White House Correspondents Dinner: Wanda Sykes

Karol Collymore

Wanda Sykes is always funny. She seemed to be a little nervous in the beginning but when she got going, it was great. The video is a little long, but watch at least until the abstinence joke around 7 minutes in:

Comments

  • Travis Dailey (unverified)
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    The abstinence joke is good, but the Limbaugh joke starting around the 12 minute mark is far better.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    As a professional comedy writer, I just want to say I think the Bush administration finally ended last night and it was Wanda Sykes who killed it. Before it was over I had tears in my eyes - not from laughing but from pride. This is what comedy is for - to point out things in a funny way that compounds the impact of the truth.

     I went for a long walk afterwards and the world was different. Check that. The world was the same again. 8 long years of horrendous wretched mediocre awfulness and they finally got shoved into the past. I am healed from the Bush administration.
    
      If I had to get technical I could criticize her first joke for not going BOOM! I could criticize the kidney failure comment for giving the critics something they can point to and say, "See, that's how mean they are." I'd rather hear it expressed with a great joke than a flash of anger.
    
     But pointing these minor problems out would be as distorted as the Drudge Report and some comments I have seen. One responded to President Obama's brilliant set by saying that it was clear Obama had bought into the talk that he was the messiah. He actually believes it now.
    

    That's the level of desperate dumb we are dealing with in the right wing.

      To criticize any aspect of Wanda's performance has to be in the right context. It was one of the great comedic bursts ever seen at this dinner, and I've watched a lot of them.
    
     The main reason this was shocking is that it's not everyday that you hear the real deal in Washington, D.C.
    
     They can change the drapes at the White House, they can have a parade, but somebody had to come in and puncture the giant ugly balloon that was left. Wanda did that and the Bush administration is now officially over.
    
  • petey (unverified)
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    Sick and not funny. Limbaugh may want Obama to fail, but not die, or even joke about him dying. Sick, demented and deranged if you think that's funny.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Petey, This is why I'd have replaced that part with an actual joke as I pointed out in my comment. It gives the right wing something to latch onto rather than dealing with the real jokes.

       But let's not overreact: After watching Cheney in action I thought "sick, demented and deranged" was something the right wing admired.
    
      Here's the story as I'm sure even the FOX table got: President Obama was excellent and Wanda Sykes followed with a devastating, funny indictment of the last 8 years.
    
     I say if you felt like the Bush administration was a disaster, you should enjoy what Wanda said. It's probably the only indictment we're going to get.
    
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    Hyper-astute and long-time observers of the Oregon Legislature may get a big laugh (and a bit of a shock!) if they pay very close attention to the crowd reaction to the Oprah "look under your seats" joke.

    That's all I'm going to say. Y'all need to figure it out on your own.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Hah! Perfect.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    You know what's wrong with the first joke? It doesn't make factual sense so the audience gets hung up on it for a second before laughing and then barely laughs.

     I would have gone with an inclusive setting joke:
    
     "It's nice to be here. Did everyone enjoy dinner? Wasn't the service great? See, that's why it's good to dine with President Obama right now. The waiters know how he's throwing money around these days. They're thinking, "Let's make the service great. Barack could tip us a trillion dollars."
    
  • LT (unverified)
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    Basketball jokes were priceless! Also the if Biden were ever a hostage jokes.

    Also loved the part about "first black president .... unless you screw up and then it is going to be what's up with the half white guy?".

    It is time we relearn the difference between satire and just plain mean. Too much in politics in recent years has been just plain mean. This was a great example of satire.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I thought the best joke of the night was President Obama's about grounding his children for taking Air Force One to New York.

      Now contrast the mood with President Bush's video where he looked for the WMDs under his desk in the Oval Office with his dog, as hundreds of thousands of people were being killed or maimed by the Iraq War.
    
    The right wing can get all huffy about Wanda's kidney line if they want, but nothing was sicker than W making fun of not finding the WMDs.
    
     By the way, Wanda was comparing Rush to Osama and Osama had kidney failure. Which doesn't make it a particularly clever line but that's how she got there.
    
     Of course, there is a chance that she designed the line to shock and cause headlines and draw more attention to the evening. In that case it worked well, and she played Drudge Report, etc...for suckers.
    
  • rw (unverified)
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    I am glad she told a lot of "black" lines, for I think she put it also, on the table, the private and not-so-private discomfitures many felt. The worries. And, exiting (we HOPE) a dangerously partisan era, one cannot help but be aware that partisanship comes in all versions: ethnicities, SES, so on and so on.

    The bit about lunch and Pelosi... heh.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I don't mean to comment too much on this but I relate to this function completely. This is my area. I write political humor for radio and TV. Besides, I used to be a columnist for the Tribune so I can relate a little to the media audience. Heck, I was a waiter for years so I'm even an expert on banquets.

     My most disappointing one of these dinners is when a client did the gig back in the Clinton era. See, when he got to Washington, "USA Today" asked him what he might say and he gave one of my jokes as an example. It was nice to see that in the paper, but I wanted one directly to the Prez at the dinner and it didn't happen. Bummer.
    
      So here's my opinion on the swirling storm around the "kidney failure" line. I see it's still a main story on Drudge, 2 days later with Wanda's picture. Could that be a clue why Wanda did it?
    
     I mean she could have easily gone with a joke there: "Rush, if you want to see something fail just go to an all-you-can eat buffet. I guarantee that place will fail."
    
      This stuff isn't that hard, so for Wanda to say she wants Rush's kidneys to fail means 2 possible things:
     1. She is using the moment to vent some genuine anger built up over years of listening to this clown spew his nonsense.
     2. She wanted to launch this monologue into media orbit. Judging from her picture on the Drudge Report this morning, that could be working.
    
      I like the last comment above from RW. There is so much skill in Wanda's joke about President Obama and Biden having a burger together. She used Pelosi to touch on the dreaded subject of all the people who wish President Obama great harm. Comedy has to access the main things everyone is worrying about, but lightly, with skill.
    
      It is so easy for comedy to fail. Even people like Jerry Seinfeld say they have no clue if a joke will work 'til they try it. So to see both the President and Wanda rock the house like this was truly sensational.
    
     And to hear this stuff looking back at the Bush administration? That was righteous.
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Sad, but not unexpected, to see lefties defending Wanda Sykes. I guess 'hate speech' isn't wrong when practiced by a Democrat.

    But you know if Bush had sat there laughing as a comedian called a prominent Democrat the '20th hijacker' and wished for his waterboarding, that the media would have lit up in a weeklong firestorm.

    Dont deny it.

    As Barry himself said to the 'media watchdogs' at the same dinner "I know you all voted for me."

    He knows he's safe. The media won't turn the light on.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Say Joe White, remind me why Rush Limbaugh is still your hero and why he was never prosecuted for all those phony Oxycontin prescriptions.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    I'm not a Limbaugh fan. Like Dr. Laura, I can only take them in 3 mnute bytes or less. I prefer less. That said, I'm not a fan of Sykes type of comedy either (but do recognize that she is good at it).

    She crossed the imaginary line with calling Limbaugh the 20th hijacker.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    I read a summary of the correspondence dinner on CNN.com, and laughed myself silly at one of Obama's jokes. It was the one about how Dick Cheney couldn't make it because he was working on his memoirs, "How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People." Hilarious!

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    You'd have to ask the prosecutor why he didn't pursue charges.

    I think he was a Democrat.

    And does Limbaugh getting hooked on prescription painkillers after cranial surgery really have anything to do with Obama's obvious pleasure at Sykes hate speech?

    Rush is a person who says what he thinks not what he thinks you want to hear, and doesnt have to spend other peoples money to make himself look generous.

    Remind me why Obama is your hero after he sat through 20 years of Jeremiah Wright's sermons about 'white man's greed' and why God must be black?

    Obama brought his children to be taught by the good Rev and to hear about Wright's visit with terrorist financier Moammar Ghaddafi.

    If Bush had gone to a church that claimed to preach an Anglocentric gospel, we would've never heard the end of it.

    Why does Obama's 20 years at a church preaching an 'Afrocentric gospel' get a pass?

    Why is this important still today?

    Because Obama admits that Wright was his 'mentor' and foundational to shaping his political philosophy.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Joe, Rush Limbaugh has said a lot of obnoxious things over his career, but perhaps his low point was on the TV show when he made fun of preteen Chelsea Clinton. Even some people who have voted straight Republican ticket all their lives think the children of public figures should be off limits.

    Not all of what Sykes said was funny. I thought some of the jokes were funny and some were off color/unfunny, perhaps unwise.

    But as someone who still hopes that it was the attack on the preteen daughter of a president which got the Rush Limbaugh TV show cancelled, I think what was remarkable about the Sykes jokes about Limbaugh is that Rush has finally met his match. National coverage of jokes which got thru the thick skin of Rush and the "dittoheads"---and they were delivered by a black woman at that!

    Anyone who has ever been in a situation supervising young people will relate to this idea:
    OK, time to stop the fight. How about if we agree that from this point forward, all sides agree to some rules of civility?

    Of course, without insults, what does Rush have to offer these days after his "side" lost 2 major elections in a row?

    And I see that Cheney has said Limbaugh is a Republican but Colin Powell isn't.

    Maybe Cheney and Limbaugh should form their own party and let the Republicans go back to the days when Jack Kemp and Gerald Ford gave this country an example of civility and caring for all citizens, not just the "base".

    This country has done better in the times when 2 intelligent parties are debating serious issues than when nasty rhetoric devolves into "good guys" and "bad guys".

  • (Show?)

    Jokes, people, they are jokes. The job of the artist is to provoke and clearly Wanda did it. As was mentioned somewhere, comedians can speak truth in a way the rest of us can't. The pull out method? Oxycontin? Stereotypical Black guy playing pickup basketball in the White House?

    Sense of humor, anyone?

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    I thought Sykes was hysterical. I didn't hear any "hate speech" in her routine. I heard edgy, interesting and engaging comedy for almost all of her time at the podium.

    I admittedly didn't get the kidney reference so it wasn't funny to me. But the Limbaugh stuff was hysterical because it's outrageous and frankly--has a kernel of truth to it when placed in the context of her entire monologue.

  • Rip (unverified)
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    Wanda Sykes is a comedian. I think we should all thank the powers that be that Obama's favorite comedian, George Carlin, was nopt available. He would have made comments to cause Wanda Sykes to blush. I think the kidney failure joke was dead on and it is obviously a continuation of the comparison to the traitorous speech by Rush and the hatred of fundamentalists like Bin Laden. Limbaugh and Bin Laden are very similar in their rhetoric and as such are fair game for such comparison. Just as Bin Laden has kidney failure, it is a worthwhile comparison to serve as the poetic hyperbole at the core of the comedian's art. Anyone who cannot see that is blind. I am a Republican who believes that our party has been hijacked by neo-conservative supply-side economists and must be taken back before we can grow. Wanda Sykes seems to understand that concept; I thought she brilliantly and hilariously illustrated her understanding.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rush is a private citizen, and yes his comments about Chelsea being ugly were below tasteless.

    I said so then and I'll say so now.

    Obama is not a private citizen, he is an elected official and accountable to the public.

    As prez he is supposed to set the tone and the example.

    So you wanna debate who should be the issue Obama vs Rush? I'll go at that all day long.

    Obama's approval of the hateful speech of Wanda Sykes is despicable and any Democrat who hasn't the guts to say so should be ashamed.

    But I know that they aren't and they aren't even capable of shame.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    I think the joke that got the biggest laugh of the night (well, I only watched Obama and Sykes' bits) was the Rush/oxycontin joke by Sykes. Maybe that's why the right is all in a huff - they witnessed the entire Washington press corp laughing their asses off at their dear leader's expense. ohhhh, did we get our wittle feehwings hurt??? poor babies.... Ha! Priceless.

    One of my favorites was when Sykes used the "N" word - talking about the President's nipples and how she didn't need to seem them.

    Other highlights for me:

    • Obama making fun of Steele for trying to sound hip.
    • Obama's Boehner joke about being colored but not a color that occurs in the natural world (a joke he could barely get out because he was laughing too hard). I've heard this before but I loved seeing Obama make it himself.
    • Sykes' "pull-out" method
    • Obama referring to Fox's table position
    • Olbermann's reaction to Sykes' jokes about Hannity and waterboarding along with her crack about how she could break Hannity by making him sit in the center seat in coach.
    • Seeing one of my favorite teevee stars in the audience - DulĂ© Hill from West Wing and now in one of the best shows on television: "Psych".
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip,

    Anyone who believes that you are a Republican has probably also recently purchased a bridge in Brooklyn.

    Nice try, but you'd be better off admitting that you're a Democrat.

  • Rip (unverified)
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    Hey, I voted Democratic in the last few elections, so call me one if you wish. Does that mean I follow the recent party line? No. I am more of a Jeffersonian Republican than a Limbonian one. I believe in my heart of hearts that the responsibility of Federal Government is to represent the people (def. Republic). I don't know who these idiots we have runnibng the Party are and I sincerely don't align with them at all. I am not a Democrat, but I can see past partisanship enouigh to know that the lesser of two evils now is the current administration. I think we must reinvent our Party for modernity and as Jefferson suggested (and I paraphrase), "throw out the old and do something different." I think this is the eve of the collapse of the American system of government and as such our founding fathers have graciously provided us with a means of self-empowerment. Strip down the constitution and modernize our practices. Idiots like Rush Limbaugh will Willy Hortonize our future and lead us away from the truth of the Republican core ideals: "smaller government, representation for all, long endurance of a nation concieved in liberty." How dare you say I am not a Republican? Can you say that Dick Cheney is and Colin Powell isn't? Anyone who does needs to look at the origins of the Party. "Free soil, free labor, free men." Where the hell are these core virtues in Rush Limbaugh's inane ramblings?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Karol wrote: "comedians can speak truth in a way the rest of us can't"

    Is it 'truth' that Rush is the '20th hijacker', Karol?

    Is it 'truth' that he should be waterboarded?

    Your definition of Sykes as an 'artist' grossly degrades the meaning of the term.

    If Rush had described Obama as needing waterboarding, if he had wished that Obama's kidneys failed what would've been your reaction?

    Would he be simply 'an artist who does his job'?

    What was your reaction when Julianne Malveaux said of Clarence Thomas: "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person."

    Is hate speech only acceptable when practiced by a leftist?

  • Rip (unverified)
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    There are two types of "hate speech". Hate speech that attacks a specific individual for his or her own actions, and hate speech that generalizes a group based on generally accepted (no matter how skewed) perceptions. Is is okay to hate someone who does something you consider to be morally reprehensible? I don't. However, I understand that some people are not like me. I was offended much more by Rush's diatribe in which he states that he hopes the administration fails. It hurt me as an American and it is, at its root, fundmentalist garbage. Republican Fundamentalism is a misnomer in that the squeakiest wheels seem to have the least true knowledge about what i consider to be true Republican values. I mean, the "Office" of President is bigger than the "person" who happens to hold such office. Why can't we stop being sheep for a second and really look critically at what out party is doing? Are we that afraid of what we may find? We have a grand opportunity to create a new, more viable America, and we're letting it slip through our fingers at the behest of the money-grubbing old guard. That, to me, is unconscionable. I hope Mr. Obama succeeds and I hope that he does it through collaborative effort with Republican leaders. Right now we are being outshined by the other guy's propensity toward change. If we don't inject some heartfelt protection of the common working man's interest into the policies being scripted right now, we will lose an entire generation to folly.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip,

    If you believe that Obama is the 'lesser of two evils' you certainly haven't been paying attention as he has taken over the American economy.

    He now runs the banks, the auto companies , with the energy companies and health care soon to follow. And of course he has the willing servitude of the media, his toy.

    We'll all be working on the Obama plantation soon.

    What was it you were saying about believing in free soil and free men?

    Yes, I knew before you told me that you were voting Democratic.

    Just admit it. That's where you are. You're no Republican.

    You're much too comfortable with Obama's socialist agenda to be called a Republican.

    No way someone who claims to believe in 'smaller government' would support Obama. You'd have to be schizophrenic.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Let's see: anyone hateful leave this blog recently? Do they share a DNS with "Joe" perchance?

  • rw (unverified)
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    Hey JOe, yer an arse. I actually adore Dennis Leary even as I utterly fear his politics! He has me by the ephemerae because of his blazing delivery: dialed-in, speed-rap.... oy GOD gimme some!

    But the "what" of his delivery... yecccccch.

    Soooooo... some of us recognize pure heat and grit and love it for itself and can separate it from correctitude.

    Try it some, Joe: it might help you with your fear.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    "Is it 'truth' that Rush is the '20th hijacker', Karol?"

    I don't know, Joe. Is it true? It's the Republicans who spent the last eight years telling us that criticism of The President was tantamount to treason. And Rush has been nonstop criticism from day one. Does that mean he's a traitor? According to the Republicans, it does.

    Did Republicans scream with outrage when their Messiah Rush hoped America would fail so that they could blame Obama for it? Do Republicans now put loyalty to their own leadership so far above loyalty to their own country that they value Rush Limbaugh's kidneys more than they value the United States of America?

  • Rip (unverified)
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    I'm glad you're looking to me to answer that point. At my weekly discussion group a similar criticism was proposed. Have you ever rented a car and it was in pitiful shape? I mean, knocking sounds from under the hood, it pulls to the left (or right), and it's just not what you were expecting. That's what our country is right now. I support anyone whos is willing to say, "Hey, we need to work together as a nation and fix this." It always amazes me how many people criticize Obamas socialization of key economic hot-spots. What should he do? Allow them to continue failing and lie about it like the last administration? I don't believe that privatizing profits and socializing losses is the way to do it. We have had exactly that policy since George H.W. Bush left office. It was nowhere near as bad with Clinton in the White House as when Cheney/Bush were. All he's doing is securing a real interest in the eventual profitablility of these endeavors. Remember right after 9/11 when W. doled out hundreds of billions? That established the unfortunate precedent that current overspenders use to justify what you criticize. I don't agree with the current spending; I think it's a terrbile policy, the only worse answer is everytjhing else. We go through our lives with blinders on and blame Obama, but the guy has been in office less that 120 days. We have had 16 previous years of bad policy and idiotic spending to create the current quagmire. We must get out from under it or we will perish as a nation. Do I criticize the way they do it? OF COURSE! I have harsher criticism for Republicans who know beeter sitting back waiting for it to fail at our expense rather than joing forces with Democrat AMERICANS and proactively taking care of my interests. I am you. Who are they?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    RW,

    Your paranoia is hilarious.

    I can't tell you how many times I've posted on a blog or forum somewhere, only to have someone respond 'oooo, I'll bet he's (previous poster) using a new name. Check his IP.'

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Admiral N wrote:

    "....Rush hoped America would fail....."

    No, Rush hoped Obama would fail to implement his policies.

    Do you not understand the difference?

  • rw (unverified)
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    it was a joke, Joe. Jesus H.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip,

    The current problems were caused by overregulation.

    Prescribing more of the same won't fix them.

    The banks were killed off by Democrat policies to force banks to write subprime loans in specified zip codes.

    It was a blatant vote buying scheme and worked wonderfully to re-elect Hilly and Billy in '96.

    However, anyone could have told us that forcing banks to write bad loans was not good policy.

    Nationalizing the banks is not the answer.

    The same clowns who can't balance Washington's books and who caused the problem, now run the major banks.

    The auto industry and the real estate industry are in the toilet because nobody can get a loan with the banks screwed up.

    It all goes back to the money, Rip.

    Now you've voted for the same idiots who killed the banks to also run your local hospital and doctor's office.

    I hope you don't get sick anytime soon.

    Newly hatched Democrat Arlen Specter (he's probably a hero to you) said that Jack Kemp would probably be alive if Congress had spent more tax money on health care.

    As a retired congressman, Kemp had access to the gold plated Congressional Retirees' Health Plan.

    But apparently that wasn't enough for Sen. Specter (D-The Moon).

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Your attempt at claiming humor duly noted, rw.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Sorry BO kids, I do agree with Joe on the ridiculous contention you are all promulgating that the Right Wing hatemonger Limbaugh was saying he wanted America to fail.

    He just wants the left, and, specifically, Obama to fail.

    It's best if we don't indulge the same tainted polemics as our worthy adversaries, eh?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, Here's the part I wish the right wing would get. President Bush took this country so far over the edge of the cliff that we are now in a position where we could collapse economically if the next President fails. I'm talking about the dollar going to zero. Civil unrest. Maybe even a dissolution of the Union. Serious stuff, Joe. That's how badly Bush/Cheney hurt this country. We have a very limited window to pull back from the edge. In fact, there's still a chance that we won't be able to - that's how tough our financial position is.

       Normally, wanting the President to fail is no big deal. But in these times - given this situation - a failed President means a failed country.
    
     Now, ordinarily, your point would be quite reasonable. But what is so annoying is that the same people who are currently hoping President Obama will fail, were the ones who made our situation so precarious to begin with. They're the ones that screwed up so badly that we have to succeed. Do you see how obnoxious that is?
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill,

    The economy under the Bush administration was remarkably good, especially considering the impact of 9/11 and needing to finance two theaters of war against terrorists.

    Check the stats. Low unemployment, low inflation.

    The crisis that abruptly showed up last fall prior to the election is easily traceable to Democrats.

    Let's start with Sen Chuck Schumer causing a run on Indy Bank late last summer, followed by Democrat Warren Buffett talking down the bond rating of a major operation.

    They kicked the legs out from under the banks which had already been overextended by the Democratic subprime scheme.

    It was an 'October surprise' a bit early with the purpose of swinging the election.

    Add to that Democratic intransigence on drilling for American oil causing the per barrel price to hit the roof last summer.

    Bush didn't see it coming because as a loyal American, he wouldn't dream of purposely destroying the economy to win an election.

    But Democrats did.

    So now they have stolen Chrysler from the individual stockholders and given it to the UAW as a gift.

    And you think that's the path to success?

  • Rip (unverified)
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    Your inference that i am naive duly noted; please respond to this assessment: Economic ebb and flow is generational. True economic change must be measure in decades, if not longer. I truly believe that the Reagan-Era brain trust had the right idea economically but not the longevity to see it through. It is naive to suggest that total deregulation will do anything but absolve corporations of any resposibility whatsoever to the common people. If I have to choose between govt taking over failing corporations and corporations taking over failing government, what should I choose? One of those scared the hell out of me, the other sees me packing my bags and heading for the moon. Are we so stupid that we'll really entertain the idea that national healthcare is not in our best interest? Private industry has had its shot and failed miserably. I believe that we have brought about a national climate where carpetbaggers can swoop in and profiteer monetarily and idealogically off our misfortune. I know for a fact that we have a slim window of opportunity before some charismatic Democrat (not Obama, someone farther down the line) renders smaller-government hard workers obsolete, if not extinct in politics. You can call me a Democrat if you want, but I refuse to follow the mad piper into the sea. I believe that if we return to our core values and modernize our system, we will serve the common good. That's all. To quote the REAL Clinton (George Clinton, of Parliament Funkadelic), "One broke sucka ain't got no business hating another broke sucka." It's time for us to stop allowing ourselves to be used by those who know we want to be wealthy like them, but fundamentally believe they are of a different class than the common man. Moder neo-conservative supply-side economists use the concept of wealth similarly to the way Southern Democrats used the perception of race to control the middle class for over a hundred years. Are we that stupid?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, Just when I thought I had heard every talking point on this you brought something new. President Bush didn't see this financial crisis coming because he's too much of a loyal American?

      Nice. And I thought Wanda Sykes was hilarious.
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip wrote:

    "Are we so stupid that we'll really entertain the idea that national healthcare is not in our best interest? Private industry has had its shot and failed miserably."

    Are you kidding me?

    Government purchases half of the health care in this country.

    That's not 'private industry'.

    Medicare and Medicaid do not pay full price for what they purchase.

    They pay what they want and the balance gets cost shifted onto the rest of us.

    Imagine that you were GM and you manufactured 1 million cars to sell them at $10,000 each.

    The government comes to you and says 'I am buying 1/2 million of your cars, but I am only paying $7000 each, and there is nothing you can do about it'.

    You would raise the price on the other 1/2 million cars to make up the balance, would you not?

    This is the situation health care providers are in.

    The solution is to get government OUT of the health care market, not further in.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip wrote:

    "It is naive to suggest that total deregulation will do anything but absolve corporations of any resposibility whatsoever to the common people."

    I haven't suggested anything like 'total deregulation'.

    I've called for an end to overregulation.

    Do you deny that the subprime crisis is a classic result of overregulation?

    Do you think that 'regulators' such as Chuck Schumer, member of the Senate Banking committee should act as he did, causing a panic in the case of IndyMac? http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/07/feds-cite-schum.html

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip wrote:

    "...please respond to this assessment: Economic ebb and flow is generational. True economic change must be measure in decades, if not longer. I truly believe that the Reagan-Era brain trust had the right idea economically but not the longevity to see it through...."

    I agree. Clinton benefited from many of the changes that were begun under Reagan and GHW Bush -- low taxes, a strong military, the Cold War ended.

    We have recently reaped the poor results of changes made by Clinton to buy votes in the mid 90's -- the subprime crisis killing off industries that depend on credit (autos, real estate).

    If you can see the long term impact, don't fall for a guy like Obama who tells you he's the quick fix.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, Here's some advice for the GOP: Your latest strategy will not work because there are not enough dumb people in the United States. I hate to reveal that to you - because I don't want your side to self-correct. Besides I'm enjoying the rhetoric. The switches between trashing the Constitution and now suddenly being for it again? Priceless. How about saying President Obama thinks he's the messiah when your guy spent 8 years telling us he listened to a Higher Father who gave the green light in Iraq?
    I just wonder why God didn't tell George that the derivatives thing was out of control? You claim W was too loyal an American to notice 600 TRILLION dollars in exposure, but why didn't Jesus tell him? Perhaps you can explain it for me.

     The problem the GOP has is that anyone anywhere near a clue has seen through your BS. That leaves you with the dumbest of the dumb, and there just aren't enough of them to make this work for you.
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill wrote:

    "Just when I thought I had heard every talking point......"

    The talking points you get on the fax each morning from the DNC bear little resemblance to the truth.

    You blamed Bush for taking the country to the brink.

    I countered that the stats for the economy under Bush for eight years were remarkably good but that the current problems are ones that abruptly materialized in the latter half of his last year in office.

    If you think you can make your case, do so.

    I won't hold my breath.

    Go ahead, defend Chuckie Schumer for starters.

    Tell us how the Democrats who ran Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are blameless and that all the money they gave to Obama means nothing at all.

    Explain why subprime loans really were the best thing to force down the banks' throat.

    Weave your story how the failure of the auto industry and the collapse of the real estate/construction industries has nothing to do with the bank crisis.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill,

    Your logic is devastating. Who can answer it?

    'you guys are dumb' wow what a comeback.

    'your guy was a bad President because he was religious' whoa what a zinger. Lumping Bush in with the 90% of Americans who believe in God. Great ad hom Bill. You'll win friends and influence people with that.

    Brilliant stuff. Now I believe that you are a professional comedy writer. (I kinda doubted before. Sorry about that.)

  • Rip (unverified)
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    Joe:

    I couldn't say it better myself. It seems you stop one step short though: Where were our beloved Republican leaders when some economists pointed out years ago that there would be a crisis? They were lining their pockets in the real estate game. The last 20 years have seen more of a migration of wealth into the hands of an increasingly smaller group than any other era in American history. We are all responsible. I have no confidence in our banking system, and anyone who looks into the corruption that is at the heart of the industry will see what I mean. We have lain down with dogs too long and now we can't get rid of the fleas. The solution has to be unprecedented, and the cynicism at the heart of our elected officials' resistance to fixing the problem is an insult if not an outright treasonous trend. Earlier I said that we are on the eve of the collapse of our way of life. Who cares which party's fault it is if it happens?

  • Steve Nelsen (unverified)
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    Wanda Sykes can suck on my big white 10"

  • Rip (unverified)
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    Steve:

    Wouldn't that wake you up?

    Besides, I think Wanda is more likely to be sexually attracted to your wife or girlfriend than you. She is a lesbian.

    I'm at a loss why guys with nothing to say resprt to abject stupidity.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Rip, I care because the way forward will either be more of the same, or a new direction.

    Obama, while promising a new direction, is giving more of the same.

    The same overregulation which killed the banks, which has been strangling health care, which has defeated our efforts at energy independence, is the Obama 'way of the future'.

    My vote will go to the one who (however imperfectly) best represents the way out of this mess of government dominance.

    I too, am tired of choosing between Mediocre and Bad at election time.

    But I won't start pulling the lever for Bad as a way of teaching Mediocre his lesson.

  • xinunus (unverified)
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    CAN WE SAY TOKEN BLACK COMEDIAN FOR THE LIBERALS?

    SHE SUCKS AT SPORTS COMMENTARY AND SUCKS AT TELLING JOKES.

    CANT THE LIBERALS FIND SOMETHING USEFUL SHE CAN DO FOR SOCIETY?

    IT AMAZES ME HOW THE LIBERALS PROMOTE TO THE TOP THESE UNFUNNY COMEDIANS LIKE TINA FEY AND WANDA THAT SUCK ARE BEING FUNNY.

    AS LONG AS THEY KEEP ATTACKING REPUBLICANS THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE A JOB.

    CAN YOU IMAGINE THE UPROAR IF THE REPUBLICANS HAD ATTACK DOGS LIKE THESE IN THE MEDIA?

    THEY WOULD BE CRYING A RIVER...

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, Sorry about the tone of my last comment. I had to go to the dentist. You've heard of minding the store right? Your team has been minding the store the last 8 years while it was looted and nearly bankrupted. That is just a fact.

     So how does the GOP respond? They're having meetings to try and fix the problem right? I mean you do know there's a problem with how it's going for the party, right?
    
     Your approach is to brag about how great you did in power, and it comes off like the rant of a lunatic.
    
     My advice would be to go Jimmy Swaggert on this and give a tearful apology for what you've done. That would work better for you than your current tactic of proclaiming that you actually did great.
    
      That's not working for you, because we were there. We lived through 8 years of GOP rule. Trust me: The American public did not get the feeling it went well.
    
      You can continue to try and sell your message but you'd better wait 'til more people forget what you were really like.
    
      That's why an act of contrition would be quicker. Imagine Rush Limbaugh apologizing to the American public for cheerleading us through the Bush years. That might really help you start again.
    
      Oh, and one other thing: Running Cheney out there every few days to brag about how great you did isn't working either. The Swine Flu has better approval ratings.
    
      The pleasant part for me is that you're the ones who have to do better selling your message. It was really frustrating before the public realized how completely full of crap your party was during the Bush/Cheney fiasco.
    
  • Eric (unverified)
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    We are talking about the white house, not a comedy club, we are talking about our leaders here, our examples, our politicians, our lawmakers, it is sickening to hear the degrading of U.s. citizens, right or wrong, death wishes, cursewords, racial remarks, (though not considered because of who they came from) Bush was our president, and is still deserving of due respect, so what if our first ladies before michelle didn't show there bare arms, and remember our country is suppose to be about the people and for the people. Yes we believe in the right to express opinions, but at a white house meeting? And watching our leaders laugh at all this, is like sending your child to school and as another kid degrades them and wishes thier kidney fails, watching the teachers just sit back and laugh. God forgive our leaders.

  • voter69 (unverified)
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    For those of you who think the jokes on Limbaugh were rude or insensitive, remember Rush is a grown man who puts himself into situations where he knows he's at the very least going to take some heat.

    Back in 1993 Columnist Molly Ivins reported (Arizona Republic 10/17/93) this incident from Limbaugh's TV show--"Here is a Limbaugh joke: Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is a White House dog?" Limbaugh then puts up a picture of Chelsea Clinton. At the time, Chelsea Clinton was only 13 years old.

    I have no sympathy for him. He's a drug addict who makes millions spouting political gibberish to ignorant saps, making rude jokes and comments about anyone he chooses.

    He's a hypocrite and you are too if you think Wanda's jokes went overboard on the big weasel.

  • Angry (unverified)
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    What's with referring to Obama's race? I thought we were looking for change? Where is the change? Where are the improvements? Where is the money? More people are losing jobs, more companies closing, At least with bush the poor people had a little money in their hands, instead of some plan to make them payp something up front and give it back to them on thier tax returns! Lets SEE CHANGE not just hear about it. The next "white guy" who gets in the white house, and if oboma "screws" up he is a half "white" guy, I fear that if a white person had made those comments and used the term "black" we would have a very racist issue on our hands?

  • Disappointed (unverified)
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    Keep in mind rush is a u.s. citizen, He is a radio talk show host he is not in power, His thinking does not affect our country's direction. Who is without fault? Do we know the secrets of every politician, do we know what kind of "drugs" they use, do we know how they talk when they are in private, Laughing at a death wish for another american is no laughing matter, Bin laden wishes death for us everyday and we take it seriously, she compares him to bin laden? Is she not doing the same thing? Never have i seen such unprofessional things blasted on our television sets with our politicians making havoc of the country rather than trying to fix it. Makes you wonder what goes on in our congress, senate etc?

  • Jim (unverified)
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    "Rush is a person who says what he thinks not what he thinks you want to hear..."

    Hmmmm...clearly you are a victim.

  • NObama (unverified)
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    Hopefully Wanda Sucks...errrr...Sykes will develop breast cancer. Not only that, but let's also hope that all of the disgraceful Sykes drones develop some form of cancer as well. Too much? Go F yourselves.

  • James (unverified)
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    what's up with the joke about the next white president will throw the sojourner truth bust into the kitchen?

    or the premise behind a roast....Roast (comedy)- an event where an individual is ridiculed for the sake of comedy. so why does Wanda give him so many compliments?

    The media loves Obama and doesn't give him or his action enough criticism. The fact that Wanda focused more jokes on the previous administration clearly shows that Obama is indeed the "Annointed One." Obama-mania....Obama can do no wrong.

    ...something for the right-wing to latch onto? The fact that Obama included just one ear-mark is a disgrace.

    Check Bush's last roast and you wlll what sort of roasts he went through and what a roast is actually all about.

  • (Show?)

    Methinks some of the preceding posters were part of that study that demonstrated conservatives had difficulty in identifying Colbert as satire ?

  • (Show?)

    Methinks some of the preceding posters were part of that study that demonstrated conservatives had difficulty in identifying Colbert as satire ?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I posted a lot on this thread so let me sum up my thoughts on Wandagate.

    The key to great comedy is to tag someone in a way that even they find funny. You certainly don't want people apologizing for your stuff later. Clearly Wanda did not achieve this
    

    with the Rush Limbaugh bit - as I pointed out in my very first post early before the firestorm.

    In that sense, this was a tedious day because we had to listen to the mortified right wingers. Plus it diminished the great comedy Wanda also did and overshadowed the President's funny routine.
    
     I wish she had been more skillful at skewering Rush.
    
     What Rush did in the past doesn't help the argument. Clearly Wanda went over the line.
    
     The one time I ever wrote the Oregonian, was about their Edge column with the lame jokes. They had a bit about Woody Allen's new TV show called "Just Shoot Mia."
    
      I said then that you don't joke about individuals being harmed. It's not funny.
    
      I love Wanda Sykes. She did great but I wish she had brought a lot more skill to the Rush Limbaugh slams. Who needs a day like today?
    
      I would also remind the right wing that President Bush joked about not being able to find the WMDs even as people continue to pay the price for the war in Iraq to this day. That was perhaps the least funny thing I have ever seen.
    
     I believe the Bush administration lied us into Iraq but the stated reason was the WMDs and to joke about them not turning up as thousands of our people - and Iraq's people - were killed and maimed, was truly sick.
    
     Wanda let her anger cloud her judgment. President Bush was just sick.
    
       Comedy is tough. It's not what you say as much as knowing what you don't say.
    
  • rw (unverified)
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    Angry: did you just get back in-country? Did you miss out on our economic collapse? THe money in the little guys hand was the blood on the big guy's.

    It's a different era now. Time to pay for the one that just came before it.....

  • rw (unverified)
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    ps happy birfday to me. WHat the hell am I doin' on a blog? It was a nice party, we are going to sundance ceremony and I am feeling sweetly free.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill Mc wrote:

    "We lived through 8 years of GOP rule. Trust me: The American public did not get the feeling it went well."

    Fortunately you don't speak for the American public.

    I talk with business owners across the country every day.

    For the majority of Bush's 2 terms the thing I would most often hear is that they had more business than they knew what to do with.

    Building contractors and remodelers worked year round for 5-6 years. Normally construction is somewhat seasonal, but even up north where it gets cold cold cold many of them worked thru it.

    Unemployment was low, inflation was low.

    The stats don't back you up Bill, that's why you dont cite any.

    To pretend that Bush's 8 years were all like his final 4 months is pure fiction. (I almost said 'and you know it' but apparently you don't. Discerning fact from fiction not a strong point with you, I guess.)

    Then at the end you trot out the old canard 'Bush lied to get us into Iraq'.

    Bud, we've BEEN in Iraq since 1989. We had a cease fire that was flagrantly violated and the UN voted time and again to DO something about it.

    Problem was that after the European appeasers figured out that GWB would actually DO something about it other than talk and wring his hands, then the leftists lied about Bush lying.

    Saddam lied, people died.

    Saddam deliberately misled the intelligence operations of the Western countries to believe that he had WMDs or was developing them. He did this to scare Iran which had beaten him bloody in an 8 year war in the '80s.

    Iraqis are not sad that Saddam is gone. They aren't upset that their new president doesnt throw his political enemies into the plastic shredder and deliver the body parts to the widow's doorstep.

    Do you wish Saddam were still in power, Bill?

    How do you feel about Iraqis being able to vote for their leaders?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Yes, we've had low inflation in the Bush years, but low unemployment? C'mon, 6% unemployment (2003) is not low.

    Unemployment and the deficit dropped steadily during Clinton's two terms. Both jumped in Bush's second year. More importantly, real median family income, which climbed steadily during the Clinton years, has declined in the Bush years, so that in 2006 families were making less than they were in 2000, when adjusted for inflation.

    The excuse that we had two wars going on would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic. It seems that only Presidents named Bush manage to have bad economies during a war. Unemployment went down with World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. It went up during the Bush I and Bush II wars.

    The business owners I know have had a tough time of it during the Bush years.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Fbear,

    Unemployment was 4.7% when Bush took office in Jan 2001

    It was at 4.7% in Sept 2001 when 9/11 took place.

    The economy took a hit along with the WTC, by Jan 2002 unemployment was at 6.3%

    It remained in the same range til Jan 2004 when it began dropping steadily.

    Since 5% is considered full employment, a range of 4-6% is not high unemployment numbers.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Actually, Joe, the unemployment rate in January 2001 was 4.2%, and rose to 4.9% by August 2001. You can't blame the September 11 attacks for the increase in unemployment that occurred before they happened.

    And unemployment was 5.7% in January 2002.

    I'm not sure where you're getting your figures, but here's the horse's mouth:

    http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?data_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=LNS14000000

    You're ignoring the real economic bad news of the Bush administration--real median income fell during the Bush administration. Real median income increased almost 14% during the Clinton administration.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Oh, by the way, unemployment was 5.0%, not 4.7%, in September, 2001.

    Are you just making stuff up to try to make Bush look better? The thing is, it's easy to look this stuff up these days, and it just ends up making you look like a fool.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Bill McD,

    Funny that you think Republicans should apologize for your caricature of the Bush/Chaney/Republican reality.

    Having read many of your impressions of the last 8 years this conservative republican laughs at your unintended comedy.

    Also funny is I have never heard of or met a conservative who's remotely similar to your caricatures.
    I can only assume that you find it comforting to have created your boogeymen to stand in for real conservatives.

    That certainly has become the Blue way.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Richard,

    What did Bill write that's a caricature?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    The difference, fbear, is that the data you cite is 'seasonally adjusted'.

    The BLS data I cited is the real figures.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, Yes, there was a lot of business done in the Bush years. I had these arguments throughout and the fallback position was always, "But you have to admit, the economy's going great." And it was. Home prices were soaring. I don't argue with any of that. But saying, "up 'til the last 4 months" is like saying, "Okay, we put the ship of state into the rocks, but you have to admit, the first part of the cruise went great."

      When Bush was done this country was in dire financial straits. You admit that don't you? I think you should judge the President on his inability to mind the store and take care of business, creating the incredible mess we're facing today.
    
      I particularly love it when you go against your GOP heroes in describing Iraq. To hear you 'til it now the war was underway since 1989, and Bush was just continuing it.
    
      One problem, Joe. Your hero George W actually called what he was doing the doctrine of preemptive strikes, also known as the Bush Doctrine. He was asserting his right to attack a country for reasons in the future as long as he felt they could be a threat.
    
      It was the first attempt at the new doctrine, and by W's own admission we got our intelligence wrong. So you either believe him or see something even more sinister: They deliberately lied these soldiers to their deaths. Which do you believe? Were they liars or did they just get it all wrong?
    
      I do feel we were lied into Iraq. I do feel there was a deliberate attempt to market it as a response to 9/11.
    
      I am glad Saddam isn't torturing people to death over there. Unfortunately, George authorized the same thing - torture that led to deaths. And when you respond, don't just recite the latest thing Cheney says. The man's been lying about this since before it started.
    
      If you're confident that the American Public was thrilled with how well you did, you should just stay the course. But you have to be a very confused man by now. I mean how do you explain these desperate attempts to rebrand the party, and go on education tours to tell the Public how great you are? If the Public already knows that, why the big scramble?
    
  • fbear (unverified)
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    And is available where?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Actually, Joe, the seasonally adjusted figures are the "real" figures--those are the figures generally accepted as having real meaning.

    But, can you provide a link to the figures you're using?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill,

    If you want to discuss what went wrong with the economy in the latter part of 2008, then let's discuss it.

    Don't gloss over it.

    Let's talk about how Democrat Chuck Schumer caused a run on one of the largest banks in the nation in the summer of '08, seriously misusing his office as member of the Senate Banking committee.

    Let's talk about how Democrat Chris Dodd had refused meaningful oversight of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae because of the large number of former Clinton officials that were installed there as execs and board members, or who had been there while the mess was being created. The name Rahm Emmanuel also comes to mind.

    Let's talk about the huge campaign contributions Obama and other Democrats received from Freddie and Fannie execs and board members.

    Let's talk about how the Democrats refused to allow drilling for American oil in numerous places , driving the cost of a barrel of oil thru the roof in the summer of '08.

    Let's talk about how multibillionaire money speculator Democrat George Soros and his super rich group pushed the dollar lower for political gain.

    Let's talk about how billionaire Democrat Warren Buffett used his influence to talk the credit ratings of struggling firms into the tank.

    It's time to step away from the comedy writing, Bill. This is Real Life talking.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Why won't you talk about the decline in real median family income during the Bush administration?

    Why won't you discuss why it seems that it's only when a Bush is President does the economy tank during a war?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, How about a President who spent 8 years proclaiming he was the Law. Who ignored 100s of Bills passed by Congress with a stroke of his pen - not by veto, but by signing statement. Here we had a President who believed he had the legal right to imprison any American, torture them, even execute them and all he had to do was declare it a national security threat. And Cheney's view of our Constitution was even more elaborate: He was not in the executive branch or the legislative branch at different times depending on what he was trying to get away with. He was outside the Law.

     This was their legal position: That they were all-powerful executives. The Constitution was just a quaint piece of paper. They weren't above the Law - they WERE the law.
    
       Yet, when they proceed to blow the gig right out their asses, their hopeless followers rush forth to proclaim they were victims - that they just didn't have the power to lead this country. Please.
    
       I was serious yesterday when I suggested apologizing for the job your people did. That's how John Wayne would handle it. You may think trying to weasel out of the responsibility makes you appear stronger, but it doesn't.
    
      It's just part of that same mediocre, afraid-to-look-weak phony macho crap that have been driving Bush and Cheney since they were little kids.
    
  • Luke (unverified)
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    Sean Smith!

    Kari is right! Just after the Oprah joke I spotted him too!

    Whatever happened to him? Does anyone know?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Fbear,

    btw, the economy didn't 'tank' during the war on terror. The economy grew.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill,

    Obama promised he would not use signing statements, and broke the promise in his first week.

    Which is better, someone who uses signing statements believing they are legit, or someone who condemns them and uses them at the same time?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear,

    The unemployment data is available by googling "unemployment rate"

    I've tried to post the link twice, but for some reason it eats the link.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear, what data are you citing for family income?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Here's an easy way to post the link:

    Highlight the address bar. Copy. Paste into the comment window. Easy as pie.

    Here is median household income data:

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/h06AR.html

    And here is median family income data:

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f06AR.html

    Looking at it, I realize it was the household income figures I was referencing earlier--median household income is down 0.64% since 2000 (as of 2007. It's unlikely that 2008 will be an improvement). Median household income rose 13.97% in the Clinton years.

    Median family income, as of 2007, rose just 0.45% in the Bush years, but rose 15.35% in the Clinton years.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I think that perhaps Joe White has taken up where Stephan Andrew Brodhead left off, although his spelling and grammar are a bit better.

    Have a look at Jon Stewart on the Sykes faux controversy. As he says, the wingnut position seems to be that "bad jokes and gay marriage are destroying this country, but torture can save it."

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe, I've seen this movie before: When asked to back up information you've posted, you suddenly become technologically inept. What, Control-C and Control-V (or Command-C and Command-V, for those of us with real computers) no longer work?

    I've seen this time and time again with righties. I guess they figure that if Lars can get away with it, they can, too.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear,

    I don't know what to tell you. I've posted the link twice.

    But as I said, if you google 'unemployment rate' you'll see the info.

    It's the very first thing that comes up. It's a public data chart from Google, and they list the source as BLS, noting that it's not 'seasonally adjusted'.

    Google's not hard to use, bear. Give it a try.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Joel,

    Back at cha.

    Is your position then that torture is destroying the country, but gay marriage can save it?

    You see, comics are not really good sources to cite for political discussion.

    Why don't you try some original thought instead?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Okay, Joe, I see how to get the individual rates with the graph.

    But it's meaningless--it spikes every year in January. That's why they do the seasonal adjustment.

    And still no word on median income?

    If you're using the unemployment rate as a measure of economic health, then the economy did in fact tank during the Bush wars--it went up. Previous wars, the unemployment rate went down. Median income went down, also, so even if the economy grew, that growth wasn't being experienced by most people--their economies were shrinking.

    In 2003 there was 2.5% real GDP growth, but real median household income fell 0.1%. In 2004 real GDP growth was 3.6%, but real median household income fell 0.3%.

    If the economy is growing but income is down, that means that those at the top are gaining, but those in the middle and bottom are losing.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Logical fallacy alert.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Oh, and about those crocodile tears the right is shedding about Wanda Sykes "wishing harm" on Rush Limbaugh, where were they when Ann Coulter said she regretted Timothy McVeigh didn't go to the New York Times building?

    Where were they when Pat Robertson called for Hugo Chavez to be assassinated?

    Where were they when David Reinhard said that shooting Jimmy Carter would be a good idea?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Fbear, 5% is considered full employment, so a range of 4%-6% is hardly 'tanking'.

    Regarding family income, importing cheap illegal labor HAS depressed incomes and it's one of the things I routinely criticized Bush for.

    Obama wants to give drivers licenses to illegals.

    This will make it easier for them to be hired, so I don't think he's the solution, do you?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, I disagree with that. Comedy writers are good sources to cite for political discussion. I've seen my stuff on websites around the world like Reuters, etc..I still keep a copy of Time magazine with a joke of mine in it. I often see the news shows like "This Week" citing comedians as a way to broach a political subject. Why is this? Because one of the keys of comedy is to cut through the bullshit. That's why Jon Stewart's take on something is worthwhile. Of course, as soon as comedy writers start thinking they're important than the process just crumbles, but as long as we're just the wise-asses in class, pointing out where the teacher's logic is faulty, then we really do help.

     You know one of the jokes that  I thought was pretty powerful by Wanda Sykes in a sad way? And it was even sadder that nobody objected. It was when she was talking about Dick Cheney, and how scary he is.
    
      She said she told her children if two cars pull up and one has Dick Cheney in it and the other has a stranger, get in the car with the stranger.
    
      I thought that captured the tragedy of the last few years as effectively as anything. Here's a guy who won't shut up about keeping us safe, and yet he's badly damaged our country and frankly we don't trust him. We see this old leader as reckless and dangerous. That's kind of sad. By the way, the GOP better tone him down soon - he's really not helping you guys. He's just such a wretched human being and he can't stop lying.
    
     I had a joke on the shooting back then that went, "How big a bully are you when you can shoot another man in the face and he doesn't sue you... and he's a lawyer?"
    
      That was on in over 70 countries around the world and bounced around the sites too.
    
     Wanda screwed up a little but she was right a whole lot in a way comedians can be right: Capturing the truth in a joke.
    
      Joe, do you see anything ironic about  your comment that "comics are not really good sources to cite for political discussion" in a thread that cites a comic and then has a political discussion? I mean, did you even pause a second over  that?
    
      See, that's what comedy writers do. We point out the bullshit.
    
  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe, people have been immigrating to this country for a very long time. Why is it that incomes went up during the Clinton years, but stagnated during the Bush years? It's not like immigration only started in 2001.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill wrote:

    "do you see anything ironic about your comment that "comics are not really good sources to cite for political discussion" in a thread that cites a comic and then has a political discussion?"

    The whole thread is about how wrong she is.

    If you want to keep defending her as 'capturing the truth' go ahead. Make my day.

    If Joel's citation of Stewart is a good one, then Joel should be willing to admit that he thinks torture is ruining the country but that homosexuals getting married can save it.

    If Stewart 'captured the truth', then that's got to follow, right?

    If Sykes 'captured the truth' then let's hear your defense of her accusation of RL as 'the 20th hijacker'.

    Don't get me wrong. I enjoy good political humor.

    Sykes just didn't offer much of it.

    Don Rickles isn't good political humor and Sykes is the Don Rickles of the radical left.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Logical fallacy alert.

    No, that doesn't follow. Disagreeing with "A will save the country, B will destroy the country" doesn't mean that you believe that "A will destroy the country, and B will save the country." That's basic logic.

    And Joe, let's hear you defend the statements of Coulter, Robertson, and Reinhard.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Fbear, I don't recall the Coulter comments, but if she said that, I will be among those to say that it's a despicable comment.

    I have no idea who David Reinhard is; was it when Carter was in office, or afterward? But I would not approve of the shooting of any President. And kidding about it is no joking matter.

    Hugo Chavez? I can't think of any reason to assassinate Hugo, but I don't think we should schmooze with him as Obama is doing.

    How about you?

    When Bennett College president and syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux wished for Clarence Thomas to have a heart attack and die, what was your response?

    How about when Sen Arlen Specter (D-The Moon) said that Jack Kemp would probably be alive if the Republicans in Congress had spent more tax money on health care?

    How are you with Democrats accusing Republicans of actually killing people? You ok with that?

    Remember when Democrats in Congress accused their Republican colleagues of starving children for proposing smaller rates of increase in the federal school lunch entitlements? You good with accusing them of starving kids to death?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Coulter's are easy to find, and have been widely publicized.

    David Reinhard was a columnist for The Oregonian until just a few months ago. His column where he suggested that shooting Jimmy Carter would be a good idea was in 2003.

    Yes, Julianne Malveaux's comments were terrible.

    What's wrong with Specter's comments? It may well be true that Jack Kemp would have lived longer if we had different budget priorities.

    Of course, many, many thousands of Iraqis would still be alive if it weren't for the war started by George W. Bush.

    I actually don't remember the incident regarding the children. Do you have a source?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, "The whole thread is about how wrong she is" referring to Wanda Sykes?

     I call bullshit on that too.
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Kemp died of cancer at 73.

    He was a retired congressman, so he had access to the best health care plan there is: the one congress has given themselves.

    The health plan for congressional retirees is gold plated.

    Congress gave themselves everything there is, what more could he have wanted?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Have you heard of a little thing called "research"?

  • rlw (unverified)
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    Wanda's other GREAT comment was how SILENT that moron Ol' Possum Eyes has gone. I love, too, the fact that George Bush has utterly left town. No farewell tours, no endless seasons on the front pages of anything anywhere touting his speaking tours or thinking-tanks, libraries or memorial bomb crater christenings...

    Oy. But thanks to the Angry Inch contingent here, we get Bush anyway.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear wrote:

    "I actually don't remember the incident regarding the children. Do you have a source?"

    google 'republicans starve children' and you will bring up:

    Democrats Assail G.O.P. Bill to Change School Lunch System By ROBERT PEAR, Published: Thursday, February 23, 1995

    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/23/us/democrats-assail-gop-bill-to-change-school-lunch-system.html

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill Mc wrote:

    " "The whole thread is about how wrong she is" referring to Wanda Sykes?

    I call ######## on that too"

    Bill, even you, who tried at first to gloss over her nasty attacks, have admitted that she was 'over the line' and that jokes about people being harmed 'arent funny'.

    Your tepid support has turned to embarrassment, and back again apparently to defensiveness for having been embarrassed by her.

    You're like a battered wife. You just can't seem to leave those who make you look like a fool and who leave you picking your teeth off the floor.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joe, You must be going on a faulty memory because my first post made it clear that Wanda was terrific except for the unfortunate Rush Limbaugh slams. I also criticized her first joke for just not being strong enough in a comedic sense. I even offered examples of what I would have gone with instead.

     But I still believe she rocked the house. I thought she was brilliant, as was the President.
    
      So to characterize this as tepid support that turned to embarrassment is just not true.
    
      Her comedy rocked with the exception of the Rush bit. And I felt it was angry venting from the moment I heard it. I like jokes. What's funny about, "I hope your kidneys fail"?
    
       Look, I don't mean to get on your nerves, but while you were enjoying the last 8 years under Bush, I wasn't. I thought it was a disgrace what he did.
    
      You're going to get a little exuberance as it finally settles in that the longest 8 years I can remember are now over.
    
     And I should be more understanding of what your side is going through. I remember Sean Hannity talking about a generation of GOP power so it must be a shock to see things unravel like this.
    
     Sorry for pissing you off. I did mean it when I said a lot of the tone was that my comments preceded and followed a dental appointment.
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill Mc,

    I can name you a couple dozen things I didn't like about George W Bush.

    And he was still head and shoulders above the alternative offered by Democrats.

    I'm no blind Bush cheerleader, but apparently you think EVERYTHING about the Bush years was bad.

    That kind of black and white/all or nothing thinking is the kind of immature attitude that leads to the poor level of political discourse in this country.

    As I said earlier, I am tired of choosing between Mediocre and Bad at election time.

    Why Democrats don't nominate a moderate reasonable candidate I'll never know, but they always seem to choose the most radical leftist that they can find.

    Obama now runs our banks and auto companies. Health care companies and energy companies are soon to follow.

    When we're all working on the Obama plantation, I'm sure you'll still be singing his praises, so there's not much point reasoning with you about it.

    (I understand about the dental thing. No worries. Glad you got it taken care of.)

    If you're still mad about Bush going into Iraq, I suggest you look at the bigger picture. Look at what the intelligence agencies of the Western countries all said. Look at Saddam's obvious attempt to intimidate Iran by making them think he had WMDs. He had used WMDs on his own citizens and there was no reason for Iranians to think theyd fare any better. Saddam was a lunatic.

    The UN had an obligation to hold Iraq to the terms of the cease fire. Saddam also harbored and financed various terrorist groups, can you deny that?

    Imagine an Iraq with Saddam still in power today, thumbing his nose at the UN, sheltering terrorists, running his political foes thru the plastic shredder and planning for ways to bring back his WMD program. Do you have any doubt that he would? Just because he had failed to do it so far, doesnt mean he would not have continued until he succeeded.

    Were mistakes made in prosecuting the military action to remove Saddam? Absolutely. Mistakes are made in any war.

    Look at WWII and the mistakes FDR made that sometimes caused the loss of thousands of Americans in a day. We've lost less than that in 6 years.

    As for your view of GWB shredding the Constitution, you know that your Democrat leadership was in on every major step that they now criticise, from wiretapping on down to waterboarding.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    How do you feel about David Feherty saying that "any U.S. soldier", if given the chance, would kill Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

    Isn't that doubly bad, because not only is it suggesting the killing of two government officials, it's also defaming the entire U.S. military?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Oh, and Joe,

    Please name for us the couple dozen things you don't like about George Bush.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Here's 3 things I find fascinating about our moral reasons to go into Iraq: 1. Saddam invaded Kuwait and it wasn't in self-defense. So we invade Iraq - not in self-defense but under a doctrine that says we can attack anyone at any time as long as we say we think they will threaten us in the future. Do you feel all countries have a right to act like that or just us? 2. Saddam used torture, so the way we show the world that we're better is by also using torture. 3. Saddam could threaten the world with nuclear weapons, so the way we show the world how bad that would be is by dropping thousands of tons of depleted uranium on their country. Incidentally, the half-life of this stuff is 4.5 billion years, so it will go right on killing and deforming babies in Iraq. What about the rights of the unborn there?

       Now, it might be easy for you to ignore these aspects of our war in Iraq because you exist in a talking points bubble, but the rest of the world sees them differently which is why the War on Terror has helped terror thrive so much. The terrorists loved Bush and Cheney. The only thing they regret about Bush and Cheney is that they can't serve a third term.
    
      Another problem is how do we extricate ourselves from the situation? The war has lasted longer than WW2. The plan is for an American presence there from now on. Iran has gained in power without Iraq to counter it. What were we hoping to accomplish exactly? You don't here the Happy Talk about a Jeffersonian Democracy so much anymore. Most experts think if we left the place, it will blow, possibly leading to a regional conflict. So we're stuck. How could it have been the right thing to do if we're stuck?
    
     We'll end up spending trillions there to counter a threat that was already contained when we started. You do realize we patrolled the airspace of two thirds of the country before this started? Yes, Saddam was a bastard, which is why I really wish he hadn't been our guy during the Reagan years. But he was contained. Condi and Colin Powell said Saddam was not a threat to his neighbors before it started.
    
      Frankly, I wish Osama bin Ladin hadn't been our guy, too. Gee, diverting to an unnecessary war in Iraq really messed up Afghanistan even more. How was that smart?
    
      If you want to talk the Middle East you have to go back to the beginning. Iran in the 1950s, that sort of thing.
    
      But you don't really want to look at the whole picture. You don't want to admit we're just chasing our own mistakes there. What is this? An apology tour? We just do things right, because we had a President who talked with Jesus. I'm not buying it.
    
     P.S. Do not bring up breaking UN resolutions or for that matter giving financial aid to countries with nuclear weapons. That's a Middle East subject we're not allowed to discuss.
    
  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Bill,

    Trying to draw a moral equivalence between the types of barbaric torture-as-a-prelude-to-murder, that Saddam and his sons routinely used on political enemies, sending their body parts home with a courier to be delivered to the widow on her doorstep ---

    --- and the coercive interrogation methods (like letting them feel like they are drowning for a few moments, or playing loud music to them all night long or making them strip in a cold cell) used during time of war on enemy combatants and terrorists ---

    --- is quite a stretch, even for a comedy writer like yourself.

    On the uranium , where were you when Bill Clinton used these in Europe?

    Yes, they're awful and they shouldn't be used except in extreme circumstance. I agree.

    Again, do you deny that Saddam harbored and financed terrorists?

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear,

    Feherty's comments are disgusting obviously.

    I agree that he defames our fine military as well with his comments, and since he directed them against Senators it could get him in legal trouble.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear wrote:

    "Please name for us the couple dozen things you don't like about George Bush"

    It's probably the same list of the things you liked about him, with a few exceptions.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    This was not a war of self defense. We made a pact with these soldiers when they signed on to defend us. We sent them to the desert under false pretenses and a lot of them died there. It was wrong. I don't know what else to say. The doctrine of preemptive strikes was a crime. It represents thousands of years of civilization down the drain. The people we tortured to death were just as dead as the people Saddam tortured to death. Just then writing that sentence, I had one of those moments where even discussing this seems surreal. How did we get to this point? I can't do this anymore. You either get it or you don't.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    That's a bullshit non-answer. You said you could name a dozen things you don't like about George Bush. I'm waiting for you to do just that.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    So, Bill if someone threatens you with a gun, do you have to wait till they pull the trigger to do something about it?

    Saddam hired, trained and sheltered terrorist groups. That's a fact.

    Deny it. Go ahead.

    He also played a game of chicken, using his country. And he lost, as they did as well. He purposefully deceived Western nations into believing that his WMD programs were what they were not.

    He knew the risks of playing this kind of brinksmanship, and his countrymen have paid for it dearly.

    Saddam lied, people died.

    Deny it. Go ahead.

    If a cop shoots a guy who is out in the street waving an empty gun, the cop is not the bad guy.

    Do you understand any of this?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Don't you remember the administration, I think it was Rumsfeld, who said that not only did they know that Saddam had weapons, they knew where they were? How'd that turn out?

    Don't you remember administration officials, I think it was Cheney, saying that the Iraq operation would be a matter of days or weeks, probably not months. Turns out it's not months, it's years.

    Don't you remember the jokes about Hans Blix? He was saying that Iraq didn't have weapons, and there were jokes saying that he couldn't find something if it were in plain sight.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Joe White sez: "Obama is not a private citizen, he is an elected official and accountable to the public. As prez he is supposed to set the tone and the example."

    Say Joe, did this jewel of wisdom apply to Dubya's appearance at the WH Correspondents' dinner when he joked about "where are the WMDs?"???

    I think I've got the GOP line here:

    Obama laughing at Wanda Sykes' jokes about Limbaugh's drug-addled lunacy is "condoning hate speech" and "disrespectful", but Dubya joking about his fucking WMD LIES--which have resulted in the death of around 100K Iraqis, and injury, displacement, or exile for another couple of million--is "humor".

    Keep it up, Joe: I don't know what happened to Stephan Andrew Brodhead's lunatic ravings about Obama the Islamofascist communist socialist, but you're definitely filling the same niche.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Joel,

    No, I don't go along with Bush's horrible video. I was disgusted by it.

    That being said, Iraqis are far better off now than with Saddam the butcher in charge.

    Saddam is the one who lied his country into war.

    I am glad he's gone, and it was the right thing to do. Apparently you wish we hadn't and that he was still in charge, running his political foes thru the plastic shredder.

    I'll give you the same scenario, Joel:

    If a cop shoots a guy who is waving a gun around, and the gun is found to be unloaded, is the cop a bad guy?

    You might think he is, but I don't.

    Unfortunately, Saddam played his deadly game of chicken on a much higher level and his countrymen suffered and died along with him.

    But that doesn't mean that somehow Saddam is absolved of responsibility.

    You can't handle the truth.

    Everything is not black and white, even though you try to paint it that way.

  • Larry M. (unverified)
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    Fbear, if you're going to vilify Bush for unemployment creeping upward in 2001, are you going to do the same to Obama right now? Unemployment has risen about a full percentage point since he took office, and is widely expected to hit double-digits within the next 12 months.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Joe,

    We're still waiting for the couple dozen things you don't like about George Bush.

    Your analogy is wrong. A better analogy is if a trusted person says there are no weapons inside a house, but the police decide to enter the house anyway, guns firing away.

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Larry M., one difference is that unemployment was on an eight-year downward trend which reversed when Bush took office.

    Unemployment was already going up when Obama took office.

    By many measures, the economy did very well during the Clinton years, the most important being that real median income grew throughout his Presidency after having declined during George H.W. Bush's term.

    Unfortunately, the big issue that Clinton did nothing about was the continued concentration of capital into fewer and fewer hands. That also continued under George W. Bush. I don't know if Obama will tackle that or not, but eventually we'll have to deal with that in this country.

  • Scott J (unverified)
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    Fbear,

    If any of your liberal friends with degrees in economics or finance would speak up on this page, they would tell you that a President in his first few months in office is not responsible for a rising or changing unemployment rate in those months.

    This applies to any President: Obama, GW, Clinton or Bush Sr.

    Of course, liberals who know better (better than you) will sit back in silence and let you run afoul of common sense.

  • (Show?)

    "Saddam hired, trained and sheltered terrorist groups. That's a fact.

    Deny it. Go ahead."

    OK, I'll deny it--that's total bullshit. That was debunked years ago. Let me guess--you're sourcing a judge's comments, right?

    Man, you give Joes a terrible name. How's the koolaid?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Scott J.,

    The problem is that unemployment went up in Bush's second and third years. Amazingly, the Bush's seem to be the only U.S. Presidents that have unemployment go up during a war.

    Unemployment in Bush's first year: 4.7%.
    Second year: 5.8% Third year: 6.0%

    Of course, the real unemployment champ was Ronald Reagan, with 9.7% unemployment in his second year and 9.6% in his third, and even had 7.5% unemployment despite major boom growth in real GDP (7.2%, the highest since WWII, though Ike's second to last year saw 7.1% real GDP growth).

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    fbear wrote:

    "A better analogy is if a trusted person says......."

    Saddam is your trusted person?

    Lessee, he fought an eight year war with Iran in the 80s, used WMDs on his own citizens, invaded Kuwait and seized their massive oilfields then set them on fire when he was pushed out of Kuwait, continually violated the ceasefire that had allowed him to stay in power.......

    Your trusted person, eh?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Read for comprehension, Joe.

    Hans Blix is the trusted person.

    Oh, by the way, the U.S. sold arms to both sides in that war in Iran. Is there a more despicable thing a country can do?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Oh, by the way, Joe, since you're so enamored of the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers, it's only up 0.1% since January, from 8.5% to 8.6%, but went from 5.4% in January of last year to 8.5% this year.

    It's a little tough to blame Obama for that.

  • Nick (unverified)
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    You know what would be really funny? Wanda getting Swine Flu and dyeing...oh what a knee slapper that is! I bet if I told that joke at any Republican's Correspondent's dinner no one would laugh. Liberals are hateful, intolerant people who only see people for the color of their skin, sexual preference or economic status. Wanda is a typical Liberal and Obama shows his intolerance by laughing at her stupid jokes.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Interesting story from Karl about Nancy Pelosi's hypocrisy on coercive interrogation.

    see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124226863721018193.html

    I mentioned this previously, that Democrat leaders were in on every major step that they now criticize. How timely that Karl takes a moment to (again) confirm this.

    Let's hear from some liberals how Nancy Pelosi 'shredded the Constitution'.

    .........hello liberals......?

    ..........cat got your tongue?

  • fbear (unverified)
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    Very funny, Joe.

    You repeatedly make claims that you can't back up, then you get indignant when people don't respond to you.

    We're still waiting on those two dozen things you don't like about George Bush.

  • Joe White (unverified)
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    Another interesting angle on Pelosi's 'objections' to EITs:

    Pelosi booted Rep. who objected to waterboarding from post

    "Nancy Pelosi was among two Democrats briefed on the CIA's secret plan to waterboard terror suspects and didn't object, an aide confirmed in Sunday's Washington Post. What's more? She booted the only House member who objected (Jane Harman) from a chance to chair the House Intelligence Committee...."

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