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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

GUEST 28 Mar 05 - 11:23 AM
Amos 31 Mar 05 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 02 Apr 05 - 09:57 PM
Amos 02 Apr 05 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 05 Apr 05 - 10:27 AM
DougR 05 Apr 05 - 02:41 PM
Amos 08 Apr 05 - 09:40 PM
Amos 08 Apr 05 - 09:57 PM
Amos 08 Apr 05 - 10:09 PM
Bobert 08 Apr 05 - 10:18 PM
Amos 08 Apr 05 - 11:11 PM
Amos 08 Apr 05 - 11:21 PM
Amos 08 Apr 05 - 11:27 PM
Amos 09 Apr 05 - 12:17 AM
Amos 09 Apr 05 - 02:39 AM
Amos 09 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM
Amos 10 Apr 05 - 12:56 AM
Amos 12 Apr 05 - 09:11 AM
Amos 14 Apr 05 - 12:53 PM
Amos 15 Apr 05 - 07:14 PM
Amos 15 Apr 05 - 07:16 PM
Amos 17 Apr 05 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Old Guy 18 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM
Bobert 18 Apr 05 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Old Guy 18 Apr 05 - 08:00 AM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Old Guy 18 Apr 05 - 08:25 AM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 08:45 AM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 01:59 PM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 03:03 PM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 03:37 PM
Amos 21 Apr 05 - 08:34 PM
Bobert 21 Apr 05 - 09:54 PM
Amos 22 Apr 05 - 10:43 AM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 06:39 PM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 11:29 PM
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Amos 26 Apr 05 - 11:00 PM
Amos 26 Apr 05 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Amos 28 Apr 05 - 01:15 AM
Bobert 28 Apr 05 - 11:15 PM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 10:51 AM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 11:57 AM
Ebbie 29 Apr 05 - 01:45 PM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 02:45 PM
Bobert 29 Apr 05 - 06:50 PM
Amos 01 May 05 - 08:48 AM
Amos 01 May 05 - 03:28 PM
Bobert 01 May 05 - 08:11 PM
GUEST 03 May 05 - 02:14 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 11:23 AM

I urge all of you to carefully read this intervciew with Gore Vidal. I have frequently failed to state clearly enough many of the things he states beautifully and unfortunately accurately.

I especially recommend his answers to the thought processes, if that is what they are, of those who have elected to support the anti-intelligence, anti-American, fear- and hate-mongering travesties of our current hamhanded Resident.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 01:56 PM

Maureen Dowd, in todays Times summarizes why the new Intel report, fondly approved by Bush, is a crock and a cover-up of the completely brazen and hamhanded manipulation by the usual miscreants and villains (Excerpt):

Like the new Woody Allen movie, "Melinda and Melinda," it is possible to view today's big story on the tremendous intelligence failures before the Iraq war as either comedy or tragedy, depending on how you look at it.

For instance, on the comic side, The Times reported yesterday that administration officials were relieved that the new report by a presidential commission had "found no evidence that political pressure from the White House or Pentagon contributed to the mistaken intelligence."

That's hilarious.

As necessity is the mother of invention, political pressure was the father of conveniently botched intelligence.

Dick Cheney and the neocons at the Pentagon started with the conclusion they wanted, then massaged and manipulated the intelligence to back up their wishful thinking.

As The New Republic reported, Mr. Cheney lurked at the C.I.A. in the summer of 2002, an intimidating presence for young analysts. And Douglas Feith set up the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon as a shadow intelligence agency to manufacture propaganda bolstering the administration's case.

The Office of Special Plans turned to the con man Ahmad Chalabi to come up with the evidence they needed. The Iraqi National Congress obliged with information that has now been debunked as exaggerated or fabricated. One gem was the hard-drinking relative of a Chalabi aide, a secret source code-named Curveball, who claimed to verify the mobile weapons labs.

Mr. Cheney and his "Gestapo office," as Colin Powell called it, then shoehorned all their meshugas about Saddam's aluminum tubes, weapons labs, drones and Al Qaeda links into Mr. Powell's U.N. speech.

The former secretary of state spent four days and three nights at the C.I.A. before making the presentation, trying to vet the material, because he knew that Mr. Cheney, who had an idée fixe about Saddam, was trying to tap into his credibility and use him as a battering ram.

He told Germany's Stern magazine that he was "furious and angry" that he had been given bum information about Iraq's arsenal: "Some of the information was wrong. I did not know this at the time."

The vice president and the neocons were in a fever to bypass the C.I.A. and conjure up a case to attack Saddam, even though George Tenet was panting to be of service. When Mr. Tenet put out the new National Intelligence Estimate on Oct. 2, 2002, nine days before the Senate vote on the war resolution and after our troops and aircraft carriers were getting into position for battle, there was one key change: suddenly the agency agreed with Mr. Cheney that Iraq was pursuing the atomic bomb.

Charles Robb, the former senator and governor of Virginia, and Laurence Silberman, a hard-core conservative appeals court judge, headed the commission. Unlike Tom Kean, Judge Silberman held secret meetings; he made sure the unpleasantness wouldn't come up until Mr. Bush had won re-election.

It is laughable that the report offers its most scorching criticism of the C.I.A. when the C.I.A. was simply doing what the White House and Pentagon wanted. Isn't that why Mr. Tenet was given the Medal of Freedom? (Freedom from facts.)

The hawks don't want to learn any lessons here. If they had to do it again, they'd do it the same way. The imaginary weapons and Osama link were just a marketing tool and shiny distraction, something to keep the public from crying while they went to war for reasons unrelated to any nuclear threat.

The 9/11 attacks gave the neocons an opening for their dreams of remaking the Middle East, and they drove the Third Infantry Division through it.

The president planned to announce today that he would put into place many of the commission's recommendations, including an interagency center on proliferation designed to play down turf battles among intelligence agencies.

As Michael Isikoff and Dan Klaidman reported in Newsweek, in the three and a half years since 9/11, the intelligence agencies still haven't learned how to share what they know. At the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, the Homeland Security guy complained he was frozen out by the F.B.I. and C.I.A.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 09:57 PM

In addition to beating a dead horse, Amos also beats his meat while reading Carol C's posts.

Even Jane Fonda and Bill Mahr admitted they were wrong.

Old Guy

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 10:06 PM

Nice to see you back, Old Guy.

You have any specifics about what you think I am wrong about?

You're certainly off the beam a bit on the ad-hominem slurs, but...well, discrimination obviously is not your long suite, so I won't be surprised.

Maybe you think human life is a good token to use for political manipulation?

You think slaughter of innocents is a normal extension of good diplomacy?

I find that idea bestial and worth spitting on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 10:27 AM

Amos you are wrong about everything. Don't be a Jane Fonda, admit it. Old Guy

"Bush foes admit benefits of Iraq policy

By James G. Lakely

Some of the harshest Democratic critics of President Bush's Iraq policy have grudgingly admitted that it has helped spark a growing desire for democracy in the Middle East.
    Democrats aren't taking to the Senate floor to praise Mr. Bush's role in the spectacle of Lebanese protesters demanding independence from Syrian control, or the elections in Iraq, or the news that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have committed to freer elections.
    But many critics of the war -- which Lebanese democrats cite as a turning point in their cause -- are slowly admitting that the president may have done the right thing in quickly taking out Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who delivered a famous "chicken hawk" speech deriding the war advocates in the Bush administration and voted against funding the war, said yesterday that recent developments in Lebanon and Syria suggest the war was a force for good.
    "The war gave the Lebanese the spine they needed," Mr. Lautenberg said yesterday. "It told them, 'We can get rid of these vultures.'Â "
    Sen Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that Mr. Bush deserves some credit for the positive developments in the still volatile region.
    "What's taken place in a number of those countries is enormously constructive," Mr. Kennedy said. "It's a reflection the president has been involved."
    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he didn't hear Mr. Bush's speech yesterday on spreading freedom in the Middle East, but "if there were ever a place in the world where we need democracy, it's in the Middle East."
    "Any breakthrough we get there, whether it's in Lebanon or Egypt, is a step in the right direction and I support the president in that regard," Mr. Reid said. "

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 02:41 PM

Whoa, Old Guy! Don't you know this is the ANTI-BUSH thread! Articles praising him or his policies are strictly not welcome. In order to do penance, you must post at least one article from the New York Times (Brooks ain't allowed of course), or any column in the Washington Post critical of Bush.

And don't do it again! :>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:40 PM

From an article by Yoshi Tsurumi, G.W. Bush's one-time professor at Harvard:

Hail to the Robber Baron?


Thirty years ago, President Bush was my student at Harvard Business School. In my class, he called former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Class of 1904, a "socialist" and spoke against Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other New Deal innovations. He refused to understand that capitalism becomes corrupt without democratic civic values and ethical restraints.

In those days, Bush belonged to a minority of MBA students who were seriously disconnected from taking the moral and social responsibility for their actions. Today, he would fit in comfortably with an overwhelming majority of business students and teachers whose role models are celebrated captains of piracy. Since the 1980s, as neo-conservatives have captured the Republican Party, America's business education has also increasingly become contaminated by the robber baron culture of the pre-Great Depression era.

Bush is the first president of the United States with a Master's of Business Administration (MBA). Yet, he epitomizes the worst aspects of America's business education. To privatize Social Security, he is peddling a colossal lie about its solvency. Furthermore, Bush, along with today's business aristocrats, shows no compassion for working Americans, robbing them to benefit big business and the very rich. Last year, due to Bush's tax cuts, over 80 of America's most profitable 200 corporations did not pay even a penny of their federal and state income taxes. Meanwhile, to pay for his additional tax cuts for the very rich, Bush is drastically cutting back several social services, such as federal lunch programs for poor children.

Business education has also produced former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling and other MBAs behind the malfeasances of Tyco, HealthSouth, Haliburton, AIG, and WorldCom. Many executives of corporate America who hold MBAs have also been engaged in the unethical acts of raiding their corporate treasuries at the expense of employees and stockholders. Emulating President Bush's hubris, a multitude of CEOs in corporate America give themselves obscenely large bonuses that have little to do with their performance. In 1980, the CEOs of Fortune 500 large corporations received, on average, 70 times larger annual compensations than their average employees. Under the Bush Administration, comparable CEOs have come to give themselves 600 to 1,000 times larger annual compensations than their rank-and-file employees whose pay has stagnated. To pay for such self-dealt compensations, corporate aristocrats layoff their workers, cut ordinary employees' health benefits, and outsource jobs abroad. Under the Bush Administration, over five million Americans have lost their health benefits, and the U.S. has lost over 2.7 million quality manufacturing jobs. President Bush and his rapacious "captains of piracy" of corporate America are destroying America's democracy built up since Roosevelt's New Deal era.

Meanwhile, American economics study has increasingly become a pseudoscience of mathematical formula manipulation that is devoid of humanity. This economics has conquered America's business education and become fused with the robber baron culture of greed supremacy. American MBAs are taught to treat ordinary employees as disposable costs and to swallow uncritically the gospel that corporations exist only to reward abstract stockholders. MBAs are taught the pretend-science of manipulating accounting, finance, employees, customers, and stock prices. Financial games and hostile takeovers of competitors are taught to accomplish corporations' sole objective—to make money and manipulate stock prices. Such a mistaken view of corporations has caused the dismal decline of American auto manufacturers while Toyota and Honda widen their market shares and profits in America, pursuing their goals of expanding employment and technological innovations.

To justify the robber baron culture, America's business educators and economists falsely cite their demigod of laissez-faire market economics, Adam Smith. Little do they know that Adam Smith in fact scathingly castigated Bush's type of government: business collusion and unfair taxes, Wal-Mart's exploitations of labor and communities, and robber barons' hubris. Nowhere in his 900-page book, The Wealth of Nations, does Smith even imply that those who knowingly harm others and society in their pursuit of personal greed also benefit their society. He rejects the notion that a corporation exists to make money without ethical constraints.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:57 PM

Se Habla B.S.?

The White House lies about Latinos and Social Security.
By William Saletan (Slate Magazine)
Posted Thursday, March 24, 2005, at 1:03 PM PT

Last week, I faulted the White House for leading the press and public to believe, falsely, that Latinos tend to die younger than whites do. This myth helps to sell President Bush's Social Security reform proposal to Latinos, since it implies that they collect Social Security for fewer years, on average, than whites do. To debunk the myth, I pointed to a U.S. Census report showing that Latinos outlive whites by an average of three years.

Has the administration changed its language since I flagged the error? Yes. The White House no longer obliquely implies that Latinos die younger than whites do. It now repeats that falsehood explicitly.

Let's recap the original transgression. In a meeting three months ago, Bush led outgoing NAACP President Kweisi Mfume to believe (according to a transcript of Mfume's comments afterward) that Latinos and blacks, "because of low life expectancy rates, don't get a chance to get out much of what they put in" to Social Security. Mfume's comments, in turn, led some newspapers to report that Latinos "have lower-than-average life expectancy rates and, as a result, don't draw retirement benefits commensurate with what they pay in payroll taxes over the course of their working lives."

Well, maybe Mfume misunderstood Bush. Mfume said Bush referred to lower life expectancy among "some communities." I've asked Mfume's office for more detail; he hasn't called back. I can't imagine what other "communities" Bush might be talking about, since the Census report shows that all other ethnic groups whose life expectancies are measured by the government live at least as long as whites do. But I can't prove that Bush referred explicitly to Latinos or that he'd been fairly warned that such a reference would be false.

Cheney has neither excuse. Two days ago at a "town hall" meeting in Nevada, the vice president declared, "Life expectancy, for example, among African Americans and Hispanics is less than it is for others. They get a worse return, if you will, out of Social Security than others because they don't live long enough to draw the benefits that was equal what they've paid into the system over time. So it is an important consideration."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:09 PM

I'm not wrong, Old Guy. G.W. Bush may have sparked the hunger for freedom in the oppressed areas of the Arab world, but he has done so at the most horrendous expense imaginable. Anyone can talk freedom and the principles of reason, but only an asshole believes that the best way to express those principles is by shredding human beings up and killing them. Maybe the logic escapes you but no-one here has ever said that the Iraqis were suffering because of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

But they might be suffering because they are facing twice the child mortality rate they were before Bush was elected, or because hundreds of thousands of their civilian population are dead solely and only becaus ehe couldn't keep his armed forces in stand-down. He just had to let them go wreak havoc. An d wreak havoc they have done.

Let me point out that without ANY invasions of comparable magnitude the United States led the shift toward representative democracy all over the planet in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Look it up some time -- the rate of conversion achieved by relatively peaceful means was amazing. and while there was a lot of bloodshed in different places, it wasn't on a patch on John Wayne in the White House. You guys elected a psycho who is intent on tearing down working installations and making things worse, and who is fronting for a bunch of people who are even crazier than he is.

Sorry to stick to my story, but it is too true to let go of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:18 PM

And just for the record, the Washington Times is further in the Republican column than Rush Limbaugh... For 8 long years they ran anti-Clinton headlines in their newspaper... They didn't miss on beat. Every day it was Clinton did this or Clinton did that..

So if you are gonna use the Sun Moonie Times for yer information just remember this: "Garbage in, garbage out..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 11:11 PM

Arthur Finkelstein, prominent Republican consultant who has directed a series of hard-edged political campaigns to elect conservatives in the U.S. and Israel over the past 30 years, said Friday that he had married his male partner in civil ceremony at home in Mass... MORE... Finkelstein said in a brief interview that he had married his partner of 40 years to ensure couple had same benefits available to married heterosexual couples... Developing, NYT, say newsroom sources,,,

Relayed via from Drudge's website.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 11:21 PM

"Delay and Friends" at it again/Bash the Judiciary

via The Carpet Bagger Report:

The fire-breathing Republican rage against judges was finally on the wane. The Terri Schiavo controversy faded from view, several high-profile Republicans started distancing themselves from over-heated rhetoric, and one almost had the impression that cooler heads would once again prevail.

But The Hammer had other ideas. Not satisfied with the current level of anti-judiciary animosity, Tom DeLay has decided to kick things up a notch and generate a new level of anger with courts that occasionally disagree with him.

Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, escalated his talk of a battle between the legislative and judicial branches of government on Thursday, saying federal courts had "run amok," in large part because of the failure of Congress to confront them.

"Judicial independence does not equal judicial supremacy," Mr. DeLay said in a videotaped speech delivered to a conservative conference in Washington entitled "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith."

Mr. DeLay faulted courts for what he said was their invention of rights to abortion and prohibitions on school prayer, saying courts had ignored the intent of Congress and improperly cited international standards and precedents. "These are not examples of a mature society," he said, "but of a judiciary run amok."

"The failure is to a great degree Congress's," Mr. DeLay said. "The response of the legislative branch has mostly been to complain. There is another way, ladies and gentlemen, and that is to reassert our constitutional authority over the courts."

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), for example, appeared in DeLay's place at the right-wing conference yesterday. Smith, whom DeLay put on the House Ethics Committee to help shield him from accountability, parroted the DeLay line.

"Judges continue to substitute their own political views for the law, and we must push back," Smith said. Asked whether he would take steps to retaliate against judges in the Schiavo case, Smith said: "I would certainly be a part of any effort that Tom DeLay was. If that's the direction that the leaders want to go, I would be happy to go that direction as well."

It's not just the House that's been infected with such lunacy.

"I am in favor of impeachment," Michael Schwartz, chief of staff to Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, said in a panel discussion on abortion, suggesting "mass impeachment" might be needed.

 The inflammatory language from GOP lawmakers against the federal judiciary made a right turn at irresponsible-town and is coming up on looneyville. The one Republican who hasn't said much on the subject — George W. Bush — could help bring some of his allies on the Hill back from the brink. Any chance he'll show a little leadership here?

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 11:27 PM

If you have Windows Media Viewer and want to see the fat cats square-on, I offer this link to Jon Stewarts recent contribution to that fine art:

Don't miss it -- he is unbelievably good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 12:17 AM

If you consider an engineering approach to problems (what are my metrics, how am I meeting them) or the startup approach to a problem (what is my business plan, have I satisfied my investors) the Bush administration is a failure. Jobs flat across four years, market flat, deficits up, debt up, abortions up, Iraqi death rate no better than under Saddam (but we've privatized their hellhole, that's got to count for something, right?), bin Ladin still at large, anthrax poisoner still unidentified, A.Q. Khan still loose in Pakistan, North Korea developing nukes and missiles, strong possibility of an Iran-friendly "democratic" Iraqi government, unfounded mandates to meet ridiculous educational goals -- the only thing that this government has actually delivered (even to the fundies) is tax cuts, and those we clearly cannot afford in the long run.

And the conduct of the Iraq war; holy crap, what a disaster that has been in the cost/benefit department. We cannot even certainly say that the Iraqis are "better off"; it's entirely possible that they were better off under Saddam and sanctions. We can hope that things will improve, but we're still at the "hope" stage.

# posted by dr2chase : Fri Apr 08, 07:23:56 PM PDT

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 02:39 AM

Killing Off Housing for the Poor

Published: April 9, 2005 (NY Times)

The Bush administration pays lip service to the goal of "ending chronic homelessness" - while undermining the very programs that keep poor people from ending up in the streets. The Housing and Urban Development Department is proposing unreasonable cuts in federal subsidies, which would make it harder for underfinanced housing authorities to keep their developments livable and safe. And a proposal in Congress would make it harder for the poor to get rental subsidies from Section 8, the public-private partnership that underwrites rents for nearly two million of the country's low-income families and encourages builders to develop affordable housing.

This meat-ax approach has to stop. Congress needs to understand that poor people won't just disappear when the housing that serves them dries up.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM


from a site maintained by Arthur Silber

No, a Stalinist theocracy is not a contradiction. Too many people still make the mistake of thinking that atheism was central to communism. But of course, it wasn't: collectivism was the essence of communism (and of socialism, and of fascism too)—the idea that the individual is of no consequence, and that the "public good" and the "national welfare" trump everything else. More broadly: a belief in God is only one form of irrationalism—and there are many others, including collectivism itself (in any of its many forms).

So you can be a full-blown collectivist and believe in God, as many tyrants from history have demonstrated. And in the wake of the Schiavo affair, we now see one version of this thoroughly repellent and vicious combination—and we also see explicitly what certain elements of the GOP are after:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer—and perhaps a few more bodyguards.

Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.

Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment." ...

(See link for rest of story).


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 12:56 AM



It happened quietly, with barely a mention in the media. Only the Washington Post dutifully reported it.[1] And only Kevin Phillips saw its significance in his new book, American Dynasty.[2] On December 24, 2001, Pat Robertson resigned his position as President of the Christian Coalition.


Behind the scenes religious conservatives were abuzz with excitement. They believed Robertson had stepped down to allow the ascendance of the President of the United States of America to take his rightful place as the head of the true American Holy Christian Church.


Robertson's act was symbolic, but it carried a secret and solemn revelation to the faithful. It was the signal that the Bush administration was a government under God that was led by an anointed President who would be the first regent in a dynasty of regents awaiting the return of Jesus to earth. The President would now be the minister through whom God would execute His will in the nation. George W. Bush accepted his scepter and his sword with humility, grace and a sense of exultation.


As Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court explained a few months later, the Bible teaches and Christians believe "… that government …derives its moral authority from God. Government is the 'minister of God' with powers to 'revenge,' to 'execute wrath,' including even wrath by the sword…"[3]


George W. Bush began to wield the sword of God's revenge with relish from the beginning of his administration, but most of us missed the sword play. I have taken the liberty to paraphrase an illustration from Leo Strauss, the father of the neo-conservative movement, which gives us a clue of how the hiding is done:



"One ought not to say to those whom one wants to kill, 'Give me your votes, because your votes will enable me to kill you and I want to kill you,' but merely, 'Give me your votes,' for once you have the power of the votes in your hand, you can satisfy your desire."[4]



Notwithstanding the advice, the President's foreign policy revealed a flair for saber rattling. He warned the world that "nations are either with us or they're against us!" His speeches, often containing allusions to biblical passages, were spoken with the certainty of a man who holds the authority of God's wrath on earth, for he not only challenged the evil nations of the world, singling out Iraq, Syria, Iran, and North Korea as the "axis of evil," but he wielded the sword of punishment and the sword of revenge against his own people: the American poor and the middle class who according to the religious right have earned God's wrath by their licentiousness and undisciplined lives.


To the middle class he said, "I'm going to give you clear skies clean air and clean water," then he gutted the environmental controls that were designed to provide clean air and water. The estimated number of premature deaths that will result: 100,000.[5] He said to the poor and to the middle class: "I'm going to give you a prescription drug program, one that you truly deserve." Then he gave the drug industry an estimated $139 billion dollars in increased profits from the Medicare funds and arranged for the poorest of seniors to be eliminated from coverage, while most elderly will pay more for drugs than they paid before his drug benefit bill passed.[6] After that he arranged for the dismantling of the Medicare program entirely, based on the method outlined by his religious mentors.[7] He said to the people of America, "I'm going to build a future for you and your children," then he gutted their future with tax breaks to the rich and a pre-emptive war against Iraq, and the largest spending deficit in history.[8]


This article is the documented story of how a political religious movement called Dominionism gained control of the Republican Party, then took over Congress, then took over the White House, and now is sealing the conversion of America to a theocracy by taking over the American Judiciary.  It's the story of why and how "the wrath of God Almighty" will be unleashed against the middle class, against the poor, and against the elderly and sick of this nation by George W. Bush and his army of Republican Dominionist "rulers."

 The rest of this article can be found at The Despoiling of America.



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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 09:11 AM

From today's Slate:

It's Time To Write a Dear John
Bolton's appalling confirmation-hearings performance.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005, at 3:56 PM PT

John Bolton, George W. Bush's astonishingly brazen choice to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, came off badly at his confirmation hearings today—bloodless, evasive, and mendacious—in ways that should give senators cause to reject him, regardless of whether they agree with the president's policies or even with the substance of Bolton's views.

The hearings will continue for another day or two—to hear from officials who have had run-ins with Bolton and, possibly, to give him a chance for rebuttal—but, after today's session, his nomination should be put down for three reasons, quite apart from the many reasons that his critics (and I count myself among them) have laid out in recent weeks.

First, the evidence suggests that Bolton, while he was undersecretary of state, tried to pressure and dismiss intelligence analysts who challenged his own preconceptions ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 12:53 PM

Bush's fraudulent SOcial Security scam is roundly exposed in a series of flash movies by citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 05 - 07:14 PM

Gov't Admits Concentration Camp Plan

By David Rydel

In a revealing admission the Director of Resource Management for the U.S. Army confirmed the validity of a memorandum relating to the establishment of a civilian inmate labor program under development by the Department for the Army. The document states, "Enclosed for your review and comment is the draft Army regulation on civilian inmate labor utilisation" and the procedure to "establish civilian prison camps on installations." Cherith Chronicle, June 1997

Civilian internment camps, or prison camps (more commonly known as concentration camps), have been the subject of much rumor and speculation during the past few years in America. Several publications have devoted space to the topic and many talk radio programs have dealt with the issue.

However, Congressman Gonzales clarified the question of the existence of civilian detention camps. In an interview the congressman stated, "the truth is yes – you do have these standing provisions, and the plans are here."

Congress repealed the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 twenty years later in 1971. Seemingly the threat of civilian internment in the U.S. was over, but not in reality. The Senate held hearings in December, 1975, revealing the ongoing internment plan which had never been terminated. The report, entitled "Intelligence Activities, Senate Resolution 21," disclosed the covert agenda. In a series of documents, memos and testimony by government informants, the picture emerged of the designs by the federal governments to monitor, infiltrate, arrest and incarcerate a potentially large segment of American society.

The Senate report also revealed the existence of the Master Search Warrant (MSW) and the Master Arrest Warrant (MAW) which are currently in force. The MAW document, authorized by the U.S. Attorney General, directs the head of the FBI to: "Arrest persons whom I deem dangerous to the public peace and safety. These persons are to be detained and confined until further order." The MSW also instructs the FBI Director to "search certain premises where it is believed that there may be found contraband, prohibited articles, or other materials in violation of the Proclamation of the President of the United States." It includes such items as firearms, shortwave radio receiving sets, cameras, propaganda materials, printing presses, mimeograph machines, membership and financial records of organisations or groups that have been declared subversive, or may be hereafter declared subversive by the Attorney General."

Since the Senate hearings in 1975, the steady development of highly specialized surveillance capabilities, combined with exploding computerised information technologies, have enabled a massive data base of personal information to be developed on millions of unsuspecting American citizens. It is all in place awaiting only a presidential declaration to be enforced by both military and civilian police.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), whose black budget comes from the Department of Defense, has worked closely with the Pentagon in an effort to avoid the legal restrictions of the Posse Comitatus. While FEMA may not have been directly responsible for these precedent-setting cases, the principle of federal control was seen during the Los Angeles riots in 1992 with the federalization of the National Guard and during the siege at Waco, where Army tanks with flame throwers were involved in the final conflagration.

The Deputy Attorney General of California commented at a conference that anyone who attacks the State, even verbally, becomes a revolutionary and an enemy by definition. Louis Guiffreda, who was head of FEMA, stated that "legitimate violence is integral to our form of government, for it is from this source that we continue to purge our weaknesses."

It is significant to note that the dictionary definition of terrorism: "the calculated use of violence" corresponds precisely to the governments stated policy of the "use of legitimate violence." One might ask, who are the real terrorists? Guiffreda's remark gives a revealing insight into the thinking of those who have been charged with oversight of the welfare of the citizens of this country. If one's convictions or philosophy does not correspond with the government's agenda, that individual may find himself on the government's enemy list. This makes him a 'target' to be 'purged' by the use of legitimate violence."

From 'The Gospel News Alert' April 1998. Gospel Ministries, PO Box 9411, Boise, Idaho 83707, USA.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 05 - 07:16 PM

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How Christian Is George Bush?

by Robert Kenji Flowers

How Christian is George W. Bush? I must answer adamantly, "Not very!" At the outset, one risks the danger of being judgmental. Here are a few reasons why I'll take that risk.

On March 8 in Washington, D.C., several faith groups met to critique the 2006 Federal Budget Plan and denounced it as "unjust." Leaders of five mainline Protestant denominations (Episcopal Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church) strongly denounced Bush's 2006 Federal Budget Plan. The group said, "The 2006 federal budget that President Bush has sent to Capitol Hill is unjust," charging that the budget would move 300,000 people off food stamps, cut day care programs for 300,000 children, and reduce funding for Medicaid by roughly $45 billion over the next decade. These church leaders iterated, "For even as it reduces aid to those in poverty, this budget showers presents to the rich. ... Jesus makes clear that perpetrating economic injustice is among the gravest of sins. If passed in its current form, it would take Jesus' teaching on economic justice and stand it on its head."

Jim Winkler, a United Methodist leader, said, "The federal budget is a moral document. It is a statement of our national priorities—of what, and more importantly, who we as a nation value. The budget Congress will consider this week is out of step with our nation's priorities, adrift from the values taught by our faith traditions."

Another religious effort—Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs—produced a statement entitled, A Faith Reflection on the Federal Budget. It outlines three criteria to consider in the Federal Budget:

1.) Does it benefit community and the common good?

2.) Does it give concern for those who are poor and vulnerable?

3.) Does it promote economic justice?

This statement drew endorsement from the following religious entities: American Baptist Churches USA, American Friends Service Committee, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Church of the Brethren Witness, The Episcopal Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Mennonite Central Committee, NETWORK (A Catholic Social Justice Lobby), Presbyterian Church USA, Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ Justice & Witness, the United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society, and Women of Reform Judaism, just to name a few (there were twenty-three total).

Bush's United Methodist beliefs should also be called into question. Two issues are glaring. First, Bush's preemptive doctrine of war is in clear violation of the United Methodist Church's position on war and peace. United Methodists have long held anti-war positions, while at the same time allowing for just war language (namely criteria of last resort, appropriate international organizations, and to oppose aggression and/or genocide). Clearly, this current preemptive war violates the United Methodist Church's positions on war.

Second, this administration's record with regards to the environment are suspect at best, grossly negligent at worse. In a column from last year, United Methodist Bishop William Boyd Grove wrote these words: "The Social Principles of the President's Church declares, All creation is the Lord's and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life are to be valued and conserved because they are God's creation, and not solely because they are useful to human beings." Further he stated, "In violation of this teaching, the policies of the administration have rolled back legislation protecting the environment that has been in force for many years under presidents of both parties, and our government has refused to sign international treaties on global warming and other threats to the environment."

These are just a few reasons why I am deeply troubled as to how some still think that Bush upholds religious and/or Christian values. Clearly, a significant number of religious voices in our nation—voices other than the Religious Right—has differing opinions about these so-called values.

It is time that religious communities across our country speak clearly and honestly about this President's religious values, or lack thereof. As one sacred text avows, "You will know them by their fruit."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Apr 05 - 10:19 AM


In today's New York Times, Thomas Friedman's column highlights "Down to the Wire" by Thomas Bleha in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs:

"Thomas Bleha, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer in Japan, has a fascinating piece in the May-June issue of Foreign Affairs that begins like this: 'In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Today, most U.S. homes can access only 'basic' broadband, among the slowest, most expensive and least reliable in the developed world, and the United States has fallen even further behind in mobile-phone-based Internet access. The lag is arguably the result of the Bush administration's failure to make a priority of developing these networks. In fact, the United States is the only industrialized state without an explicit national policy for promoting broadband.'"

· Full text of Bleha's article,
"Down to the Wire",c8cd,oln,6va3,66qe,h6kd,b3gi
· Full text of Friedman's column, "Bush Disarms Unilaterally",c8cd,oln,8s84,v5a,h6kd,b3gi

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM

Poor Churlish Amos:
"As We See It: Time to give Bush credit

Martin Peretz, editor in chief of the magazine and a strong supporter of Al Gore in 2000, writes: "The achievements of Bush's foreign policy abroad represent a revolution in the foreign policy culture at home."

That revolution, he says, flies in the face not only of Clinton policies, but also the policies of Bush's father and his secretary of state, James Baker.

Peretz had greeted Bush's policies, originally, with condemnation. Now, he says, "I was wrong, and in light of what has been achieved in the Middle East, I am glad to say so. Most American liberals, alas, enjoy no similar gladness. They are not exactly pleased by the positive results of Bush's campaign in the Middle East. They deny and resent and begrudge and snipe. They are trapped in the politics of churlishness."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 07:59 AM

Couldn't agree more with the above article about Bush's Faith or lace thereof... When his daddy sent him down to Luisiana whemn he was supposed to be fulfilling is militray obligation to work in a political campaign that's when Bush supposed found his Faith. I emphansize *supposedly* since all this supposed faith has done is make him an attractive political campaigner in the Bible Belt.

His policies as Texas governor where he ordered the state to make it difficult for the poor to get Medicaid benefits they were entitled to telegraphed his lasck of Chritain values, Throw in the fact the he was governor of the state-instituted muder capital of the United States as one poor person after another was ramrodded thru his *in*justice system right into the grave...

Now, to wit, the most unChristain federal budget in half a century that places its values on the modern day Romans...

Yeah, this is a Faith-less man and he has surrounded himself with like heathens who are also Faithless...

And lets not forget the Hitler also professed to have Christain values...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 08:00 AM

Amos more thickheaded than the Libs he quotes:

Subject: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 01:34 PM

Finally, a candidate who can explain the Bush administration's positions on civil liberties in the original German." -- Bill Maher, on Schwarzenegger running for Governor.

For Bill Maher, it's time to get real
The standup sounds off on his Portland visit and how he and TV are changing
Friday, March 25, 2005

"Though he leans to the left, Maher tweaks liberals as well as conservatives. So what does he have planned to provoke his blue-state Portland fans?

"When I inform them that as much as it hurts, you have to give some credit to (George W.) Bush for the way it's turning out now in the Middle East. That's a bitter pill for all of us who so severely opposed Bush." "

Swallow the pill Amos.

Old Guy

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 08:07 AM

Churlsih, my ass.

The man is a nutsoid warmonger and a destroyer of persons and organizations. His back-track is littered with corpses and failed companies. He can't rub two thoughts together and chew gum at the same time.

I am pretty glad the road map is in place for settling the long long fight between Israel and Palestine. When I see it happen to completion I will applaud.

Bush did not write it and couldn't have come up with it in his own. But not to split hairs, credit to the administration if they pull it off, at that time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 08:25 AM


Credit? I can hardly belive my eyes.

The Ireael Pallestine conflict is improving mainly due to the death of the terrorist Yasser Arafat.

Clinton and Bush tried very hard the get that arrogant asshole to sign an agreement but to no avail.

Old Guy

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 08:45 AM

See? No churl, he!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 01:59 PM

Here's the article:

Posted on Sun, Apr. 17, 2005
Quiet change in priorities poses dire threat

Mercury News Editorial

Of all the government sources of funding for basic technology research,
few have delivered more breakthroughs for Silicon Valley and the U.S.
economy than the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,

That's why a shift away from basic and university research in DARPA
funding is alarming for the valley and for the future of innovation in
the United States. Long-term casualties could eventually include
America's competitiveness and military readiness.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration doesn't get it. White House
representatives have said that warnings about America's fading
competitiveness are false alarms.

Perhaps lawmakers can set them straight. Some 35 senators and
representatives recently expressed concerns about the falloff in
Pentagon funding for basic research. They need to turn up the volume
and broaden this debate.

The shift at DARPA already is affecting computer science and
engineering departments at leading universities across the country. It
is taking money away from basic research and putting it into narrowly
defined projects with short-term goals. These kinds of projects tend to
favor military contractors over academic institutions.

That's undermining an irreplaceable resource. The kind of university
research that DARPA historically funded has produced breakthroughs in
knowledge itself. Its results were shared broadly by the tech industry
and defense circles alike.

What's more, the shift is undermining a symbiotic relationship between
university and military researchers with a long list of successes,
including recent advances in network-based battlefield technologies and
sensor networks. By focusing on shorter-term projects, many of them
classified, university graduate students are unable to participate.
``That's a bad thing, because our mission is to educate the next
generation,'' says Jim Plummer, dean of Stanford's engineering school. (...)

More arrant and arrogant stupidity from the elected representative of the dull and unthinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 03:03 PM

An insight into the Furless Leeder's sense of importances, from the Washington Post:

And now, the In the Loop Award for political reporting goes to Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell for his insightful coverage of opening day for the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium and particularly his interview of Nationals President Tony Tavares.

Tavares, who had chatted with President Bush and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, said Bush was "so up on the game that it's astounding." At one point, he said by way of example, a question arose as to who was the best catcher in the National League.

"I blanked on who catches for the Phillies," Tavares said. "I asked the commissioner. He didn't know. The president said, '[Mike] Lieberthal.' "

Bush's sports expertise seems to go beyond the majors, even beyond baseball. In the latest edition of Alumnews, the journal for graduates of Georgetown Prep in Rockville, writer Joseph Seib, son of the Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib, recounts meeting Bush at the most recent White House Christmas party for reporters.

Bush, upon learning that Joseph played baseball for Prep, asked, "Is your league going to boot your baseball team out of the league for being too good like they did the football team?"

Not bad for a guy who says he doesn't read the newspapers.

Whose Idea Was That?

On the other hand, it's hard to keep up with every tiny little thing in the paper. Take the new, White House-approved policy to require U.S. citizens to show passports when they reenter the country from Mexico and Canada -- and require the same for citizens of those countries.

"When I first read that in the newspaper about the need to have passports," Bush told a meeting of editors Wednesday, "I said, 'What's going on here?' "

Hmmmmm. He sure has his eye on the ball, this one. Wish he had chosen the right ball, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 03:37 PM

In reflecting on the anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt's death, Bob Herbert writes in the NY Times of the dramatic contrast in moral standing between FDR and W.


"...It's a measure of the distance the U.S. has traveled from the egalitarian ideals championed by F.D.R. His goal was "to make a country in which no one is left out." That kind of thinking has long since been consigned to the political dumpster. We're now in the age of Bush, Cheney and DeLay, small men committed to the concentration of big bucks in the hands of the fortunate few.

To get a sense of just how radical Roosevelt was (compared with the politics of today), consider the State of the Union address he delivered from the White House on Jan. 11, 1944. He was already in declining health and, suffering from a cold, he gave the speech over the radio in the form of a fireside chat.

After talking about the war, which was still being fought on two fronts, the president offered what should have been recognized immediately for what it was, nothing less than a blueprint for the future of the United States. It was the clearest statement I've ever seen of the kind of nation the U.S. could have become in the years between the end of World War II and now. Roosevelt referred to his proposals in that speech as "a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race or creed."

Among these rights, he said, are:

"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.

"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.

"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.

"The right of every family to a decent home.

"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.

"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.

"The right to a good education."

I mentioned this a few days ago to an acquaintance who is 30 years old. She said, "Wow, I can't believe a president would say that."

Roosevelt's vision gave conservatives in both parties apoplexy in 1944 and it would still drive them crazy today. But the truth is that during the 1950's and 60's the nation made substantial progress toward his wonderfully admirable goals, before the momentum of liberal politics slowed with the war in Vietnam and the election in 1968 of Richard Nixon.

It wouldn't be long before Ronald Reagan was, as the historian Robert Dallek put it, attacking Medicare as "the advance wave of socialism" and Dick Cheney, from a seat in Congress, was giving the thumbs down to Head Start. Mr. Cheney says he has since seen the light on Head Start. But his real idea of a head start is to throw government money at people who already have more cash than they know what to do with. He's one of the leaders of the G.O.P. gang (the members should all wear masks) that has executed a wholesale transfer of wealth via tax cuts from working people to the very rich.

Roosevelt was far from a perfect president, but he gave hope and a sense of the possible to a nation in dire need. And he famously warned against giving in to fear.

The nation is now in the hands of leaders who are experts at exploiting fear, and indifferent to the needs and hopes, even the suffering, of ordinary people.

"The test of our progress," said Roosevelt, "is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Sixty years after his death we should be raising a toast to F.D.R. and his progressive ideas. And we should take that opportunity to ask: How in the world did we allow ourselves to get from there to here?"

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 08:34 PM

The question of how world-class an asininity going to war in Iraq was is illuminated by the following comments on the current budget scrap in Congress:

"Overall, the Senate version would cost roughly $81 billion, less than the $81.4 billion the House approved and the $81.9 billion the president proposed. The legislation, the fifth emergency spending package Congress has passed for war since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, would push the total cost of combat and reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and operations against terrorists worldwide beyond $300 billion."

From CNN, this date.

Just imagine if a wiser man had been in office who had understood the power of public relations, ethical standards and the goals and purposes of the nation a bit better. I dare say he could have accomplished more by now than Bush has on all fronts for an eighth of the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 09:54 PM

Actually, Old Guy, Bush's Isreali/Palestinian forieng policy os to let them fight it out... He turned his back on this conflict the day he was innugurated in jan, 2001... Might of fact, he tunrned his back on everything that Clinton had ever tried to do... In essence, he threw the baby out with the bath water... Clinton for it? I'm against it...

Yeah, lets get friggin' real here Bush's policy on the Isreali/Palestinian conflict (war), no, resisted occupation... Can you say that his policy has worked? Are you on drugs, 'er what? It has been a terible failure...

Yeah, sure, with Arafat dieing there is an opportunity for some progress but it's a limited opportunity... If Sharon keeps allowing the settlers to bulldoze Palestianian homes then this window of opportinity will close and it will be back to the same BS....

Yeah, if you wanta go pat Bush on the back, fine. Just do it knowing the thruth... Hey, if yer the kinda guy that would bulldoze yer neighbor's house, push him out and build one for yerself on the same ground where your neighbor used to live, then there's probably not enough pats on the back to go around in yer little clan...

Not in my name, thank you...

Peace and justice...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 10:43 AM

YEt another gem of cogntiive mismanagement by the world's most incompetent American president:

"We look forward to analyzing and working with legislation that will make—it would hope—put a free press's mind at ease that you're not being denied information you shouldn't see." —Washington, D.C., April 14, 2005

Obviously this is a man who has no qualms about inconsistency or self-contradiction. He does it in a single breath!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 06:39 PM

Any Kerry Supporters On The Line?
The Bush Administration punishes some Democrat backers

Sunday, Apr. 24, 2005
The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission meets three times a year
in various cities across the Americas to discuss such dry but important
issues as telecommunications standards and spectrum regulations. But for
this week's meeting in Guatemala City, politics has barged onto the
agenda. At least four of the two dozen or so U.S. delegates selected for
the meeting, sources tell TIME, have been bumped by the White House
because they supported John Kerry's 2004 campaign.

The State Department has traditionally put together a list of industry
representatives for these meetings, and anyone in the U.S. telecom
industry who had the requisite expertise and wanted to go was generally
given a slot, say past participants. Only after the start of Bush's
second term did a political litmus test emerge, industry sources say.

The White House admits as much: "We wanted people who would represent
the Administration positively, and--call us nutty--it seemed like those
who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would
have some difficulty doing that," says White House spokesman Trent
Duffy. Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and
Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well
as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. One
nixed participant, who has been to many of these telecom meetings and
who wants to remain anonymous, gave just $250 to the Democratic Party.
Says Nokia vice president Bill Plummer: "We do not view sending experts
to international meetings on telecom issues to be a partisan matter. We
would welcome clarification from the White House."

That'll be a cold day in hell -- obviously, the White House is about to be clear on one thing only. NOTHING counts except Bushie's boyos, and absent that all bets are off. What arrogant fascistic meddling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:29 PM

Krugman puts it in a nutshell:

he Oblivious Right


Published: April 25, 2005


Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

According to John Snow, the Treasury secretary, the global economy is in a "sweet spot." Conservative pundits close to the administration talk, without irony, about a "Bush boom."

Yet two-thirds of Americans polled by Gallup say that the economy is "only fair" or "poor." And only 33 percent of those polled believe the economy is improving, while 59 percent think it's getting worse.

Is the administration's obliviousness to the public's economic anxiety just partisanship? I don't think so: President Bush and other Republican leaders honestly think that we're living in the best of times. After all, everyone they talk to says so.

Since November's election, the victors have managed to be on the wrong side of public opinion on one issue after another: the economy, Social Security privatization, Terri Schiavo, Tom DeLay. By large margins, Americans say that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and Mr. Bush is the least popular second-term president on record.

What's going on? Actually, it's quite simple: Mr. Bush and his party talk only to their base - corporate interests and the religious right - and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns.

The administration's upbeat view of the economy is a case in point. Corporate interests are doing very well. As a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, over the last three years profits grew at an annual rate of 14.5 percent after inflation, the fastest growth since World War II.

The story is very different for the great majority of Americans, who live off their wages, not dividends or capital gains, and aren't doing well at all. Over the past three years, wage and salary income grew less than in any other postwar recovery - less than a tenth as fast as profits. But wage-earning Americans aren't part of the base.

The same obliviousness explains Mr. Bush's decision to make Social Security privatization his main policy priority. He doesn't talk to anyone outside the base, so he didn't realize what he was getting into.

In retrospect, it was a terrible political blunder: the privatization campaign has quickly degenerated from juggernaut to joke. According to CBS, only 25 percent of the public have confidence in Mr. Bush's ability to make the right decisions about Social Security; 70 percent are "uneasy."

The point is that people sense, correctly, that Mr. Bush doesn't understand their concerns. He was sold on privatization by people who have made their careers in the self-referential, corporate-sponsored world of conservative think tanks. And he himself has no personal experience with the risks that working families face. He's probably never imagined what it would be like to be destitute in his old age, with no guaranteed income.

The same syndrome has been visible on cultural issues. Republican leaders in Congress, who talk only to the religious right, were shocked at the public backlash over their meddling in the Schiavo case. Did I mention that Rick Santorum is 14 points behind his likely challenger?

It all makes you wonder how these people ever ended up running the country in the first place. But remember that in 2000, Mr. Bush pretended to be a moderate, and that in the next two elections he used the Iraq war as a wedge to divide and perplex the Democrats.

In that context, it's worth noting two more poll results: in one taken before the recent resurgence of violence in Iraq, and the administration's announcement that it needs yet another $80 billion, 53 percent of Americans said that the Iraq war wasn't worth it. And 50 percent say that "the administration deliberately misled the public about whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction."

Democracy Corps, the Democratic pollsters, say that there is a "crisis of confidence in the Republican direction for the country." As they're careful to point out, this won't necessarily translate into a surge of support for Democrats.

But Americans are feeling a sense of dread: they're worried about a weak job market, soaring health care costs, rising oil prices and a war that seems to have no end. And they're starting to notice that nobody in power is even trying to deal with these problems, because the people in charge are too busy catering to a base that has other priorities.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:35 PM

From Bob Herbert's column in the NY Times, an effort to require the nation to confront what they supported when they allowed Bush to drive the US Armed Forces into Iraq:

"...The vast amount of suffering and death endured by civilians as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has, for the most part, been carefully kept out of the consciousness of the average American. I can't think of anything the Bush administration would like to talk about less. You can't put a positive spin on dead children.

As for the press, it has better things to cover than the suffering of civilians in war. The aversion to this topic is at the opposite extreme from the ecstatic journalistic embrace of the death of one pope and the election of another, and the media's manic obsession with the comings and goings of Martha, Jacko, et al.

There's been hardly any media interest in the unrelieved agony of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq. It's an ugly subject, and the idea has taken hold that Americans need to be protected from stories or images of the war that might be disturbing. As a nation we can wage war, but we don't want the public to be too upset by it.

So the public doesn't even hear about the American bombs that fall mistakenly on the homes of innocent civilians, wiping out entire families. We hear very little about the frequent instances of jittery soldiers opening fire indiscriminately, killing and wounding men, women and children who were never a threat in the first place. We don't hear much about the many children who, for one reason or another, are shot, burned or blown to eternity by our forces in the name of peace and freedom.

Out of sight, out of mind.

This stunning lack of interest in the toll the war has taken on civilians is one of the reasons Ms. Ruzicka, who was just 28 when she died, felt compelled to try to personally document as much of the suffering as she could. At times she would go from door to door in the most dangerous areas, taking down information about civilians who had been killed or wounded. She believed fiercely that Americans needed to know about the terrible pain the war was inflicting, and that we had an obligation to do everything possible to mitigate it.

Her ultimate goal, which Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is pursuing, was to establish a U.S. government office, perhaps in the State Department, to document the civilian casualties of American military operations. That information would then be publicly reported. Compensation would be provided for victims and their families, and the data would be studied in an effort to minimize civilian casualties in future operations.

War is always about sorrow and the deepest suffering. Nitwits try to dress it up in the finery of half-baked rationalizations, but the reality is always wanton bloodshed, rotting flesh and the lifelong trauma of those who are physically or psychically maimed.

More than 600 people attended Ms. Ruzicka's funeral on Saturday in her hometown of Lakeport, Calif. Among them was Bobby Muller, chairman of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. A former Marine lieutenant, he knows something about the agony of war. His spinal cord was severed when he was shot in the back in Vietnam.

He told the mourners: "Marla demonstrated that an individual can make a profound difference in this world. Her life was dedicated to innocent victims of conflict, exactly what she ended up being.""

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

How Bush Blew the Korean problem:
(Excerpted from The NY Times)

"Here's a foreign affairs quiz:

(1) How many nuclear weapons did North Korea produce in Bill Clinton's eight years of office?

(2) How many nuclear weapons has it produced so far in President Bush's four years in office?

The answer to the first question, by all accounts, is zero. The answer to the second is fuzzier, but about six.

The total will probably rise in coming months, for North Korea has shut down its Yongbyon reactor and says that it plans to extract the fuel rods from it. That will give it enough plutonium for two or three more weapons.

The single greatest failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy concerns North Korea. Mr. Bush's policies toward North Korea have backfired and led the North to churn out nuclear weapons, and they have also antagonized our allies and diminished America's stature in Asia.

The upshot is that there's a significantly greater risk of another Korean War, a greater likelihood that other Asian countries, like Japan, will eventually go nuclear as well, and a greater risk that terrorists will acquire plutonium or uranium.

In fairness, all this is more Kim Jong Il's fault than Mr. Bush's. Right now some administration officials are glaring at this page and muttering expletives about smarty-pants journalists who don't appreciate how wretched all the options are.

But if the Bush administration had just adopted the policies that Colin Powell initially pushed for - and that Mr. Bush largely came to accept several years later - then this mess could probably have been averted.

You don't have to take it from me. Charles Pritchard, the ambassador and special envoy who was the point man for North Korea in the first Bush administration, says of this administration's decision-makers: "They blew it." Another expert still involved in North Korea policy puts it this way: "Their A.B.C. approach - 'Anything but Clinton' - led to these problems."

A bit of background: North Korea made one or two nuclear weapons around 1989, during the first Bush administration, but froze its plutonium program under the 1994 "Agreed Framework" with the Clinton administration. North Korea adhered to the freeze on plutonium production, but about 1999, it secretly started on a second nuclear route involving uranium.

That was much less worrisome than the plutonium program (it still seems to be years from producing a single uranium weapon), and it probably could have been resolved through negotiation, as past crises had been.

Instead, Mr. Bush refused to negotiate bilaterally, so now we have the worst of both worlds: that uranium program is still in place, and the plutonium program is churning out weapons material as well.

Now the administration talks about asking the Security Council for some kind of limited quarantine for North Korea. That won't fly, because China and South Korea won't enforce it.

It's more likely that North Korea will continue to churn out plutonium as well as uranium, and perhaps conduct an underground nuclear test. And administration hawks will again consider a military strike on Yongbyon, even though that would risk another Korean War.

North Korea is the most odious country in the world today. It has been caught counterfeiting U.S. dollars and smuggling drugs, and prisoners have been led along with wire threaded through their collarbones so they can't run away. While some two million North Koreans were starving to death in the late 1990's, Mr. Kim spent $2.6 million on Swiss watches. He's the kind of man who, when he didn't like a haircut once, executed the barber.

But Mr. Bush seems frozen in the headlights, unable to take any action at all toward North Korea. American policy now is to hope that Mr. Kim has a heart attack.

Selig Harrison, an American scholar just back from Pyongyang, says North Korean officials told him that in direct negotiations with the U.S., they would be willing to discuss a return to their plutonium freeze. Everything would depend on the details, including verification, but why are we refusing so adamantly even to explore this possibility?

The irony is that Mr. Bush's policies toward North Korea have steadily become more reasonable over time. Perhaps by the time he leaves office, he'll finally be willing to negotiate seriously with the North Koreans.

But by then North Korea will have well over a dozen nuclear weapons, the risks of a terrorist nuclear explosion at Grand Central Terminal will be increased, and our influence in Asia will be in tatters."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 11:04 PM

More unconstitutional asininity posing as politics, compliments of the Bush-brain his thuggee gang:

"To the dismay of many mainstream religious leaders, the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, participated in a weekend telecast organized by conservative Christian groups to smear Democrats as enemies of "people of faith." Besides listening to Senator Frist's videotaped speech, viewers heard a speaker call the Supreme Court a despotic oligarchy. Meanwhile, the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has threatened the judiciary for not following the regressive social agenda he shares with the far-right fundamentalists controlling his party.

Apart from confirming an unwholesome disrespect for traditional American values like checks and balances, the assault on judges is part of a wide-ranging and successful Republican campaign to breach the wall between church and state to advance a particular brand of religion. No theoretical exercise, the program is having a corrosive effect on policymaking and the lives of Americans.

The centerpiece is President Bush's so-called faith-based initiative, which disregards decades of First Amendment law and civil rights protections. Mr. Bush promised that federal money would not be used to support religious activities directly, but it is. The program has channeled billions of taxpayers' dollars to churches and other religion-based providers of social services under legally questionable rules that allow plenty of room for proselytizing and imposing religious tests on hiring. The initiative even provides taxpayers' money to build and renovate houses of worship that are also used to offer social services.

Offices in the White House and federal departments pump public money to religious groups, but provide scant oversight or accountability to make sure that the money is spent on real services, not preaching. Indeed, Mr. Bush's goal is to finance programs that are explicitly religious.

A recent want ad posted by a taxpayer-financed vocational program of the Firm Foundation for inmates in a Pennsylvania jail stipulated that a job seeker must be "a believer in Christ and Christian Life today" and that the workday "will start with a short prayer." A major portion of inmates' time is spent on religious lectures and prayer, according to a lawsuit filed by two civil liberties groups.

The Bush administration and Congress have turned over issues bearing on women's reproductive rights to far-right religious groups opposed not just to abortion, but to expanded stem-cell research, effective birth control and AIDS prevention programs. The Food and Drug Administration continues to dawdle over approving over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for fear of inflaming members of the religious right who deem any interference with the implantation of a fertilized egg to be an abortion. This foot-dragging may be good politics from one narrow view, but it harms women and drives up the nation's abortion rate."

Excerpted from the NY Times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 01:15 AM

The bullyraggers and thuggees at the pyramids high levels ride again. There's an interesting lack of outrage these days as the encroachments extend and the privileges continue to grow at the top. I begin to understand the silence of the Germans.


On Abu Ghraib, the Big Shots Walk

Bob Herbert in the Times of 4-28-04, excerpted:

"When soldiers in war are not properly trained and supervised, atrocities are all but inevitable. This is one reason why the military command structure is so important. There was a time, not so long ago, when commanders were expected to be accountable for the behavior of their subordinates.

That's changed. Under Commander in Chief George W. Bush, the notion of command accountability has been discarded. In Mr. Bush's world of war, it's the grunts who take the heat. Punishment is reserved for the people at the bottom. The people who foul up at the top are promoted.

It was a year ago today that the stories and photos of the shocking abuses at Abu Ghraib prison first came to the public's attention. It was a scandal that undermined the military's reputation and diminished the standing of the U.S. around the world.

It would soon become clear that the photos of hooded, naked and humiliated detainees were evidence of a much larger problem. The system for processing, interrogating and detaining prisoners at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq was dangerously out of control, and the command structure responsible for it had collapsed. Detainees were beaten, tortured, sexually abused and, in some instances, killed. Many detainees should never have been imprisoned at all, as they had committed no offenses.

So what happened? A handful of grunts were court-martialed, a Marine major was cashiered, and the Army plans to issue a new interrogation manual that bars certain harsh techniques. There was no wholesale crackdown on criminal behavior.

We learned last week that after a high-level investigation, the Army had cleared four of the five top officers who were responsible for prison policies and operations in Iraq. The fifth officer, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski of the Army Reserve, had already been relieved of her command of the military police unit at Abu Ghraib. (She has complained, and not without reason, that she was a scapegoat for the failures of higher-ranking officers.)

As Eric Schmitt wrote in The Times: "Barring new evidence, the inquiry by the Army's inspector general effectively closes the Army's book on whether the highest-ranking officers in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib prison scandal should be held accountable for command failings described in past reviews."

This is the way atrocities are dealt with in Mr. Bush's world of war. The higher-ups responsible for training, supervising and disciplining the troops - in other words, the big shots who presided over a system that ran shamefully amok - escaped virtually unscathed.

The abuses at Abu Ghraib, which seemed mind-boggling at the time, turned out to be symptomatic of the torture, abuse and institutionalized injustice that have permeated the Bush administration's operations in its so-called war against terror. Euphemisms like rendition, coercive interrogation, sleep adjustment and waterboarding are now widely understood. Yes, Virginia, it is the policy of the United States to kidnap individuals and send them off to regimes skilled in the art of torture.

Two things are needed. First, a truly independent commission, along the lines of the bipartisan 9/11 panel, should be set up to thoroughly investigate U.S. interrogation and detention operations, and make recommendations to correct abuses.

Second, the U.S. government should make it clear, beyond any doubt, that torture and any other inhumane treatment of prisoners is wrong, just flat wrong, and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

"In our contemporary world, torture is like the slave trade or piracy was to people in the 1790's," said Michael Posner, executive director of Human Rights First, which is suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over the prisoner abuse issue. "Torture is a crime against mankind, against humanity. It's something that has to be absolutely prohibited." ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 11:15 PM

Well gol danged!!!

Seems that Bush loves seein' piccures of naked Iraqi men huddled together.... What's this all about???

Hey, like Dylan said, "Don't take a weartherman to tell which way the wind blows"....

Get my drift here?


Well, I think that Bush is a closet (latent) homosexual...

Hey, think about it...

But that is *his* business but he shouldn't be actin' the way he acts if he is a closet homosexual... He should come out!!!

Heck, Cheney might cut him some slack.... Heck, Laura allready knows...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 10:51 AM

Data provided on the website show that, far from abating, the monthly death rate in 2005 continues to rise, and that the number of media-reported incidents involving the deaths of civilians and captives in the three months to March 2005 [376] is more than double the number for the same months a year ago [140]. April and November 2004 show the highest civilian death totals since the end of the "invasion phase", and result from the two US assaults on Falluja.

Particularly disturbing is that the death rate has increased since the January 31st elections. The reported death toll for February 2005 was 606. This is a significantly higher total than for January, which claimed 447 lives. These figures decisively rebut the claim that elections would lessen the intensity of the insurgency – an insurgency whose stated aim of US military withdrawal was not on the election agenda.

The table below shows provisional figures for each month since May 2003, when President Bush declared an end to "formal hostilities". Also provided in the table is the number of separately reported incidents, month by month.

Iraq Body Count spokesman John Sloboda said "These emerging figures speak for themselves. The Iraqi people have suffered increasingly from the policies of governments who still refuse to either comprehensively assess or accept responsibility for the casualties that have resulted from their actions. In the absence of an official assessment, our researchers have now begun an intensive process of analysing all the original press and media stories, extracting more specific information about both victims and perpetrators in order to reveal in as much detail as possible what can be known about the nature, cause and distribution of civilian casualties in the first two years of this conflict. Today's data are the first fruits of this work, whose full results will be made publicly available in July, at the start of Britain's presidency of the EU and the G8."

Table: Minimum and maximum media-reported civilian deaths May 2003 – February 2005. Source: (as of 10:00 GMT Thursday 17th March 2005)

Month__________Reported Deaths (min-max)__________Separate Reported Incidents
May 2003__________453-497__________17
June 2003__________510-538__________25
July 2003__________559-595__________25
August 2003__________591-621__________21
September 2003__________495-509__________33
October 2003__________430-450__________39
November 2003__________408-430__________46
December 2003__________474-491__________51
January 2004__________512-528__________52
February 2004__________530-545__________37
March 2004__________887-918__________71
April 2004__________1137-1193__________42
May 2004__________216-236__________60
June 2004__________307-338__________52
July 2004__________273-282__________80
August 2004__________365-407__________83
September 2004__________464-504__________71
October 2004__________356-376__________68
November 2004__________951-1076__________84
December 2004__________395-414__________100
January 2005__________421-447__________140
February 2005__________554-606__________136

Press Contacts: John Sloboda
Hamit Dardagan


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 11:57 AM

Government Admits Wrongdoing On Suppression of Photos of Returning Dead GIs

"In response to Freedom of Information Act requests and a lawsuit, the Pentagon this week released hundreds of previously secret images of casualties returning to honor guard ceremonies from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and other conflicts, confirming that images of their flag-draped coffins are rightfully part of the public record, despite its earlier insistence that such images should be kept secret.

One year after the start of a series of Freedom of Information Act requests filed by University of Delaware Professor Ralph Begleiter with the assistance of the National Security Archive, and six months after a lawsuit charging the Pentagon with failing to comply with the Act, the Pentagon made public more than 700 images of the return of American casualties to Dover Air Force Base and other U.S. military facilities, where the fallen troops received honor guard ceremonies. The Pentagon officially refers to the photos as "images of the memorial and arrival ceremonies for deceased military personnel arriving from overseas." Many of the images show evidence of censorship, which the Pentagon says is intended to conceal identifiable personal information of military personnel involved in the homecoming ceremonies.

Begleiter's lawsuit is supported by the National Security Archive and the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Jenner & Block. "This is an important victory for the American people, for the families of troops killed in the line of duty during wartime, and for the honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country," said Begleiter, a former CNN Washington correspondent who teaches journalism and political science at the University of Delaware. "This significant decision by the Pentagon should make it difficult, if not impossible, for any U.S. government in the future to hide the human cost of war from the American people."

The Pentagon's decision preempted a court ruling in the lawsuit by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. "We are gratified that these important public records were released without the need for further court action," said Daniel Mach of Jenner & Block. The Pentagon ban on media coverage of returning war casualties was initiated in January 1991 by then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney during the administration of President George H. W. Bush, just weeks before the start of the Gulf War against Iraq.

"I have never considered the release of images as a political issue," said Begleiter, noting that both Republican and Democratic administrations imposed the image ban. "But, seeing the cost of war, like any highly-charged political issue, can have strong political consequences."

Begleiter's Freedom of Information Act requests, and the lawsuit, asked for release of both still and video images. The Pentagon's "final response" in the case includes no video images of the honor ceremonies for returning war casualties. "I'm surprised at this," said Begleiter, "because the U.S. military uses video and film technology extensively in its public relations efforts."

Thomas Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive, which actively uses the Freedom of Information Act to force release of government documents, said, "The government now admits it was wrong to keep these images secret. Hiding the cost of war doesn't make that cost any less. Banning the photos keeps flag-draped coffins off the evening news, but it fundamentally disrespects those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

Blanton and Begleiter noted one major negative consequence of the dispute over the images: the Pentagon appears to have stopped creating the photos in the first place. All the released images containing date information appear to have been taken prior to June 2004. Military officials told Begleiter and the news media that such photos were no longer being taken since his first Freedom of Information Act request was filed in April 2004.

Begleiter said, "Hiding these images from the public - or, worse, failing even to record these respectful moments - deprives all Americans of the opportunity to recognize their contribution to our democracy, and hinders policymakers and historians in the future from making informed judgments about public opinion and war." He called on the Pentagon to resume fully documenting the return of American casualties."

Excerpted from


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 01:45 PM

This isn't from a newspaper column but I think you could say that it is a "popular view of the Bush Administration'. Anyway, it is a powerful song:

Buddy Tabor Album: Hope
Isaiah's Dream
Guy (Buddy) Tabor © 2005

Oh a soldier sleeps in a flag-draped grave
You hid your lies behind the life that he gave
He obeyed your will but you lied to him
Now the tears like water fall down on his next of kin

When we rose up to say you were wrong
Like Saul you gnashed your teeth with propaganda's song
You wanted power, to gain control
And yes, it seems like you've lost your very soul

Oh the vine is green and the wine is red
And the word was made flesh and you know that flesh has bled
There'll come a time but I don't know when
All I know is that spark of hope still burns within

Isaiah's dream is coming 'round
And the sword hammered into the plow on fertile ground
Oh the thorns were sharp but peace will come
One day all of us will dance to a different drum

Oh the vine is green and the wine is red
And the word was made flesh and you know that flesh has bled
The time will come but I don't know when
All I know is that spark of hope still burns within

Yes there'll come a day when there'll be no more war
And it won't be taught to the nations of the world any more
Yes that day will come but I don't know when
All I know is that spark of hope still burns within
All I know is that spark of hope still burns within

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 02:45 PM

Not Exactly Must-See TV
By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, April 29, 2005; 1:24 PM

The television networks -- and, by extension, the American viewing public -- got snookered last night.

Strong-armed, beguiled and wheedled into pre-empting an hour of prime-time national programming last night for President Bush's news conference, the networks were assured they would be getting must-see TV. Instead, they got a clip show.

The White House had promised that Bush would unveil new specifics about how he proposes to resolve Social Security's future funding shortfalls. And he did that -- but only briefly, and using language that was disingenuous at best.

Here, in fact, is the sum total of what Bush had to say that was new regarding Social Security: "I propose a Social Security system in the future where benefits for low-income workers will grow faster than benefits for people who are better off. By providing more generous benefits for low-income retirees, we'll make this commitment: If you work hard and pay into Social Security your entire life, you will not retire into poverty. This reform would solve most of the funding challenges facing Social Security."

You could have easily fit that into a commercial break, with plenty of time left over for a talking head to explain what it really meant -- namely, that Bush is finally, officially endorsing very significant benefits cuts for the wealthy and middle class, relative to what they are currently being promised.

Other than that, Bush's comments about Social Security could have been cut and pasted from the speeches he has been making across the country these past 60 days in his unsuccessful attempt to get people behind his proposal to carve out private accounts. And most of those lines went over a lot better in rooms full of supporters than they did last night, in a room full of increasingly skeptical reporters.

Bush was asked about several other topics, and made some news here and there, but it didn't amount to much. The biggest takeaways:

· Asked about the role of religion in politics, he distanced himself from those who have said that Democrats who oppose his judicial nominees are attacking people of faith. "I don't ascribe a person's opposing my nominations to an issue of faith . . . I think people oppose my nominees because of judicial philosophy," he said.

· Asked about the continued troubles in Iraq -- the No. 1 topic on American minds, according to the polls -- he maintained, "we're making really good progress."


I can only hope this shallow exercise in pulpit bullying actually helps peopel see through his facade and notice the grim realities underneath them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 06:50 PM

Like has has run the US governemnt he less than 100 days into his 2nd term he has spent all of his supposed "political capital"...

Seems all he can afford these days are endless wars...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 05 - 08:48 AM

Maureen rides again, pointing the telling finger at the election of a known corrupt hog to the new government of Iraq:

Swindler on a Gusher


Published: April 30, 2005


The Iraqis have thrown us another curveball.

Ahmad Chalabi - convicted embezzler in Jordan, suspected Iranian spy, double-crosser of America, purveyor of phony war-instigating intelligence - is the new acting Iraqi oil minister.

Is that why we went to war, to put the oily in charge of the oil, to set the swindler who pretended to be Spartacus atop the ultimate gusher?

Does anybody still think the path to war wasn't greased by oil?

The neocons' con man had been paid millions by the U.S. to tell the Bushies what they wanted to hear on Iraqi W.M.D. A year ago, the State Department and factions in the Pentagon turned on him after he began bashing America and using Saddam's secret files to discredit his enemies.

Right after the invasion, the charlatan was escorted into Iraq by U.S. troops and cultivated an axis of Americans, Iraqis and Iranians. He got a fancy house with layers of armed guards and pulled-down shades, and began helping himself to Iraqi assets. The U.S. occupation sicced the Iraqi police on his headquarters only after an Iraqi judge ordered thugs in the Chalabi posse arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, torture and theft.

Newsweek revealed that the U.S. suspected Mr. Chalabi of leaking secret information about American war plans for Iraq to the Iranians before the invasion, and of perhaps leaking "highly classified" information to Iran that could "get people killed" if abused by the Iranians. Mr. Chalabi claimed the Iranians set him up.

In August of last year, while he was at a cabin in the Iranian mountains, the Iraqis ordered him arrested on counterfeiting charges, which were later dropped for lack of evidence.

Now, showing survival skills that make Tom DeLay look like a piker, the resourceful Thief of Baghdad has popped back up as one of the four deputy prime ministers and the interim cabinet minister controlling the one valuable commodity in that wasteland: the second-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia. He even has a DeLay-like talent for getting relatives on the payroll: a Chalabi nephew is the new finance minister.

Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Reuters that many Iraqis would consider the plum oil job for Mr. Chalabi "putting a fox in charge of the henhouse." The choice, he added, "is going to make it extremely easy for people to make charges about corruption."

Oil isn't on the front burner only in Iraq. Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney know that time is running out to pay back the Texas buddies who sent them here with an energy bill. So those two oilmen are frantically pushing one loaded with giveaways to the oil industry at a time when it's already raking in huge profits because of high gasoline prices.

In Baghdad, we may wind up with a one-man Enron - never underestimate the snaky charmer. And the draconian efforts of Mr. Chalabi and other Shiites in power to purge Baathists from the government will breathe fire into the insurgency.

Mr. Bush wanted Iraq to have a democracy like ours. It's on its way, nearing an ethics-free zone where a corrupt official can hold sway and a theocracy can curb women's rights."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 05 - 03:28 PM

The Los Angeles Times comes out with a kudo to Bush for achieving new heights of honesty and near-honesty in his recent press-conference.

I have to say that I would have preferred that he come out and say that his notion about private investments was a watery and weak one. But the rest of the plan he is asserting, what he calls (shudder) "indexation" looks like it might work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 01 May 05 - 08:11 PM

Either way, 70% of Americans will take a cut in benefits to the tune of $3Trillion over 10 years and it ain't just the wealthy but anypne makin' over $25,000 a year!!!

Ain't working fir me...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 03 May 05 - 02:14 PM

Hypocrisy is very insulting to a citizen's intelligence, especially when it is done by the citizen's president of the country.

In this photo Bush looks like he is almost willing to kiss the crown prince if he would just increase oil production.

I sort of doubt he is repeating a quote he made not so very long ago: "Any government that supports, protects or harbours terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes."
George W. Bush

Perhaps Bush wasn't briefed on the conclusions contained in this excerpt by David Kaplan: "Al Qaeda, says William Wechsler, the task force director, was "a constant fundraising machine." And where did it raise most of those funds? The evidence was indisputable: Saudi Arabia. America's longtime ally and the world's largest oil producer had somehow become, as a senior Treasury Department official put it, "the epicenter" of terrorist financing." ("The Saudi Connection" - David Kaplan)

If Bush was really sincere about going after the terrorists, he'd go after the saudis, oil be damned. But he expects us to believe that he is accomplishing more than making idle overtures with the blood of our troops while turning a blind eye to the real source of terrorism.

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