Tuesday, February 17, 2009

George W. Bush Not The Worst American President In History, According To The C-SPAN 2009 Historians Presidential Leadership Survey

While George W. Bush departed office with historically low popularity ratings and an economy in full retreat, not everyone considers him the worst President to have ever occupied the office. C-SPAN assembled a panel of 65 historians or professional observers of Presidents, who rated the Presidents in ten different areas and came up with composite scores for each one. Read C-SPAN's news release HERE; media stories published by CNN and the Deseret News.

And to little surprise, they rated Abraham Lincoln as the best President in American history, with George Washington a close second. However, George W. Bush came off better than many expected, finishing 36th. Bush's detailed profile can be found HERE.

His stronger points included Crisis Leadership, Vision/Setting An Agenda, and Pursued Equal Justice For All, reflecting the skills demonstrated after the 9-11 attacks, although this may have been dampened somewhat by the protracted conflict in Iraq. His weaker points, as expected, were Economic Management and International Relations. He trusted the corporations way too freely, and his ham-handed execution of foreign policy needlessly turned many nations against us. In particular, he mishandled Russia. Overall, their assessment of Bush appears to be fair, although the passage of time may improve the assessment.

And in some cases, the passage of time resulted in some dramatic improvements. Since the last survey in 2000, Ulysses S. Grant dramatically jumped from #33 to #23, while Bill Clinton more modestly jumped from #21 to #15. In contrast, Rutherford B. Hayes declined from #26 to #33. C-SPAN's discussion on Washington Journal recorded on YouTube and embedded below (56 minutes):

Here's the overall list of Presidents, with their composite scores and ratings (click on the President's name to view the individual profile). I also provide my assessment on the rating:

(1). Abraham Lincoln: 902. Agreed.
(2). George Washington: 854. Agreed.
(3). Franklin D. Roosevelt: 837. Overrated.
(4). Theodore Roosevelt: 781. Agreed.
(5). Harry S. Truman: 708. Agreed.
(6). John F. Kennedy: 701. Overrated.
(7). Thomas Jefferson: 698. Agreed.
(8). Dwight D. Eisenhower: 689. Agreed.
(9). Woodrow Wilson: 683. Overrated.
(10). Ronald Reagan: 671. Underrated.
(11). Lyndon B. Johnson: 641. Grossly Overrated.
(12). James K. Polk: 606. Overrated.
(13). Andrew Jackson:606. Underrated.
(14). James Monroe: 605. Agreed.
(15). Bill Clinton: 605. Grossly Overrated.
(16). William McKinley: 599. Overrated.
(17). John Adams: 545. Agreed.
(18). George H. W. Bush: 542. Overrated.
(19). John Quincy Adams: 542. Agreed.
(20). James Madison: 535. Agreed.
(21). Grover Cleveland: 523. Agreed.
(22). Gerald R. Ford: 509. Agreed.
(23). Ulysses S. Grant: 490. Overrated.
(24). William Howard Taft: 485. Agreed.
(25). Jimmy Carter: 474. Overrated.
(26). Calvin Coolidge: 469. Agreed.
(27). Richard M. Nixon: 450. Underrated.
(28). James A. Garfield: 445. Overrated.
(29). Zachary Taylor: 443. Overrated.
(30). Benjamin Harrison: 442. Agreed.
(31). Martin Van Buren: 435. Agreed.
(32). Chester A. Arthur: 420. Agreed.
(33). Rutherford B. Hayes: 409. Underrated.
(34). Herbert Hoover: 389. Agreed.
(35). John Tyler: 372. Agreed.
(36). George W. Bush: 362. Agreed.
(37). Millard Fillmore: 351. Agreed.
(38). Warren G. Harding: 327. Agreed.
(39). William Henry Harrison: 324. Agreed.
(40). Franklin D. Pierce: 287. Agreed.
(41): Andrew Johnson: 258. Underrated.
(42): James Buchanan: 227. Agreed.

The History News Network also agrees that Kennedy was overrated, but they have a higher opinion of LBJ than I do. LBJ's Great Society didn't work, and he bogused us into Vietnam with the phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Their assessment of the Clinton Presidency is interesting and thought-provoking.

In the final analysis, history will be kinder to George W. Bush than we are, but he will most likely remain among the bottom third of U.S. Presidents.

Full Employment Rights for Agency Workers now

The treatment of Agency workers at BMW's Cowley plant underlines the brutal side of the economic downturn. The Union at Cowley it seems took the brunt of the flak from these vulnerable workers who 'enjoy' worse rights than their full time colleagues they work along side.

Tragically the law is on the side of the employer and they can dismiss the Agency Workers at a moments notice. A lot of them probably realise this weakness after all they signed contracts and were given terms and conditions that outline their weakness. Remember as well, the employer of these workers is, I assume Manpower, who were given the nod to release the 850.

There is an important lesson for the union. Negotiate an agreement with the client company, in this case BMW, that gives notice periods and lay off/redundancy pay no less favourable than the rest of the workforce. Make sure the Agency workers are represented by elected shop stewards and force the client to recognise them along side the BMW stewards. Once an agreement is in place it would be enforceable by collective action if necessary.

No one wants to work for an agency by choice as BERR have stated. The flexibility that the government and employer worship is completely meaningless in the current economic downturn and while there will be always a steady stream of applicants forced into an employment relationship with an Agency, let us be clear that without full employment rights workers will be used and dumped at the click of a finger.

The Government should have dealt with this problem years ago. To their shame we are still waiting.

Become father at age 13, Alfie Patten young daddy

13 February 2009, London – Little cute boys become daddy WOW….The Sun said, this boy’s name Alfie Patten 13 years old become a father with his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman 15 years old. Alfie was just 12 when he impregnated Chantelle.

"I didn't think about how we would afford it. I don't really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me 10 pounds (21 U. S. dollars)," the innocent-eyed teenager from Eastbourne, south England, told the newspaper.

"When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble ... I didn't know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good, though, and care for it."

Chantelle and the baby are living with Penny, Chantelle's jobless dad Steve, 43, and her five brothers in a rented council house in Eastbourne and the family live on benefits. Alfie, who lives on an estate across town with mum Nicola, 43, spends most of his time at the Steadmans' house.

I hope Alfie can be a good father and Chantelle can be a good mother. In my opinion it is good decision that at least they don’t do abortion. Hope both parent from Alfie and Chantelle and people around will give a good support for them.

Did Roland Burris lie under oath? You be the judge…..the facts, the law, your conclusion (Video)

Sen. Roland Burris has come under fire in the last couple of days after a second affidavit that he filed was leaked to the Chicago Times. In the new affidavit Burris admits that he spoke with several of Governor Blagojevich’s associates including the former Govenor’s brother Robert Blagojevich regarding the senate seat even though he was not forthcoming with this information in his testimony in the before the Illinois impeachment panel. Sen. Burris attempted to refute the allegations in what some would call a circus of a press conference this past Sunday. Seriously, that press conference was reminiscent of two drunk uncles arguing over who was the greatest baseball player of all time after a very large Thanksgiving dinner. Completely ridiculous, but I digress. The U.S. Code defines perjury as follows:


• … having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or

• in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true;

is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States.” U.S. Code: Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 79 § 1621

This is what Sen. Burris said in his Jan 5th sworn affidavit.

I, ROLAND W. BURRIS, being first sworn on oath, depose and state that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and recollection:


Prior to the December 26, 2008 telephone call from Mr. Adams, Jr., there was not any contact between myself or any of my representatives with Governor Blagojevich or any of his representatives regarding my appointment to the United states Senate.

On January 8th, Sen. Burris said the following under oath during the Illinois impeachment hearing of Governor Blagojevich.

Jim Durkin: “Did you talk to any members of the Governor’s staff or anyone closely related to the Governor including family members or any lobbyists connected with him including…oh…..let me throw out some names…John Harris, Rob Blagojevich, Doug Scofield, Bob Greenleaf, Lon Monk…John Wymna, did you talk to anybody who was associated with the Governor about your desire to seek the appointment prior to the Governor’s arrest?”

Roland Burris: “I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed, yes.”

Durkin: “Guess the point is I was trying to ask…did you speak to anybody who was on the Governor’s staff prior to the Governor’s arrest or any body…..any of those individuals….or anybody who…uh..was closely related to the governor?

Burris: “I recall having a meeting with Lon Monk about my partner and I trying to get…..uh….uh…continued business and I did bring it up…it must have been in September or Jul…maybe it was in July..of a….of a..08. That….you know…..if you’re close to the governor…..you know….let him know that I’m certainly interested in the seat.”

Okay, so the Burris Jan. 5th sworn affidavit states that Burris nor any of his representatives had any contact with the Governor or any of the Governor’s representatives about the appointment to the United States Senate prior to the Governor’s arrest. Yet he admits at the Illinois House impeachment hearing as well as in his February 9th affidavit that he talked to five of the six people named in the question posed by Durkin during the impeachment hearing. Burris attempted to defend this inconsistency during his most recent press conference by claiming that there were no inconsistencies in the statements. The junior senator claimed that in the January 5th affidavit he was referring to the “appointment” as opposed to the “Senate seat” and in his more recent February 9th affidavit he was referring to the “Senate seat” and not the “appointment.” I know. Unfortunately for Burris, during the hearing Durkin specifically used the word “appointment” in his question and not “senate seat” as Burris used in his latest affidavit. Usually in a perjury case, and why they are so difficult to prove, vagueness is your friend. However, the fact that Burris was specifically asked about the “appointment” and he contradicted his sworn statement under oath could mean problems for Burris. Of course the counter argument can be that the use of the word “my” before the word “appointment” in the Jan. 5th affidavit may allow for some wiggle room.

What do you think?