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December 29, 2004

Comments

Let's face it, any US President can anger large portions of the rest of the world just by doing his job (i.e., putting America first), but a good deal of that anger and resentment can be nullified by demonstrating, when the opportunity presents itself, what real American values and compassion are all about.

We can leave the rhetoric to Europeans. The world knows which door to knock on when it comes to $.

The world knows which door to knock on when it comes to $.

And when the US needs $...like we do in Iraq...where do WE knock?

Bush has an image problem among the peoples of many other countries and heading into his second inauguration, his people should be working overtime to improve it.

You're right and wrong.

Bush has managed to trash this country's reputation as the world's most admired and respected country. Unfortunately, much of Bush's base believes being respected and admired by other countries is a bad thing.

Edward,

Probably not on these doors.

Jade,

That's BS.

That's BS.

No, Stan, it's fact. And it's fact that has profound national security implications.

But Bush's adherents believe instilling fear and exercising force is preferable to admiration and respect.

Jade,

Whose respect did we loose?

red herring Stan.

If you think the US can continue to wage the "war against terror" out of its own pockets, I hope you're backing a significant tax increase.

Bush’s image problem stems from his overt nationalism and apparent lack of empathy. And given the fact that he is indifferent about maintaining personal characteristics stereotypically expected of global leaders he will continue to irk the global community. I suspect we shouldn't hold out breath while Bush takes great steps toward reshaping his image.

Perhaps Mencken was correct - perhaps with Bush in the White House we can rest assured that democracy is nearing perfection.

Jade, Whose respect did we loose?

Well, just about everybody's, as far as I can tell.

These results are clear - the percentage of Europeans that believe that Europe should not look to the US for leadership on international issues jumped by about 15% on average, more in some places (even in your beloved UK). And that's just in Europe - in the rest of the world the numbers are worse.

Oh, but Pew Research is no doubt just another branch of the liberal conspiracy to hide the truth. And besides which who cares what those frenchies think anyway. Right? Riiiiight.

From Today's NY Times:

According to the Congressional Research Service, an independent agency, the United States is the largest aid donor in terms of dollars, but its record of donating two-tenths of 1 percent of its national economy for foreign aid makes it among the smallest donors as a proportion of what it could theoretically afford.

Whose respect did we loose?

About everyone. Even those nations that are part of the Coalition.

You know, not a day goes by without a member of the 101st Keyboard Brigade taking a shot at France. But if you consider the UK's populace as a whole is more opposed to the Iraqi misadventure than the French--it's pretty plain we have a problem.

Polls show 76% of all Europeans disapprove of US foreign policy. 60% of all Europeans want a more independent approach to security and diplomatic policies.

And it didn't have to be this way; on 9/11, the world almost unanimously came to support this nation. That goodwill and unity has neen squandered.

Just to be fair, I'm sure that one problem is that the US has to equally aid the affected nations. I imagine the urge would have been to aid Thailand first, even though it is the least affected, because more Americans are there. Aid to Aceh and Indonesian areas where the Muslim insurgency is active could not only cause problems, but also may interfere in what Indonesia has planned. There is no easy way to incorporate the infrastructure that the US boasts of into the larger relief effort.

But, having said that, as the link Edward gave points out:
"People do watch and see what we do," he [Leslie Gelb] said. "Here's an opportunity to remind people of the good we do, and he [Bush] can do it without changing his policy on Iraq or terrorism."

I'm watching the press conference now. Had the President got out in front of this and had a press conference immediately, he wouldn't have had to entertain questions on Iraq. Is this really that hard to figure out?

How can the Republicans plan a one night party next month that will cost between 40 and 50 million dollars and justify spending less on this catastrophe?

That's a criticism I don't agree with wilfred. I did some research a few years back, actually calling the White House, and I was convinced that the money spent on the inaugurations we have (we, when we Democrats get in too) is privately donated money, and unless we want to get in the business of dictating what privately donated money has to go to, it's best to let those parties stand as a testament to the winner of how much his supporters appreciate their hard work to elect him paying off.

I'd feel this way regardless of who won.

Edward: I disagree with your response to Wilfred. Most of the monies being donated for inaugural parties are from corporate sponsors looking to purchase access; it really has nothing to do with rewarding supporters.

And let's face it--when you donate money to any cause--be it the Church, a library, charity--you really don't get to dictate what use that money is put towards.

What most struck me about the announcement that Bush would make a public statement about the tsunami disaster... was that it was announced at all, like it's a promotional gimmick: "Tune in at 10:00 to see the new hit series, 'The American President Expresses Concern - In His Own Words!'

The other thing that struck me about the announcement was that it took Bush's speechwriters 3 days to come up with a statement of "heartfelt sympathy and promises of relief," i.e., that the man himself is incapable of expressing such sentiments without advance notice, and even then requires professional assistance to do so.

I'm not going to call George Bush the most pathetic excuse for a human being to ever occupy the Oval Office, but that's only because I don't know too much about the 18th-19th Century contenders for that position.

We'll have to agree to disagree Jadegold. I won't deny Hillary Clinton as extravagent an inauguration as her supporters (including the corporate ones) wish to throw her.

The charge of stinginess is unfair. The U.S. military is the ultimate guarantor of global security, of course with Asians helpfully picking up the tab in financing our debt. But it's true that Bush really missed an opportunity by not demonstrating how much the world still needs us.

Edward,

If you think the US can continue to wage the "war against terror" out of its own pockets

I think most of this war will be fought via intelligence - not full scale occupations like in Iraq.

st,

Might have something to do with the european media.

wilfred,

What about other stuff that US pays for, like our disproportionally high share of the UN dues? Given that the conflict in the Balkans is Europe's backyard, wasn't our involvement charity?

jade,

What were the approval numbers in the 1980's?

And it didn't have to be this way; on 9/11, the world almost unanimously came to support this nation. That goodwill and unity has neen squandered.

Europe is high on rhetoric. Chirac announced that France will veto *any* UN resolution that would automatically lead to war and Germany said that they wouldn't send troops to Iraq even if there's a UN resolution. So much for multilateralism.

Talk is cheap. I can make statements of condolences all day long, too.

When our soldiers don't have proper armor and hundreds of thousands of people are dead and more are about to die because of disease, spending money on themselves extravagantly will make them look like the Marie-Antoinette's that they are. Talk about bad diplomacy but sadly, it will reflect on all of us here.

wilfred,

You should start clipping coupons and move into a smaller apartment. Then take the money you're saving and send it to Red Cross for the Tsunami relief.

stan, our arrears at the UN are the highest also, and our dues should be proportionate to the power that we exert there.

stan, my donation is already with the Red Cross and if you want to donate to, dial 1800-HELPNOW. And specify the International Disaster Fund.

OK, I see your point better wilfred. I was thinking in terms of how this criticism emerges for each inauguration and usually is nothing more than the losing side complaining about the winning side celebrating, but given the current needs (for armor and relief), it would seem appropriate for some gesture of diverting the funds to take place this time around. Like the Bushes need yet another party. (I don't expect Bush supporters to agree with this, however, and will understand that)

wilfred,

How many votes do we get?

oh stan, that was a good laugh. we get one vote but our muscling of others is about the same as the loan shark backed up with 8 goons.

by the way, if you'd like to learn about the UN, check out "Hotel Rwanda" and see how as weak as they were, what would it have been like without them as the rest of the industrialized world flipped Rwanda the bird and stood by while 800,000 men, women and children were hacked to death with machetes.

What were the approval numbers in the 1980's?

You're cherrypicking. What about 1810? Or 1900?

But the 1980s didn't see widespread European (or world) animosity toward the US. We had pretty good relations with our NATO partners, aside from isolated issues like the placement of nukes in some European countries.

Europe is high on rhetoric.

It takes chutzpah to say this after Powell's disgraceful UN performance in Feb 2003.

wilfred,

I thought the claim was that we were buying voted? Coalition of the bribed, was it? If you believe that, then why not throw that $ into the charity column?

As for Rwanda... Weren't Belgians involved? Must've been that sophisticated pacifist european approach.

my donation is already with the Red Cross

That's not the point. I think you could do more. You should minimize your entertainment budget and send more.

That's not the point. I think you could do more. You should minimize your entertainment budget and send more.

That can't be your real point...you don't know wilfred or what his entertainment budget is...what's your real point?

Edward,

I am responding to his:

How can the Republicans plan a one night party next month that will cost between 40 and 50 million dollars and justify spending less on this catastrophe?

stan, it sounds like if Republicans were the ones with the machetes killing Rwandans at the inauguration you still be defending them. i get the picture and am, as they say, moving on.

wilfred, sounds like if you saw Michael Jackson molest all those kids you would get out a camera.

"I get the picture..."

Indeed.

stan -
Media bias? That's all you got? Seriously? Jeez, that line is like penicillin for you guys - cures every ill.

wilfred -
Rwanda is really not your best citation for the UN stepping up to stop or even slow a tragedy. I haven't seen Hotel Rwanda, but I have read Philip Gourevich's We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families. Trust me, if you read that, you will pause before you say that the UN made anything better there. In fact, it is likely that the RPF would have entered the country and stopped the killing much sooner had the UN never even gotten involved. Now Gourevitch (a lefty NYT reporter) may have some unseen axe to grind, but I don't really think so.

(And btw, Stan, it was in fact those bad old French that wore the black hats in Rwanda, not the Belgians. You are probably thinking of neighboring Congo/Zaire)

This is pure ankle biting, nit picking, sore loser, sour grapes crapola. The US will pony up the most millions from our tax money, millions and millions more from charitable donations, man, machines, medical assistance and any part of everything that all these countries will need.

I respect President Bush's hesitance to participate in the mad dash to the microphone and face the videographers. Many of you folks (not all, did I slide in under the Obsidian PC policy) are pitiful. Just pitiful. Slap yourselves, snap out of it, get over it.

We're just now, even as we speak, realizing the full extent of this nearly unfathonable tragedy. Some of you folks need to jump on the positive train and absolve yourselves of taking advantage of every world event to promote your maddening polital mourning agenda.

Actions speak louder than words, eh? What about inaction, what about not interrupting a vacation to, oh I don't know, hold a press conference and assure the world America is on the job? That is an action, right? The guy can't be bothered.

polital - martian for rant and post.

---
Just pitiful
---
Um, I know you are but what am I?

once again, blogsbudman, you miss the forest for the trees here...the tragedy, as you note, is just beginning to reveal its scope, and as has been noted frequently, there are levels of assistance needed, so it's imperative that the world take the event as seriously as possible. Part of what that requires is for the world's leaders to DEMONSTRATE that they understand the tragedy is very large...to do something unusual that conveys that message to the people of their countries and the world who need to dig deep into their pockets and donate money NOW.

The German Chancellor cutting short his vacation is an excellent example of a leader showing his people how serious this is. It's a PR gesture perhaps, but it will work toward the most important end here...getting folks to be generous now, while there's time to stop the second tragedy lurking (disease).

heet,

Actions speak louder than words, eh? What about inaction, what about not interrupting a vacation to, oh I don't know, hold a press conference and assure the world America is on the job?

Action is sending $ and aid, not interrupting your vacation, getting all dressed up and making a fancy speech.

Idisagree Stan...interrupting your vacation and getting all dressed up sends a message to private citizens who need to donate in addition to what the government does.

Correction, Gourevitch is a staff writer at the New Yorker. Sorry.

I'm a little hesitant to talk about it in this context. Like the (so far as I can tell very wrong) responses to theCrooked Timber post on the subject complaining that the American television response was not quick enough (and frankly those people obviously didn't watch Fox News which was all over it), I think worrying about the best possible Bush vocal response is odd. It isn't all about America--especially when the real response is lots of money and time and aid. Furthermore I think it is far wiser to tone down a Presidential response so as to avoid whining about grandstanding than to try to force a positive diplomatic moment into the media.

And in a completely unscientific survey consisting of entering "Bush tsunami", "Blair tsunami", "Chirac tsunami" and "Schroeder tsunami" I was only able to find statements from Bush and Schroeder. Schroeder's statement (as much as reported which is as much as can possibly be received diplomatically, was about the 26 dead Germans who have been found and warning that the number of Germans dead would likely be in the hundreds.

I think this is a very unlikely time to do much more than put up money, which the US has done as much and more than anyone else.

Edward, is that what liberalism amounts to, tokenism. Our President is the real deal, our country is the real deal, and your right to grouse about it is the real deal. But even the worst natural disaster in history (wherever Vesuvius fits in), an unthinkable event of biblical proportions, can't shake some of you off your pious pile of pissitivity. 300 million should stand in unison and nod a quiet 'bless you' to any and all efforts that are undertaken by our nation. Yes they should.

Our President is the real deal,

As evidenced by what? You seem to intrinsically trust him...I (and millions around the world) do not...why is he blowing this opportunity to earn some trust?

What's wrong with him demonstrating through some PR gesture that he cares? You don't want to be standing between him and a camera if he has the opportunity to put on some military gear, but if he can rally the nation to pay extra attention to this tragedy, that's tokenism?

Puh-leaze.

Look all this talk about token gestures is ignoring what Edward said about provoking a unified US response. Part of being President is representing the US and putting a face on our response in times like this. Yes, there are tons of donations pouring in, that should be expected and commended.

That isn't enough b/c, as all you loyal Republicans know, perception is reality. The perception is now that the US President couldn't be bothered to cancel his vacation to make a statement and had to be shamed into sending a more substantial amount of aid. If our message is "take this money and be grateful" that may play well to StanLS and blogbudman but it sounds like a lack of leadership to me.

Again I strongly suspect that any dramatic gesture would have been spun by the media as grandstanding. As such a low key approach is not only ok, but an affirmative good. Especially when a) the monetary response from the US government is huge and b) the unprompted US private response is huge.

Sebastian,

The "grandstanding" angle is interesting but I'm not so sure it would be an issue. I don't believe our media would insinuate such a thing, but my opinion is biased. World media is another issue but are there any reports of grandstanding for other leaders who responded immediately?

It didn't have to be elaborate, the press conference today was low-key. I wouldn't expect backdrops with "A Strong America Helping Asia" printed on them or anything.

Sebastian: Again I strongly suspect that any dramatic gesture would have been spun by the media as grandstanding.

You mean like the media spun Bush's response to 9/11 as "grandstanding"? The media is on Bush's side: if Bush does something that looks good - and interrupting his Christmas vacation to say something about the biggest natural disaster for decades would have looked good - the media will spin it Bush's way. That's what happens: you know it as well as I do.

Jes,

That's what happens: you know it as well as I do.

But if everyone knew everything as well as you did, then how would Bush win the election? Oh, yea. He stole it.

Italics off

Sebastian, wouldn't it have been a low-key response to simply go out, say he's not going to take any questions, make a statement on the nation's heart goes out, I've instructed Sec Powell do work with the affected nations and our hearts go out and then wrap it up? Pulling up hypotheticals in order to defend the president's performance sounds like you are already acknowledging that it was pretty crass behavior.

I'm not acknowledging crass behaviour on Bush's part with respect to this. Frankly I think that the idea that any public gesture beyond actual aid was necessary or even desirable from any of the major Western leaders is putting form way above substance. This tragedy is not about us. The fact that we have spent so much time talking about it as if it were about Bush rather than about lots of people who need help around the Indian Ocean reflects poorly on our priorities.

Basically, everything that Bush does sucks. Let's keep moving kids...

Sebastian: Frankly I think that the idea that any public gesture beyond actual aid was necessary or even desirable from any of the major Western leaders is putting form way above substance.

Isn't that what diplomacy is all about?

Would you be saying this if Bush wasn't so bad at diplomacy?

Jesu,

Sebastian: Frankly I think that the idea that any public gesture beyond actual aid was necessary or even desirable from any of the major Western leaders is putting form way above substance.

Isn't that what diplomacy is all about?

Hah! We finally get you to admit to what European diplomacy amounts to - "form way above substance".

Stan: We finally get you to admit to what European diplomacy amounts to - "form way above substance".

Any kind of diplomacy, Stan - not just "European diplomacy". It's the difference between flinging a handful of coins in the direction of someone in need, and handing them over with a polite remark. Politeness is form over substance. You should read Miss Manners: who is, I am glad to tell you, thoroughly American.

Any kind of diplomacy, Stan - not just "European diplomacy". It's the difference between flinging a handful of coins in the direction of someone in need, and handing them over with a polite remark.

But the handful of coins would be the "substance" to which Europeans prefer form.

More like the difference between flinging a handful of coins without cracking a smile, and walking by, smiling and wishing them a g'day (without flinging coins).

Stan, disdain of those ungrateful bastards who don't happen to live in the US is diplomatic?

heet,

Disdain? We are sending tens of millions of dollars and other aid to the poor victims of the tsunami, and you are putting us on the defensive? Nice.

I direct you to your first post --
We can leave the rhetoric to Europeans. The world knows which door to knock on when it comes to $.

Nice, as you say.

heet,

Displaying facts=Disdain? Sounds like you're projecting.

No--
Your attitude towards the rest of the word = disdain

Was anyone accusing Stan of being diplomatic? :)

heet,

Your attitude towards the rest of the word = disdain

You haven't disputed my original assertion, hence you formulated "disdain" from reality, thus you're projecting.

Which assertation what that? I found this
--
Hah! We finally get you to admit to what European diplomacy amounts to - "form way above substance".
--
and subsequent comments on same

Which I take to mean you disdain that swishy European way of acting the part of a world leader. Those chumps should just stay on the ranch and clear brush I assume?

I will never, ever, in a zillion years, understand why otherwise reasonable people carry water for George Bush. He is a pissant of a human being; a man without courage, grace or wit.

That he was incapable of summoning up any feeling or words spontaneously; that he needs a time-delayed, ghost-written, photo op speech about the tsunami... is stunning. Mortifying. My god: *this* is the face of America?

What do his supporters see in him?

Which I take to mean you disdain that swishy European way of acting the part of a world leader.

"Acting". There's a good word.

Where's Moe when you need him?

Oh christ Stan, give it a rest. We get it, your clever as hell. Now, please go back and read the whole thread and figure out why words and gestures have meaning and influence outside of the moment. Come back when you grow up.

Why is it that the same people who profess not to care what other countries think of the U.S. are obsessed with the idea that someone, somewhere is saying something anti-American? If you don't care, you don't care, right?

Why is that the same people who profess to be so concerned about anti-Americanism also detest the art of diplomacy? Do they really not see the connection between the two?

Why is it that the same people who profess to detest the art of diplomacy and appearance don't seem to get too het up about, say, flying onto an aircraft carrier in a jet fighter for no good reason other than that it looked good and made people feel good?

Palladin,

Please tone it down, read the posting rules, and keep in mind that this blog is for civil discourse across party lines. If you have a non-ad hominem critique of Bush, please share, but please keep it civil.

heet,

Please, do not use Christ's name in vain - some of my friends are Christian.

Again I strongly suspect that any dramatic gesture would have been spun by the media as grandstanding.

You mean the media that positively swooned when Bush dressed up in a flightsuit and told everyone "Mission accomplished?"

Or the media that ignored the fact Bush wouldn't talk to the 9/11 Commission unless in was in private and he got to have his hand held by Uncle Dick?

You know, Sebastian, there are times when a bit of grandstanding is a good thing; it's called the 'bully pulpit.' SE Asia was just hit by the equivalent of 25-30 9/11s and this ... couldn't be bothered to utter word one until his press handlers coaxed him into it.

jade,

If the aid was sent a few days late, you'ld have a point.

If the aid was sent a few days late, you'ld have a point.

$15M is nothing in a catastrophe of this magnitude.

And it's a quick, massive infusion of money that's needed in a crisis of this sort.

If your area is anything like mine, you're probably seeing local newsstories about how people are donating food and clothes for a relief effort. Last night, we had the story of a 14 y.o. kid who had collected dry and canned foodstuffs and filled up his parents' basement.

Sadly, these efforts--wwhile well-intentioned--are virtually useless. The logistics of collecting, packaging, transporting, and distributing donated goods is time-consuming and inefficient.

What's needed is cash to the appropriate relief agencies. A lot of it and in a hurry.

A real President could have used the big megaphone to make that message loud and clear.


Isn't the preliminary aid more like $35 mil?

"You mean the media that positively swooned when Bush dressed up in a flightsuit and told everyone "Mission accomplished?"

Which alternate universe were you living in that the media swooned over that? There was carping over it in the major news media on the very first day and for every day that it was mentioned after that.

Stan --
some of my friends are Christian.
---

I find that hard to believe... You having friends, that is. BA-ZING!

It was initially $15M until the media kind of raised an eyebrow at it in response to the "stingy" remark by the UN directed at western nations.

$35M isn't anything to write home about either.

And it's not just money; it's coordinating efforts among nations and relief outfits. It may also be using military assets for transport of equipment/goods and doctors/relief workers. It may be setting up communication hubs or emergency power generations.

Jade,

So if not for the media saivng the day, the number would've stayed at $15 mil? According to this article from Monday: The U.S. government expects to spend $15 million in its initial response to the disaster,, also from the same article:

"A lot of airplanes are already being loaded. Some are already airborne and going to the hardest-hit countries, like Sri Lanka," he said, adding that experts had arrived in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. (Full story)

Six U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo planes, loaded with relief supplies, are on standby in Japan awaiting orders to fly to Thailand, Pentagon officials said Monday.

A public affairs official said the planes are expected to depart Yokota Air Base between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. ET Tuesday to take basic food, shelter, and medical supplies to Utaphao, Thailand.

The United States also has two Navy ships in the area, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.

Both have medical facilities and helicopters that could be used in relief efforts, a Pentagon spokesman told CNN.

Navy P-3 Orion surveillance planes have been deployed from Kadena Air Base to Utaphao.

The planes will be used to conduct "survey operations," a U.S. Navy official said.

Word is there's only the original $15m in outright aid. The other $20m is a loan: the Bush Admin expects to get paid back.

Since none of the worst-stricken countries have a pot to piss in, economically, but do have bountiful natural resources, we can assume that the Bush Admin has found a nifty way to put a lien on disaster-stricken poverty-stricken countries while appearing to be compassionate.

I have been advised that I may not critize Bush's character. So I will only say this is an interesting example of True Christian Charity.

Palladin,

You have a link?

So I will only say this is an interesting example of True Christian Charity.

Or an interesting example of True Liberal Tolerance.

Which alternate universe were you living in that the media swooned over that? There was carping over it in the major news media on the very first day and for every day that it was mentioned after that.

I'd like a cite for that, please.

Sebastian: What universe are you living in?

Fox News

National Review

There's always this flashback to an episode of Hardball featuring Chris Matthews and Peggy Noonan:

NOONAN: All right. This is what I think it was. It wasn't just it was showy, it was showbiz, it was "Top Gun," it was Tom Cruise's suit, it was all that wonderful stuff. It's that the American president not only put himself in harm's way going to see American troopers, but he showed them by coming in on that ship I trust you.

MATTHEWS: A little risk. Just a little bit of risk.


NOONAN: It wasn't just risk. It was trust. It was faith. You're going to take care of me. You're going to hit that second trap, the third trap, or the fourth. I'm safe in your hands. It was a compliment, you know. ... one of those ...


MATTHEWS: It's like knowing to bring...


NOONAN: ... indelible political moments.

Or we could flashback to Timmy Russert on Meet the Press:

RUSSERT: And we are back. Lots of discussion this week, group, about presidential imagery. I want to show you some tape and let’s come back and talk about it [tape of Bush on USS Lincoln]. USS Lincoln, and coming back holding his helmet after being co-pilot, greeting the sailors and Marines aboard that plane. Now [tape of Dukakis in tank], contrast that to 1988 [group laughter], Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis driving in a sound bite and photo-op that was widely criticized and ridiculed. David Broder, what’s the difference? What happens? Why is one perceived as real and the other as— [group laughter]

More MTP:

RUSSERT: George W. Bush beatable? CARLSON: Not today. Not after walking on water, literally, on the USS Abraham Lincoln. No, he’s done a, he’s done a good job. People trust him. And if you look at the spectrum, I would put Hillary Clinton over here as unauthentic and I would put George Bush over here as one of the most authentic people in politics I’ve ever seen. He—he is what he is, and people like that.


As requested:

"Responding to the southern Asian tsunami disaster, the U.S. Agency for International Development added $20 million to the already promised $15 million.

The announcement was made after director Anthony S. Natsios met with Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage.

Describing the $20 million as a "line of credit," Ereli said, "We have identified an additional $20 million that we will be working to make available" to countries struck by the worst natural disaster in four decades."

From the AP, as reported on MSNBC, CBS, USAToday, and other news outlets.

wiki has a special page dedicated to the disaster and tries to keep an account of whom gives what. They are slightly behind but it gives an impression.


Jadegold, what in your opinion is Russert attempting to say when he says "David Broder, what’s the difference? What happens? Why is one perceived as real and the other as— [group laughter]"

He is saying that the American people were fooled by Bush and the flight suit, and that he is trying to dispel that. Which is the opposite of your posited, 'media swooning'. And it is right there in your own quote.

He is saying that the American people were fooled by Bush and the flight suit,

The American people were fooled, Sebastian. Why? Because of how the LINCOLN episode was presented to them. By the swooning media.

I can furnish literally tons of media accounts gushing over Bush's flightsuit. There's an op/ed from WSJ that essentially says Bush is the manliest of the manly. There's an MSNBC story which has the reporter gushing about how Bush had "become one of the troops."

You have a fairly limited definition of 'the media' if you get to exclude the most powerful players--ABC, NBC, and CBS newsanchors and the NYT.

Sebastian: You want 'em? I've got 'em. I've got CNN and McPaper as well.

Palladin,

Any probablity that that loan will be forgiven?

Palladin,

Since none of the worst-stricken countries have a pot to piss in, economically, but do have bountiful natural resources, we can assume that the Bush Admin has found a nifty way to put a lien on disaster-stricken poverty-stricken countries while appearing to be compassionate.

Meanwhile...

The United States on Friday completely forgave $4.1 billion in debt Iraq owed it and urged other nations not part of an international debt relief agreement to follow suit.

The United States on Friday completely forgave $4.1 billion in debt Iraq owed it

In other words, if the US invades and occupies most of the nations surrounding the Indian Ocean, rewrites the laws of those countries on terms favorable to US corporate interests, takes control of those countries natural resources, and completes the construction of permanent military bases in those countries, it would be quite possible that the debt would be generously forgiven.

=

A=

Yea, man. Wave that red flag.

may i say 'aargh'! if you knew what i had to go through to post on this site sometimes... AOL sucks (except when you need your e-mail when outside the country).

What i wanted to say is: According to ABC World News Tonight- Spain has donated 68 Million dollars so far to the relief (not counting their personal donations). Our combined personal and govt. donations probably do not equal a place the size geographically and economically of Texas, one of our 50 States. Hang down your head and cry.

Jade,

"There's an MSNBC story which has the reporter gushing about how Bush had "become one of the troops."

Maybe, it's because Bush is actually respected by the troops. And so they treat him like one.

Maybe, you should look at the approval ratings the troops are giving him. Sounds like the MSNBC guy is just reporting the facts.

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