12 January, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Bush: an immature jerk till the bitter end:


In a classless move, President Bush snubbed Helen Thomas, the longtime Press Pool reporter covering the White House, and refused to take a question from her as she sat in the front row, waving her hand to him as he asked his final question from his last presser.

She's covered more presidents than Bush has verbs in his vocabulary.

That could be why the press corps didn't exactly give him a standing ovation:


At the conclusion of President Bush’s final White House press conference earlier this morning, he addressed reporters, telling them: “It has been an honor to work with you. … I wish you all the very best.” And with that, Bush concluded the briefing and walked off the podium, leaving the press corps unsure of how to react. Some hesitated to stand, while most stayed seated. One said “thank you Mr. President,” and a small number offered half-hearted applause.

As Bush slinks off the stage, take a moment to observe the catastrophic damage one of his appointees has done to yet another vital federal agency:


Arguably the only time Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made national headlines was in October 2007, when the White House rewrote her congressional testimony on the impact of climate change on public health. Behind the scenes, though, controversies surrounding Gerberding's tenure were even more troubling.

Rumor had it that Gerberding hoped to stay on after Obama took office. Fortunately, the incoming administration has different ideas, and the transition team has accepted her resignation.

Gerberding's six years leading one of the nation's most trusted institutions were marked by numerous controversies, from allegations that she allowed politics to interfere with science to concerns that her strategic decisions incapacitated the agency's ability to respond in a public health crisis. [...]

[snip]

Last year, congressional investigators concluded the CDC failed "in almost every respect" to protect Hurricane Katrina's victims from dangerous formaldehyde fumes in government-provided trailers. And Gerberding was accused of playing politics by refusing to reappoint the director of the agency's worker safety division -- a man widely respected by business leaders, labor unions and lawmakers. [...]

In 2003, Gerberding launched a massive reorganization of the CDC that many employees say plunged the nation's 911 system for public health into turmoil and caused an exodus of key scientific staff.


But to hear Bush tell it, everything's been hunky-dory:


During his final press conference this morning, Bush defended his response to Katrina. He said he has “thought long and hard about Katrina” and admitted that “things [could] have been done better” but denied any problem with the federal response to the disaster, insisting, “Don’t tell me the federal response was slow!”:
BUSH: You know, people said that the federal response was slow. Don’t tell me the federal response was slow when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed. … 30,000 people were pulled off roofs right after the storm moved through. That’s a pretty quick response.

[snip]

The federal response to Katrina was nothing short of a disaster. A 2006 report compiled by House Republicans slammed what it called “a failure of leadership,” saying that the federal government’s “blinding lack of situational awareness and disjointed decision making needlessly compounded and prolonged Katrina’s horror.” The report specifically blamed Bush, noting that “earlier presidential involvement could have speeded the response” because the president alone could have cut through bureaucratic resistance.

There is no question that the federal response was slow — deadly slow.

According to both Bush and Karl Rove, though, this was exactly as it should be:

Following today's press conference, Karl Rove appeared on Fox News to join in absolving the Bush administration of any blame regarding the Katrina response. "The federal government is in charge of writing checks. It's not in charge of the action itself," Rove said.
Don't blame them. They just write the checks. For fuck's sake. I don't need to tell anyone how outrageously stupid that remark is, now, do I?

It's just as stupid as the phrase "compassionate conservative:"
And yet, Bush is still using it, as if the line hadn't been thoroughly discredited.

President Bush called for a "compassionate" Republican Party and warned against the GOP becoming "anti-immigrant" in one of his last interviews as president, defending his vision of the party, which has become unpopular among some Republicans.
"It's very important for our party not to narrow its focus, not to become so inward-looking that we drive people away from a philosophy that is compassionate and decent," the president said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that was aired yesterday....

[I]n the interview, Bush used the phrase that marked his 2000 campaign, saying, "We've got to be compassionate conservatives."

I wonder if Bush has any idea how ridiculous this sounds coming from him. We're talking about a president who vetoed funding for healthcare for poor children (twice). We're talking about a president who tried to cut food assistance to 420,000 low-income seniors.

Bush has utilized torture. He launched an unnecessary war, killing thousands and causing a massive refugee problem. He seemed criminally unconcerned when a hurricane nearly destroyed a major American city.


But supposedly he's compassionate. And the reason why he's allowed to get away with saying stupid shit like this is because there's always some right-wing buttkisser, somewhere, who will twist reality 245 degrees in an attempt to prove that Bush wasn't the biggest fucking failure in American history. Take this example. Here's reality:
President Bush has “presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades. … The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush’s tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago.” Additionally, Americans’ incomes grew “more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush’s father.”

Here's the twist:

“It does look like a great eight years, aside from the last quarter, unfortunately,” said Ed Lazear, chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. “In the long term, things look good. The reason things look good is this economy will rebound, and it will rebound strongly.”
See, the past didn't really happen, and even though things are undeniably fucked up beyond all recognition because of Bush's policies, the future's gonna be great, so yay, Bush!

To call these people fuckwits doesn't even begin to describe the pathological stupidity.

How many days left of this misery, again?

1 comment:

dNorrisM said...

Harry Shearer's Le Show had a pretty good faux interview between "Bush" and "Larry King" Some hilights:

K: "We were able to find some questions we have not asked you yet, such as: Do you wish you had some of the Yankees 1927 outfielders when you managed your baseball team?"
B: "Yep, although they are all dead now, Heh Heh."

K: "What pops into your head when I say the word Cheny"
B: "Iron"
K: "Your Father?"
B: "9 Iron"
k "Your Mother?"
B: "Ironing"

etc, etc.