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Any finger pointing at the US government or its leaders is just pure politics.


How you can call the FBI dropping the ball pure politics is beyond me. Either GWB resigns, heads roll at the FBI, or GWB stands behind his blundering administration.
No matter, I can wait for the blood letting in November.
 
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:

How you can call the FBI dropping the ball pure politics is beyond me. Either GWB resigns, heads roll at the FBI, or GWB stands behind his blundering administration.
No matter, I can wait for the blood letting in November.


As I said, be careful. I noticed you're carefully ignoring Clinton's utter failure to deal with Bin Laden after he became a clear threat to the US and its citizens.
If you're going to take that route, Clinton failed in many ways moreso than Bush. While I agree that the government has clearly not done all it could to protect it's citizens, whether we're talking Bush or Clinton, the fact remains that what you're saying is that the victim of the crime was somehow guilty of causing it.
Neither Bush nor Clinton planned or wanted this event. Nobody asked for it to happen. Just because our security and planning was inadequate was not an excuse for the slaughter of US citizens.
Saying the FBI dropped the ball and accusing Bush while ignoring Clinton's own lack of action is indeed pure politics.
 
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JM: This absurd focus on the deficit without any understanding for its cause also seems to imply that they are not particularly interested in a strong and secure nation. They are in denial.
I would agree that the deficit must be evaluated within the context. The reason I posted the chart was to merely answer Thomas Paul's question about whether we've ever had a surplus. I didn't have the desire to explain my position on this issue, so I didn't attach any comment to the chart. However, since you used the terms "denial" and "absurd", I must point out that the same terms can be used to characterise someone who pretends not to notice or diminish the issue. For one thing, when I voted for Bush in 2000, I went on his promise to cut my taxes and cut the government spending. What's happening instead is that Bush borrows more and more to pay not just for the war on terror, but for the wide rande of the "peace" programs, too. He spends like a god damned socialist for peace programs (such as Medicare) advocated by the left democrats.
But let's come back to the war-related deficit for a second. It looks like by the end of 2004, the bill for the war-related expenses will reach about $1,000,000,000,000. That's a LOT of money. Here is one angle to look at it: if you distribute this money among the entire population of Iraq, every Iraqi will get $45,000. Here is another angle: for this amount of money, you can hire 5,000,000 new CIA operatives and pay them $200,000/year. You can place 30 of them on every square mile of the entire territory of Iraq. That's a LOT of money that the government will be paying interest on for many years to come.
Look, one can advocate the "freedom of people in other countries at all costs" all day long. We can spend another 6 trillion dollars by destroyng and reconstructing Syria, Lybia, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran (one trillion each). As pragmatic as it may sound, the real question is, "How much the American-style democracy in other countries is worth to us?" Or perhaps even better, "How can we reduce the price by 90% or so?". There are many ways to spend $10^12, but I don't think that the current administration can be trusted with the purse.
[ February 05, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
John Smith
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Meaningless Drivel Poll results so far:

Margin of error: about 95% or so.
 
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The reason I posted the chart was to merely answer Thomas Paul's question about whether we've ever had a surplus.
The only problem is that CBO isn't reporting all outlays. It's as if I tell my wife that we are taking in a lot more than we are spending but I exclude mortgage payments. Take a look at the deficit in the years that we supposedly had a surplus and you will see that it still went up. How did that happen if we had a surplus?
 
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Thomas. You and I both know it is because there is a large amount of items that are "off budget". Some of them should be. It doesn't make sense to have line item bugets for top secret programs. There is a large chunk that is spent off budget that should not be though.
 
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"Bush is demanding that graph be redrawn with a logarithmic vertical axis"
That can't be true!
Bush doesn't know what logarithmic or axis means!
Ha ha! Couldn't resist that one! (Too much late night TV!)
 
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Originally posted by Rob Aught:
Ultimately, the real blame lays with the people who orchestrated and committed the act. Any finger pointing at the US government or its leaders is just pure politics.


This is a tautological argument. "A person who destroys a building is guilty of destroying that building." The question on point here, initially, was Bush's implication in the State of the Union address that events like 9/11 stemmed from lack of attention to the issue of terrorism in the previous administration.
Several of us took exception to that pose in a topic ("The Liar in Chief") that has since been removed from MD. Some of responded to that comment by commenting either a) Bush is a liar; b) Bush is trying to escape the obvious, that the attacks occurred on his watch; or c) Bush now hopes to make hay of the event by creating a massive bureaucracy around "homeland security."
Some have responded that the Clinton administration failed to do anything substantive about Osama bin Laden. That observation was countered with documented actions taken by that administration. So while it's still up to haggling what 'substantive' might mean in this context, I for one think saying the Clinton administration did nothing at all is a shallow rebuttal.
Now, who did enough can be argued til the cows come home, but it's a moot point. The towers are gone; no one did "enough" to prevent that assault. You can point the finger anywhere you like: pilot schools that don't take notice of students who aren't interested in learning how to land, the lax security at Logan International, a defense community that can't possibly imagine a fully-fueled domestic airliner used as a missile in a suicide bombing scenario (if Condolezza Rice is to be taken at her word), take your pick.
We still don't have Osama bin Laden in custody, mind you, so if you want to discuss what the Bush administration has done directly about that ostensible threat that the prior administration did not, I'm all ears.
[ February 06, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
The question on point here, initially, was Bush's implication in the State of the Union address that events like 9/11 stemmed from lack of attention to the issue of terrorism in the previous administration.

That implication was in the mind of the viewer. Many of us with know grudge against either Clinton or Bush did not see it that way at all.
 
Michael Ernest
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I think the implication is clear for more than one viewer, which is not to say it is universally agreed upon, as if anything is. As to debating implication vs. inference, Thomas, really. You and I both have better things to do today.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I think the implication is clear for more than one viewer, which is not to say it is universally agreed upon, as if anything is. As to debating implication vs. inference, Thomas, really. You and I both have better things to do today.


Let's suppose that I say that the statement above is implying that I am stupid. And suppose I get three people to agree with me, does that mean that you were saying that I was stupid?
It really doesn't matter what you think the President meant. The real question is what did he really mean. I think that if he had meant to say anything bad about the past administration he would have said so. I think he was talking more about some of the people who are running for president now.
 
Michael Ernest
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TP: Let's suppose that I say that the statement above is implying that I am stupid. And suppose I get three people to agree with me, does that mean that you were saying that I was stupid?
What it means to me is that either we're more interested in a willful misunderstanding of each other for the sake of promoting argument, or our ability to understand each other is sadly lacking.
TP: It really doesn't matter what you think the President meant.
ME: It matters to the tune of no less than one vote, fellow American Thomas Paul. And maybe more, if I'm willing and able to persuade other votes to see this President the same way.
TP: The real question is what did he really mean. I think that if he had meant to say anything bad about the past administration he would have said so. I think he was talking more about some of the people who are running for president now.
ME: It matters what you think the President meant, Thomas. That much I see no reason to deny.
 
Thomas Paul
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ME: It matters to the tune of no less than one vote, fellow American Thomas Paul.
TP: Actually it doesn't since you vote in California and he's going to lose that state anyway.
 
Michael Ernest
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He won't be taking New York either.
 
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

The only problem is that CBO isn't reporting all outlays. It's as if I tell my wife that we are taking in a lot more than we are spending but I exclude mortgage payments. Take a look at the deficit in the years that we supposedly had a surplus and you will see that it still went up. How did that happen if we had a surplus?


Thomas,
Your assumptions are not correct. The total budget or "unified budget" started running a surplus in 1998 due to a large off-budget surplus in the social security program. In that year, the off-budget surplus was $69 billion while the on-budget accounts were still in deficit by $30 billion. The off-budget surplus was used to cover the on-budget deficit and the remaining surplus was used to pay down the debt. The following year, 1999, the unified budget was in surplus by $124 billion while the on-budget accounts were almost exactly balanced.
The really ugly truth is that the on-budget accounts were never running a large surplus. The vast majority of the surplus was due to the social security program. Clinton wanted to use the social security surplus for debt reduction. Anything left over was to be saved to preserve the solvency of the social security program into the years when the retirement of the baby boom generation will drive the social security program into deficits. If we had stayed with Clinton's plan, then the people that are currently paying into the social security system today would have been able to look forward to getting some of that money back. Instead, the Bush tax cuts drove the on-budget accounts deep into deficits that are now been financed with surplus social security money. As a result, we will never see our retirement money again. Instead, Dick Cheney and those in his income range are walking around with it their pockets.
At some point, the middle class will realize that we have been robbed by GWB and Dick Cheney.
 
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