Friday, March 12, 2004

The wolves are eating each other. Check out this transcript from House Speaker Dennis Hastert's press briefing yesterday, regarding a new transportation bill that costs more than Bush wants but less than most legislators want:

"Q: You met with the administration yesterday. Did they say they would support the target number?

Speaker Hastert: We need to go forward, we need to go to conference with the Senate, and then if they want to be involved in that conference, they certainly will be able to be involved in it.

Q: But did they say they would sign?

Hastert: They didn't make a commitment.

Q: Did they say they would veto it?

Hastert: They didn't say they would veto it.

Q: Is that with the President or with the people?

Hastert: That is with the President. I don't deal with his people anymore.


Q: Sir, what did you mean by that last comment: That was with the President; I don't deal with his people anymore?

Hastert: Well, we weren't getting straight numbers from his people, and they changed their mind in the middle of the process. So we are going to do what we feel we need to do.

Q: Just on this issue or on --

Hastert: On this issue.

Q: Or in general?

Hastert: On this issue.

Q: Sir --

Q: What kind of numbers were you getting from them?

Hastert: Different numbers.

Q: Different from?

Hastert: Where they added up."

For longtime readers of Paul Krugman's column, that is just delicious. This administration will lie, lie, lie in the hopes that no one will check the numbers. And is everyone enjoying the 2.8 million jobs that are being added this year?

And some of the best reporters working today -- Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank -- actually do the legwork and prove why Bush is lying his ass off in his new campaign speech when he says that Kerry wanted to "gut" intelligence spending. Kerry proposed a 1% decrease in intelligence spending. 1%. Congressional Republicans passed a bill that year ended up cutting three times as much from the same program.

Conservative British journal The Economist just devoted a significant amount of space to assessing whether Kerry is liberal, and comes to the conclusion that he is moderate. Their tangible irritation at reaching this conclusion is probably moderated by their hard-earned dislike of Bush. The Economist is all about hard-nosed British sensibility and realism, and Bush simply lies too much for their tastes.

So. It's going to be an interesting ten and a half months.

 12:47 PM

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