Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I’m convinced most people don’t want to try to sneak into America to work


Today Bush spoke, bilingually, to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He brought much of the Cabinet with him. “These are people who are here to put an exclamation point on the subject I’m going to discuss with you today.” Including one of those cute little upside-downy ones y’all got.

He spent most of the speech pushing for ratification of the free-trade agreement with Colombia. He did this in two ways: 1) he said it would be a reward to Colombia for allegedly being a democracy and not hating the US too much, 2) he claimed free trade creates freedom, because it has the word free right in it; see where it says “free trade”? “Trade also serves a broader strategic purpose. When we enter into free trade agreements, we reinforce commitments to democracy, and transparency, and rule of law. ... In other words, trade helps democracies flourish”.


He contrasted the fine democracy of Colombia with the regime (he used the word three times) in Venezuela. See if you can spot the crucial fact he leaves out of this account:
Earlier this month, Colombian forces killed one of FARC’s most senior leaders -- a man believed to be responsible for trafficking cocaine and murdering hundreds of people. And the response to all this action reveals the challenges that Colombia faces. The President of Venezuela praised the terrorist leader as a ‘good revolutionary,’ and ordered his troops to the Colombian border.
Yes, he forgot to mention that Colombian forces assassinated Raul Reyes in Ecuador, not Colombia, without which tiny detail you might wonder why Chavez got so worked up.


What else has Venezuela done? “[S]enior regime officials have met with FARC leaders in Venezuela.” You mean when they were negotiating for the release of hostages at the express invitation of Colombia’s government?

Here’s my favorite sentence: “the region is facing an increasingly stark choice: to quietly accept the vision of the terrorists and the demagogues, or to actively support democratic leaders like President Uribe.” Just as he liked to conflate Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida, here he is claiming that Chavez (one of those “demagogues”) shares the exact same “vision” as the terrorists.


WHAT NEIGHBORS ARE WORRYING ABOUT: “There’s neighbors worrying about neighbors losing jobs.”

HE’S GOT AN MBA, YOU KNOW: “The more choices available, the better it is for a consumer. The more competition it is for a product, the less likely it is the price will rise.”

CATCHY: “You know, some have called for a ‘timeout’ from trade. I guess that’s probably popular with the focus group. You know, they toss out the word ‘timeout’ from trade -- it’s got this kind of catchy little title to it.”


IN OTHER WORDS: “In other words, we’re focusing money to help people get the skills necessary to fill the jobs that are available in America. And when you get education, you’re a more productive worker, which means you’re going to get paid more money. That’s what that means.” He’s got an MBA, you know.

WHAT HE’S CONVINCED OF: “I’m convinced most people don’t want to try to sneak into America to work.”

YOU SAY POTATO, I SAY REFRIED BEANS, LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF: “It’s mutually beneficial for Canada, the United States and America -- I mean, Mexico.”

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