Saturday, January 03, 2009

Fact Free Promoting

The nature of the worst administration ever has been summed up rather aptly in its own words. Last night's Bill Moyers' Journal brought up a perfect example of the irrationality of all occupied White House operations from end of term musings.

President Bush is racing against the clock to polish his legacy for posterity. In an interview the other day on ABC News he claimed credit for trouncing Al Qaeda in Iraq. Journalist Martha Raddatz promptly reminded him there were no Al Qaeda in Iraq until he invaded the country. Where upon the President replied.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what?

BILL MOYERS: There you have it. Our own judges' choice of the defining quote of '08 and the mantra of the Bush years, the facts don't matter, so what.

It is a feature, not a bug, that rationality does not apply in the programs of the maladministration. The New York Times editorialized about the idiocy of abstinence education in what otherwise would be programs for the fight against AIDs.

Mr. Bush is pressing for a new five-year commitment of $30 billion. He will travel to Africa in February to make his case — and, the White House hopes, burnish the compassionate conservative side of his legacy.

Despite the effort, there are still 33 million people living with H.I.V., and the United Nations estimates that there were 1.7 million new infections in 2007 in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Critics, including Mr. Kerry, are particularly incensed by the requirement that one-third of the prevention funds be spent teaching abstinence, despite a lack of scientific consensus that such programs reduce the spread of H.I.V.

When a Ugandan AIDS activist, Beatrice Were, denounced the abstinence-only approach at an international AIDS conference last year, she received a standing ovation. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, an advocacy group here in Washington, says the Bush program has been hamstrung by “ideologically driven policies.”

That assessment was echoed, in more diplomatic terms, by the independent Institute of Medicine, which evaluated the program in March. It called on Congress to abandon the abstinence requirement and to lift the ban on paying for clean needles for drug addicts, among other changes.
Some AIDS experts say the money could be spent more efficiently. Yet the fight is not over whether to reauthorize the program, but how. Much of the money has been channeled through American religious-based organizations...

Of course, using taxpayer money to fund the right wing has often made him a love object for its members. That has led to ever greater domination of the rethuglican party by that wing. Its effects have been fatal in more than one way.

The irrational exuberance that has characterized the departing war criminals has made them dear to the weakminded, while it has destroyed so much of what made this country prosper. The result has been the wingers' embrace of the worst interests of the U.S., while insisting that this country has their gods' blessings.

As Moyers concluded yesterday, the fact free operation of the executive branch has been its dominant characteristic. He could have enlarged that conclusion to include the rest of the wingers. Facts have a liberal bias, when any regard for them would destroy your anti-liberal cause.

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