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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You choose, and I support you

(Emphasis added in all cases)

While the White House web site offers an e-mail address for comments, you can now be sure that the Decider-in-Chief doesn't read the e-mails sent there:
CNBC: Speaking of wealth, there's so much change in terms of technology on society, on business; I'm curious, have you ever Googled anybody? Do you use Google?

Pres. BUSH: Occasionally. One of the things I've used on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see that. I forgot the name of the program, but you get the satellite and you can--like, I kind of like to look at the ranch on Google, reminds me of where I want to be sometimes. Yeah, I do it some. I'm not a--I tend not to e-mail or--not only tend not to e-mail, I don't e-mail, because of the different record requests that can happen to a president. I don't want to receive e-mails because, you know, there's no telling what somebody's e-mail may--it would show up as, you know, a part of some kind of a story, and I wouldn't be able to say, `Well, I didn't read the e-mail.' 'But I sent it to your address, how can you say you didn't?' So, in other words, I'm very cautious about e-mailing.
So...he doesn't use e-mail solely for CYA reasons (not as dumb as I thought, I guess), but he apparently doesn't care enough about what he says to check his "facts" using "the Google." And would he use a powerful tool like Google Earth to understand the terrain in Iraq, or the isolation of North Korea, or maybe why Katrina was such a disaster (well, he only needs a mirror for that)? Of course not! He uses it to plan his next vacation! Look out brush, here I come!

Believe me, George, we all want you to be on the ranch not just sometimes, but all of the time. Although Gitmo would be better.

CNBC's Maria Bartiromo gets right to the heart of the supposed crises in Iran and North Korea--how they affect the stock market:
CNBC: Let me turn to North Korea and Iran. It seems like the markets have discounted a threat from these countries, certainly the way that the markets are trading.
Is Maria really so stupid as to believe that war is bad for the stock market?

CNBC: Let me ask you, broadly speaking, about the competitiveness of this country. A lot of people worry--Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson among them--that a lot of business is going to international economies. You're seeing an enormous amount of, relatively speaking, IPOs going to Hong Kong and London relative to the New York Stock Exchange.

Pres. BUSH: Yeah.

CNBC: Are you concerned about that, and how successful has Sarbanes-Oxley really been?

Pres. BUSH: Mm. Secretary Paulson and I have spent a lot of time talking about this issue. And on the one hand, we want to make it clear that our country will not tolerate any malfeasance through corporate executives. On the other hand, we understand that if you over-regulate, it'll drive capital elsewhere. And so Secretary Paulson and--has convened a group of leaders here in Washington--Chris Cox and others--to talk about how to achieve--you know, live within the spirit of Sarbanes-Oxley, but make sure that we don't over-regulate here in America. And--so one way you become less competitive is through over-regulation. Another way is through high taxation. Another way is through lousy education. And we've got plans to address all these issues to make sure that America's still the most competitive nation in the world.
Basically, Bush here is blaming the outsourcing of much of our economy on a bill he signed with great fanfare four years ago--one which he now apparently plans on ignoring large parts of (everything but the "spirit").

Then there's this:
CNBC: And while we haven't seen something as enormous as Enron recently, we have this new issue of fast-dating of options and companies going over the line there. How would you characterize the corporate sector with regard to fraud or the possibility of malfeasance?

Pres. BUSH: I think the word's out that this administration will come and get you if you break the law. The culture is now one of enforcement, that says, you know, we're not going to put up with it. The Justice Department is active, the FCC is active, and it's important to hold people to account, and we have been and will continue to do so.

CNBC: What about Wal-Mart? You just met with small business owners. Is Wal-Mart good for this country, or does it put small business out of business?

Pres. BUSH: I think Wal-Mart is--you know, made a significant contribution to this country in terms of affordable goods as well as employing people. I think that people are going to--you know, obviously competition is a vital part of the American society, and people shouldn't fear competition. They ought to learn how to adjust and compete.
Where's the followup, Maria? Wal-Mart has clearly and in multiple ways violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and other federal antitrust legislation, dominating and controlling both goods and labor markets on local, national and global levels. They regularly violate labor law as well. One thing they certainly don't have to fear is that "this administration will come and get you if you break the law." And expecting local shops to "compete" with Wal-Mart is like expecting the middle-school football team to have to play the Pittsburgh Steelers every week--with the referees refusing to call any penalties on the Steelers. But of course this isn't just the Bushies speaking--it's the head Bushie. And of course his answer is to blame the victims--it's not his job to enforce the law and enable small business to compete with Wal-Mart on a level playing field. It's THEIR job to "adjust and compete."

And how decisive is the decider?
Pres. BUSH: I know there's a lot of speculation about the tactics, but the--what you got to know is the meeting I had with the generals on Saturday was--the meeting went like this: "We want to win." "Yes, sir." "What are we doing to adjust to the enemy?" "And here are some options, Mr. President." And my answer is, "You choose, and I support you."
Finally, the scariest part:
CNBC: My final question, sir: What is the biggest risk to losing one of the houses of Congress in the midterm elections? Is it the role--the reversal of the tax cut plan, or weakening the war in Iraq?

Pres. BUSH: Mm. I refuse to answer that question. It's a very tricky question that you asked me. I'll answer it, but I'm going to refuse to answer it the way you expect me to. I--we're not going to lose either body. And thereason why is the economy's strong and we got a plan for victory in Iraq. The other folks will raise the taxes if the end up with power, and the other folks don't have a plan for victory in Iraq. As a matter of fact, a lot of them want to leave before the job is done. So there's a clear difference of opinion between the two political parties. And I believe that once the people get in the ballot boxes and take a hard look at the stakes, they'll decide to stay with our party.

CNBC: Mr. President, with all due respect, that doesn't have--that hasn't done anything for the polls.

Pres. BUSH: I know, but I think--my advice--you didn't ask for my advice, but I'll be glad to give you my advice--is let's watch what happens on the poll that actually matters, and that's what happens on--two weeks from tomorrow.
Think about that when you're getting in the ballot boxes. (He apparently knows as much about voting as he does about "the Google.")