Saturday, September 03, 2005

Who Could Have Seen It Coming?

I give up. Apparently the president is constitutionally, or unconstitutionally, incapable of preparing for any eventuality that may affect Americans, no matter how predictable. Check out this wire-service writeup I found.

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 26 – The White House today dismissed suggestions that the president was ill-prepared for yesterday’s global exchange of presents.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters today that “Christmas presents are going to be delivered.”

But critics of the administration cited numerous media reports indicating that Mr. Bush’s presents had not been delivered by midnight on Christmas Day.

Anecdotal reports indicated that Pres. Bush had not given presents to Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, First Lady Laura Bush or their dog Barney.

The exact location and gift-status of Mr. Bush’s daughters, Laura and Barbara, could not be determined at press time, due to the surrounding chaos and unstable security conditions.

On Christmas Day, McClellan told reporters that “presents are on the way.” Their failure to arrive that day led to angry confrontations at today’s White House briefing.

“How can you stand there and look us in the face for the second day in a row and not take responsibility for this?” asked columnist Helen Thomas.

David Gregory of NBC News requested documentation, such as receipts, of the president’s gift-buying, “because people are asking whether the president waited until Christmas Eve to buy his presents.”

At his briefing, McClellan said, “there will be a time for fingerpointing and blame. This is not that time. This is a time for the nation to come together and we hope the Democrats will join us in expressing national unity at this difficult time rather than seeking partisan gain.”

In a televised interview last night, the president blamed Washington-area retailers for not maintaining all-night hours. He said he bore no responsibility for the lack of gifts, and urged Americans to contribute to private efforts, such as Secret Santa.

“I don’t think anybody anticipated this holiday,” he said.

However, the New Orleans Times-Picayune today reported that the Gregorian calendar has been in use for centuries. The newspaper also reported that during a trip to Houston last May, Laura Bush was quoted as saying, "I wouldn't mind getting one of those for Christmas," while pointing to an object in the window of an adult novelties store her entourage was passing.

U.S. Postmaster General John E. Potter on ABC’s Nightline angrily denied online speculation that a Biblically-based sex manual, “Intimacy Ignited,” intended for Laura Bush did not arrive in time because the president had clicked on Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping option (which takes an additional 3 to 5 days) in order to save money for the war in Iraq.

But late last night, the Smoking Gun, a site that specializes in locating original records and documentation, posted what it said was a copy of Amazon’s e-mail to the president, indicating that the order had not been placed until 10:48 pm on December 24.

Another web site, Rude Pundit, posted a cached screen grab from eBay, the online auction site. The ISP address identified one bidder as Mr. Bush. The screen grab indicates that the president placed several bids just before the 11:30 pm closing on Christmas Eve of an auction for “Intimacy Ignited,” by Dr. Joseph and Linda Dillow and Dr. Peter and Lorraine Pinuts. The auction’s bid history suggests that the president may have been outbid because his dial-up connection prevented him from increasing his bid with the same frequency as that of his rival, who appears to have been logged in using a T1 line.

Mr. Bush appeared at the White House Christmas Tree late last night in his shirt sleeves, accompanied by members of the cabinet and his wife. Although gifts were evident behind him during a photo opportunity, his wife did not appear to have been given any yet.

“We’re going to get on top of this,” the president vowed. “We’re going to have an accountability moment. My people are going to be talking with the people at Amazon, and eBay. I've instructed the State Department to post negative feedback for one eBay user in particular.”

“We will be a stronger nation for this,” he vowed.


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