Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama's Turn ... On My Faith and My Church

We start the week with the two-headed monsters of Hillary and Geraldine "I'm Not A Racist" Ferraro, all but calling Barack Obama a lawn jockey, and then (Geraldine) getting all pissy about it, while Hillary took the time to have a cup of coffee, before kicking her off the bus (no, not throwing her, nor running her over).

Then, today (or was it yesterday) a dizzying array of video is played all over television news, like a Los Angeles freeway car chase, of Obama's "Pastor", Reverend Jeremiah Wright, in his greatest hits of over-the-top, lung-screeching, America-bashing sermons (or speeches) and, bang, everyone starts throwing kitchen sinks, toasters, blenders, stoves, you name it, at Obama.

(Check out Memeorandum either now, or between 5:00PM and 6:00PM this evening).

And, I believe it may have been two, possible three-seconds after the videos began airing, the cacophony of dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds began demanding that Obama disavow, reject, denounce, and hit with either a cluster or nuclear bomb, the Rev. Wright.

And for every second that Obama didn't show up on national television, holding the bloody head of Rev. Wright, the calls got louder and louder.

Good thing the Junior Senator from Illinois is one cool cucumber.

For, before the round, nationwide, of 5PM newscasts, before the big network anchor guns went on air, Obama pens this, on The Huffington Post;

On My Faith and My Church

Second paragraph;

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."
Obama goes on to explain his coming to Rev. Wright, rightly fills in more of the picture of Rev. Wright (sorry nitwits, he doesn't just live inside those videos) - a former U.S. Marine, the charitable and giving work of his church, etc.

Then Obama closes down with;
"Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

With Rev. Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright's statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States."

Asked ... Answered ... Delivered.

Well, at least for today.

No doubt, the RNC/GOP, Freakshow and Dittoheads will chase him all the way into November with this stuff, which Obama acknowledged, in an interview with Keith Olbermann at 8:00PM (did we mention about Obama being too cool?)

Two different things, Ferraro and Rev. Wright, but, unfortunately for most of the country, they'll be pulling out their little scorecards, and checking off one in the Obama column.


And it wouldn't surprise me if Hillary and her crew are reloading the kitchen sink, with burned CD's of the Reverend Wright video highlights, to hand out along the campaign trail for the next six-weeks in Pennsylvania

Or maybe Ferraro, exercising her First Amendment rights, will do it.

A Dump Truck of Links

MSNBC: Controversial minister leaves Obama campaign; Presidential candidate condemns words but not ministry of former pastor

Marc Ambinder: Hagee, Wright, Parsley, Fallwell, Obama and McCain

Blue Texan/Firedoglake: BREAKING: Obama Found To Have A Pastor; Possibly NOT A Muslim

hilzoy/Obsidian Wings: Obama And Wright 1: In The Real World

David Kurtz: Is Wright a "Death Blow" to Obama?

Bonus Bonus

Ta-Nehisi Coates/Slate: Playing the Racist Card - Ferraro's comments about Obama were racist. Why can't we say that?

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite/Newsweek: You're Wrong, Ms. Ferraro

Get Ready For The SuperSizeMe Fearmongering ... House Passes - Without Immunity - New FISA Bill

The Garlic seconds, and joins in heartily, Jane Hamsher's call for "Lets have a party!"

The Congress beat back the lies and fearmongering, and passed the new FISA Bill, by a count of 213-197-1.

From Glenn Greenwald;

"As impressive as the House vote itself was, more impressive still was the floor debate which preceded it. I can't recall ever watching a debate on the floor of either House of Congress that I found even remotely impressive -- until today. One Democrat after the next -- of all stripes -- delivered impassioned, defiant speeches in defense of the rule of law, oversight on presidential eavesdropping, and safeguards on government spying. They swatted away the GOP's fear-mongering claims with the dismissive contempt such tactics deserve, rejecting the principle that has predominated political debate in this country since 9/11: that the threat of the Terrorists means we must live under the rule of an omnipotent President and a dismantled constitutional framework."
So, what next?

If they stay-to-form ...

The Commander Guy, eyes slanted, lips pursed, sounding very much like someone who hasn't taken their meds, will vent against it, promising to veto it, if he doesn't get his ass-saving Telcom Immunity, and, accusing the Democrats of leaving the country at the mercy of terrorists.

Since its long established that facts, truth and losing a vote battle are mere fleas on an elephant, the GOP (perhaps another tearful performance from John Boehner), the Freakshow and other nitwits, will be screaming to the high heavens on how the Democrats are making the country unsafe, complete with vivid tales of nefarious terrorists, apparently hanging around right offshore, on the ready to bounce on us and kill all our families.

And on and on ...

Time to cue up Que Sera Sera...

Bonus Links


James Oliphant: FISA bill passes House; time for Spring Break '08!

CNN: House challenges Bush on surveillance

The Gavel: House Passes FISA Amendments Act

Bush Grindhouse Launches "We Want Angel Back" Approach Over Telcom Amnesty

OMG! ... The Country Is Still Safe, and Standing!

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard In House Secret Session Last Evening

News Item: The Secret Is Out: There Was No Big Secret

10. Hey, Steve King, why don't you do a little of the Islamist dancing in the aisles for us ...

9. Did you hear about Tucker Carlson being fired?

8. I hope we can wrap this up by 9:00 ... The Big East tourney is on tonight

7. That 'Green, Green, Grass' song Bush sang the other night, it that some new Global Warming tune, or something?

6. I hope, if I run for president, and I get the nomination, and I get invited to the White House for lunch, whoever is President won't serve fucking hot dogs to me!

5. I've said it for years, that Hillary is a monster...

4. Can you believe Karl Rove is getting $40,000 a pop, out on the circuit?

3. I heard they called for a Secret Session, for no other reason that they hope Saturday Night Live does a skit about it

2. Billy Crystal is on the phone ... He wants to know if he can be a Congressman for a day ...

1. Okay, since we're in secret session, and off-the-record, everyone can throw their Emperor Club cards in here and we'll burn them

Secret Bonus Riffs

Closed sessions of the United States House of Representatives

James Oliphant: FISA infinitum: Debate rolls on and on

Jane Hamsher: Telecom Immunity Removed From House Bill


Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Bailout Curtain!

Sorry to rain on your gateway day to the weekend (and a long, three-day weekend for those living in Suffolk County, Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts - and no, it's not because it's St. Patrick's Day), but lost in the din of Eliot Spitzer's sexcapades, and Geraldine Ferraro's Stars and Bars sermon, some seriously huge financial news was quietly slipped into the news cycle;

Fed Hopes to Ease Strain on Economic Activity

"In an action that sent stock prices soaring, the central bank offered to let the biggest investment banks on Wall Street borrow up to $200 billion in Treasury securities in exchange for hard-to-sell mortgage-backed securities as collateral. And the Fed made clear that it was prepared to do more as needed.

The Fed’s hope is to relieve some of the pressure on institutions to sell at fire-sale prices, easing the strains on economic activity and making the credit markets feel more comfortable in buying mortgage bonds again."
Notice how disarming they are.

The employ words and phrases such as "ease strain" and "relieve some of the pressure", like this is merely someone stubbing their toe and that these prescribed remedies will do the trick.

From the same article;
“They are essentially creating a $300 billion bank out of nothing,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, a financial research firm.

The new twist is that the investment banks will be allowed to pledge as collateral a wide variety of securities that include hard-to-sell, privately issued mortgage-backed securities.

Fed officials, in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, said that they were minimizing risk by accepting only securities that still had the highest triple-A ratings and that they would impose a “haircut,” or discount, on mortgage bonds that appear to carry additional risk."
There, don't you feel better now?

Good thing Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke is only accepting as collateral, those dead, decaying "highest triple-A ratings" housing securities, or we'd really be in a pickle.

Well, Paul Krugman today has taken in a look in that barrel, and it ain't just pickles that he's seeing.
"So Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues have been doing the usual thing: printing up green paper and using it to buy bonds. Unfortunately, the policy isn’t having much effect on the things that matter. Interest rates on government bonds are down — but financial chaos has made banks unwilling to take risks, and it’s getting harder, not easier, for businesses to borrow money.

As a result, the Fed’s attempt to avert a recession has almost certainly failed. And each new piece of economic data — like the news that retail sales fell last month — adds to fears that the recession will be both deep and long.

Officially, the Fed won’t be buying mortgage-backed securities outright: it’s only accepting them as collateral in return for loans. But it’s definitely taking on some mortgage risk. Is this, to some extent, a bailout for banks? Yes."
Ohhh ... Why didn't the government just say that in the first place - a bailout!

We like bailouts ... Chrysler certainly likes bailouts...

The people being bailed out like bailouts, they'll, most likely, never have to pay back the bailout because Jane and Joe Doe, taxpayers residing on Main Street USA will be the ones doing the bailing via they're the ones stuck with the paying.

The people, in this case, Chairman Bernanke and the U.S. Government, like bailouts, because it hides (and delays) one huge, MF'ing problem that they can't figure out, and they must, simply must, serve their corporate masters ... And, if they are lucky, they'll be out of office before the ramifications of the bailout take place, leaving it to the next schmucks who take office.

Fester, over on Newshoggers, sees a ray of sunshine in this bailout;
"The Pain Caucus is much weaker today than it was five years ago or twenty years ago, so Baby Boomer retirement programs are relatively safe. The other big pool of cash floating around in the government is the defense budget and the biggest discretionary portion of that budget is Iraq. $200 billion per year is some serious money. There are already large pre-existing political groups (most of the Democratic Party) that thinks this is a damn dumb idea for one reason or another already, and as we move forward more people will be screaming for relief. The ability to propose non-trade-off solutions will decrease.

A debt crisis could provide very convenient political cover to withdraw from Iraq and save $150 billion per year in expenditures (some money will be spent to maintain 'containment forces', and other funds will be used to pork out the supplier's districts). And pulling out of Iraq could be one of the strings attached to any implicit or explicit foreign bail-out."
Now, that would be nice, and certainly would be a good spin on the bailout.

However, in the, at least, short term, as we rocket towards paying $5 for a gallon of gas, $5 for a half-gallon of milk and $5 for a loaf of bread, remember that bailouts are "good" and that the pain you suffer is only part of "easing strain" and "relieving some of the pressure".

And, depending on when you receive it, you may very well be able to spend your $600 Government Tax Rebate Check all in one place.

Bonus Bailout Riffs

Bloomberg News: Bush Says Policy Makers to Take `Appropriate Steps' (Update5)

Bridget Magnus/TMV: All Hell Breaking Loose in our Columbo Economy

Yahoo News/Reuters: Bear Stearns gets Fed funding, shares plummet

CNBC/Reuters: US Faces Severe Recession, Feldstein Says

Danny Schechter: "An Entity We Can't Even See" - Mythifying Markets and Mystifying The Public About The Financial Crisis

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

14 March 2007... On The Garlic

Alberto Gonzales Sings 'Justice For Sale'

14 March 2006... On The Garlic

Libby’s Lawyers Mull Using Moussaoui Trial Strategy

Top Ten Cloves: Why Democratic Leadership Isn’t Backing Feingold’s Censure of President Bush

14 March 2005... On The Garlic

Disney Picks Iger but Eisner Says He Won't Go; Digging In For Fight

Rose Cashes In On Steroid Scandel

Youths Nabbed In Corporate Icon Hit; MSN Butterfly, Geiko Tortured; Had Long List of Targets

Top Ten Cloves: Excuses Baseball Will Use To Avoid Testifying To Congress

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Editor's Note: Rough Day, Dog Tired, No Posting ...

Good Evening Garlic Fans

We trust that you are well ... Perhaps a bit burnt out on Client No. 9 news, or the never-ending Democratic Primary...

Unfortunately, no Garlic relief to offer this evening ...

Rough day on the homefront, with family stuff, leaving me drained, with little-to-no humor or creativity (heck, writing a grocery list would be painfully challenging)

So, rather than sit here, dredging up something substandard, best to leave it to tomorrow, after, hopefully, a good night's rest.

On another front, of recent Editor's Notes, we have, apparently, solved (or delayed some unknown horror) our recent time in Computer Hell.

Turns out all I had to due was turn off the "McAfee Redirector", this after a nearly 2-hour call with the technician.

And after, a trip to The Google produced over 200,000 listings, and, just on the first page, a handful of similarly plagued users ...

Hmmm ... Seems like they knew there was a problem, perhaps?

And, as I discovered in rebooting earlier this evening, one will have to stop the McAfee Redirector each and every time starting up, in order to have a properly functioning machine ...

Errrrrrr ...


PS - Oh yeah, many thanks, as always, for coming by The Garlic!

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

13 March 2007... On The Garlic

Cosby Out At MSNBC But Still In Running For World Wonder Title; Smith Funeral Coverage Pushes Former Raspy-Voiced Anchor Ahead of Great Wall of China, But Trailing Pyramids of Giza

The Laura Bush Bummer Bombing-of-the Day; Warning - Bypass this post if you don't want to be discouraged

13 March 2006... On The Garlic

When Pressed, Matthews Admits Miffed Not Cast in Clooney Film

Top Ten Cloves: Signs That March Madness Is Taking Root In The White House

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Minced Garlic - Keith Olbermann Special Comment ... Smackdown!

This is scary.

It's scary that she said it ...

And it's even scarier that she's defending saying it ...

I don't know, is this like a Britney Spears thing? Is there anyone around Geraldine Ferraro - handlers, staff, family - that can pull her aside and ask WTF?

Throw cold water in her face? ...

Slap her, if necessary?

Or is this a long festering, soul-eating, bitterness, of being saddled with Walter Mondale in her historic run, and now, in her "golden years", she has sit on the sidelines of this years' truly history-shattering election?

And Hillary ...

No surprises there ... Anything she can hang on Obama is, in the Clinton book, a good day

So what the kitchen sink she's having tossed around has Stars and Bars decals on it ...

So what the kitchen sink she's using this week comes from the "White Only" museum ...

One of Obama's staffers calls Hillary a monster, and, Christ, you thought the country was collapsing ...

Ferraro channels David Duke, and Hillary barely raises and eyebrow.

Perhaps due to the magnitude of this ... The odiousness of it ... The disgust of it that MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann just couldn't sit idle ... Couldn't sit silent ... And, unlike the Clinton Campaign, couldn't let this sit unchallenged and totally vilified.

In your tepid response to this Ferraro disaster, you may sincerely think you are disenthralling an enchanted media, and righting an unfair advance bestowed on Senator Obama.

You may think the matter has closed with Representative Ferraro's bitter, almost threatening resignation.

But in fact, Senator, you are now campaigning, as if Barack Obama were the Democrat, and you… were the Republican.
And Ferraro's weak-ass whining that she's the victim in this;
No matter what Ms. Ferraro now claims, no one took her comments out of context.

She had made them on at least three separate occasions, then twice more on television this morning. Just hours ago, on NBC Nightly News, she denied she had made the remarks in an interview -- only at a paid political speech.

In fact, the first time she spoke them, was ten days before the California newspaper published them... not in a speech, but in a radio interview.

On February 26th, quoting...

"If Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this, as a potential real problem for Hillary? If he were a woman of any color, would he be in this position that he's in? Absolutely not."

The context was inescapable.
And this;
Somebody tells her that simply disagreeing with and rejecting the remarks is sufficient. And she should then call, "regrettable", words that should make any Democrat retch.

And that she should then try to twist them, first into some pox-on-both-your-houses plea to 'stick to the issues,' and then to let her campaign manager try to bend them beyond all recognition, into Senator Obama's fault.

And thus these advisers give Congresswoman Ferraro nearly a week in which to send Senator Clinton's campaign back into the vocabulary... of David Duke.

"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up.

"Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white.

"How's that?"

How's that?

Apart from sounding exactly like Rush Limbaugh attacking the black football quarterback Donovan McNabb?

Apart from sounding exactly like what Ms. Ferraro said about another campaign, nearly twenty years ago?


"President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don't ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."

So... apart from sounding like insidious racism that is at least two decades old?

Apart from rendering ridiculous, Senator Clinton's shell-game about choosing Obama as Vice President?

Apart from this evening's resignation letter?

"I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.

"The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you."

Apart from all that?

Well. It sounds as if those advisors want their campaign to be associated with those words, and the cheap… ignorant… vile… racism that underlies every syllable...

And that Geraldine Ferraro has just gone free-lance.

God help us if this is the case, and Hillary Clinton is signing on to it.

Read Keith Olbermann's Special Comment

Watch the video of Keith Olbermann's Special Comment

Well, At Least We Should Get Some New Lies ... When He Launches Against Iran

Na, Na, Na, Na
Na, Na, Na, Na
Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye!

So long, nefarious meetings in Prague

See ya later billowing Mushroom Clouds

The cross has been plunged into the heart

The fat lady is singing her aria

Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida
"An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam's regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

President Bush and his aides used Saddam's alleged relationship with al Qaida, along with Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, as arguments for invading Iraq after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in September 2002 that the United States had "bulletproof" evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam's secular dictatorship.

The new Pentagon study isn't the first to refute earlier administration contentions about Saddam and al Qaida.

A September 2006 report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Saddam was "distrustful of al Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al Qaida to provide material or operational support."

Boy, would I like to be a fly-on-the-wall, in either Cheney's office when the news hit, or at the next PNAC meeting.

But then again, this crew of thugs never let facts and the truth get in their way.

No doubt, it probably won't be an unwise bet, that the Rightwing Freak Show, and the Neocon Nitwits will continue to employ this bullshit, and equally undoubtedly, will cite articles that have already debunked the lies.

When there's a mission to accomplish, no sense wasting time with cumbersome details.

So, there's likely, at least, one faction of the Bush Grindhouse that welcomes this news - The Lincoln Group.

After the shining work ginning up the misinformation for the occupation of Iraq, they may very well be tapped to gin up some new lies and propaganda for the launch against Iran.

Likely, since Iran is building a nuclear program, they'll try to hang on to the Mushroom Cloud thing.

There'll probably be new, breaking reports of ties, just discovered, from the documents of dead or captured terrorists, that shows ties between Al Qaeda and Ahmadinejad, though they'll have to use a different European city, other than Prague, if they want to create some non-existent meetings.

And, of course, they'll brush aside this report, citing the repetitious party line of how the decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the correct course of action.

And, if a lap-it-up, MSM reporter actually presses The Commander Guy on it, you can also bet safely, The Commander Guy will reply, citing the "available intelligence" to justify his actions.

You know, the "available intelligence" they made-up and fabricated.

And there will be no shame or irony showing when he does it.

Update - Breaking News!

As I was getting ready to post this, an email arrived containing the following news;

Pentagon Report on Saddam's Iraq Censored?
ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports: The Bush Administration apparently does not want a U.S. military study that found no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda to get any attention. This morning, the Pentagon cancelled plans to send out a press release announcing the report's release and will no longer make the report available online.

The report was to be posted on the Joint Forces Command website this afternoon, followed by a background briefing with the authors. No more. The report will be made available only to those who ask for it, and it will be sent via U.S. mail from Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

It won't be emailed to reporters and it won't be posted online.
Hmmm ...

Bonus Riffs

Emptywheel: SSCI Leaks

The Carpetbagger Report: Putting to rest the non-existent Saddam-al Qaeda link (again)

John Cole: A Comparison

Paul Kiel: Today's Must Read

Bonus Bonus Lincoln Group Riffs

White House "Embarrassed"; Bush Victory Strategy Speech Written By PR Agency; Gave President Wrong Folder; Iraqi Newspaper Prints Slams Against Murtha, Kerry, Pelosi

Rumsfeld Blames Contractor, If Media Plant Stories True, But Defends Outsourcing Program; Says "Still Gathering Facts"; If It Turns Out Positive, Will Be Adopted Into New 'National Victory Strategy' Plan

Secretary Says No Reflection That We Don't Know What's Going On; More Bush Troubles As Rice Backtracks, Corrects Comments, Blames Lincoln Group; Meant To Say Was Surprised Levees Breached, Not By Hamas Election Victory; Backs Pace That There's No Civil War

Top Ten Cloves: Things Hillary Clinton and Howard Wolfson Think Barack Obama Can Do To Pass National Security Threshold

News Item: VeepTalk; or, a Crock of Clinton

10. Claim Eliot Spitzer as an Obama Superdelegate

9. Fill in as host of Tucker, after Tucker Carlson leaves show

8. Get Rush Limbaugh to urge his listeners to vote Obama

7. Rub his stomach and his head, at the same time, for at least 5-minutes

6. Take a trip with Sinbad and Sheryl Crow

5. Get the 3AM Sleeping Girl to switch and say she's a Clinton supporter

4. Give Tina Fey a good "Bitch Slapping"

3. If he really has the cojones to be Commander in Chief, criticize Chelsea Clinton

2. Have at least one, good crying jag before one of the remaining primaries

1. Go and beat up Admiral Fallon, for not wanting to attack Iran

Bonus Hillary Riffs

Frank Rich: The Audacity of Hopelessness

Good Thing Frank Rich Doesn't Work For MSNBC!

Edward Copeland: A trip down Hillary lane -- 2006 edition

Sam Youngman: Clinton camp says Obama must pass 'national security threshold' to be veep

Hillary's Smelling Burning Rubber! Or: The Garlic Was Right - Hillary Has Built Her "Field of Voices"

If Congress Does Take Up Impeachment, Here's A Piece of Evidence

Now, this was the Gridiron Club, so it's supposed, according to its' tradition, to be lively, jovial and have the ability to poke fun at oneself.

Humor and satire is, always, in the eyes and ears of the beholder.

So how are we to take this - The Commander Guy, singing off tune, a list of his failures, his Administration's failures, his corruption of the law (a line he sings about "Scooter escaping the prosecutor"), the corruption of the Office of the President?

As evidenced in the long, two-term presidency he heisted, it is a arrogant middle finger aimed at the media, the citizens, the world.

Here's the You Tube video of it (and it's choppy camera work, due to, primarily, media is banned from the event)

From Connie Singleton, who posted the video;

"President George W. Bush donned a cowboy hat and sang an early goodbye to Washington on Saturday night with a performance that lampooned White House journalists and Vice President Dick Cheney among others.

Bush surprised cabinet secretaries, diplomatic officials and journalists at the annual Gridiron dinner by taking the stage and giving the first public singing performance of his eight-year presidency, which ends in January 2009.

To the tune of country song "Green Green Grass of Home," Bush sang of longing for his ranch in Crawford, Texas and his dog Barney.

"And there to meet me is my mama and my papa, down the lane I look and here comes Barney, heart of gold and breath like honey; it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home."

Bush, singing only slightly off key, then turned to some of the long-term members of his team including Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"For there's Condi and Dick, my old compadre, talking to me about some oil rich Saudi, but soon I'll touch the brown brown grass of home."

"That old White house is behind me, I am once again carefree, don't have to worry 'bout a crisis in Pyongyang. Down the lane I look, Dick Cheney is strolling with documents he'd been withholding, it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home."

Bush told the audience, which erupted in applause and gave him a standing ovation, that they had witnessed "the first and final performance of George Bush and the Busharoos."

The Gridiron Club holds an annual dinner at which journalists put on songs and skits lampooning Democrats and Republicans alike.

Bonus Riffs

View Keith Olbermann's take on it

Greg Mitchell, on The Huffington Post with "Bush at Gridiron Dinner -- No Jokes About Missing WMD This Time!"

Mark Silva, on Swamp Politics with "Bush's Texan farewell: Brown, brown grass of home"

The Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

12 March 2007... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things The French Are Worried About With New 'Desert Louvre" in Dubai

Hit The Road Dick, And Don't You Come Back, No More, No More, No More, No More ... The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll

12 March 2006... On The Garlic

Update - Now 32-Hours Left To Vote For The Garlic; Help Lift The Garlic Into The 2005 Koufax Award Finals!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When Former Attorney Generals Soar

$52 Million-Plus Payday for Christie's Old Boss

"Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft was one of five private attorneys whom Christie hand-picked to monitor the implant makers. Now Ashcroft's D.C.-based firm is poised to collect more than $52 million in 18 months, among the biggest payouts reported for a federal monitor.

Disclosed in SEC filings, the arrangement calls for Zimmer Holdings of Indiana to pay Ashcroft Group Consulting Services an average monthly fee between $1.5 million and $2.9 million. The figure includes a flat payment of $750,000 to the firm's "senior leadership group," individual legal and consulting services billed at up to $895 an hour, and as much as $250,000 a month for expenses including private airfare, lodging and meals."

Today: Ashcroft Claims 'No Conflict' in $50M No-Bid Contract
"There is not a conflict," Ashcroft said. "There is not an appearance of conflict."

And, he did it, we assume, with a straight face.
"Ashcroft said that outside monitors, which have been used increasingly in corporate fraud cases in recent years, save taxpayers money by avoiding costly prosecutions and forcing companies to follow the law.

"This hearing cost far more in tax dollars than my monitorship will cost, because it did not cost taxpayers one thin dime," Ashcroft testified. Under the arrangements, the cost of the monitoring is borne by the company, which agrees to pay to avoid criminal prosecution."

Boy, how does someone, not in the Bush Grindhouse, get a gig like this?

Bonus Ashcroft

BBC: Ashcroft rallies troops with song

YouTube - Let the Eagle Soar - Music and Lyrics by John Ashcroft

(And wait until you get to the refrain!)

Before the drapes ... And the wink-and-nod payout

Larisa Alexandrovna: Alabama Democrats are Under Attack

This is getting beyond ridiculous!

The Injustice Department has already bagged one Democrat Governor, and may be setting their sights on a second, and now this screaming news from Larisa Alexandrovna;

Alabama Democrats are Under Attack

"Now for the latest nightmare - the brown-shirts arrive. Honestly, this is so unreal, I have no words (emphasis mine):

"Montgomery, AL - Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Jim Spearman today called into question the method by which U.S. Marshals attempted to serve legislators subpoenas to appear to testify in a grand jury proceeding. Reporters were apparently tipped off by calls stating U.S. Marshals were coming to the Alabama Statehouse to serve some legislators. "The drama surrounding these actions and the U.S.

Department of Justice's disruption of a legislative session for the routine serving of a summons to appear in court sends a poor signal to Alabama citizens who are already complaining about partisan political interference into the federal prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman," says Spearman.

These ladies and gentlemen have not been charged with a crime and could have been served by other means in their local communities, not in Montgomery during a legislative session in front of TV cameras and reporters." Spearman stated. State law actually prohibits serving members of the legislature while they are in session. Section 29-1-7 of the Alabama Code protects members from this kind of action by U.S. Marshals yesterday. In fact, the Marshals could have violated this law by their disruption of the session and have been charged with a misdemeanor."

Larisa has been all over what's going on in Alabama and you can catch up on the Siegelman Case here

So has Scott Horton, over at Harpers

And for the primer ...

The Permanent Republican Majority Part I

The Permanent Republican Majority Part II

The Permanent Republican Majority Part III

He-Man Heaved!

He wore bow ties and heroically battled predatory homosexuals.

He danced with the stars.

In the end, perhaps, he was just the ying, to Rita Cosby's yang.

Word came out the MSNBC is tossing Tucker Carlson, host of the black-holed time-slotted "Tucker" of 6PM (or, perhaps, it is Tucker himself that made it a black-hole time-slot).

Now, this is a story that, perhaps, would have been hot and big yesterday, and it was building to that until about 1PM, when the first of the avalanche of news burst out on Client No. 9, the New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and his romp in prostitution land.

Boy, considering Spitzer's career and background, think of the cross-pollination of media, if it came out that Spitzer beat up a pimp in a public restroom?

Tucker could have had him on for the hour, and compare He-Man notes with the Governor.

Perhaps Tweety would have jumped on the bandwagon, and gushed about the Governor's manly scent, his Aqua Velva.

No, no such luck.

More words indicate the Tucker is being replaced with a show, hosted by the dancing, Bush-loving, intrepid reporter, David Gregory.

Oh boy!

I either need to put cable in the kitchen, or bring my dinner into the den, so I don't miss a minute of this riveting drivel.

Somebody start the counter, on how many time "Stretch" (Bush's pet name of him) pushes back against guests that diss The Commander Guy, and/or the Bush Grindhouse.

At least, for the moment, they held the line of giving Rachel Maddow the keys to the building, though, no doubt, as has been the case, they'll have her name stenciled on chair, on the set of Gregory's new gig (Just wondering, does Maddow have the same deal as Pat Buchanan, in that, she has to appear on nearly every MSNBC broadcast?)

Stay tuned, Batfans ...

It's A TuckerPalooza!

Trex: Don’t Everybody Cry at Once

Washington Whispers: Oh, No! It's Out With the Bow

Wonkette: Tucker Carlson Still Not Gay!

Think Progress: Save Tucker?

Drum Roll Please ... For Tucker Carlson - He's Jumping The Shark!