Security Upgrades

Security upgrades for all presidential press conferences.

A comic strip about security upgrades for presidential press conferences

Via Schneier on Security.

Surprise: Bush’s Proposed Budget Would Increase Deficit

Redink 190 Graphic from the New York Times

The big news today in Washington (other than that other big news) is that President Bush’s new proposed budget would increase the deficit.

President Bush sent Congress a $3.1 trillion budget on Monday that would increase military spending and curb the growth of Medicare and Medicaid but raise the federal deficit by nearly $250 billion, a major setback for a president who is trying to restore his credentials as a fiscal conservative.

Hardly surprising news for anyone that’s been alive for last seven years, I would say. Nevertheless, one graphic in the New York Times that really hit me was this one that tracks the deficit for the last four presidents (shown on the right).

This is a really good illustration of just how ridiculous it is when Republicans call Democrats big spenders. It kind of makes them look like monkeys.

Reading further into the article, I came across another gem (Emphasis mine):

If the Defense Department’s proposed $515.4 billion budget is approved in full, it will mean that, when adjusted for inflation, annual military spending will reach its highest level since World War II. The figure does not include spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror and supplemental items.

Okay, so the military budget does not include the two eternal wars that the US is engaged in, the “War on Terror” (which can and has encompassed just about everything), and supplemental items. What’s left? Didn’t the last emergency spending bill for Afghanistan and Iraq come in at about $100 billion alone. This makes me think again about the The Federal Budget: the Public’s Priorities.

The Illustrated President

Harper’s Magazine has an interesting story about one of President Bush’s favorite paintings. The story compares Bush’s story of its meaning with the actual meaning. Quite different things indeed.

Via Kottke.

Bush Commutes Libby’s Sentence

Shortly after a federal appeals court said that Libby would not remain free while his case was on appeal, Bush announced that he was commuting Libby’s 30-month sentence. From the New York Times:

It’s an interesting distinction that Bush did not actually pardon Libby. I wonder if there was a legal reason for this (i.e. Bush is so close to this that it might be even more improper to fully pardon Libby.)

Although I don’t think that anyone is actually surprised by this move, I find it hard to believe that it has actually happened. An editorial in The New York Times hits it spot on:

It seems to me that given how close Bush and his cabinet are to this, it is entirely inappropriate for Bush to take a part in pardoning or commuting Libby’s sentence. Although from all accounts that I’ve heard, Bush did nothing illegal, it still reeks of dishonesty and corruption.

Quote of the Week

Five times in one sentence. Amazing.

The Decider decides that Cheney will decide what the Decider decides.