BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Fresh Start

Is it November?


Rove's Future Role Is Debated

"White House May Seek Fresh Start In Wake of Leak"

May seek. May seek.
Top White House aides are privately discussing the future of Karl Rove, with some expressing doubt that President Bush can move beyond the damaging CIA leak case as long as his closest political strategist remains in the administration.
"They're saying what?"

"You can't move beyond the damaging CIA leak case -- "

"Already have. Got a job to do."

"Yes, but -- "

"And I'm already doing it."


"You gonna eat that cookie?"
"Karl does not have any real enemies in the White House, but there are a lot of people in the White House wondering how they can put this behind them if the cloud remains over Karl," said a GOP strategist who has discussed the issue with top White House officials.

"You can not have that [fresh] start as long as Karl is there."
"So then...why don't we just get rid of everybody else?"

"Huh? "

"Starting with you."

A swift resolution is needed in part to ease staff tension, a number of people inside and out of the White House said.

Many mid-level staffers inside have expressed frustration that press secretary SCOTT MCCLELLAN'S CREDIBILITY was undermined by Rove, who told the spokesman that he was not involved in the leak, according to people familiar with the case.


McClellan relayed Rove's denial to reporters from the White House lectern in 2003, and he has not yet offered a public explanation for his inaccurate statements. "That is affecting everybody," said a Republican who has discussed the issue with the White House.

"Scott personally is really BEATEN DOWN by this. Everybody I talked to talks about this."
Poor Scott.

Dude's gonna have a nervous breakdown.

Which brings us to --
Q: But do you not also have a responsibility to keep the people who are your constituents, the people of the United States informed?

MR. McCLELLAN: We have a responsibility to continue to cooperate with the special counsel, and that's what we're doing.

And we believe the best way to do that is not to get into commenting on it from here, because we could prejudice the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial trial.

Now, I fully understand that you all are looking for more information and want to get ahead of this matter, BUT WE CANNOT FROM OUR POSITION.

We need to do our part to cooperate with the special counsel. That's what we --


MR. McCLELLAN: Hang on. That's what we've done, and that's what we will continue to do.

Q: But don't you end up -- don't you end up with a credibility problem?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've already addressed that issue.

Q: Well, can you address it again? Again, the unanswered question --

Another great moment from yesterday's press "gaggle":
Q: You repeatedly say that you’ve been instructed not to comment on the CIA leaks case, because there’s an ongoing investigation.

Can we infer from that that when Fitzgerald announces his investigation is completed you will be in a position to comment?

MR. McCLELLAN: I said I’d be glad to talk more about it AFTER it’s come to a conclusion.

Q: Well, would that mark the conclusion?


Q: The end of the Fitzgerald investigation.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there’s an investigation and legal proceeding. And the comments I make –


MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Bob, I think any time there’s been a legal matter going on, we’ve said, that’s a legal matter.

Q: No, what you said is, you can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think what I said last — and look what I said –

Q: So you’ve added the words, “legal proceeding.”

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, now there is a legal proceeding.

Q: So you’re adding the words, “legal proceeding,” to the formulation.

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s not — any time there is a legal proceeding such as that, we don’t discuss it. I mean, I think you can look back at –

Q: Because –

MR. McCLELLAN: Because it’s a legal matter, and it’s before the courts.

Q: THE WORLD IS CRAWLING WITH LEGAL MATTERS that the White House comments on all the time.

What sets this apart?
What sets it apart?!

The White House lied to the American people during the run-up to war.

That's what sets it apart.

Meanwhile, Our Kid gets back to the business of being the President.

In the Company of Friends

"Bush may be besieged by charges of cronyism, but they don’t seem to have affected his picks for a panel assessing intelligence matters."

Is there any other way?
President Bush last week appointed NINE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS, including three longtime fund-raisers, to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a 16-member panel of individuals from the PRIVATE SECTOR who ADVISE the president on the quality and effectiveness of U.S. INTELLIGENCE EFFORTS.
Wha' chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?!
Bush reappointed William DeWitt, an Ohio businessman who has raised more than $300,000 for the president’s campaigns, for a third two-year term on the panel.

Originally appointed in 2001, just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, DeWitt, who was also a top fund-raiser for Bush’s 2004 Inaugural committee, was a partner with Bush in the TEXAS RANGERS baseball team.

Other appointees included former Commerce secretary Don Evans, a longtime Bush friend; Texas oilman Ray Hunt; Netscape founder Jim Barksdale, and former congressman and 9/11 Commission vice chairman Lee Hamilton.

Like DeWitt, Evans and Hunt have also been longtime Bush fund-raisers, raising more than $100,000 apiece for the president’s campaigns.

Barksdale and five other appointees—incoming chairman Stephen Friedman, former Reagan adviser Arthur Culvahouse, retired admiral David Jeremiah, Martin Faga and John L. Morrison—were contributors to the president’s 2004 re-election effort.


According to the White House, the intelligence advisory board offers the president “OBJECTIVE, EXPERT ADVICE” on the conduct of foreign intelligence, as well as any deficiencies in its collection, analysis and reporting.
In this case, "objective, expert advice" means "turbo-conservative, pro-business demands."
Created during the Eisenhower administration, the board has played a role in determining the structure of the intelligence community.

Indeed, its members have been considered important presidential advisers, receiving the HIGHEST LEVEL SECURITY CLEARANCE and issuing classified reports and advice to the president.
Bet that kind of access would come in handy.

You know, if you were a board member trying to, uh, build your own business.
Friedman, a former top economic adviser to Bush during his first term, replaced JIM LANGDON, a Washington LOBBYIST and Bush Pioneer who had been BOARD CHAIRMAN since February.

Langdon himself replaced Brent Scowcroft, a close adviser to Bush’s father who was not reappointed to the panel after he publicly criticized Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq.
Please read this old post for more on Brent Scowcroft.
Last summer, Langdon became embroiled in ETHICAL QUESTIONS after The Washington Post reported that he had helped Akin Gump, the law firm where he works as an energy lobbyist, SECURE A CONTRACT WITH A CHINESE firm seeking to buy Unocal, the California energy company.
Hey now!

Gee, I wonder if he recieved any, uh, helpful info with that security clearance?

"No. Of course not."

It’s unclear if Langdon resigned or was simply replaced.

What do you think?

More later...


  • Good stuff - love the subtle SNL reference (one of my all time favorite bits).

    I can't wait to see your comments on "Brownie's" emails.


    By Anonymous Nick Aieta, at 11:36 AM  

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