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Pelosi's New Chief of Staff

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By David Swanson

In a surprise and apparently sudden decision Tuesday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the hiring of a new Chief of Staff for her DC office.  The choice of someone without any experience on Capitol Hill surprised many observers, leading to speculation as to what changes Pelosi may have in store for the new year.

"Al Groh will be able to hit the ground running," Pelosi said in a statement.  "As head coach of the University of Virginia Cavaliers football team Groh has displayed exactly the decision making skills we need to turn this country around and head it in the right direction."

Apparently basing her decision in large part on Groh's performance in Tuesday evening's Gator Bowl, Pelosi went on to detail what she found inspiring about Groh's work.  

"Coach Groh saw an enormous lead for his team with only a few minutes remaining in the game," Pelosi said, "and he made the courageous and Democratic decision to play his freshman quarterback, a player who was completely unprepared for the game but who deserved a chance to be humiliated on national television.  The overconfidence that Groh exhibited in blowing his team's enormous lead reminded me immediately of the Democratic Congress under President Reagan and the decision not to push for impeachment over Iran-Contra.  That Congress showed maturity and restraint, well calculated to win the next elections when it became recognized by the American people.  The fact that the Republicans wiped the floor with us indicates only that the American people are a bunch of ignoramuses."

Pelosi may have made her decision prior to the game's last few minutes.  At least, her statement suggests that she was leaning in that direction.  "We all admired Groh's wise hesitation earlier in the game," Pelosi said, "particularly the time when he challenged a questionable call only after another play had been run, thus preventing an official review.  By so acting, Groh displayed for the stupid ass public a desire to win, without risking any actual progress toward victory.  This is precisely the sort of performance that is needed on Capitol Hill at a time when we are facing the least popular and most impeachable president and vice president in history, and I'm too damn scared and corrupt to act.  Plus there's the whole occupation of Iraq nonsense, and sooner or later people are going to figure out that we could just cut off the money by not passing any more bills to fund it.  Distracting people from that simple fact will take the well-honed skills of a proven loser like Al Groh, and I am thrilled to welcome him to my office."

Contacted late Tuesday evening, Groh said, "I don't really mind the pay cut that much, because there's the lobbying option afterward.  Besides, I was going to be gone soon one way or the other.  I never knew I was a Democrat, to tell you the truth, but I felt so sorry for Nancy when she told me how people are treating her that I couldn't really say no.  At least I don't think I'll change my mind, but I'm really tired."
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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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