Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I say veto, by the way, quite frequently in messages to Congress

There was a Linda Tripp legal defense fund, so I suppose it was inevitable that there be one for Scooter Libby, “one of the unsung heroes in fighting the war on terror.” Unsung? Why, that’s just so unfair. I would suggest a contest to come up with a Song for Scooter, but I’m afraid you people would actually write one.

The ability of the Cartoon Wars to generate entertaining headlines continues unabated. From The Times: “More Killed by Cartoon Mobs.” In Nigeria. Actually it’s no longer about the cartoons, but about a Christian teacher who took a Koran away from a student, then came the inevitable rumors about desecration, then the machetes came out. Honestly, I’d rather picture cartoon mobs, if you don’t mind.

Another good headline: “Psychics Help Hunt for Prize Dog.” The psychics have informed the owners that the dog, which escaped Kennedy Airport, is in a building.

Fun fact to learn and forget: the people of the United Arab Emirates are called Emirati.

And of course Bush is planning to turn over management of six American ports to an Emirati firm, Dubai Ports ‘R Us, bringing extra scrutiny to his complete failure to secure American ports against terrorists. Says Bush, “I really don’t understand why it’s okay for a British company to operate our ports, but not a company from the Middle East... And I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British [sic] company.” Of course he’s been talking all week about ways to reduce our addiction to oil from the Middle East, not British oil from the North Sea.

On Congressional threats to legislate against this move:
Q Why is it so important to you, sir, that you take on this issue as a political fight? Clearly, there’s bipartisan --

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t view it as a political fight. So do you want to start your question over? I view it as a good policy. [snip...]

THE PRESIDENT: It’s not a political issue.

Q But there clearly are members of your own party who will go to the mat against you on this.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s not a political issue.

Q Why are you -- to make this, to have this fight?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t view it as a fight. I view it as me saying to people what I think is right, the right policy. [snip...]

THE PRESIDENT: That’s one of the tools the President has to indicate to the legislative branch his intentions. A veto doesn’t mean fight, or politics, it’s just one of the tools I’ve got. I say veto, by the way, quite frequently in messages to Congress.
I was going to try to figure out how he defines the terms political and politics – what does he mean by saying that a veto doesn’t mean politics and by the twice-iterated “It’s not a political issue”? I thought it might illuminate his growing contempt for any element of government not meeting behind closed doors in the White House. Then I remembered that this is Bush we’re talking about, the man who describes everything as “interesting” and has little more sense of the meaning of words he puts into sentences than my cat does when she walks across my keyboard, and not much more desire to communicate in any meaningful way. After all, what is the value of a medium for the communication of ideas to a man who has no ideas. Politics means something bad, or people bitching about the good things he does, certainly it’s not something he ever does, he just gets on with the business of governing. Or something.

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