September 24, 2003

Is There Anything the Bush Administration Doesn't Lie About?

Bush Administration lies weird out even Al Franken. I mean, Franken isn't even trying to be funny: he's just weirded out:

Body and Soul: Story of the day: There'd been this article about Bush & God in Newsweek. It describes this Bible group that Don Evans [Bush's Commerce Secretary and longtime friend] got Bush into when he stopped drinking. [Newsweek writer Howard] Fineman describes it as scriptural boot camp. Ten guys and each week they'd study a chapter of a book over two years and analyze them line by line. Over two years, they read Luke and Acts.... [A]t the White House Correspondents dinner... seated at the table next to Don Evans.... And I said, "So you know what Acts is about?".... And I saw sort of this blank thing go over his eyes and then sort of a quick look of panic and he said, "No." And I was absolutely shocked.... [H]e said, "CBut, ah! Acts contains the Parable of the Talents"... the parable of talents was from Matthew.... But I realized that these guys didn't read these books line by line for two years and discuss them for two years -- they couldn't have! I know these guys aren't the smartest guys in the world but they're not that dumb. I remember stuff I read in high school that I didn't really read that well but we discussed in class for a like a week--ya know what I mean?

I just have to believe that what he told Fineman was a lie.... I talked to Fineman and he remembered talking to Bush during the primaries in New Hampshire. Howard asked him what selection of the Bible he'd read that day because the campaign was saying that Governor Bush read the Bible every day.... Bush was totally defensive... he really didn't read the Bible every day. He just said he did -- which is, like, a very weird thing to lie about.

Posted by DeLong at September 24, 2003 07:16 AM | TrackBack

Comments

not to make the same point for the millionth time (he said, then doing so) but um, my understanding about godliness is that it is PRIVATE! this is according to all the books these alleged bibliophiles study with such fine-toothed combs. prayer and contemplation and religiosity are for inside voice, morons.

this would be depressing if it weren't so familiar, but of course its very familiarity manages to make it depressing all over again.

Posted by: Robert Green on September 24, 2003 11:13 AM

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This would be the same Al Franken who used Shorenstein Center stationery to lie to John Ashcroft, Condi Rice and others recently?

I'm betting he's lying about this too.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan on September 24, 2003 02:12 PM

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Hmm. Not only is Bush's godliness not private, it's most likely a big put-on. Can't say I'm surprised if that's the case, given the example of his less than stellar military service and subsequent apperance in a flight suit as President on a carrier deck that he could have simply reached using the Presidential helicopter from shore.

Posted by: David W. on September 24, 2003 02:15 PM

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No Robert, that's Matthew. They didn't read Matthew they read Luke, which says that "whatever is whispered in private shall be proclaimed upon rooftops, Fox, or whatever." (Luke 10:23)

I don't remember if Luke said it was okay to lie though. I read the Bible every day but I honestly don't remember.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on September 24, 2003 02:21 PM

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No Robert, that's Matthew. They didn't read Matthew they read Luke, which says that "whatever is whispered in private shall be proclaimed upon rooftops, Fox, or whatever." (Luke 10:23)

I don't remember if Luke said it was okay to lie though. I read the Bible every day but I honestly don't remember.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on September 24, 2003 02:26 PM

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I've gotta say I used to find this blog much more rewarding back in the days when, upon the mention of religious Republicans in government, we received commentary the likes of ...

" ... theocratic intellectual zombie, strange creature from the ranks of the undead, a creature that belongs at the benighted court of the medieval imperial Pope ..."

... rather than just the tiring "liar, lair" refrain and Al Franken.

Posted by: Jim Glass on September 24, 2003 02:43 PM

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Is't it rather obvious that this bunch of corporate lackeys never read the Gospel of Luke? They certainly haven't absorbed any of it.

In the Gospel of Luke we find:

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort." (Luke 6:20-24)


"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:27-31)


"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Luke 16:13)

A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother."

"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:18-25).

Posted by: Kent on September 24, 2003 03:10 PM

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There's nothing weird about this. Anyone who has been paying any attention has seen the Republican Party trying to ride to power on the back of the Church, and the Church trying at the same time to ride to power on the back of the Republican Party. It would be interesting to see which one gets there first, if there weren't so much at stake.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on September 24, 2003 05:36 PM

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If it is really supposed to be private then they didn't have to bring up those points in the first place.

Posted by: Amused Reader on September 24, 2003 09:03 PM

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Franken did his damn best to make a fool of Ashcroft. Sorry it didn't quite work. It would have been hilarious -- his apology was funny, at least.

Sullivan can take his fake, imbecile, kneejerk indignation and shove it. What a waste of time that guy is.

Posted by: Zizka on September 24, 2003 10:45 PM

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I agree with Jim Glass and Patrick R. Sullivan. Brad is so
shrill.

Posted by: Dan the Man on September 25, 2003 07:29 AM

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>This would be the same Al Franken who used
>Shorenstein Center stationery to lie to John
>Ashcroft, Condi Rice and others recently?


Given the frequency with which the two referenced luminaries have lied on, respectively, U.S. Department of Justice stationery, and White House stationery, I figure that Franken was just trying to blend in.

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Posted by: marquer on September 25, 2003 12:44 PM

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There is another angle to this. Hear what the Marquess of Salisbury says of Disraeli, writing in 1869:

"...He is under a temptation to Radical measures...because he can only remain in power by bringing straggler's from his adversary's army--and the stragglers are the men of extreme opinions. He can forward Radical changes in a way that no other Minister could do--because he alone can silence and paralyze the forces of Conservatism...."

What Lord Salisbury is saying here is that Nixon could not today go to China. Mr. Bush and his people must lie about their Bible-reading because their hold on their Party is so slight; they could not advance any liberal policy against its opposition, even if they wished.

Although off topic, Salisbury's other notion, that one cannot poach voters from the nearer edge of the opposing Party, but only from its farther edge, is fascinating. It is paradoxical, but it rings true in light of various Democrats' repeated, but always unsuccessful, striving to appeal to "moderate" Republicans. Let us recall that a good many fundamentalist Christians (although they would never admit it today!) voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976: possibly enough of them to swimg that narrow election.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on September 25, 2003 06:34 PM

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"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

Posted by: Hillary Lied Too.. on December 15, 2003 11:36 PM

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"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

Posted by: Hillary Lied Too.. on December 15, 2003 11:43 PM

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