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How about this quote from Bush...(30 posts)

How about this quote from Bush...Bruno
Oct 23, 2002 1:05 PM
from today's MSNBC:

"The fact that Saddam has snuck evil weapons into
North Korea and has somehow convinced the North
Koreans that they made them themselves just goes to show
you how dangerous Iraq is and how not-dangerous North
Korea is," the President said.

I'll believe almost anything about W., but not quite that.cory
Oct 23, 2002 4:08 PM
Jeez, I HOPE he said it, but I don't believe it. He's too carefully managed for that to slip out. JeZUZ, what a moron.
Carefully managed, eh? Then I wonder who feeds him his lies.czardonic
Oct 23, 2002 4:53 PM
Washington Post article on Bush's serial prevarication:
Silly master parsing words.Sintesi
Oct 24, 2002 5:32 AM
The president is a fascist AND a pathological liar. Very good master.
I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED, to learn that a politician is lying (nm)TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2002 6:30 AM
Article indicates Bush is on higher level of dishonesty. (nm)czardonic
Oct 24, 2002 9:38 AM
Having read the article now,TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2002 10:19 AM
As the first response was off-the-cuff, this one will be slightly more relevant.

The article doesn't present a situation where the President is telling an out-and-out lie; there are situations where the entire truth isn't being told, and this is politics. The Post is arguing that Bush's declaration that 300,000 jobs being lost is a lie because his source isn't credible enough for them to believe. It's a lie only to the degree that Mark Twain declared statistics on the whole to be a lie. Should we have an official government fact-checking agency, to make sure that all statistics come from unbiased sources? Should the President offer his speech with footnotes and bibliography (which he has done, or else the Post would have no basis for the story).

It is true that he mis-attributed his source on at least one occasion- but I can hardly blame him, he's getting info fired at him from 10 directions, I'm pretty sure I might say FBI when I mean CIA from time to time.

On degrees of lie, these don't even rank, they are political hyperbole, and they are Bush repeating 'facts' that have been handed up to him. Not nearly as disturbing as a President lying, under oath, to a federal prosecuter.
How about this one?czardonic
Oct 24, 2002 11:08 AM
On Sept. 7, meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Camp David, Bush told reporters: "I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied, finally denied access, a report came out of the Atomic -- the IAEA -- that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don't know what more evidence we need."

The IAEA did issue a report in 1998, around the time weapons inspectors were denied access to Iraq for the final time, but the report made no such assertion. It declared: "Based on all credible information to date, the IAEA has found no indication of Iraq having achieved its program goal of producing nuclear weapons or of Iraq having retained a physical capability for the production of weapon-useable nuclear material or having clandestinely obtained such material." The report said Iraq had been six to 24 months away from nuclear capability before the 1991 Gulf War.

The White House said that Bush "was imprecise on this" and that the source was U.S. intelligence, not the IAEA.

Imprecise indeed.
But master ,maybe he was tired and confused after a long day.Sintesi
Oct 24, 2002 11:16 AM
Or MAYBE he was LYING! Master sees all.
It's imprecise, but not exactly a lie,TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2002 11:19 AM
Bush misquoted a report, the White House corrected him. I don't think we can possibly expect anybody to be 100% correct all of the time.

This reminds me of the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption, where they have "stat boy" correct all of the factual errors the announcers have made over the course of the program- these are experts and they can't have all of their facts right all of the time. I don't expect that in response to a reporter, Bush has all of his facts correct all of the time either.

Furthermore, I don't think it's a lie if the White House is right there, acting as 'stat boy' and assuring the press of what the correct statement is. Furthermore, this is apparently a case of synthesis, where Bush read the report, concurrently read a US Intelligence report, and confused where he had read what.

Do you believe Mr. Bush, or any President is perfect?
Doesn't need to be perfect, but. . .czardonic
Oct 24, 2002 12:02 PM
I think that in a case like this where key evidence supporting a pivotal case for war turns out to be non-existent, it requires more than a lame and equally unverfiable excuse. What intelligence was he quoting? It can't be classified, because he was obviously intending to refer to it in public. So whether or not the White House is right after all is still very much in question. This smacks of a smear campaign that trumpets false and inflamatory statements and them buries its retractions on the back page.

There are two reasons why I don't think Bush deserves a pass on issues like this, even if they are mistakes rather than intentional misrepresentations:

1) We're not talking about some decade old questionable business deal, or an extra-marital affair. War is a serious matter, and when you "sythesize" intelligence, people lose lives needlessly.

2) The Bush campaign made a huge deal over Gore's "serial exaggeration". In doing so, they raised the bar for themselves.

If Bush stuck to lying about his relationship with Ken Lay, I would agree with you. Politicians will be politicians.
I predict you will find many inprecise quotes.Sintesi
Oct 24, 2002 12:27 PM
Master, you really have it going on!
Damned if you do, damned if you don'tTJeanloz
Oct 24, 2002 1:11 PM
So, what would the appropriate respose to a question from the press have been? "I'm really not sure where, but somewhere I read that Iraq would have the bomb in 6 months." Or should he not comment on it, when reporters are badgering him about what evidence he has?

I'm not a Bush supporter at this point, and I don't think we should go to war in Iraq, but that doesn't mean that I believe everything he says. If you want to see truth being stretched for political gain, come up to Massachusetts this election season- believe me, they make any Bush misquote seem tame.
I don't see how.czardonic
Oct 24, 2002 1:41 PM
If it isn't a fact, it shouldn't be put forth as one. If it is, it should be backed up. I don't think that it is too much to ask of a President to expect him to have his story straight.

Most of all, if he was mistaken, he should admit it. The fact that he never addresses these issues as they come up (and questions about his veracity have pratically become a matter of course with his case for war) suggests that he stands by his (incorrect) statements.

I am sure there are bigger and more brazen liars out there. But how many are using half-truths to egg a country on into a war?
Remember the Maine!!TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2002 2:11 PM
A country being egged into war by political hyperbole? Well, I never would believe such a thing!!

What war haven't we been egged into by half truths? Do you believe that we only wanted to liberate Kuwait for freedom's sake, that it had nothing to do with oil? Are there not questions about whether the Gulf Of Tonkin incident actually ever happened?

You're obviously disgruntled with President Bush for some reason or other, and will take any opportunity to make him look bad. Like I said previously, I don't like the guy, I don't think he's doing a great job, but that doesn't mean that I hold him to a higher standard than previous presidents and insult him for doing things that I believe he has to to get his job done.

And, by the way, what are you trying to accomplish? Do you think he should be impeached for these heinous offenses? Are you trying to make the President look dumb - which, at this point is foolish, because the nation has seen plenty of evidence, and believes that either he's an idiot or a genius, depending on what evidence you look at - trying to stop a campaign in Iraq? Good luck with all of that, but understand that politicians do their thing, and if Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet, you wouldn't even be able to argue about Bush's lies on-line.
So every Presidents agenda should be a fait accompli?czardonic
Oct 24, 2002 3:07 PM
No offense, but I find the type of cynicism evident in your post to be very sad. You seem to think that there is no point in holding politicians to higher standards, or hoping that even if they refuse to learn from history, others will hold them to the wisdom of our nation's experience.

Even sadder is that, stipulating to the half truths on which Bush's agenda rests, you nonetheless assume that it is a job that needs to be done. Aren't you tired of being manipulated? Or are you just so tired that you can't be bothered to resist?

I don't think he should be impeached. Frankly, if he wants to lie to futher his agenda, he should be free to do so as long as it is not under oath (1st Amendment and all). The checks and balances of free press and free speech are there counter him, and as a concerned citizen I am adding my voice (however small) to that process. That is what I am trying to accomplish. Regardless of how futile it may seem, I think it is a better option than shrugging my shoulders and pretending like it doesn't involve me.

(Incidentally, I also think you should be free to propagate the long debunked accusation that Gore claimed to have invented the internet. It's your credibiliity on the line.)
It's a lie on the same level...TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2002 3:26 PM
Al Gore's claim to have invented the internet was actually derived from the quote: " "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." which Mr. Gore said on CNN to Wolf Blitzer. He later corrected and clarified that statement. By your standards, this is obviously a lie, because he clearly did not take the initiative in creating the Internet, and he did not clarify his statement until weeks later. But it's not the man who isn't President's lies we're discussing anyways.

If I believed that consensus could be reached through the truth, I would advocate telling the truth at all times. However, we don't always know what the truth is. Take the Post's "lie" about the 300,000 jobs. We don't know how many jobs will be lost, right? There's no way to predict this before the fact, and probably no way to estimate it after the fact. We have an estimate out there of 300,000; we can quote this estimate, to spur people to action, or we can say: "nobody's really sure how many jobs will be lost". Which approach gets something done?

My view on American government, for the most part, is that we elected [hired] somebody to do a job, if I think he's doing a really, really, really terrible job, it's a duty as a citizen to try to have him impeached. If I think he's doing nothing well, but not a disaster, there is an approval mechanism that comes along in 4 years. Let's be serious, do you think you're going to change the administration policy? And not just their policy, but a core tenet of our system, both Republican and Democrat? If you had a nickel for every lie told by a politician, you would be very wealthy.

I would be offended if these were actually lies, in my book, as opposed to mis-attributions, and poor use of sources. If Bush said: "I know Iraq has nuclear weapons because I was in Bagdhad this morning and saw them myself" , I'd worry. But as long as he clearly has the facts, and is able to do his job based on the facts, I'm comfortable. The reason I voted for Bush, instead of Nader, is that I believe that Bush knows when he can't handle something, and he has an expert give him advice; Messers Nader and Gore seemed to think they knew everything and would direct policy themselves.
Its not a lie, period.czardonic
Oct 24, 2002 4:52 PM
You say that he clearly did not take the initiative in creating the internet. Declan McCullagh, the Wired reporter who originally misconstrued his actual statement has since admitted:

"The short answer is that while even his supporters admit the vice president has an unfortunate tendency to exaggerate, the truth is that Gore never did claim to have "invented" the Internet. . .The terrible irony in this exchange is that while Gore certainly didn't create the Internet, he was one of the first politicians to realize that those bearded, bespectacled researchers were busy crafting something that could, just maybe, become pretty important."

Keep in mind this is from the guy that cooked up the "invented the internet" myth in the first place. Here is a quote from Vint Cerf, who actually did help to invent the internet:

"I think it is very fair to say that the Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the vice president in his current role and in his earlier role as senator."

In the context of Congressional advocacy (which Gore qualified his statement with), you'd be hard pressed to call Gore's statement a lie. You might disagree with the impact of his work, but that is in the realm of opinion, not fact. Of course, you can always "derive" a meaning from it that can be proven to be false, but again, it is ultimately your credibility that is on the line here.

I would frankly prefer that the administration keep its yap shut about issues for which no truth can be determined, or at the very least admit as much. To do otherwise, and especially to represent mere guesses as fact, is patently misleading. It is obvious that Bush is trying to lead people based on dubious facts, which seem a lot like misleading them to me.

Do I think the administrations policy can be changed? It already has! Just look at how Bush's tune on unilateralism has changed in the past month. Look at all the noise that Republicans made about Clinton bending to public opinion. Public outcry makes a difference. (Why else would the administration be trying so hard to discourage it?)

Based on what, other than a laundry list of "mis-attributions and poor use of sources", do you assume that Bush "clearly has the facts, and is able to do his job based on the facts." I agree that his willingess to defer to others is a plus, given his lack of qualifications on just about any issue you care to name. The problem is that the same ignorance that keeps him from doing the job himself prevents him from identifying qualified regents. Just look at the dismal advice he is getting from his economic team. And the ultimate example: the Bush appointee who ultimately determined that Cheney was the best man to serve as Vice President. . . .Dick Cheney himself!
It's not the economy, stupid,TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2002 4:48 AM
Mr. Gore's internet statement was at least as misleading as some of President Bush's misteps.

Based on what do I assume that Bush clearly has the facts? Based on the fact that he's at the top of a chain of command that creates the best 'facts' we have. I'm pretty sure somebody from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FBI, CIA and every other Federal agency keep the President in the loop. Think, for a moment about your statement: "I would prefer the administration keep its yap shut about issues for which no truth can be determined." Is there any issue for which truth can be determined? In science, we don't ever reach truth- only theory, and if we tried to get to the absolute truth before we made a decision, we would never make a decision.

But on the economy. The President, be he Democrat or Republican, gets far too much credit when things in the economy are going well, and far too much blame when they are going badly. Part of my job is to analyze the implications of economic policy, and I never think about what the President is doing- because he has 0 impact on economic policy. The Federal Reserve Governers really have all of the monetary policy power, and they are all Clinton or Bush Sr. era appointees. Fiscal policy falls in the hands of the President, but if he spends more (which he has) not less, he really can't hurt the economy [GDP = personal incomes + government spending + net exports]. I don't think anybody's to blame for the economy, but I also don't think the economy is in very bad shape- you're listening to the left wing 'lies' (as you would call them) about the dire conditions we're currently in.
Oct 25, 2002 8:44 AM
First, I think there is a big difference between exagerating one's own accomplishments (braggery) and citing misleading or unfounded "facts" from a position of authority with the aim of influencing policy (propagandizing).

If Bush is indeed kept in the loop by reputable government agencies, the fact that he is relying on dubious third parties is even more damning. If the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FBI, CIA or any other Federal agency could back him up, he would use their statistics instead of a biased business lobby. In fact, as we have seen with his campaing on Iraq, the CIA does not back him up, and yet he presses on. Of course no truth can ever be scientifically determined. But that does not free scientists (or politicians) to represent any theory they want as the truth. Theories must be backed by empirical evidence in order to be considered valid, and only hack would parrot the unscientifically gathered "evidence" compiled by a biased third party.

The president, while not in control of the economy, plays a vital part in maintaining consumer and investor confidence. The evidence: For months every time Bush opened his mouth on the economy, the stock market dropped. This is a testament to both his influence over economic activity and his lack of credibility on the issue.

Stock prices falling faster than at any time since the 70's, increasing deficit, ever increasing unemployment, increasing poverty, and you don't think the economy is in bad shape? You'll excuse me if I take your "analysis" with a grain of salt.
Your sources please,TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2002 9:31 AM
1st, you say that Bush was quoting statistics from a biased business lobby- in at least one case this was a UNION; hardly a biased 'business' lobby.

On the economy;

1. The price of stocks and the state of the economy should not be confused, they are not the same thing. That being said, you're only giving half the story- prices were falling quite fast, but they also just rose faster than they ever had.

2. The deficit should be increasing in times like these. If it weren't, we would have a legitimate beef that the government was taking too much wind out of the economy's sails. It's the Goldilocks method of macroeconomic management.

3. The 50% of poverty rate, for 2001 (the last year that statistics are available for) is lower than it was in ANY year in the 1990s. The strict poverty rate was 11.7%; which is lower than it was in 1999 (11.9%). [Source: US Census Dept.]

4. The unemployment rate of 5.2% is highest since 1996, when it was 5.6%, but is significantly lower than the 7.5% in 1992. If it were 7.2%, that would be ~50% more people unemployed. And that isn't even all that terrible- the 1982 recession had unemployment of 9.7%- almost DOUBLE what it is today. [Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics]

To sum, no, I don't think the economy is in bad shape. It's people who watch too much CNBC who think the economy is in bad shape. Can you quote the study that showed that every time Bush opens his mouth on the economy, the market has dropped, or is that political hyperbole- what you would call, a 'lie'?
Funny stuff.czardonic
Oct 25, 2002 10:30 AM
You don't think that unions are biased? I guess that explains the credulity that permeates your entire view of the world.

1. This only paints a worse face on the markets drop relative to its recent performance. I'll spare you the hassle of BS'ing about overinflation and correction. Were we better off before or after the crash? And if prosperity is simply a matter of faith in the market, Presidential economic evangelism can't be as inconsequential as you claim.

2. I'm sure you are as credible in your determination of where the deficit should be as you are on other issues.

3. You fail to note that while poverty is lower for 2001 than 1999, it is higher than it was in 2000. In fact, while it is .2% lower than 1999, it is .4% higher than 2000. Care to guess which way the numbers will go for 2002? People pay you for this kind of analysis?

4. Without accounting for the number of people who are not unemployed because they have given up on finding work, your unemployment figures are misleading. The number of people employed in proportion to the polulation is in the second year of its sharpest decline in 50 years. Given the decline in 401K values, one can hardly assume that people are leaving by choice.

You don't think the economy is bad? Fine. I guess those who can't find work should quit their whining.

No such studies have been done. I guess that negates in your mind the several instances in which Bush has assured us that all the indications of a recovering economy are in place, and the market has immediately taken a hit. But then, you actually believe him.
Funny stuff.TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2002 10:53 AM
1. I don't understand your response. I don't think, at the end of the day, we are any better off or worse off after the 'crash'. The market is a zero sum game.

2. I'm not going to comment on my own credibility. You can study economic theory if you'd like to, but I'm not qualified to teach it via the internet.

3. Poverty was marginally higher in 2001 than it was in 2000, I could guess where we're going to go in 2002, but I couldn't without lying (according to your definition), so I abstained, and used only the reliable data that we have.

4. My unemployment figures are the BLS unemployment figures [and I understand you like data from reliable, unbiased sources]; you're arguing apples and oranges, because we also don't know what number of people gave up looking in 1982. With time series analysis, it's more important to keep the definitions constant. You're argument would be right if I said that 5.6% of the population doesn't have a job- but that would be untrue, which is why I didn't say that.

Yes, it is my job to do this kind of analysis. Which, consequently means that I can bend the numbers to say pretty much whatever my boss wants them to say. No, I don't think the economy is bad. Don't get me wrong- I don't think its all roses, or even good, or even positive- but I don't think its 'bad' yet. If you think this is 'bad'; watch out, it could get a whole lot worse.

Unless you can give some data, and a real, thoughtful response, I think I'm done here.
Now you are equivocating. Data too!czardonic
Oct 25, 2002 11:46 AM
You don't think the economy is bad, but you don't think it is good? I guess you think it the economy just "is". (What is your definition of "is", by the way.)

1. Sell your "zero sum game" theory to the people who's retirement savings are part of the billions lost.

2. Agreed.

3. Marginal as the rate increase may be, it is still double the rate you disingenously tried to use to suggest that the rate had fallen. Go ahead and guess, I only said that it was misleading to represent guesses as fact. Here is some "reliable" data from the Census Bureau to base your rosy predictions on:

4. The figure I am refering to is a function of the number of jobs, the number of people looking for work, and the number of people eligible to work among the population as a whole. It is not surprising that these figures aren't available from the BLS, because it is not strictly a labor statistic, and it would also inflate the unemployment rate (much as an honest appraisal of the poverty line would reveal a vast increase in the number of those living under it.) The BLS defines the "unemployed" as "those who did not work at all (in the reference week), have actively looked for a job (sometime in the 4-week period ending with the survey reference week), and are currently available for work." As such, your statement is only correct if you said that 5.6% of people who are either employed or actively (as defined by the BLS) seeking employment didn't have a job.

Disraeli, statistics, blah blah blah. My original point with regard to sources was that the President should not be citing unverifiable private sector conjecture as fact. If he was drawing his information from the BLS (or the FBI, CIA, DOE or any of the other "bureaucracies" that he has such disdain for) we wouldn't be having this argument.

And with regard to the economy, you are free to assert things have not taken a turn for the worse. I disagree.
Master is a real "piece of work."Sintesi
Oct 25, 2002 11:58 AM
Forgive master.
Yes, to a degree,TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2002 12:25 PM
There is a level of being between 'good' and 'bad', which is where things are in the current economy. Is a glass of room-temperature water hot or cold? It's a matter of perspective, as are 'good' and 'bad' economies. Compared to 1998 (assuming all the books weren't cooked in 1998), the economy is bad. Compared to the larger data set- this is no 1930; not even 1992. Ask somebody who lived through the depression how bad things are.

On poverty, you cite the same source that I pointed you to- so obviously I saw the same numbers. I would argue that the 50% of poverty line is a better indicator, because it gives a better view of how wide the income gap is. But, I did also include the straight poverty line, which did, in fact, show a decrease over the period I quoted.
Oct 25, 2002 2:07 PM
This whole argument stemmed from Bush's economic policy and his response to the current conditions, no? In view of that, our position relative to 1930 is irrelevant. What is relevant is how our position has changed since Bush entered office, what he has done to improve it (to the extent that he can), and how effective those measures have been.
Master has ALL DAY to research and respond.Sintesi
Oct 25, 2002 4:52 AM
You can never triumph. Master is a genius and he is armed with google. Master hates Bush. Alot. Alot lot. Master is going to have a heart attack.
Yes master. HIGHER level.Sintesi
Oct 24, 2002 10:49 AM
Can you do battle with this puppetmaster? He is very crafty. BEWARE master.
If you guys believe that, I have this bridge for sale....DJB
Oct 24, 2002 5:07 AM
The quote is actually from a satire site.