Adios Mr. Shrub Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm
David Brooks, a conservative columnist with the NY Times, and also appears on the public TV News Hour and on National Public Radio, put it very well and very cryptically today (and I paraphrase):
"Bush is uniting the country by getting outta town."
I am disgusted by the press conferences, interviews and farewell speech of this failure of a President, in which he is delusional about the awful stewardship that ocurred under his non-watch. He is so out of touch, it is just appalling.
The gratuitous comments by Shrub and Cheney as they exit the scene about making the tough decisions, not paying attention to the polls, having few regrets, and leaving the judgement to history are to be expected bravado, but they choose Harry Truman as their reference point, when they should be choosing Harding/Coolidge/Hoover.
I am feeling like those times, in which my grandparents were in the age cohort that I am now, we are in for some extremely difficult years ahead, a great deal of which can be attibuted to lazy thinking by those in leadership in Washington these last 8 years.
The man who becomes President next Tuesday has thus far exhibited a demeanor and choice of talent that makes me hopeful. I am sad to say that they are cleaning up a mess that can be attributed to poor judgemeents, lack of bi-partinsanship, cronyism, and mis-guided ideology.
By contrast, there seems to be a pragmatism about those who are about to take office.
Good riddance, Mr. Shrub, and may God bless our new President Obama.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2009 at 7:46 pm
You sound upset, and perhaps fearful.
GWB liberated Iraq, an enormous, world-changing accomplishment. He also protected this country from another 9-11. Obama could only hope that he could accomplish as much. Won't happen though, becasue BHO is an empty suit, and he hasn't a single clue as to what he is really willing to fight for. His Emptiness will do just fine reading his scripts (written by his handlers), but when there is no there there, POOF!
BHO will have $1T to spend, but he will fail, in the end, because he has no real core convictions, other than getting elected and being adored by his acolytes.
Instead of being disgusted by how the press is currently treating GWB's farewell, Boomer, you should be disgusted by your own fawning over a false idol.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2009 at 7:17 am Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Boomer, look at what $4 gasoline did to small businesses, $4 gas courtesy of democrats. Look how gas went down when Bush ordered drilling bans dropped and look how gas has started up again with the news Obama will oppose drilling and buy into the Warmie religion. Then imagine if Saddam controlled all Middle East oil. You would be lucky, then, to afford a rat's posterior. Blind hatred is a poor guide for life.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2009 at 8:25 am
The current economic crisis was brought on by too many subprime loans. If Obama was in power the last eight years, he would pressured for even more subprimes...and the situation would have been even worse.
The liberation of Iraq is exactly the kind of medicine that will cure the al qaeda disease, namely a prosperous democratic state in the heart of the Muslim world. Had Obama been in power, instead of GWB, Saddam Hussein would still be in power.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2009 at 11:39 am
I believe I have entered the acceptance phase of grief over the recent loss of the last adults in charge..and am entering the LMAO phase at the "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" aspect of the incoming govt..
Every time I turn around, it gets funnier.
An Education Secretary who can't speak English well. Whose only goal is to spread propoganda a la Chavez and call it "reform".
A Secretary of State who has had NO foreign experience at all, and whose husband has 50 million dollars of conflict of interest payments from heads of states around the world..including our enemies
A Treasury Secretary who "didn't realize" he wasn't paying taxes he was supposed to pay.
A CIA director with zero Intelligence knowledge and experience, so bad even Feinstein put up a peep of resistance. His only credential is that he believes America tortured prisoners.
An Attorney General who destroyed client-attorney privilege, therefore putting a severe damper on business owners seeking advice when appropriate. And lets not forget he helped Clinton pardon FLAN terrorists so Hilary could get Puerto Rican votes in New York. His best credential is that he believes water boarding is torture, and similar to what the Inquisition did ( clearly never having read about what they did in the Inquisition that he is calling water torture, nor spoken with any of our military who have undergone water boarding).
And, lest we forget, a CEO of the USA who never even ran a PTA meeting, let alone a company, city or state.
I suspect a lot of people are going to have buyer's remorse and long for the days of Bush within a few years.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2009 at 11:46 am
I had my beef with President Bush..
I did not approve at all of his increasing the k-12 budget by 50%, believing that is up to the States to care for the k-12 education.
I did not approve doubling the Medicare drug benefit ( and cost).
I did not agree with not shutting down our border.
I did not agree with taking the phenomenal record breaking amount of tax money our Feds raked in and not paying down our deficit, and instead growing every program we have.
I strongly disagreed with his being the first President to approve Embryonic Stem Cell use for experiments.
But I am grateful for the policies that
let me walk safely against terrorism across the Golden Gate bridge,
led to a huge growth in our economy in spite of the inherited recession and 9/11,
improved test scores across the nation and more kids getting into college than ever in our history,
allowed the greatest number of minorities in our history to move from renting homes into owning homes which ( if you can hold on to them) is the single best indicator your kids will not be poor as adults. ( The results should not have been a collapse of our housing market,and that I lay on the abuse of Congressional Regulation of Fannie Mae through the CRA for which we can thank the FINANCE commmittee, and Frank and Dodd, and weak Republicans who were too afraid of being called "racist" and so didn't stand up and fight for us. I also blame ACORN, for whom BHO worked, for hassle lawsuits to blackmail lending institutions into lending to bad risk people on the basis of color).
I am grateful for the support of faith-based charities and for having a President who always carried himself with frace, honor, humor and integrity, even when he was being spit on and pummeled. He never shamed me by being "slick" or slimey, dishonest or 2-faced. What he said to one group, he said to all. What he said to one country, he said to all.
I suspect I will not see that in the following years since I have already seen a tendency toward forked tongue. I hope it is just youthful squirming, and not an indication of character...
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm
"Had Obama been in power, instead of GWB, Saddam Hussein would still be in power."
But Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad (2 of Bush's 3 "Axis of Evil" types) are still thriving in power despite all of Bush's empty bluster.
And their countries are far better off because of that. Would you care to contrast Iraqi misery under Bush with that under Saddam? I don't blame you - it would not be favorable to your hero. Then there's Bush's hollow "liberation" of Afghanistan, which Obama needs to fix real quick.
Brooks and Buchanan and Bartlett got it right. Bush has betrayed the conservative cause (and everything else). America is better off with him gone. So will be Iraq.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2009 at 8:05 pm
"Would you care to contrast Iraqi misery under Bush with that under Saddam?"
Sure. Saddam had mass graves to the tune of at least 300,000. He used WMD on his own people. He attacked two of his neighboring countries. He was a Stalinist-type thug, who ruled with fear. He still has some followers, but the vast majority of Iraquis are happy he is dead. To your point, though, that the Iraquis have suffered...no doubt about it. So did the Germans as Hitler was deposed (a lot more so, btw). Your question, put to the Germans in 1942 would be: Do you German volk want to be rid of Hitler, if it means you will be destoyed as a society? The answer would probably be an overwhelming "no"...we will keep our heads down and just obey. However, if you asked the same questionin in 1950, the asnswer would be "yes"...we are finally free of this fascist disease, and we can now move forward.
GWB is, indeed, the liberator of Iraq.
A liberated Iraq will not only be a stake through the heart of al qaeda, but it will also be an example for the Iranians...who will see the freedom and prosperity next door to them, then demand the same from their own tyrant leaders. One should not forget that Iraq sits on top a huge pool of oil...enough to blow Iran out of the world market...probably enough to send demands to Saudi Arabia and Russia. A prosperous and free Iraq is devastating to the the various tyrants in the region...it could be a world shaking revolution, including bringing Islam out ofthe Middle Ages. Thanks to GWB. This assumes, of course, that Obama does not blow it.
Posted by Get Real, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 8:33 am
"GWB liberated Iraq" Naw. He just swapped one kind of chaos and murder for another.
"$4 gas courtesy of democrats" Yes, but on this planet the democrats have not yet seized control of world oil prices.
"The current economic crisis was brought on by too many subprime loans. If Obama was in power the last eight years, he would pressured for even more subprimes...and the situation would have been even worse."
Nonsense. The crisis was TRIGGERED by too many subprime loans under looser rules and lax enforcement courtesy of the republicans. Obama would certainly have pushed for greater regulation and the situation would have been much less severe.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm
"Saddam had mass graves to the tune of at least 300,000"
You at least have a very healthy imagination, Gary. It could explain a lot. Bush caused at least that many Iraqi graves: ttp://www.infowars.com/articles/iraq/death_toll_civilian_toll_in_iraq_may_top_one_million.htm
"...heads down and just obey?"
Imaginative. But instead of projecting self-serving attitudes on Reich-era Germans, why not read Milton Mayer's "They Thought They Were Free"? Lots of parallels to Bushism in there. Lots.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Thank you Mr. Bush for doing a tough job in difficult times. When you started compaigning you had no idea what you were letting yourself in for. Who would have been prepared for what you had to go through. Mistakes, of course, but it is always easy to criticize with hindsight. Memories, naturally, some sad, some bad, but there were hopefully some good also. Friends, hopefully more than enemies. Enemies, let the history books list them.
You may not have done what everyone would have liked, but you held your head up and did the job that most could not have done.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm
No, Paul, GWB did not cause over 300,000 civilian deaths, like Saddam did. There have been only about 100,000 civilian deaths, according Iraq Body Count (Web Link ), and the vast majority of these deaths are due to Iraqis settling there own scores, as they form a new state. If you really want to see mass slaughter, just follow Obama's promise during his campaign (cut and run)...happily, BHO has grown up a bit since those empty promises to his acolytes, and he is now talking about a "responsible" withdrawl from Iraq (made possible by the "unimaginable success" of the of Bush surge).
I wish Obama well, as long as he makes solid policy decisions, but he has a huge way to go to fill the shoes of GWB. He is, at this point, an empty suit, deer-in-the headlights rookie. My fear is that he will be like JFK, who took us to the edge of the cliff, because he had no real gravitas.
BTW, I thought his (BHO) inaugural address was decent, if not memorable. Good first step, becasue he warned of tough times ahead, and tried to stave off the demands of those who elected him. Let's see if he can hold the line against his own acolytes.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm
"No, Paul, GWB did not cause over 300,000 civilian deaths, like Saddam did. There have been only about 100,000 civilian deaths, according Iraq Body Count, and the vast majority of these deaths are due to Iraqis settling there own scores, as they form a new state"
So are you saying Bush was "only" 1/3 of a Saddam? That don't seem like much of an improvement to me. But let's accept your figures and give the man the benefit of the doubt. After all, he had Iraq for less than 6 years, while Saddam was in charge for almost 24 years. So let's see, that's a box score of about 18,000 civilians per year under Bush and only 12,500 per year under Saddam. I'd have to say the Iraqis were better off under Saddam than under Bush, mortalitywise. It looks even better for Saddam if we count the schools destroyed or closed under Bush, ditto for hospitals, power off, ancient culture looted, etc, etc.
Let's face it, Bush couldn't govern anything. Look at the Permanent Republican Majority Rove proclaimed just 4 years ago. Rove gave Bush a big gift, and Bush totally blew it. Now he's gone, and the Dems control everything.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm
"So are you saying Bush was "only" 1/3 of a Saddam?"
No, Paul, I am saying that GWB liberated Iraq from Saddam. There is always going to be a cost to such a big liberation, but GWB ran a relatively low cost war. Compared to the cost that FDR was willing to bear, to liberate Germany and Japan and the world at large, GWB is a pure saint.
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2009 at 2:01 am
Criticize in hindsight? Nah, it was apparent to a lot of us before Bush was sort-of elected the first time that he did not have the makings of a good president. He was ignorant about and uninterested in foreign affairs. He'd been involved in a string of business failures and he was big on cronyism.
By the time Enron rolled around, I knew Bush would be a poor president. Then things got worse.
The war in Iraq interfered with our stabilizing Afghanistan (and actually putting an end to Al Qaeda) and strengthened Iran. Stupid policy in several ways for which we've paid dearly.
And it's funny in a pathetic way that the guy was in office for eight years and his defenders here can't acknowledge that, yes, maybe he had some say in the decisions and policies that led to the collapse of our financial system.
Grow up and quit passing the buck. Maybe Obama will fail in his attempt to get things back on course--but that won't change the fact that Bush led our country badly astray.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm
"Compared to the cost that FDR was willing to bear, to liberate Germany and Japan and the world at large, GWB is a pure saint."
I see your problem, Gary. You are living in a parallel universe without benefit of wormholes through which to glimpse this one. FDR was not trying to "liberate" Germany or Japan, his objective was to defeat them decisively to prevent further aggression. If you had a proper wormhole, you'd know that Japan attacked us preemptively, then Germany declared war on us preemptively. (Preemptive war. Where have we heard about that recently?)
And how can Bush be a saint, if 25,000 more Iraqi civilians were killed on his watch than would have been if Bush had left Saddam in power? (Hint: read our prior exchange and do the math. They're your numbers.)
Ah, yes, I see. Sainthood is defined differently in your universe. Everything becomes clear. When you return to it, please take Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Wolfie, and Condi with you. We're done with them now.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm
Your problem, Paul, is that you do not realize that Saddam attacked us first, unlike Germany. He was shooting rockets at our planes, as they attempted to enforce the no-fly zone; he violated many UN treaties that we supported. Hitler made every effort to prevent his subs from attacking U.S. naval escort ships. FDR made every effort to get Hitler to shoot first, but even FDR's tricks didn't make it happen. Pearl Harbor made the case for FDR; Hitler understood FDR's clearly stated case for war against Germany, and declared war after Pearl Harbor, in order to gain the military advantage.
FDR was willing to accept massive civilian caualties (in the millions) in order to have his vision prevail. His vision, btw, was not only to defeat Germany and Japan but to reform them. No wormholes necessary, Paul...just a clear reading of the historical record.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm
Surely a Bushie like you doesn't admit the UN's legitimacy, Gary. It follows that Iraq was only exercising its right to defend its soverign territory against incursions. Iraq never attacked the US.
But Saudi Arabia, ruled by the royal Saudi family friends of the Bush family, provided 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers. How come your idol Bush gave them a pass? Could it be because a Saudi, Salem bin Laden, helped bail Bush out of his first business failure? Does that name bin Laden ring any bells? Somehow Bush just couldn't manage to find his brother Osama, dead or alive.
Gary, your admiration for Hitler reads a lot like Nazi Germany's rather whiny declaration of war on America. Why do you always favor America's enemies? Ain't this country good enough for you? You can leave, you know.