The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Thursday, April 28, 2005

BUSH'S "OH SHIT I'M AT 41%" NEWS CONFERENCE

By all means, send him out there, whenever he opens his mouth, his numbers go down.

And Gannon won't be there to help him out, either. Let's liveblog it.

5:02 - I love that long walk. He's rushing already.

5:03 - "...make gasoline prices more affordable". He will hold every hand in the world if he has to!

5:04 - Here comes Social Security. "I traveled the country to talk to the American people". Yes. The carefully screened yes-men and women.

5:05 - Here come the context-free numbers!

5:06 - There's our friend 2041. Remember, as he talks about these "holes" in the system, that he's in favor of the permanent repeal of the Estate and Gift Tax.

5:07 - Translation: Large cuts in benefits for middle-class recipients of Social Security. No mention of private/personal/individual/freedom accounts yet.

5:08 - There it is!

5:09 - Treasury bonds. But those are just pieces of paper! IOUs! Well, going by his logic...

5:11 - First question "are you frustrated?" Starting him off light I see (translation: "Please ramble until you remember your talking points"). This is around where people start zoning ou-- a dog chasing its tail? Gah? Forced.

5:13 - An Iraq insurgency question. "he went on to say we're winning". Yes, after Rumsfeld made great pains to not say we were winning. Bush sounds like he hasn't talked about Iraq in a while... he hasn't, you know. He's now retreating to his generalized lines about democracy.

5:16 - He's still going... meanwhile, CAP catches him in a lie.

5:18 - "I view religion as a personal matter". So is that a rebuke of the FRC and FristChrist, or what?

5:19 - "If you choose not to worship, you're equally patriotic". Remember that one.

5:20 - He's currently dodging the question of how the energy bill helps the gasoline price immediately. Click on the link in the 5:16 entry to find out what he really thinks. Ahh, there, he got to it. It took him a little while to twist and twirl his way to that Fort Hood anecdote. Then he segues to ANWR, which wouldn't have the slightest effect on the price of oil (or gasoline) for close to a decade. Not to mention that by then we shouldv'e been on various alternative energy fuel vehicles several times over.

5:26 - "Vladimur". This is quite a convoluted explanation for how it's dandy that Russia is giving enriched uranium to the Axis of Evil.

5:29 - Bolton. It's too bad the questioner neglected to mention Tony Blair's opinion on Bolton. Or Colin Powell's, for that matter. "Isn't afraid to speak his mind". Especially when he's chasing after you and throwing things.

5:33 - While Bush yammers on about his Social Security plan, read this Nathan Newman post (via atrios) about the true nature of his proposal.

5:34 - I wonder if you east coasters are wondering how tonight's O.C. is going...

5:42 - Here's Matt Yglesias on Bush's hypocracy on "legislating from the bench".

5:44 - "I'll share credit!"

5:48 - Ah, a question about third-party interrogation. Slight dodge. Ahh the delicate line, sounding *tough* but giving lip service to Geneva.

5:51 - Asbestos reform is the key to growing our economy? And I really wish he'd stop saying "neighborhood" instead of "region".

5:58 - Sane right-wing blogger James Joyner is live-blogging the conference, and his stuff makes for a pretty good Cliff's Notes version of the conerence.

6:00 - "I talked to all sorts of people whose spouses died and all they got was a burial benefit." Guess he did listen to those Iraq war widows!

RECAP: New wrinkle with the income-oriented plan for Social Security, but again, no specifics. Remember that saying "lower income people will have their benefits increase faster than those for higher income people" certainly doesn't preclude "cuts for middle income earners", and probably requires it. Read the linked Nathan Newman piece to get an idea of what's up. North Korea was same old same old, as was Iraq. Blitzer is currently arguing that the point of the conference was for Bush to reach out to Congressional Repubs and tell them he's "with them", and not to get weak-kneed yet. That's nice, but how enthusiastic will those Republicans be if Bush's numbers stay in the low-mid 40's?

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