APRIL 30-14, 02 Archives

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April 30 For those at the bottom, the consequence of the new conservatism that dominates the US is to make life increasingly desperate - and with progressively less opportunity. Eligibility for income support and public assistance is being steadily withdrawn; cumulatively, it has halved from the levels of 20 years ago. Poorly educated and with negligible access to training programmes, the poor are locked into their status. The great achievements of conservatism - can only have one result. America is developing an aristocracy of the rich and serfdom of the poor and, in so doing, threatening its own economic vitality.
States Worry About Bush Welfare Rules April 30, 2002 By ROBIN TONER In Minnesota, local officials are already worrying about how they will meet the Bush administration's proposal for strict new work requirements for people on welfare. Welfare workers in St. Paul wonder what it will mean to the Hmong refugees who speak no English, who are now placed in several months of language training before they are urged into the workplace. Counselors in Anoka County, outside Minneapolis, wonder what it will mean to mothers in suburban or rural areas, with complicated child care and transportation needs. nytimes.com

Bush Eyes Student Loan Program for Budget Savings Apr. 29, (Reuters) - The Bush administration and lawmakers are considering changes to a federal student loan program that could free up as much as $1.3 billion for other budget priorities, officials said on Sunday. But the proposal, which could make loans more costly for millions of college students and graduates, faces stiff opposition from Democrats in Congress, prompting officials to look elsewhere for budget savings miami.com

Highly Recommended !Log cabin to White House? Not any more Sunday April 28, 2002 The Observer America is the most unequal society in the industrialised West. The richest 20 per cent of Americans earn nine times more than the poorest 20 per cent, a scale of inequality half as great again as in Japan, Germany and France. At the very top of American society, incomes and wealth have reached stupendous proportions. The country boasts some three million millionaires, and the richest 1 per cent of the population hold 38 per cent of its wealth, a concentration more marked than in any comparable country. This inequality is the most brutal fact of American life. Nor is it excused by more mobility and opportunity than other societies, America's great conceit. The reality is that US society is polarising and its social arteries hardening. The sumptuousness and bleakness of the respective lifestyles of rich and poor represent a scale of difference in opportunity and wealth that is almost medieval - and a standing offence to the American expectation that everyone has the opportunity for life, liberty and happiness. observer.co.uk

Democrats Blast Republicans on Social Security
Apr. 27, 2002 (Reuters) - Democrats on Saturday criticized Republican proposals to create individual Social Security accounts that workers could invest in stocks and bonds saying the plans require deep cuts in guaranteed benefits. "For some seniors, these cuts would exceed 25 percent," Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey said in the weekly Democrat radio address. "In the future, seniors could face far deeper cuts in benefits -- up to 45 percent. And these cuts would apply to everyone, even those who don't invest in private accounts." ledger-enquirer.com

Bush administration considering regulations to allow mining practice opposed by environmentalists 4/26/02 By NANCY ZUCKERBROD The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration is proposing to make it easier for the mining industry to dump its waste in the nation's waterways, according to draft regulations circulated by environmental groups. The proposed rules, drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, would affect a practice known as mountaintop removal mining, which has become more common in Appalachia in recent years. In order to expose a coal seam, the top of a ridge or mountain is sheared off and the waste dirt and rock are pushed into nearby stream beds, a practice called valley fill. It is a high efficiency mining technique that allows a company to recover the maximum amount of coal at the lowest cost. nj.com/newsflash

Saudi to Warn Bush of Rupture Over Israel Policy
April 25, 2002 By PATRICK E. TYLER HOUSTON, — Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is expected to tell President Bush in stark terms at their meeting on Thursday that the strategic relationship between their two countries will be threatened if Mr. Bush does not moderate his support for Israel's military policies, a person familiar with the Saudi's thinking said today. In a bleak assessment, he said there was talk within the Saudi royal family and in Arab capitals of using the "oil weapon" against the United States, and demanding that the United States leave strategic military bases in the region. Such measures, he said, would be a "strategic debacle for the United States." He also warned of a general drift by Arab leaders toward the radical politics that have been building in the Arab street. nytimes.com

Bush's Bay of Piglets April 24, 2002 If the US was the villain in the Venezuelan coup, Latin America's much-derided leaders were the heroes Duncan Campbell Viva democracia! said the slogan scrawled on the bus offloading passengers near the presidential palace in Miraflores in Caracas this week. And so far democracy seems to be surviving in Venezuela, if only barely. The overthrow of the radical Hugo Chavez in a military coup on April 11 followed by Chavez's return to power within 48 hours was spectacular even by Latin American standards. President Bush said after Chavez's return that he hoped he had "learned the lesson", but the main lessons need to be learned further north in Washington itself. The precise part played by the US in the coup remains unclear. What is known is that in January Mr Bush appointed, against the advice of the senate foreign relations committee, a man with a shabby record of covert meddling in Latin American politics: Otto Reich. Reich, a Cuban-American who was once the US ambassador to Venezuela, is now the assistant secretary at the state department for the western hemisphere and as such calls the shots for the US - almost literally - in Latin America. guardian.co.uk

Recommended readingThe Angry People April 24, 2002 By PAUL KRUGMANA slightly left-of-center candidate runs for president. In a rational world he would win easily. After all, his party has been running the country, with great success: unemployment is down, economic growth has accelerated, the sense of malaise that prevailed under the previous administration has evaporated. But everything goes wrong. His moderation becomes a liability; denouncing the candidate's pro-market stance, left-wing candidates ˜ who have no chance of winning, but are engaged in politics as theater ˜ draw off crucial support. The candidate, though by every indication a very good human being, is not a natural campaigner; he has, say critics, "a professorial style" that seems "condescending and humorless" to many voters. Above all, there is apathy and complacency among moderates; they take it for granted that he will win, or that in any case the election will make little difference. The result is a stunning victory for the hard right. It's by and large a tolerant, open-minded country; but there is a hard core, maybe 20 percent of the electorate, that is deeply angry even in good times. And owing to the peculiarities of the electoral system, this right-wing minority prevails even though more people actually cast their votes for the moderate left. nytimes.com

April 23, The new clean hydrogen car technology signals the end for the dirty old Henry Ford era cars and the oil companies which have dominated our civilization and caused global warming. There is very little oil, less than a six month supply in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and it will take years to get it out of the ground. By the time we have extracted the oil and irreparably damaged the last unspoiled regions of our country, the gas guzzler cars will have gone the way of the horse drawn buggy. Ironically the oil companies continue to enjoy the full support of the Bush White House in their dying effort to despoil our wilderness areas and milk as much profit out of the American people as possible.
Congressman says state can become fuel cell 'juggernaut'
April 23, 2002 By STEVE COLLINS, The Bristol Press BRISTOL -- To break its addiction to foreign oil, the United States should seek "energy independence" within a decade by relying in large part on fuel cells that can turn hydrogen into power for cars, homes and more, according to a congressman who hopes to represent Bristol next year.
"The hurdles that we have to overcome," said Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, "are fewer and technologically simpler than it was to put a man on the moon." Larson, an East Hartford Democrat, said Monday that in the wake of Sept. 11 the country is ready to pursue the development of fuel cell technology to lessen its dependence on oil from the Middle East and the entangling foreign policy entailed in securing petroleum from overseas. zwire.com

Bush goes to the dogs April 23, 2002 Matthew Engel The Guardian Just after 10am on Saturday, radio stations across the country handed over, as usual, to the president of the United States for his weekly address to the nation which, it was presumed, would focus on the horrors of the Middle East. On the Washington station, there was a technical glitch, and the announcer's intro was followed by a lengthy period of silence. It was George Bush's most lucid and coherent contribution to the debate thus far. It is hard to imagine what kind of sap, even in Washington, deliberately listens to this stuff on a spring Saturday morning, whoever the president. But anyone who did hang around for the address would have heard Bush describe Colin Powell's mission as "productive" and mention (twice) "America's vision for peace", whatever that might be. Two days earlier he had called Ariel Sharon "a man of peace", a phrase so extraordinary it is necessary to stand back for a moment and admire it. That's peace, presumably as in the 1914-18 peace and the Portuguese man o'peace. guardian.co.uk

LittleBushDork.jpg (44578 bytes)The art of Bushisms Monday April 22, 2002 They have a sinister side to them Sometimes - go on, admit it - you can feel sorry for George Bush. When you read, for instance: "And so, in my State of the - my State of the Union - or state - my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation - I asked Americans to give 4,000 years - 4,000 hours over the next - the rest of your life - of service to America. That's what I asked - 4,000 hours." When a man mangles words the way Mr Bush mangled them the other day in Connecticut, it takes a heart of stone not to squirm on his behalf. Unsurprisingly, White House spin doctors have issued his comments with Bushisms airbrushed out. Equally unsurprisingly, the press, the historians and others are up in arms. guardian.co.uk

75,000 march in Washington against US militarism and Israeli aggression 22 April 2002 By Jerry Isaacs Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington DC on Saturday to oppose US militarism and the Bush administration’s attacks on democratic rights, as well as Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. The Capitol Police said the protest was larger than anticipated, estimating 75,000 participants. It was the largest anti-war demonstration in Washington since the Gulf War more than a decade ago. wsws.org

Venezuela coup linked to Bush team April 21, 2002 Ed Vulliamy The Observer in New York Specialists in the 'dirty wars' of the Eighties encouraged the plotters who tried to topple President Chavez The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in Central America at that time. Washington's involvement in the turbulent events that briefly removed left-wing leader Hugo Chavez from power last weekend resurrects fears about US ambitions in the hemisphere. It also also deepens doubts about policy in the region being made by appointees to the Bush administration, all of whom owe their careers to serving in the dirty wars under President Reagan. observer.co.uk

Bush's statement described as strange and incomprehensive
4/21/2002 Regional-USA Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa described as strange and incomprehensible US President George Bush's statements in which he praised Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon as a man of peace. The least that could be said about Bush's statements is that they are very strange, especially in view of the massacres perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians. "These statements prove how dangerous the situation is," Moussa asserted. arabicnews.com

RecommendedDefenders of Wildlife Statement for Earth Day, April 22 - April 20 WASHINGTON,  /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president, Defenders of Wildlife, for Earth Day, April 22, 2002: Based upon the Bush Administration's actions to date, it is clear that it has adopted a dangerous, two-pronged strategy to achieve a massive weakening of our environmental laws to benefit its big corporate supporters. To this point, only one prong of that strategy -- the one that requires legislation enacted by the Congress (such as the Administration's proposal to drill in the Arctic Refuge) -- has been visible to the public. As important as that part of the strategy is, the full extent of the Administration's assault on our environmental laws cannot be appreciated without examination of the less visible part that typically pursued behind closed doors and away from TV cameras and journalists. Now, however, a coalition of 16 of the nation's largest environmental groups has combined their efforts to bring to public light what is clearly a massive effort on the part of the Bush Administration and its appointees from industry to improperly use the president's executive authority to weaken, undermine and subvert the nation's environmental laws to benefit their big corporate supporters. usnewswire.com

A Stinging Repudiation Engineered by 3 Democrats April 19, 2002 By Eric Pianin Washington Post Staff Writer Friday,  President Bush suffered a double-edged loss in the Senate yesterday over drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Lawmakers for the first time delivered a stinging rebuke to a core item in his domestic agenda, and his defeat was engineered by three of his potential Democratic challengers in 2004. Drilling was at the heart of Bush's energy policies from the moment he took office, and the Republican-controlled House obliged him last summer by adopting it as part of its huge energy package. Yet, even after declaring the drilling essential to the nation's long-term security and energy independence after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the president could not overcome potent Democratic opposition in the Senate and an unusually intense lobbying effort by environmentalists who declared the vote the ultimate litmus test for lawmakers. washingtonpost.com

Rigged election: President Bush v. global warming panel leadership April 18, 2002 News-Journal editorial Last year an international panel of 2,500 scientists concluded that global warming is real, that it is most probably the result of human industry and that average global temperatures could rise between 3 and 10 degrees by the end of the century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was written by 122 authors and reviewed by 21 editors over three years. The Bush administration didn't like the report's conclusion and asked the National Academy of Science to review the findings. The academy endorsed the IPCC report. Disarmed, the administration reloaded by turning to the ExxonMobil corporation. In a February 2001 memo to the White House, the oil giant had recommended that the White House replace the IPCC chairman with someone less sanguine about global warming, and "Restructure the U.S. attendance at upcoming IPCC meetings to assure none of the Clinton/Gore proponents are involved in any decisional activities." Done. The administration is following the memo's recommendations to the letter. On Friday, the IPCC is to elect a new chairman based on nominations by various countries. The United States did not re-nominate Robert Watson, the IPCC chairman since 1996 and a leading advocate of concerted action by industrialized nations to slow down global warming. news-journalonline.com

Hemp advocate to run for Alabama seat in U.S. Senate April 18, 2002 By Andrea Fanning The Crimson White A virtual unknown among state voters, Tuscaloosa native Wayne Sowell has developed a U.S. Senate platform that may appeal to some students. Sowell, a Social Security claims representative in Birmingham and longtime soldier, said his primary stance is to establish a "realistic drug policy," including the repeal of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which was adopted after Prohibition. Sowell said marijuana was an easy target for petitioners. He said minority groups involved in circulation of cocaine and heroin, both drugs that were available at the time, were seen as too powerful, so lobbyists aimed their efforts toward the hemp plant. "The main reason that I got into politics is so that people realize the truth about the hemp plant and the possibilities it has for the nation," Sowell said. Sowell, a frequent Democratic candidate, said he wants to repeal the act "so that no more criminal penalties shall apply to any adult for cultivating, possessing or producing hemp or any of its byproducts." cw.ua.edu

Should History Record the Unvarnished Bush?April 17, 2002 Last Tuesday was one for the presidential blooper reel. By Dana Milbank At a speech in Bridgeport, Conn., President Bush declared that he wanted each American to volunteer for "4,000 years," a variation of his usual call for "4,000 hours" that produced guffaws in the audience. Later, at a fundraiser, Bush bestowed a new name on Connecticut's lieutenant governor, Jodi Rell. "I appreciate Lieutenant Governor Judi Kell for being here," he said. "Great to see you again, Judi."Whatever, says Cathleen Hinsch, a spokeswoman for Rell. "You don't correct the president." But the White House does. Both goofs, and accompanying laughter, were stricken from the record -- deus ex machina -- in the official White House transcripts. washingtonpost.com

Gephardt Statement in Honor of Equal Pay Day
April 17, WASHINGTON, /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt, http://democraticleader.house.gov/ "It is unfortunate that, at the start of the 21st century, the wage gap persists. On average, women who work full-time today make only 73 cents for every dollar men earn in the same job. This equates to an average loss of approximately $250,000 in the course of a lifetime. "This unacceptable reality in our labor market calls attention to the rights of working women to economic fairness. But it is more fundamentally a personal matter for the millions of families struggling to buy groceries, afford medical bills and save for college tuition because of the impact of this wage gap on two-income earners or women head-of-household families. usnewswire.com
April,16 "It's your constitutional right to criticize, but when you criticize, you take the consequences for your words". Bill Bennett, head of the right-wing Empower America organization, speaking to educators.
     In a historic conversation between Stalin and Lenin, Stalin said; "In Russia you are free to criticize the government and I am free to kill you for it."
     If you are punished for exercising  your constitutional right to criticize, in reality you do not posses freedom of speech. Freedom of speech also means freedom from being persecuted. editor
On The Front Lines of a War on Dissent April 16, 2002 Students prepare to protest anti-terrorism agenda as Bush and friends move to quash criticism of war by William Walker NINETEEN-year-old Naureen Shah has been called a "Taliban," a "Nazi" and "un-American." Three of her classmates at Chicago's Northwestern University have been questioned by the FBI since the enactment of the Patriot Act, the U.S. government's anti-terrorism legislation. "I've been called all kinds of names," says Shah, a second-year journalism student. "But I think it's the Patriot Act that's un-American. I think broadening the war to a place like North Korea is un-American." Her experience reflects an anti-dissent environment being fostered by law-enforcement agencies, the Republican administration and its right-wing friends in their robust campaign to quash criticism of the war on terrorism. commondreams.org

IRS Audits Increase for Low-Income Taxpayers as Examination Rate for Affluent Filers Falls Again! Monday, April 15, 2002 By Albert B. Crenshaw Washington Post Staff Writer IRS tax-return audit rates increased slightly last year, almost entirely among low-income taxpayers who filed simple returns, according to a study released today. Audit rates were down for taxpayers with incomes of more than $100,000, continuing a decade-long decline in examinations of the returns of the wealthiest Americans, according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service data by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. washingtonpost.com

April 15, There is war in the Middle East, probably due to his "foreign handed foreign policy," the economy at home is collapsing, millions have lost their jobs, and all this knuckle head can do is continue to push a never ending tax giveaway for the rich.

Bush Calls for Permanent Tax Cuts For the Wealthy
April 15, 2002 By Connie Cass Associated Press Writer The president was traveling to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Monday to promote the tax cuts as the Republican-led House prepared to take up a bill that would keep them in place beyond 2010. "I urge Congress to pass this vital measure," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address. But that probably will not happen this year because of opposition from Senate Democratic leaders who say the cuts have darkened the nation's long-term budget picture. The Democrats blame Bush's $1.3 trillion in tax cuts for contributing to the resurgence of deficits and siphoning money from domestic programs such as education and Medicare. washingtonpost.com

GOP has done little to protect pensions, Democrats say April 14, 2002 - The Associated Press - WASHINGTON  - Republicans are hesitant to support measures to protect American pensions because they are more worried about their friends in big business, Democratic Rep. John Conyers says. In the Democratic radio address aired Saturday morning, Conyers, D-Mich., said the White House has done little to make sure that when companies like Enron falter, people's savings are safe. "The Republicans just don't get it," said Conyers. "Their pension bill would open up new loopholes that would allow corporate executives to quickly sell off all of their plummeting stock holdings at the expense of hardworking employees who would have had to wait five years." nandotimes.com



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