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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Hey, Mr. President! 

Hey, Mr. President! -- we don't mean to be rude (because that particular arrow is not in our personal quiver), but a couple of items we saw over at Eschaton (from Holden and Pie, respectively) got us to puzzling, and pondering, and scratching our (temporarily de-crowned) head, and before long the imperial melon was practically throbbing from all that exercise, and so we were hoping we might importune you with a question or two:

1.) One day after breaking a story entitled "Business in Baghdad: Big GOP Donor Chased Profit in Hussein's Iraq," the AP is reporting that:
President George W. Bush said Friday he will return a campaign donation after the Free Press reported on an Iraqi-American donor from Michigan who had business dealings with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government . . . .

"Due to the seriousness of the allegations and due to President Bush's strong positions, we felt it appropriate to return the funds," spokeswoman Merrill Smith said.

Federal Election Commission records show that Asaad Kalasho, a businessman from West Bloomfield, donated $2,000 to Bush's campaign in July 2003.

A spokesman for Kalasho responded that Kalasho has done nothing wrong and is not the subject of any legal investigations.

The Free Press reported Friday that Kalasho negotiated a $16-million deal with the Iraqi government in 2000. At that time, international sanctions prohibited most business dealings with Iraq.
Which leads us to wonder: Hey, Mr. President! -- when are you going to give Dick Cheney back?

2.) Then we read how yesterday, when you were visiting Florida to shore up your support in the felonious-Cuban-exile community, you got all up in Castro's grille for making flattering remarks about the local hookers:
"The regime of Fidel Castro has turned Cuba into a major destination for sex tourism," Bush told a conference on human trafficking. Bush added that the Cuban president "welcomes sex tourism" as a source of hard currency for his government.

Bush quoted Castro as saying that prostitutes in Havana were the cleanest and best educated in the world. He said that was evidence that Havana was encouraging sex tourism.

Cuba's government, born of a revolution against a corrupt U.S.-backed dictatorship that allowed Mafia-run gaming and prostitution to thrive in Havana in the 1950's, strongly denies tolerating sex tourism.

The Department of Justice-organized conference was aimed at promoting the administration's efforts to crack down on trafficking of people across borders for forced labor such as prostitution and sweatshop work. The issue is an important one for Christian conservatives, who are core Bush supporters nationwide.
Which leads us to wonder: Hey, Mr. President! -- has your brother Neil bought his ticket to Havana yet?

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