“The Late Show” bids farewell to “Great Moments in Presidential Speeches.”

Oh how I won’t miss that man in any way.

Iraqi journalist tries to “shoe” Bush out of Iraq.

It’s important to note that in the Middle East it’s a very vile insult to call someone a dog. I don’t know why, but it is. It’s also a sign of the utmost contempt to throw your shoes at someone. Combine these two facts together with the video clip from CNN below and you’ll see why it’s so significant. In Iraq over the weekend a journalist threw his shoes at President Bush while yelling that it was a farewell kiss and calling him a dog. Check it:

Back when the war started one of Bush’s mantras was that we had to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. I’d say that he pretty much failed in that goal. There’s a lot of other people in Iraq who would like to throw their shoes at Bush and, I’m willing to bet, quite a few here in America as well. This one journalist has become a hero to a lot of people with that small act of defiance. Bush is probably lucky they were only shoes.

Bush’s Presidential legacy: A $407 billion deficit.

Eight years under the Bush Administration will leave America $407 billion in the hole:

The budget deficit shot up 153% from last year’s shortfall of $161 billion. The government’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30. The agency attributes the jump to “a substantial increase in spending and a halt in the growth of tax revenues.”

That drop in revenue is driven in part by an estimated 15% decline in corporate tax receipts. They fell as a result of lower corporate profits and tax rules governing how businesses depreciate their investments this year. A second factor is the rebates provided to tax filers from the economic stimulus law Congress passed earlier this year.

The spending hike is partly due to efforts by the government “to cover the insured deposits of insolvent financial institutions,” the agency said.

[…] The CBO said it expected the deficit to exceed $400 billion – or 3% of gross domestic product – for each of the next two years if current policies remain in place. It also forecast several more months of “very slow” economic growth.

“The nation is experiencing a significant period of economic weakness,” said Peter Orszag, director of the CBO, in a press briefing.

Meanwhile John McCain repeats the same bullshit Bush has been pushing:

I still believe the fundamentals of our economy are strong. We’ve got terribly big challenges now, whether it be housing or employment or so many of the other — health care. It’s very, very tough times. It’s very tough. But we’re still the most innovative, the most productive, the greatest exporter, the greatest importer.

He’s just more of the same stupidity we’ve been dealing with for the past almost decade. We can’t afford another Bush Administration, but that’s just what McCain will give us.

WSJ op-ed claims “The Dark Night” is actually a homage to George W. Bush.

The Wall Street Journal has always been a conservative rag and I expected to get even more so once it was bought out by Rupert Murdoch, but I didn’t expect him to start hiring editorial writers that are smoking crack:

There seems to me no question that the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society—in which people sometimes make the wrong choices—and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

“The Dark Knight,” then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year’s “300,” “The Dark Knight” is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Give me a fucking break. Not being content with ruining every geek’s image of Batman by putting President Bush behind the mask, our esteemed author even manages to work in a Jesus reference:

Doing what’s right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

Because, you see, sometimes you gotta do wrong to protect what’s right. At least that what he appears to be saying:

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them—when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.

When heroes arise who take on those difficult duties themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, “He has to run away—because we have to chase him.”

That’s real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised—then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.

So it’s not that we want to lock all you furriners up indefinitely and torture you—we honestly hate having to do that—but we’re at that place where such actions are necessary in order to preserve your freedom and not torture you in the future. Or something. It’s hard to tell because I don’t smoke crack myself.

As if we needed more evidence that President Bush is a complete ass…

… well, here you go:

The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

Mr Bush, whose second and final term as President ends at the end of the year, then left the meeting at the Windsor Hotel in Hokkaido where the leaders of the world’s richest nations had been discussing new targets to cut carbon emissions.

I’m torn over whether to consider that or his “bring ‘em on” comment about the insurgents as being the stupidest thing he’s ever said. I understand he was trying to be funny in the above comment, but it feels more like he momentarily let the carefully crafted Compassionate Conservative image the Neocons have been peddling for years slip a little and reveal their true feelings on the issue.

I’m really looking forward to January.

Bush vs. McCain. Can you tell them apart?

I’m a big John Cusack fan so this has double the appeal to me:

Bush on the romance of danger

President Bush, speaking by video conference to military and civilian workers in Afghanistan:

“I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

“It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

Cross-posted from my blog but I just wanted to share it with my friends over here at SEB
– Tip ‘o the hat to Terry

Bush racking up the achievements for history

Bush will already be known throughout history as the “Terror President” (though of course his opponents may think of another type of terror than his supporters). Now he’s well on his way to also becoming known as the “Torture President”. In addition to all we already know (and all what even the White House doesn’t even bother denying anymore!) about official policy on torture, Bush is now set to use his executive powers to veto both House and Senate to prevent a bill that restricts the CIA from using torture to extract information.

There we are, in 2008. A president who will go against popular opinion, against his own legislative branch to protect the CIAs right to scar people bodily and mentally. Go, freedom and liberty!

PS: McCain was tortured in Vietnam. Any bets whether he will take a stance on this, or weasel his way out?

Bush goes all delusional again at Republican Governors Association Gala.

President Bush is once again demonstrating how he lives in his own little world that isn’t impacted by things such as facts and reality in general. During a speech at the 2008 Republican Governors Association Gala he made the following pronouncements:

I don’t know about you, but I’m confident we’ll hold the White House in 2008. (Applause.) And I don’t want the next Republican President to be lonely, and that is why we got to take the House, retake the Senate, and make sure our states are governed by Republican governors. (Applause.)

Our ideas are those embraced by the American people. American people want strong national defense and they want the government to protect the people from further attack, and that’s precisely what Republicans will give them. Americans want lower taxes and less government, and it’s precisely what Republicans will give them. Americans want strong, principled leadership, and that is precisely what Republicans will give them.

And so when I say I’m confident, I am so because I understand the mentality of the American people and I understand the mentality of our candidates. And there’s no question in my mind, with your help, 2008 is going to be a great year. (Applause.)

I suppose the above could be written off as standard “rah-rah” team spirit nonsense, but considering how poorly the Republican party is held by much of the public these days it seems a bit… optimistic to state with any certainty that the White House will see a Republican residing in it come 2009. Sure, it’s a possibility as is the possibility that both houses of Congress will revert to Republican control and all the states will elect Republicans, but it doesn’t seem anything close to something one should be confident about. One things for damn sure and that’s that Bush doesn’t understand the mentality of the American people all that well. If he did then I doubt his approval rating would be in the toilet.

Next he talks about Iraq and Afghanistan:

There are two major fronts in this war: one is in Afghanistan and one is in Iraq; and I want to spend a little time on Iraq. First of all, the decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision for world peace and for the security of the American people. (Applause.)

This is utter nonsense. Saddam posed no threat to the United States or, for that matter, to world peace. His army never really recovered from the pounding it took in the first war and his supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction programs were wild fantasies at best. His supposed ties to al Qaeda were fictions and he was barely a threat to his neighboring countries. At worst he was a threat to his own people and as much as they suffered under Saddam’s rule it’s hard to see how they’re faring any better under their current circumstances. We didn’t make things better in Iraq, we made them much worse.

Next Bush ramps up the crazy:

One of the principles by which I have been operating is this: I believe in an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to every man, woman and child is freedom. And I believe it is in the interests of the United States of America to free people from disease and hunger and want and tyranny. It is in our interests to make sure that we defeat the ideologues of hate with an ideology that has worked throughout the centuries. I believe 50 years from now, people will look back at this period of time, and say, thank God the United States of America did not lose its faith in the transformative power of liberty to bring the peace we want for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

It’s hard to believe anyone could still hold such a rosy assessment of the Iraq war and Bush really shows just how batshit crazy he is with the above statement. It doesn’t help that his actions don’t match up to his rhetoric. For all his talk of freedom from disease and hunger the handful of aid programs he’s put forth are rife with restrictions on how that money can be used.

For example: A bill to provide help to Africa in combating AIDS that’s making its way through Congress would require a third of the $30 billion over five years to be devoted to abstinence-only education and Republicans are upset over a provision added by Democrats that would include Family Planning services because it might mean some money being used to provide abortions or hand out condoms. Sure, they’re willing to help so long as you don’t do anything they don’t approve of regardless of how stupid our reasoning is.

Moving on to the Protect America act which recently expired Bush has this to say:

And that is why we worked with the United States Congress last summer to pass the Protect America Act. And the Congress passed the act, giving our professionals the tools they need. The problem is, the act expired recently, and yet to—the threat to America has not expired. And so now we’re in a debate about whether or not we ought to pass a good piece of legislation necessary to protect the American people.

More nonsense. Yes, the act expired and good riddance to it as well. The argument that it leaves us vulnerable is bullshit. First off the law won’t actually cease to apply until sometime in August, but even if it had suddenly gone away there’s still plenty of authority for wiretaps using the previous FISA rules. It just means the government would have to get a legal warrant to wiretap. It doesn’t even have to do it ahead of time as the old FISA law allowed for applying for a warrant after you had already established a wiretap. The problem for Bush and his cronies is that requiring a wiretap means there will be scrutiny of what they’re up to and even though FISA almost never turns down a wiretap request the fact that someone has oversight just drives Bush right up the wall.

Then there’s the telephone companies that broke the law in participating with the Bush Administration:

And here’s the crux of the problem: Companies that were believed to have helped us protect America from attack are now being sued for billions of dollars. That’s wrong, it’s a mistake, and the United States Congress needs to give those companies liability protection. And let me tell you why.

First, it is not fair to treat these companies this way. Our government told them that their participation was necessary in order to protect us from further attack. And we asked them—and when we asked them to make those protections, we told them it was legal to do so. And I firmly believe it is legal for them to help us protect the American people. And now they’re getting sued. What’s more important, lawyers or protecting the United States of America from further attack? (Applause.)

Let’s rephrase that last question to what Bush really means: “What’s more important, the rule of law or me being able to do whatever the fuck I want without anyone else knowing about it?” Bush may have thought his request to the telecos was legal, but he was wrong. The only company to recognize that fact was Qwest. Everyone else who broke the law deserves whatever the fuck they’ve got coming to them and, for that matter, whoever the fuck told the companies that it was legal needs to be brought up on charges as well.

Secondly, these lawsuits would require disclosure of information which would make it harder to protect the country. These trial—if these cases go to trial, these companies will have to defend themselves. And they’ll be asked all kinds of questions about the tactics they have used to help protect our country. It makes no sense to reveal our secrets to the enemy.

Again, an SEB Translation: “If these cases go to trail then you’ll all be able to see how I was shredding your civil rights and the Constitution. I can’t control the message if you guys know the truth.”

Thirdly, and finally, these—without law, without liability protection for a job that we asked them to do in service to the United States of America, it will make it harder to convince companies to participate in the future. If you’ve done something that you think is perfectly legal, and all of a sudden you’re facing billions of dollars of lawsuits, it is going to be hard to provide with credibility assurances that you can go forward.

Gee, here’s an idea: DON’T FUCKING ASK COMPANIES TO BREAK THE LAW.

Need more proof he’s fucking nuts? How’s this:

Our domestic agenda is based upon this simple principle: We trust the American people, and we will empower them to make the right decisions for their families. We trust in the collective wisdom of the American citizenry. On health, we trust patients to make their own decisions, and we empower them with HSAs and AHPs, all aimed at making sure health care decisions are made between patients and doctors, not by bureaucrats here in Washington, D.C.

If he trusted the American people so much then he wouldn’t need to be so fucking secretive about everything his Administration does, but he’s lying. He doesn’t trust in the collective wisdom of the American citizenry at all. He wants to spy on you without oversight not just to keep you safe, which I’m sure is one of the things he believes he’d accomplish, but also for political expediency. If you think this man isn’t abusing the domestic spying programs he’s put into place then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

That’s about all I can stand to read through at this point, but I think it’s more than enough to show the man isn’t living in the same reality as the rest of us. It’s just a shame we have to sit and wait out the rest of his term in office before we can put this period behind us and hopefully get the country back on the right track.

President Bush reveals Telcos spied on Americans.

All it takes is him getting his way and then suddenly the President is capable of being honest with Americans:

[…] Bush was praising the Senate for approving his long-sought update to a foreign surveillance law. Critics say the bill legalizes his warrantless wiretapping program, which was implemented outside the boundaries of the law, and frees phone and internet companies from any responsibility for violating customers’ privacy.

“The senate bill also provides fair and just liability protections for companies that did the right thing and assisted in defending America, after the attacks of Sept. 11,” Bush said.

As recently as his State of the Union address, Bush would only call for legal immunity for companies “believed to have assisted” in his so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program.

[…] On the eve of a vote to give telephone companies immunity for their alleged participation in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretap program, White House spokesperson Dana Perino admitted that the companies actually spied.

Because they were patriotic.

“The telephone companies that were alleged to have helped their country after 9/11 did so because they are patriotic and they certainly helped us and they helped us save lives,” Perino told reporters at Tuesday’s press briefing.

There you go. Patriotism apparently means you don’t have to obey the law. President Bush ordered the telephone companies to spy on you and most of them complied in spite of the illegal nature of the request. John McCain seems to be hell-bent on being Bush’s third term in office so keep that in mind when it comes time to cast your vote.

There’s still a chance that the immunity provision might be stopped as it was only the Senate that approved it and the House version doesn’t have such a provision, but Bush has promised to veto any legislation that doesn’t include retroactive immunity. Will the House Democrats stand up for us mere citizens or will they cave in like the pussies in the Senate?