Friday, March 09, 2007

George goes to Brazil. Where the nuts come from.

You know how Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld etc are always making “surprise” trips to Baghdad? Today someone visited Baghdad and it was a genuine surprise: Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki actually took a trip outside the Green Zone, unannounced and during the Friday ban on vehicle movement and not, of course, to a Sunni neighborhood, but still it was pretty darned brave of him.

Bush is in Brazil, meeting with President Lula, who wouldn’t shut up about biofuel, although from the pictures I’ve seen, Brazil is powered entirely by the burning of American flags and kind of lame effigies. Bush agrees with Lula that alternative fuels are important: “In other words, dependency upon energy from somewhere else means that you’re dependent upon the decisions from somewhere else.” And, as a former Texas oil-man, he knows where gasoline comes from: “And so as we diversify away from the use of gasoline by using ethanol we’re really diversifying away from oil.” And it’s all about the incumbentosity: “we all feel incumbent to be good stewards of the environment.”

In the last paragraph I quoted one of Bush’s famous “in other words”’s. Here’s another (he was speaking at a Petrobras plant): “One of the things I like, as the President noted, is that a good ethanol policy and good alternative fuel policy actually leads to more jobs, not less. In other words, at this plant there are jobs.”

He uttered another sentence that does not need other words, because it is perfect just the way it is: “I appreciate so very much the fact that much of your energy is driven by sugarcane.”

It’s not just the fuel, but the vehicles the fuel goes into: “Well, most people in America don’t know that there are millions of flex-fuel vehicles on our street today. Just people don’t know it.” I’m pretty sure I got stuck on that street once. It’s in LA, right?

The last time he was there, Bush memorably exclaimed “Wow, Brazil is big.” Today he said, “You know, Brazil and the United States are the two largest democracies in our hemisphere”. Somewhere, a Canadian is thinking of writing a mildly cross letter pointing out the fallaciousness of that statement but, being Canadian, will no doubt decide to “let’s not get excited, eh.”

If I declare a caption contest for this picture (original caption here), how much am I going to regret it?

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