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Archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2007

War profiteers

June 26, 2007

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To the editor:

During World War II, then-Sen. Harry Truman started a watchdog committee looking for, and finding, illegal war profiteering. Truman asked hard questions and didn't let up until he had answers, thereby bringing guilty people and businesses to justice. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff George C. Marshall said that Truman's efforts were worth multiple divisions of troops to the war effort.

I suppose one could be inspired that the Justice Department, headed by Alberto Gonzales, sees Americans as being so much more honest than the World War II generation, deservedly seen as one of our greatest. I can only imagine that this is why, as stated in a congressional subcommittee June 19, there's not been a single conviction of war profiteering against anyone in six years, although allegations have been raised that "tens of millions of taxpayer dollars - and perhaps far more - have gone into the pockets of contractors who overbilled for services, paid bribes and received kickbacks."

Oh, for another Harry Truman!

Daniel Patrick Schamle,

Lawrence

Comments

jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

Uh oh, looks like I lost him Damn me and my desire to have only one discussion with no jumping around to irrelevant points.

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Defender 6 years, 9 months ago

"I registered a few weeks ago and have not been kicked off"

You haven't been kicked off under your current name, that much is true.

"Maybe you should considering discussing the topic before us instead of issuing all these personal attacks."

You don't discuss, nor are you interested in discussing anything. You just shout out your hatred of all things Clinton, and that's it, period. You have been proven quite wrong multiple times, and yet you continue to lie, lie, lie.

"Your attempts to guess my true identity is not only immature, it's against forum rules."

No one is guessing, we all know who you are. Besides, your little first grade attempt to turn my words around against me are about as immature as you can get. Grow up, grow a pair, and go away.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

Defender:

I'm not sure what web site you're referring to. The only web site I operate is for my business and that web site is strictly non-political. I'm also at a lost of what you're referring to regarding being kicked off of this board. I registered a few weeks ago and have not been kicked off. In fact, unlike you, I have yet to have a post removed since registering.

Maybe you should considering discussing the topic before us instead of issuing all these personal attacks. Your attempts to guess my true identity is not only immature, it's against forum rules.

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Defender 6 years, 9 months ago

"You do realize that that is a response programmed by the left-wing spin machine?"

My God, you're such a first grade fool. Unfortunately for you, you're quite wrong. I don't use left or right wing sources to make up my mind about anything. This coming from you is a laugh, Arminius, since the most idiotic right wing website on the net is run by you and your hatred for Clinton. So, are you ever going to answer the question about how many times you have been kicked off of this board, Arminius?

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

greyheim:

"You consider the past present and future from your righty-fringe lenses. 'bush-hating' websites?!? o: k:. anyway, you have no room to talk about 'bush haters' with your constant references to Clinton on just about every thread."

There's a huge difference. My references to Clinton involve his policies (or lack thereof). I have not expressed hatred for Clinton. The Bush-haters here call him a nazi and other names, question his motives as being evil, etc. There is a difference between saying a president's policies were bad and saying a president's policies are based on evil motives (e.g., enriching his friends in the oil business).

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

greyheim:

"uh huh. if you decide not to count iraq and afghanistan. :"

Tell us how many American noncombatants have been killed by terrorists in those two countries.

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scenebooster 6 years, 9 months ago

"This nonsense back & forth kills boards like these. It drives serious commentators away. It is as annoying - and as useless - as spam."

"Serious commentators" such as yourself?

"The Big Bang is an easy one. It never happened."

"1. Black magicians (male) commonly use anal sex as means to gain power over others, as the act involves all three of the traditional black materials: blood, semen & fecal matter. 2. It is impossible to distinguish these magicians from ordinary homosexual couples. The very last thing such couples should get is grace from god above, as that is merely fuel for their enginesm, which is exactly what such magicians crave."

"So every now & then it helps to remind people that anal sex means fecal comtamination, and to further remind of the diseases & parasites that traditionally spread by that means. Gays will do anything to avoid facing up to that. They've made the same excuses, century after century. They have no choice."

"None of the video links on this site work on my computer. Funny thing, because all the porn comes through just fine. Checked just yesterday, in fact."

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greyheim 6 years, 9 months ago

ferd: Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans prior to 9/11

and how many have they killed since?

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greyheim 6 years, 9 months ago

ferd: Terrorist attacks against Americans were more frequent and rampant prior to 9/11 than after 9/11.

uh huh. if you decide not to count iraq and afghanistan. ...

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greyheim 6 years, 9 months ago

Ferd: And given that I can consider the past, present, and future, I don't believe I'm wearing blinders.

You consider the past present and future from your righty-fringe lenses. 'bush-hating' websites?!? o... k.... anyway, you have no room to talk about 'bush haters' with your constant references to Clinton on just about every thread.

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jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

You'll notice, of course, that I wasn't referring to occurrences of incidents, but to occurrence of discussion. So, do you think we talked about terrorism more before or after 9/11, and do you think the people, and their elected representatives thus cared more before or after 9/11. Let's have the same discussion, here.

If, of course, that's even possible for you.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

jonas:

"And I can't say that I believe that any of the terrorist events had anything to do with the election. Prior to 9/11, it was not a rampant, or even frequent, topic of discussion."

Terrorist attacks against Americans were more frequent and rampant prior to 9/11 than after 9/11. Prior to 9/11, we had the first WTC bombing, the bombing of Khobar Towers, the bombing of our embassies in Africa, and the bombing of the USS Cole.

As Giuliani noted yesterday, Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans prior to 9/11. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070626/D8Q0Q5M01.html

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jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I wonder that too. But if you can't or won't understand what I meant about blinders restricting you, then I don't think you have any room to criticize anyone else.

And I can't say that I believe that any of the terrorist events had anything to do with the election. Prior to 9/11, it was not a rampant, or even frequent, topic of discussion.

To the best of my knowledge, at least. Part of the reason, I think, that Clinton was particularly impotent in doing anything serious about it.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

jonas:

"ferdinand: You have way too many blinders on to be able to insinuate that anyone else in incapable of rational thought. You're one of the more cartoonishly one-sided voices here."

Odd statement. Blinders can prevent one from seeing to his sides. However, I have never heard of anyone who could not think after putting blinders on. And given that I can consider the past, present, and future, I don't believe I'm wearing blinders. I would have to wonder, however, about the liberals who can only see straight ahead to the Bush-hating web sites and can only parrot what they read there.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

jonas:

"And your comment made no sense at all. Assuming the American public knew about the impending attacks is the only way that you can say Al Gore was "fired by the public" for his failure to prevent 9/11."

It often appears that liberals have forgotten that the WTC was bombed in 1993, the Khobar Towers was bombed in 1996, our embassies in Africa were bombed in 1998, and the USS Cole was bombed just a month prior to the 2000 election. And, although we did not know it at the time, the 9/11 pilots were already in this country before that election. You failed to grasp the fact that the American public already saw the Clinton-Gore administration fail on numerous occasions regarding terrorism. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to point to a success in which the administration played a role, especially after 1998.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 9 months ago

Really, is it possible to not have war profiteers? I suppose we could appropriate all the money to Islamic-American relations/studies and bring peace and acceptance into the international foray. They would appreciate it, the Muslims I mean----I mean the non-violent Muslims, you know, the ones who don't wish death to America.

Thanks for reading, understanding and offering the utmost of consideration to my post.

You all continue to be the most terrific bunch of folks.

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jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

And for the rest, profiteering on this war takes many shapes and sizes. I would say that quite a number of democrats could be considered as profiteering off the war, as they've taken the stance (and changed it in a number of instances) guaranteed to give them an edge on Republican competition. From the outside, I suppose it's difficult to tell whether they did it for principle (cough) or to simply gain political presence, but. . . . .

Maybe I'm just burnt out and cynical.

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jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

And your comment made no sense at all. Assuming the American public knew about the impending attacks is the only way that you can say Al Gore was "fired by the public" for his failure to prevent 9/11.

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jonas 6 years, 9 months ago

ferdinand: You have way too many blinders on to be able to insinuate that anyone else in incapable of rational thought. You're one of the more cartoonishly one-sided voices here.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

DaveR:

I know what you mean. Just last week someone wrote this gem here:

"As Larry Flynt handily proved, everybody in Washington has sex & everybody lies about it."

What a useless, as well as false, statement.

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DaveR 6 years, 9 months ago

This nonsense back & forth kills boards like these. It drives serious commentators away. It is as annoying - and as useless - as spam.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

Defender:

"You're not capable of any type of thought. You are programmed by the right wing spin machine that you love so much."

You do realize that that is a response programmed by the left-wing spin machine?

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packrat 6 years, 9 months ago

I re-read the entire article and a few of the followup sources. I stand by my statement. If the recounts had been allowed to proceed the way Al Gore and the Democratic Party want George Bush still won.

If AL Gore had won Tennessee, he would have won the election.

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packrat 6 years, 9 months ago

I actually read the recount data right when it was completed.

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zimmerman 6 years, 9 months ago

packrat--- I realize wikipedia is not a perfect source for information, but if you can tell me a source that both the left and the right agree is unbiased I'd like to know it. As far as the sources you've listed, they both seem somewhat credible, but neither really goes into much depth on the subject. Each sums up the enitre election in less than one page. Say what you want about wikipedia, but it certainly doesn't condense topics to that extent. You should definitely take a look at the wikipedia articles on the election. They include the same information that is in each of the sources you've listed, but they also include facts your sources have left out. One example is your claim that "Gore would have lost even if the recounts had been allowed." I realize how you might think this after reading these condensed and incomplete summaries of the data, but you should definitely check out the original sources, that are posted on wikipedia. After looking at the unsummarized data it's pretty obvious that an actual recount should have been done.

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Defender 6 years, 9 months ago

"Only to someone incapable of rational thought."

You're not capable of any type of thought. You are programmed by the right wing spin machine that you love so much. Could you tell us again how many times you have been kicked off this board, Arminius?

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preebo 6 years, 9 months ago

Haliburton and Blackwater...

Damn, Scenebooster beat me to it. Ah well...

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packrat 6 years, 9 months ago

Wikipedia is not a valid primary source.

"Some 179,855 ballots were not counted in the official tally. These were ballots which were mistakenly filled out. However, in predominantly white counties the voting machines (Accuvotes) would return the ballot and allow voters to try again, whereas in predominantly black counties the reject mechanisms were not enabled, thus giving voters only one chance to mark the ballot correctly" Show a real source.

THe recounts were ordered stopped because they were in violation of Florida law. They had to be complete by a certain time, and they weren't.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/media_watch/jan-june01/recount_4-3.html Gore would have lost even if the recounts had been allowed.

The roadblocks claim is just absurd.

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Jamesaust 6 years, 9 months ago

"...a single conviction of war profiteering against anyone...."

I guess that a prerequisite would be measured standards.

When the government directly cannot account for BILLIONS of dollars, has cash - literally! - delivered by the pallet to 'be distributed as necessary,' or cannot even account for firearms handed over to Iraqis (who knew to keep a log of serial numbers? isn't that contrary to NRA policy?), then you can hardly complain when there is a similar lack-of-accountability from private contractors.

The real question is: the Democrat Congress has been in place since January - why haven't THEY taken action?

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

Agnostick:

"P.S. Still conveniently ignoring my questions in the "Elusive Peace," thread? :)))"

I ignored them for the same reason I ignore bizarre questions from the homeless in downtown Lawrence.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

greyheim:

"that's not why al gore was "fired". and again, referencing clinton administration."

That's the reason for many. I voted against Gore because he was weak on defense.

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greyheim 6 years, 9 months ago

it's all clinton's et al fault!!!!!!!!!

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greyheim 6 years, 9 months ago

Only to someone incapable of rational thought. The first WTC bombing, Black Hawk Down, Khobar Towers, the embassy bombings in Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole, and 9/11. Clearly, Gore and his boss were incompetent when it came to preventing terrorist attacks against Americans.

that's not why al gore was "fired". and again, referencing clinton administration.

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zimmerman 6 years, 9 months ago

packrat-- Other than the sources that scenebooster listed, here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on the subject.

n May 2000, DBT(the company put in charge of Florida's voter registration lists) discovered that approximately 8,000 names were erroneously placed on the exclusion list, mostly those of former Texas prisoners who were included on a DBT list that turned out never to have been convicted of more than a misdemeanor...Voter demographics authority David Bositis, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC, reviewed The Nation's findings and concluded that the purge-and-block program was "a patently obvious technique to discriminate against black voters"

dagopman-- I agree with you that the "confusing" ballots didn't seem that confusing, but really, that's just the story that the media picked up, while a bunch of other shady things that happened in Florida were not really covered. Here's just a few:

---The manual recount in Miami-Dade County was shut down shortly after screaming protestors arrived at Miami's recount center. It turned out that these protesters were Republican Party members flown in from other states, some at Republican Party expense

---Some 179,855 ballots were not counted in the official tally. These were ballots which were mistakenly filled out. However, in predominantly white counties the voting machines (Accuvotes) would return the ballot and allow voters to try again, whereas in predominantly black counties the reject mechanisms were not enabled, thus giving voters only one chance to mark the ballot correctly

---Xavier Suarez, who was ousted as mayor of Miami in 1998 on charges of absentee voter fraud, was later elected to the Executive Committee of the Miami-Dade GOP party. Suarez helped fill out absentee ballot forms and enlist Republican absentee voters in Miami-Dade County for the 2000 presidential election

---State senator Daryll Jones claimed that on the day of the election there had been an order to set up road blocks, which were set disproportionately in Democratic regions of the state

As far as the recount goes, I'm not sure about you, but it seems pretty fishy to me that anyone would actually want to stop recounts on a vote that was so close and so contravercial.

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Agnostick 6 years, 9 months ago

No, the way Truman helped bring about an end to World War II. :)

Yes, we still have troops in South Korea. We also have troops stationed elsewhere around the globe.

Apples & oranges! :)

Thanks for playing! :))

--Ag

P.S. Still conveniently ignoring my questions in the "Elusive Peace," thread? :)))

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

Agnostick:

"If GWB did 10% of the things that Truman did, Fallujah would be a black cinder stain in the desert: most of our troops would be home by now...."

You mean like how Truman got all our troops home from Korea? Wait, they're still there. Never mind.

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dagopman 6 years, 9 months ago

My brother is a social sciences teacher at a Kansas middle school. After the controversial Florida election with the "so called" confusing ballot, he requested and obtained the butterfly ballot to present to his class of 30 students. 29 students had no difficulty in understanding the ballot. He later asked one student how it was possible to find the correct hole for the person you wished to vote for. The student said, as only a child can, "all you have to do is find your candidate's name and follow the arrow".

As voters it is our responsibility to mark our ballots correctly, not some judge or canvassers to try to interpret how we meant to vote.

The Florida vote was as fair as it could possible be. Let it go.

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

Defender:

"Wow, what an amazingly stupid comment."

Only to someone incapable of rational thought. The first WTC bombing, Black Hawk Down, Khobar Towers, the embassy bombings in Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole, and 9/11. Clearly, Gore and his boss were incompetent when it came to preventing terrorist attacks against Americans.

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scenebooster 6 years, 9 months ago

Anyone who has even the most remote relationship to the facts of the 2000 election know that the election was suspect in nearly every respect.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/sunstein/chapter9.html

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/jbalkin/articles/essayonbushvgore.pdf

http://home.pacbell.net/jmax7/BushvGore2000.htm

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greyheim 6 years, 9 months ago

Defender (Anonymous) says:

"In a sense, Al Gore was fired because he was not elected president."

Wow, what an amazingly stupid comment. Are you even awake, Arminius?

par for his course, defender.

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Defender 6 years, 9 months ago

"In a sense, Al Gore was fired because he was not elected president."

Wow, what an amazingly stupid comment. Are you even awake, Arminius?

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50YearResident 6 years, 9 months ago

All I know if I was running for president and the election came down to the votes in a state controled by my brother, manipulation of the vote count would put me in office 100% of the time if my brother's name was Jeb.

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packrat 6 years, 9 months ago

scenebooster, Provide a link to your quoted "source".

The US Supreme Court ordered Florida to follow its own laws and end the illegal recounts. Bush won.

After the election was over, a group recounted all of the votes in Florida and discovered that Bush would have won even if the counts continued.

Your "source" neglects to mention that NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN all called Florida for Gore before the polls closed in the western part of the state. How many people in that predominately Republican part didn't bother going to the polls?

How are people turned away "even prior to reaching the polling places"?

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Oracle_of_Rhode 6 years, 9 months ago

Wrong_Thinker ponders, "how can one compare WWII to the Iraq war?"

I agree, the Iraq War has gone on for much longer then WWII!

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Agnostick 6 years, 9 months ago

"If GWB did half the things that Truman did, the left would be out to hang him in the streets without a trial or court or the justice dept or anything."


If GWB did 10% of the things that Truman did, Fallujah would be a black cinder stain in the desert... most of our troops would be home by now... and Osama bin Laden would be eating pork chops in the nude in a 6' X 4' X 7' stainless steel box of a prison cell, where his mind would slowly turn to soft butter over the course of the next 30 years or so.

But he's not... so he hasn't... and he probably won't.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com http://www.uscentrist.org

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scenebooster 6 years, 9 months ago

"But we install presidents bases on electoral votes. "

"Install" is a good word for it. I understand the electoral college. I also understand the absolute corruption that occurred in Broward County under Kathleen Harris.

"As Secretary of State for the State of Florida, Harris presided over the contested 2000 US presidential election in Florida. There were allegations of conflicts of interest and partisan, unethical behavior by Katherine Harris during the 2000 campaign. Harris had been named as Bush's Florida campaign co-chair the year before.

In addition, by Harris' decree, ChoicePoint - a private firm - was hired prior to the election to identify and remove thousands of names from the state voters list on the condition that these people were convicted felons. Many of these would-be voters were turned away at the polls or even prior to reaching the polling places. It would later be discovered that approximately 97% of the people removed from the list - and thus denied the right to vote in the election - were not felons at all. The majority of these voters were African-American, and as African-Americans predominantly vote Democratic, the situation suggested foul play.[13] In any case, the thousands of votes affected by Choicepoint's error were far in excess of the number of votes (537) by which George W. Bush won the state."

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 9 months ago

"He just won the popular vote." -SB

But we install presidents bases on electoral votes. How many times do we have to give you guys a civics lesson?

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scenebooster 6 years, 9 months ago

"In a sense, Al Gore was fired because he was not elected president."

No, he wasn't. He just won the popular vote.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

Mick:

Your comment is not entirely accurate and intended to spin but that's OK, you do it all the time.

Try this!:

How about that Fat Teddy's Daddy was fired as Ambassador The Court of St. James because of his pro-Nazi statements and feelings?

For the less historically inclined among you, that is Joseph P. Kennedy (The guy who admitted buying John Kennedy's senate election as well as the 1960 presidential campaign!) who got fired by FDR from his post as ambassador to England.

Have a "productive" day!

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ferdinandlanghoff 6 years, 9 months ago

werekoala:

"That why no one gets fired when the biggest terror attack in our nation's history occurs?"

In a sense, Al Gore was fired because he was not elected president. The 9/11 pilots entered this country and 9/11 were planned on his watch.

"That why when it turns out we were completely, utterly wrong on the WMD issue and the threat posed by Saddam, nothing happens? No one gets fired, and the Director of the CIA gets the Medal of Freedom?"

It's my undertanding that Tenet got that medal for his work in Afghanistan.

BTW, Truman had an approval rating of 22% in 1952.

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mick 6 years, 9 months ago

Prescott Bush was Hitler's banker. Many wanted to try him for treason.

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scenebooster 6 years, 9 months ago

R_T post is the most unintentionally ironic in days....

"If GWB did half the things that Truman did, the left would be out to hang him in the streets without a trial or court or the justice dept or anything."

Ummm, I seem to recall that it was George Bush who was so in favor of the elimination of trials and courts, and who has managed to pull all of the teeth out of the JD.

"GWB is considered the worst president by the left (includes media)largely because of a sort of 'buck stops here' "cowboy" mentality"

Seems to me the "buck" just keeps going and going and going and going...until it lands in the pocket of halliburton, KBR or Blackwell.

"W will go down as one of the greatest presidents in history."

Even the tightest of the righties would shy away from this moronic statement. George W. Bush - synonymous with failure.

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freeordie 6 years, 9 months ago

The Japanese were aggressors in WWII. The Iraqis were not. Not Only does the "left", whatever that means these days, think he is the worst president in U.S. history, check out his opinion poles here AND abroad. I encourage you to go down with that sinking ship. Yeah, he's great. RIse up against this Government.

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werekoala 6 years, 9 months ago

'buck stops here' - please.

That why no one gets fired when the biggest terror attack in our nation's history occurs? Why the Admin vigorously fought any attempt to figure out what went wrong on that day?

That why when it turns out we were completely, utterly wrong on the WMD issue and the threat posed by Saddam, nothing happens? No one gets fired, and the Director of the CIA gets the Medal of Freedom?

That why when politicized estimates of the amount of money, troops and time needed to occupy and secure Iraq turn out to be off by a factor of 10 or 100, again, no ones gets fired, no one apologizes, just business as usual.

That why when US troops are found systematically torturing Iraqis, only a handful of low-level guys see any punishment at all?

Hell, if GWB had half the balls of Truman, he'd have declared a draft, built up another 500,000 troops, and shipped half over to Iraq, and used the other half to effectively secure our borders. Then he'd have had the DHS start some serious domestic preparedness initiatives. And for desert, he'd have stared down the oil companies, and aggressively invested in alternative fuels.

But since he cuts brush, I guess in your mind that makes him a real cowboy.

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50YearResident 6 years, 9 months ago

Right Thinker says <>

The "buck stops here" is nowhere in Bush's presidency. He blames everyone else for his failures and he could very well be the next President to "Nuke 80,000 People". You are right on one issue, there is no comparison between WWII and the Iraq War. The worst President in American history = George W. Bush.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 9 months ago

If GWB did half the things that Truman did, the left would be out to hang him in the streets without a trial or court or the justice dept or anything.

GWB is considered the worst president by the left (includes media)largely because of a sort of 'buck stops here' "cowboy" mentality........well, then there's the bombs--can the left imagine if GWB nuked 80,000 people in an instant? Let's not forget how Truman went after communism----that would be expressly off-limits in the eyes of the left. Well, then the Marshall Plan---the left would be screaming, "OCCUPATION"!!! Then there is the IRS scandal!! The left would have a fainting spell. All this and he shared an approval rating (important to the far-left) on par ith GWB.

And if not for anything else, how can one compare WWII to the Iraq war. We lost more soldiers in a week or less than we have after more than four years in Iraq.

Maybe the point of the letter was for juxtaposing Harry and George? Very interesting---actually brilliant. Good job Daniel! Looks like W will go down as one of the greatest presidents in history.

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