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Archive for Friday, March 7, 2008

Bush fails test as Average Joe

March 7, 2008

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Here's how it is out there. A while back, I was at the self-checkout counter of a hardware store. A young man approached and offered to put my $20 purchase on his store gift card if I would give him $10 in cash. He said he had no money for gas.

I let him put my purchase on his card, but I gave him the full amount back. It was the second time in a week I'd been asked by a stranger for help in filling the tank. And this was before last week's prediction of a spike in gas prices to $4 a gallon.

So I am intrigued by the following exchange between President Bush and CBS News reporter Peter Maer at a news conference last week. "What is your advice," began Maer, "to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4-a-gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing ..."

The president stopped him. "Wait, what did you just say? You're predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline?"

Well, it wasn't him personally, explained Maer. "A number of analysts are predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline," he said.

The president was stunned. "Oh, yeah?" he said. "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that."

Headline news all over the country, but he hadn't heard it. And it's "interesting."

It will come as a surprise to no one that many, if not most, of our leaders are out of touch with the realities of everyday American life. One is reminded of the president's father pronouncing himself "amazed" back in '92 when he encountered a simple bar code scanner. And of candidate Bill Clinton scoring debate points because he knew the price of a gallon of milk. The Beltway crowd wondered why that mattered.

We are used to them being disconnected. But this particular disconnect is telling.

When it comes to our national leaders, we have historically required two incongruous things. We want them to be one of us, but we also want them to be better than us. That is, we want them to have gravitas and smarts and yet, be just one of the guys or girls. That's why every election season finds millionaires and Ivy League alumni hanging out at county fairs, pleading for votes while eating fried Oreos.

With George W. Bush, one of those requirements - gravitas, smarts - was taken off the table. He was, we were told, just an everyman, a simple, God-fearin' guy guided not by pointy-headed intellectuals with their pie charts and prognostications, but rather by his feelings, his instincts, his gut. So he didn't need, for instance, to consult a bunch of State Department eggheads about Vladimir Putin because he'd seen Putin's soul.

It is perhaps no coincidence that Bush has said he regards his presidency as a vindication of the C student. Even the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, as reliably conservative a newspaper as exists in the English language, once described him as having "no intellectual pretensions." It was meant as a compliment.

Bush is the perfect president for an era wherein the nation seems increasingly disdainful of intellectualism, where it turns out many of us are, indeed, not smarter than a fifth-grader, and educators and politicians can breezily dismiss the theory of evolution and not be hooted off the public stage.

George W. Bush, Average Joe, fits right in. Except that seven years, a useless war and a disastrous presidency later, the price of gas is headed for a ruinous record and President Average Joe hasn't even heard. Yeah, yeah, I know. Cut him some slack. It's not like he has to gas up the presidential limousine himself.

But I see nothing unfair in judging the president on the terms he himself has chosen. He may not have gravitas, the thinking went. He may not have piercing intelligence. But he's one of us.

Think again. Apparently, he's not even that.

- Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Comments

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

Were you an extra in "Boogie Nights" Sodomite?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey Sodomite, we're not done with the Clintons yet.....there is no "was".

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Sodomite 6 years, 1 month ago

But clinton............clinton was to blame.........

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Stain 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey, it doesn't affect George or the bimbo women in the family so he doesn't care.

It's safe and warm inside that bubble of his.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

"....Bill Clinton as the source of our problems."-Scenebustier

"......Bush has been a good president and has done a great job." sfjhawk

You guys are finally coming around.

xxxooo,

right_thinker

PS: Clinton is somewhat the source of our current problems, and no I don't think Bush has been a "great" president. He's been "Joe Average".

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sfjayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

RT - do you really think Bush has been a good president and has done a great job? I understand you being a conservative and hating everyone that is not, but seriously, even you have to admit that the bush years have been a disaster.

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

"ya'll are just ate the f*** up with the guy:Jesus H.!!!!"

Sez the guy who regularly invokes Bill Clinton as the source of our problems.

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BigAl 6 years, 1 month ago

I absolutely do not think there is any oil conspiracy. I just want to know why the Iraq war is not being paid for with Iraqi oil as promised by Bush and Cheney.

I would also like to know why Big Oil is having record profits during war time and it is not being considered as war profiteering.

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autie 6 years, 1 month ago

..and a cocaine head, awol from his air guard posting..a regular all american boy!! And a wife with a DUI and a couple of sort of hot daughters..Can this get anymore American?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

And former owner of Rangers, former TX gov........heck, google GWB resume and it's easy to see how painful an affliction such as Bush Derangement Syndrome can be......ya'll are just ate the f*** up with the guy...Jesus H.!!!!

Hilarious. 130,000 results

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Mkh 6 years, 1 month ago

Scenebooster: You forgot Skull & Bones and the son of former President/VP/CIA Director.

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

Let's see....Andover, Harvard, Yale....yep, he's an "average joe".

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

Get over the Bush/Cheney conspiracy theories.

OPEC stands for Organization of Petro Exporting Countries....we are not a member. Big clue there.

Peak Oil is two years away.

These Arabs do not like us, never have.

OPEC is considering trading in euros, Iran and Venezuala pushing for this, among others.

We use more oil than is pumped, much oil comes from 'post production' fields.

Arabs want to destroy the dollar.

Think outside George and Dick for a change.....makes you look silly and petty.

Peak Oil + Euro = Bend over, grab your ankles and kiss a&& goodbye.

Terrorism? It's right down there in your l'il ol' pocket-----it's green and says "In God We Trust" on it.

Are you ready? I am.

9/11 was just a bunch of wacko extremists who more worried about 77 virgins and a vicious hatred for 'the infedels'......OPEC is about to wrap up the real terrorism agenda; and I bet they said decades ago, "We'll take down America without spilling a drop of blood".

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Mkh 6 years, 1 month ago

Folks, as was discussed just last week... The main reason Oil has gone from $28 to $100 since 2000 is the destruction of the dollar. Oil is pegged to the dollar on most of the world's market, but nations are ditching it quick. This is evident by oil's relative rise to gold.

In the last 12 days we've seen the most dramatic drop in the dollar in modern history. Greenspan has openly been telling OPEC countries to drop the dollar and the CFR has publicaly said they advocate destroying the dollar (they also push the Amero).

Now have geo-political events such as the Iraq war contributed to the price, yes of course, but not in the same relation as the dollar and not how most of you think. The fact is the Iraq war has led to a almost total diminishment of oil production in the country, and that has cut much need production in a demand starved energy market.

My point? This problem is not going to be fixed when W leaves office and either McCain, Hillary, or Obama step in. None of these would be presidents will fix the dollar crisis or stop inflation, infact things will probably get even worse as the next president inherits the "worst business cycle since the great depression".

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RedwoodCoast 6 years, 1 month ago

"Vindication of the C student". Personally, I'd prefer a president who is more intelligent than I am.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 1 month ago

"Because oil is traded on a global market, and there's a couple of million new cars in China saying demand hasn't gone down one bit."

Yep, you are absolutely correct. And the futures traders are banking on it.

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average 6 years, 1 month ago

"If demand goes down and supply stays pretty much static, then why wouldn't prices decline."

Because oil is traded on a global market, and there's a couple of million new cars in China saying demand hasn't gone down one bit.

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autie 6 years, 1 month ago

3 trillion dollars? ShaZam! I could sure use a drop of that to pay off my hospital bills. The cost of just a couple of cruise missiles could buy my district a new grade school. How about a little to fix that bridge before it falls in? Spend a little bit of that on something that benefits American citizens?? uh-oh..leftist, socialist, liberal comments. Maybe I should become Left_Thinker.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 1 month ago

Dollypawpaw (Anonymous) says:

"When gas gets to $12 a gallon I'll start to think about conserving."

Which is why it is painfully obvious to everyone that you are part of the problem.

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cool 6 years, 1 month ago

Bush is an anti-intellectual bigot :

lewis black on W :

lewis black on your idiot president W and evolution ---

on what day were the fossils made ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDjSqAWpkV4

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Ralph Reed 6 years, 1 month ago

RT, your first comment was outta line and you know it. Instead of attacking what was said and refuting it, you go right for the juglar, engaging your ad hominen attacks right from the start. Well done.


About the comments that we went into Iraq for the oil. How could you think otherwise? The surface reasons may have been WMD, failed state and others, but the real reason is the oil.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 1 month ago

autie says, "Buy gas as you need it in small amounts. The net effect will lessen demand."

I agree with the strategy, but there's something interesting going on in the demand space of this. Right now, despite the fact that Americans are, in fact, tightening their belts and the overall gasoline usage has slightly declined, the price has continued to increase. If demand goes down and supply stays pretty much static, then why wouldn't prices decline. One part of the answer...the futures traders. They are buying into oil at a healthier clip than normal with the idea that the price and overseas demand will continue to trend upward. I thought it was very interesting.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 1 month ago

posessionannex (Anonymous) says:

"Wow, this is going to kill Bush in November. Wait, is Bush running for president?"

No, but it will surely cause serious harm to the fellow he is endorsing. McCain may just pay W to stay within the doors of the White House and shuddup!

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average 6 years, 1 month ago

"So which is it, lefties? Is oil expensive because the world economy is booming ("demand continues to rise rapidly") Or because of the war?"

Prices are mildly up in the rest of the world because of growing demand, instability, and geologic problems increasing supply. Prices are sharply up in the US, because spending $3 trillion on a war while cutting taxes has meant that we've "taxed by other means" (devalued the hell out of the dollar).

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 1 month ago

Bush an "average joe"? He's not even a decent human being. If you are proud of being an "anti-intellectual" you are essentially reveling in your own ignorance, your stupid and proud of it, pathetic...

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

"The combination of world production levelling out or starting to decline"

Notice where the article says "levelling out or starting to decline"?

Notice how the charts are in increments of 50 years? Yet in seven years the price of oil has increased 300%?

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 1 month ago

i'm glad every liberat out there is conserving oil by driving 4-cyl cars, using public transportation, etc... Otherwise we'd be in serious trouble...

Of course, they can't think for themselves so they keep believing Bush is both an idiot and a mastermind responsible for controlling the price of oil worldwide... And somehow as soon as one of candidates lying to them gets elected to the presidency, SUDDENLY oil will be back to $12/barrell...

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marcdeveraux 6 years, 1 month ago

I think its time the people linking Mr. Obama with muslims and pronouncing his name as O'bama admit what has become clear. The republican party is rife with war mongering racists ,who do not have the intestinal fortitude to admit what is now for all to see.The neocons have been a disaster for the U.S.,and that a " fundie christian" was the wrong choice to lead this country.The r.t. crowd live in a separate reality. Men are always right(esp. white men),war is good for the economy,and money is more important than morals.A 150 years or so ago, an native american said something like this.When the last animal is killed, the last fish caught,the last plant eaten, then white men will know they cannot eat their money.It is time to evolve.

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posessionannex 6 years, 1 month ago

From scenebooster's link:

"The combination of world production levelling out or starting to decline while demand continues to rise rapidly is putting strong upward pressure on prices. Over the past two years, oil prices have climbed from $50 to nearly $100 a barrel. If production growth continues to lag behind the increase in demand, how high will prices go?"

So which is it, lefties? Is oil expensive because the world economy is booming ("demand continues to rise rapidly") Or because of the war?

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ndmoderate 6 years, 1 month ago

But, but Clinton.....

Oh wait--Kevin got booted again.

Never mind. Carry on.

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daddax98 6 years, 1 month ago

"After we have a Dem derail the progress in Iraq, get a new plan on your wheels, we'll be staring down the bunghole of a $200 +++++ barrel of oil then."

Is this your underhanded way of admitting that we did indeed attack Iraq for oil?

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daddax98 6 years, 1 month ago

R_T,

Race card -------- weak

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jumpin_catfish 6 years, 1 month ago

None I repeat none of these yahoos we send to washinton are average joes or janes. Oh they may start out with great intentions (insert road to hell saying here) but they all soon become freaks and Bush started as the son of one of those people so there you are.

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

Here's your answer PA:

http://peopleandplanet.net/doc.php?id=3193

We realize that you're locked and loaded - please, regale us with visions of why (once again) "it's not Dub's fault"....(which, btw, is not the sum total of my argument).

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average 6 years, 1 month ago

World oil production is higher than it was in 2000. It has been flat at best (85 Mbpd) since about 2004. Declining slightly since 2005 if you don't count natural gas liquids (propane) in the total. Not a shock, of course. The world pumped more oil out of the ground than we have booked as "discoveries" every single year since the mid-1960s. So, yeah, oil production will start to retreat, just like it inexorably did in the United States starting in 1971.

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Dont_Feed_The_Bears 6 years, 1 month ago

Gasoline was the equivelant of $4.00/gal in Europe in the 80's. Fuel has been subsidized in the states for many years. The stratigic reserves (War stocks) were released as needed during prior administrations... especially Carters to stabilize the price of fuel. We can thank Gore for selling them off while our buddy Clinton was playing with inturns.

Last report I saw said 52% of the national budget was allocated to entitlement programs. These programs, brought to you mostly by the left, aid those who dont want to work or cant work. Those who dont want to work make up the majority of this. Add into this, illegals, meth heads, loosers and boozers, and you from the left wonder why there is not any money to take care of things like national security or stabilization of fuel prices. Developing countries also put a strain on production, in addition to the tree huggers who halt the construction of new, cleaner, more efficient refineries.

Bush has done a fine job as President. We are as safe as congress will let us be, there is plenty of work, if you choose to look for it, and plenty to eat. You too, would have problems if you were constantly being second guessed by the media and those who take more from the system than put into it. The economy continues to be strong and enjoy growth.

Wait till universal health care happens. If you have never seen it in action (Canada and Europe) you are going to be very sorry. There is no way you can legislate morality, this has to be taught at home. When we now have a generation that grew up smelling like BO and patcholie oil. There is now wonder why things dont look good to some of you while you wait for your assistance checks. This entitlement, can't we just get along generation will run this country into the ground.

You are owed nothing for being born, this includes gasoline. If you want it, get off your butt and go to work.

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posessionannex 6 years, 1 month ago

Is world oil production higher or lower than in 2000?

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 1 month ago

"right thinker" please deny this fact so we can dismiss you as a partisan hack, "George Bush has run Oil Companies prior to becoming president." True or False. If false then maybe he has nothing to do with the price of oil, if True, then there certainly seems the possibility that he benefits from oil prices going up. Anticipating your confused, garbled, void-of-meaning answer...

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

I would love an explanation from the apologists as to how this current situation (as outlined by BigAl) is not war profiteering...

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Dollypawpaw 6 years, 1 month ago

When gas gets to $12 a gallon I'll start to think about conserving.

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BigAl 6 years, 1 month ago

Bush and Cheney told us that the Iraqi war would be paid for with Iraqi oil.

There are no conspiracy theories. Simple fact that Big Oil in this country is having record profits along with their Bush/Cheney tax cuts. Nothing short of war profiteering.

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Pywacket 6 years, 1 month ago

Staff04~ even with my low (zero) expectations of shrub saying anything intelligent, I was, like you, shocked to see his reaction and hear his admission of ignorance of the price prediction.

r_t~ your first post today just confirms your already-obvious status as a loathsome racist. Pitts' column has nothing to do with race. If a reader didn't already know he was black, the only way they could tell by that column would be to see his photo.

What you're actually attempting to do, in your pathetic way, is to distract people from the real points being made--that (once again) Bush has shown himself to be a blithering idiot, utterly out of touch with the people of this country, and too lazy and devoid of curiosity to even read the papers--or any other source of enlightenment. There are many ways you could have attempted such a distraction--the fact that you used racist comments shows how close they are to your scrofulous surface.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

Love the diabolical oil conspiracy theories......second only to the truther dogma. After we have a Dem derail the progress in Iraq, get a new plan on your wheels, we'll be staring down the bunghole of a $200 +++++ barrel of oil then.

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Baille 6 years, 1 month ago

The Republican litmus tests.

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

BTW...is there a test George W. Bush has passed?

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posessionannex 6 years, 1 month ago

The Bush war of choice is quickly increasing the real price of gasoline to say $8-$15 per gallon while the USA oil cartel rakes in billions upon billions upon billions.

Oil was $28 a barrel when dub came into office.

Is world oil production higher or lower than in 2000?

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americorps 6 years, 1 month ago

Just another example as to why Bush is the most failed president of the most failed administration in American history.

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autie 6 years, 1 month ago

He spends trillions of dollars to ensure the flow of oil from the middle east at a reasonable price. Exxon, BP, chevron et al post record profits. We see record prices at the pump. A disconnect? That is an understatement. If we didn't spend all those dollars and scrafice lives, the same oil would be coming in at the same prices. So who cut the deal here? Merrill is absolutely correct. Don't fill up. Buy gas as you need it in small amounts. The net effect will lessen demand. At least with a Democrat, some of those trillions can be spent at home. And that crying river Right_thinker refers to will no longer be the tears of mothers and wives of all those Americans killed in the lost cause called Iraq.

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scenebooster 6 years, 1 month ago

Oil was $28 a barrel when dub came into office.

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chet_larock 6 years, 1 month ago

just a few minutes later during the exact same press conference - Bush refused to answer a question he didn't like, citing a pretty amazing reason.

"I, frankly, have been focused elsewhere," Bush said, "like on gasoline prices."

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staff04 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't really care about what Pitts has to say, but I will say that I was shocked and somewhat offended as I watched that presser live. "There's no recession, but how would I know? I don't even know what the biggest national headline of the day is."

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

The Bush war of choice is quickly increasing the real price of gasoline to say $8-$15 per gallon while the USA oil cartel rakes in billions upon billions upon billions. Go consumers!

Boycott is the best economic tool american has. Soooo park those vehicles and stay home walk,bike and do the T at every possible opportunity.

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posessionannex 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow, this is going to kill Bush in November. Wait, is Bush running for president?

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jonas 6 years, 1 month ago

Ha! Picked the Pitts article!

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blue73harley 6 years, 1 month ago

Gotta agree with Pitts on this one. Bush is completely out of touch. And rather than take any real action he is jumping on the alt energy bandwagon. We need a short, medium and long term plan NOW, not rhetoric.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh Leonard, lighten up, you may just have your black man ruining, er, eh-hem, I mean running the country.

Does this joker wake up hating whites and go to bed hating whites?

If Barry H. O'Bama does not make it in, all I can say Leonard is, "Cry me a river".

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spywell 6 years, 1 month ago

Killing terrorist an A- Motivating liberals to hate each other B+ Motivating liberals to hate ever thing and everyone A+ Motivating liberals to hate themselves A+ Motivating liberals to take their medication regularly B- (included medical and non medical usages of controlled substances) Motivating republicans to hate liberals and Dems. A+ Economy C+ Motivating Dems to spend all their money, all of it, in three presidential election and still lose A+ Bush has drew more complaints than Satan. His name was cursed more than God.

He stood against all who hated him and cursed him daily. He did the best he could do under these daily attacks. Who will they blame after he's gone? Bush, of course. He's the best Republican President ever. A most motivating president ever.

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