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News - Have Dubya's first 100 days been a success?

No. Not since the days of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford has this nation seen such global upheaval

Just for a moment, let's try to forget the fact that since late January, we have witnessed a total meltdown of the Middle East peace process, a near-biblical plague of foot-and-mouth disease, a nightmarish debacle in the domestic financial markets, embarrassing U.S. spy scandals involving the Russians and the Chinese, and a labor strike that has shut down production at the Guinness breweries in Ireland.

A kind assessment would be that Bush and his stealthy conservative cadre of advisers have inherited a world that is working resolutely against them. But I am not so kind, mainly because the right wing is blaming Bill Clinton for it all, and I have no use for such foolishness.

To suggest that the bizarre spectacle of the 2000 presidential election has no role in the world's opinion of the United States is pure folly. George W. Bush is viewed in certain foreign halls of power not only with suspicion, but with outright skepticism, and his executive decision making so far has served only to undermine the general peace and stability we've all enjoyed for the last eight years — and has strengthened the will of certain governments to test American resolve to the limits of all patience, a situation that recently resulted in Bush's dangerous pissing contest with the Chinese.

Here at home, the oversized Bush tax cut plan chugs through Congress like a runaway train, ignoring the cornerstone of the Clinton administration's economic policy, namely the reduction of public debt.

Instead, Bush suggests a rapid return to the trickle-down days of Ronald Reagan, when deficit spending ruled the day and the super-rich enjoyed the biggest reduction in the top marginal income tax rate in history. In the meantime, the markets will most likely continue to sag, because the Bush plan — with all its Pollyanna projections of massive budget surpluses — does nothing to assure global investors that the U.S. will be on sound financial footing in the future.

Bush has ignored the more complex issues of the day in favor of turning his attentions to government-sponsored religious activities, the details of which he leaves to others and which may likely be unconstitutional anyway. The President has managed to confuse and agitate the most conservative members of his evangelical support base, who fear that the U.S. government may be preparing to cut multi-million dollar checks to non-Christian "cults" like the Hare Krishnas.

Not since the days of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford has this nation seen such global upheaval as has happened in the last 100 days. Perhaps there is a greater cause for it all. But one thing is for sure: It has all happened since the "election" of George W. Bush.??





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