Sunday, November 30, 2008

We, the People

On “Meet the Press” today, Laura Bush said that when she leaves the White House, what she will miss most of all are “the people.” Specifically, “all the people that are around us all the time.” More specifically, “the ushers and butlers,” and her staff. “So I’ll miss the people the most.”

No linguists

Here’s a picture of Bush and Medvedev at the APEC summit I didn’t get around to using. Dignitude!

It’s been over a year since we’ve heard from Riverbend, after she left Iraq.

It’s also been a while since I’ve had some London Review of Books personal ads, so here are some. As ever, more can be found here.
Aardvark lover, M, 37. Not really I just put that hoping to be at the top. Non-aardvark lover seeks F with similar interests. Box no. 16/01

This ad is a web of deceit, spun with threads of fabulation, arranged in radials of hubris and hanging with the vestiges of good intention between the washing line of virtue and the gazebo of dissipation. If you reply immediately it will leap off the page, wrap itself around your head in a split second and cling there for the rest of the day. So maybe wave a broom about a bit first. Box no. 16/06

“Don’t worry about overeating; you’ve got enough on your plate as it is”. Excruciating knuckle biter of a gaff prone dinner guest (M. 31), seeks not easily offended lady for patient exchanges about anything other than weight, age, height, dress or popular culture. Mature correspondents welcome, age before…never mind. Box no. 19/04

I really wish I’d studied anthropology instead. Box no. 21/06
Some of the LRB personals are intended seriously. It’s not always easy to tell which is which:
My profile here boasts the index carding skills of Miss Marple, the sexual ambiguity of Tank Girl and the wardrobe of Cadfael. Kinky junior librarian (F. 34), lurking in the boondocks of XY9802, tripping over re-evaluations of Nick Cave in back issues of Parallax and her own hem line, WLTM nice academic man or woman to 40 unphased by evening wear once described as “Mrs Doyle Does Dallas”. No Linguists. Box no. 22/04

Female LRB readers, in the course of reading this edition you have unwittingly submitted your intellect to an ingenious algorithm designed by me (intense male sub editor and amateur neuro-linguistic programmer) to gauge your suitability as a long term partner and mother of our children. Congratulations, you’ve passed! Now ditch the boyfriend and move to New England. No arguments, this isn’t a matter of faith, it’s science. Box no. 22/06

You like walking barefoot on cold beaches in the winter, movies that make you cry and baking cookies that you have no intention of eating. I like defending my home against the government forces that are trying to destroy me and knitting carpet samples from fibre remnants found in the back of the dryers at my local launderette. Are we fools to think it could ever work? Moron and amateur carpet sample enthusiast (M, 35). Box no. 23/02

I’m everything you ever wanted in a woman. Assuming you’re into fat 47-year old moody bitches who really don’t enjoy the mornings. Stop talking and pour the bloody marys at..
Box no. 23/05

I am Mr Right! You are Miss Distinct Possibility. Your parents are Mr and Mrs Obscenely Rich. Your Uncle is Mr Expert Tax Lawyer. Your cousin is Ms Spare Apartment On A Caribbean Hideaway That She Rarely Uses. Your brother is Mr Can Fix You Up A Fake Passport For A Small Fee. Man, 51. Box no. 23/06

Would you be able to carry on an extended erotic correspondence with a filthy-minded forties man on the basis of a one-off coffee in the Long Acre Pret a Manger? Box no. 23/01
It’s deep philosophical questions like that that make the world go ‘round.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I’ve been in the Bible every day since I’ve been the President

Remember those hunger strikes by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay? Some of them are still on it, still being forcibly fed, one of them with a substance to which he is allergic.

The White House has released excerpts of an oral history project in which George and Laura Bush were interviewed by his sister. It’s legacy time. Which is just like Miller Time, but with more beer belches.

TECHNICALLY, HE DIDN’T SELL IT, JUST TRADED IT FOR SOME “MAGIC BEANS”: “I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process.”

JUST LIKE NEW, NEVER BEEN USED: “I came to Washington with a set of values, and I’m leaving with the same set of values.”

SURROUNDED: “I surrounded myself with good people”.

IS HIS SELF-DELUSION LAUGHABLE? OR JUST PLAIN SAD? “I’d like to be a president [known] as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do.” Alternately, he’d settle for just being known as the second worst president ever.

Laura Bush showed that the secret of marriage is a shared inability to see reality: “Well, it’s certainly been very rewarding to look at Afghanistan and both know that the President and the United States military liberated women there; that women and girls can be in school now; that women can walk outside their doors without a male escort.”

George talked about his father: “I think that the gift our dad gave to all of us is unconditional love. It is the greatest gift a father can give a child. And it has made life so much easier in many ways, because if you have the ultimate gift of love, then the difficulties of life can be easier handled.” Difficulties of life like, say, grammar.

IN OTHER WORDS: “In other words, he [Bush the Elder] was a great father before politics, a great father during politics and a great father after politics.”

HE’S A BIBLE CHARACTER, JUST LIKE DAVID AND GOLIATH, OR SPIDERMAN: “I’ve been in the Bible every day since I’ve been the President”.

WHAT HE’S BEEN AFFECTED BY: “and I have been affected by people’s prayers a lot.” Prayers, you say... and I’ve just been using that voodoo doll.

A DOUBLE “IN OTHER WORDS,” JESUSY VERSION: “I would advise politicians, however, to be careful about faith in the public arena. ...In other words, politicians should not be judgmental people based upon their faith. They should recognize -- at least I have recognized I am a lowly sinner seeking redemption, and therefore have been very careful about saying [accept] my faith or you’re bad. In other words, if you don’t accept what I believe, you’re a bad person.”

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hiding behind the SOFA

The Iraqi Parliament voted for the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) today. Said George Bush of the vote, “Today’s vote affirms the growth of Iraq’s democracy and increasing ability to secure itself.” Growth of Iraq’s democracy? Iraq’s elected representatives refused to associate themselves with their own votes, which they cast by an unrecorded show of hands (thought to be about 140 or 145 of the 198 attending, of the 275 total MPs). There will be a referendum in July (although if the SOFA is voted down, it would still be in effect another year).

Speaking of the growth of democracy, when will the US Congress vote on this, and what date is our referendum scheduled for? Also, under what law is an agreement signed only by a president binding on his successor?

The Florida gay adoption case

A Florida state circuit judge ruled Tuesday that the state’s ban on adoptions by gay people is unconstitutional (what is the legal definition of gay people in Florida law, anyway?)(Update: there isn’t one; the statute just says “No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual.”). We’ll see what happens when Florida appeals, but neither the 11th Circuit nor the Florida Supreme Court have an encouraging record.

The state of Florida defended the law vigorously, to say nothing of viciously, putting up expert witnesses (a Baptist minister; a “scholar who acknowledged he was guided largely by Scripture”; you know, experts) to argue that gay people are especially prone to drug and alcohol abuse and depression, that gay relationships are unstable, and that... and some people might consider this a tad ironic in light of all the libel poured on homosexuals by the State of Florida... their children are subject to societal stigma. The State of Florida literally went into court to argue that homosexuality is immoral.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not trotting to their finish

The people have spoken, and the newly elected National Turkey is... Hillary Clinton. She just won’t admit defeat.

Actually, “Pumpkin” and “Pecan” won, and today George Bush pardoned them for predatory lending practices (they were giving out mortgages for coops to totally unqualified chickens).

Bush and the National Turkey. But I repeat myself.

Bush told several fowl-related jokes I won’t inflict on you, concluding, “In recent weeks, I’ve talked a lot about sprinting to the finish. Yet I’ve assured these turkeys they will not be trotting to their finish.”

And then Sarah Palin jumped out and bit Pumpkin’s head off, the end.

Of SOFAs and searches

McClatchy reports that the Bushies have “withheld the official English translation of the [Status of Forces] agreement in an effort to suppress a public dispute with the Iraqis until after the Iraqi parliament votes.” And of course to keep the American people knowing the details. The possible public dispute McClatchy refers to might arise from the intention of the Americans to interpret the words of the SOFA entirely differently than the Iraqis. For example, the Iraqis only think that the US is prohibited from attacking Iran from Iraqi soil.

The 2nd Circuit Court ruled that Americans are not protected against the US government conducting warrantless electronic surveillance and searches against them if they are in a foreign country (and that any evidence so collected can then be used against them). Such searches, however, have to be “reasonable.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Iraqi people have the Screaming Eagles to thank

At a press conference today, Barack Obama insisted, “I think what the American people want more than anything is just commonsense, smart government.” Which one, commonsense or smart? Because smart ain’t all that common.

He continued, “They don’t want ideology; they don’t want bickering; they don’t want sniping. They want action, and they want effectiveness.” Really? Action and effectiveness are all very well, but I actually want some ideology, some sniping and especially some bickering or, as I like to call it, democratic debate.

Meanwhile, Bush went to Fort Campbell, KY, to talk in the general direction of some troops.

“I’m honored to be with the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne -- (applause) -- the Night Stalkers of the 160th -- (applause) -- the Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group”. Um, the Night Stalkers?

FABULOUS! “I’m proud of those of you who not only serve our nation by wearing a fabulous uniform...”

UM, THANKS?: “The Iraqi people have the Screaming Eagles to thank.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Safeguarding Citiwhatever

Today, Bush visited Hank Paulson at the Treasury Department for a delicious beverage: “Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for inviting me in for a cup of coffee.”

CITICORPSE?: “The decision was made to safeguard Citi -- Citicorps.” You mean Citicorp (not corps), the name Citigroup hasn’t used since 1998. Isn’t that how we got into this mess – giving away lots of money to people we didn’t know much of anything about?

HE’S THE DECIDERER: “We have made these kind of decisions in the past -- made one last night.”

AND WILL BE THE DECIDERER FOR THE NEXT (SIGH) 57 DAYS: “And if need be, we’re going to make these kind of decisions to safeguard our financial system in the future.” Way to boost economic confidence, George.

Also today, Barack Obama officially announced who would be the next face of the American economy, one Timothy Geithner.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


The APEC summit ended today with my favorite part of all international summits: dressing up in native garb.



Headline (of a Story You Really Don’t Want to Read But Kinda Have To) of The Day: “Astronauts Try to Work Out Kinks in Urine Machine.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That which enabled us to be successful in the past must be used to help us chart a more hopeful future for tomorrow

Bush is in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the last time he will (shudder) represent the United States abroad, and he gave a little speech.

WHAT IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD TO RECOGNIZE, AND FOR OUR COUNTRY TO RECOGNIZE: “I believe it is important for the world to recognize, and for our country to recognize, that the United States is a Pacific nation.”

LAYING THE FOUNDATION: “A week ago in Washington, you might have heard that I had the honor of hosting a summit in what will be the series of international summits to address the financial crisis. I didn’t believe we could solve all problems in one meeting, but I did believe it was important for us to host the initial summit to get it started, to lay the foundation for successful -- for meetings.” Phew, thank god he corrected that, or somebody might have expected him to do something successful.

Who am I kidding – no one would expect Bush to do something successful.

Although he does believe that he knows how to be successful. It has something to do with charts: “That which enabled us to be successful in the past must be used to help us chart a more hopeful future for tomorrow.”

NOT ESPECIALLY, GEORGE: “The APEC region’s share of the global economy has grown nearly 55 percent. Isn’t that interesting?”

NOT ESPECIALLY, GEORGE: “At our summit in Washington last weekend, leaders from around the world expressed strong support for completing Doha. Isn’t that interesting?”

He said that we now have free trade agreements with China, Singapore, and Australia. China, Chile, same dif.

WHAT GEORGE HAD A CHANCE TO HAVE: “I just had a chance to have a cup of coffee with President Uribe. He is a strong leader. He’s a good friend. And our Congress and our government must never turn our back on such a friend as Uribe.” Yeah, I wouldn’t trust that shifty fuck with my back turned to him either.

CONTINUE TO WORK DOWN: “The nations in this region must also continuing to work -- must continue to work down -- continue working to break down trade barriers at the global level.”

WHAT HE’S TOLD PEOPLE A LOT: “I’ve told people a lot since my presidency this truth: I believe there is an Almighty. And I believe a gift of that Almighty to every man, woman and child on the face of the Earth is freedom.” Also that story about the time he and the Japanese prime minister went to Graceland. In two months, we’ll never have to hear either one again.

Friday, November 21, 2008

El cambio you can believe in

Yesterday, Bush was interviewed by Peru’s América TV, in advance of his trip to Peru today. He used the interview to demonstrate his excellent Spanish:
Q: Mr. President, you built a relationship with Peru because you have a close friendship with President Toledo --


Q: -- with former President Toledo, which held the negotiations in favor of FTA --

President Garcia is muy amable.
Q: One last question, President -- Mr. President. Elected President Obama said in his slogan, his campaign slogan, that change is the main thing for America.

BUSH: El cambio.
IN OTHER PALABRAS: “ours is a country that promoted free and fair trade, which is the best way to help nations develop their economies. I mean, in other words, you’re a Peruvian farmer, you’d like to be selling into U.S. markets, and -- because it’s a big market.”

WHAT GEORGE IS CERTAIN A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD SAID: “when I was on TV, for example, after 9/11, I was talking about securing the United States and the war on terror. And so I’m certain a lot of people in the neighborhood, Central and South America, said, well, he’s only focused on the Middle East; he doesn’t really seem to care about us.”

CAPITALISM WITH A CHIMPY FACE: “And the only thing the United States tries to do is to show the human side of the philosophy that most leaders embrace, which is freedom, free markets, free trade, and social justice.”

Getting a jump on those memoirs, George talked about his legacy:

WHAT DEMOCRACY IS: “Democracy is more vibrant in parts of the world that didn’t see democracy.”

WHAT TRADE IS: “Trade is -- agreements are more abundant now.”

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Name the turkeys

Once again, it’s time to go to the White House website to vote for names for the two National Turkeys. The White House people get a little less creative with this every year. In years past, you had a historical option (Jefferson & Adams), something Puritan-y (Plymouth & Rock, May & Flower), and something foody (Marshmallow & Yam), which always wins. Judging by all the food-related options this year, some intern scribbled out the list just before lunch time. The options are Popcorn & Cranberry, Yam & Jam, Dawn & Early Light, Roost & Run, Pumpkin & Pecan, Apple & Cider.

We can do better than that, can’t we? Joe & Plumber, Audacity & Hope, Lame & Duck, Sub & Prime, Wall Street & Bailout, Trig & Track, Caribou & Barbie, Maverick & Mooseburger....

I declare this a CONTEST (yay!).

(Update: in perhaps the greatest metaphor of this election cycle, Sarah Palin performed her own turkey-pardoning ceremony, then gave a three-minute tv interview blithely ignoring or completely oblivious of the man behind her slaughtering turkeys.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

With actual clamps

Britain plans to make paying “trafficked” prostitutes for sex a crime. Plan your vacations accordingly.

That story gives us our Headline of the Day: “Prostitute Users Face Clampdown.”

Clampdown, eh? That usually costs extra.

World Toilet Day!

Today is World Toilet Day, sponsored by the World Toilet Organization (WTO), which “has been striving to elevate the status of toilets to make them status symbols and objects of desire. WTO speaks on behalf of toilets ‘WE DESERVE BETTER SOCIAL STATUS’.”

Here are some Germans celebrating World Toilet Day.

What are you doing to celebrate World Toilet Day? On second thought, forget I asked.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Depressing thought of the day (but Ted Stevens lost, yay)

When I read that Ted Stevens had lost his re-election bid to Mark Begich by a margin large enough that the cheap bastard would have to pay for a recount if he wanted one, I gave a little sigh of relief. And then I realized what that sigh said: I don’t want a recount because I don’t trust that a recount wouldn’t come up with wildly different results because I don’t have any faith in election results in the United States anymore.

Effective is always important

Today Bush visited the Department of Transportation to talk about aviation congestion. Not that he’d know anything about that: “You have done a terrific job, as far as I am concerned. The past eight years I have not seen a traffic jam -- (laughter) -- waited for an airplane -- (laughter) -- or had my bags lost. (Laughter.)” And they always give him plenty of pretzels...

WHY EFFECTIVE IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT (HINT: IT’S THE REMINDING) (HE’S THE REMINDERER, YOU KNOW): “Effective is always important when it comes to reminding our citizens that the government can respond in a way that will make them proud.”

GEORGE PRAISED TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY MARY PETERS IN THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE TERMS: “Madam Secretary, you did your job. That’s what I expected when I asked you to serve”.

One way to look at it is they’re saying, will traveling home for the holidays be ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ or will it be ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’

IN OTHER WORDS: “This year, we’re going to expand what we call the ‘Thanksgiving Express Lanes’ to areas of the Midwest, the Southwest, and the West Coast, including the skies over Phoenix and Los Angeles. In other words, we innovated last year to ease the travel; it worked, and now we’re expanding that innovation this year.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “During my time in office, or our time in office, we have put regulations in place to make airlines more accountable for the way they treat passengers. In other words, we have done this kind of regulatory regime before”.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A gay and secular fascism

Newt Gingrich complained on Fox that “there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us”. He makes it sound so... dirty. He went on:
And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact. And, frank -- for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam or the historic version of Judaism, you have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they’re the opposite, of what you’re taught in Sunday school.
Um, Newton? If you believe in the historic (as opposed to the ahistoric) versions of Islam or Judaism, you probably weren’t taught them in Sunday school.

Troubled asset

Bush’s nominee to be Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee today, and, well, everything you need to know about troubled assets...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The temptation in times of economic stress will be to say, oh, trade isn’t worth it

Bush spoke after today’s session of the Oh God, All Our Economies Are So Totally Fucked summit.

He explained the elaborate preparations for this summit: “The first decision I had to make was who was coming to the meeting. And obviously I decided that we ought to have the G20 nations, as opposed to the G8 or the G13.” Becuz, and see if you can follow mah thinking, 20 is more than 8 or even 13, at least that’s what mah number advisers tell me.

WHAT THE WHOLE POINT WAS: “[B]ut the whole point was, was that we recognize that, on the one hand, there’s been a severe credit crisis, and on the other hand, our economies are being hit very hard.”

A COMMON UNDERSTANDING: “And so there was a common understanding that all of us should promote pro-growth economic policy.” Was there a long debate preceding this common understanding? Were there countries arguing in favor of promoting anti-growth economic policy who had to be won over?

IN OTHER WORDS: “We also talked about broader reforms -- so in other words, the discussions were focused on today and what we’re doing about it, but what are we going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen tomorrow.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “All this is an important first step -- in other words, this is a beginning of a series of meetings.”

WHAT PEOPLE SAY: “People say, well, why don’t you have one meeting and, you know, call it Bretton Woods II. Well, Bretton Woods I took two years to prepare. I don’t know what you want to call this one, but whatever name comes from this meeting, it took three weeks to prepare.” Well, that sure puts the people who wanted to call this meeting Bretton Woods II in their place. I trust they’re feeling appropriately chagrined.

WHAT IT ALSO MAKES SENSE TO SAY TO PEOPLE: “It also makes sense to say to people that there is more work to be done and there will be further meetings, sending a clear signal that a meeting is not going to solve the world’s problems.”

WHAT THE TEMPTATION IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC STRESS WILL BE TO SAY: “The temptation in times of economic stress will be to say, oh, trade isn’t worth it, let’s just throw up protective barriers.”

WHAT GEORGE HOPES IT WAS GOOD FOR THEM TO HEAR: “And I hope it was good for them to hear that even though we’re from different political parties, that I believe it’s in our country’s interest that [Obama] succeed.”


The G20 summit continues. Bush informed the press this morning, “Obviously, you know, this crisis has not ended.”

Here, President Doesn’t-Know-What-To-Do-With-His-Arms waits for the other national leaders to arrive.

Then, the world’s crankiest host led them one by one into the summit.

Hands! Hands!!

But there is evidently one leader who enjoys the clammy touch of President Dead Man Walking.

Shouting fire in a burning Sodom and Gomorrah

There’s a big wildfire in southern California right now. If Proposition (H)8 hadn’t passed, you know what the Christian Right would be saying right now, don’t you?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rejecting calls for protectionism, collectivism and defeatism

Bush is holding an economic summit of world leaders, who he told, “All our nations must reject calls for protectionism, collectivism, and defeatism in the face of our current challenge.” Collectivism, huh?

Still, it must be awkward when all your soon-to-be exes show up at once.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I’m a market-oriented guy

You know, I waited the entire election for just the right moment to use Lord Randolph Churchill’s jibe against William Gladstone, “an old man in a hurry,” against McCain, but I waited too long, alas.

Today Bush spoke to the Manhattan Institute about the global economy.

WHAT IMAGINARY PEOPLE SAY TO GEORGE: “People say, are you confident about our future? And the answer is, absolutely.”

BUSH CHANGES HIS ORIENTATION: “I’m a market-oriented guy, but not when I’m faced with the prospect of a global meltdown.”

WHAT HISTORY HAS SHOWN: “History has shown that the greater threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market, it is too much government involvement in the market.”

HE HEARS VOICES: “In the wake of the financial crisis, voices from the left and right are equating the free enterprise system with greed and exploitation and failure.” I thought that was the point.

CAPITALISM DOESN’T KILL ECONOMIES; PEOPLE KILL ECONOMIES: “It’s true this crisis included failures -- by lenders and borrowers and by financial firms and by governments and independent regulators. But the crisis was not a failure of the free market system.”

“At its most basic level, capitalism offers people the freedom to choose where they work and what they do, the opportunity to buy or sell products they want, and the dignity that comes with profiting from their talent and hard work.” What does George know about talent or hard work, or dignity for that matter?

WHAT THE WORLD WILL SEE: “The world will see the resilience of America once again. We will work with our partners to correct the problems in the global financial system. We will rebuild our economic strength. And we will continue to lead the world toward prosperity and peace.” Maybe you need to stop and ask directions.

The transformative and uplifting power of faith

Today Bush spoke at a UN event on “inter-faith dialogue,” or, as he put it, “the transformative and uplifting power of faith.” He started by thanking... wait for it... King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia, and that’s really all you need to know about that.

Here he is putting his hands all over Condi’s bestest pal Tzipi Livni.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I want to do a shoutout to our president and thank him for that

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is issuing a statement saying that if the Democrats protect abortion rights, it will be taken as an attack on the church itself. Yes, bishops, because it’s all about you.

Sarah Palin has given another 20 or 30 interviews, perhaps under the impression that she actually won the election (and that “progress” is a transitive verb, as in “I would be happy to get to do whatever is asked of me to help progress this nation”), including one with Wolf Blitzer.

She offered to “assist and support” Obama in any way she could, especially by talking some more about his association with William Ayers, “if anybody still wants to talk about it”. Anybody still want to talk about it?

She praised Bush for “reaching out to Barack Obama and to both potential new Cabinet members also, and those who we know will be in the Cabinet, reaching out to them.” Yes, the moron thinks she knows who Obama has picked as Cabinet members.

She also praised Bush for “keeping our country safe for the last seven years with no new attack on the homeland... You know, I want to do a shoutout to our president and thank him for that.”

She also had to be corrected by Monsieur Blitzer about the number of charges Ted Stevens was convicted of (7, not 4), and even had to be told that the Senate election in her state still hasn’t been decided, since votes are still being counted (indeed, right now, Stevens is losing in the count). Details, details. She does say that while she might run for Stevens’s seat in a special election if the people of Alaska “call an audible on me” and if God’s “got doors open for me,” she won’t appoint herself to replace Stevens (which she evidently doesn’t know Alaska law prohibits her from doing), because she isn’t that “egotistical and arrogant.” Yes, no one could accuse Sarah Palin of being egotistical and arrogant.

It was interesting to watch him go upstairs

Condi Rice was interviewed by CSPAN:
Q: So if Condi Rice is writing the first textbook on the Bush presidency, the first paragraph, what would you include?

RICE: The President believed that all men were created equal and that they were – all men and women were created equal, and that they had the right to live in freedom and liberty. That meant freedom from tyranny, but also freedom from poverty, freedom from ignorance. And he made it the purpose of American foreign policy to begin that journey, knowing that it wouldn’t be achieved on his watch -- it’s a generational struggle, but knowing that ultimately, when it was achieved, there would be absolutely no ground and no basis on which terrorists could hold.
Miss, will that be on the mid-term?

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gave a press conference today to say that he won’t use the $700 billion the Congress so nicely gave him in the way they gave it to him to use, but he’ll do something else with it which’ll be way better. So that’s okay then.

CNN interviewed George Bush yesterday.

WHAT HE DOESN’T WANT YOUR TROOPS THINKING: “I don’t want your troops thinking that the decisions I have made were about politics or about my standing.”

INTERESTING: On his meeting with Obama: “It was interesting to watch someone that is getting ready to assume the office of the president. ... It was interesting to watch him go upstairs.” You were totally checking out his ass, weren’t you, George?

WHAT HE REMINDS PEOPLE OF: “And I remind people popularity is fleeting. Principles are forever.”

WHAT HE REGRETS: “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said. [CNN: Like?] Like ‘dead or alive,’ or ‘bring ‘em on.’ And, by the way, my wife reminded me as president of the United States, you better be careful what you say. I was trying to convey a message. I could have conveyed it more artfully. Being on this ship reminds me of when I went to the USS Abraham Lincoln and they had a sign that said ‘Mission Accomplished.’ I regret that sign was there. It was a sign aimed at the sailors on the ship, but it conveyed a broader knowledge. To some it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn’t think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message.” Notice that he evidently doesn’t regret anything since May July of 2003. Because everything’s gone swell since then.

WHAT HE KNOWS: “I know I’m going be in Texas. No doubt I’m heading straight home. I miss Texas. I love Texas. I’ve got lots of friends in Texas.” All imaginary.