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:: Friday, April 16, 2004 ::

Deep Thoughts

Ever notice how slow Fridays are? We're just all sitting around, waiting for the White House to drop whatever bad news they've been hiding all week.
:: Morat 10:04 AM :: ::

:: Thursday, April 15, 2004 ::

Irony...

I've been thinking a bit on George Junior and George Senior, and the impact Bush the Elder's loss had on Bush the Younger's policies.

It seems quite obvious that a great deal of Bush the Younger's policies were designed to avoid, or even correct the mistakes of his father. What were the three great "errors" that are often laid at Bush's feet? Raising taxes, failing to continue to Baghdad during the first Gulf War, and being too focused on foreign policy at the expense of domestic policy.

Those are generally considered by conservatives -- as best I understand it -- as being the main reasons Bush lost to Clinton. (Well, that and a bit of help from Ross Perot).

Fast forward a decade later, and we find Dubya not only striving to be the "anti-Clinton", but also the "anti-Bush I". Taxes? Bush's only rule on taxes is "you can't cut them too much". Iraq? Bush the Younger took Baghdad, not contained it. Foreign affairs? Dubya made foreign affairs domestic affairs, but linking every foreign situation to the biggest domestic event in the last few decades....it's not longer alliances and trade pacts and global status. It's American safety.

The irony here is that Bush has proven that his father's biggest mistakes weren't mistakes at all. Without Bush the Elder's move on taxes, the government would have slid further and further into debt. By repudiating supply-side economics, Bush the Elder gave Clinton a chance to balance the budget. As for Iraq and Baghdad, the storm we've stirred up there shows that yes, Bush the Elder was right...we'd be bogged down in an increasingly nasty situation, caught between massive ethnic rivalries and the usual hatred against an occupying army. As for all that hotey-totey "diplomacy stuff", it's worth noting that Dubya's approach has left us with very few friends...especially ones willing to risk troops to help us out.

His father, on the other hand, seemed to do a lot better.

It's funny, you know? Despite doing things exactly opposite of his father, Bush finds himself in the same place. Sinking poll numbers, a stuttering economy, and growing complaints on how he handled the war. Still, I can't help but find some amusement in this mess. It's got elements of a biblical parable....the arrogant child's mistakes highlighting the wisdom of his father.
:: Morat 8:02 PM :: ::

Air America Radio Is Dropped From Stations in 2 Big Markets

Looks like Drudge hosed up yet another story. Apparently, Air America didn't bounce a check...they stopped payment because they were being ripped off.
Mr. Cohen, however, said that Multicultural owed money to Air America. He said that Mr. Liu's company had recently deposited a check from Air America for $315,000, and that it had cleared. But Mr. Cohen said that Air America had stopped payment on a second check, for $156,000, after Air America discovered that Multicultural had leased air time on its Los Angeles station to another programmer in February and March, before Air America went on the air on March 31.

While not broadcasting during that time, Mr. Cohen said, Air America had already leased that time from Multicultural and was thus entitled to any fees collected.

The Air America programming could still be heard yesterday in nearly a dozen markets, including New York City. It said it was preparing last night to ask a judge in New York to order Multicultural to put the programming back on the air on its stations in Chicago and Los Angeles.
I'd imagine the courts will grant the TRO, and if AAR is correct on the facts....well, Multicultural does owe them quite a bit of money.

I thought the "bounced a check" story was pretty damn stupid from the get-go. Even I know better than that, as any new station would have enough cash (both in hard money and lines of credit) to meet it's needs for several months, if not a year or more. It's not like many new businesses, radio or otherwise, tend to turn a profit in the first few months of operation.
:: Morat 7:14 AM :: ::

Sharon gets boost from Bush stand on West Bank

Now, I didn't blog on this yesterday, pretty much because I was simply too tired and discouraged.
President Bush’s unprecedented U.S. backing for Israel to hold on to major settlement blocs in the West Bank lifted support Thursday for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon but left angry Palestinian leaders scrambling to galvanize international opposition to the U.S. stance.
[...]
While voicing support for an independent Palestinian state, Bush also backed the idea of letting Israel hold on to major settlement blocs in the West Bank. He also ruled out allowing Palestinian refugees to return to Israel after a Palestinian state is created.
Like Kevin over the Negroponte issue it's simply become to much. However I'll take the time for a tiny little rant now.

This is stupid. This is insane. This is probably the single most bone-headed, politically tone-deaf foreign policy decision of the Bush Presidency....and that's saying a lot.

It would have been a bone-headed move before we invaded Iraq and pissed off a good chunk of the Arab world. It's particularly stupid now. And I'm not taking the position that there is a solution that everyone will be happy with...hell, I'm not even sure there's a solution at all. But to choose now, of all times, to give the Arab world one more thing to be pissed at....

What the hell is the matter with you, George? Your father wasn't this stupid. At the very least you could have issued some neutral statement that didn't contradict the last 30 years of movement on this issue. Why the hell do you have to kick the Middle East hornet's nest when we've already got more than we can handle as is?

We have 135,000 troops bogged down in Iraq, barely -- if that -- able to handle a burgeoning rebellion. Are you particularly eager to give them one more reason to attack our soldiers? And you have the gall to accuse Kerry of undermining our troops. (Links via Daily Kos)

Note: Kerry's support of this plan, however lukewarm, is one of the reasons I view him as a "hold your nose candidate". He'd never have taken Bush's position...but he lacks the political spine to take a stance against it. I guess his system must have rejected the loaner he got from Dean. It's not like it would have been an extremist stance. Kerry could have easily have said: "I disagree with the President, and prefer to stick with the policy the US has held for 30 years...". Still, better a political coward than the fool with a gun we have now.
:: Morat 6:44 AM :: ::

:: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 ::

Panel Says Bush Saw Repeated Warnings

You know, not matter how low I set the bar, Bush still slinks under it:
By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief headlined 'Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,' the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In April and May 2001, for example, the intelligence community headlined some of those reports 'Bin Laden planning multiple operations,' 'Bin Laden network's plans advancing' and 'Bin Laden threats are real.'

The intelligence included reports of a hostage plot against Americans. It noted that operatives might choose to hijack an aircraft or storm a U.S. embassy. Without knowing when, where or how the terrorists would strike, the CIA 'consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil,' according to one of two staff reports released by the panel yesterday.
Now, once more, let me reiterate something: I am not claiming, based on the information I have so far, that Bush could have stopped 9/11.

What I am claiming is that Bush failed to make even the minimum response required of the President of the United States. He did not react at all. Nothing. He went on vacation. He didn't call any emergency meetings, he did not inquire as to whether the CIA and the FBI were pursuing this vigorously -- or had shared information, he did not ask his NSA to make sure everything possible was being done. He did not ask for detailed assessments, did not ask that more money, agents, or analysts be thrown at the problem. He did not assemble a task force, did not send out warnings to airlines or local law enforcement. He did not, in any way, act as if this was something to be worried about.

George Bush, when confronted with warnings of a massive terrorist attack, did nothing.

Failure can be forgiven. Not all battles are won, and sometimes the bad guys do win. But ignoring the problem I cannot forgive. There were steps he could have taken. Orders he could have given. They probably wouldn't have stopped it.....but it was better than nothing.

And now...now I wonder what warnings George Bush ignored today....and how many lives that will cost.
:: Morat 9:33 AM :: ::

Just a note:

Yes, I watched the press conference. No, I didn't blog about it. Besides the tie issue, the only other news was that Bush failed to meet even my low expectations. I don't think he'll be giving any more press conferences until after the election. He's just too poor a speaker.

As to the content: He's firm on Iraq. Firm on terrorists. Steady. Unyielding. Staying the course. In short, he's going to continue doing what's failed to work already, no matter how many lives it costs. After all, it's not like it's anyone important dying. Just US soldiers and Iraqis. And who cares about them?
:: Morat 7:09 AM :: ::

I'm back

My Easter vacation was extended a bit due to illness. I spent most of Monday and Tuesday asleep. I also got a few new books from a friend of mine, which turned out to be surprisingly good. I'll probably replace the Legends II link with one of those, since I misplaced Legends II quite some time back and thus haven't finished it.
:: Morat 6:39 AM :: ::

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