"There ought to be limits to freedom"
~Quote: George W. Bush, at Texas State House
America Will Pay a Mighty Price If It Keeps Pretending It's the Superpower It Used to Be
The United States has built a self-deluding narrative of global domination which the world increasingly rejects. Among today’s democracies none proves this point more than the United States. The United States, like Great Britain in the 19th century, simultaneously acts like an imperial power and cultivates a national image as the world’s prime purveyor of good government, stability and progress. However, history has taught us that a nation cannot be both of these things at once. So the folks in Washington have created for themselves an environment wherein principle and consistency are impossible.
The American Empire Is Collapsing, And Americans Will Be The Last to Know
December 15, 2010 | 50 years from now historians will probably be writing about the fall of the American empire. But history is writing itself furiously in the present, accelerated by the revolution of global freedom of information. What would have taken years to unlikely gather is accessible to anyone with a few strokes on a computer keyboard. So never mind the historians of the future, and lets see how reality is shaping up today.
Help Us Push Back
November 27, 2010 | Wow! Election Day was quite a wake-up call. The results are alarming. Suddenly, we see in graphic detail the disturbing times that lay ahead. And it means one thing. This is no time to despair because the stakes are so great. We have to grit our teeth, stand strong, and fight back — smarter and harder against right-wing extremism. The Right's clear goal is to take over our government.
Four Deformations of the Apocalypse
IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.
Absolutely: GOP Policies Ruined the Economy
Perhaps one of the best things I’ve seen come through my inbox these past several days is an op-ed in the New York Times by a former financial official in the Reagan Treasury Department where he all but comes clean about the ridiculous damage that the Republican party has done to the US Economy, and how the blame – as it should be – is laid squarely at the feet of the Bush Administration and their fiscal policies of unregulated, laissez-faire business practices.
US Bases Around The World: How Long Can The Empire last?
Besides waging perpetual wars, nothing better reveals America’s imperial agenda than its hundreds of global bases – for offense, not defense at a time the US hasn’t had an enemy since the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.
Corporations Profit from Permanent War
The USA is number one in war. This coming year the US will spend 708 billion dollars on war and another $125 billion for Veterans Affairs -- over $830 billion. In a distant second place is China which spent about $84 billion on its military in 2008. The US also leads the world in the sale of lethal weapons to others, selling about one of every three weapons worldwide. The USA's major clients? South Korea, Israel and United Arab Emirates. Our country has 5 percent of the world's population but accounts for more than 40% of the military spending for the whole world.
America's Permanent War Agenda
Post-9/11, Dick Cheney warned of wars that won't end in our lifetime. Former CIA Director James Woolsey said America "is engaged in World War IV, and it could continue for years....This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us." GHW Bush called it a "New World Order" in his September 11, 1990 address to a joint session of Congress as he prepared the public for Operation Desert Storm. The Pentagon called it the "long war" in its 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), what past administrations waged every year without exception since the republic's birth, at home and abroad. Obama is just the latest of America's warrior presidents that included Washington, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, and GW Bush preceding him. This article covers WW II and its aftermath history of imperial wars for unchallengeable global dominance throughout a period when America had and still has no enemies. Then why fight them? Read on.
U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire
With more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet and military bases spread across each continent, it's time to face up to the fact that our American democracy has spawned a global empire.
Holy Cow: the new govenment may hold the old govenment accountable for crimes against humanithy
Levin, D-Michigan, also said he intends to encourage the Justice Department and incoming Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate torture practices that took place while Bush was in office. A former federal prosecutor and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a floor speech, “As the President looks forward and charts a new course, must someone not also look back, to take an accounting of where we are, what was done, and what must now be repaired.”
Bush: The Worst President in the History of the U.S. is Nearly History
George W. Bush presented his valedictory last night, desperately seeking thanks and congratulations. So here goes: Thanks and congratulations, W, for showing the world that today's conservatism is an abject failure. Thanks to Bush, we know that conservatives are not fiscally responsible, they are not for small government, they don't stand up for moral values and they won't make Americans one bit safer. Conservatives aren't even true defenders of "free markets" -- having presided over the biggest market bailout in the world. After eight long years, Bush can no longer fool the public. Polls show that he is the most unpopular president in history.
The Damage Done
After a couple of presidential terms, mismanagement in every area of policy -- foreign, domestic, even extraterrestrial -- starts to add up. When George W. Bush entered the White House in January 2001, he inherited peace and prosperity. The military, the Constitution and New Orleans were intact and the country had a budget surplus of $128 billion. Now he's about to dash out the door, leaving a large, unpaid bill for his successors to pay. To get a sense of what kind of balance is due, we have tried to express the damage done in concrete terms -- sometimes in lives lost, but most often just in money spent and dollars owed. What follows is an incomplete inventory of eight years of mis- and malfeasance, but then a fuller accounting would run, um, somewhat longer than three pages.
An Oral History of the Bush White House
The threat of 9/11 ignored. The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated. Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. Hurricane Katrina. The shredding of civil liberties. The rise of Iran. Global warming. Economic disaster. How did one two-term presidency go so wrong? A sweeping draft of history—distilled from scores of interviews—offers fresh insight into the roles of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other key players. In domestic affairs Bush pledges to cut taxes and improve education. He promises to govern as a “compassionate conservative” and to be “a uniter, not a divider.” He comes into office with a $237 billion budget surplus. On the day of the inauguration the White House chief of staff, Andrew Card, declares a moratorium on the Clinton administration’s last-minute regulations on the environment, food safety, and health. This action is followed in the coming months by disengagement from the International Criminal Court and other international efforts.
Bush's Final Fuck You America
George Bush is rushing to implement a sweeping array of "midnight regulations" — de facto laws issued by the executive branch — designed to lock in Bush's legacy. Under the last- minute rules, which can be extremely difficult to overturn, loaded firearms would be allowed in national parks, uranium mining would be permitted near the Grand Canyon and many injured consumers would no longer be able to sue negligent manufacturers in state courts. Other rules would gut the Endangered Species Act, open millions of acres of wild lands to mining, restrict access to birth control and put local cops to work spying for the federal government. "It's what we've seen for Bush's whole tenure, only accelerated," says Gary Bass, executive director of the nonpartisan group OMB Watch. "They're using regulation to cement their deregulatory mind-set, which puts corporate interests above public interests."
Why was Dick Cheney so quick to Admit that he is a War Criminal?
Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, "I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared." U.S. courts have long held that waterboarding, where water is poured into someone's nose and mouth until he nearly drowns, constitutes torture. Under the doctrine of command responsibility, enshrined in U.S. law, commanders all the way up the chain of command, to the commander in chief, can be held liable for war crimes, if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them and they did nothing to stop or prevent it. Lt. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, said, "There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
What the Bush Years Really Cost Us
When President George W. Bush assumed office, most of those disgruntled about the stolen election contented themselves with this thought: Given our system of checks and balances, given the gridlock in Washington, how much damage could be done? Now we know: far more than the worst pessimists could have imagined. From the war in Iraq to the collapse of the credit markets, the financial losses are difficult to fathom. And behind those losses lie even greater missed opportunities. Put it all together -- the money squandered on the war, the money wasted on a housing pyramid scheme that impoverished the nation and enriched a few, and the money lost because of the recession -- and the gap between what we could have produced and what we did produce will easily exceed $1.5 trillion. Think what that kind of money could have done to provide health care for the uninsured, to improve our education system, to build green technology ... The list is endless.
In his last days as President, Bush is out to do some serious damage
With the economy tumbling and American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush has promised to cooperate with Mr. Obama to make the transition “as smooth as possible.” But that has not stopped his administration from trying, in its final days, to cement in place a diverse array of new regulations. The Labor Department proposal is one of about 20 highly contentious rules the Bush administration is planning to issue in its final weeks. The rules deal with issues as diverse as abortion, auto safety and the environment. One rule would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas. Another would reduce the role of federal wildlife scientists in deciding whether dams, highways and other projects pose a threat to endangered species. Mr. Obama and his advisers have already signaled their wariness of last-minute efforts by the Bush administration to embed its policies into the Code of Federal Regulations, a collection of rules having the force of law.
An Open Letter to Republicans
I used to be one of you. You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, so-called free market deregulation and the Neoconservative love of war to light a fire that has consumed America. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America just hired -- President Obama -- to rebuild from the ashes. You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess you created. How can anyone who loves our country support the Republicans now?
Whistleblower Levels Shocking Allegations at Bush's Spying Programs
On Jan. 21, former U.S. intelligence official Russell Tice appeared on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermannn" and broke a sobering bit of news that, sandwiched between Obama's inauguration and sweeping executive orders, went largely ignored by the media: Under the Bush administration's notorious warrantless spying program, not only did the NSA eavesdrop on millions of Americans, it turns out it specifically targeted "U.S. news organizations, reporters and journalists." As Olbermannn put it, "non-terrorist Americans, if you will." "It has taken less than 24 hours after the Bush presidency ended for a former analyst with the National Security Agency to come forward to reveal new allegations about how this nation was spied on by its by its own government," Olbermannn said on Wednesday night. Dd\espite the Bush administration's claims to the contrary, "the National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications, faxes, phone calls and their computer communications … and it didn't mater whether you were in Kansas in the middle of the country and you never made any … foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications."
The Prosecution of George W. Bush
Why do so many in the liberal media simply move on to another topic after stating that Bush took the nation to war based on a lie? Perhaps the most amazing thing to me about the belief of many that George Bush lied to the American public in starting his war with Iraq is that the liberal columnists who have accused him of doing this merely make this point, and then go on to the next paragraph in their columns. Only very infrequently does a columnist add that because of it Bush should be impeached. If the charges are true, of course Bush should have been impeached, convicted, and removed from office. That's almost too self-evident to state. But he deserves much more than impeachment. I mean, in America, we apparently impeach presidents for having consensual sex outside of marriage and trying to cover it up. If we impeach presidents for that, then if the president takes the country to war on a lie where thousands of American soldiers die horrible, violent deaths and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, even babies are killed, the punishment obviously has to be much, much more severe. That's just common sense. If Bush were impeached, convicted in the Senate, and removed from office, he'd still be a free man, still be able to wake up in the morning with his cup of coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice and read the morning paper, still travel widely and lead a life of privilege, still belong to his country club and get standing ovations whenever he chose to speak to the Republican faithful. This, for being responsible for over 100,000 horrible deaths?* For anyone interested in true justice, impeachment alone would be a joke for what Bush did.
The Mega-Pentagon: A Bush-Enabled Monster We Can't Stop
The Pentagon has developed a taste for unrivaled power and unequaled access to the treasury that won't be easily undone by future administrations. The Pentagon's massive bulk-up these last seven years will not be easily unbuilt, no matter who dons the presidential mantle on January 19, 2009. "The Pentagon" is now so much more than a five-sided building across the Potomac from Washington or even the seat of the Department of Defense. In many ways, it defies description or labeling. The Pentagon's "footprint" is firmly planted, military base by military base, across the planet, with a special emphasis on its energy heartlands. Top administration officials began preparing the Pentagon to go anywhere and do anything, while rewriting, shredding, or ignoring whatever laws, national or international, stood in the way.
Where Is the Outrage?
Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture, issued last week by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Because the report was widely cited in the media and easily accessed as a pdf file on the Internet, it is fair to assume that those of our citizens who remain ignorant of the extent of their government’s commitment to torture as an official policy have made a choice not to be informed.
Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand "Palin Power." A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections -- but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don't have freedom. I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites ("the heart of America is on display") and realized Bush's speechwriters were writing her -- not McCain's -- speeches. I heard her tell George Bush's lies -- not McCain's -- to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners -- this is Rove-Cheney's enthusiastic S and M, not McCain's, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit -- but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain. Then I saw and heard more. Palin is embracing lawlessness in defying Alaskan Legislature subpoenas -- this is what Rove-Cheney, and not McCain, believe in doing. She uses mafia tactics against critics, like the police commissioner who was railroaded for opposing handguns in Alaskan battered women's shelters -- Rove's style, not McCain's. I realized what I was seeing.
The Battle Plan
The summer before last, I traveled across the country talking about threats to our liberty. I spoke and listened to groups of Americans from all walks of life. They told me new and always harsher stories of state coercion. What I had called a "fascist shift" in the United States, projections I had warned about as worst-case scenarios, was now surpassing my imagination: in 2008, thousands of terrified, shackled illegal immigrants were rounded up in the mass arrests which always characterize a closing society; news emerged that the 9/11 report had been based on evidence derived from the testimonies of prisoners who had been tortured -- and the tapes that documented their torture were missing -- leading the commissioners of the report publicly to disavow their own findings; the Associated Press reported that the torture of prisoners in U.S.-held facilities had not been the work of "a few bad apples" but had been directed out of the White House; the TSA "watch list," which had contained 45,000 names when I wrote my last book, ballooned to 755,000 names and 20,000 were being added every month; Scott McClellan confirmed that the drive to war in Iraq had been based on administration lies; HR 1955, legislation that would criminalize certain kinds of political thought and speech, passed the House and made it to the Senate; Blackwater, a violent paramilitary force not answerable to the people, established presences in Illinois and North Carolina and sought to get into border patrol activity in San Diego.
Shocking Doctrines, Shocking Short Shrift A Review of Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine"
I recently had the opportunity to view a lecture by Michael Parenti whom I consider a foremost expert on imperialism. Parenti began his lecture with the use of the word "stochasticism" which essentially means random, non-deterministic, based on conjecture or guess. A simpler way of summarizing it is, "stuff happens." It is, in fact, the polar opposite of "conspiratorial." In the lecture Parenti went on to criticize those who refuse to admit that the United States is imperialistic and who explain its imperial adventures around the world as something that "just happened." Generally, those in academia who rationalize U.S. imperialism are astute, incisive thinkers on other issues, so one is perplexed by the obtuseness they demonstrate around the topic of imperialism. In the same way, I have been bewildered by a singular stochastic perspective of Naomi Klein in her brilliant, exhaustive, superbly-documented book The Shock Doctrine. In it Klein builds an intricate and convincing case for the use of various techniques of trauma applied to societies and individuals during the twentieth century and continuing into the current moment for the purpose of perpetrating what has become one of her hallmark phrases, "disaster capitalism" Yet two pages in the book left me aghast. The first is Pages 11-12 which refer to September 11, 2001 and state: The Bush team seized the moment of collective vertigo with chilling speed-not, as some have claimed, because the administration deviously plotted the crisis but because the key figures of the administration, veterans of earlier disaster capitalism experiments in Latin America and Eastern Europe, were part of a movement that prays for crisis the way drought-struck farmers pray for rain, and the way Christian-Zionist end-timers pray for the Rapture. After hearing endless interviews of Klein and reading numerous articles about the book when it first hit the stores in September, and being very familiar with the disaster capitalism thesis, the above quote from the book's first pages were astonishing in their inconsistency with nearly every other page of the book. If you're wondering about that second quote that left me aghast, please bear with me. I will address it, but first things first.
Mr. Bush - Lead or LEAVE
Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was “addicted to oil,” and, by gosh, he was going to do something about it. Well, now he has. Now we have the new Bush energy plan: “Get more addicted to oil.” Actually, it’s more sophisticated than that: Get Saudi Arabia, our chief oil pusher, to up our dosage for a little while and bring down the oil price just enough so the renewable energy alternatives can’t totally take off. Then try to strong arm Congress into lifting the ban on drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It’s as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: “C’mon guys, you know you want a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more toke on the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we’ll all go straight. I’ll even put a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one more pop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweet offshore crude.” It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is. But it gets better.
Sex Crimes in the White House
Sex crime has a telltale signature, even when those directing the outrages are some of the most powerful men and women in the United States. How extraordinary, then, to learn that one of the perpetrators of these crimes, Condoleezza Rice, has just led the debate in a special session of the United Nations Security Council on the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. I had a sense of deja vu when I saw the photos that emerged in 2004 from Abu Ghraib prison. Even as the Bush administration was spinning the notion that the torture of prisoners was the work of "a few bad apples" low in the military hierarchy, I knew that we were seeing evidence of a systemic policy set at the top. It's not that I am a genius. It's simply that, having worked at a rape crisis center and been trained in the basics of sex crime, I have learned that all sex predators go about things in certain recognizable ways.
How Lethally Stupid Can One Country Be?
Watching George W. Bush in operation these last couple of weeks is like having an out-of-body experience. On acid. During a nightmare. In a different galaxy. As he presides over the latest disaster of his administration (No, it's not a terrorist attack -- that was 2001! No, it's not a catastrophic war -- that was 2003! No, it's not a drowning city -- that was 2005! This one is an economic meltdown ... But let's give credit where credit is due. This is precisely by design. This is exactly the outcome intended by the greatest propaganda-promulgating regime since Hermann Göring set fire to the Reichstag. It was Göring himself who famously reminded us that, "Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Sure worked in Germany. And it worked even better here...
The First Draft of History Looks Rough on Bush
April 11, 2008—President Bush often argues that history will vindicate him. So he can't be pleased with an informal survey of 109 professional historians conducted by the History News Network. It found that 98 percent of them believe that Bush's presidency has been a failure, while only about 2 percent see it as a success. Not only that, more than 61 percent of the historians say the current presidency is the worst in American history. In 2004, only 11.6 percent of the historians rated Bush's presidency in last place. Among the reasons given for his low ratings: invading Iraq, "tax breaks for the rich," and alienating many nations around the world. Bush supporters counter that professional historians today tend to be liberal and that it's too early to assess how his policies will turn out. [While Bush is unquestionably the worst AMERICAN president in history, he is the greatest REPUBLICAN president in 100 years. He has accomplished so much of the Republican agenda he makes Reagan look like a stoned-out slacker. He has drained the treasury and transferred the money to Republican-supporting contractors, lowered taxes on the wealthiest, dismantled many regulatory agencies, slashed environmental laws, destroyed workplace safety regulations, broken the wall between church and state, brought us closer to a police state, made busting unions easier, etc]
The Pentagon Strangles Our Economy: Why the U.S. Has Gone Broke
Military spending is taking a dramatic toll on the rest of the economy. The military adventurers in the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups thought that they were the "smartest guys in the room." It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military. The Department of Defense's planned expenditures for the fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations' military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China.
How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives
An eye-opening investigation of the all-pervasive, presence of the Pentagon in daily life -- a real-world Matrix come alive. From iPods to Starbucks coffee to Oakley sunglasses, Turse investigates the remarkable range of military incursions into the civilian world: the Pentagon's collaborations with Hollywood filmmakers, its outlandish schemes to weaponize the wild kingdom, its joint ventures with the World Wrestling Federation and NASCAR. He shows the inventive ways the military, desperate for new recruits, now targets children and young adults, tapping into the "culture of cool" by making 'friends' on MySpace.
Bush Administration Says to Hell With Fourth Amendment Rights
News last week of former White House lawyer John Yoo's recently disclosed 2003 memo positing, among other things, that the president's authority as commander in chief allows him to override federal laws prohibiting "assault, maiming and other crimes" against suspects in the "war on terror" was followed by a second revelation: an alarming footnote on page 8 referring to another secret memo, written shortly after 9/11, and, in the name of national security, dispensing with the Fourth Amendment.
When Change Is Not Enough
There's something implacable, earnest, and righteously angry in the air. And it raises all kinds of questions for burned-out Boomers and jaded Gen Xers who've been ground down to the stump by the mostly losing battles of the past 30 years. Can it be -- at long last -- that Americans have, simply, had enough? Are we, finally, stepping out to take back our government -- and with it, control of our own future? Is this simply a shifting political season -- the kind we get every 20 to 30 years -- or is there something deeper going on here? Do we dare to raise our hopes that this time, we're going to finally win a few? Just how ready is this country for big, serious, forward-looking change? And now, thanks to 28 years of conservative misrule, we are now at the point where "manifest reality breaks away from anticipated reality;" and the breach is creating political turbulence. The average American has seen his or her standard of living contract by fits and starts since about 1972. Upper classes have broken faith with society's other groups, and began to openly prey on them in ways that threatened their very future. Not surprisingly, the other groups soon united, took up arms, and rebelled. And here we are again: Conservative policies have opened the wealth gap to Depression levels; put workers at the total mercy of their employers; and deprived the working and middle classes of access to education, home ownership, health care, capital, legal redress, and their expectations of a better future for their kids. You can only get away with blaming this on gays and Mexicans for so long before people get wise to the game. And as the primaries are making clear: Americans are getting wise. Between our corporate-owned Congress and the spectacularly bad judgment of Bush's executive branch, there's never been a government in American history more inept, corrupt, and criminally negligent than this one -- or more shockingly out of touch with what the average American is going through.
A Time to Reap
Wednesday 20 June 2007—My friend Dan was on his way home the other day, and found an American flag crumpled in a gutter outside his apartment building. The flag, perhaps as big as the cover of a book, had been used as a decoration for some pre-Fourth of July party, but afterwards was merely thrown aside like litter for the street-sweepers to collect. Dan gathered it up, smoothed the creases, and hung it from a nearby railing. The motivation for his actions was hard for him to explain, but it came down to this: Everything else in America is so screwed up, but this American thing before him would not be defiled within reach of his arm. My friend, surrounded by the chaos of a flailing nation and filled with the need to act, found some solace in the rescue of that flag. He is not alone in his sentiments, not alone in his desire to make things right again within reach of his arm. There is something happening today in America. With the right kind of ears, you can hear it in the sound of millions of brows slowly furrowing in anger and disgust. It feels like those tense moments just before the eruption of a summer thunderstorm, those moments when the air is electric, the ozone reek of spent lightning fills the world, and you know something very loud is about to happen. What is happening, what can be heard and smelled and sensed all across the land, is the cresting wave of rage, betrayal and fury that is, finally, roaring across the shores of our collective American heart. After more than six years of lies, theft, graft, corruption, manipulation and misconduct, just about every living person within these borders finds themselves today gripped by the slow seethe
Bush’s Veto of Bill on C.I.A. Tactics Affirms His Legacy
March 9, 2008 WASHINGTON — President Bush on Saturday further cemented his legacy of fighting for strong executive powers, using his veto to shut down a Congressional effort to limit the Central Intelligence Agency’s latitude to subject terrorism suspects to harsh interrogation techniques. Skip to next paragraph Related Text: Bush’s Message to the House of Representatives (March 8, 2008) Text: Bush on Veto of Intelligence Bill (March 8, 2008) Mr. Bush vetoed a bill that would have explicitly prohibited the agency from using interrogation methods like waterboarding, a technique in which restrained prisoners are threatened with drowning and that has been the subject of intense criticism at home and abroad. Many such techniques are prohibited by the military and law enforcement agencies.
Checks for $600 Won't Fix Our Economy
In a celebrated display of bipartisanship, both parties joined hands last month to pass a whopper of a stimulus package. Cash, they crowed, would soon be flowing. "We're sending a $600 check to you, and $300 to you, and $1,200 to couples, and...well, almost everyone will get money! It's manna straight from heaven to get our big ol' economy high-ballin' down Prosperity Highway," they exulted. "Not that there's anything wrong with our economy," they quickly added. "No, no," said the self-congratulatory stimulators. "Everything's fine. Really fine. Really."
'What We Are Seeing Is the Fall of America'
Nobody dared to stand up and criticize Bush when he unlawfully went to war on Iraq. It is depressing, and shows what direction this country has taken since he came to power -- a power which did not rightfully belong to him. The media is not playing its role. The Bushites are bullies and for a long time nobody dared criticize them and just swallowed their propaganda and lies. People have become scared. In this kind of climate, nobody is interested in the critical voice. You ask about the role of the intellectual in America today and I have to say: What role? What intellectuals? There is no room for them in the simplified and dumbed down world of today's media. We used to play a role, and there are still a few left, but we are a dying breed. Nobody seems to be interested in nuance anymore."
The Fraud of Bushenomics: They’re Looting the Country
The New York Times made it official. The Economy is a problem! So, now, at last we can discuss it. Not just discuss it, in rapid order "recession" became the word of the day, from White House, Congress, the Fed and the media. It's blamed, mostly, on the subprime crisis. But that's not the problem. It's a symptom. It is the logical, and probably one of the necessary results, of Bushenomics. Along with low, or no, job growth. Little or no business growth. Depressed wages. And the crashing dollar. (The president has a different vision of the economy. In his vision it's booming! And the number of jobs is growing! Though there is this little blip.) The idea under which Bushenomics was sold is this:
Bush is an un-American SOB, period
Normally we here at The Last Chance Democracy Cafe try to avoid using language quite this abrasive: effective advocacy, after all, should grow out of strong arguments and solid evidence, not from the screeching of insults. But every once in awhile, I guess, only screeching will do. In the years that have followed Sep. 11, 2001, George W. Bush has, of course, repeatedly manipulated the fear Americans feel over terrorism for political gain. He does this in a particularly reprehensible way — working to actually stoke, rather than to retard, the fear, so that he can use it as a tool for turning one American against another. Then, like some evil alien parasite from a Star Trek episode, he’s feasts on the resulting hatred to his political benefit. There is some good news, however: fear, it turns out, has a limited shelf life. As I said recently, “But the thing about being scared all the time is that people will only cower in fear for so long before saying, screw it, and getting on with their lives.” And sure enough, Bush’s political manipulation of the fear of terrorism is starting to lose its punch: so much so, in fact, that House Democrats are actually showing signs of fighting back. Bush, being the one act wonder he is, of course, is doing the only thing he can in response — turning up the volume on the same old scare tactics.
Cost of Iraq War to Michigan
Already appropriated: $ 13.9 billion
Fiscal Year 08 request still pending: $ 2.2 billion
Fiscal Year 09 projection: $ 3.7 billion
Total: $ 19.8 billion
The Price Tag to Michigan for the War On Iraq and Bush's Tax Cuts for the Wealthy PDF
As the economy falters, President Bush’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2009 would ignore the needs of Americans by cutting basic services, increasing tax cuts for the wealthy and pushing military spending to historical highs. It would allow billions more for the war in Iraq at the expense of investments in Michigan's future.
All Terror, All the Time Is Giving Americans Heart Failure
A new UC Irvine study suggests that the Bush Administration's attempts to intensify fears of terrorism for political gain have significantly contributed to Americans' heart problems. Researchers showed that stress responses to the 9/11 attacks—particularly those that persisted for years afterward—were linked to a 53 percent increase in cardiac ailments. The most common triggers of renewed stress were videos of the attacks in the media (thanks, Rudy!) and—you guessed it—the rise and fall of DHS' terror alert levels. All that politically opportunistic drum-beating has actually made us sick. Perhaps if Americans had universal health insurance, the government would think twice about such callous manipulation.
The President’s Coming-Out Party
December 15, 2007 This has been an important week in the torture debate in America. It has been the week of the President’s coming-out party. Up until this point, torture has been something that “a few rotten apples” do. When evidence of it erupted in the media, a few grunts were quickly rounded up and scapegoated. Never officers, mind you—after all, they generally knew where the orders came from, and if you prosecuted them, they might just tell. But this week, a CIA agent, John Kiriakou, appeared, first on ABC News and then in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, and explained just how the system works.
Voting machines have 'critical flaws,' could undermine ’08 election
his One of the most important swing states in America still can’t safeguard the vote. So says a new report, commissioned by Ohio’s top elections official, that found all five voting systems used in the Buckeye State to have “critical flaws” that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election. “It was worse than I anticipated,” Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said of the investigation. “I had hoped that perhaps one system would test superior to the others.” The $1.9 million federally financed study, conducted by corporate and academic teams in parallel assessments and released Friday, found that voting machines and central servers made by Elections Systems and Software; Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold; and Hart InterCivic; were easily corrupted.
Creeping Fascism: From Nazi Germany to Post 9/11 America
"There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater...Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later...." These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account.
Rambo and the G.O.P.
I don’t know if children should be allowed to watch the Republican presidential debates. Skip to next paragraph Go to Columnist Page » There’s so much talk of violence and mayhem as the solution to our ills. The candidates seem so eager to flex their muscles and engage the nation in conflict: Let’s continue the war in Iraq. Let’s show them what we’re made of in Iran. Let’s round up those immigrants and ship ’em back where they came from. It’s like watching adolescent boys playing the ultimate video game, with no regard for the consequences. We’ve got the thunderclouds of a recession heading our way. We’re in the midst of a housing foreclosure crisis that is tragic in its dimensions. We’ve got forty-some-million people without health coverage. And the city of New Orleans is still on its knees. So you tune in to the G.O.P. debate on CNN to see what’s what, and they’re talking about — guns.
How Bush Took Us to the Dark Side
There are dire consequences that Americans will have to face now that torture and imprisonment of innocent people is everyday government practice.
Criminals In The Bush Administration
Late last year we decided to take stock of all the Bush Administration officials who’d been accused of corruption and/or resigned in the face of scandal, a staggering monument to the Bush Administration. Officials were only included if their accusers had them dead to rights (which is why Karl Rove didn’t make the cut). We also limited ourselves to officials who were either political appointees or whose actions were so political that they were effectively political appointees
Bush Scandals List
George Bush, the Connecticut cowboy, the good old boy from Yale is a man of mediocre intelligence, little imagination, and great stubbornness and vindictiveness. He may be the Decider but his handlers have long known how to manipulate him. The key is to hook him with short, simple sells. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice know that once he has consulted his gut and perhaps his higher father his decision is forever. So whoever gets to him first is likely to carry the day because he doesn't like to be challenged and is, quite simply, too lazy to change his mind. The Bubble is a natural consequence of this decision making process where logic, reason, and facts have little or no role.
ACLU learns of third 'secret' torture memo from Gonzales Justice Department
Legal papers filed in federal court Monday in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations disclose that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued three secret memorandums relating to interrogation practices of detainees -- one more than has been publicly revealed. “These torture memos should never have been written, and it is utterly unacceptable that the administration continues to suppress them while at the same time declaring publicly that it abhors torture,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “It is now obvious that senior administration officials worked in concert over a period of several years to evade and violate the laws that prohibit cruelty and torture. Some degree of accountability is long overdue.”
The End of America?
An interview with author Naomi Wolf, whose new book, "The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot," may confirm your worries about democracy in America.
Bush 'planted fake news stories on American TV'
Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products. Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.
Bush wars to cost 40 times higher than original estimates
The United States is spending about $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country to pursue wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to new estimates that show the wars will cost about $2.4 trillion over the next decade. More than one-fourth of the money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan -- $705 billion -- will go to paying interest on the wars' costs, which are being funded with borrowed dollars, according to an estimate to be released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office. Iraq accounts for about 80 percent of the costs with a $1.9 trillion tab, including $564 million in interest, a House budget committee staff director told USA Today, which reported the numbers Wednesday morning.
Ex-Reagan Aide Calls Bush a "Mass Murderer"
Back in his pre-coronation days, when George W. was still known as "Governor Bush," the Campaign to End the Death Penalty had a bestselling item in its fundraising kit: a t-shirt with a mugshot of the future president splashed across the front, reading "WANTED FOR MURDER." Bush's crowning legacy at the time was having racked up a record-breaking 152 executions in the state of Texas--and doing so with a clear-eyed callousness that was at once startling and sickening.
Are Bush & Co. Gearing Up to Attack Iran?
It is as though I'm back as an analyst at the CIA, trying to estimate the chances of an attack on Iran. The putative attacker, though, happens to be our own president. It is precisely the kind of work we analysts used to do. And, while it is still a bit jarring to be turning our analytical tools on the U.S. leadership, it is by no means entirely new. For, of necessity, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been doing that for almost six years now -- ever since 9/11, when "everything changed." Of necessity? Yes, because, with very few exceptions, American journalists put their jobs at grave risk if they expose things like fraudulent wars.
While Most of the Democrats in Washington Cower The Presidency Is Taking Over the Courts and Congress
It's way past time for members to stand up. Historic matters are at stake. The Constitution is being trampled, the very form of our government is being perverted, and nothing less than American democracy itself is endangered - a presidential coup is taking place. I think of Barbara Jordan, the late congresswoman from Houston. On July 25, 1974, this powerful thinker and member of the House Judiciary Committee took her turn to speak during the Nixon impeachment inquiry. "My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total," she declared in her thundering voice. "And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution." Where are the likes of Barbara Jordan in today's Congress? While the BushCheney regime continues to establish a supreme, arrogant, autocratic presidency in flagrant violation of the Constitution, members of Congress largely sit there as idle spectators - or worse, as abettors of Bush's usurpation of their own congressional authority.
The Bushites Have Outsourced Our Government to Their Pals
A monumental shift has quietly and quickly been taking place in the way the public's business is done -- and We the People have not even been informed about it, much less been asked to discuss and okay it. Corporations are taking over our government. No longer is it just a matter of big business's lobbyists and campaign donations perverting public policy. Now, politically connected corporations are also seizing day-to-day governmental operations for their own profit. The sprawling $43 billion homeland security department (HSD) is known chiefly for being the agency in charge of America's color-coded terrorist-threat alarm system ("Good morning, Americans. Today is Yellow. Be vigilant. Report all suspicious people.") It's boogeyman nonsense, of course, doing absolutely nothing to make our country safe. But such falderal helps those in charge obscure HSD's real mission: to serve as a giant federal cookie jar for corporate America. Go to HSD's website, and you'll find a prominent section called "Open For Business." There, on any given day, corporate shoppers can scroll through the hundreds of contracts and grants available to them. Just dip in and grab some cookies, each one worth from $50,000 to more than $80 million. Like the department's color codes, the vast majority of these projects do nothing to make our country safe. Instead, they are make-work studies, silly technologies, and useless systems that essentially serve as mediums for transferring billions of our tax dollars to a few corporate big shots.
Christianist Mercenaries, Michigan, and You
His name is Erik Prince, and he is the founder and CEO of a mercenary army that is receiving hundreds of millions of our tax dollars. His late father, Edgar, founded the anti-gay Family Research Council. His mother, Elsa Prince, gives lavish amounts of money to the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the Council for National Policy, an organization that wants to re-write our Constitution to make the United States one nation under their idea of God. Oh, and by the way - his brother-in-law, Dick DeVos, is a former and probably future candidate for Governor of the state of Michigan. In other words, these people are all right-wing religious extremists who want to criminalize our sexual orientations and gender identities. And not only do they have money and major ties to the White House, they also have access to a lot of automatic weapons. Scared yet?
Bush, Michigan, and Blackwater
When Blackwater contractors guarding a U.S. State Department convoy allegedly killed 11 unarmed Iraqi civilians on Sept. 16, it was only the latest in a series of controversial shooting incidents associated with the private security firm. Blackwater has a reputation for being quick on the draw. Since 2005, the North Carolina-based company, which has about 1,000 contractors in Iraq, has reported 195 "escalation of force incidents"; in 156 of those cases Blackwater guns fired first.
Ignoring science: Not just for Republicans anymore!
Newt Gingrich, claiming a mandate to make government smaller, actually managed to abolish only two offices: the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). The OTA was a widely praised, nonpartisan board that helped Congress understand and deal with technical issues -- exactly the kind of office you don't need if you get your understanding of biology from Genesis, your thoughts on telecommunications from K Street, and your opinions on energy from Exxon. The OTA was probably one of the least-known but best performing offices in all of D.C. Oddly, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan just killed the Michigan Environmental Science Board, which was composed of volunteer scientists appointed by the Governor. The only cost to the state was for member travel when on assignment, and for preparation and distribution of reports.
Rove's Science of Dirty Tricks
As Rove joins the ranks of discredited politicians who resign "in order to spend more time with family," a retrospective of his dirty tricks is in order.
The True -- and Shocking -- History of the CIA
The American people may not know it but they have some severe problems with one of their official governmental entities, the Central Intelligence Agency. Because of the almost total secrecy surrounding its activities and the lack of cost accounting on how it spends the money covertly appropriated for it within the defense budget, it is impossible for citizens to know what the CIA's approximately 17,000 employees do with, or for, their share of the yearly $44 billion-$48 billion or more spent on "intelligence." This inability to account for anything at the CIA is, however, only one problem with the Agency and hardly the most serious one either.
Impeachment and Preserving Our Constitution
The United States has been in a prolonged Constitutional crisis since the Supreme Court showed it had been corrupted by partisan politics when the Bush vs. Gore ruling was issued in December, 2000. The Bush Administration began by Republican politicians thumbing their noses at the rule of law. The past seven years have been an unending assault on Constitutional government, American political traditions and personal freedom. It is time to place impeachment fully on the table for the top members of the Bush White House and Cabinet. The appointment of Attorney General Gonzales should never have been approved by Congress. His record of distorting the truth in order to protect the political career of George W. Bush is the only real qualification he had when nominated. It was the reason he was appointed and the reason the appointment should have been soundly rejected. Gonzales has always been an advocate of radical legal theories that attack the essence of our Constitutional protections of personal freedom. The Attorney General holds legal theories that would give the President dictatorial powers. Bush, Cheney and Gonzales have resolutely claimed powers not given by the Constitution to the Executive Branch. These claims are essentially “high crimes” by their very nature. They subvert the American Constitution and border on treason.
Latest Bush Executive Order Kills Your 5th Amendment Right to Own Property
If you own a business, this concerns you. Whether you own it as a sole proprietorship, as a sole shareholder, or even as a partial shareholder of a corporation, you stand to lose all of it if the Secretary thinks you may commit an "act of violence" that may disrupt the war (or peace) effort in Iraq. Naturally, "act of violence" is not defined anywhere in this order. Once this becomes law, he has all the tools Hitler and Stalin had to keep their respective populations in utter subjection to their will. The executive order states in Section 1(a) that “all property and interests in property” of “any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of - blah, blah, blah (followed by a laundry list of “purposes or effects”).
You've Got to be Kidding!
You've probably seen the news this morning: President Bush let Cheney aide Scooter Libby, the one man who was convicted for the lies around the Iraq war, go free. Paris Hilton served more jail time than he will. Bush and Cheney think their administration is above the law. That's un-American, and this July 4th it's time for Congress to re-assert its constitutional authority and stop the administration's obstruction of justice. Congress can start by demanding answers from the Bush administration about the Iraq war and their illegal spying program, and not backing down until they get them. Cheney won't testify? Subpoena him. He won't come? Hold him in contempt of Congress and send over the police. And if that doesn't work, impeach the guy. We just can't let President Bush and his administration dismantle our Constitution. This July 4th, it's time to bring checks and balances back again.
Bush Hands Libby “Get Out of Jail Free” Card
With the war in Iraq mired in carnage with little prospect for hope, he ordered more troops into battle. Now even respected Republicans are saying it is time to do something new. And Monday, with his approval ratings positively Nixonian, he gave a trusted and loyal aid a presidential get -out-of-jail- free card. Lewis "Scooter" Libby seemed to have no constituency save the Republican base. That also happens to be the president's only apparent anchor and one to which he continues to respond. The Bush family image is of one that honors loyalty, and Libby was nothing if not that to the beleaguered president.
Don't Misunderestimate Dick Cheney
It has long been apparent that Cheney's genius is that he lets George W. Bush get out of bed every morning actually believing he is the President. Vice President Dick Cheney has regularly claimed that he is above the law, but until recently he has not offered any explanation of why. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a law that Cheney believes does apply to him, whether that law be major and minor. For example, he has claimed that most of the laws passed in the aftermath of Watergate were unconstitutional, and thus implicitly inapplicable. His office oversees signing statements claiming countless new laws will not be honored except insofar as the President's extremely narrow interpretation allows. He does not believe the War Powers Act should be honored by the President. Nor, in his view, should the President be bothered with laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In fact, it appears Cheney has actively encouraged defiance of such laws by the Bush Administration. A man who can so easily disregard the War Powers Act, FISA, the Geneva Conventions, and the War Crimes Act is merely flicking fleas when it comes to complying with laws like the Presidential Records Act, which requires him to keep records. Most recently, the Vice President has refused to comply with Executive Order 12958, as amended by his boss, George W. Bush. These orders were issued to implement the law adopted by Congress in 1995 to clarify the classification and protection of national security information. Most interesting in Cheney's defiance is his absolutely absurd explanation of why the law is not applicable to him or his staff.
Gorbachev Says US is Sowing World Disorder
Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev criticized the United States, and current President George W. Bush in particular, on Friday for sowing disorder across the world by seeking to build an empire. Gorbachev, who presided over the break-up of the Soviet Union, said Washington had sought to build an empire after the Cold War ended but had failed to understand the changing world.0727 04 “The Americans then gave birth to the idea of a new empire, world leadership by a single power, and what followed?” Gorbachev asked reporters at a news conference in Moscow. “What has followed are unilateral actions, what has followed are wars, what has followed is ignoring the U.N. Security Council, ignoring international law and ignoring the will of the people, even the American people.” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bush say they are friends but ties have been strained by U.S. plans for a missile defense shield in Europe, disagreements over Kosovo and the war in Iraq, and competition for allies in the former Soviet Union.
How to Stop Our Political and Economic Systems From Stealing Our Future
Paul Hawken has spent over a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. From multimillion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise a movement that has no name, no leader, no location, and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media. Like nature itself, it is organizing from the bottom up. Hawken's new book, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, explores the diversity of the movement, its ideas, strategies and hidden history.
Finally, the Neocons Are Sinking
As the George W. Bush administration struggles through its last two years in office, it appears that the agenda of neoconservative ideologues has finally lost its appeal among strategic parts of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus. But as their influence has waned at the Pentagon and State Department, neo-conservative hawks have taken charge on the battlefield of public diplomacy. Intent on fixing what American Enterprise Institute (AEI) fellow Joshua Muravchik termed Bush's "public diplomacy mess," right-wing hawks have gained control of the weapons in the "war of ideas" -- U.S. government-funded and supported media outlets such as Voice of America (VOA), Al-Hurra, and Radio Farda, which broadcast to the Middle East and aim to offer an alternative view of the news. The recent appointment of Jeffrey Gedmin, a veteran neo-conservative polemicist, as the director of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE), and a smear campaign that led to the recent resignation of Larry Register, Al-Hurra's former news director, appears to herald a turn towards more ideologically rigid programming. As a result, viewers and listeners of U.S.-supported media in the Middle East are being exposed to a tougher ideological line that endorses the hallmarks of the neoconservative agenda -- regime change and interventionist policies in the region.
Ex-surgeon general faults White House
President Bush's first surgeon general testified Tuesday that his speeches were censored to match administration political positions and that he was prevented from giving the public accurate scientific information on issues such as stem cell research and teen pregnancy prevention. "Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard H. Carmona, who was surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, told a congressional committee. "The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation — not the doctor of a political party."
Bush Government to Poor Voters: We Don't Want You to Vote
State welfare offices across the country are not offering millions of low-income Americans the opportunity to register to vote when applying for public assistance despite a federal law requiring them to do so, according to an analysis of a recent federal voting registration report and experts who say the Department of Justice and states are to blame.
US Congress to retake trade authority from Bush
The Democratic-controlled Congress made clear on Friday it was taking back its constitutional trade authority from President George W. Bush, a day before his special power is set to end. The expiration of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which allows the Bush administration to negotiate trade agreements that cannot be amended by Congress, could deal a major blow to the nearly collapsed Doha Round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks.
The Top 10 Idiots
Last week was a classic week for conservative idiocy - Dick Cheney (1) tops the chart with a rather tortured interpretation of the law, meanwhile presidential candiates Rudy Giuliani (2,3) and Mitt Romney (4) are embarrassed by some of their closest associates. Elsewhere, conservative talkers Michael Graham (5) and Tom Bauerle (6) advocate presidential assassination and arson respectively - and Trent Lott (7) is back on the list! Enjoy...
A Vice President Without Borders, Bordering on Lunacy
I’ve always thought Cheney was way out there — the most Voldemort-like official I’ve run across. But even in my harshest musings about the vice president, I never imagined that he would declare himself not only above the law, not only above the president, but actually his own dark planet — a separate entity from the White House. I guess a man who can wait 14 hours before he lets it dribble out that he shot his friend in the face has no limit on what he thinks he can keep secret. Dr. No used to just blow off the public and Congress as he cooked up his shady schemes. Now, in a breathtaking act of arrant arrogance, he’s blowing off his own administration.
Of Crazies, Neocons and the Enemy Within
An all too familiar and ominous echo is reverberating through the American landscape, once more blasted into the airwaves, and our minds, through the Ministry of Propaganda and its merry bunch of sycophants and stenographers. For yet another consecutive year since three monolithic towers were demolished, imploded and systemically brought down onto their own footprints in a catalyzing event unleashing a new American century, Americans are hearing the fiery rhetoric of imminent danger, a cocktail of fear, terror and warmongering fed our enemy-addicted culture, aimed both at stirring conflict with Iran and conditioning our minds into accepting the coming attack on yet another Muslim nation that poses no threat to the mighty Empire. For the Enemy Within is hard at work concocting the trigger-happy bogeyman Americans are always too eager to declare war upon, and they are working overtime, using their control of the print, radio and television media, to condition us into accepting their version of reality. Yes, the dreaded neocons are once more circling this nation like vultures, flying high above the dying carcass of freedom and democracy, ready to plunge down to Earth for a mighty feast. The reviled neocons, that plague that refuses to die, that pestilence that seemingly only increases in number, that nest of rats that lingers in our midst, is once more contorting truth and creating reality, once more beating the drums of war in continuation of their war song. The Enemy Within is softening us up, readying our minds, preparing us into accepting yet one more blitzkrieg of evil, criminality and mass murder. If you are not disgusted at how this species of human being has hijacked America, how it has condemned a million people to their premature death, how it has turned the beacon of freedom into the Gulag of criminality, how it has made mass murder, torture, rape and pillage acceptable, how it has made an entire nation hateful, xenophobic and jingoistic, how it has molded and conditioned an army of American authoritarians, then you have not been paying attention.
What do you get when you cross elmer fudd with bush?
A blog by Tammy Lynn Michaels-Etheridge: George Bush you are a criminal you are raping our country of our intentions i do wonder if his mom and dad go to bed at night proud of little whiskey-cokey-georgie poo for his dictatorship?
Poll shows 39% of Americans support impeachment
A poll published Tuesday shows that close to 40% of Americans favor the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. [Editor: This number continues to grow with each poll]
Bush is Leading U.S. to Nuclear War
The administration is building the case for war against Iran -- a job made easier by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent announcement that Iran can now enrich uranium on an industrial scale -- despite the fact that many Iran-watchers and nuclear experts consider their claims of enrichment capacity to be an overblown boast. Yellow cake, aluminum tubes and histrionics about Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities have turned out to be completely fabricated. And, when not grinding the axe of pre-emptive war as counter-proliferation strategy, the administration periodically raises the specter of nuclear terrorism, in the form of dirty bombs and suitcase-sized warheads. In spite of these facts the Bush administration is busy planning a new generation of nuclear weapons known as "Complex 2030." While the United States demands that other countries end their nuclear programs, the Bush administration is busy planning a new generation of nuclear weapons. Nearly 20 years after the Berlin Wall crumbled, the United States is allocating more funding, on average, to nuclear weapons than during the Cold War.
Former Justice Deputy Describes Bush Behavior
Leaders at the White House and the Department of Justice clashed long before last year's dismissal of U.S. attorneys, according to former Deputy Attorney General James Comey. Comey, who worked under John Ashcroft in President Bush's first administration, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the firings of U.S. attorneys and the alleged politicization of the Justice Department. One senator called it some of the most dramatic testimony he's heard in 25 years as a legislator.
Bush Has Gone AWOL
“To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games. “Some in Congress on both sides of the aisle have responded with their own tits-for-tats. These kinds of games, however, are no longer helpful, much less amusing. They merely reflect the absence of effective leadership in a crisis. And we are in a crisis. “Most Americans suspect that something is fundamentally wrong with the President’s management of the conflict in Iraq. And they are right. “The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place. The war could never have served American interests. “We cannot ‘win’ a war that serves our enemies interests and not our own. Thus continuing to pursue the illusion of victory in Iraq makes no sense. We can now see that it never did.
Warnings Ignored by Bush/Cheney
An impending report from the Senate intelligence committee is likely to revive questions about whether President Bush was so consumed with invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein that he didn't care about the disastrous consequences that could -- and did -- ensue. Mr. President, a new Senate report . . . contends that your administration was warned before the war that by invading Iraq you would actually give Iran and al Qaeda a golden opportunity to expand their influence, the kind of influence you were talking about with al Qaeda yesterday, and with Iran this morning. Why did you ignore those warnings, sir?
Can We End the Ascent of Empire, before it Ends Us
In politics, as in medicine, a cure based on a false diagnosis is almost always worthless, often worsening the condition that is supposed to be healed. The United States, today, suffers from a plethora of public ills. Most of them can be traced to the militarism and imperialism that have led to the near-collapse of our Constitutional system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, none of the remedies proposed so far by American politicians or analysts addresses the root causes of the problem. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released on April 26, 2007, some 78% of Americans believe their country to be headed in the wrong direction. Only 22% think the Bush administration's policies make sense, the lowest number on this question since October 1992, when George H. W. Bush was running for a second term -- and lost. What people don't agree on are the reasons for their doubts and, above all, what the remedy -- or remedies -- ought to be.
Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps
If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy, but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps. As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated in the United States by the Bush administration. We need to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the United States. "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands … is the definition of tyranny," wrote James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.
Bush Does It Again: Sends Another Neocon to Head the World Bank
The man who tried to equate resistance to corporate globalization with the terrorism of al Qaeda now takes over the World Bank following Paul Wolfowitz's scandal-ridden tenure. Is a tone-deaf, name-calling steely opportunist a good choice to lead the World Bank? The bank's official mission, after all, is to fight global poverty, not promote U.S. corporate interests. And after the Wolfowitz uproar, one might have expected the Bush administration to pick a more genteel and broad-minded successor to lead this global institution. Is a tone-deaf, name-calling steely opportunist a good choice to lead the World Bank? The bank's official mission, after all, is to fight global poverty, not promote U.S. corporate interests. And after the Wolfowitz uproar, one might have expected the Bush administration to pick a more genteel and broad-minded successor to lead this global institution.
Social Conservatism As a Coercive Tool Of The State
Like religious conservatives throughout history and indeed, in the present, they used the state as a coercive tool to force their version of a conscience upon the rest of people. While only one-third of people generally tend to be socially conservative, this does not make a difference to those possessed with the compulsion to force their morality upon all others for their own good. This is not to say fundamentalists and other religious extremists are Nazis or Stalinists, but that they hold very similar views on these 'family values' and sexuality subjects and employ similar language in their positions and propaganda. They represent similar dangers to free societies as they always have throughout all of western history.
Loyal to Bush but Big Thorn in G.O.P. Side
At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Comey gave a riveting account of how he intervened in 2004 at the hospital bedside of Attorney General John Ashcroft to prevent two top White House officials from persuading Mr. Ashcroft to reauthorize the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program. The Justice Department had ruled that the program would not be lawful without certain changes, and President Bush subsequently directed that the changes be made. Colleagues say Mr. Comey is, even now, a reluctant critic of the administration he served. But they say he feels strongly that there was no justification for the purge of prosecutors and remains furious about what he saw in 2004 as an improper attempt by the White House to bypass the Justice Department.
Scott Ritter: Calling Out Idiot America
The ongoing hand-wringing in Congress by the newly empowered Democrats over what to do about the war in Iraq speaks volumes about the level of concern (or lack thereof) these “representatives of the people” have toward the men and women who honor us all by serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. The inability to reach consensus concerning the level of funding required or how to exercise effective oversight of the war, both constitutionally mandated responsibilities, is more a reflection of congressional cowardice and impotence than a byproduct of any heartfelt introspection over troop welfare and national security. The issues that prompt the congressional collective to behave in such an egregious manner have more to do with a reflexive tendency to avoid any controversy that might disrupt the status quo ante regarding representative-constituent relations (i.e., re-election) than with any intellectual debate about doing the right thing.
Who's Afraid of Jimmy Carter? Dubya Outta Be!
Britain's support for the war in Iraq was a "major tragedy" for the world, and the Bush administration has been "the worst in history" in international relations, former President Jimmy Carter said in two interviews yesterday. Carter criticized Prime Minister Tony Blair's unwavering support for President Bush, saying it has contributed to the troubled aftermath of the Iraq invasion. Asked how he would judge Blair's support of Bush, the former Democratic president said: "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient." Carter took aim at the Bush administration's policy of preemptive war in Iraq, as well as its Middle East diplomacy ... "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history!"
Embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has resigned, in a move that will take full effect in June. Until then, he is on administrative leave. Pressure on Wolfowitz to step down has grown since the release of a report on his handling of a 2005 pay raise for his girlfriend, who is also a bank employee. When faced with charges of ethical breaches at the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz didn't sit back. He went on the offensive, accusing his critics of launching a "smear campaign" against him and refusing to step down as bank president. Those who know Wolfowitz — or "Wolfie," as President Bush calls him — were not surprised. He has always believed that old adage about the best defense being a good offense. His entire Washington career, which spans 35 years and six administrations, has been based on it. As one of the architects of the Iraq war, Wolfowitz shot from relative anonymity to caricature very quickly. To his critics, he is the personification of the neoconservative hawk who believes the world's problems can be solved through military might.
Wolfowitz crisis challenged U.S. leadership
The ouster of Paul Wolfowitz as World Bank president, in another rift between the United States and its European allies, poses an unprecedented challenge to U.S leadership of the global financial system. Weakened by chaos in Iraq, low popularity and his lame-duck status, President George W. Bush was unable to prevent Wolfowitz's forced departure -- the first of a World Bank president -- after weeks of resistance and public acrimony over his promotion of a companion. Some U.S. officials and experts expressed alarm that the controversy could force the United States to give up its World Bank preeminence and long tradition of appointing the president.
Cheney impeachment introducedpdf
Democratic presidential candidate and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment against VP Dick Cheney. Specifically, there are three charges that the Vice President: *Fabricated a threat of Iraqi WMD to justify a war of choice *Fabricated the connection between al Qaeda and Saddam *Is currently fabricating causes for war on Iran.
President is destroying faith in justice system
The stresses President Bush imposed on our military and our reputation abroad have now been spread with the same incompetence on the nation’s justice system. Much harm has been done by the political firings of federal prosecutors who were, in the words of a Justice Department officer, not “loyal Bushies.” It will take the next two presidents to put things back together. Gonzales may never really have thought of himself as the nation’s chief magistrate, only a legal valet Bush brought with him from Texas brandishing a Harvard law degree. Crucial decisions at the Justice Department, Gonzales on Thursday suggested, may have been left to presidential adviser Karl Rove or other dark figures at the White House, in Congress and in the Republican political committees. Members of the House and Senate have no business whatsoever calling federal prosecutors and telling them who to indict. It’s inexcusable interference with the nation’s justice system and a violation of the codes of ethics of both houses. It ought to be a crime.
Bush Foreign Aid Head Resigns Over Call Girl Links
The head of the Bush administration's foreign aid programs resigned Friday, a day after being interviewed about an alleged prostitution ring run by the so-called D.C. Madam. Randall Tobias' name had turned up in an investigation into the high-priced call girl service. According to ABC News, Tobias confirmed he had called the escort service to hire women to give him massages at his condo. But Tobias, who is married, reportedly said there was no sex during the visits.
The Secrets of the Christian Right: Pushing "The Word"
The author of “American Fascists” reports on the cult-like recruiting tactics of the Christian right, including the manipulative and highly successful practice of “love bombing.” There is a false, but effective, fiction that one has to be born again to be a Christian. The Christian right refuses to acknowledge the worth of anyone's religious experience unless, in the words of its tired and opaque cliché, one has accepted "Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior." The emotional meltdown that leads to the conversion experience -- one often induced in crowds skillfully manipulated and broken down by demagogues -- is one of the most pernicious tools of the movement. Through conversion one surrenders to a higher authority. And the higher authority, rather than God, is the preacher who steps in to take over one's life. Being born again, and the process it entails, has far more in common with recruitment into a cult than it does with genuine belief.
An Army of Pat Robertson Acolytes in Bush Administration
Since Robertson's failed presidential campaign, coverage of him has largely focused on his mercurial and bizarre personality. He seemed only to appear in the news when one of his many entertainingly outrageous gaffes or false prophecies earned publicity. While Robertson's hysterical episodes deserved all the coverage they generated, with a few notable exceptions, the mainstream press habitually ignored his political machinations. Thousands of Christian right cadres are waging the culture war from inside the White House, federal agencies and Republican congressional offices. Together they will continue to inflame conflicts that were previously unimaginable. Monica Goodling, a previously unknown Justice Department official who served as liaison to the White House, has become a key figure in the Attorneygate scandal. When newly released emails revealed the prominent role Goodling played in engineering the firing of seven US Attorneys, Goodling pled the Fifth Amendment, refusing to testify under oath.
The Great Illusion
In the sixties and seventies, a group of right-wingers in the United States formed a society of vindictive and power hungry men who thought they could reinvent reality. Initially they received little notice and operated inside the American Enterprise Institute; that think tank became the womb for these megalomaniacs and their monstrous ambition of remaking the world. Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz were among them and the movement was to turn into a preposterous beast. The group called themselves Neoconservatives although they were hardly conservatives in the traditional sense and were very much out there on a new and tenuous limb. As the group assumed greater visibility, they established their goal as the creation of an artificial world which the U.S. empire would rule single-handedly. Ignoring history, they were set on creating an illusory world, one where they alone would set the rules, decide who would run big corporations, who would dominate the world scene, who would control the enormous oil wealth of the Middle East and Central Asia, who would dictate the fate of the world – without taking into consideration the ambitions of the rest of the world or the aspirations of human beings. This virtual universe began to turn into a frightening reality decades later when these men managed to seize power. When the Soviet Union was unmasked as being merely a mouse that roared rather than a fearful dragon, the Neoconservatives saw the opening they had awaited; the United States could now take over the running of the planet.
A lot of people have given American's a bum rap for being stupid and knowing nothing about the world, but the reality couldn't be further from the truth as I discovered on the streets asking U.S. citizensd about the world their country runs.
A collection of Right Wing letters to Ava Lowery, a 16 year old peace activist and Youtube video producer from Alabama.
New Rule: Traitors don’t get to question my patriotism [EXCELLENT VIDEO]
What could be less patriotic than constantly screwing things up for America? You know, it's literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush administration. Which is why I like to download the latest scandals right onto my IPod. That way, I can catch up on this week's giant f**k up on my drive into work. In fact, Bush has so many scandals he could open a chain of "Bush Scandal and F**k Up" theme restaurants. Hmmm, should I get the Harriet Miers Meatloaf, or the Katrina Crabcakes? You know, not to generalize, but the 29 percent of people who still support President Bush are the ones who love to pronounce themselves more patriotic than the rest of us. But just saying you're patriotic is like saying you have a...
Is the American Empire on the Brink of Collapse?
U.S. military expert Chalmers Johnson argues the catastrophe in Iraq and the staggering cost of running a military that stretches across 130 countries on 737 bases may finally cost America its empire. I believe that we're close to a tipping point right now. What happened to the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991 could easily be happening to us for essentially the same reasons. Imperial overreach, inability to reform, rigid economic ideology. ... The world's balance of power didn't change one iota on September 11, 2001. The only way we could lose the power and influence we had at that time was through our own actions, and that's what we did.
Conservatives Cost a Lot of Money
Let's put it this way: Carpet bombing is much more costly in every way than good intelligence and loyal allies. It's a pocketbook issue. The general effect of conservative governance, I mean other than criminal malfeasance, neglect of the citizenry, mashing of constitutional protections, trashing of the environment, bashing of real patriotism, and crashing of the ship of state into the nearest hundred-foot-high cliff (bad metaphor, but here's a contest: think of a better one!) is that it's so damned expensive. The fight, since Reagan, has been literally for the soul of the US. Conservatives are determined to define the nation as a hierarchy in which white Christian men are at the top, unchallenged by other groups, but able to extend favor to nonthreatening men or good-looking women as individuals. They want to define the world as a place where what America says goes, no matter how far away other countries are, or how much they disagree with our policies.
Scholars take on Bush over access to presidential papers
In December 1989, one month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Presidents George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Malta and, in the words of a Soviet spokesman, "buried the Cold War at the bottom of the Mediterranean." The Russian transcript of that momentous summit meeting was published in Moscow in 1993. Fourteen years later, American historians are still waiting for their own government to release a transcript. Now lawmakers and scholars are hoping to pry open the gateway to such archival documents by lifting what they say has been a major obstacle to historical research: a directive issued by the current Bush White House in 2001 that has severely slowed or prevented the release of important presidential papers. President George W. Bush's 2001 executive order restricted the release of presidential records by giving sitting presidents the power to delay the release of papers indefinitely, while extending the control of former presidents, vice presidents and their families. It also changed the system from one that automatically released documents 30 days after a current or former president is notified to one that withholds papers until a president specifically permits their release.
Think the Nation's Debt Doesn't Affect You? Think Again
In addition to borrowing from the world's poorest countries, Bush & Co. are secretly confiscating your hard-earned dollars to support their out-of-control spending habits. With Bush and cronies having added over $3 trillion dollars to the national debt, the country's credit card tab now stands at $8.8 trillion. This represents an astounding increase of over 45 percent since Bush came into office in January of 2001. And all this fiscal profligacy took place during the years when the CBO originally forecasted record surpluses of approximately $2.5 trillion. And there is no end in sight to the deficits. If the U.S. does not change course, the rest of the world could end up owning 15 trillion-dollars worth of the United States. That's equal to the value of all American stock.
Why It’s Only Getting Worse
Jeff Cohen talks about life in the big media trenches, why news coverage is only getting worse, and how horse race politics and the corporatization of information are killing American democracy.
The Decider is Delusional
Is George Bush delusional? No, that question is not an attack on his intelligence. Nor is it a criticism of some bizarre new position he has taken with regard to the affairs of state – although, as it happens, he has. Rather, it is a serious question about whether the president understands what is going on around him. After he announced Tuesday that the White House would not make a serious effort to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee's investigation into the firing of U.S. Attorneys who would not politicize their prosecutions, the president was asked about several of the attorneys who had been removed. "I'm sorry, just frankly, it bubbled to the surface the way it has, for the U.S. attorneys involved," answered Bush. "I really am. These are -- I put them in there in the first place. They're decent people. They serve at the pleasure of the president. And yet, now, they're being held up in the scrutiny of all this. And it's just -- what I said in comments, I meant about them. I appreciated their service, and I'm sorry that the situation has gotten to where it's got. But that's Washington, D.C., for you.
Bush Drunk Again?
Our White House Press Corps sources report further disturbing news about President George W. Bush. Our sources have witnessed a clearly inebriated Bush approaching members of the press corps and making rude comments, including one particularly crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush. In that case, Bush, nodding toward Laura, called her a "c**t." While Bush's drinking is no secret to the White House press contingent, that particular comment was reportedly the worst they have heard uttered by Bush. Our sources also report that Laura Bush's stays at the White House are less frequent and that her overnight trips to the Mayflower Hotel often coincide with the president's drunken binges.
Bush Erupts in Yet Another Temper Tantrum
Besieged as never before during his six years in the White House, George Bush lashed out yesterday at his Democratic foes in Congress. The President's tirade - delivered in the somewhat incongruous setting of an address to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association - came the day after the Senate, hitherto a usually reliable bulwark in his defence, had followed the House of Representatives in setting a mid-2008 date for the departure of the bulk of US combat troops from Iraq. ... [Team Bush continues on an ever downward spiral in light of] the scandal over the treatment of wounded Iraq war veterans at the US Army's Walter Reed Hospital, making a mockery of Mr Bush's professions to be champion of the country's armed forces. Now Washington is gripped by the controversy that threatens to bring down Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General and a close colleague of Mr Bush since his days as governor of Texas. The row stems from the firing of eight US prosecutors last year for ostensibly political reasons. At least one of them was dismissed at the urging of Karl Rove, the President's once all-powerful political adviser.
Team Bush: Driving Up Gas Prices
2006 was the year that oil prices came close to breaching $80 per barrel. This was despite the fact that there were no significant supply interruptions and oil demand actually fell in industrialized countries. That raises the question of what caused the spike. It turns out there is good reason to believe that record oil prices may be due to our own strategic oil reserve, which the Bush administration may have been manipulating to drive up prices for the benefit of its clients. This is something Congress must investigate, and here is some preliminary evidence.
Neocons in Cheney's Office Fund al Qaeda
Seymour Hersh's recent report that Iran-Contra veterans working out of Dick Cheney's office are using stolen funds from Iraq to arm al Qaeda-tied groups and foment a larger Sunni-Shia war is a very big deal.
The Ungreening of America: Dirty Secrets
News: No president has gone after the nation's environmental laws with the same fury as George W. Bush -- and none has been so adept at staying under the radar. Few American's fully appreciate the scope and fury of the Bush administration's anti-environmental agenda. "What they're doing makes the Reagan administration look innocent," says Buck Parker, executive director of Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. The Bush administration has been gutting key sections of the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, laws that have traditionally had bipartisan support and have done more to protect the health of Americans than any other environmental legislation. It has crippled the Superfund program, which is charged with cleaning up millions of pounds of toxic industrial wastes such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and vinyl chloride in more than 1,000 neighborhoods in 48 states. It has sought to cut the EPA's enforcement division by nearly one-fifth, to its lowest level on record; fines assessed for environmental violations dropped by nearly two-thirds in the administration's first two years; and criminal prosecutions-the government's weapon of last resort against the worst polluters-are down by nearly one-third. So why aren't more people aware that George W. Bush is compiling what is arguably the worst environmental record of any president in recent history?
Bush isolated from GOP lawmakers
Republican leaders in Congress (asking not to be quoted by name) early last week predicted Gonzales would fall because the Justice Department botched firing eight U.S. attorneys. By week's end, they stipulated that the president would not sack his longtime aide and that Gonzales would leave only on his own initiative. But there was still an ominous lack of congressional support for him. But this is less a Gonzales problem than a Bush problem. With nearly two years remaining in his presidency, Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment.
Gonzales is the least-popular Cabinet member on Capitol Hill. The word most often used by Republicans in describing the management of the Justice Department under Gonzales is "incompetent."
The I-word (incompetence) is used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally. Several of them I talked to described a trifecta of incompetence: the Walter Reed hospital scandal, the FBI's misuse of the Patriot Act and the U.S. attorneys firing fiasco. Bush isolated from GOP lawmakers
Republican leaders in Congress (asking not to be quoted by name) early last week predicted Gonzales would fall because the Justice Department botched firing eight U.S. attorneys. By week's end, they stipulated that the president would not sack his longtime aide and that Gonzales would leave only on his own initiative. But there was still an ominous lack of congressional support for him. But this is less a Gonzales problem than a Bush problem. With nearly two years remaining in his presidency, Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment.
Gonzales is the least-popular Cabinet member on Capitol Hill. The word most often used by Republicans in describing the management of the Justice Department under Gonzales is "incompetent."
The I-word (incompetence) is used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally. Several of them I talked to described a trifecta of incompetence: the Walter Reed hospital scandal, the FBI's misuse of the Patriot Act and the U.S. attorneys firing fiasco.
An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush George
They are published here as part of Moral Compass, a series focusing on the spoken word. I'm glad to be back at the National Press Club. Indeed, at the age of eighty-four, I'm glad to be anywhere. In my younger years when the subject of aging came up, trying to sound worldly wise, I would say, "It doesn't matter so much the number of years you have, but what you do with those years." I don't say that anymore. I now want to reach a hundred. Why? Because I thoroughly enjoy life and there are so many things I must still do before entering the mystery beyond. The most urgent of these is to get American soldiers out of the Iraqi hellhole Bush-Cheney and their neoconservative theorists have created in what was once called the cradle of civilization. It is believed to be the location of the Garden of Eden.
2nd Gonzales aide quits
The aide to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who has invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before Congress resigned Friday. Monica Goodling is the second member of Gonzales' senior staff to quit in the scandal over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. Goodling, a senior counselor to Gonzales, worked with Kyle Sampson, who was the attorney general's chief of staff, on deciding who to fire. Goodling submitted a brief letter to Gonzales announcing her departure. After receiving her law degree in 1999 from Regent University, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, Goodling joined the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Bush feels sting
The President's firing of eight US attorneys has developed into a political controversy that may force him to sack his close friend, the Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales. More crucially, the Democrats are determined to fulfil what they see as the mandate they were given in the midterm congressional elections: to end US involvement in Iraq and bring home the troops.
Bush-Carlyle War Profiteering Connection
There are so many connections between the Bushes, the ‘Defence’ establishment, the global trade in arms, that the mind boggles. That it barely gets a mention in the mainstream media (except of course, to simply ‘report’ it) is a scandal of the grandest proportions. But it only goes to show the power of big business and the political class they have installed in both the US and the UK (after all, John Major is employed by the Carlyle Group and BAE Systems, the major arms supplier to the UK, is part-owned by Carlyle). Not only the connections beggar belief but the sheer hypocrisy of the Bush government should put it in a new category in the Guinness Book of Records! As you’ll see from just of a few of the links to information on Carlyle below, their tentacles extend to many of the armed conflicts going on in the world. There’s no business like war business!
Debt and the Bush budgets
According to the whimsical Bush administration's fiscal 2008 budget blueprint, the unified budget deficit of $248 billion in fiscal 2006 will decrease to $244 billion in 2007 and $239 billion in 2008. In reality however, while the Bush administration has been taking victory laps as the unified budget deficit declined from $413 billion in 2004 to $318 billion in 2005 and $248 billion in 2006, the national debt soared by $595 billion in 2004, $551 billion in 2005 and $546 billion in 2006. To put a fine point on the matter, the national debt has increased from $5.728 trillion on Jan. 20, 2001, to $8.713 trillion last week (The estimated population of the United States is 301,102,075 so each citizen's share of this debt is $29,205.09). When fiscal 2007 ends on Sept. 30, the national debt will exceed $9 trillion.
The War on Terror Is the Leading Cause of Terrorism
It's official: A new report shows that the U.S. has made the world more dangerous—not just for Americans, but for everyone. Innocent people across the world are now paying the price of the "Iraq effect," with the loss of hundreds of lives directly linked to the invasion and occupation by American and British forces.
It’s Time for Congress to Investigate the Ties Between the Bush Family and Osama bin Laden
Now that the U.S. Congress is investigating the truth of President George W. Bush's statements about the Iraq war, they might look into one of his most startling assertions: that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Critics dismissed that as an invention. They were wrong. There was a link, but not the one Bush was selling. The link between Hussein and Bin Laden was their banker, BCCI. But the link went beyond the dictator and the jihadist -- it passed through Saudi Arabia and stretched all the way to George W. Bush and his father. BCCI was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a dirty offshore bank that then-President Ronald Reagan's Central Intelligence Agency used to run guns to Hussein, finance Osama bin Laden, move money in the illegal Iran-Contra operation and carry out other "agency" black ops.
Hillary Knew Bill Lied
Hillary Clinton knew years before she voted for the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein didn't have WMDs -- Bill Clinton lied about Iraq's weapons programs to justify attacking the country in 1998.
An Army of Christian Right Lawyers Is Waging War on the Constitution
A look at the Christian Right's legal muscle leading the fight to end the separation of church and state. Last year, ADF received over $21 million in individual and foundation funding. Some of the major donors include the Covenant Foundation, financed by the "Granddaddy" of the Texas Christian Right, business mogul James Leininger; various members of the Amway-Prince Automotive empire, including the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, whose vice president, Erik Prince (Edgar and Elsa's son, and brother of Betsy DeVos, wife of the Amway magnate, right-wing financier, and unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard DeVos), founded the Blackwater USA military-security firm; and the Bolthouse Foundation, which is underwritten chiefly with profits from Bolthouse Farms, a family-run California company whose products are often seen at organic markets and Whole Foods. Bolthouse requires recipients of its grants to pledge adherence to a statement of faith that includes the declaration that "man was created by a direct act of God in His image, not from previously existing creatures" and a belief in "the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting punishment of the lost."
Can We Let Intelligence Officials Lie Without Punishment?
Lies have consequences . All those who helped President George W. Bush launch a war of aggression -- termed by Nuremberg "the supreme international crime" -- have blood on their hands and must be held accountable. This includes corrupt intelligence officials. Otherwise, look for them to perform the same service in facilitating war on Iran. "They should have been shot," said former State Department intelligence director, Carl Ford, referring to ex-CIA director George Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin, for their "fundamentally dishonest" cooking of intelligence to please the White House.
The Psychology Behind the Worst Possible President
Back in the year 2000, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote and was shoe-horned into office by the Supreme Court in spite of clear conflicts of interest on the part of Scalia and Thomas, the psychology of Little George was known to only a few. To most of us he seemed like a doofus -- a more or less well-meaning guy who enjoyed running things like baseball teams and the State of Texas if not too much work was involved. Had been an alcoholic and a drug user, but had apparently come clean in some hazy, quasi-religious way -- that was his personal history to many Americans (if not to all those who met with Karl Rove behind closed doors and heard the truth).
Bush Continues to Unite the World... Against Him
Despite two years of a concentrated effort by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her public diplomacy major- doma Karen Hughes to boost Washington's global image, more people around the world have an unfavourable opinion of U.S. policies than at any time in recent memory. The survey, which polled more than 26,000 people in 25 countries, including the U.S., between November and January, found that a 49 percent plurality overall believes the U.S. is playing a "mainly negative" role in the world today
want to challenge the Bush Administration’s implicit
assumption that we have to give up many of our traditional
freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists.
it is simply not true.
in my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault
on our civil liberties as the best way to get at terrorists
than it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best way
to get at Osama Bin Laden.
cases, the Administration has attacked the wrong target.
cases they have recklessly put our country in grave and unnecessary
danger, while avoiding and neglecting obvious and much more
important challenges that would actually help to protect the
cases, the administration has fostered false impressions and
misled the nation with superficial, emotional and manipulative
presentations that are not worthy of American Democracy.
cases they have exploited public fears for partisan political
gain and postured themselves as bold defenders of our country
while actually weakening not strengthening America."
war wages on in the Middle East, it is interesting to see who among
the prominent names in Washington ducked out when it came
time to put their own lives on the line. Curiously, those
most avid for risking the lives of American soldiers today
were considerably less excited about risking their own in
their younger days.
• President GW Bush - was able to get into the National Guard
by leaping ahead of a waiting list of more than 1,000, but
apparently went AWOL for at least one year and was later taken
off flying status for reasons that have not been made public.
Vice President Dick Cheney, several deferments, the last by
marriage (in his own words, "had other priorities than
• Att'y Gen. John Ashcroft - sought deferment to teach business
ed at SW Missouri State.
• Karl Rove - avoided the draft, did not serve.
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert – avoided the draft,
did not serve.
• Majority Leader Dick Armey- avoided the draft, did not serve.
Majority Whip Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve.
"So many minority youths had volunteered ... that there
was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself."
• Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott - avoided the draft, did
• Don Nickles, Senate Minority Whip - avoided the draft, did
• Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - avoided the draft, did not
• Senator Phil Gramm - avoided the draft, did not serve, four
(?) student deferments.
• Senator Richard Shelby, avoided the draft, did not serve.
Former Representative "B-1" Bob Dornan – avoided
Korean War combat duty by enrolling in college acting classes.
Representative Saxby Chambliss, Georgia – did not serve,
had a "bad knee."
• Representative JC Watts - did not serve.
Former Representative Jack Kemp, did not serve(was fit enough
for pro football, but failed" the physical?).
• Dan Quayle, avoided Vietnam service, got a slot in the journalism
unit of the Indiana National Guard when the unit was at 150%
capacity. (Unlike GW, at least he showed up for his duty.)
• Eliot Abrams, did not serve.
• Vin Weber, did not serve.
• Richard Perle, did not serve.
• Rudy Giuliani, did not serve.
• Former Michigan Governor John Engler, did not serve.
• George Will, did not serve
• Chris Matthews, did not serve.
• Bill O'Reilly, did not serve.
• Paul Gigot, did not serve.
• Bill Bennett, Did not serve.
• Pat Buchanan, did not serve.
• Rush Limbaugh, did not serve.
Pat Robertson - did not serve, apparently used his daddy's
connections to get off the ship in Tokyo while his buddies
went on to Korea. (More recently and by his own admission
on his TV show, he was much chagrined to find how difficult
it was to buy the anthrax vaccine for himself and his family,
thus illustrating that the first priority of the self-righteous
is "me first.")
• Bill Kristol, did not serve.
safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution
of the United States as our Fathers made it inviolate. The
people of the United States are the rightful masters of both
Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution,
but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. ~Abraham Lincoln
Military Expenditures 2002 Global military expenditures currently exceed $800 BILLION!
top military spenders are:
States $343.2 Billion
United Kingdom $34
Saudi Arabia $27.2
South Korea $11.8
on 2000 funding (most recent year available)
30% of Annual World Military Expenditures ($810 billion),
all of the following could be accomplished***:
• Eliminate Starvation and Malnutrition ($19 billion)
• Provide Shelter ($21 billion)
• Remove Landmines ($4 billion)
• Build Democracy ($3 billion)
• Eliminate Nuclear Weapons ($7 billion)
• Refugee Relief ($5 billion)
• Eliminate Illiteracy ($5 billion)
• Provide Clean, Safe Water ($10 billion)
• Provide Health Care and AIDS Control ($21 billion)
• Stop Deforestation ($7 billion)
• Prevent Global Warming ($8 billion)
• Stabilize Population ($10.5 billion)
• Prevent Acid Rain ($8 billion)
• Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Energy Efficiency ($33
billion), Renewable Energy
• Stop Ozone Depletion ($5 billion)
• Prevent Soil Erosion ($24 billion)
• Retire Developing Nations Debt ($30 billion)
more information, please visit: http://www.worldgame.org
Center for Defense Information, Council for a Livable World,
International Institute for Strategic Studies, US State Department,
US Central Intelligence Agency
the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the
citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed
a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as
it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached
a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has
closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights
of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear
and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights
unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is
what I have done. And I am Caesar." ~29
September 2002, Barbra Streisand
Is the USA the Center of the World?
There were unconfirmed reports yesterday that the United States is not the center of the world. The White House had no immediate comment on the reports, which set off a firestorm of controversy in the nation's capital. Speaking on background, a high-ranking official at the State Department discounted the possibility that the reports would turn out to be true. "If that were the case," he said, "don't you think we would have known about it a long time ago?"
State of the Union - By the Numbers
In his 2007 State of the Union address, President Bush will hail the state of the union as "strong", pointing to the growing economy, new jobs, and record home ownership. But for Americans worrying about how to make ends meet around their kitchen tables at night, the country is headed in the wrong direction. Just look at the numbers, and how Bush's rhetoric has failed to match reality throughout his presidency...
Bush's Rush to Armageddon
George W. Bush has purged senior military and intelligence officials who were obstacles to a wider war in the Middle East, broadening his options for both escalating the conflict inside Iraq and expanding the fighting to Iran and Syria with Israel’s help. Intelligence sources say the personnel changes fit with a scenario for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities and seeking violent regime change in Syria.
Why Impeaching Bush Is Good for Our Species
In congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's recently filed Articles Of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush, a significant portion of Article 1 accurately describes his lying to justify a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Okay, so nobody's perfect. But could Bush be the "best" our species has to offer at this moment? What I mean to say here is that he may well represent the vanguard of our species' future evolutionary development. This is a disturbing proposition. However, please rest assured that I will address the moral question it raises below (i.e., whether the evolutionary path that we apparently have chosen is the optimal path). We're the only animal that is aware of its own intelligence, so we vainly call ourselves homo sapiens (Latin for "wise man" or, as we Americans would say, "wise guy"). Admittedly, we've done pretty well since the wheel. But should we ever stop congratulating ourselves and remove our blinders, the equally characteristic, though less laudable, devious side of our nature would be revealed.
Start Preparing Now for the Coming "Cataclysmic Fight to the Death"
When it comes to deploying its executive power, which is dear to Bush's understanding of the presidency, the president's team has been planning for what one strategist described as "a cataclysmic fight to the death" over the balance between Congress and White House if confronted with Congressional subpoenas it deems inappropriate. The strategist says the Bush team is 'going to assert that power, and they're going to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court on every issue, every time, no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation.'  As a result, the US is headed toward what Tom Engelhardt has called "the mother of all Constitutional crises."
I wsh hour prezident kud reed
Right about now is when it could come in real handy to have a President who reads. A book learning wonk. A guy not allergic to the printed word. George W. Bush even admitted it himself. I think his exact quote was: "I don't read." And you know what, I believe him. Then this summer, something happened. I think it was part of that midterm campaign thing, when the President claimed his beach reading list included Camus' "The Stranger" and what he referred to as "Three Shakespeares." Three Shakespeares? Sounds like a customer at Baskin- Robbins ordering up a triple scoop of smart. And very suspicious coming from a man famous for struggling through the same page of "My Pet Goat" for 10 minutes. The whole reading deal is important here because he should have been tempted to give the Iraq Study Group Report a brief scan before repeating "The Study Group agrees with me." Unh. No. They don't.
Bush Could Usher in a Very Dangerous New Year
Consortium News Intelligence sources say President Bush -- along with Israel's Ehud Olmert and the UK's Tony Blair -- are weighing the possibility of Israeli-led attacks on Syria and Iran in early 2007, with the United States providing logistical back-up.
Most Outrageous Right Wing Comments of 2006
The offensive, the senseless, the bigoted, the inaccurate: a year in right-wing nuttery. Since there were so many outrageous statements, we included a list of honorable mentions along with the top 11, which, if not for Ann Coulter, we might have limited to 10.
Bechtel Keeps Billions in U.S. Taxpayer Funds, then Bails on Iraq
Last month, the Bechtel Corp. became the first major U.S. contractor to announce that it was pulling out of Iraq. Bechtel's departure marks yet another significant failure for Bush's economic invasion of Iraq. It does not mark, however, the end of Bechtel's adventures in the Middle East as the company looks to take advantage of the Bush administration's expanding U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area. Bechtel received a quiet "request for proposals" from the Bush administration more than a month before the war began, which ultimately yielded the company $2.4 billion for work on electricity, water, sewage treatment, bridges, highways, airports, hospitals, schools and more. Bechtel's vision was part of a larger Bush administration plan to transform Iraq from a state- to a market-controlled economy virtually overnight and by U.S. fiat. The administration implemented new laws in Iraq (virtually all of which remain in place today) allowing for, among other things, the privatization of Iraq's state-owned enterprises and for American companies to receive preferential treatment over Iraqis in the awarding of contracts.
America Faces a Future of Managing Imperial Decline
Bush's failure to grasp the limits of US global power has led to an adventurism for which his successors will pay a heavy price by Martin Jacques Just a few years ago, the world was in thrall to the idea of American power. The neoconservative agenda not only infused the outlook of the White House, it also dominated the global debate about the future of international relations. Following 9/11, we had, in quick succession, the "war on terror", the "axis of evil", the idea of a new American empire, the overarching importance of military power, the notion and desirability of regime change, the invasion of Iraq, and the proposition that western-style democracy was relevant and applicable to every land in the world, starting with the Middle East. Much of that has unwound with a speed that barely anyone anticipated. With the abject failure of the American occupation of Iraq - to the point where even the American electorate now recognises the fact - the neoconservative era would appear to be in its death throes.
Is George Bush Clinically Insane!
DETROIT -- His shrill voice pains sensitive ears. In the red states of the South and West, he ramps up his Texas twang as he brags on his war and hurls insults and lies about those who don't share his views. President George W. Bush says he's "pleased with the progress in Iraq," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is doing a "fantastic job," and those who support Democrats "want the terrorists to win." Bush goes well beyond gutter rhetoric and the politics of desperation. He is a delusional madman and a disgrace to our national heritage. When young people hear the president of the United States talking as he does, it's no wonder their perception of politics and public life is so low. The man who ran for the presidency claiming "I'm a uniter, not a divider" is one of the most divisive figures in American history and he will only get worse as his fiasco in Iraq continues to spiral into the abyss and the nation unravels. Bush says, with mindless repetition, that we will "win the war," when the fact is, we are slogging it out in a conflict that screams for a political solution he is unwilling to confront as any reasonable leader would. "Bring 'em on"
War Criminals, Beware On November 14 a group of lawyers and other experts came before the German federal prosecutor and asked him to open a criminal investigation targeting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration figures for war crimes. The Bush Administration is scrambling and doing everything it can to immunize itself legally from prosecution in the United States, even for the most serious crimes.
Dismay Grows Over US Torture School
The annual protest of the US Army's School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, has grown dramatically in recent years, drawing 10,000 people in 2003, 16,000 in 2004 and 19,000 in 2005. Building on that momentum, the movement to close the controversial institution is expanding its horizons even further this weekend. As peace activists from throughout the United States converge at the gates of Fort Benning, SOA protesters will simultaneously take to the streets in Santiago, Bogotá, San Salvador and several other Latin American cities. The demonstrations offer a strong testament to the growing international movement to reject US military policy. Recent reports of the Bush Administration's decision to increase training and aid for the militaries of Latin America so as to reverse the region's leftward swing have only sharpened criticism at home and abroad. The Bush Administration's strategy to militarize the hemisphere, as reported November 10 by USA Today, has exacerbated the long-running controversy over the SOA and US training.
Cheney-Specter Bill: A Blank Check For Spying
The so-called "compromise" legislation makes a mockery of the nation's historic separation of powers Editorial Seeking to justify its sweeping curtailment of Americans' Fourth Amendment protections, the Bush administration is blaming the spread of new technology. In particular, cell phones and fiber-optic cables. CIA Director Michael Hayden told a Senate committee last week that the exploitation of such advanced technology by terrorists makes it necessary for the U.S. government to eavesdrop on Americans without getting court warrants.
The End of the World As We Know It?
There aren't many tyrants in history who can truthfully say they put the entire future of civilization at risk just to make a buck -- but Dick Cheney can.
“Lies got us into this war. Only the truth will get us out.”
The Best War Ever, by the best-selling authors of Weapons of Mass Deception, is a vital account of why America is losing in Iraq and the Middle East. We have met the enemy—and it's our own PR machine. One of the most tragic consequences of the Bush administration's reliance on spin, the authors argue, is its disdain for realistic planning. Repeatedly, when faced with predictions of problems, policymakers dismissed the warnings of Iraq experts, choosing instead to promulgate their own version of the war through conservative media outlets and PR campaigns. And as the book reveals, they're still doing it—as the people who sold us the war in Iraq are now trying to sell an expansion into Syria and Iran.
The EVIL President Who Never Tires of Creating New Ways to Undermine American Rights : New postal law lets Bush peek through your mail
President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned. The [Bush] signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming. Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail. That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it. Bush's move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise. "Despite the President's statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people's mail without a warrant," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill. Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.
Bush's Fondness For Fundamentalism Is Courting Disaster At Home and Abroad
Affinity with the Christian right has led to banning stem cell research and turning a blind eye to civilian deaths in Lebanon. From the very beginning, the conflict between religion and modern science was couched in extreme, even apocalyptic rhetoric. Thomas H. Huxley, who popularized the Origin of Species, insisted that people had to choose between faith and science; there could be no compromise: "One or the other would have to succumb after a struggle of unknown duration." In response, conservative Christians launched a crusade against Darwinism: fundamentalists want to win a battle for God; liberals and secularists are fighting for truth and rationality. On the other hand the [generally hypocritical] president zealously champions the rights of the unborn, he is less concerned about the plight of existing American children. The US infant mortality rate is only the 42nd best in the world; the average baby has a better chance of surviving in Havana or Beijing; infant mortality rates are unacceptably high among those who cannot afford adequate healthcare, especially in the African-American community. And, finally, at the same time as Bush decided to veto the stem cell bill, Israeli bombs were taking the lives of hundreds of innocent Lebanese civilians, many of them children, with the tacit approval of the US. Fundamentalists do not want a humanly constructed peace; many, indeed, regard the UN as the abode of the Antichrist. The willingness of the US to turn a blind eye to the suffering of innocent people in Lebanon will certainly fuel the rage of the extremists and lead to further acts of terror. We can only hope that it does not take us all the way to Armageddon.
Republican Torture Laws Will Live in History
If we learned anything from the Nuremberg trials it is that citizens are responsible for what their government does in their name. The right wing of Congress, which has shed any last vestige of being anything remotely conservative in substance or American in spirit, has, like a deranged peacock, proudly shown the world that it can and did "happen here." The passing of the pro-torture bill is a full handover of everything democratic into the arms of fascism. Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves at the thought of how Bush -- the deranged man-child; Cheney -- the most criminally corrupt government official to have ever been put into office; and Rummy -- a war criminal even before the war in Iraq have together burned the Constitution while the nation watched Survivor.
Where Bush's Arrogance Has Taken Us
An illegal war, a long list of eroded rights, and a country run by and for the benefit of corporate campaign donors -- all courtesy of the imperial presidency. Forget about such niceties as separation of powers, checks and balances (crucial to the practice of democracy), the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and open government-these guys are on an autocratic tear. Whenever they've been challenged (all too rarely), they simply shout "war on terror," "commander-in-chief," "support our troops," "executive privilege," "I'm the decider," or some other slam-the-door political phrase designed to silence any opposition.
Subverting Democracy With the Big Lie
If representative government were alive and well in America, President Bush would not have dared to give the speech he made Monday on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. In a blatantly partisan screed, the president ripped off a nation's mourning for the 9/11 victims in order to justify his totally unrelated and disastrous invasion of Iraq. The president's shameless remarks on this solemn occasion were so rife with egregious distortions of fact and logic as to beg ridicule, let alone refutation by a free press, a sturdy political opposition party and an informed public. The model for this administration increasingly invites comparison with the madness that destroyed Rome, Germany and the Soviet Union: Authoritarianism that thrives on stoking paralyzing fear of the barbarians at the gate.
Democrats Are Set to Subpoena
WASHINGTON - Rep. Ike Skelton knows what he will do in one of his first acts as chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the Democratic-led House: resurrect the subcommittee on oversight and investigations. The panel was disbanded by the Republicans after they won control of Congress in 1994. Now, Skelton (D-Mo.) intends to use it as a forum to probe Pentagon spending and the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war.
He's Out, But Many Still Want Rumsfeld to Face War Crimes Charges
Though he is now the former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld is expected to be accused of war crimes in a lawsuit to be filed next week in Germany. The Center for Constitutional Rights will file the suit on behalf of a group of Iraqi detainees as well as the so-called 20th hijacker, who is currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. "The former secretary actually authorized a series of interrogation techniques," said Michael Ratner, President of CCR. "They included the use of dogs, stripping, hooding, stressed positions, chaining to the floor, sexual humiliation and those types of activities." Those techniques, he says, amount to torture and violate the Geneva Conventions. Ratner will be traveling to Berlin next week and plans to file the suit on Tuesday. [Editor: In fact the entire Bush administration should have charges brought against them for Crimes Against Humanity, in addition to being prosecuted for all of the War Crimes they have committed. The atrocities committed by team Bush are unforgivable by any standard of decency or humanity.]
To the delight of many around the globe, Donald Rumsfeld, architect of the Iraq invasion, has finally lost his place at the heart of the Bush administration.
Rumsfeld stepping down: to be replaced by Bush family crony
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld stepped down Wednesday, one day after congressional elections in which opposition to the war in Iraq contributed to heavy Republican Party losses. President George W. Bush said he would nominate Robert Gates, a former CIA director, to replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. Gates is the president of Texas A&M University and a close friend of the Bush family.
A History Lesson
Fifty years ago, two western powers conspired to invade an Arab country--in defiance of international law and world opinion. Guess which side the United States was on.
US missteps on foreign policy
JUST WHEN YOU think that US foreign policy couldn't possibly get worse, the Bush administration manages to take it down another notch. Iraq is a debacle; the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan; and Osama bin Laden is still at large. North Korea has become a nuclear weapons state and Iran's nuclear ambitions remain unchecked. The quixotic campaign to ``transform" the Middle East has fueled several violent conflicts and empowered Islamic extremists in Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon. This disastrous record is not just a run of bad luck. These setbacks occurred because the Bush administration's foreign policy rests on a deep misreading of contemporary world politics. Conducting foreign policy on the basis of flawed premises is like designing an airplane while ignoring gravity: it won't get off the ground, and if it does, it is bound to crash. What did the administration get so wrong?
The Martingale School of Foreign Policy
The Martingale System instructs gamblers to double their bets after each loss and when the odds fall in their favor, the theory goes, they'll gain it all back. But with a table limit on bets and funding limits on the players' wallets, the method has been proven faulty. Too bad Bush and his neocon cronies haven't learned that lesson. They bet we could win in Afghanistan, we're losing. Bush doubled the bet with Iraq, only to see greater losses. Now, some in the Beltway are talking Iran -- a bet with even higher stakes, when the United States can't even afford the ante.
Bush Fulfills Few Promises
Nearly half of New Orleans was still under water when President Bush stood in the Crescent City's historic Jackson Square and swore he would "do what it takes" to rebuild the communities and lives that had been laid to waste two weeks before by Hurricane Katrina. The job of clearing debris left by the storm remains unfinished, and has been plagued by accusations of fraud and price gouging. Tens of thousands of families still live in trailers or mobile homes, with no indication of when or how they will be able to obtain permanent housing. Important decisions about rebuilding and improving flood defenses have been delayed. And little if anything has been done to ensure the welfare of the poor in a rebuilt New Orleans.
A Handful of Neocons Are Instigating a Wider War
Will Americans join Iraqis, Lebanese, and Palestinians as neocon victims? What explains the indifference of the Bush administration to the slaughter of civilians in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza? As of the morning of July 19, Israeli bombardments of Lebanese civilian residential districts and public infrastructure have murdered 300 Lebanese, wounded 1,000, and displaced 500,000. The Lebanese prime minister said that Israel's attack has caused "unimaginable losses" and that his government will seek compensation from Israel. In Gaza, Israel has murdered scores of Palestinian civilians in the past few days. In Iraq, the civilian daily death toll has risen above 100. These dead are not Hezbollah militia. They are not Hamas militia. They are not al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents. They are civilians.
[Follow the Money] Bush's Brother Neil To Make Millions Off His Brother's "No Child Left Behind" Act...
Across the country, some teachers complain that President George W. Bush's makeover of public education promotes "teaching to the test." The President's younger brother Neil takes a different tack: He's selling to the test. The No Child Left Behind Act compels schools to prove students' mastery of certain facts by means of standardized exams. Pressure to perform has energized the $1.9 billion-a-year instructional software industry.
[Follow the Money] Bush's Brother Neil To Make Millions Off His Brother's "No Child Left Behind" Act...
Across the country, some teachers complain that President George W. Bush's makeover of public education promotes "teaching to the test." The President's younger brother Neil takes a different tack: He's selling to the test. The No Child Left Behind Act compels schools to prove students' mastery of certain facts by means of standardized exams. Pressure to perform has energized the $1.9 billion-a-year instructional software industry.
Torture by a Different Name
Bush's latest plo: call torture "alternative set of interrogation procedures" and get Congress to legalize it.
Desperate GOP Stoops to Lowest Fear Politics Imaginable
Republicans are ignoring U.S. intelligence in desperate political attack ads as they face huge losses in Congress in the fall elections. In effect, Bush and bin Laden share a common goal in Iraq. They both want U.S. forces to "stay the course." Recently disclosed internal al-Qaeda communiqués make clear that bin Laden's terrorist band is counting on a long-term U.S. occupation of Iraq to build its movement.
Bush's Political Survival Depends on Terror Threats
The president is trying for the third time to make terrorism his big campaign issue. An evil symbiosis does exist between Muslim terrorists and American politicians, but it is not the one Republicans describe. The jihadists need George W. Bush to sustain their cause. His bloody crusade in the Middle East bolsters their accusation that America is out to destroy Islam. The president has unwittingly made himself the lead recruiter of willing young martyrs. More to the point, it is equally true that Bush desperately needs the terrorists. They are his last frail hope for political survival. All we know, for sure, is that Bush and his handlers are not going to back off the fear-and-smear strategy until it loses an election for them. Maybe this will be the year.
Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions. This past week, the president dealt posse comitatus, along with American democracy, a near fatal blow. Consequently, it will take an aroused citizenry to undo the damage wrought by this horrendous act, part and parcel, as we have seen, of a long train of abuses and outrages perpetrated by this authoritarian administration. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS [Editor: We Are Michigan has not verified the claim made in this article.]
Bush Offers Himself Amnesty for Human Rights Crimes
The United States is following the lead of "dirty war" nations, such as Argentina and Chile, in enacting what amounts to an amnesty law protecting U.S. government operatives, apparently up to and including President George W. Bush, who have committed or are responsible for human rights crimes.
Bushwhacking the Privacy of Ordinary American's
This week, the Senate is planning to quietly hold a vote that would pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans without warrants. According to Senator Leahy, the bill would "...immunize officials who have violated federal law by authorizing such illegal activities." This bill would make it legal to wiretap Americans, in secret, without warrants or oversight, whenever the administration wants to. President Bush already has the authority to wiretap suspected terrorists—and we support that. In fact, his administration can tap anyone it likes as long as it gets an OK from a court a few days later. Congress should be trying to hold him accountable—that's their job. In fact, the legislation, if passed, would give the president unchecked power.
Here are some quick facts about the Cheney-Specter bill:
* It allows President Bush—and every president after him—to wiretap Americans indefinitely, in secret, without a warrant and without any oversight.
* It effectively pardons the president for any illegal behavior by forcing Congress to concede that he has the inherent authority to conduct the program—something federal courts, numerous legal experts and many leading Republicans disagree with.
* It completely guts FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) which has protected the privacy of Americans against illegal wiretaps for close to 30 years.
* It prevents any legal challenges from taking place in the public court system. Instead, it moves all cases to a secret court, where only Bush administration officials can argue it.
* It would help "immunize" any officials who broke the law in this program from being held accountable in the future.
Since the program was exposed in December of last year, we've learned that President Bush personally blocked a Justice Department investigation of the program, Vice President Cheney also personally intervened to stop telecom companies from testifying to Congress about it, and a federal court recently ruled the program unconstitutional. In an effort to protect himself from further consequences, the president is pressuring Congress to let him off the hook. This is an important issue and it will help remind Americans, in an election year, what Republicans are all about—accumulating power for themselves, and trampling the system of checks and balances designed to stop that.
The chickenhawk plays chicken with national security
George W. Bush stepped into the Rose Garden for a press conference Friday and threw more dirt in the hole where he buried America's long, inspiring heritage as a force for good in the world. Even the talking heads on cable news were flabbergasted by the president's attitude on legislation regarding terrorist interrogation and trial. "Belligerent," summed up Republican David Gergen, an advisor to four presidents. Which is a nice way of explaining how the megalomaniac in the Rose Garden could threaten to completely abandon a program -- one he's said for years is essential to national security -- because some people disagree with him on the details. Of course, those people happen to be among our most respected voices in military and security matters. Including Colin Powell, Bush's one-time Secretary of State, a 35-year soldier who rose from 2nd Lieutenant to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sen. John Warner, a Marine Korean War vet and former Secretary of the Navy. Sen. Lindsey Graham, an Air Force judge advocate during the Gulf War, now a colonel in the Reserves. And Sen. John McCain, a naval aviator who was rotting away in the Hanoi Hilton while Bush was skipping physicals in the Texas Air National Guard, having specifically declined overseas (translation: Vietnam) service and, ultimately, failing to even complete the term of service he signed up for. These are the men who, as administration stooges like Cheney and Snow like to put it, are "confused" about our detainee program. They insist that it's the deserter in the Oval Office who should be trusted. Never in its history has this nation's security and sense of well-being depended so much on someone so small, so hateful, and so traumatized by his own (justified) feelings of inadequacy that he would play chicken with Congress to prove how manly he is.
At U.N., Chavez calls Bush 'the devil'
President Hugo Chavez took his verbal battle with the United States to the floor of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, stating "The devil came here yesterday," ... "He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world."
What's Wrong With Calling Bush A Devil?
Conservatives were quick to lash out at Hugo Chavez for calling President Bush a "devil," but that's exactly what Rush Limbaugh was calling Democrats only a few years ago.
Bush spying is unconstitutional
A federal judge in Detroit, Anna Diggs Taylor, has ruled that Bush's NSA spying program is a violation of the Constitution. The lawsuits have alleged that NSA program violated the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as a number of federal statutes, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The defendants included AT&T and the federal government.
Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes[in order to save himself from prosecution]
The US War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a felony to commit grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush administration is quietly circulating draft legislation to eliminate crucial parts of the War Crimes Act. Observers on The Hill say the Administration plans to slip it through Congress this fall while there still is a guaranteed Republican majority--perhaps as part of the military appropriations bill, the proposals for Guantánamo tribunals or a new catch-all "anti-terrorism" package.
Republican Torture Laws Will Live in History
If we learned anything from the Nuremberg trials it is that citizens are responsible for what their government does in their name. The right wing of Congress, which has shed any last vestige of being anything remotely conservative in substance or American in spirit, has, like a deranged peacock, proudly shown the world that it can and did "happen here." The passing of the pro-torture bill is a full handover of everything democratic into the arms of fascism. Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves at the thought of how Bush -- the deranged man-child; Cheney -- the most criminally corrupt government official to have ever been put into office. I reported last November that since the start of US aggressions in Afghanistan and Iraq, roughly 70 thousand men, women, and children had been detained and in many cases tortured. Of the 35,000 detained in Iraq, only 638, or roughly 2%, were ever tried for any crime.
Inside the Feds' Secret Wiretapping Rooms
Although it may appear as if Congress is about to put restraints on the Bush administration's wiretapping programs, the three "reform bills" now up for a vote all paint a deceptive picture of the massive domestic surveillance programs that the government has up and running. Because several ongoing invasion-of-privacy lawsuits could expose the extent of the illegal wiretapping, the administration is seeking via these bills to shunt the lawsuits into a secret court, where they will die.
'Maverick' GOP Senators Cave to Torture President
This is a president you can't trust on anything. I mean that literally. On this very issue, the president has lied before and said he would agree to a compromise worked out on torture before - and then reneged on the deal by attaching a signing statement to the bill saying he would not follow the wording on torture. The man just can't get enough of torture. He is an addict. Even these high profile interventions can't stop him. Maybe we need to bring in a heavy hitter to take care of this problem. The same man who helped Bush beat his other addictions - Jesus Christ. Though, there is some chance if Jesus himself came down and told Bush to stop torturing people, he still wouldn't do it. Cheney would convince him Jesus was soft on defense. For kicks, the senators also threw in the concession that the prisoners will not be able to enforce any rights they might have because they will be held in a lawless state. Again, this is literal. They will have no right to habeas corpus. No recourse to the courts. They will only have the legendary compassion of George Bush to comfort them. So, in the end, the president who started out by claiming to be a compassionate conservative will go down in history as The Torture President. Just when you thought Bush's legacy couldn't get any worse.
The Bush-Is-An-Idiot Camp Grows
It is getting harder for conservatives to ignore the president's intellectual shallowness. In the meantime, the plan-free war continues, and the Bush-backers mainly duck that uncomfortable issue: whether this war is too much for the man who launched it. That does appear to be the big elephant in the room. And it seems that even conservatives and Republicans are finding it difficult to ignore its smell.
New Documents Indicate Government Conducted Undercover Surveillance of Student Groups
The Department of Defense (DOD) has confirmed it conducted surveillance, on a more extensive level than previously reported, of student groups. Some of that surveillance, new documents suggests, may have been part of an undercover Pentagon operation. The information was released only after SLDN appealed an earlier refusal by the agency to release information related to domestic surveillance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
Bush's Terror Tales
There is something sad about a grown man playing children's make-believe war games in a tree-house in grandpa's back yard—which is how George W. Bush came across Thursday night in his speech on the importance of winning the war in Iraq in the global battle against terrorism. Rarely does a leader of a great country like the United States malign history, his people's intelligence and the dignity of over a billion Muslims in one speech. But Bush did that Thursday night and will probably keep doing it for a while.
Top CIA Expert Slams Bush Anti-Terror Actions
The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) recently retired top expert on radical Islamists has strongly denounced the conduct of U.S. President George W. Bush's "global war on terrorism" and the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq, which he said is "contributing to the violence".
Poll Finds Most Americans Displeased With Congress
By overwhelming margins, respondents said that members of Congress were too tied to special interests and that they did not understand the needs and problems of average Americans. Just 25 percent said they approved of the way Congress was doing its job. The Times/CBS News poll also found that President Bush did not improve his own or his party’s standing through the intense campaign of speeches he made and events he attended surrounding the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The speeches were at the heart of a Republican strategy to thrust national security to the forefront in the fall elections. Mr. Bush’s job approval rating is virtually unchanged from the last Times poll.
Campaigners accuse leaders of 'war crimes'
The governments of Tony Blair and George Bush have been charged with war crimes by a distinguished group of anti-war campaigners, who are calling for an investigation by the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, into breaches of international law. The charges were sent to Mr Annan and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, last night, with a demand that the investigation should go beyond the Prime Minister and the US President to all those involved in setting the policy decisions that led to abuses including the ill-treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. "These charges are carefully documented and we want those responsible to be held to account," Mr Benn said. "We are talking about the top people, not just Bush and Blair, but ministers, generals, who were responsible for the decisions that led to prisoners being inhumanely treated or sexually abused." The charges will be read out at the weekend at a London conference.
ABSURD’S THE WORD:Condoleezza Rice versus Harold Pinter
It’s happening, isn’t it? The fog is lifting. Enormous shifts of opinion at the last minute. And not just about the wars. About the belief system that sustains the wars, the dark hearts of those who run the wars, the malice of a media that sells the wars. The climax has been a long time coming and is still unfolding. The Wicked Witch of the West flies to Europe to deliver a major speech, one that explains why US torture isn’t really torture. To deprive a wounded suspect of sleep, stand him in a freezing cell for “long hours”, tie him “feet-up to a water board” and dunk him under water until the brink of death, is within the law. How come? Because President Bush says so. This is absurd. And that’s the point. The Rice doctrine, first delivered at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland on Dec 5, and since re-iterated during her European whistle stop, is a tactic that pushes the art of spin beyond the edge of sanity. It does for truth what the Atomic bomb did for Hiroshima.
Art, truth and politics
In his video-taped Nobel acceptance speech, Harold Pinter excoriated a 'brutal, scornful and ruthless' United States. This is the full text of his address: In 1958 I wrote the following: 'There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.' I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?
The Crimes of the United States Have Been Systematic, Constant
Harold Pinter, British playwright and this year's Nobel Literature prize winner, on Wednesday delivered a searing attack on US foreign policy. As controversy regarding extraordinary renditions and allegations of US torture continued, Pinter criticized Washington for the war in Iraq and "supporting every right-wing military dictatorship" of the past 50 years.
Iraq war was 'blatant state terrorism': Nobel laureate Pinter
In a fierce critic ahead of the Nobel awards ceremony, literature laureate Harold Pinter branded the war on Iraq "an act of blatant state terrorism" and demanded the prosecutions of US President George W. Bush and Britain's Tony Blair. "The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law.
Who Must Really Answer for 9/11?
Republicans running for re-election believe the American public will swallow another batch of lies and distortions about 9/11 -- but this time, Democrats are pushing back.
Plame faults Bush aides for 'shameful conduct'
Valerie Plame yesterday accused the Bush administration of "shameful conduct" in the leak of information to reporters about her job at the CIA, saying the "outing" forced a premature end to her career at the agency.
Bush's Puts the Move on German chancellor at International Conference
"You could use this video for sexual harassment training. It's something you'd show and say, "No one in a boss' position should be doing that," Whetstone said. "This is a guy whose favorite quote is, 'I'm a leader,' said Whetstone. "Leadership is knowing protocol, knowing you don't diminish other leaders. Diplomacy is about respect. Leaders should not act that way.'' Janette Gitler, a Marin County-based media and strategic planning consultant, says that Americans can "add it to the long list of embarrassing moments for our president.'' She said that if Bush were a media training client, she'd be "horrified that someone of his stature would behave in such undignified and inappropriate'' ways. "Obviously, the president isn't included in any kind of sensitivity training at the White House ... because it's clear from the video that (Merkel) didn't appreciate it,'' Gitler said. "I'm sure she didn't want to humiliate him, but you don't give her many options.''
Bush is Crap, Says British Deputy Prime Minister
John Prescott has given vent to his private feelings about the Bush presidency, summing up George Bush's administration in a single word: crap. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, seen here in May 2006, has denied a front-page report in a major newspaper that he had called US President George Bush "crap" and "a cowboy". The Deputy Prime Minister's condemnation of President Bush and his approach to the Middle East could cause a diplomatic row but it will please Labour MPs who are furious about Tony Blair's backing of the United States over the bombing of Lebanon.
Nine Ways Republicans Are Ruining the Country
Say it loud, say it often, "Republicans are bad on national security." Every Democrat running for national office -- and local offices too, why not? -- should say, "I'm running because Republicans are bad on national security." Here's why...
Could Bush Be Prosecuted for War Crimes?
A Nuremberg chief prosecutor says there is a case for trying Bush for the 'supreme crime against humanity, an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.'
The Best President Since Bill Clinton
Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history. In early 2004, an informal survey of 415 historians conducted by the nonpartisan History News Network found that eighty-one percent considered the Bush administration a "failure." According to the Treasury Department, the forty-two presidents who held office between 1789 and 2000 borrowed a combined total of $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions. But between 2001 and 2005 alone, the Bush White House borrowed $1.05 trillion, more than all of the previous presidencies combined. Having inherited the largest federal surplus in American history in 2001, he has turned it into the largest deficit ever -- with an even higher deficit, $423 billion, forecast for fiscal year 2006.
The Ugly Truth About the President
You know it, I know it and the American people know it. But everyone is afraid to say it. They say it privately, but people are afraid of saying it publicly because you will be branded as a liberal, elite, intellectual snob. But believe me, you don't have to be an intellectual to see how painfully stupid our president is.
A Nice Mess Our President Has Made for US
It doesn't take much of a foreign affairs background to predict that such an all-out assault on the Palestinian people would elicit a response from the Palestinian people's closest ally, the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, and respond Hezbollah did. Now there may be those in Israel's right-wing government who wanted Hezbollah to attack, giving Israel a pretext to move back into Lebanon and to unleash its American-provided and American taxpayer-financed weaponry against the Palestinian and Lebanese backers of a Palestinian state residing in Lebanon. There may even be those in Israel who for their own insane reasons want an excuse to expand the current bloody war further into Syria, which is a backer of Hezbollah. But where are America's interests here?
Bush confronts limits of power
Topping the crisis list is Iraq, where U.S.-led forces are locked in an unpopular war with no end in sight. Conditions have also started deteriorating in Afghanistan, another Texas-sized country where Washington thought it had the situation under control. The predicament of the world's lone superpower, tied down fighting a bloody insurgency in Iraq more than three years after toppling Saddam Hussein, apparently has emboldened America's foes elsewhere. Even some of Bush's longtime conservative supporters have started criticizing his approach to world affairs.
GOP Leaders Plan All-Out Assault on Federal Protections
Rushing to lock in a long-sought goal before the fall elections, GOP congressional leaders may bring to a vote within weeks a proposal that could literally wipe out any federal program that protects public health or the environment - or for that matter civil rights, poverty programs, auto safety, education, affordable housing, Head Start, workplace safety or any other activity targeted by anti-regulatory forces. With strong support from the Bush White House and the Republican Study Committee, the proposal would create a "sunset commission" - an unelected body with the power to recommend whether a program lives or dies, and then move its recommendations through Congress on a fast-track basis with limited debate and no amendments.
Bush Is Not Incompetent
Bush's bumbling folksiness causes progressives to disregard him -- but he has been overwhelmingly competent in advancing his harmful conservative agenda.
Bush's Sick Vision of 'Democracy'
Perhaps the nation would be better served if all members of government simply played ring around the rosy or a good hearty game of tag, because this pantomime of a fully functioning system of checks and balances is an insult to those of us who actually believe in democracy.
Cheney Really Wants US Dictator
The United States is caught up in a new campaign for a military dictatorship -- rule by a military chief with absolute power. The White House, inspired by Vice President Dick Cheney, has argued that in time of great danger, the president has unlimited powers as commander in chief. If he cites "national security" he can do whatever he wants -- ignore Congress, disobey laws, disregard the courts, override the Constitution's Bill of Rights -- without being subject to any review. Separation of powers no longer exists. The president need not consult Congress or the courts. Moreover the rights of the commander in chief to act as a military dictator lasts as long as the national emergency persists, indefinitely that is and permanently.
Bush: Nation cringes as the worst president ever continues long, painful slog to the end
Everyone I know has had enough. Everyone I know is just about done. There is this threshold of happy deadened disgust. I was having cocktails recently with a group of people, among whom were two lifetime Republicans. Bush came up, as a topic, as a cancer, as a fetid miasma in the air. They were both shaking their heads. They were sighing heavily. They were both, in a word, disgusted. The more staunchly conservative of the two even went so far as to say he was so embarrassed and humiliated by this president, by this administration, so appalled at all the war atrocities and the wiretapping and the misuse of law, the fiscal irresponsibility and the abuse of the lower classes and the outright arrogance, that if the Dems could somehow produce a decent moderate candidate with a brain, he'd have zero problem switching allegiances and voting for him. Or her.
Knives, rifles and a whip. Are Bush's gift-givers trying to say something?
A braided leather whip, a sniper rifle, six jars of fertiliser and a copy of the "Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" were among the presents foreign leaders have given George Bush. They are clearly trying to tell him something. The inventory of official gifts from 2004, published this week by the state department reads like the wish list of the sort of paranoid survivalist who holes up in his log cabin to await Armageddon, having long ago severed all ties with the rest of the world.
A President Rebuked
The Supreme Court's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision is to Bush what the Pentagon Papers were to Nixon: a devastating rebuke of a President who thought he had a blank check and a clear affirmation of human rights and the rule of law.
Requiem for Bush's Unipolar Dream?
For [Bush and Cheney], a 'multi-polar world' in which all countries do not simply defer to the U.S. is as repulsive as a political system in which they must compromise not only with Congress as a co-equal branch of government, but even with Democrats. The man whose efforts to install a national order based on the dominance of the executive and a compliant Congress and a global order based primarily on U.S. military power and compliant "coalitions of the willing" now finds both under unprecedented challenge -- from the Supreme Court to Somalia. The latest and boldest challenge, of course, was this week's launch by North Korea of at least seven missiles -- on the Fourth of July, no less -- despite the president's explicit warning less than a week before that such a move was "unacceptable".
Conservatives want Bush and the GOP O-U-T
Even conservatives want to serve Republicans some good old fashioned shoo-fly pie.
Despite the GOP's BS reform bill, passed with the help of "The Feckless Four" Democrats who lent their name to the congressional bamboozle, the GOP is up the proverbial creek. BLOG
They terrorize other government officials, and they’re so secretive that their names aren’t even revealed to a harmless federal employee directory. And they’ve helped ruin the country. Meet Dick Cheney’s staff.
The Lie Behind the Secrets
Government secrecy in the name of national security has reached record-setting proportions. In case after case, the government has used it as an excuse to thwart lawsuits by whistle-blowers and people with grievances against the United States. When the government claims the "state secrets privilege," the courts tend to look no further, and the cases are dismissed. It was invoked only four times in the first 23 years after the U.S. Supreme Court created the privilege in 1953, but now the government is claiming the privilege to dismiss lawsuits at a rate of more than three a year. The Justice Department describes this tactic as an "absolute privilege" — in effect, a neutron bomb that leaves no plaintiff standing. Can we trust the government...?
U.S Govenment Censoring Our Formerly "Free" Press [just like Hitler did?]
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information. The nation's top law enforcer also said the government will not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation, but officials would not do so routinely and randomly.
Sex, Lies and Govenment Contracts
A corruption scandal involving Republicans in Congress, CIA officials, prostitutes on Capitol Hill, and defense contracts has begun to spread.
Bush's Band of War-Happy Simpletons
The whole Iranian matter is fraught with awful irony and echoes of mistakes made in Iraq. Consider, for example, the irony of America inflicting a nuclear strike on the people of Iran in the name of stopping nuclear proliferation. Are the Bushies totally insensate? Or are they simply stupid?
We have found that the Republicans are really good at telling you when you can be born, they're good at telling you when you can die, but not very good at the stuff in between. ~Kos
A Culture of Corruption
Money is choking our democracy to death. Our elections are bought out from under us and our public officials are doing the bidding of mercenaries. So powerful is the hold of wealth on politics that we cannot say America is working for all Americans. The majority may support such broad social goals as affordable medical coverage for all, decent wages for working people, safe working conditions, a secure retirement, and clean air and water, but there is no government "of, by, and for the people" to deliver on those aspirations.
Former top judge says US risks edging near to dictatorship
Sandra Day O'Connor, a Republican-appointed judge who retired last month after 24 years on the supreme court, has said the US is in danger of edging towards dictatorship if the party's rightwingers continue to attack the judiciary. In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University, reported by National Public Radio and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Ms O'Connor took aim at Republican leaders whose repeated denunciations of the courts for alleged liberal bias could, she said, be contributing to a climate of violence against judges. Ms O'Connor, nominated by Ronald Reagan as the first woman supreme court justice, declared: "We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary." LISTEN
White House in Collapse
White House chief of staff Andrew Card, President Bush's efficient longtime confidant and right-hand man, voluntarily left the pinnacle of power on Friday with his head held high, surrounded by bipartisan applause. He departed just in time. Immediately things not only turned sour but went public. The White House is crumbling internally. President Bush seems bewildered, no longer in charge. He wanders around the country talking about health savings accounts and other small-bore projects that mean little to most people. Nobody is listening.
Why does Bush have Americans kicked out of his talks? (video)
We learn exactly why Bush carefully scripts all interaction with the public from this courageous stand. American citizen Harry Taylor on the mic: "'I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration,’ Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. ‘And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself.'"
What’s Become of Americans?
When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out not to be true, I expected the American people to rise up. They didn't. Then, when the Abu Ghraib torture thing surfaced and it was revealed that our government participated in rendition, a practice where we kidnap people and turn them over to régimes who specialize in torture, I was sure then the American people would be heard from. We stood mute. Then came the news that we jailed thousands of so-called terrorist suspects, locked them up without the right to a trial or even the right to confront their accusers. Certainly, we would never stand for that. We did.
The Latest White House Whopper
Bush's newest defense of his rush to war in Iraq is another doozy in a regular stream of lies and deception coming from the Oval Office.
Bush's Words Were False
A newly declassified State Department memo provides the first hard evidence that the Bush administration manipulated and ignored intelligence in their thirst for war.
Bush's Nutty Nuclear Braggadocio
The quandary in which Bush finds himself regarding Iran’s apparent quest for nuclear weapons is only the latest example in an astonishing series of national security blunders. First, he vacationed while a crescendo of intelligence warnings of imminent terrorist attack blossomed into the spectacle of Sept. 11, 2001. Then, he allowed the mastermind of those attacks, Osama bin Laden, to escape while diverting U.S. resources into Iraq to save the world from Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent WMDs. Now, tied down in Iraq’s civil strife, Bush holds no high cards in a dangerous poker match with Iran.
Forrest Gump's Dumber Brother America at large is starting to realize -- finally -- that President Bush is exactly as stupid as he looks, sounds and acts.
Your Tax Money and You
Most American's say that they'd willingly pay taxes for a better healthcare system, stronger schools, or other parts of a just, effective government, but would you like to see where most of the money really goes?
Cheney's $1.9 Million Tax Refund
Vice President Cheney and his wife Lynne brought in a gross household income of $8,819,006. After they gave a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of that to charity, the family's taxable income was $1,961,157. But because so much cash went through their accounts, the IRS withheld a whole lot more than the Cheneys owe -- the result being, and I hope you're sitting down here, a roughly $1.9 million tax refund.
A Culture of Corruption
Money is choking our democracy to death. Our elections are bought out from under us and our public officials are doing the bidding of mercenaries. So powerful is the hold of wealth on politics that we cannot say America is working for all Americans. The majority may support such broad social goals as affordable medical coverage for all, decent wages for working people, safe working conditions, a secure retirement, and clean air and water, but there is no government "of, by, and for the people" to deliver on those aspirations.
Insiders Against the World
The leadership class in the US is now dominated by a neo-conservative group of some 200 people who have the shared goal of asserting US military power worldwide. This Global Dominance Group, in cooperation with major military contractors, has become a powerful force in military unilateralism and US political processes.
Bush Declares Himself Above the Law
In 2003, while pledging to fire anyone in his administration found to have leaked the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Wilson to journalists, President George Bush intoned that he did not know of "anybody in my administration who leaked classified information." Pick your favorite Bush quote on this topic; there are countless good ones, now that we learn that former Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, when forced by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to testify under oath to save his own skin, fingered both Bush and his former boss, Dick Cheney. We're so accustomed to the lies of George Bush being uncovered after the fact, we don't even notice any longer.
In Bush we trust
By pandering to Christian zealots, Bush has come close to establishing a national religious party. But reality is crashing in.
Staff shake-up a bad sign for Bush
In a White House known for both defiance and optimism, Wednesday’s senior staff changes represent a frank acknowledgment of the trouble in which President Bush finds himself.
Bush press secretary quits
President George W. Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan, resigned on Wednesday and senior adviser Karl Rove gave up the policy-development part of his job in yet another White House shake-up. [The rats continue to flee from under Bush]
Phone-Jamming Records Point to White House
Bush campaign operative James Tobin of Bangor, Maine, arrives at U.S. District Court in Concord, N.H., Dec. 6, 2005, for trial on charges of helping jam Democrats get-out-the vote phone lines in New Hampshire on Election Day 2002. Democrats are scheduled to ask a federal judge Tuesday, April 11, 2006, to order GOP and White House officials to answer questions about the phone jamming in a civil lawsuit alleging voter fraud. The national Republican Party, which paid millions in legal bills to defend Tobin, says the contacts involved routine election business and that it was "preposterous" to suggest the calls involved phone jamming.
If he wasn't creepy enough already: DeLay's Next Mission From God
Tom DeLay may look as though he's finished because he is quitting Congress, facing a trial on felony political corruption charges in Texas and being targeted by federal prosecutors in the Jack Abramoff scandal. But that would be dead wrong: DeLay recently told one of his pastors that God wanted him to leave Congress because He has bigger plans for DeLay. That pastor, the Rev. Rick Scarborough, introduced DeLay to a Christian conference just last week, saying, "This is a man, I believe, God has appointed . . . to represent righteousness in government." So mark those words. DeLay may be leaving Congress, but he will be back with a vengeance, in a new and potentially more powerful role, because he is a ferociously determined man who believes he is on a politico-religious mission from God.
Bush is Guilty of Obstruction of Justice
“Obstruction of justice, in a common law state, refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials. Often, no actual investigation or substantiated suspicion of a specific incident need exist to support a charge of obstruction of justice.”
Sky's the limit
Where's the responsibility that Bush promised in 2001? The increase will be the fourth such hike in five years, for a total rise in the national credit limit of more than $3 trillion. During his time in office, President Bush has presided over a 46 percent increase in the federal debt, from about $5.6 trillion. Put another way, Mr. Bush has managed to rack up more new debt during his five years in office than the entire debt amassed by the United States from 1776 through 1988. Remember: This is the president who entered office promising to pay off $2 trillion in debt held by the public over the next decade. Far from being paid down, the debt held by the public has grown, from $3.3 trillion in 2001 to $5 trillion this year.
Another Rat Flees from D.C.
Representative Tom DeLay, the relentless Texan who helped lead House Republicans to power but became ensnared in a corruption scandal, has decided to leave Congress, House officials said Monday night. DeLay has resigned his House seat in disgrace, acknowledging that his misconduct has brought such scorn to his party that it could lose control of Congress this November. President Bush, now supported by only 34% of his citizens, is shaking up his staff and hitting the road in a desperate attempt to appear competent and on a rational course. The wheels are coming off of the conservative wagon.
‘Impeach Bush’ chorus grows
The movement to impeach President George W Bush over the war on terror began with a few tatty bumper stickers on the back of battered old Volvos and slogans such as “Bush lied, people died” on far-left websites. But as Democrat hopes rise of gaining control of Congress this autumn, dreams of impeaching Bush are no longer confined to the political fringe.
Top Republicans Saying Bush's Foreign Policy Strategies Don't Work...
Even as it presents an updated national security strategy, the Bush administration is facing fresh doubts from some Republicans who say its emphasis on promoting democracy around the world has come at the expense of protecting other American interests. The second thoughts signify a striking change in mood over one of President Bush's cherished tenets, pitting Republicans who call themselves realists against the neoconservatives who saw the invasion of Iraq as a catalyst for change and who remain the most vigorous advocates of a muscular American campaign to foster democratic movements.
Don't Impeach; Impale
I don't know about you guys, but I am so sick and tired of these lying, thieving, holier-than-thou, right-wing, cruel, crude, rude, gauche, coarse, crass, cocky, corrupt, dishonest, debauched, degenerate, dissolute, swaggering, lawyer shooting, bullhorn shouting, infrastructure destroying, hysterical, history defying, finger- pointing, puppy stomping, roommate appointing, pretzel choking, collateral damaging, aspersion casting, wedding party bombing, clear cutting, torturing, jobs outsourcing, torture outsourcing, "so-called" compassionate-conservative, women's rights eradicating, Medicare cutting, uncouth, spiteful, boorish, vengeful, noxious, homophobic, xenophobic, xylophonic, racist, sexist, ageist, fascist, cashist, audaciously stupid, brazenly selfish, lethally ignorant, journalist purchasing, genocide ignoring, corporation kissing, poverty inducing, crooked, coercive, autocratic, primitive, uppity, high-handed, domineering, arrogant, inhuman, inhumane, insolent, know-it-all, snotty, pompous, contemptuous, supercilious, gutless, spineless, shameless, avaricious, poisonous, imperious, merciless, graceless, tactless, brutish, brutal, Karl Roving, backward thinking, persistent vegetative state grandstanding, nuclear option threatening, evolution denying, irony deprived, depraved, insincere, conceited, perverted, pre-emptory invading of a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, 35-day-vacation taking, bribe soliciting, incapable, inbred, hellish, proud for no apparent reason, smarty pants, loudmouth, bullying, swell-headed, ethnic cleansing, ethics-eluding, domestic spying,...
When Americans No Longer Own America
The Dubai Ports World deal is waking Americans up to a painful reality: So-called "conservatives" and "flat world" globalists have bankrupted our nation for their own bag of silver, and in the process are selling off America. Through a combination of the "Fast Track" authority pushed for by Reagan and GHW Bush, sweetheart trade deals involving "most favored nation status" for dictatorships like China, and Clinton pushing us into NAFTA and the WTO (via GATT), we've abandoned the principles of tariff-based trade that built American industry and kept us strong for over 200 years. The old concept was that if there was a dollar's worth of labor in a pair of shoes made in the USA, and somebody wanted to import shoes from China where there may only be ten cents worth of labor in those shoes, we'd level the playing field for labor by putting a 90-cent import tariff on each pair of shoes. Companies could choose to make their products here or overseas, but the ultimate cost of labor would be the same.
Are We Blind?
We are living way beyond our means and improperly using statistics that distort reality and misleadingly show that things are wonderful. We are importing more, producing less in American-owned factories, and selling off our irreplaceable wealth-producing companies and other assets to pay for imports and debt.
Twilight's Last Gleaming
Who are these people? These people who line their pockets with the lives of our loved ones? These gray men who lurk in shadows and kill the sunshine of democracy? These people who wear morality like a cheap suit pilfered from the collection plate of decency? Who are these people who have turned America into their own personal ATM machine? This is twilight's last gleaming. Attention must be paid. Democracy is dying.
For Bush's Aide, Quick Fall After Long Climb
Claude A. Allen often said his religious upbringing took him from a two-room apartment in a poor neighborhood of Washington to a post at the White House. "Probably the vast majority of the kids who grew up in our neighborhood were either strung out on drugs or in jail or dead," Mr. Allen, one of the nation's most prominent African-American Republicans, said in a televised interview. Last week, Mr. Allen, the president's former domestic policy adviser, was arrested in suburban Maryland and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from Target and other stores in a scheme to fake returns.
Lawmaker wants Bush censured
In a development that turns the political spotlight on the White House, a leading Democratic lawmaker has asked the Senate to censure President George Bush for his role in the controversial domestic wiretap programme. Senator Russel Feingold, the three-term lawmaker from Wisconsin has said that the Senate should publicly admonish Bush for eavesdropping on Americans without a court order. If the lawmaker's demand is considered, Bush could become the second President in US history to be censured.
Rags-to-riches Bush aide on fraud charges
A former Bush aide known for his "holier than thou" moralising has been charged with serial fraud in the latest embarrassment for a White House which has prided itself on its discipline.
They Know They Broke the Law
Bush and the boys have taken to the road this week to defend the indefensible. To wit: spying on American citizens without a warrant is fine and dandy, because the President can do whatever he wants, because laws are meaningless in the main, because Osama may be under your bed sharpening his cutlass. The road trip started in Kansas and will wend its way hither and yon, spreading bad information and flat-out lies at every whistle-stop. A defining moment of glittering idiocy took place on this road trip during an exchange with reporters on Monday. General Michael Hayden, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and former director of the National Security Agency, was tapped to be the responsible face of the intelligence community for this junket. The façade didn't hold up for long.
Bush's Carnival Tricks
With the Bush administration, it's important to have in mind the old carnival con game: Keep your eye on the shell with the pea under it. Among the many curious aspects of the administration's approval of the Dubai Ports World takeover of operations at six major ports (and as many as 21) is this exemption from normally routine restrictions. It makes DP World harder to sue and less subject to American regulation. The lovely thing about the ports deal causing such a commotion is that it allows us to bring attention to this fairly obscure provision, which is, in fact, part of a wave of similar special exemptions that's starting to turn into a flood. Here's an example of how it works: Just before Christmas last year, in a spectacular example of a straight power play, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert pulled off a backroom legislative deal to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits. The language was slipped into a Defense Department appropriations bill at the last minute without the approval of members of the House-Senate conference committee meeting on the bill. Lots of players were outraged at the short- circuiting of the legislative process. [NOTE: Frist has received over $270,000 in contributions from the drug industry and has long advocated liability protection for vaccine makers.]
Connecting the Dots of Cheney's Crimes
Goodness gracious! Could it be that comedians are doing a better job of connecting the dots regarding Dick Cheney's high crimes and misdemeanors than are the unintentionally ridiculous members of the White House press corps?
US interrogation tactics slammed
The U.S. government's strategy of abusing terror suspects during interrogation has seriously undermined its credibility as a global defender of human rights, and that Bush policies have led to an increase in terrorism in the world. The report says that while the United States was not the worst violator of the international ban on torture, it is the most influential.
Al Gore speech on abuses of our Democracy by Bush
Congressman Barr and I have disagreed many times over the years, but we have joined together today with thousands of our fellow citizens-Democrats and Republicans alike-to express our shared concern that America’s Constitution is in grave danger.
The Impeachment of George W. Bush
Finally, it has started. People have begun to speak of impeaching President George W. Bush--not in hushed whispers but openly, in newspapers, on the Internet, in ordinary conversations and even in Congress. Impeachment is a tortuous process, but now that President Bush has thrown down the gauntlet and virtually dared Congress to stop him from violating the law, nothing less is necessary to protect our constitutional system and preserve our democracy.
Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'
Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act. GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. “I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.” “Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.” “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” [Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining document of our government, the final source to determine – in the end – if something is legal or right. Every federal official – including the President – who takes an oath of office swears to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."]
Europe warns the U.S. over secret jails
The EU has also asked the US to confirm the existence of secret CIA military jails, which almost certainly breach the European convention on human rights and the international convention against torture.
US Readies Public Statement on Alleged Secret Prisons
U.S. officials have up to now refused to either confirm or deny the existence of the alleged detention sites, reports of which have sparked a political controversy in Europe and demands for a U.S. clarification. Media reports suggest violations of international law in the alleged U.S. covert prison system that has at various times included sites in eight countries in Europe and Asia. [Will the people of the world ever trust the U.S. again after all of the illegal Bush administration atrocities?]
American's Waking Up - Bush Going Down
(UPI) -- President George Bush`s popularity is at an all-time low with a majority of U.S. adults questioning his integrity, a new poll indicated Friday. Growing doubts about his leadership produced negative ratings on the economy, Iraq and even the war on terrorism. The survey showed Bush`s popularity had never been lower on almost every key measure of presidential character and performance. Further, nearly 6 in 10 said they have doubts about Bush`s honesty
Corrupt Bush ally resigns in shame
LOS ANGELES: US congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a senior Californian Republican, broke down as he resigned yesterday after pleading guilty in court to taking bribes, including cash, a yacht and a Rolls-Royce. The case is the latest scandal to rock President George W.Bush's Republicans who dominate US Congress. Former house majority leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, was indicted in September on charges of breaking his state's campaign finance laws. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating stock sales by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, and vice-presidential aide Lewis Libby was also charged last month with perjury over the leaking of a CIA operative's name. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement the Cunningham case was "just the latest example of the culture of corruption that pervades the Republican-controlled Congress."
Libby, lies and the casualties of war
And you thought Watergate was bad. Tricky Dick's ignoble legacy should pale in comparison to the trouble that's brewing now in Washington. When Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 28, we witnessed the birth of the biggest White House scandal in American history. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, appointed by the Republicans, charged Libby with lying to the grand jury, lying to FBI agents and obstructing the federal investigation of the White House's coverup of the lies it told the public to justify the war in Iraq. Top Bush aide Karl Rove remains under investigation for similar charges. [Cheney and Bush should also be charged with crimes against the world and American people]
Harper's Magazine: We Now Live in a Fascist State
Knowing the source of this piece makes it all the more disturbing. It is not every day that the editor of a respected national magazine publishes an essay claiming that America is not on the road to becoming, but ALREADY IS, a fascist state.... or words to that affect. To help prepare you for what follows, here are the final sentence from this piece.... [I think we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police.]
Congress Seeks to Cut Food Aid for Poor
Under orders to cut agriculture spending by $3 billion, Republicans in Congress propose reducing food programs for the poor by $574 million and conservation programs by $1 billion. The $574 million cut in food stamps would come from restricting access to this benefit for certain families that receive other government assistance. The restriction would shut an estimated 300,000 people out of the program.
Bush dogged by charges of cronyism
WASHINGTON — The political buzzword "cronyism" got a vigorous workout in Washington this week, as critics attacked US President George W Bush's alleged penchant for putting close friends in key administration posts, regardless of whether or not they are qualified for the job.
Our Arrogance Will be the End of Us
"At first, I thought 'How dare you say that about my America,' she said looking at me through squinted eyes, "but then I saw it, our arrogance will be the end of us." She explained to me how she and her husband voted for Bush. She said they were conservative and watched Fox News regularly; however, something touched her in seeing and hearing everyday people from around the world talk about her beloved country as a bully; a hypocrite. Something touched her when faced with the sobering charge of War Crimes and the images of torture at the hands of Americans under orders from the US Government. Something touched her that day that made her think about what she thought she knew.
Time Has Come to Take Back the 'More Perfect Union'
And as people around the world began to hear the tale of the lowly colonists who overthrew an empire for the sake of an idea, they came. Across the oceans and the ages, they settled in Boston and Charleston, Chicago and St. Louis, Kalamazoo and Galesburg, to try to build their own American Dream. Have we failed at times? Absolutely. Will you occasionally fail when you embark on your own American journey? Surely. But the test is not perfection. The true test of the American ideal is whether we are able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. ... How does America find our way in this new, global economy? What will our place in history be?
When The Saints Don't Go Marching In
You want moral values? This government doesn't have them. That lack is visible in the fetid Third-World swamp we've all been watching in horror. What we're watching is not the consequence of a corrupt government or even an incompetent government. It is the consequence of an immoral government.
Poem made up of Bush quotes
This is a poem made up entirely of actual quotations from George W. Bush, arranged for 'aesthetic' purposes, by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson. A wonderful poem like this is too good not to share. Ah, yes! A testament to literacy in the age of Every Child Left Behind
MAKE THE PIE HIGHER!
I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.
Rarely is the question asked
is our children learning?
Will the highways of the internet
become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I'm a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being
and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope.
Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Make the pie higher!
Waiting for a Leader
George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administratiandon, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end.
Another Embarrassment for Bush
No amount of crowing over a fig leaf Iraqi constitution by President Bush can hide the fact that the region's autocrats, theocrats and terrorists are stronger than ever.
Mr. Bush's Variously Incompetent, Diffident And Hubristic Mismanagement Of Katrina
the levees cracked open and ushered hell into New Orleans on Tuesday, President Bush once again chose to fly away from Washington, not toward it, while disaster struck. We can all enumerate the many differences between a natural catastrophe and a terrorist attack. But character doesn't change: it is immutable, and it is destiny. As always, the president's first priority, the one that sped him from Crawford toward California, was saving himself: he had to combat the flood of record-low poll numbers that was as uncontrollable as the surging of Lake Pontchartrain. It was time, therefore, for another disingenuous pep talk, in which he would exploit the cataclysm that defined his first term, 9/11, even at the price of failing to recognize the emerging fiasco likely to engulf Term 2.
Blood Runs Red, Not Blue
Mr. Bush is the commander in chief who launched a savage war in Iraq and now spends his days happily riding his bicycle in Texas. This is eerie. Scary. Surreal. For all the talk of supporting the troops, they are a low priority for most Americans. If the nation really cared, the president would not be frolicking at his ranch for the entire month of August. He'd be back in Washington burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out how to get the troops out of the terrible fix he put them in.
Truth No Longer Matters
Ethics no longer matter. Facts are there for the twisting. Decades-old conservative ideals regarding the budget and the size of the Federal government have been thrown under the bus because they are no longer convenient, and get in the way of the manufacture of reality. Soviet self-delusion led that nation into Afghanistan and disaster. The Bush administration’s self-delusion has led us into Iraq. Res ipsa loquitor.
Uncle Sam's puzzling decline
It is with a combined sense of foreboding, regret and sorrow that I write this article. It is also in the knowledge that I will be accused of being an alarmist and an extremist. I believe we are witnessing more than the beginning of the decline and fall of the United States.
America's Truth Deficit
During the cold war, as the Soviet economic system slowly unraveled, internal reform was impossible because highly placed officials who recognized the systemic disorders could not talk about them honestly. The United States is now in an equivalent predicament.
Bush: Ruining The American Dream I believe Americans will look back later this century to the rise of Bush Republicanism to explain why the American Dream became the American Nightmare and why the great American Democratic Experiment started by the Founding Fathers failed. The names of Bush, Cheney, Delay, Frist, Rove, Rice, Harris, Scalia, Thomas and Blackwell will be linked forever with the decline of United States. Corporate America will be the institutional power blamed for the political rise of Bush Republicanism and the resulting destruction of America’s greatness!
Some Talking Points
Americans need to recognize that, in addition to the lives and dollars the occupation of Iraq has cost the United States, it has also assaulted democratic ideals handed down by the founders of this country's experiment with democracy. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and their kind did not warn casually against the "entangling alliances" that go with empire building. Having revolted themselves against an occupying force, they well recognized the necessity that democracy be homegrown. "We should have nothing to do with conquest," warned Jefferson, who believed the US must lead by example, not by force. The invasion and occupation of other lands would, the founders feared, turn America into precisely the sort of empire against which they had so recently rebelled. And the wisest stewards of the American experiment -- from Frederick Douglass to Abraham Lincoln to Helen Keller and Martin Luther King Jr. and Barbara Lee -- have recognized this truth across the generations.
America's Neo-Conservative World Supremacists Will Fail
Three continuities link the global US of the cold war era with the attempt to assert world supremacy since 2001. The first is its position of international domination, outside the sphere of influence of communist regimes during the cold war, globally since the collapse of the USSR. This hegemony no longer rests on the sheer size of the US economy. Large though this is, it has declined since 1945 and its relative decline continues. It is no longer the giant of global manufacturing. The centre of the industrialised world is rapidly shifting to the eastern half of Asia. Unlike older imperialist countries, and unlike most other developed industrial countries, the US has ceased to be a net exporter of capital, or indeed the largest player in the international game of buying up or establishing firms in other countries, and the financial strength of the state rests on the continued willingness of others, mostly Asians, to maintain an otherwise intolerable fiscal deficit.
News Flash: We've Been Conned
We learned quite some time ago that the "humble foreign policy" the Republican leader promised us began with his very first National Security Council meeting a few days after taking office, the agenda for which was Iraq. (Bin Laden - against the threat of whom the incoming President and Vice President had been warned in urgent terms by the CIA on January 7, 2005 at Blair House - was nowhere on the agenda.)
Republicans: The Anti-Christian, Christian Party
The Republicans calling themselves Christian are promoting an essentially anti-Christian agenda. While these so-called “Christian Right” political leaders claim to speak for the Christians of America, I think they are actually speaking only for a small minority of Christians who are placing Bush Republicanism above the teachings of Jesus Christ.
A Statement of Conscience
As George W. Bush is inaugurated for a second term, let it not be said that people in the United States silently acquiesced in the face of this shameful coronation of war, greed, and intolerance. He does not speak for us. He does not represent us. He does not act in our name. No election, whether fair or fraudulent, can legitimize criminal wars on foreign countries, torture, the wholesale violation of human rights, and the end of science and reason....
The arrogance of ignorance, a profoundly dangerous and ill-informed presumption that one’s own people are better (wiser, morally and spiritually ascendant, and more capable) than others, seems rather well entrenched within the American populace. It is such that seems to have created a social-political environment that continues to encourage the American effort to build a World Empire.
9/11 and the American Empire
I will begin by unpacking the key terms in the title of my talk: “9/11,” “American empire,” and “religious people,” beginning with the last one.
Imposing Minority Views Senator Bill Frist and the Bush White House seem to share strongly held minority political viewpoints that they are trying to impose on the majority of American citizens. Both seem to be abusing their positions of political power to “rule over” Americans instead of “representing” Americans.
Bush Lies, America Cries
Oh my God I feel so much safer. Don't you? I mean, don't you feel so much more secure in your all-American gun-totin' oil-happy lifestyle now that we have wasted upward of $300 billion worth of your child's future education budget, along with 1,600 disposable young American lives and over 20,000 innocent Iraqi lives and about 10,000 severed American limbs and untold wads of our spiritual and moral currency, all to protect America from terrorism that is, by every account, only getting worse? Nastier? More nebulous? More anti-American?
The do-nothing Congress
It was 10 years ago when House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress and pledged to end what they called the Democrats' "cycle of scandal and disgrace" with their Contract with America, a much-celebrated pact designed to rebuild the nation's faith in its national legislature. Now, the Republicans still control Congress and have taken over the White House as well, but their pledge to build a more accountable, responsible and transparent government has fallen far short.
Ethics War Brewing It's an investigation that the House majority leader says he welcomes, to clear his name. But it's also threatening to engulf other members of Congress, as opposition researchers for both parties plunge into member disclosure forms in search of lapses. The looming ethics war could write a new chapter in an long-running story of money, power, and boundary lines in Washington.
Tom DeLay House of Scandals
Tom DeLay's ethics problems are rooted in his selling out of hard-working Americans. Tom DeLay has stood as leader of the most scandal-ridden Congress in the past century.
Via the Nation whose readers have compiled a handy list of republican terms and their meaning. Modify and/or add your own, Enjoy.
Bush administration defends use of covert propaganda in US
The Bush administration last week instructed US government agencies to ignore a ruling by the comptroller general of the United States barring the dissemination of “covert propaganda.” The phrase—generally associated with police-state dictatorships—was used by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of the US Congress, in describing the proliferation of video news releases produced by the Pentagon, State Department and at least 18 other US agencies.
President's Uncle Profits From Military Contractor's Stock Sale
An uncle of President George W. Bush made more than $450,000 last month by selling stock in a defense contractor whose profits are growing because of the Iraq war. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it's been learned that William Bush made the money by exercising stock options in Engineered Support Systems, where he's also a board member.
Senator Byrd equates Bush with Hitler
March 7, 2005—The U.S. Senate's senior Constitutional scholar has correctly equated Bush with Hitler, and the usual attack dogs are howling. But they are wrong, and Americans must now face the harsh realities of an increasingly fascist and totalitarian GOP. Octogenarian Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia made the equation in the context of Bush's attack on Senate procedures which might slow or halt his on-going attempt to pack the courts with extreme right-wing fanatics. Byrdsaid Bush's moves to destroy time-honored Senate rules parallel Hitler's ramming fascist legislation through his gutted Reichstag. "Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality," said Byrd. "He recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."
Bush's "Mission Accomplished" election charade
For endless prime time hours, Fox and the major news desks -- the Izvestia and Pravda of Bush's America -- blare the party line about the "miraculous success" of the Iraqi balloting. No doubt it set amazing precedents. For example, this may have been the world's first election in which the location of the polling places was kept secret, along with the list of the major candidates. It may also be remembered for the vast numbers of Iraqis who refused to vote.
The Ghost of Goebbels Rules the Roost at the White House
Karl Rove, who was Bush's top political strategist during his 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, will become a deputy White House chief of staff in charge of coordinating policy between the White House Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council.
Law of Unintended Consequences
In a heightened display of saber rattling, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have been saying nasty things about Iran's "unelected mullahs." This is apparently so we'll be able to tell the difference between the theocracy in place in Tehran and the one coalescing in Baghdad. Although things are looking slightly brighter for Iraq after its debut election, it is still not clear why the United States has spent incalculable fortunes in human life, taxpayer money and international goodwill to break Iraq and then remake it in the image of our avowed "axis of evil" enemy next door.
The Republicans' Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iraq
The Republican Party spin machine was bouncing around the airwaves like an overloaded washing machine on Sunday attempting to obscure from the American public that they had by their actions managed to install a Shiite religious ruling class in Iraq. The New York Times even lead with a headline, "U.S. Officials Say a Theocratic Iraq Is Unlikely." This headline is probably wrong, but in any case it begs the question of what a "theocracy" is.
Civil Rights, Brought To You By... Republicans?
The new taxpayer-funded Republican Freedom Calender highlights “a half century of civil rights achievements by the party of Lincoln.” Here’s what the calender left out as the propoganda machine rolls onward over us all.
That Magic Moment
A charming man courts a woman, telling her that he's a wealthy independent businessman. Just after the wedding, however, she learns that he has been cooking the books, several employees have accused him of sexual harassment and his company is about to file for bankruptcy. She accuses him of deception. "The accountability moment is behind us," he replies. Last week President Bush declared that the election was the "accountability moment" for the war in Iraq - the voters saw it his way, and that's that. But Mr. Bush didn't level with the voters during the campaign and doesn't deserve anyone's future trust.
The Voice of the White House
the years of service in and around the White House and in various other official agencies, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the American public are probably the most stupid tribe of hominids since the Neanderthals were forced into extinction by the Cro Magnons. I could send you, and you could publish, absolute proof that the Bush people knew to the day when 9/11 was coming (which they did) and no one would give a damn.
Back by unpopular demand
Come next month, Bush's Inauguration Day approval ratings may be the worst of any president in modern-day history.
Revenge of the Patriot II
The Bush Administration is preparing Patriot Act II, which will give the government sweeping new powers of domestic intelligence-gathering and surveillance and and will decrease legal rights and public access to information.
Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit - And Power
What if there really was no need for much - or even most - of the Cold War? What if, in fact, the Cold War had been kept alive for two decades based on phony WMD threats? What if, similarly, the War On Terror was largely a scam, and the administration was hyping it to seem larger-than-life? What if our "enemy" represented a real but relatively small threat posed by rogue and criminal groups well outside the mainstream of Islam? What if that hype was done largely to enhance the power, electability, and stature of George W. Bush and Tony Blair? And what if the world was to discover the most shocking dimensions of these twin deceits - that the same men promulgated them in the 1970s and today?
Is this American?
It is both peculiar and chilling to find oneself discussing the problem of American torture. One's first response to the report by the International Red Cross about torture at our prison at Guantánamo is denial. "I don't want to think about it; I don't want to hear about it; we're the good guys, they're the bad guys; shut up. And besides, they attacked us first." But our country has opposed torture since its founding. One of our founding principles is that cruel and unusual punishment is both illegal and wrong. Every year, our State Department issues a report grading other countries on their support for or violations of human rights.
Administration claims killing leads to peace.
It's beyond the courage of the American leadership to admit it was wrong to invade a country under false pretenses and to stay there by force. But at some point, the U.S. leadership may have to 'fess up. This may come when, as veteran war correspondent Chris Hedges put it, "The reality of war is so revolting and horrifying that if we did see war it would be hard for us to wage it."
The Ethic of Total Opposition
We've seen hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in the Ukraine to force a showdown over a questionable election. Yet here in America, after a national election with some 30,000 reported cases of irregularities, there is this odd silence. When a former satellite of the Soviet Union shames the greatest democracy in the history of the world on something as elemental as the right to vote, things are badly out of joint. We've seen 137 American soldiers die in the month of November during the ongoing occupation of Iraq, the deadliest month to date for American forces in this war, combined with God only knows how many civilians killed. Some 200,000 people were forced to flee Fallujah after Bush decided to celebrate the November election by razing much of that city to the ground in a military assault that accomplished exactly nothing. Again, we are greeted with this odd silence.
On Borrowed Time
The truth is that the US can no longer back up the big mouths of its leaders. If America chooses to go it alone in future conflicts, it'll be because it has no choice. Under a second Bush term, the neocons are more entrenched and missile-rattling than ever, eyeing Iran, Syria, even China. But the fist they shake at the world is a flabby one, as the world has somberly, resentfully come to recognize. "As for George W. Bush and his neoconservative helpers, they will go down in history as the grave diggers of the American empire."
America 2004 Is
The 2004 election revealed that American citizens are as intellectually and morally incompetent as the Germans in 1930. Such incompetence and ignorance always lead to tyranny. The United States is exactly at the same point in national degradation as the German nation in the 1930s when Hitler assumed absolute power and began his regime of mass murder and war crimes against the people of the world.
Cons, Fundies, Feddies, and Con-Artists It is now a matter of public record that immediately after the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, U.S. Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld and his pro-Israeli "Neoconservative" Deputy Paul Wolfowitz began to plot, plan, scheme and conspire to wage a war of aggression against Iraq by manipulating the tragic events of September 11th in order to provide a pretext for doing so. Of course Iraq had nothing at all to do with September 11th or supporting Al-Qaeda . But that made no difference to Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, their Undersecretary of War Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, and the numerous other Neo-Cons inhabiting the Bush Jr. administration.
Without a Doubt
Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.
Silenced By The President
A few weeks before my father died, he woke me in the wee hours of the morning. He needed to talk. He was worried about Attorney General John Ashcroft and the destruction of American civil liberties. I comforted my father, believing he was delusional from medications. I was wrong. Police armed with high powered rifles perched upon our rooftops as the presidential motorcade approached. Helicopters flew low, overhead. A cadre of motorcycle police zoomed into town.
Yankees are Blind to Blundering Bush
Why do so many Americans still support George W. Bush after all those damning revelations about Iraq? That's the question I'm invariably asked when abroad. Former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, in his superb, must-read new book, Where the Right Went Wrong, provides some answers. "In 2003," he writes, "the U.S. invaded a country that did not threaten us, had not attacked us and did not want war with us, to disarm it of weapons we have since discovered it did not have." White House assurances that U.S. troops would be greeted in Iraq with flowers were as laughable.
The New Police State: Patriot Act II
The American people were shocked by the despotic nature of the first Patriot Act. The second Patriot Act dwarfs all police state legislation in modern world history. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex) told the Washington Times that no member of Congress was allowed to read the first Patriot Act that was passed by the House on October 27, 2001. The first Patriot Act was universally decried by civil libertarians and Constitutional scholars from across the political spectrum. William Safire, while writing for the New York Times, described the first Patriot Act's powers by saying that President Bush was "seizing dictatorial control."
Imagining America if George Bush Chose the Supreme Court
Abortion might be a crime in most states. Gay people could be thrown in prison for having sex in their homes. States might be free to become mini-theocracies, endorsing Christianity and using tax money to help spread the gospel. The Constitution might no longer protect inmates from being brutalized by prison guards. Family and medical leave and environmental protections could disappear. It hardly sounds like a winning platform.
Bush Policies 'Fuel Violence', Say 500 U.S. Scholars
The Bush administration's failure to accept advice on Iraq from its military and foreign service officers has led to policies that have fuelled the insurgency against U.S.-led forces in the occupied nation, says a letter signed by some 500 national-security specialists.
The Man Behind the Oval Office Curtain
Can this nation survive four more years of Dick Cheney running the show? Probably, but it is a risk that few thoughtful Americans, conservatives included, should want to take. Whatever one thinks of George W. Bush - do you see a smile or a smirk? - it is now patently obvious that the most powerful vice president in U.S. history is in charge of the White House. Cheney's ultra-secretive, anti-democratic and crony-capitalist instincts have defined this administration. Perhaps we should have expected all this from a man who, as head of the Bush vice presidential search team, selected himself.
An Introduction to US Foreign Policy Making
The 21st century has been an unusually turbulent one for the United States thus far. In the space of less than five years, the country has witnessed both the most closely contested election in its history (with another close contest imminent) and the largest attack on its own soil. It has launched a 'War on Terror', invaded two countries and suffered serious setbacks in both, but especially in Iraq. This recent reliance on 'regime change' and pre-emption has polarised opinion around the world and within the United States, making the Bush administration the most controversial US administration in recent history.
Bush is Disaster
"Bush is to blame," the Columbia University professor concluded in an interview Friday at the University of Scranton. Stiglitz said Bush had "squandered" the surpluses left by the Clinton administration. That money could have gone toward increased unemployment benefits, subsidies for states that experienced reduced revenues and larger cuts for the middle class - measures that would have pumped up consumer spending, he said.
Government Insider Says Bush Authorized 911 Attacks
Keep in mind when reading this, that the man being interviewed is no two-bit internet conspiracy buff. Stanley Hilton was a senior advisor to Sen Bob Dole (R) and has personally known Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz for decades. This courageous man has risked his professional reputation, and possibly his life, to get this information out to people.
The CIA 'Old Guard' Goes to War with Bush
A powerful "old guard" faction in the Central Intelligence Agency has launched an unprecedented campaign to undermine the Bush administration with a battery of damaging leaks and briefings about Iraq. Former senior CIA officials argue that so-called "neo-conservative" hawks such as the vice president, Dick Cheney, the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and his number three at the defense department, Douglas Feith, have prompted the ill-feeling by demanding "politically acceptable" results from the agency and rejecting conclusions they did not like. Yet Colin Powell, the less hardline secretary of state, has also been scathing in his criticism of pre-war intelligence briefings.
The Falling Scales
Last week President Bush found himself defending his record on national security without his usual protective cocoon of loyalty-tested audiences and cowed reporters. And the sound you heard was the scales' falling from millions of eyes.
This column should not be necessary. A more decent president would not accuse his opponent of assisting terrorists and harming American troops merely because he criticizes U.S. policy. A more decent conservative movement would call such accusations anti-democratic, rather than mindlessly parroting them, as National Review Online's Jed Babbin did this week. But the president is who he is. And so are his supporters. And so, in response to John Kerry's increased criticism of U.S. policy in Iraq, Bush and his surrogates have essentially accused Democrats of helping insurgents kill American troops.
The Bush Crusade
At the turn of the millennium, the world was braced for terrible things. Most "rational" worries were tied to an anticipated computer glitch, the Y2K problem, and even the most scientifically oriented of people seemed temporarily at the mercy of powerful mythic forces. Imagined hobgoblins leapt from hard drives directly into nightmares. Airlines canceled flights scheduled for the first day of the new year, citing fears that the computers for the traffic-control system would not work. Then came September 11, 2001, the millennial catastrophe-just a little late. Airplanes fell from the sky, thousands died and an entirely new kind of horror gripped the human imagination.
Why Bush Left Texas
Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet. A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing.
The Unfeeling President
I fault this president for not knowing what death is. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear. But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn.
The decay of DeLay
New and spreading scandals plague House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his political empire. September was a bad month for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas. The year to come will likely be worse.
The American Empire Project
Americans have long believed that the very notion of empire is an offense against our democratic heritage, yet in recent months, these two words -- American empire -- have been on everyone's lips. At this moment of unprecedented economic and military strength, the leaders of the United States have embraced imperial ambitions openly. How did we get to this point? And what lies down the road?
Vote for Bush or Die
What started as an effort to leverage early support for the President on national security issues has expanded into the politicization of our country's safety and security infrastructure. That process has damaged the credibility of the federal government and made all Americans less secure. Campaigning in Iowa on Tuesday, Vice President Dick Cheney claimed that, if John Kerry was elected, America would be hit by a devastating terrorist attack. Cheney said, "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."
George W. Bush, The Neocons, & The Nazis
Numerous writers have compared the Bush tactics with those used by Hitler, while others have documented the connection between Prescott Bush and the Nazis. However, there is much more to what has lead the Bush regime to transform the United Stated into a fascist police state. Few people are aware that it is the Republican Party which paid for Nazi broadcasts in the 1930s or that the GOP employed Nazis in election campaigns. Fewer are aware that Herbert Hoover conspired with top Nazi officials in Berlin to unseat Roosevelt in the 1940 election. Others have forgotten that George Bush senior as chairman of the Republican Party set up the ethnic heritage groups of the party as havens for former Nazis or that he employed known Nazi war criminals on his campaign staff.
The GOP Hijacks 9/11
The Republicans have exploited 9/11 with the hope that voters will abandon rational thought and rally around a "war president."
Feel the Hate
Why are the Republicans so angry? One reason is that they have nothing positive to run on (during the first three days, Mr. Bush was mentioned far less often than John Kerry). The promised economic boom hasn't materialized, Iraq is a bloody quagmire, and Osama bin Laden has gone from "dead or alive" to he-who-must-not-be-named. Another reason, I'm sure, is a guilty conscience. At some level the people at that convention know that their designated hero is a man who never in his life took a risk or made a sacrifice for his country, and that they are impugning the patriotism of men who have.
Lying About The Bush Recession
Earlier this year, Business Week reported, "When economic history is rewritten – with political consequences – that's going too far. President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers is trying to get away with exactly such revisionist history."
Bush's War on Democracy
When George W. Bush's weapons-of-mass-destruction rationale for invading Iraq evaporated, his excuse morphed into bringing democracy to the Iraqi people. But the way Bush has eviscerated our democracy in the United States is proof positive that his democratic credentials are phony. We have seen our government assault First Amendment rights in the past - during the McCarthy era, and when the FBI instituted COINTELPRO to spy on and discredit civil rights activists. But Bush has taken the attack on civil liberties to a new level. The most striking warning of his strategy to stifle dissent in an unprecedented way was former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's admonition shortly after the September 11 attacks that Americans should "watch what they say, watch what they do." That statement is now the mantra of Team Bush.
Bush To Alter Economic Stats Again
Last week, the Census Bureau released statistics showing that for the first time in years, poverty had increased for three straight years, while the number of Americans without health care increased to a record level. But instead of changing its economic and health care policies, the Bush administration today is announcing plans to change the way the statistics are compiled. The move is just the latest in a series of actions by the White House to doctor data.
If George Bush wins, some very scary people win, too.
With a foreign policy that reflects Biblical prophecy and a domestic agenda that caters to evangelicals, the President's intentions are either starkly dangerous or politically crafty -– with the end result being the same: George Bush is tinkering with something far too precious -- our country’s future.
Swift Yacht Vets for Bush
John Kerry isn't the only candidate with a Band of Brothers! Be the first to view the storyboards from upcoming Bush-Cheney commercials featuring the Swift Yacht Vets for Bush.
How Far Will Bush Go?
The day we all watched two hijacked airplanes slam into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, we learned what warriors have known ever since men first fought with stones and cudgels. If your assailant has no fear of dying, or of being caught, he gains an awesome advantage. George W. Bush and the people around him share a similar power, though with devilishly different beliefs. Having freed themselves from the moral qualms that restrained even the Nixon Administration, Team Bush can do things that lesser mortals would never dream of.
Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America's Waters to Harm
Every region of the country contains unique types of aquatic ecosystems — some so rare that they are found only in part of a single state. These wetlands, ponds, lakes, and streams support a wide variety of life, supply clean drinking water, sustain imperiled species, provide natural flood control, and perform a host of other functions important to both human and wildlife communities. These waters are varied in their names and descriptions — including arroyos, prairie potholes, intermittent and ephemeral streams, bogs, playa lakes, forested vernal pools, and desert springs — but all are an important part of our natural and cultural heritage.
With trembling fingers
Despite the worst foreign policy blunder in American history, George W. Bush and his millionaire supporters don't know the meaning of the word shame
Team Bush Creates Record Deficit
The final 2004 gap is widely expected to set a new record topping $400 billion. In its recent budget review, the Office of Management and Budget said it expects the deficit to be about $445 billion this year, while the Congressional Budget Office has projected a more conservative $422 billion.
What October Surprise?
While the administration undoubtedly isn't holding Osama bin Laden for just the right moment, there are more modest recent examples of its willingness to go that extra mile down some dark alley in its own electoral self-interest. Consider, as a start, an interesting graphic recently posted by Juliusblog (and spotted by an eagle-eyed Tomdispatch reader). It combines the clever, ever-sliding Bush approval chart at Professor Pollkatz's Pool of Polls with the major administration alerts into a pattern that looks suspiciously self-serving indeed.
Despite the whitewash, we now know that the Bush administration was warned before the war that its Iraq claims were weak. But as author Flannery O'Conner noted, "Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." That means no matter how much defensive spin spews from the White House, the Bush administration cannot escape the documented fact that it was clearly warned before the war that its rationale for invading Iraq was weak.
Bush Zones Go National
The Bushites are using federal, state and local police to conduct an undeclared war against dissent, literally incarcerating Americans who publicly express their disagreements with him and his policies. The ACLU and others have now sued Bush's Secret Service for its ongoing pattern of repressing legitimate, made-in-America protest, citing cases in Arizona, California, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas - and coming soon to a theater near you!
Let's Act in the the Democratic Emergency
Are we a democracy, or have we irreversibly degenerated into a Presidential-corporate-military dictatorship? Are we still a good country, or are we becoming a bad country? Can we understand and act in the emergency well and fast enough, or will we lose the United States as we know it? So what do we have in 2004? One company dominated by Republicans, Election Systems and Software, will count a majority of the 115 million votes that will be cast in its computers. One pro-Republican company, 61 million votes. Another all-Republican company, Diebold, will count 12 million.
One long-time GOP political consultant is advising Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.
“We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes.” “That’s not good for candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country.”
Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior
President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia. The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.
Remarks of Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia
"This man came to the fore in America saying he wanted to be a unifier, not a divider, saying that he would change the tone of America." "...and we talked about the separation of powers and the Constitution. I listened carefully. And Erma and I thought as we went home that night that here was a man with whom we could reason. I felt good about it. Then suddenly he seemed to change. He seemed to display an arrogance toward the Constitution that I had never seen on the part of any President, and I served with eleven of them.
Sen. Robert Byrd confronts Bush
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the 87-year-old Democrat from West Virginia, has been called the conscience of the Senate. He's also been called the Senate scold, its unofficial historian and the guardian of the Senate's constitutionally mandated powers of the purse.Suddenly, this lion in winter who confessed that he had been wrong to support the Vietnam War, this man of rage who accused the Bush administration of arrogant disregard for the public will, this senior senator who carried a worn copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket at all times, was a favorite of young war protesters. And now, as the presidential campaign heats up, he has written a book he hopes will topple a "power-grabbing administration, a bunch of super hawks who took George W. Bush prisoner."
The Peace President
We are all likely to be driven batty if this presidential campaign gets any worse, which it is likely to do. Last week, I was on book tour doing one chat show after another and so got to experience first-hand the Republican orchestration of their talking points. And an impressive display it is. Truly, they speak with one voice, repeating the same thing over and over, never off-message - just remarkable.
Fact of the Matter Is that Facts Didn't Matter
Senate panel's report is a damning indictment of the Bush Doctrine. In an otherwise scathing report on how American intelligence agencies fell for misinformation that touted Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States, the Senate Intelligence Committee went out of its way to endorse the CIA finding that "the intelligence community has no credible information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any other Al Qaeda strike." This was also the preliminary conclusion of the bipartisan 9/11 commission appointed by the president. Yet Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney still insist that the war against Bin Laden somehow naturally extended to Iraq.
George W. Bush: Presidential or Pathological?
Poking around in the presidential psyche explains how our country got itself into an intractable war, the loss of allies and international goodwill and a half-trillion-dollar deficit.
Some Key Conservatives Uneasy About Bush
When an influential group of conservatives gathers in downtown Washington each week, they often get a political pep talk from a senior Bush administration official or campaign aide. They don't expect a fellow Republican to deliver a blistering critique of President Bush's handling of the Iraq war. But nearly 150 conservatives listened in silence recently as a veteran of the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations ticked off a litany of missteps in Iraq by the Bush White House.
Dick Cheney's Fear
Did Cheney want the Iraq war in order to enrich his former company, Halliburton, which obtained amazing contracts for reconstruction of the occupied country? The Democrats have already asked this question in the Senate. Incidentally, it was one of them, Vermont Senator Pat Leahy, the Vice-President answered the other day with: "Go fuck yourself."
Top U.S. court undercuts Bush
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the Bush administration's war on terrorism yesterday, ruling that terrorism suspects -- including the 600 foreigners being held at Guantanamo Bay -- have a right to question their detention in U.S. courts.
Bush Administration Lied About Secret Saudi Flight
The Bush administration and its right-wing allies are launching an all-out assault on Michael Moore and his new movie, attempting to discredit the film before it is even public. Last month, White House communications director Dan Bartlett said the movie is "so outrageously false, it's not even worth comment" - a comment made despite the fact that the movie was not yet public and Bartlett had not seen the film. Now the smear campaign is focused on creating the public illusion that Moore lied about a secret Saudi flight that was permitted after 9/11 when most U.S. airspace was closed. But, according to one new report, the Tampa International Airport "confirmed that the flight did take place" -- despite three years of Bush administration denials.
Open letter to George W. Bush from Fidel Castro
A statesman, or whoever claims to be one, should know that throughout history really humane ideas of justice have been shown to be much more powerful than force; force leaves in its wake only dusty, contemptible ruins; humane ideas leave a glowing trail that no one will ever be able to extinguish. Every era has had its own ideas, both good and bad, that have been accumulated. But the worst, most sinister and ambiguous ideas belong in this era in which we live - a barbarous, uncivilized, globalized world.
Behind every Bush there's a scandal
Perhaps the Bush family is prone to nepotism, when it turned out that Neil was targeting schools in Florida to buy software from his company, Ignite. First, Florida Governor Jeb Bush made education testing a key component of his administration’s educational policy. Then the Associated Press (AP) exposed that Neil was peddling his test preparation software at $30 per Florida student. Who knows Neil’s motives? He might have just been trying to help deprived inner city children prepare for racially and culturally biased standardized exams.
Speech Proves Bush & Cheney Lied About Iraq
In a speech given at the Georgetown University Law Center today, former Vice President Al Gore systematically analyzed how the Bush administration deliberately misled the country by claiming before the war that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together. Gore traced how President Bush and Vice President Cheney ignored warnings from officials in their own administration that there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
Reality is unravelling for Bush
On June 22, the White House released documents on policy on torture, including a directive signed on February 7 2002 by Bush stating that he has "the authority under the constitution" to abrogate the Geneva conventions, that the Taliban and al-Qaida as non-signatories were not covered by them, and that consequently Bush "declines to exercise that authority at this time".
Noonday in the Shade
In April 2003, John Ashcroft's Justice Department disrupted what appears to have been a horrifying terrorist plot. ...Strangely, though, the attorney general didn't call a press conference to announce the discovery of the weapons cache, or the arrest of William Krar, its owner. He didn't even issue a press release. This was, to say the least, out of character. Jose Padilla, the accused "dirty bomber," didn't have any bomb-making material or even a plausible way to acquire such material, yet Mr. Ashcroft put him on front pages around the world. Mr. Krar was caught with an actual chemical bomb, yet Mr. Ashcroft acted as if nothing had happened.
Rumsfeld OK’d brutal treatment of suspects in U.S. war on terror
In an extraordinary disclosure of classified material, the Bush administration released 258 pages of internal documents Tuesday that portray harsh interrogation techniques -- including stripping terror suspects and threatening them with dogs -- as a necessary response to threats from al-Qaida terrorists.
Bush made world more dangerous
A US senator has accused President George Bush of turning back years of effort to stem the spread of nuclear weapons, making the world a more dangerous place. Edward Kennedy said on Tuesday that the last four years of nuclear policy under Bush had been "a constant flirtation with nuclear disaster". The Massachusetts Democrat said Bush had rejected a "half century of success" in nuclear deterrence and steps toward disarmament.
Hail to the Moon king
The deeply weird coronation of Rev. Sun Myung Moon in a Senate office building -- crown, robes, the works -- is no longer one of Washington's best-kept secrets
Conclusions and Judgment of Brussels Tribunal on Reagan's Foreign Policy
September 30, 1984 — The International Conference on the Reagan administration's foreign policy convened in Brussels from 28-30 September, 1984 under the auspices of the International Progress Organization. Reports were submitted by international jurists and foreign policy specialists on the various aspects of the Reagan administration's foreign policy.
The Reagan Bitburg Doctrine
America is supposed to be a constitutional democracy with a commitment to the Rule of Law both at home and abroad. If the executive branch of the federal government decides to embark upon a course of egregiously lawless behavior abroad, then it is a testament to the strength and resilience of American democracy that Congress, the Courts, and the American People refuse to go along with it.
The Torturers Among Us
Legalese can't protect the Bush administration from its crimes. As torture moved down the chain of command, it further degenerated from a twisted and illegal means of interrogation into a sadistic sport for ordinary soldiers to apply to ordinary prisoners. This deterioration is predictable. It has happened under every totalitarian regime, from Stalin to Hitler to Torquemada. When torture is official policy, ordinary soldiers and police let their frustrations and imaginations run wild. This is why civilized nations ban torture categorically.
Defense bill to top $1 trillion About $14,000 per family. Plus the interest, of course. And since the US Government cannot make the current interest payments on the money it already owes, that means this is another infinite debt being thrown onto your children's children's children.
Come to hell with Halliburton - the pay's good
Critics have accused the Bush administration of favouring Halliburton because Vice-President Dick Cheney is its former chief executive. The company has not had an easy time ... it has been accused of overcharging the US government for services and had a string of employees kidnapped and killed.
The Explosion of the 9-11 Truth Movement
A mass movement and a mountain of disturbing evidence has been growing beneath the radar of U.S. media. The U.S. media (including alternative media) has done an extraordinarily superhuman job of "hearing" "seeing" and "speaking no evil." However many researchers, ordinary citizens, and journalists began to smell something rotten . . . not in Denmark . . . but rather, right here in the good ol' US of A.
Tricky Dick Cheney
Nearly three years have passed since 9-11, yet one wonders if Vice President Dick Cheney ever abandoned his "secure undisclosed location." He still seems to be secreted away somewhere, only coming out of hiding long enough to resell the Iraq war on some friendly neocon stage lent for the spread of more false propaganda.
Bush the Would-Be Torturer
In a classified report prepared for Donald Rumsfeld in early 2003, a working group of lawyers appointed by the Defense Department's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, advised that Bush is not bound to follow United States laws that prohibit torture. Government agents who torture under orders from Bush won't be successfully prosecuted, according to the report, which is scheduled to be declassified in 2013.
Bush Still Screwing Iraq and America
Not only did Bush succeed in putting his puppets back into the governance of Iraq, he also stabbed Brahimi and the UN in the back—all to the detriment of Iraq. Allawi is nothing but a Bush agent. Brahimi put it clearly when he said, “Bremer is the dictator of Iraq. He has the money. He has the signature.”
Impeaching unstable presidents
June 10, 2004—"In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President [sic] goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as enemies of the state."This quotation is the second paragraph of a brilliant but frightening story by Doug Thompson, publisher of Capitol Hill Blue, headlined Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides. The story paints a picture of a paranoid and intolerant leader that cannot cope with any disagreements or opposing viewpoints. It paints a picture of a powerful man who does not trust the public he is supposed to serve. Bush's vulgar language makes a mockery of his supposed Christian politics that would shame the true Christians among his supporters.
American fib factory
The White House's Iraq fib factory went into overdrive last week, ballyhooing claims that the new "caretaker government" the UN had supposedly just installed in Baghdad was "fully sovereign" and "totally independent."
Bush Changing His Story on Prison Abuse Scandal
President Bush has claimed that the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib was "disgraceful conduct by a few American troops,"1 and had nothing to do with broader administration policy. But according to a March 2003 Pentagon memo, Bush administration lawyers issued legal justifications for torture, specifically claiming, "President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal anti-torture law."
The Bushies may be accomplishing what liberals never could -- bringing the era of conservative morality to a close.
Bush Administration Misleading On Prisoner Abuse
In an attempt to quell growing international controversy last week, President Bush expressed outrage at the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. He told Arab television that he thinks "this is a serious matter" and that "we will fully investigate". However, the President has yet to answer why no action was taken to deal with the problem in the last six months --when the Administration was repeatedly warned of "widespread" abuse.
White House Misled America About Cost of War
In a transparent effort to mask the true costs of war - and reduce the size of the mounting budget deficit - the White House left funding for Iraq and Afghanistan out of the 2005 budget it submitted on February 2.
Protecting the System
The Bush administration still seeks to mislead Congress and the public about the policies that contributed to the criminal abuse of prisoners in Iraq. I'm ashamed of the unit I once commanded. From 1989 to 1992 I commanded the 372nd MP Company, the Army Reserve unit from Cumberland, Md., that is at the center of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. In the years since then, I've had an enduring affection for the unit and those who serve in it. Today what I feel is a sort of sickness, and shame at having been affiliated with the 372nd.
Bush Is to Blame
Washington insiders are playing a typical blame game over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Maybe some military leader is responsible for the outrages, they say. Maybe a civilian leader in the Pentagon. Maybe even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself.
Bush's 'just trust us' ploy is wearing thin
Didn't you know, in your gut, that something like Abu Ghraib would eventually come to light? When the world first learned about the abuse of prisoners, President Bush said that it "does not reflect the nature of the American people." He's right, of course: A great majority of Americans are decent and good. But so are a great majority of people everywhere. If America's record is better than that of most countries -- and it is -- it's because of our system: our tradition of openness, and checks and balances.
Tell Bush the world says no to his agenda
The World says no to the Bush agenda! Throughout the world hundreds of thousands will once again take to the streets, this time to protest the gross misuse of power by the rogue regime in the US in its handling of world affairs. Join with us in this virtual march and send a message to the rogue regime that you do not support their stance on Iraq, the so called war on terrorism, environmental and defence issues.
Creepier than Nixon
The man who brought down Richard Nixon says Bush and "co-president" Cheney are an even greater threat to the country. "To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement," he adds. "I'm anything but skittish about government, but I must say this administration is truly scary and, given the times we live in, frighteningly dangerous."
Former Aide Decries Bush Over Terror War
Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism coordinator, accuses the Bush administration of failing to recognize the al-Qaida threat before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and then manipulating America into war with Iraq with dangerous consequences. He accuses Bush of doing "a terrible job on the war against terrorism."
Never Saying 'Sorry'
When Halliburton, the vice president's former firm, received a no-bid contract to do billions of dollars worth of work in Iraq, the public was told that Halliburton got that contract, and that much money, in that way, because in a fast response situation like the one in Iraq, Halliburton was simply the best in the business. Now one Halliburton unit stands accused of over-charging the U.S. taxpayer for millions of dollars and its own internal reviewers are acknowledging that the unit took on work for which it was in fact, ill-suited. [Vice President Cheney remains on the Halliburton payroll]
Who's A Terrorist?
Politics, not actions, determine who gets labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government.
The 2004 election should be about some serious issues: national security, Iraq, the economy. But on all of those issues, President Bush is on the defensive. And so he is attempting to define the terms of the election differently. He's losing the argument over the Iraq war, so the president is starting a culture war.
Putting Bias in the Constitution
With his re-election campaign barely started and his conservative base already demanding tribute, President Bush proposes to radically rewrite the Constitution. The amendment he announced support for yesterday could not only keep gay couples from marrying, as he maintains, but could also threaten the basic legal protections gay Americans have won in recent years. It would inject meanspiritedness and exclusion into the document embodying our highest principles and aspirations.
Hawkish Bush Advisor Perle Quits Defense Policy Board
Richard Perle, often referred to as the Prince of Darkness and one of the most outspoken advocates for invading Iraq, has quietly resigned from the Defense Policy Board, an influential bipartisan Pentagon advisory group.
W's Reality Gap
George W. Bush is different, very different. Other presidents have misled, deceived, even lied. When Ike was asked his worst mistake, he candidly said, "The lie we told [about the U-2]." LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin were examples of both deception and self-deception. The problem today is not simply that "Bush is a liar." While only he knows whether he's intentionally saying untrue things, it is a provable fact that he says untrue things, again and again, on issues large and small, day in and day out.
Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil
The Bushes and the military-industrial complex: George H. Walker and Samuel Prescott Bush were the dynasty's founding fathers during the years of and after World War I. Walker, a St. Louis financier, made his mark in corporate reorganizations and war contracts. By 1919, he was enlisted by railroad heir W. Averell Harriman to be president of Wall Street-based WA Harriman, which invested in oil, shipping, aviation and manganese, partly in Russia and Germany, during the 1920s. Sam Bush, the current president's other great-grandfather, ran an Ohio company, Buckeye Steel Castings, that produced armaments. In 1917, he went to Washington to head the small arms, ammunition and ordnance section of the federal War Industries Board. Both men were present at the emergence of what became the U.S. military-industrial complex.
The Lie Factory
Only weeks after 9/11, the Bush administration set up a secret Pentagon unit to create the case for invading Iraq. Here is the inside story of how they pushed disinformation and bogus intelligence and led the nation to war.
Bush Prepares His Electoral War Machine
The President, showing his worst popularity rating since the outset of his term, is hoarding his resources for the final face-off.
The American President is going through a bad patch. The attacks by his Democratic opponents, the suspicions fabricated intelligence was used to justify the war in Iraq, a budget deficit of worrying proportions have earned him the worst ratings of his term: his approval rating has suddenly slipped below the 50% level, and, if the election were held today, John Kerry would win by 53% to 46%. However, the election won't take place today. Between now and the November 2 polling, one element, now invisible on the political scene, will go into action: the formidable electoral war machine perfected by George W. Bush.
Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia traveled as an official guest of Vice President Dick Cheney on a small government jet that served as Air Force Two when the pair came here last month to hunt ducks. The revelation cast further doubts about whether Scalia can be an impartial judge in Cheney's upcoming case before the Supreme Court, legal ethics experts said.
The Halliburton Shuffle
War-torn Iraq has been a gold mine for Halliburton, yet another treasure trove of U.S. taxpayer dollars for a company that has no peer in the fine art of extracting riches from the government. But if you go through some of Halliburton's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the past several years, as I have, you'll see a company that goes to great lengths - literally to the ends of the earth - to escape paying its fair share of taxes to the government that has been so good to it.
Bush's War Record: Missing, Inaction Michael Moore is crazy like a fox. By calling Bush a "deserter," (video) he got the big-time journalists-horrified David Broder, incredulous Peter Jennings, outraged Robert Novak, nonplussed Tim Russert-to openly raise the deserter issue before millions. It is now a political topic once again. As the journalists damn Moore, the populace is once again wondering, well, maybe Bush is a deserter after all. And the idea of a deserter running this war makes it even more sick than it already is. Consider that this weekend warrior is already responsible for the following toll in Iraq: 513 GIs sent to their death; 8,000 medevacked out of Iraq; 2,919 wounded (missing arms or legs, or blinded, or psycho); and at least 22 GI suicides. God only knows how many Iraqi men, women, and children. And when it was his turn to fight for his country, Bush booked.
In Full Voice Against Bush
For the first time, the United States is hearing sustained criticism of its president and, though the Democratic presidential primaries have been going less than two weeks, the effect has been immediate. Bush was already rattled and preoccupied with his suddenly full-throated opposition even before the Iowa vote. He scheduled his state of the union address to follow it by a day, and it was the most poorly rated in modern times. By last weekend, his approval had fallen below 50% in a Newsweek poll and he was three points behind Senator John Kerry, the new Democratic frontrunner.
Dynasties in American politics are dangerous. It is crucial that
Americans come to understand how four generations of the current
president's family have embroiled the United States in the Middle
East through CIA connections, arms shipments, rogue banks, inherited
war policies and personal financial links.
began Iraq plan pre-9/11
President Bush and his senior aides began plotting the invasion
of Iraq just days after he took office in January 2001 and not,
as the administration has indicated, after terrorists struck against
the United States eight months later, according to former Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill, who was forced from his post in December
alerts manufactured? FBI agents say White House scripting
'hysterics' for political effect Worth a re-read in light of today's
raising of the alert status.
Cheney's slimy business trail
Vice President Dick Cheney has spent most of the past year in hiding,
ostensibly from terrorists, but increasingly it seems obvious that
it is Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the media
and the public he fears. And for good reason: Cheney's business
behavior could serve as a textbook case of much of what's wrong
with the way corporate CEOs have come to play the game of business.
When Ambassador Joseph Wilson speaks of the White House, he tries
to take the high road. "It's hard to imagine the government
being irrational," he told me over the telephone on Monday
afternoon, "and revenge is an irrational act." One breath
later, however, Wilson showed why the Bush administration has a
great deal to be worried about.
warned of plans by US to invade Arab states
it was about oil then and it is about oil now)
British spy chiefs secretly warned that the United States would
be prepared to invade Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to seize their oil
fields, following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, it is disclosed today.
Force Officer disciplined for saying Bush allowed September 11 attack
A US Air Force officer in California recently accused President
Bush of deliberately allowing the September 11 terror attacks to
take place. The officer has been relieved of his command and faces
further discipline. The controversy surrounding Lt. Col. Steve Butler’s
letter to the editor, in which he affirmed that Bush did nothing
to warn the American people because he “needed this war on
terrorism,” received scant coverage in the media.
signs parts of Patriot Act II into law — stealthily
On December 13, when U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein, President
George W. Bush not only celebrated with his national security team,
but also pulled out his pen and signed into law a bill that grants
the FBI sweeping new powers. By signing the bill on the day of Hussein's
capture, Bush effectively consigned a dramatic expansion of the
USA Patriot Act to a mere footnote. Consequently, while most Americans
watched as Hussein was probed for head lice, few were aware that
the FBI had just obtained the power to probe their financial records,
even if the feds don't suspect their involvement in crime or terrorism.
Three events in the past two weeks have demonstrated how frighteningly
effective and coordinated the right-wing coalition of church, state
and ground-level shock troops has become.
House Covers Tracks by Removing Information
In a high-tech cover-up, the Washington Post this morning reports
the White House is actively scrubbing government websites clean
of any of its own previous statements that have now proven to be
untrue. This story is not the first time the President has tried
to hide critical information from the American public. For instance,
the president opposed the creation of the independent 9/11 investigative
commission2, and has refused to provide the commission with critical
information, even under threat of subpoena. Similarly, after making
substantial budget cuts, the president ordered the government to
stop publishing its regular report detailing those cuts to states.
And when confronted with a continuing unemployment crisis, the president
ordered the Department of Labor to stop publishing its regular mass
over repayment of Iraqi debts resolved
The US convinced the creditor nations to write off Iraq's debt by
holding out the promise that they will be allowed to bid on reconstruction
contracts, which are NOT loans to Iraq (per Bush) but outright cash
grants from the US taxpayer. The nations that wrote off Iraq's debt
will still get their money, just from a different bank account.
Yours. What this means is that Bush has moved the Iraqi debt onto
the backs of the US Taxpayer.
Team Bush does provide America with many laughable moments. I mean,
really, that Baghdad photo op of Dubya with the roasted turkey looked
exactly like something you’d see in The Onion. (“The
turkey has landed,” quipped the front-page headline in the
London Independent.) So, if “angry” is out, then let’s
get happy and start making a lot more fun of our Emperor wannabe.
Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.
Chair: Attack Was Preventable
Just like Pearl Harbor. And, as we learned decades after-the-fact,
FDR allowed the attack to happen to trick Americans into a war they
otherwise would have not supported. Thanks to the internet, we don't
have to wait quite so long this time.
units file for bankruptcy
Halliburton Co. said Tuesday its Kellogg Brown & Root and DII
Industries units filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a
Pittsburgh court to resolve asbestos claims against the company.
So, while one part of Halliburton makes billions off of the war,
another declares bankruptcy to evade lawsuits.
King of Dirt
After many years as a privacy advocate and author of privacy books,
I now reluctantly believe that there's one citizen of the United
States who is not entitled to any privacy or solitude, but should
be subjected to a relentless campaign of intimidation, harassment,
and knavery. In other words, patriotic Americans who believe in
fair play should -- within the bounds of the law -- make this person's
life a living hell.
Senior Met With Bin Laden's Brother on 9/11
I only just discovered is that George W. Bush's father was meeting
with Osama bin Laden's brother, Shafig bin Laden, in the Ritz-Carlton
Hotel, Washington, on the morning of 9/11. They were on Carlyle
Mr. President: The Secret Resignation Letters
A collection of resignation letters written by disaffected members
of the Bush administration who so disagreed with administration
policies that they preferred the uncertainty of the unemployment
line to toeing the party line.
The Bush administration gives in to U.S. chemical companies, leaving
the nation vulnerable.
legal experts around the world, agree that this prosecution
is disturbing and poses a threat to free speech.
Never before in U.S. history has an entire organization been prosecuted
for a peaceful protest by its supporters.
Me a Bush-Hater
Sneering, jeering, bad manners, hideous diplomacy, threats, demands,
lies, arrogance, bluster, tax cuts for the rich. And you wonder
why we think he's a lousy president?
marriages a false threat as election issue
Let me make sure I'm getting this.The budget deficit is rising like
blood pressure. Osama bin Laden is skipping around freely. American
soldiers die in Iraq every day. So naturally, next year's election
will turn on the pressing issue of gay marriage. At least that seems
to be the fondest wish of cultural conservatives.
Monitoring of Protests Belies His Stated Support for Free Speech
Indeed, the administration has sent mixed signals on free speech
after September 11th. Weeks after the attacks, Press Secretary Ari
Fleischer said that Americans, "need to watch what they say,
watch what they do." And Attorney General John Ashcroft, came
under heavy criticism for saying that critics of the Patriot Act
"aid terrorists." Federal law enforcement is showing up
at political demonstrations, routinely monitoring protests for the
first time since the 1970's.
Republican Party's patriotism
Equating criticism with cowardice is dirty politics at its absolute
lowest. The television ad that the Republican Party is running on
Bush's behalf in Iowa this week does just that, making the outrageous
insinuation that critics of the president's policies are in fact
supporters of terrorists.
Administration knew the Whereabouts of Osama
If the CBS report is accurate and Osama had indeed been admitted
to the Pakistani military hospital on September 10, courtesy of
the America's ally, he was in all likelihood still in hospital in
Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, when the attacks occurred.
In all probability, his whereabouts were known to US officials on
the morning of September 12, when Secretary of State Colin Powell
initiated negotiations with Pakistan, with a view to arresting and
extraditing bin Laden.
world must stop this madman
The trap is sprung. The name of the game is containment. Contain
the wild man, the leader with the messianic and relentless glint
who is scaring the world. Surround him, throw Lilliputian nets on
him, tie him up with a lot of United Nations inspection demands,
humour him long enough to stop him from using his weapons and blowing
up the Middle East. But this time, the object of the containment
strategy is not Saddam Hussein, but George Bush, the president with
real bombs, not the predator with plans to make them.
Administration Oversold Prewar Intelligence to Justify War in Iraq
Facing increased pressure from ongoing and escalating violence in
Iraq, President Bush held a press conference last week to calm critics,
saying, "We took action based upon good, solid intelligence."
But the President's assertion has been challenged by both the House
and Senate intelligence communities and interviews with intelligence
officers, one of whom said, "There seemed to be an unseemly
eagerness to believe any information which would portray the Iraqi
threat as being extremely grave and imminent."
Now that the U.S. government's chief weapons inspector in Iraq has,
in effect, confirmed an obvious truth -- that President George W.
Bush and his closest advisers promoted a non-existent nuclear and
chemical weapons threat from Iraq to justify a war -- an obvious
question presents itself: Why aren't Americans talking seriously
How the Bush administration's propaganda machine -- with the help
of Roger Ailes' Fox News -- distorts the truth in the Middle East
and at home.
Leak: All Roads Lead To Cheney
Regarding the Wilson intelligence scandal: We need to realize that
EVERYTHING Bush, Novak, and McClellan are SAYING is absolutely true.
But everything they're TELLING US is a lie. We have to remember
to listen carefully to the exact words.
Now that the U.S. government's chief weapons inspector in Iraq has,
in effect, confirmed an obvious truth -- that President George W.
Bush and his closest advisers promoted a non-existent nuclear and
chemical weapons threat from Iraq to justify a war -- an obvious
question presents itself: Why aren't Americans talking seriously
You don't mess with the CIA, any more than you would mess with a
Kodiak bear at the helm of an M1-Abrams tank. Thus it came as something
of a shock to discover the Bush administration thought it could,
with impunity, invent a bunch of phony intelligence ('hooey' in
CIA-speak), get caught, and blame it on the CIA.
Project for a New American Empire
A British magazine called them "the weird men behind George
W. Bush's war." Their Project has led to countless conspiracy
theories. Their principles are now the governing foreign and military
policy of the Bush administration—a plan combining U.S. military
forces based around the world with a doctrine of pre-emptive war
and the development of new nuclear weapons.
- Nazi Link
After 60 years of inattention and even denial by the U.S. media,
newly-uncovered government documents in The National Archives and
Library of Congress reveal that Prescott Bush, the grandfather of
President George W. Bush, served as a business partner of and U.S.
banking operative for the financial architect of the Nazi war machine
from 1926 until 1942, when Congress took aggressive action against
Bush and his "enemy national" partners.
War Fails, Launch a PR Campaign
The Bush administration is undertaking a campaign to regenerate
public support for its policies in Iraq, dispatching officials across
the country to promote White House strategy
Heil: The Bush-Rove-Schwarzenegger Nazi Nexus and the Destabilization
George W. Bush's grandfather helped finance the Nazi Party. Karl
Rove's grandfather allegedly helped run the Nazi Party, and helped
build the Birkenau Death Camp. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Austrian
father volunteered for the infamous Nazi SA and became a ranking
officer. Together, they have destabilized California and are on
the brink of bringing it a new Reich.
to world war
In the last two years, the United States has made vengeance part
of its foreign policy. We certainly didn't bomb Afghanistan out
of any altruistic motivations, and anyone who believes we went to
Iraq to liberate anything but petroleum is a dangerous fool.
Other Lies of George Bush
George W. Bush is a liar. He has lied large and small, directly
and by omission. His Iraq lies have loomed largest. Lying has been
one of the essential tools of his presidency. To call the forty-third
President of the United States a prevaricator is not an exercise
of opinion, not an inflammatory talk-radio device. Rather, it is
backed up by an all-too-extensive record of self-serving falsifications.
The Bush Family Saga
Unless you were around and following events in the 1980s, especially
Central American affairs and later, the Iran-contra scandal, you
probably won’t know who Elliot Abrams is. More’s the
pity too. As Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights
and Humanitarian Affairs he used to oversee US foreign policy in
Latin America, and was active in covering up some of the worst atrocities
committed by the US-sponsored Contras.
Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception
All presidents have lied, but George W. Bush has relentlessly abused
the truth. Here are just a few examples of the president's own words
contradicting himself. In each case, the President and his aides
have knowingly misled the American public to advance their own interests
A Felon Rove The White House?
Allegations are swirling that Karl Rove, senior political adviser
to President George W. Bush, may have committed a felony by blowing
the cover of a CIA operative. The man at the center of this firestorm
is Joseph Wilson, the retired U.S.diplomat who debunked the White
House’s key evidence that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding his
Cronyism is an important factor in our Iraqi debacle. It's not just
that reconstruction is much more expensive than it should be. The
really important thing is that cronyism is warping policy: by treating
contracts as prizes to be handed to their friends, administration
officials are delaying Iraq's recovery, with potentially catastrophic
consequences. And even as the situation in Iraq slides downhill,
and the Iraqi Governing Council demands more autonomy and control,
American officials continue to block local initiatives, and are
still trying to keep the big contracts in the hands of you-know-who.
has a battle on his hands
George W Bush keeps trying to divert the potential "perfect
storm" forming from the combination of the constant stream
of bad news coming out of the Middle East and growing domestic discontent
over the war and occupation in Iraq.
Ties to Halliburton
A Congressional Research Service report released yesterday concluded
that federal ethics laws treat Vice President Cheney's annual deferred
compensation checks and unexercised stock options as continuing
financial interests in the Halliburton Co.
call to mercenaries
Jason is taking part in military training in rural Pennsylvania.
But he is a mercenary, not a government soldier, and this is America's
latest boom industry. Once seen as shady, men like him are fast
becoming mainstream. Private companies like Northbridge Services
do jobs governments can't or won't extend to. The Pentagon has given
$300bn of contracts to companies like these over the past decade
alone. When United Nations peacekeepers operate, they are bound
to a national military code of justice and can be held responsible
for their actions. Mercenaries are subject only to the laws of the
Was Complicit In 911
Events marking the second anniversary of the World Trade Center
attacks held in Berlin, Germany and Manhattan featuring former Georgia
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, this writer, and more than a dozen
experts highlighted an estimated fifty conferences, screenings and
protests around the US and the world, revealing growing popular
support for the position that the US government was complicit in
We Hate Bush "Have the Democrats totally flipped their lids?"
asks David Brooks in The Weekly Standard, quasi-official organ of
the Bush Administration. "Because every day some Democrat seems
to make a manic or totally over-the-top statement about George Bush,
the Republican party, and the state of the nation today."
Make no mistake; this is an administration in love with fiction,
with turning the unreal into the real, if they can get away with
it. So it seems only fitting that fiction be turned on them. It
is after all, the poets, playwrights, and novelists, who reveal
the truth to us, and speak to our souls. Consider Dick Cheney’s
appearance on, Meet The Press recently, where he uttered such gems
as, “I don’t know” (if Saddam was connected to
9/11) or “I have to assume” (his guess on another 9/11
attack on the US) or “I had no involvement” (regarding
no-bid contracts to Halliburton) and, “that would be a mistake”
(canceling tax cuts for the wealthy). I mean come on, the more this
guy talked, the more I heard Joseph Heller writing in Catch-22 about
Milo Minderbinder: “Milo had been caught red-handed in the
act of plundering his countrymen, and, as a result, his stock had
never been higher."
9/11 Admission of Deception Gets Little Play
For months leading up this year's war on Iraq, the Bush administration
implied that Saddam Hussein had a hand in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The argument was well-received by Americans, and might have been
the single leading factor behind public support for the U.S. invasion
of Iraq. An oft-cited poll conducted by The Washington Post last
month revealed that 69% of Americans continue to believe it likely
that Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. No real evidence to
support this has emerged, however, leading some to declare that
the media had failed in its duty to correct the public misperception.
conflict with the truth
ON "MEET THE PRESS" last Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney
said, "Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice
president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid
of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton
of any kind and haven't had now, for over three years." That
is the latest White House lie. Within 48 hours, Democratic Senator
Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey pointed reporters toward Cheney's
public financial disclosure sheets filed with the US Office of Government
Cites Insider-Dealing In the Rebuilding of Iraq
The New York-based World Policy Institute released a report today
- "New Numbers: The Price of Freedom in Iraq and Power in Washington"
- that raises questions about insider-dealing and potential conflicts-of-interest
in the Bush administration's privatized approach to rebuilding Iraq.
Latest Bush Gang Whoppers
Is there some deadline approaching, after which Bush administration
officials have to engage in honest debate? It seems as if there
has been a rash of misleading, deceptive, and disingenuous remarks
coming from on high in recent days. The gang at "Capital Games"
has been working overtime to keep up with the truth-bending of the
president, the vice president, the defense secretary, and the deputy
thugs will travel
Bush Administration puts former Hussein torturers, executioners,
and rapists on America's payroll.
Road Map to Empire Covert ‘dirty tricks’ operations had been
launched to produce misleading intelligence, which was then fed
into the news chain. WMD-Al Qaeda threats to ‘the Homeland’
had been played up and repeated ad nauseam, pasted on a daily basis
across the tabloids. The objective of the disinformation campaign
was to "whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor", while
fudging the issue of forged intelligence until the war was over.
The fact that President Bush was an outright liar was only brought
to US public’s attention in the invasion’s aftermath,
once a US-UK occupation government (‘The Authority’),
duly sanctioned by the UN, had been put in place.
Whether or not the Bush administration lied is the wrong question
to ask. The real issue is betrayal of trust.
The scandals surrounding President Bush's lies about Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction in his State of the Union address to the nation
have overlooked the full scope of his duplicity that night. The
White House claims that State of Union addresses are carefully vetted,
suggesting that the distortions on Iraq were some kind of rare bureaucratic
snafu. In fact, for George Bush, the State of the Union address
is a form of presidential performance art. The president's pollsters
pre-test key words and phrases. His handlers preview each practiced
gesture, dramatic whisper, narrowed eye. The speech is vetted, but
as much for message and image as for fact. And in his last State
of the Union address, the gulf between word and reality was immense
and purposefully misleading.
Devil And Daniel Pipes
The latest White House affront to Muslims is the recess appointment
of Daniel Pipes to the board of directors of the U.S. Institute
The press has become a lot less shy about pointing out the administration's
exploitation of 9/11, partly because that exploitation has become
so crushingly obvious.
night in jail 2 Islamic leaders booted from U.S.
Federal agents detained two prominent Muslim religious leaders overnight
in jail. The two men, Sheikh Ahmed Kutty and Sheikh Abdul Hamid,
were on their way to Orlando to speak and pray with members of a
local Islamic community when they were detained. ''I will never
forget this for the rest of my life,'' said Kutty, 59, from Toronto.
``I feel so sorry for America. It has lost everything that sustained
it as a nation. America has turned into a police state.''
Poll Numbers Hit New Low
President George W. Bush’s job performance ratings have reached
the lowest point since his pre-Inauguration days, continuing a steady
decline since a post-9/11 peak
fourth world war
For two years, the U.S. has pursued the culprits behind the 9/11
atrocities with a vengeance that has shocked and awed ally and enemy
alike. But even the devastating attacks on the Afghan and Iraqi
regimes don't illustrate the true scope of the campaign. While everyone
was preoccupied with the fireworks, Washington has quietly deployed
thousands of agents in a secretive struggle that may last a lifetime.
Bush's War On Terror
Since the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the attack on
the Pentagon two years ago, there have been no major terrorist incidents
in the United States.
Labor Day — Now, Get a Job!
For his part, George W. Bush will spend Labor Day doing what he
does best – not really working. Instead of protecting the
country (I’ll have much more to say on that in the coming
weeks) or addressing the nation’s floundering economy, he’ll
be raising money for his re-election campaign in Ohio.
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