Thursday, January 22, 2009

Al Qaeda Agrees with Obama non-torture policy

Al Qaeda leaders announced today they too will no longer torture or kill innocent women and children. Leaders of the terrorist organization that killed over 3000 innocents on American soil said they were so touched by Obama's smooth rhetoric and refusal to take a hardline against their terrorist activities that they would unilaterally tell members of their organization plotting to destroy US infrastructure and kill millions of Americans to cease their activities immediately. Quotes picked up by the soon to be terminated NSA eavesdropping program on terrorist cell phones were " I can't bomb somebody who dances that well." "The guy's just plain cool." and "Anybody with Hussein as a middle name is all right with me." They especially noted this recent quote by Obama as the reason they will no longer attempt to wipe infidels off the face of the earth:

"We think that it is precisely our ideals that give us the strength and the moral high ground to be able to effectively deal with the unthinking violence that we see emanating from terrorist organizations around the world,"

Abdul (last name withheld by request) stated, "Words and threats may make us sweat but now they'll never harm us. Obama Akbar!" when he heard the President's comments following the closing of Guantanamo and terrorist detainment facilities worldwide.


vwatt said...

I missed this one....was it on Fox News or The Onion?

vwatt said...

I'm not sure what country all these recent reforms are occurring in-must be some third world dictatorshhip like Khyrgistan or something:

1)Fair wage bill passed in their Senate today(female goat herders now have to paid same as male counterparts?).
2) Their President and other federal agencies can no longer withhold requested public information unilaterally.
3) They have stopped torturing prisoners at secret undisclosed locations all over the world. Apparently, they are abandoning the "eye for an eye" concept which has been popular for centuries in such primitive countries.
4) Scientists and nonpolitical experts, instead of former corporate lobbyists and religious zealots, are being put back in charge of federal agencies responsible for environmental protection, drug certification, energy development, workers safety,
and financial industry oversight.
5) This country's new President will actually "live" in the nation's capital-unlike his predecessor who spent 34% of his time in office at his other homes(must have been a dacha on the Black Sea or something where he chopped dried seaweed or something for fun). There is even word that things like public state dinners, staff meetings on weekends, and occasional trips into the nearby city for dinner among the peasants may be on the agenda.
5) Electronic eavesdropping on fellow citizens without due cause and court approval will soon be forbidden.
6)Many in the press and public are skeptical of such wide ranging changes from the past eight years. Some think this may be rushing things too fast for such a young democracy but...wait..this just in...we're living the dream right here!

vwatt said...

I forgot to read the article below before I made the previous post! Now I know what happened in that new democracy for the last eight years!


Wall Street Journal

Now that George W. Bush has finally left office, here's a challenge to a nation famous for its proud tradition of invention: Can somebody invent a machine capable of fully measuring the disaster that was the Bush presidency?

Yes, yes, I know that attitudes towards presidencies are volatile. Harry Truman was hated when he left office and look at him now; he's so highly regarded that President Bush thought of him as a role model. There are, I'm sure, still a few William Henry Harrison dead-enders around, convinced that the 31 days the broken-down old general spent as president will someday receive the full glory they deserve.

In a way that was inconceivable when he took office, Mr. Bush -- the advance man for the "ownership society," smaller and more trustworthy government, and a humble foreign policy -- increased the size and scope of the federal government to unprecedented levels. At the same time, he constantly flashed signs of secrecy, duplicity, ineffectiveness and outright incompetence.

Think for a moment about the thousands of Transportation Security Administration screeners -- newly minted government employees all -- who continue to confiscate contact-lens solution and nail clippers while, according to nearly every field test, somehow failing to notice simulated bombs in passenger luggage.

Or schoolchildren struggling under No Child Left Behind, which federalized K-12 education to an unprecedented degree with nothing to show for it other than greater spending tabs. Or the bizarrely structured Medicare prescription-drug benefit, the largest entitlement program created since LBJ. Or the simple reality that taxpayers now guarantee some $8 trillion in inscrutable loans to a financial sector that collapsed from inscrutable loans.

Such programs were not in any way foisted on Mr. Bush, the way that welfare reform had been on Bill Clinton; they were signature projects, designed to create a legacy every bit as monumental and inspiring as Laura Bush's global literacy campaign.

The most basic Bush numbers are damning. If increases in government spending matter, then Mr. Bush is WORSE than any president in recent history. During his first four years in office -- a period during which his party controlled Congress -- he added a whopping $345 billion (in constant dollars) to the federal budget. The only other presidential term that comes close? Mr. Bush's second term. As of November 2008, he had added at least an additional $287 billion on top of that (and the months since then will add significantly to the bill). To put that in perspective, consider that the spendthrift LBJ added a mere $223 billion in total additional outlays in his one full term.

If spending under Mr. Bush was a disaster, regulation was even worse. The number of pages in the Federal Registry is a rough proxy for the swollen expanse of the regulatory state. In 2001, some 64,438 pages of regulations were added to it. In 2007, more than 78,000 new pages were added. Worse still, argues the Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy, Mr. Bush is the unparalleled master of "economically significant regulations" that cost the economy more than $100 million a year. Since 2001, he jacked that number by more than 70%. Since June 2008 alone, he introduced more than 100 economically significant regulations.

At this late date, it may be pointless to argue about the grounds for the invasion of Iraq, which even Mr. Bush has (finally) acknowledged were built on sand rather than bedrock. The Iraq war has lasted longer than any American conflict except for Vietnam and has cost more than any shooting match except for World War II. Leave aside for a moment the more than 4,200 U.S. deaths and 30,000 casualties, and ask a very basic question: Did President Bush's prosecution of the war -- he declared an end to major hostilities in May 2003 -- and his direction of the ongoing occupation make you feel better about the government's ability to execute core functions?

Or, like the bungled federal response to Hurricane Katrina (later made good by shoveling billions of pork-laden tax dollars to the Gulf area) and the rushed, secretive, and ever-changing bailout of the financial sector, did it make you want to simply despair?

Mr. Bush's legacy is thus a bizarro version of Ronald Reagan's. Reagan entered office declaring that government was not the solution to our problems, it was the problem. Ironically, he demonstrated that government could do some important things right -- he helped tame inflation and masterfully drew the Cold War to a nonviolent triumph for the Free World. By contrast, Mr. Bush has massively expanded the government along with the sense that government is incompetent.

That is no small accomplishment -- and its pernicious effects will last long after Mr. Bush has moved back to Texas, and President Obama has announced that his stimulus package, originally tagged at $750 billion and already up to $825 billion, will cost $1 trillion or more. Mr. Bush has cleared the way for President Obama to intervene more and more in the economy and every other aspect of American life.

Last July, the political scientists Philippe Aghion, Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc and Andrei Shleifer wrote a paper titled "Regulation and Distrust." Using data from the World Values Survey, the authors convincingly argue that "distrust influences not just regulation itself, but the demand for regulation." They found that "distrust fuels support for government control over the economy. What is perhaps most interesting about this finding . . . is that distrust generates demand for regulation even when people realize that the government is corrupt and ineffective."

George W. Bush has certainly taught us that government really can't be trusted to be very effective, or open, or smart. He has also taught us that government can always get bigger on every level and every way. It's a sad lesson that we'll be learning for many years to come.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

I look forward to comparing criteria between Obama's and Bush's administrations side by side when it's all said and done. I get such a kick out of liberals lambasting Bush for his spending and then going out and increasing it two fold! So far all I'm hearing is more of the same or worse. Beware of any administration that says it's being total open with the public. Blaming Bush for poor intelligence gathered from the previous administration and horrible state and local response to the breaking of the levees in New Orleans is great sport for the liberals but it's not factual. Do you really believe Gore or Kerry would have done anything different? Not likely.

vwatt said...

Previous administration intelligence? Does that include the Aug. 5, 2001 Presidential Briefing Paper delivered to Crawford in person by a CIA briefer? The one that Bush said was not a high priority but relented and heard it, then dismissed the briefer with, "All right, now you've covered your ass." The one titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.? The one that also mentioned aircraft and hijack scenarios? The same one that Tenet tried to deliver to Rice two weeks earlier in D.C.(during the time that Tenet says his hair was on fire due to the multiple warnings coming from a variety of sources), yet Rice could not find the time for the briefing?? Who knows what Gore or Kerry would have done..the fact is that Bush did nothing. And the buck has to stop somewhere. No wonder he had such a OH SH..T look on his face while reading "My Pet Goat"!!

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Oh wait. So Bush had 4 weeks to prevent the attacks. Clinton had EIGHT YEARS! One can't help but wonder what would have happened if Clinton would have nailed Obama when HE had a chance. I'm talking about the CIA, Clinton (both of them), and Gore, not to mention the international intelligence community who all were emphatic about the WMDs in Iraq and Saddam's willingness to use them. You're right the buck should stop SOMEWHERE.

vwatt said...

Just one glaring non-sequitur in that response: What do WMDs(that did not exist)and Sadaam's willingness to use such non-existent weapons have anything at all to do with 911??
There is no connection between the two. It would be like us declaring war on China after Pearl Harbor in WW2. And Bush had more than 4 weeks..the threat level started to elevate in the spring of 2001 and by July , Tenet said his "hair was on fire".
Bush was briefed by Clinton/Gore in Dec. 2000 that the biggest threat he would face was Al-Queda. When was the first meeting of the Terrorist Working Group finally convened? Sept. 9-10, 2001. Whoops a little late. Bush was asleep at the switch. At least Clinton was mindful of the threat and did throw a few cruise missile strikes at him, even if he didn't get him.....and Bush had eight more years to get him. We will just have to continue to agree to disagree(as always!) :-) Me: Bush an incompetent fool. You: Still one of our greatest leaders.