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Passing The Buck

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 3:56 AM

More magical moments from Bush's farewell to the press yesterday morning:

- The Romper Room Magic Mirror. "I see Jake, Mike, Herman, Ann Compton. ... And I see a lot of faces that travel with me around the world and -- to places like Afghanistan and Iraq and Africa. I see some new faces ..."

The truth of the matter is that we know Bush has a seating chart with reporters' names on it, and regards them with such disdain that he once mocked a reporter with a vision impairment. (Bush apologized after someone pointed out his gaffe.)

- The non-apology apology. Bush never faulted his own decisions. It was either that things turned out differently than he expected, or that people misunderestimated him, or that it was someone else's problem he inherited.

- The Guilty Widdle Boy Act. Bush routinely rolls his head, looks down at the floor, shrugs, and rocks on his feet when talking about his decisions, as if he were a six year-old boy being called out on his bad behavior. What's up with that?

Bush will doubtless trot out the same act for his farewell address on Thursday evening.

BART Police have 'concluded their investigation' and handed the mess off to the Alameda County District Attorney.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, BART Police Chief Gary Gee said that former Officer Johannes Mehserle refused to answer questions on New Year's Day, seeking legal counsel and asserting his Fifth Amendment rights. (Mehserle resigned from the force the following Wednesday.) Which means the equivocating about not having had the opportunity to speak to Mehserle was a load of bull. You asked, and he refused later on the day of the incident. Excuses about his girlfriend having just given birth and/or his being distraught were nothing but horseshit.

Gee's remarks also apparently confirm that Mehserle's taser was on the opposite side of his belt, so speculation that he grabbed the wrong sidearm can now be discounted. This, too, is a basic question about BART police procedure that should have been answered from the very beginning. (I expect that the excuse will now be that Mehserle saw something that led him to believe he or another officer was in immediate jeopardy.)

Even so, why lawyer up over a judgment call that we have every reason to believe an officer makes on a routine basis? And why the apparent foot dragging by the BART Police?

BART's Pontius Pilate act means the Alameda County District Attorney has interviews with the other officers on the scene, as well as video evidence collected by BART. So what's going to take two weeks, again? And after his vague mumblings after the riot last Wednesday, where's Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums?

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