Monday, October 02, 2006

Bush commentary

I don't want to get into the habit of putting up youtube videos anytime I don't have something to blog about. And I actually do have something written about the latest census number, but then Ed went and wrote something that's better than what I have. So it's either scrap it or back to the drawing board on it. We'll see.

But I've had this video going through my mind for several days now. It aired about a week or so ago, so it's made the rounds. Some of you may have even seen it already. All I know is that it is a remarable piece of commentary. A finely constructed piece of rage, but yet never spinning out of control into the realm of frothing out the mouth. Keith Olberman, a reporter with MSNBC, is furious, but at least takes the time to bring out facts, present arguments and states them with passion.

As a writer, I was impressed. Yes, I don't like Bush. Any pretense of trying to see both sides of the argument of the Bush presidency is out the window for me. Only the most partisan can few his presidency as something positive for the United States. But it really is a great bit of writing and arguing by Olberman. I haven't seen something this good in quite some time, especially on U.S. television. It's a shock to the system.

I think Hunter S. Thompson would be proud. And that's meant as a compliment.


Mireille Sampson said...

A journalist finally slags Bush about the same way the Dixie Chicks and the Bruce Springsteen have been for years. Sorry, Craig, but yank journalists really dropped the ball on this administration a long time ago. After 9/11 no one could say ill of him or his crowd despite the fact he hadn't even got elected.

It was waaaayyyyy too brown-nosing on Clinton. After the A-Q bombings of the two american embassies in africa (Tanzania and Kenya) Sudan offered Bin Laden's head on a plate, but the Clinton admin declined and told Sudan to send him away. "Where", said Sudan, "Anywhere but Somalia" was the US reply.

The bombers on 9/11 were Saudi Arabian, there were reasons for that. The political & financial elite of Saudi (the absolute monarchy) have long been robbing their citizens - with the help of the political and financial elite of the US. The Saudi ambassador to the US has had (including the Clinton years) better access to the predident than the head of the CIA. The only surprise for the Saudi elite was that it was the US that was hit instead of them...but that's what they pay "protection" money for.

Anonymous said...

But isn't that what Olberman says? It's time the right stopped letting Bush away with it. They're letting partisanship, censorship and rascism cloud their judgement. The blame falls on a number of administrations, but most assuredly BUSH. I don't care where Clinton put the cigar.

Liam O'Brien said...

Bush is mediocre at best, but fiscally irresponsible and disrespectful with his top generals at worst. We see more of the worst than the best.

That said, his presidency seems to have served as both a sedative to the Republicans and a massive, unbelieveable strong wakeup-jolt to people in the mushy centre, the left, and those camps elsewhere in the world. In short, he's somebody that people want to hate.

How do I know that? I've seen people bend over backwards to excuse Democrats like Clinton and Republicans like Reagan or Bush Sr. for some of the very things that Bush Jr. has done.

On Terrorism, I think Clinton advisor Dick Morris said it best -- Every president going back decades deserves a share of the blame. If Bush gets the blame for the 8 months of softball pre-9/11, we should never forget the numerous opportunities missed by Clinton in the 8 years before that. The Sudanese served Bin Laden up to him on a platter in '96, he waffled and dropped the ball. The intelligence ocmmunity had him again in 1999, again, ball dropped. . . to say nothing of his refusals to ammend the police investigation laws in the US to allow for the prevention of certain terrorist acts. . .

On Budgets, Bush has not in any way, shape or form done anywhere near enough to tackle the deficit and debt in his country. Fiscally Conservative Republicans should be ashamed. No - the simplistic cop-out answer to this is that Iraq war or Afghanistan or something from that policy arena "caused" the defiict financing. The truth is, a Decent president and a decent congress could afford to have spent a lot more on doing the Iraq properly and STILL be able to balance the budget. The US watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste catalogues 600 recommendations throughout the government that if enacted, could save taxpayers $232 billion in fiscal 2006 and $2 trillion over the next five years. Almost all are from domestic pork and waste. A true conservative would know to cut these. This perhaps more than any other reason, is why I wanted John McCain to win the nomination of his party in 2000. It affects the global economy. It also affects Canada.

On Trade, Bush has been not very good for Canada. Then again, Kerry was as bad if not worse on the hypocritical US protectionism file . . .While Canada has salvaged more from softwood under Bush than like would have happened under Kerry, both the Democrats and the Republicans are BIG letdowns in their Buchannanesque Orchardesque economic xenophobia. Both Clinton and Reagan were ten times better.

On taxes, I actually think Bush is right. If the Reagan and JFK and Irish and Albertan and Ontario and Carribean tax cuts are any indication, much of the western world is overtaxed and when these taxes have been cut there have actually been net revenue increases. That is overshadowed in Bush's case by the US government's ludicrous spending levels on a variety of pork.

On Immigration, Bush has not been as insane as most US politicians. He hasn't taken the fully xenophobic line. . . he's been walking a tightrope. I just wish he'd hop off and take a stand with US immigrants.

Yes, There needs to be strong southern border security and a security presence in order to watch out for criminals and terrorists. But NO - immigration is not bad for the US or Canada or UK or any other country like that. It's a good thing. The goal in Canada and the US should be to make it easier for people to immigrate or to seek refugee status.

Bush is disliked by most people for, in my opinion, the wrong reasons.

If you dilike the way Iraq invasion unfolded but you like Clinton's attempt at intervention in Somalia, then you shouldn't be yapping on about how Iraq never should have happened. You should be making the finer but more intelligent point -- Generals and advisors like Eric Shinseki and Colin Powell were right about the forces needed and the proper focus to take in selling the intervention while Bush was wrong on those points.

If you don't like deficits but you like democracy, why assume that the place to cut money is in the two missions that led to tens of millions of Afghanis and Iraqis to finally have free elections and an end to gencodial regimes? Call for the Republicans to cut the pork at home and focus on priorities here and abroad.

If you are worried about social spending in general, don't take the 1-dimensional cartoonish approach to economics and assume that the social spending is inadequately funded in order to "pay for" tax cuts, when net revenues continue to increase with those tax cuts. . .

If you are pro-free trade and believe the US was unfair to Canada, don't stick your support behind Bush Republicans OR Tom Daschle/John Kerry/Bob Byrd Democrats. . . and certainly and as sure as hell don't support Nader. On trade, they're all different shades of that same Buchanan xenophobic stupidity. Free traders come in all partisan shades -- Lieberman, Bayh, McCain, Shwarzenegger, Gulliani, etc . .

There's a smarter way to oppose Bush policies. I think people are taking symptoms and malaises in these cases and adding them up in an illogical way to oppose things that aren't actually all that bad -- they're just not helped much by Bush.