23 September, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Who's for the bailout? Anybody? Anybody? Beuller?

Today, Vice President Cheney and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten spent the day in Congress trying to convince conservatives to accept the administration’s bailout package. Politico
reports, however, that “House Republicans
rose up en masse against their vice president.” ThinkProgress has compiled a list of conservatives who have declared opposition to the administration’s $700 billion bailout:

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)


"I don't know anyone who's sold on this rescue plan,'' said Rep. Wally Herger

O-kay. Nobody in Congress. How's about regular Americans?

A new Rasmussen poll conducted on Monday finds that 44 percent of Americans oppose the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout plan, up from 37 percent a day earlier. Twenty-five percent support it, and 31 percent are undecided. Thirty-five percent believe it will help the economy, while 30 percent say it will hurt it. (HT: LA Times)

So. Basically. It's only the quarter of the country that's stupid enough to like Bush that likes the bailout.

Something tells me this was a really fucking bad idea. But hark! A right-wing editor has an answer!

Yesterday on Fox News, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes blamed Democrats in Congress for causing the Dow Jones industrials to close Monday down 372 points. “I think it was Congress stepping in and saying, ‘We’re going to settle the terms of how the Treasury Department acquires these illiquid assets,’” Barnes said. Then, citing opposition to the Bush administration’s proposed plan to bail out Wall Street, Barnes offered Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson some advice: Just don’t call it a “bailout,” call it a “rescue”:

BARNES: We would be in a better situation, or at least the Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson would if this were known as “rescue” rather than a “bailout.” “Bailout” sounds terrible. Who is for a bailout? A lot of people are for a rescue.

N-no. No. Still sounds like an incredibly stupid fucking idea. You know what they say about lipstick on a pig...

I think this is taking the Bushies a bit by surprise. They are, after all, used to getting everything they want and more when they scream that the sky is falling. And they're no strangers to manipulation for political gain - you remember all that haggling over timetables for Iraq? You remember how, instead of Obama's 2010 plan, they went for 2011? Yeah:

Negotiating the post-UN mandate security agreement with Iraq, Bush argued for more time and both sides ultimately agreed that all U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, not 2010, even though Bush has said previously that “if they were to say, leave, we would leave.”

Why did Bush go back on his word? A source tells ThinkProgress that White House communications staff were concerned that Maliki’s
endorsement of the 2010 time line would damage Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign. Indeed, during an interview with Iraqi television last week (according to an
Open Source Center translation),
Maliki suggested that the U.S. presidential elections played a role:

Actually, the final date was really the end of 2010 and the period between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 was for withdrawing the remaining troops from all of Iraq, but they asked for a change [in date] due to political circumstances related to the [U.S] domestic situation so it will not be said to the end of 2010 followed by one year for withdrawal but the end of 2011 as a final date.

Uh-huh. Couldn't make Bush III look bad, now, could we? Not even to save American lives, much less respect the Iraqis. Way to support the troops, there.

And speaking of not wanting to make themselves look bad, McCain's famous Straight Talk Express has become the No-Talk Express:

Earlier today, the McCain-Palin campaign backed out of its promise to allow print journalists from reporting on Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) U.N. meetings this afternoon. Instead, the campaign wanted to turn it into an elaborate photo op, deciding to allow photographers and a CNN camera crew only. According to Politico, the press have begun to revolt:

But the imbroglio began developing Tuesday morning when Palin’s handlers informed the small print press contingent covering her campaign that the print reporter designated to cover the events, Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal, would not be allowed to cover the sprays. […]

The campaign also at first moved to bar CNN, the television network designated for pool duty, from sending its editorial producer – basically a hybrid print/video journalist – though the campaign budged when the network threatened to withhold its cameras as well.

With increasingly negative press coverage over these events, the campaign eventually allowed Holmes into the Karzai event for a whopping 29 seconds, and has now agreed to let her cover the next two “sprays” before Palins’ meetings with Colombian President Uribe and former U.N. Secretary of State Kissinger. Earlier in the day, the networks had voted to ban any use of photographs and videos from the event, to protest the lack of editorial presence and deny the McCain-Palin campaign of a free photo op.

This is not the way to keep your base happy. And when the media's your base, if the base ain't happy, your coverage is gonna suck. And if your coverage sucks... Let's just say you'd better hope to fuck that the American public suddenly loses all concern for the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, the scandal-plagued fuckwit you chose as a veep, and everything else, because reporters are going to take a fuck of a lot of satisfaction in telling Americans just how toxic your history is, and how insane your vision for this country would be.

It's about fucking time America got to hear the truth.

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