Monday, February 25, 2008

One, it’s not fair

This morning, Bush spoke to the National Governors’ Association.

He told the governors (and governators), “Now, as you know, I’m a big believer that government ought to empower people who have got a great capacity to help change people’s lives.” By which he of course means shoveling money to religious groups, because “You know, we ought to be asking what works -- not the process.” Yes, if there’s one thing all religions teach, it’s that the ends justify the means. He gave all the governors a copy of The Watchtower a pamphlet on his “faith-based and community initiative” called The Quiet Revolution. Yeah, that doesn’t sound creepy at all.

He explained what was inherent in Medicare reform: “First of all, inherent in the Medicare reform was one that made no sense not to provide prescription drugs for seniors.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “In other words, there’s some wonderful things going on, all market-driven. And we just want to facilitate those decisions because, in my judgment, the opposite of having the government here in Washington be the decision-maker will undermine private medicine, will make quality care more difficult.”

He also spoke at length about warrantless wiretaps, and I’d like to give that at greater length than I usually do (because too long exposure may cause bleeding from the eyes), just so you can get the flavor of the master rhetorician at work:
I get briefed every morning about threats we face, and they're real. And therefore the question is, what do you do about them? In my judgment, we have got to give the professionals who work hard to protect us all the tools they need. To put it bluntly, if the enemy is calling to America, we really need to know what they’re saying. And we need to know what they’re thinking. And we need to know who they’re talking to.

This is a different kind of struggle than we’ve ever faced before. It’s essential that we understand the mentality of these killers. And so therefore we worked with Congress to protect -- pass the Protect America Act, which everybody knows has expired. And I want to share with you the core of the problem. And the problem is, should companies who are believed to have helped us -- after 9/11 until today -- get information necessary to protect the country, be sued. And my answer is, absolutely not; they shouldn’t be sued, for a couple of reasons.

One, it’s not fair. Our government told them that their participation was necessary, and it was -- and still is -- and that what we had asked them to do was legal. And now they’re getting sued for billions of dollars -- and it’s not fair, and it will create doubt amongst private sector folks who we need to help protect us. ...

Finally, it’ll make it harder to convince companies to participate in the future. I mean, if you’ve done something that you think is perfectly legal and all of a sudden you’re facing billions of dollars of lawsuits, it’s going to be hard to provide -- with credibility -- assurances that we can go forward. ...

What I do want to share with you is that there’s a lot of good folks, and you know it, too, and I want to thank you all very much for these counterterrorism cells.

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