Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dare We Say Kaput?

"To announce that there should be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American people."
- Teddy Roosevelt

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. [There is an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and…degeneracy of manners and of morals…No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
- James Madison

And there still isn't a Starbucks or McDonald's in Fallujah. And there is no Walmart in Kabul.

Forty years ago, when Lyndon Johnson believed the United States could afford both Great Society and the Vietnam War, smart conservatives attacked his fiscal policies as extravagant and reckless. Ten years ago, the Rethug Party wrested control of Congress on the Contract with America, which included a balanced-budget amendment to restore fiscal responsibility. But today, thanks to tax cuts and massively increased military spending, the administration has transformed, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a ten-year projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to a deficit of $4.4 trillion: a turnaround of $10 trillion in roughly 32 months.

Bobo and his Texas Mafia can't even pretend to keep an arm's length from Halliburton, the master of the no-bid government contract. Sugar, grain, cotton, oil, gas and coal: These industries enjoy increased subsidies and targeted tax breaks not enjoyed by less-connected industries. Heck, if these guys' names ended in vowels, Rudy Guilliani would be dropping the RICO statute faster than Michelle Malkin could "insinutate" hearsay and rumor as iron-clad journalism.

The conservative Heritage Foundation blasts the administration's agricultural subsidies as the nation's most wasteful corporate welfare program. The libertarian Cato Institute called the administration's energy plan "three parts corporate welfare and one part cynical politics...a smorgasbord of handouts and subsidies for virtually every energy lobby in Washington" that "does little but transfer wealth from taxpayers to well-connected energy lobbies." And the Rethug Party's Medicare drug benefit, the largest single expansion of the welfare state since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, was designed to appeal to senior citizens who, as any competent politician knows, show up at the polls.

Wolfowitz, Perle and their allies in the Administration claimed the Iraqis would greet our troops with flowers. Somehow, more than a year after the president's "Mission Accomplished" photo-op, a disciplined body of well-supplied military professionals is still waging war against our troops, their supply lines and our Iraqi collaborators. Indeed, the regime we have just installed bids fair to become a long-term dependent of the American taxpayer under U.S. military occupation.

Bobo's 2000 campaign supposedly rejected Wilsonian foreign policy by articulating both the historic Rethug critique of foreign aid and explicitly criticizing Bill Clinton's nation-building. Today, the administration insists we can be safe only by compelling other nations to implement its vision of democracy. This used to be called imperialism. And empires don't come cheap - ask the British and the French; worse, "global democracy" requires just the kind of big government conservatives abhor. When the Wall Street Journal praises the use of American tax dollars to provide electricity and water services in Iraq, something we used to call socialism, either conservatism has undergone a substantial shift or the editors are in bed with Bobo and his boys in Crawford.

So you want to talk more about Swift Boats when this is going on? Us middle of the spectrum folks digress:

The New Republic: Bobo Pressures Pakistanis for 'High-Value Target' Before Election Day
Sources: "July Surprise?" John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman and Massoud Ansari, The New Republic, July 19, 2004.

Powell: Terrorism Reports a "Big Mistake"
Sources: "Terror Report Big Mistake, Powell Says," Chattanooga Times Free Press, June 14, 2004; "Terror Report Paints Wishful Picture," The Virginian-Pilot, June 15, 2004

Use of Dogs to Scare Prisoners Was Approved; Focus Shifts to Bobo
Sources: "Use of Dogs to Scare Prisoners Was Authorized," Josh White and Scott Higham, The Washington Post, June 11, 2004; "Memo on Torture Draws Focus to Bush," Mike Allen and Dana Priest, The Washington Post, June 9, 2004

New York Times Apologizes for WMD Coverage
Sources: "The Times and Iraq," New York Times editorial, May 26, 2004; "Times admits flawed pre-war coverage; Reporters over- relied on Iraqi exiles' claims," David Folkenflik, The Baltimore Sun, May 27, 2004; "Chalabi Duped Us on WMD, Says New York Times," Alec Russell, The Daily Telegraph (London), May 27, 2004

Terror Warnings—Prime Timing?
Sources: "As Ashcroft Warns of Attack, Some Question Threat and Its Timing," Richard Stevenson and Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times, May 27, 2004; "Terror Warning Timing Questioned," Dan Froomkin, The Washington Post, May 27, 2004; "Analysis: Skeptics Wonder Whether Politics Motivated Warnings," Marc Sandalow, The San Francisco Chronicle, May 27, 2004

Bobo's Primetime Iraq Speech Falls Short on Answers
Sources: "A Speech Meant to Rally Public Support Doesn’t Answer Key Questions," Robin Wright and Mike Allen, The Washington Post, May 25, 2004; "Bush Starts Out on A 5-Week Uphill Run Concerning Iraq," Richard W. Stevenson, The New York Times, May 25, 2004; "Iraqis Skeptical on Bush Speech, Want U.S. Out," Alistair Macdonald, Reuters, May 24, 2004

Practice Can’t Perfect Bobo's Pronunciation of Abu Ghraib
Sources: "Bush Trips Over Abu Ghraib Pronunciation," Reuters, May 24, 2004; "Bush Speech: Was It Enough?" Dan Froomkin, The Washington Post, May 25, 2004

Moore’s Documentary About Bobo and Sept. 11 Wins Top Prize at Cannes
The Montreal Gazette noted the uncertainty surrounding the documentary’s release date: "Something about Disney not releasing it for fear of offending Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his nice Disney tax abatements there."
Sources: "Reel Hot Summer," John Griffin, The Montreal Gazette, May 15, 2004; "Moore Film Is Held Up By Questions About Rights," Sharon Waxman, The New York Times, May 25, 2004

Bobo Avoids Apology for Prisoner Abuse, Lauds Rumsfeld As "Superb"
Sources: "Hard to Say You're Sorry," David Sirota, Christy Harvey and Judd Legum, The Progress Report, May 7, 2004; "Allegations of Abuse Lead to Shakeup at Iraqi Prison," Sewell Chan and Jackie Spinner, The Washington Post, April 30, 2004; "Bush: U.S. Owes Debt to 'Superb' Rumsfeld," Jim Drinkard and Tom Sequitieri, USA Today, May 10, 2004; "The Gray Zone, How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib," Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, May 24, 2004.

As Prisoner Abuse Scandal Continues, House Works Three-Day Week
Source: "All Quiet on the House Side," Charles Babington, The Washington Post, May 11, 2004

Bobo's Job Approval Rating Dips, Support for War Declines
Sources: "Poll: Bush Job Rating Dips, Support for War Down," Reuters, May 10, 2004; "La Popularidad de Bush desciende a la cota mas baja durante su mandato," Europa Press, El Mundo, May 11, 2004; "Bush: U.S. Owes Debt to 'Superb' Rumsfeld," Jim Drinkard and Tom Sequitieri, USA Today, May 10, 2004

Bobo Claims Iraq War Is Not Political, Avoids Questions About Intelligence
Sources: "Meet the Press," Feb. 8, The New York Times, Feb. 10; MSNBC, Transcript, Feb. 8

Bobo-Linked Consulting Firm Set Up in Iraq to Profit from Rebuilding
Source: New York Times, "Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq," Sept. 30, 2003.

Bipartisan Criticism Increases Regarding Bobo's Spending Spree, Handling of Iraq
Sources: Washington Post, "Democrats Say Iraq Spending With Tax Cut Is Unaffordable," Sept. 9, 2003; New York Times, "Bush's Plans on Iraq Draw Criticism From Senators," Sept. 9, 2003.

Rumsfeld Pushed Bobo Into Iraq War, Former U.S. Diplomat Says
Source: Agence France Presse, "Former U.S. Diplomat Says Rumsfeld Led Bush to War," Aug. 17, 2003

Bobo Administration Shifts War Aims Post-Conflict
Source: Washington Post, "U.S. Shifts Rhetoric On Its Goals in Iraq," Dana Milbank and Mike Allen, August 1, 2003

Bobo Takes Personal Responsibility for Erroneous Intelligence
Source: Washington Post, "Bush Takes Responsibility for Iraq Claim," Mike Allen and Dana Milbank, July 31, 2003

New Doubts Cast on Bobo's Statements About Iraqi Weapons Capabilities
Sources: Los Angeles Times, "Classified Iraq Data Released: White House Seeks to Defend War Case," Greg Miller and James Gerstenzang, July 19, 2003

Bobo Administration's Provocation of Saddam May Have Created Greater Threat
Source: Washington Post, "Oct. Report Said Defeated Hussein Would be Threat," Walter Pincus, July 21, 2003

White House Launches Personal Attacks on Journalist for Reporting Declining Morale of Troops
Source: Washington Post, "Drudging Up Personal Details," Lloyd Grove, July 18, 2003

U.S. Officials Admit Bobo Erred in Statements About Iraqi Attempts to Purchase Uranium
Sources: Los Angeles Times, "White House on Defensive Over Intelligence," James Gerstenzang, July 9, 2003; Associated Press, "Democrat lawmakers urge probe after U.S. security officials say Bush was wrong to say Saddam sought Africa uranium," Deb Reichmann, July 8, 2003

Anti-American Resentment Fueled by Administration's Lack of Strategic Direction, Delay in Granting Leadership to Iraqis
Sources: New York Times, "Iraqis Were Set to Vote, but U.S. Wielded a Veto," David Rohde, June 19, 2003; The Telegraph, "America's Rebuilding of Iraq is in Chaos, Say British," Peter Foster, June 17, 2003; Washington Post, "Rising U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Spurs Concern: 9 Soldiers Killed in Attacks This Month," Peter Slevin, June 20, 2003.

War on Terror Criticized by Former Top Counter-Terrorism Bobo Aide
Source: Washington Post, "Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror," Laura Blumenfeld, June 16, 2003

Bobo Exaggerates Evidence of Iraq's Weapons Capabilities
Sources: The Nation, "Bush's Postwar Iraq Causing Cracks?" David Corn, May 27, 2003; Washington Post, "U.S. Hedges on Finding Iraqi Weapons," Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus, May 29, 2003; Knight Ridder Newspapers, "Postwar Problems in Iraq Raise Concerns Among Bush Advisers," John Walcott, May 31, 2003

Bobo Administration's Planning for Post-War Iraq Deemed Inadequate
Sources: USA Today, "Ex-Army Boss: Pentagon Won't Admit Reality in Iraq," Dave Moniz, June 3, 2003; The Nation, "Bush's Postwar Iraq Causing Cracks?" David Corn, May 27, 2003

Administration May Have Exerted Pressure to Report Questionable Evidence of Iraqi Weapons
Sources: U.S. News and World Report, "Truth and Consequences: New Questions About U.S. Intelligence Regarding Iraq's Weapons of Mass Terror," Bruce B. Auster, Mark Mazzetti and Edward T. Pound, June 9, 2003; Washington Post, "Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney Visits," Walter Pincus & Dana Priest, June 5, 2003

White House Delays Inspecting, Securing Nuclear Sites in Iraq
Sources: Washington Post, "U.N. Atomic Chief Again Warns U.S. About Iraq," Walter Pincus, May 20, 2003; New York Times, "State Dept. and U.N. to Inspect Iraq Nuclear Site," James Dao, May 21, 2003; Agence France Presse, "Joint US-IAEA Inspection Team Expected in Iraq Soon," May 21, 2003.

Bobo Administration Acknowledges It Might Not Find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, U.S. Inspection Team to Leave Iraq
Sources: Washington Post, "Frustrated, U.S. Arms Team to Leave Iraq," Barton Gellman, May 11, 2003; The Nation, "Now They Tell Us," David Corn, May 19, 2003

Administration Officials: Show of American Power Was Reason for War
Source: ABC News, "Reason for War?," John Cochran, April 25, 2003

Bobo Administration Proposes to Increase Control of Iraqi Oil, Finances
Source: Washington Post, "U.S. to Propose Broader Control of Iraqi Oil, Funds," Colum Lynch, May 8, 2003

White House Blocks Sept. 11 Report
Source: Knight Ridder Newspapers, "White House Refuses to Release Sept. 11 Info," Frank Davies, May 5, 2003

White House Excludes U.N. Inspectors from Weapons Search in Iraq
Sources: Agence France Presse, "Blix Says Intelligence Used to Justify Iraq War Was Shaky," April 22, 2003

Senior Officials Say United States Plans to Keep Military Bases in Iraq
Sources: New York Times, "A Nation at War: Strategic Shift; Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Key Iraq Bases," Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, April 20, 2003

Bobo Administration Holds Minors in Guantanamo Detention Camp
Source: The Associated Press, "Youths Being Interrogated at Guantanamo, U.S. Military Says," Michelle Faul, April 23, 2003

Religious Groups to Provide Aid, Proselytize in Iraq
Sources: Los Angeles Times, "Bundling of Aid, Christianity Stirs Concerns," Johanna Neuman, April 9, 2003

Ba'ath Party Quietly Regains Control in Iraq under U.S. Watch
Source: The Guardian, "Iraq: After the War: Ba'athists Slip Quietly into Control," Suzanne Goldenberg, April 21, 2003

Presidential Committee Members Resign over U.S. Inability to Safeguard Iraqi Museums
Source: Washington Post, "Bush Panel Members Quit Over Looting," Paul Richard, April 16, 2003

U.S. Government Under Pressure to Find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and Cooperate with U.N. in SearchSources: Agence France Presse, "Pressure on the U.S. to Find Banned Weapons in Iraq," Francis Temman, April 8, 2003; Agence France Presse, "UN Must Verify Any Finds of Banned Weapons in Iraq: Nuclear Watchdog," April 8, 2003

Administration's Post-War Plan for Iraq Comes Under Fire, Criticism
Source: Washington Post, "U.S. Plan for Iraq's Future is Challenged," Karen DeYoung and Dan Morgan, April 6, 2003

U.S., Allies Disagree over Future of Iraqi Oil Industry
Sources: New York Times, "Arabs Have a Litmus Test for U.S. Handling of Iraqi Oil," Neela Banerjee, April 6, 2003; Washington Post, "U.S., Allies Clash Over Plan to Use Iraqi Oil Profits for Rebuilding," Colum Lynch, April 2, 2003

Hans Blix: Finding Weapons of Mass Destruction Is Not a Priority in Iraq
Source: Agence France Presse, "Iraq War Planned Long in Advance; Banned Arms Not the Priority: Blix," April 9, 2003

"Coalition of the Willing" Sparks Confusion, Amusement
Sources: Washington Post, "They Got the 'Slov' Part Right," Al Kamen, April 4, 2003; Agence France Presse, "The Curious Coalition: US Allies List Sparks Global Concern, Confusion," Matthew Lee, March 29, 2003

Bobo Requests "Down Payment" of $74.7 Billion for War in Iraq
Sources: The Associated Press, "Bush Tips His Hand on War Price Tag, After Resisting for Months," Scott Lindlaw, March 25, 2003; San Francisco Chronicle, "War Cost Estimate Approaching $100 Billion ­for Starters," Edward Epstein, March 14, 2003

Bobo's Administration Chided for Its Treatment of POWs
Sources: Agence France Presse, "U.S. Suffers Prisoner Blow in Iraq War," March 24, 2003; Human Rights Watch, "Iraq Must Not Parade POWs," March 24, 2003

Questions Surface About U.S. Intelligence on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction
Source: Washington Post, "U.S. Lacks Specifics on Banned Arms," Walter Pincus, March 16, 2003

'Coalition of the Willing' Includes Countries with Appalling Human Rights Records
Sources: The Times, "Critics Deride U.S. Claim of a Broad Coalition," Richard Beeston, March 20, 2003; Human Rights Watch, "2003 World Report"; PR Newswire, "Remarks By the President in Press Availability Upon Return from Camp David," March 23, 2003

Companies with Ties to Administration, Republican Donors Considered for Iraq Post-War Rebuilding Contracts
Sources: Agence France Presse, "U.S. Plans to Tap Corporate America to Rebuild Iraq: Report," March 17, 2003; Agence France Presse, "Halliburton Subsidiary Wins Iraqi Oil Firefighting Contract," David Williams, March 25, 2003; The Daily Telegraph, "Halliburton Faces Row on Iran Link," Simon English, March 24, 2003; Washington Post, "Halliburton Unit Loses Out on Rebuilding Iraq," March 30, 2003

U.S., British Companies Will Be the Big Winners in War Against Iraq
Sources: Los Angeles Times, "Gauging Promise of Iraqi Oil," Warren Vieth and Elizabeth Douglass, March 12, 2003 Washington Post, "Companies Selected to Bid on Iraq Reconstruction," Peter Slevin and Mike Allen, March 11, 2003

Weapons Inspector Chief: U.S. Government Used Forged Evidence Against Iraq
Source: The Associated Press, "U.N. Inspectors: U.S. Used Forged Reports," William J. Kole, March 8, 2003

White House Refuses to Release Estimate of Cost of War and Aftermath
Source: Washington Post, "Democrats Denounce White House on Cost of War," Mike Allen and Jonathan Weisman, Feb. 27, 2003

Bobo, Head of International Agency At Odds Over Alleged Evidence of Iraq's Nuclear Program
Sources: Agence France Presse, "Bush, ElBaradei Appear at Odds over Iraq’s Nuclear Program," Jan. 29, 2003; Washington Post, "Doubts Remain About Purpose of Specialized Aluminum Tubes," Joby Warrick, Feb. 6, 2003

CIA, FBI Agents Baffled by Administration's Attempts to Link Iraq, al Qaeda
Source: New York Times, "Threats and Responses: Terror Links," James Risen and David Johnston, Feb. 2, 2003

White House Cancels Poetry Symposium Over Fear of Anti-War Poems
Sources: The Associated Press, "White House Cancels Poetry Symposium, Citing Concerns About Political Protest," Hillel Italie, Jan. 30, 2003; The Nation, "Poetic Protests Against War, Censorship," John Nichols, Feb. 4,2003

Bobo Steps Up Involvement in Colombian Civil War
Sources: Washington Post, "U.S. Moves Closer to Colombia's War," Scott Wilson, Feb. 7, 2003; Washington Post, "Once Held at Arms Length, Colombia's Military Gets Bush’s Embrace," Marcela Sanchez, Feb. 6, 2003

United States Escalates Bombing in No-Fly Zone
Source: Washington Post, "Airstrikes in Southern Iraq ‘No-Fly' Zone Mount," Vernon Loeb, Jan. 15, 2003

Bobo's Administration Using Questionable Military Interrogation Techniques
Source: Washington Post, "U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations," Dana Priest and Barton Gellman, Dec. 26, 2002

Bobo's Deadly Attacks Questioned
Source: Reuters, "Rights Group Questions Attack," Nov. 9, 2002

Bobo Withholds Information about North Korean Threat
Source: Washington Post, "N. Korea Issue Irks Congress," Mike Allen and Karen DeYoung, Oct. 19, 2002

CIA Director Says Iraq Might Not Attack U.S.
Source: The Associated Press, "C.I.A. Director Suggests Iraq May Not Strike Unless Provoked," Oct. 8, 2002

Bobo Makes False and Misleading Statements about Iraqi Threat
Sources: The Guardian, "White House 'Exaggerating Iraqi Threat'," Julian Borger, Oct. 9, 2002; Washington Post, "Bush Asserts Al Qaeda Has Links to Iraq's Hussein," Mike Allen, Sept. 26, 2002

Bobo Administration Continues to Alienate Allies
Source: The Washington Post, "New U.S. Doctrine Worries Europeans," Glenn Frankel, Sept. 30, 2002

Relatives of Sept. 11 Victims Criticize Administration
Source: Washington Post, "9/11 Panel Asks What Briefers Told Bush; White House Retreats on Independent Commission," Dana Priest and Dana Milbank, Sept. 22, 2002

So the Swift Boat Vets for (Mis)Truth are a more important revelation into the character of one of our candidates for President.


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