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Friday, October 05, 2007

Seven Long Years

by digby

...of being led by a man with the intellect of a doorknob:

I really appreciate the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce for giving me an opportunity to explain why I have made some of the decisions I have made. My job is a decision-making job. And as a result, I make a lot of decisions.


Right before I walked in here, I had a chance to talk to some state troopers and thank them for their service to the community. These folks were first on the scene at the West Nickel Mines Amish School tragedy. I am constantly amazed that our country produces people -- decent, honorable people who are willing to serve. These folks had the ultimate challenge, which is to bring comfort to a hurting community.

Poor kids first:

And so what you're going to see me making decisions this year is when they spend -- they try to increase taxes on you, I'll use the prerogative given to me under the Constitution, and I'm going to veto the tax bills. I'm going to -- (applause.)

I just vetoed a bill today, and I want to explain to you why. It's called S-CHIP -- Children's Health Insurance Policy. First of all, the intent of the S-CHIP legislation passed previous to my administration is to help poor children's families buy the children health care, or get them on health care. That's what it is intended to do. Poor children in America are covered by what's called Medicaid. We spend about -- this year -- about $35.5 billion on poor children's health insurance. So the first point I want to make to you is, a lot of your money is being spent to make sure poor children get help, medical help.

In other words, when they say, well, poor children aren't being covered in America, if that's what you're hearing on your TV screens, I'm telling you there's $35.5 billion worth of reasons not to believe that. And by the way, that Medicaid expenditures only accounts for children of the poor, it doesn't account for the mothers and fathers. So a lot of your money does go to help poor families with health insurance.


So I want to share with you why I vetoed the bill this morning. Poor kids, first. Secondly, I believe in private medicine, not the federal government running the health care system. I do want Republicans and Democrats to come together to support a bill that focuses on the poor children. I'm more than willing to work with members of both parties from both Houses, and if they need a little more money in the bill to help us meet the objective of getting help for poor children, I'm more than willing to sit down with the leaders and find a way to do so.

So thanks for giving me a chance to discuss one of the many decisions I make as your President. Decision making requires a couple of things -- and then I'll answer some questions -- one: having a vision, having a set of beliefs, set of principles by which one makes decisions. You know, if you're constantly trying to make decisions based upon the latest poll or focus group, your decision making will be erratic. You got to have a core set of beliefs. I believe you spend your money better than the government spends. I believe that the system works better when there's more money in your hands.


And foreign policy, I believe in the universality of freedom. I believe that a gift -- (applause) -- I believe there's an Almighty and I believe a gift of the Almighty to each man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth is freedom. That's what I believe. And I believe it's in the interest of the United States of America to help people become free. That's how you yield the peace we all want. We want people to live in free societies.

And if you believe in the universality of freedom, it's in the interest of this country to act. That doesn't mean military operations. But it does mean, for example, relieving suffering. I also believe in the admonition, "To whom much is given, much is required." A lot has been given to the United States. I believe it's in our interests to help relieve needless deaths when it comes to mosquito bites around the world.I believe it's in our interests to help relieve the suffering of HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa. It's in our interests to do so. It's part of the belief system that says, you know, that we have obligations and duties to ourself.

Decider deciding:

Secondly, it's important to delegate. There's a lot of action in Washington, D.C., believe me, and I've got a lot of decisions to make. And so I delegate to good people. I always tell Condi Rice, I want to remind you, Madam Secretary, who has the Ph.D. and who was the C student. (Laughter.) And I want to remind you who the advisor is and who the President is. (Laughter.) I got a lot of Ph.D.-types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, Mr. President, here's what's on my mind. And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device [sic], I decide, you know, I say, this is what we're going to do. And it's "yes, sir, Mr. President." And then we get after it, implement policy.

And anyway, in the long run we'll all be dead...

All of these democracy movements and freedom movements are related to the larger issues that you're reading about in your newspapers; the Iranian issue, the Iraqi issue -- they're all interrelated. And that's why it's really important for the United States to stay engaged and to promote democracy for the sake of peace.

See, 50 years -- the time between when my dad fought and Koizumi came into the office, 50 years is really -- or, 60 years -- is not all that long -- unless, of course, you're 59. (Laughter.) But anyway, it's just not all that long. And I've told people this is the first chapter of freedom's march in the 21st century against these radical ideologues. It's the first chapter. We're in for an ideological struggle that's going to take a while.

And my commitment is, let's make sure that first chapter that's written is one that'll yield the peace we want. Let's make certain when we look back at this generation that they say, they didn't shirk their duty; they did the hard work so future children can live in peace. And it's difficult. It's a difficult work. It's hard to do the hard things now. And so -- and the American people are -- you know, they don't like war. He's got to know I don't like it either. But I also understand the challenges.

And anyway, there's a part of an answer for a strategy that I believe is going to work. I really do.

Rich arrogant jackass:

Q -- (inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you raised your hand. (Laughter.) You didn't mean it? You want -- you want a little chance to collect the thoughts, you know? I mean we're talking national TV here, you know? (Laughter and applause.)

Q I actually wrote it down so I wouldn't get flustered.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes -- it didn't work. (Laughter.) It's just the President.

Q Exactly. Thank you for picking me. I work for -- (inaudible) -- and in the last two of your budgets you have attempted to eliminate the commodity -- (inaudible) -- program. -- (inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. (Laughter.) I did? Anyway -- (laughter.)

Q Yes, sir, you did.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to call the man responsible right when I get home. Anyway, go ahead.

Q Your Secretary of Agriculture came to visit us and we asked him about it, too.

THE PRESIDENT: And what did he say?

Q Not a lot.

THE PRESIDENT: Why did you ask that question? (Laughter.) Anyway.

Q With a half-a-million seniors who rely on this food, and the food stamp benefit for seniors who live in poverty, it comes nowhere near this benefit that they receive -- how do we make sure that our seniors have the food that they need?


Q And what I would say is, you know, I mean, I just want to make this program -- (inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, where do you get most of your food from in the food bank? Private donations, right?

Q Well, we're fortunate, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. That's the way it ought to be. Food banks ought to be supported through the generosity of individuals. And -- anyway, keep going. So that program --

Q The supplemental commodity food program -- there's nothing to replace it with. Food stamps aren't going to work and we're talking about folks who live in poverty --


Q They already made all the mistakes which they can't fix --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, look, if somebody is poor, we want to help them. And the fundamental question is what's the proper balance between federal help and private help. And when it comes to food banks, look, I don't know the program. Maybe I shouldn't make this admission, maybe I should try to bull my way through. I don't know the program; I'm sorry. I'll be glad to look into it. But just from a philosophical perspective, one of the wonderful things about the country is when there's a need, the average citizen steps up and helps fill the need through private charity. And your program, I suspect, really functions well because the food bank is a dear cause for people. People say, how can I love my neighbor? Well, one way to love your neighbor is the food bank.

And the truth of the matter is I suspect that if seniors are suffering here in Lancaster County and you put out the call, people are going to help. And so I would -- I'll get your budget -- yes, leave your name, I'll get your budget question answered, because you'll be maybe surprised, not surprised -- I don't know all the budget lines. I tend to try to have the big picture. But it's big picture for you and I understand it. Thank you for your question. I will seriously find out for you.

Complete gibberish from a total jerk. Still. Seven years in and the man is as ignorant and full of rubbish as the day he took office. In fact he's as ignorant and full of rubbish as he was the day he entered Exeter or whatever the hell prep school his parents wasted their inheritances on.

Of the current crop of candidates, only Rudy Giuliani is as addled and arrogant as this idiot (although Fred Thompson is giving him a run for his money in the brains department.) Naturally he's the Republican front runner.

Lord help us if they manage to foist another sadistic fool like this on the world. I don't think we'll survive.