Monday, January 05, 2009

Too Funny

This morning's Washington Post has this great Tom Toles cartoon.


Anonymous Robert said...

I think we're walking back and forth from Arlington to the inauguration.


January 05, 2009 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, one feature of Time magazine I always enjoy is when they take a newsmaker every week and have them answer letters from the readers.

This week, it's Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. Secretary-General.

Here's a couple from this week:

Gilberto Coker of Obregon, Mexico asks, "Once he takes office, what's the first thing Barack Obama should do regarding foreign policy?"

Ki-moon answers, "I hope the next administration will continur what the Bush adminsitration has been doing."

bonus anon comment: Don't worry, Ban. We got you covered.

Nikunj Sangvi of Sugarland, Texas asks, "Now that President Bush is on his way out, do you think the U.N. should hold him accountable for the war in Iraq?"

Ki-moon replies, "The U.S. and her people have made great sacrifices for the peace and security of Iraq."

bonus anon comment: Thus begins a legacy.

January 06, 2009 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

OK OK, so you got the two page memo, the Rove-Hughes "guide for discussing Bush's eight-years." Nobody's buying it except the choir that sings to itself.

The Guardian got it right:

George Bush's legacy of failure

The president's defenders are puffing his record in a positive light - but reality keeps getting in the way

Cliff Schecter, Sunday 4 January 2009 13.00 GMT

With only days left until his term expires, it appears that the Bush legacy project, an attempt by the usual corps of serial sycophants to rehabilitate the lame-duck generalissimo's image, is falling upon the deaf ears and self-gouged eyes of an American public sickened by the last eight years.

Yes, the Bush cabal just couldn't clear out of town without trying to complete one last propaganda project for the Gipper, or the Decider, if you will. Karl Rove, the genius who predicted a permanent Republican majority right before destroying a temporary one, and Karen Hughes, who likes to create mutual understanding in the Middle East by explaining that God appears in the US constitution, have been unleashing a wave of their finest shock and awe talking points. To listen to them is to hear how black is white, up is down and Bush has been more Churchill than Ceausescu.

Condi Rice, the very Siren Song of Security who thought a 2001 presidential daily briefing entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" meant the al-Qaida leader was thinking of investing in beachfront property in the greater Fort Lauderdale metro area, has also added her prescient voice to the chorus.

Our fearless chief diplomat's latest missive, reminding us that "the war on terror has failed to eliminate al-Qaida and its leader Osama bin Laden, but the US-led coalition and Iraq are close to defeating the group's Iraq branch", would be pretty cool if it weren't for the tiny hiccup that there was no "Iraq branch" of al-Qaida until she and her superiors chose to idiotically invade that country, and then do everything just short of providing al-Qaida in Iraq with an infusion of venture capital.

But the biggest problem for defenders of Bush's vast array of "accomplishments" is not even the cast of nincompoops trying to portray him as the "misunderestimated" heir to President Harry Truman. Their biggest obstacle appears to be reality itself. The American people have a way of getting it right, if not always immediately, and Bush's handlers haven't quite been able to force us all into the Matrix. Yet.

Right on time, CNN has come out with a poll that proves we know more than Mr Permanent Majority after all.

When asked whether Bush was "tough enough for the job", 49% of Americans responded yes, and 51% said no (even though he cleared brush in a very forceful manner! And wore a really tight flight suit! And said "Bring 'em on!"). That, by the way, is the best he performed on any question.

Is the president a person you admire? Seventeen percent yes, 72% no, but perhaps Bush legacy project peddlers can win over that 1% still thinking about it. Does Bush inspire confidence? Twenty percent said yes, and 80% said no. Did he manage the government effectively? Only 25% think he did, while 75% said not so much. Finally, did Bush bring the kind of change the country needed? A whopping 13% answered in the affirmative.

This is the way the rest of the poll goes. Whether it is about "getting things done" or "uniting the country" – two of Bush's campaign pledges – he is lucky to approach a 33% positive score. Saying these numbers ain't pretty is in the same range of euphemistic happy-talk as claiming the economy has hit a rough patch or the Cubs haven't won a World Series recently.

So when their two-page document of talking points comes your way reminding you that "Bush kept us safe after 9/11" (except for the anthrax attack, the shoe-bomber plot foiled by alert airline passengers and the more than 4,000 American kids unnecessarily killed in Iraq) and "Bush lifted the economy with tax cuts after 2001" (try Googling in succession: "sub-prime mortgages", "Bernie Madoff" and "Enron" for Bushenomics in action), much like CNN poll respondents, you can take the antidote by just refusing to close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and scream "nah, nah, nah, nah nah" until no longer cognisant.

As for history exonerating Bush 43 (as Laura Bush claims will soon occur), Herbert Hoover somehow doesn't elicit evocations of ecstasy 80 years later, and LBJ is still remembered more for a very bad war than his landmark legislative accomplishments. Now try combining starting a stupid war with overseeing an economic meltdown.

See where this is going, Laura?

Just two months ago, I met with Julie Blust, communications director for the National Bush Legacy Bus Tour sponsored by Americans United for Change. Upon it's arrival in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, she took me aboard this 45-foot long, 28-ton monument to Dubya's impact on the country and planet, from Katrina to corrupt no-bid contractors, economic destruction to "enhanced interrogation techniques".

Upon seeing the real record, as it appeared in video, picture and chart form on the walls of the Bush bus, it would be impossible to draw any other conclusion than that this man was a one-man wrecking crew (well, two and a half if you include Cheney). And that he'll saunter up alongside James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding as the very definition of Oval Office calamity.

There is really only one arguable legacy of Bush's White House tenure that is a step forward for the US and all mankind. It's called President Obama.

The Texas Observer got another part of it right too.

...It’s somewhat ironic that the Bush administration—known for subjugating policy to politics and the permanent campaign—would create the first presidential library with a policy think tank attached. That has led some critics to wonder if the think tank will engage in genuine policy innovation or mainly try to shape Bush’s legacy. Either way, it has the imprimatur of a university, Laura Bush’s alma mater, Southern Methodist University.

“A very clever cloak is they got it at SMU, a very prestigious university . . . The prestige rubs off,” Hufbauer says.

The commingling of academia and politics has irked some SMU faculty and members of the United Methodist Church, who unsuccessfully tried to nix the deal. According to an agreement between SMU and the Bush library foundation, the policy institute will be governed by a board appointed mostly by the foundation board members—including Marvin Bush (the president’s younger brother), Don Evans (a Bush pal and former secretary of commerce), and Craig Stapleton (a Bush cousin). The institute will have sole authority to select fellows. Dennis Foster, president of the SMU faculty senate, says administration officials have insisted that the library and policy center will be “nonpartisan” and “not a monument.” Possible conflicts of mission “between the university and the think tank” have not been addressed, Foster says....

January 06, 2009 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, Bea.

Most Presidents look bad after 8 years in the job. Clinton sure was welcomed to leave by his countrymen.

After the heat of the moment has expired, reflection will take place. Bush has changed the situation in the Mideast for the better (just ask Ban Ki-moon), begun to close the gap on minority academic achievement, made significant inroads in reducing AIDS in Africa, protected Americans from a second attack by an enemy sworn to destroy us who once had the loyalty of hundred of millions and created a new prescription benefit.

January 06, 2009 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, he held off the attack on our society by anti-family forces for 8 years!

January 06, 2009 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President-elect Barack Obama's selection of an old White House hand to head the CIA shows a preference for the Clinton administration.

Obama's decision to name Leon Panetta to lead the premier U.S. intelligence agency surprised the spy community.

Panetta is a retired eight-term congressman, former Clinton White House chief of staff, and former head of the Office Management and Budget. There isn't a hint of direct intelligence collection or analysis experience on his long resume. Instead, he's only been what Washington calls a consumer of intelligence.

But despite Panetta's strong history of bipartisan goodwill, news of his selection struck sour chords not only among predictable Republican skeptics but even among a longtime friend and fellow Californian, incoming Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She complained about Panetta's lack of intelligence experience and Obama's failure to consult with her on the decision.

Sad day.

January 06, 2009 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Thanks for your continued output from the two page talking points memo.

Do you really want to compare how Americans felt about the President and the shape of the country when Clinton left office compared to now?

I seem to recall a highly regarded President Clinton who left us with a strong economy and a federal surplus.

Take off the Rove-colored glasses Anon and accept reality.

January 06, 2009 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I seem to recall a highly regarded President Clinton who left us with a strong economy and a federal surplus."

If you think he was highlyu regarded, you must have been living outside the country.

The current economic crisis is worldwide and we're doing better than most places. Clinton had a good economic environment because Republicans ran Congress and wouldn't let him get away with any shenanigans.

Surpluses aren't good. That means tha government is overtaxing its citizens.

January 06, 2009 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Left the middle east better off?

January 06, 2009 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" are apparently one of those misguided and ill-educated citizens who actually believes that the President (any President) can accomplish remarkable things merely by a snap of his (autocratic?) fingers, as if he alone "changed the situation in the Mideast for the better (just ask Ban Ki-moon), begun to close the gap on minority academic achievement, made significant inroads in reducing AIDS in Africa, protected Americans from a second attack by an enemy sworn to destroy us who once had the loyalty of hundred of millions and created a new prescription benefit."
All of your crowing will not be able to cover up the fact that he has been one of the most horrendous failures as President we have ever endured. All of us, with you excluded, are glad to see him finally leave Washington, DC.

January 06, 2009 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think he was highly regarded, you must have been living outside the country.

Great gadzooks, for someone who's always demanding that others "back up their claims with facts," you have a bad habit of pulling falsehoods out of your ass.

Google is your friend. Use it. Repeat as necessary.

Poll: Clinton Leaves With High Marks

President Bill Clinton will leave office this week holding some of his most favorable job evaluations ever. Most think he has made the country a better place, and say he has been a better than average president....

Now, 68 percent approve of the job Bill Clinton has done as president over the last eight years, and 30 percent disapprove....

Mr. Clinton also receives one of his highest favorability ratings ever recorded by this poll. Now, 57 percent have a favorable view of him, and 35 percent are unfavorable.

Bush, on the other hand:

President Bush Job Approval

In the final full month of his Presidency, just 13% of American adults said they Strongly Approved of the way that George W. Bush performed his job as president. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapproved. That gives the President a -30 rating on the Presidential Approval Index (daily updates are available along with ratings of the President-elect).

Overall, 35% say that they at least somewhat approve of way the President has handled his job. That’s unchanged from November and among the lowest monthly ratings ever earned by the President.

Bush’s overall approval rating had never fallen below 35% before April of this year. However, it has now been below that level for six of the last nine months.

Bush's favorability? So bad that Gallup hasn't even polled it since April 2008. At that time, it was 32% approve, 68% disapprove. That was before the economic meltdown, remember.

Clinton was a popular president who presided over a period of peace and great economic prosperity. Bush slept while terrorists attacked, led us into a disastrous war against those who didn't attack us, and melted down the economy to a greater degree than we have seen since 1929. At least as far as the public goes, it was and is no contest.

Once more, with feeling: Google is your friend.

GA -- recently silent but always watching

January 06, 2009 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clinton was one of the few Presidents who was actually impeached.

His party lost seats after he was elected.

Upon departure, he cut shady deals to dole out pardons to undeserving crooks and stole the china.

Four years from now?

January 06, 2009 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more legacy


"WASHINGTON (Jan. 6) - The home of a giant land crab, a sunken island ringed by pink-colored coral, and equatorial waters teeming with sharks and other predators are being designated national marine monuments by President George W. Bush in the largest marine conservation effort in history.

The three areas -- totaling some 195,274 square miles -- include the Mariana Trench and the waters and corals surrounding three uninhabited islands in the Northern Mariana Islands, Rose Atoll in American Samoa and seven islands strung along the equator in the central Pacific Ocean."

January 06, 2009 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Welcome back, G.A.

Clinton was one of the few Presidents who was actually impeached.

His party lost seats after he was elected.

Are you sure you want to bring up impeachment, Anon? The GOP lost seats in the 1998 midterm elections because they planned to impeach Clinton. The GOP effort failed; Clinton was acquitted by the Senate. The GOP looked like fools after Gingrich's replacement as Speaker of the House, Bob Livingston resigned after his own marital infidelities came to light between the House and Senate impeachment actions. It didn't help that Henry Hyde's past marital infidelities came to light too. Interesting fact: of the original 13 House managers who initiated impeachment proceedings against Clinton, only two remain in Congress.

Another point of interest: Your very own "best journalism in the U.S." news source, the The Wall Street Journal reported that Zogby polls in 1998 found 27% of those polled wanted Clinton impeached if he lied about his affair, but Zogby polls in 2005 that found 51% of those polled wanted Bush impeached if he about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.


That's a good move, but it's only a diversion to hide his most egregious parting shots:

Bush's parting moves on the environment
Last-minute rule changes would weaken environmental protections, critics say

And to try to get us to forget his lousy track record "protecting God's creation":

Bush lifts executive ban on offshore drilling

Hybrid Watchdog: SUV Tax Loophole vs. Hybrid Tax Credits "A Hummer of a Loophole"

Bush's 'clean fuel' move may cause more harm, say environmentalists

The Bush Record: Water Pollution

Bush Admin Sides With Auto Industry, Blocks California's Emissions Plan

Bush Mandates Arsenic in Your Tap Water

Bush Defends Rejection of Kyoto Treaty

White House decision on power plant emissions stunningly short-sighted

January 07, 2009 2:05 PM  

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