THE BLOG
04/04/2007 09:51 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Presidential Likes: Pork, Smirking. Dislikes: Troops.

I still got baby teeth!President Bush spent much of Tuesday morning misleading the American people about the congressional appropriations bills (now in conference). And when I say "misleading," I mean "wickedly awesome amounts of lying." It's also worth noting that his smirk almost hit 90-degree-vertical status. The screen capture on the right shows the president grinning immediately after saying the words, "That's precisely why I sent more troops into Baghdad [where they might be killed or mutilated]." Respectful and appropriate as always, Mr. President.

The part he wasn't lying about was his threat to veto the congressional appropriations bill for the troops. In fact, he said the word "veto" eight times. To translate for Hannity and Malkin, that means President Bush is going to veto -- [stupid guy voice] he gonna not for to sign it [end stupid guy voice] -- an emergency spending bill for the Iraq occupation and the American forces there.

Why is that?

First, he said that the language about withdrawing our forces by 2008 is bad, even though 60-percent of Americans support withdrawing from Iraq by that time. 60 percent. That's more than twice the number of Americans who inexplicably continue to support his presidency.

He also noted that Congress is undercutting the opinion of the commanders on the ground. "[The American people] don't want politicians in Washington telling our generals how to fight a war," the president said, suddenly caring about what the American people think (60 percent want us out!). But I see what he means about politicians ignoring the generals on the ground. It's sort of like when Generals Eric Shinseki and John Abizaid recommended that we have several hundred thousand soldiers on the ground for the post-invasion occupation of Iraq and the Democrats clearly ignored the generals and didn't -- wait, oh yeah. Doy. It was President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld who ignored their commanders.

Second, the president insinuated that Congress was taking a remarkably long time to deliver a bill to his desk. 57 days, he said. Think Progress, meanwhile, informed us Tuesday that previous Republican "emergency" bills took as long as 86 and 119 days to reach his desk.

Then there's the pork. President Bush suddenly hates earmarks, which is weird since he signed a steaming Hastert-sized pile of spending bills loaded with pork from the formerly Republican controlled Congress. And I'm not talking about the omnibus or transportation bills. Those are givens. Let's have a look at the pork in some of the Republican defense and homeland security appropriation bills that President Bush signed. (Descriptions of each paraphrased from CAGW with parentheticals by me.)

2006 (from Citizens Against Government Waste)
_$46,908 for Hampton Jitney, Inc. (Wow. People still use the old timey word "jitney?")
_$500,000 for the Arctic Winter Games
_$1,000,000 for the Water-Free Urinal Conservation Initiative
_$1,000,000 for the CLOSED Philadelphia Navy Yard
_$5,600,000 for the Ernest Gallo Center (wine and alcohol research)
_$3,400,000 for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, "which was initially designed to capture energy from the aurora borealis [northern lights], but is now being configured to heat up the ionosphere to improve military communications." (I'm wondering if heating up the ionosphere is such an awesome idea. Then again, this earmark came from Senator Ted Stevens.)
_$8,270,000 for breath alcohol testing equipment
_$10,000,000 for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (to prevent terrorists from attacking that banjo kid from Deliverance)

2005 (from Citizens Against Government Waste)
_$200,000 for the Military-Civilian-Education and Sexual Health Decision-Making Program (Condom, Private Pyle?)
_$1,000,000 to restore Woody Island and historic structures
_$1,000,000 to eradicate Brown Tree Snakes
_$1,603,084 in handouts to the hugely profitable Greyhound Bus company (2004)
_$5,000,000 for the U.S. Secret Service National Special Security Event Fund (this is for the Secret Service to protect Super Bowl football players)
_$5,000,000 for the CLOSED Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal (used by Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the movie A Beautiful Mind and the TV show Oz)
_$5,500,000 for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (Stevens really wants a damn hot ionosphere)

One man's peanut storage is another man's jitney shuttle service and waterless piss pot. So it can't be because of the pork. The president signed all of the bills containing the above earmarks. And to be fair to the borrow-and-spend Republicans, who, by the way, racked up the largest debt in American history, I only skimmed the fiscal years 2006 and 2005. We can go all the way back to 2001, but I think you get the point.

All of this leads to a single conclusion: the president is going to veto the appropriations bill for the troops just to be a contrarian ass worthy of the Penn Jillette Award For Excellence In "Nuh-uh!"

Imagine being an ordinary viewer who doesn't follow this drama on a regular basis. They essentially heard the president say, and I'm paraphrasing, "Send me a bill for the troops, Dema-crat [sic] Congress, and I'll veto it. Come back from your vacation now, while I go on my vacation. This way, my job is to be the only leadering guy on vacation." (Distant 'quack' sound from Cheney hiding in the shrubbery.)

Another great performance for the politically dead Mr. President. Maybe Karl Rove should spend less time mutilating small animals and more time coming up with a winnable strategy in this mess. On second thought, I'd rather Mr. Rove continue to run the president into the ground. Keep it up, homeslice!