Tag: prison

The 100 accomplishments of the George W. Bush administration

The 100 accomplishments of the George W. Bush administration

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.

1 Increased defense R&D spending
2 Accelerated the cleanup of brownfields
3 Prescription drug benefits in Medicare
4 Ordered renovation of military housing
5 Signed Medicare Reform
6 Allowed disabled people to use up to a year’s worth of vouchers to finance down payments on homes
7 9.7% increase in government-wide homeland security funding
8 Increased budget deficit to Eisenhower levels (% of GDP)
9 New Health Savings Accounts
10 Increased the limit of Education IRA from $500 to $2,000
11 Didn’t fix economy hurt by housing crisis
12 Allowed mortgage crisis
13 Initiated 3 separate raises for US military personnel
14 Increased the Defense Department’s base budget more than 70 percent since 2001
15 Pushed through 2 separate income tax custs
16 Reduced the number of homeless veterans by 40%
17 Fixed economy inherited in 2000 and hurt in 2001 attacks


18 Killed the old US/USSR ABM Treaty
19 Paid off US debt to UN
20 Signed the largest nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia
21 10 ABM silos in Alaska
22 Prematurely declares “Mission Accomplished” regarding Iraq
23 Doubled foreign assistance
24 Forced Syra to leave Lebanon
25 Condemned the Russian attack on Georgia
26 Allows Secretary of State to go to UN with false evidence regarding Iraq
27 Won support for three U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran
28 Increased the number of free trade agreements from 3 to 14
29 Designated Iraq, Iran and North Korea as “Axis of Evil”
30 Implemented President’s Malaria Initiative in Africa
31 Increased money for medicine for AIDS suffering in Africa
32 Setup the Afghanistan government
33 Halved the nuclear weapon stockpile
34 Secured a commitment from N. Korea to end its nuclear weapon program
35 Watched as Israel attacked Lebanon
36 Iraq invasion
37 Massively increased aid to Africa
38 Got Libya to give up nukes
39 Tried to get Europe to deal with Iran
40 Watched as Israel attacked Gaza
41 Set up new government in Iraq
42 Forced N. Korea to work with multi-national panel
43 Dealt with China and the US spy plane
44 Remove Saddam Hussein
45 Afghanistan occupation
46 Afghanistan invasion
47 Gave Pakistan billions of dollars


48 Watched passively as Katrina hit New Orleans
49 Denied knowing Ken Lay from Enron
50 Created Project Safe Neighborhood
51 Lifted the Executive Ban on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf
52 Kept reading children’s books on 9/11
53 Was elected in 2000
54 Made changes to allow necessary clean up of national forests to reduce fire damage
55 Reduced H1B visas from 195K per year to 66K per year
56 Substantially Increased Funding for the Great Lakes
57 Federal Energy and Carbon Sequestration Programs
58 Mandated a Cut in Mercury Emissions
59 Nuclear Power 2010 program
60 Exempt food from unilateral trade sanctions and embargoes
61 Established Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
62 Put polar bear on endangered species list
63 Eased field-testing controls of genetically engineered crops
64 Tried to privatize Social Security
65 Reduced drug use among teens by 25%
66 Killed Kyoto Global Warming Treaty
67 issued an executive order that limits access to Presidential papers
68 Ethanol production has quadrupled from 1.6 billion gallons in 2000 to an estimated 6.5 billion gallons in 2007
69 Created the Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors
70 National Space Policy
71 Was re-elected in 2004
72 Created USA Freedom Corps
73 Appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito
74 Appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
75 Stopped funding of new stem cells for research purposes
76 Reversed the requirement of parental consent for abortions
77 Issued an executive order regarding union dues being used for political campaigns against individual’s wishes
78 Challenged UN to not be the League of Nations
79 Stopped US involvement in International Criminal Court
80 Issued an EO implementing the Supreme Court’s Olmstead ruling
81 Established the The White House Office and the Centers for the Faith-Based and Community Initiative
82 Started the USA Freedom Corps
83 Supported the Law of the Sea treaty
84 Strengthen the National Health Service Corps
85 Ordered a 5 year plan to restructure each agency
86 Reorganized the intelligence agencies into the Department of Homeland Security
87 Put hundreds of thousands of government jobs up for bid
88 Banned partial birth abortions
89 Double the research budget of the National Institutes of Health
90 Enacted the Do Not Call list
91 No child left behind
92 Signed Teacher Protection Act
93 Interstate Air Quality Rule
94 Clear Skies Initiative to reduce air pollution
95 Prohibited federal fund for groups providing abortions


96 Detained foreign citizens in prison without due process
97 Increased border security and interior enforcement funding more than 110 percent
98 Attacked Al Qaida
99 Implemented a wire-tapping scheme to detect conversations with terrorists
100 Allowed torture of suspect terrorists
101 Told American’s to shop after 9/11
102 Dealt with anthrax scare
103 Signed the Patriot Act
104 Created Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to monitor foreign students
105 Split the Immigration and Naturalization Service into two agencies
106 Signed the workplace verification bill to prevent hiring of illegal aliens.
107 Established a six-month deadline for processing immigration applications.
108 Told Americans that Islam was a religion of peace
109 Created the TSA
110 Created a new air monitoring system to detect harmful airborne agents
111 Signed 2 bills that arm pilots with handguns in the cockpit

And of course the one accomplishment that many people feel is the most important:

A couple of comments on the above list.

  • Yes, I know that there are more than 100 items on the list.  However, I didn’t want someone to say that two items were actually duplicate of each other.  For this reason, I felt that it was prudent to overshoot my goal of 100 in case a reader felt that some should have been excluded.
  • The links to many of the items are not meant to be the definitive source on that topic.  Rather, I wanted to remind the reader of the topic in case you didn’t remember that effort.  My hope was the link would lead you to the discovery of the issue and the action of the Bush Administration.  In the cases where I didn’t include a link, I felt that nearly everyone reading this list would understand those issues or could easily find more information by do a quick web search.
  • I titled this list as the 100 accomplishments.  I fully understand that many will feel that some of these items were failures.  That really isn’t the point.  My goal in creating the list was to try and identify the top 100 or so things that the administration did (or by inaction didn’t do). This is not a scorecard.
  • The list is not ordered by time or importance.  Do not take any inference in the numbering scheme.

Did I miss anything?

I am done with this topic for now but I reserve the right to rant more on it someday.

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Is George W. Bush the worst President ever? Part 4 of 5

Is George W. Bush the worst President ever? Part 4 of 5

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.

Israel – B – he deserves better than a C because somehow he prevented Israel from pounding Lebanon and Syria to a pulp.  He made them take a huge loss in their skirmish with Lebanon when they could have simply finished the problem.  There was a lot of desire on the part of Israel to do that after the suicide bombings and missile attacks.  Unfortunately, that may have been a mistake because it is only going to get worse when Iran gets the bomb and the lessons that Israel learned they are now taking out on Gaza (as I write this).

Palestine – D – what a blown opportunity.  The fanatic, Arafat, dies, which was a great chance to make progress.  Instead the militants get stronger but then they blow it which was another fantastic opportunity to fix the problem.  W should have forced a multi-prong diplomacy at the time of the Lebanon skirmishes to make Israel make peace with Palestine but Iran was screwing it up at the same time.  The Palestinians are probably slightly better than they were 8 years ago but that is another reason to give a D since they need to get a lot better in order to prevent it from getting a lot worse.  Typically, status quo would be a C but the lack of progress and the ramifications of that lack of progress forces the D.  This problem has been around my entire life and I think it will still be making headlines when they bury me.

Iran – not sure – I really don’t know how to grade this one.  The problem is so fluid and so complex that I don’t know what should have been done.  No question that we scared the bejeesus out of Iran when we took over Iraq in about a month or two.  If I was them, I would have stepped up nuclear efforts also.  The Europeans aren’t helping much either and they are more at threat than the US.  The only thing we (meaning everyone) have done right is to restrain Israel from taking them out proactively.  If this time bomb doesn’t go off in the next 8 years, I will be amazed (and I will probably give Obama credit for at least not screwing it up).

North Korea – C – Putting NK on the evil axis list was stupid.  There was no “axis”.  Are they an evil nation, yes.  But they are not aligned with the others on the list except opportunistically.  If Iran and Korea were neighbors, they would likely be at war (Iran would probably win).  This is a status quo situation – it got a little better than under W but not a great deal and in some ways got worse (especially for the poor Koreans who have had to live and die there for another 8 years).  Bush just took them off the axis list but he should have gone farther and declared an end to the cease fire that has been in place for 50+ years and an end to the hostilities with that nation.

World opinion – no grade matters – this is BS. First, there is no consensus on this that is at all objective.  If you read foreign papers, then you know that most of those foreign countries have far bigger problems that the US in most areas.  Also, the scale is different and they judge us with only the bad things in mind not the good.  In addition, it is the opinion of people and not the countries and the people are not usually fully informed.  A few thoughts:

  • we are the only superpower so we will never get an amazing grade.  When things go bad, it is easy to blame us but we don’t get credit for the good things.  The Germans get mad at us all the time for stirring things up but if we would remove our military bases from their soil, their economy would plummet and unemployment would likely hit 20%.
  • France gets upset with us but they are more upset that American tourism has dropped since they started offending us.  They want our money but they don’t want us to be upset when they do things that upset our sensibilities.
  • There are two other semi-superpowers (China and Russia) and if we get graded on their scale are we that much worse?  Russia threatens Ukraine, Russia does military action in Georgia, Russia withholds gas from Germany, Russia nationalizes its largest energy company and imprisons its CEO, Russia poisons one of their citizens with nuclear radiation, China allows a neighbor to develop nukes, China allows a neighbor to have mass killings of monks, China imprisons political dissidents, China doesn’t really help a neighbor after one of the worst natural disasters of all time, China builds more coal plants than every nation combined, it is not healthy to drink the water in the majority of Chinese cities.
  • The US leads in assistance to Africa. We almost double number 2 (UK).  The other 2 pseudo-super powers?  Not worth mentioning and they don’t make the ODA (Official Developmental Assistance) chart.
  • The US gives over twice as much per GDP as any other nation!  The closest 2nd and 3rd are Great Britain and Canada but they don’t even add to our PERCENTAGE OF GDP!  China and Russia don’t even make the list
  • And it isn’t like we are military hawks either – even though we easily have the strongest military.  While this data is a bit old and may be influenced by military expenditures in Iraq, we spend less of our GDP on the military budget than the other two pseudo powers – approximately 3.3% for US and 4.1% for China and 4.8% for Russia.  That’s okay though because we have a military treaty with all members of NATO that says that if they are attacked, we will defend them to the same extent as if we are attacked.  Our umbrella of protection is why we have a budget of 500+B and the combined budget of the rest of NATO is only about 300B.  It is also why when something has to be done with Iraq 8 years ago, it was the US that foot the bill.  If it has to be done, the world expects us to do it but they are more than willing to criticize us as well.  If we would stop defending NATO, Japan and S. Korea, we would be able to easily cut our military budget in half as we have 90,000 troops in Europe, 26,000 in SK, and almost 50,000 in Japan.  While I don’t condone isolationism, we don’t get any credit for the huge number of dollars that these bases put into those local economies.

So I really don’t buy the “world opinion” argument.  We are in a class by ourselves in what we deliver to the rest of the world and we are far better than the other two semi-super powers on the planet.  If the world hates us so much and is fair and objective than why does it not hate Russia and China more?  It is because everyone hates the top dog that is pre-eminently the top dog.  People will cheer for the winner of a close contest but they don’t like a contest where the winner is always the same and is never up for dispute.  They are more than willing to accept our aid, accept our military defense, accept our financial support for their economy, accept our cultural leadership but then whine about us for the same.  There is no moral opinion of the US that makes sense and it is not possible nor preferable for the POTUS to worry about it.

More on this topic later!

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RANT! Drugs and bad conduct in professional sports (again)

RANT! Drugs and bad conduct in professional sports (again)

I find myself writing on this subject again. I wrote about it when the lowlife Michael Vick pled guilty to animal cruelty charges and now I write as Barry Bonds is indicted for lying while under oath.

I know that most of the commentary on the web and the mainstream media is regarding Mr. Bonds use of steroids. But that isn’t the charge! Rather, he is being charged that he obstructed justice by lying under oath. Even Martha Stewart spent time in prison for a similar violation.

Lying under oath is a serious charge and the talking heads like Charles Barkley don’t seem to get it. They think this is a witch hunt about steroid use. It isn’t. It is about lying under oath when you shouldn’t lie. At a minimum he should have cited his 5th amendment rights when asked the question.

I don’t know if Mr. Bonds is guilty and in the US we are innocent until proven guilty. However, if Mr. Bonds is guilty of this transgression then


I am done with this topic for now but I reserve the right to rant more on it someday.

Here is some related reading for you to enjoy:
We’re Already Tired of the Barry Bonds Indictment
Bonds Indicted, or How Flax Seed Oil Doesn’t Fly
Bonds Indicted for Perjury
Bonds’ indictment comes a little too late

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RANT! Pull your pants up!

RANT! Pull your pants up!

Okay, I get it. Teens like to wear clothes that make old people upset. This happened in my day with bell bottoms, embroidered jeans, and long hair (yes, I am that old). But common sense dictates that if you can’t jog down the street or play a casual game of basketball (baseball, Frisbee throwing, hopscotch – take your pick) without holding up your pants, then you aren’t fully dressed. I don’t care about baggy or ripped but can you please pull your pants up?

The sad part of all of this is that this “style” is actually a throwback to being in jail where the guards will remove a prisoners belts to avoid its use as a weapon or noose for suicide. The style was originally called “jailin” or “sagging” and was made mainstream by the Rap culture. By wearing pants below the buttocks, teens are actually making the statement that they are imprisoned and that is simply not true.

The current Atlanta bill and Dallas bill are probably going over the edge. Laws shouldn’t dictate what people wear because then someone will say I need to wear a tie to work again (and that isn’t happening).


Here is some related reading for you to enjoy:
A ban on baggy pants?
Should baggy pants be banned?

I am done with this topic for now but I reserve the right to rant more on it someday.

Did you know that you can have these articles emailed to you? Click on the Email link in the upper right corner Subscribe section, fill out the details, and you are set. No one will see your email address and you won’t get more spam by doing this.

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