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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 24 Jun 05 - 11:38 PM
Amos 25 Jun 05 - 01:05 AM
Amos 25 Jun 05 - 11:31 AM
Amos 26 Jun 05 - 12:38 AM
Amos 26 Jun 05 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,Amos 30 Jun 05 - 01:25 PM
GUEST 30 Jun 05 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Amos 01 Jul 05 - 12:51 AM
Amos 03 Jul 05 - 12:49 AM
Ebbie 03 Jul 05 - 12:37 PM
Amos 03 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM
Ebbie 03 Jul 05 - 03:30 PM
Amos 03 Jul 05 - 05:04 PM
DougR 03 Jul 05 - 05:44 PM
Ebbie 03 Jul 05 - 05:49 PM
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beardedbruce 03 Jul 05 - 06:01 PM
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GUEST, Ebbie 04 Jul 05 - 02:59 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 11:38 PM

When the attacks of 9/11 occurred, the president finally found a black and white issue to focus all his energies on, and this struck a chord with the electorate.

But now that several years have passed since the attack, and Mr. Bush is finally spending time talking about other things, his true colors are showing again: he is tragically short-sighted and out of touch with what matters to most Americans.

Jeff Solomon
Cambridge, Mass., June 22, 2005

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

From the current Borowitz Report:

'The Free Ride is Over,' Says President
Looking for new ways to slash the mounting federal budget deficit, President George W. Bush today proposed charging Iran and North Korea annual dues for their membership in the Axis of Evil.

The president's plan, which took many in Congress and in the diplomatic community by surprise, would put responsibility for the rising costs of military spending, Social Security and other government programs squarely on the shoulders of America's two most despised enemies.

President Bush made the proposal in a speech in Flint, Michigan, telling his audience that for Iran and North Korea, both members of the Axis of Evil since 2001, "the free ride is over."

"Iran and North Korea have enjoyed all the benefits of Axis of Evil membership without paying a dime for them," said Mr. Bush. "Well, if they think that state of affairs can continue forever, they are sorely mistaken."

While Mr. Bush stopped short of naming an exact figure for annual membership in the Axis of Evil, he warned the two nations, "Membership in the most exclusive evil club in the world does not come cheap."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 11:31 AM

How does one resist the Bush Regime's blatant disregard for national sovereignty, individual freedoms, and constitutional laws protecting each American's right to a fair election?

Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Francis Boyle, Professor of Law, have both drafted an "Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush" while Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese argue in the Boston Globe that "THE IMPEACHMENT of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, should be part of mainstream political discourse." John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine, in "Unmasking a CIA Agent is Bad, Lying to Congress Worse. With Each US Death in Iraq, the Case Against the President Grows Stronger" writes:

Now that the U.S. government's chief weapons inspector in Iraq has, in effect, confirmed an obvious truth -- that President George W. Bush and his closest advisers promoted a non-existent nuclear and chemical weapons threat from Iraq to justify a war -- an obvious question presents itself: Why aren't Americans talking seriously about impeachment?

After all, Mr. Bush now stands plausibly accused of the lofty crime of subverting the Constitution of the United States -- that is, lying to Congress about an imminent danger to the American people in order to collect enough votes to authorize his corporate/imperial project in Iraq. (Globe & Mail (Canada), Thursday, October 9, 2003.)
The Green Party called for the impeachment of the Bush Regime on the last day of its National Convention in 2003, citing as evidence a "pattern of making false statements to Congress, the American people, and the world to win support for actions by the American government and military forces" in violation of the Constitution of the United States, Charter of the United Nations, and other international laws; "[s]quandering the resources of the American people to serve the interests of transnational corporations;" and "war crimes, including the use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs in the preemptive invasion of Iraq." (

In his book Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, John W. Dean, Counsel to President Richard Nixon, describes the impeachable offenses that should be levied against the Bush Regime, especially against the president and vice president. The "high crimes and misdemeanors" for which Bush et al. may be impeached and removed from office include 1) lies to justify the War in Iraq, 2) leaking the name of a CIA operative.

Among the list of growing offenses, these are the most prominent: 3) Ohio election fraud, 4) authorizing the torture of prisoners, 5) the Downing Street Memo, 6) illegal wiretaps of UN diplomats, 7) authorizing the kidnapping of "terror" suspects, 8) depriving citizens of First Amendment rights during the 2004 campaign and during his so-called town-hall meetings, 9) using federal tax-dollars to plant stories in the press, and 10) transferring $700 million from the Afghanistan war budget to preparations for the Iraq war.

These "alleged" offenses are sufficient evidence that a comprehensive resolution of impeachment should be drawn and introduced to Congress. Whether or not impeachment proceedings will be enacted by this Congress is not the issue. The mid-term elections are the issue. Howard Dean, as the Chairman of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), has the opportunity to take back the House and the Senate, if he and his party can develop a platform that will appeal to the populace. Since the Bush Regime's approval ratings are low -- due to the aforementioned high crimes and misdemeanors -- Dean should make impeachment the DNC's rallying cry!

Shifting the balance in Congress, so that Democrats have even a slim majority will be enough to ensure that an impeachment resolution is passed. Giving the American public that opportunity should be Dean's and the DNC's primary goal. In order to remove the Bush Regime ASAP, American voters must, first, take back the Congress from the Republican "yes men" who have allowed these crimes to go unchallenged; second, demand that the 110th Congress impeach the bastards!

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:38 AM

A Glide Path to Ruin

Published: June 26, 2005
The biggest risk we Americans face to our way of life and our place in the world probably doesn't come from Al Qaeda or the Iraq war.

Rather, the biggest risk may come from this administration's fiscal recklessness and the way this is putting us in hock to China.

"I think the greatest threat to our future is our fiscal irresponsibility," warns David Walker, the comptroller general of the United States. Mr. Walker, an accountant by training, asserts that last year may have been the most fiscally reckless in the history of our Republic. Aside from the budget deficit, Congress enacted the prescription drug benefit - possibly an $8 trillion obligation - without figuring out how to pay for it.

Mr. Walker, America's watchdog in chief and head of the Government Accountability Office, is no Bush-basher. He started out his career as a conservative Democrat, then became a moderate Republican and has been an independent since 1997.

Now he's running around with his hair on fire, shrieking about America's finances. Well, as much as any accountant ever shrieks.

I asked Mr. Walker about Paul Volcker's warning that within five years we face a 75 percent chance of a serious financial crisis.

"If we don't get serious soon," Mr. Walker replied, "it's not a question of whether it'll come, but when and how serious."

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist, says he is also "very worried."

"I find it very difficult to know how to put a number" on the probability of a crisis, he added, "but there's a widespread sense in the market that there is a substantial chance."

Another issue is that three-fourths of our new debt is now being purchased by foreigners, with China the biggest buyer of all. That gives China leverage over us, and it undermines our national security.

On fiscal matters both parties have much to be ashamed of, but Republicans should be particularly embarrassed at their tumble. Traditionally, Republicans were prudent, while Democrats held great parties. But these days, the Bush administration is managing America's finances like a team of drunken sailors, and most Republicans keep quiet in a way that betrays their conservative principles.

Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, wrote a couple of years ago: "Republicans used to believe in balanced budgets. ... We have lost our way." He's right. (...)

See today's NY Times for balance of this editorial.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:40 AM

The Armstrong Williams NewsHour
(NY Times oped)
Published: June 26, 2005

HERE'S the difference between this year's battle over public broadcasting and the one that blew up in Newt Gingrich's face a decade ago: this one isn't really about the survival of public broadcasting. So don't be distracted by any premature obituaries for Big Bird. Far from being an endangered species, he's the ornithological equivalent of a red herring.

Let's not forget that Laura Bush has made a fetish of glomming onto popular "Sesame Street" characters in photo-ops. Polls consistently attest to the popular support for public broadcasting, while Congress is in a race to the bottom with Michael Jackson. Big Bird will once again smite the politicians - as long as he isn't caught consorting with lesbians.

That doesn't mean the right's new assault on public broadcasting is toothless, far from it. But this time the game is far more insidious and ingenious. The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.

There's only one obstacle standing in the way of the coup. Like Richard Nixon, another president who tried to subvert public broadcasting in his war to silence critical news media, our current president may be letting hubris get the best of him. His minions are giving any investigative reporters left in Washington a fresh incentive to follow the money.

That money is not the $100 million that the House still threatens to hack out of public broadcasting's various budgets. Like the theoretical demise of Big Bird, this funding tug-of-war is a smoke screen that deflects attention from the real story. Look instead at the seemingly paltry $14,170 that, as Stephen Labaton of The New York Times reported on June 16, found its way to a mysterious recipient in Indiana named Fred Mann. Mr. Labaton learned that in 2004 Kenneth Tomlinson, the Karl Rove pal who is chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, clandestinely paid this sum to Mr. Mann to monitor his PBS bête noire, Bill Moyers's "Now."

Now, why would Mr. Tomlinson pay for information that any half-sentient viewer could track with TiVo? Why would he hire someone in Indiana? Why would he keep this contract a secret from his own board? Why, when a reporter exposed his secret, would he try to cover it up by falsely maintaining in a letter to an inquiring member of the Senate, Byron Dorgan, that another CPB executive had "approved and signed" the Mann contract when he had signed it himself? If there's a news story that can be likened to the "third-rate burglary," the canary in the coal mine that invited greater scrutiny of the Nixon administration's darkest ambitions, this strange little sideshow could be it.

After Mr. Labaton's first report, Senator Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, called Mr. Tomlinson demanding to see the "product" Mr. Mann had provided for his $14,170 payday. Mr. Tomlinson sent the senator some 50 pages of "raw data." Sifting through those pages when we spoke by phone last week, Mr. Dorgan said it wasn't merely Mr. Moyers's show that was monitored but also the programs of Tavis Smiley and NPR's Diane Rehm.

Their guests were rated either L for liberal or C for conservative, and "anti-administration" was affixed to any segment raising questions about the Bush presidency. Thus was the conservative Republican Senator Chuck Hagel given the same L as Bill Clinton simply because he expressed doubts about Iraq in a discussion mainly devoted to praising Ronald Reagan. Three of The Washington Post's star beat reporters (none of whom covers the White House or politics or writes opinion pieces) were similarly singled out simply for doing their job as journalists by asking questions about administration policies.

"It's pretty scary stuff to judge media, particularly public media, by whether it's pro or anti the president," Senator Dorgan said. "It's unbelievable."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 01:25 PM

From today's New York Times editorials:

In anger and embarrassment, Congressional Republicans are scrambling to repair a budget shortfall in veterans' medical care now that the Bush administration has admitted it vastly underestimated the number of returning Iraq and Afghanistan personnel needing treatment. The $1 billion-plus gaffe is considerable, with the original budget estimate of 23,553 returned veterans needing care this year now ballooning to 103,000. American taxpayers should be even more furious than Congress.

The Capitol's Republican majorities have shown no hesitation in signing the president's serial blank-check supplemental budgets for waging the war, yet they repeatedly ignored months of warnings from Democrats that returning veterans were being shortchanged. One Republican who warned of the problem - Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey - lost his chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee after pressing his plea too boldly before the House leadership.

But partisan resistance melted in a flood of political chagrin once the administration admitted the budget error, which was first discovered in April but only now disclosed. The explanation offered - the gaffe was due to using dated formulas based on prewar calculations - left Republicans sputtering all the more.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 04:21 PM

From a recent mail item written by John Kerry:

...I've never met a veteran who doesn't fly the flag on the 4th of July with pride in our country. I've never met an American who doesn't believe in the greatness of our country and the strength of our ideals.

But I've met a lot of Americans who fear the President has no plan to get it right in Iraq -- and they woke up this morning feeling the same way.

The President and the administration need to get their story straight about what is happening in Iraq -- and how they are going to get our mission back on track.

From their 24th different rationale for war, to the Vice President and Secretary Rumsfeld telling us the insurgency is in its "final throes" while last night President Bush said it is more dangerous than ever, Americans just want to hear the truth.

They want leadership equal to our soldiers' sacrifice, and they know we can't win if our leaders can't even agree on the facts. This is a time for leadership, and a time for responsible answers to difficult problems.

Yesterday, I laid out a 9 point plan to get it right in Iraq. Here are 3 steps the President can take this weekend to start getting it right in Iraq and ensure greater security for our troops.

1) The President heads to Europe this weekend. He needs to bring home more commitments from our allies to shore up Iraq's borders, invest more in reconstruction and do more training of Iraqi troops. A secure and stable Iraq is in the best interest of every nation across Europe and the Middle East.
2) Send a message across the Middle East that Iraq's neighbor countries must do more to stop the rise of terrorism in Iraq. We need countries like Saudi Arabia to keep their commitment to help pay for reconstruction efforts in Iraq so the Iraqi people get electricity, water and better roads.
We also need help from Iraq's neighbors in shoring up the borders so foreign fighters and terrorists can't get in and can't get out. The President needs to take his tough message to the region and enlist support for our mission. The best way to stop the growth of terrorism is by enlisting more Arab allies.
3) Truly honor our troops' sacrifices in Iraq by immediately covering the one billion dollar shortfall in funding for veterans care this year here at home and increasing funding for armor and necessary supplies for our troops over in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator Byrd, Senator Murray, I and others have an amendment pending right now to address the critical funding shortage for veterans. The administration could send a powerful message about sacrifice and national unity if they act now to address this shortfall for the VA.

We need more than just words to get it right in Iraq. We need actions and focus and leadership. We saw what happened after 9/11, in the mountains of Tora Bora, when the administration took its eyes off the ball when it came to hunting down and capturing Osama Bin Laden. We can't afford to let the same thing happen in Iraq.

Our troops are depending on us and we can't let them down. It's time to bring the country together to get it right. No more excuses, no more spin, and no more dividing the country on partisan lines.

Americans have the resolve - we need action from the administration.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 12:51 AM

From the Washington Post:

Who's Listening to the President?
By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Friday, July 1, 2005; Page A25

President Bush has shown that he can win an election by mobilizing his political base. But can he win a war that way?

The most striking poll findings after the president's speech to the nation on Tuesday concerned who watched Bush in the first place. According to a Gallup Poll for CNN and USA Today, 50 percent of those who chose to listen to Bush were Republican, 27 percent were independents and only 23 percent were Democrats.

Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief, said the usual party split in the country as a whole was about one-third for each party and a third independent -- a finding confirmed by five Gallup Polls conducted in June.

In other words, a large share of Bush's congregation belonged to the choir. Many Democrats don't want to listen to him.

Newport says the partisan skew in Bush's television audiences has been visible for most of his presidency; there was also a partisan slant to Bill Clinton's audiences, though it was less pronounced than Bush's.

But the most troubling finding for Bush may be an indirect indicator from the Gallup survey. Before the speech, Gallup's interviewers identified 933 people who said they intended to watch the president. The night Bush spoke, the pollsters reached 648 of these people -- but only about half of them, 323, actually tuned in. Newport's conclusion: "It just suggests to us that it ended up being a less compelling occasion for Americans than other occasions."

According to Nielsen Media Research, Bush's speech was watched by just over 23 million people in roughly 18 million households. As one marker, the season finale of "American Idol" drew 30.3 million viewers. True, the president picked a tough time to make his case. People have other things to do in the summer, and many no doubt watched or read the speech (or reports about it) later. Still, this was the smallest audience for any major Bush speech. The president's address announcing a new policy on stem cell research in August 2001, the previous low, drew 8 million more viewers.

Bush's supporters could argue that the lack of interest suggests that the Iraq war has yet to arouse passionate opposition. But the obverse is also true: There is very little enthusiasm for this war. Support or acquiescence might not survive much more than another year, less if there is a significant run of bad news.

There is also this: Democrats are no longer afraid to criticize Bush, as they were for much of the two years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Indeed, the reaction to the president's repeated mentions of the attacks underscored the dissipation of national unity over the past four years.

In the past, the mere mention of that galvanizing day would unify the country. Bush and his lieutenants gave it another shot, but his five mentions of Sept. 11 brought jeers, not cheers, from Democrats. "It shows the weak ground that they're on that they would mention the sacred ground of 9/11," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in an interview.

She was expressing a view held across her party, but she was also reflecting a critical political fact. Except for Bush's loyalists, Americans are increasingly inclined to view his Iraq policy as quite apart from the terrorist attacks. By using the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in a highly partisan way during his first term -- recall the role of Sept. 11 during last year's Republican National Convention -- Bush has squandered his ability to invoke the moment in a nonpartisan and patriotic way.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 12:49 AM

The Two Wars of the Worlds

Published: July 3, 2005

ON the morning after George W. Bush spoke to the nation from Fort Bragg, Americans started marching off to Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds." Both halves of this double feature invoked 9/11, perfectly timed for this particular holiday. Ever since "Jaws," a movie set on the July Fourth weekend, broke box office records 30 summers ago, Independence Day has come to stand for terror as much as for freedom.

Decide for yourself if "War of the Worlds" is more terrifying than "Jaws." Either way, it's scarier than the president's speech. Yet the discrepancy between Mr. Spielberg's ability to whip up fear and Mr. Bush's inability isn't merely a matter of aesthetics. On Independence Day 2005, this terror gap is an ideal barometer for gauging the waning political power of a lame-duck president waging what increasingly looks like a lame-duck war.

As we saw on Tuesday night, doomsday isn't the surefire hit it used to be for Mr. Bush. Now that the rhetorical arsenal of W.M.D.'s and mushroom clouds is bare, he had little choice but to bring back that oldie but goodie, 9/11, as the specter of the doom that awaits us if we don't stay the course - his course - in Iraq. By the fifth time he did so, it was hard not to think of that legendary National Lampoon cover: "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll kill this dog."

Planned or not, the sepulchral silence of Mr. Bush's military audience was the perfect dazed response to what was literally a summer rerun. The president gave almost the identical televised address, albeit with four fewer 9/11 references, at the Army War College in Pennsylvania in May 2004. It's so tired that this time around even the normally sympathetic Drudge site gave higher billing to reviews of "War of the Worlds." Fewer TV viewers tuned in than for any prime-time speech in Mr. Bush's presidency. A good thing too, since so much of what he said was, as usual, at odds with reality. The president pledged to "prevent Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban" a full week after Newsweek and The New York Times reported on a new C.I.A. assessment that the war may be turning Iraq into an even more effective magnet and training ground for Islamic militants than Afghanistan was for Al Qaeda in the 1980's and 90's.

"War of the Worlds" makes as many references to 9/11 as Mr. Bush did. The alien attack on America is the work of sleeper cells; the garments of the dead rain down on those fleeing urban apocalypse; poignant fliers are posted for The Missing. There is also a sterling American military that rides to the rescue. Deep in the credits for "War of the Worlds" is a thank-you to the Department of Defense and some half-dozen actual units that participated in the movie, from the Virginia Army National Guard to a Marine battalion from Camp Pendleton, Calif. Indeed, Mr. Spielberg seems to have had markedly more success in recruiting extras for his film than the Pentagon has had of late in drumming up troops for Iraq.

That's not the only way that "War of the Worlds" shows up Mr. Bush. In not terribly coded dialogue, the film makes clear that its Americans know very well how to distinguish a war of choice like that in Iraq from a war of necessity, like that prompted by Al Qaeda's attack on America. Tim Robbins - who else? - pops up to declare that when aliens occupy a country, the "occupations always fail." Even Tom Cruise's doltish teenage screen son is writing a school report on "the French occupation of Algeria."

Mr. Spielberg's movie illuminates, too, how Mr. Bush has flubbed the basic storytelling essential to sustain public support for his Iraq adventure. The president has made a tic of hammering in melodramatic movie tropes: good vs. evil, you're with us or you're with the terrorists, "wanted dead or alive," "bring 'em on," "mission accomplished." When you relay a narrative in that style, the audience expects you to stick to the conventions of the genre; the story can end only with the cavalry charging in to win the big final battle. That's how Mr. Spielberg deploys his platoons, "Saving Private Ryan"-style, in "War of the Worlds." By contrast, Mr. Bush never marshaled the number of troops needed to guarantee Iraq's security and protect its borders; he has now defined "mission accomplished" down from concrete victory to the inchoate spreading of democracy. To start off sounding like Patton and end up parroting Woodrow Wilson is tantamount to ambushing an audience at a John Wayne movie with a final reel by Frank Capra.

Both Mr. Bush's critics and loyalists at times misunderstand where his failure leaves America now. The left frets too much that the public just doesn't get it - that it is bamboozled by the administration and won't see the light until it digests the Downing Street memo. But even if they couldn't bring themselves to vote for John Kerry, most Americans do get it. A majority of the country view the Iraq war as "not worth it" and going badly. They intuitively sense that as USA Today calculated on Friday, there have been more U.S. military deaths (roughly a third more) in the year since Iraq got its sovereignty than in the year before. Last week an ABC News/Washington Post survey also found that a majority now believe that the administration "intentionally misled" us into a war - or, in the words of the Downing Street memo, that the Bush administration "fixed" the intelligence to gin up the mission.

... (From the New York Times, this date)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 12:37 PM

If the speculation is right, what happens now? Will Karl Rove slink in disgrace from public life? Or will the president stand up and say that Karl Rove is a brilliant man whom the country owes much? What happens when a "brilliant" man goes outside the law?

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case
    Editor & Publisher

    Saturday 02 July 2005

    "New York - Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name - and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

    Here is the transcript of O'Donnell's remarks:

"What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is.
"And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."

More Info

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM

Morally he should be prosecuted as any other leaker would be. Practically, dollars to doughnuts Bush will cover for him with clouds of empty, badly-turned rhetpric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 03:30 PM

I still have hopes that the benighted PEOPLE will wake up and start wondering out loud if they have been had.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 05:04 PM

They have been had, but their having been had had more to do with their having and thinking they had to have, to the point where they had to have being had and raised no complaint as long as their having been had had no effect on the having they had to have.

If you see what I mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 05:44 PM

Before you two grab your lynching ropes, you might want to wait until the evidence the prosecutor has is released to the public and oes incriminate Karl Rove. You wouldn't want to hang an innocent man would you?

On second thought, if it's Karl Rove (or the big guy himself) you might!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 05:49 PM

"On second thought, if it's Karl Rove (or the big guy himself) you might!" DougR

And what would be your thoughts on that, Doug? "Outing" a covert CIA operative has been called treason; even when it is not called that, it still holds a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a hefty fine. If Karl Rove or "the big guy himself" outed her, what do you think should be the penalty?

Amos, there are some things that I know I know and some things that I don't know and some things I don't know that I don't know and some things that I don't know that I know and some things Halp!

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 05:52 PM

From the New York Daily News --

A liberal dose of facts, Rove
by Denis Hamill

When I first read Karl Rove's recent speech to the New York State
Conservative Party at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, the liberal in
me wanted to get him some therapy.

But then the Brooklyn in me wanted to throw him a fair one.

Then I figured I should show some restraint before commenting.

My problem is that I'm a liberal from Brooklyn. Which means I turn
the other cheek. And then kick you in the unmentionables.

Rove's problem is that he doesn't know jack about "liberals" in the
very city where he delivered his punk speech that dishonored the
fallen of Ground Zero 3 miles south. As did President Bush's lame
"stay the course" pep talk to the nation on Tuesday night, for
recycling the same debunked lies trying to connect 9/11 to Iraq.

In the last presidential election, 75% of New York City, where nearly
3,000 people were murdered on 9/11, voted for a "liberal" named John
Kerry. They did this not because they thought it would be therapeutic
for the terrorists but because they resented the lies coming out of
this administration that had given up the search for Osama Bin Laden
for a bait-and-switch war on Iraq.

New Yorkers knew Bin Laden was the monster responsible for that act
of barbarism in our city, where almost every one of us - liberal,
conservative and otherwise - knew someone who'd been killed.

And so on Election Day, we who had trudged in the dust of our dead,
who had lived with the bagpipes and the funerals, and who were sick
of the lies out of the White House, marched to the polls to vote for
a liberal named John Kerry, a decorated war hero.

Last week, Rove visited this city and stood in the Sheraton and said,
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare
indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In
the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the
might and power of the United States military against the Taliban."

Total crap.

Every single liberal and conservative I met in post-9/11 New York
City from Bayside to Bay Ridge supported the invasion of Afghanistan.

So I challenge Karl Rove to wear his ignorant words on a sandwich
board and parade them from the Sheraton Hotel down to Ground Zero and
let him sample some wimpy, liberal New York. The only therapy he'd be
offered would be physical therapy.

Rove brayed, "It was a time to summon our national will and brandish

Right. And so here in New York City volunteers from every political,
ethnic and socioeconomic walk of life descended on Ground Zero to
brandish shovels, picks, acetylene torches and backhoes to dig for
the lost.

All over "liberal" New York citizens rushed to recruitment stations
and grown men and women were called up in the National Guard and

And yet this rice cake in a suit has the audacity to stand at a
podium in this gutsy city and say, "I don't know about you, but
moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin
towers crumble to the ground."

No, what chicken hawk Rove, who avoided the draft during Vietnam, saw
was a Bush reelection campaign commercial.

And where did our fearless conservative leaders go on or after 9/11?

Let's see: Bush flew to Omaha! Cheney hid in a hole, like Saddam
Hussein. And Karl Rove cooked up a Bush campaign commercial visit to
Ground Zero three days after the attack, when the coast was clear.

A popular Republican named Arnold Schwarzenegger would label all that
as the actions of "girlie men."

I can tell you where Karl Rove didn't go: He didn't go to Ground Zero
to swing a steel pick. If he brandished a steel shovel at the
Pentagon, I missed it.

Warmongering Rove also didn't go to a recruitment station to grip the
steel stock of an M-16 before catching the next C-130 to Kabul. Or
later, Tikrit. Even though the war in Iraq is being fought by troops
the same age as Rove, who is 54. Which is the same age as a bus
driver from Brooklyn with six grandchildren I wrote about in this
space recently who spent the past year in Iraq as an Army reservist.

The only steel Karl Rove brandished since 9/11 has been King George's
bloody shilling.

So you can blow into town, the Pearl Harbor of the terror age, and
pop off about liberals being wimps, Mr. Rove. But to paraphrase
Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca," there are certain New York
neighborhoods I wouldn't advise you to invade.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 06:00 PM

In a more enlightened age, DougR, Rove's offenses would have been actionable long since.

As for hanging, I guess sometimes dealing in death wholesale means sometimes you have to confront the retail package as well. Rove has a lot of innocent blood on his hands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 06:01 PM


You obviously missed DougR's point. You are denying Rove the rights that you would want for yourself- to be considered innocent UNTIL the evidence is produced to show that one is guilty. IF he commited the crime, he should be punished to the full extent of the law- BUT if he did not, the lynching going on here and in the press is not justified. Just because you do not approve of someone's politics is no reason to to deny their rights to a fair trail.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 07:43 PM

I didn't miss Doug's point, bb. And I'm not denying Karl Rove anything. As you know, I'm not making this up out of whole cloth; there are people who should know out there who say it was Karl Rove. I agree absolutely with both of you (if that's what Doug was urging) that whoever outed the CIA agent must be brought to trial.

My own point went a step further. I said, IF it was either Rove or Bush, what would be Doug's response to it? I'm glad to know that YOU are on the side of the angels on this one. I'm waiting for HIS response.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: beardedbruce
Date: 04 Jul 05 - 02:56 PM

not the angels, but justice and a fair application of the law of the land to all involved. Angels give forgiveness without punishment.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 04 Jul 05 - 02:59 PM

Good one, bb.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 08:27 PM

Writing for The Nation, Eric Alterman offers these thoughts on the Bush Administration:

Cowboys and Eggheads

Eric Alterman

Liberal Democrats today are faced with an unhappy paradox. The most significant factor in John Kerry's defeat was that, according to exit polls, 79 percent of voters who said terrorism or national security determined their vote chose the chickenhawk over the war hero. Though they agreed with the Democrats on most issues--and agreed, by a 49 to 45 percent margin, according to election day exit polls, that the Iraq War had made us less, not more, secure--a majority of voters still felt safer with the idea of George W. Bush minding the store. Based on the evidence, it is almost a perfectly irrational reaction to reality. Everything the Bush Administration has done in the security realm has proved not merely wasteful and ineffective but counterproductive. Consider the following:

§?Osama bin Laden remains free, and Al Qaeda has been allowed to regroup.

§?Iraq, which was not a terrorist threat before Bush attacked it, now accounts for the killing and maiming of Americans daily.

§?North Korea, the world's most dangerously irrational regime, stands poised to test a nuclear bomb.

§?Iran, another regime motivated by fear and hatred of the United States, also stands poised to develop a nuclear weapon.

§?The most obvious terrorist targets in America--nuclear and chemical plants, water and food supplies and transportation networks--remain as vulnerable to terrorists as they were on September 10, 2001, endangering as many as 12 million people in a single attack.

§?Outside our borders, America is hated as never before, inspiring terrorist recruitment across the Islamic world.

All of these negative developments are the result of Bush Administration policies that required the reversal or rejection of Democratic alternatives. In some cases the Administration achieved its aims by deliberate deception, fooling more than a few supposedly tough-minded "liberal hawks" about not only its evidence but also its intentions--and in a few cases it did so with scare tactics designed to exploit the emotions aroused by the 9/11 attacks. In none of these instances, however, did the Administration win its argument with an honest assessment of the evidence or consideration of available alternatives.



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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 08:38 PM

Democrats Challenge GOP on Ethics
New Ads Target Six Republicans
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; Page A04

Democrats took their first formal step yesterday toward trying to nationalize next year's midterm House elections around the issue of ethics, buying ads in the local papers of six Republican lawmakers calling on them to "start working for us" instead of special interests.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending $36,000 on the ads -- a virtually meaningless sum, by itself -- but calls it the beginning of a campaign to fuel an anti-incumbent fever like the one that swept its party out in 1994.

"There's a question about the conduct and the culture that goes beyond the individuals," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), the committee's chairman. "The speaker's gavel is supposed to open the people's house, not the auction house."

Even White House officials have begun to fret about the large number of senior Republicans being tied to questionable travel and relationships with lobbyists. On Friday, federal agents raided the San Diego area home of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, one of the ad targets. The search followed news reports that he had sold a house to a defense contractor, who immediately put it back up for sale and took a huge loss.

Republicans contend that Democrats are making the mistake the GOP did in 1998, when the party made its main message about President Bill Clinton instead of a positive agenda. Republicans say Democrats face numerous ethical issues of their own. Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, asserted that Democrats are "stepping into their own Venus' flytrap." ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 11:57 PM

From a correspondent:

I have done some internet research. If we declare that the war in
Iraq is 4 years old (which it isn't because it won't even have been 4
years since 9/11 until next September) then the war in declared
budgeted costs will be as of today, $989,725.03 million per day. But
it's more than that, because plenty of defense budget is used for
Iraq that isn't specially marked as "Iraq funds" AND we are still 2
months away from four years since 9/11, and the war didn't start
until after 9/11.

So anyway, we are well above $1 billion per day for the war.

Per day.

How many houses would that make, how much anti-HIV medicine would it
provide, how many internship-type jobs would it fund?

I hate Bush.


Where would we stand if half that money had beens pent in an aggressive forwarding of energy independence?

What if we had found a way to harness the moon's tides and the sun's winds, and were able to disconnect from the oil wells of Arabia permanently?

Sometimes knowing the correct importance is worth more than all the PR and manipulation in Washington.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 02:27 AM

The Psychosis Inherent in Religious Capitalism: Causation in "The Crime of the Century"
By Gerry Lower
May 23, 2005, 19:09

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May 24, 2005 -- "Are Bush supporters literally insane?" With that bold and awkward question, Timothy Noah began a discussion of "Conservatism as Pathology" (MSNBC/Slate, May 9, 2005), in which he essentially asks, 'Is there something inherently psychotic about the conservative mindset?' One can, of course, ask the same question about Bush opponents, "Is there something inherently psychotic about the liberal mindset?

Two Extremes - both Psychotic.

According to Merriam-Webster Online, the term "psy·cho·sis" refers to "a "fundamental mental derangement characterized by defective or lost contact with reality". As that is the case, the answer to both questions would be "yes," because conservatism and liberalism are complementary opposites. When on their own, they have nowhere to go but to their own extremes.

At their extremes, they both produce a blind rejection of empirical reality, of common sense logic and honest human truth. The result of this rejection is a collective neurosis at best and a collective psychosis at worst (Robert Sheer, Nationalism's Psychotic Side, The Nation, May 10, 2005).

At their extremes, the left has had occasion to pursue anarchy and "free" love, as the right now pursues tyranny and "preemptive" war, nothing resembling real freedom and democracy at either extreme (Legalism, Anarchism and Blessed Liberty,, 2003). Progressivism provides the dialectic synthesis of liberalism and conservatism in being more closely aligned with the transcendent values at the core of Jeffersonian democracy (Progressivism and the Two Americas, August 30, 2004.)

All of us make our occasional departures from reality and the self-concept we have assumed in order to survive that reality. We escape our current reality by taking consciousness-altering drugs, buying new Lincoln Navigators, taking "adventure" vacations and going on shopping sprees at the local mall (one of the most prevalent and pernicious addictions in America). Real problems emerge when we make our departures-from-reality into a new "reality," unrelated to empirical reality.

Jefferson felt that it was better to be "exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it." In this sense, religious capitalism has no Jeffersonian content at all. The right wing would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending no democracy than those attending too much of it (and any of it is too much of it, if it gets in the way of capitalism's notions of "progress").

Religious Capitalism

Religious capitalism thrives only at the extreme, where it works to control national values, policies and goals in the interest of maximizing its own authority and control, nothing else. In turn, it wants no controls placed over the corruption that is literally inherent in greed-driven capitalism. Rules and regulations are for the ruled, not for the makers of rules.

Under the Bush administration's religious capitalism, America has become the scene for "The Crime of the Century." This became quickly apparent with the recent emergence of a "secret Downing Street memo" which "proves that everything the Bush administration said about the Iraq invasion was a lie" (David Michael Green, Common Dreams, AxisofLogic, May 15, 2005). So damning was this document, it received essentially no mention in the mainstream American press, which seems more bent on preserving the crony capitalism upon which America has come to depend.
"Think about that for a second. Apart from 9/11, has there been a more important story in the last decade than that the president lied to the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, and then proceeded to plunge the country into an illegal war which has alienated the rest of the world, lit a fire under the war's victims and the Islamic world generally, turning them into enemy combatants, locked up virtually all American land forces in a war without end in sight, cost $300 billion and counting, taken over 1600 American lives on top of more than 15,000 gravely wounded, and killed perhaps 100,000 Iraqis?"

If the President of the U.S. overtly lies to the American people in order to pursue, in their names, a devastatingly immoral war in Iraq, if the President of the U.S. can't be trusted and the mainstream press lets it all go by, then what do we, as a people, have left? Bush World, in its entirety, is fabrication built upon fabrication, from credentials and character to competence and contribution. The entire edifice would not last a week without the complicity of an American press that can't do its job for fear of losing its job.

The right half of the American electorate and the mainstream press have had to make an incomprehensible retreat from reality and sanity in order to accommodate the Old Testament morality and ethics of the Bush administration. This retreat is not due to any innate individual shortcomings. It is more due to cultural shortcomings, with traditional religion teaching that individuals need not think for themselves but ought choose faith in an Old Testament world view that has nothing to do with the values of Jefferson's Christianity and Democracy.


Balance of this probably controversial piece can be found here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 05:48 PM

An editorial in the Sunday NY Times by Nicholas Kristof, highlighting yet another piece of anti-constitutional moralistic Grundyism on the part of our Furless Liter:

Jack Newbold is a 59-year-old retired tugboat captain who is dying of bone cancer. It's one of the most painful cancers, and he doesn't want to put his wife and 17-year-old daughter through the trauma of caring for him as he loses control over his body.

So Mr. Newbold faces a wrenching choice in the coming weeks: should he fight the cancer until his last breath, or should he take a glass of a barbiturate solution prescribed by a doctor and put himself to sleep forever? He's leaning toward the latter.

"I've got less than six months to live," he said. "I don't want to linger and put my wife and family through this."

I don't know what I would do if I were Mr. Newbold, nor if I were his wife or daughter (they're both supporting him in any decision he makes). But I do believe that it should be their decision - not President Bush's.

Unfortunately, Mr. Bush is fighting to overturn the Oregon Death With Dignity law, which gives Mr. Newbold the option of hastening his death. Oregon voters twice passed referendums approving the law, which has been used since 1998, and it has wide support in the state.

The Bush administration issued an order that any doctor who issued a prescription under the state law would be prosecuted under federal law. Oregon won an injunction against the order, John Ashcroft lost an appeal, and now the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the fall.

"I'm just grateful I live in the state of Oregon, where we have this option," Mr. Newbold said. "I'm just sorry the John Ashcrofts of the world want to dictate not only how you live, but also how you die. There's nothing more personal, other than childbirth, than passing on."

Mr. Newbold, a Vietnam veteran and former merchant seaman, is funny and blunt, with a flair for nautical language unsuitable for a family newspaper. He started with head and neck cancer. Now cancer is spreading to his bones, disabling him and forcing him to take morphine for pain.

"By God, I want to go out on my own terms," Mr. Newbold said. "I don't want someone dictating to me that I've got to lie down in some hospital bed and die in pain."

Mr. Newbold has started the process of obtaining the barbiturates; two doctors must confirm that the patient has less than six months to live, and the patient must make three requests over at least 15 days. Typically, the drug is secobarbital - the powder is removed from the capsules and mixed into water or applesauce - or pentobarbital, which comes as a liquid. Patients typically slip into a coma five minutes after taking the medication and die within two hours.

Like many patients, Mr. Newbold says that his biggest concern isn't pain so much as the loss of autonomy and dignity. That's partly why he wants the medication on hand - if he feels himself losing the self-control he has prized all his life, he can hasten the process.

"I may never use the medication," he said, "but the knowledge that you have the ability to end it gives you so much relief."

That's common - many patients who get the barbiturates do not in fact use them, but derive comfort from having the choice. Over all, 208 patients over seven years have used the law to hasten death, according to the Compassion in Dying Federation of Oregon, which helps patients work their way through the legal requirements.

When patients use the law, they typically set a date and gather family and friends around them. Those who have witnessed such a parting say it's not as morbid as it may sound.

"It's pretty weird knowing what day you're going to die, but we could plan for it," said Julie McMurchie, whose mother used the barbiturates about a week before she was expected to die naturally of lung cancer. "Two of my siblings lived out of state, and they were able to come, so we were all present. ... We were all there to hug and kiss her and tell her we loved her, and she had some poetry she wanted read to her, and it was all loving and peaceful.

"I can't imagine why anybody would begrudge us that opportunity to say goodbye, and her that opportunity to have peace."

The same applies to Jack Newbold and everyone in his position. Mr. Newbold faces an excruciating choice in the coming weeks, and he's got enough on his mind without the White House second-guessing him.

Back off, Mr. Bush.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 09:37 AM

An editorial by Bob Herbert of the NY Times, July 11 2005:

"Back in March 2004 President Bush had a great time displaying what he felt was a hilarious set of photos showing him searching the Oval Office for the weapons of mass destruction that hadn't been found in Iraq. It was a spoof he performed at the annual dinner of the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association.

The photos showed the president peering behind curtains and looking under furniture for the missing weapons. Mr. Bush offered mock captions for the photos, saying, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere" and "Nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?"

If there's something funny about Mr. Bush's misbegotten war, I've yet to see it. The president deliberately led Americans traumatized by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, into the false belief that there was a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and that a pre-emptive invasion would make the United States less vulnerable to terrorism.

Close to 600 Americans had already died in Iraq when Mr. Bush was cracking up the audience with his tasteless photos at the glittering Washington gathering. The toll of Americans has now passed 1,750. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died. Scores of thousands of men, women and children have been horribly wounded. And there is no end in sight.

Last week's terror bombings in London should be seen as a reminder not just that Mr. Bush's war was a hideous diversion of focus and resources from the essential battle against terror, but that it has actually increased the danger of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

The C.I.A. warned the administration in a classified report in May that Iraq - since the American invasion in 2003 - had become a training ground in which novice terrorists were schooled in assassinations, kidnappings, car bombings and other terror techniques. The report said Iraq could prove to be more effective than Afghanistan in the early days of Al Qaeda as a place to train terrorists who could then disperse to other parts of the world, including the United States.

Larry Johnson, a former C.I.A. analyst who served as deputy director of the State Department's counterterrorism office, said on National Public Radio last week: "You now in Iraq have a recruiting ground in which jihadists, people who previously were not willing to go out and embrace the vision of bin Laden and Al Qaeda, are now aligning themselves with elements that have declared allegiance to him. And in the course of that, they're learning how to build bombs. They're learning how to conduct military operations."

Has the president given any thought to leveling with the American people about how bad the situation has become? And is he even considering what for him would be the radical notion of soliciting the counsel of wise men and women who might give him a different perspective on war and terror than the Kool-Aid-drinking true believers who have brought us to this dreadful state of affairs? The true believers continue to argue that the proper strategy is to stay the current catastrophic course.

Americans are paying a fearful price for Mr. Bush's adventure in Iraq. In addition to the toll of dead and wounded, the war is costing about $5 billion a month. It has drained resources from critical needs here at home, including important antiterror initiatives that would improve the security of ports, transit systems and chemical plants.


Whatever one's views on the war, thoughtful Americans need to consider the damage it is doing to the United States, and the bitter anger that it has provoked among Muslims around the world. That anger is spreading like an unchecked fire in an incredibly vast field.

The immediate challenge to President Bush is to dispense with the destructive fantasies of the true believers in his administration and to begin to see America's current predicament clearly. New voices with new approaches and new ideas need to be heard. The hole we're in is deep enough. We need to stop digging. ...

As with many of these articles, this one seems harsh until you reckon the actual cost of Bush's profligacy in human lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: dianavan
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 02:23 PM

Can Rove be tried for treason in time of war?

"Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, Author of "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity."


"I did my civic duty and held my government to account for statements it had made. The government acknowledged that the sixteen words about Iraq purchasing uranium from Niger did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union Address. And then the Administration went out to savage my family and myself.... Somebody close to the President of the United States decided that in order to defend Bush's political agenda, that individual or individuals would violate the national security of the country and expose my wife's name and her profession.

That was absolutely unexpected. That this government would take a national security asset off the table, working in an area that is of primordial importance to the national security of the United States – the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction into the hands of rogue states and non-state actors."

Ambassador Joe Wilson

Okay, for the umpteenth time, let's get this straight: In order to send a message to any Bush Cartel whistleblowers and truth tellers, Karl Rove or Scooter Libby (or both) authorized the outing of a CIA operative. But this wasn't just any CIA operative. This was a woman who specialized in tracking the illicit trade in Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Well, the WMD-specializing outed CIA agent was Valerie Plame. Why was she outed and our national security threatened by the Bush Cartel? Because her husband, Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, had the temerity to reveal that the Bush Cartel mischaracterized a key piece of alleged (i.e., phony) evidence that Saddam Hussein was purchasing nuclear material from the nation of Niger (not to be confused with Nigeria).

So, America's national security has been jeopardized because a man who showed heroism in the diplomatic corps told the truth about the Bush Cartel and the Bush Cartel sought revenge."

I doubt if Rove acted independently. I suspect that he was given the O.K. from the gang of thugs now in the White House. I hope we are getting closer to the truth and that the U.S. will show the world that they will no longer be fooled into believing anything the Bush Administration has to say. Its time to impeach them and try them for treason. Who will have the courage?

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 11:38 PM

Paul Krugman (NY Times, 7-14-05) offers these thoughts:

John Gibson of Fox News says that Karl Rove should be given a medal. I agree: Mr. Rove should receive a medal from the American Political Science Association for his pioneering discoveries about modern American politics. The medal can, if necessary, be delivered to his prison cell.

Forum: Paul Krugman's Columns
What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we're not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern.

I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals.

But the real demonstration that Mr. Rove understands American politics better than any pundit came after 9/11.

Every time I read a lament for the post-9/11 era of national unity, I wonder what people are talking about. On the issues I was watching, the Republicans' exploitation of the atrocity began while ground zero was still smoldering.

Mr. Rove has been much criticized for saying that liberals responded to the attack by wanting to offer the terrorists therapy - but what he said about conservatives, that they "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war," is equally false. What many of them actually saw was a domestic political opportunity - and none more so than Mr. Rove.

A less insightful political strategist might have hesitated right after 9/11 before using it to cast the Democrats as weak on national security. After all, there were no facts to support that accusation.

But Mr. Rove understood that the facts were irrelevant. For one thing, he knew he could count on the administration's supporters to obediently accept a changing story line. Read the before-and-after columns by pro-administration pundits about Iraq: before the war they castigated the C.I.A. for understating the threat posed by Saddam's W.M.D.; after the war they castigated the C.I.A. for exaggerating the very same threat.

Mr. Rove also understands, better than anyone else in American politics, the power of smear tactics. Attacks on someone who contradicts the official line don't have to be true, or even plausible, to undermine that person's effectiveness. All they have to do is get a lot of media play, and they'll create the sense that there must be something wrong with the guy.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM

"Reporters in the US have expressed concern about their duty to protect the anonymity of their sources. What is becoming evident, however, from the unfolding soap opera that the White House and newspapers like the WSJ are bringing to the world, is that the sources of government information that US reporters have available, like Karl Rove, are sources who are willing to use their public office to involve reporters in activities of political retribution.

The crime that the U.S. Congress and the American people have to understand is the fact that they were presented with a set of lies, including carefully crafted misrepresentations, to justify an illegal invasion of another country and the killing of many people. The period leading up to the invasion of Iraq by the US government, was a period when much of the US media, and reporters like Judith Miller, who is now in jail to protect her sources, created a fraudulent public pretext for the US government's steps to war.

What the WSJ doesn't mention, is that before the US government invaded Iraq, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had clearly disclosed the forged nature of documents the US used to claim that Iraq had sought uranium ore in Niger. The US government at the time said that they had just gotten the documents themselves in October 2002, yet they didn't give them to the IAEA until February 2003 ("Macbeth" and the Forged Documents of Niger).

How the US government could present forged documents to the IAEA as proof that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore from Niger, is a serious question. The lies and forgeries that the US government has been willing to present as its justification for an illegal war continue. Also the WSJ continues to applaud government officials for their lies and use of forgeries and in so doing helps them to cover up their abuse of public office. The US press is faced with a serious challenge. If it continues to protect as sources government officials who lie, it stands to lose any of its credibility that remains with people in the US and around the world. The obligation of the press is to expose the misdeeds of government, not to be the mouthpiece to broadcast, or to cover up these misdeeds.

A serious principle is at stake in the current investigation into the role played by the White House (not just by Rove) in leaking information about Joe Wilson's wife. The principle is: Will the press act as a force to stop the US government from presenting lies and misrepresentations as a pretext to justify illegal and harmful deeds and policies? Or will the press be complicit in spreading or covering up the illegal and misleading deeds of the US government?

Almost two hundred years ago, in an encyclopedia article about the "Freedom of the Press, James Mill, the father of John Stuart Mill, explained that without a press exposing the corruption and misrule in government, government officials will not be able to resist the temptation to be corrupt"

See for balance of piece.


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Subject: POTUS Position to be Out-sourced
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 10:12 AM

Outsourcing the President's job to India Washington D.C. - Associated Press,
8:27 a.m.

Congress today announced that the office of President of the United States
of America will be outsourced to overseas interests as of June 30th.

The move is being made to save not only a significant portion of the
President's $400K yearly salary, but also a record $521 billion in deficit
expenditures and related overhead.

"We believe this is a wise move financially. The cost savings should be
significant," stated Congressman Thomas Reynolds (R-Wash.). Reynolds, wit
the aid of the Government Accountability Office, has studied outsourcing of
American jobs extensively. "We cannot expect to remain competitive on the
world stage with the current level of cash outlay," Reynolds noted.

Mr. Bush was informed by email this morning of his termination.

Preparations for the job move have been underway for some time. Sanji
Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices, Mumbai, India will be assuming the
office of President as of July 1. Mr. Singh was born in the United States
while his Indian parents were vacationing at Niagara Falls, thus making him
eligible for the position. He will receive a salary of $320 (USD) a month
but with no health coverage or other benefits.

It is believed that Mr. Singh will be able to handle his job
responsibilities without support staff. Due to the time difference between
the US and India, he will be working primarily at night, when few offices of
the US Government will be open. "Working nights will allow me to keep my day
job at the American Express call center," stated Mr. Singh in an exclusive
interview. "I am excited about this position. I always hoped I would be
President someday."

A Congressional Spokesperson noted that while Mr. Singh may not be fully
aware of all the issues involved in the office of the President, this should
not be a problem. Mr. Singh will rely upon a script tree that will enable
him to respond effectively to most topics of concern. Using this tree, he
can address common concerns without having to understand the underlying
issues at all. "We know these scripting tools work," stated the
Spokesperson. "Mr. Bush has used them successfully for years."

Mr. Bush will receive health coverage, expenses, and salary until his final
day of employment. Following a two week waiting period, he will be eligible
for $240 USD a week unemployment for 13 weeks. Unfortunately, he will not be
eligible for Medicaid as his unemployment benefits will exceed the allowed

Mr. Bush has been provided the outplacement services of Manpower, Inc. to
help him write a resume and prepare for his upcoming job transition.

According to Manpower, Mr. Bush may have difficulties in securing a new
position due to limited practical work experience. One possibility is
re-enlistment in the Air National Guard. Should he choose this option, he
would likely be stationed in Iraq, a country he has visited. "I've been
there; I know about Iraq," stated Mr. Bush, who gained invaluable knowledge
of the country in a visit to the Baghdad Airport's terminal and gift shop.

Sources in Baghdad and Falluja say Mr. Bush would receive a warm reception
from local Iraqis. They have asked to be provided with details of his
arrival so that they might arrange an appropriate welcome.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 06:57 PM

From a correspondent with military background:

Utter nonsense. I know something about war - several of them matter of
fact, over 55 years worth, from up close and personal to the highest levels
of government during the Vietnam War after all the mistakes had been made.
The main reason this is dragging on is for the same reason the US gave up
after 10 years in the Vietnam War - both Secretaries of Defense - McNamara,
from the left, and Rumsfeld, from the right both tried to personally
micromanage their wars, and the preparation for them, as 'civilian control'
freaks, who neither listened to nor followed the advice they were given by
competant military professionals. McNamara and the civilian hot shots in
the basement of the White House imposed their pet 'escalation' theories on
the Vietnam War - to include picking individual targets for Air Force
bombing over North Vietnam, or, ala McNamara tried to use his pet 'cost
effectiveness' theories that worked at Ford to fight a classic Maoist three
stage War of National Liberation. He never understood the nature of that
War. So he sent B-52s to surpress political revolutionionaries. Any good
Special Forces Colonel - who understood how to fight politico- military
Revolutionary opponents could have done a better job.. And Rumsfeld utterly
ignored the military advice he was given before the invasion, about the
troop strength and combinations that would be needed, not just to knock off
Saddam Hussain's Conventional Paper Tiger troops, but far more importantly
what it would take to pacify, control and poltiically reconstruct the
country, after the conventional fighting was over and the regime overrun,
a nation of 25 million spread out larger than California. He refused to
let Colin Powell as Secretary of State - who knows something about war,
and insurgencies professionally - to take over the post combat
'reconstruction' phase of the war, as the State Department tradionally can
do, and better than military in the wake of conventional military
overthrow of local to national government. JUST as we did suceessfully in
Germany and Italy during the 'occupation' . Rumsfeld STILL does not, nor do
most of his neocon hot shots from the Right, understand the Iraq War or
what it will take to succeed at our national objectives, which are NOT
primarily military.

George Bush senior, who understood from his lowly Navy Pilot experience how
chains of command are supposed to operate and how to delegate, gave his
Military Commander, Schwartkopf, via his Chairman of the JCS, Powell their
political-mission orders in Desert Storm, and did NOT micromanage them and
didn't let Cheney do it either. He knew, like Lincoln did, how to pick
commanders, delegate, expect performance and replace commanders who
couldn't perform.

The problem is at the top, not in the field.

(Name witheld)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 07:55 PM

Ebbie: sorry to be so late in replying to your question of July 3. My wife have been tooling around in your home state and just returned. Incidentially, I saw the Wal-Mart store in Fairbanks and immediately thought of my Mudcat friends.

If Karl Rove OR GWB committed a crime, either should be punished to the full extent of the law. I don't believe it has been proven, however, that either have done so. Just the opinion of lots'a lefties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 08:37 PM

From a correspondent:

very interesting article in the Economist (subscription required,
but recently syndicated in a bunch of other papers, so may be
elsewhere on the web): points to the economist story, which opens:

ON JULY 19th, IraqBodyCount, a group of academics who are attempting
to monitor the casualties of the conflict in that country, published
a report suggesting that almost 25,000 civilians have been killed in
it so far. In other words, 34 a day. But that is an average. on some
days the total is lower, and some higher -- occasionally much higher.

It is this variation around the mean that interests Dr. Neil Johnson
of the University of Oxford and Michael Spagat of Royal Holloway
College, London. They think it is possible to trace and model the
development of wars from the patterns of casualties they throw up.

The groundwork for this sort of study was laid by Lewis Fry
Richardson, a British physicist, with a paper on the mathematics of
war that was published in 1948....

The outcome was startling: rather than varying wildly or
chaotically, the probability of individual wars having particular
numbers of casualties followed a mathematical relationship known as a
power law....

Terrorist attacks within G7 countries could be distinguished from
those inside non-G7 countries by their different indices....


Meanwhile, there's a related story on Nature:>

Net, net: the war in Iraq is approaching the same pattern as the
long-running war in Colombia.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 12:09 AM

NEw York Times:
Published: July 28, 2005

The energy bill that has been six years in the making and is nearing the president's desk is not the unrelieved disaster some environmentalists make it out to be. But to say, as President Bush undoubtedly will, that it will swiftly move this country to a cleaner, more secure energy future is nonsense. The bill, approved by a House-Senate conference early Tuesday morning, does not take the bold steps necessary to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, and it also fails to address the looming problem of global warming.

These shortcomings are chiefly the fault of the White House and its retainers in the House. To be sure, the Senate showed no more courage than the House in its refusal to increase fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks, even though higher standards, by common consent, are the easiest, quickest and most technologically feasible way to reduce oil demand and cut foreign imports.

But the Senate did approve a renewable fuels provision requiring power plants to produce 10 percent of their electricity from nontraditional sources, like wind power, by 2010. It also approved a provision that would ask the president to reduce domestic oil consumption by one million barrels a day by whatever means he chose. The House conferees rejected both proposals.

Meanwhile, both houses conspired in some spectacular giveaways. One would ease environmental restrictions on oil and gas companies drilling on public lands. The other would shower billions in undeserved tax breaks on the same companies, even as they wallow in the windfall profits produced by $60-a-barrel oil. ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 12:10 AM

From Bob Herbert at the NY Times:

Oil and Blood

Published: July 28, 2005
It is now generally understood that the U.S.-led war in Iraq has become a debacle. Nevertheless, Iraqis are supposed to have their constitution ratified and a permanent government elected by the end of the year. It's a logical escape hatch for George W. Bush. He could declare victory, as a senator once suggested to Lyndon Johnson in the early years of Vietnam, and bring the troops home as quickly as possible.

His mantra would be: There's a government in place. We won. We're out of there.

But don't count on it. The Bush administration has no plans to bring the troops home from this misguided war, which has taken a fearful toll in lives and injuries while at the same time weakening the military, damaging the international reputation of the United States, serving as a world-class recruiting tool for terrorist groups and blowing a hole the size of Baghdad in Washington's budget.

A wiser leader would begin to cut some of these losses. But the whole point of this war, it seems, was to establish a long-term military presence in Iraq to ensure American domination of the Middle East and its precious oil reserves, which have been described, the author Daniel Yergin tells us, as "the greatest single prize in all history."

You can run through all the wildly varying rationales for this war: the weapons of mass destruction (that were never found), the need to remove the unmitigated evil of Saddam (whom we had once cozied up to), the connection to Al Qaeda (which was bogus), and one of President Bush's favorites, the need to fight the terrorists "over there" so we won't have to fight them here at home.

All the rationales have to genuflect before "The Prize," which was the title of Mr. Yergin's Pulitzer-Prize-winning book.

It's the oil, stupid. ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 12:48 AM

Ambassador Bolton
(NY Times)
Published: August 2, 2005
If there's a positive side to President Bush's appointment of John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations yesterday, it's that as long as Mr. Bolton is in New York, he will not be wreaking diplomatic havoc anywhere else. Talks with North Korea, for instance, have been looking more productive since Mr. Bolton left the State Department, and it's hard not to think that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's generally positive performance in office is due, in part, to her canniness in dispatching Mr. Bolton out of Washington.

But the appointment is, of course, terrible news for the United Nations, whose diplomats have heard weeks of Senate testimony about Mr. Bolton's lack of respect for their institution and his deeply undiplomatic, bullying style of doing business. Senator George Voinovich, the Ohio Republican who became one of Mr. Bolton's strongest critics, said yesterday that he planned to send the new ambassador a book on how to be an effective manager. It couldn't hurt, but this may be the first time a world superpower has used its top United Nations post as a spot for the remedial training of a troublesome government employee.

Mr. Bush had been unable to get Mr. Bolton's nomination confirmed by the Senate, so he waited until Congress left town and used his constitutional power to make recess appointments. This is a perfectly legal tactic, though one that has seldom been used to fill this kind of position. A recess appointment is particularly dicey for a major diplomatic post, where a good nominee should carry an aura of personal gravitas and legitimacy.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 03:11 PM

Right, Amos, good old non-biased Garrison! He loves Bush, doesn't he? :>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 03:20 PM

What's to love, DR? The man is a despicable ignoramus and a despot.

He might be more suitable for the job of ruining HAiti.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 06:43 PM

Okay. I got to wonderin' about this flippin' thread, eh? Its' really long. so what the flip is it all about?

Flipped if I know! I guess maybe its' politicall, eh?

Flippin' boring if ya ask me.

Why ain't there nothin' about beer in this thread? Or sex?

Well, I guess I am outta here.

I will check back in a month and see if it has got any better, okay?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 06:59 PM

Tell ya what, ya flipping hoser -- I'll start a thread for you personally called "Popular Views of Great White North Hoseheads", eh? Then we can put posts about how you scratch your ass in every bar in town, chase broken down skirt and live on back-bacon and unfiltered smokes and beer, eh? Make ya feel better? Eh? Eh? EH?



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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 07:03 PM know my flippin' life from, like, A to Z don't you?

Don't bother, eh? I will start the flippin' thread myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 10:59 PM

From a more compassionate viewpoint toward Fr. Bush:

"We've got the hatemongers who literally hate this president, and that
is so wrong. . . . The people who hate George Bush hate him because he's
a follower of Jesus Christ, unashamedly says so and applies his faith in
his day-to-day operations." -- Rev. Jerry Falwell, on C-SPAN's
"Washington Journal"

Oh...wading into an unnecessary war, draining the Treasury of billions, exercising political favoritism independent of hates him for those things? Causing hundreds of unneeded deaths, undermining the American constitution, ruining our international repute -- these don't count? Imposing narrow-minded and short-sighted moralisms on American citizenry at every turn -- no-one hates him for that?

I am SO glad we have Jerry Falwell to clarify our thinking on these matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 11:03 PM

"Bush backs teaching intelligent design

By Ron Hutcheson
Inquirer Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - President Bush waded into the debate over evolution and
intelligent design yesterday, saying schools should teach both theories
on the creation and complexity of life.

In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with a small group of
reporters, Bush essentially endorsed efforts by Christian conservatives
to give intelligent design equal standing with the theory of evolution
in the nation's schools.

Bush declined to state his personal views on intelligent design, the
belief that life-forms are so complex that their creation cannot be
explained by Darwinian evolutionary theory alone, but rather points to
intentional creation, presumably divine.

The theory of evolution, as articulated by British naturalist Charles
Darwin in 1859, is based on the idea that life organisms developed over
time through random mutations and factors in nature that favored certain
traits that helped species survive.

Scientists concede that evolution does not answer every question about
the creation of life, but most consider intelligent design an attempt to
inject religion into science courses.

Bush compared the current debate to earlier disputes over creationism, a
related view that adheres more closely to biblical explanations. As
governor of Texas, Bush said students should be exposed to both
creationism and evolution.

Yesterday, the President said he favored the same approach for
intelligent design, "so people can understand what the debate is about."

The Kansas Board of Education is considering changes to encourage the
teaching of intelligent design in Kansas schools, and Christian
conservatives are pushing for similar changes in other school districts
across the country.

"I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools
of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to
be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.""

Now kids, in science class here we revere Galileo for determining the diameter of the earth by consulting the actual visual experience of the world, and measuring the shadows on the moon -- a classic example of the best scientific method for discovering new things, such as the roundness of the Earth.

At the same time, there are equally strongly held views that this is all a sham, and that any fool can see the earth is flat just by standing at one edge of a cornfield in Missouri and looking for himself. We are obliged by law to present you with both hypotheses. AFter all, they are just theories.

You must decide these things for yourself; that's the American way...."

Dear God, preserve us from such fools...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 12:31 AM

The NY Times on Bully-Boy Bolton's Bypass Appointment:

"Mr. Bolton was sworn into office shortly after the announcement and by Monday afternoon had arrived in New York, where he was booed on the sidewalk outside the United States Mission.

Secretary General Kofi Annan welcomed Mr. Bolton, but told reporters that the new ambassador should consult with others as the administration continued to press for changes at the United Nations.

"I think it is all right for one ambassador to come and push, but an ambassador always has to remember that there are 190 others who will have to be convinced - or a vast majority of them - for action to take place," Mr. Annan said.

Mr. Bolton begins the job as the administration is threatening to take Iran to the Security Council to seek punishment if Tehran moves forward with its nuclear program.

Mr. Bolton, the former under secretary of state for arms control, took a hard line against nuclear proliferation by nations including Iran and North Korea, but administration officials have said that in his new job he would carry out the views of Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice and not make his own policy.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, characterized Mr. Bush's move as "the latest abuse of power by the Bush White House," while another Democrat, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, said in a statement that "even while the president preaches democracy around the world, he bends the rules and circumvents the will of Congress" at home."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 08:16 PM

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A civil-liberties board ordered by the U.S. Congress last year has never met to discuss its job of protecting rights in the fight against terrorism, and critics say it is a toothless, underfunded shell with inadequate support from President Bush.

Lawmakers including some Republicans, civil-rights advocates, a member of the Sept. 11 Commission and a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board have expressed concerns.

Lanny Davis, the only prominent liberal among the five people Bush nominated after a six-month delay, said he had not received a call from anyone related to the board since it was formally announced in June. Davis said he could not comment on specifics because the members had not yet met.

All four other panel members declined to comment.

The inactivity comes at a time when Congress is nearing reauthorization of several provisions of the Patriot Act, a controversial law that gave the government new powers to go after suspected terrorists.

Asked why it was taking so long to set the board up, Connecticut Republican Rep. Christopher Shays charged, "It's not a priority for the administration."

The intelligence reform law of December 2004 called for the oversight board in response to a recommendation from the Sept. 11 Commission, which feared increased governmental powers needed to fight terrorism could erode civil liberties.

Top White House officials have said the board would address those concerns, and get the resources needed to do the job.

But almost eight months after its inception, the critics say the panel still only exists on paper, and lacks the money, power and presidential backing to ensure the entire government respects Americans' rights.

The Bush-appointed panel "is a very watered-down board without the kinds of powers which I believe are necessary to provide credibility and authority, such as independent subpoena power ... and a bipartisan process in selection," said Richard Ben-Veniste, a former Sept. 11 commissioner.


"We don't think the board serves as a credible watchdog," said Tim Edgar, national security policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

One frequent complaint concerns the board's budget. Bush requested $750,000, which Congress doubled to $1.5 million.

The Department of Homeland Security's privacy office, with a similar mission limited to that department, alone has a roughly $13 million budget, said Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.

"I don't think you can do it for a million and a half," Shays said.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 06:01 PM

In the Los Angeles Times an intersting assessment of Mister Bush's mind-set, or lack thereof.

An excerpt:

When asked about Palmeiro's positive steroid test, Bush — who knew Palmeiro when the president owned the Rangers — replied, "Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public and I believe him. He's the kind of person that's going to stand up in front of the Klieg lights and say he didn't use steroids, and I believe him."

This statement perfectly crystallizes Bush's thinking. Facts don't matter to him. What matters is how he feels about the person in question. In 2001, for instance, Bush met with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, and the two hit it off. As Bush later told Peggy Noonan, Putin recounted to him a story involving a cross given to him by his mother.

"I said to him, 'You know, I found that story very interesting. You see, President Putin, I think you judge a person on something other than just politics. I think it's important for me and for you to look for the depth of a person's soul and character. I was touched by the fact your mother gave you the cross.' " Bush publicly testified of Putin, "I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Personally, I put less weight on the fact that Putin got a cross from his mother, and more on the fact that Putin has smothered Russian democracy by outlawing opposition parties, shut down any remotely skeptical media outlet and subjected his critics to political show trials. Yet this sort of evidence has had barely any effect on Bush. Two years later, he was still praising Putin's desire for "a country in which democracy and freedom and rule of law thrive."

Bush is even apt to apply this particular brand of illogic to his own character. In one of the 2000 presidential debates, Al Gore pointed out that Bush as governor of Texas opposed a measure to expand children's healthcare and instead used the money for a tax cut. The debate moderator then asked Bush, "Are those numbers correct? Are his charges correct?" To which Bush replied, "If he's trying to allege that I'm a hardhearted person and I don't care about children, he's absolutely wrong."

The style of Bush's reply is telling. Gore was trying to make a point about Bush's moral priorities by establishing a series of facts about Bush's behavior. Rather than deny having chosen tax cuts over children's healthcare, or explain his rationale for having done so, Bush changed the subject to more comfortable ground: judging people's hearts. He asked the audience to intuit, based on the way he carries himself, that he is a warmhearted person, and thus to reject out of hand any facts that might clash with this impression.

The point isn't just that Bush refuses to engage with facts he finds inconvenient. (Many fail that test.) It's that Bush rejects reason itself. Reason is a process by which we draw our broader conclusions from an accumulation of specific evidence. When the evidence changes ("Hey, this Putin guy seems to be squelching dissent"), our conclusions can also ("Perhaps he doesn't love democracy as much as he said he did!"). Bush, on the other hand, arrives at his beliefs through intuition. His supporters marvel at the unshakeable certainty of his convictions. Well, no wonder."

Just in case you thought it was just me! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:02 PM

From the Lone Star Iconoclast:

...By Nathan Diebenow
Associate Editor

CRAWFORD — The mother of a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq was denied a face-to-face meeting with President Bush here Saturday after she walked through a ditch-like path in the August heat to the President's Prairie Chapel Ranch.
"I didn't come all this way from California to stand here in a ditch," said Cindy Sheehan, 48, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, attempting to continue her trek to the ranch.
Even though two of the President's aides later agreed to deliver her message to him, Sheehan said that she would remain in Crawford for the whole month, if need be, until she is granted a private audience with the commander-in-chief to ask him for what "noble cause" did her son die overseas.
"If he doesn't come out to talk to me in Crawford, I'll follow him to D.C., and I'll camp out on his lawn," she said, to a round of applause from her supporters. "I'll go to prison. I don't want to live in a country where people are treated this way."
Sheehan's actions, she said, were sparked by President Bush's comments like those made last Wednesday in Grapevine to about 1,800 members of the American Legislative Exchange Council: "Our men and women who've lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and in this war on terror have died in a noble cause and a selfless cause."
"We all know by now that that's not true, and I want to ask George Bush, 'Why did my son die? What was the noble cause that he died for?'" said Sheehan. "I don't want [President Bush] to use my son's name or my family name to justify any more killing or to exploit my son's name, my son's sacrifice, or my son's honor to justify more killing. As a mother, why would I want one more mother to go through what I'm going through, Iraqi or American?
"And I want to tell him that the only way to honor my son's sacrifice is to bring the troops home now."
Her son, Casey Sheehan, 24, of Vacaville, Calif., died in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 4, 2004, when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Bush's comments Wednesday coincided with the deaths of 12 Marine reservists from Ohio who were killed in perhaps the deadliest roadside bombing of U.S. troops in Iraq. So far, the lives of about 1,821 Americans in uniform have been taken since the 2003 invasion. Pollsters indicate that Bush's approval ratings are declining in relation to the rise in U.S. casualties in Iraq.
Sheehan, joining anti-war activists at the Crawford Peace House, arrived with a busload of veterans from the Veterans for Peace convention which was held in Irving, near Dallas, since Thursday. The total group of activists there numbered over 50 and included members of Veteran's for Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), CodePink, and the Crawford Peace House.
Vietnam veteran Jim Waters, not affliated with any activist group, said that he drove overnight from Lubbock alone in support of Sheehan and the Gold Star Families for Peace because he is "very concerned" about the war in Iraq and wants to ask President Bush, "Why aren't his daughters there?"
"One of the principles of leadership is you don't ask people to do what you yourself don't have the courage to do, and [President Bush] is asking people to fight to their deaths when he himself and most of the architects of this war never served," said Waters, a retired Navy commander and former hospital administrator. "[President Bush] served, but he jumped over 10,000 people to get into the National Guard Champagne Unit, so he could avoid duty in Vietnam. I had to go to Vietnam, and now he's sending them to their deaths — over 1,800 so far.
"I'm sick and tired of what's happening to our country," he continued. "To me it's almost like the White House operation is a mob operation. These guys are scary, and they're dangerous, in my opinion."
The demonstrators gathered around one side of Sheehan as she spoke with the news media. A World War II veteran, Archie Goodwin from Naples, Fla., carrying a sign, stated away from the group that he is for peace, but "Bush isn't." His sign read, "Somebody lied."
Sheehan was accompanied on Saturday by her sister, Dede Miller, and Amy Ranham, another mother of a slain U.S. soldier. Among her fellow supporters present were Ann Wright, a former U.S. diplomat who resigned her post in March 2003 in protest of the invasion of Iraq; Camilo Mejia, a reservist in the Florida National Guard who became a consciousness objector upon returning from service in Iraq; and Persian Gulf War Veteran Dennis Kyne, a former battlefield medic who is outspoken on the effects of depleted uranium weapons.
Captain Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sherriff's Department agreed to lead the caravan of anti-war demonstrators to the Bush Ranch. "As long as y'all work with us, we'll work with y'all," he said.
The situation, however, turned less friendly as the afternoon progressed.
At a checkpoint, the demonstrators, on orders from the peace officers, exited their vehicles about eight miles from the ranch and were told to walk in the direction of the ranch on the shoulder of the road, not the roadway itself, so as to not impede the traffic. The conditions of the shoulder made it increasingly difficult for the demonstrators to walk. Five-to-10-feet wide, the shoulder was sloped inward ditch-like to two-to-three feet in some places and lined with dry, uncut grass and damp dirt.
The deputies finally ordered the demonstrators to halt miles from the ranch because the group had not agreed to its side of the "bargain" by walking on the roadway. "The media is allowed on the road, so why aren't we?" asked one of the demonstrators, to which an officer of the Sheriff's Department replied, "Because they were following you."
Sheehan, making one last attempt to push forward, said, "In the name of 1,828 soldiers that should be alive, I'm going to see the president. He killed my son."
Holding signs that said, "No more blood for oil," "Support our troops, bring them home now," "Iraq is Arabic for Viet Nam," and "Frodo failed. Bush has the ring," the demonstrators then chanted, "W. killed her son. W. killed her son."
This first attempt to meet the President ended up futile. Members of the group, including Sheehan, exchanged a few heated words with the Sherriff's deputies, Secret Service agents, and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers who kept their composure through the afternoon. There were no arrests made during the demonstration.
Other political slogans and chants were heard, including one from Hadi Jawad of the Crawford Peace House who urged the news media keep reporting on the Downing Street memos. These documents are a series of classified, British reports made during a planning session between British and American officials over Iraq months before its invasion. The British officials note in the memos that the United States was "fixing" evidence around the administration's policy to justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Sheehan, after the mainsteam media had left to file their reports, said, "This is the beginning of the end of the occupation of Iraq." A wild round of applause followed.
White House spokesman Trent Duffy said in response to Sheehan's actions that President Bush also wants the troops to return home safely but their mission must be completed in their honor. Two aides to the President, national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, later met with Sheehan to say that the president cares, but she, though appreciative, said in a message through The Iconoclast to the President, "George Bush, if you really care about me, why aren't you meeting with me?"
Sheehan, an opponent of the war in Iraq since its inception, took part in a meeting with other military families and Bush in June 2004 at Fort Lewis, near Seattle, Wash. This occured two months after her son was killed in Iraq. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, she said that during her first meeting with President Bush, she felt that the President seemed more jovial than sorrowful and expressed no interest in knowing the name of her son or seeing pictures of him.
Sheehan intends to continue to attempt to gain an audience with President Bush. "I'm filled with hope now, too, that we might be able to turn things around," she said, noting that additional support is on its way from throughout the country as she continues her efforts, which will include a candlelight vigil. Caravans from Louisiana and San Diego are on the way, to name a couple, she said.
Before her first attempt to speak to President Bush in Crawford, Sheehan met with two victims of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing, Dr. Satoru Konishi and ex-Marine Paul Ritthaler, and Ritthaler's wife, Betty. A press conference was held at the Peace House on the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:36 PM

I am pleased to report that Maureen Dowd, the spicy red-headed NY Times columnist, is back on her station livening up the Old Gray Lady.

"W. can't get no satisfaction on Iraq.

There's an angry mother of a dead soldier camping outside his Crawford ranch, demanding to see a president who prefers his sympathy to be carefully choreographed.
A new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now think that going to war was a mistake and that the war has made the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorism. So fighting them there means it's more likely we'll have to fight them here?

Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged yesterday that sophisticated bombs were streaming over the border from Iran to Iraq.

And the Rolling Stones have taken a rare break from sex odes to record an antiwar song called "Sweet Neo Con," chiding Condi Rice and Mr. Bush. "You call yourself a Christian; I call you a hypocrite," Mick Jagger sings.

The N.F.L. put out a press release on Monday announcing that it's teaming up with the Stones and ABC to promote "Monday Night Football." The flag-waving N.F.L. could still back out if there's pressure, but the mood seems to have shifted since Madonna chickened out of showing an antiwar music video in 2003. The White House used to be able to tamp down criticism by saying it hurt our troops, but more people are asking the White House to explain how it plans to stop our troops from getting hurt.

Cindy Sheehan, a 48-year-old Californian with a knack for P.R., says she will camp out in the dusty heat near the ranch until she gets to tell Mr. Bush face to face that he must pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Her son, Casey, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in a Sadr City ambush last year.

The president met with her family two months after Casey's death. Capturing W.'s awkwardness in traversing the line between somber and joking, and his love of generic labels, Ms. Sheehan said that W. had referred to her as "Mom" throughout the meeting, and given her the sense that he did not know who her son was.

The Bush team tried to discredit "Mom" by pointing reporters to an old article in which she sounded kinder to W. If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him. But even if they send out a squad of Swift Boat Moms for Truth, there will be a countering Falluja Moms for Truth.

It's amazing that the White House does not have the elementary shrewdness to have Mr. Bush simply walk down the driveway and hear the woman out, or invite her in for a cup of tea. But W., who has spent nearly 20 percent of his presidency at his ranch, is burrowed into his five-week vacation and two-hour daily workouts. He may be in great shape, but Iraq sure isn't.

It's hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees. He never has to defend himself to anyone, and that is cognitively injurious. He's a populist who never meets people - an ordinary guy who clears brush, and brush is the only thing he talks to. Mr. Bush hails Texas as a place where he can return to his roots. But is he mixing it up there with anyone besides Vulcans, Pioneers and Rangers?

W.'s idea of consolation was to dispatch Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, to talk to Ms. Sheehan, underscoring the inhumane humanitarianism of his foreign policy. Mr. Hadley is just a suit, one of the hard-line Unsweet Neo Cons who helped hype America into this war.

It's getting harder for the president to hide from the human consequences of his actions and to control human sentiment about the war by pulling a curtain over the 1,835 troops killed in Iraq; the more than 13,000 wounded, many shorn of limbs; and the number of slain Iraqi civilians - perhaps 25,000, or perhaps double or triple that. More people with impeccable credentials are coming forward to serve as a countervailing moral authority to challenge Mr. Bush.

Paul Hackett, a Marine major who served in Iraq and criticized the president on his conduct of the war, narrowly lost last week when he ran for Congress as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold in Cincinnati. Newt Gingrich warned that the race should "serve as a wake-up call to Republicans" about 2006.

Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.

But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute. "

Get it said, Maureen!


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 10:51 PM

"The thing I hate fourth-worst about the Bush regime—after the way they're screwing up the country, dishonoring the flag, and making the world a more dangerous place—is all the ammunition they supply the tin-hat brigade," writes UCLA professor Mark A.R. Kleiman, who thinks the Abramoff scandal belongs in a spy novel. "How am I supposed to convince my students not to believe in elaborate wicked conspiracies when we've got an elaborate wicked conspiracy running the damned country?"

from Slate.

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