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Wed

12

Dec

2007

Yelling at the dog
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 23:25
by Ed Naha

It should be painfully obvious to all Americans by now that, not only is George W. Bush the worst American president in history, he’s the worst president of ANY American organization in existence with the possible exception of the guy who runs NAMBLA.

For instance, in the middle of a press conference last week, wherein Bush asserted that he had no knowledge of the contents of the “Iran ain’t got no nukes” NIE until two weeks ago (kinda, sorta, maybe) because nobody bothered to tell him about the report last August, he waxed nostalgic about what he would and wouldn’t miss in terms of being a candidate for Pretzledent:

“What I’m not gonna miss, which is what we all, some of us went through in 2000, which was getting on an airplane and having…my friend Candy Crowley pass a virus around. I got a respiratory infection, so did half the press corps. They got off the plane. I didn’t get to get off the plane! It was tough. It was a tough situation.”

I now know why Bush stands behind podiums whilst speaking. You can’t tell if he’s whizzing down his leg or not.
Bush was all over the place in his press conference, somehow getting to the point wherein he claimed that the NIE stating Iran had shut down its nuclear arms program four years ago actually backed up Bush’s contention that Iran was still on the warpath.
“I’m saying that I believed before the NIE that Iran was dangerous, and I believe after the NIE that Iran is dangerous …

“The NIE says this is a country that had a covert nuclear weapons program, which, by the way, they have failed to disclose, even today. The danger is, is that they can enrich [uranium], play like they got a civilian [nuclear] program — or have a civilian program, or claim it’s a civilian program — and pass the knowledge to a covert military program. And then the danger is, is at some point in the future, they show up with a weapon.”
If you followed that statement, you will never ever have to use MapQuest again.

When one reporter gave voice to the fact that Bush seemed somehow dispirited at the press conference, our Fearless Leader grasped the podium and announced: “No, I’m feeling pretty spirited, pretty good about life, and have made the decision to come before you so I can explain the NIE. And I have said Iran is dangerous, and the NIE doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world. Quite the contrary. I’m using this NIE as an opportunity to continue to rally our colleagues and allies . . ..
“And so, you know, kind of Psychology 101 ain’t working. It’s just not working, you know? I am — I understand the issues. I clearly see the problems and I’m going to use the NIE to continue to rally the international community for the sake of peace.”
Oy! Even by Bush standards, this was a classic WTF? Moment. (Imagine how his old Psychology 101 professor feels, today.)

He even went so far as to say that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told him SOMEthing was up last August but ol’ Mike “didn’t tell me what the information was. He did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze.” In other words, McConnell danced into the Oval Office, sang “I gotta secret I won’t tell,” and left.

Shortly after Bush loped away from the podium, it became clear to the White House staff that our President had verbally crapped in his hand and flung it, wishing that it would all become fairy dust en route to the ground. What reporters smelled, however, had nothing to do with Tinkerbelle or her tribe.

And, so, the spin cycle began.

Press Secretary Dana Perino said that the president “could have been more precise” in his language.

Some of Perino’s exchanges with reporters resembled the classic “Who’s On First?” comedy routine on acid.
Q: “The President said, ‘He didn’t tell me what the information was.’ But you’re now saying he was told that Iran may have halted its nuclear weapons program and also that there may be a new assessment, right?”

Perino: “Right, but he doesn’t — he didn’t get any of the details of what the information, in terms of what the actual raw intelligence was.”

Q: “He didn’t say, he didn’t tell me what the information –”

Perino: “Okay, look, I can see where you could say that the President could have been more precise in that language, but the President was being truthful. . .”

Q: “Can I just clarify, is the President briefed every day by Director McConnell, when he gets his daily intelligence briefing?”

Perino: “I don’t know if it’s him every day, but he does get a briefing, sure.”

Q: “But on a regular basis, Director McConnell is in the Oval Office?”

Perino: “Sure.”

Q: “So from August until last week, the President never asked Director McConnell, ‘hey, how’s that going, are we getting any more on Iran?’ He never asked –”

Perino: “I’m not saying that. But if I –”

Q: “Well, so he did ask for –”

Perino: “I don’t know exactly what the President asked in the presidential daily brief. . .”

Q: “How about just being curious and asking, ‘hey, is there a new assessment? I’m out there talking about World War III.’”
The stench continued. E-mails clarifying the clarification were sent by Perino. “‘In August, DNI Director McConnell advised President Bush that the intelligence community would not be able to meet a congressionally imposed deadline requiring a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran because new information had been obtained just as they were about to finalize the report.
“He said that if the new information turns out to be true, what we thought we knew for sure is right. Iran does in fact have a covert nuclear weapons program, but it may be suspended.”
D’oh!

For the record, it must be difficult for Perino to clean up Bush’s mess. It’s like trying to sing all the parts of a “Three Tenors” CD at once. Somehow, along the way, the fact that Bush was saber-rattling and frightening Americans over a non-existent threat mutated into an “it’s all Iran’s fault” motif.

During one daily briefing with reporters, Perino initially said, “what we know right now, for sure, is that Iran is enriching uranium, which is fissile material, to get a bomb.”

Later, she said that what she meant to say was that Iran is enriching uranium “which can lead to fissile material to get a bomb.”

Oh. And, right now, I’m lighting a cigarette lighter that could be used to burn down the Amazon rain forest.

Perino also said that Bush wasn’t misleading the American public when talking about Iran sparking a third world war. “The President didn’t say we’re going to cause World War III. He was saying that he wanted to avoid World War III.”

Phew. I’m glad that got straightened out.

She also added that Iranian President Ahmadinejad is at fault for the whole fiasco:
“If anyone wants to call the president (Bush) a liar, they are misreading the situation for their own political purposes. The liar is Ahmadinejad, and he has a lot of explaining to do.”
Perfect. When it a global political pickle, quote Desi Arnez.

The White House Danse Macabre didn’t go over too well with most pundits. Keith Olbermann referred to Bush as a liar and theorized: “We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.
“A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction.”
That Olbermann. What a nitpicker.

Bush’s “Nyah-nyah-NIE” performance was topped, last week, only by that of the CIA, which revealed that, back in ’02, the agency taped intense “interrogations” of two alleged al Qaeda operatives. One of them, a fellow named Abu Zubaydah, was mentally ill and, eventually, cracked under pressure, fingering al Qaeda in plots to blow up everything from shopping malls to Frisbees on U.S. soil. (I made that last one up, could you tell?)

In ’03, when questions about the U.S.’s use of torture began to arise, the CIA destroyed the tapes…just in case breaking the law proved illegal. Of course, Bush knew nothing about them. And, if he did, he can’t recall them now.

If you’re not feeling queasy enough at this point, last week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, pleaded for FISA reform. Basically, he stated that in the current “Protect America Act,” passed last August and now up for review, Bush is allowed to do anything he pleases.

Said Whitehouse:
“In a nutshell, these three Bush Administration legal propositions boil down to this: 1) ‘I don’t have to follow my own rules, and I don’t have to tell you when I’m breaking them.’ 2) ‘I get to determine what my own powers are.’ 3) ‘The Department of Justice doesn’t tell me what the law is, I tell the Department of Justice what the law is.’”
At this point in time, all thinking Americans have to be realistic. Bush is going to spend the rest of his time in office doing everything he possibly can to further dismantle the workings of this country. Why? Because he can. The threat of impeachment, censure or wedgies isn’t going to faze him.

Before being anointed President, Bush was a foul-mouthed failure at finance. He was also a governor who erased a state’s surplus, destroyed its public school system, increased pollution and broke records in terms of the sheer number of executions. Interestingly enough, every time he messed up, he was rewarded.

Trying to dissect or critique Bush by using logic is as frustrating as yelling at a dog. Your dog takes a whiz or a dump on your rug. You call it an ‘accident.’ The dog? Had to go. You yell at the dog, explaining the rules of the house. The dog doesn’t understand a word. If you really work up a head of steam, you go into the history of the carpet. The price. How many times you’ve had it cleaned. You could even trace your family’s love of carpets back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The dog’s idea of history dates back to when you began your spiel.

You take your dog’s nose and hold it near the whiz. The dog recognizes the smell. “Hey, that’s me!” Or you hold the dog’s face next to the poop. Again, recognition. If you’re lucky, the dog won’t eat it. You then clean up the accident. The dog, knowing you’re upset, follows you. After a couple of minutes, the dog wags its tail, licks your hand and you give it a treat.

All is right with the world.

You operate on one system. Your dog operates on another. Sometimes they mesh. Sometimes, they don’t. Now, I adore dogs. I talk to mine. I pet them. Rub their stomachs. Scratch their ears. Sleep with them. We communicate as only folks and dogs do, through loyalty and love. I treasure the dogs I have and miss the ones no longer around.

I wouldn’t let any of my dogs make any major decisions, however. You know, like picking out a country to bomb.

If you view our President in canine terms, things are easier to sort out. Here you have this pedigreed, pampered, spoiled critter that has actually been praised and/or promoted every time it’s had an accident. The bigger the accident, the more effusive the praise. At a certain point, the critter doesn’t know any better. It expects to be rewarded every time it causes chaos.

If this were a normal critter, a quick visit from “The Dog Whisperer” would turn things around immediately.

But, there’s nothing normal about this critter. I never thought I’d say this but, perhaps, the only hope this country has for the next eleven months is regular White House visitation privileges for Candy Crowley.

Go sic ‘em, girl.

Sick ‘em.
 
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