Wait, What?

I know, I skipped blogging last week.  My bad.  At least I used the time productively, to make a shiny new banner!

So, in the two weeks since my last column, some things have happened, I’ve heard.  I do want to catch my loyal reader up on some of those things, so I’ll start. . .oh. . .right here:

1.  The American Economy, or, The Audacity of a Dope

As I learned from watching The Daily Show, on July 15th, at 10:20 AM, Somehow-Still-President Bush gave a press conference on the economy. In case you’re too broke to pay attention to the article, I’ll sum up his speech for you:  he took the opportunity to blame Democrats for our weak economy, urge Congress to pass his spending bills and what amounts to a bailout package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (while also saying “I don’t think the government ought to be involved in bailing out companies.”  Little disconnect there?)  and again press for allowing offshore drilling and Alaskan drilling, things that the American people have said time and again that they do not want.  His speech was optimistic about the economy while acknowledging the “difficult time” that American families going through right now.  That’s what he called it; a “difficult time.”  I think the President has “misunderestimated” the problem.

The really interesting thing about this press conference is that the President gave one at all, since he is notorious for not speaking directly with the press.  But that day was a special occasion.  Why?

Because on July 15, at 10:20 AM, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke was testifying before Congress and giving a very very different view of the economy.  Bernanke was pessimistic and, while he carefully avoided actually saying the word “recession,” he did say that all Americans should “lube up and bend over; we’re pretty much fucked.”

Okay, he didn’t really say that, but he might as well have.  He was so frank and honest about the situation in his testimony, it wouldn’t have been surprising at all if he’d said that.

Apparently Mr. Bernanke didn’t get the administrations memo about speaking optimistically when it comes to the economy, as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and SEC Chairman Christopher Cox did.  In their testimonies, they praised and supported Bush’s bailout plans and spoke a bit more optimistically than Bernanke did.

Hmmmmm.  So Bernanke goes out and gives a more honest view of the economy, and somehow the President gives a rare press conference at the exact same time?  Schedule mixup or deliberate attempt to draw attention away from the truth?  You make the call (hint: deliberate attempt).

2.  War – What Is It Good For?  Borrowing Tons of Money From Foreign Governments, Apparently

How’s that tax rebate – sorry, “economic stimulus” check feel?  Pretty good, yah?  While I’m talking about taxes, have you noticed that for the entirety of the Iraq War, we’ve had no tax increases?  It’s the first war we’ve fought that didn’t come with a tax increase, and in fact has has two tax rebates!  Our government must be doing pretty good with its money, right?

Wrong, wrong, so fucking wrong!  If “right” was sex with a supermodel, you’d be in the bathroom of a gay bar with your pants down, your mouth open, and surrounded by the Village People; that’s how wrong you’d be!

Our government has been busy borrowing money from numerous other countries both to pay for the war and to be able to give those tax rebates.  While I can understand politfact.com wanting to tell the truth of Obama’s remarks, I must admit that I do find it a bit alarming that China (didn’t we get busted for spying on them a few years back?  Haven’t their spies in this country been busted recently?) and Saudi Arabia (I really don’t understand why people seem to keep forgetting that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, 50 of the Gitmo detainees are Saudis, and bin Laden himself has ties to the Saudi royal family?  With friends like those. . .) are two of the top three lenders to the US.  That kinda bugs me, considering both countries have bad recent track records with human rights issues.  Sayeth the Bush:  “We remember those seeking religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, where the religious police continue to arrest non-Muslims, yet where we also believe reforms pledged by King Abdullah can bring real change.”

Wait, what?  So our President is wagging the finger of his right hand at these countries, while eagerly taking their money with the left?  The words don’t match the actions here, and when that happens, always go with the actions. And our President’s actions send a clear message:  we don’t really care about your policies or how badly you treat people, or what you do to and against us, as long as you give us money.

Wow. . .our administration has become a bunch of crack whores.

3.  Barack Obama’s “See, The Rest Of The World Likes Me” World Tour

Presumptive Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama (damn, that’s long) has left the country!

That would be good news for the Republicans, except for two things:  one, he took all the major network news anchors with him, and two, he’s coming back.

It seems to be a fun trip for Obama, though; he’s visited Iraq (squashing McCain’s criticism of him for never having been there), and is currently in The West Bank, meeting jubilant crowds everywhere (Barack:  Bigger Than The Beatles?).  Apparently he represents a great hope for the American people, at least in the eyes of foreign people, who, it must be noted, get better and more accurate news than we do here.

Meanwhile, in the US, presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain got an essay rejected from the New York Times, which had published an essay by Senator Obama only a week before.  While some are saying that the NYT is showing a bias by doing so, I have to say that, having read both pieces, I would have made the same decision to publish Obama’s “Here’s How We Can Fix Our Problems In Iraq” piece and not publish McCain’s “Barack Obama is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong” piece.  Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer substance and solutions over point-scoring and the same naysaying and smokescreens that the current adminsitration has become so adept at using.  Again, maybe that’s just me.

I think that’s me caught up now. . .I swear, every time I have to get caught up, I get outrage fatigue..

VS – 7.23.08

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