Bush does hold press conferences.
Yes - fewer than any other president in modern times - by nearly a factor of 5 - that's secretive in my book. But don't take my word for it...
First There Is a Press Conference, Then There Is No Press Conference, Then There Is ...
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2001, at 1:24 PM PT
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that President Bush would hold no more formal press conferences. Today, President Bush held a press conference. Chatterbox prides himself on having a subtle mind, but this Zen riddle threw him for a loop. Is Bush holding press conferences, or isn't he? He decided to investigate.
First stop: White House press secretary Ari Fleischer's March 28 briefing. Here's the exchange in full (pardon the length, but the path to enlightenment was never short):
Here's the link to the full article http://slate.msn.com/id/1007389/
And when did anybody in the administration refer to their critics as unpatriotic or accuse them of treason?
Karl Rove is the Chief evil lord of that duty - but don't take my word for it...
(From New York Review - 2003) ...In the 2002 midterm elections, Rove was more active than any White House adviser had ever been before. He was instrumental not only in selecting Senate candidates but also, as in the case of North Carolina's Elizabeth Dole, in discouraging others from running. He had done the same in Texas. From Rove's fertile imagination came the idea, months before the 2002 midterm elections, in which control of the Senate was at stake, to capitalize on the Senate Democrats' opposition to the part of the bill creating a Department of Homeland Security which denied its employees traditional civil service protections. This was seen as a way to break the power of the public employees union, which supports the Democrats. Norquist believes that the union is a force for the expansion of government. Democrats who opposed the bill because of its anti-union provisions were branded "unpatriotic."
At first, it seemed absurd to make a critical campaign issue over a bill to create a new federal department. But Bush was willing to do so, and it testified to Rove's dark genius that the strategy worked. In a speech by Rove to the Republican National Committee in January 2002, he urged Republicans to take political advantage of Bush's war on terrorism, arguing that the public has more confidence in Republicans on national defense. There's reason to suspect that the resolution approving war against Iraq was deliberately timed by Rove and Bush to occur just before the 2002 midterm election.
The charge of a lack of patriotism helped to defeat Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, who had lost two legs and an arm in the Vietnam War. Of course it was outrageous to brand Cleland "unpatriotic," but Bush and Rove are not easily embarrassed. Bush, for all his supposedly easygoing manner, is apparently no less ruthless than his mentor. A television ad showed Cleland along with pictures of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The Republican senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, himself a Vietnam veteran, was so incensed by the ad that he threatened to run his own ad endorsing Cleland unless it was canceled. After Hagel's vehement protests, it was, but the damage had been done.
I honestly do not think our society can withstand four more years without total collapse. The cracks are already starting to show - and they are getting worse fast.
Sure - Thanks to the failing policies of the "Leave no child behind" Bush administration education funding is being cut again - Colleges around the country are raising tuition an average of 30% this year alone. Not only is the education of our children getting less money - our children are getting less education and fewer people can afford college educations - thanks to this utterly failing policy, there will be fewer skilled, high tech workers to do the jobs of the future, and that means less money to spend for things like education - not that global companies - the ones which support Bush with so much cash he's drowning in it - will feel the impact - they will just move their high-tech facilities over seas where they DO educate their children and people can go to college (Usually because the governments in those places pay for it, i.e. India, Germany) - this vicioous cycle will further erode the standard of living for the middle class and people like Bush and Cheney (And let's face it Kerry and his billionairess wife) won't notice a difference - well except their servants might not be immigrants anymore. They will be people who used to have good jobs - before they got shipped overseas.
Additionally, let's see - Juvenile crime up 23%, Teen pregnancy - up nearly 18% in the last two years alone - But the real tragedy is the deep ideological divisions among us - ten years ago you could see parity between dem's and repub's on a number of issues - not the religious ones like abortion or the obvious ones like gun control - but in terms of fiscal sanity, legislative cohesion and such - thanks to "The Great Divider" we are more split apart as a country than at any time since right before the civil war. If any one person could be held responsible for that - it's Bush.
So, let me get this straight: That excuse used by a few enlisted officers is a fault of the Bush administration, with NO evidence that the orders even came from that high? What kind of evidence do you have for that?
You don't need evidence of some vast conspiracy and the orders didn't NEED to come from on high - any Captain of any ship will tell you that he (or she) is responsible for the actions of each and every soldier serving under him and were one of those people to do something wrong the captain knows he (or she) MUST take PERSONAL responsibility - yet that doesn't seem to apply anymore, at least not to this administration. The fact that the senior leadership of the Army and Rummy are NOT taking responsibility is part and parcel of the Bush Administrations prevailaing attitude of "I did nothing Wrong" and "It's not my fault" - and then they are surprised when that attitude is reflected in the soldier on the front? That is mind-boggling to me. The Japanese have a concept called Giri - it means personal responsibility - were this a Japanese problem it would lead to the resignations of many high level governemnt officials who would step up and take responsibility for the things which happened on their watch - something the Bush administration would never do - a sign of arrogance.
Do you honestly believe that we're just as bad as the Hussein regime? Seriously?
In a world of 256 shades of gray, no we aren't anywhere NEAR the hussein regime in terms of brutality or anything else - but Arabs and a lot of the rest of the world don't see things as that spectrum of gray shades - they see things as black or white - and we have crossed that line over to black and I'm not sure we can ever get back across it - letting Rummy keep his job is tantamount to acceptance in the eyes of many foreigners - arabs especially - they've seen all of this before with other players and other leaders paying lipservice and they don't buy it. Neither do I. In order to have the moral high ground we needed to be ever vigilant and make sure that all of our prisoners were treated fairly - we didn't and so we lose the "Moral Authority" card and are now just another Christian Zionist invader. That may not be the way I see it - or you, but it's the way people in that area of the world see it, and nothing, absolutely nothing the Bush administration does or says will ever change that - only a change of government will, and honestly that might not do it either.
Presidents with deeply held religious beliefs swear an OATH like all the others to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States. If George Bush felt incapable of keeping that oath due to holding to his religious beliefs at the expense of the Constitution he should never have taken office.
Here Here Rhea!
We have separation of church and state for a reason - one that Bush shot in the foot the moment he asked Congress to pass an amendment stating that marriage must be between a man and a woman only. That proposed amendment is a blatant case of religion intruding into government, since its only basis is Biblical. And we won't even talk about the war in Iraq, which Bush said himself he believes is God's will.
And it's comments like that which force me to believe that this man Bush is causing lasting damage to our society. It's cohesion, it's flexibility, it's structure - all decaying. Our identity as Americans is being attacked and destroyed. He is destroying us from the inside and a lot of people are letting him do it deluded by the rhetoric and believeing he has their best interests at heart - he doesn't. He is dividing us at our peril and I cannot fathom why. One of the surest signs of decay in a society is when people stop identifying themselves as a whole and start identifying themselves with a smaller group - usually religious or idealogical. Which is what is happening to us - thanks to this administration and their governing philosophy of creating strife and sowing distrust. People have stopped identifying themselves as American and have started to think of themselves as something else first, American second. Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein BOTH predicted this would be the first step to the dissolution of the USA - and their predictions are coming true.
"To know that you do not know is the best. To act from the pretense that you know when you do not know is a disease" - Lao Tzu
"From All, One; and From One, All" - Heraclitus
"Let me be clear: however the world's goblet turns there will always be those drunk on the wine of the Self" - Ghalib
"A 'politically savvy challenge to evolution' is as self-evidently ridiculous as an agriculturally savvy challenge to euclidean geometry would be." - Charles Pierce