This Week In Pool Reports

Someone please give Mark Silva a vacation day! Pool reports from abroad read like a comedy of errors. Oh, and Bush has big plans to “do something” with earmarks. Hmm…

  • “Alighting from the aircraft, and looking tired, POTUS walked to the White House without saying anything to the waiting media. As he approached the building entrance, the sound of a barking, welcoming dog could be heard but the animal remained out of view. A cold and damp evening. A steady rain, which started about an hour before the president’s arrival had stopped when Marine One touched down. Your pooler is too wet and grumpy to muse about that.” — Rick Tomkins, UPI

  • “We were able to stand outside in a covered breezeway of the mess hall, and watch the vice president step out of the mess, fully dressed in suit and tie, and walk through the breezeway toward us speaking with a two-star general, Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, in camouflage-uniform. They walked toward us speaking cheerfully, but the VP did not appear inclined to even recognize us standing there at the end taking pictures and waiting for crumbs, so we asked, how was the mess? ‘Breakfast was excellent,’ said Cheney, passing on with a smile, at 7:37 am Bagram base time.” — Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune

  • “That said, our friendly base bus driver couldn’t find these Koele Barracks last night, after our planned brief stop at Bagram turned into a sleep-over. After we nearly had a collision on the tarmac with a fuel tanker, our bus wandered around the base in search of someone who knew where the barracks were. They were in a large section of the base where all these B-Huts are arranged chock-a-block in aisles filled with rainwater and mud and lined with soggy sandbags. This is the housing where most of the base soldiers live. ‘It’s like summer camp,’ one senior officer told us, ‘except you have to stay for a year.’ — Silva

  • “Bush said the economy was ‘cooking’ — an apparent up-tick from this morning, when it was ‘good.’ He also said he intended to ‘do something’ about earmarks in appropriations bills, and touched on education and health care. — Geoff Earle, New York Post

  • “The Monday morning Oman rush-hour paid a serious price for the passage of this motorcade — which lost one of its formal limousines en route to mechanical failure, with the motorcade stopping to rearrange passengers, and this was not long before the non-English speaking driver of the press pool van started receiving incoming cell phone calls with a musical ring.” — Silva

  • “The pool has had no words with the vice president on this day, which makes it no different, so far, from any other day of the weeklong tour of the Pacific Ocean that Cheney made last week. But poolers persist in requesting some interviews. He looks pretty chipper, near the end of a week-long odyssey.” — Silva

  • “He was wearing a blazer and slacks — looked like a greyish blazer to me, but then I’m somewhat color blind.” — Tomkins

  • “AF Two stopped for refueling in Singapore after experiencing some
    electrical problems following our departure from Sydney. Described as a power surge on the airplane, it had the effect of rendering our cabin electrical outlets inoperative, shutting down the galley – crackers and cheese were circulated in consolation – and cancelling the inflight film festival, though the film menu already had been limited by an airborne censor’s determination that “Idiocracy” contains sexually inappropriate content. And I always thought it was just a bad title.” — Silva

  • “Obviously, in the pool report on Kabul, the reference to the attack at Bagram being aimed at shaking the Pakistani govt should say the Afgan government. Been in both places and slept in barracks.” — Silva