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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nader Criticizes Bush on Iraq

Consumer Advocate Says Administration Tolerates Corruption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The red-blue divide widens:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


------ End of Forwarded Message

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

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

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


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

Excerpted from today's Times:

Wag-the-Dog Protection

Published: February 22, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider, for example, the case of chemical plants.

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

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

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

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

Bush Tort Reform - Executive Clemency for Executive Killers

by Greg Palast

published by

Bush Tort Reform - Executve Clemency for Executive Killers

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

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

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

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

Stranger than Fiction - Jeff Gannon and the Politics of Hypocrisy

by Gary Leupp

published by CounterPunch

Stranger than Fiction - Jeff Gannon and the Politics of Hypocrisy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategic Support Branch: Rumsfeld's Own Personal CIA

by Kurt Nimmo

published by Another Day in the Empire

Strategic Support Branch: Rumsfeld's Own Personal CIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bush's War on Veracity

by Ralph Nader

published In the Public Interest

Bush's War on Veracity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From today's New York Times


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

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

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

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

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 03:17 PM

From an interesting little site called "The Truth Seeker", alleging to be from inside the White House:

Now onto all this fuss about the Gays in the White House….If the Family Values idiots who elected Bush realized how morally corrupt this administration actually was, they would march on Washington with farm implements and torches. The President is a cocaine-snorting, impotent drunk who was made fun of as a spoiled child and hates everyone. His top aide, Fat Karl the Eunuch, was a pathetic, bloated nerd with inch-thick glasses and loathed by everyone in his high school. His own private life is so bad that if these Family Values people or the local Child Protective Services ever heard about it, Fat Karl would be toast. In fact, the inner circles of the White House contain some of the most corrupt people I have ever met and I would under no circumstances allow any of my grandchildren anywhere near them, ever. They are, most of them, polymorph and perverse and those, like Cheney, who are not, are greedy crooks out to loot the Treasury by any means short of physical armed robbery. As I said before, you get what you pay for and the boobs who voted this gang of thieves and perverts into power deserve exactly what they get.

The problem is, Bush and his fanatics have done terrible damage to the economy, have created divisions in the American social structure beyond belief, utterly ruined America's world image and instead of practicing intelligent diplomacy to solve international problems, have threatened, bullied and harassed any individual or government abroad that has dared to object to codified torture, mass killing of civilians, hostile foreign reporters and enemies of Israel, practiced by this Administration on a daily basis.

Putting the despicable Gonzales into the Attorney General's office is an obscene farce that attempts to legitimatize sycophancy and torture at the same time.

And when the deluded Right, both religious and political, discover that Curious George has played them for the trusting fools that they are, great will be the lamentations heard in the land. And George will go right on getting richer at out expense and we do not need to comment of Fat Karl's pleasures."

See our Inside the White House archive:

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 01:41 PM

Two major pieces of evidence in the last few days point to serious problems with the lack of intelligence supporting or dwelling in the current administration.

One can be found here, describing scientific analyses which show up the institutional and individual fat-headedness of Bush and his Merry Band in ignoring global warming and refusing to support the Kyoto accord.

The other ugly issue du jour is why the poster boy for ho"Hot Military Stud" was privileged to get a press pass into the White Hous epress corps and wehy he seemed to get scoops ahead of other corps members when he was applying under a flase name and was actually an active soliciting homosexual.

Big Q of the week: what would have been said if there had been such a scandal in the Clinton years. Would there have been anything said?

The sun and moon would have stood stock still in shock and awe and disappropbation.

This so-=called leader should be tarred.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 01:16 PM

I resent the president's low opinion of me that because I'm over 55 (way over, in fact) I need not care about how he wants to change Social Security because it won't affect me. Even though it will affect my 6 children and 12 grandchildren. It does, however, tell us a lot about how the president thinks: "As long as you get yours, don't worry about others."

We expect higher values than that from our elected officials.

Paul Smith
Livingston, Tex., Feb. 17, 2005

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 01:12 PM

From today's New York Times Editorial Section (2-19-05)

In the Midst of Budget Decadence, a Leader Will Arise

Published: February 19, 2005

There's going to be another Ross Perot, and this time he's going to be younger. There's going to be a millionaire rising out of the country somewhere and he (or she) is going to lead a movement of people who are worried about federal deficits, who are offended by the horrendous burden seniors are placing on the young and who are disgusted by a legislative process that sometimes suggests that the government has lost all capacity for self-control.

He's going to be set off by some event like what is happening right now with the Medicare prescription drug benefit. He's going to look at an event like that one, and he's not only going to be worried about the country's economic future - he's also going to be morally offended. He's going to sense that something fundamentally decadent is going on.

And he's going to be right.

In the past months we have learned that the prescription drug benefit passed last year is not going to cost $400 billion over 10 years. The projections now, over a slightly different period, are that it's going to cost over $700 billion. And these cost estimates are coming before the program is even operating. They are only going to go up.

That means we're going to be spending the next few months bleeding over budget restraints that might produce savings in the millions, while the new prescription drug benefit will produce spending in the billions.

That means that as we spend the next year trying to get a grip on one entitlement, Social Security, we'll be launching a new one that is also unsustainable.

Over the next few months we will be watching a government that may be millions-wise, but trillions-foolish. We will be watching a government that sometimes seems to have lost all perspective - like a lunatic who tries to dry himself with a hand towel while standing in a torrential downpour.

And much of this new spending will go to people who have insurance to pay for their drugs.

In Congress, some are taking a look at these new cost projections and figuring that maybe it's time to readjust the program. In the House there are Republicans like Mike Pence and Jeff Flake (whose predictions of this program's actual cost have been entirely vindicated by events). In the Senate there are people like Judd Gregg and Lindsey Graham. These fiscal conservatives want to make the program sustainable.

Perhaps the benefits should be limited to those earning up to 200 percent of the level at the poverty line. Perhaps the costs should be capped at $400 billion through other benefit adjustments. These ideas are akin to what the candidate George Bush proposed in 2000.

But the White House is threatening to veto anything they do! President Bush, who hasn't vetoed a single thing during his presidency, now threatens to veto something - and it's something that might actually restrain the growth of government. He threatens to use his first veto against an idea he himself originally proposed!

Have we entered another world, where up is down and rationality is irrational?

Every family and business in America has to scale back when the cost of something skyrockets. Does this rule not apply to us as a nation?

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 01:41 PM

Teresa: The Los Angeles Times moderate? The Lord help my soul.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 01:55 PM

Another article on the corrosive chilling of free press in the United States by its own leadership:

The Need for a Federal Shield

Published: February 17, 2005

As a matter of self-interest, Americans need to appreciate the rising threat to the news media's ability to provide a free flow of information about their government. Close to a dozen reporters around the nation face legal pressure to reveal sources, and some face the threat of jail terms. A federal appeals panel in the District of Columbia declined this week to spare Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of The New York Times the prospect of being jailed for up to 18 months. They are refusing to testify about confidential sources to a grand jury investigating how the name of a covert intelligence officer was leaked to a conservative columnist.

The leaking is a potential crime, and while the reporters did not reveal the officer's name, their digging after the leak is being construed by the courts as making them essential to the investigation.

Ms. Miller never wrote a story about the issue. Mr. Cooper wrote about the administration's rumored political motives for unmasking the officer to the columnist Robert Novak. It remains a mystery whether prosecutors have tried to compel Mr. Novak's testimony; he will not say.

The chilling possibilities for journalism at large are obvious as the case moves further along the appeals chain. Government officials with valuable information on matters of public interest may have second thoughts about trying to reach the public through trusted reporters. Journalists will more than ever have to weigh the risk of jail against the need to protect worthy sources, a practice with a long history of redounding to the citizenry's benefit. (...)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 12:51 PM

Maureen Dowd, no lover of Bush, discusses the jaw-dropping antics of the above mentioned fake reporter:

Bush's Barberini Faun


Published: February 17, 2005

I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon.

How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as,,, and, get to question the president of the United States?


Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?

It's hard to believe the White House could hit rock bottom on credibility again, but it has, in a bizarre maelstrom that plays like a dark comedy. How does it credential a man with a double life and a secret past?

"Jeff Gannon" was waved into the press room nearly every day for two years as the conservative correspondent for two political Web sites operated by a wealthy Texas Republican. Scott McClellan often called on the pseudoreporter for softball questions.

Howard Kurtz reported in The Washington Post yesterday that although Mr. Guckert had denied launching the provocative Web sites - one described him as " 'military, muscular, masculine and discrete' (sic)" - a Web designer in California said "that he had designed a gay escort site for Gannon and had posted naked pictures of Gannon at the client's request."

And The Wilmington News-Journal in Delaware reported that Mr. Guckert was delinquent in $20,700 in personal income tax from 1991 to 1994.

I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?

At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.

In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 12:45 PM

A startling expos´of the Bush administrations effort to adulterate the news media with their own additives in a highly dishonest and corrupt manner can be found in the New York Times today.


Even now, we know that the fake news generated by the six known shills is only a small piece of the administration's overall propaganda effort. President Bush wasn't entirely joking when he called the notoriously meek March 6, 2003, White House press conference on the eve of the Iraq invasion "scripted" while it was still going on. (And "Jeff Gannon" apparently wasn't even at that one). Everything is scripted.

The pre-fab "Ask President Bush" town hall-style meetings held during last year's campaign (typical question: "Mr. President, as a child, how can I help you get votes?") were carefully designed for television so that, as Kenneth R. Bazinet wrote last summer in New York's Daily News, "unsuspecting viewers" tuning in their local news might get the false impression they were "watching a completely open forum." A Pentagon Office of Strategic Influence, intended to provide propagandistic news items, some of them possibly false, to foreign news media was shut down in 2002 when it became an embarrassing political liability. But much more quietly, another Pentagon propaganda arm, the Pentagon Channel, has recently been added as a free channel for American viewers of the Dish Network. Can a Social Security Channel be far behind?

It is a brilliant strategy. When the Bush administration isn't using taxpayers' money to buy its own fake news, it does everything it can to shut out and pillory real reporters who might tell Americans what is happening in what is, at least in theory, their own government. Paul Farhi of The Washington Post discovered that even at an inaugural ball he was assigned "minders" - attractive women who wouldn't give him their full names - to let the revelers know that Big Brother was watching should they be tempted to say anything remotely off message.

The inability of real journalists to penetrate this White House is not all the White House's fault. The errors of real news organizations have played perfectly into the administration's insidious efforts to blur the boundaries between the fake and the real and thereby demolish the whole notion that there could possibly be an objective and accurate free press. Conservatives, who supposedly deplore post-modernism, are now welcoming in a brave new world in which it's a given that there can be no empirical reality in news, only the reality you want to hear (or they want you to hear). The frequent fecklessness of the Beltway gang does little to penetrate this Washington smokescreen. For a case in point, you needed only switch to CNN on the day after Mr. Olbermann did his fake-news-style story on the fake reporter in the White House press corps. ...

This sort of rampant slick-willy dishonesty is criminal enough on the face of it, but it annoys me even more because it shows such disdain for the role of media (the "free" press) in democratic process. It is clear the "free" press is not a "player" in the Bush worldview.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 11:28 PM

Arrived today by e-mail, the following notice to G.W. Bush from the State of California:

California's Secession letter to Bush

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually,
we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will
now be its own country. And we're taking all the blue states with us. In case
you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast.

We spoke to God, and she agrees that this split will be beneficial to
almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In
fact, God is so excited about it, she's going to shift the whole country at
4:30 pm
EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be
back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the
Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches,. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken

(We will keep Martha Stewart, but having served her sentence she will
now be a contributor to society rather than the unindicted contributors to your
campaign) We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand, we get Intel
and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole Miss. We get
85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological
innovation in Alabama. We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to
make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we
get a bunch of happy families, You get a bunch of single moms to support, and
we know how much you like that. Did I mention we produce about 70% of the
nation's veggies? But heck the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the
pickles on their Big Macs.

Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your
state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that

Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and
anti-war, Speaking of war, we're going to want all blue state citizens
back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They
have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose,
And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets
coming home.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope,
hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously,


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 12:27 PM

One leads by example. If the United States wishes to encourage greater respect for human rights in the world, it must set a good example. It is doing the exact opposite, so that on Jan. 19, the Cuban government handed formal protest notes to United States representatives in Havana and Washington on the abuse of prisoners at the Guantánamo Naval Base, which, as the notes pointed out, is on Cuban territory.

What chutzpah, one might say. Perhaps, but what did we expect? At a time when the our country is calling Cuba an outpost of tyranny and demanding that it release political prisoners, our own abuse of prisoners at Guantánamo puts the shoe on the other foot.

One can imagine the Cubans asking, "Are we to do as you say, or as you do?"

Wayne S. Smith

Washington, Feb. 15, 2005

The writer, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, was chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana, 1979-82.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 12:19 PM

Once upon a time, Republicans were good for one thing and one thing only - keeping an eye on the books, making sure that deficits didn't balloon and that the economy didn't overheat.

But under Ronald Reagan, the new generation of Republicans threw down their eyeshades and became warriors of the right. Now, under George W. Bush, any semblance of responsibility has been erased from the party's soul, leaving us with only war (religious, cultural and shooting) and debt.

James Day

Berkeley, Calif., Feb. 14, 2005

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 10:03 AM

Bush's Budget Means Cutting Only Peanut Butter: Gene Sperling
2005-02-14 00:19 (New York)

    (Commentary. Gene Sperling, who was President Bill Clinton's
top economic adviser, is a columnist for Bloomberg News and a
senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Gene Sperling

    Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Imagine the following: The father of a
financially stretched family decides to live it up by leasing three
fully loaded Hummer H1s for the bargain price of $9,750 a month.
    As the family's financial situation deteriorates, the father
calls the family together for a belt-tightening discussion. He
holds up a jar of Whole Foods chunky peanut butter and says, ``Do
you realize we are spending $4.49 on this? We could be saving $2.04
if we bought Skippy peanut butter for only $2.45.''
    His teenage son responds, ``Like, dad, man, why are you
busting us about two bucks on peanut butter when you're spending,
like, almost $10,000 a month on cars?'' The father sternly
responds, ``Don't change the subject. We are talking about peanut
    On Feb. 7, President George W. Bush sought to use his 2006
budget to emerge as a born-again fiscal belt tightener. His goal
was clear: Focus the fiscal debate on cutting programs for
hardworking families and the poor -- which are the financial
equivalent of peanut butter -- while ruling out any effort to add
up, put on the table or even acknowledge the budgetary equivalent
of luxury Hummers -- his tax cuts for the highest-income Americans.

                            The Cuts

    Like the son in the family fable, most Americans understand
the basic law that money is always fungible -- a dollar on cars
could also be a dollar spent on peanut butter. Yet Bush's entire
budgetary case rests on the assumption that no one will notice or
change the subject to mention that his proposed spending cuts are
dwarfed by the deficit-exploding tax reductions that he is seeking
for high-income Americans.
    Consider some of the cuts Bush is claiming are necessary to
get tough on the deficit:
    First, he would cut $500 million for job training and
dislocated workers in the midst of what is still the slowest jobs
recovery since the 1930s.
    Second, he would virtually eliminate the $500 million
Community Oriented Policing Services program when we are concerned
about domestic terrorist threats.
    Third, Bush would impose $4.5 billion in net cuts to Medicaid
for the poor and disabled when health-care costs and the number of
uninsured are rising.
    And fourth, he would scrap the $1 billion a year in funding
for the GEAR-UP and TRIO programs that reach out to economically
disadvantaged children early and encourage them to go to college
when our economy desperately needs a larger share of this
population to obtain college degrees.

                         The Exemptions

    Yet while these cuts add up to only about $6.5 billion a year,
no one is supposed to mention that in the same budget Bush calls
for implementing two obscure tax provisions that increase personal
exemptions and itemized deductions that the top 2 percent of
Americans can use to reduce their tax payments to the tune of $115
billion over the next decade.
    That's enough to prevent all these cuts and still reduce the
deficit by $55 billion. Nor can we mention that if we pulled back
on the income-tax cut (leaving alone capital gains and dividends)
for the 0.5 percent of Americans making more than $400,000 a year,
we could save $300 billion over the next decade -- enough to buy a
lot of peanut butter and still make a big dent in the deficit.
    Anyone who took seriously Bush's commitment to deficit
reduction might assume that his tight cap on domestic programs was
motivated by the deficit exploding because such spending had gotten
out of control.

                         One-Sided Reality

    Yet, in an analysis conducted at the Washington-based Center
for American Progress, it was found that when you exclude
expenditure on defense, homeland security and international
affairs, discretionary spending has actually decreased from 3.4
percent of gross domestic product in 2001 to 3.3 percent in 2005.
    On the other hand, the decision to pass and extend three tax
cuts and an expensive prescription drug benefit without any offsets
is set to increase the deficit by more than $5 trillion over the
next decade, including interest costs.
    Even when looking at our long-term capacity to deal with the
challenge of the baby boomers' retirement, Bush is trying to
construct this same one-sided budgetary reality.
    While the Social Security Trust Fund is solvent, the president
laments that in 2018 the government as a whole will have to
``somehow'' borrow an additional $200 billion to meet its legal
Social Security commitments. Yet he seems oblivious to the fact
that his own tax and spending policies will increase government
borrowing that year by more than $500 billion.

                         Eat the Generic

    Bush wants members of Congress to go home and tell their
constituents that there is simply no choice but to achieve Social
Security solvency entirely through benefit cuts with new price-
indexing rules. Yet he disallows any discussion of the fact that
making permanent his tax cuts for only the top 1 percent of earners
-- as his budget calls for -- costs almost as much as is needed to
keep Social Security solvent for 75 years.

    Still, I get it, Mr. President, I'm changing the subject. This
budget isn't about finding numbers that lead to deficit reduction,
it's about using the pretext of deficits to limit government's role
to help those most in need. Perhaps you think the father was right
to forbid any discussion of luxury Hummers. Let them eat Costco
generic peanut butter

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:37 PM

Gonzales Is Sworn In as Attorney General


Published: February 14, 2005

Alberto R. Gonzales was sworn in as 80th attorney general of the United States today, replacing John Ashcroft as nation's chief law enforcement officer, and becoming the first Hispanic to hold the office.

The ceremony at the White House came after months of controversy about Mr. Gonzales's role in the Bush administration's policies on torture. The Senate approved his nomination in Feb. 3 on a vote of 60 to 36, with most Senate Democrats strongly opposing, giving Mr. Gonzales fewer Democratic votes than John Ashcroft received when he was confirmed in 2001.

Following Mr. Gonzales's swearing-in, President Bush praised him, saying that the "attorney general has my complete confidence" and that he has been "a model of service" with a "deep dedication to the cause of justice."

The president said Mr. Gonzales was now on "an urgent mission to protect the United States from another terrorist attack."

The ceremony, however, was not only about Mr. Gonzales. Mr. Bush also used the occasion to promote some of his own ideas, saying that "we must not allow the passage of time, or the illusion of safety, to weaken our resolve in this new war."

And Mr. Bush called on Congress "to promptly renew all provisions of the Patriot Act this year." Mr. Ashcroft's aggressive efforts to enforce the USA Patriot Act, which loosens restrictions on government surveillance, draw considerable criticism from civil libertarians. The main provisions of the sweeping antiterrorism law, enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are set to expire at the end of the year.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 11:18 AM

Bush is a master of fraudulent tokenism, making assertions or gestures that imply positions that he will not in fact fulfill, promising solutions he will not implement, or insinuating conditions that he knows perfectly well do not obtain, in order to glean approval anywhere he can find it. He is a bottom feeder in this respect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,donuel
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:36 AM

Amos, Yesterday I heard on C Span newspaperclips that Bush had received a group of black leaders (actually several) for Black History month.
TV reported this as well as many papers. The thing is that ~10,000 black leaders had assembled in Nashville in part to protest Bush.

The only news source to cover this was a Chicago paper.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:28 AM

Bush Administration Removes Critical Report From Website, Replaces Civil Rights Commission Chair

By Drog (Canada), Section United States of America
Posted on Fri Feb 11th, 2005 at 10:38:31 AM PST

From Wikinews:

A report documenting the civil rights record of the Bush administration has been removed from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' website. The report was submitted to the administration in December by a committee, chaired by Mary Frances Berry, who has served as chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for nearly 25 years.

The report, Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration (pdf link) described setbacks to a range of civil rights issues from policies that have further polarized communities. One week after Berry submitted the report, the Bush administration forced her out, announcing her replacement before she had actually resigned. The new chair, attorney Gerald A. Reynolds, was quoted in a New York Times article as saying he believed traditional civil rights group "overstate the problem" of racial discrimination. His appointment has been termed "a disaster" by NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond.

In an exclusive interview with February 9, Berry warns of further erosion to civil rights, with a weakened Civil Rights Commission unable to press the Justice Department to enforce the laws.....

Here is a link to the report the Bush Administration suppressed:

Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration

Here is a link to the original article on this subject..

Here is a link the interview with Mary Berry on the current condition of Civil Rights.

A week before the Bush administration forced her out, Berry and vice-chair Cruz Reynoso submitted a 166-page report critical of the President — Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration.

In a letter to President Bush accompanying the report, Berry and Reynoso wrote, "your administration has missed opportunities to win consensus on key civil rights issues ranging from affirmative action, to fair housing, to immigration, to voting rights. Instead, you have adopted policies that further divide an already deeply torn nation."

Response to the report was swift. The White House announced a new appointee before Berry actually resigned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:05 AM

The Importance of Being Earnest

Published: February 14, 2005


For all its talk of deficit reduction, President Bush's 2006 budget is a map of reckless economic policies and shows how they have backed the United States into a precarious position in the global financial markets.

Mr. Bush needs to convince foreign investors that he's serious about cutting the budget deficit. Here's why: Each day, the United States must borrow billions of dollars from abroad to finance its enormous budget and trade deficits. Without a steady stream of huge loans, the country would face rising interest rates, higher inflation, a dropping dollar and slower economic growth. The lenders want to see less of a gap between what the government collects in taxes and what it spends, because a lower budget deficit always eases a trade deficit. A lower trade deficit also implies a stronger dollar. And a stronger dollar would reassure foreign investors that dollar-based assets remain their best choice.

As it is, their belief is being sorely tested: in 2003, the European Central Bank lost $625 million to the weak dollar and reportedly stands to lose $1.3 billion for 2004. Japan's central bank, which has the world's largest foreign stash of dollars - some $715 billion - could lose an estimated $40 billion if the dollar weakened to around 95 yen, a level many analysts expect to see this year. No wonder that a week before Mr. Bush released his budget, Japan's finance minister said that Japan had to be careful in managing those dollar-filled foreign currency reserves.

It's not hard to see what brought the United States to this juncture. Mr. Bush's first-term tax cuts were too expensive and too skewed toward top earners to work as effective, self-correcting economic stimulus. Instead, predictably, they've driven the nation deep into the red. Having reduced tax revenue to a share of the economy not seen since 1959, the cuts are a huge factor in the swing from a budget surplus to a $412 billion deficit.

The administration also erred big in deciding to deal with the ballooning trade imbalance by letting the dollar slide. That might have been a winning gambit if it had been paired with a commitment to cut the deficit. Theoretically, a weakening dollar would have begun the process of easing the trade imbalance, while deficit reduction, which takes longer to bring about, would have addressed the gap in a more lasting way. Instead, Mr. Bush has unceasingly pursued deficit-financed tax cuts, even as the weak dollar has failed to fix the trade imbalance. The result is that the country's deficits - and borrowing needs - remain enormous even as dollar-based investments are becoming less attractive.

Lately, Mr. Bush has been talking the deficit reduction talk, but there's no sign that he is willing to walk the walk. In his 2006 budget, he pledges to slash spending, but largely in areas that would have only a small impact on the deficit and where cuts would be politically difficult, not to mention cruel, such as food stamps, veterans' medical care, child care and low-income housing. Meanwhile, he is pounding the table for more deficit-bloating measures - making his first-term tax cuts permanent, at a 10-year cost of as much as $2.1 trillion; putting into effect two high-income tax breaks that were enacted in 2001 but have been on hold, at a 10-year cost of $115 billion; and introducing new tax incentives to allow high earners to shift even more cash into tax shelters, at a cost that would ultimately work out to more than $30 billion a year when investors cashed in their accounts tax-free.

Oh, yes. Mr. Bush also wants to borrow some $4.5 trillion over two decades to privatize Social Security, which is a bad idea even without the borrowing and a horrendous one with it.

The global financial community won't be fooled. The dollar may have bouts of relative strength, as it has recently. But these are due largely to currency traders' focus on short-term advantages, like Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes, which are perceived as a positive for the dollar, or the appearance of profit-taking opportunities. Inevitably, the budget and trade deficits will reassert their drag on the dollar, and then on Washington's ability to comfortably borrow money from abroad.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 10:37 AM

No Mullah Left Behind


Published: February 13, 2005

The Wall Street Journal ran a very, very alarming article from Iran on its front page last Tuesday. The article explained how the mullahs in Tehran - who are now swimming in cash thanks to soaring oil prices - rather than begging foreign investors to come into Iran, are now shunning some of them. The article related how a Turkish mobile-phone operator, which had signed a deal with the Iranian government to launch Iran's first privately owned cellphone network, had the contract frozen by the mullahs in the Iranian Parliament because they were worried it might help the Turks and their foreign partners spy on Iran.


The Journal quoted Ali Ansari, an Iran specialist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, as saying that for 10 years analysts had been writing about Iran's need for economic reform. "In actual fact, the scenario is worse now," said Mr. Ansari. "They have all this money with the high oil price, and they don't need to do anything about reforming the economy." Indeed, The Journal added, the conservative mullahs are feeling even more emboldened to argue that with high oil prices, Iran doesn't need Western investment capital and should feel "free to pursue its nuclear power program without interference."

This is a perfect example of the Bush energy policy at work, and the Bush energy policy is: "No Mullah Left Behind."

By adamantly refusing to do anything to improve energy conservation in America, or to phase in a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax on American drivers, or to demand increased mileage from Detroit's automakers, or to develop a crash program for renewable sources of energy, the Bush team is - as others have noted - financing both sides of the war on terrorism. We are financing the U.S. armed forces with our tax dollars, and, through our profligate use of energy, we are generating huge windfall profits for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan, where the cash is used to insulate the regimes from any pressure to open up their economies, liberate their women or modernize their schools, and where it ends up instead financing madrassas, mosques and militants fundamentally opposed to the progressive, pluralistic agenda America is trying to promote. Now how smart is that?

The neocon strategy may have been necessary to trigger reform in Iraq and the wider Arab world, but it will not be sufficient unless it is followed up by what I call a "geo-green" strategy.

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

Bush's Class-War Budget


Published: February 11, 2005

It may sound shrill to describe President Bush as someone who takes food from the mouths of babes and gives the proceeds to his millionaire friends. Yet his latest budget proposal is top-down class warfare in action. And it offers the Democrats an opportunity, if they're willing to take it.

First, the facts: the budget proposal really does take food from the mouths of babes. One of the proposed spending cuts would make it harder for working families with children to receive food stamps, terminating aid for about 300,000 people. Another would deny child care assistance to about 300,000 children, again in low-income working families.

And the budget really does shower largesse on millionaires even as it punishes the needy. For example, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities informs us that even as the administration demands spending cuts, it will proceed with the phaseout of two little-known tax provisions - originally put in place under the first President George Bush - that limit deductions and exemptions for high-income households.

More than half of the benefits from this backdoor tax cut would go to people with incomes of more than a million dollars; 97 percent would go to people with incomes exceeding $200,000.

It so happens that the number of taxpayers with more than $1 million in annual income is about the same as the number of people who would have their food stamps cut off under the Bush proposal. But it costs a lot more to give a millionaire a break than to put food on a low-income family's table: eliminating limits on deductions and exemptions would give taxpayers with incomes over $1 million an average tax cut of more than $19,000.

It's like that all the way through. On one side, the budget calls for program cuts that are small change compared with the budget deficit, yet will harm hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans. On the other side, it calls for making tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, and for new tax breaks for the affluent in the form of tax-sheltered accounts and more liberal rules for deductions.

The question is whether the relentless mean-spiritedness of this budget finally awakens the public to the true cost of Mr. Bush's tax policy.

Until now, the administration has been able to get away with the pretense that it can offset the revenue loss from tax cuts with benign spending restraint. That's because until now, "restraint" was an abstract concept, not tied to specific actions, making it seem as if spending cuts would hurt only a few special interest groups.

But here we are with the first demonstration of restraint in action, and look what's on the chopping block, selected for big cuts: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health insurance for children and aid to law enforcement. (Yes, Mr. Bush proposes to cut farm subsidies, which are truly wasteful. Let's see how much political capital he spends on that proposal.) ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Teresa
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 02:05 AM

Scary stuff, Amos; mighty scary.

And uh, Doug ... I don't bother with the moderate press like the Los Angeles Times. I go right to The Nation and, yes I do. :)


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


If the children are the future, we're screwed.

By Alexander Zaitchik


Last week was a busy one on the creeping-fascism index. So busy, in fact, that I finally accepted there is even such a thing as a creeping-fascism index.

Over the past few years, I've held fast to a belief that America is too sprawling, too diverse and too fundamentally committed to its Constitution to ever change its flag to red, white and black. Now I'm not so sure. It wasn't a delayed reaction to the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, Iraq or the confirmation of torture hombre Alberto Gonzalez that did it, but a modest blip on the post-9/11 radar: a poll finding that a third of high school students think the First Amendment "goes too far."

At least that's what they think of the First Amendment once it's explained to them. After interviewing 100,000 teens in the largest study of its kind, the John S. and James C. Knight Foundation reports fast shrinking respect for bedrock constitutional freedoms of speech, press and assembly. Among the findings widely commented on last week—but not widely enough—only 51 percent said newspapers should be allowed to publish content without state approval. Three-quarters actually thought flag burning was illegal—and didn't care—while almost one-fifth said Americans should not be allowed to express unpopular views.

News of the poll triggered a few easy comparisons to the fear-driven conformity of the early Cold War. But that analogy is wishful thinking. Even at its worst, the paranoid patriotism of the 1950s existed uneasily alongside a respect for and knowledge of American history and the Constitution. Even as critics were stripped of their passports and driven out of the academy and Hollywood, and even as the CIA subverted popularly elected governments abroad, in U.S. high schools one of the most frequently assigned books was Howard Fast's Citizen Tom Paine. However airbrushed that era's celebratory view of America's past, kids still had a sense of that past as something to honor, if only in theory. However dramatically the country deviated from its stated ideals, the baseline culture still instilled a reverence for the founding fathers and the Bill of Rights. Every teenager at least knew what those things were.

What we have now is the worst elements of the 1950s without the literacy and understanding of the American creed that made possible the corrective revolts of the 1960s. Last week's Knight poll is an ominous sign of more than just another paranoid burst of American politics, one that will flame out or be eclipsed by some inevitable Aquarian renewal. It is a glimpse into the brain of the first videogame generation to come of age during the war on terror. Post-9/11 political culture plus ADD equals those poll results. There is no good reason to expect the trend to reverse on its own.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 11:36 PM

Yet another analysis of the scandalous budget irresponsibility:

When Math Is Worse Than Fuzzy

Published: February 10, 2005

Whenever the Bush administration wants to sell a costly new program, look carefully before you accept any numbers it puts out. The math isn't just fuzzy, as the current euphemism would have it - it is often downright misleading, and deliberately so.

The latest example is the newly acknowledged cost of the Medicare prescription drug bill, which the administration bulled through Congress in late 2003 over the objections of conservatives who railed that the price tag would be too high. The number that had deficit hawks choking then was a projection that the drug benefit would cost $400 billion over 10 years, from 2004 through 2013. The administration already had an internal estimate that the cost would exceed $500 billion for that period. But it made sure to suppress that figure as it strong-armed Republicans who had already approved irresponsible tax cuts and an expensive war in Iraq, whose true costs were also being hidden.

Now it turns out that the earlier discrepancy was small beer compared with the latest upsurge in the projected 10-year cost of the drug benefit. As pointed out in an article yesterday by Robert Pear in The Times, the drug benefit is actually expected to cost some $720 billion over the first 10 years, from 2006, when the benefit kicks in, through 2015. The previous numbers were lower because they included in the 10-year projections two years when the program would not yet be up and running.

The higher numbers are bound to infuriate conservative Republicans who feel that they were bullied into supporting an expansion of Medicare despite their deep misgivings. But even those of us who supported the Medicare drug benefit as a needed modernization of the program have a right to feel duped. Congress went out of its way to deny Medicare officials the right to negotiate for lower drug prices from manufacturers. That was a mistake when the costs were projected at $400 billion. It is doubly disastrous at $720 billion. ...

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 11:32 PM

Torture, American Style (New York Times)

Published: February 11, 2005

Maher Arar is a 34-year-old native of Syria who emigrated to Canada as a teenager. On Sept. 26, 2002, as he was returning from a family vacation in Tunisia, he was seized by American authorities at Kennedy Airport in New York, where he was in the process of changing planes.

Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, was not charged with a crime. But, as Jane Mayer tells us in a compelling and deeply disturbing article in the current issue of The New Yorker, he "was placed in handcuffs and leg irons by plainclothes officials and transferred to an executive jet."

In an instant, Mr. Arar was swept into an increasingly common nightmare, courtesy of the United States of America. The plane that took off with him from Kennedy "flew to Washington, continued to Portland, Maine, stopped in Rome, Italy, then landed in Amman, Jordan."

Any rights Mr. Arar might have thought he had, either as a Canadian citizen or a human being, had been left behind. At times during the trip, Mr. Arar heard the pilots and crew identify themselves in radio communications as members of "the Special Removal Unit." He was being taken, on the orders of the U.S. government, to Syria, where he would be tortured.

The title of Ms. Mayer's article is "Outsourcing Torture." It's a detailed account of the frightening and extremely secretive U.S. program known as "extraordinary rendition."

This is one of the great euphemisms of our time. Extraordinary rendition is the name that's been given to the policy of seizing individuals without even the semblance of due process and sending them off to be interrogated by regimes known to practice torture. In terms of bad behavior, it stands side by side with contract killings.

Our henchmen in places like Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Jordan are torturing terror suspects at the behest of a nation - the United States - that just went through a national election in which the issue of moral values was supposed to have been decisive. How in the world did we become a country in which gays' getting married is considered an abomination, but torture is O.K.?

As Ms. Mayer pointed out: "Terrorism suspects in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East have often been abducted by hooded or masked American agents, then forced onto a Gulfstream V jet, like the one described by Arar. ... Upon arriving in foreign countries, rendered suspects often vanish. Detainees are not provided with lawyers, and many families are not informed of their whereabouts."

Mr. Arar was seized because his name had turned up on a watch list of terror suspects. He was reported to have been a co-worker of a man in Canada whose brother was a suspected terrorist.

"Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say," Ms. Mayer wrote.

The confession under torture was worthless. Syrian officials reported back to the United States that they could find no links between Mr. Arar and terrorism. He was released in October 2003 without ever being charged and is now back in Canada.

Barbara Olshansky is the assistant legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing Mr. Arar in a lawsuit against the U.S. I asked her to describe Mr. Arar's physical and emotional state following his release from custody.

She sounded shaken by the memory. "He's not a big guy," she said. "He had lost more than 40 pounds. His pallor was terrible, and his eyes were sunken. He looked like someone who was kind of dead inside."

Any government that commits, condones, promotes or fosters torture is a malignant force in the world. And those who refuse to raise their voices against something as clearly evil as torture are enablers, if not collaborators.

There is a widespread but mistaken notion in the U.S. that everybody seized by the government in its so-called war on terror is in fact somehow connected to terrorist activity. That is just wildly wrong.

Tony Blair knows a little about that sort of thing. Just two days ago the British prime minister formally apologized to 11 people who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for bombings in England by the Irish Republican Army three decades ago.

Jettisoning the rule of law to permit such acts of evil as kidnapping and torture is not a defensible policy for a civilized nation. It's wrong. And nothing good can come from it.


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

Today's NYT has a column from my favourite redhead, Maureen Dowd, excerpt below.

"...This guy should be on the Bush team. Controlling what does not need to be controlled is its specialty.

Condoleezza Rice plays hardball with foes and allies around the world. But she's afraid of a few French schoolkids?

Keith Richburg reported in The Washington Post that the Bushies ensured that Condi's appearance at the elite Institute of Political Sciences was more sheep pen than lion's den. "Only a handful of the school's 5,500 students were allowed near the auditorium where Rice spoke," he wrote, "and the initial questions were vetted in advance by the school and the State Department."

The article said Benjamin Barnier, the son of Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, asked the first question, about the possibility of a theocratic government in Iraq. But the real question he wanted to ask was vetoed after he submitted it to the school on Monday. It was: "George Bush is not particularly well perceived in the world, particularly in the Middle East. Can you do something to change that?"

Surely, the "princess warrior" and "Madame Hawk," as she has been dubbed in France, could have handled that one.

But Bush officials prefer to write the script, or "create their own reality," as one Bushie put it, whenever they can. Besides the W.M.D. scare, there was the Kabuki "Ask President Bush" campaign sessions where voters had to take written pledges of support before they were allowed in, and the micromanaged town hall debates, where Bush strategists would not allow truly undecided voters to ask W. questions. And don't forget the administration's payments to conservative "journalists" to sell programs they would have promoted anyway.

The administration is obsessed with controlling the script in ways it doesn't need to, while it drops the ball on controlling the script in ways it should. With the occupation plan in Iraq and the approach to Iran and North Korea, the Bush team often seems to be improvising.

The smug French, who have been riveted by what they regard as American self-delusion, were also riveted by Condi's lèse-majesté seduction in pumps and pearls. Her message boiled down to a silky version of: "Now that we've blown you off and ignored you, we're going to give you an opportunity to admit we were right all along and join us on the ramparts to crush Islamic fundamentalism."

As Elaine Sciolino wrote in The Times, the new secretary of state sent a frisson through the American ambassador's residence yesterday at breakfast with six French intellectuals when she referred to Iran as a "totalitarian state," rather than an "authoritarian" one - since totalitarian is a term ordinarily reserved for violent regimes like Nazi Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union.

"It was scary," said one guest, François Heisbourg, and it inflamed French fears that the U.S. is eyeing regime change in Iran next."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 10:54 PM

Thanks, Dougie. It always tweaks my fancy to notice that getting close to an issue gets you tuh snarling and cussing instead of talking up and speaking to the issues.

Not just you, it seems to be a fall-back position fer a lot of them right-wingers. Kinda like a substitute for confronting the factors.

But thanks for the kind thoughts, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:55 PM

Haha.............ha, Dougie...................................................................................................................................................

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:41 PM

Hey, Amos, I just figured out why this thread is of value to some folks. They can read it and find out all the left-wing crap the liberals are writing these days without subscribing to one of the left-wing newspapers like New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, etc., etc.

You're doing a community service! But hurting circulation. :>)

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 03:05 PM

Three things stand out in President Bush's proposed budget:

¶He would rather continue the tax cuts for a few rich Americans than save government programs that affect much more needy Americans.

¶By stating that spending cuts are necessary to rein in the growing deficit, he conveniently ignores that his previous two irresponsible tax cuts are the primary reason for that deficit.

¶The savings from all the proposed spending cuts barely add up to a fraction of what we will spend in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president's budget reveals his true priorities. But we need not worry, as the budget provides plenty of instant-gratification rhetoric and clever use of the English language.

Ravishankar Palanivelu
Chicago, Feb. 8, 2005

President Bush is proposing a tight budget in which the poor, the police and the sick will take up the burden of balancing the budget so that wealthy Americans won't have to pay fair taxes.

If Mr. Bush were a fair president, he would make sure that the burden of taxation would be shared. But of course he doesn't pretend to be fair, only moral.

I wonder about the morality of this country, both domestically and internationally, when a deficit of Mr. Bush's own making promotes a dismantling of the federal government's duty to people who don't have trust funds to see them through life.

Mr. Bush seems to want the safety net in this country to have worm holes so that he can make an unfair tax cut permanent. Perhaps the majority of people in this country want more of our goods to be made by cheap labor, want more of our legislators to be in the pay of lobbyists for multinational companies, and want to throw away the First Amendment.

This is not the United States I once knew and felt great pride in.

Phyllis Berlant Abrams
Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Feb. 8, 2005

When I look at President Bush's budget cuts, I find exactly what I have been expecting - a set of priorities that provide for grandiose war games at the expense of the fundamental needs of our society.

I suspect that we are about to discover the real cost of our unnecessary war and the extent to which our insensitive and well-insulated leadership will go in its search for scripted adventure and personal adulation.

I have never been more concerned about the future of this country.

Frank Reardon
Olathe, Kan., Feb. 8, 2005

To the Editor:

President Bush's proposed budget is a blatant example of his disdain for the poor and middle class. He proposes cuts in Medicare, Amtrak and programs for veterans, students, the police and others that mostly benefit the poor and middle classes.

But the president adamantly defends all the tax cuts for the rich. There is no equal sharing in this one!

None of these proposed cuts would need to be discussed if the tax cuts for the top 10 percent were rescinded. After Afghanistan and Iraq, is class warfare Mr. Bush's third war?

Frank Zaski
Franklin, Mich., Feb. 8, 2005

A few voices among millions who are protesting Bush' dramatizations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 02:49 PM

Bush Request to Fund Nuclear Study Revives Debate

Administration Wants to Research 'Bunker Buster,' but Critics Seek to Reassess U.S. Readiness

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 9, 2005; Page A09

The Bush administration is seeking $8.5 million to resume a study by the Energy and Defense departments on the feasibility of a nuclear "bunker buster" warhead, but the proposal is generating opposition in Congress and some leaders are pushing for a broader review of the nation's multibillion-dollar nuclear weapons programs.

Rep. David L. Hobson (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that handles the $6 billion-plus annual budget of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, says he wants to raise fundamental questions this year about the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and why so many weapons remain on high levels of alert.

Blueprint Calls for Bigger, More Powerful Government

Some Conservatives Express Concern at Agenda

By Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 9, 2005; Page A01

President Bush's second-term agenda would expand not only the size of the federal government but also its influence over the lives of millions of Americans by imposing new national restrictions on high schools, court cases and marriages.

In a clear break from Republican campaigns of the 1990s to downsize government and devolve power to the states, Bush is fostering what amounts to an era of new federalism in which the national government shapes, not shrinks, programs and institutions to comport with various conservative ideals, according to Republicans inside and outside the White House.

Bush is calling for new federal accountability and testing requirements for all public high schools, after imposing similar mandates on grades three through eight during his first term. To limit lawsuits against businesses and professionals, he is proposing to put a federal cap on damage awards for medical malpractice, to force class-action cases into federal courts and to help create a national settlement of outstanding asbestos-related cases.

On social policy, the president is pushing a constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage in the states and continuing to define and expand the federal government's role in encouraging religious groups to help administer social programs such as community drug-rehabilitation efforts.

"We have moved from devolution, which was just pushing back as much power as possible to the states, back to where government is limited but active," said John Bridgeland, director of Bush's domestic policy council in the first term. Bridgeland and current White House officials see Bush's governing philosophy as a smart way to modernize the government, empower individuals and broaden the appeal of the GOP.

Bush maintains a stated desire to streamline the government. On Monday, he sent Congress a budget that would eliminate or consolidate 150 programs. But a growing number of conservatives are uneasy with what they deride as "big-government conservatism."

"He keeps expanding the federal involvement into state and local affairs," said Chris Edwards, a tax and budget expert at the Cato Institute, a think tank that often supports the president's agenda. "My hope would be that there would be an electoral rebuke of big [-government] Republicans like there was when the tectonic plates shifted in 1994."

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), said: "The Republican majority, left to its own devices from 1995 to 2000, was a party committed to limited government and restoring the balances of federalism with the states. Clearly, President Bush has had a different vision, and that vision has resulted in education and welfare policies that have increased the size and scope of government."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 02:43 PM

Rove Is Promoted To Deputy Staff Chief

Job Covers a Broad Swath of Policy

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 9, 2005; Page A21

During President Bush's first term, outsiders often suspected that Karl Rove was really behind virtually everything. Now it's official.

Rove, the political mastermind behind two presidential elections, yesterday was named White House deputy chief of staff in charge of coordinating domestic policy, economic policy, national security and homeland security.

Karl Rove has long been a close confidant to George W. Bush. (Susan Walsh -- AP)

For a man who spent a lifetime in the business of polls and campaign strategy, it is an expansive portfolio cutting across virtually the entire policy spectrum. But many in the White House said the new position largely formalizes what was already true, noting that Rove has quietly played a vital role in shaping domestic policy from the inception of the Bush presidency. Now, for the first time, he will have a formal hand in foreign policy as well.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 12:32 PM

Editorial: Bush's lies won't catch up to him, they'll get you in the end

Will you trust your future to a man with four failed companies, an endless trail of lies and a history of deficit spending to his credit?

by Brian Richards

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (OfficialWire) -- 02/04/05 -- Anyone who has read The Lies of George W. Bush (David Corn, Three River Press) already knows that the current President of the United States is a liar.

What is truly amazing is that despite his lies, George W. Bush continues to occupy a space in the White House.

It is perhaps a measure of the true state of the Union, that the American public have been able to forget that they didn't vote this man into office, that he lied to the world about the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, that he has illegally kidnapped and continues to imprison hundreds of innocent men (he thinks) outside the jurisdiction of any law or country and all the while touting the red, white and blue banner of freedom.

In just four years, the Bush administration has raped and pillaged the U.S. Treasury in support of those who brought them to power. Now in his second term, having retained his post under a further cloud of deceit and trickery, President Bush II now prepares to dismantle an American institution: Social Security as we know it. As this man lies his way through the process, consider that "The Bush Plan" will not fix the problem, it will make it worse.

Americans have become brain-dead

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 06:03 PM

Bush's Budget: The Bad Math Is No Secret

02/07/2005 @ 4:47pm

If it's budget time, it must be disinformation time. That's how it goes in the Bush II era. George W. Bush released a budget today that he claims is responsible, honest, and designed to cut the $400 billion-plus deficit in half by 2009. Not so. By now, you probably have heard the obvious criticisms. The budget does not include the $80 billion Bush is asking for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (And that probably won't cover the full tab.) It doesn't account for the $1 trillion to $2 trillion that Bush needs to pay for the private investment accounts he wants to carve out of Social Security. It also doesn't recognize that several hundred billion dollars will disappear from the revenue stream when the government rejiggers the alternative minimum tax--which it must--to prevent this tax (written to apply to corporations that make creative use of loopholes) from hitting middle-class individual tax filers.

There are few secrets about Bush's budgetary shenanigans. While the military gets a hefty boost, housing, education and environmental protection gets hammered. Every advocacy group concerned with federal spending was issuing press releases today. Folks on Capitol Hill were doing the same. Senator Jim Jeffords, the Republican-turned-independent from Vermont, put out a short list of the worst of Bush's proposed cuts. Here it is:

* Environment. Cuts the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget by 5.6 percent from $8.02 billion to $7.57 billion, culminating in an almost 10 percent cut over two years. Most cuts come in efforts to maintain and improve the nation's clean water infrastructure.

* Veterans. More than doubles the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year for the privilege of using the Veterans health care system.

* Health Care. Cuts Medicaid funding by $45 billion over 10 years and eliminates 28 health programs, totaling $1.36 billion. These programs range from rural hospital grants (cuts $39.5 million) to emergency medical services for children (cuts $20 million).

* Job Training. Cuts federal spending on job training by a half-billion dollars. Federal job training programs, including dislocated-worker training, will be cut by $200 million. Federal aid to states for job training, including funding to train veterans, will be cut by $300 million.

* Amtrak. Eliminates all funding for Amtrak, calling bankruptcy proceedings as the solution for our nation's rail system.

* Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP). Cuts LIHEAP by over 8 percent, from $2.2 billion to $2 billion.

* Parks. Cuts the National Park Service by 3 percent from $2.31 billion to $2.24 billion.

The Bush White House defends its cuts, claiming it is targeting programs that don't work. Could it be that the Bushies are right? That those darn bureaucrats running the clean water programs at the EPA are flushing taxpayer dollars down the drain? Perhaps. But here's the thing: if Bush is not being honest about the macro dimensions of his budget--and he's not--then how can he be trusted on the details? Short answer: he cannot. I am willing to believe waste and unnecessary spending can be found throughout government. Maybe even at the Pentagon. (Gosh, no!) But I am not willing to hand the scalpel to Bush and his lieutenants when they spin numbers and refuse to acknowledge the true budgetary problems that they have caused and overseen.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 02:56 PM


PleezE reed All the thdread frits and tHeN aks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 12:26 PM

waht all this is about?

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 01:46 PM

I just started another thread, "Christians – Moral vs 'Moral'" (just what the world needs! Another thread on that subject!) with THIS link, but I think it's also appropriate here. It's a speech given by a minister, and it begins as follows:
As some of you know, I am minister of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, an Open and Affirming, Peace and Justice church in northwest Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at Oklahoma City University.

But you would most likely have encountered me on the pages of the Oklahoma Gazette, where I have been a columnist for six years, and hold the record for the most number of angry letters to the editor.

Tonight, I join ranks of those who are angry, because I have watched as the faith I love has been taken over by fundamentalists who claim to speak for Jesus, but whose actions are anything but Christian.

We've heard a lot lately about so-called "moral values" as having swung the election to President Bush. Well, I'm a great believer in moral values, but we need to have a discussion, all over this country, about exactly what constitutes a moral value -- I mean what are we talking about?
And he goes on from there. It needs to be said, loud, clear, and often.

Don Firth

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 01:00 PM

All fine and well, but when the bomb goes off, does anybody believe that it will kill even one of the actual oppressors. Blowing up a bus that may contain up to 50% muslims seems a rather dumb thing to do in support of Islam. Ditto for Basques in Spain, and in fact almost all of these "Freedom fighters", who risk killing their own, while having a negligible chance of scoring one of the people they are fighting against.

Remove oppression, they'll fight about religion; solve that, they'll fight about land; and so on and so nauseam.

I've come to the bitter conclusion that the last two humans left on earth will find something to fight over, and the survivor will say "God, what do I do now"? And God will take one of his ribs,

AND BEAT HIM TO DEATH WITH IT, and good riddance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 10:33 AM

The following article is one of the more interesting commentaries on Mister B., and is not hateful. I recommend the whole piece. It is polite.


The Thinker

The Washington Post

By Michael Kinsley
Sunday, February 6, 2005; Page B07

The strangest aspect of President Bush's new War on Tyranny is the connection he draws between tyranny and terrorism. It's not the connection you would suspect, or the one Bush was making during his first term. When Saddam Hussein was still in charge of Iraq, it was enough to say that bad guys are bad guys. A sadistic dictator is just the type of person who would also harbor terrorists and stockpile weapons of mass destruction.

But now Bush says that terrorists are actually the victims of tyranny. In his inaugural address, this seemed like a bit of transitory, use-once-and-discard highfalutinism. But Bush returned to the theme in his State of the Union address Wednesday. "In the long term," he said, "the peace we seek will only be achieved by eliminating the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder. If whole regions of the world remain in despair and grow in hatred, they will be the recruiting grounds for terror, and that terror will stalk America. . . . "

The legendary anarchist writer Emma Goldman said much the same thing in a 1917 essay, "The Psychology of Political Violence." It is "the despair millions of people are daily made to endure" that drives some of them to acts of terror. Can one question the tremendous, revolutionizing effect on human character exerted by great social iniquities?" She quotes a pamphlet from British-ruled India: "Terrorism . . . is inevitable as long as . . . tyranny continues, for it is not the terrorists that are to be blamed, but the tyrants who are responsible for it."

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 04:03 PM

Having seen a report that GWB said "We're gonna catch those suicide bombers, and bring them to American justice", I feel that he is now eligible for canonisation, the primary qualification being the ability to perform miracles.

The new Saint George would then be quite safe, as the other qualification is that the candidate be dead (which he is, from the neck up at least).

Don T.

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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 07:49 PM

Nightmare come true?

Globalist Perspective > Global Politics
George W. Bush: My Life as a Democrat
By The Globalist | Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Freshly sworn in for a second term, President Bush is looking forward to implementing his agenda with fellow Republicans in charge in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. One of our readers engaged in an intriguing thought experiment: What if the president woke up a Democrat — and all his old allies viewed his current policies through a different political lens entirely?

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