Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LAME DUCK....The latest from the White House:

President Bush vetoed a $606 billion spending bill Tuesday that would have funded education, health and labor programs for the current fiscal year, complaining that it was larded with pork and too expensive as he took aim at a top priority of the new Democratic Congress.

....[Dana] Perino said Democrats did not work with the White House on the bill and stuffed more than 2,000 pet projects known as earmarks into it, despite campaign pledges to restrain themselves. Bush, she said, "will ask Congress to take out the pork and reduce the overall spending level and return it to him quickly."

It's funny how much more opposed Bush is to Democratic pork than he was to Republican pork, isn't it?

But whatever. I don't think anyone seriously believes that Bush really cares about the earmarks in this bill. Basically, he seems to have decided that the only way to stay relevant is to veto stuff. Within the borders of the United States, it's pretty much the only influence he has left. Democrats don't care about him, Republicans wish he'd go away, and the American public is bored with his snooze-inducing speeches. What else can he do to attract attention?

(The answer is: Start a fight with Iran, of course. Letting him play with his veto pen is obviously preferable, no?)

Kevin Drum 2:58 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (81)

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Comments

I'm usually wary of armchair psychoanalysis, but I'll admit this has the ring of truth to it.

What a petty, small man Bush is.

Posted by: chuck on November 13, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Since Bush seems to determine every bill that passes, I wouldn't exactly describe him as ignored. When the Congress starts routinely overriding his veto or the Republicans' threatened filibusters, maybe then. He still seems very much in control of the government.

Posted by: j flowers on November 13, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's funny how much more opposed Bush is to Democratic pork than he was to Republican pork, isn't it?

Dishonest, hypocritical, mendacious, disgusting and typical, yes. Funny, not so much.

Posted by: ckelly on November 13, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone seriously believes that Bush really cares about the earmarks in this bill. Basically, he seems to have decided that the only way to stay relevant is to veto stuff.

Nonsense Kevin. According to Wikipedia at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_vetoes Bush has only vetoed 6 bills while liberal Democrat Bill Clinton vetoed 37. It's hypocritical for you to complain about Bush using the veto when Bill Clinton did it far more times than Bush did. Sounds to me like a symptom of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by: Al on November 13, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"But whatever."

Um, no. Reagan and the Bushes ran up 9 trillion dollars in debt for this country. People complain about the cost of the war in Iraq, but what about the cost of servicing the trillions in debt?

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on November 13, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

It's hardly surprising that Bush would veto Democratic pork vs. Republican pork. Pretty much a no lose situation for him, isn't it? If everyone hates him anyway, at least he can stop pork.

Didn't dems campaign against the party of corruption last year? You know, all that Republican pork and...
Umm, ahhh, never mind.

Posted by: Dave on November 13, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

If this bill contains George Millers excrable amendment stripping Title VI (I think it's 6) funding from universities if the don't crack down on file sharing, then I support Bush 100%

Posted by: MNPundit on November 13, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

What else would the lame in lame duck mean?

Posted by: George on November 13, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

If you are so sure that Bush is trying to remain relevant by veto-ing obnoxiously, then how can you be so sure that the Do nothing Democratic Congress isn't loading the proverbial gun with blanks in order to draw out a more public disdain for Bush and the Republicans in the lead up to the Ballot Box? Maybe, since they cannot muster the strength to do much more than criticize, they have found new and endearing ways to force the President to be criticized. Then sweep in and reap the benefits for doing nothing. And nothing is what they are doing. A big fat nothing, in the wake of hundreds of promises and endless pandering last November. If Bush is a Lame-Duck, then Congress is the brackish water that supplies this Duck with endless insects that sustain his life, and shying away from crippling this Duck in a manner that befits him....Censure through Impeachment!

If the dem-o-crats are so righteous in their legislation, why did they promise to curb the pork upon election last November, then, like the weak-willed money whores they are, flip once elected?

GwB might be lame, but it has nothing to do with how congress behaves, nothing!

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: It's funny how much more opposed Bush is to Democratic pork than he was to Republican pork, isn't it?

There's truth in this accusation, but more precisely, we're talking about bilateral pork under two different leaderships. Pols from both parties use our money to help their friends, no matter which side has the majority.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 13, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has only vetoed 6 bills while liberal Democrat Bill Clinton vetoed 37.

Bush had a Republican congress for how many years?
Clinton had a Democratic congress for how many years?
And so Bush is to be commended for not vetoing legislation proposed by his own party?

This isn't even up to Al quality.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 13, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

eason,

huh? the democrats "force the president to be criticized"? what the hell does that mean? "do nothing congress? perhaps you misread kevin's post. the pres still has the veto pen and it takes two thirds to override. the dems don't have anywhere near two thirds in either house. if you're suggesting the democrats are playing politics, well so what. they are politicians in a political institution. that's what they do by definition. bush never vetoed a single bill until the dems took congress and the republicans when they were in charge sure didn't do anything close to controlling spending.

but i do agree with your last sentence. GWB is lame and it has nothing to do with congress. he was is and will be lame.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on November 13, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

in order to draw out a more public disdain for Bush and the Republicans

Can there be any more disdain?

the Do nothing Democratic Congress

Uh oh, you're troll skivvies are showing

Posted by: ckelly on November 13, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's funny how much more opposed Bush is to Democratic pork than he was to Republican pork, isn't it?

You're right Kevin. Had Bush vetoed some spending bills in his first term, the Republicans would probably still be in the majority. A lot of conservatives who support Bush on the war, were disheartened by the spending. I've read that Hastert was asking him not to use the veto. If so, that was a rare example of a suicide wish in politics.

Posted by: Mike K on November 13, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 13, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Mudwall, the assertion that a president is trying to remain virulent by excercising a veto power is about as intellectually honest as my accusation...sorry if you missed that point. Ex liberal says it more clearly, since you're having trouble with my post. This, as opposed to Clinton, who vetoed ad naseum, simply due to the legislation being proposed by the alternate party as well. Sheesh! Pork is pork. Lame is lame. I see both from both branches. Those who don't are simply ignorant.

You also said: he was is and will be lame.

What does that make the Democrats, who can't (or simply won't) do anything to stop his foreign policy gone crazazy?

That makes them much much lamer. The funny thing is you think a putting a spendthrift Democrat in office this go 'round is going to change the political/social landscape. Buddy, there will still be unneccesary foreign wars, there will still be unnecesary big government spending and there will still be a Trillion dollar debt that no one, regardless of how honest, is going to be able to correct. Don't believe me, then cast your vote for Hillary and watch the debt grow as she invades Iran and puts the power of your healthcare dollars in the biggest lamest institution of them all, the US Gub'ment! At least she'll raise taxes. You'll have a higher gas tax, you'll have a new healthcare reform tax, you'll have a Military Industrial complex tax, and any other tax her corporate and law degree friends see fit.


Ckelly, you wrote: Can there be any more disdain?

Sure there can! The democrats can NEVER garner enough disdain for their opponets. Tha is how they get elected! It certainly isn't through merit, or new ideas! Wake Up! There is still a substantial number of constituents behind the Bush Regime. Enough to make Rudy a fore-runner, which we all know is enough to get him elected (especially through the questionable means, like 2004 & 2000, that have come to be known as our political process) The fact that you think there cannot be more disdain only shows how narrow minded your view of the political spectrum is and how quaint your view of political opinion across the country is. Grow up then step outside. There is a whole world out there of people that disagree with (whatever your positions are) and still disagree with Bush. It's called having more respect for the political process than you have hatred for Bush. After all, Bush disdain is not a platform. Actually, it's the only platform the dumbocrats have, which makes them fifty times worse than the Republicans. And like the Republicans, not worth my vote!

You also wrote: Uh oh, you're troll skivvies are showing


Why? Because I called the Do nothing Congress....DO NOTHING? Name one thing they have accomplished since taking office, other than renegging on about half there Bush criticisms ( notice I did not use the word ideas, because the dems have none). Your party lacks vision, if I am a troll because of that then prepare to have your bones ground into snuff.

It's time for the Bush is evil and stupid whiners to ante up and blame their own party for lacking the will to cap Bush administrations transgressions and fuck ups! Is Bush stupid and evil? Without Question! And being that this is true, where do the Democrats fare on this evil to stupid spectrum? If your answer is anything other than, "lower", you are lying to yourself and doing this country a great disservice!

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

rate positively...

gop: 32%

dems: 39%

gwb approval: 31%

- NBC/WSJ poll November-2007

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/wsjnbcpoll20071108.pdf

Posted by: MR. IRONY on November 13, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

My solution is to vote for more and better Democrats. But to blame lack of progress on the "Do nothing" Democratic Congress is ignoring the inane obstructionism of the GOP this term and to march in step with a rightwing talking point as is declaring that the Reps are bad and the Dems are worse, thus, my reference to trollish behavior. Now, am I aghast at the absence of testicles of this Democratic Congress regarding forcing real GOP filibusters or pressuring this President, absolutely. As I said, more and better "real" Democrats, please. I just don't see another viable option.

Posted by: ckelly on November 13, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

He still seems very much in control of the government.

The only thing Bush controls is his bowel movements. You don't run a government with the veto.

Posted by: tomeck on November 13, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: "Only the leftwing Democrat Congress is more unpopular than Bush."

And only Al is more ignorant than you -- and even then, it's a photo-finish in your mutual race to the bottom.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 13, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Eason,

you missed my point. the democrats (barely) have control of congress — not the executive branch. i opposed the iraq since bush-cheney first publicly floated the idea and want nothing more than to see it end. until either there's an antiwar democrat in the white house or enough republicans willing to bring it to an end, it will continue. bush, constitutionally, is still commander in chief (no matter how incompetent he might be at the job). impeachment? the ticking clock makes that irrelevant. and bush might be the presidential equivalent of a 98 pound weakling but his veto pen trumps the dems' meager majority.

i make no judgment about the quality of the spending bill bush vetoed. it might deserve the veto, it might not. i simply don't know enough about it. my only observation is bush's track record shows he obviously has few qualms about wasteful spending.

there are only two ways that bush can remain in the game: play with the democrats or play against them. he clearly has decided to play against them.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on November 13, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think that Bush is looking at future election cycles, and is in the process of creating a counter-narrative -- a story in which Bush was actually a flinty, principled fiscal conservative, doing his best to fight against Democratic attempts to expand the size and expense of government ... and that the deficits that accrued on his watch were all the fault of 9/11 and those aforesaid tax-and-spend Democrats.

Sure, it is a lie. It is a fable. But don't forget -- the American voting public has proven that they have a short political memory, and tend to remember anecdotes and paradigms and branding better than their own recent history. Plus, the public tends to associate the Democrats with big government even when it WAS the Republicans that oversaw this particular phase of fiscal incontinence. And on top of that, that same public just plain hates taxes, and they keep voting for politicians who pledge to magically cut taxes, wage wars AND balance the books.

So here is my prediction. If the budget deficits continue to grow during the next presidential administration, and if the Democrats in Congress have a hard time cleaning up the escalating budget mess that has been left behind for them - -particularly with a reduced tax base and a weak economy -- the Republicans will turn around and accuse the Democrats of being at fault for the whole thing.

Doubt me? It is already happening. Just look the Republican presidential candidates are blithely running against big government right now, as if they have no responsibility or memory of the last six years.

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on November 13, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

There is a difference between Republican and Democratic pork - the former comes in military flavor, the latter has domestic tang.

Note which budget Bush did NOT veto today.

INKBLOT FOR PRESIDENT IN '08
and there will be nibblies for all.

Posted by: optical weenie on November 13, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

But to blame lack of progress on the "Do nothing" Democratic Congress is ignoring the inane obstructionism of the GOP this term and to march in step with a rightwing talking point as is declaring that the Reps are bad and the Dems are worse, thus, my reference to trollish behavior.

I never blamed anything on Congress (anymore than what I blame Bush for), I simply pointed out that they are JUST as bad, if not worse. Both are to be blamed for the current state of things, up down and sideways. The fact is the "obstructionism" that you feel is so prevalent from this admin, is nothing more than party politics and has been played long before a Bush was even conceived to be a President and played best, most recently, by Clinton. The Democrats inability to cut through all that bullshit, makes them servile. And being servile certainly won't stop the machinations of such a power hungry administration.

As I said, more and better "real" Democrats, please. I just don't see another viable option.

This problem can also be solved by voting for "more" and "better" "real" conservatives, unfortunately, none can be found on either side of the spectrum. There is no such thing as a "better" democrat or a "better" republican. If you know your history, you'll know that putting the democrats in office over and over again, resembles putting what we just went through, in power, especially the uneccesary foreign wars thing. The fact of the matter is that we have had a globalist neo liberal in the White house for seven years. Sure, he's been dressed up like a conservative, but his actions are far from Conservative. The democrats have you fooled into thinking that they will save you when, in actuality, their agenda doesn't stray too far from Bush's. Has any one Democratic candidate claimed to want to end the violence in the middle east when elected? Have they promised NOT to invade Iran? What you need here is not a liberal (whose only solution will be to spend our way out of debt/the middle east/trade deficits) but a true conservative. A fiscal conservative, an environmental conservative and one that knows when to reign in the defense budget (like all TRUE conservatives know how to do). Don't divide the issues by party because the agendas match far more closely than either will admit. In other words, the Democrats WILL NOT save us! Not in one Million years! How can a party, whose only means of power is a critical response to the actions of those in the White House, ever hope to succesfully lead? Asking for a cindidate with integrity? Good luck. It's time we all admitted how bad both sides have gotten and how awful the results are for us.

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta love the trolls, don't ya?

They call it a "Do Nothing Congress" ... but ignore the record pace with which the GOP is filibustering bills, even when those bills have overwhelming support. This FACT proves that the GOP doesn't care what Americans want -- they just care about making sure the Dems don't have any success.

The trolls then point out Congress' low approval ratings ... without noting the reason is that the Dems aren't actually doing enough to stop Bush and bring our troops home.

The trolls complain about earmarks ... even though they never said a word when the GOP was running up record deficits, and certainly had their share of earmarks in the bill in question.

The trolls say that the only way the Dems win votes is by vilifying opponents ... yet didn't say a word when the GOP compared a Vietnam war hero who lost three limbs with Osama bin Laden, nor appealed to racists in the 2000 S.C. primaries.

The trolls say the Dems have no ideas ... yet the top three Dem candidates have verifiable, detailed policy proposals on a host of issues, while the GOP candidates have nothing but bulleted lists.

Being that stupid has to be something they actively pursue. Otherwise, they'd be in a padded room drooling on themselves and using their feet to draw pictures on the wall with crayons.

Posted by: Mark D on November 13, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

I did quite miss your point, mudwall. Apologies.
My point should still stand however. That your criticisms can easily be placed on the last Democratic President, making both parties subservient to party lines and nothing more. You should not expect anything more from a Dem Pres in 09.

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK
Has any one Democratic candidate claimed to want to end the violence in the middle east when elected?

Yes.

The fact you don't know that proves you're an uninformed troll (redundant, I know).

Posted by: Mark D on November 13, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

The story's refererence to the 9 pct increase in the DoD appropriations bill shows that Congress swapped Mukasey for military pork.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 13, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Mark D: I'm not a troll, I hate both parties equally. Your doe-eyed optimism is going to get us into deeper shit than we already are in. The Democrats do NOT hold a monopoly on integrity. As near as I can tell, they hold about as much stock in integrity as the Republicans.

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK
….your criticisms can easily be placed on the last Democratic President, making both parties subservient to party lines and nothing more… Eason at 5:22 PM
The last Democratic president was very moderate and triangulated Democratic and Republican positions. Ergo, he was not subservient to the 'party line' and furthermore that says nothing about the next one. Posted by: Mike on November 13, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Eason--
Perhaps you can show me where I displayed any "doe-eyed optimism."

My complaint is that your -- along with Al's, ex-liberal's, et al's -- nearly incoherent rantings completely ignore this little thing I like to call "reality."

If you would stop throwing out nothing more than rightwing talking points and acting the part of the "pox on both houses" troll we've seen here and other places so many times, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt.

You have yet to earn that benefit, IMHO, based on your posts. And until you do, you're a troll. Period.

Posted by: Mark D on November 13, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

If more so-called liberals had voted for Ralph Nader, we wouldn't have this DLC goon problem today Contribute to Nader --- we're going to win in 2008! Each according to his needs! Down with American imperialism and capitalism.

Posted by: Pat/Steve on November 13, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The 5:34 PM post is not mine.

Posted by: Brojo on November 13, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, I disagree with Kevin's idea that the only way for Bush to stay relevant is to veto stuff. For better or for worse, Bush is the leader of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Europe and the UN have dropped the ball on Iranian nukes, leaving Bush to lead that area as well. And, we mustn't forget Bush's leadership in the continuing battle against worldwide al Qaeda. That's a full plate of relevant areas.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 13, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone seriously believes that Bush really cares about the earmarks in this bill.

I also don't think that Bush is using the word "earmarks" correctly. As I understand it, earmarks are spending projects that are hidden within bills that have nothing to do with the projects. Earmarks are not simply out-of-control spending or what Bush calls "pork." Earmarks never get discussed in public because nobody knows about them.

What we have here in this bill is not "earmarks," but rather a bill that is clearly and openly meant to fund domestic priorities, which Bush simply does not want to fund.

Posted by: Kathy on November 13, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

This is the second post where Steve has brought up DLC or DNC while using my name.

Posted by: Brojo on November 13, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Is staying relevant really a concern of the president? This is actually a question, not a statement.

Posted by: Ian on November 13, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Kathy wrote, “As I understand it, earmarks are spending projects that are hidden within bills that have nothing to do with the projects. Earmarks are not simply out-of-control spending or what Bush calls "pork." Earmarks never get discussed in public because nobody knows about them.”

There has been a lot of talk about earmarks lately, sometimes shedding more heat than light on the subject. An earmark is a spending line item within a larger spending bill, directing money to a specific program, organization, or project.

For example, if a member of Congress believes that NIH devotes insufficient resources to researching a specific disease, that member may attempt to insert an earmark saying that NIH must spend no less than X dollars (out of a larger NIH allocation) toward that disease. Such an earmark might get a lot of attention among families and friends of persons with that disease, even if it isn't mentioned in front-page news stories.

An earmark of this sort would usually be inserted in a spending bill that funds NIH. It would not be inserted in a completely unrelated bill.

Whether any specific earmark is (a) in the public interest or (b) a waste of the taxpayer’s resources is a matter of opinion. Earmarks aren't necessarily bad or good.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on November 13, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Was the 6:26 post yours or not? Jees...

Posted by: tomeck on November 13, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

This post is not mine.

Posted by: Bokonon on November 13, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say the 6:26 post wasn't his.

Posted by: thersites on November 13, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not complaining. Yes, there's hypocrisy involved. But so what? The thing _is_ larded up with pork. Why not get rid of it? Ah, the joys of divided government.

Good for GWB. Now where the hell are the democrats, in respect to Iraq and foreign policy?
IF ONLY IT WORKED BETTER IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.

Posted by: p mac on November 13, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

They call it a "Do Nothing Congress" ... but ignore the record pace with which the GOP is filibustering bills, even when those bills have overwhelming support. This FACT proves that the GOP doesn't care what Americans want -- they just care about making sure the Dems don't have any success.

How would you know how I reacted to any particular incident? I was the SOLE anti war voice in my immediate surroundings back in 2003 (my main beef was money, and the actual War on Terror front being Afghanistan) Right and left wings included. If the Republicans only care about not letting the dems have any success, the Dems must be too fat from pork to care, because they have done nothing to show otherwise. Whattssa matter? Don’t have the spine to sit through a filibuster? The issue must not have been as important as the pork.
The trolls then point out Congress' low approval ratings ... without noting the reason is that the Dems aren't actually doing enough to stop Bush and bring our troops home.
I never pointed out congress’ low approval rating, as I do not know that rating. I did however point out their inability to push their *ahem* ideas (loosely termed) into resolved issues. The main point (and winning point) was to end the war and bring the troops home. Period. Dems - 0
The trolls complain about earmarks ... even though they never said a word when the GOP was running up record deficits, and certainly had their share of earmarks in the bill in question.
A pox (it’s actually plague) on both your houses, indeed!
The trolls say that the only way the Dems win votes is by vilifying opponents ... yet didn't say a word when the GOP compared a Vietnam war hero who lost three limbs with Osama bin Laden, nor appealed to racists in the 2000 S.C. primaries.
I did! But, I’m not a troll. By the way, who bailed the Dems out of Vietnam? A plague on both your houses!

The trolls say the Dems have no ideas ... yet the top three Dem candidates have verifiable, detailed policy proposals on a host of issues, while the GOP candidates have nothing but bulleted lists.

You mean like plagiarizing each others health care ideas (which are all beholden to Big Pharma, a slightly less scary interest group than the Arms industry as the Govt hasn’t taken to using it’s military arm against us citizens….yet) And of course the Republicans only have "bulleted" lists...They do not know how to get anything done without threat of force, right? It's how they got you libs to bend over for their bumper sticker war...that and pork for your fat liberal do nothing Congress.


Being that stupid has to be something they actively pursue. Otherwise, they'd be in a padded room drooling on themselves and using their feet to draw pictures on the wall with crayons.

Ah…the refreshing, yet ultimately expected ad hominem. When in doubt…insult. A liberal staple.

The fact you don't know that proves you're an uninformed troll (redundant, I know).
Care to inform me as to which candidate gave a certifiable NO on Iran and a certifiable YES to bringing troops home in their first term, being that you are so enlightened?

You have yet to earn that benefit, IMHO, based on your posts. And until you do, you're a troll. Period.

Boo frickitty hoo! Humble is right. If I see any more humble from you, pal, I’ll call you Bob Cratchitt. Methinks you have a poorly concieved
notion, not only about me, but yourself as well.

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 13, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

You know why there is a decrease in Violence? All the ethnicity has been cleansed....
The ends does not justify the means!

Posted by: Eason on November 13, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Christ, Eason, learn to make italics, or at least locate the apostrophe key. Who can be bothered to figure out which parts of your post are yours? (Who cares enough to try?)

Posted by: express written consent on November 13, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Mean-spirited and competitive, with mood symptoms, yet possible intoxication-- recurrent; exhibitionistic tendencies, and most significantly, delusional issues--grandiose type, likely,
mixed with persecutory type, without marked stressors,--the only thing really bothersome to
him, historically, was that someone in the fashion industry wrote that his cowboy wardrobe
was effeminate...
Certainly uncaring about the American people in terms of health, welfare or education. Witness people in Louisiana languishing in the heat for days before he gave up his vaca...keep it coming, Kevin--many topical posts. Luv ya
:>)

Posted by: consider wisely always on November 13, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, pay attention. Brojo's handle has been hijacked - I believe this makes 3 different posts today, now. The email address appearing in the status bar on the fakes matches Al's, not that it means anything, other than which is the fake Brojo.

And this is exactly the kind of BS we get from the wingnuts - outright fraud & lies.

Again again the choir sings, "Clinton did it too! Clinton did it too!"

Is it any wonder the rest of us tune you guys out?

Posted by: bob in fla on November 13, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting is that during the press conference, while Perino mentioned "2000 pet projects" (which the article writer then referenced as "earmarks"), not a single earmark was singled out for ridicule. That's the easiest form of attack (anyone recall a certain bridge in Alaska?) and they passed on it?
And a question about who gets to put "earmarks" into bills - do the Republicans get any earmarks now that they are the minority party?

Posted by: Doug on November 13, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Now we're seeing the pathologies of Bush more clearly than ever; the small, petty, inadequate, insecure man with a chip on his shoulder who hates, more than anything, to be ignored.

When you've been exposed as a cowardly, bullying empty suit, when everyone has stopped even pretending to listen, when no one is giving you a flight suit to wear, when there's no one left to blame, what can one do but turn red in the face, roll around on the floor and ball up your fists around the veto pen.

That's how the Decider does things!

Posted by: jrw on November 13, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

My stalker is giving Gore a bad name. He is unable to tell us why Nader voters should have voted for Gore and instead acts like a marooooon, hijacking my name. I must have scored a point or two, whether on a real issue or an insult, and this is his way of making a rebuttal.

VP Al Gore, a new big time venture capitalist, might encourage his supporters to
hijack Nader voter supporters' comment identities and make lies about what they think, but I doubt he would. Gore would probably make his point and move on to the next thread's topic instead of stalking someone. I could be wrong and Steve might be Gore or Tipper or [another poster]. That is what makes the internets so exciting.

thersites, you are a pal.

Thank you moderator.

Posted by: Brojo on November 13, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Europe and the UN have dropped the ball on Iranian nukes ..."

There are no "Iranian Nukes", Tinkerbell -- better lay off the fuckin' Pixie Dust.

eason: "I'm not a troll, I hate both parties equally."

That makes you an uncompromising cynic -- and an ill-read and uninformed one at that, who in all probability just sits on his ass at home watching Glann Beck on CNN, and then bitching and moaning about how unfair life is to white America.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 13, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

This article claims Bush will attack Iran anyway, regardless of what the Democrats say or do. Let’s put impeachment back on the table and deal with this criminal the way the Founders intended…

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 13, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Dear god, Eason ... not only does the "substance" of your post not make any sense, you can't even format it in a way that's readable.

And even though I probably shouldn't feed a troll, my wife isn't feeling well and is asleep, my son is asleep, and there's nothing good on TV. So ...

Some simple points:

First of all, my list of troll tendencies wasn't about just you. So any comment you made in your headache-inducing post that claims "I didn't say that" will be ignored, since it wasn't aimed at you anyway.

The Troll-O-Meter ranks that at a four. Pretty harmless and just shows your ego.

Kucinich has promised both to bring troops home and not attack Iran. So yes, at least one Democratic candidate has made that claim, and it apparently makes me more "enlightened" (your term, not mine).

Troll-O-Meter is reading an eight on that one.

You said that "Bush disdain is not a platform. Actually, it's the only platform the dumbocrats have." The top Dems have quite a few platforms and they've spelled them out in detail. Just because you disagree with them doesn't mean they don't exist.

Troll-O-Meter is going to 10 on that one, if only for calling them "dumbocrats."

You comment about "Whattssa matter? Don’t have the spine to sit through a filibuster?" shows you lack a firm grasp of what a filibuster actually is and how it works. It's not a matter of "sitting through it." It's a matter of having enough votes to end it. As of now, they don't. So the GOP can filibuster everything under the sun and there's not a procedural move the Dems can pull to stop it.

Troll-O-Meter's at a six for ignorance on basic Congressional procedures.

Your complaint about the ad hominem is pretty funny since your posts are soaked in condescension and you told someone to "Grow up then step outside," as if your factually-void posts are somehow so mature. You also said that "if I am a troll because of that then prepare to have your bones ground into snuff." Was that a threat of physical violence?

Troll-O-Meter went up to 11 on that one.

And then, of course, you claim that neither side will do any good, yet posted that it will take a "real conservative" to fix the problem. Pretty interesting that you can't manage to keep your true intentions hidden for very long, and then seemed to forget you exposed your lack of neutrality.

Troll-O-Meter is once again going to 11.

Now, you can call me anything you want (is "Bob Cratchitt" the best you can do? Really?), but the facts add up to you being a troll. And my guess, from your whining about fiscal issues without an apparent grasp of them, is that you're a Ron Paul troll.

If you don't like that (and want to threaten people for labeling you as such) then the solution is simple: don't act like one.

Posted by: Mark D on November 13, 2007 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

There's another factor in Bush's veto strategy...to whom the money goes.

I just bet that many more Republicans (and much fewer Democrats) get taxpayer money allocated for Bush's neverending wars overseas, while a smaller percentage of Republicans (and far more Democrats) get taxpayer money devoted to domestic programs.

This is what drives Bush's veto pen. If a bill passed by Congress puts more money into Republican pockets, then he'll sign that bill. If it might put less money into Republican pockets and actually lead to an increased share of taxpayer money going to Democrats, then he'll veto that bill.

Bush is a thug. Cheney is a thug. Rove is a thug. All these Republicans mafia-types in the White House. God help us and save us, but especially protect our children from these God-forsaking Republican thugs, who continue to rubber-stamp their one-way ticket to hell.

Posted by: The Oracle on November 14, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Doug,

Both parties can add earmarks to any appropriations bill. It would be interesting to see what the breakdown between Repub and Dem earmarks were.

"The Politico on Wednesday examined Sen. Arlen Specter's (R-Pa.) earmarks for abstinence-based sex education programs. According to The Politico, Specter -- the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education -- has earmarked more than $8 million to dozens of abstinence programs in Pennsylvania. A fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education bill (HR 3043) that passed the Senate last week included 188 earmarks secured by Specter and which total $19 million, including $1 million for the Women's Care Center of Erie County, which provides "abortion recovery" counseling."

Posted by: nepeta on November 14, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

So earmarks reportedly amounted to between $500M and $1B on a $603B appropriations bill. As much as I dislike earmarks, $1B is only .16 percent of total appropriations. Hardly reason enough to take out the veto pen. And it looks quite likely that Repubs got their share of earmarks. From the Baltimore Sun:

"According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based budget watchdog group, the bill contains more than 1,000 earmarks totaling $562 million. A move by Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican anti-pork crusader from Oklahoma, to strip out all of those projects was killed by a 68-26 vote."

Posted by: nepeta on November 14, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

Pols from both parties use our money to help their friends, no matter which side has the majority.

Oh pulease. Come on, man, you can do better than "the Democrats do it too."

Here's a hint - the GOP takes money from people without money, and gives it to people with money.

Posted by: craigie on November 14, 2007 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Oh pulease. Come on, man, you can do better than "the Democrats do it too."

craigie, hope you weren't talking to me. If you were, then I don't understand your criticism.

Posted by: nepeta on November 14, 2007 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

What a crappy blog posting that was.

Why don't you get off your cowardly ass and tell us whether you think it was right that the dems put that stuff into the bill? Was it or was it not contrary to their pre-election pledges? Are you pro- or anti-pork?

oooh, but that's, like, policy. Kevin would rather wank on about politics and bush-hatred.

Posted by: am on November 14, 2007 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

Did anybody read the article? The area of 'contention' in this $606 billion bill was about $150 billion in discretionary funding, which was about $10 billion (6% of the discretionary funding in the bill, less than 2% of the total funding in the bill, less than 1.5% of the defense & war-making budget, less than 0.5% of the total federal budget). So it's not about runaway spending.

The President obviously has no problem taking on debt per se, and is constantly telling us that a deficit of $200 billion is no problem whatsoever. So it's not about keeping the deficit down.

For the complaints about pork-barrel, the total that's been so identified comes to about $1 billion (according to the NY Times on Monday), so even if all of the earmarks were taken out (not that all of them necessarily deserve to be) it accounts for only a tenth of the President's 'objections.' So it's not about pork.

Read the text of the President's veto threat: it cites only about $3-4 billion in spending cuts that his budget proposed that Congress didn't take up, and in fact dinged Congress for not fully-funding everything on HIS wish list - that is, he's not actually proposing any cuts that would get the total down to the level he has (arbitrarily) decided is the most that can be borne. So it's not really about any of the policy included in the bill.

So it's not about runaway spending, it's not about deficits, it's not about pork, it's not about policy. It's about picking fights over symbolic issues - regardless of the impact that those stances have on the actual operations of government & on actual citizens. It's political football. QED.

I recognize that both parties play this game when it suits them. But let's not let that fact deter us from calling it what it is, rather than giving credence to disingenuous BS about 'pork' and 'waste' and 'holding the line on spending.'

Posted by: TW on November 14, 2007 at 6:01 AM | PERMALINK

Meant to write " .... which was about $10 billion more than the President requested ..." Sorry

Posted by: TW on November 14, 2007 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

Perino said Democrats did not work with the White House phuff - huff -- the last time around the Dems didn't need Bush, or his ugly little veto pen -- and wanna bet there is some earmarks in that bill for Repugs too.

The last polls show that over half the country would like to see Bush impeached. Bush has lost so much credibity throughout the world, not just the US, and with Bush own BIG earmark of secretly funneling money under the table to Musharraf, so that I could seem why Musharraf didn't need to give the Bushies the time of day, cause Musharraf knew that the American people and the US congress were completely oblivious to all of Bush's mis-spenting of billions.

I also see that Rupert Murdock's in the news peddling this lipsticked-up pig to his fellow Aussies.

Media tycoon Murdoch tells Australia to keep troops in Iraq
8 hours ago

SYDNEY (AFP) — Global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has urged Australia to keep its troops in Iraq, saying victory is almost in sight there and in Afghanistan.

And if you believe that - I'm sure Murdocks got some DOW stock with the prettiest shade of lipstick that you ever seen too.

Of course Australia has already theatened to withdraw from Iraq if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki didn't sign Bush's Hydrocarbon Framework Law and soon, because Australia Prime Minister John Howard, big Bushie loyalist that he is, is about to lose his office waiting for Bush's pipeline dream promises to come true.

The opposition Labor Party in Australia has officially launched its campaign for the country's general election.

Labor has a 10-point lead in opinion polls over the centre-right coalition led by Prime Minister John Howard, who has been in office for 11 years.

If elected, opposition leader Kevin Rudd has said he will ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and pull Australian combat troops out of Iraq.

John Howard and Tony Blair followed Bush's big oil pipeline dream into oblivian.

Oh, this too: Turkish Helicopters Strike Inside Iraq, -- any minute now, any minute now, we're going to win in Iraq.

And this: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has appointed Chalabi to head up the restoration of services such as water and electricity to Baghdad, The Los Angeles Times reported.

AND I BET YOU that Chalabi knows EXACTLY what to do with all that money earmarked for Baghdad's water and electricity. I don't exactly think he is the go to man to make things happen, unless he is talking to a fool by the name of Bush, because I'm sure Chalabi knows exactly how to make money disappear without a trace. Bush knows exactly how to spend money without getting anything in return for the countries investiment. Bush is an expert at that and it's the only thing Bush is really good at.

Posted by: Me_again on November 14, 2007 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yes and this hot news tip.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Tehran
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waits for Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (not shown) before their meeting in Tehran, Iran on November 13, 2007.

Apparently Mahmoud had a secret energy task force meeting and invited countries interested in oil, whereby maps of Iraqi's oilfield were up for discussion and division.

It's a spoof of course but...with a little diplomacy, those other countries aligning themselves with Iran, could end up with everything so many young Americans have died for in Iraq, Bush’s greedy Hydrocarbon Framework Law. These countries are going to use Bush’s nasty war first protocols and unreasonable contracts to justify peacefully giving them control of Iraq’s oil. Iraqi, tired of war, tired of Bush's cheap rhetoric about democracy, tired of lawless security firms like Blackwater, will certainly opt for whatever else other countries have to offer.

The very fact that Bush lied about the war in Iraq is what made this war un-winnable, this war is about oil, it has never been about anything else.

Posted by: Me_again on November 14, 2007 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

Bush calls funding education, health and labor programs pork, he is still use to the republicans giving him the rubber stamp on everything he request, if you want to know about PORK barrell spending by this idiot just look at his war in Iraq that alone is the biggest piece of PORK there is and it was all caused by Bush and his administration of MISFITS.

Posted by: Al on November 14, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry about that last post I left out the most important part---Bush is a Lame Duck president----Quack Quack Quack-----LMFAO

Posted by: Al on November 14, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

FAUX-lib claims that Europe is dropping the ball on Iranian nukes.

Hey, FAUX, how is Curveball's Iranian cousin working out as your new house toy, er boy?

Posted by: bert on November 14, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Explaining Al's joke:

Al's indirectly pointing out that Drum didn't complain about the veto.

Funny stuff, Al.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 14, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

I would love to agree with this but sadly cannot. As commentators upthread pointed out, Congress has routinely given Bush exactly what he has asked for. More money to funnel to his cronies in Iraq, more power to spy on Americans without a wiretap, etc.

Right now Congress is seriously considering giving immunity to telecoms. Because Bush wants them to. The immunity is for crimes Congress does not even know about. The reason Congress does not know about them is because Bush refuses to tell them.

Bush is still extremely relevant, far more relevant than any lame duck, late 2nd term President with historically low approval ratings should have. It's pathetic.

Posted by: Joshua on November 14, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

I also find it very hard to believe that all the pork is Democratic pork. Where was Bush's veto pen when the Republicans passed domestic spending bills laden with pork? He didn't veto those bills because the pork was Bush's payback to the Republicans for their "rubber stamp", lemming support on all issues.

Posted by: Kate Henry on November 14, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

"When the Congress starts routinely overriding his veto or the Republicans' threatened filibusters, maybe then. He still seems very much in control of the government. Posted by: j flowers"

So, your reasoning is that because the Democrats don't have enough of a majority to override vetoes and stop the Republicans from filibustering, Bush is in charge. The only thing that Bush is in charge of is the Bully Pulpit.

Posted by: Kate Henry on November 14, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

So sad, so sad - Poor Diane Feinstein, just soooo far out of the loop on the immunity issue - Why, if only Shrub would have her lap dance more often, he might confide more.

She has never met a check from the telcoms and defense industries, she did not adore.

Posted by: bert on November 14, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Shrub was correct in using his veto - As soon as he remembered that one of his aides telling about that "bridge to nowhere", it was a "Get me a pen" moment.

Posted by: bert on November 14, 2007 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

OT: A Canadian firetruck responding with lights and sirens to a weekend fire in Rouses Point, New York, was stopped at the U.S. border for about eight minutes, U.S. border officials said Tuesday. . . . Kevin Corsaro of the border protection's Buffalo field office said the agency's primary responsibility is to protect the homeland. He called the event an "isolated incident" and said agency officials were meeting with local fire officials to "develop a plan to prevent the possibility of any delays."

Apparently letting the homeland burn is not a part of "protecting the homeland."

But we can die peacefully in our sleep from smoke inhalation knowing that that the border patrol isn't allowing any Mexicans to sneak in from Canada.

Posted by: anonymous on November 14, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

So, your reasoning is that because the Democrats don't have enough of a majority to override vetoes and stop the Republicans from filibustering, Bush is in charge. The only thing that Bush is in charge of is the Bully Pulpit.

How the hell do you explain the Mukasey confirmation? The vote was 53-40. There were enough votes to filibuster this nomination and kill it.

But Democrats were afraid Bush would nominate some nut like Ted Olsen. So they capitulated. Chuck Schumer even pulled out the ol' "anyone he would nominate would be bad". Well, then keep filibustering them!

Bush & Cheney still has tons of power and influence.

Posted by: Joshua on November 14, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK


.....all we want is....

an up or down vote....

Posted by: GOP circa Spring 2006 on November 14, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Once a party hack, always a hack. "Teenagers with credit cards?!" Is the president kidding? his speechwriters should be ashamed if that's the best they could do. Empty cynicism is too kind. Does the president really think the American people are so stupid that these tired old Ronald Reagan cliches will work their magic again 30 years after their sell-by date? The lights in the White House have truly gone out if they're now resorting to grade school-level rhetoric to make their case.

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 14, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ted Frier: Does the president really think the American people are so stupid that these tired old Ronald Reagan cliches....?

"I don't feel in a bubble." - gwb 2005

Posted by: mr. irony on November 14, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

It is always easier to call for lower spending when it isn't your party in power crafting the bills. Welcome to divided government.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 14, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

yancy its alot harder to cover that fact up..

when the flip flop is so fresh...

Number of spending bills since 2001 passed by the GOP that exceeded GWB's budget requests: 50+

Number of those spending bills GWB vetoed: 0

how convenient...

Posted by: mr. irony on November 14, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

sialz8 comment1 ,

Posted by: Tfjzsywi on June 28, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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