Friday, July 30, 2004

What's so hard about politics?

Did you catch John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention last night? I always questioned his speaking ability a little bit, but he has not failed to impress me the last few weeks. One thing struck me right away about it...he can actually speak from his head and his heart and not rely solely on a teleprompter! He can actually turn his head and make eye contact without stumbling, losing his place, and mispronouncing things! Wow! Haven't seen that in a while.
Today on Yahoo! News, I encountered 2 articles on the front page that I find troubling in various ways. I will post the articles in their entirity, and my own comments will be placed in bold and in parentheses behind whatever I feel the need to comment on.

Article Number Uno...

Bush Criticizes Kerry's Achievements

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - President Bush launched his counterattack Friday against John Kerry saying his Democratic rival spent 18 years in the U.S. Senate with "no signature achievements."(Is it worse to have no achievements of notice than to have a bunch of mistakes attributed to your name?)
"My opponent has good intentions, but intentions do not always translate to results," Bush told thousands of supporters who repeatedly interrupted his remarks with standing ovations. (Even if good intentions don't mean good results, I'd rather vote for someone who at least HAS good intentions. )
Appearing at a baseball stadium at Southwest Missouri State University, Bush said that during eight years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kerry voted to cut the intelligence budget but had no record of reforming America's intelligence-gathering capability. Problems with the intelligence agencies have been blamed for many of the failures surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Bush also said Kerry has no significant record for reforming education or health care. (George Bush is currently president. Does HE have any significant record for reforming education or health care? I'm pretty sure that costs for health care have skyrocketed the last few years, and that Bush's No Child Left Behind act has been a colossal failure....)
The president said that Kerry and running mate John Edwards consistently oppose reforms that limit the power of Washington and leave more power in the hands of the people. (Hold on there, partner. Are you trying to tell me that it's a BAD thing to give the people power to make decisions that directly affect their well-being? You have got to be kidding me! It's a really scary thing when your best argument against your opponent STILL makes you look bad...)
"This week members of the other party gathered in Boston," Bush said. "We heard a lot of clever speeches and some big promises. After 19 years in the United States Senate my opponent has had thousands of votes but very few signature achievements."
Bush also mounted a defense of his record, saying that Kerry would erase gains made in the past four years in the economy and U.S. security. (Do you feel safe right now? I sure don't. As for the economy, stay tuned for article #2)
"We are turning the corner and we are not turning back" in the war on terrorism and on issues from improving education and health care to maintaining the tax cuts he has put in place, said Bush, declaring: "Results matter."(Yeah, they do. And we can all see how much it matters when Bush gets the results he wants...terrorism thrives, our soldiers are killed, and a once self-sufficient and sovereign nation is under our militant rule.)
"They're going to raise taxes, we're not," Bush said of Kerry.
He said the Bush administration has "a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world." (So why hasn't he put his vision into place yet?)
Bush also contrasted the longtime government service of Dick Cheney to Edwards, a first-term senator. (Politics is the one place where it almost pays to be inexperienced...that way, you haven't learned how to profit from everyone else's misfortunes yet.)
"I appreciate my running mate," said Bush. "He's not the prettiest man in the race, but he's got sound judgment." (He's the one who pushed for Iraq...he's the one that refused to have a meeting about people flying planes into buildings...Yep. Sound judgement.)
Offering broad outlines of his re-election agenda, Bush promised better times and fresh ideas, declaring "we have more work to do." (You think???)
In response to Bush's speech, the Kerry campaign said "results do matter" and that Bush's policies have led to record deficits, skyrocketing health costs, lower quality jobs, a military that is stretched too thin and a nation isolated from its allies. (Oh, but that stuff doesn't matter! I'd be un-American to think George Bush may have been wrong!)
In his acceptance speech Thursday night, Kerry hit hard at the president's handling of the Iraq war and the war on terror.
"Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so," said Kerry. "Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so."
Outside the minor-league baseball stadium where Bush spoke, hundreds of protesters carried signs and chanted.
"I'm so frightened about what's happening to the country," said Joan Wagnon, 72, of Springfield. She held a sign reading, "Don't waive your rights while waving your flag." (Isn't it a sign of the times when even senior citizens won't vote Republican?)
Bush did not stay up to watch Kerry's convention address but read and saw reports about it, spokesman Scott McClellan said. Adviser Karl Rove watched the speech, McClellan told reporters. (Heaven forbid he ever try to pay attention to anything important....)
"I think the senator of Massachusetts is a walking contradiction," McClellan said. Although he called Kerry's speech "nicely crafted," he criticized Kerry's Senate record and said he is "running as fast and as far as he can from that record."
In a trip focused on the Midwest, the president campaigns Saturday by bus in Ohio, the second bus tour he has made in the state in three months. He will wrap up two days of campaigning with a rally Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh, just hours after Kerry speaks in a nearby suburb. It will be his 31st visit to Pennsylvania since being elected.
Bush won Missouri in 2000 with 50 percent of the vote to Al Gore's 47 percent, and in Springfield, Mo., the president appeals to some of his strongest supporters in the state.
"This is a turnout game and whoever mobilizes their base most effectively is going to win the state," says political science professor Martha Kropf of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Missouri has lost nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs since Bush took office, but the picture has improved markedly in the past year, with the labor force as a whole adding 83,000 jobs. (So what does that bring the unemployment numbers up to?)

And now for article Numero Dos.....

White House Projects Record $445B Deficit

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The White House projected Friday that this year's deficit will hit a record $445 billion, further fueling a campaign-season dispute over President Bush's handling (mishandling) of the economy.
The figure easily surpassed last year's $375 billion, making it the largest-ever in dollar terms. (Did you hear that? LARGEST EVER!) That gave ammunition to Democrats who say Bush's tax cuts and failure to prevent a loss of jobs during his term has worsened the outlook for the budget and the economy.
But in a political plus for Republicans, the new projection was also an improvement over forecasters' expectations of earlier this year. In February, the administration projected a $521 billion shortfall for 2004, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated a month earlier that the deficit would be $477 billion. (Well isn't that great? Hey, we have the largest deficit in history but at least it's not as bad as we thought it would be! That's got to count for something, right? right....?)
The White House was attributing the improvement to the collection of $82 billion more in revenue than had been anticipated, which generally reflects more vigorous economic activity. That was partly offset by $6 billion more in spending than was expected, mostly for Medicaid and Medicare. (To help form that fan-fricken-tastic Senior Drug card?)
"We are meeting our national priorities and by showing spending restraint elsewhere in the budget we are on track to meet the president's commitment to cutting deficits in half" over the next five years, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One as Bush flew to campaign stops in the Midwest. (It's easy to show spending restraint when there is no money to spend.)
Democrats argue the report underscores the decline of the government's fiscal health under Bush, who has seen three straight years of worsening annual shortfalls following four consecutive surpluses under President Clinton. (Bill Clinton, remember that guy?)
"Anyway you slice it, a deficit exceeding $400 billion this year alone is bad news for the country," said Thomas Kahn, Democratic staff director for the House Budget Committee. "Republicans' failed budget policies have converted record surpluses into the biggest deficits in American history." (Maybe this is going to be one of those eras, much like the Vietnam era, that we casually exclude from our school history books.)
The White House was also boosting its estimate of Medicare spending by $67 billion over the next five years. Administration officials attributed the increase to added expenditures under last year's bill expanding Medicare coverage and to changes in long-range technical estimates about the program.
Medicare, the government's health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, spends about $300 billion a year. Extra Medicare spending could further heighten concerns about the program's solvency, already in jeopardy over the next two decades with the impending retirement of the huge baby-boom generation. (So far their solution has been to up the retirement age to 70...)
Medicare's anticipated rapid growth in coming years is expected to be a major engine keeping the budget in the red.
The federal budget year runs through Sept. 30. That means the final deficit figure will be available shortly before the Nov. 2 election, further shining a spotlight on the issue.

There you have it...if you see anything else that needs to be discussed, go right ahead. I'd love to see someone on the other side's argument, but of course people on that side would never come here or read this. Who would ever want to learn both sides of the story? Then you might actually have to question what you believe!


3 comments:

Profession said...

Designing

Hello H hery

Thanks for leaving your blog open to comments.

I always like to live a little "tidbit" of information, hopefully helpful and hopefully something that will make you think - and act.

This one is short and sweet, and I'll bet you haven't done (or done recently ), but after looking at your blog I'm pretty sure you will at least take some action, because you seem like a smart person.

Set New Goals.

Do you have any old ones written down? Have you set life goals?

Most people don't.

You will if you use some of the FREE information at Lifetime Goals

Have A Happy New Year!

Designing said...

I like to leave a little “wisdom” to jolt your into thinking about goals you may have set over the past few years, months and days, after a good blog read.

Not earth shattering by any means, and probably know this, but have you actually practiced it lately?

You know – gnitteS laoG

Jot down a few new ones today or visit a few old ones that would make you a better person, better business person or a better provider or some you haven't been able to keep for some reason or other.

Today’s tidbit…

There is a difference in setting your goals and setting them effectively. Anyone can set a goal, but doing it effectively means that it will actually get done.

There are so many things that you can do to better your life, but if you don't know how to go about it you are stuck.

The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals and help you manage your time in an efficient manner that will cause those goals to become reality.

State each goal as a positive statement

Express your goals in a positive way. That is a key component to setting goals that you can attain.

How often have you been excited to accomplish a goal that didn't even sound good when you brought it up? If you are not comfortable or happy with the goals that you have set, the likelihood of you succeeding is pretty low.

If you want to express your goals in a positive way, you simply have to first think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. Why would you want to set a goal that made you frown, cringe or cry?

When you are beginning to set your goals it helps when you are talking about them to others in a manner that states your actions as positives because it will have others seeing it as a positive as well.

That will garner you a great deal more support. In the end, don't we all need a little support when we are trying to do something positive in our lives?

Be precise

Set a precise goal that includes starting dates, times and amounts so that you can properly measure your achievement.

If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

Being precise in setting your goals is no more than setting them with exact details. It is easier this way because then you can follow a step-by-step format. That's all there is to it.

Set priorities

When you have several goals, give each a specific priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones and follow each in succession. Setting priorities will force you into the step-by-step format above.

By doing the most important first and moving to the least important in succession, you are enabling each task to be easier than the last. It causes the accomplishment of each task to get easier and easier which will encourage you to complete your goal.

There’s a few more “tidbits” for you at Lifetime Goals

Don't worry, they're FREE!

Enjoy your day – And have a GREAT one!

By the way, learn how to Make New Years Resolutions you can keep there also.

Achievements said...

Thanks for a good read on your blog.

I’m leaving a little “teaser” for you here to start you thinking about something you may have disregarded for awhile.

Perhaps it will make a difference in your day, month or year. Who knows, it could change your life!

I hope this is of great benefit to you, and maybe you can pass it on…

How to Begin to Achieve Your Goals

Once you have set your lifetime goals, the best thing that you can do is set a 25 year plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan.
From there you can just shorten your overall goal spans for example, you set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals.

Each of these should be based on the previous plan. It is the best way to begin to achieve a lifetime that is filled with and results in a life without any failed wishes. It results in a life without regret.

You see, by starting out slowly, you are giving yourself the chance to realize and work on achieving the goals that you set out to.

Nobody ever succeeds at attaining a goal that was forced through. Those that tried never really got what they were hoping for. In rushing through and trying to achieve your goals quickly you will likely miss a few key aspects that can really change your outcome.

Think of it this way; if you were to run a 10K marathon and decided to take a cab for half of the journey; have you really achieved that goal? Would you be satisfied when you crossed the finish line?

It would be a hollow victory that could only provide a moments happiness.

Finally set a daily to do list of the things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals.

At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting and in effect; make it easier to achieve them.

You also have to review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.

Once you have decided what your first set of plans will be, keep the process going by reviewing and updating your to-do list on a daily basis.

You have to periodically review the longer term plans, and change them to reflect your changing priorities and experiences in your life.

Have a GREAT day, and set a few new goals while you’re at it!

You can find more "tidbits" on goal setting at Reachable Goals.

PS. If this was helpful to you and you think someone else might be able to use it please pass it on. You never know, you could change someones life with this simple information!