Welcome to Dubya’s Bizarro World.

Posted by admin
Jul 11 2006

First, and foremost, I want to say: huh-wha-huh-who-wha???

Ready? Strap yourselves in tight and do not stick your arms or your brain outside this ride…

Detainees to Get Protections Under Geneva Conventions (Washington Post):

The Bush administration, in an apparent policy reversal sparked by a recent Supreme Court ruling, said today it will extend to detainees in the war-on-terror the guarantees of humane treatment specified by the Geneva Conventions.

The decision, announced by White House spokesman Tony Snow this morning, according to wire service reports, comes in the wake of a landmark June Supreme Court ruling rejecting the administration’s persistent argument that the Geneva Conventions did not apply.

Snow said U.S. detainees have been treated humanely but “we want to get it right. . . . It’s not really a reversal of policy.” Snow called the Supreme Court decision “complex.”

Neither the White House nor the Pentagon provided any immediate details as to what it would do differently or how the decision would effect its controversial policies on interrogation, which have provoked an international outcry as well as considerable domestic controversy.

A Pentagon spokesman said a statement would be issued shortly.

The specific provision of the Geneva Conventions involved — known as Common Article 3 — prohibits violence to prisoners, cruel treatment, torture and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”

Two points: First, it is about damn time! Second, and this is my little paranoid voice speaking, what are they really up to? I say paranoid because I know the administration is all about promoting “human dignity” … … … as a phrase that was meant to undermine human rights, as outlined in international law, which includes the Geneva Conventions.

Onto a second weird story (there really should be a limit on the daily intake of BushCo crazy talk). Now, please note that there is setting the bar low, then there is burying the bar six feet under. The following represents the latter.

Budget Deficit Estimate Drops to $296B (Washington Post):

President Bush said today a new, lower estimate of this year’s federal budget deficit shows that his economic policies are working, and he declared that his plan to cut the deficit in half by 2009 is now a year ahead of schedule.

In a speech at the White House, Bush hailed a report today from the Office of Management and Budget showing that this year’s budget deficit “will actually come in at about $296 billion,” compared to what he said was the White House’s “original projection” of $423 billion. The midyear revision is attributable in large part to a recent surge in tax revenue.

“That’s what happens when you implement pro-growth economic policies,” Bush said, pointing to tax cuts that he said have left nearly $1.1 trillion in the hands of workers and business owners. “We’re way ahead of cutting the federal deficit in half by 2009. As a matter of fact . . . we’re now a full year ahead of schedule. Our policies are working.”

Bush cautioned, however, that “we cannot depend on just a growing economy . . . to keep cutting the deficit.” He called on Congress to help cut “wasteful spending” and to tackle what he said was “unsustainable growth in spending for entitlement programs,” such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The fanfare surrounding the new estimate also includes an appearance today by Budget Director Rob Portman at the National Press Club.

But the favorable news about the money rolling into the Treasury stems largely from shifts in the economy, including fatter corporate profits, executive bonuses and stock market gains, that reflect growing inequality, the administration’s critics contend. And even the White House acknowledges that in the long run, the nation’s fiscal outlook remains bleak.

Three brief points for this story: First, a three hundred billion dollar deficit is still in the meter range of “Super Nasty Big Bad.” Second, if the tax revenues are due to the rich getting richer, is the administration going to call for even more tax cuts for the wealthy? Third, if Bush wants to cut wasteful spending, how about looking at that Defense Department budget and the cost of the war in Iraq?

To borrow from one of America’s classic movies — no, not Casablanca…. Airplane! — I picked a bad day to quit smoking… drinking… sniffing glue.

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