Sisyphus Shrugged - and the Claude Rains Memorial Gambling Awareness Award goes to
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and the Claude Rains Memorial Gambling Awareness Award goes to
Howard Kurtz, of the Washington Post

Our boy Howie is shocked to discover that there are people who might not have been completely truthful about leaving the Bush administration to spend more time with their families

When Tom Ridge left his Homeland Security post nearly five years ago, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

But in a forthcoming book, Ridge says he decided to quit after two of President George W. Bush's top lieutenants pressed Ridge to raise the terror-alert level to a scarier color for what he suspected were political reasons.

Now he tells us?

Well, no. Then he told us.

Posted 5/10/2005 11:21 PM

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

His comments at a Washington forum describe spirited debates over terrorist intelligence and provide rare insight into the inner workings of the nation's homeland security apparatus.

Ridge said he wanted to "debunk the myth" that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002.

"More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it," Ridge told reporters. "Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?' "..

but cut Howie some slack, kids. He's got serious moral issues with not telling the truth to the american people about politicians for anything but the very best reasons

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 9, 2007


We all sort of knew that Gingrich was having an affair back in the late '90s--and not just with anyone, but with a woman on the House payroll. After all, he ended up marrying the woman after breaking up with his second wife, Marianne.

Since he was leading the impeachment charge against Bill over Monica at the time, this might be seen as an example of . . . how shall I put it? . . . a flexible morality? But Newt kind of got a pass because he was out of office when this came out and yesterday's news. Unlike today, when he is contemplating a run for president. (Possible slogans: I'll return fun to the Oval Office? My mistress was better looking than Clinton's?)

Of course, Howie's memory serves him ill here. Vanity Fair actually outed the relationship between Newt and the current Mrs. Gingrich as common knowledge three years before the impeachment and four years before he announced the end of his time in Congress and his divorce.

On the other hand, getting back to Howie's current analysis, exposing Republican politicians is kind of icky

By charging that fellow Cabinet members Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft pushed the move, without specific evidence of a threat, the weekend before the 2004 election, Ridge is joining a growing list of former insiders who spill sensitive secrets once they are in a position to cash in.

"It's smarmy," says Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "Most people view individuals like that as traitors. I think they have a price to pay. Who's going to trust them in the future?"

Presumably no-one, unless they realize Ridge actually said all this when he resigned and then waited over four years to "cash in"

Which, I'll admit, isn't quite as long as Howie waited.

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