Monday, December 04, 2006

Buying a Legacy

Aired 12/03/06 Buying a Legacy

week the news came out that Bush was preparing to start fundraising for his presidental library and was planning on raising five hundred million dollars. The announcement is astounding both in how early it is beginning and how huge the number is. It is orders of magnitude larger than any other recent presidential library.

The two facts are related. The president has two more years of presidential favor to trade for the 10 to 25 million dollar 'mega-donations' that will make most of the fundraising. Note that unlike ordinary political contributions these are unlimited in size and do not have to be named.

The reason why the fundraising is so huge is not that the library is going to be many times larger but because it is going to include the endowment of an institute. The purpose of the institute? To study the positive effect of the Bush Presidency on American History. In other words Bush is going to fight historians concluding that Bush was the worst president ever by paying historians to say nice things about him. Well, it goes right along with paying reporters to write fake news, doesn't it? But I guess there are plenty of wealthy folks who have a financial or personal stake in not having the Bush policies be regarded as a disaster and are willing to help pay to keep it from happening.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

What is it?

Aired 12/01/06 What is it?

This week NBC became the first major media channel in the US to make an editorial decision to call the situation in Iraq a civil war. (Fox by comparison on Friday issued an official memo saying that they are to absolutely not call it a civil war.) You might think of this as simply a battle of semantics, of spinning the situation more positively or negatively. It is in fact more than that, and Bush will fight adopting the designation tooth and nail. The situation inn Lebanon under Reagan and in Somalia under Clinton (as in the movie Black Hawk Down) were both blamed on putting US forces in the middle of a civil war. Thus congress has questioned the Pentagon, and the Pentagon's top generals have agreed in testimony to congress, that US forces would not be put in the middle of a civil war in Iraq. So agree that it a civil war and you are also agreeing that the troops have to leave. That is why the term will be opposed so strongly.

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