the Democrats have a candidate at last, and he
is about bent over double with gravitas.
think that means he doesn't have a humorous bone
in his body. It's a good thing there's at least
one serious person in this race; the Bushies are
getting sillier and sillier.
when you thought no one could top Education Secretary
Rod Paige calling the teachers' union "a terrorist
organization," along comes Veep Dick Cheney with
this gem: "If Democratic policies had been pursued
over the last two to three years, the kind of
tax increases both Kerry and Edwards are talking
about, we would not have had the kind of job growth
that we've had."
in the first place, Kerry and Edwards are not
talking about tax increases at all but about repealing
part of President Bush's tax cuts -- so we would
have had fewer tax cuts, not tax increases. And
in the second place, if losing 2.3 million jobs
is "job growth," Cheney is a laugh riot.
got a $500 billion deficit this year, and Bush's
idea of a solution is to make his tax cuts permanent
-- a move that would cost about $1.5 trillion
over the next 10 years.
other helpful suggestion is to redefine burger-flipping
as "manufacturing jobs." (Are these people never
serious?) And if they can't redefine the problem
out of existence, there's always the option of
just announcing that bad is good.
how surprised we were to learn from Gregory Mankiw,
chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers:
"Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international
trade. Š More things are tradable than were tradable
in the past, and that's a good thing."
also like the dodge where Bush claims that the
reason there's a $500 billion deficit is because
"we're at war." Unfortunately, the cost of Iraq
is not even included in the budget. It's going
to be a supplemental surprise request after the
any of this strike you as grown-up behavior? Or
even grown-up-behavior-related program activities?
dramatic-upward-cost surprise is getting to be
a regular feature with the Bushies. Congress and
the prez passed a horrible Medicare drug bill
and then, oops, a week later announced that it
cost $134 billion more than the advertised $400
billion. That's a 33 percent oops.
may consider it churlish of me to still be holding
a grudge because at least 45 percent of Bush's
tax cuts went to the richest 1 percent of the
people in this country, but it's the kind of thing
I get reminded of frequently. For example, the
news that 375,000 people exhausted their unemployment
in January, the highest number ever recorded for
a single month, reminds me of that top 1 percent.
we had gladsome tidings last month that Bush would
appoint an "independent commission" to find out
why the Bush administration kept telling us that
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties
to al Qaeda. This commission to investigate "intelligence
failures" is co-chaired by Judge Laurence Silberman,
a passionate, partisan, right-wing Republican
who remained a right-wing political activist even
while serving on the bench.
symptom of the fundamental unseriousness of the
Bushies is that they never, ever admit they are
wrong. Nor do they pay penalties for being wrong.
What do you have to do to get fired in that outfit?
canned Paul O'Neill for telling the truth -- that
seems to be fatal. On the other hand, when CIA
Director George Tenet said that intelligence analysts
"never said there was an imminent threat" from
Iraq, he wasn't cashiered -- they just pretended
they didn't hear him.
is already a truism that this will be an event-driven
election, and the spiraling chaos in Haiti and
the horrendous coordinated bombings in Iraq remind
us that it is good to have grown-ups in charge
when serious things happen.
at it this way: Even with a couple of bores like
Kerry and Cheney talking for the rest of the year
(with Bush, you get the occasional Bushism), at
least it won't be as boring as this year's Oscars.
Ivins writes for Creators Syndicate. 5777 W. Century
Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Posted: March 11, 2004