Obama's Buses Ordered Last Year. Why?

Glenn Reynolds and Ed Morrissey are writing about the completely out-of-touch optics coming forth from a White House, that — despite the president’s much vaunted, 3-day “listening” tour of the heartland — appears to be staffed with aliens from another galaxy, who really don’t understand why these earthlings aren’t loving their shtick.

Reynold’s notes that Matt Drudge is having enormous fun with these spaceman optics, where text and visuals make the messages clear to all but the president:

That was this morning. Now, if you check Drudge, he’s featuring this picture, which I actually love, because it’s colorful, the kids are adorable, and the president looks relaxed and happy:

But the headlines blaring all around the picture? Black Caucus Tired of Making Excuses for Obama and Waters slams Bus Tour; “he’s not in any black community”.

You read the headlines, you look at the picture and eventually you realize, “oh yeah…those kids are all white.” Not a helpful juxtaposition of word and image, for the president.

Of course, it’s not Drudge’s job to be helpful, but that stuff — plus multiple links about the luxury buses Obama (okay, we taxpayers) bought from Canada, bad housing news (about which he may not be so broken up) and the president’s apparent dismissal of concerns expressed by those to whom he is supposed to be “listening” — taken all-in-all, it’s a very bad day for the White House; a punch to the solar plexus delivered repeatedly by one hugely-read internet page.

But my question is about those buses.



As Seinfeld
might say, “what is the story with these buses” which “the Secret Service Ordered last summer” and were delivered two months ago?

Why? Who asked them to order these buses?

I mean, were these buses always meant to be a taxpayer-funded mode of transport for Candidate Obama? Because that’s sort of what it seems like. Presidents don’t generally do the whistle-stop campaign thing on the public dime, and up to now, no president has needed a bus for official business.

Could the president have imagined he’d be in terrible trouble, poll-wise and debt-wise by now, and in need of a bus to take him into America’s “heartland” for a bit of damage-control? No, that’s just dumb.

Nothing about Obama and the Missus has suggested that they would have been planning a summer vacation spent “seeing the USA in their Chevrolet”, so to speak. Or, even in their Canada-built Luxury Bus.

So, I guess the buses were bought for Candidate Obama’s campaigning stops. And clearly, that’s what they were used for these past three days. Breaking-in the buses, for the Big Push.

As one of the purchasers of the bus, I hope he found it comfy. He would have done better, I think, actually taking his wife and daughters on a real sight-seeing trip through America.

To be fair, I understand how unfeasible such a trip would actually be. A president showing his daughters America — from Falling Waters to Mount Rushmore, with a pass through Wall Drug — would have been a headache to secure. And in the end, it might have seemed hokey and fake — certainly it would not be as exclusive, tony and deluxe as ten days on Martha’s Vineyard hanging with the ultra-rich.

But the optics would have been so much more helpful
, and not just to Obama. The visuals might be enormously helpful for those wondering whether this president — who seems to spin within his own lonely, distant planet — even likes us very much.

Some tape of Barack and Michelle Obama, showing Sasha and Malia the evidence of America’s imaginative, innovative can-do days of yore, and then getting on their bus to . . . pass through town after town of closed factories, empty warehouses and shuttered businesses.

Alright, maybe those visuals wouldn’t help anyone, after all.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • lethargic

    Obama is lovin’ that absurd high-speed rail so hard … he should tour America by rail … and a hat and cigarette holder would only add to his image symbolism …

  • Laura

    It’s rather curious that this President must have what no other President has ever needed before, a super-deluxe campaign bus — paid for by taxpayers right at a time when we’re trying to tighten our belts. And its construction didn’t even provide jobs to Americans! All the way around this Does Not Compute.

    Best wishes,
    Laura

  • Teresa

    I saw Maxine Waters complaining to an audience in Detroit that Obama never visits black neighborhoods. Well he can’t bus to Detroit because it looks like a war zone and the Obama-loving mainstream media would not like to broadcast those scenes. As well, 36% of children in Detroit are growing up in households where no adult is employed. The same is true in many urban areas these days (Philadelphia, Watts, Harlem, etc). He can’t campaign in Washington, D. C. because 50% of teenagers there are unemployed. So he must go to bucolic little towns in the midwest where the backgrounds are nicely correographed. Poor Maxine doesn’t realize that it does not matter, African Americans will vote for him no matter what he does or doesn’t do.

  • The FatMan

    As to the picture of Obama and the school kids:
    I have no problem with a black president in a pic with all white kids…I have no problem with a white president being in a pic with all black kids…I do think it’s funny that a half white president gets grief for being in a pic with kids who make up fifty percent of his background.

  • Karen

    So, should they have flown in a few african-american kids, along with a few hispanic, asian, and muslim children so the picture looked more PC? This is the face of that community. The heartland was settled more by Irish, German and Norwegian farmers. I live in a small bedroom community and 30 yrs ago there were 3 african-american students in my graduating class of about 300. The african-american influx from the South generally went to the large cities, not small farming communities. The face of my town is changing, and that’s a good thing. But small farming communities are still mainly filled with the progeny of those first settlers.

  • Joseph Marshall

    pass through town after town of closed factories, empty warehouses and shuttered businesses.

    You don’t seem to have noticed, but they’ve been there for over 20 years, back when you were under 30 and I was well under 40. The man who was President back then is now well over 80.

    If you’d like to learn a little more, there’s a fine film about it made back in 1989 called “Roger & Me”. You can find a synopsis here:

    http://dogeatdog.michaelmoore.com/synopsis.html

    It will also catch you up on why its been happening.

  • James

    Joseph, I want to apologize to you for any ill feelings that may have come out of our last debate. It was never my intention to suggest that you should leave this site.

    I was making a generalized statement (a request actually) to the more Liberal Catholics in this country who are trying to fundamentally change the Roman Catholic Church rather than adhere to the precepts they don’t understand or outright reject. I’m sorry if I didn’t communicate that more clearly.

    Because we subscribe to such diametrically opposing ideologies we will probably never agree on many topics. Nevertheless, that does not excuse my lack of manners and common courtesy towards you. It’s all too easy to get caught up in such debates, and I often find that my motives are borne out of animosity rather than Christian humility and compassion. Make no mistake about it, it’s taken it’s toll on me; I’ve felt a spiritual darkness and an emptiness after all of these heated exchanges. The Holy Spirit stirs restlessly inside a soul heavy with guilt.

    We will probably have other disagreements in the future. Such is the volatile nature of political and religious discourse. But I will do my best to not let my passions get the better of my heart, because at the end of it all, we are all just trying to find our way.

    Besides, I like you Joseph, and I respect you.

    Again, I sorry.

    Sincerely, James

  • James

    That should have been “I AM sorry”

    It’s difficult to face your faults and not get a bit nervous and sloppy in the process.

  • Greta

    Joseph, sorry, you have to go back further to discover where things started going wrong in many communities. It goes right to the heart of the liberal thought process of creating massive regulations that make it hard for any company to compete. When you combine big government and its associated costs and regulatory impact, growing federal spending, support of labor unions who seem to care less if the company can survive with their idiotic demands, and the democratic supported lawyers who want to sue for everything possible driving up costs of doing business, you are a perscription for massive problems. You could add to that massive benefits given to those who do not work and its associated costs to the employer as well as blocking any improvement or competition in our public school system. While Republicans have screwed up a few things as well, they pale in comparison to what the democrats have done to employers over the decades.

    Karen, the simple fact that Obama did not have one of each kind of kid in the picture shows how tone deaf he is even to the standard Political Correctness of his own party. That is the point of this post and why Maxine is so upset. Barry must have missed that class in PC being raised by his racist white grandma and hanging out around all white folks most of his life. Ever notice the composition of those who hold any real power in his administration? W. Bush had as many if not more African Americans in high profile positions than Barry.

    I use to think it was hard defending W. Bush on some things, but defending Obama and his team must make even his most loyal kool aid drinkers turn purple.

  • Joseph Marshall

    Make no mistake about it, it’s taken it’s toll on me; I’ve felt a spiritual darkness and an emptiness after all of these heated exchanges. The Holy Spirit stirs restlessly inside a soul heavy with guilt.

    James I don’t in the least want something like that to happen. I think Catholics should lighten up a little on themselves and each other. Everybody carries their own quantity of sin, everybody is going to disagree with what some of their fellow Catholics think, and, probably, everybody has or will run into a Church doctrine that gives them real problems.

    But you have a system: confess your sins and repent them, ask for forgiveness, and then go back to Mass. If all of you just do this, put any doctrine that gives you trouble into the pending file for further work, and reflect that God’s forgiveness is for everybody, whether or not they have goofy ideas, I think you could sit back, relax, and enjoy your religion.

    Anybody who has a religion ought to enjoy it as well as have faith in it. I certainly enjoy mine. And I’d love to see you enjoy yours.

  • argh

    The heartland had way more black people, but they were driven out by white americans early in the 20th century. It’s a myth that blacks only went to the large cities. They farmed too, when they weren’t driven out in the 10s, 20s and 30s.

  • James

    Thank you Joseph.

  • Joseph Marshall

    but defending Obama and his team must make even his most loyal kool aid drinkers turn purple.

    That only happens when the Kool-Aid is grape. But I can tell you one thing that makes Democrats different. We’re just as concerned with electing the right President as we are about defeating the wrong President.

    If the current situation were reversed, many, if not most, Democrats would already have a candidate of interest, if not a candidate of choice, and would be involved on some level or other with that candidate, even if only watching out for them on the TV news.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much time Conservatives spend dissing Obama and how little time evaluating their own contenders. I was too sick to participate much in the 2008 election, but in August 2004 I was already involved with the Howard Dean campaign.

    I’d like to think that Conservatives really cared about who represents them in elections. That’s an important thing for democracy as a whole. But I really don’t get that much help.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    “It never ceases to amaze me how much time Conservatives spend dissing Obama and how little time evaluating their own contenders.”

    It’s part of the hermeneutic of subtraction. It is relatively easy for a person to chip away at the heroes of the day: those one envies (like celebrities or athletes) or one’s ideological opponents (like politicians or other people of faith).

  • Carol

    “this president — who seems to spin within his own lonely, distant planet”

    That phrase is wonderful and so insightful of this man–I guess that’s why you’re a writer!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Todd, Joseph, seriously—Republicans do evaluate their own contenders. (I consider myself more of a “Conservative” than a “Republican”, by the way.)

    But, because you don’t approve of any of them (or Republicans in general), you think we’re not evaluating any of them properly. Face it, whoever’s picked as the Republican nominee, they won’t just be an Obama clone—which is really all that most progressive candidates want—and you won’t approve of them, no matter who they are, or what they do.

    Because you’re so heavily invested in Obama, you just can’t accept the fact that some of us really don’t think he’s doing a very good job.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    As for getting information from a Michael Moore movie—um, thanks, but I’ll pass on that one.

  • Andy

    To be honest I find all candidates from either party wanting – the key seems to be who can fire up the “base” and then translate that into being elected, not who speaks for the country. None of the candidates speak for what the country needs – we really do need a third and a fourth political party to take the power away from two groups who don’t give a damn about the “common man”, but do cater to their owners – big business and corporations.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd Flowerday

    Actually, Mr Suderman, I happen to agree with you: Mr Obama is not doing a good job.

    It is an extreme fault among many closer to the ideological extremes (both left and right) that anyone who does not think like them must automatically align with their number one adversary.

    I frequently vote for and support non-Democrats for public office. But admittedly, I probably vote Dem more than GOP.

    The point of my post is that many conservatives seem to have imbibed deeply of the Culture of Criticism more than they seem interested in building up support for a particular conservative candidate, then back her or him to the hilt. That may represent a strong strain of dissatisfaction with the crop of political leaders the major parties seem to offer us. I feel your pain. Which is why I often consider third party candidates more seriously than political partisans would.

    I would urge greater discretion when attempting to understand people who are not-conservative. If they are indeed your ideological enemies, you would do much better to get better “intelligence” on them, rather than assume we’re all cardboard cutouts of what lurks under a child’s bed at night. You may find yourself being drastically outmaneuvered someday all because you failed to understand the fullness of the American political current.

  • Joseph Marshall

    But, because you don’t approve of any of them (or Republicans in general), you think we’re not evaluating any of them properly.

    If you all are evaluating them, you sure aren’t doing it here. I haven’t given that much thought to them besides the occasional bout of annoyance at some instance of being fact challenged, or some bout of amusement at things like Rick Perry calling the head of the Federal Reserve a traitor.

    God knows why. Benecke has pushed every button available to the Fed to get the economy going. You can’t drive the prime rate lower than 0%, and that’s really the major lever that the Fed has. Way back when, Paul Vlocker once remarked that the Fed has the economy on a leash, but it’s pretty hard to push on a leash.

    But, then, maybe Perry’s just fact challenged by economics. In any event, with his entry into the race, I no longer have as much confidence in my notion that Mitt Romney will be the compromise nominee. I still think he would run strongest against Obama. The key voting group to persuade are Republican leaning independents, and he is by far the best choice for appealing to them.

    This last paragraph is the best I can do to show on what I mean by “evaluating a candidate”. I can’t speak of them ideologically because none of them share my ideology. But I think I can say that you ought to be looking at how much each of them share your ideology.

    Haven’t seen anybody doing that much here either.

    As for getting information from a Michael Moore movie—um, thanks, but I’ll pass on that one.

    Suit yourself. I find I make better choices for having my prejudices sandpapered rather than lotioned. But I wouldn’t say I represent either the norm or the average.

  • Joseph Marshall

    you just can’t accept the fact that some of us really don’t think he’s doing a very good job

    Does this mean any more than, “He’s not doing things I want done and he is doing things I don’t want done.”? If so, it doesn’t surprise me, but it doesn’t impress me either. He’s a Centerist Democrat. What made you think he would be doing what you want done?

    All I’ve heard about him in most places, including here, is amateur psychoanalysis, blended with belittling insult, of him:

    Barry must have missed that class in PC being raised by his racist white grandma and hanging out around all white folks most of his life.

    I don’t see how anyone can take this sort of thing seriously as an evaluation of the job he’s doing.

    What do I think about that at the moment? I’d grade him C+. His outstanding strength is patience and where patience was required, he’s done quite well, such as with the demise of OBL.

    But his major weakness is timely action and he’s dropped the ball on that a little too regularly. On the last confrontation, he was doing quite well preaching from the bully pulpit. But as soon as he was no longer meeting with the parties involved, he stopped doing it! He should have kept the pressure up right to the end and he lost his advantage from not doing so.

    He was also naive to think that one or the other of the credit rating agencies wouldn’t stab him in the back, after a compromise. There were plenty of signals that this was going to happen and he should have been prepared for it. He clearly wasn’t.

    This is an example of a real job evaluation.

    Mostly what I hear elsewhere is merely a tirade of personal insults, like the one immediately above, with the agenda of changing his name to Step ‘n’ Fetchit or Kingfish without actually coming out and saying so.

  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    The point of my post is that many conservatives seem to have imbibed deeply of the Culture of Criticism more than they seem interested in building up support for a particular conservative candidate, then back her or him to the hilt.

    Seriously? Where were you during the 2008 election cycle and the hideous hitjobs visited upon Sarah Palin by … liberals. And even now when they are just candidates and not nominees, the hits to Michelle Bachman have been equally egregious.

    Read what Janeane Garofalo said about Allen West this week? I suggest you do to understand what the Culture of Criticism really looks like.

    As a conservative I look at all the candidates on both sides of the political spectrum and vote according to my own conclusions. Obama was wrong in 2008 and he’s even more wrong in 2012.

  • LisaB

    Great post Anchoress!

    The thing that strikes me most about the buses is that they are limousine black; no colour or cheerfulness. Do they think we believe that this isn’t a campaign tour? Really makes them look cheap. Hope the Independents are paying attention to their tax dollars going down the road. LOL.

    [Someone emailed me that it looked ominous, and had no flags. admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Since I think it’s quite likely that any Republican candidate being talked about now might not make it to 2012, I’m holding off on making any clear-cut decisions, until we’ve actually got some front runners, who will actually run.

    And, like Andy, I’m not real keen on any of them at the moment; but time will tell. . .

    And when conservatives do go all out for a candidate, such as Palin, or Bachman, said candidate, and their supporters, are demonized as facists, “Teabaggers”, “mean-spirited” and what have you. But if Obama is criticized, then, suddenly, they’re at fault—for not being supportive enough of their own candidates. (Which, somehow, means they can’t criticize Obama. You know, it’s entirely possible to disagree with Obama, while not liking a particular Republican candidate—or any Republican candidate; or, in this brave new topsy-turvy world, is this not allowed, now? Politically incorrect, or something. So it goes.)

    As you said, Andy, all candidates running right now seem to be more interested in getting into office than they do about speaking for the country, or doing what’s best for it. Again, I’m taking a “Wait and see” stance, here. I’m not real optimistic about 2012. But time will tell.

    (Michael Moore has been far too chummy with Castro—a dictator, who’se imprisoned his own people. He’s also something of a hypocrite, reaping the rewards of capitalism, while denouncing it. Also, some of his documentaries offer up suspect info—i.e., “Fahrenheit 911.” Sorry, just don’t think they guy’s honest.)

    [My own two cents: I am not liking anyone currently running; T-Paw I sort of liked, but knew he was too meek/boring to get anywhere. None of that precludes me from being able to discuss a sitting president, or are we supposed to not talk about him during election cycles? For crying out loud, they're STILL talking about Bush. I think it's fair to ask why the buses were purchased and whether they're going to be used for campaigning, and to point out that his three day tour was every inch a campaign run. As to Michael Moore, ever since he said that the wrong city was attacked on 9/11, because NY went for Gore, I've had no use for him. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    LisaB, yes, those busses are horribly funeral looking!

    And, again, they’re a waste of taxpayer money—at a time when we’re in serious economic difficulties.

  • Gail F

    Joseph: You are forgetting a fundamental thing: Right now the Democratic party is extremely united. The Republican party is not united on ideas or candidates, and many people who are independents and/or former Democrats (count me in there — I registered as a Democrat but have never agreed with the platform) generally don’t like any of the candidate or are attached to some extreme person. So there is no consensus among non-Democrats other than that they think Democrats are wrong. That’s why there are no obvious candidates. And that’s why Obama may well win the next election. I think everyone, Republican and Democrat alike, has misunderstood the Tea Party. I was never an actual “party,” it was a sign that a huge bunch of people in this country are fed up with both parties. I don’t expect it to last long, but I expect its effects to make a big difference.

    The buses make no sense. Who authorized that payment and for what reason? Are Democrats really so thrilled with themselves that they think any decision they make is wise and good? They weren’t even made in America! I assume they are black because being covered with bright decals kind of makes them targets. Air Force One isn’t covered with happy presidential decals.

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    The buses look like funeral buses. All black with blackened windows. Other candidates have buses with blacked out windows but the outside looks a lot better. We spent over a million dollars for each of these monstrosities and he charges us for the use while the DNC should be paying the cost.

    Can’t we make buses in America?

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd Flowerday

    Kris, thanks for the reply. I think I was sufficiently accurate in hitting on extremes of left and right, and characterizing “many” but not all conservatives as being seduced by the culture of criticism.

    As a confirmed independent voter with no ties to any party, I can’t say I pay much attention to hatchet jobs from either the right or left.

    You mention Governor Palin. I don’t think she comported herself well during the campaign, and I didn’t need anyone to interpret the McCain-Palin missteps, thank you.

    I have to echo Mr Marshall’s musings above. Why would any Republican or Conservative think Mr Obama was going to do everything they wanted him to do? He’s a centrist Democrat. He was elected largely on a surge of dissatisfaction toward the GOP. I would no more expect him to engage policies friendly to the Right than I would have expected Mr Bush to authorize a pullout from southwest Asia.

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    Gail, if you see a black bus driving down the road in the Mid-West with red and blue lights on the top of them I would think that would make it a target.

    We may not be in love with the GOP candidates but any of them will be better than Obama. Will he make another four years better than he has made the last 31 months? I doubt it. He makes Jimmy Carter look good.

    My one question for any candidate this year is are they walking closely enough with God that if they had to make a split-second decision, would they know it is in His will? Do they pray frequently and seek His face? If not I won’t vote for them and I just don’t see this in Obama.

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    Oh, and calling Bernanke a traitor refers to printing money with which we have nothing to back it up. Traitor might not be the best word but we need to quit printing play money as the money we have is being devalued. If this keeps up we’ll be like the Germans pre-World War II when they had to take a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread?

    Jesus told us the time would come when it would take a full day’s wages to pay for a meal. That day is soon coming to a country you live in.

  • LisaB

    “Air Force One isn’t covered with happy presidential decals.”

    Air Force One: blue & white with the American flag on each side with “United States of America” written boldly along the side.

    It would be very nice if the buses were in the same design as Air Force One; especially if they are intended for future presidents and not just Obama’s jobs tour (ahem).

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Elizabeth, yes, like you, I’m really not liking anybody currently running. Did follow T-Paw, Huntsman, etc.; will take a closer look at who’se left, when things are finally sorted out, and we know who’se actually running.

    I think this upcoming election will require a lot of thought, and prayer. We need someone who will put the country first. I hope we can get that.

    (And, of course, all of us should be able to discuss the sitting president, election cycle or no!)

    And Gail, LisaB, Elizabeth, I see absolutely no reason for these buses, whatsoever! (And why so grimly black? Certainly big, all black buses, with no decals or decorations, could be spotted and targeted? I mean, there’s nothing else like them on the roads at the moment!)

  • Doc

    Joseph, seriously? Obama is a centrist Democrat? Fer Pete’s sake, his voting record in the US Senate was to the left of all of ‘em, even declared socialist Bernie Sanders.

    Oh, and one more thing, Joseph. What did you mean by this:

    Mostly what I hear elsewhere is merely a tirade of personal insults, like the one immediately above, with the agenda of changing his name to Step ‘n’ Fetchit or Kingfish without actually coming out and saying so.

    I’m pretty stinkin tired of leftists playing the race card. If you meant what I think you meant you owe conservatives here an apology.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    It isn’t that we think Obama hasn’t done what we want him to;

    It’s that he’s done so much that hasn’t been good for the country: the stimulus, the huge debt, alienating Israel, while bowing to the Saudi King, partying and vacationing with our tax dollars, while the country goes broke, forcing a nationalized health care program on us, that will end up costing us even more (on top of everything else.)

    It isn’t that he hasn’t done what we want him to, but that he’s done so much that’s wrong.

  • Richard Johnson

    Doc #33: “Joseph, seriously? Obama is a centrist Democrat? Fer Pete’s sake, his voting record in the US Senate was to the left of all of ‘em, even declared socialist Bernie Sanders.”

    Actually, you are wrong. The American Conservative Union, hardly a bastion of centrists, had the following ratings for Obama and Sanders in 2006.

    http://www.conservative.org/ratings/ratingsarchive/2006/2006house.htm

    Sanders votes aligned with the ACU only 8% of the time in 2006 and 2005.

    http://www.conservative.org/ratings/ratingsarchive/2006/2006senate.htm

    Obama had the same rating, voting with the ACU only 8% of the time.

    However, as President, Obama has behaved much more like a center-left Democrat (what would have been considered a moderate Republican not all that long ago), especially with this decisions regarding Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and the healthcare initiative (which closely resembles the Romney program from Massachusetts).

    If you insist that Obama is a socialist, you either have not been paying attention to what he has been doing or you really do not understand what socialism truly stands for.

  • Richard Johnson

    Since we agree that Obama was wrong to order buses at taxpayer expense from Canada, I trust we hold the same opinion of Bush ordering buses from the same manufacturer?

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-08-17/news/chi-gop-attacks-obama-bus-but-bush-did-same-20110817_1_bus-tour-obama-jobs-tour

    “But no mention was made by Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus or Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady that a re-election seeking President George W. Bush used a bus from the same manufacturer, Quebec-based Prevost, for a spring 2004 “Yes, America Can” campaign tour through the Midwest.”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1128887/posts

    ARLINGTON, VA – On Monday, May 3, 2004, President George W. Bush will begin a two-day bus tour, Yes, America Can, through Michigan and Ohio. The President will participate in events focused on the strength, optimism and resolve of the American people in meeting the tests of our time – strengthening the economy, making our communities better and keeping America safe.

    On Monday, May 3, the President will participate in “Ask President Bush” in Niles, MI. Then, he will make remarks in Kalamazoo, MI, followed by a rally in Sterling Heights, MI. Mrs. Bush will travel with the President and will introduce him at all three events in Michigan.

    http://www.4president.org/photos/GeorgeWBushDECC.htm

  • Joseph Marshall

    OK, let’s take ‘em one at a time:

    He’s also something of a hypocrite, reaping the rewards of capitalism, while denouncing it. Also, some of his documentaries offer up suspect info

    I suppose, Rhinestone, he got the town of Flint, MI to dress up as if it were facing economic hard times because of GM’s closing it’s facility there, right? That was the point I was making. Since you have not seen the film and do not know what is in it, you cannot possibly know whether it is accurate or not. I don’t even know if you read the synopsis I linked to, but the facts in it about Flint, MI are checkable within minutes, if you want to know. You don’t want to know.

    Joseph: You are forgetting a fundamental thing: Right now the Democratic party is extremely united. The Republican party is not united on ideas or candidates,

    Gail, if the Republican party is ideologically disunited, you can’t tell it from their ballyhoo and their talking points or anything else you can read that the leaders and the office holders have said. I think their position on every issue from abortion to health care to a balanced budget amendment, is not only consistent among them, it has remained consistent at least since Bill Clinton won the Presidency in 1992.

    Can you think of any issue which divides the party?

    From my vantage point at least, the only thing that has changed is that the private person of the current President has become more important than any issue.

    Now don’t anybody go telling me, “Well, it happened with George W. Bush, too!!!” No, it didn’t. However much personal distaste Democrats had for W., I haven’t met a single one in the last ten years, who lost their focus on opposing the Iraq war, opposing the privitization of Social Security, opposing the constant claim of his Administration that the President can simply override any law Congress passes and make up one of his own, and opposing the Federal government’s intervention into the private family matter of Teri Schaivo.

    But time and time again on videotape anyone of any prominence in either the Tea movement or the Republican party leadership has stated repeatedly that the ONLY important political issue of the moment is getting rid of Barack Obama, and quite explicitly that it is important because he is Barack Obama. Nothing that I have seen on the comment pages of this blog over the last two years contradicts this in any way

    From your comment, Gail, I suspect that you are one of the
    “Republican leaning independents” that I think are so vital to winning any election so far in the 21st Century and what you said about not being “attached to some extreme person” is exactly what will win the 2012 election.

    The only division in the Republican party is between the people who have figured this out and the people who haven’t.

    I’m pretty stinkin tired of leftists playing the race card. If you meant what I think you meant you owe conservatives here an apology.

    Doc, you don’t appear to have even read Gretta’s remark or are so inured to chronically insulting rhetoric against your political opponents that you are incapable of processing it. Let’s print it again in boldface as well as italic this time:

    Barry must have missed that class in PC being raised by his racist white grandma and hanging out around all white folks most of his life.

    The content of this remark is entirely about Obama’s RACE. I defy you to tell me that it isn’t. And I’ve read this sort of causal and contemptuous gibe on this comment page and throughout the conservative internet constantly over the last two years.

    Not only that, it’s about his family’s RACE.

    Whatever insulting remarks may have been made about George W. Bush over the past 11 years, I heard no remark as scabrous as this made about ANY other member of the Bush family. Not Barbara, not Laura, not his brothers, not his daughters, and not his father.

    Let’s print the relevant part again: “his racist grandmother”

    Oh, but Gretta only meant it as a joke! Well how would you like it said on the Net about your grandmother Doc? Would you be yukking it up?

    The racism is in the airy assumption that because Obama is part black, you can write anything on the Internet you like about his grandmother.

    After all, she’s dead and he’s a Democratic President, so you haven’t committed libel and nobody’s going to call you out on it.

    By the way, if she had been alive, Gretta would have committed legal libel, not against Obama, who is a public figure about whom pretty much anything can be said without crossing over the legal line of libel.

    But it would be a libel of Obama’s grandmother who was in no way anything but a private person. Just as you would be if you were a cousin to any of the candidates and somebody made a remark like that about you.

    Nobody’s going to call Gretta out on it?

    I will. Anytime and anywhere. I really don’t like raising and focusing my literary voice, as I am doing now. But I have no qualms whatever about being blunt and pointed about something like this remark without raising my voice. Anytime and anywhere.

    “Other conservatives”? Well, I’ll point out again that the sheer scabrousness of falsely and publicly characterizing anybody’s grandmother as racist, in jest or not, completely passed you by. It is routine on comment pages like this and doesn’t raise an eyebrow on you in the least.

    It’s completely passed everybody else by, as well.

    Can you give me a single good reason why it did?

    So I don’t think I owe anybody an apology.

    all of us should be able to discuss the sitting president

    Sure, Rhinestone. But, for the sake of intellectual honesty, it would be nice if everybody would stop calling such discussion as we have here an “evaluation of his job performance”.

    The busses? Well maybe that is a blot on Obama’s copybook. But the busses here are clearly no more than a starting point for repeating the same contentless Obamaphobe tirades I’ve been hearing for two years.

    It actually would be more interesting if you were to start talking about Rick Perry, or Mitt Romney, or any of the other candidates.

    Try it sometime and see.

    [Oh, for crying out loud, Joseph - it was a sarcasm, b/c Obama once referred to his grandmother as a "typical white person" who felt threatened by young black males. I'm getting tired of this. It's late. I can't believe I have to read these threads at this hour. And please, as I've said elsewhere do not pretend that Bush wasn't treated abominably for his entire time in office beginning BEFORE THE ELECTION when Kilborn put up the "snipers wanted" sign. You, like Nancy Pelosi seem to have a very selective memory. She "never saw" Bush called Hitler and surrounded by swastika's and you never met a Bush hater who wasn't strictly all about policy. Please. -admin]

  • Joseph Marshall

    We are playing comment tag.

    the stimulus, the huge debt, alienating Israel, while bowing to the Saudi King, partying and vacationing with our tax dollars, while the country goes broke, forcing a nationalized health care program on us

    It’s taken us all the way to comment 34 for anybody to bother mentioning any of this.

    That’s the problem.

  • LisaB

    “…I see absolutely no reason for these buses, whatsoever!”

    I agree.

    However, the wrongful deed is done. He bought the buses. America is experiencing one of the worst recessions of it’s lifetime and our President rolls down the highway in a solid wall of large, black buses like a celebrity king greeting the little people – the optics demand a response of derision.

    P.S. James, I always appreciate your posts and think you do a great job of articulating your points.

  • Joseph Marshall

    @Jeanette

    I don’t want to scare you, but most of the world’s major currencies haven’t been “backed up” by anything for 40 years. The world now runs on a “floating exchange rate” where the major currencies are valued against one another, instead of against a commodity like gold.

    I don’t think you need to worry about inflation and buying bread with wheelbarrows full of $20 bills. It’s been running about 2-3% for years, which is about as low as it can go and still have money moving freely. For the last 30 years the Fed has steadily forced the inflation rate down to this level, and until the world economy gets moving again, it will stay there. If the economy picks up and inflation starts, the Fed will slowly but steadily act to contract the “money supply” in response to it.

    This is all pretty technical stuff and there’s no reason for most of us to know about it in much detail. But I sure do hope Rick Perry learns about it quickly, if he doesn’t know it.

    The thought of him being President and not knowing this stuff scares me.

  • Joseph Marshall

    If you insist that Obama is a socialist, you either have not been paying attention to what he has been doing or you really do not understand what socialism truly stands for.

    Thank you Richard Johnson. I must say I envy you. I once had research chops like yours, but age and illness have stolen them from me. Mostly all I can do now is write with careful reasoning based on clear principles and my extensive memory. I really do miss having your quality of facts at my immediate disposal on the short notice blog comments allow.

  • Richard Johnson

    Living here in Iowa I’ve been fortunate (?) to have had a fairly steady stream of information about the GOP candidate field. There’s a lot of material out there, and a number of bloggers writing about it, trust me.

    I’m certain that our host will turn her attentions towards the GOP field soon enough. For now, we talk about black buses.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    It doesn’t matter how Obama is rated, or who rates him; the fact is, his actions, since he’s been in office, have been socialist: the hostility towards Israel, the push for socialized medicine, the government stimulus programs, the undercutting of jobs and business. These are not the actions of a pro-capitalism president.

    As for Michael Moore—I’m with the Anchoress on this one. If he’d done nothing else (and he’s done a lot), his crack about the 9/11 terrorists attacking the wrong city is enough to make him persona non grata. It’s bad karma, supporting such a man. I wouldn’t trust what he says about Flint. Or anything else.

    And as soon as our host does start talking about the GOP field, she—and the Republican candidates—will be accused of being Teabagging, racist, bigoted Republicans—and why can’t we talk about Bush, instead? Wasn’t Bush really bad? And isn’t everybody here racist, for criticizing Obama? Pay no attention to those black buses—the endless golf games—those taxpayer funded vacations—behind the curtain. Where’s my race card? Time to play it again!

    And so on.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Greta’s comment was about the fact that Obama had only white children in the photograph that was taken of him—which does seem a bit strange for a man who claims to be so into diversity, and lifting up black America. And the grandmother she’s talking about is his white Grandmother, not his Kenyan one; I fail to see how this translates into calling Obama racial slurs; as I read it, she’s mocking his multi-culti pretensions, not his blackness, saying he only pretends to be PC, when he isn’t.

    I think you are overreacting here, and, again, coming dangerously close to the race card thing.

  • Greta

    Anchoress, you did a good job of defending Joseph Marshall from attack a few days ago, but notice you do not post admin on his posts when he says such things as below.

    “From my vantage point at least, the only thing that has changed is that the private person of the current President has become more important than any issue.
    Now don’t anybody go telling me, “Well, it happened with George W. Bush, too!!!” No, it didn’t. However much personal distaste Democrats had for W., I haven’t met a single one in the last ten years, who lost their focus on opposing the Iraq war, opposing the privitization of Social Security, opposing the constant claim of his Administration that the President can simply override any law Congress passes and make up one of his own, and opposing the Federal government’s intervention into the private family matter of Teri Schaivo.
    But time and time again on videotape anyone of any prominence in either the Tea movement or the Republican party leadership has stated repeatedly that the ONLY important political issue of the moment is getting rid of Barack Obama, and quite explicitly that it is important because he is Barack Obama. Nothing that I have seen on the comment pages of this blog over the last two years contradicts this in any way”

    Come on Anchoress..this guy has not met a single democrat that was against the person George W. Bush, only his policies??? and nothing he has seen on the comment pages of THIS BLOG seems to be about his policies, only personal attacks on Obama??? Please…are you monitoring these comments?

    And then there is the personal attack by name using selected parts of my comments and labeling me racist…

    “Barry must have missed that class in PC being raised by his racist white grandma and hanging out around all white folks most of his life.”
    The content of this remark is entirely about Obama’s RACE. I defy you to tell me that it isn’t. And I’ve read this sort of causal and contemptuous gibe “on this comment page” and throughout the conservative internet constantly over the last two years.
    Not only that, it’s about his family’s RACE.
    Whatever insulting remarks may have been made about George W. Bush over the past 11 years, I heard no remark as scabrous as this made about ANY other member of the Bush family. Not Barbara, not Laura, not his brothers, not his daughters, and not his father.

    Let’s print the relevant part again: “his racist grandmother”
    Oh, but Gretta only meant it as a joke! Well how would you like it said on the Net about your grandmother Doc? Would you be yukking it up?
    The racism is in the airy assumption that because Obama is part black, you can write anything on the Internet you like about his grandmother.”

    So let’s take a look at what is so racist about my comment according to Joseph. The post itself was about the Black Caucus being upset with Obama for not touring black neighborhoods and I would assume that Joseph thinks you, Anchoress, are racist as well for putting this post up especially with pictures of him with all white kids or with the black bus showing that hidden racist hatred lurking in your heart…And Anchoress, you did not chastise me for my comments which he finds so racist which means you must approve of the racism dripping from my comment.

    Joseph, it was a joke pulled from Obama own comment on the racism of his grandma when he threw her under the bus to save himself from ties to Reverand Wright, a real racist. So it is not me posting this revelation on the net for all to see, only on Obama’s own statement. The other part of the comment was in answer to Karen and concerned the issue of PC liberal thought about constantly looking to see how many of each color are in each position. Here is Obama with all white kids in Anchoress post. Was she racist for this post? Obama is the joke and you Joseph appear to be tone deaf like many liberals.

    “Karen, the simple fact that Obama did not have one of each kind of kid in the picture shows how tone deaf he is even to the standard Political Correctness of his own party. That is the point of this post and why Maxine is so upset. Barry must have missed that class in PC being raised by his racist white grandma and hanging out around all white folks most of his life. Ever notice the composition of those who hold any real power in his administration? W. Bush had as many if not more African Americans in high profile positions than Barry.”

    So it appears that Joseph sees this Blog in a very negative way and Anchoress failure to stop racists attacks like this or at least post an admin attack on the person very bad to the NET in general and unfair. After all, democrats and liberals are pure of heart, only looking at issues and not W. Bush while the other side is racist haters who care little about policy and only to trying to get Obama because of his race…Anchoress, surprised at your racist hate filled blog…

    Is everyone else as sick as I am about the race card being played all the time? Joseph, I think you owe me and Anchoress an apology for this post about me by name and about Anchoress for her Blog and monitored comments. I know one thing for sure, if there was any racist comments, she would not approve them and the person would no longer be posting.

    [Greta, I am sick to the teeth with the race card being played. I have a pal who used to throw that around all the time -- until he realized for himself that there are lots of reasons to be underwhelmed by Obama and race has nothing to do with it -- and it's lazy, unfair and pretty foul. And I'm sorry, but it's the race-fixated who strike me, these days, as racist, because it's all they're thinking about.

    But I confess, I have not been following this thread at all -- so please don't think I'm simply playing favorites, or beating some while neglecting to beat others. I am an equal-opportunity commenter-beater. I simply was distracted this evening with a different thread that was getting out of control, so I actually have NO idea what is going on with this thread right now, but if someone is claiming that in ten years he never saw/heard anyone discussing anything on Bush that wasn't all about serious issues, then that person needs to be introduced to google, or the archives of many, many bloggers, including my own.

    If it's Joseph, we're talking about, he should damn well know better, because he's read me long enough to know that I often and often showcased exactly that sort of behavior. Perhaps he's forgotten that Bush was mocked and excoriated for working out, by the same people who waxed melodic about Obama's sweat-glistening pectorals. Perhaps he's forgotten that when Bush choked on a damn pretzel, that was fodder for weeks of laffs! Perhaps he's forgotten the Bushhitler signs, the "Chimpy" signs, the newscasters calling him "the monkey," the media going after his daughters. The idiot author who made fun of the fact that Bush "that moron" was reading his book. Please.

    It's too silly, but anyone can google that stuff and likely they'll find me or others having written about it, and lets NOT forget the "Bush assassination" movies, plays, books, stamps, signs, etc...those started before he even got the nomination (Craig Kilborn show, "snipers wanted") and continued through his presidency, yeah all "on issues."

    And yes, now that you mention it, Bush's had more African Americans in administration than did Clinton or Obama. Again...not following this thread, but if Joseph is calling me a racist, he knows better than that, too. As I said in the piece, it was not immediately obvious to me that there WAS a "racial" component to that picture until I read the Drudge headlines all around it. I just thought it was a terrific picture of cute kids and a relaxed-looking president. But if you're race-fixated, you'll find racist stuff everywhere. I remember when Bill Clinton was called "racist" too, for suggesting that the Obama-is-like-God adoration of '08 was the "biggest fairy tale going." Criticize Obama, you're a racist. It's vile and very lazy accusation, that has been overused, and frankly, that's a shame, because when people really are being racist, the impact of the charge will be lessened, because 69% of the nation is suddenly racist.

    And btw, I believe Obama is "tone-deaf" to the uber-PC nonsense of counting races to make sure there's "some of everyone." Unfortunately, too many others are all-too-fixated, and man it's getting tiresome. I can't wait for that day when we're judged by the content of our character, and not the color of our skin, or the "correct" representations we put forth.

    I assumed everyone on this thread was capable of playing well with others. If that's not the case, I'll shut this one down, too, but tonight I'm too tired to go through sixty comments to see who threw sand first. I actually have a very busy job besides this blog and a to-do list of deadlines and deliveries that I'm already having trouble keeping up with. If I have to start expending huge amounts of time and energy monitoring comments, I will just shut them down.

    So, having said that -- if ya'll are reading this and you realize you've been obnoxious, or flinging around lazy, dishonest Michael Moore talking points because they're easy and disruptive, please knock it off or find a way to back away from casting aspersions on people simply because they have the temerity to hold an opinion different from your own. I swear...this is not fun anymore, and if it a non-profit-making endeavor stops being fun, why should I continue? Everyone stop p*ssing me off! :-) Okay? I'm going to bed now. I've been working since 8:30 this morning, and I really mean it. I won't spend my days monitoring these threads. -admin]


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