August 11, 2004

Voice of Experience

Don’t tax the rich: Bush puts his mouth where his money is

“Real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes,” Mr Bush said on Monday during a campaign stop in suburban Washington.

And from this we are to conclude, what? That taxing the rich is a losing proposition? That if I could only learn how to dodge taxes efficiently, Bush would be for taxing some other sector instead. No, wait — this is one of those famously funny Bush jokes, isn’t it?

His continuing comments provide me an excuse to launch into a rant. [The following quote is from Kerry:]

“My goal, my diplomacy, my statesmanship is to get our troops reduced in number and I believe if you do the statesmanship properly … it’s appropriate to have a goal of reducing the troops over that period of time.”

Ah. If you “do the statesmanship properly.” Of course. Thanks for the candor, the clarity and the detail, Mr. President. [I should have been paying more attention. Bush wouldn’t be talking about statesmanship or troop reduction. Not macho enough. Coverage of Kerry’s statement here. Of course, Kerry isn’t the president and does not yet have the power to implement plans that would lead to actual troop reductions.]

I’m afraid we already have a troop reduction going on. 900+ troops “reduced” permanently. Over six thousand troops “reduced” physically in some way or other.

Way back at the start of the war, a war supporter who has since fled a bipartisan discussion forum refused to call this a war. To him it was a “liberation.” Well, this liberation comes with a mandatory Iraqi civilian reduction as well. Ten thousand or more Iraqi civilians have been “reduced” or “liberated” or “collaterally damaged” or whatever doublespeak for “killed” you prefer to use.

Saddam is gone. What happened next? The Portland Oregonian is reporting that on the day of the handover, soldiers of the Oregon National Guard came upon members of the new Iraqi regime getting comfortable with Saddam’s absence. They were abusing prisoners. To their credit, the soldiers stopped the guards and tried to help the prisoners. But they found the facility was involved in a much larger operation of torture and abuse. Then they were ordered to stand down, and they withdrew from the prison. We’ve removed Saddam, where is Iraq going now? (Here is the NPR story, if you’re interested)

If you’re counting on Bush to make you safer, think again. Washington, under his administration, is prone to outing operatives and moles if it is politically expedient. No, I’m not just talking about Valerie Plame. The Christian Science Monitor reports on a recent administration leak to bolster Bush’s case for raising the threat level right after the DNC in Boston, when too many eyes were on Kerry. In their eagerness to make the story look credible, the administration outed one of their moles, computer expert Mohammad Name Noor Khan. This was someone working with us to infiltrate al Qaeda (you remember them. Radical. Hatred. Blowing up things) This particular story is pretty outrageous. I’ll let you judge whether outing and neutralizing one of our moles was worth the political points.

I have to get some sleep. I’ll leave you with this sound bite of Bush answering the questions of a Native American group. Listen closely for the barely stifled laughter in the background. Bush stumbles around trying to say something that sounds knowledgeable, but it is obvious he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

What’s it mean to be a “sovereign nation.” Hey, that’s easy—I went to Yale! It means your nation is sovereign!

If you’d like to do some brief reading, I recommend this story on Rumsfeld admitting (back in October) that the cost/benefit is against us in the current approach to the war on terror.

Posted by James at August 11, 2004 1:17 AM
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I listened to the "sovereign entity" sound bite. All I could hear was "Dis banama tastes funny!"

Posted by: Chuck S. at August 11, 2004 11:18 AM

I believe, from the way the article is written that the second quote is actually from Kerry.

Posted by: Pat at August 11, 2004 11:29 AM

Chuck, you're making me laugh all over again. (I know I'm not laughing about the sound bite, because that made me want to cry.)

You're right, Pat, the second quote is from Kerry, thus it's not particularly laughable since he really is talking about pulling troops out. Bush can't talk about pulling troops out because that would mean he was WRONG and we can't have that. And we've seen what his "statesmanship" is like. Har, har, har!!

Posted by: Julie at August 11, 2004 12:01 PM

Thanks, I'll have to correct it. That'll teach me to write under the influence of late hours and gin and tonic.

Posted by: James at August 11, 2004 12:52 PM

Hopefully, it was Hendrick's with a slice of cucumber. Delish!

Posted by: Patti M. at August 11, 2004 3:44 PM

No, it was Seagrams with lime. I've been all about Seagrams since Bob thoughtfully made me that gin and tonic many months ago at Foliage on the night of the drow tarot readings.

I've been dieting, and this was the first gin and tonic since I've dramatically dropped my caloric intake. Under those circumstances, gin makes you loopy. So I have to be careful.

Posted by: James at August 11, 2004 4:09 PM

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