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> 2005, President Bush's agenda for 2005
How would you rate Bush's performance in 2005
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Total Votes: 48
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popeye47
post Dec 31 2005, 02:20 AM
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On one of the cable channels tonight, someone asked Bush if he was happy about his agenda for 2005 and bills that his adminstration passed.

He had quite a long string of accomplishments, that he listed.

I was curious to what AD members thought concerning whether 2005 was a good year,average year, etc.

It you so desire, give any examples.
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kalabus
post Dec 31 2005, 05:27 AM
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I am betting that if you asked Grant in the late 1870's he could reel off a whole litany of distorted accomplishments and achievments. Same with Buchanon or Hoover or Pierce or any president.

I would say that Bush has largely been ineffective. Sure he could cherry pick truths and isolate certain things but I would put forward that he has largely been sub-par.

He could say he stabilized the supreme court by appointing a well qualified intellectual as Supreme Court Justice (while glossing over the fact that he tried to appoint an unqualified personal admirer at one point).

He could say that he responded well to Texas and Florida disasters while not mentioning the failure that was Katrina.

He could speak ambiguously or in a unverifiable way by saying: John Bolton is doing a great job with the UN and Wolfowitz is doing a great job at the world bank or he could say that he has appointed a worthy successor to Greenspan in Bernake.

He can isolate certain thing's about the economy (housing, unemployment) while ignoring cost of living and deficit problems and any other economic ailment that still concerns American's. He could mention dropping gas prices (that are only back to normal after a hike). He could mention ambiguously again or in a truly unquantifiable way how Iraq has X amount of new schools and X amount of females in government or X whatever he felt like cherry picking to make it seem like Iraq is on the verge of becoming a middle-eastern Colorado or try to make it as if he waged it because he cares about freedom or any other line and mentality he has attempted to adopt after the real reason for the invasion have been discounted.

He could speak in a cherry picking way about allies how he has worked with and solved problems with. How he is doing well in N. Korea and Iran. I mean just a mountain of things one can look at and subjectively distort or avoid telling whole truths to highlight as positives when little if anything is attributeable to anything he did or is even close to reality in regards to what is actually happening.

I mean a president can both take credit for anything and delegate blame for anything. It is endless to what a president can distort.

Like take a mock town for instance.

A mayor (named John Doe) says that in the past few months we have removed 3 tons of trash from our streets. We have added 200 jobs in the past 6 months. We brought in a MacDonald's. The school scores in science and reading have went up 10%. Murders went down 15%. We have repaved the potholes that dominate Route 13. Our town festival brought in 3 million dollars.

Well what he failed to mention is that the previous mayor removed 5 tons of trash annually and that alot of the current trash came from the fact that the mayor wouldn't pay the sanitation department enough money and they went on strike for 3 months.

He may have added 200 new jobs in the last 6...and those jobs went to people to pick up the trash that had built up during the sanitation strike and he glosses over the fact that in the first 6 months the town lost 300 jobs as the mom and pop stores went bankrupt as a town 10 miles down the road just got a Wal-Mart (In which John Doe's wife) manages.

He brought in a MacDonald's which closed down Kelly's Diner which had operated for 75 years and had been a town cornerstone because Kelly couldn't afford to beat the dollar menu.

The school scores in science and reading went up 10% but Math and English scores went down 25%.

Murders went down 15% but violent crimes went up 30%, suicides 40% and rapes 50%.

The potholes were created by the mayor's overloaded Humvee one drunken night when the wife was staying late at Wal-Mart.

Plus the town fesitval which brought in a 3 million dollars... cost 4 million to put on.

It's all cherry-picking and anyone including McCarthy, Governor Taft of Ohio, Rod Blagoevich, Stalin, Kim Jong.... could do it and make it seem impressive.

This post has been edited by kalabus: Dec 31 2005, 05:30 AM
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Wertz
post Dec 31 2005, 08:30 AM
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I'm sure there are certain things that President Bush would consider personal achievements - like getting another activist ideologue appointed to the Supreme Court. But if we're talking about achievements that benefit the country or the average citizen or global stability or achievements that were free of corruption or illegality, well... let's just say I voted "poor" - because there was nothing lower.
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popeye47
post Jan 1 2006, 03:35 AM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Dec 31 2005, 04:30 AM)
I'm sure there are certain things that President Bush would consider personal achievements - like getting another activist ideologue appointed to the Supreme Court. But if we're talking about achievements that benefit the country or the average citizen or global stability or achievements that were free of corruption or illegality, well... let's just say I voted "poor" - because there was nothing lower.
*



Wertz:

Please accept my apology for not having a lower rating than poor.

I was trying to be nice so some of our Republican friends would participate in the poll. Evidently very few have participated since we only have one vote for excellent.

By the way, I have noticed King George(my name for George since he is now a dictator and the laws and constitution do not apply to him)has not mentioned his political capital recently.

And oh yes, the center of his masterpiece which would be social security. By the wayside along with his political capital.

Enough examples of failure for now.

This post has been edited by popeye47: Jan 1 2006, 03:36 AM
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Cube Jockey
post Jan 1 2006, 04:59 AM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Dec 31 2005, 12:30 AM)
well... let's just say I voted "poor" - because there was nothing lower.
*


Here, here Wertz.

It should come as no surprise that I voted "poor" but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. 2005 Bush would certainly be considered a "poor" year by anyone of the Democratic/liberal variety, that is not breaking news.

What people really should consider is how much of a failure he has been for anyone else who might normally support him.

First and foremost it is important to point out that Bush's approval rating a few months ago was one of the worst in history, only slightly higher than Nixon's during watergate. This is of course ironic considering that at the beginning of the year Bush and his supporters were talking about a "mandate" and political capital to spend.

Speaking of "political capital" Bush hasn't accomplished a single major legislative priority this year in Congress that I can think of. Social Security - shot down. ANWR drilling - shot down, repeatedly. Patriot Act renewals - shot down. The only thing he has successfully done from a legislative standpoint is spend money.

He has failed his religious right base by not accomplishing a single thing they could rally around, again. Sure he talked a lot and used the word "God" more times than I can count but not a lot changed.

He has failed his business/fiscal conservative base. Bush has given us an incredibly large deficit and the price of oil (and therefore everything) is skyrocketing. He failed to "make tax cuts permanent" this year. The only thing that could really be considered a success here is the bankruptcy bill which was more a result of long and expensive years of lobbying and campaign donations by the credit industry than anything Bush did.

He's failed the libertarian/small government crowd. The size of government has increased, not shrunk. There are of course numerous instances of civil rights violations - everything from the patriot act to Gitmo to this latest NSA scandal. Then of course there are the states rights violations of the whole Schiavo affair.

Foreign policy is a mixed bag I suppose. Regardless of whether you supported the decision to go into Iraq or not I think it is pretty obvious that Bush is completely inept as a commander-in-chief. He believed that the Iraqis would be throwing roses at our feet after being liberated and here we are fighting a strong insurgency and dealing with a lot of political turmoil. Including the budget numbers for 2006 we'll have spent almost half a trillion dollars on this war.

Then of course there have been scandal after scandal that this White House has had to weather.

If you look at the party platform of the GOP I don't think you could say that Bush has done anything they claim to hold dear, in fact he has acted counter to many of those values.

So by every objective measure, I'd say that poor isn't even sufficient to describe 2005.
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Renger
post Jan 2 2006, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Jan 1 2006, 05:59 AM)
So by every objective measure, I'd say that poor isn't even sufficient to describe 2005.
*



CubeJockey I have read your post and I agree with it it 100%. Even by objective measures Bush´ policies have failed. It has been a lost year, when so much could have been done to improve the U.S. society. crying.gif

Isn´t democracy a wonderfull thing. whistling.gif

This post has been edited by Renger: Jan 2 2006, 04:28 PM
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CruisingRam
post Jan 2 2006, 04:51 PM
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I would have to go with my best simpson character impersonation:

Worst president EVER.
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Dontreadonme
post Jan 2 2006, 04:55 PM
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Bush's performance has been poor this last year, and throughout his administration. This much most of us at AD agree on. However, it should be noted that some of us believe some of his endeavors would have improved US society, such as Social Security reform and drilling in ANWR.
But his resistance to veto any spending whatsoever, and the ever increasing bloating of the federal government are hallmarks of failure in my estimation. His administration could never be confused as 'conservative'.
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lordhelmet
post Jan 3 2006, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE(popeye47 @ Dec 30 2005, 09:20 PM)

On one of the cable channels tonight, someone asked Bush if he was happy about his agenda for 2005 and bills that his adminstration passed. 
 
He had quite a long string of accomplishments, that he listed. 
 
I was curious to what AD members thought concerning whether 2005 was a good year,average year, etc. 
 
It you so desire, give any examples.
*



Bush has done a fine job all things considered.

He's staying the correct course in spite of tremendous political pressure and a systematic, persistent, and never ending "Jihad" by his political opponents who have put attacking the Republican president above all other conflicts, both foreign and domestic.

Bush's consistency is a sign of strength, not weakness. We're making progress in Iraq and against the global terrorist infrastructure. He's showing a budding pro-democracy movement in the middle east that our country can be counted on to meet our commitments, and not just cave to political pressure as many in the democrat party would have us do. The people on the ground see this, opinion polls in Iraq reflect this, and objective politicians, like Joe Lieberman who has actually BEEN to Iraq (unlike Murtha, Pelosi, Reid, Dean, etc.) back this up.

Those who are critical of Bush have also conveniently forgotten that many of the loudest critics were standing by Bush with their statements AND Their votes when they had the question put to them. The claims that "Bush lied" about Iraq WMD's is, itself, a huge lie. If Bush lied, so did Clinton (both of them), Kerry, Edwards, and a whole raft of democrat pols.

Bush had some missteps for sure. Politically, he was sleeping after Katrina. I think that the facts clearly demonstrated that the governor of Louisiana botched her responsiblities completely.... but Bush should have been savvy enough to realize that the democrats would gladly heap blame on Bush for this natural disaster... even to the point of blaming his stance about the so-called man-made global warming on this natural storm and by playing the "race card" in a disgraceful display of the worst sort of cheap shots. The Meirs nomination to the USSC was also a dropped ball. But, thankfully, Bush realized his error and put forth a solid candidate, Sam Alito.

I believe Bush has gotten the big issues right. We are in the middle of a global struggle against the forces of radical Islam. Iraq is just one theater in this world war. If we don't address this threat, it WILL address us, and the rest of the free world. He has not taken his eye off of this top priority for a second. After 9/11 he claimed that the war on terror would be his top priority. He has not changed direction from that time.

On other issues, Bush is also completely correct. Raising taxes will not help the economy and Bush has stuck to his guns on that issue. He's also right to confront radical environmentalists and should continue to push for additional oil exploration, refining, AND the development of alternative fuels. He's also right not to adopt the Kyoto protocols which are based on mis-information and inadequate science. Bush is also right about Social Security which must be addressed now, not far in the future as Reid, Pelosi, and Kennedy advocate. I suspect Bush will not give up that fight but will pick a spot down the road where his chances are better.

I give the President a "B" for 2005. I expect him to be even better in 2006.

Those who claim Bush was the "worst president ever" are blinded by partisan hate in my view and are not judging him objectively. Bush isn't even the worst president in my lifetime, let alone all of US history. That prize goes to Jimmy Carter. I also rate Bush higher than Clinton in every category based on substance vs. style. The only other President in my lifetime who achieved more good for more people was Reagan... and Bush has a chance to eclipse even the victor of the cold war if he can pull off a lasting middle-east peace and the destruction of radical Islam as a viable threat.
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Wertz
post Jan 3 2006, 12:54 AM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Jan 2 2006, 11:55 AM)
But his resistance to veto any spending whatsoever, and the ever increasing bloating of the federal government are hallmarks of failure in my estimation. His administration could never be confused as 'conservative'.
*

I would have to agree, DTOM. Like CJ, it almost goes without saying that I would think the White House's performance was poor. But I think it would have to be considered poor by every possible standard conceivable.

And, while this administration should defintiely not be considered "conservative", it should never be thought of as being "compassionate" either. It's like the Executive has taken the worst elements of both conservativism and liberalism and combined them - then multiplied them.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 2 2006, 07:27 PM)
Those who claim Bush was the "worst president ever" are blinded by partisan hate in my view and are not judging him objectively.  Bush isn't even the worst president in my lifetime, let alone all of US history. That prize goes to Jimmy Carter. I also rate Bush higher than Clinton in every category based on substance vs. style. The only other President in my lifetime who achieved more good for more people was Reagan... and Bush has a chance to eclipse even the victor of the cold war if he can pull off a lasting middle-east peace and the destruction of radical Islam as a viable threat.
*

laugh.gif Oh, wait - you're serious. Now I'm laughing even harder. I guess there's enough partisan blindness to go around for both sides.
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nighttimer
post Jan 3 2006, 03:13 AM
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QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 2 2006, 07:27 PM)
Those who claim Bush was the "worst president ever" are blinded by partisan hate in my view and are not judging him objectively. 


One of my resolutions for 2006 was to no longer allow the pernicious slander from the Right go unaddressed when in their blind fidelity to this bad joke of a president they brand anyone who differs with them as forming their opinion based on "partisan hate."

It would really be better for all of us if we could support the President and disagree with him when we think he's wrong. His deeds and his words have made that all but impossible. If we're a divided nation it's George Bush's fault as he squandered all the good will and support he received after 9/11. The myopic partisans who love Bush and believe he can do wrong (with the possible exception of Harriet Miers who wasn't far enough to the political extreme to their liking) would like to turn disagreement with the President into disloyalty and dislike into hatred.

You don't have to hate George W. Bush to consider him a pathetic failure as President. All you have to do is have lived under his mis-Administration. I don't hate Bush. He isn't worth my hate. But I don't have much use for him.

I feel I've given George Bush every chance to step up and show he could be the President for all Americans and not just the wealthy, the well-connected and the far right. But he has consistently and repeatedly shown he's only interested in being the president of a clique, not a country.

Kanye West was demonized by many on this board and throughout the nation for saying out loud what Bush has proven over and over in fact. George Bush doesn't care about Black people. The problem is West was too charitable even in that assessment. After five years of his reign of error it is arguable that George Bush doesn't care about the American people at all. At least those that don't fit within his narrow parameters of what an American is.

us.gif

This post has been edited by nighttimer: Jan 3 2006, 05:09 AM
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kalabus
post Jan 3 2006, 05:18 AM
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Why is it that partisan Bush supporters feel fine to state that those who oppose him only do so for partisanship?

Most of the western world (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Western Europe) and even for this year the majority of American's see him as being ineffective.

Is that all partisanship or is that simply a combination of socialism, food for oil scandal, New York Times, secular/gay agenda or Hollywood or any other phantom boogyman Bush supporters dismiss his numerous detractors as being blinded by?

Can anyone name a worse two term president? Seriously? Grant was worse but I am honestly stumped after that.

I recently did a presidential ranking where I had him (W) ranked 32 out of 42. Maybe it is unfair to rank W. Harrison, Taylor, Garfield..maybe even McKinley, Harding...but I put him 32nd....only Grant ranked as a worse two term president. Maybe time will elevate him some but, I can in no way shape or form given what is known and even incoporating best case scenario's in his next few years see him cracking my top 25.

As for my partisanship? I ranked Carter poorly...in Bush's range. I ranked Clinton 19th. Johnson and Kennedy are not in the top 10.

In my state I will be voting for Judy Baar Topinka (republican) over Rod Blagoevich. I would have voted for Jim Edgar had he have chosen to run.

Why am I against my party brethren? He is incompetant and ineffective. I dislike and discredit Blagoevich for the same reason I discredit Bush.....he is a failure at his job and his band of cronies are failures as well.

I can understand people saying Bush did poorly or fair but I think you would have to be a partisan to rank him any higher. I think your last name would have to be Miers to dare suggest he was excellent.

The plurality of the vote totals is saying something and saying it pretty loud and clear.
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lordhelmet
post Jan 3 2006, 01:15 PM
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QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jan 2 2006, 10:13 PM)

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 2 2006, 07:27 PM)
Those who claim Bush was the "worst president ever" are blinded by partisan hate in my view and are not judging him objectively. 


One of my resolutions for 2006 was to no longer allow the pernicious slander from the Right go unaddressed when in their blind fidelity to this bad joke of a president they brand anyone who differs with them as forming their opinion based on "partisan hate."

It would really be better for all of us if we could support the President and disagree with him when we think he's wrong. His deeds and his words have made that all but impossible. If we're a divided nation it's George Bush's fault as he squandered all the good will and support he received after 9/11. The myopic partisans who love Bush and believe he can do wrong (with the possible exception of Harriet Miers who wasn't far enough to the political extreme to their liking) would like to turn disagreement with the President into disloyalty and dislike into hatred.

*



Well, I'm glad that I helped you keep your resolution. One of mine was to post far less in this (and another) forum. And I must thank you, nighttimer, for providing motivation so early in the year for me to keep my resolution.

We are not divided as a nation because of President George W. Bush. Such a notion is absurd. We are divided as a nation because two (at least two) distinct and very different world-views are struggling for control. Good will after 9/11? That's called an "emotional reaction". It was not sustainable. An emotional reaction cannot change (at least in most people) the fundamental principles that most people hold and their associated world-view.

I thank you also (and several other posters) for again affirming my position that the left not only hates the President blindly but that they project that hate via an arrogance toward anyone who supports him. Thus, the notion that Bush supporters are "myopic" or "Bush-bots" who lack a brain, reasoning ability, and are some sort of lower sub-creatures. To the left, if you share the world-view of a republican like President Bush, you're not only "wrong" but you're a "bad person" and a "defective" one at that. Well, in my view, your statement says a lot more about YOU than it does about me or any other Bush supporter.

Any president who holds strong views will be hated by a substantial portion of the US population. And, thus logically, the only type of president who has any chance of NOT being hated by a substantial portion of the society would not hold strong views and would be the type of person who could convince anyone who he addressed that he actually shared THEIR views.

Bush is not that type of person. Clinton was, in a way. Many republican congressman felt personally betrayed by Clinton after meeting him about a variety of issues. They all reported that he made them feel that "he was on their side" yet he ended up throwing their side under the bus when it suited him politically.

The issues that divide Americans are real and they are independent of who the president is. Just a few of the issues that divide America are:

1. War against terrorism. Should this be a global and comprehensive attempt to attack Islamic terrorists and their supporting infrastructure (including the states that enable them and rogue states like Iraq) or should it be a limited "police like" action against individuals who have been given every benefit of the doubt and every legal courtesy?

2. Iraq war. Was this provoked by Saddam Hussein or was it the result of "Bush lied" and "all about oil"?

3. Economics. Should we be a protectionist socialist-based economic system or a free-trading capitalist-based economy?

4. Taxes. Should taxes be low and fair (i.e., flat) or should the purposes of taxes be a massive wealth redistribution effort with the government talking a lion's share of the proceeds?

5. Family. Should our society reinforce the basic building block of civilization (the family) or work to either undermine it, chance the fundamental meaning of it, or replace it with the "nanny state" as in "It Takes a Village"?

6. Religion. Should our country enjoy freedom of religion or should we work to make it religion-free?

7. Crime. Should our country punish criminals in order to save the innocent or consider criminals to be the victim of society who should be "understood" and "rehabilitated"?

8. The Judicial Branch. Should the judicial branch only hold 1/3 power or should they be filled with political activists who will routinely subvert the representative democratic process in order to further an elitist liberal agenda?

9. The US Constitution. Does it mean what it says explicitly and does the original intent of the authors define what that meaning is? Or, is it a "living document" that can be twisted into something unrecognizable by an activist judiciary to suit the political winds, and political agendas of the day?

10. Abortion, affirmative action (i.e., legalized racism), gun ownership, environmental concerns (real or a massive hoax?), education and how to best achieve it, and on, and on, and on.

THESE are the issues that divide us, nighttimer, not President Bush.

Bush has done a good job advocating the position of the people who voted for him. He is a clear communicator and doesn't give false hope to those who share conflicting positions. You DO know where Bush stands. I, for one, appreciate that fact. Tip O'Neill, in his book "All Politics is Local", claimed that Reagan was the "worst president in history". In fact, he sounded EXACTLY like yourself in his reasoning. Reagan only "cared about the rich", was "joke of a president", etc., etc., etc. O'Neill has been proven wrong. You will be.

Reagan changed the world and for the better. He won the cold war. He proved that international communism could be defeated if confronted aggressively. He proved the value and power of America and also proved that our economy was vibrant and able to adapt and overcome. There is a growing consensus that Reagan was not only a "good" president but a "great" president.

Bush will be seen in that same way. He's tackled the big issues and didn't get mired in trivia like his predecessor (Clinton is largely known for sexual harassment allegations, illicit sex with a low-level employee, and for being impeached). Bush is changing the world for the better by confronting radical Islam before they've reached the tipping point that could cause a world-wide conflagration. History will see him that way, I predict.

2005 was a "good" year for President Bush. Oh yeah, and Kanye West is still an ignorant loudmouth.

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Amlord
post Jan 3 2006, 04:01 PM
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How would you rate Bush's performance in 2005?

As a person living in the United States, I'd rate it highly, maybe very highly.

Employment is up. Wages are up. The economy is rolling along at a very nice pace. link Consumer confidence is high.

Crime is down (this goes along with the economy).

From the President's standpoint, things could be a bit better. There have been a few scandals (what administration doesn't have them?), but nothing too extreme. The President has been unable to push some points of his agenda (CAFTA, SS reform, ANWR).

Internationally, things are better. Iraq is progressing (not as quickly as some would like, not at all according to some): with free elections and a Constitutional government set up. The fighting continues, however, so nothing is decided as of now.

From a budget standpoint, the budget deficit is lower than was projected (although it still exists). Government spending is still out of control and although Democrats criticize the deficit, they also deplore any cuts made. The budget deficit was almost $100 billion smaller this year than last year, despite the fact that we continue to be at war. Unfortunately for next year, the government continues to grow and grow and grow (with a projected deficit about the same for FY 2006 as FY 2005). This is my biggest beef with the President (and Congress).

Overall, things are decent. Not great, but decent. The country is doing surprisingly well despite the worst efforts of the Chief Executive...
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post Jan 3 2006, 04:16 PM
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I voted only "fair" in the poll, not so much because of the things that the Bush administration actually accomplished this past year - they did quite well there. Rather, I was and continue to be somewhat disappointed in the way the administration's message is being crafted and delivered. I think they've lost their focus in the White House where communications are concerned and allowed themselves to be dragged into petty partisan bickering by the opposition. By doing this they are being put on the defensive and that's not a very effective way to lead. This kind of thing nearly happened in the Reagan White House until Nancy Reagan saw what was happening, stepped in, slapped around the political folks and issued her famous "Let Reagan be Reagan" directive. Perhpas it's time someone in the Bush White House does the same thing.

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Julian
post Jan 3 2006, 04:17 PM
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Hmm. It seems that both sides on the Western side of the Atlantic are starting out 2006 just as they ended 2005 - determined to characterise every issue as a simply binary problem. Is the entire American nation as incapable of "nuance" as the President professes himself to be?

Let's take Lordhelmet's list of divisive issues as an example (not least because it's a pretty accurate summary of the areas of division). I'll also put my comments on where I think Bush sits on this black/white, head/tails, right/wrong 'axis' (if two opposites with no continuum in between, let alone any other explanations or solutions, can be described as such).

QUOTE(lordhelmet @ Jan 3 2006, 02:15 PM)
1.  War against terrorism.  Should this be a global and comprehensive attempt to attack Islamic terrorists and their supporting infrastructure (including the states that enable them and rogue states like Iraq) or should it be a limited "police like" action against individuals who have been given every benefit of the doubt and every legal courtesy?

First off, this is a false dichotomy. Other possible options might include a global and comprehensive police action, or a limited attempt to attack Islamic terrorists and their supporting infrastructure. The Bush administration certainly appears to think so, since they have done little or nothing beyond rhetoric - sometimes not even that - against all rogue states sponsoring terrorism (did I miss the invasion and democratisation of Syria?). And it clearly does not extend as far as publicly condeming states that spread virulent extremist Islam and permit large-scale private fundraising for Islamic extremist groups active regionally and globally - surely the only sensible way to describe Saudi Arabia in this context? But no, they're Friends of Bush, so all Saudis get a pass, especially if they are in government and likely to buy goodies from or selll them to other Friends of Bush (oil, arms, luxury goods, civil and military engineering projects, etc.)

2. Iraq war. Was this provoked by Saddam Hussein or was it the result of "Bush lied" and "all about oil"?

How about "it was the logical end result of an ideological need to have a large and friendly country in the Persian Gulf coupled with inept intelligence gathering and a willingness to believe anything that supported the ideological need"? Nobody needed to lie in the Bush administration - they just had a bad case of confirmation bias, just like the Blair and Howard administrations who went along with the whole thing from the get-go. Hanlon's Razor applies.

3. Economics. Should we be a protectionist socialist-based economic system or a free-trading capitalist-based economy?
You could be what you are - a mixture of the two - leaning toward a protectionist capitalist based economy where Europe tends to lean towards a protectionist social democracy.
Bush has had a poor year on this, achieving little or no real reform in either cutting government spending on trade protection or in persuading anyone else to do so.

4. Taxes. Should taxes be low and fair (i.e., flat) or should the purposes of taxes be a massive wealth redistribution effort with the government talking a lion's share of the proceeds?
Another false dichotomy. If the definition of "fair" tax is flat tax - something which has yet to be established as anything more than dogma - there's nothing to stop taxes being high and "fair". And why does a massive redistributive effort automatically mean government taking a lion's share - if it's straightforward redistribution, it doesn't necessarily follow that government would take anything at all - or not more than it currently does, anyway.
And on this, Bush has introduced no more new tax reforms in 2005 (the tax cuts took effect in the previous tax year, right?) and hasn't moved towards flat tax, or declared that as a definite intention. So the administration current appears to think that taxes should be a redistributive effort from the poorer to the richer with government's share of tax take in big cat territory. Another poor score, though not a fail.

5. Family. Should our society reinforce the basic building block of civilization (the family) or work to either undermine it, chance the fundamental meaning of it, or replace it with the "nanny state" as in "It Takes a Village"?
Well, Bush in 2005 had the chance to change the meaning of it (if one believes that gay marriage does so) and he chose not to, so he has on this score done something definite to advance the debate (though opponents might say he had advanced it into the 19th century). For that alone, he should get a 'fair', just for taking a firm position in 2005 that wasn't just a hangover from decisions taken earlier (like points 1-4).

6. Religion. Should our country enjoy freedom of religion or should we work to make it religion-free?
Other than mentioning 'God' in every speech the President makes, I'm not sure that the administration has made any public comment on this subject. Of course, the God-bothering makes the President's own view clear enough without the need for specific policy making, but that could be read as arrogance or cowardice as well as certainty (and has been by political opponents). The administration finds it easy enough to be unequivocal in other areas (though not so much in 2005), so why do they hold their tongues on this? Poor.

7. Crime. Should our country punish criminals in order to save the innocent or consider criminals to be the victim of society who should be "understood" and "rehabilitated"?
This is certainly a dividing line. There's a whole debate to be had on whether the punishment approach is actually effective - outside the minority of prisoners who are sentenced to death or life without parole, they'll all be back on the streets at some point, so rehabilitation had better be a concern of everyone on all sides of the debate, not just the people who think criminals are victims of society. (Another false dichotomy - such a shock!).
But in this regard, in scoring the President's year, has he done or said anything much at all to advance either side of the argument? Not that I remember - another "poor".

8. The Judicial Branch. Should the judicial branch only hold 1/3 power or should they be filled with political activists who will routinely subvert the representative democratic process in order to further an elitist liberal agenda?
You forgot the other obvious alternative - stuff the judicial branch with political activists who will routinely subvert the democratic process to further an elitist conservative agenda. Which, with at least one of his nominations this year, President Bush has attempted. An outright "fail" here?

9. The US Constitution. Does it mean what it says explicitly and does the original intent of the authors define what that meaning is? Or, is it a "living document" that can be twisted into something unrecognizable by an activist judiciary to suit the political winds, and political agendas of the day?
I don't remember the Bush administration taking a view on this issue (one of real concern) at all here. The only outward expression that they have made in 2005 is through their selection of judiical nominees, which if nothing else makes it the same issue as # 9.

10. Abortion, affirmative action (i.e., legalized racism), gun ownership, environmental concerns (real or a massive hoax?), education and how to best achieve it, and on, and on, and on.
It's a shame you've lumped all these together as if they're less important, as from memory they have been the main areas for the Bush administration to take up a definitive position in 2005. On the same logic as before, simply making their position clear in new ways in 2005 gives them a "fair" in my book, whether or not I personally agree with those positions, as I believe that governments should govern (make policy, set goals, etc.).

So that's six "poor" marks, two "fair" marks and one "fail" (since I myself said 8 & 9 are two aspects of the same issue).

I'd say that balanced out to a "poor" overall. Certainly the President has had much better years - his poll standings alone reflect that amply.
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TedN5
post Jan 3 2006, 07:39 PM
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I voted poor and would have gone lower if a suitable category had been provided.

I find it difficult to separate the administration's performance in 2005 from its overall performance over 5 years because the last year is simply the logical continuation of the previous four. I would rate Bush's performance low in practically every area, but the most serious is its failure to respect the democratic constitutional processes of the United States. It was revealed last year, that even with a Republican Congress that would rubber stamp almost every presidential request, the President had seen fit to secretely authorize electronic eve-dropping on American citizens without legal authorization. This was a part of an overall effort to expand the unchecked powers of the Presidency. It was also revealed that the Pentagon's Counterintelligence Field Activity Agency was carrying on Operation Talon that included data mining and surveillance reports on peaceful domestic protests and protest groups, all without any congressional or judicial oversight. Both were accompanied by the claim of the right to declare people enemy combatants and hold them without any due process whatever, the generation of legal memoranda and opinions that deliberately blurred the line between prisoner interrogation and torture, the secret operation of a network of CIA prisons, and the rendition of prisoners to third countries with the knowledge they would be tortured.

Then there is the illegal war itself and its inept conduct. We have debated this extensively elsewhere so I won't belabor the point other than to state that GWB has only managed to kill a 100,000 or so Iraqis along with 2,000 plus Americans, deliver Iran a new regional ally, and give the jihadists a potent new recruiting tool. It should also be noted that Bush has just about broken the army. Just how many tours in Iraq do they expect a volunteer soldier and his family to put up with?

Nor should we forget the response to Katrina where it was revealed that the administration was totally unprepared to address a major domestic crisis whether it was natural or caused by terrorists despite the expenditures of billions of Homeland Security dollars.

And the lack of accountability has been breath taking. Intelligence failure - Tenet gets a Freedom Metal. Occupation chaos - Bremmer also gets a Freedom Metal and Rumsfeld stays. Torture winked at at high levels of the White House and Justice Department and at the highest level of the Pentagon - Rumsfeld stays and Gonzales becomes Attorney General. People stranded in New Orleans for most of a week without food or water - "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie." A CIA operative revealed and a WMD containment program compromised - no real attempt within the executive to locate and dismiss the culprits and dismiss them and insistence on indictments before acting even when they are uncovered.

Most pundits point to the economy as one area of success. The last 18 months might appear to justify that conclusion because GDP has grown substantially and the economy has began to add jobs. However, even this doesn't bear examination. Both the national budget deficit and the balance of current accounts (trade) are structurally hemorrghaging. (See this graph of the National Debt as a percentage of GDP). One or both of these will eventually cause serious economic problems.

Many other ADers won't agree, but I think GWB's failure to take global warming seriously and to begin a response may prove to be his greatest failing.

I share the view the George W. Bush has been the worst of all American presidents. There may have been others as incompetent and compromised but none was in office when his capacity to do damage was so great.
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Cube Jockey
post Jan 3 2006, 08:11 PM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Jan 3 2006, 08:01 AM)
Employment is up.  Wages are up. 
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This just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Courtesy of the hard work of this guy we see that (somewhat paraphrased):
QUOTE
The National Bureau of Economic Research has identified 8 recession cycles since 1954.  The current "expansion" cycle has lasted 49 months so far and only 5 of these cycles lasted that long or longer.

If you look at the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for non-farm employment and do some analysis you'll get these numbers (in millions).

The expansion of 2/61 - 12/69 created 17,684 total jobs and 6,244 at 49 months.

The expansion of 3/75 - 7/80 created 13,183 total jobs and 12,831 at 49 months.

The expansion of 11/82 - 7/90 created 21,003 total jobs and 11,510 at 49 months.

The expansion of 3/91 - 3/01 created 23,969 total jobs and 8,266 at 49 months.

The current expansion which started in November 2001 has created a total of 3,410 jobs.


That makes Bush dead last with a net job creation of 3,410 jobs in 49 months. The expansion period hasn't ended yet but he's got a lot of work to do to even get into 4th place.

Also from his post on the subject of where the jobs are coming from.
QUOTE
The BLS tracks 13 different job sectors.  7 (a little over half) have created jobs since November 2001 - natural resources/mining (37,000), construction (539,000), financial (550,000), professional services (238,000), education/health (2.1 million), leisure/hospitality (803,000) and governmental employees (1 million).  Of all the jobs created three areas - government, education/health account for 57% of job growth.

~snip~

6 areas - a little under half of the sectors the BLS tracks - have had a net loss in number of jobs: manufacturing (-2,800,000), information (-565,000), trade/transport/utilities (-353), whole sales trade (-107), retail (-157), and transportation/warehousing (-67,000)


So what that says is that any positive job growth figures have basically come from increasing the size of government which isn't exactly beneficial to the economy.

As far as wages go, we aren't doing so hot there either if you factor in the rising cost of health care which actually gives you a net loss of wages.

QUOTE(Amlord)
Crime is down (this goes along with the economy).

If you read the theories presented in Freakonomics you'll see that this has very little to do with the economy or anything proactive we've done.

I suppose all of this could be addressed in another topic but I believe you are basing your good rating Bush's performance in 2005 on bad information.
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Amlord
post Jan 3 2006, 08:54 PM
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I am basing my opinion on 2005...the topic of this debate.

Your DailyKOS article is flawed because it assumes that job retraction/expansion occurs simultaneously with "recession cycles". Jobs always lag the recession/expansion which means the recovery which started in 2001 did not start producing jobs until 2003 (roughly). Notice (here) that jobs continued to be lost until May of 2003?

The data does show that approximately 2 million jobs were created this year (September '04 to September '05 was 2.2 million jobs).

Nice try, though. wink2.gif

EDIT: silly BLS site. To get the stats, you need to go HERE and then check the top option and "Retrieve data".

Oh, and wages were up 3.1% in 2005 according to the BLS.

This post has been edited by Amlord: Jan 3 2006, 08:58 PM
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aevans176
post Jan 3 2006, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Jan 3 2006, 02:11 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jan 3 2006, 08:01 AM)
Employment is up.  Wages are up. 
*


This just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Courtesy of the hard work of this guy we see that (somewhat paraphrased):


Interesting use of the Dailykos, CJ, but I'm also interested in this quote (however even misspelled on the site)...
QUOTE
In summation, sum people are doing well. They can find jobs and are probably financially somewhat secure


I believe that this economy and our nation's financial health are largely dependant on numerous external factors that are simply marginally attached to the government. But, as long as we're discussing it...the Bureau of Economic Analysis has some interesting information that hasn't been discussed. Consider the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina on the US economy, and we still have an increase in real consumer spending and real personal income.
BEA


Also, according to Haderman and Beach: (12/2/2005)
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its November Employment Situation report, highlighting a gain of 215,000 new jobs in the payroll survey and a low unemployment rate of 5.0 percent. This good news follows on the heels of Wednesday’s report of unexpectedly strong economic growth in the third quarter. The U.S. economy has been expanding at a brisk pace since the enactment of the President’s 2003 tax cuts, which cut tax rates on capital, thereby stimulating business investment and job creation. Through November, 1.7 million payroll jobs have been created in 2005, and 4.5 million jobs have been created since the 2003 tax cuts went into effect. With the dividend and capital gains tax rate provisions of that package set to expire at the end of this month, Congress must act to ensure that the economy continues to expand and create jobs.
economic info

What does this mean?? Basically that high energy prices and catastrophic hurricanes haven't even daunted our economic resilience. Such issues bestowed upon other economies could've had a sincerely negative impact. It also shows that the growth was not simply spawned out of gov't expansion.

What should we really worry about? Congress not extending the '03 tax cuts on dividends and cap gains. (from Haderman and Beach) Not only do these provisions lower capital acquisition costs for expanding firms, but they have also become a closely-watched indicator of what Congress will do to extend and make permanent other important elements of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

There are gov't expenditures that affect economic growth, but not necessarily in the manner in which pop culture would like to portray. It's never as simple as pointing a finger @ the White House....here's a good article from a 98 joint economic committee study...
Good Economic lesson...

In summation... one good principle to hold onto is that as government spending as a percentage of GDP increases, growth decreases. The current economy is partially artificially inflated, and partially growing via healthy and sustainable means.
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