Posted by: Randy Allgaier | November 25, 2006

And The Prize Goes To… (The Incompetence of George W. Bush)


Without a doubt, the forty-third President of the United States is the most incompetent leader that this country has ever had.  I’ve been a critic of the President well before he was elected- but he has gone far and below my lowest expectations as the nations’ worst President in history and I can no longer hide my contempt.

 

Katrina, national debt, human rights violations, a military stretched to the breaking point, a Medicare disaster that was a boondoggle for the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, a disaster in Afghanistan that has the Taliban seeing a resurgence, an unmitigated disaster in Iraq that IS in Civil War (when will they actually call it a civil war rather than saying the country is on the brink of all out sectarian civil war??  Is there an agreed upon tipping point?)

Let’s look at some of the more grievous examples of Bush’s incompetence in a little more detail!

Emergency Management: They completely failed to manage the first large-scale emergency since 9/11. Despite all their big talk and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on homeland security over the past four years, this administration proved itself stunningly incompetent when faced with an actual emergency.

 

Fiscal Management: America is broke. No wait, we’re worse than broke. In less than five years these borrow and spend-thrifts have nearly doubled our national debt, to a stunning $8.2 trillion. These are not your father’s Republicans who treated public dollars as though they were an endangered species. These Republicans waste money in ways and in quantities that make those old tax and spend liberals of yore look like tight-fisted Scots.

 

Katrina relief: Eleven thousand spanking new mobile homes sinking into the
Arkansas mud. Seems no one in the administration knew there were federal and state laws prohibiting trailers in flood zones. Oops. That little mistake cost you $850 million — and counting.

Medicare Drug Program: This $50 billion white elephant debuted by trampling many of those it was supposed to save. The mess forced states to step in and try to save its own citizens from being killed by the administration’s poorly planned and executed attempt to privatize huge hunks of the federal health safety net.  And GET THIS- the government is PROHIBITED from negotiating lower prices for drugs!  

Afghanistan: Good managers know that in order to pocket the gains of a project, you have to finish it. This administration started out fine in Afghanistan. They had the Taliban and al Queda on the run and Osama bin Laden trapped in a box canyon. Then they were distracted by a nearby shiney object —
Iraq. We are now $75 billion out of pocket in Afghanistan and its sitting president still rules only within the confines of the nation’s capital. Tribal warlords, the growing remnants of the Taliban and al Qaeda call the shots in the rest of the county.
 

Iraq: This ill-begotten war was supposed to only cost us $65 billion. It has now cost us over $345 billion and continues to suck $6 billion a month out of our children’s futures. Meanwhile the three warring tribes Bush “liberated” are using our money and soldiers’ lives to partition the country. The Shiites and Kurds are carving out the prime cuts while treating the once-dominant Sunnis the same way the Israelis treat the Palestinians, forcing them onto Iraq’s version of Death Valley. Meanwhile Iran is increasingly calling the shots in the Shiite region as mullahs loyal to Iran take charge. On Thanksgiving Day 2006 Iraq saw the worst violence since the Americans arrived.   What have we done to this country?

Iran: The administration not only jinxed its Afghanistan operations by attacking Iraq, but also provided Iran both the rationale for and time to move toward nuclear weapons. The Bush administration’s neoconservative threats to attack Syria next only provided more support for religious conservatives within Iran who argued U.S. intentions in the Middle East were clear, and that only the deterrent that comes with nuclear weapons could protect them.  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has continued to thumb his nose at the United States and there isn’t one thing we can do about it.  

North Korea: See Iran. Also add to all the above the example North Korea set for Iran. Clearly once a country possesses nukes, the U.S. drops the veiled threats and wants to talk.

Social Programs: It’s easier to get affordable — even free — American-style medical care, paid for with American dollars, if you are injured in Iraq, Afghanistan or are victims of a Pakistani earthquake, than if you live and pay taxes in the good old U.S.A. Nearly 50 million Americans can’t afford medical insurance. Nevertheless the administration has proposed a budget that will cut $40 billion from domestic social programs, including health care for the working poor. The administration is quick to say that those services will be replaced by its “faith-based” programs. Not so fast… “Despite the Bush administration’s rhetorical support for religious charities, the amount of direct federal grants to faith-based organizations declined from 2002 to 2004, according to a major new study. The study “is confirmation of the suspicion I’ve had all along, that what the faith-based initiative is really all about is de-funding social programs and dumping responsibility for the poor on the charitable sector,” said Kay Guinane, director of the nonprofit advocacy program at OMB Watch..”

The Military: Overused and over-deployed. Former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned in a 15-page report that the Army and Marine Corps cannot sustain the current operational tempo without “doing real damage to their forces.” … Speaking at a news conference to release the study, Albright said she is “very troubled” the military will not be able to meet demands abroad. Perry warned that the strain, “if not relieved, can have highly corrosive and long-term effects on the military. With military budgets gutted by the spiraling costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has requested funding for fewer National Guard troops in fiscal 2007 — 17,000 fewer. Which boggles the sane mind since, if it weren’t for reserve/National Guard, the administration would not have had enough troops to rotate forces in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 40 percent of the troops sent to those two countries were from the reserve and National Guard.

The Environment: Here’s a little pop quiz: What happens if all the coral in the world’s oceans dies? Answer: Coral is the first rung on the food-chain ladder; so when it goes, everything else in the ocean dies. And if the oceans die, we die. The coral in the world’s oceans are dying at an alarming and accelerating rate. Global warming is the culprit. Nevertheless, this administration continues as the world’s leading global warming denier. Why? Because they seem to feel it’s more cost effective to be dead than to force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. How stupid is that? And time is running out.  Just asl Al Gore (only if he been the one annointed by the Supreme Court in 2000!)

Trade: We have a  $1 trillion trade deficit, most of it with Asia, $220 billion with just China — just last year.

Energy: Record high energy prices. Record energy company profits. Dick Cheney’s energy task force meetings remain secret. Hmmmmm… is there more to be said?

Consumers: Americans finally did it in 2005 they achieved a negative savings rate. (Folks in China save 10 percent, for contrast.) If the government can spend more than it makes and just say “charge it” when it runs out, so can we. The average American now owes $9,000 to credit card companies.

Economy:  Sure the economy is booming but for whom?  Not the average American.  The rich are getting richer and corporations are making hand over fist- but the average American hasn’t seen it translate into daily life!   Corporations are keeping the profits and paying obscene salaries for CEO’s while bickering about paying health care benefits for the rank and file!  

Human Rights: America now runs secret prisons and a secret judicial system that would give Kafka fits. The U.S. has joined the list of nations that tortures prisioners of war.  Can you believe that this country had a debate about torture?  I never thought I would see such a thing in my life time!  

Dismantling the Constitution: See Human Rights.  Additionally think about wire taps and banking records….A quote that was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania and which is debatably attributed to Benjamin Franklin but may have been actually written by Richard Jackson is apt.  “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

What about the incompence in his record before he became President???

Of course there was the bankrupting of Texas as Govenor.  Several researchers have investigated the business history of the Bush family. The facts that they have uncovered are not very pretty. The business record of George W. Bush holds some revealing insights to how his presidency has operated, and helps to explain why the country has fallen so deeply in debt and has so many other problems. As explained by Kevin Phillips in his book, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, George W. Bush’s businesses fail but he makes millions. Among Mr. Bush’s business ventures:

  • Arbusto, an oil exploration company, lost money, but it got considerable investments (nearly $5 million) because even losing oil investments were useful as tax shelters.
  • Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. bought out Arbusto in 1984 and hired Mr. Bush to run the company’s oil interests in Midland, Texas. The oil business collapsed as oil prices plummeted by 1986, and Spectrum 7 Energy was near failure.
  • Harken Energy acquired Mr. Bush’s Spectrum 7 Energy shares, and he got Harken shares, a directorship, and a consulting arrangement in return. Harken, under Bush, brought in Saudi real estate tycoon Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh as a board member and a major investor. Over the next few years, Harken would turn out to have links to: Saudi money, CIA-connected Filipinos, the Harvard Endowment, the emir of Bahrain, and the shadowy Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

In his book, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, John W. Dean explains that his family name and his father’s prominence were significant factors in George W. Bush’s business “success”, or, were significant factors in repeated saves from serious business and financial failures. Both Arbusto/Bush Exploration and Spectrum 7 failed with Bush as chairman and CEO. At Harken, Mr. Bush was relieved of day-to-day management responsibilities but still served on the board of directors

On its face, Harken’s acquisition was surprising. Harken bought Spectrum 7 for $2 million in stock from Bush and two other partners – even though it had losses of $400,000 in the prior six months and had $3 million in debt. A report by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan group that investigates the finances of politicians, attributes Harken’s interest in Spectrum 7 to the lure of Bush’s name. Bush’s name soon helped him become a player in another deal: the purchase of the Texas Rangers baseball club in March 1989.

Bush’s great-uncle, Herbert Walker, was a founder of the New York Mets, and Bush was a big baseball fan. Major League Baseball officials were looking for a group of Texas investors to buy the Rangers, and Bush’s name came up. Bush was hardly a big financial player. He needed $606,000 to become a co-owner – a small sum by baseball standards. But he could come up with only $106,000, so he borrowed another $500,000 from a bank at which he was a director. That gave him a 1.8 percent ownership in the club. The other owners did Bush an enormous favor, deciding to up his stake to nearly 12 percent. This was bonanza for Bush, giving him his first real test of Texas-sized financial success. Overnight, Bush was in a position to become a very wealthy man.

The purchase took place at a time when Bush’s father was president, and some of the other co-owners of the Rangers were major backers of then-President Bush, including Fred Malek and billionaire investor Richard Rainwater. The success of the Rangers deal was assured by a tax increase. Bush, who would later emulate his father’s ”no new taxes” mantra in politics, pushed hard for a sales tax hike to help pay for the construction of the new ballpark at Arlington. To increase pressure for the tax hike, Bush and his fellow investors became one in a long line of baseball ownership teams to threaten to move the club out of town unless the public paid for a new stadium.

The strategy worked, the sales tax was increased, and owners profited substantially. All of that enabled the Rangers ownership team to sell the club later for three times the original price. But for Bush, the deal was even sweeter because his ownership stake had been increased from 1.8 percent to nearly 12 percent. Having invested $606,000, Bush received shares worth $14.9 million.  

I am of course hopeful that the American people have awaken from their 9/11 induced coma to see that the President is the DEFINITION of incompetence.  But think about it he never did have that much of a mandate anyway.  He lost the 2000 popular vote and didn’t win the 2004 popular vote by that much (even with all the fear mongering)  and he had the HUBRIS to declare he had a mandate and a lot of political capital!  What arrogance for an incompetent man with no track record other than relying on family connections and has translated that into an incompetent Presidency beyond anyone’s worst fears. 

We might have made fun of his incompetence when he was a candidate in 2000 but his incompetence combined with his arrogance and intransigence has made this a VERY dangerous world and has seriously damaged this country.

We have two more years of this horror.  I can only pray that the Democratic Congress can mitigate some of the potential damage.  But to do that- they will need a backbone- I have yet to see that backbone materialize. 

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Everybody know it’s who, not what, you know. Damn.

    The Dems bear some responsibility in the debacle that is Bush. They twice chose to nominate clowns, giving the people little choice but the lesser of evils. Will they do it again in ’08? Look for Gore to re-emerge and give them the chance. The hapless Kerry, fortunately, has neutered himself. He doesn’t know it, but everybody else does.

  2. J.- I agree that the Dems have nominated 2 pretty poor candidates. I actually did vote FOR Gore though (rather than just vote against Bush) but I voted AGAINST Bush when I pushed the lever for Kerry. I don’t think that Gore will be a come back kid. But the Democrats are pretty good at finding bafoons to run for President, I sadly must agree!

  3. Randy – Really, I don’t think Bush would have had a chance against a candidate of even moderate strength. He’s the ultimate insult to anybody with even a modicum of sense. I think the religious people liked him because he’s one of them. Like I said…

  4. […] In my article And The Prize Goes To… (The Incompetence of George W. Bush)  posted here on November 25th, I posed the questions: “When will they actually call it (the war in Iraq) a civil war rather than saying the country is on the brink of all out sectarian civil war??  Is there an agreed upon tipping point?”  In the article I said that I felt that in fact the war is a civil war.  […]

  5. […] In my article And The Prize Goes To… (The Incompetence of George W. Bush) posted on November 25th,  I posed the questions: “When will they actually call it (the war in Iraq) a civil war rather than saying the country is on the brink of all out sectarian civil war??  Is there an agreed upon tipping point?”  In the article I said that I felt that in fact the war is a civil war.  […]

  6. […] In my article And The Prize Goes To… (The Incompetence of George W. Bush) posted on November 25th,  I posed the questions: “When will they actually call it (the war in Iraq) a civil war rather than saying the country is on the brink of all out sectarian civil war??  Is there an agreed upon tipping point?”  In the article I said that I felt that in fact the war is a civil war. Interestingly- my question was timely.  In Sunday’s New York Times there was an article about the very subject.  In  his news anlaysis “A Matter of Definition: What Makes a Civil War, and Who Declares It So?” Edward Wong writes, “Though the Bush administration continues to insist that it is not, a growing number of American and Iraqi scholars, leaders and policy analysts say the fighting in Iraq meets the standard definition of civil war.”  The common scholarly definition has two main criteria. The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.  American professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that Iraq’s conflict is a civil war.   […]

  7. […] In my article And The Prize Goes To… (The Incompetence of George W. Bush) posted on November 25th,  I posed the questions: “When will they actually call it (the war in Iraq) a civil war rather than saying the country is on the brink of all out sectarian civil war??  Is there an agreed upon tipping point?”  In the article I said that I felt that in fact the war is a civil war. Interestingly- my question was timely.  In Sunday’s New York Times there was an article about the very subject.  In  his news anlaysis “A Matter of Definition: What Makes a Civil War, and Who Declares It So?” Edward Wong writes, “Though the Bush administration continues to insist that it is not, a growing number of American and Iraqi scholars, leaders and policy analysts say the fighting in Iraq meets the standard definition of civil war.”  The common scholarly definition has two main criteria. The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.  American professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that Iraq’s conflict is a civil war.   […]

  8. this about says it in a nut shell.

  9. And The Prize Goes To… (The Incompetence of George W. Bush)

    Author: roth401k-articles
    Subject: Why Having a Budget Is the First Step to Getting Out of Debt
    Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:00 am (GMT 7)
    Topic Replies: 0
    Many people constantly complain about being in debt but when you ask do you have a budget, do you…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: