Sunday, February 29, 2004
Bush 'Paid For Abortion' Says Larry Flynt
President Bush faced an extraordinary claim last night that he once paid for a girl-friend to have an abortion.
The pro-life president arranged for the procedure in the early 1970s, according to porn publisher Larry Flynt.
The controversial publisher of Hustler magazine told the New York Daily News he will make the claims in a book coming out this summer.
'This story has got to come out,' said 61-year-old Flynt. 'There's a lot of hypocrisy in the White House about this whole abortion issue. I've talked to the woman's friends.
'I've tracked down the doctor who did the abortion, I tracked down the Bush people who arranged for the abortion I got the story nailed.'
But Flynt would not disclose if he plans to name the woman.
The allegation comes after pop star Moby raised Republican hackles last week when he told a New York gossip columnist that he thought Bush's enemies should cause some political mischief. He said: 'For example, you can go on all the pro-life chatrooms and say you're an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion.'
There was no hint that 38-year-old Moby believed his abortion suggestion.
The White House had no immediate comment on the claim.
Republican National Committee spokesman Yier Shi said: 'The Democrats will do anything in this election, judging by their campaign tactics, to smear without any evidence or background. This is just another one of those cases.'
The abortion claim is the first hint of serious scandal that has emerged to harm the president's re-election chances.
Having won his party's support and the endorsement of family and conservative groups with his strong pro-life stance, it is certain to come under close scrutiny as the election in November draws closer.
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Friday Night Surprise from Chimp_junta: He didn't like Advisors on Cloning, So He Replaces Them With Right Wing Idealogues
Yahoo! News - Bush Replaces Advisers on Cloning, Medical Issues
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) reshuffled his advisory council on cloning and related medical issues on Friday, adding a prominent neurosurgeon known for his work on conjoined twins and two conservatives who have spoken out strongly against cloning.
He replaced one of the most prominent scientists on his Council on Bioethics, cell biology expert Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California San Francisco. The Australian- born Blackburn has spoken in favor of so-called therapeutic cloning in which cloning technology is used for medical and biological research.
He also replaced William May, a prominent Christian bioethicist and a former president of the American Academy of Religion, now at the University of Virginia.
The new members of the panel are Dr. Benjamin Carson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a pediatric neurologist; Peter Lawler, a government professor at Berry College in George; and Diana Schaub, a political scientist at Loyola College of Maryland.
A White House spokeswoman said Blackburn's and May's terms had expired. "We decided to appoint other individuals at this point with different experience and expertise," she said.
But supporters of therapeutic cloning said they were stunned by the move and said it showed the White House was not interested in hearing neutral scientific advice.
"The American people deserve the right science, not right-wing ideology, on critical issues facing their health," Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Democrat, said in a statement.
"By firing two of the committee's most distinguished members, the administration is choosing once again the most divisive and ideological course, instead of seeking consensus."
FRIDAY NIGHT DECISIONS (aka Chimp's Friday night surprise).ed
Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research and president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, also expressed reservations.
"We are concerned with this sort of Friday night late decision to replace what we know is at least one of the stronger voices on behalf of moving the research forward and replacing her with what appear to be more ideological soulmates who would reflexively oppose this research," Perry said in a telephone interview.
Earlier this month 60 leading scientists and philosophers, including Nobel laureates, backed a Union of Concerned Scientists report that accused the Bush administration of distorting scientific advice to fit ideological goals.
The White House denied this and said it was seeking a variety of opinions on medical and scientific subjects.
At issue is the future of stem cell research, which seeks to harness the body's master cells to create new tissues to treat diabetes, Parkinson's, cancer and a range of other ills.
One approach would use cloning technology to try to find ways to allow tailor-made treatments based on a patient's own cells. Bush opposes this and has severely limited the use of federal funds in such research.
South Korean scientists announced earlier this month they had cloned human embryos and extracted from them stem cells for this very purpose, making clear they intend to continue with the research.
Novak's No Patriot (or Journalist)
by Eric Alterman
Journalists are understandably loath to call on a colleague to give up a source who's been promised anonymity, as the credibility of the entire profession can suffer from such a public betrayal. The point is not the principle per se; it is the principle's pragmatic value in the daily exchange of information between journalist and source. Many such exchanges would not be possible, as the profession is currently practiced, without the guarantee that a source's name not be used. (Yes, the promise of anonymity is too promiscuously proffered, but that's another matter.)
In most cases the decision to stick to this rule is--from the standpoint of self-interest at least--a no-brainer. Only when the interests of national safety or simple morality are so compelling as to be overwhelming would any professional journalist consider calling on a colleague to weaken this guarantee.
Enter Robert Novak. The conservative pundit knowingly blew CIA agent Valerie Plame's cover, and possibly aided and abetted the commission of a felony by a White House official who leaked him the information. In any case, he undoubtedly cost the agency a fortune by forcing it to retrace the steps of Plame's career and attempt to contain, if not redress, the damage. Operations would have to be rolled up; agents relocated; investments destroyed and, for all Novak may have known, lives endangered. As Murray Waas reported in The American Prospect, Novak was asked specifically not to publish Plame's name because "he might potentially jeopardize her ability to engage in covert work, stymie ongoing intelligence operations and jeopardize sensitive overseas sources."
Novak's action served no patriotic purpose. Plame was not accused, or even suspected, of engaging in any form of illegal or immoral activity. There was no rogue CIA operation to be exposed or any compelling national interest to be protected. Novak was one of six journalists contacted by the White House in an attempt to weaken the credibility of Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, and punish his act of dissent, but Novak was the only patsy who took the bait.
Almost no one in the press wants to see Novak legally compelled to name his source, but a number of journalists--including, most prominently, Geneva Overholser, former editor of the Des Moines Register and former Washington Post columnist and ombudsman--have called on Novak to fess up on his own. National Society of Newspaper Columnists president Mike Leonard, a columnist for the Herald-Times of Bloomington, Indiana, speaking to Editor & Publisher, agrees, explaining, "Novak was either used or was a willing accomplice to a felony. Other journalists were also fed the same information, and they had the integrity not to run with the information. I've still never heard an explanation from Novak that makes sense." Novak, we may note, has in fact revealed the name of an anonymous source once before--that of Russian spy Robert Hanssen. He also once told me he "admired" US officials who used him to lie to his readers. In other words, he is less a real "reporter" than a committed right-wing hack who plays one on TV. Still, given the precedent, it's not an easy call. An easier one would be that his ass should be out the door in any self-respecting journalistic establishment, lest anyone get the idea that such behavior is condoned.
Of course, neither CNN, where he seems to appear every ten minutes, nor any newspaper that carries him--including most particularly the Washington Post--has gone so far as even to reprimand Novak. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, going farther off the deep end than usual, suspects an ideological conspiracy in the mere existence of debate. The editors attacked Leonard for allegedly harboring a double standard because he has criticized Novak's actions and the Patriot Act for its "heavy-handed assaults on free speech." The audacity of that accusation leaves one's mouth agape. Do the Journal editors really fail to understand the difference between criticism of Novak's unpatriotic and immoral outing of Plame and criticism of the Patriot Act's unwarranted expansion of police power? Naturally, they blame "liberal bias," as if no one in his or her right mind could possibly have any concern about the damage Novak did to what they almost mockingly term national security. They also ignore the fact that of those journalists surveyed by Editor & Publisher, the vast majority supported Novak's unwillingness to name his source, even though many if not most were highly critical of his ethics in using the information to flame Plame.
Although journalistic liberalism is now widely understood to be a myth, conservatives seem to think they can trot out the charge on behalf of their cause no matter how transparently polemical their intention or the accusation. Not only do the Journal editors sound as if they're channeling Philip Agee, but right-wing rumormongers--including Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Andrew Sullivan and David Frum--are whining that the dreaded "liberal bias" disease has prevented most of the mass media from following them into the gutter this one time by retailing unproven and apparently untrue allegations about John Kerry and an intern. Offering a lesson on the inner workings of the right-wing media food chain, Limbaugh complained, "It's all over the UK press! It's front page!" He was referring to Rupert Murdoch's titty tabloid, the Sun, which picked up on false rumors trumpeted by Drudge.
That's where we've landed: It's OK to reveal national security secrets but wrong not to print lies about candidates' sex lives. One almost gets the impression that conservatives are not really serious about media criticism and see it merely as a stick with which to beat back criticism of their own hypocrisy.
King George II and His Dick Graciously Allow ONE HOUR to the Men Investigating 9-11--but Only Two Of Those Men, Chosen By the King Can Be There
WASHINGTON — The federal commission reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks has congressional support to get more time to complete its work, ending a standoff with Republican leaders who said an extension wasn't necessary.
The commission, established by Congress to study the nation's preparedness before the attacks and its response, had sought a two-month extension, citing delays because of disputes with the Bush administration over access to witnesses and documents.
But the commission's difficulties in conducting its probe may be far from over.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed Friday to support extending the panel's deadline to July 26, clearing the way for Congress to formally approve the legislation next week. The panel was scheduled to finish its work on May 27.
Hastert had opposed an extension, citing a need to have the recommendations out quickly and concern that a delay might unduly politicize the report. Under mounting pressure, he backed down and acknowledged the panel's "difficulties in obtaining clearances and in obtaining documents."
Yet the panel remains at odds with the administration over the scope of its upcoming interviews with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and its effort to get national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly.
Commissioners also worry that Hastert's proposal is somewhat restrictive.
"The commission welcomes Speaker Hastert's agreement today," the panel said in a statement Friday. "We now only need to insure that this legislation addresses the time needed to provide testimony to Congress, wind up the commission's operations and archive its files and authorize the additional money."
The Senate on Friday passed on a voice vote a bill providing a two-month extension and a 60-day wind-down. To ensure House action, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., held up a vote on a highway bill needed to prevent the furlough Monday of some 5,000 federal workers. They lifted the hold after Hastert's agreement.
Hastert's proposal would restrict the panel's "wind down" to 30 days or less, a period during which commissioners lobby for implementation of their recommendations on how to prevent future terror attacks and declassify information for public release.
A congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks took seven months to declassify information, a process that involves White House approval.
"Very practical concerns require the 9-11 commission not to go out of business before its report can be made public," said Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democratic commissioner and former Watergate prosecutor.
The commission is negotiating with the Bush administration over its private interviews with Bush and Cheney, set for sometime in March. Bush and Cheney have said they would only meet with the chairman and vice chairman and are restricting the interviews to one hour. (This converts to 11 seconds per dead victim of the 9-11 attack...the most nauseating and arrogant people on the planet have stolen residence in OUR White House...barf me with a back hoe...) emphasis added)
Former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore have agreed to meet privately with the full 10-member commission for several hours.
Also, the commission is calling for Rice to testify at its next public hearing in late March, but she has declined, citing legal concerns. Slated to testify are Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as their counterparts in the Clinton administration, William Cohen and Madeleine Albright. Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, also is to appear.
The commission is to meet Tuesday and hope to then get more details about its upcoming interviews. The chairman and vice chairman of the commission, former New Jersey Republican Gov. Thomas H. Kean and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., also plan to emphasize to Hastert the need for a longer period to wind down the Sept. 11 review.
"Now that we have this additional time that we've agreed in principle on, we hope to follow through on the agreement to get the Clinton administration and Bush administration fully cooperating on witnesses coming before us," said commissioner Timothy Roemer, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana.
© Copyright 2004 Bell Globemedia Inc.
Friday, February 27, 2004
It's Worse than You Could Have Believed: Bush needs Cuts In Old Folk's Checks to Give To His Millionaire Golf Buds
By Patrick Martin
27 February 2004
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan called for cutting the retirement benefits of the elderly in order to preserve and extend the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy. The head of the US central bank made the proposal in testimony before a congressional committee Wednesday.
Greenspan’s comments were a particularly brutal expression of the class divisions within American society. The multi-millionaire central banker insisted that it was better public policy to cut benefit levels and increase the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare—an action that would hurt millions of working people—rather than reverse tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor a thin layer of the super-rich.
The hearing before the House Budget Committee concerned the long-term financing of Social Security and Medicare, both of which are projected by government officials, on the basis of current population and economic trends, to face bankruptcy in the next 20 years.
Greenspan cited the impending retirement of the post-World War II generation, the 76 million born between 1946 and 1965, as a financial calamity. The oldest “baby-boomers” will become eligible for Social Security beginning in 2008.
“This dramatic demographic change is certain to place enormous demands on our nation’s resources—demands we almost surely will be unable to meet unless action is taken,” Greenspan told the committee. “I am just basically saying that we are over-committed at this stage. I believe that a thorough review of our spending commitments—and at least some adjustment in those commitments—is necessary for prudent policy.”
Among the measures he suggested is ending the linking of Social Security benefits to the Consumer Price Index, which provides automatic annual raises to compensate for the rise in the cost of living, in favor of another index that would produce a lower estimate for the rate of inflation. He also suggested that the age of retirement, which is now 65 years and four months, and is scheduled to rise gradually to 67 years, should be increased even further.
Such measures are seen by the corporate and financial interests for which Greenspan speaks as only the starting point for an onslaught on Social Security, involving further cuts in benefits and extensions in the retirement age, and culminating in full-scale privatization and the destruction of any guaranteed retirement income for the elderly.
The Bush administration is already committed to privatization, supporting a plan to divert Social Security payroll taxes into the establishment of individual savings accounts that would be invested in the stock and money markets. White House spokesmen applauded Greenspan’s support for maintaining and extending the Bush tax cuts, but were cautious about publicly supporting cuts in Social Security benefits only eight months before the presidential election.
The discussion of the US fiscal crisis, as it is framed by the media and political establishment, is based on distortions of a fundamental kind. The alleged bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare is not the inevitable result of impersonal demographic forces. It is the product of policy decisions that favor one class of Americans—the top one or two percent who control the bulk of the wealth—at the expense of everyone else.
As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal study group, pointed out nearly a year ago, http://www.cbpp.org/3-17-03socsec.htm, any deficit in Social Security as a result of increasing life expectancy is dwarfed by the long-term cost of the Bush tax cuts, which essentially phase out all taxation on the wealthy. Simply repealing the Bush tax cuts—in other words, taxing the rich by no more than they were taxed in 2001—would generate three times as much revenue over a 75-year period as the projected Social Security shortfall. It would generate enough revenue to cover the combined deficits of Social Security and Medicare, with several trillion dollars to spare.
Greenspan’s analysis of the federal budget crisis uses language calculated to mask the basic class divisions in American society. There is no “we” who are “over-committed.” Tens of millions of working people have paid Social Security taxes throughout their working lives in return for the assurance of a government-guaranteed old-age pension when they retire. This currently averages a modest $992 a month—easily affordable in the richest society in human history.
The vast resources of the American economy, however, are not available to finance the payment of old-age pensions, or to meet any other social need, because they are monopolized by the ruling elite: the financial aristocracy whose wealth has swollen to unimaginable proportions over the past 25 years. That is the “we” for whom Greenspan speaks.
Another financial comparison is relevant: in 1970, the top one percent of American households owned 20 percent of the national wealth. By 2000, this had swollen to 40 percent.
If the proportion of the wealth controlled by the super-rich were simply reduced to the level of 1970—hardly a golden age of social equality—this would make available resources more than sufficient to meet such urgent social needs as universal health insurance, quality public education, college education for all who desire it, and the rebuilding of the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
But in the America of 2004, neither of the two big business parties speaks of redistributing the wealth to meet human needs. On the contrary, both are committed to a political agenda that subordinates all social considerations and the interests of the great mass of people to the accumulation of personal wealth.
The Republican Party represents the most naked expression of the rapaciousness of the financial oligarchy. The policies of Bush, Cheney & Co. are aimed at profiting themselves personally and their business cronies, not only in relation to domestic issues such as taxation, the environment and energy policy, but also in the area of foreign policy, as demonstrated by the eruption of US militarism and the imperialist wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bush’s support for Social Security privatization has nothing to do with solving a presumed financial crisis of the old-age pension system. The administration aims, rather, to use scare tactics about an impending crisis to legitimize the biggest robbery of the federal treasury in history, as trillions in Social Security payroll taxes are made available to the stock exchange.
The Democratic Party is likewise a party of the financial aristocracy, albeit one that attempts to win support among working people by posturing as its advocate. Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards, the leading Democratic presidential contenders, blasted Greenspan’s suggestion that Social Security benefits should be cut.
Significantly, however, neither Kerry nor Edwards suggested that Greenspan should suffer any consequences. The Federal Reserve Board chairman’s term expires June 20, 2004, and Bush has pledged to re-nominate him. When former Vermont governor Howard Dean suggested last month that Greenspan was too closely identified with Bush’s tax cuts and should retire from office, he was roundly denounced by his Democratic rivals.
Greenspan was appointed to a fourth term as Fed chairman in 1999 by President Clinton, who declared at the time, “His wise and steady leadership has inspired confidence, not only here in America but around the world.” Both Kerry and Edwards supported the nomination when Greenspan was confirmed by the Senate in 2000.
These Democrats were well aware of Greenspan’s position on cutting Social Security benefits, which he has advocated for more than 20 years, since he served on the 1983 commission on Social Security headed by Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. This panel proposed the first tightening of eligibility for benefits, including the increase in the retirement age to 67.
Corruption? Thy Name Is Bush...Netherlands TV News (Not American) Files This Disgusting Report:
Thanks to our friends at the Information Clearing House for this article. The first minute and a half is in Dutch, but the remaining 46 minutes is very much American English.
As they say, this is certainly news you will not get on CNN -- or any propaganda arms of the RePugliken party in Amerika.
Michigan Congressman Dingell Flips Chimp_junta the Burger: (PDA File, viewer Required)
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Maybe it is time for America to Grow Up and have a Third, even 4th Political 'Party?'
By Barry Grey
26 February 2004
There are two types of criticisms of consumer advocate and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader—those from the right and those from the left. Democratic politicians, newspapers such as the New York Times and assorted liberal commentators attack Nader from the right. They denounce his candidacy as an unwarranted disruption of the normal election process and a diversion that will take votes from the Democratic candidate, thereby facilitating the reelection of Bush.
These attacks assume that the only legitimate opposition to Bush and the Republicans must come from within the Democratic Party. Those who voice them seek, whatever criticisms they may make of the Democrats and Republicans, to defend the two-party system.
The opposition to Nader from the left, while unconditionally defending his right to run, criticizes the limitations and inadequacies of his program. It explains the contradiction between his claims to oppose “corporate power” and the substance of his policies, and his continuing orientation, notwithstanding his denunciations of the “two-party duopoly,” to the Democratic Party.
The latter is the standpoint of the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party. In subsequent articles, we will explain in detail the principled basis of our political differences with Nader. For the present, we will focus on the question: what accounts for the hysterical reaction of the Democrats and many liberals to the Nader candidacy?
Nader, for his part, has gone out of his way to reassure his liberal critics that his decision to run as an independent candidate is aimed at reviving the Democratic Party, rather than weakening it. Speaking before the National Press Club in Washington DC on Monday, one day after he announced his presidential run on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” program, Nader advised Democratic leaders and party loyalists to “relax and rejoice” over his campaign. Replying to the charge that his intervention would help President Bush by taking votes away from the Democratic candidate, Nader declared several times that his campaign would be directed against Bush and that he expected to receive only a small number of votes from those who would otherwise cast their ballot for the Democratic contender.
“I will focus on getting Bush out,” he said, adding, “I will not get many Democratic votes.” To underscore the point, he acknowledged telling Democratic National Committee Chairman Terrence McAuliffe that he would “help deserving congressional candidates in key swing districts because I want the Democrats to recapture the House and the Senate.” He endorsed the practice of vote-swapping, a process whereby Nader supporters, via the Internet, match up with Democratic voters, agreeing to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate in close races if their Democratic counterparts agree to vote for Nader in states where the outcome will not be affected.
He spoke of “fulfilling the aspirations of the Democratic Party,” took Democratic liberals to task for “ten years of losses by the Democrats at the national, state and local level” to the Republican right, and called his campaign “a liberation movement for the Democratic Party.” “We hope they [the Democrats] are rising again,” he said.
Nader’s basic perspective is to push the Democrats to the left and make them more responsive to the social concerns of ordinary people. In his National Press Club address, for example, he spoke of his campaign as an instrument to “turn the rudder” of the Democratic Party.
None of this has assuaged the Democratic establishment or its prominent liberal and “left” supporters. Among those who savagely denounced Nader for running are New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who was energy secretary under Bill Clinton and is considered a prospective vice-presidential candidate in 2004, and Al Sharpton, the left-talking charlatan who is still officially in the running for the Democratic nomination.
Richardson ascribed Nader’s decision to enter the race as “an act of total vanity and ego satisfaction” and Sharpton declared, “The only reason he’s running is either he’s an egomaniac or as a Bush contract.” (Sharpton’s attack is particularly scurrilous, since it is well documented that one of his key financial and political backers is Roger Stone, the long-time Republican dirty tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County vote recount in the fall of 2000, helping Bush steal Florida’s electoral votes and hijack the election).(emphasis added)
Mainstream “liberal” newspapers such as the New York Times and the Detroit Free Press have weighed in against Nader, as have left-liberal publications such as the Nation and a host of liberal columnists. Robert Scheer, in the February 24 Los Angeles Times, vented his fury by writing: “In an act of pure egotism, Ralph Nader—who has been largely silent on the main issues of the day, nursing his wounds since the last time he messed up an election—insists on another chance to play at electoral politics on the national stage. Does he have no sense of accountability or shame?”
Democratic officials plan to do more than simply denounce Nader. Whatever their pro-forma statements acknowledging Nader’s democratic right to run, they intend, according to the New York Times (February 23), to mount “a bucket of court challenges” to keep him off state ballots.
Why are these forces so incensed?
In the eyes of the US ruling elite, Nader’s intervention threatens to raise disturbing questions that it had hoped to suppress with the quashing of Howard Dean’s bid for the Democratic nomination—first and foremost, the war in Iraq. Nader is calling for the rapid withdrawal of US troops and their replacement by UN forces, and has accused Bush of impeachable offenses in connection with his lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and Iraq-Al Qaeda connections.
With the Democratic race narrowed down to two candidates, John Kerry and John Edwards, both of whom voted to give Bush authorization to invade Iraq, the political and corporate establishment, Democratic as well as Republican, are looking to engineer an election in which the massive popular opposition to the war will be all but ignored, and potentially explosive issues such as corporate corruption and the widening gap between the financial elite and the working masses will be pushed to the side. Thus the Wall Street Journal, in an editorial gloating over the Democrats’ dismay at Nader’s intervention, declared: “We agree with the Democrats on at least one point”—namely, that Nader should be excluded from the presidential debates.
For the Democratic Party establishment, the prospect of a Nader campaign, even if limited in terms of ballot status, cuts across a campaign strategy aimed at preempting any serious mobilization of popular outrage against Bush’s foreign and domestic policies. The party leadership wants, once the nomination has been locked up, to shift the campaign further to the right. It would like to gain the presidency by winning the imprimatur of the ruling elite, and avoid needlessly raising expectations as to what a Democratic administration would do once in power.
Notwithstanding the limitations of Nader’s critique of the political system, his attacks on corporate power and the prostration of the Democratic Party before the Republican right will make it more difficult for the Democratic candidate to “moderate” populist appeals on issues such as jobs, health care and education, and soften his attacks on Bush’s record on democratic rights and militarism.
More fundamentally, Nader’s intervention and the extreme reaction it has provoked from within the political establishment reflect the fragile and crisis-ridden state of the American two-party system. The political monopoly of two parties beholden to the propertied elite has served to defend the basic interests of the American ruling class for more than a century. But this system has grown so sclerotic, insulated and alienated from the population at large that it can no longer tolerate the raising of any serious social or democratic issues or any criticisms that go beyond the most banal and superficial.
In a country as huge and complex as the United States, so riven by social, demographic and geographical contradictions, existing within and subordinate to an increasingly global economy, the domination of political life by two parties controlled by a narrow financial elite has become utterly irrational and untenable. The churning conflicts that dominate American society—above all, the conflict between the working class and the modern-day robber barons—can no longer be contained within such an archaic and dysfunctional political framework.
Both of the parties have shifted so far to the right that they are unable to credibly pose as representatives of the people. The Republicans speak for the most ruthless and rapacious sections of the corporate elite, while the Democrats trail behind, seeking with less and less credibility to conceal their adaptation to the Republican right behind a hollow pretense of some sort of “progressive” alternative. Both parties have largely lost the broader social bases in the middle class and working class they once enjoyed. In practice, they both devote themselves to the further enrichment of an oligarchy at the expense of the people.
Nader’s candidacy, whatever his personal motives, is not accidental, nor is it purely an expression of his own ambitions. He represents and responds to the moods within a certain constituency. The self-designated “consumer advocate”—a classless term that embraces the most heterogeneous social layers—articulates, above all, the anger of sections of the middle class, small businessmen, small farmers, pensioners, etc., that feel abandoned and betrayed by both parties, and set upon by what Nader calls, borrowing a phrase from Theodore Roosevelt, “malefactors of great wealth.”
The Nader movement cannot provide the basis for a genuine and viable alternative to the two-party system. That requires not a consumer movement, but rather an independent class movement of working people, based on a socialist and internationalist program.
However, the frenzied response of the Democratic and liberal establishment to Nader’s candidacy can only mean that the grip of the two-party monopoly is weakening, and the conditions are emerging for a social and political movement of working people that will open the way for a revolutionary transformation on truly democratic and egalitarian foundations.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
OSI: Controlling Iraq's Skies: The Secret Sell-Off of Iraq's Air Industry
All that's left to do here is rename the commercial airline Bush Air.
OSI: Controlling Iraq's Skies: The Secret Sell-Off of Iraq's Air Industry
Bush education secretary Smears Teachers and Teacher's Unions Nationwide with chimp_junta Slur: "Terrorists"
Bush education secretary calls teachers union a "terrorist organization"
By Patrick Martin
25 February 2004
The top education official in the Bush administration said he regarded the largest US teachers union as a “terrorist organization,” in remarks to a delegation of state governors visiting the White House Monday.
Secretary of Education Roderick Paige made the comment in the course of a discussion on the implementation of the No Child Left Behind law, which the Bush administration is using to undermine public education and promote private schools.
The National Education Association, with 2.7 million members, initially supported No Child Left Behind, the product of a bipartisan agreement in 2001 between the Bush White House and leading House and Senate Democrats, headed by Senator Edward Kennedy. The legislation mandated regular testing of students in both elementary and secondary schools, with the threat of financial penalties and even outright closure for schools that failed to meet federal standards.
The NEA and the smaller American Federation of Teachers subsequently turned against the bill when it became clear that the standards were rigged to designate thousands of public schools as failing, in order to force them to close and push their students out of the public education system and into private schools. The unions accused the Bush administration of reneging on promises to provide sufficient funding to meet the goals mandated for local school districts.
These charges have been taken up by the Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner and likely nominee, and Senator John Edwards, Kerry’s last major challenger, both of whom voted for No Child Left Behind but now denounce it.
(Kerry and Edwards, two fucking Washington Insiders as described carefully by the true front runner, Dr. Howard Dean...and perhaps the next front runner, Ralph Nader ed. How can two Washington politicians run against George Bush by saying "yea we voted for this but now we disown it" again and again. Just more lying, bought off politicos. Ralph Nader is looking better and better all the time.)
The education “reform” bill served two purposes for the Bush administration: in the short run, it was to co-opt a traditional Democratic issue and allow Bush to campaign for reelection as the “education president.” In the long term, Republican Party operatives assured their Christian fundamentalist base, No Child Left Behind would lead to branding public schools as failures and open the way to state funding of private religious schools.
Paige’s remark reveals the frustration of these political calculations, as No Child Left Behind is now widely opposed by educators and has been a target of political attack during the presidential election campaign. Even state legislatures controlled by Republicans—in Utah and Virginia—have objected to the federal standards as arbitrary and impossible to meet with the resources available.
The education secretary was speaking only four days after he was compelled to announce a relaxation of the testing requirements for schools in areas heavily populated by immigrants, whose children have greater difficulty meeting English proficiency standards. It was a significant climb-down by the administration, which had insisted that such waivers would not be granted.
In a written statement issued a few hours after his meeting with the governors, Paige apologized for his remark, but in language nearly as provocative. He called his statement “an inappropriate choice of words to describe the obstructionist scare tactics the NEA’s Washington lobbyists have employed against No Child Left Behind’s historic education reforms.”
Paige’s comment is not merely a “gaffe.” His slip of the tongue reveals the mindset of a right-wing, anti-working class government which regards domestic political opposition as illegitimate. Bush has declared himself a “war president” commanding an administration which is waging a “war on terror.” In that context, branding opponents as terrorists—i.e., the equivalent of Al Qaeda—has the most ominous implications. It suggests that the Bush administration is preparing to use the same methods of repression and violence at home that it is carrying out abroad.
The response from the teachers’ union to Paige’s comment, however, was typically flaccid. NEA President Reg Weaver said, “It is morally repugnant to equate those who teach America’s children with terrorists. Yet this is the kind of rhetoric we have come to expect from this administration whenever one challenges its worldview.”
Weaver did not call for Paige’s dismissal or resignation, concluding only that the NEA’s disagreement with the education law “is no cause for the administration or anybody else to call anybody a name.”
The Democratic governors who witnessed the verbal assault were likewise restrained in their reaction. Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania said of Paige’s remark, “I’m not sure he was being entirely serious, but it was probably inappropriate.” Bob Holden of Missouri said the governors were startled by Paige’s outburst, adding, “He is, I guess, very concerned about anybody that questions what the president is doing.” Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan said, “I know he wasn’t calling teachers terrorists, but to even suggest that the organization they belong to was a terrorist organization is uncalled for.”
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
The Village Voice: Dems Call Ralph by James Ridgeway
Entire Chimp_cabal: A Pack of Down and Out Dirty Liars, Crooks, Thieves.
February 24, 2004
Watch them testify on CSPAN on any issue. Listen to the question asked, and the reply given by anyone from George Tenet to Cheney to Rummsfeld...Wolfowitz or Perle especially...
This is a band of home-grown in-house terrorists who can tell the truth about NOTHING. Not a single, solitary word of truth...nothing. They treat the Americans, who rejected them for office by over half a million votes, as a herd of idiots.
Americans are waking up. It has been a slow and painful process. We are like some sort of colossus, blinking away the cobwebs after three long and treacherous years.
When this colossus arises, there will be a hue and cry over the land to wipe the slate clean, get these filthy bastards out of our government, and return it to We the People.
Have you felt a sense of helplessness watching events unfold over the last three years? I know I have. That helpless feeling is coming to an end, even though all we can do now is work for a candidate who will carry our message to the polls...the message is ANYBODY BUT BUSH.
This time there can be no "Florida Massacre." This time, when we win, the winner will go to the White House. And if the loser is elChimp_junta and they try to stay in power, I will follow the first person to take up against it in rebellion in the street.
That is what should and must happen. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure. ...
Nader's Campaign a Good Thing for the Democratic Party
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Let me say without hesitation that I am a Democrat. I want to lay claim to the party that started Social Security and Medicare, got the United States out of the Great Depression and oversaw the largest economic expansion in the history of this country. Of course, there is much more to say on the issues that cause me to believe in the Democratic Party, but that’s not quite the focus of this op-ed piece.
What I want to say with this editorial is this: Ralph Nader is running for president, and Democrats everywhere should be rejoicing. The more voices we have in this campaign, the more ideas and opinions that are added to our national debate, the better off our democracy is.
That sounds good in principal and it gets even better in reality. Now we have had four years of a George W. Bush presidency and it has certainly been an interesting four years. Four years of decline in the jobs market, four years of environmental neglect, four years of infringement on our civil liberties, four years of failed foreign policy, four years of unfunded educational mandates and four years of unparalleled secrecy and manipulation.
When the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination began, many Democrats and media pundits were horrified to find that not two, not three, not four, but nine candidates were running. TTo some, the number of candidates was a sign that the Democratic Party was ruptured, that it had lost its message and that Bush was going to win in a landslide. But then Howard Dean came out of nowhere and harnessed the anger that Democrats felt over their loss in the 2000 presidential election and the unilateral war in Iraq. And then John Kerry came out of nowhere and capitalized on the Democrats’ general feeling that they need someone who could beat Bush in November . . . and now John Edwards seems to be coming out of nowhere by building upon Democrats’ incredible optimism and positive outlook for “one health care system, one educational system . . . one America” that is not beholden to special interests. It has been an amazing race, and it has unified Democrats around one thing: beating Bush and putting America back on course.
Those nine voices criticizing Bush at every campaign stop was the best thing that has happened to the Democratic Party in a long time. They were nine different voices, each with a particular take and a particular willingness to denounce Bush’s record. Nine voices, nine insights into what makes the Democratic Party tick, nine people all pulling the Democratic Party in their direction.
Just look at what all this national debate has done for Bush’s poll numbers: A Feb. 18 USA Today / CNN / Gallup numbers showed both Kerry and Edwards with double-digit leads over Bush.
I believe that Nader’s candidacy will do the same thing to the Democratic Party’s chances in November that this strenuous race for the Democratic nomination has done. Nader’s blunt criticism of Bush has already caught the media’s attention: Nader appeared on “Meet the Press” on Feb. 22 and The New York Times reports that Nader has promised Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe that he “would not criticize the Democratic nominee, but rather focus on the failings of the Bush administration.”
As if that weren’t enough assurance, Nader’s own Web site says, “The Democrats need to be shown additional ways — strong, rational, emotive ways to defeat Bush and the Republicans” — apart from what their overly cautious consultants are telling them. These “additional ways” include calling for Bush’s impeachment, apparently. That will be fun to watch.
Nader, of course, faces all kinds of obstacles, the first of which is getting his name on the ballot of every state. He also faces the wrath of liberals all over the country if he contributes in any way to a Democratic defeat. But I think the possible benefits of his campaign are much greater than the possible risks. Nader will be another voice pulling the United States more to the left, and he will be another — perhaps more poignant — voice against Bush’s reelection in November. All of which is good for Democrats.
Let me leave you with a quote from the transcript of the Feb. 22 episode of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Nader’s response to Russert’s question should help calm even the most fervently dubious.
Russert: If it got down to the final days of the election and you saw that your presence on the ballot could swing the election to George Bush, might you consider stepping out and saying, “I endorse the Democrat”?
Nader: First of all, there are 40 slam-dunk states where either the Republicans or Democrats are going to win handily; that’s number one. Second, I think there’s a very good chance that President Bush is going to start declining in the polls. He’s making a lot of mistakes. People are beginning to realize that he doesn’t care about the American people, although he says he does; that as a conservative president, he’s presiding over and encouraging the shipment of industries and jobs to the despotic Communist regime in China; that he fabricated the basis for the war in Iraq, which is now a quagmire. And if President Bush doesn’t trust the American people with the truth, why should the American people trust George W. Bush with the presidency? Now, you gave me a hypothetical, all right? . . . When that and if that eventuality occurs, in the rare event that it occurs, you can invite me back on the program, and I’ll give you my answer.
Still think Nader’s out to get Democrats?
Galen Panger is an undeclared freshman who is a member of the Stanford Democrats. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Ralph Nader to run as independent in US presidential race
By Patrick Martin
23 February 2004
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who ran for president in 2000 as the candidate of the Green Party, declared Sunday that he would join the 2004 presidential campaign as an independent candidate. He made the announcement in an interview on the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” following several weeks of public discussion of a possible candidacy on his own web site and in the media.
Nader’s decision to run has been denounced by a wide array of his former supporters in the liberal and middle-class “left” milieu. Most prominently, the Nation magazine published an editorial appeal last month urging him not to run, on the grounds that this would take away votes from the prospective Democratic nominee and help reelect President Bush. A group of Greens, liberal Democrats and former Nader 2000 campaign activists established a web site devoted to opposing the launching of a Nader 2004 campaign.
In response to a question from “Meet the Press” interviewer Tim Russert, Nader rejected the label of “spoiler,” the preferred term of abuse of his Democratic Party critics. “A spoiler is a contemptuous term,” he said, “as if anybody who dares to challenge the two-party system and corrupt politics and broken politics and corporate power is a spoiler.” He went on the denounce the “antiquated Electoral College winner-take-all system” that “excludes candidates from the debates” and “blocks any kind of competition.”
Attacks on Nader for deciding to enter the presidential race are intrinsically anti-democratic. They take as their starting point the preservation of the existing two-party system, which is itself a mechanism for curtailing democratic rights. As Nader pointed out Sunday, without any response from Russert, “You’d never find that type of thing in Canada or Western democracies in Europe. It is an offense to deny millions of people who might want to vote for our candidacy an opportunity to vote for our candidacy. Instead, they want to say, ‘No, we’re not going to let you have an opportunity to vote,’ for our candidacy.”
Towards the end of his television appearance, Nader made reference to the anti-democratic restrictions on third-party and independent candidates under US election laws. “There’s a tremendous bias in state laws,” he said, “against third parties and independent candidates bred by the two major parties, who passed these laws. They don’t like competition. So it’s like climbing a cliff with a slippery rope. And anybody who doubts it can look at a list of all these signature barriers and all the obstacles a number of states ... put before third-party candidates.”
Link to rest of story<---
Monday, February 23, 2004
The True Lies of George W. Bush -- A BuzzFlash Guest Commentary
The True Lies of George W. Bush
A BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Jeremy Warren
When Democrats accuse George W. Bush of being a liar, Republicans -- and until recently, the media -- have responded that Bush is a man of integrity whom you can trust at his word. It was the evil Bill Clinton who lied. Remember him wagging his finger at us? That bastard!
Well, yes, Bill Clinton did indeed lie to us. He lied to us about a blow-job. It sure is good that we spent nearly $100 million to find out how semen reacts on a cotton blue dress from the Gap. Of course, it turned out that he was telling the truth to us about Whitewater and filegate and travelgate and campaign finance-gate and gate-gate and more. I'm sure we could find better uses for that money today. But, Clinton certainly did lie about that hummer. Imagine that, a man lying about sex. In America no less.
Of course, unlike another president, Clinton's lies didn't kill anyone.
Anyway, I decided to put just a short list together of lies by George W. Bush. These are not banal lies about one's sex life, these are big lies, whoppers and tall tales about his own record, who he is, what he's done and what he stands for.
1. The Iraq War.
We could really start and end with this one, since this lie has killed and wounded thousands of American soldiers and countless Iraqi men women and children. But this one certainly does not stand alone.
Let's break this out into subcategories as well, such as:
a) "The smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud." Iraq didn't even have shitake mushrooms.
b) "Saddam would not let the inspectors in." Bush has now made this claim twice. It came as quite a surprise to the hundreds of U.N. inspectors that were in Iraq in 2003 and were told by the U.S. to get out or get bombed.
c) Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. All right, I cut them some slack on this one as EVERYONE thought that he still possessed some WMD capability. The difference is that no one else felt that Hussein was any sort of credible military threat to the rest of the region, much less the United States. And, by "no one" else, I mean C.I.A., the U.N. and anyone else not named Wolfowitz, Rice, Libby, Rumsfeld, Cheney or Pearle.
d) "We know exactly where they are." So said Rumsfeld shortly after the war ended. I wonder if he's shared that bit of information with his boss yet?
e) The laundry list. Both Bush in his 2003 State of the Union speech and Colin Powell at the United Nations read through a laundry list of horrors that was quantified down to the milliliter. Powell called these charges "facts" that were unassailable. Yet we have still not found a drop.
f) "We believe that, in fact, Saddam Hussein has reconstituted nuclear weapons." Dick Cheney said this on Meet the Press in 2003. Even as Bush and others were careful of going overboard, Dick "Goebbels" Cheney kept going for not just the Big Lie, but the Grandaddy of them all.
g) Drones that could attack the United States. True, if they were launched from Padre Island. The truth is that little Timmy down the block has a more sophisticated remote control airplane than Saddam did.
h) Yellow cake uranium. The Italian press thought those documents were fake. Let me repeat that: the ITALIAN PRESS thought they were forgeries!
i) We will be welcomed as liberators. Those are bullets, roadside bombs and RPGs, not roses fellas.
j) Imminent? Who said imminent? Well, Ari Fleischer, Donald Rumsfeld and others. But, apparently Bush never said the words himself. He just used every other phrase he could think of to scare the crap out of us. And, as a point of order, isn't it the Bush Administration? When someone is speaking for the administration, don't they speak for Bush?
k) Al Qaeda and Saddam had close ties. Well, both he and bin Laden are Sunni Muslims, they both have moustaches and, to quote Cliff Clavin, neither of them have ever been in my kitchen. They must be like brothers.
l) "We have found WMDs in Iraq." Bush and others have made this claim regarding an ever so dangerous weather tracking truck.
m) "They could have been destroyed by Saddam. Or moved out of the country." I know Bush doesn't read the papers or watch the news, but does he even listen to his own staff? David Kay, his hand-picked inspector, said there obviously weren't any weapons in the first place. But, what if Bush is right and they were moved, shipped out of the country? Well, then the whole purpose of the war -- to keep Hussein from giving his WMDs to terrorists -- was a failure. Well, George, which one is it?
I could go on and on, but we've got even more real hardcore, honest to goodness, Grade A lies to address.
2. Taxes (part 1)
Bush has consistently claimed that he is against tax increases. Yet, as Governor, his 1997 tax plan would have forced tens of thousands of business to pay franchise taxes that previously did not have to pay. According to the GOP School of Taxes playbook, that's a tax increase, no if ands or buts about it.
3. Taxes (part 2)
Throughout the 2000 campaign and through 2001, Bush claimed that his mega tax cut for the mega rich was actually a tax cut for the working folks. In fact, he said "the vast majority" would go to "the bottom." As Al Franken has so ably pointed out, "by far the vast majority" usually means more than 14.7 percent that the bottom 60 percent received. Consider that "fuzzy math."
4. Taxes (part 3)
In 2003, Bush claimed his latest sop to the uber-wealthy would create jobs. In fact, the special interest, Rockefeller tax cut was -- in true Orwellian fashion -- named the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003. Someone wake me when those 2.6 million jobs Bush promised in 2004 start being created. He needs to create around 300,000 jobs a month through Election Day to reach his pledge.
5. Taxes (part 4)
Bush, who tried to extend taxes to thousands of businesses and not call it a tax increase, now claims that if his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are not made permanent, that is a tax increase. Now, remember, the law as written says those taxes automatically phase out if nothing is changed. Bush now says if the law as written -- the law he signed -- is not changed, that is a tax increase.
6. "I fulfilled my duty."
"He didn't take his flight physical because his doctor was in Houston." The entire National Guard spin is falling apart before our eyes. The facts of the issue have remained the same, but the Bush Team's laughable responses become "inoperable" by the day. Despite their ever-angrier denials, the issue won't go away. Last Friday night's document dump and run still hasn't answered the key question: where were you during the war, George? At least 1972. You can say it's "trolling for trash" all you want, but you can't make the issue go away without some proof.
7. "I'm a uniter not a divider"
Bush's 2000 mantra -- bought hook, line and sinker by much of the media -- was that only he could come to Washington and end the partisan bickering. Within weeks, this proved to be completely untrue. His heavy-handed partisanship even cost him control of the U.S. Senate for a time, as Republican Jim Jeffords bolted the party.
In 2002, Bush showed his unifying skills by saying that Democrats who disagreed with his behemoth vision for the Department of Homeland Security -- a plan he had opposed for nearly a year -- "didn't care about the security of the country." You know, guys like Senator Tom Daschle, who was actually a terrorist target. He then thanked Max Cleland and Mary Landrieu for their steadfast support by targeting them and backing opponents who questioned their patriotism and, in Louisiana, sent out mailers to black neighborhoods with the wrong election date.
Well, Bush is a uniter in one way: He has united the Democratic Party like never before, and is driving independents back to the Democratic Party in droves. Please, keep uniting us.
8. The 2004 budget.
From front to back, the latest Bush budget is one of the most fraudulent documents ever created by the U.S. government. Well, at least since the last budget. Like 2003, Bush doesn't count the cost of Iraq or Afghanistan into his fantasy land accounting. He also counts in billions of spending cuts that are flat out pipe dreams that even the GOP won't support. According to the White House, the deficit -- which has gone from hundreds of billions in the black to $518 billon in the red in just three short years -- will be cut in half. This from an administration that has overestimated growth and underestimated projected deficits each year. But, according to George, prosperity truly is just around the corner.
9. "I won't run a deficit."
During the 2000 campaign, Bush responded to those who -- quite correctly -- said his voodoo economic plan would drive us right back into the gutter that he would not operate a deficit. He said that he was "a governor. I believe in balanced budgets." Yes, the same way kids believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny.
10. "I hit the trifecta."
Following our steady plummet back into deficit land, Bush used the handy excuse of "the trifecta": war, national emergency and recession. He explained away his past statements that he wouldn't run a deficit by claiming he had made an exception for those three things. Of course, he never actually said that. Paul Begala, Al Franken, Paul Krugman, Joe Conason and others have all reviewed every statement printed during the 2000 campaign and Bush never made any such qualification. Of course, why should we hold them to what he actually said? As Larry Speakes, Ronald Reagan's press secretary once said, "No it wasn't true, but it sure sounded good."
11. "I released all my National Guard records in 2000."
On Meet the Press, Bush once again fell back to his standard behavior when confronted with an uncomfortable subject: he lied his ass off. Four years after reporters first asked him to release his records -- and a nearly a week after he promised to -- Bush finally followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy, John McCain, John Kerry, Bob Kerrey and Wes Clark and released his full military record.
12. "I'm spending less than Bill Clinton."
On Meet the Press, an interview that will go down in history as one of the stupidest decisions Karl Rove has ever made, Bush claimed that government spending has actually dropped under his tenure. Even GOP stalwarts ran away from this one faster than Rush Limbaugh runs to a bowlful of Oxycontins. The truth of the matter is that federal spending has exploded under George W., just as spending exploded in Texas while he was governor. This fella just ain't your daddy's fiscal conservative.
Here is a great quote on Bush's spending:
"His dramatic increase in the size and spending of the federal government with a record deficit. With his $2.23 trillion budget, his administration will complete the biggest increase in government spending since Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." The budget deficit predicted by the House Budget Office will hit a record $306 billion. Spending on government programs increased 22% from 1999 to 2003. A Washington Post report said, "The era of big government, if it ever went away, has returned full-throttle under President Bush." Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey commented that under President Bush, the federal government is "out of control."" The source? Liberal media publication Intellectual Conservative in an article entitled "Why Christians Should Not Vote for George W. Bush", February 15, 2004.
13. Free Trade.
George W. Bush supports free trade. That's why he slapped tariffs on imported steel. Of course, had the potentially affected steel mills been located in New York instead of Pennsylvania -- a state he hopes to win in 2004 -- Bush would still be a pure free trader.
Last week, the Bush Administration claimed that the outsourcing of high-paying U.S. jobs to other countries "is a good thing." N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote a report saying exactly that. He then reiterated his belief in the wonderful attributes of Americans losing their jobs at a press briefing on the report. Once again, Republicans are fleeing from this statement as fast as they can. So is George Bush, who immediately ran to Pennsylvania to promise 2.6 million jobs by the end of the year. Unfortunately, Mankiw is Bush's hand-picked employee -- and the president has already signed the report.
As Senator Tom Harkin said: "Under George Bush, America has a new #1 export: jobs."
15. "No one could have imagined them hijacking airplanes."
Of all the lies, this one might be the most annoying. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice made this claim repeatedly during the summer of 2002. Nevermind that Ramsey Yousef, one of the masterminds of the original attack on the World Trade Center, had his plot to hijack and crash 12 airplanes foiled by U.S. and foreign intelligence agents...in 1995. It was big news then, but apparently didn't make it all the way out to Stanford University. Rice's deceit was completely exposed in 2002 when details of the President's Daily Intelligence Briefing in August 2001 revealed that CIA and other sources warned the administration of just such hijackings. But she is never called on this or other lies when she makes her media rounds.
16. Air Force One was a target.
While everyone remembers and praises Bush's appearance with firefighters in New York City, the White House -- and the press -- conveniently ignore the actual timeline of events. That meeting took place on September 14, 2001. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, the entire New York congressional delegation and, of course, Rudy Gulliani, had been on the scene for days, Rudy and Bill since almost minute one. On September 11, 2001, after he was notified of both the first and second plane crashes, it took nearly an hour for Bush to depart Florida. But, he did not go to Washington, or even make a statement in Florida. No, first he flew to an Air Force Base in Louisiana; then, to the safety of a bunker in Nebraska. He told Americans it was safe, while he was entombed.
Many criticized his absence, most notably Peter Jennings who asked "Where is the President." To combat such criticism, the Bush White House claimed that they zig-zagged across the country because of a "credible threat" against Air Force One. Nearly a year later, they were forced to admit that they had, in fact, received no such threat.
Now, I am not necessarily criticizing Bush's flight itinerary on 9/11/01. Keeping the President safe was the top priority and they rightly took steps to ensure his safety. So why not just say that and be done with it? Why did the White House have to put out another lie to try to make themselves look heroic? Because that's what they do.
17. Bill Clinton pillaged the White House as he walked out the door.
Well, according to the General Accounting Office in yet another investigation that spent our tax dollars, the allegations of looting just weren't true. Was there some damage and pranks? Of course, just as there are in every transition. But widespread damage? No, it wasn't true, but it sure sounded good.
18. Leave No Child Behind.
The president's key education initiative is a well-intentioned attempt to change education in the United States. It could lead to real changes, if Bush had actually funded the plan rather than treat it as a nice photo op to show he really cared.
According to Senator Edward Kennedy, the author of the legislation and Bush's main prop in 2001, "in the two years since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, the Bush Administration has cut its funding, reneged on promised resources for better teachers and smaller classes, and worked to divert millions of dollars to private school vouchers... President Bush's new budget for 2005 will leave over 4.6 million children behind. Still pending before Congress is President Bush's 2004 budget which provides schools with over $7.5 billion less than promised in the No Child Left Behind Act. And there is every expectation that the President will propose again not only to cut resources for public school reform, but to divert scarce public education dollars to private schools."
19. Cost of the Medicare Bill.
Oops! They must have forgot to carry the one...or they are just liars. In fall 2003, Bush sold his Medicare budget with some interesting numbers: it would only cost $400 billion over 10 years. Now keep in mind that passage of this plan was in extreme doubt, as Democrats opposed the plan as a joke that would cost too much and do too little, while Republicans complained that, well, it cost way too much. The Bush Team assured everyone that it would cost no more than $400 million and the plan passed the House by a razor thin margin.
Lo and behold, they snookered us again. Just a few months later, the plan now costs $540 billion, with more sure to be added as the plan actually begins the implementation process.
20. Ken Lay.
After the Enron scandal hit full force, Bush tried to downplay his relationship with Ken Lay by saying "he gave money to my opponent" Ann Richards. Suddenly Lay, whom Bush had previously called "Kenny Boy," didn't' ring a bell. Despite the fact that Enron was Bush's #1 contributor from 94-00, the fact that Bush was flown around the campaign trail in 1998 on Lay's private plane, and Lay's status as a Pioneer (and serious contender for Commerce Secretary) Bush and he really weren't that close. Maybe that's why Martha Stewart is on trial and not Ken Lay.
(By the way, does it strike anyone as odd that Martha is being tried for almost exactly what George W. Bush did when he left Harken Energy?)
21. I'm against Nation Building.
Throughout the 2000 campaign, Bush assailed Clinton's successful military forays in Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo, saying he opposed "nation building." Today, see Afghanistan; see Iraq. In fairness, when you look at the deteriorating situations in both countries, it is clear that Bush is not really doing any nation "building" right now. He has ignored the reconstruction of Afghanistan (famously forgetting to fund it in his 2003 budget. Sorry about that Mr. Karzai!) and he has, to put it diplomatically, completely screwed the pooch in Iraq by ignoring the possible resistance to a U.S. occupation, handing over the reconstruction to corporate cronies like Halliburton and the reigns of power to unpopular sycophants like Ahmed Chalabi. Disaster looms where we can least afford to fail.
22. "I remember that sign from the Old West: Wanted Dead or Alive."
Following the 2001 terrorist attacks, Cowboy Bush repeatedly strapped on his star and gave us his best John Wayne impersonation, essentially guaranteeing that we would take out Osama bin Laden. Now, Bush says of capturing bin Laden: "I have no idea" (Meet the Press, February 8, 2004). What would John Wayne say?
23. We're safer now that Saddam is caught.
Howard Dean was ridiculed for questioning this platitude, but he is right. Hopefully we will be safer, but that outcome is certainly not assured. Not if Iran is stronger in the region and Iraq splits apart, divided into three warring factions, any of which could destabilize Turkey, Syria or Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, scores of Al Qaeda fighters have streamed into Iraq since the war began, an outcome we had sought to avoid by taking Hussein out.
For the present, I think we should ask the boys and girls being shot at if they feel more or less safe since December.
24. I was never arrested after 1972 -- unless you count that DWI. Err, those two DWIs.
Bush reportedly told the Dallas Morning News in 1999 that he was never arrested after 1972. Of course, as we all learned, he was arrested for drunk driving in 1978, with his younger sister and Australian tennis star John Newcombe, in the car. According to NBC News, Bush was also arrested for another DWI in Midland after 1972. Are his arrests the big deal? No, but his constant lying about them sure goes to character, don't you think?
25. I supported the Patient Protection Act.
During the 2000 presidential debates, Bush claimed he supported the Patient Protection Act and the Patient's Bill of Rights. I almost fell on the floor, especially since Al Gore, standing mere feet away, did not call him on one of the most obvious lies in campaign history. This one was actually well-explored by the media, but Gore let this meatball glide harmlessly over the plate without taking the bat off of his shoulder.
The truth is Bush vetoed the Patient Protection Act in 1995 and let the Patient's Bill of Rights -- landmark legislation that became the model for other states and the federal government --become law without his signature. So, if by support you mean "opposed and tried to kill", then yes, you supported them.
26. "I signed the hate crimes bill".
Another juicy whopper. Now Bush had won re-election mere months before with nearly 70 of the vote. If he wanted a bill passed, he got it. But, Bush ordered his legislative minions to kill the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, less than one year after the most gruesome hate murder of the post-Civil Rights era. The guy who was the leader in killing the bill? State Senator David Sibley (R-Waco), a man who had supported the same legislation just a few years earlier. You might recognize Sibley; he's the guy you see driving Bush's golf cart whenever Bush is back in Crawford playing golf.
27. I want to get to the bottom of the Plame leak.
Following the sliming of Ambassador Joseph Wilson for exposing the Nigerian "yellow cake" lie, and the outing of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent, Bush said it was "a very serious matter" and that he wanted to get to the bottom of it. But he never ordered his staff to do anything about it. Since very few members of the White House would have had the clearance to even know that Plame was an operative, and even fewer are even allowed to make eye contact with, much less to talk to the media, it shouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to find the culprit here. Instead, he actually lamented that "we may never know" who did it because Washington is full of leakers. Thankfully, after cajoling from Democrats forced Attorney General John "Inspector Clouseau" Ashcroft to recuse himself from the investigation, it appears that we may actually discover who is behind this act of treason. Scooter Libby, your lawyer is on the line.
28. "I will fight the war on terror."
This claim, unfortunately, is also debatable. Just when we had "smoked them out of their holes and got them on the run" our intelligence services and our military were forced to change their focus from fighting Al Qaeda to invading Iraq, letting bin Laden off the hook. In addition, despite numerous reports on the vulnerability of our ports, little has been done to make them more secure from terrorism. Also, despite a serious congressional study, media scrutiny and an on-going non-partisan investigation, little has changed regarding how our intelligence is gathered and analyzed to avoid making the same mistakes. In fact, little has changed beyond making several bureaucracies into one huge bureaucracy under the banner of the Department of Homeland Security. And, in perhaps the most bizarre example of sleeping at the wheel, the 2004 Bush budget offers no funding for biothreat detection at Post Offices. This after the White House said they foiled a mail attack to the White House last year and days before Ricin was mailed to Senator Bill "Cat Murderer" Frist's office.
Well, that's my list. Please add to it, as it is far from all-inclusive.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY<---Link
Sunday, February 22, 2004
'They were kicking us. It was a pleasure for them'
It was dawn when the squad of British soldiers raided the Ibn Al Haitham hotel. Baha Mousa's night shift on the reception desk was coming to an end and his father had just arrived to drive him home.
The soldiers ordered Baha, 26, to lie on the black tiled floor of the lobby with six other hotel employees, their hands on their heads.
Troops searched the building and arrested the staff, driving them off to a British military base in Basra, southern Iraq. It was only a formality and the men would be released shortly, they said.
Four days later Baha was dead.
Link to story...
Blood and Guts, Iraqi Style--As Long as the "Coalition" is Blasting Women and Children to bits, Everything is OK!
MoD faces lawsuits over deaths of 18 civilians
Saturday February 21, 2004: (The Guardian) The Ministry of Defence is facing the prospect of a string of lawsuits over the deaths of at least 18 Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by British soldiers, the Guardian can reveal.
The incidents, hitherto unreported, are separate from the suspicious deaths of seven Iraqis who were being held by British troops in the notorious Camp Bucca detention centre near the port of Umm Qasr, south of Basra.
The threat of legal action comes as the conduct of British troops serving in southern Iraq is under intense scrutiny, with MPs and human rights lawyers demanding independent inquiries into the deaths at the prison camp as well as civilian fatalities in and around Basra.
The new disclosures relate to incidents in which Iraqis have died when they were fired on by mistake or were innocent bystanders to operations allegedly being conducted by British troops.
While the MoD has refused to accept liability for any of the deaths, it has offered and paid compensation to some of the families.
One family was offered about $1,000 (£530) for the death of Waleed Fayayi Muzban, who was killed when his vehicle was hit by a barrage of bullets allegedly fired by British troops. Lawyers said the sum was derisory, and are preparing to sue the MoD in civil courts in the UK to provide better compensation.
The new cases include:
· The death of Mr Muzban in August last year. He died from chest and stomach wounds in a military hospital.
· Three days later, on August 27, Raid Hadi Al Musawi, an Iraqi policeman, was allegedly shot by British soldiers patrolling Basra.
· Hanan Shmailawi was shot in the head and legs while sitting down to her evening meal in November. British soldiers were on the roof of Basra's Institute of Education complex, where the family lived and worked, investigating a crime.
· Muhammad Abdul Ridha Salim went to visit his brother-in-law at around midnight on November 5. British troops raided the house and one allegedly shot him in the stomach. He died later in hospital.
· Jaafer Hashim Majeed, 13, was playing in a Basra street in the morning of May 13 when a cluster bomb exploded. He died on the way to hospital.
In another incident a senior British army officer has acknowledged responsibility for killing and wounding members of a family who were legitimately carrying arms.
Phil Shiner, whose firm Public Interest Lawyers is acting in these and other cases, said yesterday: "The 18 Iraqis are the tip of the iceberg. All have lost relatives and loved ones in circumstances where it is crystal clear the UK armed forces are to blame, often because they've shot people by mistake.
"The government must act immediately to set up an independent inquiry to establish the precise cause of these deaths."
Adam Price, a Plaid Cymru MP who has asked parliamentary questions about the deaths, said that under European human rights case law an occupying power is obliged to set up impartial and independent investigations into the treatment of civilians.
The MoD said that any money given to Iraqi families was in the form of "ex gratia payments", and did not mean the MoD accepted liability.
© Guardian Newspapers
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Making Votes Count: Elections With No Meaning
Friday, February 20, 2004
Supreme Court Justice Scalia's hunting trip with Cheney: the political and constitutional issues
By John Andrews and Barry Grey
20 February 2004
Following press reports of a private duck-hunting outing with Vice President Dick Cheney in January, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has refused to recuse himself from a case currently before the high court in which Cheney is a named party. Scalia has responded to questions about the hunting trip with provocative statements that underscore his contempt for the public and scorn for long-standing canons of judicial conduct.
Judicial ethics strictly prohibit judges from meeting privately with one of the sides to a dispute. When such a violation occurs, the judge is expected to withdraw from considering the case, a process known as recusal. Despite his clear violation of the rule, Scalia has cynically brushed off questions about his refusal to take himself off the case.
On January 5, Cheney and Scalia slipped away from Washington, D.C., in a private Gulfstream V jet, landing in Morgan City, Louisiana, guests of local oilman Wallace Carline. The next day, they shot ducks on Carline’s private hunting preserve. They flew back to Washington together on January 7.
There were no media announcements preceding the trip, and local law enforcement helping with security were told to keep quiet. The trip did not go entirely unnoticed, however. After the departure of “Air Force Two”—the designation for any plane carrying the vice president—several regional news outlets in southern Louisiana reported the visit. When asked to confirm the identities of the visitors, Sheriff David Naquin of St. Mary’s Parish responded that the duck hunting was good, with Scalia and Cheney each shooting his “bag limit of three mallards and three teal.”
While as a general rule there is nothing unusual about a member of the Supreme Court socializing with members of the executive branch, in this case Scalia and Cheney spent three days together a mere three weeks after the Supreme Court accepted review of Cheney v. United States District Court. As such, the trip clearly violated Canon 2 of the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires a judge to “avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge’s activities.”
The Los Angeles Times was the first major news outlet to take note of Scalia’s ethical breach. According to a report published January 17, Scalia confirmed in a written response to a Times letter that “Cheney was indeed among the party of about nine who hunted from the camp.” Scalia contradicted Sheriff Naquin, stating that “The duck hunting was lousy. Our host said that in 35 years of duck hunting on this lease, he had never seen so few ducks. I did come back with a few ducks, which tasted swell.”
The Times report and Scalia’s sarcastic response generated editorials in newspapers from Florida to Hawaii calling on Scalia to disqualify himself from further participation in the Cheney case. Two Democratic senators, Joseph Lieberman and Patrick Leahy, complained in a letter to Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The chief justice replied that disqualifications are left to the individual justices, and called the suggestion that Scalia should be disqualified “ill considered.”
On February 10, Scalia was asked about his refusal to recuse himself during a talk at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Splitting hairs, Scalia said disqualification was not required because the case “did not involve a lawsuit against Dick Cheney as a private individual.” He continued: “This was a government issue. It’s acceptable practice to socialize with executive branch officials when there are not personal claims against them. That’s all I’m going to say for now. Quack, quack.”
The Cheney-Scalia get-together and Scalia’s arrogant defense of his conduct are all the more significant given the substantive issues in the case involving Cheney that is before the Supreme Court. At the heart of that case are constitutional matters involving the separation of powers between the three branches of government and, in particular, the constitutionally prescribed power of Congress to monitor the actions of the executive branch.
The case stems from the closed-door meetings that Cheney, as chairman of Bush’s energy task force (the National Energy Policy Development Group—NEPDG), held in early 2001. Cheney’s task force drew up a detailed statement on the administration’s energy policy that included huge windfalls for the oil and energy conglomerates, including the proposal to allow oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness preserve.
It was widely reported that Cheney and his staffers met with top energy company executives, including then-Neron chairman Kenneth Lay, and that the energy industry had a direct hand in the formulation of the Bush administration’s policy. The incestuous character of the energy task force was underscored by the fact that, before becoming vice president, Cheney had himself headed the giant oil construction firm Halliburton.
Later in 2001, the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress, requested that Cheney turn over a list of participants at the meetings of his energy task force. Cheney, with the support of the Bush White House, refused. Eventually, the GAO brought suit to force the executive branch to provide Congress with the requested information, but a federal district court judge with well-known Republican ties dismissed the GAO suit in December 2002. (The judge, John Bates, had been appointed to the federal district court in Washington, D.C., the previous year by President Bush.) In February 2003, the GAO announced that it would not appeal Bates’s ruling.
The position of Cheney and the Bush administration was, and remains, a direct challenge to the constitutional principle of “checks and balances” between three equal branches of government. It is consistent with the efforts of the Bush administration to ride roughshod over traditional democratic norms, vastly expand the powers of the executive branch, and establish the framework for a presidential dictatorship.
The case currently before the Supreme Court arose as the result of a private suit filed separately from that of the GAO demanding that Cheney release information about the operations of his energy task force. The suit was filed by the conservative policy group Judicial Watch and the conservationist Sierra Club. The lower courts rejected Cheney’s position in this suit because federal law requires records of executive task force meetings that include private individuals to be made public.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requires advisory committees such as the NEPDG to make public all documents they used unless the committee is “composed wholly of full-time officers or employees of the Federal Government.” The trial court ordered Cheney to identify the individuals who participated in the NEPDG, information needed to confirm the applicability of FACA, and to turn over NEPDG records or file specific objections detailing why he should not do so. Cheney refused to comply, instead appealing to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, which twice ruled against him, and then to the Supreme Court.
Oral arguments in the case should take place in April, and an opinion is expected before the current Supreme Court term ends July 2.
Scalia’s trip with Cheney is all the more suspect since the outcome of this case could have significant political ramifications for the 2004 elections. Bush, as well as Cheney, is personally linked to the oil industry. (The duck-hunting trip itself was paid for by a prominent Louisiana oilman.)
Within months following Cheney’s task force meetings, Enron and other energy speculators manipulated California energy supplies, driving up energy prices and effectively extorting billions of dollars from the state treasury.
Kenneth Lay, a likely target for criminal prosecution in connection with accounting fraud and other illegal methods that culminated in the collapse of Enron, was for many years Bush’s biggest financial backer. The practices of Enron’s top executives contributed to the largest corporate collapse in history, wiping out hundreds of millions of dollars in individual stock holdings and retirement accounts.
If made pubic before the election, the NEPDG records could further undermine the credibility of the Bush administration. According to records released by the Commerce Department pursuant to a separate Freedom of Information Act request, the NEPDG reviewed detailed maps of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines and refineries, as well as the contracts of foreign companies for oilfield development. Thus, the release of these records would again confirm that the Bush administration planned the conquest of Iraq at least six months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, and that a central war aim was to control and exploit the country’s rich petroleum resources.
This is not the first time Scalia has failed to disqualify himself to “avoid the appearance of impropriety,” the most important example being Scalia’s participation in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court decision hijacking the 2000 election. The Code of Judicial Ethics required Scalia to recuse himself from that case because his son, Eugene Scalia, was then a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the firm representing Bush. (Scalia was not the only justice with a clear conflict of interest. Virginia Lamp Thomas, the wife of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas—another member of the pro-Bush majority—was working on the Bush transition team.)
Scalia not only cast the deciding vote in the 5-4 Bush v. Gore ruling, he also wrote a separate opinion to justify the high court’s order that halted the vote count in Florida to protect against “irreparable harm to petitioner [Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election.” In other words, Scalia said that United States would suffer “irreparable harm” because tabulating the still uncounted ballots might have wiped out Bush’s minuscule lead and put Al Gore in the White House.
Scalia and Cheney had other topics to discuss during their three days together besides the importance of the NEPDG records, including how the Court should handle the challenge to the Bush administration’s power to keep 650 people imprisoned in a Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concentration camp, as well as the pending appeals of Yassir Hamdi and Jose Padilla, US citizens being held in military jails indefinitely as “enemy combatants.” (See: “Bush seeking Supreme Court precedents to dismantle democratic rights”.)
Scalia epitomizes the social element that has risen to the top of the American political establishment and increasingly dominates the federal court system—an element that is profoundly hostile to democratic principles and feels itself in no way bound by traditional political methods or even legal prescriptions. The rise of this political underworld has been facilitated at every point by the prostration and cowardice of the Democratic Party and what passes for American liberalism, and the connivance of the corporate-controlled media.
Scalia has contempt for legal precedent, the Constitution and other juridical considerations. He is a political enforcer in judicial robes, whose modus operandi is to approach each case that comes before him by beginning with the outcome that fits his political agenda, and then cobble together an argument—no matter how far-fetched—to justify the predetermined conclusion.(emphasis added)
Both the hunting trip and Scalia’s reaction to its exposure highlight the degree to which an extreme right-wing element concentrated in the Bush administration, but dominant in all three branches of the federal government, runs the affairs of the nation as virtually the private preserve of themselves and their corporate cronies. The affair is emblematic of a government based on secrecy, conspiracy and non-accountability to the people.
Maybe we'll see some action in the press. Maybe New Democrats Kerry or Edwards have the balls to bring it up on the campaign trail? Maybe Ayatollahs Paul Begala or James Carville, so used to telling Democrats what to think will give this case some mention on Crossfire ( )
Are conservative wing-nuts going to let this ethical lapse by a member of the Supreme Court go undiscussed? Where is Robert Nofacts when you need him? Maybe the only thing that comes out of William Saffliar's mouth are his dentures, and we sure don't want to be in the room to smell that.
Scalia: you must recuse yourself. Or just resign. You have brought nothing but shame to your colleagues through your scathing disregard for the canons of law. "quack quack" yer ass.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
We Love You, Dr. Howard Dean...And We Will Stand With You For Whatever You Decide!
I am very proud of all of you and very grateful to all of you for your
extraordinary hard work.
I announced today that I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency.
I am so thankful for all of you who traveled around the country, showed
up at our office, worked around the clock, because you believed in what
we were doing - to you, thousands of Americans who have given
generously of your time, in your states, because you believed in our cause.
I want to thank the 300,000 small donors that decided that they wanted
their country back.
I want to thank all the people in every state who heard our message and
We have led this party back to considering what its heart and soul is. Although there is a lot of work left to do, I am very proud of all of you and very grateful to all of you for your extraordinary hard work.
As the fight moves forward, I have some things that I specifically want to ask of you.
First, keep active in the primary. We are still on the ballots. Sending delegates to the convention only continues to energize our party. Fight on in the caucuses. Use your network to send progressive delegates to the convention in Boston. We are not going away. We are staying together, unified -- all of us.
Secondly, we will convert Dean for America into a new grassroots organization, and I hope you stay involved. We are determined to keep this entire organization vibrant. There are a lot of ways to make change. We are leaving one track, but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again.
Third, there have been a lot of people who have decided to run for office locally as a result of this campaign. I encourage you to run for office and support candidates like you who run for office. We will use this enormous organization to support you as you run -- we will change the face of democracy so that it represents ordinary Americans once again.
We must beat George W. Bush in November. I will support the nominee of our party and do everything I can to beat George W. Bush and I urge you to do the same. But we will not be above letting our nominee know that we expect them to adhere to the standards that this organization has set for decency, honesty, integrity and standing up for ordinary American working people.
One of the things that I realized a long time ago is that change is very difficult. There is enormous institutional resistance to change in this country. You cannot expect people with great privileges taken at the expense of ordinary working people to surrender them lightly.
Change is hard work. Change does not happen simply because you go to a rally and simply because you make phone calls -- and I know how hard everybody has worked. But change is a process that you can never give up on.
Change is the state of America and change is the state of humankind. The history of humanity is that determined people overcome obstacles. It is natural for people to resist, but it is also inevitable that we will win.
So we will continue to fight. This is the end of phase one of this fight, but the fight will go on, and we will be in it together. We will continue to bring our message of hope and change to the American people.
Thank you very much for everything that you have done.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
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(Now we can look back at this miracle, the entire Dean Machine, and wonder if we have been subverted more by the "New Democrats," the Democratic Leadership Conference...nothing more than Bush_lite, or the RNC.
If Kerry, Edwards and the rest turn out to be choking instead of fighting---if they turn out to have co-opted Dr. Dean's message but now decide that he is out of the race and they can return to their cowardly ways, we will be back.
I would rather support St. Ralph than a cowardly son of a bitch like Edwards or Kerry who may have gotten their ill gotten gains by joining forces with lousy paid off bastards like DLC Ayatollah Carville or Ayatollah Begala.
I hope all "Deaniacs" watch this very carefully. If these gutless mother fuckers start caving again, because they don't have the leadership of Dr. Howard Dean to fashion their campaigns after, then they should all be sent back to the fucking woodshed.
And St. Ralph should steal another election from these bastards and sink America in all-tax-cuts-and-all-war-and-all-anti-choice all the time politics.
Because the Right Wing knows how to fight. Dr. Howard Dean knew how to fight.
But John Kerry? John Edwards? They only knew how to fight Dr. Dean. And if they loose this final fight because of their fucking audacity, they should slice their wrists in public. They should hang along with war criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Franks, Wolfowitz and Perle. They should all drop through the gate on the hangman's galley together.
Frankly, there is something terribly wrong with a vote count in New Hampshire that showed Dr. Dean ahead of Kerry by 1.5% on the paper ballot, but then showed him loosing when the machines were counted.
If there is some crooked dealings here that put all the Howard Dean supporters in the gutter and gave this primary to boring, message crooks like Kerry, then there must be armed uprising and insurrection. It is too disgusting to come so far in such a short time and then have our success stolen from us by the same egregious and mendacious method that gave our White House to chimp_junta.
I pray it isn't so. I pray...)