Stupidest article of the Bush era
There have been a lot of incidents of appallingly bad journalism over the past eight years: those relentlessly focused on trivialities, stories inventing fake scandals out of whole cloth, the ones amplifying Bush lies and cheerleading for war. Yet for some reason, this story by Dan Eggen and Paul Kane in Sunday's Washington Post strikes me as the most unbelievable, factually incorrect and just plain stupidest article of the Bush era.
Recent Political Wins Smell of Compromise
Lately, President Employs a Little-Used Tool
I don't know if you're aware of it, but getting full immunity for lawbreaking, expanded unchecked surveillance powers, and no-strings funding for endless war in Iraq is the result of compromise!
The Very Serious Journalists at the Post told me so.
The decider has become the compromiser.
President Bush has racked up a series of significant political victories in recent weeks, on surveillance reform, war funding and an international agreement on global warming, but only after engaging in the kind of conciliation with opponents that his administration has often avoided.
This must be the kind of conciliation where you threaten to veto everything unless you get exactly what you want and then the other side gives it to you. That is, after all, the best kind of conciliation.
Two weeks ago, for example, Bush signed a $162 billion spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he hailed as a product of bipartisan cooperation. But the final legislation was far more expensive than Bush had said he would accept, and it included expanded G.I. Bill college benefits and other provisions that he had opposed.
The compromise, you see, was Bush accepting MORE money for war than he wanted. He wanted $100 billion and received $162 billion. There are absolutely no strings on this money, not even the fake "benchmarks" that were imposed last year. The domestic priorities attached to the bill are absolutely no different from last year, when the Democrats inserted minimum wage increases to the war funding bill. So this compromising compromiser got everything he wanted for an endless war where dozens of Iraqis and Americans continue to die every day.
A new surveillance bill signed into law Thursday also marked a significant victory for Bush, largely because the White House won legal immunity for telecommunications firms that helped in eavesdropping after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Yet even there, the compromise legislation included reforms that the administration had initially opposed, including language making clear that the measure is the exclusive legal authority for government spying. The changes allowed the bill to easily overcome opposition from Democratic leaders and civil liberties groups.
This is a bill that the President's lackeys in Congress have admitted gives them more than they ever expected to receive, a better deal that they managed to squeeze out of the Republican-led 109th Congress of Denny Hastert and Bill Frist. Take a look at this detailed flowchart to understand that this new law allows for mass untargeted surveillance of every piece of data between foreign and US recipients, without any requirement of probable cause, without even supplying a phone number or email address attached to the surveillance, and with the added bonus of hiding the lawbreaking warrantless wiretapping program approved by the President and immunizing their criminal activity.
This was a "compromise."
Then there's this whopper:
Bush's conciliatory mood extended to the Group of Eight summit last week in Japan, where the United States for the first time joined the other major industrialized countries in agreeing to try to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Although environmental groups said the deal lacked vital specifics, it marked a long journey for a U.S. president who came to office questioning the science of climate change.
Just TODAY, the White House announced they would defy a Supreme Court ruling and refuse to regulate greenhouse gases through the EPA, disavowing the agency's own reports:
To defer compliance with the Supreme Court's demand, the White House has walked a tortured policy path, editing its officials' congressional testimony, refusing to read documents prepared by career employees and approved by top appointees, requesting changes in computer models to lower estimates of the benefits of curbing carbon dioxide, and pushing narrowly drafted legislation on fuel-economy standards that officials said was meant to sap public interest in wider regulatory action.
The decision to solicit further comment overrides the EPA's written recommendation from December. Officials said a few senior White House officials were unwilling to allow the EPA to state officially that global warming harms human welfare. Doing so would legally trigger sweeping regulatory requirements under the 45-year-old Clean Air Act, one of the pillars of U.S. environmental protection, and would cost utilities, automakers and others billions of dollars while also bringing economic benefits, EPA's analyses found.
And the G8 pledge does nothing, it has no targets, provides no numbers, and would not bind any member nation to any policy. Furthermore, does this sound like some conciliatory figure?
President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit.
As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
It is almost impossible to believe that any journalistic enterprise could come up with such dreck on their news pages, attributing these massive rationalizations and misinterpretations as fact. But this is the Beltway mindset, that "bipartisanship" is supremely valued and always just, and if the dirty hippies are mad about it then Washington must have done its job properly. So they literally just make shit up to feed the narrative of Bush as some transactional compromising figure instead of pushing a radical agenda based on supreme executive power. This is the same guy threatening to veto this:
The House approved a homeless veterans housing bill overwhelmingly Wednesday, even though White House advisers warned they'd urge President Bush to veto it.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, authorizes spending $200 million on housing and services for veterans, requires 20,000 rental vouchers a year for low-income housing for veterans and authorizes $1 million for grants to nonprofit groups to provide housing and services for veterans.
The bill, which passed 412-9, also creates a job in the Department of Housing and Urban Development for someone to coordinate with Veterans Affairs on homelessness and make regular reports to Congress on the issue.
He wants to veto a bill designed to house homeless veterans. Yet the Very Serious Journalists of Washington wants to tell me that there's some great change here. They would love to see that so they can put their relentless cheerleading for this deeply unpopular oaf behind them, so they can believe the system worked, and so everyone can go have cocktails at the bar safe in the knowledge that the betters in the Beltway are doing the glorious and bipartisan work of the people.
The truth is that there has been a hostile takeover at all levels of government that is undermining the very fabric of the nation. But the Very Serious Journalists don't want you to peek behind the curtain. If I didn't know better, I'd think the writers of this fable were Mr. and Mrs. Aesop.