Good Riddance!!!

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bush_turkey.jpg

This weekend, at a strip mall there was both a Circuit City and Cost Plus Global Market that were going out business. We stopped by and both stores were packed with people acting like vultures picking over the detritus of a ruined economy. I thought it was a fitting that this happened in George W Bush’s last weekend as President. When this is posted there will be less than 24 hours of the reign of error known as the George W. Bush Presidency. Our ability to survive the past 8 years is case and point proof that the American people and its government are quite resilient.

However, already the rough edges are being smoothed over and forgotten. Before we look back too wistfully on the past 8 years let’s remember the following facts (most of tgis came from an article in salon.com):

When George W. Bush entered the White House in January 2001, he inherited peace and prosperity. The military, the Constitution and New Orleans were intact and the country had a budget surplus of $128 billion. Now he's about to dash out the door, leaving a large, unpaid bill for his successors to pay.

Expected shortfall of gross domestic product below normal growth path in 2009: $900 billion

Decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average from its decade high to its value at the close of business, Jan. 7, 2009: 5,394.83, or 38.1 percent

Number of manufacturing jobs lost since 2000: 3.78 million

Increase in number of unemployed workers from 2001 to 2008: 4 million, a jump of 2.7 percent in the unemployment rate

Real median household income according to the 2000 census, adjusted for inflation: $51,804

Real median household income as of August 2007: $50,233

National debt: $10.6 trillion

Amount of that debt owned by China: At least $800 billion

Number of bridges judged structurally deficient: 70,000.

Meanwhile, the roads aren't only worn down, they're overcrowded. In part, we can thank an administration that gave tax credits to SUV buyers while targeting public transit for cuts.

The Bush White House's proposed cuts in public transit funding for fiscal year 2009: $202.1 million.

Target level of federal funding for Amtrak proposed by Bush in 2005: $0.

How many times have you heard, "With the money we spend in Iraq in just one week ..."?
So how much has that been, exactly? Linda Bilmes, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and co-author with economist Joseph Stiglitz of "The Three Trillion Dollar War," thinks the figure in her book's title is, if anything, too low. (Bilmes and Stiglitz put the full price of all Bush administration debacles at $10 trillion in their own excellent damage report for the January issue of Harper's.)

Cost: From the start of the war through 2017, "You can't get any lower than $3 trillion."

Amount of money earned by a married U.S. Army sergeant with children per day in Iraq in 2007: $170

Amount of money earned by a Blackwater military contractor per day: $600

Number of U.S. military deaths as of Jan. 7, 2009: 4,222

Cost to conduct the war per month: $12 billion

Amount the Bush administration estimated the war would cost from start to finish: $60 billion

Difference in price of brand-name drugs, U.S. and Canada, in 2004: 70 percent more expensive in the U.S.

Increase in average prescription drug price between 1997 and 2007: From $35.72 to $69.91

While buying drugs for seniors, Bush denied healthcare to kids. In 2007, he vetoed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which gives federal money to the states to help provide health insurance for families with children.

Number of children kept off of SCHIP because of Bush's veto: 4 million

Number of nine warmest years on record that have occurred since 2000: Seven.

How much has the Arctic ice cap shrunk? 50 percent since the turn of the century.

By now, the stories of global warming denial and outright censorship of government scientists by the Bush administration are well known.

Finally I’ll leave you with this nugget to remind everyone about how well Bush kept us safe from terrorism:

August 6, 2001 Presidents Daily Brief: Osama Determined to Strike in the U.S.

Bush Response to the Agent giving the briefing: “Thanks, now you’ve covered your ass.?

Good Riddance, don't let door hit you in the ass on the way out.

5 Comments

Good riddance to the evil/criminal empire. We can begin to rebuild our country and standing in the world. Let's not forget that ALL Americans were spied upon without a warrant. If the U.S. refuses to charge these criminals, the U.N. is about to step in and do this for us.

Number of terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11/01: Zero.

I know you think Bush should have stopped the 9/11 attack. I could counter with Pres. Clinton's kicking the can down the road for the next president. And we'd go round and round. But the 8/6/01 warning? Oh, really? A guy who was involved in other terrorist attacks on American targets, including the USS Cole, is determined to attack the US? The Bush administration was fully aware of Osama and his intentions. So thanks for the head's up, now tell us something we don't know. Such as where, when and how. Or would you have the president shut down the nation in effort to stop an attack. Of course, then you'd be piling on him for overreacting.

I'm also dubious about that Bush quote. He may have said it, but as many are fond of saying, "It lacks context."

Amount of Federal Income Tax I've paid since the Bush Tax Cuts: Zero

In fact because my family is in the lowest income bracket (I work for a paycheck while my wife works at home raising our son for no pay), we actually receive money from the Federal government at tax time. Or should I say taxpayers? How's that for spreading the wealth around?

Increase in global average temperature since 1998: Zero

In fact, since 2007 we have been experiencing global cooling. This according to the UN's IPCC.

And the Bush administration's censorship of government scientists about global warming? I have to give you that one, because nobody knows anything about global warming, right? I mean, we never hear about on the news, in the papers, at the movies, on every other commercial... Nope, that Bush administration has sure shut down any news about global warming.

Why is prescription medicine so cheap in Canada? The Canadian government will not allow pharmaceutical companies to charge what the drugs are worth. That in turn helps to inflate the costs we pay for prescriptions. I guess you prefer that "big" pharma should not make any profit. Unless it's really small.

I'm sure that you believe you shouldn't make any profit from what you do for a living. You're happy just making enough to cover your costs, aren't you?

Was the proposed cut of public transportation actually a cut in current spending levels or merely a reduction in the Democrats' proposed increase? Which would still be an increase in spending, just not as much of an increase as you apparently would like.

Amtrak? Nobody rides Amtrak.

Americans killed in action in Iraq? Loss of life is horrible in any war, but let's put this in perspective. Since we are involved in what I consider World War III, let's compare *one* KIA statistic from WWII to the total KIA in Iraq.

American KIA in the Battle of Iwo Jima: 6821(number from Wikipedia)

That battle lasted 35 DAYS! An average daily loss of American life of 195.

Going by your numbers - from 3/20/03 to 1/7/09 (that's 2121 days) the average daily loss of American life in Iraq is 2.

Again, I say the loss of life is horrible. I know the 2 a day average brings little comfort to those who were close to those 2. Still, let's keep things in perspective.

And as to the cost of the Global War on Islamic Terrorism as pertains to Iraq, what is it worth to have a Western friendly Democratic Islamic nation in a part of the world where none has ever existed? I guess only time will, but it's thanks to the Bush administration that we can now realistically speculate as to that possibility.

As to the state of our economy, you failed to point out that it was the Bush administration that started warning Congress waaaaay back in 2002 about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needing much stronger oversight. Alan Greenspan started warning Congress shortly after that. And Sen. John McCain also warned the Senate of serious problems with Fannie and Freddie in 2006. All the while Democrats like Rep. Barney Frank kept saying that everything was fine.

Here's a link about that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM&NR=1 Yes, it's from Fox News, so I'm sure you'll think it's all made up. But, even Saturday Night Live recently referred to the Bush warning of 2002.

And as everyone knows, it was the problems with Fannie and Freddie that lead directly to where we find ourselves today. There's plenty of blame to go around here. Pres. Bush could have been more vocal to the American people about his misgivings. Congressional Republicans should heeded Bush's warning while they controlled Congress. As should have the Democrats when they took charge in 2006.

I may not have covered everything you and Salon.com (a Bush ally if ever there was one) have stated. For some of it, I just don't have an answer. And I freely admit that I could be wrong on some of this. But I felt something should be said.

Oh, and Champagne Lady (Norma Zimmer, really?), not ALL Americans were calling overseas numbers to known terrorists and terrorist organizations. So, we weren't ALL spied on.

Also, don't forget that one of Pres. Obama's last acts as senator was to vote to continue those warrantless searches. I guess the UN will go after him, too.

I haven't been happy with everything Bush has done. Government has grown exponentially under his watch, which is something I thought you would have liked. The 1st Amendment took a serious hit. No, I don't mean the Patriot Act, I mean McCain/Feingold. Spending has gone crazy. His tacit endorsement of Intelligent Design. Among other things.

But he has kept us safe since 9/11, he's lowered the tax burdens on ALL of us, he's done so much more than any other president to aid Africa in its struggle with AIDS.

I know you disagree with my first two positives, but can't you at least give him Africa?

I understand your joy for our new president. Yes, I said "our". Pres. Obama is my president, too. I may not like everything he does while in office, but I wish him well.

And I promise him one more thing: I won't hate him.

I've written this at my blog ( http://dimland.blogspot.com ) after Sen. Obama was elected:

"I think the hatred and vitriol hurled at President Bush everyday for nearly eight years (he was given a little break after 9/11) is appalling. It's childish, shameful and mean-spirited."

That was the treatment Pres. Bush received from the "tolerant" Left.

This is what I wrote about Pres. Obama:

"I know President-elect Obama loves this country, too. And that he will act in a way he thinks is best for America. I probably won't like much of it (he's a little too socialist for my tastes), but I won't hate him."

That is from the "intolerant" Right.

I hope I don't come across as mean-spirited. I don't think I have. I know I got a little sarcastic, but, I hope, never mean.

Let's end on a positive note we can both agree on. We both dig the Urban Guerillas. It was at this site that I was able to find some downloadable material from one of my favorite bands from the 80's. I have very fond memories of those days and your blog has made it possible for me to revisit them. Thank you.

Hey Jim thanks for your comments. Sorry they were delayed in getting posted, for some reason it was flagged for review - must have a pro-Bush filter on :o)

I'm not going to get into a back and forth because I think it's fruitless but I do want to add context to the August 2001 events.

By virtually all accounts, the Bush Administration didn't take terrorism seriously up to 9/11/2001. Counterterrorism experts were trying to get the Administration's attention on the subject and were being blown off. It's an established fact.

Now let's just say after that 8/6/01 PDB Bush would have said, let's take a closer look at this, what are people hearing? Maybe, just maybe someone would have discovered that the FBI in Minneapolis had reports that middle eastern type males were taking flight lessons but didn't care about taking off or landing the planes. Maybe with that information more security would have been implemented at airports or heigtened examination of those taking the training would have happened.

Would it have prevented 9/11? Obviously it's pure speculation and we will never know, but given that nothing was done with the information, I have a had time accepting that GW Bush kept us safe from terrorism.

You are correct, the Bush Administration did not take the threat of terrorism seriously enough prior to 9/11. Bush has admitted as much. Neither did the previous administrations of Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter and so on.

Carter showed himself to to be weak and ineffective toward Iran. First in his nonsupport of a Western friendly regime and then in his allowing Americans to being held hostage for 444 days. His one military attempt to rescue the hostages was poorly thought out and executed.

Reagan's reaction to the terrorist attack and murder of 241 American servicemen in Beirut was to cut and run. It took subsequent attacks launched by Colonel Gaddafi before Reagan bombed to snot out of Libya. Thereby defeating that era's number 1 terrorist threat. But there was that whole arms for hostages thing.

Bush, 41, failed to complete the job of ousting Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. He also failed to support Iraqi anti-Hussein forces in their effort to remove the dictator.

Clinton looked on terrorism as a criminal issue and failed to act on numerous occasions to kill or capture Osama bin-Laden. His cut and run reaction in Somalia only served to encourage the image of America as a "paper tiger".

It was also the Clinton Administration that erected the "wall" between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. A "wall" that prevented anyone from discovering those reports of what the FBI knew about that terrorist in Minneapolis.

Bush, 43, pretty much continued the Clinton approach, maybe he talked a little tougher. He maintained the "wall", but then 9/11 happened. It changed Bush's mindset on how to approach terrorism, not as a criminal offense, but as a war.

Bush was right when he recently accused his detractors of blaming him for not connecting the dots before 9/11, then attacking him when he put programs and policies in place to connect those dots. Damned if he did, damned if he didn't.

See? I've spread the blame around and I didn't just dump on Carter and Clinton.

Remember on 9/12/01 there was no one who thought we wouldn't be attacked again in six months or a year. It's been more then seven years now, still no attack on our soil. The American military, intelligence agencies, law-enforcement agencies, Homeland Security, AND President Bush all deserve credit for that.

I know you wanted to avoid a back and forth, but I wanted to respond. Also, it's it great that neither of us engaged in name-calling?

Now I think I'll crank up my iTunes and soak in some Urban Guerillas' Armenian Heat Wave Dance Party.

Golf, like measles, should be caught young.

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on January 19, 2009 12:22 PM.

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