Ever eager to pander to a wealthy minority, during last year's debate about loosening restictions on trade and travel to Cuba, Tom DeLay said the following on the House floor:
"Every dime that finds its way into Cuba first finds its way into Fidel Castro's blood-thirsty hands... American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the cost of our national honor."
This is a matter of public record. It's in the House transcripts; perhaps DeLay forgets those exist from time to time, or wishes they didn't.
It's an interesting quote, given the picture you can see at this link. You may have to click on the ad that covers up the picture.
Yep, that's Tommy boy, in a 2003 picture. This means that the picture was taken just about a year before Tom made the above quote. In the picture (as you can read in the accompanying article, from Time magazine), Tom is smoking a Cuban cigar. That's right, Tom went overseas, bought a Cuban cigar, smoked it, was stupid enough to get his picture taken (do you think he's going to blame this on some sort of anti-Christian liberal hate group?), and a year later castigated Americans for wanting to buy Cuban cigars.
This is, technically, illegal; not that that usually stops people. It's certainly nothing the Ethics committee is going to investigate. But it is further evidence that Mr. DeLay is a jackass.
A Fox News poll (one you can assume does not have a liberal bias) found Bush's approval/disapproval rating at 47/43. That's pretty crappy, actually, and, as it was a Fox poll, you can assume it makes the situation look somewhat rosy for the Prez. But there aren't many roses here.
More interesting is the poll question about Bush's social security plan--namely, almost half of Americans don't really understand what Bush wants to do or why he should do it. Some are flat wrong about the president's proposal. This despite the man's 60-day all-expenses-paid-by-you-the-taxpayers nationwide tour to "explain" his plan and talk to regular Americans about it.
What's the deal? Is Bush that bad at communicating his intentions? Actually, no. As I recently learned, Bush's so-called "town hall meetings" have had guest lists. The "questions" from the pre-approved "audience" are all written by Bush handlers. So, in reality, Bush goes around the country on your dime, prohibits anyone who might disagree with him from attending his town hall meetings, talks to his ardent fans for an hour and gets shots of cheering crowds for the nightly news, then wonders why half of America doesn't understand his plan.
He's an idiot.
Here you'll find an Albuquerque article about the scripted nature of these events. This is another report from Kirtland, Ohio. Here's news of an incident at an event in Denver. There's this longer piece, a discussion of an article from the LA Times that documents the Bush/Rove team's tactics for selling this social security plan. About two-thirds of the way down you'll find a fascinating quote by a young man who two generations ago would surely have signed up for the Hitler Youth. And according to this article from Tampa, event organizers in Fargo, North Dakotadrew up a list of 'banned' people among the local populace, including anyone who had ever sent a letter to the local newspaper critical of the President. Do you hear that, folks? If you say anything bad about the president, you'll be blacklisted and refused entry to his "town hall meetings." I wonder if Bush has ever read (or, indeed, heard of) Bradbury or Huxley.
At the very least, next time Bush comes to "rally the troops" at a hangar here at MacDill, I can proudly report that I've said something bad about him and, thus, I won't be allowed (forced) to attend.
I'm going to Utah! Hooray! Three days of hiking in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks with Kelly and Angela. I'm going to play the luddite while I'm out there and not bring my computer with me or watch any tv other than The Weather Channel, so this blog won't be updated again until next Wednesday. Then I intend to post a bunch of pictures (if I can figure out how) and make you all jealous.