Archive for the ‘Karl Rove’ category

One Pint In A 10 Gallon Hat

November 9, 2010

Another revisionist is alive and walking amongst us.  Former President George W Bush, for uncertain reasons, has authored a book that highlights some of the great decisions he says he made during his two terms.  It would seem his intent is to revise our memories of history and cast his presidency in a much more favorable light.  Will he be successful?

It helps to begin at the beginning.  Bush was elected the 43rd President when the US Supreme Court step in (with its conservative majority) and stopped the Florida count thereby insuring Bush the majority of the electoral college.  I do not blame Bush but it highlights his lack of legitimacy.

The first six months of his first term were uneventful although the commander-in-chief appeared tp be the skipper of a boat without a rudder.  Even then, the back rooms were buzzing with the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Pearle, Libby, Wolfowitz, and Feith, already planning on how to invade Iraq.  Then while the Bush Administration was asleep at the switch, 9/11 took place and the world changed.

With the full advantage today of history, “W” still defends the decision to invade and occupy Iraq.  It matters not at all whether the invasion was justified under International  law or whether the costs (monetary or lives) support the overthrow of the Iraqi Government.  Not a single weapon of mass destruction was found nor has any connection between Iraq and 9/11 established.  So, once again, why should the US have invaded?

It is said that Karl Rove tried to market George W Bush to the American electorate as much more manly version of his father, George H W Bush.  (This is a clear clue that nothing Rove says should be trusted.  “H W” was a legitimate war hero while “W” did all he could to keep out of harms way.)  Rove said “W” grew up in Texas where people are naturally tougher.

“W’s” 8 years and now his book make one thing perfectly clear.  “W” may have worn a 10 gallon hat but he was barely a pint of man with the intellect to match.

 

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A Year Later

September 26, 2009

The current discussions swirling around whether the US should increase its Afghanistan military presence, stand pat, or reduce troop strength is in itself a refreshing example of good governance. It is an important strategic and foreign policy decision.

On one side of Afghanistan is Iran. They are experiencing internal difficulties within their ruling faction.   At the same time they are apparently moving forward to join the nuclear club. Iran could become an unstable, missile possessing, nuclear threat in the Middle East.  How would the US deal with that threat if it had 200,000 troops tied down in Afghanistan?

On the other side of Afghanistan is Pakistan. This large, relatively poor country is struggling with two external threats. India with its larger Army and nuclear weapons, and the presence of the ugly religious intolerance of Hinduism and Islam, put India and Pakistan on the knife edge poised for instant battle. Pakistan, however, must also contend with Taliban and other frontier tribes on its northwestern boarders who operate across the Afghan-Pakistan boarder. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and means to deliver them.  What would the US do if the Taliban somehow destabilized the Pakistan Government?

So you have to ask, “what is the reason, again, why the US is in Afghanistan and poised to commit so many troops”?

With the Bush Administration, there was little debate about our presence in Afghanistan. Vice President, Dick Cheney, decided we should be there and Presidential Advisor, Karl Rove added his support because the war provided excellent nation security spin for political purposes. With the Obama Administration, the nature of the Administration debate is different. Vice President Joe Biden is counseling against adding more troops. He is cautioning President Obama that more troops is about nation building and to do that you must have a partner in the Afghan Government. Biden’s concern is whether the Karzai Government is credible and strong enough to be that partner.

President Obama seems confident enough to not be hurried into a premature decision. He is wisely delaying any decision and instead domestically focusing on health care and the economy, and overseas through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, building alliances and understanding among key foreign countries.

What a difference a year can make!

Publish or Be Forgotten

May 8, 2008

It looks like the slightly modified phrase normally applied to accedemics, “Publish or Perish”, is now more aptly applied to Bush Administration losers, “Publish or Be Forgotten”.  In today’s Wall Street Journal, you will find to op-ed pieces written by already discredited people.  Your friends, Karl Rove and little Johnny Bolton, write about their favorite subjects in ways that say nothing and suggest ulterior motives.  So much for “fair and balanced”.

Rove writes “It’s Obama, Warts and All” in his Jeykll and Hyde manner.  He would like to make you think he is objective but there is a sound of desperation on how the Republican candidate can pull out the election.  (Unsaid but implied is that John McCain could pull it out with Karl Rove’s help.)  The key to the lack of genuineness is Rove’s reference to Reverend Wright and saying that this would be an important issue (like a wart?).  With Hagee and Robertson in your corner, McCain will need to be careful about opening that can of worms. 

Johnny Bolton writes “Bush’s North Korea Nuclear Abdication” (surprise, surprise) and once again tells us nothing.  Bolton seems to forget that all military means are off the table because he and other like minded neoconservatives committed all of the US military resources to Iraq for a war that was not needed.  Bolton is a “senior fellow” at the American Enterprise Institute and it would appear that his job is to continually stir the mud around North Korea making improved relations with North Korea or its neighbors more difficult.  Bolton seems to miss the point that for both China and Russia, there is no advantage for a nuclear capable North Korea.  I do not give credit to the Bush Administration for a sane policy towards North Korea since they have seemed incapable of forging any sensible foreign policy for any part of the world.  Rather, Bush has no options and both Condi Rice and Robert Gates know how foolish it would be to escalate adversarial relations with North Korea.  It is a shell game where the world knows that there is no peanut under any of the shells Bush is moving around.

The Pope, the Candidates, and George W Bush

April 21, 2008

The news reports were full of comments and observations about the Pope’s surprise performance on his just ended US visit.  The Pope seems to have held his own “come to Jesus” meeting on the flight to the US and decided he needed to recognize reality or face losing more church members and more importantly, their money.  The Pope wisely confronted the child abuse scandal that pervades a celebrant church.  This was a brave and necessary admission and should help the church (although until Priest can be woman and marry there will be constant abuse).  The Pope also said by not saying that Universities are places of learning and not “pitchmen” for half baked ideas like Intelligent Design.  The Pope also put the issue of abortion into a reasonable light.  He called for mankind to respect all forms of life.  No one can be for pregnancy just to have an abortion so pro-choice people should be able to live with this Pope statement.  Abortion should be an option chosen only after deep thought.

The candidates spent the weekend muddying the waters.  Hillary threw as many mud-balls as possible at Obama while Barack tossed a few back himself.  The contest in Pennsylvania is practically decided in favor of Clinton but the question is “will it be a large and convincing victory or just a close one”?  It is difficult to see any more information on why Barack should not be the nominee even though he does not have enough pledged delegates.  John McCain continues to have difficulty getting the spot light and in many respects that is good.  McCain is trapped in the position of being a Republican and having foolishly called for more tax reductions when the country is nearly bankrupt.  McCain has also been as clear as mud on his strategy for ending the war in Iraq and significantly reducing the costs associated with it.  (The reason is most likely that he, as did Bush and Cheney, wants a military presence indefinitely in the Middle East.)  The subject the candidates needs to be talking about is “what will be the US foreign policy and how that policy will benefit a new domestic policy”.

President Bush, sporting an 18% approval rating remains squarely in “never never land”.  His Middle East strategy (largely do nothing unless Israel tells him to) is a bust.  The evidence of 8 years of neglect and foolish decisions are all around.  Oil prices are at record highs with no sign of leveling in sight.  Iraq War is a hopeless quagmire.  Our currency is tanking.  The US economy is sluggish and in slow decline.  The divisiveness that marked the Rove/Bush “political capital” have left the country tired and worn from constant mean spirited rhetoric. 

Against the example of Pope Benedict who has changed his tune after having made a mess of things, and George W Bush who seems oblivious to the world around him, the Candidates have two examples of how to deal with reality.  The questions is will we ever hear John, Barack, or Hillary abandon the past and embrace the cures our Country so desperately needs.   Where is Michael Bloomberg when we need him?

What’s Rove Up To?

February 22, 2008

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page (“Obama’s New Vulnerability” – February 21, 2008), Karl Rove took aim at Barack Obama gratuitously pointing out, in effect, how the Republicans could beat Barack in the general election.  Rove, as we remember, served George W Bush in a highly effective and mean spirited way.  If someone can spot a potential weakness in a candidate, it would be Karl Rove.

Karl may be using last year’s play book, however, when he looks at the Obama campaign and guesses how Barack could be beaten without answering the question of why so many people are supporting him.  Short of some dramatic revelation or unexpected event, Barack Obama is going to win the Democratic nomination and beat John McCain in the General Election.  Here is why.

1. Obama looks, acts, and speaks like a true, caring, honest, and sincere person.  He inspires and presents the hope for reasonable people to find middle ground.

2. President Bush will leave the Country close to bankrupt.  The debt will have doubled during his watch to a whopping $9 trillion dolars.  The Bush 2009 budget calls for a $ 600 billion (with the Iraq War costs included) deficit and there is no reasonable hope of closing this gap (short of abandoning Social Security and Medicare).  The US can simply not afford to carry on the Iraq War as it has for 6 years and it certainly can not afford to start another one for ideological reasons.  Obama is on the correct side of this issue.

3. Obama is not the lightning rod that Hillary Clinton, unfortunately, is.  It will be very very difficult to unite and excite a Republican Party around John McCain when there is so little to hate about Barack.  (Remember in Rove’s book, “hate” is good.)

4. Obama will be able to outspend John McCain because (1) he will raise more money, and (2) McCain will not.

5. And contrary to Rove’s assertions in his Opinion column, Obama does not need the left of the Democratic Party to win.  He does not have to worry about Ralph Nader.  Obama’s appeal is to the mainstream of the Democratic Party, a large section of the Independents and Moderates, and a daily increasing group of young or first time voters.

The one caveat I would throw out is that if the Republican establishment (who represent neoconservatives and big energy interests and not everyday Republicans) decide they need to pull out all the stops, watch for an escalation of international problems and more saber rattling towards Iran.  Maybe we might see the use of military force.  Karl Rove would certainly support this use of Presidential power.

Republican Debate?

January 31, 2008

Last night on CNN, the 4 remaining Republican candidates sat around a table in the Regan Library and “answered” reporters questions.  Three of the four mostly replied to the questions choosing instead to insert some prepared remarks that said little or nothing.  Only Ron Paul gave clear and unambiguous answers to the questions.  Here are some observations.

1. Mitt Romney looked and acted the most presidential of the four.  He strongly denied accusations from John McCain but never resorted to “child to parent” behavior and maintained a cool but sincere demeanor. 

2. John McCain did not look very presidential and often when the question was being answered to another, and the camera caught McCain in its view, you could see him sneering at the answer.  You could almost read his mind saying, “you silly ass fool (insert Mike, Ron, or Mitt depending upon who was talking)”.  I think this is a strong clue on whether McCain has the character to listen to dissenting views and truly keep an open mind.  Warning… we have one of those now and he is a disaster!

3. Mike Huckabee was all over the map.  His appearance and demeanor were reasonable and fully in control.  Never the less you could see he was disgusted with the allocation of questions (time on air) that highly favored Romney and McCain.

4. Ron Paul was fully in control and patient.  He seemed to know and accept that he would get the least amount of air time.  I guess he thought that just being there was great since Dennis Kucinich will not make the cut tonight.

5. Mitt offered a measure of hope in his answer to questions on immigration and ending the Iraq War.  Of course he danced around both issues but reading between the lines he expressed logical and humanitarian views on immigration and potentially if he were to become President, he could sell the case that there is no way to return 12-14 million undocumented aliens so there better be some pathway to citizenship (or at least documentation).  With respect to the war, he did not bite on the “we will be there 100 years” and rather insisted on doing things orderly and without a time line.  Since Romney is a good business man, he at least knows that the value add of Iraq is a large negative number.

6. McCain used his basic stump speech lines as often as he could.  He has always been a leader so he can run the Government.  He has always been strong on defense so he knows what’s best in Iraq.  He was a foot soldier for Regan so he clearly knows the conservative’s values.  There was no explanation of a justification for the war but rather simply “I supported our President”, implying the President knew what he was doing (and we know that is not the case).  There were no ideas on what to do with those without healthcare coverage nor were their any ideas on how to get the economy’s fundamentals going again.  (that is the beauty of the conservative line, “get out of the way and let the people do it”.  While partially true (and certainly true up to the 1990’s), we will need much more coordination of science and math education, and investment in infrastructure to fuel a rebirth of American value creation in today’s world.)

7. Ron Paul is unsuited to become President but he was the most honest and clearest speaker.  To the question of whether our troops should stay in Iraq 100 Years, he said that was the wrong question.  Paul said, “they should never have gone in the first place, there were no WMD and no links to 9/11 or al Qaeda, and Congress never issued a Declaration of War”.  In Paul’s view, the war is illegal and unconstitutional.  If the candidates had debated that subject, all of American could have learned something.

8. Huckabee is also a complex candidate.  He speaks foolishly and unproductively about God, religion and morality (like apple pie and motherhood) and recommends doing away with the IRS.  Then he speaks practically and realistically about how to fix education, immigration, and government in general.  It sounds as if Mike is bi-polar with opposing extremes around God and common sense.

The Republicans have a real problem with respect to unifying their party.  It looks like the best bet now is McCain but he clearly is not liked by all Republicans.  (In this sense he is like Hillary).  Romney has not kissed enough back sides (or done it well enough) to gain the broader support of the big Republican hitters.  Watch to see who Karl Rove supports to learn where the consensus will settle.  The even larger problem is how they will debate the Democratic candidate with the economy broken, the poor and rich more separated than ever, and the Iraq War which makes no sense at all still going.

Mike Huckabee will need a plan B after super Tuesday.  He has never had much money and he will have less then.  As always, the VP spot is his best hope.   Ron Paul could continue as a Republican candidate and keep them honest, or he could consider running as a 3rd party candidate.  Time will tell but having his clear voice on the War will be a service to the nation.

It Will Be a Long Race II

January 30, 2008

With the Florida primary completed, the Republican field is narrowed to probably 2 with a third positioned to be the “king” maker.  Sounds a lot like the Democratic situation.  The best part of the Republican primary is that there is no candidate that pleases all those who call themselves Republicans, but retaining the White House might cause Republicans of all kinds of colors to join behind one candidate.  But which one?  Here’s some advice for the candidates:

1. Mitt Romney, keep your focus on the middle and emphasize the economy.  You are at least qualified to speak about domestic issues and the more you talk of that, the less time there is to talk about homeland security and the war.  If you really had courage, you would move decisively towards the side of bringing home the troops.  You could say the job is done, we won, and all that.  But more than anything, you could use the war money to fund “no child left behind” or setting up a program to document all those living here who lack documents.  You could also tell the Pat Robinsons of this world that you are a Mormon and it will be a cold day in hell before you will kiss their back sides again.  You could apologize to the gay and lesbian community for having acted so “unchristian” in the early stages of your campaign.  In short you could really move to the center and hope to appeal to moderates from both sides who want experience and someone with business sense.

2. John McCain, why do some people hate you so much?  I am absolutely without explanation why someone would build a web site that shows 20 reasons you should not be elected.  The site, posted supposedly by David K Fuller is ridiculous but it it may only be the tip of an iceberg of opinion.

http://davidkfuller.blogspot.com/search/label/20%20Reasons%20Not%20To%20Vote%20for%20Juan%20McAmnesty

If that is the case, you will need to broaden your message and ease up on this war.  Americans can be scared (as so well done by Rove and Bush) but sooner or later, they will see through this.  You are a war hero yourself and that’s enough.  What the moderate voter wants to know is that you will run a fiscally sound government, you will act reasonably towards those who need help, and you will do your very best to bring together all Americans and not throw some on the junk heap.  You have a real appearance (not plastic like Mitt’s) and American is not looking for another born again or preacher, so don’t go kissing Pat Robinson’s back side.

3. Mike Huckabee there is no chance.  No chance to be the presidential nominee but there is a chance to become the VP nominee.  You too would benefit from less volume on God and more towards using your faith for your own strength and let the rest of the nation and world think about God their own way.  You have a lot of practical executive experience running a State.  This would be an asset for either Mitt or John.  You should end up with enough delegates that your support will be critical to one of them.  Save your money, enjoy the thrill, and meet them at the convention.

4. Rudy, Rudy, it is all over and you can get out without spending a lot more.  You will make more money in the months ahead than you would have syphoned off as President. 

Who ever the Republican nominee ends up being, they will need some answers to the following and hope that the answers separate them from the failed Bush Administration. 

  • The economy is a mess
  • Consumer confidence is low
  • Global warming is real
  • Bush said no to Kyoto Protocol
  • The ABM treaty lays by the wayside
  • Our anti-missile missiles do not work (and have no purpose)
  • The Russians won’t help if we keep shoving a sharp stick in their eye
  • Iraq War was a war of choice
  • There were no WMD
  • There was no link with Hussein and al Qaeda
  • Abu Ghraib happened and soiled our Country’s reputation
  • Guantanamo and extreme interrogation methods do not work, put the US in the poorest of light, and need to cease
  • Science is needed to bring about real progress, intelligent design should be trashed
  • There should never be another Terri Schaivo episode

There will be plenty of chances during the Presidential campaign for who ever the candidates are to make a clear distinction between themselves and these examples of failed policies and behaviors.  You too can be pro-choice and make it clear that you will not repete any of these Bush transgressions.