Thursday, October 12, 2006

George's big dinner date

Above the fold on the front page of today's Post is the shocking news that President Bush is standing firm on his various policies. That's great, but I do have one question - how is this news? I get that these are big issues, and when the president speaks on them in any capacity, it's a big story. But still. Who on planet Earth is surprised by the information that Bush is standing firm on his policies?

Regardless of personal politics, it's not hard to see how Bush's steadfastness is arguably his best and/or worst quality as a president. In Bob Woodward's new book
State of Denial, Bush is quoted as saying "We're not leaving [Iraq] if Laura and [dog] Barney are the only ones who support me." Again, no news there, but it does raise an interesting question. What if Laura stopped supporting him? I wonder how much she actually supports the war and how much she simply supports her husband (which is important, don't get me wrong). But you can't tell me a former teacher can easily ignore or rationalize all those children dying. It's not hard to picture her sitting in the White House bedroom, in the dark, rocking back and forth, repeatedly humming the chorus to "Stand By Your Man."

But I don't think the wifely travails end there. I wonder what kind of dinner date the president must be.

George (picks up menu, takes quick glance, puts it down): I'm goin with the sea bass. Waiter, we'll both have the sea bass.

Laura: The sea bass, George? Again? We just had sea bass yesterday! And the day before! And the day before that! We had it last week with
Pervez and Hamid, and look how well that went!

George: I have made my decision. It was the first thing I saw on the menu. Waiter, two sea basses.

Laura: George? Honey? Let's try something else, huh?

George: Sorry, Laura, but I don't think you understand or appreciate something here. If we abandon the sea bass now, it would send a message that we don't support sea bass. Or our brave chefs and wait staff.

Laura: But George, the chef has been asking you to order something else for months now!


George: I'm sorry, Maurice, but I did not hear that request.

Laura: Then how do you know he said anything?

George: Look, Laura, all I know is that I saw the sea bass first. If I order something else, that would make things fuzzy. Like flip-flopping. Like all those brave sea basses who flip-flop around after they are caught by our brave men and women on the fishin boats. Don't you want to honor those brave dead sea basses?

Laura: But they wouldn't be dying in such large numbers if you didn't keep ordering so much of them!

George: Sorry, but I did not hear that last comment.

Laura (lays head on table): Waiter, two orders of sea bass, and a valium, please.

George: And by the way. Waiter? She's gonna take the check. Thanks a bunch, honey.

Bush Stands Firm on Policies [Washington Post]
Bush urges Karzai, Musharraf to cooperate [MSNBC]
A Portrait of the President as the Victim of His Own Certitude [New York Times]

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ombudsman said...

This posted by my friend Ty:

A recent study indicates that the war in Iraq has caused 655,000 Iraqi deaths since the U.S. and Coalition forces invaded in March, 2003..

With 655,000 deaths since 2k3: " additional 2.5 percent of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict," according to the survey of Iraqi households, titled "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq.'" That's 2.5% of the population, people. That's not saying that the overall death rate has increased by 2.5%, that's saying that the death rate has increased by 2.5% of the total population of Iraq. To paint the picture better, let's figure out what that would mean in the United States. With the most recent census reporting a U.S. population of 295,734,134, if the same war-related mortality occured in the United States, we would have lost 7,393,353 people since March, 2003 (295,734,134*0.025).

Some more math for you. Let's take that number and figure out what the daily U.S. death toll would be. It has been 44 months since March, 2003, and for the sake of simplicity we'll assume 30 days per month on average. So: ((7,393,353/44)/30) = 5,601 hypothetical American deaths per day if the same situation were on American soil, percentage wise.

5,601 per day.

Even if you don't want to go that route and just use the raw Iraqi numbers, this article on CNN says that the 655,000 Iraqi deaths amounts to 500 people per day.

I.P. Daily said...

More than one person/day is too many.

Your article would have been more poignent if he gave the check to Jenna and Barbara.

Truth Hunter said...

Of course we all know that stubbornly refusing to be open to new ideas and defending wrong ideas are the hallmark of a small intellect.

I bet Laura long ago came to terms with the fact that she didn't marry well, just like the nation is coming to terms with the fact that it didn't vote well.

MSH said...

Ombuds...that's just a huge number. Huge. Mind-bogglingly huge. But not so fast there. The president said that report was not credible. And given his background with statistics and general familiarity with the scholarly and scientific data-gathering methods, not to mention overall military experience and expertise (you can check his resume if you want), I think we have to take him at his word and ignore those numbers. I have a really nice late-modely Subaru, though, if you want to check that out.