Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The leaders of Iraq rejected this notion that a suicider and a thug and a terrorist can create civil war

The latest rumor in Britain’s Muslim community is of a woman who kicked a Koran and was turned into a mermaid. It’s all over the message boards of the Islamic Broadcasting Network, so it must be true.

Bush met with Republican governors yesterday, and wasted their time with a very stale stump speech. And while I haven’t seen video, but I’m guessing they were as obsequious as every other audience they allow him to go before (a proposed address to the Indian parliament was cancelled for just this reason), judging by this: “Thanks for the warm welcome. Be seated -- unless you don’t have a seat. (Laughter.)” Hilarious! And the governor of Georgia received the highest of honors, a brand-new nickname: “I want to thank Sonny. I call him ‘Big Buddy Perdue.’ (Laughter.) He is a big buddy.”

He insists that civil war is quite out of the question in Iraq: “The leaders of Iraq rejected this notion that a suicider and a thug and a terrorist can create civil war.” I can’t tell if those are three different people, or one guy with three jobs. These leaders, whoever they might be, are “interested in a unified government that will allow the people to express their will, a unified government that will give young mothers and fathers the hope that their children can grow up in a peaceful society.” A bitter, desperate, forlorn hope, indeed one might say a hopeless hope, to be sure...

Lately, whenever he talks about education, he talks as if math and science were the only “real” subjects, like so: “when we ground our students in the skills necessary to be good engineers and good physicists and good chemists and good scientists, the United States of America will continue to be the preeminent economy in the world in the 21st century.”

And today, he met with Silvio Berlusconi, who is oily, smarmy, corrupt, arrogant and megalomaniacal. Bush called him optimistic, a strong leader, a man of his word, and a man who “has brought stability to the Italian government. Obviously, it’s important for an American President to be able to work with somebody in a consistent manner”. In other words, George really hates it when he has to memorize new names. (Oh, Christ on a stick: I wrote that before getting to the end of the transcript, where Shrub actually says: “Because if a government is changing every year, it requires a person in my position to constantly have to reacquaint yourself.”)

Asked about the Dubai Ports, Bath & Beyond deal, well, last week it was “This deal wouldn’t go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America.” Today: “If there was any doubt in my mind, or people in my administration’s mind that our ports would be less secure and the American people endangered, this deal wouldn’t go forward.” Then he accused everyone who opposes the deal of getting the basic facts wrong: “And I can understand people’s consternation because the first thing they heard was that a foreign company would be in charge of our port security, when, in fact, the Coast Guard and Customs are in charge of our port security.” Anyone else feel that we’ve just been horribly insulted by George Bush suggesting we’re all just as ignorant as, well, George Bush?

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