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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 21 Feb 05 - 09:15 AM
Amos 22 Feb 05 - 09:41 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 09:15 AM

From today's New York Times


So tell me again. What was this war about? In terms of the fight against terror, the war in Iraq has been a big loss. We've energized the enemy. We've wasted the talents of the many men and women who have fought bravely and tenaciously in Iraq. Thousands upon thousands of American men and women have lost arms or legs, or been paralyzed or blinded or horribly burned or killed in this ill-advised war. A wiser administration would have avoided that carnage and marshaled instead a more robust effort against Al Qaeda, which remains a deadly threat to America.

What is also dismaying is the way in which the administration has taken every opportunity since Sept. 11, 2001, to utilize the lofty language of freedom, democracy and the rule of law while secretly pursuing policies that are both unjust and profoundly inhumane. It is the policy of the U.S. to deny due process of law to detainees at the scandalous interrogation camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where prisoners, many of whom have turned out to be innocent, are routinely treated in a cruel and degrading manner.

The U.S. is also engaged in the reprehensible practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which terror suspects are abducted and sent off to be interrogated by foreign regimes that are known to practice torture. And the C.I.A. is operating ultrasecret prisons or detention centers overseas for so-called high-value detainees. What goes on in those places is anybody's guess.

It may be that most Americans would prefer not to know about these practices, which are nothing less than malignant cells that are already spreading in the nation's soul. Denial is often the first response to the most painful realities. But most Americans also know what happens when a cancer is ignored.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:41 AM

Bush's War on Veracity

by Ralph Nader

published In the Public Interest

Bush's War on Veracity

It is difficult even for news hounds to keep up with the repeated and new prevarications of President George W. Bush. When he told his council of advisors a while back that he did not have to explain because he was the President, El Jefe was not kidding.

The remarkable characteristics about Bush's false statements, lies and deep deceptions are that they are contradicted again and again by people within his own Administration or former officials who were involved or had observed the situations described. The refutations come from knowledgeable men and women who have no axe to grind for speaking the truth. Their statements are often what lawyers call "admissions against interest."

In late January, President Bush gave an interview with the New York Times in which he made this assertion: "Torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture."

On page after page, Jane Mayer, writing in the February 14th issue of The New Yorker, amasses the evidence to the contrary. So varied, credible and attributed is the documentation that Bush presides over a costly and secretive program called "extraordinary rendition," that either Bush is a knowing liar or doesn't know what is going on in his name. Taking alleged suspects, declining to charge them with any crimes, and quickly flying them in a Gulfstream V jet, registered with a dummy American corporation, to countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Jordan for torture has become part of Bush's foreign policy. Not surprisingly, some of these suspects turn out to be so innocent they are allowed to go back to their country-be it Australia, Canada, Afghanistan or Pakistan. What happens to the uncounted others is unknown. What is known is that most prominent anti-terrorist specialists reject torture on the grounds that it does not work to produce accurate information and can backfire in numerous ways, as described by Mayer's interviewees.

Outsourcing torture, instead of subjecting suspects to the courts and due process of law in this country, deeply sullies our country's reputation and invites retaliation that invokes what Bush does as legitimization.

Bush's list of falsehoods keeps growing. Adding to the fully discredited claims that invading Iraq was necessary because the tottering dictator, Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction, ties with Al Qaeda, connections with 9/11 and presented a threat to his neighbors are new refutations with cumulative regularity.   (...)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:43 AM

Strategic Support Branch: Rumsfeld's Own Personal CIA

by Kurt Nimmo

published by Another Day in the Empire

Strategic Support Branch: Rumsfeld's Own Personal CIA

One day the Pentagon vehemently denies it is covertly operating inside Iran—or at least disputes particular details, as outlined recently by Seymour Hersh—and the next day Pentagon officials describe a new organization, the Strategic Support Branch (SSB), designed "to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control," deploy "small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces," and essentially replace "the CIA's Directorate of Operations," according to the Washington Post.

Note: the CIA's Directorate of Operations was responsible for covert action, in other words, secret wars. "You have a target: a government that you don't like," writes John Stockwell, a former CIA agent. "They send the CIA in with its resources and its activists: hiring people, hiring agents to tear apart the social and economic fabric of the country. It's a technique for putting pressure on the government, hoping they can make the government come to the U.S.'s terms, or that the government will collapse altogether and they can engineer a coup d'etat, and have the thing wind up with their own choice of people in power."

As the Post seems to be saying, Rumsfeld wants to cut the CIA out of the loop and have the Pentagon take over the dirty business of covertly targeting countries, minus any oversight or accountability.

In short, Rumsfeld is in the process of creating his own intelligence operation, not answerable to Congress or the American people. "Two longtime members of the House Intelligence Committee, a Democrat and a Republican, said they knew no details before being interviewed for this article," notes the Post. "Pentagon officials said they established the Strategic Support Branch using 'reprogrammed' funds, without explicit congressional authority or appropriation. Defense intelligence missions, they said, are subject to less stringent congressional oversight than comparable operations by the CIA."

As the Post explains, the SSB will cooperate with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a clandestine unit run out of the Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command. "Although JSOC's stated purpose is to provide a unified command structure for conducting joint special operations and exercises, it is widely reported that JSOC is actually the command responsible for conducting US counter-terrorism (CT) operations," writes "These SMUs [Special Missions Units] are tasked with conducting CT operations, strike operations, reconnaissance in denied areas, and special intelligence missions," for instance in Afghanistan, where "a unit called Task Force 11, composed mostly of Delta Force soldiers and SEALs" are "hunting for senior Taliban and al Qaeda members." As GlobalSecurity notes, JSOC units

have reportedly been involved in a number of covert military operations over the last two decades. Some of these operations include providing assistance to Italian authorities during their search for kidnapped US Army Gen. James Dozier, participating in Operation Urgent Fury; the US invasion of Grenada, planning a rescue attempt of US hostages being held in Lebanon, rescuing hostages being held aboard the cruise liner Achille Lauro, participating in Operation Just Cause; the US intervention in Panama, directing US Scud hunting efforts during Operation Desert Storm, conducting operations in support of UN mandates in Somalia, and searching for suspected war criminals in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

SSB and JSOC bring to mind another Rumsfeld pet project—the Proactive Preemptive Operations Group, or P2OG. In September, 2002, UPI reported details on a Defense Science Board (DSB) report presented to Rumsfeld proposing "an elite group of counter-terror operatives to make the war on terrorism pre-emptive and proactive, duping al Qaida into undertaking operations it is not prepared for and thereby exposing its personnel. … Rather than simply trying to find and foil terrorists' plans—the approach that characterizes the current strategy—the "Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group" —known as P2OG—would devise ways to stimulate terrorists into responding or moving operations, possibly by stealing their money or tricking them with fake communications, according to the report." The DSB report is interesting in light of Hersh's recent revelations about what the Pentagon plans to do in Iran. "The panel would also create a team of specially trained special forces soldiers able to search out and take offensive action against suspected nuclear, chemical or biological weapons sites," the UPI story reports. Naturally, since P2OG will (or is) run out of the Pentagon, it does not have to report to Congress or the American people. "The proposal is the latest sign of a new assertiveness by the Defense Department in intelligence matters, and an indication that the cutting edge of intelligence reform is not to be found in Congress but behind closed doors in the Pentagon," wrote the Federation of American Scientists in October, 2002.

P2OG is the perfect Strausscon tool. It would "invigorate U.S. intelligence," now run out of the Pentagon, leaving the CIA in the dust, and develop "an entirely new capability to proactively, preemptively evoke responses from adversary/terrorist groups," as the DSB characterized it. In other words, it would "evoke" the sort of "responses" from "terrorists" ideal for establishing pretexts for "preemptively" attacking nations on the Strausscon roster, namely Iran and Syria. As "DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism," a PowerPoint presentation delivered on August 16, 2002, notes, the "lead responsibility" for P2OG falls on the shoulders of the "SecDef," in other words Rumsfeld.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:47 AM

Stranger than Fiction - Jeff Gannon and the Politics of Hypocrisy

by Gary Leupp

published by CounterPunch

Stranger than Fiction - Jeff Gannon and the Politics of Hypocrisy

In 1999, an ex-Marine in his late 30s pays a web designer to build him a web site advertising his services as a male prostitute, emphasizing the military-fetish aspect, replete with lots of explicit body shots. Already owing the state of Delaware $20,700 in back taxes from 1991 to 1994, he perhaps needs the money. He flourishes in his trade, servicing in particular a military officer clientele, who grace his websites with such testimonials as the following, posted in 2002:

"I hired Jeff last winter when I was in Philadelphia on business. I was so pleased with the experience that I recently had him travel with me on a weekend trip to North Carolina. I am an active duty senior officer in the US Army. Discretion is of utmost importance to me. Jeff understands that because of his Marine background. He has so many talents besides the bedroom, it was a great experience for me. He is all-man, athletic and self-assured. Great body, he helped me work out twice, one time on base. The sex was great, he's a hard core top, verbal and strong, never romantic, but not mean."

"Jeff," whose real name is Jim Guckert, terminates the sites just a month after he acquires a new job in 2003. Using the pseudonym Jeff Gannon, he acquires credentials as a journalist by taking a $ 50 two-day course and joining "Talon News," a website without an office or staff whose material is circulated by an organization called GOPUSA, whose motto is "Bringing the conservative message to America." "Gannon" is profiled on the Talon site as a gun-toting, SUV-driving, born-again Christian conservative Republican. As such, he applies for access to White House press briefings, and after the requisite background check becomes a staple in the question and answer sessions with presidential press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. He becomes known for his vapid, tendentious questions designed to denigrate Democrats and others questioning Bush policy. His fluff becomes the welcome foil to the irritating, meatier questions posed by real people.

Meanwhile "Jeff" hosts a right-wing radio show, "Jeff Gannon's Washington," and authors homophobic articles, focusing on Democrats' gay-friendly positions, including one on October 12, 2004 warning that John Kerry "could become the first gay president." Then, alas, his ass-kissing questions raise suspicions that he might be a GOP plant. Web sleuths discover his play-for-pay past, feel indignant not so much about his business ventures as his abject hypocrisy, and they expose his sorry ass to a broader audience than he'd ever intended. Their exposé generates a host of questions. How was this lightweight able to join the White House press corps in the first place, alongside John King, Ron Hutcheson, etc.? Did the necessary background check reveal his fraudulence? It appears he attended using daily passes, rather than a "hard" pass, although there is some debate about that. McClellan says he knew the man was using a pseudonym. Did he know all the other stuff?

Personally, I have no problem with this dude's sexuality. Or even his marketing of it, which I suppose fits this exemplary free market economy as well as his boasted 8" fits the random client's freely offered orifice. This is not our business. It entertains me to read his conservative defenders obliged to indignantly insist that his private life shouldn't be an issue. By all means, may they continue to work with that concept, and maybe despite themselves work their way out of their homophobia. And may Jim/Jeff get some therapy to resolve the self-hatred so apparent in his dual career. Meanwhile, the blogs are abuzz with speculation. Did the guy sleep his way into the White House? That's a merely amusing issue. More seriously: Why was he so involved in the effort to discredit South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle? How'd the "journalist" know hours in advance about the attack on Iraq? How did he get access to the Plame memo?

Perhaps we are on the edge of a major scandal here. We know that the White House has used taxpayers' money to pay at least six journalists, most notably Armstrong Williams, to promote its agenda. We know that soon after 9-11 government officials openly declared their intention to seed the news with content promoting "America's interests," and although public indignation quieted such talk, the government-press relationship has never been so intimate. The "Gannon" episode is the appropriate metaphor for the whole illicit relationship. ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:53 AM

Bush Tort Reform - Executive Clemency for Executive Killers

by Greg Palast

published by

Bush Tort Reform - Executve Clemency for Executive Killers

It's a great day for the Eichmanns of corporate America. President Bush minutes ago signed the ill-named 'tort reform' bill into law, limiting class action suits. Doubtless, Ken Lay, former Enron CEO, is grinning as are the corporate suite killers at drug maker Merck who are now safer from the widows and orphans of Vioxx victims. Closing the doors of justice to the ruined and wrecked families of boardroom bad guys is nothing less than executive clemency for executive executioners.

You think my accusation is over the top? Well, please talk with Elaine Levenson.

Levenson, a Cincinnati housewife, has been waiting for her heart to explode. In 1981, surgeons implanted a mechanical valve in her heart, the Bjork-Shiley, "the Rolls-Royce of valves," her doctor told her. What neither she nor her doctor knew was that several Bjork-Shiley valves had fractured during testing, years before her implant. The company that made the valve, a unit of the New York-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, never told the government.
(... See link, above, for balance of article).

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 10:53 AM

Excerpted from today's Times:

Wag-the-Dog Protection

Published: February 22, 2005

The campaign against Social Security is going so badly that longtime critics of President Bush, accustomed to seeing their efforts to point out flaws in administration initiatives brushed aside, are pinching themselves. But they shouldn't relax: if the past is any guide, the Bush administration will soon change the subject back to national security.

The political landscape today reminds me of the spring of 2002, after the big revelations of corporate fraud. Then as now, the administration was on the defensive, and Democrats expected to do well in midterm elections.

Then, suddenly, it was all Iraq, all the time, and Harken Energy and Halliburton vanished from the headlines.

I don't know which foreign threat the administration will start playing up this time, but Bush critics should be prepared for the shift. They must curb their natural inclination to focus almost exclusively on domestic issues, and challenge the administration on national security policy, too.

I say this even though many critics, myself included, would prefer to stick with the domestic issues. After all, domestic issues, particularly Social Security, are very comfortable ground for moderates and liberals. The relevant facts are all in the public domain, voters clearly oppose the administration's hard-right agenda, and Mr. Bush's attack on Social Security stumbled badly out of the gate. It's understandable, then, that critiques of the administration's national security policy have faded into the background in recent months.

But a president can always change the subject to national security if he wants to - and Mr. Bush has repeatedly shown himself willing to play the terrorism card when he is losing the debate on other issues. So it's important to point out that Mr. Bush, for all his posturing, has done a very bad job of protecting the nation - and to make that point now, rather than in the heat of the next foreign crisis.

The fact is that Mr. Bush, while willing to go to war on weak evidence, hasn't taken the task of protecting America from terrorists at all seriously.

Consider, for example, the case of chemical plants.

Just days after 9/11, many analysts identified sites that store toxic chemicals as a major terror risk, and called for new safety rules. But as The New York Times reported last fall, "after the oil and chemical industries met with Karl Rove ... the White House quietly blocked those efforts."

Nearly three and a half years after 9/11, those chemical plants are still unprotected.

Other major risks identified within days of the attack included the possibility of terrorist attacks on major ports or nuclear plants. But in the months after 9/11, the administration flatly refused to allocate the sums that members of the House and Senate from both parties thought necessary to secure these sites. (...)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 05:02 PM

Where's Ken Starr when we need him the most...

Bush makes Bill Clinton look like a cross between Jesus and Mother Teresa...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 08:52 PM

The following is from a resident of Newcastle upon Tyne writing for a list:

There has just been an excellent programme on BBC Radio 4 in their
series "The Long View", which each week discusses some current topic,
in the light of history. This latest one was on ID cards. From the
programme's web-page:

"London, 1950 and wartime Identity Cards are still in force. When
Clarence Willcock refuses to present his card to a police officer, it
leads to a test case in the High Court. The judges ponder whether ID
cards are an unnecessary intrusion into private life or a useful
weapon in combatting crime. Jonathan Freedland is joined by Shami
Chakrabarti of Liberty, Martin Linton MP - who developed the protype
of the new biometric cards - and Peter Byrne, alias PC Andy Crawford
in Dixon of Dock Green, to debate ID Cards in 1950's Britain and
today. "

A recording of the broadcast is available for a week on the BBC
web-site, reachable from:

One notable quote that it includes, in fact from a 1939 speech by
Winston Churchill is the following:

"Perhaps it might seem a paradox that a war undertaken in the name of
liberty and right should require as a necessary part of its processes
the surrender for the time being of so many dearly valued liberties
and rights. We are sure that these liberties will be in hands which
will not abuse them, which will cherish and guard them, and we should
look forward to the day, surely and confidently we look forward to
the day, when our liberties and rights will be restored to us and
when we will be able to share them with the peoples to whom such
blessings are unknown."

Would that our present leaders spoke (believably) in such terms!


------ End of Forwarded Message

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 08:59 PM

Ya want shocking signs of our dumbing down, consider the following, also from the IP List. I have added some bold and italics to emphasize certain aspects:

The red-blue divide widens:

For those who missed it, yesterday's Washington Post reported that in a
recent poll, registered Republicans indicated that they would support
George W. Bush for president in a race with George Washington, by a
margin of 62% to 28%.
Democrats and Independents favored Washington,
however, by margins of 85-10 and 64-27, respectively, and the overall
margin was Washington 55, Bush 36. (No breakdown by state, though, so
the electoral college results may be in doubt.)

You'd think Washington would have gotten credit from Republicans for
being from a red state, but perhaps not: 13% of respondents in the poll
thought he lived in Gettysburg.
Also, some Republicans may not know
about Washington's military service: the number of respondents who
didn't know he commanded American forces to victory in the Revolution
exceeded the number who did
, so Bush's Air National Guard service may be
giving him an edge among those who think a military background is

The Post also reported that a recent Gallup poll on "greatest
presidents" had the public ranking Reagan first (!!!), Clinton second
(!!!), with Lincoln third, followed by FDR, JFK, George W. Bush, George
Washington, Carter, Truman, T. Roosevelt, Jefferson, GHW Bush,
Eisenhower, and Nixon.

Interestingly, the polling organization that handicapped the
Bush-Washington race also did a greatest presidents poll, with the
following rankings resulting: Lincoln, Reagan, FDR, JFK, Clinton, and
G.W. Bush, followed by Washington. Although the ranking of the top 5
differed from Gallup's, the poll was consistent in showing Bush 6th and
Washington 7th.

By contrast, historians consistently rank the top three presidents (in
varying order) as Lincoln, Washington, and FDR. Reagan is moving up in
the standings, but not yet near the top.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:06 PM

Nader Criticizes Bush on Iraq

Consumer Advocate Says Administration Tolerates Corruption

By Brian Faler
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, February 25, 2005; Page A06

Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader stepped back into the public spotlight yesterday to deliver a scathing critique of the Bush administration's Iraq policies, demand a quick end to the American occupation there and call on antiwar activists to take their case to their representatives in Congress.

Nader, the longtime consumer activist who has kept a low profile since the November election, accused the White House of a number of missteps in Iraq, including tolerating corruption in the occupation's administration.

He also reiterated his long-standing call for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within six months. Nader proposed substituting soldiers from neighboring Arab countries, invalidating the recent elections there -- which he dismissed as a "farce" -- and holding a new round of balloting monitored by international observers.

"It's really not a very complicated withdrawal strategy. It has a lot of common sense behind it. I think the American people would overwhelmingly support this six-month withdrawal strategy," Nader said. "It's very important to also note the Iraqis resent enormously the takeover of their economy." (...)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 04:10 PM

President Bush Stifles Science, Researchers Say
By Paul Recer
Associated Press
posted: 21 February 2005
08:05 am ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The voice of science is being stifled in the Bush administration, with fewer scientists heard in policy discussions and money for research and advanced training being cut, according to panelists at a national science meeting.

Speakers at the national meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science expressed concern Sunday that some scientists in key federal agencies are being ignored or even pressured to change study conclusions that don't support policy positions.

The speakers also said that Bush's proposed 2005 federal budget is slashing spending for basic research and reducing investments in education designed to produce the nation's future scientists.

And there also was concern that increased restrictions and requirements for obtaining visas is diminishing the flow to the U.S. of foreign-born science students who have long been a major part of the American research community.

Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, said the Bush administration has cut scientists out of some of the policy-making processes, particularly on environmental issues.

"In previous administrations, scientists were always at the table when regulations were being developed,'' she said. "Science never had the last voice, but it had a voice.''

Issues on global warming, for instance, that achieved a firm scientific consensus in earlier years are now being questioned by Bush policy makers. Proven, widely accepted research is being ignored or disputed, she said.

Government policy papers issued prior to the Bush years moved beyond questioning the validity of global warming science and addressed ways of confronting or dealing with climate change.

Under Bush, said Bierbaum, the questioning of the proven science has become more important than finding ways to cope with climate change.

One result of such actions, said Neal Lane of Rice University, a former director of the National Science Foundation, is that "we don't really have a policy right now to deal with what everybody agrees is a serious problem.''

Among scientists, said Lane, "there is quite a consensus in place that the Earth is warming and that humans are responsible for a considerable part of that'' through the burning of fossil fuels.

And the science is clear, he said, that without action to control fossil fuel use, the warming will get worse and there will be climate events that "our species has not experienced before.''

Asked for comment, White House spokesman Ken Lisaius said, "The president makes policy decisions based on what the best policies for the country are, not politics. People who suggest otherwise are ill-informed.''

Kurt Gottfried of Cornell University and the Union of Concerned Scientists said a survey of scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that about 42 percent said they felt pressured to not report publicly any findings that do not agree with Bush policies on endangered species. He said almost a third of the Fish and Wildlife researchers said they were even pressured not to express within the agency any views in conflict with the Bush policies.

"This administration has distanced itself from scientific information,'' said Gottfried. He said this is part of a larger effort to let politics dominate pure science.

He said scientists in the Environmental Protection Agency have been pressured to change their research to keep it consistent with the Bush political position on environmental issues.

Because of such actions, he said, it has become more difficult for federal agencies to attract and retain top scientific talent. This becomes a critical issue, said Gottfried, because about 35 percent of EPA scientists will retire soon and the Bush administration can "mold the staff'' of the agency through the hiring process.

Federal spending for research and development is significantly reduced under the proposed 2005 Bush budget, the speakers said.

"Overall the R&D budget is bad news,'' said Bierbaum.

She said the National Science Foundation funds for graduate students and for kindergarten through high school education has been slashed.

NASA has gotten a budget boost, but most of the new money will be going to the space shuttle, space station and Bush's plan to explore the Moon and Mars. What is suffering is the space agency's scientific research efforts, she said.

"Moon and Mars is basically going to eat everybody's lunch,'' she said.

Lane said Bush's moon and Mars exploration effort has not excited the public and has no clear goals or plans.

He said Bush's Moon-Mars initiative "was poorly carried out and the budget is not there to do the job so science (at NASA) will really get hurt.''

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 05:40 PM

Is this your ownership society?

by Holly Sklar

published by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service

Is this your ownership society?

Would you invest in a company that cut your wages, laid off your cousin, polluted your neighborhood, cut your health insurance and raided your retirement fund? If so, you'll love President Bush's "ownership society."

At a time of rising support for socially responsible business, Bush's ownership society offers less social responsibility, less opportunity and accelerating dis-investment in the future.

Extensive studies demonstrate the economic benefits of corporate social and environmental responsibility, including improved financial performance, productivity, quality, innovation and reduced operating costs. "For example," says Business for Social Responsibility, "many initiatives aimed at improving environmental performance -- such as reducing emissions of gases that contribute to global climate change...also lower costs."

The ownership society backed by Bush's fiscal year 2006 budget is the worst of all worlds: fiscally, socially and environmentally irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and toxic to democracy.

Lincoln fought for "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Bush stands for government of the owners, by the owners, for the owners.

The richest 1 percent of households already owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Take-home pay as a share of the economy is at the lowest level since 1929.

Bush is reshaping the tax and budget system so workers pay a greater share of the costs and owners pay less. As wealth is increasingly sheltered from taxes, inequality will become more entrenched and hereditary in Bush's ownership society.

While Bush runs up the national debt to reckless levels, risking economic crisis, to give more tax breaks to millionaires, his budget cuts education, a pillar of individual and national progress, on the pretense of fiscal responsibility.

The unemployment rate is 30 percent higher than it was in 2000. About one out of six Americans has no health insurance, and half of all bankruptcies are illness-related. One out of eight Americans lives below the meager official poverty line -- and many more can't make ends meet above it.

Yet, Bush's budget slashes already inadequate small business assistance, workforce development, community economic development, public health and safety, Medicaid, housing assistance, public transit, food stamps, childcare and much more. (...)

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

Kansas on My Mind

Published: February 25, 2005

Call it "What's the Matter With Kansas - The Cartoon Version."

The slime campaign has begun against AARP, which opposes Social Security privatization. There's no hard evidence that the people involved - some of them also responsible for the "Swift Boat" election smear - are taking orders from the White House. So you're free to believe that this is an independent venture. You're also free to believe in the tooth fairy.

Their first foray - an ad accusing the seniors' organization of being against the troops and for gay marriage - was notably inept. But they'll be back, and it's important to understand what they're up to.

The answer lies in "What's the Matter With Kansas?," Thomas Frank's meditation on how right-wingers, whose economic policies harm working Americans, nonetheless get so many of those working Americans to vote for them.

People like myself - members of what one scornful Bush aide called the "reality-based community" - tend to attribute the right's electoral victories to its success at spreading policy disinformation. And the campaign against Social Security certainly involves a lot of disinformation, both about how the current system works and about the consequences of privatization.

But if that were all there is to it, Social Security should be safe, because this particular disinformation campaign isn't going at all well. In fact, there's a sense of wonderment among defenders of Social Security about the other side's lack of preparation. The Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have spent decades campaigning for privatization. Yet they weren't ready to answer even the most obvious questions about how it would work - like how benefits could be maintained for older Americans without a dangerous increase in debt.

Privatizers are even having a hard time pretending that they want to strengthen Social Security, not dismantle it. At one of Senator Rick Santorum's recent town-hall meetings promoting privatization, college Republicans began chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, Social Security's got to go."

But before the anti-privatization forces assume that winning the rational arguments is enough, they need to read Mr. Frank.

The message of Mr. Frank's book is that the right has been able to win elections, despite the fact that its economic policies hurt workers, by portraying itself as the defender of mainstream values against a malevolent cultural elite. The right "mobilizes voters with explosive social issues, summoning public outrage ... which it then marries to pro-business economic policies. Cultural anger is marshaled to achieve economic ends."

In Mr. Frank's view, this is a confidence trick: politicians like Mr. Santorum trumpet their defense of traditional values, but their true loyalty is to elitist economic policies. "Vote to stop abortion; receive a rollback in capital gains taxes. ... Vote to stand tall against terrorists; receive Social Security privatization." But it keeps working.

And this week we saw Mr. Frank's thesis acted out so crudely that it was as if someone had deliberately staged it. The right wants to dismantle Social Security, a successful program that is a pillar of stability for working Americans. AARP stands in the way. So without a moment's hesitation, the usual suspects declared that this organization of staid seniors is actually an anti-soldier, pro-gay-marriage leftist front.

It's tempting to dismiss this as an exceptional case in which right-wingers, unable to come up with a real cultural grievance to exploit, fabricated one out of thin air. But such fabrications are the rule, not the exception.

For example, for much of December viewers of Fox News were treated to a series of ominous warnings about "Christmas under siege" - the plot by secular humanists to take Christ out of America's favorite holiday. The evidence for such a plot consisted largely of occasions when someone in an official capacity said, "Happy holidays," instead of, "Merry Christmas."

So it doesn't matter that Social Security is a pro-family program that was created by and for America's greatest generation - and that it is especially crucial in poor but conservative states like Alabama and Arkansas, where it's the only thing keeping a majority of seniors above the poverty line. Right-wingers will still find ways to claim that anyone who opposes privatization supports terrorists and hates family values.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 07:01 AM

How the US got lumbered with George Bush - a scientific explanation

A scientific explanation

February 25, 2005
I've been asked by a number of readers to explain how the United States - and the world - gets lumbered with a president like George W. Bush.

So I will provide a detailed, scientific explanation. Bush is a statistical inevitability. His arrival at the White House was a consequence of simple division by simple people. Or, if you prefer, a process of elimination. First of all, you can eliminate half the population as the US is a long, long way from being ready to have a woman president - though some Democrats are talking up Hillary Clinton while Republicans counter with Condoleezza Rice.

Then you can eliminate all the African-Americans - even Colin Powell and Condoleezza - who haven't got a snowball's. Apart from bland bigotry you've got all the white supremacists and Aryan Nation kooks who'd want to add a black candidate to such trophies as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Word is that's why Mrs Powell insisted that her husband renege from the race a few years back.

Despite Al Gore's selection of a Jew as his running mate, US anti-Semitism precludes getting nominated as top banana. And unless Arnie Schwarzenegger can organise a change of the Constitution, you can also eliminate anyone and everyone who wasn't born in the US. "From log cabin to White House" applies only to residents of American log cabins - not to those raised in similar structures in Finland, Norway, Siberia or Poland.

See how fast we're whittling down the figures? Getting closer to George Bush, father or son?

Homosexuals need not apply. While there's undoubtedly been the odd gay president - Abraham Lincoln has recently been "outed" - such sexual proclivities have had to be kept a deep, dark secret. You wouldn't want the cross-dressing J. Edgar Hoover to find out. At this point in time, US straights have narrowed eyes when it comes to the queer guy.

Roman Catholics have been contenders since Jack Kennedy beat Quaker Nixon. But for the foreseeable future you can eliminate Muslims, Zoastrians, Hindus, Sikhs, Druids, followers of the Norse gods, or Buddhists. Although, with Buddhism becoming so very popular in Hollywood, passionately embraced by the likes of Richard Gere and Oliver Stone, it's only a matter of time until one sneaks under the radar. This will probably occur at a Democrat convention given that Christian fundamentalism is still de rigueur with the Republicans.

Atheists? No hope. In a nation where almost as many people go to church as shop at Wal-Mart, anyone who doesn't claim to be born again would be out of the race long before Super Tuesday, probably before New Hampshire. Even candidates admitting agnosticism would have to hit the road.

As you can see, the pool of presidential possibilities is now little more than a puddle. And there's a lot more draining, downsizing, filtering and elimination ahead of us.

While one of the greatest presidents was a polio victim who governed from his wheelchair, it's hard to see the Americans of the 21st century, so obsessed with physical perfection that they're all saving up for plastic surgery, going for an FDR. (Perhaps the American public would cop a paraplegic, provided the condition was a result of a war injury.) Indeed, it's hard to see them backing any candidate with a greater disability than dyslexia. Of course, the incumbent is dyslexic, so he has moved the goalposts just a little. Low intelligence? Hardly an impediment as, once again, the incumbent demonstrates. Indeed, intellectual credentials would almost certainly be politically fatal. It's okay to be bright - Bill Clinton was acceptable - but if you had a touch of the Barry Jones or Gareth Evans, forget it. Being very intelligent - indeed being very anything - rules you out. The very young, very short, very fat are among the various "verys" that would preclude nomination, let alone election.

This brings us back to physical appearance in the land of Narcissus. You can pretty well eliminate anyone who isn't regarded as physically attractive. Indeed, it helps to have had a prior career in Hollywood. For in the US, elections are won on television and a Bush will beat a Kerry as inevitably as a Kennedy will beat a Nixon.

And you can pretty well eliminate anyone who isn't stinking rich. It's not entirely inaccurate to suggest that, by and large, presidential elections have given voters a choice of millionaires.

So there you have it. Take the American population. Divide in half. Subtract large numbers of people in various categories and, lo and behold, you've got George Dubya. Think of it. Had he been female, gay, black, Jewish, an immigrant, an agnostic or overly endowed with intelligence, he'd still be what he was. A political mediocrity in Texas, being baled out of business failures by his father's wealthy friends. Back in the Governor's mansion, instead of being able to wage war all over the planet, George would be limited to setting records for the confirmation of death sentences - hundreds of them. If only he had been born in Australia, the world would be safe.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 12:07 PM

W.'s Stiletto Democracy

Published: February 27, 2005


It was remarkable to see President Bush lecture Vladimir Putin on the importance of checks and balances in a democratic society.

Remarkably brazen, given that the only checks Mr. Bush seems to believe in are those written to the "journalists" Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Karen Ryan, the fake TV anchor, to help promote his policies. The administration has given a whole new meaning to checkbook journalism, paying a stupendous $97 million to an outside P.R. firm to buy columnists and produce propaganda, including faux video news releases.

The only balance W. likes is the slavering, Pravda-like "Fair and Balanced" coverage Fox News provides. Mr. Bush pledges to spread democracy while his officials strive to create a Potemkin press village at home. This White House seems to prefer softball questions from a self-advertised male escort with a fake name to hardball questions from journalists with real names; it prefers tossing journalists who protect their sources into the gulag to giving up the officials who broke the law by leaking the name of their own C.I.A. agent.

W., who once looked into Mr. Putin's soul and liked what he saw, did not demand the end of tyranny, as he did in his second Inaugural Address. His upper lip sweating a bit, he did not rise to the level of his hero Ronald Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Instead, he said that "the common ground is a lot more than those areas where we disagree." The Russians were happy to stress the common ground as well.

An irritated Mr. Putin compared the Russian system to the American Electoral College, perhaps reminding the man preaching to him about democracy that he had come in second in 2000 according to the popular vote, the standard most democracies use.

Certainly the autocratic former K.G.B. agent needs to be upbraided by someone - Tony Blair, maybe? - for eviscerating the meager steps toward democracy that Russia had made before Mr. Putin came to power. But Mr. Bush is on shaky ground if he wants to hold up his administration as a paragon of safeguarding liberty - considering it has trampled civil liberties in the name of the war on terror and outsourced the torture of prisoners to bastions of democracy like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (The secretary of state canceled a trip to Egypt this week after Egypt's arrest of a leading opposition politician.)

"I live in a transparent country," Mr. Bush protested to a Russian reporter who implicitly criticized the Patriot Act by noting that the private lives of American citizens "are now being monitored by the state."

Dick Cheney's secret meetings with energy lobbyists were certainly a model of transparency. As was the buildup to the Iraq war, when the Bush hawks did their best to cloak the real reasons they wanted to go to war and trumpet the trumped-up reasons.

The Bush administration wields maximum secrecy with minimal opposition. The White House press is timid. The poor, limp Democrats don't have enough power to convene Congressional hearings on any Republican outrages and are reduced to writing whining letters of protest that are tossed in the Oval Office trash.

When nearly $9 billion allotted for Iraqi reconstruction during Paul Bremer's tenure went up in smoke, Democratic lawmakers vainly pleaded with Republicans to open a Congressional investigation.

Even the near absence of checks and balances is not enough for W. Not content with controlling the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and a good chunk of the Fourth Estate, he goes to even more ludicrous lengths to avoid being challenged.

The White House wants its Republican allies in the Senate to stamp out the filibuster, one of the few weapons the handcuffed Democrats have left. They want to invoke the so-called nuclear option and get rid of the 150-year-old tradition in order to ram through more right-wing judges.

Mr. Bush and Condi Rice strut in their speeches - the secretary of state also strutted in Wiesbaden in her foxy "Matrix"-dominatrix black leather stiletto boots - but they shy away from taking questions from the public unless they get to vet the questions and audiences in advance.

Administration officials went so far as to cancel a town hall meeting during Mr. Bush's visit to Germany last week after deciding an unscripted setting would be too risky, opting for a round-table talk in Mainz with preselected Germans and Americans.

The president loves democracy - as long as democracy means he's always right

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 07:08 PM

It's Called Torture


Published: February 28, 2005

As a nation, does the United States have a conscience? Or is anything and everything O.K. in post-9/11 America? If torture and the denial of due process are O.K., wh not murder? When the government can just make people vanish - which it can, and which it does - where is the line that we, as a nation, dare not cross?

When I interviewed Maher Arar in Ottawa last week, it seemed clear that however thoughtful his comments, I was talking with the frightened, shaky successor of a once robust and fully functioning human being. Torture does that to a person. It's an unspeakable crime, an affront to one's humanity that can rob you of a portion of your being as surely as acid can destroy your flesh.

Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen with a wife and two young children, had his life flipped upside down in the fall of 2002 when John Ashcroft's Justice Department, acting at least in part on bad information supplied by the Canadian government, decided it would be a good idea to abduct Mr. Arar and ship him off to Syria, an outlaw nation that the Justice Department honchos well knew was addicted to torture.

Mr. Arar was not charged with anything, and yet he was deprived not only of his liberty, but of all legal and human rights. He was handed over in shackles to the Syrian government and, to no one's surprise, promptly brutalized. A year later he emerged, and still no charges were lodged against him. His torturers said they were unable to elicit any link between Mr. Arar and terrorism. He was sent back to Canada to face the torment of a life in ruins.

Mr. Arar's is the case we know about. How many other individuals have disappeared at the hands of the Bush administration? How many have been sent, like the victims of a lynch mob, to overseas torture centers? How many people are being held in the C.I.A.'s highly secret offshore prisons? Who are they and how are they being treated? Have any been wrongly accused? If so, what recourse do they have?

President Bush spent much of last week lecturing other nations about freedom, democracy and the rule of law. It was a breathtaking display of chutzpah. He seemed to me like a judge who starves his children and then sits on the bench to hear child abuse cases. In Brussels Mr. Bush said he planned to remind Russian President Vladimir Putin that democracies are based on, among other things, "the rule of law and the respect for human rights and human dignity."

Someone should tell that to Maher Arar and his family.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 07:48 PM

Whew! What a relief! I was afraid Amos might let this thread die! Glad to see it back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 07:56 PM

Right -- shootin' the messenger, never reading the message, Doug. Tsk, tsk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 08:03 PM

Why, Dougie?

You wouldn't actually read any of it fir fear that you'd have to face the fact that, while you may be in winner's circle now, there's gonna be a price to pay when the Big Guy does a final accounting... Oh? You don't belive in the Big Guy? Well, I guess that answers a lot of questions I have about yer politics..

Awww, jus' messin' wid ya'. I'll put in a good word fir ya. Sho nuff will...


Yeah, unless Senator Spector can stop the facists, the game may soon be over. Yep after a century of the Senate trying to preserve at least some level of respect for the minority party it looks very much as if the Dems might be close to rentin' another building and set up an opposition outpost 'cause it won't matter what they say or do, they will just be out-voted... And by the same folks who used to complain that the tactics that Dems used were immoral... Now they are in the majority, they seem real anxious to do the same thing that most of them thought were horrible??? Like, what am I missin' here?

How do you spell "hypocitic crook"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 06:57 AM

The NY Times notes a sea-change shaping in the Arab World and offers credit to the Bush administration:

"...Still, this has so far been a year of heartening surprises - each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power. Washington's challenge now lies in finding ways to nurture and encourage these still fragile trends without smothering them in a triumphalist embrace.

Lebanon's political reawakening took a significant new turn yesterday when popular protests brought down the pro-Syrian government of Prime Minister Omar Karami. Syria's occupation of Lebanon, nearly three decades long, started tottering after the Feb. 14 assassination of the country's leading independent politician, the former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

If Damascus had a hand in this murder, as many Lebanese suspect, it had a boomerang effect on Lebanon's politics. Instead of intimidating critics of Syria's dominant role, it inflamed them. To stem the growing backlash over the Hariri murder, last week Syria announced its intentions to pull back its occupation forces to a region near the border - although without offering any firm timetable. Yesterday, with protests continuing, the pro-Syrian cabinet resigned. Washington, in an unusual alliance with France, continues to press for full compliance with the Security Council's demand for an early and complete Syrian withdrawal. That needs to happen promptly. Once Syria is gone, Hezbollah, which has engaged in international terrorism under Syrian protection, must either confine itself to peaceful political activity or be shut down.

Last weekend's surprise announcement of plans to hold at least nominally competitive presidential elections in Egypt could prove even more historic, although many of the specific details seem likely to be disappointing. Egypt is the Arab world's most populous country and one of its most politically influential. In more than five millenniums of recorded history, it has never seen a truly free and competitive election.

To be realistic, Egypt isn't likely to see one this year either. For all his talk of opening up the process, President Hosni Mubarak, 76, is likely to make sure that no threatening candidates emerge to deny him a fifth six-year term. But after seeing more than eight million Iraqis choose their leaders in January, Egypt's voters, and its increasingly courageous opposition movement, will no longer retreat into sullen hopelessness so readily. The Bush administration has helped foster that feeling of hope for a democratic future by keeping the pressure on Mr. Mubarak. But the real heroes are on-the-ground patriots like Ayman Nour, who founded a new party aptly named Tomorrow last October and is now in jail. If Mr. Mubarak truly wants more open politics, he should free Mr. Nour promptly.

It is similarly encouraging that the terrorists who attacked a Tel Aviv nightclub on Friday, killing five Israelis, have not yet managed to completely scuttle the new peace dynamic between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel contends that those terrorists were sponsored by Syria, but its soldiers reported discovering an explosives-filled car in the West Bank yesterday. The good news is that the leaders on both sides did not instantly retreat to familiar corners in angry rejectionism. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, have proved they can work together to thwart terrorism and deny terrorists an instant veto over progress toward a negotiated peace.

Over the past two decades, as democracies replaced police states across Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, and a new economic dynamism lifted hundreds of millions of eastern and southern Asia out of poverty and into the middle class, the Middle East stagnated in a perverse time warp that reduced its brightest people to hopelessness or barely contained rage. The wonder is less that a new political restlessness is finally visible, but that it took so long to break through the ice."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 10:28 AM

From the LA Times:

n his State of the Union address, Bush singled out Iran as "the world's primary state sponsor of terror … pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve." For weeks we heard ominous warnings of war with Iran. Then, last week, Bush scoffed at the idea that we were going to bomb Iran as "ridiculous," even as he menacingly noted that "all options are on the table." Meanwhile, Europe continued to negotiate constructively with Iran to find a peaceful solution and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The sad fact, however, is that Bush's irrational policies and rhetoric have left the mostly fundamentalist leaders of Iran defending a more logical position than that of our own government on three counts.

First, it is our government that has long proclaimed the wonders of something called "the peaceful uses of atomic energy" to counterbalance the horror of having unleashed the power of the atomic bomb on Japanese civilians in World War II. In asserting its right to build nuclear power plants, Tehran is emulating the United States. The pact signed on Sunday in which Russia will supply the fuel for an Iranian nuclear power plant but Tehran will return spent fuel would seem to remove the threat that Iran's now fully constructed Bushehr plant will be producing nuclear weapons material.

Second, the U.S. has been woefully uncaring about nuclear proliferation except when it proves politically convenient, as with the false prewar claim that Saddam Hussein's Iraq might be close to acquiring or producing nuclear weapons.

Another example came after 9/11, when Washington dropped anti-proliferation sanctions against Pakistan while Bush focused his wrath on Iraq. Ironically, it was back in 1987, when the U.S. was backing Hussein in his war with Iran, that Pakistan's top scientist first made overtures to sell nuclear technology to the ayatollahs in Tehran.

Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's scandalous campaign to sell nuclear materials and knowledge to unstable countries such as North Korea and Libya, as well as Iran, was overlooked by successive U.S. administrations. Apparently, it was deemed too awkward to irritate our "allies" in Islamabad who helped us arm the mujahedin in Afghanistan against the Soviets, and, after 9/11, were enlisted to bring some of those same mujahedin to justice, including Osama bin Laden.

Even after the appalling extent of Khan's sales ring was exposed in 2003, little was done. The Pakistan government pardoned Khan and won't allow him to be interviewed by outsiders. Intelligence reports indicate that his black market mob may be operating again.

Finally, how can the president continue to escalate the rhetoric against Iran given that his invasion of neighboring Iraq has handed control of the country to Shiites trained in Tehran, like Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, as well as Kurds who have enjoyed significant Iranian support over the years?

So, tangled history aside, what should the U.S. do now about a repressive and potentially threatening government in Iran? The one thing Bush strangely has refused to do throughout the world: practice the principles of capitalism.

The model for such a policy, which emphasizes normal trade relations even with regimes that have religious and political obsessions different from our own, was most successfully employed by Richard Nixon in his famous opening to "Red" China, as well as in the detente period that should properly be credited with the ultimate fall of the Soviet empire.

The most powerful liberalizing forces the U.S. wields are not military, but economic and cultural. Though not as macho as trying to spread democracy through the barrel of a gun, normalization offers a better prospect of accomplishing that end, while saving billions of dollars and priceless lives.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM


The fight to save our courts is about to really heat up. Bush just resubmitted 20 nominees the Democrats fought four years to block. These 20 judges were rejected, while 204 were approved, because they have consistently sacrificed the rights of ordinary Americans to appease powerful special interests and extreme right-wing ideology. They must not be given lifetime appointments on the federal bench.

The Democrats can block them again, but only if they stand united. As a senior Democrat on the all-important Senate Judiciary Committee, Diane Feinstein can either embolden the Democratic resistance, or splinter it. That's why we need to call on her today for the leadership this issue demands.

Please call Senator Feinstein's office and ask her to strongly oppose ALL 20 of Bush's repeat judicial nominees at:

(619) 231-9712

Then, let us know you called:

The fight to save our courts only begins with these 20 nominees. Dick Cheney and Senator Bill Frist are now threatening to eliminate the filibuster, a 200-year-old rule that allows 40 or more senators to force further debate before controversial votes. It would require a two-thirds vote to actually change the fillibuster rule, and they know they don't that much support. So in his role as president of the Senate Cheney is planning to simply declare the filibuster rule null and void. If Frist can get just 50 Senators to support Cheney's ruling, the right to filibuster judges will be gone. It's a power grab so abusive and unprecedented that even the Republicans call it the "Nuclear Option."

This all leads up to the next vacancy on the Supreme Court. Without the right to filibuster, the Democrats will be powerless to stop even the most dangerous nominees. Bush may get to appoint as many as three Supreme Court Justices in the next 4 years -- so the "Nuclear Option" is nothing less than a desperate attempt to reshape the legal landscape of this nation for decades to come.

As this all unfolds, it's critical to get the calls in early -- even before the headlines hit. We can block Bush's 20 repeat nominees, and we can stop Cheney's "Nuclear Option" if at least 50 Senators oppose it. The first step is ensuring Democratic unity and vocal leadership from key senators like yours.

Please call Senator Feinstein today and ask her to oppose ALL of Bush's repeat nominees, and defeat the Republican "Nuclear Option" to eliminate the fillibuster.

(619) 231-9712

The 20 nominees Bush has resubmitted were rejected because of their extreme positions in favor of corporate interests and against civil rights, the environment, civil liberties, and the concerns of ordinary Americans. Here's a brief summary of just the first four to be considered.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 12:39 AM

Oh no! Don't die!

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 08:21 AM

Geeze, Doug, it's only been two days!!

But thanks.

I am beginning to suspect you are a closet liberal.

And I am going to tell Ann Coulter!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM

The Soldier's Terrorist

by Maxine Nash

published by Voices in the Wilderness

The Soldier's Terrorist

It's becoming spring here in Baghdad. The days are getting warmer, the sun shines longer, and I've seen some new growth on flowers and shrubs in the neighborhood. It's a time of new beginnings.

Yet it doesn't feel like spring in my heart. In fact, my heart is very heavy. I read a report today from a Quaker therapist who works with returning U.S. soldiers and their families. The therapist noted that the returning soldiers are feeling like they've lost an important part of themselves because of the actions they've done in Iraq, and fear they are damaged permanently by behaving against their core beliefs. The therapist also mentions that most of the soldiers returning from Iraq are angry, and that the anger seems to be a necessity to staying alive in Iraq.

I've met these soldiers here in Iraq. I've met the angry one who seems to be angry all the time, with a permanently etched scowl on his face. I've met the one who tells me of doing things he didn't want to do and then telling me the ways he tries to cope with those actions. I've met the one who seems to have turned off all emotion in order not to feel anything. I've met the one who, when he got back home, said he'd done his time in Hell and he wasn't ever going back.

They have names - Ricky, Jeff, Jon. They have beautiful green eyes that go all the way down to their tortured souls. They have lives, and personalities, that they remember but can't quite keep in touch with when they are here and can't fit into when they go home. They've seen their friends die, and they fear for their own lives.

Where is the new beginning for them? How can they un-live everything that's happened to them in this crazy situation and get back to being whole human beings again?

The answer is of course that they can't ever undo what they've seen and done as soldiers. No one can give them back the innocence they had before coming here.

The same is true for me. I lost innocence that I didn't know I had. I found out that my government and its military have condoned incredible acts of violence, often against civilians. I've learned that my government thinks very little about basic humanitarian rules of conduct and that my government's military was woefully ignorant of those rules in the first place. I've learned that all of this can somehow be justified with a large portion of the American public in the name of "the war on terror."

I do feel terrorized, but not by the usual suspects. I feel terrorized by some of my own countrymen and women who think that people who present some kind of danger to freedom in the United States are somehow sub-human. I feel terrorized by my government who seems to think that human beings are expendable as part of the "cost of freedom." Mostly, I feel sad that both the citizens of the United States and its government are willing to take the humanity, and the lives, of U.S. soldiers to somehow feel safe again.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 03:31 PM

A Less Super Superpower

by Jonathan Schell

published by TomDispatch

A Less Super Superpower

One of the most difficult things to judge in the world today is the extent of American power. On the one hand, there is no doubt that the United States possesses a far larger pile of weapons than any other country, that the American economy is also larger than any other country's and that America's movies and television programs are consumed globally. America is widely accorded the title "only superpower," and many of its detractors as well as its supporters describe it as the world's first truly globe-straddling empire. On the other hand, it is not yet clear what the United States can accomplish with these eye-catching assets. For power, as Thomas Hobbes wrote in one of the most succinct and durable definitions of power ever offered, is a "present means, to obtain some future apparent good." Power, after all, is not just an expenditure of energy. There must be results.

Measured by Hobbes's test, the superpower looks less super. Its military has been stretched to the breaking point by the occupation of a single weak country, Iraq. Its economy is held hostage by Himalayas of external debt, much of it in the hands of a strategic rival, China, holder of nearly $200 billion in Treasury bills. Its domestic debt, caused in part by the war expenditures, also towers to the skies. The United States has dramatically failed to make progress in its main declared foreign policy objective, the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction: While searching fruitlessly for nuclear programs in Iraq, where they did not exist, it temporized with North Korea, where they apparently do exist, and now it seems at a loss for a policy that will stop Iran from taking the same path. The President has just announced that the "end of tyranny" is his goal, but in his first term the global democracy movement suffered its greatest setback since the cold war -- Russia's slide toward authoritarianism.

The shaky foundations of America's power were on display in the President's recent travels. Shortly before Bush landed in Brussels, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany quietly but firmly repudiated the President's militarized, US-centered approach to world affairs. NATO, he heretically announced, should no longer be "the primary venue" of the Atlantic relationship. Did that mean that Europe would continue to take direction from Washington through some other venue? Hardly: He was, he said, formulating German policy "in Europe, for Europe and from Europe." The superpower's penchant for military action was also rejected. The chancellor said, "Challenges lie today beyond the North Atlantic Alliance's former zone of mutual assistance. And they do not primarily require military responses."

Schröder was standing on solid ground at home. A poll in the German newspaper Die Welt revealed that "Vladimir Putin is seen as more trustworthy than George W. Bush, France as a more important partner for German foreign and security policy than the United States. Closer harmonization of German foreign policy with America is not wanted, either."

Meanwhile, offstage, in an apparent extension of constitution-building at home, Europe was taking the lead in building cooperative global instruments, including the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and the International Criminal Court. No sooner had the President arrived in Europe than an economic trapdoor seemed briefly to open beneath his feet when the South Korean Central Bank stated that it intended to move some of its holdings from the dollar to other currencies, causing a 174-point drop in the Dow Jones average. The next day, the bank disavowed its report and the dollar recovered, but not before the fragility of America's economic position in the world had been revealed.

In an atmosphere of programmed smiles and brittle celebrations, the presidential dinners and toasts compensated for local public sentiment rather than reflecting it. The less popular Bush was in a given country, it seemed, the jollier the summit meeting. Even in little Slovakia, where the festivities seemed more spontaneous than elsewhere, an opinion poll showed that a majority believed that the United States, not Russia, was the most worrisome threat to democracy.

In his meeting with Putin, Bush seemed almost obsequious, repeatedly referring chummily to an unresponding, scowling Putin (it's an expression that settles naturally on his face) as "my friend Vladimir." As for democracy in Russia, the man who would "end tyranny" everywhere in the world could only muster, "I was able to share my concerns about Russia's commitment in fulfilling these universal principles."

A portrait of a peculiar relationship with Europe emerged. To Bush's Don Quixote, tilting, at God's command, against imagined evils, Europe played Sancho Panza, humoring the Knight Errant but mocking him behind his back. Or perhaps it was more like that other great inverted relationship between master and servant, P.G. Wodehouse's upper-class twit Bertie Wooster and his sagacious, potent butler Jeeves, who contrives to get Wooster out of his ceaseless ridiculous scrapes in high society. The difference is that Europe's rescue is only feigned. Yes, France will help in Iraq -- with one officer, who will stay at NATO headquarters in Europe.

In history, the rise of imperial pretenders has usually led to military alliances against them. Such was the case, for instance, when a previous imperial republic, Napoleon's France, conquered most of Europe but then was defeated by an oddly assorted alliance of Britain, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Such is not the case today. Europe seems determined to bypass rather than fight the American challenge. And power? The American kind is poor in "future goods." There is rivalry in the air, but it no longer takes a martial form. Instead, Europe seems bent for now on building itself up economically and knitting itself together politically -- readying, it appears, another kind of power, based more on cooperation, both within its own borders and with the world, and less on military force.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 03:40 PM

Express Train to Disaster

by David Corn

published by

Express Train to Disaster

There I was, with several other journalists and a federal commissioner, at a Washington party, playing the latest parlor game of the capital city: What does W. want and why does he want it? That is, does he truly crave privatized retirement accounts? Does he hope to end Social Security as we know it? Might he settle for tinkering and declare victory? Does he know what he really wants? As we traded theories and notions—and no one, not even the newsweekly journalist who covers Social Security day in and out, had a good idea of Bush's ultimate aim—the hostess came by. "You're not talking about Social Security, are you?" she said with a groan, as if we were ruining her party. "Well," one of us replied earnestly, "what else is there to talk about?"

Indeed. Among those of us who earn a living trying to make sense of politics and policy within Washington, Social Security is the A-list item. It has shoved aside the war in Iraq—and everything else. Last month, Congress passed legislation that could end most multi-state class action lawsuits—essentially handing a get-out-of-court-free card to manufacturers of defective products, negligent HMOs, sleazy credit card companies and other less-than-honorable residents of Corporate America—and the debate came and went in what seemed to be seven seconds. The deal was done by the time the talking heads had a chance to shout at each other about it. The Social Security debate has sucked up all the oxygen.

Moreover, the substantive debate over Bush's Social Security plan has already been exhausted. The Social Security battle has, in a way, become like the abortion battle—a standoff between two fundamentally different philosophical values (in this case, the prudent wisdom of social insurance versus the possibilities of in-the-markets-we-trust faith). Each side has already run out of arguments. We're in constant-replay mode. There's a crisis. No, there isn't. The system will be broke by 2018. No, the trust fund IOUs won't run out until 2052. Bush's foes have drawn blood by forcing him to admit that the salvation he has been promoting for years—using Social Security funds to create private accounts for individual—does not address the long-term funding gap. Yet we all know we will be listening to the same lines over and over in the months ahead.

But what changes is the politics. That's where the mystery is. Figuring out the ultimate policy compromise—probably a blend of increasing taxes, slightly raising the retirement age, and restraining benefits for some recipients—is easier that sussing out the politics and Bush's intentions.

There are the exit-strategy analysts, those observers who discern signs that Bush is hankering for a retreat with honor. Who could blame him? There are plenty of ill omens for the Pirates of Privatization. Democrats on Capitol Hill are disseminating a list of dozens of GOP legislators who have voiced skepticism regarding partial privatization of Social Security. During last week's congressional recess, only about one-third of House Republicans held town hall meetings on Social Security. Tom DeLay told the Houston Chronicle , "I am very disappointed about that….It's obvious that we can't accomplish this unless the American people want us to." Treasury Secretary John Snow acknowledged Bush currently lacks the necessary support among Republicans on the Hill. GOP Sen. Arlen Specter has declared he is "frankly skeptical" about Bush's approach. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said Bush has yet to convince the public. Newt Gingrich has advised Republicans to relaunch the Social Security issue because Americans have not accepted Bush's argument that a crisis is at hand. And recent polls are not encouraging for Bush; NPR found that only 30 percent favor his proposed changes for Social Security. According to a Marist poll, 41 percent believe congressional Democrats can best handle Social Security; Bush was endorsed by only 16 percent, and congressional GOPers won the backing of 25 percent. A Zogby poll found 63 percent disapproved of Bush's handling of Social Security.

No wonder privateers are worried. Writing in the Weekly Standard , Stephen Moore of the Free Enterprise Fund bemoaned talk of a Bush compromise. He was particularly upset that Bush had raised the subject of lifting the cap on wages that are taxed for Social Security. "The danger now," Moore warned, "is that Bush, who wants a legacy 'victory' on Social Security will ultimately sign a Social Security bill that raises taxes and drops or guts personal accounts." And what have been the big PR initiatives of the let's-privatize posse recently? First, USA Next, a right-wing outfit with various ties to the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, attacked the AARP for supposedly not supporting the troops and advocating gay marriage. (The AARP does not support gay marriage; it is not anti-troops.) This sleazy assault divided the free-marketeers, with Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute blasting USA Next for its in-the-gutter sideswipe. Then the White House announced that Bush will be campaigning for Social Security change with nine-year-old Noah McCullough, who has made a name for himself as an expert in presidential history trivia. That ought to turn the tide. (Word also leaked out that SpongeBob SquarePants was set to join Bush and McCullough on this tour—until James Dobson queered the deal.) Next the administration announced it was setting up a "war room" at the treasury department to coordinate and refine its Social Security message. (Declare war on Social Security, then wait months before establishing a "war room"? These guys should know better.)

With the indicators not looking strong at the moment, can it be that Bush will look for a way out? Step back, let Congress craft something much different than what he envisioned, sign the damn thing and declare victory? ("Today I am so glad that Congress followed my lead and…") But this gets back to the question of what Bush really is after. Is it a political win he can dress up? Or a transformation (for the worse) of the nation's core social insurance program? After five years of pushing private accounts as the cure-all for the "crisis," Bush finally acknowledged in his recent State of the Union speech that these accounts—which will cost trillions of dollars—do not address the projected Social Security gap to come in several decades. But are these accounts still the main thing for him? Will he fight to the last pensioner for them?

In the past, Bush has been at different times a stubborn champion of wrongheaded ideas and a pragmatic dealmaker. In the later category, he signed a corporate crime bill that was weaker than it should have been but stronger than he wanted and pronounced himself (falsely) a corporate crimebuster. He also cut a deal with Sen. Ted Kennedy on the No Child Left Behind legislation and pissed off his conservative allies. (That deal was a lousy one—for Kennedy, too. A recent report concluded the legislation has been a disaster.) But when Bush entered the White House, he refused to listen to those who advised against a big tax cut (especially one tilted toward the wealthy) and who noted that public opinion surveys did not show Americans hungering for such tax cuts. Bush plowed ahead and succeeded in racking up trillions of dollars in government debt so the rich could have more. And when it came to the run-up to the Iraq war, Bush never left himself an escape route. He committed himself and ended up with a mess that may or may not eventually work out. (Polls this week show that about 54 percent of Americans believe the war was not worth the costs.)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 12:30 PM

Excerpted from todays "Times" Op Ed, Deficits and Deceit

Published: March 4, 2005

America prospered for half a century under a level of federal taxes higher than the one we face today. According to the administration's own estimates, Mr. Bush's second term will see the lowest tax take as a percentage of G.D.P. since the Truman administration. And don't forget that President Clinton's 1993 tax increase ushered in an economic boom. Why, exactly, are tax increases out of the question?

O.K., enough about Mr. Greenspan. The real news is the growing evidence that the political theory behind the Bush tax cuts was as wrong as the economic theory.

According to starve-the-beast doctrine, right-wing politicians can use the big deficits generated by tax cuts as an excuse to slash social insurance programs. Mr. Bush's advisers thought that it would prove especially easy to sell benefit cuts in the context of Social Security privatization because the president could pretend that a plan that sharply cut benefits would actually be good for workers.

But the theory isn't working. As soon as voters heard that privatization would involve benefit cuts, support for Social Security "reform" plunged. Another sign of the theory's falsity: across the nation, Republican governors, finding that voters really want adequate public services, are talking about tax increases.

The best bet now is that Mr. Bush will manage to make the poor suffer, but fail to make a dent in the great middle-class entitlement programs.

And the consequence of the failure of the starve-the-beast theory is a looming fiscal crisis - Mr. Greenspan isn't wrong about that. The middle class won't give up programs that are essential to its financial security; the right won't give up tax cuts that it sold on false pretenses. The only question now is when foreign investors, who have financed our deficits so far, will decide to pull the plug.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 05:09 PM

If it's okay with DougR, can I post a beauty by William Rivers Pitt from entitled:

A History of the Bush Administration in One Sentence

"Just because the Supreme Court set a poison precedent and appointed Bush, who brought in his crowd of neocon yahoos that no one discussed during the 2000 campaign because we 'Muricans vote for the man and not the mob of frothing dogs that come in his wake, just because the twin bill of unreasonably massive tax cuts were combined with economic depth-charge that was the Enron/Arthur Andersen scandal that was umbilically connected to the White House, just because the economy (not to mention our whole psyche) absorbed another blow when four commercial airplanes somehow managed to pierce the most impenetrable air defense system in the history of the universe, fooling the entire intelligence community as well if you believe what you hear on Fox...despite a blizzard of warnings and a raft of information from the previous administration, just because a bunch of anthrax got mailed to Democrats by the Ashcroft wing of the Republican Party in what were obvious assassination attempts and yet nothing but nothing has been done about it, just because the 9/11 attack was immediately and I mean the day after immediately grasped as an excuse to invade Iraq, just because virtually everyone in the administration lied with their bare faces hanging out about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, terrorism ties in Iraq, so break out the plastic sheeting and duct tape because we're all gonna die, just because they did this in no small part to win the 2002 midterms by any means necessary, just because 1,502 American soldiers have been killed looking for the 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons (which is 1,000,00 lbs.) of sarin and mustard and VX nerve agent, 30,000 munitions to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, arial drones to spray the aforementioned stuff, and let's not forget the uranium from Niger for use in Iraq's robust nukular program, all of which was described to the letter by Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address, all of which remains on the White House website on a page titled 'Disarm Saddam Hussein,' just because the medical journal Lancet estimates that as many as 198,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed as well in the war to get at this stuff, just because none of the stuff was there, and by the way nonee of the stuff was there, and did I mention that none of the stuff was there, just because the idea that Hussein was allied with bin Laden was laughable because Osama has wanted Saddam's head on his battle standard for decades, just because the true source of world terrorism, which is Wahabbist extremism in Saudi Arabia, goes completely unaddressed because the Houses of Bush and Saud have been partnered for decades, just because so much of 9/11 and this 'War on Terra' has to do with business arrangements going awry between these two Houses, just because a deep-cover CIA agent who was working to track any person or nation or group that would give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists got her cover and her network blown by Administration officials who wanted to shut her husband and any other potential whistleblowers the hell up, just because the front company she was working out of called Brewster Jennings and Associates was likewise blown, thus torpedoing other agents and their networks, just because absolutely all of this went virtually unreported by the mainstream media until it was too late, if it was reported at all, just because dangerous spies like Ahmad Chalabi used Judy Miller and the New York Times to disseminate the lie that Iraq was riddled with weapons, thus opening the floodgates for the rest of the media to repeat the lie because once the Times says it, it must be true, just because this lack of reporting combined with an astounding level of cheerleading from the aforementioned media combined with some good old-fashioned vote fraud in places like Ohio, Florida and New Mexico gave the aforementioned group of yahoos four more years and a congressional majority in both houses of congress, just because this means the Iraq war will continue and Iran will probably be next and draconian legislation further restricting our rights will get passed along with things like the Bankruptcy bill and media reform of any kind will be nowhere on the menu, just because a lot of the Justices on the Supreme Court are sure to step down or die soon and Bush will be able to recraft that high court for the next 20 years, just because the Christian Reconstructionists are becoming mainstream with their goal of having every American singing "Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me" in a droning monochromatic hypnotized voice all day every day...doesn't mean anyone should be worried or anything. Get a grip.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 05:47 PM

That's one hell of a sentence. Seems he was found guilty AND snetenced, but not in one breath, I betcha.

Thanks. dude.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 08:36 AM

The Bush Team's Abortion Misstep

Published: March 5, 2005

At a moment when the United States should be leading the world on advancing women's equality, the Bush administration chose instead to alienate government ministers and 6,000 other delegates at an important United Nations conference on that issue with a burst of anti-abortion zealotry this week.

The two-week session is being held to reinvigorate efforts to improve women's lives a decade after a landmark U.N. conference in Beijing. The organizers had hoped to keep a tight focus on urgent challenges like sexual trafficking, educational inequities and the spread of AIDS.

The first order of business was to be quick approval of a simple statement reaffirming the Beijing meeting's closing declaration. But on Monday, the Americans created turmoil by announcing that the United States would not join the otherwise universal consensus unless the document was amended to say that it did not create "any new international human rights" or "include the right to abortion."

This was shabby and mischievous. For one thing, the Beijing statement was nonbinding. For another, the Beijing negotiators had tried to anticipate controversy by recognizing unsafe abortions as a serious public health issue while leaving the question of legality up to each nation. ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 03:02 PM

A Fighting Strategy for Veterans

Published: March 5, 2005

Military veterans are crying foul over President Bush's budget proposals to cut spending on their health care. The budget must not be balanced "on the backs of veterans," wrote Stephen P. Condon, the chairman of the Air Force Association, in a recent letter to The Times, a point that was echoed by other veterans at Congressional hearings last month. We agree with the veterans - but for somewhat different reasons than they have put forth.

The veterans' goal is to block the president's attempt to impose new hospital fees, higher prescription co-payments and other spending constraints - all of which would add up to an estimated 16 percent reduction in veterans' benefits in 2010. (The estimate is from the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities because the administration, breaking with 16 years of budget tradition, did not provide five-year projections for specific programs.) But if veterans succeed in preserving only their own benefits, they will have been outfoxed by the administration.

Mr. Bush knows that wartime is no time to go after veterans' benefits. But by proposing changes that are politically implausible while challenging Congress to cut spending, the administration gains a bargaining chip: if lawmakers aren't willing to make the veterans' cuts the president has proposed, they will be pressured to make even deeper cuts in programs for people who don't have the veterans' ability to fight back.

In effect, Mr. Bush's budget pits veterans against the 660,000 women, infants and children whose food assistance is on the chopping block; against the 120,000 preschoolers who would be cut from Head Start; against the 370,000 families and disabled and elderly individuals who would lose rental assistance; against the whole communities that would lose support for clean air and drinking water; and so on.

The only way for veterans to avoid those unacceptable trade-offs is to refuse to fight on the president's terms. The size and scope of Mr. Bush's proposed spending cuts are a direct result of his refusal to ask for tax-cut rollbacks - that is, to ask wealthy investors, who have had lavish, deficit-bloating tax cuts over the past four years, to contribute toward deficit reduction. On the contrary, Mr. Bush's budget proposes even more tax breaks, specifically for people with six-figure incomes or more and overflowing investment portfolios.

Most galling, the new tax cuts would be, in themselves, so large that the net spending cuts Mr. Bush has requested would not be enough to pay for them, let alone reduce the existing deficit.

Veterans have the moral and institutional clout to argue that no one group should be singled out to make sacrifices until all groups are asked to sacrifice. Bolstering that case is the fact that all successful deficit-cutting budgets have included tax increases on the affluent, including President Reagan's 1983 budget, the first President George Bush's 1991 budget and President Bill Clinton's 1994 budget. Mr. Bush's 2006 budget must do the same. If veterans drive that point home, the benefits they'll save will be their own, and those of many women and children, too.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 03:29 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 09:55 AM

Clear Skies, R.I.P.

Published: March 7, 2005

Barring a cave-in by Democrats who have so far kept the bill bottled up in committee, President Bush's Clear Skies initiative appears dead for this session of Congress. This is no great loss to the nation. Clear Skies is a bad bill, which in the name of streamlining current law would offer considerably more relief to the industries that pollute the air than to the citizens who breathe it.

Because Clear Skies was one of Mr. Bush's signature initiatives, and the first proposed overhaul of the Clean Air Act since his father's landmark reforms of 1990, it is worth reflecting on its troubles. Clear Skies originally came attractively dressed as a grand bargain under which a market-based system of pollution control would replace the cumbersome regulatory mechanisms in existing law - resulting in less litigation, more regulatory certainty for industry and cleaner air for everybody.

The bargain quickly collapsed when the administration, prodded by Vice President Dick Cheney, began dismantling current law before even offering a Clear Skies bill - a boneheaded move that cast suspicion on the administration's motives, infuriated Democrats and made future bipartisan cooperation almost impossible.

When Clear Skies finally did appear in 2002, the bargain began looking even worse. It would have been one thing to drop the old bureaucratic regulations in exchange for meaningful reductions in the major pollutants and a disciplined, aggressive timetable for achieving them. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Agency's professional staff had a perfectly respectable bill ready to roll in the fall of 2001. But after lobbying by industry and the White House, and subsequent dilutions by Senate Republicans, what ultimately emerged was a pallid program that had no chance of meeting the public health standards for smog and soot that the administration professes to support.

Meanwhile, on the back end, nearly every useful lever in current law would disappear, including several provisions that Northeastern states like New York and New Jersey have been using to great effect to reduce windblown pollution from Midwestern power plants. The bill's failure to address the issue of global warming did not improve its legislative chances among Democrats. But it was the loss of the old-fashioned controls on smog and soot-forming gases that turned a large and bipartisan majority of state and local officials (George Pataki and Arnold Schwarzenegger among them) against Clear Skies, once they realized how little the administration was offering them in exchange.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 10:11 PM

Can't claim it's a popular view, but as of tonight, here's MY view.

Today I snapped.

I saw a man with a sign that pissed me off, shouting a slogan that pissed me off.

Going for a run didn't calm me down.

Playing the banjo didn't calm me down.

My head is still about to explode (yeah, yeah, I know - like a balloon bursting).

I am goddam sick of this "blame America first" crowd.

Too little morality in the USA?

It's because America doesn't allow the government to endorse the Ten Commandments.

Too much violence in the USA?

It's because America teaches kids that mothers can kill their babies.

Too many "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench"?

It's because America gives too much power to dissenters in Congress.

Why haven't we caught Osama bin Laden?

It's because America doesn't allow investigators to torture his whereabouts out of his alleged accomplices.

Why do we have such gigantic budget deficits?

Because those damn old people and veterans are sucking up "entitlements".

Well guess what people.

In America, the constitution forbids government from endorsing religion.

In America, abortion is legal.

In America, the minority party was given the filibuster by Thomas Jefferson.

In America, torture is NOT legal.

In America, we have a safety net that has worked pretty damn well for three quarters of a century.

If someone loved America, would they work so hard to change it so much?

Tell you what.

I do love America.

Why don't YOU "love it or leave it" you phoney conservative, reactionary, America-blaming, neoconservative bastards.

Yeah you.

The ones Colin Powell so famously refers to as "the fucking crazies".

Go start a country that fits your "values".

'Cause AMERICA does NOT.

Oh, and before anyone points it out....just my opinion of course.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 08:15 AM

Get it said, Mister!! :)

Meanwhile the New York Times is all for softening its take on Wolfowitz and suggesting he has a virtuous side. NEver mind starting the war, and all that.

Giving Wolfowitz His Due

Published: March 8, 2005

Let us now praise Paul Wolfowitz. Let us now take another look at the man who has pursued - longer and more forcefully than almost anyone else - the supposedly utopian notion that people across the Muslim world might actually hunger for freedom.

Let us look again at the man who's been vilified by Michael Moore and the rest of the infantile left, who's been condescended to by the people who consider themselves foreign policy grown-ups, and who has become the focus of much anti-Semitism in the world today - the center of a zillion Zionist conspiracy theories, and a hundred zillion clever-Jew-behind-the-scenes calumnies.

It's not necessary to absolve Wolfowitz of all sin or to neglect the postwar screw-ups in Iraq. Historians will figure out who was responsible for what, and Wolfowitz will probably come in for his share of the blame. But with political earthquakes now shaking the Arab world, it's time to step back and observe that over the course of his long career - in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Central and Eastern Europe, and now in the Middle East - Wolfowitz has always been an ardent champion of freedom. And he has usually played a useful supporting role in making sure that pragmatic, democracy-promoting policies were put in place.

If the trends of the last few months continue, Wolfowitz will be the subject of fascinating biographies decades from now, while many of his smuggest critics will be forgotten. Those biographies will mention not only his intellectual commitment but also his personal commitment, his years spent learning the languages of the places that concerned him, and the thousands of hours spent listening deferentially to the local heroes who led the causes he supported. (...)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 08:20 AM

Paul Krugman documents the machinery of wealth protecting more wealth in Congress

The Debt-Peonage Society


Published: March 8, 2005

Today the Senate is expected to vote to limit debate on a bill that toughens the existing bankruptcy law, probably ensuring the bill's passage. A solid bloc of Republican senators, assisted by some Democrats, has already voted down a series of amendments that would either have closed loopholes for the rich or provided protection for some poor and middle-class families.

The bankruptcy bill was written by and for credit card companies, and the industry's political muscle is the reason it seems unstoppable. But the bill also fits into the broader context of what Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale, calls "risk privatization": a steady erosion of the protection the government provides against personal misfortune, even as ordinary families face ever-growing economic insecurity.

The bill would make it much harder for families in distress to write off their debts and make a fresh start. Instead, many debtors would find themselves on an endless treadmill of payments.

The credit card companies say this is needed because people have been abusing the bankruptcy law, borrowing irresponsibly and walking away from debts. The facts say otherwise.

A vast majority of personal bankruptcies in the United States are the result of severe misfortune. One recent study found that more than half of bankruptcies are the result of medical emergencies. The rest are overwhelmingly the result either of job loss or of divorce.

To the extent that there is significant abuse of the system, it's concentrated among the wealthy - including corporate executives found guilty of misleading investors - who can exploit loopholes in the law to protect their wealth, no matter how ill-gotten.

One increasingly popular loophole is the creation of an "asset protection trust," which is worth doing only for the wealthy. Senator Charles Schumer introduced an amendment that would have limited the exemption on such trusts, but apparently it's O.K. to game the system if you're rich: 54 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against the Schumer amendment.

Other amendments were aimed at protecting families and individuals who have clearly been forced into bankruptcy by events, or who would face extreme hardship in repaying debts. Ted Kennedy introduced an exemption for cases of medical bankruptcy. Russ Feingold introduced an amendment protecting the homes of the elderly. Dick Durbin asked for protection for armed services members and veterans. All were rejected.

None of this should come as a surprise: it's all part of the pattern.

As Mr. Hacker and others have documented, over the past three decades the lives of ordinary Americans have become steadily less secure, and their chances of plunging from the middle class into acute poverty ever larger. Job stability has declined; spells of unemployment, when they happen, last longer; fewer workers receive health insurance from their employers; fewer workers have guaranteed pensions.

Some of these changes are the result of a changing economy. But the underlying economic trends have been reinforced by an ideologically driven effort to strip away the protections the government used to provide. For example, long-term unemployment has become much more common, but unemployment benefits expire sooner. Health insurance coverage is declining, but new initiatives like health savings accounts (introduced in the 2003 Medicare bill), rather than discouraging that trend, further undermine the incentives of employers to provide coverage.

Above all, of course, at a time when ever-fewer workers can count on pensions from their employers, the current administration wants to phase out Social Security. ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 10:16 AM

The New York Times softens its stance on Bush and offers him a sop of vindication, despite the murderous chasos he has levied on people undeserving of violent harm.

For Bush, No Boasts, but a Taste of Vindication

Published: March 9, 2005

WASHINGTON, March 8 - He has gone out of his way not to crow, or even to take direct credit. But not quite two years after he began the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, and not quite two months after a second inaugural address in which he spoke of "ending tyranny," President Bush seems entitled to claim as he did on Tuesday that a "thaw has begun" in the broader Middle East.

At the very least, Mr. Bush is feeling the glow of the recent flurry of impulses toward democracy in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and even Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where events have put him on a bit of a roll and some of his sharpest critics on the defensive. It now seems just possible that Mr. Bush and aides like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz were not wrong to argue that the "status quo of despotism cannot be ignored or appeased, kept in a box or cut off," as the president put it in a speech at the National Defense University here.

The failure to find unconventional weapons in Iraq, his administration's shifting rationales for the war, the lingering insurgency and steady American casualties there were a drag on Mr. Bush's political fortunes for most of last year. But a wave of developments since the better-than-expected Iraqi elections in January - some perhaps related and others probably not - have brought Mr. Bush a measure of vindication, which may or may not be sustained by events and his own actions in the months to come.

"By now it should be clear that decades of excusing and accommodating tyranny in the pursuit of stability have only led to injustice and instability and tragedy," Mr. Bush said on Tuesday. "It should be clear that the advance of democracy leads to peace, because governments that respect the rights of their people also respect the rights of their neighbors."

His two predecessors in the Oval Office, his father and Bill Clinton, both spoke of the latest signs of progress in an appearance at the White House. The first President Bush was restrained, pronouncing himself "very pleased," but cautioning that much work remained to be done.

Mr. Clinton was more ebullient, noting that the Iraqi elections "went better than anyone could have imagined." In Lebanon, he said, "the Syrians are going to have to get out of there and give the Lebanese their country back, and I think the fact that the Lebanese are in the street demanding it is wonderful."

Asked about huge demonstrations on Tuesday, sponsored by Hezbollah, that demanded just the opposite, Mr. Clinton said: "I find it inconceivable that most Lebanese wouldn't like it if they had their country back. You know, they want their country back and they ought to get it."

For his part, Mr. Bush himself again acknowledged that building democracy in the Middle East will require a "generational commitment."

One senior White House aide, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to overshadow his boss, acknowledged as much. "Obviously, the acts of courage we've seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, the demonstrations that happened in the Ukraine and now in Lebanon, these are very inspiring developments that have obviously caught the notice of the president," he said. "But this is very complicated stuff, and there are a lot of turns left on this journey, and the president at every step of the way has always cautioned it's going to be a difficult road."

Still, even as sharp and consistent a critic of Mr. Bush's foreign policy as Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat, gives Mr. Bush some credit for the latest stirrings of liberty along the eastern Mediterranean.

"What's taken place in a number of those countries is enormously constructive," Mr. Kennedy said on Sunday on the ABC News program "This Week." "It's a reflection the president has been involved."

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut and a frequent ally of Mr. Bush on national security affairs, was in the audience for his speech on Tuesday and was more effusive.

"Look, this moment in the Middle East has the feel of Central and Eastern Europe around the collapse of the Berlin Wall," he said in a telephone interview. "It's a very different historical and political context, and we all understand that democracy in the Middle East is in its infancy. But something is happening."

Mr. Lieberman said Mr. Bush deserved credit for at least two things: the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the continued American military presence in Iraq, which he said showed "the proven willingness of the United States to put its power behind its principles."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 08:19 PM

Nice rant, TIA...

I was gonna do one myself but after readin' yers, well, nah... Maybe tomorrow...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 01:29 AM

Whoa, Amos, we can't let this sucker die, can we? You haven't reached 2000 posts yet!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 08:20 PM

So he's not just lying to us, guys -- he lies to everyone:

U.S. Misled Allies About Nuclear Export
North Korea Sent Material To Pakistan, Not to Libya
By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 20, 2005; Page A01

In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya. That was a significant new charge, the first allegation that North Korea was helping to create a new nuclear weapons state.

But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the transaction. North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride -- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium -- to Pakistan. It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the officials said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.

Pakistan's role as both the buyer and the seller was concealed to cover up the part played by Washington's partner in the hunt for al Qaeda leaders, according to the officials, who discussed the issue on the condition of anonymity. In addition, a North Korea-Pakistan transfer would not have been news to the U.S. allies, which have known of such transfers for years and viewed them as a business matter between sovereign states.

The Bush administration's approach, intended to isolate North Korea, instead left allies increasingly doubtful as they began to learn that the briefings omitted essential details about the transaction, U.S. officials and foreign diplomats said in interviews. North Korea responded to public reports last month about the briefings by withdrawing from talks with its neighbors and the United States.

In an effort to repair the damage, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is traveling through East Asia this weekend trying to get the six-nation talks back on track. The impasse was expected to dominate talks today in Seoul and then Beijing, which wields the greatest influence with North Korea.

The new details follow a string of controversies concerning the Bush administration's use of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. In the run-up to the Iraq invasion in March 2003, the White House offered a public case against Iraq that concealed dissent on nearly every element of intelligence and included interpretations unsupported by the evidence.

A presidential commission studying U.S. intelligence is reviewing the case, as well as judgments on Iran and North Korea. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also is reviewing evidence on nuclear, chemical and biological programs suspected in Iran and North Korea.

The United States briefed allies on North Korea in late January and early February. Shortly afterward, administration officials, speaking to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity, said North Korea had sold uranium hexafluoride to Libya. The officials said the briefing was arranged to share the information with China, South Korea and Japan ahead of a new round of hoped-for negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program.

But in recent days, two other U.S. officials said the briefings were hastily arranged after China and South Korea indicated they were considering bolting from six-party talks on North Korea. The talks have been seen as largely ineffectual, but the Bush administration, which refuses to meet bilaterally with Pyongyang, insists they are critical to curbing North Korea's nuclear program.

The White House declined to offer an official to comment by name about the new details concerning Pakistan. A prepared response attributed to a senior administration official said that the U.S. government "has provided allies with an accurate account of North Korea's nuclear proliferation activities."

Although the briefings did not mention Pakistan by name, the official said they made it clear that the sale went through the illicit network operated by Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdel Qadeer Khan. But the briefings gave no indication that U.S. intelligence believes that the material had been bought by Pakistan and transferred there from North Korea in a container owned by the Pakistani government.

They also gave no indication that the uranium was then shipped via a Pakistani company to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and on to Libya. Those findings match assessments by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is investigating Libya separately. Libya gave up its nuclear weapons program in December 2003.

Since Pakistan became a key U.S. ally in the hunt for al Qaeda leaders, the administration has not held President Pervez Musharraf accountable for actions taken by Khan while he was a member of Musharraf's cabinet and in charge of nuclear cooperation for the government.

"The administration is giving Pakistan a free ride when they don't deserve it and hurting U.S. interests at the same time," said Charles L. Pritchard, who was the Bush administration's special envoy for the North Korea talks until August 2003.

"As our allies get the full picture, it doesn't help our credibility with them," he said.

Pritchard, now a Brookings Institution fellow, and others had initially raised questions about the Libya connection when it became public last month. No one in the administration has been willing to discuss the uranium sale publicly.

In testimony to Congress last month, CIA Director Porter J. Goss spoke extensively about North Korea's nuclear arsenal and capabilities. But he gave no indication the intelligence community believed that North Korea had supplied nuclear materials to Libya, that it was capable of producing uranium hexafluoride or that it was a member of the nuclear black market.

Two years ago, U.S. officials told allies that North Korea was trying to assemble an enrichment facility that would turn uranium hexafluoride into bomb-grade material.

But China and South Korea, in particular, have been skeptical of those assertions and are becoming increasingly wary of pressuring North Korea.

The National Security Council briefings in late January and early February, by senior NSC officials Michael J. Green and William Tobey, were intended to do just that by keeping the spotlight solely on North Korea.

Pakistan was mentioned only once in the briefing paper, and in a context that emphasized Pyongyang's guilt. "Pakistani press reports have said the uranium came from North Korea," according to the briefing paper, which was read to The Post.

After initial press reports about the briefing appeared last month, Pyongyang announced that it possessed nuclear weapons and would not return to the six-party talks.

Pritchard said North Korea's reaction was "absolutely linked" to the Green-Tobey trip.

The United States tried to persuade North Korea to return to the talks, but without success. The North Korean leadership responded with a list of conditions, including a demand that Rice apologize for calling it an "outpost of tyranny."

During the first stop on her Asian tour, Rice used noticeably softer language on North Korea, telling a Tokyo audience that the U.S. offer was open to negotiation, and that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il should grab the opportunity.

Staff writer Glenn Kessler contributed to this report from Seoul.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 08:34 PM

And how about Paul "Never-Met-Country-With-Oil-Not-Worth-Invading" Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank... Man, they certainly must be consulting Charles Manson about these appointments... I mean, here you got a dyed in the wool "imperialist" in Wolfy and you are getting ready to turn over the keys to the World "Never-Met-A-Third-World-Country-Not-Worth-Fleecing" Bank... Oh, my God... This is like handing over a bus load of 13 year old kids to Micheal Jackson...


p.s. Thanks, Dougie... Both Amos and I must have fallen asleep at the wheel.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 12:50 PM

The willingness of the Bush crew to ham-handedly destroy the architecture of the Republic, whether through stupidity, criminal bent or merely rank unethical opportunism, is nicely captured in this editorial on the Schiavo case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 08:32 PM

F.D.R. would have stared slack-jawed at this madness. Even his grand Social Security edifice is under assault by the vandals of the G.O.P.

While the press and the public are distracted by one sensational news story after another - Terri Schiavo, Michael Jackson, steroids in baseball, etc. - the president and his party have continued their extraordinary campaign to undermine the programs that were designed to fend off destitution and provide a reasonable foundation of economic security for those not blessed with great wealth.

President Bush has proposed more than $200 billion worth of cuts in domestic discretionary programs over the next five years, and cuts of $26 billion in entitlement programs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which analyzed the president's proposal, said:

"Figures in the budget show that child-care assistance would be ended for 300,000 low-income children by 2009. The food stamp cut would terminate food stamp aid for approximately 300,000 low-income people, most of whom are low-income working families with children. Reduced Medicaid funding most certainly would cause many states to cut their Medicaid programs, increasing the ranks of the uninsured."

Education funding would be cut beginning next year, and the cuts would grow larger in succeeding years. Food assistance for pregnant women, infants and children would be cut. Funding for H.I.V. and AIDS treatment would be cut by more than half a billion dollars over five years. Support for environmental protection programs would be sharply curtailed. And so on.

Conservatives insist the cuts are necessary to get the roaring federal budget deficit under control. But they have trouble keeping a straight face when they tell that story. Laden with tax cuts, the president's proposal will result in an increase, not a decrease, in the deficit. Shared sacrifice is anathema to the big-money crowd.   ...

Excerpted from a New York TImes editorial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 08:48 PM

And what the heck is all this stuff about "Right-to-Life" anyway. Yeah, if yer white... Just last week a 6 year old black kid, Son Hudson, had a respiartor removed dwon in Texas because George Right-to-Life Bush signed a bill that as Governor that in essenece said "pay-or-die".... Yep, against the wishes of Son's mom, who couldn't afford to pay for her son's care, by removing the respiraror tube, Son could no longer breath and died...

Who cares?

Well, I do...

And guess what? Well, I'll tell you what. Terry S. has been getting assitence thur Medicaid for the last 15 years. Yup, that same tax dollers that have been spend on Terry S's treatments were dinied a 6 year old boy because George Right-to-Life Bush, as Gobernor of Texas, din't want no money going to no nigga kids... Sho nuff didn't...

He is a creep and a dispictable hypocrit and when he gets to the Pearly Gates, guess what? Well, I tell ya' what... Elevator to the basement, thank you...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM

Once again the Bush administration demonstrates sheer disdain for knowledge, scientific dialogue, and any community of scholars in their pursuit of absolute control over other people in rampant disregard of our Republic's principles.

"Waxman: U.S. Imposes New Limits on Scientists

Fri Jun 25,12:32 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is making it harder for
scientists to speak to their global colleagues and restricting who can
attend an upcoming major AIDS (news - web sites) conference, a congressman
charged on Thursday.

Rep. Henry Waxman said he has a letter showing that the Health and Human
Services (news - web sites) Department has imposed new limits on who may
speak to
the World Health Organization (news - web sites).

Under the new policy, WHO must ask HHS for permission to speak to scientists
and must allow HHS to choose who will respond.

"This policy is unprecedented. For the first time political appointees will
routinely be able to keep the top experts in their field from responding to
WHO requests for guidance on international health issues," the California
Democrat wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson.

"This is a raw attempt to exert political control over scientists and
scientific evidence in the area of international health," Waxman wrote.

"Under the new policy the administration will be able to refuse to provide
any experts whenever it wishes to stall international progress on
controversial topics."

An HHS spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Waxman also complained that HHS had cut back a list of scientists planning
to attend the International AIDS Society conference in Bangkok, Thailand,
next month. The conference is considered the premiere meeting for AIDS

Waxman said that 40 presentations scheduled for the conference were
withdrawn after HHS decided that only 50 U.S. scientists could attend.
"The scientific community was outraged by this pullback," he wrote.

"I ask you to rescind this ill-advised policy until it can be adequately
reviewed and justified," Waxman wrote of the restrictions on WHO requests."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:16 AM

"How will future historians explain it? How will they possibly explain why President George W. Bush decided to ignore the energy crisis staring us in the face and chose instead to spend all his electoral capital on a futile effort to undo the New Deal, by partially privatizing Social Security? We are, quite simply, witnessing one of the greatest examples of misplaced priorities in the history of the U.S. presidency.

"Ah, Friedman, but you overstate the case." No, I understate it. Look at the opportunities our country is missing - and the risks we are assuming - by having a president and vice president who refuse to lift a finger to put together a "geo-green" strategy that would marry geopolitics, energy policy and environmentalism.

By doing nothing to lower U.S. oil consumption, we are financing both sides in the war on terrorism and strengthening the worst governments in the world. That is, we are financing the U.S. military with our tax dollars and we are financing the jihadists - and the Saudi, Sudanese and Iranian mosques and charities that support them - through our gasoline purchases. The oil boom is also entrenching the autocrats in Russia and Venezuela, which is becoming Castro's Cuba with oil. By doing nothing to reduce U.S. oil consumption we are also setting up a global competition with China for energy resources, including right on our doorstep in Canada and Venezuela. Don't kid yourself: China's foreign policy today is very simple - holding on to Taiwan and looking for oil...."

Excerpted from Friedman in the New York Times.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:34 AM

Yeah, Amos, the Bush/Cheney/Rice Energy/Foriegn Policy is nuthin' but a formula for war, war and more war...

It is based soley on "consumption" but why should that come as a big surprise? Oilman Bush... Oilman Cheney...Oilwoman Rice... Throw Paul "Imperialist" Wolfowitz into the mix and the planet just might not survive the mess that Bush has created...

We are on a collision course with China because of these policies. Rather than look for ways to help the planet's population by seriously addressing the ways to cut our consumption thru "conservation" and "renewable resources", we have just raised the bar in "consumption"... And look where this policies have gotten us in the last 4 years: an immoral war in Iraq and big profits for the oil companies!!!

Yeah, I know that the neocons have the microphone right now but hopefully they won't have it forever and should the world survive Bush's screw ups, historians will not be kind to these crooks...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:54 AM

I would have thought the most popular view of the Bush Administration
in this forum would be a rear view as they disappeared over the Horizon !!

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:56 AM

And By The way !! 1100 !!

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