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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Radio hosts were wine'd, dine'd and shine'd upon on the White House lawn this past Tuesday, and though it seems that Al Franken wasn't on one of them there lawn chairs that Karl Rove set up, it did not keep the hard-hitting questions from coming right and...right.

"How do you feel about Democrats who want to surrender to the terrorists?"

"How can we revisit flip-flopping without making it about the President's "staying the course' not being 'stay the course?'"

Hannity, Boortz, and Medved et. al. (O'Reilly had his personal tour last week) swallowed the White House spin like a two-dollar hooker.

But while White House chickens buck-bucked the greatness of the Bush administration, the real buzz was over what secret salvos Rove had saved for the last two weeks before the election.

It sure didn't take long to find out.

Sean Hannity, who has taken artificial sincerity to heights once reserved for Mafia Dons eulogizing their victims at their victim's funerals, ripped into Jim Webb's fictionalized novel written decades ago. "Where has the Mainstream Media been the last twenty years when they should have been looking into Webb's novel?"

Sean was almost as incredulous as he was when, two days before, he spent at least an hour demanding that Harold Ford apologize for his father saying something that his father never said . "Democrats refuse to talk about the issues."

Sean read portions of the Webb's book on the air, just beside himself with disgust, even at one point having to answer the phone: His wife called to demand he stop reading. Welcome to Hannity Theater.

But Rove's real shot off the bow is how is using your tax money. Buying a vote, though mostly done under the radar, has always been a campaign mainstay. But no matter how you spin this one, the White House is taking your money and spending it to elect Republicans.

It's quid pro quo. The White House quids million$ (our tax money) in benefits to your district. Then you pro your vote for them. At least, that's the Rove plan.

Karl Rove met with a federal disaster relief official and four days later millions of dollars of federal disaster aid was authorized by the White House which mired-in-controversy congressman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) was able to announce just as he was to testify about his irresponsibility in the Foley affair.

"The stars were aligned. It was a coincidence," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Here be another star alignment. The Transportation Department transported the federal highway administrator to Ohio last week to announce grants for a transportation hub to help the ailing campaign of Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio).

Rove is a constant at Interior Office meetings, and while certainly Rove would never make any of these visits political (spittake here), the results of these meetings seem to always end up with Rebublican representatives having money land in their district.

Is it just "stars being aligned?" Maybe. But hopefully the new Congress and Senate will investigate just who is in charge of aligning those stars.

Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful"( and the wacky new children's novel, "15-Minutes" (HarperCollins)

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Albion Monitor   October 28, 2006   (

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