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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

corrUPtDATE, Chapter 1, Verse 1

(thanks to Jeff Danziger/NYTimes Syndicate for use of this cartoon)

Sure! How about some cooperation from the White House?

The White House has declined to provide various documents about Hurricane Katrina and has also decided not to allow White House officials to testify before the two Congressional Committees investigating the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Bushco is claiming "Executive Privilege" gives them the right to not cooperate with Congress. The Bush Administration has refused specifically to release records of any communications between the White House and other agencies regarding Katrina, and has ordered officials from other agencies to also remain silent regarding communications with the White House.

In a move that smacks of treason*, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the chairwoman of the Senate investigative committee said:
''We are entitled to know if someone from the Department of Homeland Security calls someone at the White House during this whole crisis period," Collins said. ''So I think the White House has gone too far in restricting basic information about who called whom on what day."
Unfortunately we weren't able to get copies of most of the Katrina related communications, but we were able to dig up this communication between Domestic Security Adviser Frances Fragos Townsend and Dubya that ocurred on Sunday, August 28, 2005 while he was on a much needed vacation.


Bush: Howdy?

Townsend: Mr. President, this is Fran.

W: [long pause] Who?

FFT: Fran Townsend. Domestic Security Adviser?

W: Hey Franny!! What's up? Make it quick though - I'm in combat with some cedar and I can't lose my focus or I might get scratched on the forehead. That would look really dumb.

FFT: Mr. President we have a serious issue. Hurricane Katrina is turning out to be a real threat to New Orleans and the surrounding areas. We could have a major loss of life and billions of dollars worth of...

W: It's August, right? I thought hurricane season ended already?

FFT: Well, it's still going on, sir. Remember that simulation we went through just the other day with Hurricane Pam? Well, it looks to be about as bad as that down there right now. We need to send a tremendous amount of assistance to the region as soon as possible or thousands will die.

W: New Orleans, huh? Buncha lousy democrats down there - nobody's really gonna miss them anyway. How we gonna get Wolf to spin this one?

FFT: [stunned silence]

W: Tell you what. Get Mehlman on the phone. He'll know what to say.

FFT: We tried contacting him sir, but he's apparently busy playing catch with some boys in the neighborhood.

W: *snort* heh heh. He sure likes getting his talking points straight, though, don't he?

FFT: ...I'm not really sure....

W: Listen, just handle it, allright? I'm scheduled to get me a gee-tar later in the week and I don't want any distractions between now and then. I'm sure you'll do a heckuva job.

As a side point, Fran Townsend is due to deliver the White House's exhaustive analysis of the Katrina response within the next couple of weeks, yet Bushco won't allow her to appear before Congress to discuss the response. If the White House were really trying to work "with them in a cooperative way and we will continue to do so" as stated by Head Spokesweasel McClellan, they'd probably let the person leading their investigation share her knowledge.

Sadly, real cooperation in Washington is nonexistant. However, there is some good news regarding the recovery of New Orleans and our ability to give to those truly in need.

* treason (trzn) n. 1 The act of disagreeing with the Bush Administration or any of its paid cadre of Cheetos-loving bloggers.

NY Times, Boston Globe, Forbes

Tune in on Friday for more adventures in corrUPtDATE!