Bush Can't do Nothin' Right

MSM is trying hard to find the bad news about Bush and they succeed. On NPR this morning was a story about the unusually close relationship between Bush and Koizumi and consider the recent NYT story on financial surveillance. I have written on many occasions about the 4.6% unemployment or the economic growth of 5.3%. You can look at these things as bad news, but it is not easy.

I particularly enjoyed the contortions with the Japanese story. The bottom line compliant is that Bush has built such extraordinarily good relationships with Japan that they are bound to get worse. I guess that is true. Liberal pessimism can find sorrow in sunshine and flowers. The same is true of the economy. It will eventually get worse. Bush critics will be right. Wait long enough and everything happens.

The NYT was wrong to write so much about the financial program, but it did highlight a Bush success. The NYT proved to anyone who read the story properly that the Bush Administration is getting widespread and effective cooperation from allies and international institutions to monitor terror finance. It is exactly what he promised and exactly what we demanded.

Historians will find current liberal interpretations amusing.

Bravo Bush!

BTW – my title. We all know that I know how properly to employ a double negative and the title is accurate when read accurately.

Posted by Jack at June 29, 2006 9:56 AM
Comments
Comment #163174

Jack:

Turns out the growth was 5.6. See
here

Now all we need is to raise the minimum wage so we can slow this puppy down. Right libs?

Posted by: JimmyRay at June 29, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #163175


Are you referring to this story on NPR Jack?

The relationship is bound to get worse? Perhaps when Koizumi leaves office this year, or did I miss something? Maybe I should play the interview audio backwards and look for hidden pessimistic messages towards Bush.

Posted by: europheus at June 29, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #163180

Jack

I think you have to separate Bush’s 2 terms. Today in his second term he is much less belicouse, less arrogant, less rightous less unilateral and more realisic in his approach to foriegn policy than in his first term. Bush has learned some hard lessons in his first term. He is now getting cooperation from our allies becasue Bush himself is much more cooperative.

Sure there are always the exteme left and right who will always find fault with President of the opposing party, but the verdict on how history will GWB is yet to be seen. Don’t assume it will be good. The impact of his policies have yet to be seen.

Posted by: Jerseygut at June 29, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #163181

Maybe, since we don’t play fair - you should just take your ball and go home…? (I can guess what your point is, I just don’t understand your goal.)

Why so much focus on what DEMs think of Bush? While I can only speak for myself… I didn’t elect him, I don’t like him… duh. Why does it matter to you?

You think the press is too liberal, I think the press is way too conservative. Again, why all the crocodile tears? It’s not personal, it’s politics. You have to look at the nature of the beast and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Now if you want to talk issues, then I’m all in to that… but it just seems a little weak to be constantly bickering about who likes or dislikes who, or telling the other guys what they really think and feel. So what?

Posted by: tony at June 29, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #163182

What is amusing is how you go out of your way to find evidence of a Bush “success story.”

There is a long-standing tradition of cooperation in monitoring financial transactions of criminals. (The U.S. has been actively engaged with other countries in monitoring since the Drug War began in earnest in the 80s. Europe’s tradition is reflected in various agreements such as the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the 1990 Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceed of Crime, the 1991 European Community Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering, and the 1993 European Convention on Extradition order.) Bush hardly broke new ground there.

If you really want to see what impact Bush has had on international cooperation, why don’t you step back and analyze how his administration has pursued, unless compelled to do otherwise, unilateral policies that try to shove its priorities down other countries’ throats? Compare the international consensus Bush Sr. obtained before the 1st Gulf War with the disastrous splintering caused by W.’s handling of the current war.

I know you don’t want to highlight Bush’s efforts that have frustrated the international community, but if you are going to try to leave an impression that Bush has been successful on the “cooperation” front, you ought to at least weigh all of his conduct, not just cherry-pick an example here or there that you consider “successful.” The fact is that the international community was ready to bend over backward to help the U.S. after 9/11, but Bush’s short-sighted heavy-handedness in his approach towards Iraq, Kyoto, etc. has had significant repurcussions. For a recent example, see this story.

Also, you cite the “low” unemployment rate as another Bush success. I haven’t looked into the issue for a while, but the last time I did, I recall that Bush’s numbers were artificially low because of the significant numbers of people who had dropped out of the labor force due to the scarcity of well paying jobs. Can you enlighten us on whether Bush’s unemployment numbers are still enjoying that sort of false sense of success?

Posted by: Homer at June 29, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #163183

JimmyRay-
Oh, what a terrible thing it would be to have fewer people having to mooch off the rest of us because they need government help to cover living expenses. Has it occured to you that people might be more inclined to sing the praises of capitalism, if they saw more money from it?

Jack-
The point is not to be optimistic or pessimistic, but aware. You folks can trumpet the abstracts of growth, but not all growth is founded on good economic foundations, or invulnerable to mistakes whose full implications have not yet played out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #163187

Tony,

Don’t you get it? If the issues aren’t breaking your way, you have to change the focus.

During the ‘04 campaign, did anyone else get tired of Team Bush deriding all criticisms as just being “politics” instead of answering the critics? Of course it was “politics,” if “politics” means saying “Your policy is bad.”

The new refuge is to attack all critics as “Bush-haters,” as if a critic’s degree of dislike for Bush’s policies somehow mattered. It’s a lot easier to make ad hominems instead of dealing with the issues.

Actually, even “Bush-hater” may be getting old. The GOP’s seems to have chosen to deflect attention from the issues by returning to tossing out the “traitor” label anytime some news story or comment is made that could potentially be unflattering. The more desperate they become, the more they scurry.

Posted by: Homer at June 29, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #163192

On the unemployment issue, here’s one guy’s analysis on whether Bush has been a success or not. I don’t know him, so I won’t vouch for him, but he hits on the points I’ve seen raised elsewhere and he appears to cite to the statistics maintained (but not highlighted for some reason) by the Bush administration, itself:

Under Bush a much greater number of unemployed workers have been re-classified as “not in the labor force.” As such, they are not counted as unemployed and their exclusion greatly reduces the alleged unemployment rate. This number has grown twice as fast during Bush’s 5 years as it did during Clinton’s last 5 years.

More specifically, since Bush took office the number of working age workers “not in the labor force” has increased 7 million. This is in contrast to an increase of only 3.5 million during Clinton’s last 5 years. Had the number of workers “not in the labor force” increased at the same rate as they had under Clinton, the true number of unemployed workers would be 10.5 million, instead of 7 million as the Bush administration claims. This increase would result in an unemployment rate of 7.3%, not 5.0% as is currently claimed. (The unemployment rate of 5.0% comes from dividing the alleged 7 million unemployed workers by the total number in the “participating” labor force of 141 million. If 3.5 million more workers are added to the unemployment number, the number of unemployed becomes 10.5 million. Dividing 10.5 million by 144.5 million {141+3.5} gives an unemployment rate of 7.3%)

Below is a chart of the “Not in the Labor Force” numbers.
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-11/1111614/12-27-05artNotNLabrFrcGrph.gif

The Bureau of Labor Statistics link for the “Not in the Labor Force” figures can be found at: BLS (http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?data_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=LNS15000000)


The number of the working age population considered “not in the labor” has increased almost twice as fast as the population growth, as well as the growth of potential workers. The total population increase per year is approximately 1.1%. The same is true for the anticipated growth of the working age population. The same increase would also be expected in the growth of the “participating” labor force. Thus in 5 years the labor force should increase about 5.5%. And those not in the labor force should increase by the same amount.

This was exactly the case during Clinton’s last 5 years. During that time, the population considered “not in the labor force” increased from 66.997 million to 70.488 million, or roughly 5.5%. In contrast, the increase in those “not in the labor force” under Bush increased from 70.488 million to 77.028 million, or about 10%. As such, the number of the working age population that allegedly dropped out of the work force under Bush was double that of Clinton’s last 5 years.

Posted by: Homer at June 29, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #163193

Homer:

Your comment on unemployment numbers is not accurate. Its really just a means of finding the cloud behind the silver lining. FactCheck did a review on unemployment numbers and jobs, and found that the average income was rising, which indicates that good jobs are available. You can read the details for yourself in the FactCheck archives.

What’s amazing to me is that as the economy moves upward, the complaints from the left about potential inflation increase. When the stock market rises, they complain that its just the rich getting richer. When job creation surges, the jobs being created are not good enough.

It makes the left look like the spoiled bratty child who is given an ice cream cone and complains that the sprinkles are the wrong color.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 29, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #163194

Homer

Bush broke new ground by taking full advantage of the system and stopping attacks or capturing terrorist with it.
Any of our “friends” in the international community that have soured on the US is due more to their continued drift to the left than to GW. Oil for food anyone? No? How about some juicy rockets, guns, nuclear technology? There goes at least 3 of our “friends” probably more.
I’m at a loss when you say the numbers were fixed because people dropped out of labor? How does that make unemployment look better? Do you mean the millions of entrepreneurs who took advantage of low tax rates, American technology and a hardy dose of rugged individualism to become their own bosses? Creating more jobs and spurring on this “false” economy? History will be the test of GW - I have a suspicion that by the end of his 2nd term he will have achieved a much more favorable status in their eyes than yours or mine.

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #163195

What exactly is the main stream media is it the nightly news on the three major or cable news net networks such as Fox News. Is it Brett Hume or Bryan Williams. Ilive here in Whashington state where we passed law to index minimum wage to cost of living and it has not hurt economic growth. Check out states with higer minnimumage than federal wage and who they voted for in last election. If those voters in those red want to keep on voting for republicans then they can keep on living on poverty wages.This administration keeps on borrowing and passing on the debt to future generations. Saying That soicial securty is going broke is telling rest of the world that he T bills and Goerment they are buying are no good both SS and forgien gov are financing are national debt and these ntes will come due.

Posted by: Earl at June 29, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #163196

joe - I have to give you credit for coming up with some of the the most clever, humorous, scathingly condescending quips.

Perhaps we spoiled Democrats were not asking for your parental benevolence, but your help. Quite honestly we’re tired of asking for your help and input and getting friggin ICE CREAM CONES! Whew! sorry.


Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #163197

This story is hilariously under-researched. Japanese people do not like Bush, and the government is currently using this missile test from N. Korea to see if the nation’s relationship with the “imperialistic” US military is beneficial. Basically, if we try to shoot it down and fail, there’s a great chance Japan concentrates much more on its Asian relations than it does US relations, which most people view as much more dangerous. My wife being half japanese, I actually do read Japanese media…whole different world than the pundit americanized crap being spewed by Jack today.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 29, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #163200

Let the people be heard this November? Nah, protect our own unpopular asses instead.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/29/opinion/29thur1.html?th&emc=th

The Times is the ONLY paper with the balls to say what needs to be said. Stop giving them a bad name. Call out a reporter, editor, or a story, but stop bashing the best news source we have.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 29, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #163202

Doc:

Touche’. And thanks for the kudos. My problem is when the left gets what it asks for, and then complains about it. For example, they’ve been wanting troops pulled from Iraq—-Casey now says there are some plans being made to do so, and the left goes on the attack.

Republicans did it too with Clinton. When he agreed to welfare reform, Reps blasted him for “co-opting their agenda”. I was ecstatic that he was doing what I wanted. I recognized the political gamesmanship involved, but the bigger point was that Clinton was doing what I wanted.

It just aint right to ask for something, get what you asked for, and then complain that you don’t want it anymore. That’s beyond ignorance—that delves into the pit of stupidity, wouldnt you agree?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #163210

Jack,

You said:

…proved to anyone who read the story properly that the Bush Administration is getting widespread and effective cooperation from allies…

Are you sure about that? What “allies” are you talking about, specifically?

An article I saw on this says:

The Belgium government said Wednesday it had ordered an inquiry into the transfer of banking data by a Brussels-based financial organization to the US government.

The move comes amid mounting controversy in Europe over Washington’s monitoring of confidential banking data via the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) as part of its so-called war on terror.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders has said that while Belgium should help in combatting international terrorism by revealing suspicious cash flows, the US authorities should have contacted their Belgian counterparts directly.


The Belgian government had denied any knowledge of the matter.

[A] London-based group [has] filed complaints in 32 countries against SWIFT.

The article also says the bank had knowledge, but did not have the authority to stop the transfer.

Seems bush & co. is looking to spin this into cotton candy, and hope it just dissolves away as easily.

Posted by: myles at June 29, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #163211

The story of the Bush Presidency can be summed up like a childs bedtime story. Which is relevant because the adults are now in charge and the kids are acting up.
Once upon a time there were 2 Presidents. One a former and one the current. The children loved the former ‘cause he made them “feel” good, he was a great role model for extra-marital affairs and helped shape the argument that oral sex isn’t really sex at all. He helped us understand that there is a definition that needs to be clarified when you say the word “is” and as a leader of a great nation, showed people how easy it can be to look staight into a camera and lie through your teeth. He is a smooooth talker!Oh, and he “feels our pain”.
The current President is despised by the kids who liked the former, he actually does the things he says and won’t cheat on his wife. He can’t stand in front of the nation and lie about his “interns”, tells the children abortion isn’t about choice but killing an innocent child, won’t encourage sexual promiscuity and OH NO, “PRAYS” for our country. He made really tough decisions in order to protect us from bad guys and while he may feel our pain he would rather stop the guys who are hurting us, well actually, he killed one of the boogy men that hurt our troops. The kids hate the fact that they can’t run around just saying what needs to be done - feeling good about it and shagging interns - now they have to DO their chores. Man do they hate that! That’s why so many of our nations secrets get printed in the papers, they really hate the current President. The happy ending is, the louder they scream and pout and stomp their feet, the more the rest of the country thinks their losing it! Night, night you little slick willies you…

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #163214

Well, Jack, I’ll agree Bush is a cluster… but his main problem is this war on terror that he seems unwilling to really fight.

I give you Pat Buchanan. I think Pat has it pinned down, much like Murtha has been truth telling for a year now. The only problem is Pat doesn’t seem to realize the problem is largely political, meaning just crushing the opposition will not bring about change here. Bush hasn’t made a commitment nor seems to understand the basic issues.

Posted by: gergle at June 29, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #163218

Let me be clear. The NYT article was bad because it exposed a confidential program and put our helpful allies on the spot.

But if you read what it says, it is essentially praising Bush’s success in monitoring terrorist finances. I don’t want him to stop. It is what he promised to do back in 2001 and I am glad he is keeping his word, no matter how many chihuahuas yap and nip at his heels. So let the little dogs howl, the big ones are still in charge and are doing the right things.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #163222

gergle

When was the last time Jihadis were put in their place? I’m take Ataturk for $1,000 Alex. He did it in the early 1900’s in Turkey. He took apart the Jihadi type networks, usually quite brutally, imprisoned the radical clerics who yearned for the return of the Caliphate and administered a secular government that helped lead Turkey into the new world. We can get there by “crushing the opposition”, it just takes a strong man, with strong convictions and the attitude to see it through to the end. Thankfully, we have him for at least 2 more years.

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #163223


The minimum wage is a artificial number which has been imposed on the market. It is a detriment to the efficiency of the market. If this artificial deterent were removed, the market could set a fair value on these jobs which is actually quite less than the minimum wage. This would also allow the market to reduce the wages of higher paid workers who’s wages have been artificially enhanced by the influence that the minimum wage has had on the price of labor.

Posted by: jlw at June 29, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #163229

jlw

Come on! Don’t you know that minimum wage jobs are THE income for low income families? Why if we just increase it, those lower income families would enjoy prosperity and capitalistic joy for years to come.
Alas, once the artificial increase in less than skilled labor costs are added to the cost of goods, the lower income families will lose out by paying more for their goods and probably losing a summer or entry level job for their teenagers - can’t pay an 18 yr old unskilled worker $10 an hour and stay in business. The moral of the story is - Let capitalism work, let the freemarket set the price of labor, which will lead to decrease in prices which will go a long way towards increasing lower income families quality of life and employing more unskilled workers and so on and so on. Freedom works - social engineering doesn’t.

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #163239

About minimum wage (2 points)…

1) Raising the minimum wage before securing our border with Mexico is like placing a “Welcome” mat at the Rio Grande.

2) If you’re going to raise the minimum wage, why stop at something under $8.00/hour. Shouldn’t it be more like $20.00/hour? Who can live on $8.00/hour? (Raising the minimum wage to such a small amount perpetuates poverty and slows the economy… of course, the libs would never want to do anything to move people out of poverty OR improve the economy)

Posted by: Don at June 29, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #163241

The left wouldn’t believe that the war in Iraq is being waged because of intelligence that made Saddam appear to be as much a threat as this article holds out N Korea to be?
Read and decide Possible attacks? Nuclear capabilities? Enemies? Attack unilaterally bad - attack unitlaterally good?

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #163258

Jack

This article melds nicely with your premise. Truth is better than fiction Libs will be critical of the message and the messenger I’m sure, he is a conservative after all!

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #163260

Jack, from my perspective there are only three things Bush has done monumentally correct since his first election to the White House.

First, he spoke from the heart FOR the American people in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and resolved to get those who perpetrated the act. The nation needed someone with heart at that time, though OBL and Pakistan as safe harbor for terrorists remain as serious flaws in Bush’s ability to keep his promises.

Second, He reached out to the international community for a global coordinated effort by governments to stem the terrorist organizations.

And Third, he correctly stimulated the economy in 2002 and 2003 to help the U.S. keep pace with the rest of the world in coming out of that tech bubble induced world wide recession.

It should be noted that there isn’t a single one of these actions which would not have been also carried out by almost any other candidate who might have won the presidency.

I won’t list the wrong turns, they would be too voluminous and have been more than adequately discussed in the archives here at WatchBlog. But, a President cannot rest on their laurels when their nation continues to face monumental difficulties. And yet, that is what appears to be happening. What has the Bush administration or the GOP government done about the looming entitlement crisis? What have they done about illegal immigration? How about declining real wages? How about No Child Left Behind? How about the national debt and deficits? How about educational standards and efficiencies compared to other nation’s kicking our collective ass in this area? How about global warming?

A president should have the capacity to address all of the nation’s major and looming problems in ways that demonstrate progress in resolving them. This President has not that capacity. I will give him much due credit in his second term for finally allowing those who know more than he to lead, like Condi Rice on foreign diplomatic relations. He is learning, but the price to the tax payer and families of our military for his modest educational progress to date has been astronomical.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 29, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #163263

Jack

The problem with your title is, it doesn’t say if Bush can do anything right.

Enough of the Semantics, the real problem Bush has, isn’t mainstream media. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing, dissecting whoever is in charge. The problem Bush has, besides Iraq, is he lost the moderates. Bush has openly courted the right, which has alienated the moderates from both party.

It is difficult for moderates to accept his policies when they are exposed to the light of day. How do you tell a moderate that a tax cut, which benefits only 10% of the taxpayers, is good for everyone? How do you tell a moderate that billions of dollars of tax credits to oil companies, while they are making record profits is good energy policy? How do you tell a moderate that record deficits combined with the tax cuts that don’t even help them,is spurring the economy? How can a moderate see a picture of a storm or a flood and not wonder if perhaps global warming contributed to the intensity of the damaged that was caused? How do you tell a moderate that our prior refusals to talk to Iran, North Korea and the Palestinians have made us safer?

Pat Buchanan’s assessment of the war in Iraq is correct, and I think even moderates can see that.

Posted by: Cube at June 29, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #163265

Jack wrote:

“Liberal pessimism can find sorrow in sunshine and flowers.”

Show us. Show us the sunshine and flowers. Or is it one of those types of things where we have to close our eyes?

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #163266


A friend of mine ownes a roofing company. Most of his work comes from large housing contractors who build high priced condos and large expensive single family homes. He pays his roofers by the square. Three tab shingles, 3 bundles = 1 square. Dimensional shingles, 4 bundles = 1 square. He competes against several other roofing companies for his business. These other companies have gone, for the most part, to Mexican labor at $6 per hour. A roofer’ working for one of my friends competitors, that can lay 5 square in a day makes $48 and one that can lay 10 square makes $48. A roofer, working for my friend, that can lay 5 square a day makes $80 and one that can do 10 square makes $160 per day.

How is it possible for my friend’s business to compete ( actually thrive and grow ) in this market when his labor costs are so much higher?

Posted by: jlw at June 29, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #163274

Cube

This is what your moderate needs to know.

a moderate who makes a moderate wage would have seen money from the Bush tax cut. I would ask him to look at his returns and remind him that if you cut taxes evenly, those that pay more tax MUST get a bigger cut. It is just mathematical.

If this moderate is so poor that he didn’t pay any taxes, I guess he didn’t get a cut, although if he has kids or went to college, he probably got a credit.

I would agree that tax breaks to oil firms are silly, but I would remind him that all parties give out such stuff. We should be against it and give the president a line item veto, as the Republican Congress gave President Clinton in 1998.

I would point out to the moderate that the economy has been growing robustly since 2003 and tax cuts contributed to it. I would also mention to him that Federal revenues are at ALL TIME HIGHS. I would admit to him that we need to address the problem of spending and especially entitlements. If I had a clip, I would send our moderate friend the video of Dems at the SOTU applauding their victory over the President and stopping him from addressing entitlements.

As for storm, I would as this moderate to look at the science and find if anybody who actually studies this say that these storms are related to global warming and give him data on hurricane cycles, which show really bad storms in previous years. I would mention to him/her that damage done by storms rises because more people, houses and businesses are near the shore. A fierce hurricane that hits a largely unoccupied area creates little economic damage. When it hit a city it makes a difference.

I would also remind the moderate that the Senate under Bill Clinton voted 97 (Democrats and Republicans) to zero to reject Kyoto, and would then ask him what Bush could have done to prevent these storms.

Finally, I would try to explain foreign policy to your moderate and ask him how long Iran, Palestine and N. Korea have been problems for the U.S. I might then ask him why he is surprised that they still are.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #163276

Im only throwing STATS out there 4 thought!-1 out of every 5 Korean American living in the US are UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS(3 mill.census count 04)-There are 7 Korean runned Banks institutions in So Cal,(biggest Korean community is in Los Angeles) then how does the bottom of the food chain in this Great country of ours really think about that info???

Posted by: peter at June 29, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #163282

JR,
You said:

he [bush] actually does the things he says and won’t cheat on his wife [or anyone else?].

hmmm… how about these?

  • When he went to Ground Zero shortly after September 11, Bush threw his arm around a firefighter at the scene and assured him and the other rescue workers he was with them. In August, 2002 he pocket-vetoed $150 million in emergency first-responder grants.
  • In January 2002 Bush visited the Youth Opportunity Center, a job-training program in Portland, Oregon. He spent a half hour visit and photo op talking with unemployed workers, visiting a class of students working to get GEDs, and looking over the shoulders of people checking out job listings at computer terminals. He praised the center and its staff. A month later he cut it out of the budget.
  • One of the great applause lines of his 2001 speech was “No senior in America should have to choose between buying food and buying prescriptions.” Under Bush’s plan, a widow living on $15,000 a year would get no help until she had already paid $6,000 for prescription drugs.
  • In his 2002 address Bush promised to work for broader home ownership, “especially among minorities.” His 2003 budget proposed eliminating low-income housing programs in HUD, including Empowerment Zone programs and the rural Housing and Economic Development Program.
  • In August 2002 Bush met with the nine miners whose rescue from a Pennsylvania coal mine collapse had been all the news in July. It was a great photo op. Except January 2001, Bush’s administration had started cutting the safety budget, halted regulatory improvements, and reduced enforcement of safety standards.

Quite the honest, caring guy, isn’t he?

Posted by: myles at June 29, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #163286

Jack,
It is I believe, almost impossible to be wrong all the time. Bush almost inevitably had to SOMETHING RIGHT. Whether this is it, I don’t know, but Hay, one gets to reap one’s laurels wherever they can find them these days.

Posted by: Linda H. at June 29, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #163288

David Remer:

It’s good to see you intermingle some positives with the negatives. There are many on the left who are unwilling to do so.

I’d disagree that any candidate would have done what Bush did to spur the economy. Bush chose tax cuts, which appear to have been at minimum part of the solution. I don’t see any Democratic President who would have done that.

Some of what you complain about is correct. Bush hasn’t provided solutions in some of the areas. But he has also been stymied in some of the areas. He bravely brought up Social Security, and got pounded for it. I’ll admit that he didn’t have enough of a plan to solve the problems, but he still got bashed for just bringing it up. I’d have hoped for some kind of bipartisan solution, but that was out of the question.

I believe that bush has done a good job. He’s made mistakes and missteps, but on the whole, I like the direction he has taken the country in. I recognize you would disagree with that, but I thank you for being open enough to see some positives in his performance.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 29, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #163289

Joe-
Homer’s figures are accurate. He’s giving the effective unemployment rate, rather than one that is only determined by the arcane definition of unemployed. Moreover, he has given you statistics that you are yet to refute.

JR-
We’re assuming here that wages are being held down by inflexible forces. You’re neglecting the fact that people who get paid pay in turn, allowing others to benefit from the wealth. You may pay more, but there is more money flowing through the system. A homebuilder might not have that much of a problem selling more homes if more people could afford them.

An economy is not unlike a circulatory system in one’s body. Wealth isn’t the problem, we’ve got plenty. it’s that circulation has become poorer in the smaller vessels. This has allowed a great deal of economic blood to pool in certain areas, but it doesn’t improve the general health of the body for certain parts that get a lot of circulation anyways to get more, while the extremities are not taken care of.

Opening up the flow for people of lower income will increase self-reliance, increase effective employment by moving more money through lower income sectors, and will cut the expense of government programs which have to take up the slack in terms of these non-living wages.

All-
When looking at the economy, what’s needed is not optimism or pessimism, but awareness. It is not pessimism to recognize problems and potential pitfalls. We must, after all, admit economic problems are real to truly confront them, and recover our prosperity. Optimism can blind those who insist on predicting the best without awareness of how things really are shaping up. If we are to be optimistic or at least hopeful in the long term, we must not set ourselves up for discouragement by denying realities. We must work hard to address them, and from the good results, gain our prosperity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #163294

Kevin:

You’re a lawyer.

If Julius and Ethel Rosenberg had gone to a US liason with secret nuclear weapons information that they wanted to get to the Soviets and the liason, just trying to make a living, passed the information to the Soviets, would the liason also have met the gas chamber?

Posted by: william at June 29, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #163298

Jack

The problem is, moderates have heard all this. Evidently, and the polls continually show this, the moderates either are not listening or they don’t accept those explanations. This will be the problem facing both Democrats and Republicans during the next presidential elections. This last election we had has already demonstrated this, Democrats ran on a platform that said in part, they weren’t Republicans, the Republicans ran on a platform that said they would go back to being Republicans. Come November, there is going to be even more of this. Either way, this administration will continue to be isolated and stagnant during the next two years, unless something like peace in Iraq is achieved. Percentage movement in unemployment is not enough, as you have already pointed out.

Posted by: Cube at June 29, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #163304

Jack,

There WERE two schools of thought about economics twenty five years ago. On the one hand there were the Conservatives who believed that it IS NOT the job of government to take care of people and advocated letting the market forces act as the the only pressures on a vibrant and free market system. The idea was that freedom of opportunity would allow good new business ideas to find their niches and to succeed and that the lesser business ideas would naturally get out competed. This free market concept would regulate itself and be inherently more stable and stronger than anything that could be achieved by the government continually manipulating with tax and tarriff structures and subsidies for agriculture and businesses that were, essentially, not meant to succeed. Otherwise, there would be a market for what they provided, right?. This was conservativism at its best. These were GREAT ideas.

On the other hand, there was the notion that society will not grow from the top down. The idea that we cannot achieve stability as a nation, a society of laws or a people unless the ENTIRE populace has a fair shake and is seen in the eyes of the law and in the marketplace as equal. This was the philosophical problem which the liberals had with trickle down economics. The eighties proved trickle down economics don’t work. The nineties proved that vibrant growth in wealth and prosperity in the middle classes creates stability for us all. Heck the reason China is so scary and powerful isn’t about WEALTH, it’s about growth potential! China is 1/3 of the World’s population in ONE NATION that mostly lives in a third-world standard of living. China is exerting more and more power and growing more and more because of the rising level of living standards for those at the bottom who are becoming consumers of goods from all over the world! It is the bottom that represents REAL growth potential, not the top. Henry Fod made a fortune by figuring out how to balance what he charged and what he paid his workers in such a way that his own auto workers could afford to buy autos they made! It is the bottom growing and expanding that represents REAL and STABLE growth.

There is truth in both schools of thought. We clearly have a need for wealth in that wealth provides patronage for the arts and an apex of culture that allows the kinds of advances both cultural and societal that even the most liberal thinkers value. Andrew Carnegie and the Gate’s are prime examples of this. Communism fails because it devalues the contribution and necessity of wealth makers and of the value of an imaginative and free market of businesses and ideas. Communism’s only appeal is that it is, in theory anyway, a scheme to redistribute wealth and prosperity to those who feel they are taken advantage of to the point of being hopelessly trapped and unable to better themselves otherwise. The Bolshevic revolution in the USSR was essentially a peasant uprising. The same kinds of forces that lent support to early communism also create crime in and among the most desparate areas in our country. If those forces grow too much, then anarchy, injustice and perhaps even a resurgence of communism will prevail.

Now we have a regime in this country that is expanding the size, authority and power of government in our lives exponentially. we are incurring debt at a rate un-imagined in the worst nightmares of the Reagan era republicans who fought so hard against such foolishness. The nature of our economy is MORE regulated and LESS free than ever before. The difference is the Corporations of significant size and and finances are now wielding power to their advantage to the ultimate non-freedom of the marketplace or of small business opportunity. We have seen this pheonomenon in the Insurence industry, the energy industry, the oil and gas industry, lumber, computers, telecommunications, defense contractors…the list goes on and on.

Our economy is no longer a place where the best ideas rise to the top. We no longer enjoy a society with a government that is unobtrusive and non-invasive. We no longer enjoy the kind of privacy and freedom this country was, at least partly, FOUNDED ON!

So I ask the question of you again in different words:

Why are you so stubborn? I can see no reason for ANYBODY who called themselves conservative under Reagan to support the republican party NOW.
WHY, Jack? Why are you so stubborn? What benefit do you imagine you are gaining? How can you not see how you, your friends and family and ALL of us are HARMED by these fools now? Why don’t you get it?

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #163319

myles

Yes of course he lied! All those poor people you chose to bring in as what, representative of empty promises? Not only have we spent more than was initially authorized for first responders - we went way over, them reigned it in after 4+ years of fraud and mis-management at the local levels. He tried to do the prescription drug thing the right way - you guys fought it tooth and nail. HUD, big success there. Mine saftey, yeah, you’re right he killed those miners. You forgot all the african americans he killed by blowing up the levy in N. Oleans. Entitlements, corruption, social engineering - you’re right, he sure did undermine those leftist ideals you guys love.

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #163333

RGF

I can’t answer for Jack, but as for me…

The path I see down the road were we to follow the direction espoused by Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Hillary, Feinstein and the rest is straight to socialist hell. Taxes would go through the roof, and not just for the “rich” either. Business would respond with price hikes for goods, layoffs and more. With universal healthcare, which you all seem to think is nirvana, waiting rooms in Dr’s offices would be interminable, hospitals would schedule surgeries months or years later than they should due to overload. Medicine will be free, but your food costs will be throught the roof to pay for the business cost of higher wages due to the increase in minimum wages. Your cost of doing any business will be increased exponentially by the increase in law suits brought about by the Trial Lawyers gang who infest the Democratic party. These suits will continue to errode Dr’s ability to practice, further damaging the now out of control healthcare system run by liberals. These things and the fear of being destroyed at home or abroad by an enemy that can’t wait for the next Bill Clinton to “change direction” in the war on Islamofacism. One more thing, a Republican will ALWAYS be closer to what America is, even if he drifts slightly left to appease some ideological nit wits. Just a few of the reasons, for me anyway.

Posted by: JR at June 29, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #163334

Cube

It is fashionable to be down on everything and this is a polarizing situation. But when people actually vote and have to make real choices they sometimes (usually) get more realistic. The party out of power usually makes gains in midterms. The Dems failed that in 2002 and didn’t do any better in 2004. In fact, 2004 was the first time since 1936 that the out of power party did not make gains in a second term presidential election. Maybe they will manage to meet historical expectations this year, but don’t expect too much from them.

RGF

The Bolshevik revolution was a coup against the original successful revolution that was more moderate. Don’t give them credit for overthrowing the Czar. They just got a hold of him and murdered his family. They took advantage of the conditions, but did not create them.

Communism fails for lots of reasons. The more you get to know about it, the less you like it. A big problem for communism is technical. W/o price mechanism, nobody in Communism knows the relative value or scarcity of any product or service.

Our economy is very dynamic. I don’t see the problems the way you do. Nothing every works as the theory says and nothing is ever perfect. Beyond that, nothing is ever finished. We must constantly adjust and repair. This is not a failing. Just because I ate a big meal yesterday does not mean I won’t want to eat again today and it does not mean yesterday’s meal was defective.

This economy is very good. I have many complaints, but when I consider the alternatives there is not much choice. Kerry or Gore would have really screwed it up.

Ronald Reagan was a great president. We shall not soon see his like again. That does not mean everybody else is inadequate.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #163337

Homer:

I did some research on my own. Thanks for the BLS site link. Here is what I’ve found according to the linked chart I used:

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat1.pdf

If you look at the ratio of those “not in the labor force” (nilf) compared to total population, the average of the Clinton 8 years is 33.19%, while the average for the Bush 5 years (2001-2005) is 33.70%. Not much of a difference.

Both population and nilf grew under each man, as would be expected. The ratio is pretty darn close. I’m not a mathematician, so please review the chart I used. I simply took the nilf number and divided it into the overall population number.

I don’t think the conclusion you take from your earlier set of numbers holds true. I think you will find that Clinton’s numbers over 8 years look a tad bit better than Bush’s over 5 years, but not to the degree that you are stating.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 29, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #163338

Stephen:

I trust that you will review this data as well, since you were vocal that I had not yet refuted Homer’s numbers. My overall point is that unemployment is calculated the same way now as it was for Clinton. If Clinton’s numbers were good, then so too are Bush’s.

I think you’ll find my research enlightening.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 29, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #163345

Jack,

You have perplexed me again as to who you are, and what you stand for.

I NEVER said anything about who should get CREDIT for overthrowing the Czar. That is irrelevent, Jack. The Bolshevics were supported by masses of desparate peasants regardless of who or what you vredit to what part of the Chaos that was the Russian revolution. What was that response about, anyway Jack?
I hope that was not the typical adress-the-argument-you-CAN-adress since you can’t adress the one being leveled at you approach that Bushies have perfected so well. That’s called building a straw man. It is a form of dishonesty and manipulation that Bush excercises ad-nausium.

You assert that Gore or Kerry would have screwed the economy up…huh? HOW, Jack? Based on what do you say this? We can safely assume that Gore would have been stronger environmentally and that Kerry would have been stronger with respect to law in foreign policy. Beyond that you are just regurgitating unfounded political bile you never should have swallowed in the first place.

You end with the comment about Reagan. That is what REALLY perplexes me, Jack. If Reagan’s values are yours, why can you not see that Bush is 180 degrees from that?

The only thing I can see to chalk it up to is the power of sinful pride. You don’t seem to want to see that even though the label ‘republican’ stays the same, the party and the product is no longer the same.

Just like those teenage girls in the eighties blindly buying Gucci purses even after they started being made out of plastic!

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #163347

RGF,

Not to mention that Gore would have continued the “pay as you go” system for the federal budget, and not racked up massive amounts of debt.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 29, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #163357

yeah, bushflipflops, Gore would have been AWESOME!

to think, we could have had the first black president followed by the first scientist president. ooh, a wild-eyed, pay as you go, lock-box leader to spotted owl heaven. i’m gettin’ all goose pimply just thinkin’ about it. in fact, leave me alone for a bit while I go spend some time in the bathroom with his stuffed-panted Rolling Stone cover picture from 2000.

Posted by: william at June 29, 2006 6:02 PM
Comment #163366

“william,”

You’re just being goofy. There is nothing to respond to. Trying to be offensive doesn’t get it. What do you imagine you are even saying? …much less accomplishing!”

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #163367

William,

Are you saying you jerk off to pictures of Al Gore?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 29, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #163371

RGF:

You are right. I was just being goofy and you really don’t need to respond.


bushflipflops:

who doesn’t?

Posted by: william at June 29, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #163379

RGF

That is just the thing. The Bolsheviks were never supported by the masses. The masses were just upset in general. The bad guys seized power and held it with terror and deception. I really dislike communism. Having studied the benighted ideology and lived in former communist countries, no reasonable person could do otherwise. Communism killed more people than the Nazis. There is no redeeming value.

Reagan had a vision of a world where superpowers no longer targeted each other with massive nuclear arsenals, a world were communism was in the ash heap of history. Bush has a similar vision about terrorism.

There is nothing in Kerry’s or Gore’s statements or prior behavior that made me believe they would be better choices. You say Gore would have been more interested in the environment. Good. What would that mean in practical events? During the Clinton-GORE administration, the Senate rejected Kyoto. The most effective strategy he could have employed would be to raise gas prices. I would like them higher, but we have seen how popular that is.

Bush

Paygo is a good idea, but not a great one, since it exempts automatic increases in entitlement spending. That is where the big money is going to be in the future and is now for that matter. Paygo works against discretionary spending, but the mix of our spending is rapidly changing. We need to address entitlements.

Let’s be clear about this. Revenues are now at an all time high. The Federal take of the GDP is at about the level it has been on average since the 1970s. We are spending too much. What should we cut?

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #163380

Give ‘em hell Jack! Everyone is so into the bashing they can not see past their own party toward the greater good of what President Bush has done

Posted by: Christina at June 29, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #163383

JBOD,

Uh…no.
You are not getting it with respect to the employment numbers.

You see, teh sharp and drastic of lobs that we are recovering from means that two things -

1. The employment numbers we are seeing now do not reflect the under-employment rate (those who are now working for less money than they were 5-6 years ago.

2. The current numbers do not reflect the number of peole who have been un-employed for 6 months or longer and are now no longer being tallied as a result

3. The numbers for Clinton to not have to adress these issues since he was facing steady growth and these new issues are relevent only to the recent downturn.

It’s simple analysis of facts, records and statistics, really. But for some reason, those of you on the right seem to have particularly bad skills in this area.

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #163384

Gore’s M.T.S.U. class and trust me, it is without class. It was the Reagan years when Tipper was trying to control freedom of speech for the music industry. Wow what a difference 15 years makes!

Posted by: Christina at June 29, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #163388

Jack,

You are at it again. The only reason I brought up the Bolshevics was to illustrate what is the end result of our current path of polarization and undermining of the middle class. I was pointing out what it is that was, MISGUIDEDLY, appealing to the masses in Russia during the Russian revolution. I was ARGUING AGAINST communism, NOT FOR IT.

You really have got to stop it with the straw man stuff. There is no intelectual honesty down that path.

You still have NOT answered the question:

HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY SUPPORT FOR BUSH?

By the values of the GOP under Reagan, he is a CATASTROPHE!!! He is 180 degrees in every way from the purported priorities of ‘fiscal’ conservatives.

Why the blind, prideful follow-any-leader-with-the right- ‘label,’ attitude, Jack?

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #163390

JR

“[In 2002] Bush touted the $5.5 billion in “new” funding for first responders, but Congressional Quarterly reports, “According to the administration’s own budget documents, the Bush plan for funding first responders amounts to double-entry bookkeeping: changes in the ledger that would result in no net increase in the amount of money flowing to cities, counties and states.”

New York City was supposed to get $90 million in federal aid to monitor the health of workers at Ground Zero. That money was to have been included in the overall post-September 11 aid package for New York but was shifted to a separate $5.1 billion spending plan that Bush rejected.

This is not the doings of “us guys” nor was it a “reigning in” some 4+ years later. It was just more of the double-speak and deception bush’s whole facade is based on.

Oh, and speaking of “us guys” - is it just “us guys” (whoever they are) who want to help people (I’m talking about people who haven’t made big contributions to “our” livelihoods)?

Posted by: myles at June 29, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #163392

Christina,

Uh…What good?

It’s not about bashing. Let’s take it to the positive angle then.

Can you name one thing POSITIVE that Bush has done?

Are we safer? Do have greater authority in the world? Is our economy stronger or more stable than it was BEFORE Bush took office? Do you have MORE faith in OUR democracy?

There is not one thing that is not worse under Bush. Not one. But in the interest of being positive, why don’t you assert something that is better rather than any of us “bashing,” as you say. Let’s start from the positive. like those from that mid-western state say: SHOW ME

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #163393

Jack,

“Communism killed more people than the Nazis.”

Can you really blame communism (the idea) for the actions of it’s leaders?

The same could be said of a lot of things.

The adherents are the issue, not the ideology.


Christina,

“Everyone is so into the bashing they can not see past their own party toward the greater good of what President Bush has done.”

I’m not a member of any party, and I can’t see past the grievous errors made by this administration.

There was a collage football coach whose team performed dismally in losing a game they should have won handily. When a reporter asked him about the teams execution he replied, “I’m all for it”.

The devil is in the details and that is where this administration falls flat on it’s face.

C+ for the ideas, F for execution.

Posted by: Rocky at June 29, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #163397


“Ronald Reagan was a great president. We shall not soon see his like again.”

Thankfully that’s true, because I don’t think the country could survive such greatness all over again.

The “Mediocrity as greatness” myth—talk about grade inflation!

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #163409

JR, maybe Sadam isn’t crazy, then. Let’s reinstall him. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Posted by: gergle at June 29, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #163411

Tim,

Good point, Tim.

That is the only parallel I see between Reagan and Bush: It is the ENDS-JUSTIFY-THE-MEANS Bullshit.

Let us not forget -
As bad as Bush is, it was Reagan who either directly sanctioned, or at the very least, turned a blind eye to government involvment in both trafficing in illegal drugs and in illegal arms deals…interestingly enough, with IRAN, REMEMBER?

And still more relevently, it was all for the purpose of continued support for the destabilization of neighbors to our South. So the modern immigration issue was further exacerbated by his actions as well. The Contras never won, the problems got worse, and the common ground is that at least as far as foreign policy is concerned, law meant no more to North et al, than it does to those close to this president.

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #163424

Rocky

Yes I can blame the idea. Let me specify that I am talking Marxism, not the vague idea of communism. I can think of no instances where Marxism has not degenerated into a tyranny of monumental proportions. There is something wrong with the core of this ideology since it always produces bad results. It begins to get better to only the extent that the leaders abandon communist ideology.

Sorry, communists are very good at oppression. I hated the KGB, but I had to respect their effectiveness in their chosen field.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #163425

And yes, JR, I did choose to bring in all those poor people as representative of empty promises. “Undermining leftist ideals” (whatever you think those were and however you define those) is quite a different matter than the deceptive photo-ops on one hand and the “cut and run” behavior of his economic “ideals” on the other.

And bureaucracies - there are problems with those no matter whose ideas they were to begin with. But despite that, HUD, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Youth Opportunity Center all do good and all serve a worthwhile function. There is a way to deal with bureaucratic red tape, but just cutting their funding is not it. Especially after he talked to those people in each mentioned case and implied (at least) support for them.

Posted by: myles at June 29, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #163436

Joe-
Averages? Don’t give me averages. There are actually points in the Clinton administration where the number of people able to work but not in the work force has actually dropped. That has not happened once in the entire Bush administration.

Additionally, The percent of the population working has visibly dropped from the Clinton Administration’s level. We’ve gone from 67.1 under Clinton to 66.1 under Bush, a lower percentage than anything since 1988.

You might brag that your performance on unemployment was good, but Clinton’s was great, unemployment reduced to 4.0 from a percentage of 6.9. Bush spiked unemployment to 6.0 in 2003, and still hasn’t restored that to it’s 1997 levels.

Simple fact is, more of the labor force worked under Clinton than it did under Bush, in both unemployment and NILF numbers. Until you surpass Clinton, you have no claim that Bush is better for the economy than various Democrats.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #163439

JACK,

You seem either unwilling or unable to respond to me.

Shall I take your silence as CONCESSION?

Posted by: RGF at June 29, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #163445

RGF

I thought your question was rhetorical. Why do I still support Bush? I have been writing reasons for two years. Read what I write. There is too much to say in an answer.

Just a few things. I favor his agressive fight against terror. I like the wiretapping and the financial monitoring. The economy is doing fine and the captial gains tax relief is an important reason (earlier tax cuts I could do without).

It is an article of leftist faith that Bush is bad. You know that faith is the essence of that hoped for and the evidence of that unseen. I don’t share that faith and so I don’t see it your way. And when I see Gore or Kerry, I would have to be really disappointed to want either of them.

BTW - let’s see what the voters do in Novemeber when they have to make a choice. It is very easy to be against. Things could always be better. But when you have real choices it is not so easy. That is also why Kerry lost.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #163458

Jack

Have you seen this one?Pointed assessment, many solid checkmarks in the Bush done good column.

Posted by: JR at June 30, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #163460

Myles

Photo ops? Like Bill, don’t look now but I’m laughing at Ron Browns funeral - whoops, camera caught me better bite my lower lip, Clinton never had photo ops? When the entitlement mentality is challenged - libs cry foul. Promises to improve situations sometimes mean you rethink who, what, why & how it is being managed or funded, and then make the hard choices. If nobody or no program ever gets hurt, someone isn’t doing their job.

Posted by: JR at June 30, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #163462

gergle

SADDAM? Don’t follow ya - did I miss a post or what?

Posted by: JR at June 30, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #163499

JR, you said that a repressive regime in Turkey worked in quelling jihadis, so is that your solution to Iraq? I nominate Sadam for the task.

Posted by: gergle at June 30, 2006 4:30 AM
Comment #163508

I know this is off topic, but I saw this story on Drudge and it confirms my belief that the rich do not work harder. There is a myth that the rich got rich by working hard and that they are enjoying the rewards. I’ve worked for wealthy people and don’t buy into it. I’m not saying they are lazy or worse. It’s just a myth that it’s all about hard work. Money doesn’t work that way. link

Posted by: gergle at June 30, 2006 5:07 AM
Comment #163532

Jack-
What’s the difference between somebody legitimately being considered incompetent and them simply being given a bad rap?

Results.

He didn’t get the case for war right. He didn’t get the initial plans for what to do when we were finished decapitating the regime right. He didn’t get fiscal policy right. He didn’t get his conservative budget cutting right. He didn’t get Katrina right.

He’s screwed up a lot according to most Americans. It is an article of faith that Bush is a screw-up? No, because faith on that point is unnecessary. We can easily see the results for ourselves. We have the president on record for many of his actions, and so have no need to appeal to the unseen to support our opinion.

The Republicans, though, are constantly calling on people to defer judgment, saying that the messes of today (The War in Iraq, the Budget Deficit, and Katrina) will get better, if only we stick with the GOP and their plans.

I’m sorry to say (or perhaps not) that we don’t have that kind of faith anymore, and from the looks of it, neither does the rest of the country. You had something going for you when you could appeal to the Right’s reputations as the more aggressive defenders of this country, but now Bush has screwed it up with all the atrocities and failures of follow-through. Dark times are ahead for the GOP. I just hope better times are ahead for the country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 30, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #163568

Your comment on the double negative presumably means your title doesn’t say what it clearly says. The double negative has long been used as emphasis, and it’s only silly pendantry that has led commentators on usage to apply inappropriate “logic” to statements such as your title. Look it up. Inadvertently, your title IS accurate.

Posted by: Trent at June 30, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #163585

Stephen:

Many on the left will not credit Bush with doing ANYthing right. I’d agree with you on things like Katrina, which I think involved lots of mistakes at the local, state and federal level. I hold the Bush admin responsible for the federal mistakes in that catastrophe—they did not handle it well.

It is easy to find mistakes within any administration. The problem I see is that some on the left won’t accept anything but mistakes. The economy has surged forward in the past couple years, yet some on the left look only for the negative. I’ve talked with people considerably who don’t even think the economy has improved, despite the numerous economic indicators that show it has. I’m not commenting on how good the economy should be—-just the fact that it has improved greatly in the past couple year. And some cannot even see that.

Do you remember when Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in Zaire for the heavyweight championship. Ali got his butt kicked for 4-5 rounds, barely landing a punch, while Big George pummelled him at will. But Ali’s plan was to tire George out, and Ali ended up winning.

The point is that it is dangerous to determine success or failure too early. Had someone looked at the first 4 rounds and assumed the next 4 would be the same, they’d have concluded that Ali lost the fight badly. They would not have seen the brilliance of Ali’s plan, which resulted in him knocking Foreman out.

Sometimes plans like that dont work. That’s always the danger in them.

This relates to Iraq. We’ve had problems there, mistakes have happened, we’ve had setbacks. But we’ve also had successes, and often these successes have been minimized by the left. The Constitution, the election, the security in large areas of the country—these are all big successes. Will they result in overall success—-I can’t answer that—no one can.

But to conclude that they are meaningless, as some on the left do, is simply wrong headed thinking.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at June 30, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #163590

JBOD,

I find it humorous when the conservatives say that the President has little to do with how the economy fares when it is bad, yet are willing to take the credit on his part, when it is good.

The success or failure of Iraq has never been the responsibility of America. It has always rested in the hands of the Iraqis. They must live or die on their own, and our continued presence isn’t going to change that.
Mr. Bush can only take the credit for deposing Saddam, everything else is up to the Iraqis.

Posted by: Rocky at June 30, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #163603

Rocky:

There are many factors when it comes to the economy. We all know that, but many simplistically put the responsibility on the President. I wasn’t referring to the reality, but rather the commentary that comes out.

You’ve seen, as we all have, how Bush was vilified as the economy went down during his first two years. If we are to blame him for that, then we must also credit him for the resurgence. If we say that a President has little impact on the economy, then we should neither blame him nor credit him unduly.

What has happened is that people blame him, but don’t give him credit, or give him credit but no blame. He deserves both or neither, but never one or the other. (My caveat is that we do know the economy was in a downward trend when his Presidency began, and so I don’t blame him for that. I do hold him responsible for not turning it around faster during his first two years.)

I’d agree with you on Iraq. It is ultimately up to them, but the US needs to take a lot of the responsibility for the current circumstances. At some point, we turn Iraq back over to Iraqis, and their future then is their responsibility. We will share in that to some degree, but its sort of like a football coach once the game has begun—he must rely on the players. So too must we rely on the Iraqis.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #163621

Good commentary, Joe

Posted by: gergle at June 30, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #163622

gergle

I was responding to the notion that you can’t control this Jihadi ideology by force. A fellow Muslim showed it is possible. The vast majority of Iraqi citizens do not need to be handled with an iron fist. All they want is their country back in their hands and out of the thug Jihadis. Democratic principles, freedom and an innate nationalism will win the day once we and the new government erradicate the Jihadis’.

Posted by: JR at June 30, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #163635

Jack,

You say your reasons for supporting Bush are what you have been blogging about for two years.

I have only been present on these blogs for less tha a year but I have yet to BLOG ONE where ANY POINT you UTTERLY REFUTED by factual evidence and/or more complete analysis of facts unconsidered, or at least un-adressed, by you. You have NOT given a reason for your support of Bush.

As for your support of wiretapping…that wouldn’t be true if was YOUR wire that was tapped!!! Would it? So obviously your view on that depends on a lack of empathy for your fellow Americans as well as a total misunderstanding of the Constitution and of American law. Typical of modern republicans, though.

AS for your support of Bush on the war-on-terror, that is because you have yet to see that we are LESS safe as a result of his actions. Our enemies are now more numerous and draw on greater support from greater numbers of people who are incensed by the actions our nation has taken. You fail to see how our support of the kinds of actions and strategies that Isreal employs is only increasing the anit-American venom in the middle east. You fail to see that the anarchy that Iraq is dangerously on the edge of slipping into, makes the situation there FAR worse than it was under Saddam. We are yet even successful in doing no more than replacing a tyranical regime with chaos, terror and civil war…BUT WE’RE GETTING THERE!

These truths have been blogged on ad nausium by those who see how flawed your point of view is. I have been watching this happen for as long as I have been reading or blogging here. The archives don’t go back far enough to remind you of all of it, but I know you were a part of a great deal of it so there is no room for you to plead ignorance. The only way out for your point of view to remain is to flat disbelieve even in the face of more complete analysis and a more complete picture of the real facts. I have seen it over and over. The running theme with you neo-con Bush supporters who are still in lock step with him, is that you get out argued and then you don’t care.

It is a stubborn-ness that reminds me of the blind label-loyalty I have seen teenage girls adhere to in the past. Thus my analogies with the Gucci purse fad in the 80’s. Once Gucci started slapping there label on cheaply made crappy quality purses, the label should NOT have been enough to sell them…unless you are as silly as a teenager!

You have even refuted yourself by revealing yourself to be a supporter of Reagan and a fiscal conservative. So, the perplexing mystery remains:
Why do you support Bush? Good grief, Jack, We have even had a DEMOCRAT who did a FAR better job with the economy! There is no room left to believe the blind label loyalty. Time to buy a better purse.

Posted by: RGF at June 30, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #163649

Jack,

It bothers me because I shifted out of intellectual honesty. I don’t see why you, or anybody, should blindly continue to support a label which no longer represents what works. You have been refuted at every step. Bush has proven the GOP is out of step and no longer operates in the best interests of this country. Bloggers here have proven that over and over and over until we are blue in the face. The end is always with you and a few others: Thhhhbbbbbb!

It isn’t about getting the last word in on one of these silly things. I could’t care less about that. It’s about your side NEVER having the complete picture. We correct and complete information offered by you ad nausium and you end up doing nothing any more significant than simply refusing to believe EVEN IN THE FACE TIME BEARING OUT THE TRUTH OF WHAT WE SAY.

Why, Jack?

Posted by: RGF at June 30, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #163651

RGF:

I have only been present on these blogs for less tha a year but I have yet to BLOG ONE where ANY POINT you UTTERLY REFUTED by factual evidence and/or more complete analysis of facts unconsidered, or at least un-adressed, by you.

I think you left some words out of this statement. As written, it makes no sense.

Jack has been very consistent in his opinions. You might disagree with his opinions, but its easy to see the logic he employs. By this, I mean that you can see how he reaches his conclusions. That you come to different conclusions does not make Jack wrong and you right, nor vice versa.

If you truly can’t see what Jack’s basis for his belief is, then I’d suggest you just haven’t done due diligence in looking. It’s all there in his posts.

I support Bush for some of the same reasons. I believe Saddam was a growing danger who, if he managed to undo the sanctions, would have become a menace. He needed to be dealt with BEFORE he undid the sanctions, and I believe that his repeated violation of the cease-fire agreement he signed was cause enough to hold him accountable.

I support Bush on tax cuts generally, though I’d have gone about them slightly differently. I like his tightrope walk on stem cells. I like his aggressive strategies to combat terrorists, which in part have resulted in no further attacks on American soil. I like the idea of taking a small percentage of Social Security and making it private, while leaving the majority non-private. I like Bush’s religious beliefs.

I dislike his Medicare plan, and I don’t particularly care for how he has handled the pharmaceutical industry. While I think he is keeping dangerous people incarcerated in Gitmo, I think he shouldn’t leave them there with no charges or trials indefinitely. I’m not sure about his immigration policy—-up in the air on that. I thought he made a really poor choice in Harriet Miers for USOC, but I thought John Roberts was a great choice.

I think Jack and I think along the same lines, though Jack can and should speak for himself. I think I’ve laid out pretty cogently why I like Bush. I don’t expect you to reach the same conclusions that I have, yet it should be clear that I have reasons for my beliefs. I’d hope you’d find a tolerance for an opinion different than your own.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #163665

joebagofdonuts:

“What has happened is that people blame him, but don’t give him credit, or give him credit but no blame. He deserves both or neither, but never one or the other.”

The majority of Americans seem to have given this administration the credit it is due—the majority believe the country is heading in the wrong direction. I give Bush and the Republican-dominated Congress most of the credit for adding 2.5 TRILLION dollars to the national debt in five years, I credit them for a laissez- faire attitude that borders on criminality—actually even laissez-faire doesn’t capture the cramming of government oversight agencies like the FCC and EPA and others with cronies, lobbyists and business ‘terrorists’ of a different sort, inviting lobbyists to write legislation so the working classes are screwed again by monopolized thievery.

I credit him with getting us into a shooting war under false pretenses and manipulated intelligence, getting us mired in a sectarian free-for-all that’s killed a lot of people, ‘pre-emptivly’ destroyed a country that wasn’t a threat to us to the tune of another trillion dollars, while, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN US HISTORY, cutting taxes for the top 5% of monied classes during wartime, and tacking even more debt to the national credit card.

I also credit his handlers with blowing more holes in the Constitution with signing statements, unlawful wire-tapping, and the increasing opacity of government.

I think he earns a large dollup of credit for botching the New Orleans emergency, and the cleanup, which has been a feeding frenzy for his corporate buddies, rife with corruption and financial mismanagement. He deserves credit for showing his true colors after Katrina—one of the first things he did was suspend the Davis-Bacon act so workers wouldn’t be paid prevailing wages, and his corporate allies would boost their profits. Class warfare, indeed. Of course, after the outburst of anger by Congress, unions and others, he quietly flip-flopped on that one. No harm, no foul.

I would argue that Mr. Bush is a walking, talking example of the Peter Principle, rising to his level of incompetence—except that his entire career in business, military service and politics has been incompetent at worst, lack-luster at best.

His greatest success, which really should be credited to his handlers, his agents, his sychophants, will, in the end, be his greatest failure. The man is an empty suit, without intellectual curiosity, awareness, compassion, an inability to project himself into another person’s shoes, to fully and completely empathize with people who must live with his decisions.

I truly believe that the man is mediocre, uncaring and dull—and what I truly fear is that, more and more, he mirrors our country all too well.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 30, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #163668

JBOD,

Touche

I meant: I have yet to see ONE BLOG in support of this new GOP or this president that has not been UTTERLY REFUTED. Not one. You all have been called out on everyhting and the response we get is no more genuine than: THBBBBBBBBB!

If you cannot support a position, CHANGE IT!

Posted by: RGF at June 30, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #163670

RGF

Who do you support? What platform, what principles of governing? What are your concerns when you question the federal budget? Did you in all honesty have these same concerns when Democrats spent more than revenues for 40+ years?What Democrat in the last 6 years would have done anything better? What about terrorism? What Democrat showed any better plans? Economy? Would your savior (whoever that is) have improved it beyond it’s status today? How? Coulda, shoulda, woulda… Make your case - I’m willing to hear you out. If it smacks of FDR’s Great Society though, I’m liable to fall asleep.

Posted by: JR at June 30, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #163673

As it was for Jefferson so it goes for Bush:

“During this course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science, are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness, and to sap its safety; they might, indeed, have been corrected by the wholesome punishments reserved and provided by the laws of the several States against falsehood and defamation; but public duties more urgent press on the time of public servants, and the offenders have therefore been left to find their punishment in the public indignation.”

Thomas Jefferson Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1805

Posted by: JR at June 30, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #163681

JR:

“If it smacks of FDR’s Great Society though, I’m liable to fall asleep.”

If I may, the Great Society was LBJ’s schtick, FDR’s was the New Deal.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 30, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #163685

Tim:

Don’t hold back—say what you are thinking. :)

I’m not going to bother addressing all your issues—lets agree that we see much of it differently. I’ve laid out my thoughts, you’ve laid out yours. It’s probable that the reality lies somewhere in between.

I don’t know if there is anything that Bush has done in the last 5 years that you would agree with. If not, I’d suggest that’s a rather partisan manner of thinking. I don’t object to your conclusions; I just don’t share them.

RGF:

I believe I DID support my opinions, and therefore don’t see the need to change them. You say you’ve seen nothing to refute your opinions, and that doesn’t surprise me. Perhaps you have cemented your opinions so strongly that nothing will refute them. That makes them neither right or wrong, just intractable.

I cannot prove that Saddam would have been able to get rid of the sanctions, though its rather easy to prove that he was trying to. I also cannot prove that if he got rid of them, that he would have ended up being an enormous threat to the world. On the flip side, it can’t be proven that he wouldn’t have gotten rid of the sanctions and become more of a menace. Both sides of the coin are possibilities that cannot be proven or disproven. That’s why you can have your belief and I can have mine, and we will simply need to agree to disagree.

I’ll trust that you are wise enough to recognize that concluding your own opinions are the only correct ones is a close-minded manner of thinking. To do so means that you have to consider many intelligent people as dolts. There are many highly intelligent people on both sides of the political fence; to assume that one group is simply stupidly wrong would be…well, stupid, I think.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #163696

joebagofdonuts:

“I don’t know if there is anything that Bush has done in the last 5 years that you would agree with. If not, I’d suggest that’s a rather partisan manner of thinking. I don’t object to your conclusions; I just don’t share them.”

This is a perfectly reasonable statement, and I am more than willing to agree to disagree. Partisanship has gotten a lot of mud slung at it over the years—but, when the issues and disagreements are so clear and provocative, I think partisanship is not only necessary, it is needed.

We balance each other, you and I. And I listen to you and Jack and others here to gauge whether my positions are too radical or extreme. Frankly, sometimes they are, and then I am a voice in the wilderness.

In my defense, though, I will say it’s remarkable how many things in the history of our country were considered radical and extreme at one time, that have now been accepted into mainstream society. Sometimes that has occured from historical necessity, from economic necessity, from political reality. But in every case, it had to be earned.

Besides, I think it important to ‘show’ the radical flag occasionally in this dark and fetid place.:-)

Might I also say that I detect a note of moderation in your ‘writing voice’ I had either overlooked or missed in the past. It is rather healing in a way—you state your positions, and leave it at that. The absence of vitriol in postings by both sides is becoming more and more attractive to me—I hope I immulate it in the future.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m finally learning how to write here at this blog.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 30, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #163701

Bush has done great since he got elected in 2004 and will continue doing great. The libs are just anti-war. What would we be like without a military? The libs were supportive for a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks. War is bad, but we need to defend ourselves.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at June 30, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #163713

Tim:

Thanks for the comments. I’m guilty of letting frustration make my postings somewhat caustic at times. Sometimes its intended in an attempt at sarcastic humor. But I do try to moderate my comments.

You already know how to write…and you do it well. I enjoy reading comments that have logic to them, as opposed to the “Bush sucks cuz he’s Bush” type of arguments. Those don’t do much for me. From yours, I recognize the logic behind your discontent, and I even agree with some of it. Not the extent of it, but some of it.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #163716

joebagodonuts:

From one American to another, thank you.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 30, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #163736

JR,

I don’t form my decisions based on comparisons. I see that so many times from the rightwhinners, and now you are doing it, too. Yeah, but Clinton did it…!

And I am not talking about “photo ops” per se - I am talking about underhanded deception. Patting you on the back with one hand and [your choice of dastardly deeds here] with the other. I am talking about the documented evidence of gw (don’t let them in the building unless they have sworn in writing they like me) bush.

For some of the documentation, look up bush’s travels through his companies, Arbusto - later renamed bush Exploration - to Aloha to Harken to Spectrum 7 to the SEC investigation(s) to the replacing of the SEC head (by bush’s best friend at the time, Ken Lay) to the Texas Rangers. Watch his wealth soar as the companies tanked.

Enron writ small.

(I say this because his accounting practices were the same later used by Enron - and we know where that went. His was on a smaller scale, so didn’t attract the attention, and what it did attract was easier to squelch.)

And as for your comment about it being someone’s job to hurt people and programs…?? That is a requirement of the government you want?? No wonder we are on different sides of things here!

Posted by: myles at June 30, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #163754

Right on Jack!

You are hereby awarded the “Right-Of-Way Certificate Of Achievment” for “Speaking Truth to Liberals”.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 30, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #163758

Isn’t it ironic:

If the US government had just given the trillions of dollars spent on “eradicating” poverty to the poor, they’d be paying the higher taxes Dems now want to charge to the wealthy.

Instead most was wasted and most of the poor remained poor.

Go ahead raise the minimum wage… or impose a “living wage”… you’re only go to cause an increase in the price of goods those folks need. And, how does that help them?

This was tried during FDRs “New Deal”… with the results expected by conservative economists of the era… higher prices, lower employment among the most needy, and greater want and poverty.

But, somehow libs never learn from past mistakes.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 30, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #163759

JBOD,

Good freekin’ GRIEF MAN!
It is NOT merely a matter of “A” said, “B” said!!!

You bring up Saddam and the “what if” BS of his being IN or OUT and what they may mean or not mean…

TYPICAL! COMPLETELY TYPICALLY OFF-POINT AND IRRELEVENT. UTTERLY IRRELEVENT.

THE WAR WAS ILLEGAL. I’ve goen through this so many times I sound like a broken record to MYSELF…and yet you Bushies continue to respond with IRRELEVENCE.

What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

By going in a manner that was illegal, and for a reason that we cannot support with evidence, we lost the moral authority we had after 9/11. We also earned the rage of a growing number of the rest of the world!

IT DOES NOT MATTER ONE WHIT ABOUT SADDAM!
We are making things worse by our actions when we had a clear opportunity to do quite the opposite.

So, yet again I am in the position of pointing out that those of you on the right are NOT EVEN ADRESSING THE ISSUES …much less winning the debate.

So, assuming therefore that you either will not or more likely CANNOT justify voting for either Bush or for these republicans supporting him, WHY DO YOU SUPPORT BUSH? WHY?

You still have even adressed the issue much less given a reason.

Posted by: RGF at June 30, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #163769

JBOD, thanks for the reply to mine. Bush’s plan for Soc. Sec. was to end it and replace it, which were the direct consequences of his privatization proposal. His proposal left no negotiating room. Not even with members of his own party, some of whom were as vocal in their criticisms as Democrats.

It was a feint! (sp?) A maneuver to appear to be doing something with an action that had not a prayer in hell of going forward. In other words, it was a political stunt.

I believe if you check the historical record, you will find almost every, if not every Democratic president who faced a recession while in office CUT taxes. As I said, any electable President would have done the same. Where they would differ is knowing when to stop cutting, something Bush has yet to learn, and would have been no problem for a Democratic President.

As you know, deficits and debt result from BOTH spending and revenues. Fiscal responsibility demands that tax cutting be halted and taxes begin increasing when national debt and deficits double to unprecedented levels.

Republicans have vastly increased the size, scope, and cost of our federal government. It is a monumental failure in fiscal policy to talk about control of spending without vetoing a single spending bill, and cut revenues at the same time. That is a prescription for economic crisis and rapid deterioration at some point down the road as when another Katrina hits, or the baby boomers retire, or even the flooding now occuring in the N. E. Just add another few hundred billion to the next generation’s tab is the Republican response.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 30, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #163774

Right-of-Way,

I don’t know what “trillions of dollars spent on ‘eradicating’ poverty” you are talking about, but it sounds like an exaggeration meant to belittle the efforts made in that direction. However, exaggerations of that scope tend to backfire on you.

As for a desire to eradicate (or at least ease) poverty, that is known as Social Conscience. It is something you may be unfamiliar with, but it is a worthwhile goal of any mature and responsible society.

“Giving” to the poor (offering the bottom tiers relief, in different forms and fashions) does not “only go to cause an increase in the price of goods those folks need.”

“Those folks” are also known as “engines of economy.” Whatever they bring in this week, they spend this week. And the next, and the next. With no discretionary income, you spend everything you have.

This, in direct and immediate turn, helps the shops and stores of the depressed areas these “folks” (usually) live in. They aid the economy from the bottom up, directly, with cash in hand. This obviously flows up and out from there. What better way to help?

Unless, of course, “help” is not in your conscience. If not, then we truly do need a change of direction.

Posted by: myles at June 30, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #163775

Sorry to take so long to get back. I am trying to give up blogging at work. It was becoming a bit of an addiction and unfair to my employer who pays me to do other things, so I wait until I get home.

Thanks Joe

RGF

The fact that you disagree does not equal refuted. We have been giving you reasons why we support Bush. You don’t accept them. Maybe we have a different experience or education so that we don’t understand each other’s points of view.

I believe we are more, not less safe now than we were before 9/11. It is just that back then we felt safe out of ignorance. So we feel less safe now, but we are safer. And I attribute much of that to president Bush’s policies.

The economy is great and has been since 2003 (about how long it takes for a president’s policies to take effect). But I give much less credit of blame to presidents than Dems do. The Fed Chairman has more power. And then we have congress, business, world economy etc.

Iraq is not as I would like it to be, but it is better now than under Saddam. In October of last year, I challenged our fellow bloggers to predict Iraq Iraq a year out because we tend to move the goal posts. I recall before the FIRST Iraq election, we all predicted turnout and even optimistic people like me were too LOW and the liberal predictions were abysmally low and wrong.

Re wiretapping, in my earlier posts I wrote that I have no trouble with any of these programs targeting ME. IF terrorists are communicating with me, I want to know. They are using me and I want them caught. And anyone knowingly talking to terrorists should be caught too. The same goes for monitoring financial transactions, which are perfectly legal, BTW.

RE fiscal conservative, I have complained about that. I disagree with the spending, which is up 45% since 2001. I don’t think Dems will do better. Remember that a very aggressive Republican Congress balanced the Clinton budgets. They closed down the government over the budget. So I am unwilling to choose hope over experience with Dems and just because I don’t support everything Bush does, it does not mean I much support nothing.

Elections are choices between real world alternatives. Against a perfect candidate, Bush loses, as does everyone else (with the possible exception of RR) Against Kerry or Gore, he wins.

Re Illegal war - what makes a war legal or illegal? Was Kosovo illegal? It had no UN sanction, lots of oppostion and Serbia was certainly no threat to us. Had we gone into Rwanda to stop the genocide, would that have been illegal? We do not require anybody’s permission to do what we think is necessary to defend ourselves.

It is clear that you believe that Bush is wrong. It seems this opinion contains a fair amount of hate and anger so that no argument could be made to convince you. That I have my opinion, which I believe is based on logic, experience and information. I have a reasonable amount of all those things. I have to use my best judgment because I can do nothing else. If that does not satisfy you, that would be your problem, not mine.

Posted by: Jack at June 30, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #163778

Jack,

We are not even communicating. This is not a difference of opinion. I say apples are bad and you say you don’t like oranges.

You, and those on your side of this blog AREN’T EVEN ADRESSING THE ISSUES.

We all know Saddam was bad. Irrelevent.
I believe what Bush has doen is making the world and America LESS safe…you believe more. That is a difference of opininon.

But responding with ANYTHING on Saddam to an explanation of how the world is less safe and why the war is illegal sounds like a Bush press-conference! It doesn’t even have a point.

That is the point I am making here. Neither you, nor any of those on your side even adress the issues. You create straw-man responses that are completely off-topic and then imagine that your non-communication merely a difference of opinion.

You must first actually understand a thing before you are even CAPABLE of an opinion on it, Jack.

I don’t even a difference of opinion in anything you have ever said. It’s all fluff in support of your plastic Gucci bag.

Posted by: RGF at June 30, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #163781

Okay

I suspect that you cannot understand what I am talking about. As I said, I have a variety of experiences you don’t and I suppose you have some I don’t. There is no point to mere negation.

That is why we eventually have elections and authority. Sometimes people cannot agree. I get to this point occassionally with some memebers of my staff. I tell them I am the boss. Right now Bush is your president. He is the decider and there is nothing you can do about it. There will be another election in 2008. Maybe Dems will win. Maybe Hilary will be the decider. Try harder.

Posted by: Jack at June 30, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #163790

Jack, you say that you believe we are safer since Bush’s post 911 actions. You say you may have felt safer before 911 because of ignorance. I say your ignorance continues. You are now deluded by propoganda that appeals to your sense of the world.

I have not read all of RGF postings and do not know his stance, but for me there is immense data that the world is much less stable than it was 5 years ago. Is that Bush’s fault? Not all of it, but I think he has miscalculated in his middleast strategy. It seems to me, Iraq was a thorn he decided (or Cheney) to pluck. Sometimes thorns provide balance, even if they are bothersome. I suspect we will see the balkanization of Iraq. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s bad. It’s very hard for me to make a calculation. I think it’s hard for anyone to make that calculation. Bush elected to toss the dice. This to me is the worst part of his character. Sadly, it’s Joe Q. Public who will pay the price, not Bush, if it was wrong.

Worse yet, Pakistan and Afghanistan are still pretty much in the same state they were. A lot of soldiers have died, a lot of loot has been spent. Osama still sits on his throne, and lobs bombs at us. If this does not change, we continue to look very weak and impotent. Osama continues to frustrate both the US and the Soviets and give a sense of power to ignorant and desperate Muslims/Arabs.

The thing that bothers me now is the inability of Bush to strengthen our position for political/ election year reasons and the strategy of refighting the Vietnam War by bashing the left and the press and blaming them for lack of progress. It’s a strategy for failure.

I think the Bush administration reckognize that without a crushing “reinvasion” we are dependant upon the Iraqi’s to pull this out the toilet politically. We orchestrated (we tilted the field) the election of this administration, and it appears very weak, not unlike Vietnam.

Posted by: gergle at June 30, 2006 10:19 PM
Comment #163794

RGF:

You don’t seem to want to discuss. That’s okay. But when you suggest that no one answers your points, you are simply incorrect.

As far as illegal war goes, the US Congress gave Bush the authority to go to war. It’s possible that they didn’t intend him to, or thought he wouldn’t, but they nonetheless gave him the authority. That makes it a legal war. What part of legal don’t you understand?

If its UN approval you want, then I’d suggest as Jack did that you consider other military actions as well. But the bottom line is that we are not governed by the UN. If you want to consider their approval as binding, you may do so. I’m glad the leaders of our country did not.

You’ve got your mind made up so concretely that you won’t allow anyone else’s opinions to matter. That’s okay, but it is nonetheless a closed mind.

You asked Jack, and I quote: “So, the perplexing mystery remains: Why do you support Bush?”

Both Jack and I directly answered your question, to which you shrieked “IRRELEVENT. UTTERLY IRRELEVENT.”, which by the way is spelled irrelevant. If you are going to shout, at least spell correctly when doing so.

That you disagree with my opinions is not a problem to me. I never have expected your agreement. To ask a direct question and to get a direct answer, and then claim to not have gotten the answer simply because it wasn’t the one you wanted…well, that’s just silliness.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #163802

JR, you said >>

Let capitalism work, let the freemarket set the price of labor

Yeah, capitalism loves to do that… unemployment is good for the economy (from the Business standpoint) since it causes workers to compete with each other for jobs, thereby keeping the wages low.

Everybody wins?


Jack,

the economy has been growing robustly since 2003 and tax cuts contributed to it.
Let’s see, the Dow was at 11,497 at the end of 1999. As of 29 June 2006, it has “reached” 11,190. That’s 2.7% less. Where is all this is the “robust” growth?

Posted by: myles at June 30, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #163814

Myles

Yes, the Dow began to decline in January 2000 (about a year before Bush took office). It was the natural swings of the economy after the bursting of the dot.com bubble and a big run up of the markets. You can look at the market high or you can look at a rolling average.

The economy has grown rapidly since 2003 and it is a good economy now.

Presidents get too much praise and blame for economies. But even if you believe they control the economy, you really cannot blame Bush for a stock market decline that started a year before he took office, in fact that started before he had even won the nomination to run for president.

Posted by: Jack at July 1, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #163833

Where is it again?

Posted by: myles at July 1, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #163930

Myles

The Dow peaked in Jan 2000. You chart clearly shows a fairly consistent upward trend from around 1987 until 2000. It breaks in 2000 and begins a slow decline until 2003 and then goes back up.

What you chart also shows ten years of flat growth until Reagan’s policies began to take effect in 1982. Then there is an inflection point. Clinton policies or Bush 1 policies do not seem to have made any significant changes, except for the flattening in the last Clinton year. About the time Bush 2 policies came on line, we see a resumption of growth.

If you drew a line, you would have a good upward slope from 1082-2000. Then a slight down from 2000-2003 and then back up at a similar level. Bush came in office January 2001. The Federal fiscal year starts in October, so Clinton budget priorities prevailed until about the start of 2002. Do you find some significance in that that I do not see?

Posted by: Jack at July 1, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #164284

JBOD,

Once again I find myself explaining law to Bushies.

You said:
“As far as illegal war goes, the US Congress gave Bush the authority to go to war. It’s possible that they didn’t intend him to, or thought he wouldn’t, but they nonetheless gave him the authority. That makes it a legal war. What part of legal don’t you understand?”

Congress’ approval is but PART of doing it the right way. TREATIES are binding. So are agreements that are part of those treaties. The UN was set up by us through the UN Charter which was a treaty both signed and RATIFIED. It is therefore supreme law on a par with the Constituion…another meaningless document to those on the side of BUSH.

Article 1441, and our agreement with the UN security Council were thus BINDING. WE, and by that I mean BUSH, SPECIFICALLY obtained article 1441. Part of that article was the agreement that the security council has final say on whether we take military action. That does NOT mean that the UN always has power over whether we take action, generally. That is nothing more than another straw-man argument from those who don’t understand or respect LAW. The security council had power in this case BECAUSE WE GAVE IT BY AGREEMENT. It was apparently, only a part of the dishonesty and manipulation that is rife in this administration and your party never to be taken seriously.

You continue to characterize our differences as merely difference of opinion and say that you and Jack have supposedly responded and got back my response of it being irrelevant.

Let’s review, shall we?

Myself and others have pointed out repeatedly how the employment numbers we are seeing these days do not reflect reality because they do not take account of the number of people who have fallen off the bottom of the roles and are no longer tallied.

What we get back, is the insistence that the employmrent numbers are tallied the same way now as when Clinton was president. ..huh? Did you not hear? That is NOT a response, JBOD. That is a seguey that doesn’t make sense in context. Clinton was in during a long period of economic growth and stability. Falling off the bottom of the roles was clearly not an issue in the 90’s. Not the way it is now.

We pointed out how the nature of the debt we are racking up and how the actions we are taking are undermining our long term stability. The response we get back is that the economy is doing better and that we are pessimists. huh? Not even a response, JBOD. Just more dishonesty.

During the 2004 elections Kerry was accused of being a waffler. Soundbite evidence was taken out of context to support this. The reality is that Kerry supported going in to Iraq in a way that maintained the support of the rest of the world…in a way that was legal. That is how it was sold to Congress prior to the war. Naturally, Congress voted for it. They were duped. We all were duped. It was Bush who flip-flopped, not Kerry. I show the proof of this and get nothng in return. …how can you claim to have responded? You are duped, too, I see.

I point out that the war was illegal and is not creating peace, democracy or stability in the region and what I get back is some gobbledy gook about whether Iraq is better off without Saddam. …huh? Is that a response? JBOD, the BS is getting a little high, don’t ya think?

JBOD, neither you nor Jack nor your party nor this administration are playing it straight. You build straw-men arguments and ignore issues. You tell yourselves obvious lies and then willfully believe them. You dishonestly assert that you are the party with ideas when your party is clearly devoid of the ability to communicate with intellectual honesty or integrity, much less THINK.

We’ve seen this played out over and over and over. I watched Delay blow into Austin last fall with his ill gotten booty, speninding it on commercials to convince Travis County residents that the indictments against him were completely political…and yet ALL THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIMES WERE A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD. The contributors even admitted to it. Then, Delay had the gall to move for a change of venue out of Austin because the jury pool had been tainted. HA. Typical republican manipulatin and dishonesty.

I then saw articles pop up all over the country that were no more than quotes from Delay’s defense counsel. And yet the fact that it was happening atr all was being attributed to “liberal media.” I’m tired of the deception and the dishonesty and the straw-man arguments. Give me a freakin’ break, JBOD, you have NEVER even tried to argue against the left! All I have ever seen are the imagined arguments that are based on half-truths at best. Over and over I see you and Jack and SE making totally unfouded accusations of what you IMAGINE of figures on the left and then arguing against your IMAGININGS…EVEN IN THE FACE OF COMPLETELY CONTRARY PROOF FROM THE WORLD OF THE REAL!

Every step. Every issue. Every decision. Why do you support Bush and yet you fail to COMMUNICATE directly, much less defend him?

The yelling you see in my posts is born of the frustration I feel in the non-blogs, non-issues and non-communications I see all over the place that continue to support those who are clearly using them to manipulate and to be destructive and dishonest with this nation of ours.

When you get down to it, the question remains:
Why do you support Bush? You have never even been on target much less adressed the issue. You claim it is a difference of opinion, but opinions would require that we are having the same discussion and we clearly are NOT. I feel like I am at a presidential press conference. I understand that politicians will use strange political sophistry to avoid questions they don’t like, but it seems that even the mere voters who support the republican party are unable to speak directly or honestly. Why? Is it just stubborn pride? It isn’t ideas! If you folks were being intellectually honest with yourselves, you would recognize that you have yet to engage in ANY DISCUSSION AT ALL. I can only assume that if you are the least bit intelligent, you recognize on some level that this is born out of an inability to respond from indefensible positions. It seems that this obfuscation born of sinful pride and unwillingness to admit to an inferior position is actually stronger in you and yours than intellectual integrity. Sad. Very sad. But…it’s your soul.

You claim I have been silly to be upset by direct answers to my direct questions…
Uh….NO. I am upset because my direct questions are not getting anything CLOSE to answers, direct or otherwise. Just unbelievable amounts of obfuscation born out of what I can only think must be an unnaturally strong ability you folks on the GOP side have for fooling yourselves.

Even the shot at spelling is nothing but a shot. It is clearly intended by you to be obfuscation. How do you not see that in yoursleves? …Or is it that you don’t care and are merely trying to manipulate and lie for the same reasons as those you vote for? If, so I don’t see what you cold possiblt get out of it. We are all hurt by this administration. I guess you are just fooling yourselves about so strongly that you don’t even WANT to consider clearing your own haze.

Posted by: RGF at July 2, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #164285

JBOD,

Once again I find myself explaining law to Bushies.

You said:
“As far as illegal war goes, the US Congress gave Bush the authority to go to war. It’s possible that they didn’t intend him to, or thought he wouldn’t, but they nonetheless gave him the authority. That makes it a legal war. What part of legal don’t you understand?”

Congress’ approval is but PART of doing it the right way. TREATIES are binding. So are agreements that are part of those treaties. The UN was set up by us through the UN Charter which was a treaty both signed and RATIFIED. It is therefore supreme law on a par with the Constituion…another meaningless document to those on the side of BUSH.

Article 1441, and our agreement with the UN security Council were thus BINDING. WE, and by that I mean BUSH, SPECIFICALLY obtained article 1441. Part of that article was the agreement that the security council has final say on whether we take military action. That does NOT mean that the UN always has power over whether we take action, generally. That is nothing more than another straw-man argument from those who don’t understand or respect LAW. The security council had power in this case BECAUSE WE GAVE IT BY AGREEMENT. It was apparently, only a part of the dishonesty and manipulation that is rife in this administration and your party never to be taken seriously.

You continue to characterize our differences as merely difference of opinion and say that you and Jack have supposedly responded and got back my response of it being irrelevant.

Let’s review, shall we?

Myself and others have pointed out repeatedly how the employment numbers we are seeing these days do not reflect reality because they do not take account of the number of people who have fallen off the bottom of the roles and are no longer tallied.

What we get back, is the insistence that the employmrent numbers are tallied the same way now as when Clinton was president. ..huh? Did you not hear? That is NOT a response, JBOD. That is a seguey that doesn’t make sense in context. Clinton was in during a long period of economic growth and stability. Falling off the bottom of the roles was clearly not an issue in the 90’s. Not the way it is now.

We pointed out how the nature of the debt we are racking up and how the actions we are taking are undermining our long term stability. The response we get back is that the economy is doing better and that we are pessimists. huh? Not even a response, JBOD. Just more dishonesty.

During the 2004 elections Kerry was accused of being a waffler. Soundbite evidence was taken out of context to support this. The reality is that Kerry supported going in to Iraq in a way that maintained the support of the rest of the world…in a way that was legal. That is how it was sold to Congress prior to the war. Naturally, Congress voted for it. They were duped. We all were duped. It was Bush who flip-flopped, not Kerry. I show the proof of this and get nothng in return. …how can you claim to have responded? You are duped, too, I see.

I point out that the war was illegal and is not creating peace, democracy or stability in the region and what I get back is some gobbledy gook about whether Iraq is better off without Saddam. …huh? Is that a response? JBOD, the BS is getting a little high, don’t ya think?

JBOD, neither you nor Jack nor your party nor this administration are playing it straight. You build straw-men arguments and ignore issues. You tell yourselves obvious lies and then willfully believe them. You dishonestly assert that you are the party with ideas when your party is clearly devoid of the ability to communicate with intellectual honesty or integrity, much less THINK.

We’ve seen this played out over and over and over. I watched Delay blow into Austin last fall with his ill gotten booty, speninding it on commercials to convince Travis County residents that the indictments against him were completely political…and yet ALL THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIMES WERE A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD. The contributors even admitted to it. Then, Delay had the gall to move for a change of venue out of Austin because the jury pool had been tainted. HA. Typical republican manipulatin and dishonesty.

I then saw articles pop up all over the country that were no more than quotes from Delay’s defense counsel. And yet the fact that it was happening atr all was being attributed to “liberal media.” I’m tired of the deception and the dishonesty and the straw-man arguments. Give me a freakin’ break, JBOD, you have NEVER even tried to argue against the left! All I have ever seen are the imagined arguments that are based on half-truths at best. Over and over I see you and Jack and SE making totally unfouded accusations of what you IMAGINE of figures on the left and then arguing against your IMAGININGS…EVEN IN THE FACE OF COMPLETELY CONTRARY PROOF FROM THE WORLD OF THE REAL!

Every step. Every issue. Every decision. Why do you support Bush and yet you fail to COMMUNICATE directly, much less defend him?

The yelling you see in my posts is born of the frustration I feel in the non-blogs, non-issues and non-communications I see all over the place that continue to support those who are clearly using them to manipulate and to be destructive and dishonest with this nation of ours.

When you get down to it, the question remains:
Why do you support Bush? You have never even been on target much less adressed the issue. You claim it is a difference of opinion, but opinions would require that we are having the same discussion and we clearly are NOT. I feel like I am at a presidential press conference. I understand that politicians will use strange political sophistry to avoid questions they don’t like, but it seems that even the mere voters who support the republican party are unable to speak directly or honestly. Why? Is it just stubborn pride? It isn’t ideas! If you folks were being intellectually honest with yourselves, you would recognize that you have yet to engage in ANY DISCUSSION AT ALL. I can only assume that if you are the least bit intelligent, you recognize on some level that this is born out of an inability to respond from indefensible positions. It seems that this obfuscation born of sinful pride and unwillingness to admit to an inferior position is actually stronger in you and yours than intellectual integrity. Sad. Very sad. But…it’s your soul.

You claim I have been silly to be upset by direct answers to my direct questions…
Uh….NO. I am upset because my direct questions are not getting anything CLOSE to answers, direct or otherwise. Just unbelievable amounts of obfuscation born out of what I can only think must be an unnaturally strong ability you folks on the GOP side have for fooling yourselves.

Even the shot at spelling is nothing but a shot. It is clearly intended by you to be obfuscation. How do you not see that in yoursleves? …Or is it that you don’t care and are merely trying to manipulate and lie for the same reasons as those you vote for? If, so I don’t see what you cold possiblt get out of it. We are all hurt by this administration. I guess you are just fooling yourselves about so strongly that you don’t even WANT to consider clearing your own haze.

Posted by: RGF at July 2, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #164449

Jack,

Your question, “Do you find some significance in that that I do not see?” is just the point. I see NO significance at all in anything Bush has done. But, you see, he has done nothing… he has no interest in nor knowledge of the economy. The DOW was at a level last Friday 2.7% lower than in 2000 - there is no growth. And what he does poke at the scenario is for all the wrong reasons (at least as it concerns me.) His economic advisors were ex-Enron people, for gawd’s sake! That’s where he “learned” his economic “fixes.”

What I see in the curve I posted is great economic function for years and years; then bush comes on the scene and it goes flat. There is that rather dramatic one-year sink and one-year recovery due to the dot.com bust, but that had nothing to do with any bush theme. In fact, none of it has anything to do with bush. The LACK of anything happening IS due to bush. Those (these) are the worse 5 years of economic performance in many many many years, through both repub and dem administrations.

Like I alluded to earlier, the only “fixes” he’s done were for the corporate chums he’s always courted. His interpretation of “We, the People” is “Me and My People.” They are all who matter - the rest of us are like crumbs he would just as soon see drop out of the basket.

I dealt with him for all those years as Governor of Texas, and now all these years as President. When will it END???

Posted by: myles at July 3, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #164553

Right on, brother myles. Sing it.

Oh and Jack?, in anticipation of your possible next ‘response’ on this: THE FISH

Posted by: RGF at July 3, 2006 6:14 PM
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