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So, how did the President do?(45 posts)

So, how did the President do?128
Jan 29, 2003 5:18 AM
I thought it was a very well delivered speech, and was surprised that by his thoughts on AIDS in Africa and alternative fuel for cars. I don't think he made a case for war though, and if there is more evidence why leave it to Powell to make the case?

Locke's Democratic respose was very well delivered as well, and reminded me that the Dems have an agenda that is very competitive with the current direction of the White House and most of the Rep. party.
re: So, how did the President do?Alpedhuez55
Jan 29, 2003 6:12 AM
The alternative fuel car suprised me as well. It is a good position to take. Hopefuly the investment wil pay off. The Aids in Africa was expected. It is even more devistating there then it is here. Maybe doctors there will find a different approach to treating the disease as well.

I was not expecting any big revelations on the war front last night. I would not be suprised if there is a joint statement issued with Tony Blair this Friday with a little more information. We will see what Powell says next week.

It is a good idea though. Both the speech and the response were well delivered.

Mike Y.
alternative fuel, look behind the decision.dr hoo
Jan 29, 2003 1:07 PM
The decision by the administration to pursue hydrogen powered cars was made in conjunction with the decision NOT to pursue stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)standards. Basically, they said keep going with the gas guzzling SUVs, and we will pursue this other thing WAY down the road.

As for the AIDS thing, it will be interesting to see how they try to prevent the spread of HIV without the use or even MENTION of condoms. The administration policy promotes abstinence only remember.

You gotta read the fine print on these things, the devil is in the details, and the details were not in the speech.

I think the Shrub did a very good job with his address, and should get a good pop in the polls. Well practiced and delivered.
$15 billionMJ
Jan 30, 2003 10:12 AM
is going to go a long way to promote abstinence is best
Africa has become a nightmare of epic proportion,sn69
Jan 29, 2003 6:31 AM
and one that we are very concerned about. Beyond the 30 million AIDS/HIV cases, the Hutu/Tutsi conflict claimed over 6.5 million lives in just under five years. Tribal skirmishes quickly evolve into enthnically-charged bloodbaths, and Fundamentalist Islam is spreading like wildfire south into the heart of the Continent. The poverty and squalor there are unprecedented in the modern world, and the social decay along the Kinshasa Highway, stretching coast to coast, is indicative of an epidemic of profound underdevelopment sweeping across the sub-Saharan and tropical regions of Africa.

That place is a breeding ground for the type of misdirected anger and aggression that provides new recruits for Osama's training camps. We can't afford to ignore it until it's our crisis. 'Sides,...providing help is the right thing to do.
No decision.OldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 6:32 AM
It was a draw. If you liked the President going in, you thought it was good. If you didn't like the President going in -- well, I doubt you were swayed. I don't see much shift in perception coming from this speech, which is par for the course for State of the Union deals.

I thought our response was pathetic fluff, though. What in the HELL were the party elders thinking? I guess we have too many presidential candidates running around to stick a heavyweight in there to respond. Look like giving unfair advantage.
sounded like JFK nmDougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 6:56 AM
Just Frickin' Kidding? nmOldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 7:42 AM
he did wellDuane Gran
Jan 29, 2003 7:05 AM
I was on the whole quite happy with what he said. I expected him to beat the war drum pretty hard, but the things he said about Iraq had a lot of substance. I was particularly happy with his endorsement of alternative fuel and I'll be watching to see how this pans out.

The only thing that dissapointed me was the matter of economics. I don't believe Bush's tax plan is going to be effective. Mind you, I think it is the right thing to do, but I just don't think that the demographic who earns from dividends will infuse much of that back into the economy. I haven't looked closely at the Democrat plan, so it may be the best option for all I know.

I found the justification for removing taxes on dividends to be interesting. The idea is that business profits are taxed and that is double taxation to tax dividends. This is true, however that has never stopped the Government in the past! I've heard that a loaf of bread undergoes nearly 100 taxes before it reaches the dinner table. By this logic, sales tax should be removed since my income was taxed prior to the purchase. Mind you, I won't turn down a tax cut, but I don't think the argument presented by Bush is consistent.
re: So, how did the President do?eyebob
Jan 29, 2003 8:11 AM
"We must work together to fund only our most important priorities. I will send you a budget that increases discretionary spending by 4 percent next year -- about as much as the average family's income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark for us. Federal spending should not rise any faster than the paychecks of American families."

4% = 84 Billion, small change in the overall budget, but add that to the 300 Billion defecit that we're running currently (emphasis on the word "currently") and you have an interesting scenario. Either cut spending overall (unlikely given his other "priorities") or raise revenue by growth in tax collections. Hmmmm, where we gonna find 60 Million jobs that pay about $5000 in taxes each? Good question right?

A further question offered to the Board. All partisan rants aside. Why do (typically the Republicans) follow so eagerly down the path of tax cuts and deficit spending in denial of the fact that there will be no free lunch. How does this formula of Bush's not lead to a humongous explosion in the Federal deficit? Do we have evidence that suggests that this "stimulus" works? How would you float this with elections just 2 years away?

BT
Republicans are used to free lunchestorquer
Jan 29, 2003 9:03 AM
or at least tax-deductible ones. :=?
Seriously (but partisan nonetheless), just as corporations were fixated on meeting quarterly goals to please Wall Street, politicians (of both parties) are interested in "results" no further away than the next election. Then they will either have to improvise some further sleight-of-hand accounting gimmicks, or it will be someone else's problem to deal with.

In the business world, this led to "savings" in R&D, pension funding shortfalls and exporting jobs. The worst offenders (Tyco/Adelphia/Enron) get indicted, but most see their stock values plummet as reality sets in; What's GE stock selling for these days, something like half of what it was under that genius, Jack Welch?

Dubya's tax cuts/ spending increases provide pork for his constituency, and when the bills come due (after the election), well, they'll just have to cut all those useless social programs. That will make those Wall Street Journal/Cato Institute types happy, too.

The GOP has long tarred the other party as "tax and spend" Democrats. Is it any better to "spend and borrow" with no clue where the money to pay those debts is coming from?

Oh yeah, I forgot: if we stop taxing the rich, them the economy will grow! Plenty of jobs selling Guccis and servicing Mercedes!
Republicans = the BORROW and spend party. (nm)Spoke Wrench
Jan 29, 2003 2:56 PM
As opposed to the Tax & Spend Democratic Party (nm)Alpedhuez55
Jan 30, 2003 10:04 AM
Yup, and the Libertarians are the anarchy party.Spoke Wrench
Feb 1, 2003 7:24 AM
They don't think that government should do anything.

It's good that we have all three to keep one another in line.
Libertarian is the party party. :-) nmDougSloan
Feb 2, 2003 4:12 PM
lame speechmohair_chair
Jan 29, 2003 9:05 AM
Forget the content--that speech was lame. Terribly written. Maybe they should drag Peggy Noonan back from her consulting gig on the West Wing, because the Bush speechwriters suck.

Worst line (from memory, so probably not exact): "We have captured or otherwise dealt with top leaders of al Quaida..."

Otherwise dealt with?

What?

Is that the latest government double speak term for KILL, because that's what he's talking about. We they didn't sit down and reason with these guys. We didn't rap their knuckles with a ruler. We didn't make them take a timeout. We didn't make them spend a night in the box. We killed them. KILL, KILL, KILL! And hopefully we'll kill some more before we are done.

Does Bush and his people really believe that somewhere, someone will get upset because the USA killed terrorists?

How sad that we might be going to war, and Bush can't even be up front about what war means. KILL.

We regret to inform you that your son was otherwise dealt with....
Good memory.eyebob
Jan 29, 2003 9:12 AM
Here's the text exactly.

"To date, we've arrested or otherwise dealt with many key commanders of al Qaeda. They include a man who directed logistics and funding for the September the 11th attacks; the chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf, who planned the bombings of our embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole; an al Qaeda operations chief from Southeast Asia; a former director of al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan; a key al Qaeda operative in Europe; a major al Qaeda leader in Yemen. All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies."
Here's you link to the speech.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html
what could he have said to satisfy you?DougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 9:36 AM
Short of "I will be resigning the office of president effective noon tomorrow," I'd bet there isn't anything he could have said to make you happy. Right?

So, how would a Democrat have referenced killing terrorists? Aren't they the proponents of PC language and euphemisms?

Lame attack on the speech. Completely predictable and partisan.
You don't give in do you?Casual Viewer
Jan 29, 2003 9:55 AM
You are apparently utterly incapable of saying anything constructive on a topic - so you just resort to personal attacks, vague smears, groundless assumptions, and your faux aloofness.

Engage brain, use, type. Note: Failure to complete stage one negates further progress.

Try it - the future of the planet may depend on a few people being capable of intelligent and lucid criticism of Bush's proposed actions.
ok, Pot...DougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 10:06 AM
So, it becomes personal if I use the same term about your post that you did about the President's speech? Come on, you can do better than that.

You are apparently utterly incapable of saying anything constructive on a topic - so you just resort to personal attacks, vague smears, groundless assumptions, and your faux aloofness.

Engage brain, use, type. Note: Failure to complete stage one negates further progress.

Try it - the future of the planet may depend on a few people being capable of intelligent and lucid criticism of Bush's proposed actions. -- I agree.

Kettle
Oh SurpriseCasual Viewer
Jan 30, 2003 1:29 AM
more argumentum as homenim, and still nothing on the issue.

So in addition to the above and your missing sense of humour, you appear to be completely immune to irony, particulary when presented in a form to stimulate debate.

Fair enough - at least people now know what type of guy is laying into them when they dare to express a view different to your holy opinion.
you're cracking me upDougSloan
Jan 30, 2003 7:58 AM
This is hilarious! You can't see that you are doing everything you accuse me of?

Debate means both sides get to argue, including me. Wow, what a concept.

Thanks for making my day.

Doug
YeahCasual Viewer
Jan 31, 2003 6:17 AM
I am doing it to point it out. Irritating isn't it?

You do it a lot of the time.

Really? Lets see an argument then, rather than just you labelling others and then bashing their POV?
Completely predictable and partisan?mohair_chair
Jan 29, 2003 9:57 AM
I guess you see what you want to see. I don't see it myself, and since I wrote it, I think I know better than you. I'm not sure where the Democrats come in, either. Who's being predictable and partisan here?

I'm not being critical of Bush so much as his speechwriters. Bush didn't write that speech, he just delivered it. I don't know who wrote his post Sep 11 speech to Congress, but that was a great speech. This one wasn't anywhere near that level.

In a speech as important as this, you don't say idiotic obfuscations like "otherwise dealt with" and "Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies." Wink, wink. Heh heh heh. Wink, wink. Wipe that simpering grin off your face.

If his speechwriters weren't so horribly afraid of upsetting pacifists somewhere, he would say "To date, we've arrested or killed in battle many key commanders of al Qaeda." Then he doesn't have to come back later and say "Many others have met a different fate" to clarify what he meant.
missed my pointDougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 10:11 AM
My point was that the political arena is full of PC language and euphemisms. No, I don't think it's good form to go on world wide television and gloat about killing people. If a Democrat had said the exact same thing, I think the roles would be reversed and many here would be defending it. Or, if he had said "killed," many here would be attacking him for that. He can't win with some people.

And someone suggested that I lighten up... Geez.

Doug
All true, yet I wonder ifOldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 10:25 AM
two years after he's out of office, nutty liberals will still dredge Bush up to flog him on this board. See nutty conservative reference to Clinton below, which I responded to, not because I really wanted to, but because it just drives me batty that the right wing can't let Clinton and his foibles go.

Does it really mean that much to you people? Is there life after Bill for you after all? No?

The fact of the matter is, I criticize/make fun of Bush as a buffoon a lot LESS than I normally would, simply because I remember how ... UNSEEMLY ... the Republican obsession with Clinton was -- and is. It's almost like they can't engage on issues, so they just fall back on bashing old Bill. Maybe it gets 'em off, who knows? But, despite the fat target Bush presents, I think I'll learn from their sad example and argue the deficiencies of his presidency on issues.
hypocrisyDougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 10:42 AM
The Bill references are, I think, largely to demonstrate hypocrisy. Demos attack George for the same things Repubs attacked Bill (except for the sex stuff). For example, recall that Bill ordered a little bombing himself. There weren't any peace protests back then about that.

And, yes, there is hypocrisy on both sides. In the Bill years, some were still bashing Ronnie and George, ad nauseum.

Doug
No peace protests, justOldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 10:53 AM
Repubs hopping up and down saying it was just to draw attention away from the impeachment vote. Partisan and predictable, as you say.

I've been in the wars a lot of years. Worked for politicians, worked for the party, been a political columnist ... and frankly, I'm sick of BOTH sides, when it comes to the level of debate we've all stooped to.

There's nothing more invigorating than dishing out a real spirited ass-whoopin' on issues. But this personal stuff, this casting aspersions on motives, this low comedy we call 'policy debate' nowadays? -- it's really pretty sickening for an old small-d democrat like myself, who believes in this process.
Okay, OldEdScott....moneyman
Jan 29, 2003 3:03 PM
I respect your opinions a great deal, even if I don't agree with the majority of them. Here is a policy question for you, one that is NOT rife with personal attack and/or innuendo: Are you, and by extension other political liberals, prepared for the worldwide consequences if we do not go to war with Iraq?

Imagine the strengthened hand of Saddam, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Hezbollah, Israel, ad nauseum, all having seen the US stared down in a battle of wills. No shots fired, yet there is an extraordinarily high probability that those who would do us harm would see their best opportunity to succeed. Do you believe that if we fail to find a "smoking gun" or pictures of Scuds with bio weapons loaded on them, and therefore we don't attack, that Saddam will just be quiet and continue on his merry way? Aren't the risks of not going to battle much greater than the risks of going to war? It seems to me that if Saddam wins, the entire region becomes unhinged. And do you think that the countries already mentioned, with the additions of India and Pakistan, would have any fear whatsoever of a US response to their further development and use of WMDs, particularly nuclear weapons?

The world is a dangerous place, and there are many that would love to do us harm. The only thing stopping them from actually completing the act is fear of reprisal. Remove the fear, take away the teeth and claws from the lion, and the consequences are almost too chiling to even consider.

$$
I think you're right.OldEdScott
Jan 30, 2003 6:49 AM
There would be terrible consequences. The administration has ratcheted this thing all the way up, so there's no backing down now without losing all kinds of face and credibility.

I wish they had done what I believe Colin Powell wanted -- turn the screws on Saddam's nuts gradually, a half-turn at a time, till he caved in. It's normal diplomacy, or crisis management, that you go from A to B to C etc. When you finally get to Z, everyone knows you've tried everything else, and you've brought them along; plus there's a chance the whole deal stops at S or T.

The neo-cons in the administration, a very bellicose lot, seem to have grabbed Bush's ear, and in the blink of an eye we leapt from A to Z and were talking about regime change.
They've backed off somewhat lately, saying 'disarm' instead, but regime change is what they really want and everyone knows it. So were at Z and there's no turning back.

I agree there's going to be a war, and I agree that, because of the way we've gone about this, there pretty much now has to be (unless Saddam just surrenders, or goes into exile.) But I don't think it HAD to be this way. And I think there will be terrible consequences even when we 'win.'
Fair enoughmoneyman
Jan 30, 2003 7:21 AM
I don't disagree with you. I'm not so sure this had to happen, but now it HAS to happen.

$$
Your tipping your hand. . .czardonic
Jan 29, 2003 10:44 AM
. . .with these hypothetical "roles reversed" arguments. It makes it seem like you yourself view the world through a very biased and partisan lens.

Clinton took a lot of heat from liberals for many of his policies, particularly when they were barely distinguishable from Republican policies.
That's what was weird.OldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 10:56 AM
And maybe that's why Repubs attacked Clinton personally instead of on issues. They couldn't attack him on issues -- he 'triangulated' Republican positions into his own.
That part may have been ad-libbed.czardonic
Jan 29, 2003 10:36 AM
An MSNBC analyst who had an advance copy of the speech said that Bush digressed from the script when he got that grin on his face and started talking about how terrorists were elimiated.
How About "Mesured Response"Alpedhuez55
Jan 29, 2003 11:17 AM
"Mesured Response" worked for Janet Reno after Waco. I guess Bush is being too PC by not using kill or "put a cap in those mofos" or "Sent them to meet their 72 virgins". THere is a time and place for words like kill. The State of the Union was not that time.

If he is able to "otherwise dealt with" every last terrorist in the world, I know I for one would sleep a lot easier.

Mike Y.
Not great, but at least we don't have to ask, Who did he do?nmcarnageasada
Jan 29, 2003 9:08 AM
cause that's the most important question for the leader of the free world - nmMJ
Jan 29, 2003 9:59 AM
Nobody ever HAD to ask that question, exceptOldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 10:15 AM
sexually frustrated Republicans obsessed with Bill Clinton's highly successful sex life.

There. I said it.
...his legacy, a "highly successful sex life"? :-) nmDougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 10:21 AM
Who among usOldEdScott
Jan 29, 2003 10:27 AM
wouldn't be proud to have such a legacy!
I'd party with the dude any day. nmDougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 10:43 AM
Actually Ed, Laywers in a Sexual Harrassment Case...Alpedhuez55
Jan 29, 2003 10:50 AM
were the ones who HAD to ask that question. And if Clinton answered those questions honestly in the first place, he would have saved himself and the rest of the country from a lot of trouble. The sexually fustrated Republicans would not have had to get involved. And us over-sexed Republicans would be jealous that he was getting hummers under his desk ;-)

Ditto for Nixon on Watergate. Admit to your mistakes or flaws and see if you will be forgiven. THat has worked for several politicians here in Massachusetts. When you try to put your legacy or office ahead of your country, the country is cheated.

Mike Y.
Aren'tSteveS
Jan 29, 2003 3:44 PM
Aren't you the guy who used the fricative "frikkin'" above? Sounds like you might be obsessing about sex. Otherwise, this 'sexually frustrated Republicans' is a generally pathetically weak and meaningless statement.
Oh, I'mOldEdScott
Jan 30, 2003 6:52 AM
too old to obsess about sex. Besides, I'm a Democrat. It's not that big a deal to us!
As far as speeches go, well.czardonic
Jan 29, 2003 10:26 AM
"Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give and appearance of of solidarity to pure wind." (Orwell, "Politics and the English Language")

Given that, I think that the Iraq portion of Bush's speech was effective. He did a good job of ramping up paranoia about terrorism, which will continue to pay off for him politically. Heck, he had a skeptic like me imagining the horrors of a WMD attack on American soil, and believing that even if Saddam and Al Queda are at cross purposes, they'd likely put their differences aside to smite the Great Satan. If I stopped thinking about it right there, attacking Iraq is a no brainer.

However, I ultimately have no confidence that backing Saddam into a corner will make us any safer. Quite the opposite, in fact. And here's the follow-up question I'd like people to ask the next time someone frets "what if Saddam give weapons to terrorists who sneak them into the US?" What if they already have? What if these weapons are already in place, ready to be used to knock the wind out of a US attack?

Bush was right when he said "chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained." Lets pick our battles with these facts well in mind. It is time we stopped pretending that we can solve our problems by having the biggest gun. We'll always have enemies, but we'll have a lot fewer (and a lot more defenders) if we take the mission of protecting freedom seriously.

In that vein, I think Bush's appeal to the Iraqi people was good. The world should be hearing much more of this kind of sentiment from the US. Along with that there needs to be a commitment to stabilization of the country and a promise of self-determination for the people, i.e. you can organize your society any way that you want as long as certain fundamental rights are guarunteed and you are a peaceful nation. You can hope that a free society will choose democracy, but it is oxymoronic to impose democracy on an unwilling people. Moreover, it is foolish to assume that democracy will naturally lead to a free, peacful society.

As far as economic policy, I forget who it was but a commentator on Hardball put it best. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. Bush is asking for a bigger shovel.

The Democratic response was panned by every commentator I heard, but I though it went well. It was nice to hear hope instead of fear, and alternatives to extending the same policies that haven't been working for 2 years. Funny how the detractors are the same people who criticized the Democrats for being overly contrarian and not offering any alternatives.