Monday, May 02, 2005

Duel Deceivers?:The Ironical Bush And Clinton

Is Bush being dishonest about Social Security?

Was Clinton?

In light of the Iraq debacle, no one serious would call Bush an "honest man."

Yet, even Bill Clinton's strongest fans generally do not evoke the word "honest," when they rise to his defense.

Long before Bush sliced, diced, cut, parced, chisled, and giggled his arguments about WMD and Iraq, Clinton was the harbor master who drilled the sluice pipe that drained the sludge of poll-tested ultra-modern political deception, into the mainstream reservoir of political discourse.


Reservoir? Maybe not.

Mainstream media then drinks in, circulates, regurgitates, and recycles, the deceptive arguments until they are rinsed of their already slim nutrients.


Once parched, blighted, and bleached, the deceptive arguments are then enriched, re-packaged, and ultimately inserted into the body politic; undigested, there they stay, making those who were once fit, quite foul indeed.

Deception is the High Fructose Corn Syrup that limply fuels modern politics.

Both Bush and Clinton are diabloically diabetic from taking so much in and spewing so much out.


Citizens, suffering from type-13 political diabetes, are limping, and suffering a variety of ailments; they are to be the sacrificial lambs offered up to God Empire as he prepares to slay Fair Republic, and make Citizens into Subjects.

Goddess Truth may save us, if her fair voice is not silenced, or 'taken out' by Cheney-linked forces.

Modern deception is more sublime and sophesticated than old fashioned dishonesty and shuffling.

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, King Claudius, murderer of Hamlet's father, living in deceit, but feeling exposed, confessed before God.


Claudius, while trying (sort of) to pray for forgiveness (without giving up his gains), makes a mitigating seeming comment to God, regarding the Realpolitik difference between the City of Man and the City of God:

In the corrupted currents of this world

Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law;

but ’tis not so above;
There is no shuffling,

there the action lies
In his true nature,

and we ourselves compell’d
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults
To give in evidence.


Claudius, noting that there is '"no shuffling" "above," implies correctly, in his own defense, that there is plenty of shuffling below, on earth.

Interestingly, he notes that in heaven, one is "compell'd...To give in evidence."

This means, in Heaven ("above") there is no Fifth Amendment right against self- incrimination.

By implication, Claudius is letting you know that there is one "below," perhaps because the "shuffling" and "imperfections" of the City of Man, require such measure.

Next time you hear some right winger complaining about someone asserting their Constitutional right against self-incrimination, you know now that they are less progressive than Elizabethan Englishmen portraying pre-modern Danes!

We digress.

Back to deception -specifically, deception about Social Security!

Bush is "shuffling," and not giving true evidence.

Also, Bush will never testify against himself, if called to account.

Not only did Bush surf the "corrupted currents of the world," into high office, he had his own indoor wave machines: Enron and Halliburton, along with his own jet skis: Karl Rove and Frank Luntz.

Bush's entire career -his business failures, his military flameout, his lame Presidency, and all else, is an extreme example of "Offense's gilded hand (silver spoon?)" consistantly using it's "wicked prize's" to "buy out the law."

While Clinton did not have the Bush's luck selling bad business to Poppy Bush's pals, he did have problems telling the truth from time to time. Many times.

Current Bush supporters used to accuse Clinton of being perpetually dishonest.

Not any more!

We cannot help but notice, with some indignation, and much amusement, the piquant irony of Rove and others, inspiring Bushbots by invoking Clintonian "courageous" dishonesties about Social Security.

Bushbots are now using past dishonest CLINTON QUOTES (out of context!), to defend Bush's present plan for future Social Security sabotage!

"Even Bill Clinton thought we should.....blah, blah, blah, Social Security, blah, blah,blah....."

This is the current refrain you hear from the chorus of Banana Smokers, high on the choice offerings of the monker handlers who are rattling their cups and handing out sweet bananas.

Bushbots make up the advance guard of Bush's symphony of maudlin retirement fiddlers.

However, the Bushbots are not pioneers, but settlers.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Coitus was never alleged, much less proven, so in a technical sense President Clinton was correct.

Yet, and yet, and yet.....

"President Bush never said Social Security is in crisis." (He doesn't have to; his supporters do.)

Yet, and yet, and yet....

Nyet, Nyet, Nyet.

Dishonesty, both seen and felt, is the common denominator.

Irony, however, is the word to describe the current Bushian right wing flap, about past Clintonian left wing flutters, now that the bird of prey has redirected it's path of flight toward the juicy feast knows as American Retirement.

Past hatred of Clinton is put aside, while revenous Bushbots, seek every means, and every argument, to advance their plan to "save" the social security village, by destroying it.

The Trojan Horse, being readied to destroy Social Security, are the private accounts, that will divert money from the commonweal, so that the program will inevitably die from being starved of the proper funding.

To get the Trojan Horse, inside the gates (lockbox?) they are barking , like diseased dogs, about a faux-crisis.

Also, the monkey handlers are deceptively invoking the wrong Gods, to inspire the Bushbots and mislead the people.

They will then make it look like an accident.

Clinton was wrong and so is Bush.

Both of them, along with rightist media, are spewing known dishonesties.

There is no crisis. There is no big problem

Weak tea, brewed twice, tastes sour, not sweet, when telling twice told tales.

Roosevelt and Reagan were both right.

Social Security is fine - just needs an occasional oil and lube, and fill at the pump.

Mend it; don't end it.

Tax the rich.

61 Comments:

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Sorry, but the rich are already being taxed.
Also, though there may not be an *immediate* crisis... what about fifty years from now, when *my* generation will have to worry about? Don't see Democrats proposing any great alternatives for the future.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger amy said...

My apologies for side-stepping the impending discussion on Social Security, but I wanted to say something about honesty in politics. Of course we as citizens have every right to want to believe that our president, senators and representatives are honest, good-hearted, hard-working folk. The truth is though, that everyone's got something they don't want brought to light. I'm not defending either President Bush or President Clinton, but why should any of us be surprised by the fact that the past and present leaders of our country keep secrets?

Let's throw out another quote:
"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." - John 8:7, KJV

I dare you to find one president who didn't have dirt in their past that could have upended their political career. All I'm saying is that while truth in advertising would be a great thing to expect of political candidates, we won't have "clean" candidates until we stop allowing one of the lesser of two evils to be elected each time.

I'm not perfect, and I'm sure that while many holier than though candidates on either side of the aisle think they might be, we all know they're not. That doesn't mean that no one should run for office, it just means that perfection is one of those attributes that shouldn't be on the short list of qualities we seek in a candidate. Would any of you want to elect me? What about the skeletons in my closet?

From polio to affairs to shady financial dealings, the political arena is filled with less than stellar personal resumes. We just need to decide what's more important for someone to ascend the political throne here in America: a Ned Flanders-esque saint, or someone who's gotten his hands dirty doing the work our forefathers intended but who just might have made some mistakes in his past.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger amy said...

On the topic of Social Security, in the Spring 2005 issue of American Scholar there is a great piece by Thomas Bethell on the "Battle for Social Security." I'll try not to take up too much space with quotes from the article, but it's certainly worth reading (especially if you don't know much about how Social Security came about):

FDR was interested in "creating a program that would help people protect themselves against being impoverished by unemployment or old age. He explicitly did not want it to be a dole. He wanted it to be a system into which people contributed while they were working, so that when the time came to call upon the program for help they could hold their heads high and claim benefits as an earned right(20)."

"...If the job was to be done at all, the federal government would have to do it, but philosophical considerations aside, the federal government had never attempted anything on such a scale, not even the payment of Civil War pensions. The alternative, however, was to accept as a given that, even when the economy picked up again, most hard-working people would end their days in poverty, dependent upon family members, if they were lucky, or the poorhouse, if they were not(25)."

"CES [Committee on Employment Security] recognized that the old-age security problem was really three problems: how to help those already old, how to help those approaching the end of their working years, and how to help those who, with some help, could set aside sufficient funds over the years to cover at least a reasonable part of the cost of paying themselves a basic annuity in old age(26)."

"The committee's proposed solution had two parts: improved assistance for those already old, to be paid for from general tax revenues, with the federal government making grants-in-aid to the states; and, for younger workers and those nearing retirement, something entirely new: a contributory system to enable them, "with the aid of their employers, to build up gradually their rights to annuities in their old age(26)."

There is plenty more, but I throw out these pieces of history just as a reminder as how Social Security came about. I encourage everyone here to pick up the American Scholar and check out the piece as a whole.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Amy, regarding honesty in politics, Gotham Agrees. People are people, but as citizens we have to try to bust them, when they stray- checks and balances. It's not Bush's shuffling that bothers -it's that people believe it.
Interesting Gospel quote- but consider this, and see this as instructive. In all of DC, the Capital of the USA, which is largely Christia,- how many public buildings have Gospel quotes on them. The Sp Ct. and other buildings have quote from Bible, but not the New Testament. Are we wrong? The one building that DOES have a Gospel quote, is outside of DC, in Langley= the CIA building -the one building housing an agency that is supposed to, in part tell lies. On the floor of the lobby:

"Ye shall seek the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." John 8:32

More on your other comment later-
Irina- 50 years from now?
By then , everthing will be different- EVERYTHING. You cannot plan for that- recall Bush discussing how he was gonna spend down the surplus! Just a few years ago. Wolfie saying Iraqi oil would pay for our 300 Bil fiasco in Iraq!
You'll be just FINE- Dung Beetles always get by. You'll dig stuff up.

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Irina- the rich are taxed- but only the first 80k of earned income is subject to Fica. So if you make 2 million a year, the percentage that you pay to SS , of your income is far less than some making 40K.
Since we are running deficts, we use the surplus in SS to cover the deficit, in part. That means all those people who are too poor to pay income tax, but pay Fica tax, are having their tax money being used, like an interest free loan, to cover the deficit- then, to run the deficit, the Government sell bonds to wealthy people and inst. and they pay interest to bondholders- further the debt makes social programs hard to start.
In effect, you have poor people, via Fica (because rich don't pay enough Fica) lending money to the Gov to pay for a debt that helps the rich and hurts the poor. Reverse Robin Hood. But this can be reversed by getting the rich to pay more, and by cutting the spending. But SS needs everyone to participate=otherwise, you will turn an insurance program that has lifeted more people out of poverty than anything in US history -into a welfare program.

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger amy said...

I could have used many other quotes about character and sin and all that jazz, but I did purposely use a Bible quote - and it had nothing to do with the fact that Bible verses can be found on government buildings. That's another argument for another time.

Here's a question about the various comments regarding Social Security: Do the rich Democrats/Liberals want to be taxed more in order to save Social Security? I'm just thinking, um, probably not. At some point, tax-and-spend liberals are going to want that process to stop ... you know, when the tax-and-spend process starts hitting their own paychecks.

And yes, that argument is brought to you by the very same person who lobbied for the inclusion of more money for the NEA in the federal budget.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger injinuity said...

BUSH FOR PRESIDENT!! oops he is already the president.. comment withdrawn ;-)

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

I just think the amount of money that subject to FICA should be raised- so the percentage of money that is taxed for FICA for the poor and the middle can be reduced.
It's question of distribution. Regading the Bible quote- I was not contesting it, but addding and elaborating.

 
At 2:32 AM, Anonymous John said...

Ah! Phelonius! Music to my ears. Precisely.

You say: "There is a latent feeling of guilt about supporting Clinton..."

There must be. How else do you explain the Clinton-Loving yet Bush-Hating venom spewed at Bush calling him, unrelentlessly, a "liar?" A "smirker?" A "phony?" A "draft-dodger?"

It's as if they are--subconsciously-- venting their guilt for supporting and even idolizing a lying, smirking, phony draft-dodger for eight years and compensating for willful blindness by scapegoating Bush and VOMITING everything they had to swallow for Clinton (and I mean EVERYTHING) on Bush.

They're projecting. And that's being nice to them, in the sense that a lot of it may be unconscious but nevertheless proves they have a conscience and know what's right and wrong but vent the ethics compromised by Clinton on Bush, which is shameful in its adolescent psychology.

But that's being nice.

It could be simply that they are being petty and spiteful because their hero--Clinton-- made a fool out of them, but instead of blaming their hero, they decide to get revenge by multiplying Clinton's five and a half inch and skewed shortcomings by a hundred to create a battering ram and shove that in Bush's face.

So while Clinton is a liar, Bush is a lying Liar-in-Chief and Mis-Leader with his pants on fire. And while Clinton shamelessly mugs for the camera and smirks in that smug way of his, it is the goofily-grinning Bush who is the smirker. And while it is Arkansan Clinton who was living out his adolescent fantasy of being just like his introjected hero, the Bostonian JFK (much like Kerry), it is the Andover Yale Man Bush who is the phony Texan. And while Clinton blatantly pulled strings and dodged the draft so he could live and run for president like his hero JFK and went to Europe, grew a hippie beard, and engaged in anti-American protest marches abroad, it is Bush who inexcusably is the "chickenhawk draft-dodger" for joining the Texas Air National Guard, wearing a uniform, and learning to fly a jet.

What are they doing? Are they totally oblivious to the hypocricy in principle (e.g. "Clinton is great despite (a,b,c, and d) but Bush is bad because of (a,b,c, and d)?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You Clinton-Loving Bush-Haters will not regain your credibility--or sanity-- until you stop your insane idolatry of the JFK charlatan Bill Clinton and restore the integrity of your principles.

You don't have to like Bush, BUT STAY CONSISTENT.

If you're going to damn Bush, you have to damn Clinton in the same breath.

Only then can the Democratic Party begin anew.

 
At 5:45 AM, Anonymous John said...

Amy, thank you for putting the history in a nutshell for me.

FDR certainly had good intentions, and it's worked great for over half a century, but the long-sighted vision of the plan could not peer too far into the future (about this far, perhaps? 2-3 generations?).

As Salieri tutors:

"Irina- 50 years from now?
By then , everthing will be different- EVERYTHING. You cannot plan for that."

It certainly didn't account too well for inflation, as the average monthly check can barely cover a mortgage/rent, and is, now, as the Bushites repeatedly point out, a supplement, at best, and one that's getting smaller.

It needs to be fixed. As the saying goes, "Why put off for tomorrow what can be fixed today?"

Very reasonable.

But this is politics, and as you, Amy, pointed out recently, image often trumps substance, and the substantive issue of whether Social Security should be reformed today, tomorrow, or at the last minute is not as important right now as is the image of Democrats representing the program that many millions of Americans rely on.

Am I saying that a lot of what's going on right now is driven by partisan pettiness?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Democrats are very territorial in regards to social programs like FDR's historic Social Security, because it helps define their party in a generally positive light and onme they can campaign on (e.g. "The party of FDR," "The Party for the People," etc.), so when a Republican--particularly one like Bush, who represents "The Party of the Rich"-- has the audacity to tamper with one of THEIR party's great domestic accomplishments, the caterwauling begins and the claws come out to cling to it like a cat being pulled from a tree.

It is a Democratic sacred cow. That is why it has been called "The Third Rail." Touch at your peril.

Touch it, we'll scratch your eyes out.

Clinton touched it, and was called a bold visionary, because he was Democratic hero. Bush is grabbing it and jiggling it, and is called reckless and dangerous, because he's a Republican hero.

That is also why they have no plan of their own to provide. They just dog Bush at every step.

They lie when they call Bush a liar for saying that the program is in a critical state.

"There is no crisis!" they cry, "He's lying again. It's solvent for another generation! Leave it alone!"

Bush clearly enunciated--in the State of the Union and ther 100th day of his second term-- that there is no "crisis," but he wants to pre-empt it long before it becomes one and starts--and it will start--to create macroeconomic jitters.

Bush clearly and quite eloquently told us that quite some time ago.

Just like he told us that there was no evidence that Saddam was involved in the plotting of 9/11

As pointed out on the Maher episode discussed in the last post, Bush thinks big and looks down the road.

When the Republicans reference Clinton on his similar stances and speeches, whether in regards to Saddam's threat or the "looming crisis" of Social Security, Gotham erroneously thinks they are doing that as back up for their own plans, citing Clinton as some kind of authority.

But you're wrong again, Gotham.

Whether it be on war or Social Security, they cite Clinton not as back-up for their own authority, but merely as proof that the "principles" of the anguished opposition--today-- are suspect, because they were acquiescent or even gave standing ovations for the same shpiel yesterday, when it was uttered by one of their own (i.e. Clinton), and so demolishing their arguments.

The Republicans are pointing out the hypocricy, Gotham, when citing Clinton, not using him as validation of their agenda.

You have it backwards again.

Anyway, the Democratic opposition is driven by sheer partisanship. It's politics. Social Security is THEIRS, so if anything is to be done about it, it will be done by one of their own (and to great fanfare).

Yes, we're watching more a partisan struggle--from the Democrats-- over political capital more than one over what's best for the tiring program, as Bush is addressing.

Along with the possessiveness over a sacred cow, the Democrats' obstructiveness also has to do with inflicting damage to the President.

Bush has invested a lot of political capital in this- much like the Clinton's investmnent in the failed Hillarycare program which played a part in the historic loss of bioth houses of Congress in 1994-- and with another midterm election coming up, the Democrats are hoping to deliver Bush his FIRST defeat, strategically for the mid-term elections, as well as pettily because the son-of-a-gun has been an unstoppable, across-the-board winner for almost half a decade now, and he must be stopped, ESPECIALLY when it comes to his attempts to stamp FDR's program with a giant "R" (or "W").

That would be disastrous for their party.

It is that pettiness to finally hand Bush a defeat that most has Gotham and other Bush-Haters who know what's going on licking their chops and criticizing the plan while offering no other viable alternative, save something like this:

"It's a question of distribution."

WC

Or "redistribution." Gotham likes to play the Champion of the Founding Father's Constitution but reveals his true Liberal--not wooden-- teeth when venturing into economics, and recommending redistribution of income, "leveling of play fields," and progressive taxation (which has already infected the negotiations vis-a-vis Social Security reform).

Someone should remind Gotham that Federal Taxation is un-Constitutional, if he wants to play the conservative about it.

But who is he fooling? He's just trying to get into the good graces of conservative chicks:

"Regarding the Bible quote- I was not contesting it, but addding and elaborating."

Right, just like a Liberal.

Going back to Frist's situation, Democrats are obstructing President Bush's nominees because they know that these nominees will strictly interpret the law -- not legislate from the bench.

Liberal judges "add and elaborate" the law, just as liberals see fit to arbitrarily "add and elaborate" on their interpretation of Scripture.

But that's besides the point, now. What we should concentrate on is Frist's past as the Dr. Mengele of Mewlings, and the Republicans horrific threat of using the "nuclear option."

We shouldn't think about the Democrat's threat to "shut down" the Senate if they do not get their way on judicial nominations.

And we shouldn't think about what's the best way to save Social Security.

No, Gotham's Goddess Truth--who is a woman obsessed and hateful of Bush, I suppose-- tells us that what's at issue here is to ALWAYS remember that Bush "sliced, diced, cut, parced, chisled, and giggled his arguments about WMD and Iraq," and that the President--who has his brother Jeb lovingly and securely established as governor of the state of Florida and grooming him for president--is a lower life than the regicidal and fratricidal King Claudius, the arch-villain of the play, who Gotham sympathizes with and uses as the voice of moral Enlightenment!

"Next time you hear some right winger complaining about someone asserting their Constitutional right against self-incrimination, you know now that they are less progressive than Elizabethan Englishmen portraying pre-modern Danes!"

Right-wingers are "less progressive/liberal" than a villainous, murderous, and incestuous king who tries to pray to God and realizes he's wasting his time because he's not willing to part with his ill-gotten gains?

Claudius: My words fly up. my thoughts remain below. words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Hamlet III.iii.97-99

Well, I should hope that we are less "progressive" than that (as the "progressive" Claudius progresses to hell).

But if you want to play Claudius, then I guess that I--your foil--must necessarily play Hamlet.

But I'm no Hamlet, Gotham:

"A rogue and peasant slave?" Perhaps, but not this John:

Hamlet: Yet I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing; no, not for a king..."

Hamlet II.ii.566-568

Nope. Not this John. I've got plenty to say for my king.

En Guarde.

 
At 6:13 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Bush obviously did not read the links provided- otherwise he would have seen plenty of quotes of authorized Bush supporters using the word "crisis.' It should be said Henry ll never said, "go kill Beckett!." He didn't have to. Bush also never said he wanted to kill Soc. Sec, but the baying wails of Bushbots all over the blog-o-roads have been saying just that.Indeed. Then he slanderously tries to lump us in with haters, when he know that is not the case- everything else is blah, blah, blah.

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

I meant John, not Bush.

 
At 6:17 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

When Claudius noted that Heaven madates that one must testify against oneself- he is implying that on earth you do not. This was written during Eliz. England- it was understood. Are you gonna claime that people on the right do not complaine about people taking the 5th? Then you never saw the commentary on the right when witness after witness refused to testify or give evidence against themselves during the Clinton pardon investigation.

 
At 6:18 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

soory abouyt the misspelingsss

 
At 6:22 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Gothamimage opposes redistribution- we think that there should be no cut off- all income should be subject to Fica tax. Now that it is limited to the first 80k, in effect, you have redistribution from the poor to the rich, because rich people make tax free income off the bonds that are floated to cover the debt. That's a fact. The money from SS taxes that poor people are used to back that up. Deficits serve as a reverse Robin Hood. But if all income was subject to the same tax, you could reduce the payroll tax rates for everyone.

 
At 7:30 AM, Anonymous John said...

"When Claudius noted that Heaven madates that one must testify against oneself- he is implying that on earth you do not."

There was no such implication. He implied that on earth you don't have to....

My mistake, Gotham. I misread you.

But you're still mismatching metaphors.

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous habitatgirl said...

Hey WC, just wanted to say that your posts are fascinating. Thanks for coming by my blog, and I'm glad that I found yours.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger amy said...

WC said, "People are people, but as citizens we have to try to bust them, when they stray- checks and balances. It's not Bush's shuffling that bothers -it's that people believe it."

So it should be the desire of every American to bring down the career of every elected official? Wow ... no left-wing conspiracy there, eh?

Are you sure it's not Bush's shuffling that bothers you? I've read almost a week's worth of posts on your blog and I'm pretty sure his inability to not only speak the truth but to address the needs of the average American bothers you.

And of course it's stupid that people believe it, buy into it, etc., but it happens. He wouldn't be the first to have had the same luck.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

The thing is, Bush is far from the first Presidents to be accused of lying. In fact, Presidents since Truman (at least) have distorted information to make certain ideas more palatable to the situation at hand. (see the text of the Truman doctrine) Obviously, I would prefer that it wouldn't be necessary, but cynic that I'm, I think it's unavoidable - otherwise nothing would ever get done.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Not to "bring down" necessarily, but to hold to account.
"Vigilence," is not vigilantism, but it is the price of liberty.
All people, are capable of error and since power tends to corrupt, it's good to keep a watch on the powerful.
Often, politcal deceit is understandable in the sense that so many people do it, regardless of party, but when you think one group is always pure and the other is not, then that skews reason.
Bush and Clinton seem to have reason x, but sometimes give reason Y, for why they do things. So, if you can flesh that out, then their words become flesh, in a secular sense. Then you know what you are dealing with and can act accordingly.
But one of the articles we linked to, under 'Mainstream Media,' makes it very clear that students President Bush was addressing were had the wrong knowledge and the President did not correct them, but took advantage of their misperceptions- Daily Howler, though a critic of Bush, makes it very clear how this was so. But the reporter from the supposedly liberal paper did not- he let it slide.
Many friends who supported the Iraq War had their own reasons- they were never the ones Bush gave. Why not? It seemed the President had a story for one group of Americans that was different than the one many of his informed supporters had.
This is decadent, because people start to believe things that are not so and they support things for the wrong reasons, and that can come back to haunt.

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Let us suppose for a second that Bush told us that the war is not about WMD or terrorists but the "spread of democracy throughouth the world". Realistically speaking, how many people (outside of those who already figured it out) do you think would have supported such a venture? Methinks, not many, considering previous experiences when it comes to the spread of democracy. And yet, if you think, that it's the right thing to do, you believe in making unpopular decisions - but because you want to be reelected you have to give other reasons which the public would accept.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Irina proves our point. Truman left office with a 28 percent approval rating. Only now is being reconsidered, but he was HATED by the right, and the left, at the time. But he never whined about critique; he let the chips fall.

Amy- we did not have a blog when Clinton was in office, but if we did, we would have gone crazy with critques of him.

Part of the problem, wethinks, is that our Constitution is inconsistant with our world role, since ww2, but Pols are afraid to open that debate, because they vow to uphold the Const 'against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'

But as time goes on, many things in the Const, like Congressional War Powers and other things seem problematic with strategy, so they use cutisms to explain policy.

Deception is necessary in war- against your enemies, but global communication makes it impossible to deceive only your enemies, because if you tell the truth at home, they will find out- so deception becomes global, so people are not properly informed unless they try to keep up all the time. This means they cannot make informed judgement, because the facts they have are not facts.
This is a problem intrinsic in Empire and that's why gothamimage does not want to go down that British road, which is a road of ruin.
Look at India/Pak, Israel/WestBank?Jordon, the Iraq/Kuwait border/ Cyprus, Ireland, etc , etc
Those partions are scars that still bleed, and brave laddies fought all over them and Kipling and Tennyson wrote poems, but the laddies did not know then why they did, and often died. We don't want to repeat mistakes.

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Irina - Ironically, while gothamimage would disagree with Bush if he spoke as you imagined, wethinks, many Americans would agree with him.

But we would have an honest debate that would flesh out many unexplored problems.

Imagine if you were a Wall St. analyst, trying to analyze a balance sheet and a cash flow statement, but you were not allowed to examine how earnings were booked- later on, you find out many of those profits you reported were based on sales to a subsidiary of the same company- if you knew that at the time, you would know that is not a reliable revenue stream and you would note that. You would know that those were not reliable earnings - the company was booking ephemeral earnings= maybe it would still be worth the risk, but you would be able to asses the worth of the risk. Imagine if you knew that the money Enron was booking was not real, but accounting gimics- maybe you would still trade the stock to ride the wave, but you would not delude yourself- you would have known that the company was a problem, at best.
Now, imagine if you knew how much Iraq would cost, you might think twice, or you might come up with a better plane. But we cannot prove, but we suspect, that they pretended to underestimate the cost for political reasons - think about young Americans who did not have proper protection, ect- that would have come out in debate.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger amy said...

I think if there were any concrete predictors to the true cost of a war (be they financial, human, or what have you) then many wars would not have happened.

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Addressing your comment about Truman - you really think he did NOT mislead the Americans? Think again. Check the wording of the Truman doctrine and see whether it sounds familiar.

By the way, you raise a very interesting point by mentioning approval ratings. The question is: do they matter? Or rather, what matters more - the short run or the long-term consequences of the decisions made, however unpopular or even damaging they were at the time they were made?

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Amy-you are correct. That is why we suspect, that they knew more than they said, because the believed in the war, but for reasons that they felt were hard to articulate- as a result, many deliberations were not had, and many were ignored, like the State Dept reports, because they were inconvienient. Also, many of these men and women are brilliant, and if we could spot holes in Powell's speech, we suspect they could, but did not.
We think the Iraq war was a mistake that will only be really clear years from now. In many ways, we compare it to the Philipine War, which was very gruesome when it happened over a 100 years ago, but it was not till Japan invaded and took Americans prisoner 40 years from that day, and people we know had to fight to get it back, did the true cost emerge. In the same way, the Iraq war may turn out good for Iraqis who are alive (a big if), but we think it is bad for America in the long run.

People and nations always do what they think is in their best interest, but we know from hindsight that they erred. Often brilliant people make terrible mistakes- WW1 led to a century of war, the rise of Nazism, and Bolshevism, etc- but it all started in the Balkans in small wars at the beginning of the cent.
Irina- Can't say Truman lied, but will look- but he was usually too honest. Truman was a ww1 vet. He was willing to trade unpopularity for long term statemenship in most cases. Ike was also generally honest, but not about Gary Powers, but that was not a pattern and that was more understandable. Ike knew the danger of war and he had the creds to stand up to the hawks when that was good.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Look specifically at the text of the Truman speech about Greece and Turkey. See if anything strikes you as unusual. I'm convinced that Truman whole-heartedly believed in what he was doing. However, if you take a look at the strategic importance of Greece and *especially* Turkey in the post-war period, you will see, that the situation was far from simple. Of course, no one knew about that importance until much later on... See what arguments he makes in his statement, and try to understand that deception is sometimes based on necessity to disguise other reasons which do not become clear and justifiable until much later on. I'm not saying that this is the case with Iraq. Obviously, many mistakes have been made in the planning of this war and the reconstruction. However, theoretically, and practically, it is possible to explain the seeming dichotomy in words and deeds of the government.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger amy said...

Just something to tie the two arguments together: Regarding truth and war - isn't truth actually true depending on your perspective? I mean, what's true to me is certainly not true to WC, or Irina or John. Sure, there are probably some steady "truths," but some could discount them as mere philosophies. Any other truths are scientific, and even those are often up for debate.

But regarding war, if truth is subjective to the person, their experience, their level of knowledge, etc., then couldn't it be said that one's decision to enter into warfare would be based upon one's belief of a "truth" that may merely be subjective and not exactly universally accepted? Tenet, Bush, Rove, Powell, Rumsfield - the whole crew - believed that the war was necessary based on information they were provided. To them, that justified their actions and was, in turn, their "truth." There are plenty of us, however, who see the "truth" as something else.

I realize that I'm throwing out the possibility that I buy into the Iraq War (which let me be frank, I do NOT), but I just want to present an alternate theory about truth and warfare.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

That's certainly a possibility - Perspectivism, but you have to be careful there. Because although there maybe different perspectives, not all of them are equally valid in all given situations.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger amy said...

I completely agree, Irina, that's why I brought it up. I don't think the perspective for going into the Iraq War was valid at all.

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Which perspective? The one we were presented with - WMD/links with terrorists or the humanitarian/spread of democracy one?

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

"What is truth?" -Pontius Pilot

Indeed, Amy you are correct- but just because they believed in the war, not all of them saw it as necessary, but "doable."

"Doable," was the word Wolfowitz used in reported deliberations after 9-11 to argue for going against Iraq before The Taliban.

In fact, leaving aside the casual and flippant tone of the word, which calls to mind a fraternity characterization, more than a war, it turned out that he had it reversed -Iraq was not easier than toppling the Taliban and we suspect he knew that, because he knows how to add.

But the Iraq war was seen by many supporters as optional, not necessary, and if necessary, not the way most people understand that term

It is worth noting that those who experienced conflict up close were more judicious, not only in their phraseology, but also in their tactical and strategic considerations.

The information they had was largely the information they requested- dissent from analysts were ignored and wound up on the inside pages of papers- invariably, they were all 'spot on' in their assessments of the presumed task as hand, if it was to be had, and that is why they were sequested out of sight.

The traditional view of intelliigence is one that the Bush adminstration derided. Traditionally, intelligence described x,y,z and then lays out information to policy makers.

The Bush insiders turned that on its head- they said intelligence is to support policy. Policy = x, now find the intelligence. In theory that sound ok, but invariably you end up getting intelligence suited to fit policy and intelligence, though correct, chides with policy, is cast aside- often with diastrous consequences.

If your view of conflict is from afar- a reading of this or that, you lose sight of the human dimension and when soldiers die or become disabled, you are left trying to explain where theory meets practice.

Irina does not contest the idea that an official reason was not the real reason. Fair enough- but do we really want to have a bifuricated Republic, where there are those who are in on the scheme, and those who are not- That seems to have many dangerous potential side effects.

Regarding Truman- we did give aide to Greece and Turkey, and it was not just for freedom, but freedom was preserved (in Greece esp), not created. We did also protect Greece, so Turkey would not be vulnerable, so as to leave Iran open to USSR games- because Iran was our ally for oil,-- an obligation we inherited from England- that led to our problematic policies that haunt us today. It never ends.
But we sent 40 advisors initially to Greece, not an invasion of N/ Greece or Rumania, where the Greeks were threatened.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Regarding Truman - I suggest you look at the events more accurately. We sent it a littl more than "just 40 advisors" - and, by the, way, the situation there was close to disastrous because of guerrilla warfare and bloodshed. Guerrilla warfare was called "terrorism" in Truman's speech. Our involvement in Iran was another issue altogether. Who got manipulated by whom is a story worth discussing.

 
At 6:39 PM, Anonymous John said...

WC said...

"Truman left office with a 28 percent approval rating. Only now is being reconsidered, but he was HATED by the right, and the left, at the time. But he never whined about critique; he let the chips fall."

In that, Bush is very much like Truman, Gotham. He is not overly concerned about anemic approval ratings, or any hate directed at him, but has said, on a few occassions, to the effect: "I'll let historians be the judge."

In that he is much like Reagan, as well (who I'm pretty sure inspired that attitude).

"Part of the problem, wethinks, is that our Constitution is inconsistant with our world role, since ww2, but Pols are afraid to open that debate, because they vow to uphold the Const 'against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

The Framers had great foresight and injected the frames of the Constitution with elasticity to adapt to changing situations without compromising its integrity (as the West beckoned).

Hence, expansion in the pursuit of Manifest Destiny was not as offensive to the document as, say, refusing the South its right to secede was (and they recognized that Achilles' Heel and foresaw such a Constitutional crisis).

Visions of globalization under the banner of "American Enlightenment" danced in their heads as well, as John Adams imagined:

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

John Adams

But with the fledgling nation's ultima Thule being the Mississippi River at that point, even the most visionary of the Framers would have had difficulty imagining the sheer scale and complexity of today's globalization, so even the boldest, futuristic emanation that sings--unsung-- between the lines of the document is stretched tenuously, and results in the "inconsistency" Gotham laments.

There is that brand of conservatism that is isolationist in nature, or attitude--if not xenophobic.

They tend to contract behind a fortress rather than expand out on the field (whether militarily or even commercially).

These are the Paleocons, best represented by Pat Buchanan on the American Conservative (and Ross Perot in 1992), and the Adams they like to quote is the son, Quincy:

"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy."

John Quincy Adams

Well, monsters came here to destroy us, and the Constitution gives the President the authority to defend the American people and national interests as he sees fit.

That fitness is at the crux of the argument.

Meanwhile, you have Neocons and Paleocons both arguing for constructionist interpretations of the Constitution on domestic issues while Liberals subject it to the dislocating contortionisms of Windsor Pilates, if not Yoga, but when debating the fitness of the war strategy, the roles get reversed or scrambled when arguing on those matters of Foreign Policy, particularly on the watershed decision to jump into the Middle Eastern fray--which Bush has decided is a fit way to win the overall war on terror.

Thus, you had the very strange bedfellows of "ultra" Paleocon Pat Buchanan playing footsies with the Liberal Nation's Katrina Vandenheuval on our Constitutional authority to invade Iraq, and have Liberal, Kissinger-hating and iconoclast extraordinaire Chris Hitchens raising a glass to both George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz for invading, arguing on our moral--if not Constitutional-- duty to do so.

So there's plenty of inconsistencies to go around.

It's kind of like a comedy of errors, or a Midsummer Night's Dream.

Puck: Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Indeed. But the Paleocons and Liberals--particularly the anti-war/anti-IMF brand-- who see our aggressive, international engagement as unseemly and "un-American" (to say the least), don't seem to understand that the world has gotten much smaller very quickly, and that what is going on in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea is not the loud but harmless rumbling of distant thunder, but the incendiary lightning that is being generated at the other side of the neighborhood-- if not down the street.

America as Globo-cop, patrolling the neighborhood with a baton ready to club some ecto for disturbing the peace, if not ready to deploy a S.W.A.T. team to some house that is storing assault rifles and holding hostages (not to mention making lightning generators)?

Well, in this day and age, somebody's gotta do it, and the UN has proved incapable of performing that service.

A Paleoconservative/Elitist Liberal hybrid like Gotham (a unique combination, Gotham; I have affection for it) certainly has his heart in the right place, but shrinks away from the Calling, not wishing to implicate the nation--and compromise the Constitution?--in what he apparently sees as a vain pursuit of "foreign monsters" (if not a treasure hunt compelled by greed for black gold).

But that--however idealistically based and tempered with cynicism-- is, apparently, unaware of the reality and nature of competition, both for resources and the spreading of ideas.

Gotham is Liberal in that he has a characteristic knee-jerk mistrust of American motives, and a contempt for the corporate culture (which is behind the motives), and sees things through that prism.

He feels the pain of the Iraqis--"insurgents" and all-- primarily because--apparently, not clairvoyantly-- he doesn't think
that we have any right to impose McDonald's and Paris Hilton on them, and certainly doesn't think that such "Westernization American-Style" forced on an alien culture is worth a single drop of blood from our brave troops who signed on to defend our country from direct--if not imminent--threats.

But this is an International War on Terror, and the strategy of "Westernizing" the reguion is not for the sake of Mickey-Dees and reality television, but for the sake of Democracy, something we champion and wish to see spread around the world for excellent reasons diverse and sundry, one very small one being giving someone the choice to eat a Big Mac or not (sure, why not? they even have that choice in Paris, France), but a very big one being the defusing of a frustrated mentality which has proven to be malignant and caused not by the imposition of American policies of Free thought, free living, and the free market, but by the informational suppression and civil oppression imposed by theocratic and totalitarian regimes.

You say let them be.

We did. And they came here on 9/11.

What does the Constitution say about our right to self-defense?

You know what it says, only you think that the removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan was sufficient, I would guess?

But that would be more an act of revenge than a comprehensive campaign that is making real progress towards our strategic goal in the International War on Terror:

Westernize the region and make it inhospitable to terror.

And sometimes, you have to fight fire with fire.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger j said...

Wow, John. You have the most amazing ability of pigeonholing people. It's good to know that all of Gotham's opinions can be dismissed so easily by an admixture of poor associations and bad analogies.

Seriously, could you be more precise (and, perhaps, concise)? I'm sure I speak for others when I say that it is tiresome to go through your posts. I don't want to shut you out, nor do I wish to dismiss your opinion: the whole point of this is to discuss. But those aimless, unfocused ramblngs, combined with your unbearably smug tone, invite nothing but disdain and dismissal.

Also, could you maybe get your own blog? It would be nice to read your opinions firsthand.

 
At 1:26 AM, Anonymous John said...

"J" says:

"Wow, John. You have the most amazing ability of pigeonholing people."

What do you mean? I'm an individualist. I don't like "grouping" people. I can't stand group-think. Hell, I don't even like group-sex.

"Pigeon-hole people? Let the pigeons fly free, is what I say. Coo-coo, baby.

"It's good to know that all of Gotham's opinions can be dismissed so easily by an admixture of poor associations and bad analogies."

"All" of them? Aren't you pigeonholing? "Poor associations and bad analogies?" For example?

"Seriously, could you be more precise..."

Can you?

"(and, perhaps, concise)?"

Ha ha. So I guess you're against filibustering when it's not being obstructionist in nature.

"I'm sure I speak for others when I say that it is tiresome to go through your posts."

:(

"I don't want to shut you out, nor do I wish to dismiss your opinion: the whole point of this is to discuss."

I am discussing! I mean...aren't I?

"But those aimless, unfocused ramblngs..."

:(

"...combined with your unbearably smug tone..."

Well, I can't help it if I'm so cute.

"...invite nothing but disdain and dismissal."

Oh-ho! Look who's talking now:

"It requires a gift of character and rhetoric that we last saw in Bill Clinton, but haven't seen since." J.

"Gift of character?" Good God, J! He's an unrepentant rapist!

"Gift of rhetoric?"

Like this?

"We...we did, if, the, the, I, I, the stories are just as they have been said. They're outrageous and they're not so." December 22, 1993

"I- did not- have- sexual relations with that woman. Miss Lewinsky."

"I...(drum roll)...have sinned."

Wow. What a gifted man!

"I think Bill Clinton was able to pull off something similar- he was also charming and charismatic, and able to shrug off most criticism."

J.

Charming and charismatic to who, J?

The poor, star-stricken Miss Lewinsky? He's damaged her for life. Last I heard, she was a bag-lady or something somewhere. He would've utterly destroyed her if she didn't come up with the blue dress that he used for target practice.

Yes, J., I sniff in disdain of your assessments of that man, President Clinton, and dismiss them outright.

"Also, could you maybe get your own blog? It would be nice to read your opinions firsthand."

Oh. So now you're playing nice after hurting my feelings, huh?

Friggin' Clinton-Lovers, I tell ya...

 
At 5:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GI wrote:
"Deception is the High Fructose Corn Syrup that limply fuels modern politics."

Good point. The bad corporate diet of Americans is a metaphor for our bad politics.

Read "Food Politics," by Marion Nestle


John wrote:

""I...(drum roll)...have sinned."

Mocking Christians, and asking God for forgiveness, used to be the province of the far left. Now John is on the bandwagon. Hmmmmm.
-SLA

The far left and the far right are closer than you think.

 
At 5:33 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Those of us in the center look down from our Harry Lime Ferris Wheel's at the opinions, not the person, of John-types. We have no sympathy for terrorists and he knows it, so when he says it or implies it, it is a form of slander. It's rather slimy and not worth rebuttle, just sneering belittlement. He knows better, but he also knows that lower types within his base do not. (We assume John is a he, but recall that libertarian cite that had a pretty woman on the cover, but then reveal himself as a guy as a joke)
Not only do we NOT distrust Americans motives - we think politicians take advantage of American good motives all the time. Where are those mass graves in Kosovo? Where are those WMD's?
Americans are always losing their innocense.
Our national hymen is like that Terminator character that reconsititues itself after being blown away by the Governer of California.
It's guys like John who have contempt for American- injecting a stinky brew of banana smoke and corn syrup into their veins.

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Truman would despise Bush for many reasons. Truman was a war hero and he hated people who hid and let others fight and die. He used to mock Nixon's service which was a hell of a lot better than Bush's blowing away tax money so he could flameout as a pilot. Bush's grandfather did not like Truman and Truman did not like him. Everything about Truman was real- he was a heartlander. He did not try to pass himself off as a New Englander the way Bush tries to pass himself off as Texan. Risible.
Read about Truman in WW1. Try to imagine Bush doing that. Exactly.
Republicans hate Truman for a good reason; he stood for what they hate.

 
At 5:39 AM, Anonymous John said...

I don't know what you mean, SLA. I don't mock Christians. I protect them in this lion-filled Colosseum called Gothamimage.

 
At 5:59 AM, Anonymous John said...

WC, I really can't feel offended until I find the insult that I suspect is buried somewhere within that incoherent tangle of non-sequiters and hallucinations.

Confucious say: "It not wise to pull tail of tiger in pleasant mood."

 
At 6:05 AM, Anonymous John said...

"Our national hymen is like that Terminator character that reconsititues itself after being blown away by the Governer of California."

LMAO!

So true. We're a good people. Forever young.

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger amy said...

I'm stuck on the part where John talks about Monica Lewinsky:

"The poor, star-stricken Miss Lewinsky? He's damaged her for life. Last I heard, she was a bag-lady or something somewhere. He would've utterly destroyed her if she didn't come up with the blue dress that he used for target practice."

You're right John, Monica was merely plucked out of the mass of interns at the White House and secretly snuck into the Oval Office where the President could have his way with her. She was totally used. I'm sure she hated every minute of it.

It still takes two to tango, John. Even if you're an oversexed intern or the leader of the Free World.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger j said...

John: I'm still waiting for a legitimate response.

You've characterized me as a "Clinton-lover," which is a fine example of pigeonholing. So much for your "individualism."

You've made a ridiculous analogy between your aimless posts and filibustering, and then made a groundless assumption that I oppose filibusters. How timely! You must be proud of those acrobatics.

I'm serious when I say you should get a blog. It's only fair that WC should be able to return the favor of cluttering it with unbearably large and aimless posts.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger amy said...

I'm considering taking tomorrow off so I can read from the phone book on my own blog ... anyone wanna join me? We can have a Filibustering Party!

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

John - SLA has you nailed. You mocked Clinton's confession - she actually highlighted the quote you mocked. Mocking a confession of sin reveals your sensibility.

 
At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Frenchie said...

I like it. Tax the rich, damnit, they can afford it and I mean that. Tax them heavily and without mercy.

It's late here on this side of the ocean but I saw you visited us and always return a visit at least most of the time.

Honesty and politics make strange and often adulterous bedfellows. I can't think of one politician, not 1, that I would call honest. Not in the US and not here in France.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Have you seen one person who really considers himself rich? And who feels he or she can afford to be taxed? I don't think so. I bet we'll have A LOT of disagreement over how to tax that extra income if we ever get around to that.

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous John said...

"John: I'm still waiting for a legitimate response.

You've characterized me as a "Clinton-lover," which is a fine example of pigeonholing. So much for your "individualism."

Actually, J, that was a case of mistaken identity. I thought you were "I" from the previous post, and then conflated "I" with "J". I beg your pardon.

"You've made a ridiculous analogy between your aimless posts and filibustering, and then made a groundless assumption that I oppose filibusters. How timely! You must be proud of those acrobatics."

lol Wellll...That wasn't so much an acrobatic stunt as it was pulling a rabbit out of a hat after last call (which is what they do in filibusters).

"I'm serious when I say you should get a blog. It's only fair that WC should be able to return the favor of cluttering it with unbearably large and aimless posts."

What happened to this sentiment, J:

"Also, could you maybe get your own blog? It would be nice to read your opinions firsthand."

I liked that one better. Now you're being rude, but if that's your true sentiment, then I would prefer that over your disingenuous one.

As for "dismissing all" of the lovable but misguided Gotham's opinions, that's not true (and if it's not true, it's a lie, it seems, by today's definition, so you're being a liar).

I respond directly to the points I disagree with. That's not being "dismissive." That's inviting debate. And I've learned and reconsidered many (well, some) things in the debates, thank you very much.

"I don't want to shut you out, nor do I wish to dismiss your opinion: the whole point of this is to discuss."

I appreciate your magnanimity, sir, but last time I checked, it was Gotham's prerogative and ability to "shut out" and "dismiss" opinions (and trust me, he has demonstrated a quick delete finger).

And I thought I was "discussing." What, is there a 100-word limit, or something? Are you the referee or judge of what qualifies as "discussion" in a blog?

No one's forcing you to read anything. Do what I do and scroll down past the windy commentaries if you don't have the time or interest to peruse or dwell on them.

You offer the olive branch of civility by graciously asserting that you want to remain open to my opinions, but are prevented from doing so because of my: pigeonholing, dismissiveness, imprecision, tiresomeness, aimlessness, lack of focus, and unbearable smugness, all of which have invited you to be disdainful and dismissive of those very opinions.

Yes. I know how you feel. But if you really are curious and open about a particular opinion of mine (opinions which are actually quite clear to you, and hence the disdain?), just ask me in a precise and concise way, and stop the character assassination in a political attempt to discredit those very opinions.

"I'm sure I speak for others when I say that it is tiresome to go through your posts."

Don't presume to speak for "others." "Others" can speak for themselves" (and they have, for better or for worse).

And "others" may feel the same about you. Have you considered that?

Amy says:

"You're right John, Monica was merely plucked out of the mass of interns at the White House and secretly snuck into the Oval Office where the President could have his way with her. She was totally used. I'm sure she hated every minute of it."

I know she was looking forward to earning her "presidential knee-pads." I'm sure she encouraged the affair and I'm sure she loved it.

But she was young and got romantic about it, and Clinton encouraged that. When she started getting jealous over Eleanor Mondale and started moping at the White House gates, he realized he took his own self-indulgent game too far and cut her off.

When Starr got a hold of the story, it is my belief that Clinton would've given the go-ahead to utterly destroy her credibility and her character by utilizing the tried-and-true "Sluts and Nuts" strategy.

I believe he raped Juanita Broadrick, who was in fact totally used.

"I'm considering taking tomorrow off so I can read from the phone book on my own blog ... anyone wanna join me? We can have a Filibustering Party!"

I'm there. I'll bring the Chinese census.

WC said...

"John - SLA has you nailed. You mocked Clinton's confession - she actually highlighted the quote you mocked. Mocking a confession of sin reveals your sensibility."

I was using that as an example of his rhetorical abilities that "I"--not "J", as I erred--claimed he was "gifted" with.

And of course I mock him. That should be a private matter between him and whatever deity he worships (the crucified Lord and Savior John F. Kennedy?).

I know what he was doing there.

And Bush would be drawn and quartered by mockery if he said something like that.

Frenchie said...

"I like it. Tax the rich, damnit, they can afford it and I mean that. Tax them heavily and without mercy."

Merde.

Irina Tsukerman said...

"Have you seen one person who really considers himself rich? And who feels he or she can afford to be taxed? I don't think so. I bet we'll have A LOT of disagreement over how to tax that extra income if we ever get around to that."

Irina's right (AGAIN!). It's a matter of scale.

 
At 8:41 PM, Anonymous John said...

Ah, Phelonius! Well said.

We are Capitalists. Read Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations," particularly the section about the "invisible hand." Precisely what Phelonius was referring to.

I don't have affection for the character of Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) from the oh-so-eighties movie "Wall Street," but when he told Charlie Sheen that "Greed is good," he had a point.

I would rephrase that by saying that cupidity is bad, but one's ability to generate wealth--in pursuit of his/her very own dreams--unavoidably benefits the common weal. That is Smith's "Invisible Hand."

If a person is "greedy," that's his/her problem. So long as they give me what I want at a price I can afford, they can do what they want with money I and others give them in exchange for the good or service they provide.

Democrats--"The Party of the People"--can't help but engage in class-warfare when up against the GOP, who are lambasted as "The Party of the Rich."

And we have the "Corporate" presidency of George W. Bush, and the stigmatizing of corporations accordingly.

"The People Against The Powerful," as Al Gore championed.

Who are "The Powerful?" They're people. Who do they hire, from janitor to CEO to upkeep the corporation? People. And the and more "powerful" the corporation is, the more people can make a living off of.

What do corporations do? How do they get so powerful? They provide a good or service in demand by PEOPLE, who freely pay for it.

Funny, Senator Kerry was richer than Edwards, Bush, AND Cheney. He's the richest man in the Senate. And he got his money the old-fashioned way: He earned it. Wait, no, that's not right: He MARRIED it. He married the widow of a filthy-rich Republican--the late senator Heinz of the ketchup corporation--who Kerry was probably trying to raise taxes on when he was alive and a fellow colleague in the Senate.

Kerry campaigned on "The rich should pay there fair share!" in his attempt to loot the corporations through some "progressive taxation" scheme dancing in his head.

And there was his wife, the very, very loaded Theresa Heinz (she kept the name of the first husband), clapping her hands in assent.

She has a bulk of her cash in municipal bonds.

That's right. TAX SHELTERS.

Friggin' Socialists, I tell ya...

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

John's Cialis-less commentaries continue to limply limp down my blog's comments page.

Phelonius and John failed to read what we said- we want the rich to pay the same rate on FICA tax as the poor and the middle class. Not more, not less. They should pay as much.

Favoritism to rich may have an aesthetic quality that you favor, but it is not good public policy.

Taxing the poor at a disproportioate rate thru SS FICA taxes may be amusing, and it may create a recruitment pool for need corrections officers and other tough jobs, but it does not help build civilization.

Gekko's comments always attracts the gruesome element of the far right.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

Why is 'taxes' such a dirty word? It's the resources of this country that enables people to make the money they earn. You can't pull money out of your a**. These tax-haters act as if having to pay any tax at all is stealing from them. There are, of course, always heated arguments about how tax money should be spent, but it seems as if the 'rich' feel as though they should get to use the resources and infrastructure of our country to enrich themselves and their descendants for free. Talk about your 'entitlement programs'!

Love your blog, BTW; thanks for pointing me to it!

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

Plus, that 'job creation' argument goes only so far...if I hire one guy at $10 an hour, and another guy hires 10 people at $1 an hour, is he 'creating' ten jobs? A large part of the 'illegal immigration' brouhaha has to do with the big agribusiness corporations who hire these people at wages that no person could survive on without living like a literal slave.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Alicia, nobody said that "taxes" is a dirty word. In fact, if you look at John's comment he's defending taxes. What we (conservatives) are attacking is a phony attitude that all rich are thiefs just because they earn a lot of money.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Alicia, thanks for your kind comments and your incisive points. Irina is wrong, Alicia is right. Irina, you have not been listeninf to Grover Norquist, or any of the most influential GOP leaders/lobbyists. Sorry Irina:(

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Nothing to be sorry about, because, WC, you haven't carefully read what I was responding to.

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

Corporations are not people. That is what makes people who own corporations powerful. Because a corporation is an entity without being a person, if a corporation goes under, the person (or people) who own it do not. And who is stuck with the bill? That's right, the American taxpayer. So you can mismanage as badly as you like, and when your corporation goes up in flames (along with employee pensions and whatnot) you grab your golden parachute and jump! The corporation takes the hit, not you. This is the Bush way. It's what he's done his entire 'business' career - mismanage a formerly decent business into the ground, then have Daddy's buddies bail him out. And he certainly hasn't changed his M.O. as President. If I ever heard him publicly accept responsibility for anything he's done, I'd have a coronary on the spot.

But if I have an unforeseen catastrophe - medical bills, death, divorce, job loss - and can't meet my obligations, I'm the 'deadbeat' who is personally responsible. And now, my only way to get a chance to recover has been gutted, thanks to the Bankruptcy Bill, so that the usurers who are already making a fortune on the backs of the less-creditworthy via late fees and high-risk exorbitant interest rates can make even more money. To penalize the 90% of Americans who file bankruptcy because of events beyond their control is just wrong. The 10% who are really trying to screw the system will no doubt continue to do so. All I get is a stern lecture on 'responsibility', a kick in the a**, and a credit history that I will never get out from under.

But when huge corporations go under, they are bailed out by the government, and the people responsible go their merry way, keeping their homes and lifestyles, to some other hapless business, and start all over again...

 
At 4:58 AM, Anonymous John said...

Right, Alicia. You are bemoaning the same corruption in CHARACTER that Bookfraud recently lamented.

Those people exploit the allowances our laws allow, and--in the publicized cases-- even transgress them in their corrupt cupidity...

...but and are consequently--in the publicized cases-- called to account.

You may think that the system is set up to invite such exploitation, but it's not. There are laws against such exploitation, and those who are caught are pay the piper.

You may not like the loopholes in corporate law that are big enough to allow a two-ton elephant to hop through and leave the monkeys and clowns to fend for themselves in the big-top without the main attraction (which provided their bread and butter), and you may not like the wrist-slapping punishment a bad elephant recieves when caught, but argue for tightening the loopholes--as many activists in both the private and public sector are trying to do-- or demand a cattle-prod as opposed to a wrist-slap when administering deterrent justice, instead, as opposed to condemning the American corporate culture (which is overall fabulous and which every nation tries to emulate).

Tighten the loopholes or properly punish the perpetrators, don't condemn the entire Capitalist system, which is worthy--at its best manifestation-- of a Randian paean to industrial excellence.

I hear echoes of Ricardo and Marx in your lamenting of some "inequality" between management and labor.

That's not our way.

 
At 6:30 AM, Anonymous John said...

WC said:

"Phelonius and John failed to read what we said- we want the rich to pay the same rate on FICA tax as the poor and the middle class. Not more, not less. They should pay as much.

Sooooo...that goes for Medicare too, right?

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

I am not condemning capitalism. But you're right; I am asking for rules to be applied equally across the board. And I'm sorry, but human nature being what it is, you're asking for disaster if you expect these industries and corporations to 'police' themselves. There needs to be a certain amount of outside oversight and regulation. The 'let the free market take care of everything'is a nice idea in principle, but as soon as one of the big ones run into trouble, 'free market' goes out the window and 'taxpayer bailout' (a.k.a. corporate welfare) comes in. Randianism is as flawed as Communism - they're really flip sides of the same Utopian coin.

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous John said...

Alicia, there's been some improvement on taking corporate "white collar" crimes more seriously, and as Bookfraud mentioned earlier, there is more independent oversight.

Also, the revelations of Worldcom and Enron and the devastating impact they had both on a shaken economy and on the lives of multitudinous workers led to greater stigmatization of such shenanigans, and louder public outrage, which Bush has heeded.

I think they're going to throw the book at Ken Lay to make an example of him, and it would be quite an example, with him being the president's pal, and all, essentially telegraphing that no matter many people you know in high places, if you do the crime, you're doing the time.

Also, there's a lawyer making the rounds on a crusade of sorts to really sock it to corporate crooks, primarily because of the lives they hurt.

He's talking 10-30 year prison sentences.

The fair Irina said:

"Nothing to be sorry about, because, WC, you haven't carefully read what I was responding to."

What's that, Irina? WC hadn't carefully read a response, and replied inappropriately?

Gee, that's first.

 

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