Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bashing Clinton's response to flood victims? 

Most people realize there is a certain amount of photo-opping involved in being president. That should go without saying. What really matters is the action rather than the words or photos, right? That being the case, I could care less if Clinton played Hearts while flying over a tornado-ravaged area of Florida. I could also care less if Bush stayed on vacation during Katrina . . . if the victims were receiving the support and care they needed on the ground.

Presidents DON'T need to tour damaged areas to get a feel for what happened. They have TVs, just like the rest of us.

Presidents DO need to appoint competent people to run the departments responsible for responding to disasters.

Presidents DO need to property fund our country's infrastructure so it can withstand known pending natural disasters.

Those are two MAJOR strikes against Bush, which truly effect American lives.

NetLets: "Clinton's contrived compassion

In 'Another flood, another FEMA' (Commentary, Sept. 13), Ashley Shelby queries 'Why did Grand Forks deserve a better response to a catastrophic natural event than New Orleans?'

Shelby concludes that it was not due to the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina or the more forward planning and timely response of the local and state officials but rather, 'I think the more likely answer is that the administration in charge (that being the Clinton administration) felt, at core, a fundamental empathy for American citizens who had lost everything through no fault of their own.'

Apparently Shelby never read Lt. Col. Robert Patterson's book 'Dereliction of Duty.' Patterson was one of the military aides who was in charge of the black bag or 'nuclear football' which must accompany the president of the United States at all times.

Patterson describes in his book how in February of 1998 President Clinton and his staff decided to visit a tornado-ravaged area of Florida where 40 people had lost their lives. The commander in charge of the helicopter flight over the area had gone to great lengths to plan the flight route so that President Clinton could get a real sense of the damage. Patterson writes, 'The President, however, was busy playing a game of Hearts with his pals.' He couldn't be bothered -- not even to look out of the window occasionally.

When it was time to align Marine One with the press helicopter for a picture, the president quickly peered out the window, feigning an interested and grief-stricken expression. The sole reason for the trip, in his mind, apparently was for that photograph.

So much for Shelby's hypothesis.

Don Spartz, Baxter, Minn."

John Hinderaker lies about Presidential courtesies. Try Google, John.  

John Hinderaker on Powerline appears outraged by recent statements former President Clinton made about the current administration on last Sunday's morning talk shows. For some odd reason, hearing some critical analysis of the current administration out of the mouth of the president who oversaw an amazing eight years of piece and prosperity is almost too much for Hinderaker to take:

Power Line: Uncharted Territory, Once Again: "This has never happened before. Until now, both parties have recognized a patriotism that, at some level, supersedes partisanship. Consistent with that belief, former Presidents of both parties have stayed out of politics and have avoided criticizing their successors. Until now. The Democrats appear bent on destroying every element of the fabric that has united us as Americans."

As if that isn't bad enough, Hinderaker's statements are not even true. It didn't take more than a few seconds to Google the query:

"former president bush" "criticized clinton"

That brought me to this AP article from September, 2000 where former President Bush (#41) did indeed criticize Clinton while campaigning for his son in 2000:

"Bush questioned the Clinton-Gore administration's overseas military policies..."

"He also said George W. would "restore honor and decency" to the White House."

"The elder Bush also criticized Clinton's decision last week to release oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve to combat high fuel prices."

Interestingly, one of the big issues at that time was the price of gas for consumers. Former President Bush was explained while stumping for his son that prices would come down if we elected his son, which would lead to the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Of course, ANWR hasn't opened, and if it did, would have little effect on the price of gas, since it simply isn't large enough to lower our dependence on foreign oil. Interestingly, the price of oil has average MUCH higher under the current President Bush than it did under Clinton.

Also, during the 2000 campaign, George W Bush stated (2:52 into audio clip titled, "Energy Policy and Politics") that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was meant "for war" or times of major disruptions. Now that we're both in a war (actually two wars), and have a major disruptions (Katrina), Bush has failed to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, causing the prices to skyrocket and hurt American consumers.

Would President Clinton be wrong to criticize the current president for his irrational and hypocritical energy policy? When is it appropriate to cross this line (which hasn't existed at least as far back at Bush 41's criticism of Clinton)?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Causes of the Great Depression: For Bob Davis 

AM1500's Bob Davis claimed there were only two prevailizng theories on the cause of the Great Depression on his radio show this morning. However, as Wikipedia's page on this topic shows, that's not really the case. An more importantly, the theory help by FDR that was the basis for his recovery plan (which worked) is not one of the two theories Mr. Davis suggested.

The caller prompting the comments from Bob Davis was trying to point on some parallels between the economy of the 1920's and today, which would clearly point toward the scenario outlined below. We are certainly experiencing a time of increase disparity in the distribution of wealth, and that's only accelerating due to the abolition of the estate tax and other tax cuts for the rich that are taking place at the same time our country's poverty numbers are increasing.

The rising tide for the rich is not rising all boats, so fewer people can fully participate in today's economy (afford housing, get credit, etc.) which creates more of a drain on our government.

Causes of the Great Depression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "A maldistribution of purchasing power

One theory held by many at the time and since, including Franklin Roosevelt and his brain trust, holds that the fundamental maldistribution of purchasing power, the greatly unequal distribution of wealth throughout the 1920s, caused the Great Depression.

According to this view, wages increased at a rate that was a fraction of the rate at which productivity increased. As production costs fell quickly, wages rose slowly, and prices remained constant, the bulk benefit of the increased productivity went into profits. As industrial and agricultural production increased, the proportion of the profits going to farmers, factory workers, and other potential consumers was far too small to create a market for goods that they were producing."

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