Bush’s Hell Month
October was bad for the world and everyone in it—especially the president of the United States.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Even though last month provided us with a fair amount of devastating natural disasters, war, incompetence, fear, sickness, deceased civil rights leaders, corruption and mediocrity, I believe the tone was truly set by the makers of Budweiser, who appealed to the mainstream by invoking quite possibly the most absurd Twinkie Defense in the History of Man.
As reported by USA Today: “Anheuser-Busch will discontinue a national promotion called ‘Bud Pong,’ a drinking game the company says is supposed to be played with water.”
Bush attempted to recover by picking a well-respected inflation warrior, Ben Bernanke, and not Laura Bush, to replace Alan Greenspan as chair of the Federal Reserve.
“‘It has come to our attention that despite our explicit guidelines, there may have been instances where this promotion was not carried out in the manner it was intended,’ Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman Francine Katz said…”
Placing a close second in the race to become the figurehead of New America is Exxon Mobil Corp., which posted the largest single-quarter profit in history, $10 billion, after the oil industry got a $200 billion tax break from the government. The announcement came amid a budgetary crisis in which lawmakers scrambled to free up funds for Katrina relief by cutting, for example, around $14 billion from education. Exxon spokespersons say the profit is a result of fixed costs on the oil giant’s side. In other words, just because the market price of oil skyrockets doesn’t mean Exxon has to pay more to pump and distribute it.
For an additional 1,000 words on this developing story, have a look at this picture of Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman Lee Raymond:
Mother Nature continued her temper tantrum in October with a spreading avian flu pandemic, a seemingly never-ending string of hurricanes and a massive earthquake in South Asia that left 80,000 dead in Pakistan. The latter remained a mystery to many Islamists, who had earlier claimed (along with many American Evangelicals) that Hurricane Katrina was Allah’s retaliation for America’s heathenism. After days of heated deliberation, however, it was decided that while Katrina was indeed Allah punishing The Great Satan, the earthquake was Allah toughening Pakistan up, to make sure it was in tip-top shape for the glorious upcoming Clash of the Civilizations—and also because 8-year-old Ali “Little Satan” Anbar flunked a pop quiz in his madrassa.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, concerned that too many people in Arab lands were discussing democracy when they should be condemning Israel, responded to the development by calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”
While Ahmadinejad’s heightened rhetoric signified a departure from Iran’s previous president, on the home front, the Kansas Supreme Court broke from Ahmadinejad by striking down a law that punishes underage homosexual sex more severely than underage hetero sex. Here’s the AP’s rundown: “The case involved Matthew R. Limon, 18, who was found guilty in 2000 of performing a sex act on a 14-year-old boy and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had one of them been a girl, state law would have dictated a maximum sentence of 15 months.”
• • • •
Speaking of ridding the country of activist judges that insist on legislating from the bench, George W. Bush came under increased pressure last month, as the violence worsened in Iraq, his innermost circle came under scrutiny in the CIA leak probe, and his Supreme Court nominee was laughed off the stage by even the president’s most ardent supporters. None of this, of course, had anything to do with an out-of-nowhere Oct. 6 speech in New York (the day after Karl Rove was called to testify in said probe) and another in Baltimore (the day after the Washington Post ran a story suggesting Vice President Dick Cheney’s office was involved in said leak), and a Oct. 30 radio address urging people to support the troops (the day after a Cheney aide was indicted for lying about said leak to a grand jury).
The nomination of White House counsel/Bush fangirl Harriet Miers to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the bench prompted questions on whether the choice would ignite more partisan warfare. Bush, never one for foresight, responded, “The decision as to whether or not there will be a fight is up to the Democrats.”
The opposite proved true, when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid endorsed the pick, and—despite various sly “Trust us, she loves Jesus, too” utterances—the entire right revolted, causing Bush to (presumably) ask Miers to withdraw over a document dispute the day before Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was indicted.
While the charges of cronyism and incompetence piled up all around him, Bush attempted to recover by picking a well-respected inflation warrior, Ben Bernanke, and not Laura Bush, to replace Alan Greenspan as chair of the Federal Reserve. He then attempted to win back the hearts of his base by nominating Sam Alito, a hard-right judge, to replace O’Connor.
Meanwhile, as White House insiders were calling leak-chasing Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald “a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he’s been tapped by God to do very important things” (NY Daily News), Mitt Romney was calling the charges “bug bites”; Republican Senator/former Clinton-chaser Kay Bailey Hutchinson was on Meet the Press hoping that if an indictment were handed down it wouldn’t be on a “technicality” like perjury; and recently indicted Senator Tom “Bud Pong” DeLay was ranting about how Democrats are shamelessly engaging in the “politics of personal destruction.”
In other words, stay tuned for some Saddam-style courtroom outbursts.