Cheney wannabe, Blackwater-in-exile, Jerry Brown on Goebbels, and the sad plight of Wall Street lobbyists
Dick Cheney sighting?
The Associated Press reports that an American man armed with a pistol and a 40-inch sword was caught in northern Pakistan, claiming he was on a one-man mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
Authorities identified the man as 52-year-old California construction worker Gary Brooks Faulkner, who had plans to cross into Afghanistan to hunt the terrorist leader. The episode brings to mind the "Saturday Night Live" spoof of former vice president Cheney in a cave in Kandahar, stalking bin Laden with the benefit of a "bionic ticker" that makes him invisible to radar and brews Sanka: "I'm a one-man Afghani wrecking crew!"
Faulkner and Cheney aren't the only soldiers of fortune on the march. Blackwater owner Erik Prince, according to a report in the Nation magazine, is planning to move to the United Arab Emirates. This, the magazine says, could have something to do with the fact there is no extradition treaty between the USA and the UAE. Five of Prince's deputies have been indicted on conspiracy, weapons and obstruction charges.
Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor of California, has apparently received an errant moonbeam. First he said the campaign of his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, was "like Goebbels" in its propagandizing. He apologized for that, but then found himself with more explaining to do when he joked about his program for the state's budget deficit: "I have a plan. I'll tell you after the election." That, Whitman's campaign pointed out, sounded a bit like Nixon's "secret plan" for getting out of Vietnam.
Whitman is making no secret of her plan to win the race. The Los Angeles Times reports that she put another $20 million into her campaign, bringing her total personal spending on the race to more than $91 million.
A terrible hardship has befallen the men and women who run our government. We speak, of course, of the lobbyists. "Lobbyists Can't Get in Door," reports the Wall Street Journal. In this tale of woe, lobbyists are finding it difficult to reach lawmakers as they negotiate the final details of the Wall Street reform bill. "One bank has complained that it no longer has access to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank." The horror! Also, Frank and the committee's ranking Republican, Rep. Spencer Bachus, "have postponed scheduled fund-raising events." But fear not, dear lobbyists: The lawmakers' self-deprivation will not last more than a couple of weeks.
With Matt DeLong, Felicia Sonmez and Dylan Matthews.
| June 15, 2010; 10:28 PM ET
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