An Interview With Big Brother
While you're making turkey sandwiches and turkey soup, throw in these leftovers:
Political Science 101: When installing an official hagiographer, whenever at all possible, keep it in the family. Did anyone catch this at the White House's official website on November 12? After the election, George and Laura Bush were interviewed as part of StoryCorps' "National Day of Listening." StoryCorps is the national oral history initiative and this crapola will be archived in the Library of Congress.
By the way, these whining, defensive excerpts of his statements were answers to tough questions asked by a tough interviewer. Namely Georgie's own kid sister Doro, who'd also penned a memoir about HW, the other living war criminal in the family.
I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process. I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice those values; that I was a President that had to make tough choices and was willing to make them. I surrounded myself with good people. I carefully considered the advice of smart, capable people and made tough decisions.
OK, nothing out of the ordinary there (although it's difficult to divine what Bush means when he says he "surrounded (him)self with good people", unless his definition of good is, "None of my co-conspirators have been executed before a firing squad, yet."). Same clueless, sociopathic bullshit that we've been hearing these past eight years. However, he may want to make a clarification about the selling the soul part. Just because you yourself didn't broker the same deals to the Devil in its various corporate incarnations doesn't mean that others didn't broker said deal, as this list of Bush "pioneers" or those who'd raised at least $100,000 for Dear Leader back in 2000 attests (including 31 current or future ambassadors or ambassador's wives, three of whom having since then been convicted of political crimes).
The problem is Bush will, indeed, exit from public disservice with the same values with which he entered. That's what got us embroiled in a six year war with Iraq and an increasingly more violent war in Afghanistan. Oh, speaking of which, listen to these whoppers...
I'd like to be a President (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do.
OK, if Bush is talking about Iraq and Afghanistan, then he's being modest about the number of people he's liberated. According to the latest available population estimates, Afghanistan's population is close to 32,000,000 and Iraq's has unaccountably ballooned from a pre-invasion, pre-genocide, pre-exodus figure of 26,000,000 to 29,000,000 (perhaps US and British contractors are factored in). Therefore, George W. Bush actually was conservative in his estimate of liberating 50,000,000 human souls.
Maybe the other 11,000,000 were detained, tortured, extraordinarily renditioned and otherwise killed in his peaceful achievements.
But Bush was right on one thing: He did focus more on individuals (like Saddam Hussein) and less on (due legal) process. Although our individual-focused Decider did reduce the carnage in Iraq as a mere "comma" in his glorious statements of liberation.
Helping elderly people get prescription drugs through the "reformed" Medicare? In Arizona, for example, John McCain's home state, the number of drug plans that will be offered will be slashed from 7 to 2. The reason for this is insurance companies opting out for the simple reason that it's no longer profitable enough or because their bids were rejected by Medicare.
Let's take a look at a press release from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities from 2002 when the effect from Bush's 2001 tax cuts were first being felt:
This issue brief compares the cost of last year's tax cuts — and especially the costs of the tax cuts provided to the top one percent of the population — with the costs of two possible prescription drug plans for the Medicare population. The first such plan would cover, on average, one-quarter of the prescription drug costs of the Medicare population. The second plan would be like the first except that it would cover, on average, half of the Medicare population's drug costs.
Such prescription drug plans would entail significant expense, and the plan covering half the cost of prescription drugs — at a cost of approximately $700 billion over ten years — would be twice as expensive as the plan covering one-quarter of drug costs. Yet the cost of the tax cut is substantially larger than the cost of either of these prescription drug proposals. When the tax cut is fully in effect, the cost of the tax cut just for the top one percent of the population would exceed the entire difference in cost between the two prescription drug proposals...
The point here is clear: Whatever money people would be saving by having even half their drug costs covered would be blown and them some by the top 1% of earners' tax breaks. Add to that the Bush administration's militant stance against "untested", cheaper Canadian drugs and their inability to recognize the importance of outpatient prescriptions (which was never covered since Medicare was first created in 1965) and it's impossible to see how Plan D has benefited the elderly on Medicare.
In fact, the federal Medicare program is such a complicated, corrupt boondoggle that states like Oregon had to get involved to fill in the gaps for their seniors.
As far as HIV/AIDS-malaria in Africa goes, while Bush renewed his commitment to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases in Africa, in 2003 Bush allocated $3 billion to fight those same diseases yet did so while undermining the efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) with their own Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Essentially, it trumped compassion in favor of ideology, bureaucratizing the entire process so that cheaper, generic forms of antiretrovirals so essential to the treatment of HIV/AIDS would get snared in an unnecessary regulatory process. In other words, the Global Fund was intended primarily to be a global fund to profit Bush's buddies in the pharmaceutical industry.
It also ought to be noted that one third of the Global Fund's budget was set aside for abstinence programs rather than the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Plus, as with No Child Left Behind and so many other wonderful gifts given to us by the Bush administration, the Global Fund's funding began to decrease almost immediately thanks to certain lawmakers in Congress.
When Sis asks about how faith plays in his public service, Big Brother had this to say:
I've been in the Bible every day since I've been the President, and I have been affected by people's prayers a lot. I have found that faith is comforting, faith is strengthening, faith has been important....
I would advise politicians, however, to be careful about faith in the public arena. ...In other words, politicians should not be judgmental people based upon their faith. They should recognize -- as least I have recognized I am a lowly sinner seeking redemption, and therefore have been very careful about saying (accept) my faith or you're bad. In other words, if you don't accept what I believe, you're a bad person.
And the greatness of America -- it really is -- is that you can worship or not worship and be equally American. And it doesn't matter how you choose to worship; you're equally American. And it's very important for any President to jealously protect, guard, and strengthen that freedom.
He recognizes that he's a "lowly sinner" yet refuses to say what his greatest failure has been or to even acknowledge that there are any problems at all.
It's notable that while Bush has been publicly conciliatory toward those of differing faiths, he's done nothing in the way whatsoever of criticizing those in Wingnuttia who demonize Muslims or claim that being unChristian is somehow unAmerican.
Besides, as Bush had proven through David Kuo's book, one's faith or the power of that faith doesn't make them immune from budget cuts or reneged promises on faith-based funding. In fact, just days after the '06 midterms, Kuo had written in a NY Times op-ed:
Tellingly, Beliefnet’s poll showed that nearly 60 percent of non-evangelicals have a more negative view of Jesus because of Christian political involvement; almost 40 percent believe that George W. Bush’s faith has had a negative impact on his presidency.
In other words, everything George W. Bush has touched had turned into complete dog shit, complete dog shit that, in his self-conscious self-effacement, he thinks is pure gold. And, toward the end of his 96 month-long rape of the constitution and the Middle East, the most challenging interviewer he'll let interview him is his own kid sister.