Monday, October 24, 2005



Last night I was driving home from seeing a rather dull movie. Maybe the name, KISS, KISS, BANG, BANG (which I already knew wasn't a biography of Specimen), should have warned me away but it didn't and I sought to clear my brain with some Air America. Sam Seder claimed that Thomas DeFrank, the NY DAILY NEWS Bureau Chief in DC, is super-connected and that when he reports a story, it comes from very good White House sources. (And here I was a few days ago, totally making fun of DeFrank and the DAILY NEWS.) So this morning I got up to find out some disturbing DeFrank-reported news in today's NEWS.

If I'm reading his piece correctly, it certainly sounds like Bush is not taking the dissolution of his Regime with grace or aplomb. In fact, it sounds like the still untreated alcoholic is hitting the bottle, lashing out at everyone around him and blaming everyone but himself for the fine kettle of fish in which he now finds himself. "Facing the darkest days of his presidency," says DeFrank, "President Bush is frustrated, sometimes angry and even bitter, his associates say. With a seemingly uncontrollable insurgency in Iraq, the White House is bracing for the political fallout from a grim milestone that could come any day: the combat death of the 2,000th American G.I." Earlier today it was reported elsewhere that Cindy Sheehan plans to chain herself to the White House gates to protest Bush's senseless, disastrous occupation of Iraq.
DeFrank reminds us that "last week alone, 23 military personnel were killed in Iraq, and five were wounded yesterday in a relentless series of attacks across the country. This week could also bring a special prosecutor's decision that could shake the foundations of the Bush government. The President's top political guru, Karl Rove, and Vice President Cheney's right-hand man, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, are at the center of a two-year criminal probe into the leak of a CIA agent's identity. Many Bush staffers believe indictments are likely."

One of DeFrank's Seder-vouched-for-sources told him that "Given his (Bush's) nature, there's no way he'd be happy about the way things have gone." Ok... sounds like a good source to me. But DeFrank claims that "Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it. Lately, however, some junior staffers have also faced the boss' wrath." Unless lately means "the last couple years," this statement isn't... well-sourced. Bush has been reported to be so brutal to staffers that no one is ever willing to give the non-TV news viewing/non-newspaper reading/non-Internets-surfering CEO President the bad news, ever. "This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help," explains one of DeFrank's legendary sources. "This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight."

Bush is hysterical about the imminent loss of his brain Rove and he's not exactly pleased how everyone, regardless of political party, is calling his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court the worst SC nomination in modern history. Bush is exhibiting all the traits of someone who has fallen off the wagon. DeFrank describes him as "a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy, occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the 'blame game.'"

He's also delusional and babbling, the way Nixon did after he was unmasked as a lawbreaker, that he's "convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency even if they damage him and his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections." (I'm certain this is reassuring to the 30-50 Republican Congressmen who are now looking at having to get honest jobs after the 2006 elections.)

"The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about," whispers one of DeFrank's sources inside the White House. "Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share." Yes, everybody but the guy who sits where the buck is supposed to stop. DeFrank enlightens us that even though Darth Cheney is still "Bush's most trusted political confidant," the DAILY NEWS "has learned Bush has told associates Cheney was overly involved in intelligence issues in the run-up to the Iraq war." Uh... yeah. Is that what Bush calls undermining the CIA and making it impossible for them to do a good job?

The delusional Bush, lashing out erratically and blaming everyone around him for everything (apparently never looking in a mirror), does realize one of his problems was his and his alone-- his gal Harriet. EVERYONE told him it was a miserable idea and one of DeFrank's sources claims even the arrogant and self-deluded Bush "knows some of these things are self-inflicted. He must know that the way he did that, relying on his own judgment and instinct, was not good."


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