The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette gives us a glimpse of compassionate conservatism in action: No aid planned to help low-income families, seniors with energy costs.
Excerpt: The Bush administration yesterday said it has no plans to ask Congress for additional funds to help low-income families and financially stretched seniors deal with rapidly escalating home heating bills. The Energy Department is projecting that this winter's natural gas prices will run as much as 77 percent more than last winter in parts of the Midwest; home heating in the Northeast could rise by as much as 33 percent, while electricity in the South could go up 18 percent, the department's analysts said. That could mean that thousands of households won't be able to afford enough heat or electricity. But Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman... said asking Congress to increase money for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program "is not on the agenda" for the administration "at this point." (End)
Of course it isn't. But that's not to say that the comp-cons of the Bushist Party don't have a plan for the poor, the old, the sick and the vulnerable who face a winter of despair and deprivation. Through methods we'd rather not mention, Empire Burlesque has obtained a draft of the Energy Department's new guidelines for "at-risk" households, written by Armstrong Williams and set for a mass mailing early next month:
A Handy Dandy Guide for Dealing With the Cold
The United States Department of Energy
President George W. Bush is your friend. President George W. Bush doesn't want you or anyone else to be cold this winter, except of course for America's enemies skulking in their caves. President George W. Bush, who protects us all from America's enemies, wants you to be warm, so you can enjoy the American way of life, which America's enemies want to destroy but can't because of President George W. Bush. So your friend and protector, President George W. Bush, wants to give you these "handy dandy" hints to help you get by in case the very minor fluctuations in fuel prices caused by all the hurricanes and terrorists and looters and Democrats and not by President George W. Bush put you in a very temporary and very minor "jam" about home heating. Are you ready? Then let's begin!
When things get a little nippy, you can always:
1. Set yourself on fire.
2. Climb inside the microwave and set it on "high" for 20 minutes. (If you do not have a microwave, you can always just climb inside an ordinary stove set at 180 degrees for 3 hours. Be sure to turn yourself at least once every 30 minutes.)
3. Run round and round the house with 60 pounds of buckwheat strapped across your back.
4. Body heat is an excellent source of winter warmth. Invite friends and family over, strip naked and pile yourselves into a pyramid. This is even more fun if everyone is wearing canvas bags over their heads and have their hands bound with plastic cuffs!
5. Make a burnt offering unto the Lord.
6. Hire yourself out as stoop labor building condos for Young Republicans in the new Allbaugh Heights district of New Orleans.
7. Sign up for President George W. Bush's special all-expenses-paid* "Commander-in-Chief Holiday Excursion" to the sun-kissed climes of ancient Babylon!
*Price of body armor not included..