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The Chimperor had no clothes


Reuters chart.

That was an incredibly content-free press conference last night. It wasn’t even entertaining, quite frankly. The transcript is here – part 1, part 2.

Ostensibly, the press conference was mostly about addressing high gas prices and revealing Chimpy’s Social Security dismantling plan. As the AP notes

on the SS front: the White House said Bush’s proposal could be accomplished with a “sliding-scale benefit formula.” That would mean lower Social Security payments for future middle- and upper-income retirees than they are currently guaranteed – a fact Bush himself did not mention in his 60-minute session with reporters.” So it looks like a little Ponzi scheme is under way, but he didn’t want to talk about it.

What else did Chimpy say? I’ll let him speak for himself…

On sh*t continuing to implode in Iraq, and increasing attacks by the insurgency:
“There are still some in Iraq who aren’t happy with democracy. They want to go back to the old days of tyranny and darkness and torture chambers and mass graves. I believe we’re making really good progress in Iraq, because the Iraqi people are beginning to see the benefits of a free society. They saw a government form today.”

“Well, we’ve made the decision to defeat the terrorists abroad so we don’t have to face them here at home. And when you engage the terrorists abroad, it causes activity and action….And we are making good progress. The al-Qaida network that attacked the United States has been severely diminished. We are slowly but surely dismantling that organization.”

Responding to James Dobson’s statement that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith (Bush is already being blasted by the Freepi for this answer):
“Well, I can only speak to myself. And I am mindful that people in political office should not say to somebody, You’re not equally American if you don’t happen to agree with my view of religion. As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don’t condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion. The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you’re equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you’re equally American if you’re a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim. And that’s the wonderful thing about our country and that’s the way it should be.”

Freeper: I would have liked the President to say that it isn’t right to keep someone off the bench because they are pro life or disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, because that is what it is.

Bush gave his press conference on the same day that Exxon Mobil posted a profit in the last quarter of nearly $8 billion, a 44 percent increase, yet he said:
“There will be no price gouging at gas pumps in America.”

On the intensifying criticism over the qualifications of U.N. ambassador nominee John Bolton, known for berating and bullying colleagues:
“John Bolton is a blunt guy. Sometimes people say I’m little too blunt. John Bolton can get the job done at the United Nations….See, the U.N. needs reform. If you’re interested in reforming the U.N. like I’m interested in reforming the U.N., it makes sense to put somebody who’s skilled and who’s not afraid to speak his mind at the United Nations.”

On North Korea a country that has the bomb, unlike Iraq, the country we did invade:
Look, Kim Jong Il is a dangerous person. He’s a man who starves his people. He’s got huge concentration camps. And, as David accurately noted, there is concern about his capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon. We don’t know if he can or not, but I think it’s best, when you’re dealing with a tyrant like Kim Jong Il, to assume he can. hat’s why I’ve decided that the best way to deal with this diplomatically is to bring more leverage to the situation by including other countries. It’s better to have more than one voice sending the same message to Kim Jong Il. The best way to deal with this issue diplomatically is to have four other nations beside ourself dealing with him. And we’ll continue to do so.

Finally, as you know, I have instructed Secretary Rumsfeld, and I have worked with Congress, Secretary Rumsfeld has worked with Congress to set up a missile defense system. And we’re in the process of getting that missile defense system up and running. One of the reasons why I thought it was important to have a missile defense system is for precisely the reason that you brought up: Perhaps Kim Jong Il has got the capacity to launch a weapon; wouldn’t it be nice to be able to shoot it down?”

On renditions, the practice of the U.S. “kidnapping” prisoners, taking them to countries that allow the practice of torture for interrogation:
“That’s a hypothetical. We operate within the law, and we send people to countries where they say they’re not going to torture the people. But let me say something. The United States government has an obligation to protect the American people. It’s in our country’s interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm’s way. And we will do so within the law. And we will do so in honoring our commitment not to torture people.”

Becoming unhinged when asked about lawsuits filed over his No Child Left Behind Act:
“I don’t know about the lawsuit. I’m not a lawyer. But I _ you know, I’ll ask my lawyers about the lawsuit. But I know some people are trying to unwind No Child Left Behind. You know, I’ve heard some states say, Well, we don’t like it. Well, you know, my attitude about no liking it is this: If you teach a child to read and write, it shouldn’t bother you whether you measure.”

(Many thanks to all that joined us in the Big Brass Blog chat room; hopefully we’ll have another soon – with more advance notice).

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding