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  1. #1
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Default What kind of person was Bush as a student?

    His former Harvard Business School professor recalls George W. Bush not just as a terrible student but as spoiled, loutish and a pathological liar.
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    By Mary Jacoby
    (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/20...umi/print.html)


    Sept. 16, 2004 | For 25 years, Yoshi Tsurumi, one of George W. Bush's professors at Harvard Business School, was content with his green-card status as a permanent legal resident of the United States. But Bush's ascension to the presidency in 2001 prompted the Japanese native to secure his American citizenship. The reason: to be able to speak out with the full authority of citizenship about why he believes Bush lacks the character and intellect to lead the world's oldest and most powerful democracy.

    "I don't remember all the students in detail unless I'm prompted by something," Tsurumi said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect -- the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite." The future president was one of 85 first-year MBA students in Tsurumi's macroeconomic policies and international business class in the fall of 1973 and spring of 1974.
    Tsurumi was a visiting associate professor at Harvard Business School from January 1972 to August 1976; today, he is a professor of international business at Baruch College in New York.

    Trading as usual on his father's connections, Bush entered Harvard in 1973 for a two-year program. He'd just come off what George H.W. Bush had once called his eldest son's "nomadic years" -- partying, drifting from job to job, working on political campaigns in Florida and Alabama and, most famously, apparently not showing up for duty in the Alabama National Guard.
    Harvard Business School's rigorous teaching methods, in which the professor interacts aggressively with students, and students are encouraged to challenge each other sharply, offered important insights into Bush, Tsurumi said. In observing students' in-class performances, "you develop pretty good ideas about what are their weaknesses and strengths in terms of thinking, analysis, their prejudices, their backgrounds and other things that students reveal," he said.

    One of Tsurumi's standout students was Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., now the seventh-ranking member of the House Republican leadership. "I typed him as a conservative Republican with a conscience," Tsurumi said. "He never confused his own ideology with economics, and he didn't try to hide his ignorance of a subject in mumbo jumbo. He was what I call a principled conservative."
    (Though clearly a partisan one. On Wednesday, Cox called for a congressional investigation of the validity of documents that CBS News obtained for a story questioning Bush's attendance at Guard duty in
    Alabama.)

    Bush, by contrast, "was totally the opposite of Chris Cox," Tsurumi said. "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him."
    When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, "Oh, I never said that."
    A White House spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment.

    In 1973, as the oil and energy crisis raged, Tsurumi led a discussion on whether government should assist retirees and other people on fixed incomes with heating costs. Bush, he recalled, "made this ridiculous statement and when I asked him to explain, he said, 'The government doesn't have to help poor people -- because they are lazy.' I said, 'Well, could you explain that assumption?' Not only could he not explain it, he started backtracking on it, saying, 'No, I didn't say that.'"

    If Cox had been in the same class, Tsurumi said, "I could have asked him to challenge that and he would have demolished it. Not personally or emotionally, but intellectually."

    Bush once sneered at Tsurumi for showing the film "The Grapes of Wrath," based on John Steinbeck's novel of the Depression. "We were in a discussion of the New Deal, and he called Franklin Roosevelt's policies 'socialism.' He denounced labor unions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security, you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either ideologically, polemically or academically."

    Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. "In class, he couldn't challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."

    Many of Tsurumi's students came from well-connected or wealthy families, but good manners prevented them from boasting about it, the professor said. But Bush seemed unabashed about the connections that had brought him to Harvard. "The other children of the rich and famous were at least well bred to the point of realizing universal values and standards of behavior," Tsurumi said. But Bush sometimes came late to class and often sat in the back row of the theater-like classroom, wearing a bomber jacket from the Texas Air National Guard and spitting chewing tobacco into a cup.

    "At first, I wondered, 'Who is this George Bush?' It's a very common name and I didn't know his background.
    And he was such a bad student that I asked him once how he got in. He said, 'My dad has good friends.'"
    Bush scored in the lowest 10 percent of the class.

    The Vietnam War was still roiling campuses and Harvard was no exception. Bush expressed strong support for the war but admitted to Tsurumi that he'd gotten a coveted spot in the Texas Air National Guard through his father's connections.

    "I used to chat up a number of students when we were walking back to class," Tsurumi said. "Here was Bush, wearing a Texas Guard bomber jacket, and the draft was the No. 1 topic in those days. And I said, 'George, what did you do with the draft?' He said, 'Well, I got into the Texas Air National Guard.' And I said, 'Lucky you. I understand there is a long waiting list for it.
    How'd you get in?' When he told me, he didn't seem ashamed or embarrassed. He thought he was entitled to all kinds of privileges and special deals. He was not the only one trying to twist all their connections to avoid Vietnam. But then, he was fanatically for the war."

    Tsurumi told Bush that someone who avoided a draft while supporting a war in which others were dying was a hypocrite. "He realized he was caught, showed his famous smirk and huffed off."

    Tsurumi's conclusion: Bush is not as dumb as his detractors allege. "He was just badly brought up, with no discipline, and no compassion," he said. In recent days, Tsurumi has told his story to various print and television outlets and appears in Kitty Kelley's
    (http://www.salon.com/books/int/2004/...ley/index.html)
    expose' "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty." He said other professors and students at the business school from that time share his recollections but are afraid to come forward, fearing ostracism or retribution. And why is Tsurumi speaking up now?
    Because with the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq and Osama bin Laden still on the loose -- not to mention a federal deficit ballooning out of control -- the stakes are too high to remain silent. "Obviously, I don't think he is the best person" to be running the country, he said. "I wanted to explain why."
    - - - - - - - - - - - -

    About the writer
    Mary Jacoby is Salon's Washington correspondent.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    YAWN....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  3. #3
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    YAWN....
    That is exactly how I felt about the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush er...truth.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    I am really going to trust someone who waited 25 years to get their citizenship. Sound like a louse to me.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    YAWN....

    SNORE


    I am really going to trust someone who waited 25 years to get their citizenship. Sound like a louse to me.
    Ditto!
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    BLAH...BLAH...BLAH!

    Made it to the second paragraph.

    Tillerman25 - w/you on that!
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  7. #7
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Intersting how the actions of Kerry after Vietnam are irrelevant, but the actions of Bush are OK. Your hipocracy continues.

    Some interesting points made in the article, but where was he when Bush was running for governor, or when Bush was running in 2000?
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

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  8. #8
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    All of your responses were hysterically predictable.

    There are so many Kerry bashing threads in this forum I have lost track.

    And all of your reactions to this article regarding a detractor of Bush's I could easily say about the detractors of Kerry.

    It's not a great leap of imagination to picture young Bush wearing his leather jacket around campus trying to pass himself off as some Top Gun fighter jock.

    And again. We were told during the Clinton years it was important to know the past of a person's life because character counts. Now all of a sudden we discover Bush wasn't quite wholesome in his younger days and it shouldn't matter.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  9. #9
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Never said it didn't matter, just said you were being hipocritical because you said that the actions of Kerry when he returned from Vietnam were of no consequence, but now Bush's actions are of consequence.

    You aks for one standard but stoop to another one that is usually lower.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  10. #10
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DaSharkie
    Never said it didn't matter, just said you were being hipocritical because you said that the actions of Kerry when he returned from Vietnam were of no consequence, but now Bush's actions are of consequence.

    You aks for one standard but stoop to another one that is usually lower.
    I've never said Kerry's actions were of no consequence. I have said that if Kerry's actions were to be as highly scrutinized from that part of his life, why aren't Bush's receiving the same treatment.

    Sorry if you misunderstood.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    I've never said Kerry's actions were of no consequence. I have said that if Kerry's actions were to be as highly scrutinized from that part of his life, why aren't Bush's receiving the same treatment.
    I just don't see how you can think Kerry is somehow getting slammed for what he did and the President is getting a pass?!?

    Way back in 1999, the Washington Post did a story on President Bush's school years .

    Let's not forget the DUI November surprise that was played as a last minute ambush card (even though the press had it for a while) or the National Guard horse that has been beat so bad now (starting before the 2000 election) that the 'content of the CBS memos' matters - that they're fake isn't supposed to be important.

    Since we're talking academics in this thread, here's a little google challenge. Find me John Kerry's Yale transcript or his SAT scores. Not a blog that speculates or an article that hints at, but actual transcripts with grades. You'll have no problem finding either for President Bush.

    Military, medical, and academic records for President Bush are openly available. John Kerry's are under lock and key - I wonder why. If the situation were reversed, the mainstream press would be in an unimaginable frenzy. Someone's getting a pass here, but it ain't the President. What has the left in such a quandry is that conservatives now have voices outside the mainstream and one inside it that can call BS be heard by the masses, even when the BS comes from 60 minutes. They (the left) simply don't know how to react to a penlight shined in their dark corners. The right can handle it because we've lived and even thrived under the mainstream's halogens for years.

    You can hate the President and attack his policies, history, or record all you want. It is public, open for debate, and (in the case of a stolen wreath) sometimes regretable but don't try to play some weak "they're picking on Kerry" junk.

    That dog just won't hunt.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber latigo's Avatar
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    Default Sc. please...

    Stop now. You are embarassing yourself and making all liberals look bad. You have spouted off about "bootstepping" and called liberals whackos long enough. Then you cry about being called a pinko commie, which I haven't seen here. Yes, you were called a clown. Get over it. You are not influencing anyone to support Kerry, you are hurting him. This latest post of yours is nothing short of pathetic. My eyes are bleeding from reading your regurgitation of the Democratic party line. It is painful to see someone spanked so thoroughly, but who refuses to move on.

    I still like my favorite quote, "A man over 30 who is a liberal has no brain, a man under 30 who isn't has no heart." So, looking forward to your 30th birthday?
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

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  13. #13
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by latigo
    I still like my favorite quote, "A man over 30 who is a liberal has no brain, a man under 30 who isn't has no heart." So, looking forward to your 30th birthday?

    Oh please. Do you believe I'm actually concerned about your churlish words or anyone elses for that matter? Watching conservatives come unglued after I've thrown a grenade into the crowd is the most fun I've had since I pulled 10 bluegill out of a lake when I was 12. I have never seen so many whiners and complainers in one place in my life. Conservatives in the fire service crack me up. They continually want more and better and somehow believe conservative politicians are their friends. In CA the previous Gov signed 60 pieces of legislation favoring FF's. Then they voted to recall him after they received little things like numerous presumption legislation (which the new Governor is going to try and overturn) and 3% @ 50 retirement. Which btw gave them the pension of a millionaires portfolio. They railed against Gray Davis, but none of them are refusing or giving back any of the benefits they received during his tenure. Davis did more for firefighters in 5 years than his two REP predecessors did in 16 years. And to top it off the newest Gov just vetoed half a dozen bills that were spawned from recommendations from his own Blue Ribbon Commission after last year's fire storms.

    In his veto comments, Ahnold states, "It is critically important for us to ensure that California is well-prepared for fighting wild land fires."

    Having come out of Hollywood I guess he believes that preparation will be written into the script and it will happen.

    And here are a couple of my favorite quotes.

    "I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends...that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."
    --Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

    "The Republicans are the party that says government doesnít work and then they get elected and prove it." --P.J. O'Rourke

    And the only one who should really be embarrassed is Bush. His performance last night was abysmal at best. The leader of the free world proves he can barely put together a simple sentence when asked to do so when it hasn't been written for him by someone else.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    And the performance of Kerry was equally abysmal -- for he showed while he is much more articulate, that articulateness is used to cover his weathervane-in-the-wind ideas.

    We *MUST* have an international coalition to handle Iraq.
    We *MUST* do it alone and engage in bilateral negotiations with North Korea.

    Which is it...do coalitions matter? What is is his core belief here? Why does he feel it's so important to have an international summit on Iraq, while we must abandon multi-party talks to do it alone on North Korea? There is *no* nation on earth that has a single iota of the influence on North Korea that China has and it is absolutely the key. For Kerry to urge bi-lateral talks puts his entire agenda into the open like the flopping fish you mentioned, not one of reason, but one of political point-gathering (Well, if Bush did it that way and he's always wrong, I say we must do it a different way...). Kerry's record over the years doesn't speak of reason and changing points of view with maturity and new facts as much as it speaks to following what it popular at the moment with his political supporters -- but he's able to wrap it in a very articulate, authorative sounding voice and make it seemed "reasonable" when it's not.

    Yes, he can make it sound good, but what does he mean?

    And that, to me, is Kerry's biggest weakness. Everytime he starts to make sense, he keeps on talking, and if you critically think about what he just said, you end up going, "Didn't he just contradict himself?"

    ============
    Oh, and SC -- to your bewilderment why some people in the Fire Service are Republicans and act conservatively, it's the same bewilderment when Democrats can't understand how they lost the South "after all they done for those people" through things like the TVA. If people don't like the direction government is going, they will vote against it despite any tax-payer funded bribery sent their way.

    As citizens, we often have conflicting needs/desires/goals/resources and we have to fumble our way through it to find reasonable compromise -- sure I'd like more money for my fire company...but I also don't want my taxes to go up. There's a fundemental conflict there and how people resolve it is one of the conditions we live in. I'm completely opposed to federal funding of local fire protection in the form of programs like the Fire Act, but I'll do whatever it takes to get that money -- my taxes -- back from Washington and back into the local community where they belonged in the first place. And that's probably not a dissimiliar attitude to many of the conservative union members out there -- they want government growth to be contained and they'll vote that way, but they'll also use their union strength to get the biggest piece of that limited pie they can.
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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Which is it...do coalitions matter
    Dal, I have to agree with you there. I had very similar thoughts during the debate last night. Isn't the hunt for Osama also turned into more of a coalition than the US alone? But then Kerry mentions the US should not have let others help and gone after him itself? He then says we should have used more diplomacy in Iraq and then chastises GB for not going after N.Korea and/or Iran with military and using diplomacy instead. Yes, Kerry came across as a better speaker last night, but the content was still shaky.

    This debate did not make me change my mind.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  16. #16
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Oh, and SC -- to your bewilderment why some people in the Fire Service are Republicans and act conservatively, it's the same bewilderment when Democrats can't understand how they lost the South "after all they done for those people" through things like the TVA. If people don't like the direction government is going, they will vote against it despite any tax-payer funded bribery sent their way.

    As citizens, we often have conflicting needs/desires/goals/resources and we have to fumble our way through it to find reasonable compromise -- sure I'd like more money for my fire company...but I also don't want my taxes to go up. There's a fundemental conflict there and how people resolve it is one of the conditions we live in. I'm completely opposed to federal funding of local fire protection in the form of programs like the Fire Act, but I'll do whatever it takes to get that money -- my taxes -- back from Washington and back into the local community where they belonged in the first place. And that's probably not a dissimiliar attitude to many of the conservative union members out there -- they want government growth to be contained and they'll vote that way, but they'll also use their union strength to get the biggest piece of that limited pie they can.
    I'll actually believe that when I see the conservatives start giving back some of the 'bribery' (your word, not mine) they achieved.

    I always get a hoot out of the conservatives in my dept who complain about liberals and how business unfriendly the state has become but start crying like babies when they believe the dept is screwing the over. Or better when the dept starts jerking them around because of injuries on the job, the first thing they do is hire an attorney. Amazing how they all bash trial lawyers till they need one.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    'bribery' (your word, not mine)

    Yes it is. Damn proud of it.

    From merriam-webster.com:

    Bribe
    2 : something that serves to induce or influence

    While it's use here may be a bit harsher then it's normal usage, it's still accurate -- Democrats wondering why money given to people in liberal (in terms, not political connotation) contracts or in social welfare programs isn't influencing the receipients to vote for them.

    There's legitimate government expenditures -- whether it's good compensation to attract employees (and as a general rule I favor fewer but well-compensated gov't employees), or investments that improve the overall economy (things like paved highways), even federal insurance to manage risk and make entrepeneurship more likely -- stuff like guaranteeing student loans, flood insurance, and backstopping private insurers against catastrophic losses. And there's things that are just plain good things to do -- whether it's monuments or National Parks -- that wouldn't happen otherwise.

    Unfortunately there's also government spending above and beyond what is necessary and done so specifically to entice certain groups to vote for them. Republicans do it too, especially in recent years. While I use "liberal & conservative", better terms are Left & Right -- especially for the Republicans in power today in Washington, they're more Right than Conservative, because the Right enjoys using government power and expanding it...something conservatives do not, while many of their other ideologies do line up.

    I don't know the history behind the 3% @ 55 -- was California having a problem attracting and retaining sufficient public safety employees that they needed to increase pay and/or benefits to do so? Was the old 2.5% pension insufficient so you had people working past the age of 55 to add some more years of service (and as a corrollary increasing injury rates and/or keeping more people maxed out at pay grade on duty instead of replacing them with younger, lower pay grade employees?) Or was it a "thank-you" for political support? I don't know, but if it was for one of the first two reasons I don't see why someone would feel it should influence a vote -- it was done to meet governmental needs.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    'bribery' (your word, not mine)

    I don't know the history behind the 3% @ 55 -- was California having a problem attracting and retaining sufficient public safety employees that they needed to increase pay and/or benefits to do so? Was the old 2.5% pension insufficient so you had people working past the age of 55 to add some more years of service (and as a corrollary increasing injury rates and/or keeping more people maxed out at pay grade on duty instead of replacing them with younger, lower pay grade employees?) Or was it a "thank-you" for political support? I don't know, but if it was for one of the first two reasons I don't see why someone would feel it should influence a vote -- it was done to meet governmental needs.
    First of all. It's 3% @ 50. Not 55. And since its inception, it has been pilloried constantly by every conservative group conceivable. The terms 'greedy' and 'usurious' are tossed around quite well, liberally.

    So if you can find one conservative group out there willing to support this issue, I might change my affiliation.

    As far as the difference between conservatives and the Right. You might have a point. The irony of your contention regarding the shrinking of govt is a bit off. Govt as a percent of GDP was lower during the Clinton years than either Bush or Reagan administrations. Clearly, conservatives have lost their way.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by scfire86



    As far as the difference between conservatives and the Right. You might have a point. The irony of your contention regarding the shrinking of govt is a bit off. Govt as a percent of GDP was lower during the Clinton years than either Bush or Reagan administrations. Clearly, conservatives have lost their way.
    That is because the GOP took over the Congress two years into Clinton's first term and slowed down spending and balanced the budget. Congress is the true control over spending, not the White House. The government was shut down when Clinton tried to keep spending high. You can thank Newt, Bob Dole, and Dick Armey for the balanced budgets of the 90's a lot more then you can give Clinton any credit.

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
    That is because the GOP took over the Congress two years into Clinton's first term and slowed down spending and balanced the budget. Congress is the true control over spending, not the White House. The government was shut down when Clinton tried to keep spending high. You can thank Newt, Bob Dole, and Dick Armey for the balanced budgets of the 90's a lot more then you can give Clinton any credit.
    Then I guess we can blame the GOP led Congress for slashing defense spending and making us vulnerable to terrorists and for the recession inherited by Bush in Jan '01.

    You got me.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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