Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A change of compassion

Here’s what you can see in a print newspaper that you wouldn’t see online: an AP story, “Two Killed at Somali Food Riot,” right above an ad for all-you-can-eat riblets at Applebee’s. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were food riots at Applebee’s and all-you-can-eat riblets in Somalia?

Bush made two not especially blog-worthy public appearances today. The first followed a meeting with the House Republican leaders, “dear friends of mine who are committed to doing what’s right for the country.”

He gave a laundry list of measures on which he will brook no contradiction and accept no compromise: he wants the Democratic (excuse me: Democrat) Congress to pass the Republican housing bill; he wants $108 billion in supplemental spending “without any strings”; he wants FISA, Colombian free trade, oil refineries, permanent tax cuts, he wants, he wants, he wants. He’s so needy. Maybe someone should tell him about the all-you-can-eat riblets. “And it’s an agenda that recognizes that we can find the wisdom of the American people in their souls, in their hearts.” Which are also all-you-eat, in the Congressional cafeteria.

In the afternoon, Bush spoke at something called the Council of the Americas, which is a business group.

YEAH, LIBERTY, THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE BE SPREADING: “I appreciate your strong concern about the need for liberty to be spread”.

DID YOU KNOW I THINK I SPEAK SPANISH? “I am honored to be here with the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, better known in the neighborhood as Señorita Arroz.”

AND A CHANGE OF UNDERWEAR: “Until there’s a change of heart and a change of compassion, and a change of how the Cuban government treats its people, there’s no change at all.” A change of compassion?

“Cuba will not be a land of liberty so long as free expression is punished and free speech can take place only in hushed whispers and silent prayers.” Free speech takes place in silent prayers?

GEORGE HAS A NEW ADVERB: “these unbelievably wealthy and unbelievably violent drug kingpins” “But our military has provided unbelievably good care for a lot of people”

IT’S HARD: “It’s hard to have a hopeful place when the people aren’t comfortable with the nature of government.”

NOT PERHAPS: “The Millennium Challenge Account is one way to promote prosperity, but perhaps the most -- not "perhaps" -- the most effective way is through trade.”

THIS OPPORTUNITIES: “Congress recognized this opportunities, and Congress took a look at whether or not we ought to have free trade agreements in our neighborhood, and they started doing so with Peru.”

Without free-trade agreements, how will the people of Latin America be able to afford Jenna Bush wedding commemorative mouse pads?

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