August 14, 2002

I was attacked by the vampire-cat again last night, and do I feel like one of the undead today...
My neck looks like ground beef.

(Doesn't look too good on Main Street either)

"[A]t the President’s Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, President Bush and Vice President Cheney sat side by side on the stage of a packed auditorium for more than an hour. That’s the first time they’ve been that close together for that long in public since Sept. 11. Evidently they’re no longer afraid of terrorists. What they’re afraid of is Americans."

So starts William Saletan's column on "Bush's Fake Forum". I was at work, so I thankfully missed the bullshit and peptalks (while the stock market tanked again), but it turns out - surprise! - that all of Karl Rove's handpicked guests agreed with the administration. And not just on Smirky McGolfcart's new economic guidelines (whatever they are, if they really exist), but on his faith-based love-thy-neighbor-and-maybe-he-won't-rip-you-off/kill-you shtick.

"They opened with standard Bush administration talking points: Some people are suffering, but the economy is sound; Bush’s tax cuts helped cure the recession; and what we need now is more tax cuts and less regulation. Then they threw it open to the participants, who suggested that Bush should rethink … nothing.
Corporate malfeasance? Faith-based initiatives would help turn that around, said a business school dean. They repeated familiar Bush sound bites (“What we’re suffering today, I believe, is an economic hangover,” said one CEO) and implicitly traced the recession and weak business ethics to the Clinton years.

"Bush’s policy on corporate corruption basically consists of moral condemnation, conspicuous punishment of fraud, and minimal regulation of bad systemic incentives. The participants in Evans’ group agreed on every point, arguing that the solution was “moral responsibility” rather than more “laws,” “regulation,” and “bureaucracy.” One CEO suggested teaching business leaders that “when you do something good, it feels good.”* Another proposed that simplifying the tax code would nurture “good governance in the private sector.”"

*Like ripping off your stockholders and employees, and setting up accounts in the Caymans? I bet it does!

(From above story) "Like plantation owners, the employers on hand spoke for their employees. 'They are so happy to have jobs,' one CEO told Bush."

We are so fucked.

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