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Thursday, July 21, 2005

When cupcakes won't do. I remember in elementary school having elections for Student Council. Kids would make posters to hang up in the halls with carefully crafted, focus-group informed slogans like "Vote For Me." Nobody ever had a platform, like, "Working to stop the bullies" or "More ice cream, more naps, less homework." Not even any good push-polling, such as, "How would it affect your vote if you knew that Brian Madsen had the cooties?" I think the idea was simply to teach kids about the concepts of democracy and civic responsibility. Or something equally foolish.

On election day, kids would go around and hand out the construction paper equivalent of campaign buttons. But there always seemed to be at least one person to come around with cupcakes, and the possibility of more cupcakes. Because whether it's a cupcake or a $300 tax rebate, the masses love that shit.

But what do you do when you have an election in a country that you just bombed the hell out of, have pushed to the brink of civil war, and are facing the possibility of having a new, unfriendly, non-secular government voted into power? Cupcakes simply won't do.

Seymour Hersh reported this week that the U.S. approved and went ahead with plans to covertly influence the Iraqi elections despite objections from Congress. So what does National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones have to say about this?
In the final analysis, the president determined and the United States government adopted a policy that we would not try to influence the outcome of the Iraqi election by covertly helping individual candidates for office.
Very well. Interesting choice of words. But let's further investigate. What does Scotty McMuffin have to say?
And in the final analysis, the president made the decision that our policy would be not to try to influence the outcome of the election by covertly helping individual candidates for office.
Note what each of them says about providing covert aid. They decided against helping "individuals." So the obvious follow-up would be, what about covert aid for parties?

Given Scotty's history of, how do you say, LYING, and the White House's careful parsing of words regarding L'affaire Plame, I would not trust Scotty further than I could throw him. And he looks to have put on a few pounds lately.

(End Note: I was elected Treasurer for the grade K-3 branch of the student council in 2nd grade. In 5th grade, I ran for Chaplain (wtf?) and lost. And I was a room representative in 6th grade until I was forced to resign after allegations of influence peddling involving the selection of kickball teams.)

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