Silent Archimedes

Archive for October 17th, 2008

Commentary: The legacy of President George Bush

Posted by silentarchimedes on October 17, 2008

A Downtrodden President BUsh

A Downtrodden President Bush

I have never seen a more lame duck president than President George Bush right now. His credibility and approval at an all-time low, and historically tied with Richard Nixon’s lowest approval rating of 24% or 25%, depending on which polls you look at. Trailling only President Truman’s record low 22% in 1952. As the economic crisis deepens under his watch, and candidates in the presidential campaign either desperately trying to dissociate from him or successfully associating the other with him, it is only the laws of the Constitution that keeps such an unpopular president in power. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has more clout than the president. When Bush speaks to the public now about staying calm and having patience for the bailouts to work, does anyone listen to him? What could be going through his mind knowing that even the majority of his own party has disowned him?

The amazing thing about George Bush is that he thinks in a very idealistic way. He has never seemed affected by the low approval ratings because he truly believes that what he is doing is the right thing and that history will judge him positively. He believes that he is making the tough unpopular choices for the better of the country’s future. It is a very hubristic and self-righteous way of deciding things and is ultimately at the core of the Bush Doctrine that  says he has the right to decide what this country and the world needs, even through unprovoked offensive attacks. It is a very risky proposition because the unpopular decisions might never turn out the way he envisioned. For example, if Iraq’s fledgling democracy never takes hold and brings peace to a war torn region, and even worse, Iraq falls into sectarian chaos again, history will judge the decision to remove Saddam Hussein without clear public and world approval as one of the worst decisions in American history. If Afghanistan falls into eternal chaos again, history will judge the decision to open another  war in Iraq as one of the worst strategic moves in American history. If Pakistan, a nuclear power, falls into extreme political strife, the unwavering yet inconsistent support of Musharraf will be seen as a highly expensive and  unsuccessful decision. If America goes into the longest recession or depression since the Great Depression, no matter how the foreign policies have worked out, history will see this period negatively.

Although everything looks bleak now, the possibility that all things will work out still exists, at least in theory. Iraq becomes the stable democracy that is so badly needed in the Middle East. As a result, moderate politics are demanded by the public of countries in the region with autocratic governments. Pakistan’s transition from a military dictatorship of Musharraf to a democratically elected government takes hold and the restive public calms down. The Pakistani economy stabilizes and extremist views are pushed out of society. Afghanistan and the Taliban reach a peace accord and the country finally experiences stability and democracy. The US economy bottoms out.  The wanton spending of the consumers, corporations and government is curbed. American values revert back to saving and frugality. As a result, the economy is more sound then ever. The Bush presidency is seen as the turning point to a more stable and economically sound America. All these still remain possible, however small they may be. Historians could potentially point to the Bush decisions as the start of an eventual stable Middle East and Central Asia. However, even if everything turns out well, history will most likely give the credit to the decisions made by presidents after Bush. Especially for the economy, history will most likely give credit to the future president that makes the hard sacrifices to stabilize our economy. The credit of a stable Pakistan will most likely go to its own people and government. A peace accord between the Taliban and Afghanistan will be seen as a last resort to bring peace to the war torn region, especially when things looked so good back in 2002.

The next twenty years will greatly determine the effects the eight years of Bush presidency has done to America and the world…

Bush Presidency Events Timeline (courtesy of MapReport)

Bush Presidency Events Timeline (courtesy of MapReport)

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The many funny faces of John McCain

Posted by silentarchimedes on October 17, 2008

The many non-doctored funny faces of John McCain during this 2008 presidential campaign! If I’m missing one, please let me know in the comments section. Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section! Check back often, I will be updating them whenever I find more!

Exasperated?

1. Exasperated?

Cuddling McCain

2. Cuddling Mr. President

Too short?

3. Ohhhhhh...

Oops, wrong way!

4. Ack!

Yes!

5. Yes!

Holy Moly!

6. Holy Moly!

What are you gonna do?

7. What are you gonna do?

It's getting hot in here.

8. It's getting a little hot in here

Is that a bat?

9. OMG, is that a bat?

So tight

10. So tight

Hehehehe

11. Hehehehe

Ach, a fur ball!

12. Ach, a fur ball!

13. McCain and his tongue. How old is he?

Woah, it just kicked in!

14. Woah, it just kicked in!

What did Chris ask??

15. What did Chris ask??

Is that another tooth falling out?

16. Is that another tooth falling out?

All my shirts are too tight!

17. All my shirts are too tight!

Hmm, my teeth are still there...

18. Hmm, my teeth are still there...

Must avoid the sunlight

19. Must avoid the sunlight

I seriously thought this was a fake at first

20. I seriously thought this was a fake at first

Wooooahhhh!

21. Wooooahhhh!

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CNN’s Campbell Brown commentary sounds good but…

Posted by silentarchimedes on October 17, 2008

CNN’s Campbell Brown just put a commentary on cnn.com titled, “Commentary: Food banks instead of campaign ads“. In summary, she says the two campaigns should give campaign finances to food banks instead of spending them on non-impact negative ads. Instead of spending a combined $30 million a week ripping on each other, why not give that money to a food bank in Provo, Utah, or the Northlands Rescue Mission in Grand Forks, North Dakota. At first glance, this sounds like a great and righteous idea, but in the end, it is a horribly ill-conceived not-thought-through idea just to make Brown look good. Here’s the simple reason why:

People make political contributions for one reason, they want the candidate they support to spend it so his or her message gets out. There are rules regarding what the campaign can do with the money. You can’t just give it to a food bank! If that’s the case, why not just tell donors to contribute directly to the food bank instead of going through a circuitious route? If you want campaigns to donate the money to food banks, then where does it end? Why even campaign? Why not just stop everything in life and only do things if it’s related to survival? As bad as the economic crisis is, life must go on. As a matter of fact, the political campaign of this year is more important because of the economic crisis. So as much as Brown sounds all righteous and looking out for the little poor guys, her idea is naive and illogical.

Posted in Economics, Opinion, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »