Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bush press conference: Became a nervousness

Bush held a press conference this morning.

BECAUSE IF THERE IS ONE THING BUSH STANDS FOR, IT IS HEARING THE FRUSTRATIONS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: “Democratic leaders have been delaying action on offshore exploration and now they have an opportunity to show that they finally heard the frustrations of the American people.”

On the economy, he adopted the Phil Gramm position that it’s all in our heads (sadly, no one asked Bush if we’re a nation of whiners): “And so the purpose [of the intervention to save Ms. Mae and Mr. Mac] was to send a clear signal that, one, we understand how important these institutions are to the mortgage markets, and two, to kind of calm nerves.”

IF YOU’RE A COMMERCIAL BANK IN AMERICA: “Now, if you’re a commercial bank in America and your deposit -- and you have a deposit in a commercial bank in America, your deposit is insured by the federal government up to $100,000.”

BECAME A NERVOUSNESS: “I happened to witness a bank run in Midland, Texas, one time. I’ll never forget the guy standing in the bank lobby saying, your deposits are good. We got you insured. You don’t have to worry about it if you got less than $100,000 in the bank. The problem was, people didn’t hear. And there’s a -- became a nervousness. My hope is, is that people take a deep breath and realize that their deposits are protected by our government.”

“And there are some things we can do. One is wait for the stimulus package to fully kick in and not raise taxes.” Aren’t those actually some things we can not do?

CHANGING THE PSYCHOLOGY: “They can pass energy legislation. I readily concede that, you know, it’s not going to produce a barrel of oil tomorrow, but it is going to change the psychology that demand will constantly outstrip supply.”

“Government action -- if you’re talking about bailing out -- if your question is, should the government bail out private enterprise, the answer is, no, it shouldn’t. And by the way, the decisions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- I hear some say ‘bailout’ -- I don’t think it’s a bailout. The shareholders still own the company.” Dude, that’s the definition of a bailout.

ONE OF THE THINGS GEORGE IS DEEPLY TROUBLED ABOUT: “And one of the things I’m deeply troubled about is people who feel like it’s okay to raise taxes during these times.”

WHAT CONSUMERS ARE BEGINNING TO SAY (BESIDES “AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!”): “I’ve been reading a lot about how the automobile companies are beginning to adjust -- people -- consumers are beginning to say, wait a minute, I don’t want a gas guzzler anymore, I want a smaller car.”

WHAT THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T HAVE, AND WHAT YOU JUST CAN’T SAY: “I think it was in the Rose Garden where I issued this brilliant statement: If I had a magic wand -- but the President doesn’t have a magic wand. You just can’t say, low gas."

WHAT THE STRATEGIC OIL PETROLEUM RESERVE IS FOR: “The Strategic Oil Petroleum Reserve is for, you know, emergencies.”

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning.

SHRUB: Thank you. It is a good morning.

Q: It is.

CHIMPY: Every day is a good morning when you get to serve the country.
Which is why Bush never has a good morning.

Asked what advice he’d give Obama when he visits Iraq: “I would ask him to listen carefully to Ryan Crocker and General Petraeus.”

Also to the Iraqis. “The Iraqis have invited us to be there.”

HE HAS AN MBA, YOU KNOW: “I was heartened by the fact that the Chinese the other day announced that they’re going to start reducing some of their subsidies, which all of a sudden you may have some, you know, demand-driven changes in the overall balance.”

WHAT GEORGE DOESN’T WANT TO BE: About oil prices: “Again, I don’t want to be a ‘I told you so,’ but if you go back and look at the strategy we put out early on in this administration, we understood what was coming.” But in February, the idea that gas prices might reach $4 was a complete surprise to you, o far-sighted one.

WHAT HIS VIEW ALL ALONG HAS BEEN: On Guantanamo prisoners: “My view all along has been either send them back home, or give them a chance to have a day in court.”

WHAT RECENT EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE SHOULD BE: “And it’s, frankly, unacceptable, and it should be unacceptable to a lot of folks.”

WHAT THE ENEMY IN AFGHANISTAN KILLS AT THE DROP OF: “there is a tough enemy, and they’re brutal, and they kill at the drop of a hat in order to affect behavior.” Whereas we kill at the drop of a hat in order to affect weddings.

WHAT THEY HAVE NO, UM, DISREGARD FOR: “And they have no disregard for human life.”

WHY THESE PEOPLE KILL: “These people kill for a reason. They want us to leave.”

WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT: “And it’s really important we succeed there, as well as in Iraq. We do not want the enemy to have safe haven. Of course -- unless, of course, your attitude is, this isn’t a war. So if that’s the case, it wouldn’t matter whether we succeed or not.”

WHAT GEORGE UNDERSTANDS: “And I understand exhaustion and I understand people getting tired and -- but I would hope that whoever follows me understands that we’re at war”.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY: “People say, aww, man, you’re running out of time, nothing is going to happen.”

With all his talk about oil imports being a national security issue, he vehemently refuses a reporter’s suggestion that he call on Americans to drive less and turn down the thermostat (the reporter doesn’t realize it’s summer): “They’re smart enough to figure out whether they’re going to drive less or not. I mean, you know, it’s interesting what the price of gasoline has done, is it caused people to drive less. ... But the consumer is plenty bright, Mark. The marketplace works. ... it’s a little presumptuous on my part to dictate to consumers how they live their lives. ... And I suspect you’ll see, in the whole, Americans using less gasoline. I bet that’s going to happen. ... And the great thing about our system, it is the consumer that drives our system; it’s the individual American and their collection that end up driving the economy.” At least, until the gas runs out.

HE’S NOT AN ECONOMIST, HE’S AN OPTIMIST: “I’m not an economist, but I do believe that we’re growing. And I can remember this press conference here where people yelling ‘recession this, recession that’ -- as if you’re economists. And I’m an optimist.”

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