Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Cars: Just What I Needed - Song, Photomontage and lyrics

click 2x to play the vid

Just What I Needed

I don't mind you coming here
and wasting all my time
'cause when you're standing oh so near
I kinda lose my mind
it's not the perfume that you wear
it's not the ribbons in your hair
I don't mind you coming here
and wasting all my time
I don't mind you hanging out
and talking in your sleep
it doesn't matter where you've been
as long as it was deep
you always knew to wear it well
you look so fancy I can tell
I don't mind you hanging out
and talking in your sleep
I guess you're just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess you're just what I needed
I needed someone to bleed

Illustration: Attorney General Gonzales' Hand Caught In The Scandal Meat-grinder

Click illustration to enlarge

Two More Blows Against The King: Another Rough Week At The White House

click the George flag to enlarge

1) An Ex-Aide Loses Faith in the President. Matthew Dowd joined George W. Bush’s in 1999, jumping from the Democratic Party. He believed in George Bush, and was one of the top aides who built the flip-flop strategy that tarred John Kerry throughout his Preidential bid. He was Bush's 2004 chief campaign strategist. In an interview, Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed extreme disappointment with The President. Dowd has even considered writing an editorial "John Kerry was right."

2) D. Kyle Sampson calls A.G. Gonzales a liar, and by extension, The President. Gonzales' credibility is already in the toilet due to changing stories, and damaging document disclosures. Now, he may have taken a fatal hit when Sampson told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the attorney general had been long and deeply involved in an action that Gonzales has said he knew little or nothing about.

3) At least five other stories surfaced this week depicting mayhem in The White House. The President is slowly becoming President in name only and his bellicose sabre-rattling has become just irritating background noise. The mood of the country seems to be "let's just get through this next 21 months with as little damage as possible."

Friday, March 30, 2007

We're Pulling For You Tony Snow And Elizabeth Edwards!

I have dumped on Tony Snow quite a few times here, both "editorially" and in a couple of parodies. I disagree with probably 89% of everything that comes out of his mouth. When he was on the radio (I caught his show when I could), he was far more rational than he could ever be in his role as President Bush's Number One Defender, flak catcher, and information vector. Frankly, I still don't know why he took on this role, which must be at least a million dollar pay cut. But to his credit, he had done a good job for a bad President. Even before the White House, Tony Snow was one of the good guys. Our hopes are with him as he battles a recurrence, and spread, into his liver, of the cancer he first fought three years ago.

I have been a big fan of Elizabeth Edwards since I saw a speech she gave in the last campaign when John was running as Vice-President. She is probably my second favorite political spouse (just behind Bill Clinton). I believe her husband will emerge from the pack as the democratic front-runner. I don't know how the recurrence of her cancer, that is now "incurable," will affect his standings. It doesn't seem to hurt in the polls so far, but what people say to the pollsters and what they do in the voting booth are two different things. I don't know. People have been blogging, writing and talking about the ethics of the Edwards' decision to go ahead with the presidential race. But isn't really up to them? Reading between the lines, it sounds like it will be an uphill battle. I am pulling for her.

Poem:: Changes 50/The Caldron

Easau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob
for a caldron of lentils.
That is serious hunger.

As Confucius said
Weak character coupled
With honored place

Meager knowledge with large plans
Limited powers with heavy responsibility
Will seldom escape disaster.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Video and Lyrics: The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil

You may need to click 2x to play this video

Unfortunately, this 1994 video is the oldest one I could find. In my booklet, The Stones by 1994 were about twenty years past their prime. This is unquestionably one of their greatest songs. Also unfortunately, they did not sing my favorite part of the song--the woo woo choruses--and left that part to the organ. I remember what a drill-job it was when this tune originally appeared. The first time I heard it I was floored. And I still dig the tune nearly forty years later. Aside from the blitzkreig references, I don't think an American could have written such a literate tune. A first person narrative and commentary from a sly and sophisticated Lucifer! The lyrics outline some of the greatest outrages we (e.g., humanity) have performed against each other over the centuries.

The Stones got off the hook from the fundamentalists and others when a song from the same album, Street Fighting Man, was linked to The Watts Riots and other street actions of the late 60s.

Rolling Stone was right on this one. They placed the tune at No. 32 in their list of the 500 greatest rock songs. I might have put it a little higher.

Sympathy For The Devil

by Jagger-Richard

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersberg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
What's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game,

I watched with glee
As your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the Gods they made

I shouted out
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
When after all
It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadors
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politics
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um baby, get down

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!

Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, baby guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame

Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name

Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah

Painting: The circle game

The Scariest Looking Public Figure We Know Endorses Rudolph Giuliani For President

Ex-Republican mayor of 9/11, Rudolph Giuliani, was endorsed by Steve Forbes today in his 2008 presidential bid. The billionaire publisher, failed Presidential candidate, and flat tax proponent will also help co-chair the campaign according to the Giuliani Campaign.

So now, the scariest looking politician of the late 20th century throws in with Rudy. As if Giuliani doesn't have trouble enough! It couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.
All This Is That has been in contact with Charles Manson in Corcoran State Prison in California, in hopes we can induce him to also endorse the former mayor.
Giuliani is perhaps best known as being Mayor of New York City the day of the September 1, 2001 WTC attack. He is also widely-known as the man who kept his mistress on one floor and his family on another floor of the mayor's home, Gracie Mansion. Since leaving office, Giuliani has exploited his popularity--and enriched his bank balance--through a security consulting firm where he markets his expertise in being attacked.
The Republican front-runner, who has amazingly yet to lose his temper in the early race, has about six weeks left before his candidacy implodes. With Senator John McCain's shockingly anemic performance, it will only be about two months before Ex-governor Mitt Romney surges into the lead.

Poem: Changes 49/Revolution

Times change
And with them the demands
Of time

There is a spring and autumn in
The life of people and countries
There is a fire below and a lake above

With the forces of light
And the forces of darkness
Always at war in different guises.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Michael Jackson Replica Robot To Roam The Desert?

According to an article yesterday in "Michael Jackson is in discussions about creating a 50-foot robotic replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert, according to reports. "

Jackson has apparently moved back to Sin City from Dubai, and is contemplating yet another comeback attempt.

The article says "If built, the metal monster would apparently be visible to aircraft as they come in to land in the casino capital. " The robot will also include numerous lasers that should look fantastic, firing into the dark desert skies.

Identikit sketch of a unisex suspect

Click sketch to enlarge

Another rough day at the White House, Part 98—Tony Snow's cancer has returned

Tony Snow, the White House Press Secretary who beat colon cancer two years ago, revealed Tuesday that the cancer has returned and spread to his liver, delivering another jackhammer blow to family and friends, and of course, to a White House already staggering from a stunning barrage of bad news.

Tony Snow's cancer was the latest in a never-ending torrent of bad news for The President: the conviction of a former White House aide, a guilty plea by another former official, mass defections from within his own poltical party, resignations of other functionaries, and a shotgun blast of revelations of lying and skullduggery that now jeopardize the attorney general's job.

Studying the odds, it is bizarre that so much has bad luck has befallen this White House. But, alas, The President seems unable to catch a break. His house of cards is about to hit the deck.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poem: Changes 48/The Well

Water above wood below
Water below wood above
The bucket goes into the earth

To bring up water
From the well
From which the water is drawn

At the bottom of the darkness
Runs a clear cold living spring
The well is the symbol

Of the social structure
Evolved by humankind in meeting
Our most primitive needs

Back when we gathered in villages
And still remembered how
To help each other survive.

Jim Webb's aide arrested for packing the Senator's heater

According to the Associated Press, an aide to Sen. Jim Webb was arrested yesterday when he entered the Russel Senate Office Building with a loaded pistol belonging to the senator.

The aide—Phillip Thompson, an old friend and employee of Webb—was caught by an X-ray as he attempted to enter the Senate building. "A congressional official briefed on the incident said Webb gave the gun to Thompson when the assistant drove him to an airport earlier in the day. Thompson, upon entering the Senate building, forgot he was carrying the weapon. "

Editorial comment: We agree that Thompson probably forgot he was packing heat. Only the developmentally challenged would believe they could slip through the X-ray machines. Take my word for it: I can't even sneak my stainless steel hip through the scanners.

Are you as shocked as I am to know that Senator Webb, an anti-war candidate, routinely walks around with a fully-loaded pistol? And two more loaded clips? He's not only loaded for bear, he's ready for a herd of bears (technically, a sleuth of bears).

I understand why a high profile Senator might be skittish about security. I even understand why he expects trouble. But a fully loaded gun, and two more clips? This guy is not just looking to defend himself; he's looking for a firefight. He's expecting serious trouble, and needing to reload two times? I don't know, but if it ever comes to that at my job, I think I'll find another line of work.

What about the Washington gun control laws? Washington, D.C., law says it is illegal for anyone to own a handgun unless he or she is a police officer or has owned a gun registered prior to 1976. And even those allowed to possess a gun must keep it unloaded. I guess Webb may have been a gun owner for thirty years, but I don't really believe that. Why is he allowed to flout the law in The District?


Monday, March 26, 2007

Giuliani: The Candidate For 9/11—See The Onion

Giuliani To Run For President Of 9/11

The Onion

Giuliani To Run For President Of 9/11

NEW YORK—Supporters of the former mayor praised Giuliani for his "early and unwavering commitment" to 9/11

With Rudy, it's all about numbers. Six marriages, nine/eleven. The soaring numbers in his checking account, as he ruthlessly exploits his expertise in being attacked. If the measure of a hero is how many photo opportunities you race around to in the middle of a disaster, Rudy Giuliani is a hero.

Rudy is poised to be the Republican McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis, all rolled into one. Heh heh.


Scientists create a sheep that's 15% human: when this stuff hits the market, we'll need to repeal the standing cannibalism laws

According to Claudia Joseph in The Daily Mail scientists have created the world's first human-sheep chimera, with the body of a sheep and sheep-human organ hybrids.

These sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells. Clearly, their evolution raises the prospects of even more animal organs being transplanted into humans. Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, spent seven years and 7 million dollars perfecting the technique of injecting adult human cells into sheep's fetuses.

Three more photographs of LBJ

click to enlarge these photographs


A picture of Del and Colum Brummet circa 1994

Click the boys to enlarge...
This picture was shot by David Grosten. . .a one-time professional photographer. And it shows....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday 352nd Birthday Titan!

Saturn's largest moon—Titan—was discovered on March 25, 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, and was the first satellite in the Solar System to be discovered after the Galilean moons of Jupiter. So, I guess it's not really its 352nd birthday after all, but the 352nd anniversary of its discovery. On the other hand, stars, planets, and moons don't really get a chance to celebrate their birthdays, so we'll give this one to Titan.

Titan has a lot of brothers and sisters too: Saturn has 34 known moons. Titan is one of the few moons in our solar system with its own atmosphere.

Titan itself is bigger than the planets Mercury and Pluto (in fact, didn't Pluto just get defrocked with the advent of the 10th planet?). The photograph above is, naturally, from the Cassini voyager.

Other recent All This Is That articles on the solar system:

The tenth planet a/k/a 2003 UB313
Poem: The Tenth Planet (Or An Incredible Facsimile?)

Fantastic new photos of Saturn from the Cassini-Huygens mission
N.S.A. bans photos of Saturn creatures - to avert a run on Depends incontinence products
Photograph Of Mimas, A Moon Of Saturn

Index of Jack Brummet's Changes Poems

These poems are loosely based on the Book of Changes a/k/a I Ching. Numbers 29 - 47 are new since the last index (January 20th, 2007). There are about 17 left to write.


Index of Jack Brummet poems on All This Is That

This index includes all the poems published here, except the Changes poems, which are indexed here. Only the top five poems are new since January 20, 2007. The other poems written since January 20 were all in the Changes Series.

Poem: Truism 1
Poem and Photograph/Collage: The Grey Convoy Flies Over the UFO Crash Site
Poem: Dual Mortality
Poem: Ephemeral Communications
Poem: toast
Poem: 3 A.M.
I'm agnostic about atheism
Snow Day In Kirkland, Washington
Squirrel poem
Going Mad Might Be Like A Bad Eight Track Tape Deck
Fall Haiku
Jericho & How Joshua Caused The Walls To Come Tumbling Down
The Orgy In The Pantry (starring Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, Pilsbury Dough Boy, Aunt Jemima, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and more)
Poem:With Or Without The Words
Hello. . .My poem is. . .
You Gather Your Friends
The Way We Were
Scarred for life
The White Flag
The Cover-up
The Good German
Dream Of The Grey
Torches & Pitchforks
The Red Flag
Don't look back
The Tenth Planet (Or An Incredible Facsimile?)
Anger management is a slippery slope
the vault
The Moon's In Tune
Another politician resigns in disrace
The Candidate
Reds Making Room
The revolt in heaven
Found Poem: The Richmond Hill Oracle
The Robot Wars
Ten ways of looking at lies
The Broken Chord
With our heads in the sand during the transit and eclipse
the sun plays its red song
Poem: The Developers
A raindrop's life
The mystery of the first amendment to the Ten Commandments
The Bay Of Delusion
Mad Song
Reasons To Keep On
Conspiracy Theory
The Moon Race
Mr. Flue's Grave In Hillcrest Cemetary, Kent, Wash.
The World Seems Especially Calming And Verisimilitudinous Today
Kent, Washington
[It's the Lee Harvey Oswald smile]
Zombie Breakdown
The Variations
You Rehearse Dying
Sonnet For Hari
Defensive Daydreaming
The Dream
The Prostethic Head & The Absence Of Blood
Tetuan - "No Paranoia, My Friend"
The Grey Ambassador
The Bad Movie
The Bucket
The Man In The Mirror
A Flight Of Swallows
Audioblog - The Prevaricator
Weather Report
Your Wooden Leg
The Revelations Sermon At The First Church Of The Mojo Apocalypse
Dosvidaniya, Ivan Ivanovitch
The Late Excavation
Jack Kerouac, Meet John Barleycorn

The Gideon Bible In My Nightstand
At The Acropolis
When Aliens Land, Or, The Return Of The King
The sous-chef is a sociopath
James Wright
[Life Is Not A Hardy Novel]
Coyote Comes Home Like A Salmon
Shorts For Jerry Melin ca. about 1988
The Golden Rule
The Countdown
When Aliens Land, Or, The Return Of The King
Notes On Flying
Not Past Tense Yet
the glass is not half-full
It's Getting Crowded Here
Li Po In Disgrace
The Clock
A Love Song Bad Timing
The Killer
The Absence of Footprints
Growing Up
Gone Fishing
The M.D.s
The Marriage
Driving Home To Seattle, We Watch Deer Drinking from the Skookumchuck River

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Poem: Changes 47/Exhaustion

You can't get up
You will get up
You can't get up

The lake is dry
Adversity is the reverse
Of success but leads to success

When you meet adversity
Your cheer is the source
Of later success

If adversity only bends you
It creates in you a power
To straighten up in time

Staring into a gloomy valley
You are oppressed by bonds
That can be loosened

You sit under a bare tree
And wait
For the lake to fill.

Those Actually Were UFOs Over Phoenix in 1997 Says Former Governor Symington

Former Gov. Fife Symington says now that those strange lights that appeared over Phoenix a decade ago were from another world and he admitted having a close encounter with an alien craft on March 13, 1997. At the time, however, he publicly mocked the very idea at a press conference. The Arizona Daily Star has an interesting article about his new revelations.

Symington, who was in his second term as governor of Arizona during the Phoenix Lights incident, recently told a UFO investigator making a documentary that he had kept quiet about his personal close encounter because he didn't want to panic the populace.

Symington repeated his story Thursday on CNN, saying the craft he saw was "enormous. It just felt other-worldly. In your gut, you could just tell it was other-worldly."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Alien Lore No. 100: France Releases The Motherlode Of UFO Reports

France opened its files on UFOs Thursday when their space agency rolled out a website documenting 1,600 sightings in the last fifty years.

The archive will be updated as new cases are reported. It includes reports from obviously delusional crackpots to cases that still have scientists scratching their heads. The U.S. has been notoriously stingy with their files. Over the years, only a few documents have appeared under the Freedom of Information Act.

As you well know, UFOs have always engendered conspiracy theories about government cover-ups of findings of things so horrible and frightening that the public Must Never Know.

Of the 1,600 cases since 1954, nearly 25 percent are classified as "type D", meaning that "despite good or very good data and credible witnesses, we are confronted with something we can't explain."

The website appears to be seriously overloaded, but things should be better in a few days:

Visiting Richard Nixon Again (his ghost this time)

If you've known me long, you probably know that I am a life-long Richard Nixon afficionado. Not that I actually liked the misanthropic thug. . .but I respected him, despite his many many faults. I spent a little time at his house (albeit standing in the cold outside)--see the post below on Visiting Richard Nixon. Some recent posts here on President Nixon:

32 Years Ago Today, Richard Nixon Walked Away

Early next week, I will be in Newport Beach, California on business, and I have arranged an afternoon to achieve a lifelong dream. . .I am going to the Nixon Library and birthplace in Yorba Linda. And I even get to see the Elvis-Nixon exhibit, which has been running since January. I well remember the numerous times we stopped by Nixon's townhouse on the upper east side, and how the Secret Service never even hassled us, despite our loud laughter and brewski tilting. I guess President Nixon didn't want any "incidents." Maybe on our trip to NYC this spring, I can revisit the scene of that old crime! Below this is an article from the Nixon Library on the Nixon-Elvis Exhibition I will be seeing next Tuesday. . .

The Day Elvis Met Nixon

The historic 1970 White House meeting of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon will be commemorated in a special exhibit opening on Elvis’ birthday, Monday, January 8, highlighted with the sartorial choices of the President and the King.

Opening day events included a lecture by special guest Egil “Bud” Krogh, the assistant to President Nixon who staffed the Elvis-RN meeting and recalled the events in his book, The Day Elvis Met Nixon, writing: “I had prepared a memo for the President with a summary of Elvis’ letter and some talking points for their visit, but who knew where this was going to go? We got the memo back from Bob Haldeman – he’d written on it, ‘You Must Be Kidding,’ but approved the meeting anyway, and I called Elvis back over.”

On special loan from Graceland, the exhibit will highlight the black velvet suit, boots, wing-collared white shirt and gold, diamond-studded belt worn by Elvis Presley during his White House drop-by December 21, 1970. The statesmanlike gray suit and tasteful tie worn by the 37th President also will be displayed.

Elvis would have been 72 on January 8, and President Nixon 94 on January 9. The iconic photo of their White House meeting is the most requested image from the National Archives.

The King requested the meeting in a hand-written letter on American Airlines stationery, which he presented to a startled guard at the northwest gate of the White House. Dear Mr. President, he wrote: First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office . . . Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out…

The display also will include the gifts exchanged by the two iconic figures, from Elvis a commemorative World War II Colt 45 pistol in a presentation case, as well as family photos, and from RN, a set of Presidential cufflinks and an honorary Bureau of Narcotics Special Assistant badge requested by Elvis for his collection.

The exhibit closes April 9, 2007

Poem: Changes 46/Pushing Upward

Pushing upward is a vertical ascent
A direct line from obscurity
To power and influence

Bending around obstacles
The wood in the earth grows up
Never stopping

Wood draws strength from its roots
For the upward push so too the power

To rise comes from below this lowly station

You push upward into an empty city
The obstructions fall away
But how long can unobstructed success last?

As good as life gets—
And it gets this good every day—
You can't become drunk with success

You may push upward blindly
And enjoy the climb
And the view from the top

But be prepared to end up
Right back
Where you started.

Another attempt at Faces 3.0 identikit software

This was about the best I could come up with. Let's face it. . .if this was the mug on my Wanted Poster, I would still be at large!

On the other hand, the pros seem to actually know what they're doing:


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Not now deer! Wisconsin man punished for necrophilia and beastiality--at the same time!

A Wisconsin man who argued that he could not be prosecuted for having sex with a deer because the animal was dead at the time, has been convicted. 20-year-old Bryan James Hathaway received probation and jail time after he was convicted of having sexual contact with a dead deer.
Hathaway was found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it. He was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court. "The type of behavior is disturbing," Judge Michael Lucci said. "It's disturbing to the public. It's disturbing to the court."

It's a bit of a twist on the old political adage, "Never be caught in bed with a dead woman or a live man."

Other recent posts on beastiality:

Blowups on the I Heart Huckabee's set between David O. Russell and Lily Tomlin

You can read about the battles between Tomlin and Director Russell in an article in the New York Times from 2004. It is only in the last few days that the long-rumored video clips of some of the blowups have surfaced on the video sharing sites. A couple of the clips are below (at least until Tomlin or Russell's "people" remove them.

David O. Russell screams at Lily Tomlin
Uploaded by omgfrank

Sharon Waxman wrote in
the New York Times article: "To get the performances he was after, Mr. Russell did all he could to raise the level of tension on set, unapologetically goading, shocking and teasing his actors. Sometimes these techniques prompted reactions that were less than photogenic. And in perhaps the most un-Hollywood move of all, Mr. Russell allowed a reporter to watch." - Lily Tomlin
Uploaded by caseofthemondays


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

President Bush Announces Iraq Exit

Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: Well Go Through Iran

The Onion

Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: 'We'll Go Through Iran'

WASHINGTON, DC-Almost a year after the cessation of major combat and a month after the nation's first free democratic elections, President Bush unveiled the coalition forces' strategy for exiting Iraq.

Poem: Changes 45/Gathering Together (a/k/a population explosion)

If the water in the lake
Gathers until it rises above the earth
There is danger of a breakthrough.

President Bush Paints Himself Into A Corner Over Not Firing Gonzales And Insisting His Aides Can Only Testify Without Taking An Oath

The President And Advisor Karl Rove During Happier Times

The Associated Press reports that The White House on Tuesday offered to make political strategist Karl Rove, former counsel Harriet Meiers, and a couple of lesser-knowns available for congressional interviews in the investigation of the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal. The President proffered Congress some face time with his two closest aides, but will not allow testimony

—in public

—under oath

—under subpoena

—recorded (or, at least they said, no transcripts)

—more than once. No follow-ups, or additional interviews.

The White House move was announced after the Senate voted by a large margin to end the administration's ability to unilaterally fill U.S. attorney vacancies. The vote came as blowback over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' firing of the prosecutors. Gonzales—or, more likely, his soon to be named successor—can no longer name attorneys to fill the vacancies. They must now be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The spanking measure passed the Senate with only two no votes!

All This Is That translation: The president says they can only testify if they can't be prosecuted for lying. He learned his lesson with Scooter Libby.

Gonzales got a morale boost with an early-morning call from President Bush. It was their first conversation since a week ago when the president said he was unhappy with how the Justice Department handled the firings. The President took his old friend, Gonzales, to the woodshed and yet because he is an old friend, POTUS said he would stand by him. And he told it to all of America last night. So we see The President again leaps to the aid of yet another morally bankrupt P.O.S. Of course, who knows what that really means? You saw how long he stood by Harriet Meiers when the chips were down? The President's show of support for Gonzales paints himself into the corner. Can he tiptoe his way over around and through this one?


Poem: Changes 44/Coming to Meet

Darkness, after having been eliminated,
furtively and unexpectedly obtrudes again

from within and below.
When heaven and earth

come to meet each other,
all creatures prosper.

Does the wind blow over the earth
or does it blow under heaven?

Heaven is far from the things of earth
But sets them in motion by the wind.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Poem: Changes 43/Breakthrough!

You achieve breakthrough
Like the river breaches its dikes
Or rain is freed in a cloudburst

It does not further to take up arms
It is time to notify the city

Resolution is based on strength and friendship
Compromise with evil is impossible
Evil must be swiftly discredited or worse

If we do evil the favor of fighting it
Blow for blow we lose in the end
Entangled in hatred and intrigue

With no opponent
The sharp weapons of evil are dulled
The best way to fight evil

Is to strengthen the goodness
When the lake's water rises to heaven
There is reason to fear a deluge

All gathering
Is followed
By dispersion

To plunge blindly ahead is wrong
It is at the beginning
That unexpected setbacks

Have the most disastrous results
Fear nothing and be watchful at all times
For a cry of alarm

Be on guard against what is not in sight
And on the alert for what is not within hearing
If reason triumphs

The passions withdraw
You walk alone in the rain
And encounter insuperable obstacles

Victory is a sham
Evil can be concealed
And the remaining seeds will fluorish.

President's good friend A.G. Gonzales is on his way out the door

click the new White House Flag to enlarge

The Politico broke the news today that "Republican officials operating at the behest of the White House have begun seeking a possible successor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose support among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has collapsed, according to party sources familiar with the discussions."

On the short list to replace Gonzales are Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff (it looks like he survived the Katrina blowback); the White House anti-terrorism coordinator, Frances Townsend; Ex-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson; and Ex-Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson (whose wife, Barbara, you may remember was killed on the jet that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001).

Perhaps the strongest sign that Gonzales's goose is cooked was Press Secretary Tony Snow's feeble defense when asked if Gonzales would stay on the job: "We hope so," Snow said. "None of us knows what's going to happen to us over the next 21 months." Least of all, The Administration.

Gonzales's fatal move was lying to Congress over the eight dismissed U.S. Attorneys, on top of general ineptitude and an inability to effectively manage the Justice Department.