The Invisible Hand Drops the Ball as Economy Falls to Number 6

To Republicans it is only necessary to follow their economic policies to guarantee success, while those socialistic welfare states in Europe are doomed to failure. Republicans have been in control for several years, so you would think that our economy should be surging ahead.

It appears running up huge deficits and promoting corporate welfare isn’t all that good for the economy after all. The World Economic Forum has published this year’s Global Competitiveness Index, and the United States has fallen from number one to number six


1: Switzerland (4)

2: Finland: (2)

3: Sweden (7)

4: Denmark (3)

5: Singapore (5)

6: United States (1)

7: Japan (10)

8: Germany (6)

9: Netherlands (11)

10: United Kingdom (9)

It will be intereteresting to see how the Repubicans spin falling behind Switzerland, Finland, and Sweden. Most likley they will blame Democrats for forcing them to spend so much money, or simply fall back on blaming Bill Clinton.

Condi Repeats Her Lie on Receiving al Qaeda Plan

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denies Bill Clinton’s recent charge that his administration left the Bush Administration a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda which was ignored:

The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton’s claim that he “left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy” for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.

“We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda,” Rice responded during the hourlong session.

This isn’t the first time Condi has denied receiving the report. In a column in the Washington Post on March 22, 2004, Condoleezza Rice wrote, “No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.”

Condi is lying now as she was lying in 2004 (as I previously noted). Documents obtained from the National Security Archive previously demonstrated that these claims from Rice were untrue. The documents include a January 25, 2001, memo from counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke to national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and “Tab A December 2000 Paper: Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects,” Perhaps Condi should have listened to Clarke rather than demoting him, and perhaps she should have taken the threat from al Qaeda more seriously.

Update: Since posting I find several other blogs have also provided evidence regarding this, including Think Progress, The Mahablog, The Carpetbagger Report, Majikthise, and Americablog.

Repubicans Go Negative

The Los Angeles Times is the latest paper to review the Republcan strategy of going negative. When they have failed at governing, and a majority opposes them on the issues, negative attack ads are all the Republicans have left. With Democrats currently more motivated to vote, Republicans hope they can suppress turnout among those who would vote Democratic:

While President Bush and national GOP leaders are attacking Democrats on such big issues as national security and America’s role in the world, individual Republicans are hitting their opponents hard — below the belt, some critics say — on personal and local issues.

Negative campaigning is hardly new, and Democrats are dishing dirt against Republicans too. But mudslinging is crucial to the Republican plan for this year’s midterm elections, because the party’s hold on power will probably hinge on shifting attention from the unpopular war in Iraq and other national issues that cut against them.

“When people are looking at national issues that are not breaking our way, what you want to do is focus on your opponent,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a former Republican National Committee chief of staff. “You’ve got to play the field’s conditions. They demand very tough tactics.”

Cole spelled out that approach in a recent strategy memo to House Republicans: “Define your opponent immediately and unrelentingly…. Do not let up — keep the tough ads running right up to election day. Don’t make the mistake of pulling your ads in favor of a positive rotation the last weekend.”

Republican incumbents this year began running attack ads earlier than ever. But the hardest-hitting are yet to come.

“You haven’t seen the majority of the negative ads yet,” said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where a staff of 10 has been deployed on opposition research.

Hopefully the negative ads, along with increasing media coverage, will lead to a backlash. Some voters, rather than believing the smears, may start to wonder why the party in power cannot run on their record and is forced to resort to such tactics.