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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mr. 24%

Mr. 24% gave the bully pulpit a shot yesterday, in a rant from the White House.

White House transcript:

Congress is not getting its work done. We're near the end of the year, and there really isn't much to show for it. The House of Representatives has wasted valuable time on a constant stream of investigations, and the Senate has wasted valuable time on an endless series of failed votes to pull our troops out of Iraq. And yet there's important work to be done on behalf of the American people.

That important work being investigating wrongdoing and getting the troops out of Iraq. See, that's why dems were elected in such huge numbers in '06, Speed.

But that wasn't what got me, this was:

Spending is skyrocketing under their leadership -- at least proposed spending is skyrocketing under their leadership. After all, they're trying to spend an additional $205 billion over the next five years. Some have said, well, that doesn't matter much; it's not that much money. Well, $205 billion over the next five years in the real world amounts to this: $4.7 million per hour, every hour, for every day, for the next five years. That's a lot of money.

Yeah, it's the Democrats who are such spendthrifts. Bush, who's been spending money like a horny drunk at a strip club, thinks he's in a position to lecture others on the virtues of responsible spending. The Iraq war alone is costing half a million per minute, which in the real world amounts to this: $30 million per hour, every hour, for every day, for... well, who the hell knows? If Bush had his way, I'm pretty damned sure it would be decades. That's a lot of money.

"Be careful with that money," Bush is basically saying, "Who knows how much we're going to have to pour down this damned hole in the desert?" The hypocrisy is flooring.

The man widely considered by presidential historians to be the worst president in history thinks he gets to scold Congress for having the latest round of appropriations in 20 years? The man who's former Secretary of Defense may be an international fugitive from justice and a war criminal gets to complain about "a constant stream of investigations?"

On what bass-ackward planet?

Bush is complaining about things that are wildly popular. He gripes about the SCHIP bill funding health care for kids, he complains about attempts to end the war in Iraq, and he threatens to veto funding for disabled vets if he doesn't get exactly the bill he wants. The American people would be right to ask, "Who's side is this dick on?"

Not yours and not the nation's. Not the Constitution's and not the veterans'. Not the people fighting in Iraq and certainly not the Iraqi people's. Not the law's, not kids', not voters'.

Bush is on Bush's side. Bush is on corporations' side. Bush is on the side of a bunch of Bible-banging lunatics who want to attack Iran to bring Jesus back and people making money hand over fist in Iraq, paid on your kids' credit cards. But clearly, clearly, he is not on your side.

Bush can bang that bully pulpit all he wants, but with an approval of 24%, he's not going to get it to work. The bully pulpit needs a bully to work.

Before the obligatory "God bless," to make the aforementioned Bible-banging lunatics happy, Bush closed:

I know some on the Democrat side didn't agree with my decision to send troops in, but it seems like we ought to be able to agree that we're going to support our troops who are in harm's way. I know the members feel that way, standing with me. I hope the leadership feels that way, and they ought to give me a bill that funds, among other things, bullets, and body armor, and protection against IEDs, and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. It would be irresponsible to not give our troops the resources they need to get their job done because Congress was unable to get its job done.

Let's inject a little history here. Donald Rumsfeld sent troops into Iraq without the body armor and the armored humvees. And, when troops started complaining about it, Rummie blamed someone else.

Boston Globe, 2004:

Rumsfeld, questioned by soldiers in Kuwait on Wednesday who said they have had to pick through landfills for scrap metal to boost vehicle protection, said the Army was working as quickly at it could to get armored Humvees to the front. It is "a matter of physics, not a matter of money," Rumsfeld said, adding that the Army was "breaking its neck." President Bush yesterday reiterated that "the concerns expressed are being addressed."

But executives at Armor Holdings in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as Army officials and members of Congress, said Rumsfeld's assertion that the protective equipment is being provided as quickly as possible is not true and added the company has been waiting for more purchase orders.

"We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," Robert Mecredy, head of Armor Holdings' aerospace and defense unit, said in a statement. The company is producing about 450 armored Humvees per month, up from 50 in late 2003, when a sudden surge of attacks in Iraq exposed a lack of protective armor.

Bush's new-found concern for the troops in the field rings more than a little hollow. He seems to care about them only when he can use them. Otherwise, they can make do with "hillbilly armor." Now he waves his concern for the troops around like a flag, but only in the hope of shaming dems into caving in and allowing him to dictate the exact bills, practically word for word, that wind up on his desk.

Bush had a lot to say yesterday, most of it hypocritical, ridiculous, and offensive to anyone with a memory and a brain. Here's hoping that Congress completely disregards every word. It wouldn't be a losing proposition.


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