Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy New Year, Part II: Quote of the Day Edition

"The sooner you start building your monster truck of life, the sooner you can start ramping and running over shit with it. Nobody is going to drive one up to your door and hand you the keys."

Friday, January 3, 2014

He's Still On The Hook

While catching up on some internet reading, I came across an old article the other day.
If you want to look kindly on Bush’s presidency, you can fairly say that, while he deserves significant blame for ignoring warnings of an Al Qaeda strike and the housing bubble, the disasters of his tenure were not entirely his fault. But what did he do? His economic policies exacerbated income inequality without producing prosperity. His massive increase of the structural budget deficit, which ballooned to over a trillion dollars before President Obama took office, left the United States less fiscally equipped to respond to the economic crisis he also left his predecessor. He initiated a costly war on the basis of both mistaken and deliberately cooked intelligence, and failed to plan for the postwar period. His policies not only ignored the crises of climate change and a costly and cruel health insurance system, but made both much harder to solve.
It came up because I was reading a more recent piece by Chait in which he unpacks recent comparisons that Obama has drawn to Bush the Lesser. Basically, Chait exposes this as so much nonsense.  He shows that Obama never enjoyed any support from the Republican party, whereas Bush did not face a sustained and unified opposition for the first five years of his presidency. This was not because Bush was less partisan or more centrist, but because democrats in Washington made a political calculation to negotiate in order to appear bipartisan and win concessions. As Chait argues, it was only when Bush began to push his second term agenda to privatize Social Security that democrats abandoned this posture.

Both pieces are worth a read.

Thursday, January 2, 2014