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Old 01-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #211
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:29 PM   #212
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Wow. Do you not get basic statistics? It's really quite simple. For example, take temperatures over two weeks. Say week one looks like this:

97 - 95 - 62 - 64 - 61 - 58 - 60 = 497/7 - Avg = 71

And week two looks like this:

67 - 70 - 68 - 70 - 72 - 71 - 65 = 483/7 - Avg = 69

So, even though week one's total and average is higher, it was driven up by the first two days, but it still has the consistently longest stretch of low numbers, and as such, looking solely at the averages is deceptive.

I'm sure parsing Bush's numbers in this manner would be interesting, but honestly, I don't care enough to take the time to do it. I already objectively know that he is, if not the worst, than one of the worst presidents in US history. I think at this point, you, AchtungBono, and maybe three other people in the entire world are clinging to the delusion that he isn't.
For starters, instead of making up statistics, why don't you take the actual data from the links above that is actually relevant to the discussion and use that!

Yes, EVERY Presidents high numbers can skew their average upwards. But if Bush had been CONSISTENTLY LOWER than any other President in history, he would not have an average that was mid-range for his entire two terms and he would not be equal to Truman and ahead of Nixon when just looking at his second term figures.

The claim was that he was consistently lower than ANY other President in history, and the data posted by Gallup in the links above, like his actual approving ratings through his entire term, refute that.



Yes, there may only be a handful of people at FYM that don't think that Bush is the worst President in history, but the only people who are deluded are those that think FYM is representive of the rest of the public and think that the publics opinion of a current President won't change over time.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:36 PM   #213
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it's funny how people want to debate the fact that 24% is really not as bad as 22%, while Abu Ghraib isn't even acknowledged. but, besides the fact that the smokescreen belies an admission of being 100% wrong on absolutely everything, there's this article:


WOW, Jacob Weisburg. What an objective and unbiased journalist to get an opinion on the Bush administration. I'm sure he is 100% right on absolutely everything.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:50 PM   #214
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Yes, there may only be a handful of people at FYM that don't think that Bush is the worst President in history, but the only people who are deluded are those that think FYM is representive of the rest of the public and think that the publics opinion of a current President won't change over time.
Keep setting that bar lower. It's not whether the opinion of the President will change, it's whether we'll see meaningful positive change in American perception of Bush. At 20-30%, we'll probably see his numbers increase a little by Republicans who simply forget all the bad things about GWB, but that doesn't suggest any meaningful shift in the public's view of his legacy.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #215
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it's funny when people from the fringe -- and those who have a positive view of GWB are indeed part of the fringe -- criticize the FYM mainstream.

especially when some of us so-called "san francisco" liberals are called racists in other threads.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:35 PM   #216
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The biggest economic mistake Bush made was to increase social spending while lowering taxes. He also showed a lack of leadership in economics because he deferred everything to economists regarding the bailouts without any critical analysis on his part. Too much reliance on experts mean you take the blame for wrong expert opinion.

Most republicans that actually are conservative look at the Bush years as a missed opportunity. Government increased in size and influence with little result. Much of Bush's claim to have a number of years with good economic times had more to do with low interest rates and people borrowing to spend which created a boom. Busts always follow booms. It would be nice to see a president in the future that is interested in real growth not inflationary growth.

The legacy for Bush on Iraq and Afghanistan won't be solidified by history until the handover is complete in those countries and some years down the line to see if democracy actually continues. If Iraq and Afghanistan have reasonably stable democracies (by mid east comparisons) Bush's policies will be looked back on by historians in this fashion:

"There may have been intelligence errors but getting rid of Sadaam Hussein and his sons was worth it in the long run." The justification would be future Iraqis living in a democracy.

If democracy is not upheld then it will be the biggest example of what not to do for future presidents just like inaction on terrorism by Bill Clinton was ineffective. (Eg. 9/11) Future presidents will have to find some middle ground tit for tat strategy in international affairs. Nothing like time passing to see how things unfold.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:01 PM   #217
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Keep setting that bar lower. It's not whether the opinion of the President will change, it's whether we'll see meaningful positive change in American perception of Bush. At 20-30%, we'll probably see his numbers increase a little by Republicans who simply forget all the bad things about GWB, but that doesn't suggest any meaningful shift in the public's view of his legacy.
Fewer people, if any, over the next few decades are going to be claiming that it would have been better for the United States and the world if Saddam's regime were left in power in Iraq. As those opposed to the removal of Saddam's regime decrease in number, its likely that Bush's approval numbers will increase as well. Exact same thing happened with Truman and the Korean War. Most Americans disaproved of the Korean War in 1952 and Trumans approval rating was as low as 22% the year he left office. Today the vast majority of Americans approve of the Korean War and think Truman was one of the greatest Presidents of all time.


Those that WANT Bush to be known as the worst President ever by history are going to be disapointed.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:07 PM   #218
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it's funny when people from the fringe -- and those who have a positive view of GWB are indeed part of the fringe -- criticize the FYM mainstream.
Its funny when people from FYM incorrectly think that FYM represents the mainstream when it in fact, overall, is on the fringe of a single political party.

The Republican party is anything but on the fringe and over 70% of registered Republicans currently approve of Bush's Job performance.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #219
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For starters, instead of making up statistics, why don't you take the actual data from the links above that is actually relevant to the discussion and use that!
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but honestly, I don't care enough to take the time to do it. I already objectively know that he is, if not the worst, than one of the worst presidents in US history.
I don't need to sort through 8 years of data to tell me what I already know.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:40 PM   #220
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Its funny when people from FYM incorrectly think that FYM represents the mainstream when it in fact, overall, is on the fringe of a single political party.

The Republican party is anything but on the fringe and over 70% of registered Republicans currently approve of Bush's Job performance.
Then 70% of the Republican party are fucking delusional.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:29 PM   #221
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The biggest economic mistake Bush made was to increase social spending while lowering taxes. He also showed a lack of leadership in economics because he deferred everything to economists regarding the bailouts without any critical analysis on his part. Too much reliance on experts mean you take the blame for wrong expert opinion.
If you could have done it again, you would have told Bush not to rely on experts so much? Should have followed his gut.....

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Fewer people, if any, over the next few decades are going to be claiming that it would have been better for the United States and the world if Saddam's regime were left in power in Iraq. As those opposed to the removal of Saddam's regime decrease in number, its likely that Bush's approval numbers will increase as well.
Put aside what abstract merit of toppling Saddam:

Bush's legacy won't survive the reality of toppling Saddam: the trillion dollar cluster-fuck reconstruction full of cronyism, lies, corruption, and American/Iraqi civilian deaths in exchange for establishing Iran's new BFF in the Middle East. That's the 10 ton anchor pulling him down. It'll be news clips of the Administration telling us we'd be greeted as liberators, news clips of snide officials guessing that it would cost 1, maybe 2 billion dollars.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:45 PM   #222
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If you could have done it again, you would have told Bush not to rely on experts so much? Should have followed his gut.....
It would be good to develop his own opinion. It's possible for politicians to learn economics. In fact I hope every politician learns a good deal of economics.

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Put aside what abstract merit of toppling Saddam:

Bush's legacy won't survive the reality of toppling Saddam: the trillion dollar cluster-fuck reconstruction full of cronyism, lies, corruption, and American/Iraqi civilian deaths in exchange for establishing Iran's new BFF in the Middle East. That's the 10 ton anchor pulling him down. It'll be news clips of the Administration telling us we'd be greeted as liberators, news clips of snide officials guessing that it would cost 1, maybe 2 billion dollars.
Like I said we will have to see in the long run what happens in Iraq to judge properly. Speculating daily on how Iraq turns out won't mean much until the U.S. is out of there after the handoff. Then we will see if it falls apart into another dictatorship or not.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:51 PM   #223
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Like I said we will have to see in the long run what happens in Iraq to judge properly. Speculating daily on how Iraq turns out won't mean much until the U.S. is out of there after the handoff. Then we will see if it falls apart into another dictatorship or not.
Eh, not even a dictatorship. Iran is a democracy, after all. Maybe to see if it turns farther away from western-liberal values.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:19 PM   #224
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considering that 69% of the American public strongly disapproves of Bush, it's clear that only the fringe believe he's done a good job -- it's the highest disapproval rate in history.

there's really no question here. only the self-deluded fringe approve of Bush's job.

the viewpoints expressed in FYM are quite representative not only of the US at large, but the world at large as well.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:53 PM   #225
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still, who needs poll numbers when you have evidence?



Quote:
Economy Made Few Gains in Bush Years
Eight-Year Period Is Weakest in Decades

By Neil Irwin and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 12, 2009; A01

President Bush has presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, and economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly view his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation's thorniest fiscal challenges.

The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush's tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans' incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush's father.

Bush and his aides are quick to point out that they oversaw 52 straight months of job growth in the middle of this decade, and that the economy expanded at a steady clip from 2003 to 2007. But economists, including some former advisers to Bush, say it increasingly looks as if the nation's economic expansion was driven to a large degree by the interrelated booms in the housing market, consumer spending and financial markets. Those booms, which the Bush administration encouraged with the idea of an "ownership society," have proved unsustainable.

"The expansion was a continuation of the way the U.S. has grown for too long, which was a consumer-led expansion that was heavily concentrated in housing," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a onetime Bush White House staffer and one of Sen. John McCain's top economic advisers for his presidential campaign. "There was very little of the kind of saving and export-led growth that would be more sustainable."

"For a group that claims it wants to be judged by history, there is no evidence on the economic policy front that that was the view," Holtz-Eakin said. "It was all Band-Aids."

From 2002 to 2006, the housing boom generated about 600,000 to 800,000 jobs that otherwise would not have been created -- about 10 percent of total job growth in that span, according to the consulting firm IHS Global Insight. Such data, expert say, suggest the economy was not as fundamentally strong as it seemed.

"Some of the recovery, some of the expansion, was based on very shaky foundations," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight.

"It's sad to say, but we really went nowhere for almost ten years, after you extract the boost provided by the housing and mortgage boom," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com, and an informal adviser to McCain's campaign. "It's almost a lost economic decade."

The president's current aides say they are proud of their economic record. They note, for instance, that they attempted to rein in the growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing finance companies whose vast expansion they see as a central cause of the financial crisis. Independent analysts generally view them only as contributors to the crisis.

"It does look like a great eight years, aside from the last quarter, unfortunately," Edward P. Lazear, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a recent interview. "In the long term, things look good. The reason things look good is this economy will rebound, and it will rebound strongly. . . . We expect things to turn around, and I would say early in President Obama's administration."

Even excluding the 2008 recession, however, Bush presided over a weak period for the U.S. economy. For example, for the first seven years of the Bush administration, gross domestic product grew at a paltry 2.1 percent annual rate.

The administration also failed to gain traction on some of the fundamental economic and fiscal issues facing the nation -- including solidifying the finances of Medicare and Social Security, simplifying the tax code, or making health care more affordable. Resolution of those issues might have left the government more flexibility to respond to the current crisis by lowering the nation's future budget deficits.

The federal government had a modest budget surplus when Bush took office in 2001, but ran a deficit -- funding itself to a significant degree with borrowed money -- of 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2004 and 4 percent in 2005, even as the economy was growing at a healthy pace.

Bush did not steer the country toward a more sound long-term fiscal position. After winning reelection, he made a failed push both to tweak Social Security to stabilize its long-term finances and create private accounts for Americans to invest in the stock market. Democrats aggressively fought the plan, but indicated they were willing to work on a compromise to ensure the program's long-term financial stability if Bush would take private accounts off the table, which he declined to do.

Keith B. Hennessey, Bush's chief economic adviser, said the administration "tried everything" it could to broker a deal on Social Security, including sending subtle signals to Democrats that it would negotiate on private accounts.

Changes to Medicare were also elusive for the administration. When Bush entered the White House, the program faced a long-term funding deficit. It still does, and its cost is expected to balloon in the years ahead. In fact, the administration's addition of a prescription drug benefit enlarges Medicare's long-term funding imbalance.

The administration had planned to try to deal with the problem after a successful overhaul of Social Security. That day never came, though, and officials figured that if they couldn't reach a deal on the relatively simple problem of fixing Social Security, they would have no shot at fixing the vastly larger and more complex problems facing Medicare.

Bush made a more concerted effort in 2007 to overhaul the health-care system, with a plan that many independent experts thought could make care more affordable for poor and middle-income families. But by the time the president made the push, he was already highly unpopular. The proposal went nowhere.

"The retirement of the baby boom is not a distant thing, and the rapid rise in medical care costs goes on year after year," said Alice Rivlin, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and senior economic official in the Clinton administration. "It's easiest to fix those things when the economy is doing well, and we didn't fix them when we had the chance."

A Bush-created commission proposed a detailed overhaul of the tax code in 2005 that aimed to make taxes more fair and less complex, also winning plaudits from tax experts. But passing such a plan wasn't a high priority for the White House, and the effort stalled.

"On tax reform, I think they themselves were not very interested in it," said Kevin A. Hassett, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an adviser on Bush's reelection campaign.

As achievements, Bush and his advisers point to the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which many analysts credit for keeping the last recession mild, even as the cuts contributed to the large deficits that followed. Bush and other administration officials play down the role of the tax cuts in feeding the deficits, arguing instead that increased spending on counterterrorism, national security and the military after the Sept. 11 attacks was the primary, and unavoidable, cause.

Bush also boasts about his record on trade, including the signing of 11 free-trade agreements with countries in Asia, Africa and Central and South America. But he also failed in bids to land several other prominent trade pacts and saw the collapse of negotiations to curb global agricultural subsidies, known as the Doha Round.

One constant for Bush has been an optimistic, even rosy, economic outlook. Throughout much of past year, even as the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve began preparing for the worst behind closed doors, Bush and his aides trumpeted the fundamental strength of the U.S. economy and dismissed Democratic proposals for a second stimulus package. A White House fact sheet released on Sept. 5 was titled: "American Economy Is Resilient in the Face of Challenges."

Two days later, the administration announced the federal takeover of Fannie and Freddie, setting in motion the most sweeping government intervention in the economy since the Great Depression.

That takeover, experts widely agree, was necessary. But even those sympathetic to the president's ideas are skeptical of his overall legacy.

The highest praise Hassett offers for Bush's economic legacy is that "the economy was caught up in a storm while he was president, but it wasn't his fault."

"In the end, to the extent there ends up being a defense of the Bush presidency" on economic issues, "that's about the best you can get."
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