Friday, February 29, 2008

He makes me laugh

From an interview between GW and Today Show's Ann Curry:

    ANN CURRY: Some Americans believe that they feel they’re carrying the burden because of this economy.


    ANN CURRY: The economy, they say, is suffering because of this war.

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I don’t agree with that.

    ANN CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing to do with the economy, the war, the spending on the war?

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I don’t think so. I think, actually, the spending on the war might help with jobs.

    ANN CURRY: Oh, yeah?

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah, because we’re buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses.

That is how the story began on today's Democracy Now! about the "Three Trillion Dollar War," in which two entities are raking in these riches shelled out (no pun intended) by we, the tax payers: Oil companies -- and their investors -- and defense contractors.

JUAN GONZALEZ: We’re going to get into quite a few of those, but I’d like to ask you about the oil, in particular, because obviously many critics initially, when the war began, criticized it as a war to dominate Iraq’s oil. But as you point out, the price of oil has skyrocketed from about $25 a barrel to $100 a barrel since the war began. And what portion of that rise—you also try to attribute to the actual Iraq war, right?

Well, we were very conservative in our book. When we say $3 trillion, that’s really an underestimate. We attributed, in our book, only $5 to $10 to the war itself. But if you look back, in 2003, futures markets, which take into account increases in demand, increases in supply—they knew that China was going to have increased demand, but they thought there would be increases in supply from the Middle East—they thought the price would remain at $25 for the next ten years or more. What changed that equation was the Iraq war. They couldn’t elicit the increase of supply in the Middle East because of the turmoil that we brought there. So we think, actually, the true numbers, not the $5 or $10 that we used, because we didn’t want to get in a quibble, but really a much larger fraction of the difference between $25 that it was at the time in 2003 and the $100 we face today.

And there's this from yesterday's press conference:

"Wait, what did you just say? You're predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline?" Bush responded to a reporter who said some analysts expect prices to soon climb that high. "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that. . . . I know it's high now."

Spoken like a very happy investor . . . You can just about hear the glee in voice.

In the same conference, talking about immunity for telecom companies participation in illegal wiretapping of American's phone calls, he insisted that protecting American's civil rights are foremost in the minds of people listening to our phone conversations:

I wouldn't put it that way, if I were you, in public. Well, you've been long been long enough to -- anyway, yes, I -- look, there's -- people who analyze the program fully understand that America's civil liberties are well protected. There is a constant check to make sure that our civil liberties of our citizens aren't -- you know, are treated with respect. And that's what I want, and that's what most -- all Americans want.

He went on explain why telecoms need protection and American people don't:

Now let me talk about the phone companies. You cannot expect phone companies to participate if they feel like they're going to be sued. I mean, it is -- these people are responsible for shareholders; they're private companies. The government said to those who have alleged to have helped us that it is in our national interests and it's legal. It's in our national interests because we want to know who's calling who from overseas into America. We need to know in order to protect the people.

But you really should watch it for yourself.

And finally, he and his posse continue to kick sand over their tracks of their politically-motivated conspiracy to influence the justice department by seating right-leaning US Attorneys, a position that is supposed to be nonpartisan. Pelosi finally got some grit and "asked the Justice Department on Thursday to open a grand jury investigation into whether President Bush's chief of staff and former counsel should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress," only to have the White House call the request "truly contemptible."

The Justice Department said it had received Pelosi's request and anticipated providing further guidance after Mukasey's review. It noted "long-standing department precedent" in such cases against letting a U.S. attorney refer a congressional contempt citation to a grand jury or prosecute an executive branch. The top House Republican called it "a partisan political stunt" and "a complete waste of time," according to a spokesman.

"There is no authority by which persons may wholly ignore a subpoena and fail to appear as directed because a president unilaterally instructs them to do so," Pelosi wrote Mukasey. She noted that Congress subpoenaed Miers to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firings.

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