Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Forwardly Looking Forward to Looking Forward

While others are picking over the remains of Bush's predictably pathetic discourse with the White House press, let me throw in. By now it is known in every corner of the country and elsewhere that our intrepid leader talking to the press is like Barney Fife lecturing wayward criminals spending the night in the Mayberry jail. Nobody expects any less but it is still disconcerting. Let's look at a few examples of our illiterate president try to string coherent thoughts together while he avoids answering questions.

Q Mr. President, in the debate over Dr. Rice's confirmation, Democrats came right out and accused you and the administration of lying in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Republicans, in some cases, conceded that mistakes have been made. Now that the election is over, are you willing to concede that any mistakes were made? And how do you feel about --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me talk about Dr. Rice -- you asked about her confirmation. Dr. Rice is an honorable, fine public servant who needs to be confirmed. She will be a great Secretary of State. And Dr. Rice and I look forward to moving forward. We look forward to working to make sure the Iraqis have got a democracy. We look forward to continuing to make sure Afghanistan is as secure as possible from potential Taliban resurgence. We look forward to spreading freedom around the world. And she is going to make a wonderful Secretary of State.

As we've said once or twice here at RH, freedom through force of arms. Our president loves spreading freedom. Peace through war. How many people that hear such a statement think if that is the way you spread freedom we don't want it?

Q I'd like to ask you -- sir, I'd like to ask you about the deficit. But before I do that, there is a developing story this morning -- the helicopter crash in Iraq. Can you tell us what you know about that, what may have caused it, and your reaction to it?

THE PRESIDENT: I know that it's being investigated by the Defense Department. And, obviously, any time we lose life it is a sad moment.

Q Don't know whether it was weather-related, or not --

THE PRESIDENT: Not yet. I've heard rumors, but I'll wait to the facts.

Yeah Mr. preznit, let us know when you "to the facts."

Q Mr. President, I want to try another way to ask you about Iraq. When you made the decision to go to war in Iraq, you clearly had majority support in the country. A string of recent polls have shown a clear majority of the American people now believe it was a mistake to go to war in Iraq. You've asked for $80 billion in more money on top of the billions already spent. The army says that we'll probably have 100,000 or more troops in Iraq for at least another year. What would you say to the American people, including a significant number who supported you at the beginning of the war, who now say this is not what we were led to believe would happen?

THE PRESIDENT: A couple of things, John. I'd say the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. A world with Saddam Hussein in power would have been a -- would have been a more dangerous world today. Secondly, that we're making progress in helping Iraq develop a democracy. And in the long-term, our children and grandchildren will benefit from a free Iraq.
And listen, the story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people. I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life. And -- but it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom. Otherwise, the Middle East will be -- will continue to be a cauldron of resentment and hate, a recruiting ground for those who have this vision of the world that is the exact opposite of ours.

Mr. President, how will our children and grandchildren be affected other than the debt they will be paying on the cost of this war and your other policies?

And we weep and mourn...but only for a second becasue we have freedom to spread. People will be injured, people will be maimed, people will die, but it's all worth it because we're spreadin' freedom the old fashioned way.

Q Mr. President, I'd like to ask you about the Gonzales nomination, and specifically, about an issue that came up during it, your views on torture. You've said repeatedly that you do not sanction it, you would never approve it. But there are some written responses that Judge Gonzales gave to his Senate testimony that have troubled some people, and specifically, his allusion to the fact that cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of some prisoners is not specifically forbidden so long as it's conducted by the CIA and conducted overseas. Is that a loophole that you approve?

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, Al Gonzales reflects our policy, and that is we don't sanction torture. He will be a great Attorney General, and I call upon the Senate to confirm him.

Al Gonzales reflects our policy? What? We don't sanction torture? This is what the preznit does when he is trapped. We've already told you the answer. I call on the Senate to confirm him. Next.

Q Thank you, sir. Any -- back on Social Security -- any transition to personal accounts is estimated to cost between $1 trillion to $2 trillion over 10 years. Without talking about specific proposals, do you plan to borrow that money, or will you, when your plan comes out --

THE PRESIDENT: You're asking me to talk about specific proposals. And I'm looking over --

Q -- will you be able to pay for it, though?

THE PRESIDENT: Over the -- I fully understand some people are concerned about whether or not this is affordable. And at the appropriate time, we'll address that -- that aspect of reform. But personal accounts are very important in order to make sure that young workers have got a shot at coming close to that which the government promises. They're also important because a personal account, obviously under strict guidelines of investment, will yield a better rate of return over -- than the money -- the person's money is earning in the Social Security trust. And personal accounts will enable a worker to be able to pass on his or her earnings to whoever he or she chooses, which is an important part of promoting an ownership society. We want people to own and manage their own assets. After all, it is their own money.

And so it's a very important part, in my judgment, of reforming the system permanently. But there -- I fully understand that accounts is not the only thing that will be necessary to make sure the system is permanently secure.

Personal accounts are important so that young workers get what the government promises. Does that mean the government will guarantee that benefit so that it is at least equal to the social security benefit? Something tells me that's not what he has in mind but what do I know?

Lets finish with this beauty that is almost unparalleled in stupidity. A guy that has no idea what it is like to suffer expounding on civil rights and America's promise.

Q Second question, on race. You brought it up in the inaugural address, and yesterday and today you have black leaders here at the White House discussing issues of race. Yesterday you didn't discuss civil rights. But where are you in the second term as it relates to race in America?

THE PRESIDENT: Civil rights is -- is a good education. Civil rights is opportunity. Civil rights is home ownership. Civil rights is owning your own business. Civil rights is making sure all aspects of our society are open for everybody. And we discussed that yesterday. And I believe that what I said was important, that we've got to shed ourselves of bigotry if we expect to lead by example. And I'll do the very best I can as the President to make sure that the promise -- and I believe in the promise of America -- is available for everybody.

Here's the GWB his mama raised down on Midland (from one of his MBA professors):

In 1973, as the oil and energy crisis raged, Tsurumi led a discussion on whether government should assist retirees and other people on fixed incomes with heating costs. Bush, he recalled, "made this ridiculous statement and when I asked him to explain, he said, 'The government doesn't have to help poor people -- because they are lazy.' I said, 'Well, could you explain that assumption?' Not only could he not explain it, he started backtracking on it, saying, 'No, I didn't say that.'"

Now that's more like it.

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