JANUARY 13-8, 04 Archives

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How many windmills would $87 billion buy? January 13, 2004 By: Paul F. deLespinasse How many windmills could we have built and how much pollution-free electricity could be generated by those windmills if we could have used just the extra $87 billion that was recently appropriated for Iraq? At the costs projected by Alpine Power Co, $87 billion would buy 192,904 windmills. The total resulting electricity production, again assuming each windmill can run one third of the time, would come to more than 1,015 billion kilowatt-hours per year. This amounts to about more than a quarter of all U.S. electricity consumption in 2000. gazettetimes.com

Iraq troop rotation plan: Pentagon prepares for next war January 13,  2004 By James Conachy Over 250,000 US soldiers will leave or arrive in Iraq between now and the end of May in the largest rotation of troops in a combat zone that has been attempted by the American military since World War II. The risks of the massive movement of personnel and hardware are considerable and its implications, given the record of the Bush administration, are ominous. The active full-time US Army does not have the manpower to both garrison the occupation force in Iraq and conduct another major war. In answer to the critics who had warned of this before the invasion, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared that only 50,000 troops would be needed to maintain control over Iraq within a matter of months. With the first anniversary of the war approaching, however, there are still 130,000 in the country, including 17 of the Army’s 33 active combat brigades and armored cavalry regiments. \wsws.org

Not in our Back Yard: The Decline and Failure of American-Imposed Capitalism and the Rise of Social Democracy/Leftist Ideology in Latin America January 12, 2004 By Manuel Valenzuela "The US government should accept that the time of cowardly governments on this continent, subordinated to the dictates of Washington is coming to an end…The US does not want to acknowledge that the true cause of the fall of governments such as Sanchez de Losada's [in Bolivia], has to do with the poverty and misery generated by neoliberal policies imposed by imperialist economic models. That’s the real cause of instability in this continent." -- Hugo Chavez, Democratically Elected President of Venezuela. axisoflogic.com

Majority oppose Bush's space plans January 13, 2004 Associated Press WASHINGTON - President Bush's plan to build a space station on the moon and eventually send astronauts to Mars hasn't grabbed the public's imagination, an Associated Press poll suggests. More than half in the poll said it would be better to spend the money on domestic programs rather than on space research. sunspot.net

US military 'brutalised' journalists January 13, 2004 Luke Harding in Baghdad News agency demands inquiry after American forces in Iraq allegedly treated camera crew as enemy personnel The international news agency Reuters has made a formal complaint to the Pentagon following the "wrongful" arrest and apparent "brutalisation" of three of its staff this month by US troops in Iraq. The complaint followed an incident in the town of Falluja when American soldiers fired at two Iraqi cameramen and a driver from the agency while they were filming the scene of a helicopter crash. The US military initially claimed that the Reuters journalists were "enemy personnel" who had opened fire on US troops and refused to release them for 72 hours. guardian.co.uk

White House seeks control on health, safety January 13, 2004 By Andrew Schneider WASHINGTON - The Office of Management and Budget wants to have the final say on releasing emergency declarations to the public Under a new proposal, the White House would decide what and when the public would be told about an outbreak of mad cow disease, an anthrax release, a nuclear plant accident or any other crisis. The White House Office of Management and Budget is trying to gain final control over release of emergency declarations from the federal agencies responsible for public health, safety and the environment. stltoday.com

U.S. Consumer Debt Grows at Alarming Rate January 13, 2004 Debt Burden Will Intensify When Interest Rates Rise January 13, 2004 By William Branigin Feeling besieged by all those post-holiday credit card bills? Struggling to dig out from an avalanche of debt? You are not alone. According to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve, America's consumer debt has topped $2 trillion for the first time, continuing what debt experts view as an alarming surge in recent years. washingtonpost.com

God's A Capitalist God exists and God is a corporation January 13, 2004 By J. Stanton and W. Madsen Is their any doubt that God favors the ruthlessly powerful and wealthy: the Bushes and Bin Ladens, the Murdochs and Alsauds, the Rumsfelds and Cheneys? God has no problem with income disparity and the brutal competition that is capitalism. In fact, he encourages it, applauds it. His beloved imbecile, US President George Bush II, spoke recently for God when he said that all matters political come from God and that God should have a say in appointing judges to America's courts. But there's more. The President owes God because God helped him become a real capitalist by helping him become a millionaire. newsinsider.org

Okay, So What Happens Now? January 13, 2004 Michael Rivero This last week has started to see the façade crumble away from the wars. Gone is the comfortable fraud, leaving in its wake a very stark and harsh reality. The Carnegie Report affirmed that there had never been a military threat from Iraq, no weapons of mass destruction were poised just 45 minutes away to strike at hearth and home. The last-second discovery of a few dozen rusted out warheads from 10 years ago only underscored that the desperate attempt to find weapons of mass destruction to retroactively justify the war in Iraq had failed, and failed miserably. world-crisis.com

War-gate The scandal that could bring down a President January 13, 2004 by Justin Raimondo In the run-up to war the sheer volume of lies produced by this administration was meant to overwhelm Congress, the media, and the people with its inventiveness. In a veritable frenzy of prevarication, the War Party came up with some real whoppers – and one howler that has not only come back to haunt them, but which very well may prove to be their undoing. antiwar.com

"the Bush administration is beginning to resemble the demeanor of an organized criminal element?”

G.W. Bush: International Racketeer - OIL ROBBER  BARONS January 12, 2004 By: Ted Lang CBS’s “60 Minutes” featured former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in an exclusive interview with CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl, which aired Sunday, January 11th.  The interview confirms what those who primarily rely on the Internet for up-to-date, accurate and to-the-point news coverage have known for almost over a year: the Bush administration had planned the illegal, unconstitutional and unnecessary invasion of Iraq completely independent of any retaliatory or preventive military considerations relating to 9-11.  In fact, this interview, motivated to launch a new book authored by Ron Suskind, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, not only confirms the heavy evidence concerning the administration’s underlying intentions with regard to Iraq, but raises some scary new ones as well. thepeoplesvoice.org

The Second Great Depression Will Be Brought to you Live January 12, 2004 If you're like most people, you're working harder than ever just to stay even, forget get ahead. You don't have time to step back and view the larger picture that is unfolding for the U.S. and World economy. News - sensational news - flashes brightly, then recedes quickly from memory. The rush is so quick, the appearance so brief, the flash so bright that it can be blinding. Yet other days go by in a complete news vaccuum. How can you expect to piece together the larger picture from such incomplete data? depression2.tv

IMF delivers strong warning on growth of US debt January 12, 2004 By Nick Beams The International Monetary Fund has sounded the alarm on the state of US finances, warning that the growth of external debt and the increase in the budget deficit are threatening global financial stability. wsws.org

Economy fears 'dismissed by Cheney' claim January 12, 2004 ALEX MASSIE Mr O’Neill said he tried to warn Dick Cheney, that growing budget deficits - expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone - posed a threat to the US economy. Mr Cheney cut him off, according to the interview posted on the Time website yesterday. "Reagan proved deficits don’t matter," he said. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Mr Cheney told the treasury secretary he was fired. thescotsman.co.uk

With immigration wink, Bush sells out U.S. worker January 12, 2004 Remember the (endangered) American worker? Who is looking out for the American worker? After President Bush's proposal last week to allow illegal immigrants in our country, we can safely say that he is not. Forget for the moment that he misled Congress to start a war. Give him the benefit of the doubt for suspending (in record time) the Bill of Rights without investigating the circumstances of the attacks of 9/11. Perhaps he is not responsible for all of the war profiteering and huge deficit spending taking place. That could happen to anyone. fredericksburg.com

Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq? January 12, 2004 (CBS) A year ago, Paul O'Neill was fired from his job as George Bush's Treasury Secretary for disagreeing too many times with the president's policy on tax cuts. Now, O'Neill - who is known for speaking his mind - talks for the first time about his two years inside the Bush administration. His story is the centerpiece of a new book being published this week about the way the Bush White House is run. Entitled "The Price of Loyalty," cbsnews.com

US toll in Iraq tops 500 January 12, 2004 THE number of US soldiers killed in Iraq has topped 500. The Pentagon today confirmed that 504 had died in the nearly 10 months since the US-led coalition invaded the country. The toll includes the nine killed when a UH-60 Blackhawk went down in the Iraqi town of Fallujah last week and a recent fatality in Baghdad. news.com.au

U.S. mortuary sees no let-up from Iraq war dead January 12, 2004 By David Morgan (Reuters) - Nearly a month after Saddam Hussein's capture, American war dead from Iraq continue to arrive with somber regularity at the wind-swept Air Force base in Delaware that is home to the world's largest mortuary. The remains of the fallen, wrapped in body bags and encased in ice-laden metal transfer cases, descend from the sky aboard gray military planes or white civilian Boeing 747s. They are met at the airstrip by an honor guard, chaplain and small motorcade of blue vans. reuters.com

Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope January 12, 2004 By Thomas E. Ricks A scathing new report published by the Army War College broadly criticizes the Bush administration's handling of the war on terrorism, accusing it of taking a detour into an "unnecessary" war in Iraq and pursuing an "unrealistic" quest against terrorism that may lead to U.S. wars with states that pose no serious threat. washingtonpost.com

911 has become the ultimate excuse January 12, 2004 The paramount pretext that consumes the law-abiding culture is that 911 has changed everything. Well, the only aspect that has altered the natural symmetry is that a fabricated diversion has inundated the rational capacities of ordinary citizens. Drowning in a sea of self denial, Americans have accepted the mind control environment and defend the subversive society. What the establishment say is true, the sheeple embrace as truth. batr.org

Doom warnings sound more loudly January 12, 2004 By Alex Kirby Our environment correspondent considers why warnings about the state of the planet are becoming more insistent On 7 January a report in the journal Nature said climate change could speed a million land-based species towards extinction within the next 50 years. The next day the Worldwatch Institute declared modern lifestyles were bad for us and unsustainable for the planet. The UK Government's chief scientist now says climate change is a far worse danger than international terrorism. A triple onslaught like that defies anyone to head into the new year feeling even slightly positive about the human condition. bbc.co.uk

Culture of indifference leaves America open to BSE January 12, 2004 Suzanne Goldenberg talks to insiders who warn of failings in a lax inspection regime When the first case of mad cow disease was diagnosed in America a caustic joke began the rounds of the vets and food inspectors who monitor safety standards at the meat packing plants. It was no surprise, it went, that a sick animal had been brought to the slaughter, but it was absolutely shocking that the discovery had ever become public. guardian.co.uk

Russia will experience "economic wonder" in foreseeable future January 12, 2004 For the next 50 years Brazil, Russia, India and China will experience the biggest economic growth rate in the world. By 2040 their total GDP will exceed this of the USA, Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan and Italy. Golden Sax major investment bank provided this prognosis in its last report. english.pravda.ru

Bush Wants To Bankrupt America: There is Method To His Madness
January 11, 2004 By Sam Hamod Some have wondered if GW Bush knows what he's doing with his tax cut that benefits the corporations and the very rich, and cuts away the remaining money of the poor and the middle class. I say yes, he does know what he's up to, as do his corporate advisors and his neo-con economist friends and theorists, chief among them isGrover Norquist. Norquist,  the architect behind the dismantling of the American federal financial structure in terms of benefits for the common citizen, he has helped to create the tax breaks for the very rich and the corporatocracy that now has a choke-hold on America. esoterically.net

The Pharisee's Role In Gold And The Dollar Crash January 11, 2004 Al-Jazeerah Since Day 911, the US dollar has fallen over 40% as compared to the Euro, the European currency “basket.” About half of that drop occurred since May 2, 2003, when hostilities in Iraq were reported to have ended. This means that had you or I been in the know we could have earned about 10 years of savings account interest in only six months, without buying a thing. We could have asked our respective bankers to convert our dollar savings accounts into Euros with a simple bookkeeping entry. Yes, there would have been a little red tape, but the international money dealers and bankers do this all the time for their own accounts. Perhaps we need to know what they know? aljazeerah.info

Jobless giving up hope for new work January 11, 2004 By LEIGH STROPE Unemployment figures dip because 310,000 just drop out of a stagnant labor market WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in December, the lowest level in 14 months, as frustrated job seekers gave up their searches with hiring at a near standstill. timesunion.com

Bush Calls on Congress to Make Tax Cuts Permanent January 11, 2004 (Bloomberg) President George W. Bush called on Congress to make permanent $1.7 trillion in tax cuts enacted during his presidency, crediting them with increased U.S. economic growth. Bush cited greater business investment, increased manufacturing activity and stock market gains in arguing that his tax cuts, which begin to expire in 2005, should be made permanent. bloomberg.com

White-collar jobs leaving U.S. January 11, 2004 RICHARD GWYN It's a pity that no Canadian corporate executive has been indiscreet enough to say, as one Microsoft honcho did recently to his staff, "Think India ... pick something to move off-shore today." Or, again, that no Canadian business type has been indiscreet in the same style as Tom Lynch, IBM's director for global employee relations, who in response to reports IBM may move more than 4,000 jobs overseas, said: "Our competitors are doing it, and we have to do it." thestar.com

Oil, gas prices shoot up January 11, 2004 By The Associated Press Oil and natural gas prices climbed to their highest levels in more than nine months Friday as traders responded to colder weather in the Northeast, tight supplies and rising demand.
The weak dollar is also pushing energy prices higher, analysts said. gazettenet.com

US: Incomes of the ultra-rich quadrupled in eight years January 11, 2004 By Jeremy Johnson The 400 top-earning US taxpayers nearly quadrupled their income over the past decade, according to a report released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last week. The IRS report documents just how much the rich got richer in the decade of the 1990’s. It states that the adjusted gross income (AGI) of these 400 super-rich taxpayers went from an average of $46.8 million in 1992 to $174 million in 2000. Similarly, the minimum AGI required to be included in the elite group rose from $24.4 million to $86.8 million. The nearly $70 billion in income reported in 2000 on these few tax returns constituted 1.09 percent of the total income reported by all 129 million taxpayers, or over 3,500 times the average. The percentage of income concentrated in the top 400 more than doubled from 0.52 percent in 1992. wsws.org

Former Bush aide: US plotted Iraq invasion long before 9/11 January 11, 2004 By Neil Mackay GEORGE Bush’s former treasury secretary Paul O’Neill has revealed that the President took office in January 2001 fully intending to invade Iraq and desperate to find an excuse for pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein. O’Neill’s claims tally with long-running investigations by the Sunday Herald which have shown how the Bush cabinet planned a pre- meditated attack on Iraq in order to “regime change” Saddam long before the neoconservative Republicans took power. The Sunday Herald previously uncovered how a think-tank – run by vice-president Dick Cheney; defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld’s deputy; Bush’s younger brother Jeb, the governor of Florida; and Lewis Libby, Cheney’s deputy – wrote a blueprint for regime change as early as September 2000. sundayherald.com

How The War Machine Is Driving The US Economy January 11, 2004 What do the war in Iraq and the economic recovery in the United States have in common? More than one might expect, to judge from the last couple of rounds of US growth figures. The war has been a large part of the justification for the Bush administration to run ever-widening budget deficits, and those deficits, predicated largely on military spending, have in turn pumped money into the economy and provided the stimulus that low interest rates and tax cuts, on their own, could never achieve. The result, according to economists, is a variant on Keynesianism that has particular appeal for Republicans. Instead of growing the government in general - pumping resources into public works, health care and education, say, which would have an immediate knock-on effect on sorely needed job creation - the policy focuses on those areas that represent obvious conservative and business-friendly constituencies. Which is to say, the military and, even more specifically, the military contractors that tend to be big contributors to Republican Party funds. jihadunspun.com

Dick Cheney's slimy business trail January 11, 2004 By Robert Scheer He may take to his bunker to hide from the SEC and Congress, not Osama bin Laden, as the probe into Halliburton's accounting tricks heats up. Vice President Dick Cheney has spent most of the past year in hiding, ostensibly from terrorists, but increasingly it seems obvious that it is Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the media and the public he fears. And for good reason: Cheney's business behavior could serve as a textbook case of much of what's wrong with the way corporate CEOs have come to play the game of business. salon.com

HALLIBURTON SUBSIDIARY SERVES UNSAFE FOOD IN IRAQ January 11, 2004 Yarbrough never dreamed she'd be fired a month later for what in her view was simply an effort to implement the Army's own safety and sanitation standards. Nor did she imagine that she'd be telling congressional staffers about potentially dangerous food being served to U.S. soldiers by ESS Support Services, a food-service subcontractor to Halliburton...It's a system in which highly paid Americans oversee a huge corps of Indians, Pakistanis and other so-called "third-country nationals" working in sweatshop conditions for as little as $3 a day... cosmiciguana.com

Our Failing Planetary Home - Why It Is Dying January 11, 2004 Dr. Patricia Doyle, PhD I want people to understand how their food is grown, i.e. both livestock and crops. We have gone too far when it comes to changing nature. We can't do it. Monsanto has gone overboard to the point of raising what I call 'plastic crops.' They have been genetically modified to such an extent as to affect the DNA of the people consuming them. This, combined with excessive and consistant hormone shots, vaccines, antibiotics, weight gaining meds, and, of course, protein supplements like cattle bloodmeal/blood plasma has caused livestock to mutate. Here, too, what effects animal DNA will affect the DNA of the humans who consume the livestock. rense.com

American Karma & The River of Tears January 11, 2004 by Bill Morgan One shudders to think of the terrible karma America is reaping throughout the world as a result of its actions. "Karma" is a sanskrit word which simply means "action," but it carries with it the the implication of the biblical phrase, "As you sow, so shall you reap." In other words: the consequences of your actions will come back to haunt you. The "new" America is now a rogue nation, considered by increasing numbers of people around the world to be one of the greatest threats to world peace. It is gradually taking over the place once held by the former Soviet Union as the world's greatest "Evil Empire." It destroys lives all around the world, destroys what people had built up, their homes, their institutions, the infrastructure on which they depend. It kills the sons of mothers whose grief shall know no end. rumormillnews.com 

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT VOTE January 11, 2004 by John Kaminski Here's a simple message vital to the future of the human species that a majority of Americans will have no trouble heeding — Don't vote. Repeat: Do not vote, under any circumstances. How's that for a counterintuitive proposition? Don't vote and you just might, one day, regain your free country. If you do choose to cast a vote, chances are excellent that you won't ever see freedom again, because by voting, you simply a reinforce a system totally polluted by money and corruption that ultimately has nobody's best interests at heart... sianews.com

Bush in Trouble! RICO Prosecution Going Full Steam Ahead January 11, 2004 By Katherine Yurica “This lawsuit may be the most important case in U.S. History” Phillip Berg attorney for Ellen Mariani said. In a stunning forty-five minute interview with Ray Taliaferro, the news talk show host for the Early Show on KGO AM radio, Ellen Mariani and her lawyer Phillip Berg of Philadelphia fielded questions. Mrs. Mariani is the widow of Louis Neil Mariani, who was a passenger on the United Airlines Flight 175 when the plane slammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Mrs. Mariani said, “I’m not a Democrat and I’m not a Republican. I’m just a woman who has lost her husband and I want to know why and how it happened. I want my questions answered.” She said, “All the victims have a right to know the truth about what happened and that’s why I am suing—not just for myself but for all the families.” scoop.co.nz

New system no easy touch for 134 voters in Broward January 11, 2004 Today's recount in the House District 91 race is likely to raise questions about electronic voting, including whether paper records are necessary. Three years after helping render punch-card voting systems obsolete, Broward County voters have proven that no election system is foolproof. In Tuesday's special election to fill state House seat 91, 134 Broward voters managed to use the 2-year-old touch-screen equipment without casting votes for any candidate. miami.com

White House urged to order staffers to cooperate with CIA leak probe January 11, 2004 By Mike Nartker The White House came under criticism Tuesday for failing to order employees to comply with a new Justice Department tactic in the investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity. The Justice Department is investigating the leak of the identity and CIA status of the wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson. This summer, Wilson publicly criticized evidence offered by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq. Soon after Wilson aired his criticism, his wife's name and status as an undercover CIA operative was made public in a column by Robert Novak - a move Wilson has alleged was meant as an intimidation tactic. govexec.com

How to Lose Your Job in Talk Radio - Clear Channel Gags An Antiwar Conservative January 11, 2004 By Charles Goyette Criticism of Bush and his ever-shifting pretext for a first-strike war (what exactly was it we were pre-empting anyway?) has proved so serious a violation of Clear Channel’s cultural taboo that only a good contract has kept me from being fired outright. Roxanne Cordonier, a radio personality at Clear Channel’s WMYI 102.5 in Greenville, S.C., didn’t have it as good. Cordonier, who worked under the name Roxanne Walker, was the South Carolina Broadcasters Association’s 2002 Radio Personality of the Year. That apparently wasn’t enough for Clear Channel. Her lawsuit against the company alleges that she was belittled on the air and reprimanded by her station for opposing the invasion of Iraq. Then she was fired. They couldn’t really fire me, at least without paying me a substantial sum of money, but I was certainly belittled on the air for opposing the war. The other KFYI talk-show hosts—so bloodthirsty that they made Bush apologists and superhawks Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity sound moderate—vilified me almost daily. As a former radio-station owner myself, it was a little hard to believe management would allow one of their key hosts to be trashed day in and day out on their own airwaves. amconmag.com

U.S. callous in hearing Iraqi claims - rights group January 11, 2004 By Luke Baker BAGHDAD (Reuters) The U.S. military is negligent and callous in dealing with Iraqis seeking compensation for relatives accidentally killed or maimed by U.S. troops, a human rights group said on Saturday. Occupation Watch, an international group of peace and justice organisations set up to monitor the conduct of occupying forces in Iraq, said the process for Iraqis to make claims was purposely opaque and U.S. treatment of families pursuing claims was often offhand and bordering on the cruel. "There is a culture of impunity," reuters.com

Despite report, Cheney says war was justified January 11, 2004 By M.E. SPRENGELMEYER Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq as "perfectly justified," despite a scathing new report that cast doubt on many of the administration's pre-war claims. "I think we were perfectly justified in doing what we did," Cheney said. "I think the American people support it overwhelmingly. And I don't have any qualms at all about the decisions that were made." Cheney's comments came a day after the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a report claiming that the Bush administration misrepresented the threat of Iraq's alleged chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and the suspected terrorism connection. seattlepi.nwsource.com

"What Would Jesus Do?" January 10, 2004 By: Kerry Tomasi I was never a big fan of George W. Bush. In fact, I wasn't even a tiny wee-bit of a fan. And it wasn't just his costumed "dress-up" appearances at photo-op events - smirking and strutting about - that bothered me so. I understand that certain people have no choice but to resort to such things in order to project a confident facade. And as devastating as his radical right wing agenda is for our country, even this was not my primary aversion. No, to me the most odious aspect of G.W. was the assertion that he was "chosen by God" to do these radical things, and is therefore simply 'doing the Lords' work'. thepeoplesvoice.org

Wounded "Held Captive" at Walter Reed Disabled Vets Fire Back at Rumsfeld January 10, 2004 By DAVID VEST The organization known as Disabled American Veterans has been helping U.S. combat casualties figure out what benefits they have coming to them and how to apply for them since 1920. Lately the Bush administration has been going out of its way to make the DAV's job harder. Their job would be hard enough even if the government appreciated their efforts and was glad to see them coming. Incredibly, it doesn't and it isn't. Not any more. An army of U.S. veterans more than twice the size of Operation Iraqi Freedom have lost their health insurance benefits since Bush took office. As many as half a million vets are homeless. Seven VA hospitals are being closed as part of an effort to "restructure" the Department of Veterans Affairs. Meanwhile, veterans of the Iraq campaign can fall in line with over 250,000 U.S. veterans who are already waiting at least six months to see a doctor. libertyforum.org

Employment Numbers Greatly Disappoint January 10, 2004 Job growth numbers were released today and it was a real stinker! Only 1,000 jobs were created in December, far less than the 100,000 that had been expected. We've been telling you for some time that in order for the economy to experience meaningful and sustained growth, there needs to be roughly 150,000 - 200,000 jobs created per month. Clearly, employers aren't doing their part. A closer look at the numbers reveals some worrisome facts. safemoneyreport.com

Poor U.S. Jobs Data Send Dollar Sharply Lower January 10, 2004 Dow Jones Newswires NEW YORK -- The dollar plunged to new lows Friday, with fragile sentiment toward the beleaguered currency dealt a further blow by a surprisingly weak U.S. employment report. quicken.com

Hideous Evidence US Military Tortures Iraqis With Electricity January 10, 2004 By Dahr Jamail Sadiq Zoman Abrahim, 55 years old, was detained this past August in Kirkuk by US Soldiers during a home raid which produced no weapons. He was taken to the police office in Kirkuk, questioned by the Americans there, then transferred to Kirkuk Airport Detention Center. The doctors at the hospital in Tikrit, after performing diagnostic tests, informed the family that Mr. Abrahim had suffered massive head trauma, electrocution, and other bruises on his arms. An EKG proved that his heart was functioning perfectly. The family was told that he was in an unrecoverable state and would be in a coma for the rest of his life from the obvious trauma suffered. electroniciraq.net

'US climate policy bigger threat to world than terrorism' January 10, 2004 By Steve Connor Tony Blair's chief scientist has launched a withering attack on President George Bush for failing to tackle climate change, which he says is more serious than terrorism. Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser, says in an article today in the journal Science that America, the world's greatest polluter, must take the threat of global warming more seriously. "In my view, climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today, more serious even than the threat of terrorism," Sir David says. The Bush administration was wrong to pull out of the Kyoto protocol, news.independent.co.uk

Cheney Target of Criminal Investigation January 10, 2004 By David J. Sirota Though neglected by major media in the United States, international news sources report that French law enforcement authorities have made Vice President Dick Cheney the target of a criminal investigation for his role in a massive bribery scandal during his time as CEO of Halliburton. In May, Halliburton admitted that, under Cheney's stewardship, it paid "$2.4 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to get favorable tax treatment." Halliburton now says it is cooperating with a simultaneous review by the Security and Exchange Commission. alternet.org

Health Spending Rises to Record 15% of Economy January 10, 2004 By ROBERT PEAR (New York Times) Health spending accounts for nearly 15 percent of the nation's economy, the largest share on record, the Bush administration said on Thursday. The Department of Health and Human Services said that health care spending shot up 9.3 percent in 2002, the largest increase in 11 years, to a total of $1.55 trillion. That represents an average of $5,440 for each person in the United States. Hospital care and prescription drugs accounted for much of the overall increase, which outstripped the growth in the economy for the fourth year in a row, the report said. informationclearinghouse.info

RecommendedThe Buying of the President 2004 Who's Really Bankrolling Bush & His Democratic Challengers  January 10, 2004 And What They Expect In Return President Bush has raised a record $130 million for his 2004 campaign. Charles Lewis of the Center of the Public Integrity talks about how the process of choosing a president has moved from the voting booth to the auction block. This from today's New York Times: A new study released Thursday shows that employees and political action committees of brokerages, banks and credit companies make up 6 of President Bush's top 10 career contributors, a clear indicator of his increasing support from the financial sector. In a similar study during the 2000 election, no major financial services firms were among the top 10. The study was conducted by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity and published as a book, "The Buying of the President 2004." Listen to: Segment || Show / Watch 128k stream / Watch 256k stream Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity. He is the author of the new book "The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return."

A Fountain of Lies - The Bush regime spins Iraq January 10, 2004 There are outright lies and there are lies of omission. The Bush regime seems to spin them all, especially with regard to war weary Iraq. As noted in the recent report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace the Bush Whitehouse stands accused of "systematically misrepresenting" the threat posed by "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction". Remember once the "only question" was whether Saddam would disarm, now U.S. troops are in Iraq to bring "democracy". And, what was Iraq supposed to disarm? WMDs? Where did those weapons come from? Where did they go?? We were told Saddam gassed his own people, but that's not what a senior CIA annalist said! How about that weapons grade uranium from Africa that Bush mentioned in last years state of the union address? What was that about Iraq possessing smallpox weapons? Actually, a prestigious science journal has reported that the US has developed spying on UN Security Council and the Whitehouse "non-denial" of the incident? Of course, Iraq is not the only subject fit for the Empire's weapons of mass deception. There's always the 9/11 investigation or the Bush regime hypocrisy on the recent Russian elections. How about Election 2000 in the U.S.? Soon the world may be hearing new yarns spun by the folksy cowboy in the Whitehouse about say, regime change in Cuba? Stay tuned. 2004 promises to be the Year of the Fountain of Lies. indymedia.org

Piecemeal enactment of “Patriot II” Bush administration expands police spying powers January 10, 2004 By Kate Randall The Bush administration has signed into law an act that grants new powers to US intelligence agencies to spy on the public, and expands the controversial Patriot Act. In a highly unusual move, Bush signed the legislation into law on a Saturday—December 13—the same day US forces captured Saddam Hussein. The White House was obviously seeking to avoid media coverage of the new legislation—and the print and broadcast media dutifully obliged, caught up in the hoopla over the capture of the former Iraqi leader. wsws.org

His God and His Empire January 10, 2004 By Jeff Koopersmith I stumbled on a holiday card in my business mail last week. It was from Dick Cheney, a man I have accredited as the most treacherous politician in America, but an American, our Vice President nonetheless and with due respect. I was stunned but not bewildered by this quote from a speech by Benjamin Franklin on his Christmas card: "And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" What shocked me was that this elected official, only a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, was flaunting was seemed to be his private deal with God -- in a sense telling us that "He" (God) will aid us in building an American "Empire." americanpolitics.com

Gephardt to Bush: Don't shortchange Earth January 10, 2004 By Greg Frost (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopeful Richard Gephardt urged President George W. Bush on Friday not to forget the realities back home on planet Earth in pursuit of lofty aspirations in outer space. Reacting to reports the president will announce a plan next week to put humans back on the moon and ultimately send NASA on a manned mission to Mars, the Missouri congressman said Bush must keep his eye on priorities like energy research at home. "I have nothing against NASA programs. "But you can't shortchange the research that we need for things that need to happen here on Earth," he said, "That's why energy research is so vital." Gephardt cited his own plan to decrease America's reliance on fossil fuels by developing renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power -- an initiative he said would create some 2 million U.S. jobs. alertnet.org

Five impolite questions for the president January 10, 2004 By DON WILLIAMS 1.Why won't you tell us about those daily briefings you received in the nine months or so leading up to Sept. 11, 2001? Why won't you answer charges by Robert Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor you appointed to investigate 9-11, that your administration had ample warning that terrorists were capable of flying aircraft into buildings and had been discussing such actions for a decade? If you need a refresher, Mr. President, check out the story by CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston located on the CBSNews.com homepage for Dec. 17, 2003. Kean's charges are spelled out there. knoxnews.com

"Is Bush another Hitler?"


The Bush Hitler Thing January 9, 2004 By anonymous My family was one of Hitler's victims. We lost a lot under the Nazi occupation, including an uncle who died in the camps and a cousin killed by a booby trap. I'm no expert on WWII - but I learned a lot about what happened in Germany - and Europe - back in those days. I always wondered how the wonderful German people - so honest, decent, hard-working, friendly, and generous - could ever allow such a thing to happen. So far, I've seen nothing to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course as Hitler. And I've seen far too many analogies to dismiss the possibility. The propaganda. The lies. The rhetoric. The nationalism. The flag waving. The pretext of 'preventive war'. The flaunting of international law and international standards of justice. The disappearances of 'undesirable' aliens. The threats against protesters. The invasion of a non-threatening sovereign nation. The promises of prosperity and security. The spying on ordinary citizens. The incitement to spy on one's neighbors - and report them to the government. The arrogant triumphant pride in military conquest. The honoring of soldiers. The tributes to 'fallen warriors. The diversion of money to the military. The demonization of government appointed 'enemies'. The establishment of 'Homeland Security'. The dehumanization of 'foreigners'. The total lack of interest in the victims of government policy. The incarceration of the poor and mentally ill. The growing prosperity from military ventures. The illusion of 'goodness' and primacy. The new einsatzgrupen forces. Assassination teams. Closed extralegal internment camps. The militarization of domestic police. Media blackout of non-approved issues. Blacklisting of protesters - including the no-fly lists and photographing dissenters at rallies. There isn't much doubt in my mind - anyone who compares the history of Hitler's rise to power and the progression of recent events in the US cannot avoid the parallels. It's incontrovertible. Is Bush another Hitler? truthout.org

An Iraqi family's tragedy January 9, 2004 Dear Mr. George Bush president of the United States of America, On Saturday the  3rd of January 2004, my son and his cousin were travelling back to our residence in Samarra, they were driving a small cargo truck belonging to a third party from which they earn their livelihood in a country torn by wars and sanctions. Yes, they were back from Baghdad yet misfortune followed them from the beginning, their car broke down on the road which caused a delay in their arrival to Samarra when the curfew hour was just about to start in the city...And this is where the first chapter of the tragedy takes place. An American army patrol stood in their way, and after they went through the whole procedure of searching my son and his cousin, and inspecting the cargo load, they tied them up both and led them to an area about three kilometres from the scene and...in front of one of the gates of the Tharthar dam where water flows at its strongest rate and to my son and his cousin's horror, they ordered them to jump into the water, it was midnight and the cold was unbearable, when they hesitated, they were pushed by the soldiers. Unfortunately my boy cannot swim, even though swimming at this time of the year wouldn't have helped. To document the incident, my son's name is Zaydun Ma'mun Fadhil Hassun Al-Samarrai, born in the 1st of June 1984...Yes, they killed him and they broke my heart. healingiraq.blogspot.com

Why the Right Hates Public Education January 9, 2004 by Barbara Miner Republican strategists want to privatize education because: Education is a multibillion dollar market, and the private sector is eager to get its hands on those dollars. Conservatives are devoted to the free market and believe that private is inherently superior to public. Shrinking public education furthers the Republican Party goal of drastically reducing the public sector. Privatization undermines teacher unions, a key base of support for the Democratic Party. Privatization rhetoric can be used to woo African American and Latino voters to the Republican Party. progressive.org

Some of the pictures Bush and the corporate media would rather you not see January 9, 2004 "Abrams" in pieces A US "Abrams" MBT was completely destroyed by a landmine on October 27 45 miles north of Baghdad. Two crew were killed. The explosion ripped through the bottom of the tank and threw the turret clear of the tank's body. iraqwar.ru / iraqwar.ru   Apache down One of the AH-64 'Apache' attack helicopters lost in Iraq. Since the war begun in March some 105 aircraft of the anti-Iraqi coalition were officially reported as lost or damaged, including 26 UAVs (mostly British), 22 helicopters, 10 planes lost; 45 helicopters and 2 planes damaged (mostly US). iraqwar.ru   "Bush & Co." A US "Abrams" tank stuck in an irrigation canal near Tikrit. The inscription on the tank's main gun is symbolic of Bush's predicament in Iraq. iraqwar.ru / iraqwar.ru   A car roblem A U.S. Hunmvee is on fire after it had driven over a road side bomb in downtwon Mosul, 400 km north of Baghdad on September 6. (AP) iraqwar.ru   HMMWV meets RPG A US HMMWV destroyed in Iraq by an RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher. (Source: Hackworth.com; sent by Dmitry Komolov) iraqwar.ru / iraqwar.ru/iraq-browse_gallery 

Bush administration wants entire 9/11 case kept secret January 9, 2004 BY GINA HOLLAND WASHINGTON In an extraordinary request, the Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Monday to let it keep its arguments secret in a case involving an immigrant's challenge of his treatment after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. suntimes.com

American Dynasty January 9, 2004 Buzzflash Interview With Kevin Phillips Author Of "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune And The Politics Of Deceit In The House Of Bush" "Now what I get a sense of from all of this -- and then topped obviously by spending all the money in 2000 to basically buy the election -- is that this is not a family that has a particularly strong commitment to American democracy. Its sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution." rense.com

Schwarzenegger to slash public services and raise college fees January 9, 2004 Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles Thousands of state employees are likely to lose their jobs in the wake of predicted deep cuts in the public services. College fees are expected to rise by between 10% and 40%, welfare services to the elderly to be cut. One of the likeliest cuts is from the Healthy Families program which gives healthcare insurance to 700,000 children of low-income workers. Some business people have claimed that the unions in California are too strong and payments such as workers' compensation - for injured or sick employees - were too high and favored the employee against the employer. Schwarzenegger plans to end the existing arrangement. guardian.co.uk

Could Mad Cow Disease Already Be Killing Thousands Of Americans Every Year? January 9, 2004 By Michael Greger, M.D. October 2001, 34-year-old Washington State native Peter Putnam started losing his mind. One month he was delivering a keynote business address, the next he couldn't form a complete sentence. Once athletic, soon he couldn't walk. Then he couldn't eat. After a brain biopsy showed it was Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, his doctor could no longer offer any hope. "Just take him home and love him," the doctor counseled his family.[1,2,3] Peter's tragic death, October 2002, may have been caused by Mad Cow disease. rense.com

My President is an Asshole  January 9, 2004 by David A. Garrett, Jr. The Knoxville, Tennessee protest during President Bush’s visit was a miserable failure. Not because the turnout was much lower than expected, but because our right, our freedom was stripped from us. We had designated “free speech zones” which meant that we could only have freedom of speech within 150 feet or so for the safety of the president. Over 30 police offers lined up one by one straight across from us ready to attack because they thought that we were out to get the president. Fuck the president, we just wanted him to hear our voice. The voice that disagrees with him. The voice that has a right to be heard. freespeechnews.com

US withdraws 400 weapon hunters from Iraq January 9, 2004 (New York Times) The Bush administration has quietly withdrawn from Iraq a 400-member military team whose job was to scour the country for military equipment, according to senior government officials. The step was described by some military officials as a sign that the administration might have lowered its sights and no longer expected to uncover the caches of chemical and biological weapons that the White House cited as a principal reason for going to war last March. news.ft.com

The domination effect January 9, 2004 David Miller Since the beginning of the war in Iraq, the US has sought not just to influence but to control all information, from both friend and foe "Information dominance" came of age during the conflict in Iraq. It is a little discussed but highly significant part of the US government strategy of "full spectrum dominance", integrating propaganda and news media into the military command structure more fundamentally than ever before. guardian.co.uk

And the twins died January 9, 2004 By Gideon Levy The soldiers turned the spotlight on the car, from their watchtower. The couple managed to walk only a few steps, Lamis supported by Raad, until the voice of the soldier was heard from the tower: "Stop or I'll shoot. Stop or I'll shoot." They froze in place. Raad says that he tried to explain to the soldiers that Lamis was about to give birth, but they only shouted, "Stand, stand." And so they stood outside, in the freezing cold, the young woman in labor and her husband. The minutes seemed like hours. Raad says that they stood between 15 minutes and half an hour. When he saw that Lamis' suffering was becoming unbearable, he decided to take her back to the car, no matter what. "You only die once. If he shoots, he shoots." He placed the bag of clothes in his hand on the road, and carried his wife to the car. Lamis was trembling and crying. Afterward the ambulance arrived, and stopped on the other side of the checkpoint. Raad shouted to the medical team to quickly bring a stretcher for Lamis, but the soldiers in the tower also prevented the ambulance driver from leaving his vehicle. haaretz.com

Exploitation and political cynicism Bush unveils “bracero” program for immigrant workers January 9, 2004 By Bill Vann In a gesture steeped in political cynicism, President Bush Wednesday advanced a vague proposal for granting a limited and temporary legal status to as many as 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Bush touted the plan as a more “humane” approach than the current system, but the US president’s proposal is heavily weighted in the interests of the corporations and employers. If implemented, it would create a legal framework for maintaining a tier of second-class and super-exploited labor in America. wsws.org

Journalists Under Fire The Death of José Couso in Baghdad January 9, 2004 By JAMES HOLLANDER "I think war is a dangerous place, and I think that nobody would kill a journalist intentionally." - George W. Bush "The death of José Couso was a premeditated crime, an attack on journalists to prevent us from telling the story of something the US has tried to hide from the start of the war: the slaughter of civilians." Mónica G. Prieto, Baghdad correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has certainly had its share of crimes and atrocities, any of which should be cause enough to have Bush and Blair brought before the Hague, if the mechanisms of international justice could actually bring the powerful to heel, beginning with the war itself counterpunch.com

Revealed: how global warming will cause extinction of a million species January 9, 2004 By Steve Connor A quarter of known land animals and plants, more than a million species, will eventually die out because of the global warming that will take place over the next 50 years, the most important study of its kind has concluded. International scientists from eight countries have warned that, based even on the most conservative estimates, rising temperatures will trigger a global mass extinction of unprecedented proportions. independent.co.uk

Resolution #1: Oust BushCo For 2004 January 9, 2004 By Mark Morford It ain't all just eating better and exercising, we've got some mandatory purging to do. This is the year of the end of Bush. This is the year of the end of the nasty hissing political Scylla that is CheneyRummyAshcroftRove. This is the year we say good-bye to the collective spiritual and intellectual gouge. This is the year we all wake the hell up. Can we resolve? It is even possible? To end all the inane ultraviolent ultramacho oily penis-envy wars and end the faux-macho political preening and flagrant poisoning of the environment and the appalling gutting of the economy? What, too utopian? Oh well. sfgate.com

DoD Reports up to 22,000 U.S. Casualties January 8, 2004 David Hackworth Soldiers for the Truth http://www.sftt.org/ According to retired Army Colonel David Hackworth, "Lt. Col. Scott D. Ross of the U.S. military's Transportation Command told me that as of Dec. 23, his outfit had evacuated 3,255 battle-injured casualties and 18,717 non-battle injuries. Of the battle casualties, 473 died and 3,255 were wounded by hostile fire." That is a total of 21,972 casualties. Some may have been counted twice if they were transported more than once or injured more than once. This new count is far higher than the report from Mark Benjamin at United Press International. Veterans want to know: what is the true casualty count? veteransforcommonsense.org

US 'endangering world economy' January 8, 2004 David Teather New York The International Monetary Fund last night warned that the gaping US budget deficit, ballooning trade imbalance and falling dollar were posing a serious threat to the health of the global economy. guardian.co.uk

GM crops linked to rise in pesticide use January 8, 2004 By John Vidal Eight years of planting genetically modified maize, cotton and soya beans in the US has significantly increased the amount of herbicides and pesticides used, according to a US report guardian.co.uk

Union moves to strangle grocery workers’ struggle in Southern California January 8,  2004 By Andrea Peters Picketing of major supermarket chains in Southern California by 70,000 striking and locked-out grocery workers is now entering its third month. Conditions facing the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) members are rapidly deteriorating, with the union leadership effectively strangling the struggle of its own rank and file. On October 11, workers at Vons and Pavillions supermarkets, which are owned by Safeway, Inc., struck against management demands for massive givebacks in health benefits, wages for new-hires, work rules, and other employment conditions. The following day, employees covered under the same contract at Ralphs (owned by the Kroger supermarket chain) and Albertsons supermarkets were locked out. wsws.org

US extremists to be sentenced over bomb plot Texas couple had arsenal capable of killing thousands January 8, 2004 Julian Borger Three Americans are due to be sentenced next month for their involvement in a plot to explode a cyanide bomb capable of killing thousands of people, in a case that has served as a reminder that homegrown terrorism is still a menace in a country permanently braced for another attack from abroad. guardian.co.uk

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination January 8, 2004 A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW Kucinich: Now the focus must be for the U.S. to seize this moment and end the occupation of Iraq. We must reach out to the world community with a new plan to stabilize Iraq, bring U.N. peacekeepers in, and bring U.S. troops home. This is the moment to move forward and to move in a new direction. buzzflash.com

More Deadly Than Gas January 8, 2004 By Frederick Sweet When this war ends, George Bush will have caused the poisoning of hundreds of thousands more humans than he said Saddam Hussein poisoned.  In its 110,000 air raids against Iraq, the US A-10 Warthog aircraft launched 940,000 depleted uranium shells, and in the land offensive, its M60, M1 and M1A1 tanks fired a further 4,000 larger caliber also uranium shells. The Bush administration and the Pentagon said, there is no danger to American troops or Iraqi civilians from breathing the uranium oxide dust produced in depleted uranium (DU) weapons explosions. interventionmag.com



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