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Bush urges patience as U.S. Toll grows, cuts loose his PR pundit ho's

He certainly looks calm, cool, and collected, doesn’t he? From today’s news conference. (Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters)

Let’s see…body count is 1,400 and rising. Let’s ask those families to sit, eat a cookie and then pat them on the head, Chimpy. (Reuters):

President Bush urged Iraqis to defy terrorists and vote in Sunday’s election, and sought patience from anxious Americans as a Marine helicopter crash Wednesday pushed the U.S. death toll above 1,400.

“The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people,” Bush said on the deadliest day for U.S. forces since the Iraq war began. “I understand that. It is the long-term objective that is vital — that is to spread freedom.”

He lashed out at critics who say Iraq has become too costly and deadly, suggesting that such second-guessing could hurt the U.S. mission. The administration plans to seek $80 billion to pay for war costs, bringing the total since the Sept. 11 attacks to more than $300 billion.

“I think the Iraqi people are wondering whether or not this nation has the will necessary to stand with them as democracy evolves,” Bush said. “The enemy would like nothing more than the United States to precipitously pull out and withdraw before the Iraqis are prepared to defend themselves.”

[The next two paragraphs tell me that the man is completely delusional, a meglomaniac. ]

More than half of Americans think it’s unlikely that Iraq will become stable and democratic, according to an Associated Press poll. Undeterred, Bush said he is leading the nation toward an honorable goal — in Iraq and across the world. “I firmly planted the flag of liberty,” he said.

To the Iraqis who face daily attacks from insurgents, he said: “Clearly, there are some who are intimidated. I urge people to vote. I urge people to defy these terrorists.”

OK. Let’s put his unarmed *ss at a Baghdad polling station for a photo op. That would be defying the terrorists.

At the press conference, Bush also officially cut loose pundit pigs-at-the-taxpayers’ trough friends Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and whoever else is on the PR payroll. Oh yes, my little media whores, where are your powerful friends now, eh? Note the old “mistakes were made” no-names-attached, blame avoidance.

President Bush, asked about the practice at a news conference this morning, acknowledged that his administration had made a mistake by awarding contracts to commentators who support his policies.

Bush said he expects his Cabinet secretaries to end the practice. “Mr. Armstrong Williams admitted he made a mistake,” Bush said. “We didn’t know about this in the White House. There needs to be a nice independent relationship between the White House and the press, the administration and the press.”

Bush said in response to a follow-up question that the Education Department had made a mistake as well. “All our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda,” he said. “Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet.”

[He knows it can’t, for crying out loud. Without the Right wing media crowd to constantly drum the message into the heads of the sheep, they might pay attention to the disastrous mess he’s gotten us into..]

Bush told reporters he was “confident” that the press would provide “an objective look” at his administration’s policies, adding: “Won’t you?”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding