President Bush had warned the American people that the present recession could last "for years," and that it was analogous to the Great Depression. Yet today, after passage of his new stimulus bill, his team suddenly reversed course, reassuring the nation that we might see an end of the recession by year’s end. Then Bush himself berated the American people, charging that they had become too pessimistic about the economy. Veteran journalist Bill Moyers sniffed, "These right-wing mythographers seem just to make this stuff up as they go along."Read the whole thing.
When critics pointed out that the president had once promised an end to earmarks, and yet had signed more than 8,000 into law, he countered by promising not to do it again in 2010. Yet more trouble ensued when Bush increased the budget’s red ink from $500 billion to $1.7 trillion -- after promising a new age of fiscal sobriety. "We inherited this recession from the Clinton administration," Bush countered, "and if we’re going to offer real change, there is going to be some pain in order to get things right again. You have to borrow and spend to save and cut -- anyone knows that."
Newsweek magazine offered a dry assessment of the by-now tiresome "Clinton did it" excuse: "At least students who lose term papers can claim the dog ate them; but this administration isn’t even that clever. For them, it is 'Clinton did it' -- yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Expect for the next four years to hear daily the tired refrain of Monica, serial appeasement of terrorists, Whitewater, Travelgate, Paula Jones, and the entire cargo of impeachment -- anything other than Afghanistan, climbing unemployment, a crashing stock market, and soaring deficits."
Meanwhile, another Bush appointee withdrew his name from Cabinet consideration. An administration spokesman denied a “pattern of sleaze” and allegations of a “culture of corruption,” brought about by the facts that Bush’s treasury secretary had failed to pay sizable back federal taxes, that his labor secretary’s husband had tax liens on their property, that his nominee for secretary of health and human services had withdrawn his name after admitting he had failed to pay thousands of dollars in income taxes for free corporate limousine service, and that his nominee for commerce secretary likewise bowed out pending the results of an FBI investigation into supposed "pay-to-play" favoritism. Late-night talk-show host David Letterman summed it up best: "If Bush nominates enough of his wayward tax-dodging cronies to the Cabinet, we might pay off the deficit yet."
Monday, March 23, 2009
"Oceana Was Always At War With Eurasia" of the Day
Victor Davis Hanson's brilliant parody explains "What a difference an election makes":