So it seems that the discussion of medical care and national coverage has become so contentious that a physical fight broke out resulting in one person biting the finger off of another individual. Bill Rice was probably not acting as a model citizen but I doubt if he deserved to lose a finger!
This sounds like a replay of a bad Michael Tyson fight!
When we see images of the two most recent democracies of the world (Afghanistan and Iraq) we often see the image of a purple finger identifying a recent voter. Now in the United States we will be showing the lack of a finger to depict our political process.
Why can’t we just have a civil discussion of the issues and concerns? Is violence really necessary?
Another story in the continuing discussion regarding former prisoners at Guantanamo that returned to cause harm to Americans and our allies. This further questions that very political decision to close Gitmo as a secure prison for terrorists. We obviously cannot release them back to their home countries since it seems that so many were true criminals and should be put in jail for decades.
Here is a part of the story from AP but there are some other interesting thoughts at the blog Clinging to G & G
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Taliban’s new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan had been a prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the latest example of a freed detainee who took a militant leadership role and a potential complication for the Obama administration’s efforts to close the prison. U.S. authorities handed over the detainee to the Afghan government, which in turn released him, according to Pentagon and CIA officials.
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As I write this, George W. Bush is only a few days away from the end of his 8 year Presidency. Earlier, I had graded Mr. Bush on a variety of major factors but I felt that I left off a huge number of things that he and his administration did or did not do. This list is the result of trying to be more inclusive. Many items on this list are actions by the Mr. Bush and his administration and some of them are inactions.
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For the last 4 posts we have been exploring the claim that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever. I am tired of this conversation now. I may add more topics to grade George W. Bush but I think this is a good list for now. So, how did he do? Lets give the short report card. See the earlier posts if you want to understand the reason behind each grade.
9/11 – A – 4.0
Anthrax – A – 4.0
Afghanistan invasion – A – 4.0
Afghanistan occupation – D – 1.0
Al Qaida – C – 2.0
Preventing terrorism – C – 2.0
We are wimps – A – 4.0
Libya – A – 4.0
Africa – B – 3.0
Economy – C – 2.0
Corporate governance – B – 3.0
Iraq solution – C – 2.0
Iraq invasion – A – 4.0
Iraq occupation – D – 1.0
Israel – B – 3.0
Palestine – D – 1.0
Iran – not sure – no GPA
North Korea – C – 2.0
World opinion – no grade matters – no GPA
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For the last three posts we have been exploring the claim that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever. Some say that he is the worst, some say he is in the middle of the pack but just about everyone agrees he is not the best ever. This post continues the job of grading W on the various issues that he faced in his two terms of office. See the previous posts to get the background for where we are now.
Iraq occupation – D – same as Afghanistan. A lot of good but the job is not done so W can’t get better grade until the job is done. He can’t get better than a C ever since he messed up so bad by putting Bremer in place – Bremer’s decisions really messed up the nation for several years. I think that history will eventually say that the US did better in Iraq than just about any other takeover of a foreign nation (Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Georgia, Poland, etc) although that is a terrible standard to compare us to.
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It is probably too early to truly grade W and rank him among his peers. Time will tell if his policies were somewhat effective or total garbage. If you are going to grade a President, you need to take a more inclusive look and not just talk about his various failings. Also the “what if” discussion in that grading is incredibly important such as, “What if President Bush had not gone after Saddam Hussein – what would the world be like?”
It is also difficult to grade individual events because they are so intertwined (Libya, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Al Qaida, Palestine, Syria are all different variations of the same problem). That said – here are my thoughts on the 19 things that GW did (or didn’t do):
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America is the birthplace of the modern voting experience. Yes, I know ancient Greece voted for their Senators but their was a pretty big gap between then and when the entire government was elected by the people.
But for all of this heritage we seem to have lost the appetite for voting. Our voter turnout for the last couple of elections is pretty abysmal and is shamed by the latest Iraqi election where about 70% exercised their right to vote. The Afghanistan people also had an 80+% turnout when they elected their first President in 2004.
For the US, our elected officials cannot say that they were elected by the majority of their constituents but rather were elected by the majority (or plurality in some cases) of those who bothered to show up.
So why is this? Why don’t we give a s–t?
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