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You gonna eat that?It’s true, the wunderkind of the neoconservative right wing is leaving the administration.

According to anonymous White House sources, Rove simply ran out of evil things to do. One high ranking official told the Outer-Loop, “When Karl resorted to kicking over lemonade stands in Mclean, we pretty much knew he was out of evil things to think up.”

Rove’s propensity for evil first came to light during George W. Bush’s 2000 Presidential campaign when Rove orchestrated an elaborate bait and switch operation whereby Bush campaign operatives replaced John McCain’s adorable white child with an illegitimate black one, Rove’s position within the new Administration was sealed.

Relations with the Vice President were rocky after Rove disagreed with Vice President Cheney’s insistent calls to drop a tactical warhead on Paris, followed by Cologne in an effort to cover up the musky smell of nuclear fallout. Despite this initial rift with a fellow administration official, Rove’s advice was used to cull support around the actual President’s policies well into 2006.

In all seriousness, Rove, who has by now outlived his usefulness and can no longer win elections, even amongst the stupidest Americans, was little more than a lightning rod for criticism within the administration…so this isn’t really a surprise. The White House simply waited for a slow news day so as not to satiate the snarling media.

The President is a lame duck, his administration has no positive domestic policy legacy to speak of, and Karl always left his lunch in the fridge, which really pissed everyone off.

Karl Rove, unemployed, whooptie-doo.

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The President has decided that the punishment handed down to Scooter Libby, a man who was charged with perjury by a Republican appointed U.S. Attorney, found guilty by a jury of his peers, and sentenced by a strict conservative judge appointed by the President himself…was a little harsh.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.”

Sure he still has to pay the hefty quarter million dollar fine, especially considering his “trust” has gathered millions this is gonna be a tough year for tax write offs.

I’m gonna deviate from the other left-leaning blogs and not let myself be outraged by this complete and utter lack of respect for the rule of law.  Oh well.

Who wants cake?

So Tony Blair is in the US on his farewell tour…  they don’t want to call it that, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from stating the obvious.  I think its sad that Blair burned his approval ratings to the ground in Iraq –he arguably accomplished a lot while in office.  Will time work in his favor?

Look at it this way: while most concede Blair had many accomplishments outside of his Iraqi excursion, what will people say about Dubya’s eight years in office?  Once you strip away Iraq… most people seem to remember the first year everyone seemed happy he wasn’t completely stupid, then 9/11 happened and he, for those fleeting moments, had the world on his side… then everything slowly came apart.  There’s no catch-phrase like “devolution” to attribute to Bush’s non-Iraq, non-9/11 related work –if anything the phrase would be “scandal” involving his administration …or maybe “shady” when thinking about all the erosions of civil rights and, before 9/11 the uncomfortably close ties between department heads and the industries they were supposed to be regulating.  Even the initial success in Afghanistan is slowly coming apart.  I think Tony’s future isn’t as dark as it seems now.  As for George, this is a quote from today: “Last year I read three histories of George Washington. If you’re still analysing 1 then 43 doesn’t have anything to worry about.”  Somehow that’s not a great excuse…

So other than the two chums slumming it up in the White House, I’m sure there’s a little bit of politics going on, but nothing more than Bush asking “So, is Gordie going to be cool?”  Seriously now: how long do you think it will be until Dubya dubs the new UK Prime Minister with his own nickname –“Tony” already came prepackaged, Gordon Brown just sounds to stuffy for the President to let slide by.  “Brownie” unfortunately came to an early end after Katrina.  “Gordie” just begs to be used; even The Simpsons used the name for a joke on Canadians (back when they were funny, the Scorpio episode) –now that I think about it, I could picture the President mixing his cultures and addressing the new PM thusly: “Hey Gordie, how’s it going aboot, eh?”

I frankly hope the new UK PM comes over to the US regularly –if only to bring their delightfully interesting press corp –you might know them as the ones who actually ask tough questions.  Today the questions took our domestic-press-spoiled Commander-in-Chief for such a loop that Tony couldn’t help but note: “You had forgotten what the British media were like hadn’t you?”  George didn’t reply, but I have a feeling someone is going to get a noogie when they get back into the clubhou–err, I mean White House.

Those mulch pocketing liberals at Think Progress point out a lovely quote from CNN. Referring to our old friend AG Alberto Gonzales, Putnam was quoted saying:John Boehner is about to wreck this kid...

“He did not distinguish himself in the hearing… There remains a cloud over the Department… I think they would be well served by fresh leadership.”

This is coming from the third highest Republican in the House and, alongside Prince Harry and Finnish President Tarja Halonen, one of the world’s most powerful gingers.

Everyone knows that Gonzo needs to, and will eventually, skee-daddle.  The only question is will it be soon enough to offset the political damage it has already caused this White House?

My vote is no.

The Washington Post has an excellent op-ed piece posted by Jorge G. Casteñada, Vicente Fox’s former foreign secretary, outlining how Bush’s trip through South America is doing more harm to America’s stature than good.

He argues that the liberal democratic world, at least in this hemisphere, is incredibly fragile outside of North America. Venezuela’s almost limitless oil revenue allows Chavez to spend money on lavish social programs that citizens love, and the free market simply cannot compete with. It’s very hard, after all, to compete with “free”.

That being said Casteñada has a point. Rather than making a physical presence in South America and straining an already tempestuous relationship with the region, Washington should engage in better dialogue with countries that offer a compromising viable alternative to Chavez’s socialism with an authoritarian streak. Chile’s social democracy is a great example of relatively moderate government social policies with a viable free market framework within it.

America should show humility towards our neighbors to the south. Our allies there are crumbling, and the tooth and nail sparring of a full fledged market economy is simply not viable for countries like Bolivia, whose enormous levels of poverty are exacerbated by a relative lack of national resources and industry.