Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Panel Funnies: Despite the collegial atmosphere, there were some bits of standard ass-kissing and demagoguery that partisanship injects. They were typically less substantive than they were embarrassing. Here's a good one, from Tim Roemer, addressing Albright:
Madam Secretary, I want to mention your book, if I may, Madam Secretary -- I don't need to mention a bestseller.
I'll have to take my head out of your ass to quote from it though.

And Jamie Gorelick couldn't resist this sideswipe:

ALBRIGHT: . . . But on this particular subject, I do agree with Undersecretary Wolfowitz.

GORELICK: I appreciate the caveat.

'Cause of course they disagree with his policies on, say, feeding the prisoners at Gitmo hamburger meat made from the Taliban KIA.

Check out this exchange during Colin Powell's opening remarks:

KEAN: Mr. Secretary, we are going to run out of time...

POWELL: Yes, I will get shorter.

KEAN: Thank you, sir.

Not as short as Howard Dean, though . . .

Bipartisan suck-up award to Richard Ben-Veniste:

And thank you, Secretary Powell, for your testimony here today and for your dedicated service to our country. As you know, I have long been a personal admirer of yours, and thank you again for your commitment in service.
Or not. Powell has long been the one Republican ass it's not only politically safe but nearly required for Democrats to kiss.

Finally, there was the exchange between Rummy and Ben-Veniste about using aircraft to attack targets. It's toward the end of the transcript, and it was much funnier listening to it. Ben-Veniste was unable to comprehend the difference between packing a private plane with explosives and hijacking a commercial airliner to use as a missile. It was a moment of ridiculously partisan obtuseness.

Okay, one more, from Gorelick:

So my question is: In this summer of threat, what did you do to protect, let's just say the Pentagon, from attack? Where were our aircraft when a missile is heading toward the Pentagon? Surely that is within the Pentagon's responsibility to protect -- force protection, to protect our facilities, to protect something -- our headquarters, the Pentagon . . .

RUMSFELD: . . . just to put it right up on the table, we're in the flight pattern for National Airport. There's a plane that goes by, you know, how many yards from my window, 50 times a day. I don't know how far it is. But anyone who's been in that office has heard it roar right by the window. There isn't any way to deal with that at all.

In other words: Lady, if a plane heading toward my office was cause for concern, we'd be shooting down a lobbyist-packed US Air shuttle from New York every day. And come to think of it . . .

No comments: