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Politics : Politics for Pros- moderated

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To: LindyBill who started this subject9/22/2004 6:28:49 PM
From: SiouxPal   of 768511
Who's this Juan Cole, Natalie's brother or what?
by Juan Cole*

Bush gave a long speech Thursday night, which sounded like a laundry
list of promises more than anything else. He pointed to few genuine
accomplishments during the past four years, and seemed stuck in fall,

If you think about George W. Bush as CEO of America, Inc., it becomes
clearer why his poll numbers have been so low (low to mid forties) in
the run up to the election. No president with those kinds of poll
numbers in the spring before the election has ever won.

Bush's basic characteristic is not steadfastness, as the convention
attempted to argue, but rashness. He is a gambler who goes for the big
bang. He loses his temper easily, and makes hasty and uninformed
decisions about important matters. No corporation would keep on a CEO
that took risks the way Bush has, if the gambles so often resulted in
huge losses.

Let us imagine you had a corporation with annual gross revenues of
about $2 trillion. And let's say that in 2000, it had profits of $150
billion. So you bring in a new CEO, and within four years, the profit
falls to zero and then the company goes into the red to the tune of
over $400 billion per year. You're on the Board of Directors and the
CEO's term is up for renewal. Do you vote to keep him in? That's what
Bush did to the US government. He took it from surpluses to deep in
the red. We are all paying interest on the unprecedented $400 billion
per year in deficits (a deficit is just a loan), and our grandchildren
will be paying the interest in all likelihood.

And what if you had been working for America, Inc. all your life, and
were vested in its pension plan (i.e. social security)? And you heard
that the company is now hemorrhaging money and that the losses are
going to be paid for out of your pension? What if you thought you were
going to get $1000 a month to retire on, and it is only going to be
$500? Or maybe nothing at all? Because of the new CEO whose management
turned a profit-making enterprise into an economic loser? Would you
vote to keep him on?

What if the CEO convinced himself that the Mesopotamia Corp. was
planning a hostile takeover? What if he had appointed a lot of senior
vice-presidents who were either incompetent boobs or had some kind of
backroom deal going with crooked brokers, and fed him false
information that Mesopotamia Corp. was making a move and had amassed a
big war chest for the purpose? And what if, to avoid this imaginary
threat, he launched a preemptive hostile takeover of his own, spending
at least $200 billion to accomplish it (on top of the more than $400
billion he is already losing every year)? Remember, it was a useless

It turns out that Mesopotamia Corp. was a creaky old dinosaur with no
cash reserves, and couldn't have launched a hostile takeover of the
neighborhood mom and pop store. And, moreover, its arena of operations
is extremely dangerous, and nearly a thousand America, Inc. workers
get killed taking it over. And it turns out that the managers that the
CEO put into Mesopotamia Corp. were bunglers. They adopted policies
that made the taken-over employees bitter and sullen and
uncooperative. Instead of standing on its own, the wholly owned
subsidiary of Mesopotamia, Inc., requires continued infusion of
capital from America, Inc. It looks increasingly as though
Mesopotamia, Inc., will have to be let loose, and that its new
managers will opt for interest-free Islamic banking as soon as they

Meanwhile, the real threat of a hostile takeover comes from al-Qaeda,
Inc. Because 138,000 employees had to be assigned to Mesopotamia,
Inc., there are few left to meet that challenge.

So given this kind of record, do you vote this CEO back in? It is
often said that a lot of Americans want to stick with Bush to "see
Iraq through." But if you think about him as a CEO, and look at how
well he has run things, you can see the idiocy of this argument. The
real question is, do you throw good money after bad?
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