JANUARY 20-13, 02 Archives

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Blair's warning on prisoners Prime Minister tells Bush to tread carefully as opposition grows to treatment of captured Taliban fighters January 20 Tony Blair has warned President George Bush that the treatment of Taliban prisoners being held at the Guantanamo military base threatens to become a 'political issue' which will lead to widespread and damaging criticism of US policies in Afghanistan. guardian.co.uk

Enron spotlight falls on Cheney January 20 Ed Vulliamy, The Enron scandal was set to deepen yesterday as congressional investigators considered legal action that will force Vice-President Dick Cheney to disclose the agenda of talks he held with the bankrupt company. The chairman of Enron, Kenneth Lay, faced fresh allegations that he deliberately urged employees to buy doomed stock in his company, knowing that its books had become 'an accounting hoax', and after selling off his own shares. observer.co.uk

ANALYSIS: Enron scandal tests Bush's vow to roll back regulations January 20, BY RONALD BROWNSTEIN Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON -- The Enron Corp.'s collapse is forcing President Bush to balance his skepticism of government regulation against his desire to show his independence from the failed energy giant. From the federal rules governing private pensions to securities law, accounting standards and even campaign finance, proposals are proliferating on Capitol Hill for laws and regulations to cope with the questionable practices highlighted by the company's crash. These multiplying Enron-related ideas for reform present a political dilemma for Bush. He arrived in Washington generally committed to rolling back federal regulation of business. And he has staffed many key regulatory agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission -- with alumni of the industries they oversee. pioneerplanet.com

Enron fiasco warms Bush to regulation,Firm's lobbying to loosen rules could end in ironic result January 20, Carolyn Lochhead, Washington -- The Bush administration took office determined to loosen regulatory constraints on the economy, but after the Enron debacle, it may find itself presiding over the biggest regulatory expansion in a decade. And the former energy giant itself may wind up having done more for regulation than it ever did for deregulation through its millions of lobbying dollars. "I think we are observing what I'll call the legislative perfect storm," said John Coffee, a securities law expert at Columbia University, who foresees a regulatory tidal wave. sfgate.com

Democrats blast GOP's partisan spin on war January 20,  Alison Mitchell, Washington -- Democratic leaders assailed President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, yesterday for telling Republicans to use the struggle against terrorism for partisan advantage by putting Bush's stewardship of the war effort at the center of their 2002 campaigns. In a fiery speech at the Democrats' winter meeting, Rep. Dick Gephardt, D- Mo., the House minority leader, recalled how the two parties stood "shoulder to shoulder" in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack. sfgate.com

Democrats to Move Up '04 Primaries
January 20, THE NATION - WASHINGTON -- The Democratic Party decided Saturday to allow states to hold their presidential nominating contests more than a month earlier in 2004 than they did in 2000, to follow the Republicans' front-loaded schedule. Under a measure approved on a voice vote at a meeting of about 300 elected members of the Democratic National Committee, a presidential contender could have the party's nomination sewn up as early as February 2004. latimes.com

Anthrax Missing From Army Lab January 20, By JACK DOLAN And DAVE ALTIMARI, Courant Staff Writers Lab specimens of anthrax spores, Ebola virus and other pathogens disappeared from the Army's biological warfare research facility in the early 1990s, during a turbulent period of labor complaints and recriminations among rival scientists there, documents from an internal Army inquiry show. ctnow.com

Democrats boost anti-bullying bill January 19, By Melanthia Mitchell OLYMPIA — An anti-bullying bill, one of the Democrats' top social issues, is on a fast track toward passage now that they hold majorities in both houses for the first time since 1994. The House Education Committee will soon take comments on House Bill 1444, which would require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies and train workers and volunteers to stop harassment. seattletimes.nwsource.com

Student says he meant no Web threat to Bush January 19, By RODNEY TANAKA, Teen claims posting misinterpreted: DIAMOND BAR -- A Diamond Bar High senior from Upland said Friday his Web site posting on freedom of speech may have been misinterpreted as a threat against President Bush. ''Everything is being blown out of proportion,'' 17-year-old Alex Herrera said.The Secret Service and Sheriff's Department are investigating a message board on the Diamond Bar Teens Web site for allegedly containing presidential threats. The board was shut down Thursday.Herrera's message, posted Monday, read in part: ''... it's called freedom of speech. I could say I wanted to kill someone if I wanted, it's my opinion. Hell I could say I wanted to kill Bush...'' dailybulletin.com

Could the Enron fiasco be George Bush's "Whitewater'? Jan 19 Cal Thomas: Liberal Democrats and much of the big media (but I repeat myself) think they have a scandal with which they can bring down, or at least render ineffective, the Bush Administration. It's called Enron (-gate?). ABC's Sam Donaldson is among many network stars who prophesy that the Enron "scandal" will be worse than President Clinton's numerous scandals, one of which led to his impeachment. unionrecorder.com

Democratic Chairman Challenges Bush on Economy January 19, By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe challenged President Bush on Saturday to explain how he plans to "reignite this economy" and put the nation back on course toward a balanced budget. With Democrats blaming much of the nation's economic woes on the $1.35 trillion tax cut approved by Congress last year at the request of the Republican president, McAuliffe said Bush now must come up with some needed answers. "Answers to important questions," McAuliffe said in delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Questions about this administration's stewardship of the economy ... questions about the missing federal surplus ... questions about an overall domestic policy that seems to be for sale to the highest bidder." news1.iwon.com

Poll: Bush Admin. Hiding Something January 19 Almost two-thirds of Americans in a new CBS News poll think the Bush administration is either hiding something or lying about its relationship with Enron, the failed energy trading company that has been a big contributor to the president and to other politicians from both parties. The poll was of 1,030 adults was taken Jan. 15-17 and released Friday. It had an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Among the poll findings: -Almost two-thirds - 63 percent - think the Bush administration isn't telling everything it knows about its relationship with Enron. dailynews.yahoo.com

Fool Me Twice 19 Jan "Fool me once, shame on you," says a wise political maxim. "Fool me twice, shame on me." In his State of the Union address, President Bush will perpetrate a consumer fraud that makes his feint to the center in the 2000 campaign seem like truth-in-advertising. You'll recall that the kinder, gentler Bush of the campaign postured moderate and sought, with success, to steal the Democrats' clothes. He, too, cared about children, women, poor people, minorities, abused HMO patients, trees, and so on. It worked just enough to neutralize Gore's advantages on all these issues. Bush, as president, then went blithely on to appoint a hard-right administration. prospect.org

US pushes Colombia to brink of all-out war By Bill Vann,19 January, More than 23,000 Colombian troops had massed on the border of the zone in anticipation of a full-scale offensive. Thousands more members of the right-wing paramilitary death squads of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, were also prepared to join the military push, carrying out massacres against the 100,000 people who live in the towns and villages that are located in the area under FARC control. US Green Berets have trained three battalions of Colombian troops and equipped them with arms and combat helicopters. Just days before Pastrana delivered his ultimatum, US Ambassador to Bogota Anne Patterson turned over 14 more Black Hawk choppers to the Colombian military at a ceremony held at the Tolemaida military base. She pledged continued assistance, pointing to the Bush administration’s recent enactment of a $625 million Andean Regional Initiative, which is further beefing up military aid to Colombia and neighboring countries. wsws.org

As of October 2001, a republican Supreme Court appointed president Bush had a 90 percent approval rating based on a CBS polling of less than 1/1000 of 1% of the people. Another President Bush, George the first, early in 1991 had an approval rating of 93 percent based on CBS poll data, yet within the year, he was resoundly defeated for reelection by Bill Clinton. It shoud also be noted that the same polling agencys that told the American people George junior was ahead during the election when Gore was actually ahead, are now telling the American people that 90% of us love Bush including the people who voted for Gore.

Bush Poll Numbers Scrape The Sky
NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2002 71% Say He Has Been A Good Or Very Good President 75% Are Optimistic About Next Three Years of Bush Term CBS News Poll, Jan. 15-17, 2002 (CBS) As the first anniversary of his taking office approaches, President Bush receives high public approval ratings on his presidency in all areas, and he has exceeded the expectations Americans had for him at the start of his term, according to a CBS News poll. cbsnews.com

Bush Death Threat Messages Posted On Diamond Bar Board
January 18, By RODNEY TANAKADIAMOND BAR -- A message board for teens where death threats toward President Bush were allegedly posted shut down Thursday.The Diamond Bar teen-ager running the site said the board provided an important forum, and he plans to get it running again with greater restrictions.The Secret Service and Sheriff's Department are investigating threats that appeared on a Diamond Bar Teens bulletin board. Some postings on the site reference killing Bush. Others mention students or a school in Diamond Bar. dailybulletin.com

In Total Disregard Toward the Poor January 18 by Molly Ivins AUSTIN, Texas -- There's something happening here What it is ain't exactly clear... It's time we stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's goin' down. Buffalo Springfield. In New York City last year, about 3,000 people died in the attack on the World Trade Center. In New York City last year, 30,000 people came to the new federal limits on welfare. Another 19,000 will lose assistance this year. New York has lost 95,000 jobs since Sept. 11. It lost 75,000 jobs in the year before that. There are now 30,000 people in the city shelters. Now find the numbers for your town. In Austin, the only organization that provides help to women with breast cancer and no health insurance has just cut its staff from 30 to six, with an equal impact on the help that can be offered. Homelessness is up, food distribution centers are overwhelmed. commondreams.org

Enron and the Bush administration: kindred spirits in fraud and criminality 18 January, By David WalshThe collapse of energy trading giant Enron, with all its legal and economic ramifications, has obviously embroiled the Bush administration in a major scandal. A column in the Los Angeles Times last week referred to the affair as “Teapot Dome, the Sequel” (the Teapot Dome affair essentially brought an end to the Harding administration in the 1920s). It is pointless at the moment to speculate whether or not Enron will prove the present government’s undoing. The more critical issue is grasping the extent to which Enron as a criminal and parasitic enterprise expresses the social essence of the Bush administration and the American ruling elite as a whole. wsws.org

Congress' request for records fails, Bush won't release data on Cheney-Enron talks By BENNETT ROTH Jan. 18 WASHINGTON -- The White House on Thursday rejected congressional requests that it make public information about Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force that met six times with Enron officials last year. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said that there were no plans to release task force records, increasing the prospect of a court challenge and congressional confrontation over documents that some lawmakers contend are relevant to their probe of Enron. chron.com

If you have ever wondered why tuna fish makes you itch and ocean perch gives you migraines, wonder no more. We have been using the oceans of the world as a nuclear and toxic waste dumps for more than fifty years.
Ships got lost while dumping nuclear waste JANUARY 18 BY MELISSA KITE MERCHANT ships sent to dump plutonium off the Cornish coast got lost and were unsure of their location when they released their radioactive cargo, newly released government documents show. MERCHANT ships sent to dump plutonium off the Cornish coast got lost and were unsure of their location when they released their radioactive cargo, newly released government documents show. thetimes.co.uk

Delta Apologizes to Muslim Teen Forced to Remove Headscarf WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The president of Delta Air Lines has apologized personally to a Muslim high school student who was forced to remove her religiously mandated headscarf by guards hired by the airline at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI). Delta President and Chief Operating Officer Frederick W. Reid stated: "We regret and apologize for the embarrassment and discomfort you experienced. Be assured that we take this matter very seriously." He quoted Delta's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct that states: "...discrimination is not only illegal, it is wrong and will not be tolerated." Sarsour told CAIR that after she went through a security checkpoint on her way to a flight, a guard shouted, "Hey you need to take that off," referring to her headscarf. She responded by asking, "Why do I have to take off my head cover?" Sarsour was then surrounded by military personnel in camouflage uniform with combat rifles. She became terrified and removed her headscarf immediately. usnewswire.com

Kennedy Urges Deferral of Some Bush Tax Cuts Use Savings for Education and Health Care, Senator Says; GOP Fires Back By Mike Allen and Helen Dewar January 17, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) called yesterday for postponing $350 billion in scheduled tax cuts for Americans making more than $130,000 a year, becoming the most senior Democrat to propose a rollback of the tax cut that was the signature accomplishment of President Bush's first year. washingtonpost.com

Thousands more US layoffs in wake of Ford job-slashing 17 January By Kate Randall, Last week’s announcement by Ford Motor Company that it would eliminate 35,000 jobs, including 22,000 in North America, was the sharpest expression of a job-cutting trend that has continued unabated in the US in the new year. Two million jobs were shed by US corporations in 2001, and the first two weeks of 2002 have seen further layoffs carried out in all segments of the economy—from retail to manufacturing to finance. wsws.org

Democratic lawmakers, others call for Bush officials to remove themselves from Enron probe
1/17/02 By MARCY GORDON 1/17/02 By MARCY GORDON WASHINGTON (AP) -- Because Enron's political reach was so wide, it is becoming difficult to find government officials without connections as federal law enforcement agencies and Congress pursue investigations of the collapsed energy-trading giant. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, one of Capitol Hill's biggest recipients of Enron campaign donations, is mulling whether to drop out of the congressional investigations into the company, which entered the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Dec. 2. His wife, Wendy Gramm, is on Enron's board and audit committee and is named in a lawsuit by investors against Enron executives and directors. nj.com

Jesse Jackson Sued for Civil Rights Violations, Assault and Battery; Suit Alleges Conservative Black Activist Attacked at Meeting  Jan. 17 -- Jesse Jackson sued for civil rights violations and assault and battery -- Suit alleges conservative black activist Jesse Lee Peterson was attacked at meeting by Jackson, Jackson's son Jonathan, and Judge Mathis. The lawsuit will be filed today in state court in California and names Jesse Jackson, his son Jonathan, Gregory Mathis, and Rainbow/Push Coalition as defendants. The lawsuit alleges the defendants, during a Dec. 10, 2001 public meeting to discuss the awarding of minority-oriented contracts by Toyota, surrounded and assaulted Rev. Peterson -- calling him "nigger" as they taunted and harmed him. Rev. Peterson is a nationally known conservative civil rights activist who has been critical of Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/Push operation. At one point during the assault, Gregory Mathis, who hosts the nationally televised program "Judge Mathis," is alleged to have yelled "where's your buddy (Bill) O'Reilly (of Fox News) now?" (Rev. Peterson is a regular guest on the O'Reilly's program, "The O'Reilly Factor.") usnewswire.com

Jeb Bush Insensitive to Enron Pain, Democrats Say January 17, TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's fund-raising stop on Thursday at the home of a former president of energy trading giant Enron Corp. was criticized by state Democrats as a "lapse of judgement." Bush, the younger brother of President Bush, was set to appear at a fund-raiser at the Houston home of Richard Kinder, a former Enron president who now runs his own energy firm. Proceeds from the $500-a-plate event were destined for the Florida Republican Party. news1.iwon.com

As Enron Scandal Spreads, US Starts to Question Cash for Influence Culture January 16 by Julian Borger The Enron scandal has pushed US politics to the brink of a fundamental overhaul after more details emerged yesterday of the intricate web of relationships built up between the bankrupt energy trading corporation and the Bush administration with the help of millions of dollars of campaign cash. commondreams.org January 16 by Julian Borger The Enron scandal has pushed US politics to the brink of a fundamental overhaul after more details emerged yesterday of the intricate web of relationships built up between the bankrupt energy trading corporation and the Bush administration with the help of millions of dollars of campaign cash. commondreams.org

World feasts on pretzel, International press savors new Bush twist January 16 London -- Was it an al Qaeda plot? An Enron end run? Or was it, as President Bush said, just a wayward pretzel that briefly felled the leader of the free world? With two canines as the only witnesses to the presidential fainting spell, the international press has been left to speculate about what happened and whether Bush can watch TV and chew pretzels at the same time. sfgate.com

Maybe the republicans and Bush should return the Enron billions given them in campaign contributions to prove how patriotic they are.
Oregon Democrats Hooley and Blumenauer retun Enron cash January 16, 2002 SALEM, ORE. (AP) - Reps. Darlene Hooley and Earl Blumenauer, both Oregon Democrats, became the latest politicians to return campaign contributions from Enron, the failed energy giant. katu.com

National Council on Disability Commends EEOC for Successfully Challenging Binding Arbitration WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The National Council on Disability (NCD) commends the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for successfully challenging binding arbitration in workplace disputes in the Supreme Court case Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. Waffle House, Inc. (No. 99-1823). usnewswire.com

Enron's Ties to a Leader of House Republicans Went Beyond Contributions to His Campaign Jan. 15, By ALISON MITCHELL WASHINGTON,  ˜ It is well known that the Enron Corporation (news/quote) lavished money and attention on political figures all over the nation's capital. But for an insight into how carefully the company cultivated members of Congress, look no further than its efforts to please its home state powerhouse, Representative Tom DeLay. nytimes.com

White House adds fuel to Enron fire 15 Jan, Eleanor Clift In Washington, THE first rule of damage control is to get out all the information, no matter how damaging. It is the drip-drip of daily revelations that keep a story on the front page and undermine an administration's credibility. The Bush administration learned that lesson anew over the weekend as top officials appeared on the talk shows in an effort to clear the administration of any wrongdoing in connection with the collapse of Enron - andinstead addedmore fuel to the fire. thescotsman.co

Bush made decision on Walker 10 days ago January 15, By John King WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush signed off 10 days ago on the recommendation that the Defense Department hand over American Taliban fighter John Walker to the Justice Department for prosecution, senior administration officials told CNN Tuesday. Ashcroft called Air Force One Tuesday as the president was flying to Washington from New Orleans and told White House Chief of Staff Andy Card the department was prepared to announce the decision, sources said. Bush gave immediate approval. cnn.com

White House Relaxes Rules On Protection of Wetlands
January 15, Two Agencies Criticized Revision of Permit Laws By Michael Grunwald The Bush administration yesterday weakened several rules designed to protect thousands of streams, swamps and other wetlands from destruction through the Clean Water Act, despite opposition to the changes from two of its own environmental agencies. washingtonpost.com

Governor pledges to fight Bush on drilling Davis says he'll defend state's coastal waters January 15 Gov. Davis, long a foe of offshore oil drilling in California, said yesterday that he would fight the Bush administration all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop development of 36 leases off the Santa Barbara coast. "I remain adamant in my resolve to maintain California's right to protect its ocean and coastal resources from the adverse impacts of offshore oil and gas development," Davis said in a statement issued yesterday. sfgate.com

GOP turns up heat on civil rights chair to allow Bush appointee on panel January 15, By WILL LESTER — Republicans have told the chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights she has no authority to interpret the law creating the panel and must accept a commissioner appointed by the White House. montanaforum.com

Bush, the corporations' flag-carrier Enron's collapse exposes the folly of his cash-for-influence policy Tuesday January 15, Julian BorgerThe familiar paraphernalia of political scandal is being assembled in Washington. At the last count, two criminal inquiries and six congressional hearings were scheduled on the Enron scandal. In the legislature, reduced by the war on terrorism to the role of cheerleader, everyone wants to be a part of it. guardian.co

Bush feeds the scandal Jan. 14, By Anthony York The president's claim that Enron's chief supported his Texas opponent -- at best an evasion, at worst a lie -- drags the White House a step deeper into Enrongate. As Washington became engulfed in the Enron firestorm Thursday, President Bush made what may be the biggest misstep of his young presidency -- attempting to distance himself from Enron and its former chairman and CEO, Ken Lay, even though the company and its executives have given more than $550,000 to Bush during his short political career. salon.com

Pretzel poleaxes president Monday January 14, 2002 George Bush passed out briefly in his bedroom yesterday after eating a pretzel while watching an American football game. The president, who can run a mile in seven minutes, was sitting on a sofa watching a playoff between the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens when he apparently choked on the pretzel and fell unconscious, falling onto the floor and hitting his head on a table. Mr Bush believes he passed out for only a short time because his dogs, Barney and Spot, were still in the same position when he came round. "He said the only difference is that they were looking at him funny," a White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, explained. The president immediately summoned help. guardian.co

Paul O'Neill? On
5/22/01 He called for the elimination of taxes on corporations and the abolition of Social Security and Medicare  O'Neill  "absolutely" supports the elimination of taxes on corporations-- and the shifting of the tax burden to individuals, saying government would work better if it "collected taxes in a more direct way from the people." He also called for the abolition of Social Security and Medicare, on the grounds that "able-bodied adults should save enough on a regular basis so that they can provide for their own retirement, and, for that matter, health and medical needs." fair.org

Top Bush official savaged over Enron 'genius of capitalism' comment 14 Jan, US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has been savaged by leading members of Congress for describing the biggest corporate collapse in US history as "part of the genius of capitalism". Mr O'Neill and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans have distanced the Bush administration from the collapse of the company, which left thousands of workers holding worthless pension fund securities while top executives reportedly cashed out for hefty profits. Paul O'Neill, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said the President knew nothing of appeals for help from the company prior to its collapse, which he described as a textbook illustration of capitalism at work. abc.net

PSR Condemns Choice Of Yucca Mountain As Nuclear Waste Site;
Choice Based On Politics, Not Sound Science, Says Group WASHINGTON, Jan.13 /U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham recommended that President Bush designate Yucca Mountain as the repository for some 77,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste. Although the DOE claims that the area is "scientifically sound and suitable," there is little evidence to support this finding, which is bitterly opposed by Nevada residents, local and state legislators, and environment and health public interest groups. The nuclear industry has long pressed for the transportation of nuclear waste from commercial facilities and other sites to Yucca Mountain. This would allow current and new nuclear power stations to go on producing radioactive waste without regard for the environmental consequences. usnewswire.com



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