Ask not for whom the worm squirms.

The worm squirms: As a kid, Bites had a puppy that would slide across the carpet on its haunches to scratch its itchy, worm-infested bunghole. Scooter was its name, and memories of the loveable mutt weighed heavily this week after President George W. Bush commuted the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Bites by no means suggests that canine blood courses through Libby’s traitorous veins. But supposing the convicted liar and justice obstructer did make a mess on the White House carpet, Bush would be right there to wipe the hapless mongrel clean with a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

Libby faced two-and-a-half years in prison for lying and obstructing justice in the CIA-leak investigation; now he’ll do less time than Paris Hilton, i.e., he’ll do no time at all. Who to blame for this parasitic blight on the rule of law? A worm by any other name still squirms like Dick Cheney.

Short-bus nation: “Don’t have a hissy fit,” scolded Bites’ most trusted senior adviser, noting the columnist’s hysterical reaction to the former Cheney aide’s commutation. “I told you from day one that Libby would do no time.” This cynical certitude did little to assuage Bites’ temper tantrum, and in fact resulted in a misguided attempt to adapt the American Public Transportation Association’s latest slogan, “Dump the Pump,” to the Scooter-commuter controversy.

For instance, by flaunting the rule of law, isn’t Bush attempting to pump the rump of the American body politic? Isn’t he in effect asking us to hump the stump? We already tried to dump the chump. Isn’t it high time someone trumped the grump? If we catch Laura Bush in a dark alley, should we jump the frump? Is it true Lynne Cheney likes to bump the lump? Now that Washington has become a certified cesspool, don’t you think we ought to pump the sump?

By the way, “Dump the Pump,” recently seen plastered across Regional Transit buses in conjunction with the transportation association’s annual effort to increase ridership, may be the most unfortunate slogan in the history of public relations. Too guttural, too down-in-the-loins. Perhaps “Pass the Gas” was already taken.

Stupid is: As this space has consistently, persistently noted, don’t count on the front-running Democratic presidential candidates to do anything but whine about the ongoing destruction of our democracy, however tenuous it may have been in the first place. Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards so far have issued nothing but meaningless platitudes; Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has co-authored legislation calling for Cheney’s impeachment, is apparently the only candidate with a clue, which probably explains why he’s currently polling at the 1 percent level.

Are the American people stupid? With the possible exception of Spencer Hawes, the Sacramento Kings’ first-round draft pick, who sports a “God Bless George Bush” bumper sticker on his vehicle, Bites has long resisted the notion that anyone is intrinsically dimwitted. But the continuing lack of outrage at what ostensibly is the most corrupt regime in U.S. history gives pause for concern. Sure, 70 percent of the population think Bush is a war criminal. So why aren’t they out in the street doing something about it? Do they really think the Democrats can fix this mess?

To be fair, let’s give dem Dems one last chance. Log on to and scroll down to the article, “Forget the Leadership. Convince the Judiciary Committee.” There you’ll find posted the names, numbers and e-mail addresses of the 23 Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee. Ring their phones off the hook. Clog their servers with vitriolic e-mails. In lieu of that, reach out to your own representative and remind them who they work for.

As for Hawes, well, let’s hope for the sake of the King’s fans that the chump can jump.