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    Yeah, But Laura Bush Went On An African Safari

    Yeah, But Laura Bush Went On An African Safari

    Apparently, some people are claiming that Laura Bush went on a safari in Africa on the taxpayer’s dime as a way of justifying Michelle Obama’s mostly taxpayer-funded trip to the coast of Spain.

    Kirsten Powers responded to these claims, and also responded to shouts of bias from Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, with this tweet:

    Here is the story linked in the tweet (emphasis mine):

    As the wife of the U.S. president tours Africa, she will be shining a spotlight on malaria as well as AIDS. While the former does not grab the same headlines, it far outstrips AIDS as the continent’s biggest child killer, claiming one young life every 30 seconds….

    During her stay in Mozambique on Wednesday, Laura Bush was due to visit a site near the Mozal aluminum smelter, where authorities want to spray house walls with DDT to ward off mosquitoes, using funds from the U.S. Malaria Initiative that commits $1.2 billion over the next five years. Of the target 15 countries, about half are expected to use some of the money to spray with insecticides.

    Très chic, those aluminum smelters and huts doused in DDT.

    Media Matters and the other Democratic message machines should stop digging.

    Update 8-9-2010: Kirsten Powers has a column today on the subject, A Foolish Trip:

    The first lady’s well-publicized, expensive vacation in southern Spain last week was a PR gift to her husband’s opposition.

    After all, we’re in the middle of a major recession, with many Americans suffering terribly. President Obama himself, in discussing American economic woes with George Stephanopolous in January, said, “Everybody’s going to have to [sacrifice]. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game.”

    “Sacrifice for thee but not for me” is not a great campaign slogan.

    Actually, it would be the most honest campaign slogan ever.

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Radish. That being said, Professor, you are being too kind as to the total dressing down Kirsten gave Eric Boehlert via Twitter.

    I really can't remember Bush having fancy vacations or even fancy official trips. I remember the Augusts in Crawford at the ranch, but the most they would talk about was him riding a bike or working clearing brush. And, of course, the protesters outside the ranch.

    And, of course, the ranch house was reasonable (4,000 sq ft) vs Gore, Edwards, Kerry and their palaces. And, it was very green (geothermal, rain water retention, etc)

    I kinda miss him, though I wish he had vetoed some more spending bills.


    Milcus | August 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I love how in the liberal universe everything has to revolve around the Bush administration. Don't they realize that blaming Bush and comparing everything the Obama's do to Bush has gotten old.

    I wish liberals would have the decency to sometimes say, "you know, Obama was wrong here. No matter what Bush did, this is just wrong." More people would respect them if they ever did that.

    Bertrand | August 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I suppose another modest proposal is order: we should enact in new federal law, whereby all Americans are prohibited from vacationing abroad during time of economic recession. Such legislation would have just enough tinge of xenophobia and populist zaniness that the right-wing conservatives can get behind. It would be the same kind of awesome logic these people employed during the patriotic renaming of french fries to "freedom fries".

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