Friday, May 05, 2006

Reaction Shot

Bush contemplates sending Colbert to Guantanimo after Correspondents Dinner

For your viewing pleasure, here's a YouTube video showing seven minutes of Bush's reaction to Stephen Colbert's Press Secretary Audition video.

Pissy, pissy little man.

I saw this at DailyKos: Wow! He was PISSED! Bush Reaction to Colbert : New ABC Video

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Medicare Part (D)isaster, Incompetently Administered, Misleading Poor Seniors

GAO called Medicare operators 500 times and got wrong information much of the time. For example, 59% of callers who asked, what is the most appropriate and least expensive plan for me, were given the wrong plan. The GAO found the government's own website so confusing that seniors just gave up on it.

The best part? Medicare KNEW the GAO was calling them to test their operators, but Medicare operators still gave out incorrect information. How bad would it have been if the calls had been completely random and Medicare hadn't been alerted?

WaPo: Study Finds Medicare Operators Often Give Bad Information

With less than two weeks remaining for seniors to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, an independent review has found that Medicare's telephone operators frequently give callers false or incomplete information, reviving calls by Democrats to extend the May 15 deadline.

The report released yesterday also found that Medicare's written promotional materials used too much technical jargon, that call waiting times lasted from a few minutes to almost an hour, and the government Web site was so confusing that some people gave up before completing the process.

Posing as seniors or individuals helping a senior, investigators for the Government Accountability Office placed 500 calls to 1-800-MEDICARE and found that about one-third resulted in faulty information or none at all.

The quality of service varied widely. On a question relating to which seniors qualified for discounted plans, customer service representatives gave correct information 90 percent of the time.

When asked which drug plans were most appropriate and least expensive for an individual, however, the accuracy rate fell to 41 percent. Often, Medicare representatives incorrectly told callers they required personal data such as a Social Security number. In fact, they can provide general information but would be able to give more sophisticated guidance with the personal data.


"Because of inaccurate or incomprehensible information, seniors haven't been given a fair shake," said Michigan Rep. John D. Dingell, the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Seniors can't make good choices if they can't get good information. And these problems confirm that this privatized prescription drug plan is inherently too complicated."

Medicare chief Mark B. McClellan defended the program in an appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday.

Although the 7,500 customer service representatives did not know which callers were from the GAO, the administration was alerted to the investigation, said Leslie Aronovitz, director of the division responsible for the report. In addition, when Medicare operators initially gave an inaccurate answer, GAO investigators "bent over backwards to try to give them as much leeway as we could," she said.

'Real Reason for Expensive Drugs'

It's the advertising, stupid.

Not the R&D.

That's why a person like myself, who takes no prescription medication, still knows taglines like "the little purple pill" (even though I'm not sure what it does). Drummed into my brain by advertising dollars.

Dr. Peter Rost, Huffington Post: One Scary Picture

'Braindead Media'

I missed this story yesterday: WaPo again inserting false 'balance' into a story on global warming. As Time Magazine said last month, "[T]he serious debate has quietly ended. Global warming [] is the real deal". But WaPo can't seem to get away from its 'on the one hand, on the other hand' formula for reporting.

From ThinkProgress:

Washington Post Perpetuates Myth of Scientific Debate About Basic Facts of Global Warming

Today’s Washington Post has a story about Canada’s conservative government cutting funds for programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This passage stuck out:

Canada, which has long clung to its “green” image, hosted early work that led to the Kyoto Protocol, in which 163 countries and regional organizations pledged to meet quotas to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that many scientists believe are warming Earth, melting glaciers and brewing more-intense storms.

Many scientists believe carbon dioxide emissions are warming the earth?

Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming published between 1993 and 2003. Not a single one challenged the scientific consensus the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity. This scientific debate only exists in newspaper articles.

Whether or not global warming is already causing “more-intense storms” is nominally more controversial. But a definitive study by M.I.T. scientist Kerry Emanuel found “major storms spinning in both the Atlantic and the Pacific since the 1970s have increased in duration and intensity by about 50 percent.” Emanuel concluded that trend of more intense storms was “linked to increases in the average temperatures of the ocean surface and also correspond to increases in global average atmospheric temperatures during the same period.”

Go to ThinkProgress for original links. I love that they file this story under the tab "BRAINDEAD MEDIA". Right on.

Gitchyer Stephen Colbert Here

Atrios says YouTube has been forced to pull its video of Colbert's Correspondent's Dinner speech; now you have to go to AOL to get his fabulous skewer job.

My favorite joke:

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message: that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Same Old Same Old

Can you say 'Theo Fleury'?

NYTimes: Rangers' Ozolinsh Charged With D.W.I. Rangers Ozolinsh charged with DWI

New York Rangers defenceman Sandis Ozolinsh, who spent six weeks of the season in a substance abuse program, was arrested on a drunk driving charge in White Plains, New York on Tuesday, according to various local reports.

The seven time all-star, who was acquired by the Rangers from Anaheim in March, was reportedly pulled over for speeding at 11am. The officer noted "a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" and a sobriety field test revealed that Ozolinsh had a blood-alcohol level of .17 percent. That more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

That's a real drunk, already lit up at 11:00 a.m.


You can make your own logo, in biscuits, here.

I saw this on Boing Boing.

At Least My Congressman Didn't Vote For The Next War

Don't our representatives in Congress learn from their own mistakes? Having given the Decider-in-Chimp a blank check for war with Iraq, which he has filled out, to date, with over 2400 American deaths, over 100,000 Iraqi deaths, over $320 billion dollars; and has us stuck in a complete quagmire, how could Congress possibly go down that road again? I ask again, isn't doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result the definition of insanity?

Thank you Jim McGovern (D-MA) for voting against this charade. House votes 397-21 for “Iran Freedom Support Act”

As if Iraq isn’t a big enough mess, the House of Representatives has just voted to 'hold Iran accountable and support a transition to democracy’. Sound Familiar? Only this time Iran is a democracy. They just held an election where their president was actually elected by the people. How refreshing.

After everything that has been exposed…the lies, the profiteering, the long list of war crimes, 397 'Representatives’ gave Bush the go ahead on attacking Iran. Only 21 Patriots voted Nay. Sad to say but these are the only people we can trust…

Baldwin, Blumenauer, Boyd, DeFazio, Duncan, Flake, Hostettler, Jones (NC), Kucinich, Leach, McDermott, McGovern, McKinney, Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Paul, Rahall, Snyder, Stark, Taylor

The most disappointing aspect however is the fact that so many of our 'progressive’ leaders in congress voted for this lie. John Conyers voted yay. Maxine Waters, Murtha, Bernie Sanders, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee all voted for it. On the hill today the Progressive Caucus is hosting a hearing on Iraq…

Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee will host a hearing on the Iraq War next Thursday, April 27, 8:30-11 a.m., in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building. The two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are continuing to do what the "leadership" of both parties does not, respond to the demands of the majority of Americans, who disapprove of current policy.

Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee just voted yay on giving the green light for war on Iran. I can assure them that the demands of the majority of Americans are not in accordance with their vote on Iran. We are supposed to believe that these representatives 'can get fooled again’? Are they merely posing as the opposition in order to stall for Bush?

Drunken lout
Sweeney (NY-20), with a strong challenger in the November elections, abstained. I wonder if that is a measure of the war's unpopularity in his district, or did he just have a hangover?

This Is What Happens In The Real World When You Shoot Someone In The Face

Hopefully neither gun nor holder loaded

In upstate New york, a man who shot his nephew in the face while mistaking him for a turkey has been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. Because that's what happens in the real world when you do something that stupid, and a violation of every law of hunting. You get charged with a crime. Don't think Dick Cheney will be hunting in Chenango County anytime soon.

Oneonta (NY) Daily Star: Deputies: Teen mistakenly shot

An Apalachin man was arrested after allegedly shooting his nephew while hunting turkey in the town of New Berlin on Tuesday, Chenango County sheriff’s deputies said.

Scott D. McLellan, 46, was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, after the hunting accident on West Brook Road, deputies said.

The nephew, 16, whose name deputies withheld, had many pellet injuries to his face, upper chest and arms, deputies said.
The teen was taken to Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich, where he was stabilized, and he was later transported to Albany Medical Center for further treatment, where he was listed in stable condition.

Deputies said the teen was shot twice by his uncle with bird shot when the nephew was mistakenly identified as a turkey while in a wooded area on private property off of West Brook Road.

McLellan is to appear in New Berlin Town Court on May 16, deputies said.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bush to Cut Social Security Disability Benefits to Give Taxcuts to Billionaires

From The New Standard, via

Feds Could "Gut" Social Security Disability Rolls

The Social Security Administration (SSA) rule-change proposal, published in the Federal Register last November, would make several different categories of people qualifying for disability benefits wait two more years for payments to start. Because Medicare and Medicaid eligibility are based on Social Security qualifications, individuals would have to postpone receipt of those healthcare benefits too.


The agency also estimated that the rule change would save the federal government $5.8 billion dollars over the next ten years, leading some groups to believe the motivation behind the rule change is monetary. In its public comments to the SSA, Philadelphia's Community Legal Services, an organization providing representation to low-income people, accused the agency of trying to save federal spending "by defining disability in an even more restrictive manner than currently."

$5.8 billion dollars is less than 10% of the $71.6 billion dollars the Bush Administration wants to give the 18 richest families in America by eliminating the estate tax. More draconian social service cuts to come, most like these in the dead of night, by regulation or something slipped into an omnibus bill.

I saw this at Suburban Guerrilla.

Save the Internet, Part Deux

AlterNet: Markey introduces Net Neutrality Act

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) threw down the gauntlet just moments ago, introducing the Network Neutrality Act of 2006 [full text HERE], which "[offers a] choice between favoring the broadband designs of a small handful of very large companies, and safeguarding the dreams of thousands of inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. This legislation is designed to save the Internet and thwart those who seek to fundamentally and detrimentally alter the Internet as we know it."


Here's the updated action list, from Matt Stoller via pachacutec:

1. SIGN a Net Neutrality petition to Congress.

2. CALL Congress now. Especially, tell your rrepresentatives in the House to support Markey’s Net Neutrality Act of 2006, but educate your senators on this issue too, as the fight will soon move there.

3. WRITE A LETTER to Congress.

4. MYSPACE: Add "Save the Internet" as a friend.

5. Check out the BLOG RESOURCES about this issue, including "Save the Internet" logo.

6. VISIT the SavetheInternet coalition Web site for more information.

Former Clinton Press Secretary Mike McCurry is out there pimping for Big Telecomm for a big fee (and whining about how he's being treated by the little people on Huffington Post).

What's it with all those former Clinton staffers turning to the dark side? Like Donna Shalala living in a 9000 foot square mansion in Florida and screwing the janitors at the University of Miami who just want to make a living wage (right now they make $7.53 an hour. She couldn't feed her little show dogs on that.)? Did they all lose their souls in the swamps of Washington, DC?

Previous posts:

(April 27, 2006)

A Better Argument for Saving the Free Internet (April 25, 2006)

Save the
(April 24, 2006)

Chemlawn Users, Beware

Chemlawn Lawn Spray Gun by Lesco (image

You might want to print out this article and distribute it to the folks in your neighborhood who have those little chemical treatment flags on their lawns.

London Free Press: Pesticides may affect penis size
A renowned U.S. scientist supports a ban on the chemicals for cosmetic purposes.

A renowned U.S. scientist who has documented fertility and sex changes -- including decreasing penis size -- due to environmental contamination says he wouldn't apply pesticides on his own lawn.

Delivering a special series of lectures this week at the University of Western Ontario, Louis Guillette has been drawn into London's lawn-care debate during question periods and talk-show interviews.

"The use of these compounds just for cosmetic reasons, just because you don't want to make dandelion wine from your yard or whatever, I think is inappropriate," Guillette, who is associate dean for research at the University of Florida, said in a lecture yesterday at UWO's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Based on his own scientific investigations, Guillette said there's enough evidence pesticides put children, wildlife and the ecosystem at risk.

"Just because you can go buy them at the local stores doesn't meant that is appropriate use," he said.


Penis size of the animals from the polluted lake was smaller than animals from the less-polluted lake.

"This is important because it is not just an alligator story. It is not just a lake story. We know there has been a dramatic increase in penile and genital abnormalities in baby boys," Guillette said.

A followup study by another scientist involving healthy couples with 5,000 healthy babies also found reduced penis size with higher contamination levels.

As Brilliant at Breakfast commented, this explains Tom Delay, who owned a pest control company before he ran for Congress.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Once Upon a Time, The New York Times Covered Insulting Speeches at the Correspondents Dinner

The Wayback Machine
We're going back in time.....



to Saturday, March 23, 1996. Don Imus spoke at the Radio-Television Correspondents Dinner on Thursday, March 21, 1996:


Unexpectedly, the Clintons Are Skewered at a Dinner

Published: March 23, 1996

When the Radio-Television Correspondents Association invited Don Imus, the WFAN radio morning man in New York, to be the after-dinner speaker at its annual gala on Thursday night in Washington, members knew how uninhibited his barbs could be. And how well informed; Mr. Imus is as well known for being obsessed with politics as for being a so-called shock jock.

But the correspondents apparently got more than they bargained for when Mr. Imus made fun of President Clinton's supposed extramarital affairs and Hillary Clinton's legal problems -- with both the President and the First Lady sitting on the dais as he spoke.

The remarks were deemed so insulting that the association sent a letter of apology to the Clintons yesterday, and Michael D. McCurry, the President's press secretary, asked C-Span, the cable network that routinely rebroadcasts Washington events, to refrain from retransmitting this one.

At C-Span, the vice president for programming, Terry Murphy, said the dinner speech would be rebroadcast, tonight at 8, as scheduled. Then, Mr. Murphy -- who is also the chairman of the correspondents association -- signed the letter apologizing to the Clintons.

At his daily news briefing yesterday, Mr. McCurry said he had not discussed Mr. Imus's remarks with President or Mrs. Clinton, and had acted on his own in calling C-Span.

"I just thought it was so bad," Mr. McCurry said, "that they ought to just think about it before they automatically re-aired it."

About 3,000 people in the Washington Hilton heard Mr. Imus, along with a live C-Span audience. Not many more than that would have been expected to hear him on C-Span tonight, if not for Mr. McCurry's calling attention to the rebroadcast. The cable network, the home of endless Congressional hearings, political speeches and policy discussions, does not typically attract a large crowd on Saturday nights.

Mr. Imus's program -- 660 on the AM dial in New York -- is syndicated to radio stations around the country, and Mr. Clinton and many other politicians have been on the program.

On Thursday night, Mr. Imus began by shuffling some papers in front of him, saying that they did not appear to be his notes. He wondered where they had come from, and said that they did not look like papers someone would leave lying around.

He then looked directly at Mrs. Clinton, making an obvious connection to an aide's finding of papers important to the Whitewater investigation "lying around" in a room at the White House. Later, Mr. Imus jokingly referred to Mrs. Clinton's having been "indicted."

He also made insulting references to Speaker Newt Gingrich's lesbian half sister, Senator Bob Kerrey's "wooden leg," and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s hair transplant, and allusions to the marital problems of several television people in the room.

"His satire was in many ways brilliant," said a television correspondent who was there but who insisted on anonymity, "but it was deeply and personally cutting. The President, the First Lady and Speaker Gingrich were clearly not amused; you could see by their faces. But it was Imus to the hilt; he was right on his game."

Asked whether the association had been aware of how tasteless Mr. Imus's "game" could be, Kenan Block, the outgoing president, who selected Mr. Imus, said he and Mr. Imus had talked several times beforehand about what was appropriate for this audience.

"He said, 'I can't tell womanizing jokes about the President with his wife sitting right there,' and 'Don't worry, I'm not going to embarrass myself,' " said Mr. Block, a producer for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS.

"I felt he knew what the limits were," Mr. Block said. "We took a risk, and unfortunately it didn't turn out the way we hoped. I can't pass the buck. It was my fault."

Mr. Imus, who is on vacation, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Yet Stephen Colbert is ignored. And they say we have a liberal media. Hah!

England: No Rooney, No World Cup Hope

Striker Wayne Rooney broke the fourth metatarsal bone in his right foot in a Premier League game against Chelsea on Saturday, and there went England's World Cup hopes.

Brave words were said by Rooney's coach, Eriksson, but the fact is that he is highly unlikely to recover in time to play and be any kind of factor.

From The Guardian (uk), a story about the role Rooney's brand new Nike boots may have played, and a recent history of English players with broken metatarsals, with recovery times:

Nike bruised as new boots backfire

Metatarsal mayhem

Wayne Rooney Fifth metatarsal - June 2004 Predicted return 8 weeks returned 14 weeks later

David Beckham Second metatarsal- April 2002 Predicted 6 weeks returned 7 weeks later
[and was completely ineffective]
Gary Neville Fifth metatarsal - April 2002 Predicted 6-8 weeks returned 21 weeks later

Ashley Cole Fifth metatarsal - Oct 2005 Predicted 6-8 weeks returned 12 weeks later

Scott Parker Second metatarsal - Dec 2004 Predicted 8 weeks returned 34 weeks later

Michael Owen Fifth metatarsal - Jan 2006 Predicted 6-8 weeks returned 17 weeks later

Danny Murphy Second metatarsal - May 2002 Predicted 6 weeks returned 21 weeks later

Steven Gerrard Fifth metatarsal - Sep 22 2004 Predicted 6-8 weeks returned 10 weeks later

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Keeping Up

No blogging tomorrow, must keep up with my life.

An apropos post here, from Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users:

The Myth of Keeping Up

I saw this on BlogsNow.

Tomorrow the computer stays off. At least until after 5:00 p.m.

Grand Old Policeblotter, George W. Bush edition

Note to the Boston Globe: A person who disobeys federal law should be identified as a criminal.

Boston Globe: Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Things To Celebrate (And Not) This Week

May 1st:

Mission Accomplished Day
May Day (International Workers Day)
The Great American Boycott 2006 (Immigration Protest)

May 2nd:

David Beckham's birthday (too bad for England about all those broken metatarsals, huh?)

May 3rd:

World Press Freedom Day

On this date in 1957, Walter O'Malley moved the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

May 4th:

Star Wars Day
(May the Fourth be with you! Think about it.)

36th anniversary of National Guard murder of 4 students at Kent State University

1886 Haymarket Riots

May 5th:

Pete Rose got his 3000th hit (did he bet on it?)

And, last but not least:

National Day of Celebration (Frogmarching Day)

Jason Leopold at Fitzgerald to Seek Indictment of Rove

Despite vehement denials by his attorney, who said this week that Karl Rove is neither a "target" nor in danger of being indicted in the CIA leak case, the special counsel leading the investigation has already written up charges against Rove, and a grand jury is expected to vote on whether to indict the Deputy White House Chief of Staff sometime next week, sources knowledgeable about the probe said Friday afternoon.


In the event that an indictment is handed up by the grand jury it would be filed under seal. A press release would then be issued by Fitzgerald’s press office indicating that the special prosecutor will hold a news conference, likely on a Friday afternoon, sources close to the case said. The media would be given more than 24 hours notice of a press conference, sources added.

Booman Tribune: Frog-March Scheduled for Next Friday

Hopefully wherever I am on Friday, I'll be wearing a party hat and drinking champagne!

Surprise, Surprise: Corporate Media Downplays Anti-War Protests NYC Protest Against the War Photo Diary

AP Story, Washington Post: Tens of Thousands in NYC Protest War

The AP story says organizers estimate 300,000 people marched through Manhattan yesterday to protest the war in Iraq. That would be hundreds of thousands of people. The protest stretched for 10 blocks, so you know there were a lot of people. Yet the AP article says "Tens of thousands of people marched Saturday", even though the number should be written hundreds of thousands. And it gets worse, as other newspapers downplay the numbers by reducing AP's already reduced "tens of thousands" to:


AP Story, Los Angeles Times: Thousands Protest War in New York City

Can't find an article that says "Tens", though some omit the numbers altogether:

AP Story, Cape Cod Times: Protesters: 'End this war'

Journalism is dead. Long live the Corporate Media.

Happy 75th Anniversary Empire State Building

Empire State Building at night

The Empire State Building reflects light from the setting sun in this view looking east in New York City. The iconic status of the Empire State Building, which turns 75 on Monday, has stretched far beyond the confines of New York City to make it one of the world's most recognisable structures -- in the same rank as the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal.(AFP/File/Stan Honda)

The dirigible Columbia failed in an attempt to pick up mail from the mooring mast of the Empire State Building in this Sept. 30, 1931 file photo in New York City, because of wind resistance. The dirigible is shown quite near the mast of the building while below thousands of people watched the attempt. Born in the Great Depression, the building has weathered economic hardship, world war, labor strikes, murder, terrorist fears and yes, even its own plane crash. On Monday, May 1, 2006, the Empire State Building turns 75 years old, a diamond jubilee for New York City's crown jewel. (AP Photo/File)

A view of the Tower from the 86th floor Observation Deck.

Tom Seitz of Cleveland, Ohio, looks at the Empire State Building shrouded in fog in New York, on Jan. 13, 2006. (AP Photos/File, Shiho Fukada)

The viewfinder remains, but the Towers are gone from the view

'Everything Was Fake Except The Troops'


NYTimes: Frank Rich, Bush of a Thousand Days

The demons that keep rising up from the past to grab Mr. Bush are the fictional W.M.D. he wielded to take us into Iraq. They stalk him as relentlessly as Banquo's ghost did Macbeth. From that original sin, all else flows. Mr. Rove wouldn't be in jeopardy if the White House hadn't hatched a clumsy plot to cover up its fictions. Mr. Bush's poll numbers wouldn't be in the toilet if American blood was not being spilled daily because of his fictions. By recruiting a practiced Fox News performer to better spin this history, the White House reveals that it has learned nothing. Made-for-TV propaganda propelled the Bush presidency into its quagmire in the first place. At this late date only the truth, the whole and nothing but, can set it free.

All too fittingly, Tony Snow's appointment was announced just before May Day, a red-letter day twice over in the history of the Iraq war. It was on May 1 three years ago that Mr. Bush did his victory jig on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. It was May 1 last year that The Sunday Times of London published the so-called Downing Street memo. These events bracket all that has gone wrong and will keep going wrong for this president until he comes clean.

To mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion last month, the White House hyped something called Operation Swarmer, "the largest air assault" since the start of the war, complete with Pentagon-produced video suitable for the evening news. (What the operation actually accomplished as either warfare or P.R. remains a mystery.) It will take nothing less than a replay of D-Day with the original cast to put a happy gloss on tomorrow's anniversary. Looking back at "Mission Accomplished" now is like playing that childhood game of "What's wrong with this picture?" It wasn't just the banner or the "Top Gun" joyride or the declaration of the end of "major combat operations" that was bogus. Everything was fake except the troops.

Ed Strong has the full article:

Ed Strong, The Daily Mindbender: Frank Rich: Lame-Duck Bush of a Thousand Days and No Way Out

Must See TV

Pay no attention to that little man in the corner

Stephen Colbert put George Bush on the spit, with a side of pompous Washington journalists, grilled to perfection, at the Correspondents Dinner last night.

I saw the replay after midnight and was afraid I was going to wake up my upstairs neighbor with my peals of laughter.

It was a little tense in the room, as almost no one seemed to enjoy being the main dish of the barbecue. George and Laura had real sourpusses.

I say 'almost' because Injustice Scalia (Colbert addressed him with a "Vaffunculo", and some other hand gestures, "I'm just saying hi to my Sicilian paisan") grinned broadly and went to the podium after it was over to shake Colbert's hand. George Bush put on a fake smile to shake his hand, then it disappeared as he turned away. Laura didn't even extend her hand. She and Colbert just nodded at each other. Helen Thomas (star of Colbert's video when she pursued him trying to ask why we went to war in Iraq) got a big hug and kiss.

The corporate media seems to be trying to pretend it didn't happen. CNN is running a piece on Bush's schtick with his fake Bush sidekick, with no mention of Colbert. C-Span doesn't have it on the schedule today. Hmmmmm.

Guess you'll have to watch it on the internet. Crooks & Liars has the video, and several other links.

Editor & Publisher: Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Does Not Seem Amused

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”

Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, just three tables away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "

Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday - no matter what happened Tuesday."

Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was “surrounded by the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes in presenting both sides of the story — the president’s side and the vice president’s side." He also reflected on the alleged good old days, when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.

Addressing the reporters, he said, "You should spend more time with your families, write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the one about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You know-- fiction."

He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary is "Snow Job." Colbert closed his routine with a video fantasy where he gets to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special “Gannon” button on his podium. By the end, he had to run from Helen Thomas and her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and handshakes, and left immediately.

Youtube video of Colbert's video piece: his application for White House Press Secretary.

The Democratic Daily has a rough transcript.

A high quality bittorrent file of Colbert's appearance. (I saw this at Boing Boing)

AOL Poll on who was funniest at Correspondents dinner; Bush imitator Bridges holds a slim lead.