Saturday, July 24, 2004

Dubya, foot-dragger:

In today's LA Times, Maura Reynolds outlines Dubya's history of foot-dragging on reform:

Bush and his staff have shown they don't like new ideas forced on them from outside. Over and over again the president has resisted pressure for reform from Congress and the public until it became overwhelming.

Among the reforms Bush has resisted:

* Establishing the Department of Homeland Security.
* Cracking down on corporate malfeasance.
* Forming the Sept. 11 commission (until victims' families pushed him into it).
* Cooperating with the 9/11 commission (after he finally gave in and established it).

[T]he president's usual pattern is to quietly shift course, claiming the idea as his own and proceeding as if he hadn't resisted it in the first place. Aides insist that the president hasn't flip-flopped and that his policy has been consistent throughout.

[Liars, liars, pants on fire!--ed.]

The commission report puts the president in a bind. Many of its recommendations can be implemented by executive order, making it more difficult for the president to delay acting or pass responsibility to Congress....
The report comes at an awkward time for the president. With just over three months until the Nov. 2 election, Bush and his staff are preoccupied with the campaign, which is picking up steam, and the situation in Iraq, which he needs to keep under control. Tackling major government reform was not on the agenda....

"When you get Bush in a position where it looks like he's dragging his feet, he will turn on a dime," [Norman] Ornstein [of the conservative American Enterprise Institute] said.

Mark my words: John Kerry will implement all the necessary executive orders on January 20, 2005. When Kerry says he'll make America stronger, he means it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Wall Street: Kerry's right about "second-rate" jobs


Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's assertion that the U.S. has been creating mainly low-paying, "second-rate'' jobs during the past year's expansion is starting to resonate on Wall Street.

"The vast majority of net new jobs created have been in the low-wage sectors of the economy, and income growth has been disappointing,'' David A. Rosenberg, chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch & Co., wrote July 9. Lagging incomes may cause "consumer spending to slow in coming quarters.''

Stephen S. Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York, reached a similar conclusion: "While there has been some improvement on the hiring front in recent months, the quality of such job-creation has been decidedly sub-par,'' Roach wrote the same day. "Unless that changes, the risks to a sustainable economic recovery will only intensify.''

Even the notoriously Republican Wall Street crowd has to admit Kerry's correct on this score.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Pierce: The only issue that matters

Charles Pierce Altercates:

There really is only one issue in this election.  Since the Extended Florida Unpleasantness, this has been an Adminstration utterly unconcerned with any restraints, constitutional or otherwise, on its power.  It has been contemptuous of the idea of self-government, and particularly of the notion that an informed populace is necessary to that idea.  It recognizes neither parliamentary rules nor constitutional barriers.  (Just for fun, imagine that the Senate had not authorized force in Iraq.  Do you think for one moment that C-Plus Augustus wouldn't have launched the war anyway, and on some pretext that we'd only now be discovering was counterfeit?)  It does not accept the concept of principled opposition, either inside the administration or outside of it.  It refuses to be bound by anything more than its political appetites.  It wants what it wants, and it does what it wants.  It is, at its heart, and in the strictest definition of the word, lawless.  It has the perfect front men: a president unable to admit a mistake because he's spent his entire life being insulated from even the most minor of consequences, and a vice-president who is viscerally furious at the notion that he is accountable to anyone at all.  They are abetted by a congressional majority in which all of these un-American traits are amplified to an overwhelming din.

So, now we are faced with the question:  Do you want to live in a country where these people no longer feel even the vaporous restraints of having another election to win?

BUSH-CHENEY UNLEASHED.  Up or down? Yes or no?

That's the only issue that matters.

I don't usually quote so extensively, but Pierce just sums up the situation so well: "...a president unable to admit a mistake because he's spent his entire life being insulated from even the most minor of consequences, and a vice-president who is viscerally furious at the notion that he is accountable to anyone at all."

How can anyone justify voting for these people? As the bumper sticker says: If you're not outraged, you haven't been paying attention. To which I would add: If you haven't been paying attention, you have no business voting.