George Bush in Louisville: brought to you by YUM! Brands, Inc, Maker's Mark, etc.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 09:22 AM

The president appeared on stage in Louisville on Wednesday, Jan. 11, to deal with, as the moderator said, "some tough and challenging questions."  Tough and challenging, indeed.  Who knew that so many Jeff Gannons could be in one place, at one time, in the form of women, men, children....

Makes you wonder who was asking the questions, don't it?  Wasn't me, wasn't anyone like me, wasn't anyone I would ever recognize; I doubt it was you and yours.

Turns out that:

  1. Greater Louisville Inc. sponsored it, and recovered most of their costs from business subsponsors, including YUM! Brands, Inc., Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc., Humana Inc., and Ford Motor Company.

  2. "About 400 people were invited to the event, with most of the free tickets distributed by Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce that served as host of the event. The others were distributed by local members of Congress," according to the Louisville  Courier-Journal.

  3. Those tough questions included the following, taken straight from the White House's own transcript:

a. There's people in our states and there's people that are in D.C. that will take and jeopardize what I feel is our national security and our troops' safety today for partisan advantage, for political advantage. They're starting an investigation in the Justice Department about the -- looking into this, where these leaks came from. Is the Justice Department going to follow through and, if necessary, go after the media to take and get the answers and to shut these leaks up?

b. Mr. President, we hear a common expert opinion all the time that the terrorists are going to attack us -- it's not a question of whether, it's a question of when. And, yes, that might happen. But the facts are that since 9/11 we haven't had any, so thank you.

c.  Right up there with national security I think is the issue of education of every single person in the United States. It's of crucial importance to our future. And given the challenges in the world, the fact that we have to keep this nation secure in the future, and that we have to deal with all sorts of threats -- many of which we don't know -- what do you think we need to do better in education to provide a well educated citizenry that will meet those challenges and keep us secure?

d. I'd like to thank you for taking time to be here. I think all of us would reiterate that. I am a business owner and I am living the American Dream, and I would like to personally thank you for having a will that will not be broken. And the men and women of the armed forces that protect the freedoms that we have had and that we oftentimes take for granted and give us this way of life.

e. And we all view you as a very pragmatic problem solver, and we'd like you to take this one on, sir.

f. How can people help on the war on terror?

g. question is, how is it that the people of Iraq when polled have more hope about their future than the rest of the -- than the rest of the world has, with regard to what we're doing in Iraq? How can we get the positive things that are happening in Iraq -- how can we get everybody to know what's happening out there?

What wasn't asked, you say?  Well, I did a word search of the entire transcript.  The word "court" comes up one time, in connection with Bush's pitch for medical malpractice reform--NOT in his brief discussion of the NSA spying.

The word "warrant" is never spoken.

"Amendment" (as in fourth) is never spoken.

The word "Abramoff" is never spoken.

The words "corrupt" and "corruption" managed to escape utterance.

"Poverty" was notably missing in action.

But wait, not all is lost, the president did address the NSA surveillance program, and avowed that a probe of the surveillance program would be OK.  In fact "...that's good for democracy-- just so long as the hearings, as they explore whether or not I have the prerogative to make the decision I made doesn't tell the enemy what we're doing. See, that's the danger. (Applause.)"

You know, there's a song in the movie "Watermelon Man" that really wraps up what it's like to be alive, aware, and concerned in America, in 2006:

Excuse me lady,
I say, excuse me sir,
But, where IS this?
No, naaw, this ain't AMERICA.