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Thread: "Bush Era" Over

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default "Bush Era" Over

    End of the Bush Era

    By E. J. Dionne Jr.
    Tuesday, September 13, 2005
    Washington Post - Page A27


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...091201433.html

    The Bush Era is over. The sooner politicians in both parties realize that, the better for them -- and the country.

    Recent months, and especially the past two weeks, have brought home to a steadily growing majority of Americans the truth that President Bush's government doesn't work. His policies are failing, his approach to leadership is detached and self-indulgent, his way of politics has produced a divided, angry and dysfunctional public square. We dare not go on like this.

    The Bush Era did not begin when he took office, or even with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It began on Sept. 14, 2001, when Bush declared at the World Trade Center site: "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." Bush was, indeed, skilled in identifying enemies and rallying a nation already disposed to action. He failed to realize after Sept. 11 that it was not we who were lucky to have him as a leader, but he who was lucky to be president of a great country that understood the importance of standing together in the face of a grave foreign threat. Very nearly all of us rallied behind him.

    If Bush had understood that his central task was to forge national unity, as he seemed to shortly after Sept. 11, the country would never have become so polarized. Instead, Bush put patriotism to the service of narrowly ideological policies and an extreme partisanship. He pushed for more tax cuts for his wealthiest supporters and shamelessly used relatively modest details in the bill creating a Department of Homeland Security as partisan cudgels in the 2002 elections.

    He invoked our national anger over terrorism to win support for a war in Iraq. But he failed to pay heed to those who warned that the United States would need many more troops and careful planning to see the job through. The president assumed things would turn out fine, on the basis of wildly optimistic assumptions. Careful policymaking and thinking through potential flaws in your approach are not his administration's strong suits.

    And so the Bush Era ended definitively on Sept. 2, the day Bush first toured the Gulf Coast States after Hurricane Katrina. There was no magic moment with a bullhorn. The utter failure of federal relief efforts had by then penetrated the country's consciousness. Yesterday's resignation of FEMA Director Michael Brown put an exclamation point on the failure.

    The source of Bush's political success was his claim that he could protect Americans. Leadership, strength and security were Bush's calling cards. Over the past two weeks, they were lost in the surging waters of New Orleans.

    But the first intimations of the end of the Bush Era came months ago. The president's post-election fixation on privatizing part of Social Security showed how out of touch he was. The more Bush discussed this boutique idea cooked up in conservative think tanks and Wall Street imaginations, the less the public liked it. The situation in Iraq deteriorated. The glorious economy Bush kept touting turned out not to be glorious for many Americans. The Census Bureau's annual economic report, released in the midst of the Gulf disaster, found that an additional 4.1 million Americans had slipped into poverty between 2001 and 2004.

    The breaking of the Bush spell opens the way for leaders of both parties to declare their independence from the recent past. It gives forces outside the White House the opportunity to shape a more appropriate national agenda -- for competence and innovation in rebuilding the Katrina region and for new approaches to the problems created over the past 4 1/2 years.

    The federal budget, already a mess before Katrina, is now a laughable document. Those who call for yet more tax cuts risk sounding like robots droning automated talking points programmed inside them long ago. Katrina has forced the issue of deep poverty back onto the national agenda after a long absence. Finding a way forward in -- and eventually out of -- Iraq will require creativity from those not implicated in the administration's mistakes. And if ever the phrase "reinventing government" had relevance, it is now that we have observed the performance of a government that allows political hacks to push aside the professionals.

    And what of Bush, who has more than three years left in his term? Paradoxically, his best hope lies in recognizing that the Bush Era, as he and we have known it, really is gone. He can decide to help us in the transition to what comes next. Or he can cling stubbornly to his past and thereby doom himself to frustrating irrelevance.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    If you're looking for something to do with your time...


    Fire George on 9/24

    Spread the word: www.firegeorge.org

    and the 9/24 March
    will join in a

    Massive Act of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience.


    This is pure grassroots activism.
    No leaders, no media or government control.

    Let’s take control of the agenda.

    Visualize a Fired George


    Exercise your rights as an American:

    Constititution of the United States: 1st Amendment, Bill of Rights :

    “Congress shall make no law respecting
    an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
    the free exercise thereof; or abridging
    the freedom of speech, or of the press; or
    the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
    and to petition the Government
    for a redress of grievances.”
    Last edited by lofter1; September 13th, 2005 at 10:29 PM.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    See you in 2006. I'll just have to hold my nose when I vote for Hillary.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/14/na...gewanted=print

    As he prepares a blueprint to respond to the storm damage and to spend the billions of dollars that doing so will cost, Mr. Bush is confronting the likelihood that the rest of his agenda will have to be put on hold until next year.

    A Republican ally of Mr. Bush who has been briefed on the administration's thinking said the White House's hope for the rest of this year was to deal with the hurricane and to win confirmation for Judge John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice of the United States and for a second nominee, not yet selected, to the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Next year, the ally said, Mr. Bush would return to issues like overhauling the tax code and the immigration laws that he had hoped to get a start on this year.

    After the outcry over scenes of poor, black victims of the hurricane suffering and dying in New Orleans, White House officials continued on Tuesday to try to shore up support among the president's conservative African-American supporters, who have not all rallied to his side. Bishop Charles E. Blake of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, a major African-American supporter of Mr. Bush, said this week that he had declined an invitation to meet on Sept. 6 at the White House with Mr. Bush, black leaders and charitable organizations because he was too busy.

    "It's a four-hour flight, it's a $2,000 ticket, I do have heavy responsibilities here," Bishop Blake said in a telephone interview.

    Asked if the government's response to the hurricane had changed the way he felt about Mr. Bush, Bishop Blake responded: "I cannot say at this time. I'm holding the issue open until I can understand the dynamics involved and the delays that have been experienced."

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    The Bush Era can't be over. They haven't finished dumping the drowning victim's bodies in unmarked mass graves yet. The medicaid and food stamp cuts are due this week. And, Adolph Hitler Jr hasn't yet been nominated to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. They still have lots to do.

    Oh, and, besides, Bill O'Reilly says this presidency is stronger than ever.

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    With less than a 40% approval rating? Billy's getting more delusional by the day.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law & Order
    It is possible that he has already done enough and changed enough laws in his favor, that will allow him to keep doing what he does. It seems as though the Pentagon is about to allow him more nuclear weapons capability, by a draft that he himself proposed.
    Nuclear protocols can be easily redirected, and the current rule seems to be a warning shot across the bow of a couple of ships named Iran and North Korea. Laws become ingrained into society, and have a greater impact.

    Rather than Fire George Bush, the message should be Fire Those That Support his Vision. Don't ask me what that vision is - I'm completely confused. Maybe he just likes the job, with the long vacations. Mid-term elections are important to set the tone of the next presidential election.

    Given the history of how Supreme Court justices do not necessarily follow the mandates of the administrations that nominate them once they have the lifetime job, it will be interesting to see if a public rejection of the Bush agenda has any influence on Roberts, should he be confirmed.

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    Bill O'Reilly is a jerk, nothing he says should be considered

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    OK... Just how old is GW, anyway? Check this out:

    http://us.news3.yimg.com/us.i2.yimg....G7aLsST74eYA--



    PHOTO CAPTION:

    U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State
    Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit
    and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York
    September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize
    the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls
    short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's vision of freedom from want,
    persecution and war.

    REUTERS/Rick Wilking

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...2587077477.jpg

  12. #12
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ********************

    Support for Bush Continues to Drop, Poll Shows

    September 15, 2005

    By TODD S. PURDUM
    and MARJORIE CONNELLY

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/15/po...gewanted=print

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 - A summer of bad news from Iraq, high gasoline prices, economic unease and now the devastation of Hurricane Katrina has left President Bush with overall approval ratings for his job performance and handling of Iraq, foreign policy and the economy at or near the lowest levels of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

    For the first time, just half of Americans approve of Mr. Bush's handling of terrorism, which has been his most consistent strength since he scored 90 percent approval ratings in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. More than 6 in 10 now say that he does not share their priorities for the country, 10 percentage points worse than on the eve of his re-election last fall, while barely half say he has strong qualities of leadership, about the same as said so at the early low-ebb of his presidency in the summer of 2001.

    More Americans now distrust the federal government to do the right thing than at any time since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And the poll revealed a sharp racial divide. While half of all respondents disapprove of the way Mr. Bush has handled the aftermath of Katrina, nearly three quarters of blacks do. (Mr. Bush won only about 10 percent of the black vote last year.)

    The hurricane, alone, does not appear to have taken any significant toll on Mr. Bush's overall job approval rating, which remains stuck virtually where it has been since early summer. But the findings do suggest that the slow federal response to the hurricane has increased public doubts about the Bush administration's effectiveness. Fifty-six percent of Americans said they were now less confident about the government's ability to respond to a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

    Taken together, the numbers suggest that a public that has long seen Mr. Bush as a determined leader, whether it agreed with him or not, has growing doubts about his capacity to deal with pressing problems. More than 6 in 10 said they were uneasy about his ability to make the right decisions about the war in Iraq, and half expressed similar unease about his ability to deal with the problems of the storm's victims.

    Mr. Bush's support remained strong among Republicans, conservatives, evangelical Christians and those who said they voted for him last fall. Nearly twice as many people - 63 percent - said the country was "pretty seriously" on the wrong track as those who said it was headed in the right direction, equal to the worst level of Mr. Bush's presidency during a spate of bad news last year.

    Over all, 41 percent of respondents approved of Mr. Bush's performance in office, while 53 percent disapproved. Those figures are in line with other national polls conducted in the last week, roughly equal to the worst ratings Mr. Bush has ever received, comparable to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton's worst ratings, but well above the worst ever posted by the president's father, Jimmy Carter and Richard M. Nixon.

    The Times/CBS News Poll was conducted Friday through Tuesday with 1,167 adults, including 877 whites and 211 blacks. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all respondents and whites, and seven percentage points for blacks. The survey was mostly completed before Mr. Bush said on Tuesday that he accepted responsibility for flaws in the federal response to the hurricane.

    Dan Bartlett, Mr. Bush's counselor and chief communications strategist, said the White House was not especially surprised by the poll's findings.

    "Obviously, as we have said, with a sharp increase in the cost of gasoline and anxiety about the war, that is obviously reflected in the polls, and then we have a sustained amount of heavy coverage of what has been described as a major failure of government at all levels, it shouldn't surprise people that that would be reflected in the poll numbers on the president, and particularly on terrorism," Mr. Bartlett said.

    "The president is going to continue to focus on his responsibilities as not only president but commander in chief, when it comes to making sure we do everything we can to help the people hit by Katrina, as well as continue to conduct the war on terrorism in an aggressive way," he added.

    While the poll found that 70 percent said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was too slow in responding to the aftermath of the hurricane, 53 percent said the agency was now doing all it could reasonably be expected to do.

    The same did not hold true for the Bush administration itself; 68 percent said it had not yet developed a clear plan for finding housing and jobs for people left homeless by the hurricane. Mr. Bush is to address the nation from New Orleans on Thursday night to elaborate on the government's planned response to the disaster.

    Before the storm hit, polls had shown that rising gasoline prices were becoming increasingly worrisome to a majority of Americans, and the hurricane has only worsened that concern. Almost half the public said the economy was deteriorating, the worst that number has been in four years. Fifty-six percent expect the economy to decline as a result of the hurricane, and nearly three-quarters anticipate taxes will rise for the same reason.

    The poll also pointed up starkly different attitudes toward Mr. Bush and the government among blacks and whites that were not so much caused by the storm as laid bare by it. While two-thirds of all Americans said Mr. Bush cares at least somewhat about the people left homeless by the hurricane, fewer than one-third of blacks agreed. Two-thirds of blacks said race was a major factor in the government's slow response to the flooding in New Orleans, while an almost identical number of whites said it was not.

    Storm victims had to wait for a week for help to arrive, said Allison McKinney, 33, a housewife and former teacher in Fort Bragg, N.C. "I don't think that would happen to any other city, because New Orleans is a poor city." Ms. McKinney, who is black, grew up in New Orleans and was among those who agreed to be interviewed after participating in the poll. "It took Katrina for people to realize that the city had a major impact on the rest of the country. I think it's sad that you would wait for the total devastation of a city to come to that realization."

    But Juanita Harrington, 78, a retired Verizon employee and Bush supporter in Larkspur, Colo., said critics of the president "focus everything as if he were a magician and could wave a magic wand and change things."

    She added: "The people that were there locally didn't take care of matters there, either. I'm talking about the mayor of New Orleans, I'm talking about the governor, I'm talking about that crazy woman senator from Louisiana - she was an idiot. He may not have succeeded totally, but nobody else did, either."

    The poll suggested the cumulative effects of months of bad news from the continuing insurgency in Iraq. Exactly 50 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Bush's handling of terrorism, for example, and while that figure is the single worst ranking since the question was first asked four years ago, it is only slightly worse than it was early this summer. But that is 11 points worse than it was in February, just after the first successful round of elections in Iraq.

    The data also suggest that the residual support that has steadily buoyed Mr. Bush in the four years since the Sept. 11 attacks may have reached its limit, for now. Fifty-three percent of Americans still say he has strong qualities of leadership, down 9 percentage points since he was re-elected and essentially equal to his all-time previous low in the summer of 2001, when his presidency seemed becalmed before the attacks.

    At the same time, 45 percent of Americans now say Mr. Bush does not have strong leadership qualities, six percentage points more than last fall, and the highest percentage since the Times/CBS poll first asked the question during Mr. Bush's initial campaign in 1999.

    Those general impressions now extend across the board in reviews of Mr. Bush's handling of particular issues. Thirty-eight percent of Americans approve of his handling of foreign policy; 35 percent of his handling of the economy; and 36 percent of his handling of the situation in Iraq. All those are at or roughly equal to his all-time lows - and below his all-time highs by double digits.

    Some of the pessimism seemed clearly fueled by higher gasoline prices. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they had cut back on household spending as a result of higher prices, and 8 in 10 said the administration had no plan for keeping prices down, though more than 6 in 10 said the price of gas is something a president can do a lot about.

    A majority of the public is willing to pay more in taxes to assist hurricane victims with job training and housing; about 4 in 10 said they would be willing to pay as much as $200 a year more to help out with the storm's aftermath.

    Megan Thee and Fred Backus contributed reporting for this article.

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    The whole "working vacation" at his 9,000-acre ranch in Crawford was such a bad idea. It made him look completely out of touch, along with his Yale education, the silver spoon in his ass, and a wife whom Oscar de la Renta counts as one of his best customers.

    And they didn't like Kerry because he windsurfed.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    GOP lawmaker on Social Security reform:
    'It's Over'

    RAW STORY

    http://rawstory.com/news/2005/GOP_la..._Ove_0915.html

    Roll Call reports today that Republican lawmakers are considering abandonment of the Social Security reforms that were to be the cornerstone of Bush's second-term agenda. The story, by Ben Pershing and Emily Pierce, quotes "one Senior Republican lawmaker," as saying flatly, "It's over." Excerpts follow:

    #

    Fearful that tackling Social Security reform could cripple his party in the 2006 elections, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) plans to recommend to his fellow leaders that they shelve the issue for the remainder of the 109th Congress.

    "Reynolds told [Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill] Thomas that he would recommend to the leaders that we not proceed with Social Security this year because it did not appear there was any chance it would be passed into law by the Senate, and we'd be forcing our vulnerables to walk to the plank for nothing," said a source familiar with Reynolds' comments.

    While Reynolds made reference only to not doing Social Security this year, the source said it was widely understood that "if it doesn't happen now, it's not happening in 2007."

    ...

    Reynolds strong desire to abandon Social Security reform is reflective of widespread nervousness among GOP campaign strategists about how the issue will play out next November. Republican sources said that the results of the party's internal polling and focus groups on Social Security have made the GOP's political operatives nervous about proceeding, especially since the party's approval ratings and generic ballot performance are already low.

    #

    The full, registration-restricted story is available at Roll Call.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Check this out:

    http://us.news3.yimg.com/us.i2.yimg....G7aLsST74eYA--



    PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State
    Condoleezza Rice
    Reuters Explains Photo Of Bush Bathroom Note

    September 15, 2005
    By Daryl Lang

    http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswir..._id=1001137642

    Don't blame the photographer.

    That's the message from Gary Hershorn, a picture editor for Reuters, about the photo yesterday that shows President George W. Bush writing an all-too-human note during a UN meeting.

    Bush is shown writing: "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible."

    The photo, which quickly became fodder for blogs and e-mails among friends, was taken by Rick Wilking, a contract photographer based in Denver who recently covered the flooding in New Orleans.

    Hershorn, Reuters' news editor for pictures for the Americas, says he's responsible for zooming in on the note and deciding to transmit the photo to Reuters clients. He says Wilking didn't know what the note said when he shot the picture.

    "I'm so adamant that Rick has nothing to do with this. He was just the guy who pushed the button," Hershorn says.

    In response to the attention the photo is getting, Reuters' spokeswoman in London released a two-sentence statement about the picture: "The photographer and editors on this story were looking for other angles in their coverage of this event, something that went beyond the stock pictures of talking heads that these kind of forums usually offer. This picture certainly does that."

    So how did the picture happen?

    According to Hershorn, Wilking was one of several photographers covering the United Nations Security Council meeting between about 11 and noon yesterday. He was part of a pool stationed on a balcony that faced Bush's back; a group of White House photographers was on a balcony facing the president.

    Wilking shot about 200 images and sent two memory cards to the press room at the U.N., where Hershorn was working. Hershorn looked at the images on a computer and initially decided not to send any of them.

    But a few hours later, he started to wonder about a note that Bush was seen writing in three of the pictures. Out of curiosity, he zoomed in to see if he could read it.

    Once he saw what it said, Hershorn decided the note was interesting and worth publishing. The white parts of the picture were overexposed, so a Reuters processor used Photoshop to burn down the note. This is a standard practice for news photos, Hershorn says, and the picture was not manipulated in any other way.

    Around 4:30 p.m., Reuters transmitted two versions of the photo, including one that was tightly cropped around the note and Bush's hand.

    The caption says that Bush was writing the note to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; Hershorn says Wilking saw Bush write the note and hand the note to Rice.

    Hershorn says heads of state seldom attend Security Council meetings, and it's possible that Bush was simply asking his secretary of state what the proper protocol was to be excused.

    Online, some accused Reuters, and the media in general, of being insulting or juvenile. A letter writer to Editor & Publisher wrote, "You ought to all be ashamed of yourselves for this stupid trivia and childish focus."

    It's unclear how widely the picture was published; Hershorn says The (Toronto) Globe and Mail published it but he wasn't sure of any other outlets. Hershorn says he decided to transmit the picture because it was interesting.

    "There was no malicious intent," he says. "That's not what we do."

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