Wednesday, January 26, 2005

“I firmly planted the flag of liberty”: I blog Bush’s press conference so you don’t have to

our own freedom is enhanced by the expansion of freedom in other nations
You make it sound like a condiment.
We anticipate a lot of Iraqis will vote. Clearly there are some who are intimidated. ... I urge all people to vote. I urge people to defy these terrorists.
I assume he’ll be setting an example by going to Fallujah and walking people to the polls. He is so brave when others’ lives are at stake. Bring it on!
I appreciate the hard work of the United Nations, which is providing a good leadership in the ground.
Freudian slip, transcription error?
And I anticipate a grand moment in Iraqi history. If we’d been having this discussion a couple of years ago and I had stood up in front of you and said the Iraqi people would be voting, you would look at me like some of you still look at me, with a kind of blank expression.
That’s a mirror, George.
And it’s exciting times for the Iraqi people.
Terrifying, George, the word is terrifying.

Iraqi insurgents lack the “vision thing”:
These terrorists do not have the best interests of the Iraqi people in mind. They have no positive agenda. They have no clear view of a better future.
That’s also a mirror, George.

Asked what a credible turnout would be, he astonishingly fails to answer, except with the standard Special Olympics line:
The fact that they’re voting in itself is successful. Again, this is a long process. ... It’s a -- it is a grand moment for those who believe in freedom.
in the long term, our children and grandchildren will benefit from a free Iraq.
How long, George, got a time frame?

In his inaugural speech, he said something about America standing with victims of oppression, “Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there” sort of thing. So today a reporter asked about a Jordanian arrested for an anti-American speech.
PRESIDENT BUSH: I am unaware of the case. You’ve asked me to comment on something that I didn’t know took place.
If reporters only ask about stuff Shrub knows took place, press conferences would be very short affairs indeed.

Describes the Social Security crisis as “dictated by just math,” “the math shows that we have an issue,” and then tries to figure out how old a reporter’s son (who he refers to as “she” even after being corrected) will be when the system goes broke. To give him credit, he almost got his sums right. Further on Social Security:
we have a duty to act on behalf of their children and grandchildren.
We’re already giving them the benefit of a free Iraq, what more do they want?

About his mission to spread freedom everywhere:
There won’t be instant democracy.
Isn’t that we were promised in Iraq? Just add saturation bombing and stir?
And I remind people that our own country is a work in progress.
Explains all the scaffolding and visible butt cracks.
You know, we -- we -- we declared all people equal, and yet all people weren’t treated equally for a century. We said, you know, everybody counts; but everybody didn’t count.
Very zen.

He undeftly evades a question about Gonzales’s confirmation hearing remarks “that cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of some prisoners is not specifically forbidden so long as it’s conducted by the CIA and conducted overseas. Is that a loophole that you approve?”
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, Al Gonzales reflects our policy, and that is we don’t sanction torture. He will be a great Attorney General, and I call upon the Senate to confirm him.
On how wonderful his second inaugural speech was:
I firmly planted the flag of liberty
Enough with the phallic imagery already.

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