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Iraq War – (more than) 10 years later

With Jeb Bush fumbling an easy question from Meghan Kelly and Marco Rubio doing his Jeb Bush impersonation in front of Fox New’s Chris Wallace… I thought that I would repost this. It is a basic summary of why we went to war and how each one of those assumptions was wrong. 

I will not say anything new in this post. I will not say anything that is outrageous or over the top. The Iraq War was one of the many reasons that caused me to start writing a book and to start a blog.

I think that the Bush Administration had four main reasons for going to war in Iraq. Yellowcake from Nigeraluminum tubes to concentrate uranium, mobile biological labs and the Al Qaeda (Mohamed Atta) – Saddam Hussein connection.  It is now clear that none of these lines of argument were based in fact. I will not go into any of the details of why the above claims were lies. It should be clear to everyone by now. I will point you to Hubris and 500 Days as two very good books that go into detail about what happened and why. Also check out James Risen’s book State of War.

Cost of the War in Iraq

I guess the big question concerns what we gained from the Iraq War. Some will say nothing. Others will argue that we got rid of Saddam Hussein and that was worth it. I would argue that we squandered international good will. We fanned the flames of Muslim extremism. We played into the hands of Bin Laden by invading a country that was no threat to us or our allies. I would say that we turned a very backward nation into a battleground where there seems to always be war.

By |2015-05-17T21:33:26-04:00May 17th, 2015|Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Iraq|Comments Off on Iraq War – (more than) 10 years later

Are We Better off Today?

Are we better off today than we were four years ago? Okay, let’s do this. The campaign for the president of the United States officially starts now. I hate progressives being wishy-washy. It is time for us to step up. Paul Ryan threw a simple 70 mile an hour pitch right down the center of the plate only to have several progressives foul it off. Dammit. We’ve got to do better. This was easy. Paul Ryan asked whether we are better off now than we were four years ago. This is a no-brainer.

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First let’s look at the deficit which the GOP likes to talk about all of the time. Who has piled up the debt?

It is the Republicans who have burdened us with debt. Trillions of dollars of Republican debt. Let me just underline what the above graph tells us. George W. Bush saddled the economy with $5.07 trillion in debt. Barack Obama has come nowhere near this lofty goal.

Now, on to the all-important question, are we better off today than we were four years ago? The answer is a big and loud Hell, Yeah! Our economic output was actually negative when Barack Obama took office. We’ve seen real GDP growth go from negative to positive and remain continuously positive for the last ten quarters.

Finally, and most importantly, when Barack Obama took office our economy was losing over 600,000 jobs per month. We’ve seen private sector growth (really important to Republicans) for 29 straight months. It is time for Democrats, progressives and other liberally leaning allies to get our heads in the game. When the Republicans serve up a softball, we must hit it out of the park – every time. So, the answer to the question as to whether we are better off now than we were four years ago – (with a smile) Hell, Yes!

By |2012-09-03T21:01:53-04:00September 3rd, 2012|Economy, Obama administration, Party Politics|1 Comment

House GOP sees the light

I haven’t posted that much on the payroll tax cut. Why, you ask? ‘Cuz it was a no brainer. Everybody knew it was a no brainer. Everyone also knew that members of the GOP were going to try to extact as much as they could for this tax cut. The political calculus was clear to everyone for months. My only question was why did the Dems get so little? They, the Dems, should have pushed for a 12-month extension (not 2 month) of this tax cut.

From WaPo:

Facing withering criticism from across the political spectrum and abandoned by Senate allies, House Republicans bowed to political reality Thursday and agreed to a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans.

The agreement represented a remarkable capitulation on the part of House Republicans, who had two days earlier rejected such a deal with Democrats as the kind of half-measure that their new majority was elected to thwart.

And it amounts to a Christmas gift for President Obama, who attempted to paint his Republican opponents as willing to raise taxes for millions of Americans. Such an image could have cost the party politically just as it is gearing up to try to take back the White House and the Senate in 2012.

By |2011-12-22T23:59:05-04:00December 22nd, 2011|Congress, Economy, Party Politics|Comments Off on House GOP sees the light
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