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I'm not making this up, folks.

The New York Times reports that the White House-- currently entangled in such problems as possible indictments for commiting treason, mismanagement of the occupation of Iraq and the response to Katrina, the bungled appointment of Rachel Dracht Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court -- felt the need to bring out their big legal guns to tame those thugs who have long been threats to America's freedom: the publishers of The Onion. It seems they've been abusing Chimpy's favorite perk -- his exclusive right to use the seal of the President of the United States:

[The Onion] regularly produces a parody of President Bush's weekly radio address on its Web site (www.theonion.com/content/node/40121), where it has a picture of President Bush and the official insignia.

"It has come to my attention that The Onion is using the presidential seal on its Web site," Grant M. Dixton, associate counsel to the president, wrote to The Onion on Sept. 28. (At the time, Mr. Dixton's office was also helping Mr. Bush find a Supreme Court nominee; days later his boss, Harriet E. Miers, was nominated.)

Citing the United States Code, Mr. Dixton wrote that the seal "is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement." Exceptions may be made, he noted, but The Onion had never applied for such an exception.

The Onion was amused. "I'm surprised the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion," Scott Dikkers, editor in chief, wrote to Mr. Dixton. He suggested the money be used instead for tax breaks for satirists.

I can't help but believe this is a conspiracy between the Administration and their cronies at Comedy Central. How else to explain the fact that this Administration is the gift that just keeps on giving to comedy writers?

Originally posted to John Campanelli on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:47 PM PDT.

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