Wednesday, April 04, 2007

USA Today, NEWSWEEK Call Bush On His Lies

Preznut Bush spent most of his Rose Garden press conference yesterday spewing lies about what the showdown between the Democratic-controlled Congress and himself would mean for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. USA Today fact-checks some of those lies for us:

What Bush said: "The Army will be forced to consider cutting back on equipment, equipment repair, and quality-of-life initiatives for our Guard and Reserve forces … to support the troops on the front lines."

What others say: The Government Accountability Office reported in January that many of the Guard's equipment and supply problems were caused by the Pentagon's failure to plan well. Army delays, the report said, hurt the Guard's ability to buy equipment and supply local units.


What Bush said: "The Army also would be forced to consider curtailing some training for Guard and Reserve units here at home. This would reduce their readiness and could delay their availability to mobilize for missions in Afghanistan and Iraq."

What others say: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that the Army could finance the war and its other responsibilities through much of July without the supplemental budget funds. The Army could do so by transferring money from non-war-related operations such as limiting facility maintenance or restricting travel and meetings.


What Bush said: "If Congress does not act, the Army may also have to delay the formation of new brigade combat teams, preventing us from getting those troops into the pool of forces that are available to deploy."

What others say: Steven Kosiak, a defense analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the Army can transfer money from long-term weapons buying programs to fund its more immediate needs. Even with the increase in troops, the Army should be able to pay its bills for a few months. "It's hard to see how we fall off a cliff at the end of April," Kosiak said.

Michael Hirsch in NEWSWEEK also fact-checks the preznut's reality-challenged performance in the Rose Garden.

Hirsch notes that the preznut claimed there has been significant political progress in Iraq Hirsch says many observers actually see political progress on reconciliation - the key benchmark for stability in Iraq - either frozen or heading in reverse.

Hirsch also notes how Bush criticized surge opponents for not giving his surge policy a chance to work. Bush said only 40% of the troops are actually on the ground in Iraq and the complete complement won't be there until June. But Hirsch points out that the administration itself had said in the past that a fair time for an assessment of the surge would be in the summer. Yesterday's performance in the Rose Garden seemed to push back that assessment date indefinitely.

Of course the biggest lie of all that Bush spewed yesterday was that the delay in funding caused by the showdown between himself and the Congress would cause troops to have to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan longer than their deployments called for. Hirsch puts that allegation to rest:

All in all, Bush delivered a powerful broadside in his Rose Garden performance on Tuesday--especially since few Democrats were around to answer him. But a quick reality check suggests that his Rose Garden offensive was all about politics, not policy. His administration knows it badly needs a victory in the arena of public opinion, which continues to tilt in support of early withdrawal. Perhaps that's one reason that Bush tried to make the case -- in what was no doubt his biggest stretch -- that the Democratic plan calling for a withdrawal date by 2008 "will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines." That's a particularly difficult case to make--since the same day, the newspapers carried stories about how the surge was shrinking the amount of time troops had at home between tours of duty. And his own plan calls for an open-ended commitment--not exactly a hurry-home strategy.

And the biggest laugher of the day came when Bush accused Dems of not supporting the troops. This allegation came from the same man whose administration sent soldiers and marines over to Iraq without the proper body armor and treated wounded Iraq war vets the same way they treat homeless people. If you want to see how well the administration and the Republican Rubber Stamp 108th and 109th Congresses "supported the troops," take a look at McClatchy Newspapers "Veteran's Affairs" section of their website. Here's a taste of the stories there:

Veterans healthcare strangled by red tape

VA review finds hospitals in northeast have problems

More homeless Veterans on the streets

Benefits disapproved for thousands with 'personality disorder'

Worries over veterans mental health grow

The LA Times reports these two stories of horrific veteran care this morning:

5 deaths at L.A. VA facility prompt probe

VA patient has wrong testicle removed - At the West L.A. hospital the vet's healthy testicle is removed instead of the potentially cancerous one. He and his wife file a claim.

Yeah, Bush and the Rubber Stamp Patriot Caucus sure do support the troops!

The dishonesty, arrogance and callousness we have seen from the White House/GOP side on this matter is quite frightening.

If I had a student who could lie as convincingly, frequently and pathologically as George W. Bush and his spokespeople (think Tony Snow, think Dana Perino), I would have the student sent for counseling.

But there is no counseling and no help for the Bush pathologies. Instead Bush believes he maintains unadulterated, extra-constitutional power that is little diminished despite his extended low standing in the polls and the overwhelming lack of support for his policies.

Chuck Hagel had a remedy for that problem.

If Bush keeps on this blatant "Fuck You!" course, we might have to tap that remedy.

I have never -- NEVER -- seen a grown man stamp his foot and threaten to hold his breath until he turns blue like Bush has during the last two weeks. The man has a severe personality disorder, and I expect any day now to read reports that someone has been seen in the White House late at night dressed only in chaps and a cowboy hat, riding a stick horse, and shouting "Hi Yo Silver, Away!"
Or talking to the paintings!!! Oh, wait, that was Tricky Dicky.

You're absolutely right about the childishness. Pure brat. If you ever walk into a room full of alcoholics or even a room full of recovering alcoholics, one of the common traits you will find is childishness, btw. I have a friend in AA who once said that the poster child for alcoholism should be a little brat holding his breath and saying "I will not stop drinking and I will not do anything I don't want to do!"

While Bush managed to stop boozing (though he never has admitted to any alcoholism), he never has been able to grow up. He is one little brat used to getting his way right from the time Barbara Bush and Daddy Bush bought him all his opprtunities.
My thought that Bush could not do anything more shockingly childish than rant at Congress didn't survive the day. His 'recess' appointment of "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" financier Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium has got to rank as one of the all-time most blatant "Nyah, nyah, you can't make me behave" moments in history.

If you would like to see what a proper ambassador's credentials look like, Google Dominique Struye de Swieland, the current Belgian Ambassador to the United States.

I plan to write Ambassador Struye, expressing my shame at this affront, and to ask that he pass on the suggestion to King Albert II to reject Mr Fox's credentials, specifically with the words "Eat dirt and die, you lying scumbag."

I will also suggest to Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid that they not declare an official adjournment for the remainder of Bush's term, scheduling one of their number in every few days to open and immediately close the session as a measure to frustrate this madman's behavior.

Pelosi in May '07
Make no mistake -- Bush has only managed to stop boozing publicly. There was some very disturbing news footage a few years ago (that didn't get a lot of coverage) of his visiting what I believe was a NASA control room -- he was clearly having trouble navigating, and had that vacuous, uncomprehending stare that one has only in two situations: a diabetic experiencing sugar shock, and a boozer coming off a serious drunk with a half-glass of hair of the dog. Aides, presumably Secret Service, hurried him out quickly enough that he didn't wreck the place, but it was clear that he could barely control his bladder, much less the country.

Pelosi in EARLY May '07
The recess appointments were troubling and you're right, they came right on top of his other "Mommy said I could" moment.

As for his boozing, I'm not sure about that. He does disappear every once in a while for a few days where he has no public appearances and when he returns to view he's got scratches or bruises, his face looks swollen and he looks unsteady. That's a sign of "periodic alcoholism" - the kind alcoholism where the drinker abstains from booze most of the time but occasionally goes on a single day, a few days or a week long bender.

George W. does have the look of a periodic.
I don't think that Bush really cares if he gets called on his lies about what a funding veto means. His posturing is designed to start the inevitable blame-shifting that the GOP needs to have a chance in 2008.
You're absolutely right, kvatch - they're maneuvering to blame the Dems for the defeat even though they have fucked up every part of this occupation right from the start.
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