) article found on Memorandum today.

A teenage girl, in Kurdistan, from the minority Kurdish religious group called Yezidi, apparently fell in love with a Sunni Muslim boy.

And what did that bring about in "The Other Iraq"? The Good, Civilized, Enlightened Iraqis?

"The moment a teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy"

If the Kurdish Regional Government truly wants to establish itself as "The Other Iraq", then they will move heaven and earth to bring this young girl's killers to justice.

Contact the Minister of Justice, Farouq Jamil Sadig to encourage their "investment" in this matter.


Kurdistan hopes promotional push will increase foreign interest

Iraq Kurdistan to Tourists: Don't Confuse Us with the Rest of Iraq

If traveling to "The Other Iraq" beware of the water and bring your own rocks

Must Be The Cure

This past Thursday was, if you missed the parade (and let your imagination run with that - Macy-like giant floats of the Bible, characters from the Old and New Testament, ending with a Easter reenactment, where the cut loose the Jesus float, to have it ascend into the heavens), or were wrought with anxiety over the pending 45-day jail sentence issued to Paris Hilton, the National Day of Prayer.

Yep, complete with Presidential Proclamation and a little ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

Dana Milbank, of The Washington Post, had a piece on it yesterday.

What stood out was who has handling the press of the people putting on the "Bible Reading Marathon".

None other than that softball-throwing cheesecake, James Guckert, better known as Jeff Gannon, formerly of Talon News.

Also involved, running the National Day of Prayer Task Force, was Shirley Dobson, wife of fire-and-brimstone Focus on Family founder, James Dobson (you know, one of the guys that helped "cure" Ted Haggard).

I wonder, if Dobson and the gang, developed that cure with Gannon, before applying it to Haggard?


What is Talon News, and why does it have press credentials?

Online Reporter Quits After Liberals' Expose

Jeff Gannon Admits Past 'Mistakes,' Berates Critics

It's not your father's Sunday School anymore

Friday, May 04, 2007

Top Ten Cloves: What Goes Into President Bush Giving Himself Nicknames

News Item: Lost in the Fog With Commander Guy

10. Does it to cover his tracks when leaking information to the press

9. He'd rather give himself a nickname here, then someone giving him one over there

8. Jots them down in a list and looks to see which ones will succeed and which ones won't succeed

7. Test nicknames by prank calling his secretary ... If she takes more then 10-seconds to know whose calling, it's a keeper

6. Simply his way of dealing with "Bush Fatigue"

5. Everytime he reads a book from his "Ek-A-Lec-Tic" reading list, he starts thinking of these nicknames

4. Believes, by giving himself nicknames, he's making it harder for Al Qaeda to follow him home

3. Helps in raising funds for the Bush Library, when they can say something like "The Decider" or "The Commander Guy" needs it

2. Fires a U.S. Attorney until he gets one he likes

1. Only thing Dick Cheney lets him do by himself

The Decider-Commander Guy has been known to name his policies as well. Remember his "Cowboy Diplomacy"?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The Republican Candidates' Debate

News Item: Setting the Stage: The Republicans' First Debate

10. Good thing Fred Thompson hasn't entered the race yet ... Between the size of his ego, and Tommy's ears, we'll be lucky if the camera evens catches us in a panning shot

9. I heard, just to make his point, Duncan Hunter climbed over a fence to sneak in here tonight

8. I hope they ask me ... I'll be darn sure if I'm President to get the Medal of Freedom back from Tenent

7. Man, why are they scheduling these things the same night when 'Grey's Anatomy' is on?

6. I wonder if McCain is going to sing all his answers

5. I'll bet these guys would scare the bejeezes out of Mike Gravel too!

4. Tancredo pulled a bullshit move ... He had his Lawn-Chair Militia out front, trying to intimidate the other candidates

3. Watch if things get heated ... Guiliani will blow his top and say he'd give his mother embryonic stem cells so she could get an abortion if it would get him elected

2. I'll bet Romney digitally researched JFK's tan, in the 1960 debate, so he could get just the right color

1. Jesus! ... Would Sam Brownback bore a room full of insurance salesmen, or what?

Money was on McCain singing his answers

Chopped Garlic ... Lightning Striking Twice ... Of Success ... Who's In Command ... Pentagon vs. Soldiers ... And Those Al Qaeda Guys - Again

The Chief Decider, yesterday, gave an Al-Qaeda-laden speech (to the Associated General Contractors of America, at the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C.) that I'm surprised the crowd didn't stampede out to the street in panic.

It was all but inferred that they were, perhaps, in the hotel, waiting to follow the conference attendees back to their rooms.

It was that Al-Qaeda-Iraq-Sept. 11th, throughly debunked tie-in that he, and the others in the Grindhouse, have so desperately clung to. If they can't find a War Czar that they can pin this disaster on, they gotta put the blame on somebody.

But there we're two gems in this speech, perhaps the equivalent of lightning striking twice, that leaves you shaking your head

In reference to the invasion and occupation of Iraq;

"...Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed"

And on the question of command, who's running this war;

"And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm the commander guy."

We can also throw in the ever-evolving reason why we are still in Iraq, what the winning strategy is;

"Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our own country that have got a certain level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives. And that's what we're trying to achieve."


There's the answer, the whole apple cart on why our lives may be out of order - We haven’t struck the right balance of the proper amount of violence in our lives to feel comfortable. Do we have too much? Too little?

Maybe the endorphins were racing around his head, giddy and punch-drunk after doing his "I'm the commander guy" thing and signing the veto on the Iraq War Spending Bill

So it's gone from finding the WMD's, to putting a stop to Iraq's nuclear program, to taking out Saddam Hussein, to establishing a free Democratic Iraq, to allowing the Iraq people to vote, to "when they stand-up, we stand-down", to an Iraq that can govern and defend itself and now, to a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives.

We should, probably, be strapping ourselves in, for it is entirely likely the Bush Grindhouse will be pumping out more fear rhetoric, as he fights to save his failed policy while the rest of his administration explodes.

You have the Crony General Alberto Gonzales scandal sprouting spin-off scandals in time for Sweeps Month.

Turd Genius Karl Rove has more sights targeting him then an injured buck on opening day of hunting season.

And then there's the "My Sister-My Daughter" move by the Pentagon this week, announcing one day that they will be posting to YouTube their chip on the PR front, from war battles, to feel-good, uplifting stories coming out of Iraq (has the Lincoln Group opened up a film division?), and, on another day, shutting down blogs (and emails) of soldiers, who don't first submit their content to their superior officers for approval.

So, in a nutshell, here's what the Chief Decider wants you to do.

Be afraid, remember who the commander guy is, get the right balance of violence in your life, watch the Military YouTube channel, don't read the soldier's blogs or emails that haven't been approved and, with whatever you do, maybe you'll succeed, or maybe you won't.

Bonus Links

State Dept: Iraq Has Been ‘Good For The Effort To Reduce Terrorism’

The right's explicit and candid rejection of "the rule of law"

White House Plunges Into New Iraq Strategy; Moving From ‘Keystone Cops To ‘Marx Brothers’

Disney, With Secret Contract, Working With White House, Military On Building Baghdad Moats

"Whatta ya think there, Harriet, either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Garlic Special: A George Bush Dream - The Victory II

In a new series, The Garlic has, occasionally, taken a look (and liberty) with the somnolent state of our Court-Appointed President.

A George Bush Dream - The Victory II

Location: Cross Hall

Sunlight is beginning to fade, and the Jefferson Memorial stands deep in the background, framed nicely by the window.

President Bush is standing at a microphone, position dead center of the hallway, flanked on either side by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

President Bush: "... And that's why I took this action, to win the broad, bipartisan support of Congress, so we can support our troops, save our civilization and win this war ... Senator Reid? ...."

The President takes a step back, smiling at both Reid and Pelosi. Reid, as he steps to the microphone, gives the President a collegial, affectionate tap on the arm.

Reid: "Thank You Mr. President ... This is a great day for America ... For our soldiers ... For the Iraqi people... It was an extraordinary gesture ... Check that - vision ... For the President to come up to the Hill today, say that he wants to avoid a veto fight, roll up his sleeves and say "Let's get this done, so the soldiers and the people are secure" ... The President was very persuasive ... He talked about what would happen if we didn't provided him the tools and resources to fight this war ... To support our troops ... He hit it home, talking about images of soldiers, on the battlefield, having to boil their shoes in order to have something to eat - all because some politicians here in Congress had their heads filled with crazy ideas ... (turning and nodding to the President) Thank you Mr. President ... Thank you for showing us the light ... "

The President nods back at Reid, and with a sweeping hand motion, ushering Speaker Pelosi to the microphone.

Pelosi (nodding to both the President and Reid): "Mr. President ... Senator Reid ... I echo the Senate Leader's comments that this is, indeed, a great day, not just for America, or Iraq, but the entire world ... Mr. President, the Congress proudly gives you a blank check ... We want to win this war ... We want to fight them over there, and not here ... It has been the President's vision since the beginning, which at times we doubted, but now, have been shown how correct that vision was all along.

(Pelosi turns and smiles at the President)

Pelosi: Another generation had a terrible war they had to win ... And their leader pulled himself up out of a wheelchair to lead them to victory ... It took this President marching up the Hill today to pull us all together ... This was our generation's moment today ... We have a similarly great leader - President Bush - who is stepping up to lead us to victory ..."

"Mr. President ... Mr. President ..."

A White House aid gently shakes the President's shoulder, and the President snaps his eyes open.

"Mr. President, you've been napping ... I have Mr. Wolfowitz on the telephone for you and he says it is urgent ... And, you should start getting ready to go downstairs, to sign the veto ..."

The First Lady walks in.

"C'mon George, up-and-at'em ... Time to go to work ..."

The President slowly raises himself from the chair, rubbing his eyes, yawning.

"And George, don't forget to bring the new DVD's upstairs with you when you finish ... Since I can't sit and watch the television, I need something new to look at ..."

Bonus Links

Transcript - Bush Discusses Veto of Iraq Bill

Who's the Enemy?

Senator Reid And Speaker Pelosi: If You Believe In What You Passed, Send It Back

Fresh Lies From Our Government

Garlic Special: A George Bush Dream - The Victory

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Breaking News! President To Reject Bill Under "Veto Accomplished" Banner

White House, To Counter Dems, Planning Own Elaborate Signing Ceremony

VP Office May Issue Update "Last Throes" Declaration; Military Bands and Wounded Vets Expected To Attend

Looking to gain the upper hand in upcoming talks, the White House hastily announced plans to push back against the Democrat Majority with their own elaborate signing ceremony, that will see President Bush reject the Iraq War Spending Bill, as promised, penning his name under a large "Veto Accomplished" banner.

"It's not quite to the level of our past Bushapaloozas," an excited Dan Bartlett, White House Communications Director, exclaimed, "but it will be significant."

Plans for the Veto Signing include having military bands pounding out a medley of patriotic music, to an audience of wounded veterans bused over from the Walter Reed Medical Center out in the Rose Garden, with the President, surrounded by the Republican leadership, signing the veto under the "Veto Accomplished" banner.

"The President want to let these heroes know," offered Bartlett, wiping a tear from his eye, "that, even if the Democrats in Congress don't support the troops, the President does."

Bartlett indicated that it has not been decided if the President will be attired in his usual business suit, or if he will don the flighsuit for the signing. Sources have told The Garlic that there was a discussion of having the President, in flighsuit, parachute into the Rose Garden for the signing ceremony.

The thrown-together ceremony is a direct response, and raising of the stakes, to the Democrats, who staged their own signing statement in preparing the bill to be sent over to the President.

Privately, the White House was bristling, with the Democrats intentionally sending over the bill on the 4th Anniversary of President Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" debacle.

"We want to show them," huffed Bartlett, "that two can play this game ...We're no strangers to banners and we have the bigger bully pulpit in which to hang it"

Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to be at the veto signing ceremony and may, The Garlic has been told, offer an update of his "Last Throes" declaration. No word from the White House, or the Vice President's office on who is now in their last throes.

"It wouldn't surprise me," offered Hugh P. Varicator, a consultant with the conservative hawkish think tank, “Cry Wolf”, that is said to be closely affiliated with The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), and, some say, may be an adjunct to the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, "that Cheney tweaks'em, and names Reid and Pelosi. He's been laying it on thick the last few weeks."

Bartlett wouldn't say what the White House strategy is beyond the veto signing ceremony.

When questioned by reporters, Bartlett, while not offering any information, did not rule out new terror alerts, announcements of the terror plots foiled and the arrest of Al-Qaeda members, or the further good news progress reports on the Surge Policy while downplaying the increase in deaths of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens.

"Nothing is off the table," declared Bartlett.

Bonus Links

Perino: If Americans Don't Agree With Bush, They're Showing Bad Character

Four Years After 'Mission Accomplished'

‘Mission Accomplished’ By The Numbers

No hum-drum signing today for the Chief Decider ... Military bands, wounded vets, all under a "Veto Accomplished" banner

Top Ten Cloves: Lengths White House Staff Will Go Today To Avoid Reminding President Of "Mission Accomplished"

News Item: Mission Accomplished?

10. Call MSNBC and see if there's some new, Anna Nicole Smith story they can break

9. Checking Congress rules to see if entire Democratic Caucus can be sent ouf of the country on a junket

8. Vacation Day! - Send'em down to Crawford for 24-48-hours

7. All U.S. aircraft carriers ordered out-to-sea, with strict orders to stay out of the news

6. Get the First Lady to bite-the-bullet and, even though she may get discouraged, make President sit and watch television with her

5. Lobbying Ann Coulter to call one of the other Democratic Presidential candidates a faggot

4. All Military pilots today will wear business suits, not flightsuits

3. If necessary, Vice President Dick Cheney will do live, on-air telephone call to his friend, Scooter Libby, who he hasn't spoken with since Libby's conviction

2. Have Crony General Gonzales - or one of his underlings - fire another eight U.S. Attorneys

1. Hope someone on the staff gets outted in DC Madam Scandal

Bonus Links

Bush Remarks on "Mission Accomplished" Banner Embarrass White House

White House pressed on 'mission accomplished' sign; Navy suggested it, White House made it, both sides say

White House Caught Doctoring "Mission Accomplished" Video

Happy Law Day!

I suppose, a copy of the Constitution might be an appropriate gift to give the Chief Decider (if you're on a budget, you can go with the just the Bill of Rights)

A Law Day Unto Himself; Beyond Presidential Power, What Is Bush Upholding?

And, speaking of budgets ...

IRAQ WAR: Price tag for war in Iraq on track to top $500 billion


Proclamation by the President: Law Day, U.S.A., 2007

Bill of Rights Institute

The Constitution of the United States

Email the President a Happy Law Day greeting

Monday, April 30, 2007

Movie Industry Titan, and LBJ Lackey, Rolls His Final Credits - Jack Valenti Obit

Jack Valenti
, 85, both a political confidant and movie industry power, passed away on April 26th, at his home in Washington, D.C.

Valenti, a World War II veteran, began is career as an oil industry ad executive, before riding the coattails of a Texas Senator, Lyndon Johnson, eventually becoming a Special Assistant to President Johnson.

Valenti was in the infamous Dallas motorcade on November 22nd, 1963 that saw the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and can be seen in the ubiquitous photograph of Vice President Johnson being sworn in as President aboard Air Force One following the shooting.

In 1966, Valenti left the world of politics to take over as President of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and, in 1968, instituted what became a controversial rating system of movies that has endured to this day.

At his wake, standing guard around the open casket were floral arrangements in the shape of his beloved rating system - "G", "R" and "X"

As a final tribute to the movie biz titan, the MPAA issued a special, one-time only "JV" rating for Valenti's funeral, saying that is was for conservative, prudish, Mature Audiences only.

And, in another tribute to Valenti's commitment to the commerce of the motion picture business, a Director's Cut DVD of the funeral will be released in approximately three-weeks.


Jack Valenti, 85; former Hollywood lobbyist pioneered film ratings system

Jack Valenti's rating system changed movies

Jack Valenti's Long Goodbye

Yes, Wolfie, People Will Be Talking, For Years, About You ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

There will be head-turning, whispers, and mumbling, as you walk into the restaurant ... When you're lining up to tee off at the country club ... Standing in line for your double, low-fat latte ...

Some if it will be over Iraq, and your involvement in the planning of it ...

But most of it will be about your World Bank stint and, invariably, the words "fucking up a free lunch" will be in the hushed conversations about you ... And directed at you ...

And it won't be just here, in the good, ole U.S. of A ...

No Wolfie, this will be reverberating all over Europe, Asia ... The entire world ...

The World Bank and "fucking up a free lunch" will be uttered over and over, in multiple languages ...

The World Bank, Wolfie ... The most taxing thing is just having to attend all those meetings ... Looking good in tux ... Doling out millions of dollars ...

To your credit, there is a small level or irony here, when you put the World Bank and ethics in same sentence.

Author and satirist Barry Crimmins offered "The World Bank of all places ... Ethics ... These are the guys that shakedown water drinkers in Africa ... "

You have your hearing today. Maybe you can pull it out with documents, and an impassioned plea ... Act innocent and use the standard training you got from the Bush Grindhouse, and accuse your accusers ... Perhaps you can even throw in the tried-and-true belief that you feel your girlfriend, with her generous raise in salary, would pay for herself ... You know the drill, just like you said about Iraq ...

Most importantly, you get the same advice we offered the Crony General earlier this month - at the hearing, make sure your fly is up and zippered ...

But, to play it safe, start preparing your self for the whispers ... And getting used to hearing the "fucked up a free lunch" thing ...

And fear not Wolfie, the Garlic Poll voters are already scouting out a new gig for you ...

The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll April 15 - April 21, 2007

With the disastrous appearance and testimony of Crony General Alberto Gonzales last week, the White House, likely, has a short list of replacements for when Gonzales, either voluntarily, or is forced, resigns (assuming he isn't indicated beforehand)

1. Paul Wolfowitz (he needs someplace to land after the World Bank gives him the boot) Tally 40%

2. Condi Rice (allows Bush to move BlackBag Job Specialist John Negroponte up the ladder) Tally 22%

3. Bring Back John Ashcroft (but he's gotta leave the statues uncovered, and no singing) Tally 21%

4. Mike "Helluva A Job" Brown (between Brown, Gonzales, Miers and others, we know experience doesn't matter) Tally 17%

This week’s Poll - With all their dirty work and scandals bubbling to the surface, the Bush Administration surely must be wishing that former CIA Director George Tenent ...

Scroll up to the top right corner to place your vote