George W. Bush

Obama vs. Bush: Who Took More Presidential Vacations?

Just an FYI for holiday family gathering discussions…

The Huffington Post via FactCheck.org

Q: Is it true that George W. Bush took more vacation days than Barack Obama?

A: Yes. Before his two-week trip to Martha’s Vineyard in August, Obama’s count was 125 full or partial days and Bush’s total at the same point in his presidency was 407.

FULL ANSWER

Our inbox is chock full of questions about who took more vacation days, Obama or Bush. (The short answer: Bush. The long answer: There’s no such thing as a true non-working vacation for the president.)

The recent barrage from our readers coincides with Obama’s 15-day family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard — he returned to the White House on Aug. 24 – which occurred during major news events including the beheading of a U.S. journalist by Islamic militants and protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after a police officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man. The vacation also occurred during the funeral of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the only general officer killed in Afghanistan.

Obama faced criticism for being on vacation during these times, but those types of complaints are nothing new — either to Obama or presidents in general.

Readers may recall the criticism directed at Bush for the August weeks spent at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Others may remember Democrats chastising President Dwight Eisenhower for spending time on the golf course.

We last dealt with the who-took-more-vacation question in January 2010, at which point Obama had spent 26 days on “vacation” during his first year in office, fewer than the first year totals for Presidents Bush, George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. Our numbers are all courtesy of CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, who has covered every president since Gerald Ford and tracks the commander in chief’s travel.

But, as we noted then, presidents never fully escape from the job. Knoller told us he doesn’t consider these days away from the White House real “vacation” days. He said then in an email: “I have long held the view that a US president is never really on vacation. The job — and its awesome powers and responsibilities — is his wherever he is and whatever he’s doing.”

Bush officials called the Crawford ranch the “Western White House” to emphasize the days there involved plenty of official business, and Obama’s recent Martha’s Vineyard break included several presidential statements and two days spent back at the White House in the middle of the “vacation.” Presidents may clear brush or hit the links, but they are never actually off the clock.

Still, much is made of these presidential vacation days — and how to count them. Knoller doesn’t include visits to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland often used to host foreign leaders. On Aug. 8, the day before Obama left for Martha’s Vineyard, Knoller tweeted that Obama had spent 125 full or partial days on vacation, and at the same point in Bush’s president, he had spent 381 days at his Texas ranch plus 26 days at his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine, for a total of 407.

When we emailed Knoller on Aug. 26, Obama was up to 140 days by his count. Bush’s total for his two terms in office is 533 days, which includes 490 at the ranch and the rest at Kennebunkport. For comparison’s sake, President Bill Clinton’s total is 174 days, and Reagan hit 390 (349 at his ranch and 41 in Palm Springs), according to Knoller.

Adding in Camp David visits would bring Obama’s total to date to 223 (that’s 83 days at Camp David) and Bush’s total for his entire time in office to 1,024 (491 days at the presidential retreat). Note that Obama still has more than two years in office to narrow the gap.

Deciding how to count these “vacation” days can create some confusion. CNN recently listed a count of 879 days for Bush and 150 for Obama, numbers that came from a Washington Post “Outlook” piece on “Five myths on presidential vacations.”(Myth No. 1: “Presidents get vacations.”) The 879 figure, it turns out, is from March 3, 2008, at which point Bush had spent that many days at the ranch and Camp David (but it doesn’t include days in Kennebunkport). The numbers are in a 2008Washington Post piece and attributed to Knoller.

If readers want to make an apples-to-apples comparison, the best solution is to use Knoller’s figures as of August 8, cited above: Bush, 407; Obama, 125. But the numbers say more about how many days the presidents spent away from the White House than they do about how much time the presidents spent not working.

The White House Is Exhausted

The National Journal

The past week has not been kind to Obama. But could it be a turning point for his presidency?

Day 1,956 of his presidency was not too kind to President Obama. Having to announce within a four-hour span that he had lost both an embattled Cabinet secretary and his chief spokesman, Obama looked Friday like a man gamely trying to get a stalled administration back on track. He entered the week still stuck with low approval ratings and facing fierce criticism of his policies both at home and abroad. On Wednesday, he tried to chart a new course internationally with a West Point speech setting out a new foreign policy. On Thursday, he dealt with widespread criticism of the speech. On Friday, he tried to dig himself out of a troubling Veterans Administration scandal by jettisoning VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, a man he thought was being unfairly blamed for the problems. Then he accepted the resignation of press secretary Jay Carney, the longtime public face of his White House. It is a cliché to note the aging of our presidents, to count the gray hairs sprouting with each passing day in the Oval Office. But Obama does look weary. And he is at a point in his administration when his agenda seems tired and many of his appointees are exhausted. In that regard, he is no different than every second-term president since World War II. For all of them, the sixth year was troubled and filled with administration scandals, political challenges and executive turnover. A second-term president has to figure out how to govern effectively without his original band of hardy loyalists. Most of them have fled government at this point. When Obama looks around his White House these days, he sees Valerie Jarrett and Dan Pfeiffer and only a handful of other aides who were with him on that frigid day in 2007 in Springfield when he announced his long-shot candidacy. Only three of Obama’s original 16 Cabinet officers remain—Eric Holder at Justice, Tom Vilsack at Agriculture, and Arne Duncan at Education. He is on his fourth budget director, his fifth chief of staff, and, soon, his third press secretary.
The turnover at press secretary is the least surprising. Few appreciate what a tough job that is. Marlin Fitzwater, who served Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said that the biggest shock to him when he became press secretary was how hard he had to dig to get the facts and to make sure what he said publicly was accurate. As Carney was later to learn, most of that work is done off-camera, fighting to be included in the inner circle. The two-term presidents since Dwight Eisenhower have all worn out their press secretaries. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each had four, and Ronald Reagan had three. Lyndon Johnson, who served less than two full terms, had four. Each had to struggle with the reality that the public starts to tune out a president in his second term. This is a highly personal office. A president is the only politician whom voters, in effect, invite into their homes and watch on television every night. But in a sixth year, people tend to believe they have pretty much heard it all from the president and about all they hear seems to be bad news. In making his announcements on Shinseki and Carney, the president did all the things expected of him in the circumstances, projecting determination and even smiling bravely. But what he didn’t do was signal convincingly that he knows how to provide a way forward for the 966 days he has left in the White House. How he responds now will determine whether this week is regarded as a low point or a critical turning point for his presidency.

These 7 GOP Governors Are Refusing to Crack Down on Prison Rape. Now the Obama Administration Is Calling Them Out

Андрей Бортников/Shutterstock

 

Mother Jones

Seven states, all led by Republican governors, are defying a federal law aimed at cracking down on the nationwide epidemic of prison rape—and on Wednesday, the Obama administration started calling them out.

The law in question, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2003. In 2012, after years of study by a bipartisan federal commission, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department finalized the law’s requirements, and gave states about two years to start trying to comply. Forty-three states did. But today, nearly two weeks after the May 15 deadline, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, and Florida are still not complying with the law—and several GOP governors say they’re ignoring the law on purpose.

So far, at least five Republican governors have notified the Justice Department that they aren’t going to try to meet the new prison-rape reduction rules. The mandatory standards, “work only to bind the states, and hinder the evolution of even better and safer practices,” Indiana Governor Mike Pence wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder on May 15. Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter​ missed the deadline, then wrote a letter to the administration complaining the law had “too much red tape.” And in a letter dated March 28, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, called the law “counterproductive” and “unnecessarily cumbersome.” The prison rape rules “appear to have been created in a vacuum with little regard for input from those who daily operate state prisons and local jails,​” Perry wrote.

Otter, Pence, Perry, and the other GOP governors opposing the prison-rape reduction are a minority in their own party: More than 20 other Republican governors have embraced the new rules. And Perry is wrong: The rules, which have been under development for years, weren’t created without input from prison operators. The commission that studied the prison rape issue included Gus Puryear​ , who, at the time, was executive vice president for the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest owner and operator of private detention facilities; James Aiken, who had more than 33 years in managing and assessing correctional facilities; and a federal judge first appointed by George W. Bush.

Under the law, prisons are required to maintain a “zero-tolerance policy” regarding sexual abuse, perform background checks on prospective staff, prevent juveniles from being housed with adult inmates, provide external and anonymous channels for prisoners to report sexual abuse, and provide physical and mental health care to victims. Facilities must be audited every three years, and states that don’t comply are subject to a 5 percent reduction in federal funds.

An estimated 4 percent of state and federal prison inmates and over 3 percent of jail inmates reported experiencing at least one sexual assault in the previous year, according to the Justice Department. “No one should be subjected to sexual abuse while in the custody of our justice system,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole ​said at a press conference on Wednesday. “It serves as a violation of fundamental rights, an attack on human dignity and runs contrary to everything we stand for as a nation…. Jurisdictions that do not comply with the standards… will be held accountable.”

Bummed George Bush laments how Putin ‘changed’

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush (R) talk during a dinner at the NATO summit in Bucharest April 3, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

In my opinion Putin never changed.  President George W. Bush was a lot like Putin back then.  Their national security methods were quite similar.  When the Bush administration ordered water boarding and other forms of torture, it was already the norm for Russia at the time.  No, Putin hasn’t changed…Bush simply retired and is no longer required to give those orders.

Bush has famously said that he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his “soul”.  I suspect Bush simply saw a kindred soul back then…dark and evil.

The Week

Former President George W. Bush once remarked that he’d peered into Vladimir Putin’s and eyes and seen his soul. That soul, he now says, has “changed” for the worse.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Bush said he truly believed Putin wanted to mend fences with the West when he was still in office. Bush pursued a closer relationship with Moscow during his tenure, and the Obama White House continued that effort in the early years of Obama’s presidency, too. But Bush said a spike in the price of oil convinced Putin to take a more militaristic, confrontational approach to the rest of the world of late, culminating with the situation in Ukraine.

“I think it changed his attitude,” Bush said. “And I think it emboldened him to follow in his game that pretty much zero-sum, you know, I win and you lose and vice versa.”

Bush did not say whether he would as a result be painting a new portrait of the Russian leader to jibe with his new assessment of the man.

 – – 

 

President? REALLY? 5 Things You Don’t Know About JEB

Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush

Daily Kos

I remember reading a conservative article in 2012 that yeah, the GOP is going to get roasted that year but just wait till 2016!  Marco Rubio! Chris Christie!  Rand Paul!  Hooo boy!  The pickin’s will be good!  Nowhere did the article mention Jeb Bush, which shows how far the GOP field has fallen.

Jeb is a has-been who’s last campaign was 14 years ago. During that time he has not done anything productive or constructive–except try to get rich. What he considers his biggest legacy, education, has turned out to be a failure and liability.  He also faces a changed country:  its a lot browner, and his potential supporters have gotten a lot more racist and crazier.

But suddenly, he is now the GOP frontrunner.

He may just win the primary because just like Romney in 2012, all of the other GOP candidates are imploding.  This time earlier than usual.  But another Bush in the White House?  Against a Clinton?  I don’t see it.

I never thought I’d be writing about him again, but here we are. Most people outside of Florida only know him from his disastrous handling of Elian Gonzalez, the 2000 election (selection) of his brother, and the Terri Schiavo debacle.

So just a few quick things about W’s brother:

1.  Jeb was paid big bucks by Lehman Brothers on a scheme to save them.   Lehman Bros, as you recall, was the shady firm engaging in toxic mortgages that was the catalyst for the 2008 financial collapse.  They hired Bush in a desperate bid to save themselves on a plan code-named “Project Verde“. Essentially, Bush was to go to Mexico and convince (trick) a telecom mogul into making a large investment. It failed spectacularly. “Project Verde was unsuccessful”, Bush wrote back.  This is one of many instances where his quest for money overtook his judgment.  Which brings me to #2…

2.  Greedy. Rushed into very shady deals to make money.   Jebbie is always all about the money.  He has been chasing dollars since his early years.  During the 80s, while Jeb was working real estate angles in Miami, he told the Miami Times “I want to be very wealthy”.  Jeb actually felt slighted and whined openly about having to rebuild his wealth during all those years “serving” the public as governor.   He was in such a rush that the NY Times notes that a lot of these deals were quite questionable:

The Times chronicles the efforts of the brother of President George W. Bush – both sons of President George H.W. Bush — to recruit investors for InnoVida, a Miami-based start-up company, as a handsomely paid consultant and member of the board of directors.

Leaders of InnoVida, a manufacturer of inexpensive building materials, had faked documents, lied about the health of the business and misappropriated $40 million in company funds, records show, according to the Times. The nascent company went bankrupt in 2011, its founder eventually went to jail and investors lost nearly all of their money.

Jeb Bush also sat on the board of Swisher Hygiene, a soap maker, “at a time when, its executives acknowledged, their financial statements were unreliable and their accounting practices inadequate,” the Times reported.

3.  Tea party hates him. I mean really.    He is the ultimate insider-establishment candidate.  The tea party has little love for the Bush clan, and Jeb can’t disavow all the spending his brother did out of family loyalty.  Then there’s the pandering. On his trip to  kiss the ring of Sheldon Adelson,  he gave the “act of love” immigration comment. (Re: Jeb’s sudden interest in immigration means he is really running and he read Romney’s showing with Hispanics).   Although Jeb has probably shown sufficient contempt for blacks (in 1994, when asked what he would do to help the black community, he famously replied “probably nothing”), the tea party also hates brown.  Jeb stabbed them in their racist hearts by not going with the “taking over our country” meme.  (Speaking Spanish and marrying a Mexican is also tough for winning over the bigot caucas.) But the icing on their hate cake will come out when they learn that Jeb was on the board for Tenet, a company that aggressively encouraged Americans to sign up forgasp oBaMaCare!!!

You know you have your work cut out for you with your base when national joke Donald Trump has you booed at a tea party rally.

4.  Jeb was the one responsible for Stand Your Ground.   Compared to the incompetent, tone-deaf, and outright corrupt Rick Scott, Jeb looks good in comparison.  But Rick isn’t responsible for the most violent mistake in our state history (just for expanding it and now hiding it from public records).  Bush turned Florida into an NRA meth lab, allowing them to draft awful bills like SYG and then celebrate passage with them.  ALEC would then bring it to the rest of the nation.  No one here asked for SYG; in fact, most of us fought against it–including law enforcement.  There was not one instance in our entire state history that Jeb could point to where someone who shot in self-defense was prosecuted.  But we did warn of the consequences.  The media ran several stories saying it was a license to hunt and kill.  Democrats in the FL House and Senate correctly predicted catastrophe if the bill passed.  The blood of its many victimes, including 26 children, are on Jeb’s hands.  Speaking of children….

5. Ran the most dysfunctional Department of Children and Families in the nation.   The DCF under Bush was beyond disgraceful.  Rilya Wilson and Jami Cotter are just two horror stories involving two innocent children that should have sunk his campaign.  They didn’t.  And since Rick Scott, the situation at DCF has only gotten worse.  The fact that there is still no outrage is more a reflection on our apathetic citizens than these two men.

6.  Bonus: His name isn’t even Jeb.    He calls himself that for the bubba crowd.  Do you really think an elitist family would ever call their son Jebediah?  His name is John Ellis Bush.  Lawton Chiles, who defeated Jeb in his ’94 bid to be Florida gov, made sure everyone here knew that.

I could go on with his “palling around” with terrorists, his imaginary Chinese friend, or any number of fails during his tenure, like eliminating our growth management, but I’ll let others pick apart his record once he dives in.  And he will.

I had really hoped Florida would at least learn something from having a Bush at the helm.  Instead, we elected Rick Scott, who is so bad that even his supporters discourage him from seeking higher office.   But Rick is also a man who Jeb Bush whole-heartedly endorses for governor.  Knowing all that Rick has done to Florida, that says everything you pretty much need to know.

Jeb wasn’t as dumb as W or as horrible as Rick Scott, but that’s hardly something to build a campaign on.  Unfortunately for the GOP, that’s the best they have.

Donald Trump Finds His Calling as Final Judge on Stupidity

Frankly, I totally enjoy watching Donald Trump expose his ignorance…

Mediaite

During the March 26th edition of Fox’s On the RecordDonald Trump called PresidentObama’s comments about concerns over a nuke in Manhattan “absolutely the dumbest — I guess I have to say one– but maybe I can say the single dumbest statement I have ever heard a president make.”

Of course, The Donald had probably just returned from his high-rise laboratory where he gauges stupidity based on the rate at which his fingers gravitate toward Greta Van Susteren’s contact information. Sigh, it’s hard to argue with science.

But let’s give it the old college try. Here are some presidential quotes that out-dumb President Obama’s attempt to articulate his genuine fears concerning homeland security:

  • “The crotch, down where your nuts hang, is always a little too tight.” – Lyndon Johnson in a White House recording.
  • “I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat anymore broccoli.” – George H. W. Bush, begging SNL‘s Dana Carvey to combine his talents.
  • “That depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” – Bill Clinton role-playing as Descartes before the Grand Jury.

Of course, dumb comments aren’t just silly, as Trump implies. How about quotes with grave and aloof implications:

  • “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” – George W. Bush to FEMA administrator Michael D. Brown.
  • “Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” – Herbert Hoover in an address to the Nebraska Republican congress.
  • “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” – Richard Nixon in a 1977 interview with David Frost.

Now, Trump made no distinction between countries either, saying “I don’t mean just the president of this country.” There really only needs to be one example here (with apologies to Chávez and Putin):

  • “I am still the Hitler of the time.” – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at a state funeral.

Hmmm, let’s finish off this experiment with American business moguls, shall we? Ah, what luck, we only need one for this too:

  • “I have been right about almost everything.” – Donald Trump on the March 26th edition of Fox’s On the Record.

18 Crazy Right-Wing Myths About Obama, Debunked

Obamageddon! GOP vision for America. We scare because we care. This message brought to you by Fox News and the Koch brothers.

Obama has done more to unite this nation than any president since Lincoln. But look at the lying racists, gun nuts, and hypocrites he’s up against. Meme by Elisabeth Parker for AI.

Someone took the time to compile this list and I wanted to share it…(H/t: DB)

Addicting Info

1) Obama takes too many vacations.

 FACT: As of August 16th of 2013, Obama had taken 92 days of vacation vs 367 for George W. Bush.

2) Obama has divided the nation.

FACT: Obama has done more to unite this nation than any president since Lincoln. But he’s up against a phalanx of 21st Century separatists, racists and neo-fascists, some of whom have openly proposed seceding. Here… let me hold that door for you. Besides; who’s dividing the Republican party into right wing and ultra-far right wings? Is Obama doing that too? Nope. Look in a mirror Teabigots.

3) Obama’s policies are bankrupting America.

FACT: Reagan added $1.9 trillion to the debt. Bush Sr. added an additional $1.5. Clinton added $1.4. Dubbya added $6.1. Obama has added less than $3.0, the bulk of which was to offset the effects of the Bush recession. Who holds that debt? China; $1.2 trillion. Japan; $900 billion. The Fed; $1.6 trillion. The public; $3.6 trillion. Government trusts; $1.9 trillion. Social Security; $2.7 trillion. So nice try, but no Kewpie doll for you

4) Obama’s a socialist.

 FACT: Hardly. Obama’s economic and social policies are to the right of Kennedy’s, Eisenhower’s, Nixon’s, and even some of Reagan’s. If Obama’s a socialist, then Eisenhower, who had a 91% top tax rate, was a Republican Marxist.

5) Obama lied about keeping your present healthcare insurance.

FACT: Lying and being wrong are two different things. Obama turned out to be wrong, but he didn’t lie. He appeared before the cameras 28 times, repeating the exact same words — “If you like your present policy, you can keep it,” knowing full well he was being recorded each time. If you believe any president would deliberately set himself up like that, then Fox News is indeed the place for you.

6) Obama’s weak on foreign policy.

FACT: Osama bin Laden, the man who murdered 3,000+ Americans on 9/11 is dead. Muammar Khaddafi, the man who blew 300+ Americans out of the sky is dead. More al Qaeda terrorists were taken out under just Obama’s first three years than during the entire 8 years of Bush’s “War on Terrorism,” where we somehow managed to wind up in Iraq; a country that offered asylum to zero terrorists. ‘Nuff said.

7) Obama has taken sides with the Arabs against Israel.

FACT: “I think that from my point of view as defense minister they (American/Israeli relations) are extremely good, extremely deep and profound. I can see long years, um, administrations of both sides of political aisle deeply supporting the state of Israel and I believe that reflects a profound feeling among the American people. But I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past. In terms of the support for our security, the cooperation of our intelligence, the sharing of sorts in a very open way even when there are differences which are not simple sometimes, I’ve found their support for our defense very stable.” ~ Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel

But what would he know?

8) America is less safe under Obama than ever before. FACT:

3,000 Americans killed by al Qaeda on 9/11, when George W. Bush was president. Zero successful al Qaeda attacks on America under Obama. Do the math.

9) Benghazi is Obama’s 9/11.

FACT: There were 13 attacks on American embassies during the Bush years, resulting in some 100 deaths. But Fox News and their reich-wing cohorts has never mentioned them. Benghazi is something that happened to us, not something the administration did. I’m sorry you haven’t gotten the memo, but Benghazi is just another Fox non-story. Same with the IRS “scandal.”

10) ObamaCare is Obama’s 9/11.

 See #9.

11) Sandy Hook was Obama’s 9/11.

See a shrink.

12) Solyndra!

FACT: Solyndra was a $500 million loan that didn’t pay off. How much is $500 million? That’s how much the Bush administration spent every 18 hours on the Iraq War for five years – an expense no Republican ever complains about. And what was our reward? 4,500 Americans killed, at least 100,000 Iraqis killed, another 2 million Iraqis driven from their homes, the emergence of the Shia awakening, and our reputation in a shambles. Thanks Republicans. And you’re upset about half a billion spent on Solyndra.

13) Iraq is falling to al Qaeda due to Obama’s policies.

FACT: Had we not invaded Iraq in the first place, a war Obama opposed 12 years ago, we wouldn’t be seeing Falluja falling to al Qaeda. And who was it that wrote the timetable for our Iraq exit two years ago? Oh, yeah; the Bush administration. You might just as well blame Obama for Bush’s recession. Oh, wait — you do that too!

14) Obama’s policies are anti-business.

FACT: The Dow Jones when Clinton entered office in January 1993 was at 3,300. When he left office in January 2001: 10,662. Dow Jones when Bush left office in January 2009: 9,034. Dow Jones today: 16,437. The Dow has more than doubled in just the first five years of the Obama administration. Yes…. Businessmen just hate that.

15) Obama’s policies have resulted in massive unemployment.

FACT: When George W. Bush stumbled into office in January 2001, he inherited a 4.3% unemployment rate from Bill Clinton. When he left office 8 years later, the unemployment rate was 9.7% and rising fast. As of today, that number is 6.7%, no thanks to the Republicans in Congress who’ve done everything within their power to sabotage the recovery.

During the eight years under George W. Bush, his policies created just 1 million jobs (with another 2 million in the military). Since Barack Obama was sworn in five years ago, 7.6 million jobs have been created, and there are still three years left in his term. So, nice try.

16) Fast & Furious.

FACT: Another poorly conceived program left over from the Bush administration that the GOP is trying to pin on Obama. Move along.

17) Liberals always try to deflect from Obama’s record by bringing up Bush.

FACT: Wrong-o, Bozo. We just like to rub your noses in your hypocrisy. By intentionally ignoring, or even lying about Bush’s record and focusing instead on the above Fox News lies, you’ve liberated yourselves once again from those pesky facts. So it’s become incumbent upon us to set the record straight. To the contrary, conservatives are always trying to deflect from the failures of the Bush years by telling the aforementioned lies.

18) The deficit has skyrocketed under Obama.

FACT: The budget was balanced when Clinton left office in 2001 (in fact, he left Dubbya with a $300,000,000,000 surplus).

Eight years later, Bush left Obama with a $1,413,000,000,000 deficit and a 9.8% deficit/GDP ratio. Most of which was due to Bush’s deficit-spending on the Iraq War, Medicare Part D and the two tax cuts that largely went to the wealthy.

“Remember what Reagan taught us. Deficits don’t matter.” ~ Dick Cheney.

Since Obama’s election:

  • 2010 — $1,294,000,000,000 8.7% deficit/GDP
  • 2011 — $1,300,000,000,000 8.4% deficit/GDP
  • 2012 — $1,087,000,000,000 6.8% deficit/GDP
  • 2013 — $680,000,000,000 4.1% deficit/GDP
  • 2014 — $560,000,000,000 3.3% deficit/GDP

See a pattern developing? Furthermore, the United States is now producing more oil than we import. Our overall trade deficit is at a four year low, as imported oil continues to decline. GM, Ford and Chrysler are all chugging along nicely, no thanks to a unified Republican/Teabigot party, who were eager to sacrifice 2 million American jobs on their altar of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

The trade gap has fallen 12.9% to $34.3 billion as Obama’s policies have made American products and services more available abroad, while Americans are increasingly buying more domestic products. The trade imbalance is now lower than at any time since the beginning of the recession, and the offshoring of American jobs has (finally) slowed to a trickle.

Our trade gap with China is down 6.7% (largely based on their taste for American cars — see above), our trade gap with Japan is down 8.4% and our trade gap with the European Union has dropped a whopping 29.4%.

Are things perfect? No. There’s still much to be done. But the rumors of Barack Obama’s “failures” have been greatly exaggerated, and it’s time to call these talking points what they are… lies. This president will go down in history as a man who achieved some amazing accomplishments, especially considering the unified opposition he’s had to endure since Day One.

So there you have it Fox News “patriots,” all your talking points shot to hell in one FACT-based document. How do you like them apples, bitches?

Bush: I ‘Get Slightly Emotional’ Talking About Vets (VIDEO)

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He actually managed to shed one tear…just one!

One commenter on TPM said this about “W” and I wholeheartedly agree:

He gets weepy huh – under his Administration FUNDING for vets was CUT! The soldiers fought HIS war without appropriate protective armor and the list goes on and on. The hypocrisy astounds me stop crying those crocodile tears the damage and death is done.

TPM LiveWire

Former President George W. Bush teared up during an interview about veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I have a duty. I obviously get slightly emotional talking about our vets because I have an emotional — I’m in there with them,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz in a segment that aired Sunday on “This Week”. “But my spirit is always uplifted when I visit with vets.”

Bush, who is promoting his initiative to help returning war veterans adjust to civilian life, commended American veterans.

“They don’t say, ‘Woe is me,'” Bush said. “They say, ‘What can I do to continue to serve.'”

Watch the segment via ABC:

Gun rights advocates freak out over ‘No Guns’ sign at singer Toby Keith’s restaurant

Toby Keith via Shutterstock

Wait til they find out he voted for Obama…

The Raw Story

Conservatives and gun activists are in high dudgeon over a sign outside country singer Toby Keith’s new Virginia bar and grill that says “No Guns Permitted.”

According to Washington, DC’s WTOP, the sign has provoked an explosion of outrage online. Many gun rights advocates took to Twitter and other social media to denounce Keith as a “gun hating liberal,” a “fake,” and a “Republican In Name Only” or “RINO.”

“So if ‘no guns are allowed’ I guess that means that police officers that are ‘on duty’ aren’t allowed in for lunch or dinner??” asked Facebook user Connie Hollar Wright on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Who are you guys callin [sic] when you need help???? Good luck with that!”

“Toby is a gun hating liberal. What a fake,” wrote another.

“Won’t go into a Killing zone,” said another commenter with a “Duck Dynasty” avatar, “which is what gun free zones are.”

The restaurant — called I Love This Bar and Grill — opened in Woodbridge, Virginia this week. The state has an open carry law, which allows citizens to openly carry firearms without a license. Businesses, however, reserve the right to ask patrons not to bring their guns inside.

Not everyone disagrees with the rule.

“I think it’s a good thing no guns are permitted in a restaurant,” said Jean Sutts of Woodbridge to WTOP.

Mike Miskin of Suffolk agreed that “alcohol and guns do not mix. I believe that you should be allowed to carry your gun with you but not into a bar.”

A post at right-wing website Breitbart.com protested that, “(o)ne of Toby Keith’s biggest country video hits is ‘Bullets in the Gun.’ It romanticizes carrying a gun.”

Keith has been politically outspoken on a number of topics, but in fact bills himself as a conservative Democrat. He supported President George W. Bush when rival act the Dixie Chicks criticized Bush at the outset of the War in Iraq.

However, in 2008, Keith donated to then-Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for president and spoke out in favor of Obama’s policies in the Middle East.

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Tea Party ‘revolutionary’ Larry Klayman blames Obama for disastrous CNN interview

“It’s Obama’s fault!”

Sorting out the crazies indeed…

The Raw Story

Tea Partier and frequent litigant Larry Klayman said in an interview with World Net Daily on Thursday that he is considering filing a lawsuit against the news network CNN after an embarrassing interview with anchor Don Lemon and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin earlier this week.

Not only did Klayman tell WND head Jerome Corsi that Lemon should be fired for being a “well-known ultra-leftist African-American political activist who pursues a LGBT sexual agenda,” Right Wing Watch reported that the Tea Party leader said that the interview was the culmination of a plot against him by formidable forces.

“What CNN did to me yesterday was a hit piece orchestrated against me by the Obama White House with the direct involvement of the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to discredit me and to turn the public against Judge Leon’s court decision that the NSA is violating Fourth Amendment rights,” Klayman said to Corsi

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon — appointed by George W. Bush — found in favor of a suit by Klayman and fellow right-wing activist Charles Strange alleging that the National Security Agency’s metadata spying program is unconstitutional.

Toobin argued on CNN that while perhaps it’s true that the program is invasive and unconstitutional, a nuisance litigant like Klayman — who has sued, variously, President Barack Obama in a “birther” lawsuit demanding evidence of the president’s birth in Hawaii, the Minneapolis City Pages and the Phoenix Sun-Times, his ex-wife, an Ohio family court officialthe Clinton administration (18 different times) and even his own mother— was a useful tool in a targeted political ruling.

Toobin read from p. 39 of Leon’s ruling, which quoted Klayman as saying, “I think they, the NSA, are messing with me.” The judge wrote that Klayman “then went on to explain that he and his clients had received inexplicable test messages and emails, not to mention a disc, containing a spyware program.”

The legal analyst said that even the judge who granted the suit thinks that Klayman is a victim of “tin-foil hat paranoia” and a “lunatic.”

“He had some fantasy that the NSA was after him,” said Toobin. “This case is not about Larry Klayman. It’s about the metadata program that affects everybody, but the idea that Larry Klayman is the representative is simply outrageous.”

Klayman said on Thursday that all of this is an orchestrated hit on his credibility. 

“This was a Clinton thing as much as it was an Obama thing,” he said, accusing Lemon of being a “shill” for the DNC.

“Obama and the Clintons know this was a key decision, and they don’t want us to have any oxygen,” he said. “The DNC wants to cut me down to size.”

The Obama administration, he said, is carrying out “the worst violation of constitutional rights in America history.”

“The entire segment with me yesterday was structured as a hit piece, designed to bring in CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin whose job was to call me a lunatic even though he appeared not to have read Judge Leon’s decision,” he insisted, and as a result he is contemplating filing a defamation suit against the network.

Earlier this year, Klayman announced at a rally during the government shutdown that a coup was going to sweep President Barack Obama out of office on November 19. Pointing toward the White House, the former Freedom Works leader ordered Obama to “put the Koran down” and “come out with your hands up.”

Klayman’s November 19 “coup” rally, which he promised would bring millions to the capital and send Obama “back to Iran” turned out to be around 130 people carrying signs and voicing various complaints against the Obama administration, from “birthers” to anti-Islam activists like “Ground Zero Mosque” opponent Pamela Geller.

 

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