culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Friday, January 16, 2004
"Who moved my cheeseburger?" Julian Borger in the
Guardian on the saga of Paul O'Neill:
By his own account, Mr O'Neill actually warned the president-elect and his deputy not to hire him. When he was flown in for a secret meeting in a Washington hotel, he took a list of his past pronouncements that could prove embarrassing to a conservative administration.

He had called for a petrol tax, and worse still, he believed global warming to be a real threat. But in the Washington hotel room, the book suggests, Mr Bush was not listening. Mr O'Neill was telling a long anecdote about an encounter with an environmental pressure group when Mr Bush held up his hand and asked: "Where's lunch?". The president then upbraided his chief of staff for failing to produce a cheeseburger on time.


Wall Street was less impressed. The trip [to Africa with U2's Bono] confirmed it in its view of Mr O'Neill as a lightweight, blissfully unaware that his words and behaviour had a direct effect on the markets' faith in the US economy. In his first months he had caused a small run on the exchange markets by suggesting to a German newspaper that the administration did not have a strong dollar policy. Events have since proved the remark to be true, but it broke a taboo.


The fundamental question remains as to why any of them were hired at all by an administration that had no time for their views. Mr O'Neill concludes they were there simply as "cover", to make the Bush White House appear reassuringly moderate. In that case, the president and Mr Cheney made the wrong choice in Mr O'Neill. He was never going to be happy serving as someone else's window dressing.
It's an honor to be fired by a petulant son-of-a-bitch brat. It took more testicular fortitude for O'Neill to say what he actually thinks than for Bush to thoughtlessly mouth what his speechwriters and political advisors hand him — without comprehending a word or being held accountable for the outcome.

Still no one within the administration is talking about the truth of O'Neill's remarks. The next State of the Union speech is on its way. What new lies will Bush disavow later this year?

And where's lunch?

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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