I Need More Than This

I am going to start this post by stating that I think President Bush is understating his relationship with Jack Abramoff. I do not think they are bosom buddies, but I do think he knows who is he is and could pick him out of a lineup. In other words, their relationship is somewhere in between “I just shook his hand at an event” and the kind of relationship that takes the Daily Kos and Nation readers to their collective special places, with dreams of sugar plums and impeachment. But if this is the best photographic evidence that can be found, color me underwhelmed:

Now I know that this has been a sort of the Rapture (v. 2.0, secular edition) for Think Progress and others, but if this is the best they can come up with, I am not impressed. Next time you are at an office party, look around the room and see who is taking pictures. If one of those folks in the room turns out to be a criminal later, that picture could be used against you.

*** Update ***

Let’s put it this way, since the dim bulbs are out in force and can not seem to grasp my point. Another visual aid might help.

Photo removed for copyright reasons. The photographer, Leif Skoogfors, notified me in October 2011 that it was a copyright infringement.

See! John Kerry and Jane FONDA ARE BEST FRIENDS AND PLOTTING TO LOSE THE VIETNAM WAR! How do I know? BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE SAME PICTURE!

*** Update ***

I swear to God I did not read Red State today until just now (17:40). That is just creepy that Dales and I had the same exact thought.






111 replies
  1. 1
    Zifnab says:

    To be fair, I don’t think the picture does the situation justice. It looks like Bush is working the room and he’d be shaking hands with Abramoff in an equally friendly manner very shortly. What’s more, this appears to be shot in a somewhat intimate setting. He’s not just gladhanding a crowd here. These look like friends, or at least major campaign contributers.

  2. 2
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Patince, John. There will be more photos and a whole lot more. We’re still in the first inning here.

    And honestly, The President of the United States shaking hands with a client of Jack Abramoff (seen beaming in the backround) while Karl Rove looks on benevolently isn’t something to be blown off quite so easily. Only raises more questions.

    Can you imagine if instead of George W. Bush it was Harry Reid or Ted Kennedy?

    The political network shows’d be positively on fire this morning.

  3. 3
    EL says:

    I think this has disintegrated into a “nyah-nyah” game.

    The administration refuses to release any of the pictures that are known to exist, going so far as to have them removed from the Reflections web site – Josh Marshall has the story. In response, bloggers are determined to find ANY picture to thumb their nose.

    And the picture raises interesting questions – the Think Progress link says this was an event for state legislators supporting the tax cut plan. So what was a tribal Chief of the Kickapoos doing there? What was Abramoff doing there?

    Like you, I doubt they were buddies, but a think they were political allies, and you can bet Bush knows his allies and the people who raise $100K for him.

  4. 4
    Slide says:

    underwhelmed though you may be, the guy that is smiling like a Cheshire cat and shaking hands with Bush, is one of Abramhoff’s “clients”. What kind of photographic evidence are you looking for? Consentual sodomy?

  5. 5
    Marcus Wellby says:

    Yeah, I was banging my head off the desk when I saw the picture posted everywhere — and I mean EVERYWHERE — as if it were a smoking gun of sorts. If anything this sort of picture backs-up Bush’s BS about not knowing Abramoff.

  6. 6
    MMM says:

    This is just one piece of a 1000 piece puzzle.

  7. 7
    Marcus Wellby says:

    What kind of photographic evidence are you looking for? Consentual sodomy?

    Yes — as that is the only sort of picture that could possibly get Bush’s base pissed off. Though, rather than being pissed they may just suddenly become pro-gay.

  8. 8
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Now I know that this has been a sort of the Rapture (v. 2.0, secular edition) for Think Progress and others, but if this is the best they can come up with, I am not impressed.

    It’s the best they can come up with because the White House WON’T release the other photos. So basically the Democrats are at fault because the White House is doing an effective job of covering up.

    And surely the president’sflaks wouldn’t be smart enough to release ONE photo with Abramoff a tiny dot in the background to imply all the other photos are like this one.

    Surely no one (John Cole) would be that gullible.

    Again.

  9. 9
    Rob says:

    This is not a trick question, I really don’t know the answer. How many pioneers are there?

    IMHO I think it is inconceivable that Bush doesn’t know fairly well all the pioneers. So it is stupid of him to claim otherwise. Why not tell the truth, I don’t think the truth told at the beginning of this would have hurt him one bit.

    Marcus Wellby:

    Though, rather than being pissed they may just suddenly become pro-gay.

    that really is funny, I can almost see that happening.

  10. 10
    Matt says:

    Bush has no problem lying about his relationship with Abramoff, a Bush Pioneer, but please trust the White House that the other pictures they’re withholding are even less interesting.

  11. 11
    Slide says:

    Why not tell the truth

    the truth, like English, is a foreign language to the Liar-in-chief

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    What kind of photographic evidence are you looking for? Consentual sodomy?

    Evidence of what?

    I already said I think he is not being straightforward about his relationship with Abramoff.

    Do you guys even read what I write? Or do you just react?

  13. 13
    Alabama Fred says:

    This will really get interesting when they release the photos that have Harry Reid and two of Abramoff’s Indian clients in bed together….and they apparently aren’t just smoking the peace pipe together.

  14. 14
    Gray says:

    John, there’s a reason why “this is the best photographic evidence that can be found”. The tresident of the company who’s got the contract in making those pictures is a republican and a Bush follower. Company president Joanne Amos confirmed to Jodh Marshall that she voluntarily deleted all Abramoff pictures on her own intitiative. like EL already stated, the story is here: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....php#007536

    The only sources that are left are people that got these pictures before. This will most certainly be the folks on the pictures. Abramoff got his pictures, of course, but the won’t publish them. The picture in Times is from Raul Garza, the chairman of the Kickapoo tribe, who insisted on a black-and white publishing of the picture, as you sure have read.

    So don’t blame the opposition on the lack of pictures. Put the blame on those Bush followers who desperately want to discourage public discussion on the issue. And instead of critizising the quality of the picture you should focus on the question what Abramoff and his client were doing at a WH meeting of lawmakers in the first place.

  15. 15
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Do you guys even read what I write?

    We read what you write, but you write it in often an ambivelant manner.

    As a writer [http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1175] I’ve found that some folks benefit from having an editor clarify their thoughts. I know I do.

    If this many people are misinterpreting what you are saying, perhaps you need to think about how well you are expressing your opinions.

  16. 16
    Gray says:

    John, a general point on “I Need More Than This”:

    Why is there never enough evidence for Bush’s wrongdoings, but misleading, deliberately streamlined statements from Dubya and his cronies are sufficient for declaring war and for cutbacks on freedom and human rights? Are there different standards for the judgement of Bush & co. and the opposition?

  17. 17
    Stormy70 says:

    I see you guys conveniently ignored the info coming out about Reid’s connections with Abernoff. Par for the course.

  18. 18
    ppGaz says:

    Well, John, if you need more, why don’t you post an article asking that the White House release its full gallery of Abramoff photos?

    Time reports unpublished photos show Abramoff and Bush

  19. 19
    Otto Man says:

    I see you guys conveniently ignored the info coming out about Reid’s connections with Abernoff. Par for the course.

    We’re ignoring them because they’re absolute bullshit. The scandal of the Abramoff affair is when he directly money to legislators who then did his bidding. (See Ney, Bob.)

    Tell me, Stormy, what exactly did Harry Reid do in return for the perfectly legal money from Abramoff’s clients? How did he do Abramoff’s bidding? Abramoff was looking to block the Marianas minimum wage increase, and Reid signed on as a co-sponsor of the increase and then voted for the bill. He did exactly the opposite of what Abramoff wanted.

    So, yes, we’re all ignoring it. Because we’re not retarded.

  20. 20
    Digital Amish says:

    Personally, I’m more interested in who Abramoff and his staff was meeting with on their visits to the White House and what the purposes were. At a time, when we’re discussing the breath of the governments’ right to monitor a citizens’ communications and the impending renewal of the PATRIOT Act, to believe you can stonewall the contacts between a man convicted of influence pedlling and the executive branch of the Federal government is beyond the pale — and par for the course with this bunch of arrogant cretins.

  21. 21
    ppGaz says:

    Do you guys even read what I write? Or do you just react?

    Do you say what you really mean?

    Surely no sentient person today would claim that your included photo is “all there is.” So what is the point of the article you wrote, if not to deliberately understate what’s already known, and wait to see the reaction?

    Are you going to do one of these threads for each photo as it is made public? Maybe a thermometer scale thing with a “whelmed” index that goes up with each new photo?

    Be creative, at least.

  22. 22
    Eural says:

    Why is there never enough evidence for Bush’s wrongdoings

    Remember the good old days when it only required months of investigative “fishing”, wildly unconfirmed rumors and speculation and spooge covered dresses to nail home that the “rule of law” had been undermined?

    When was that? Oh, yeah – back when the Republicans actually gave a damn about our Republic.

  23. 23

    Isn’t it obvious? This picture shows a miniature Abramoff head growing out of Bush’s shoulder, which is against all sorts of regulations regarding human cloning and stuff.

  24. 24
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Interesting op-ed piece from The St. Petersburg Times down there Florida way.

    GOP castoffs are spilling the beans

    ‘Brownie is talking to Congress. Scooter is talking to a grand jury, and Jack is talking to reporters. And what they are saying does not exactly follow the White House script on Katrina, the corruption in Washington or the leaking of classified information by White House officials to make the case for going to war against Iraq.’

    http://www.sptimes.com/2006/02.....spil.shtml

    Anybody wondering what pictures Jack Abramoff has in his personal collection? And why is it that those who have gone down so far are not falling upon their swords to protect the Great George?

  25. 25
    ppGaz says:

    John Cole will introduce a new class he’s teaching next year. He’ll explain how the SIZE OF THE HEAD IN A PHOTO is related directly to the importance of the person in the photographed situation. Liberals will claim that it has to do with the camera angle and placement, not the relative siginificance of the subjects.

    Cole will finish the presentation with a dissertation on how “You people are idiots” and then it’s be time for the exam.

  26. 26
    ppGaz says:

    * it’ll be *

  27. 27
    ppGaz says:

    Blog scoops MSM — discovers that Jack Abramoff is actually a tiny little man with a HEAD THE SIZE OF A MANGO.

    All props to John for getting this story and revealing the truth about the tiny lobbyist!

  28. 28
    Gray says:

    “Next time you are at an office party, look around the room and see who is taking pictures.”
    Hehe, I guess that’s what Abramoff did. He saw the photographer and immediately thought: ” Oops, photograph, possible evidence of bribing lawmakers into inserting injun pork into tax cuts bill. Better hide behind Dubyas shoulder. Hehe, I’m such a smart guy, they’ll never frame me.” With a bright grin at that thought, he slid out of sight. At that very same moment, Bush turned towards Abramoff’s client and “Click!”. Bad luck.

  29. 29
    Veeshir says:

    This is pretty sad. Time is just phoning it in these days.

    So they have three pictures from a meeting between tribal people and Bush.
    They title one picture with this
    At the 2001 meeting with Abramoff, Bush greets tribal chairman Garza

    Except that the meeting was obviously not with Abramoff but with tribal representatives. The focus of each of their pictures is obviously Garza. Quoth Time including Garza and another Indian tribal leader who was Abramoff’s client. Perhaps his client invited him to the meeting with the President? Maybe Abramoff asked for the invite to bolster his credentials? Maybe Abramoff met Garza at that meeting and that’s how he became a client? We’ll never know the answer to any of those questions because Time won’t ask them.

    What does Time have?

    One picture of Abramoff doing his “Where’s Waldo” imitation.
    A few paraphrased near-quotes from some anonymous friends of Abramoff. And we all know how reliable anonymous quotes are in magazines such as Time and Newsweek.
    My favorite anonymous near-quote? Glad you asked,
    and even received an invitation to the President’s Crawford, Texas ranch along with other large political donors.. Notice that he “received an invitation” and didn’t mention actually going. The guy’s a lobbyist. How much do you think pictures of him at Bush’s ranch would be worth to him? I bet you could add a zero to every check he receives if people think he has that kind of access to the President. Why didn’t he go? Too busy? I bet he was washing his hair that weekend.
    So from these ‘facts’ we can therefore deduce that Bush took billions of dollars from Abramoff to uhhhhhhhhh… something.

    I figure Abramoff wanted Bush to invade Iraq in order to kill off large numbers of our fighters so his American Indian clients could conquer their ancestral lands while the bulk of our military is overseas bogged down in a quagmire or dead.

    Bush is blessed with incompetent enemies.

  30. 30
    ppGaz says:

    Bush is blessed with incompetent enemies.

    Luckily, his friends aren’t the sharpest tools in the box, either.

    He just seems to attract ineptitude from every direction.

    Which explains his rise to the top of the GOP, I guess.

  31. 31
    Ancient Purple says:

    The problem is, John, that lying toadie White House spokesman Scott McClellan had been saying all along that Abramoff only attended a few holiday parties and some “staff meetings” at the White House.

    Please explain how that photo indicates a holiday party or a staff meeting? Is Bush in the habit of shaking hands with donors at staff meetings?

    As for Stormy’s diatribe:

    I see you guys conveniently ignored the info coming out about Reid’s connections with Abernoff. Par for the course.

    We didn’t ignore it at all. It was mentioned several days ago in another thread, debunked, lots of links showing that the AP left out important facts in the story, and a homerun out of the ball park by Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo noting that Reid voted exactly opposite of how Abramoff wanted.

    There is no quid pro quo when someone does something you don’t want.

    But welcome to last week anyway, Stormy.

  32. 32
    ppGaz says:

    BTW, has anyone mentioned that John cropped the head of Karl Rove out of the picture?

    See the original in today’s NYT.

  33. 33
    Veeshir says:

    If this many people are misinterpreting what you are saying, perhaps you need to think about how well you are expressing your opinions.

    Now that’s funny.
    Get it John, you’re obviously too stupid to understand what you’ve written.
    I mean, even though you wrote this if this is the best they can come up with it could obviously be misinterpreted as this Surely no sentient person today would claim that your included photo is “all there is.” You see, because you said that this is all you’ve seen, obviously you are saying that’s all there is.

    I have grown to love this comments section. It’s so cleansing.

  34. 34
    Veeshir says:

    BTW, has anyone mentioned that John cropped the head of Karl Rove out of the picture?
    See what I mean? That’s just funny.

  35. 35
    Vladi G says:

    I already said I think he is not being straightforward about his relationship with Abramoff.

    Really John, I love your site, but this shit is getting old. I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve made these sort of mealy mouths “Oh, I still believe X, but here’s all the evidence for Y.”

    It’s like saying “I don’t mean any offense, but you’re ugly, you smell bad, and you have the worst personality of anyone I’ve ever met. What? Your offended? But I said don’t take offense. Don’t you ever listen to what I say?”

  36. 36
    ppGaz says:

    I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve made these sort of mealy mouths “Oh, I still believe X, but here’s all the evidence for Y.”

    You’re tired of being trolled?

    John is renaming the site “UnderTheBridge” to more accurately reflect its true purpose.

  37. 37
    Veeshir says:

    I already said I think he is not being straightforward about his relationship with Abramoff.

    does not mean“Oh, I still believe X, but here’s all the evidence for Y.”

    It means I believe X, but this is piss-poor evidence of it.”

    Perhaps it’s not John’s writing skills but some people’s reading comperehension skills?

  38. 38

    Next time you are at an office party, look around the room and see who is taking pictures. If one of those folks in the room turns out to be a criminal later, that picture could be used against you.

    Boy it’s a good thing I work with nice honest Radical Militant Librarians. :)

  39. 39
    ppGaz says:

    John, the “communications” professor, apparently needs a wisecracking lawyer to defend him here.

    I guess ballbusting is not as simple as it used to be.

  40. 40
    Veeshir says:

    I guess ballbusting is not as simple as it used to be.

    I don’t know, I find it fairly easy.
    Perhaps you’ve picked too hard a target?

  41. 41
    orogeny says:

    From Time, via Americablog

    Talking about the photo, Abramoff has told friends, “I was standing right next to the window and after the picture was taken, the President came over and shook hands with me, and we chatted and joked.” A photograph of that scene as described by Abramoff was shown to TIME two weeks ago. Abramoff’s lawyers have said that their client has long had photographs of himself with Bush, but that he has no intention of releasing any of them. Abramoff would not comment on the matter.

  42. 42
    DougC says:

    This picture is not a catch-all, but it sure looks like everybody’s happy. Has anybody ask Rove if he knows Abramoff? If Rove knew Abramoff you know damn well Bush knew who the guy was. As for the Reid article, need a little more meat to the story especially from some AP writers, plus if true whats that one Dem to how many Rep? I’ll take those odds anytime.

  43. 43
    ppGaz says:

    Has anybody ask Rove if he knows Abramoff

    ?

    He’s in the original picture, but John cropped him out.

  44. 44

    Check John’s links; John didn’t crop anyone out.

  45. 45
  46. 46

    Yes, I’ve seen that. John’s photo obviously came from the first thing he linked to.

    Now, Thinkprogress.org may in fact have deliberately cropped Rove out; gotta wonder why.

  47. 47

    Might as well wonder why John had mysteriously sucked all of the color out of the photo, just as he does with everything else…

  48. 48
    ppGaz says:

    Might as well wonder why John had mysteriously

    I’d sooner wonder why anyone would crop Rove out of the photo.

    I’ve put the uncropped shot up on my photo site, use my URL.

  49. 49

    A quick visit to the actual links that John has (sneakily and misleadingly, I’ll grant) embedded in his post may solve a few problems for you. Unless of course you’re of the mindset that John planted that cropped, color-bled photo on Thinkprogress’ website, in which case never mind.

    I’d probably pass the blame upstream to the Times article it came from, if I could actually get a look at it.

  50. 50
    ppGaz says:

    I’m of the mindset that somebody cropped the photo.

    Because, somebody did.

    Interpret that any way you like. John’s link is not the only path to the photo, and it’s not the originally published version of the photo. Interpret that, also, as you like.

    AFAIK, the NYT was the first to publish the photo, yesterday.

  51. 51
    ppGaz says:

    But, you liked the “head the size of a mango” thing, right?

    I mean, come on!

  52. 52

    Normally when one means “the photo was cropped”, one doesn’t say “John cropped the photo”. Something to consider, anyway.

    My comment upthread was obviously a joke. Will I need to use smilies next time?

  53. 53
    ppGaz says:

    Normally when one means “the photo was cropped”, one doesn’t say “John cropped the photo”. Something to consider, anyway.

    My bad, I assumed that he cropped it.

  54. 54
    ppGaz says:

    And, yes :-)

  55. 55

    Maybe I’ve missed it, and if so I’d like someone to steer me to it, but as I understand it, Bush appointed Abramoff to his transition team in the Department of the Interior. If that’s so, it doesn’t necessarily prove any relationship other than “incoming Prez fills position with party hack,” but it sure would be interesting who gave Bush the name. My guess would be in the region of Rove or Norquist. I would also be curious to know what kind of expertise Abramoff would have lent to the transition team. You know, Dept. of the Interior = Indian reservations = gaming casinos.

    You know, with all of the Republicans involved with controlling the gambling business, it’s like they pushed the mob out of the business, or at least subordinated it.

    SunCruz.

  56. 56
    John Cole says:

    A.) You guys remain unbelievable.

    B.) I didn’t do any cropping, I ripped the pic off from Think Progress. I put the picture up because I know half of you don’t click the links I put up- you just automatically start to argue with me. How do I know that? Because every time Tim puts up a thread you don’t agree with, you flame me anyway. I know you aren’t reading- you are reacting.

    C.) I do not know what I can do to please you folks. I have stated I think we all agree that Bush (in all likelihood, it is Rove who is thick as thieves with him) has a relationship with Abramoff. All I am saying is this photograph is meaningless. Just like, say, a picture of John Kerry and Jane Fonda. LOOK! JANE FONDA AND JOHN KERRY ARE BEST FRIENDS! How do I know? THEY ARE IN THE SAME PICTURE!

    Let me put it another way- we all know there are such things called atoms, made up of protons, neutrons, et. There is ample evidence of their existence. If you took a picture of, well, anything, you could label it as ‘proof’ of the existence of atoms. Same with this picture.

    We know that there is some sort of relationship between Bush and his staff and the Republican party and Abramoff. We know it from lots of other data. But offering up this picture from a meet and greet or whatever it is, simply because Bush and Abramoff are together in the same room, proves nothing. Have you ever been in the same room with a fel0n? does that mean you are best friends? Does that mean you are a felon too? It doesn’t prove they are intimate friends. It does not prove they were plotting to ruin America. It proves, in short, nothing other than that they, at one time, were in the same room.

    Like I said, I am underwhelmed. I am sorry this is too much for some of you dim bulbs to wrap your hands around. I am also sick and tired of you people acting like I am stupid, because you are such partisan hacks you can not handle anything short of the DU talking points. I try to be a straight shooter, and really do try to call things as I see them. You folks should give it a shot, too.

  57. 57

    I’m still ticked at you, John, for not addressing my own personal hobby horsethe human-cloning angle to this.

    Hack.

  58. 58

    Crap, strikethrough works on preview but not on post. Consider “my own personal hobby horse” struck through.

  59. 59

    And the issue as to Abramoff’s head’s presence on Bush’s sinister side, you completely missed that. Whose head was lopped off the dexter side, I wonder?

  60. 60
    Gray says:

    “My guess would be in the region of Rove or Norquist.”

    Hmm, imho Bush knows very well who was fundraising for him in the campaigns. After all, if the word wouldn’t have an undesired double meaning, he would be known as “The Great Socializer”. Abramoff told the press that Dubya even knew the names of his wife and the twins. He may have been briefed beforehand on that, but I don’t think so. One of the few likeable characteristics of Bush is his ability to memorize and connect with people.

    Wonder what he thought when Abramoff was arrested?
    “Heckuva cuff, Abramoff”?

  61. 61
    John Cole says:

    He may have been briefed beforehand on that, but I don’t think so.

    Well, that settles it, then.

  62. 62
    Pb says:

    See! John Kerry and Jane FONDA ARE BEST FRIENDS AND PLOTTING TO LOSE THE VIETNAM WAR! How do I know? BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE SAME PICTURE!

    You sure that isn’t Elvis?

    But seriously, I’m impressed that you could find a picture of John Kerry and Jane Fonda both yukking it up together at a private meeting in the White House with the President and his chief political advisor about their shared paid lobbying interests… What’s that? No? Oh well, maybe they have nothing to do with each other then.

  63. 63
    Andrew says:

    LOOK! JANE FONDA AND JOHN KERRY ARE BEST FRIENDS! How do I know? THEY ARE IN THE SAME PICTURE!

    And Brad Pitt too!!!!!!

  64. 64
    Gray says:

    I really don’t want to critizise you on this thread, John, cause I am thankful that you are wondering about the conection bewtween Bush and Abramoff. That’s more than most of the BoP followers would admit. But “All I am saying is this photograph is meaningless.”

    Hmm, not as meaningless as Kerry and Fonda sitting in the same crowd, but otherwisae not interacting at all. After all, Bush talks to Abramoff’s client while Abramoff is present, and this somewhat contradicts WH statements about when Abramoff and Bush ever met. Just like this picture that indicates a cloeser relationship bewteen Fonda and Kerry, both standing on the same platform and so:
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/kerry2.asp
    Only that this is a fake, while the Bush/Rove/Garza/Abramoff picure has been authenticated by the WH.

    “Have you ever been in the same room with a fel0n?”
    Who knows, possible. But I’ve never been in the same room with the prez. You don’t probably meet him at a party at friends, you know? Normally, there has to be a reason for you being present and your background will have been checked by the secret service. The question still remains, how did Abramoff and two of his clients get Bush’s approval to join that legislator meeting at the Eisenhower office building, and what was Abramoffs intention in organizing this? The value of this picture lies in laying the grounds for that question.

  65. 65
    Gray says:

    “Well, that settles it, then.”
    Oh. You don’t believe that Bush ahs the ability to memorize people and their background? I’m surprised. So what abilitiwes, if any, does Bush have in your opinion?

  66. 66

    Before I was so rudely interrupted by the owner of this blog posting a picture of Jane Fonda, and just seeing that picture I wanted to go out and buy a bag of weed and sit in a tree and smoke it and listen to “In A Gadda Da Vida” ten times, but doesn’t anyone know where I could find information on what exactly Abramoff did on the Dept of the Interior transition team or that he was even on it?

  67. 67
    ppGaz says:

    Jesus, all that ranting and raving, when I had already posted this:

    My bad, I assumed that he cropped it.

    Why can’t you bloggers pay attention to what I write? Are you all idiots? I can’t believe you stupid people! I’m sick and tired of having my meaning either missed or misunderstood! You all suck! And START TREATING ME WITH SOME GODDAMNED RESPECT. OR ELSE.

  68. 68
    John Cole says:

    Gray- two different photographs. One is real, yours is not.

    Did you even read your own damned link?

  69. 69
    CaseyL says:

    And Brad Pitt too!

    Wow. He’s older than I thought :D

    John, I don’t think too many lefties are that excited over the photo. We’re more interested in legislative and economic quid pro quos…

    …and any photos Abramoff might have in his personal possession, showing Bush planting a big wet one smack on Jack’s kisser.

  70. 70
    Jon H says:

    There’s a bit of a difference between what was probably an open-invitation protest, attended by both Kerry and Fonda, and a very exclusive meeting at the White House.

  71. 71
    ppGaz says:

    So, John, to get to the bottom of this great photo “controversy,” you are going to demand that the White House release the rest of its Abramoff/Bush gallery, and also call for any cleansed photos out there it might know of to be also shown the light of day. Right?

    I mean, one little photo where the guy’s head is the size of a mango (c)(tm) (patent pending) doesn’t prove anything.

  72. 72

    Oh, and the guy in the glasses with the peace sign on his hat and the flag on his jacket. I think I played guitar with him, if it’s the same guy. Did a lot of blues lick a la John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

  73. 73
    KCinDC says:

    Slarti, could the mini-head somehow have migrated to the middle of Bush’s back later? That could explain the mystery bulge during the 2004 debates.

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    But seriously, I’m impressed that you could find a picture of John Kerry and Jane Fonda both yukking it up together at a private meeting in the White House with the President and his chief political advisor about their shared paid lobbying interests… What’s that? No?

    Considering you have not provided a picture of Bush and Abramoff yukking it up, I am not sure what your point is. They may very well have yukked it up after this photograph, as some of you report Abramoff claims.

    But ths picture doesn’ show it.

    Why can’t you bloggers pay attention to what I write? Are you all idiots?

    You falsely accuse me of something, then admit you were wrong, and then pretend that is the same as your reading comprehension problem. Please, tell me again how I am the one trolling you. It makes me giggle, and laughing is healthy for you.

  75. 75
    ppGaz says:

    And by mango, I do NOT mean

    This guy

  76. 76

    Does anyone remember the Woody Allen film “Zelig”?

  77. 77
    John Cole says:

    So, John, to get to the bottom of this great photo “controversy,” you are going to demand that the White House release the rest of its Abramoff/Bush gallery, and also call for any cleansed photos out there it might know of to be also shown the light of day. Right?

    I am all in favor of them releasing the pictures. Of course you know that, but would much rather sit around and make bad faith accusations about me.

    Grade A Troll.

  78. 78
    ppGaz says:

    You falsely accuse me of something

    Are you still talking about the cropping?

    Seriously, you lost me here.

  79. 79
    ppGaz says:

    I am all in favor of them releasing the pictures. Of course you know that, but would much rather sit around and make bad faith accusations about me.

    1) I would know that, how?

    2) What accusation are you talking about? The crop thing?

  80. 80
    Gray says:

    “Gray- two different photographs. One is real, yours is not.
    Did you even read your own damned link?” John

    “Only that this is a fake, while the Bush/Rove/Garza/Abramoff picure has been authenticated by the WH.” Gray

    Hello, Gray to John: Awake? Hangover? Or is it my fault? Imho my wording does clearly state that I’m talking about this other picture that I found that shows Kerry and Fonda on the same platform, and this sis a fake. ‘Your’ picture is real, but showing two people sitting apart from each other in a crowd of thousands doesn’t say much. Especially if both don’t make a secret out of the fact that they’ve been there. I didn’t want to question your opinion on that. Only that this is the same category as a picture of an official meeting with the prez.

  81. 81
    CaseyL says:

    [C]ould the mini-head somehow have migrated to the middle of Bush’s back later? That could explain the mystery bulge during the 2004 debates.

    H’mm. Would that be like the mini-Shadow “keeper” thingies that hooked onto people and controlled them, from Babylon5?

    Or like the mind-control parasite thingies, from Heinlein’s Puppetmaster?

  82. 82
    ppGaz says:

    It makes me giggle, and laughing is healthy for you.

    That would explain the constant stream of exasperated “You people can all kiss my ass” lately, then.

  83. 83
    Gray says:

    “I am not impressed.”

    Hmm, you stated why you are not impressed. But this leaves some questions.
    Don’t you think that this picure contraticts earlier statements by McClellan “that there were a few staff-level meetings that he attended at least — he attended two holiday receptions, in 2001 and 2002.” Hmm, no Secret Service documents on that official meeting in May 2001 – or something to hide?
    And do you think it’s the oppositions fault that the WH is stonewalling the release of the other pictures and the reasons for this meetings, you think that’s proper conduct of a US administration?
    Most of all, what evidence has to be presented to impress you?

  84. 84
    KCinDC says:

    CaseyL, exactly what I was thinking. I’ve spent the last 10 minutes looking for a good photo of Londo Molari with his keeper, but nothing shows it very well.

  85. 85
    Slide says:

    Question: Is John Cole the most thin skinned blogger in the universe?

    I am sorry this is too much for some of you dim bulbs to wrap your hands around. I am also sick and tired of you people acting like I am stupid, because you are such partisan hacks you can not handle anything short of the DU talking points. I try to be a straight shooter, and really do try to call things as I see them. You folks should give it a shot, too.

    wahhhhhh…. waaaaah…..booooooo hoooooo

    well, one suggestion John, if you don’t want to be thought of being stupid stop saying stupid things.

    You say the photo is “meaningless”. Meaningless? You mean a photo with bush shaking the hands of Abramhoff’s client with Abramhoff in the background is completely “meaningless”. I may be a dim bulb but how does one get to shake the hands of the president in the Oval office? Isn’t that what Abramhoff does? Isn’t that why he gets tons and tons of money – because he has access to the “movers and shakers”. So to this dim wit the photo shows that Bush met Abramhoff, AND HIS CLIENT, not just at some Holiday reception line as had been suggested but apparently in a situation where Abramhoff somehow got his client in front of the Leader of the Free World. Meaningless?

    Now we all know that Busy lying is not exactly a “stop the presses” moment as it is almost a daily exercise. What was the term you used for the latest departure from reality? oh yeah, Bush “understated his relationship with Abramhoff” lol… Lying right? Ok.. so Bush lying is meaningless at this point in time since it is of no suprise to anyone. What a sad state of affairs.

  86. 86
    John Redworth says:

    Do you guys even read what I write? Or do you just react?

    I read what you wrote and agree with you… I don’t think that Bush and Abramoff were out doing eightballs together but I don’t think they were as far removed as Bush has reported…

    But don’t worry, the idea of skimming or just reading the headlines to form an opinion is not just for your writing as I keep seeing conservative bloggers and pundits trying to make a play that the warrantless wiretaps somehow stopped an attack in LA as alluded to by Bush this week…

  87. 87
    Slide says:

    More about the “meaningless” photo:

    This meeting, however, was a relatively small gathering attended by some two dozen people, including Garza and another Indian tribal leader who was Abramoff’s client. At least two tribes, the Coushatta of Louisiana and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw, contributed $25,000 each to the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, which is headed by Grover Norquist, a well-known conservative ally of the White House. Garza, who is also known by his Indian name, Makateonenodua.com, meaning “black buffalo,” is under federal indictment for allegedly embezzling more than $300,000 from his tribe.

    Meaningless… just freakin meaningless.

  88. 88
    Pb says:

    Gray,

    Maybe Scotty boy was told that this was just another one of those Native American Hannukah parties. It wouldn’t be the first time he was lied to (or ordered to lie) and hung out to dry.

  89. 89
    KCinDC says:

    Garza, who is also known by his Indian name, Makateonenodua.com, meaning “black buffalo,” …

    Who knew that Indians have started incorporating Internet top-level domains into their traditional names?

  90. 90
    Slide says:

    More meaningless information about the meaningless meeting:

    Benigno Fitial, the governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, told TIME he attended the 2001 meeting as well. Then an Abramoff client, the governor recalled asking the President a question about tax policy as part of a discussion among the small group after Bush had given a short speech on the subject. Fitial was seeking low-tax and relaxed labor regulations for the Northern Marianas at the time. Fitial said he used a photograph of himself with President Bush taken at the meeting in his campaign for governor.

    Fitial recalled that the President was “very gracious” at the session. “He knew quite a few of the people in the room; I know that because he called them by their first name. The responses showed that the President was no stranger to these people, he said. “And the response was very warm on both sides.

    Wow…so far we have THREE of Abramhoff’s clients at this meeting in the White House. And the clients had NO relation to each other (two Indians and the Gov of the Mariana Islands)other than the fact that they were all Abramhoff’s clients. That tells me that this was a meeting catering to Abramhoff and not that he was just somebody in the room at the time. Right? Doesn’t that make sense? Oh…. meaningless. I forgot..

  91. 91
    Slide says:

    Oh.. and then there is this meaninless tidbit:

    Told about the photograph in January, the White House said it had no record that Abramoff was present at the meeting.

    hmmm…so at a meeting in which at least three unrelated Abramhoff clients are in attendance and the White House has no record Abramhoff was there? Is the Secret Service that incompetent that they don’t know who is going in and out of the White House while we are at war? Meaningless oversight I’m sure.

  92. 92
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Let’s put it this way, since the dim bulbs are out in force and can not seem to grasp my point. Another visual aid might help.

    Nope doesn’t help. You don’t get within handshaking distance of the president by accident. You might however be at the same event with someone else who is famous and knows not that you exist.

    I know it’s hard to see your beloved party so nakedly becoming extremist greedy ashooles, or rather much more extreme, much greedier, and certainly larger assholes, but who can you do. The facts are the facts.

  93. 93
    DCDL says:

    Bush Diagnosed With Abramoffoma

    This enhanced version of the first photo of Bush and Abramoff known to have escaped the scrubbing of evidence clearly shows a small head growing out of Bush’s left shoulder in May 2001. The president’s physician diagnosed it as a maligna…

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Brian says:

    You lefty dipshits are going to have to come up with your own evidence if you want to tie any Republicans with “crimes”, even if the guilt is simple association.

    Why should the WH release any damn pictures? Your competence as politcial adversaries will be tested on your own skill, not with the assistance of your sworn enemy.

    Read “The Art of War”; you might learn something valuable and finally become a worthy opponent. Fucking incompetents.

  96. 96
    Pb says:

    Brian,

    Why should the WH release any damn pictures?

    Perhaps just to back up their (whoops, false!) statements about said ‘damn pictures’? No?

    Ok, then how about in the interests of honest and open government, and full disclosure?

    Your competence as politcial adversaries will be tested on your own skill, not with the assistance of your sworn enemy.

    Whoops, not that either!

    All right, how about we have Congress hold some hearings and get to the bottom of this? No?

    Well, way to put party above country! Why do Republicans hate to tell the truth *so much*?

  97. 97
    ppGaz says:

    You lefty dipshits are going to have to come up with your own evidence if you want to tie any Republicans with “crimes”, even if the guilt is simple association.

    Okay. Let’s begin by letting the Republicans speak for themselves:

    Ethics scandal looms over Republicans’ meeting
    Thu Feb 9, 2006 10:52 PM ET

    By Thomas Ferraro

    CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) – Republicans in the House of Representatives, rocked by ethics scandals, met in a secluded Maryland town on Thursday, hoping to regroup under new leadership and position themselves to retain power in November’s elections.

    A week after electing Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as majority leader to succeed indicted Texan Tom DeLay, Republicans opened a three-day retreat at a time when public opinion polls show broad discontent with Congress and the White House.

    “I’m going to tell them they face challenges and opportunities,” Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman said shortly before addressing the gathering at a waterfront hotel in Cambridge, a two-hour drive from Washington.

    “I’m going to tell them that the public clearly wants reform — that the public believes that the country needs to continue reforming things if we are going to be on the right track,” Mehlman told reporters, referring to lobbying practices on Capitol Hill and such basics as health care, education and national security.

    Lobbying scandals and Justice Department investigations involving Republican lawmakers and former aides threaten the party’s control of the House, which it has held since 1995.

    Boehner said the retreat would allow for a “period of renewal” and bonding. He said it would take time to unite his 231-member caucus on a lobbying reform package, one that party leaders said would seek input from Democrats.

    “We’re going to have, frankly, an ethics seminar for all our members and staff so that they know what the rules are, and I think it’ll help ensure that members and staff live up to those rules,” Boehner said.

    REFORM OR OVERHAUL?

    In the wake of a scandal involving Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Boehner has called for more public disclosure of the relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists rather than a fundamental overhaul of the way Congress does business.

    Unlike some of his colleagues, he is opposed to abolishing “earmark” spending for pet projects, urging instead more transparency.

    A number of Republicans have been drawn into the investigation of Abramoff, who pleaded guilty last month to fraud charges and agreed to help prosecutors in their corruption probe.

    Separately, Republican Randy Cunningham of California resigned from the House in November after pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for help in securing Defense Department contracts.

  98. 98
    ppGaz says:

    you might learn something valuable

    You remind me of Edward G. Robinson …

    Rico: “Dirty coppers! You’ll never take me alive, you hear me?”

    Fucking clueless clown.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    (Dialogue from Little Cesar, 1931; paraphrased, with apologies to Warner Brothers)

  99. 99
    Otto Man says:

    I swear to God I did not read Red State today until just now (17:40). That is just creepy that Dales and I had the same exact thought.

    It is creepy, but only because you have a brain and the capacity for independent thought, while the people at Red State live and die on RNC talking points. Coming to the same conclusion can’t make you happy.

  100. 100
    Otto Man says:

    Your competence as politcial adversaries will be tested on your own skill, not with the assistance of your sworn enemy.

    The Republicans are our sworn enemies? What happened to being a uniter, not a divider?

    Read “The Art of War”; you might learn something valuable and finally become a worthy opponent. Fucking incompetents.

    Tell you what, bucky. I’ll go re-read Sun Tzu, if you go re-read Madison and Hamilton. I may have forgotten how to be a bloodthirsty and ruthless asshole, but that’s only because somebody has to keep this country true to its founding ideals.

    And please, if you’re going to defend the party that has screwed up every single thing it’s tried in the last five years — from the Iraq debacle and the five-year-running hunt for Bin Laden, to the Medicare prescription drug boondoggle and the No Child Left Behind clusterfuck, through the heckuva-job response to Katrina and a missile defense program that doesn’t work in the rain — you really shouldn’t be calling the other people “fucking incompetents.” The Republicans have a corner on the incompetence market.

  101. 101
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Abramoff is a Bush Pioneer – he raised over $100K. If someone raised $100K for me I’d sure as hell be able to pick them out of a lineup.

  102. 102
    tb says:

    Read “The Art of War”; you might learn something valuable and finally become a worthy opponent. Fucking incompetents.

    Read it yourself. It’s going to take a lot more than impotent sputtering to save your fucked-up party. Your leaders are all going to be in prison or discredited and sent back to the trailer park by the end of the decade.

  103. 103

    I guess I’m the last one to find out but here it is, in a WaPo article from a month back:

    “With Norquist’s help, Abramoff secured a spot on the transition team for the Interior Department after George W. Bush was elected president in 2000. He tried to place several officials in Interior, including an unsuccessful attempt to land a former Marianas official in the top spot overseeing U.S. territories.”

  104. 104
    HH says:

    So the multiple AP investigative stories into Reid and Abramoff are totally without merit but we’re to believe that this Bush pic is some sort of smoking gun?

    Gotta love the jokes about Cheney from folks who keep shooting themselves in the foot rhetorically…

  105. 105
    ppGaz says:

    Cheney fired with the best intelligence available at the time. Unfortunately, it was our intelligence, and he struck another hunter.

    The owner of the ranch, Katharine Armstrong, witnessed the incident.

    “The vice-president didn’t see him,” she told the Associated Press news agency. “He picked out a bird and shot and, my God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good.

    “It broke the skin,” she said. “It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn’t get in his eyes or anything like that.”

    Mrs Armstrong added that these things happen “from time to time “

    These things just happen from time to time. You know, like accidentally starting a war based on the best available intelligence.

  106. 106
    Pb says:

    Bob In Pacifica,

    I saw David Shuster on MS-NBC do a bit on this that mentioned that, and a whole bunch of other things on precisely how tied to Abramoff Bush is, it was pretty impressive.

    look at Jack Abramoff’s past. He lobbied George W. Bush when Bush was governor of Texas on an education issue, he gave $100,000 to the Bush campaign in 2000, he served on the Florida recount team, he served on the Bush transition team in 2000. He’s a long-time friend of Grover Norquist, the President’s closest advisor outside the White House. Abramoff is a longtime friend of Karl Rove, the President’s closest advisor inside the White House. Oh, and did I mension that Jack Abramoff’s former personal assistant, Susan Ralston, is now Karl Rove’s personal assistant, Susan Ralston? I mean, it defies logic to anybody who knows this story for the President to say, ‘I don’t know him.’ It’s possible, I suppose, that the President wants to forget him, but the betting here in Washington is that on this one, Jack Abramoff is the one that’s telling the truth.

  107. 107
    ppGaz says:

    Abramoff is a longtime friend of Karl Rove, the President’s closest advisor inside the White House

    The Karl Rove who is grinning like a Cheshire cat in the Abramoff-Bush photo? The one who is inexplicably cropped out of the photo version we see at the top of this thread? (Not by John, but by whoever put up the version John found). The who is quite visible, up close, in the version on my photo site?

    That Karl Rove?

  108. 108
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    That Karl Rove?

    That’ll probably be Scotty-boy’s next defense in the war on reason–that it could be some other Karl Rove.

    Oddly enough, if you go to, say, switchboard.com and search for Karl Rove, it appears that there’s only one listed, in the entire United States.

  109. 109

    Slartibartfast, this is for you.

    I’m…honored. But, dang, only 14 minutes left. I’d best get cracking.

  110. 110
    Guesst says:

    Dales, from Red State using the Kerry/fonda photo to ridicule the pictured connection of Abramhof/Bush. Dales, an owner of FR, was a major supporter of the kooks at Free Republic who were peddleing the Kerry/Fonda photo as “proof” of a connection. What a hypocrite.

  111. 111
    HH says:

    “We’re still in the first inning here.”

    And for the record, the score is Rove 10, Scandalmongers 0.

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  1. DCDL says:

    Bush Diagnosed With Abramoffoma

    This enhanced version of the first photo of Bush and Abramoff known to have escaped the scrubbing of evidence clearly shows a small head growing out of Bush’s left shoulder in May 2001. The president’s physician diagnosed it as a maligna…

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