Now that Saddam Hussein has been found, will they resume looking for Osama bin Laden? Haven’t heard that name in a long time, have you?
Meanwhile, the White House has produced a year-end “report” in the form of a congratulatory promotional package for the President. Entitled “2003: A Year of Accomplishment for the American People” (pardon me while I gag slightly), the “report” continues the excuse-making for Iraq by insisting that Saddam Hussein had spent billions of dollars in attempts to acquire weapons. Evidently, it’s now enough to just want weapons, regardless of whether you actually acquire them or not.
Among other highlights of this ridiculously self-congratulatory document:
The report, “2003: A Year of Accomplishment for the American People,” begins by saying that since Bush took office, “109 million taxpayers have received, on average, a tax cut of $1,544.”
The sections are titled: “Building a More Prosperous and Healthier Nation,” including the new drug benefit for Medicare; “Leading the Way Toward a Better and More Compassionate Future,” including the “do not call” registry to restrain telemarketers; and “Winning the War on Terror and Addressing Global Challenges.”
The report’s themes echo those on Bush’s campaign Web site, which outlines “Bush’s Agenda for Building a Safer, Stronger and Better America.”
The president devoted his weekly radio address yesterday to a similar review of the year, saying administration initiatives “have made us safer, more prosperous and a better country.”
Among the assertions in Bush’s report that drew the most attention of his critics were that the administration had practiced “fiscal restraint” and had “proposed stringent new rules on diesel fuel and power plant emissions, which will result in dramatic reductions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury.”
The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning, three-month-old think tank, issued an eight-page rebuttal, “2003: A Year of Distortion.” David Sirota, the center’s director of strategic communications, called Bush’s report “a manifesto of factual distortions and historical revision.”
The Democratic National Committee said in an 11-page rebuttal that the White House rhetoric “betrays reality.”
Bush’s report lauds the “historic five-year, $15 billion effort to turn the tide of the AIDS pandemic” that he promised in January’s State of the Union address. Officials of DATA, a group that advocates AIDS funding, said that they had learned from administration sources that Bush’s budget next year would include a request about $2.7 billion, on top of the $2.4 billion Congress approved for this budget year.
That would bring the two-year total to $5.1 billion, which DATA said is less than what is needed and was expected based on Bush’s speech. The administration has said the money would be weighted toward the end of the five years.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel safer, stronger, and better.