Short Takes

O' Say Can You Sing...

For a man who paints himself as an uber-patriot, it seems Speaker Dennis Hastert needs a little remedial training in singing the praises of his country.

While singing along to the Star Spangled banner on Monday, Hastert mangled the first stanza beyond belief. True, he didn't grab his crotch ala Roseanne, but it was a pretty sorry performance.

In response to this outrageous treatment of such a solemn and patriotic moment, I'm sure we can assume Congress will be looking into a rider for the Flag Burning Amendment that would punish similar affronts to our proud national song.

Paying for the Good Stuff

Apparently unable to find enough of the "good news" the administration is always bashing the media for not reporting, they've hired 10 Miami-based journalists to turn out stories for administration propaganda organs Radio and TV Marti. The administration - apparently not stung badly enough in a similar previous deal with commentator Armstrong Williams - never seems to learn.

After Williams accepted money from a PR firm hired by the Education Department, federal auditors said the Bush administration had violated the law by disseminating "covert propaganda." The administration was stung again a few months later, when the Pentagon paid millions to another PR firm to plant propaganda in the Iraqi news media and pay Iraqi journalists monthly stipends.

My, my, my, it's good to see the administration continues to set such a sterling example of democracy for Iraq to emulate.

Snow Flurries in DC

White House PR flak Tony Snow continues to push discredited links between Iraq and al-Qaeda in his press briefings, despite a bipartisan Senate report to the contrary.

The report concluded, "Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and...the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi." It also stated: "Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support."

Seems pretty straightforward to me.

However, when asked about the link in today's press gaggle, Snow said, "The president has never said that there was a direct operational relationship between the two. And this is important. Zarqawi was in Iraq...and there was a relationship in this sense: Zarqawi was in Iraq. Al-Qaeda members were in Iraq. They were operating, and in some cases operating freely. From Iraq, Zarqawi, for instance, directed the assassination of an American diplomat in Amman, Jordan."

That sounds suspiciously like implying a link to me.

Tony, turn off the snow blower.

Bring it On!

The Poobah also appears at Bring it On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, September 12, 2006

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