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The new message - we're responsible... now

George Bush is trying to turn his approval ratings slide around, by commissioning his Iraqi-addicted pals Tony and John to say shit about being responsible, because, well, people don't listen when he says it. Hell, they laugh.

John Howard, Australia's PM, just left after a brief visit to the Whitehouse and a quick tour of the talk-show circuit. To Wolf Blitzer he said that pulling troops out of Iraq now would be horrendous, as would withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Tony Blair, battling his own support problems back home, does his part later this week when he visits to get his picture with the president. I have to think that Tony Blair goes on the stage with George Bush for the same reason that frat boys invite fat ugly friends to go with them to the bar - to look better by comparison. The problem of course is that if people keep seeing you at the bar getting the drinks for the fat ugly friend, you get known as the fat ugly guy's flunky. And that's likely not gonna get you any. Blair, for his part, says that he thinks British troops will be home within four years - shame he's unlikely to last that long.

For his part, Whitehouse Information Retention Manager Press Secretary says "We're not going to sort of look at our watches and say, 'Oh, time to go,' because that would be irresponsible".

Take it from the Whitehouse - they know irresponsible.

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