...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Thursday, January 15, 2004
      ( 10:20 AM )
Kinder, Gentler... and Stupider

In an effort to appear much more compassionate and in touch with his citizens' needs, the president has launched several new ideas for programs recently. The White House seems to feel that these things will move Americans to realize that Bush isn't all about WAR and DESTRUCTION, but more about waste, discrimination and destruction. It's an election year after all!

Of course, we know that the administration has introduced a bold, new plan to conquer space. The president intends to "extend a human presence across our solar system." Poor solar system. But of course, it took the president's unique syntax to really get the point across:

I want to thank the astronauts who are with us, the
courageous spacial entrepreneurs who set such a
wonderful example for the young of our country.

Spacial entrepreneurs? What are those? People who start small businesses about geometry? Have we completely given up on the English language? Is it really in our best interest to have a man who allows a phrase like this to come out of his mouth in a policy speech (let's not even get into the fact that his speechwriters appear to be 10 years old) to lead the country into a new era of space exploration? Of course, we could always ask him to lead by example...

In another major White House initiative this week, the President has announced (again) how much he LOVES MARRIAGE!! He proposes to spend $1.5 billion on a new Promotion of Marriage drive. With this $1.5 billion that is not being used to educate our children, help poor working mothers with childcare, feed our hungry, homeless vets, or even upgrade our electrical system, Bush plans to encourage the promotion of "healthy marriages."

It also plays to Mr. Bush's desire to be viewed as
a "compassionate conservative," an image he
sought to cultivate in his 2000 campaign. This year,
administration officials said, Mr. Bush will probably
visit programs trying to raise marriage rates in
poor neighborhoods.

"The president loves to do that sort of thing in
the inner city with black churches, and he's very
good at it," a White House aide said.

He's very good at what? Exploiting poor black people? Travelling around to inner cities telling people that their biggest problem is that they're not married? Of course, "promoting healthy marriage" is another codeword for discriminating against same-sex couples who are just as committed as heterosexual couples, but cannot enjoy any of the rights the latter claim, even visiting a spouse in the hospital. One thing this initiative doesn't discuss is whether, in order to set a good example, the administration will fire everyone in its employ who has been or who intends to in the future, get a divorce. This would probably do more for marriages, and the American people in general, than the so-called "plan." Tom Burka sees a more sinister plan at work.

Meanwhile, Cheney made a dip through the Pacific Northwest this week, trailing $1,000 dollar bills out his pocket as he grabbed them up. Here in Portland, he met with 65 people near the airport - and managed to raise $400,000 from those 65 people. Nice gig if you can get it, I suppose. Oregon is set to be a "Battleground State" in the coming election - that is, according to the White House. It's not necessarily a done deal, based on my unscientific observation of the multitude of bumper stickers and buttons throughout the area declaring that four more years of Bush would mean destruction of life as we know it. Of course that is only Portland, and everyone knows we are the granola munching, tree hugging, Little Beirut of America. The GOP is organizing hard in this state, so in a burst of goodness from my heart: good luck, Mr. Moneypants Cheney!

So, indeed, the White House has got big plans for this year. Good thing they don't have to worry about an invasion of a couple of countries and rebuilding them, losing hundreds of killed and injured soldiers, millions of jobs that don't exist anymore, schools failing because of unreachable standards and no money, or little old things like trillion dollar deficits. Why should they worry? It's a compassionate year!

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