Friday, April 21, 2006

Why I Adore Arianna Huffington
Read what she so eloquently wrote:

Fresh Faces of '06: Bolten, Portman...and Rummy?
Apr. 18 -- Fresh is clearly the order of the day at the White House. It's almost as if the president has pulled out his leadership keyboard and hit Ctrl--F5!

So new White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, responding to the D.C. conventional wisdom that the West Wing is filled with burned out, off-their-stride staffers, told said staffers that it was time to "refresh and re-energize" the president's team. This according to Scott McClellan, the poster boy for being burned out and off your stride. Nice strategy, Josh. Nothing like a little job uncertainty to promote that refreshed feeling.

Bolten's "message seemed to suggest that Mr. Bush had now come around to the idea that his presidency needed some fresh faces" -- starting, no doubt, with Bolten, who has been a part of the president's inner circle since 1999.

Operation Fresh Face took another giant step forward with today's Rose Garden announcement that Bush's pick to fill Bolten's old job as director of the Office of Management and Budget is Rob Portman, a longtime confidant of Bush who served six terms in Congress before becoming the White House's top trade negotiator last year, and who the AP labeled "a consummate Washington inside player."

That is fresh. If by fresh you mean well-past the 'sell by' date.

"He will be a powerful voice for pro-growth policies and spending restraint," said the budget-busting Bush, somehow managing to maintain a straight face.

And, like an invigorating spring zephyr rolling across the parched plains, Portman responded by praising Bush's 2001 tax cuts as "the smart path" and deriding any talk of changes to current tax policy. "The economy is growing," he said. "Now is not the time to risk losing ground by raising taxes."

An interesting note from Portman's long Beltway CV: In 2000, he played the role of Joe Lieberman during Dick Cheney's debate prep, then took on the role of John Edwards as part of Cheney's 2004 debate preparations (do we detect the VP's omnipresent invisible hand in this nomination?). Maybe for his next role Portman can impersonate an actual fresh face with new ideas.

He can take a lesson from the man he's replacing: Josh Bolten. Does no one in the White House see the irony in the notion that the second-term shake-ups designed to revive Bush's free-falling presidency are going to be spearheaded by a guy who has been with the president since he took office -- and, thus, a part of everything that has gone wrong?

Bolten is a perfect example of how official Washington works. Or, more accurately, doesn't work. Since being named White House budget director in 2003, Bolten has presided over the three largest federal budget deficits in history, along with rampant federal spending and debt. So of course he got promoted.

The most telling thing about Bolten's plans to "refresh and re-energize" the Bush White House is that all of the shake-ups being discussed are on the domestic policy side of the presidential agenda -- with changes predicted to Bush's economic, congressional liaison, and communications teams, and with the hiring of a new top domestic policy advisor (the old one being too busy returning pilfered items at Target to be of any help).

But when it comes to the major crises facing the administration -- Iraq and the war on terror -- neither Bush nor Bolten are suggesting that those overseeing those crises go ahead and leave now. Indeed, Bush continues to give Don Rumsfeld his "full support." "I read the front page," he told reporters today (who has time to bother with those pesky inside pages?) "And I know the speculation. But I'm the decider and I decide what's best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."

There you have it: our Decider-in-Chief has taken a look around, seen that the White House is going up in flames, and decided that it's time to remodel the garage. Bush is thinking wood paneling, but if Bolten wants to go with indoor/outdoor carpet, well, carpet it will be. "The president," said McClellan, "has given him full authority to do what he needs to do, and what is in the best interest of this White House." As long as that doesn't involve turning the fire hoses on Rummy and the conflagration that is the president's foreign policy.

For his part, Rummy has gone all philosophical, saying of the mounting calls for his ouster: "This too shall pass." Wasn't that what Cheney predicted about the insurgency? When asked why he thought he was in the crosshairs of so many former generals, Rummy demurred, saying "I can't climb into other people's minds." True, but you can open your eyes and see the disaster your policies have wrought.

How's that for a fresh concept?

11 comments:

Karen Zipdrive said...

Another beautiful little musical tribute from Huffington Post:
http://decider.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

...give it time to load.

dusty said...

I loved that musical ditty..

as for HuffPo, its a good read and addresses everything that is wrong with just a hint of sarcasm. The Shrub is a mental midget and really believes the American public is going to buy into this shit doesn't he? The new boss is the same as the old boss and to say the Shrub's domestic policies are on track is total bullshit..so nothing is going to change..just the faces we have to look at..

great..

Anonymous said...

I love Arianna so much, just for that article alone, I'd bear her surrogate children!

dusty said...

Hey..did you see the breaking news about Condi??? Its over at truthout.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing isn't it Dusty? They're all getting caught doing something wrong these days.

Oh well, Condi will survive. She can always go back to work for Chevron after they rename that supertanker after her. Hell, the captain might even let her honk the horn when he pulls in the bay to fill up.

If all else fails, she could probably find work doing what she learned as a child: tuning pianos with her teeth.

Karen Zipdrive said...

They won't touch Princess Condi for anything. The prosecutor doesn't even want to talk to her.
Of course she's probably a leaker- the whole admministration seems to be.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take me long to figure out that this gang leaks things to draw attention away from and/or cover up other leaks they've let "slip out." Their whole game is disinformation, to provide cover while they ransack the treasury to provide for themselves while all of us other dumbfucks who fell for it all end up living in soup lines for the rest of our lives.

If there is a God he'll visit their sins on seven generations, in both directions, future and past.

dusty said...

If they are gonna visit future and past Bushies..I want that fat ugly bitch Babs to really get the short end of the stick..perhaps something that will embarrass her in public and make her a laughingstock for years to come whenever she has the nads to step out in public.

Anonymous said...

Babs Bush should have to relive the same week over and over like in Groundhog Day but her's would be set in New Orleans. After living in a closed attic for a week, surviving on the cheese left in mousetraps and a half-empty bottle of Thunderbird, she's finally rescued by helicopter but her big ass breaks the basket raising her up and she falls down into the chemical sludge water that leaves her hair a permanent shade of green that can be seen from space, like the Great Wall of China. Finally rescued, and waiting for a bus at the Superdome, to her shock and horror, the only dry clothing offered to her are cheap, ill-fitting Nancy Reagan throw-aways, that pinch and are painful to wear, with every breath. Her MRE's (meals ready to eat) were stored for years without knowing there was a small hole in them, the only fresh water available for her to wash up is in a toilet bowl, and her constant fear is being robbed, beaten and raped by guys who would really rather have their dicks hacked off than touch her. After fifteen hours on a bus, after being made to change flat tires twice with her own hands, she arrives in Houston where local residents have gathered and wish her well, "Buh bye. Come back when you can't stay as long."
[Reset, repeat endlessly, for all time]

Karen Zipdrive said...

Penny, let's change the ending from "After fifteen hours on a bus, after being made to change flat tires twice with her own hands, she arrives in Houston where local residents have gathered and wish her well..."

to

After 20 hours on a bus filled with 75 water-logged, jonesing crack addicts from the 9th Ward, she arrrives in San Antonio where she's greeted by Karen Zipdrive, a local volunteer.
"Good morning Mrs. Bush," Karen said. "Would you care for some salmon pate?* Or how about these lovely granola bars?**
"I even brought you a sweater to wear!"***

*Fancy Feast
**spiked with angel dust
*** knitted from cat hair

Anonymous said...

Very nice Karen! Thank you. I'd forgotten about your world-famous salmon pate and how fabulous it is! The granola bars were a nice touch (after a week of cheese, she'll need some fiber), and the sweater was very thoughtful. I'm sure the generosity of it all would cause Babs to fall to her knees and weep silently, while thanking her God that people care, they really, really do care, afterall.