Wednesday, May 24, 2006

There was a young man from Crawford

Today, Bush went to a Limerick Generating Station in Pennsylvania. Which is a nuclear plant.

When that Eli Lilly heir bequeathed $100 million to Poetry magazine, I suggested that they “may just blow it all on a crash project to find a word that rhymes with orange,” but it never occurred to me that mad poet-scientists could invent a nuclear-powered limerick generator. Stop the madness! Stop the madness!

He explained economics to the plant workers – who all come from Nantucket – in a way that was utterly simplistic while not actually being true: “I think it’s important that we’re the economic leader of the world, because when you’re the leader it helps the folks who live in your country.” Naturally, this involves cutting taxes: “We need to be able to be a society that says, you get to earn more of that which you earn.”

We’ve talked about Bush’s little verbal tics, how he always says things are “interesting” and how he “understands” things and even “fully understands” them, and how he “appreciates” everyone (yesterday he said that he appreciated being on a stage with Dennis Hastert, and I tastefully declined to make the obvious joke). But there’s also the “in other words” tic, and today he provides a lovely example: “nuclear power is abundant and affordable. In other words, you have nuclear power plants, you can say, we’ve got an abundant amount of electricity.” However, he does admit that nuclear power plants are “highly risky.” No, wait, he means economically risky, because of all the regulations and lawsuits. So we’ll get rid of all those, then remove any remaining risk by having the federal government insure the plants in case of meltdowns. Because nuclear plans are necessary for a glowing better future.

Not that he doesn’t see the problems: “I understand the issue of waste”. Sure, because he himself is a complete waste of spa- ... oh, sorry, he meant nuclear waste. Fortunately, he has the answer to that: faith-based science. “I’m a believer that Yucca Mountain is a scientifically sound place to send the waste”. Can I hear an amen?

And then they let him wander around the control room for a while.

If you see on CNN that limericks have mutated into giant sonnets and are rampaging through the Pennsylvanian countryside, you’ll know why.

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