Washington, DC - In a pathetic attempt to regain the public attention he has relished during his tenure, US Attorney General John Ashcroft has announced several new programs he hopes will catapult him once more into the limelight. These include less stringent requirements for securing wiretaps and search warrants, mandatory drug and polygraph testing for all American's over the age of 14 and plans to join Velvet Revolver as a guest on their European tour this summer.
"I've always seen myself as a proponent of tough love'," said the Attorney General during a press conference this morning, "and I think that more American's are going to be finding it tough to love me after these new plans go into action. However, I also think that these schemes will get me the level of coverage I'd like and take Rumsfeld down a peg or two."
The simmering rivalry between Attorney General Ashcroft and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, which has been observed and confirmed by many members of the Bush administration, has taken some bizarre twists and turns over the past three years. What started with the two men comparing the size of their respective press clipping books has on occasion degenerated into screaming and even uncorroborated reports of fisticuffs.
"I didn't see it myself," said one unnamed source, "but I can tell you that Rummy was in the john just off the [Oval] office during a cabinet meeting. Ashcroft excused himself and followed him in there and you could hear them exchanging words. It was getting heated and some thins were said that probably shouldn't have been. Next we could all hear some scuffling and Rummy comes out all flushed. John came out a few seconds later with some pretty nasty scratches on his face.
"The boss asked what happened in there and Rummy says nothing' and Ashcroft agrees - I banged my cheek on the doorknob' was all he would say, but we all knew he was lying," concluded the aide.
The Attorney General has denied that he is frustrated with his standing in the media but did say that increased activism on his part would "help keep Americans more secure."
Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, questioned this assertion. "How will drug-testing everyone over 14 keep us more secure? This whole proposal by Mr. Ashcroft raises some very serious concerns - and if ego is behind them, well heaven help us all; and what's up with the Velvet Revolver thing?"
Mr. Ashcroft, when asked about his relationship with Velvet Revolver (a shake and bake band made up of leftovers from Guns and Roses and Stone Temple Pilots) pointed out that he is an accomplished musician. In the fall of 2001, Mr. Ashcroft wrote the song, "Let the Eagle Soar", which he performed with members of his DOJ staff. (According to one staffer, speaking off the record, "It really sucked.") The Attorney General will be showcasing his musical talents with VR in Glasgow, Scotland on August 31st.