Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 11, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MODEST PROPOSALS....Ryan Lizza has a pair of recommendations to help George Bush get his groove back:

Bush has to overcome these two characterological features that have cemented as conventional wisdom that he's fundamentally incompetent and that he governs for the benefit of a handful of Republican special interests.

Well, OK. Except that Bush is fundamentally incompetent and he does govern for the benefit of a handful of Republican special interests. How does one "overcome" one's very raison d'etre?

On the other hand, I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term. He could start a blog and report back regularly on all the progress we're making.

Kevin Drum 3:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (132)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

His popularity would surge if he resigned.

Posted by: sglover on April 11, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Riding around on a pony!

Posted by: dcbob on April 11, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term. He could start a blog and report back regularly on all the progress we're making.

Maybe he could clear some brush.

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has to overcome these two characterological features that have cemented as conventional wisdom that he's fundamentally incompetent and that he governs for the benefit of a handful of Republican special interests.

So as long as he changes what he does and why and how he does it....hey, that should be easy!

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ouch - but Ryan is offerring better advice than served up by Rich Lowry.

Posted by: pgl on April 11, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

He could start a blog and report back regularly on all the progress we're making.

I suggest he call it:

Talking (plastic) Turkey

Posted by: koreyel on April 11, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think we've done enough damage in Iraq, Kevin. dag....

Posted by: elfranko on April 11, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

It should be enough for him to land one more time on an aircraft carrier dressed in a flight suit with a padded protruding tool. As soon as Chris Mathews has another on-air orgasm with the envious Peggy Noonan and Laura Ingraham watching but unable to participate in the ecstasy, all will be well.

Posted by: lib on April 11, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term.

Dear God, like those poor people haven't suffered enough....

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

He is a Bum,He will go down in history as the worst President ever,Soon the Rightwing will start to turn on him.He will however retain the neo's for about 15% if even that.Ann (Godless) Coulter will be his big down fall, Bet on it, When that silly book of hers comes out everyone will see just how UnGodly the Neo's are.

Posted by: Right minded on April 11, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.

And please: I don't set the bar for "press hostility" at "nastier than Helen Thomas."

It's interesting that the "plastic turkey" popped up here, being another nearly unkillable false media meme.

It's also interesting that operating under the assumption that Bush is an idiot has not served Democratic politicians very well.

The Left will continue to run on stereotypes of their oppositions. It's pretty much all they've got.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Who are you and where is the real Kevin Drum?

Posted by: R.L. on April 11, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.

Of course the spectacular failures, the lies, and the decptions of GWB had nothing to do with this.

Posted by: nut on April 11, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

A tattoo and a new baby! He could adopt a baby and name it Mooses and get a tattoo of his own butt on his butt!

And then the Bush Pioneers and Republican flakes will have to show how extra Republican they all are and get the same tattoo on all their butts. Then we'll know.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.

you fool. Bush was known as an incompetent boob before he even took office. his selling point was that he'd surround himself with capable and seasoned pros.

The Left will continue to run on stereotypes of their oppositions. It's pretty much all they've got.

is that irony on your chin?

Posted by: cleek on April 11, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I disagree with your characterization, but the Democrats seemed focused on catering to their "handful of Democrat special interests" in hopes of garnering new votes to increase their power. If your characterization of President Bush is correct, "your guys" seem to be no better (they just cater to the abortion crowd, radical feminists, the radical environmentalists, agay libbers (as they used to call themselves in pre-historic times), and more lately, illegal immigrants.

Posted by: Jim Bender on April 11, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

That's the trouble with 100% accurate characterizations. They tend to stick.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people still cling to the myth of the liberal media. Santa Clause is actually more believable at this point.

The press hasn't even come close to doing it's job until recently, when Bush's plummeting poll numbers finally made them realize that they didn't have to fear him anymore. I still can't figure out why any of them ever did.

Republicans also seem to have an inferiority complex when it comes to the intellectual weakness of their recent presidents.

Posted by: Ringo on April 11, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

... the Democrats seemed focused on catering to their "handful of Democrat special interests" in hopes of garnering new votes to increase their power.

Of course, the Republican special interests account for the wealthiest 1% of the population, while the Democratic special interests (women, gays, minorities, working families) account for, well, virtually everyone else. Other than that, though, yeah. Exactly the same thing.

Why is it that conservatives can't tell the difference between "two sides" and "two equal sides"? Does it have to do with the whole "being able to admit when they're wrong" thing? 'Cause that's my guess.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz

I have a hard time with your attempt to shift the blame for Bush's plight to the "hostile" press. On his staff GWB has Karl Rove, perhaps the best media operative of his age. Rove has controlled the Bush message an iron fist. He has the mighty right wing noise machine touting his every utterance. Despite all of that the truth has shown through. Bush is fundamentally incompetent and does cater to a handful of Republican special interests. Moreover he has surrounded himselves with several equally incompetent advisers who were recommended to him by a handful of Republican special interest groups. The sad thing is that Karl Rove is the only truly competent professional he has ever hired. (I have always liked Andy Card, but he was miscast.) Not so hot for the MBA/CIO president.

I think that in the case of the President somehow the truth has won over the hype.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 11, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes Ryan Lizza asserting that Bush is
"fundamentally incompetent and that he governs for the benefit of a handful of Republican special interests."

Bush has not been fundamentally incompetent at governing for the benefit of a handful of Republican special interests. On the contrary. He's very competent at that. (Note that I am using "Bush" as shorthand for "the Bush administration". Bush himself is nothing but an empty-headed empty suit who recites memorized talking points and reads scripts off of teleprompters.)

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Poor George let"s help him along:

bubble prez

Posted by: Neo the commissar on April 11, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz wrote: The Left will continue to run on stereotypes of their oppositions. It's pretty much all they've got.

All you have "got", tbrosz, is one-dimensional cartoon comic book stereotypes of "the Left". You are nothing but a clown.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone else check the link - and find the classic TNR slam at "Bush haters" in the first paragraph.

Yes, that good old "Democratic", "liberal" publication.

I am so happy I cancelled my subscription - Peretz is the worst.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on April 11, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term. He could start a blog and report back regularly on all the progress we're making."

I`m curious as to what type body armour you would allow him to have, which weapon he would carry & if he could have any real ammunition

I assume you would make sure he traveled outside the "Green Zone" w/o any fancy escorts (but maybe you would allow him to stop in Turkey on the way home, whenever that might be)

I would, of course, think about sending Shotgun Dick as well

"Privacy and security are like backyards: they take on a whole new meaning when we put the word "my" in front of them." - Charles D. Wheeler

Posted by: daCascadian on April 11, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

SA: All you have "got", tbrosz, is one-dimensional cartoon comic book stereotypes of "the Left". You are nothing but a clown.

And speaking of right-wing cartoons, I have to blame Bill O'Reilly for popularizing the right-sheep's use of the term "radical" (see earlier posts on this thread). See, when I say "radical", I mean blowing up buildings (like Tim McVeigh) and/or assassinating people they disagree with (like Paul Hill). When neocons say "radical", what they mean is "I don't have the slightest idea of what I'm talking about". Seriously. Any O'Reilly fan (hell, including O'Reilly himself) who uses the term should watch Sigel & Green's documentary on the Weather Underground and STFU.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Tbroz, I have the perfect example,Would you like to tell us who Bush picked for SCOTUS? Hint it was not Alito.

Posted by: Right minded on April 11, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

The other night, the PBS News Hour had the usual righty-lefty square-off about Iran. If memory serves, Morton Halperin was the token liberal, and the "conservative" angle was represented by that icon of judgement and honesty, Richard Perle. Christ, I thought that vampire had retired to his underground lair after pretty much everything he ever said about Iraq turned out to be exactly wrong. But there he was, back again, hosted by the hostile liberal media.

So try again, tbrosz. All that frothing is affecting your typing.

Posted by: sglover on April 11, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I know I know. His weapon of choice will be Dick Cheney.

Posted by: Right minded on April 11, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Lizza proposes the replacement of Cheney by McCain. May be the main purpose of the piece is to prop up Mr. Crookedly Straight Express.

Posted by: lib on April 11, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I believe your suggestion has merit. After all the only way that the d's have ever been able to get George W. out of Washington is for you to fantasize these dreams of yours. On the other hand, when the r's didn't like Daschle, we simply voted him out of office. But since you never, never, never could beat this president whom you describe as incompetent, then the question comes how does it feel to be outsmarted by an incompetent. Of course if he were out of town then Cheney, then Hastler, then Frist, then etc., etc. by the time we would get to a dem that would be in line I believe we probably would be indeed looking overseas. Just a modest proposal.....

Posted by: daveyo on April 11, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Drum is fantasing about "shipping Bush off to Baghdad." ?!?!?!

Talk about juvenile posting!

Posted by: BigRiver on April 11, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, he's a skilled campaigner and partymaster, nobody's challenged that. It's just that when it comes to governing he's completely incapable and incompetent.

Posted by: Viserys on April 11, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

"... hammered into the population by a hostile press..."

Thanks, tbrosz, that's the funniest thing I've seen all week. Poor, powerless Dubya, unable to overcome groundless accusations of stupidity and greed. Of only he had some, you know, mechanisms of control at hand, then we could see how truly great he is! But with all those Ward Churchills running the newsrooms, well, it's a wonder how can clear brush in the morning.

Posted by: Kenji on April 11, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

daveyo:

Ever heard of paragraphs?

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 11, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

All you have "got", tbrosz, is one-dimensional cartoon comic book stereotypes...

Bush himself is nothing but an empty-headed empty suit who recites memorized talking points and reads scripts off of teleprompters.

Ahh...okay.


Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Daveyo: Bush is president for the same reason that Britney Spears is so popular. And according to your reasoning, that makes her music great.

But I have to ask... "Hastler"? I mean, you're kidding, right?

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Anyone else check the link - and find the classic TNR slam at "Bush haters" in the first paragraph.

Yes, that good old "Democratic", "liberal" publication. "

Samuel Knight, I assume you (like me) haven't signed on for the New Republic and thus saw only the three-line excerpt non-suscribers see. It's perfectly reasonable this would be your reaction to what you saw.

But...as it happens, I read that "most inept in 25 years" quioe earlier today, and it's from a conservative, George Conway. So, in this case, I believe Lizza was being facetious.

Not that his NR compadres won't be using the phrase in its traditional sense tomorrow...

Posted by: demtom on April 11, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

One modest proposal that Bush could make to revive his poll numbers is to acknowledge that any amnesty or guest worker program for illegals will not work and that securing the border and stopping the flow of people into the country is now the top priority of the federal government. Federalize the national guard of the border states and get them down there to support the Border Patrol. Have votes in both houses for bills that force Dems (& RINOS) Reps and Senators to choose between standing up for border security or doing nothing.

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 11, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Once had a subscription to TNR but couldn't see why I should pay for that crap. The very idea that anyone (let alone a so-called liberal mag) would care how W. could get his groove back is laughable. The only thing that matters is how do we get the country back from Bush and his cronies.

Posted by: JJF on April 11, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh...okay.

The difference here, Tbrosz, is that the left has a one-dimensional stereotype that's backed up by a mountain of facts. All the right has are the stereotypes. And ones that are ridiculously simple to deflate, too. We have a "hostile", "liberal" press in this country? Seriously, just how much crack do you smoke?

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

I love Lizza's "as if" wistfulness. As if Bush were really a decent, competent guy who's just had a run of bad luck. As if the public would toss off Iraq and Katrina and all the rest as if it were just a bad dream. As if everything is going to be all right in the end.

As if the bastards really deserve a break.

Posted by: PW on April 11, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

As if the bastards really deserve a break.

Yeah - protecting the country is serious, solemn business one the one hand, but "hey, cut Bush a break, he's doing the best he can!" on the other.

It's a damn shame that we can't tap the cognitave dissonance of all the neocons in this country as an energy source. We'd be energy-independent indefinitely.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

We have a "hostile", "liberal" press in this country? Seriously, just how much crack do you smoke?

I've posted the "mountain of facts" on the sympathies of those in the mainstream media in past posts. You're welcome to look them up.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Even writers at the National Review think Bush is incompetent.

"Frankly, speaking of incompetence, I think this Administration is the most politically and substantively inept that the nation has had in over a quarter of a century. The good news about it, as far as I'm concerned, is that it's almost over."
Posted by: I'll show myself out on April 11, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ryan Lizza's piece includes a number of moronic ideas:

  • "Bush haters" For the umpteenth time, can we let go of the idea that people who disagree with the failed policies and denounce the lies of President Bush "hate" him?
  • "The centrist revolt against the war in Iraq is caused by ... turning Iraq into a symbol of humiliation for the United States." The centrist revolt is caused by a recognition, at long last, that the Bush administration lied our way into the war; suppressed the truth about and underestimated what it would cost in lives and dollars; went in unprepared and failed to protect our soldiers and Iraq's infrastructure and cultural heritage; and never had a real plan.
  • "McCain is the one Republican for the job that would signal Bush cares about governing from the middle." McCain is just another right-winger; emerging from his experience as a POW in Vietnam and participating as one of the Keating five Senators, he talks a good game about integrity and fighting corruption, but McCain is no moderate, he is just another arch-conservative Republican. If Bush really wanted to signal that he cares about governing from the middle, he would nominate someone like Mike DeWine or Olympia Snowe or one Susan Collins or Lincoln Chafee.
  • "But he's not actually implicated in most of the scandals roiling the town" I won't dignify that with an answer!
Now in fairness to Mr. Lizza . . .

. . . maybe he meant the whole column as a joke.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on April 11, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Left will continue to run on stereotypes of their oppositions. It's pretty much all they've got.

No, actually what "they've" got are the facts, including:

1) Allowing Enron back into the market so they could defraud California and cause rolling blackouts -- and then pretend that "states' rights" prevented powerless federal executives like himself from interfering until

2) through incompetence and inattention he allowed the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history to take place. Then in a flash the powerless executive became the unitary executive, arrogating all sorts of powers and exemptions to himself including a free pass on being held responsible for

3) unfound WMD's, the raison d'etre for a war that has caused

4) Iraq to become an utter shambles where tens of thousands have given their lives, limbs, and happiness because Bush invaded based on

5) false and misleading intelligence, the weaknesses of which he kept from Congress and the American people while his "elective" war (and I mean that in both senses of the word) is currently

6) taking the military to its breaking point, placing America at further risk for attack, creating a breeding ground for terrorists, destabilizing the Middle East, draining our national treasury, and straining relations with our allies.

Add to that tax giveaways, record bankruptcies, increasing poverty, an epidemic of Americans without health insurance, jobs draining away across the ocean, and on and on and on.

That's what "they've" got on Bush, not just cartoon stereotypes.

It's just that when ineptitude becomes such a predominant factor in an individual that it precludes excellence or activity in many dimensions that person can said to be two-dimensional or cartoonish.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 11, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.

And please: I don't set the bar for "press hostility" at "nastier than Helen Thomas."

It's interesting that the "plastic turkey" popped up here, being another nearly unkillable false media meme.

It's also interesting that operating under the assumption that Bush is an idiot has not served Democratic politicians very well.

The Left will continue to run on stereotypes of their oppositions. It's pretty much all they've got.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 3:25 PM

After this piece of work, tbrosz, you need never, ever ask again why so many of the parodies of you remind everyone of the real thing.

Chicken or egg, chicken or egg...which came first...the utter buffoon or his (often) sadly accurate portrayers?

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, "I'll show myself out" is a fabulous handle.

Chicounsel: Lonely since the Leader site shut down?

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK
On the other hand, I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term.

Hmm. Perhaps he could be as much of a "uniter, not a divider" there as he has been here.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Someone talking shit about me again?

Posted by: Plastic Turkey on April 11, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz >"I've posted the "mountain of facts" on the sympathies of those in the mainstream media in past posts. You're welcome to look them up."

So today`s batch of crack is really really bad eah ?

"Squeezing off a few rounds of automatic weapons fire here in Baghdad is the equivalent of honking your horn in America." - Borzou Daragahi

Posted by: daCascadian on April 11, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ok Tbroz one word Harriet.That is who G.W. picked to be on the SCOTUS. Now tell me he is not a joke.

Posted by: Right minded on April 11, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop:

I have no idea what the "Leader site" is or supposed to be. So my loneliness is completedly unrelated to that. lol.

Why no comment on my assertion that such actions would boost Bush's approval ratings? Do you think I'm wrong?

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 11, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz: I've posted the "mountain of facts" on the sympathies of those in the mainstream media in past posts. You're welcome to look them up.

Oh, please. Not this "most journalists voted for Clinton in 1992" nonsense again. Do you really need to be told for the millionth time that news policy isn't set by individual journalists? And where is FNC in your "mountain" of facts? And I can tune in NPR and hear Tony Blankley and David Brooks - on NPR, for chrissakes, which may as well be the Kremlin to hear some people call it.

Remember when I said that all you have in stereotypes that are ridiculously easy to disprove? This whole "liberal media" thing is one of them. No one with the mental acuity and sophistication required to tie one's shoes could believe this tripe. This is probably why no one on this board (myself included) thinks you're the least bit honest. You probably don't literally drool on yourself, so there's no way you don't know better.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for quoting more fully from the article. Maybe Ryan L. was trying to be cute.

But, since the magazine so eagerly endorsed the whole Iraq debacle - it's kinda hard to see what so darn funny about that joke coming from them.

My general take on TNR, Fukuyama (sp?) and all those others who've suddenly "seen the light!" is well that's nice. But I really don't want to spend my time listening to people who were so spectacularly wrong. Too bad that you're bummed and offended that you're being ignored. But you have to earn respect - you don't cut to the front of the line when you change stripes. You start in the back of the line.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on April 11, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

It is hard to give much credence to someone who uses "characterological", which I do not believe is a word.

Posted by: uncle toby on April 11, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think we've done enough damage in Iraq, Kevin. dag....

Three economics professors at the University of Chicago have published a study that compares the expected costs of the War in Iraq with the expected costs of not going to war and following a policy of containment instead, War In Iraq Versus Containment. Here is the abstract:

"We consider three questions related to the choice between war in Iraq and a continuation of the pre-war containment policy. First, in terms of military resources, casualties and expenditures for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, is war more or less costly for the United States than containment? Second, compared to war and forcible regime change, would a continuation of the containment policy have saved Iraqi lives? Third, is war likely to bring about an improvement or deterioration in the economic well-being of Iraqis? We address these questions from an ex ante perspective as of early 2003. According to our analysis, pre-invasion views about the likely course of the Iraq intervention imply present value costs for the United States in the range of $100 to $870 billion. Our estimated present value cost for the containment policy is nearly $300 billion and ranges upward to $700 billion when we account for several risks stressed by national security analysts. Our analysis also indicates that war and forcible regime change will yield large improvements in the economic well-being of most Iraqis relative to their prospects under the containment policy, and that the Iraqi death toll would likely be greater under containment."

Posted by: warmonger on April 11, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

"On the other hand, I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term. He could start a blog and report back regularly on all the progress we're making."

Don't forget Dick and the whole freaking cabinet!

Posted by: Blue Blue Texan on April 11, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Samuel Knight: My experience is more along the lines of "gee, Iraq turned out to be a real mess, didn't it? Who could possibly have guessed?" Um, how about all the people you called "traitors" and "terrorist sympathizers" because they said the exact same thing years ago when we could have prevented all this crap?

So, I have less than no sympathy for these assholes. Never any admission whatsoever that all the people that they were demonizing were right all along. Never any admission that if they had a shred of honesty or integrity, they would have known the same things at the time that we did. Ann Coulter "jokingly" called for my execution for chrissakes. So, my reaction is less "that's nice", and more one of "go to hell, go straight to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200".

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I didn't know this. Maybe it explains the whole plunge to 36% popularity Bush has experienced. Perhaps it provides the solution for Bush to save his Presidency.

He needs to call a press conference and correct the meme of the plastic turkey. "It was a real turkey! I was carrying around a real turkey over there in Eyerak. Yeah, it was an inedible decorative turkey that couldn't be served, but it was a real turkey. Just like me."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2001806972_bushturkey04.html

The bird looks perfect, with bunches of grapes and other trimmings completing a Norman Rockwell image that evokes bounty and security in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.
But as a small sign of the many ways the White House maximized the impact of the 2-hour stop at the Baghdad airport, administration officials said yesterday that Bush picked up a decoration, not a serving platter.

Officials said they did not know the turkey would be there or that Bush would pick it up. A contractor had roasted and primped the turkey to adorn the buffet line, while the 600 soldiers were served from cafeteria-style steam trays, the officials said. They said the bird was not placed there in anticipation of Bush's stealthy visit, and military sources said a trophy turkey is a standard feature of holiday chow lines.

Posted by: cowalker on April 11, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Is "characterological" a word??????

Posted by: Mazurka on April 11, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

How does one "overcome" one's very raison d'etre?

Well, he could stop taxing the middle class only to give to the rich who recycle it back to him
and his do-nothing Congress.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 11, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

How does one "overcome" one's very raison d'etre?

Easily--he's just that stupid.

Posted by: Calling All Toasters on April 11, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

You are nothing but a clown.

I need to disagree with this statement. I stopped discussing things with tbroz 6-8 months ago after he displayed a seriously ugly side with his willingness to excuse torture. A torture apologist is sort of an anti-clown.

Either that, or I just need to avoid the sort of circuses you go to.

Posted by: Wapiti on April 11, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

DH - You reaction is probably more appropriate.

Because it is just astounding to me to read all these editorial pages in the LA times, NY Times, Wash Post, etc. All printing lots of opinion pieces from the same bunch of idiots who were so spectacularly wrong about this administration in 2000 and about Iraq in 2002. You know, Broder, Cohen, Brooks, etc. who told us that the GOP were the grown-ups, who would bring integrity and competence back to government.

And now they print the new inanities from these guys on how we should deal with the disaster.

Gee - thanks, but WTF?

Posted by: Samuel Knight on April 11, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Pardon me for chiming in, but tbrosz has shown multiple ugly sides in the past. There was a thread where he asserted that deseggregation may have led to lowered reading scores among African Americans.

tbrosz is an ugly individual, and deserves all the mocking he gets.

Posted by: nut on April 11, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I really think it's time to discard words like "incompetent" and "stupid".

The hallmark of George Bush's doings is what he really cares about: 1) perpetual power and 2) rewarding his friends

Nothing else is of interest. "Incompetence" suggests that the person is trying to do the job for which he was hired.

Posted by: JB (not John Bolton) on April 11, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

nut:

Pardon me for chiming in, but tbrosz has shown multiple ugly sides in the past. There was a thread where he asserted that deseggregation [sic] may have led to lowered reading scores among African Americans.

I've let this idiot drift on like this for some time now, just to illustrate how easily someone can distort something, but it's getting old, and it's probably something that needs correction considering the gullibility level around here (check the e-mail address, folks.)

The original post he's talking about is here. I was responding to the idea that black illiteracy was solely the result of segregation, when in fact more recent problems show that this was not the only issue, and pointed out that there are similar literacy problems with whites as well.

(Note that the percentages in that post are probably wrong...I commented on that a bit further down.)

Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Warmonger:

The whole paper on cost of containment can be found here.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, do you really want to go through that again?

Facts are wonderful things.

Here is what you stated in the post that you linked.

(re. increased illiteracy among blacks) I suspect that this is an overall problem with public education as a whole more than it is with desegregation.

The sentence speaks for itself.

Posted by: nut on April 11, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Honorable Japanese warriors had a ritual for regaining their reputation after screwing up:
Sepukku.

How I wish that this custom would find it's way into American Culture just as Sushi and Pokemon has.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz is an ugly individual, and deserves all the mocking he gets.
Posted by: nut on April 11, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I enthusiastically mock thee, tbrosz.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Three economics professors at the University of Chicago have published a study that compares the expected costs of the War in Iraq with the expected costs of not going to war and following a policy of containment instead, War In Iraq Versus Containment.
Posted by: warmonger on April 11, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, you're going to have to go elsewhere if you want to convince Liberals you've got a credible source.

The birthplace of Straussian politics in the US (Univ. of Chicago school of economics - you know, where Leo Strauss teaches?) is probably the last place I'd expect to find lurking, an opinion that runs counter to something found on the PNAC's website.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

I am sure that these esteemed economists from the University of Chicago can also show that colonization leads to overall well being of those colonized.

Let's rebuild the empire.

Posted by: lib on April 11, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

maybe some progress is being made in iraq:

http://www.opinionatedbastard.com/archives/000731.html

n.b.: the civilian casualty numbers from brookings may be incomplete. still looks like some level of progress.

Posted by: Brian on April 11, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Sorry, you're going to have to go elsewhere if you want to convince Liberals you've got a credible source."

I don't really care if you're "convinced" or not. There is no institution in the world that is more renowned as a center of excellence and influence in economics than the University of Chicago. It has received ten Nobel prizes for economics, more than any other university in the world.

Of course, the only sources you recognize as "credible" are ones that say what you want to hear, so your response isn't exactly a surprise.

Posted by: warmonger on April 11, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are making tbrosz sad.

Quick Kevin post something about academic biologists trying to demonstrate the economic superiority of indigenous people sustainably exporting rainforest products.

You haters out there stop making the cognitive dissonance hurt. Say something factually inaccurate and reference Stuart Smiley in your comments.

And to the fake tbrosz's out there, you are just mean. Stop showing him the logical end of his free market libertarian policies. Say something stupid about the Laffer curve instead.

Posted by: sl on April 11, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Using economic analysis to support the necessity of undertaking the Iraq fiasco ignores the reality that it was not sold to us as a project to improve the economic welfare of the Iraqis. How many Americans, even among the conservatives and the Bushistas, would have agreed to the Iraq invasion if Bush had said that we begin bombing Baghdad because we want the Iraqis to have better electronic gadgets and fast food restaurants?

Posted by: lib on April 11, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Wait! Now is the week when President Bush is the bumbling idiot -- a pawn of Vice President Cheney?

Okay, got it.

How is that gonna square with the "Bushitler was behind the outing of the Valerie Plame leaks" meme?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Warmonger:

The whole paper on cost of containment can be found here."

Tbrosz, that paper, although dated 2006, is barely revised from the 2003 original. Check Section 7.2: it's woefully out of date.

There's no need to scale Iraqi civilian deaths by using the Panama invasion as a proxy when you can use the Lancet article estimates and the Iraq Body count as upper and lower bounds. If you wonder why some of us aren't impressed with the AEI as a source of scholarship, this paper is a good example.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on April 11, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Fake or not Tbroz by any other name is still an ass.GEORGE BUSH PICKED HARRIET MEYERS TO THE SCOTUS.What more can be said.Even Tbroz thought that pick was stupid.

Posted by: OUCH on April 11, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't really care if you're "convinced" or not. Posted by: warmonger on April 11, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yes you do. Otherwise you would be wasting people's time by posting garbage to Free Republic, instead of here.

There is no institution in the world that is more renowned as a center of excellence and influence in economics than the University of Chicago.

Yes. I'm sure they're very well received at the Heritage Foundation and Cato.

It has received ten Nobel prizes for economics, more than any other university in the world.

. . . just like Arafat got a Nobel Peace Prize.

Of course, the only sources you recognize as "credible" are ones that say what you want to hear, so your response isn't exactly a surprise.

No. Show me a NEUTRAL party publishing a study that comes to the same conclusion, and I'll consider it. Of course their "costs of war" figures probably do not factor in the global energy price spikes we've seen over the past few years, the interest rate spikes we've seen by the unparallelled deficit spending to finance this war, or the costs over the next 20,000 years due to millions of Iraqi's suffering from leukemia, kidney, and thyroid problems from environmental contamination caused by use of depleted uranium munitions.

Nor do they factor in the long-term costs incurred by attempting to sustain a petroleum-based energy economy by armed force, rather than simply putting some money into investing in alternatives BEFORE supply constraints really start to cannibalize our economy.

Nor do they factor in the costs incurred in rushing to fight a war with insufficient resources because the Commander in Chief felt compelled to lie about the justifications, and knew that had he waited to build up sufficient troop strength, that his house of lies would be disputed and collapse around him before he got a chance to "get his Invasion on".

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Urinated State of America,

Please tell us what you really think about the United States. M'Kay?

Also, I can make up a number like the Lancet did and call it an upper bound:

237498327498767810634765764054365918645987064359876452

See how easy that was?

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,He had no clue of what he was doing,He is a idiot.After all he did pick Harriet Meyers to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Double Ouch on April 11, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

This is hilarious.

They quote University of Chicago economists as gospel, but dismiss the scientists writing in Lancet as fabricators!

Posted by: lib on April 11, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Carter got a Nobel prize also.Now admire him damit.

Posted by: Rightminded on April 11, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

lib,
I actually know something about both subjects but only wrote about one.

Therefore, that's a suspicious use of the plural "they" you have going for you.

Are you quite sure that there is only one conservative in the blogosphere and that I, which is to say they, spend all my, I mean our, which is to say we spend our (gosh but it's hard speaking about myself -- dang it -- ourselves in plural form) time posting here, there and everywhere.

Seek professional help.

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I can make up a number like the Lancet did and call it an upper bound:
237498327498767810634765764054365918645987064359876452
See how easy that was?
Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck you, Birkel. The Lancet published their data and their procedures, you can review them if you like. And especially, the scientists who did the surveys actually risked their lives and left the fucking Green Zone and went house to house asking people questions, and reviewing census data in ransacked and looted government buildings.

Your University of Chicago schmucks just put some numbers down on a paper, lit up their cigars, and shook eachother's hands knowing that they were helping Bush to make his bankrupt case, so their Halliburton shares would go up.

Finally, the Lancet study is based on sound science, actual statistics. The University of Chicago study is from a school of (voodoo) Economics, which is a science on par with creationism.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Also, I can make up a number like the Lancet did and call it an upper bound:
237498327498767810634765764054365918645987064359876452
See how easy that was?
Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck you, Birkel. The Lancet published their data and their procedures, you can review them if you like. And especially, the scientists who did the surveys actually risked their lives and left the fucking Green Zone and went house to house asking people questions, and reviewing census data in ransacked and looted government buildings.

Your University of Chicago schmucks just put some numbers down on a paper, lit up their cigars, and shook eachother's hands knowing that they were helping Bush to make his bankrupt case, so their Halliburton shares would go up.

Finally, the Lancet study is based on sound science, actual statistics. The University of Chicago study is from a school of (voodoo) Economics, which is a science on par with creationism.
Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 7:41 PM"

OBF, thanks for the most hilarious post of the thread. lol.

Posted by: Brian on April 11, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Calling the objective facts "conventional wisdom" does reality an injustice. It is the same as calling Evolution "just" a theory (ignoring the scientific meaning of "theory" vs the unwashed mass' misuse of the term). It tries to denegrate fact by plastering it with mishmash words.

Bush is incompetent. He has always been incompetent in everything he has done. Honestly. Absolutely no business he headed did anything but poorly. His "governance" has totally wrecked the US government: loss of all status and respect, loss of all military standing, loss of fiscal soundness, loss of ability to handle the most basic functions of government (like dealing with disasters, be they terrorist attacks on Trade Centers - there is STILL nothing there but a frickin' hole - to hurricane damage to major US cities - there's STILL nothing there but debris and a diaspora scattered hither and yon).

Bush himself admitted that his businesses were floundering. He is a total failure. He can't even be a proper drunk.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on April 11, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Once again I (we) face the prospect of having a member of the "Reality-Based" Left accusing me of writing about the U of Chicago.

Better reading skills. Try them. You'll like them.

The Lancet study was nonsense from start to finish. Sorry you think otherwise but I've never really thought highly of your logical reasoning skills.

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, I like the idea of shipping Bush off to Baghdad for the rest of his term. He could start a blog and report back regularly on all the progress we're making.

So between him figuring out how to type, figuring out how to spell, and figuring out how to write a complete sentence, I guess we could expect our first post on his blog sometime around spring of 2009?

Of course, that's assuming he can figure out where the button is that turns the computer on.

Posted by: Greg VA on April 11, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK
The whole paper on cost of containment can be found here.

The interesting thing is that none of the presented scenarios (even the Scenario 5 and 6 for war that they say reality seems likely to resemble) match well with the experience so far (the quick war scenarios feature far fewer occupation casualties than we've already seen, and the long occupation scenarios far more major combat, pre-occupation casualties than we've actually seen, for instance).

And the assumption that Scenario 6 -- massive, protracted insurgency erupts, we fight for ten years, but we win and get exactly the kind of regime we'd like and don't have to worry about containment of Iraq again, and live happily ever after -- is more likely than Scenario 7 -- massive protracted insurgency erupts, we fight for ten years and run out with our tail between our legs and work to contain Iraq thereafter (e.g., the "Vietnam, but with only 7,000 total Americans killed" scenario) -- seems spurious.

Of course, given the current casualty experience, the idea that we can conduct operations with 200,000 troops in Iraq for 10 years with a high op tempo against a major insurgency (which both Scenario 6 and 7 assume) and experience only 7,000 casualties seems unlikely.

Even if the economic analysis was flawless (there seem to be a few spurious assumptions, like counting the baseline salaries of active duty troops as marginal costs, which assumes that without those operations we would downside the active-duty force further, but lets ignore those for now), the fact that the assumptions and proposed scenarios are already inconsistent with the past of the war (much less its likely future) mean that the comparison is pretty much worthless.

And even if it were completely correct, its conclusion (that the cost of containment might possibly be the same as or more expensive than the cost of the war) is hardly a compelling argument for the war.

If we went to war everytime it was conceivable that war might turn out to be cheaper than containment, we'd fight a whole lot more wars than we do.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: How is that gonna square with the "Bushitler was behind the outing of the Valerie Plame leaks" meme?

That Bush is Dick Cheney's sock puppet does not relieve Bush of legal responsibility for actions he takes in his formal position as President.

According to Libby's grand jury testimony (which the White House has to date not disputed), Dick Cheney told Libby that Bush had approved the leaking of sections of the pre-war Iraq NIE (carefully selected to deceive the public about the full content of the NIE) to Judith Miller.

If Bush did so, then as President he is responsible for that action, regardless of whether Dick Cheney told him to do it and Bush just said "Sure thing, Boss."

You can go back to licking dogshit off the bottom of Bush's boot and calling it ice cream now.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

I would certainly not use that paper as a justification for going to war.

Still, it's important when judging the outcome to remember that the alternatives were not cost-free. In the same way, the Iraqi civilian casualties need to be balanced against the environment in Iraq before the war. I remember liberals touting thousands of deaths in Iraq from sanctions, even if nobody else seems to.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 11, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Such graphic language! By the sheer force of your vileness I must slink bank to my hobbit hole. For shame!

Do you guys take that sort of stuff to be the least bit entertaining? Informative? Persuasive?

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: The Lancet study was nonsense from start to finish.

You are a stupid, ignorant liar. You don't know what you are talking about. You are just regurgitating whatever talking points you get from Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry you think otherwise but I've never really thought highly of your logical reasoning skills.
Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well I can't really say anything about yours, because you have none.

The Lancet study was nonsense from start to finish.

That's your opinion. Got any facts to back it up? Didn't think so.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes you do."

No, I really don't. You're such a dogmatic, faith-based ideologue that the idea that you are open to being "convinced" on this question is just laughable.

"No. Show me a NEUTRAL party publishing a study that comes to the same conclusion, and I'll consider it."

Like I said, the only party you consider "neutral" is one that says what you want to hear.

"Of course their "costs of war" figures probably do not factor in the global energy price spikes we've seen over the past few years, the interest rate spikes we've seen by the unparallelled deficit spending to finance this war, or the costs over the next 20,000 years due to millions of Iraqi's suffering from leukemia, kidney, and thyroid problems from environmental contamination caused by use of depleted uranium munitions."

I love the "of course....probably" construction. If you are have a serious, reasoned, evidence-based critique of the methodology or conclusions of the study, let's see it. Right now, you're just bloviating. But bloviating is pretty much all you ever do here.

Posted by: GOP on April 11, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

You, sir, are a poorly informed potty-mouth.

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

OBF,

Knowing something about statistics is a wonderful thing. I'll be sure to explain it to you if ever you decide to pay me to do so.

'Til then, ta ta.

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Before someone gets as pedantic as I can sometimes be, yes, I used "e.g." where I meant "i.e." once int eh 7:50pm post.

Now, on to other things.

I would certainly not use that paper as a justification for going to war.

I wouldn't use that paper period. It was, at best, sound analysis premised on optimistic-but-not-entirely-incredible fantasy in 2003, in 2006 the "but-not-entirely-incredible" is gone.

Still, it's important when judging the outcome to remember that the alternatives were not cost-free.

Yes, no alternative is free of costs and benefits, and all cost or benefit needs to be looked at in terms of the net cost or benefit compared to the best of the competing alternatives that are not categorically unacceptable for non-cost-related reasons.

That's an obvious grand generality. It doesn't change that the particular accounting of the relative costs offered is completely worthless.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm at the point that I cannot trust our President to get anything right. I think he's about in the right place, though a bit beholden to big business, on immigration reform, but I expect him to foul it up even worse than Medicare Part D. On foreign affairs, I think it is important that we do something to keep nuclear weapons from being available in a number of countries that have untrustworthy leaders, but, again, I'm confident that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, the Three Stooges of American Military policy, will make things worse than doing nothing.

When George Bush proves that he can do smaller things right, and that does not mean appointing a messiah of duct tape to run FEMA, then I will consider hoping that he won't screw up the big things. So far, there is nothing that is able to persuade me that he has any idea how to run things competently.

Posted by: freelunch on April 11, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

If you are have a serious, reasoned, evidence-based critique of the methodology or conclusions of the study, let's see it.

You've already seen it. Their conflict of interest rules them out as a credible source.

Since you're able to discern the topic of the discussion from context (ie. we're comparing the credibility of sources of information - vis a vis the Lancet study, and the U of C article), unlike Birkel, I'll post a link to the Lancet study:
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=lang_en&c2coff=1&safe=off&q=cache:fcWq-x-pE7EJ:www.bluejayway.net/pdf/lancet_10-29-04_article_on_IRAQ_casualties.pdf+author:%22Les+Roberts%22+intitle:%22Mortality+before+and+after+the+2003+invasion+of+Iraq:+...%22+

Can you speculate on a conflict of interest for any of these authors? How about their sponsoring or publishing organization (http://www.thelancet.com/about)?

The authors of the study said 100,000 was a CONSERVATIVE estimate (was never claimed to be hard numbers) - and that only includes the first year after the invasion. (I'd be really interested in a follow-up study).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

OBF,

When should I expect your check to arrive?

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

You, sir, are a poorly informed potty-mouth.
Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

eh? Show me one instance where I claim a fact that is provably incorrect.

Yeah, I'm a potty mouth when dishonest jackasses like yourself propagate lies, and people die because of it. Had Americans known the truth about Saddam's non-existent WMD programs, especially the truth about the Bush Administration's misinformation campaign, we might not have had to fight this war. People like you prevented the truth from getting out. People like you are responsible for the pointless death and destruction of this war.

You bet I'll use foul language.

I wouldn't use that paper period.
Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'd use it, but only if there were no softer alternative on a wall-mounted roll next to me.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

When should I expect your check to arrive?
Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

You can expect it to arrive any time you like. I'll pay you exactly what you're worth.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

People like (me -- or is that we) prevented the truth from getting out?

Isn't that what DU and Kos are for?

Sometimes I really do think the Left believes there is no absolute truth and then you go and blow the whole charade! What Would Noam Do?

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel wrote: Do you guys take that sort of stuff to be the least bit entertaining?

You are just another stupid, ignorant liar, posting vapid and vacuous comments here to impress everyone with your ability to regurgitate brain-dead, scripted, programmed right-wing drivel-points and your slavish devotion to licking Bush's boots. Just the same old tired crap that every Bush bootlicker posts.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: Sometimes I really do think ...

No, you don't.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Why, you're so clever. I'm glad you do more than "regurgitate brain-dead, scripted, programmed (left)-wing drivel-points and your slavish devotion" to BDS.

Gosh! This is fun!

Posted by: Birkel on April 11, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why, you're so clever. I'm glad you do more than "regurgitate brain-dead, scripted, programmed (left)-wing drivel-points and your slavish devotion" to BDS.

wow, and you're even more clever--almost as clever as "I know you are, but what am I".

these Republican drones are getting boring.

Posted by: haha on April 11, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

The only reason Bush ever had a groove was post 911 hysteria.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on April 11, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

these Republican drones are getting boring.
Posted by: haha on April 11, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel isn't a republican. He's just a fascist. Just as most people who today, claim to be "Republican" are not actually republicans, or even "Conservatives" in the traditional sense of the word. They're more-accurately "self-proclaimed conservatives" or "self-proclaimed republicans" - and the reason is because they won't admit the truth as to what they REALLY are. Authoritarian Fascists.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 11, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

As tbrosz did not respond to my last statement in this conversation ( my charge, tbrosz's shameless defense of the indefensible, and my posting of his blatantly racist statement) I assume that he has correctly hidden himself in a hole not to bring this up again.

Posted by: nut on April 11, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't change that the particular accounting of the relative costs offered is completely worthless.

The University of Chicago report estimates on the cost of containing Iraq are ridiculous on their face. They cherrypick a few quotes from Gen Tommy Franks in order to justify charging the entire budget of CENTCOM to the containment of Iraq. Not to mention depreciation costs of all Naval, Airforce, and Army assests in the middle east.

Thus, the UOC report boosts the Iraq containment costs from $2 billion annually (Congressional Research Office) to over $16 billion annually, a 800% increase over Congresses own budget figures. In this way, they conclude that their horrible under-estimate of an Iraq invasion cost is comparable to the cost of containing Iraq.

Pure fantasyland. Nice try, tbroz.


Posted by: Broken on April 11, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Resignations of Both Bush and Cheney would guarantee their treatment as Reaganic Icons for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: patience on April 12, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Bush is incompetent. He has always been incompetent in everything he has done. Honestly. Absolutely no business he headed did anything but poorly. His "governance" has totally wrecked the US government: loss of all status and respect, loss of all military standing, loss of fiscal soundness, loss of ability to handle the most basic functions of government (like dealing with disasters, be they terrorist attacks on Trade Centers - there is STILL nothing there but a frickin' hole - to hurricane damage to major US cities - there's STILL nothing there but debris and a diaspora scattered hither and yon).

Bush himself admitted that his businesses were floundering. He is a total failure. He can't even be a proper drunk."

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on April 11, 2006 at 7:44 PM

Well, that is not exactly fair nor accurate. While as an executive he has a record of total incompetence he did show a positive genius and talent for one profession in his life, that of the political partisan enforcer and dirty tricks operative. He was the inheritor of Lee Atwater's evil genius before his deathbed conversion when he tried to apologize for all the evil he had done in his life as a political smear artist. Bush if he had not run for President I strongly suspect would have found his niche here instead, it was something he was genuinely skilled at in a marketplace with limited competition at his level of ability. That I personally find such an occupation reprehensible and disgusting I am not so foolish as to believe these things don't exist and have regular positions, usually under other names.

Now, aside from that I agree with your assessment of GWB entirely. His vision and scope are quite limited, and everything must fit within that limited perspective or it doesn't exist or is inherently bad/evil and must be opposed/destroyed. He is incapable of even the slightest self reflection and acceptance of his own limitations, despite all of his claims to the contrary. He substituted one addiction for another, his reliance of his routines and his religion are not healthy in their usage, instead of helping him come to terms with his addictions and the limitations they place upon him like with all addictive personalities he has substituted them as new addictions. This personality type is just about the worst type for the office he holds, and if it were not for the tremendous GOP message machine combined with the revisionism of Bush as war leader thanks to his failure to prevent or at the minimum reduce the 9/11/01 event I truly doubt it would have managed even to the 2004 elections, which given how close the official results were (if one believes in them, I do not given a combination of factors, not least one in four being unverifiable thanks to electronic voting unable to do what an ATM does in it's sleep) show the skepticism despite the extensive GOP jingoism.

General:

Personally there is little I can see that will help Bush regain more than a few points in the polls, and that would require a level of acknowledgement of mistakes made by him specifically in relation to his foreign policy that I just do not see it as a reasonable expectation will ever happen. This is what one gets for the degree of abuse of the goodwill and trust the American people give a President in time of crisis. This is for trying to overstate severely the threat posed by a country that was totally uninvolved in the 9/11/01 attacks to begin with so as to have an invasion, and invasion whose timing only made sense when viewed through the domestic American political timetable. Leadup to help in midterms, 2003 to boost after the victory, 2004 to begin or already having brought home the bulk of the troops deployed (a reality in the original war plans going in provided to Congress as I recall) to win reelection. This is for arrogating rights to his Presidency over American privacy and civil liberties without oversight and acting in general like a monarch and not the first citizen a President is supposed to be.

In short I believe this is the cascade failure I said was the inevitable outcome of the Bush policies and agendas for the past several years. I always said that when things started to crack that they would just keep on piling on in an increasing rate and severity that would be the political death of this Administration and depending on how it played out the GOP for a time as well. There is no hope for Bush to recover, even in an attack I believe there would not be the rallying effect there was last time precisely because of the partisan abuse Bush and the GOP made of it. After all once burned twice shy, or in the words of Bush, fool me once shame on you fool me twice...wont be fooled again.

Posted by: Scotian on April 12, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'm late to the thread, obviously - and I glanced through the comments but I may have missed something. Did Ryan Lizza credit or anyone here catch who the last "Bush hater" was?

Here's the whole thing, from the National Review blog:

That famous Bush hater, George Conway, husband of Kellyann Fitzgerald

I thought Conway was just husband to one of the harpies who made a career out of loathing everything about Clinton, but it seems he's done much the same in his career. He was never the staple of cable (real) hate-fests about Clinton as his wife but was quite the active critic.

From TBogg
Nick and Nora Charles for dullards

-- and TBogg does have a knack for titles. And a fine link to Glenn Greenwald, with a lot of info about the happy couple.

New Republic, on the other hand, reminds me why I happily let my subscription lapse. Not only do they bend over backwards to ignore at least a logitimate point of view, they don't even credit the frigging RIGHT-wingers who are bitching about
the president?

And the Conway blog links to a John Fund WSJ piece where he also talks like a "Bush hater".

But I guess I should think Lizza for a huge dose of laughter.

Posted by: T4TN on April 12, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.


"We have the media now." - Ann Coulter 7/25/05

"Don't believe the right-wing ideologues when they tell you the left still controls the media agenda. It does not any longer. It's a fact." Bill O'Reilly 7/26/05


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on April 12, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK


scotian: He (Bush) was the inheritor of Lee Atwater's evil genius before his deathbed conversion when he tried to apologize for all the evil he had done in his life as a political smear artist.

then balance that with gwb being a born-again christian ...

the joke is not on liberals...its on conservatives

Posted by: thispaceavailable on April 12, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Bush gives incompetents a bad name.

tbrosz: The key words here are "cemented as conventional wisdom," i.e. hammered into the population by a hostile press and others for over five straight years.

The press is liberal, all-powerful, able to sway public opinion, and hates Bush, all claims by tbrosz and his fellow conservatives . . .

Unfortunately, the claims cannot be all true or Bush would never have been elected, much less re-elected.

So, conservatives must be lying, eh?

But, then, we know lying is a character trait that is embedded deep within conservatism.

What part are you lying about, conservatives?

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 12, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

...govern for the benefit of a handful of Republican special interests.

I would correct that to "corporate special interests." He hasn't done too much for the non-corporate wing of the Republican Party.

Posted by: Adam Piontek on April 12, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Bush must not appear "incompetent" and "completely entrapped by Republican special interests."

And the desert must not appear "dry."

And Hey Lizza! How far right would the country have to swerve for you to consider McCain to be "the middle"?

Another Kool-Aid Drinker for McCain. Look at his record, bozo, not his rhetoric!!

Posted by: sullijan on April 12, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

talking points you get from Rush Limbaugh.

I'm sorry to correct you but I think you meant
"talking points you get from the drug addict Rush Limbaugh."

Granted it is a minor point to some but I hate to see it overlooked.

Posted by: Tripp on April 12, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Well, it's not the drug addiction that's the issue there; it's his refusal to do the work needed to start recovery. A minor point to some, but...

Posted by: shortstop on April 12, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

Let's not be too hasty. Capture of OBL, say in October, may well help both the President's, and the GOP's numbers. Also, I don't know which direction the country would go if we nuked Iran to be honest. The "Go Team USA, kick raghead ass!" patriotism can be pretty strong sometimes.

Posted by: royalblue_tom on April 12, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Urinated State of America,

Please tell us what you really think about the United States. M'Kay?"

Well, the only way I can make Bush's claim that he was a "uniter, not a divider", was that he actually meant to say "I'm a urinator, not a diviner". Hence the urinated state we are in.

"Also, I can make up a number like the Lancet did and call it an upper bound:
237498327498767810634765764054365918645987064359876452"

Looking forward to your critique of the cluster analysis method, Birkel, 'cos you certainly haven't crunched any numbers here.

On the topic, it really is bizaare that the AEI/UChicago paper left their 2003 estimates of the civilian deaths from the invasion untouched in their 2006 revision. Even if they disagreed with the Lancet or the IBC figures, they should have at least addressed the figures and the trends, if they wanted to justify. That is, if they didn't want to look like hacks rather than scholars.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on April 12, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK
On the topic, it really is bizaare that the AEI/UChicago paper left their 2003 estimates of the civilian deaths from the invasion untouched in their 2006 revision. Even if they disagreed with the Lancet or the IBC figures, they should have at least addressed the figures and the trends, if they wanted to justify. That is, if they didn't want to look like hacks rather than scholars.


That would have actually required revising the substance rather than descriptive narrative. Its quite possible that they are lazy, as well as being delusional.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 12, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Birkle, Sorry you think otherwise but I've never really thought highly of your logical reasoning skills.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 12, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly