Category Archives: George W. Bush
The Department of Justice announced several weeks ago that the government would end the Bush-era practice of designating people “enemy combatants.”Â The Bush administration had asserted that the president has a wartime power to declare a person an “enemy combatant” arbitrarily and detain him or her indefinitely.Â The administration used “enemy combatant” status to ensure that suspected terrorists were held out of reach of both international law (namely the Geneva Conventions) and fundamental Constitutional rights, particularly the right to due process.
It is widely agreed that the president has increased powers during wartime.Â President Abraham Lincoln first asserted such wartime powers during the Civil War.Â Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman also took up expanded powers during war.Â Following September 11th, President Bush argued that he too had extraordinary wartime powers–this time from the War on Terrorism.
While the principle of expanded wartime powers is reasonable, it becomes concerning in the context of the War on Terrorism.Â Terrorists, by definition, do not represent a country; rather they are individuals or members of organized groups that commit acts of violence in an effort to attain change (usually political change).Â Terrorists can spring up anywhere in the world at any time.Â While this makes them particularly dangerous, it also changes the concept of “war.”Â In traditional wars, such as World War II, there are clear sides and the war ends when one side is defeated.Â A war against a noun , however, will always be perpetual.Â While the War on Terrorism certainly needs to be fought, using an indefinite war as grounds for extraordinary governmental powers is straight out of “1984″ and is certainly not something that the Framers had in mind.
Fortunately, President Barack Obama has signaled a change in course by dropping the “enemy combatant” designation and removing such prisoners from legal limbo. President Obama, a Constitutional law scholar himself, understands that America derives its greatness from its values and its freedoms, and that the terrorists have won we surrender our liberties.
On the web.
Just another example of inflated government spending…
2006 and 2008 were very special. They were expressions of outrage by a pissed off electorate that resulted in huge Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. These majorities were enlarged both years in a magnitude not seen since the congressional elections of 1932 and 1934.
The other idea that I had rattling around in my head came from the 2000 and 2004 elections. The electoral map was remarkably stable. You all know what it looks like, so I’m not really going to expound on it. Only New Hampshire, Iowa, and New Mexico changed colors, the first to the good guys and the other two to the bad guys. Yet, there was some internal shift within the numbers. The goal of this data crunching was to see if this internal shift had to do with the subsequent gains in 2006 and 2008. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is below.
This is my data set. I don’t remember where I got the numbers from. I kinda found the spreadsheet on my computer, but I know these numbers are right:
State 2000 2004 % Change
VT 40.7 38.8 -1.9
SD 60.3 59.9 -0.4
NC 56 56 0
DC 9 9.3 0.3
ME 44 44.6 0.6
MT 58.4 59.1 0.7 (more…)
Coming up this weekend National geographic Channel will air a special all about Air force One. In this clip, President Bush’s secret 2003 Thanksgiving trip to Iraq is described. It was so secret, only a handful of people were aware it was going down…not even the air traffic controllers.
When George Bush was inaugurated, I was twelve years old and in seventh grade. I have lived the twelve most meaningful and intellectually stimulating years of my life under him, forming my worldviews and political philosophies. Frankly, I feel a bit deprived from growing up in this era as I realize coming out of it that something was wrong. This is not the normal critique, but a deeper, more fundamental sense of unease coming from my memories of the last eight years.
The impetus for writing this is obviously the end of the Bush Presidency and Obama’s inauguration tomorrow. Yet, it came about as a combination of three stories which I was going to write about, that I realized was all just one story, the story of that unease.
The first was about Joe the Plumber and specifically this clip:
To put it simply, this is fucking stupid. To call it anything else is to couch it in terms that deny the level of idiocy presented by Samuel Wurzelbacher. First of all, this man started as a campaign prop. He asked a question which McCain seized upon and attempted to exploit to idiotic levels. From there, he has now decided that he is a war reporter and is qualified to give updates on the geopolitical struggles of the Middle East. I know that saying this makes me an elitist that Joe is fighting back against, but this is complete crap. He is nowhere near qualified and exists solely because conservatives think he pisses liberals off. A guy who was focused on taxes is now an expert in war.
So, President Bush is gone in one week.Â HALLELUJAH AMEN AAAAAAAAAAAAMEN!
While we may be excited by the news, I will miss the one thing President Bush did to keep me entertained and motivated to keep reading: Bushisms.Â I wanted to take the time here to write down my favorites, I hope the rest of you add yours as well:
“I think it was in the Rose Garden where I issued this brilliant statement: If I had a magic wand — but the president doesn’t have a magic wand. You just can’t say, ‘low gas.’” –George W. Bush, Washington D.C., July 15, 2008
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee â€” I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee â€” that says, fool me once, shame on â€” shame on you. Fool me â€” you can’t get fooled again.” â€”Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
“Amigo! Amigo!” –George W. Bush, calling out to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Spanish at the G-8 Summit, Rusutsu, Japan, July 10, 2008
“Your eminence, you’re looking good.” –George W. Bush to Pope Benedict XVI, using the title for Catholic cardinals, rather than addressing him as “your holiness,” Rome, June 13, 2008 (oh, I’m sorry – is the Catholic showing again?)
“The German asparagus are fabulous.” –George W. Bush, Meseberg, Germany, June 11, 2008
The White House announced today that President Bush will ask Congress to release the still unapproved half of the $700 billion bailout package from last fall. Â He was apparently asked to request the funds by President-elect Obama, which could help Obama avoid having to do so himself as he tries to push through his stimulus package.
While it remains to be seen how exactly the money will be used, there are a number of proposals in Congress that would dictate how the money would be spent. Â Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has created a bill requesting that $40B be set aside to help prevent home foreclosures. Â While proposals like that will likely make it more palatable for lawmakers on the fence, the Senate could still block the money, forcing a veto, and an attempt to override that veto would likely not occur until Obama takes office next Tuesday, further complicating matters for the President-elect.
From the NYTimes
Also at NYT: AÂ great chart showing how every dollar of the first $350B was spent, from the $50 billion given to Citigroup all the way down to the $1.5 million given to Saigon National Bank in California (and of local interest:Â $361 million for TCF Bank).
Well, I’ll say two years and it will be four. I don’t know. I mean, yes, I’d like to get it done. I am a Type A personality that — you know, I require things to do, and I bet once I get going on this book, I’ll be able to get ‘er done.
~President George W. Bush on his plans to write a book, post presidency.