Bush, Bolton, Delay and Phillip Cooney
Next for the displaced blame and arrogance department is the Bush administration's continued refusal to provide the Senate with the documents it's requested about UN Ambassador nominee John Bolton's controversial work activities. In question are his verbal attacks on the UN; his harsh treatment of State Department subordinates (that is, of course, if you believe chasing a woman around a Russian hotel screaming and throwing things at her "harsh"); and his requests for the names of U.S. officials whose communications were picked up by the secret National Security Agency. The stalemate has all but doomed Bolton's nomination, according to several key Democrats. One major problem for Bush is Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who's previously supported the cloture vote on Bolton. Pryor now says he may abandon the Republicans, which would dig an even deeper hole for them. So, instead of providing the Senate with the info, after which the Dem's said Bolton could be quickly confirmed, the Bushies are standing firm like a bunch of spoiled five-year-olds. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), a leading opponent of Bolton, said the info in question has been viewed by many in the executive branch, and that the administration is disrespecting the Senate by not providing it to them as well. "They're filibustering their own nominee," Dodd said. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the chamber's second-ranking Democrat, added: "Clearly, there is something in those documents which is so damaging to Bolton, they don't want to release it."
Now, if the above wasn't enough arrogance and displaced blame for ya, how about our favorite poster-child for unethical behavior, embattled House leader Tom Delay (R-TX)? Delay now claims the current Ethics Committee stalemate is caused not by chairman Doc Hastings' (R-WA) insistence on breaking house rules by appointing his personal (and therefore highly partisan) assistant to Staff Director of the committee (a position that would ultimately oversee the impending investigation of Delay's alleged ethics transgressions). To the contrary, says Delay, it's the Democrats' calculated strategy to stall the investigation to coincide with the mid-term elections next year. Yawn.
Lastly, good things come to those who wait, I guess. Philip A. Cooney, Bush's former Chief of Staff of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, who repeatedly altered government reports linking greenhouse gases and global warming, quietly "resigned" late last Friday night when the news media is practically asleep and gone for the weekend...saving the administration further embarrassment over the growing fallout from this controversy. Cooney, a former lawyer and lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the main lobbying group of the oil industry, was immediately rewarded with a cushy new job by Exxon Mobil, the company that fought long and hard against legislation to protect the environment. What a surprise. Andy