Um…

… Maybe it’s just me, but aren’t editorials supposed to express an opinion?

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Ex-Aides Say Katrina Was Fatal for Bush

    “Hurricane Katrina not only pulverized the Gulf Coast in 2005, it knocked the bully pulpit out from under President George W. Bush, according to two former advisers ….

    “‘Katrina … was the tipping point,’ said Matthew Dowd, Bush’s pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign. ‘The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn’t matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn’t matter. P.R.? It didn’t matter. Travel? It didn’t matter.’

    “Dan Bartlett, former White House communications director and later counselor to the president, said: ‘Politically, it was the final nail in the coffin.’

    “Their comments are a part of an oral history of the Bush White House that Vanity Fair magazine compiled for its February issue …. Vanity Fair published comments by current and former government officials, foreign ministers, campaign strategists and numerous others on topics that included Iraq, the anthrax attacks, the economy and immigration.

    “Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that as a new president, Bush was like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee whom critics said lacked knowledge about foreign affairs. When Bush first came into office, he was surrounded by experienced advisers like Vice President Dick Cheney and Powell, who Wilkerson said ended up playing damage control for the president.

    “‘It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president — because, let’s face it, that’s what he was — was going to be protected by this national-security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire,’ Wilkerson said …. Cheney … ‘began to manipulate things … knowing that he was … going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush — personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum.’”

    (Quoted from AP under fair use.)

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I, too, long ago sensed it was Katrina that wrecked Bush’s public standing, although his presidency had turned into a miserable failure long before then — Bush was a failure from the get-go. I find Wilkerson’s comments comparing Bush to Palin fascinating — and also a powerful argument for why someone like Palin should not be vice president or president. America’s disastrous experience with an incompetent frat boy should have taught us that we can’t afford a Caribou Barbie.

  2. 2

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Goldy, I think what the Seattle Times is talking about is business borrowing. Businesses, large and small, often use banks lines of credit to finance their trade cycle (the time period from initially buying/producing product, selling it to customers on credit, and collecting the accounts receivable). If most businesses had the cash flow to handle this cycle, then it wouldn’t matter if the banks were doing much loaning or not.

    Unfortunately, businesses usually don’t have the cash flow strength to carry on operations throughout their trade cycles. They must use short term credit facilities to meet their day-to-day cash needs. Cash is not only king, in a small business, it is the life-blood for the small company, too.

    When banks aren’t loaning to these firms, the economy is hurt because of the contraction of credit. Firms are forced to tighten credit to customers and, on the opposite side of the business, they’re doing everything they can to delay paying their suppliers.

    The consumer’s role is not so much borrowing from banks but buying from businesses to support the economy. I, for one, believe that consumer debt is far, far too high, but that’s a personal responsibility problem for the individual, not a banking problem. It’s when banks don’t loan money to businesses that there’s a real problem in the economy.

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 We’re supposed to take economic advice from the proprietor of a failing business enterprise that borrowed $150 million to build a shiny new printing plant in Bothell and is now losing money, slashing payrolls, and fighting to survive? (And also, by the way, has tripled the price of its product in less than 5 years.)

    You want my advice? Okay, here’s my advice.

    The only reason you should borrow money is to make money — for example, to get an education that will increase your income, or to buy a car required for a new job. In other words, don’t borrow unless there’s a profit in it. Then pay off the loan as fast as you can.

    Why? Because ’tis better to receive than give. Interest, that is. In other words, be a lender, not a borrower. I’d rather have the bank pay me 5.5% interest on my savings than pay the bank 5.5% interest on a mortgage. That’s why I busted my cottontail to pay off my mortgage. I made my last mortgage payment this month, and I’m starting the New Year with no more burrow payments.

    Spend less than your income, and save and invest the rest, because our society treats owners like gods and owers like shit. All the things that most Americans consider important — power, prosperity, respect — come from owning, not working hard. The propaganda we’re taught from childhood on that people who work hard get ahead is a myth used to get people to work hard. You get ahead by owning a piece of the company, not working for it. Think I’m getting? Just ask some poor slob who gave his all to the company for a lifetime and then saw the boss’s son get the promotion he wanted and worked hard for.

    The best job is no job. If you need a job to satisfy your financial needs, you’re a fucking slave, and the boss owns your ass. The whole point of working, and the only reason to work, is to get to the point where you don’t have to work anymore, or at least, don’t have to depend on a job. Why? Because employees are treated like dirt and get no respect. What’s more, if you’re a mere employee, loyalty is a one-way street. Your boss expects you to acquire the education and skills required to do the job at your own expense, buy business suits and a car at your own expense, commute to work at your own expense, work your ass off for him, sacrifice your family to overtime whenever he demands it, give everything you produce to him and ask for nothing in return except what he chooses to give you (yes, some employers will fire you just for asking for a raise); and in return, he’ll outsource, merge, or downsize your job (and your economic survival) out of existence for a nickel of extra profit or even on a whim. The boss doesn’t care about you, so why should you work for the fucker? Like I said, if you work at all, your work objective should be to become financially independent as soon as possible, so you can tell him to take your job and shove it. This principle is universal because all bosses are bastards.

    Most of you stupid humans look at your income, and from there figure out how much you can spend. This is ass backwards. The rabbit way of doing things is to look at your expenses to determine what you absolutely have to spend, eliminate the rest, and save as much of your income as you can — so you won’t be a fucking hostage to a fucking job for your whole fucking life.

    Once you are financially independent, you don’t have to worry about bosses’ expectations, commuter traffic, the effect of work stress on your health, picking shirts up from the cleaners before Monday morning, the price of gas, or the asshole in the cubicle next to yours anymore. You can wipe all of that shit from your mind.

    Once you are financially independent, economic depressions are a good time to shop for bargains for all the stuff you didn’t buy when you would have had to borrow to buy, that you can now pay cash for. A reasonable rule of thumb when shopping is that it’s not a good deal unless the markdown price is at least 67% off the manufacturer’s list price. If the fucking merchant won’t give you a 2/3rds discount, let the fucker go bankrupt.

    A reasonable rule of thumb when structuring your future income sources is that it’s not a good deal unless you get a 2/3rds markdown from the government on your taxes. Wages are fully taxed, so fuck wages and fuck working, if it’s not capital gains or dividends, fuck it. A tax-free inheritance of $2 million is even better, if you can get one. If you weren’t born into that kind of money, then marry it if you can — sucking up to some spoiled rich girl isn’t much fun but still beats sucking up to a boss. Remember, you get to fuck money you marry, whereas you get fucked for money you have to work for.

    All of your strategies should focus on avoiding work, because our society taxes and disrespects and mistreats people who work.

    All of your strategies should focus on owning instead of work, because owners get all the glory, dividends, and tax breaks, whereas the only thing workers get is work.

    So, do I practice what I preach? Well, let’s put it this way. I sleep until noon every day. Back when gas cost $4.50 a gallon, my gas expense was $15 a month. I have no car payments. I have no house payments. Nobody tells me what to do except Mrs. Rabbit, and I get to fuck her. My only problems are inflation, property taxes, and light rail taxes. I can’t get around those — but neither can you.

  4. 6

    rhp6033 spews:

    RR @ 1: I saw that article, I’ll probably try to get hold of the whole article in Vanity Fair.

    It’s amazing how many of Bush’s aids are now trying to distance themselves from him.

    I agree that Katrinia was a watershed moment for Bush, but only because he looked straight into the camera and began to utter statements which were obviously untrue. He said that he “just learned about conditions at the Convention Center”, when it had been broadcast 24/7 for almost three days at that point. He also proclaimed that “no one could have anticipated this scale of damage”, when the New Orleans newspapers and the Corps of Engineers have been warning about just this scenario for years. Then came the evidence that Bush had selected a virtual nobody to head FEMA who’s only qualification was that he had supported Bush for President in 2000, and further that Bush was already disemboweling FEMA, intending to give it’s duties to local goverments under federal mandates and to out-source the remaining functions to private companies.

    Against this light, all of Bush’s previous and future statements – about taxes, the economy, Iraq, etc. – had to be re-examined due to his lack of credibility. In short, the American people finally saw the man behind the curtain, and they weren’t impressed.

  5. 8

    Mrs. Rabbit spews:

    He thinks he gets to fuck me, eh? Why don’t you ask him how many years it’s been since he’s been laid?

  6. 9

    me spews:

    Goldy – There was an opinion expressed..

    “The moralistic voice is right. For most people, restraint has to come first. Debt has to be paid down, which takes time, or else be dumped unpaid, which shifts the burden to lenders.”

    The US has not restrained itself from the governments to a lot of the people. Because of what is happening today with the Federal Government printing money we will see hyperinflation starting probably by the end of next year. Those folks that lost half of their savings in the market downfall will see the value of their remaining dollar resources fall by another 90%. That fall of 90% will also affect those of us who fortunately guessed correctly and removed our dollars out of the market.

    (Gee – Nothing like prognosticating Doomsday) The fix is as expressed in the editorial is to get the debts paid for which also means the loan rates will rise probably higher than 10%.

  7. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 “It’s amazing how many of Bush’s aids are now trying to distance themselves from him.”

    No it’s not, self-preservation is perfectly rational.

  8. 14

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Lending will come back. Rock-bottom interest rates will do their work, at some point.

    Tell that to the Japanese.

    The fact that somebody at the Times got paid to put something that ignorant to paper is simply astounding.

  9. 15

    ArtFart spews:

    We’d do well as a society–hell’s bells, as a species–to move as best we can toward businesses, governments and individuals operating on more of a “pay-as-you-go” basis.

    We also need to reinvent a system in which people are rewarded instead of penalized for doing hard, creative, productive work. If everyone tries to survive by playing Shylock to one another, we’re basically subsisting by eating each others’ flesh.

    Moving in such a direction would of course mean that there would be less opportunity for a privileged few “entrepreneurs” (read: crooks) to accumulate great wealth at the expense of others, but frankly…so what? Call me a curmudgeon, but at nearly 60 years of age I’ve long since become resigned to the fact that I’m never going to be Bill Gates. Therefore I don’t personally give much of a shit whether the Bill Gateses of this world have half a dozen Bentleys in their garages or if they’re going to have to make do with only three or four.

    If this elicits cries of “Socialism!” from the wingfucks, so be it. Your idea of “capitalism” has been shown not to work for a tinker’s damn. You’ve been quoting the “greed-is-good” mantra from a character in a movie, that if you’d sat through it to the end, carried the message that the very slogan was bullshit. We need to have people less motivated by greed and more by pride in their accomplishments.

  10. 16

    slingshot spews:

    The misuse of debt, borrowing and lending is a big deal, and has a lot to do with our predicament. But this writer is apparently on medication, or during the penning of this tome was told of his impending lay-off.

    Perhaps one of their remaining editorialists can tackle the Aplet Cotlet vs Almond Roca scandal.

  11. 17

    mark spews:

    Everything was just fine and then the democrats somehow got control of the house and the senate and in two years look at the mess.

  12. 18

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    @5,

    Roger, after reading your comments I see that you have a lot in common with Dave Ramsey. He’s a guys who advocates absolutely no debt whatsoever, and I’m coming around to his way of thinking.

    Mt grandfather used to call it using “Bohemian credit.” That is, 100% down!

  13. 19

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Also, as far as the Seattle Times and other newspapers are concerned, I believe they’re on their way out or at least moving towards irrelevance, juxtaposed to the Internet. Same thing happened to the last companies manufacturing buggy-whips over 100 year ago: nobody had a use for their product.

  14. 20

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Lee @4,

    What every company that uses bank loans to do business should be striving towards is to not have to use debt to run the company. Debt is like a drug that needs to be administered in small quantities, with the goal of not using it unless absolutely necessary and halting its use as soon as possible.

  15. 21

    Ed spews:

    Editorials at the Rupert Journal:

    There are so many things that make The Wall Street Journal editorial page a source of personal fascination–the undying faith in voodoo economics, the staunch defense of executive privilege and disdain for independent counsels during Republican presidencies alternating with disdain for executive privilege and staunch defense of independent counsels during Democratic presidencies–but perhaps the most intriguing is the wildly promiscuous use of quotation marks.

    Same issue of TNR has an article by David Brinkley’s little boy, Alan, about New Deal Failure. Eight years of bold persistent New Deal socialist experimentation, and unemployment never got below 15 percent. Think about it.