Bubble, bubble, don’t talk trouble

Jimmy Derrick, president/owner of Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors (that’s a mouthful of a name, which you would think one might have trouble saying over and over, but Jimmy manages it very well) had Health and Happiness duty today at Columbia Rotary.

For you nonRotarians out there, that’s when some poor sap has to stand up before the 300-some members of the club and a) talk about the health of members and their loved ones and b) be funny. I know all about it, because about once a quarter, that poor sap is me (so any clean jokes you know would be appreciated).

Anyway, Jimmy used part of his time to talk about the health of his industry. "Is there a bubble in real estate?" he and his folks are asked constantly. He coaches Realtors to respond, "Thank you, but that’s not part of my vision."

Some of the bad-news-seekers get more specific, asking whether developers haven’t gotten a little carried away and saturated the market for condos near Williams-Brice Stadium. "All I know is," said Jimmy, "they’re selling like crazy."

The real estate business in his part of the world — the South, a little bit inland from the coast — is very good, he said. "If you want to say anything negative, don’t talk to me."

That might sound like salesman bravado, whistling past a graveyard, etc. But actually is seems like a good, practical response to news of bubbles popping (or at least, deflating). The "pop" isn’t anything physical; it’s about mass psychology. If everyone agrees that property in the Midlands is retaining value and appreciating, it will continue to do so. They may be panicking up north and along the coast, and therefore driving their prices down further, but why should we? I don’t see any advantage in it. I don’t how anyone who owns a home (or, like most of us, a mortgage) would.

I can sort of understand why doubters would dismiss my protestations that the newspaper industry is healthier than Wall Street thinks it is. I have a stake in it, so they take what I say with a grain of salt. But most of us have a stake — a pretty big one — in property retaining its value.

So keep thinking lovely thoughts, people. You’ll thank yourself when you go to sell your house.

56 thoughts on “Bubble, bubble, don’t talk trouble

  1. Doug Ross

    How can property retain its value if the supply of new houses continues to grow?
    Check out homes in older neighborhoods like Spring Valley. Ask a realtor whether those homes are appreciating and how long they are on the market. The growth in the Northeast is moving further and further away from Two Notch Road.
    And once people get fed up with the traffic and sprawl, we’ll see a correction in the market.
    If you REALLY want to see property values retained, then we need to implement impact fees on new construction. Slowing the supply will increase current home values, allow infrastructure to catch up with the overburdened roads and schools.
    Not that our county will make such a move.. that would require taking back the power from developers who pretty much run this county. Plus, I don’t expect The State to support any action that might restrict the number of potential subscribers…

  2. Dave

    RE people in general would have to be worried about any kind of slowdown. Their revenues are based on volume sales. The brokers wont get hurt much but the commission only RE agents will feel the pinch if listings and sales slow. There are way too many RE agents from what I see anyway. Many of them are part timers who teach full time and sell on the side or during the summer breaks. The drive-by media has been openly praying for a real estate recession for 5 years now. So every time a market gets overbuilt the chant begins, bubble, bubble bursting and the bandwagon loads up with the predictable CNN and NY Times leading the way. The truth is home ownership under Bush is at an all time high and his tax cuts have spurred amazing growth nationwide. But we won’t be reading many stories about that in the general media. Better to focus on people who buy a home with 100% mortgages and expect to sell it in 6 months and make money, i.e. speculators.

  3. Steve Gordy

    Fictitious item from THE STATE, August 29, 1999: “The truth is stock ownership under Clinton is at an all time high and his fiscal policies have spurred amazing growth nationwide.” Bubble is as bubble does; economic policies which maximize liquidity and hold down returns on financial investments such as CDs, bonds, and stocks will most likely steer money into debt-heavy investments such as real estate. But all good things must end someday . . .

  4. bud

    Come on Dave, amazing growth. Please. That’s ridiculous and you know it. Unemployment is still above where it was in late 2000. The DOW is still below where it was in 2000. Poverty is up, the number uninsured is up. The housing bubble is about to pop. The only amazing growth we’ve seen over the last few years is the national budget deficit, oil profits and presidential vacation time.

  5. Lee

    The number of people classified as “poor” would be much smaller without the 22,000,000 illegal aliens, most of whom are “poor”, illiterate, on welfare, and will remain there.
    Deporting the H1-B and L1-B workers would put over 3,000,000 US citizens with college degrees back to work at good-paying jobs.
    How laughable that Bush is derided for not restoring stock prices to the levels before Clintonomics caused the 1998 crash and Recession of 2000.

  6. Pat

    That’s right Doug the “drive by” media is the problem. I mean just look at what they did in Iraq, they practically forced this administration to be incompetent in their planning. And let’s not forget to mention Katrina, if the media could just have toned down their left leaning slant it probably never would have happened.
    If it was Clinton, Bush (I or II), Greenspan, or the Irish that caused the bubble it seems out of place to say the media did caused it.
    If CNN and NY times can cause people to behave like cattle than how can you explain why the Dems didn’t win the last election. According to your logic they just need to print a few articles and “poof” the masses follow.

  7. Doug Ross

    Where did I say the media was the problem? All I said regarding the media was that The State is probably not going to support any initiative that would slow growth. Their future depends on increased population.
    The problem is the Planning Board and Zoning Commission being far too pro-developer.

  8. Lee

    Newspapers are financed by automobile and real estate advertising. Don’t expect them to oppose urban sprawl, ending subsidies to developers, zero population growth, controlling illegal immigration, or ending the use of illegal alien labor to build houses.

  9. bud

    A case in point Lee is the State’s support of the Green Diamond fiasco? They may not have come right out and promoted government money but South Carolina’s largest newspaper was strangly neutral on it. Now if ever there was something that the free market alone would not support that was GD. The New Orleans catastrophe should end any doubt about the wisdom of that venture.

  10. Lee

    That’s the first time I ever saw the word “wisdom” used in conjunction with real estate hucksters and their newpaper toadies. They would find someone else to blame when the dike burst and drowned 3,000 Green Diamond suckers.

  11. Dave

    Pat, we are winning the war and the peace in Iraq. The Iraqi Prime Minister just said so. Yesterday a truce was finally signed by the warring religious factions. Much to the dismay of leftwing democrats, Iraq is and will be known as a huge success. And I wont even go into the Katrina-media nonsense.

  12. Dave

    Bud, are you planning a welcome home party for the troops? I think we will see gradual drawdowns of troops soon. That would be the common sense thing to do and what was planned all along as the Iraqis were trained and became more proficient as soldiers. Amazing how Rumsfeld knew what he was doing all along.

  13. bud

    I know a couple of soldiers in Iraq. I’ll be in the front row welcoming them home. But what constitutes soon. A month, a year?

  14. bud

    I know a couple of soldiers in Iraq. I’ll be in the front row welcoming them home. But what constitutes soon. A month, a year?

  15. Dave

    Bud, I expect an announcement in late September or October. It will be a coincidence that it comes right before an election but the troops are more important than election cycle timing. Secular violence in Iraq has peaked and that is what all have been watching and waiting to see happen.

  16. bud

    Dave says “Secular Violence in Iraq has peaked …”
    Iraqi Security Forces and Civilian Deaths
    Period Total
    Aug-06 1047
    Jul-06 1280
    Jun-06 870
    May-06 1119
    Apr-06 1010
    Mar-06 1092
    Feb-06 846
    Jan-06 779
    By weeks end August figures will probably be just slightly below July’s. If you fit these numbers into a graphic software then fit a linear trend line, you’ll find a SHARP upward trend. Only a neocon mathmatician could see a “peak” in numbers that clearly reflect a rising trend.
    I guess this goes along with the neocon geoligists that conclude the earth is 6000 years old or the neocon climatologists that don’t see any evidence of global warming. Put them together and we have the three stooges of science.

  17. Dave

    Bud, forget the past, look at the more recent trends.

    While the outcome of Together Forward is by no means assured, the statistics since the major clearing operations began in early August are encouraging. The operations are having a positive effect in reducing the level of violence in Baghdad. “Attacks within the Baghdad province averaged about 23 attacks per day over the past week, which is lower than the monthly average for July. The average daily murder rate in Baghdad province has dropped 46 percent from July to August. And if you look to just the past few weeks, from the 7th through the 25th of August, the murder rate has dropped 50 percent over the daily rate for July,” said Maj. Gen. Caldwell.

  18. Lee

    You socialistic Democrats don’t give a rat’s rear about how many innocent Iraqis are killed by the terrorists, nor about our soldiers, so please quit using statistics just because patriotic Americans do care.

  19. bud

    Dave writes:
    “Pat, we are winning the war and the peace in Iraq. The Iraqi Prime Minister just said so.”
    Check this out:
    (I can’t figure this linking thing out, but here’s an excerpt:
    In Baghdad these days, not even the hospitals are safe. In growing numbers, sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq’s Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed, according to patients, families of victims, doctors and government officials.
    As a result, more and more Iraqis are avoiding hospitals, making it even harder to preserve life in a city where death is seemingly everywhere. Gunshot victims are now being treated by nurses in makeshift emergency rooms set up in homes. Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces.
    Not even Iraqi hospitals are safe! There must be something in the Iraqi water that makes all spokemen look like buffoons. Remember Baghdad Bob? And now the prime minister.
    Until our troops begin to come home any rantings from the right about how well things are going simply have no credibility. And finally, the press is showing that things are really much, much worse than have been previously portrayed.

  20. bud

    Here are a few more stories showing just how bad the situation in Iraq is (all from the last day or two):
    BAGHDAD, Iraq – A roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad’s oldest and largest wholesale market district, killing at least 24 people and wounding 35, part of a surge in bloodshed Wednesday that left 52 dead, authorities said.
    DIWANIYAH, Iraq (AFP) – At least 74 people were killed and 94 injured when an old fuel pipeline caught fire near the southern Iraqi city of Diwaniyah. …. Earlier Diwaniyah municipal councillor Ghanim Dahash blamed saboteurs for the blast on the pipeline in Afak district which used to carry petrol from southern Iraqi oilfields to the capital.
    Nine U.S. soldiers also were killed over the weekend in and around Baghdad, the U.S. military said Monday, making it one of the most lethal weekends for American troops in recent months.
    Meanwhile, new allegations of indiscriminate killings by U.S. troops surfaced Monday. Relatives and neighbors of seven civilians shot dead during a gun battle in a Baghdad neighborhood on Sunday said U.S. soldiers had stepped out of their vehicles and randomly fired at their car.
    But there are some soldiers coming home. (From the Korea Times):
    Earlier this year, South Korea started cuts in the number of troops stationed in Iraq, sending about 1,100 soldiers to the war-torn country and bringing home about 1,350.
    The right has lost all credibility on this issue. The Bush Administration’s stay-the-course policy is failing and at an alarming rate. Even if we don’t follow John Murtha’s plan to re-deploy our troops out of Iraq (the sensible thing to do) we should try something different. I can understand that pride clouds one’s thinking and it is painful to acknowledge the obvious. But it is high time to recognize this for the obvious failure that it is? The evidence screams out for a need to change the course.

  21. Lee

    Anyone who doesn’t want to fight the terrorists in the back yard…. what is your alternative military strategy?

  22. Steve Gordy

    Alternative military strategy:
    1. Defend this country by closing our security loopholes.
    2. Retain a quick-intervention force in Kuwait.
    3. Partition Iraq; better to have a part of the country under Iranian influence than the whole shebang.
    These are a basis for discussion; starters, if you will.

  23. Lee

    Iraq would probably be better off partitioned back into Kurdistan, and a Suuni and Shiite section, but outsiders will continue to foment terrorism.
    So what do you plan to do with Iran?
    Do you also just let Iran and Syria topple the elected government of Lebanon and kill all the political opposition to Hamas and Hezbollah in Palestine?

  24. Lee

    A “quick intervention force in Kuwait” would have to be of the same size as the troop strength we have in Iraq, so that is no solution, just a retreat from victory.

  25. Dave

    Bud, 80% of Iraq is functioning fairly normal. The 20% region of Baghdad is where the problems are concentrated. That is being dealt with and the violence will be suppressed. Iraq is now producing more oil than pre-war and also generating more electricity. All good signs that the better days are here and the war was a success.

  26. Lee

    Democrats want us to quit and pull out before we achieve another victory and further embarass their previous inattention to foreign affairs.

  27. Doug Ross

    Dave says:
    >Bud, 80% of Iraq is functioning fairly
    >normal. The 20% region of Baghdad is where
    >the problems are concentrated.
    Well, since 5.8 million Iraqis live in Baghdad (36,000 people per square km) as compared to 23 million spread over the rest of Iraq (438,000 square km) at about 50 people per square km, is it really surprising that all the problems are where the people are? It’s not very effective to blow up a sheep herder and his flock.
    The issue in Iraq has always been what to do about controlling Baghdad. It’s like saying that we’ve got the crime problem in Michigan under control everywhere but Detroit. The easy stuff takes care of itself. The hard stuff is going to take a long, long, time.

  28. Doug Ross

    Someone from the neocon fan club should prsent a scenario of what would happen in Iraq if the U.S. brought every soldier home tomorrow. Who takes control? Is the new Iraq more powerful than under Sadaam or less?

  29. Lee

    In recent months, the terrorists ( called “insurgents” by anti-American propaganda) killed have been 98% Iraqi, which is a dramatic reduction in outside terrorists. That means US forces have much better control of the borders.
    But the bombs used have gone from improvised to manufactured ones, imported, probably from Iran.
    So Iran is going to have to be bottled up in order to bring order to all of the Mideast.

  30. bud

    Dave you continue to live in a dream world. First of all, even if electric power generation has reached pre-war levels (A claim that is probably not even true) that’s not much of a hurdle to clear. After all, the pre-war Iraq was struggling under UN sanctions and Saddam’s power grip. All the pre-war talk was how we were going to make everything so much better. By any objective standard the lives of the average Iraqi is much worse now. Given the dire and, yes, growing security nightmare in Iraq any good news is likely to be temporary.
    As for Doug’s question, let’s speculate on a post-US Iraq. Let’s assume all troops are removed as follows: 50,000 go to Afghanastan to shore up the mess we never fully cleaned up. 20,000 pulled back to Kuwait to maintain a regional presence. The remaining 60,000 or would be returned to American soil where their units could be refitted and many returned to civilian life. This would be the beginning of an effort to rebuild a military decimated by the bumbling Decider and Rummy.
    The situation in Iraq would likely continue much as it has lately but with one big difference, the Iraqi people would eventually create their own government on thier own terms, probably controlled by the Shiites. Perhaps a Shiite controlled Iraq would loosely align with Iran. The semi-autonomous Kurd region would form it’s own government and become a fully independent state. Although Turkey would fume, eventually this region would stand out as a successful, stable nation free from the confusing status it’s had to live under for the past 50 years.
    With Americans gone, the Sunnis would lose much of their reason to continue to fight. That’s because our presence serves as a catylist to much of the ongoing violence. They would not view the Shiites as puppets of American imperialism. They would begin a true partnership with the Shites, in a subordinate roll perhaps but eventually they would adapt.
    Our standing in the world would be greatly enhanced as millions in the Muslim world would begin to recognize that we really don’t have any imperialistic ambitions. Iran for one would lose it’s biggest reason for continuing to pursue nuclear weapons. At some point cooler heads would prevail and the with some modest incentives the Europeans would persuade Iran to pull back. Our reduced presence would also tend to marginalize the militant factions of Hezbollah. In time they would be much more willing to deal with Isreal. Moderates within Hamas would likewise have a stronger hand within their sphere of influence.
    All of this will take time and much diplomatic pampering. A strong, yet trustworthy Democratic president could seize the opportunity to take up where Bill Clinton left off by engaging the various moderate factions in the region. After all this happens the historical legacy of George W. Bush would be complete. He would finally be religated to the dustbin of history as our worst president ever.

  31. Dave

    Bud, you really cannot stand good news can you? First, gas prices have dropped to $2.40 or less a gallon in Spartanburg. Horror of horror news for the anti-Bushites. Predictions are it will fall to $2.00 by the election. Next, good news is coming out of Iraq. AQ is on the run, trying to re-assemble in Sudan and Somalia. But, if we did abandon Iraq, we can predict a mass slaughter as Iran moved in to the nation with the Shiites. Sunnis and Kurds along with any Christians would be helpless. Memories of the killing fields brought on by the pacifist left responsible for millions of deaths in Cambodia. Is that what you want? Anyway, as i have posted before, weaklings need to stay out of the way and let real men like Rumsfeld and Cheney git er done. I know American success is a nightmare for the leftists, but you will get over it.

  32. bud

    Dave you sound more like Rush every day. That whole “American success is a nightmare for the leftists” rant is repeated over and over and over on various talk radio shows. I’d like to poll all the leftists out there and see what their feelings were about Bush in January 2001. About most were fairly open minded. I was. It was only in the fulness of time that it became apparent what a loser he is.

  33. Dave

    Bud, numerous attempts to perform mass murder on US citizens in the US and overseas have been headed off and stopped by the Bush team. You would never know that from the people on the left. In fact, leftists seldom find any reason to criticize terrrorists but continue to attack Bush and his team every single day. So here you are calling a man who was elected twice, the second time by the most votes EVER received by a candidate, a man who has us on a 5 year booming economic growth trend, a man who has not practiced personal immorality in the oval office, a man who while conducting a just war also found time to give $15 billion in Aids prevention money to African people, in summary a president we should ALL be respectful of and grateful for. Think about the good this guy has done. I certainly dont like how he has handled the immigration problem and there are other decisions and policies from him that I have not agreed with the approach or the result. But overall, he gets an A on the economy, an A on the domestic WOT front, a C+ on Iraq (so far), and an A+ on restoring the essence of honest principled and moral behavior back to the office he holds.

  34. Dave

    Interesting how the lamestream media has all but ignored how the Muslim kidnappers forced Steve Centanni and the Swedish cameraman to “convert” to Islam while captive. This is a preview of coming attractions when the Muslims take over control of Germany, France, and other EU nations one by one. Listen up appeasers out there, there is a conversion waiting for you. Islam should be made a crime in American NOW, while it can be done. We did it with leftist communists, why not Islam?

  35. bud

    Dave where does the + come fromin Bush’s grade for pincipled moral behavior. Was it the time he gave the one fingered salute to the press (as shown on Jay Leno). Or maybe it was the time he gave the German Chancellor an unwanted back massage. Or perhaps it’s the farting with the interns fun. Maybe it’s lying about WMD in Iraq, violating the constitution and breaking the FISA law. Could it be his indifference to Katrina victims, playing the guitar while New Orleans drowned (a variation on the fiddling while Rome burns thing). Really, an A+. How about an F.

  36. Lee

    Compared to rapist Clinton calling blacks “n—–r”, Bush looks pretty good.
    Of course, Hurricane Katrina is Bush’s fault, letting the Democrats steal all that levee building money and now another $21 BILLION in aid that was supposed to rebuild New Orleans.

  37. Lee

    The Senate hearings of June 28, 2006 confirmed that 500 artillery shells containing mustard, chlorine, and Sarin gas have been captured in Iraq since 2004.
    “We … assess that the munitions that are addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s and that they were similar to the munitions that were used during the Iran-Iraq War,” said U.S. Army Major General Michael D. Maples.

  38. Preston

    Dave, did you really refer to Cheney as a Real Man? He is by definition a weakling. He is 4’2”, all of his organs are artificial, he only hunts pen raised rather than wild animals. Were it left to natural selection, he most assuredly would not be around. Please refrain from your ridiculous claims about the “badasses” that are leading our country. Step away from the Kool-Aid dispenser.

  39. Lee

    Kool-aid is a reference to Reverand Jim Jones, the Democrat from California who murdered his cult followers.

  40. bud

    This just in. The Decider negotiated with terrorists for the release of the Fox News reporters. Apparently he caved to all their demands. Attaboy Bush. Let’s get tough on the terrorists. I guess the new catch phrase for the Bush Administration is:
    “It’s better to appease them over there so we don’t have to appease them over here.”
    Here’s an excerpt:
    Report: U.S. Secretly Negotiated with Gaza Kidnappers
    August 29, 2006 3:14 PM
    Hoda Osman Reports:
    The U.S. secretly agreed to the “real demands” set by the group behind the August 14 kidnapping of two Fox News journalists in Gaza, according to a report in the pan-Arab newspaper al Hayat.

  41. Lee

    If the news media had access to the negotiations, there would be no negotiations.
    Democrats just wanted Israel to pull out and leave the captives.

  42. Lee

    Cult leader Jim Jones was not only a registered Democrat, but a Democrat politician and close friend of Diane Feinstein and many other top Democrats, who worked to procure funding for Jonestown.

  43. Ready to Hurl

    Bad News, Brad: McClatchy Newspapers are defeatist Fifth Columnists causing us to lose the WoT.
    In Afghanistan, the Taliban and al Qaida resurge
    KABUL, Afghanistan — Five years ago, the United States fired its first shots in the post-9/11 war on terror here in Afghanistan, evicting al Qaida and toppling the Taliban regime that hosted Osama bin Laden’s network.
    Today, the United States and its allies are struggling to halt advances by a resurgent Taliban and al Qaida fighters in large swaths of this still desperately poor and unstable country.
    “Things are going very badly,” admitted an official with the allied military forces, who asked not to be identified because the issue is so sensitive. “We’ve arrived at a situation where things are significantly worse than we anticipated.”
    The trends in Afghanistan appear to mirror the global war on terror a half-decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

  44. Ready to Hurl

    Brad, does McClatchy Newspapers hate Bush too much to “report the truth” or do they just generically Hate America First?

  45. LexWolf

    “That whole “American success is a nightmare for the leftists” rant is repeated over and over and over on various talk radio shows.”
    Just because it’s all over talk radio doesn’t mean that it isn’t essentially true. As much as the Left has been opposed to the WOT (in fact, their actions show them as effectively allied with the Islamic fascists), any successes clearly would be credited to Bush and the GOP. The Left has in effect placed a huge bet on things going to heck in a handbasket, so if things go right for America the Left is basically screwed. Ergo a nightmare for the leftists.

  46. Lee

    Now that we have captured thousands of WMD in Iraq, and the UN inspectors like Doeffer and David Kay have testified about the hundred more WDM items found – laboratories, human testing in prisons, nuclear weapons machiner – the Denying Left is claiming that none of those WMD were dangerous.
    So why was Saddam spending so much money to manufacture these WMD?
    And how did these “safe weapons” kill so many Iranians and Kurds?

  47. Alex Rath

    I was going to type a long response to all this label tossing… but it’s really not worth the effort.
    I must say, Brad, you’re not doing a great job of keeping things civil here. Base attacks and name calling really aren’t “civil” at least not to me.
    Instead of writing everything I was going to… I’ll quote a bit from an article I just finished reading. It’s no more biased than the line-towing, path worshiping, Bush-Backers posting here.
    Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.
    A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating President.
    That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience–a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid–afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it), afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane regime that does not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.
    In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous President, his Administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress, listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great President and a Republican, who said: The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.
    Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
    Our children and later generations will pay the price of the lies, the violence, the cruelty, the incompetence, and the inhumanity of the Bush Administration and the lackey Congress that has so cowardly abrogated its responsibility and authority under our checks-and-balances system of government.
    President Bush himself finally admitted nine days ago during a press conference that there was no connection between the attacks on 9/11 and Iraq. It’s terrific that the President has now admitted what others have known for so long–but where is the accountability for the tragic war we were led into on the basis of his earlier misrepresentations?
    Ten days before the invasion of Iraq, it was proven that the documents upon which President Bush’s claim about Saddam Hussein trying to obtain uranium was based were forgeries. However, President Bush did not disclose that to the American people. By that failure, he betrayed each of us, he betrayed our country, and he betrayed the cause of world peace.
    Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that high-strength aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs,” warning “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” Undisclosed by President Bush or Condoleezza Rice was the fact that top nuclear scientists had informed the Administration that the tubes were “too narrow, too heavy, too long” to be useful in developing nuclear weapons and could be used for other purposes. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, agreed. So much for the phony claims of Saddam Hussein building nuclear weapons–the primary claims justifying the rush to war. What were we told about chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction? These claims were as baseless and fraudulent as the claims about nuclear weapons.
    When Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons–first against Iranians, then against his own people, the Kurds – our country provided him with biological and chemical agents and equipment to make the weapons. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush refused even to support economic sanctions against Hussein for his use of weapons of mass destruction. What did our nation do in response to Hussein’s use of chemical weapons, killing tens of thousand of people, when he actually had them?
    We befriended, coddled, and rewarded him–with government-guaranteed loans totaling $5 billion since 1983, freeing up currency for Hussein to modernize his military assets.
    Let us keep in mind the injunction of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
    Source: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060918/moral_compass

  48. Dave

    Alex, I wish I had time to light into that diatribe you posted, but duty calls and I have to go attend the Clemson opener against nationally ranked but unheralded FAU, Florida Atlantic University for you liberals who only read the Nation. But, I’ll be back, as someone once said.

  49. Alex Rath

    Ah, slave to sports. I pity you.
    And if you’re going to “light into that diatribe” I posted. Do two things.
    1. Read the full article, and understand that I was cutting/pasting someone else’s words.
    2. If you’re going to refute the information provided therein, provide links… show facts… (facts are things that can be proven, by the way… just because your daddy Bush says it, doesn’t mean it’s a fact).
    Enjoy your time watching mindless athletes carring a piece of dead animal skin from one side of a piece of grass to the other.

  50. Ready to Hurl

    Just because it’s all over talk radio doesn’t mean that it isn’t essentially true.
    It raises the odds that it’s false astronomically.
    As much as the Left has been opposed to the WOT (in fact, their actions show them as effectively allied with the Islamic fascists),
    Mindlessly parroting Sean Hannity almost certainly means that you’re wrong– and offensively wrong, as in this statement.
    Most rational and informed people (is Warren Christopher now considered a “leftist?”) would define WoT as, well, actually finding and defeating terrorists, like Osama.
    Invading Iraq actually took resources away from capturing Osama in Tora Bora. Instead skilled troops were pulled to prepare for invading a country which had nothing to do with 9/11 (per Bush), Iraq.
    any successes clearly would be credited to Bush and the GOP.
    Well! We certainly don’t have to “worry” about that, do we? Actually, people who were opposed to Bush politically– not just “leftists”– hate to see Americans killed senselessly in another country’s civil war.
    The Left has in effect placed a huge bet on things going to heck in a handbasket, so if things go right for America the Left is basically screwed. Ergo a nightmare for the leftists.
    That’s certainly a neat bit of circular logic that should warm your heart and keep you from facing reality.
    Most of “the left” backed invading Afghanistan and destroying the odious Taliban, as well as, Al Qaeda. (Some didn’t but, then, some wingnuts have a lot in common with the Taliban, also.)
    Many people parted ways with Dear Leader when he left the job less than half completed in Afghanistan and turned to fulfilling the ideological pipe dreams of the neo-cons: sowing democracy at the end of a gun in the Middle East.
    Then Dear Leader used fear mongering and explicit assaults on the patriotism of even mild political opposition to his foolish diversion from the WoT.
    Now we know: there’s simply no compromise with a delusional megalomaniac who believes that he’s doing God’s work rather than fulfilling a constitutional office with checks and balances.

  51. Ready to Hurl

    Most rational and informed people (is Brent Scowcroft now considered a “leftist?”) would define WoT as, well, actually finding and defeating terrorists, like Osama.

  52. Lee

    You don’t think the 30,000 killers of cilivians, whom our forces have taken out of commission, were terrorists?
    You don’t think the hijackers trained in Iraq were terrorists?
    The critics of the war in Iraq also were against going into Afghanistan. They sat around for years and let the problem fester. Then Bush went in and finished off the Taliban so quickly, that they claimed it was their idea. Liars.

  53. Ready to Hurl

    American forces haven’t “taken out of commission” any 30,000 killers of civilians– unless you’re counting every one of the “collateral damage.”
    All these “hijackers trained in Iraq,” what planes exactly did they hijack? When? Where? Cite non-partisan sources.
    The critics didn’t “let the problem fester.” Bush did.
    If you’re defining “the problem” as terrorism then it’s difficult to be envision being any less interested than the Bush Administration prior to 9/11.
    Ditto if you define “the problem” as the Middle East. Bush wasn’t interested in trying to mediate in the Middle East and his neo-con advisers were awaiting their version of Pearl Harbor as the Project of the New American Century specified.

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