Dishonest Dubya

It looks like the 60 Minutes interview with former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill is getting some much-deserved traction. I thought the White House would ignore it, and wait for it to go away, as all these stories eventually seem to do. President Bush, in Mexico, had only this to say, "I appreciate his service to the country. We worked together during difficult times."

Despite Bush's cool, detached demeanor, the White House is requesting an investigation into whether or not O'Neill violated any laws by sharing classified documents with Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind. Never mind the validity of O'Neill's criticisms, let's focus on document classification?! Well that's a stupid way of spinning the story, if you ask me. And let me get this straight, they're upset about a leak? What about when they leaked the identity of Joseph Wilson's CIA agent wife as retribution for Wilson's criticism of Bush&Co's lies about yellowcake uranium?

Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard took a similar tact on Fox News Sunday yesterday. Rather than address what O'Neill said, he questioned the documents provided by O'Neill and used by author Ron Susskind to write his book.

Paul O'Neill is a smart guy. When asked by Leslie Stahl whether he thought there would be reprisals from the White House, he demured. "I can't imagine that I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth. Why would I be attacked for telling the truth??

His timing, coming just days before the first Democratic primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, is impeccable. He is wise to salvage his reputation by distancing himself from the Bush administration as it continues to unravel. We've already seen Ari Fleischer, Christine Todd Whitman and Larry Lindsey leave or get fired, while Colin Powell has vowed he won't return if Bush is reelected. Will anyone else leave between now and November?

... Howard Dean is on the covers of the latest issues of TIME and Newsweek. Neither story is particularly favorable. There is some balance, I suppose, in that TIME makes mention of Willie Nelson's anti-war song and David Cornwell's (aka John Le Carre) feelings about Bush's foreign policy.
"It suddenly seemed to me that we were really watching the preparation of a much larger campaign based on very dubious grounds," he says.

"I kept thinking, Don't lie to me. Don't lie to me. Don't pretend that this is not religiously based. Don't pretend this is not a crusade. Don't pretend this isn't about oil. Don't pretend this isn't about making a fortune and keeping the American people on their heels in fear."

Immediately following the Dean cover story, TIME features some pictures of Bush at the "Western White House" in Crawford, Texas which could have been art directed by Karl Rove. (Exclusive pictures for TIME by Brooks Kraft reads the byline.)

I don't know which bothers me more, seeing George Bush with a chain saw or seeing his picture in TIME with the caption:
clears cedar
underbrush to
allow for the
growth of
hardwoods and

"Allow for the growth of hardwoods and plants"?! Who wrote this nonsense that TIME felt was worthy of publication?

... Michael Kinsley explains why the logic behind Bush's tax cuts is faulty, at best.

... My favorite of the four outfits for the "Dishonest Dubya Lying Action Figure" is the "deranged mental patient."