Obama Guns Down Cheney, Bush in Jokefest

All reports from the D.C. Press Corps is that the Saturday night’s annual roast at the Gridiron Club produced some of the funniest remarks of the year from Bush, Cheney and the White House All Stars (considering, of course, only those remarks intended to be funny).

But, as a native Illinoisian, I can’t pass up this opportunity to reprint some of the classic lines delivered by freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), as gleaned from Chicago Tribune White House reporter and blogger Mark Silva.

I’ll print some highlights, but do yourself a favor and read the entire wrap.Condoleezza Rice strums a charango embossed with a coca leaf presented to her by Evo Morales

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was absent this year, as she was in South America to get up to speed with newly elected Bolivian President and former coca farmer Evo Morales en route to the swearing-in ceremony for Chilean President Michele Bachelet.

None of this kept Obama from throwing a bone at Rice:

“You know, the president promised a muscular foreign policy. And anyone who’s seen the Condi Rice workout tapes knows he means business.”

Cheney, as could be expected, was railed upon by everyone, including his boss protege, Dubya. But Barack was relentless:

“The truth is, I’m terrified to be here. Not because you’re such a tough audience, but because they’re serving drinks. I’m standing about 30 yards from the vice president, and I’m a lawyer. The only thing that could make this more dangerous is if he considered me a friend.

“Mr. vice president, I know you came here expecting to be a target, which, it turns out, may prove easier for you than shooting at one,” […] “You’ve taught us a valuable lesson. “Aim higher.”

Kind Tribune blogger Silva did not stop there, reproducing Obama’s further rips on Dick and Lynne.

Before launching into song (“If I Only Had McCain” – recounting the recent tension reported in the press between himself and the Republican Senator from Arizona, Obama referenced the Grammy he won in February:

“I’ll tell you, that Grammy was a big surprise. I thought, for sure Jack Abramoff would win for his rendition of ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.'”

Three 6 Mafia with Jack Abramoff

Ironically, Bush found much humor in this line, eliciting a “big belly laugh” Silva noted parenthetically, despite the president’s contention that he doesn’t even know who Abramoff is.

The Sun-Times has an equally expansive report in their blog. For more B-Rock, see the transcript or video from Sunday’s lame interview by Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer.

Bloggers Campaign to Free Jill Carroll

Curt Hopkins, founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, passed me a note as part of a call-to-blogs to help free Jill Carroll by disseminating a video PSA plea for her safe release.

The video is here (Arabic). Translation is here.

It shouldn’t be necessary to remind readers of this blog that 28-year-old Christian Science Monitor journalist Jill Carroll was kidnapped January 7.

A late February deadline set by her captors passed quietly and there has been no confirmation of her whereabouts or well-being, although optimism remains strong. The Christian Science Monitor announced last week that it has “reinvigorated its Iraqi media campaign” to free Carroll.

[technorati tag: blogjill]

Slain American Hostage Was Bound, Shot

tom foxshame, shame, shame.

Dare say he was killed because he was the American:

“There’s certainly a hope that if indeed Tom Fox was targeted because of his American citizenship and the role of the U.S. in leading this war, that perhaps the others would be spared,” said co-director Doug Pritchard.
Prophetic leader hath allowed a Christian Peacemaking Team member to die at the hands of kidnappers in a land in which we have tens of thousands of troops?

Mr. Fox, rest in peace, was well aware of the danger of being in Iraq, no matter the extend of blind goodwill intended. As he wrote, “fighting was always the wrong answer.”

Unacceptable. Apparently the problem lies in the org’s middle name? Its time we all pray, because the loss of this peace-seeking believer is expendable to this holier-than-thou government.

If it is so certain that good will prevail…. how can it be so difficult to rescue those captured by infidels — I mean, at least look out for your own!!

The only acknowledgement of the war on terror is direct denial in the form of imaginary press releases, and no condolences:

The three Christian Peacemaking Team colleagues of Tom Fox — 74-year-old retired md professor Norman Kember of London, James Loney of Toronto, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, a Canadian studying in New Zealand — appeared on a silent video tape this week. They have been held hostage in Iraq since November 2005.

This is among the more horribly distressing stories our of Iraq in recent days. Even more unsettling is the fact that American — or ANY — innocents being held hostage in Iraq cannot count on the assistance of the government most responsible for their fate.

WaPo Supports ‘1,300 Killed’ Report

A week ago, I was surprised to see the Wasington Post go out on a limb and publish that over 3 times the widely reported official number of nearly 400 Iraqis had been killed in the days of violence following the destruction of the al-Askariya mosque.

Numbers as high as the Post’s reported 1,300 dead have yet to be mentioned anywhere else in the media and even the venerable Post itself seemingly retreated from its initial reporting — apparently garnered from Iraqi morgue reports.

Today, they’re back, and they appear to have trimmed the number to 1,000, without being “clear whether that covered only Baghdad or all of Iraq.”
So Jaafari’s competent in his U.S. style manipulation of facts, but will anybody else please report a number different from the official government lie? Or us ol’ Rumsfeld still somehow succeeding at instilling fear in the media — fear to tell the truth?