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Leave No Millionaire Behind


Driven by hollow political priorities, the Bush administration's

disastrous economic policies are undermining our national ideals.

by Arthur I. Blaustein

July 21, 2003


The President and his party have cooked up the ultimate recipe for keeping political power. A nation in a constant state of anxiety -- over the thereat of terrorism, or a potential war -- is a nation off balance. And that insecurity is the perfect cover to divert public attention from the country's serious domestic problems and the administration's political agenda.


The "Bush doctrine" opens the door to a series of pre-emptive wars against "evil" regimes, ostensibly to protect the United States and bring security, stability, safety and democracy to the citizens of Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang -- as the president claims to be doing in Baghdad and Kabul. Meanwhile, the administration shows little or no concern for the security, stability and safety of the citizens of Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, or thousands of other cities and small towns across America, who are facing enormous economic and social difficulties.


Just like in the "The Wizard of Oz," when we finally get to see who is operating the smoke-puffing machine, we find a consummate pitchman. In Bush's case, the man behind the screen is a flag-waving, lapel-pin wearing, anti-terrorist fear monger who labels his opponents anti-patriotic. He has done a clever job of manipulating the mass media, but in reality his smooth imagery and charming personality are subtly undermining America's values. While he composes hymns to individualism, Sunday piety, trickle-down economics, and family values, he is trying to gut every program providing for social, economic, and environmental justice. America's families need less pious rhetoric, and more policies geared toward a healthy economy, secure jobs, decent health care, affordable housing, quality public education, renewable energy and a sustainable environment. Bush seems unable -- or unwilling -- to grasp that the government has an important leadership role in this. In fact, the only policy that Bush seems energized by is one of tax giveaways for the rich and for corporate America.


At present, there exists an air of suspended belief over the radical changes of the past two years. That is because the layoffs, shutdowns, cutbacks, and reduced paychecks have been obscured by the events of September 11 and the nation's subsequent focus on terrorist alerts and the Iraq war. But those changes are taking a huge toll. Bush's economic policy, which in turn determines social policy, is much like the iceberg waiting in the path of a steaming Titanic.


Bush does not seem to understand that, while it is not a sin to be born to privilege, it is a sin to spend your life defending it. John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt understood that. They knew the narrowness privilege can breed. This administration, despite its early pledges to provide a policy of "compassionate conservatism" has in fact adopted policies that amount to a war against the poor and the middle class. The tax and budget cuts were not made in order to jumpstart the economy or balance the budget; they were simply massive cash transfers. Social programs are being slashed to pay for tax giveaways for the wealthy and new defense contracts for arms makers who just happen to be big campaign contributors. Moreover, this was accomplished in a policy vacuum. The administration has not provided the American people with a strategic vision as to how this excessive and bloated arms build-up fits into our larger defense, anti-terrorist, or foreign policy. Is it in the national interest to relegate our most precious assets -- our human and natural resources -- to the junk pile while we increase the pace of an arms race where overkill has long been achieved? Do we really need to spend $9 billion on a missile defense system that doesn't work?


Thomas Jefferson warned us that we could be free or ignorant, but not both. We have not taken that warning to heart. We have not had a serious national debate about the Bush administration's policies because the mass media have treated politics -- as well as economic and social policy -- as entertainment: a combination of hype and palliative. The political and economic life of the country has been reduced to little more that a struggle for partisan power, the results not unlike the score of a football game: BUSH WINS AGAIN or SENATE DEMS BEATEN. There seems to be no sense of higher good, no question of national purpose, no hope for critical judgment. Hype has impoverished our political debate, undermining the very idea that public discourse can be educational and edifying -- or that national public policy can grow out of reflective discussion and shared political values. We have sought simplistic answers to complex problems without even beginning to comprehend our loss.


Which brings us to the difficult and complex issue of the inter-relationship between America's economic and social policy, and how these policies are shaped by politics in Washington. A fundamental assumption underlies the administration's domestic approach -- an assumption so ill-conceived that it seriously jeopardizes any prospects for solving our nation's pressing domestic needs. It is the illusion that economic policy can be separated from social policy.

This is impossible, and the consequences of believing it are grave. By separating economic theory from social policy, and by pursuing the former at the expense of the latter, the administration has adopted a strategy of brinkmanship that could lead to social disaster. The drastic cuts being made in basic social and human service programs will exact painful and immediate social and human costs, and they will also appear as direct financial costs -- in terms of illiteracy, incarceration, and ill-health, among others -- at future times in different ledgers.


The administration's contention that renewed economic growth as a consequence of tax cuts for the rich will eventually "trickle down" to the poor flies in the face of everything we know about poverty today. The best research indicates the opposite. Growth in the private economy has had a declining role in reducing poverty, and virtually all of the reduction in poverty since the mid-1960s has been brought about by the expansion of national social insurance and income-transfer programs of the kind now under attack by the Bush administration.


In addition to the massive tax cuts, the administration proposes to privatize or turn over to the states vast portions of the nation's social, education, housing and health programs -- a move that amounts to reneging on our social and moral commitments as a nation. The real issue is not public versus private or federal versus state; rather, it is the diminution or avoidance of any national standards of responsibility and accountability. Worse than that, Mr. Bush seems to be denying that this responsibility even exists. Successful and effective national programs are being replaced with an inequitable, inconsistent patchwork of systems run by states -- a patchwork that is restrictively financed, more bureaucratic, less accountable, and subject to intense local, political, and fiscal pressures. Instead of the more efficient government that Bush promises, we will have fifty bureaucratic and anachronistic messes: government by provisional catastrophe. The question becomes whether basic human services will be provided at all.


For true conservatives, the ideological implications behind Bush's economic policies must be disturbing, in that they depart from the genuine conservative philosophies that have played such an important role in American history. Historically, conservatives have not promised lower taxes or economic privatism. Traditionally, conservative leaders have focused on the underlying problems of the human community -- issues of leadership, of equality of opportunity, of continuity and order, of the obligations of the strong to the weak, and of the safeguards needed to keep the privileged from abusing their power.


By contrast, the Bush administration encourages us to revert to our basest inclinations: Look out for number one; write off those who can't make it as shiftless, a drag on the economy. Our moral decline deepens as we condone the sheer political power of special and self-serving private economic interests -- wealthy campaign contributors and corporate powers -- over the legitimate moral authority that represents our nation's best public interests. Rather than opportunity, equality, justice, and vitality, the Bush prescription for economic stimulus amounts to inequality, economic cronyism, and acquiescence. People programs are out and tax avoidance schemes are in. Human needs are made subordinated to political and technical arrogance.


Recently, I took the opportunity to reread Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and the Federalist Papers, and recalled that our founding fathers were well aware that politics and economics were interrelated faces of power, each necessitating its own checks and balances. What impressed me most, though, was their mature leadership, one that was based on a genuine commitment to the struggle for social, political, and environmental justice as well as economic opportunity. A commitment to this sense of public interest is just as important today.


Only those people have a future, and only those people can be called humane and historic, who have an intuitive sense of what is significant in both their national and public institutions, and who value them. It is this conviction and the continuing belief in the common-sense vision of the American promise that demand that we begin a serious national dialogue over our country's economic and social policies. The Bush administration's radical and dangerous changes have occurred without any serious national debate. Mr. Bush seems to think that his electoral "mandate," as suspect as it was, has changed our government from a representative democracy to economic royalism.


The Bush economic policies -- and the overtly antisocial political priorities driving them -- are not based on a commitment to any high principles such as freedom, liberty, equality, justice, or opportunity, although such pieties are mouthed at the swivel of a camera. The administration's policies instead are based on the very narrow personal prejudices and biases of a group of men who have been motivated by the acquisition of money and power. Bush and Cheney have constructed a hypothesis to fit a simple notion: "The plutocracy is good to me, so I'll be good to the plutocracy."


For the past two years I have listened carefully to the President, his chief advisors, and the neo-conservative right. All of it has reminded me of a passage in The Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad put it this way:


"Their talk was the talk of sordid buccaneers: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage; there was not an atom of foresight ... in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world."


Conrad's words capture the radical frenzy in Washington; they reflect the mood and the moral nullity of the reactionary enterprise that seeks to tear apart the public good. The Bush administration just doesn't get it. No country can sustain itself, much less grow, on a fare of smooth one-liners, rerun ideas, hot-house theories, paranoia, and official policy pronouncements borrowed from Orwell's 1984; where recession is recovery, war is peace and a social policy based on aggressive hostility is compassion.


Arthur I. Blaustein is a professor of economic and social policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was chair of the President's National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity during the Carter Administration. His most recent books are Make a Difference and The American Promise: Justice and Opportunity.

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Guest Merlin

Nonsense! There is nothing astute or even honest about the "analysis". It is the same debate that has been going on for decades. The Democrats believe in tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend, spend, spend. Republicans on the contrary, believe that government is best which governs least. While Dems prat about freedom and liberty, they cannot see that the confiscation of earnings is a fundamental depravation of human liberty and freedom. The Dems dishonestly pretend that tax cuts only help the rich, but the fact is they help all taxpayers and they help those at the lower incomes at a far greater rate. The Dems and the above author betray their Marxist intentions when they talk about tax cuts being a "wealth transfer", a "gift to the rich". Wrong. The money belongs to the ones who earned in the first place. We (or at least Republicans) am not the property of the government. Our earnings are not the property of the government. It is only in totalitarian states that the all property and all earnings are the property of the governmnet.

There is nothing radical about Bush. He represents the traditional, historica beliefs of Americans, including at least half of existing Americans. The Dems yearn for a socialist government and the economy, but there has never been a time when the American people would have voted for the Dems radical ultimate agenda.

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Guest gentle guy

Old stereotypes die hard


>The Democrats believe in tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, and

>spend, spend, spend, spend, spend. Republicans on the

>contrary, believe that government is best which governs least.


Since Reagan's presidency, that distinction is no longer true. Republicans believe in spend, spend, spend, spend, spend.


(And then blame Democrats for taxing to make up for Republican deficits.)


IMHO, the last true and honest Republican was John Anderson.

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Time to extract your magic wand (and your head) from that human cavern where the sun doesn't shine.


"Radical" is the perfect word for describing the Bush cabal.......consider the statement of one of their "gods" Grover Norquist, who wants to see state governments go bankrupt. The republicans are pushing chaos, and you can't get more radical than that.


Shrub and friends are like a bunch of juvenile delinquents who've stolen credit cards with no credit limits and they're fully willing to saddle future generations with the obligation of repaying the debt they so adeptly run up. In their truest sense, the words "conservative" and "liberal" are sound concepts, but you cannot seriously believe there is anything vaguely resembling conservatism in what the republicans espouse. The republicans are plutocrats, pure and simple. The only human rights they are concerned about are their own. For all their horse hockey pandering to the wacko fundamentalists of the Christian right, they are social darwinists. The current mentality of the republicans is far more dangerous to the security and well-being of the United States than any threat ever posed by socialism, communism, or Saddam Hussein.


Since you're a republican "true believer", how do you think most Americans today would respond to the question, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" I'm waiting breathlessly for your answer, which I predict will serve as prima facie evidence that you're totally out of touch with reality.


>Nonsense! There is nothing astute or even honest about the

>"analysis". It is the same debate that has been going on for

>decades. The Democrats believe in tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, and

>spend, spend, spend, spend, spend. Republicans on the

>contrary, believe that government is best which governs least.

>While Dems prat about freedom and liberty, they cannot see

>that the confiscation of earnings is a fundamental depravation

>of human liberty and freedom. The Dems dishonestly pretend

>that tax cuts only help the rich, but the fact is they help

>all taxpayers and they help those at the lower incomes at a

>far greater rate. The Dems and the above author betray their

>Marxist intentions when they talk about tax cuts being a

>"wealth transfer", a "gift to the rich". Wrong. The money

>belongs to the ones who earned in the first place. We (or at

>least Republicans) am not the property of the government. Our

>earnings are not the property of the government. It is only in

>totalitarian states that the all property and all earnings are

>the property of the governmnet.

>There is nothing radical about Bush. He represents the

>traditional, historica beliefs of Americans, including at

>least half of existing Americans. The Dems yearn for a

>socialist government and the economy, but there has never been

>a time when the American people would have voted for the Dems

>radical ultimate agenda.

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>Time to extract your magic wand (and your head) from that

>human cavern where the sun doesn't shine.


Good to see that you are capable of being respectful of people who happen not to share your rather extremist political views. Beginning your response by telling him to take his head out of his ass is sure to make him open to the other things you have to say.


>"Radical" is the perfect word for describing the Bush

>cabal.......consider the statement of one of their "gods"

>Grover Norquist, who wants to see state governments go

>bankrupt. The republicans are pushing chaos, and you can't

>get more radical than that.


The fact that Republicans are pursuing a radical agenda doesn't mean that this article didn't also expresss a radical view.


And the mere fact that something is "radical" doesn't make it undesirable. Sometimes "radical" policies are necessary to destroy rotten, entrenched institutions.


>Shrub and friends are like a bunch of juvenile delinquents

>who've stolen credit cards with no credit limits and they're

>fully willing to saddle future generations with the obligation

>of repaying the debt they so adeptly run up.


Given that you use childish name-calling and middle school insults in lieu of substantive political discourse, I don't think you're the best person to run around labelling other people "juvenile delinquents."


The primary reason that we have a huge deficit is because the enromous tax revenues which flooded the federal treasury during the Internet boom years of the Clinton Administration evaporated when that boom proved to be build on nothing but irrationality, and suddenly the government had a huge shortfall in revenue.


Agreed, the tax cuts worsened the deficits substantially, and it is definitely a subject of legitimate debate whether or not those tax cuts were the responsible thing to do given the obligations our country faces (both internationally and domestically).


But trying to pretend that Clinton had surpluses because his economic policies were so great, and that Bush has deficits because his policies are so poor, is to ignore the reality that the Governmetn gets lots of money rolling in when the economy is good, and it was great in the 1990s, and horrible since 2000.


In their truest

>sense, the words "conservative" and "liberal" are sound

>concepts, but you cannot seriously believe there is anything

>vaguely resembling conservatism in what the republicans

>espouse. The republicans are plutocrats, pure and simple.

>The only human rights they are concerned about are their own.


None of these terms - "conservatives," "Liberals," "Plutocrats" - are particularly helpful or meaningful. They depend too much on the person who is wielding them.


The fact is that there is a legitimate disagreement among economists about whether or not tax cuts benefit the economy, stimulate growth, and create jobs. You can take the view that tax cuts do no such thing, and that would be reasonable, but running around screaming that whose who favor tax cuts are thieves trying to steal the public's money and give it to the rich is histrionic garbage which will get you nowhere.


It is a fact, as Merlin points out, that the people who are receiving the tax cuts are simply getting their money back. They earned that money; the Government took it; and now they are getting it back.


If you believe in capitalism (which I don't think you do, and I know the author of that article doesn't), then people have the right to keep the money they earn. It doesn't belong to the Government.


But if you think that the Government can legitimately take money which the rich earn and transfer it to the poor, then you will think that tax cuts are outrageous, since taxation is often about transferring money from the rich to the poor.


>For all their horse hockey pandering to the wacko

>fundamentalists of the Christian right, they are social

>darwinists. The current mentality of the republicans is far

>more dangerous to the security and well-being of the United

>States than any threat ever posed by socialism, communism, or

>Saddam Hussein.


This is really quite a remarkable statement, and it shows jsut how "radical" you are. To believe that a democratically elected administration (save the crap about Florida) and the President of our country is a bigger threat than Josef Stalin, the Red Army, communist infiltrators on Saddam Hussein really places you beyond the realm of reason.


Additionally, talking about whether "they" are social darwinists or Christian fundamentalists or some mixture is very difficult. "They," meaning the Bush Administration, is comprised of many different components. There is no question but that Bush's central worldview is derived from Christianity, which emphasizes (at least in its non-distorted form) the elevation of the weak and downtrodden and the acceptance of all human beings who, to use Bush's words yesterday, "have a good heart."


You may think his policies belie that view, but if so, you should critique the policies, rather than smearing people's motives and characters because they disagree with you.


>Since you're a republican "true believer", how do you think

>most Americans today would respond to the question, "Are you

>better off now than you were four years ago?" I'm waiting

>breathlessly for your answer, which I predict will serve as

>prima facie evidence that you're totally out of touch with



Just check the polls - Bush's support is quite healthy. What else do you need to know?


Additionally, the question is totally misleading. There are things which unquestionably hurt the economy - such as the collapse of NASDAQ, the 9/11 attacks, and the corporate scandals which destroyed confidence in the markets - which no sane person blames on Bush (I'm sure you do, though). Thus, even if the economy is worse now than it was 4 years ago, that does not translate into support for a socialist candidate, or even a Democrat.

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Very little analysis is required to understand that Bush's so-called "tax cuts" are merely the same sort of dishonest salesmanship he used in peddling the war against Iraq, a war about which White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card once said that it is never a good idea to introduce such a "new product" in August.


Bush hasn't cut taxes, he has merely postponed them. By continuing massive spending on the projects closest to his heart and by failing to provide sufficient revenue for those and for other programs Congress will insist on funding, he has insured vast deficits in future years that will have to be paid for with tax increases, presumably once he is out of office and not around to take the blame for them. Confusing his program with real tax cuts is like thinking of the borrowing limit on your credit card as additional income. In other words, only an idiot would believe it.

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I thought this was interesting. It appears on Dean's blog today. It's a press release from a person in North Carolina regarding the $400 check she just received from the government:


"It’s not every day that a check for $400 shows up in my mailbox. But one did on Monday. Several weeks ago I had actually called both of my senators, John Edwards and Elizabeth Dole, to ask them to make sure they voted against sending me that check. But it was sent anyway. It’s not that I object to tax cuts in general. I think it would be great if our elected officials were managing the federal budget so well that they were able to send some of our money back to us. But that’s not what they’re doing and that’s not what this money was. Ethically, I felt that it was wrong. And it’s not only wrong but also ridiculous. If anyone thinks that $400 is going to make the difference between living the good life and scraping by, please reacquaint yourself with reality.


"I’m opposed to the way this President and this Congress has squandered every bit of progress that was made in the last decade for the bottom 80% of income earners. Instead of setting priorities and meeting goals to help working people, they have issued enormous tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy, they’ve spent money they don’t have, and they have placed our nation in a most precarious position, especially given the military commitments that are being made. As a single individual, the things I could accomplish with this $400 pale in comparison to what Vermont Governor Howard Dean will do for working people when he is elected President in 2004. Dean shares my priorities for a safer, healthier, more honest America. That’s why I sent an unexpected $400 to Dean for America this morning.


"I expected to pay my fair share of taxes. I expected President Bush and the Congress to work together for the common good, to manage our money and uphold our values of justice, fairness, and responsibility. My expectations are not being met.


"I could have spent this money on material things. What would those things mean 15 or 20 years from now when my daughter is paying for the debt we accrued? I wouldn’t do this to her and I hope that we as a nation won’t do it to the next three generations of Americans. They deserve better. Howard Dean is committed to the principles that matter to me, equality, security, and fiscal responsibility. He will help us create a better America.


Erica Derr

Greensboro, N.C."

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I know this fact will escape your republinazi pea brain, but I'll point it out to you anyway.


My post was in response to Merlin, not you, unless you are also posting under that name as well. It's clearly evident that you're one of the crowd that needs to assume a new identity from time to time here in the MC.


Most of the regulars here don't feel the need to change identities at the frequency of Dubya's lies, which is just about every time he speaks. You, on the other hand, are most likely one of the perennial malcontents who keeps crawling out from under the rocks with your fascist drivel, which seems to bore a lot of folks here, as evidenced by their responses to you.


I'm not the least bit interested in your opinions, or your aspersions which you cast so frequently. So in the interests of brevity (something you know little about), I'll sum it up for you as succintly as possible:


If I want to hear from an asshole, I'll fart. Consider speaking when you're spoken to, rather than intruding on someone else's conversation.


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>speaking when you're spoken to, rather than intruding on

>someone else's conversation.


If you want to speak privately to someone, there is a function in this forum for doing so. It is called a private mailbox.


The only reason someone posts on a public board is because they want others to read what they posted and they want others to respond.


I didn't respond to your post for your benefit. The third-grade screetching and hysterical name-calling in your post made it abundantly clear that you are, as I said, beyond reason, and it would therefore do no good to try to have a dialogue with you.


I responded for the benefit of others who are interested in hearing two sides or more of an issue, rather than being exposed to childish cliched chants by drooling ideologues who watch TV and then come here to repeat what they heard.


In sum, if you don't want others to comment on what you write, then use the private mailbox feature. Otherwise, I'll comment whenever I please.


>If I want to hear from an asshole, I'll fart.


If it weren't for the Internet, I would be unaware that there are still adults who communicate in this manner.

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Great post, keep up the good work!


>The current mentality of the republicans is far

>more dangerous to the security and well-being of the United

>States than any threat ever posed by socialism, communism, or

>Saddam Hussein.


And it only gets worse every day. Now American citizens can be imprisoned in military jails, without being allowed even so much as a phone call or mail, much less the services of an attorney. And are allowed to be held that way indefinitely. Isn't this against the

the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution aka the Bill of Rights? Isn't this totalitarianism ala Stalin?


And now despite the very real threat recently received of terrorist plots to blow up American airplanes this fall by passengers disguising cameras, etc. as bombs, the administration has decided to reduce the new security forces hired after 09/11 due to lack of funds. But then again, I guess they need some way to pay out that $30 million dollars to the informer who led them to Uday and Quesay, don't they? Got to find that damn Hussein to keep the old reelection publicity going. Of course the current administration doesn't give a fuck about the average American citizen. It might just get to the point where the thinking becomes "if ballots won't do it then maybe bullets will".


>how do you think

>most Americans today would respond to the question, "Are you

>better off now than you were four years ago?"


I believe that most Americans would say they were better off 4 years ago than they are today. The way the current administration is going, we'll all be living on the street out of a cardboard box, and there won't be anybody left to "spare a dime". :(

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>And it only gets worse every day. Now American citizens can

>be imprisoned in military jails, without being allowed even so

>much as a phone call or mail, much less the services of an

>attorney. And are allowed to be held that way indefinitely.

>Isn't this against the

>the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution aka the Bill

>of Rights? Isn't this totalitarianism ala Stalin?


Now this is a very legitimate and serious issue which ought to be receiving a lot more attention and attack from the Democrats (not to mention the media, but they're hopeless). One can be in favor of a very agressive war against terrorists (as most Americans are) without thinking that we need to suspend the most basic and crucial protections of the Constitution in order to do it.


You are absoultely right that there are very serious abuses of civil liberties going on. More than 1,000 people have been detained for long periods of time with no judicial process and without even being charged with - let alone convicted of - a crime. Worse, the Government refsues to release their names or say how many of them have been detained, so they basically have just "disappeared," the way that people used to disappear in Guatamala, or East Germany, or Chile, or Iraq, the way they still disappear in Cuba and China and North Korea.


Even worse, there are U.S. citizens - such as Jose Padilla (the alleged "dirty bomber" (notice how all the "bad guys" are given cartoon names in order to eliminate discussion)- who have not only been arrested and detained in a military prison, and have not only been denied access to lawyers, and have not only been held without any intention to charge him with a crime, but the Government is actually relying on "evidence" to detain him which it is arguing need not ever be disclosed to him or his lawyers (if he is ever allowed a lawyer).


In other words, Bush can order a U.S. citizen arrested on U.S. soil to be detained, indefinitely imprisoned based on secret undisclosed evidence, denied access to lawyers, and kept in a military prison without the right of judicial review. Although in the Padilla case the Reagan-appointed judge has now ruled that Padilla has the right to "talk to" lawyers, the judge has also held that the Government does not need to prove its case against Padilla, but merely demonstrate that it has "some evidence," including secret evidence, for Bush's determination that Padilla should be detained, and then the Government has the right to detain him indefinitely without a trial!


And, as far as civil liberties are concerned, Padilla has been the "successful case". In another case involving a U.S. citizen who was originally captured in Afghanistan, the federal appellate court has ruled that the Government can detain him indefinitely and does not have to give him access to a lawyer or convict him of any crime.


I think this Administration is getting very hubristic and letting their success go their head, which is clouding its judgment. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Right now, this Administration is bordering on absolute power, because there is no effective check against it - the Congress is submissive, the media is corrupt and stupid, and federal judges are either intimidated or on the side of this sort of tryanny.


So, because the Administraiton rules Congress with an iron fist, because the federal courts are filled with frigtened cowardly judges who only care about protecting the status quo; and because the media are filled with morons way too stupid to battle even the most basic propaganda and way too corrupt to resist their little rewards in exchange for serving as Government mouthpieces, there is nothing challenging this Administration's power.


That is why it is so vital, in my opinion, to get a serious challenger from the Democratic Party. Nobody benefits from having one political party dominate and rule all of our institutions. That is why it so disconcerting to see this field of boring, scared, empty Democratic candidates, each one appearing more unelectable and more mediocre than the next.


The Democrats have to find a candidate who can convince people that he recognizes how serious this WAR ON TERROSISM is, and prove that he will aggerssively crush those who are genuinely plotting to destroy our country, but at the same time, doesn't believe that doing so requires the Constitution to be violated or abolished or our economy to be destroyed.


When you see a candidate like that, please let me know.

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>That is why it so disconcerting to see this

>field of boring, scared, empty Democratic candidates, each one

>appearing more unelectable and more mediocre than the next.


This is why so many people are looking to Howard Dean because he is not like the other candidates. Go listen to him and you'll be convinced. I'm not sure where you are but he'll be in NYC on August 26th. I'll be there (look for the ass).

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>>That is why it so disconcerting to see this

>>field of boring, scared, empty Democratic candidates, each


>>appearing more unelectable and more mediocre than the next.



>This is why so many people are looking to Howard Dean because

>he is not like the other candidates. Go listen to him and

>you'll be convinced.


I heard Dean interviewed by Bill Russert on Meet the Press for twenty minutes last month. I wan't too impressed. Instead of avoiding Russert's game of "gotcha" he played right into it and came out badly bruised. At the very beginning of this cycle Dean was saying some things I liked very much -- such as "I'm tired of seeing my party bullied by the Right Wing," and "If the DeLay Wing of the Republican Party had its way women wouldn't be allowed to go to school." In recent months I have heard less and less of that and more of the bland, poll-tested remarks one hears from the other candidates.


The test of any presidential candidate is not whether he is to the left or right of most Americans but whether he can make his positions, whatever they are, palatable to the swing voters who decide elections. Bush, though his politics are well to the right of the swing group, has the ability to do that. I'm not sure Dean can. And I'm not sure Democrats care about that, which is a bad sign for their prospects next year.

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>This is why so many people are looking to Howard Dean because

>he is not like the other candidates. Go listen to him and

>you'll be convinced. I'm not sure where you are but he'll be

>in NYC on August 26th. I'll be there (look for the ass).


It is not enough to like Dean. If he can't command a majority of the voting population, he is irrelevant. He will just be fodder for the $300 million war chest of the Bush re-election machine.


Howard Dean has never run anything other than a tiny Northeastern state with a total population of 600,000. To think that the majority of this country is going to trust the War on Terrorism to a clearly liberal (even if that's just a perception) Governor of a tiny Northeastern state is just fantasy.


I understand the appeal he has for you - at least he seems to believe in something and is willing to challenge the Bush Administration without diluting those challenges with tepid qualifiers and positions that have been poll-tested and written by K Street media consultants. And I hope his candidacy lasts awhile,


But anyone looking for a credible, politically viable alternative to George Bush needs to keep looking. Howard Dean ain't it. There is still enough to find a real challenger.


I think that Gen. Wesley Clark is an interesting possibility. He is immune from the sorts of patriotism/tough-on-terror attacks that Karl Rove is going to use to tear up any Democrat; he is articulate and telegenic; and is very, very critical - aggressively so - of the corruption and dishonesty which is, every day, infecting this Administration.

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Howard Dean, June 25, 2003, to the Council on Foreign Relations:



In recent months, I have traveled across the country and found a nation deeply troubled about the direction of U.S. national security policy today.


Americans do not understand how we could have squandered the precious opportunity we had after September 11 to unite the world in opposition to the likes of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.


They are concerned that international support for the war against terror is waning and, along with it, admiration and support for the United States.


They are confused that elections in countries long allied to us such as Germany and South Korea are now being decided on the basis of which candidate is more willing to stand up to oppose American policies.


They are astounded that increasing numbers of people in Europe, Asia and in our own hemisphere cite America not as the strongest pillar of freedom and democracy but as a threat to peace.


They are disturbed that brave men and women in our armed forces are being targeted systematically nearly two months after a war we were told had ended, in a country where we were assured that our troops would be welcomed as liberators.


There is a dawning realization across the land that despite winning a military battle in Iraq, the United States may be losing a larger war. That we may well be less secure today than we were two and a half years ago when this administration took office. And we have yet to see the report that details the events that led up to September 11th, so that we can improve our ability to respond in the future.


Americans are ready, I believe, to restore the best traditions of American leadership. Leadership in which our power is multiplied by the appeal of democratic ideals and by the knowledge that our country is a force for law around the world, not a law unto itself.


America became America by rebelling against imperial power.


America emerged from isolation to greatness by beating fascist power.


America became synonymous with justice by supporting independence for colonies from an imperial world.


America's ideals triumphed when it confronted communism to the point of extinction.


America is not Rome. We do not dream of empire. We dream of liberty for all.


In November 2004, the American people will seek a President who is prepared to use our brave and remarkable armed forces, as I would, to defend against any actual or imminent threat to ourselves or our friends and allies and in concert with others to deal with grave humanitarian crises.


They will seek a President skilled at garnering the support of allies, but willing to act, as I would, when it is necessary to protect and defend our country.


They will seek a President focused, as I would be, on the dismantling of terrorist organizations, the disruption of terrorist operations, the apprehension of terrorist planners and the prevention of terrorist efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction.


But they will also seek a President who would strive, as I would, not to divide the world into us versus them, but rather to rally the world around fundamental principles of decency, responsibility, freedom and mutual respect. Our foreign and military policy must be about the notion of America leading the world, not America against the world.


Presidents such as Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy built and strengthened international institutions, rather than dismissing and disparaging the concerns of allies. They inspired and mobilized other countries because they believed there was no more powerful force on earth than that of free people working together.


They helped build global platforms such as the UN, NATO, and the World Bank, on which free people everywhere could stand. Our greatest leaders built America's reputation as the world's leading democracy by never resting until they had given life to American ideals.


That is why I do not accept that a candidate's national security credentials should be considered suspect for opposing the war in Iraq at the time it was initiated, with the limited level of international support we had, the lack of postwar planning that had been undertaken, and the failure to make the case that the threat was imminent enough to justify preventive action.


Some in the Democratic party claim that a candidate who questioned the war cannot lead the party in the great national debate that lies ahead.


I would remind them that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy took on the hawks among the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the "me-too'ers" in Congress. The President and his advisors used toughness, patience, and diplomacy. The missiles came out of Cuba and war was averted.


Last October, four of the major contenders for the Democratic nomination supported the President's preemptive strike resolution five months before we went to war without, as we now realize, knowing the facts.


I stood up against this administration and even when 70% of the American people supported the war, I believed that the evidence was not there and I refused to change my view. As it turned out, I was right. No Democrat can beat George Bush without the same willingness that John F. Kennedy showed in 1962. A President must be tough, patient, and willing to take a course of action based on evidence, and not ideology.


I question the judgment of those who led us into this conflict this unfinished conflict that has made us, on balance, not more secure, but less. Although we may have won the war, we are failing to win the peace.


I believed then and I believe now that removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq was a just cause. But not every just cause requires that we go to war, especially with inadequate planning and without maximum support.


The Bush administration led us into war without convincing evidence that an imminent threat existed, without a strategy for securing nuclear, chemical and biological materials, without a plan for financing reconstruction, and without a clue how to consolidate the peace or unite the Iraqi people in support of democracy.


Today we face three critical problems, all connected with the manner in which we prosecuted the war. The first is accounting for the weapons of mass destruction, vital because of the implications for our own security as well as for the integrity and credibility of the United States and its leaders in the eyes of the world.


There are three possibilities. As the search continues, substantial stocks of these weapons may be found. In that case, we will still need to know why our intelligence failed and did not lead us to them more rapidly.


The other possibilities are that they will never be found because they no longer exist; or that they will never be found because they have already been stolen or transferred to others.


In any case, we need to know the truth.


Serious doubts about our integrity have been raised; not only in the streets of nations that do not know us well, but also in the parliaments and press rooms of countries that know us best. The checks and balances in the national security process in our Executive Branch have clearly broken down.


That's why it is imperative to have an independent, bipartisan, comprehensive and transparent investigation of how our intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was developed and selectively used to justify war in Iraq. In other words, what did the President know and when did he know it?


The second major challenge results from a failure to plan for peace as fully as we planned for war. General Shinseki's professional military advice that 200,000 troops would be needed was rejected. I would add at least 50,000 foreign troops to the force in Iraq.


It is imperative that we bring the international community in to help stabilize Iraq. If I were President, I would reach out to NATO, to Arab and Islamic countries, to other friends to share the burden and the risks.


We need to consider the impact on our guard and reserve troops operating in Iraq. And we should ask that the forces of foreign friends and allies increasingly assume police and security missions. Our active duty military forces are the best trained and best equipped of any military force in the world. We must continue to be able to train them and prepare for other potential war-fighting missions that arise in this dangerous world.


This leads me to the third problem resulting from the single-minded focus on getting rid of Saddam. For nearly a year, we have been too distracted to focus on a number of other serious problems that have emerged.


While we focused on Iraq, we neglected the very real nuclear threats emerging in North Korea and Iran. For months we refused to see North Korea's nuclear challenge as a crisis--and now it is a declared nuclear power.


The Bush administration has not had talks with the North in over two months. It is foolish to refuse to have bilateral discussions with the North Koreans: we are, after all, the most powerful nation on the face of the earth and losing face should not be an issue.


The goal of our policy with North Korea must be to prevent continued nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula and to prevent the transfer of weapons or materials to third parties or terrorists.


In Iran, we again must use the full range of economic and diplomatic tools at our disposal. We must work with the Europeans and the Russians to stop Iranian development of nuclear weapons and their support of terror. And we must do what we can to strengthen and encourage the voices among Iranian youth who are striving for true change and freedom.


Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden used our loss of focus to rebuild their terrorist networks, as recent deadly attacks on in Saudi Arabia and Morocco demonstrate.


While we focused on Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was neglected. The President, despite knowing how critical his personal involvement was, refused to engage for over two full years, squandering the momentum he inherited from the Clinton administration.


I am truly optimistic about the chances for peace in the Middle East. Our strongest asset is that majorities of both peoples in this conflict actually accept a two-state solution guaranteeing both sides security, sovereignty and dignity.


Most Israelis recognize that they will have to give back occupied land and give up settlements. Most Palestinians understand that there will never be a Palestinian state as long as terrorist attacks continue. Yet the Palestinians have assets that are often misunderstood. They have a high level of education. Palestinian women play a more significant role in government than in almost any other Arab society. And a large number of Palestinians have a significant experience with democracy, having lived in Europe, the United States and, of course, in Israel. Yassir Arafat is not the answer, but Abu Mazen and Salim Fayed, who I met with in Jerusalem, may well be the answer.


Finally, the United States must reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil and we must have a President who is willing to confront the Iranians, the Syrians, the Saudis, and others who send money to Hamas, and finance a worldwide network of fundamentalist schools which teach small children to hate Americans, Christians, and Jews.


Let us turn our attention to postwar Afghanistan. I supported the President's invasion of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was and continues to be an imminent threat to the United States.


However, insufficient security assistance and economic investment are opening the door to civil strife and tribal warfare, again the very conditions that bred the Taliban in the first place. Our repeated assurances of aid and reconstruction have resulted in lost hope and empty promises for the people of Afghanistan once again.


The U.S. must redouble its effort to garner aid from the donor community and to increase to 30-40,000 the number of military troops our friends and allies commit to help us rebuild Afghanistan. For the United States to rely on warlords to keep peace in Afghanistan nearly two years after a successful military operation demonstrates an extraordinary lack of thoughtful vision.


Not only has the focus of this Administration's foreign policy been wrong. So is the manner in which it has been conducted.


Instead of the humility we were promised, this administration has acted with unparalleled arrogance and disregard for the concerns of others.


It has rejected a long list of multilaterally negotiated agreements: the comprehensive test ban, the Kyoto treaty, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Biological Warfare Convention Protocol, the International Criminal Court, the Landmine convention; the list goes on and on. These treaties are not without flaws, but surely some could be ratified and others renegotiated. The answer is to work to rewrite them, and not to walk away from them.


The bedrock of our strength and security is provided by our economy, our military and our values. We cannot deny, however, that our strength derives in large measure as well from the extent to which others emulate and respect us abroad--and not by the extent to which they fear and loathe us.


America must not shy away from its role as the remaining superpower in the world. We are, as Madeleine Albright once put it, the "indispensable power" for so many challenges around the world. Inevitably, some will resent us for what we have, and some will hate us for what we believe.


But there is much in the world that we cannot achieve on our own. So we must lead toward clearly articulated and shared goals and with the cooperation and respect of friends and allies.


As President, I would set four goals for American leadership:


First, defeat the threat posed by terrorists, tyrants, and technologies of mass destruction.


Second, strengthen our alliances and ensure Russia and China are fully integrated into a stable international order.


Third, enlarge the circle of beneficiaries of the growing world economy.


And fourth, ensure that life on our fragile planet is sustainable.


Preemptive war against tyrannical dictators is not a comprehensive strategy for addressing the threat that terrorists, tyrants, and technologies of mass destruction pose in the 21st century.


In fact, misuse of the doctrine may have the opposite effect.


In the profession of medicine, the first rule is to do no harm. To deal with the long-term terrorist threat we must root out and destroy the terrorists, their networks and their support systems. But in doing so, we must not provide them with a rationale for new recruits.


In this fight, it is essential that America lead by example and exercise power responsibly. Only in that way can we hope to eliminate support for the next generation of extremists who regard our culture and our actions not simply with envy or jealousy but with a deep-seated hatred over the manner in which we conduct our affairs.


The Clinton administration was committed to military engagement with friends and allies around the world, helping to train and equip these countries so that they were better prepared to work with the U.S. in shouldering this burden. As President, my administration would redouble these efforts.


Here at home, we need a real commitment to homeland security. As President, I would immediately devote significant new resources to preventing, managing and responding to potential and actual terrorist threats here at home. If we can spend $400 billion to defend our nation from threats abroad, as we must, should we not spend more to defend our nation at home?


We need to devote more resources to fully fund, equip and train first responders across the nation: the policemen, firemen, emergency room personnel, and hundreds of thousands of other Americans that form the first line of defense against terrorism. We simply must provide significant new resources to state and local governments, specifically earmarked for these purposes.


With only 4 percent of 5.7 million containers arriving at our 361 seaports annually inspected, this is one of the greatest points of vulnerability that must be addressed, not tomorrow, but today.


We need to allocate the funds necessary to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction or weapons-grade material ending up in the hands of terrorists. The Cooperative Threat Reduction program with Russia and other former Soviet states is working, it just requires much more money to get the job done right.


Homeland security does not stop at our borders. Success in confronting these threats hinges on the willingness of our friends and allies to work with us. We need the benefit of their intelligence, the assistance of their security and transportation agencies, and the collaboration of their customs offices.


We must strengthen nonproliferation treaties, limit access to nuclear and other dangerous materials, apply coercive diplomacy and, as a last resort, take military action to remove weapons programs and facilities. All of these steps are best taken in concert with other countries, not alone.


Our second priority should be strengthening our bonds with other countries, especially our historical allies in a world growing ever more interdependent. Conducting foreign policy by posse may be expedient, but it is short-sighted and far less stable than a world order built on enduring relationships and viable international institutions.


I would lead this country back to a strong commitment to international alliances and institutions that are the backbone of a stable international order. In an increasingly complex and dangerous world, the more that our destinies are intertwined, the greater the shared sense of purpose, the more likely it is that we will work together successfully to address the difficult challenges ahead.


And we must do this not only with our traditional friends and allies in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, but with such critical powers as Russia and China, both of whom must be fully integrated into the international community as our partners.


Third, we must recognize the importance of spreading the benefits of economic growth as widely as possible. The growth of multinational corporations and the globalization of the economy have helped create wealth and economic growth. But we must make certain that people in the developing world are full and equal beneficiaries in this growth and are not marginalized by it.


As long as half the world's population subsists on less than two dollars a day, the U.S. will not be secure. Poor states and failed states provide breeding grounds for disease as well as recruits and safe havens for terrorists. A world populated by "hostile have-nots" is not one in which U.S. leadership can be sustained without coercion.


We want a trade and development policy that does not enrich the minority but will empower the majority.


In addition to supporting the growth of fair global trade, we must use our foreign assistance monies strategically to support the rule of law, combat corruption, help the most needy and assist governments in creating democracies and developing infrastructure and human resources in their countries. We must bring still more energy to the cooperative battle against HIV/AIDS, which in too many countries is undermining security and tearing the heart out of economies, communities, and entire generations.


Finally, the United States must step to the forefront and promote sustainable development. We cannot ignore climate change, population growth, famine, or the many other global problems that we face. To address them, we must break free of the special interests that constrain our ability to tackle these serious problems.


How can we effectively address burgeoning population growth when this President has revived the "Mexico City policy" imposing a gag order on international family planning providers?


How can we combat AIDS when right-wing ideology is allowed to stand in the way of the promotion of practices most effective at prevention in different societies?


How can we fight global climate change when our energy and environmental policies are created at the behest of contributors from the oil and gas industry who prefer no meaningful action? When critical information on global warming is edited out of EPA reports by White House staff?


I believe that a failure to lead on an issue of this magnitude is immoral. As the world's biggest polluter, we have a special responsibility to take action and to lead the world in combating this gathering crisis.


Fifty-five years ago, President Harry Truman delivered what was known as the Four Point speech. In it, he challenged Democrats and Republicans alike to come together to build strong and effective international organizations; to support arrangements that would spur global economic recovery; to join with free people everywhere in the defense of human liberty; and to draw upon the genius of our people to help societies who needed help in the battle against hunger and illness, ignorance and despair.


This was at the very beginning of the cold war.


America was threatened by a powerful and hostile empire, that was backed by a massive military, bolstered by satellite states, and in the process of developing the hydrogen bomb.


At that moment of maximum peril, President Truman went before the world to spell out not only what America was against, but much more importantly, what America was for.


He did so because he had faith that if America were true to her own principles and values, we could in the long run defeat any foe, no matter how deadly.


He believed that if America reached out to others in friendship and with respect, our strength would be multiplied and that more and more countries would support our policies, not because we told them to, but because they wanted to.


Harry Truman believed that a world in which even the poorest and most desperate had grounds for hope would be a world in which our own children could grow up in security and peace, not because evil would then be absent from the globe, but because the forces of right would be united and strong.


Harry Truman had faith as I have faith, and as I believe the American people have faith, that if we are wise enough and determined enough in our opposition to hate and our promotion of tolerance, in our opposition to aggression and our fidelity to law, we will have allies not only among governments, but among people everywhere.


Such an alliance can never be beaten.


And the creation of such an alliance will be my goal if I am entrusted with the presidency of the United States. Because this is what will keep America strong. This is what reflects the best in the American people. And this is the core of the national security message that I will be carrying to all of America throughout this campaign, that I am committed to working constructively with friends and allies around the globe to help people in every corner of every continent to live in freedom, prosperity and peace.

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The post even Doug has been scared to refute


Our friend [f]requently [f]orgets that the facts don't back up his his claims:


GOP no longer party of fiscal fitness

Jeff Jacoby - Boston Globe

Friday, July 25, 2003


At their national convention three years ago, Republicans pointed with pride to the GOP's record of fiscal rectitude.


''In the four decades from 1954 to 1994,'' the Republican platform declared, ''government spending increased at an average annual rate of 7.9 percent, and the public's debt increased from $224 billion to $3.4 trillion.


''Since 1994, with Republicans leading the House and Senate, spending has been held to an annual 3.1 percent rate of growth, and the nation's debt will be nearly $400 billion lower by the end of this year. The federal government has operated in the black for the last two years and is now projected to run a surplus of nearly $5 trillion over 10 years.''


In the Republicans' view, they were the ones who slowed the federal spending train and forced President Clinton to curb his big-government impulses. If he had had a Democratic Congress, that train would have raced out of control.


So here we are three years later, with not only a Republican Congress but a Republican president, too --- and the federal spending train is racing out of control. The Bush administration estimated last week that the government will end the current fiscal year with a budget deficit of $455 billion. Over the next five years, the public debt is expected to rise by $1.9 trillion. The administration projects next year's federal outlays at $2.27 trillion, more than $400 billion higher than when the president took office.


As any Republican will be glad to tell you, the GOP is the party of fiscal discipline. Unlike the wastrels of the Democratic Party, Republicans know that all government money is really taxpayers' money, and they take great pains to spend that money frugally.


Sure they do. That's why Republican George W. Bush, backed by a Republican Congress, is on track to become the biggest-spending president since LBJ.


In the first three years of the Bush administration, government spending has climbed --- in real, inflation-adjusted terms --- by a staggering 15.6 percent. That far outstrips the budget growth in Clinton's first three years, when real spending climbed 3.5 percent. Under the first President Bush, the comparable figure was 8.3 percent; under Ronald Reagan, 6.8; and under Jimmy Carter, 13.3 percent. No, that's not a mistake --- Bush is a bigger spender than Carter was.


To be sure, Bush's budgets have had to account for Sept. 11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But even when defense spending is excluded, discretionary spending has soared by nearly 21 percent in Bush's first three years.


The budget cycle Bush inherited in 2001 closed with a surplus of $127 billion. The deficits that now stretch as far as the eye can see are the result of reckless budget-busting that would have Republicans shrieking if Al Gore were president. To see this kind of promiscuous budgeting come out of a Republican administration should outrage them even more.


Predictably, liberals and Democrats are loudly blaming the Bush deficits on the Bush tax cuts. But tax relief isn't leaking red ink all over the budget; spending is. In 2008, when most of the tax cuts signed by Bush will be fully phased in, they will reduce federal revenues by $177 billion. In the same year, total federal spending will be $494 billion higher than it is today. By the end of the five-year budget plan, in other words, spending increases will outweigh tax cuts by nearly 3 to 1.


From the pork-laden homeland security bill to last year's bloated farm bill, Washington's orgy of spending is bringing on the biggest deficits in American history. The gigantic prescription-drug entitlement making its way through the Capitol will force the budget even further into the red and the nation even deeper into debt. Americans count on Republicans to enforce, or at least invoke, the First Law of Holes: When in one, stop digging. But Republicans rule both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the digging is more furious than ever.


How will the GOP explain that at its next convention?

“On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature may speak falsely or fail to give answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered: Doctor.....WHO?????"

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RE: The post even Doug has been scared to refute


The top of that post should have read "our friend frequently forgets....

“On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature may speak falsely or fail to give answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered: Doctor.....WHO?????"

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RE: The post even Doug has been scared to refute


Cute title - if you want my attention, just ask like a good boy - no reason to embarrass yourself with silly accusations in the Subject line.


There's nothing new in the article you posted; it's simply a summary of the arguments which have been made against the Bush Administration's handling of the economy.


Some of these arguments are, as I have always said, undoubtedly true. Deficits are unacceptably high and getting higher. Spending is spiraling with no restraints in sight (other than disturbing, involuntary "restraints" - like the Air Marshall program running out of money to pay for hotel nights for its Air Marshalls on trans-atlantic and coast-to-coast flights, or federal courts which are considering postponing all "non-essential civil trials" until October due to an inability in their budget to pay fees to the jurors (a meager $40/day). The Administration seems strangely oblivious to the economic crises facing the country, a phenomenon which is particularly strange given that this exact trait is what caused his father to be booted out of office.


That, though, is just one side of the ledger. The other side is that it must be acknowledged that totally unexpected, extraordinary events occurred which would seriously damage even the most prosperous economy: the 9/11 attacks, enormous corporate scandals threatening the core integrity of our markets, and the indisputably urgent need to fight terrorism around the world. These events, none of which is reasonably attributable to Bush, undeniably caused great damage to our economy.


Additionally, the collapse of the Internet boom stock market caused huge amounts of revenue (responsible for Clinton's surplus) to simply disappear. Think about having a huge corporation where enormous amounts of money are coming in, only for them to suddenly stop, even though the corporation is just as large. That's what has happened to this Government, and it is a huge factor in why we have such large defecits.


Blaming Bush for some of the economic problems we face is certainly fair. And while one can definitely question the advisability of cutting taxes and giving away tax refunds now, the tax cuts (justified or not) are not the reason we have deficits. Even that article makes that point.


The bottom line is that anyone who wants to criticize this Administration for excessive spending has the obligation to identify what spending should be cut - military expenditures? homeland security? social programs? withdraw now from Iraq, before we have stablized it? What should be cut?


Identically, anyone who criticizes the deficit is obligated to identify how they will erase the deficit? Should taxes be raised?


Simply harping at Bush without offering a sound economic alternative which protects our security and allows us to fight terrorism as aggressively as we have to, is a completely ineffective strategy. It's like a bird chirping in the trees.


The problems with our economy are obvious. Everyone (except maybe Bush himself) sees them. The real issue is the solution, and so far, I haven't heard any out of your mouth (hardly a shock) or out of the mouth of anyone in your precious party who wants to succeed George Bush.

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RE: The post even Doug has been scared to refute


>Cute title - if you want my attention, just ask like a good

>boy - no reason to embarrass yourself with silly accusations

>in the Subject line.


No accusations, FFF. Just calling them like I see them. But why the new name?

“On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature may speak falsely or fail to give answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered: Doctor.....WHO?????"

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Guest gentle guy

RE: The post even Doug has been scared to refute


>Should taxes be raised?



IMHO, yes. Sometimes the logical, necessary solution is an unpopular one. (It is happening anyway. For example, my state income tax, sales tax, property tax, and school tax have all been increased during the past year, two of them significantly.)


By the way, while I don't always agree with Doug, I believe his response was calm, thoughtful, and thought-provoking (until the last sentence with the "precious party" comment). I prefer debates that don't resort to ad hominem arguments and that encourage me reflect on my own values and beliefs.

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