Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bush’s Legacy of Failure

Mar 18, 2008
Bush and financial aides
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Wearing a green tie in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Bush smiles for the camera during a meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (left) and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (right), on March 17 at the White House.

By Robert Scheer

That idiotic “what me worry?” look just never leaves the man’s visage. Once again there was our president, presiding over disasters in part of his making and totally on his watch, grinning with an aplomb that suggested a serious disconnect between his worldview and existing reality. Be it in his announcement that Iraq was being secured on a day when bombs ripped through that sad land or posed between his treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve chairman to applaud the government’s bailout of a failed bank, George Bush was the only one inexplicably smiling.

Failure suits him. It is a stance he learned well while presiding over one failed Texas business deal after another, and it served him splendidly as he claimed the title of president of the United States after losing the popular, and maybe even the electoral, vote. It carried him through the most ignominious chapter of U.S. foreign policy, from the lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction to an unprecedented presidential defense of torture.

The totally unwarranted assurance was there this week as the once proud dollar fell into the toilet and the debacle of Iraq and Bush’s other failed Mideast policies pushed oil prices to record highs. The Europeans, who didn’t support the U.S. imperial intervention, are doing much better, not having to pay for guarding besieged oil pipelines while U.S. taxpayers are saddled with trillions in future debt, not to mention 4,000 U.S. military deaths and 30,000 U.S. injuries in a war the administration had promised would be paid for with Iraqi oil revenues. Even in Baghdad last week there wasn’t enough oil to keep the lights on for more than a few hours.

But the president is happy because his legacy issue, the war on terror, is intact. No matter that this week the Pentagon was forced to release a report conducted over the last five years that concluded, after surveying 600,000 official Iraqi documents captured by U.S. forces, that there is “no smoking gun” establishing any connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. The report was so embarrassing that we taxpayers who paid for it were not going to be told of its existence, even though the explosive conclusions were totally declassified, until ABC News forced its posting online.

The network reported that the Pentagon had canceled plans to issue a press release or make it available by e-mail or otherwise online because, as one Pentagon official put it, the study is “too politically sensitive.” Damn right it is—Bush squandered U.S. treasure and lives in an effort that had nothing to do with the infamous attack on America. As for the real war on terror against the real al-Qaida, those folks are very much on the rebound, just where they were before the 9/11 attack, building their bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, Wall Street is crumbling, not because of planes crashing into buildings but because the outrageous knaves of finance, freed from the most minimal requirements of public accountability, have been permitted to destroy America’s reputation in the world for financial probity.

In the name of ending what were claimed to be onerous regulations imposed after the Great Depression, this administration accelerated a bipartisan pattern of allowing Wall Street to betray investors with impunity while abandoning the federal government’s obligation, once accepted equally by conservatives and liberals, to ensure our national solvency. This tendency, under way for decades to give the bankers what they wanted—codified in the Financial Services Modernization Act, which was signed into law by Bill Clinton and which permitted banks, stock brokers and insurance companies to merge—was exacerbated by Bush’s appointment of rapacious corporate foxes to watch the corporate henhouse.

They will take care of their own, which is why Bush was smiling, happily posed in that photo op between Henry Paulson Jr. and Ben Bernanke announcing the Bear Stearns bailout, made possible only by the federal government using your tax dollars to pick up the bad debt of the banks. Tape that picture to your wall to remind you, when you open a credit card bill with a 30 percent interest rate—not the 2 percent the Fed will charge banks—or see the increase in your adjustable rate mortgage, of just what your government will do for the really big guys that it will never do for regular folks.

In the years to come, as millions lose their retirement income and homes, we will have occasion to remember Georgie Porgie, who kissed the taxpayers and made them cry before he ran away.

@ Truthdig


This is my last post about this fool and the mess he has made of everything he has touched.

If we even make it to November before total economic collapse and the entire nation in poverty except for the select few rich enough to rise above it we will find a hollowed out shell of a formerly great country and many fellow Americans on the street. Crime will rise, more people will snap.

We must not take our eyes off the economic ball here. Sal has reminded us about the coming economic disaster and it is coming, slowly, but it is coming. Gaming the system is what the three pictured are all about. Pumping the last of the near worthless dollars out of the economy to benefit the rich few while leaving the rest of us behind is their game. To them starvation and death in the streets of America mean nothing, their world is vastly different from ours full of luxury and opulence, servants, drivers and fistfuls of cash to afford whatever strikes their fancy.

To believe we will emerge from economic catastrophe unscathed is foolish at best.

They will, we will not.



DEN said...

Bushbots busted in and ran away with my coffee pot and stale donuts.

(hope they don't choke?)

BIG O is kicking the Hill-Bill-y's banjo pickin butts!

Got the speech bump going.


Saladin said...

DEN, I have yet to hear Obama's plans to stop or even slow down the economic train wreck ahead. I hear lot's of talk of raising taxes but there is only so much we the people can give, we are already at the snapping point. Gold dropped $40 overnight, no doubt the result of the Feds endless meddling attempts to bail out the big investment banks. The world is fast losing faith in the dollar and beginning to dump it as the reserve currency and now even the idiot MSM economists have begun to pull their heads out and see the light. This was NOT, I repeat NOT, the result of incompetence, these killers have looted the country as their parting gift, leaving a broken and bankrupt nation in it's wake. Now we are easy pickings for the vultures to swoop down on. Too bad they didn't manage to disarm everyone like they thought they could. The best we can do now is stock up on non-perishable food items, prepare a good first aid kit, if you have prescription meds try to get your DR. to give you at least a 3 month supply, reminding them what happened to so many after Katrina, have as much fresh water on hand as possible and buy ammo! Riding out the storm is what it's all about now. No one listened 3 years ago, I hope they will listen now. Obama isn't going to save you, he's part of the problem. I know, doom and gloom, that's what many here said before, but doom and gloom has arrived, but you will look back on this as the good times in the near future, take advantage of it!

David B. Benson said...

Er, Den, we have to make it to next January. I forget the exact day...

Alan said...

I checked this one out cuz of the funny title, and it was a good read as well.

"Since Lieberman was able to help him tell Shi’a from Shinola yesterday."

About bush, it said...
Then again, your life hasn’t exactly provided you with a lot of clean victories, has it? So maybe it’s not your fault - in most of your fuck-ups this is probably about the point where Daddy steps in and fixes things, allowing you to feel good about yourself again.

DEN said...

Doc, I realize that, just knowing someone worth a hillofbeans will be there soon......

DEN said...

Alan, mcPain just likes war, thats all, and LIEbermann does to, just what we want in leaders??


Carey said...

Bush's eternally stupid smile is what gets our goats. Having to view it day in and out.

How 'bout that Cheney, huh?

Did you catch the supposedly stunning tidbit that Cheney doesn't give a fuck about the American people and what they want? "So," he responded. Uneffinbelievable.

This person is the embodiment of evil, worse than Hitler, for Christ's sake.

DEN said...

Carey, "To them starvation and death in the streets of America mean nothing, their world is vastly different from ours full of luxury and opulence, servants, drivers and fistfuls of cash to afford whatever strikes their fancy."

Nail, meet head of hammer.

not buying O said...

So, Alan, since when are you an advocate for telling people with whom you disagree to basically STFU?

I don't presume that I can change anyone's mind. I am a realist. But, this campaign -- this endless campaign -- is a work in progress and throughout the process, I have opinions that I decide to post, or not. But, if my comments offend you (as many are wont to say), scroll on by....

me...again said...

What we need is less "uplifting" rhetoric and more focus on solutions and ideas that confront the climate crisis, expand wealth, create an environment of innovation, provide access to resources that levels economic playing fields, and provides justice for all.


David B. Benson said...

Scary story:

The Autoimmune Epidemic

David B. Benson said...

Good Lord!

Hillary's Nasty Pastorate

In The Nation.

DEN said...

Doc, good find! I had posted something similar about a year back but had totally forgotten about it till now.

Proves what i have been saying all along, she's a DINO.

Put their to ensure those bastards don't lose the helm of State.

Obama and his G*# D#&n preacher are small potatoes compared to this vixen.

Corn? said...

Cornell professor of entomology says: The science is clear: The use of corn and other biofuels to solve our energy problem is an ethically, economically and environmentally unworkable sham.

Carey said...

Stephen Colbert: Wait a minute, did Rev. Wright call America a 'she'? Rev. Wright, have you seen Florida?

On the screen: A map of Florida's peninsula.

Colbert's take on Wright.


DEN said...

"What drew Clinton into the sinister heart of the international right? Maybe it was just a phase in her tormented search for identity, marked by ever-changing hairstyles and names: Hillary Rodham, Mrs. Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton and now Hillary Clinton. She reached out to many potential spiritual mentors during her White House days, including New Age guru Marianne Williamson and the liberal rabbi Michael Lerner. But it was the Family association that stuck."

OH YEA!! Danger Danger!!

What is it about religious OCD??

Create your own little world if you like but do not mess with our world!!
Religious freaks with power have no business being in charge of anything, go back to your little world and leave the rest of us alone, we will find someone a bit more open minded for that job, thank you.

Carey said...

Oh David, my sister just told me about that story in The Nation on Hillary. Word's out.

Carey said...

That is a bugger Den. The religion thing.

Carey said...

I say just before Easter.

DEN said...

Religion is OK until it interferes with discriminative function.

When one uses religion as a basis for a judgment that can affect the non-religious individual you have circumvented their rights in a way thats causes discriminatory harm. They are made to abide by a law with a particular slant in favor of someone, not humanity in general.

Any form of discrimination is unacceptable in 21st Century society, merely pointing out that someone is 'black' is itself discriminatory and pigeon holes them like someone 'different'.

David B. Benson said...

Yes, ethanol-from-corn and biodiesel-from-rapeseed are in the category of really bad ideas.

However, ethanol-from-sugarcane and biodiesel-from-municiple-wastes are in the category of very good ideas.

Not all biofuels are created equal...

sec. hum. said...

More on the religion story...this has not been a secret

Alan said...

So, Alan, since when are you an advocate for telling people with whom you disagree to basically STFU?

Naw, not shut up, just change the topic. I'm afraid you sound like a broken record.

DEN said...

Yes! I knew I saw it somewhere else.

Religious pure evil.

Bet she sprouts horns eh?

Lizard for sure.

DEN said...

Hill's relatives, quite inexpensive.

Team player said...

Nope. The Topic is still in play.

bellinghamster -- not a GOP hamster said...


...just goes to show that persistance pays off, whether you agree with it or not.

Whatcom GOP delegates favor Ron Paul


It appears that solid strategy and a well-organized grassroots campaign put Ron Paul on top of the Whatcom County Republican Party convention this weekend.

While there are no hard figures yet, County GOP Chairman Chet Dow said it appears that Paul has received the majority of delegates who will be
sent to the summer state convention in Spokane. From there, delegates will be selected for the national convention.

So how did it happen when Paul had neither the most delegates from the county caucuses or primary in February?

"One word: organization," Dow said.

There were several factors, however, Dow said. One was that people who had pledged to represent another candidate during the caucuses didn’t all show up to the county convention, changing the mix.

Then at the county convention people didn't vote for a candidate, but rather they voted for the delegate to send to the convention. Dow said
some people seeking to be a delegate didn't state their candidate preference, though most did.

And the Paul campaign appears to have created a strong voting block, Dow said.

Other strategies that paid off:

• The convention went so long – 9 a.m. to after 11 p.m. Saturday – that Paul supporters dug in their heels, and when others began going
home, they stayed and maintained their strong presence.

• The 40th District caucus at the convention was small, and the Paul supporters were able to elect all six delegates from that area from people who supported their candidate.

Dow said he was pleased with how the convention turned out, and he was impressed with the Paul supporters.

"They're happy. They should be happy," he said. "They should be proud of what they have accomplished."

Carey said...

Mischievous yee are, hamster.

Hmm, Alan, Carole King is for Hillary. Micki is not alone. This is another phenomenom happening alongside--it is a movement for change, period.

For me, though, the thought of a black man having a real chance is by far the most profound change possible.

Now, it is not only the world watching, it is the universe. Will America, will humans transcend?

Carey said...

Barbara Ehrenreich's article, as Micki points out, is not news. I read about Clinton's connection to this religious group ages ago.


Religion's okay until you actually start critically thinking about it?

Tee-hee. True, though.