Monday, February 27, 2006

  • Conservative columnist George Will recently reviewed Bruce Bartlett's book "Impostor" and was quick to remind all of the many Reagan worshippers who still believe that The Great Communicator was all about cutting taxes, "[Reagan] signed tax increases in 1982 (twice), 1983 (twice), 1984, 1985 (twice), 1986, 1987 (twice) and 1988." I've cited this track record many times before here. Facts, they're a bitch to those who wish to dream.

  • And here's some shocking news just out: "Postwar Iraq Chaos Blamed on Poor Planning." Based on a study from an entity beyond the influence of this strong-arming administration, it offers up quite a different reason for the mess of things over there other than the BushCo trotted out excuses (insurgent attacks and lack of security). Instead, not surprisingly the blame falls on a lack of proper preparation by our government and therefore the many billions in U.S. taxpayer money has been frittered away with nothing to show for it. The report states, "The U.S. government workforce planning for Iraq's reconstruction suffered from a poorly structured, ad-hoc personnel management processes." Just more half-assed due diligence work by these bunch of incompetents.

  • Still believe Bush cares about military vets? This item is just the latest in vet cuts: "After an increase for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing by leaps and bounds, White House budget documents assume a cutback in 2008 and further cuts thereafter." Notice the increase to provide cover for this year's elections -- but then the ax post-haste.

  • A good summary of Bush's many problems and screw-ups, from a journalist who has covered five presidencies.

  • A terrific column by Jonathan Chait in the LA Times. He writes, "Bush's interest in renewable energy seems to have come about as a result of his need to have a dramatic theme for his State of the Union address. Before that, he was not just uninterested but outright contemptuous of the idea." Policy and getting things right from the get-go is an extremely low priority for BushCo. As Chait concludes, "Clinton was meticulous about the policies themselves, which emerged only after long deliberation and study. Bush does things the other way around. Speeches are crafted with painstaking care; policies are an afterthought."

  • Some items to chew on when considering the Dubai Ports uproar:
  • George W. Bush nominated Dubai Ports senior executive David Sanborn to be the U.S. Maritime Administrator -- "a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation" -- just three weeks before the UAE takeover of U.S. seaports was made public.
  • Treasury Secretary John Snow, who approved the deal and now denies it, was chief executive of CTX Corp. until George W. Bush appointed him in 2003. CTX sold its port operations to Dubai Ports for $1.15 billion a year later.
  • The United Arab Emirates is a major stakeholder in the Carlyle Group -- the same gargantuan private equity firm that employed the elder George Bush as senior adviser. The UAE government-run fim Dubai International Capital backs an $8 billion Carlyle fund. And the Carlyle Group bought CSX Corp. in 2002, while Snow was still CEO.
  • The UAE even gave more than a million dollars to the elder Bush's presidential library in Texas.
  • 34%: President Bush’s approval rating, according to a new CBS poll, an all-time low. The question is: will GW's abysmal polling number drop below Cheney's (29%)? Stay tuned.

  • Apparently the good folks in California did not read Mark Crispin Miller's excellent book, "Fooled Again."