Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Rove Implicated In Identity Leak

December 21, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC—The recent leak revealing Santa Claus to be "your mommy and daddy" has been linked to President Bush's senior political adviser and deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, who stands accused of revealing the non-existence of Santa (below).

"If this devastating leak, which severely undermines the security of children everywhere and has compromised parent-child relations, came from the highest levels of the White House, that is an outrage," said former Bush counterterrorism adviser and outspoken Bush Administration critic Richard Clarke.

The identity of the mythical holiday gift-giver, previously known only in grown-up circles, was published in the popular Timbertoes cartoon in the December issue of Highlights For Children. Jean Abrams, a conservative firebrand known to have close ties to Bush appointees in the Department of Education, revealed "Santa" to be a code name for anonymous parental gift-giving.

Abrams and several other children's-magazine journalists, including Ranger Rick's Kristin Brittany and Cricket managing editor Shaina Belowitz, have testified before a federal grand jury on the source of the leak. Sources say that Randall Polk, Washington bureau chief for Weekly Reader, named Rove after serving eight days in jail for refusing to divulge his sources.

Federal investigators began to suspect a White House connection to the Santa leak when Abrams wrote in Timbertoes that the character of Pa had some "devastating information" on "very high authority."

"Did you know that Santa Claus is really just your mommy and daddy?" Pa's dialogue read. "It's true. Sometimes parents tell little white lies to their children to make them feel special."

Clarke criticized the leak as "foolhardy," saying it was "the kind of conduct you would expect from dangerous zealots who routinely confuse short-term political gain with the national interest."

"This leak compromises generations of undercover work on the part of U.S. parents," Clarke said. "Consider all the covers that will be blown, all the secret gift-hiding places that will be exposed."

The motivations behind the leak remain unclear, but some political observers have characterized it as a calculated act of retribution against Fairfax, VA second-grader Madison Harris. Harris, 7, wore an antiwar T-shirt to her elementary school during a Nov. 2 visit by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

"The shirt, decorated with doves and the word 'peace,' angered White House ideologues, who felt that Harris had undermined a tightly orchestrated visit," independent political media watchdog Ellen Applebee said. "An aggressive attempt to hit Harris where she lived was set in motion."

On Nov. 3, Rove told reporters, "People shouldn't take too seriously the opinions of someone who still thinks a fat man slides down the chimney into her living room every December 25."

On Nov. 6, he told several aides, "I don't consider it precocious to wear peace T-shirts and, from what I hear, read Highlights."

Applebee cited these comments as evidence of "Rove's deliberate campaign against Harris."
During that same week, Rove is also believed to have placed calls to several of the children's-magazine journalists who were later called before the grand jury.

If Rove is responsible for leaking Santa's identity to the world's children, it would not be his first political "dirty trick." In 1988, he was fired from George H. W. Bush's presidential campaign for sending an unsigned letter to the young daughter of a Dukakis campaign adviser. In the letter, he revealed the sad ending of the film Old Yeller.

On Capitol Hill, many say they believe that the damage has already been done. Clarke cited the absence of Santas from several department stores across the country as possible evidence that their compromised identities fatally damaged their credibility.

"I don't envy parents of young children right now," Clarke said. "Trust has been shattered. I wouldn't be surprised if some moms and dads are forced into hiding."

[I received this in an e-mail and have no idea where it originated. Please let me know if you have any information about the original source]

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Office Christmas Party

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 4th
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...please feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if the Managing Director shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time;however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! The Managing Director will make a special announcement at the party.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 5th
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday,which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. From now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party". The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians.

There will be no Christmas tree or Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 6th
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore!!!!

How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

Forget about the gift exchange. No gift exchange allowed now since the Union Officials feel that $10.00 is too much money and Management believes $10.00 is a little cheap. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 7th
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party!

Seriously,we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs, perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - or else package everything up for you to take home in a little foil doggy bag.

Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restroom, gays are allowed to sit with each other, lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangements for the gay men's table too.

To the person asking permission to cross dress - no cross dressing allowed.

We will have booster seats for short people. Low fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food. We suggest those people with high blood pressure taste the food first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts.


Did I miss anything?!?!?!?!?


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All $#%$#@@#$&* Employees
DATE: November 8th
RE: The #$%@#$@!%$# Holiday Party

Vegetarians, I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not. So, you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death"as you so quaintly put it.

You'll get your #%#@$#@#$ salad bar, including organic tomatoes, but you know tomatoes have feelings too!! They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'M HEARING THEM SCREAM RIGHT NOW!!

Hope you all have a rotten holiday. Go drink, drive and die!!

The $%#%$@*&^$%# !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!_________________________________________________________________

FROM: John Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: November 9th
RE: Pauline Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pauline Lewis a speedy recovery, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Cindy Sheehan victimized by right-wing media!

Cindy Sheehan, media darling of the “anti-war” movement, is now complaining that she is being unfairly treated by the media.

Sheehan, already exposed as dishonest (“all I want is a meeting” – which of course she’d already had) and a raving anti-semitic (yes, she really said those things, even if the NY Times won’t print it), now reveals just how self-absorbed and self-important her self-centered “movement” is. Editor and Publisher reports that Cindy is upset that the media portrayed her book signing and anti-war rally, attended by maybe 100 people, as a flop:

NEW YORK Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and her book publisher are upset about Associated Press and Reuters photos that allegedly presented a misleading impression of her book signing last weekend in Texas.

Well, no, Cindy, “misleading” is when you imply that your son Casey was “a boy” considering “the priesthood” who was taken advantage of by big bad recruiters who misled him. Casey Sheehan was in fact a twenty-four year old man who made a man’s decision to reenlist while there was a war going on. He made another man’s decision to volunteer for the rescue mission on which he was killed. And Casey Sheehan persisted in that decision to volunteer after reminded that his classification as a mechanic’s helper made him exempt.

Cindy’s apparent inability to distinguish fact from fiction allows her to believe that a rally and book signing attended by 100 people or fewer is a big event. And her peculiar view of reality seems to have rubbed off on the publisher, who thinks the event was a “huge success”

The Washington Post, which carried Evan Vucci's AP photo, noted that at a protest the same day Sheehan had addressed a crowd of only about 100. “In the morning,” the Post observed, “Sheehan signed copies of her new book, being published this week, for an even smaller crowd,” although it cited bad weather as a possible factor.

But in a statement today, Sheehan accused “right-wing” sites of “spreading a false story that nobody bought my book at Camp Casey on Saturday. That is not true, I sold all 100 copies and got writer's cramp signing them. Photos were taken of me before the people got in line to have me sign the book. We made $2000 for the peace house.”

Her publisher, Arnie Kotler at Koa Books, meanwhile released a letter to her supporters, charging that “AP and Reuters posted photos - I can't imagine why - of Cindy sitting at the book table between signings, rather than while someone was at the table. And now the smear websites are circulating an article, with these photos, that Cindy gave a signing and nobody came. It's simply not true…. the benefit books signing in Crawford, Texas on November 26, 2005 was well attended and a huge success.”

AP photographer Evan Vucci responded that he was at the book signing from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., that at the time the pictures were taken, about five people had been in, and a few small groups continued to arrive later.

[also posted at GeoBandy]