Behind the Bushes INDEX
Telegraph, UK George Bush surprised world leaders with a joke about his poor record on the environment as he left the G8 summit in Japan. The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock. . . One official who witnessed the extraordinary scene said afterwards: "Everyone was very surprised that he was making a joke about America's record on pollution." Mr Bush also faced criticism at the summit after Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, was described in the White House press pack given to journalists as one of the "most controversial leaders in the history of a country known for government corruption and vice". The White House apologized for what it called "sloppy work" and said an official had simply lifted the characterization from the internet without reading it.
MARY JACOBY, SALON, 2004 For 25 years, Yoshi Tsurumi, one of George W. Bush's professors at Harvard Business School, was content with his green-card status as a permanent legal resident of the United States. But Bush's ascension to the presidency in 2001 prompted the Japanese native to secure his American citizenship. The reason: to be able to speak out with the full authority of citizenship about why he believes Bush lacks the character and intellect to lead the world's oldest and most powerful democracy. . .
The future president was one of 85 first-year MBA students in Tsurumi's macroeconomic policies and international business class in the fall of 1973 and spring of 1974. . .
Trading as usual on his father's connections, Bush entered Harvard in 1973 for a two-year program. He'd just come off what George H.W. Bush had once called his eldest son's "nomadic years" -- partying, drifting from job to job, working on political campaigns in Florida and Alabama and, most famously, apparently not showing up for duty in the Alabama National Guard. . .
One of Tsurumi's standout students was Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., now the seventh-ranking member of the House Republican leadership. "I typed him as a conservative Republican with a conscience," Tsurumi said. "He never confused his own ideology with economics, and he didn't try to hide his ignorance of a subject in mumbo jumbo. He was what I call a principled conservative." . . .
Bush, by contrast, "was totally the opposite of Chris Cox," Tsurumi said. "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him." When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, "Oh, I never said that." A White House spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment.
COULD BUSH PARDON HIMSELF?
YAHOO ANSWERS - Let's say it was a Capital crime. And let's say the whole cabinet was in on it. Could the president pardon his whole cabinet, resign, and then the Vice-President (now president) pardon him?
No one really knows the answer because it has never happened and been litigated. However, the majority view is that a president can pardon himself (assuming he does so prior to impeachment). Art. II Sec. 2 of the Constitution states, in part, that the president "shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." The purpose of this clause was to insure the separation of powers by preventing the courts from using the law as a legal blackmail against the president. . . There is a minority view that the president cannot pardon himself.
FORMER US SURGEON GENERAL TELLS HOW BUSH MUZZLED HIM
REUTERS - The first U.S. surgeon general appointed by President George W. Bush accused the administration of political interference and muzzling him on key issues like embryonic stem cell research. "Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation's top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee. . .
Carmona said Bush administration political appointees censored his speeches and kept him from talking out publicly about certain issues, including the science on embryonic stem cell research, contraceptives and his misgivings about the administration's embrace of "abstinence-only" sex education. . .
SCOOTER LIBBY & OFFICE POLITICS
WE NEVER got all that enthusiastic about the Scooter Libby trial for a number of reasons. First, it seemed odd that liberals were more incensed about a CIA agent being outed than they were about the CIA's torture operations, a reversal of traditional liberal priorities.
Secondly, it was never clear how covert Valerie Plame was, especially given that she had - according to Vanity Fair - revealed her status to Joe Wilson on their third date.
But most of all, the story seemed like one more example of the ever-increasing Dem-lib obsession with what can be fairly called Washington office politics. In fact all politics in the capital these days are office politics which is one reason so little happens. Any issue that can't be reduced to a knife job on an individual or a group just gets overlooked. This helps explain why the Democrats are so disinterested in things like making life easier for home purchasers, credit card users and folks facing declining pensions.
It also helps to explain how, within six months, the Democratic congressional leadership could end up ranking lower in the public's mind than the guy they were elected to straighten out.
That said, irrelevancy happily always has a place in journalism, even when it is not politically the best course. And the fallout from Bush's commuting of Libby's sentence provides some nice windows into how Washington really works - often in a bipartisan and hypocritical way:
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER, AL - Don Siegelman must be wondering right about now about the wisdom of being a lifelong Democrat, not a Republican. The former governor, who last week pleaded with a federal judge that he deserved probation and not prison time, instead was whisked off in shackles immediately after his sentencing to start serving a seven-year sentence, despite the fact that his appeals in the case were still pending. Now a few days after Siegelman was locked away, President Bush has commuted the 30-month prison sentence for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. . . Here's the final irony: Even with her special star treatment, heiress Paris Hilton spent far more time behind bars than Scooter Libby will spend.
POLITICAL WIRE - Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), [noted] that just last year, the Bush administration filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court in an attempt to uphold a lower court's ruling that a 33 month prison sentence for Victor Rita, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, was reasonable. Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence of 30 months for perjury and obstruction of justice yesterday because it was "excessive."
RAW STORY - Federal District Judge Reggie Walton, who sentenced Libby to 30 months in jail for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in the investigation of the outing of Plame, raised concerns about the President's commutation of Libby in a filing. He suggested that the commutation cannot be used without Libby first serving time in jail.
"It has been brought to the Court's attention that the United States Probation Office for the District Court of the District of Columbia intends to contact [Scooter Libby] imminently to require him to begin his term of supervised release. Strictly construed, the statute authorizing the imposition of supervised release indicates that such release should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment," Walton wrote in the filing, which was posted at the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog on Tuesday.
He added, "[Section 3583, the law in question] does not appear to contemplate a situation in which a defendant may be placed under supervised release without first completing a term of incarceration."
TIME - President Clinton's eleventh-hour pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich has sparked a firestorm of controversy, launching investigations in both houses of Congress and igniting fierce protest from both Democrats and Republicans. The U.S. House and Senate have issued a rash of subpoenas calling for witnesses as well as financial records, as the House Government Reform Committee continued its hearings and the Senate Judiciary Committee geared up for its own proceedings. . .
As with almost everything relating to the former president, the Marc Rich pardon case raises a lot of questions. Some answers will surface only after all the Capitol Hill witnesses are heard and the U.S. Attorney's office does its thing. Others, happily, we can answer here and now.
First of all, what does it mean to be "pardoned" by the President? In legal terms, a pardon in an exemption from punishment for a criminal conviction. Presidential pardons are granted unilaterally and cannot be reversed. . .
How does President Bush feel about the Rich pardon inquiries? Bush has been quoted as saying he thinks "it's time to move on," and by all accounts has little interest in pursuing any investigation that keeps his predecessor in the national spotlight.
Marc Rich's socialite ex-wife has donated an estimated $1 million to Democratic causes, including $70,000 to Hillary Clinton's successful Senate campaign and $450,000 to the Clinton presidential library fund. She also lobbied heavily for Marc's pardon. Investigators want to know if Denise's contributions led to a direct quid pro quo exchange for her ex-husband's pardon. Clinton has denied any connection, saying he relied solely on the information provided by Jack Quinn (former White House counsel and Rich's current lawyer) when he was weighing the pardon request.
RADAR - Libby was Rich's lawyer from 1985 through 2000, collecting more than $2 million in legal fees over the period. In early 2001, during the fallout over the pardon, Libby appeared before Congress and testified that he thought Rich had "not violated tax laws" and that federal prosecutors had "misconstrued the facts and the law" during the course of their investigation. In a New York Times editorial, President Clinton said Libby - then chief of staff for Vice President Cheney- supported the decision to pardon Rich.
EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WHO TRULY DESERVE TO BE PARDONED
AND, FINALLY, let us not forget that President Clinton lied under oath and was, in effect, pardoned by the US Senate.
BUSH DIDN'T THINK ATHEISTS WERE COVERED BY THE CONSTITUTION
POSITIVE ATHEIST - When George Bush was campaigning for the presidency, as incumbent vice-president, one of his stops was in Chicago, Illinois, on August 27, 1987. At O'Hare Airport he held a formal outdoor news conference. There Robert I. Sherman, a reporter for the American Atheist news journal, fully accredited by the state of Illinois and by invitation a participating member of the press corps covering the national candidates, had the following exchange with then-Vice-President Bush.
Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?
Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.
Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?
Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists.
BUSH REPORTED ACTING STRANGELY IN MEETINGS WITH FRIENDS
THINK PROGRESS - Anne Geyer writes in the Dallas Morning News about President Bush's strange behavior during a recent meeting"
"Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated 'I am the president!' He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of 'our country's destiny.'"
This is the second time in recent weeks that accounts have surfaced of Bush lashing out or "ranting" in private meetings when responding to criticism of his Iraq policy. Chris Nelson of the Nelson Report offered a similar account earlier this month:
"Some big money players up from Texas recently paid a visit to their friend in the White House. The story goes that they got out exactly one question, and the rest of the meeting consisted of The President in an extended whine, a rant, actually, about no one understands him, the critics are all messed up, if only people would see what he's doing things would be OK. . . etc., etc."
BUSH NAMES ANTI-GAY SURGEON GENERAL
ART JESTER, HERALD-LEADER, KY - The nomination of University of Kentucky professor Dr. James W. Holsinger as U.S. surgeon general has come under fire from groups that fear his actions as a high-ranking official in the United Methodist Church indicate he is anti-gay. Holsinger, 68, who holds UK's Charles T. Wethington Jr. Chair in the Health Sciences and is a former chancellor of UK's Chandler Medical Center and a former state Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is being challenged for his role in decisions by the United Methodist Judicial Council. That highest "court" rules on disputes involving church doctrine and policies in the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination.
In his role on the nine-member Judicial Council, Holsinger has opposed a decision to allow a practicing lesbian to be an associate pastor, and he supported a pastor who would not permit an openly gay man to join the church. . .
"Dr. James Holsinger has demonstrated in the past that he harbors religious-based prejudice towards homosexuals," said Jamie McDaniel, coordinator of Soulforce Lexington, the local chapter of a national organization that opposes the use of religion to oppress lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. . .
Holsinger's pastor, the Rev. David Calhoun of Hope Springs Community Church in Lexington, is one of the doctor's friends and supporters who said his interpretations of church policy have been correct and reflect longstanding majority opinion within the denomination. . .
Calhoun, a United Methodist pastor, noted that Holsinger and his wife, Barbara, were members of Lexington's First United Methodist Church, which asked them to set out and start a new congregation. They founded Hope Springs Community Church in a warehouse at 1109 Versailles Road. Calhoun called it a socially diverse congregation with a "very vital recovery ministry." It serves the homeless and those with addictions to drugs, alcohol and sex; and it has a Spanish-language Hispanic congregation with its own pastor. . . Hope Springs also ministers to people who no longer wish to be gay or lesbian, Calhoun said. "We see that as an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle," he said. "We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle."
DUBYA ON THE ROAD
We can never replace lives, and we can't heal hearts, except through prayer. - Enterprise, Alabama, Mar. 3, 2007
You know, it's interesting to come back down here to the Gulf Coast. I tried to think back about what it was like the first time I came after the storm hit. And I guess the -- my most vivid recollection is the piles of rubble, literally debris stacked upon debris. It was -- it's hard to believe then that I would be -- I had faith that I'd be able to come to a home, but I had trouble visualizing. And then I kept coming down and I watched the improvement, because of the hard work of the local citizens, people like the Mayor here and the Governor, who set a vision that was a hopeful vision. The federal government's role has been to write checks. The Governor's role and the Mayor's role is help to expedite the federal money to the local folks. And today, we are able to sit in a homeowner -- the word is home. Again, one of the things I like to say is, when somebody walks in, welcome to my home. And it has a special ring to it here in the Gulf Coast, because there was a time when their home was totally destroyed. -- This entire passage has a "special" ring to it - Long Beach, Mississippi, Mar. 1, 2007
I'm a strong proponent of the restoration of the wetlands, for a lot of reasons. There's a practical reason, though, when it comes to hurricanes. The stronger the wetlands, the more likely the damage of the hurricane. - New Orleans, Louisiana, Mar. 1, 2007
In return for federal money, we expect local districts and states to measure, to have tests. The principal, the good Doc asked me to go into the 4th grade class and say to the kids, good luck on the test tomorrow. That was music to my ears, because you don't know whether or not a child is reading unless you test. -- Does he actually believe that? New Orleans, Louisiana, Mar. 1, 2007
GREAT THOUGHTS OF GEORGE BUSH
"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here." - at the President's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002
"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." - Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001
"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.'' - Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001
"I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves." - Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2003
"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." - quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War
"I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport." - Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001
"Do you have blacks, too?" - to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001
"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." - as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002
"It is white." - after being asked by a child in Britain what the White House was like, July 19, 2001
"I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." - at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001
"I'm the master of low expectations." - aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003
"People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you." -Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002
"I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet. . . - President George W. Bush, after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2004
- "My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire." - radio address, Feb. 24, 2001
- "I try to go for longer runs, but it's tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. It's sad that I can't run longer. It's one of the saddest things about the presidency." -interview with "Runners World," Aug. 2002
- "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - to a group of Amish he met with privately, July 9, 2004
-. "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." - Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
-. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." - Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004
- "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -ashington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004
FIFTY BEST QUOTES
~Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman
JOHN MCCASLIN, WASH TIMES - For several years, Inside the Beltway has observed the mysterious bike-riding habits of President Bush. Members of the White House press corps, who regularly accompany the president deep into the woods of suburban Maryland or else onto the dusty terrain of his Texas ranch, seldom if ever actually see Mr. Bush atop a bicycle. The big question is why? Could something secretive or covert be taking place that doesn't involve two wheels? For instance, did Mr. Bush in 2004 really fall off of a bicycle and cut his chin, upper lip, nose, both knees and right hand (when his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, inquired: "Did the training wheels fall off?"), or did something more unusual cause his injuries? Was the president actually "enjoying" a bike ride so much during a major terrorist scare in Washington that the Secret Service, or so we were told, didn't bother to tell him that his own wife, Laura, and Vice President Dick Cheney had been rushed into a secure bunker? And how about the Sunday morning not long ago when Mr. Bush's church attire was unusually "bulky"? Immediately after the sermon, the president in the space of seconds had shed his suit of clothes and appeared in a brightly colored outfit that the White House insisted was "bike-riding gear." 'I've never seen a man who hasn't been drinking get out of a suit faster," noted Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle. Now, we learn of yet another bizarre twist involving a presidential biking trek this past weekend. Mr. Bush had been participating in an "extended" intelligence briefing in the Oval Office with his national security team, when suddenly a half-dozen young men and women showed up dressed in the same colorful gear worn by Mr. Bush. The entire group, including the president, immediately climbed into several heavily protected vehicles and sped off. But wait, there's more, discovered in the official White House pool report: "Four of them carried rakes and brooms along with their riding gear; why they had the rakes and brooms with them was unclear."
BUSH'S SECRET HIGHWAY
JEROME R. CORSI, HUMAN EVENTS - Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn. Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman's Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation's most modern highway straight into the heart of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in fast lanes, checked only electronically by the new "SENTRI" system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.
As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. . . A good reason Bush does not want to secure the border with Mexico may be that the administration is trying to create express lanes for Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods into the heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any U.S. union workers on the docks or in the trucks.
PSYCHOTICS MORE LIKELY TO SUPPORT BUSH
ANDY BROMAGE, NEW HAVEN ADVOCATE - A collective "I told you so" will ripple through the world of Bush-bashers once news of Christopher Lohse's study gets out. Lohse, a social work master's student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush. . .
The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse's study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person's psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.
But before you go thinking all your conservative friends are psychotic, listen to Lohse's explanation. "Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader," Lohse says. "If your world is very mixed up, there's something very comforting about someone telling you, 'This is how it's going to be.'". . .
"Bush supporters had significantly less knowledge about current issues, government and politics than those who supported Kerry," the study says. Lohse says the trend isn't unique to Bush: A 1977 study by Frumkin & Ibrahim found psychiatric patients preferred Nixon over McGovern in the 1972 election. . .
For his part, Lohse is a self-described "Reagan revolution fanatic" but said that W. is just "beyond the pale."
GEORGE BUSH WOULD LIKE TO HAVE US STILL FIGHTING VIETNAM WAR
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - US President George W. Bush, making his first visit to Vietnam, said that one lesson of the bloody US military defeat here a generation ago was that the United States must be patient in Iraq. "We'll succeed unless we quit," promised Bush, the second US president to visit post-war Vietnam, after talks with close ally Australian Prime Minister John Howard on the sidelines of an Asia Pacific summit in Hanoi. . . Asked whether the US defeat in Vietnam offered lessons, the US president replied: "We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while.". . .
DON'T LET YOUR KIDS GROW UP TO BE BUSHES
THE BUSH BOYS illustrate the danger of raising families on welfare. In fact, they are among the nation's most successful public welfare spongers including:
- George, who has lived much of his life on insider trading of one sort or another - some of it just costly to family and friends as he stumbled from one failed deal to another and but some of it - like the Harken affair - raising the possibility of public fraud as well. Then there is the cost to the people of Texas who helped finance Dubya's baseball team with a sweetheart rental and purchase option agreement as well as the use of eminent domain in order to make little Bush rich.
- Jeb, whose failed S&L deal cost us all $4 million.
- Jonathan, whose east coast brokerage was fined in two states for violating laws with Jonathan barred from public trading in Massachusetts.
- Neil, who joined the board of the Silverado S&L, which eventually went bankrupt at a cost of $1 billion to the American taxpayers.
So if you want your kids to grow up straight and save some money, keep them away from that Bush family.
BRITAIN HOLDS SECRET TRIAL TO AVOID POSSIBLY REVEALING BUSH WAR CRIME
RICHARD NORTON-TAYLOR, GUARDIAN UK - Two men are to be tried behind closed doors in an Old Bailey courtroom in a move that will stop the public finding out whether George Bush proposed what would have been a war crime and how Tony Blair reacted. The evidence the government does not want us to hear is in an official record of a meeting in Washington in April 2004, when the situation in Iraq was deteriorating fast. The memo, it has been reported, refers to Bush's alleged proposal to bomb the Arabic TV channel al-Jazeera, and is said to reveal how far Blair went in criticising US military tactics in Iraq at a time when troops were bombarding Falluja.
David Keogh, a former civil servant, is charged with unlawfully disclosing the memo. Leo O'Connor, a former Labor researcher, is charged with disclosing a classified document. The way the government went about demanding a private trial, and the arguments used by the judge to allow it, are deeply disturbing.
Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Blair's foreign-policy adviser, who was present at the Washington meeting, told government lawyers that the disclosure of the memo "could have a serious impact upon the international relations" of the UK, and was likely to have damaged the "promotion or protection" of British interests, including those of British citizens in Iraq.
Sheinwald signed a certificate necessary to persuade the judge that the trial should be held in secret before Keogh and O'Connor were charged at the end of last year. We now know that, soon after the men were charged, government prosecutors requested an adjournment of the pre-trial hearings until April 2006. They said they needed a certificate from the foreign secretary. Two weeks later Margaret Beckett replaced Jack Straw. In June she signed the required certificate. The government has not explained why Straw failed to sign one when he was foreign secretary.
Beckett claims that the disclosure of the memo would be as harmful now as when it was first drawn up: disclosure would have a "serious negative impact on UK/US diplomatic relations. The ultimate consequence ... would be a substantial risk of harm to national security." Beckett continues: "My assessment is that this risk is of such magnitude to outweigh the interest of open public justice."
In his little-noticed ruling the judge, Mr Justice Aikens, elaborates on these claims. The contents of the memo would be read "throughout the world", he warns - a prospect, it seems, too awful to contemplate. . . "It is reasonable to conclude," he warns, that some individuals, parts of the media, and "even some states", might react "very unfavorably" to the memo's contents. This might be "for no other reason than the topic under discussion was US/UK policy concerning the state of Iraq at a delicate time". And he comes with a trump card. He says: "It is also legitimate, in my view, for the court to bear in mind the ever-present threat to national safety which is posed by the possibility of terrorist acts by extremists in the UK."
ASIDE FROM BEING A PROTO-FASCIST SOME OTHER WAYS GEORGE BUSH IS DIFFERENT FROM PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS
GARRY WILLS, NY REVIEW OF BOOKS - The right wing in America likes to think that the United States government was, at its inception, highly religious, specifically highly Christian, and even more specifically highly biblical. That was not true of that government or any later government - until 2000, when the fiction of the past became the reality of the present. George W. Bush was not only born-again, like Jimmy Carter. His religious conversion came late, and took place in the political setting of Billy Graham's ministry to the powerful. He was converted during a stroll with Graham on his father's Kennebunkport compound. It is true that Dwight Eisenhower was guided to baptism by Graham. But Eisenhower was a famous and formed man, the principal military figure of World War II, the leader of NATO, the president of Columbia University&SHY;his change in religious orientation was just an addition to many prior achievements. Bush's conversion at a comparatively young stage in his life was a wrenching away from mainly wasted years. . . .
Bush was a saved alcoholic - and here, too, he had no predecessor in the White House. Ulysses Grant conquered the bottle, but not with the help of Jesus. Other presidents were evangelicals. Three of them belonged to the Disciples of Christ - James Garfield, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan. But none of the three - nor any of the other forty-two presidents preceding Bush (including his father)&SHY;would have answered a campaign debate question as he did. Asked who was his favorite philosopher, he said "Jesus Christ." And why? "Because he changed my heart." . . .
BUSH REPORTED TO HAVE PURCHASED 99,000 ACRES IN PARAGUAY
Why might the president and his family need a 98,840-acre ranch in Paraguay protected by a semi-secret U.S. military base manned by American troops who have been exempted from war-crimes prosecution by the Paraguayan government? - Wonkette
PRENSA LATINA - The land grab project of US President George W. Bush in Chaco, Paraguay, has generated considerable discomfort both politically and environmentally. The news circulating the continent about plans to buy 98,840 acres of land in Chaco, Paraguay, near the Triple Frontier (Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay) is the talk of the town in these countries.
Although official sources have not confirmed the information that is already public, the land is reportedly located in Paso de Patria, near Bolivian gas reserves and the Guarani indigenous water region, within the Triple Border. . .
Concern increased last week with the arrival of Bush" daughter, Jenna, and a source from the Physical Planning Department saying that most of the Chaco region belongs to private companies.
Luis D'Elia, Argentina´s undersecretary for Land for Social Habitat, says the matter raises regional concern because it threatens local natural resources.
STEVE O - It has been reported that George W. Bush has recently purchased a 98,842 acre farm in Northern Paraguay. What on earth does the President of the United States need a 98,000+ acre farm in Northern Paraguay for?
On the surface it looks all very innocent, but let's add the very quiet trip that Jenna Bush made to the country earlier this month in which she met Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and his family at their official residence. She also met with U.S. Ambassador James Cason. Could it be that our little drunken Jenna is all grown up and playing diplomacy?
This all still seems very innocent on the surface, but now let's add the five hundred U.S. troops that arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court jurisdiction. Neighboring countries and human rights organizations are concerned the massive air base at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay is potential real estate for the U.S. military.
Does Bush plan on being charged with something in the future? Does Bush foresee a collapse of the United States and feels a strong need to have a place to cut and run to, or does Bush just need a nice secret little place other than Gitmo where he can send people he doesn't like?
BRING IT ON - Jenna Bush paid a secret diplomatic visit to Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and U.S. Ambassador James Cason. There were no press conferences, no public sightings and no official confirmation of her 10-day trip which apparently ended this week. . .
And Jenna's down there having secret meetings with the president and America's ambassador to Paraguay, James Cason. Bush posted Cason in Havana in 2002, but last year moved him to Paraguay. Cason apparently gets around. A former "political adviser" to the U.S. Atlantic Command and ATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Cason has been stationed in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama basically everywhere the U.S. has run secret and not-so-secret wars over the past 30 years.
Here's a fun question for Tony Snow: Why might the president and his family need a 98,840-acre ranch in Paraguay protected by a semi-secret U.S. military base manned by American troops who have been exempted from war-crimes prosecution by the Paraguayan government?
WONKETTE - Here's a little background on the base itself, which Rumsfeld secretly visited in late 2005: U.S. Special Forces began arriving this past summer at Paraguay's Mariscal Estigarribia air base, a sprawling complex built in 1982 during the reign of dictator Alfredo Stroessner.
Argentinean journalists who got a peek at the place say the airfield can handle B-52 bombers and Galaxy C-5 cargo planes. It also has a huge radar system, vast hangers, and can house up to 16,000 troops. The air base is larger than the international airport at the capital city, Asuncion.
BUSH PARAGUAY LAND DEAL RUMOR UPDATE
TOM PHILLIPS, GUARDIAN - Meeting the new couple next door can be an anxious business for even the most relaxed home owner. Will they be international drug traffickers? Have they got noisy kids with a penchant for electronic music? As worries go, however, having the US president move in next door must come fairly low on the list.
Unless of course you are a resident of northern Paraguay and believe reports in the South American press that he has bought up a 100,000 acre ranch in your neck of the woods.
The rumors, as yet unconfirmed but which began with the state-run Cuban news agency Prensa Latina, have triggered an outpouring of conspiracy theories, with speculation rife about what President Bush's supposed interest in the "chaco", a semi-arid lowland in the Paraguay's north, might be.
Some have speculated that he might be trying to wrestle control of the Guarani Aquifer, one of the largest underground water reserves, from the Paraguayans.
Rumors of Mr Bush's supposed forays into South American real estate surfaced during a recent 10-day visit to the country by his daughter Jenna Bush. Little is known about her trip to Paraguay. . . Reports in sections of the Paraguayan media suggested she was sent on a family "mission" to tie up the land purchase in the "chaco".
Erasmo Rodríguez Acosta, the governor of the Alto Paraguay region where Mr Bush's new acquisition supposedly lies, told one Paraguayan news agency there were indications that Mr Bush had bought land in Paso de Patria, near the border with Brazil and Bolivia. He was, however, unable to prove this, he added.
Last week the Paraguayan news group Neike suggested that Ms Bush was in Paraguay to "visit the land acquired by her father - relatively close to the Brazilian Pantanal [wetlands] and the Bolivian gas reserves".
The US presence in Paraguay has been under scrutiny since May 2005 when the country's Congress agreed to allow 400 American marines to operate there for 18 months in exchange for financial aid.
At the time many viewed the arrival of troops as a sign that Washington was trying to monitor US business interests in neighboring Bolivia, after the election of Evo Morales, a leftwing leader who promised to nationalize his country's natural gas industry.
BOSTON GLOBE - Bush's signing statement challenged at least three-dozen laws specified in the bill. Among those he targeted is a provision that empowers the FEMA director to tell Congress about the nation's emergency management needs without White House permission. This law, Bush said, "purports . . . to limit supervision of an executive branch official in the provision of advice to the Congress." Despite the law, he said, the FEMA director would be required to get clearance from the White House before telling lawmakers anything.
BBC TOLD - AND NEVER RETRACTED - THE TRUE STORY THAT GOT DAN RATHER CANNED
GREG PALAST, ALTERNET - Rather's "unsubstantiated story of Bush's military service" (says USA Today) got him canned. Yet, all the poor man did was repeat a story the Brits put on BBC Television a year earlier -- that Poppy Bush put in the fix to get his son out of 'Nam and into the Texas Air Guard, spending his war years guarding Houston from Viet Cong attack.
But Dan never reported this: the documentation from inside the US Department of Justice detailing the fix. Why not? Because it opened up a far more serious charge: that those who kept Little George out of war's way ended up very well rewarded. The BBC, the world's biggest network, ran that full story -- from the evidence of the fix to the evidence of the lucrative pay-backs -- and the BBC never retracted a comma of it. Nor, by the way, has the White House denied our accusations despite our repeated offers to respond. . .
The president of CBS, Leslie Moonves, [declared] that Rather's producer "ignored information that cast doubt on the story she had set out to report -- that President Bush had received special treatment thirty years ago, getting to the Guard ahead of many other applicants."
Really? Well, Mr. Moonves, look at this evidence: "His [George W. Bush's] dad called then-Lt. Gov. Barnes to ask for his help to get his son not just in the Guard, but to get one of the coveted pilot slots which were extremely hard to get. [Barnes, through a 'cut-out,' a third party,] contacted General Rose at the Guard and took care of it. George Bush was placed ahead of thousands of young men, some of whom died in Vietnam."
This is from a letter which had remained locked for years in the file cabinets of the U.S. Justice Department prosecutor in Austin, Texas. How I got it does not matter. Our War President has not challenged authenticity. . .
But there's much, much more to the story than Rather had cojones to report. Barnes had two tasks -- one, to get little George into the Air Guard and the other was to shut up about it. Keep it quiet. Barnes's good deeds and long silence were, indeed, well rewarded. . .
CUT AND STAY THE COURSE
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: James Baker says that he's looking for something between "cut and run" and "stay the course."
GEORGE BUSH: Well, hey, listen, we've never been "stay the course," George. We have been - we will complete the mission, we will do our job, and help achieve the goal, but we're constantly adjusting to tactics. Constantly.
BUSH: We will stay the course. [8/30/06]
BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. [8/4/05]
BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We're just going to stay the course. [12/15/03]
BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We'll stay the course. [4/13/04]
BUSH: And that's why we're going to stay the course in Iraq. And that's why when we say something in Iraq, we're going to do it. [4/16/04]
BUSH: And so we've got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. [4/5/04]
BUSH MEETS CAMUS
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - US President George W. Bush said on Tuesday he's no longer reading French philosopher Albert Camus but tries to keep his reading list "eclectic. . . Bush took some ribbing while vacationing at his Texas ranch recently when he revealed that he had read Camus' The Stranger. "I was in Crawford and I said I was looking for a book to read and Laura said `you ought to try Camus,'" he said. "I also read three Shakespeares," he said. He told NBC television that Camus was not his steady fare.
[As reader Eric Martin, who sent us this clip, notes, "Interestingly enough he picks a book about a European colonial killing an Arab."]
GRADE SAVER - Marie and Mersault [in The Stranger] enjoy swimming together. Meursault then naps on the beach before playing in the water more with Marie. He devours his lunch and then takes a walk with the other men. They run into two Arabs on the beach and Raymond and Masson fight them. Raymond gets cut and needs to be stitched. When they return, he takes off down the beach again. Meursault follows him though he wanted to be left alone. They find the Arab but Meursault convinces Raymond to give him his gun. Nothing happens and the men walk back. Meursault is affected by the sun and heat and goes back onto the beach. He finds himself near the Arab again and is drawn closer. With the heat and glare of the knife, Meursault shoots the gun once and then four more times, killing the Arab.
Part Two of the novel takes place after Meursault's arrest. He is taken to prison and held there. . . The magistrate calls him again and is bothered by the part in his testimony where he hesitated before firing the last four shots. As Meursault cannot explain why, the magistrate takes out a crucifix and attempts to make Meursault repent so God will forgive him. Meursault does not follow his reasoning nor does he believe in God. Frustrating the magistrate further, Meursault says he is more annoyed than sorry about the crime he has committed. . .
The year until the next summer passes quickly and it is time for Meursault's trial. . . The lawyer's summations follow the next day and Meursault is interested to see what they will say about him. As both speeches are very long, Meursault finds it difficult to pay attention. The prosecutor seems to dwell on his crime being premeditated. . . The prosecutor ends by declaring that Meursault's soul is empty and that he is a monster who has paved the way for the parricide trial following. Meursault replies that he had no intention of killing the Arab. When asked why he did it, he does not know and can only blurt out that it was because of the sun. . .
ANOTHER $6 BILLION THAT WON'T BE GOING TO NEW ORLEANS THE PRESIDENT'S NEW HELICOPTER
If there's one thing that George Bush has done that we should never forget, it's that for us and for our children, he has shattered the myth of white supremacy once and for all - Rep.Charles Rangel
BUSH TAKES ON BLACK ESTATE PLANNING
GEORGE W. BUSH, STERLING VA JAN 19 - See, one of the problems we've had that shows -- what we found out in New Orleans there's not -- there wasn't a lot of -- we take -- some things we take for granted like the generations passing assets from one generation to the next just didn't happen in the African American community, and should. We ought to encourage -- we take that for granted, don't we? Some of us do. You know, you pass the house on. A lot of these people didn't own their own homes. A lot of them didn't have checking accounts. And yet one of the things we ought to encourage is systems -- is reforms that enable somebody to own something so they can pass it on to their child. It's part of creating stability and healthy families and strength. And so I want to be known as an ownership guy.
IRAQ IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS: IT'S BETWEEN GOD AND GEORGE
SALON - Seymour Hersh tells the tale of a former senior administration official who visited Iraq after the 2004 presidential election and returned to inform Bush that the war wasn't going well. "I said to the president, 'We're not winning the war,' the official told Hersh. And he asked, 'Are we losing?' I said, 'Not yet.'' Bush was "displeased" with the answer, the official told Hersh. "I tried to tell him. And he couldn't hear it."
Hersh paints the picture of a president who believes that he was chosen by God to lead the United States after 9/11, a man whose faith blots out any concern over setbacks in Iraq. "The president is more determined than ever to stay the course," a former defense official tells Hersh. "Bush is a believer in the adage 'People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.'"
BUSH PLANNED TO BOMB AL JAZEERA STATION IN QATAR
KEVIN MAGUIRE AND ANDY LINES, MIRROR - President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals. But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash. A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency. The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation. . .
A Government official suggested that the Bush threat had been "humorous, not serious". But another source declared: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."
Yesterday former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle challenged Downing Street to publish the five-page transcript of the two leaders' conversation. He said: "It's frightening to think that such a powerful man as Bush can propose such cavalier actions. . . "
The memo, which also included details of troop deployments, turned up in May last year at the Northampton constituency office of then Labour MP Tony Clarke. Cabinet Office civil servant David Keogh, 49, is accused under the Official Secrets Act of passing it to Leo O'Connor, 42, who used to work for Mr Clarke. Both are bailed to appear at Bow Street court next week.
ROBERT BRYCE, TEXAS OBSERVER, MAY 9, 1997 - George W. Bush loves baseball. And why not? After all, baseball has been very good to the governor. When it comes to power, the governor is a true triple-threat. Consider his record: (1) His initial baseball investment of $600,000 carries the current potential of a 2,500 percent return. (2) Through savvy P.R. and political maneuvering, he and his partners have persuaded a city and the state to directly subsidize a facility for their business. (3) Not content with taxpayer subsidies, he and his fellow owners have also successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes. . .
Bush's personal ownership interest in the Texas Rangers baseball team has been wildly at odds with his publicly declared positions on those issues. And ongoing litigation over the Ballpark deal has revealed documents showing that beginning in 1990, the Rangers management - which included Bush as a managing general partner - conspired to use the government's power of eminent domain to further its private business interests.
Since he took to the stump three and a half years ago to run for governor, Bush has railed against "big government." On the very first day of his campaign, November 8, 1993, Bush told supporters in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas that "the best way to allocate resources in our society is through the market place. Not through a governing elite, not through red tape and over-regulation, not through some central bureaucracy.". . .
Briefly, here's what happened on the Ballpark deal. Bush and his partners in the Rangers convinced Arlington officials to:
- Pass a half cent sales tax to pay for 70 percent of the stadium;
- Use the government's powers of eminent domain to condemn land the Rangers couldn't or didn't want to buy on the open market;
- Give the Rangers control over what happens in and around the stadium;
- Allow the Rangers to buy the stadium (which cost $191 million to construct) for just $60 million;
Finally, after twelve years as the sole occupant and primary beneficiary of the stadium project, the Rangers, a privately owned business, can take title to the most expensive stadium ever built in Texas for the $60 million worth of rent and upkeep they will have already paid the city. . .
Of all the issues surrounding the stadium construction, the issue of governmental power and eminent domain is the most troublesome. The Republican Party has long advocated less government intrusion into the property rights of citizens.
I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God. - George H. W. Bush 8/27/1987
Let's forgive the Nazi war criminals. - George H. W. Bush 4/14/1990
See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. - George W. Bush 5/23/05  (http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=28697)
Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. - George W. Bush
They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush 8/5/2004
NUMBER OF WASHINGTON LOBBYISTS HAS DOUBLED UNDER BUSH
JEFFREY H. BIRNBAUM WASHINGTON POST - The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750 while the amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent. Only a few other businesses have enjoyed greater prosperity in an otherwise fitful economy. The lobbying boom has been caused by three factors, experts say: rapid growth in government, Republican control of both the White House and Congress, and wide acceptance among corporations that they need to hire professional lobbyists to secure their share of federal benefits.
ANDREW C. REVKIN, NY TIMES - A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents. In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.
The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties," tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.
Mr. Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues.
Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training.
The documents were obtained by The New York Times from the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit legal-assistance group for government whistle-blowers.
MAY 2005. . .
GEORGE BUSH - See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.
BUSH REGIME HYPES 10,000 ARRESTS;
TV STATIONS USE GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA VIDEOS;
40% OF ARRESTS ARE DRUG CASES
BILL VAN AUKEN, WORLD SOCIALIST - In a massive dragnet, US Marshals led more than 90 state, local and other federal police agencies last week in arresting over 10,000 people across the country on outstanding warrants, the Justice Department revealed Thursday. Code-named Operation Falcon, for Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally, the unprecedented federally-coordinated mass arrests were staged for maximum political and media impact. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used the operation as the subject of his first news conference since the confirmation of his controversial nomination.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, supplied the television networks government-shot action videotape of Marshals and local cops raiding homes and breaking down doors. The footage was aired on news programs, accompanied by commentary that uncritically parroted the claims made by the department. . .
The political purpose of the dragnet was underscored by the fact that law enforcement officials privately acknowledged that most of those arrested in the nationwide raids would have been picked up in any case in the course of normal police work.. . .
While US authorities highlighted the apprehension of 160 murder suspects and 550 sexual assault suspects, it appeared that by far the largest share of those arrested were minor drug offenders. Narcotics violations accounted for fully 4,300 out of the 10,340 arrests.
BUSH REGIME CONCEALS BAD NEWS ABOUT TERRORIST ATTACKS
JONATHAN S. LANDAY, KNIGHT RIDDER - The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered. . . Last year, the number of incidents in 2003 was undercounted, forcing a revision of the report, "Patterns of Global Terrorism." . . .
Current and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered "Patterns of Global Terrorism" eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism. . .
According to . . . U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the issue, statistics that the National Counterterrorism Center provided to the State Department reported 625 "significant" terrorist attacks in 2004. That compared with 175 such incidents in 2003, the highest number in two decades.
The statistics didn't include attacks on American troops in Iraq, which President Bush as recently as Tuesday called "a central front in the war on terror."
SAM SMITH - Like serial killers, pathological politicians often reveal their true weaknesses in how they display their power. George Bush, for example, has spent his whole life pretending he was something he wasn't: a tough, brave Texas cowboy. An amazing proportion of his public time is spent in projecting this false image - in part to fool us, but also in part to fool himself.
A weak, silly little man, almost pathetic at times, he risks the lives of millions as he struts around the world playing something he will never be - an impressive leader - using childish words and gestures to accomplish in symbols what he is so incapable of producing in reality.
At a time when the whole world knows what America won't admit - that it has become a sordid parody of what it prescribes elsewhere - Bush tells nation after nation how they should behave even as that land over which he properly holds some influence collapses and decays.
And how do the assigned protectors of reality - the press - react? Mainly by propping up the semiotic fraud by treating it as real and covering domestic and foreign policy as thought they were just some more movies. As if we do not really need peace or a good economy but only the drama surrounding our failure to achieve them.
Consider this small example: Condoleezza Rice arriving in Germany and greeting the troops in a fascistic black outfit with tall dark boots of which Hitler and Mussolini were so fond. The Washington Post's fashion fetishist, Robin Givhan - who writes like Paula Abdul dresses - took on the challenge of explaining what this was meant to mean to the world:
||| Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield on Wednesday dressed all in black. She was wearing a black skirt that hit just above the knee, and it was topped with a black coat that fell to mid-calf. The coat, with its seven gold buttons running down the front and its band collar, called to mind a Marine's dress uniform or the "save humanity" ensemble worn by Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix." . . .
Rice's coat and boots speak of sex and power -- such a volatile combination, and one that in political circles rarely leads to anything but scandal. When looking at the image of Rice in Wiesbaden, the mind searches for ways to put it all into context. It turns to fiction, to caricature. To shadowy daydreams. Dominatrix! It is as though sex and power can only co-exist in a fantasy. When a woman combines them in the real world, stubborn stereotypes have her power devolving into a form that is purely sexual.
Rice challenges expectations and assumptions. There is undeniable authority in her long black jacket with its severe details and menacing silhouette. The darkness lends an air of mystery and foreboding. Black is the color of intellectualism, of abstinence, of penitence. If there is any symbolism to be gleaned from Rice's stark garments, it is that she is tough and focused enough for whatever task is at hand. ||||
Givhan is not alone in being attractive to such a style. Some years ago Ruth La Ferla wrote in the NY Times:
||| The brute aesthetic of fascism - a blend of classical style and modern functionalism advanced by 20th-century totalitarian regimes - is widespread these days, having muscled its way from the worlds of architecture and fashion photography onto movie screens and runways . . . A smack at convention, fashion's flirtation with fascism has, to be sure, been stripped of its darker political content. Still, the ponderous style identified with tyranny retains an allure.
"Fascism - I hate to say it, but it's sexy," said Ned Cramer, a senior editor at Architecture magazine. The style generally is attractive, he said . . . The aggressive style of totalitarianism retains a power to seduce because it "comes from a lineage of darkness," said Yeohlee Teng, a New York fashion designer . . . Brutal granite and travertine structures, the dictator's pet mode of propaganda, "are all about power," Ms. Teng said, "and power is the greatest turn-on."
Givhan's view also probably well reflects whoever provided Rice with the outfit, but for those want fewer bombs rather than taller boots, the ensemble merely offers another unintentional insight into the true character of the Bush regime.
BUSH FAMILY'S WAR PROFITEERING
DEMOCRACY RISING - The extent of Iraq contracts going to corporations which involve members of President George W. Bush's family is widespread and extensive involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Often these firms receive contracts where the corporations have no expertise and certainly the Bush family members have no expertise or experience in these areas. It is a world not of know-how but of know-who, marinated in campaign contributions.
Below are examples of Bush Family members who have profited from the war and occupation of Iraq. These issues have not been examined or reported by the mainstream media:
NEIL MALLON BUSH, the younger brother of the President, infamous for his involvement in the Silverado S&L scandal, has been hired by Crest Investment Company as a consultant for $60,000 per year to assist with its efforts to serve as a middleman to advise other companies that seek taxpayer-financed business in Iraq. Working with Crest puts Neil Bush at the center of multiple organizations profiting from the war and occupation in close alliance with long-term Bush Family allies.
Crest Investment is headed by Jamal Daniel who is a principal partner in New Bridge, a Houston, TX based company with offices in Iraq and Kuwait. The main focus of New Bridge is to advise companies that seek opportunities in the private sector in Iraq, including licenses to market products in Iraq. The company highlights that the Coalition Provisional Authority decision to allow foreign companies to establish 100 percent ownership of businesses in Iraq, an unusual arrangement in the Mideast, has added to the attractiveness of the market.
New Bridge Strategies, is headed by Joe M. Allbaugh, Mr. Bush's campaign manager in 2000 and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency until March 2003. Earlier he was Chief of Staff to then-Governor Bush of Texas Other directors include Edward M. Rogers, Jr. vice chairman, and Lanny Griffith, lobbyists who were assistants to President George Herbert Walker and now have close ties to the White House."
Also related to this Neil Bush network is Diligence. Diligence shares addresses and many board members with New Bridge Strategies. It was formed by past members of the CIA and Britain's MI5 Intelligence Services along with experts in international law, journalism and intelligence which enables them to review all sorts of future investment projects and provide security advice. Diligence opened an office in Baghdad in July 2003 where they provided payroll protection and delivery, personnel and facilities security, review of potential Iraqi business ventures, training and management of personal security forces, and intelligence briefs. A subsidiary includes Diligence Middle East, LLC which was created in partnership with New Bridge and the Kuwaiti Coroporation, Al-Mal Investment Company.
WILLIAM H.T. ("BUCKY") BUSH, an uncle of George W. Bush, joined the board of directors of the St. Louis based company Engineered Support Systems in March 2000. Bucky Bush was one the Bush "Pioneers," the campaign contributors who raised more than $100,000 in the 2000 presidential election. Engineered Support Systems has three areas: light military support equipment, heavy military support equipment, and electronics/automation systems. Since 2000, following the presidential election and the 9-11 attacks, the company's federal contracts, revenues and its stock value have all gone up. Engineered Support Systems has been in the top 100 contractors with the DoD since 2001. Its contracts with the U.S. military have totaled over $1 billion.
William H.T. Bush is also a trustee for the investment firm Lord Abbott, one of Halliburton's top 10 shareholders and also a top-ten mutual fund holder in Halliburton, which has obtained prime contracts in Iraq. Vice President Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton, still has between $18 million and $87 million invested through Vanguard, another top-ten holder in Halliburton stock.
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH, only recently resigned as a board member of the finance giant the Carlyle Group, heavily associated with military and security contracts. The Carlyle Group was 43rd among federal contractors in 2002, with $676.5 million in contracts. In 2003, the Carlyle Group moved up to 11th place, with $2.1 billion in contracts, partly from the war on terrorism and partly from Iraq. Insiders at the company also cashed in millions of dollars' worth of options in 2003.
MARVIN P. BUSH, the youngest brother of George W. Bush, shares an interest in federal contracts held by companies in his firm's portfolio. Marvin Bush is also an adviser at HCC Insurance, formerly called the Houston Casualty Company, one of the biggest insurance carriers for the World Trade Center. Bush was a director at HCC, which has benefited financially from the 9-11 insurance bailout legislation passed by Congress at the instigation of the White House. The departure of Marvin from the HCC board was announced the same day, November 22, 2002, as the passage of the bill.
Marvin Bush is co-founder and partner in Winston Partners, a private investment firm which is part of a larger firm called the Chatterjee Group.
GOVERNOR JEB BUSH is also an investor in the Winston Capital Fund, which happens to be managed by Marvin's firm. According to the Sept 30, 2003, issue of Mother Jones, an $80 million Iraq contract was awarded to Nour, a company which began in 2003 with ties to Winston Partners. Nour is an "international investment and development company" with more than 100 employees based in Iraq, and claims expertise in telecommunications, agribusiness, internet development, recruitment, construction materials, oil and power services, pharmaceuticals and fashion apparel."
In January, 2004, Nour was awarded a $327 million contract to equip the Iraqi armed forces and Civil Defense Corps. However, not long after it was awarded, Nour came under heavy scrutiny because of questions involving the company's president and Ahmed Chalabi, of the US appointed Iraqi Governing Council. Newsday reported, Chalabi received a $2 million "fee" for helping to arrange a $80 million contract, that was actually awarded to a firm called Erinys International "within days" of being granted the contract, Erinys became a joint venture operation with Nour.
In addition, after the $327 million contract was awarded it was revealed that Nour had no prior experience in providing military equipment.
Winston Partners' also are heavily invested in another military contractor, the Amsec Corp. In 2001, Amsec was awarded $37,722,000 in contracts from the Navy. Marvin Bush's long-time business partner, Scott Andrews, sits on the Amsec board of directors, and the firm's CEO at the time was Michael Braham, who used to work for none other than Paul Bremer, the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
THE MOST DISHONEST BUDGET EVER
NORIEL ROUBINI, INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE - The dishonesty of the administration about budget deficits has reached levels unheard of. . . The reality is, that based on realistic scenarios outlined last week by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the deficit by 2009 will be close to $600b (or 4.0% of GDP) rather than falling to $233b; and the deficit will reach over $1,100b (or 5.5% of GDP) by 2015.
How do they create the false $233b deficit by 2009.
1. They assume spending cuts that are, by any historical and political standard, impossible to achieve.
2. They assume revenue growth that is altogether wishful thinking and false based on current trends. And they do not consider the long-run costs of making all the Bush tax cuts permanent.
3. They do not count the ongoing costs of the continued defense and homeland security spending and of future military and homeland security build-ups.
4. They phase in a budget busting social security privatization (that will cost alone $4.5 trillion in the next 20 years) only starting in 2009.
This is worse than dishonesty; it is the most squalid manipulation of budgets ever seen aimed at pretending to achieve a budget figure that is utterly unrealistic and false in every possible dimension.
[Noriel Roubini is an associate professor of economics at NYU]
FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BUSH
2005 - I don't think foreign policy is an either or proposition
2001 - Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists
1987 - On the surface, selling arms to a country that sponsors terrorism, of course, clearly, you'd have to argue it's wrong, but it's the exception sometimes that proves the rule.
GARY TAYLOR, GUARDIAN - What should we do with US classics like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or The Color Purple? "Dig a hole," Gerald Allen recommends, "and dump them in it." Don't laugh. Gerald Allen's book-burying opinions are not a joke. Earlier this week, Allen got a call from Washington. He will be meeting with President Bush on Monday. I asked him if this was his first invitation to the White House. "Oh no," he laughs. "It's my fifth meeting with Mr Bush."
Bush is interested in Allen's opinions because Allen is an elected Republican representative in the Alabama state legislature. He is Bush's base. Last week, Bush's base introduced a bill that would ban the use of state funds to purchase any books or other materials that "promote homosexuality." Allen does not want taxpayers' money to support "positive depictions of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle". That's why Tennessee Williams and Alice Walker have got to go. . .
"Traditional family values are under attack," Allen informs me. They've been under attack "for the last 40 years". The enemy, this time, is not al-Qaida. The axis of evil is "Hollywood, the music industry". We have an obligation to "save society from moral destruction". . . .
Since Allen couldn't give me a single example of the homosexual equivalent of 9/11, I gave him some. This autumn the University of Alabama theatre department put on an energetic revival of A Chorus Line, which includes, besides "tits and ass", a prominent gay solo number. Would Allen's bill prevent university students from performing A Chorus Line? It isn't that he's against the theatre, Allen explains. "But why can't you do something else?" (They have done other things, of course. But I didn't think it would be a good idea to mention their sold-out productions of Angels in America and The Rocky Horror Show.)
Cutting off funds to theatre departments that put on A Chorus Line or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof may look like censorship, and smell like censorship, but "it's not censorship", Allen hastens to explain. "For instance, there's a reason for stop lights. You're driving a vehicle, you see that stop light, and I hope you stop." Who can argue with something as reasonable as stop lights? Of course, if you're gay, this particular traffic light never changes to green.
What I really like about the President is his wonderfully uncluttered mind. - Tony Blair
EL DOCTOROW, EAST HAMPTON STAR - This president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.
He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be. . .
The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.
DAVE FORD, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE War is both a reality and a metaphor. When it comes to decoding American manhood, war's realities -- missiles, tank-mounted long-barreled guns, rifles (some with bayonets) and aspects of penetration and domination -- suggest metaphors that might have made Freud chuckle.
Alas, the father of modern psychoanalysis is not with us. But Bay Area psychologist and author Dr. Stephen J. Ducat is. His book "The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity" (Beacon Press; $25), released this month, looks at the sometimes debilitating effects on U.S. politics and foreign policy of a "femiphobic" masculinity -- one split off from all things "feminine.". . .
"The Wimp Factor" suggests that American hyper-masculinity - as seen in, but not limited to, the Bush administration, Christian fundamentalism and right-wing U.S. policy - has created a contentious political landscape in which more and more men are becoming conservative. In campaign battles, politicians, meanwhile, "feminize" their opponents to establish macho credibility and call into question their opponents' manhood. . .
Page 252: George H.W. Bush comes to the rescue when his sons run afoul of Andover honor codes. Jeb violates the school's alcohol ban, but he's allowed to finish his degree after his father intervenes. Years later, Kelley writes, school officials catch W.'s younger brother Marvin with drugs, but dad talks them out of expulsion and secures for his son an "honorary transfer" to another school.
Page 253: At Andover, George W. Bush writes a morose essay about his sister's death. Searching for a synonym for "tears," he consults a thesaurus and writes, "And the lacerates ran down my cheeks." A teacher labels the paper "disgraceful."
Page 261-68: A frat brother says Bush "wasn't an ass man." Another friend concurs: "Poor Georgie. He couldn't even relate to women unless he was loaded. There were just too many stories of him turning up dead drunk on dates."
Page 309: At Harvard Business School, which W. attends from 1973 to 1975, a professor screens The Grapes of Wrath. Bush asks him, "Why are you going to show us that Commie movie?" W.'s take on the film: "Look. People are poor because they are lazy."
Page 266: George W. and cocaine. One anonymous Yalie claims he sold coke to Bush; another classmate says he and Bush snorted the drug together. Sharon Bush, W.'s ex-sister-in-law, tells Kelley that Bush has used cocaine at Camp David "not once, but many times." (Sharon has since denied telling Kelley this.)
Page 304: While working on a 1972 Alabama Senate campaign, Bush, witnesses say, "liked to sneak out back for a joint of marijuana or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine."
Page 575: A friend says Laura Bush was the "go-to girl for dime bags" at Southern Methodist University.
Page 252: George W. hangs a Confederate flag in his dorm room at Andover.
Page 268: W. on Yale's decision to admit women: "That's when Yale really started going downhill."
Page 598: George W. to McCain during the nasty 2000 South Carolina primary: "John, we've got to start running a better campaign." McCain: "Don't give me that shit. And take your hands off me."
REUTERS - A study of thousands of federal court cases has found that judges appointed by President Bush are the most conservative on record in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties. . . "If Bush wins re-election you're going to have a very conservative judiciary," University of Houston political scientist Robert Carp said on Thursday. "An average president puts in about a third of the federal judiciary in two terms, so this really is a watershed year in terms of what happens."
Carp along with Kenneth Manning of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and Ronald Stidham from Appalachian State University looked at federal court decisions in the Federal Supplement's database of 70,000 cases and categorized them as "liberal" or "conservative" based on case content. They found that Republican appointees issued liberal rulings in about a third of their cases while Democrats did so 45 percent to 50 percent of the time. But in civil rights and civil liberties cases -- abortion, gay rights, freedom of speech, right to privacy, race relations, for example -- Bush judges made liberal decisions only 26.5 percent of the time.
That was well below 37.9 percent for appointees of Richard Nixon, 32.3 percent for Ronald Reagan and 32.2 percent for George H.W. Bush, all fellow Republican presidents. Appointees of Democrats Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton gave liberal rulings, respectively, 58.1 percent, 51.3 percent and 42 percent of the time in the same types of cases.
CHARLES JOHNSON, LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS - I opened Microsoft Word, set the font to Microsofts Times New Roman, tabbed over to the default tab stop to enter the date 18 August 1973, then typed the rest of the document purportedly from the personal records of the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. And my Microsoft Word version, typed in 2004, is an exact match for the documents trumpeted by CBS News as authentic. Here are the two documents superimposedand please note that when I cut and pasted the images, I just eyeballed it with no special effort to match sizes. [Move mouse over image]
BUSH'S PROFESSOR HAS LITTLE GOOD TO SAY ABOUT HIM
SIMON W. VOZICK-LEVINSON, HARVARD CRIMSON - As the race for the White House heats up and the nation's left-leaning heads come together to unearth potential skeletons in President Bush's closet, one line in his resume has avoided major scrutiny: the time Bush spent just across the Charles River, earning an MBA at the Harvard Business School (HBS) in the 1970s. Now, as some fervently question the commander-in-chief's performance in the Texas National Guard decades ago and more current-minded politicos take aim at the events surrounding Sept. 11, 2001 and the invasion of Iraq, one former HBS professor is doing his best to publicize his recollections of what he calls a sarcastic, mediocre student who went on to lead the United States.
Yoshihiro Tsurumi, an avowed opponent of Bush's current views and policies who was a visiting associate professor of international business at HBS between 1972 and 1976, said Bush was among 85 students he taught one year in a required first-year course. In the class on "Environment Analysis for Management," incorporating elements of macroeconomics, industrial policy and international business, Tsurumi said students discussed and debated case studies for 90 minutes several times a week.
Tsurumi-now a professor of international business at Baruch College in the City University of New York-said he remembers the future president as scoring in the bottom 10 percent of students in the class.
Thirty years after teaching the class, Tsurumi said the twenty-something Bush's statements and behavior-"always very shallow"-still stand out in his mind.
"Whenever [Bush] just bumped into me, he had some flippant statement to make," said Tsurumi when reached at his home in Scarsdale, N.Y. "The comments he made were revealing of his prejudice."
The White House did not reply to requests for comment on Bush's time at HBS.
Tsurumi said he particularly recalls Bush's right-wing extremism at the time, which he said was reflected in off-hand comments equating the New Deal of the 1930s with socialism and the corporation-regulating Securities and Exchange Commission with "an enemy of capitalism."
"I vividly remember that he made a comment saying that people are poor because they're lazy," Tsurumi said.
Tsurumi also said Bush displayed a sense of arrogance about his prominent family, including his father, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
"[George W. Bush] didn't stand out as the most promising student, but...he made it sure we understood how well he was connected," Tsurumi said. "He wasn't bashful about how he was being pushed upward by Dad's connections."
Tsurumi said that the younger Bush boasted that his father's political string-pulling had gotten him to the top of the waiting list for the Texas National Guard instead of serving in Vietnam. When other students were frantically scrambling for summer jobs, Tsurumi said, Bush explained that he was planning instead for a visit to his father in Beijing, where the senior Bush was serving at the time as the special U.S. envoy to China.
In addition, Tsurumi is still sore about what he recalls as Bush's slight to his cinematic taste. When he arranged for students to view the film of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath during their study of the Great Depression, Tsurumi said, Bush derided the film as "corny."
GREG MILLER, LA TIMES - Days before Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was to present the case for war with Iraq to the United Nations, State Department analysts found dozens of factual problems in drafts of his speech, according to new documents contained in the Senate report on intelligence failures released last week. Two memos included with the Senate report listed objections that State Department experts lodged as they reviewed successive drafts of the Powell speech. Although many of the claims considered inflated or unsupported were removed through painstaking debate by Powell and intelligence officials, the speech he ultimately presented contained material that was in dispute among State Department experts.
Brave New World here we come
BUSH WANTS TO SCREEN WHOLE COUNTRY TO SEE WHICH ELI LILLY DRUGS IT NEEDS
JEANNE LENZER, BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL - A sweeping mental health initiative will be unveiled by President George W Bush in July. The plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully into the community by providing "services in the community, rather than institutions," according to a March 2004 progress report . . . While some praise the plan's goals, others say it protects the profits of drug companies at the expense of the public.
The president's commission found that "despite their prevalence, mental disorders often go undiagnosed" and recommended comprehensive mental health screening for "consumers of all ages," including preschool children. According to the commission, "Each year, young children are expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviors and emotional disorders." Schools, wrote the commission, are in a "key position" to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adults who work at the schools.
The commission also recommended "Linkage [of screening] with treatment and supports" including "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications for specific conditions." The commission commended the Texas Medication Algorithm Project as a "model" medication treatment plan that "illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in better consumer outcomes.". . .
But the Texas project, which promotes the use of newer, more expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, sparked off controversy when Allen Jones, an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, revealed that key officials with influence over the medication plan in his state received money and perks from drug companies with a stake in the medication algorithm. He was sacked this week for speaking to the BMJ and the New York Times. . .
Mr Jones told the BMJ that the same "political/pharmaceutical alliance" that generated the Texas project was behind the recommendations of the New Freedom Commission, which, according to his whistleblower report, were "poised to consolidate the TMAP effort into a comprehensive national policy to treat mental illness with expensive, patented medications of questionable benefit and deadly side effects, and to force private insurers to pick up more of the tab"
Drug companies have contributed three times more to the campaign of George Bush, seen here campaigning in Florida, than to that of his rival John Kerr.
Olanzapine (trade name Zyprexa), one of the atypical antipsychotic drugs recommended as a first line drug in the Texas algorithm, grossed $4.28bn worldwide in 2003 and is Eli Lilly's top selling drug. A 2003 New York Times article by Gardiner Harris reported that 70% of olanzapine sales are paid for by government agencies, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Eli Lilly, manufacturer of olanzapine, has multiple ties to the Bush administration. George Bush Sr was a member of Lilly's board of directors and Bush Jr appointed Lilly's chief executive officer, Sidney Taurel, to a seat on the Homeland Security Council. Lilly made $1.6m in political contributions in 2000â82% of which went to Bush and the Republican Party.
Jones points out that the companies that helped to start up the Texas project have been, and still are, big contributors to the election funds of George W Bush. In addition, some members of the New Freedom Commission have served on advisory boards for these same companies, while others have direct ties to the Texas Medication Algorithm Project.
Bush was the governor of Texas during the development of the Texas project, and, during his 2000 presidential campaign, he boasted of his support for the project and the fact that the legislation he passed expanded Medicaid coverage of psychotropic drugs.
Bush is the clear front runner when it comes to drug company contributions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, manufacturers of drugs and health products have contributed $764 274 to the 2004 Bush campaign through their political action committees and employeesâfar outstripping the $149 400 given to his chief rival, John Kerry, by 26 April.
Drug companies have fared exceedingly well under the Bush administration, according to the centerâs spokesperson, Steven Weiss.
The commission's recommendation for increased screening has also been questioned. Robert Whitaker, journalist and author of Mad in America, says that while increased screening "may seem defensible," it could also be seen as "fishing for customers," and that exorbitant spending on new drugs "robs from other forms of care such as job training and shelter programs.
DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, NY TIMES - In his recent trip to Rome, President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage, according to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper. In a column posted Friday evening on the paper's Web site, John L. Allen Jr., its correspondent in Rome and the dean of Vatican journalists, wrote that Mr. Bush had made the request in a June 4 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state. Citing an unnamed Vatican official, Mr. Allen wrote: "Bush said, 'Not all the American bishops are with me' on the cultural issues. The implication was that he hoped the Vatican would nudge them toward more explicit activism."
Mr. Allen wrote that others in the meeting confirmed that the president had pledged aggressive efforts "on the cultural front, especially the battle against gay marriage, and asked for the Vatican's help in encouraging the U.S. bishops to be more outspoken." Cardinal Sodano did not respond, Mr. Allen reported, citing the same unnamed people. . .
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the report "mind-boggling."
"It is just unprecedented for a president to ask for help from the Vatican to get re-elected, and that is exactly what this is," Mr. Lynn said. Linda Pieczynski, a spokeswoman for Call to Action, a liberal Catholic group, said, "For a president to try to get the leader of any religious organization to manipulate his fellow clergymen to support a political candidate crosses the line in this country."
But some with experience in Roman Catholic politics said they were hardly shocked. "Any head of state who goes to the Vatican will attempt to present a case," said Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, a professor of theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York. Monsignor Albacete, who has served as a translator for Catholic officials in meetings with heads of state, said: "If it is done in a very rude way, then the Vatican will remember and you won't get invited again. But if it is done in a diplomatic way, that is why they go to the Vatican anyway. It is not an act of devotion. It is a political thing."
BADARINATH AND PRERNA K MISHRA, HINDUSDTAN TIMES - The political split in the US over outsourcing notwithstanding, till very recently the fund-raising and vote-seeking campaign for the Republican Party was done partly out of India. . .
For 14 months between May 16, 2002 and July 22, 2003, HCL BPO Services - the 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Shiv Nadar-promoted HCL Technologies - had some 125 agents working in seven teams soliciting financial contributions for the Republican Party. US presidential elections are slated for November 2004. . .
The contract for running the campaigns was originally awarded by RNC to Washington-based Capital Communications Group that provides consulting services to government and private clients for cultural and political networking. For cost and efficiencies gains, the company outsourced the work to HCL Technologies that in turn sent it offshore. . .
According to the deal details, at any point in time, 75 agents worked on a $9.25 per hour per person billing rate, and contacted at least 20,000 voters through an automatic dialer. Sources confirmed that on a conservative estimate at least 80 lakh registered republican voters have been contacted. . .
RICK PERLSTEIN, VILLAGE VOICE - It's hard to be perturbed when you believe what our president believes. According to Professor Bruce Lincoln, who teaches a seminar on the theology of George W. Bush at the University of Chicago Divinity School, the president "does feel that people are called upon by the Divine to undertake certain positions in the world, and undertake certain actions, and to be responsible for certain things. And he makes, I think, quite clear - explicitly in some contexts, and implicitly in a great many others - that he occupies the office by a Divine calling. That God put him there with a sense of purpose."
~~~ When the drunken and dissolute prodigal finally found Jesus in the mid 1980s, the book of the Bible his study group was poring over was the Acts of the Apostles. "It's focused on missionizing, evangelizing, spreading the faith," Lincoln explains. "It's not end-of-the-world stuff. It's expansionist-it's religious imperialism, if you will. And I think that remains his primary orientation."
What's more, Lincoln adds, his primary orientation also holds that "the U.S. is the new Israel as God's most favored nation, and those responsible for the state of America in the world also enjoy special favor. . . . Foremost among the signs of grace-if I read him correctly-are the cardinal American virtues of courage, on the one hand, and compassion, on the other." For Bush to waver would be to tempt God's disfavor; what's more, we can speculate that the very act of holding to his resolve-what his critics identify as stubbornness and arrogance-becomes, tautologically, a way of both producing, and reassuring himself of, his special place in God's plan.
MS NEWS - One of President Bush's campaign advisors on Sunday implied that women and men who participated in the March for Women's Lives, as well as all those who support reproductive rights, hold the same values as terrorists. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Bush advisor Karen Hughes said, "President Bush has worked to say, let's be reasonable, let's work to value life, let's try to reduce the number of abortions, let's increase adoptions . . . really the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life." Hughes continued, saying, "Unfortunately our enemies in the terror network, as we're seeing repeatedly in the headlines these days, don't value any life, not even the innocent and not even their own."
MARTHA STEWART SHOULD HAVE CHECKED WITH DUBYA FIRST. . .HE KNEW HOW TO DO IT
1986 - George W. Bush and partners receive more than $2 million of Harken Energy stock in exchange for their failing oil well operation, which had lost $400,000 in the prior six months. Bush puts up about $500,000 and gets a $120,000 annual consulting fee along with $131,250 in stock options. After Bush joins Harken, the largest stock position and a seat on its board are acquired by Harvard Management Company. Harvard agrees to buy 1.35 million shares of Harken for $2 million and invest another $20 million in Harken projects.
1987 - Harken Energy gets rescued by aid from the BCCI-connected Union Bank of Switzerland in a deal brokered by Jackson Stephens, later to show up as a key supporter of Bill Clinton. The deal is also pushed along by another Clinton friend, David Edwards. Edwards will bring BCCI-linked investors into Harken deals including Abdullah Bakhsh, purchases $10 million in shares of Stephens dominated Worthen Bank.
January 1990: Bahrain awards exclusive offshore drilling rights to Harken Oil. This is a surprise as Harken is in very shaky financial condition, has never drilled outside of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and had never drilled undersea at all. The Bass brothers are brought in by Harken for sufficient equity - $25 million - to proceed with the effort. Harvard Management increases its investment. Harken's stock price rises from $4.50 to $5.50.
May - Harken officials warn board the company is about to run out of cash.
June - Harken drills two dry holes in Bahrain. George W. Bush sells two-thirds of his Harken Energy stock at the top of the market for $850,000, a 200% profit, but makes no report to the SEC as required by law. Bush Jr. says later the SEC misplaced the report. An SEC representative responds: "nobody ever found the 'lost' filing." After Bush's sale, Harken reports an earnings plunge. Harken stock falls more than 60%. Bush uses most of the proceeds to pay off the bank loan he had taken a year earlier to finance his portion of the Texas Rangers deal.
August: Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait. Harken's stock price drops substantially. Two months after Bush sells his stock, Harken posts losses for the 2nd quarter of well over $20 million and is shares fall another 24 %, by year end Harken is trading at $1.25. Bush has insisted that he did not know about the firm's mounting losses and that his stock sell-off was approved by Harken's general counsel.
November: Harken transfers $20 million in debts to Harvard partnership, eliminates another $16 million in debt by transferring assets to Harvard.
January 1991 - President Bush attacks Iraq.
February: Dubya, as the official in charge at Harken, reports his stock sale to the SEC - eight months late.
April - The SEC begins an investigation into Harken dealings. Chairman Richard Breeden, who was appointed by the senior Bush and served him as an economic policy adviser, hails from Baker & Botts, a big Texas oil law firm where he was a partner. Inside the SEC, James Doty, general counsel and the official in charge of any litigation that might come out of the Harken investigation, is another alumnus of Baker & Botts. And as a private attorney, before joining the government, Doty represented the younger Bush in matters related to Dubya's ownership of the Rangers.
August - The SEC reports that its staff has reviewed thousands of pages of documents, interviewed witnesses and met lawyers for Harken and Mr Bush. It concludes that there is insufficient evidence to determine that Mr Bush had any inside information or advance knowledge of Harken's losses. The SEC recommends that the matter be closed.
BUSH FAMILY TIMELINE
SIXTY MINUTES - Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call [Saudi Arabian Prince] Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, 'Top secret. No foreign.' No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this," says Woodward.
"They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, 'So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?' And Cheney - who has said nothing - says the following: 'Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast.'"
After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, "I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."
But this wasn't enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. "Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, 'Their message is my message,'" says Woodward.
Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election - to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.
VOICE OF AMERICA - In an interview Sunday with CBS, Mr. Woodward laid out details of a meeting in January, 2003, when he says Mr. Bush told Mr. Powell he had decided to go to war, and Mr. Powell asked if the president understood the consequences. Mr. Woodward says the president had given Mr. Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld permission to inform Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan about his decision to invade Iraq two days earlier.
GREAT MOMENTS IN THE WHITE HOUSE
President Bush: John.
Reporter Thank you, Mr. President ... What would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?
Bush: Hmm. I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. ... You know, I just, uh, I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet. .. I, uh, hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.
BUSH REGIME CONTINUES TO HARASS PARK SERVICE POLICE CHIEF
DAVID A. FAHRENTHOLD WASHINGTON POST - U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa C. Chambers yesterday made her most extensive public comments since she was suspended four months ago, vowing that she will fight to regain her job even if it takes years. . . The chief's career has been on hold since December, when the National Park Service moved to fire her after she went public with concerns about money and staffing. She is waiting for the Interior Department to decide whether she will be dismissed. Another government arm, the Office of Special Counsel, is investigating to decide whether Chambers is a whistle-blower who should be protected from firing. Although the Park Service initially ordered Chambers not to give interviews, she said yesterday that she learned recently that she could talk about events that occurred after her suspension. So she spoke yesterday, describing the humiliation she felt Dec. 5 when forced to surrender her badge and gun after 22 months on the job. . . Few people, even among Chambers' supporters, are optimistic that the National Park Service will restore her to the chief's position any time soon. "They're obviously not going to bring her back in any capacity, after treating her like that," said Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who is perhaps the chief's strongest advocate in Congress.
HONEST CHIEF - The Office of Special Counsel has conducted its first investigative interview with Chief Chambers who filed for relief with the Special Counsel back on January 29. The OSC obtained a promise from the Department of Interior to withhold any adverse action against Chief Chambers for 45 days (until mid-May) or until the Special Counsel finishes its investigation of the matter. During that time Chief Chambers will be protected from being fired while the OSC, who serves as a referee of federal civil service rules, determines whether to petition the civil service court, called the Merit System Protection Board, to order that Chambers be reinstated.
BUSH'S EASTER VISIT to his ranch was his 33rd of his presidency, consuming 233 days He has also made 78 visits to Camp David and five to Kennebunkport. In short, Bush has been absent from Washington 40% of his presidency or 500 days.
JULIAN COMAN, TELEGRAPH, UK - John Dean, Richard Nixon's legal counsel who was jailed for his part in the Watergate scandal, has accused the Bush administration of trumping even the Nixon regime in secrecy, deception and political cynicism. In the latest book to attack the conduct of the current United States administration, Mr Dean says that it has created potentially the most corrupt, unethical and undemocratic White House in history. . . "Bush and [Vice-President Richard] Cheney are a throwback to the Nixon time," Mr Dean, 65, told The Telegraph last night. "All government business is filtered through a political process at this White House, which is the most secretive ever to run the United States.
ANTONY BARNETT, OBSERVER, UK - George W. Bush's campaign workers have hit on an age-old political tactic to deal with the tricky subject of global warming - deny, and deny aggressively. The Observer has obtained a remarkable email sent to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen advising them what to say when questioned on the environment in the run-up to November's election. The advice: tell them everything's rosy.
It tells them how global warming has not been proved, air quality is 'getting better', the world's forests are 'spreading, not deadening', oil reserves are 'increasing, not decreasing', and the 'world's water is cleaner and reaching more people'. . . Among the memo's assertions are 'global warming is not a fact', 'links between air quality and asthma in children remain cloudy', and the US Environment Protection Agency is exaggerating when it says that at least 40 per cent of streams, rivers and lakes are too polluted for drinking, fishing or swimming.
SAMPLE - Bush proposes loosening protections of endangered species. Sure, species extinction is a bad thing, but is it as bad as, say, not having a wastebasket made out of real ivory? That's the position of the Bush administration, anyway, which lifts restrictions on killing and trading endangered species. But at least it's only foreign animals. Who cares about those animals in other countries
WASHINGTON TIMES - The National Park Service wants to cut park hours and visitor services to save scarce funding, yet has spent nearly $100 million on travel, including foreign junkets to China, Japan, Africa, France and Russia since 2002. Globe-trotting employees held meetings, attended conferences and gave presentations during their trips, but the practice has angered lawmakers, who say they are pulling the plug on the agency's travel program. . . Foreign and domestic travel in 2002 topped $50 million and included 470 foreign junkets, according to the General Accounting Office and Interior Department inspector general.
CRAIG UNGER, SALON - In all, at least $1.476 billion had made its way from the Saudis to the House of Bush and its allied companies and institutions. It could safely be said that never before in history had a presidential candidate -- much less a presidential candidate and his father, a former president -- been so closely tied financially and personally to the ruling family of another foreign power. Never before had a president's personal fortunes and public policies been so deeply entwined with another nation.
DAILY KOS - Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it.
Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.
Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.
Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it.
Bush is against nation building; then he's for it.
Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.
Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.
Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian State.
Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution.
Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't.
Bush first says that 'help is on the way' to the military ... then he cuts benefits
Bush-"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. Bush-"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care.
Bush claims to be in favor of the environment and then secretly starts drilling on Padre Island.
Bush talks about helping education and increases mandates while cutting funding.
Bush first says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea. Now he will
Bush goes to Bob Jones University. Then say's he shouldn't have.
Bush said he would demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq. Later Bush announced he would not call for a vote
NEWSWEEK - The controversy over President George W. Bush's new TV ads featuring fake firefighters and fleeting images of the 9/11 attacks threw campaign officials on the defensiveand raised questions about the Bush team's ability to effectively spend its massive $150 million war chest, some GOP insiders say. The president's ad team, led by Austin, Texas-based media maven Mark McKinnon, had carefully road-tested the spots in focus groups, and Bush himself signed off. But the rollout of the ads, which argue that Bush has made the country "safer, stronger," was quickly marred by charges from some 9/11 families that the Bush team was seeking to exploit the attacks for political gain...
[A] less-publicized aspect of the ad flap: the use of paid actorsincluding two playing firefighters with fire hats and uniforms in what looks like a fire station. "Where the hell did they get those guys?" cracked Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has endorsed John Kerry, when he first saw the ads. (A union spokesman said the shots prompted jokes that the fire hats looked like the plastic hats "from a birthday party.") "There's many reasons not to use real firemen," retorted one Bush media adviser. "Mainly, its cheaper and quicker."
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST - Who says politicians try to be all things to all people? Last Wednesday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the president, declining to commit to his economists' employment forecasts, declared: "I'm not a statistician. I'm not a predictor." Such disavowals are not unique. In November 2001, Bush noted that "I'm not a forecaster," and the following month observed that "I'm not a statistician." Here, for those defining the president by process of elimination, are some of the other things Bush and his aides have said he is not:
"I'm not a lawyer." -- Dec. 14, 2000
"I'm not a member of the legislative branch." -- March, 19, 2001
"I'm not a numbers cruncher. I'm not one of these bean counters." -- March 25, 2002
"I'm not a stockbroker or a stock picker." -- July 29, 2002
"I'm not a very formal guy to begin with." -- June 9, 2003
"I'm not an Iraqi citizen." -- Dec. 22, 2003
"The president is not an economist." -- White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, March 13, 2001
"The president is not a rubber stamp for the Congress." -- Fleischer, July 10, 2002
"The president of the United States is not a fact-checker." -- a senior administration official, addressing reporters in the White House briefing room, July 18, 2003
DANA MILBANK WASHINGTON POST - Two years ago, the administration forecast that there would be 3.4 million more jobs in 2003 than there were in 2000. And it predicted a budget deficit for fiscal 2004 of $14 billion. The economy ended up losing 1.7 million jobs over that period, and the budget deficit for this year is on course to be $521 billion. These are not isolated cases. Over three years, the administration has repeatedly and significantly overstated the government's fiscal health and the number of jobs the economy would create, but economists and politicians disagree about why.
LARRY FLYNT STORY NOT NEW
AS WITH THE A-DUBYA-O-L story, news of Bush's alleged involvement in obtaining an abortion for a woman actually surfaced in the 2000 election but then quickly faded. According to American Aetheists, in October 2000, Flynt appeared on 'Crossfire' and said:
"For eight months we've been looking into George W. Bush's background. And we've found out in the early 1970s he was involved in an abortion in Texas, and I just think that it's sad that the mainstream media, who's [sic] aware of this story, won't ask him that question ... We've got all kinds of proof on this issue... If the abortion issue is true then that puts him lower on the morality scale than Bill Clinton."
BOB NOVAK - Mr. Flynt, you said if it's true and you have no proof of that. I gather you are very strong...
FLYNT - The hell we don't have proof!
At this point the show went to a commercial and never returned to the subject.
On KGO in San Francisco a few days later, Flynt clamed to have affidavits from four persons.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - Federal spending is now at a level surpassed only during World War II, after running about $18,000 per year in the 1990s. Top years in constant dollars:
1. 1944 $26,445
2. 1945 $25,572
3. 1943 $23,370
4. 2003 $20,399
THE Queen is furious with President George W. Bush after his state visit caused thousands of pounds of damage to her gardens at Buckingham Palace. Royal officials are now in touch with the Queen's insurers and Prime Minister Tony Blair to find out who will pick up the massive repair bill. Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-maintained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads with three giant H landing markings for the Bush visit.
The rotors of the President's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Black Hawks damaged trees and shrubs that had survived since Queen Victoria's reign. And Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men trampled more precious and exotic plants.
The Queen's own flock of flamingoes, which security staff insisted should be moved in case they flew into the helicopter rotors, are thought to be so traumatized after being taken to a "place of safety" that they might never return home. . . The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage.
"The Queen has every right to feel insulted at the way she has been treated by Bush," said a Palace insider. . . "The lawns are used for royal garden parties and are beautifully kept. But 30,000 visitors did not do as much damage as the Americans did in three days.
THE KEY QUESTION ABOUT BUSH
What does he know and when will he know it? - Bill Maher
BEHIND THE BUSHES
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR, EAT THE STATE - Some 60% of Iraq's 24 million people depend entirely on the food rationing system that was established after the Gulf War. Each week, these Iraqis could count on a "food basket" consisting of wheat flour, rice, vegetable oil, lentils, beans, milk, sugar, and salt. That system is now in shambles and is scorned by US policymakers. And promised grain imports have yet to materialize.
Into this awful mess strides Daniel Amstutz, the Bush administration's choice to oversee the reconstruction of Iraq's agricultural system. An international trade lobbyist in DC with a fat roster of big ag clients, Amstutz once served as a top executive at Cargill, the food giant which controls much of the world trade in grain. During Amstutz's tenure at Cargill, the grain company went on a torrid expansion campaign. It is now the largest privately held corporation in the US and controls about 94 percent of the soybean market and more than 50 percent of the corn market in the Upper Midwest. It also has its hands on the export market, controlling 40 percent of all US corn exports, a third of all soybean exports, and at least 20 percent of wheat exports. . .
Amstutz is no stranger to government, either. During the first Bush administration he served as Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity programs. He was also the chief US negotiator on agricultural issues for the Uruguay Round of GATT talks, which led to the WTO. The small farmers of the grain belt of the Midwest have a particular loathing for Amstutz. During his stint in the first Bush administration, Amstutz devised the notorious Freedom to Farm Bill, which eliminated tariffs and slashed federal farm price supports, all in an effort to lower grain prices for the benefit of Amstutz's cronies in the big conglomerates. As a result, thousands of American farmers lost their farms, while monopolists like Cargill reaped the benefits.
The contours of Amstutz's plan for Iraq are familiar: a combination of free-market shock therapy and predation by multinational corporations. Gliding over a decade of UN sanctions that have starved the nation and a war that ravaged the nation's infrastructure, Amstutz announced that the real problem facing Iraqi agriculture is, naturally, government subsidies. "Iraqi farmers have had little incentive to increase production because of price controls that have kept food very inexpensive," Amstutz announced.
The more likely scenario is that Amstutz will use the destitute condition of Iraq's farmlands as a lucrative opportunity to dump cheap grain from American companies like Cargill, all of it paid for by Iraqi oil. If this scenario plays out, it will spell disaster for Iraq's struggling farmers.
BUSH/CHENEY 2004 BUMPERSTICKERS
Bush/Cheney '04: Four More Wars!
Bush/Cheney '04: "You're either with us or against us!"
Bush/Cheney '04: Apocalypse Now!
Bush/Cheney '04: Because the truth just isn't good enough.
Bush/Cheney '04: Compassionate Colonialism
Bush/Cheney '04: Deja-voodoo all over again!
Bush/Cheney '04: In your heart, you know they're technically correct.
Bush/Cheney '04: Leave no billionaire behind
Bush/Cheney '04: Lies and videotape but no sex!
Bush/Cheney '04: Making the world a better place, one country at a
Bush/Cheney '04: Or else.
Bush/Cheney '04: Over a billion Whoppers served.
Bush/Cheney '04: The last vote you'll ever have to cast.
CAN MASS KOOL AID BE FAR BEHIND?
BUSH, RICE CONSULTING WITH CULTIST?
ASHLEY PEARSON, MSNBC - Apocalyptic preacher Jack Van Impe is claiming that he was contacted by Condoleezza Rice's office and the White House Office of Public Liaison for an "outline" of his take on world events. He has predicted that the end of the world will strike somewhere between 2003 and 2012 and one reviewer has called his TV preaching show with wife Rexella "a fantastically loopy apocalyptic take on the week's news." The issue of the alleged involvement with the Bush administration came up on his Web site when someone asked Van Impe, "Do you think that President Bush, apparently a Christian man, believes and knows he is involved in prophetic events concerning the Middle East and final battle between good and evil?"
"I believe he is a wonderful man," Van Impe responded, and goes on to say, "I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Office of Public Liaison for the White House and by the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to make an outline. And I've spent hours preparing it. I will release this information to the public in September, but it's in his hands. He will know exactly what is going to happen in the Middle East and what part he will have under the leading of the Holy Spirit of God. So, it's a tremendous time to be alive."
"My investigation into it is that there's no truth to it," National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack told The Scoop, "but I'm continuing to look into it."
CHRISTINA DENARDO, SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE - The same test scores touted by Gov. Jeb Bush as evidence of the state's improving schools fall dramatically short of new performance standards set by his brother's White House. In figures released Friday by the state Department of Education, 87 percent of Florida's schools do not reach the goals set by the No Child Left Behind Act, the centerpiece of President Bush's educational policy. The numbers in Southwest Florida mirrored the statewide results. About 80 percent of schools in Sarasota County, 85 percent of schools in Manatee County, and 89 percent of schools in Charlotte County failed to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress in reading and math scores, as measured by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
DAILY KOS - The Bush administration's newly released budget projections reveal an anticipated budget deficit of $450 billion for the current fiscal year, up another $151 billion since February. Supporters and critics of the administration are tripping over themselves to blame the deficit on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy. But the fact is we have mounting deficits because George W. Bush is the most gratuitous big spender to occupy the White House since Jimmy Carter. . .
In inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.
BUSH SEEKING PERUVIAN PIPELINE FOR BUDDIES
INDEPENDENT President George Bush is seeking funds for a controversial project to drive gas pipelines from pristine rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon to the coast. The plan will enrich some of Mr Bush's closest corporate campaign contributors while risking the destruction of rainforest, threatening its indigenous peoples and endangering rare species on the coast. Among the beneficiaries would be two Texas energy companies with close ties to the White House, Hunt Oil and Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Vice-President Dick Cheney's old company, Haliburton, which is rebuilding Iraq's oil infrastructure.