DECEMBER 10-1, 02 Archives

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Bmush sets up team to push tax cuts (10/12/2002) By Simon English in New York President Bush named a new economic team yesterday to help him force through the tax cuts he believes are necessary to ensure he wins a second term in office. Sticking to his favoured recruiting ground of Wall Street and the corporate world, he named the head of a railroad operator to be his new treasury secretary, following the resignation of the accident-prone Paul O'Neill on Friday./

O’NEILL FIRED OVER ‘IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID’ REMARK December 9, 2002 ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid,’ Bush Shot Back - A clearer picture of the events leading up to Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill’s forced resignation was revealed today, as White House aides said that Mr. O’Neill was undone by unintentionally calling the President “stupid” in a meeting last week. The heated exchange occurred at the White House late Thursday night, aides said, when Mr. O’Neill urged the President to focus more on the economy, telling Mr. Bush, 
“Remember, it’s the economy, stupid.” Mr. Bush’s face reportedly reddened with rage after Mr. O’Neill made his remark. 
“I know it’s the economy,” the President replied, “and don’t call me ‘stupid.’”
Mr. O’Neill quickly defended his “it’s the economy, stupid” remark as a figure of speech, but the President “would have none of it,” aides said.
“I know when someone’s called me stupid, and you just called me stupid,” Mr. Bush said. “Well if I’m stupid, you’re a dickwad. How do you like them apples?”
Mr. O’Neill, realizing that he had walked into a rhetorical minefield, quickly attempted to mend fences with the President.
“When I said ‘it’s the economy, stupid,’ I just meant that the economy is something you should focus more on,” Mr. O’Neill said.
“Who are you calling a moron?” a furious Mr. Bush demanded, leaping from his chair.
“It’s ‘whom,’” corrected Lawrence B. Lindsey, director of the National Economic Council, who was also present at the meeting.
Moments after Mr. Lindsey’s “whom” remark, the President called him a “smart-ass” and abruptly demanded his resignation as well.
“If there’s one thing the President hates more than being called stupid, it’s being corrected on that whole who-whom thing,” one aide said.

Former UN weapons inspector denounces Bush war plans against Iraq 9 December 2002 By Jerry Isaacs Scott Ritter speaks at Oakland University in Michigan  Former United Nations chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter denounced the Bush administration’s war preparations against Iraq at a public appearance in the Detroit area last week. Some three hundred students, faculty members and others attended his December 2 speech at Oakland University, near Pontiac, Michigan.An ex-US Marine and CIA intelligence officer who served as a weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, Ritter is well placed to expose the lies of the Bush administration about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction. He has consistently argued that US charges of Iraqi possession of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are groundless.

Henry Kissinger and two of his 200,000 innocent victims

Back, But Not By Popular Demand December 9, 2002 By David Greenberg Who says there are no second acts in American life? Two weeks ago, President Bush placed Henry Kissinger, a veteran of the Nixonian era of secrecy, White House intrigue and dubious foreign ventures, in charge of uncovering intelligence and security flaws preceding the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Then last week, the president gave the National Security Council's top Middle East job to Iran-contra rogue Elliott Abrams. Meanwhile, outrage has belatedly fastened on February's naming of another Iran-contrarian, the pipe-puffing John Poindexter, to run a Big Brother-like Pentagon operation called Total Information Awareness that promises -- if news reports can be believed -- to harvest all known information about everybody into a searchable Internet database. Perhaps we'll see Poindexter and Abrams convene a reunion within the administration, where they can relive their heyday with other contra war alumni who are serving in the administration. You might think that a few of these folks would have had their careers ended by their misdeeds. And you might think that being tough on crime, long a GOP mantra, begins at home. You'd be wrong: On the matter of these men's sordid pasts, the Bush administration has shown an indulgence and permissiveness that would make Dr. Spock blanch. (If a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who's been indicted.) As a result, these vintage villains are not on parole but on parade. It's an '80s nostalgia party, as thrown by Ed Meese.

The Most Biased Name in News - Fox News Channel's extraordinary right-wing tilt December 8, 2002 By Seth Ackerman Since its 1996 launch, Fox has become a central hub of the conservative movement's well-oiled media machine. Together with the GOP organization and its satellite think tanks and advocacy groups, this network of fiercely partisan outlets--such as the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative talk-radio shows like Rush Limbaugh's--forms a highly effective right-wing echo chamber where GOP-friendly news stories can be promoted, repeated and amplified. Fox knows how to play this game better than anyone. Yet, at the same time, the network bristles at the slightest suggestion of a conservative tilt. In fact, wrapping itself in slogans like "Fair and balanced" and "We report, you decide," Fox argues precisely the opposite: Far from being a biased network, Fox argues, it is the only unbiased network. So far, Fox's strategy of aggressive denial has worked surprisingly well; faced with its unblinking refusal to admit any conservative tilt at all, some commentators have simply acquiesced to the network's own self-assessment. FAIR has decided to take a closer look.

The secret to the conservative media’s success in reshaping America’s political landscape is not the pervasive nastiness, though that’s played a role. December 8, 2002 The key is that conservatives have created a “media home” for tens of millions of like-minded viewers, listeners and readers across the country. Conservatives anywhere can tune in Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or a host of other broadcast outlets. They can open the pages of the Wall Street Journal editorial section, the Washington Times, the Weekly Standard or dozens of other print or Internet publications. There, they will find their interests addressed, their outlook validated, their enemies unmasked. In other words, conservatives are given a comfort zone by their national media, which in turn gives them a political cohesion. They are part of a team with shared goals. But what makes this conservative media such a potent political force is the lack of anything comparable on the liberal side of the U.S. political divide. There is no liberal “media home” remotely like what the conservatives have built.

Bush Administration Revs Up Nuclear Program December 8, 2002 By Conn Hallinan When 200 people showed up at the gates of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory last month demanding the right to "inspect" the sprawling complex for "weapons of mass destruction," the press either ignored it or dismissed it as clever political theater. But people had better start paying attention to what Livermore, and its sister labs at Los Alamos and Sandia, are up to, which includes:
  • Undermining the 1972 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty;
  • Sabotaging the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;
  • And testing bio-weapons in the heart of the Bay Area.

The demand for "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access" to Livermore--language lifted from the UN Security Council resolution on Iraq--might seem tongue-in-cheek, but representatives from California Peace Action, Tri-Valley CARES, Western States Legal Foundation, and Veterans for Peace were dead serious. "We are demanding an end to all weapons of mass destruction," Tara Dorabji of Tri-Valley CARES told the crowd, "whether developed in the suburbs by the University of California scientists or in Iraq."

New Arctic Research Underscores Urgency of CO2 Reduction Efforts Says World Wildlife Fund WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today's announcement by the National Snow and Ice Data Center that there was less arctic sea ice this summer than ever before measured prompted World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to underscore the urgency of taking all available steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. News of the new record low follows NASA's recent announcement of melting in the Arctic at rates faster than previously thought. "This trend of disappearing arctic sea ice is one example of the environmental damage that can be linked to carbon dioxide emissions," said Jennifer Morgan, director of the WWF Climate Change Program. "When we have the means to reduce CO2 emissions and prevent further damage, inaction is irresponsible. National leaders must act now to implement energy efficiency measures and increase the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar before it's too late."  

'Burning Bush' comment draws prison term Man plans to appeal December 8, 2002 SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (AP) -- A man who made a remark about a "burning Bush" during the president's March 2001 trip to Sioux Falls was sentenced Friday to 37 months in prison. Richard Humphreys of Portland, Oregon was convicted in September of threatening to kill or harm the president and said he plans to appeal. He has said the comment was a prophecy protected under his right to free speech. Humphreys said he got into a barroom discussion in nearby Watertown with a truck driver. A bartender who overheard the conversation realized the president was to visit Sioux Falls the next day and told police Humphreys talked about a "burning Bush" and the possibility of someone pouring a flammable liquid on Bush and lighting it. "I said God might speak to the world through a burning Bush," Humphreys testified during his trial. "I had said that before and I thought it was funny."

Remember this Republican monster, Paul O'Neill? He called for the elimination of taxes on corporations and the abolition of Social Security and Medicare, and he said, "The collapse of Enron illustrates the genius of capitalism".
O'Neill quits White House
November 7, 2002 By BILL JAMIESON PAUL O’Neill, the accident-prone US Treasury Secretary, and top economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey have lost their jobs in a White House reshuffle amid growing concerns over lack of confidence in the stewardship of US economic policy. O’Neill’s resignation, announced in a curt letter at the Treasury, ended a two-year period in office often puctuated by gaffes. In the recent US congressional elections there had been criticism of the former industrialist’s ability to be the chief spokesman for the world’s biggest economy. An administration official said O’Neill quit "at the request of the White House," making him the first Bush Cabinet official to leave. Less than an hour later, Lindsey, who is director of the National Economic Council, also tendered his resignation.

Bush administration drives United Airlines into bankruptcy 7 December 2002 By Kate Randall Government panel demands all-out attack on airline workers. The decision of the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) to reject United Airlines’ request for $1.8 billion in loan guarantees is the signal from the Bush administration for an unprecedented attack on the jobs, wages and working conditions of United Airlines employees and workers throughout the industry. The three-member ATSB—with representatives appointed by the White House from the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the Department of Transportation—rejected as inadequate United’s plan to impose $5.2 billion in concessions on its workforce. The board reportedly demanded that $9 billion be wrenched from United employees for the loan guarantees even to be considered. The rejection of the loan package is expected to force United to file for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of the weekend.

Bush isn't a moron, he's a cunning sociopath December 7, 2002—If any of us are to have a future worth having, the world's leaders, the members of Congress, the US corporate media and people of all political persuasions who value freedom and democracy had better start seeing George W. Bush for what he is: a sociopath and a passive serial killer.

RecommendedMoyers on O'Reilly 7 December, 2002 By Bill Moyers In a recent column and broadcast Bill O'Reilly makes a number of assertions about me, in matters large and small, that are both undocumented and false. It's time to set the record straight. First, on a rather trivial level, Mr. O'Reilly asserted that I refused to come to the phone when he called. He's not telling the truth. One of his staff called my assistant to ask if I would appear on Mr. O'Reilly's show, but I declined. I would never refuse a call from Mr. O'Reilly, although my ears are not quite tuned to his decibel level.

HBO Recycling Gulf War Hoax?
December 7, 2002 The fraudulent story of Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators during the occupation of Kuwait in 1990 is depicted as if it were true in “Live from Baghdad," the HBO film premiering on the cable network this Saturday that purports to tell the story behind CNN’s coverage of the Gulf War. HBO and CNN are both owned by the AOL Time Warner media conglomerate. In the months before the Gulf War began, media uncritically repeated the claim that Iraqi soldiers were removing Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The story was launched by the testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in October 1990. Eventually, as repeated in the media by the first President Bush and countless others, it blossomed into a tale involving over 300 Kuwaiti babies. What was not reported at the time was the fact that the public relations company Hill & Knowlton was partly behind the effort, and the girl who testified was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington. Subsequent investigations, including one by Amnesty International, found no evidence for the claims (ABC World News Tonight, 3/15/91).

Medical experts warn of devastating impact of US war vs. Iraq 6 December 2002 By Simon Wheelan A new report by Medact, an organisation of medical experts, predicts a nightmare scenario of possibly millions of deaths, human suffering and infrastructure collapse if the United States once again goes to war against Iraq. Medact’s report is entitled Collateral Damage: the health and environmental costs of war on Iraq. It explains how in the event of the Bush administration utilising nuclear weapons in their effort to subjugate Iraq, as many as four million Iraqi civilians could be killed. Before the last Persian Gulf War 11 years ago, the Baathist regime was threatened with nuclear retaliation if it attacked Israel with chemical weapons. Should the forthcoming war threaten to become a drawn out affair, the American and the British governments have already expressed a willingness to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

US manufacturing continues to decline: thousands more layoffs 6 December 2002 By David Walsh Manufacturing in the US declined for the third straight month in November, as major corporations continue to shed thousands of jobs. Contrary to predictions by financial analysts, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its index of manufacturing activity stood at 49.2 last month; any figure below 50 represents a contraction. New manufacturing orders fell for the first time since August, causing particular concern. The employment component of the index fell to its lowest level since January. Overall automobile sales dropped by 12.8 percent in November, with US automakers faring considerably worse. Combined sales for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler fell 18 percent compared to November 2001. The domestic auto manufacturers’ share of the US market fell to an all-time low last month, 58.8 percent.

ACTION ALERT: FCC Ready to Roll Back Limits on Media Consolidation December 6, 2002 A range of media scholars and public interest, media and community groups from across the country have joined FAIR in issuing a Call for Media Democracy in response to the FCC's current "review" of the rules that govern big media. FAIR encourages everyone concerned with this issue to act now. Some suggestions of how you can take action to strengthen media diversity are included below.

Republicans vow to push for Social Security reform Posted on Wed, Dec. 06, 2002 (KRT) - Victorious Republicans who campaigned for Social Security reform vowed on Wednesday to push aggressively for congressional action next year to allow workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in stocks and bonds. Reformers at a Capitol Hill news briefing claimed this year's elections belied the conventional wisdom that Social Security is the "third rail" of politics - touch it and you die. "Not only were we not hurt by this issue, we were helped by this issue politically, and on top of that it's the right thing to do," said Sen.-elect John Sununu, R-N.H. "That in and of itself provides great motivation." Most Democrats, however, remain staunchly opposed to the individual investment option for fear it would shift revenue from the Social Security trust fund, deplete the system and put benefits at risk on the roller-coaster stock market. Many Republicans, while generally supportive of the proposal, are loathe to pursue this controversial issue.

Europe: Thousands protest plans for US-led war against Iraq 6 December 2002 By Steve James Thousands of people have joined demonstrations across Europe to oppose the planned US-led war against Iraq. Over 180 organisations marched through Istanbul, Turkey on December 1. Tens of thousands demonstrated, holding banners saying, “We will not be America’s soldiers,” and “We’re on the side of the Iraqi people.” Statements made at a two-hour rally demanded that the Turkish government refuse to allow military bases in Turkey to be used for attacks on neighbouring Iraq.

A Brief (But Creepy) History of America's Creeping Fascism Dec. 06, 2002 These days, it's hard to read anything without thinking, "this can't be true." We're living in an age of secret bunker governments and stealth legislation, however, and unlikely scenarios are tempered with the realization our old reality is gone. This America differs drastically from the country we knew two years ago, when tales of felons ogling our e-mail would have been capped with a punch line. Yet here we are,

Digital Robber Barons? Dec. 06, 2002 By PAUL KRUGMAN Bad metaphors make bad policy. Everyone talks about the "information highway." But in economic terms the telecommunications network resembles not a highway but the railroad industry of the robber-baron era — that is, before it faced effective competition from trucking. And railroads eventually faced tough regulation, for good reason: they had a lot of market power, and often abused it. Yet the people making choices today about the future of the Internet — above all Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission — seem unaware of this history. They are full of enthusiasm for the wonders of deregulation, dismissive of concerns about market power. And meanwhile tomorrow's robber barons are fortifying their castles. Until recently, the Internet seemed the very embodiment of the free-market ideal — a place where thousands of service providers competed, where anyone could visit any site. And the tech sector was a fertile breeding ground for libertarian ideology, with many techies asserting that they needed neither help nor regulation from Washington.

Rush -- nailed on his own show! Dec. 6, 2002  |  Squawk radio A plucky Salon reader -- let's just call him "Greg from Orlando" since that's how his friends over at the EIB network know him -- sent a fascinating memo Wednesday about the methods he has used to bring a bit of balance to Rush Limbaugh's radio show. This is his version of their most recent encounter:

Talking Back To Talk Radio - Fairness, Democracy, and Profits December 5, 2002 By THOM HARTMANN "All Democrats are fat, lazy, and stupid," the talk-show host said in grave, serious tones as if he were uttering a sacred truth. We were driving to Michigan for the holidays, and I was tuning around, listening for the stations I'd worked for two and three decades ago. I turned the dial. "It's a Hannity For Humanity house," a different host said, adding that the Habitat For Humanity home he'd apparently hijacked for his own self-promotion would only be given to a family that swears it's conservative. "No liberals are going to get this house," he said. Turning the dial again, we found a convicted felon ranting about the importance of government having ever-more powers to monitor, investigate, and prosecute American citizens without having to worry about constitutional human rights protections. Apparently the combining of nationwide German police agencies (following the terrorist attack of February 1933 when the Parliament building was set afire) into one giant Fatherland Security Agency answerable only to the Executive Branch, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, was a lesson of history this guy had completely forgotten. Neither, apparently, do most Americans recall that the single most powerful device used to bring about the SS and its political master was radio.

Thousands Say No to War Across Country Dec. 06, 2002 Tens of thousands of people around Australia protested against the proposed war with Iraq on November 30 and December 1. 15,000 persons rallied [ 1 | 2 ] in Melbourne. Some fifteen to twenty thousand rallied [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] in Sydney, while 1500 gathered in Adelaide and thousands more combined demonstrated in Canberra, Darwin, Taree, Brisbane, Launceston, Ipswich, Alice Springs, Perth and Hobart. Read: entire feature

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. Warns of Jewel-Osco's Sale of SureBeam's Irradiated Meat Dec. 06, 2002 Threatens Consumer Health CHICAGO, Dec. 06, 2002 /U.S. Newswire/ -- On Nov. 29 "Chicago Tonight" TV, meat industry representatives admitted that irradiated meat can taste like "Wet Dog," while supporting Jewel-Osco and SureBeam claims that the meat is safe. "However, these claims don't even pass the laugh test," states Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., professor emeritus of Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, and chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition.

Why the Bush administration wants war: 5 December 2002 The politics of American militarism in the 21st century  In preparation for yet another major American military action, the fifth in less than a decade, the media bombards the public with empty phrases—such as “weapons of mass destruction”—which explain nothing about the historical background of the US-Iraqi conflict or the social interests that determine US foreign policy. And yet, without any serious public examination of the motives of the government, the Bush administration is about to launch a war that will implicate the American people in the killing of countless thousands of Iraqis and whose long-term consequences could well prove to be catastrophic for the entire world.

Democrats Urge Bush to Rescind Political Bonuses Dec. 05, 2002 Congressional Democrats on Thursday urge President Bush to reverse a decision to award cash bonuses to top political appointees and to restore scheduled pay increases to federal workers. In a statement Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and incoming House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California accused Bush of rewarding political friends at the expense of federal workers. "This action, on top of the administration's decision this week to postpone sending $1.5 billion for anti-terrorism assistance to local police departments, demonstrates a pattern of disrespect and broken promises to those workers on the front line in the domestic war against terrorism," Pelosi said. Daschle said the administration had its priorities wrong. "These kinds of cash bonuses to political appointees were banned because they were abused in the past," Daschle said.

Homeland Security Act Includes 'Corporate Unaccountability' Clauses December 4, 2002 There is yet another reason to criticize the much-maligned Homeland Security Act, the largest government restructuring in 50 years. The act includes special interest bonuses such as reductions in corporate accountability, partial exemptions from FOIA requirements, and protection for pharmaceutical companies - large GOP contributors - against class action lawsuits.

President Bush Plans an Unprecedented Shift of Almost Half of Government Jobs to Outside Contractors December 4, 2002 by Robert Jensen President Bush's announcement last week of his intention to privatize up to half the federal workforce came with the usual confident talk that it will reduce government costs and improve services. Market ideologues may believe that, but there is no reason citizens should be so gullible. Instead, we might ask critical questions about the likely consequences of large-scale privatization and why the Bush gang is so keen on it. Research suggests that where there is real market competition for relatively simple goods and services, governments can save money and ensure quality through privatization. Contracting out tasks such as office cleaning may save taxpayers money in some cases (though often at the cost of lower wages and reduced benefits for workers). But that's not the majority of cases. Often short-term savings evaporate quickly once competitors drop out. Contractors who underbid to win a contract are free to raise rates later, often leaving governments with little choice but to accept.

Kerry Blasts Bush's Tax Cuts, Offers Own Plan December 4, 2002 By Dan Balz Likely Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry yesterday slammed President Bush's tax cuts as "unfair, unaffordable and unquestionably ineffective" and said the best way to stimulate the sluggish economy is by shelving most future installments of the president's plan in favor of immediate payroll tax relief for all working Americans.

Hey, Lucky Duckies! December 4, 2002 By PAUL KRUGMAN The Journal considers a hypothetical ducky who earns only $12,000 a year — some guys have all the luck! — and therefore, according to the editorial, "pays a little less than 4% of income in taxes." Not surprisingly, that statement is a deliberate misrepresentation; the calculation refers only to income taxes. If you include payroll and sales taxes, a worker earning $12,000 probably pays well over 20 percent of income in taxes. But who's counting? What's interesting, however, is what The Journal finds wrong with this picture: The worker's taxes aren't "enough to get his or her blood boiling with rage." In case you're wondering what this is about, it's an internal squabble of the right. The Journal is terrified that future tax cuts might include token concessions to ordinary families; it wants to ensure that everything goes to corporations and the wealthy.

Ex-Official Blasts White House December 4, 2002 By Mike Allen The former head of President Bush's faith-based office charged in a magazine article released yesterday that the administration's domestic policies are determined entirely by political considerations, with "everything" being run by the office of senior adviser Karl C. Rove. John J. DiIulio Jr., a Democrat who resigned last year as the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, is one of only a few officials who have left Bush's senior staff since his inauguration, and the only one who has publicly attacked his colleagues."There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus," DiIulio is quoted as telling Esquire. "What you've got is everything -- and I mean everything -- being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

Australia: Nationwide protests against war in Iraq 4 December 2002 By our reporters Despite a lack of any publicity in the media, thousands of people, many of them young, took part in protests across Australia last weekend against the impending US-led war against Iraq. The size and national scope of the demonstrations provide another indication of growing anti-war sentiment among broad layers of ordinary people. The largest demonstration took place in Sydney on November 30, where an estimated 14,000 people—more than double recent anti-war rallies in the city—marched from the town hall to Hyde Park. Among the range of banners and placards carried were those declaring, “Weapons inspections—Inspect weapons in the USA”

Inventing a pretext for war against Iraq - 3 December 2002 By Bill Vann United Nations weapons inspections are entering their second week in Iraq without producing any evidence of the “weapons of mass destruction” continuously invoked by the Bush administration as justification for war. Washington is therefore laying the groundwork to launch an invasion using an even less convincing pretext than the actual discovery of biological, chemical or nuclear arms. Hence the latest public ruminations of Thomas Friedman, the foreign affairs columnist of the New York Times. In a column published December 1, he urges his readers to “pay no attention” to the inspections taking place in Iraq. Rather, he advises, “the key to whether we end up in a war with Iraq” lies in a paragraph inserted into the UN Security Council’s inspections resolution allowing for the removal of Iraqi scientists, along with their entire families, to be interviewed abroad. The columnist claims that this paragraph was among the “least-noticed” passages in the UN document, but has now become the pivotal issue in “the fate of Iraq.” This is a deliberate falsification. The provision was inserted by the Bush administration as part of a series of demands designed to strip Iraq of even the semblance of national sovereignty—stipulations meant to be unacceptable and to serve as the pretext for war.

Kerry criticizes Bush on unemployment, gives preview of economic plan December 3, 2002 BOSTON - U.S. Sen. John Kerry attacked the Bush administration Monday for giving a boost to insurance companies last week while allowing a million people to lose their unemployment benefits just after Christmas. "This administration is willing to do terrorism insurance for big industry, but they weren't willing to do unemployment compensation for people who are out of work,"

The coming SUV wars Dec. 3, 2002 By Arianna Huffington Is the tide of public opinion turning against these metal monstrosities? | Once again, America is a nation divided. I'm talking about a contentious clash that is just beginning to rage. Call it the SUV war. As you read this, the opposing camps are staking out their turf. On one side sales of the gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing, downright dangerous behemoths continue to soar. And apparently, the more fuel-inefficient the better: Dealers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for the Hummer H2, GM's new $50,000 barely domesticated spinoff of the Gulf War darling, which struggles to cover 10 miles for every gallon of gas it burns. The symbolism of these impractical machines' military roots is too delicious to ignore. We go to war to protect our supply of cheap oil in vehicles that would be prohibitively expensive to operate without it. There seems to be no shortage of Americans who think that consuming 25 percent of the world's oil just isn't enough. Maybe the next model, the H3, will need to be connected to an intravenous gas-pump hose all the time. And there would still be people eager to buy it.

Quotes by Henry Kissinger the latest Nazi to join the Bush regime December 2, 2002 "Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government."
   S-- Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting.

"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."
   Henry Kissinger

"The US must carry out some act somewhere in the world which shows its determination to continue to be a world power."
   Henry Kissinger, post-Vietnam blues, as quoted in The Washington Post, April 1975
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."
   Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, about Chile prior to the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected government of socialist President Salvadore Allende in 1973
"Why should we flagellate ourselves for what the Cambodians did to each other?"
   Henry Kissinger - who (with Richard Nixon) was responsible for the massive bombing of Cambodia in 1973, which killed three-quarters of a million peasants and disrupted Cambodian society, setting the stage for Pol Pot to come to power and ultimately kill another one-and-a-half million people
"Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."
   Henry Kissinger, commenting on the US sellout of the Kurds in Iraq in 1975

The Bush dynasty and the Cuban criminals New book reveals links of two presidents and the governor of Florida with exiled hardliners December 2, 2002 Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles The brother of President George Bush, the Florida governor, Jeb Bush, has been instrumental in securing the release from prison of militant Cuban exiles convicted of terrorist offences, according to a new book. The Bush family has also accommodated the demands of Cuban exile hardliners in exchange for electoral and financial support, the book suggests.

Bush cabinet split becoming evident December 2, 2002 By TOM RAUM  WASHINGTON - A foreign policy rift simmering in the Bush administration shows no signs of mending and could affect Iraq policy as well as U.S. dealings in the Middle East and with North Korea and China. For the moment, Secretary of State Colin Powell, a centrist, appears to have the upper hand, prevailing over hard-liners like Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in persuading President George W. Bush to seek U.N. Security Council approval on disarming Iraq. The victory could be short-lived. Cheney and Rumsfeld remain a potent force, and Bush’s natural tendencies appear to favor bold action over Powell-style cautious diplomacy. Meanwhile, Republican midterm gains in the House and Senate have diminished Democratic influence as a force in foreign policy, further emboldening conservatives.

Jeffords blasts Bush move Senator criticizes weaker clean air law December 2, 2002 WASHINGTON (AP) - President George W. Bush has moved the nation backward on environmental issues by weakening clean air and water laws, Sen. Jim Jeffords said in the Democrats’ weekly radio response aired yesterday. "The Bush administration has continued its pattern of sacrificing our environment to the demands of special interests," said Jeffords, outgoing chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee."This year the power industry is getting a nice Christmas gift, the biggest weakening of the Clean Air Act in history," said the Vermont senator, an independent who generally associates himself with the Democrats.

Kiss it goodbye December 2, 2002 By Anthony York With industry henchmen in complete control of Washington, the Clean Air Act, wilderness preserves and environmental enforcement are all endangered species. When Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christie Whitman loosened clean air rules for power plants and factories last week, it seemed like the first bold move of a White House newly empowered by its midterm election victory to reward its industry friends. In fact, Whitman had the power to make the change unilaterally, and she'd been moving to do so before the GOP took back the Senate -- and there was little the Democrat-controlled Senate could have done to stop her.

Bush calls on Americans to volunteer, help needy December 2, 2002 By Sandra SobierajPresident Bush asked the public on Saturday to make the holidays a "season of service," promoting volunteer work and help for those in need. He said that over the past year, "Millions of Americans have found renewed appreciation for our liberty and for the men and women who serve in its defense." Mindful of that message, some lawmakers took issue with Bush's decision late Friday to cut scheduled pay raises for nonmilitary government workers, including the 170,000 who will be transferred to the new Homeland Security Department.

Behold Bush the diplomat and humanitarian, or are we just too stupid to see? December 2, 2002 Kirsty Milne ON holiday we met some liberal Texans, a rare but spirited breed. The conversation turned to their former governor, George W Bush. The Texans’ eyes narrowed. They detested the president’s politics but they took him seriously. There were none of the dismissive jokes or jeering references that greet his name on this side of the Atlantic. Underestimating Bush is a European pastime, a misguided game which allows us to feel superior while dimming our view of what goes on in the White House. It is played with relish by otherwise sensible people. The scientist Richard Dawkins recently described the world’s most powerful leader as "a squawking chicken". Nor is the coconut shy confined to Europe. A press aide to Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien had to resign last week after calling the president "a moron". While she denied it, the axe fell all the quicker because the insult was so plausible. "Moron" is the exactly sort of word that people use of Bush, including some Americans. The writer Jay McInerney describes him as "an under-educated buffoon". For Michael Moore, author of Stupid White Men, he is "idiot-in-chief". Whole websites are devoted to ‘Bushisms’ . (A taster: "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.")

"The most hateful thing they could do to us" December 2, 2002  - September 11 widow condemns US war plans  By Bill Vann December 2002 Just over a year after her husband was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Jessica Murrow contacted the World Socialist Web Site to express her agreement with an article criticizing the Bush administration’s exploitation of the September 11 tragedy. She said that if her voice, as someone who had suffered such a terrible loss, carried any weight, she wanted to raise it as strongly as she could against the drive to war against Iraq.

Janet Rehnquist faces investigation - Chief Justice’s daughter purges Health and Human Services office December 1, 2002 By Peter Daniels A series of complaints about the conduct of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general has shed some additional light on the workings of the Bush administration. Janet Rehnquist, who previously held the relatively low-level post of an assistant US attorney in Virginia, was appointed in August 2001 to the inspector general’s job at HHS, where she is responsible for oversight on the spending of more than $450 billion annually for such programs as Medicare and Medicaid. She also happens to be the daughter of the chief justice of the US Supreme Court, William Rehnquist. In the 15 months since she took office, Ms. Rehnquist has carried out a wholesale purge of her department, the largest of the 57 inspector general offices within the federal government. Nineteen career officials, including five of the six deputies in the department, have been removed through retirement, forced resignation or transfer. Some of those who have been removed by Rehnquist have apparently taken their complaints to Congress and other government agencies. The dispute has reached into the Republican Party, with Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, the incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, calling for a review of Rehnquist’s actions. Grassley said the loss of the 19 officials could “hinder the performance of an office that has a stellar reputation for fighting fraud, waste and abuse in federal health care programs.”

In Terror War, 2nd Track for Suspects Designated 'Combatants' Lose Legal Protections December 1, 2002 By Charles Lane The Bush administration is developing a parallel legal system in which terrorism suspects -- U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike -- may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system, lawyers inside and outside the government say. The elements of this new system are already familiar from President Bush's orders and his aides' policy statements and legal briefs: indefinite military detention for those designated "enemy combatants," liberal use of "material witness" warrants, counterintelligence-style wiretaps and searches led by law enforcement officials and, for noncitizens, trial by military commissions or deportation after strictly closed hearings. Only now, however, is it becoming clear how these elements could ultimately interact.

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