I am perplexed by President Obama’s speech last night. He spoke to the American people from his Oval Office to announce the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While that declaration is not confusing, this paragraph is:
And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad. They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is our responsibility to honor them by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for — the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it. (taken from the transcripts on CNN)
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First, let me be clear, I think that Rep. Wilson of South Carolina should be censured for his outburst while President Barack Hussein Obama was speaking in a joint session of Congress. He reminds of irresponsible brats such as Kanye West. Public outbursts while the President is speaking are simply unacceptable in any format and definitely not allowed in a joint session of Congress.
I do think that it is interesting that the rude outburst occurred due to a statement from BHO regarding healthcare for illegal aliens. There is a reasonable argument that BHO, while perhaps not lying, was not telling the complete truth. Check out this interesting video below and then read the rest of my comments.
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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?
This is a great book. Everyone should read it (or listen to it).
I just finished the Audible version of this book. It was excellent. Here are some learnings:
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- James Earl Carter was more incompetent than even I thought he was.
- William Jefferson Clinton was not as incompetent at Carter, but he was close.
- George Walker Bush did a pretty good job with most of the Mideast, did a plausible job of getting rid of Saddam (which the book admits had to happen) and then bungled the reconstruction. Okay, this really wasn’t a big learning but it was worth noting.
- Ronald Wilson Reagan did an excellent job with the Middle East as did Nixon and Ford. George Herbert Walker Bush barely gets a mention which is surprising since he put together the coalition to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.
I have written about the legacy of George Walker Bush several times on this site. Most notably, I did a 5 part series that tried to answer the question if GWB is the worst President ever. Now I read an opinion by Thomas Fleming, who is one of the most respected and well written presidential historians that we should all take a long sigh and relax for a bit before grading the man.
I respect the work of Mr. Fleming (and the WSJ) to quote too much of his article on this site. Please go to their site and read the full opinion but here are some highlights that I thought were interesting.
Several polls of historians have named George W. Bush the worst
president in American history. This baffles me. I’ve been writing about
presidents for a long time. What I know, and what I presume these
gentleman know, doesn’t connect.
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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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For the last two posts we have been exploring the claim that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States 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.
We are wimps – A – Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein counted on the fact that the US doesn’t like to stay in the fight when the going gets tough (Vietnam and Somalia are great examples). He stood his ground and got destroyed politically to prove this wrong. Much of the animosity most Americans feel about W stems from his unwillingness to allow the cut and run mentality to take over. But now our enemies don’t just assume that we will run home to mommy when the bullets start flying.
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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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