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The Truth, Mainly - 01/19/2004

President being ganged up on?

When I tell my wife that it's just a disgrace the way our president is being ganged up on this month, she snorts and says I should send him a sympathy card. But he's probably too busy fighting against bad guys and all. Wouldn't have time to read it.

When I say he's being ganged up on, let me count the ways:

(1) Kevin Phillips, a dirty, rotten Republican turncoat, came out with a new book, "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush." As you can tell just from the title, it's very unfair. It attacks the president, his brothers, his father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, all of whom, Phillips says, have been tied to Middle East oil wealth in ways that have "created a major conflict of interest that deserves to be part of the 2004 political debate. No previous presidency has had anything remotely similar. Not one."

(2) The dirty, rotten Carnegie Endowment for International Peace issued a report finding that the Iraqi nuke program was shut down "many years" ago, that Iraqi nerve agents "lost most of their lethality as early as 1991," and that Saddam's chemical weapon capability had been "effectively destroyed" more than a decade ago.

(3) A new Army War College report says the war in Iraq was "unnecessary" and a "detour" that distracts from the real threat—Al Qaeda. Written by visiting professor Jeffrey Record at the dirty, rotten War College's Strategic Studies Institute, the report says our current strategy "threatens to dissipate U.S. military and other resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security."

(4) Smart aleck dirty, rotten presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said this about the presidentís desire to build a space station on the moon so we can eventually go to Mars: "Maybe he's looking for weapons of mass destruction."

(5) And Paul O'Neill, the president's former Treasury Secretary, now another dirty, rotten turncoat Republican, bites the hand that fed him in a book called "The Price of Loyalty." It was written by a turncoat Wall Street Journal reporter, Ron Suskind, and O'Neill was on television touting the book last week. He said outrageous things like this:

•President Bush at cabinet meetings was like "a blind man in a room full of deaf people."

•From the beginning of the administration—eight months before 9/11—"it was about Iraq." Nobody ever asked "Why Saddam? Why now?"

•When O'Neill told Vice-President Cheney (not a dirty, rotten turncoat) that he couldn't support a second round of tax cuts, Cheney told him "You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."

•When Leslie Stahl asked him if he anticipated a counter-attack from the administration, O'Neill said "I can't imagine that I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth. Why would I be attacked for telling the truth?"

And as if all that weren't enough trouble for the president, on the economy front something called "outsourcing" is scaring a lot of potentially dirty, rotten turncoat voters. Outsourcing is what happens when our corporations fire American employees and send their jobs to other countries where they pay much lower wages.

The Truth, Mainly


In a letter to the Rocky Mountain News last week, Bill Hickman quoted the Hewlett-Packard CEO saying "There is no job that is America's God-given right any more." Hickman suggested that if corporations really want to save money, they should outsource their executive jobs too.

Which makes my wife wonder aloud if Enron stockholders could have possibly been any worse off if their top executives had been paisanos in Mexico instead of Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and Andrew Fastow in Texas.

Which of course makes me snort. And that leads her to an even more outrageous idea.

"Maybe," she says, "if outsourcing is a really good idea, and outsourcing executive jobs is an even better idea, then maybe the best idea of all would be to outsource our Chief Executive's job. How much worse off could we be?"

I find her idea teetotally un-American. She finds that idea teetotally stuck in the mud. I pout. She laughs.

"This is no laughing matter," I say. "You keep talking this way and I'm going to go home to your mother."

She sticks out her tongue and makes a rude noise.

And that's when she finds another story in the NY Times: the president is planning to spend "at least" $1.5 billion "for training to help couples develop interpersonal skills that sustain 'healthy marriages.'"

"What a good idea," I say. "Your interpersonal skills need some help."

"And guess what?" she says. "The adminstration says 'healthy marriages' means only marriages between heterosexuals."

"Is this a great president or what?" I say.

That's when she hits me on the head with a skillet. It makes a sound like "bonk." I interpret that to mean I win the argument. But I donít tell her.


Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail address is: leonsatterfield@earthlink.net.


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