Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush's Sit'nSpin

Mr. Bush spoke for the last time this evening.  Hurrah.  One paragraph in particular jumped out at me

For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools.

Okay, first things first.  How can Bush say that students are meeting higher standards when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks the US 18 out 36 countries?  Only 75% of US high school students graduate while South Korea manages to matriculate 93 out of every 100 of its students.    

How are we doing the math and science?  Well, our students’ scores have improved in math but US scores in science have been flat for over a decade.  According to the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS , the average international score for 4th graders in math is 500.  The US scored 529, below Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taipei, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, England and Latvia.  The top score was 607 for Hong Kong.  We’re on par with the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany and Denmark and above the 23 other countries tested.   US scores for 4th graders have risen 11 points since 1995 but other counties have seen a significantly higher increase. Improvement, perhaps, but not enough.

Bush’s famous “No Child Left behind” has, at least in Texas, resulted in a focus on test scores and “teaching to the test”.  How do districts raise their scores?  One way is by excusing their students with learning disabilities from the test.  I saw this first hand in my daughters’ elementary school where students that were in remedial classes didn’t even take the test.

A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled.

Peace of mind?  The new Medicare plans are so confusing that whole cottage industries have sprung up to help people figure out which one is the best one for them.

Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes.

Yippee.  Taxes are an essential evil.  Lowering them only means that essential services are cut.  Add to that an enormous military budget as we fight two wars, plus a dash of deregulation, and you have our current financial crisis.

The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs.

Ok, I might be willing to give him that one.  Though using federal funds is on pretty damn shaky ground, I think.

Vulnerable human life is better protected.

This one can only mean abortion.  Though I suppose the ghost of Terry Schiavo might be included.  Pro-Choice does not mean Pro-abortion.  It means we advocate personal choice-whether it be adoption, abortion or even  keeping the child.  It means supporting birth control access.

Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. America's air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner.

Uh, by whose standards?  BushCo made all sorts of accommodations for polluters.  The list is so long and his record so crappy on environmental issues that I can’t even begin to catalogue them all.  Check out the National Resource Defense Council’s website to see a list.  But I’ll hit the highlights:

  • ·       Bush administration suspends arsenic-in-drinking water standards
  • ·       Clean Air Act weakened to allow aging power plants to emit more pollution
  • ·       EPA lifted ban on sale of land contaminated with PCBs
  • ·       EPA allows more sewage into water supply as long as its “blended” with treated sewage.
  • ·       Bush refuses to accept UN Climate Change proposal on carbon caps
I could go on but, you get the picture.  Is the man even on the same planet as the rest of us?

This was just one paragraph from Bush’s farewell address.  He must be dizzy from all the spinning he’s been doing lately.  And maybe he believes his own bullshit. Come January 20th at 12pm EST, I for one will be remembering the words of the mighty Martin Luther King, Jr. : 

“Free at last! Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”


Chris said...

NO more smirks after the lies.......yes, Free at last!!!!

Anonymous said...

No True Blue, he's on some planet that i hope I'm never on. that's for sure. Good post.

Wild Child said...

OH! Thank you! I didn't see the speech, I was having a lovely book club meeting at that time. However, I did check out the White House listing of his "accomplishments" which seems to be pretty much what he summed up in his speech. And as I was reading it I was like, What?! Are you kidding me? Are you on crack? What country did you live in for the last eight years? Yeah, thanks for putting my sentiments into words.