JUNE 30-21, 02 Archives

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Gore Bashes Bush Policy As Cause of Biz Scandals June 30, 2002 By JOEL SIEGEL and LEO STANDORA By JOEL SIEGEL and LEO STANDORA Daily News Staff Writers Beating what's likely to be the Democratic war drum in this year's elections, Al Gore blamed the nation's economic scandals — from Enron to WorldCom — last night on President Bush's economic policies. "You see now what it means to have an administration that's that committed to fighting and working on behalf of the powerful, and letting the people of this country get the short end of the stick," Gore told more than 200 supporters at a Manhattan fund-raiser. It was his strongest attack yet on Bush's economic policies and a preview of the likely Democratic strategy for November's elections. "What we see now is a lack of confidence in our national economic policy, in the integrity of our accounting system, in the way government is being run," Gore told more than 200 supporters in Lot 61, a trendy Chelsea night spot. The private companies, he said, "are not telling the truth about their future liabilities so they can shovel money out to executives at the top. That is exactly what the Bush-Cheney tax plan will do. They are misleading the country about the extent of the liabilities they are putting on us ... on you." nydailynews.com

Daschle Assails Bush Record June 30, 2002 By Jim VandeHei Senate Leader Faults Policies, Political Tactics - Washington Post Staff Writer Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) yesterday offered an unusually pointed critique of President Bush for his handling of the economy and other domestic concerns and accused him of being perhaps the most political chief executive in history. "Almost on every one of the issues involving domestic policy, he has been a source of great disappointment," Daschle said yesterday during a lunch with Washington Post reporters and editors. "I think his record on the economy is a disaster. I think his record on fiscal policy is a disaster. I think his position on education has fallen far short of expectations." washingtonpost.com

WorldCom could disconnect Bush June 30 By Nicholas M. Horrock UPI Chief White House Correspondent WASHINGTON,  (UPI) -- President George W. Bush used his traditional Saturday radio address to reassure Americans that the economy "remains fundamentally sound" in the wake of WorldCom Inc.'s disclosure last Tuesday that it hid nearly $4 billion in expenses so it could show investors a profit. But Bush's statement came as both the White House and the Democrats recognized that WorldCom Inc. and more than a score of other corporate reports or allegations of malfeasance moved boardroom scandals to center stage with the earmarks of a major political as well as a financial crisis. Only Friday, Xerox Corp. said accounting errors forced it to restate $6.4 billion in revenue for the past five years, more than twice the $3 billion the company estimated when it settled fraud charges with Securities and Exchange Commission. upi.com

Corporate scandals: Bush pledges crackdown;
Democrats blame GOP policies for corrupt conditions 06-29-2002 By Sandra Sobieraj Associated Press Writer By Sandra Sobieraj Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON Democrats accused Republicans of creating "anything goes" corporate standards ripe for fraud. Following WorldCom's disclosure earlier this week that it misrepresented $3.8 billion in expenses, Xerox announced Friday that it, too, had overstated revenue by billions of dollars. Majority Leader Tom Daschle opened the day's business on the Senate floor with a denunciation of "a deregulatory, permissive atmosphere that has relied too much on corporate America to police itself." He listed companies that have been in hot water, including Halliburton, where Vice President Dick Cheney was chief executive. annistonstar.com

FBI Report: Major Crime in U.S. Increased 2 Percent Last Year, Including 3 Percent Rise in Murders
June 28 The Associated Press W A S H I N G T O N, — Major crime increased in the United States last year for the first time in a decade, including a 3.1 percent increase in murders, a law enforcement official said Saturday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity about contents of an annual report to be released Monday by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, said it will show jumps in robberies, burglaries and car thefts. Overall, major crimes in 2001 were up by 2 percent from 2000, the official said. abcnews.go.com

Supreme Court Moves US Education to the Right 28 June, 2002 WASHINGTON | With a pair of stunning rulings the U.S. Supreme Court today laid the groundwork for a US educational system that would conform to politically conservative ideology. A Court sharply divided along political lines ruled that public money can be applied to religious-school tuition. The ruling not only gave a major boost to fledgeling voucher initiatives nationwide, but also had profound implications for how the doctrine of separation of church and state should be applied in educational systems. truthout.com

350 revenge crimes after September 11 June 28, 2002 Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles At least 350 crimes, including bomb plots, have been committed against people of Middle Eastern origin or appearance in retaliation for the September 11 attacks, according to the US justice department. Eighty prosecutions have been brought in relation to the crimes, which also include shootings and vandalism. In one case, two members of a Jewish extremist group have been charged over an alleged plot to blow up a mosque, as well as the office of an Arab-American congressman. guardian.co.uk

Navratilova says US can be as oppressive as Czechoslovakia
June 27, 2002 The Guardian Kate Connolly in Berlin The tennis legend Martina Navratilova has hit out at her adoptive homeland, the United States, saying that in some ways it is as manipulative and oppressive as the Czechoslovak communist regime from which she fled 27 years ago. Writing in today's edition of the German weekly Die Zeit, Navratilova says she escaped Czechoslovakia because it did not allow independent thought or freedom of speech - but she had ended up in a similarly oppressive world. "The most absurd thing about my escape from injustice was that I simply exchanged one system which oppressed opinion for another," she said. guardian.co

Bush's New Vision Thing
27 June 2002 - Just don't expect peace in the middle east. A ONE-DAY WONDER: That's what President Bush's "political assassination" of Yasser Arafat - as one Israeli analyst put it - looks like to us. Makes for a day of headlines but no lasting effect. The Israeli government - and its political allies in the United States - vigorously applauded Monday's Rose Garden speech, and why not? Bush has adopted the entire position of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which puts peace negotiations and an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza behind several high hurdles that no one expects the Palestinians to jump. philly.com

G-8 security operation - the stifling and criminalizing of dissent
27 June 2002 By David Adelaide The arrangements surrounding this week’s G-8 summit in Kananaskis County, Alberta underline that the assembled leaders are representatives of a privileged minority that is increasingly haunted by the fear of popular unrest. The leaders of the world’s wealthiest industrial nations—the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union—arrived in nearby Calgary by executive jet, then were helicoptered to the wilderness fortress cum Rocky Mountain recreation village of Kananaskis, so they could be spared the sight of many thousands of protestors. wsws.org

George W's bloody folly
June 26, 2002 Bush's fantasy Middle East plan is bound to fail. It will strengthen those who want war, not peace Jonathan Freedland The Guardian That was a fantastic speech. Quite literally, fantastic. George Bush's address on the Middle East, delivered outside the White House on Monday evening, consisted, from beginning to end, of fantasy. It bore so little relation to reality that diplomats around the world spent yesterday shaking their heads in disbelief, before sinking into gloom and despair. Our own Foreign Office tried gamely to spot the odd nugget of sense in the Bush text - but, they admitted, it was an uphill struggle. Israelis committed to a political resolution of the conflict were heartbroken. Even Shimon Peres, foreign minister in Ariel Sharon's coalition, reportedly called the speech "a fatal mistake", warning: "A bloodbath can be expected." guardian.co.uk

Leahy Says Bush Seeks Department 'Above the Law '
Jun. 26, 2002 (Reuters) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy charged on Wednesday that the Bush administration was effectively asking Congress to put its proposed department to combat terrorism "above the law." Leahy told Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge that to win swift congressional approval of the department -- designed to guard against another Sept. 11-like attack -- the administration must revise or drop provisions that would exempt the operation from a number of legal requirements. aberdeennews.com

Gephardt Statement on Medicare Prescription Drug Benefits
26 June, 2002 "This issue touches everybody's life. It affects my mother. At least one-third of Medicare beneficiaries do not have coverage for drugs - others are forced  to choose between food and medicine. "Democrats have heard these voices and this week we are seeking to enact strong legislation in response to the American people's calls and desires. The Democratic Medicare prescription drug plan is available to all - it includes a guaranteed affordable premium - it provides continuous coverage to Medicare beneficiaries - it makes Medicare stronger in the 21st century - it is supported by a large majority of senior organizations and consumer groups. "Republicans have a pharmaceutical industry plan that fails on all these counts. Industry lobbyists probably have writers' cramp from all the work they've been doing on the Republican plan. The big drug companies strongly endorse the Republican plan because that plan will protect industry profits, force seniors into the private insurance market and ultimately lead to the privatization of Medicare. The Republican plan contains a big donut hole and fails to guarantee access to coverage for drugs. truthout.com

Bush's Grim Vision June 25, 2002 By Nat Parry In the nine months since Sept. 11, George W. Bush has put the United States on a course that is so bleak that few analysts have – as the saying goes – connected the dots. If they had, they would see an outline of a future that mixes constant war overseas with abridgment of constitutional freedoms at home, a picture drawn by a politician who once joked, "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier – so long as I'm the dictator." The dots are certainly there. Bush's speech at West Point on June 1 asserted a unilateral U.S. right to overthrow any government in the world that is deemed a threat to American security, a position so sweeping that it lacks historical precedent. "If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long," Bush said in describing what he calls a "new doctrine" and what some acolytes have dubbed the "Bush Doctrine." consortiumnews.com

Bush Plays Shell Game with African Lives
0206aids.pdf June 25, 2002 by Salih Booker On the eve of a meeting of rich country leaders in Canada, President Bush has brought out a "new initiative" promising $500 million to prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to children. Intended to stave off the embarrassment of coming empty-handed to a summit trumpeted as focusing on Africa, the White House initiative is in fact a cynical move to derail more effective action against AIDS. With a bipartisan congressional coalition poised to approve an additional $500 million or more in AIDS funding for fiscal year 2002, President Bush first put the squeeze on Republican senators to cut the total back to $200 million, half of which could go to the Global AIDS Fund and half for bilateral programs to cut mother-to-child transmission. Then he offered his plan, which claims the $200 million as his own while only promising to ask Congress for another $300 million two years from now. His plan would allow no additional money for the Global Fund. The administration justifies the smaller amounts and the go-slow timetable by the need to first show "results." But, with 8,000 people around the world dying of AIDS daily (some 6,000 of them in sub-Saharan Africa), the results of Bush's stalling action are crystal-clear: more dead people. fpif.org

US torture of John Walker Lindh exposed as frame-up continues 25 June 2002 By John Andrews Defense attorneys for John Walker Lindh filed documents describing how, after barely surviving atrocities that claimed the lives of hundreds of his companions, the so-called “American Taliban” was tortured while the FBI wrangled statements out of him in violation of his Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against himself. The new filings are for a crucial hearing on July 15 to determine whether statements made by Lindh after his capture with an Afghan Army unit will be suppressed or allowed into evidence at trial. Lindh, who turned 21 three months ago, was found barely alive among the handful of Taliban prisoners who survived the US-backed massacre at Qala-i-Jangi fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan late last November. The upcoming suppression hearing is widely viewed as pivotal in the case. Prosecutors acknowledge that they have little evidence outside of Lindh’s own statements to support their charges that he conspired to murder US citizens and illegally supported terrorist organizations. The charges carry sentences ranging from decades to life in prison. Trial is set to begin in Alexandria, Virginia, within a few miles of the Pentagon, on August 26 wsws.org

President Bush Returns to His Fraternity Roots 25 June 2002 by Richard Reeves PARIS -- "How did he ever get to be president?" asked a French reporter watching George W. Bush in a joint press conference with the president of France, Jacques Chirac, in the splendor of the Elysee Palace last week. "That's the fraternity boy we covered in the 2000 campaign," said another American reporter. Bush was slow, forgetful, smirky and downright nasty -- as he often was as a candidate. It was as if Sept. 11, 2001, and all the wars since had never happened. When Bush could not put together an answer to a question, the Texan, as they like to call him here, smiled and said: "That's what happens when you're over 55." He turned to Chirac and said, "You know what I mean?" This time Chirac, who is 69 years old, did not seem amused at all. The most shocking thing to many Europeans about the trip was that Bush chose not to make an issue of open Soviet aid to help Iran build a nuclear army. "Dumb Quixote" was the title of a cartoon in the Observer in London, showing Bush riding off on his old horse in the direction of Iraq, which they consider a far less powerful and dangerous country than Iran. In Germany the head of the European Affairs Committee there, Friedbert Pfluger, had this to say: "All over Europe, people look at Bush and think, 'There's someone who just does what he wants, who talks about crusades and divides the world into good and evil. ... We're going to get drawn into something big and awful that's beyond our control." uexpress.com

Resistance is Futile as G8 Meets in Remote Canadian Hideaway
June 25, 2002 Summit site sealed off amid fear of protests and terrorism by Larry Elliott and Charlotte Denny If Tony Blair is lucky when he arrives in Kananaskis, Alberta, next Tuesday night for the annual summit of leaders from the world's eight most powerful economies, he might see a grizzly bear, a bald eagle, a cougar or wolf. One thing he is unlikely to see is any anti-globalization protesters. commondreams.org

Bush and Ashcroft are attempting to suspend the 'Great Writ' of habeas corpus June 25, 2002 By Timothy Lynch "The Bush administration has now asserted that (a) citizens can be taken into custody as enemy combatants; (b) that, beyond such battlefield detainees, citizens can also be taken off the streets of any American town; and (c) that civilian courts cannot intervene to inquire into the legality of such arrests and detentions. When these propositions are taken together as a whole, the implications are very disturbing. "The bottom line is that President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft are attempting to suspend the 'Great Writ' of habeas corpus, which allows Americans to get into a court of law to challenge the legality of their arrest and to have their liberty restored if the court agrees that the arrest was unlawful. Without judicial review, the police can arrest people without warrants and jail people without trials. "The controversial 'military order' that Bush issued last November has, in effect, now been extended to American citizens--and the writ of habeas corpus is now under assault. President Bush seems to believe that his commander-in-chief power gives him the authority to ignore every other part of the Constitution when he deems it necessary. The president is profoundly mistaken about that -- and the judiciary should resist this power grab." bushwatch.net

GW Bush: The Man is Stupid
June 24, 2002 by Joan Smith I have lost count of the times I have been ticked off in recent months, sometimes by quite senior politicians, for suggesting that George W Bush is a complete idiot. He is nowhere near as stupid as he seems, I have been told, a proposition that has some force solely because it is hard to imagine any world leader being afflicted with quite the degree of bovine incomprehension that the President habitually displays. On Monday, for instance, he was on cracking form, announcing in halting English – you'd think he'd be fluent by now – that a dangerous terrorist had been detained and "is now off the streets, where he should be." commondreams.org

Bush Fiddles While World Melts June 24, 2002 By Harley Sorensen In a more advanced civilization, President George W. Bush would be something less than a national hero. In our backwoodsy, topsy-turvy world, he gets the highest approval ratings ever. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, but our fearless (and clueless) leader does what he does best, wage never-ending war. As the world, led by our nation, burns fossil fuels at an ever-increasing rate, Bush simply shrugs. "That's life," he seems to say, and if his daughters develop asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, well, heck, they probably would have gotten it anyway.  sfgate.com

Report Predicts Deep Benefit Cuts Under Bush Social Security Plan June 24, 2002 by Richard W. Stevenson WASHINGTON, — Opponents of President Bush's plan to create personal investment accounts within Social Security released a report today concluding that the administration's approach would lead to deep cuts in retirement benefits and still require trillions of dollars in additional financing to keep the system solvent. commondreams.org

NOW Blasts Wal-Mart Workplace Abuses, Names The Company A Merchant Of Shame
WASHINGTON, June 24 /U.S. Newswire/ -- "Today the National Organization for Women is naming Wal-Mart -- the nation's largest company with close to one million employees -- a Merchant of Shame," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "Wal-Mart faces numerous allegations of sex discrimination in pay, promotion and compensation; of wage abuses, violation of child labor laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act; exclusion of contraceptive coverage in employee insurance plans and discrimination on the basic of sexual orientation. The list of Wal-Mart's workplace 'don'ts' is far too long." usnewswire.com

Democrats Blast Republican Medicare Drug Plan June 24, 2002 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats on Saturday criticized a Republican Medicare prescription drug plan as providing senior citizens with a "phantom benefit" and likened it to buying a car sight unseen. Rep. John Dingell of Michigan said in the weekly Democratic radio address that congressional Republicans were like car dealers trying to sell seniors a car they haven't seen. "Republicans proposed a plan that provides a phantom benefit, that doesn't tell you what you will have to pay, that doesn't tell you what you will get, that relies on private insurance plans -- that don't even exist today -- to give you prescription drug benefits," Dingell said. "Insurance bureaucrats will decide what drugs you can get, not your doctors," he added. "It will cover a mere 20 percent of senior citizens' drug costs over the next 10 years. And it will do nothing to control the escalating costs of prescription drugs." news1.iwon.com

Civil wrongs June 24, 2002 By Maya Jaggi Since September 11, President Bush's war on terror has highlighted issues of immigration, nationality, race and culture, and widened the divide between 'insiders' and 'outsiders'. And what that means, according to law professor and author Patricia Williams, is that a great many Americans have more to fear than ever. guardian.co.uk

Stalin and Bush: The Politicization of Science June 24, 2002 by Marty Jezer On June 3, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a report confirming that the threat of global warming is as serious as scientists have said. The report also confirms that “the changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities....” The impact of rising temperatures will be felt “within decades,” it states. Ice caps and mountain glaciers will melt, the sea will rise, and ecological systems will change; there will be floods, heat waves, and more dangerous storms. Low-level areas of the United States, like southern Florida and the barrier island developments along the Carolina coast will likely disappear. The report, sent to the United Nations as mandated by a treaty signed by George W. Bush’s father, was put on the EPA web site without a press release or any public announcement. It’s no wonder that the Bush Administration was trying to hide it. Bush has always insisted that the threat of global warming does not exist. commondreams.org

FEDS OPPOSE SUITS vs. AIRLINES June 24, 2002 June 24, 2002 By JOHN LEHMANN Families of victims killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks who are suing the airlines are facing a government attempt to stymie their cases, The Post has learned. A letter from the U.S. attorney's office asks a federal judge to temporarily stop the families' lawyers from seeking any documents in the suits filed in Manhattan federal court against United Air Lines and American Airlines. The letter, obtained by The Post, argues that the discovery of documents raises "grave national security concerns" and warns that the federal government will "intervene in these cases," even though it is not a party. The move has angered the families' lawyers, who accuse the government of trying to subvert legal processes to prevent more intelligence failures coming to light and to push victims' families into the federal compensation fund. nypost.com

June 23, "You namby-pamby liberals still don't get it," said ST. "They want it ALL. They're going to push you, bully you, threaten you, lie to you, ruin you until someone pushes them back and says enough. Trying to accommodate them, as the Democrat party leaders tend to do, just encourages them. It justifies their by-the-throat, bullyboy strategy. All they respect is power. Present them with a unified opposition, which threatens them with painful consequences, and they'll back off, or, more likely, first try another way to get around you. But at least you'll have slowed them down and put some fear into them."
      31 Congressman are not namby-pamby. Finally we have a unified opposition to Bush. We must stand behind these brave members of congress and encourage others to follow their lead. Please visit the "take Action" page of this web site for more information about how to contact your congressional representatives.

Unusual Courage from 31 Members of Congress
June 23, 2002 by David Krieger Thirty-one courageous members of Congress, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), are challenging the president's unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. These representatives deserve our appreciation for taking action to prevent Mr. Bush from trampling on the Constitution in his continuing effort to undermine international law and expand US military domination. This is a critical challenge to the abuse of presidential authority. A lot is riding on it. If the president can unilaterally void our laws, which ones will be the next to go? Perhaps the first and fourth amendments? If your congressional representative is not one of the 31 parties to this lawsuit, he or she should be asked why not and urged to join the lawsuit and support it in the Congress. commondreams.org

Dirty-Bomb Politics June 23, 2002 By Mary McGrory If the mugging of Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia is a fair indicator of what is to come, the fall elections will be ugly. Cleland, a decorated veteran and triple amputee, was attacked by his Republican opponent, Rep. Saxby Chambliss, "for breaking his oath to protect and defend the Constitution." washingtonpost.com

Facing mid-term elections, the President's squabbling team has never looked so vulnerable.
June 23, 2002 Ed Vulliamy Ed Vulliamy The invitation arrived at the White House a few days before last week's historic World Cup victory by the United States over Mexico. It was from the Mexican President Vincente Fox, suggesting that President George Bush and he watch the game together, as a gesture of friendship between neighbouring nations. The reply came, from a member of Bush's staff: the President would be asleep at that hour of the night. It mattered little, since most of his nation was likewise in slumber - but the rebuff spoke volumes to columnists and Washington DC observers about the clueless, crassly selfish quality of a President and a presidency which are suddenly lurching, rather than governing, at the apex of American power. observer.co

June 22,
Minority voters who had never committed crimes complained of having their names removed from voting rolls in a purge of "ex-felons," and of harassment by poll workers and law-enforcement officials. A US Commission on Civil Rights review condemned Florida's Governor, Jeb Bush, and its Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, for running an election marked by "injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency," thenation.com
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, secretary of state blast civil rights commission chairwoman 6/22/02 The Associated Press   MIAMI (AP) -- Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris criticized the chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on Friday for saying they have not done enough to ensure the state's flawed presidential election isn't repeated. Bush called Mary Frances Berry's commission "a badly discredited institution," and said it was reopening a controversy that "most Floridians have long forgotten." nj.com

Disease Threat Cited in Global Warming Report predicts virulence and range will grow June 22, 2002 by Beth Daley Warming temperatures around the world are increasing the geographical range and virulence of diseases, a trend that could mean more devastating epidemics in humans, animals, and plants, according to a report published in the magazine Science yesterday. Already, the dengue virus in Latin America and Rift Valley fever in the Middle East, which can cause people to vomit blood, have expanded their deadly range.  commondreams.org

Air Force officer disciplined for saying Bush allowed September 11 attacks
21 June 2002 - Hijacker attended US military school By Jerry Isaacs A US Air Force officer in California recently accused President Bush of deliberately allowing the September 11 terror attacks to take place. Lieutenant Colonel Butler, who wrote in a letter to the editor of the Monterey County Herald charging that “Bush knew about the impending attacks,” was vice chancellor for student affairs at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California—a US military facility that one or more of the hijackers reportedly attended during the 1990s. The officer has been relieved of his command and faces further discipline. In his May 26 letter to the newspaper, Butler responded to Bush supporters, who had written the paper opposing the congressional investigation into the September 11 events. He wrote: “Of course President Bush knew about the impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. His daddy had Saddam and he needed Osama. His presidency was going nowhere. He wasn’t elected by the American people, but placed in the Oval Office by a conservative supreme court. The economy was sliding into the usual Republican pits and he needed something on which to hang his presidency.... This guy is a joke. What is sleazy and contemptible is the President of the United States not telling the American people what he knows for political gain.” wsws.org



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