Monday, July 10, 2006


What Is The Smell Of Lame Duck Poop?

Ed Naha sums it up. Ain’t nothing I can add, except, Thanks, Ed!

Ed Naha: 'Lame duck poop'
Date: Monday, July 10 @ 09:42:16 EDT
Topic: Commander-In-Thief

About six months ago, two stray mallards decided to make our backyard pool their daylight residence. They arrive at dawn and stay until sunset. Being a sucker for strays, I haven't tried to shoo them away. So, this summer, I can't use the pool because of all the deposited duck poop. I can take some solace in the fact that it's not lame duck poop.

Which brings me to Dubya's press conference in Chicago, last week. Even by Bush Bizarro standards, this was a pip. Not only was down up, black white, and right wrong but defeat was victory, chaos was calm and surreal fantasy was deemed to be hard facts. It was a performance worthy of Tony Perkins (sadly without the gray wig and granny dress).

Bush was all over the place, spewing "I know's" and "I believe's," touching upon a myriad of topics; sort of a Dubya's Greatest Whiffs compilation.

In terms of the economy, he crowed: "This morning we got some good news: The nation added 121,000 new jobs for the month of June... Productivity is high. People are better off. Things are working."

Of course, Bush's good news caused the stock market to plunge.

As Auggie Tantillo of the American Trade and Manufacturing Coalition pointed out on CNN: "You have to look at the type of jobs that are being created. Most of them are in low-end, service sector areas, oftentimes paying minimum wage or slightly above. And in almost all cases, with limited to no health benefits and limited to no pension plans associated with those jobs."

As CNN's Louis Schiavone explained: "31,000 of those (jobs created were) government jobs...

"The average hourly wage now stands at $16.70 an hour, almost 4 percent higher than it was 12 months ago. But inflation is giving wages strong competition, up 4.2 percent between May of 2005 and May of 2006...

"While workers' paychecks are larger, their bills are, too, with fuel costs leading the way. And that, say some analysts, makes the economic picture not quite as rosy as the Bush administration boasts."

According to economist Christian E. Weller, "The nation's economy has nearly 79,000 fewer private-sector jobs than when President George W. Bush took office...

"What's more, the 7.7 million officially unemployed represents only about 57 percent of all U.S. workers--approximately 13.6 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--who are either unemployed, underemployed in part-time jobs out of economic necessity or who have become so discouraged that they have given up looking for work...

"Since President Bush took office, 3.7 million more people live in poverty. The share of the population living in poverty has grown from 9.5 percent in 2000 to 10.8 percent in 2004. (Note: the last polling date.) At the same time, the share of children under the age of 18 who live in poverty has also increased from 16.2 percent to 17.8 percent. That is, 1.4 million more children lived in poverty in 2004 than in 2000."

Now, THAT'S something to crow about! Keep it up, Georgie! Let's make "The Grapes of Wrath" a reality TV series. I'm thinking Spike! TV.

Still, the Sun King was just sizzling with upbeat info. He praised the new Iraqi honcho Nouri Maliki and stated: "Success in Iraq is vital for the security of the United States, and success in Iraq is vital for long-term peace. And so, therefore, we'll complete the mission..."

"I have confidence in the capacity of liberty to transform hostile regions to peaceful regions."

All together now: "Soooo, how peaceful is it?"

Well, as I write this, at least 61 Iraqis were either gunned down or blown-up today, Shiites vs. Sunnis, Sunnis vs. Shiites. And, according to "The L.A. Times," the Iraq police force has been infiltrated with either religious militia members or thugs, leading to over 400 investigations of police brutality, the crimes ranging from rape to murder.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report last Friday that the Pentagon is violating its zero-tolerance policy against hate groups and called on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to put a stop to it.

The report, posted on the Montgomery center's Web site, says recruiting shortfalls caused by the Iraq war have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military.

"Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members," says Defense Department investigator Scott Barfield.

Barfield presented the military with evidence of 320 extremists in the past year, but only two have been discharged.

"We've got Aryan Nation graffiti in Baghdad."

And, in one of five current investigations of U.S. troops allegedly killing innocent Iraqi citizens, five more U.S. troops have been charged in the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman and the murder of the rest of her family in their home, south of Baghdad.

Or, as Bush sees it: "We'll win, we'll achieve our objective, which is a free country that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself and will be an ally in the war on terror. And we're making progress toward that goal."

Like the dinosaurs made progress after the meteor hit. Nice going, Sparky. You're a genius when it comes to diplomacy.

Speaking of diplomacy, Bush went on record saying that he would NEVER have bilateral talks with North Korea, 'splainin' : "One thing I'm not going to let us do is get caught in the trap of sitting at the table alone with the North Koreans...

"My concern -- I said this publicly a lot -- my concern about being -- you know, handling this issue bilaterally is that you run out of options very quickly.

"And sometimes it's easier for the leader of the nontransparent society to turn the tables and make a country like the United States the problem, as opposed to themselves."

Less than 24 hours later, came this AP headline: "U.S. Envoy Offers No. Korea Bilateral Talks."

D'oh! Tinfoil hats at the ready, gang. (Mine has a propeller!)

It should be noted that the most amusing point in Bush's tall tale spinning came when CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, tossed a live grenade at the chimp and he reacted full-tilt Cheetah-style.

Malveaux: "Mr. President, if I could follow up, you say diplomacy takes time -"

Dubya: "Yes, it does."

Malveaux: "- but it was four years ago that you labeled North Korea a member of the 'axis of evil.' And since then it's increased its nuclear arsenal, it's abandoned six-party talks and now these missile launches -"

Dubya: "Let me ask you a question. It's increased it's -- that's an interesting statement: 'North Korea has increased its nuclear arsenal.' Can you verify that?"

Malveaux: "Well, intelligence sources say -- if you can -- if you'd like to dispute that, that's fine."

Dubya: "No, I'm not going to dispute, I'm just curious."

(He then launched into a defensive talking points harangue which was the equivalent of crapping in your hand and flinging it.)

Dubya: "I just thought for a minute you might have known more than I do about -- when you say, definitively say he's increased the number of weapons. I don't think we know that."

Next Reporter: " Maybe you know, but you're not telling.

Dubya: "That's an option. (MSMwhore laughter.)... Maybe I don't know and don't want to tell you I don't know..."

(This from a guy who doesn't get his briefing papers because Cheney has them re-routed to the veep's office.)

Later, on CNN, Malveaux, who didn't blink through the Monkey King's snit-fit, stated: "According to U.S. intelligence sources, North Korea had the capability to produce one to two nuclear weapons in the mid to late 1990s. But since it began reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods in April 2003, U.S. intelligence estimates North Korea can produce six to eight nuclear weapons, while other experts suggest as many as 12 or 13."

Well, you can't expect a President to know EVERYthing...or, in this case, ANY thing.

Surprisingly enough (or, maybe, notso), none of the reporters in the room either produced poop scoopers or vowed to bill the White House for dry-cleaning, by this point.

Bush also patted himself on the back for his "No Child Left Behind" jihad on America's public schools. Although, last month, a Harvard study concluded that the program will miss it's ultimate 100% testing 2014 goals and stated that the policy has had no significant impact on improving reading and math achievement scores.

And the Education Department, last week, stated that 34 states as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico were flunking out, with two states having their testing system rejected outright. Only ten states got full approval.

Bloomberg News reported, last week, that states are "dumbing down" their grade-school tests, where high failure rates could bring financial penalties.

And the National Education Association, is taking on Congress to change the program, increase funding (Thanks to our victory in Iraq, $1 billion was cut from the program's budget this year, and the NEA expects $500 million more will be cut in 2007.), lay-off the hard nose testing crap and decrease class sizes.

Yet another great accomplishment for BushCo.!

Bush also declared his recent bitch-slap by the Supreme Court to be a GOOD thing. The Court, in his addled widdle head, didn't come down against Gitmo because "They were other words, they accepted the use of Guantanamo, the decision I made."

Following that derailed train of logic, our leader may also resort to cannibalism because nobody in government has ruled, explicitly, he can't indulge. Run, little Karl, run! (Pork, the other white meat.)

Bush also declared that reports that the CIA unit formed in 1996 to hunt down Osama bin Laden had been shut down a year ago to be "just not true, period," and that we're still after him "No ands, ifs or buts." (Note: Perhaps Georgie might want to partake of those No Child Left Behind classes when it comes to common English terms.)

In real life, the outfit was shut down a year ago per former Counterterrorism Center chief Robert Grenier, who decided the agency needed to reorganize.

I'll just leave the rest of this bipolar bedazzlement summation to our Pretzledent. "I spend a lot of time worrying about the war on terror. I think about it every single day. My biggest job, frankly, is to protect the American people, and this is a dangerous world and there are people out there lurking who are trying to figure out ways to hurt us. I know some dismiss that as empty rhetoric; I'm just telling you it's the truth. And therefore, we're doing a lot of stuff in Washington."

This is the kind of fella who still checks for monsters lurking under his bed...or his bike. But, at least, he's doing "stuff."

"You know, for a long period of time in our foreign policy was just kind of: Excuse tyranny and hope for the best. It didn't work.

"The world may have seemed placid and it may have seemed calm, but beneath the surface was resentment and hatred out of which came an attack that killed 3,000 of our citizens. (Note: On his watch.)

"And so I am committed to the spread of liberty. It's, after all, how we were founded.

"And there's a debate here in the United States that says, well, maybe it's too much for the United States to insist that others live in a free world. Maybe that's just too unilateral.

"I view that as cultural elitism for people to say that. It's like saying, we're OK to be free, but you're not. I believe freedom is universal. And I believe etched in the soul of every person on the face of the Earth is the desire to be free. And I know that freedom has got the capacity to change regions of the world for the better."

Thank you, Dubya. You HAVE changed the entire world with your beliefs and your knowledge. So much so that, this past Sunday, for a solid hour, CNN aired a show entitled THIS WEEK AT WAR.

Reality check: This lame duck's poop has caused the entire world to jump the shark.

Or, maybe, in spite of my bad hair, I'm just a cultural elitist at heart.


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