Dubya's Pre-Vacay Presser: It's All Good
In response to criticism that I'm picking on President Bush, I'd like to praise him by providing these morsels from his pre-vacation news conference today:
* In a gesture of empathy to the residents of Minneapolis where a major interstate highway bridge collapsed last week, he dismissed dealing with the nation’s 70,000 structurally deficient bridges until Congress changes the way it spends highway money.Hurry back to Washington, Mr. President, hurry back.
* In a gesture of empathy to middle-class homeowners hit with foreclosures in an historic housing market crack-up, ruled out any direct federal assistance like the enormous tax breaks given the nation's wealthiest homeowners since he took office.
* Said he is confident in the ability of Pervez Musharraf to crack down on Al Qaeda terrorists at the Afghan border even though the Pakistani strongman has shown no inclination to do so and has been more interested of late in flaming Barack Obama.
* Said the best way to honor former NFL player Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death while serving in Afghanistan "is to find the truth," while failing to note that as commander and chief he has been notably uncurious about the ongoing scandal, including not telling a congressional committee about when he first learned of the Army's cover-up.
* Described Iran as "a destabilizing influence in the Middle East," while failing to note the biggest destabilizing influence.
* Said that Guantánamo Bay, the flagship resort in the Rumsfeld Gulag, cannot be closed until other countries agree to take the more than 350 people still there.
* Bristling at a question over whether Attorney General Gonzalez should be held accountable, said "Why would I hold somebody accountable who's done nothing wrong?"
* Ignoring repeated Republican efforts to block Democratic-sponsored legislation, said he hoped Congress would deliver more legislation “rather than being the investigative body."