When it comes to 75% of Americans#, we cannot say "Goodbye to all that," including George W. Bush, soon enough. To set the stage for this post, check out "Bush by the Numbers 2.0." from ProPublica: ". . . our look at the 43rd president's impact across American life." This piece is a set of great graphic comparisons of before and after Bush, a catalyst in America's declining influence#.
Say Goodbye to "That's not my fault" --
- Regrets? Bush has too few to mention, according to this 12/23/08 story at Politico.
- Christopher Cox, SEC Chairman: (from ProPublica and WaPo) "When Cox was asked whether he should be blamed for a culture of lax enforcement that allowed multiple warnings about . . . [allowing Madoff] fraud to go undetected, he said: "Absolutely not. In fact, it's in the DNA here that people thrive on bringing big cases."
- "Browse Iraq Reconstruction History for Yourself" (12/15/08) Read it and weep.
- "HUD Secretary Steve Preston told today’s Washington Post that the [Hope for Homeowners'] program is a flop: Only 312 people have applied because it’s "too expensive and onerous for lenders and borrowers alike." "
- Robert F. Dacey, GAO chief accountant's report: "Since a consolidated federal financial report was first required by law starting in fiscal year 1997, the GAO has said that agency systems for keeping track of finances were flawed." [Agencies that cannot pass an audit: Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, for example]
- Why Detroit got the kitchen sink of questions: (from 12/9/08 TPM Muckracker) A GAO report on how treasury disbursed bailout monies gives us "two kinds of news about the TARP program - bad news and worse news," says Rep. Barney Frank.
- Watch the old movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" to learn how it all happened (from Newsweek).
- Read Arianna Huffington# (from AlterNet,) who says, "The Right-wing Economics That Got Us Into This Mess Should Go the Way of Soviet Communism."
- CNBC's Biased Reporting on the PPT# [Plunge Protection Team]: (from Funny Money Report) -- Did the government manipulate the financial market?
- "The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008#. The financial meltdown and economic crisis illustrated that corporations will destroy even themselves in search of profit." (from AlterNet): "AIG: Money for nothing. . . Cargill: Food Profiteers . . . Chevron: 'We can't let little countries screw around with big companies' . . . Constellation Energy: Nuclear Operators . . . CNPC (Chinese National Petroleum Corp): Fueling Violence in Darfur . . . Dole: The Sour Taste of Pineapple . . . GE: Creative Accounting . . . Imperial Sugar: 13 Dead . . . Philip Morris International: Unshackled . . . Roche: Saving Lives is Not Our Business . . . "
- Robert M. "Mike" Duncan#: (from Newsweek) The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Saturday he was "shocked and appalled" that one of his potential successors had sent committee members a CD this Christmas featuring a 2007 parody song called "Barack the Magic Negro."
- Year-end Whoppers# (from Newsweek): "Consider some of the bogus claims we've debunked just since Election Day." And from Think Progress: "Limbaugh's Crazy Conspiracy Theory: Democrats Started the Economic Crisis to Help Elect Obama#."
- Get Ready for a Lost Decade# (from the Wall Street Journal): Pure pessimism -- "Our point here is that the bad policy vicious circle probably has a long way to run. While it's still possible to entertain wild hopes about an Obama administration, such hopes are partly self-liquidating on closer inspection -- they exist in the first place only because Mr. Obama has given us so little to go on, except campaign boilerplate. Bottom line: Politics is in charge -- in a way that makes a lost decade of subpar prosperity more likely than not." The Plank adds its own "Depressing Thoughts*" about the world's fiscal future.
Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.