Blogger bnelly said...

It's pathetic! How liberals will lower themselves to this level to push their unpopular ideals. Global warming is a dead issue. I am a bit dissapointed in Bush for entertaining the notion that we should do something about it. Has it ever occured to any of you idiots that weather we were polluting the world or not, global warming would still be an issue. It has been around for millions of years. How do you think we got out of the first Ice Age? It's more of an issue with liberals today because of your HATRED for our president, I have never seen so much hatred energize an entire group like the liberals. Liberals used to stand for Peace and love, What happened? You are tearing apart the fabric of your society. Please stop this insanity!

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Synonymous with Anonymous said...

Uh, let's analyze your opinion, Nelly. "Global warming is a dead issue."...then, "that weather (sic) we were polluting the world or not, global warming would still be an issue." Is it an issue or is it not an issue? That's a tad schizophrenic my frenetic wingnut. "It's more of an issue with liberals today because of your HATRED for our president, I have never seen so much hatred energize an entire group like the liberals. My, Little Red State Writing Hood, what a short memory you have. There was a president not long ago, what was his name again, that was the recipient of a $79.3 million investigation. The only charges which had merit led to an unsuccessful vote for impeachment. How can you so quickly forget the bile, vitriol, and hatred spewed towards President Clinton? Were you asleep between 1992 and 2000, or were you throwing Old Frothingsloth cans and spit at your 19" B&W TV everytime Clinton's face appeared on your static-laced screen? What kills me the most about this entire debate is the label placed on anyone who thinks Dear Leader Bush is an incompetent nincompoop. Life is more than B&W. To oppose Bush and his ruinous policies does not automatically make one a liberal, but I submit to you it makes one a true patriot. So, Clinton lied. Well, simply, yes. But, did you know that the SOTU address is also under oath? Yes, Virginia, Bush lied under oath as well. But the lies just keep on coming. WMDs, Plame, Bin Laden, Iraq, Social Security, global warming, 9/11 warnings, Middle Class tax cuts, prescription drug costs...I could go on forever. When is the GOP going to stand up to the Crawford Caligula and say, "Enough is enough"? This is not about Liberalism. This is about truth, justice, and the American way. Stop the insanity and the blame and be a truth seeker.

9:07 AM  
Blogger bnelly said...

See what I mean about hatred? Insults directed at ME! You are wrong, you don't even KNOW ME! You hate me for what I believe! I don't hate you, I want to help you. What I meant to say was "that (whether) we were polluting the world or not, global warming would still be an issue to liberals." From reading your comments I do know a little about you. You seem to be a well educated individual with a wide vocabulary. You knit pick at peoples insignificant errors just to point fingers. True family values don't mean anything to you, or you would be just as angy with the promiscuous president as I was. You seem to be very angry with Bush, as I am, but on a different level.

I never said that I agree with everything Bush supports. There are quite a few issues I do not support. I disagree with the way he is conducting the war on terrorism. Obviously, I disagree with (the dead issue of) Global warming;). Social Security needs to go. We are trying to keep it alive when it's time is past. It worked great during FDR's time but not now. I also didn't agree with the impeachment of Clinton in the 90's. The republicans took that way too far. Obviously wasting millions of taxpayers money.

You say, "Yes, Virginia, Bush lied under oath as well. But the lies just keep on coming. WMDs, Plame, Bin Laden, Iraq, Social Security, global warming, 9/11 warnings, Middle Class tax cuts, prescription drug costs...I could go on forever." All I say is give me proof! Clinton's lies were at least proven. If we operated our court system on an hunch, just because we don't like a guy, the jails would be full of innocent people.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous synonymous with anonymous said...

See, you are wrong. I do not hate you for your opinions, I marvel at your blind stupidity. You can not state with any certainty that global warming does or does not exist. Here is proof of Bush lies.....

Bush Lies In State Of The Union Speech

Bush: "By the year 2042, the entire [social security] system would be exhausted and bankrupt."

In what the BBC calls "highly unusual," a State of the Union Speech was interrupted by a chorus of "No's," booing, and heckles from some of the members of Congress in attendance. This happened immediately after the above Bush lie. As Shields mentioned on the PBS wrap-up, and as Brooks concurred, if adjustments are not made, by 2042, as they have been made before, 3/4 of the funds promised would still be available. The entire system would neither be exhausted nor bankrupt. -- Politex, 02.03.05

29 Bush Lies About Iraqi WMD

bush lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... not lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies...
Bush Lied About Lots Of Things

Sure Did. Here's Even More


Today's Bush Lie
"[Castro] welcomes sex tourism," Bush told a room of law enforcement officials in Florida, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Here's how he bragged about the industry," Bush said. "This is his quote: 'Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world.'"

"As it turns out, Bush had lifted that quotation not from an actual Castro speech but rather from a 2001 essay written by then Dartmouth University undergraduate Charles Trumbull. In the essay, Trumbull did appear to quote a Castro speech about prostitution. Sadly, the student made the quotation up.

"According to officials, the actual quotation from Castro's 1992 speech reads as follows: 'There are hookers, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist. Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily . We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases.'"

"...And this isn't the first time the Internet has baffled Bush. Back in 2003, the President cited another student's thesis when making a case to go to war. The student's [plagiarized and "sexed up"] work ended up in a government document describing Iraq's weapons capability. Not exactly the kind of hard intelligence needed to justify an attack on another country." The Register, 07.28.04


10 Minute Rice: Three Lies And No Apology

Condi Rice, Bush's National Security Adviser, appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, but, unlike Bush anti-terrorism adviser Dick Clarke at the 9/11 Probe, she did not swear on the Bible that what she would say would be the truth. While Clarke on 60 Minutes last Sunday allowed himself to be probed and turned inside and out for nearly the entire program, the edited tape of the Rice interview with Ed Bradley lasted around 10 minutes, and she said nothing new. The short episode came across as political spin to control the bleeding, and nothing more.

Rice's Lie #1 (transcript)

DICK CLARKE (video):
I said 'Mr. President, we've done this before. We - we've been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind, there's no connection.' He came back at me and said, 'Iraq, Saddam - find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean, that we should come back with that answer....

I - I have never seen the president say an - anything to an - people in an intimidating way, to try to get a particular answer out of them. I know this president very well. And the president doesn't talk to his staff in an intimidating way to ask them to produce information - that is false.

Clarke and two others were in the room with Bush. The others have gone on record as agreeing with Clarke's description of the meeting. Condi was not present.

Rice's Lie #2 (transcript)

All week long, the White House said it had no recollection that the September 12 meeting ever took place, and that it had no record that President Bush was even in the situation room that day. But two days ago, they changed their story, saying the meeting did happen.

"None of us recall the specific - conversation....

Actually, two lies here. First, the White House said the meeting didn't happen, then they changed their story. Second, Condi misleads Bradley by saying "us" did not recall the specific conversation. Of course "us" didn't since it has already been established that "us" was not in the room at the time of the conversation.

Rice's Lie #3 (transcript)

Clarke has alleged that the Bush administration underestimated the threat from - from al Qaeda, didn't act as if terrorism was an imminent and urgent problem. Was it?

Of course it was an urgent - problem....

But even the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Hugh Shelton, has said that the Bush administration pushed terrorism, and I'm quoting here, farther to the back burner.

I just don't agree....

After 9/11, Bob Woodward wrote a book in which he had incredible access and interviewed the president of the United States. He quotes President Bush as saying that he didn't feel a sense of urgency about Osama bin Laden. Woodward wrote that bin Laden was not the president's focus or that of his nationally security team. You're saying that the administration says fighting terrorism and al-Qaeda has been a top priority since the beginning.

I'm saying that the administration took seriously the threat - let's talk about what we did....

You'd listed the things that you'd done. But here is the perception. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff at that time says you pushed it to the back burner. The former Secretary of the Treasury says it was not a priority. Mr. Clarke says it was not a priority. And at least, according to Bob Woodward, who talked with the president, he is saying that for the president, it wasn't urgent. He didn't have a sense of urgency about al Qaeda. That's the perception here.

Ed, I don't know what a sense of urgency - any greater than the one that we had, would have caused us to do differently.

It's clear that Bradley wants to discuss the Clarke charge that the Bush administration changed terrorism from the top priority to one of secondary concern, and Rice attepts to twist the question of giving terrorism "top priority" to taking terrorism "seriously," which are two different things. Then Bush is quoted as saying terrorism was not "urgent." Rice ignores this documented quote and goes on to disagree with Bush. As such, she is attempting to mislead by changing the terms from "top priority" to "seriously," and to simply ignore the evidence presented that Bush disagrees with her. As such, she is on auto-pilot as she lies, spinning the implicit scenario she wants Bradley to accept.

Finally, Bradley repeatedly gave Rice the program's forum to apologize for 9/11 to the millions of viewers watching the show, like Clarke did on the show last week and previously to that under oath in front of the 9/11 Panel, but she refused each time. (transcript)

--Jerry Politex, 03.29.04

Why The Public Believes Bush's Lies
"When interviewed by Tim Russert, Vice President Cheney asserted that Iraq was "the heart of the base" for the 9/11 terrorists and went on from there with a series of half-truths and outright deceptions about almost every topic broached, including his supposed lack of current "financial interest in Halliburton ." Mr. Cheney, a master of the above-reproach dead pan, just kept going, effortlessly mowing right through any objections by the host. The vice president was banking, as Dr. Dean did on "This Week," on a cultural environment in which fiction and nonfiction have become so scrambled and can be so easily manipulated by politicians and show-biz impresarios alike that credibility itself has become a devalued, if not archaic, news value. This is why the big national mystery of the moment why do almost 70 percent of Americans believe in Mr. Cheney's fictional insinuation that Saddam Hussein had some hand in 9/11? is not so hard to crack. As low as the administration's credibility may be, it is still trusted more than the media trying to correct the fictions the White House plants in the national consciousness." --Frank Rich, NMYT, 09.28.03

Listening To Bush Lies Since 1998
Bush lies So often and in so many different ways that I've never had the patience to keep a list of them. However, when I write something and include the generalization that Bush lies, some readers will write in and say, "Oh, yeh? What did he lie about? I don't believe it." What follows, then, is an informal listing of just some of the lies he typically tells, starting from 2/01. Now, of course, we all know that Gore lies, Lott lies, Cheney lies, etc. But the difference between those liars and Bush is the Resident tells us that he is telling the truth when he is lying. Hence, he will tell us what he is going to do, like get his proposed tax cut from the surplus, then try to get his proposed tax cut from military and medicare funds, instead. Or, once he has actually begun a program, tell us lies about how or why the program has begun. Or tell a closed-door Dem meeting something and then swear up and down the next day that he didn't say it. Or saying, "Yes, Mam" and meaning "No, Mam." Or having a spinner say the opposite the next day. Or, or...you get the idea.

Some Bush backers claim he's not a liar, he's just not very bright and doesn't remember things very well. That may be true, but we're sure Bush would not allow such an excuse in his "responsibility era." We're sure Bush would agree that if he's that dumb, he shouldn't be President. Other Bush backers claim that some of his lies are "technically correct" or "tailored to fit the audience," or some such circumlocution. What they're talking about are lies of omission rather than lies of commission. In lies of omission it's what they imply, not what they say. For example, the other evening Bush told Congress and the American people that he was putting a "lock box" on Social Security. Now, it's very clear that Bush wanted us to feel secure in the belief that he was protecting all of our Social Security funds for the future. No question, right? Yet, the very next day when his budget book was released, we learned that Bush told a lie of omission. What he didn't tell Congress and the American people is that he would later take from $.6 to $1 trillion out of that "lock box" to cover his tax cuts. No doubt, Bush lied. He wanted folks to believe something that he knew was not true. Of course, politicians do this all the time. It's second nature. In sum, the thing that really bothers us about Bush's lies is that he is also a hypocrite and pretends he's above lying. As a liar, he reinforces our assumptions about politicians. As a hypocrite, he reinforces our assumptions about his character. --Politex

Milbank... Krugman... Cohen... Politex... Mac Arthur... Jensen... Begala... Brauchli ... Nyhan ... Alterman ...

SATURDAY SNEAK...BUSH LIES...Trailers Of Mass Destruction, Part Two..."You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.* And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." (italics ours) --WP, "Bush: 'We Found' Banned Weapons. President Cites Trailers in Iraq as Proof, " May 31, 2003

*At the time of this statement, no such weapons were found, and no such weapons have been found to this day. On this point as well as the use of the captured trailers as biolabs, the WP said this in the above article: "U.S. authorities have to date made no claim of a confirmed finding of an actual nuclear, biological or chemical weapon. In the interview, Bush said weapons had been found, but in elaborating, he mentioned only the trailers, which the CIA has concluded were likely used for production of biological weapons." There was no statement of fact, there was no smoking gun. The CIA's finding was advanced as an opinion based on its own particular process of elimination, and it was immediately challenged by both U.S. and U.K. intelligence analysts who had seen the trailers. --Politex, 08.09.03 (italics ours)

Now comes this..."Engineering experts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have come to believe that the most likely use for two mysterious trailers found in Iraq was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons rather than to make biological weapons, government officials say.

The classified findings by a majority of the engineering experts differ from the view put forward in a white paper made public on May 28 by the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which said that the trailers were ["likely used"] for making biological weapons....

The State Department's intelligence branch, which was not invited to take part in the initial review, disputed the findings in a memorandum on June 2. The fact that American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence were disputing the claims included in the C.I.A. white paper was first reported in June, along with the analysts' concern that the evaluation of the mobile units had been marred by a rush to judgment." --NYT, 08.09.03

"I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons."
—Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at a hearing of the Senate's appropriations subcommittee on defense, May 14, 2003

"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
—Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, March 16, 2003

Used, abused, and lacking credibility with the White House press corps and the public, Ari Fleischer calls it quits as the 2004 presidential campaign begins.

End Of The Road (story)

For Bush Liar (lies)
Fleischer's "ability to repeat a lie even after it's been shown, repeatedly, to be false is what separates him from the amateurs." --Timothy Noah, Slate

"Like any skilled craftsman, Fleischer has a variety of techniques at his disposal. The first is the one he used to such great effect at Ways and Means: He cuts off the question with a blunt, factual assertion. Sometimes the assertion is an outright lie; sometimes it's on the edge. But in either case the intent is to deceive--to define a legitimate question as based on false premises and, therefore, illegitimate. Fleischer does this so well, in part because of his breathtaking audacity: Rather than tell a little fib--i.e., attacking the facts most open to interpretation in a reporter's query--he often tells a big one, challenging the question in a way the reporter could not possibly anticipate. Then there's his delivery: Fleischer radiates boundless certainty, recounting even his wildest fibs in the matter-of-fact, slightly patronizing tone you would use to explain, say, the changing of the seasons to a child. He neither under-emotes (which would appear robotic) nor overemotes (which would appear defensive) but seems at all times so natural that one wonders if somehow he has convinced himself of his own untruths." --Jonathan Chait, New Republic

Burned Out... Evasive Bore... Whopper Walloper... Robo-Spinner... toons

BUSH LIES...Trailers Of Mass Destruction..."You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.* And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." (italics ours) --WP, May 31, 2003
more lies

*At the time of this statement, the U.S. position was that some analysts thought that the trailers could possibly have been used for menufacturing weapons. --Politex, 06.09.03

"The Observer has established that it is increasingly likely that the units were designed to be used for hydrogen production to fill artillery balloons, part of a system originally sold to Saddam by Britain in 1987." --Sunday Observer, June 8, 2003

"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored," Rice told on NBC's "Meet the Press." --Sunday, June 8, 2003, AP

"Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary...told ABC's This Week that banned weapons were not in areas controlled by allied forces. 'We know where they are, they are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north of that,' he said." --Guardian, March 31, 2003


Bush Stands Out In An Era Of Liars

"President Bush proclaimed that a report by leading economists concluded that the economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2003 if his tax cut proposals were adopted. No such report exists." Gordan Livingston, 06.03.03

On April 26, President Bush said in his weekly radio address, "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax."

That turned out not to be true. According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an unspecified number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax. --Timothy Noah, 06.03.03

As always, the purpose of propaganda is to distract the public from the facts, which means denying that oil has anything to do with our intentions in Iraq. The administration has hammered away at this, with designated dove Colin Powell declaiming, "The oil of Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq." Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's undersecretary of defense, said on Fox News on February 25, "This is not a war about oil. This is going to—if we have to use force, it's going to be to liberate Iraq, not to occupy Iraq. The oil resources belong to the Iraqi people." Rumsfeld himself is quoted as saying, "An Iraq war has absolutely nothing to do with oil." And on Meet the Press on February 23, Perle, in a retort to presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich, said, "Allow me to say: I find the accusation that this administration has embarked upon this policy for oil to be an outrageous, scurrilous charge for which, when you asked for the evidence, you will note there was none. There was simply the suggestion that, because there is oil in the ground and some administration officials have had connections with the oil industry in the past, therefore it is the policy of the United States to take control of Iraqi oil. It is a lie, congressman. It's an out-and-out lie."

Four years ago Perle was singing a different tune. On January 26, 1998, Perle, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld, along with several others, signed a letter to President Clinton that said, "It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will all be put at hazard." --Ridgeway, 03.06.03

ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS INDICATE BUSH IS LYING ABOUT HIS WAR DECISION. "President Bush has continued to say he has not yet decided whether to go to war. [Today Bush said, "If we go to war..."] But the message being conveyed in high-level contacts with other council governments is that a military attack on Iraq is inevitable, these officials and diplomats said. What they must determine, U.S. officials are telling these governments, is if their insistence that U.N. weapons inspections be given more time is worth the destruction of council credibility at a time of serious world upheaval....In meetings yesterday with senior officials in Moscow, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton told the Russian government that "we're going ahead," whether the council agrees or not, a senior administration official said...."You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. 'That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not.'" --WP, 02.25.03

Bush Buys Votes Of Weaker Nations

Some critics say Bush's zeal for running Iraq and transforming it into a democracy sounds just like the nation-building efforts he campaigned against. On Oct. 11, 2000, then-Texas Gov. Bush said: "I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not." But yesterday White House press secretary Ari Fleischer proved the critics wrong once again. "During the campaign, the president did not express, as you put it, disdain for nation-building," he said. So there you have it." --Kamen, 02.28.03

DEMS HAVE DECIDED TO FOCUS ON BUSH'S LIES "After months of searching for a unified political attack against President Bush, congressional Democrats have settled on a new and, some say, controversial strategy: questioning the president's truthfulness.On an almost daily basis now, congressional Democrats are warning of a "credibility gap" between what Bush says to the American people and what he does through new government policies....Last week, with most members away for the Presidents' Day recess, Democratic leaders circulated "Caught on Film: a photo history of the Bush credibility gap," highlighting "various examples of the Administration making promises at various photo-ops and then slashing funding for the very priorities it stressed." It covered everything from education to programs for the poor." 2.24.03 www.bushwatch.com
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LATEST BUSH LIE: HE CITES REPORT THAT DOESN'T EXIST "There was only one problem with President George W. Bush's claim Thursday that the nation's top economists forecast substantial economic growth if Congress passed the president's tax cut: The forecast with that conclusion doesn't exist.Bush and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer went out of their way Thursday to cite a new survey by "Blue-Chip economists" that the economy would grow 3.3 percent this year if the president's tax cut proposal becomes law. That was news to the editor who assembles the economic forecast. "I don't know what he was citing," said Randell E. Moore, editor of the monthly Blue Chip Economic Forecast, a newsletter that surveys 53 of the nation's top economists each month. "I was a little upset," said Moore, who said he complained to the White House. 'It sounded like the Blue Chip Economic Forecast had endorsed the president's plan. That's simply not the case.'" 2.24.03 www.bushwatch.com
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BUSH LIED ABOUT THE AIDS FUNDING HIS ADMINISTRATION IS PROVIDING, AS WELL AS ITS TIMING "Mr. Bush's other foreign aid initiative, announced in his State of the Union address, is $10 billion in new money to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean over five years. But his budget falls short of that promise. He is proposing only a $550 million increase over the global AIDS money in this year's spending bill now in Congress. Since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would be an effective channel for the aid, there is no excuse for the initiative's leisurely start. Mr. Bush's 2004 budget for the Global Fund, $200 million, actually cuts in half what Congress is likely to do in 2003. Mr. Bush has also found part of the money for his AIDS programs by cutting nearly $500 million from child health, including vaccine programs. Child survival is the biggest loser in the foreign aid budget — a scandalous way to finance AIDS initiatives. With the budget dominated by defense spending and huge tax cuts for the wealthy, the White House should not be forcing the babies of Africa to pay for their parents' AIDS drugs." 2.17.03
nyt |related stories

"45 percent of all of the dividend income goes to people with $50,000-or-less incomes, family incomes. Nearly three-quarters of it goes to families with $100,000 or less family income."

—White House senior adviser Karl Rove, discussing the Bush tax proposal in a meeting with reporters, as reported by Dana Milbank in the Jan. 28 Washington Post.

"Not exactly. It is true that 43.8 percent of tax returns with dividend income are from households with less than $50,000 in income and 73.8 percent of such returns are from households with less than $100,000. But that doesn't mean the little guy earning less than $50,000 gets '45 percent of all the income' or that the Main Street earners below $100,000 get 'three-quarters' of dividend income.

"In fact, those earning less than $50,000 get 14.7 percent of dividend income, and those earning less than $100,000 get 32.7 percent, according to a Brookings Institution/Urban Institute analysis. The former would get 6.8 percent of the benefit of Bush's dividend plan, while the latter would get 20.9 percent."

—Milbank, in the Jan. 28 Washington Post.

WHITE HOUSE CONTINUES BUDGET DOUBLESPEAK "The budget differs from those of other recent presidents in two important ways. Nowhere does Mr. Bush make balancing the budget an important goal. And he makes no claim that the era of big government is over, or even nearing an end. "This is a president of big projects and big ideas," his budget director, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., said today....Paying no heed to the notion of a balanced budget, Mr. Bush advocates deep tax cuts on top of the large ones enacted two years ago. By contrast, when big deficits began to appear after President Ronald Reagan drove tax cuts through Congress in 1981, Mr. Reagan approved offsetting tax increases....Mr. Daniels said this morning, "A balanced federal budget remains a high priority for this president." But unlike the submissions of recent predecessors, this budget describes no plans to reach that goal. " 02.04.03
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Blix again denied an allegation by Secretary of State Colin Powell that inspectors knew of cases in which Iraq had moved banned items around before inspectors arrived on the scene. "I am sure that Colin Powell speaks on the basis of notes given to him, but this is not correct. Our inspectors have not seen that the Iraqis were moving anything away from the sites that we are visiting," he said. --Reuters.

"Asked about legislation introduced to re-institute the draft on the eve of war, Rumsfeld was emphatic: 'We're not going to re-implement the draft. There is no need for it at all. ... We have people serving today -- God bless 'em -- because they volunteered. They want to be doing what it is they're doing.' Sounds good, except that it is not true. Two days after these unequivocal words, the United States Marine Corps -- which reports to the secretary of defense -- froze for the next 12 months every one of its 174,312 members currently on active duty. Marines who had completed their voluntary enlistments or their 20 years and had chosen to return to civilian life or retirement will instead remain, involuntarily, in the service. Marines being Marines, they will answer their country's call. But let us be clear: This action, along with other more limited freezes affecting other thousands in uniform imposed by the other services, means the volunteer U.S. military is no longer all-volunteer." --Mark Shields, 01.19.03

Bush's Family Of Four Has Little To Do With His Tax Cut Plan
"How does he do it? Every day Ari Fleischer takes the stand--so to speak--but, luckily for him, it's not under oath. That is, he provides a briefing in the White House press room and emits--oh, how to say it politely?--the most creative statements in defense of his boss's policies. A plainspoken fella--someone like our tax-cutter-in-chief--might feel compelled to brand a deceptive answer a "lie." But in the case of Fleischer v. Truth , I'm going to let you be the jury....Fleischer has not been the only dissembler. In his speech unveiling his tax plan, Bush sold his package by noting that a family of four making $40,000 would see its taxes in 2003 fall a whopping 96 percent from $1,178 to $45--mostly due to the expansion of the child credit. (Funny, Bush didn't tell us how much a single-parent HMO CEO would save.) As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, Bush's example could come true. But it adds, "the tax cuts that would benefit this family constitute less than one-quarter of the overall cost of the bill." In other words, you could dump three-quarters of his package and still assist middle-income families. To suggest this package overall is of direct assistance to middle- and lower-income individuals is dishonest. Only pieces of it--the smaller pieces--do that. Like press secretary, like president. The Bush tax cut is literally class warfare by numbers." --David Corn, 01.14.03

Bush's War Against Women Began With A Campaign Lie
"Running for the White House in the fall of 2000, George W. Bush did not talk about ending the right to abortion. To avoid scaring off moderate voters, he promoted a larger "reverence for life" agenda that also included adoption and tougher drunken driving laws. Voters were encouraged to believe that while Mr. Bush was anti-choice, he was not out to reverse Roe v. Wade. Yet two years into the Bush presidency, it is apparent that reversing or otherwise eviscerating the Supreme Court's momentous 1973 ruling that recognized a woman's fundamental right to make her own childbearing decisions is indeed Mr. Bush's mission. The lengthening string of anti-choice executive orders, regulations, legal briefs, legislative maneuvers and key appointments emanating from his administration suggests that undermining the reproductive freedom essential to women's health, privacy and equality is a major preoccupation of his administration — second only, perhaps, to the war on terrorism." --NYT Editorial, 01.12.03

"Bush opened his final radio address of the year this way: "In 2002, our economy was still recovering from the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, and it was pulling out of a recession that began before I took office." Bush concluded 2002 with the same dishonesty that defined his economic policy throughout the year—a mendacity that ranged from denying the tax cut had anything to do with the re-emergence of the deficit to arguing that the terrorism insurance bill would create 300,000 construction jobs. In fact, there is no evidence that the economy was in recession when President Bush took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001....

"[To define a recession,] economists rely on the...measurements of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of recessions and expansions.NBER has been run since 1977 by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, an architect of the Bush tax cut and an intellectual mentor to many prominent Republican policy-makers, including Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. According to NBER's definition, the recession did not begin until after President Clinton left office....According to NBER, the economy peaked and started shrinking in March 2001, two months after the Bush presidency began. "The determination of a peak date in March is thus a determination that the expansion that began in March 1991 ended in March 2001 and a recession began in March." So according to NBER, the most recent recession did not start during the Clinton administration. (Nor did the expansion begin under Clinton; rather, it launched during President Bush the Father's term.)

"The current President Bush is probably not conversant with NBER's "recession dating procedures." But it's a sure thing his economic and political advisers are. So shame on them for feeding him dishonest lines." --Daniel Gross

41 Lies About Iraq And 43 Matches It

A horrible story spread widely by the first Bush administration prior to the Gulf War about Kuwaiti babies pulled from incubators by invading Iraqis turned out not to be true. The current Bush administration may be also misinforming the public in its efforts to justify a possible second war with Saddam Hussein.

One example of misinformation, according to physicist and former weapons inspector David Albright, was the Bush administration’s leak to the media in September about Iraq’s attempt to import aluminum tubes which administration officials claimed were headed for Iraq’s nuclear program.

“I think it was very misleading,” says Albright, who directs the Institute for Science and International Security. Albright says the tubes could be possibly used for a nuclear program, but were more suited to conventional weapons production. Government experts thought that too, Albright tells Simon, but administration officials “were selectively picking information to bolster a case that the Iraqi nuclear threat was more imminent than it is, and, in essence, scare people." --60 Minutes, 12.06.02


Bush Lies And Fox Swears To It

"Toward the bottom of last Friday's Washington Post story on the Woodward book by Mike Allen, the reader learns that Bush was "preoccupied by public perceptions of the war, looking at polling data from Rove, now his senior adviser, even after pretending to have no interest." How remarkable to be told so bluntly about this Bush obsession -- after hearing so many blabbermouths on cable TV and in opinion columns insist that this president, unlike his predecessor, "doesn't care about polls." The difference between Clinton and Bush isn't that one doesn't care about polls and the other did. The difference is that Clinton never pretended that polling data wasn't part of his political work, and didn't expect anyone on his staff to lie about such trivia. [And didn't lie about it on the campaign trail, as Bush did. --Politex] (This matrix of deception is likewise exposed in Woodward's scoop about the back-channel advice on public opinion provided to the White House by Fox News chief Roger Ailes. An old Bush family employee, Ailes runs a network that frequently promotes the false but uplifting notion that Bush has no interest in polls.)" --Joe Conason, 11.18.02

Bush's Trifecta Of Lies

President Bush, speaking to the nation this month about the need to challenge Saddam Hussein, warned that Iraq has a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft that could be used "for missions targeting the United States."

Last month, asked if there were new and conclusive evidence of Hussein's nuclear weapons capabilities, Bush cited a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency saying the Iraqis were "six months away from developing a weapon." And last week, the president said objections by a labor union to having customs officials wear radiation detectors has the potential to delay the policy "for a long period of time."

All three assertions were powerful arguments for the actions Bush sought. And all three statements were dubious, if not wrong. Further information revealed that the aircraft lack the range to reach the United States; there was no such report by the IAEA; and the customs dispute over the detectors was resolved long ago. --10.22.02, Washington Post

Jeb Bush Is A Liar, Too
Jeb Bush's "office also released hundreds of letters and e-mails to and from Bush that also highlight the division over the nomination....New DCF Secretary Jerry Regier once wrote a string of articles that provide a blueprint for turning religious values into public policy, suggest that households headed by women may produce homosexual children and complain that taxpayer-supported day-care centers could put religious day care out of business....A spokesman said the office received 2,999 e-mails, with about two-thirds in favor of Regier.

"The e-mails also show Regier and the governor were discussing his salary and his appointment even before Kearney was fired, something the governor has flatly denied." --South Florida Sun-Sentinal, Sept. 7, 2002

"You Don't Introduce New Products In August"
An agitated Vice President Cheney, in a tête-à-tête with NBC's Tim Russert on Sunday, said it was "reprehensible" that people would think the administration had "saved" its ammunition on Iraq to bring it out now, 60 days before an election. "So the suggestion that somehow, you know, we husbanded this and we waited is just not true," Cheney said. Now where would people get such a cockamamie idea? Well, maybe from White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and Bush political adviser Karl Rove, who made the case to the New York Times's Elisabeth Bumiller last week that they pretty much did what Cheney said they didn't do -- waited patiently and deliberately to launch a long-planned rollout. "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," Card said. Added Rove: "The thought was that in August the president is sort of on vacation." --WP, Sept. 10, 2002

Scowcroft Says Bush Incubator Untruth, Repeated Five Times, "Was Useful In Mobilizing Public Opinion" For First Iraq War
In the fall of 1990, members of Congress and the American public were swayed by the tearful testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only as Nayirah.

In the girl's testimony before a congressional caucus, well-documented in MacArthur's book "Second Front" and elsewhere, she described how, as a volunteer in a Kuwait maternity ward, she had seen Iraqi troops storm her hospital, steal the incubators, and leave 312 babies "on the cold floor to die."

Seven US Senators later referred to the story during debate; the motion for war passed by just five votes. In the weeks after Nayirah spoke, President Bush senior invoked the incident five times, saying that such "ghastly atrocities" were like "Hitler revisited."

But just weeks before the US bombing campaign began in January, a few press reports began to raise questions about the validity of the incubator tale.

Later, it was learned that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington and had no connection to the Kuwait hospital.

She had been coached – along with the handful of others who would "corroborate" the story – by senior executives of Hill and Knowlton in Washington, the biggest global PR firm at the time, which had a contract worth more than $10 million with the Kuwaitis to make the case for war.

"We didn't know it wasn't true at the time," Brent Scowcroft, Bush's national security adviser, said of the incubator story in a 1995 interview with the London-based Guardian newspaper. He acknowledged "it was useful in mobilizing public opinion." --CSM, Sept. 6, 2002

Cheney Lied About Iraq Photos
– When George H. W. Bush ordered American forces to the Persian Gulf – to reverse Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait – part of the administration case was that an Iraqi juggernaut was also threatening to roll into Saudi Arabia.

Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in mid–September that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier.

But when the St. Petersburg Times in Florida acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time, no Iraqi troops were visible near the Saudi border – just empty desert.

"It was a pretty serious fib," says Jean Heller, the Times journalist who broke the story.

The White House is now making its case. to Congress and the public for another invasion of Iraq; President George W. Bush is expected to present specific evidence of the threat posed by Iraq during a speech to the United Nations next week.

But past cases of bad intelligence or outright disinformation used to justify war are making experts wary. The questions they are raising, some based on examples from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, highlight the importance of accurate information when a democracy considers military action....

That [Iraqi buildup] was the whole justification for Bush sending troops in there, and it just didn't exist," says Heller. Three times Heller contacted the office of Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (now vice president) for evidence refuting the Times photos or analysis – offering to hold the story if proven wrong. The official response: "Trust us." To this day, the Pentagon's photographs of the Iraqi troop buildup remain classified....

"My concern in these situations, always, is that the intelligence that you get is driven by the policy, rather than the policy being driven by the intelligence," says former US Rep. Lee Hamilton (D) of Indiana, a 34-year veteran lawmaker until 1999, who served on numerous foreign affairs and intelligence committees, and is now director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. The Bush team "understands it has not yet carried the burden of persuasion [about an imminent Iraqi threat], so they will look for any kind of evidence to support their premise," Mr. Hamilton says. "I think we have to be skeptical about it." --CSM, Sept. 6, 2002

How a Bush appointee Manipulated Farm Subsidies.
"Responding to a series of corporate scandals last month, President Bush castigated businessmen who practice moral "relativism" and "cut ethical corners." "Our leaders of business must set high and clear expectations of conduct," he said. But this month, Bush appointed to a top post in his Agriculture Department a confessed corner-cutter: a businessman who has admitted to pushing the limits of the law to boost his farm subsidies. Bush used his power of recess appointment to make Tom Dorr undersecretary of agriculture for rural development on Aug. 6, while Congress was out of town. He made the appointment in this unorthodox way because the Senate Agriculture Committee, with nine of 10 Republicans choosing not to vote, had already declined to approve Dorr's nomination....Bush's hypocrisy about high ethical standards is only half the story. The other half is his administration's hypocrisy about farm subsidies." --SLATE, Sept. 2, 2002

Last week, {Bush's} Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill stood before a packed audience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to address the continuing scandals of corporate irresponsibility, banking on his own history as chief executive of Alcoa Inc.
"When I was at Alcoa I never sold a single share of Alcoa stock," he said, repeating a claim he had made on CBS's "Early Show" the day before. "I wanted my financial success and the company's success inextricably linked. Other executives should do the same."

But O'Neill did sell Alcoa stock, 662,547 shares in April 1999 worth nearly $30 million, when he was the company's chairman and chief executive....

"He didn't sell a share. He sold a lot of shares," said Marc Steinberg, a law professor at Southern Methodist University and a former SEC enforcement lawyer. --Washington Post, July 18, 2002.


Bush Lied About Harken Stock Sale Knowledge

Asked later if his [Harken] stock sale had been related to the company's impending setback, {Board member] Bush replied, "I absolutely had no idea and would not have sold it had I known."

In fact, SEC records show that Harken's president had warned board members two months before Bush's sell-off that the company had liquidity problems that would "drastically affect" operations. --SF Chronicle, 07.05.02



"'Barring an economic reversal, a national emergency, or a foreign crisis, we should balance the budget this year, next year, and every year.' [the presidential candidate] said that to the Economic Club of Detroit in May 1998, then repeated it at least twice more, in speeches in June and November of that year."


"In this space last week, it was noted that President Bush often tells audiences that he promised during the 2000 presidential campaign that he would allow the federal budget to go into deficit in times of war, recession or national emergency, but he never imagined he would "have a trifecta." Nobody inside or outside the White House, however, had been able to produce evidence that Bush actually said this during the campaign.... Now comes information that the three caveats were uttered before the 2000 campaign -- by Bush's Democratic opponent, Vice President Al Gore." --Wash. Post, 7/2/02


BUSH'S TRIFECTA OF LIES: "It takes a brazen politician to make up a story that can be proven false and then to keep lying about it after being busted repeatedly. A case in point is President Bush's repetition last week of a story about a fictitious Chicago campaign statement, just days after his budget director was called on it by "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert....Bush's claim that he listed three exceptions under which he would run deficits during a 2000 Chicago campaign stop -- war, national emergency or recession -- is blatantly false" --Brendan Nyhan, 06.18.02


Washington Post Buys Into Bush Ohio State Lies

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 14...The president who spoke here today was not the same president who spoke in New Haven a year ago. Bush aide John Bridgeland told reporters this morning [Friday] that the president's speech, serious and grave, was inspired by the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Pope John Paul II, Aristotle, Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Cicero -- although the president mentioned none of them by name. The former C student, Bridgeland said, "actually discussed Nicomachean ethics" in the Oval Office, not to mention the Patrick Henry-James Madison debate. --Dana Milbank, Wash. Post

COLUMBUS, Ohio...A senior administration official told reporters [Friday] that Bush "derived" his speech in part from the teachings of a wide range of philosophers, from Aristotle and Adam Smith to de Tocqueville and Pope John Paul II.

Asked if Bush had ever read any of their works, the official said: "We've fully discussed all these ... issues." --Adam Entous, Reuters, 06.14.02

Politex: Bush Discusses Nicomachean Ethics In The Oval Office

Bush: I don't care if our budget deficit will be $100 billion this year, I promised my millionaire buddies big tax cuts, and they're gonna get 'em.

Bridgeland: Money can't buy happiness, sir.

Bush: Ya got that right!

"Having determined that happiness is the goal of life, Aristotle then concerns himself with the activities in which humans engage in order to obtain happiness." --from a summary of "Nicomachean Ethics"

White House Admits Bush Lied "When Bush was asked about [the Environmental Protection Agency's report] last week, he dismissively remarked: 'I read the report put out by the bureaucracy.' ...White House press secretary Ari Fleischer fessed up: President Bush didn't actually read that 268-page Environmental Protection Agency report on climate change, even if he said he did. Fleischer was asked Monday at his daily White House briefing about Bush's comments that he'd read the report. "Whenever presidents say they read it, you can read that to be he was briefed," Fleischer said, producing laughter. --AP, June 10, 2002


Ari Fleischer Lies For Bush

Like any skilled craftsman, Fleischer has a variety of techniques at his disposal. The first is the one he used to such great effect at Ways and Means: He cuts off the question with a blunt, factual assertion. Sometimes the assertion is an outright lie; sometimes it's on the edge. But in either case the intent is to deceive--to define a legitimate question as based on false premises and, therefore, illegitimate. Fleischer does this so well, in part because of his breathtaking audacity: Rather than tell a little fib--i.e., attacking the facts most open to interpretation in a reporter's query--he often tells a big one, challenging the question in a way the reporter could not possibly anticipate. Then there's his delivery: Fleischer radiates boundless certainty, recounting even his wildest fibs in the matter-of-fact, slightly patronizing tone you would use to explain, say, the changing of the seasons to a child. He neither under-emotes (which would appear robotic) nor overemotes (which would appear defensive) but seems at all times so natural that one wonders if somehow he has convinced himself of his own untruths.

One month ago, for example, a reporter cited the administration's recent plan to build an education, health, and welfare infrastructure in Afghanistan and asked Fleischer when George W. Bush--who during the campaign repeatedly bad-mouthed nation-building--had come around to the idea. A lesser flack would have given the obvious, spun response: The Bush administration's policies in Afghanistan don't constitute nation-building for reasons X, Y, and Z. The reporter might have expected that reply and prepared a follow-up accordingly. But Fleischer went the other way, bluntly asserting that Bush had never derided nation-building to begin with. "The president has always been for those," Fleischer said. The questioner, likely caught off guard, repeated, "He's always been for..." when Fleischer interjected, "Do you have any evidence to the contrary?" In fact, Bush had denounced nation-building just as unambiguously as Archer had endorsed the national sales tax. "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building," said candidate Bush in the second presidential debate, to take one of many examples. The offending reporter, of course, didn't have any of these quotes handy at the press conference, and so Fleischer managed to extinguish the nation-building queries.

To take another example, after the coup in Venezuela last month, Fleischer announced that "it happened in a very quick fashion as a result of the message of the Venezuelan people." But once the coup was reversed, the administration's seeming support proved embarrassing. So at the next press conference, a reporter asked Fleischer, "Last Friday, you said that it--the seizure of power illegitimately in Venezuela--`happened in a very quick fashion as a result of the message of the Venezuelan people'; that the seizure of power, extraconstitutionally, that is, dissolution of the congress and the supreme court happened as a result of the message of the Venezuelan people."

Fleischer could have acknowledged the underlying fact--that the Bush administration initially endorsed the coup--but then expressed regret at its anti-democratic turn, a turn that the United States presumably opposed and perhaps even tried to prevent. Instead, he replied, "No, that's not what I said." And indeed, it wasn't exactly what he said--after quoting Fleischer verbatim reacting to the coup, the reporter went on to describe some of the things that happened after the coup. And that gave Fleischer his opening: "The dissolution that you just referred to did not take place until later Friday afternoon," he noted. "It could not possibly be addressed in my briefing because it hadn't taken place yet." By focusing on the latter, subordinate part of the reporter's question, Fleischer negated the verbatim quote of his earlier remarks--and thus neatly cut off discussion of the administration's early reaction to news of the coup.

The problem with this tactic is that it's always possible to get caught in an outright lie. Speaking to reporters on the morning of February 28, for instance, Fleischer said of Middle East peace negotiations under Clinton: "As a result of an attempt to push the parties beyond where they were willing to go, that led to expectations that were raised to such a high level that it turned to violence." The story went out that the administration blamed Middle East violence on its predecessor's peacemaking. That afternoon, Fleischer insisted he had said no such thing. "That's a mischaracterization of what I said," he protested. But Fleischer's earlier statement was too fresh in the press corps's mind to simply deny, and the press continued to hound him. Later in the day he was forced to issue a statement of regret.

What this episode illustrates is that stating unambiguous falsehoods carries certain risks--and no press secretary can afford to have his factual accuracy repeatedly challenged by the press. So while Fleischer may employ this tactic more frequently than most press secretaries, it is still relatively rare--the p.r. equivalent of a trick play in football: While spectacular to behold and often successful, more frequent usage would dilute its effectiveness and risk disaster.

The greater feat is to put yourself in a position where you don't have to lie. This can be accomplished in lots of ways--spinning is the preferred approach for most flacks, but that isn't Fleischer's style; candor, obviously, is out of the question. Fleischer's method of choice is question-avoidance. After all, you can't be accused of answering a question untruthfully if you haven't answered it at all.


"President Bush had business ties with Enron and its predecessor companies, and first met Kenneth Lay, its chairman, sometime in the late 1980s, according to public records and interviews. Previously, the president had not mentioned his business dealings with Enron and had said that he got to know Lay after he was elected governor of Texas in 1994. On Tuesday, White House communications director Dan Bartlett told the Tribune that Bush's relationship with Lay probably started when Bush was in Washington in 1987 and 1988, working on his father's presidential campaign. It could have started earlier, he said. "He does not recall specifics" of the first time he met Lay, Bartlett said. 'He met him through his father and through his father's political activity.'" --Chicago Tribune, 03.06.02.


"About three weeks ago, I received a tip. The attorney general was fed up with having his picture taken during events in the Great Hall in front of semi-nude statues. [One statue has a breast exposed, the other has a cloth over his loins.] He had ordered massive draperies to conceal the offending figures. But initially not only could the story not be confirmed — it was strongly denied....According to my original tipster, [a November photo of the Attorney-General with one of the nude statues in the background] was the final straw for Ashcroft, and he ordered that the statues henceforth be draped.

"Public affairs people however denied any such thing. They stoutly maintained that the attorney general had never complained and that no draperies had been ordered....The draperies have in fact been ordered....[and] installed last week at a cost of just over $8,000.*

"And it turns out that they were indeed ordered by someone in the attorney general's office, who delivered the request to the Justice Management Division and asserted it was the attorney general's desire. I'm told she was the only person in the attorney general's office who knew about it. She's his advance person, and she said it was done for "aesthetic purposes" — she just thought it would look better when staging events in the Great Hall. --Beverley Lumpkin, ABC News, 01.25.02

*Public Affairs "noted that former spokeswoman Mindy Tucker always hated the statues; Mindy told me Thursday it was her view that half the women in the department were offended by them and the other half considered them art. [Mindy Tucker was a secondary press spokesperson for Governor Bush and was given the post of spokeswoman for Justice when Bush came to Washington. In that position she made some controversial announcements to the press on free speech matters, and has since been replaced and moved to a similar position for the Republican National Committee. --Politex].


Bush's visit to West Virginia last week included a chat with Bob Kiss, Democratic speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates....Kiss told Bush that if he wasn't doing anything the next morning, he could come by for [his infant twins'] 3 a.m. feeding. Kiss said Bush joked, "I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war." --CNN, 01.27.02

Bush was a member of the Texas Air National Guards between May 1968 and October 1973 and never left the country in relation to his duties. He was discharged 8 months before his six year term expired. "During his fifth year as a guardsman, Bush's records show no sign he appeared for duty." (Boston Globe, 05.23.00) According to a 06.18.02 story in the Sunday Times (UK),"Documents obtained by The Sunday Times [UK] reveal that in August 1972, as a 26-year-old subaltern in the Air National Guard, Bush was grounded for failing to "accomplish" an annual medical that would have indicated whether he was taking drugs...." The Boston Globe story on Bush's military service adds, Bush "refused for months last year [1999] to say whether he had ever used illegal drugs. Subsequently, however, Bush amended his stance, saying that he had not done so since 1974." According to the Boston Globe, "In his final 18 months of military service in 1972 and 1973, Bush did not fly at all." --Politex, 01.28.02MORE Here and Here


"Wasn't that the best?" said a laughing Ann Richards this week, when I asked her reaction to President Bush's effort to hide behind her skirt when questioned about Enron. "It was so silly. Why didn't he just say Ken Lay was a strong supporter and gave him a half-million dollars and is a good friend, and he's really sorry Ken's in these terrible circumstances?"

Good question. As the world knows now, George W. Bush told two lies when first asked about his ties to the top guy in what may prove the largest corporate flimflam in history. The president said (1) that he only "got to know" Mr. Lay in 1994, when in fact their relationship goes back at least to 1992; and (2) that Mr. Lay "was a supporter" of Governor Richards, when in fact Mr. Lay told TV's "Frontline" last year that he "did support" Mr. Bush over Ms. Richards in their Texas race.

This is the president who promised to usher America into "a new era of personal responsibility"?

What makes the dissembling so strange is that there is no evidence of any administration illegality in the Enron affair. And yet each day brings a new half-truth or seeming cover-up. Appearing on CNN last Saturday, Lawrence Lindsey, the top Bush economic adviser and a former Enron consultant, seconded the president's effort to pin Ken Lay on Ann Richards, but somehow forgot to say what would become public four days later — that he had overseen an administration study of the impact of Enron's travails in October. Earlier, Mary Matalin had visited the Imus show to defend her boss, Dick Cheney, but instead of vowing to open the books on the secret meetings between Enron and the vice president's clandestine energy task force, she asserted that Enron got "not one thing" from the administration's energy plan (actually it got plenty) and tried desperately to dismiss the entire ruckus as lacking an intern's "blue dress."

Hard as it is to believe, it was only 10 days ago that Ari Fleischer declared, "I'm not aware of anybody in the White House who discussed Enron's financial situation." Now we're painfully aware that the only White House inhabitants who may not have discussed it are the president, Barney and Spot — or so we must believe until future investigators turn up a smoking pretzel. --Frank Rich


"After Sept. 11, says Laura Bush, divorce is down, weddings are up and ``families have come together.'' In fact, fewer folks are taking vows and more are splitting up, says the available data, and hounds are twice as likely as husbands to get wifely attention....``Divorce cases have been withdrawn at higher rates, and more people are buying engagement rings and planning weddings,'' the first lady told a group of New York women. Mrs. Bush was referring to a news report out of Houston that was retracted four days before her talk. In fact, the federal government hasn't tracked divorce and marriage on a monthly basis since 1995. The only information is on the county level." --AP, 01.16.02


Despite President's Denials, Enron & Lay Were Early Backers of Bush

Enron PAC & Executives Gave $146,500 to 1994 Gubernatorial Campaign

Austin--President George W. Bush revised history yesterday when he said that Enron CEO Ken Lay "was a supporter of Ann Richards in my [gubernatorial] run in 1994." While Richards reportedly received $12,500 from Enron sources in that campaign, Bush received far more Lay and Enron money.

In fact, in an interview with PBS’s "Frontline" taped on March 27, 2001, Lay said, “When Governor Bush, now President Bush, decided to run for the governor’s spot, [there was] a little difficult situation. I’d worked very closely with Ann Richards also, the four years she was governor. But I was very close to George W. and had a lot of respect for him, had watched him over the years, particularly with reference to dealing with his father when his father was in the White House and some of the things he did to work for his father, and so did support him.”

Mr. Lay and Enron's PAC were early donors to Bush’s 1994 race, contributing $30,000 to Bush's gubernatorial committee as early as November 1993. All told, Enron's PAC and executives contributed $146,500 to Bush's first gubernatorial war chest in 1993 and 1994.

"President Bush's explanation of his relationship to Enron is at best a half truth. He was in bed with Enron before he ever held a political office," said Craig McDonald, Director of Texans for Public Justice.

Total Enron Money To Bush’s 1994 Gubernatorial Campaign Committee:

Contributions from Ken and Linda Lay………. $47,500
Contributions from the Enron PAC ………….. $20,000
Contributions from Other Enron Executives …$79,000
Total…… $146,500

Total Enron Money to Bush’s 1998 gubernatorial campaign = $166,000.
Total Enron Money to Bush’s two Gubernatorial Campaigns = $312,500.

Source: Texans for Public Justice and the Texas Ethics Commission.

Texans for Public Justice is a non-partisan, non-profit policy & research organization that tracks money in Texas politics.

As Enrongate Closes In, Bush Misleads Reporters About Relationship With Lay
"The president said he first met Lay in 1994, when the businessman worked for Democratic Gov. Ann Richards." --AP, Jan. 10, 2002.

"In addition to being one of the single largest financial backers of George W. Bush's political career, Ken Lay can count himself among the president's closest friends. Letters written while Bush was governor of Texas and obtained by Mother Jones reveal that the Enron Corp. chairman regularly wrote Bush and called upon the governor for favors. Lay recommended appointments to state boards and asked Bush to meet with visiting dignitaries from countries with whom Enron was hoping to do business. In fact, the relationship between the men dates back to the first Bush administration, when George W. used his family name to promote Enron ventures in Argentina ("Don't Cry for Bush, Argentina")." --Mother Jones.

"A few weeks after the U.S. presidential election in 1988, [Argentina's Minister Of Public Works Rodolfo] Terragno received a phone call from a failed Texas oilman named George W. Bush, who happened to be the son of the president-elect. "He told me he had recently returned from a campaign tour with his father," the Argentine minister recalls. The purpose of the call was clear: to push Terragno to accept the bid from Enron." --Mother Jones.


Bush "said yesterday: "I saw an airplane hit the tower - the TV was obviously on - and I used to fly myself, and I said, 'There's one terrible pilot.' And I said, 'It must have been a horrible accident.'" Of the second strike, Mr Bush told the youngster [,third grader, Jordan,]: "I wasn't sure what to think at first."...The story that he was watching TV contradicts reports from correspondents at the time that he got the news in a phone call from his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. It also adds further puzzles: why he was being made to wait; why he did not at least delay his entry into the classroom; and why is it obvious that an elementary school would have a TV set in the corridor?" --Guardian, 12.5.01

EXCERPT FROM TRANSCRIPT..."Well, Jordan, you're not going to believe what state I was in when I heard about the terrorist attack. I was in Florida. And my chief of staff, Andy Card -- actually I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, "There's one terrible pilot." And I said, "It must have been a horrible accident." But I was whisked off there -- I didn't have much time to think about it, and I was sitting in the classroom, and Andy Card, my chief who was sitting over here walked in and said, "A second plane has hit the tower. America's under attack." --CNN, 12.04.01

"Mr. Bush was informed that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in a telephone conversation with Ms. Rice shortly before walking into a second-grade classroom at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. White House officials said he knew only that it was a single aircraft and not necessarily a terrorist attack. The president did not appear preoccupied until a few moments later, around 9:05 a.m., when his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., entered the room and whispered into the president's ear about the second plane attack. At that moment Mr. Bush's face became visibly tense and serious." --NYT, 9/12/01.

I was watching the major news channels right after the first plane struck the first tower at around 8:45. My recollection is that footage of that accident was not made available until sometime after the sceond tower was hit by the second plane. That's because any shot of the first plane hit would have been happenstance and probably recorded by an amateur, which turned out to be the case with the footage shown at around 10:00 on network TV. If that's correct, Bush's thought when he saw the footage, "There's one terrible pilot," would be stunningly inappropriate, since it could only have come after phone conversations with Rice at around 8:55 (first plane), after seeing the first tower on fire at around 9:00, and after getting Card's whispered message about the second plane crash at around 9:05. Given that scenario, Bush's viewing of the second plane hitting the second tower could only have taken place after his classroom visit, which ended before 9:15. At around 9:15 he addressed the nation. The only way Bush could have seen the first plane crash prior to seeing the second plan crash would have been to have seen it on a non-public Secret Service TV transmission, which he didn't say had happened, but then, where did the secret service immediately get the pictures and send them to Bush within ten minutes of the crash? None were available to the public until around 10:00, if memory serves, and those weren't reported to have been supplied by the government, but by an amateur. By 10:00 Bush was leaving Saarasota. Given the available facts, the most benign conclusion, then, is that Bush was not telling the truth when he told Jordan that he saw the first plane hit the first tower prior to his going into the classroom. He actually could have seen the tower on fire, heard the reporter say that a plane hit it, and concluded, "There's one terrible pilot," making his remark too typically inappropriate, but not stunningly so. This would be just one more example of Bush's problems with his use of language and facts, which we have beem calling to our readers' attention for quite some time. --Politex, 12.09.01


The entire public rationale for the tax cut was not merely wrong or reckless, but outright dishonest. When Bush took office, remember, most people wanted to pay off the national debt and spend money on things like education and prescription drugs far more than they wanted tax cuts. Bush was only able to make his tax cuts acceptable by convincing the public that he first planned to take care of popular priorities and only cut taxes with all the leftover money. So, last week a reporter asked Fleischer what, given projected deficits, Bush planned to do about his promise to enact a prescription drug benefit. He replied that "anything dealing with large spending increases, particularly creation of new entitlements, has to be done with an eye toward what is achievable." In other words, it turns out we can't afford a drug plan, so too bad. If Bush's you-can-have-it-all budgeting was merely a miscalculation, he could scale back the tax cut to make way for more debt reduction or spending. But the truth—which subsequent developments now expose—is that Bush always placed his tax cut ahead of debt reduction or the various government policies he endorsed as a "compassionate conservative." It wasn't just some giant miscalculation. It was a lie. --Jonathan Chait, 12/4/01


"In an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Friday, Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, defended the {Bush tribunals], saying they would be fair. Mr. Gonzales continued with an assertion that appeared to liken the commissions to courts-martial. "The American military justice system is the finest in the world," he wrote, "with longstanding traditions of forbidding command influence on proceedings, of providing zealous advocacy by competent defense counsel and of procedural fairness." Some critics say the administration appears to be fostering the confusion to blunt criticism of the tribunals. "The confusion benefits the administration," said Eric M. Freedman, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, N.Y. "If the government can spread the impression that the tribunals are like the courts- martial, that would allay many fears." In the battle of perception, both sides have been making statements that may not be accurate. Critics have said tribunals will conduct "secret trials." Mr. Gonzalez wrote that the commissions "will be as open as possible," though the president's order permits closed proceedings. --NYT.


"Those who watched NBC's "Meet the Press" Nov. 18 heard national security adviser Condoleezza Rice say that President Bush has been "very supportive of the Nunn-Lugar program." She said, "The funding was not cut. . . . All the way back in the campaign, the president talked about perhaps even increasing funding for programs of this kind." Rice said Bush has asked for as "much money as is actually needed." Perhaps the usually well-informed security adviser was misinformed, but what she said was wrong. The administration's budget request cut the Department of Energy part of the Nunn-Lugar program from $872 million to $774 million and the Department of Defense portion by another $40 million. The "materials protection and accounting" program that safeguards and monitors Russian nuclear materials was cut $35 million; the program to subsidize research facilities for jobless Russian nuclear scientists and keep them from working for terrorists, another $10 million. Nor is it true, as Rice claimed, that no more money could usefully be spent. Veteran professional staff people in Congress and the administration tell me the Russians have never been more receptive to American help in locking up or disposing of these materials. On Sept. 26 the Russians agreed to give U.S. inspectors access to nuclear sites never before opened. The window is open, but money is short. The program for disposing of plutonium -- a basic ingredient of nuclear weapons -- is essentially bankrupt. Some in the Bush administration argue that current disposal methods -- burning it in nuclear power reactors or storing it in glassified form -- are too expensive. I cannot judge. But last week, 20 senators wrote Bush "strongly urging" him to give "full and adequate funding" to the plutonium disposal program. Among the signers were 10 Republicans, including the party's senior defense and budget spokesmen, Sens. John Warner and Pete Domenici. This is a stupid place to try to save money." --David Broder, 11/25/01


About the White House proposal to drill in Alaska in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, page 5-9 of the Bush-Cheney "National Energy Policy" at http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy tells Americans that:
"Estimates indicate that no more than 2,000 acres will be DISTURBED if the 1002 Area of ANWR is developed...the developed area is estimated to be less than one-fifth the size of Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport."
In August, the House passed an energy bill (H.R. 4) allowing drilling in Area 1002, but limiting certain oil production activities to 2,000 acres. However, the 2,000 acre (non-contiguous) limit only applies to the area where "oil facilities" actually "touch" the ground. This is the kind of lie politicians tell all the time. It's factually correct, but totally misleading. It's like saying a bullet through your head will only "touch" 1% of your body, implying that the rest of your body will be just fine. As you can see by looking at the map and explanation of proposed activities on our Alaskan Drilling page, the proposed Bush-Cheney plan will render over 1,000 square miles of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pretty much useless for anything other than drilling and support activities, causing grave and permanent damage to the environment. --Politex, 11/21/01


"Hiding behind a bogus claim of expanding openness, Bush issued new rules that will greatly complicate the Presidential Records Act, a post-Watergate law intended to ensure the release of administration records 12 years after a president leaves office — in this case, those of the Reagan administration. Under the law, Reagan documents were due for public release this year. Instead, Bush chose to stack the deck against disclosure, abolishing rules the Reagan administration itself wrote and replacing them with new roadblocks....Both Bush and his staff pretend they're increasing access to the documents. In introducing the rules, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said that under existing law and procedures a former president has the right to withhold any documents for any reason. "But thanks to the executive order more information will be forthcoming," he said. That's true only if you pretend that the 1978 law isn't already in effect, implemented through Reagan's executive order. --USA, 11/11/01


On ABC News this evening a report reminded us that Bush's Sec. of Health, Tommy Thompson, said two weeks ago that his department would be able to respond to any threat of bioterrorism. When challenged about his statement today in the face of the Anthrax crisis and the limited availablility of both anthrax vaccine and Cipro, he reiterated his statment with a stress on the word "respond": "Yes, I said we would be able to RESPOND." You're in a car that crashes at an intersection. Those who see you crash would be sure to RESPOND, but in what way and to what end? --Politex, 10/17/01


Bush lied. About the cost of his tax cut. About who benefits. About his budget. He lied when he claimed he could throw money at the military, fund a prescription drug benefit, pass his tax cut and still not touch the Social Security surplus. And he's lying now as his budget office cooks the books to mask the fact that he's already dipping into the Social Security surplus--without counting the full cost of his military fantasies, or a decent drug benefit, or the inevitable tax and spending adjustments yet to come. Democrats have every reason to rail about Bush's lies and to condemn his irresponsible tax cut--about a third of which will go to the wealthiest 1 percent (and for which, it should be noted, twelve Democratic senators voted)....Democrats should be indicting Bush for turning his back on working families by enforcing austerity in a time of need. They should be making the case for extending unemployment insurance, aiding poor mothers (the first to be laid off), making investments in housing, schools and mass transit that can help jump-start the economy. And they should be taking credit for the tax rebate that people are getting--that was a Democratic idea that wasn't even in the Bush plan. Instead, Democrats are whistling Calvin Coolidge and ceding the growth argument to Bush. Bush says his tax cuts are needed to help the economy revive; that's right--only he's lying about his tax cut. Most of it doesn't kick in for years and goes to the already rich. Those cuts should be reversed, particularly the ones in the estate tax, which is paid only by the wealthiest families. Now we have a dishonest debate: Bush lies.... --Robert L. Borosage, 9/7/01


"This was supposed to be the administration that was going to "restore honor and integrity to the White House." Two days after taking office, George W. gave his troops their marching orders on ethics: "I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct," said W. "This means avoiding even the appearance of improper conduct."

"Maybe Cheney and Rove just weren't paying attention. That could, at least partly, account for Rove's penchant for attending meetings on issues involving companies in which he owned stock. He took part in multiple energy policy meetings while owning stock in energy companies such as Enron. And in March, he met at the White House with the chairman of Intel and a pair of lobbyists who were pushing for approval of a high-tech merger the White House endorsed shortly thereafter. Three months later, Rove sold his Intel stock for $110,000. But when congressional Democrats questioned whether Rove had violated federal conflict-of-interest laws, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales defended him by claiming that the meetings fell outside the scope of government ethics rules because they were of a "general" nature. And what Rove's defense really means, of course, is that there was "no controlling legal authority." So much for "avoiding even the appearance of improper conduct."

"The tasty tidbits go on and on, such as how [the White House task force on energy] included a Bush appointee whose wife was raking in $60,000 lobbying for electricity companies at the same time her hubby was helping craft the energy plan. And how the only time Cheney deviated from his refusal to reveal the names of those helping him shape the plan was when he met with representatives from solar, wind and geothermal power, and then proudly trotted them out to meet the press.We also learn that a section of the task force's final report dealing with global warming was lifted almost verbatim from a policy paper put out by an energy industry trade group. I say almost, because in one sentence, the industry group used the phrase "both for" while the task force went with "for both." A complete syntactical reversal -- now that's some independent thinking! The fresh air that W promised to bring to the White House has grown so foul that...it's time for a refresher course on ethics and conflict-of-interest issues." --Arianna Huffington, 8/31/01


Bush Lied About The Effect Of His Tax Cuts On The Economy During The Campaign, And He's Lying Now... "Dishonesty in the pursuit of tax cuts is no vice. That, in the end, will be the only way to defend George W. Bush's deceptions. Let's remember the way the debate ran during the spring. Back in May, The New Republic's cover showed a picture of Mr. Bush, with the headline "He's Lying." Inside were two articles about the tax cut. One, by Jonathan Chait, showed that -- contrary to administration claims -- the tax cut would mainly go to the richest few percent of the population. The other was an excerpt from my own book "Fuzzy Math," refuting the administration's claims that it could cut taxes, increase military spending, provide prescription drug coverage and still avoid dipping into the Social Security surplus. The New Republic cover caused much tut-tutting; the magazine's editors were accused of hyperbole, of rabble-rousing. But the headline was a simple statement of fact. Mr. Bush was lying. It was obvious from the start that the administration's numbers didn't add up. And in case you were wondering, the administration is still lying. I could explain at length how the Office of Management and Budget has cooked the books so that it can still claim a surplus outside of Social Security over the next two years. But here's an easy way to see that the numbers are bogus: O.M.B. claims that the budget will show a surplus of $1 billion this year, and another $1 billion next year. Ask yourself how likely it is that revenues and outlays in a $2 trillion budget would line up that exactly. Then ask yourself how likely it is that they would line up that exactly two years in a row. The O.M.B. numbers are the result of desperate backing and filling -- shift some revenue from this year to next year, then move some of it back, then change accounting rules that have been in place for 65 years, then bump up the estimate of economic growth -- all so that the administration can pretend that it is keeping its promise." --Paul Krugman, 8/28/01


Though President Bush campaigned for election by promising the military "help was on the way" after what he called years of neglect, his administration is now finalizing proposals this week for making big cuts in the armed forces.... The Pentagon has been laying the groundwork for these changes by saying it is essential to cut forces if the United States is going to realistically meet overseas commitments. But as the services themselves fight the proposed cuts, bitter opposition is anticipated on Capitol Hill, even from the president's own party. "They did take the president as a campaigner at his word that 'help is on the way' and to find out that help is now on the wane is not a good thing for them," said Daniel Goure, senior fellow at the Lexington Institute. The cuts are needed to pay for the administration's proposed missile defense system....Though Bush came into office promising to help restore the military, economic reality has overtaken campaign rhetoric." --ABC, 8/21/01


"The Great Stem Cell Compromise. "This is way beyond politics," said George W. Bush while pondering his verdict. What's more, he told the nation, he had found a solution to please everyone. His plan will at once "lead to breakthrough therapies and cures" and do so "without crossing a fundamental moral line." In fact, everything Mr. Bush said is false. His decision was completely about politics. It will slow the progress to breakthrough therapies and cures. It did force the pro-life movement he ostensibly endorses to cross a fundamental moral line. And yet the politics were so brilliantly handled — and exquisitely timed, for the August dog days — that few vacationing Americans bothered to examine the fine print, which didn't arrive until the final seconds of an 11- minute speech. Few have noticed, at least not yet, that the only certain beneficiary of this compromise is George W. Bush. --Frank Rich, 8/18/01


"Recently Mr. Bush was asked about the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce output by a million barrels a day. That's about as much as the Department of Energy's estimate of peak daily production if we drill in the Alaskan tundra — a peak that won't come until the middle of the next decade. And OPEC cut production in order to keep oil prices high despite slumping world demand, which would seem to be against U.S. interests. Yet Mr. Bush was remarkably sympathetic to OPEC's cause; it seems that he feels the oil exporters' pain. "It's very important for there to be stability in a marketplace. I've read some comments from the OPEC ministers who said this was just a matter to make sure the market remains stable and predictable," he declared. Just in case you wonder whether this was really an endorsement of price-fixing, or whether Mr. Bush was just being polite, his spokesman, Ari Fleischer, left no doubt: "The president thinks it's important to have stability, and stability can come in the form of low prices, stability can come in the form of moderate prices." This is the same man who boasted during last year's campaign that he would force OPEC to "open the spigot." Did OPEC take Mr. Bush's remarks as a green light for further cuts? According to one oil analyst interviewed by Reuters, Mr. Bush's apparent expression of support for their efforts to keep prices high "excited a lot of OPEC ministers." Funny, isn't it? When California complains about high electricity prices, it gets a lecture about how you can't defy the laws of supply and demand. But when foreign producers collude to prevent prices from falling in the face of an oil glut, the administration not only signals its approval but endorses the old, discredited theory that cartels are in consumers' interest." --Paul Krugman, 8/4/01


"DURING the final presidential debate last fall, Al Gore accused George W. Bush of opposing a patients' bill of rights. "Actually, Mr. Vice President, it's not true," Mr. Bush instantly replied. "I do support a national patients' bill of rights. As a matter of fact, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to do just that in the state of Texas, to get a patients' bill of rights through. It requires a different kind of leadership style to do it, though." Texas, he added, was "one of the first states that said you can sue an H.M.O. for denying you proper coverage." ...Mr. Bush in 1995 vetoed the first version of the patients' rights bill that the Legislature sent him....two years later he let the section of the bill granting the right to sue go into effect without his signature." --NYT, 7/29/01


"The past few days have featured an extreme version of the [Bush] equivocation strategy. At the weekend summit of industrialized nations in Genoa, Italy, President Bush gave his fellow leaders the impression that he would come up with a global-warming proposal by October, in time for the next international meeting on the issue. But administration officials have since accused the Canadian and French leaders of making up the October target out of "thin air," and have even quibbled about whether U.S. ideas on the subject will amount to a 'proposal.'" --WP Ed, 7/26/01


"Washington is awash these days with avowals of concern for children, especially on the Republican side. Whatever the issue, it's really about the kids they say. President Bush referred to children 11 times in a single speech-on tax cuts no less. In a speech on federal money for churches-excuse us, "faith-based initiatives"-the count was up to 35 (not counting "kids" and the like). "The values of our children must be a priority of our nation," Bush said in a budget speech in March. But exactly what values was the President referring to? He gave the impression it was the traditional ones of hard work, abstemiousness and the rest. But look more closely at the administration, and a different meaning emerges. Whenever an issue pits kids against corporate agendas and big money in Bush's Washington, it is the kids who lose. And that means pretty much all the time. Corporate leaders in the U.S. are bent on reducing children to free-floating appetites for stuff, and the new crowd in Washington is cheering them on-often because it's the same people. Speechifying about "values" notwithstanding, no previous administration has so embodied the aggressive commercialism that has parents feeling under siege. If the administration really was serious about standing up for kids, it would go at this commercialism like a shark at blood. It is a direct assault on everything Republicans claim to hold dear. It subverts both the sanctity of the home and the authority of parents; and it turns the entire culture into a nemesis for parents rather than a support for them. Corporations approach kids not as potential moral beings, but as bundles of inchoate desire whose inclinations to self gratification are to be stoked and magnified-the amorality of the Sixties in corporate drag. But since the perps wear suits, the administration calls it the American Way. --Boulder Weekly, 7/15/01


"Karl Rove, President Bush's senior adviser, was the Salvation Army's first White House contact in its effort to win approval of a regulation allowing religious charities to practice anti-gay workplace bias, administration officials said yesterday. The revelation contrasts sharply with the administration's initial insistence that senior officials were not involved with the charity's request, which was hastily rejected Tuesday evening after a news account about the proposed regulation. An internal Salvation Army document obtained by The Washington Post said the White House had made a "firm commitment" to issue a regulation protecting religious charities from state and city efforts to prevent discrimination against gays in hiring and providing benefits. To secure this commitment, the charity proposed spending nearly $1 million on lobbyists and strategists, and those it retained included a key player in the Bush presidential campaign and one of the campaign's top fundraisers. The White House has denied that it promised the charity anything. But a White House official involved in the matter said yesterday that there was "an implied quid pro quo." This official said that Don E. Eberly, the deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, had given the Salvation Army "an implicit understanding" that the administration would seriously consider the change....

"A White House official close to the matter...said, "Rove was intimately involved in courting the Salvation Army." A second administration official close to the matter confirmed that account. Both officials said Rove knew all about the regulatory request. "Literally nothing occurs around here without his blessing," the first official said. "He's the air traffic controller. He says, 'Here's your problem. Here's your answer.' " Officials involved in the decision to drop consideration of the regulation said it was reached at about 4 p.m. Tuesday after a strong consensus was reached among the half dozen or so officials who were reviewing the request. Bush had traveled to New York that day. The issue and the way to handle the public relations crisis were hotly debated in meetings and calls to Air Force One as Bush traveled back from New York. As the White House worked to calm the furor over the Salvation Army flap, the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday approved a component of Bush's faith-based plan, a proposal to allow those who don't itemize their taxes to deduct charitable contributions. The committee scaled back the plan to just $6.3 billion over 10 years from the $84 billion Bush proposed. The White House nevertheless hailed the passage by the committee as a major victory. "This legislation will stimulate more charitable giving and support faith-based and community organizations in their efforts to help those in need," Bush said in a statment. --WP, 7/12/01


"George W. Bush ran for president pledging not just a change in policies but a change in the way those policies are made. There was no mistaking whom Bush had in mind when he denounced decision-making by poll and promised an end to the "permanent campaign." Five months into his administration comes a surprise: Bush's White House at times bears a striking resemblance to Bill Clinton's. The signature of Clinton's White House -- and a key to his survival during impeachment and a host of other crises -- was the way policy and politics were routinely interwoven in his decision-making process. Clinton's top political and policy aides met weekly to pore over polling and to plot strategy. Senior Bush aides acknowledge they convene weekly to do precisely the same thing." --WP, 6/26/01


"Bush, playing an active role in targeting vulnerable Democratic senators in next year's election, aimed his latest criticisms toward Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Calling for greater authority to set U.S. trade policy during a speech Wednesday to the Business Roundtable, [Bush] said: "There are some who want to put codicils on the trade protection authority for one reason -- they don't like free trade. They're protectionists and they're isolationists." The remarks came as Baucus was chairing hearings in which several senators questioned the wisdom of granting Bush "fast track" authority to negotiate trade deals. Baucus spokesman Michael Siegel said Friday that the senator "just couldn't figure out what was meant by [Bush's] comments." Baucus has a "progressive" record on trade policy, including calls for normalized trade with Cuba, Siegel said. "Certainly the Senate is not isolationist or protectionist," he said. --WP, 6/25/01


"The European Commission's anti-trust chief has ordered politicians to quit meddling in his affairs, following criticism by chiefs including US president George Bush of his probe into the General Electric/Honeywell merger. EU competition commissioner Mario Monti has condemned as "entirely out of place" comments over the tough line he has said to have taken over the $42bn deal, between two of America's biggest companies.... "This is a matter of law and economics, not politics," he said...." I deplore attempts to misinform the public and to trigger political intervention."... Last week Mr Bush said he was "concerned that the Europeans have rejected" the merger....Mr Bush's office on Monday appeared to be attempting to calm US/EC tension, denying that the president had sought to interfere with Mr Monti's anti-trust procedures. "[Mr Bush] reiterated the American position, which [was that] the American government already cleared the merger so, of course, the president said that," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. --BBC, 6?20/01


"'Something will happen when I'm president,' Bush told a Jewish lobbying group a year ago. 'As soon as I take office I will begin the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.' The Bush campaign in October slammed Vice President Al Gore for backsliding on the move."

--Al Kamen's June 13 "In the Loop" column in the Washington Post.

"Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45) (the 'Act'), I hereby determine that it is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States to suspend for a period of six months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act."

--June 11 presidential memorandum delaying the congressionally mandated relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Timothy Noah, 6/19/01


CLINTON'S NIGHT DEPOSIT..."As the Bush administration has moved ambitiously during its first months to reshape the government according to its conservative values, the president and his aides have explained their decision to reopen dozens of federal rules by saying they were deluged by President Bill Clinton with controversial, last-minute regulations. "The night deposit" is how Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. refers to Clinton's final regulatory work, spanning drinking water and medical records, workers' safety and national parks. "Actions like this, undertaken at the very end of an administration, carry . . . the risk that they were ill-considered or ill-intentioned or both," Daniels said. An examination of the rules that the new administration has begun to rethink -- and, in some instances, recast -- suggests that Clinton did complete a large number of regulations near the end of his second term. But there is little evidence any of them were new ideas that sprang up in the weeks and months before the White House changed hands. In fact, virtually all the regulations finished by federal agencies shortly before Clinton left office had been developed over years, according to government documents, outside policy analysts, and officials of the Bush and Clinton administrations. Some had been delayed by lawsuits or because Republican-led Congresses of the mid- to late-1990s had explicitly forbidden federal agencies to work on them. Moreover, the regulations completed during Clinton's final weeks in office were in step with a brisk pace of regulatory work throughout his two terms -- and with a longstanding practice in which presidents of both political parties have issued many regulations just before they departed." --Washington Post, 6/9/01


"As OPEC meets, it has become apparent that President Bush is breaking his campaign pledge to "jawbone OPEC," to increase production. Last year Bush said OPEC was the "main reason," for high gas prices, but this year, as gas price have reached $2 a gallon in some regions, his Administration is rejecting "begging or publicly bashing to get more oil," with a "gentler approach" to OPEC. --Grand Old Petroleum, 6/6/01


"NOT LONG after George W. Bush was sworn in as president, many were aghast to read in newspapers and hear on television that in the final days of the Clinton administration, employees had trashed the White House. Democrats were embarrassed, and Republicans, stroking their wallets, gloated that they knew all along the Clintons were hillbillies. The story began as a gossip item in The Washington Post that the letter ''W,'' Bush's middle initial, had been removed from keyboards, and within days it had mushroomed to a scandal reported prominently on TV and the front page of the Post. The details were startling: Walls had been desecrated with obscene graffiti, file cabinets glued shut, telephone wires cut, presidential seals steamed off doors and pornography left on fax machines. So extensive was the damage that a communications worker was said to have been reduced to tears and a national magazine hinted that the White House was spending $10,000 a day to repair phone systems damaged by departing Democrats. Talk-show hosts from the nutty right, like Jay Severin in Boston and his audience of dumb and dumbest, all congratulated themselves on having been proved right that the Clintons were trailer-park trash.

"And what of the Globe? At a time when Bush aides were privately promoting the story, Anne E. Kornblut of the Globe's Washington Bureau was filing stories that were skeptical. For example, at a briefing Jan. 25, Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer deceptively encouraged reporters' suspicions while refusing to confirm or deny reports of damage. The next day, in a 620-word account, Kornblut wrote: ''No public evidence exists that Clinton and Gore staff members vandalized the White House or Old Executive Office Building.'' For that statement, she was denounced by some for political bias and for not reporting in greater detail what one reader said was further evidence that under Clinton, America had seen the greatest moral decay since the founding of the nation. ''Kornblut either knows the truth and she wrote a blatantly dishonest, biased story,'' wrote Lee Vincent of Groton, Conn., ''or she is incompetent or inexcusably clueless about a widely known set of facts.'' Now, three months later, buried in the national briefs column in the Globe a few days ago was an AP story four sentences long that said an investigation by the General Accounting Office found no evidence of vandalism, no evidence of wires slashed, no evidence of equipment damaged, and no evidence or anything to match the allegations.

"Knowing how difficult it is to write against the current and risk the wrath of readers, not to mention the censure of editors, I called Kornblut to congratulate her for having covered the story with temperance and, above all, for having gotten it right. 'Just basic reporting,' she said. 'What made me suspicious was the fact that the White House wouldn't give specific examples and wouldn't say, on the record, that this happened here or that happened there. I made phone calls to people who told me it just wasn't true. Also, there were no pictures, and they never seemed to be able to say on the record, in public or at a press conference, here is what happened.'" --Boston Globe,5/28/01


The General Services Administration has found that the White House vandalism flap earlier this year was a flop. The agency concluded that departing members of the Clinton administration had not trashed the place during the presidential transition, as unidentified aides to President Bush and other critics had insisted. Responding to a request from Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican, who asked for an investigation, the GSA found that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. "The condition of the real property was consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after an extended occupancy," according to a GSA statement. No wholesale slashing of cords to computers, copiers and telephones, no evidence of lewd graffiti or pornographic images. GSA didn't bother to nail down reports of pranks, which were more puckish than destructive. Among those pranks was the apparent removal, by aides to former President Bill Clinton, of the "w" key from some computer keyboards and the placing of official-looking signs on doors, saying things like "Office of Strategery," after a popular "Saturday Night Live" spoof on Bush. But the vandal scandal, tales of torn up offices and items stolen from the presidential jet, was the hottest story in town during the early days of the Bush administration until White House furniture and last-minute pardons pushed it off the front page. "I think it was this calculated effort to plant a damaging story," said Alex S. Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. "There was a sort of fertile ground for believing anything bad." Typical was Tony Snow, a syndicated columnist and former presidential speech writer for President Bush's father, who wrote that the White House "was a wreck." He also said that Air Force One, after taking Clinton and some aides to New York following the inauguration, "looked as if it had been stripped by a skilled band of thieves -- or perhaps wrecked by a trailer park twister." He went on to list all manner of missing items, including silverware, porcelain dishes with the presidential seal and even candy. "It makes one feel grateful that the seats and carpets are bolted down," Snow fumed. Except none of it happened. An official at Andrews Air Force Base, which maintains the presidential jets, told The Kansas City Star at the height of the controversy that nothing was missing. Bush himself acknowledged the same a few days later. And now GSA has made it official. --Kansas City Star, 5/17/01


"During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Theodore B. Olson, President Bush's nominee to become solicitor general, sought to dissociate himself from the "Arkansas Project," the effort by the conservative magazine American Spectator to uncover scandals linked to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton," the Washington Post reports. Olson told the committee that he belatedly became aware of the undertaking, but that he was not involved in the project's origin or management. But "former Spectator staff writer David Brock has told the Judiciary Committee that Olson was directly involved in the Arkansas Project." Brock said that he told Olson that a piece about Vince Foster was unsubstantiated, and that Olson told him "while he didn't place any stock in the piece, it was worth publishing because the role of the Spectator was to write Clinton scandal stories in hopes of 'shaking scandals loose.' " The Post piece is a follow-up to a piece Jake Tapper wrote in Salon. MSNBC,5/10/01


"W promised the world a "humble" [foreign policy], leading by example. It was, surprise, a lie. There is nothing humble about declaring that we don't give a damn about global warming, and that we are, in fact, going to boost our use of fossil fuels and to hell with the rest of the world. There is nothing humble about declaring the right to waste energy to be a central tenet of the "'Murican way of life." Like everything else about W, the "humility" was a ruse, and the "leadership" is a joke. Americans were supposed to feel confident that an experienced hand like Colin Powell was at the wheel at the State Department. From day one, Bush and Cheney have belittled Powell, contradicted him in front of the world, and left him swinging in the wind to be battered like a big Pinata by every foreign minister he deals with: "America will work to see the Rio protocols and the Kyoto Agreement changed so they can be adopted." WHAP! "Uh, no we won't Colin." "America will continue to seek dialogue with North Korea." WHAP! 'Nope, sorry big fella.'" --BuzzFlash, 5/11/01


"Wrapping up a meeting with the emir of Bahrain today, President Bush said conservation would be part of the national energy policy Vice President Dick Cheney will propose next week. "We'll have a strong conservation statement," Bush said. But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was adamant today when asked whether the president would ask Americans to stop using so much energy. "That's a big 'no,'" Fleischer said. "The president believes that it's an American way of life, that it should be the goal of policy-makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one." The president, he said, considers Americans' heavy use of energy a "reflection of the strength of our economy, of the way of life that the American people have come to enjoy." --ABC, 5/7/01


"Q: Admiral, how [are] the Chinese reading those memos from the secretary as far as the military-to-military relations with China? Is this kind of a warning to the Chinese from the U.S. that you better behave in the future?

"Quigley: No, I wouldn't interpret it that way at all. What you've got is a misinterpretation of the secretary's intentions yesterday by a member of the OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] staff, and it simply misinterpreted the secretary's intentions and his guidance. So this was an honest misinterpretation, nothing more, nothing less.

"Q: But how did it come to the secretary's attention that his guidance had been misinterpreted?

"Quigley: Reporters started calling yesterday afternoon. Somebody had gotten a hold of the original memo. And we started taking queries here on the news desk from reporters, and then that brought it to our attention, and we started working it here internally and --

"Q: But it was not complaints from the White House or the State Department?

"Quigley: No, not at all. Not at all. "

--May 3 Defense Department press briefing concerning a Pentagon directive banning all military-to-military contacts between the U.S. and China. The policy was hastily altered to require such contacts be approved on a case-by-case basis.

"White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said yesterday that after seeing the reports about the suspension of military relations, White House officials he would not identify had called the Pentagon and said: 'This seems inconsistent with what we know the secretary's policy is. Can you look into this?'"

--"Calls Led To Pentagon Reversal" by Mike Allen in the May 4 Washington Post.

Bush lies So often and in so many different ways that I've never had the patience to keep a list of them. However, when I write something and include the generalization that Bush lies, some readers will write in and say, "Oh, yeh? What did he lie about? I don't believe it." What follows, then, is an informal listing of just some of the lies he typically tells, starting from 2/01. Now, of course, we all know that Gore lies, Lott lies, Cheney lies, etc. But the difference between those liars and Bush is the Resident tells us that he is telling the truth when he is lying. Hence, he will tell us what he is going to do, like get his proposed tax cut from the surplus, then try to get his proposed tax cut from military and medicare funds, instead. Or, once he has actually begun a program, tell us lies about how or why the program has begun. Or tell a closed-door Dem meeting something and then swear up and down the next day that he didn't say it. Or saying, "Yes, Mam" and meaning "No, Mam." Or having a spinner say the opposite the next day. Or, or...you get the idea.
Some Bush backers claim he's not a liar, he's just not very bright and doesn't remember things very well. That may be true, but we're sure Bush would not allow such an excuse in his "responsibility era." We're sure Bush would agree that if he's that dumb, he shouldn't be President. Other Bush backers claim that some of his lies are "technically correct" or "tailored to fit the audience," or some such circumlocution. What they're talking about are lies of omission rather than lies of commission. In lies of ommission it's what they imply, not what they say. For example, the other evening Bush told Congress and the American people that he was putting a "lock box" on Social Security. Now, it's very clear that Bush wanted us to feel secure in the belief that he was protecting all of our Social Security funds for the future. No question, right? Yet, the very next day when his budget book was released, we learned that Bush told a lie of omission. What he didn't tell Congress and the American people is that he would later take from $.6 to $1 trillion out of that "lock box" to cover his tax cuts. No doubt, Bush lied. He wanted folks to believe something that he knew was not true. Of course, politicians do this all the time. It's second nature. In sum, the thing that really bothers us about Bush's lies is that he is also a hypocrite and pretends he's above lying. As a liar, he reinforces our assumptions about politicians. As a hypocrite, he reinforces our assumptions about his character. --Politex


Last month Bush looked at Cheney's proposal to drill for oil in Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest and decided that it was a good idea, since the desire to drill for oil was the wish of the people of Montana. However, the people of Montana have gone on record as being against the drilling, and the group that supports drilling consists of oil companies from outside the state. Here's how it went: "The 1.8 million acres of the Lewis and Clark National Forest, which includes some 380,000 acres of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, could be redesignated by the Bush administration for drilling without coming up before Congress. All it would take, according to Cheney’s task force, is repealing administrative protections that former controversial Lewis and Clark National Forest manager Gloria Flora spearheaded during the Clinton years. Such a change could be made by Norton. The rub, according to Jeff Juel of the Missoula-based Ecology Center, is that Flora’s moves to preserve the Front included an extensive public commentary period, one that provided...overwhelming public support. 'It’s a pretty big irony, really,' says Juel. 'The comments on this issue were divided among outside oil interests that wanted to keep [the Front] open to drilling, and Montana citizens, who said ‘No this should not happen.’ Now Bush is saying the federal government is the outside interest and that the oil companies represent local control.'" --Missoula Independent, 4/26/01


"Thursday found the president in Houston, landing at Bush Intercontinental Airport and proceeding to an event of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. There, he was greeted by his proud parents, and his father called it "a special year for the Bush family." The two Presidents Bush and their wives took the stage, and the elder Bushes played a video about their post-power lives -- the former president complaining that his golfing buddies won't allow him "gimmes" anymore, and the former first lady forced to go through a security check at a restaurant.... A fact sheet for the event implausibly listed the president as one of 38 "author alumni." Bush, whose campaign book, "A Charge to Keep," was ghostwritten by an adviser, was listed along with Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, Frank McCourt and Scott Turow. The president mused aloud that "some people think my mom took up the cause of literacy out of a sense of guilt over my own upbringing," and he quipped that "we all make our contributions in the world, and I suppose mine will not be to the literary treasures of the Western civilization." --WP, 4/28/01


"In defending the Bush administration's proposal to drill for oil in the wilderness of Alaska, [Cheney recently] maintained the "key fact to get across -- the ANWR -- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 19 million acres, roughly the size of South Carolina. The amount of land that needs to be disturbed on the surface to develop that resource, 2000 acres, roughly half the size of Dulles Airport. The notion that somehow developing the resources in ANWR requires some sort of vast despoiling of the environment up there is just garbage. It’s not true." Cheney’s statement was not true. The 2000 acres are not contiguous -- as is the acreage at Dulles Airport. According to a 1999 report of the U.S. Geological Survey, the oil located in this region is in at least 35 discrete sites spread across a wide swath of coastal plain. To extract the oil, drillers would have to construct roads connecting the far-flung sites and a 20-inch pipeline across 135 miles of wildlife habitat and rivers. And the particular portion of ANWR eyed by the oil companies happens to be the biological center of wildlife activity for the refuge. Why would the Vice President -- an intelligent, civil and hard-working (look at his ticker!) fellow who is part of the team that wants to improve the tone of Washington -- purposefully misconvey this crucial fact in a vital public policy debate? Would beyond-the-Beltway bumpkins be wrong to wonder if it was because of his ties and those of the administration to the oil industry? --David Corn,4/13/01


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush told an intimate audience in Washington Thursday that he stands behind his campaign pledge to give parents more ability to remove their children from unsafe or academically inadequate public schools. Such ability, he said, could be in the form of school vouchers, a hot-button issue among Democrats and some educators. Bush told those assembled in an Eisenhower Executive Office Building auditorium he was "strongly committed" to shifting federal money directly to parents if the schools their children attend cannot meet the standards set by local officials. "I campaigned vigorously on this idea, and I think it is right," he said. That was somewhat more direct than what he said Wednesday as he launched a reinvigorated push to persuade Congress to support his agenda to overhaul the nation's public school systems. He told a middle school audience in Concord, North Carolina, that he wanted to avoid some of the so-called choice issues, saying that choices such as vouchers would prompt an extended, spirited debate in Congress. --CNN, 4/12/01


"On Feb. 21, President Bush told teachers and students at Townsend Elementary School in Tennessee that

'in the budget I submit, the largest increase of any department will be for the Department of Education.'

Six days later, Bush told Congress that

'[t]he highest percentage increase in our budget should go to our children's education.'

"In both instances, Bush's apparently sincere pledge prompted spontaneous applause. But when Bush's budget was released this week, the Education Department did not get the biggest proposed increase, even though CNN and the Associated Press both reported that it did. In truth, calculated by percentage, the biggest proposed budget increase (13.6 percent) went to the State Department. (This is actually quite difficult to find in the OMB's budget documents, but if you go to this page on the State Department Web site and scroll down to Page 6, you'll find a "Summary of Funds." On that chart, scroll down to "State Appropriations Act" and compare FY 2001 to FY 2002.) Calculated by dollars, the biggest proposed budget increase ($14.2 billion) went to the Defense Department.

"So, how big is the proposed Education Department increase? The Bush administration is claiming it's 11.5 percent, or $4.6 billion. But if you read on, you'll see this puzzling language:

'Corrects for the distortion of advance appropriations, provides a $2.5 billion, or 5.9 percent increase, for Education Department programs, the highest percentage increase of any Cabinet agency, consistent with the priority the President has placed on education.'

"Ignore, for a moment, the erroneous claim that the Education Department is getting "the highest percentage increase of any Cabinet agency." (We've just established that it isn't.) What "distortion of advance appropriations" is the White House budget office talking about? Well, back in December, before George W. Bush became president, Congress appropriated about $2 billion for the Education Department, to be disbursed the following year. It did this as an accounting gimmick, in order to stay under a spending cap for the current year that was imposed by a 1997 balanced budget agreement. Gimmick or no, though, the money was spent before Dubya moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, making it entirely ludicrous for Bush to take credit for it. The real budget increase Bush is proposing for the Education Department is $2.5 billion, a 5.9 percent increase. (Or $2.4 billion, a 5.7 percent increase, according to the Democratic staff of the House Education and Workforce committee, which used slightly different numbers from Congress' own budget office.) "The bureaucratic gobbledygook quoted above therefore translates to 'Our claim to increase the Education Department budget by 11.5 percent is laughably wrong, but we're doing our best to make sure no one will notice.' It seems to be working on Bush. Here he is on April 11 speaking at North Carolina's Concord Middle School:

'In the budget I submitted to the Congress--one which one body of the House listened to pretty carefully, and one body of the Congress listened to carefully, and the other decided, well, they're going to listen to some of it, but they decided to increase the size and scope of the federal government--we put a lot of money in for public education. The biggest increase of any department was for public education.'" --Slate, 4/13/01


WASHINGTON - Breaking his second campaign promise on the environment, President Bush has abandoned a pledge to invest $100 million a year in a program for rain forest conservation, according to the budget he released yesterday. Bush announced in a foreign policy speech last August that he planned to greatly expand the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, which allows poor countries to restructure their debt in exchange for protecting the disappearing forests. ''Expanding the aims of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, I will ask Congress to provide $100 million to support the exchange of debt relief for the protection of tropical forests,'' Bush said in the speech, delivered in Miami on Aug. 25. But in the new federal budget, Bush has arranged for just $13 million for the program. Even that sum isn't new funding; instead, it is diverted from the Agency for International Development. ''They've zeroed it out,'' said Debbie Reed, legislative affairs director for the National Environmental Trust.... The broken pledge has an extra sting for US Representative Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio and a close ally of Bush throughout the campaign. Portman was a chief sponsor of the bill that established the program in 1998, along with Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana. According to sources familiar with the program, both Portman and Lugar have for months been asking the White House for full funding for the rain-forest program. Bush introduced his expansion of the program at a critical time in the campaign, one week after the Democratic convention, as Vice President Al Gore's numbers were sharply on the rise. Attacking Gore for what he described as a weak commitment to the issue, Bush presented himself as the more practical and compassionate steward of the environment. --Boston Globe, 4/10/01


"ELLSBURG, Iowa — Harlyn Riekena worried that his success would cost him when he died. Thirty-seven years ago he quit teaching to farm and over the years bought more and more of the rich black soil here in central Iowa. Now he and his wife, Karen, own 950 gently rolling acres planted in soybeans and corn. The farmland alone is worth more than $2.5 million, and so Mr. Riekena, 61, fretted that estate taxes would take a big chunk of his three grown daughters' inheritance. That might seem a reasonable assumption, what with all the talk in Washington about the need to repeal the estate tax to save the family farm. "To keep farms in the family, we are going to get rid of the death tax," President Bush vowed a month ago; he and many others have made the point repeatedly. But in fact the Riekenas will owe nothing in estate taxes. Almost no working farmers do, according to data from an Internal Revenue Service analysis of 1999 returns that has not yet been published. Neil Harl, an Iowa State University economist whose tax advice has made him a household name among Midwest farmers, said he had searched far and wide but had never found a farm lost because of estate taxes. "It's a myth," he said. Even one of the leading advocates for repeal of estate taxes, the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it could not cite a single example of a farm lost because of estate taxes. The estate tax does, of course, have a bite. But the reality of that bite is different from the mythology, in which family farmers have become icons for the campaign to abolish the tax. In fact, the overwhelming majority of beneficiaries are the heirs of people who made their fortunes through their businesses and investments in securities and real estate....While 17 percent of Americans in a recent Gallup survey think they will owe estate taxes, in fact only the richest 2 percent of Americans do. That amounted to 49,870 Americans in 1999. And nearly half the estate tax is paid by the 3,000 or so people who each year leave taxable estates of more than $5 million. In fact, the primary beneficiaries of the move to abolish the estate tax look less like the Riekenas and more like Frank A. Blethen, a Seattle newspaper publisher whose family owns eight newspapers worth perhaps a billion dollars." --NYT, 4/8/01


"Jonathan Chait pointed out recently in the New Republic that the press maintains a bizarre double standard about factual assertions by public figures. When the subject is someone's personal life, reporters will go to great lengths to establish that he or she is lying. But on matters of public policy, journalists become radical agnostics who refuse to classify any statement as untrue. If some politician declares that two plus two is five, reporters might note that this position is not without controversy. Indeed there are critics, including politicians of the opposite party, who contend that two plus two may actually be four. Then perhaps they'll wind up the discussion by citing yet another pol who is confident that a compromise can be struck when the bill goes to conference. Or they will quote an anonymous aide who says that the differences are still too great. "Or sometimes the lie is permitted to lie completely unmolested. There was a nice example of this phenomenon this week. Wednesday's Washington Post and New York Times had carried an ad from a group of black businessmen supporting repeal of the estate tax. The group was organized by Robert L. Johnson, chairman of Black Entertainment Television. The ad declared: "The estate tax is unfair double taxation since taxpayers are taxed twice -- once when the money is earned and again when you die." A Times article yesterday about the ad noted correctly that this "repeats one of President Bush's familiar themes." Indeed it is probably the most tediously repeated sound bite of the estate tax debate. It is also false. Not "controversial" or "disputed" or "misleading" but out-and-out false. Most of the accumulated wealth that is subject to the estate tax was never subject to the income tax.

"This is so obviously, overwhelmingly true that anyone with the slightest business or financial experience surely knows it. Even George W. Bush. Well, probably even Bush. [No, even George W. Bush. --Politex] Yet he keeps on repeating the lie. Bob Johnson -- a real businessman -- must surely know it, since he is a walking example of wealth accumulated without the handicap of taxation. I don't mean to suggest that Johnson has done anything wrong or even sneaky. The point is the opposite: The rules are such that Johnson would have had to go out of his way -- way, way out of his way -- if he'd wanted his wealth to be taxed as he accumulated it. The same is true of almost every fortune large enough to qualify for the estate tax, probably including that of every other signer of that ad. If they read what they were signing, they knew they were signing a public lie." --Michael Kingsley, 4/6/01


"'If you count every vote, Gore wins.' So says Doug Hattaway, a former Gore campaign spokesman. So where did Hattaway get his facts? Amazingly, they came from the Miami Herald/USA Today recount. Read carefully from the Herald's lead story: 'Had all canvassing boards in all counties examined all undervotes, thousands of votes would have been salvaged in Broward County, Palm Beach County and elsewhere long before the election dispute landed in court -- and the outcome might have been different,' The Herald found. 'In that scenario, under the most inclusive standard, Gore might have won Florida's election -- and the White House -- by 393 votes, The Herald found. If dimples were counted as votes only when other races were dimpled, Gore would have won by 299 votes. But if ballots were counted as votes only when a chad was detached by at least two corners (the standard most commonly used nationally), Bush would have won by 352 votes.' Under two out of three scenarious - depending on exactly how you count hanging chads - Gore wins. So why did the Miami Herald's headline read: "Florida Results: Ballot Review Shows Bush Retaining Lead" And why did USA Today declare: 'Newspapers' Recount Shows Bush Prevailed In Fla. Vote And why did the New York Times report: 'An Analysis of Florida Balloting Favors Bush' Why? Because after they counted ALL of the dimpled and hanging chads, the Herald and USA Today decided to highlight only SOME of the results. Which results did they highlight? The ones that favored Bush. Which did they bury? The ones that favored Gore. In journalism, there's a four-letter word for that kind of reporting: BIAS. On the street, it's a three-letter word: LIE. Once again, the media has rushed to declare Bush the winner - regardless of the will of the American people, as expressed through their votes." [And if folks don't know how members of the Bush administration are paid big bucks to spend their days pressuring reporters and editors they're either not reading the papers or they're smoking funny stuff. --Politex] --Bob Fertik, 4/4/01


"Again and again, the new president has argued his policy is based on "sound science" and common sense  presumably the same common sense that once considered the burning of witches to be a good idea and thought the sun revolved around the earth. On the emissions issue, for example, he wrote to the Republican Senator Chuck Hagel last week arguing that carbon dioxide was not a pollutant and was not considered as such by the Clean Air Act. Not only does this fly in the face of received scientific wisdom, it is untrue. In a barbed response to the Hagel letter, the National Resources Defense Council  a respected environmental lobby group  cited two passages in the Clean Air Act that specifically mention carbon dioxide." --Independent, 3/30/01. Thanks to Ted.


I strongly believe we need to drop the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent. (Applause.) I've heard all the rhetoric about what that means, and so have you. But overlooked in the political hyperbole that tends to take place in our process is the fact that dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent serves as a stimulus to small business growth in America. "The Treasury Department released a report earlier today on small business owners who pay personal income taxes and small businesses which pay at the highest rate of 39.6. According to the Treasury Department, nationwide there are more than 17.4 million small business owners and entrepreneurs who stand to benefit from dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent."
--President George W. Bush, in a March 16 speech to small business owners.
"Most small businesses pay at the 39.6 percent rate."
--President George W. Bush, in a March 22 speech to the National Newspaper Association.
"In fact, fewer than five percent of these 17.4 million individual and business owners and entrepreneur pay the top rate. A total of only 691,000 taxpayers in the nation (including taxpayers who are not small business owners) paid the top rate in 1997, the latest year for which these data are available." --March 20 press release by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
--Slate, 3/23/01


I strongly believe we need to drop the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent. (Applause.) I've heard all the rhetoric about what that means, and so have you. But overlooked in the political hyperbole that tends to take place in our process is the fact that dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent serves as a stimulus to small business growth in America. "The Treasury Department released a report earlier today on small business owners who pay personal income taxes and small businesses which pay at the highest rate of 39.6. According to the Treasury Department, nationwide there are more than 17.4 million small business owners and entrepreneurs who stand to benefit from dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent."
--President George W. Bush, in a March 16 speech to small business owners.
"Most small businesses pay at the 39.6 percent rate."
--President George W. Bush, in a March 22 speech to the National Newspaper Association.
"In fact, fewer than five percent of these 17.4 million individual and business owners and entrepreneur pay the top rate. A total of only 691,000 taxpayers in the nation (including taxpayers who are not small business owners) paid the top rate in 1997, the latest year for which these data are available." --March 20 press release by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
--Slate, 3/23/01


"On March 12, The Washington Post reported that "the Bush administration will delay action on parts of its plan to channel more government money to religious charities," quoting Don Eberly of the office of faith-based initiatives as saying: "We're postponing." Two days later, President Bush said that "reports about our charitable choice legislation not going full steam ahead are just simply not true." But that day the Senate, with the White House's agreement, decided to postpone the financial aid plan for several months to a year." Washington Post, 3/26/01


"Retreating from a campaign pledge, President Bush told Congress Tuesday that his administration would not impose mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide on the nation's power plants. In a letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., the president made no mention of a campaign promise to require reductions in emissions of 'four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide.'...Last weekend, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman said the administration was moving ahead with plans for regulations in line with the Bush campaign pledge." --CNN, 3/13/01


President Bush's position on how much of his tax cut would accrue to the very wealthy is "objectively untrue," Jonathan Chait writes in the New Republic. "And yet journalists have not exposed the lie. In some instances they have actively propagated it." That's because "the rules of newspaper 'objectivity' hold that on questions of policy there must always be two sides, and that both sides must be treated equally, regardless of their relative merits." The fact remains that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans "may pay a slightly higher share of income taxes under Bush's plan, but they would pay a significantly lower share of total taxes," including the estate tax and the payroll tax. Joshua Micah Marshall makes a similar point in his "Talking Points": It's "just hard to understate how profoundly dishonest a person House Majority Leader Dick Armey really is," Marshall writes. "Armey is the poster boy for a particularly troublesome Washington phenomenon: because of the canons of journalistic objectivity, it is generally okay to lie brazenly as long as it's about public policy. (If it's about your personal life, watch out!)" --Chris Suellentrop, 3/9/01


"On most days, the political director of National Association of Manufacturers dons a suit and tie. But at a GOP tax cut rally outside the Capitol yesterday, Fred Nichols was sporting a faded blue "Farm Credit" hat, a striped rugby shirt and olive-green slacks. The sartorial switch was not accidental. Nichols's trade association, which pushed for yesterday's passage of President Bush's proposal to reduce income tax rates, circulated a memo among business groups this week urging lobbyists to show up in full force at the photo opportunity. And it urged them to be "dressed down" so that "a sea of hard hats" could flank Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and other House GOP leaders to help buttress Republican arguments that the plan helps blue-collar Americans. "The theme involves working Americans. Visually, this will involve a sea of hard hats, which our construction and contractor and building groups are working very hard to provide," said the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. "But the Speaker's office was very clear in saying that they do not need people in suits. If people want to participate -- AND WE DO NEED BODIES -- they must be DRESSED DOWN, appear to be REAL WORKER types, etc." --Wash. Post, 3/9/01


Call it a "Bush trillion." It's a sum that is either much more or much less than $1 trillion — whichever is convenient — but one that George W. Bush thinks he can get away with calling "a trillion dollars" in speeches. During the campaign Mr. Bush, to emphasize his moderation, claimed that he was matching a trillion dollars in tax cuts with a trillion dollars of new spending. In fact he proposed less than half a trillion in new programs, and now he proposes no real increase in spending at all. The tax cut, on the other hand, turns out to be $1.6 trillion, except that it's really $2 trillion once you count the interest costs. And it will be $2.5 trillion if it is accelerated, something Mr. Bush has urged but not factored into his numbers, and if a major wrinkle involving the alternative minimum tax is ironed out. Meanwhile Mr. Bush has come up with another trillion, this time his "trillion-dollar contingency fund." It comes as no surprise that the actual number in his budget is only a bit more than $800 billion. And more than half of that consists of funds that Medicare was supposed to be setting aside for the needs of an aging population. So maybe we also need to define a "Bush contingency," as in: "Gee, people might get older, and they might have medical expenses. We can't be sure — but it could happen." --Paul Krugman, 3/7/01


"It's a nonsense set of statistics"
--Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, commenting on the Citizens for Tax Justice study showing that 43 percent of the proposed Bush tax cut (since revised upward to 45 percent) would go to the richest 1 percent, as quoted by Charles Babington in the March 1 Washington Post

"In truth, the number is neither difficult to obtain nor highly disputed. The richest 1 percent of Americans would get between 31.3 percent and 45 percent of Bush's tax cut. Without the estate tax cut--which is about a quarter of Bush's tax package--the haul for the richest 1 percent would be 31.3 percent, according to Citizens for Tax Justice. Even a conservative economist such as the Heritage Foundation's William Beach agrees with that. 'It's not a controversial number,' [O'Neill] said." --Dana Milbank, "Tax Cut Statistics Disputed," in the March 2 Washington Post


Last week Bush called the U.S. air strikes in Iraq "routine" and so did his spinners, including Condi Rice. Now, as the Village Voice reports, the Bush air strikes were anything but "routine." "Pentagon officials revealed the recent air strikes in Iraq were designed to take out a fiber-optic network, being built by the Chinese, that would link the different parts of Saddam Hussein's air defense system. The military aid violates United Nations sanctions against Iraq. This bit of news raised ticklish questions for Bush, since his administration was just beginning to take up relations with the Chinese government. Things quickly took a chilly turn, as the president issued a stern statement. "Let me just tell you this," he said. 'It's risen to the level where we're going to send a message to the Chinese.'" Politex, 2/24/01


Bush "still seeks to play to his right wing, and despite a stated desire to "move on," last week gave the go-ahead for a criminal investigation of the Marc Rich pardon." --Village Voice, 2/21/01


"The administration pretends that it is offering broad tax relief for working families. Last week Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill declared that the plan "would focus on helping those people who are close to the low-income and middle-income brackets," adding that "it would affect every American that currently pays taxes." This statement isn't technically a lie [but it sure is a lie in its implications]: "close to" need not actually mean "in," and "affect" need not mean that a family's taxes are actually reduced. But one has to say that Mr. O'Neill, whom the press has portrayed as a straight talker, is learning his new trade very quickly. --Paul Krugman, 2/11/01


Bush "said throughout the campaign [that] the huge surpluses forecast for the next 10 years make a massive tax cut only fair and proper. On the other hand, he warns now, the declining economy requires a massive tax cut to prop it up. Believing that the country faces, at the same time, a declining economy and huge unending surpluses is the trick that the Bushies manage effortlessly. It's a belief that while a recession is about to reduce our tax revenues now -- or might already be doing it -- we can confidently dispense the ones projected for 2010." --Oregon Live, 2/8/01


"President Bush scrambled yesterday to defend his commitment to race relations after his chief of staff [not] mistakenly said the office devoted to that issue would be closed. White House officials insisted chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. had been misinformed when he told USA Today that the office created by President Bill Clinton, would be shuttered. The officials said Bush will...continue to focus on race relations with a Task Force on Uniting America that will not have its own office but will involve senior officials from several parts of the White House. The confusion marked the first significant stumble of a White House that has basked in mostly favorable reviews for its smooth and disciplined performance. The episode also marred Bush's careful effort to repair his relations with African Americans, many of whom remain embittered about the vote in Florida." --WP, 2/8/01


"Several House Democrats who attended a private retreat at which President George W. Bush spoke Sunday said the president appeared confused about one of the first executive orders he signed after taking office. The White House, in turn, called it a simple disagreement over policy. According to Democrats in the room, Bush stumbled as he answered the last of a series of nine questions by House Democrats. "He was boxed into a corner," said Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Florida. Others said the president seemed uncomfortable, with one noting, "He turned bright red." The question came from Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who asked Bush about an executive order banning U.S. funding for international aid groups that provide abortions or abortion counseling, even if the U.S. funds are not directly used for the abortion work. Bush signed the executive order January 22. Pelosi asked the president if it was a "double standard" to prohibit that funding because the administration opposes the groups' abortion activities, but allow funding to faith-based charities which conduct religious activities using private funds. Bush's response, Democrats said, implied he thought his executive order had outlawed only the direct financing of abortions. --CNN, 2/5/01


"Had Bush wished to be forthright, he should have said, "It is my conviction that any group that actively supports abortion rights should be punished by being denied taxpayer assistance for its other endeavors." That would have been a much more accurate explanation. He could also have argued that in the real world all funds are fungible. Consequently, if you provide millions to an overseas family planning program for non-abortion services, that allows it to divert other funds to its abortion-related work. But if Bush depended on that reasoning, he would undermine his own faith-based initiative, which is predicated on the assumption that the government can give money to a religious outfit for social services without subsidizing the religious functions of the group. (Money for soup kitchens, but not for proselytizing between courses.) Instead, the president falsely depicted his action. --David Corn, 2/5/01


"In his premier action in office, Bush reimposed Ronald Reagan's global gag order that prohibited U.S. government family planning funds from going to overseas groups that provide abortion services, lobby for abortion rights, or counsel pregnant women that abortion is an option. In his two-paragraph statement explaining the decision, Bush noted, "It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad. It is therefore my belief that the Mexico City policy should be restored." This was a disingenuous remark, for the funds in question -- $425 million -- do not underwrite abortion-related activity. Yes, some family planning groups that do offer or support abortion services would have received a portion of these millions, but that money would only support non-abortion activities. Bush's "conviction" was misapplied. His revival of the gag rule was a punitive step aimed at outfits that engage in legal health services and advocacy." --David Corn, 2/5/01


"The military overwhelmingly supported Mr. Bush; officers thought that they had an understanding — nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more — that defense spending would quickly expand once he reached the White House. Indeed, senior officers have been telling Congress that they need a 30 percent increase in their budget. Guess again. Last week, according to newspaper reports, Mr. Bush told lawmakers that there would be "no new money this year for defense." Karen Hughes, a counselor to Mr. Bush, conceded that "we may in fact need resources" for the military — may? after all that martial rhetoric? — but made it clear that there was no rush. One officer bitterly declared, "It sounds like campaign promise No. 1 being broken." --Paul Krugman, 2/4/01

From Address was full of lies, contradictions by Andrew Meyer
Sickening. Watching George W. Bush take the podium Wednesday night can be described as nothing else. Nevertheless, I stomached the entire State of the Union address and observed something I already knew: W can’t go five seconds without contradicting himself or just plain lying. Here are a few excerpts from his speech:
“We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing.”

Reality: England, France and Germany are negotiating with Iran over these issues. Yet, despite the European Union’s urgings, the administration is steering clear of these discussions altogether. If the United States does not step in as Bush claims we have, Iran will become a nuclear power.

“We are working closely with governments in Asia to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.”

Again, this is false. The six-party talks involving the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and North Korea are in suspension. Bush has rejected diplomacy in this instance, saying it would “reward bad behavior.” North Korea resumed reprocessing two years ago and most likely has built a couple nukes since.

“There are still regimes seeking weapons of mass destruction - but no longer without attention and without consequence.”

That’s a strange thing to say when we apparently are ignoring both Iran and North Korea. It’s funny Bush was so concerned about WMDs a couple of years ago, but now most of our military is committed to the one “Axis of Evil” country without any.
[The Independent Florida Alligator, 2/4/05]

01:52:13 PM
State Of the Union Analysis
From The Dangers of Overconfidence by Ivo Daalder
In sharp contrast to his previous post-9/11 appearances before Congress, Bush talked [in his State Of the Union address] about the war on terror as if victory was close at hand. He spoke of the defensive efforts undertaken at home, and the success of his policies in countering terrorism abroad. A new department had been created, and many al Qaeda leaders had been killed and rounded up. In Iraq, which Bush once again depicted as the central front in the war, America and its allies were fighting terrorists and winning, "so we do not have to face them here at home."
But while there have been successes in the war on terror, much remains to be done. Spending on homeland security remains dangerously inadequate – leaving our ports, chemical facilities, transportation systems, and critical infrastructure needlessly vulnerable to attack. Reform of the intelligence community remains a fact only on paper – more than two months have gone by without the president appointing the new intelligence czar everyone knows will be critical to that task. The Department of Homeland Security is such a dysfunctional agency that the entire top layer of management has resigned, giving a sense of all the smart people abandoning a sinking ship. As for confronting terrorists in Iraq, that effort is failing: despite killing or capturing 15,000 insurgents in 2004, the number of fighters increased from 5,000 to 20,000 over the same period.

A similar disjunction characterized Bush's remarks on Iraq. The president talked about Iraq as if there, too, victory was around the corner. The large turnout of Kurdish and Shiite Iraqis in last Sunday's election was proof that the Iraqi people wanted their country to be democratic. The only thing left was to train Iraqi security forces – and once that task was accomplished we would leave a prosperous, democratic, and peaceful country behind.

Would that it were so easy.
[Center For American Progress, 2/3/05]

01:01:22 PM
Social Security News
From Bush Shops Social Security Plan: Seeking Support, President Visits States of Vulnerable Democratic Senators by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen
President Bush pressured skeptical lawmakers Thursday to back the most dramatic Social Security changes in the program's 70-year history, targeting politically vulnerable Democratic senators to rally support for his plan.
One day after he used his State of the Union address to promote his plan to carve personal accounts out of the public retirement system, Bush emphasized the financial benefits of allowing Americans younger than 55 to invest a portion of their payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts.

"It's your money," Bush told thousands of supporters at the University of North Dakota. It's money you can decide to leave to whomever you want. It's money the government can never take away."

In his campaign-style appearances, Bush did not address the costs and risks associated with his proposal.

Bush told the mostly partisan North Dakota crowd that he would never "play politics with the issue."

He is campaigning, election-style, for the new accounts this week in the back yards of three Senate Democrats the GOP is targeting for defeat in 2006: Kent Conrad in North Dakota, Ben Nelson in Nebraska and Bill Nelson in Florida.
[Washington Post, 2/4/05]

Well, it is nice to hear he's not playing politics with the issue.

11:52:50 AM
General Malfeasance Editorial
From Bush's costly modus operandi
As a "moral values" president, George W. Bush has some explaining to do about bearing false witness.
Perhaps the president is not lying, which implies conscious intent. Perhaps he simply does not recognize what he's doing. But conscious or not, his modus operandi - fixate on a policy goal first, then manufacture a problem it purports to solve, regardless of the truth of the matter - has things backward. Policy should arise in response to real problems in need of repair, not adopted and then justified by problems spun out of thin air.

The latest example, stressed in Bush's State of the Union speech Wednesday night, is "privatizing" Social Security. It is needed, the president said, to save a program otherwise headed toward bankruptcy.

But the program isn't headed for bankruptcy. No less a conservative eminence than columnist George Will has noted that a case against Social Security cannot be made on fiscal grounds.

Social Security is hardly the first example of the Bush modus operandi.

As a presidential candidate in 2000, Bush cited then-robust economic growth and the federal budget's then-surpluses to justify tax cuts. After his election, he cited the economic slowdown and federal deficits to justify tax cuts.

Then, of course, there's Iraq. Whatever the merits of the U.S. invasion and occupation, and however it ultimately turns out, the operation was sold by Bush on the specious grounds that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
[Roanoke Times, 2/4/05]

The man doesn't have an honest bone in his body. But his disciples can't see it, and in fact see the opposite.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

02:45:53 PM
SOTU Analysis
From No Exit: The State of the Union made Bush's Iraq strategy perfectly clear. Iran, that's a different story by Fred Kaplan
Otherwise, in the few minutes he devoted [in the State Of the Union speech] to foreign and military policy, President Bush stood on shakier ground. The most startling moment occurred when he encouraged a popular insurrection in Iran. At least that's how I read this crisply enunciated sentence: "And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." In his inaugural address last month, he pledged to support democratic movements everywhere, but the statement was so broad, it could be shrugged off as rhetoric. This call tonight, though, was specific. Is he telling the Iranian mullahs he's got them in his crosshairs? If not, what is he telling them? And if the rebels of Tehran did rise up tomorrow, what is President Bush prepared to do for them? It's dangerous to engage in this sort of talk without having a real plan. Ask the Hungarians who rose up after our urgings and got plowed down in 1956, or the Shiite Iraqis who did the same in 1991.
Some of the president's statements on national security were simply puzzling. Again on Iran, he said, "We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium-enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing." This is just false. The three major powers of the European Union—Britain, France, and Germany—are negotiating with Iran over these issues. It's uncertain whether these talks will succeed. It's absolutely certain that they won't succeed without U.S. participation. Yet, despite the EU's urgings, the Bush administration is resolutely staying away from the discussions. It wants to change the regime (see above), not deal with it, even if that means Iran ends up a nuclear power.
[Slate, 2/2/05]

One solution for every problem.

01:36:17 PM
Social Security Opinion
From Little black lies by Paul Krugman
Social Security privatization really is like tax cuts, or the Iraq war: The administration keeps on coming up with new rationales, but the plan remains the same. President Bush's claim that we must privatize Social Security to avert an imminent crisis has evidently fallen flat. So now he's playing the race card.
This week, in a closed meeting with African-Americans, Bush asserted that Social Security was a bad deal for their race, repeating his earlier claim that "African-American males die sooner than other males do, which means the system is inherently unfair to a certain group of people." In other words, blacks don't live long enough to collect their fair share of benefits.

This isn't a new argument; privatizers have been making it for years. But the claim that blacks get a bad deal from Social Security is false. And Bush's use of that false argument is doubly shameful, because he's exploiting the tragedy of high black mortality for political gain instead of treating it as a problem we should solve.
[Times-Herald (CA), 2/3/05]

Bush? Use a tragedy for political gain? Come on.

01:26:36 PM
Social Security Letter
From Bush lies about Social Security by Bill Dunlap
As a former newspaper writer myself, I know it's hard to call the president a liar in print. But that's no excuse for not calling President Bush on his assertion on the future of Social Security: "If we do nothing . . . the system is broke, bust" ("Bush repeats call on Social Security," Jan. 14).
That is a flat-out lie. The worst that will happen if we do nothing is that in 40 or 50 years, benefits may have to be reduced. If we don't want that to happen, there are adjustments in rates and caps that will take care of the problem.

The system is not going bankrupt. If Bush wants to argue for privatization, he can do that, but he can't base his argument on the impending bankruptcy of the existing system
[The Oregonian, 1/24/05]

Is it me, or people seem to be getting the message? Won't get fooled again?

01:19:11 PM
Social Security Opinion
From Weapons of Mass Distortion: Bush's New Campaign of Lies About Social Security by Dave Lindorff
Like a man shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater, like a charlatan trying to create a run on a bank, the president is trying to create a panicky run from Social Security among younger people with this new WMD-like campaign of lies.
Social Security, the New Deal program that has provided a basic level of economic support for the nation's elderly, disabled and orphaned for 70 years, is in grave danger--not from Baby Boomers, but from a campaign of lies and fear-mongering, led by the president.

The truth? There is no Social Security crisis. None whatsoever.

Yet, in his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Bush put the campaign to destroy Social Security and its promise of old-age and disability security front and center in his second-term agenda, claiming that the system founded in 1935 is headed for "bankruptcy" in 2042.

Like the mythical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, this was a flat-out, deliberate lie. First of all, even if the date were correct, all that would happen in 2042 would be that the trust fund used to pay out benefits to workers would be exhausted, but even then current workers taxes would continue to cover 73 percent of promised benefits to retirees. More importantly, that 2042 projection by the increasingly politicized Social Security Administration was just a conservative projection made a few years ago based upon unrealistically low estimates of future economic growth. It has already been pushed back by several years’ good economic performance, and in fact, the Congressional Budget Office and most independent economists say that the trust fund should enable the system to cover all benefits through at least 2052 and perhaps on out through 2080 and beyond.
[ILCA Online, 2/3/05]

This is a little different from the WMD lies. Now Bush is lying about matters that, as this piece and others make clear, are a matter of public record and mathematical calculation. If Limbaugh and Hannity (and Williams, etc.) can convince their sheep that these lies are true - well, those poor people will just believe anything. They're so lost.

11:39:37 AM
Social Security News
From President warns lawmakers not to delay Social Security reform by Rafael Lorente
The president did not offer specific legislation to address the long-term solvency issues of Social Security. Instead he called for an "open, candid review" of the system and touted personal savings accounts that aides admit will not stave off the day when Social Security is paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes.
Bush's proposal would allow workers born after 1950 to put up to 4 percent of their wages into individual investment accounts rather than pay it into the Social Security trust fund. Those born before 1950 would not be allowed to participate, but their Social Security benefits under current law would be protected from cutbacks.

But even as he warned of Social Security's impending doom, Democrats in Congress groaned in disagreement with his assessment of the severity of the problem. Afterward, Democrats said the president is creating or exaggerating the problem that exists with Social Security.

"The president did worse than create an artificial crisis. He actually plainly lied to the American people when he stated that Social Security would be bankrupt," said Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton. "The only thing that could bankrupt Social Security is the president's proposal itself."

But Republicans praised Bush's call for action, saying that waiting to address the issue is not an option.
[Kansas City Star, 2/2/05]

Need more?

3:16 AM  
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The earth is a flat table or disk, ceiled, domed, or canopied by the sky, and that the sky rests upon the mountains as pillars.
(Christopher Columbus)

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