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I think you pretty much covered it all. I would only ask if Clinton was criticized even more than Bush (I only started reading your blog a couple years ago). You can go look a historical record of the poverty percentage at:


Bush's highest year of 12.7 is less than or equal to six of Clinton's eight years. The average between the two of all years in their term also shows Bush with a lower overall average.


Let's take a look at that bit of overstatement. Halfway through President Clinton's tenure in office in 1996, the poverty rate was 13.7 percent. Halfway through President Bush's tenure, the rate is 12.7 percent, a full point lower.

In 1996, the Clinton budget allotted $191 billion for poverty entitlements. That was 12.2 percent of the budget and a whopping amount of money. That's why Bill Clinton (search) was called the first black president by some.

However, the Bush 2006 budget allots a record shattering $368 billion for poverty entitlements, 14.6 percent of the entire budget, a huge increase over Clinton's spending on poverty entitlements.


Also, Notably missing from much news coverage was another aspect of poverty statistics, the diminishing gap between races. A study by Manchester College found that this disparity has decreased by a startling 19%. More African Americans and other minorities have moved out of poverty than in the past.

Our (US) definition of poor is also quite different than it is in most parts of the world....

Economists W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm made a similar argument in their book Myths of Rich and Poor, pointing out that most "poor" families aren't so deprived: they have microwaves, color TVs, cars, VCRs, and other nice material things. In fact, for most of these measures, a poor household in 1994 was better off than the average household in 1971.

Another interesting related note: by one measure of well-being, the amount of dwelling space per person, the average poor American is better off than the average European (pdf; see p. 23).


Bush is not perfect; and, like all foreign leaders there is plenty to criticize him about. But, Germany clearly does not even know the man. He has done more for global poverty and global human rights than anyone I can think of in decades.

Do Germans take Spiegel Online seriously? How can they when it serves up this kind of garbage?


they do, they do, without any doubt.

We got problems. But last I heard Germans are fleeing in record numbers.

Germans Leave in Record Numbers, Fleeing Unemployment

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Thomas Koerber, an engineering technician from Viernheim, Germany, was looking for a new job. He found it -- 4,700 miles away, in Canada.

``I looked around, found a job I liked in Canada, and left Germany within two months,'' Koerber, 39, said in a telephone interview from Calgary. ``If I can get a better job abroad, and if I'm being treated better, I'm gone.''

Koerber is one of 145,000 Germans who fled the fatherland last year amid record postwar unemployment, pushing emigration to its highest level since 1954, Federal Statistics Office figures show. Last year was also the first since the late 1960s that emigrants outnumbered Germans returning home from living abroad, the statistics office said.

I am not aware of any Americans fleeing to Germany in search of opportunity. Perhaps there are some that I am not aware of. Anyone aware of an American entreprenuer/tech geek/engineer/scientist who moved to Germany in search of greener pastures?

"But while the poverty rate remained constant, the average income of the overall population rose. That means: The majority are doing better - but "the poor are getting poorer,...".

Average income has risen as stated, but so has Median income (the income where 50% of all people are above this income and 50% below this income), which means that the poor ARE doing better than before (the only way the median income can rise is if there are fewer people with low incomes), so to say that the "poor are getting poorer" is not accurate.

Regarding Katrina, I don't think the European press has accurately depicted the massive scale of the storm. The debris field from Katrina was 90,000 square miles, the size of a large European country. Trees were downed and roofs blown off houses as far north as Tennessee. Are all the affected coastal plains cleaned up yet? Well, of course not.

Some areas are doing better than others, namely those places where residents aren't playing victimized refugee in other states waiting for a mythical fairy to waive a magic wand over their abandoned properties.

Not only is NOLA on the Mississippi river delta and Gulf of Mexico, but parts of the city are below sea-level. I, know it's not a popular position, but I don't think it's a wise expense of taxpayer dollars to assist re-development/over-development along the coastal plain areas prone to hurricane devastation. Willing private investors and insurance companies can underwrite development in these areas at their own risk. I've seen comments from European and American defenders of rebuilding NOLA as it was, saying things like much of Holland is below sea-level. Well, Holland doesn't have a problem with recurring hurricanes.

(2006-08-29) — One year after hurricane Katrina, despite an outpouring of billions of dollars from government, church and private charity, and countless teams of volunteers who have come to their aid, many residents of New Orleans have still failed to restore their homes and neighborhoods, or even to clean up the storm-tossed debris, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.

“Katrina was a tragedy in itself,” Rep. Pelosi said at a news conference in a neighborhood where moldy furniture still lay in front yards, “but it exposed a tragedy of greater proportions. Some people in this region have lost the spirit of our forefathers — the work ethic, the persistence, the determination to overcome adversity.”

The California lawmaker said that when she becomes the next Speaker of the House she plans to use her new prominence to tell Americans to “stop expecting the federal government to protect you from natural disasters, and to bail you out afterward.”     more

I saw the Bloomberg article as well but I'm actually not sure if this great trend is nothing more than business as usual. In fact the 145,000 figure represents a decline in the percentage of Germans leaving as the population of Germany(Federal Republic) was 51 million in 1954. While the current population, as of 2005, is around 81 million. Only 2% left last year while 3% left in 1954. No real mention , except anecdotally, of what type of people were leaving, trained technicians, entrepreneurs, war brides etc. I would hate to have to analyze the current state of affairs in Germany on such a snippet of an article.


The linked website, Scrappleface, is satire, I hope you were being ironic.

You don't even have to follow the link to know that it's satire because you'll never here the words “stop expecting the federal government to protect you from natural disasters, and to bail you out afterward” come out of the mouth of Pelosi.

@Pat -
To be pedantic, it would only be ironic if it weren't satire. But no, I wasn't being serious. However, anyone who would take seriously an article claiming that Pelosi "reserved her harshest comments for people who have 'made a lifestyle out of blaming President Bush for everything.'" pretty well deserves whatever they get. ;)

Well, you can never tell. Kate at Small Dead Animals put up a fake speech by someone in Harper's government and got 25-30 comments on its contents before someone else had to put up the truth in all caps.

Good lord, I bet fell in my floor. I was wondering if I had slipped into a parallel universe! Hilarious!

The Republicans didn't refuse to increase the minimum wage. They attached a tax measure. This is typical partisan political maneuvering in the U.S. Democrats voted down the minimum wage hike in lock step to avoid cutting estate taxes.

The Democrats wanted to soak the rich more than increase the minimum wage, their perogative.

As for the poor in the United States, there is a huge underground economy. Some people claiming to be poor are doing brisk businesses outside the measured, taxed economy.

"there is a huge underground economy." Beagle,

Yeah it's called gyppo. Works very well.

Grünen-Fraktionsvize Jürgen Trittin sagte, Strafaktionen im Streit über die Atompolitik bedienten nur "die Bombenfantasien des Herrn Rumsfeld".


If you are obsessed with hate fantasies, you forget that it is Iran who wants the nuclear bomb.

News Flash

Bloomberg magazine has come out with its list of the most powerful women in the world. Angele Merkel has replaced Condolesa Rice as the most powerful woman on earth. Condi falls to number 2.

Way OT, but continuing Gabi's post.

As Gabi mentioned, Jürgen Trittin (former Minister in Schröder's government and currently part of the Green Party leadership) says in Der Spiegel that talking about sanctions against Iran only serves Rumsfeld's "bomb (or bombing) phantasies". Apparently, Trittin is convinced that Rumsfeld (and obviously America's leadership, because Rumsfeld doesn't act on his own) just can't wait to bomb Iran. This coming from one of the top politicians in Germany (fortunately not in power anymore, but that can easily change in the future).

Unlike other moonbats though, he also offers a solution. The solution ? To "finally start talking with Iran". He means really, really serious talks now. No more fooling around at the tea table.Nope. This time, real talks. Talk until you can't talk no more. And then talk some more. Anything, but not Rumsfeld's "bombing phantasies".

Unfortunately, voices from saner circles of Germany's political spectrum are not much saner. Disapointingly, Wolfgang Gerhardt, the Foreign Relations expert of the Free Democrats (FDP), also has an insane solution: "keep talking anew with each other". In other words, keep talking, no matter what. Probably until Iran has The Bomb. Then we can finally relax and stop talking. (I believe it will be Iran's Bomb who will do the talking by then).

The goal is not to stop them from building The Bomb. No, the goal is to "understand" them. And if we understand them, we'll get a better idea who they will bomb first, and what we can do so we don't get bombed ourselves. Anything is acceptable, anything, including Iran's Bomb, but not Rumsfeld bombs.

The quality of the Spiegel is going down the drain.
You can't take this kind of article seriously.

Trittin is not in power anymore.
This is good news.
Juts ignore this kind of American hater.

Interesting what kind of solution German media offer:

Ralf Beste im SPIEGEL: "Vielleicht hilft es aber auch nur, dass westliche Angebot nochmal aufzustocken - soweit, dass es unwiderstehlich wird und denjenigen in Iran nützt, die schon länger intern für einen Ausgleich mit dem Westen warben. Dazu wären nur die Amerikaner in der Lage, durch das Angebot eines "Grand Bargain" mit Teheran. Die Amerikaner, so das Szenario, würden den Status Irans als Hegemonialmacht im Mittleren Osten akzeptieren und dem verhassten Mullah-Regime den Verzicht auf bewaffnete Intervention garantieren. Im Gegenzug würde Iran den offenen und den heimlichen Krieg gegen USA und Israel aufgeben - und dazu auch die Option auf Atomwaffen aus der Hand legen."


What other solutions are available?

Interesting article:
Richer for poorer | Economist.com
Aug 30th 2006
Though their numbers remain steady, the lot of America’s poor may be improving in ways not reflected by the official figures"

I would just like to give a small look into problems with New Orleans that non-Americans might not know.

First New Orleans is, and has been the most corrupt, lazy, incompetent city in American at least since before WWII. It could have been even more corrupt but unlike Chicago or New York, the citizens are pathetically slow and too lazy to steal properly.

I believe the last three Governors of Louisiana have gone to Federal jail. My favorite, most colorful was Edwin Edwards. He was famous in Las Vegas for single bets in excess of his yearly pay. He was once asked during a re-election bid if he could lose, and he said, “Not unless they find me in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.” He is now doing a life sentence.

Anyways, this is why even though the Federal government sent huge amounts of money for flood walls, it was not done or done poorly.

In a word, think of third world corruption. That is New Orleans. By the way, Louisiana, and hence New Orleans, is the only state in the U.S. to be founded on the Napoleonic Code.

Now for Bush. This is what he is up against.

"In October 2005, K&L Auto Crushers of Tyler, Texas, approached Mayor Nagin with an offer to pay $100 apiece for each flooded, abandoned vehicle it removed from New Orleans and to have emptied the city of such junkers within 15 weeks.

(The company would have taken title to the vehicles, crushed them, and sold them for scrap). Given that there were then an estimated 50,000 such vehicles to be removed, had that plan been agreed to, by January or February of 2006 the city would have been both rid of its wrecked car problem and $5 million richer.

The mayor turned down that offer, instead opting to pay an engineering company $23 million to perform the same task. That arrangement collapsed, and New Orleans instead ended up joining a towing contract arranged by the state of Louisiana.

Louisiana's first attempt at getting the state's Katrina-damaged junkers hauled to the crusher had it inking a $62 million contract in March 2006 with TruSource Facility Services, a small Georgia janitorial firm, and L&L Steel Builders, a tiny contractor based in New Orleans. Concerns were repeatedly raised that neither of these companies had the manpower or experience to handle the job and would not be able to complete the work successfully. However, those concerns became moot once the companies proved unable to secure financing for their performance bond and therefore lost the contract.

The statewide contract has since been awarded to DRC, a construction and disaster services firm in Alabama that bid $33 million for the job. It began the work of removing cars in mid-June 2006 and expects to complete the task by 30 August 2006.

DRC is currently being sued by the U.S. government over its USAID work in Honduras. The 2004 lawsuit (still being contested in D.C. federal courts) alleges that DRC misrepresented its personal and equipment assets, improperly subcontracted most of the work, and submitted false invoices totaling more than $12.6 million, of which DRC pocketed $5.2 million after paying subcontractors. Federal prosecutors are seeking to recoup triple that amount in damages plus other costs.

As to who is footing the bill, in March 2006 FEMA set up a fund to cover 100% of the towing costs for wrecked and abandoned automobiles in southern Louisiana. However, under that fund's reimbursement formula, the state would be required to pony up 10% of the costs for work performed after 30 June, a date that would have been a reasonable cutoff point if the job had been begun in March, but which is wildly unrealistic in light of the 18 June 2006 commencement date. It is not yet known if FEMA will still insist on collecting the 10% fee or will waive it." http://www.snopes.com/katrina/politics/carcrush.asp

Hi Ray

Not only is it Pitzke who is spewing bile...

= = = = =
Bush Credibility Swept Away in Wake of Katrina
Sueddeutsche Zeitung
August 27, 2006
By Reymer Kluever

"Katrina revealed the extent of poverty and racism in the country, and cost Bush his credibility as a guarantor of the country's security. Americans are shocked by their own vulnerability"

English and German versions of the article here:


= = = = =

Where on earth does educated-allegedly-Germany come up with complete idiots like this, and WHAT do they have against my country America???

Germans such as the brain-dead Pitzke and Kluever are utter disgraces, as are SDZ and Spiegel...

A striking thing about hate pedlar Pitzke is the man's utter lack of originality. Reading his articles is like eating yesterday's stale pizza. Check out his latest, for example. It's like getting a flashback from reading the leftist blogs and newspaper opinion columns of the day before. Pitzke just trolls the US media for themes that fit SPON's agenda, dumbs down what he sees for his brain-dead readers by removing any nuance, insight, or perspective, and then regurgitates the half-digested mess as "news."


"Bush Credibility Swept Away in Wake of Katrina"

Let's see, according to the German media that makes 14,239 times that Bush has "totally lost his credibility," since the start of his presidency. Apparently, nothing recovers faster than the President's credibility. Odd, isn't it? Where are the 14,239 articles with headlines like, "Bush's Credibility in Miraculous Recovery."

I know two German families that moved to the US together about 8 years ago and started a little cafe in the Colorado Rockies. I stop in once in awhile and I always get the same story: "eez not what we thought it was", "can't believe we own 40 acres and a restaurant", "we could never have done zis in Tchermany", "the people are so nice", "is much cheaper to live here - we can actually afford to drive our [4 new SUV] cars", "the skiing is incredible", blah, blah blah. The mythical America sold to much of the world has little resemblance to the truth and there is a reason for this. The extraordinary success of our political and economic structure threatens those who dream of socialist utopias like [heh heh] France, Germany and, well, New Orleans. The United States has many problems and we have made big mistakes but the xenophobic, propagandistic picture painted in German, British, French media is just that: propaganda. It's interesting that they love to hate us sooo much. Wonder why?

[Oh, the food? Their pastries are incredible.]

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