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    Kris

    Nice. Kind of makes you want to puke, doesn't it? That's what happens when you are born with a silver 6-shooter in your hands. Disgusting. I'm speechless.

    SL

    Please remember that the $30-$40 million cost is paid for entirely by private donations...not tax dollars. (12/24/04 Washington Post)

    Yes, the US is pledging $35 million for initial relief aid but history shows that this amount will continue to rise as the relief work for this tragedy will not take months but years. Considering the US pays for approximately 40% of all foreign aid worldwide, it's not like we don't do our share and then some.

    s__n

    And as a totally flippant observation...

    Their database manager, Jason, is pretty hot. He's picture 3 at this address: http://www.redcross.org/article/0,1072,0_312_3803,00.html

    rb

    Ok, the cost of this huge "look at me I'm having a big party because I just beat the odds and got re-elected" shindig is from private donations. So what! Bush has once again made the wrong choice, public relations wise, with the rest of the world. If he had said something about the disaster from the very beginning it would have at least given the world the impression that he cared...but he didn't. He waited until people were getting pissed off because he obviously didn't care and then he made a public announcement and pledged more money. Wouldn't it be grand if he cancelled all his parties and gave that money to disaster relief? Wouldn't it really be incredible if he said he was overwhelemed with the loss of life and it didn't seem like a good time to have a party and he had all this money that was basically being thrown down a rat hole and he'd rather it went to a really good use like helping people without food or shelter instead of feeding a bunch of rich old republicans? Wouldn't it be nice if just once Bush did something that seemed sincere and true and good hearted?

    Suzanne

    AND, the $20 million that Bush coughed up later is a line of credit, read: a loan. Disgusting!

    Michael

    The US may contribute 40% of all foreign aid worldwide but as a percent of America's GNP this figure amounts to only 0.14%, the lowest of the OECD nations. A lot of that aid money is tied to conditions forcing the recipient countries to purchase goods and services from American companies (all donor nations are guilty of this to varying degrees). These conditions enrich the donor nations and reduce the effectiveness of the aid monies.

    Additionally a large portion of US foreign aid is militaristic in nature given to countries viewed as important to US objectives like Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and Colombia (much of the aid to these nations is comprised of credits for the purchase of military equipment).

    So I think it's useful to look into the numbers before giving the US and the rest of the developed world too much credit.

    GlobalIssues.org has a very informative site about US foreign aid:
    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp#AidAndMilitarism

    Debi

    Amen, brutha Dan.

    rb

    How does what I do on New Year's Eve have any bearing or effect regarding the death and destruction in Asia? I'm spending the evening with a group of friends eating chinese food and playing games. Is that going to make it more difficult for the people in Asia? Should I sit at home with the lights and heat off? Will that lessen their pain and hunger? What does that even have to do with anything Louisa?

    Suzanne

    Louisa, of course the tragedy in SE Asia isn't thwarting my New Year's Eve plans. However, I donated as much as I possibly could towards the relief effort; something that the President obviously isn't doing.

    Nobody's asking him to call off his inagural ball; that would be ridiculous. It would just be nice for him to be a bit (or a lot) more generous when we're already spending in upwards of $147 billion in Iraq...

    Ellen

    He's an idiot. Four years is an eternity.

    brittney

    Bush gave 3 BILLION to Florida after the hurricanes last season.

    KM

    You can please some of the people some of the time BUT not all of the people all of the time!

    Mimi

    I'm not even gonna go there, so....

    Have a Happy New Year, Dan! =)

    Amanda

    Just checking up the lines of authority - it IS Bush, and not some other figurehead who's responsible for what's spent where?

    Whether or not that stops the assault on our president, moving on. We've only got half the story right now, and as is typical with most of the American media, it's the half that paints Bush in his second-worst light.

    This is the guy who cares more about an infant's life than the mother's circumstances. There's got to be more going on here than what we're seeing.

    Amanda

    Another thing to consider is that most of those events would have to be planned months before. There wasn't this decision to have nine parties made just last week. If they're months in the making, a lot of them would have to be pre-paid.

    So what it really comes down to is, "Bush is having these parties, the sum total of which is $40,000." There's nothing about WHEN that was paid, WHEN these were planned - we don't hear any of that. That's just the boring details, who cares about them anyway, right?

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