Responding to Mr. Clark Johnson’s letter (01/26/06, letters, “What’s not to like?”). His use of facts is amazingly selective in that it almost completely ignores reality.

First, an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent today sounds like a great accomplishment for the Republicans until we remember that, when Bush took office, he inherited an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent from the Clinton administration.

Second is the suggestion that millions of new jobs have been added since May 2003, presumably due to the economic policies of the Bush administration. During the entire Bush administration to date (January 2001 to December 2005), a total of two million jobs have been created. During the same period under Clinton, (January 1993 to December 1997) 14.6 million jobs were created. Claiming that two million new jobs being created begs the obvious question, where are the other 12 million jobs that the Bush administration has not helped to create? More importantly, the two million jobs created under Bush have generally been of lower quality, fewer benefits and at lower wages.

Maybe things have been better for the folks who make their living by investing? Using the S&P 500 as a benchmark, we find that an investor putting $1,000 into stocks the day Bush took office would have only $956 left today. That is right. The S&P 500 has fallen under Bush. On the other hand, $1,000 dollars invested the day Clinton took office grew to $3,097 by the time Bush took office. Not exactly a record to run on for the Bush administration or the Republican Congress.

I will not even discuss : 1) the $300 billion federal surplus that Bush inherited from Clinton, which is now a 400 billion dollar deficit. 2) The three million manufacturing jobs that have been lost under Bush. 3) The Medicare prescription privatization which appears most likely to increase drug company profits more than it helps the elderly. 4) The fact that we are now tied up in a war in Iraq without an exit strategy. 5) Or the fact that Osama bin Laden still walks the earth as a free man despite Bush’s stated intention to get him. Remember \”Wanted: Dead or Alive?\”

In defense of the administration on capturing Osama bin Laden, Mr. Bush later stated \”I don\’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don\’t care. It\’s not that important. It\’s not our priority.\” Apparently, priorities change in Mr. Bush’s world depending on what tasks are too hard. I wonder how many families of those murdered by Osama bin Laden on 9/11 feel he is still important.

It is not just my opinion alone that there is a lot not to like about how well the Bush administration has performed. Most recent polls show that 55 percent of American’s disapprove of the job the Bush Administration is doing and 63 percent of Americans say that things in this country are on the wrong track.

However, I do have to commend Mr. Gallegly for being such an insignificant player in Congress for all these years, that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that either Jack Abramoff or Tom Delay ever found him important enough to offer him money in return for favors.

Vern Novstrup,
Ventura

Who’s the real bogeyman?

Well, just in time to coincide with scandals over lobbying (read: bribery of Republican congressmen), illegal wiretaps and an unqualified, lying candidate for the Supreme Court who would like nothing better than to dismantle America\’s civil rights, comes another Osama Bin Laden tape. Can this be a coincidence? Especially since most analysts believe the tape to be months old?

But what is more offensive even than the painfully obvious timing of the tape\’s release is the response to the tape from White House Press Secretary Scott McLellan. In response to bin Laden\’s offer of a truce, Scottie said, \”This administration doesn\’t negotiate with terrorists; it puts them out of business.\” Oh, REALLY?!?!?

First, name one terrorist group that has been \”put out of business\” by the Bush administration.

Second, if President Bush is so concerned about this new “threat,” why did he go to Camp David? If he doesn\’t care, why should we?

Finally, how sad is it that most Americans are now more afraid of their own President than they are of a man who killed 3000 of their own fellow citizens in a terror attack.

Wake Up America! The REAL terrorist is in the White House!

Tom Becham,
Oxnard