Sunday, March 12, 2006

never steal anything small

Recently “retired” White House domestic policy advisor Claude Allen was arrested Thursday for trying to bilk Maryland department stores out of roughly $5000 over the past year in a phony return/refund scam. After initially defending Allen, the famously loyal President Bush has now tossed him overboard like his favorite prey, undersized bass. Said the Thief-in-Chief, “Something went wrong in Claude Allen’s life.”


What made Allen so obtuse as to repeatedly go for the chump change when this administration provides a loyal soldier unlimited avenues for the big score?

Sure, Allen had the concepts down: get credit for something you didn’t do, profit from it, and then, when caught, immediately craft an elaborate lie that blames the victim (when caught at a Target in January, Allen quickly called WH Chief of Staff Andy Card and said that the “confusion” stemmed from the credit card company misunderstanding his frequent changes of address—which reminds me, what’s up with the frequent changes of address?). But Claude didn’t understand the finer points of one-party state, institutionalized thievery.

Of course, there is something more disturbing here—the 45 year-old Allen was once a Bush nominee for federal appellate judge. Forget his complete lack of judicial experience, what exactly goes on in a Bush & Co. vet that this sustained behavior (with an easily accessed paper trail) would not turn up, like, immediately?

(TPM has more on Allen and his misdoings starting here, and Josh also reminds us that it was Claude that was responsible for coordinating the White House “response” to Katrina in the early days of the catastrophe.)


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