micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
Please send him email at email@example.com.
Holmquist's full archives are listed here.
Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)
Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)
Sunday, January 16, 2005
"Democracy simply does not work," Kent Brockman was right to say: Bush says he hates America
Bush says he doesn't have to be accountable and the public had judged him to be right on Iraq because he beat a guy who agreed with him on all of the major issues involving Iraq, Jim VandeHei and Michael A. Fletcher report in today's Washington Post.
tex of antiwar.com has a take on this that's worth reading. I'm going line by line with the story:
President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.This is badly written and I'd have doubts about what the second part means if this weren't Team Bush in question.
"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."Since there were more than two candidates and I voted for one of these "third" candidates, I want to thank Bush for informing me that I don't count. By the way, I'm opposed to the death penalty, but I don't think Bush should count under this opposition.
With the Iraq elections two weeks away and no signs of the deadly insurgency abating, Bush set no timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops and twice declined to endorse Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's recent statement that the number of Americans serving in Iraq could be reduced by year's end. Bush said he will not ask Congress to expand the size of the National Guard or regular Army, as some lawmakers and military experts have proposed.Shocking.
a wide-ranging, 35-minute interview aboard Air Force One on Friday, Bush laid out new details of his second-term plans for both foreign and domestic policy. For the first time, Bush said he will not press senators to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the top priority for many social conservative groups. And he said he has no plans to cut benefits for the approximately 40 percent of Social Security recipients who collect monthly disability and survivor payments as he prepares his plan for partial privatization.Re Social Security, one thing Gore was right about was the idea of a "lock box." If you are going to have the system, Congress shouldn't use it as a piggy bank.
I'm going to assume that Bush just doesn't care about marriage. Funny how he once said, "the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance. The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honoring -- honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all."
Bush must hate America.
Bush was relaxed, often direct and occasionally expansive when discussing his second-term agenda, Iraq and lessons he has learned as president. Sitting at the head of a long conference table in a cabin at the front of the presidential plane, Bush wore a blue Air Force One flight jacket with a red tie and crisp white shirt. Three aides, including his new communications adviser, Nicolle Devenish, accompanied him.I really needed to know what Bush was wearing.
With his inauguration days away, Bush defended the administration's decision to force the District of Columbia to spend $12 million of its homeland security budget to provide tighter security for this week's festivities. He also warned that the ceremony could make the city "an attractive target for terrorists."I have a hard time understanding how anybody can about Bush's little party.
The president's inaugural speech Thursday will focus on his vision for spreading democracy around the world, one of his top foreign policy goals for the new term. But it will be Iraq that dominates White House deliberations off stage. Over the next two weeks, Bush will be monitoring closely Iraq's plan to hold elections for a 275-member national assembly. He must also deliver his State of the Union address with a message of resolve on Iraq, and he will need to seek congressional approval for about $100 billion in emergency spending, much of it for the war.What we would we do without this report?
In the interview, the president urged Americans to show patience as Iraq moves slowly toward creating a democratic nation where a dictatorship once stood. But the relentless optimism that dominated Bush's speeches before the U.S. election was sometimes replaced by pragmatism and caution.This isn't new.
Last week, Powell said U.S. troop levels could be reduced this year, but Bush said it is premature to judge how many U.S. men and women will be needed to defeat the insurgency and plant a new and sustainable government. He also declined to pledge to significantly reduce U.S. troop levels before the end of his second term in January 2009.That may happen. If Uncle Sam leaves Iraq in my lifetime, I have little doubt it will be because they were forced out.
"The sooner the Iraqis are . . . better prepared, better equipped to fight, the sooner our troops can start coming home," he said. Bush did rule out asking Congress to increase the size of the National Guard and regular army, as many lawmakers, including the president's 2004 opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), are urging. "What we're going to do is make sure that the missions of the National Guard and the reserves closely dovetail with active army units, so that the pressure . . . is eased."Which means what?
A new report released last week by U.S. intelligence agencies warned that the war in Iraq has created a training ground for terrorists. Bush called the report "somewhat speculative" but acknowledged "this could happen. And I agree. If we are not diligent and firm, there will be parts of the world that become pockets for terrorists to find safe haven and to train. And we have a duty to disrupt that."The disturbing thing about Bush is that he is as much of an asshole when he is honest as when he isn't.
As for perhaps the most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden, the administration has so far been unsuccessful in its attempt to locate the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Asked why, Bush said, "Because he's hiding." While some terrorism experts complain U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, could do more to help capture the al Qaeda leader, Bush said he could not name a single U.S. ally that is not doing everything possible to assist U.S. efforts.What the fuck? Even those that aren't helping Team Bush "liberate" Iraq? If there was a decent media, this guy would have to get his story straight.
"I am pleased about the hunt, and I am pleased he's isolated," Bush said. "I will be more pleased when he's brought to justice, and I think he will be."LOL
Bush acknowledged that the United States' standing has diminished in some parts of the world and said he has asked Condoleezza Rice, his nominee to replace Powell at the State Department, to embark on a public diplomacy campaign that "explains our motives and explains our intentions."If this gang were trustworthy, this might have a shot at working. Oh who the hell am I kidding? My realistic nightmare is that it does work. Team Bush is good at dishonesty.
Bush acknowledged that "some of the decisions I've made up to now have affected our standing in parts of the world," but predicted that most Muslims will eventually see America as a beacon of freedom and democracy.What is it "all about"?
On the domestic front, Bush said he would not lobby the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.Translation: I can say whatever I want. Your job is to believe it.
Bush's position is likely to infuriate some of his socially conservative supporters, but congressional officials say it will be impossible to secure the 67 votes needed to pass the amendment in the Senate.I blame Bush for destroying marriage and thus America. Either that or just being a lying asshole.
On the subject of revamping Social Security, Bush said he has no intention of making changes that would affect the approximately 40 percent of Social Security recipients who receive disability or survivor benefits. The Bush administration has privately told Republicans that the White House plan to restructure Social Security will include a reduction in benefits for future retirees. The interview marked the first time Bush strongly suggested disability and survivor benefits would be shielded.I have trouble caring.
Bush has put an overhaul of Social Security at the top of his domestic priorities. He has revealed few details of his reform proposal, except to say he wants to enable young workers to voluntarily divert a portion of their taxes to private accounts. Program participants could then pass the accounts to their heirs.Yawn.
On the election Bush said he was puzzled that he received only about 11 percent of the black vote, according to exit polls, about a 2 percentage point increase over his 2000 total.Can Bush go more than a minute without contradicting himself. I didn't even consider voting for him or his partner in the "war on terror." So I'm not one of "[t]he American people," but then I am.
Oh I get it. The real message is that no matter what, Bush rules over me, with the help of reporters like Jim VandeHei and Michael A. Fletcher.