False Pretenses

Just in case you needed a real kick in the teeth to start the day out right:

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

Read more: enews.earthlink.net

Not exactly pulling their punches, are they?

And, of course, why should they?

Read it. Remember what it was like back then, what you heard on TV, what you read in the papers. They all stayed on the company line. They all lied. They lied to all of us. They lied to the entire world.

And thousands of people are dead because of those lies.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration’s case for war.

It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose “Duelfer Report” established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.

In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Read more: www.publicintegrity.org/WarCard

The article below, and the survey it references, are a few years old now, but it brings the point home.

Three out of four self-described supporters of President George W. Bush still believe that pre-war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or active programs to produce them and that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein provided “substantial support” to al Qaeda, according to a new survey released here Thursday.

Moreover, as many or more Bush supporters hold those beliefs today than they did several months ago, before the publication of a series of well-publicized official government reports that debunked both notions.

Read more: www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1022-01.ht

And now, President Bush is playing the same games in regards to Iran.

In public, President Bush has been careful to reassure Israel and other allies that he still sees Iran as a threat, while not disavowing his administration’s recent National Intelligence Estimate. That NIE, made public Dec. 3, embarrassed the administration by concluding that Tehran had halted its weapons program in 2003, which seemed to undermine years of bellicose rhetoric from Bush and other senior officials about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But in private conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week, the president all but disowned the document, said a senior administration official who accompanied Bush on his six-nation trip to the Mideast. “He told the Israelis that he can’t control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don’t reflect his own views” about Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, said the official, who would discuss intelligence matters only on the condition of anonymity.

Read more: www.newsweek.com

President Bush is continuing to take positions that are demonstrably false. And he and his kind respond by simply repeating the same mistruths again louder. All this and more from the fine folks that brought us the reality based community.

Hey, it worked so far, right? Can we blame the bastard? It’s like a kid that figures out how to game the system. And I bet dollars to donuts this joker figured out how to game the system when he was a young man, kept doing it with no real repercussions (weaseled into the Texas Air National Guard “champaign unit” and then fucked off- basically a no show couple of years, transferred to Alabama and fucked off on Winton Blount’s campaign dollars, bailed out of bad business deals, cut taxes and then got out of Texas before his budget hit a brick wall, etc, etc, etc…) and will continue doing it until the day he dies.

God bless the windshield cowboy.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

66 thoughts on “False Pretenses

  1. Lame. Anyone with 3 sober brain cells knew this a LONG time ago, not in the last 10 months of what will go down as the most corrupt, evil and inept presidency in the history of the united states of america™.

    I won’t hold my breath for anyone to actually DO anything about this either.

    Im so tired of all this shit for the last 8 years. Especially when nothing ever gets done about it.

    Fuck america™, and fuck GW for making me hate it so.

  2. Joe- It’d be nice, but people still hold that senile assclown Reagan up as the second coming. A shitbag whose idea of “trickle down” economics meant that UNEMPLOYMENT was taxable income. I hold no faith in blinders coming off until we are long dead and gone.

    DrunkenBiker- you’re funny. That’s funny ha ha, not like a clown, and yes you amuse me so don’t get pesci’d up.

  3. It is truly OLD news but it bears repeating. We the sheeple forget waaay to quickly and we are bound to keep repeating our mistakes if we cant learn from them. If we keep swallowing the shit that MSM feeds us as ‘news’ and pay attention to people’s words and the image that they pressent rather than their deeds we are gonna just keep doing the same thing over and over.
    Gawd bless america!

  4. The bush administration put any rational frame of reference for its behavior in the rear view mirror so long ago that I’m afraid we’ve lost our ability to be outraged as a people.

  5. Word :) I for one was almost homeless under this dickweed. I will still bag his ass even if my sis inlaw gets pissed, since her blinders are stuck on her face with super glue. * sad *

    new world order!? said along time ago!

  6. You guys act like Bush was the only one saying those things. I’m not a Bush fan, and I don’t like the war, but the fact is that any other president would have gotten the same intel info from the military and done the same thing.

    What would have happened if there were WMDs there and we did nothing and got attacked? Then you guys would be asking why he did nothing when the military intel told him that there was a threat. That is why all of congress voted to go to war. But you guys will never mention a quote from anyone else about how we needed to go to war at the time.

    And Joe, I would say almost being homeless is a lot more your problem than an elected official’s problem. Get up in the morning and go to work, it isn’t that tough.

  7. Yo DB “Lame. Anyone with 3 sober brain cells knew this a LONG time ago, not in the last 10 months of what will go down as the most corrupt, evil and inept presidency in the history of the united states of america™.”

    until the next presidency my friend. Oil bitches, all for oil. All so the “american public” can live thier bullshit lives of dept and consumption. All so Wal-fucking-Mart can coninue to fuck employees. All so nut-fucks clammer to be at the top of the “I have more than you” pile of shit. All for the death of people that don’t need to die. All because the sheeple want to drive thier fat fucking asses to Mc-shits for 50 cent burgers and Happy Meals. All so the blind remain blind and content.

    If you think for a second that any Demon-crat or Re-pubic-can will change things, you are more sold than I thought. Hill-ary-us ain’t gunna change shit, niether is Obama, Huckebeebee, or any other mutherfucker running for leader of the “free” world. We are on the cusp of a world wide war for oil, at least what remains, and it will not end any time soon.

    Hey Jonny, case of Yuengling – shipped to you – says if a Demon-crat gets the oval office, we are in Iraq for at least 3/4 of thier term. Hold me to it.

  8. Trib01, Respectfully, you are on crack. It is well documented that Cheney and Bushco handpicked the intelligence that they based their false claims on. The intelligence community was in an uproar over the shit that they claimed and half of them quit over it. Whistle blowers came out all over the place and decryed the way that they handled the information. Any other reasonable persident that wanted avoid war and putting american lives in harms way would have paid attention to ALL of the information. Not just what they wanted to hear. Do some reasearch man. Open your eyes.

  9. I just think it would have gone down almost the same way no matter who was sitting at the head of the table.

  10. “I just think it would have gone down almost the same way no matter who was sitting at the head of the table.”

    Naw. GWB is a world-class asshole.

    Even Nixon wouldn’t have tried this shit.

  11. message to the speaker of the house nancy pelosi; can we please put impeachment back on the table NOW, you stupid twat?! wait. check that. let’s go straight to treason; so we can hang that worthless little shit stain like Mussolini.

  12. Dot-com “bubble” only burst under Bush…was formed and blown to large proportions under…CLINTON.

    The bitch of it is, “we the people” don’t even come close to getting to decide what happens in this country. That’s left to a bunch of overpaid, out-of-touch, corporately-influenced assholes. Those of us who live moderately well are slowly being taxed into oblivion, “hard work” no longer assures a good living, we are lied to and shit upon daily by governmental figures….but most of us don’t seem to care.

    That said, I think there will be a greater voter turnout for this election than my generation has yet seen…I just wish I could believe in any of the candidates.

  13. Thanks for showing regularly that cyclists aren’t all apolitical ego cases! This post more than makes up for the “scumbag defense lawyer” crack reposted here the other day.

    As a public defender who cycles to work, it easily could be my job to defend the rights of someone who hits a cyclist with a car. Just as I might defend a cyclist charged with assaulting a motorist. It’s pretty common for people defending themselves to be charged with assault, particularly if the other person gets hurt. In that situation, a “scumbag lawyer” — willing to try to save you from jail and explain to a jury why you didn’t commit a crime when you clocked a driver with your u-lock — might end up looking pretty good.

    At any rate, publid defenders don’t have the luxury to pick and choose clients, and most of us don’t think its fun when clients say things that tank their own cases — particularly when the case is controversial and very public, and we get to stand next to them in a crowded courtroom. Fortunately, we don’t have to defend our clients’ actions when they’re wrong, but rather the legal rights everybody should get when charged with a crime. It’s actually a pretty honorable, and obviously pretty thankless, thing to do.

    That said, I love the blog. Please keep up the good work.

  14. Sommer- Why is it that when anyone bithces about Bushco you bring up Clinton and some mistake/ transgression he made? Is there really a comparison between the two that is worthwhile? I’m not trying to piss you off, I am truly curious. I almost always agree with your general statements but I dont get the comparison thing.

  15. Sore-
    Just pointing out that there are two sides to the coin. Clinton just happens to be the last Democrat to hold the office…I DO have a CRAPLOAD of animosity towards him…but I don’t necessarily want to compare the two, merely state that we’re getting f’d on both ends, ya know?
    It would truely be laughable to try and defend what Bush has done by simply pointing out how Clinton fucked up. Sorry if it comes off that way.

  16. Hey Mike, one of my best friends is a criminal defense attorney, another is a public defender. They are great friends and really good people. They combined, have done more for mtb’ing in my parts than most anyone I know. But alas they are attorneys, scumbags and snakes. Sorry brother. Walks like a duck…

    Guys, THEY (politicians) ARE ALL CORRUPT! All of them. If you think one party gives more of a shit about you than another, keep doin’ the $5 smack, cuz yer gunna need it.

    Viva la revolution!

  17. Thanks Sommer, for the clarification. It does come off like that to my reading. You seem like a more reasonable guy than that so I had to ask. I see Clinton as a horny dork and Bush is more of a treasonous war criminal and toxic to the american way.

  18. Great comments all. I agree, both the Dems and the Rep end up representing the same corps. and inherit same foreign agendas that were put in the pipeline years and years ago. It takes a while to set things up before selling it to the public; CIA etc. in foreign lands. It takes some planning to topple governments and start wars. The clock starts ticking way before a Pres. hits the White House right? When they do hit office, they pick up where the other one left off. All that varies is the speed and the level of overtness employed when carrying on with the agendas. GWB has been going Mach. 1 on carrying through with the various affairs. Our “democratic” system is a “duopoly”. You get 2 choices only. In the U.S. we have both kinds of music: Country and Western.

  19. Bill Clinton only looks good because he was sandwiched between Reagan/Bush I and Bush II. I think he’s a political opportunist who sold out his truly populist upbringing to get ahead. Just like Hillary will do. (For more reasons not to like him, read Better Than Sex, Hunter S. Thompson’s final political novel which came out at the end of his term. Admittedly HST is a bit biased, but it’s a good read.) At least he balanced the budget and moved environmental regulation forward. How any Repug. gets to talk about being fiscally responsible after Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. Fuck that. They need to be strung up for it.

    Hillary is certainly owned by the lobbyists. Obama and Edwards probably are. I don’t think there will be huge changes with any of them, but I don’t think ANY of the Democrats will purposefully tank the US like BushCo has tried to do over the past 7 years. I don’t see them as change. I see them as triage. BushCo have been positively treasonous and Pelosi and Reid are complicit in it for taking impeachment off the table. Spineless panty wipes. Switch the parties right now, and the Repugs would be going for blood. Hell they impeached Bill for fucking the fat chick.

  20. Here’s the thing…. if you believe that a study from Center for Public Integrity which draw their financing heavily, from left-leaning foundations and individuals is unbiased, then you must also state that the studies about global warming funded by oil companies are also unbiased.

    So I’ll make you a deal, you state that you trust the global warming studies funded by oil companies, and I’ll trust this study.

  21. You may also try referencing other newspapers besides the NYT considering their horribly botched articles on homicide rates of returning veterans. Any paper that would go to such lengths to make veterans look bad to push their political agenda deserves nothing less that to be used as shit paper in 3rd world country outhouses.

  22. “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.”
    -1998

    Is this quote a lie?

  23. Jeez, Dan, with friends like you…

    What I can’t figure out is why, in this fine country that incarcerates a greater percentage of it’s population than any other in the world, prosecutors are rarely referred to as “scumbags”, while the term is so freely applied to rights defenders. I’m not saying all or most prosecutors deserve that tag, just marvelling that people don’t think at least as critically about the role they play.

    I would go so far as to suggest that a person would have to be either (1) poorly informed; (2) in denial; (3) brainwashed; (4) delusional; or (5) some combination of the above, to harbor deep mistrust of government while uncritically accepting that the prosecuting agents of that same government can be trusted to consistently operate in the public interest.

    As animal rights activists have recently discovered, harsh prosecution is at least as likely to be directed at them as at their political enemies. I’ve spoken to more than a few of them who are currently rethinking their views concerning defense lawyers and civil rights. I really wonder at people — especially those with dissenting political views — who imagine that a bigger, faster, meaner criminal justice system will only consume people they either don’t like or don’t care about.

  24. KG,
    You’re like a RP Zombie. There is NOT ONE peer reviewed study which can refute global climate change. Even the ones funded by oil companies. In science if it isn’t peer reviewed it doesn’t exist. I thought you were supposed to be looking for one… But that would mean reading papers with big words and formulas.

    Contrary to what you might think about me and my heavily liberal leanings, I actually think it is possible for industry to fund a study and have it be good science. It’s a problem when industry uses it’s money to actively support or refute a theory. That is what the oil companies have done. I also think any scientist who does a project just to get the answer they want (or the answer their funders want) should be burned at the stake. Fuck financially beneficial poor eyesight.

    As for the original post, are you saying they aren’t lies? Are you happy with the clusterfuck BushCo has gotten us into. “Left” leaning funding or not, prove one is wrong. Until then I don’t have give you squat.

    Bobbo,
    The rich democrat will use lube while he’s fucking you.

    Mike,
    Word.

  25. exactly

    were all fucked! make a stop at ruffs guns and head for the hills!

    But, things seem to keep bumping along. The middle class aint doing too bad, and I really dont see things changing.

    As bad as we may need a revolution, I really don’t see it happening.

    Fuck Clinton for the Escalante/Grand StairCase. Land grabing mutherfucker. Stay the fuck out of our back yard.

  26. I guess you miss the whole point ej, maybe I’ll step through it for you. Just as you cannot use studies funded by oil companies to argue against global warming, you cannot use a leftist funded “non- profit” study to use against Bush… well I guess you could but it’s weak. It’s hardly a unbiased ‘study’.

    Very much like the soros funded study came to the “unbiased” conclusion that 650k people have been killed by the Iraq war, when the consensus is far less.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3177653.ece

    This “study” posted by BJ maybe ‘non-profit’ but non profit does not mean unbiased.

    So if you want to argue a point, then do what we try to teach the kids at my high school, use reliable sources.

  27. Everything revolves on money, and our fiscally conservative leadership has boned the fuck out of the middle class, buried us in obscene debt, and jacked off all over any plan to fix Our medical care. Bring on Obama, Edawards, Hillary, there is no way they could does worse than the cheese dicks accross the isle.

  28. KG, do you mean me? Or some other cat named “BJ”?

    Very much like the soros funded study came to the “unbiased” conclusion that 650k people have been killed by the Iraq war, when the consensus is far less.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3177653.ece

    This “study” posted by BJ maybe ‘non-profit’ but non profit does not mean unbiased.

    I linked this site in reference to “thousands” dead: icasualties.org/oif/

    Their number is not 650k.

    U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3931

    Nearly four thousand American dead is nothing to scoff at. They paid a very large price for what amounts to nothing more that bold face lies on “532 separate occasions”.

  29. Yes, too lazy to type big johnny. My link was in reference to the first article/link, (not the second link), as an example of how not all studies are created equally. The soros funded study is an example how funding sources can greatly influence the conclusion which most likely was pre-determined.

    As for “nd now, President Bush is playing the same games in regards to Iran.”

    If you think Bush is playing games, then you have to conclude that Iran wants nuclear material for peaceful purposes.

    Is that your conclusion? Do you believe that Iran wants nuclear material for peaceful purposes?

    Further, I have former students and friends who have served tours in Iraq and I’ve talked to them before and after. The next time I have oportunity to talk to one would you like me to tell them “You and your friends paid a high price for a bunch of lies.”?

    Because, when I talk to them, they are VERY proud of the job they’ve done.

  30. No, the two points are not joined. I can simultaneously believe Bush is playing games and that nothing about Iran is peaceful. The argument that either Bush or Ahmadinejad is right, but they cannot both be wrong, is unsustainable. Bush can be playing games while Ahmadinejad seeks a nuclear weapon. That is what I believe to be true.

    I have friends that served just as you did. In fact, one who was there back in the 90’s during the Operation Desert Storm as well as the second go. And they do not pretend this venture to Iraq was anything less than a train wreck. So, that’s a push. We both can find a guy or two who says it was either a) totally worth it or b) not totally worth it.

    The lies I am referring to, if you need reminding, are the weapons of mass destruction. Three simple letters: WMD. Three more simple letters: LIE. What Bush said at the time was that Iraq needed to surrender and abandon all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as well as any programs related to their manufacture, distribution, storage, etc.

    They didn’t, we went in, the rest is history.

    And no WMD were found.

    It was a lie.

    As a side note, a good link on the Iran situation: ap.google.com

  31. As a follow up to this conversation, we, I think, can both agree Iran is a problem. One that needs to be addressed.

    Where we, I think, differ is once we move past “problem” and start talking about “plan”.

    I have zero faith in George Bush. I cannot believe anything the man says. There is quite literally nothing he could put forward that I wouldn’t be very skeptical of.

    That may be on me, but I’m just being honest here. As far as I’m concerned, the man’s track record stinks. Same with Cheney.

    And it really isn’t much of an upside to say the Iran Problem will be there waiting when the next President moves into the Whitehouse. I’d rather it was sorted out in the near future, but, as we all know, nothing is sorted out quickly when you’re moving chess pieces around the board. This will play out over the coming years, not the coming months.

  32. You can’t do both, Bush is only playing a game if Iran wants nuclear material for peaceful purposes. It’s no game to keep nukes out of Iranian hands.

    You stated, “President Bush is continuing to take positions that are demonstrably false.” in reference to Iran, but then state you believe that “nothing about Iran is peaceful”. If you believe that Iran wants nuclear material for non peaceful purposes then how can you think that Bush is playing a game by putting pressure on Iran, and the world community to prevent that from happening.

    The only other option is for you to believe that Iran does want nukes for not peaceful purposes, but it’s not a big deal for them to get them.

    Bush’s position is simple (insert joke here) he believes that Iran is pursuing nukes for non-peaceful purposes and that it would be a very bad situation for the world for Iran to get them.

    Where do you differ with that?

  33. Well, then one question, should the next president leave open the military option to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities?

  34. “There is quite literally nothing he could put forward that I wouldn’t be very skeptical of.”

    Skeptical ??

    I was skeptical 3 years ago.

    Now I get physically ill every time that fucker says anything.

    And I mean anything. He says “Good Morning” and I want a signed, notarized document from 99 different people on all sides agreeing it’s actually morning.

  35. “Well, then one question, should the next president leave open the military option to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities?”

    Just support the Israelis and let them deal with it as they did with Iraq way back.

    Invading Iran to deal with nuclear capabilities is horse-shit.

  36. Great volley Big Jonny and KG…
    I’ve got one quote for KG,
    “It is well know fact that reality has a liberal bias.”
    If you are going to spend so much energy worrying about who funds a study, why not also ask yourself what are those funders likely motivations/ intentions.
    I submit to you that the intentions on the left leaning faggoty tree hugging liberals (whther they are billionaires or not) might be a little more pure than those funded by corporate interests. Nobody is as pure as the driven snow. You can find fault with anything. In the end who are you going to trust, big business or a humanitarian?

    One other thought on lies leading to war. What about our freinds Pakistan? They fit five out of five of the criteria for a nation in the axis of evil. But we give their military BILLIONS. What about Saudi Arabia. The hypocracy of our dumbshit in chief promoting democracy is over the top.

    El Jefe- word.

  37. Here is a big enough number to 600,000,000,000.00 that is a lot zero for nothing but a complete mess, that we can not get out of. Maybe not if you are a profitting from the private contracts that our government is paying for. I am as far as saying I believe what Rossa documented about.

    At least Obama recognizes there is no easy way out of it. Hillary makes it seem as she can pull us right out.

  38. I feel as though I’ve been dreaming for the entire Gee-dub run. Let’s not forget how he got himself elected, ie. Florida and Ohio.

    It is amazing to me that the world as we know it has been so easy to lie to and get away with it. I also wonder at all the republicans, that I know, think Bush is still not a stupid goof-ball that he is. Many of them say Clinton is the reason for our current dilemmas, ie. housing and war and such.

    Some time in the Reagan Eighties, the republicans worked real hard to dumb down the american public by encouraging and secretly funding the upper class into buying up the papers and tv news thus reporting only fluff bs. Now we are used to it and so many are buying into it that I find it surreal.

    Imagine a world without Reagan, I have, and it makes me feel happy. Nowadays that is hard to fathom but, so is the reality that has been dumped on us.

    Anybody remember the balanced budget Gee-dub inherited? Anybody remember the 100 days, or so, of vacation he took, basically sleeping through the intelligent reports detailing the plans to attack the US?

    History hopefully will paint the picture as it should be painted, as a black hole that was opened by this administration that we will be trying to fill for many, many years to come.

  39. C’mon guys, ALL the studies are biased. Human’s are biased, therefore thier products will be. There is alot of fucking going on all around us. Corporate, bueracratic, local, federal, all lie cheat and steal. The way out is to work to wake up america. It is happening, because I see it here. Spread the love of calling bullshit on those who deserve it, and keep that middle finger in the air.

    Just tossin’ out a thanks for the banter. …and where is Ross Pero when you need him?

  40. So long as you cite folks like Podhoretz, and people on the other side cite their mouthpieces-with-agendas, there is no sensible dialogue possible. People must begin to ask themselves, not the “experts,” what is sensible and what sort of policy would point our country in the most agreeable direction (not the right direction, note. Democracy doesn’t do that, necessarily. unless of course your definition of right is popularly decided). Start looking into what is going on for yourself. Not what people say is going on, but the barebones reality of it. Until we as a nation take responsibility for what the talking heads do, we are no better than those same suits.

  41. Except you need real experts to sift through all of the ‘truthiness’ that gets thrown around. It would help if we had an educated public, but Reagan did his best to take the power of critical thinking away in the 80′s. These are not the drones you are looking for… You should be scared of brown people from the middle east, but we’ll give them guns to fight the “evil empire” of the Russians. Corporate interests don’t want a public that can actually evaluate how they are getting screwed, because it gets in the way of the bottom line. They want one that thinks the current “economic stimulus package” is a good idea. Bullshit. Repugnicants claim to want smaller government, unless it’s subsidies for their business friends. Global climate change isn’t happening because Cheney’s buddies will have to change their outdated business models…. If you aren’t pissed off you haven’t been paying attention.

    Face it people, the glory days of the US economy are gone. BushCo. has done more damage to this country than Nixon ever did. We may still have the biggest guns, but the Middle and Far East will be ruling the roost here before too long. The best we can hope for is to become a quaint anachronism like Great Britain (sorry guys, and I really do like the British), or we can allow BushCo. to take us down the path of cerebral hemorrhage which he seems so willing to do.

  42. Hey dd,

    Nice site until I saw that “Elementary school teacher” part under trade-offs.

    Not sure about your state but here in good ol’ NJ, teachers are the best paid fucks in the state. 50k average. 2x what the average putz makes. Then add world-class bennies and they be sitting pretty on taxpayer dime.

    And then “Affordable Housing Units”. Gov has proven they can’t build an affordable doghouse so that’s a royal poke in the eye.

    Then “People with Health Care”. Why does Hillary Clintons name pop in my head when I hear that ?? Ack.

    Iraq is just part of the problem no matter it’s cost. The gov, Federal, State and Local, is fucked from the word go.

  43. I love where this is going… A big part of what we can bame the dumbing down of Americans on is media consolidation. It is big part fo the Republican revolution starting with Reagan as a reaction to the fear conservatives felt as America swung liberal in the 60′s. An educated public is a scary thing to big corporations and big power. Read your history. Knowledge is power. The Romans and the Egyptians ruled the masses by keeping them ignorant. Today it is done with TV and frivolity.

    That’s why I’ve go to say, Durnkenbiker, that a 50k average salary for teacher shows exactly where our priorites are BTW starting in CA is about 34K. Think about it, To be a teacher you have to have an advanced degree (more than a BA or BS) and lots of specialized education. You have to do really hard work dealing with increasingly hyped-out toxified kids whose parents are working too hard to help with homeowork or discipline. My Point is it is really hard and under-appreciated work. Most folks with the level of education it takes to be a teacher can make waaaay more than that in the private sector- like running porn site.
    But teachers… They are direclty representative of the investment we are making in our future.
    I am not trying to change the subject to teachers pay or value… I am trying to point out just another way we are GETTING STUPIDER BY CHOICE by buying so many lines of crap as pointed out above.

  44. sorelegs,

    It’s not just teachers. Just about all Civil Service people make more than the average person. I see that as a major problem.

    Civil Service used to be a duty of sorts. The pay wasn’t great but the bennies rocked and you had major job security.

    Now the best paid people in this country are Government employees. And the Government is the countries largest empoyeer.

    All those people want to keep it that way. So they will go along with anything to keep it status quo. Good, bad or otherwise.

    Nothing stupid about noting that.

  45. I agree with everything you said except: “the best paid people in this country are Government employees.”

    In 2005 the top 1% of income earners made 20% of all income.

    The top 100 hedge fund managers make over 150million a year.

    Those folks pay taxes at about 15%.
    Those overpaid gov. employees you speak of pay taxes at 25% to 35%.
    I dont disagree that we could run things more efficiently. I am trying to point out the drastic inequity between middle class and the ube-rich. The uber rich are also the ones in power and writing the laws that get them all the love. They are in power because we the sheeple are too stupid to notice what they are doing to us. We are so stupid becasue we have been cleverly duped into wanting to be stupid.
    What is more of an outrage– a govt worker making 5% more than the average Joe or a Hedge Fund manager making 150mil a year and paying 15% tax while you and I pay 35%?

  46. …sorelegs, thank you…teachers “are directly representative of the investment we are making in our future”…halle-fucking-lujah even…to not recognize that fact is a crime…

    …db, say what you will about other forms of overpaid ‘civil service’ but without young people growing up being taught to think intelligently for themselves, the future would never evolve to present worthwhile opportunities…teachers are a resource to be cherished & not as babysitters…

    …the future would be bleak if we were to always be ‘led’ by gwb clones, a man who w/out being raised in privilege, would be better suited to being a toilet cleaner…& i don’t mean to disparage any toilet cleaners out there…

  47. “What is more of an outrage– a govt worker making 5% more than the average Joe or a Hedge Fund manager making 150mil a year and paying 15% tax while you and I pay 35%?”

    I made the princely sum of 26k last year. My tax rate was around 10-11%.

    Granted thats minus Social Security that we all pay but I’m no where near 35%.

    I’m just pissed on hearing about or meeting local/state employees that make 2-3 times as much as I do.

    Yea, yea, yea I could look for a better paying job. But everyone could do that and the better paying jobs run out real quick.

    Growing up in NJ has given me a major pet peeve about gov pay rates. This state sucks for that. That and politicians getting salaries/retirement packages from 3+ different agencies.

    My original point was that Gov is broken from top to bottom. Bitching about Iraq is just a small part of it.

  48. I would love to see all teachers average $50K/yr. They do a thankless job in many ways. Public schools have become defacto babysitters. Uninvolved parents get mad when their kids deservedly fail. I know the $34K doesn’t go very far in CA. It’s been 10 years since I lived there and it didn’t go very far then.

    At the university where I am a graduate student and teach, it’s not uncommon for students to think that they are entitled to a passing grade just for enrolling. “What you mean I actually have to look at specimens in ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY?” Mind you, we don’t actually make them DO the dissections, just look at them after I have. What the fuck did you think you were signing up for?!!

    Government workers may be paid slightly higher than average, but they certainly aren’t overpaid. Especially if they have an advanced degree. In biology, you can double you pay working in the private sector. I think there are certainly ways in which things could be made more efficient, but even if I pretend to be a Repugincant and decide that all of those social programs need to be cut (Which is what they are saying when they say “Fiscal Responsibility”), FAR more is spent in subsidies to oil, military-industrial contractors, auto manufacturers, etc., just to keep prices on those things artificially low. I’d far rather see those subsidies go to education and social programs than to Haliburton, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, GM, etc. There is a complete disconnect between consumers and what the TRUE costs of their lifestyles is.

    Do you think ANY of the Republican candidates are willing to be consistent? Not a chance. Hell I don’t think any of them are… from either party. You want free market? Let’s go free market all the way.

    The latest indication of how BushCo. sees the world: the new AG has a portrait of George Orwell in his office. You know 1984. Big Brother. Newspeak…

  49. That site was the first to come up when I search for the cost of the war. There is no hurry to get out of Iraq because inside officals are reaping monetary benefits from military and govt assisted contracts. Not to say Iraq isn’t messed up, but many children in the US have bad conditions. Like no air conditioning and old beat up books. Teachers are starting at less than 30k, which in most areas today, is close to the bottom. Then comes this standardized crap.