Monday, July 09, 2007

It’s a transforming strategy

Today something called the “White House Conference on the Americas” was held. Bush described it as “a conference to promote best practices, which really says, how best can the United States help people in our neighborhood.” By “neighborhood,” he means the Western Hemisphere. And by “United States,” he mostly meant private charities, although he did issue a command to Congress to “honor” the trade deals he’s negotiated with Peru, Panama and Colombia. By “honor,” he means ratify, that is, exercise their constitutional function as an equal branch of government as it relates to foreign treaties. “I’d like to see the Peruvian deal done by the beginning of August,” he said. They’ve got “ample days on the calendar,” he said, although he was berating them just Saturday for not having passed appropriations bills.

When I say jump, I mean this high.

Evidently, “We believe strongly in helping teachers teach”.

Bush’s Word of the Day was “objectives”: “And part of our discussions today will be how best to -- how best can the United States and faith-based groups and private groups and NGOs work collaboratively to achieve important objectives.” “[A]n objective of our country and this government is for there to be a healthy, educated and prosperous neighborhood”. “And we’re spending a fair amount of taxpayers’ monies to achieve those objectives. And so one of my objectives is to explain to the American people...”

On the day his lawyer informed Congress that he was (illegally, I believe) ordering former staff members not to testify before Congress (and reproving Leahy and Conyers for their “tone” and for their presumption in doubting the “good faith” behind the invoking of executive privilege), Bush said, “we expect governments to be honest and transparent and open. We reject the notion that it’s okay for there to be corruption in government. We really believe that open, transparent societies are those that lead to hopeful tomorrows.”

Representatives of various NGOs had scintillating back-and-forths (backs-and-forth?) with Chimpy.
THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you a question. So, you started this group initially to -- what’s the name of it?

MS. PACHECO: Keij de los Bosques.

THE PRESIDENT: Si. (Laughter.)

MS. PACHECO: It’s a Mayan word. (Laughter.)
What else did he learn from his exchange with Ms. Pacheco? “So, lesson one, by the way, there is such thing as social entrepreneurs.”

Pacheco said, “trade can be beautiful,” and Bush responded, “So I appreciate you bringing up the importance of markets, and providing -- giving people just a basic opportunities in life, and it will make it -- it’s a transforming strategy.”

In the middle of this meeting, Bush suddenly had a brain storm:
Do we have a website, for example, as a result of the meeting? I might ask my friend, Karen Hughes, to think about this. She probably has already thought about it, knowing her -- and that is to think maybe about a listing of different ways our fellow citizens can get involved in helping different programs, either financially or through time and effort. Maybe we ought to think about that. I know you already have.
Man, a website, Bush is a fucking genius. That is soooo why he’s the president, and you’re not.

Bush talked about capitalism with a conscience: “I think one of the things that our citizens have got to understand here, there’s a lot of corporate America that are very much involved in the communities, of which they’re active.”
BUSH: A healthy society is one in which people are responsible for their behaviors. A healthy capitalist society is one in which corporate America, in this case, is responsible for -- becomes a responsible citizen. And we have got such a soul here in Vivian Alegria. She is from Mexico.


THE PRESIDENT: Welcome. You work for?

MS. ALEGRIA: For the Coca Cola Foundation in Mexico.
If by healthy society, you mean a fat, toothless, diabetic one.

Did you notice how he almost said what corporate America is responsible for, and then stopped himself in the nick of time?

Bush told a guy from Brazil, “And when you say countrywide, first, you’ve got a big country.” Brazil being big is still a source of endless wonderment to him.

Evidently, money has something to do with, um, something: “You know, our government and the people -- the generosity of the Americans, American people can be -- as manifested by just money, spending money.”

He asked a Haitian doctor working on AIDS in her country, “You upbeat? You feeling all right about things?” and demonstrated his thorough command of detail: “She mentioned PEPFAR. That’s, like, initials for the AIDS initiative, and we’re making a big difference.”

He said, “You know, it’s interesting, our country has got certain images that -- some are true, some aren’t true.” That is so true.

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