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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

DAYSbreak: March 30, 2004

George and Karen, sitting in a tree…
To combat the stinging allegations launched against it last week by former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, the Bush White House is turning to an old friend, Karen Hughes. Hughes kicked off a six-week, national book tour yesterday to promote her tome Ten Minutes from Normal, a glowing memoir about her years serving alongside George Jr. both on the campaign trail and during his first two years in the White House.

This week’s issue of Time Magazine includes excerpts from the book that reveal how Hughes really feels about the president, and she doesn’t hold back in her assessment. She refers to Bush as "humble," "wonderful," "tough-minded," "decent and thoughtful," with a "laserlike ability to distill an issue to its core" and "a knack for provoking discussion."

Hmmm, pretty revealing. Let’s break this down, shall we?
“Humble” = Bush knowing deep down that he doesn’t deserve to be where he is.
“Wonderful” = He’s so cute.
“Tough-minded” = Thick-headed
“Decent and thoughtful” = He pays me well.
“A laserlike ability to distill an issue to its core” = Dumbing complex issues down to a very simple, black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us view.
“A knack for provoking discussion” = Continually pissing people off.

Time also reports that Hughes believes “the president’s tendency to mangle words is a sign of a ‘highly intelligent’ mind outpacing a sluggish tongue.” Do I even need to comment on this twisted logic?

You can catch more of Hughes’ public love letter to George this coming Wednesday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. We hear there may even be a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ during her appearance, oh goody.

Mapping Money
An amazing, and somewhat frightening, new website called FundRace.org launched earlier this month that allows visitors to quickly and easily find out the political leanings of their neighbors. At FundRace.org anyone can punch in their address, or any address for that matter, and get a full listing of all surrounding residents, complete with addresses, who have given to any of the presidential candidates, whether it was a $25 gift to the now-defunct Dean campaign or a $2,000 boost toward Bush’s re-election campaign.

Developed by a Manhattan-based non-profit organization called EyeBeam, the site brings public disclosure to an entirely new level. The site’s founders, Jonah Peretti and Michael Frumin note that all the information is already publicly available at the Federal Election Commission's website. "Anyone who is a crazy stalker, if they really wanted to, could have found this information before.” So basically, Peretti and Fruman have lifted the heavy burden of researching targets from the daily rigors of stalkers and rabid political wackos everywhere.

For instance, thanks to FundRace.org, I now know where all three of the Bush donors on my block live which means that instead of randomly lobbing Malatov cocktails through my neighbor’s windows hoping to hit a Bush ‘Ranger’ or ‘Pioneer’, I can target them with accuracy. I also now know why the woman’s apartment two floors down from mine always reeks of patchouli and wheat grass: she gave $100 to the Kucinich campaign.

A Washington Post report on the site revealed that the top GOP address in the nation’s capital can be found at 666 11th St. NW, proving once and for all that Satan is responsible for the Bush political juggernaut.

Dinner Theatre
Last week, at the annual Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner, President Bush stuck with the dinner’s tradition of self-effacing humor when he presented a tongue-in-cheek slideshow, complete with knee-slapping commentary on the slides from the commander-in-chief himself. The Nation’s David Corn was a witness and reported it thusly:

It's standard fare humor. Bush says he is preparing for a tough election fight; then on the large video screens a picture flashes showing him wearing a boxing robe while sitting at his desk. Bush notes he spends "a lot of time on the phone listening to our European allies." Then we see a photo of him on the phone with a finger in his ear. There were funny bits about Skull and Bones, his mother, and Dick Cheney. But at one point, Bush showed a photo of himself looking for something out a window in the Oval Office, and he said, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere."

The audience laughed. I grimaced. But that wasn't the end of it. After a few more slides, there was a shot of Bush looking under furniture in the Oval Office. "Nope," he said. "No weapons over there." More laughter. Then another picture of Bush searching in his office: "Maybe under here." Laughter again.

Pretty fun shit, no? You know what we at Days think would’ve been really funny though? If while Bush was stomping around the Oval Office posing for these shots, he had inadvertently stepped on a landmine and lost both his legs. Now that would’ve been hilarious! It probably would’ve even made George Medina of Orange County, who lost his son to a Baghdad landmine in November, laugh aloud.

This from the March 26 New York Daily News:
George Medina, 43, of Orange County, who lost a son in Iraq, heard about Bush's remarks when his outraged daughter, an Army sergeant, called him yesterday. "She was very upset," Medina said. "This is disgraceful," Medina continued. "He doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. It's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country." His 22-year-old son, Spec. Irving Medina, died Nov. 14 in Baghdad when an explosive device struck his convoy. Charles Celestin, 28, of Coral Springs, Fla., and Irving Medina's brother-in-law, blasted the commander-in-chief's remarks. "To be poking fun; it's just a travesty to the soldiers who lost their lives. I think it's disrespectful," he said.

Amen brother, Amen. We’re not laughing either.

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