MAY 31-1, 02 Archives

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BUSH'S GENERAL EDUCATION May 31, 2002 It is said, that, before September 11, George W. Bush thought the Taliban were a Bavarian brass band. Now, thanks to his comprehensive knowledge, the most powerful man in the world has got into hot water again. "Do you have blacks in Brazil? Washington - It was Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor, who helped her boss out of the embarassing situation. During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?" Rice, 47, noticing how astonished the Brazilian was, saved the day by telling Bush "Mr. President, Brazil probably has more blacks than the USA. Some say it's the Country with the most blacks outside Africa." Later, the Brazilian president Cardoso said: regarding Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase". Washington - It was Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor, who helped her boss out of the embarassing situation. During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?" Rice, 47, noticing how astonished the Brazilian was, saved the day by telling Bush "Mr. President, Brazil probably has more blacks than the USA. Some say it's the Country with the most blacks outside Africa." Later, the Brazilian president Cardoso said: regarding Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase". Washington - It was Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor, who helped her boss out of the embarassing situation. During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?" Rice, 47, noticing how astonished the Brazilian was, saved the day by telling Bush "Mr. President, Brazil probably has more blacks than the USA. Some say it's the Country with the most blacks outside Africa." Later, the Brazilian president Cardoso said: regarding Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase". gwbush.com

Bush's Decision on Oil Angers Californians
May 31 By JAMES STERNGOLD ˜ LOS ANGELES, California officials, who have been locked in a legal battle with the Bush administration to halt offshore oil drilling, responded angrily today to what they described as President Bush's highly political announcement that the federal government was seeking to buy out oil drilling leases in Florida but not California. In Washington on Wednesday, President Bush sat next to his brother Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, and vowed to spend $235 million to buy a number of highly unpopular oil leases in a state where his brother is running for re-election and that handed him the presidency in 2000 by the slimmest of margins. Jeb Bush acknowledged that he would probably gain politically from the plan. But he and the president insisted that it was also sound policy because the move would protect beaches and wetlands. All of this has prompted officials in California, a heavily Democratic state that President Bush lost by a lopsided margin, to ask why saving their beaches and sensitive environment was not as high a priority, particularly since many here have been fighting offshore oil leases in the Santa Barbara area for decades. nytimes.com

Freedom to hate, freedom to harm Wednesday
May 30, 2002 - With the supreme court to rule on the legality of racist cross burning, Julian Borger asks whether the US constitution remains a force for liberty This week, it is the first amendment's turn. The supreme court has decided to consider an issue that most Americans and much of the rest of the world had considered dead and buried - whether there is a constitutional right to burn crosses in the manner made famous over a century ago by the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan is still around, in a depleted and pathetic form, and there are still some people out there who choose to relive the "good old days" of overt and vicious racial bigotry by burning the odd cross. The court is to consider two cases from 1998, both from Virginia. In one incident, a Klansman lit a 30-foot cross on private land which, naturally enough, terrified passing blacks. In another case, a couple of drunken rednecks tried to burn a cross in a black neighbour's garden. When the cases went to trial, a conservative Virginia court reversed a 50-year-old law banning the practice, and brought some unpleasant history back to haunt the south. guardian.co.uk

September 11 cover-up crumbles: Who was covering for Moussaoui, and why?
29 May 2002 By Patrick Martin The revelations over the past two weeks about advance warnings of the September 11 terrorist attacks have focused particularly on the role of Zaccarias Moussaoui, the Islamic fundamentalist arrested last August in Minneapolis. Moussaoui is the only person facing criminal charges for allegedly playing a role in the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed more than 3,000 people. Fragments of a May 22 letter from Colleen Rowley, an official in the Minneapolis FBI office, to FBI Director Robert Mueller were reported in the press last week. Virtually the entire text of the letter is published in the current issue of Time magazine and posted on its web site, www.time.com. The letter documents not merely incompetence and bureaucratic indifference, but active opposition to an investigation of Moussaoui, sabotage so obvious that it led Minneapolis FBI personnel to joke that agents of Osama bin Laden must have penetrated the J. Edgar Hoover building. wsws.org

Bush administration retreats from civil rights
May 28,2002 By DeWayne Wickham When Ralph Boyd Jr. appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, a lot of people were looking at his nose. The betting was that the longer he spoke, the longer it would get. Boyd is the assistant attorney general for civil rights and the point man in the Bush administration's effort to convince civil rights activists and their congressional supporters that they can't believe their eyes. He was summoned before the Senate panel to explain away the mounting evidence that what the administration says about civil rights doesn't jibe with what it does. But before the critics could weigh in on him, Boyd knocked them off balance. The Justice Department, he said during his testimony, will charge three Florida counties with committing voting rights violations during the 2000 presidential election. usatoday.com

The Coming Firestorm
Bush's Rhetoric Sounds Like the Crazed Videotapes of Osama bin Laden May 28, 2002 by Robert Fisk The Independent So now Osama bin Laden is Hitler. And Saddam Hussein is Hitler. And George Bush is fighting the Nazis. Not since Menachem Begin fantasized to President Reagan that he felt he was attacking Hitler in Berlin - his Israeli army was actually besieging Beirut, killing thousands of civilians, "Hitler" being the pathetic Arafat - have we had to listen to claptrap like this. But the fact that we Europeans had to do so in the Bundestag on Thursday - and, for the most part, in respectful silence - was extraordinary. counterpunch.org

New evidence that US government suppressed September 11 warnings
27 May 2002 By Patrick Martin A detailed letter from a top FBI official in Minneapolis, sent last Wednesday (May 22) to FBI headquarters and to the US Senate, has provided major new evidence that high-level government officials deliberately turned a blind eye to advance warnings of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The letter, portions of which have been leaked to the media, has set off a new round of public criticism of the Bush administration in both the media and official Washington. Colleen Rowley, general counsel with the FBI’s Minneapolis field office and a 20-year bureau official, wrote the 13-page memo and hand-delivered it to both FBI Director Robert Mueller and the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as to two of the committee’s members, Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama and Democrat Diane Feinstein of California. The letter reportedly named specific individuals in FBI headquarters who served to “blockade” the investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui, now charged as a co-conspirator in the September 11 suicide hijackings that killed more than 3,000 people. wsws.org

Bush Strong Arm Tactics To Imprison Dissenters
May 26, 2002 Contributed by Dan - George Bush said that HE (not the Whitehouse but HE) will no longer tolerate questions of what he or the administration knew or when he knew it regarding terrorist attacks prior to 9-11. HE won't tollerate it! The arrogant ba$tard! Rumsfield, in a press release from DOD said "those who ask questions could face government charges." Bush said there is one congressional investigation, and HE will not allow any other investigations, nor will he answer any further questions! thepeoplesvoice.org

Thousands die each year in US because they lack health insurance 25 May 2002 By Jerry Isaacs More than 18,000 Americans die every year solely because they cannot afford private health care insurance. This is the finding of a new study entitled “Care without coverage: Too little, too late,” which compares the health of insured and uninsured adults in the US, where 30 million—or one out of every seven—working-age people lack health care coverage. The study, conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a private organization affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences, paints a chilling picture of the consequences of America’s for-profit health care system. More than 40 million people, including nearly 10 million children, have no health insurance, and the number continues to grow at a pace of about 1 million each year.Those without health insurance are more likely to have poorer health and die prematurely than those with insurance, the study found. wsws.org

WHITE HOUSE WATCH May 24, 02 Inquiring Minds by Ryan Lizza The furious volley of charges between Democrats and the White House over what President Bush knew about the terrorist threat before 9/11 seems to have produced some clear winners and losers. After a week of acid exchanges, the consensus in Washington is that Democrats are in retreat and Bush is jetting off to Europe victorious. The White House supposedly won the skirmish with a furious two-pronged, vice-presidential counterattack. First, Dick Cheney questioned the patriotism of Democrats who implied that Bush had actionable intelligence about September 11. Then, even more cynically, the vice president--followed by a string of other administration officials--began a spooky four-day barrage of terror warnings that started with anonymous sources proclaiming an increased level of Al Qaeda "chatter" about attacks and ended with the secretary of defense declaring that terrorists would "inevitably" obtain weapons of mass destruction. Less than one week after the initial report that Bush had been briefed last August of an Al Qaeda plan to hijack airplanes, the White House was brimming with confidence. On Tuesday, when asked if the president thought that Democrats were in retreat, Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer sounded triumphant: "He understands politics will occasionally flare up, but I think it's come and it's gone from his point of view." thenewrepublic.com

How to cause a real investigation into the Bush Administration's knowledge of events leading up to 9-11
May 23, 2002 Contributed by Ross - A "serious investigation" into events leading up to 9-11 concerning what the Bush Administration knew about a coming terrorist attack, would gain greater support in the U.S. if the following strategy were employed: Immediately after the 9-11 attacks, the Bush Administration solicited the families and spouses of victims killed in the Trade Center  for their written agreement not to sue. The average settlement is believed to have been  $1.6 million dollars: Consequently, the persons paid these settlements would still be able to  sue should an investigation  prove  the U.S. Government CONCEALED "specific information"
thepeoplesvoice.org

Bush Opposes Independent Sept. 11 Probe
May 23, 2002 By Steve Holland BERLIN (Reuters) - President Bush said Thursday he opposed a special commission probe into official handling of pre-Sept. 11 terror warnings, opting instead for a Congressional inquiry to protect intelligence. "I, of course, want the Congress to take a look at what took place," Bush told reporters during a news conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. "But since it deals with such sensitive information, in my judgement, what's best for the ongoing war against terror (is) that the investigation be done in the Intelligence Committee," Bush said. news1.iwon.com

Bush comes face to face with Europe's distrust
May 22, 2002 - President's tour appears unlikely to lift relations from historic low Julian Borger in Washington, Ian Black in Brussels and Patrick Wintour The Guardian George Bush flies into Berlin tonight to face an array of European allies who have grown increasingly irritated and apprehensive about his leadership. The last time he crossed the Atlantic, he was jeered as the "toxic Texan" for his withdrawal from the Kyoto global warming accord. This time, the stakes are much higher and the chanting crowds of European demonstrators are unlikely to be so polite. Much has changed between last July's Genoa summit and the president's return to Europe today. The US was struck a terrible blow on September 11 and Europe rallied to its side with a degree of solidarity that surprised almost everyone. But the sense of common purpose has crumbled rapidly since the beginning of the year, and now the usually tetchy transatlantic relationship has reached a critical moment. The first loud shots have been fired in a trade war, and there are profound disagreements over US plans to oust Saddam Hussein, and over policy in the Middle East. guardian.co.uk

Poll: Two-thirds think Bush administration hiding something 5/21/02 The Associated Press Two-thirds of Americans think the Bush administration is hiding something about what it knew before Sept. 11, while just over a fifth think the administration is "telling the entire truth," a CBS News poll released Tuesday said. But most, 62 percent, don't believe congressional hearings are warranted on the situation. Almost half think Democrats' questions to the White House about its handling of the Sept. 11 attacks are appropriate, and a third disagreed. The poll of 681 adults was taken Sunday and Monday and has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Among the poll's other findings: --By a narrow margin, 43 percent to 30 percent felt the Bush administration is hiding something the public needs to know. nj.com/newsflash

Albright Blasts Bush Foreign Policy May. 20, 2002JENNIFER PETER Associated Press Writer Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lashed out at President Bush and his foreign policy advisers for having a "split personality" on several global conflicts, including the war in Afghanistan. Albright's remarks at a commencement speech at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on Sunday represented an unusually strong attack against the administration. She pledged her support for Bush in the war against terrorism, but said the administration has a "bipolar disorder" in dealing with overseas disputes."They talk about the importance of the rule of law, but seem allergic to treaties designed to strengthen the rule of law in areas such as money-laundering, biological weapons, crimes against humanity, and the environment," Albright said. miami.com

The republicans are as traitorous as the corporations they serve. Rep. Jim Maloney Delivers Democratic Radio Response WASHINGTON, May 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following is the text of the Democratic radio response delivered by Rep. Jim Maloney (Conn.) on May 18 --"Hello, this is Congressman Jim Maloney of Connecticut. "Last month, while the citizens of this country were paying their income taxes, some of America's largest corporations decided they no longer wanted to pay their fair share of U.S. taxes. Instead, they sought out a tax loophole, and are trying to exploit it for their own gain. "For little more than the cost of a post office box in an offshore tax haven like Bermuda, U.S. companies are trying to avoid many millions of dollars in federal taxes. "Corporations that engage in this practice want the benefits of being an American company, but are not willing to pay their fair share. They leave that to taxpayers like you and your neighbor. "Not only are American taxpayers outraged by this practice, but so are loyal U.S. corporations who believe in corporate citizenship. "The tax dodgers may set up paper headquarters in Bermuda, but they continue operating in the United States. They still receive federal, state, and local services such as police, fire, and public schools. And, of course, they still rely on the protection of our courageous Armed Services, here at home, and around the world. The only difference is: they now get it all for free, while U.S. citizens and loyal U.S. companies are paying the bill. "This is un-patriotic, especially in light of our current economic situation. Under Republican House Leadership, we are now seeing a major, growing budget deficit, expected to be as much as 100 billion dollars this year. The huge federal surplus we had only a year ago has been virtually wiped-out, mostly because of an overly large, irresponsible Republican tax cut. "So critical programs like Social Security and Medicare are in serious jeopardy -- just as the largest generation in the history of this country is getting ready to retire. And now the Republicans are planning to give even more tax cuts to corporations. Yet, they are leaving open the loophole that is allowing corporations to abandon their U.S. responsibilities. "This is happening with a company in my home state of Connecticut. Stanley Works, manufacturer of Stanley Tools. The people of Connecticut were the backbone of Stanley and many worked in the factory their entire lives. "This factory has now closed, and the jobs have been shipped to China and Mexico. "Stanley's actions weakened Connecticut and abandoned its people. And now, the company wants to move its corporate headquarters to Bermuda to receive a tax break estimated at a shocking 30 million dollars each and every year. "Stanley prominently stamps "USA" on its products, while at the same time ships its jobs overseas, ships its corporate entity to Bermuda, and will end up evading virtually all of its U.S. taxes. Connecticut has not seen an outrage like this since Benedict Arnold -- the Connecticut traitor -- sailed away. "While large institutional investors might see a financial advantage over the course of the next 20 years, the small shareholders -- many of whom spent their working lives at Stanley -- will be penalized. They will lose a substantial portion of their retirement savings because of the capital gains tax they will be forced to pay if Stanley reincorporates in Bermuda. "Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, and I have offered the first bipartisan bill aimed at stopping this corporate expatriation outrage. "Our bill simply says that corporate expatriates, who are U.S. companies in fact, must continue to pay their fair share of U.S. taxes. "While we are working hard to stop this practice, the Republican leadership has done nothing to help close this abusive loophole. "This past week, the Republicans had an opportunity to pass our legislation, but they didn't. Instead, they cancelled a vote on a very important bill to speed up marriage penalty tax relief for millions of American families, just because the House Republican Leadership learned that Democrats had submitted an amendment to this bill to close the Bermuda tax loophole. "It is wrong for the Republicans to hold tax relief for American couples hostage while corporations open sham offices in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. It is unpatriotic and immoral for companies to do this in time of war, when we have brave American men and women in harm's way. The people of America deserve better. "This is Congressman Jim Maloney of Connecticut. Thank you for listening." usnewswire.com

Bush Fiddled While New York Burned May 18, by Michael Colby The decision to send Condoleezza Rice out before the reporters yesterday to downplay new evidence that the White House had credible warnings of Osama bin Laden's plans to hijack planes was a huge slap to the face of reason. Rice's two main arguments seeking to belittle Bush's prior knowledge lacked the credibility that the hijacking warnings were filled with. First, Rice declared that the hijackings said nothing about "using the planes as missiles." Rice's reasoning ignores the internal Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that at least one student had approached a flight school in search of training in all aspects of flying big jets with the exceptions of taking off and landing. For an intelligence agency with a near-unlimited budget and person power, it wouldn't seem that hard to put two and two together on this one. counterpunch.org

Dan Rather says U.S. patriotism leads some journalists to self- censorship
By Associated Press, 5/17/2002 LONDON (AP) Patriotism has been so strong in the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks that it sometimes prevents American journalists from asking tough questions about the war on terrorism, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said on British TV on Thursday night. ''What we are talking about here whether one wants to recognize it or not, or call it by its proper name or not is a form of self-censorship,'' Rather said on the British Broadcasting Corp. Newsnight TV show. ''It starts with a feeling of patriotism within oneself. It carries through with a certain knowledge that the country as a whole and for all the right reasons felt and continues to feel this surge of patriotism within themselves,'' he said. ''And one finds oneself saying, `I know the right question, but you know what? This is not exactly the right time to ask it,'' said Rather. As the BBC interview was being shown in Britain, the White House was facing questions about its decision not to alert the American public in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden wanted to hijack U.S. airplanes. Rather said that ''patriotism run amok'' is making it difficult for journalists to provide Americans with all the information they need about the war in Afghanistan and to hold the Bush administration accountable. He also accused the Bush administration of failing to give journalists full access to the fighting and the information it has about the war. ''There has never been an American war, small or large, in which access has been so limited as this one,'' Rather said, adding that he was sorry to say that the American people have accepted these limitations. boston.com

Bush snubs Carter call to end Cuba embargo Friday May 17, 2002 President's debt to anti-Castro lobby scuppers ex-president's plea Jonathan Franklin in Havana, The Guardian - As the former US president Jimmy Carter wraps up a week-long visit to Havana, his proposal that the US should "take the first step" towards ending the four-decade embargo against Cuba is set to clash with anti-Cuba proposals that President George Bush will announce in Miami on Monday. In a televised speech to the Cuban people this week, Mr Carter said he had come "to extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people", in an effort to end a "destructive state of belligerence for 42 years". Mr Carter's initiative was quickly supported by the Cuban Working Group, a bipartisan coalition of 40 members of the US Congress who are seeking to end the trade and travel embargo on Cuba. The Massachusetts Republican congressman William Delahunt outlined proposals that included student exchanges, food aid and increased cultural contacts between the two countries. "Adopt a policy of engagement," Mr Delahunt urged. "It has proved successful elsewhere in the world." But late on Wednesday, the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, announced that the Bush administration would continue a policy that seeks to penalise US citizens with fines of $50,000 (34,000) for visiting the island, and outlaws normal trade. guardian.co.uk

The global warning Bush must heed
May 16, 2002The US has to rejoin the climate talks if disaster is to be averted Michael Meacher Thursday The Guardian The latest scientific evidence already suggests that the impact of climate change on the UK could be sharper and faster than was previously thought. Already 1.8m residential properties in England and Wales are currently at risk from flooding, as are 1.4m hectares of agricultural land. And if we don't build climate change into our flood defence plans, we can expect a 65% increase in river flooding and a four-fold increase in coastal flooding in the second half of this century. guardian.co.uk

The darkness of dictatorship, war, bigotry, hatred, greed, and repression descends. Pray for America friends because now only god can save our country from this vengeful right wing fascist regime.

Bush wins the final battle for star wars
May 16, 2002
*Kremlin abandons bitter opposition
*Construction starts in Alaska within weeks
Ian Traynor in Moscow and Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian
The Bush administration is poised for a major political breakthrough in gaining international acceptance of its controversial star wars plans. After a year of bitter Russian opposition to a scheme which Moscow warned could jeopardise global nuclear stability and spark a new arms race, the Kremlin has accepted a White House offer to cooperate on the national missile defence project (NMD). guardian.co
Bush administration restates opposition to lifting restrictions against Cuba
15, 2002 ASSOCIATED PRESS May WASHINGTON – President Bush's spokesman said Wednesday that U.S. trade with Cuba would "prop up an oppressive regime," turning aside calls from former President Carter and some lawmakers who want economic restrictions lifted. "The president believes that the trade embargo is a vital part of U.S. policy ... because trade with Cuba doesn't benefit the people of Cuba," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. "It's used to prop up an oppressive regime." The White House defended its hard-line stand as a bipartisan group of 40 lawmakers prepared to announce support for easing the four-decade embargo on Cuba. signonsandiego.com
Gephardt
Statement on Republican Opposition to Key Amendments of Concern to Immigrant Communities
WASHINGTON, May 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following is a statement of House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt on Republican opposition to key amendments of concern to immigrant communities: House Republicans voted down two key amendments crucial to immigrant communities throughout the country. "It is disappointing to see that in spite of all the President's positive rhetoric on immigration, Congressional Republicans continue to obstruct legislative action on issues that are vital to immigrant communities. The Republican opposition to these amendments is a betrayal of the interests of immigrants and their families, who work hard, pay taxes and make invaluable contributions to America." usnewswire.com

Court stops new Bush mining policy ASSOCIATED PRESS CHARLESTON, W.Va., May 14 —  Environmentalists cheered but miners were upset Thursday after a federal judge banned the dumping of waste from mountaintop coal mining into streams. The ruling runs counter to a recent Bush administration decision to amend a clean-water rule to specifically allow the mining practice. U.S. DISTRICT Judge Charles Haden issued the ruling Wednesday, agreeing with a Kentucky citizen group that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t have the authority to issue permits to dump mountaintop waste. “We could not continue to annihilate our hills and our streams,” said Patty Wallace, a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Inc. “Too many people are willing to shove it off on the next generation.” msnbc.com

Levin blasts Bush Social Security plan
BENTON HARBOR -- U.S. Sen. Carl Levin blasted President Bush's proposals to privatize Social Security on Saturday morning, saying they would leave millions of middle-aged American facing an uncertain - and possibly underfunded retirement. The Michigan Democrat made the remarks to a packed house at Mann's Bakery in Benton Harbor as he visited Southwest Michigan to fire up supporters. Levin took time to speak with each of the 35 people who attended, listening to their concerns and answering their questions. He fielded queries on the Enron scandal, oil prices and Social Security. The Senator chose to center his talk on Social Security, and he criticized a presidential commission report calling for privatization of Social Security. "I think the public needs to become more aware of the commission report because they won't like what they hear," Levin said. "The Bush Commission report says privatize Social Security, but they don't say what will make up the lost funds for the baby boomers in their 40s and 50s." heraldpalladium.com
BENTON HARBOR -- U.S. Sen. Carl Levin blasted President Bush's proposals to privatize Social Security on Saturday morning, saying they would leave millions of middle-aged American facing an uncertain - and possibly underfunded retirement. The Michigan Democrat made the remarks to a packed house at Mann's Bakery in Benton Harbor as he visited Southwest Michigan to fire up supporters. Levin took time to speak with each of the 35 people who attended, listening to their concerns and answering their questions. He fielded queries on the Enron scandal, oil prices and Social Security. The Senator chose to center his talk on Social Security, and he criticized a presidential commission report calling for privatization of Social Security. "I think the public needs to become more aware of the commission report because they won't like what they hear," Levin said. "The Bush Commission report says privatize Social Security, but they don't say what will make up the lost funds for the baby boomers in their 40s and 50s." heraldpalladium.com

Health & Science:
GOP prescription drug plan falls short, Democrats say WASHINGTON - May 12, 2002 The Associated Press - Senate Democrats charge that the GOP plan for helping seniors afford prescription drugs would still leave many having to choose between paying bills and buying medicine. In the Democratic radio address aired Saturday, Sens. Jean Carnahan and Debbie Stabenow argued that Republicans are too interested in protecting big business to back a substantial overhaul of the system. "The Republican plan simply isn't good enough," said Carnahan, D-Mo. "Under the plan, a senior who pays $5,000 a year for prescription drugs would have to foot 86 percent of the bill. That's hardly better than no plan at all." Stabenow, D-Mich., said Americans should have access to prescription drugs from Canada, where they cost an average of 60 percent less. "These drugs meet all FDA requirements for manufacturing, safety and purity," Stabenow said. "Opening our borders would give American consumers steep and immediate price reductions. And we deserve them." nandotimes.com

Bush asks Congress to raise welfare work requirements
May 11, 2002 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - President George W. Bush asked Congress today to require more work from welfare recipients, even as state officials questioned whether they would be stuck footing the bill for his plan. Bush said both parties worked together to overhaul education this year, "and we need to do the same thing for helping people who are on welfare." The president spoke at St. Stephen’s Community House, which helps welfare recipients make the transition to work. He called St. Stephen’s a perfect example of what can be done when communities are given flexibility to design welfare programs. State official lauded the stiffer work requirements in theory, but expressed concerns about whether Washington was willing to give states enough money for increased day care and other social service programs that will be needed. showmenews.com

House prepares to pass $383 billion bill authorizing 2003 defense spending
May 10, 2002 AP, WASHINGTON – House Republicans pushed for approval of the biggest increase in military spending in a generation on Thursday, including money for a new mobile artillery cannon the Pentagon doesn't want. Lawmakers moved toward a vote even as Democrats fumed about provisions in the $383 billion measure outlining 2003 defense spending that would exempt the military from major environmental laws. Also, the White House Budget Office said President Bush's advisers would recommend a veto if the spending bill tells him not to cancel the politically popular $11 billion Crusader cannon now in development. signonsandiego.com

U.S. Mood Hits Low Point of Bush's Term, Bloomberg Poll Finds
May 9 - Less Than Half Satisfied With the Nation's Direction By David Morris | Bloomberg News Washington -- Public satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. is at its lowest point of George W. Bush's White House tenure, giving Democrats an edge as they battle for control of Congress, a Bloomberg News poll shows. The number of voting-age Americans saying they're satisfied with the country's direction was 46 percent, down from 51 percent when Bush's term began and 15 points below December's peak of 61 percent. Bush's approval rating is at 69 percent, compared with 74 percent in March and 83 percent after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The mood six months before congressional elections reflects concerns about an uneven economic recovery, including a jump in the unemployment rate to 6 percent, as well as violence in the Middle East and the failure to capture accused terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. truthout.com

Indecision reigns in the White House
May 8, 2002 - The Bush administration's approach to the Middle East has been confused, ambiguous and hugely divisive, and is set to remain so for some time, writes Julian Borger The chaos currently governing the Bush administration's foreign policy reached a new height of absurdity this week when the secretary of state, Colin Powell, announced plans for an international conference on the Middle East. Hours later, the White House said the term "conference" was "a misnomer". It was just a "meeting", one of a series of informal chats. Not only could the Bush team not agree on policy, it seemed, they could not even agree on the vocabulary. guardian.co.uk

Bush's fairy tale view of Saddam 05.08.02 Robert Scheer
Creators Syndicate - The president hopes for a fight with the last 'evil' empire
. To the elder Bush's everlasting embarrassment, Hussein survived in office longer than he did.. To the elder Bush's everlasting embarrassment, Hussein survived in office longer than he did. With its admission that an alleged link between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 attacks doesn't exist, the Bush administration has lost its most compelling argument for invading Iraq. For eight months, the most intensive international investigation in history attempted to pin the massacre at the World Trade Center, the Pennsylvania plane crash and the attack on the Pentagon on the leader the United States most wants to topple. Last week, in response to a Newsweek report, senior administration officials conceded they had no evidence to support that theory. In the end, the case for Hussein as super-villain of choice and the next target of the "war on terrorism" hung on a slim thread -- an alleged meeting in Prague between hijacker Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi diplomat. That thread has snapped, even as the United States is gearing up for another war with Iraq; the FBI and CIA now state no such meeting occurred. workingforchange.com

War on civil liberties May 7, 2002 Edward Helmore The Guardian The US refuses to either charge or free those suspected of terrorism. As the US war on terrorism meanders on, legal questions surrounding alleged terrorists and their associates have taken on all the complexity of the war itself. Despite George Bush's and US attorney general John Ashcroft's binary world view of friend or foe, many post-September 11 detainees live in a shadow world, denied the full measure of US constitutional rights, and held in custody under a system that will neither release nor charge them. guardian.co.uk

Ex-President Carter criticizes Bush's justification of missile defense May. 07, 2002 Knight Ridder Newspapers (KRT) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, speaking to an audience at Stanford University on Monday, criticized the Bush Administration's use of North Korea as justification for its controversial missile defense program and suggested the program is a diplomatic stumbling block for U.S.-China relations. "The nuclear missile defense is not designed as a defense against North Korea, which doesn't have a nuclear capability," Carter said. "It's against China, and the Chinese know that." aberdeennews.com

US threat to wreck treaty system David Teather in Houston,
Monday May 6, 2002 - The Guardian The Guardian The US will today threaten to undermine the entire system of international treaties when it withdraws from plans for a court that will act as the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal. The decision is likely to provoke anger from the international community, and provide further evidence for what many see as the Bush administration's increasing unilateralism. guardian.co.uk

LYNNE CHENEY: EMBARRASSMENT OVER OZZY FUSS AT WHITE HOUSE DINNER MAY 05, 2002, DRUDGE REPORT VP wife Lynne Cheney told associates she was "embarrassed" by the commotion surrounding thrash rocker/MTV star Ozzy Osbourne's appearance at this weekend White House Correspondence Dinner in Washington."He's hardly someone we should be applauding... not a role model, I am rather embarrassed," Cheney said after the dinner, according to sources. drudgereport.com

Bush Administration Approves Most Damaging Change to Clean Water Act in Decades; Allows Waste Dumps in Streams Nationwide WASHINGTON, May 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Bush administration today finalized changes to Clean Water Act regulations that would for the first time in 25 years allow the US Army Corps of Engineers to permit waste to fill and destroy the nation's waters. In an attempt to appease the coal mining industry and in a rush to avoid additional Congressional and public scrutiny, EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman signed the rule change. "It says something when an administration takes an action like this late on a Friday -- that they hope no one sees it," said Joan Mulhern, senior legislative counsel for Earthjustice. "This is a 'Friday Night Massacre' for our nation's waters and it's the biggest threat to our nation's waters in decades, perhaps since the Clean Water Act passed 30 years ago. Allowing masses of industrial wastes to be dumped in streams, lakes, rivers, and wetlands is contrary to the very purpose of the Clean Water Act and represents a major weakening of current clean water law." usnewswire.com

Taxpayers for Common Sense: Farm Bill Fleeces Taxpayers, Harms Family Farmers
WASHINGTON, May 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following statement is from Joe Theissen, executive director of Taxpayers for Common Sense in response to final passage of H.R. 2646, the Farm Bill Conference Report: The Farm Bill agreed to by the House today is flawed farm policy that will continue to throw billions of dollars at the biggest, most profitable farms. This vote will boost agriculture spending by more than 50 percent and drive up the budget deficit while continuing the national travesty of shifting the lion's share of federal aid away from those who most need the support. usnewswire.com

Remarks by Gephardt, Daschle on Middle East, Prescription Drugs, Trade Bills
  May 2, WASHINGTON /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following transcript was released today by the office of House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt: DASCHLE: Well, Republicans can't help themselves. They talk a good line on education. But every time that line is examined, there is no substance. Just as with prescription drugs. You've got an administration that is gutting the student loan program. You've got an administration that is totally underfunding No Child Left Behind program, by hundreds of millions, if not $1 billion. So you've got an administration that says they're for education, but not willing to put their money where their mouth is, when it comes to the commitment to investment in education. usnewswire.com

Gephardt, House Democrats And Students To Hold Rally Opposing Bush Plan To Cut Federal Student Loans May 1, News Advisory: House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt will hold a rally today with House Democrats and students to oppose a Republican proposal to cut federal student loans. The Bush proposal would prevent students from consolidating their loans and raise interest rates on student loans in order to cover budget deficits. usnewswire.com WHAT: Democratic Rally Opposing Administration's Student Loan Cuts WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, 11 a.m. WHERE: Cannon Caucus Room, 345 Cannon.

 

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