Well, I, for one, am filled with confidence. Yes, I can hear it already: “Now is not the time for partisan politics, the focus should be on helping a city devastated by natural forces, blah blah blah…” The problem is that when the Bush administration and its supporters make these statements, what they actually mean is, “Now is the time for us to use this situation to promote our own political agenda and to discredit the opposition, and anyone who points this out, or suggests that maybe we’re not doing everything we can, or that we didn’t bother to prepare for this situation, or that we’re doing a piss-poor job of reacting to it now is a dirty rotten liar who hates America and freedom, and who probably has sex with dogs.
Craig pointed me to Kung Fu Monkey a few days ago, and I’ve been perusing the site on and off. The author is a former stand-up comic and current TV/film writer, and while I don’t find his industry-related posts particularly interesting, his political rants are great. Take for instance, point #3 in this post responding to reader criticism of a previous article about why John Kerry lost the 2004 election. The reader objection in question is that Bush is a liar, why can’t people see that he’s lying, etc.
I realized after completing the previous post that I provided no evidence to support my claim that the Bush administration had pretty much gutted FEMA as a disaster-preparedness agency. See this article from the Independent Weekly for a depressing but unsurprising summary. Or check out this Washington Post editorial. Or why not this one as well, from Editor & Publisher.
I caught a bit of the President’s speech on Iraq last night. I didn’t go out of my way to listen, as I didn’t expect anything new. Frankly, anyone who did expect anything new is a fool. The speech before a captive audience and canned applause at Ft. Bragg was clearly nothing more than a publicity stunt, an attempt to shore up sagging support for the administration’s Iraq policy. While a few starry-eyed members of the media suggested that the Bush acknowledged the grim realities “on the ground,” it amounted (unsurprisingly) to little more than “stay the course,” “9/11,” and “anyone who questions me doesn’t support our troops.
I suppose we should find it surprising neither that moderate Senators from both sides of the aisle managed to forge a compromise on President Bush’s current slate of judicial nominees, nor that special interest groups on both sides of the debate are decrying the deal as a sell-out. I’ll admit to being somewhat disappointed when I first read news of the compromise; like many following this debate, I was looking forward to a big showdown.
Well, not really, but I thought it made for a catchy title… Okay, so here’s what I can’t figure out about this Terry Schiavo business. According to pretty much every poll that has been conducted since the case so rudely shoved the Michael Jackson trial off the top of the Big List of Useless News, solid majorities of Americans oppose state intervention in Mr. Schiavo’s decision to remove his wife’s feeding tube.
“We will work with them to convince the moolahs that they need to give up their nookyoolar ambitions.” —President Bush, speaking about Iran at a press conference in Germany yesterday. Despite the President’s insistence that “Iran is not Iraq,” this all just sounds WAY too familiar.
“I hear all these rumors about military attacks, and it’s just not the truth,” said Bush, who leaves Sunday for Europe to mend fences with allies. “We want diplomacy to work.” That’s your president, speaking to a group of European journalists at the White House, quoted in an article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. Mr. Bush went on: Listen, first of all, you never want a president to say “never.
On September 15, 2002, then White House economic advisor Larry Lindsay estimated that a war with Iraq could cost from one to two hundred billion dollars. Shortly thereafter, he was issued his walking papers by the Bush administration for his failure to stay on-message that such a war would be short, cheap, and easy. Fast forward to today, when we find out that the administration intends to ask for another $80 billion for the Iraq war, which would push total spending thus far on the war to $280 billion.
There’s a great article in the Washington Post about the Bush administration’s efforts to distance itself from any form of the term “privatization” when it comes to discussing Social Security. I have gone off at various points in the past about Republican/conservatives’ control of the language of debate, and this is a great chance to see that strategy in process.