Tag Archives: Bush

When the clock strikes midnight

By: Brian Bohnert

As the clock winds down on the Bush presidency, it seems as though our 43rd president is not done putting his ideological stamp on the American political landscape – this time in the form of last minute executive orders and executive rule changes. This article discusses how he has gone about it and about how they plan on making them last far into an Obama presidency.  Last May, White house chief of staff Josh Bolton instructed all of the offices within the cabinet to finalize any recommendations by November 1st.  Why is that date significant?  The rules state that if an order or regulation is finalized within 60 days, before the next president takes over, it can simply be overturned by the new administration by stopping the process.  However, if a regulation has already taken affect by that time, it becomes nearly impossible to overturn it without congressional action.  This guy discusses the process at length:  As a result, the Bush administration has put numerous regulations on the table and it looks might have met the deadline on some of the most egregious ones.  This list is tracking the regulations and indicates that it is business as usual for the Bush team.  Allowing loaded guns into National Parks, easing pollution standards for factories, opening public land for oil shale exploration, easing restrictions on uranium mining and decreasing police surveillance restrictions are only a few of the ideological driven regulations that are in process.  The practice of “midnight regulations” is nothing new but traditionally presidents will implement new regulations (such as Clinton banning two stroke snowmobiles -or “machines” if you’re from Alaska- from Yellowstone) instead of easing old ones.  Most of the rules that Bush is proposing will ease common sense environmental and economic rules.  According to Gary Bass, the executive director of OMB watch, the reason is very clear: 

“This is Bush trying to leave a legacy that supports his ideology. This was very strategic and it was in line of the ideology of the Bush administration which has been to put in place a free market and conservative agenda.” 

To be fair, the Bush adminstration has said that they are not up to anything shifty and responded by saying:

“We are not rushing regulations through at the last minute. We are simply continuing our responsibility of governing until the end of the president’s term,” said White House spokesman Carlton Carroll.

Well forgive me for taking Carroll’s words with a rather large grain of salt as this administration’s past track record is spotty at best.  So how can the Democrats respond?  Ironically, it might be the GOP that will end up giving the tools to the Dems to overturn these last minute rules.  GOP pushed through the “Congressional Review Act” in 1996 for the expressed purpose of stopping Clinton from implementing last minute rules before he left office.  This act allows congress to vote on rule changes that occur within 60 days of the end of the term by having an up or down vote – which has only happened once, when congress overturned an ergonomic workplace rule Clinton pushed for.  However, the political ramifications of this are significant when the Obama team is trying to build a sense of bi-partisanship in the new congress.

That being said, if we take Obama at his word, there will be significant push back against these last minute rules and executive orders.  On the campaign trail, Obama promised in the first 100 days his AG would look at every Bush Executive order and overturn things that look unconstitutional (so, take your pick).  He reiterated his commitment to this promise on 60 minutes and said-much to the chagrin of Mitt Romney – definitively that he plans on closing Gitmo and restricting the use of torture by US forces.  

while some of the regulations will remain due to the political realities of Washington, it is at least encouraging to see a leader take a stand on things he will not be able to easily back away from.  Hopefully, Team Obama can minimize the damage done by Bush on the way out the door.

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Filed under Obama

The Republican 2012 Lineup

By Matt Knipple

            Now that the 2008 Presidential Election is over, it is time for us Republicans to look at who is going to unseat President Obama in 2012 (actually, I think this is very unlikely barring a massive meltdown by the new President).  Republicans have been frantically looking as to who will be our new “savior” and put the Republicans back on the map and give the country some sort of checks and balances since everything is run by the Democrats now (tear).  I have no first hand knowledge of who the Republicans will pick, but here are some candidates that I think will come to mind (whether I agree with them or not).

            The first candidate that I know for a fact has been tossed around in the mix is the one and only, Sarah Palin.  In my opinion, this would be one of the worst choices of all time to run for President.  She clearly already showed that she was probably the worst choice as a choice for Vice President.  She actually, to me, makes George W. Bush seem like he’s on a level of Steven Hawking.  To her credit, she does have an energetic personality and hypes up some people like others cannot.  She also has a pretty solid base that could possibly give her a push in the primaries to be picked (not me). 

Here is a video of the discussion of Sarah Palin throwing in her hat for 2012: 

            The second candidate that I also see as a long shot is Jeb Bush.  Yes, we could have another Bush in office!  He, as Palin, seems to have a base in the right that is very loyal to him and very excited about him.  Here is an older article about the possibility of Jeb running in either 2012 or 2016.  To be honest, I do not know much about the man and how he did as Governor of Florida, but I do not see him winning a Presidential election because of his last name alone.  He could be the second coming of Christ and would not stand a shot because of what W has done. 

            A third, more of a sleeper type candidate, would be the current Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist.  Crist is another guy I do not know a ton about but have heard enough about him to make some sort of impression.  He seems more like a moderate-Conservative, like myself, and could be a good, new, fresh candidate for the Republicans to try to use and get some of the Independent and Democratic vote.  He is not the stereotypical Republican, like Hannity or Limbaugh, but more of a “Maverick” in being more moderate. 

Here is a video for Crist for 2012:

            The most promising candidate for 2012 for the Republicans is Mitt Romney.  People have said the fight for the 2008 Republican nomination is akin to the 1976 fight between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.  The aging, older Gerald Ford fended off Ronald Reagan, who became the face of the Republicans during his presidencies, just like the aging, older John McCain fended off Mitt Romney.  Ford went on to lose to Jimmy Carter just like John McCain went on to lose to Barack Obama.  Mitt Romney is rich and can get a lot of money raised just as Obama did and is very intelligent.  He might be guaranteed to be the nominee in 2012 if he so chooses. 

            Here is a final video made by somebody that includes many more people that he thinks can win the presidency for the Republicans in 2012:

            I’m not sure any of these people, like I said earlier, could dethrone Obama unless he completely screws up or for some reason does not run for President in 2012 but I thought I’d just go over some prospective candidates.

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Filed under American Electorate, McCain, Obama, Palin, Party Conventions, Republican

What will they think of next, again?

By Steven Dell

The poll numbers are slipping and what can he do about it. While you may think I am talking about John McCain I am actually referring to the public approval rating of George W. Bush. Recent opinion polls have him clocking in at a whopping 24% approval. To give you a feeling as to how low that is Nixon’s approval was at 23% when he was FORCED to resign.

So what does this have to do with the campaign? Well the obvious answer is that the “R” after Bush’s name is drastically different then the “D” after Obama’s name. For that fact alone Obama should be able to win the election without even campaigning, but then why is his lead in national polls not more of a blowout? Are there some people still not ready to let an African American in the Whitehouse, or are there still different issues that Americans are wrestling with?

It seems to be in the last few days the McCain camp has decided to take a turn south. The talking points and the stump speeches seem to go towards a negative light. This kind of campaigning is usually reserved for the last couple weeks of the race but we are seeing it a bit more now. Does this type of mud slinging work? The simple answer would be yes because if it didn’t they wouldn’t do it. And the fact that the polls are showing Obama up by a slight margin anywhere from 5 to 8 points and the lead is seeming to grow. So what is an unpopular party to do with their candidate? (this is a long clip start at 1:25 to get the idea)

If you listen to these guys Obama must be a terrorist. But has Obama ever been a part of an organization that has terrorist roots? The evidence doesn’t seem to support that and yet the campaign message still makes it to the American public. Yes Obama has worked with Bill Ayers and even lives in the same neighborhood as the man, who by the way was awarded a citizen of the year award in Chicago in 1997 for an education project, but does that mean that he is a terrorist? Guilt by association I guess, but that seems to be where the reasoning seems to end.

Who exactly is Bill Ayers? He did belong to a radical group in the 60’s and 70’s known as the weather underground. This group was considered a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI. There was some illegally obtained evidence that linked Ayers to bombings where no people were hurt. All charges were dropped though. He is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois Chicago, and is active in education projects throughout Chicago. Mayor Daly has said

There are a lot of reasons that Americans are angry about Washington politics. And one more example is the way Senator Obama’s opponents are playing guilt-by-association, tarring him because he happens to know Bill Ayers.

I also know Bill Ayers. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally-renowned school reform program. He is a nationally-recognized distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois/Chicago and a valued member of the Chicago community.

I don’t condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40 year old battles.

So the point is that the McCain campaign is doing what they feel is in their best interest to win this race. The numbers aren’t that going that well for them, and if they stick with the issues they seem to lose almost every time.  The result is swift boat politics to use the vernacular. You and I may feel it is wrong but the point is to get the undecided over to their side.  It really is too bad when the defamation has long since been disproved and yet it is still used.

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Filed under Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Republican

GOP agents of change

The GOP has been pretty lousy this election cycle in checking records who said what. McCain, who’s been trying to run away from Bush’s presidency, sounds pretty similar to him as of 8 years ago. This clip form the Daily show showcases that pretty well.

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Filed under McCain, Party Conventions, Republican