The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Saturday, November 13, 2004  

With Media Miscellany
November 13, 2004

Disappearing Shares [*]
Your tax dollars at work: "Archer Daniels Midland Co. . . . said Friday that its board approved the repurchase of up to 100 million shares of the company's common stock between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2009." Better for ADM to use its cash to buy back shares than to invest its profits in ethanol production. ADM is happy to let taxpayers take that risk.

Disappearing Lesbians? [*]
John Aravosis of AmericaBlog reports that, with the presidential election over, some right wingers are unhappy about being "slapped in the face" with Mary Cheney's "flaunting" of her sexuality, that because she dares to be seen in public with her partner, Heather Poe. Let's see how long it takes dirty-book writer Lynne Cheney to reprimand Joe Glover for being "cheap and tawdry" and "not a nice man." And how long for all those "sophisticated" right-wing bloggers who piled on John F. Kerry to do the same.

Disappearing Breath [*]
Vice President Dick Cheney has been taken to the George Washington University Hospital, complaining of "shortness of breath." CNN reports: "It is unknown whether Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, will be admitted. Dan Bartlett, White House communications director, said Cheney has been suffering from a cold recently. Because it was unclear if his shortness of breath was related to the cold or not, and given his history of heart disease, it was the recommendation of the White House medical unit that he go to the hospital for tests."

CNN also reminds us: "In May 2004, doctors gave Cheney a clean bill of health after his annual heart checkup."

Hmm . . . Isn't it time for President Too Busy For Physicals to report to a doctor's office? The campaign has been over for 11 days.

Disappearing Spooks
This really isn't such a good time for the CIA to be falling apart. The Washington Post today reports ("Deputy Chief Resigns From CIA," by Dana Priest):

The deputy director of the CIA resigned yesterday after a series of confrontations over the past week between senior operations officials and CIA Director Porter J. Goss's new chief of staff that have left the agency in turmoil, according to several current and former CIA officials.

John E. McLaughlin, a 32-year CIA veteran who was acting director for two months this summer until Goss took over, resigned after warning Goss that his top aide, former Capitol Hill staff member Patrick Murray, was treating senior officials disrespectfully and risked widespread resignations, the officials said.

Yesterday, the agency official who oversees foreign operations, Deputy Director of Operations Stephen R. Kappes, tendered his resignation after a confrontation with Murray. Goss and the White House pleaded with Kappes to reconsider and he agreed to delay his decision until Monday, the officials said.

Several other senior clandestine service officers are threatening to leave, current and former agency officials said.

Great choice, guys.

Disappearing Allies
"Significant progress" is a far cry from "mission accomplished," don't you think? Meanwhile, the Coalition of the Disappearing grows: Hungary is leaving, the Czech Republic is going, the Dutch are getting out, and Bulgaria is considering a force reduction. Bulgaria!

Disappearing Cabinet Members
Education Secretary Rod Paige, a self-styled linchpin in the war against terrorism, joined the growing number of cabinet members leaving the Bush administration. Quick: Name one accomplishment.

Just Disappear
He may protest that his intentions are noble, but really, shouldn't we keep Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld out of Central America?

[* Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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