10 October 2005

Best of Times / Worst of Times

Frank Rich: The Faith-Based President Defrocked

Beware of leaders who drink their own Kool-Aid. The
most distressing aspect of Mr. Bush's press conference
last week was less his lies and half-truths than the
abundant evidence that he is as out of touch as Custer
was on the way to Little Bighorn. The president seemed
genuinely shocked that anyone could doubt his claim
that his friend is the best-qualified candidate for the
highest court. Mr. Bush also seemed unaware that it was
Republicans who were leading the attack on Ms. Miers.
"The decision as to whether or not there will be a fight is
up to the Democrats," he said, confusing his antagonists
this time much as he has Saddam Hussein and Osama
bin Laden.

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Note to New York Times: Your TimesSelect program is
a joke -- just like your reporting on the Plame leak
investigation. How much longer do we have to wait for
Judy Miller to file a freakin’ story?

And is this really your idea of all the news that’s fit to

The tradition of girls' nights out - or girls' lunches out -
is hardly unique to the Bush White House. Among
other Washington women who get together are White
House social secretaries, who last assembled earlier
this year. "We call ourselves the social secretaries'
sorority," said Ann Stock, a social secretary in the
Clinton administration, who gave a lunch at her home
in January to welcome Lea Berman, Laura Bush's most
recent social secretary, to the clan.

A favorite topic, Ms. Stock said, was stories about
people desperate for invitations to White House
dinners. Ms. Stock gave up no names. ("We did a
pinkie swear that what goes on at the table stays at
the table.") But she offered a generic version of a tale
common to all administrations.

"A king and a queen are coming for a state visit, and
the social secretary gets a call from a man who is
close to hysterical," Ms. Stock said. "All the invitations
have gone out, everybody's accepted and there's no
room, but he comes in and tells this long story about
his wife dying of cancer, and how they have to have
an invitation. So the social secretary makes a special
exception and creates a table of 12, which is bigger
than all the others. And guess what? She's still alive
today, and so is he."

Hooray! The “man” lied about his dying wife -- or was it
the king's wife...? Who cares!? It’s a happy ending to a
meaningless, “generic” story that may or may not have
actually occurred!

Thanks, New York Times!