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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New Game in Town: West Wing Shuffle!

In one of the few occasions you will ever hear me say this, unless there is a miraculous change in flawed policy, I will give President Bush a pat on the back today (just one though). In the past few weeks there has been pressure on the White House to shuffle the staff and bring in new blood. The first casualty was chief of staff Andy Card, and everyone agreed that it was not nearly enough. New chief of staff Josh Bolton, much the same as Andy Card, hinted this week that more changes were coming, and BOOM, the sh*& hit the fan this morning. Two major anouncements. Press secretary Scott McClellan anounced his resignation, although many, including me saw it coming. unfortunate, I kinda liked Scotty, more than anythig because he reminds me of a childhood friend. But Scotty M. had lost more credibility than he ever had (if that is possible) thanks to his bosses charging him with peddling their lies and spin to the press and on to the public. I should feel bad for Scotty since he genuinely seems like a harmless fellow, but I step back when I think about the fact that wether he was kept in the loop about things such as the CIA leak or not, Scotty chose to fulfill his duty as spin peddler in chief, in other words he supported the administrations actions. Had he felt used or in disagreement, he could have resigned long ago, but he didn't. Hence, he was with Bush. As I sais earlier, Scotty's resignation is not a surprise.

What is the real surprise of the day is that Karl Rove's duties and role have been reduced. Rove will no longer be involved in domestic policy. The real test here is to read between the lines of this peculiar move. Rove is one Bush's top capos. He has stood by Rove through all the mud he has been stuck in. Why move him now? Here are some of the questions:

1) Is it a genuine move to try an bring in new blood to a faltering White House?

2) Is it to appease those Republicans in Congress that feel the President is too insulated?

or, and this is the million dollar question,

3) Is it a sign that Rove's involvement in CIA leak case is heading toward indictment, and the
White House feels he is a liability?

I do not think people expected Rove to be touched, after all, he masterminded both Bush wins in presidential elections. In essence, Bush owes everything to Rove. It will be interesting to see how the White House frames Rove's demotion, and hopefully the press will ask the right questions.

But the guy most under fire (and who has probably made more deadly mistakes in war policy), Donald Rumsfeld, stays. At least Rove's and Scotty's deeds did not result in thousands of dead Americans. Interesting that Bush chose to very defiantly and arrogantly defend Rumsfeld yesterday. Bush said something to the effect of: I make the decisions, and I know what's best for the country, and what is best for the country is for Donald Rumsfeld to remain as Secretary of Defense. If Bush knows what is best for the country then I'm Batman! But in essence, firing Rumsfeld is an implict admission of defeat and mistakes. You all know how Bush never makes any mistakes right?

Bush press secretary quits, Rove ends policy role

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You probably recall the anthrax scare that the United States experienced just a few years ago as the deadly chemical arrived in personal mail of various politicians and average citizens. A few deaths caused by the agent created waves of fear across the country, causing disruption of mail services and costing huge sums to detect and decontaminate.
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Third is the threat of natural disasters that range from horrific earthquakes, to monster storms and tornadoes, to the possibility of a pandemic outbreak of disease. As we witnessed during Hurricane Katrina, when destruction is so widespread and inclusive, it may become impossible to draw upon government, our friends and neighbors ... or anyone else besides ourselves for sustenance, shelter or anything else for days, weeks and possibly months.
Man-made and natural disasters are also a greater threat to most of us than terrorism – and cost U.S. taxpayers and victims dearly. Still, there is much that one may do to minimize exposure to such threats and to mitigate the damage done to your loved ones and your property if they are caught in one of these disasters.
Then, finally, there are those more personal threats such as anarchy, murder, hostage taking, assault, carjacking, home invasion, robbery, accidents and disease. How do you minimize these threats ... what can you do?
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