[ Due to documented, uncontested conflicts of interests shared with self-
professed & convicted enemies of state, foreign & domestic both mercantile & criminal, when will President
Law, logic and national legacy demand he do so. ]
2.28.01 Merle D. Kellerhals, Jr. Washington File State Dept Intl Info Pgms
Cheney and Lieberman were put on their respective tickets. Bush is not letting the industry down. Not only is Cheney a former member of the TRW board, his wife is on a "leave of absence" from Lockheed Martin, another major Star Wars contractor.
1988 presidential campaign slogan: Compassionate Conservative
'Chorus of Dissent' greets Bush at St. Pat's Parade
3.16.02 Chris Geovanis CIMC
Pres. GWBush was greeted with catcalls, protest signs and 'carols of dissent' during his appearance at Chicago's
annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Sat., sparking glares from political officials on parade reviewing stand and outrage
among GOP loyalists gathered to greet him. Actions incl caroling by a group of activists assembled under the
moniker 'Chorus of Dissent', as well as a contingent of anti-war cyclists & pockets of protesters waving anti-
administration & anti-war signs & banners along the Columbus Drive parade route. "We're here to protest
the illegitimacy of this presidency and the awful policies of this administration," said one 'Chorus' member. "Bush's
war on terrorism is really a war to protect corporate power at the expense of free speech & human rights," said
another protester. Protesters came with banners & signs that denounced Bush's ties to the Enron debacle,
called on the Bush regime to free hundreds of mostly Arab & East Asian detainees, condemned the
administration's 'war on terrorism', and, in nod to St. Patrick's Day holiday spirit, derided the Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft
'Axis o' Evil'.
Protesters passed out literature that documented legislation, policies and funding cuts the Bush administration rammed through since assuming power that they argue hurts the environment, displaced workers, working poor and others. Those policies incl cutting $39 million in federal funding to libraries; cutting $35 million for doctors' pediatric training; revoking rules to reduce arsenic in drinking water; cutting 50% from research into renewable energy; Bush's abandonment of a campaign pledge to invest $100 million for rain forest conservation; cutting 86% from a program that funds care for people without insurance; cutting $200 million in work-force training for displaced workers; cutting $700 million in capital funds for public housing repairs; Bush's closing of White House Office for Women's Health Initiatives & Outreach; Bush's gutting of White House AIDS Office; and Bush refusal to fund continued clean-up of a uranium-slag heap in Utah.
"He went from an accidental president who was a 'Saturday Night Live' joke to the commander in chief," said
Democratic political consultant Bill Carrick in Los Angeles. The recession began in March, but Bush's entire first
year was marked by rising unemployment rates. The economy became his greatest political worry. The war began
"The war helped him get beyond the controversy of a disputed election and let people accept him
emotionally as president," said the Democrat Carrick. "It changed everything about this presidency."
On domestic policy, Bush tried to take advantage of events. His 10-year tax-cut plans, proposed in 1999 while the economy was still booming, passed Congress after Bush portrayed them as a prescription for the ailing economy.
|[ Shrub is so impotent he has to declare martial law to wage proxy war against criminals pretending to be an army. The only power lever he has is overkill because he has no mandate. ] here.||
10.25.01 Matt Potter SD Reader
3.11.01 Richard L. Berke NYTimes
These include the time he devotes to his job : far less than Clinton; the authority given to his vice president : Dick Cheney acts as chief operating officer; the interplay among staff members : they must follow a dress code and rules on cordiality; and the use of pollsters : they have been kept out of the Oval Office. For Americans whose notions of White House life stem from the chaotic, freewheeling Clinton era, or even from "The West Wing," the popular television program, Bush seems determined to render a different image. "This is the only bureaucracy in Washington that can change to fit the personality of the president," Andrew Card, Bush's chief of staff, who served in the White House under President Reagan and the first President Bush, said in an interview. "This president is the first ever to have an MBA."
Recent release of Bush's budget blueprint underscores a telling difference between Bush &
Clinton. By Card's estimation, Bush devoted "in the neighborhood of 5 hours" to meetings to
discuss his budget proposal. By contrast, Gene Sperling, for years a top economic adviser to Clinton, said the
former president spent at least 25 hours in official meetings assembling the budget in his first weeks in
office, and 50 hours more in more casual settings. Bush left it to Cheney to preside over a small group of aides
to actually draft the proposal. "There has been a sea change," said Reagan chief of staff Kenneth Duberstein .
"This is the first time in American history we've had a president & a prime minister."
[ Where Wm Casey was the corpse's hand of
WWII on R.Reagan, Cheney is Vietnam haunting GWBush. ]
The contrast also reflects altered economic realities from 8 years ago. "You have to remember how dramatically
different it was to be in a time of deficits," Sperling said. "It wasn't like you sat around and just decided this is the
best way to cut up the huge surplus you've inherited. We literally had to present Clinton with scores of potential cuts
which could even cost members of Congress or the president himself an election." Another reason Bush can afford
to spend less time doing his job is that he has a far more focused, Democrats say less ambitious, agenda than
Clinton. The former president at this point was promoting a raft of initiatives to expand govt; Bush is sticking to his
signature plan to cut taxes. Bush imposes a discipline so tight that Card halts senior staff meetings at precisely
7:58 each morning, even if people are in midsentence, so he can arrive exactly on time for Bush's intelligence
briefing at 8. Clinton was so undisciplined about meetings that his aides once consulted an efficiency expert.
Lawrence Lindsey, Bush's chief economic adviser, arrived on time Monday for Bush to videotape a
message to a banking convention, only to find the taping had begun ahead of schedule. Afterward,
Bush gently upbraided his aide, saying, "Lawrence, we're the on-time administration." Bush
usually arrives at the Oval Office by 7 a.m. and is out the door by 6:30 p.m., often for dinner at the
residence. Most weeks, he leaves late Friday afternoon for Camp David or for his Texas ranch.
Card says he hears from Bush after hours maybe once every week or week and a half. "He's
called me as late as 10:30 at night," Card said. "Maybe even one night later than that." Clinton
often did not get to work until later in the morning but had a far longer workday, took off less time
on weekends and was famous for making rounds of calls to aides well past midnight.
Another stark difference is how this administration handles politics. Though polling has been commissioned by the White House, Bush's pollsters joke that he has banned them from the Oval Office; they have yet to meet with him. Stanley Greenberg, Clinton's first pollster, said that in the early days
Pres. GWBush speaks at commencement ¹ ²
5.21.01 Yale Univ. Office of Public Affairs
Sen. Jas. Jeffords VT announced Thu. he quits GOP, aligning with Democrats. Declaring himself an independent,
his defection hands Senate, prev. split 50-50, to Democrats for first time since 1994. Sen. Trent Lott MS replaced
majority leader by Sen. Tom Daschle SD; Democrats will assume the chairmanship of all Senate
committees. Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card said he did not learn of Jeffords' likely defection until Tue.
morning; not until Wed. Wh.House made concerted effort to dissuade Jeffords in separate meetings with VP
Cheney & Pres. GWBush. At home state press conference following morning, Jeffords made pointed attack on
Bush admin right-wing agenda, declaring he was at odds "on very fundamental issues: choice, judiciary, tax &
spending, missile defense, energy and environment,
He placed particular emphasis on the issue of education; Jeffords chaired Senate education committee. He
denounced Bush for refusing to allocate increased funding and abandoning campaign pledge to improve the
Jeffords came under attack from both Wh.House & GOP leadership in Senate last month
when he refused to support Bush's original plan for $1.6 trillion in tax cuts. His opposition in the evenly divided body
forced Bush to trim his tax windfall for the wealthy. Vitriolic GOP reaction, incl public campaign in Wall St Journal
demanding Bush punish Jeffords by stripping his committee chair and making him an object lesson to would-be
Sen. John McCain AZ "The lesson to K St lobbyists & Republican apparatchiks is, 'Don't threaten people.'" In a written statement issued Thu. he declared, "Tolerance of dissent is the hallmark of a mature party, and it is well past time for the Republican Party to grow up."
Pollsters and a dedicated orientation toward the hourly news cycle may be gone, but
many people inside and outside the Bush White House say it is just as political as it was under
Clinton, although in different ways. A close friend and adviser of Bush's said that Karl Rove,
Bush's senior adviser, had spoken to him in specific terms about how the White House was
reacting to the energy crisis in California, and how that might affect the president's re-election
"It's just as political, but it's not in-your-face political," the adviser said. "It's more of a big-picture perspective. It's not, 'How can we score points for the moment?' " Bush's friends say he learned from his father that he cannot tune out the political implications of his job, and he learned from Clinton to seize opportunities to sell his programs. A prime example is how Bush traveled to swing states this week to sell his budget. "Clinton was so intimately involved in every detail," said Sen. John B. Breaux, D-La. "With Bush, it comes from the bottom and works its way up the channels. But it's not any less political. The trips around the country are a classic political operation. That's playing tough, hard politics."
An important reason for what has been widely regarded as a smooth takeover of the government
is that Bush has surrounded himself with veterans such as Cheney and Card. Staff members are
also, by and large, older than those of past administrations, which is another reason for the more
subdued White House. Several longtime govt observers said they expected members of the
Cabinet to have far more latitude than those under Clinton. That is because of Bush's penchant to
delegate and because he picked seasoned, independent people. "It's going back to a Cabinet
govt," said former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-NY "What's interesting to me is how
many of the people here are people who have been here before and have a sense of this place.
They are steady and not new to their work, and they're not wondering how it will all come out."
Still, it also appears the White House is in firm control of the Cabinet. When Christie Whitman, the
EPA administrator, announced recently that she was letting stand a flurry of regulations imposed
by Clinton, Card said she first had cleared it with his staff. "It is normal for major rules or major
policy pronouncements to be coordinated with the White House," Card said. "The president is the
leader of the executive branch of govt." Many officials in the Bush White House said they were
struck by how there seemed to be far less back stabbing than there had been even in Bush's
father's White House.
Saddam appears on TV chairing mtg
Baghdad Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was shown on Iraqi state TV Saturday chairing a meeting of ministers & sr aides. The TV announcer said the footage was shot on Saturday but there was no way to verify that independently. Saddam has appeared several times on TV, twice to address the nation, since U.S. tried to kill him in a cruise missile strike on Baghdad on 3.20.03 at the start of their war to disarm Iraq.
BBC apologises for showing Bush being styled before speech
London British Broadcasting Corp. apologised for mistakenly broadcasting images of US President
GWBush having his hair styled and his makeup applied just before he went on tv to tell Americans war in Iraq was
underway. BBC World, which broadcasts around the world, and the network's channels in Britain showed up to a
minute of the footage before cutting away, a spokesman said yesterday on condition of anonymity.
BBC spokesman said technicians put the video, which was silent, on air accidentally but had trouble switching away from it quickly. They did so as soon as they could, then went back to the White House when Bush began to speak, he added. "We are very sorry, we have apologized and we will not be using that footage again," said the spokesman.
The footage of him being prepped for his TV declaration of war was disturbing. It was not the combing of his hair,
only aspect of the coverage reported by any American media outlet (Wash.Post), which was cause for
embarrassment; everyone expects that. Rather, it was the demeanour, antics, of the president himself.
3.3.01 Sonya Ross AP
Camp David was the site of much Bush-family bonding during the presidency of Bush's father. The second Bush was keeping that tradition this weekend, spending it with his brother Marvin & sister Dorothy Bush Koch, who was married in 1992 at Camp David's chapel. So before the sun could disappear into evening yesterday, the president & first lady Laura Bush, both still in navy blue business suits, strode hand-in-hand past applauding staffers and guests, stepped into their helicopter and were whisked off to the retreat, just over 55 miles from the capital. They also took along a few aides, including his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the Bushes' springer spaniel, Spot.
Aides say Bush finds freedom at Camp David, as also the privacy he cherishes but gets now only in small
doses. The place is heavily guarded by Marines, gates and surveillance cameras. The security allows Bush to do
normal-guy stuff like watching movies and taking a morning jog in the clean mountain air. "Here at the White
House, he runs on a treadmill," said spokesman Ari Fleischer. "When he travels on the road, he'll often run on a
treadmill at his hotel room. So it's an opportunity for him to run outdoors, which he appreciates."
At a dinner party in San Francisco several weeks ago that atty E. Bob Wallach picked up the rumor about Texas
GWBush. A woman asked her fellow guests if they had heard about the governor & drugs. Another guest
piped up that the drug in question was cocaine. "Everyone at the table had quote 'heard,' " says Mr. Wallach. But
nobody, he says, offered a shred of proof. Neither, so far, has anyone else. Yet the rumors persist. They have
bounced from the Washington, D.C., party circuit to the fledgling primary campaign in New Hampshire, ricocheted
all the way to Mr. Wallach's nonpolitical gathering on the West Coast.
Clay Johnson, college friend of
governor & appts dir., says he, too, spent time with Mr. Bush at the inauguration, "so I know
firsthand that's not true."
Rumors as well Mr. Bush used cocaine as young man.
pals from Yale College & Harvard Business
School and his pilot chums from stint in the Texas Air National Guard say they never saw him touch the stuff. Oil
business adssociates, baseball and politics also say they saw no signs of drug use.
Dozens of people who
know Mr. Bush well were interviewed for this article, as were many other people who have told the drug stories at
parties, workplaces and political gatherings. None provided evidence that Mr. Bush ever used drugs ; many
expressed strong belief the rumors are false.
At least 37 newspapers and magazines have run
articles & editorials gingerly raising the drug issue, mostly by noting that Mr. Bush declines to
answer questions about drug use or other youthful misdeeds.
Suzanne Garment, author Scandal: Culture of Mistrust in American Politics &
longtime Washington observer, says the cocaine rumor is so pervasive that she doesn't even
remember where she first heard it, except that it was "political people, none of whom claim
firsthand knowledge. They just sort of mutter 'cocaine.'
It is impossible to pinpoint where
the Bush gossip started.
[ Wrong. The story began ¹ ²
with what Barry Seal told Terry Reed, auth. Compromised,
not long before Seal was killed following final removal from protective custody.
5.30.01 Michael Kelly Wash.Post pA19
This is the second time in a month that the Bush White House has failed to see that it was rushing toward a spectacular disaster until the moment of the crash. The first instance occurred on May 3, when the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted to deny seats to the United States on the world body's Human Rights Commission and the International Narcotics Control Board. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a touching display of childlike candor, acknowledged that he had been blind-sided by the betrayal by American allies that resulted in the vote.
By deploying the traditional frank-admission approach, Powell was of course playing for press absolution, and he
won it. Some eyebrow-raising would have been in order. When you stop to think about it, didn't Powell's admitted
myopia say something worth stopping to think about? For this was more than a blindness of the moment: There
had been many warning signals that the European allies were itching to smite the Bush administration so that it
But Reagan could afford such nose-thumbing. He was a Cold War president. As long as the Soviet Union stood,
and as long as the American dollar, the American will and the American-led NATO stood against the Soviet Union,
our European friends could not afford to well and truly snub us.
So too with the Jeffords defection. To put it mildly, Bush won election as narrowly as anyone possibly could. He
took office with a Senate divided precisely in half. Only the vice president's constitutional role as the tie-breaker in a
50-50 Senate vote allowed the Republicans to stay in the majority.
Facing this reality, the Democratic leadership acted secretly and cunningly to woo Jeffords, a career-long misfit in
the Republican Party. Facing the same reality, Bush and his lieutenants -- chief to blame the gormless Trent Lott --
acted publicly and stupidly to push Jeffords over the edge. As with the U.N. revolt, the blindness was not merely of
the moment; again, there was a perverse purposefulness to it; again it signified an inability to grasp large and basic
Parties gain and lose power because of shifts in the public's beliefs. Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980 because the public had become more conservative. But parties also gain and lose because of competence. Reagan won also because the Carter White House lacked competence. Right now the country is split down the middle ideologically and probably moving slightly in the Democrats' direction. That means competence will decide who will emerge as the majority party.
A Quisling press corps ¹
5.7.01 Robt. Parry ConsortiumNews
After years of denial, The Washington Post has acknowledged the existence of the Right-Wing Machine. Post
national political correspondent John Harris came to this epiphany grudgingly, never using those exact words. But
in a Sunday article in the Outlook section, Harris recognized that U.S. conservatives have built a powerful and well-
financed apparatus that can dictate the tone of the political discourse in Washington. The article observed that
there is no countervailing apparatus on the liberal side of national politics.
Jimmy Carter on GWBush: disappointed
Former president had hoped for moderate administration
7.25.01 R.Hyatt & S.I.Bhuiyan
Ledger- Enquirer Columbus GA
Columbus GA Former President Jimmy Carter is disappointed in GWBush's performance in the Oval
Office and said the first-term Republican has ignored moderates of both parties, incl Sec.State Colin Powell.
Interviewed last week at his ranch-style home in Plains, GA, Carter criticized Bush for not pressuring Israelis to
withdraw from the Gaza Strip, for threatening to abandon the ballistic missile defense treaty, for not supporting
human rights and for "strictly conforming" to the views of conservative Republicans. "I have been disappointed in
almost everything he has done," Carter said.
Continuing conflicts between the Palestinians & Israelis make the administration's efforts in the Middle East
fruitless, Carter said. He said Bush ought to follow his father's stance and demand removal of Israeli settlements on
the West Bank. "Geo. Sr. took a strong position on that issue, and so did I," said Carter, who offered to mediate the
conflict, an offer declined by both sides. At the same time, Carter cautioned the current administration not to ignore
other parts of the world. "I noticed when President Clinton was in office, his Secretary of State made 26 visits to the
Middle East before going to any country in Africa. I think the devastation of the wars in Africa is much more serious
than the conflicts in the Middle East," he said.
WASHINGTON The votes of people living in poor and minority communities were much more likely
to go uncounted in the 2000 presidential election than were the ballots of the more affluent, a congressional study
found. The report was prompted in part by Vice President Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush and was prepared for
Democrats on the House Governmental Reform Committee. It found that voting problems like those encountered in
Florida, where the election was decided, were not unique. "This problem is an urgent national priority,'' said Rep.
Henry Waxman of California, ranking Democrat on the committee. "The technology is available to make certain that
everyone's vote counts. It is intolerable to allow the disenfranchisement of poor and minority voters to
The study found, however, that more often "the ballots were discarded because the voting machine failed to
accurately record the intention of the voter.'' Voters in low-income, high-minority districts, for instance, had
significantly higher rates of discarded ballots on older technologies like punch-card and lever machines than they
did on newer technologies like electronic voting systems, the study found. Waxman called the disparities an
outrage and said they were the result of older and less dependable voting machines being used in poorer
read article to see why headline is false ]
WASHINGTON If the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed Florida's courts to finish their abortive recount of last year's
deadlocked presidential election, President Bush probably still would have won by several hundred votes, a
comprehensive study of the uncounted ballots has found.
For 36 days, politicians & lawyers argued over whether and how to recount the state's votes. The Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount to begin; the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the recount to stop. On Dec. 13, Gore conceded. On Jan. 20, Bush took office as president. But thousands of potentially valid votes remained uncounted. And, as a result, the Florida election's outcome remained a matter of debate. In January, 8 major news organizations commissioned a definitive examination of the uncounted ballots in an effort to answer some of the outstanding questions and see if lessons could be learned for future elections.The review found that:
Some Ammunition for Democrats
The same phenomenon appeared in smaller counties that used more modern optical scanner systems. On
Florida's west coast, 991 voters in Charlotte County chose Gore, then added a vote for a second candidate; 787
voters chose Bush & another candidate. On most overvote ballots, it's impossible to know which candidate a
voter intended to choose. On punch card ballots, for example, there's no way to tell which of several perforated
rectangles, called chads, the person intended to punch out to register a vote. But in counties that use ballots
counted by optical scanners, a manual recount often can determine which mark shows the voter's intent, because
many voters explain their intentions on the ballot form. Some circle the name of the candidate they meant to vote
for; others write the candidate's name on the ballot; others attempt to erase a mark they made in error. The study
found that Florida's uncounted optical scan ballots included as many as 3,527 such potentially valid votes. If those
votes had been counted, Gore would have gained 2,206 votes and Bush 1,321, a swing of 885 votes for Gore.
Close Race Triggered Automatic Recount
The review was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, a nonpartisan research organization affiliated with the Univ. of Chicago. Researchers trained & directed by NORC inspected 175,010 ballots and recorded their characteristics in a series of computer databases. Each media organization independently analyzed the data collected by NORC. The full NORC database will be released to the public today on the NORC web site to enable readers to examine & analyze the data themselves. NORC prepared separate computer studies to assess the reliability of the data. Those studies indicated that the researchers agreed more than 97% of the time when inspecting the ballots, "a high degree of accuracy," according to NORC sr vp Kirk Wolter, director of the project. However, Wolter warned that the outcomes are so close that they cannot conclusively show who got the most votes. "It's too close to call," he said. "One could never know from this study alone who won the election." Unlike a public opinion poll, the media-commissioned study has no "margin of error" because researchers inspected every available uncounted ballot, not a representative sample. But the study still is not entirely precise because Florida's counties could not locate every uncounted ballot.
NAACP chairman criticizes Bush|
7.8.01 AP response Cong. J.C. Watts
NEW ORLEANS NAACP board chairman Julian Bond had harsh words on Sunday for President
Bush's record in his first months in office, criticizing some of Bush's Cabinet choices and denouncing his faith-
based initiative. Bush is the 18th president the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has
seen in its more than 90-year history. "We've applauded them when they're right and condemned them when
they're wrong,'' Bond said in an interview a day before his speech at the group's 92nd annual convention.
Bush was invited to address the gathering, which runs through Thursday, but he was unable to attend because of a
scheduling conflict, NAACP officials said. Instead, he sent a videotaped greeting that will be played sometime
during the convention. In his remarks, Bond also referred to a five-year strategic plan that will be presented to
delegates on Wednesday. The plan calls for building the NAACP by boosting membership, increasing training,
expanding the NAACP's legal staff and increasing advocacy.
Manhattan Institute has nudged NY rightward
"The journal that saved the city" book review
The City Journal (MI quarterly) is important not only because it has played a key role in the urban renaissance of recent years. It is important, too, for the lessons it provides other think-tanks. These institutions, some of them based in Washington and focused on one aspect or another of national domestic and foreign policy, others concentrating on regional affairs or, as with the Manhattan Institute, on policy at the state & local level, are rapidly replacing our universities as homes for scholars who seek to escape the stultifying politically correct atmosphere of campus life. In the case of the Manhattan Institute, we have it to thank not only for the City Journal but for supporting the research of such leading scholars as Charles Murray, whose Losing Ground has gone from a shockingly radical prescription for welfare reform to mainstream public policy in a few short years... why the City Journal has become the bible of New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose annual "State of the City Speeches" so closely follow City Journal articles that Magnet could easily win a plagiarism suit. "
per Manhattan Institute website
White House Off. of Faith-based & Community Initiatives.
Stephen Goldsmith Special Advisor to President for
Faith-based & Community Initiatives
Corp. for National Services board.
Special Asst to President for Economic Speechwriting
Abigail Thernstrom, sr fellow since 1993
appt to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Walter Olson, MI sr fellow since 1986 appt
U.S. Justice Dept Transition Advisory Committee
Lawrence Lindsey, Bush chief economic adviser, auth.
The Growth Experiment: How new tax policy
is transforming the U. S. economy (Basic Books, 1990).
8.8.00 Village Voice
In June, Rev. Lusk told a GOP platform-drafting committee in Billings, MT, that private, faith-based groups, such as his People for People, are better purveyors of social-welfare services than govt welfare agencies. "The fact is, we are there we do it better, and we do it cheaper," Rev.Lusk said. In the background on Sunday, thundering the gospel of the black church, was a mass choir. After an inspiring musical opening, the social scientists from the Manhattan Institute rolled out their charts and reported that kids who go to church in poor neighborhoods do fewer drugs and thus, churches, mosques, and synagogues "should be supported as uniquely qualified agencies of social control that matter a great deal in the lives of adolescents in America's most disorganized & impoverished communities."
Run left, govern right
6.3.02 Robert Kuttner American Prospect
In a stirring passage in his convention speech, Bush invoked
. "To seniors in this country," Bush earnestly declared, "you earned your benefits, you made your plans, and President George W. Bush will keep the promise of Social Security, no changes, no reductions, no way."
"Medicare," he added, "does more than meet the needs of our elderly; it reflects the values of our society. We will set it on firm financial ground, and make prescription drugs available & affordable for every senior who needs them."
In the third presidential debate, Bush told Gore, "You know I support a national patients' bill of rights, Mr. Vice
President. And I want all people covered." He called for grants to the states "so that seniors, poor seniors, don't
have to choose between food & medicine."
He pledged to change the tone in Washington, to govern as a bipartisan the way he had done as Texas governor.
"I know it's going to require a different kind of leader to go to Washington and say to both Republicans &
Democrats, 'Let's come together,'" he said.
Turning to the environment, Bush regularly suggested that he would be unusually green for a Republican. "To
enhance America's long-term energy security," he said, "we must continue developing renewable energy."
All of these declarations were, of course, lies. While all recent presidents have periodically gone back on promises
and some have told explicit untruths, what's interesting about this president is that his multiple lies are
something very rare in politics: They are ideological lies. Worse still, according to Wash.Post's David Broder,
Bush seems determined to make compassionate conservatism the centerpiece of the 2002 campaign, the actual
substance of his presidency notwithstanding. Hypocrisy, as La Rochefoucauld observed, is the homage that vice
pays to virtue. In the case of Bush, campaign lies are the homage that Republican sloganeering paid to the
popularity of Democratic ideology.
Campaigning on that set of views, Bush would have been the minority candidate of a minority party. There would
have been no cliffhanger in Florida and no narrow Supreme Court resolution of Bush v. Gore. Yet that set of views
has been his actual program.
One simply cannot conjure up a systematic presidential deception of comparable cynicism & scale. Bill
Clinton, to be sure, lied about his sexual escapades. He often enraged allies both left & center: The DLC
& the labor movement agree on just about nothing but they share Monica Lewinsky's assessment that Clinton
is a faithless lover. Clinton tacked right on values issues in the 1992 campaign only to embrace gay rights. He
assiduously courted the gay community only to back a lame halfway policy of "don't ask, don't tell." Conversely, he
initially postured liberal on economic issues only to abandon both universal health insurance and economic
stimulus by public investment. Many blacks were so comfortable with Clinton that they considered him the first
African-American president. But for all his marquee appointments of black officials, Clinton could embrace a cruel
version of welfare reform and abandon old friends such as Lani Guinier.
Yet there was about Clinton a broad ideological consistency. Though he could infuriate his friends on the
particulars, these were tactical reversals within a relatively narrow, consistent ideological whole. Clinton was at
heart a centrist, a moderate with some liberal leanings who governed as a wily pragmatist and who often fought his
conservative adversaries to a draw or better. Jimmy Carter was similar. Bush Sr was essentially a moderate
Republican who tried to court his party's right wing, but his heart wasn't really in it. Ronald Reagan was a genuine
conservative who never pretended to be anything but.
As ideological fraud, then, GWBush remains in a class by himself. It's understandable why he does it: Democrats'
domestic positions are basically popular. But why does he get away with it? He pulls it off, I think, for several
reasons, of which 9.11.01 is fairly far down the list.
First, in his own goofy way he's a political natural, a nice guy. His political style has a chumminess & warm
physicality that's disarming. It's easy to detest his policies but not so easy to hate the man. The first time I watched
him at close range, he was working a room of Democratic senators (he'd boldly solicited an invitation to a
Democratic Caucus retreat and I was an invited speaker). That's when I realized how much his critics had
underestimated the man as a politician. Bush was off script and off the record, and he did just fine at the banter.
The wisecracks were spontaneous & smart. Indeed, if Clinton alienated because he was too clever by half,
Bush endears when it turns out he's not as dumb as you thought. You're waiting for him to stumble and you're
charmed when he doesn't.
Second, Bush has absolutely superb handlers & tacticians. His speechwriter Michael Gerson is so gifted that
he could make a trained monkey sound like Thomas Jefferson. , His political grand strategist Karl Rove has
perfected a game of leaving the Democrats with no popular issues on the table. If Democrats are for Social
Security, so is Bush. If they back patients' rights & prescription drugs, so does he. If they embrace kids, he
does them one better. Bush then takes away in the fine print everything that he offers in the headlines.
Politically, this is mere detail, so much policy wonkery. The betrayal enrages experts & advocates but can be
dealt with by creative obfuscation when it comes to the voters. But what does that say about the
Here we have the third and most alarming factor. This is an era in which voters are unusually quiescent. For 2
decades, expectations about what govt can do have been so lowered, and here many Democrats are just as
culpable as Republicans, that the broad public doesn't get terribly indignant about betrayals, much less of the
ideological kind. The public has come to expect govt to jerk people around. When Bush breaches a promise, it only
confirms the general suspicion that govt can't be trusted anyway. A Democratic Party that doesn't have a clear
opposition ideology makes Bush's task that much easier.
9.11.01 certainly allowed Bush to change the subject. At the same time, however, voters remain closer to core
Democratic views on a broad range of domestic issues. Polls consistently show that voters don't translate Bush's
popularity on national-security issues into support for Republican positions on patients' rights, Social Security, and
the rest ². But politics itself is so debased
& devalued that all Bush need do is genuflect to those broad Democratic themes. After all, the guy really does
seem to care about poor people, seniors, and kids.
Moreover, a lot of Bush's hard-right program has flown beneath the radar. On the issue of reproductive rights, for
example, where Bush has always stopped just short of calling for an end to a woman's right to terminate an
unwanted pregnancy, he's done just about everything else to hobble abortion, family planning, and even the
therapeutic use of discarded fertilized embryos. An administration plan to eliminate contraception coverage
from federal employees' insurance plans was reversed by Congress.
Schools carry the burden of society's other deficits. If Bush were serious about leaving no child behind, he would
not just throw tests at kids and vouchers at their parents. He would offer kids decent day care while their mothers
worked, fully fund Head Start, and get children of low-income families prepared for school with high-quality pre-
kindergarten. Decent wages wouldn't hurt, either. He's of course done none of this, and millions of children will be
left behind. But with a few eloquent Gerson speeches informed by careful focus groups and some nice photos of
himself with poor kids, Bush has seized the rhetorical high ground.
Political scientists since Maurice Duverger pointed out that disengaged politics is necessarily a conservative
politics. Without counterweight of mobilized citizenry motivated to pay attention and institutions
aggregating & expressing those concerns, a system defaults to its other source of residual power:
concentrated wealth. Institutions like the labor movement, which give ordinary people the mechanisms to effect
political change and the motivation to take politics seriously, are diminished. It's no accident that labor did so much
of the heavy lifting for Gore, and that it wasn't quite enough. Another political scientist, Kay Lehman Schlozman,
observed that most people of modest means no longer participate vigorously in politics, not only because they
don't believe politics make a difference, but also because the institutions that invite their participation are dwindling.
Media are also culpable: Short-attention-span TV & Internet gossip sites function as though politics were not about how a great democracy makes weighty choices; it's just another form of commerce or entertainment. The media loves the gotcha game, but whopping discrepancies in the Medicare budget or global-warming policy are not good gotcha. These trends, all of which debase politics, have been building for a long time; their full fruit is GWBush. Now the Bush charade is due for a revival in this year's campaign. As long as the citizenry is anesthetized, however, even systematic presidential lying is of little consequence. A polity in which leaders lie and the public shrugs falls short of a democracy.
Hard to gauge exact number of bad ballots|
Florida's state govt doesn't record how many ballots were invalidated on election day, and county records are incomplete in some cases. The best estimate is that about 176,400 ballots were rejected as undervotes or overvotes. The NORC study thus included more than 99% of the total. In some cases, county officials could not be certain which ballots had been counted because every time a punch card ballot is run through a tabulating machine, one or more of its paper "chads" can be dislodged. One county, Volusia, posed a particularly complex problem. Volusia completed a hand recount after election night, and the results are part of the state's certified tally. County officials subsequently could not determine which ballots had been included in their manual recount and which had not. Accordingly, Volusia's certified totals were used in the study rather than any new data from those ballots.
In the past 2 years,
computer controlled, modem connected voting machines hastily rushed into many
states in the wake of 2000, are property of and operated by private corporations. Some of those corporations say
We, The People have no right to inspect their machines' innards, no freedom to audit their processes, and no ability
to determine why their results are so dramatically at variance with exit polls that in 2002 our polling companies had
to sit down, shut up, and scratch their heads in bewilderment.
Conflict probe launched in state's voting machine buys
[California] Sec. of State Bill Jones said he will investigate whether the employee in charge of evaluating voting
machines in California improperly took a job with a voting machine manufacturer
Louis Dedier, the state's director of voting systems the last 2 years, left this month for a job with Omaha, NE based Election Systems & Software
His voice rises
Sen. Robt Byrd, unapologetic, confronts Bush in a new book.
7.21.04 Johanna Neuman L.A. Times
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.
Byrd is an unlikely hero of the antiwar movement. Raised in the hardscrabble poverty of coal mine country in West Virginia during the Depression, he could not afford to go to college. A gas station attendant and a welder, he joined the Ku Klux Klan during his first run for the state Legislature because he thought it would earn him votes. He quickly renounced his membership and spent 10 years getting his law degree at night while serving as a U.S. senator. He speaks in the oratory of a self-made man — flowery phrases, references to Thucydides and Cicero, hardly the stuff of modern TV sound bites.
His speech struck a chord, or maybe it filled a need. Whatever the cause, Byrd's clarion call against the war was reprinted in several languages, showcased on many news websites. 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 GW Bush prisoner."
"Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency" is being published next Monday to coincide
with the start of the Democratic National Convention. Norton Books has booked Byrd on NBC's "Meet the Press," NPR's "Fresh Air" and CNN's "Larry King Live." There are planned speeches to promote the book in New York, where Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) will introduce him, and in Boston, where Sen. Edward M. Kennedy D-MA will do the honors.
He apologizes for "letting my voice rise." Then he launches into another tirade. "My blood boils," he said. "If this
doesn't make your hair stand on end, I don't know what will." Reading a passage from Bob Woodward's recent
book, Byrd quotes Bush as saying, " 'I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about
being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe
anybody an explanation.' "
He arrived on Capitol Hill when President Truman was still in office. He has seen his share of history and plenty of presidents. "I have never seen an administration so discourteous, so arrogant toward the legislative branch as this one is," he said. "I've been here 51 years, so why shouldn't I speak out?" Age confers advantages. He is not afraid that the White House might attack him.
"I think I'm doing the country a favor by speaking out," he said. "For too long the people have been silent. For too
long the members of Congress have been silent. They're timid, they're afraid of being called unpatriotic. I am not
afraid." He insists that his growling enmity toward the Bush administration is not entirely partisan. He said he got on "swimmingly" with President Nixon and other Republicans. In fact, he said, he was "the last man out of Vietnam, as it were. I supported Johnson, I supported Nixon. But we were misled, as the Senate was misled in this case."
Network of big business interests now waiting to reap rewards from an administration that may stand for little but revenge & greed|
12.3.00 Ed Vulliamy The Observer Intl News UK Wash.D.C. The ominous joke in Washington is that George W. Bush is learning how to pronounce the word 'inaugural'. The city that has for 8 years filled its cappuccino bars with the staff of a reforming presidency is bracing itself for change: an influx of Texan Stetsons and Cuban heels, and a politics stamped with a familiar brand name, the Bush family.
'It will be,' says one sr White House aide, 'the restoration of the aristocracy, motivated by revenge & greed.' The Bush Transition Office has just opened across the River Potomac from the leafy, liberal streets of Georgetown in McClean VA, where heavy-hitting lobbies of the conservative Right fill the phone directory. From here, where workers are rewiring to make way for more phone lines, Bush's presidency-in-waiting will take shape, even though the election result remains contested.
The question the capital is asking is the one posed by White House communications director Sidney Blumenthal
on Friday: 'If Bush wins, who is the President?' That is a question more and more Americans are raising as Bush's grip on the White House strengthens by the day. Just what does 'Dubya' stand for? The answer seems to be: not much. The more you look at Bush the less you see. For every clue as to what kind of President he would make, there is a question; for every pattern, a glitch.
They come from three overlapping spheres of influence: his father's ancien régime , the clique of political
operatives with which 'Dubya' has governed the nation's second biggest state, and - most formidably - business
interests behind the Republican Party that have waited eight long Clinton years for this moment. For all of them,
another Bush administration is payback time. A network controlled by George Bush SR first opened the floodgates for the funds that bought 'W' the election. The old man's network,' says Bush's cousin, John Ellis, 'is probably 50,000 people, and I think they were looking for some kind of vindication. I don't think you can possibly overrate the hatred of Bill Clinton in the Republican Party'.
The old guard falls into two categories. The privy council of the last Bush administration is led by Dick Cheney,
getting down to the unfinished business of 1992 while 'Dubya' is out of town. It includes General Colin
Powell, former Secretary of State James Baker, Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz and National Security aide
Condoleeza Rice. From his father's domestic team, Bush has former Federal Reserve appointee Lawrence
Summers, and faithful soldier Andrew Card to be his Chief of Staff - of whom one aide said: 'At least he's not a
From this ancien régime comes talk of bipartisanship, conciliatory gestures to a riven nation and Congress, and
even recruitment of pro-Bush Democrats into the Cabinet. But behind the figureheads are other faces, the
hardline Texan managers of the most disciplined and lavishly funded political campaign in recent history. And
behind them are the real power brokers, hands to guide the White House from within the world of business and
industry with whom Bush has worked for years, who wield awesome power in American society and owe no debt to compromise. In the capital, the point man works both on stage and behind the scenes. When the Supreme Court convened on Friday, Bush was represented by Theodore Olson, a high-profile attorney and former partner of Kenneth Starr.
To most Washingtonians, Texas, with its 1.4 million children without health insurance, squandered surplus,
appalling pollution record, exaggerated school standards, housing crisis and execution factory, is not an alluring
model for America. But Bush has, from the beginning, pointed to Texas as the validation of his presidential
collateral. And the Bush power base, of his own generation, at least - lies in his fiefdom, in whose image he
would forge the nation. Most obviously, Bush will continue to lean on the so-called 'Iron Triangle' of his closest aides throughout his political career. The most visible of these is spokeswoman Karen Hughes, whom CNN's Charles Zewe says 'treats the media like a covey of quail that can be rounded up'.
Rove goes back nearly 30 years in Republican politics, 25 of them with the Bush family. He moved to Texas to
work for the then Congressman Bush in 1973. Talking to him is like meeting a robot; it is hard to detect any
sign of feeling other than devotion to and control over his current master, for whom he has fought every political
campaign. Even Tom Paulen, former chairman of the Texas Republican Party, calls Rove 'a control freak'. Rove
was Bush SR's emissary to his own son. He had the idea 'Dubya' should run 'some time during the 1995 session', he told The Observer - and in this he is more than a political strategist. Rove does not only form part of the Iron Triangle; he welds it to other scaffolding in the Bush political edifice. He is the centre of a nexus that connects not only the gubernatorial machine to Bush SR, but to the business and party interests that sought out George W. Bush (rather than the other way round) to win back the White House at, literally, any cost.
'I never dreamed about being President,' says Bush, 'All of a sudden, people started talking to me about the presidency'. Karl Rove organised the meetings in 1998 that began the Republicans' courting of this real-life Forrest Gump for a reason.
Corporate delight at the prospect of a Bush team heading for Washington stems from the core political philosophy Bush brings from Texas to Washington, which is also Rove's principal achievement. In Texas legalese it was called 'tort reform'; in Washington it translates as grand-scale deregulation of business, services and industry. Even if a full-blooded Bush agenda is partly clipped by the pall of illegitimacy and the narrowness of his official victory, this is the Texas manifesto the newcomers to Washington will be determined - and likely - to accomplish. It was described to The Observer this last week by a senior White House aide as 'bringing the
business special interests into politics so they can take over the regulatory bodies of government and regulate
For example: the Environmental Protection Agency, the fair trade agencies, the health, safety and 'human resources' executives, the regulation of industry, education, guns, medicine and land use. And so, behind the political 'Iron Triangle' is the real 'Iron Triangle' also lying in wait with Bush, the businessmen. Foremost among these is Don Evans, the rainmaker. Evans, an oil executive from Bush's home town of Midland, Texas, goes back 3 decades with the governor, who was his childhood friend and confidant. Evans became his presidential campaign chairman, filling the biggest political war chest of all time.
He is now tipped by one Republican insider for 'any job he wants' in the White House. Whatever that is, he will be among the most influential politicians in America. The word among Republicans is that Evans may have
his eye on the chairmanship of the party's National Committee. Evans represents the industry in which Bush
himself began his career, which propels the economy of Texas and as crucial to both his and his father's
victories, oil. No industry has a higher stake in 'tort reform' than the drillers of black gold, and few look forward to a deregulating Bush administration more than the executives of the oil industry, which has already been promised almost unfettered exploration and drilling rights.
But there are other interests too, and two of them, urban development and health care - combine with oil in another mighty figure in the background of a Bush administration. If he must thank his father for his name, Bush must thank Richard Rainwater for his money. Last year, as he prepared to run for President, Bush liquidated a blind trust he created to hold his assets, many of them in oil, real estate, health care and other companies owned by Rainwater, a contributor to Bush's campaigns and with whose money Bush aquired his windfall stake in the Texas Rangers baseball team. Rainwater is a billionaire buying into beleaguered companies at discount prices and reselling when everyone wants in. But he is also involved in companies, including oil firms, that are heavily regulated with hundreds of millions in government contracts.
One, a hospital chain called Columbia/HCA, is the subject of a federal investigation into Medicare fraud. Another, Charter Behavioural Health Systems (in which Bush held investments), is subject to regulatory scrutiny, while another, Crescent Real Estate, which operates mental hospitals, has its multi-million-dollar government input under federal investigation. Rainwater is not himself accused of any misdemeanour, but in each case, the prospect of Bush's promise to privatise and deregulate the health system is a tempting one.
Rainwater is most famous for investing the oil wealth of the third point of Bush's business Iron Triangle - the Bass Brothers, builders of the metropolis Fort Worth. He turned the $50 million they invested with him in
1970 to $5 billion in 1986, mainly through timely investing in Texaco oil and Disney. This is how the wheels go
round in Texas: in 1997, Governor Bush supported a tax reform Bill aimed to cut, among other things, school
property taxes. The reform saved Rainwater's Crescent Real Estate $2.5m. In 1999, Bush rushed through an
emergency tax relief package to help independent oil producers as prices slumped. According to state records,
the biggest beneficiary was the Pioneer Natural Resources oil company, with a $1m tax break. Filings with the
Security Exchange Commission show Rainwater to own 55m shares in Pioneer.
The scale model for this entwinement of political and commercial interests was the inclusion of the oil companies in drawing up Texas's clean air regulations last year. The rules were devised by Bush's office in collaboration with Marathon Oil and Exxon, and left companies to set their own standards voluntarily. But while the governor was waiting to sign the new 'self-regulatory' Bill into law, the town of Odessa, Texas, was overed by a pall of black smoke so thick that drivers had to switch on their lights during daylight. Odessa, said Dr David Karman of the Texas Natural Resources Commission, 'was like having an open incinerator in your backyard. Only this incinerator is burning a very large soup of toxic chemicals'.
In bringing the politics of Texan non-government into national government, Bush is in perfect harmony with two of his most powerful lieutenants in Congress: Dick Armey, leader of the House, and Tom Delay, the Republicans' feared chief whip. Delay, who led the impeachment of President Clinton and whose office mobilised the baying crowds bussed around Florida last month, is seen as the coming man and leader of the extreme Right, with which Bush must deal. Delay has called the Environmental Protection Agency the 'Gestapo' of government. Armey has likewise attacked what he calls 'government shackles on enterprise'; both men have sworn absolute loyalty to Bush. And as it happens, both men, like George W. Bush, come from Texas. Another Iron Triangle.
4.6.01 John Berman ABCNEWS.com
Doing coke & keeping it secret
bottle of vodka in Dallas
Knowing GOP voters will vote for
The Bushes decided to give the cat to their close friend & prolific fund raiser, Brad Freeman, founder of
Freeman Spogli L.A. investment banking firm. Soon after Freeman took Ernie to Brentwood home, the cat clawed
furniture. Instead of having the cat de-clawed, Freeman took Ernie to a veterinarian who placed plastic caps on
Ernie's claws, incl the superfluous ones. Ernie apparently did not take well to the restraints, and broke out of the
Freeman compound about 2 weeks ago. There has been no sign of Ernie since, though Freeman says that he
& others have been looking.
Though the First Family is concerned, aides say they are taking a
somewhat lighter view of the situation. "They realize that he is a free spirit, and hope he is having
fun on the beaches of Malibu," said Rodriguez. When he was running for president, Bush would
talk about Ernie as an example of perseverance: "Sometimes you may find yourself up in a tree,
wet and cold. But if you just hang in there and never give up, things will get better for you, just like
they did for Ernie."
[ Like the rest of us, the cat would rather be a free stray than an oligarch's slave. Charitable tyranny is not liberty. ]
West Nile Virus found in dead bird from WH lawn|
7.29.02 Kelly Wallace CNN
Wash.D.C. A dead crow, found on the White House south lawn, has tested positive for the West Nile
Virus, local health officials said Monday. The Secret Service reported 2 dead crows to Wash.D.C. Health Dept
Sunday, July 21, the dept said. Health Dept sent one crow to the Maryland State Laboratory, which determined it
tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The other was too decomposed to be tested, a D.C. heath official said. A
Secret Service spokesman said it is not the first time a dead bird found at or near the White House has tested
positive for the West Nile Virus. "There have been a couple of previous instances," Secret Service spokesman Jim
Mackin told CNN, recalling at least one previous case where a bird infected with the virus was found dead inside
the White House grounds.
So far this year, 46 birds in the District of Columbia have tested positive for the virus, the dept said. "Certainly it is
of concern," Peggy Keller, D.C. Health Dept chief of animal disease prevention, told CNN. "It is a virus that can be
transmitted to people. But the concern is very minimal. The important thing is that people prevent any chances they
get West Nile Virus." The West Nile Virus is spread only by mosquitos, and shows up first in dead birds. Keller said
that if a mosquito from a mosquito pool that tests positive for the virus bites a human, there is only a 1 in a 1000
chance the mosquito would actually be positive for the virus. If that mosquito then bites a human, there is a 1 in 300
chance the human would get the virus, Keller added.
There has never been a case of a human in the District of Columbia testing positive for the virus, Keller said. The West Nile Virus has killed 16 people in U.S. since 1999, according to Keller, who added that most of those individuals' immune systems were already compromised by other diseases such as cancer. Last year, 360 birds and 3 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus in Washington. Keller said the best prevention is to identify & eliminate any breeding mosquito site, noting that open water can breed several species of mosquitos. The D.C. animal control chief said people should survey their backyards and look for places that might hold water. Prevention tips include disposing of cans, bottles and open plastic containers properly, removing discarded tires and turning over plastic wading pools when they are not in use. Also residents are advised to wear long sleeves & repellent at dusk. Residents, who find dead crows, blue jays, hawks and eagles that have been killed by a moving vehicle or attacks from other birds, are asked to contact the D.C. Health Dept.
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