FEBRUARY 28-21, 02 Archives

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EPA official quits, rips White House Regulatory chief cites push ‘to weaken the rules’ Feb. 28, By Miguel Llanos A senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency quit Thursday, in protest of the Bush Administration’s policies on air pollution. NBC’s Robert Hager reports. In his resignation letter, Eric Schaeffer complained specifically about what he saw as attempts to weaken Clean Air Act regulations on coal-fired power plants. The head of regulatory enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped down, MSNBC.com has learned, claiming in a resignation letter that the EPA is “fighting a White House that seems determined to weaken the rules we are trying to enforce.” An EPA spokesman denied the allegations, saying the Bush administration was committed to enforcing the nation’s environmental laws. msnbc.com

Bush's oil-igarchy The president¦s patriotic petroleum protection package 02.28.02 Arianna Huffington. With the stench of Enron growing more acrid each day, you'd think the last thing President Bush would want is to be seen toadying to another deep-pocketed energy giant. Well, you'd be wrong. In a shameless handout to a poor-little-me corporate mendicant, the president wants to spend close to $100 million to help Occidental Petroleum protect an oil pipeline unwisely built in war-torn Colombia. workingforchange.com

Friends of the Earth Statement on the Resignation of EPA Enforcement Chief Eric V. Schaeffer WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Friends of the Earth today issued a statement on the resignation of EPA enforcement chief Eric V. Schaeffer. "This is another clear signal that George W. Bush is the most anti-environmental president this country has ever endured," said Friends of the Earth President Dr. Brent Blackwelder. "When a respected high level official from a previous Bush administration abandons ship, you know our air and water are in serious trouble." usnewswire.com

Cheney's daughter offered State Dept. job 2/28/2002 By Eli J. Lake UPI State Department Correspondent WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- As Vice President Dick Cheney prepares for his tour of the Arab world next month, the State Department's Near East Affairs Bureau is wooing his daughter for a high-level post, United Press International has learned. Earlier this month, the State Department officially offered Elizabeth Cheney-Perry a job as the deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs for regional economic issues, according to State Department and administration officials.These officials -- who spoke on condition of anonymity -- tell UPI the new post was created specifically for the vice president's daughter, adding that she will work primarily on economic development in the Middle East. upi.com
2/28/2002 By Eli J. Lake UPI State Department Correspondent WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- As Vice President Dick Cheney prepares for his tour of the Arab world next month, the State Department's Near East Affairs Bureau is wooing his daughter for a high-level post, United Press International has learned. Earlier this month, the State Department officially offered Elizabeth Cheney-Perry a job as the deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs for regional economic issues, according to State Department and administration officials.These officials -- who spoke on condition of anonymity -- tell UPI the new post was created specifically for the vice president's daughter, adding that she will work primarily on economic development in the Middle East. upi.com

Steelworkers rally to press Bush to penalize foreign steel
Posted on Thu, Feb. 28, 2002 Associated Press Writer Thousands of steelworkers rallied Thursday near the White House, urging President Bush to help their struggling industry by imposing stiff tariffs on foreign steel. As the workers chanted outside, Bush met with 19 members of Congress from steel-producing states to hear similar pleas. Several lawmakers walked away hopeful the president will impose the barriers. Bush said he is "not going to bow to international pressure, or any other pressure," said Rep. Robert Ehrlich, R-Md. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Bush "appeared sympathetic, though noncommittal." "I am praying that the president will do this and put American workers first by taking this action," said Merica Petrella of Steubenville, Ohio, who has several family members who work in steel mills. "Foreign countries have hurt us too long by sending their cheap steel." miami.com

Gephardt Response to Speech on Social Security by Majority Leader Dick Armey Feb. 27, WASHINGTON / U.S. Newswire/ -- The following statement was released today by the office of House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt: "I am gratified at news that Majority Leader Armey wants an honest debate about Social Security. We should have this robust dialogue as soon as possible in the House and Senate. "A vital public trust, Social Security has served for 67 years as a ringing commitment to all Americans who work hard and play by the rules. The American people trust this program. They know it forms a cornerstone of our retirement security system. They deserve to have a full hearing in Congress about all the plans to reform and privatize it. "Mr. Armey's ideas cast doubt on Social Security's future. Today in his speech, he repeated his desire to bring up a sham 'certificates' bill that gives people a piece of paper worth nothing and fails to guarantee Social Security benefits for current workers. "Meanwhile, the administration's budget drains $1.5 trillion from the Social Security trust fund, breaking both parties' promise to safeguard the trust funds. usnewswire.com

Ex-Chief of Enron Takes Defiant Tone at Senate Hearing February 27, 2002 By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and RICHARD W. STEVENSON WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 ˜ Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former Enron chief executive, testified during a contentious hearing before a Senate panel today that he did not lie to Congress earlier this month about his role in Enron's collapse, and he criticized members of Congress for conducting their inquiry "with a complete disregard for the facts and evidence." Under skeptical and at times sarcastic questioning from members of both parties, Mr. Skilling defended himself against suggestions that he had tolerated or encouraged improper financial transactions at Enron. He told the panel he knew little about flawed partnership deals central to the company's collapse and insisted that the company's auditors and his subordinates had approved them. nytimes.com

For Democrats, a Continental Divide on Guns February 27, 2002 By FOX BUTTERFIELDTHREE FORKS, Mont., Feb. 22 ˜ He started hunting at 12, the legal age in Montana, up in the mountains around this little town at the headwaters of the Missouri River, and he shot a deer the first day. Forty years later, Mick McGuire still remembers the exact date, and he has taught his stepchildren and grandchildren to shoot, continuing what people here treasure as the state's family heritage of hunting. Mr. McGuire is also a loyal Democrat and a union president in the talc plant where he works, as was his father. He says he is troubled that Democrats in Montana and other rural states have "taken a beating for being antigun," losing election after election under assault by Republicans and the National Rifle Association over their national party's support for gun control. To try to shake this image, the Montana Democratic Party, led by its chairman, Bob Ream, a former legislator and a hunter, has in the last few months moved to distance itself from the national party, calling attention to its backing for hunting and to a clause in its platform saying, "We support the right to bear and keep arms." nytimes.com

PRINCETON --A Gallup poll released yesterday suggests dislikeof the United States and President George W. Bush is rampant in nine Muslim countries. February 27, 2002 Fifty-three percent of the people polled expressed negative opinions of the United States, while only 22 percent expressed positive opinions. The harshest opinions came from Pakistan, where 95 percent of the Muslims there expressed a hostile view of the U.S. Sixty percent of Muslims in Turkey and 59 percent of Muslims in Lebanon have hostile feelings about the U.S. Eighty-six percent of the respondents in Iran, 84 percent in Saudi Arabia, 78 percent in Jordan and Morocco, 73 percent in Indonesia and 72 percent in Kuwait viewed the America negatively. Bush also did not fare well in the poll, as 58 percent of Muslims polled expressed negative opinions of the nation's chief executive - only 11 percent expressed any favorable views of President Bush. zwire.com

Ex-President Bush in Hot Water Over Hot Tub Remark February 27, 2002 3:38 pm EST SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former President George Bush is in hot water over California hot tubs. After an offhand remark describing American Taliban John Walker Lindh as "some misguided Marin County hot-tubber," Bush found himself the target of furious protests scolding him for smearing the reputation of the wealthy, liberal enclave north of San Francisco. When he was president, Bush infuriated California's broccoli growers by offhandedly declaring that he hated the vegetable. news1.iwon.com

Welfare to work revisited Bush plan increases employment rules  February 26, 2002 Washington -- Opening what could be a rough, yearlong debate over welfare, President Bush is proposing to increase the work requirements for welfare recipients and push the states harder to meet them. The administration, which had already unveiled part of its plan to overhaul the landmark 1996 welfare law, plans to announce its new proposals today. Bush told the nation's governors meeting here yesterday that he would ask Congress to approve "new work requirements" he said, "I think work ought to be the core of welfare reform." Under current law, at least 50 percent of welfare families are required to participate in work and other activities aimed at self-sufficiency, administration officials said. Bush is proposing to raise that requirement by 5 percentage points a year so that 70 percent are required to work by 2007. sfgate.com

Bush Welfare Reform Plan Leaves Millions of Children Behind Says Children's Defense Fund WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund: "The President says his welfare reform plan is all about getting more parents working but his plan doesn't invest in the supports low-income families need to get and keep a job, such as child care, education, training, and transportation. He says it is important for families to work yet his budget proposal and his welfare proposal would deny child care to tens of thousands of children over the next five years. He requires more hours of work but not one dime more for child care. Right now only one in seven children eligible for federal child care assistance gets it. It has been proven that in order to keep a job families coming off welfare need child care. "We think the President's plan misses the opportunity to provide real help for families struggling to get off welfare and into the workforce. "The President's plan does not take into account: -- how many new workers are losing jobs because of the recession. -- that half of the families who have left welfare for work earn below poverty wages. -- that the lack of affordable child care and accessible transportation are still major stumbling blocks for millions of families trying to make the welfare-to-work transition. "Families have proven they want to work -- but the President is not offering any support to help them lift themselves and their families out of poverty. We hope the President will put his money where his words are and invest in doubling the number of children able to get child care when their parents work through the Child Care and Development Block Grant. And we're disappointed the President does notprovide for a single new child to get a Head Start next year. "We hope he will reconsider. Children can't eat promises. His welfare plan will leave millions of children behind, not ready for school and in unsafe child care when their parents work. We can do better." usnewswire.com

U.S. "pretending" Bush is competent  Feb 26, (Reuters) - Aaron Sorkin, creator of a fictional White House on the TV drama "The West Wing," says the entire country -- including his own network -- is "pretending" that President George W. Bush is competent and brave. Sorkin, in an interview for the new issue of The New Yorker magazine said the news media had gone too far. He cited as an example a program on NBC, titled "The Bush White House: Inside the Real West Wing," hosted by Tom Brokaw. "The White House pumped up the president's schedule to show him being much busier and more engaged than he is," Sorkin said in the article. "The show was a Valentine to Bush," he said. "The truth is we're simply pretending to believe that Bush exhibited unspeakable courage at the World Series by throwing out the first pitch at Yankee stadium or that he, by God, showed those terrorists by going to Salt Lake City and jumbling the first line of the Olympic opening ceremony." in.news.yahoo.com

NBC Stands by 'West Wing' Creator's Bush Bashing February 26, 2002 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC said on Tuesday it stands by Aaron Sorkin's right to speak his mind, following " The West Wing  " creator's recent comments that the country is pretending that President Bush is competent and brave. "Obviously we respect Aaron's right to say whatever he thinks," Jeff Zucker, President of NBC Entertainment, said in a conference call with reporters. "We would never get in the way of his right to speak his mind." news.lycos.com

Bush Nominee Pickering Appears Headed to Defeat February 26, 2002 5:21 pm EST By Thomas Ferraro (Reuters) - Mississippi judge Charles Pickering, branded by liberals as a "right wing ideologue," seems certain to become the first Bush administration judicial nominee to be rejected by the Democratic-led Senate, top congressional aides said Tuesday. 1.iwon.com

How the US media covers up civilian deaths in Afghanistan By Jerry Isaacs 26 February 2002 A key aspect of the American media’s role as a propaganda arm of the Pentagon is its treatment of the death and destruction wrought by the US in Afghanistan. Unable to simply deny the mounting evidence of civilian deaths caused by some 18,000 bombs dropped on the country, the media has resorted to other means to defend the slaughter of civilians, as well as combatants, by Washington’s war machine. The US government and military refuse to make any public accounting of the civilian death toll in the Afghan war. The Pentagon also refuses to release estimates of the number of dead Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. This is in keeping with the practice established in the Gulf War, when then-chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, stated he was “not terribly interested” in establishing how many Iraqi soldiers were killed. wsws.org

'Axis of evil' writer leaves Bush's staff February 26, 2002 By Robert Stacy McCain THE WASHINGTON TIMES David Frum, credited with authoring the headline "axis of evil" phrase in President Bush's State of the Union address, has left the White House speechwriting staff. "It has been the experience of a lifetime and it's been the honor of a lifetime to be here during this presidency," Mr. Frum said in a telephone interview yesterday. "I leave with nothing but the highest regard for all of my colleagues." washtimes.com

The Enron-ergy Bill Hits the SenateWhether it's Ken Lay's energy policy or Dick Cheney's, it's in the Senate now — and it's no sure thing Feb. 25, 2002 Well, if Henry Waxman and the GAO really want to know what came out of Dick Cheney and Ken Lay's energy-policy deliberations last spring, here it comes. The Bush energy bill, which passed smoothly through the House of Representatives back when Enron was nothing to be ashamed of, is now ready for its close-up before Tom Daschle's altogether more hostile Senate. For Daschle's Democrats, the Cheney energy plan was bad enough nine months ago when California was dark and the White House, in chorus with the Ken Lays of the world, simply advocated more exploration, more production and more deregulation — oh, and for the personally virtuous, more conservation. There was indisputably more for business than for the environment in proposals to drill the Alasksan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) and to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. An unapologetic Bush was not going to curb coal, oil or nuclear energy — at least until he won West Virginia again. time.com

Bush's fuzzy history
February 25, 2002 In case you weren't in Tokyo last week, here's a remarkable declaration President Bush made to Japanese lawmakers: He said he was beginning his Asia trip in Japan "because for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times." Um, yeah, except for this small matter of Pearl Harbor and World War II sfgate.com

Enron-related figures involved in Bush's Texas tax reform try Feb. 25, 2002 Associated Press Writer Then Gov. George W. Bush's attempt to overhaul the Texas tax system in the mid-1990s would have saved Houston-based Enron Corp. a reported $9 million a year alone in property taxes and possibly much more in franchise taxes. But the plan, shaped with help from an Enron executive and a longtime board member, encountered an obstacle even the company's famous ties to President Bush could not overcome: Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, the Democrat whose power in Austin exceeded Bush's. tallahassee.com

FBI knows anthrax mailer but won’t make an arrest, US scientist charges 25 February 2002 By Patrick Martin; A leading US expert on biological warfare said the FBI had identified the perpetrator of last fall’s anthrax attacks on the congressional Democratic leadership and other targets, but was “dragging its feet” in making an arrest and pressing charges, for fear that secret government activities would be exposed. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Program for the Federation of American Scientists, an independent, non-governmental professional group, made the charge in a speech February 18 at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. wsws.org

DeLay Advisers Reaped Enron Windfall February 25, 2002 By John Bresnahan and Damon Chappie In early 1998, Enron Corp. secured a $750,000 contract for political operatives tied to House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) to secretly conduct an aggressive grassroots campaign pushing energy deregulation, according to documents obtained by Roll Call and interviews with individuals involved with the effort. The contract was awarded after DeLay personally recommended to Enron officials that they hire the team of strategists who make up the inner circle of his political and fundraising machine. rollcall.com

White House won't tax corporations for Superfund cleanup February 24, 2002 From Major Garrett CNN WASHINGTON  -- WASHINGTON  -- The Bush administration has told Congress it will not ask for taxes on businesses to pay for federal toxic waste cleanups, as the Clinton administration had unsuccessfully tried to do since 1995. In its fiscal year 2003 budget request recently sent to Capitol Hill, the Bush administration said it has no intention of asking Congress to reauthorize corporate taxes used to finance toxic waste cleanups since the passage of the Superfund Act in 1980. The White House's budget request the previous fiscal year did not mention the issue. A congressional Democrat criticized the White House's decision, saying it let corporate polluters "off the hook." cnn.com

Bush Proposing to Shift Burden of Toxic Cleanups to Taxpayers February 24, 2002 February 24, 2002 by Katharine Q. Seelye WASHINGTON — Faced with dwindling reserves in the huge account that gave the Superfund waste cleanup program its name, the Bush administration has decided to designate fewer sites for restoration and to shift the bulk of the costs from industry to taxpayers. commondreams.org

Report: Six Months Needed to Renew U.S. Arsenal Before Attacking Iraq; February 24, 2002 Blair, Bush To Plan War Pentagon planners say it will take six months to produce enough Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), the precision systems that guided 1,000-pound bombs to Taliban and al Qaeda targets, to contemplate an attack on Saddam Hussein's Iraq. According to The Washington Times, Bush administration rhetoric has fueled speculation that a military move against Iraq could be imminent. But the military reality is that it could take up to a year before the United States is ready to launch a coordinated attack likely to achieve the administration's goals of destroying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability and replacing Hussein's regime. albawaba.com

Murdoch firm tried to kill satire on Bush By David Usborne in New York, 24, February 2002 -  An irreverent new book that invites President George Bush to admit that he is a "functional illiterate" has shot straight to the top of the American best-seller list, even though it almost never saw the light of day because the publisher thought it went too far. The success of Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation by populist film-maker and activist Michael Moore is surely causing red faces at HarperCollins, owned by Rupert Murdoch. news.independent.co

WHY IS BUSH IN A RUSH TO HAVE HIS FEDERALIST SOCIETY CLONE JUDGES CONFIRMED? February 24, 2002 A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL: Why is Bush in a rush to have his Federalist Society judges confirmed? The answer is simple: By packing the Federal Courts, the Bush Administration can control two branches of government. Take the current case of the GAO vs. the White House as an example. Who is legally defending Cheney's untenable position of keeping secret the names of people who participated in the Cheney energy task force? Why it's none other than Ted Olson. buzzflash.com

Bush Renews Mad Campaign For Arctic Oil February 23, 2002 (AP) President Bush on Saturday renewed his campaign to open an Arctic refuge to oil exploration, contending that drilling is essential to national security and job creation. Mr. Bush, in his weekly radio address, said that plan is vital to his goal of making the United States less dependent on foreign energy sources. His bid to overturn the 1980 ban on drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the refuge remains the most contested element of his energy plan. It probably will face a filibuster from senators who believe the drilling would have serious environmental consequences. cbsnews.com

Environmentalists say Bush soft on species protection Administration reviewing protections for up to 10 Western species February 23, 2002 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The reclusive Mississippi gopher frog and the fearsome grizzly bear are among a host of rare animals facing an uncertain future, conservationists say. They say habitat protections, recovery programs and funding are being neglected or scaled back. Now some environmentalists say they believe that private interests, backed by conservative lawmakers and a Republican administration, are starting to tip the balance.  cnn.com

Enron investigators sue White House February 23, 2002 Congressional investigators have filed their first-ever lawsuit for public records against the government, seeking documents from a White House energy task force as part of a probe in the Enron affair.The US General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in a statement yesterday that it had filed suit in US District Court in Washington "to obtain certain records in connection with the National Energy Policy Development Group," the task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. ndtv.com

White House taken to court 23 Feb, 2002; The White House is being taken to court in an unprecedented move. The US Congress wants to force President George W Bush to reveal what role Enron and other firms played in developing his energy policy. Collapsed energy giant Enron, which is itself at the centre of a controversial Congressional investigation, was the largest single corporate contributor to Mr Bush's political career. The suit has been filed in the District Court in Washington, setting up a legal and constitutional battle with the Mr Bush's Republican administration. The General Accounting Office - a congressional agency - wants records of an energy task force led by Vice President Dick Cheney that sought to draft a new national energy policy last year. It is pursuing the case at the request of Democrats itv.com

Democrats View Social Security as Election Issue
February 23, 2002; By Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writer, Democrats increasingly believe President Bush's Social Security plan and the collapse of Enron Corp. have given the party an opening it can exploit in the tough battle to win control of Congress this fall. washingtonpost.com

Bush announces new global warming plan: a Valentine’s Day gift for energy corporations By Joseph Kay 23 February 2002 US President George W. Bush unveiled on February 14 proposals that the administration claims are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is being promoted as an alternative to the Kyoto agreement on global warming, from which the US withdrew last spring. However, the administration’s new policy, particularly as it affects carbon dioxide, will be entirely voluntary. It is essentially an abandonment of any attempt to curb such emissions, which are viewed by most scientists as the primary cause of global warming. wsws.org

War Without End? Democrats are afraid to cry ‘politics’ on Bush’s war plans. Maybe somebody should NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE Feb. 22 — When President Clinton lobbed a few missiles to retaliate against terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies, the punditocracy shouted “Wag the Dog!” President Bush is traveling the globe beating the war drums and there’s barely a scintilla of skepticism. A New York Times headline declares, “Bush says U.S. plans no attack on North Korea.” What kind of insanity would such an attack actually be? Yet the pronouncement is treated with sober reflection, as if Bush had just made a major foreign-policy statement. msnbc.com

Democrat traitors to the people, helping the rich avoid taxes at the expense of public services.House leaders' 'no new tax' plan slashes services February 22, 2002 By Paula Wade NASHVILLE - Matt Kisber of Jackson and Memphis Sen. Jim Kyle, both Democrats, have prepared their own versions of a state spending plan that would require no new tax revenue. As expected, Kisber's spending plan calls for ending TennCare and resuming the Medicaid program, which would leave about 350,000 Tennesseans without health insurance. It would cut state support to local schools by $373 million and would cut higher education by $93.3 million. The proposal would eliminate the departments of   Tourist Development and Economic and Community Development. It would close all parks that are not self-supporting and would allow privatization of the parks system. Kisber prepared the budget at the request of House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington). gomemphis.com

North Korea calls Bush’s offer for dialogue ‘pretext for invasion’ By Sang-Hun Choe February 22, 2002 Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Friday rejected President Bush’s renewed offer to start dialogue, calling the American leader a “politically backward child.” A spokesman of the North’s Foreign Ministry, quoted by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency, accused Bush of “slandering” the communist state’s political system and its “supreme headquarters,” a reference to totalitarian leader Kim Jong Il. armytimes.com

No Responsibility: Physicians Denounce Administration Decision to Abandon Nuclear Weapons Commitment WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Physicians for Social Responsibility denounced a change in US policy announced this week by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton that the United States would no longer respect a long-standing agreement to limit consideration of a nuclear response only to attacks from a nuclear-armed foe. President Carter made the no-nuclear-use pledge in 1978 as germane to U.S. commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It has been honored implicitly by all subsequent administrations, and was explicitly re-affirmed by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1995. "Breaking such a serious commitment will compromise the United States in all its relationships with other nations," said Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H., Executive Director and CEO of PSR. "This international insult brings the United States to a new low, where we function as a loaded nuclear weapon pointed at the head of our allies and enemies alike." usnewswire.com

Democratic Leaders Call on Republicans to Ensure that Debate of Social Security Privatization Includes Honest Discussion of Risks Involved WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Attached is a portion of a letter sent today by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt to House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott concerning Congressional debate of plans to privatize Social Security. "We understand that the House Republican leadership, as part of ongoing Republican efforts to privatize Social Security, will schedule H.R. 3135, the Social Security Benefits Guarantee Act, for House consideration in the near future. Prior to the announcement about the upcoming House action, it had been reported in the media that a quiet deal had been struck between the Administration and House Republicans to postpone consideration of your party's Social Security privatization plans until after the November elections. We find these reports disturbing because we believe any attempt to avoid public accountability on this critical issue is wrong." usnewswire.com

Enron Execs, Lobbyists Met Regulators February 22, 2002; Associated Press Writer By Pete YostFriday,  2:08 PM WASHINGTON –– Enron lobbyists and company executives had at least 25 meetings and phone calls with 19 federal energy regulators in less than a year, the regulators acknowledged this week to a senator. washingtonpost.com

Orwell's Pentagon: Propaganda office betrays White House policy void News-Journal editorial News-Journal editorial February 22, 2002 - In 1984, Pentagon and Reagan administration officials involved in a missile shield project rigged a missile test, faked data, and lied to Congress. Then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger approved the misinformation campaign. Its aim was to deceive the Soviet Union into spending billions more on defense. The Soviet Union did. So did Congress, because deceptive information meant for the Kremlin made its way into the secret briefings of members of Congress, who never knew they were being lied to. It took nine years and $30 billion wasted on Star Wars technology before a New York Times investigation revealed the deception campaign. news-journalonline.com

Genetically Engineered Food Alert Coalition Statement on NAS

Assessment of USDA Oversight of Genetically Engineered Crops WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The NAS report released today confirms what the Genetically Engineered Food Alert coalition has been saying for two years, namely that regulations in place for genetically engineered crops are weak and inadequate. The NAS report takes the agency to task for relying on too little data, and calls some of its environmental assessments superficial. The report is justifiably critical of the agency's cult of secrecy, shutting out the public from reviewing the agency's decisions. NAS highlights that the agency is short on institutional knowledge in the area of environmental impacts, and does not do post-market monitoring. The report makes clear that the agency is currently failing in terms of its oversight of these crops and is even less prepared for the future. usnewswire.com

Attack targets Bush environmental record February 21, 2002 By the Los Angeles Times SAN FRANCISCO - On a campaign-style swing through California, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., on Wednesday denounced President Bush's environmental record and pledged new legislative efforts to block the administration's proposals on global warming and energy production. "While President Bush has provided strong and principled leadership in the war against terrorism, I think he's been AWOL in the war against environmental pollution,'' Lieberman told the California League of Conservation Voters in a lunchtime address here. registerguard.com

Crimes of War Project Survey of Legal Experts Says White House Erred in Denying POW Status to Taliban, Al Qaeda Detainees WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In its survey of legal experts, "POWs or Illegal Combatants," released today by the Crimes of War Project, some of the world's foremost authorities in international humanitarian law assert that the Bush Administration erred in its reading of the Geneva Conventions when it determined that the detainees being held at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay and at various locations in Afghanistan are ineligible for prisoner of war status. usnewswire.com

"Bush Administration Mexican Amnesty Plan Is Wrong" WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by U.S.ENGLISH Chairman and CEO Mauro E. Mujica: Congress should reject any proposal from the Bush Administration that grants amnesty to millions of illegal Mexican immigrants. Such a move would evoke animosity among legal immigrants, and send the wrong message to those who wish to enter this country legally. As an immigrant from Chile, who emigrated to the U.S. legally, I must ask why our leaders are so hard-pressed to make sure that illegal Mexican workers, versus people from other countries, earn their green-card status even though they have broken the law. Might it be an attempt to get an early start on the next election by winning over the Hispanic vote? usnewswire.com

Anthrax expert stands by her claim 02/21/02 By JOSEPH DEE Staff Writer A biological weapons control expert yesterday refused to back down from her claim that the FBI has a prime suspect in last autumn's deadly anthrax letters episode, despite strenuous denials by the bureau. njo.com

Activists Challenge Corporations That They Say Are Tied To Slavery February 21, 2002 Team of legal and academic stars pushes for apologies and reparations by James Cox They owned, rented or insured slaves. Loaned money to plantation owners. Helped hunt down the runaways. Some of America's most respected companies have slavery in their pasts. Now, 137 years after the final shots of the Civil War, will there be a reckoning? A powerhouse team of African-American legal and academic stars is getting ready to sue companies it says profited from slavery before 1865. commondreams.org



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