Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bush Legacy Talking Points

It's time to start shaping the narrative about how great a president George W. Bush has been (writing that sentence made me throw up in my mouth a little bit):

Reporting from Washington -- In case any Bush administration officials have trouble summing up the boss' record, the White House is providing a few helpful suggestions.

A two-page memo that has been sent to Cabinet members and other high-ranking officials offers a guide for discussing Bush's eight-year tenure during their public speeches.

Titled "Speech Topper on the Bush Record," the talking points state that Bush "kept the American people safe" after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, lifted the economy after 2001 through tax cuts, curbed AIDS in Africa and maintained "the honor and the dignity of his office."

The document presents the Bush record as an unalloyed success.

It mentions none of the episodes that detractors say have marred his presidency: the collapse of the housing market and major financial services companies, the flawed intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina or the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
This idiot is delusional at best and certifiable at worst; even historians disagree with his theory that history will judge his presidency in a favorable light. The one positive point that I will concede to Bush defenders is his commitment to helping an AIDS ravaged Africa but even on this issue his nutball Christian fundamentalism was allowed to trump established scientific fact, adding yet one more nail to his failed legacy's coffin:
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) contains policies on prevention driven by ideological motivations which completely ignore scientifically proven methods. The Bush administration has tied PEPFAR funding to strict requirements such as mandating that 33% of prevention funds be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs, limiting condom distribution to narrowly-defined "high risk" groups, and demanding grantees to explicitly condemn sex workers. These approaches all run counter to the establishment and continuation of comprehensive prevention programs which have demonstrated effectiveness in slowing the spread of HIV.

The harmful effects of Bush's PEPFAR prevention policies have most recently taken shape in Uganda where comprehensive prevention efforts were credited with dramatically reducing the HIV prevalence over the past decade. Pressures of PEPFAR funding requirements have caused a notable shift in the prevention approaches of the Ugandan government however as President Museveni and other leaders have strongly endorsed abstinence-only programs and increased anti-condom rhetoric over the past year. Some 32 million quality-approved condoms remain impounded in government warehouses while the U.S. government ramps up financing for abstinence-only approaches to HIV prevention. According to Ugandan AIDS activists, the government's actions will undermine community efforts to reduce HIV prevalence and HIV transmission. These trends away from scientifically sound, evidence-based prevention strategies are occurring in Uganda and in other countries hard-hit by the AIDS epidemic, such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia.

Keith Olbermann wraps everything up quite neatly below:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you've got a penis, you're high risk. Have you ever watched (or heard the audio from) any NFL films? They'll have you BELIEVING that the 2008 Detroit Lions are the greatest upstart team in league history. I don't know if it's the narrative, the music or the actual narrator, but it works.