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It's over

January 21st, 2009

For the first time in the history of this blog, George Bush is not the President of the United States.

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  1. SJ
    January 21st, 2009 at 22:05 | #1

    It ain’t over by a long shot, or at least it shouldn’t be. Prosecutions for Bush, Cheney, et al. Bring it on.

  2. Socrates
    January 21st, 2009 at 23:19 | #2

    I will give Bush credit for ONE thing – he has left office with some dignity in the handover, and doesn’t appear to have gone in for a lot of dodgy last minute pardons a la Clinton. But thats all.

  3. January 21st, 2009 at 23:20 | #3

    If Obama, and his Administration, proves to be, as I expect and hope, conscientious, intelligent, competent and compassionate, he will be as good a political leader as the times demand.

    I am encouraged by the fact that he is self-consciously a politician. How the deals will be cut will become the issue, and perhaps the source of disappointment.

    Bush, in my judgment failed on all the essential criteria. At this time,I celebrate his departure, more than the promise that Obama might offer.

  4. January 22nd, 2009 at 01:48 | #4

    Professor Quiggin, I appreciate the way you have stamped down on personal attacks in this forum. Whilst I can derive some satisfaction from knowing that people who resort to personal attacks almost invariably do so because they don’t have a case, I still find dealing with personal attacks a strain.

    That having been said, is there any particular reason why you feel that the particular topic you have recently deemed banned from this discussion should be thus?

    This kind of topic derails comment threads, and was doing so in this case. If you must, write about it on one of the regular open threads. JQ

  5. observa
    January 22nd, 2009 at 09:55 | #5

    The amazing thing about democracy is how we can do a complete 180 degree flip and say Bush, Blair, Howard who? Naturally we never voted for them and their times. When the sun never set on rising asset prices and the fundies upset us and we were mad as hell with healthy Super balances and seemingly endless tax receipts we were all market men on a mission to get the bad guys. Now Iraqis can look after themselves and we’re all Keynesians now running the ruler over the graveyard of empires and perhaps they deserve the bloody Taliban real soon. Besides Osama can rot in a cave with them.

    I was reminded of the new wave of Keynesianism with the demise of Storm Financial taking down so many ‘poor mum and dad’ investors in Townsville. Slater and Gordon were bemoaning the banks in cahoots with Storm for forcing these poor unfortunates to lose their homes and life savings in margin lending on stocks. Presumably they want to get the greedy Gordon Geckos for preying on these poor innocents. A sign of the times no doubt.

    Yes we’re a much sorrier, communal lot now preferring our leaders to be painting flop houses than serving turkey to the troops, hopefully with real paint and not plastic turkeys. How on earth we’d want Presidents spending their precious problem solving time on painting flophouses now is anyone’s guess but you know how it is. We’re all in this together now, you can bank on that.

  6. January 22nd, 2009 at 10:41 | #6

    observa What I find most difficult to stomach is the hypocritical sycophantic publicity given to Barack Obama in the pages of the Murdoch press.

    “A nation reborn” indeed!

    As if Murdoch wants us to forget his own role in plunging the whole world into the dark ages of the last 8 years, beginning with Fox New’s pivotal role in overturning the majority vote against Bush in Miami in 2000. As was chronicled in Michael Moore’s Farenheit 911, this allowed Bush to steal those elections and since then we have suffered the Iraq war and financial, ecological and social calamity as a consequence.

    The world would be an immeasurably better place if Murdoch and his whole vile corporate empire disappeared into a black hole tomorrow.

  7. January 22nd, 2009 at 11:55 | #7

    Fairs enoughs JQ. Apologies for going OT… ;)

  8. gerard
    January 22nd, 2009 at 12:44 | #8

    and now daggett, your public broadcaster ABC Radio National would like to present its “summer specials” repeat of the Boyer Lectures, with Rupert Murdoch…

  9. January 22nd, 2009 at 13:46 | #9

    Gerard, any idea how such an intellectual nobody was asked to give the 2008 Boyer lectures? I listened to the lot. There was very little that was not standard self-serving Murdoch propaganda that we read every day in his newspapers.

    It seems to me with so many former and current Murdoch employees working for the ABC has become another arm of News Limited.

    Theo, I have responded to you on Monday Message Board.

  10. January 22nd, 2009 at 13:48 | #10

    Sorry, that sentence in my previous post should have been: “It seems to me that, with so many former and current Murdoch employees working for the ABC, it has become another arm of News Limited.

  11. Michael of Summer Hill
    January 22nd, 2009 at 16:08 | #11

    John, I just would like to say if Bush junior was a strong President then maybe 29 of the Al Samouni family killed in Gaza would have been alive today.

  12. Ubiquity
    January 22nd, 2009 at 22:08 | #12

    Obama is president. It is his tremendous narrative, eloquence, an charisma that got him across the line. It is good to see the back of Bush and his cronies they really were an intellectually imparied mob.

    So is Obama the one? Will he raise the “Titanic” or spread the lifeboats around and explain the rest away with his compasionate narrative. The big question, can he “succeed” as the leader of the “free world” in the current conditions. The short answer is I don’t think any person with all that baggage could.

  13. Gary
    January 23rd, 2009 at 08:55 | #13

    Good points on Murdoch, Dagget. He’s the one neocon fellow traveller who’s never felt much heat.

    It will be interesting to see how Obama treats FAUX et al, I don’t expect their inside access to be great.

  14. Alanna
    January 23rd, 2009 at 09:02 | #14

    Why do I suspect Murdoch of wanting to get a cheap broadcaster in the ABC to stream digital “murmedia” content endlessly through it. He has enough money to build his own…

  15. Alanna
    January 23rd, 2009 at 09:05 | #15

    Or is it “murderedmedia” content?

  16. January 23rd, 2009 at 10:45 | #16

    Thanks Alanna and Gary and thanks for having coined such a useful term, Alanna.

    I happen to think that the media itself should be subject to a lot more public scrutiny.

    If I was one of the politicians with the public interest at heart, such as, for example, Bob Brown or Scott Ludlam, I would use the occasion of media conferences to demand of journalists, particularly Murdoch journalists, explanations for their blatant misreporting.

    I would most love to see the the spotlight put on the Australian‘s Imre Saluzinsky for his relentless efforts throughout 2008 to corral the NSW Parliament into passing the NSW electricity privatisation legislation even though Iemma undertook not to privatise prior to the 2007 elections, it was explicitly rejected by the NSW electorate in 1999 and opposed by 79%-85% of the NSW public throughout 2008, 702 to 107 (from memory) of the NSW state Labor Party conference delegates as well as the NSW trade union movement.

    I have written of this in my article “Media contempt for facts in NSW electricity privatisation debate” of 18 September.

    Note the following lofty words in the Australian‘s editorial of yesterday, “A true believer in American ideals”:

    “The election of a man married to a descendant of slaves defines the triumph of democracy and the rule of law over all who believe that some men and women are born more equal than others.”

    … and contrast them with Imre Saluzinsky’s evident belief that the NSW corporate sector and international financiers are, like Orwell’s fabled pigs, far more equal than workers and other ordinary citizens of NSW.

    In NSW and now in Queensland the Murdoch Media has acted resolutely to remove any practical content from the concept of democracy.

    In the Presidential elections of 2000, they acted to overturn democracy in the literal sense by making it possible for Bush to steal the elections from the rightfully elected President Al Gore.

    The Murdoch newsmedia has shown itself to be the mortal enemy of democracy in the US and every other country on the globe and we urgently need to recognise it as such.

  17. Alanna
    January 23rd, 2009 at 22:26 | #17

    Daggett – re the term “murderedmedia” – its a bugger that it wont make the newspapers!!!

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