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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Sunday, June 08, 2008

SO LONG BILL AND HILLARY ....MAYBE - THE SUNDAY COMMENTARY

In an unusual humbled tone, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign for the 2008 Democrat nomination thus ending her aspirations for now in seeking the Presidency that she felt was her destiny. Notice that she, "suspended, " her campaign and did not actually concede to Obama thus giving her control until the Convention in August of her more than 1900 delegates and a great deal of influence over the DNC platform for the fall election.

With this chapter of the Clinton saga coming to a close, does it also signify the farewell performance of Bill and Hillary Clinton ? Sure for the next several weeks and months actually, both will try to stay in the spotlight, that was evidenced by her momentary, "interest," in the number two spot after the Montana and South Dakota Primaries, the hastened, "secret," meeting held at Dianne Feinstein's home and the major press build up for her suspension speech.

This nomination was Hillary's to lose, or at least that is what most pundits say. After all she is a former First Lady and for all intents and purposes, co-president during the Bubba years. She has been in the Senate for nearly two terms and at least seems to popular in her , "home," State of New York. Then of course she is a Clinton the big name in liberal and Democrat politics for more than fifteen years.

Her demise as a candidate and loss to Barack Obama for the nomination was partially her own fault but I believe greatly because of another factor that I will discuss momentarily. First though, her own short comings as a candidate. She was her own worst enemy and was solely responsible for the many stupid blunders that brought attention to who she was and her lack of integrity and honesty. Do I hear Bosnia sniper fire for example ?

That combined with the true temperament of Bill showing its angry face especially toward the end of the campaign proved substantial to the demise of Hillary 08. She has shown every politician in the world what NOT to do when running for National office. Shooting ones self in the foot over and over again tends to cripple a campaign and bring about its down fall.

Now the , "other," factor that I mentioned earlier. That being plain old Clinton fatigue. The Clinton's have been ramrod, so to speak, over the Democrat Party since Bubba was nominated for the first time in 1992. They have left in their wake more controversy and scandal than just about any political coupling in history. While the Kennedy's and the Roosevelt's are considered liberal political royalty the Clinton's have become political liability to the Democrat Party and her demise as a candidate was considerable proof of the end of the Clinton era in Democrat politics.

Barack Obama is a weak candidate at best and had he been up against a candidate that Democrats were not just plain tired of, Obama would not have achieved as strong a lead as he did in the early primaries that made him impossible to catch even as the problems with Jeremiah Wright and others in whom he associates with began troubling and ending his Rock Star status with the mesmerised liberals.

With Hillary's continual lies trying to prop herself up in the eyes of voters combined with Bubba's rants at campaign appearances and in interviews, the public was reminded of the shady days in The White House during the nineties and Clinton weariness set in taking Hillary down along with her self destructive tendencies.

The fact that the press which had placed the Clinton's on a pedestal since 1992, abandoned Hillary for Obama also lends further proof to the Clinton fatigue that helped to end her candidacy. Even the liberal media had grown tired of reporting the same shenanigans from the Clinton's only this time with her as the candidate rather than him. So they latched on to the Obama star and dumped the Clinton's by the side of the road.

Bubba and Hillary could not believe that they were the red headed step children with the media rather than the darlings they had grown accustomed to and actually lashed out at their former buddies which added fuel to the crashing fire of the Clinton demise.

Hillary and even Bill will be in the spotlight until the Convention and then try to steal some of Obama's liberal thunder until the election but unless Obama wins the White House in November, (which I believe in unlikely because of his inherent weaknesses and inexperience), and appoints Hillary or Bill to a high cabinet position like Secretary of State, the Clinton's will being to fade into the back ground where they belong. Hillary becoming just another foot note in American History and Bubba finally being recognized as the mediocre at best President that he truly was.

Ken Taylor

34 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

I think Hillary lost because she is not a very good politician. For all of the supposed experience she claimed to have, it became clear that Barack Obama's [in]experience was far greater than her political experience.

2:53 PM, June 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crush from AMERICAN GLADIATORS may be the hottest chick on TV right now...what do you guys think?

http://www.nbc.com/American_Gladiators/video/#mea=258326

Watch her on AMERICAN GLADIATORS on Mondays at 8/7c on NBC

3:36 PM, June 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Clintons are the worst of what America does not need. Lies, corruption, condescending attitudes, ill-mannered behavior, and most of all, using their "status" to benefit via speeches, books, etc.

They are parasites on the American people.

It always catches up to you.

4:29 PM, June 08, 2008  
Anonymous Dennis said...

Excellent analysis of the reasons for Hillary's demise. Obama is unlikley to win not only due to his inexperience but also due to his radical Socialist beliefs. Obama will always be a Socialist regardless of the number of years his political career lasts. Finally, I wish Obama would show at least a little patriotism. Wouldn't it be nice if he said one thing in support of our troops and our efforts to complete the liberation of Iraq. Instead he continually makes public statements against the liberation and this only emboldens our enemies and does nothing to raise the morale of our troops.

4:59 PM, June 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be interested to hear what the conservatives think of their man, George Bush. Did the Clintons lie us into a war, put us in the deepest debt in history, sell pieces of our country to his foreign friends, etc.,etc., etc.? You have no leg to stand on while your president continues to screw the American people. In your own words, "It always catches up with you". And if you happen to be an Obama man, just wait. The republican terminators will begin their demolition very soon. You will wonder why you joined them in trashing Hillary when they begin ripping Obama to shreds..

5:18 PM, June 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refreshing POV and I trust McCain will use the GB socialist mess as a vivid example of how a country can decline morally, economically, and militarily when clobbered with socialism ad nauseum.

5:26 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

I am curious, what do you call Bush's No Child Left Behind, his Medicare Part D, his $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns, his $170 billion "tax rebate" scheme?

He has enthusiastically endorsed all of these things and they will cost American taxpayers more than $400 billion next year alone. Aren't they clear examples of "socialism."

Get off the "socialism" nonsense. The Republicans have been far from idealogically pure.

Obama will win because there is a real thirst for change.

5:34 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Gayle said...

I agree that Bill, unable to control his temper, had a detrimental affect on the campaign, Ken, but I have a different slant on her intentions than you do. I think that Hillary is holding onto her delegates in the high hopes that something will come out on Obama so bad that at the last moment the delegates will change their minds (the one's who have minds). They still could change their minds, you know. Failing that, I believe that if Obama gets elected (horrible thought) she knows he'll be such a terrible president that in 2012 she'll run again. The woman's mind is set on one thing: being in the most powerful position in the world, and as you know, she never quits.

Having said that, if I had been her (another horrible thought) I would have been so pissed off at the DNC for ignoring the popular vote that I would have withdrawn from the party and backed McCain. After all, she did say that she and McCain had far more experience than Obama, that Obama was too inexperienced to be president and now she's backing him! This makes her look like a liar (which she is and always has been) and shows she doesn't care about America at all because she's now blowing the horn for a man she said was inexperienced for the office. If I were a Hillary supporter this would really make me angry.

5:43 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Gayle said...

Okay, I just saw Rob's comment. Sorry. I usually read comments before posting.

Rob says "get off the socialism nonsense!" Rather high-handed of Rob. What right does he think he has to tell anyone what to write or not write? Furthermore, the Democratic party is run by socialists and everyone who has half a brain knows it! They've been trying to socialize this country and have started from the ground up, beginning with our schools and infiltrating our colleges teaching all sorts of crap including revisionist history. Thanks to socialists... er... liberal Democrats, we've got known terrorists like William Ayers teaching college, which is only one example. This is because the liberals have taken over and liberals vote Democratic. George Sorros is a known socialist and he is responsible for many things, one of them probably being much funding of Obama who is a socialist from the tip of his toes to his dumbo ears. Ken blogs, as I do, to expose the "socialist nonsense" as you so accurately describe it, Rob. Good choice of words because it is indeed "socialist nonsense" that we are fighting.

5:53 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Gayle, I am not telling you what to write or what not to write. That is up to you. However, if you did not criticize Bush and the Republican Congress for pushing through NCLB and Medicare Part D, which are the two single largest government programs in over 30 years, it seems a bit disengenuous to cry "SOCIALISM, SOCIALISM, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"

Tell me Gayle, were you for the Bear Stearns bailout? I wasn't.

Were you for the "economic stimulus" checks? I wasn't.

If you were, then you are the one who supports Socialism - but only when Republican Presidents are in office.

6:09 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Gayle, I assume you recognize that the country is now facing a mountain of red ink that it didn't face when Bush came to office. I also assume that you recognize that the first 6 years of the Bush administration was an economic disaster (debt accumulation has slowed since the Dems took Congress - that is a fact).

Two of Obama's biggest economic proposals are to increase the payroll tax cap on Social Security taxes and increasing the capital gains tax from the current 15 percent.

Gayle, if you, or any other rightie, wants to have an honest debate about those two proposals then let's do that. If you don't like those proposals, explain why and how do you propose to close the massive shortfalls?

6:17 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Gayle, one other point. Since you think popular vote should have been the deciding factor, then do you think Gore should have defeated Bush in 2000? He did win the popular vote.

6:19 PM, June 08, 2008  
Anonymous Dennis said...

Rob and Gayle,

Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of Socialism. President Bush, for all the brilliance and courage of the campaign to liberate Iraq, has been a major disappointment to me in his failure to reduce spending on non-defense items. The latest Federal budget is an insane $ 3.1 trillion and defense spending as a percent of total Federal spending is near historic lows. I'm not in favor of government bailouts for corporations or of the economic stimulus package. We need to restore conservatism. Tax reduction and major decreases in government spending are needed. Obama is right, we need change. But the change we need is opposite to what he advocates. We need drastically smaller government and the return of individual liberty.

7:27 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

I agree that spending is far, far too high. In Clinton's last year in office, the government spent $1.79 trillion (total expenditures). When Clinton came to office the government spent $1.38 trillion for 1992. So total annual spending grew by about $400 billion per year during Clinton's eight years.

At $3.1 trillion, Bush will have signed on to $1.3 trillion in new additional government spending per year.

Bush himself has proposed a $3 trillion budget that includes $400 billion in deficit spending. (In case some of you have forgotten - there was no deficit spending the last three years under Clinton.)

This is why I laugh when I hear Ken or Gayle talking about Socialism and fiscal irresponsibility if Obama is elected president. At least Dennis gets it.

11:07 PM, June 08, 2008  
Blogger Gayle said...

No, I see the point. I realize that there has been too much socialism in the Republican party as well. It seems Republicans get into Washington and then want to become part of the establishment and the establishment in Washington is run by Democrats. Republicans haven't had the backbone to stand up for why we sent them there in the first place. I realize that, and I realize the faults that Bush has had. I'm just saying that the agenda of the present Democratic party is socialism, pure and simple. True conservatives like Ken and myself want no part of it from either party.

2:59 PM, June 09, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

OK Gayle, rather than giving broad, unsubstantiated generalities, give me the specific program(s) Obama is proposing that you disagree with and that you view as SOCIALISM that should be avoided at all costs.

Obama's main tax issue is to restore the tax rates that existed on upper income Americans when Clinton was in office and to provide tax relief to middle class Americans. This is done to close the gigantic hole in the economy that Bush's out of control spending has resulted in over the last 7 years.

I am one of those upper income Americans who will be asked to sacrifice, and while I don't like it, I don't think borrowing more money from the Chinese is a good policy.

I can give you specific issues about McCain that I think are foolhardy, I am curious what specific proposal you disagree with.

3:44 PM, June 09, 2008  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Rob, you have been visiting this site long enough to remember that I have written many times about the excess spending by Bush and the failings of the GOP majority over that same spending which was a key reason that they lost in 2006.

But Obama's massive spending proposals as well as his continual rhetoric touting that government is the answer to all problems and more government programs are the key to solving those problems are my basis in stating that he is a socialist.

Both parties have failed to limit government and spending which is a major disappointment that I have with much of the current GOP leadership because that has always been a key platform of the GOP and the current crop salid away from that GOP strong point.

But Obama's answer to increase government is also not the way thia country needs to go that combined with his cut and run ideas for Iraq and his naive appoach in dealing with Iran's Achmanutjob by thinking that talk alone will solve the troubles when it concerns dictators is dangerous at best.

Though not a McCain fan at least he is talking spending cuts, limiting government, tax cuts and reform while Obama is campaigning just the opposite. Raising taxes, increasing governemnt regulation and spending and intervention as well as dependecy by the people on the government. That is a socialist agenda my friend!

4:24 PM, June 09, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Ken, I am still not sure what specific issues you disagree with.

It seemed to me that you misunderstood the Payroll Tax Cap issue (that it is related to the Social Security tax cap) and the capital gains issue that I posted on. Those two issues are designed to more fairly distribute the tax burden to all Americans - they don't extract unfairly, they simply extend the same tax burden that middle class workers have on income that is earned by the wealthy.

What is your beef with those proposals?

If you didn't misunderstand the issues, and you believe that they are untouchable, then what is your proposal for closing the $400 billion deficit that the President himself is projecting for this year in his budget (obviously, the final budget has not been signed into law as yet)?

I'm also curious, were you for the Bear Stearns bailout and the "rebate" checks to taxpayers (which is a misnomer because it was really a case of borrowing $180 billion from China so that the government could send people a couple of hundred dollars each)?

Had there actually been regulation, we would not have had the whole housing bubble and sub-prime mortgage mess that led to the Bear Stearns bailout in the first place. Regulation is only required when industries fail to police themselves.

5:02 PM, June 09, 2008  
Anonymous Dennis said...

In my previous postings, I may have given the impression that Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty of Socialism. I believe, however, that the Democrats are far more guilty of this than Republicans. The Democrat's knee jerk reaction to problems is more government. while the Republicans are more likely to try free market solutions which is the correct approach.

Any income redistribution scheme, such as progressive income taxation, is wrongheaded. The wealthy create jobs by investing their money and starting businesses. Increasing tax rates for higher income groups will only hurt the middle class and the poor. I never was a fan of the expression "trickle down" economics. If the wealthy are free to keep more of their income, the benefit to the middle class and the poor is a torrent of increased wealth, not just a trickle. The answer to deficit reduction is income tax reduction for ALL, individuals and corporations, as well as massive cuts in Federal non-defense spending. Obama's proposals will do none of this. Also Obama's insane proposals for a "windfall profits tax" on the oil companies and his advocacy of restrictive environmental programs will be disastrous for the economy.
As I've said, I'm not in favor of corporate welfare or any Federal government meddling in the economy. The next President should help remove Federal regulatory obstacles to individual liberty and initiative. The President also needs to be a patriot who advocates a strong national defense. We know that Obama fails on all counts. McCain at least is strong on defense and has indicated he favors tax reduction. If only we can change his stance on environmental issues and illegal immigration, we'd have a true winning Republican candidate.

10:24 PM, June 10, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Dennis, I am trying to understand your tax philosophy better.

When you say, "The answer to deficit reduction is income tax reduction for ALL, individuals and corporations, as well as massive cuts in Federal non-defense spending." What is your basis for saying this?

Bush implemented tax cuts that exploded the deficit. The 1994 tax increase that Al Gore passed the deciding vote on resulted in elimination of the deficit and the largest government surpluses in history.

If you look at what happened under Reagan, when he slashed tax rates in 1981 the deficit exploded. In 1982, he worked with Congress and signed what was at that time the largest tax increase in history. He also increased corporate taxes because his supply-side "trickle down" economics did not work.

So, what is your basis for that statement?

Also, you are just flat out wrong when you say that "The wealthy create jobs by investing their money and starting businesses." I research entrepreneurship and small business. I have published numerous peer reviewed articles, conducted research for SBA, written several books and book chapters, and generally am considered an expert on entrepreneurship. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of businesses (in excess of 90 percent) are NOT founded by wealthy individuals. They are founded by everyday, run-of-the-mill, middle-class folks with less than $50,000 in capital (saved and borrowed). These small, entrepreneurial ventures create 60-80 percent of all of the net new jobs in the U.S.

But, I am curious, what are you basing your statement that rich people create new businesses on.

I am not trying to be combative, I'd love to open up a dialogue to better understand your philosophy.

11:02 AM, June 11, 2008  
Anonymous Dennis said...

Rob,

Thanks for your reply. I'd love to open a dialogue on these issues. Don't worry about being combative. I can take a (non-physical) punch. First a little about myself. I'm college educated, but certainly no expert on economics or tax policy. My beliefs on tax policy are based on common sense and what I believe is right. Common sense tells me that to have optimimum economic conditions, taxing the highest income earners at the highest rate is wrong since by doing this, you're penalizing success. If you want to provide an incentive for people to succeed, the progressive income tax should be eliminated. The progressive tax is also unfair to the wealthy. Why should they pay a higher rate than lower wage earners? Their income is, after all, their hard-earned money, not the government's. The same of course holds true for all tax payers and I think that our politicinas forget that.
Since the deficit is defined as the government spending more than it takes in, it's obvious to me that the best way to reduce or eliminate the deficit is to cut Federal spending. Deficit reduction through tax increases is wrongheaded since this slows economic growth by reducing the amount of capital available in the private sector. Clinton MAY have accomplished deficit reduction by increasing taxes, but deficit reduction this way is wrong. Just think of the effect this method of deficit reduction had on the unfortunate tax payers who got a tax increase. The deficit increased under Bush because he acted too much like a Liberal and increased non-defense spending. His tax decreases, however, were the right thing to do. I feel that the government should always be required to cut non-defense spending if there is a deficit and not be allowed to increase income taxes. If citizens have to learn to get by with less in lean times, so should the government.

I think you misread my comments on torrent down economics. I never said that the wealthy create all of the small business jobs, but it is true, by your admission, that they create some of them. Although you claim that the wealthy create only 10% of small businesses, what percent of the jobs do they create? The percentage is probably alot higher than 10%. The wealthy also invest alot of money in the private sector and I don't think it's wrong to say that this investment creates jobs. I believe that maximizing investment in the private sector results in the best economic return, rather than turning over those dollars to the government and having most of it wasted, in my opinion.
I also don't understand your comments about tax INCREASES under Reagan. Everything I've read shows that Reagan DECREASED individual and corporate income tax rates, with great economic benefit.

I look forward to your comments.

All the best,

Dennis

11:11 PM, June 11, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Let me start with Reagan, there is a myth and legend about Reagan that is not accurate with reality. It is true that he slashed individual and corporate tax rates in 1981 when he first took office. However, it became very clear that his supply-side economics philosophy would not yield the results he expected and the deficit exploded.

Reagan was financially responsible and a realist and recognized that he had to address the issue. There are famous stories about Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill having dinner and drinks to discuss policy matters and together they agreed on two massive tax increases. The first was in 1982 which rolled back corporate tax rates and to a smaller degree individual tax rates. The second was the Social Security Reform Act of 1983. Both of these were the largest tax increases in the history of the nation up to that point in time.

The end result of Reagan's policies was massive deficit spending and accumulation of national debt. I am going to assume that you understand the difference between budget deficits and the national debt, but if you don't just ask.

Carter left office with $75 billion deficits, but the Reagan years saw $200 billion deficits on a regular basis. As a result, the National Debt increased 187% over Reagan's term. It grew from $907 billion to $2.6 trillion.

Sure all of the spending temporarily made things seem better, but it is just like having a bunch of credit cards and maxing them out on fancy dinners, cars, plasma TVs, etc. Seems great until you actually have to pay the bills (and we do have to pay interest on the national debt).

That is what killed Bush Sr., because the economy faltered as a result of the debt accumulation.

When Clinton came to office, his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin - who was a Wall Street guy - convinced Clinton to attack the deficits and the debt in order to bring confidence back into the American dollar and the U.S. economy.

That was the purpose of the tax increases on the wealthy - combined with tax cuts for the middle class, and the earned income tax credit for the lower class. The idea was to attack the deficits, spread wealth so that a wider range of Americans could increase their spending capabilities, and the economy would grow. It worked and it resulted in the final three years of Clinton's presidency having budget surpluses and making payments to reduce the National Debt. Clinton came to office inheriting a $290 billion budget deficit and left with a record $236 billion SURPLUS.

11:09 AM, June 12, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

I agree that federal spending is far too high - and while we probably agree on NCLB, Medicare Part D (which is a multi-trillion dollar commitment over the next decade), the Bear Stearns Bailout, and the stimulus checks (all of which I think were horrible ideas), I also believe that Iraq is a horrible waste of resources and the waste, fraud, and abuse that has been allowed to go on under this president with respect to military spending is ridiculous.

However, there is also a myth about how much spending increased under Republican Presidents vs. Dems. Discretionary spending (the non-programmatic spending that is required by law) increased 15 percent under Clinton. It increased 68 percent under Reagan and more than 70 percent under Bush.

Most of the discretionary spending for Reagan was on military spending, but he increased domestic spending by 22 percent. Bush has increased military spending, but he has also increased domestic spending by 53 percent. Clinton cut military spending and increased domestic spending 41 percent.

Look, there are reasons for military and domestic spending, but the U.S. military budget even under Clinton was more than what the rest of the world invested in defense spending combined (it is about 75 percent of what all the rest of the nations in the world spend today).

There is so much fraud and abuse in the system that taxpayers are cheated out of tens of billions of dollars in the defense budgets.

11:23 AM, June 12, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

If you want to discuss the items above, that's cool. But, I would like to discuss the National Debt and how much of it is now owned by foreigners. It illustrates very clearly how bad Bush's economic policies have been for American sovereignty.

11:25 AM, June 12, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

FYI Dennis, I can get long-winded on some posts. Feel free to only ask/comment/address whatever you want to explore.

Also, I am more than happy to give you page links to any of the data - I will only give you government data links (CBO, Treasury Dept, BEA, etc.), not partisan webpage links.

12:36 PM, June 12, 2008  
Anonymous Dennis said...

Rob, thank you for your replies. I'll respond in greater detail once I get the budget numbers and income tax rate data. One very important thing to keep in mind about Reagan is that he followed the incomparably incompetent Jimmah Carter as president, so he had to deal with the economic wreckage that Carter left behind (high unemployemnt, high inflation, high mortagae rates, high taxes). I would guess that correcting Carter's mistakes had alot to do with the need for Social Security reform in 1983.

Regarding the Iraq war, I believe the war was clearly justified. I believe that Saddam had WMD's even though they weren't found in Iraq. He had plenty of time to ship them to Syria while he was given one dealine after another to comply with the UN resolutions. The CIA beleived he had WMD's as did many other intelligence services, and he acted like he had WMD's when UN weapons inspectors visited Iraq. I feel that he did pose a danger to the US and Israel so we had no choice but to remove him from power. The war has also been a success, the surge has worked and notice how the Dems and CNN aren't talking about the war as frequently as they used to? That's because it's not going their way. We're winning!

I'll get back to you about the other issues you raised. They are good questions so let me do my homework.

Dennis

9:23 AM, June 13, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Dennis, let me give you a couple of links that may help you better understand the fiscal numbers:

The Congressional Budget Office keeps good records - these are not partisan numbers, they are just the actual summary of numbers.

The U.S. Treasury Dept has good info on the national debt.

The economy actually grew faster under Carter than it did under Reagan - just look at the GDP figures. To his credit, Carter did not explode deficit spending and the national debt, as Reagan did. He took a more austere approach, but Carter's mistake was that he did not install Paul Volcker as the Chair of the Fed until it was too late. He allowed Arthur Burns and then William Miller to totally destroy the American economy with their ill-conceived economic positions of limiting cash liquidity to try to fight inflation. They failed to reduce interest rates during the economic crises in the mid- to late 1970s that resulted in stagflation.

11:54 AM, June 13, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

We can agree to disagree on whether Iraq had WMDs. If Syria has the stockpiles of WMDs, where are they? Why is Israel dealing directly with Assad and Syria? It makes no sense to believe that in my opinion.

As for the surge, it has not worked. Iraq has not produced a unified government and on top of that, just this week Maliki and many of his top deputies are saying that the U.S. should leave.

The temporary reduction in violence has more to do with the temporary cease fire that the Maliki government brokered with Sadr (through Iranian intermediaries), than with the surge. Just watch, the violence will increase again after the hot summer months as there continues to be fights for control of the country.

The U.N. mandate for U.S. troops in Iraq ends this year. Bush wants Iraq to sign an agreement that allows the U.S. to build 58 permanent bases (it used to be 200 but has been negotiated down). However, Iraqi politicians (the ones we have been propping up) are demanding that American troops be confined to their bases (no operations without approval of the Iraqi government) and private security guards will be subject to local law. I have no idea what you think we are going to get as a result of invading Iraq, but that is a whole other debate.

We should probably stick with the fiscal matters first and then continue our conversation on that later.

11:57 AM, June 13, 2008  
Anonymous Dennis said...

Hi Rob,

I haven't responded to your post since I've been travelling on business for most of the last two weeks, but I'm not going to be too busy over the next week, so I'll have time to reply to your remarks on the economy. I also disagree with your position on Iraq, so I'm sure we'll have some dialogue on that too.

More to follow.

Dennis

9:16 PM, June 26, 2008  
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