Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How to get the attention of the American people in a positive way

As he so fearsomely threatened, Tony Blair has released hard evidence that the British sailors were seized within Iraqi waters (actually, floating on top of Iraqi waters, one would assume). Here is that hard evidence: 29 degrees 50.36 minutes north, 048 degrees 43.08 minutes east. Pretty much conclusive, huh?

Title of a Bush speech: “President Bush Discusses Economy, War on Terror During Remarks to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.”

“It’s good to be with fellow conservationists,” he told the ranchers.

“[T]here’s a fundamental debate in Washington, when you really get down to it,” he told them, “and the debate is who best to spend your money. And I believe a cattleman can spend their money better than the government can.” So there’s a fundamental debate in Washington over whether cattlemen can spend money better than the government. This was in fact a point of division between Madison and Hamilton in the Federalist Papers (Madison, not surprisingly, said it was the cattlemen).

“I say the tax cuts work. Since we enacted major tax reform in 2003, in response to recession and a terrorist attack, this economy of ours has created more than 7 million jobs”. Tax cuts were a response to 9/11?

“When I’m talking to [foreign] leaders and they’ve got an issue with American beef, it’s on the agenda. I say, if you want to get the attention of the American people in a positive way, you open up your markets to U.S. beef.” Also, “Every time we break down a barrier to trade, it makes it more likely somebody who’s raising a cow will have an opportunity to sell that cow into a better market.” Not better for the cow, mind you.

He did not say whether the Iraqis have gotten the attention of the American people in a positive way by opening up their markets to US beef, but he did say – and in this case his inability to correctly use prepositions is accidentally revealing – “And then they elected a government underneath that constitution.”

He’s also not good with verb forms, saying twice that “The lesson of September the 11th must not be forgot.” Or possibly he’s confusing the lesson of September 11 with old acquaintance and auld lang syne.

The Iraqi people, he says, “see positive changes.” In proof of this, he quoted... wait for it... “two Iraqi bloggers -- they have bloggers in Baghdad, just like we’ve got here”. He didn’t mean Riverbend, who hasn’t posted in more than a month. Actually, I don’t know who he meant, since the alleged quote he gave from these alleged Iraqi alleged bloggers about how everything is so much better now, is nowhere to be found on the web, according to alleged Google.

[Update: It’s evidently the blog Iraq the Model (which I don’t know, although its blogroll is entirely right-wing and, while long, fails to include Juan Cole or Riverbend), but the quotes he used seem to be from a Wall Street Journal op-ed by the two rather than the blog. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the NYT points out that the bloggers met Bush in the White House in 2004.]

“If the House bill becomes law, our enemies in Iraq would simply have to mark their calendars.” And they’d probably mark them with smiley faces. SMILEY FACES!

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