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Today marks the 25th anniversary of Ann Richards's spectacular "silver foot speech" at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. Richards was then treasurer of Texas and would later become its 45th governor, losing a second term to George "Dubya" Bush. But, in the Atlanta speech, she referred to George H.W. Bush, saying:
And now that he's after a job that he can't get appointed to, he's like Columbus discovering America. He's found child care. He's found education.
Poor George. He can't help it —he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
Bush went on to win the presidency, of course and lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton, who debuted at that same '88 convention with a droning, overly long nominating speech for Michael Dukakis that some considered a career-killer.
Here's a video of the first 10 minutes of Richards's speech. The link to the whole speech (33 minutes) is here. There is a transcript here, but it loses so much when you don't listen to that polished Texas cadence with its soft vowels:
File this under "holy shit": there's a reason Cheney was so adamant about keeping the deliberations of the Energy Task Force secret. It wasn't about Enron or ANWAR (although I'm sure they surely had their role), it was about divying up Iraq's oil fields. It really was about the oil.
Judicial Watch, the conservative legal group that bedeviled the Clinton Administration has effectively done the same for Cheney and Bush:
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”
So were such documents used for truly innocent purposes? It'll be interesting to see the administration's and its backers' tortured explanations as to why the Task Force would have pondered over who held the contracts to Iraq's oil wealth.
1853: "We enslave you for your own good." 1953: "We segregate you for your own good." 2013: "We stop and frisk you for your own good." — @jesseltaylor
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin brought a full smorgasbord (smörgåsbord!) of Abbreviated Pundit Roundup items Basic message: Republicans are bonkers. Crazy gun stories from the new Wild West. More from the Brookings essay on the Sandy Hook Promise activists. And Ian Reifowitz joined us for another wide-ranging discussion, touching on his writing on the evolution of a progressive national identity, fallout from the Zimmerman trial, the prosperity gospel, and just a wee bit more philosophy, psychiatry and theology than you normally hear on morning radio!