Birthday Present for the President

And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:

Bush Birthday Bashing
On the eve of President Bush's big number 56, the London Daily Mirror served up a birthday bashing. A John Pilger article calls the United States the world's leading rogue state, and says the British Royal Marines were forced into their current role in Afghanistan by Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Bush gang. Pilger writes: "Gang is not an exaggeration. The word, in my dictionary, means 'a group of people working together for criminal, disreputable ends.' That describes accurately George W. Bush and those who write his speeches and make his decisions and who have undermined the very basis of international law." Pilger continues his attack, saying, "The killing on Monday of some 40 guests at a wedding was not a 'blunder' but the direct result of Bush's policy of shoot and bomb first and find out later." Um, maybe not. Pentagon officials are still investigating Monday's incident in Afghanistan. So far, locals have failed to provide evidence of the alleged carnage — reminiscent of the earlier reports of an Israeli slaughter in Jenin. The Pentagon also argues that U.S. Special Forces directed fire at sites that had been shooting repeatedly at U.S. aircraft.

Faster Than Olympians!
During a break at last week's G-8 summit in Canada, the AP reports that President Bush and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar settled in for a good old fashioned couch conference and Texas tall tale telling. But the two apparently had some problems translating English into Spanish, and standard measures into metric. According to Aznar, President Bush boasted he could run four kilometers, about two and half miles, in six minutes and 45 seconds — which would be approximately 30 percent faster than the world record at that distance. Not to be outdone, Aznar sat back and put his feet up as well, boasting that he does 10 kilometers, or just over six miles, in five minutes and twenty seconds. At that pace, Aznar would outrun a cheetah by clocking an astonishing 73 mph. Aznar's office later said the prime minister had misspoken and meant to say he runs 10 kilometers a day at five minutes and twenty seconds per kilometer, and that Bush runs four kilometers a day at six minutes, 45 seconds each. Actually, Bush averages about six minutes 45 seconds per mile. Got that?

Not Mincing Words
And finally Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has ordered his spy agency to investigate and compile a list of possible gay ministers and officials in his government. Mugabe is well known for his hatred of gays and lesbians, often describing them as being worse than pigs and dogs, and he says the British government is made up of "gay gangsters." No word yet on how Mugabe's spies intend to confirm their boss's suspicions, although it's obvious Mugabe isn't a believer in the “Don't ask, don't tell” approach to government-sponsored voyeurism.