Washington DC - (Ass Mess): Brazening out his bluff to gag former White House aides Sara M Taylor and Harriet E Miers from testifying to Congress about the firing of nine Federal prosecutors who knew too much about his involvement in the Enron fraud, George W Bush looked a terrified man today as Patrick Fitzgerald's noose tightened ever harder around his lying, cheating, perjuring, perfidious throat.
As expected Bush played the executive priviledge card with that same sans souci swagger that years of carefully-crafted Rovian mythology has honed to perfection.
But was anybody actually fooled by this Oscar-winning performance?
On Capitol Hill the big money still rides of the GOP keeping their man out of trouble in any way it possibly can.
But they're still counting on the CIA's slavish support in the aftermath of one of their top agent's ID being outed by paranoia in Dick Cheney's department.
That support is wafter thin tonight as a powerful cabal of NATO military intelligence meets in secret conclave and fine tunes the fatal decision that will seal the Bush Administration's fate "by the end of this week at the very latest".
Karl Rove is 69.