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President George W. Bush left a complex tech legacy through a multitude of legislation and policies. Among the changes he supported were expanded government, cuts to online privacy, increased military tech spending, and support for the automotive and alternative energy industries.
Bush created a tech legacy filled with good and bad

In the words of President George W. Bush, "Is our children learning?"

If by "child" he was referring to the government's tech efforts, the answer would be yes.  However, what it has learned, what changes and policies have been implemented during President Bush's administration are a complex and lengthy topic to consider as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office.

Some of the changes were superficial.  The got a makeover and relaunch this week.  Some of the recent tech legislative provisions passed through were considered somewhat trivial.

However, other changes were big.  President Bush's use of warrantless wiretaps and push for immunity for cooperating telecoms struck many as government playing big brother.  Law enforcement without regulation or responsibility, they argue could quickly go astray.  Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were among Bush's close allies to take the opposite stance, arguing the executive had the power to enforce laws without the necessity of regulation at times.  Mr. Gonzales stated, "The president has the inherent authority under the Constitution, as commander-in-chief, to engage in this kind of activity."

President Bush also tried to push through legislation which would provide the beginnings of a renewed focus on cybersecurity.  While recent war games have shown the country woefully prepared for an organized cyber assault, progress was made in this arena.

Bush showed support for copyright protection efforts.  Under his administration, the RIAA was encouraged to carry out its aggressive campaign, which generated much public attention, but ultimately failed to curb piracy.

On other subjects, though President Bush voiced its opinion, but deferred to Congress.  President Bush opposed auctioning the wireless spectrum, but he allowed the Federal Communications Commission Chief, Kevin Martin, whom he appointed, to proceed with an auction anyway.  Bush also opposed legislating net neutrality, but again Mr. Martin sided against his boss and pushed through changes.

President Bush will also be remembered for his bailout of the automotive industry, an integral part of the U.S. tech industry.  Some point out that with this bailout and others, combined with the government takeover of Fannie and Freddie May, Bush brought elements of mild socialism to the U.S. 

President Bush also sided with bipartisan efforts in Congress to sign into law new fuel economy standards and provide tax incentives to alternative energy firms.  And he set the nation's sights on the Moon, encouraging NASA to undertake the ambitious Ares program to return to the moon.  Under Bush's presidency the internet was also kept tax free on a federal level.

Ultimately the only broad conclusion one can draw from President Bush's tech legacy is that it is complex and likely a sign of things to come.  With President-elect Barack Obama set to take office and push an ambitious new tech-oriented agenda, the torch has been passed, and it appears that the government's tech efforts will only grow.  Whether this will entail a continuation of President Bush's championed expanded role of government, or a more regulation laissez-faire, but financially supportive approach to the tech industry, though remains to be seen.

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Good lord, Jason
By masher2 on 1/19/2009 12:29:49 PM , Rating: 5
I've been one of the most vociferous opponents of increased federal powers, especially among domestic monitoring, but the sheer bias in this article is alarming. It belongs in the blog section, not straight news.

A few facts you forgot to mention:

- The Domestic Spying Bill was supported by Bush, yes. It was also passed by the Democratically-controlled Senate...and voted for by Barack Obama.
- Claiming the Bush Administration "encouraged" the RIAA to prosecute wrongdoers is reaching, even for you. It was President Clinton who signed the all-empowering Digital Millenium Copyright Act, not Bush.
- Bush signed into law the largest federal R&D budget in history, a fact you fail to even mention.
- Bush's efforts to revitalize an ailing NASA and again give it vision and goals cannot be underestimated.
- In the long run, Bush's greatest long-term triumph may well be the tax moratorium on the Internet. Keeping it tax free will ensure its growth long past his adminstration.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By CSMR on 1/19/2009 12:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Federal R&D is much more important for tech than all those other tangential things mentioned. (Lack of) internet tax highly significant too.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By JasonMick on 1/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good lord, Jason
By masher2 on 1/19/2009 1:23:36 PM , Rating: 3
> "The points here are sourced either in the CNET report linked, or in previous DailyTech articles"

That doesn't change the fact they're largely inaccurate, incomplete, and/or misleading.

> " However, the Bush administration condoned the RIAA's legal campaign, by largely ignoring the topic"

Huh? The RIAA's campaign was within their rights under the law. The executive branch only enforces current law. It's the job of Congress to change laws, not the president. What did you want Bush to do, call in a fighter strike on their headquarters?

> "I'm sure some will perceive bias for or against Bush"

Jason, if you believe *anyone* will perceive this as being "for" Bush, you're deluding yourself sadly. It's a clear political hit piece, right down to your choice of photographs.

Personally, I have no problem with hitting Bush on domestic spying. But at least be honest about it, don't try to disguise the piece as some unbiased look at his "tech legacy".

RE: Good lord, Jason
By JasonMick on 1/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good lord, Jason
By masher2 on 1/19/2009 2:29:51 PM , Rating: 5
If Bush wanted to revise copyright law to provide monetary fines and punishment for infringement similar to other examples of petty theft, he could have easily done so.
No. He can do no more than propose to Congress that they do so. You're perfectly happy to give the Democratically-controlled Congress a bye for not addressing copyright law, but you castigate Bush for nothing more than not suggesting they rectify their own failings? What about you yourself? Did you vote for your congressional representative, a person who, unlike Bush, actually has the authority to act here, but didn't?

The facts are simple. Bush did not "encourage" the RIAA to act. They were granted that authority by Clinton, and allowed to continue by Congress.

As to his legacy, Ares, keeping the internet tax free, and increased cybersecurity are only a few of the items that I mention about bush in a favorable light
You hardly mention cybersecurity in a positive light. As for Ares, one sentence, buried in the next-to-last paragraph? Oh yes, the balance just screams out.

Did you say anything about his promotion of hydrogen technology? His plans for a manned mission to Mars? Nuclear-powered space travel? His calls to make broadband available and affordable to all citizens (something it wasn't when he first took office)? The initiatives to streamline and modernize heath information technology? The promotion of Internet-based government transactions (how many government agencies allowed you to conduct any transactions over the web prior to Bush's tenure?) His permanent R&D tax credit for business? His billions in federal R&D funding-- the largest in history?

I won't even bring up the absurdity of calling a piece "balanced" when it's led off with a malapropism like "Is our children learning"? The sheer fact that you deny or denigrate Bush's real accomplishments, while blaming him for situations not of his own making, speaks for itself.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By Reclaimer77 on 1/19/2009 10:24:55 PM , Rating: 4
Bush brought elements of mild socialism to the U.S.

Anyone putting this in a so called *balanced* article is clearly biased.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By angryandroid on 1/20/2009 4:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
Come on now children, stop fighting.

I'm not American and even I want today to be a great day. Love, peace and all that good stuff.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By omnicronx on 1/20/2009 4:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
No offense masher, but it seems that your replys are just as much based on opinion as Jason's article. I agree this article should have been a blog to begin with, but your replies seem very demeaning and it seems as though you are implying that he is wrong and you are right, which is just not the case as you both bring valid points to the table, some of which is fact, some of which is opinion.

Now if only bias/unbiased comments had their own section on DT, seems as though you have gained quite the following ;)

RE: Good lord, Jason
By smitty3268 on 1/20/2009 10:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, this should be a blog entry. It was certainly written from a liberal perspective, but I'd easily rate it as more even then masher's response which was even more biased in the opposite direction. He at least mentioned both some positives and negatives. The response by masher made it sound like the guy never made a single mistake.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By RubberJohnny on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Good lord, Jason
By theendofallsongs on 1/20/2009 11:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're both missing the point of the whole argument. Its not about Bush at all, it was about the biased reporting. What does domestic spying have to do with Bush's "technology legacy"? It was just an excuse to bring up something that gripes the author. Putting a positive sentance or two at the end doesn't make an article balanced either.

A lot of people don't like Bush. Thats no excuse to rewrite history. Something no one here has mentioned is how much Bush expanded NASA's budget (and he tried to expand it a lot more, but Congress blocked it. After the big cuts of the Clinton years, that makes a big difference.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By smitty3268 on 1/21/2009 2:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, the wiretap stuff was a stretch. But it actually makes a little bit of sense if you think about tech policy from a governmental policy/legal standpoint and not from a tech enthusiast standpoint.

More to the point, try reading that part about the wiretaps again. I count 2 sentences saying it was controversial, and another 2 saying that prominent officials were supportive of it and didn't see anything wrong with it. I didn't get even a whiff of trying to make an argument there, just bringing up what was obviously a major part of Bush's legacy.

I get the feeling people are reading stuff into what was written here, that wasn't actually said. Because Jason has been critical of the policy in the past, there is an automatic assumption that by bringing it up here there was more of the same, but I just don't see it.

Something no one here has mentioned is how much Bush expanded NASA's budget (and he tried to expand it a lot more, but Congress blocked it.

Color me unimpressed. Sure, Bush tried to turn around NASA. But I'm still not convinced that he actually succeeded. Maybe in 20 years this view will be vindicated, but I think it's a little early to call this part of his "legacy". Still, I'll grant you it probably belongs there as much as the wiretaps stuff does.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By FITCamaro on 1/19/2009 2:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm more annoyed with his many misspellings and in some cases, the wrong word completely.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By iFX on 1/19/2009 3:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Not sure why DT keeps this hack on staff.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By Bremen7000 on 1/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good lord, Jason
By lycium on 1/23/2009 9:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
As someone who enjoys reading DT, I simply cannot quietly tolerate this anymore and want to ask you for help.

If you also find it completely ridiculous that he is paid to spew uneducated ramblings all over an otherwise fine news site, please speak up and mail the staff about it.

Enough is enough. You may even be doing Jason a favour by saving him from embarrassing himself on such a prominent stage, which he can't even perceive (!!) is happening...

Yes, I registered just to post this (finally, after countless "meh just let it go" endings).

RE: Good lord, Jason
By smitty3268 on 1/20/2009 10:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Another article by Jason, and another immediate prominent reply by masher criticizing everything he said. Good lord, can't you give the guy a break once in a while?

RE: Good lord, Jason
By Grabo on 1/21/2009 10:46:57 AM , Rating: 2
Masher calls Jason biased? Eh..

Nice to see the trend continue though. Ratingwise, the Dark Side shall always win.. :p

By Suntan on 1/19/2009 12:17:36 PM , Rating: 5
As much as I hate the grammar Nazis around here, it gave me a chuckle when you use the first paragraph to attack the president for his grammar, yet have a sentence with the following in that paragraph:

during the President Bush's administration


RE: Grammar
By iFX on 1/19/2009 3:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
What do you expect from this guy? Proof reading? Real news? Unbiased opinions? Hah. You're looking in the wrong place.

RE: Grammar
By acase on 1/19/2009 4:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yah, he is pretty bad but I start to feel bad for him when he gets "mashed" after everything he writes. Masher is obviously superior, but good lord, lay off the poor dude every once in a while.

RE: Grammar
By lycium on 1/23/2009 10:12:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's not about superiority, it's about decency!

In any high school English class, you'll find at least 1/4 of the students are turning in higher quality writing than Jason reliably slaps on this highly visible news site.

So it's not even about factual correctness yet, not even about well-formed and original opinions; the real crux of the matter is that he is too drunk with confidence to bother doing anything about his incompetence. I was always told, "never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by ignorance", but this is a tough call since he seemingly can't be #$%^&$% to pick up a dictionary or read a bit to improve his buttery grasp of English grammar...

Where's the professionalism? We all had to work to qualify for our jobs, right? Surely some baseline level of ability should be required for a journalistic job, just like a quadriplegic should never make it onto a football team (and if offered the job, should have the presence of mind to refuse for shame of being failing so miserably before a massive audience on a regular basis).

RE: Grammar
By lycium on 1/23/2009 10:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
*being seen to fail... good thing I'm not employed as a journo eh? :P

Same as CNET?
By stash on 1/19/2009 12:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
This article is remarkably similar to CNET's:

RE: Same as CNET?
By JasonMick on 1/19/2009 1:02:05 PM , Rating: 1
Yep, that's the article I cited.

Really, I wrote this article, almost entirely from scratch, based on my previous coverage of these topics, occasionally refering to CNET's article not so much for material, but to make sure I was hitting on the major points. Ultimately this article does sound rather similar, simply because any discussion of the Bush admin's impact will boil down to a series of important decisions, which I summarize in the pic caption, among other places.

I tried to give the big picture about the changes taking place from a neutral perspective, mentioning both praise and criticism in stride. My aim was for greater brevity in this summary than CNET's piece. I hope that most people will find this article fair from a partisan standpoint, wherever they fall, and also think it an interesting read, arguably more digestable than CNET's bloated, but detailed piece.

RE: Same as CNET?
By stash on 1/19/2009 1:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
Totally missed the cite, sorry about that.

not much about technology here
By CSMR on 1/19/2009 12:38:11 PM , Rating: 3
The subject would make for an interesting analysis but the points mentioned have little to do with technology.

Warrentless wiretaps aren't a change to technology. The technology for it already existed. Now if the tapping was being put through systems that did Bayesian analysis and flagged up potential threats, that would be an impact. But I don't think this sort of information is in the public domain.

Copyright protection... again limited impact. Just affects what some people do with some technology, and even this effect is minimal. It doesn't enable or set back new technology.

Bailout of the car industry: that's not likely to make a definite impact on innovation. The antiquated companies have to try to catch up whether they are bailed out or taken over.

The things mentioned at the end do have an impact. Althernative energy policy - yes that has an impact on technology. As does the spectrum auction (why could he have been against that?). Internet tax: yes that's important too.

What about: Fundamental research funding? Patent law? Visas for scientists? Research tax incentives?

By meepstone on 1/20/2009 9:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
When will masher and mick have there own site to refute each others claims?!

"Fannie and Freddie May"
By Aarnando on 1/20/2009 12:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

By lagitup on 1/23/2009 12:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me, or do many of Jason Mick's articles seem like they are just begging for a flamewar in the comments?

Remains to be Seen?
By clovell on 1/19/2009 12:36:48 PM , Rating: 1
I know you may have exceeded the average word count for articles posted at DT, Jason, but 'Remains to be Seen?' - Come on!

President-Elect Obama has already made it clear that he fully intends to continue bailouts on an even larger scale than before. His economic rescue policies aren't very different from Bush's at all. I think a bit more discussion about this would have added a healthy dose of balance to the article.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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