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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 12 Jan 05 - 08:54 PM
Little Hawk 12 Jan 05 - 03:30 PM
GUEST 12 Jan 05 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Amos 12 Jan 05 - 09:05 AM
Bobert 11 Jan 05 - 11:21 PM
DougR 11 Jan 05 - 11:14 PM
Little Hawk 11 Jan 05 - 09:05 PM
Bobert 11 Jan 05 - 08:54 PM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 08:39 PM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 10:50 AM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 09:49 AM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 09:44 AM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 09:40 AM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 09:35 AM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 09:02 AM
Amos 11 Jan 05 - 04:52 AM
Rustic Rebel 11 Jan 05 - 02:33 AM
Amos 10 Jan 05 - 09:01 PM
Amos 10 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM
Amos 10 Jan 05 - 08:08 PM
Amos 10 Jan 05 - 08:01 PM
Bobert 10 Jan 05 - 07:24 PM
DougR 10 Jan 05 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Isaac Peon de Tallywhacker 10 Jan 05 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Amos 10 Jan 05 - 10:06 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 05 - 09:49 AM
Bobert 09 Jan 05 - 06:47 PM
Amos 09 Jan 05 - 06:26 PM
Amos 09 Jan 05 - 11:06 AM
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DougR 08 Jan 05 - 01:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM
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DougR 07 Jan 05 - 01:34 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 08:54 PM

U.S. Trade Deficit Hit Highest Figure Ever in November
By ELIZABETH BECKER

Published: January 12, 2005



WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 - The United States trade deficit soared to a new high of $60.3 billion in November, the Commerce Department reported today. The figure breaks all previous monthly records and confounds predictions that the deficit would diminish now that the dollar has weakened and the price of oil has eased.


Instead the trade gap has now reached the size of the Grand Canyon, in the words of one analyst, and is putting increased pressure on the dollar to drop even further, pressure that could continue unabated.

The dollar fell sharply on news of the unexpectedly wide trade deficit, dropping to 102.42 Japanese yen by this afternoon, from 103.25 yen late Tuesday. The euro climbed to $1.3266, from $1.3123.

The jump in the trade deficit showed a surprising weakening in American exports across the board, from agricultural products to capital goods like aircraft and semiconductors. The figures released by the Commerce Department showed that the trade deficit is on pace to exceed $600 billion for 2004, up from $496.5 billion last year.

The United States is too deeply in debt, economists said, and several things would have to be changed if the trend was to be reversed. American savings would have to increase. The administration would have to make tough choices to balance the budget. And China would have to make its currency exchange rate flexible rather than tied to the dollar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:30 PM

Hitler was seriously disappointed also, no doubt, when he failed to find massive threats to the survival of the German nation in the ruins of Poland! After all, he only attacked the Poles because they were "raping Aryan women", "committing atrocities on East Prussian Aryans", and "planning to attack Germany". Yes indeed! Well, they had to be stopped, by golly. So the Luftwaffe and the Wehrmacht did the only decent thing a superpower can do when it is menaced by a small, weak country with an outdated military that ain't got a chance...they kicked the shit out of those dangerous Polish fanatics!!! Yup. Everything would have been just jimdandy if Britain and France hadn't declared war over it. Too bad, eh?

Well, by golly, the World has now been "saved" from the terrible danger posed by Iraq, just like Hitler saved us from Poland back in '39. I can't wait till George Bush finds someone else to save us from...maybe Syria or Iran? Maybe Korea? Where is there more oil? Maybe Venezuela?

Hail to the Chief! (Heil der Fuehrer!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 09:16 AM

And in the back pages of the Washington Post, this choice milestone of incompetence made manifest:


Search for Banned Arms In Iraq Ended Last Month
Critical September Report to Be Final Word

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 12, 2005; Page A01

The hunt for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq has come to an end nearly two years after President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein. The top CIA weapons hunter is home, and analysts are back at Langley.

In interviews, officials who served with the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) said the violence in Iraq, coupled with a lack of new information, led them to fold up the effort shortly before Christmas.

Four months after Charles A. Duelfer, who led the weapons hunt in 2004, submitted an interim report to Congress that contradicted nearly every prewar assertion about Iraq made by top Bush administration officials, a senior intelligence official said the findings will stand as the ISG's final conclusions and will be published this spring.

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials asserted before the U.S. invasion in March 2003 that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, had chemical and biological weapons, and maintained links to al Qaeda affiliates to whom it might give such weapons to use against the United States.

Bush has expressed disappointment that no weapons or weapons programs were found, but the White House has been reluctant to call off the hunt, holding out the possibility that weapons were moved out of Iraq before the war or are well hidden somewhere inside the country. But the intelligence official said that possibility is very small.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 09:05 AM

The polarized incompatabilities of Shiites and Sunni in Iraq have made for a deep-rooted failure in nation-building. Our own blundering attempt to bypass and impose ourexpertise on how it should be done, engineered in the great republican spirit of ineptitude and informed by the very best of American know-nothingism, has done little to improve thigs. The greatest hurdle, though, has been the armed insurgency and their (suspiciously) deep supplies of armaments and explosives.

The NY Times discusses the situation in an interesting editorial on this page. Excerpt:

Facing Facts About Iraq's Election



Published: January 12, 2005


When the United States was debating whether to invade Iraq, there was one outcome that everyone agreed had to be avoided at all costs: a civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims that would create instability throughout the Middle East and give terrorists a new, ungoverned region that they could use as a base of operations. The coming elections - long touted as the beginning of a new, democratic Iraq - are looking more and more like the beginning of that worst-case scenario.

It's time to talk about postponing the elections.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 11:21 PM

Nope, Dougie. It isn't...

Now how do you really feel about this situation?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 11:14 PM

Uh, "not to change the subject too much", Bobert? You've started a whole new thread on your subject already. That's not enough?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:05 PM

It is typical of extreme fascist regimes (whether they be capitalist fascists or socialist fascists) to invent terrifying, shadowy, and largely fictional enemies with which to terrorize their own public into supporting an extremist government which then employs extremist policies and worldwide aggression to further its ends.

That is precisely what the Bush administration has done. They have inflated (and quite possible invented) this Al Queda monster in the public's imagination, when in fact they themselves are the real monster. Terrorism is not a centralized force, it is a collection of scattered, disconnected people in many places, people embittered by the world-affecting policies of an aggressive superpower.

Bin Laden is probably connected intimately with the very neo-Conservative forces which wanted and needed a crisis of some kind in order to launch foreign wars. They got their Reichstage fire when 911 happened. They may have themselves been complicit in organizing it...or letting it happen...because for them it was a dream come true.

They need Bin Laden. He needs them. If they had not had Bin Laden, they would have invented him.

The war is about oil, it's about establishing a gradually extending police state in the USA (and elsewhere if possible), it's about strategic positioning to dominate and control the Middle East and the World, it's about creating an endless conflict that will continue in a variety of locations.

It is not about destroying Al Queda. If Al Queda ceased to exist altogether, the people running American policy would just invent another Al Queda, because it is through fear that they maintain and enlarge their power.

Hitler needed scapegoats. He picked Communists, Jews, and Gypsies...people whom he knew were unpopular already. Easy targets.

Bush's administration needed the same. They picked Islamic fundamentalists. They had to pick someone. The Cold War was over,so there were no more Communists to fight (except Castro and the Chinese). Castro doesn't matter that much. The Chinese are too big and offer too much business to America. A new enemy had to be found.

The new enemy is the Arabs, the Palestinians, the Muslims in general. This is a very dirty game, it's a phony game, it's a lie and a fraud. And it is open aggression by a superpower. Just like Hitler in 1939. No different, in my opinion. Same old routine, new set of faces, that's all.

The "Jew" of today is the Muslim. The Wehrmacht of today is the US Marines, and Tony Blair is their Mussolini, tagging along for the spoils.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 08:54 PM

Not to change the subject too much but what really has me mad today is the Bushites arrogance in "ordering" the DC government, in direct conflict with tradition going back forever, to pay for setting up grandstands, closing streets, providing police and fire protection, along with all the Homeland Security concerns...

Yup, these things have always been paid for by the US. Not this year as cheapskake, crook Bush is forcing folks, who have NO REPRESENTATION in Congress yet are forced to pay Federal income taxes to pay for the Repubs $17M celebartion.

What a crock!

Not only that but should a DC resident show up with a sign protesting this theft this resident will be turned away from the big ol' Repub circle jerk...

This is about the most arrogant and f**ked up thing that the Bushites have ever thought up to do to a people who have less democratic rights than they *say* they want for the average Iraqi...

If you are reading this, Mr. Bush: Screw you, you crook...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 08:39 PM

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM

From the Los Angeles Times (excerpt):
January 11, 2005         
        
Robert Scheer:



Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman?






        
        
Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist?

To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical, especially in the context of the U.S. media's supine acceptance of administration claims relating to national security. Yet a brilliant new BBC film produced by one of Britain's leading documentary filmmakers systematically challenges this and many other accepted articles of faith in the so-called war on terror.

"The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear," a three-hour historical film by Adam Curtis recently aired by the British Broadcasting Corp., argues coherently that much of what we have been told about the threat of international terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media."

Stern stuff, indeed. But consider just a few of the many questions the program poses along the way:

• If Osama bin Laden does, in fact, head a vast international terrorist organization with trained operatives in more than 40 countries, as claimed by Bush, why, despite torture of prisoners, has this administration failed to produce hard evidence of it?

• How can it be that in Britain since 9/11, 664 people have been detained on suspicion of terrorism but only 17 have been found guilty, most of them with no connection to Islamist groups and none who were proven members of Al Qaeda?

• Why have we heard so much frightening talk about "dirty bombs" when experts say it is panic rather than radioactivity that would kill people?

• Why did Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claim on "Meet the Press" in 2001 that Al Qaeda controlled massive high-tech cave complexes in Afghanistan, when British and U.S. military forces later found no such thing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 10:50 AM

While in other news:

"Drinking Water: How Much Rocket Fuel is Safe for Humans?
Get over 10,000 Screensavers FREE!

The Bush Administration appears to be making an attempt to allow more percholorate, a type of chemical found in rocket fuel, in our drinking water. The goal: to prevent a costly cleanup for military and aerospace companies.

The Pentagon has asked the National Academy of Sciences to create a panal to review how much percholorate is safe in drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency had previously ruled that there should be no more than 1 part per billion of percholorate in drinking water to protect public safety. The Academy is trying to have that number increased to 20 times that amount.

Percholorate affects the hormone level in the thyroid gland. According to some studies, even small amounts of the substance can affect the brain development of small children. The affect is even greater if the water is ingested by pregnant women."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:49 AM

The New York Times also debunks some of Bush's legerdemain concerning his terickery with the SOcial Security system:

For the Record on Social Security





Late February is now the time frame mentioned by the White House for unveiling President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. The timing is no accident. By waiting until then, the president will conveniently avoid having to include the cost of privatization - as much as $2 trillion in new government borrowing over the next 10 years - in his 2006 budget, expected in early February.

In this and other ways, the administration is manipulating information - a tacit, yet devastating, acknowledgement, we believe, that an informed public would reject privatizing Social Security. For the record:

The administration has suggested that it would be justified in borrowing some $2 trillion to establish private accounts because doing so would head off $10 trillion in future Social Security liabilities. It's bad enough that the $10 trillion is a highly inflated figure, intended to overstate a problem that is reasonably estimated at $3.7 trillion or even considerably less. Worse are the true dimensions of the administration's proposed ploy, which were made painfully clear in a memo that was leaked to the press last week. Written in early January by Peter Wehner, the president's director of strategic initiatives and a top aide to Karl Rove, the president's political strategist, the memo states unequivocally that under a privatized system, only drastic benefit cuts - not borrowing - would relieve Social Security's financial problem. "If we borrow $1-2 trillion to cover transition costs for personal savings accounts" without making benefit cuts, Mr. Wehner wrote, "we will have borrowed trillions and will still confront more than $10 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This could easily cause an economic chain reaction: the markets go south, interest rates go up, and the economy stalls out."

At a recent press conference, Mr. Bush exaggerated the timing of the system's shortfall by saying that Social Security would cross the "line into red" in 2018. According to Congress's budget agency, the system comes up short in 2052; according to the system's trustees, the date is 2042. The year 2018 is when the system's trustees expect they will have to begin dipping into the Social Security trust fund to pay full benefits. If you had a trust fund to pay your bills when your income fell short, would you consider yourself insolvent?

In suggesting that 2018 is doomsyear, the president is reinforcing a false impression that the trust fund is a worthless pile of I.O.U.'s - as detractors of Social Security so often claim. The facts are different: since 1983, payroll taxes have exceeded benefits, with the excess tax revenue invested in interest-bearing Treasury securities. (An alternative would be to, say, put the money in a mattress.) That accumulating interest and the securities themselves make up the Social Security trust fund. If the trust fund's Treasury securities are worthless, someone better tell investors throughout the world, who currently hold $4.3 trillion in Treasury debt that carries the exact same government obligation to pay as the trust fund securities. The president is irresponsible to even imply that the United States might not honor its debt obligations. Click for remainder of article


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:44 AM

Bob Herbert, also writing for the Times, takes a grimmer point of view:


The Scent of Fear
By BOB HERBERT

Published: January 10, 2005

        


The assembly line of carnage in George W. Bush's war in Iraq continues unabated. Nightmares don't last this long, so the death and destruction must be real. You know you're in serious trouble when the politicians and the military brass don't even bother suggesting that there's light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing ahead is a deep and murderous darkness.

With the insurgency becoming both stronger and bolder, and the chances of conducting a legitimate election growing grimmer by the day, a genuine sense of alarm can actually be detected in the reality-resistant hierarchy of the Bush administration.

The unthinkable is getting a tentative purchase in the minds of the staunchest supporters of the war: that under the current circumstances, and given existing troop strengths, the U.S. and its Iraqi allies may not be able to prevail. Military officials are routinely talking about a major U.S. presence in Iraq that will last, at a minimum, into the next decade. That is not what most Americans believed when the Bush crowd so enthusiastically sold this war as a noble adventure that would be short and sweet, and would end with Iraqis tossing garlands of flowers at American troops.

The reality, of course, is that this war is like all wars - fearsomely brutal and tragic. The administration was jolted into the realization of just how badly the war was going by the brazen suicide bombing just a few days before Christmas inside a mess tent of a large and supposedly heavily fortified military base in Mosul. Fourteen American soldiers and four American contractors were among the dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:40 AM

In an interesting summary of possible future paths in Iraq,
David Brooks says there is a disitinct undercurrent of possibility and hope.

"Can We Save Iraq? No, but the Iraqis Can"
By DAVID BROOKS

Published: January 11, 2005


E-mail: dabrooks@nytimes.com



Is there any way this can still work? Is there any plausible scenario for how Iraq can turn into a functioning society?

These are the questions I've been throwing at government officials, military analysts and other wise heads over the past few weeks. Their answers, both uplifting and depressing, suggest that if we are lucky, the near future in Iraq will come in three phases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:35 AM

The Iceberg Cometh
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: January 11, 2005

        (From the New York Times)

Last week someone leaked a memo written by Peter Wehner, an aide to Karl Rove, about how to sell Social Security privatization. The public, says Mr. Wehner, must be convinced that "the current system is heading for an iceberg."

It's the standard Bush administration tactic: invent a fake crisis to bully people into doing what you want. "For the first time in six decades," the memo says, "the Social Security battle is one we can win." One thing I haven't seen pointed out, however, is the extent to which the White House expects the public and the media to believe two contradictory things.

The administration expects us to believe that drastic change is needed, and needed right away, because of the looming cost of paying for the baby boomers' retirement.

The administration expects us not to notice, however, that the supposed solution would do nothing to reduce that cost. Even with the most favorable assumptions, the benefits of privatization wouldn't kick in until most of the baby boomers were long gone. For the next 45 years, privatization would cost much more money than it saved.

Advocates of privatization almost always pretend that all we have to do is borrow a bit of money up front, and then the system will become self-sustaining. The Wehner memo talks of borrowing $1 trillion to $2 trillion "to cover transition costs." Similar numbers have been widely reported in the news media.

But that's just the borrowing over the next decade. Privatization would cost an additional $3 trillion in its second decade, $5 trillion in the decade after that and another $5 trillion in the decade after that. By the time privatization started to save money, if it ever did, the federal government would have run up around $15 trillion in extra debt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:02 AM

IN other news:

Moore is the people's choice
11/01/2005

Michael Moore has won the best film prize at the US People's Choice Awards for Fahrenheit 9/11.

The awards are voted for by the American public, representing a popular win among the masses for the director renowned for his anti-Bush, anti-corporate messages.

A total of 21 million American voters picked the winners over the internet, marking what Moore called "an historic occasion".

"This country is still all of ours, not right or left or Democrat or Republican," he told the award ceremony in California, dedicating his win to the soldiers fighting in Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 04:52 AM

Jeeze, RR, I am more impressed stil with your reading it end to end. A Lot of it is history -- I yam surprised you didn't turn into salt or something!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:33 AM

Holy shit!!!
I have reached the end!! (thus far)
I finally decided I would read this thread since I have read other comments about it in somewhere-else land.
Amos my brother, I sat down today and read through the entirety of this thread (admittedly not going into every link),(( I thank you for the portions of articles to get the idea of where they were going)).
Amos, I gotta tell you, after reading this thread all day,... I am bushed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 09:01 PM

The following, a different perspective, is from the Washington Post
(Full article found here.

Iraqi Bloggers, In the News And Critiquing It

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 20, 2004; Page C01

Omar Fadhil says the media are painting far too dark a portrait of Iraq.

Outsiders "think there is fighting at every corner, people can't walk the streets, the economy is devastated and people are starving," he says. "No one is showing the good news coming from Iraq. That's usually ignored. Things are difficult, but life is going on."


Fadhil, 24, is a dentist in Baghdad. He and his two brothers are doing more than just griping about the coverage; they are at the forefront of the first wave of Iraqi Internet bloggers, engaging in a form of expression that was impossible under Saddam Hussein.

On a visit to Washington earlier this month, Omar and his sibling Mohammed, 35, who is also a dentist, found themselves ushered into the Oval Office for a meeting with President Bush after a last-minute invitation. The president asked their views on Iraqi politics and assured them that the United States will not leave until the job is done.

Pretty heady stuff for two men who had never before been outside their country.

In an interview, Omar and Mohammed described their excitement at being able to say what they think and reach about 7,000 people each day. Their English-language blog, IraqtheModel, is part journal, part travelogue and part political soapbox.

"In 35 years under the Saddam regime, we learned to protect ourselves" by not speaking out in public, says Mohammed. In fact, he hid from authorities for six years after refusing to join the Iraqi army. "Now we want to say in a loud and clear voice that we welcome American troops and consider this a liberation, not an occupation."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM

January 11, 2005:

    The current total dead Americans killed in Iraq increased to 1,352. The total number of wounded reported remained at 10,252.

A


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

From Rhodesia's Cape Times:

Striking similarity between McCarthyism and George Bush's USA Patriot Act


January 10, 2005

By Leslie Liddell

The United States is said to be a free country. Its constitution has amendments (Bill of Rights) which, among other things, uphold free speech, the right of people to assemble peacefully, the right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to a speedy and fair trial by an impartial jury if you are accused of a crime.

It also states that "all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people". This is the received and perceived truth that many people who live both inside and outside of the US adhere to.

However, during the period from about 1947-1957, McCarthyism, given its name from Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, maintained that communists had infiltrated the US State Department.

Repressive measures against people labelled as communists were rife. Many Americans had their civil liberties and rights undermined.

Professor Ellen Schrecker, a well-known historian and expert on McCarthyism, has written extensively on the era. She says that through "part myth and part reality, the notion that domestic communists threatened national security... based on a primarily ideological conception of the nature of the communist movement... came... the government's attempt to mobilise public opinion for the Cold War".

During this repressive period, about 150 people were imprisoned, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were put to death. Most of the major punishments were of an economic nature, however.

Schrecker notes: "People lost their jobs. The official manifestations of McCarthyism... the public hearings, FBI investigations, and criminal prosecutions... would not have been as effective had they not been reinforced by the private sector." Targeted people were blacklisted, which meant that they were unable to find employment.

This economic punishment extended to universities, colleges, the media, labour and the entertainment industry.

In all sectors of society, the state got civil society to do its dirty work by firing and blacklisting people. It is estimated that 10 000 people may have lost their jobs during McCarthyism.

The legacy of this period of political repression in the US was extensive. "There were social reforms which were never adopted, some diplomatic initiatives which were never pursued, workers were not organised into unions, some books were not written and some movies were never made."

In addition, the American left was negatively affected and the public space for alternatives to the status quo disappeared. The nation's cultural and intellectual life suffered.

Finally, Schrecker maintains that the anti-democratic practices associated with McCarthyism continued through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s: "McCarthyism alone did not cause these outrages; but the assault on democracy that began during the 1940s and 1950s with the collaboration of private institutions and public agencies in suppressing the alleged threat of domestic communism was an important early contribution."
Click here


More recently, legislative proposals in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were introduced - less than a week after the attacks.

President George Bush signed the final bill, the United States Patriot Act, into law on October 26, 2001. It was introduced with great haste and passed with little debate and without a House, Senate or conference report.

As a result, it lacks background legislative history that often retrospectively provides necessary statutory interpretation. It also doesn't provide for the system of checks and balances that traditionally safeguards civil liberties in the face of such legislation.

The USA Patriot Act introduced a number of legislative changes which significantly increased the surveillance and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies in the US.

The implications for online internet privacy are considerable. For example, the act increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to authorise the installation of pen registers and trap and trace devices, and to authorise the installation of such devices to record all computer routing, addressing and signalling of information.

The act also extends the government's ability to gain access to personal financial information and student information without any suspicion of wrongdoing, simply by certifying that the information likely to be obtained is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Many of the foundations of American democracy are violated by the Patriot Act.

It also defines "domestic terrorism" so broadly that political organisations could be subjected to the seizure of property for engaging in civil disobedience, for example.

Non-citizens can be imprisoned without charges, simply on the attorney-general's injunction, without showing a court that they are dangerous or a flight risk.

Once again, the violations against the basic constitutional rights of Americans are being carried out in the name of national security and in the defence of waging a war. During McCarthyism, it was the Cold War. This time, it is the war on terror.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 08:01 PM

BBC News Reports:


Tanzanians pack George Bush bar
Owner George Charles Mgina (l) and Joseph Haule (R) underneath the bar's sign
Mr Mgina (l) shares his first name with the former US leader
Tanzanian beer drinkers are flocking to the George Bush Social Club, south-east of Dar es Salaam.

Owner George Charles Mgina was nicknamed George Bush by his friends because of his strong support for the first Gulf War in 1991.

Inside, patrons drink beer, play pool and eat roast meat.

The BBC's Vicky Ntetema says that most Tanzanians oppose Mr Bush's son, the current US president, and his war in Iraq but business remains strong.

With the new President Bush, Mr Mgina changed the name of his company to George W Bush Investments Ltd and says he is also planning to venture into new areas, so there could soon be a George W Bush farm or mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 07:24 PM

Yep, Molly Irvans certainly has a handle on the Bushites... They are a bunch of heathens who are out to screw the working class... Ain't a drop of Christainity in that camp... Not a drop...

And they are out to kill off Social Security, no doubt. The only fix they have in mind is reading about it in the history books...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 01:03 PM

And I DO thank you, Guest Isaac. Wouldn't want the Queen of liberals to be left out in the cold would we?

Slurs? What slurs?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Isaac Peon de Tallywhacker
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 10:16 AM

As DougR has placed a request, amidst his scurrilous slurs, for some words from that Belle of Southern Letters, Molly Ivins, some are provided herewith.

I.P de T


Molly Ivins: The Bush Administration II's 'prior-roarities'

By MOLLY IVINS, Creators Syndicate
January 7, 2005

pictureAUSTIN, Texas — In the Texas legislature, they are called "prior-roarities," such a happy coinage. What should come prior?

When the pitter-patter of falling year-end columns comes again, not necessarily next year, but certainly four years from now, I fearlessly forecast a dismal unanimity: that the Bush Administration II suffers from bad and dumb prior-roarities.

Actually, the passage of time is not required for proof — look around. The Bushies are about to launch a $50 million to $100 million dollar propaganda campaign to convince us the Social Security system is in crisis. Actually, it's not. It's quite robust and has astonishingly low administrative costs, less than 1 percent.

According to President Bush's own Commission to "Strengthen Social Security," the administrative costs of keeping track of private accounts will be 10 to 30 times the cost of administering the current system.

The Socialy Security System is in no danger whatsoever of going broke or even of having to pay out less than full compensation for at least 50 years. There are any number of statistical models and premises one can argue about here, but when the administration begins with a premise that requires fixing Social Security based on an extrapolation to infinity, you know you are not dealing with people who argue in good faith.

Even if Social Security were in full-fledged crisis, none of the sensible, cheap, effective ways to fix it would involve the massive trillion-dollar boondoggle this administration contemplates.

Let's get this straight. The Republicans do not want to fix Social Security, they want to kill it. Period. They don't want to "partially privatize" Social Security, they want to end it. What they want is a private pension system like the one their pointy-headed heroes at the University of Chicago dreamed up for Chile, the poster child of why we should not do this.

This same rigid, inflexible, impractical the-market-is-always-best ideology is like a form of mania with these folks. As Paul Krugman patiently points out, "Claims that stocks will always yield high, low-risk returns are just bad economics."

In fact, it's more than passingly reminiscent of another rigid, inflexible, politico-economic orthodoxy: communism. And just as capable of robustly ignoring reality.

And for robustly ignoring reality, you can't hardly beat spending $50 million to $100 million on a propaganda campaign to convince America there's something seriously wrong with Social Security while you ignore the collapse of the American health care system. It is common to begin all discussions of American health care with a complete lie, uttered in this example by President Bush: "We live in a great country that has got the best health care system in the world, and we need to keep it that way."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 10:06 AM

Armstrong Williams Is A Shill For The Bush Administration

By Robert Paul Reyes
Jan. 9, 2005

As a columnist for a small town newspaper, my readers expect me to express my opinion on various and sundry subjects. My editorials are sometimes lauded, sometimes reviled, but everyone knows that I write from my heart.

If it turned out that the Chamber of Commerce was paying me to write essays extolling the virtues of living in Lynchburg, I would expect my newspaper to fire me. As an editorialist if I don't have my integrity -- I don't have anything.

The Education Department paid conservative commentator Armstrong Williams $250,000 to help promote President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law on his radio show, TV program and newspaper column.

In pocketing the money, funneled through a public- relations firm, the conservative pundit aired a commercial on his syndicated television and radio shows featuring Education Secretary Rod Paige, praised Bush's education policy and urged other talkmeisters to interview Paige. Williams neglected to disclose the contract when talking about "No Child Left Behind" during cable- television appearances or writing about it in his syndicated newspaper column. (....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 09:49 AM

Charles Holland of Nebo, NC, offers these thoughts:

True Christians aren't deceived by the Bush administration


SPECIAL TO CITIZEN-TIMES
Jan. 8, 2005 10:09 a.m.

I am writing in conjunction with the letter, "Non-Republicans need not apply to run for office," (AC-T, Jan. 3): This letter points out that Republicans see themselves as good and everyone else as evil. The article quoted the Asheville Citizen-Times as President Bush winning a second term (largely by efforts of) the evangelical Christians. Well, those Christians who put Bush back in office need to read their Bible more and find out who the evil ones are. Bush and the Republicans, according to my Bible, are the evil ones. This is what the Bible says in Proverbs 6:16-19: "These six things doeth the Lord hate: yea seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." All this the Republicans have done. People see who the deceivers are. They divided the nation, and the blood of thousands are on their hands. All this God hates and is an abomination unto him. People should read their Bible and get understanding from it, and not be deceived by the Bushes of this world.

Charles Holland,

Nebo


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 06:47 PM

I've said it all along. When the US has had enuff of loosing a war it cannot win and leaves, Iraq will slip into a civil war... This is un preventable...

Rhe more I look at Bush's decision to invade Iraq, for political gain only, the more I am seeing this decision as maybe the worst decision that a president has made since Lincoln pushed the Southern Man's buttons some 145 years ago.

In terms of cost in lives it may not compare with Vietnam (yet) but with his ever changing motives for the invasion, one has to wonder just what the Hell the boy was thinking?

Or better put, not........

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 06:26 PM

From Maureen Dowd, of the New York Times:

Defining Victory Down (Click for complete essay)
By MAUREEN DOWD

Published: January 9, 2005

        


The president prides himself on being a pig-headed guy. He is determined to win in Iraq even if he is not winning in Iraq.

So get ready for a Mohammedan mountain of spin defining victory down. Come what may - civil war over oil, Iranian-style fatwas du jour or men on prayer rugs reciting the Koran all day on the Iraqi TV network our own geniuses created - this administration will call it a triumph.

Even for a White House steeped in hooey, it's a challenge. President Bush will have to emulate the parsing and prevaricating he disdained in his predecessor: It depends on what the meaning of the word "win" is.

The president's still got a paper bag over his head, claiming that the daily horrors out of Iraq reflect just a few soreheads standing in the way of a glorious democracy, even though his commander of ground forces there concedes that the areas where more than half of Iraqis live are not secure enough for them to vote - an acknowledgment that the insurgency is resilient and growing. It's like saying Montana and North Dakota are safe to vote, but New York, Philadelphia and L.A. are not. What's a little disenfranchisement among friends?

"I know it's hard, but it's hard for a reason," Mr. Bush said on Friday, a day after seven G.I.'s and two marines died. "And the reason it's hard is because there are a handful of folks who fear freedom." If it's just a handful, how come it's so hard?

Then the president added: "And I look at the elections as a - as a - you know, as a - as - as a historical marker for our Iraq policy."

Well, that's clear. Mr. Bush is huddled in his bubble, but he's in a pickle. The administration that had no plan for what to do with Iraq when it got it, now has no plan for getting out.

The mood in Washington about our misadventure seemed to grow darker last week, maybe because lawmakers were back after visiting with their increasingly worried constituents and - even more alarming - visiting Iraq, where you still can't drive from the Baghdad airport to the Green Zone without fearing for your life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 11:06 AM

Volume 52, Number 1 · January 13, 2005

email icon Email to a friend
Review


The Truth About Terrorism by Jonathan Raban, is a long piece, but wortht he read for the insights it offers into the actual, versus the promoted, nature of terrorism.

The article reviews several important books on modern issues of terrorism. One of the quotes is from a recent book by Stephen Flynn, "America the Vulnerable". Flynn offers these thoughts:

"The secretive, top-down, us-versus-them culture that is pervasive in government security circles must give way to more inclusive processes.... Rather than working assiduously to keep the details of terrorism and our vulnerabilities out of the public domain, the federal government should adopt a new imperative that recognizes that Americans have to be far better informed about the dangers that they face.... How much security is enough? We have done enough when the American people can conclude that a future attack on US soil will be an exceptional event that does not require wholesale changes to how we go about our lives.... We must continue to remind the world that it is not military might that is the source of our strength but our belief that mankind can govern itself in such a way as to secure the blessings of liberty."

I recommend the whole of the article.

Especially to Martin.

A


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

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 12:07 AM

The horrible costs of the war in financial terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 11:55 PM

Tax-Funded White House PR Effort Questioned

A news commentator was paid to promote education policy, which critics call propaganda.



By Tom Hamburger, Nick Anderson and T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writers

Los Angeles Times


WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers called for an investigation Friday into whether the Bush administration misused taxpayer funds by paying a prominent media pundit $240,000 to promote the president's controversial new education policy.

The Education Department on Friday defended its payments to conservative commentator Armstrong Williams as part of a million-dollar contract with the Ketchum public relations firm to promote the No Child Left Behind Act with minority groups.


 
Williams, who is African American, was hired by Ketchum in late 2003 to build support among minorities for the president's education plan. He praised the program in columns and on television without disclosing the payments.

His case is the latest and perhaps most striking example of the Bush administration using government funds to market its agenda to the American public under the guise of journalism. It is also a fresh blow for the media following recent scandals that have raised questions about credibility. (...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 02:29 PM

DougR, in his usual style of nullification and denigration, has mischaracterized many of the posts in these threads in an effort to just make nothing out of the whole thing.

And Doug, the reason Bush gets associated with murder is because he took decision s that immediately and directly result4ed in the predictable extermination of innocent people by violent force thjat was not justified.

SRS, feel free to scan as many or as few as you find of interest. They are not tied to each other except by a general theme of being observations and thoughts about the Bush adminitration.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 01:16 PM

Since it totally consists of articles and opinions, all declaring that GWB is a feeble-minded, war monger who delights in killing innocent people, and hasn't the good sense to come in out of the rain, SRS, I doubt you would learn much by reading every post. I think you share Amos' opinion of the President anyway, so what's to learn?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM

Oh, wow, this thread is long. I hadn't read it at all until now (I don't think). Do I have to start at the very beginning or can I skip a dozen pages?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 11:24 AM

Worse Than Fiction


By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: January 7, 2005
Excerpted from the New York Times


I've been thinking of writing a political novel. It will be a bad novel because there won't be any nuance: the villains won't just espouse an ideology I disagree with - they'll be hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels.

In my bad novel, a famous moralist who demanded national outrage over an affair and writes best-selling books about virtue will turn out to be hiding an expensive gambling habit. A talk radio host who advocates harsh penalties for drug violators will turn out to be hiding his own drug addiction.

In my bad novel, crusaders for moral values will be driven by strange obsessions. One senator's diatribe against gay marriage will link it to "man on dog" sex. Another will rant about the dangers of lesbians in high school bathrooms.

In my bad novel, the president will choose as head of homeland security a "good man" who turns out to have been the subject of an arrest warrant, who turned an apartment set aside for rescue workers into his personal love nest and who stalked at least one of his ex-lovers.

In my bad novel, a TV personality who claims to stand up for regular Americans against the elite will pay a large settlement in a sexual harassment case, in which he used his position of power to - on second thought, that story is too embarrassing even for a bad novel.

In my bad novel, apologists for the administration will charge foreign policy critics with anti-Semitism. But they will be silent when a prominent conservative declares that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular."

In my bad novel the administration will use the slogan "support the troops" to suppress criticism of its war policy. But it will ignore repeated complaints that the troops lack armor.

The secretary of defense - another "good man," according to the president - won't even bother signing letters to the families of soldiers killed in action.

Last but not least, in my bad novel the president, who portrays himself as the defender of good against evil, will preside over the widespread use of torture.

How did we find ourselves living in a bad novel? It was not ever thus. Hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels have always been with us, on both sides of the aisle. But 9/11 created an environment some liberals summarize with the acronym Iokiyar: it's O.K. if you're a Republican.

The public became unwilling to believe bad things about those who claim to be defending the nation against terrorism. And the hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels of the right, empowered by the public's credulity, have come out in unprecedented force.


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

Promoting Torture's Promoter
By BOB HERBERT
( New York TImes Op-Ed)
Published: January 7, 2005

        


If the United States were to look into a mirror right now, it wouldn't recognize itself.

The administration that thumbed its nose at the Geneva Conventions seems equally dismissive of such grand American values as honor, justice, integrity, due process and the truth. So there was Alberto Gonzales, counselor to the president and enabler in chief of the pro-torture lobby, interviewing on Capitol Hill yesterday for the post of attorney general, which just happens to be the highest law enforcement office in the land.

Mr. Gonzales shouldn't be allowed anywhere near that office. His judgments regarding the detention and treatment of prisoners rounded up in Iraq and the so-called war on terror have been both unsound and shameful. Some of the practices that evolved from his judgments were appalling, gruesome, medieval.

But this is the Bush administration, where incompetence and outright failure are rewarded with the nation's highest honors. (Remember the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded last month to George Tenet et al.?) So not only is Mr. Gonzales's name being stenciled onto the attorney general's door, but a plush judicial seat is being readied for his anticipated elevation to the Supreme Court.

It's a measure of the irrelevance of the Democratic Party that a man who played such a significant role in the policies that led to the still-unfolding prisoner abuse and torture scandals is expected to win easy Senate confirmation and become attorney general. The Democrats have become the 98-pound weaklings of the 21st century.

The Bush administration and Mr. Gonzales are trying to sell the fiction that they've seen the light. In answer to a setup question at his Judiciary Committee hearing, Mr. Gonzales said he is against torture. And the Justice Department issued a legal opinion last week that said "torture is abhorrent both to American law and values and international norms."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 10:32 AM

Bush Paints His Goals As 'Crises'
President Reprises A First-Term Tactic

By Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 8, 2005; Page A01

President Bush had great success in his first term by defining crises that demanded decisive responses. Now, as he begins a second term, Bush is returning to the same tactic to accomplish three longtime conservative goals.

Warning of the need for urgent action on his Social Security plan, Bush says the "crisis is now" for a system even the most pessimistic observers say will take in more in taxes than it pays out in benefits well into the next decade.

Sen. Harry M. Reid (D): The White House has "made an art of creating crisis where a crisis does not exist." (Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)


He calls the proliferation of medical liability lawsuits a "crisis in America" that can be fixed only by limiting a patient's right to sue for large damages. And Bush has repeatedly accused Senate Democrats of creating a "vacancy crisis" on the federal bench by refusing to confirm a small percentage of his judicial nominees.

This strategy helped Bush win support for the war in Iraq, tax cuts and education policies, as well as reclaim the White House. What is unclear is whether the same approach will work, given the battering to the administration's credibility over its Iraq claims and a new Democratic campaign accusing Bush of crying wolf.

"This White House had made an art of creating crisis where a crisis does not exist," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.)....


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:38 PM

A satire entry from Unconfirmed Sources -- News You Just Can't Use:

George W. Bush at APEC Summit: A Bruising Experience
Mexican President Vicente Fox beat the crap of American President George W. Bush on the opening day of the APEC Summit. The altercation took place after George Bush, apparently mistaking President Fox for a waiter, asked him for a plate of Arroz con Pollo and a bottle of water, "Real American water, not that South of the Boarder shit."

President Fox inflicted numerous body blows on Bush as well a well placed kick to the groin. " Madre Mio," Fox was quoted as saying, " I just couldn't take it anymore. This is the second time that bastard has done this to me. Once, he asked me if I wanted to sell him my sister."

The Presidents trip to Santiago, Chile was supposed to be a fence mending exercise, but things got off to a rocky start minutes after Air Force one landed. As he stood at the planes cabin door President Bush made a statement that said in part, " I'd like to thank all my little brown brothers south of border for inviting me to your shitty little country. Let's Fiesta!"

Unnamed Administration source Wegman "Pudgy" Waterhouse said, " I guess you could say it was all my fault for not correctly identifying President Fox to President Bush, but man, these guys all look alike."

Several other APEC members were equally insulted by the President. Japans Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi was mistaken by Mr. Bush for a gardener and stood by in shock while Mr. Bush berated him for using the wrong type of fertilizer on the roses.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sported a pair of mirrored sunglasses in a effort to stop the American President from looking into his soul.

As soon as he realized his mistake President Bush, by way of apology, offered President Fox a temporary Green Card so that he could, in the Presidents words, " Come north of the Rio Grande and find himself a real job, one that pays Americano dinero." President Fox had to be pulled away from Mr. Bush again after he then tried to strangle the US President.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:33 PM

From The Mercury News:

Observers: Bush administration plagued by missteps



By KENNETH R. BAZINET

New York Daily News

WASHINGTON - Honeymoon? What honeymoon?

The victory lap is long over for President Bush, tripped up by a series of gaffes since Election Day that were either self-inflicted or made by his own allies, both aides and critics said.

"It's been sloppy. ... People are off message," conceded a senior administration official, who said Team Bush's trademark discipline had crumbled since winning a second term.

"It's the worst I've ever seen it," the official conceded.

In the view of former GOP strategist Marshall Wittman, now a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council, "The honeymoon blew over quicker than a Texas thunderstorm on a hot July day." (...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:31 PM

January 7, 2005

George Bush, Using Your Money to Sell His Programs



(Editorial from the Thousand and One Reasons website

I had never heard of Armstrong Williams before USA Today broke the story about his contract with the Bush administration to sell the No Child Left Behind Act. He must be famous, though, to justify the quarter million he earned by pushing it, surreptitiously, to his audience. And he must have worked hard to earn that kind of money, although USA Today only reported that he had to "regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts" and "encourage the producers to periodically address" NCLB. Williams, whose television show is nationally syndicated, "does not recall disclosing the contract to audiences on the air." Such a trivial thing; no wonder he can't remember

Whether or not such contracts are legal -- and it seems doubtful that they are -- they certainly fail to meet the ethical standards American citizens expect of their government, even the ethically-challenged Bush administration. Remember, these are your tax dollars being spent to promote a government program many educators believe is misguided at best. Obviously, the NCLB program will not sell itself, any more than the Social Security privatization that is also being sold to us now. Any more than the war against Iraq could sell itself: Bush and his hawkish supporters spent months selling that one. That sales job, however, used a different tactic: fear. And the Social Security sales job borrows that idea, scaring us with the threat of lost benefits. Never mind that the proposal being sold will cut our benefits.

I suppose it's the background of the Bushies -- the elite, corporate world was their playground -- that leads them to such tactics. Perhaps they don't understand that people are convinced by reason and logic, with the sheer power of good ideas. On the other hand, perhaps they understand it all too well. If they understood that logic and reason would not support the unnecessary and illegal war against Iraq, then they would have to sell it. And sell it hard, with threats of dirty bombs, mushroom clouds, and biological warfare. If logic and reason would not support the restrictive and punitive aspects of NCLB, nor the unfunded mandate it became, then they would have to sell it. Mr. Williams, we have a deal for you.

I had never heard of Armstrong Williams in part because I watch little television. Too many commercials for me, too much selling. But I wonder about his audience. Did they believe he was giving an honest opinion about a government program? Didn't they think it odd that he would be so high on a program that he would "comment on it regularly"? And did they buy? Did the quarter million lead them to demand NCLB from the local school districts? Did it make them more likely to vote for people like Bush who backed such a program? Of course it did. Karl Rove knows exactly how to spend your money and what it will buy him: more power.

The war in Iraq is a disaster. The No Child Left Behind Act has left millions of children behind and has arbitrarily set standards and then punished schools that failed to meet them. Social Security, if we also buy Bush's "fix" for that, will see a similar fate: it, too, will be degraded. On the horizon are other sales opportunities. But they will come at a high price, much higher than you will be led to believe. Call it deceptive advertising. And demand a refund.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM

Some views of the Bush Administration are more extreme than others. COnsider Devvy Kidd, writing for World Net Daily...:

President Bush supporting global communist domination

Posted: January 7, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Why are so many informed Americans demanding the United States get out of the United Nations? Isn't the United Nations a benevolent organization that establishes "peace keepers" in troubled spots around the world and has so many programs "for the children"? Nothing could be further from the truth.

The United Nations and it's barbaric butchery is thoroughly documented in G. Edward Griffin's superb work, "The Fearful Master â€" A Second Look at the U.N." Their atrocities have continued over the decades. The United Nations was birthed by communists and its only purpose is to propagate communism.

Alger Hiss was convicted as a communist spy and was a key player in sucking America into the communist-controlled United Nations. At the time, Hiss was the director of the State Department's Office of Special Political Affairs who appointed members of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. There is a long history there as well as with historical figures like John Foster Dulles.

In 1950, during hearings of the Committee on Foreign Relations regarding Revision of the U.N. Charter, page 494, the following statement was made by James P. Warburg:

    We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent ... I am here to testify in favor (of Resolution 56), if concurrently enacted with the House, would make the peaceful transformation of the United Nations into a world federation the avowed aim of United States policy.

In the same year, the Senate held hearings on Senate Concurrent Resolution 66 for the U.N. Charter. Sen. Thomas stated, among other things:

    Whereas, in order to achieve universal peace and justice, the present Charter of the United Nations should be changed to provide a true world government constitution.

Less than a decade after the United States partnered with this communist organization, members of Congress were already warning the American people of the real agenda of this anti-American organization:

    What can this country, the United States, do to prevent the United Nations from destroying the Constitution of the United States of America and the constitution and laws of the various States of the Union?

    â€" Congressman Burdick, Congressional Record, 1953, pg 797

Another equally important speech is found in the Congressional Record, April 22, 1953, pages A2080-A2087, by members of Congress warning that our participation in the United Nations represents the greatest threat to our freedom, our right to own private property and the danger of treaties. [snip...]



I guess it takes all kinds. I allus thought the UN was a pretty good idea...


A


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

Excerpt from Shayne Corey's commentary column in The Washington Dispatch. For the whole column, click here.

Political Ronin in George Bush's America   



Commentary by Shane Cory
January 7, 2005

"Regardless of his words, the animus of a leader will eventually bleed onto the canvas of history through his own actions."

Since the lead up to the war in Iraq, I have admittedly been suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. Actually, it is more of a branding issue more than an identity crisis.

In 2000, I was a reluctant supporter of George W. Bush. Although I believed that there had to be someone in America who was better qualified than the privileged son of a former president, I had no confidence in the competition.

My support of the president grew after 9/11. Not many can argue that in those trying days, Bush provided comfort and leadership in the face of fear and deep anguish. Little did we know that those attacks may have been prevented had the administration acted upon a single memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within U.S." Hindsight is always 20/20 when lives are at stake.

The invasion of Afghanistan and routing of the Taliban was just and served as a signal to the world that we would seek out those responsible for terrorism at any cost. However, when Bush and his troubled team set their sights upon Iraq, while admitting no connection with 9/11, I was left scratching my head.

While it seems that a majority of Americans bought the WMD fantasy without question, I remained skeptical. Even if Saddam had possessed nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, he had no delivery methods capable of striking far beyond the borders of Iraq. This was widely known and accepted. Essentially the only way that Saddam's Iraq posed a threat to the U.S. is if he Fed-Ex'd over a dirty bomb or two. Any nation or group in the world had those same capabilities. Why would we invade a nation based on a false threat?

I expressed my concern in March of 2003 on these pages and, as a result, I was called ignorant, unpatriotic, un-American and even a traitor for even expressing such thoughts. However, as it turns out, I was right. There was no threat. Instead of owning up to their horrid mistake, the Bush administration attempted to re-write history by changing the reasoning for war. Instead of WMD, it was now the desire to "liberate" the people of Iraq from a brutal dictator. Today, those same people we supposedly went into liberate are killing Americans. So why are we there again?

Over the past two years, George W. Bush and much of his staff have painted their true colors on that canvas of history and their masterpiece is a grim picture of ignorance, arrogance, fraud, pain and death.

As it is obvious that I am no fan of Bush or his apologists, it is automatically assumed by many who do not know me that I am a liberal. However my belief system is ruled by a handful of undeniable absolutes (as a close friend refers to them) that defy a liberal label: the right to life; the right to bear arms; the right to free thought and expression; and a desire for integrity as the cornerstone to life and government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 02:36 PM

Memo reveals Bush OKd torture

by Tim Wheeler


WASHINGTON During confirmation hearings on Alberto Gonzales nomination as Attorney General, senators should question him about a recently uncovered memo that George W. Bush ordered the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other military prisons around the world, several human rights groups suggested last month.

The groups, who joined in an ACLU Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit, which won release of the memo and other incriminating documents, are describing it as the smoking gun implicating Bush in the torture scandal.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero released the memo Dec. 20 in New York. That document, a December 2003 FBI internal e-mail, suggests that Bush issued a secret Executive Order authorizing the use of extreme coercive measures in interrogation, including sleep deprivation, stress positions, attack dogs, and use of hoods to intimidate prisoners. The Geneva Convention Against Torture bans all of these practices.

These documents raise grave questions about where the blame for widespread detainee abuse ultimately rests, Romero said. Top government officials can no longer hide from public scrutiny by pointing the finger at a few low-ranking soldiers.

The human rights groups statement called on the Senate to scrutinize Gonzales, the White House Legal Counsel, on a Jan. 25, 2002, memo he wrote to Bush arguing that the Geneva Conventions outlawing torture did not apply to the war in Afghanistan. Gonzales described the conventions as quaint and obsolete.

In August 2002, Gonzales, without consulting military and State Department experts in the laws of torture and war, according to the Washington Post, approved a memo from the Justice Department claiming that unlawful enemy combatants could be detained indefinitely without criminal charges or the right of due process. The memo, the Post said, gave CIA interrogators the legal blessings they sought.

Physicians for Human Rights, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, is one of the groups in the ACLU lawsuit. PHR sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee signed by 150 doctors with expertise in the treatment of torture. There should be no place in the U.S. government for any official who condones the crime of torture, the letter stated.

Gretchen Borchelt, a PHR spokesperson, joined in the call for probing Bushs role in the torture scandal. It would be great to question Gonzales about that memo, she said. There are a number of documents the senators have asked for and have not received yet. We think this is a hugely important issue not just because of the nomination of Gonzales but also because the questions about torture have not been resolved. There has been no accountability.

Gonzales asserted Bushs right to order the torture of detainees, a position that violates U.S. treaty obligations under the Convention Against Torture and other international agreements, PHR said.

Wilson Woody Powell, executive director of St. Louis-based Veterans For Peace, another group in the lawsuit, told the World in a telephone interview that they are now examining the documents, which they recently received.

Since Gonzales was Bushs legal adviser at the time, it would make sense to ask him about that memo, Powell said. It would be a good question: what was Bushs role in the torture?

If our nations highest law enforcement officer is known for abrogating international law in the treatment of detainees, we are just confirming to the world that we dont care about human rights. We would be confirming a criminal, a scofflaw, to be the nations chief prosecutor.

Powell pointed out that the U.S. is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture as a matter of self-protection. I fully anticipate someone is going to capture some American soldiers and do unto them what we have done unto others. We have a deep concern for how our soldiers are going to be treated if they are captured given the record of torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other detention centers, Powell said. Thousands of detainees have been held without trial because the administration lacks evidence to try them or even bring criminal charges.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 01:38 PM

Most of what I post here is not, as you so rhetorically characterize it, "drivel", DougR. Maureen and Molly both get pretty sarcastic, but then Bush is an ideal target for sarcasm, being a half-wit of little brain and less ethical fiber.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 01:34 PM

Amos: admittedly, I have not read all of the drivel you have been posting in this thread but I noted one by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. Ms. Dowd is an avowed Bush Basher, as you probably know. I'm writing this post to remind you that there is another writer of Maureen's ilk, and I certainly hope you have posted some of her drivel. Molly Ivens or perhaps it's Ivans. Wouldn't want to neglect her.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 11:10 PM

Dear Editor: I read that our president vows to overhaul Social Security. He claims it is on verge of going bankrupt. I also read that that is not the case at all. I tend to believe the latter after all the lies George Bush has told us so far.

It is estimated the Bush plan would cost the taxpayers $75 billion a year. Of course Bush never met a debt he didn't like. To me a simpler solution would be to raise the ceiling on taxable income, which is now at $87,900.

To quote Jim Hightower: "He has a $10,000 hat on a 10-cent brain." Of course he has to carry water for his buddies and contributors on Wall Street.

I also believe in a quote by William Brenner Jr.: "Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide open, and that may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials."

James Hamer Montello

(Madison, WI, "The Capital Times")


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 06:16 PM

Perhaps equally deserving of scrutiny and even sarcasm is the notion being pushed by Bush about privatizing your Social Security so it follows the rise and fall of the Dow Jones average. Here is an excerpt from another New York Times editorial, this one by Barry Scwarz, defining some of the flaws in the Bush administration reasoning:

Choose and Lose


By BARRY SCHWARTZ

Published: January 5, 2005

Swarthmore, Pa.

THERE are three arguments being made in favor of privatizing part of Social Security. First, the Social Security Trust Fund needs money and privatization will, in the long run, increase the amount of money available to retirees. Second, privatization will give people choice, and choice is good. And third, "it's your money," and you ought to be able to do with it as you wish.

Each of these arguments is dubious, or disingenuous, or both.

Though experts differ on the urgency and the severity of the problem, most everyone agrees that the trust fund will eventually run out of money unless we do something. Two obvious and painful things we can do are decrease benefits or increase payroll taxes. Privatization, it is argued, solves the problem without the pain. Equity investments return about twice as much, historically, as Treasury bills. So by allowing people to put some of their payroll taxes into equity investments, we will increase the value of that part of their retirement account so we can then decrease the benefits paid out by the standard Social Security program and still leave retirees better off.

There are several problems with this argument, however. For starters, there is no guarantee that equities will return more than Treasury bills. One of the reasons that equities have a higher rate of return than other types of investments is that investors have to be compensated for taking risks. Perhaps equities will outperform Treasury bills in the long term but that doesn't mean that they will be outperforming Treasury bills at the specific moment you retire.


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

Thanks, LH. Meanwhile, it is nice to see the acid and accurate wit of Maureen Dowd resurfacing at the NY Times:


Don't Torture Yourself (That's His Job)


By MAUREEN DOWD

Published: January 6, 2005


Washington

The Associated Press headline that came over the wire yesterday said it all: "Gonzales Will Follow Non-Torture Policies."

You know how bad the situation is when the president's choice for attorney general has to formally pledge not to support torture anymore.

Alberto Gonzales may have been willing to legally justify something that was abhorrent to everything America stands for, but it's all relative. Given that Mr. Gonzales is replacing the odious John Ashcroft, Democrats didn't seem inclined to try to derail the Hispanic nominee, even though his memo fostered the atmosphere that led to disgusting scandals in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.

Just to get things started on the right foot, though, Mr. Gonzales planned to go the extra mile and offer the quaint, obsolete Senate Democrats a more nuanced explanation of why he called the Geneva Conventions "quaint" and "obsolete."

Before he helped President Bush circumvent the accords and reserve the right to do so "in this or future conflicts," you had to tune in to an old movie with Nazi generals or Vietcong guards if you wanted to see someone sneeringly shrug off the international treaty protecting prisoners from abuse. ("You worthless running dog Chuck Norris! What do we care about your silly Geneva Conventions?")

How are you to believe Mr. Gonzales when he says he's through with torture? His mission is clearly to do whatever he thinks Mr. Bush wants.

All gall is divided into parts, so what's next?

The Commerce Department nominee promising that giveaways to big business will be done with subtlety?

The Environmental Protection Agency nominee promising that the toxin content in water will never rise to Yushchenko level?

It's comforting to start the new year in the hands of a party that cares so much about morals and values... (Follow link for rest...)


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