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Disturbin' Cowboy

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006 1:13 PM

Surreal is perhaps the best word to describe President Bush's latest news conference in the White House Rose Garden. His attempts at humor with the gathered reporters included an awkward comment about one reporter's suit, fumbled as he later realized another reporter (CNN's Suzanne Malveaux) was wearing a similar ensemble.

The GOP is mired in the Foley scandal, though they, and more than a few conservative commentators, are desperately (still) trying to fling some of the muck and make it stick to someone else � the Democrats, gays, anyone. Can we simply ask that those involved be forthright enough to take responsibility for their own actions? (Comedian Jon Stewart pointed out the absurdity of the blame-the-gays approach by noting this apparent 'gay network' that was conspiring against the GOP to torpedo the November election ... hasn't been able to do anything with gay rights.)

The apparent failure of the Bush Administration's foreign policy in regards to North Korea is self-evident. According to Bush, the Clinton Administration's bilateral talks didn't work, because Kim Jung-Il cheated. Of course, the Bush Administration's insistence on multilateral talks hasn't worked, either, because Kim still managed to develop nuclear weapons.

But Bush tried to sell the 'all options are on the table' comedy routine that preceded the war in Iraq, and is enjoying a spin around Iran.

Bush furthermore tried to redefine Democrats' calls for hard dates as 'cut and run'.

First, Mr. President, it's called a deadline. You know, like the one you were supposed to observe when reporting your sales of Harken Energy stock? And wasn't bailing on the company in advance of investors a cut-and-run job?

Second, it's laughable to see you trying to spin the Democrats' words into something else when your administration played the same game over the Iraq War, and we were treated to insistent proclamations that no one had said 'imminent' � only 'grave and growing.'

Bush cited a leader in the Senate Intel Committee who apparently said the world would be better if Saddam were in power. Bush strongly disagrees. I wonder, of course, how Mr. Bush feels about Senator Frist's suggestion that we let the Taliban back into Afghanistan?

I'll also go out on a limb here and say that the resultant chaos in Iraq was�bought at the price of toppling a man who neither had WMDs or a program to create nuclear weapons (he lacked both fissile materials and the means to enrich it) while ignoring the Korean guy who was diligently working towards the same goal. Saddam's presence, while an affront to liberty and democracy, must also be set against the larger background of regional stability. We have since learned that Iran's nuclear program is coming along nicely.

It is irresponsible to suggest that the advent of two new nuclear powers, both of them hostile to the United States, was worth toppling a two-bit dictator whose threat potential has been far below our estimation. Neither can it be asserted that Saddam's coffers, bolstered by oil profits, were supporting al-Qaeda.

It is impossible to fairly determine if other avenues would have resulted in the changes we wish to see in the region. It should be noted that Korea's leadership has also defied sanctions and refused diplomatic overtures, but we're not lining up for a sprint across the DMZ. In fact, we're talking about regional stability. Go figure.

Yet Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all insist invading Iraq was the right thing to do, that they would do it again. (Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. I leave you, dear reader, to judge the relevance of that observation to the Administration's current foreign policy.)

Local newsman and talk-radio host Pete Wilson has put his foot in it by describing the relationship between an openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty and his friend as a travesty.

Dufty and his friend, Rebecca Goldfader, are not married, but share a home and are parenting a newborn child.

In that regard, Wilson says, the child is an experiment, because Dufty and Goldfader are not in a romantic relationship.

Pssst. Hey, Pete! Anyone ever tell you that sex is not the same as love? You know, Eros and Agape?

Assemblyman Mark Leno (D - San Francisco) and Supervisor Tom Ammiano are expected to hold a press conference and demand an apology from Wilson.

And a very happy 15th Anniversary to Bindyree and her husband, John.

Here's wishing you many more wonderful years together.

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