Monday, December 12, 2005

But it was not a peaceful welcome

WaPo headline: “FEMA Ordered to Extend Hotel Stays.” Yeah, because telling the clerk, “By the hour? We only need it for 15 minutes” is just so tacky.

When Bush in today’s speech said that this time, unlike in the January 2005 elections, seats in the Iraqi parliament would be allocated according to population, I was wondering when a census was last carried out and if there’d been something like, say, an invasion and war that might have altered the population distribution since then. Turns out, seats will actually be allocated not on the basis of total numbers, but registration for the January elections... which the Sunnis boycotted. Also, 1/6 of the seats are based on a single-national-constituency such as that used in January.

In an interview with Bush today, NBC’s Brian Williams asked about the Newsweek story that Bush lives in a bubble – big scoop for Newsweek, that one. Bush responded: “Well, I’m talking to you. You’re a person.” He went on, “I feel very comfortable that I’m very aware of what’s going on.” And added that he never reads the news magazines – a big scoop for Brian Williams, that one. Later, after Bush expresses admiration for Abraham Lincoln, Williams noted that Lincoln could meet members of the general public right in the White House. Bush says, yeah, but he’s got Air Force One, so he can meet lots of families of dead soldiers: “I’m sure Abraham Lincoln was able to do that, but I don’t think he was able to do it in cities all around the United States which I have been able to do.” “And I try to be patient and absorb the anguish of a family that’s just mourning.” Tries to be patient. The man’s a saint, I tells ya.

Says he likes Teddy Roosevelt because “He used American influence to shape history and to lay what I call the foundations for peace.” Well, unless you count the world war that started five years after he left office.

Asked why American troops were not welcomed in Iraq as liberators: “I think we are welcomed. But it was not a peaceful welcome.”

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