Tag Archives: George Bush

Dear President Bush: Send More Money !

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush,

Just wanted to let you know that we received the very generous “economic stimulus” check you sent us recently. It was greatly appreciated.

We thank you.

ExxonMobil thanks you.

The oil speculators thank you.

Saudi Arabia thanks you.

(just to name a few)

Oh, I almost forgot… There’s just one problem. It’s all gone. With each visit to the gas station costing $75.00, your check didn’t go as far as we expected. And now, our gas gauge is on empty again.

Please sir, may we have some more ?

Sincerely,

Routing By Rumor

P.S. – Please also send another check to all of the people who have posted comments below.

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“The Iraq War Has Been Won” – A Grammar Lesson In Past, Present and Future Tense

Senator McCain speaking in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday

credit: Associated Press / CNN.com

It has been widely reported that Senator John McCain, while campaigning in Columbus, Ohio this week, announced that “By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won.” Talk about irrational exhuberance.

It’s the most curious statement we’ve seen yet about the war in Iraq. We can’t figure out if it is future tense, past tense, both or neither? Is it wishful thinking, a sign that dementia is setting in, or a slightly premature victory speech from the apparent next President of the United States? And if this is victory, what does defeat look like?

Before John Sidney McCain III makes any long term prognostications, he would be well advised to take a look at what George Bush was saying five years ago, in May of 2003. Mr. Bush spoke under a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” on the deck of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (read CNN article). He spoke of having accomplished victory in Iraq. Not only was that claim untrue then, it’s even further from the truth today, five years, a Presidential term, and 4,000 dead Americans later. And George Bush was speaking in the present tense, which one would think gives him an advantage over the Senator from Arizona. If Mr. Bush could be so wrong, why should anyone put much stock in Senator McCain’s predictions about Iraq?

Perhaps what the Senator was really saying was “just give me four years to clean up this mess”. The fact of the matter is that January, 2013 will likely mark the end of McCain’s tenure, Iraq or no Iraq. If you’re reading this blog in 2013, please leave a comment, telling us whether the prediction President McCain made about Iraq back in 2008 was accurate.

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve felt that John McCain is the only viable candidate at this juncture. Unlike the other major candidates, he is the only true American hero, and the only candidate with what we believe is the prerequisite experience required by the office. But after hearing him hallucinate out loud in Columbus, we are starting to have our doubts.

A sidenote: In doing research about Senator McCain for this article, we stumbled across his page on Dickipedia. That’s right, Dickipedia, not Wikipedia. Absolutely hilarious stuff. Very, very funny. ROFL funny. (Not to be confused with ROFLCAT). Now I know why the World Wide Web was invented. We just hope Dickipedia never creates a RoutingByRumor page.

Q: How do you know when you’ve won a war?

A: It will look something like this…

Japan signs formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945

This is what winning a war looks like. It has all the trappings of a victory (see more here). Unlike what has happened in Iraq, you have an event that clearly signals to the world that it’s over, and who the winner is. No such luck with Iraq. Indeed, we’re no longer fighting a government over there. Who’s going to sit down at the table to sign a formal declaration of surrender?

More than 4,000 of our troops have died so far, and you can be certain that thousands more will die before we find a way to extricate ourselves from Iraq (see “Faces of the Fallen” at The Washington Post). In the words of The Clash, who asked the question “Should I stay or should I go?“, they concluded that “If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double“. Ditto for America’s military involvement in Iraq.

Now, to be fair to Senator McCain, what do you expect him to say? Should he promise to pull out of Iraq the day he becomes President? Should he commit to staying indefinitely? There’s no clear exit strategy for Iraq, and we’re not sure that one is possible. It’s a politician’s worst nightmare.

It is debatable whether we’ve accomplished much of anything over there, and Iraq is much more unstable today than before we invaded. We think that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was preferable to what exists over there now, and there are probably many Iraqis that would agree. Does anyone really believe that we will ever be able to claim victory in Iraq?

Most importantly, is America more secure today than it was before we invaded Iraq?

– Routing By Rumor

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A Lesson From The Bush-Cheney School Of Economics, Washington, DC

Main campus of the Bush-Cheney School of Economics, Washington, DC

<wishful-thinking>

OK class, ready for today’s lesson?

Good …Repeat ten times after me:

We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession. We are not in a recession.

Very good. Now, to recap…

We are not in a recession.

Any questions ?

Yes, the fellow in the back row, go ahead…

“Professor Routing By Rumor, you are repeating the administration’s claims, and telling us that there’s no recession, yet there are signs everywhere you look that tell you otherwise. In fact, Professor, you’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not see proof everywhere that we are indeed in a deep recession, or worse. You know, Professor, denial is not just a river in Egypt !”

I’m the professor here, and there’s no recession because I said there’s no recession. That’s sort of like how it works in Washington, too. All they have to do is adjust the definition of a recession to fit their needs. And for every fact you can produce that proves we’re in a recession, they can dredge up ten that will prove we’re not in a recession. Of course, they haven’t lost touch with reality completely, and they realize that they have to admit to some bad news. So they tell us we’re inching close to a recession, but that the U.S. economy is still healthy. Maybe a tad sluggish, a bit of a downturn, a slight dip perhaps, but not a recession. Definitely not in a recession. Call it anything you like, but don’t call it a recession.

</wishful-thinking>

<reality>

Today, while discussing the latest employment figures, President Bush said “That’s a sign that this economy is not as robust as any of us would like it,”. Saying that the U.S. economy is not as robust as we would like it is like saying the Titanic was not as waterproof as they would have liked it. Mr. Bush wins first prize in the Routing By Rumor understatement of the year contest. He gets two (2) one-way tickets from Washington, DC to Texas, valid until January 20th, 2009. We figured he’d want to take Laura home with him, so we thought the second ticket would be a nice touch. If he wishes to use the tickets sooner, so much the better for the U.S. economy, not to mention the mess in Iraq.

The economy is getting worse on a daily basis. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, layoffs, and downsizings are at record levels. The cost of living is going up at record levels. Gasoline and food prices are increasing daily. We’re starting to see retailers ration some foods. Decent paying jobs with good benefits are becoming harder and harder to find, if they exist at all. The real estate market is in horrific shape. Interest income has evaporated for millions of seniors that depended on it to survive, and you can’t find a good place to invest your money… certainly not Wall Street.

You are probably asking yourself when the administration will start being honest with the American public, so here’s what we believe to be a likely timetable…

It’s a pretty good bet that hell will freeze over before the Bush administration acknowledges a recession.

Expect to see Osama Bin Laden release a video apologizing to America, before George Bush admits what 99% of America already knows.

You will see Cuba become the 51st state before the White House levels with you about the economy.

Chances are that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez will proclaim his love for America before George Bush takes off his rose-colored glasses, and sees the world the way everyone else does.

Iran and Hamas will each profess their love for Israel before you hear the “R” word coming from George’s lips.

Shites and Sunnis will be kissing each other and dancing in the streets of downtown Baghdad, on the same day that the New York Times prints the headline “Bush Says Economy Is In Recession”.

Friends, it just ain’t gonna happen.

</reality>

Oh… and while we’re on the subject of hell freezing over, here’s something you’ll see when that happens.

credit: worth1000.com & talkintrumpeter2

– Routing By Rumor

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What’s Next, Mr. Bernanke… Free Money?

The Federal Reserve surprised a lot of people today, including us, here at RoutingByRumor.

They announced another cut to the target federal funds rate, this time it was 50 basis points, or 1/2% (read the Fed’s announcement, here). That is on top of the 75 basis point or 3/4% emergency cut announced eight days ago. This brings the overnight bank rate down 125 basis points in the past week, to 3.00%. The only member of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee to vote against the latest rate cut was Richard W. Fisher. There’s a black sheep in every herd.

The Fed must be very, very concerned about the economy. But they can’t repeat these tricks forever. Eventually, they will run out of string, and “eventually” is sooner than you may think. Just think about it… Another two cuts like those in the past week, and money will almost be free.

Have you ever come across a vending machine that was set up to dispense product without having to insert any money? You can find these machines in some company cafeterias. I can still remember the time that I accompanied my father on a trip to a company he did business with. I must have been seven or eight years old at the time. That company had such a soda machine. Like any young child, I would push the buttons on every machine I’d come across, trying to get free gumballs, candy, soda or whatever. And don’t forget to check the coin return for some free money. Of course, I had to press every button on this soda machine, too. Every time I’d hit a button, another can of soda would be dispensed. I thought I hit the jackpot. The man who had to put all those soda cans back into the machine was not as amused as I was.

Now, if the Fed keeps lowering the funds rate, we figure that pretty soon, the banks might set up their ATMs to dispense free cash. It would make the kid in me very happy. I could just stand there all day, pressing buttons.

What’s next, banks giving away free toasters, blenders and TV sets? I remember those days too. Actually, I could use a new television, since in February 2009, when broadcasters stop transmitting analog signals, my current televisions will no longer work (at least not without a digital-to-analog converter box). Gee, Mr. Bernanke, maybe this was a great idea after all.

Then again, maybe not.

In fact, maybe black isn’t such a bad color after all. I like black better than red. Black goes with everything.

Maybe following the herd just leads you to the butcher sometimes.

So, they’re making money cheap, which should encourage people to start buying homes again… and cars, and televisions, and computers, and everything else we don’t make here any more.

Who will be hurt the most by these aggressive rate cuts by the Fed?  People on fixed incomes and retirees.  You can’t depend on the stock market these days.  Putting your nestegg into stocks, even if diversified,  is just slightly less dangerous than playing Russian roulette.  Inflation was already outstripping anything you might hope to earn from a bank CD or insured money market account.

With the rate cuts in the past week, bank rates have fallen through the floorboards.  I just checked Bank of America’s website… Putting $10,000.00  into a 1-year CD or a money market account will currently get you an APR of slightly more than 2%.  To add insult to injury, if by some miracle you manage to earn a few dollars in interest, it’s taxable income.  That dismal rate of return is sure to go even lower over the next few weeks and months, especially if there’s another Fed rate cut.  Just a few months ago, 1-year CD rates of 5% were commonplace.

Make no mistake about it.  The faltering stock market and  plummeting interest rates on instruments such as certificates of deposit,  are very bad news indeed.  You will see increasing numbers of elderly Americans, who thought their golden years would be reasonably secure, now faced with loss of their homes, or worse.

Time to start stuffing the mattresses.

bush-at-state-of-union-address-1-28-2008.jpg
President Bush delivering his final State of the Union Address on 1/28/2008

In his State of the Union Address two nights ago (read the full text here), President Bush touched on the need to increase exports. Funny, but I didn’t catch him mentioning the need to limit imports. In fact, President Bush never mentioned the phrases “trade deficit” or “imports” even once during his State of the Union Address. Rather, he said “we are pursuing opportunities to open up new markets by passing free trade agreements“. That’s wonderful. Just what America needs. More jobs going overseas. More cheap imports flooding the U.S. More unemployed American workers. The imbalance between U.S. salaries and those in most foreign countries is so great that we will never be on the winning side of any free trade agreements. Have any free trade agreements we’ve signed in the past resulted in a trade surplus (I think that’s what you’d call the opposite of a trade deficit, but since we never hear the term, I’m not sure that’s correct). Have they ever even resulted in balanced trade?

Thank God for term limits. Could you imagine four more years of this? Our trade deficit is already so lopsided, that unless we put limits on imports, we can never hope to make a dent in the trade deficit.

Cheap money will allow very few people who are at risk to avoid foreclosure on their homes.  For the few it might benefit, our advice is to postpone the celebration, because  cheap money won’t last forever. Maybe until the next election. Then what? Americans who can’t find decent paying jobs will use cheap credit to increase their spending and their debt. Then, when interest rates inevitably rise again, look out. If you think things are bad now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Pity all those families who are convinced that lower interest rates mean that this is now the perfect time to buy a home. If you think there have been a lot of foreclosures recently, just wait a while and see what happens.

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again… If America continues to be flooded with cheap imports that are sucking good paying jobs out of this country, our economy will continue to get worse, no matter how many interest rate cuts the Fed delivers. Can you say “quick fix”?

Wal-Mart might be the biggest employer in America, but they can’t employ all of us. And even if they did, we couldn’t afford to shop there. Minimum wage doesn’t go very far. Especially when you need medical care, and your employer doesn’t provide health coverage.

So thank you, Mr. Bernanke. It was very gracious of you and the Federal Open Market Committee to give America this latest gift. We don’t want to seem ungrateful, but could we exchange the gift for something we really need? Perhaps the creation of good jobs that pay decent wages. Imagine being able to go shopping and actually finding products that say “Made In USA” once again, not to mention having the money to buy those products without going into debt. How quaint.

Thank You.

– Sincerely,

RoutingByRumor

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Filed under Consumerism, Employment, Labor, News, Retail, Routing by Rumor, Shopping, The Economy

Dear President Bush…

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for finally waking up and smelling the coffee regarding the dire condition of the American economy. We were beginning to wonder if you’d ever notice.

Your fellow Americans have certainly noticed. We notice it when we find it increasingly difficult to pay our bills. We notice it when we can’t afford health insurance. We notice it when we can’t find a decent paying job, or any job at all. We notice it when we can’t afford to heat our homes or fill our gas tanks. We notice it when we are laid off. We notice it when food keeps getting more and more expensive. We notice it when more and more of the wealth in America is being concentrated at the very top of the economic ladder, while things are getting worse and worse for the poorest Americans. See our recent blog post entitled “Need Proof That The US Economy Is In Trouble?

How on God’s green Earth could you have missed the signs up until now? Here are just a few of the clearest indications of trouble we think you might have missed…

– Record high energy prices

– Americans unable to heat their homes

– Americans unable to afford health care

– Record numbers of Americans losing their homes

– A depressed real estate market

– The highest inflation rate in decades

– A very troubled job market

– Thousands of mass layoff actions by employers

– America’s almost total inability to enforce it’s borders, and the resultant illegal immigrant and undocumented worker problems

– The loss of most American manufacturing jobs

– America becoming almost totally dependent on China for consumer goods

– A minimum wage that guarantees poverty for millions of American families

– Rampant corporate scandals, from Adelphia, to Brocade, to Enron, to Tyco to Worldcom

– Spending more than $1 TRILLION on the Iraq war (see Washington Post article), with no end in sight

– Americans unable to afford retirement, and worried about a bankrupt Social Security system

Need more proof? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 1,800 mass layoff actions of American workers in November, 2007 alone ! They define a layoff action as an event involving 50 or more (thousands, in many cases) employees at a single employer. That’s a minimum 0f 90,000 workers (probably more like several hundred thousand) losing their jobs in mass layoffs, in November alone. And that’s only counting MASS layoffs, which are the tip of the unemployment iceberg. For instance, the BLS says that almost a half-million more Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed in December 2007 alone !  That’s so hard to believe, we’ll repeat it again…  almost a half-million more Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed in December 2007 alone !

So, Mr.President, I was wondering what finally caught your attention. All of a sudden, your administration is talking about an economic emergency. Plans are being floated to provide assistance to Americans, among them, huge tax rebates and increased unemployment benefits. Your administration is using terms like “immediate” and “robust” to describe the economic stimulus plan you are now formulating. Better late then never.

Could it be that you finally noticed because some of America’s largest financial institutions are now feeling the pinch? Within the last few days financial giants including Citibank and JP Morgan have reported huge losses and impending (or continued) layoffs. It sounds like you may have not been taking the economy seriously until the big boys started hurting. Now, finally, your administration has shifted into crisis mode.

Would you like this American’s two cents worth of advice?

It’s really quite simple. The U.S. economy will not recover unless the hemorrhaging of American manufacturing jobs is halted and reversed. The “service economy” is overrated. The American economy will continue to deteriorate if our dependence on imported goods continues to accelerate.

I’ve already mentioned this in this blog… See if you could get out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now and then, and walk the aisles of the stores. Look at the labels and the packaging. Almost everything we’re buying is made somewhere else, usually in China. That’s our biggest problem. Pass legislation (tariffs, tax breaks, whetever) that will encourage manufacturers to produce their products in the USA.

– Sincerely,

RoutingByRumor

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