Easy Pieces for Any Decent American (from
September 15, 2003
are many otherwise decent Americans who are
either still on the fence about George W. Bush
or they actually profess to like the man. They
are the ones who make up the 58% approval ratings
and the 64% who say they still believe the war
was a good idea. You know these people well.
They work next to you, or they sit in the classroom
next to you, or they may even be sitting at
your kitchen table right now!
think that we need to hold out a hand to them,
not in a partisan sort of way, and not with
any condescension. I think that if we share
with them a few pieces of information, and do
it with common sense instead of politics, there
is a chance we just might break through and
turn things around. Perhaps it's my foolish
optimism in the goodness that is in every person,
and in their ability to ultimately know right
would like to give you three little vignettes
to share with them. They are so simple and so
shocking in their very content that, if you
pass them around the office, the school, the
neighborhood or the bedroom, it may just do
the trick. Here they are:
GEORGE AND LAURA ON 9/11 -- A BARREL OF LAUGHS!
following is an interview with the First Couple
from the current issue of one of my favorite
magazines, Ladies Home Journal (Oct. '03). They
are asked about what September 11, 2001, was
like for them personally, and, although over
3,000 people had just perished, George W. was
able to find some humor by the end of that day:
Noonan (the interviewer): You were separated
on September 11th. What was it like when you
saw each other again?
Bush: Well, we just hugged. I think there was
a certain amount of security in being with each
other than being apart.
W. Bush: But the day ended on a relatively humorous
note. The agents said, "you'll be sleeping
downstairs. Washington's still a dangerous place."
And I said no, I can't sleep down there, the
bed didn't look comfortable. I was really tired,
Laura was tired, we like our own bed. We like
our own routine. You know, kind of a nester.
I knew I had to deal with the issue the next
day and provide strength and comfort to the
country, and so I needed rest in order to be
mentally prepared. So I told the agent we're
going upstairs, and he reluctantly said okay.
Laura wears contacts, and she was sound asleep.
Barney was there. And the agent comes running
up and says, "We're under attack. We need
you downstairs," and so there we go. I'm
in my running shorts and my T-shirt, and I'm
barefooted. Got the dog in one hand, Laura had
a cat, I'm holding Laura --
Bush: I don't have my contacts in , and I'm
in my fuzzy house slippers --
W. Bush: And this guy's out of breath, and we're
heading straight down to the basement because
there's an incoming unidentified airplane, which
is coming toward the White House. Then the guy
says it's a friendly airplane. And we hustle
all the way back up stairs and go to bed.
Bush: [LAUGHS] And we just lay there thinking
about the way we must have looked.
Noonan (interviewer): So the day starts in tragedy
and ends in Marx Brothers.
W. Bush: THAT'S RIGHT-- WE GOT A LAUGH OUT OF
America had just suffered the worst attack ever
on our own soil, somehow this man was able to
end his day on a funny note. I wonder how many
of the 3,000 families who lost someone earlier
that day had a funny ending before they went
to sleep? Please read the above exchange aloud
to anyone who will listen. It speaks volumes.
WE HAVE JUST WRECKED OUR KIDS' FUTURE.
first paragraph in yesterday's New York Times
story on how Bush has taken a record surplus
and demolished it into a record deficit was
one of the best lead paragraphs I have ever
read in a newspaper article.
how it went:
President Bush informed the nation last Sunday
night that remaining in Iraq next year will
cost another $87 billion, many of those who
will actually pay that bill were unable to watch.
They had already been put to bed by their parents."
Gee, I hope the kids thank us some day!
the next paragraph (my emphasis added):
officials acknowledged the next day that every
dollar of that cost will be BORROWED, a loan
that economists say will be repaid by the NEXT
generation of taxpayers AND THE GENERATION AFTER
THAT. The $166 BILLION cost of the work SO FAR
in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has stunned many
in Washington, will be added to what was already
the largest budget deficit the nation has ever
conservative friend of yours should weep when
they read that, and then you should hug them
and tell them that it'll be okay, once we all
do what we need to do.
WHAT WOULD $87 BILLION BUY?
you can't get through this list without wanting
to throw up, I'll understand. But pass it around
anyway. This is the nail in the Iraq War's coffin
for any sane, thinking individual, regardless
of their political stripe (thanks to TomPaine.com
and the Center for American Progress)...
get some perspective, here are some real-life
comparisons about what $87 billion means:
Billion Is More Than The Combined Total Of All
State Budget Deficits In The United States.
Bush administration proposed absolutely zero
funds to help states deal with these deficits,
despite the fact that their tax cuts drove down
state revenues. [Source: Center on Budget and
Billion Is Enough To Pay The 3.3 Million People
Who Have Lost Jobs Under George W. Bush $26,363
unemployment benefits extension passed by Congress
at the beginning of this year provides zero
benefits to "workers who exhausted their
regular, state unemployment benefits and cannot
find work." All told, two-thirds of unemployed
workers have exhausted their benefits. [Source:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
Billion Is More Than DOUBLE The Total Amount
The Government Spends On Homeland Security.
U.S. spends about $36 billion on homeland security.
Yet, Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) wrote "America
will fall approximately $98.4 billion short
of meeting critical emergency responder needs"
for homeland security without a funding increase.
[Source: Council on Foreign Relations]
Billion Is 87 Times The Amount The Federal Government
Spends On After School Programs.
W. Bush proposed a budget that reduces the $1
billion for after-school programs to $600 million
-- cutting off about 475,000 children from the
program. [Source: The Republican-dominated House
Billion Is More Than 10 Times What The Government
Spends On All Environmental Protection.
Bush administration requested just $7.6 billion
for the entire Environmental Protection Agency.
This included a 32 percent cut to water quality
grants, a 6 percent reduction in enforcement
staff, and a 50 percent cut to land acquisition
and conservation. [Source: Natural Resources
you go. In black and white. A few million of
you will receive this letter. Please share the
above with at least a half-dozen people today
and tomorrow. I, like you, do not want to see
another approval rating over 50%.