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WH Pool Report: Could They Have Replaced Laura Bush with a Robot? Edition

the_stepford_FLOTUSIn this White House pool report: bus crashes, botched kisses, needless detours and beautiful views. It's like a James Bond movie or something over there. The naughty bit:


The rest of us did manage, however, to see POTUS pull up to the gate with his traditional two limos to be greeted by Turkey's chief of protocol. FLOTUS looked resplendent in a navy blue silk skirt suit with a diamond brooch above her heart. They stopped to wave to the photographers, then Bush gave Laura a slightly off-target cheek smoosh, which caused Laura to pucker up in apparent anticipation of something more akin to a kiss. Giving up on any more PDA, they walked up a short red carpet and went through the gates.
PDA, eh? Could Laura look any more like an animatronic replica? From this pic, it seems less like Bush was going for a kiss than a full restart. Or is he just trying to hold her head on? We await further accounts.

Full report after the jump.

Subject: POOL REPORT #5, 6/28/04

Prepositioned pool #4

Arrival at cultural event, Topkapi Palace

This pool duty was not, shall we say, marked by a great degree of efficiency. Your pooler had to walk (the long way around) from the Hilton to the International Media Center, then get magged and wait 15 minutes for the NATO pool, which consisted of about 100 people. Then out the same gate and onto a bus, which took us to the wrong entrance of the Topkapi Palace, site of the cultural event. Of course, it took the NATO press folks until we had unloaded and walked past a long line of waiting VIPs before they figured out we were in the wrong place. The complete opposite side of the palace, in fact. Among the waiting VIPs was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who kept a low profile so as not to attract the attention of your pool.

Then it was back to the buses for a drive around to the front of the palace, which became eventful when the bus driver turned a sharp corner and cut off two police cars who then collided, just like in the movies. Not waiting to discern the damage, we careened the rest of the way around the palace walls and were dumped at the gates to the front drive. We then ran up a steep hill to the palace gates, which was fronted by a curved, cobblestone drive and shadowed by linden trees.

Thanks to NATO press officials, we had missed the first half of the arrivals, prompting a number of European correspondents to take off in a huff. The rest of us did manage, however, to see POTUS pull up to the gate with his traditional two limos to be greeted by Turkey's chief of protocol. FLOTUS looked resplendent in a navy blue silk skirt suit with a diamond brooch above her heart. They stopped to wave to the photographers, then Bush gave Laura a slightly off-target cheek smoosh, which caused Laura to pucker up in apparent anticipation of something more akin to a kiss. Giving up on any more PDA, they walked up a short red carpet and went through the gates.

The only moment of interest followed when Turkish officials balked at letting in the large American contingent that followed the president, including NSA Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin. After a minute or two of intense discussion, the Turkish officials relented and the rest of the U.S. delegation managed to enter.

After watching a few more arrivals, your pool decided to wait out the rest of the motorcade choreography with the Travel Pool, already enjoying perhaps the most picturesque pool hold in history - on an outdoor patio overlooking the Bosporus, with a hot buffet and bar stocked with wine. We didn't feel sorry for them.

Then your poor prepositioned pooler endured another hike to the palace gates, then a bus ride to the International Media Center, then a second shuttle bus back to the Conrad.

Four hours, four bus rides, one wave and a botched kiss later, I remain,

Your devoted pooler,

Maura Reynolds

Los Angeles Times

[AFP/File/Patrick Kovarik]

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Arkansas Republican Senator and evil Pinocchio turned into a real live boy Tom Cotton appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" to discuss the attacks on oil tankers on the Gulf of Oman. And while the world is still trying to confirm IF Iran perpetrated the attacks due to conflicting accounts (the US says it was Iran with mines; the Japanese shipping operator says it was a “flying object"), that hasn't stopped GOP politicians like Cotton from trying to turn this into the justification they've been looking for, for great good glorious WAR.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You have long been defined as a hawk on Iran. You see these recent attacks, these are commercial vessels not military installations. What kind of response is warranted?

COTTON
: Well Iran for 40 years has engaged in this kind of attacks going back to the 1980s. In fact Ronald Reagan had to reflag a lot of vessels going through the Persian Gulf and ultimately take military action against Iran in 1988. These unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike.

BRENNAN
: Are you- you're comparing the tanker war in the '80s to now and saying that that's the kind of military response you want to see?

COTTON: We can make a military wreck- response in a time and in a manner of our choosing. But yes, unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The goddamn “Tanker Wars"?! Oh ... you mean when, during the Iraq-Iran War, we waited until Kuwait formally asked for our assistance to escort Saddam Hussein's oil? When Reagan, without approval from Congress, reflagged Kuwaiti vessels? When Reagan got us involved in the Iraq-Iran War leading to a daylong naval battle between Iran and the US, known as Operation Praying Mantis? The conflict we jumped into that led to our mistaking an Iran Air commercial jetliner for an Iranian F-14, shooting it down and killing all 290 people onboard, including 66 children? That's what you want to repeat, Tom Cotton?! Also, whatever happened to our ally, Saddam Hussein?

They say that those who don't learn from history repeat it. Tom Cotton is here to prove Republicans never learn. Watch the video below for yourself:

Cotton says "unprovoked attacks to oil profits" from Iran "warrant a retaliatory military strike" www.youtube.com

While Tom Cotton was justifying a war with Iran on CBS, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was having a surprisingly harder time on “Fox News Sunday" than he did on CBS when he transparently insinuated what the Trump administration really cares about with Iran ( "Texas Tea").

Pompeo: Trump doesn't war with Iran but will "defend American OIL interests" www.youtube.com

Seems Pompeo was upset that his “beating the drums of war" shtick was being interrupted to have to answer about Trump admitting (more like bragging) it was okay to take foreign assistance (and then walking it back when all the killjoys said it was illegal). After playing the ABC News clip, Chris Wallace asked a very pointed yet direct question. Pompeo's answer, however, was far from both:

WALLACE: Is accepting oppo research from a foreign government right or wrong?

POMPEO: Chris, you know you asked me not to call any of your questions today ridiculous ... You came really close right there. (awkward giggle) President Trump has been very clear. He ... he clarified his remarks later. He ... he made it very clear. Even in his first comment. He said "I'd do both." He said he'd call the FBI ...

WALLACE: He said "Maybe I'd do both."

POMPEO: President Trump has been very clear. That he will always make sure that he gets it right for the American people and I'm confident he'll do that here as well.

It was at this moment Pompeo thought he was golden because he's on Fox News and they never follow up! But clearly he forgot Chris Wallace doesn't play like that.

WALLACE: At the risk of getting your ire, the President told "Fox and Friends" on Friday, and I agree, he kind of walked it back...

POMPEO: He didn't walk it back.

WALLACE
: Yes, he did. Because he said "maybe" on Thursday. And then on Friday, on "Fox and Friends," he said "he'd listen first AND then if the information was bad that he would take it to the FBI or the Attorney General." But he also made it clear to George Stephanopolous that he did not see this as "foreign interference." And I want to play a clip of the President's own words ...

Then Wallace played ANOTHER clip of Trump's idiotic words back to Pompeo. Then he asks Pompeo one more time:

WALLACE: He says "it's not interference, it's information." The country, sir, and I don't need to tell you, has a long history dating back to George Washington in saying that foreign interference in our elections is unacceptable. POMPEO: Chris, President Trump believes that too. I have nothing further to add. I came on to talk about foreign policy and I think that's the third time you've asked me about a Washington ... piece of ... silliness. That's just, that's just a story that's inconsistent with what I've seen from President Trump do every single day.

After an awkward pause and visible anger in Pompeo's face (really, do watch), Chris Wallace calls it a day ... but remembers to remind Pompeo he's a thin-skinned baby:

WALLACE: I will leave it there. I think I only asked you twice but that's alright Mr. Secretary. Thank you. Thanks for your time and Happy Father's Day, sir.

Watch the video below for yourself.

And that's all for this week in Trump's collusion and "wag the dog"/Saudi oil interest war chants. So let's end with a couple of pictures of my new puppy, Harley Quinn!

Might as well have one last nice thing before our next war or stolen election. Have a week!


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