Monday, December 20, 2004

It’s in our long-term interest that we succeed: I watch Chimpy’s press conference so you don’t have to


GeeDubya started off with a lie, “Now I’ll be glad to answer some questions,” and just continued lying from there.

On Kerik, “We -- we’ve vetted a lot of people in this administration, and we -- we vetted people in the first term. We’re vetting people in the second term. And I’ve got great confidence in our vetting process.” It just sounds so dirty when he says it.

Asked who he’d pick as national intelligence director: “I’m going to find somebody who knows something about intelligence.” Sorta like Diogenes. Which raises the question how Shrub, of all people, would recognize somebody who knows something about intelligence.

Rummy shouldn’t be fired because he provides “comfort and solace” to the soldiers who his policies put in Walter Reed in the first place. And I’m guessing he even signs their casts with an autosigner. Shrub believes Rummy’s job is complex: “It’s complex in times of peace. And it’s complex even more so in times of war.”

“We have a vital interest in the success of a free Iraq. You see, free societies do not export terror.” Afghanistan is free now, according to Shrub, I believe, and it exports what again?

I like the idea that asking him to speak in other than vague generalities about Social Security is a trick question, trying to get him to “negotiate with myself in public, to get me to negotiate with myself in public, to say, you know, ‘What’s this mean, Mr. President, what’s that mean?’” Yeah, heaven for-fucking-fend anyone ask him what he means. He won’t negotiate with himself but he will negotiate with Congresscritters, he said. Implicit in this answer is that the American people have no part in these decisions, which will be made behind closed doors and presented to them as a fait accompli.

Reporters really have to stop with the multiple-part questions, which Bush uses to answer neither. One asked a two-parter about Social Security, the first part being something fairly general about how he could fix it without raising taxes or cutting benefits, and the second part a good specific one about how he defines people “near retirement” whose benefits he’s promised to preserve. Shrub whittered on for a bit, but given the opportunity to follow up, the reporter didn’t press him on the specific one. Better to have asked only that one, and followed up on it.

And I defy anyone to find any meaning in this:
Now the benefits, as far as I’m concerned, of the personal savings account is, one, it encourages an ownership society. One of the philosophies of this government is if you own something, it is -- it makes the country a better -- the more people who own something, the country’s better off. You have a stake in the future of the country if you own something.

On Iraq, Americans watching tv see thousands--he quickly backtracked to hundreds--of innocent Iraqis getting killed, many of them not by indiscriminate US bombing, but they don’t see small businesses starting.

About Guantanamo hurting America’s reputation, he pointed to the court decisions requiring hearings as proving that America is “a nation of laws,” without saying that those decisions overturned his policy of not being a nation of laws. But there’s a “dilemma”: “And I want to make sure before they’re released that they don’t come back to -- (laughs) -- kill again.” Amputation, I’m guessing.

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