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Tilting at Windmills

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February 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH AND THE TERRORISTS....Here's the list of the ten terrorist plots the Bush administration claims to have foiled since 9/11. Great stuff. But I have a question. If it's now OK to reveal information like this, how about also releasing a list of the terrorist plots broken up in the four years prior to 9/11?

Kevin Drum 7:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (229)

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Have they refused to do so or are you just asking for comparison purposes?

Posted by: Ugh on February 9, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

#11 would be requiring any top White House officals to testify under oath.

Posted by: Robert on February 9, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

The timing of this release, and the precise detail contained therein, have convinced me that Bush is all over this national security stuff!

Posted by: shortstop on February 9, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing that they didn't release this info back in 2004, when they were warning voters that "it's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again."

What better way to prove that statement, then showing all the dastardly plots that the incumbent team had already foiled? I never did understand political calculus in college.

Posted by: josef on February 9, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

How about a list of significant criminal prosecutions. This list would not look so good.

Posted by: BTD_Venkat on February 9, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

If it's now OK to reveal information like this, how about also releasing a list of the terrorist plots broken up in the four years prior to 9/11?

Kevin Drum 7:27 PM Permalink | TrackBack (0) | Comments (3)

The list might be shorter than the list of successful attacks though.

Posted by: McA on February 9, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

When you're the President, and there's no way to check the validity of your claims, you can tell the rubes damn near anything.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on February 9, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

I've seen the list to which you refer, Kevin. I'll reprint it (without the US Government's permission of course) here...

List of terrorist plots broken up from 9/11/97 until 9/10/2001:

*** Start of list

.
.
.

*** End of list.

I've been a dem for 23 years, but I'm so sick and tired of you far far far lefties finding anything possible to take down bush. I hate the guy, but if presidential elections were held today I think I'd vote for any Repub over any dem, except for barrack obama.

Posted by: ernie on February 9, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK
The list might be shorter than the list of successful attacks though.

There were no successful attacks in the US in the four years prior to 9/11; there was at least one already known foiled plot, the Millenium plot. Given that 1 > 0, your proposed scenario is extraordinarily unlikely.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum;

I have said in any number of E-mails to the MSM that one should never pay any attention what so ever to what Bush says, but pay close attention to what he does or does not do. In addition, I have said that his track record is such that one should never accept what he claims to be true at face value and only accept sonmething he says is true after he has provided sufficient credible evidence to establish its truth.

This most recent claim of having prevented terrorist attacks is just another example of unsubstantiated and therefore unconvincing claims by this man. We must always remember that, unfortunately and as his Professor at Harvard wrote, we are dealing with a pathological liar as the President of the US. Finally, one must always note the timing of any of his claims and this one just happens to occur at a time when he is in the fire for his criminal spying on Americans.

Posted by: tbaum on February 9, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Gas station tasking
Around 2003, an individual was tasked to collect targeting information on US gas stations and their support mechanisms on behalf of a senior al-Qaeda planner.

Geez. What's this involve, trailing a tanker truck with a big 76 on the side from a refinery or oil dock to see where it might go?

What a load of shit. We all know that there has been next to no improvement in security at the chemical or nuclear facilities across the country (unless they are in Wyoming). The same is true for the electrical grid. The nation is, unfortunately, pregnant with soft targets.

If these assholes really thought that we were that vulnerable to additional attacks, would they have short-sheeted Homeland Security as they have? Well, yes, of course, given what a bunch of atavistic, greedhead sons of bitches they are.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 9, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

finding anything possible to take down bush

Well, ern, it's getting easier and easier.

Far, far, far lefties???

Posted by: SED on February 9, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Given that most (if not all) of these "terrorist plots" are either huge exaggerations or outright fabrications, and that making this stuff up to sound like they were succeeding in a "war on terrorism" was not a priority in the Clinton (or early Bush) administration, that the list stands at, or near, 0.

Although I must admit, there *were* several real, unfoiled terrorist attacks during the Clinton administration. So perhaps there were a few for Clinton, but of real threats, I'm positive Bush's sucesses are zero.

Posted by: Susan on February 9, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'd rather be a far, far, far lefty than a far-too-right dunder-pated ignorant conservative any day!

And I apply as much skepticism to Bush's claims today as I would any claims put forth by a psychic or UFO-spotter.

The current administration mistakes motion for action.

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on February 9, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Ernie-

Well, let's see. There was the Millenium plot, for one.

How many of the terror plots on this list did you know about before the President leaked this information?

How many others have happened in the past? I don't know, and neither do you.

Posted by: Violet on February 9, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

It would appear that the President's Terrorist Surveillance Program is working beautifully as advertised. This should convince all but the rabid partisans and the delusional leftists that spying on american citizens with latest datamining algorithms is something very desirable and that the President and his administration should be applauded for the bold idea.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 9, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't revealing this list give the enemy information about our sources and methods???

Posted by: Red on February 9, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

What in the world is Bush doing? This seems so staged, so desperate, and so pathetic.

Is this all he has?

Sheesh.

We'll have terrorist threats until hell freezes over.

Time for us all to get rid of our enemies by making them our friends.

Aren't we being prepped for another "pre-emptive" strike on terror....aka Iran?

This war crap totally sucks.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 9, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Place your bets, people. In the months to come, will we see stories, memos, insider accounts detailing how these alleged plots never really existed? Like every other claim Bush makes, will it turn out to be crapola?

Posted by: Red on February 9, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Today's release of the ten plots is the eqivalent of Tom Ridge raising the alert level one color.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on February 9, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

I note that only 3 of the 10 "disrupted plots" involved an attack inside the United States, but all five of the fairly vague "taskings and infiltrations" did.

I don't quite know what that means.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) on February 9, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

"It was the worst of times and it was the worst of times."

from "A Tale of Two Shifties"

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 9, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

The most important terrorist plot broken up prior to 9/11 was scotched in Washington on the evening of 12/12/2000, when the nation came within an eyelash of receiving a blow from which she would never have been able to recover -- a Gore presidency.

Posted by: Al trainee #27 on February 9, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Ernie, where I come from, it's not a virtue to flaunt your ignorance. Try reading Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke. He goes into great detail about counterterrorism efforts during the Clinton administration. You might learn about how seriously the Clinton administration took terrorism, and the resources and personal attention Clinton and Clarke marshalled in securing the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the millennium plot (though that one was foiled serendipidously, by a hyper-alert border officer).

You also might learn a thing or two about the Bush administration's priorities pre-9/11 and even post-9/11.

It's funny. Clarke's book was the talk of the town when it came out, but I'm not so sure many folks have actually read it. They should. You might well have a very different perspective on everything from the NSA wiretapping scandal to the Iraq invasion. For one thing, after reading an insider's account from an obsessive counter-terrorist "czar", I'm much more willing to err on the side of expansive counterterrorism measures. And I say that as a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

But if you read Clarke's book closely, you'll see that it wasn't FISA that caused Clarke problems (references to the FISA court in that book were invariably positive), but the bureaucratic infighting and the bungling from the CIA and especially the FBI under Louis Freeh. It's curious that nobody with any credibility has come out to say that FISA has unnecessarily hampered counterterrorism efforts. That makes me think that something other than effective counterterrorism is at the heart of what Bush is up to.

Kevin, you oughta read Clarke's book or revisit it when you get a few hours. It'll provide fodder to beef up your national security posts, I guarantee you.

Posted by: Ryan on February 9, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Did you notice that there are only two that have the U.S. interrupting a plot with our own intelligence? One was to use hijacked planes which was unlikely to happen again. The other was Jose Padilla who's charges have been all over the place.

What I want to know is how many of these were a direct result of the NSA program. Did the U.S. do most of the intelligence gathering or did a "partner nation" just inform us of the plots?

Posted by: gq on February 9, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ryan >"...That makes me think that something other than effective counterterrorism is at the heart of what Bush is up to..."

Well of course there is

The ReThugs have to watch for any signs of the evil Democratic party plot to take over the country & force all pure Merycans to eat evil French cheese & drink that nasty imported wine bottled in SurrenderMoneyLand

Gotta protect our purty ya know !

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." - Edmund Burke

Posted by: daCascadian on February 9, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

It's curious that nobody with any credibility has come out to say that FISA has unnecessarily hampered counterterrorism efforts. That makes me think that something other than effective counterterrorism is at the heart of what Bush is up to.

uh, yeah, me too.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

This list of ten thwarted plots was originally released last October. Other than the details about shoe bombs (which doesn't make much sense when the person wearing the bombs is supposed to take control of the cockpit that would be blown up, along with his feet and legs...), why was this information considered "Breaking News" and worthy of leading the evening's newscasts? Once again, it appears that the Bush administration has found a way to distract us from what's actually happening today...

Posted by: mj on February 9, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Has Bush given any explanation of why he's releasing all this information now?

Posted by: Frank J. on February 9, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

which doesn't make much sense when the person wearing the bombs is supposed to take control of the cockpit that would be blown up, along with his feet and legs...),

I was wondering that too--if you're using shoe bombs, you're not going to hijack the airplane, you're just going to blow it up.

poor Scotty was caught with his pants down again today.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

"...the President's Terrorist Surveillance Program is working beautifully as advertised"

Advertised? I thought we weren't even supposed to know about -- except when the administration is looking for unverifiable shit to conveniently bragg about. And, boy, do you ever have funny notion of beauty.

Posted by: Kenji on February 9, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I've been a dem for 23 years, but I'm so sick and tired of you far far far lefties finding anything possible to take down bush. I hate the guy, but if presidential elections were held today I think I'd vote for any Repub over any dem, except for barrack obama.

I hear this over and over.

But usually it's from someone who refuses to actually, ya know, accept the facts on the ground, only the pablum conservative media feeds them.

In other words, it's a lie I've heard a million times already. Literally.

Posted by: Crissa on February 9, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

how about also releasing a list of the terrorist plots broken up in the four years prior to 9/11?

Didn't we already have some debates about the effectiveness of the Clinton administration in opposition to terror? "Millenium plot" and all that?

Posted by: contentious on February 9, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

The days are numbered.

The bigger they are, the bigger the THUD!

Posted by: Sideline on February 9, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

'ernie' posted:

"List of terrorist plots broken up from 9/11/97 until 9/10/2001:

*** Start of list

.
.
.

*** End of list."

You overlooked a few:

The Clinton team stopped (in progress) an attempt to blow up the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the George Washington Bridge. Stopped already planned attacks to blow up the U.N. General Assembly building, to blow up the New York FBI building, to blow up the Space Needle in Seattle, to blow up the Boston airport, to blow up the L.A.X. airport, to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington, to blow up the US Embassy in Albania, and two attempts to plant bombs in specific cites in the Northeast and the Northwest of the United States. Not to mention they stopped an attempt on the life of the Pope, an attempt to blow up the biggest hotel in Jordan, and an attempted bombing of a Christian site in Bethlehem. Oh, and let's not forget they also prevented an on schedule plan to hijack and blow up 12 U.S. civilian airliners simultaneously on a single day in the Western United States.

And that was just around the Millennium.

There has not been a single terrorist attack stopped in progress since.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 9, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

It's just a matter of days before Clinton pops his head up and says, "Hey, I stopped some attacks, too!"

Can't have Bush getting credit for anything, can we?!

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 9, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji: I suspect you were taken for a ride. I think Tbrosz is RotaryRocket, not helicalrocket. In any case, try it as satire ; beautiful.

Posted by: opit on February 9, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it that I just don't fucking believe a word these fuckers say??

Why is it?

Posted by: angryspittle on February 9, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

President Dickweed is bringing this up now because he knows there's another one out there in the wings that he won't be able to stop. He'll be able to say, hey 10 saves, 1 slipped past, not a bad batting average.

Posted by: JimBobRay on February 9, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

When are y'all going to wake up to the fact that Bush has played us all for fools. Yeah, the left is on to him post-9/11...but most of us still have our heads turned the other way pre-9/11. I know y'all don't want to get into this, but if you really take a look at what happend on that fateful day, this will all make a lot more sense.

www.scholarsfor911truth.org
www.geocities.com/killtown/

Posted by: Ian C. on February 9, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel so protected now.

Posted by: cq on February 9, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

"I um the great pertector"

"Booga, booga, booga"

Posted by: angryspittle on February 9, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey ernie,

How about disrupting that terrorist network at Waco.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on February 9, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, forgive Ernie his ignorance, Bert wasn't there to explain things to him. The one terrorist plot Bush has failed to break up is his own Presidency and foreign policy and treatment of foreign combatants and civilians.

Posted by: murmeister on February 9, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Al trainee #27 on February 9, 2006 at 9:20 PM:

...would never have been able to recover -- a Gore presidency.

Hmmm...I gotta grade the Al-emulator at a B-minus.

Don't get me wrong; the post was clever and humorous. However, the real Al is neither one of those things...Dumb it way down and you'll strike Al's tone more perfectly, #27...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 9, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

The number of terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 is much, much higher than the number before. This is from last year, but State Dept. statistics show a tripling of attacks from '03 to '04. You can find other tracking around the web: these are boom times for terrorists.

So if Bush wants to take credit for stopping a few attacks, then he deserves the blame for the ones he didn't stop. And those number in the hundreds. And we're not just talking about Iraq.

And since he seems to be implying that his job is to protect us from terrorism, is he finally willing to admit that he was asleep at the wheel on 9/11?

Posted by: JJF on February 9, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

'GOPGregory' posted:

"It's just a matter of days before Clinton pops his head up and says, 'Hey, I stopped some attacks, too!' ".

Wadda ya mean "too" ? The Boy Emperor Clown Criminal hasn't stopped any terrorist attacks.

.

"Can't have Bush getting credit for anything, can we?!"

He gets credit for going on vacation after being warned about the 9/11 attacks. He gets credit for cutting the anti-terrorism budget and shifting the money to more phoney StarWars spending, after President Clinton had TRIPLED spending on anti-terrorism efforts. He gets credit for REDUCING the number of FBI agents assigned to counterterrorism, after President Clinton had INCREASED the number of FBI agents assigned to counterterrorism.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Why is it that I just don't fucking believe a word these fuckers say??

Funny, that...

BTW, I love that the BBC article uses the phrase "so-called war on terror." Now that's some damn fine reporting.

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

How come there are no broken plots in 2004? We must have had at least 20 warnings and elevated threat levels, yet not one of them resulted in either a successful terrorist plot nor the disruption of one?

Posted by: John on February 10, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

How come there are no broken plots in 2004? We must have had at least 20 warnings and elevated threat levels, yet not one of them resulted in either a successful terrorist plot nor the disruption of one?

I know! I know!

Because all 20 warnings were politically motivated bullshit!

Do I win?

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Is this list the same list of 10 foiled plots that the Wasington Post debunked last fall?

Posted by: JS on February 10, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: ve on February 10, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Very good Al-emulator#27. You are hereby blessed with a tax cut.

Posted by: Mammon on February 10, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Reuters:

"...they were going to fly a commercial airliner into the tallest building in California," Townsend said.

The plot was disrupted with help from two countries in Southeast Asia and two countries in South Asia, Townsend said.

Townsend would not comment on whether the eavesdropping program helped in foiling the West Coast plot or capturing the plotters.

Posted by: JS on February 10, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

This is the opening salvo in the year's Congressional elections. Remember, they're going to try to distract us all from the corruption scandals and get us to focus on "security."

Everyone should read the link JS has provided. This list of the Ten Plots isn't even anything new.

I wouldn't be surprised, of course, if they did manage to thwart an attack here or there -- there must be some competent people left in federal law enforcement, after all. But Bush's boast about stopping an alleged plot in L.A. in 2002? I mean, come on -- 2002 was an election year. Are we supposed to believe that they really stopped a major plot then, but didn't reveal it? Compare that to Ashcroft calling a press conference when he was in Moscow to announce Jose Padilla's arrest. Something is fishy here.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 10, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

What I'd like to see is a timeline of terrorism news and Bush scandal news. I strongly suspect that it would visually show how the Bushies are riding the terrorism pony to deflect the impact of revelations about their radical policies.

Posted by: NJC on February 10, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

There were no successful attacks in the US in the four years prior to 9/11;

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

USS Cole? A US ship is US soil.
World Trade Center Bombing I?
The bombing that security guard got blamed for.
Olkahoma or that truck bomb thing
The Unabomber

Posted by: McA on February 10, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

Plus wasn't there an American embassy that go hit?
Us soil.

Posted by: McA on February 10, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

There were several more plots that were intercepted and foiled by Bush's crack team, and I suppose it's safe to reveal a few of them now:

11. A group of terrorists plotted to steal chemical weaponry, take over Alcatraz and threaten San Francisco with annihilation.

12. A suspicious individual was tasked with selling bogus antibiotics to hospitals in a major European city.

13. Several colorful individuals plotted to replace a major West Coast city's Red Car public transportation system with automobiles and freeways in order to suffocate its inhabitants with smog.

14. An al-Queda asteroid was found hurtling toward...

Wait. I've said too much already.

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on February 10, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

# of deaths -- deferal budget

Cancer deaths: 565,000/yr -- Cancer research: $6 Billion/yr

Automobile deaths: 42,000/yr -- Auto safety research: $0.2 Billion/yr

ME terrorism: 3,000 (total) -- Fed. war on terrorism: $70 Billion/yr

Posted by: JS on February 10, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

That's "federal", not "deferal" budget.

Posted by: JS on February 10, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

We've probably had more panties soiled than people prematurely dead. Ooh, terrorsts. Ooh, communists. Daddy, keep me safe!

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Posted by: david on February 10, 2006 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

Oh. Well, in that case, what?

Why do Chinese spammers hate Political Animal?

Posted by: bad Jim on February 10, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

There were no successful attacks in the US in the four years prior to 9/11;

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

USS Cole? A US ship is US soil.
World Trade Center Bombing I?
The bombing that security guard got blamed for.
Olkahoma or that truck bomb thing
The Unabomber

Posted by: McA on February 10, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

The first World Trade Center bombing was 1993.
The bombing of the Edward R Murrow federal building in Oklahoma City was April 17, 1995.
The Unabomber's last attack was 6 days later.

The only one of the attacks you mentioned that was in the 4 years before September 11, 2001 was the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. There were also Al Qaeda attacks on U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

No matter how you try to twist it, however, those attacks did NOT occur in the United States. If you include those as strikes against Clinton's record, you need to include some or all of the far more numerous successful attacks on U.S. personell and allies in the 4.5 years since September 11, 2001.

Posted by: tanj on February 10, 2006 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

What a crock! How do you disprove any of these allegations? History has shown that these fascists will say anything to save their skin. Interviews with Jose Padilla indicate that his "plot" to blow up apartment buildings got about as far as discussing it over a cup of tea.

Show us the evidence...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 10, 2006 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

"The bombing of the Edward R Murrow federal building"

Uh, a joke or a slip? It was the Alfred P. Murrah building, after a 10th Circuit Judge. Think about it.

Posted by: Buce on February 10, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

tanj: "The only one of the attacks you mentioned that was in the 4 years before September 11, 2001 was the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. There were also Al Qaeda attacks on U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."

"No matter how you try to twist it, however, those attacks did NOT occur in the United States.If you include those as strikes against Clinton's record, you need to include some or all of the far more numerous successful attacks on U.S. personell and allies in the 4.5 years since September 11, 2001."

Backing tanj up, if the Cole counts as a successful pre-9/11 attack on US soil, then, in the post-9/11 column you have to include all US military personel killed in Iraq. The contractors killed in Fallujah, the beheadings of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg and others should also count. So against an already debunked list of vague and feeble plots "foiled," an increasing number of successful terrorist attacks.

Ignoring the fact that the list has already been debunked, Bush is trying to sell the idea that his administration has been effective in preventing terrorist attacks (Election 2006 here we come!) Yah, sure. Just as they have been effective in dealing with Katrina, creating jobs and balancing the federal budget.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 10, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

"Can't have Bush getting credit for anything, can we?!
As the saying goes, credit where credit is due.
And Dubya Smurf hasn't earned many, unless you count attendance.

Posted by: kenga on February 10, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Why only go back 4 years?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 10, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Seriously though.....does anybody here believe that if Osama wanted to attack us we could stop it.

Look at Isreal or for that matter Iraq. Both countries are under extremely intense security yet they are repeatedly subject to attack.

Here in the US we have thousands of illegal aliens entering this country monthly and tons of drugs.

Logic says that the only reason we have not been attacked more is that it is not in the terrorist game plan at the moment.

I mean they have what they want......we are mired in a quagmire in Iraq......much like the Soviet union was in the eighties in Afganistan and we all know what the results of that were.

If the NSA spying thing is working so well why doesn't he apply it to Iraq and stop the attacks there?

Also I thought we were fighting them in Iraq so we wouldn't have to fight them here?

No.... the terrorists are getting exactly what Bush says they want and that is to take away our freedoms and they are playing him like a fine tuned Piano to do so (or perhaps he is playing us?).

Posted by: jerryatrik on February 10, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

The number of terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 is much, much higher than the number before. This is from last year, but State Dept. statistics show a tripling of attacks from '03 to '04. You can find other tracking around the web: these are boom times for terrorists. So if Bush wants to take credit for stopping a few attacks, then he deserves the blame for the ones he didn't stop. And those number in the hundreds. And we're not just talking about Iraq.

The numbers are even worse than that if you accept the Bush regime's own claim that the attacks in Iraq are caused by "terrorists" and are part of the "War on Terra" (TM). Considering that the rate of attacks against Iraqi government and US forces in Iraq is, oh, about 70 to 80 a day, then we have about 25,000 terrorist attacks a year in Iraq alone.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think the purpose of these revelations are to demonstrate the real threat we still face, something that the left has yet to fully realize. Bush's track record on defeating terror is currently average at best but is a far cry better than what would have been achieved under a Gore or Kerry presidency.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

OT, but ...
Y'know, the ernies in this country are really beginning to irritate me.
This whole two-dimensional "left-right" political spectrum bullshit is so over-simplified as to be almost useless.
Far-far-far-left? You mean way left of the American Communist Party?

Shit, you want some far left suggestions?
I sure as hell WOULDN'T advocate any of them, but they're definitely FAR left. Stuff that makes Noam Chomsky look like Pat Buchanan ...

- send the 4th Infantry Division to round up all personnel of Blackwater Security and all related and similar businesses; conscript ALL personnel and assets including executive management and Directors - to be paid the prevailing wage for US service personnel at SPC-4 level or below. Any shareholders refusing to voluntarily relinquish all claims for reimbursement to be sentenced to hard labor. Any personnel refusing to serve to be used as human IED detectors.

- nationalize and sieze all assets and subsidiaries of Halliburton and Bechtel. All executives, directors and voting shareholders to be put to work manufacturing body armor, HMMV up-armor kits and medical equipment at minimum wage.

- nationalize and sieze all assets and subsidiaries of all non-state owned/operated multinational oil companies based in or having significant presence in the USA. Primary beneficiaries to recieve same treatment as those of Halliburton and Bechtel.

Anyone else got any suggestions about what "far left" approaches would look like?

And if before the toms, ernies, mikes and als start to sputter, go back and re-read this post.
Unless you can preface any response with a definition of the only word above in ALL CAPS, don't waste our time.

Posted by: kenga on February 10, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

If we take these claims at face value, can anyone tell me how invading Iraq assisted us in these interventions?

Posted by: Zac on February 10, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

ptate,

Last 3 months an average of 229K jobs have been added and the rate is down to 4.7%. Yesterdays jobless claims were again very low. The 4-week moving average is down 45K in the last two months. JP Morgan raised 1st Qtr GDP forecast to 5% and 4% for the F/H and is predicting continuing strong growth.

Look for an unemployment rate of 4.3% or lower by the November elections and ask yourself this question. If the Democrats could not take advantage of a 6.3% unemployment rate how will they take advantage of a 4.3% unemployment rate?

Over 5.5M jobs have been created since the 07/03 supply-side tax cuts and by November that number will be over 7.5M. Think Karl Rove can make use of that statistic?

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's track record on defeating terror is currently average at best...

When I look out my window at the gigantic hole in the ground that used to be the World Trade Center I have to disagree.

And four and a half years later and we've still to catch the man who did it.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

heh. so I should preview.
"Make that definition of the first of the only two words above in ALL CAPS"

Posted by: kenga on February 10, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

It took five years to catch Eric Rudolph, and he never left the southeast, and we have yet to find out what happened to Vince Foster and Ron Brown.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Bush - Economic and Tax Terrorist

December trade gap caps record year
Deficit is second largest on record as full-year deficit crosses $700 billion mark for first time.

Yet more proof that conservative economic policies don't work and only give the appearance of working by buying tepid economic improvement on credit, the bill to be paid by our children and children's children.

Why does Bush hate our future generations so much?

Why does he hate a majority of Americans, favoring instead price-gouging oil and pharmaceutical companies?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Oops. "Linky"

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

stefan,

Americans 1st concern is not global terrorism. It's terrorism in the USA. As long as there are not Al Qaeda terrorist attacks here Karl Rove and the GOP have a huge campaign edge. If there is a Oklahoma type bombing and the Dems try to paint that as a terrorist attack Karl Rove and the GOP will have an even bigger campaign edge.

The Democrts can only remove the GOP advantage by appearing serious and acting like adults and they are so far behind it's going to take at least one election cycle and the process will not even start as long as Howard Dean speaks. Mean-spirited partisanship is the opposite of serious.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Out of curiosity rdw -
How many jobs have been eliminated during that period? I know GM has laid off a couple people, and a few airlines, and some other major manufacturers as well.
What's the sum of jobs created and jobs eliminated?

Any idea how many people have been out-of-work for longer than their unemployment benefits have lasted?
Or are working more hours for the same pay? Or less pay?

Posted by: kenga on February 10, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK
This whole two-dimensional "left-right" political spectrum bullshit is so over-simplified as to be almost useless.

The "left-right" political spectrum is one-dimensional, not two. Its actually not all that much too simplified; empirical studies have found that the American political spectrum really doesn't have many significant axes of variation (a highly salient, largely one which is, roughly, "economic", and a less salient one largely around "race", as I recall, in one important study -- unfortunately, the book is buried in a box somewhere) Based on studies of other political systems, this seems to be very much a product of political structure and electoral systems: systems which structurally favor larger number of viable parties tend to also produce environments with greater numbers of axes of variation. One likely mechanism for this is that limiting competing parties tends to limit the number of competing voices that get heard, and thereby constrain the political dialogue and the universe of ideas most people are exposed to.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Terrorist plots broken up:

Bill Clinton 0

GW Bush 1 (Al Gore's attempt to steal the Presidency in Florida)

Posted by: TruthPolotik on February 10, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

rdw - any amurcan who is not concerned with global terrorism is a fool - one hopes you don't fall into that category. For starters, the USA is part of the globe. Secondly, impacts on global trade and resource flows have impacts on people in the USA.


Posted by: kenga on February 10, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely - I stand corrected. I was thinking of x-y axes. It's just x.
I'll agree the US spectrum's axes are limited and that it seems due largely to our electoral and political systems.
Perhaps I am one of few who feels constrained by it.

Posted by: kenga on February 10, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . how will they take advantage of a 4.3% unemployment rate?

By pointing out that real wages have fallen drastically, as well as a score of safety nets for low income earners, meaning that the average worker is no better off even if they have menial jobs created by Bush's sour economy, which you continually lie about.

Jay: . . . and we have yet to find out what happened to Vince Foster and Ron Brown.

Jay's brain is missing too and I doubt it will ever be found.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Americans [sic] 1st concern is not global terrorism. It's terrorism in the USA.

Odd, then, that Bush keeps insisting we're fighting a "global war on terror."

As long as there are not Al Qaeda terrorist attacks here....

Again, when I look out my window at the hole in the ground that used to be the World Trade Center I'm fairly certain that there was a Qaeda terrorist attack here.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

advocate, one lagging economic indicator does not equate to a failed economy, sorry. Also, not sure if you noticed that oil accounted for nearly a third of that deficit, so why again aren't we drilling in ANWR?

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

It would appear that the President's Terrorist Surveillance Program is working beautifully as advertised.

Well, except that nowhere is there a claim that any of these were disrupted by the illegal NSA monitoring program; indeed, all of them that there has been any indication of how they were disrupted, nothing related to that program has been mentioned.

Show, if this makes it "appear" to you that the criminal surveillance conducted by the President is "working" to prevent terrorism, well, that's a pretty clear indication that your faculties of critical thinking aren't working to protect you from rather thin propaganda.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

advocate, do you remember who those two people are? Two people that the Dems just want everyone to forget about.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrts can only remove the GOP advantage by appearing serious and acting like adults and they are so far behind it's going to take at least one election cycle and the process will not even start as long as Howard Dean speaks. Mean-spirited partisanship is the opposite of serious.

Yes, because the opposite strategy, of lying incompetence and politicizing terror, has already been taken.

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Most of the new jobs pay less than previous jobs, and all that debt and trade deficit will cause problems long term (any idiot can be "prosperous" short-term by borrowing on his credit card, or rather their childrens'.) Bush apologists love to quote sterile numbers of jobs etc. so voters won't think about quality, dispersion, and delayed-consequences issues.

Posted by: Neil' on February 10, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

One way or another, the U.S.A. has become a harder target for terrorists to directly attack in the last five years. Putting on my prognosticator/inspired prophet hat for a moment, I wish to predict that the terrorists will unleash a geniune WMD within the next five years.

It will probably be a nuclear weapon and the target or targets will probably be in Europe. The French and the Dutch are soft targets. I would think that the Eiffel tower or any of France's excellent art museums might be targeted, as symbolism is important to these people. Note the quite deliberate statement that the Taliban made in blowing up the huge statues of Buddha in Afghanistan.

I would be somewhat surprised if Britain, Germany, Italy, or Spain is targeted next. The first three nations have a lot more active security roaming around that you would think. Spain has already been hit. I would think that France or the low countries are up next, but that's just me.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on February 10, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: . . . so why again aren't we drilling in ANWR?

Because ANWR's oil is a proverbial drop in the bucket which is years away in any event from even hitting the markets, because it can't be refined even if it were available today if conservative claims about lack of refining capacity are correct.

Yep, your brain is truly missing.

Jay:

Two people that conservative assholes like you want to obsess about.

Maybe you should obsess about the nuns in Central America that Reagan and Bush 41 allowed to be butchered while he was funding the butcherers.

Maybe you should obsess about the thousands of Iranians, not two, tortured and murdered by the Shah as Reagan and Bush 41 funded him.

Maybe you should obsess about the Kurds, not just two but hundreds or thousands, killed and maimed by Saddam while Reagan and Bush 41 funded him.

Vince Foster killed himself. It was suicide.

Go spread you stupid conservative bloviational conspiracies in conservative blogs where they will get ready play, just like the lie about Bush 41 never criticizing Clinton while Clinton was in office which also gets spread through those blogs.

But tax revenues grew after Reagan cut taxes!

Hold on there, partner. Reagan's early years included the worst recession since The Big One. Give me a monster recession to start with, and I can make tax revenues grow astonishingly rapidly in the following years just by performing my secret Tax Revenue Enhancing Dance (TRED for short). Besides, the Reagan rate cuts are heavily oversold by supply-siders. Along with cutting rates, Reagan got rid of a whole slew of deductions, which meant that effective tax rates dropped by much less than the marginal cuts would imply.

Jane Galt calls you a liar, rdw.

I agree with Tyler Cowen: once the government raised spending, we got the tax increase, whether we want it or not.

Twice.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mean-spirited partisanship is the opposite of serious.

And if there's one thing that Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, George Bush, Tom DeLay et al. don't believe in it's mean-spirited partisanship....

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

still waiting for someone to explain how they were supposed to "hijack" an airplane with shoe bombs.

not hard to foil a "terrorist plot" that's completely made-up.

Posted by: haha on February 10, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

even Ken Starr says that Foster committed suicide--the only people who still consider it a "mystery" are batshit insane wingnut Clinton-haters. Like Jay.

Posted by: haha on February 10, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

still waiting for someone to explain how they were supposed to "hijack" an airplane with shoe bombs.

It's quite simple: first they were each going to blow off one of their legs by igniting the shoe bomb. Then, while hopping on their one remaining leg they would take hold of their other leg and use it to hold off the passengers and club down the pilots. Simple and elegant.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

"Proverbial drop in the bucket" Really. Conservative estimates indicate vast reserves able to sustain American demand for over twenty years and could be ready for production in as little as ten, giving us thirty years to develop newer, more sustainable green energies. But why focus on that as a democrat when bashing Bush is so much more fun. Ironic to that a liberal would point out the massacre's in Iraq under Saddam when:
A. he would still be in power under a democratic leadership and
B. I thought the Democrats were telling us he was contained and not a threat.
So apparently your concern over the deaths of the Kurds is only demonstrated when politically convenient. Vince Foster killed himself, yes, but WHY?
Funny how corrupt you seem to think the right side of the aisle is yet you still can't defeat them. How pathetic does that make the left?

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: . . . one lagging economic indicator does not equate to a failed economy . . .

You must have missed the fall in real wages and the high national debt to go with that trade deficit, not to mention a looming and expensive invasion of Iran.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Advocate,

The trade deficit is a bad headline for GWB but the backgound is much better than it looks. The surge in imports is almost totally Oil prices as energy consumption dropped 1.8%. Exports grew a very healthy 5.7% and are a very good indicator for strong future growth tied to the booming global economy. GWB has been aggressively pursuing free trade agreements having completed 6 and has another dozen advancing.

High oil prices will remain an issue but markets work. Energy consumption was down 1.8% in 2005 and is running down another 1.8% in 2006. Combined with strong above trend economic growth our energy efficiency should increase a sharp 10% in '05 and '06. One of the reasons this price spike did so little economic damage is because we are so energy efficient (vs the 70's) and the supply-side tax cuts of July 03 were so powerful.

More good news is industry had made a rapid turnover to emphasize energy conservation especially with autos. GE and most major manufactures have made commitments to reduce energy use 30% (or so) and products are being designed around energy use. Chances are good that even with strong economic growth US energy use will remain stable for a decade just based on current plans.

The other good news is the high prices have created a surge in investment. Natural Gas prices have dropped from $15 to under $8 despite reductions in production from the Gulf. All of this will be back online by the next heating season as well as significantly increased capacity from the Tar Sands.

Look for the Dems to badly overplay their hand on this trade data. They always do. They look for 15% reductions in the price of oil combined with lower oil imports to drop total imports by as much as 10%. This while exports are increasing by 6%. We will be heading into the November elections with very low unemployment, lower inflation, lower imports, higher exports and starting the 4th year of very strong GDP growth.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Ironic to [sic] that a liberal would point out the massacre's [sic] in Iraq under Saddam when:
A. he would still be in power under a democratic [sic] leadership and
B. I thought the Democrats were telling us he was contained and not a threat.

"Ironic" in the Alanis Morisette sense, considering that the massacres occured in the 1980s, when Reagan was President and was backing Saddam with money, technology, and political support, and immediately after the Gulf War in the early 90s, when Bush I was President and could have, but chose not to, depose Saddam, preferring to keep him in power and contain with sanctions.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

One way or another, the U.S.A. has become a harder target for terrorists to directly attack in the last five years.

Says who?

Al-Qaeda's been wanting to attack the US for quite some time before and after 9/11, tried before at mass casualty attacks and was foiled, tried on 9/11 and succeeded, and, per the Bush White House, tried after 9/11 and was stopped.

Except that it maybe got easier just after Bush took office before returning to its prior difficulty, that doesn't show much.

Coincidence theorists will claim that there is no connection between this and PNAC's stated need for a new Pearl Harbor to sell their prepackaged Middle Eastern imperial campaign to the American public.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

"War on Terra (TM)"

Considering other moves by the Twiggies, I believe they are also conducting a War on Flora and Fauna as well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 10, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Conservative estimates indicate vast reserves able to sustain American demand for over twenty years and could be ready for production in as little as ten, giving us thirty years to develop newer, more sustainable green energies.

Literally "conservative" (as in GOP) estimates.

And we know how well their predictions turn out.

Massive stockpiles of WMDs anyone?

Massive stockpiles of oil anyone?

Massive bullshit is more like it.

. . . he would still be in power under a democratic leadership . . .

But no longer a threat to the Kurds due to Clinton's foreign policy.

And funny how you ignore that the North Korean communists are still in power under Bush's leadership.

And funny how you ignore that the Sudan is still under the control of a genocidal maniac under Bush's leadership.

How pathetic does that make the left?

Being unwilling to stoop to the GOP's criminality, election fraud, and serial lying and defamation hardly makes the left pathetic.

Unlike conservatives, liberals don't believe that one should practice evil and adopt the methods of evil when trying to defeat evil.

Conservatives on the other hand become everything they say they hate, adopting the methods and justifications of the terrorists and thus legitimizing those methods and justifications.

Now, that's pathetic.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Funny how corrupt you seem to think the right side of the aisle is yet you still can't defeat them. How pathetic does that make the left?

Funny how marginalized George Bush claims Al Qaeda is yet he still can't defeat them. How pathetic does that make Bush?

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Drexel Hill Dimwit,

Thanks for your regular, daily, JP Morgan update. Could you run over to Philadelphia Park and tell us who the other tout sheets like in the 3rd at Santa Anita today.

Posted by: stupid git on February 10, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

advocate, your planning on invading Iran?
stefan, again how pathetic does that make the left?
FYI, we were supporting Iraq at a time when Iran was compromising their (Iraq) borders and attacking them. The Gulf War mission was to expel Iraq from Kuwait, not to depose Saddam. Funny how hawkish the libs get when the time has passed.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Conservative estimates indicate vast reserves able to sustain American demand for over twenty years and could be ready for production in as little as ten, giving us thirty years to develop newer, more sustainable green energies.

sure, and Peter Pan will come to your bedroom window at night and take you away to Never-Neverland.

sorry, but a nutjob such as yourself, who still believes in Vince Foster conspiracy theories, needs to provide some sort of reliable source for such numbers. Good luck.

Posted by: haha on February 10, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

One way or another, the U.S.A. has become a harder target for terrorists to directly attack in the last five years.

How? It's not as if we actually inspect any of the cargo containers, for example. It would be laughably easy to smuggle explosives into this country, and even easier to manufacture them here directly. Any terrorist who wanted to could, for instance, blow up a dozen NYC subway cars tomorrow, paralyzing the city.

The most likely reasons we haven't had a big attack lately are (i) Al Qaeda usually takes a few years to plan and run a big operation, and (ii) they don't need to -- they wanted to provoke us with 9/11, and we obligingly responded, bogging ourselves down in the Muslim world.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

That gap works out to came to an average of $2,448 per American, which is up from $2,103 per American in 2004.

The tax cut for each average American over the last 5 years just went up in smoke, amidst the smoke and mirrors of Bush's economic policies.

rdw: Look for the Dems to badly overplay their hand on this trade data.

Look for rdw to badly overplay his hand on economic statistics and look for him to have a sour face when his economic forecasts, much like his forecasts for Bush's approval ratings, fall flat.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Kenga: I sure as hell WOULDN'T advocate any of them, but they're definitely FAR left. Stuff that makes Noam Chomsky look like Pat Buchanan ...

So, how come you guys are all for the same agenda, attend the same protest rallies, spout the same noxious anti-American rhetoric?

Posted by: Evan Rachel Wood on February 10, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

That is exactly why the left is not in power, and that is they do not fully realize the threat of terrorism. This cartoon debacle is just one recent example of the underlying turmoil that plagues that region and threatens the civilized world.
No longer a threat under Clinton? Do you realize that "containment" only starved the children of Iraq while building new palaces for Saddam and enriching the French. Yeah, good policy there. And if it wasn't for Clinton and Madeline Half-bright, NK would still be just a nuisance.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Funny how corrupt you seem to think the right side of the aisle is yet you still can't defeat them. How pathetic does that make the left?

The Democrats controlled Congress for decades.

How pathetic does that make the right?

Bad argument either way. You may as well argue: "you seem to think the Nazis are corrupt -- how pathetic does that make the Resistance?" or "you seem to think the Roman empire is corrupt -- how pathetic does that make the Christians?"

Power structures exist; rightness of cause gives no assurance of overcoming them.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 10, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: . . . your planning on invading Iran?

No, Bush is.

Jay: FYI, we were supporting Iraq at a time when Iran was compromising their (Iraq) borders and attacking them.

No, we were supporting Iraq when it was killing its Kurd citizens.

Jay: The Gulf War mission was to expel Iraq from Kuwait, not to depose Saddam.

And there's the rub . . .

Conservatives are always criticizing liberals for not being aggressive enough, when the truth is that conservatives only talk tough, but when push comes to shove they negotiate with terrorists in secret while telling the American people they will never negotiate and . . .

Funny how hawkish the libs get when the time has passed.

Funny how hawkish conservatives are when the Kurds' lives are no longer on the line and there is nothing to be gained from hawkish behavior, when they think it will be an easy victory over someone they know to be a toothless foe.

Like the typical bully and coward, conservatives love to attack when there is no risk to themselves.

Just ask AWOL Bush and deferrment Cheney.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I'm too old to go to Neverland. I am not Michael Jacksons type.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

GOPGregory wrote: "It's just a matter of days before Clinton pops his head up and says, "Hey, I stopped some attacks, too!"

Can't have Bush getting credit for anything, can we?!"


That's hilarious GOPG... When the reality is that Bush apologists can't have Bush taking any blame for anything -- it's always all Clinton's fault. Heard O'Reilly blaming Clinton for 9-11 just yesterday.

TBrosz, tell me again how that NSA Surveillance program helped foil the "Library Tower" plot?

Posted by: lewp on February 10, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who thinks it's a little suspicious that there were so many plots that were just like other ones that were successful? I mean, I thought that Al-Qaeda was supposed to be really creative and use surprise as its chief weapon. Are they so bankrupt of ideas that they legitimately believe that they could hijack another commercial airliner in 2003?

Posted by: Ruck on February 10, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was the photograph. It was another copy of the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford at the party function in New York, which he had chanced upon eleven years ago and promptly destroyed. For only an instant it was before his eyes, then it was out of sight again. But he had seen it, unquestionably he had seen it! He made a desperate, agonizing effort to wrench the top half of his body free. It was impossible to move so much as a centimetre in any direction. For the moment he had even forgotten the dial. All he wanted was to hold the photograph in his fingers again, or at least to see it.

'It exists!' he cried.

'No,' said O'Brien.

He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away from the wall.

'Ashes,' he said. 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.'

'But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I remember it. You remember it.'

'I do not remember it,' said O'Brien.

Winston's heart sank. That was doublethink. He had a feeling of deadly helplessness. If he could have been certain that O'Brien was lying, it would not have seemed to matter. But it was perfectly possible that O'Brien had really forgotten the photograph. And if so, then already he would have forgotten his denial of remembering it, and forgotten the act of forgetting. ...

He set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He presented himself with propositions -- 'the Party says the earth is flat', 'the party says that ice is heavier than water' -- and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them. It was not easy. It needed great powers of reasoning and improvisation. The arithmetical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement as 'two and two make five' were beyond his intellectual grasp. It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.

My apologies for the lengthy quote, but rdw has always reminded me of someone, and now I have it. He's O'Brien. The Party is all.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 10, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Would that include draft-dodger Clinton?
"Conservatives are always criticizing liberals for not being aggressive ENOUGH." How about just starting with being aggressive, then will gauge the ferocity of it.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

FYI, we were supporting Iraq at a time when Iran was compromising their (Iraq) borders and attacking them.

Actually, no. The war began on September 22, 1980 when Hussein's Iraq invaded Iran, thinking he could capitalize on the chaos following the previous year's revolution. Iraq was the agressor, Iran the defender. Here, for example, from Globalsecurity.org:

"On September 22, 1980, formations of Iraqi MiG-23s and MiG21s attacked Iran's air bases...Their aim was to destroy the Iranian air force on the ground...Simultaneously, six Iraqi army divisions entered Iran on three fronts in an initially successful surprise attack, where they drove as far as eight kilometers inland and occupied 1,000 square kilometers of Iranian territory..."

Jay does, however, now admit that "we [that is, Reagan's administration] were supporting Iraq" at a time when Iraq was massacring its Kurds with chemical weapons attacks and invading its neigbhors.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Do you realize that "containment" only starved the children of Iraq while building new palaces for Saddam and enriching the French.

Crocodile tears for the starving children of Iraq.

How touching.

Where are those tears for the children of North Korea and the Sudan?

What about the Americans enriched by violating the sanctions, while the Bush administration looked the other way?

Do you realize how many children have died as the result of the invasion?

Do you realize that you cite statistics about alleged childrens' deaths that conservatives claimed were fabricated or exaggerated by organizations such as Amnesty International out of hatred for America?

Do you realize that the sanctions against Cuba only starve the children of that nation?

Do you realize that the jawboning and "sanctions" regarding the Sudan only starve the children of that nation?

Truly pathetic hypocrisy.

Yeah, good policy there.

You claim that liberal policy is worse, not no better, yet all your examples boil down to the latter.

And if it wasn't for Clinton and Madeline Half-bright, NK would still be just a nuisance.

Another lie in defense of Bush's incompetence.

Bottom line: even accepting your mendacious revisionist history as accurate, you've proven only that liberals were no worse than conservatives, yet managed to be just as effective without all of the downsides (2000+ American soldiers dead).

How pathetic is it that Bush can accomplish no more than Clinton, even using your own characterization of Clinton's actions, while losing thousands of American soldiers, destroying American alliances, and negatively impacting the American economy.


Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Over 5.5M jobs have been created since the 07/03 supply-side tax cuts"

And there are STILL fewer workers in the national workforce, as a percentage, than there were in 2000. Long-term Unemployment, which is at the highest level in decades, is a measure of those jobless workers that are no longer counted.

.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Bush and Co. could not handle Katrina with all the advance warnings, they did live up to low expectations. They live up to low expectations in Iraq and will on terror too. When it counts they will be on vacation and will stay on vacation.

We are cursed with Bush for another couple of years and the results of his incompetence for years to come.

Posted by: Renate on February 10, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

It's so disappointing to see Democrats embrace positions of the far left where its agenda is attached to America's failures. I am sick of seeing the rabid communist, anti-America rhetoric so common in protest rallies while the rest of the Democrats look the other way. If this is the path we are choosing, then we deserve to lose.

Posted by: Evan Rachel Wood on February 10, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Would that include draft-dodger Clinton?

Clinton subjected himself to the draft.

Bush never did.

You lie.

But what's new.

How about just starting with being aggressive, then will gauge the ferocity of it.

Ferocious Bush?

In word only.

Where's that "ferocity" when it comes to the Sudan and North Korea?

Did he use it all up on the American public when lying about WMDs and proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" (then falsely blaming it on the sailors when it was in fact his own staff)?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan: "It's quite simple: first they were each going to blow off one of their legs by igniting the shoe bomb. Then, while hopping on their one remaining leg they would take hold of their other leg and use it to hold off the passengers and club down the pilots. Simple and elegant."


Arthur: "I've cut your arm off."

Black Knight: "It's only a flesh wound!"

Posted by: DeanVernonWormer on February 10, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: The Gulf War mission was to expel Iraq from Kuwait, not to depose Saddam.

So his argument is that the Bush I Republican administration, knowing that Hussein had massacred the Kurds with chemical weapons in the 80s, knowing that it was engaged in an ongoing masscacre against the Kurds and Shiites, and knowing that it was trying to further obtain WMD, deliberately decided to keep Hussein in power rather than overthrowing him. Yes, that must be Clinton's fault....

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

I never claimed to care about the children, I was pointing out your hypocrisy which your blind partisanship prevented you from seeing.
"Destroying American alliances" Still going for that "can't we just be freinds" angle. Truly pathetic.
"Negatively impacting the economy". I will take less than 5% unemployment and the dow approaching 11,000 all day long. And please campaign on those issues, they should work real well for you.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Did I ever say it was Clinton's fault?

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

'Jay' posted:

"not sure if you noticed that oil accounted for nearly a third of that deficit, so why again aren't we drilling in ANWR? ... Conservative estimates indicate vast reserves able to sustain American demand for over twenty years"

The Boy Emperor Clown Criminal's own Energy Secretary, Spence Abraham, told the Sacramento Bee newspaper in reference to the the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that Americans should not overestimate this region's ability to provide the nation with energy independence. He also said that the roughly 10 billion barrels of oil expected to be found there would be THE EQUIVALENT OF JUST SIX MONTHS OF U.S. CONSUMPTION.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/special/power/032001abraham.html
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Being in the NG is being subjected to the draft. Moron.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK
Perhaps I am one of few who feels constrained by it.

Its not really all that few; there is a reason why voting turnout tends to be low in the US and satisfaction with government very low -- its typical of governments with highly disproportional systems with very small numbers of viable parties.

The limited dialogue is extremely isolating and demobilizing; it undermines the entire concept of popular government.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

cm, I will agree with you on that. It is time for an independent party to bring their voice to the debate.

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: "Right-wing fantasies" are not the same thing as "Conservative estimates".

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Dean Wormer,

Keep up the good work and remember at all times, that "Knowledge is Good".

Posted by: Emil Faber on February 10, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I will take less than 5% unemployment and the dow approaching 11,000 all day long.

The Dow went from about 3,400 (if memory serves) when Clinton was inauguated in 1993 to its high point of 11,722.98 on January 14, 2001, right before he left office. So after five and a half years of Bush's mismanagement we've just now managed to claw ourselves back to where Clinton left off. Oh, well done. Well done indeed.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

And there are STILL fewer workers in the national workforce, as a percentage, than there were in 2000.

Irrelevent but a political advantage to whomever is in power. Demographics are just starting to push this number lower as retirements start to surge. We are heading into an era of severe labor shortages as the boomers retire.

Long-term Unemployment, which is at the highest level in decades, is a measure of those jobless workers that are no longer counted.

Garbage not even remotely related to reality. Also irrelevent.

What is relevent is the unemployment rate and the help wanted signs you see every time you walk into a Home Depot or any retail store.

You heard it here 1st: 4.3% or lower unemployment by the '06 elections and 3.5% or lower by the '08 elections.

2nd prediction: The Oil markets are near a top. In the USA inventories for all oil/gas products are well above average ranges and the weather continues to be mild. Gulf coast production will continue to come online and Canadian production will increase substantially. As we head into the US winter heating season US Oil consumption will be down over 3% the previous 3 years and supply will be higher. Prices could be down 20% from December highs. If so look for dramatically lower inflation, imports and interest rates.

GWB could be heading into the Nov elections with very good economic support.


Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Scientists have determined that I have an IQ of 56, and am what they call "mentally retarded".

Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK
cm, I will agree with you on that. It is time for an independent party to bring their voice to the debate.

Jay, while I appreciate your "agreement", you missed the point. There is no lack of third (or even, say fiftieth and beyond, see this list) parties trying to bring a voice to the debate in the US. There is a fundamental political and electoral structure which inherently prevents more than two parties from being viable at any given time which fundamentally narrows the visible dialog.

Its not a matter of yet another party "stepping up to the plate" that is needed to change this, its a matter of fundamental changes in election law.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Being in the NG is being subjected to the draft. Moron.

No, one couldn't be drafted when one was in the National Guard because one was already in service. Moron.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

'Jay' posted:

"Being in the NG is being subjected to the draft."

But the Boy Emperor Clown Criminal was in the NG unit known as the "Champagne Unit", which was GUARANTEED not to go to Vietnam.

Who's the "Moron" now, eh ?
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

and Clinton gave up his student deferment, so he was in fact subjected to the draft.

Posted by: haha on February 10, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: I never claimed to care about the children . . .

Well, good that we got that cleared up.

Apparently, a personality characteristic of conservatives.

Unless the children are unborn.

Did I ever say it was Clinton's fault?

Yep. Pretty much.

And please campaign on those issues, they should work real well for you.

Advice from the opposition.

Take it for what it's worth: squat.

Still going for that "can't we just be freinds" angle.

Well, it's better than the conservative can't we just be friends attitude towards the Shah, the Saudi monarchy, Saddam while he was killing the Kurds, Noriega the drug dealer, Rios Montt the butcherer of Guatemala, Pinochet, the Taliban, foreign soldiers who rape nuns, South Africa during apartheid . . . gee, the list is really, really long!

Why is it that conservatives just love alliances with people like in the above list, but just hate alliances with countries that are not butcherers, torturers, freedom-haters, democracy-haters, and sex-slavers?

I guess we should've just gone it alone in WWII, instead of tying ourselves up with nasty alliances!

Come to think of it, though, many American conservatives wanted to ally with Nazi Germany prior to Pearl Harbor . . .

I will take less than 5% unemployment and the dow approaching 11,000 all day long.

Not approaching 11,000 so much this past week.

Well, the dream lives on in the faith-bound, intellectually and ethically moribund Right.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

still waiting for Jay's source on those ANWR oil numbers. Apparently Bush's Energy Secretary had no idea what he was talking about.

Posted by: haha on February 10, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

What about "draft dodger Clinton," Jay? Does saying that make either Bush or Cheney any more heroic? You're a clinical case of a confused follower of a corrupt politics.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 10, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Irrelevent"

How is it irrelevant that there are more jobless workers now than in 2000 ?

.

"Garbage not even remotely related to reality. Also irrelevent."

It's not garbage that the number of jobless workers is at the highest level in decades. It's not irrelevant, as it quite nicely reveals that the dropping Unemployment Rate is a fraud.

It's no wonder that 2/3rds of Americans say the country is going in the WRONG direction.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Being in the NG is being subjected to the draft. Moron.

No, it's not. Liar.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

What is relevent is the unemployment rate and the help wanted signs you see every time you walk into a Home Depot or any retail store.

Yes, thank God we've exchanged all those high-wage, high-skill manufacturing jobs for jobs as unskilled retail clerks and greeters. Sure, it's minimum wage, there are little to no benefits, you can't make a career out of it, and an economy that consists only of the service sector won't survive too long...but the good thing, as Stephen Colbert said, is that eventually we'll drive wages in this country so low that we're going to get all those jobs back from China and India!

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: GWB could be heading into the Nov elections with very good economic support.

Conservatives have been saying this for five straight years.

Every year they've been wrong and the only thing they've been able to campaign on is fear.

The conservative-predicted economic boom can be found in the same fantasy file as those massive stockpiles of Iraqi WMDs.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK
GWB could be heading into the Nov elections with very good economic support.

And a giant meteor could wipe out all life on Earth tomorrow.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: GWB could be heading into the Nov elections with very good economic support.

BTW, I thought you told us that GWB wasn't running again, ever.

If GWB's election fortunes aren't relevant any more as you keep opining, then why do you keep referring to them?

Could it be that conservative hobgoblin of inconsistency of intellectual thought showing up again?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK


'Jay' posted:

"I will take less than 5% unemployment"

Too bad the real Unemployment Rate is 6.6%

.

"and the dow approaching 11,000 all day long."

REALITY CHECK:

10,952.18 - Dow Jones close on November 7th, 2000 (election day)

10,848.93 - Dow Jones just now

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the stock market would have to be over 12,500 just to get back to where it was in November of 2000.

If you want the Unemployment Rate under 5% and the Dow approaching 11,000 you need to go back to the Clinton administration.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

re:rdx @ 10:02am..The only statistic Karl Rove should be concerned with is the circumference of his anal sphincter...

Posted by: saxonslug on February 10, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

VJ: If you want the Unemployment Rate under 5% and the Dow approaching 11,000 you need to go back to the Clinton administration.

Damn!

I've been bitten in the ass by the facts again!

Posted by: 'Jay' on February 10, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Something for the illiterates and the deranged:


The Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Years 2007-2016, Analytical Perspectives, p. 171:

The extraordinary fall-off in labor force participation, from 67.1 percent of the U.S. population in 1997-2000 to 66.0 percent in 2000-2005, appears to be at least partly cyclical in nature, and most forecasters are assuming some rebound in labor force participation as the expansion continues. Since the official unemployment rate does not include workers who have left the labor force, the conventional measures of potential GDP, incomes, and Government receipts understate the extent to which potential work hours have been under-utilized in the current expansion to date because of the decline in labor force participation

Posted by: lib on February 10, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

So after five and a half years of Bush's mismanagement we've just now managed to claw ourselves back to where Clinton left off. Oh, well done. Well done indeed.

The stock averages will not help GWB but the comparison to Clinton is not a problem either. We all know of the Clinton bubble. It was a fraud, literally.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-CIA official: Bush administration misused Iraq intelligence

Drip, drip, drip . . .

God himself (or herself?) could write on stone tablets on national TV that Bush was guilty of manipulating intelligence on Iraq and conservative lemmings would call God a liar.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's no wonder that 2/3rds of Americans say the country is going in the WRONG direction.

just out of curiosity does anyone know what this number was Nov '04?

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

"In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made," Pillar wrote.

Bush lied; soldiers died; terrorist links were belied; WMD stockpiles were never spied.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

It was a fraud, literally.

Shorter rdw: who you goin' to believe, me or your lyin' Dow Jones Industrial Average?

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
The stock averages will not help GWB but the comparison to Clinton is not a problem either. We all know of the Clinton bubble. It was a fraud, literally.


Well, no. The stock market bubble included both some irrational exuberance and some fraud but, as you note about GWB, the stock market averages aren't what matter to most people.

What matters is the conditions they experience. And the Clinton expansion featured both growing overall numbers and narrowing rich/poor gap, which meant the vast majority of people experienced significantly better conditions.

While the recovery that began November 2001 has posted decent aggregate numbers in some areas, distributionally the rewards have mostly gone to a narrow band of major holders of capital.

GDP growth doesn't matter to most people if it doesn't translate to better personal financial conditions. And that's a matter not of the most popular aggregate measures, but distribution.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

A teenager is claiming he killed an 8-year-old girl in 2004, coming forward six months after a 14-year-old neighbor accused of the crime was sentenced to a residential detention center.

Good thing we haven't adopted the preferred conservative policy of executing all murderers as quickly as possible.

rdw: . . . just out of curiosity does anyone know what this number was Nov '04

Just out of curiosity, it the '04 election going to occur again or will we have a new election in '06 based on the numbers extant in November?

The American people have learned a lot since '04.

Proof that Bush lied about the intelligence concerning Iraq.

Proof that multitudes of conservatives accepted donations directly from a criminal, Abramoff.

Proof that Bush lied about the prescription drug bill.

Proof that Bush has placed incompetent and mendacious individuals in governmental positions of power over science and medicine.

Proof that the Bush administration dropped the ball on Katrina and then lied repeatedly about it.

Proof that the oil industry has engaged in price-gouging while the Bush administration let Americans suffer more than necessary due to artificially inflated gas prices.

Proof that tax cuts haven't produced the economic boom and increased tax revenues that conservatives promised.

And much, much, much, much more.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Did I ever tell you about the time I beat cancer? Yeah, I was never actually diagnosed but since there is always the possibility of random cell mutation I believe it is fair to say that I almost certainly MUST have had cancer at some point. The fact that I have not died of cancer proves that I did indeed beat cancer!

Did I ever tell you about the time I thwarted a terrorist attack?

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on February 10, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

most forecasters are assuming some rebound in labor force participation as the expansion continues

This is quite true and would be consistent with pastlabor market rebounds. We are in a very interesting situation for an economic forecaster because demographic changes are now the dominante force and there is no data to base a reliable forecast. It's no secret economists are struggling to predict the number of jobs the economy needs to produce to keep unemployment steady. The boomers turn 60 this year and people just don't work as long as they used to.
Retirements are absolutely going to surge and it's already started.

A more relevent point here is that paticipation rates are arcane economics. We have 120M voters. Less than 2M will have any idea of labor force participation and less than 10% of those care.

The bottom line is the unemployment rate. It's going down. 120M voters understand what that means.

Yesterdays weekly jobless claims was a very low 279K. The 4week moving average is below 280K and down 45K in two months. That means on average we'll have 195,000 fewer layoffs in February than we had in December.

"IF" this number accurately reflects the job market we could easily see 250,000 nonfarm adds and a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.5% IN THE NEXT REPORT.

Also note the last report showed a healthy 0.4% increase in wages. The uptick in wage income and the sharp uptick in job creation bodes VERY Well for consunber spending and GDP.

"IF" the February report shows 250K plus job adds and another 0.4% increase in wages a majority of economists will be revising 2006 GDP forecasts UP.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK
A more relevent point here is that paticipation rates are arcane economics. We have 120M voters. Less than 2M will have any idea of labor force participation and less than 10% of those care.

Even if they don't understand what labor force participation means, every one of those long-term unemployed and discouraged workers, etc., and their families and friends, understand intuitively its impact. So does everyone who has lost a good paying job and taken a worse one.

The bottom line is the unemployment rate.

No, the headline unemployment rate is quite the opposite of the bottom line. The bottom line is people's perception of their own present economic condition.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"We all know of the Clinton bubble. It was a fraud, literally."

We are in complete agreement. The idea that there was a "Clinton bubble" is a fraud.

Thank You.

.

"The bottom line is the unemployment rate. It's going down."

But the number of Americans who disapprove of the Boy Emperor Clown Criminal's handling the economy is going UP.

Remember Poppy Bush saying "What recession ?" ?

.

"Yesterdays weekly jobless claims was a very low 279K."

Because so many more jobless workers are no longer being counted.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . demographic changes are now the dominante force and there is no data to base a reliable forecast.

We can now see the conservative strategy.

After preaching for the past three decades that taxes are the dominant force affecting the economy, and this having been shown to be crap, they are now going to switch and say Bush is the victim of "demographics".

Just like he is the victim of the war, which he himself started.

Just like he is the victim of Katrina's economic impact, although his incompetence and inattention aggravated that impact.

Just like he is the victim of slanderous attacks on his character, despite conclusive proof that he withheld intelligence data from Congress and misled them regarding the status of Iraq's weapons programs and so-called terrorist ties.

Poor George!

How funny it is to see conservatives play the victim card after denouncing such tactics, by real victims no less, for the past 50 years.

Sorta like Clarence Thomas playing the race card and conservatives egging him on to do so after decrying using race as a defense for the past 50 years.

120M voters understand what that means.

Inflation.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown says he feels abandoned by the Bush administration. In testimony before a Senate panel looking into the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Brown was asked whether he feels like a scapegoat. He replied, "Yes sir." Asked whether he feels the administration did that to him, he replied, "I certainly feel somewhat abandoned." Brown, widely criticized for his former agency's response to the storm, said he tried to get help, but that others in the government would not listen.

Drip, drip, drip . . .

Despite spending taxpayer dollars out the wazoo for partisan campaigning across the nation in an attempt to boost his poll numbers and despite ignoring pressing problems to do the same, Bush still can't push above 50% approval and remains mired six points below Clinton's worst second term approval rating.

Pretty soon now the GOP is going to pull the chain and flush this turd just to save their own skins . . .

. . . here's hoping they wait so long that the stink from Bush can't be washed out of the GOP in general.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

GDP growth doesn't matter to most people if it doesn't translate to better personal financial conditions. And that's a matter not of the most popular aggregate measures, but distribution.

I don't disagree with your basic point but you vastly overstate income distribution as political issue and the strength of the economy. Democrats will pullout this distribution nonsense and Rove will counter with contrary stats and 99% of voters tune it all out.

Current economic conditions are very good but people remain nervous because 01-02 were that bad and energy prices are so high.

I am not so much as suggesting the economy is going to sweep GOP candidates into office but that it's a damn sight better than 2004 and 2002 and with the same Democratic leadership that could do nothing then you are doomed in 06.

I am also suggesting there is a scenario where it's very possible the economy COULD be a net positive for the GOP based on excellent momentum on the jobs data and GDP.

Todays trade report sucked but there's a bottom line story that could rebound perfecty for the GOP come November with a 20% drop by November.
Energy demand is much lower than expected and could easily result in lover prices by November.

Prediction crude prices is impossible but it's clear GDP and jobadds will be very strong in the F/H. Possibly the strongest in 6 years. No bad heading into an election.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

> It's no wonder that 2/3rds of Americans say the country is going in the WRONG direction.

"just out of curiosity does anyone know what this number was Nov '04?"

A little over 50%.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

No, the headline unemployment rate is quite the opposite of the bottom line. The bottom line is people's perception of their own present economic condition.

Which is in most cases very good for the majority who voted for GWB and it's getting better. It was good enough for GWB to increase his vote by 23% in 04 and the economic news since then has dramatically improved.

Heading into November Rove will be touting net new 7.5M jobs created since the supply-side tax cuts. That's a real number. 5M will be since the Nov 04 elections.

The unemployent rate is the single most important economic statistic. You better hope Dean has a plan for dealing with 4.3% or lower.

He'll need a back up plan if jobadds for 2006 average 230K or better.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK
I don't disagree with your basic point but you vastly overstate income distribution as political issue and the strength of the economy.

You are completely missing the point. Its not about political issues that the Democrats can raise with numbers. It doesn't need raised with numbers, and no numbers from the other side are going to make people feel good about the economy when they aren't personally doing better.

You can tell people that "the economy is great" with all the numbers you want, but when they are out of work for an extended period of time -- or working in a low wage service job when they used to have a much better job, they won't care, because they'll know the economy isn't good for them.

Now, for a while, the Republicans have got a break because they had some success distracting from that kind of problem with the threat of terrorism and Saddam's imaginary mushroom cloud smoking gun threat.

But increasingly, people aren't buying that, and their going to want a country and an economy that produce results for them, not just for the summary numbers on the business pages.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Current economic conditions are very good"

In what country ?

We're down millions jobs since 2000, the Standard of Living of American workers has declined every year since 2000, Poverty has increased every year since 2000, bankruptcies are at the highest level in history, home foreclosures are at the highest level in history, federal budget deficits are at the highest level in history, we have a rising number of uninsured, and Long-term Unemployment is at the highest level in decades.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Energy demand is much lower than expected and could easily result in lover prices by November.

Not as long as Bush lets the oil companies continue to price gouge.

Democrats will pullout this distribution nonsense and Rove will counter with contrary stats and 99% of voters tune it all out.

You vastly overstate the ability of the GOP to continue to sucker the American people with obvious lies.

Which is in most cases very good for the majority who voted for GWB and it's getting better. It was good enough for GWB to increase his vote by 23% in 04 and the economic news since then has dramatically improved.

No, it was fear that propelled Bush in '04, which even you've admitted in the past.

Now you want to flip-flop and say it was the economy.

LOL.

The unemployent rate is the single most important economic statistic.

Conservatives change their mind about what is the single most important economic statistic on a daily basis.

It's fun to watch.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

A little over 50%.

Thanks, then Rove needs to work on this.

BTW: jobless claims are the tally of weekly applications for unemplpoyment benefits. This is a count of the people who had jobs and paid unemployment taxes and were then laid off. It's a good but not perfect predictor of job creation. Nonfarm adds is a net number of new jobs and lost jobs. To the extent we saw 195,000 fewer job losses in February then all thing being equal the net number would be higher by 195,000 versus the previous period. The reality is far more complicated but in general this drop is a very good sign.

One distortion we know of is very mild weather resulting in many fewer layoffs in construction. Still a drop of 45,000 intheweekly average is exceptional. I would bet Rove is already looking to schedule a press conference to talk about the next report anticipating a good to excellent result.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

$2.5 million? That's the amount of cash the Republican National Committee appears to have paid so far for lawyers to defend convicted New Hampshire phone-jamming conspirator James Tobin.

Conservatives object to criminals spending lots of money and wasting court time to defend themselves, unless the criminals are in their own party.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

You can tell people that "the economy is great" with all the numbers you want, but when they are out of work for an extended period of time -- or working in a low wage service job when they used to have a much better job, they won't care, because they'll know the economy isn't good for them.

If 5M MORE people are working in Nov of 06 versus Nov of 04 then the GOP doesn't have to fret about people out of work for an extended period do they? This means there are many fewer. If I remember correctly the unemployment rate was near 6% as well. At 4.3% that's clearly NOT going to be an issue.

The count you are addressing is less than 1% of the 120M voting population and possibly less than 0.5% of actual voters.

As far as wages they constantly increase and have ever since the 81 tax cut. The 'we only create hamberger-flpper's' charge is nonsense and has never been politically effective.

It IS a problem that energy prices have spiked so much and disposible income was flat last year. As I said I can't predict crude prices but we know at least on a fundamental basis prices should fall 20% or more. but even if they increase it isn't like dems have a huge issue.

Now, for a while, the Republicans have got a break because they had some success distracting from that kind of problem with the threat of terrorism and Saddam's imaginary mushroom cloud smoking gun threat.

Think this is going away? We just had a week of riots in the Islamic world because of cartoons, the worlds most damgerous threat is in Iran and the Palestinians just elected a terrorist organization. The most interesting thing here is it's a much, much bigger issue in Europe. That's who the Islamics are rioting at. Iran made clear they have missles that can reach Europe. That even shook Chirac out of his stupor.

If you think Security is going away as the #1 issue you are crazy.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

rdw at 1:24 PM: We just had a week of riots in the Islamic world because of cartoons, the worlds [sic] most damgerous [sic] threat is in Iran and the Palestinians just elected a terrorist organization.

And yet someone -- perhaps, maybe, rdw at 10:11 AM earlier on this thread -- claimed that "Americans [sic] 1st concern is not global terrorism. It's terrorism in the USA." So who cares about all of these international developments as long as American Idol is still on?

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"BTW: jobless claims are the tally of weekly applications for unemplpoyment benefits. This is a count of the people who had jobs and paid unemployment taxes and were then laid off."

But when your unemployment benefits expire, you are no longer counted as unemployed.

Hence the highest Long-term Unemployed in decades.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

Is this really hard?

I think we can agree our major threat is islamic whackjobs. If the nutjobs are getting even whackier, as last week would suggest, doesn't that mean they're even more of a threat?

Yes, it does.

Are Americans worried about Car-b-ques in Paris? No. Are Americans worried about Palestinains in the middle east? No. Are they concerned these freaks could get really stupid and come here? Yep. When the threat grows and reaches hear it's an issue that is not going away.

Liberals are weak on security and they'll be reminded in November.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, we have both an FBI Counterterrorism Official and the White House Counterterrorism Coordinator stating that the Boy Emperor Clown Criminal is a liar as there have been no al-Qaeda terrorist plots thwarted since the Clinton administration.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

. . . the worlds most [dangerous] threat is in Iran and the Palestinians just elected a terrorist organization.

Yeah.

Now, how did that happen?

Bush's Iraqi adventure and tough talk was supposed to put an end to all this terrorism nonsense and convince radical Islam to abandon violence, it being the central front in the war on terror.

Now, the same people are claiming that Palestine and Iran are the central front.

Tomorrow?

Who knows.

There will always be a central front whereever its convenient, eh?

Especially when the champion of the GWOT is such a dismal failure that violence from radical Islam is increasing on his watch.

If you think Security is going away as the #1 issue you are crazy.

I hope it doesn't go away.

Bush's continued failure to produce any positive results against terrorism and radical religious fanaticism, but instead to inflame, revolutionize, energize, and expand it, is self-evident.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

But when your unemployment benefits expire, you are no longer counted as unemployed.

Hence the highest Long-term Unemployed in decades.

No, it doesn't work that way. jobless claims has nothing to do with the unemployment report. They are not connected in any way. One is counted as unemployed if they are looking for work and can't find any. Running out of benefits has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals are weak on security and they'll be reminded in November.

Yes, unlike Bush who prevented the 9/11 attacks, caught Osama bin Laden and dismantled Al Qaeda, and stopped Iraq from becoming the world's largest terrorist training ground. Not to mention how Bush stopped North Korea from getting nuclear weapons and deterred Hamas from taking control of the Palestinian Authority...oh, wait. Never mind.

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I think we can agree our major threat is islamic whackjobs.

No matter how many times you write "I think we can agree" it isn't going to come true.

Your belief that everybody will certainly agree with your mendacities, revisionist histories, and bizarre predictions is truly pathological.

It's conservative whackjobs like you and Bush that we most need to fear.

People with pathologies as deep and disturbed as yours are a clear and every present threat to the rest of us, more so than a bunch of religious fanatics huffing and puffing on the town square overseas.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Liberals are weak on security and they'll be reminded in November.

Conservatives only talk tough on security; they fail miserably when trying to deliver it, arming the very forces that most threaten our security for short term partisan gains.

They'll be reminded in November.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK


for perspective....

During the past 5-years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector added 1.1 million jobs. - Manufacturing & Technology News 1/16/06

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 10, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. How'd this conversation drift from foiled terrorist attacks to the unemployment rate?

Unless you people are thinking that Bush's economy is some sort of terrorist plot that we'd all like to see foiled?

Heh.

Posted by: cmac on February 10, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Whether it be terrorism or economics, Bush policies are fubar.

These issues are linked by the administration's SOP of cronyism, belief (as opposed to fact) based policymaking, incompetence, and mendacity.

Conservatives, especially Bush conservatives, believe if you clap hard enough and sing Kum-bah-yah (sp?) loud enough all good things will come to pass, including the defeat of terrorism.

Conservatives have always believed that tough talk, whether it be the economy, social problems, or terrorism, is sufficient alone, without any effective action whatsoever, to bring these problems to heel, despite an abundance of historical evidence to the contrary and the most current example in the Bush administration.

Bush's terrorism policies are failing globally, at the very least in the sense of not producing promised results.

Bush's economic policies are failing domestically, at the very least in the sense of not producing promised results.

They are failing because both policy sets are being driven by the same lack of mental toughness, lack of political fairness, and lack of intellectual honesty that infects all conservative policies.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

"The Gulf War mission was to expel Iraq from Kuwait, not to depose Saddam."
Posted by: Jay on February 10, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK


I wonder why Saddam went from being friend to foe. It had to have been us who made him an enemy. After all, before he invaded Kuwait he went so far as to ask how we'd feel about it. April Glaspie told him America had no position on it and after the attack George HW Bush turned on Saddam.

Who decided to turn friendly Saddam into evil enemy tyrant Saddam?

Why did they want Saddam to be an enemy? What had changed in the relationship?

Posted by: MarkH on February 10, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 10, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

As to the drift of the thread, this is because Kevin wishes to reach out to the poor and impoverished of the right and allow "free time to run their own blogs" - As the Drexel Hill Dimwit's pension from Verizon does not allow him to be part of Pajama Media, he needs the "free time".

The Bush Dynasty turned on Saddam when, after Rumdumb, kissed his hand while supplying the gas, Saddam had Rummy strip searched at the airport - Missing artifact or some other antiquity. Rumor had it that Rumdumb stood up during the entire flight home.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 10, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK
I wonder why Saddam went from being friend to foe.

Saddam went from being friend to being foe because he went from not being overly concerned about Kuwaiti tendency to overproduce oil (motivated by the fact that Kuwait made more money from investment -- made with oil money -- that did well with low oil prices than from oil itself) since Kuwait was using much of the proceeds to fund Iraq's war with Iran to being very concerned with it when Kuwait continued the same policies when it was demanding repayment of Iraq's debt from the Iran-Iraq War.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

During the past 5-years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector added 1.1 million jobs. - Manufacturing & Technology News 1/16/06

An interesting stat few people will see and no one will care about. As they walk into the polls in November they will see a 4.3% unemployment rate, strong GDP growh, low inflation and low interest rates.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, unlike Bush who prevented the 9/11 attacks, caught Osama bin Laden and dismantled Al Qaeda, and stopped Iraq from becoming the world's largest terrorist training ground. Not to mention how Bush stopped North Korea from getting nuclear weapons and deterred Hamas from taking control of the Palestinian Authority...oh, wait. Never mind.

All very valid points Stefan. Excellent work. There's one thing I remain confused about. GWB actually receive 23% MORE votes in 2004. How did that happen?

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

During the past 5-years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector added 1.1 million jobs. - Manufacturing & Technology News 1/16/06

then rdw replies: An interesting stat few people will see and no one will care about.

as i said yesterday..to you..apparently..the facts dont matter..


few will see....no one will care....but it is the truth...

so truth in your view won't win...

and that's good for america, how?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 10, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: strong GDP growh, low inflation and low interest rates.


really?


strong GDP growh: 4th q 2005 = 1.1-percent

low inflation: as of december-15th---The rate of increase in the consumer price index over the past twelve months has been 3.5 percent.

Current inflation, at least the rate over the last 12 months as measured by the CPI, is higher than the average since 2000 2.5 percent.

so inflation rose by more than 30-percent last year...no doubt those high oil prices...

and low interest rates.: The giant mortgage company Freddie Mac says rates on 30-year mortgages now stand at just under six and a-quarter percent, on average.


wow...that's after what...a dozen hikes by the fed?


you dont have to ignorant of the facts to be a bush supporter...

but man it sure helps....


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 10, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Just to get back to foiled terror plots and such things for a second...... from the BBC story the Bush list seems a little funny around points 8 and 9. Claiming to foil a 2002 plot in the Straits of Hormuz, and a plot against Gulf shipping is double dipping. The starights of hormuz is the Gulf. Kinda like a cop writing a ticket for speeding at 90mph, and also throwing in a ticket for speeding at 80mph, or claiming to have foiled plots in Crawford, and in Texas as two acts. Without a few details this whole list is meaningless. Which, I guess, is why Jay, and rdw have taken off to explain how little they know about unemployment numbers and economics in general. Note to rdw, pick up a basic economics text and read it, rather than just parotting quotes from righty blogs and talk radio.

Posted by: palavi on February 10, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: How did that happen?

The same way Hitler got massive popular support in Germany, by preaching fear and lying about the dangers to the republic.

You know, like those phantom nukes that Bush said that Iraq was ready to rain down on the USA.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"No, it doesn't work that way. jobless claims has nothing to do with the unemployment report. They are not connected in any way. One is counted as unemployed if they are looking for work and can't find any. Running out of benefits has nothing to do with it."

I'm afraid you are wrong. When your benefits expire you are no longer counted as unemployed. That's why the Republicans are always against extending unemployment benefits. It gives the APPEARANCE that unemployment is lower.

.

"As they walk into the polls in November they will see a 4.3% unemployment rate, strong GDP growh, low inflation and low interest rates."

And they will see their wages going backwards, Poverty rising, the number of uninsured rising, record high bankruptcies, record high home foreclosures, record high federal deficits, runaway energy prices, and runaway healthcare premium increases.

Who are they going to believe, the Bushies Happy Talk, or their own pocketbooks ?
.

Posted by: VJ on February 10, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

as i said yesterday..to you..apparently..the facts dont matter..

I agree completely. Facts do matter. 7.5M jobs created since the supply-side tax cuts is rather impressive I think.

It's all in how well you explain yourself and generally the simpler the better. 7.5M is a very big number and easily understood. Your stat is confusing and exactly why select a 5 year window and where did you ever find that magazine? Somehow I don't think too many people will be impressed with your data mining in getting employment data from a obscure manufacturing magazine.

it's something John Kerry would use. He's also lose his audience before starting the 2nd sentence.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid you are wrong. When your benefits expire you are no longer counted as unemployed. That's why the Republicans are always against extending unemployment benefits. It gives the APPEARANCE that unemployment is lower.

You are a moron.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

strong GDP growh: 4th q 2005 = 1.1-percent

Quite true but you know Karl Rove won't be using that stat nor will anyone else next Otober.

That 1.1% will be raised to 1.5% in the next revision ahd will be bracketed by 4.1% and 5% quarters for an average of 3.5%. By the end of the 2nd Qtr 06 we'll have 12 quarters of GDP growth reported after the 07/03 tax cuts with average growth just under 4%. This will have been the strongest 3-yr growth period since Reagan's tax cuts.

That's not a bad stat to show headed into the elections. That data will be available in early August.

I just read JP Morgans weekly wrap-up and the are very impressed with the job market and F/H growth. They are forecasting 250K adds in the 3/10 jobs report and expecting upward revisions for prior months.

That's a nice combo for the election trail. 7.5M jobs created and the strongest economy in over 20 years. Short, simple and very, very sweet.

Bonus possibility: A 20% reduction in crude and natural gas prices.

Natural Gas spiked to $15 in Dec but closed at $7.33 today. Wednesdays inventory report showed a surge in inventory. Absent a severe, prolonged cold snap prices are expected to fall further.

In that same report all oil products showed very high levels of inventory with crude up 11% over last year and well above the upper edge of the average range. Heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel are all well above average. This is despite a 3% drop in capacity utilization for scheduled maintenance.

The report showed a drop in total demand of 1.8% for the latest 4 weeks versus 2005's same period. Coincidently 2005 was down 1.8% from 2004. Also reported in another report were sharp underruns in expected global demand growth for the 4th Qtr and YTD 06. The increase in demand was less than 1/5 expected levels.

At the same time global demand is slowing more supply is coming online. Current prices are set by speculation based on geo-political issues. No one can predict these accurately but if they settle down we could easily see crude drop back to $45 or lower. Wouldn't than be nice?

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

I was just wondering if anyone has any data on the last time the price of Gasoline, or Home Heating Fuel, or Natural Gas actually went down at the pump, ie:, my cost. I can't seen to remember. But then again I can't remember how this thread turned into an excercise in imaginistic economics. Again rdw, you might try reading 'Principles of Economics' by N. Gregory Mankiw. Pretty much the basics. It might help you understand the differences between your 'strongest economy in 20 years', and how the economy is understood by the former middle class who are now the working poor. I think the unelegant way of framing it is don't expel urine onto my back and tell me that it's raining.

Posted by: virgil on February 10, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Resorting to juvenile name-calling.

That's all you got ?

Pathetic.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 11, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Virgil,

I have an MBA and a CFA and worked in Finance for 15 years.

The global economy is in fabulous shape and we remain the worlds dominant economy by far, more than 2x's the size of the closest competitior.

The GAP between the performance of our economy and the economies of Old Europe after the Reagan tax cuts is STUNNING!

Per Capita GDP in France and German is less that 70% USA levels. In 20 years our incomes will be DOUBLE.

Canada, the USA and Mexico will grow 3.4%, 3.5% and 3.5% respectively in 2006 with low inflation. Most the rest of the Americas will grow between 4% and 6% with a majority of those nations seeing the lowest inflation rates in 3 decades. There will not be a single nation in the Americas in recession and possibly not with less than 3% growth. That is historic.

JP Morgan tracks approximately 50 nations and the only region growing under 3.5% is the EU. if Iremember correctly the lowest growth rate on the list is Italy at 1.7%. Turket and South Africa were highlighted in this weekly update for acheiving debt reduction goals well in advance of expectations. South Africa is going to use their budget surplus to cut taxes and keep the good times rolling.

At no time has the global economy been this healthy with strong, well balanced growth and historically low inflation.

I don't know what you see when you drive around this country but in PA I see one large construction sight. I can't drive 10 miles in any of 10 different direcions and NOT pass a construction sight of beautiful new homes. The downtown Philly region has been enjoying a residential boom for over 5 years increasing their population by > 100K and now has a strong commerical and retail market.

We are in a boom and it's global. It's incredibly well balanced and is being smartly managed. For every moron like Chavez we have governments in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey to name a few now relying on professional, independent financial mgt.

The reason I grouped North America together was obviously NAFTA. We are slowly but surely becoming a fully integrated regional economy and it's happening at an accelerated pace. For all of the bitching about immigration it's probably fair to say 50% of US Resturants and a large percentage of farmers could not operate without Mexican labor. It's also quite obvious the US is becoming more dependent on this labor EVERY day. We need Mexico.

We are blessed to have them. They need us. We need them. Smart people on both sides know it. This will be win/win. We are entering a period when our work force is going stop growing. It's a fact. Mexican labor is going to allow us to transition to slower labor growth over a longer period of time. We are so much better off with them.

They same is true of Canada but for different reasons. We'll be getting substantial energy and other supplies from them. The Tar Sands themsleves could replace all middle eastern supplies (only about 10% of our imports) and Canada has huge natural gas deposits as well. We are already highly integrated.

I can't imagine being a lib. It's never been better, here and all over the globe, and you cannot enjoy it. You are by definition a miserable people.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

VJ,

You are pathetic. You do not have a clue. I would have said you are a moron and a liar but I don't know if you are smart enough to know when you are lying. If making up things and announcing them as fact is the equivalent of lying then you are a liar.

jobless claims have nothing to do with the employment rate. It doesn't matter if one is collecting unemployment insurance or not to be counted as unemployed. They don't know if you are collecting. They don't care if you are collecting. It does not matter if you are collecting.

You tried to pretend you have a level of understanding you do not have and you did a comically inept job of it. That makes you a certified moron.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

The slogan of Drexel University -

"You don't need to know anything to enroll,
because you will know nothing when you graduate"

When someone's unemployment benefits stop, they are taken off the rolls - This information is passed to the state's Labor Department and then to the Feds.
Elaine Cho's assistant does not call the person to keep asking whether they are still looking for work.

Manufacturing jobs are being lost weekly - South Carolina currently has a 7% unemployment rate - manufacturing jobs account for much of that.

Trade deficits are soaring - Great job Evans - another knownothing crony of Twiggiew, but they did pray a lot.

JP Morgan is nothing more than a tout sheet - Brooks Brothers and wingtips - there are smarter deze, dem and doze guys hanging around the Club House at Philadelphia Park.

Twiggie was reelected because of the fear factor that Rove loves - This is an Orwellian example of "memory is satisfactorily under control" - fear effectively blocks out memory.

Personal debt is soaring - A whole lot of those "beautiful homes" are going to be foreclosed as the middle class keeps shrinking.

Perhaps, down in SC, they can build more Hardees for all of those wiped out in manufacturing.

Mexican labor is a "win-win" situation is moronic. Why are so many Repugs and Demos up in arms over the invasion of cheap labor? It is the Repugs in the border states who are leading the charge on stopping the flow across the border - Go try to sell your crap to those Republicans in Arizona.

Again, drexel university crys out for more dummies to attend their mba diploma mill. DHD is their shining star.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 11, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,

More juvenile name-calling, but alas, no substantiation.

What a shocker.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 11, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

DHD,

Yes, the unemployment rate is calculated by phone surveys of selected households and business'. However, since March 1, 2005 unemployment insurance filings are also considered as well. The UIs were up by 4,000 as of Feb 4.

Interesting how subjective these phones can be. One can be considered "employed" if a wife runs the household 5 days a week, but helps her hubby 15 hours on weekends conduct his side business. A farm kid can get room and board at home, but be "employed" if he helps out on the farm for 20 hours a week.
With Elaine Cho calling the shots, the rate can be anything.
It is also interesting that rdw loves to compare our rates with European countries who factor unemployment insurance claims heavily. Those rates are more realistic than our subjective phone surveys.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 11, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

3rd Paul, VJ, THE STUPID TWINS


When someone's unemployment benefits stop, they are taken off the rolls - This information is passed to the state's Labor Department and then to the Feds. Elaine Cho's assistant does not call the person to keep asking whether they are still looking for work.

Jobless claims only count those covered by unemployment insurance who are laid off and file to collect benefits. A large segment are not covered in this system. They cannot file. If laid off they are just as unemployed as anyone else but they do not exist within these state systems.

The monthy nonfarm labor report is compiled by the Bureau of labor statistics. Each month allmedium and large companies are required to file a report with the Govt detailing their current payroll counts. I believe it is to be done as of the 12th of each month. These reports are compiled, tallied and used to compare with prior data to count the change in total payrolls. Estimates are used for small businesses. last month the report was of an increase of 193,000 jobs.

there is no relationship between this report and the jobless claims system.

The unemployment rate is an actual poll taken each month. They call up people each month and ask a series of questions. This data becomes
the unemployment rate. If some one is not working and they are looking they are unemployed. If they are not working and not looking they are not unemployed nor are they part of the workforce.

They do not use any data from the jobless claims system.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

rdw-
No relationship?
So the third paul is lying?
I think I get it now. When I was unemployed last year I felt a little strange for most of the time. Then I was visited by a guy from the CA dept of Labor. He asked who in my household was employed. Turns out I was'nt really unemployed till I was part of the poll.
I was wondering if they ever used the word deficit in your MBA program.
You also should take a little trip down to Virginia where my mom lives they have 100s of great new houses for sale. They are everywhere and nobody is buying them.
It's weird I seen to remember Sean Hannity saying almost exactly the same thing as you last week, maybe you're a fan too.

Posted by: Virgil on February 11, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

It is also interesting that rdw loves to compare our rates with European countries who factor unemployment insurance claims heavily. Those rates are more realistic than our subjective phone surveys

We have 3 levels of independent reports and ALL are signalling significant job strength. We also know our job market is much stronger than France's because our economy is much stronger and has been for 2 decades.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: 3rd Paul, VJ, THE STUPID TWINS

I saw this and first thought, "Someone has taken Jenna and Not-Jenna's nickname as a handle--clever!"

Someone snap it up, quick!

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

virgil,

yes, he is either lying or grossly misinformed. since he is stating something as fact I know to be totally wrong he could not have seen it documented anywhere. Thus he made it up.

When the govt says the unemployment is 4.7% there's no suggestion they counted every unemployed person AND everyone working and looking for a job. They have to use estimates. This is the same way they've been doing it since the beginning so they have many decades of experience. It's not perfect but it's good and it's reliable.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Mexican labor is a "win-win" situation is moronic. Why are so many Repugs and Demos up in arms over the invasion of cheap labor? It is the Repugs in the border states who are leading the charge on stopping the flow across the border - Go try to sell your crap to those Republicans in Arizona.

We have a problem with control of the border and illegal immigration. We don't know who is coming in. We need those looking to work and we need to bring them in legally so they can get paid legally and pay taxes. We need to keep the criminals out and determine how many to allow in.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I was wondering if they ever used the word deficit in your MBA program.
You also should take a little trip down to Virginia where my mom lives they have 100s of great new houses for sale. They are everywhere and nobody is buying them.

I am familiar with deficits. I don't care for them but they happen after recessions and wars. This deficit is fairly mild.

At any given time there are imbalances in the housing market just about everywhere and after 4 sizzling years it's bound to happen here eventually. JP morgan has been forecasting a slowdown for 2006 for quite some time in residential markets of as much as 10%. It's most fortunate that the commercial and industrial segments are starting to pick up. We may see still decent growth in consrtuction with a rotation away from housing into other segments. This isn't a bad thing.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's weird I seen to remember Sean Hannity saying almost exactly the same thing as you last week, maybe you're a fan too.

Sean is OK. I don't watch the TV show but if I am in my car and he's got a good guest I'll listen. Michael Medved is on at the same time and my preference. Rush is very good as are Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham and Glen Beck.

I don't think liberals realize how important talk radio and the blogs are to conservative success. Dan Rather is the obvious example of what they can do but the more important aspect is what they do do every day.

The NSA story is a good example. The NYTs has been touting it as they should but they also put a ton of wrong stuff out there that 15 years ago would have gone unchallenged. Recently they wrote in an editorial that virtually every constitutional scholar agreed the NSA program is illegal. I knew that was complete nonsense. I didn't have to look a thing up. I knew of several key legal scholars supporting the WH. I knew for a fact there's much dispute. I also knew loyal readers of the NYTs would be blissfully unaware of the level of disagreement. It's almost fun to run into these dolts. This is true on issue after issue.

One of the things I am looking forward to on Hillary's campaign is her husband. Bill has a habit of saying things that are not true and/or greatly exaggerated. I don't think he could have been elected in 2000 or 2004. We can find out too much and too quickly. Bill is going to say something in the morning and then have to explain why he was wrong in the afternoon.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"We have 3 levels of independent reports and ALL are signalling significant job strength."

Then why are there FEWER workers in the national workforce NOW, as a percentage, than there were in 2000 ???

.

"We also know our job market is much stronger than France's because our economy is much stronger and has been for 2 decades."

If the U.S. calculated their Unemployment Rate in the same manner as France does, our Unemployment Rates would be virtually the same. Check the OECD.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 11, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Then why are there FEWER workers in the national workforce NOW, as a percentage, than there were in 2000 ???

Because of our wealth. The boomers retire muxh earlier than our fathers.

If the U.S. calculated their Unemployment Rate in the same manner as France does, our Unemployment Rates would be virtually the same. Check the OECD.

No chance. Our economy is far stronger by every measure compared to France. We are far, far more innovative and dynamic. By 2025 out per capital incoe will be double theirs and by 2050 it could be triple.

Posted by: rdw on February 11, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Because of our wealth. The boomers retire muxh earlier than our fathers."

Complete gibberish.

The 'National Labor Participation Rate' only measures adults of working age. Those that are retired are NOT included.

You are clueless.

.

"No chance."

I'm afraid the OECD disagrees with you.

Another shocker.
.

Posted by: VJ on February 12, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: notebook on February 12, 2006 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK

The 'National Labor Participation Rate' only measures adults of working age. Those that are retired are NOT included.

You know nothing of economics or govt stats

Posted by: rdw on February 12, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

More unsubstantiated nonsense from 'rdw'.

Yet another shocker.

Posted by: VJ on February 12, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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