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"For the past five years, America has been led by a president who is clearly not up to the job — a man who is not just inarticulate, but lacking in judgment, intelligence, integrity, charisma or staying power. Yet America as a nation seems to be stronger, more prosperous and self-confident than ever."

GW is not a dolt. He just doesn't like hanging with the beautiful people. That's why he didn't attend Davos.

John Kerry did. He looked like a fool "yoedeling" for a fillabuster against the Alito vote from his 5-star hotel.

Also, staying power. GW has out-lasted Gerhard, Joschka, Paul Martin, Saddam, Yasser Arafat, the Pope, Paris Hilton and Paris, France.

George is at least devious no matter how he appears to be inarticulate. He has played both sides of the fence well: he taps into the patriotic/nationalist psyche by stating that America doesn't need a permission slip when matters of national security and interests are at stake; yet he engages in nation-building in Iraq, pushing a democracy there and in that area that is not in our interests to do so. He champions good old fashioned Yankee self-reliance in economics as him and his big business buddies are selling out the Republic via outsourcing,illegal immigration, free trade and ties predatory economics in with "freedom". His Bible Beater base eats it all up, and they have the biggest influence and are the most organized in the Republican Party. As long as George promises to keep queers and lesbians from marrying one another,is publically against abortion and the science of Evolution and thinks it is pertinent that brats have public prayer in school- they will ride with him as he takes the Republic down the crapper.

The article sums up quite well the "secrets" of the American success. Other than that, the author doesn't forget the obligatory Bush-bashing. If America is performing well it is inspite of Bush, if America were performing badly does anyone doubt it was because of Bush.

Steppen is an example of our left.

George W Bush is failing to meet the small government goals that our right prefers, but does have it correct in several key points.

1) Businesses creates jobs and increases wealth (defined as increase in living standards and GDP) -- not government.

2) Small business is more dynamic; creates jobs, innovation, and wealth; and as a collective reallocates resources (investments, capital goods) faster than large companies or government.

3) Central planning or government controls impede not enhance the performance of small businesses.

4) More money in the hands of the population as opposed to the government will yield more return in terms of jobs, innovation, and wealth.

5) While regulation is necessary to reign in more egregious capitalist behaviors, minimizing taxes and regulation frees the ecomomic engines to improve performance.

These are points that to many seem obvious, but remain hotly debated among (US) left/right conflicts and positions; and also seem to be key differences between EU and US economic performance.

To Steppen's point that the jobs created are menial: a search of labor department statistics will disabuse anyone of that point. Although I do concede that job switching (loss of a job and finding a new one) often results in lower pay than previously commanded. I suppose that is part of keeping salaries in line with the value of the job, as opposed to growing beyond the job's worth.

Hmm..GWB just keeps winning. Amazing.

steppendaft posts:
"As long as George promises to keep queers and lesbians from marrying one another,is publically against abortion and the science of Evolution and thinks it is pertinent that brats have public prayer in school- they will ride with him as he takes the Republic down the crapper."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Just more of the best the 'progressive' left has to offer. Sometimes you just have to wonder what happened to these people in their childhood?

When I read such utter BULLSH$t like this I feel pity and wonder what world they are living in.

Mr. Daft, obviously smarter than that dolt Bush missed the point of article, the point of the next article on unemployment numbers, and I suspect is probably missing out on a good life, mired in his
"everything sucks" attitude.

I guess the privilege of living in a place like America (or most of the mean bad evil west) is that you rarely have to deal with real and serious problems so you have time to indulge yourself creating hatefilled strawmen to self-righteously rail against.

It no doubt does ~ suck to be him!

Tyranno

What a riot! GWB may very well be "misunderestimated." He is the only Harvard MBA ever elected to the presidency. I've known some B-school graduates. Most were arrogant bast**ds, but there was not a dunce in the lot. There were a couple from "old money" (like Bush), but there is not a doubt in my mind that they earned the degree. The B-school has its reputation to think of and they stand behind the quality of their product, regardless of alumni pressure.

Kaletsky got one very important point correct -- the American system is designed to be idiot-proof. That is why competing power centers were set up. Anyone who over-reaches will be thwarted by his rivals in another branch of government; anyone who is weak will be a target.

There is also a long American tradition of playing stupid for the fun of it (or in the case of poker, for profit). For your enjoyment, I furnish this example from 1867 (Mark Twain, "Innocents Abroad"). [Note: the guide here is called Ferguson by the American tourists; not because it is his name, but because the party found it convenient to refer to all their guides by the same name]

The guides in Genoa are delighted to secure an American party, because Americans so much wonder, and deal so much in sentiment and emotion before any relic of Columbus. Our guide there fidgeted about as if he had swallowed a spring mattress. He was full of animation--full of impatience. He said:

"Come wis me, genteelmen!--come! I show you ze letter writing by
Christopher Colombo!--write it himself!--write it wis his own hand!
--come!"

He took us to the municipal palace. After much impressive fumbling of
keys and opening of locks, the stained and aged document was spread
before us. The guide's eyes sparkled. He danced about us and tapped the
parchment with his finger:

"What I tell you, genteelmen! Is it not so? See! handwriting
Christopher Colombo!--write it himself!"

We looked indifferent--unconcerned. The doctor examined the document
very deliberately, during a painful pause.--Then he said, without any
show of interest:

"Ah--Ferguson--what--what did you say was the name of the party who wrote
this?"

"Christopher Colombo! ze great Christopher Colombo!"

Another deliberate examination.

"Ah--did he write it himself; or--or how?"

"He write it himself!--Christopher Colombo! He's own hand-writing, write
by himself!"

Then the doctor laid the document down and said:

"Why, I have seen boys in America only fourteen years old that could
write better than that."

"But zis is ze great Christo--"

"I don't care who it is! It's the worst writing I ever saw. Now you
musn't think you can impose on us because we are strangers. We are not
fools, by a good deal. If you have got any specimens of penmanship of
real merit, trot them out!--and if you haven't, drive on!"

LOL@ Lynch - I am quite used to the lock-steppers of Vienna School Economics/CATO Institute/libertarians (who by in large have read too many Ayn Rand novels as relgious fundies have read too many Biblical fables) painting anyone who diagrees with their pipe dream pollyannish economic utopia(which is essentially Marxism stood on its head) as "leftists" and accuse them of wanting to implement central planning in all areas of the economy. By their reasoning, the Founding Fathers like Hamilton were "statist/collectivist/socialists" and so was everyone else before Reaganomics.
Your statistics do not address properly the under-employment rate and of course the Department of Labor that has a political interest in painting rainbows aren't going to address it. So, I take it that you work at Walmart or a convenience store, John? Ever been downsized? Are you young and haven't left your parent's home/financial support? If not, I hope you soon will and see how much you'll adore your "free-market ueber alles" economic ideology then.

Another thing, if unrestricted free market economics is so grand, how come in nations like Chile and Spain where the Chicago Outfit crawled into and produced this gushing nominal "economic miracle" - how come those two nations just elected Socialists to lead their countries??... John? What they didn't "privitize" enough and/or Pinochet and Franco didn't kill enough communists? Street-sweepers and other peons just don't know how good they have it, I guess, and are ungrateful about miracles dished out to them;-)

Of course, President Bush isn't a dolt and doesn't the gratuitous bashing diminish an otherwise thoughtful good article? Like all of those who love to quote economist Paul Krugman without realizing that he is no longer carried on the Business page. HHHhhhmmmm. . .

I have to agree with much of what Anatole Kaletsky writes to but the question for me is why does it make it all sound so surprising, like some new revelation?

My allegory on one of the many differences between Capitalists and Socialists: (Between our two great nations?):

I meet this guy on an airplane - an American businessman, so he said - and he used to play Internet poker, having been enthralled by the poker tournaments televised on ESPN. Evidently he was not particularly good at the 'sport' because he admitted having lost a LOT of money. He claimed the computor rigged these games, and sat cyber-shills at the tables. He wanted internet poker banned - or government regulated!

I asked, "wouldn't it just be better if you never played internet poker? Go play with friends, or go to Vegas?
I've been to Vegas, he stated, and those games are also rigged with shills that the dealers
'deal' to. You're sure? I asked.
I'd told him I was also a poker player; I'd played in Vegas and on the Internet and did not share that impression.
He accused me of being naive, and refused to believe I usually made money at poker. The system is rigged, he caterwauled. It needs to be banned ~ or government regulated!

This is how I characterize these caterwauling liberals. They can't win in a meritocracy capitalist system, for whatever reason (laziness, arrogance, cannabis, lack of talent, misguided objectives, ______ you fill in the blank, Who knows.)

But that part of human nature being what it is, rather than recognize their deficiency and correcting, they blame it on the rich (cyber-shills) and the corrupt right-wing politicians (the Vegas dealers)... and villify the totems of our capitalist system (it's Reagan, Bush, Cheney, Haliburton Exxon, McDonalds, and the rest of their CODEPINK progressive death-wish list,) that they just know is rigged against them.

Now, what the really missed in all of this (because of his fear, cynicism, sophistry, _____ you fill in the blank, who knows?) is that most people play ~ because they enjoy the game. Sure they'd rather win than lose; but either way, they're taking the risks, they are making the decisions, they are having fun.

That's the part of life these whacko "modern progressive liberals" just don't get. (so they demand it be crushed, banned or government regulated)

They suffer from "SoH/LoLD" . . . a sense-of-humor/ love of life deficiency.

Tyranno

@Steppen,
You must labor over the dictionary to select a myriad of words your little feeble mind couldn't remember. However, stringing all these words together, still means that your comments are totally meaningless since they lack chesiveness and just don't make any sense.
Being a socialist is fine with me, i just don't care. Seeing your socialist heaven being demolished and still blaming the US for everything just utter stupidity. Keep putting your head in the sand, your ass will make an inviting target.

Americanbychoice posts:

"Seeing your socialist heaven being demolished and still blaming the US for everything just utter stupidity."

Check! But they are just the guys to do it!


"Keep putting your head in the sand, your ass will make an inviting target..."

. . . too true ABC and luckily for daft, the position works for him in both modern day Europe and the coming Eurabia.

Tyranno

Mr. Daft lacks any sense of perspective it would seem when it comes to either Chile or Spain. In Spain, there was the train incident, which is credited with leading the socialists to power. In Chile, there is still an on going effort within politics on how to reconcile the Pinochet era. The center left coalition has governed since this era ended in 1990. So it is not as if a win by the socialists is some change...


Nice try guys. The usual one can expect from those steeped in the cult of the Market, Randroids, Bushbots and fellow travelers. You people act like Marxist-Leninist purists hurling *revisionist!* or *counter-revolutionary!* barbs at anyone who contradicts the politburo dogma. Just to think it is you libertarian Atlas Shrugged reading-bipeds who wear the slogans "liberty" on your sleeves.

No, I am not a socialist and really don't care if you think so. That's your accusation for anyone who does not burn incense to your icons.Oddly and similar,the type of folks that hangout at places like Democratic Underground assure me that I am a *reactionary/fascist theocrat capitalist* and that I get all my juice from Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, FrontPageMag.com, probably like Tyranno, Joe and americanbychoice do. Another poster here also informed me that I hold Lee Harvey Oswald in reverence with George Washington. Gee, I learn things new all the time from you know-it-all, in your own minds, philosopher kings...

I'm an American, firstly. You guys are for the market first regardless if it is in the best interests of the greater good of the United States.You're the types who have a Walmart bought copy of Old Glory manufatured in the People's Republic of China on your walls. You saved $0.38 cents , so that is the American Way by your standard, I guess.

Oh, a bombing in Madrid single-handedly created the Spanish Socialist Party? If these were great economic miracles as the free-market lock-steppers claim, and everyone was just peachy and drinking champagne daily, why would there had been any socialist parties to begin with?

I am sure W is no dolt. No man who has been elected Governor of Texas and President of the United States could be a dolt.

What I simply cannot warm up to, however, is his apparent lack of effort in capitalizing on the amazing pile of fortune handed to him on a silver platter. Perhaps that sounds strange when written about a man who is President, how could he capitalize more, but George W. Bush SHOULD be President given the advantages he was blessed with.

Born into two of the wealthiest families in the United States, grandson of a US Senator, son of a Congressman / Ambassdor / Director of the CIA / Vice President / President. Attended one of the most prestigous prep schools in the country, attended one of the most prestigious undergraduate institutions in the country, attended one of the most prestigious professional schools in the country. Yet the myth makers like us to think that he's a folksy, down-home Texas guy, practically a roustabout who pulled himself out of the oilpatch by his bootstraps.

C'mon. Thomas Jefferson put it best when he talked about America encouraging an aristocracy of virtue and talent - as opposed to the European aristocracy of blood and wealth. An aristocracy of virtue and talent is something that most comments on this thread, and the article itself, allude to. Cream rising to the top by dint of hard work and intelligence, not because of the family name or bank account. It's the American dream that Europeans so like to mock, but based in enough day-to-day reality that's been proven again and again over decades and centuries.

Unfortunately, W seems to have drifted through his early life - the gentleman's Cs at Yale, the bail-outs from shaky business deals - very happily prosperous as the result of family connections and its help. Not so unusual, I don't suppose, but not the foundation I look for in an impressive President. More like building a pyramid on a narrow base.

I don't see where any of this makes the man 'evil' as some on the left would have it. Not at all. Hell, I wish I would have had all those advantages plus the mature insight to put it all to best use. But it certainly dilutes the steely-eyed, CEO-President image that we're fed by his handlers.

Dolt, no. Unimpressive, yes.

Cheers,

Steppen,

I see all have had fun here while I was at lunch. In catching up with the "dialog," I'll address a few of your questions and add a thought I had while away.

I like the living-at-home, working at Wal-Mart, never had a job insinuation. I'm not sure where you might have dredged those assumptions from. I suppose my typo (plurality agreement) might have caused some errant thoughts.

I am a young 50+ with multiple lay-offs behind me, multiple companies founded and sold, multiple large corporate jobs, and have been in my own homes (away from my mother) for quite a few years. Free market economics are theoretically possible, but not realized anywhere that I know off except in the Hong Kong of Taipan fame.

To the extent that a free market economy exists in the US, I am both familiar with its working, and unafraid of the consequences of the changes it provokes.

Adam Smith's "invisible hand" was well before Reagan and his supply-side approach, as were most of the forces of the industrial revolution. I have no objection to current philosophical descriptions of the same basic human condition though. Incentives work better than directives. The incentive to do well through self application appeals to a far wider population than socialist approaches. Call it invisible hand, reaganomics, or small government -- it appears self evident and there are sufficient real-world reinforcements to be accepted.

The point I should have added as point #6 to the above list of five that GWB seems to get:

6) When the economy does well, government revenues rise. A small percentage rise in economic conditions: one or two percent - can cause large increases in governmental revenues (10-15%) This point seems to drive most on the left (Krugman for example) nuts. I believe it the most argued point in economics, but seems almost a "duh" sort of observation.

Steppen, your earlier posts indicate leftist argument. Whether you are or not, or are socialist, or a KOS fan is not obvious. At this point merely your arguments indicate your position.

Bush 43 has a bachelor's degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. Do you suppose the "journalist" has more education?

"Pinochet and Franco didn't kill enough communists? Street-sweepers and other peons just don't know how good they have it, I guess, and are ungrateful about miracles dished out to them;-)"

@ Daft:

The Commie death toll in Chile was about the same as 9/11: approximately 3,000.

Spain was another matter: It was a full blown civil war with both the Soviet Air Force and the Luftwaffe working as proxies for both sides.

I believe the death toll in Spain was as high as our own Civil War: maybe a million (total of both sides). Of course, our own Civil War was ignoble and pointless: freeing the slaves and all.

For your information, it was the peons that were independent truckers that started the counter-revolution in Chile. The truckers went on strike against0 the Communist Allende Government. Allende ordered the military to break up the strike, but the military turned on him.

You should visit Chile today. Santiago looks a lot like LA did 40 years ago. It is modern and bustling. They even built an Autobahn from Santiago to the port city of Valparaiso. The road signs are all copied from the German Autobahn.

Damned these South American reactionaries.

Ronald Reagan: “The ten most dangerous words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you’.”

Gov. GEORGE W. BUSH: [2000 RNC prayer breakfast] —that while government can feed the body, it cannot nourish the soul. link

A subtle but decisive update.

Yeah yeah..the usual. Anyone who criticizes Bushbot/Reagan economics is lazy, stupid, or a socialist, crybaby, all the above.Yawn. You are the ones reacting hysterical here when all I did is call into question the pollyannish Labor Department stats, and some of the cheerleaders that are no matter what rah! rah! rah! for El Presidente de la Bush. I didn't say the man is "stupid"; in fact I think that he is very shrewd. And suprise, surprise, I voted for him in '04 because Kerry was no better and would had screwed up things even more than Bush has and is.

Lay down your Atlas Shrugged and check out capitalist economics with those who put their country first over knee-jerk free- market ideaology. They have a good article -"The Labor Shortage Hoax"- that pertains to this thread.

http://www.americaneconomicalert.com/

Ciao

PS - Don't get me wrong. Pinochet and Franco were the best two men that ever happened to Chile/Spain. Their economies improved greatly but it wasn't the gushing "miracle" as some would have everyone believe.If said policies would had "trickled down" more to their underclass they wouldn't have had much reason to vote Socialist, now would they? They had pro-free enterprise democratic parties against those dictatorships to choose from.

We need more Pinochets all over South America and '73 like coups in places like Venezuela, Bolivia and perhaps Chile again.

@steppendaft

No, we do not need any more fascist governments. We need enlightened, people-directed, democratically elected, constitutionally supported, ruled by law, property rights respecting governments with leaders who are aware of economic and behavioral realities and are there to serve the people.

Fairly rare combinations.

Unfortunatly, every one of those terms seem to have idealogical interpretations that defeat the intent.

In other words:

Bush: lowering taxes helps the economy.
The Times: you're a dolt.

Well, I don't agree with everything Bush does, but why should I take seriously an article that starts off with an ad hominem attack? Do Europeans think that they promote good will with Americans by parroting the groupthink of the hard left? Yes, they point out one fundamental reason for American success. But it is only one, and there are many.

Every Republican president since the first (Abraham Lincoln) has been called a dolt by those who supposedly knew better. The ones who obviously aren't dolts (Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon) are evil, and both got their comeuppance.

Bush presents the bien pensants with a problem. They'd like to call him a dolt (Hollywood has been using Texas accents for decades to telegraph low brain wattage), but losing twice to a dolt is hardly something to be proud of. They call him evil too, but then, he doesn't come across as evil to most Americans, and it doesn't appear likely he will be driven from office.

What to do? They have apparently settled on the same strategy used against Ulysses S. Grant: he's a dolt with smart advisers (the infamous neo-cons).

Of course, why a dolt would listen to smart advisers rather than stupid ones is hard to explain. But, hey, any port in a storm.

Actually Lincoln was regularly called the 'Baboon' and 'Dictator, which brings 'Chimpy' McBushHitler closer to him than the typical GOP president. Lincoln's thickness and stupidity were an accepted fact in most of the European chanceries of the time.

Had Adolf Hitler preceded Lincoln they would have called Lincoln that also.

Steppendaft, about half the criticism directed toward your posts is irritable, off-point, and lacking in substance. The other half is substantive and direct. I'm noticing you don't answer those parts. A little more rigour, if you expect an audience. And I just don't get the fundamentalist and Ayn Rand stuff. Do you interact with any actual conservatives, or just read about 'em?

As to President Bush. His IQ puts him in the 94th or 95th percentile -- not stunning, but not shabby either. As to his earlier accomplishments, which are consistently spun down for effect by his critics, they are now irrelevant. He has been president for 5 years, and that is the data base we should use for evaluation as president. That seems fairly obvious, doesn't it? Whether he was born in a log cabin is not much to the point now.

The idea that he cuts brush for effect and only pretends to like his ranch are examples of projection by the left. Their politicians think like that, they assume ours do as well.

I think short-term history has already vindicated his approaches, and long-term history will do so even more. He has been consistently right, though seldom brilliant in his actions. Part of this is resisting the temptation to tinker with stuff and following some straightforward principles on both the economy and foreign policy.

Mr Daft,
Your comment:

Oh, a bombing in Madrid single-handedly created the Spanish Socialist Party.

You said that. Another one of your strawmen?

This was about the reason for winning elections. Please remember what you wrote from post to post. Failing to do so will make many think you are a troll.

Explaining Kaletsky....

I am an American living in the UK and might be able to provide some insight into why a whole lot of the British chattering classes take it as a given that George Bush is a dolt.

It's his accent and his cadence of speech. You are judged in the UK in large part by how you speak and where you went to school (and they are closely related). British 'public' schools, which are actually very private, exclusive expensive, tend to gift their graduates with accents which are like the Harvard accent on steroids. Instantly identifiable and it's their passport to the upper echelons of British life.

People with lower accents had an almost impossible job rising except in the Labor Party and the trade unions - until Thatcher came along and made opportunities. Even today these people tend to start and run their own businesses rather than rise within the established heirarchies.

Bush comes from a 'good' family but for political reasons his public personae is very Texan and his accent is pure Texas twang. His father was much more Ivy league and therefore pretty much a political failure in Texas itself. Geedub learned from papa and became a major success. Paradoxically this has hurt the son in the international arena, because Hollywood has made a thick Texas accent into a byword for thickheadedness.

So they think he;s dumb as a post. I've become sensitive to this because I've been recently made aware that my accent is holding me back. I am a top-notch IT consultant and that is apparent to almost any American manager who interviews me. But I've had several occasions when I've passed the first screen (an American) with a flat 'hire him' recommendation only to fail on the second (a Brit) with the reaction "he's good but not quiet what I had expected". I think it's my flat midwestern twang, and am considering taking eloctution lessons and getting some better suits.

My last gig was rather schizophrenic. Whenever they got a whiff of my real work (like when I redesigned their major system for 30% better performance with much better reliability - I got respect. But as memory faded they tended to start treating me like crap - or at least try to.

The outcome was rather satisfying. The system went into production and what had formerly been a buggy piece of crap ran stably and 30% faster. A nonverbal 'Oh!' clearly passed through the management team, followed by a stong wish to keep me on, which I gracefully declined.

Don,

This too explains why euroland performs so poorly. You can see that all the time. It is just another form of confusing talk with actions.

In your personal case this is ever so true.

Don: I'm sure that goes on, but it sounds more like a handy excuse rather than the root cause. Else why is every Republican president a moron, and the likes of Clinton hailed? Somehow, I don't think a rural Arkansas accent is a sign of good breeding in the UK. I think the truth is more, something like, Americans don't care about breeding. And that annoys Europeans to no end. They only like Democrats relatively speaking, and even then only when they acknowledge the supposed superiority of European culture.

But good luck with the elocution lessons. It might work until they remind themselves that you didn't really go to Oxford, and you're not really well bred.

Joe,

I might agree that it's one of the reasons Euroland has it's problems. But there is more than a slight paradox therein.

The fact is that parts of Euroland have no problem whatsoever, thank you. Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway - they are all doing well - at least in my field. Spain is also, though there is a theory that Spanish prosperity comes from paving over the Costa Del Sol (aka building and selling vacation homes). Which is not a sustainable growth model. Finland is probably growing faster than the US is. The UK is doing alright as well.

Note that some of these places are quite socialistic, Sweden and Finland particularly. But they don't regulate their economies to protect existing jobs to the cost of future industries, which is what countries like France, Germany, and Italy all tend to do in differing ways.

I think one of the problems with a too-powerful state is that it tends to protect existing voters absolutely at the cost of their posterity, which means the future goes to hell. But when such a state tries to protect the current by encouraging change rather than just protecting the actual I think it works better. Unfortunately that kind of courage doesn't exist very many places.

And to be honest I think the 'free-er market' approach we use in the US simply works better anyway. My point is that even within socialist economies some approaches work better than others.....

"Don: I'm sure that goes on, but it sounds more like a handy excuse rather than the root cause. Else why is every Republican president a moron, and the likes of Clinton hailed? Somehow, I don't think a rural Arkansas accent is a sign of good breeding in the UK."

Clinton didn't have a rural Arkansas accent, though I'm sure he could and did fake one as needed. He grew up in Hot Springs and spent years in places like Georgetown, Oxford, and New Haven polishing his accent and behavior. Bush never did. I'm not criticizing Bush for that as I believe there are qualities far more important than polish for a US president. Nevertheless Clinton's polish did help him to be a more effective President than he otherwise might of been, and I recognize that.

You lay your finger on a more profound issue here, which I might rephrase as 'Why is every GOP President the villiage idiot and every Donkeycrat President a genius?'

This used to disturb me but no longer does. In fact I'm often tempted to reply 'What, me worry?', which was the byline of Mad magazine's cover boy Alfred E Neumann - an amiable dunce whom Mad ran for President every four years and probably still does to this day....

My point being that when you are constantly asking yourself 'Why are these idiots always beating us?' you may be mistaken. About whom is intelligent and whom is the idiot, I mean. Why ought I worry over much about the opinions of someone who cannot work something that simple out?

Note also that the GOP idiot meme never originated from Europe. It is home-grown (hatched in New York, DC, and La-La Land) and will not go away until the mastodons cease to wander the earth. I refer to mastodons like Teddy Kennedy, Dan Rather, Ted Turner, Barbara Streisand, Barbara Boxer, etc.... ;)

"I think the truth is more, something like, Americans don't care about breeding. And that annoys Europeans to no end."

You have something here. There is a former French President named Valerie D'Estaing. The last name (preceded by the D') indicates that he is of noble blood. He has been the target of many gibes over the years but far the most hurtful is the proven allegation that his family appropriated the last name of a defunct noble family a century ago and that he is therefore a poseur. It's difficult to visualize an American politician giving a curse about something like that. In fact they would probably use it in a campaign ad!

"They only like Democrats relatively speaking, and even then only when they acknowledge the supposed superiority of European culture."

American success annoys many Europeans no end, and has done since the American Revolution - if not before that. And there have been no shortage of half-witted theories over the years 'proving' that the US was going to come a cropper - real soon now. Our blood was not pure, we had no proper elite, Europeans were simply smarter. Whatever.

The theory du Jour is that China will overtake the US real soon now, which comforts certain European elites because of the Chinese Mandarin tradition. The trouble is that if China overtakes the US it will be in spite of the Mandarins not because of them. The Mandarinate took the world's most powerful, wealthy, and advanced country circa 1300 and ran it into the midden heap. It's upstarts from the lower classes who have made China into what it is today.

Don: Well, I agree with a lot of what you say.

Except the accent thing. I've never heard him speak with anything approaching an English or New England accent. But hey, he is a very smart guy, and could likely assume one.

And ya, I know he spent a couple years at Oxford, when he wasn't goofing off. The reasons for his departure from there are something less than honorable.

Don't forget the other indicator of success: the largest deficit in human history ANY nation has ever had. Ahhh...don't mind if I sit back and watch this plane go down in flames.

As for the Islamists only hating America for their freedom. If this were true, there would be many more terrorist attacks in Holland than in the US. Anyways, here is a fine example of Bush-brand democracy at work.

http://tinyurl.com/bsfpo

Ah, the land of the free. Bush - Who said Republicans are against science...psuedo-science is what we are all about.

@ java

When it comes to percentages, the us imbalance isn't far behind Germany's. Even though we pay a lot more money in foreign aid, defense,etc.
As far as sitting back and watch this plane (USA) go down, sorry, you may not find a place to sit down since Germany and the EU for that matter, pushed the self destruct button a long time ago, and it is working.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_07/b3971001.htm

Ray, you might want to put this on it's own thread because if true it's rather explosive news.

I found a story online which provides some interesting data. Apparently the US central bankers (Alan Greenspan and his successor) are very unsatisfied with the quality of the official economic data. Apparently they believe the statistics leave a great deal out and are actively misleading. A quote:

"What if we told you that businesses are investing about $1 trillion a year more than the official numbers show? Or that the savings rate, far from being negative, is actually positive? Or, for that matter, that our deficit with the rest of the world is much smaller than advertised, and that gross domestic product may be growing faster than the latest gloomy numbers show? You'd be pretty surprised, wouldn't you?"

A trillion is a helluva undercount, even in an $11 trillion economy. And we're not just talking about missing GDP (that also) but missing investment.

A trillion dollars in missing investment would push the US investment rate from 18% of GDP up to 25% of GDP.

An example BW gives is the Apple Ipod. Apple invested something like 800 million in product development last year - which went completely uncounted in GDP and investment statistics. The Ipod is physically manufactured in China, so the Ipod is counted once when it arrives from China and once when it is sold, and Apple is effectively no more than a reseller of imported goods.

This has been an ongoing problem. I was shocked to learn that economic statistics completely ignored computer software until 1999. US companies were spending 150 billion a year on software at the time - uncounted.

So next time you hear about record US trade deficits, take it with some skepticism. The fact is we don't know what the trade deficit is - or if it even exists at all! Our statistics are crap.

Don:

Your point about the quality of economic statistics is a great one. The US savings rate, in particular, is completely wrong. If my house increases in value, for instance, that has no impact on the savings rate, even though my largest asset has appreciated.

You would think that the savings rate would measure the change in net wealth year over year. You would think that, but according to the way the government accounts for things, you would be wrong.

@ Erik

“I think the truth is more, something like, Americans don't care about breeding. And that annoys Europeans to no end. They only like Democrats relatively speaking, and even then only when they acknowledge the supposed superiority of European culture.”

Many of your North East limousine liberals are decedent from American aristocracy. The Source of Ted Kennedy’s wealth is well known. However, the “f” in John F. Kerry is John Forbes Kerry.

His mother was a Forbes and is thus related to Steve Forbes, and his late father, Malcolm. The only distinction is that Steve Forbes and his late father created their own wealth by finding Forbes magazine. Kerry on the other hand gets only 250K a year from the Forbes trust fund, plus an additional 300K from his salary as senator. You can’t live large in the league that Kerry chooses to hang around with on 550K a year. Thus, like “Duce Bigelow,” he has turned into a gigolo.

Howard Dean, by the way, gets an income from his family’s business, Dean Witter, of Wall Street fame. It is true that he studied to be an M.D. and moved to Vermont with his M.D. wife. But I am sure that he has lived comfortably with Dean Witter money.

motch,
401 k's and other pension assets are also not included in the savings rate

George M: for those not familiar with the Kennedy family, the source of their wealth is bootlegging, and subsequently keeping the money in the family with creative use of the tax laws.

On an unrelated subject: I don’t know if you guys in Euroland picked up the mini scandal that happened this week in the North East.

We all know the rage that the vaunted New York Times has expressed about the audacity of the Bush administration to listen in on terrorist in the U.S. without a warrant. There are lefty proxies in Congress that are even thinking of impeaching Bush on this matter.

However, The Times, along with its New England sister papers, the Worcester (Mass) Gazette and the ubiquitous Boston Globe, have been keeping a data base on their subscribers. This data base contains confidential information, such as credit card numbers, ATM debit card numbers and bank account numbers.

The Globe and the Gazette decided to purge some of this data. They decided that it was “un-green” to destroy the hard copies of this data. So they decided to use the credit card/financial data as “fish wrap” for the Sunday papers. Copies of the Sunday Globe and Gazette were sent to kiosks, drug stores, 7/11s, ect with the confidential financial data as “packing material.”

There have already been reports of Globe and Gazette subscribers’ financial identity being stolen by third parties. The Globe explained to its readers, in a nut shell, that “shit happens.”

The NSA program deals with maybe a half dozen terrorist that are living in this country and who are calling Al Quida on a regular basis. The Times/Gazette/Globe compromise of personal financial data effected thousands of subscribers. If the administration allegedly violates the rights of a half dozen terrorist, its time for a congressional inquiry and possible impeachment hearings. However, if The Times/Globe breaches the rights and confidences of thousands of the readers, their answer to their readers is "shit happens," don't worry.

One Boston radio talk show personality has called for the impeachment of Pinch Salzburger!

As we have become accustom to facts are of little interest to the euros in general and the Germans in particular. For non euros and Germans here are the facts.

The facts are:

Debt to GDP

Germany 68.1%
US 64.7%

The US because of economic and population growth is in a much better position to address debt going forward than are the euros and espically Germany.

So yes I think it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the future.


Yes, the Bush spend and spend (rather than tax and spend) economy certainly puts the US in a much better position to address debt.

Also, anyone have any answers regarding Bush admin. stifling govt scientists. Thought not.

Ever wonder why there have been no terrorist attacks on Holland, quite possibly the most liberal society on Earth. (unlike American psuedo-freedom)

@ java
Just alittle exerpt from the state of ther union message.
Doesn't sound like we are stifling scientists. The opposite is true. H1b visas are on the rise. Researchers are continuing to flock into the US, because of better working conditions and higher wages. Just a better life.

"First, I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing and alternative energy sources.

Second, I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit, to encourage bolder private-sector initiatives in technology

Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs."

Your negativism against the US is really no concern of mine since you can't seem to substantiate anything or try to discuss an issue in detail.

There haven't been any terrorist attacks in Holland? Why do hafl of the politicians use armed bodyguards to protect themselves after the brutal murders by Mooselimbs living in the Netherlands?

Something smells?

Javacool, without a doubt, we deserved 9/11. We also deserved 7/7, 3/11, the Bali bombing, the massacres in Darfur and southern Sudan, the Munich Olympics massacre, the meteor strike that wiped out the dinosaurs, the Black Plague, Genghis Kahn, and the Thirty Years War. And our "scientists" are so given over to superstition like Creationism that we have never won a single Nobel prize. And did you know that Pym Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were Americans?

/sarcasm off.

Moron. It's a wonder your ears don't chafe together; there's clearly nothing between them.

@java

Sorry about my suggestion regarding discusions on various subjects.
I should have realized your limited knowledge on issues. Besides, how do you discuss "Stupidity"?

It is always funny when euros and espically Germans, who trade murderers of US service members for hostages, get confronted with facts, they take off on another topic.


Well, I guess there is only one thing I could add at this point:


GO STEELERS!!!

Go SEAHAWKS!!!

...bleh, I don't really care. Actually, a lot of Steeler fans around here. But hey, it's not exactly off topic. Someone who wants to understand America could do much worse than to read about Vince Lombardi or Woody Hayes.

--Also, anyone have any answers regarding Bush admin. stifling govt scientists. Thought not.--

Oh, you mean the ones whose gravy trains are being cut????

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