DECEMBER 31-13, 01 Archives

E-mail this page link

Congressional Democrats Criticize Bush By GINA HOLLAND (AP) December 31 Democrats hammered President Bush for focusing on terrorism at what they called the expense of domestic issues. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said the White House got involved too late on a stalled economic package. Republicans brushed off the criticisms that followed a month of partisan fighting on Capitol Hill over tax cuts, Bush appointments, help for farmers and other matters.

White House must compromise more on economic stimulus bill, Daschle says December 31, 2001 By GINA HOLLAND The White House must compromise more next year if it wants Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Sunday. He complained that during December negotiations "we didn't see a lot of give on the part of the administration" until it was too late.

Enron and Bush Mike Walerstein December 31 2001 One has to think there is a possible link between Enron (theft, lying, and disregard to employees and investors and fraud) and the White House. As one of the largest contributors to the Bush campaign and as a major funder to his inaugural fund, the question is looming: Would Enron have done its dirty deeds if it didn't have strong friends in very high places, i.e., oilmen Bush and Cheney running things in the White House? Once an oilman, always an oilman. This is sort of like having the No. 1 and 2 foxes guarding the henhouse (U.S. government). Smells fishy to me. sun-sentine

Democrats accuse GOP of trying 'to leave working people behind December 30, 2001 Rep. David Bonior said Saturday Republicans damaged the spirit of bipartisanship in Congress that emerged after the terrorist attacks when they "tried to leave working people behind." In the Democratic Party's weekly radio address, Bonior said agreement over legislation to jump-start the economy failed because it was weighted toward corporate tax breaks and did nothing to improve health care. "When we grant $25 billion in retroactive tax rebates to big corporations at a time when hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers are being laid off, people are going to stand up and say 'this is wrong,'" said Bonior, of Michigan.

According to Bush the war will go on for a long long time, indefinitely, or how about until the end of his corrupt administration, and as long as he needs a smoke screen to cover up: globalization, the fake energy crisis, the reawakening of the cold war, the rape of the environment, the theft of social security, the Tax giveaway to the rich.
As US bombs more civilian targets, Bush insists Afghan war must go on 29 December By Kate Randall Speaking with reporters on Friday, George W. Bush defended the US war in Afghanistan, making the case for an open-ended military campaign in the Central Asian country and giving no timetable for a withdrawal.Bush’s remarks came the day after a US air raid killed at least 40 people in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, according to the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP). Spokesmen for the new Afghan interim government called on the US to halt the bombing campaign.

U.S. Drops Rule On Contractors, Lawbreakers Won't Be Barred December 29, The Bush administration repealed a rule this week that would have allowed government agencies to refuse federal contracts to companies that do not comply with labor, environmental and consumer-protection laws.

A diary of year one with our unelected president DEC. 28 BY BARRY CRIMMINS CAN IT REALLY be a year since we didn't elect George W. Bush president? Time sure flies when you're going straight to hell. Let's take a look back at our first 12 months with the court-appointed chief executive. After becoming treasury secretary, former ALCOA chair Paul O'Neill told Britain's Financial Times that he thinks corporate taxes should be abolished, along with Medicare and Social Security. Fortunately, O'Neill hasn't yet found time to transfer the Social Security trust fund into Enron and Lucent stock certificates.

The Antiterror Bandwagon December 28 Since the Bush administration announced plans to proceed with military tribunals and other limitations on liberties in the war against terror, foreign leaders have used the American example to justify all manner of repressive acts at home. It is a lamentable ˜ and predictable ˜ response to misguided American leadership in this area.

No Help on Social Security December 27 President Bush hand-picked a commission last spring and asked it to recommend ways to carry out his campaign promise to privatize Social Security. The commission has dutifully turned in its report, recommending three options. If anything, they reinforce the reasons that Mr. Bush's approach on Social Security is dubious. All three options would require drastic benefit cutbacks and large infusions of money from outside the system to keep it solvent. Instead of building a consensus for reform, the commission's recommendations make it even less likely that Congress will act on Social Security any time soon.

Withdrawal from ABM treaty signals escalation of US militarism 27 December, By Joseph Kay President George W. Bush formally announced December 13 that the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.The move is not a surprise, given the administration’s public opposition to the treaty. Nevertheless, it is a milestone in the development of American foreign policy and in postwar international relations. It marks the first time in the nuclear era that the United States has abandoned a major arms control treaty.

Critics' Attack on Tribunals Turns to Law Among Nations December 26, By WILLIAM GLABERSON Going beyond claims that the military tribunals authorized by President Bush would violate civil liberties guaranteed by American law, some experts are beginning to argue that they would breach international law guaranteeing fair treatment of prisoners of war. Critics of the administration say the president's order authorizing the tribunals conflicts with treaties like the Geneva Conventions, which give P.O.W.'s facing charges of egregious conduct protections that include the right to choose their own lawyers, to be tried in courts that are independent of the prosecution and to appeal convictions. None of those rights are assured in the president's order, which opponents say precludes at least two of them.

Some See Nature as a War Victim December 26 by Elizabeth Shogren Since Sept. 11, the White House is Tipping the Balance to Business Say Environmentalists WASHINGTON -- With the nation's attention squarely on war and terrorism, the Bush administration has ruled this fall in business' favor on a range of long-disputed environmental matters. It allowed oil drilling in the red rocks of Utah and canyons of Colorado. It permitted an open-pit gold mine on a California desert site that the Quechan tribe considers sacred. And it signaled to developers across the country that they can, in many cases, build on wetlands without creating ones to replace them.

It's Clear Bush Tax Cuts Have Hurt Americans December 25 by Paul Krugman Shortly after Sept. 11, George W. Bush interrupted his inveighing against evildoers to crack a joke. Bush had repeatedly promised to run an overall budget surplus at least as large as the Social Security surplus, except in the event of recession, war or national emergency. "Lucky me," he remarked to Mitch Daniels, his budget director. "I hit the trifecta."

Skico again lobbies President to reduce greenhouse gases December 25 By Scott Condon The Aspen Skiing Co. has joined a growing list of organizations that are trying to convince President Bush to take global warming seriously.The Skico renewed a lobbying effort last week to try to convince the Bush administration to honor the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty designed to get industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Betrayed by the White House December 24, 2001 By IRIS CHANG Last month, Congress overwhelmingly approved a provision, added to a spending bill, that would have prevented federal agencies from opposing civil lawsuits by former prisoners of war against Japanese individuals or corporations. The White House succeeded in having the provision struck in a conference committee; the Bush administration feared it might interfere with gathering international support for the war on terrorism. A week later, on the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Bush and his father paid glowing tribute to the memory of World War II veterans. The president compared the Sept. 11 tragedy to Japan's surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941, while his father announced that "duty, honor, country" still prevail.

Recommended The New McCarthyism December 24 by Matthew Rothschild Donna Huanca works as a docent at the Art Car Museum, an avant-garde gallery in Houston. Around 10:30 on the morning of November 7, before she opened the museum, two men wearing suits and carrying leather portfolios came to her door. "I told them to wait until we opened at 11:00," she recalls. "Then they pulled their badges out."The two men were Terrence Donahue of the FBI and Steven Smith of the Secret Service. "They said they had several reports of anti-American activity going on here and wanted to see the exhibit," she says.

Going Backwards- Bush Expected to Weaken Portions of Clean Air Act December 23 by David L. Greene Issue Revisited Amid High Approval Rating. In a boon for the energy industry and a setback for environmentalists, the Bush administration is expected to announce soon that it is weakening portions of the Clean Air Act, allowing coal-burning power plants to bypass some anti-pollution rules. President Bush has argued that some Clean Air Act rules stifle energy output and do little to protect the environment. That stance has angered environmentalists, but it was mostly forgotten after Sept. 11. Now, riding high on wartime approval ratings, Bush is revisiting some of his more hotly disputed proposals, including the idea of easing some environmental regulations.

The same dirty underhanded tricks from Bush and the republicans as usual. It seems that the constitution and our democratic form of government get in the way of their corporate dictatorship.

Bush intends to bypass Senate with recess appointments
December 22 By Major Garrett WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush White House intends to sidestep the Democrat-controlled Senate and place two well-known conservatives in high-profile posts at the Labor and State Departments during the congressional recess, two senior administration officials told CNN on Friday.

Tough-guy right wing going soft since Sept. 11 December 22, Espouse liberal politics long enough ˜ more equitable distribution of wealth, workers' rights, racial equality, reproductive choice, social spending, that sort of thing ˜ and sooner or later some steely-eyed conservative will accuse you of being mushy-minded or sentimental. Sometimes they roll their eyes at your breathtaking naivete and your astonishing inability to grasp "how the real world works" and simply say, as someone did to me recently, "puh-leeze." When you're arguing that tax breaks for large, profitable corporations are more important than, say, improved education for poor children, it helps, I suppose, to dismiss any naysayers as bleeding hearts, reacting from pure emotion rather than intellect. All of which makes the conservative approach to what The Daily Show has come to call Operation Enduring Coverage so fascinating. Swept away on a tide of flag-waving and God-Bless-America sentiment, it's conservatives who no longer seem to be living in the real world. Instead, they've shut down any critical faculties and embraced a Norman Rockwell view of the U.S. that's as dewy-eyed and mushy-minded and sentimental as it is dangerous. The same people who oppose gun control and socialized medicine though both would save thousands of American lives each year are now waxing philosophical about the sanctity of life, the importance of community and the resiliency of the human spirit.

On domestic front, Bush's popularity fails to scare Democrats December 21 By Finlay Lewis Despite reaping enormous public acclaim as a wartime leader, President Bush was unable to exploit that popularity in his battle with Democrats over how to restart the economy. In allowing the economic-stimulus bill to die this week, at least for the rest of the year, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Democrats on Capitol Hill made it clear that Bush's popularity doesn't scare them, at least on this issue.

Bush blocks strike by United Airlines mechanics 21 December By Jerry White Given the anger of rank-and-file mechanics, Bush’s preemptive strike-breaking even provoked protest from IAM officials who have a long record of close relations with the airline companies and government. “Airline employees everywhere are bitter,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “The administration that wouldn’t lift a finger to help their laid off co-workers is now leading the way to prevent the remaining workers from helping themselves. This abuse has gone far enough.”

The Congressional Scorecard December 21 Congress left town for the year yesterday having accomplished a great deal less than the billowing rhetoric of the occasion was meant to suggest. Its main achievement was to squander the budget surplus by passing the president's ill-advised tax cut. It then failed at the end to pass an economic stimulus bill. Republicans blamed Democrats for ignoring a national need, but the Democrats were right to resist; what the Republicans called a stimulus bill was a second ill-advised tax cut in thin disguise that would have done long-term harm and very little short-term good.

Senate kills farm bill
Dec 21 (AP) Branch-area farmers waiting to see what a new farm bill may hold will have to wait a little longer.The Senate has killed for this year a farm bill opposed by President Bush that would have boosted spending on agriculture and nutrition programs by nearly 80 percent. Democrats said they will try again in January.

Typically, Bush as the representative of corporate America, always sides with the corporations against the American people, using his presidency like a club to beat down workers whenever they attempt to fight for better wages.

Bush Moves to Head Off Strike at United Airlines
December 21 By JAMES F. PELTZ  Mechanics at United Airlines were poised to strike Thursday night but were expected to be barred by President Bush, who said he would order them to keep working to avoid disrupting the hectic holiday travel period. The walkout by the 15,000 mechanics was set for 9:01 p.m. PST. But both the airline and the mechanics union, the International Assn. of Machinists, knew well in advance that the White House had vowed to block any strike at a major U.S. carrier. Indeed, earlier Thursday the president signed an executive order creating an emergency board that precludes a strike by reviewing the contract dispute for another 60 days. The mechanics will be forced to stay on the job during that time.

Two GOP millionaires weigh Senate runs 12/20/01 BY JONATHAN SCHUPPE Two wealthy Republican businessmen said yesterday they're considering running for their party's nomination for the U.S. Senate, joining a pack of potential candidates who could take on the GOP primary's only declared hopeful, Essex County Executive Jim Treffinger.

Bush Stimulus Bill Is DOA WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2001(CBS) Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle proclaimed a House-passed package of tax cuts and unemployment aid dead on Thursday, saying the Republican-written plan will not make it through the Senate in this session.

Bush gives HHS secretary the power to classify information as  secret Dec 20 New York Times President Bush has granted the secretary of health and human services the power to classify information as secret, a step that shows how the battle against terrorism is drawing domestic agencies into the national security apparatus.

Whitewater Critics Quiet About Enron December 19 by Joe Conason While the implosion of Enron is almost as murky as the bankrupt company’s financing schemes, its self-dealing and scamming have evoked memories of other great business scandals, such as Teapot Dome and the South Sea Bubble. Whether or not those analogies ever prove to be justified, the most compelling political comparison for the moment is with another scandal that turned out, despite the investigative zeal of journalists, pols and prosecutors, to be more squib than bombshell: Whitewater.

The Education Bill: Many Trials Ahead  December 19, 2001 By RICHARD ROTHSTEIN The education bill written largely by the White House and given final Congressional approval by the Senate yesterday is a breathtaking intrusion of the federal government on states' control of education. For two decades, policy makers have wanted to make schools more accountable. Some states have developed creative ways of using tests to tackle that complex challenge; others have weaker systems. But the new legislation seems to impose on every state a Texas- type model that may actually retard sensible accountability in some places.

What's After Phase I? December 19 Often regarded as the dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas began writing for United Press International during World War II. After leaving UPI last May, she began writing a political column for Hearst Newspapers. They run on this site twice a week. WASHINGTON -- Well, now that phase one of the war on terrorism is down to the mopping-up stage, what's next? Phase two? To hear some of President Bush's hawkish advisers talk, it's on to Iraq. Or is it Somalia? Or Sudan? Or the Philippines?

Next: An ID Chip Planted in Your Body? December 19 By Robert O'Harrow A New Jersey surgeon has embedded under his skin tiny computer chips that can automatically transmit personal information to a scanner, a technology that his employer hopes will someday be widely used as a way to identify people. One bioethicist called the procedure the stuff of science fiction. The chip, developed by Applied Digital Solutions of Palm Beach, Fla., is similar to that implanted in more than a million dogs, cats and other pets in recent years to track and identify them.

Bush's red face explained 18 Dec 2001 President George Bush had four lesions - two of them precancerous - removed from his face last week, the White House has revealed. Bush had two potentially cancerous lesions, clinically known as actinic keratoses, frozen off his face on Friday. He had three similar lesions removed last summer. Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said the lesions were removed using liquid nitrogen during a brief procedure at the White House.

Talks in Congress Break Down Over Health Benefit for Jobless Dec. 18 By RICHARD W. STEVENSON Talks between the two parties in Congress on a proposed economic recovery package moved to the brink of collapse tonight, with Democrats and Republicans deeply divided over tax cuts and how best to deliver health insurance subsidies to the unemployed.

RecommendedConnect the Enron Dots to Bush December 17 by Robert Scheer Enron is Whitewater in spades. This isn't just some rinky-dink land investment like the one dredged up by right-wing enemies to haunt the Clinton White House--but rather it has the makings of the greatest presidential scandal since the Teapot Dome. The Bush administration has a long and intimate relationship with Enron, whose much-discredited chairman, Kenneth L. Lay, was a primary financial backer of George W. Bush's rise to the presidency.

Daschle: Senate will reject Scalia December 17 The Washington Post GOP insists Labor nominee has votes to win, by Mike Allen  Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle predicted Sunday that Eugene Scalia, President Bush's nominee as Labor Department solicitor, will be denied confirmation, and the White House stepped up a behind-the-scenes campaign on Scalia's behalf. The solicitor is responsible for defending department regulations in court. Scalia, 38, a conservative Washington labor lawyer, was a vocal opponent of President Bill Clinton's efforts to tighten standards designed to reduce repetitive motion injuries, and Democrats contend that his confirmation could undermine worker protections. Scalia said Clinton wanted factories to change entire assembly lines because one employee's off-duty injury might be aggravated.

Bush Anti-Missile Proposal Deserves Deepest Scrutiny December 17, 2001 by Morton M Kondracke The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is going to die, and there's nothing Congress can do about it. But Congress should subject President Bush's proposed national missile defense system to the highest possible scrutiny. The issues to be explored include the system's feasibility, cost, appropriateness in view of other threats, foreign policy implications and pace of deployment.

Afghanistan: US rules out surrender and turns Tora Bora into a killing field 17 December By Peter Symonds The US military is continuing its relentless bombing of the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan after sabotaging a surrender deal negotiated last week between Afghani militia leaders and pro-Taliban fighters holed up in cave complexes in the rugged mountains. Claiming that it now has Osama bin Laden and other senior Al Qaeda figures cornered, the US is conducting what amounts to a systematic slaughter.

U.N. Human Rights Investigator Deems U.S. Export Of Banned Pesticides 'Immoral' Dec. 17 U.S. Newswire In a meeting with non-governmental human rights and environmental organizations in San Francisco last week, U.N. Special Rapporteur Fatma Zora Ouhachi-Vesely had harsh words for the United States' practice of exporting chemicals, pesticides, and waste banned domestically to developing nations. "Just because something is not illegal, it may still be immoral. Allowing the export of products recognized to be harmful is immoral," said Vesely as she gathered information about U.S. toxic export practices.

Bush Seen As Unable To Drop Social Security Reform He Championed December 16Despite the resistance it faces, President George W. Bush will push Social Security reform in his State of the Union message and throughout 2002 because he has no choice, some are saying. If he doesn't, they argue, Democrats will pillory Republican candidates with ammunition mined out of the recommendations by the Social Security Commission. That view is argued by reform supporter David John, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. He thinks Bush is stuck with the task of trying to build support in 2002 for changing the system in 2003. A call to a White House press aide was not returned. A draft of the Social Security commission made public last week suggested that the government set up a system in which employees contributed 1% of their earnings, matched by an equivalent amount from the government

Allegations surrounding U.S. jailings have familiar ring Dec 16 By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN To some, the allegations are very similar to complaints leveled against Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. In Saudi Arabia, a British nurse convicted of murder was sentenced to death after a secret trial. She was spared only because of the payment of "blood money" to the victim's brother. Last month, three other Westerners -- a Canadian, a Briton and a Belgian -- were paraded on Saudi TV to "confess" to planting two bombs in Riyadh that killed another man. The confessions allegedly were beaten out of them.

Widening assault on democratic rights in US 15 December 2001 By Jerry White In the aftermath of September 11 the Bush administration has carried out a sweeping attack on civil liberties. This has involved the detention of hundreds of immigrants, “voluntary” interviews of Middle Eastern men, the authorization of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists, censorship of the press and the granting of increased powers to the police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies. In the name of the “war on terrorism” the government has used these measures to crack down on political dissent and intimidate opponents of US militarism and foreign policy.

Bush to bar walkout by United union December 15, 2001 By John Schmeltzer The White House warned Friday it will not countenance a work stoppage by United Airlines mechanics. With only a week to go before a 30-day cooling-off period is set to expire, the International Association of Machinists announced Friday that United's 15,000 mechanics had voted overwhelmingly to authorize a

Bush Halts Inquiry of FBI and Stirs Up a Firestorm December 14 by Glen Johnson President Bush yesterday invoked executive privilege to block a congressional subpoena exploring abuses in the Boston FBI office, prompting the chairman of a House committee to lambaste his fellow Republicans and triggering what one congressman said is the start of ''a constitutional confrontation.''

Bush rips up 'obsolete' missile treaty 14 December 2001 By Rupert Cornwell Is this another case of America riding roughshod over the world?  For President George Bush, the Cold War was finally being laid to rest. For those of less sanguine disposition, the moment marked the birth of a new and more unpredictable nuclear age. For others, it merely confirmed the go-it-alone mentality of an unchallenged superpower on the loose. news.independent

Bush uses executive privilege to keep documents secret December 14, 2001 BY NEIL A. LEWIS WASHINGTON -- President Bush invoked executive privilege for the first time in his administration Thursday to block Congress from seeing documents about a decades-long scandal involving FBI misuse of mob informants in Boston and internal Justice Department deliberations about President Bill Clinton's fundraising tactics. Bush's action produced angry criticism from the chairman of the committee, Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, a fellow Republican who has been known principally as a relentless critic of Clinton.

Bush invokes privilege to keep documents secret 12/13/2001 (AP) President Bush invoked executive privilege for the first time Thursday to keep Congress from seeing documents of prosecutors' decision-making in cases ranging from a decades-old Boston murder to the Clinton-era fund-raising probe. The administration informed a House committee of the decision prior to a congressional hearing on the Boston case involving the FBI's handling of informants.

House approves election reform December 13 By Frank Davies Knight Ridder Tribune The House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved $2.65billion for the nation's elections, which would be the first federal money spent to improve voting systems, historically a state and local function. One year after the presidential election fiasco in Florida revealed serious flaws in how votes are cast and counted, the House voted 362-63 for the far-reaching bipartisan bill. Bush has not said whether he will sign the bill.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted articles and information about environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. This news and information is displayed without profit for educational purposes, in accordance with, Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. is a non-advocacy internet web site, edited by non-affiliated U.S. citizens. editor