Heartbroken Bush Runs After Departing Rove's Car
August 31, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC—A confused President Bush broke free from the restraint of Secret Service agents this morning and ran in pursuit of departing deputy chief of staff Karl Rove's car for several blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue before being outdistanced by the vehicle.
Bush sits in disbelief as his longtime buddy disappears forever and ever and ever.
"Why can't I go with him?" Bush tearfully asked advisers as the longtime Republican strategist's sedan disappeared over the horizon. "When is he coming back?"
White House staff were deeply moved by the scene, saying that despite their best efforts, no one was able to explain to the president that he would no longer be able to remain at his chief adviser's side. Onlookers were clearly choked up as a tearful Rove, trying to close the car door behind him, told Bush in a stern, commanding tone to back away.
"Go on…you hear me? Get out of here, I say!" Rove said. "I don't love you anymore, understand? Now get! Get!"
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice witnessed the emotionally charged moment. "We knew that deep down [Rove] still cared, that he was only pretending to be mad at the president," she said. "But he had no choice. Leaving was the only way to avoid the ongoing Congressional inquiries."
Rove reportedly tried to prepare Bush for this inevitability in late July by taking him on a special fishing trip so they could spend some quality time together and he could also give Bush a brief rundown on how the presidency works. Rove said he "didn't have the heart" to break the news to the president, who fell asleep in their rowboat with the fishing pole still in his hands. On his last day, nearly two weeks later, Rove spent the whole morning with Bush before the tear-jerking exit, ruffling his hair, telling him to "be brave" and "listen to Cheney," and explaining that he was going to have to be "the man of the White House now."
Rove was finally able to leave the White House, despite Bush's heartrending stalling tactics.
Though Rove's resignation had been imminent for weeks, Bush appeared oblivious to the situation, which is evident in photos of him smiling as if nothing were wrong until the moment he discovered several suitcases near one of the West Wing's back-door exits. According to high-level administration sources, Bush asked Rove, "Where are we going?"
While sneaking the departing official out to a waiting town car, Secret Service agents were briefly able to deceive Bush by telling him Rove was just running down to the cellar to get him some ice cream. But when Bush heard the car's engine start in the driveway, he burst outside to stop Rove.
"I'll never forget the sight of the president, watching Rove's face in the back window becoming smaller and smaller as the car pulled away forever," Rice said.
The president continued to ask about his former adviser throughout the day, often clutching Rove's day planner, dialing his extension, and blinking uncomprehendingly when told that Rove was never coming back.
White House press secretary Tony Snow was finally called in to attempt to convey the reality of the situation to the president, but he was unable to do so.
"He kept looking up at me with those wide, innocent eyes, and I didn't know what to say," Snow told reporters. "Maybe someday when he's older, he'll understand how the public lost trust in his big buddy after a series of crucial political missteps, and how firing those attorneys and the..."
At this point in the briefing Snow fell silent, overcome with emotion, and moving many in the press room to tears.
White House officials say they would like to give President Bush more time to process the loss before pressuring him to appoint a new deputy chief of staff, since he does not yet appear ready to confront the concept of a "new Rove."
Bob and I were talking about money the other day. This is what he had to say:
"Money is like divinity. You can't see it, but you have to believe it's there, and that one day you'll be graced by its presence."
Never have I heard a statement more true.
After a long grueling night of Photoshop (thank god for automated batch jobs) and Java uploads, all 280 or so photos are online!
Okay, here's a real post. ^_^
As much as I would like to puncuate this post with various photos of our exciting adventures in Boston, I have yet to retreive the 280+ photos from my camera. That is going to take a loooong time and I haven't quite managed to bring myself to do it yet.
Little sis Caroline and I departed for Boston on the 9th. We stayed with our absolutely fantastic relatives Aunt Karen and Uncle Don (and three Maine Coone cats... Annabelle, Gussie, and Sadie) who own a lovely house in Boston. We stayed in their large, picturesque guest bedroom which featured amenities such as two beds, an air conditioner, and a private bathroom. Heaven! Especially that air conditioner, let me tell you!
Thursday: This was the day we arrived, and we didn't really do anything. Ate dinner, went to bed.
Friday: Recovery day. Caroline and I ended up going with our cousin Jared and his friend Anne to see The Bourne Ultimatum in the theater that evening, then after we dropped Caroline off at "home" I went with Jared and Anne to a bar and had a few... certainly not more than a few... drinks to celebrate my arrival to the east coast.
Saturday: Caroline and I went with Aunt K and Uncle D on a "duck" tour of Boston. Ducks, in case you are one of the unenlightened, are World War II era amphibious landing vehicles which have been converted to serve as tourist attractions for a quick guided tour of the city, which includes a trip into the Charles River. Amphibious, remember? ^_^ Aside from the horrendous lack of leg room (once again proof that tall people are discriminated against) the tour was uber touristy but way fun. I have some fantastic photos... still on my camera. It was a blast going from the road to the river.
Sunday: I went with Jared and his new girlfriend Tunisha (absolutely no idea if I spelled her name correctly) to an Irish festival in Canton, right outside of Boston. We arrived at about three in the afternoon. Our goal in going to this festival was to see Dropkick Murphys, who were playing at 9:15. I was massively excited. I adore DKM, and to see them in their home city was an amazing opportunity. The entire festival ended up being a blast, and although I missed Tempest (played at 1) I did get to see Enter the Haggis - great band, and a fantastic surprise, I had no idea they would be playing! Dropkick was awesome, of course. I was in the mosh pit for the entire two hours that they played, reminding me why I lugged my steel toed boots along for the trip. It was a long day, but totally worth it.
Monday: This was the day that we planned to figure out the public transportation system and take ourselves to Harvard to see the Harvard Museum of Natural History. We had debated about whether or not it was worth it, but in the end we decided that it was. And it was great! Harvard Yard (which henceforth I must pronounce "Hah-vahd Yahd," or my aunt might kill me) was beautiful and worth seeing all by itself (once again, photos to come). And the natural history museum had an absolutely astonishing collection of glass flowers which were so delicate, inctricate, and realistic that you couldn't even believe they were glass. The other highlight of the HMNH were the dinosaur bones. Having never seen real dinosaur bones, and having once when I was very little had an interest in becoming a paleontologist, I was very excited for this part. The triceratops skull alone was worth the trip!
After the museum our cousin Josh picked us up and took us on another tour of the city, taking us through areas such as Beacon Hill, Newbury St, Back Bay, etc. Then we went back to Josh and Jared's place for dinner, movies, and games. I wish we had a bit more time to explore Harvard (Hahvahd) Square - that would have been awesome.
Tuesday: Two more museums today - the Musuem of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The MFA was HUGE - almost too huge. Getting through all of it became more of a chore than a pleasure, towards the end. And they're constructing a whole new wing! If we had more time in Boston, it would have been nice to thoroughly explore the first floor of the MFA, then wait a day and come back for the second floor. It was still amazing - seeing all the ancient Egyptian, ancient Roman, and ancient Greek artifacts, sculptures, and sarcophogi was absolutely amazing. The Asian wings were stunning, too - and all the buddhist and hindu sculpture was beautiful and awe-inspiring. One of my favorite parts of the whole museum were the rooms that were modeled after an ancient Chinese home.
After a while my brain started to go numb - it got harder to appreciate these amazing things we were seeing. I think the final straw was when Caroline and I were on the second floor and walked into a room that every inch of wall space had been covered by paintings. The "Eighteenth Century Masters" room was overwhelming in the worst way, leaving brains already tired from assimilating everything on the first floor staggered and unable to appreciate the glory and beauty that each of these paintings contained.
Time to go!
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was a refreshing change. I was a little worried that after the MFA I would be completely uninterested in another museum, but I shouldn't have stressed. For one thing, Isabella Stewart Gardner herself was such an interesting person that her museum is bound to catch and hold interest. As soon as we walked into the museum (modeled after a Venetian palace), we were greeted with a cool, quiet, sparsely populated atmosphere, much more pleasurable than the hot crowds in the MFA. We had lunch on the museum patio cafe overlooking the gardens, then ventured further into the museum, three floors constructed around a stunningly beautiful garden courtyard, filled with flowers, fountains, mosaic, and sculpture. Visitors are prevented from entering the courtyard, so whenever you are drawn to a balcony or bench to view the garden you're struck by the peaceful, tranquil, uncluttered, uncrowded, beauty. As stipulated in her will, Gardner's collection is still arranged just as she left it. Much of her collection is unlabeled - from the museum website, "Although Mrs. Gardner arranged some of the galleries by period, much of the collection is displayed in more personal, visually stimulating ways that mix objects from different cultures and periods. To encourage visitors to respond directly to the visual qualities of the works themselves, she left most of the objects unlabeled. Many of today’s visitors enjoy the personal aesthetic contemplation this affords, while others prefer to explore the galleries with an audio tour."
All in all the Gardner museum was striking and fascinating experience.
Caroline and I decided that since we probably wouldn't get another chance to explore the city, we needed to go out and ignore our aching feet. We hopped on the T (public transportation rocks in Boston!) and jumped off at the Boston Commons, a lovely (and enormous) park. Right across the road were the Boston Public Gardens, in which reside the famous tourist attraction swan boats! We spent a bit of time on Newbury St, then decided to go to the Prudential Center. After some confusion (yes, I did lead us in the wrong direction) we finally made it, purchased t-shirts and keychains, then hopped back off the T to return to Aunt K and Uncle D's house.
Wednesday: Another long day ahead of us! Josh and his long term girlfriend Amanda took Caroline and I on a 14 hour day trip to Cape Cod. We started off in Chatham, where the infamous flick Jaws was filmed. Incidentally, there is currently a great white shark in the waters off the gorgeous, sandy Chatham beach! After spending some time wading in the warm waters and enjoying the sand, we headed back to the car and continued to Provincetown. What a cool place! For those readers who live near me, I can describe it as a much bigger, happier, gay Port Townsend. Otherwise I would describe it as a riotous, colorful, cheerful, small town. It was massively crowded, but somehow even though I despise crowds, I didn't mind being surrounded by people here. I absolutely loved how liberal it was - rainbow colored flags hanging over the streets on off of buildings, child sized t-shirts in the windows with such slogans as "I Love My Two Mommies" and "I Love My Two Daddies"... I would adore living in a place like that. The town is chock full of fun and interesting stores, galleries, and restaurants - you could spend days in that town.
We had dinner in Plymouth, home of the Mayflower (which is very cool) and a small rock with 1620 carved into the side. No, it's not the rock, that rock doesn't really exist. I'm sure many a tourist has been disappointed to venture into the huge open monument constructed to house the rock, then looked down into the pit to discover that said little piece of stone sitting in the sand. Dinner was awesome, however, and after that we were profoundly grateful to be returned home to our beds.
Thursday: Although there had been another day trip planned for Thursday, we collectively decided to call it off. Caroline and I were exhausted and in no shape for another long trip. Instead we passed a relaxing day doing nothing, getting ice cream from "The Bubbling Brook", driving around looking at houses, and finally retiring to the den to watch Deja Vu, then off to bed.
Friday: The day of our departure was both disappointing and happy - it was sad to be leaving Boston and our wonderful family members after what felt like such a short time, but at the same time it was exciting to think about getting home. We arrived at the airport at about 3:30PM, had no trouble getting through security and onto our plane. As soon as all passengers had boarded, however, the captain announced that we had been grounded by bad weather in Atlanta. This was immediately cause for great concern, since Caroline and I had under an hour in Atlanta before our connecting flight to Seattle. They refused to let us off the plane, and two hours after we were supposed to take off, we finally taxied out. When we arrived in Atlanta at about 11PM our flight to Seattle (which had also been delayed) had been gone for a mere twenty or so minutes.
At the Delta information counter we were handed a receipt that said "gee, sorry about your interrupted travel, the next flight you can be on is the 9:57. In the morning." The Delta rep at the counter didn't seem to be able to tell us angry and confused girls anything else regarding our predicament. At another information counter, a vaguely sympathetic Delta rep said "Delta won't put you up because the delay was weather related. You have nowhere to go? Sucks to be you. Enjoy spending the night in the airport." Near the point of tears, frustrated, and angry, I finally found a Delta rep with a soul.
The woman was obviously tired and about to go home. Carring her shoes in one hand and her purse in the other, she had stopped at an information counter to help another woman who had also been stranded in Atlanta. I was hesitant to approach the counter because I didn't want her to be stuck at work any longer than she had to be, but I ended up going up anyway. I handed her the receipt and new itinerary we had been given, and told her I had no idea what to do with these pieces of paper. Instantly she got to work, smiling wearily. She told me that we were confirmed on the 9:57, but what she was putting us on high priority standby for the 8:30. She patiently answered my silly questions about how standby worked, and assured me that my sister and I would not be separated. Before I knew it she handed me two sets of boarding passes - one confirmed for the 9:57, and and the other seat requests for the 8:30. Then she set off on a quest to find us blankets which took her a good fifteen minutes. Caroline and I thanked her profusely, but soon she was back again with four bottles of water, two for each of us.
I am profoundly grateful for this woman. Just knowing there was someone who seemed like she really cared about what had happened to us made the whole ordeal seem less frustrating and more bearable. I wish I had gotten her name so I could send an email to the company or something. I wish I had thought of that so she could have gotten some recognition for her kindness.
Saturday: Lo and behold, after a mostly sleepless night in the Atlanta airport we made it onto the 8:30AM flight. By 11ish we were met in Seattle by Bob, and by 1:30 I was home. Finally. =)
This is my first blog entry since I have returned from my eight-day-long vacation to Boston.
Am I going to write about the three beautiful museums I was fortunate enough to visit? No.
Am I going to write about gorgeous Cape Cod and adventures in Provincetown? Nah.
What about the ordeal at the Atlanta airport? Of course not.
Kristin posted several quiz results, and I immediately decided that I absolutely had to know what my answers would be. So, yep - this is a quiz result post! ^_^
|You Are Cheesecake|
Rich, sweet, and simply perfect.
You're not boring - you're just the best!
|You Are 60% Gentleman|
Generally you act like a gentleman, but sometimes you're careless with your manners.
Most people know that you're trying your best - and that's usually good enough.
Ooh, yowch.... only 60%....
|Your Vampire Name Is...|
Hell yes it is!
|You Are Greg Brady|
Outta sight! Suave and all American, you tend to be clean cut and upstanding.
You're friendly with most people and a huge flirt (sometimes even with family members!).
|Your Heart Is Blue|
Love is a doing word for you. You know it's love when you treat each other well.
You are a giving lover, but you don't give too much. You expect something in return.
Your flirting style: Friendly
Your lucky first date: Lunch at an outdoor cafe
Your dream lover: Is both generous and selfish
What you bring to relationships: Loyalty
I've gone back to Fotopic.net (a photo hosting service in the UK) to create a space to build online photo galleries for all the photos I've been taking recently. I had my online art gallery hosted there for a very long time... I stripped most of the art off of the site in a fit of "I Suck", and the few sketches that are still there are veeeeerrrry old.
But, out with the old and in with the new! I have a couple photo collections posted right now from July 25th and July 27th, both days featuring Handful of Luvin concerts. ^_^
Fotopic is going to be great when I get back from Boston and have masses of photos to show everyone! ^_^
Anyway, check it out! http://photoalbums.fotopic.net/
In a town called Surf City, New Jersey a $71 million dollar beach replenishment project occured in March. During this replenishment project, the United States military took sand from an offshore site and brought it on down to Surf City. The fact that there are World War 1 era explosives all throughout this sand is quickly discovered. And the U.S. military scratches it's collective head and says, "oh yeah, I guess we did use that sand as a dumping ground for our bombs a few decades ago."
So I was perusing the headlines today and I came across an article called "Arkansas Couple Welcomes 17th Child". I had the same reaction that I usually have when I see something referencing people having unusually large numbers of children: Come on... was that really necessary?
People don't generally think of the U.S. as having an overpopulation problem, but guess what? It does. The U.S. is the only major industrialized country still growing. Between 1990 and 2000 we grew by 13% and that's a lot. Just because it's said that the entire population of the world could fit in Texas (I'm skeptical of that, by the way) doesn't mean anything. Obviously we need more than just a space to set up camp. Natural resources are going down the tubes at insane rates, and that's not a good thing.
We have about 292 million Americans. According to the Negative Population Growth organization's FAQ, there should only be 150 to 200 million. This number was arrived at by surveying scientists for over 30 years, so this isn't just some random number they pulled out of their hats.
Check out the Negative Population Growth organization - very interesting.
Anyway, when you're considering overpopulation (as far as resource consumpion goes) as the large problem that it is, reading about some family having seventeen children and already talking about having more is sickening. It's completely irresponsible. So thanks a lot for doing your part to add to our overpopulation problems. Honestly I think maybe we should start taking a look at China. We need to find some way to limit family size. This is ridiculous.
Okay, I don't actually think that we should take population control tips from China. I'm just frustrated.
Here's a couple "fun facts" about this family in Arkansas that the article mentioned:
They've gone through approximately 90,000 diapers. Hmm... think about 90,000 dirty diapers. That's a lot of waste. Something tells me they use disposable.
Their home is 7,000 sq. ft. Engery hog!!!!!!
The family does approximately 200 loads of laundry every month. Thats a lot of water to waste.
Just think about that. A family with seventeen children. Think about everything else that they use in huge quantities. Think about the garbage they must generate.
Oh, one more thing (pet peeve coming up): the article mentions that all the children are homeschooled. And you know that those have got to be the weird homeschooled kids that make formerly homeschooled people like me embarrassed when I have admit to where I received my early education.
Italy is paying women to have babies. Let's give these people Italian citizenships so they can bump up Italy's population, not ours.
I found a fantastic article from 2005, when the 16th kid was born:
God Does Not Want 16 Kids
Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply should you cringe?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that's right 16 kids and try not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?
And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband -- whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he's hankerin' to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in sociopolitical pain when you say that -- isn't more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by "touching" and races right past "disturbing" and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?"
But that would be, you know, mean. Mean and callous to suggest that this might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarre Duggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded.
It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?
Is it wrong to notice how all the Duggar kids' names start with the letter J (Jeremiah and Josiah and Jedediah and Jesus, someone please stop them), and that if you study the above photo (or the even more disturbing family Web site) too closely you will become rashy and depressed and you will crave large quantities of alcohol and loud aggressive music to deflect the creeping feeling that this planet is devolving faster than you can suck the contents from a large bong? But I'm not judging.
I have a friend who used to co-babysit (yes, it required two sitters) for a family of 10 kids, and she reports that they were, almost without fail, manic and hyper and bewildered and attention deprived in the worst way, half of them addicted to prescription meds to calm their neglected nerves and the other half bound for years of therapy due to complete loss of having the slightest clue as to who they actually were, lost in the family crowd, just another blank, needy face at the table. Is this the guaranteed affliction for every child of very large families? Of course not. But I'm guessing it's more common than you imagine.
What's more, after the 10th kid popped out, the family doctor essentially prohibited the baby-addicted mother from having any more offspring, considering the pummeling endured by her various matronly systems, and it's actually painful to imagine the logistics, the toll on Michelle Duggar's body, the ravages it has endured to give birth to roughly one child per year for nearly two decades, and you cannot help but wonder about her body and its various biological and sexual ... no, no, it is not for this space to visualize frighteningly capacious vaginal dimensions. It is not for this space to imagine this couple's soggy sexual mutations. We do not have enough wine on hand for that.
Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?
Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar's squad of über-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain't lookin' good.
Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?
Why does this sort of thoughtfulness seem so far from the norm? Why is having a stadiumful of offspring still seen as some sort of happy joyous thing?
You already know why. It is the Biggest Reason of All. Children are, after all, God's little gifts. Kids are little blessings from the Lord, the Almighty's own screaming spitballs of joy. Hell, Jim Bob said so himself, when asked if the couple would soon be going for a 17th rug rat: "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them." This is what he actually said. And God did not strike him dead on the spot.
Let us be clear: I don't care what sort of God you believe in, it's a safe bet that hysterical breeding does not top her list of desirables. God does not want more children per acre than there are ants or mice or garter snakes or repressed pedophilic priests. We already have three billion humans on the planet who subsist on less than two dollars a day. Every other child in the world (one billion of them) lives in abject poverty. We are burning through the planet's resources faster than a Republican can eat an endangered caribou stew. Note to Michelle Duggar: If God wanted you to have a massive pile of children, she'd have given your uterus a hydraulic pump and a revolving door. Stop it now.
Ah, but this is America, yes? People should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want with their families if they can afford it and if it's within the law and so long as they aren't gay or deviant or happily flouting Good Christian Values, right? Shouldn't they? Hell, gay couples still can't openly adopt a baby in most states (they either lie, or one adopts and the other must apply as "co-parent"), but Michelle Duggar can pop out 16 kids and no one says, oh my freaking God, stop it, stop it now, you thoughtless, selfish, baby-drunk people.
No, no one says that. That would be mean.
Anyway, when I talked to Andrew and found out when they were playing Bainbridge, I decided it would be fun to get a few people together and go see them. So I grabbed my "big brother" Nils and went off to the show. Bob had to work, but promised to join us afterwards for a drunk - I mean drink - at the Harbor Public House, a.k.a. the Bainbridge pub. ^_^
There was a wide clear space in front of the stage, as though no one had really wanted to get too close, and it was in this area where small children took the opportunity to dance. They were joined later by adults, but for at least half the show it was just the kids. I don't go to many concerts that are "child friendly", and it was kind of nice to be in this relaxed, community environment with great live music.