Monday, December 20, 2004


Bring the heat

Donald Rumsfeld seems to be getting it from quite a few different angles these days. The Guardian reports on Rumsfeld's use of a mechanical signature writer to sign letters of condolence to the families of those troops that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
David Hackworth, a retired US army colonel turned writer, reported that Mr Rumsfeld had used a mechanical signature writer to sign his name on letters of condolence to relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although the charge was initially denied by the Pentagon, Mr Rumsfeld issued a statement on Thursday acknowledging the practice and promising to halt it.

"While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter," Mr Rumsfeld said in the statement.

Mr Hackworth also reported allegations by relatives of deceased soldiers that letters they had received from the president had been signed by a machine.

Ted Smith, whose son Eric was one of the first 100 US soldiers to die in Iraq, told Mr Hackworth that the letter he received "from the commander-in-chief was signed with a thick, green marking pen. I thought it was stamped then and do even now. He had time for golf and the ranch but not enough to sign a decent signature with a pen for his beloved hero soldiers".
I'm not sure why there would be any more reason to believe that Bush was signing the letters than Rumsfeld. Especially given the recent election, Bush was, I'm sure, unbelievably busy, and most of his time was spent travelling from place to place. In any case, it's disappointing but not surprising. Of course, Andrew Card thinks that "Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a spectacular job." Spectacularly poor maybe. Also tacked on to the Guardian story at the end was a small bit about Bush being Time magazine man of the year.
• Mr Bush has been named Time magazine's person of the year "for sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his 10-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters this time around that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years".
Gag me with a spoon. What kind of tripe is this? Do we really need this bullshit about a "10-gallon-hat leadership style." Seriously, give me a break.

"10-gallon-hat leadership style."

That's some nice figurative language. They should use it that kind of stuff to describe other things. Here are some possibilities:

· "Leather-work-glove homo bashing style."
· "Cowboy-boot Arab kickin' style."
· "Whiskey drinkin' slurry speech style."
James, think of something to go with "chain-saw-wielding, brush-clearing" something-or-other style. I can't come up with anything good.

Aunt Deb
torture endorsing style?

of course, I defer to James if he comes up with something better.
"I have directed that in the future I sign each letter." Notice how Rumsfeld's carefully worded statement transfers both authority and responsibility from himself to others? Ergo, if he doesn't sign each letter in the future, his "directors" will be to blame. Foxy!
Yes, I noticed that, too. "This is outrageous. Why didn't somebody direct me to sign those letters? To prove to you that we have accountability here, I'm going to personally make sure that whoever it was that was supposed to direct me to sign those letters is fired immediately."

Although, with Rumsfeld it would be more like: "Is this an outrage? Yes it is. Is there a reason somebody did not direct me earlier to sign those letters? You and I both know that I'd like to know that as much as you would. Are we going to have more accountability in the future? You bet. Does that mean accountability for me? I would reckon not."
· "Chain-saw-wieldin' unitin' not dividin' style."
· "Brush-clearin' innocent civilian killin' style."
· "Blood-hound huntin' Geneva convention forgetin' style."
· "Fence-mendin' electrode strappin' testicle style."

* Using the letter "g" wouldn't make those statements folksy enough.
Regarding the Person of the year thing... Time Magazine ( after the barrage of opposition for choosing that idiot) justified their position by branding GWB - the most influential person of 2004, although being an evil doer... check out this blogpost for the full low down.
But that's bullshit because Osama bin Laden was much more influential in 2001 than Rudy Giuliani. But they didn't want to give it to somebody "bad." Yknow, I'm fine if they want to give it out to the most influential person, but they should do that in every case. And this crap about "10-gallon-hat leadership style" and "sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively)" is just intolerable bullshit. If Osama had won in 2001 I don't know if you would have read about his "Kalishnakov-wielding interest in home video and oratory."
· "Kalishnakov-wielding interest in home video and oratory."

Now THAT... was a good one!!!
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