All posts by Gary

Vote for America’s Future

Angry Campaigns End on an Angrier Note – washingtonpost.com:
“‘As you go to the polls, remember we’re at war,’ (President Bush) told thousands of GOP supporters in Pensacola, Fla. ‘And if you want this country to do everything in its power to protect you and at the same time lay a foundation for peace for generations to come, vote Republican.'”

“I think, frankly, people don’t believe the president anymore” when it comes to the war, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, echoing other party leaders, said in an interview. “We are telling people if they want to stay the course, vote Republican. If you want a change of direction, vote Democrat.”

President Who Sees in Absolutes Awaits Voters’ Definitive Answer – washingtonpost.com:

“The president and his staff were offended by the last-minute snub by Charlie Crist, the Republican candidate to succeed term-limited Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The White House scheduled the stop here in the conservative Panhandle as a favor to Jeb Bush entirely for Crist’s benefit. But Crist decided to go elsewhere in the state.”

Bush’s stump speech the past few weeks has underscored a with-us-or-against-us worldview. Democrats and some Republicans opposed warrantless surveillance of telephone calls of people with suspected ties to terrorism, objecting to unchecked executive power and arguing that officials should still get warrants from a secret intelligence court. Likewise, Democrats and initially some Republicans opposed redefining Geneva Conventions protections for prisoners and permitting harsh interrogation, preferring more traditional practices.

In the version Bush offers campaign audiences, that boils down to the Democrats not wanting to fight terrorists at all. Democrats, he said in Missouri, “oppose listening in on terrorist conversations” and “oppose letting the CIA detain and question the terrorists who might know what those [next] plots are.” As for Iraq, he said in Texas, if Democrats get their way, “the terrorists win and America loses.

What Bush would do then becomes the next question. He arrived in Washington promising to be a uniter, not a divider, but the political polarization in the country is worse than when he took over. As recently as last month, his spokesman said that if nothing else, Bush wants to use his last two years to “detoxify” Washington — and then Bush headed out to the campaign trail to warn that if Democrats win, “America loses.”

How would he reconcile these competing instincts? The desire to be a healer and the surety that his way is the right way? The decider will have to decide.

Send a message…Tell the President and the rest of Washington which direction you want the conversation to go. Hell, tell them you want a conversation and not dictation. Tell the CEO President that the shareholders are holding him accountable for the direction he has taken this “enterprise” during his tenure as CEO. Go…Cast your vote onto these troubled waters and see if the CEO has the presence of mind to read the tealeaves for the next two years.

How Low Will Bush Go?

That’s the question Eugene Robinson asks in today’s column.

Eugene Robinson – How Low Will Bush Go? – washingtonpost.com:
“If Democrats manage to take control of one or both houses of Congress on Tuesday, the reason will be that voters were not adequately roused into a state of heart-pounding, knee-knocking, teeth-chattering fear.

Not that Republicans haven’t been trying. George W. Bush used to claim he was ‘a uniter, not a divider,’ but that was a long time ago. These days, he’d probably try to deny the quote the same way he tried to disown ‘stay the course.’ The Karl Rove formula for political victory has been to draw a bright line between ‘us’ and ‘them’ and then paint those on the other side not as opponents but as monsters.”

Over the years observing this administration I have noticed that most of the taglines and titles they apply to themselves can only be understood fully if you take them as the polar opposite of what they mean. I first really noticed when George W was running in 2000 and he kept claiming to have passed the Texas Patience Bill of Rights. You know, I live in Texas and that’s not the way I remember it happening. I kept waiting for the press to call him on it, but if any of them did I never saw it. Over the years since then, George just keeps on doing it. The war in Iraq is going great, “Mission Accomplished”. “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”. Clear Skies, bankruptcy reform, prescription drug plan and on and on and on. He keeps talking about Social Security reform, pardon me, but I don’t think I am going to trust anyone with reforming SS who will never need to worry about what happens to the plan. I don’t just have a problem with the President here (though his track record of accomplishments does set one back), I have the same problem with Congress. How can you trust someone to fix a plan when they opted out years ago?

Call me naive, but I never thought a president of the United States would stoop so low as to accuse current and prospective members of Congress — a number of whom, by the way, are decorated war veterans, unlike Bush or anyone in his inner circle — of being pro-terrorist.

I am sorry to say Mr. Robinson, but this President has already proven he can go pretty low…

On another note we have the gas prices starting to bounce one week before the elections…

Decline of Houston gas prices ends today | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle:
“The three-month uninterrupted fall of retail gas prices statewide ended in some markets this week, according to the weekly AAA Texas gasoline price survey released today.

The survey found the average retail price of regular, self-serve gasoline in Texas increased by 1 cent to $2.09 per gallon. The national average for regular, self-serve rose fractionally to $2.20 per gallon.

The state’s biggest increase was in Fort Worth, where the average price increased 2 cents per gallon to $2.06.

‘Nationwide, prices have also started rising in many areas,’ said auto club spokeswoman Rose Rougeau. ‘Oil industry analysts are saying that could be the result of OPEC’s announcement last month that it is reducing crude oil production.'”

I made the prediction back when the prices started falling that they would be going up after the elections. Now it looks like they got an early start. You know I even heard a Republican on the NewsHour try and take credit (via Bush’s Policies) for the drop in prices. Does he want credit as they start back up?

The Great Divider – New York Times

All I am going to say is, I agree.
The Great Divider – New York Times: “As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country.

In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.

Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to “get stuck in Iraq.” In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero.

It’s not the least bit surprising or objectionable that Mr. Bush would hit the trail hard at this point, trying to salvage his party’s control of Congress and, by extension, his last two years in office. And we’re not naïve enough to believe that either party has been running a positive campaign that focuses on the issues.

But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

This is hardly the first time that Mr. Bush has played the politics of fear, anger and division; if he’s ever missed a chance to wave the bloody flag of 9/11, we can’t think of when. But Mr. Bush’s latest outbursts go way beyond that. They leave us wondering whether this president will ever be willing or able to make room for bipartisanship, compromise and statesmanship in the two years he has left in office.”

Pardon me for quoting the entire editorial. I just couldn’t bear to slice and dice it…Thanks to the New York Times for having the courage to say it.