I can’t tell from the details if he’s on one of those useful idiot dream getaways or if he’s off on one of his spontaneous fact-finding missions which coincidentally always seem to take him to places where his presence might embarrass Bush instead of, say, to Darfur or North Korea.

Either way, last year “The Daily Show” did a segment in which Stewart referred to Cindy Sheehan “hugging her credibility away” by making kissyfaces with the new Great Red Hope. The left realizes that celebrity photo ops with this turd only hurt them with independents. Penn’s no dummy so he realizes it too.

But he can’t help it. Moth to a flame, baby.

Chavez said Penn traveled to Venezuela this week wanting to learn more about the situation in the country and walked around some of Caracas’ poor barrios on his own.

“Welcome to Venezuela, Mr. Penn. What drives him is consciousness, the search for new paths,” Chavez said Wednesday in a televised speech. “He’s one of the greatest opponents of the Iraq invasion.”…

The socialist president, who shares those views, said he and Penn talked by phone—”with my bad English but we understood each other more or less.”

Chavez said the two plan to meet Thursday. He called the actor “well-informed about what is happening in the United States and the world, in spite of being in Hollywood.”

He’s already made his endorsement for 2008, by the way. There are only two possibilities. Guess.

Update: John from OpFor demands obligatory video. And so obligatory video he shall have.

Update: Is Spicoli just looking to get paid?