Monday, February 28, 2005

Guckergate and the Death of Deep Throat

By Matthew Reiss
with Kurt Opprecht

Not since Watergate has the press held so deftly between its fingers the fate of an administration. With the same ferocity that the media pounced when Lewinsky threatened our way of life, America’s press corps is lying in wait for the precise moment to expose how right wing, gay escort service poster boy James Guckert was planted in the White House press corps. Rumblings behind newsroom doors conceal a scandal so foul it could land the Bush administration somewhere between Crawford and the Rio Grande. Could there be a better send off to dying Watergate whistleblower, “Deep Throat?”

Guckert was trained by Karl Rove’s mentor, paid by the firm of a Texas GOP delegate and made privy to a secret report that outed CIA operative Valerie Palme. Wearing phony press credentials issued by the White House, the ex-Marine tossed Bush-league softball questions at GOP press flacks, deflecting the nation’s attention away from real issues for over two years.

Early indications rate Guckert’s political connections as top shelf, forcing the nation’s political columnists to put off their vacation plans, pack an extra suitcase and await the call to hearings at the capital rotunda. The Washington Hilton, say sources familiar with hotel operations, is taking no reservations. “Guckergate” will achieve World Series of Scandal status within a few hours of the announcement.

Scandals are ugly. But when the fallout splashes up and sullies the media, the baying of bloodhounds turns shrill. No news team that was ignored while Guckert basked in national attention can ignore a chink this wide in White House armor. Rove’s media mastery will wilt when archival video of warm smiles between Guckert and Bush start streaming across CNN like Monica fawning at President Bill.

The apparent calm before the storm seems to suggest an overflow of political correctness over Guckert’s same-sex marketing preference,(not that there’s anything wrong with marketing). Don’t be fooled. In reality, the delay signifies that the learned heads of the news business are laying in wait until there’s an open shot at the jugular.

It belies a precedent in journalistic muscle flexing that ended a similarly potent political phenomenon during the Cold War. Joseph McCarthy tore relentlessly through America’s democratic institutions until the specter of homosexuality was skillfully raised against his Senate Investigations Committee counsel, Roy Cohn.

Cohn had taken it personally when the Army ordered his attractive young protégé, Private David Schien, to ship off to Europe. Called to defend the Army’s actions, attorney Joseph Welsh, took advantage. Welsh asked McCarthy about the origins of a controversial piece of evidence, used against his client: “If it didn't come from Private Schien,” asked Welsh, “where did it come from? The pixies?” McCarthy took the bait. “Pixie, what's a pixie?” he answered. “A pixie is a close relation to a fairy,” answered Welch, a reference to the then-closeted Mr. Cohn.

The brief unclenching of McCarthy’s grip on public opinion allowed reporters weary of McCarthy’s record of ruination a chance to strike back. For the first time, articles critical of the senator and his counsel made news. McCarthyism never recovered. Will Bush?

The post-Watergate press rarely pulled a punch in the years that followed Nixon’s undoing. That is, until Rove made the broadsheets beg and the networks dance on their hind legs. But bloodied so early in its second term, nothing can weaken the media’s resolve to rumble on the administration’s thin ice. Surely the industry’s fear of losing access to precious sound bytes in reprisal for running critical reports, will dissolve in the face of so glaring--and potentially saleable--a scandal as this.

Stories about misleading motives behind the declaration of war on Iraq, about torture or election irregularities are one thing. But when the President snubs newsmen on national TV and calls on some hombre’s boy toy (not that there’s anything wrong with prostitution), newsmen get crazy for a smoking gun. Moralizing talk-radio hosts, who came to prominence when the giant Lewinski scandal shook the Earth, are already looking for a new king of kings.

More pertinent to Guckergate’s prospects than what Deep Throat told Woodward, however, is Carl Bernstein’s 1977 Rolling Stone article, “The CIA and the Media.” In it he outed the agency’s use of American news media for recruiting spies, for information gathering and dissemination, and revealed that the program was successfully covered-up by former CIA director George H.W. Bush. Recent reports that the Bush II administration is secretly paying off journalists to promote White House programs, calls into question whether the practice was stopped after Watergate. At risk is the very integrity of America’s free press.

Whether Bernstein’s report foreshadowed the networks’ downplaying of computer vote hacking investigations, exit poll incongruities and slow-counting Ohio, is so last year. Photographs of Gluckert’s White House smile—-one atop his spread-eagle body, another in nothing but briefs and dog tags--are already steaming up the internet. On one web site he literally advertised himself as a “talkative . . . top” and rented himself out by the hour.

So dust off your wide-screen TV and get current on your cable bill. Karl Rove’s lapdog is pumped up on steroids and digging dirt like a pit bull. Rest dear Deep Throat. Rest in peace.

© New York Gang, 2005.

Monday, February 21, 2005

From the desk of CIA Director, Porter Goss

By Kurt Opprecht, with Matthew Reiss

To Do List: Week One

Finish memo for nominations to new Axis of Evil

Pick up night vision reading glasses from repair dept

Secure final details for “shooting date” with Rummy and Dick (+ find a new bp vest)

Grab one of those Space Pens off Negroponte’s desk

Mexico: Sleeping Giant! (Hispanic cells: El Qaeda?)

Bigger flag for office

Any good KGB agents left to recruit? (“Left” – Ha)

Photo op with Paris H and Pamela A for anti-spyware ad

Apply for trademarks: “Freedom” and “Democracy”

Hollow out Bible for candy storage

Start blog. (Working title: Daily Goss?)

Squelching, squelching, squelching! – unsubscribe

Find Ukrainian dioxin soup recipe

Download Pres. Medal of Freedom application form

Arabic calligraphy practice

Meet with Alberto on new “torture” definition

Sign off on wiretaps for Planned Parenthood

See about extending Barbara Boxer’s Guantanamo “tour”

Remember: dinner tonight with Deep Throat at Novacs’s


By Kurt Opprecht, with Matthew Reiss

Copyright New York Gang, 2005.

This commentary is available for publication.
Contact Kurt, at

Monday, February 14, 2005

Social Security: Sample Republican Constituent Letter

by Kurt Opprecht

Courtesy of the House & Senate Republican Conference

Dear John Q. Public,

Thank you for contacting me regarding Social Security. Karl Rove and the GOP messaging team have made this a priority issue, so it's natural that you're scared to death.

Our bloated government is now paying the price for having funded Social Security on what is basically a pyramid scheme. In 1950, there were 16 workers paying into Social Security for every one beneficiary. But when younger workers retire, there will only be two workers contributing, one of which will be Hispanic. It's true that the Social Security Trust Fund is now running surpluses, (that's part of what's keeping the budget deficit as small as it is) but our own "accountants" assure us these funds will be depleted by 2042. Waiting until then would give liberals the opportunity to change the triply regressive Social Security tax base. That is why we are fomenting a "crisis" now.

Blue state Democrats like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin want our most patriotic citizens to fork over payroll tax on annual income over $90,000, and thus pay into to Social Security all year long like a minimum-wage waitress. That's the easy way out. From Christopher Columbus to Evel Knievel, America has been a land of adventurers and risk-takers. Shouldn't our government institutions reflect our adventurous nature?

We must destroy Social Security in order to save it. Please support me and our very moral president in taking swift, resolute, and risky measures before Hollywood and the liberal media hijack the issue with their lies. I believe that creating personal accounts that allow our savvy workers to invest their own Social Security funds in fine companies such as Halliburton, Union Carbide and Monsanto will help distract attention from the funding issue. It's true that the transition to private accounts will cost trillions of dollars, but rest assured that this money will go into the private sector -- executives, lawyers, bankers and brokers, all of them patriotic U.S. citizens -- not the U.S. Government.

The time has come to stop asking our Social Security System to be a huge safety net for America's old and crippled. I ask you, what good is a safety net if it's supported on the back of the American taxpayer?

Heartfelt and sincerely,

Member, United States Congress


Copyright Kurt Opprecht, 2005

Sunday, February 13, 2005

White House Gambles on Social Security Fix

by Matthew Reiss

The White House today released its list of preferred mutual fund products for social security investment accounts. Taxpayers under 55 who wish to divert up to two thirds of their federal payroll deductions to market accounts are invited to assign such sums by checking a box on their tax returns. Participating firms include both major investment houses and some surprising returnees to the financial game.

Storefront investment firms like Fidelity, Schwab, Merrill Lynch, etc. are expected to command the bulk of social security dollars as a consequence of their promotional savvy. The major firms’ government liaisons convinced campaign officials to make access to the nation’s retirement accounts a Bush Administration priority following a meeting in a 33rd Street parking garage during the Republican National Convention.

While fiscal integrity is central to the administration’s choices, the White House has invited proven high tech fund managers, experts in offshore tax havens and emerging market managers to participate as well. “We’ll be watching them very carefully,” said Treasury Secretary Snow.

The high tech sector will be anchored by Tyclone, LLP, (successor company to Tyco, LLP), World Con, (successor to World Com), and Con Enron--the merger of Enron and a group of low-country grifters. The administration included these bankrupt firms’ successors not merely for their recent growth histories, according to officials, but because ongoing federal hearings will save on exorbitant court filing fees for elderly pensioners who wish to recover benefits during their golden years.

Con Enron will offer investors access to once-exclusive offshore partnerships, Chewco, Osprey and LJM Cayman; proven tax havens, yet to be pierced by federal prosecutorial appointees on loan from Enron’s Houston headquarters.

Those who eschew the large investment houses, with their high overhead costs and expensive promotional budgets, in favor of lower cost pension strategies, should consider the newly emerging southern market—emerging mostly through parole or early release programs. Proponents of the Sunshine State investment vehicles have November referenda in Dade and Broward Counties to thank for the formation of such funds.

Miami’s First Flamingo Fund has been heralded by Wall Street as a major event, while the class of adjacent Broward County’s new financial elite, Hoffa Freres, portends solid returns. Another Sun Belt operator whose quarterly skim has outperformed even its most dubious SEC disclosures is Silverado Hotel & Casino Fund, a subsidiary of Last Resorts International. Like the others, Silverado offers a Craps Fund and Roulette Portfolio, and a reputation for personal attention from their licensed investment croupiers. New Orleans-based Salon Rouge Partners, is making market in Chemin du Ferre, (the French Baccarat Fund), while Loan Star Enterprises is sole internet provider of the aggressive Texas Holdem Ranch & Prison Mortgage Fund.

The president explained that by eliminating controls that restrict competition with financial products currently offered only on Indian reservations, America’s future elderly will be “well taken care of.”


© Matthew Reiss, 2005