February 05, 2004

Let's Be Tim Russert's Staff!

Nick Confessore informs us that George W. Bush will appear on "Meet the Press" this Sunday:

TAPPED: February 2004 Archives: BATTER UP! It looks like President Bush will appear on Tim Russert's show "Meet the Press" this Sunday, presumably to discuss indications that Bush did not fulfill his military service obligations during the 1970s. Translation: Karl Rove believes that Bush can take Russert -- and that if Russert punts on the tough questions, the rest of the media will give Bush a pass, and they can put this behind them.

This should really get Russert's goat, if it hasn't already. For President Bush -- a man famously bad on his feet, who has created problems for himself at virtually every single one of the few press conferences he has given -- to put himself in Russert's hands for a full hour, when a few simple questions are all that are needed to break this story wide open, would seem to be a real risk. Unless you believe, as some folks do, that Russert's reputation for toughness is at best lived up to erratically, and at worse undeserved. Will Russert prove his critics right, or will he prove them wrong?

Let's be Tim Russert's staff! Let's write down the questions he should ask!

Economic and Budget Policy

  • Mr. President, the Washington Post has called your budget a "bogus budget," the New York Times has called your budget a "Pinocchio budget." They say that your claims that your budget policies would reduce the deficit by half by 2009 are false because your budget omits $150 billion of costs in 2009 associated with policies you advocate. Why did you submit such a misleading budget?
  • [Follow up] Mr. President, the budget you submitted has no money in 2009 to fight the War on Terrorism, no proposals to keep the Alternative Minimum Tax from undoing the tax cuts you are so proud of, and contains the magic asterisks--claims that sometime in the future we will make additional proposals to cut spending--that caused so much trouble in the 1980s. Shouldn't you pull back the budget document, and issue a new one that recognizes these missing items?
  • [Follow up] Mr. President, your first Treasury Secretary--Paul O'Neill--warned about the dangers that over-hasty and imprudent budgeting could produce embarrassingly-large deficits, and tried to keep your administration from going down the current path. It's now clear that he was right. Shouldn't you bring him back? Wouldn't it be better to have as advisors people who gave you accurate forecasts than people who gave you inaccurate forecasts?
  • Mr. President, if you had known back in 2001 that your administration would see the worst job record since Herbert Hoover--a loss of 2.3 million payroll jobs for Americans--what would you have done differently in economic policy? Would you have given more tax cuts to the middle class and fewer to the $300,000+ a year crowd in order to boost spending and employment, for by and large the middle class spends while the upper class saves the tax cuts it receives?
  • Mr. President, Alan Greenspan and Paul O'Neill are on record as saying that one thing reducing investment and holding back the American economy over the past couple of years has been a fear on the part of investors that the SEC and other regulatory agencies are not doing enough to oversee corporate managers. Enron. Adelphia. Global Crossing. WorldCom. Abroad, Parmalat--all cases of fraud by corporate managers on a scale that would dwarf the Gilded Age. You, by contrast, are on record as saying that the big problem in corporate regulation and governance is "SEC overreach." Can you please explain why you think that Chairman Greenspan and the man you thought best suited to be your Treasury Secretary are wrong, and that you are right on this issue?
  • Mr. President, your budget reports estimates for only five years, rather than the standard ten. Outside observers have said that this is because the deficit estimates for the sixth through the tenth years look really really bad--and that you and your staff think that if you don't release the numbers for those years, the press corps is too dumb and lazy to ask about them. Is that correct? Is that the reason?
  • [Follow up] Mr. President, in your estimation has it worked? Are we really that dumb and lazy?

Social Policy

  • Mr. President, last week you said that HHS Secretary "Tommy" Thompson, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and OMB Director Josh Bolten had kept from you the fact that their staff's estimates of the costs of the Medicare bill you signed last December were much much higher than other estimates--that you only learned about this a couple of weeks ago. When are you planning to fire all three of them?

Military Service

  • Mr. President, all this fuss about your military service could be ended in an hour if you would--like all other presidents and candidates--release your military service records. As long as you don't release them, we all will infer that there is something in them that you regard as really damaging--as much more damaging than the current accusations that you failed to fulfill your commitments and got your father to fix it with the Pentagon. What is in your records that you and your staff are so scared of?
  • [Follow up] Then I can announce that your military service records will be publicly released this afternoon?
  • Mr. President, your staff has been handing around a strange, torn document that they say is a partial copy of your military record from 1972-73, and that shows you reporting for Air National Guard duty in Houston on 25 days from May 1972 through April 1973. But your superior officers in Houston said that you had "not been observed" at all during that year. Is this torn document a crude forgery that has been added to your record, or is there some explanation for how you could have been on base for 25 different days during a year in which your superior officers claimed that you had not been seen on base at all?
  • [Follow up] Mr. President, do you know who created this "torn document" and who inserted it into your personnel file?

National Security

  • Mr. President, your CIA chief, George Tenet, has said in a speech at Georgetown University that the CIA never believed that Saddam Hussein posed a major or immediate threat to America. And your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said that it is not at all clear if we had known then what we know now that the case was strong enough to support an attack on Iraq. In light of these conclusions by your chief advisors, are you sorry that you did not give Hans Blix and the U.N. inspectors more time to establish that Saddam Hussein did not possess significant quantities of weapons of mass destruction, and did not pose a threat to America?
  • [Follow up] Mr. President, if the CIA never believed that Saddam Hussein posed a major or immediate threat to America, and never believed that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were friends rather than enemies, what was the real reason for our invasion of Iraq?
  • Mr. President, it is now more than six months since some of your senior White House aides leaked classified information about the identity of U.S. agents and so outraged all current and former CIA and other intelligence community members. You have sat passively by, taking no personal steps to establish the identity of the leakers of classified information, apparently happy to have them continue to serve you. Doesn't this undermine trust in the White House? What steps are you going to take to regain the trust of those brave and dedicated men and women who work in our intelligence services?

Suggestions very welcome...

Joe Conason has good questions too. As does David Corn.

Posted by DeLong at February 5, 2004 01:10 PM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

This is the same Tim Russert that former GE (owner of NBC) CEO Jack Welch praised as the sort of TV newsperson all newspeople should model themselves after? Whose rapid rise up the ranks of the corporate world stunned everyone at his company?

This is the same Tim Russert whose interview of the author of the factually deficient "Bias" turned into a mutual admiration exchange?

Don't expect any HARD questions here.

Posted by: Moniker on February 5, 2004 01:19 PM

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How about:

Why won't you release your military pay records, which would almost certainly show the duty you were paid for, and clear this whole dang thing up?

Posted by: heet on February 5, 2004 01:20 PM

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Good questions, Brad, but not Russert questions yet.

Russert likes the quote or clip - some place he can show a politician actually contradicting himself, or saying something stupid. Bush is going to be a little slippery on this, but I actually hope Russert does his homework and squeezes him, because I want to see what cards Bush has to play this year.

(Ultimately, I doubt Russert will. This kind of access is too big a prize to waste beating up on the President, unless you value "journalistic ethics," which I doubt Russert does.)

Posted by: j mann on February 5, 2004 01:24 PM

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"Mr. President -- and I use the term advisedly, given the fact that you actually lost the election -- can you give the American people one good reason why your sorry ass should not be kicked into the deepest darkest dungeon and the key shot into outer space?"

Posted by: John H. Farr on February 5, 2004 01:25 PM

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Don't be naive, Brad. Russert's opening question will be, "President Bush, do you think John Kerry is haughty and French-looking?" And it'll go downhill from there.

"Get his goat?" Russert doesn't have enough pride to give Bush the grilling that we deserve.

The interview will focus on the shortcomings of the top Democratic presidential candidates. There will be a minor scandal a year from now when it is revealed that Russert's questions were vetted for approval by the White House beforehand.

Posted by: Holden Lewis on February 5, 2004 01:26 PM

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Nice half trillion dollar deficit. Would the deficit be over $1 trillion at the end of your second term? What would you do if oil is $50 a barrel and the dollar is worth a half euro by the election? Would you gracefully bow out?

Do you feel any personal responsibility for diverting attention from Osama by going to war in Iraq? What will be the response from the US if the President of Pakistan is assassinated and replaced by an Islamic government?

Does it feel powerful to have 1.5 volunteer soldiers a day die for you in Iraq? How many funeral have you attended of those killed in Iraq? Would you have gone to Vietnam had they called you up or would you have let Daddy get you out of the frontlines?

Do you feel that you have done enough for the far right with the interim appointment, or do you feel that we really need a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (stay on message- REWARD THE BASE)?

Does Karl Rove really program you every morning?

Posted by: Allen M on February 5, 2004 01:34 PM

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On the topic of Bush’s military record, I think the appropriate questions would be the following:

“Did you then and do you now believe that the war in Vietnam was a good idea?”

“If so, why did you choose not to serve in a war you supported when that meant that others would have to serve in your place?”

Clinton caught hell for dodge a war that he actively opposed; he didn’t want to serve and didn’t think that anyone else should have been forced to go. Bush seems to have believed that it was right for the US to force its citizens to go fight in Vietnam, as long as people like himself and Dick Cheney didn’t have to go.

Posted by: Mark Witte on February 5, 2004 01:37 PM

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I think Russert should just reach back to his interview with Howard Dean from June 2003. All these questions (or statements as the case may be) are relevant in Bush's case as well:

MR. RUSSERT: Let's talk about the military budget. How many men and women would you have on active duty?

MR. RUSSERT: But how many troops--how many men and women do we now have on active duty?

MR. RUSSERT: But as commander in chief, you should now [sic] that.

MR. RUSSERT: How many troops would have in Iraq?

MR. RUSSERT: There is concern about your awareness and positions on national security. You must acknowledge that.

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to a Boston Globe article about the military service during the Vietnam War as it applies to you and I'll put it on the screen.

Full transcript here:
http://www.demog.berkeley.edu/~gabriel/dean2004blog/Dean_MTP_June_22_2003.htm

Posted by: Peter on February 5, 2004 01:44 PM

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When Russert interviewed Cheney a few months ago, I read that all questions were pre-approved. Won't that be the case here? Maybe the list was submitted, but not subject to Cheney's approval---not sure on that one.

Posted by: marky on February 5, 2004 01:48 PM

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Mr. President; Treasury Secretary John Snow recently said that, this summer it appears we're going to have to yet again raise the national debt limit beyond the $7.4 trillion it currently stands at. At what point do you feel the national debt is too high, and if it reaches such a high point, will you follow the example of both Ronald Reagan and your father; raising taxes to try to bring the deficit back under control?

(If you have a minute, please visit my web page. Thanks)

Posted by: Balta on February 5, 2004 01:49 PM

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"Mr. President, if you had known back in 2001 that your administration would see the worst job record since Herbert Hoover--a loss of 2.3 million payroll jobs for Americans--what would you have done differently in economic policy? "

What's *your* answer to that, Brad? And as a follow up, if your answer is that you would have shifted the tax cut to the middle class, what is your quantitative estimate of how much such a shift would have reduced the unemployment rate, and which macroeconomic model did you use to obtain that estimate?

Posted by: Arnold Kling on February 5, 2004 01:53 PM

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Mr. President:
Why did you refuse to take a physical exam, and drop out of flight training school after US taxpayers invested in your future?

Does anyone know how we contact Mr. Russert?

Posted by: tony daniel on February 5, 2004 01:55 PM

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During the campaign you promised, made it a buzz line, that you would not make decisions based on polls. Does Karl Rove take polls? What do you do with those polls? Did Rove take polls about the invasion of Iraq? Can the American people see those polls? No? Why is Karl Rove on the government payroll when he is doing work for the Republican Party? Start here. When you last saw Pat Robertson a couple of weeks ago, did you discuss his role in the upcoming campaign? Will you enlist his people to man the phones to smear the Democratic nominee, like they did to smear John McCain? Will you take a pledge to tell your supporters not to go negative with personal attacks? Did you tell Cheney to give Scalia any messages when Cheney invited Scalia to go duck hunting while Cheney's case is now pending before the Supreme Court. Did you approve Cheney's decision to invite Scalia? Does Cheney just act unilaterally without regard of your wishes? Quote Mankiw's textbook about deficits and ask him how his administrations own policies contradict the express policy belief of its economic advisors. You take more vacation than any President in history, are you earning your salary? Afterall, you don't read anything, you rarely ask questions. Can your management style best be summed up as benign neglect? If you do not read, and therefore must rely on the advice of your cabinet and staff, have you ensured enough different voices so that you are assured that you are hearing all viewpoints? Now, let's go through these people: aren't they all arch conservatives (except Powell but you don't listen to him anyway)? How, then, are you assured that you are being told straight information? Tenet says no imminent threat, why did you hype it? I know you like to make up nicknames for folks. I have one for you, it's after that little wooden boy whose nose grows. Hmmm, I see foliage growing on your face. One hour is not enough. Russert will not be prepared enough. He should dedicated the hour to two subjects and just rip into Bush on those points.

Posted by: Cal on February 5, 2004 02:00 PM

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How about "What are you going to do to protect the sanctity of marriage from people like a heterosexual husband who repeatedly broke God's commandment by committing adultery with countless Asian prostitutes while on business trips, and later told his wife he wanted a divorce - in an email message."

When Bush responds, "huh?"

Reword the question as: "What are you going to do to protect marriage from people like your brother Neil?"

Posted by: Jon H on February 5, 2004 02:04 PM

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Mr. President, why have you attended not a single funeral of a fallen American soldier in Iraq, nor visited any of the wounded?

Posted by: wvmcl on February 5, 2004 02:04 PM

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Btw, I think Clinton did a one hour with Russert during the Monica scandal. It would be interesting to compare Russert's treatment then and now.

Posted by: wvmcl on February 5, 2004 02:07 PM

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Mr. President, President Truman was well-known for having a sign on his desk reading "The Buck Stops Here." Can you explain why, having suffered possibly the worst intelligence and law enforcement failure in the past century, if not in our country's history, why no one in your administration has resigned or been fired over that failure?

(Followup) From attributing intelligence to the British, to blaming an embarassing banner on the crew of an aircraft carrier to attributing deficits to external circumstances and failures of Congress, you seem to frequently blame others for the country's problems. Even in cases where members of your administration say the take responsibility, they never admit having done anything wrong. Is there any failure or problem that has occurred on your watch that you do take responsibility for?

(Further followups) If no, then why should the American people expect you to effectively deal with the country's problems in the next four years? If yes, then why have you only fired appointees who showed insufficient personal loyalty to you and Mr. Cheney, rather than ones who failed to solve problems within their purview?

Posted by: Redshift on February 5, 2004 02:09 PM

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Marky's partly right; he forgot about who actually is drafting the questions.

Timmy's first comment:

"Mr. President, were you able to study the script that Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie sent out last week? For your convenience, we use phonic spelling on the teleprompter."

Posted by: Mimir on February 5, 2004 02:13 PM

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Maybe they are going for a replay of the GHW Bush smackdown of Dan Rather.

Posted by: bakho on February 5, 2004 02:24 PM

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Mr. President: You opposed the creation of the independent 9-11 comission. When it became politically untenable to maintain that opposition, you attempted to have the commission led by Henry Kissinger. Governor Kean and the other members of the commission have repeatedly complained that your staff have not been fully forthcoming, forcing them to threaten your administration with its subpoena power. You will only allow three members of the commission to view the President's daily briefing reports from the most relevant time periods to their investigation, and those members cannot share that information with the others. When this conduct delayed the (already rushed) preparation of the report, you opposed the extension of the commission's deadline. Mr. President, why are you standing in the way of an honest and full accounting of the most deadly attack ever on American soil? You accused Democrats during the mid-term elections of 2002 of not being interested in the security of the American people? Can the same be said of the White House?

Posted by: boatner on February 5, 2004 02:41 PM

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So all the crummy pseudo-journalism paid off. Tim's got "Access". Well Bravo! Whadayawanna bet they jabber more about baseball than Service to your Country?

Posted by: bcinaz on February 5, 2004 02:47 PM

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"Have you asked John Hannah and Scooter Libby whether they outed Valarie Plame? Why not?"

Posted by: joe on February 5, 2004 02:48 PM

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I have the feeling most questions will be about gay marriage in Massechussets, and Janet Jackson's boob.

Posted by: Fabio on February 5, 2004 02:48 PM

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Russert's sense of self-interest seems strong; he'll hedge his bets the second he stops believing the fable of the Inevitable Bush Landslide. all we need is for someone to show him a recent poll. he'll do the rest.

Posted by: wcw on February 5, 2004 02:48 PM

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Russert has been around for awhile, making a pretty good salary. Does he have the gumption to ask the questions? He can afford to. The fear of losing access does seem to be a theme today. Followup questions, with specific content so Bush cannot do his generalizing, are crucial.(eg. list types of military/tax records that can be produced)
I'd bet the questions are preapproved. Russert could iqnore the agreed upon little play, but I would not bet on that.

Posted by: Dharma Bum on February 5, 2004 02:48 PM

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I have never been able to understand why any Democrat appears on Russert. He has admitted that he calls the RNC or Grover Norquist's group for his questions. Then he performs the equivalent of a pistol whip on the guest. Do they need this type of exposure?
Again I say "google or lex/nex JAMES R. BATH and read a Houston Chronicle article circa Oct. 2000. Bath refused the flight physical and then ends up in the CIA, is well known by Poppy and also becomes the U.S. financial advisor to the Bin Laden family. Curiously circumstantial!

Posted by: G Ward on February 5, 2004 02:55 PM

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"Do you agree with Richard Perle that the CIA persistently underestimated Saddam's stockpile of WMD, his connections to al-Qaida, and his threat to the US?"

Posted by: joe on February 5, 2004 02:56 PM

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Mr. President: The Texas legislature, with the substantial assistance of Tom Delay and other power brokers in Washington recently took the unprecedented step of remapping the state's Congressional districts in a non-census year. The same was done by Republicans in Colorado. As the President, you are also the leader of the Republican party. By virtue of your inaction, you implicitly lend support to those highly unusual actions. Do you support off-year redistricting? Is it good for American democracy? And, if you oppose it, why didn't you, as the leader of the Republican Party, act to stop it? Is Tom Delay, by logical implication, the leader of the Republican Party?

A follow up: Last year, the Republican Party took the unprecedented step of recalling the Governor of California and electing a political neophyte and (apparent) ally of yours, Arnold Schwarzenneger. Historians have indicated that the purpose of the provision of the California constitution under which the Republicans acted was intended as a check agaisnt corruption. There is no indication that Gray Davis was anything worse than bland and ineffectual. Do you support the recall of Gray Davis? Was that good for American democracy? If you oppose it, why didn't you, as the leader of the Republican Party, act to stop it?

A follow up: Can a line be drawn between the redistricting and recall efforts? These both represent unprecendented uses of political processes which non-legal norms had left unused for decades and decades. It is only under your leadership that your party has exploited them to their partisan advantage. Is this good for American Democracy?

God, this is fun.

Posted by: boatner on February 5, 2004 02:57 PM

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To add to the list on budgetary/economic policy: Mr. President, why does your budget assume federal revenue growth of 13 percent next year? Why such an incredible forecast, when the federal government hasn't seen a revenue increase that big in over 20 years? Shouldn't the budget of the United States be based on more realistic assumptions, especially since your past three budgets have inclued wildly optimistic revenue growth projections that turned out to be wrong, as actual revenues fell far short of expectations? And therefore, won't the deficit be much higher than you're projecting, as a result of lower revenues?

Full disclosure: I stole this from Daniel Gross of Slate (http://slate.msn.com/id/2094801/). I think it's really important to avoid getting caught up in a debate over "spending" -- Presidents can always say that they are urging Congress to cut spending. But revenues, absent changes in the tax law, are static: our current tax code will bring in a certain amount of money, which should only change based on economic fluctuations and the intensity of enforcement by the IRS. Yet Bush's budget office has been WILDLY OPTIMISTIC about the revenue forecast -- and has been dead wrong for 3 years in a row -- and that's entirely the fault of the President, not Congress. As near as I can tell, Bush isn't proposing to RAISE taxes in FY05 (October 04-September 05) -- so how could we possibly see that kind of revenue growth? The economy isn't going to grow by 13%!

I agree with the commenter who said that Russert likes to focus on past statements/quotes/clips which seem to contradict the interview subject's current position or illustrate faulty thinking. Quoting from past budgets may help focus on just how DISHONEST the President's FY05 budget is.

Posted by: jerseyguy on February 5, 2004 03:04 PM

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This is fun. How about: "In February 2003, when you were selling your tax cut package, your CEA put out a briefing paper claiming that the tax cuts would create 510,000 new jobs in 2003. What the heck happened?"

And to follow-up: "Does it bother you that your CEA could be so far off in such a short period of time? Why should you, and why should we, believe anything those guys say?"

Posted by: joe on February 5, 2004 03:11 PM

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We need to take Marky's thought one step further. Rove (more likely his Texas alter-ego Hughs?) cannot have agreed to let this innocent sit for an hour-long interview without setting ground rules. The question is, how to play it? My guess is, Russert will throw softballs dressed up like hardballs. Bush has been through this before - in practice campaign debates. His staff thinks of tough questions, gives Bush answers, then thinks up tough follow-ups, again with answers. Just hand the practice questions to Russert, instruct him to look tough when he issues the question, then to look impressed with the answer. Wrap up with Bush congratulating Russert for being tough and doing a his job, Russert telling Bush how completely he has put troubling issues to rest. All done, good night.

Posted by: K Harris on February 5, 2004 03:15 PM

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Mr. President: You have thus far refused to release either the Air National Guard file documenting your service or the SEC file documenting their investigation of allged insider trading at Harken Energy. You and your allies have repeatedly denied that there is anything damaging in those files. Assuming those statements are true, why won't you release them?

Posted by: boatner on February 5, 2004 03:19 PM

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Mr. President, what are you plans for 2005 after the Democrats kick your candy ass back to Crawford?

Posted by: noam chimpsky on February 5, 2004 03:23 PM

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Mr. President: You earned a substantial fortune by virtue of your investment in the Texas Rangers. Much of the growth in the value of that investment is attirbutable to the ballpark deal that the Rangers got from Arlington, Texas. As part of that deal, hundreds of acres of land (far in excess of what was necessary for the ballpark and attendant parking lots) was condemned and turned over to you. You describe yourself as a defender of private property rights. You make a big deal of taking a lengthy annual vacation at your beloved Crawford ranch. Do the actions of the Arlington government and the Texas Rangers embody your views on the relation between citizen and state in the area of private property? If not, will you sell the Crawford ranch (which you were able to purchase in 1999 by virtue of the appreciation of your Rangers investment)?

Posted by: boatner on February 5, 2004 03:28 PM

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"Can you name any of your buddies -- your band of brothers -- with whom you served in the Alabama National Guard?"

Posted by: joe on February 5, 2004 03:58 PM

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Mr "President": do you really agree with your advisor Grover Norquist that the morality behind the estate tax is the same as that behind the Holocaust?

follow-up: so is it more like slavery?

Posted by: sudeep on February 5, 2004 04:16 PM

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All good fun, but let's not overlook marky's point. What did Russert agree to in order to get Bush to appear?

So let's ask Russert that before he starts the show. After all, he's going to want us to believe that this is a real, unscripted, interview. Aren't viewers entitled to know whether it is or not?

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov on February 5, 2004 04:19 PM

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"Did Saddam really try to purchase yellowcake from an African country? Were the aluminum tubes actually used in a nuclear weapons program? Were the two trailers truly mobile biological weapons facilities?"

Posted by: joe on February 5, 2004 04:20 PM

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If Russert has any journalistic integrity he will challenge Bush on his economic, health care, military and environmental policies. For him not to ask Bush to explain his actions and not present him with fair, tough and warranted questions that many Americans would like honest answers to would be pointless.

George Bush is the president of the United States. I've always believed that the president should be respected. An interviewer can be respectful and still ask in depth questions that demand real thought. Don't get me wrong.......I hate George Bush and have no respect for him what so ever. It sickens me that I hate the president and have no respect for him.

I hope Russert surprises me and others and gives us a fair and tough interview. If he throws Bush a bunch of softballs, Meet the Press really sucks.


james bryce jr

Posted by: james bryce jr on February 5, 2004 04:23 PM

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Mr. President: You're dumber than a box of hammers, aren't you?

Posted by: poputonian on February 5, 2004 04:30 PM

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Russert picked up Ed Gillespie's "Kerry is more liberal than Ted Kennedy" GOP meme faster than most House Republicans. And you think he's gonna go tough on Bush? There's a reason they are letting him next to Bush, and it's not because they don't think Russert is a good reporter. Rather, he's a "good" reporter, as in the kind of "good" you call your lapdog. Expect the toughest question of the evening to be something along the lines of "Did your wife pick out that tie?"

Posted by: Mark Spittle on February 5, 2004 04:40 PM

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This is the same Tim Russert that did a pre-2000 election interview with GWB that was so fawning the production staff called it "Deep Throat The Missing Footage."

I wonder if Vegas is doing book on what questions will be asked. If they did all the odds would be 1000:1 or worse on any of your questions.

Posted by: Alan on February 5, 2004 04:49 PM

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Mr President you ran on a platform of being the "education president" based largely on your
record of improving education in Texas.

But it turns out the only reason that the Texas education system seems to have improved is that the Texas education establishment cooked the books. Apparently they took accounting lessons from Enron.

Your Sect. of Education is the former Supt of schools in Hoston who has been revealed to have been the one individual most responsible for faking the texas school records to show improvement.

1. Why did you not fire this man after it was revealed he had lied to you and the people of Texas.

2. Can you demonstrate any reason why your unfunded mandate known as " no child
left behind" will do any better in helping national education than the program you enacted in Texas when you were governor that only showed improvement because the books were cooked, just as in Enron.

Posted by: spencer on February 5, 2004 04:55 PM

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These questions are good, but, as a whole, too argumentative. I bet you could give the questions a more friendly voice so they wouldn't immediately alienate Bush supporters.

For example, "The Democrats have been raising questions about your National Guard service. You have a chance here to put those questions to rest. On you word, can you confirm that earned your honorable discharge, that is, that you were always there when you should have been?" Possible follow-ups would ask him to clarify his garbled answer. The question would at least lay a trap for catching him in a lie.

"What was your position on the Vietnam War, and how did your actions follow from it?"

"Many of the reasons for war seem less strong than before. . . The effort has been very expensive, $87 bln here, $50bln there. Was it worth it?" Follow up: "Say I had put that much money into beefing up port security, etc. Wouldn't that have made us safer?"

"Paul O'Neill said in his book that you expressed concern at one point about the second tax cut, because it was clearly aimed at the rich. Can you confirm that you did indeed say that?" Follow ups, depending on answer: 1) "So why didn't you stand for what you thought and give a meaningful cut to the middle class? Are you a tool?" 2) Why would O'Neill make up something like that?

"How do you feel when you go to a funeral of a GI who died in Iraq? What do you tell the families there?"

"Name five soldiers who have died in Iraq."

"Why don't you hold more press conferences?"

"When you campaigned you were a strong supporter of Taiwan's independence. Recently, your position changed somewhat. What is your current policy toward Taiwan?"

"What is the evidence that No Child Left behind is working?"

"Why the jobless recovery?"

"Clinton said that the best thing about the Presidency was the work. Do you love your job like he did? Why so many days off? (Shouldn't the most powerful man in the world give it his all?)"

Posted by: Matt on February 5, 2004 05:08 PM

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"Does anyone know how we contact Mr. Russert?"

MTP@NBC.com

A votre service :-)

Posted by: Jean-Philippe Stijns on February 5, 2004 05:29 PM

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Mr. President, when brought your message of solidarity and courage to New York on September the 14th, 2001, and you held the megaphone hugged that brave fireman on the still-smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center, what were your feelings?

Posted by: Elton Beard on February 5, 2004 05:34 PM

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"Mr. President, many Americans are still disturbed, or at least confused, by what happened in the 2000 election controversy. Could you explain what was the basis for your claim, during that controversy, that the Florida Supreme Court's recount order would have violated the voters' right to 'equal protection'? Which voters would have had their rights violated?"

[Then, after he talks about how he hopes the country has put all that behind and moved on...]

"Does that mean you are convinced that all fifty states now DO offer 'equal protection', by the standards you argued for before the Supreme Court? Or does it mean that now you're in the White House, you no longer care whether American voters are having their Constitutional rights violated?"

[Then, after he offers some platitude about how he believes all Americans are entitled to have their vote count...]

"But that wasn't the question. In 2000, you said if votes were counted in certain ways, and not counted in certain ways, then the constitution wasn't being rightly applied in voting because some voters were being denied equal protection; now, as president, you took an oath to defend the constitution; so have you in fact seen to it that the voting process in 2004 WILL meet the standards you demanded in 2000?"

Posted by: Jeffrey Kramer on February 5, 2004 05:34 PM

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Uh, missing "you" two posts ago, corrected:

Mr. President, when you brought your message of solidarity and courage to New York on September the 14th, 2001, and you held the megaphone hugged that brave fireman on the still-smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center, what were your feelings?

Posted by: Elton Beard on February 5, 2004 05:37 PM

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Shortened version of the question I've posed at my site, The Talent Show :

"Who do you hate more, Mr. President, gay people or terrorists?"
http://www.thetalentshow.org/archives/000767.html

Posted by: greg on February 5, 2004 05:44 PM

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My bet is, Russert knows his credibility is really shaky for going easy on W and his people. I bet, he asks pre-arranged "tough" questions, W gives his pat "Saddam was a bad guy... I was honorably discharged" answers, and Russert moves on. I'll S*%t in my pants if Russert really asks right out "why don't you release your private military records?"

Posted by: John McKinzey on February 5, 2004 05:48 PM

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Yeah, right. Only if the body of Tim Russert is possessed by the soul and intellect of Jeremy Paxman, which would be great for us, but pretty bad for Paxman's odds while trolling the London bars for hot chicks.

Besides, the best question of all is, "If you truly believe that the interests of the American people are best served by increasing the rule of democracy across the world, shouldn't Cheney and you resign, and thus deliver 296,000,000 people into the bright sunlight of popular rule?"

Posted by: Brian C.B. on February 5, 2004 05:58 PM

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Yeah, right. Only if the body of Tim Russert is possessed by the soul and intellect of Jeremy Paxman, which would be great for us, but pretty bad for Paxman's odds while trolling the London bars for hot chicks.

Besides, the best question of all is, "If you truly believe that the interests of the American people are best served by spreading democracy across the world, shouldn't Cheney and you resign, and thus immediately deliver 296,000,000 people out of the palpable obscure of appointed oligarchy and into the bright sunlight of popular rule?"

Posted by: Brian C.B. on February 5, 2004 06:00 PM

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Gray Brendle:
"mindless Democrat talking points of my neighborhood beauty salon."

OK, maybe some of the politics here can be characterized that way. But as far as macroeconomics goes, what Prof DeLong peddles has long been consensus mainstream economic talking points of everybody from mid-liberal Democrats to moderate conservative Repblicans. And the last time this consensus was abandoned, during Reagan, the consensus quickly returned when their non-consensus approach didn't pan out.

This time is different: things are not panning out, there is no questioning in the admin of their failed policies, and anyone who questions the policies is trashed as a radical leftist, or a nut, or nihilist, or even worse, shrill.

So some people who used to considered more or less mainstream are a little upset, and I don't blame them. I did not enjoy seeing "Impeach Bush" on what seemed to be every other post for awhile. But when I see that kind of thing from conservative sources, I look to see if there is any substance to the outrage. If you read the macro posts here, I think you will see quite a bit of substance, not just Demo talking points. To bad Prof. DeLong trashed his macro posts from last year. If you followed them and I think you will see that he has been much more right about how things would play out than the US admin.

Except for the deflation alarm he sounded sometime ago, I've gotten a better picture of what was in store than from the mainstream press.

And he has the courage to question and correct the almighty Krugman from time to time, so he cannot be totally knee jerk.

Posted by: jml on February 5, 2004 06:11 PM

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Gray Brendle:

I have constantly been disappointed with the way that you echo the mindless Democrat talking points of my neighborhood beauty salon.

So they discuss the Alternative Minimum Tax at your neighborhood beauty salon? Why don't you actually read the site before you offer up your own mindlessness?

Posted by: Dimmy Karras on February 5, 2004 06:14 PM

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Breaking News:

Cheney's Staff Focus of Probe
Posted Feb. 5, 2004
By Richard Sale
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.

According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were the two Cheney employees. "We believe that Hannah was the major player in this," one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president's office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.

The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said.

The case centers on Valerie Plame, a CIA operative then working for the weapons of mass destruction division, and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who served as ambassador to Gabon and as a senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad in the early 1990s. Under President Bill Clinton, he was head of African affairs until he retired in 1998, according to press accounts.

http://www.insightmag.com/news/2004/02/17/National/Cheneys.Staff.Focus.Of.Probe-598606.shtml

Posted by: Kosh on February 5, 2004 06:20 PM

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Here is a long response that I also posted on my Web-based log, at sorespot.blogspot.com:


As you know, I do not have regular access to a television. But even if I did own a television (not to mention a room to keep it in), I doubt that "Meet the Press" -- NBC newsman Timothy Russert's popular Sunday morning current affairs program -- would be the first thing I would watch.


There are, believe it or not, many homeless men and women who swoon for Russert's hard-hitting interview style; in the smelly shelter where, to get out of the rain, I sometimes spend the weekends, fisticuffs often fly between lovers of the morning evangelical shows and fans of "Meet the Press." (The "Meet the Press" obsessives often win the battles, but the religious-types warn that they'll one-day lose the war.)


But I don't like Russert. He's rude. He'll badger a politician with facts and figures and statistics, offer up to the man some of the press's harshest criticism of his policies, confront him on why he sometimes says one thing and often does another, and generally make a fool out of the poor representative of the people. (Jack Shafer, my fellow in media criticism at Slate -- who is generally on the mark, despite his love of the New York Times -- has documented Russert's tactics here.) In my opinion, journalists ought to be respectful. They can certainly ask pointed questions; but if we accept that a journalist's job is to elicit information that was otherwise unknown, then Russert's style is too harsh by half. Watching Russert pile on a pol elicits no new information for the audience; often the only thing the audience gets is newfound sympathy for the poor man at the other end of Russert's finger. (Good journalists know to cojole, to coddle, to stroke, to slowly pet, to kiss and to linger, to finger, to probe, to enter slowly and burrow deep; journalism, an old, dear friend of mine liked to say, is a lot like making love, only dirtier.)


We learn today that our press-dodging president will appear with Russert this Sunday, making him one of only a handful of sitting presidents to do on the show. No doubt George W. Bush is sitting through this to show that he's not afraid of tough questions, as some of his opponents have asserted. (As the online muckracker Matthew Drudge reports, though, the White House does appear afraid: "White House staffers have participated in mock "Meet The Press" sessions ahead of the interview, Kurtz claims, with Adam Levine, a former White House aide, playing Russert...") And online, critics of the Oval resident have suggested that Russert bring out the very toughest of the tough questions. Bradford Delong, an econo-blogger of some repute, puts out a list of these here; one of them is:


Mr. President, last week you said that HHS Secretary "Tommy" Thompson, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and OMB Director Josh Bolten had kept from you the fact that their staff's estimates of the costs of the Medicare bill you signed last December were much much higher than other estimates--that you only learned about this a couple of weeks ago. When are you planning to fire all three of them?"


Another is:

Mr. President, your budget reports estimates for only five years, rather than the standard ten. Outside observers have said that this is because the deficit estimates for the sixth through the tenth years look really really bad--and that you and your staff think that if you don't release the numbers for those years, the press corps is too dumb and lazy to ask about them. Is that correct? Is that the reason?


But these online commentators are, in my opinion, terribly misguided if they believe these questions will cause lasting damage to the president. George W. Bush, who, as I've said before, has profited enormously from our underestimation of him, is a master at winning arguments with generalities. He performed this superbly in his debates with Albert Gore. Ask him about holes in his budget and he'll accuse you of relying on fuzzy math. Ask him about a budget deficit and he'll tell you that we're spending the funds to fight a war on terrorism. You cannot pin anything on the man by pointing out inconsistencies, inaccuracies, exaggerations, even outright lies.


That's too complicated for him, and too complicated, he knows, for most voters, too.

Posted by: Robert Sore on February 5, 2004 06:40 PM

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Mr President, Did you promise John Howard (Aust PM)a free trade agreement in return for Australian support in Iraq- which in turn lead to Aust citizens being targetted and killed in Bali Bombings?

Was he a good kisser?

Lou

Posted by: Lou Renshaw on February 5, 2004 06:49 PM

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"Hey, Mr. President, let's switch from all of this national security stuff, how about them Bills?"

"Oh, and how do you plan to defeat Hillary in the 2004 general election?"

Sorry about repeating, if someone posted about the Bills upthread.

I expect nothing but the "same old, same old" from Tim.

Posted by: Sharon on February 5, 2004 06:58 PM

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Anybody believe that the questions are not vetted?

Still what an opportunity if it were live-- I mean, to steal from the high tech crowd, in 'real time'. Imagine Russert starting with " Well Mr. President, those topics we were going to talk about tonight have disappeared." That would be enough to fill the President's pants IMO.
Does Jennings get equal air time?
Anybody believe that serious editing won't be done if something goes 'wrong'?

Posted by: calmo on February 5, 2004 07:02 PM

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Anybody believe that the questions are not vetted?

Still what an opportunity if it were live-- I mean, to steal from the high tech crowd, in 'real time'. Imagine Russert starting with " Well Mr. President, those topics we were going to talk about tonight have disappeared." That would be enough to fill the President's pants IMO. (So I am one of those who under-estimates GWB in Robert Sores view. Maybe)
Does Jennings get equal air time?
Anybody believe that serious editing won't be done if something goes 'wrong'?

Posted by: calmo on February 5, 2004 07:11 PM

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Questions for Bush

Q:Why do you no longer say WMD? Why has the rhetoric become WMD potential duel use maybe cusinarts in the kitchen programs?

Follow up: if someone leaves leftovers in the fridge to long, will you invade?

Q Is it accurate to say your vision for Nasa is more fantasy less science?

Q: NASA says saving the Hubble is not about money, but safety. This seems odd given it has already been visited 3 times. The shuttle danger lies in takeoff and re entry, not routine travel in space.

Follow up; what have you got against the Hubble, is it the advancement of evolution?

Follow up: are you still wondering about evolution? Should they teach evolution in Florida? Should we add witchdoctors to Medicare?

Q: why should your budget proposal be considered nothing more than a pack of lies?

Q how will starting an arms race in space make the US safer?

Q how will developing a new generation of nukes make the US safer?

Q why do you not support democracy in Egypt?

Q why don’t you just ask all top officials if they outed Palme?

Q it seems with $200 billion spent, hundreds dead, tens of thousands wounded you have put Iraq into Sistani’s hands, was this a good deal for America.

Q Did you know that with no loss of life that $200 Billion could have transformed America into a leading edge hydrogen economy? True energy independence, and no middle east tar babies. The annual savings would be more than the $50 billion defense; it would be the trade deficit in oil. It would be the health savings from clean air and water.
It would be the freedom of the grid.

Posted by: steve baker on February 5, 2004 07:30 PM

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Well Mr. President. Your amnesty for undocumented people has become a very sensible issue. Big shot radio and TV personalities have charged against what that they call a politically driven agenda. Unfortunately, these are the same whiners that benefit and encourage illegal migration. Just ask yourself where does Lou Dobbs stay when he travels? Doesn't he realize that by doing it he is encouraging an exodus of mass migration! Yes, it means that hotels must employ maids, landscapers, cooks, maintenance workers, etc! And whose gonna fill up those jobs? Unfortunately those damn wetbacks! Point in hand, scold those hypocrites. Tell them to give up their lavish ways and the problem would be solved. By the way, it's not the migrants’ fault for America's Broken Borders; it's our insatiable need for extreme consumption. And unfortunately you're the number one encourager for this phenomenon.

Posted by: pichiflay on February 5, 2004 07:42 PM

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I needed a good laugh and many of you, particularly Mr Baker, have done just that. Thanks.

Posted by: Eric Beacham on February 5, 2004 08:13 PM

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Robert, you are exactly right about Bush. No matter how difficult your question, Bush can always deflect by resorting to general discussion with empty statements that almost nobody can disagree with without a long, nuanced discussion. Example: Is the world better off without Saddam Hussein in power? The correct answer is "We don't know yet." Because we have no idea what kind of hornet's nest we've stirred up. The problem is that the knee-jerk response to say "Of Course it is!" is so strong that the question effectively ends debate. In addition, the ambiguity of the truth is too much for many people to handle.

The test of how difficult the interview will be is whether Russert asks follow-up questions that do not allow Bush to return tough questions with bland generalities. As I was reading through the questions, most of them are easily deflected by staying on message, unless you acknowledge Bush's over-riding general principle and then ask him a detailed question. Based on everything I've seen of Russert, he's going to ask very tough initial questions, then back off and not ask the tougher, more meaningful follow-ups. But I'll definitely be watching.

Posted by: spike on February 5, 2004 08:18 PM

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"Bring 'em on"?

"What's the difference?"? (Between weapons and weapon programs)

"He didn't let us in"?

No postwar planning?

Short-changing programs to secure loose Russian nukes?

Destruction of America's reputation for a war under false pretenses?

Massive deficits for tax cuts to the wealthy, with boomer retirements approaching?

So my question is: are you an idiot, incompetent, or just utterly corrupt? (Or some combination of the three.)

Posted by: Ruttiger on February 5, 2004 08:31 PM

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Memo to Staff:

You're fired.

Love, Mr Russert

Posted by: John Thullen on February 5, 2004 08:43 PM

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RUSSERT
"Mr. President, some astute economic observers have praised your proposed deficit budget, and your characterization of it, as 'dysphrenetic'.
Would you say this is a fair assessment?"

(Trick question. 'Dysphrenetic' being the street amalgam of 'dysphasia' and 'phrenetic'. Hee-hee.)

HIS SADDLEBUMNESS (not understanding the word)
"Tim, we've covered that ground before, and I don't want to toe the dirt again. Ours is a fair budget. It's a progressive budget. And it's not a deficit budget, Tim, it's falling, with style!
Now, how about barbecue? You hongry for ribs?"

Posted by: Dys Phrene on February 5, 2004 08:53 PM

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This whole exercise is a sad, pathetic, futile waste of time.

Remember when Bush was trying to avoid debate commission sanctioned formal debates during the 2000 election? He wanted more of a talkshow format. Who did he want to moderate one of the debates? None other than Tim Russert.

Russert is the archetypal media whore. This will will not be an interview, it will be a reenactment of a historical event from six or seven years ago. Russert should wear a wig and a blue dress sunday.

Posted by: Common Sense Person on February 5, 2004 09:03 PM

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Now, let's get down to the questions that will really be asked:

1. How did 9\11 change you, Mr. President?
1.(a). (followup): With the undoubted successes of the Afganistan and Iraqi interventions, are we any safer, sir, than we were before that awful event?

2. Explain to me sir, how privatizing social security accounts will be an advantage to future generations of americans.
2.(a). (followup): Despite its apparent awfully large cost, isn't the recently passed Medicare prescription drug legislation acting as a stimulus to economic activity?

3. Mr. President, you have steadfastly opposed the "gay left" and its drive to legalize gay\lesbian marriages. Could you explain your position here?

Thank you for your time, sir.

Posted by: bobbyp on February 5, 2004 09:33 PM

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email Meet the Press at MTP@NBC.com and tell them what you think

Posted by: M Finn on February 5, 2004 10:19 PM

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Odds that the interview will be interesting may be higher than we thought:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040206/ap_on_el_pr/ap_poll_bush&cid=694&ncid=716

AP Poll Notes Decline in Support for Bush
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites)'s public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest, an Associated Press poll found.

And for the first time, more voters in this poll's two years of tracking the question said they would definitely vote against Bush than said they would definitely vote for him.

Bush's approval rating stood at 47 percent in the AP-Ipsos poll taken in early February, down from 56 percent approval just a month ago. Half, or 50 percent, said they disapproved in the latest poll.
...
Bush's 47 percent approval rating is the same as his father's at this stage in his presidency 12 years ago before he lost to Bill Clinton

Posted by: jml on February 6, 2004 12:03 AM

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And a follow-up to the five-year vs ten-year question (when the answer is about the reliability of 10 year forecasts):
Two years ago you forecast a deficit of 14 billion for this year and you couldn't have been more off the mark. Perhaps you should stick to one year budgets?

Posted by: Sam Jackson on February 6, 2004 01:08 AM

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Here's a couple questions. I have a couple more along these same lines, too. But it takes a little while to write 'em up.

TEXAS:

Mr. President, let's relax a minute and go back to your time in Texas.

While you were attending your last year at Yale, a close friend of your father's, Sid Adger, secured a pilot position with the TANG. He did this with the assistance of then-Lt. Governor, Ben Barnes, who eventually testified to the fact in 1998. Mr. President, when did you learn of Mr. Barne's involvement with your placement in TANG?

Here's a spiritual follow-up to that final question. In 1988, when asked why you had received prefential treatment to secure a position in TANG, you responded, "They could sense that I would be one of the great pilots of all time." Mr. President, when you learned that you received your pilot position due to nepotism rather than skill, how did that effect you spiritually?

Let's go a little further with your relationship with Ben Barnes. He had to give a deposition in a case regarding a former Texas Lottery commission employee and GTech, a company contracted by the TLC to operate the Lottery drawings. Mr. Barnes received over $20 million as a lobbyist for GTech. The company never had to compete for a contract with the Texas Lottery Commission,which was led by one of the donors for your governor campaign. Did your relationship with Mr. Barnes have any influence whatsoever on your actions to continue the Texas Lottery Commission's contract with GTech?

Posted by: Tuna on February 6, 2004 01:36 AM

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I think the reason Rove et. al. are letting Bush appear on Russert's show is that the fix is in.

Posted by: Skeptic on February 6, 2004 03:17 AM

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Mr. Presidemt, can you tell me what exactly a 'related program activity' is, and how it diifers from a basic 'program activity' or 'related program'?

Posted by: Andrew on February 6, 2004 04:38 AM

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The real question is whether Russert will spit or swallow.

Posted by: jimbo on February 6, 2004 05:26 AM

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About the spit or swallow question, i think the answer is spit. i said it on MY's site, and i'll say it again here:

If Russert can blow open the administration on his show on Sunday, the reputational benefits will be immense. Firstly, he restores his reputation as a bulldog interviewer --- the man who broke the president.

This, of course, will have a short-term consequence that some members of the administration refuse to do interviews, particularly where they have points of particular discomfort. (It'll also piss them off b/c Russert didn't hew to the pre-approved script.) At the same time, however, Russert's reputation as a bulldog will allow those appearing on his program to gain some benefit from doing so --- i.e., by appearing there they get to send the signal that they have nothing to hide. What he loses with one hand, he gains with another.

Furthermore, if Russert can tear the president a new asshole, he'll get rewarded in the next administration by more access. But behaving won't get him any more interviews with the president, because it is unlikely this president will give any more interviews of this type, period. (He prefers the prime-time, fuzzy-screen kind.)

So here's Russert's choice, as I see it: Play nice and get nothing (he already has the interview). Play mean and (1) lose some, but by no means all, interview opportunities with members of the administration --- those with "nothing to fear" or who want to signal they have nothing to fear will continue to appear; and (2) reap rewards in a subsequent administration (something perhaps lost if the interview is a softball).

I think Russert will choose to play mean.

Posted by: Robert Tennyson on February 6, 2004 06:15 AM

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Why do you, and the Republican Party, oppose a paper back up trail for touch screen computer voting? Is it because you are planning to fix this election after stealing the last one?

Posted by: Cal on February 6, 2004 06:30 AM

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Robert Tennyson's reasoning appears sound until you remember that Russert is a huge supporter of GW Bush. Russert wants Bush re-elected.

A while back, someone suggested asking Bush to name some of his Alabama National Guard buddies. Here's a follow-up: "What were your duties on the senatorial campaign in Alabama that year, and what are the names of some of the people you worked with on that campaign?"

Because, you know, I don't recall ever seeing an interview of someone from that senatorial campaign who worked with Bush. Was he even there, working on the campaign? If he wasn't, where was he?

Have we had another president of the past 100 years who could not account for his whereabouts for a year of his life? The guy apparently dropped off the face of the earth for a year. Does anyone else think that that's awfully creepy?

Posted by: Holden Lewis on February 6, 2004 07:26 AM

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No Mas
Why did you ground yourself during a war, throwing away a million dollar's worth of training, and applying for a transfer to a postal unit?
marvin thalenberg md

Posted by: Marvin Thalenberg on February 6, 2004 07:50 AM

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Dimmy Karras, I made reference to the enlighten content of this rather insightful blog in my post which you reference above. However, other visitors to this comment section cannot review these comments because my post has been removed from this comments page.

My only point was/is that economic arguments found here are rivaled by none but the Democrat talking points are reruns, though less insightful, of Josh Marshall. I guess that I can appreciate the opinion/observation that GWB is not engaged in economic policies that are good for America. Finally, this is Dr. DeLong’s site and therefore he can post and discuss whatever interests him, I respect this. I do not however respect an open comment section where my post removed and those of my critics referencing my post are left. This will be my last post here.

I will however continue to read the blog daily. I wish you well.

Respectfully,

Gray Brendle

Posted by: Gray Brendle on February 6, 2004 08:31 AM

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"Mr. President, you have said previously that you want to be a president who gets things done; who doesn't pass problems along to future generations and future presidents. Yet your current budget proposal for 2005 calls for a record $520 billion deficit.

Peter Peterson, the former Nixon commerce secretary, says in his new book, "Running on Empty," that your long-term tax cuts combined without long-term spending cuts are not tax cuts. They are "tax deferrals" — with the burden to be borne by the future of our children.

How do you reconcile your desire not to pass problems on to future generations with budget proposals that increase the national debt to record highs? How do you explain this to our children?

Posted by: Wayne on February 6, 2004 09:02 AM

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Excerpt of my letter to MTP:

"Since reputations should be evaluated in terms of actions and not vice versa, I would hope Mr. Russert rises to the occasion and uses the opportunity to ask the President to justify some of the things he has said and done.

For example, why did the President claim last June that we had already found Weapons of Mass Destruction?

"Q But, still, those countries who didn't support the Iraqi Freedom operation use the same argument, weapons of mass destruction haven't been found. So what argument will you use now to justify this war?
THE PRESIDENT: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them. "
http://www.whitehouse.gov/g8/interview5.html

And why, on October 7, 2002 did the President declare:

"In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions."

without also noting that this defector, Hussein Kamel, according to Newsweek's John Barry (2/24/03) also testified:

"that after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them," Barry wrote. All that remained were "hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches" and production molds. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. The CIA and MI6 were told the same story, Barry reported, and "a military aide who defected with Kamel... backed Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks."
http://www.fair.org/extra/0305/kamel.html


To be sure, there are far more questions that need to be asked of the President than the concise format of Meet the Press will allow. Recognizing this, I hope the following important issues are addressed:

-The role of the Pentagon's "Office of Special Plans"
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/07/16/intelligence/print.html

-Why the Administration failed to mention that a State Department report undermined its assertion that the Iraq invasion would foster the spread of democracy in the Middle East. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/03/14/MN22108.DTL

-The Administration repeatedly cited Saddam Hussein's brutal attrocities as a reason for invasion but failed to mention that most of his worst crimes were committed when he was an ally of the Reagan/Bush Administrations. Human Rights Watch argues that the war was not a case of "humanitarian intervention" because "humanitarian intervention that occurs without the consent of the relevant government can be justified only in the face of ongoing or imminent genocide, or comparable mass slaughter or loss of life."
http://hrw.org/wr2k4/3.htm#_Toc58744952"

Posted by: MaB on February 6, 2004 09:07 AM

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On the Plame affair:

Has the CIA concluded its "Damage Assessment" on this leak, and what (generally) did they find?

HAS ANYONE ON CIA PAYROLL (American or otherwise) BEEN KILLED OR IMPRISONED AS A RESULT OF THE REVELATION OF PLAME'S IDENTITY?

And if we don't know the answer to this, why don't we know the answer to this?

Does the CIA "Damage Assessment" say anything about it being more difficult now to recruit operatives - now that they might worry more about their connections being revealed whenever it suits someone's political interests?

Posted by: Jsk on February 6, 2004 09:22 AM

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Tim Russert will certainly show many clips/statements of Bush contradicting himself, and even after Bush responds to the question with an undoubtedly ridiculous lie/cover-up (remember: Bush is not too smart), Russert will pull back and resist calling Bush on it.

Russert poses the questions, catches the lies, and then let's the viewers discern for themselves their opinions on the matter.

I think Russert is very professional, and it would be unprofessional to attack a sitting president. Although I would love to see it.

I know that there will be a lot of national security questions, but I would like to see the president respond to the funding, or lack their of, of his "No Child Left Behind Act," that subsequently left many children behind.

Posted by: reycorp on February 6, 2004 09:43 AM

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I used to like Russert but he's been very easy on the administration while attempting to crush the Democratic candidates. Here are two possible questions:

1) On a scale of 1 to 10, in which 10 is "very French-looking" and 1 is "not at all French-looking" how would you rate John Kerry?

2) Do you think that Kerry is a Dukakis Massachusetts liberal or a Ted Kennedy Massachusetts liberal?

Posted by: bcus on February 6, 2004 09:47 AM

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Do you really think that Americans and the world community will accept the findings of an "independent" group to investigate the misinformation used by the Bush administration to initiate a war--when you have, in fact, retained sole control of appointing the members of the group?

Posted by: pat on February 6, 2004 10:16 AM

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MTP@NBC.com is the e-mail address for sending comments on Meet the Press; are all of you sending emails to MTP containing the above questions, and/or referring Tim Russert to this web page? I'll be doing so, along with sending the following page:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0103.forum.html which lists general guidelines for the media to fulfill its role as public researcher/bearer of information.

Posted by: yehudit on February 6, 2004 10:23 AM

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Mr President, what did you mean by "mission accomplished" when you swaggered, flight-suited and all, onto the deck of the Abraham Lincoln last spring?

How many American soldiers have died since then? How many Iraqi men, women, and children?

And, Mr President, what did you mean by "Bring it on," when you challenged Iraqis who have a problem with our occupation of their country with that stunning piece of rhetoric last summer?

How many American soldiers have died since then?
How manyIraqi men, women, and children? How many UN workers?

Mr President, where is Osama bin Laden?

Posted by: Catherine Meehan on February 6, 2004 10:45 AM

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contact Tim Russert at:

mtp@msnbc.com

Posted by: joe on February 6, 2004 11:08 AM

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NBC-TV
4001 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202-885-4200
Fax: 202-362-2009
Bureau Chief: Tim Russert

Click below to send Tim a softball

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000BYLT8/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl200/104-5514794-9539152?v=glance&s=sporting-goods&n=507846

Posted by: Kevin Cassidy on February 6, 2004 11:10 AM

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"Mr. President, when you brought your message of solidarity and courage to New York on September the 14th, 2001, and you held the megaphone hugged that brave fireman on the still-smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center, what were your feelings?"

and how long after that well-photographed hug did you cut funding for that fireman's job?

Posted by: Kevin Cassidy on February 6, 2004 11:21 AM

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1.Mr. President, it seems clear that public statements about WMDs made by your administration (the President , Vice-President Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, White House press spokesman) before and after the invasion of Iraq were not consistent with or honest reporting of the information being given to you by American intelligence agencies (give examples). How do you account for this disparity?

2. In light of the actions of Billy Tauzin and Thomas Scully in seeking and accepting jobs from the very industries affected by the new Medicare law (while involved in crafting it) and the large and obvious error in estimating the actual costs of the bill, both to taxpayers and participants, will your administration sponsor a bill to repeal the law that would enable Congress to cast informed votes on the legislation?

3. Why have you refused to attend the funeral of a single American soldier killed in Iraq?

4. According to your own Treasury Secretary public statements made by your administration (give examples) about the effects of your tax cuts and how they affected taxpayers were not consistent with internal predictions and analysis. How do you explain the difference in these statements?

5. Much has been written about the difference between what your administration says (support the troops, protect the environment, no nation-building, WMDs, fiscal responsibility, education, homeland security ) and what it does (cuts in veteran’s benefits and pay and entitlements for current troops, relaxation of enforcement of environmental laws, years –long occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, no WMDs, huge deficits, no education funding, no homeland security funding for first responders). How do you respond to the charge that it is an administration policy to be fundamentally dishonest with the American people for partisan political gain?

6. If Iraq's new government, democratically elected, turns out to be an Islamic Republic such as Iran that abuses women and hates America will you consider your invasion of Iraq a success?

Posted by: solar on February 6, 2004 11:31 AM

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Mr. President, you said during your 2000 campaign, when gas prices were high but lower than they are now, that if elected president you would demand that the Saudis "open up those spigots." Why haven't you told the Saudis to "open up those spigots"?

Posted by: Trome on February 6, 2004 11:44 AM

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Russert prepares amBush !!!

Hard-hitting Super Commentator Tim Russert will be interviewing Pres. George W. Bush this Sunday on "Meet the Press". An unidentified source has leaked the first page of hard-hitting questions that Bulldog Russert will be asking.

*****************************************************************

Why are you and all Republicans so darn wonderful?

Follow-up: Wow! You're even more wonderful than I thought. How is that possible?


Americans are ever so grateful for the tax cuts you have given them; how do you avoid blushing when people throw themselves at your feet in thanks?

Follow-up: You smell great. What aftershave do you use?


Were you surprised by the tremendous success of the Iraq war?

Follow-up: I love your hair. No question, I just wanted you to know.


Since everybody knows that none of the Democrats are any good, can we just skip this election nonsense?

Follow-up: Sure I'll scratch your back; is this good, lower?

Posted by: steve on February 6, 2004 11:45 AM

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I just hope the questions are not given to Bush in advance, giving time for his handlers to compose the best answers and practice with him. Questions: When you say,"Why do they hate us?", it gives the American public the impression that our president is extraordinarily insulated, rarely travelling abroad, and when doing so, hides behind barracades, not reading newspapers, policy papers or anything. How can we have a president who is not reflective, but reactive, and sees everything in exceptionally simplistic terms of 'black and white'? Also, if you have nothing to hide about your National Guard service, why don't you show the American public the documents that denote your 'attendance record' for that mysterious year in Alabama, for which your handlers say, 'the record is lost'? How can the American public accept the Honorable Discharge on face value, without the attendance record, when you were able to get into the Guard by jumping ahead of 100,000 people on the waiting list, because of your father's influence? Did you believe in the Vietnam War? If you did, then why did you not feel it was your duty to go and serve your country? These questions speak to issues of character. Was he dishonest and a coward...or will the attendance record prove otherwise?

Posted by: S. Strand on February 6, 2004 11:47 AM

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Mr. President, you are quick to point out that Clinton believed the same intelligence as you about Iraq. How many people died because of decisions he made based on that info?

Mr. President, does your father still believe your economic policy is based on voodoo?

Speaking of your father, how many people has he known personally that have died in airplane crashes? Shouldn't that put him in the Guiness book of world records?


Posted by: Jim Riggs on February 6, 2004 12:19 PM

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Mr. President, back when the Democratic Texas state legislaters fled their state to keep an odius (to Democrats) redistricting plan from being voted in, there was a story about Homeland Security assets being used to hunt them down. At the time Ridge failed to answer questions on this subject because he said there was an internal investigation in progress. How did the investigation go? Can the administration answer questions about this now?

Posted by: alcaray on February 6, 2004 12:36 PM

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You say you believe in "right to life." Shouldn't you qualify that and said you believe that you and your misogynistic (this is a big word that means men who hate women, George) neo con friends should control a woman's reproductive rights?

How about the kids you have poisoned? Lead in their drinking water, mecury in their blood, pollutants in the air they breathe...what about THEIR life, George? What KIND of a life do they have the right to?

Studies have shown that poisoned kids have learning disabilities and lower intelligence, and especially vulnerable are "fetuses," infants and young children.

Of course no child will be left behind. They will all be too sick to go to school.

Posted by: Dee Randolph on February 6, 2004 12:39 PM

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I think the best question might be one based on PK's column today: "By February 2002, the stock market bubble had burst, the recession had come and gone, and 9/11 had already occurred. At that point, however, you released your 2003 budget, which projected that FY 2004 would have a $14B deficit. You now project that FY 2004 will have a $521 deficit. Why did our current financial position deteriorate by a HALF-TRILLION DOLLARS?"

Posted by: joe on February 6, 2004 12:57 PM

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A trillion here, a trillion there; pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Posted by: joe on February 6, 2004 01:01 PM

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Assumption: Meet the Press is a NEWS program. Come on! It's SHOW BIZ!

People watch to see if the Prez will put his foot in it. Not for the facts. Personally, I hope it's like watching a really bad freeway accident -- one way too late for the jaws of life. The real bloody type with the fully mangled car and personal effects like pretzels strewn all over the highway.

And John Edwards should have used that: we need a president who can watch t.v. and eat pretzels at the same time.

Posted by: Zee on February 6, 2004 01:13 PM

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the questions are nicely covered here. i agree that they won't get asked. i also agree that the questions that do get asked are already preapproved. unless russert would like to lose his job and be a hero. doubt it.

at any rate, no matter what questions he might ask, if he veers from the script, bush simply won't answer them. he'll repeat catch phrases that he's memorized whether they fit the question or not. recall his interview with the african reporters - he made very little sense. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030703-5.html) recall his interview with leslie stahl recently where, when pressed he repeated his catch phrases, and then finally just said "what's the difference?" i think that's about the best you can hope for.

i keep wondering, from looking at transcripts where he starts sentences and stops and jumps track into something else if he doesn't wear an ear piece so that someone can feed him lines if he starts wandering into dangerous territory or is stumped. either that or he's on some really good drugs that prevent him from completing a thought.

Posted by: m on February 6, 2004 01:15 PM

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Mr. President, earlier this week a letter containing the poison ricin shut down Senate office buildings.

It was later revealed that a similar letter intended for the White House had been intercepted weeks earlier by the Secret Service. Why was this new homeland security threat not revealed to the public before the Senate letter?

This incident was a reminder of serious homeland security threats that still exist two and a half years after 9-11. One being Osama Bin Laden, and two being the perpetrator of anthrax attacks that killed 5 people .

Why have these two criminals not yet been caught and tried by your administration? In your opinion did the war in Iraq drain resources and staff from solving these two heinous crimes unique in American history?


Posted by: Mojo on February 6, 2004 01:22 PM

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"How are your folks? Did they get my Christmas card?"

Posted by: Hemoy Kurchfoyle on February 6, 2004 01:25 PM

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Tim Russert has the rare opportunity to become a legend in journalism and a hero to the American People...yea, to all the World's People.

As he interviews the President, he can use his knowledge and unique skills to expose this fraud for what he is...a lying, self-serving tool of those who would like to run the world, a thug, a religious phony and a simple scam artist.

In the modern world, truth seems to have a way of seeping out at first, then cascading out. It is still in the "seeping" stage, but not for long. The wrongs and lies of this administration cannot remain covered.

When exposed, the usurpers in the White House and all of their cohorts will go down hard. It is inevitable that this will happen.

The question is, will Russert and others in the media want to continue the "blind eye" routine when dealing with an administration such as this one that is dishonest and certainly Un-American at the core?
Will true journalists take up their calling and do the High Work of uncovering truth and exposing fraud in high places?

I hope so.
I doubt it, but I very much hope so.

Posted by: Zach Whitaker on February 6, 2004 01:42 PM

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As I recall, Mr. President, you initially wanted to invade Iraq to achieve "Regime Change". This justification didn't sell with voters or the international community, so you came back with "Weapons of Mass Destruction."

Q: When you chose that ad campaign, did you realize that you would need to show you actually found weapons, or did you think voters would greet you with flowers and open arms as soon as you declared victory and that would be that?

Follow up: I'll bet that linking Saddam and 9/11 and Al Qaeda was the sell-the-war ad campaign that got the most approval from focus groups. How frustrating was it that you couldn't get the CIA and some of your cabinet to play ball on that?

Posted by: Abigail on February 6, 2004 01:43 PM

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Mr. President, back during the period of your questionable military service, the actual total service obligation was 6 years, comprised of 2 active, 2 active reserve, 2 inactive reserver or Nat'l Guard, or 3 active plus 3 inactive... I'm sorry, sir; am I going to fast for you? Anyway, the total was 6. Why do you suppose it is that people seem to be focusing only on such a short period? Surely, if you didn't serve on active duty, you'd want to show that you fulfilled your complete 6-year service obligation.

Posted by: Wes Howard on February 6, 2004 01:46 PM

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We see your questions, Brad, and raise you 20!

Please check out www.gadflyer.com for 20 questions Sean Aday would like to see Russert ask the president...

Posted by: tom schaller on February 6, 2004 02:15 PM

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Ask him this, Tim: Mr. "President," Even if we were to be suddenly struck blind, dumb and stupid and accept your assertions about the presence of WMD in Iraq before the tragic and costly war, doesn't the failure of your experts to uncover them point out the idiocy of your decision to end the UN inspections and destabilize the entire region? If they were there, as you continue to maintain, where the hell are they now? Are we safer now that the weapons you assured us were a major (and, yes, imminent, threat) are beyond our reach?

And then you could just tell him how many of us think he is a dangerous liar.

Posted by: Ann Gaughan on February 6, 2004 03:36 PM

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Ask him this, Tim: Mr. "President," Even if we were to be suddenly struck blind, dumb and stupid and accept your assertions about the presence of WMD in Iraq before the tragic and costly war, doesn't the failure of your experts to uncover them point out the idiocy of your decision to end the UN inspections and destabilize the entire region? If they were there, as you continue to maintain, where the hell are they now? Are we safer now that the weapons you assured us were a major (and, yes, imminent, threat) are beyond our reach?

And then you could just tell him how many of us think he is a dangerous liar.

Posted by: Ann Gaughan on February 6, 2004 03:36 PM

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Forget this exercise, even for laughs. The purpose of the interview is to endear Bush to viewers expecting a tough interview - just like the 2000 version. It'll be pseudo-tough, phoney slick image-making programming -- a one hour infomercial for Bush. We already know Karl Rove wouldn't accept anything less than that and Tim Russert wouldn't want anything more. Better brace yourselves to be sick.

Posted by: Gramma on February 6, 2004 03:38 PM

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Holden made me laugh very hard. This whole thing depresses me because we all see that he won't treat him the same he has been treating the Democrat candidates. Self-flagellating Democrat, he is. He jumped the shark with the whole Monica thing.

Posted by: jEFF on February 6, 2004 04:52 PM

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"At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Posted by: Jim Riggs on February 6, 2004 07:52 PM

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Mr. President; When your father sold chemical weapons to Iraq in the 80's and Hussein used it against the Kurds and Iran... it wasn't a problem. Why did it become a reason to invade in '03 ?

Posted by: Doubleagle on February 6, 2004 08:47 PM

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David Corn's contribution from The Nation:

http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1238

Posted by: Cal on February 6, 2004 09:29 PM

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David Corn's contribution from The Nation:

http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1238

Posted by: Cal on February 6, 2004 09:29 PM

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David Corn's contribution from The Nation:

http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1238

Posted by: Cal on February 6, 2004 09:29 PM

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Russert will play the hard-hitting journalist and Shrub the alert and noble statesman -- think Punch and Judy with The Rovester's controlling arm in Arbusto's and Timmy's nether regions. James Lipton will weep while he watches. I plan on vomiting at least twice...

Posted by: bean on February 6, 2004 10:28 PM

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"Russert is the archetypal media whore"
-- Posted by: Common Sense Person on February 5, 2004 09:03 PM

Absolutely damn straight. Forget Russert's interview. He'll jack off Bush and make him feel good. That's it.

Posted by: larre on February 7, 2004 08:40 AM

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In these perilous times, can the US afford to wait until March 2005 to determine what is wrong with our Intelligence agencies and the use of their products???

Posted by: darcy on February 7, 2004 11:27 AM

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How about questioning george about the Hardball producer who helped to coach and prep him (played the Russert role) in practicing for the TAPE-DELAYED Sunday AM presentation (TAPED ON SATURDAY, evidently for time to EDIT)...Would think questions about such "journalistic" stands/integrity/etc SHOULD be at least "mentioned" and noted to the public for it smacks as being just a "campaign" freebie media event much like that quite grandiose Lincoln/Flt suit escapade that all dropped and covered LIVE and fawned over so blatantly and egregiously!!!!

Posted by: Patric CB on February 7, 2004 12:22 PM

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Would also like to have questioned just why with the grandiose warchest dollars that george has been collecting while traveling on our taxpayer dollars for appearances...UNNECESSARY APPEARANCES--thru-out the land, just why should the media continuously drop whatever and cable-optic him live as he continues his campaigning spieling but actually says little to address the real issues most ordinaries are facing...When will the media be held ACCOUNTABLE ? They are part of the "problem", and NOT serving the public interests for they are playing "kingmakers" and that is evidenced by their "coverage" on a daily basis.
It is appalling for a truly "free-press" is a mandatory and absolute need in a true democracy...instead we are held hostage by corporate masters who sway public perception as it suits their corporate masters and THEIR pockets!!!
It is absurd that a Hardball producer assist prepping George for a fellow corporate sponsored showtime...Hope everyone takes a moment and lets Russert KNOW how egregious that is found to be and that besides a president who lacks credibility, the press/media is found complicite in propagandic activity that does NOT serve the public best interests.
As we write these estimations, they are already in taping mode at the WH...and rather than a live boob, we will have a taped delayed spectacle for Sunday AM viewing.

Posted by: Disgusted Citizen on February 7, 2004 12:36 PM

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Georges military service is much like his education record(remember those "gentlemen C's) from Harvard and Yale and his business record as well...If NOT for family he was born into and connected to he would have been long ago classified as what he truly is...totally INEPT!!! other than he is politcally savvy and uses his innate revenge factor well.
His Military record IS legit on the questioning table for HE has sent OUR USA military to serve his administrations preset agenda...OUR military death toll now stands at over 529, the wounded and maimed do not get accurate numbers assigned as they try to obfusicate those facts nor due the tolls of Iraqi' deaths and maimings.
The true HORROR of this Bush administration will continue to play on with a media cover that is equally complicite in how they "report" to the public.
George has NOT shown himself to be capable--he has NOT made America actually safer, quite the opposite of safer we are now far more endangered and the spin needs to be recognized for what it is and the damage it has indeed done to us.
George W. Bush needs to be held FULLY accountable.

Posted by: Miltary Questioners on February 7, 2004 01:02 PM

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Mr. President, now that the WMDs have not been found, how do you suppose we can possibly bring back the rest of Europe to our side for the War on Terrorism?

Posted by: Geoffrey Riggs on February 7, 2004 04:15 PM

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Hey georgie boy,
My friends are unemployed, my country is hanging its' head in embarrassment from your shameful hypocrisy, 99% of us are fighting over 10% of the wealth of OUR nation while your political pals, corporate lurkers and media moguls are protected by the Homeland Security Goons. Don't get comfy in the big chair little man.
John A. Willard

Posted by: John A. Willard on February 7, 2004 06:27 PM

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Disgusted Citizen,

All presidents get to travel and 'then' fund raise. I can't remember a president not doing it.

ALL,

Do you hate corporate America that much? I find it amazing that this country pulls the globe out of economic doldrums and the engine that can do that is the American Consumer and American corporation,yet they are bad mouthed so bad here.

I think the first set of questions were pretty pointed and pretty good. Some of these others are why I moved away from the democratic party. Seem they are only a party of 'choice' surrounding abortion but nothing else do they wish to give Americans a choice.

If Russert wants to ask Bush about the Medicare spending(Bush is stupid), then he needs to ask a Democrat, who is complaining about the defecit, why they complained about the plan NOT spending enough and what would spending MORE do to the defecit.

Interesting vistit. Painful, but interesting

Posted by: KML on February 8, 2004 07:39 AM

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Mr. President, "How do you spell nukular?"
"Do you know any synonyms for dangerous?"
(How many times has he said dangerous so far?)

Posted by: wahine on February 8, 2004 08:05 AM

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KML,

I'm sure my posts are some of the ones you refer to. Just wanted you to know that I am not a Democrat, nor would I ever consider becoming one.

I also disclosed my name.

Posted by: Jim Riggs on February 8, 2004 02:02 PM

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I agree with KML. Has the Democratic Party been hijacked by conspiracy theorists and avowed socialists? Further, as an AF Fighter Pilot, I'd be really angry about the Democrats sudden love of all things military if I wasn't rolling on the ground laughing about it. For 30 years, the left (including the "electable" John F Kerry) has been trying to cut defense with a chainsaw. They've patronized us, derided our service, mocked us, and held us in contempt for serving. Now it's suddenly important to have military service.

This has been a painful read...I just hope you all continue to irrationally hate GW and spew and stew about it for 4 more years.

Posted by: Ivan on February 8, 2004 03:28 PM

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Didn't get to see it but from reading the transcript, Russert's questions were not as bad as I expected. More consistently tough follow-up would have been nice but all in all not the Potemkin interview I expected. Bush is a likable sort - maybe he'd make a good little league coach or something...

Posted by: bean on February 8, 2004 04:56 PM

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For 5 elections I voted for Rep for Prez. In 92 I was tempted by Mr. Perot but ended up pulling R.

In 2004 Bush will NOT get my vote. Anybody but Bush. Because only Bush with bootlickers in Repub Congress are capable of destroying America as we know it. With !Bush in the White House immigration disaster can be avoided.

Bush's revolutionary immigration manifesto will shredd American labor market, especially for blue-color labor.

I find it interesting that participants on this board, self-identifined friends and defenders of little people, don't give a damn about "little" people wages to driven thru the floor.

You can ignore and hold in contempt blue-color Regan Democrats all you want, but for every guy marriage voter there are 30 blue-color voters.

Posted by: tall iron fence on February 9, 2004 12:24 AM

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Why was the war in Iraq really started? My conclusion is that the Bush cronies wanted to protect their good friends, the Saudis. Saudi Arabia was far more moderate than Iraq and felt threatened by saddams aggression in Kuwait and the entire middle east. The entire royal family including the bin Laden family have had almost
"family status" with the Bush gang for decades.
We all know that this administration has lied to us and follow their own agenda. I can see this country being brought to it's knees economically and distrusted by the rest of the world. It appears that osamas prophecy might come true!
Random Thoughts!
Why did I have reservations about placing my real name on this message? The last time this happened was during the Nixon years. For those of you who don't remember those times and the "enemy list", please read up on it.This present administration makes the Nixon years look like small change.

I have to admit, I was glad to see saddam get his ass kicked, even though it was for the wrong reason.

I think Russert is a good man and does a commendable job. The people who would really ask the questions we want to hear,are relegated to reading the news on a teleprompter.Besides,Tim's Irish.

My real name is Tom Swank

Posted by: Tom Swank on February 10, 2004 11:56 AM

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Tim Russert, you look like a dem, you talk like a dem, you are pulling for the dems,so I would guess you are a yellowdog dem. You and all of the news media pull every punch in favor of the dems. You probably foxed our Great President into
appearing on your famous Meet The Press, so that you can play the bad parts over and over and over.
And you have played the entire program until the tape is worn out. Why do you pick on the greatest
and the most honest president we have had since
Ronal Regan. You news men don't seem to realize
what he has gone through, the pressure and his untiring efforts to save not only America, but the entire world. In case you don't know it, Suddan is in prison. Lybia, North Korea, Turkey and other countries are learning a good lesson because of Mr Bush's guts. There is no DEM
in the running that can hold a light to President Bush, but you and the news media can
dwell on the economy, jobs, Araq and talk many
dumb assed dems into voting for them in lieu of
doing what they know is right.You folks should report the news, not make it and lie about ii.
Just think where we might be today if spoiled
Al Gore was president. All he would do is holler and scream like Howard Dean and Ed Kennedy and
not know which way to go and not have the guts to
do anything for America.
Thank God for President George W. Bush and his
lovely, lovely wife. Even the White House is cleaner and better off with the Bush family.


Posted by: Lloyd Batten on February 10, 2004 05:37 PM

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Tim Russert, you look like a dem, you talk like a dem, you are pulling for the dems,so I would guess you are a yellowdog dem. You and all of the news media pull every punch in favor of the dems. You probably foxed our Great President into
appearing on your famous Meet The Press, so that you can play the bad parts over and over and over.
And you have played the entire program until the tape is worn out. Why do you pick on the greatest
and the most honest president we have had since
Ronal Regan. You news men don't seem to realize
what he has gone through, the pressure and his untiring efforts to save not only America, but the entire world. In case you don't know it, Suddan is in prison. Lybia, North Korea, Turkey and other countries are learning a good lesson because of Mr Bush's guts. There is no DEM
in the running that can hold a light to President Bush, but you and the news media can
dwell on the economy, jobs, Araq and talk many
dumb assed dems into voting for them in lieu of
doing what they know is right.You folks should report the news, not make it and lie about ii.
Just think where we might be today if spoiled
Al Gore was president. All he would do is holler and scream like Howard Dean and Ed Kennedy and
not know which way to go and not have the guts to
do anything for America.
Thank God for President George W. Bush and his
lovely, lovely wife. Even the White House is cleaner and better off with the Bush family.


Posted by: Lloyd Batten on February 10, 2004 05:38 PM

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Whoa! Lloyd! Take your meds man. Let the most honest president since Ronel Regan worry about Suddan and Araq. Don't worry, we don't think for a second that anybody can win an election against George.

In all seriousness, I love a man who says what he thinks. Even if I don't agree. It's the people that sit there and watch Joe Millionaire and probably won't even vote that I've got a problem with.

Sounds like you've got the hots for Laura though.

Posted by: Jim Riggs on February 10, 2004 09:06 PM

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Lloyd Batten, Voice of America! You can see why the rest of the world thinks the US under Bush is a bigger threat than Iraq under Saddam. I won't make fun of his spelling and grammar, I guess it's hard to type without any thumbs.

Posted by: AnyoneButBush on February 26, 2004 12:30 PM

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"Turkey?" What have they done to anyone? A prosperous democracy currently applying for EU membership, hardly an "Axis of Evil" stalwart. Silly person. Unless you mean the bird?

Posted by: AnyoneButBush on February 26, 2004 12:35 PM

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RE: Sunday 4/25/04 Meet The Press
Dear Tim, You appared to be a pawn of Viacom, with your leading questions to Bob Woodward.

You are aiding in the "Character Assination" of a well intended Christian & the division of his staff to do their best to protect our Country.

What's with these elite words of 'interpitation' & persception'? Are they to replace "we are told & they are Saying'? You are far from a Pat Tillman

Posted by: Len Japs on April 25, 2004 02:21 PM

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Thanks to the internet I get news from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Regarding our Middle East policy, we have been told by the media and our elected officials that we are right and the rest of the world is wrong. I am 78 years old and have followed Middle east events since 1948.
As much as I dislike it, I must agree with the rest of the world. Why doesn't our media ask questions in the same context as the rest of the world? To properly inform Americans, here are a few questions as they should be asked:
1. As agreed by all the world, Israel has illegaly invaded and occupied 5 soveriegn countries, yet, we unilaterally give unrestricted support to Israel. American taxpayers made Israel a world class military power capable of overpowering any country on the Arabian Peninsula, so their need for security is a myth. Also, what's to negotiate between Palestine and Israel regarding how much of the conquered land should Israel can keep? It's like a bank robber wanting to negotiate how much of the loot he can keep.
A study published in Fortune Magazine last spring showed the Israeli lobbyist are the second most powerful in congress. Is there any connection between this and the above mentioned policy?
There is so much more information we need but cannot be addressed in this type of forum. None of us want Jews harmed or the state of Israel destroyed. The solution lies in United Nation's
resolution 242. Every nation in the world except Israel has approved of 242.
Regardless if Reublicans or Democrats win the next election, nothing will change because no politician wanting to win an election will oppose Israel lobbyists.


Posted by: George Mansour on May 18, 2004 11:44 AM

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Thanks to the internet I get news from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Regarding our Middle East policy, we have been told by the media and our elected officials that we are right and the rest of the world is wrong. I am 78 years old and have followed Middle east events since 1948.
As much as I dislike it, I must agree with the rest of the world. Why doesn't our media ask questions in the same context as the rest of the world? To properly inform Americans, here are a few questions as they should be asked:
1. As agreed by all the world, Israel has illegaly invaded and occupied 5 soveriegn countries, yet, we unilaterally give unrestricted support to Israel. American taxpayers made Israel a world class military power capable of overpowering any country on the Arabian Peninsula, so their need for security is a myth. Also, what's to negotiate between Palestine and Israel regarding how much of the conquered land should Israel can keep? It's like a bank robber wanting to negotiate how much of the loot he can keep.
A study published in Fortune Magazine last spring showed the Israeli lobbyist are the second most powerful in congress. Is there any connection between this and the above mentioned policy?
There is so much more information we need but cannot be addressed in this type of forum. None of us want Jews harmed or the state of Israel destroyed. The solution lies in United Nation's
resolution 242. Every nation in the world except Israel has approved of 242.
Regardless if Reublicans or Democrats win the next election, nothing will change because no politician wanting to win an election will oppose Israel lobbyists.


Posted by: George Mansour on May 18, 2004 11:44 AM

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George Mansour is an anti-semite. That used to be something to be ashamed of, but these days, people take it as a complement. One thing is for sure, none of you boys has ever served your country.

Posted by: Julie on August 7, 2004 08:19 PM

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