These People Still Run Things

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Memo to this administration: STILL VERY VERY DUMB.

And I think, perhaps, getting dumber. Remember about a year ago, when every successful attack by Iraqi insurgents was portrayed as the desperate last throes of a doomed terrorist cabal? I can't help but think there was some subconscious projecting going on there.

The level of bumbling, as measured on the Bumblometer at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, climbed past 10,000 Clouseaus this week, shattering the previous "high" water mark of 8,290 Clouseaus during the first two weeks of the Iraq occupation. And there are two dumbfucks we can blame - one we know by name, and one only by actions.

The named dumbfuck is cabinet secretary Alphonso Jackson, who heads the department of Housing and Urban Development. How much of a fuckup is Jackson? Well, the Keystone Kops just got on a konference kall with Michael Brown, Uwe Boll, and the Nintendo executive that thought up "Wii" to tell Jackson what a fuckup he was.

Here's the deal. On April 28, Alphonso Jackson gave a speech to a real estate forum in Dallas. During that speech, he told them a story about his dealings with a minority contractor who'd been trying to get a deal with HUD for years. And this contractor was about to get the deal, when he admitted to Jackson that, and I quote Jackson quoting the contractor, "I have a problem with your president."

How did Jackson handle this political disagreement? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"He didn't get the contract. Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Here's something you need to know. THAT'S NOT THE STUPID PART. I mean, it's -a- stupid part, but compared to what follows, this seems like sane, rational logic. It's not like a presidential appointee using his political power to punish a dissenter is particularly novel these days.

No, the stupid part is the excuse. Because when Jackson's statement was reported, and the rest of the government found out about it, there was a fair amount of justified shouting from your Lautenbergs and your Waxmen. And here, in two parts, is the excuse Jackson's spokeswoman (and not the stripper her name implies) Dustee Tucker wants you, the American people, to believe.

PART THE FIRST: - Jackson's story was purely anecdotal. Which, as a famous man once said, does not mean what you think it means, Dustee. All that means is that he only tossed out a contract based on political bias once or twice, and that this story doesn't prove he does it constantly. It doesn't mean it's not true. Possibly sensing that, Tucker provided:

PART THE SECOND: "He was merely trying to explain to the audience how people in D.C., will say critical things about the secretary, will unfairly characterize the president and then turn around and ask you for money. He did not actually meet with someone and turn down a contract. He's not part of the contracting process."

No, really. That's the excuse. It never happened, it was just a made-up story intended to illustrate, um, how mean contractors are to the President. Which, I should not have to tell you, makes no fucking sense whatsoever. Either Jackson is lying out his bunghole, or he's Bizarro Aesop. And either way, he helped set a high-water mark for Bush administration incompetence, along with his mysterious, unknown partner.

That partner would be whoever it was that took a thick stack of papers containing the President's complete travel itinerary for yesterday's Florida trip, complete with Air Force One's schedule, the names of everyone on board, the order of the cars in the motorcade, the person carrying the "launch the nukes" briefcase, and more, and tossed it in a Washington trash can.

Where it was found by an ex-con janitor who, despite his station in life, knew that shit shouldn't be floating around in the open before the trip actually takes place, and went to the local news about it. Which makes me think maybe this janitor should be put in charge of the CIA, and that asshole who designed the illegal wiretapping program should be emptying trash cans.

And then we could give the Bumblometer a well-deserved break.