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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 15 Aug 05 - 10:25 AM
Bobert 15 Aug 05 - 10:06 PM
Amos 15 Aug 05 - 10:43 PM
Amos 17 Aug 05 - 05:34 PM
Amos 19 Aug 05 - 01:01 PM
Amos 23 Aug 05 - 11:42 PM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 05 - 12:16 AM
Bill D 24 Aug 05 - 09:18 PM
Amos 25 Aug 05 - 05:33 PM
Paul Burke 26 Aug 05 - 06:05 AM
beardedbruce 26 Aug 05 - 09:03 PM
Amos 26 Aug 05 - 09:13 PM
Amos 26 Aug 05 - 09:17 PM
Amos 26 Aug 05 - 09:36 PM
freda underhill 28 Aug 05 - 05:36 AM
freda underhill 28 Aug 05 - 06:34 AM
Amos 29 Aug 05 - 04:34 PM
Amos 29 Aug 05 - 04:37 PM
Amos 29 Aug 05 - 04:50 PM
Amos 04 Sep 05 - 10:55 AM
Amos 06 Sep 05 - 10:22 PM
Amos 08 Sep 05 - 09:23 AM
Amos 08 Sep 05 - 10:28 PM
*Laura* 09 Sep 05 - 07:04 AM
Amos 12 Sep 05 - 10:01 AM
Amos 12 Sep 05 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,G 12 Sep 05 - 09:35 PM
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Amos 13 Sep 05 - 07:56 PM
Bobert 13 Sep 05 - 09:07 PM
Amos 15 Sep 05 - 10:57 PM
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GUEST,Old Guy 30 Sep 05 - 10:23 PM
Amos 30 Sep 05 - 10:42 PM
Bobert 30 Sep 05 - 10:44 PM
Amos 30 Sep 05 - 10:55 PM
Amos 01 Oct 05 - 10:32 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 10:25 AM

Social Security Lessons
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By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: August 15, 2005

Social Security turned 70 yesterday. And to almost everyone's surprise, the nation's most successful government program is still intact.

Just a few months ago the conventional wisdom was that President Bush would get his way on Social Security. Instead, Mr. Bush's privatization drive flopped so badly that the topic has almost disappeared from national discussion.

But I'd like to revisit Social Security for a moment, because it's important to remember what Mr. Bush tried to get away with.

Many pundits and editorial boards still give Mr. Bush credit for trying to "reform" Social Security. In fact, Mr. Bush came to bury Social Security, not to save it. Over time, the Bush plan would have transformed Social Security from a social insurance program into a mutual fund, with nothing except a name in common with the system F.D.R. created.

In addition to misrepresenting his goals, Mr. Bush repeatedly lied about the current system. Oh, I'm sorry - was that a rude thing to say? Still, the fact is that Mr. Bush repeatedly said things that were demonstrably false and that his staff must have known were false. The falsehoods ranged from his claim that Social Security is unfair to African-Americans to his claim that "waiting just one year adds $600 billion to the cost of fixing Social Security."

Meanwhile, the administration politicized the Social Security Administration and used taxpayer money to promote a partisan agenda. Social Security officials participated in what were in effect taxpayer- financed political rallies, from which skeptical members of the public were excluded.

I'm writing about this in the past tense, but some of it is still going on. Last week Jo Anne Barnhart, the commissioner of Social Security, published an op-ed article claiming that Social Security as we know it was designed for a society in which people didn't live long enough to collect a lot of benefits. "The number of older Americans living now," wrote Ms. Barnhart, "is greater than anyone could have imagined in 1935."

Now, it turns out that an article on the Social Security Administration's Web site, "Life Expectancy for Social Security," specifically rejects the idea the Social Security was originally "designed in such a way that few people would collect the benefits," and the related idea that the system faces problems from "a supposed dramatic increase in life expectancy in recent years."

And the current number of older Americans as a share of the population is just about what the founders of Social Security expected. The 1934 report of F.D.R.'s Commission on Economic Security, which laid the groundwork for the Social Security Act, projected that 12.7 percent of Americans would be 65 or older by the year 2000. The actual number was 12.4 percent.

Despite Ms. Barnhart's efforts, however, privatization seems to be dead for the time being. The Democratic leadership in Congress defied the punditocracy - which was very much in favor of privatization - by refusing to cave in, and the American people made it clear that they like Social Security the way it is.

But the campaign for privatization provided an object lesson in how the administration sells its policies: by misrepresenting its goals, lying about the facts and abusing its control of government agencies. These were the same tactics used to sell both tax cuts and the Iraq war.

...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 10:06 PM

Well, well, well...

No cut and paste here, folks 'cause Iz here to tell ya what really going down with Bush...

Yeah, okay, the Wsahington Post today reported that Bush had beaten all the reporters in a bike race... Accordin' to my sources the reporters were are ordered to tank the race 'er be shot!!! Yep, according to sources within the administartion, sharpshooters from the Texas National Rifle Association had been brought in, deputized, and told to take out any commir reporter to pass Bush on a bike....

What else? Oh yeah, what is it with these Repubs... They are on a spending spree that makes anything that the liberals have ever dreamed of look like chump change... Yeah, in the last two weeks the Repubs have spread enough pork around toheir own states that would drown most kids under 3 foot tall but don't worry, the Federal Emergency Managemnt Agency (FEMA) has the pork flood on it's radar screen and is ready to jump in any time and pull out the little 'un's...

What else? Oh yeah, the Bush folks today have conceeded that the war in Iraq is lost... Well they didn't actually say that but is admitting that they perhaps has misfigurated the possibilities of actually setting up a democracy in Iraq was not gonna happen the US is now faced with no real reason to saty in Iraq... Yeah, Bush supporters will cintinue to say "Stay the course" but not that the administartion has sent out the message that the course is not reasonable, it would appear that these folks can go home now....

What else? Hmmmmmm? What if I told you that it is foriegn investors who are buying the mortgages of folks buying homes in America and that the housing industry is emplying over 2 million folks??? Would that be of any concern??? Well, it should because that is the situation... This so-called "recovery" is based soley on Americans taking on debt to buy bigger houses??? And Chines and Europeans are bankrollin' this splurge.... This ain't a recovery but a a big ol' fashion short-sheetin'.... When the bubble bursts so will Bush's so called legacy.. You can only hold the credit card out but so long befire the sales clerk says' "Sorry, but yer card has been denied"....

What else? Well, there are plenty... "No Child Left Behind" which is probably the cornerstone of what some might argue is a Bush success is on the rocks.. It's driving local school communities to turn down federal funds becuase the standards are too regid... Like, exactky why should kids with learning disabilities be expected to read on the same level as other kids their age??? These kids never have, never will yet Bush is perfectly willing to cut funding to schools that can't get their most challenges students up to reading at grade level??? Hey, these schools don't need Bush, they need Oral Roberts....

What else? Hey, I'm not sure that there are any Bushites left readin' this thread but I'd bee more than happy to take on an issue where you feel Bush is doing well...

Hey, don't matter which one 'cause I discovered a long time ago that when you come into office with screwed up thinking you ain't going go nowhere but more screwed up thinking...

What really pisses me off is that I mail a lot of money to these screw-ups and I am beginning to really resent ehir ineptitudeness... If I were their boss, I'd fire 'um all and start from scratch...

BObert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 10:43 PM

From this web site, the following concerned citizen's remarks:

BUSH A COWARD

Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2005-08-15 17:00.
Niagara Falls Reporter

The President of the United States, who lacked the courage to serve his country during the Vietnam War, has once again shown his cowardice. Scores of brave American soldiers have given their lives since he went on vacation a couple of weeks ago. And yet, when the mother of one of our war dead -- Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed awhile back in Sadr City -- showed up at his Texas ranch asking to speak to him, he didn't even have the cojones to ask her in for a cup of coffee.

Instead, he had Karl Rove contact the Drudge Report and other sleazy news outlets across the land with a couple of comments Mrs. Sheehan made to her hometown paper in Vacaville, Calif., shortly after her son's death. Taken out of context, the quotes make her look like she spoke in favor of Bush and his dirty little war. On reading the full interview, however, it is clear that, from the beginning, she thought her son had died for nothing and was -- as we all might in such a situation -- just trying to be polite to the president.

What a coward. What a pathetic excuse for a man. To refuse to meet with, and then attempt to slime, a Gold Star Mother. It's inexcusable. In fact, it's beyond inexcusable.

The moral high ground in this, of course, belongs to Cindy Sheehan and the other mothers of dead soldiers who have joined her on her vigil down in Texas. It clearly does not belong to George W. Bush, who shirked his military commitment at a time when "wimps" like Al Gore and John Kerry were getting shot at in Southeast Asia.

Mrs. Sheehan, a Catholic youth minister for eight years, says the war is unjust, immoral and was predicated on a pack of lies emanating from the Bush administration. She is, of course, correct. No evidence has been produced to show a link between the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States and the regime of Saddam Hussein, and the question of whether the Iraqis were in possession of weapons of mass destruction was resolved a couple of years ago.

They weren't, by the way, despite Colin Powell's masterful deception at the United Nations.

Our president is a coward who lied us into a war we can't possibly win. The blood of more than 1,850 American soldiers, 195 allied troops and at least 25,000 Iraqis is on his hands.

As the writer Juan Cole noted recently, "The war in Iraq is over, and the winner is ... Iran."

Niagara Falls Reporter
www.niagarafallsreporter.com
Aug. 16 2005


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 05:34 PM

More from my favorite chile roja, Maureen Dowd:

Biking Toward Nowhere
            
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 17, 2005

How could President Bush be cavorting around on a long vacation with American troops struggling with a spiraling crisis in Iraq?

Wasn't he worried that his vacation activities might send a frivolous signal at a time when he had put so many young Americans in harm's way?

"I'm determined that life goes on," Mr. Bush said stubbornly.

That wasn't the son, believe it or not. It was the father - 15 years ago. I was in Kennebunkport then to cover the first President Bush's frenetic attempts to relax while reporters were pressing him about how he could be taking a month to play around when he had started sending American troops to the Persian Gulf only three days before.

On Saturday, the current President Bush was pressed about how he could be taking five weeks to ride bikes and nap and fish and clear brush even though his occupation of Iraq had become a fiasco. "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life," W. said, "to keep a balanced life."

Pressed about how he could ride his bike while refusing to see a grieving mom of a dead soldier who's camped outside his ranch, he added: "So I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so."

Ah, the insensitivity of reporters who ask the President Bushes how they can expect to deal with Middle East fighting while they're off fishing.

The first President Bush told us that he kept a telephone in his golf cart and his cigarette boat so he could easily stay on top of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. But at least he seemed worried that he was sending the wrong signal, as his boating and golfing was juxtaposed on the news with footage of the frightened families of troops leaving for the Middle East.

"I just don't like taking questions on serious matters on my vacation," the usually good-natured Bush senior barked at reporters on the golf course. "So I hope you'll understand if I, when I'm recreating, will recreate." His hot-tempered oldest son, who was golfing with his father that day, was even more irritated. "Hey! Hey!" W. snapped at reporters asking questions on the first tee. "Can't you wait until we finish hitting, at least?"

Junior always had his priorities straight.

...

"At long last, a senior Bush official admits that administration officials can no longer cling to their own version of reality. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning," the official told The Washington Post.

They had better start absorbing and shedding a lot faster, before many more American kids die to create a pawn of Iran. And they had better tell the Boy in the Bubble, who continues to dwell in delusion, hailing the fights and delays on the Iraqi constitution as "a tribute to democracy."

The president's pedaling as fast as he can, but he's going nowhere. "




Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 01:01 PM

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman revisits the criminal malfeasance of the RNC in 2000 and 2004 not in regret but in a spirit of forewarning.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 11:42 PM

"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country." ....George W. Bush

If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." George W. Bush

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." .Governor George W. Bush

"Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts." Governor George W. Bush

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit...Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe." .Governor George W. Bush, 8/11/94

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century." Governor George W. Bush, 9/15/95

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy but that could change." .Governor George W. Bush, 5/22/98

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'." Governor George W. Bush, 12/6/93

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things." Governor George W. Bush, 11/30/96

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future." Governor George W. Bush

"The future will be better tomorrow." Governor George W. Bush

"We're going to have the best educated American people in the world." Governor George W. Bush, 9/21/97

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." Governor George W. Bush

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made." Governor George W. Bush to Sam Donaldson, 8/17/93


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 12:16 AM

"Don't try to make a monkey out of me, Mr President!" - Chongo Chimp


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 09:18 PM

I'm not sure where to put this...maybe it deserves its own thread

Why I may start taking the anti-evolutionists seriously


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Subject: RE: BS: Doctorow on the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 05:33 PM

AN important writer speaks on Bush:

Subject: The Unfeeling President
Note: Edgar Lawrence Doctorow occupies a central position in the
history of American literature. He is generally considered to be among
the most talented, ambitious, and admired novelists of the second half
of the twentieth century. Doctorow has received the National Book
Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner
Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howell
Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the
residentially conferred National Humanities Medal.


From the East Hampton Star - September 9, 2004

The Unfeeling President

An essay by E.L Doctorow

I fault this president (George W. Bush) for not knowing what death is.
He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to
be what they could be.

On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the
lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what
death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of
necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower
could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for
it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the
WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the
stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd,
smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't
understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a
speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the
brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their
country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an
emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he
has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for
the thousand dead young men and women who wanted be what they could
be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or
wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly
torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance
of aborted life.... They come to his desk as a political liability
which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of
their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets
nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as
he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his
bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his
mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than
controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it.

So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have
fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did. He
had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those
who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war
when it is one of the options, but when it is the only option; you go
not because you want to but because you have to.

This president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer
the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president
and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing --- to
take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of
themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything.
You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent
becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not
contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and
wives and children.

He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the
families of the dead; he does not feel for the thirty five million of
us who live in poverty; he does not feel for the forty percent who
cannot afford health insurance; he does not feel for the miners whose
lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of
the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills ---
it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does
not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is
relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax
burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the
air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing
the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs,
and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a- half benefits
for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising
them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and
the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to
our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember
the millions of people here and around the world who marched against
the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneously aroused oversoul of
alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it
happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen
coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of
people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of
mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of
democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic
republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its
extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a
concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat
that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who
could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than
pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the
nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable
national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of
lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people
he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get
us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report.
He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can
we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid
and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving,
and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is
a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

E.L. Doctorow


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 06:05 AM

Leon Rosselson wrote:

Jumbo the elephant, he wasn't elegant,
and his intelligence was small
But he was a helluva nice sort of elephant,
willing and mild, like a lovable child
Obedient to everyone's call

Jumbo lived in the jingle jangle jungle of a concrete town
He worked clearing debris, hauling girders, heaving timber till the night came down
Never known another home,
he was as happy as he could be
Everyone gave him buns,
petted and petted him playfully

And the mayor, who owned half the town and Jumbo, too
And the mayor, taught him all the things that an elephant should do
And the mayor, when the town turned out for the liberty parade
And the mayor, when the crowd waved flags and the brass bands played
Proud as a cat in his cock-a-doodle hat, the fat mayor sat
-- on the elephant's back
Jumbo, the elephant....

Sunday evenings, all the town folk gathered in the market square
They came to watch the elephant performing all the tricks that he'd been taught by the mayor
He could dance, he could prance, everyone laughing to see the fun
Rhumba-ing, lumbering, keeping the time to the beat of the drum

And the mayor
-- the ways of an elephant were ways he understood
And the mayor
-- gave Jumbo champagne as a treat for being good
And the mayor
-- had the word of command as the great beast bowed
And the mayor
-- mounted like a rajah to the cheers of the crowd
Proud as a cat in his cock-a-doodle hat, the fat mayor sat
-- on the elephant's back

Jumbo the elephant....

Then one Sunday, as the dry winds flickered through the summer heat
The mayor was riding Jumbo, at the head of a procession, through the crowded street
Suddenly, for all to see, Jumbo stopped, heard the mayor call his name
Silently, defiantly, Jumbo was playing another game

And the elephant
-- raised his trunk and trumpeted, shattering the sky
And the elephant
-- the crowd fled in terror as they heard his jungle cry
And the elephant
-- rampaging and trampling through the town
And the elephant
-- "Jumbo!" cried the mayor, as he was hurled to the ground
A tit for a tat, you could hear the bones crack, as the elephant sat
-- On the fat mayor's back

Jumbo the elephant, he wasn't elegant, and his intelligence was small
But he was a helluva nice sort of elephant, till he turned wild, like a violent child
You can't trust an elephant at all


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 09:03 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/08/26/alqaeda.book/index.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 09:13 PM

Gee -- this looks like a weird attempt to diffuse the focus of this thread by adding irrelevant fodder to it.

If Bush has been waging a campaign against Al Qeda all along, he really should have said so instead of leaping off into a country where there WAS no significant AL Qeda activity until after he chose it as his militant sandbox, regardless of the destruction that decision caused.

As for Paul's entry, I won't deign to comment. It is just methane.

Paul Krugman comments on the economy in today's NY Times. Excerpt:

American families don't care about G.D.P. They care about whether jobs are available, how much those jobs pay and how that pay compares with the cost of living. And recent G.D.P. growth has failed to produce exceptional gains in employment, while wages for most workers haven't kept up with inflation.

About employment: it's true that the economy finally started adding jobs two years ago. But although many people say "four million jobs in the last two years" reverently, as if it were an amazing achievement, it's actually a rise of about 3 percent, not much faster than the growth of the working-age population over the same period. And recent job growth would have been considered subpar in the past: employment grew more slowly during the best two years of the Bush administration than in any two years during the Clinton administration.

It's also true that the unemployment rate looks fairly low by historical standards. But other measures of the job situation, like the average of weekly hours worked (which remains low), and the average duration of unemployment (which remains high), suggest that the demand for labor is still weak compared with the supply.

Employers certainly aren't having trouble finding workers. When Wal-Mart announced that it was hiring at a new store in Northern California, where the unemployment rate is close to the national average, about 11,000 people showed up to apply for 400 jobs.

Because employers don't have to raise wages to get workers, wages are lagging behind the cost of living. According to Labor Department statistics, the purchasing power of an average nonsupervisory worker's wage has fallen about 1.5 percent since the summer of 2003. And this may understate the pressure on many families: the cost of living has risen sharply for those whose work or family situation requires buying a lot of gasoline.

Some commentators dismiss concerns about gasoline prices, because those prices are still below previous peaks when you adjust for inflation. But that misses the point: Americans bought cars and made decisions about where to live when gas was $1.50 or less per gallon, and now suddenly find themselves paying $2.60 or more. That's a rude shock, which I estimate raises the typical family's expenses by more than $900 a year.

You may ask where economic growth is going, if it isn't showing up in wages. That's easy to answer: it's going to corporate profits, to rising health care costs and to a surge in the salaries and other compensation of executives. (Forbes reports that the combined compensation of the chief executives of America's 500 largest companies rose 54 percent last year.)

The bottom line, then, is that most Americans have good reason to feel unhappy about the economy, whatever Washington's favorite statistics may say. This is an economic expansion that hasn't trickled down; many people are worse off than they were a year ago. And it will take more than a revamped administration sales pitch to make people feel better.





A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 09:17 PM

My redheaded darlin' Maureen remarks recently, also in the Times:

"...ush Senior made some Republicans worry that he left Iraq too soon. Bush Junior is making some Republicans worry that he is staying in Iraq too long.

"Any effort to explain Iraq as 'We are on track and making progress' is nonsense," Newt Gingrich told Adam Nagourney and David D. Kirkpatrick for a Times article on G.O.P. jitters about the shadow of Iraq over the midterm elections. "The left has a constant drumbeat that this is Vietnam and a bottomless pit. The daily and weekly casualties leave people feeling that things aren't going well."

W. says he can't set a deadline to bring the troops home. But he started the war on an artificial deadline; he declared a "Mission Accomplished" end to major hostilities on an artificial deadline; he was inflexible on deadlines for handing over Iraqi sovereignty and holding elections. And he tried to force the Iraqis to produce a constitution on his deadline when the squabbling politicians of the ethnic and religious factions hadn't even reached consensus on little things like "Do we want one country?"

It isn't only the left that is invoking Vietnam. You know you're in trouble when Henry Kissinger gives you advice on how to exit a war.

The man who won a Nobel Peace Prize for making a botched exit and humiliating defeat look like a brilliant act of diplomacy wrote an op-ed article in The Washington Post drawing the analogy the White House dreads: Iraq as Vietnam, including an unfavorable comparison: "After the failure of Hanoi's Tet offensive, the guerrilla threat was substantially eliminated. Saigon and all other urban centers were far safer than major cities in Iraq are today."

He said Mr. Bush had only a few things to accomplish: train a real Iraqi Army that includes all religious and ethnic groups, make the Shiites stop hating the Sunnis and the Kurds stop hating everyone, and keep the Iranians from creating a theocratic dictatorship in Iraq. Oh, yeah, and a couple of other teensy little things: our troops have to defeat the vicious Iraq insurgency, and Mr. Bush needs to keep domestic support for the war.

Domestic support is waning because the president remains too stubbornly ensconced in his fantasy world - it's worse than Barbie in her dream house - to reassure Americans that he has a plan to get out.

As we approach the 2,000 mark of coffins coming home that we're not allowed to see, it doesn't even look like a war. It looks like a lot of kids being blown to smithereens by an invisible enemy.

The mother of one of the 16 Ohio marines killed in a recent roadside explosion in western Iraq addressed the president from in front of her Cleveland home. "We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer said.

Tricky Dick suggested that he had a secret plan to get out of Vietnam. Bikey W. doesn't even have a secret plan, unless it's to recreate forever, and never again have to speed past those pesky antiwar protesters in a motorcade."

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 09:36 PM

From a concerned correspondent citing the BBC

..."ll these breakthroughs found their fullest exploitation in the
United States. Indeed, they all contributed to America's pre-eminence
in science-based manufacturing and services.

Think of the personal computer and wonder drugs, of the jumbo
jetliner, video games and the pacemaker, the laser that counts your
groceries and the laser, or the global positioning satellite, that
tells you to turn left at the roundabout.

That is why there is furious bewilderment here in the universities
and the higher levels of business at the chilly indifference - not to
say hostility - of the Bush White House to science. Actually, I've
seen a movie like this once before and I know how it ends.

When I was a science reporter in Britain in the 50s, it was a thrill
to visit the centre of government research, the National Physical
Laboratory at Teddington, Middlesex. It was hallowed ground.

I was in the lab where Watson Watt did his breakthrough work on radar
in time for the Royal Air Force to find the Luftwaffe in the
invisible skies and win the Battle of Britain.

I stood in awe before that much-photographed early computer - the
wall-length monster called ACE - designed in 1945 by the wartime code-
breaker, Alan Turing. It was then the fastest in the world, spewing
out instant answers to reams of calculations I was allowed to feed
into its innards.

Inertia

You would have thought that the National Physical Laboratory would be
the darling of every British Government. Not so. I was invited to
visit at that time because they were concerned the government did not
fully appreciate that science in peace was as vital as science in war.

The researchers were doing what they could on a tiny budget and even
that was about to be cut. Not just in the government, but in business
and society, there was a general indifference to science and
scientific education that seems odd today.

The consequence of that inertia in government and lethargy in
business was that the US came to dominate the computer industry,
despite all the brilliant work of Turing at Manchester University and
others at Ferranti.

The question now tormenting Americans - who don't have a natural
aptitude for worry - is whether the same writing is on the wall for
them. Vinton Cerf is one who thinks it is, and he is no ordinary hand-
wringer.

He's the mathematician who is often referred to as the "father of the
internet". From 1972 to 1986, he was one of the key people in the US
Defense Department who made it possible for distant and different
computers to exchange packets of information - and that's the
foundation of the internet on top of which rides the world wide web
today.

Nothing daunted, he is now working on the protocols for planet to
planet communication. In short, he knows whereof he speaks. And Cerf
has just emitted a cry of pain.

The Bush administration does not take kindly to anyone who has drawn
a federal dollar being critical - and being critical moreover in the
businessman's' bible, the Wall street Journal.

Talent pool

So it is brave of Cerf to risk future disfavour and inveigh against
"the stewards of our national destiny" for cutting money from key
areas of research in its 2006 budget. That's a recipe, says Cerf, for
"irrelevance and decline."

The president's science adviser, John Marburger, concedes that the
budget is "pretty close to flat" but stoutly maintains "we are not
going backwards", pointing to an extra $733 million for research and
development (R&D) funding.

In fact, this is the first time in a decade that federal funding has
failed to keep pace with inflation. And in the entrails of the
complex budget - no one should go there alone - you find there is
indeed less money in real terms for what's called basic research and
less for Cerf's area of particular concern, computer science.

Funding university research for that has been falling through the
first Bush term and is now about half what it was in 2001.

All told, anyway, America now ranks sixth in the world in the
percentage of its wealth it spends on R&D. Yet the downward trend
isn't solely the result of the parsimony of "the hick in the White
House", as one motor mouth put it.

It is largely a reflection of rising educational standards around the
world, so it's a comparative decline. In real terms, no single
country can even come close to matching the US in the total
scientific investment by government, corporations and foundations.

So what is there to worry about? Well, there are some facts Americans
find hard to swallow after decades of striding the frontiers of
science. Fewer of the Nobel prizes go to American scientists, down to
about half from a peak in the 90s. Papers from Americans occupied 61%
of published research in 1983, now the total is just under 29%.

'Freedom of inquiry'

It may not get better soon since a higher proportion of young
Americans are opting for better paid law and medicine over science
and engineering and visa restrictions on bright foreign students
further dilute the talent pool. "The rest of the world is catching
up," says John E. Jankowski, a senior analyst at the National Science
Foundation.

Since some of these trends have been developing on the watch of
presidents from Reagan onwards, I sought a science policy health
check from luminaries in the field.

Professor Neal Lane at Rice University was the science adviser
reporting directly to President Clinton, but as a former director of
the National Science Foundation he cannot be dismissed as partisan.

Like others I spoke with, he is less concerned with the international
league tables and the familiar salami processes of the budget, than
the well-documented readiness of the Bush administration to
manipulate and suppress scientific findings - manifestly to appease
industrial interests and religious constituencies.

This is not just on global warming and stem cells, currently in the
news, but on a whole range of issues - lead and mercury poisoning in
children, women's health, birth control, safety standards for
drinking water, forest management, air pollution and on and on."

See whole story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/magazine/4172504.stm

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 05:36 AM

Bush to face fury over UN changes; By Ewen Macaskill; London
August 28, 2005

AN INTERNATIONAL alliance will confront US President George Bush to salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty. The head-to-head in New York tomorrow comes after the revelation that the US Administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago.

A draft of that plan had included a review of progress on the UN's millennium development goals — poverty eradication targets set in 2000 for completion by 2015 — and the introduction of reforms aimed at repairing the damage done to the UN's reputation by Iraq, Rwanda and the Balkans. But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush's new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14-16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters.

The British Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that Britain was standing behind the original plan, putting it at odds with Mr Bush.
The concern in British and other international circles is that the US objections, if adopted, would severely undermine the UN summit, the biggest gathering of world leaders. At least 175 world leaders have accepted an invitation to attend. The UN said that Mr Bush had confirmed he would be there.

A wide range of organisations, from aid groups to the anti-arms lobby, voiced dismay about Mr Bolton's objections yesterday and expressed concern that the summit may end in failure. The Make Poverty History campaign said there was a danger that the millennium development goals, the original reason for holding the summit, would be reduced to a footnote. A source close to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said it was too early to declare the UN plan dead.

"Bolton wants to knock down the plan and start from scratch," the source said. "He will find that his opinions are not shared by most of the rest of the world."

The president of the UN general assembly, Jean Ping from Gambia, has been working on the draft for the past year, covering issues of poverty, climate change, genocide, small arms, the creation of a permanent UN peacekeeping capability and reform of the UN management structure. A Foreign Office spokesman said yesterday that Britain and the European Union, of which Britain holds the presidency, "are broadly content with the summit draft. It reflects the ambitious agenda thrown up by Kofi Annan."

GUARDIAN


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 06:34 AM

IRAQ: Reuters Journalist Held without Charge by U.S.; http://mediachannel.org/blog/node/745; August 25, 2005
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists demands that the U.S. military explain why it is holding a freelance Iraqi photojournalist working for Reuters news agency or release him immediately. "U.S. officials must credibly explain the basis for the detention of Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani and other journalists being held without charge, or release them at once," said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper.
Mashhadani, a 36-year-old freelance cameraman and photographer working for Reuters in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, was detained by U.S. troops on August 8, and has been held incommunicado without explanation by U.S. forces since then, according to Reuters.

Mashhadani has worked for Reuters for the past year. He is being held in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, the news agency reported. U.S. officials said he would not be allowed visitors for 60 days.
Mashhadani was taken from his home during a general sweep of the neighborhood by Marines who became suspicious after seeing pictures on his cameras, Reuters quoted his family as saying. "Relatives said that Marines conducting a routine search of the house turned hostile after viewing images stored on Mashhadani's video and stills cameras and his desktop computer," Reuters reported.

Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, told CPJ he had no additional information on Mashhadani's detention. U.S. and Iraqi military forces routinely detain Iraqi journalists without charge or explanation, and some have been held for months. In May, CPJ raised concern about the detention of at least eight Iraqi journalists held by U.S. and Iraqi military forces because they posed a "security risk to the Iraqi people and coalition forces." However, no further details were provided about the journalists who included local staff for Agence France Presse and CBS News. It is unclear how many of those eight detainees remain in custody.

Last year Reuters revealed that three of its Iraqi employees were subjected to sexual abuse and humiliation when U.S. troops arrested them near Fallujah on January 2 while they were covering the downing of a U.S. helicopter. U.S. military officials have voiced suspicions on several occasions that some Iraqi journalists collaborated with Iraqi insurgents and had advance knowledge of attacks on coalition forces. But the military has never provided evidence to substantiate any claims.

"We believe our colleagues are being detained for merely carrying out their professional work. These long-term detentions by the U.S. military are a further unacceptable curb on journalists who already operate under near impossible conditions in the field in Iraq," she added.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 04:34 PM

Maureen Dowd reviews the record:

"...Op-Ed Columnist
My Private Idaho
             E-Mail This
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By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 24, 2005
W. vacationed so hard in Texas he got bushed. He needed a vacation from his vacation.

The most rested president in American history headed West yesterday to get away from his Western getaway - and the mushrooming Crawford Woodstock - and spend a couple of days at the Tamarack Resort in the rural Idaho mountains.

Skip to next paragraph

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

More Columns by Maureen Dowd

Forum: Maureen Dowd's Columns
"I'm kind of hangin' loose, as they say," he told reporters.

As The Financial Times noted, Mr. Bush is acting positively French in his love of le loafing, with 339 days at his ranch since he took office - nearly a year out of his five. Most Americans, on the other hand, take fewer vacations than anyone else in the developed world (even the Japanese), averaging only 13 to 16 days off a year.

W. didn't go alone, of course. Just as he took his beloved feather pillow on the road during his 2000 campaign, now he takes his beloved bike. An Air Force One steward tenderly unloaded W.'s $3,000 Trek Fuel mountain bike when they landed in Boise.

Gas is guzzling toward $3 a gallon. U.S. troop casualties in Iraq are at their highest levels since the invasion. As Donald Rumsfeld conceded yesterday, "The lethality, however, is up." Afghanistan's getting more dangerous, too. The defense secretary says he's raising troop levels in both places for coming elections.

So our overextended troops must prepare for more forced rotations, while the president hangs loose.

I mean, I like to exercise, but W. is psychopathic about it. He interviewed one potential Supreme Court nominee, Harvie Wilkinson III, by asking him how much he exercised. Last winter, Mr. Bush was obsessed with his love handles, telling people he was determined to get rid of seven pounds.

Shouldn't the president worry more about body armor than body fat?

Instead of calling in Karl Rove to ask him if he'd leaked, W. probably called him in to order him to the gym.

The rest of us may be fixated on the depressing tableau in Iraq, where the U.S. seems to be delivering a fundamentalist Islamic state into the dirty hands of men like Ahmad Chalabi, who conned the neocons into pushing for war, and his ally Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric who started two armed uprisings against U.S. troops. It was his militiamen who ambushed Casey Sheehan's convoy in Sadr City.

America has caved on Iraqi women's rights. In fact, the women's rights activists supported by George and Laura Bush may have to leave Iraq.

But, as a former C.I.A. Middle East specialist, Reuel Marc Gerecht, said on "Meet the Press," U.S. democracy in 1900 didn't let women vote. If Iraqi democracy resembled that, "we'd all be thrilled," he said. "I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy."

Yesterday, the president hailed the constitution establishing an Islamic republic as "an amazing process," and said it "honors women's rights, the rights of minorities." Could he really think that? Or is he following the Vietnam model - declaring victory so we can leave?

The main point of writing a constitution was to move Sunnis into the mainstream and make them invested in the process, thereby removing the basis of the insurgency. But the Shiites and Kurds have frozen out the Sunnis, enhancing their resentment. So the insurgency is more likely to be inflamed than extinguished.

For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.

"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."

What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.

Just because the final reason the president came up with for invading Iraq - to create a democracy with freedom of religion and minority rights - has been dashed, why stop relaxing? W. is determined to stay the course on bike trails all over the West.

"

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 04:37 PM

And again, a day earlier (Dowd's columns are available on the NYT website):

"...Then, as president, he jumped the couch by pedaling through the guns of August - the growing carnage and chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He did do a few minutes of work this month, calling a Shiite leader in Baghdad a few days ago to lobby him to reach a consensus with the Sunnis, so Iraq doesn't crack apart. But the Shiites and Kurds ignored the president and skewered the Sunnis.

Iraq, it turns out, is the one branch of American government that the Republicans don't control.

W. had a barbecue for the press on Thursday night. (If only the press had grilled him instead.) He mingled over catfish and potato salad with the reporters, who had to ride past Cindy Sheehan's antiwar encampment to get to the poolside party.

Dan Froomkin wrote on the Washington Post Web site that many of the reporters "fawned over Bush, following him around in packs every time he moved." W. chatted about sports and the twins, still oblivious to the cultural shift that is turning 2005 into 1968.

As the news correspondent Dan Harris noted on ABC on Wednesday, the mood is much different now from what it was when the Dixie Chicks got pilloried for criticizing the president just before the war began.

The No. 1 music video requested on MTV is Green Day's antiwar song, "Wake Me Up When September Ends," about the pain of soldiers and their families. On Sunday, Joan Baez sang peace anthems at Camp Casey, including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" The N.F.L. did not cancel its sponsorship of the Rolling Stones tour, even though the band has a new song critical of Mr. Bush and the war.

Gary Hart began his Washington Post op-ed piece this week by quoting from an anti-Vietnam War song, "Waist-deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool said to push on."

The former campaign manager for George McGovern's antiwar campaign in 1972 wrote: "We've stumbled into a hornet's nest. We've weakened ourselves at home and in the world. We are less secure today than before this war began. Who now has the courage to say this?"

Anxiety is growing among politicians on both sides of the aisle. More and more Americans don't want to stay-the-course on stay-the-course.

You'd think that by now, watching the meshugas in Iraq, the Bush crowd would have learned some lessons about twisting facts to suit ideology, and punishing those who try to tell the truth. But they're still behaving like Cinderella's evil stepsisters, who cut their feet to fit them into the glass slipper: butchering reality to make the fairy tale come out their way.

Eric Lichtblau reported in The Times this week that the administration was dumping the highly respected Lawrence Greenfeld, appointed by President Bush in 2001 to head the Bureau of Justice Statistics, because he refused superiors' orders to delete from a press release an account of how black and Hispanic drivers were treated more aggressively by the police after traffic stops. The Justice Department study showed markedly higher rates of searches and use of force for black and Hispanic drivers, compared with white drivers.

Fearing that the survey would give ammunition to members of Congress who object to using racial and ethnic data in terrorism and law enforcement investigations, Mr. Greenfeld's supervisors buried it online with no press release or briefing for Congress.

Mr. Lichtblau wrote that when Mr. Greenfeld sent the planned press release to the office of his supervisor, Tracy Henke, then an acting assistant attorney general, the section on the treatment of black and Hispanic drivers was crossed out with a notation: "Do we need this?" Ms. Henke herself had added a note: "Make the changes."

Like Condi Rice, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton and others who helped spin reality to suit political ends, Ms. Henke was rewarded by the president. She has been nominated for a senior post in the Homeland Security Department.

I feel safer already."





A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 05 - 04:50 PM

DESTROYING THE NATIONAL PARKS

ANother cute stunt from the Boys Of Endless Viagra:

" Most of us think of America's national parks as everlasting places, parts of the bedrock of how we know our own country. But they are shaped and protected by an underlying body of legislation, which is distilled into a basic policy document that governs their operation. Over time, that document has slowly evolved, but it has always stayed true to the fundamental principle of leaving the parks unimpaired for future generations. That has meant, in part, sacrificing some of the ways we might use the parks today in order to protect them for tomorrow.

Recently, a secret draft revision of the national park system's basic management policy document has been circulating within the Interior Department. It was prepared, without consultation within the National Park Service, by Paul Hoffman, a deputy assistant secretary at Interior who once ran the Chamber of Commerce in Cody, Wyo., was a Congressional aide to Dick Cheney and has no park service experience.

Within national park circles, this rewrite of park rules has been met with profound dismay, for it essentially undermines the protected status of the national parks. The document makes it perfectly clear that this rewrite was not prompted by a compelling change in the park system's circumstances. It was prompted by a change in political circumstances - the opportunity to craft a vision of the national parks that suits the Bush administration.

Some of Mr. Hoffman's changes are trivial, although even apparently subtle changes in wording - from "protect" to "conserve," for instance - soften the standard used to judge the environmental effects of park policy.

But there is nothing subtle about the main thrust of this rewrite. It is a frontal attack on the idea of "impairment." According to the act that established the national parks, preventing impairment of park resources - including the landscape, wildlife and such intangibles as the soundscape of Yellowstone, for instance - is the "fundamental purpose." In Mr. Hoffman's world, it is now merely one of the purposes.

Mr. Hoffman's rewrite would open up nearly every park in the nation to off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and Jet Skis. According to his revision, the use of such vehicles would become one of the parks' purposes. To accommodate such activities, he redefines impairment to mean an irreversible impact. To prove that an activity is impairing the parks, under Mr. Hoffman's rules, you would have to prove that it is doing so irreversibly - a very high standard of proof. This would have a genuinely erosive effect on the standards used to protect the national parks.

The pattern prevails throughout this 194-page document - easing the rules that limit how visitors use the parks and toughening the standard of proof needed to block those uses. Behind this pattern, too, there is a fundamental shift in how the parks are regarded. If the laws establishing the national park system were fundamentally forward-looking - if their mission, first and foremost, was protecting the parks for the future - Mr. Hoffman's revisions place a new, unwelcome and unnecessary emphasis on the present, on what he calls "opportunities for visitors to use and enjoy their parks."

There is no question that we go to national parks to use and enjoy them. But part of the enjoyment of being in a place like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon is knowing that no matter how much it changes in the natural processes of time, it will continue to exist substantially unchanged.

There are other issues too. Mr. Hoffman would explicitly allow the sale of religious merchandise, and he removes from the policy document any reference to evolution or evolutionary processes. He does everything possible to strip away a scientific basis for park management. His rules would essentially require park superintendents to subordinate the management of their parks to local and state agendas. He also envisions a much wider range of commercial activity within the parks.

In short, this is not a policy for protecting the parks. It is a policy for destroying them."

See http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/29/opinion/29mon1.html

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 10:55 AM

qThe following letter was written by a private citizen for publication in his local newspaper, and forwarded by a friend:

"Letter to George W. Bush

Listen up, Mr. President, because I'm not going to say this twice. You have been a pitiful, weak and pathetic Commander and Chief when the people of this country, your country, needed you in their darkest hour. You sabotaged the shoring up of the levees that protect the city of New Orleans from the flooding that is now occurring; you and your advisors knew that a major hurricane was on its way to the Gulf Coast and you stalled; you set up a Department you called "Homeland Security" and it failed to keep the people secure. You dilly-dallied in Crawford after Katrina hit, assumably reluctant to end your vacation and get back to the real job in Washington. You failed to immediately order sufficient troops, food, water, and medical supplies to New Orleans, other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi when it became so apparent that stranded people were in desperate need. You made a token flight over the destruction that Katrina wreaked, but you didn't tell your Air Force One pilot to set your safe airplane down so you could walk through the flooded, devastated neighborhoods or comfort the families who had lost everything. No, you waited until you had your public relations set up, and your photo opportunities in place before you dared to be with the people, your people, who look for your leadership.

You, Mr. President, are the worst excuse for the leader of the Free World anyone could possibly conceived of. While you were casting about for someone to blame, like the head of FEMA, or local government, you failed to respond to the frantic pleas from the mayor of New Orleans, you failed to order and provide for an evacuation to take place NOW. You let old people die from dehydration and lack of medical care; you watched from your comfortable place in Washington D.C. as mothers wept when their babies became listless and unresponsive; you clucked your tongue and shook your head as doctors and nurses called repeatedly from the hospitals where conditions deteriorated and patients were dying. You called the response "unacceptable".

Well, Mr. President, if this is so unacceptable then you're the man. It's on your back, Mr. President. You are the guy in charge. And every one of these people whose misery exceeds anything they could possibly have imagined in America, every mother, father and grandparent….they won't forget that their President did not come to their aid at once when their cities and their lives were destroyed. Your delay in leading, in ordering immediate aid is unforgivable. You abandoned your citizens.
You call yourself a dedication Christian. You talk about God frequently and have even suggested that you were chosen by God to lead this nation. I'm here to tell you and your administration that you need to study the principles of Christianity before you ever again dare to breathe the word. You need to understand that "loving your neighbor as yourself" and "caring for the least of these." are not a set of pretty words. You need to develop some compassion that is real and not staged.

We, the people of the United States, will neither forget nor forgive you for your failure to protect our own citizens in their hour of need. Never."




I can only concur.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 10:22 PM

From MSNBC: The "city" of Louisiana (Keith Olbermann): Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: "Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 09:23 AM

From Capitol Blue, a liberalist website:

"...Bush's behavior, according to prominent Washington psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, author of "Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President," is all too typical of an alcohol-abusing bully who is ruled by fear.

To see that fear emerges, Dr. Frank says, all one has to do is confront the President. "To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear," he says.

Dr. Frank, in his book, speculates that Bush, an alcoholic who brags that he gave up booze without help from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, may be drinking again.

"Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office," Dr. Frank says. "Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state."

Last year, Capitol Hill Blue learned the White House physician prescribed anti-depressant drugs for the President to control what aides called "violent mood swings." As Dr. Frank also notes: "In writing about Bush's halting appearance in a press conference just before the start of the Iraq War, Washington Post media critic Tom Shales speculated that 'the president may have been ever so slightly medicated.'"

Dr. Frank explains Bush's behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial:

"The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality; it's rarely limited to his or her drinking," he says. "The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat."



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 10:28 PM

From a Japanese discussion site:

He`s out of his protective bubble
and making a fool out of himself.
Showing himself to be what 51% of the voters last November still couldn`t understand for some unfathomable reason. A mediocre man in every respect, who got into the White House because...well we`ve been down this road before.

Trent Lott`s house is in "rubbles."
Wow, now rubble is a countable noun.

Bush was quoted just after left his ranch to fly over NO as saying: "This is the worst national disaster in our nation`s history." Curiously, I read the same quoted changed to "natural" later. Somebody has got to cover up for Dubya`s verbal gaffes. (Somebody needs to put a lid on his mommy, too.)

George-no standing on "rubbles" like you did in N.Y. and making an impassioned plea to patriotism is going to work this time. The American people are waiting for you to show some real leadership this time. But you can`t, can you? When everything is not scripted, you just fall apart. When there is not a secret microphone you can use to get answers, you`re at a loss for words.(Well, words that make sense anyway.)

Yep-the perfect world scenario you were following at the behest of your right-wing, neoconservative buddies doesn`t exist anymore, and probably won`t for the rest of your term. Things were falling apart before the hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast. Can you really focus on domestic issues? Do you really even understand the implications of Hurricane Katrina on the lives of millions of people throughout the U.S.?(there`s going to be a ripple effect throughout the U.S. economy in the months ahead)

Of course the refugees are better off in other places-like Texas. Sure, sure, sure...
I wonder if your mommy knows that Texas is already a majority-minority state anyway?
No more time for bicycle excursions at taxpayer expense in the near future for you, George. What to do? No worries...

Your daddy and Bill Clinton will take care of everything.(And of course your eminently qualified FEMA director will do his share as well.)

They`ll try to help you-but they won`t be able to do enough.
It all falls apart, George.
A presidency that started in lies/fraud, started wars based on deceit, will continue to go downhill til you are eventually recognized as what you truly are-the most incompetent man in the White House since Warren G. Harding.

Another comment from the same discussion:

"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house — he's lost his entire house — there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch," he said on a tour of the region Friday, drawing nervous laughter.'

Oh dear, George - you astound me. And now your Mother is joining the freak show too.

Bush is the kind of man that is a blueprint for building an idiot."

These are Japanese comments, and perhaps they take delight in speaking English better than the Resident.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: *Laura*
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 07:04 AM

I bet this thread would be shorter if it was called 'Views of the Popular Bush Administration' - kind of like one of the world's thinnest books.

xLx


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 10:01 AM

Paul Krugman presents an interesting tally of government responsibilities that, like FEMA have been left in tatters by Bush's political hackery and thwackery.

THe man is a catastrophe.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 08:44 PM

On September 10, 2005 the AP-Ipsos poll reported that President Bush's job approval has dropped below 40 percent for the first time, reflecting widespread disgust with the ongoing Iraq war, his response to the human catastrophe to Hurricane Katrina, and his "friends" in the oil and energy corporations, who have taken advantage of both the war and the hurricane to engage in price gouging and raise gas prices dramatically. Bush's systematic shredding of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution is another principal factor that accounts for the rising tide of disgust and outrage.

Sign the petition:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/accountability

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,G
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 09:35 PM

Amos, why not wait until this all plays out?

Do you think Krugman is unbiased?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 04:39 PM

G:

Krugman unbiased? No, I don't. Actually I don't think anyone is. But I think Krugman is biased toward a sense of justice, effective organization, intelligence and good relations between nations. By contrast, the neocons seem to be biased in the direction of self-service, advantage-grabbing, crony profits and power-absorption.

However, I came over here today to point out a new plateau in Mister Bush's behaviour:

"Bush takes responsibility for blunders "


Tuesday, 13 September , 2005, 23:52

Washington: President Bush said Tuesday that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.

The president was asked whether people should be worried about the government's ability to handle another terrorist attack given failures in responding to Katrina.

"Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond," Bush replied.

He said he wanted to know both what went wrong and what went right.

As for blunders in the federal response, "I'm not going to defend the process going in," Bush said. "I am going to defend the people saving lives." "



Now it is downright nice to hear him talking the talk, saying words like "I" and "responsibility" in the same breath for the first time since he walked all over the 2000 elections.

I hope I may be forgiven if I suggest waiting until it all plays out to decide whether he is also going to walk to walk, or just flap his lips.   His record doesn't show a lot of past acheivfement or growth in the responsibililty department. But I have my fingers crossed he still might show himself as a human being.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 06:30 PM

From a project manager:

"
I find it beyond preposterous that anyone can seriously assert that
nobody -- NOBODY -- except Tom Clancy forecast the use of a
commercial airliner as a suicide attack vehicle.

By itself, the 8/6/2001 PDB "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US"
should have provided enough connectible dots to forecast such a
scenario: (1) intention to conduct terrorist attacks in the US, (2)
intention to use operatives who are based in the US, (3) intention to
hijack US aircraft, (4) preparations for other kinds of attacks such
as surveillance of Federal buildings in NYC, (5) plans to attack
using explosives, and even (6) references to the World Trade Center
and Washington DC.

Then there were reports of al Qaeda followers seeking flight training
in various locations. Why would al Qaeda be doing that? One would
need little imagination to figure that out, given their previous
suicide attacks using explosive-laden boats.

What else was needed, a frigging flight plan!?

I am sick to death of hearing apologists go on and on about how
nobody could have anticipated the tragic disasters that have befallen
our current government, from 9/11 to Iraq to NOLA. Such statements
ring with the same deafening cognitive dissonance as "nobody
anticipated the levees would be breached". I am inclined not to
attribute such massive failures to lack of information, coordination,
imagination, or capability, but instead I attribute them to refusal
to listen, misplaced focus of attention, agenda-driven priorities,
and a policy of rewarding blindly loyal dilettantes over competent,
experienced experts.

I'm not involved in government or life-critical matters, I am just a
lowly technology project manager. But I can say that in my line of
work, where failures may only result in some lost revenues or or a
tarnished corporate reputation, I would expect to be FIRED ON THE
SPOT for such gross incompetence as has been repeatedly displayed by
Bush's administration and appointees.

And it is there that I must be lacking in imagination, because I
cannot imagine why the highest office in our country and so-called
leader of the free world should be held to a lower standard of
integrity and competence than I am."


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 07:56 PM

This article in The Washington Monthly establishes an index of mendacity and measures the lie-telling of Reagan, George I, Clinton and W on that index scale.

Guess who comes out as the most mendacious of those assessed?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:07 PM

Yeah, anyone can say they accept responsibility... But whoop, ven fir the Bushites...

...but it ain't about acceptin' responsibility but what you do about it...

...which will be, ahhh, not much at all....

Oh yeah, he'll pour billions into New Orleans and it will be rebuilt with shoppin' mauls, Trent Jones designed golf courses and white folks will move into it and live their little white gentrified lives but it won't have the cultural feel of old New Orleans but yet another gentrified white guys suburb...

No, what I'm talkin' about is what Bush will do to rebuild the homes of the black and the poor....

He won't!!!

Reminds me of when he had to get the Christain Right on his side he went before them and said, "Yeah I have sinned" and they ate it up like it was honey but since then, other than throwin' them a few bones on abortion and gay marriages, whcih have nuthin' to do with nuthin', he ain't done jack as a professed Christain... More to Christianity than makin' babies... Lie what you gonna do to make sure they have opportunities....

Bush couldn't care less 'bout no Niggra baby born to a poor woamn in New Orleans...

He's a fake Christain....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 10:57 PM

Bill Maher's closing remarks Sept. 9 on his HBO show "Real Time With Bill Maher": "Now, I kid, but seriously Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you anymore...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 10:49 AM

"The American president shuts his eyes to the economic and human damage that the failure to protect the climate inflicts on his country and the world through natural catastrophes like Katrina," Germany's environmental minister, Jurgen Trittin, wrote in an opinion piece printed Aug. 30 in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 11:01 AM

Lets all get a grip, this man George is merely misunderestimated, misunderstood, misinformed and
MISQUOTED: http://www.spikedhumor.com/Article.aspx?id=1248


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 11:10 AM

Very funny film... oh... 1300 by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 10:30 AM

http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/repcon5.jpg


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:34 AM

Two voices of outrage on Bush's efforts to turn PR out of the fiasco of Katrina:

"The president, as he fondly recalled the other day, used to get well lit in New Orleans. Not any more.

On Thursday night, Mr. Bush wanted to appear casually in charge as he waged his own Battle of New Orleans in Jackson Square. Instead, he looked as if he'd been dropped off by his folks in front of a eerie, blue-hued castle at Disney World. (Must be Sleeping Beauty's Castle, given the somnambulant pace of W.'s response to Katrina.)

All Andrew Jackson's horses, and all the Boy King's men could not put Humpty Dumpty together again. His gladiatorial walk across the darkened greensward, past a St. Louis Cathedral bathed in moon glow from White House klieg lights, just seemed to intensify the sense of an isolated, out-of-touch president clinging to hollow symbols as his disastrous disaster agency continues to flail...." From Disney on Parade.

And from Frank Rich:

"...Message: I Care About the Black Folks

By FRANK RICH
Published: September 18, 2005

ONCE Toto parts the curtain, the Wizard of Oz can never be the wizard again. He is forever Professor Marvel, blowhard and snake-oil salesman. Hurricane Katrina, which is likely to endure in the American psyche as long as L. Frank Baum's mythic tornado, has similarly unmasked George W. Bush.

The worst storm in our history proved perfect for exposing this president because in one big blast it illuminated all his failings: the rampant cronyism, the empty sloganeering of "compassionate conservatism," the lack of concern for the "underprivileged" his mother condescended to at the Astrodome, the reckless lack of planning for all government operations except tax cuts, the use of spin and photo-ops to camouflage failure and to substitute for action.

In the chaos unleashed by Katrina, these plot strands coalesced into a single tragic epic played out in real time on television. The narrative is just too powerful to be undone now by the administration's desperate recycling of its greatest hits: a return Sunshine Boys tour by the surrogate empathizers Clinton and Bush I, another round of prayers at the Washington National Cathedral, another ludicrously overhyped prime-time address flecked with speechwriters' "poetry" and framed by a picturesque backdrop. Reruns never eclipse a riveting new show.

Nor can the president's acceptance of "responsibility" for the disaster dislodge what came before. Mr. Bush didn't cough up his modified-limited mea culpa until he'd seen his whole administration flash before his eyes. His admission that some of the buck may stop with him (about a dime's worth, in Truman dollars) came two weeks after the levees burst and five years after he promised to usher in a new post-Clinton "culture of responsibility." It came only after the plan to heap all the blame on the indeed blameworthy local Democrats failed to lift Mr. Bush's own record-low poll numbers. It came only after America's highest-rated TV news anchor, Brian Williams, started talking about Katrina the way Walter Cronkite once did about Vietnam."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 06:46 PM

---

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/23/AR2005092301665.html

Bill Would Permit DNA Collection From All Those Arrested

By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 24, 2005; Page A03

Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to
provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central
database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government
collection of personal data.

The controversial measure was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee
last week and is supported by the White House, but has not gone to the
floor for a vote. It goes beyond current law, which allows federal
authorities to collect and record samples of DNA only from those
convicted of crimes. The data are stored in an FBI-maintained national
registry that law enforcement officials use to aid investigations, by
comparing DNA from criminals with evidence found at crime scenes.

[...remainder snipped...]
__________________________



It is easy to say "it's just like fingerprints" and let it go, because criminals deserve whatever they get, right?

On the other hand when you combine it with the authority to label anyone a criminal at will, recently defended by the Bush court, AND the trend against civil liberties in this nation not seen since the heyday of McCarthy, AND the gross dereliction of intelligence as regards the use and nature of science that this administration has moved to unprecedented depths, it smells a bit more like something else -- eugenics. The fine art of using vasectomies and hysterectomies on people without their informed consent in order to make sure that they do not reproduce because they don't meet certain standards of citizenship and right-thinking. Back in the ra from 1900 to 1930 a largew movement in favor of eugenics to purify the pooulation grew up in the United States and a number of states passed acts into law. With two tame doctors anyone could have their family tree cut short. The idea faded out here -- the idea that nurture and environment were more responsible for criminality and sloth than genes gradually supplanted the eugenic idea. But another reason it faded out here is because the American groundbreaking poapers and organizations inspired a European movement which took the subject to new heights, under the flag of the Aryan culture and the Third Recih. They based their arguments on the American model, according to historical research done by Jodi Picoult in support of her novel, "Second Glance", where she provides a bibliography of supporting references.

The invasion of person represented by this proposal is unthinkably crass and ignorant of the better principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is typical of the Bush administrations bulldozer-brainlessness that they believe this to be a tenable position in terms of civil rights. Involuntary surrender of DNA samples as a matter of law is comparable to involuntary surrender of property while under suspicion only, a status more and more popular with the thugs that run Washington and its organs.

"...And when they came for the folksingers, I said nothing...".

For some history see www.uvm.edu/~eugenics, or do a Google on Henry Perkins and the Voluntary Sterilzation laws he promoted.

A


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

From a correspondent:

Geee ... and here I thought the conservatives and those on the
"Right" LIKED Posse Comitatus -- the 1878 Act prohibiting presidents
from using the military to conduct "consequence management
operations" normally limited to civil police agencies under LOCAL and
STATE control. (But then again, I thought the "Right" also opposed
run-away government pork/spending, too. Silly me!) --jim






"Look what got created in 2002.



http://www.northcom.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=s.whoweare


It's mission statement reads like a blank check.

The command's mission is homeland defense and civil support,
specifically:

Conduct operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats and
aggression aimed at the United States, its territories, and
interests within the assigned area of responsibility; and
As directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, provide
defense support of civil authorities including consequence
management operations.
U.S. Northern Command plans, organizes, and executes homeland
defense and civil support missions, but has few permanently
assigned forces. The command will be assigned forces whenever
necessary to execute missions as ordered by the President.

Approximately 1,200 civil service employees and uniformed personnel
representing all service branches provide this essential unity of
command from U.S. Northern Command's headquarters at Peterson Air
Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.


I wondered why the President was riding out Rita there....




The law of Posse Comitatus:

Posse Comitatus Act

Section 1385 of Title 18, United States Code (USC), states:

"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."




The PCA does not apply to the U.S. Coast Guard in peacetime or to the National Guard in Title 32 or State Active Duty status. The substantive prohibitions of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) were extended to all the services with the enactment of Title 10 USC, Section 375. As required by Title 10 USC, Section 375 the secretary of defense issued Department of Defense Directive 5525.5, which precludes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps from direct participation in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.

The PCA generally prohibits U.S. military personnel from direct participation in law enforcement activities. Some of those law enforcement activities would include interdicting vehicles, vessels, and aircraft; conducting surveillance, searches, pursuit and seizures; or making arrests on behalf of civilian law enforcement authorities. Prohibiting direct military involvement in law enforcement is in keeping with long-standing U.S. law and policy limiting the military's role in domestic affairs.



I recommend we keep it that way except in dire emergency. I have no objection to the Navy helping bail out New Orleans. The minute there is a sniff of them being used as law enforcement, I start seeing redcoats.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 05 - 09:53 AM

The New York TImes in today's editorial disapproves of the rampant old-boyism steering the profits from Katrina's repair bill:

"...And there's more. An article in yesterday's Times by Eric Lipton and Ron Nixon reports that more than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by FEMA for Katrina work were awarded without bidding or with limited competition. The Times article even finds a federal employee - Richard Skinner, the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department - willing to go on the record with his concern, saying, "We are very apprehensive about what we are seeing."

So are we. The government is spending more than a quarter of a billion dollars every day on rescue, relief and reconstruction along the Gulf Coast. Anyone who pays taxes in America should be concerned about how the money is being spent and who is profiting. We think that when Congress appropriates money for disaster relief, the advantage should be maximized for the victims, not for the same cast of characters that have been profiting from no-bid contracts in Iraq. Kellogg, Brown & Root, Americans may recall, is the company that came up with those $100-per-bag laundry bills for work in Iraq.

All of this comes back to cronyism. The resignation of the FEMA chief, Michael Brown, was only one of the recent departures. The head of federal procurement policy at the Office of Management and Budget resigned just before he was arrested on charges of lying to federal investigators, and the Pentagon's former inspector general has left for the private sector but remains the target of a Congressional inquiry.

Last week, the Homeland Security Department appointed the National Weather Service's chief financial officer, Matthew Jadacki, to head a new Office for Hurricane Katrina Oversight. That's a step in the right direction. The office itself is a good idea, and Mr. Jadacki's experience is a welcome contrast with that of many of the inexperienced political appointees who have been exposed by this crisis. But the administration will have to go a lot further if it wants any chance of regaining the American people's trust, which it has so squandered. The true test of the new oversight office will be in its financing and staffing. America doesn't need a public relations stunt; it needs a functioning means of curbing abuse. "

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Teribus
Date: 27 Sep 05 - 10:02 AM

Well things sure as hell haven't changed round here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:23 PM

Amos have you tested yourself with the E-meter lately?

Old Guy


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:42 PM

George Bush in Hell
by David Michael Green

You would not want to be George W. Bush right now.

Not that you ever would anyhow, but especially not now. Indeed, there are indications that not even George W. Bush wants to be George W. Bush right now.

That second term in office, the one that just a year or two ago seemed so precious that he was willing to launch a war just to obtain it, now feels like a life sentence. Plans for four years spending political capital now look a lot more like endless months of capital punishment.

The Bush Administration has nowhere to go but down, and that is precisely where it is headed. Poll data show that even members of his solid-to-the-point-of-twelve-step-eligibility base are now deserting him as his job approval ratings plunge like so much Enron stock, lately crashing southward through the forty percent threshold. With almost his entire second term still in front of him, Bush is poised to set new records for presidential unpopularity. That scraping noise you hear? It's the sound of sheepish voters creeping out to the garage late at night, furtively removing "Bush-Cheney 2004" bumperstickers from the back of their SUVs when no one is looking.

Meanwhile, as the scales fall from the eyes of the hoi polloi, even the one constituency which could plausibly make the claim that Bush has been good for America (read: their wallets), is speaking the unspeakable as well. Robert Novak, of all people, wrote a column last week chronicling his experience watching rich Republicans at an Aspen retreat bash the idiocy of Bush administration policies on Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, stem-cell research and more. Perhaps these folks realized when they saw Trent Lott's house go under that Mother Nature doesn't care whether you're rich and well-connected any more than does al Qaeda. You may be on Karl Rove's Rolodex, but now Bush is taking you down and your yacht too, not just forgotten kids from the ghetto who enlisted in the Army as the only alternative to a life of poverty.

Even conservative columnists like David Brooks (though not Novak) are writing articles nowadays accurately describing the changed mood of the American public. Where those powerful currents are heading is unclear, but given the radical right experiment of the present as their point of departure, there would seem to be only two choices. We can either go completely off the deep-end and finally constitute the Fascist Republic of Cheney, or we can turn to the left, toward some semblance of rational policymaking. The latter seems far more likely, especially as America increasingly regains its senses after a long bout of temporary insanity. These are bad bits of news for poor George, but worse yet is that they are only the first signs of the coming apocalypse. The real fun stuff is just around the corner. I'll confess to more than a little schadenfreude as I contemplate the ugly situation staring Republicans officeholders in the face right now. They are tethered to a sinking ship, and have only two lousy options to choose from as November 2006 approaches. One is to stay the course and drown. The other is to start renouncing Bush and his policies, appear to voters as the complete hypocrites and political whores many will prove to be, and then still drown anyhow. Nobody could be more deserving of such a fate, with the possible exception of Democrats like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry who have been even more hypocritical yet in facilitating many of the president's disastrous policies.

Watching these GOP opportunists jump ship will certainly be fun, but the greatest fun awaits the president himself. Bush has now lost everything that once sustained him. That includes 9/11, now safely in the rearview mirror for most Americans. That includes his wartime rally-around-the-flag free pass, as he has failed to capture America's real enemy, while lying about bogus ones to justify an invasion pinning our defense forces down in an endless quagmire. That includes, post-Katrina, the ridiculous frame of Bush as competent leader, and the former reality of the press as frightened presidential waterboys.

And that's the good news for W. The bad news is all the chickens coming home to roost. The economy is anemic and fragile, and yet Bush has played the one card in his deck ostensibly (but never really) intended to remedy the country's economic woes. (Remember during the 2000 campaign when times were flush and tax cuts were the prescription? Remember in 2001 when the economy was in a recession and tax cuts were still the prescription?). In any case, Bush's one-note economic symphony has succeeded in producing precisely the cacophony of disaster that progressive commentators have predicted all along: massive deficits, little or no economic boost, a hemorrhaging of jobs overseas, and a vastly more polarized America of rich, poor and a disappearing middle class.

...

Excerpted from this article.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:44 PM

Ahhhhhh, all I want to know is why the heck it is so danged imoportant to "rebuild" New Orleans as a population center???

Ahhhhh, like whay isn' this discussion occuring???

Well, I'll tell ya why....

Bush and his buddies are in cohoots to rebuild because they can do it with yert more no-bid contracts... Thwere is nuthin' than Bushites love more than no-bidders since in't money in the bank to their cmapiagn contrubotors.... Hmmmmmm?

(Like what are you tryin' to say, Bobert? Is this adminisration corrupt?...)

Is the Pope Catholic???

Yeah, that's why there isn't this big and important discussion about the validity of rebuilding NO.... Such a discussion would piss off some folks and would, equallu or more importantly, piss off some of Bush's campaigen contributors...

Meanwhile, no one is talkin' about the feasibilty of rebuilding NO????

But lotta folk gettin' rich!!!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:55 PM

..."George W. Bush says that one's service to one's country is a "noble cause", with the sacrifice of one's life being the highest offering. But why is one's service to one's country not noble enough to merit being able to pay homage to the war dead in one's own chosen way? Why is dying in Bush's war, the so-called noble cause, not worthy of visibility as the dead return home under secrecy and the cover of darkness? Why are Bush's the dead of Bush's "noble cause" hidden from view the way that the executioner's face is always well hidden? Bush's "noble cause" perversely requires that the United States and Iraqi dead and maimed be hidden from public view. Why do the United States people allow this administration to callously use the dead for their own political purposes? How many names will there be on the yet-to-be-built Iraq war memorial? How many names on the Afghanistan war memorial? The future Iran war memorial? The future Syria war memorial? The next and ad-infinitum war memorial? Can the United States of America exist without waging some war, some place in the world, all of the time? Has perpetual war become a defining parameter of the United States? Is war a necessary component for neo-liberalism's survival? Someday, the peoples of the world will put up a memorial to the fallen victims of United States imperialism. How many acres and acres of marble walls would that take? How many tens-of-millions of names would there be on this wall? How many native American names? How many African American names? How many Southeast Asian names? How many Central and South American names? How many names from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Fallujah, etc.?

Wrong Person Arrested

Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star Mother for Peace, along with her sister and 370 others were arrested at the White House on Monday, September 26, 2005. After being refused a meeting with George W. Bush, Cindy Sheehan and others sat in front of the White refusing to move until George W. Bush came out to met with them. George wasn't coming out. They were arrested. Cindy wrote of her arrest on her website, www.afterdowningstreet.org,

We all know by now why George won't meet with parents of the soldiers he has killed who disagree with him. First of all, he hates it when people disagree with him. I am not so sure he hates it as much as he is in denial that it even happens....he is a coward who arrogantly refuses to meet with the people who pay his salary... [The] reason why he won't talk to us is that he knows there is no Noble Cause for the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq. It is a question that has no true answer."

Excerpted from an article called "What Noble Cause?"
Jozef Hand-Boniakowski
http://www.metaphoria.org




For a complete timeline of the Bush administrations evasions, manipulations and skullduggery resulting in the war in Iraq, see this compilation by Congressman John Conyers.

Lest we forget...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 10:32 PM

From today's NY Times:

BERT PEAR
Published: October 1, 2005
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 - Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.

In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban.

The contract with Mr. Williams and the general contours of the public relations campaign had been known for months. The report Friday provided the first definitive ruling on the legality of the activities.

Lawyers from the accountability office, an independent nonpartisan arm of Congress, found that the administration systematically analyzed news articles to see if they carried the message, "The Bush administration/the G.O.P. is committed to education."

The auditors declared: "We see no use for such information except for partisan political purposes. Engaging in a purely political activity such as this is not a proper use of appropriated funds."

The report also sharply criticized the Education Department for telling Ketchum Inc., a public relations company, to pay Mr. Williams for newspaper columns and television appearances praising Mr. Bush's education initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act.

When that arrangement became public, it set off widespread criticism. At a news conference in January, Mr. Bush said: "We will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda. Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet."

But the Education Department has since defended its payments to Mr. Williams, saying his commentaries were "no more than the legitimate dissemination of information to the public."

The G.A.O. said the Education Department had no money or authority to "procure favorable commentary in violation of the publicity or propaganda prohibition" in federal law.

The ruling comes with no penalty, but under federal law the department is supposed to report the violations to the White House and Congress.

In the course of its work, the accountability office discovered a previously undisclosed instance in which the Education Department had commissioned a newspaper article. The article, on the "declining science literacy of students," was distributed by the North American Precis Syndicate and appeared in numerous small newspapers around the country. Readers were not informed of the government's role in the writing of the article, which praised the department's role in promoting science education.

The auditors denounced a prepackaged television story disseminated by the Education Department. The segment, a "video news release" narrated by a woman named Karen Ryan, said that President Bush's program for providing remedial instruction and tutoring to children "gets an A-plus."

Ms. Ryan also narrated two videos praising the new Medicare drug benefit last year. In those segments, as in the education video, the narrator ended by saying, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

The television news segments on education and on Medicare did not state that they had been prepared and distributed by the government. The G.A.O. did not say how many stations carried the reports. ...



Balance of article can be found at this page

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 10:24 PM

Excerpt from a funny web log:

"GOP Looks Toward Future, Prison
Conservative leaders seek cozier nest for jailbirds

CNN -- September 28, 2005 – 03:46 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC -- Top Republicans have been quietly raising money to expand the minimum security prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi, CNN has learned. A new wing will be built to house members of the Bush Administration.

Each cell in the so-called Freedom Wing will feature an ornate cot with sheets made from 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton, a whisper-quiet flush toilet, and a 42-inch plasma TV pre-programmed to Fox News and the 700 Club.

"We're trying to make their transition to incarceration as painless as possible," said one fundraiser who asked to remain anonymous.

Over the past 10 days, a Texas grand jury has indicted House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX), federal agents have arrested White House acquisitions chief David Safavian, and the SEC launched an investigation of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), whose alleged insider trading may have netted him between $2 and $6 million.

Republicans also fear that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, scheduled to wrap up his investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame next month, will issue a raft of indictments for top White House officials on charges of perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

At current rates, roughly 27 percent of top Republican leaders could be behind bars by 2007.

"We're not conceding that they're all guilty," says the donor. "We just want to have the resources in place in case the worst happens."

Toward that end the Republicans have hired Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root to build the new wing, while recent ex-con Martha Stewart will consult on interior design. Stewart is said to be considering abandoning her usual muted pastels in favor of a bold black-and-white motif, since most of the inmates are unable to see the world in any other way.

He added that a neocon think-tank, The American Enterprise Institute, might open a satellite office in the prison."

The whole piece and searlier ones of similar wit can be found at http://witlist.blogspot.com/2005/09/gop-looks-toward-future-prison.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: JennyO
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 01:31 AM

a whisper-quiet flush toilet

Well, at least they won't hear the flush of a distant toilet


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Oct 05 - 01:47 PM

In the following transcript of recent remarks by George Bush addressing the National Endowment for Democracy Thursday, I am forced to concede that it is the most articulate defense of Bush's foreign policy in rear-view I have seen to date. It is a well balanced rationalization of what I have always seen as irrational. I still see it as irrational, but I am much impressed by his new speechwriter's ability to paint a picture. He is fluent enough to make you believe Dulce et decorum est. I am not sure whether this is deep betrayal of the language or simply artful use of it; perhaps some of each, even worse.



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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 07:54 AM

LONDON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush allegedly said God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, a new BBC documentary will reveal, according to details.

Bush made the claim when he met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and then foreign minister Nabil Shaath in June 2003, the ministers told the documentary series to be broadcast in Britain later this month.

The US leader also told them he had been ordered by God to create a Palestinian state, the ministers said.

Shaath, now the Palestinian information minister, said: " President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God.

'God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan'.'

"And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq...' And I did.

"'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God I'm gonna do it'," said Shaath.

Abbas, who was also at the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, recalled how the president told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation.

"So I will get you a Palestinian state."

A BBC spokesman said the content of the programme had been put to the White House but it had refused to comment on a private conversation.


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