Thursday, June 02, 2005


Public access

The president is coming! The president is coming! He's coming to St. Louis today! Hip-hip-hooray!

Of course, without $2,000 in hand for a plate at his dinner to raise funds for our right-wing Sen. Jim Talent, neither you nor I are invited. We won't be admitted, either, to his appearance earlier today in Hopkinsville, Ky. Only a collection of local sycophantic Babbitts, no doubt, are invited to participate in what handlers are calling a "round table" on Social Security reform. The word round table connotes an exchange of ideas. I suspect few ideas will be exchanged here; Bush will speak and his fellow round-tablers will tell him how brilliant and Godly he is.

But that's how it is for the White House. It's nothing new. We heard all about it during last year's campaign with loyalty oaths required to attend events and people forcibly removed for wearing anything deemed anti-Bush. Keep President Bush away from any random encounters with average folks, the M.O. goes. Regular people might tell him something negative. The TV cameras could even pick it up and show it on the evening news. These aren't good times for our president anyway.

Most Americans aren't buying his idea that they'd be better off investing their retirement funds. They're not happy at all about the protracted war in Iraq. They were extremely put off by the Republicans' calculated moral posturing over Terri Schiavo, and they're increasingly offended by what seems to be right-wing ideology run amok. Bush also finds himself increasingly tainted by the creeping ick of Tom Delay. In fact, it appears the American public is seeing right through our president.

The numbers themselves paint a bleak picture for Bush. According to the Pew Center for the People and the Press, only 43 percent of Americans in May approved of Bush's performance. Other reliable polls show similar numbers. A Pew poll released yesterday shows that only 32 percent of Americans feel optimistic about the national economy and only 44 percent feel good about their own personal finanes.

So don't expect Bush to show up at your door anytime soon, asking how you feel about things. He really doesn't want to hear about it. But St. Louisans shouldn't feel too snubbed by Bush's two-hour fly-in, fly-out visit today. As a gift to the people, he has promised to thoroughly bollix rush hour traffic as the Secret Service entirely shuts down I-70 sometime around 5 p.m. Sorry about that, St. Charles County commuters, but that's what you get for voting Republican.

From the Nixon Tapes, October 1972
President Nixon and H.R. Haldeman discuss whether to name Mark Felt as FBI director to replace the recently deceased J. Edgar Hoover.

Nixon: Is he Catholic?
Haldeman: Jewish.
Nixon: Christ. Put a Jew in there?

Have I mentioned how much I hate Nixon?

Quote of the Day

"The 19th Amendment (granting women the right to vote) is around because men weren't doing their jobs, and I think that's sad. I believe the man should be the head of the family."
Kansas State Sen. Kay O'Connor, who currently is seeking the Republican (naturally) nomination for secretary of state in the Sunflower State.

I heard this morning that Bush initially said this Social Security blitz would only last 60 days. I guess he can't read OR count.
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