I'm especially interested in 2004. Remember when all the corporate media people were chiding bloggers, who reported the exit poll info, for leaking inaccurate raw data? What I remember that the exit polls were only off in a few counties. Gee, I wonder why?
The other thing I've always wondered is why John Kerry collected donations for his legal fund, swearing he would fight for every last vote -- and then didn't. I guess we'll never know.
Economist Dean Baker really lets John Kerry, Patty Murray and Max Baucus have it for the column that appeared in the Wall St. Journal this week -- but he's especially savage with Kerry:
Senator John Kerry, along with the two other Democratic senators appointed to the "Super Committee", had a column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday on their approach to the committee's work. This piece is infuriating for its empty platitudes and the refusal to acknowledge economic reality. In just 700 words the piece promulgated 3 major economic myths while ignoring the fundamental truths about the economy and the budget.
[...] The reason that we actually had a $240 billion surplus (2.4 percent of GDP) in 2000 was that the United States had a stock bubble propelled boom at the end of the decade. This caused the economy to grow much more rapidly than CBO expected with the unemployment rate falling to 4.0 percent in 2000, rather than the 6.0 percent predicted by CBO. Do the senators not remember the stock bubble?
In addition to promoting these false stories about the economy and the budget, the senators fail to tell the true story. The large deficits the country currently faces are not the result of an ongoing pattern of excessive profligacy. They are the result of the economy's plunge following the collapse of the housing bubble. Even with the cost of the wars, the Medicare drug benefit and the Bush tax cuts, the projected deficits were relatively modest prior to the collapse of the housing bubble.
The true story is that our deficit problem is really an economic problem - we let a huge housing bubble grow, which would inevitably collapse and sink the economy. The deficit is needed now to make up for the $1.2 trillion loss in annual demand from the private sector, which had been generated by the housing bubble. The bubble had led to booms to both construction and consumption that have gone bust now that house prices have crashed.
Maybe bin Laden's death is just the cover story the Democrats have needed all along. You have to figure: None of them are happy about going home and telling the voters they're cutting popular social programs, right? And they know where all the money's going. If we pull out of Afghanistan, a major budget problem is solved:
Early on in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about Afghanistan today, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink interrupted a discussion about whether the United States should maintain current troop levels or draw down to a smaller force focused on counter-terrorism operations. “There is another opinion—just leave,” she said.
Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the committee’s chairman, quickly gaveled the hearing into a brief recess, and Benjamin left the room. Had she stuck around, she might have been surprised to hear the number-two Democrat in the Senate essentially echo her position.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Democratic Party whip, asked by far the hearing’s most important question and one of the most pointed by a Democratic leader to date: “If you believe that resolution of this conflict by military means is highly unlikely and not a realistic basis for US policy, how can we send one more American soldier to fight and die in Afghanistan?” he said.
Durbin noted that “Afghanistan has been a graveyard of empires,” and repeatedly invoked the human cost borne by American soldiers. “We are now in a very sterile conversation about diplomacy and foreign policy,” he said. “The reality is they’re fighting and dying over there. And the question is—how long will we keep sending them?”
Aside from Durbin, other senators who attended the hearing—both Republican and Democrat—voiced serious concerns about extended commitments to Afghanistan. Not one openly called for staying the current course.
Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) cited President Obama’s recent $100 billion budget request for fighting the war in fiscal year 2012, along with a strategy that “appears to be devoted to remaking the economic, political, and security culture of that country,” and said that “it is exceedingly difficult to conclude that our vast expenditures in Afghanistan represent a rational allocation of our military and financial assets.”
Lugar’s concerns were echoed by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who said plainly that “I’ve been supportive of the administration so far, but I have a real hard time as we move forward.” Menendez wondered aloud whether there was “an amount of money or plan that can actually work here.”
The only other Republican to speak, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), also raised questions about the amount of money being spent. “I think the one thing that would stun the American people on the ground in Afghanistan, is how much we are investing in this country, and what we are investing in,” he said.