Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department.
Another attachment "contains specific examples of GWOT messages within agriculture speeches. Please use these message points as often as possible and send Harry Phillips, USDA's director of speechwriting, a weekly email summarizing the event, date and location of each speech incorporating the attached language. Your responses will be included in a weekly account sent to the White House."
This scoreboard, of course, will ensure you give it your best shot.
Now, you might still be scratching your heads, trying to figure out how this is going to work when people expect a talk about agriculture issues. Not to worry. The attachments -- which can be viewed at http://www.washingtonpost.com/fedpage -- show how easy it is to work a little Iraq happy talk into just about anything.
Talk turkey, or chicken, to your audience: "The major poultry producers in Iraq . . . are using [U.S.] loan guarantees to buy U.S. corn and soybeans. . . . This in turn provides a cycle of income that is being used to update 25-year-old chicken houses," the e-mail suggests. Chickens apparently produce better in nice homes.
But what if your speech is on civil rights? Easy. Begin this way: "I'm here to talk about civil rights, which is one of the fundamental tenets of democracy." Then you can say this country "has been evolving for 230 years . . . still working to become a more perfect union . . .
"So before I begin talking about the civil rights climate at USDA," the example says, "I'd like to address the situation in another nation that is just now forging the path to democracy."
Bingo! You're in. Now: "The president has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq structured along three tracks," etc.
"Iraq is part to the 'fertile crescent' of Mesopotamia," the sample script says. "It is there, in around 8,500 to 8,000 B.C., that mankind first domesticated wheat, there that agriculture was born. In recent years, however, the birthplace of farming has been in trouble."
Probably want to pause here and give the audience a chance to catch its breath. It's hard to travel 10,500 years that quickly. "But revitalization is underway. President Bush has a clear strategy . . ."
Don't forget to send that weekly e-mail to Harry.
Un-fuckin'-believable! The bastards are getting so desperate they're goin' nuckin' futs! Good.
Maybe they could work something in about how the insurgents are actually illegal immigrant agricultural workers complaining about stoop labor wages.