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March 06, 2006


I firmly believe Iraq, the war of bad choice, is Bush's legacy, though Katrina and this summary from Krugman contribute:

President Bush's main purpose in visiting India seems to have been to promote nuclear proliferation. But he also had some kind words for outsourcing. And those words help explain something that I know deeply puzzles the administration's political gurus: Mr. Bush's dismal polling on economic issues.

Now the American economy isn't doing as well as Bush partisans think it is. In fact, since the end of the 2001 recession, the recovery in jobs, output and especially wages has been unusually weak by historical standards. Still, the economy is expanding, so it's impressive just how large a majority of Americans disapproves of Mr. Bush's economic management.

Why doesn't Mr. Bush get any economic respect? I think it's because most Americans sense, correctly, that he doesn't care about people like them.

This fella Bush is just not up to the job.

I daresay it is not jsut that Bush (and most of the elites) don't care about "people like them", they are scarcely aware of them.

This economy, more than any I can remember, is very uneven. For the top 5%, things are really pretty good, the stock market is high, there are good profits and economic growth. But for the rest, it is uncertainty, anxiety, not a lot of optimism. One job loss or bad health problem from disaster. There was a telling article in the SF Chronicle this morning about how student loan cuts are freaking out parents and kids. Bush tried to defend them, but here was the "other side":

"Democrats said the money should have been used to lower interest rates and increase Pell Grants instead of being diverted to the federal Treasury. Student groups claimed the changes were mostly aimed at paying for $70 billion in tax cuts.

"'Some people will describe it as paying down the deficit,' said Luke Swarthout, a higher education associate for the Public Interest Research Group. 'If you look at how the reconciliation process started, it becomes clear this is, in fact, a down payment on a series of tax cuts.'"

Just one more example. By fall they will have made their first tuition payments and will be looking at the second.

The war in Iraq is goint to go for years yet, all this talk of troop withdrawls next year is a load of crap. the next thing is going to be the muslim millitants going on about a new Holy War, as Tony Blair openly spoke about on TV this weekend how he looked to God when he was deciding whether to go to war or not... and there was me thinking it was false intellegence. Muslim leaders are already shouting about this, all we need now is some more terrorist attacks here in London stating the cause of Islam and the fight against Blair and his God!
Don't forget we had the Northern Ireland conflict over here, it will take either the extremists of Bush to say 'No More' and to put their weapons down and move on... somehow I can not see Bush doing that!

Student loans/student debt ought - once again - to be an issue seized upon by the Democrats to pound the GOP. The average student's loan debt upon graduation has gone up 50% in a decade. Come July 1, low-interest loans are going out the window, which could add tens of thousands of dollars to the long-term costs of a university degree.

Stafford Loans, the bulk of federal student loans, will go from the current 4.75%-5.38% to a fixed 6.8% Money parents borrow for their children for college will rise from 6.1% to 8.5%.

The new interest rates will result in payments that are 20% higher than the 2004-2005 rates, doubling the total interest paid over the life of the loan, according to the Project on Student Debt.

"It's very worrisome to our kids. They come out of [undergraduate] school with $30,000 or $40,000 in debt, and then they marry someone with $30,000 or $40,000 in debt," said Karen Foley, president of Scholarship Chicago, a nonprofit organization that helps arrange financial aid for low-income students.

"Debt can be character-forming, but we don't want it to be so crushing that they then conclude they can't go to graduate school or that they can't get into a particular profession because most of their money goes to repay debt instead of going into a savings plan," Foley said.

Luke Swarthout of Public Interest Research Group in Washington said the combination of rising tuition and higher interest rates had led to "an increasingly worrisome picture for students," one that affects career and personal decisions.

"College is about opening doors to our nation's young people," he said. "Excessive student loan debt has the effect of closing those same doors by limiting the choices students can make."

In the "knowledge economy," education is more essential than ever, and our misleaders are making it tougher than ever to obtain for all but the most affluent. Another example of the struggle that dare not speak its name: class warfare.

E&P notes the poll numbers and the lack of editorials against the current bush plicies in iraq.

and Foreign Affairs talkes the prez to task over his ill advised policy. iraqization, and strengthening the Shiite/Kurd army, just drives Sunni away.

" I think it's because most Americans sense, correctly, that he doesn't care about people like them."

Ah, shucks. At least we'll be getting mangoes from India out of the deal there.

"“Mr. Prime Minister, the United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes,” Bush said of a provision that will bring the country's [India] beloved fruit to the U.S. for the first time in nearly two decades."

Lucky us! Nukes for mangoes.


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