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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 24 Jan 05 - 01:06 PM
Amos 24 Jan 05 - 01:14 PM
Amos 25 Jan 05 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Vivaldi 26 Jan 05 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Haydn 26 Jan 05 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Amos 26 Jan 05 - 08:44 AM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 11:01 AM
DougR 26 Jan 05 - 12:45 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 01:10 PM
Bobert 26 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 05 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 26 Jan 05 - 06:47 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jan 05 - 07:12 PM
Bobert 26 Jan 05 - 07:42 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jan 05 - 07:55 PM
Bobert 26 Jan 05 - 08:08 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jan 05 - 08:11 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 10:16 PM
Once Famous 26 Jan 05 - 10:53 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM
Bobert 26 Jan 05 - 11:01 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 11:02 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 11:06 PM
Bobert 26 Jan 05 - 11:15 PM
Amos 26 Jan 05 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,Amos at Dawn 27 Jan 05 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Amos 27 Jan 05 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Amos 27 Jan 05 - 11:36 AM
GUEST 27 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Amos 27 Jan 05 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Amos 27 Jan 05 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 27 Jan 05 - 12:07 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 02:30 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 02:35 PM
Bobert 27 Jan 05 - 05:50 PM
Bobert 27 Jan 05 - 07:39 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 09:50 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 05:05 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 05:08 PM
Bobert 28 Jan 05 - 07:32 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:43 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:43 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:44 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:46 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:52 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:53 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:54 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:56 PM
Bobert 28 Jan 05 - 10:57 PM
Amos 28 Jan 05 - 10:58 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 01:06 PM

EDITORIAL (Los Angeles Times)

Transition to Nowhere

President Bush's notion — it is not yet a plan — of partly privatizing Social Security has three large flaws. First, it is a cure in search of a disease. Second, it is a cure that won't work. And third, it is a cure that requires the disease to be gone before the cure can start.

This editorial concerns the third flaw. But to recap the others: The Bush administration calculates that Social Security will run out of cash in the year 2042. That's the crisis. It might seem refreshingly farsighted for the president to be dealing with this crisis 37 years in advance — if a prediction about the economy 37 years from now was dependable, and if there was nothing else worth worrying about between now and then. To be sure, the gap between Social Security income and outgo is a problem. But to call it a crisis, to pencil it in for the year 2042 and to make this the major domestic focus of a presidency in 2005 is absurd. That's the first flaw.

The core argument for privatization is that investment in the private economy pays better than the Social Security trust fund's investment in government bonds. But even if this were true for sure and for everybody, privatization won't actually increase total private investment. Unless the government cuts spending — which has nothing to do with Social Security privatization — it will have to raise its dollars from the private economy. Every time privatization denies the government a dollar and puts that dollar into the private investment pool, the government will have to replace it by borrowing a dollar from that same pool. (For the full argument, go to .) This is the second flaw.

The third flaw involves the "transition." Right now, most of the money that comes in from current workers is paid out to current retirees. But privatization assumes that the money you put in will be available for your own retirement. In order to get from here to there, the cost of paying current retirees will have to come from somewhere else for a while. How much are we talking? Well, the administration acknowledges that this number is somewhere in the trillions. The Bush people say that they can borrow these trillions, and that they don't have to count it in the budget or the national debt because it is money the government implicitly owes already to future retirees.

This is a wonderful recipe for what might be called "bootstrap irresponsibility": a government program (Social Security in this case) costs far more than the government is willing to acknowledge. Instead of fixing it, it acknowledges the cost after all, borrows it and says that this doesn't count because we actually owed the money all along.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 01:14 PM

Ramsey Clark, once the aAttorney General of the United States, has written an interesting essay in the Los Angeles Times concerning his reaning for being willing to defend Saddam Hussein in legalproceedings:


o let me explain why defending Saddam Hussein is in line with what I've stood for all my life and why I think it's the right thing to do now.

That Hussein and other former Iraqi officials must have lawyers of their choice to assist them in defending against the criminal charges brought against them ought to be self-evident among a people committed to truth, justice and the rule of law.

Both international law and the Constitution of the United States guarantee the right to effective legal representation to any person accused of a crime. This is especially important in a highly politicized situation, where truth and justice can become even harder to achieve. That's certainly the situation today in Iraq. The war has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the widespread destruction of civilian properties essential to life. President Bush, who initiated and oversees the war, has manifested his hatred for Hussein, publicly proclaiming that the death penalty would be appropriate.

The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction. Obviously, a fair trial of Hussein will be difficult to ensure — and critically important to the future of democracy in Iraq. This trial will write history, affect the course of violence around the world and have an impact on hopes for reconciliation within Iraq.

Hussein has been held illegally for more than a year without once meeting a family member, friend or lawyer of his choice. Though the world has seen him time and again on television — disheveled, apparently disoriented with someone prying deep into his mouth and later alone before some unseen judge — he has been cut off from all communications with the outside world and surrounded by the same U.S. military that mistreated prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Preparation of Hussein's defense cannot begin until lawyers chosen by him obtain immediate, full and confidential access to him so they can review with him events of the last year, the circumstances of his seizure and the details of his treatment. They must then have time to thoroughly discuss the nature and composition of the prosecution and the court, the charges that may be brought against him, and his knowledge, thoughts and instructions concerning the facts of the case. And finally, they must have the time for the enormous task of preparing his defense.

The legal team, its assistants and investigators must be able to perform their work safely, without interference, and be assured that their client's condition and the conditions of his confinement enable him to fully participate in every aspect of his defense.

International law requires that every criminal court be competent, independent and impartial. The Iraqi Special Tribunal lacks all of these essential qualities. It was illegitimate in its conception — the creation of an illegal occupying power that demonized Saddam Hussein and destroyed the government it now intends to condemn by law.

The United States has already destroyed any hope of legitimacy, fairness or even decency by its treatment and isolation of the former president and its creation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal to try him.

Saddam's own actions have done more to demonize him -- as far as I know -- than Bush's have, or Bush's father's. But a fair and open trial is in the interest of peaceful resolution of all charges and damages of which Saddam stands accused. ANd there is no question that the politicized and war-torn ambience which has resulted from Bush's invasion make achieving the ideal of a process under law extremely difficult.



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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 01:08 AM


Inadequate information


President Bush is a "fiscal conservative" who has run up the largest federal budget deficit in American history.  And he's a "war president" who repeatedly shrugged off the military establishment's warnings, invading Iraq on the advice of neocon ideologues with more powerpoints to their names than Purple Hearts. 

If the American political process is a marketplace of ideas, in which the winner earns political capital, many aspects of Bush's re-election are comparable to the market failure that economists call inadequate information.  In short: "For competitive markets to work well, consumers need information with which to evaluate competing products.  If consumers lack important information, markets will fail." [Stephen Breyer, Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy]
According to a nationwide poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) on the eve of the election, 72% of Bush supporters believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and 57% incorrectly believed that the Duelfer report had concluded Iraq had a major WMD program.  And despite the 9/11 Commission Report's findings to the contrary, 75% of Bush supporters believed that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believed that clear evidence of this link had been found. [PIPA] 

Steven Kull, the director of PIPA, said that "the roots of the Bush supporters' resistance to information very likely lie in the traumatic experience of 9/11 and equally in the near pitch-perfect leadership that President Bush showed in its immediate wake. This appears to have created a powerful bond between Bush and his supporters--and an idealized image of the President that makes it difficult for his supporters to imagine that he could have made incorrect judgments before the war." [PIPA]

I would also argue that this "resistance to information" was facilitated by broader changes in the media landscape.  During the 2004 election season, conservative commentators, blogs, and email forwards provided a 24-hour-a-day defense of the Bush administration.  When the 9/11 Commission Report was released, they ignored the section that directly contradicted the administration's claim of an Iraq-al Qaeda link.  When the Duelfer report was released, they somehow managed to spin it as supporting Bush's case for war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Vivaldi
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:52 AM

Speaking of liars, and the fat lies they tell, or whatever, anyway, this was the take reported on the Wednesday Washington post.

"Democrats Criticize Rice Over Iraq War

Senate Confirmation Is Expected Today

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 26, 2005; Page A01

Senate Democrats delivered one of the sharpest critiques yet of the Bush administration's credibility and its handling of the Iraq war yesterday, as the Senate prepared to confirm Condoleezza Rice's nomination to be secretary of state today.

Seizing on a nine-hour debate that Republicans had hoped to avoid, several Democrats excoriated the administration's prewar claims about Iraqi weapons and its handling of the ongoing war and transition. Both parties agreed that Rice, 50, will be confirmed, but that did not stop a cross section of Democrats from questioning her truthfulness in terms that until yesterday were used only by liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Some of the most critical Democrats were centrists from states that President Bush won or nearly won in November. Their comments came as recent polls have shown growing public disenchantment with the situation in Iraq.

Too many Republican senators allow Bush's top aides "to get away with lying," said Sen. Mark Dayton, a Democrat who opposed the war and will face reelection next year in the swing state of Minnesota. "Lying to Congress, lying to our committees and lying to the American people. It's wrong, it's immoral." The only way to stop it, Dayton said, is to keep the administration from promoting officials "who have been instrumental in deceiving Congress and the American people, and regrettably that includes Dr. Rice."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Haydn
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:19 AM

The Washington Post also feels very uncomfortable with the latest piece of the Bush machine:

A Degrading Policy

Wednesday, January 26, 2005; Page A20

ALBERTO R. GONZALES was vague, unresponsive and misleading in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Bush administration's detention of foreign prisoners. In his written answers to questions from the committee, prepared in anticipation of today's vote on his nomination as attorney general, Mr. Gonzales was clearer -- disturbingly so, as it turns out. According to President Bush's closest legal adviser, this administration continues to assert its right to indefinitely hold foreigners in secret locations without any legal process; to deny them access to the International Red Cross; to transport them to countries where torture is practiced; and to subject them to treatment that is "cruel, inhumane or degrading," even though such abuse is banned by an international treaty that the United States has ratified. In effect, Mr. Gonzales has confirmed that the Bush administration is violating human rights as a matter of policy.

Mr. Gonzales stated at his hearing that he and Mr. Bush oppose "torture and abuse." But his written testimony to the committee makes clear that "abuse" is, in fact, permissible -- provided that it is practiced by the Central Intelligence Agency on foreigners held outside the United States. The Convention Against Torture, which the United States ratified in 1994, prohibits not only torture but "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment." The Senate defined such treatment as abuse that would violate the Fifth, Eighth or 14th amendments to the Constitution -- a standard that the Bush administration formally accepted in 2003.

But Mr. Gonzales revealed that during his tenure as White House counsel, the administration twisted this straightforward standard to make it possible for the CIA to subject detainees to such practices as sensory deprivation, mock execution and simulated drowning. The constitutional amendments, he told the committee, technically do not apply to foreigners held abroad; therefore, in the administration's view the torture treaty does not bind intelligence interrogators operating on foreign soil. "The Department of Justice has concluded," he wrote, that "there is no legal prohibition under the Convention Against Torture on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment with respect to aliens overseas."

According to most legal experts, this is a gross distortion of the law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:44 AM

The NY Times likewise mistrusts him, which gives even surer grounds for the right to huddle around and protect their red-necked boy:

The Wrong Attorney General

Published: January 26, 2005

Alberto Gonzales's nomination as attorney general goes before the Senate at a time when the Republican majority is eager to provide newly elected President Bush with the cabinet of his choice, and the Democrats are leery of exposing their weakened status by taking fruitless stands against the inevitable. None of that is an excuse for giving Mr. Gonzales a pass. The attorney general does not merely head up the Justice Department. He is responsible for ensuring that America is a nation in which justice prevails. Mr. Gonzales's record makes him unqualified to take on this role or to represent the American justice system to the rest of the world. The Senate should reject his nomination.

The biggest strike against Mr. Gonzales is the now repudiated memo that gave a disturbingly narrow definition of torture, limiting it to physical abuse that produced pain of the kind associated with organ failure or death. Mr. Gonzales's attempts to distance himself from the memo have been unconvincing, especially since it turns out he was the one who requested that it be written. Earlier the same year, Mr. Gonzales himself sent President Bush a letter telling him that the war on terror made the Geneva Conventions' strict limitations on the questioning of enemy prisoners "obsolete."

These actions created the legal climate that made possible the horrific mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners being held in Abu Ghraib prison. The Bush administration often talks about its desire to mend fences with the rest of the world, particularly the Muslim world. Making Mr. Gonzales the nation's chief law enforcement officer would set this effort back substantially.

Other parts of Mr. Gonzales's record are also troubling. As counsel to George Bush when he was governor of Texas, Mr. Gonzales did a shockingly poor job of laying out the legal issues raised by the clemency petitions from prisoners on death row. And questions have been raised about Mr. Gonzales's account of how he got his boss out of jury duty in 1996, which allowed Mr. Bush to avoid stating publicly that he had been convicted of drunken driving.

Senate Democrats, who are trying to define their role after the setbacks of the 2004 election, should stand on principle and hold out for a more suitable attorney general. Republicans also have reason to oppose this nomination. At the confirmation hearings, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, warned that the administration's flawed legal policies and mistreatment of detainees had hurt the country's standing and "dramatically undermined" the war on terror. Given the stakes in that war, senators of both parties should want an attorney general who does not come with this nominee's substantial shortcomings.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:01 AM

Democrats Call Rice a Liar, Bush Apologist Wires
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005

One Senate Democrat called Condoleezza Rice a liar Tuesday and others said she was an apologist for Bush administration failures in Iraq, but she remained on track for confirmation as secretary of state.

Rice, who has been President Bush's White House national security adviser for four years, was one of the loudest voices urging war, Democrats said. She repeatedly deceived members of Congress and Americans at large about justifications for the war, said Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn.

``I don't like impugning anyone's integrity, but I really don't like being lied to,'' Dayton said. ``Repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally.''

Rice is expected to win confirmation on Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., predicted that Rice would have ``an overwhelming majority'' of votes.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., cautioned against ``inflammatory rhetoric that is designed merely to create partisan advantage or to settle partisan scores.''

Rice would succeed Colin Powell, who often found himself on the outside looking in with Bush's close circle of war and national security advisers.

By contrast, Rice is a trusted Bush loyalist. As a principal architect of the Iraq invasion and the administration's war on terrorism, she shares blame for overstating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, Democrats said.

``My vote against this nominee is my statement that this administration's lies must stop now,'' Dayton said in opposing Rice's nomination on the Senate floor.

Politicians rarely use the word ``lie,'' preferring some of the milder terms other Democrats used Tuesday.

``There was no reason to go to war in Iraq when we did, the way we did and for the false reasons we were given,'' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Rice is not directly responsible for intelligence failures prior to the Iraq war that overestimated Saddam's nuclear capability, said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. ``But she is responsible for her own distortions and exaggerations of the intelligence which was provided to her,'' Levin said.

``Dr. Rice is responsible for some of the most overblown rhetoric that the administration used to scare the American people,'' Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., said.

The Senate set aside most of the day Tuesday to debate the Rice nomination after Democrats revolted against a plan to confirm Rice last week, on the same day that Bush took his oath for a second term.

``We should have been done last week,'' Frist said. ``I was disappointed that we are having to march through the debate today. But ultimately the vote will occur.''

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 12:45 PM

I thought it was heartwarming to see a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, who now occupies a seat in the United States Senate, voting to block the nomination of the first Black woman to the office of Secretary of State.

I assume Bobert is proud of his Senator's vote against confirmation.

Fortunately, a majority of senators recognized the time-honored tradition that a president chooses his cabinet members and she was confirmed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 01:10 PM

As usual, DougR you are twisting the reality of the situation so violently it is likely to cause another earthquake. If the woman is a sociopathic liar, which appears to be the case, what difference does her skin color make? Why are you making it a racial issue? Trying to distort the issue? Do you have any evidence that the reluctance of some peopel to trust the Dept of State to her has a racial basis? Or are you just slandering?

It was Condoleeza Rice, no other, who asserted there was a risk that the smoking gun of Iraq could well turn out to be a mushroom cloud, on no evidence, purely because it was "on-message" for her to do so.

Is that your idea of integrity? Or do you think I am biased against her because of her skin, also?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM

And, Dougit, you can take it to the bank that I'm proud of Robert Byrd. But not so much for his vote today but for the courage he has shown in his life in overcoming scultuarl and socail obstickles, and overcoming hatred, and becoming such an independent thinker. He was a lone voice in the Senate as Bush used lies and fresh memories of 9/11 to gain support for what many allready knew and many more have figured out would be an immoral and unwinable war...

Yes, I can't think of another Senator who better represents my vies than Senator Byrd. He is unique and when it is time for him to leave the Senate, IMO, the Senate and the country will looze someone special.

Meanwhile, looks as if the Dems couldn't stop Condi Rice's appointment but they sure did give her some things to thik about and maybe some of the citicism will have some positive effects on her deeper self.

But I am disappointed by her appointment. Bush jsut doesn't seem to get it... (Nah, Bobert, he get's it all too well...). I mean, it seens that he knows he is going to need international cooperation and talks the talk. ButCondi Rice ain't exactly like walkin' the walk. She is a very dogmatic oil woman who folks around the world just flat out don't trust. How Bush thinks that she is *the one* who can sell internationalism is way beyond me. When I heard her testify before the 9/11 Comission she came off as arrogant and combative (sound like anyone else we know?) Arrogant and combative isn't going to get anyone on board who allready things we are, ahhh, arrogant and combatant... Bush should have done everything in his powers, which according to some aren't very much with Don Rumsfeld and his bud Dickleberry Cheney really runnin the show, to get Powell to stay on. Or if not possible, at least a moderate, rather than an ideologue...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:44 PM

Doug R, think of something stupid that you did when you were much younger. How would you like to be judged by that now?

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 06:47 PM

" I thought it was heartwarming to see a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, who now occupies a seat in the United States Senate, voting to block the nomination of the first Black woman to the office of Secretary of State."

I like that kind of thinking. I think it cute to see a former three-year-old like Doug attempting to post to an adult forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:12 PM

The colour of a person's skin is not relevant in any way to whether or not one should point it out when that person has lied on the public record. If you think it is, Doug, then you are the one who is encouraging racism, not Senator Byrd.

When people are deemed to be above criticism (regardless of their own actual behaviour) due merely to their membership in a race or a group of people that has suffered notable discrimination in the past...such as a Negro, a Native American, a woman, or a Jew, for example...then what is actually occurring is an Orwellian form of thought control which is tantamount TO racism, bigotry, and prejudice of the worst sort.

And that appears to be what you are recommending Doug. You want Condoleeza Rice to be excused for what a white person would (I hope!) not be excused for, merely because she is black! That is asinine and totally wrong, and it does not enhance your credibility one bit to put forward such a viewpoint.

It is ironical that a Republican Party which has virtually NO support among American blacks found 2 key blacks to put high in its administration. My, my, WHAT a coincidence! Can anyone say "token"? Well, one can always find a token person of the right political category AND color/etc to betray their own, if one looks hard enough, Doug. Yes indeed. Hitler found his Quislings, don't forget. He found them everywhere that he took over. He even found Jews who willingly helped exterminate other Jews. It proves nothing but this...people of any race, culture, or other distinguishing outer characteristic are capable of the worst acts.

No one is sacrosanct on the basis of colour or anything else like that. If they were, my, wouldn't it be a simple little World! You could just line up all the "bad" people and exterminate them, on the basis of their obvious outer distinguishing features. Hmmmm...where have I heard of that before? At Nuremberg? Or at Dachau?

Your defence of Condoleeza Rice on the basis that she is black, of all things, is really astounding to me. Sounds like O.J. Simpson all over again. A liar is still a liar, regardless of the color of her skin.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:42 PM

Not to split hairs, LH, but I think that "token" is a tad threadbare. And it really doesn't covey how Condi and Colin have served the massa. They are "house negroes", very much in the tradition of the Old South. They are like white people in that they are of privildge. During the days of slavery they were generally the cruelest people on the plantation.

Token I'd take. "House negroes" is a differnt story becuase they themselves are dangerous people...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 07:55 PM

Point well taken, Bobert. People of privilege is what they are, all right, and that is the key to it all right there. O.J. was a person of privilege too, and he got away with murder because of it. If he'd been some poor unknown schmuck from the ghetto they would have executed him.

It doesn't matter much what skin color you have if you're a person of privilege, except for this: if it's a discriminated-against skin color then you can even be a crook or a murderer and still use that skin colour to emotionally blackmail people into looking the other way...for fear they might be accused of racism if they go after you! Very handy to be the right colour when one is a person of privilege, to be sure. Too bad for Martha Stewart that she wasn't black...she would've got a lot more sympathy, I'm sure.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:08 PM

Yup. That's what I meant by pointing out that the house negtoes were ofter the most cruel people on the plantation....

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 08:11 PM

Sad but true. Kind of like the Sonderkommando (Jewish executioners) at the Nazi death camps.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:16 PM

Rumsfeld Quits Trip to Germany: Human Rights Groups ask German Government to prosecute him for war crimes.
By News Report
Jan 22, 2005, 00:57

Rumsfeld cancels trip after accusations

Friday 21 January 2005, 13:23 Makka Time, 10:23 GMT 

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cancelled a planned visit to Germany after a US human rights organisation asked German authorities to prosecute him for war crimes, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) has learned.

Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the US embassy that he will not take part in the Munich Security Conference in February, conference head Horst Teltschik told dpa on Thursday.

The New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights filed a
complaint in December with the Federal German Prosecutor's Office against Rumsfeld accusing him of war crimes and torture in connection with detainee abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Rumsfeld made it known immediately after the complaint was filed that he would not attend the Munich conference unless Germany quashed the legal action.

German legislation violations

The organisation alleges violations of German legislation, which
outlaws war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide independent of the place of crime or origin of the accused.

The prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe reportedly is examining the
roughly 170-page complaint to see whether an investigation is warranted.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights said it and four Iraqis allegedly tortured in US custody filed a complaint with German authorities against Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet and eight other senior military and civilian officials over abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 10:53 PM

Post number 969 represents three people together having oral sex.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM

Bush Administration Paid Media Supporter of Gay Marriage Ban

Just weeks after accusations surfaced of the Bush administration paying a conservative commentator to plug education policies, a second commentator has now been discovered to have taken funds for work on promoting the administration's marriage policy.

In a Tuesday report in the Washington Post, it was revealed that columnist Maggie Gallagher was paid $21,500 in 2004 by the Department of Health and Human Services to write magazine articles on the administration's program encouraging marriage and to help promote the program. Gallagher also received $20,000 in 2002 and 2003 to write a report on government initiatives to strengthen marriage.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:01 PM

Bad arithmaticin', Martin. Accordin' to the Wes Ginny Slide Rule it's 9 folks havin' oral sex, which means that one of them must be a dog, or radical contortionist...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:02 PM

Bush Administration Shamed by Venezuelan Democracy

by Stan Moore

(Wednesday 26 January 2005)

"...Venezuela's poor and needy are experiencing the good of democracy, while America's underclass are experiencing exploitation and intentional neglect because of the suppression of democracy in America at polling time."

It should be no big surprise that Condoleeza Rice could find nothing good to say about President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela or the politics of that country in her recent confirmation hearings. Rice, a foreign policy protector of President George W. Bush, is shamed by the beautiful expression of democracy in Venezuela, resulting in the overwhelming confirmation of legitimacy of President Chavez, which stands in stark contrast to the willful suppression of democracy, by the Bush cabal.

President Chavez was rewarded with a landslide victory by Venezuelan voters because of his support of the underclass, the neglected, and the needy in Venezuelan society. Chavez has earned the ire of the greedy for aiding the needy. Chavez has enacted programs to aid the needy at the expense of Venezuela's greedy. Chavez has withstood U.S.-backed attempts to drive him from power because the U.S. ALWAYS supports the greedy at the expense of the needy, and often seeks to drive populist rulers from power who follow the opposite course. Just ask President Aristide of Haiti.

On the other hand, George W. Bush and his political supporters attempted with great success to suppress expression of democracy by the American underclass, the neglected, and the needy in places like Ohio and Florida in the past two U.S. presidential elections. The underclass was purged from voter rolls. The needy were challenged regarding their eligibility to vote at the polls, resulting in their being forced to vote on provisional ballots that were discarded or not counted. Bush' Brain engineered campaign and election tactics designed to disenfranchise the underclass so that they could not express their franchise by voting in national elections.

As a result, Venezuela's poor and needy are experiencing the good of democracy, while America's underclass are experiencing exploitation and intentional neglect because of the suppression of democracy in America at polling time. America's underclass is scorned and held in derision by the ruling class, as if their needs and desires are irrelevant -- just witness the spoken remarks at the Congressional challenge to the electoral vote in Ohio.

However, rather than confess to shame, Condoleeza Rice, true to character, resorts to character assassination of President Chavez in order to save face. Rice' tactic of lying under oath is nothing new. The gullible may actually believe her, because America's gullible public is easily deceived and rarely has access to accurate information.

Much of the world now understands the feeble nature of American democracy. Much of the world now understands that any apparent altruism by America is always conditional -- we will help you if it is perceived in our interest, and we will harm you if that is perceived to be in our interest. America does no good in this world based on principle, except for the principle of self-interest.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:06 PM

Demand Full Disclosure and Investigation of Bush Administration Torture Policies

January 25, 2005

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Senate leadership is trying to steamroll the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, but your senators still have an opportunity to demand that Gonzales appoint an independent special counsel to investigate the development and implementation of U.S. interrogation and torture policies and to fully release all torture-related documents.

Until senators get those commitments, they should oppose voting on the Gonzales nomination. They cannot fully exercise their constitutional duty to "advise and consent" on the Gonzales nomination until they have critical information on his record on torture and until a commitment is made to an independent investigation. Otherwise the Senate would be setting up a situation where Gonzales would be investigating matters in which he himself participated.

Last week, members of the ACLU Action Network generated tens of thousands of letters to Congress in support of freedom and equality. We need to keep up the pressure and ensure Congress commits to accountability and responsibility for the torture and abuse of prisoners.

America is a land of laws and we cannot let the actions at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay cripple our credibility and moral standing at home and abroad. Let Congress know that you consider the use of torture to be a grave injustice that needs to be stopped.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:15 PM

Yeah like here is the quesrioning of Gaonzalez in Congress:

Senator Smith: "Mr. Gonzalez, do you believe that since internatinal law opposes torture that it is wrong?"

Ginzalez: "Yeah"

Senator Smith: Did you advise the president that torture was hunky dory just so long as it was the US doing the torturing?"

Gonzalez: "Yeah"

Go figure???


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 11:16 PM

Secret Documents Prove Bush Administration Wanted High Unemployment!

(From Unconfirmed Sources...)

Unconfirmed Sources report documents prove Bush wanted high unemployment. Secret files detail an amazingly successful plan called "Staying Home for America to keep Us Safe From Godless Heathens Forever!" Under the plan Bush and his economic team purposely depressed employment to keep people at home where they could defend America form terrorists!

"It is a brilliant plan. A true master stroke!" said one Washington insider. "Who could have guessed that high unemployment is what has kept America safe and strong since 911. We didn't know it but the president gave us an army of 2.5 million people to defend our country."

"Its true." said Karl Rove, who leaked the plan documents. "We knew we needed thousands of people to protect the country from terror so we launched the plan right after 911. Who could have guessed it would be so successful for so long.

Fred Johnson, an unemployed auto worker, said the revelations put things in a whole new light. "Before I heard about the 'Staying Home for American' plan, I was pissed off at the president for letting the economy slide and causing me to get fired. But now I understand and i'm proud to be unemployed! It makes me feel good to know that this last year I've been doing my part for America. My friends and family have been telling me i'm a bum, but now I know i'm a hero!"

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos at Dawn
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:39 AM

The reliable redhead rides again:

Love for Sale


Published: January 27, 2005

I'm herewith resigning as a member of the liberal media elite.

I'm joining up with the conservative media elite.

They get paid better.

First comes news that Armstrong Williams got nearly a quarter of a million from the Education Department to plug No Child Left Behind.

The families of soldiers killed in Iraq get a paltry $12,000. But good publicity? Priceless.

Mr. Williams helped out the first President Bush and Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill scandal. Mr. Williams, who served as Mr. Thomas's personal assistant at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when the future Supreme Court justice was gutting policies that would help blacks, gleefully attacked Professor Hill, saying, "Sister has emotional problems," and telling The Wall Street Journal "there is a thin line between her sanity and insanity."

Now we learn from media reporter Howard Kurtz that syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher had a $21,500 contract from the Health and Human Services Department to work on material promoting the agency's $300 million initiative to encourage marriage. Ms. Gallagher earned her money, even praising Mr. Bush in print as a "genius" at playing "daddy" to the nation. "Mommies feel your pain," she wrote in 2002. "Daddies give you confidence that you can ignore the pain and get on with life."

Genius? Not so much. Spendthrift? Definitely. W.'s administration was running up his astounding deficit paying "journalists" to do what they would be happy to do for free - just to be friends with benefits, getting access that tougher scribes are denied. Consider Charles Krauthammer, who went to the White House on Jan. 10 for what The Washington Post termed a "consultation" on the inaugural speech and then praised the Jan. 20th address on Fox News as "revolutionary," said Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group.

I still have many Christmas bills to pay. So I'd like to send a message to the administration: THIS SPACE AVAILABLE. I could write about the strong dollar and the shrinking deficit. Or defend Torture Boy, I mean, the esteemed and sage Alberto Gonzales. Or remind readers of the terrific job Condi Rice did coordinating national security before 9/11 - who could have interpreted a memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" as a credible threat? - not to mention her indefatigable energy obscuring information undercutting the vice president's dementia on Iraq.

My preference is to get a contract with Rummy. It would be cost effective, compared with the latest $80 billion he needs to train more Iraqi security forces to be blown up. For half a mil, I could write a doozy of a column promoting Rummy's phantasmagoric policies.

What is all this hand-wringing about the 31 marines who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq yesterday? It's only slightly more than the number of people who died in traffic accidents in California last Memorial Day. The president set the right tone, avoiding pathos when asked about the crash. "Obviously," he said, "any time we lose life it is a sad moment."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:21 AM

Thomas Friedman's advise to Bush in Europe deserves a good close read:

Read My Ears

Published: January 27, 2005


Having spent the last 10 days traveling to Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland, I have one small suggestion for President Bush. I suggest that when he comes to Europe to mend fences next month he give only one speech. It should be at his first stop in Brussels and it should consist of basically three words: "Read my ears."

Let me put this as bluntly as I can: There is nothing that the Europeans want to hear from George Bush, there is nothing that they will listen to from George Bush that will change their minds about him or the Iraq war or U.S. foreign policy. Mr. Bush is more widely and deeply disliked in Europe than any U.S. president in history. Some people here must have a good thing to say about him, but I haven't met them yet.

In such an environment, the only thing that Mr. Bush could do to change people's minds about him would be to travel across Europe and not say a single word - but just listen. If he did that, Mr. Bush would bowl the Europeans over. He would absolutely disarm and flummox people here - and improve his own image markedly. All it would take for him would be just a few words: "Read my ears. I have come to Europe to listen, not to speak. I will give my Europe speech when I come home - after I've heard what you have to say."

If Mr. Bush did that none of the European pundits would be able to pick apart his speeches here and mock the contradictions between his words and deeds. None of them would comment on his delivery and what he failed to mention. Instead, all the European commentators, politicians and demonstrators would start fighting with one another over what to say to the president. It might even force the Europeans to get out of their bad habit of just saying, "George Bush," and everybody laughing or sneering as if that ends the conversation, and Europe doesn't have to declare what it stands for.

Listening is also a sign of respect. It is a sign that you actually value what the other person might have to say.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 11:36 AM

Editorial: Mounting War Bill

27 January 2005

 From Arab News

THOUGH Iraqis are paying the highest price by far for George Bush's invasion of their country, the United States is making its own significant contribution in both blood and coin. Yesterday's crash of a US Marine helicopter near the Jordanian border claiming 31 lives was the largest single casualty figure in Iraq. Even as detailed news of this latest loss broke, the administration in Washington was announcing the need for at least an extra $80 billion in funding, largely to pursue US policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. This amount will propel war spending since 9/11 to $300 billion.

Is the world really $300 billion safer or are all those dollars simply being hurled by the fistful onto the blaze that Bush ignited in Iraq? Couldn't a good part of so vast a sum of money have been better used addressing injustice, despair and poverty, the very things on which terrorism feeds so hungrily? We shall of course never know. Yet it ought to give pause for thought that this very week, the world's richest man, Microsoft boss Bill Gates, has pledged $750 million of his own money to fund a global campaign of immunization against childhood diseases. He has pointed out that his contribution dwarves the combined total already offered by America and Europe.

The Pentagon, whose 2005 budget this year — not including the extra money — is $400 billion, says that part of the cash is earmarked for the training and provision of equipment to Iraqi and Afghani forces to whom Washington intends to hand over when it is deemed that US troops have "completed their mission."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM

The Best Coverage Money Can Buy

Published: January 27, 2005

New York Times Editorial

President Bush says he has ordered his cabinet not to rent any more journalists to promote his policies, which was certainly the right thing to do. But he still seemed as much bemused as discomfited yesterday that administration officials have been caught making payoffs for positive "news coverage" from ostensibly independent journalists. At his news conference, Mr. Bush said that the White House had no knowledge of the arrangements with sellout members of the Fourth Estate and that he has reminded his cabinet secretaries that "our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet."

Still, we were puzzled as to why Mr. Bush had not said that earlier; his administration was caught hiring a public relations specialist last year to pose as a news reporter and peddle propaganda spots. The president also did not say whether his new policy of an "independent relationship" between the White House and the press corps extended to staff members who deny airplane seats and other access to reporters as punishment for their coverage.

Mr. Bush was plainly irritated by having to field questions about administration officials who tapped taxpayers to finance spin-for-money deals. The most prominent sellout was Armstrong Williams, the conservative television commentator who took $240,000 to do administration bidding on behalf of the No Child Left Behind Act while making a show of tough-minded candor.

The latest is the syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher, who did not disclose a $21,500 government writing contract for her promotion of Bush policy on strengthening marriage. Last year, there was the propaganda video on behalf of the Medicare drug program offered to budget-pressed TV stations. Full disclosure at signoff might have said, "Reporting live and in the tank!"

Loss of credibility works both ways. The exposed spinners deservedly suffer shame. But the administration's believability comes into question when officials like Rod Paige, the outgoing education secretary, defend buying faked coverage.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 11:51 AM

This is an excerpt from an article in a web-page called The Arab News,, entitled "The New King George":

"In his coronation speech, Bush promised to bring freedom and democracy to every corner of the world. No less, no more. He cited the two countries in which he has already achieved this aim: Iraq and Afghanistan. Both have been devastated by American planes that dropped the message from their bomb doors. Recently, the American soldiers wiped a large city from the face of the earth in order to convince the opponents of "American values". Now Fallujah looks as if it had been struck by a tsunami.

It is no secret that the neo-cons intend to "bring democracy" to Iran and Syria, thereby eliminating two more traditional enemies of the USA and Israel. Dick Cheney, the vice president, has already said that Israel may attack Iran, as if threatening to unleash a Rottweiler.

It could have been hoped that after the total debacle in Iraq and the less obvious but equally serious failure in Afghanistan, Bush would shrink from more such actions. But as almost always happens with rulers of this type, he cannot admit defeat and stop. On the contrary, failure drives him on to more extremes, vowing, rather like the captain of the Titanic, "to stay the course."

There is no way to guess what Bush may perpetrate, now that he has been re-elected by his people. His ego has been blown up to giant proportions, reaffirming what the Greek fabulist Aesop said some 27 centuries ago: "The smaller the mind the greater the conceit."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:06 PM

January 27, 2005
E-mail story   Print   Most E-Mailed

Margaret Carlson:

Boxer's Spine Gets Her Cut Off at the Knees



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You wouldn't know it from reading the newspapers, but Sen. Barbara Boxer served her country valiantly last week. In her grilling of Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, Boxer finally named the elephant in the hearing room, which is more than the war itself. It's the lies that got us there.

Finally, a national television audience could watch a member of Congress ask tough questions in language that didn't pussyfoot around. From all the commissions, studies and news reports, we now know pretty much what Rice knew and when she knew it. What we don't yet have is an explanation for why Rice didn't tell us what she knew and at times even told us the opposite.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 12:07 PM

Sorry -- the damn thing flipped into submit mode on its own, honest!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 02:30 PM

US doubts Bush's Iraq optimism

By Jill McGivering
BBC News, Washington

The Iraq elections are being watched closely in the United States by both the Bush administration and the public. Americans are concerned about the violence in Iraq

The White House is hailing the process as a milestone in Iraq's journey to greater freedom as evidence that life for ordinary Iraqis has improved since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

But, with the continuing violence still causing concern and no signs yet of the US scaling back its presence, public optimism about the elections is not high.

Upbeat administration

Iraq still makes daily headlines across America. The violence is at odds with the endlessly upbeat message from members of the Bush administration.

They justify the invasion by stressing the country's new freedoms.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice emphasised the importance of the elections not only to Iraq but also as a key part of the president's vision of spreading democracy across the Middle East:

"The election later this month will be an important first step as the people of Iraq prepare to draft a constitution and hold the next round of elections, elections that will then create a permanent government," Ms Rice said.

"The success of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq will give strength and hope to reformists throughout the region and accelerate the reforms already underway," she added.

Public pessimism

But that optimism is not shared by the American public, which is increasingly concerned about the violence.

The latest findings of the Washington-based Pew Research Centre found about half of those polled thought the elections would not do much to improve stability in Iraq.

Carroll Doherty of Pew Research says the figures in part mirror the general political divide, with Democrats most anxious about Iraq and Republicans slightly less so: "Most people say that, even after the election, Iraq will be no more stable or no less stable for that matter, it'll be the status quo."

The levels of support and opposition have remained stable for the past few months.

"We haven't seen a big drop off in support for the war. Democrats still largely oppose the war, Republicans still largely support it," he said.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 02:35 PM

From the BBC:

Fox News 'propaganda' says mogul

Ted Turner said media companies were not being critical enough

CNN founder Ted Turner attacked US TV network Fox News on Tuesday, labelling it "propaganda" for its stance towards the Bush administration.

Turner also likened the network's current popularity to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1930s Germany.

"Just because you're bigger doesn't mean you're right," Turner said in a speech to the National Association of Television Programming Executives.

Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is currently leading CNN in TV ratings.

Mr Turner also attacked "gigantic companies whose agenda goes beyond broadcasting" for not criticising the Bush administration enough.


"There's one network, Fox, that's a propaganda voice for them," the 66-year-old media mogul said.

"It's certainly legal. But it does pose problems for our democracy when the news is 'dumbed-down'."

Fox News issued a statement, saying: "Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network and now his mind - we wish him well."

During a question-and-answer session, Mr Turner, who stood down as the chairman of AOL Time Warner in 2003, said it was "not necessarily a bad thing" that CNN and other news networks were behind Fox in the ratings.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:50 PM

Barbara Bush wears army boots...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:39 PM

As does Laura but not George... But he'll strap on a flight suit, pretend to land on an aircraft carrier with a message of "Mission Accomplished" then lie about it all???

Like other than me and Amos and few others who frequent this thread, does Bush's pathological lieing bother you? If not, why?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:50 PM

Which Way Out?



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On the deadliest day of the Iraq war, with 31 troops killed in a helicopter crash and six more in insurgent ambushes, President Bush's response was that the crash would be "very discouraging to the American people." The president has a gift for understatement when it comes to the war; discouragement has long since given way to anger, both at the Iraqi insurgents and the U.S. administration that got us into this mess.

After nearly two years, the deaths of more than 1,400 troops and the expenditure of well over $200 billion, Bush still refuses to spell out an exit strategy. Instead, he speaks of bringing the troops home "as soon as possible" and hails Sunday's election for an interim national assembly.

The onetime goal of ridding the country of weapons of mass destruction went by the boards when it turned out there were no such weapons. The new target is Iraq as a launching pad for democracy in the Middle East. But the more immediate result has been to create a new rallying point for Islamic fundamentalists.

(Los Angeles Times Editorial)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:05 PM

Little Black Lies


Published: January 28, 2005

ocial Security privatization really is like tax cuts, or the Iraq war: the administration keeps on coming up with new rationales, but the plan remains the same. President Bush's claim that we must privatize Social Security to avert an imminent crisis has evidently fallen flat. So now he's playing the race card.

This week, in a closed meeting with African-Americans, Mr. Bush asserted that Social Security was a bad deal for their race, repeating his earlier claim that "African-American males die sooner than other males do, which means the system is inherently unfair to a certain group of people." In other words, blacks don't live long enough to collect their fair share of benefits.

This isn't a new argument; privatizers have been making it for years. But the claim that blacks get a bad deal from Social Security is false. And Mr. Bush's use of that false argument is doubly shameful, because he's exploiting the tragedy of high black mortality for political gain instead of treating it as a problem we should solve.

(See link for rest of article)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:08 PM


America's Promises

Published: January 28, 2005

Three years ago, President Bush created the Millennium Challenge Account to give more money to poor countries that are committed to policies promoting development. Mr. Bush said his government would donate billions in incremental stages until the program got to a high of $5 billion a year starting in 2006. While $5 billion is just 0.04 percent of America's national income, President Bush touted the proposal as proof that he cares about poverty in Africa and elsewhere. "I carry this commitment in my soul," the president said.

For the third straight year, Mr. Bush has committed a lot less than he promised. Michael Phillips of The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House has quietly informed the managers of the Millennium Challenge Account to expect about $3 billion in the next budget. This follows a sad pattern. Mr. Bush said he would ask Congress for $1.7 billion in 2004; he asked for $1.3 billion and got $1 billion. He said he would ask for $3.3 billion in 2005; he asked for $2.5 billion and got $1.5 billion.

So if past is prologue, the Republican Congress will cut the diluted 2006 pledge even further.

None of that appears to bother the Bush administration, which continues to send high-ranking officials into the world to promote the anemic Millennium Challenge Account to poor nations. The program - not the money, since the account has yet to pay out a single dollar - is high on the list of talking points for cabinet officials like the United States trade representative, Robert Zoellick, who visited Africa in December and cited the program every chance he got. Speaking to Latin American ambassadors in Washington this month, a Treasury under secretary, John Taylor, hailed it as a "major way in which we are working with countries to meet the challenge of increasing productivity growth."

Officials at the Millennium Challenge Account are quick to list the countries that, through good governance, have qualified for the aid program. They are not as quick to list the countries that have received a dime: there aren't any. Still, Paul Applegarth, chief executive of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, assured us last week that President Bush's program is "really moving at an extraordinarily quick pace."

Maybe the administration should tell that to the 300 million Africans who lack safe drinking water, or the 3,000 African children under the age of 5 who die every day from malaria, or the 1 in 16 African women who die in childbirth, or the 6,000 Africans who die each day of AIDS. But wait. Maybe the president is planning to deal with the African AIDS catastrophe through his 2003 proposal to increase AIDS funds by $10 billion over the following five years?

Not unless he is planning to finish with a bang, because the White House is expected to ask Congress for only $1.6 billion more next year. When added to the amount that AIDS funds increased in 2004 and 2005, that would leave a whopping more than $6 billion to get out of Congress in the next two years to meet Mr. Bush's pledge. Congress and Mr. Bush will point to the ballooning deficit and say they don't have the money. But that was a matter of choice. They chose to spend billions on tax cuts for the wealthy and the war in Iraq. They can choose to spend it instead to keep America's promises. (...)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 07:32 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:43 PM

Another columnist was paid to help Bush administration agency

SIOBHAN McDONOUGH, Associated Press Writer

Friday, January 28, 2005


Printable Version

Email This Article

(01-28) 14:47 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --

The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that a third conservative columnist was paid to assist in promoting a Bush administration policy.

Columnist Mike McManus received $10,000 to train marriage counselors as part of the agency's initiative promoting marriage to build strong families, said Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families.

The disclosure came as the Government Accountability Office sent a letter to the Education Department on Friday asking for all materials related to its contract dealings with a prominent conservative media commentator.

That department, through a contract with the public relations firm Ketchum, hired commentator Armstrong Williams to produce ads that featured former Education Secretary Rod Paige and promoted President Bush's No Child Left Behind law. The contract also committed Williams, who is black, to provide media access for Paige and to persuade other black journalists to talk about the law.

Federal law bans the use of public money on propaganda.

(Excerpted from

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:43 PM

Bush administration quits fight over media ownership


WASHINGTON -- Media companies hoping to expand their TV station holdings and to own TV stations and newspapers in the same markets suffered a setback yesterday when the Bush administration decided to abandon its challenge of a ruling that blocked the relaxation of media ownership rules.

The Justice Department will not ask the Supreme Court to review a decision last year by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia that sharply criticized the attempt to deregulate and ordered the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider its action. The decision is a final slap at Michael Powell, the outgoing chairman of the FCC, who had advocated the changes.

The dispute over media ownership rules has been closely watched in Seattle, where owners of the city's two major newspapers -- locked in a continuing legal dispute over their joint publishing agreement -- have expressed diametrically opposed views on the issue.

In filings with the FCC, both The Hearst Corp., which owns the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., which owns 25 TV stations and is majority owned by The Hearst Corp., have supported lifting restrictions on media ownership.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:44 PM

Tensions grow with Bush Administration's inertia on sliding greenback

By David Sanger, Mark Landler, and Keith Bradsher
January 29, 2005

Page Tools

Washington: After a first term in which terrorism and war dominated President George W. Bush's foreign policy agenda, his allies in Europe and Asia suspect that his next confrontation with the world could take on a very different cast: a potential monetary crisis, in which a steep plunge in the value of the US dollar touches off economic waves around the world.

Already, the tensions about the US dollar are becoming a recurring source of friction, a conflict that does not reverberate as loudly as the differences over Iraq but may be as deeply felt. At a meeting in Paris on Monday, the finance ministers of Germany and France complained that Europe had unjustly borne the brunt of the US dollar's downward slide and called for co-ordinated action to stop it.

"Europe has until now paid too big a share in this readjustment," Herve Gaymard, the French finance minister, said bluntly. His German counterpart, Hans Eichel, said the US needed to reduce its deficits, adding "each one has to play its role".

Two months ago, similar sentiments came from China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, whose nation is at the centre of a struggle with Washington about currency policy. He complained about the fall of the US dollar, asking, "Shouldn't the relevant authorities be doing something about this?"

In an interview just before President Bush's inauguration, Treasury Secretary John Snow played down the tensions. "We understand that deficits matter," he said, insisting that the tight budget Bush is expected to send to Congress next month should give foreigners and the financial markets the solace they seek.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:46 PM

Bush Administration Backs Off Media Ownership Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28: President George W. Bush's administration has abandoned its challenge to a ruling that blocked the relaxation of media ownership rules, delivering another set back to companies that are seeking to expand their TV station holdings and own newspaper and TV assets in the same market.

According to wire reports, the Justice Department will not ask the Supreme Court to consider a judgement by a Philadelphia federal appeals court last year that ordered the FCC to reconsider its plan to liberalize media ownership rules. The FCC, led by outgoing chairman Michael Powell, had sought to increase the television station ownership cap to 45 percent, from the previous 35 percent. The new ownership rules would have also allowed a media company to own television and newspaper assets in the same market.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:52 PM

Bush Administration Wants Another $80 Billion For War In Iraq

The Bush administration will announce plans Wednesday to request another $80 billion to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, congressional aides say, but won't be formally presented to Congress until after President Bush has introduced his new budget on Feb. 6.

The announcement will come a day after the Congressional Budget Office projected that the government will run an $855 billion deficit over the next 10 years, excluding the costs of the war and the President's Social Security Plan.

The Army said Monday it expects to keep its troop strength in Iraq at the current level of about 120,000 for at least two more years.

The Army's top operations officer, Lt. Gen. James J. Lovelace, Jr. told reporters Monday that represents "the most probable case"

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:53 PM

Frenkel: Bush administration's use of Social Security trust unlawful
By David Frenkel/ Guest columnist
Thursday, January 27, 2005

At last we have found the dreaded WMD, and they are right here in the United States. WMD: Whoppers of Mass Disinformation.

     President George W. Bush and an entire army of GOP players, including Vice President Dick Cheney, are out shilling for the ultimate destruction of Social Security. They have perfected the art of dressing up, in a benign disguise, acts designed to favor their campaign donors, in this case brokerage houses. They even have the gall to use Department of Social Security trust funds to defray the depletion of the trust funds, as they promote this change - in spite of it not yet being law.

     This represents more unlawful use of public funds and it is enraging many staff members of the Department of Social Security.

     For those in Winchester who are dependant on Social Security, or plan to retire any time soon, you will be pleased to know that this "crisis" is just one more manufactured problem by the Bush conservative radicals, who have learned people will accept unpleasant solutions if they think that they must make an instant decision driven by a crisis. So when you want to pay off your brokerage campaign donors and please your ideologues - all in one post-election victory-glow glorious moment - here is the golden opportunity.

     Never mind that only 9 percent of the people polled by Associated Press last week felt that Social Security should be a high priority topic for the president. Never mind that the receipts from SS taxes are in surplus at present and for many years to come and that Bush is spending our contribution surplus while borrowing even more to pay for his Iraq war and to make up for his massive ill-timed tax cuts for the very wealthy.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:54 PM

Media is advancing Bush administration's faulty argument on Social Security's race inequalities

Reporters and commentators have unquestioningly presented, or even promoted, the Bush administration's faulty argument for Social Security privatization that blacks are disadvantaged under the current system and that Bush's proposal for private accounts would address that purported inequity. But the General Accounting Office (GAO) and two Social Security Administration (SSA) actuaries have undermined that claim.

In covering President Bush's January 25 meeting with black leaders, several news reports repeated the administration's claim that the current Social Security program is unfair to blacks, but did not note any of the evidence debunking it. On January 25, Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler provided the administration's account while neglecting to report evidence refuting the claim that private accounts will especially benefit blacks; New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller continued the trend January 26.

Los Angeles Times staff writers Peter Wallsten and Richard Simon, on the other hand, noted in a January 26 article some of the reasons private accounts could hurt blacks: "[Congressional Black] Caucus leaders contend that blacks rely disproportionately on disability and survivors benefits paid by Social Security, and that Bush's changes would jeopardize the entire system -- hurting black beneficiaries far more than the private accounts might help them."

In a January 25 report on FOX News' Special Report with Brit Hume, chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron reported the "administration selling point" that "because blacks on average do not live as long as whites, African Americans could get a fairer share of the retirement pie with the investment nest egg." On the January 24 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, nationally syndicated radio host Limbaugh declared: "If Social Security is all screwed up here because it discriminates on race and gender, it's broken! ... Can we all admit we need to fix it?"

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:56 PM


If you didn't know better, you'd think that George Bush and his people admire Bill Clinton. For the last couple of weeks they've fallen over themselves quoting Clinton as having said in the 1990s the very thing Republicans are saying now to Democratic ridicule.

You know, that Social Security is in a crisis, which it isn't, technically speaking.

One of my favorite bloggers calls this "cherry-picking," meaning the selection of an occasional Clinton quote to suit one's purposes, never mind one's objections to the extensive balance of what the man ever said.

If you call a guy a liar and impeach him, it ought to follow that you would impair your ability to embrace him credibly for your advantage later.

Anyway, Social Security's actuarial projection was grimmer in Clinton's '90s than Bush's '00s. And on at least one of those occasions, and perhaps all of them, Clinton was talking specifically about a crisis not in Social Security itself, but in the federal budget owing to its obligations to Social Security.

That came, you might recall, as Clinton was endeavoring without a single Republican ally to get the Reagan-Bush deficits down and save us from being bankrupted and owned lock, stock and barrel by foreign owners of our debt.

The Bush administration talks of a Social Security doomsday in 2018. But the experts say Social Security will have plenty of assets for all its liabilities until sometime between 2043 and 2052.

The problem in 2018 is specifically a federal budget problem, not a Social Security problem. That's when the federal general fund's IOUs to the Social Security surplus start coming due. So, Social Security would have a problem in 2018 only if a key asset was rendered worthless by the system's having involuntarily extended credit to the United States government.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:57 PM

Illegeal activities and these crooks go hand in hand...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:58 PM

George Bush Spin On Iraq Is Dizzying As 37 Americans Die In Iraq
1/27/05: ©

      George Bush keeps spin on Iraq going.  George Bush is in his own Iraq.  George Bush doesn't have a clue about Iraq or what is going on there.  George W. Bush tried to spin Wednesday's news in a positive light.  George W. Bush is the one who is spun.  George W. Bush must think that you and I are stupid, and will believe anything he has to say.  As I listened to the reports and read George Bush's statements and representations regarding American losses, and the upcoming elections in Iraq, I couldn't help but think Bush is a candidate for the nut house.  If George Bush believes even an eighth of what he's telling us, we're all in a lot of trouble.  George Bush asked for your patience and understanding on what he claims was a "very discouraging day" of death and violence in Iraq for our soldiers.  Wake up George.  It's been a ridicules two years of "death and violence" in Iraq for everyone since you needlessly invaded that country. Tell Huck what your feelings are. 

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