SGNS OF THE TIMES

March 1, 2004

  • It's good to see the voting machine issue taken seriously by the New York Times.

  • Few have any recollections about Bush in the National Guard in Alabama, but many remember him socially. "For much of 1972, the 26-year-old Bush lived, worked and played in Alabama, mostly in Montgomery. He came to town to work for Blount at the urging of his father and with the help of a family friend, GOP political consultant Jimmy Allison of Midland, Texas," says the Birmingham News. "And he lived in a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage in Montgomery's historic Cloverdale neighborhood, the furnished home of a 68-year-old widow. That's what the Smith family remembers most about Bush, how he left their aunt's home damaged, dirty and dumpy. 'He was just a rich kid who had no respect for other people's possessions,' said Mary Smith, whose family found damaged walls, broken furnishings and a chandelier destroyed after Bush left the house. A bill sent to collect the damages went unpaid, the family said."

  • Arnold's one of those guys who tells a great story, not necessarily true. LA Times

  • Global Warming -- the actual effects in Alaska. Very frightening. The Guardian.

  • Schwarzenegger's behavior with women, as reported by many who worked on movies with him, was more than just good-natured joking. See Sacramaneto Bee. "During the campaign, Schwarzenegger refused to address the specific allegations, issuing a general apology and saying that he had 'behaved badly sometimes ... and I have done things that were not right, which I thought were playful.' But he also suggested that some women who came forward were part of a puke campaign by his opponents, and said he would deal with the specifics after he was elected. Following the election, he dismissed the issue as old news, and in December he announced he would not appoint an independent investigator to pursue the claims ... Harwell said Schwarzenegger, wearing only his underwear, pinned her on a bed in his trailer when she asked for his required signature on a form. He let her go, she said, only when a supervisor began calling for her over the two-way radio clipped to her hip. She said the action star harassed her on the "Twins" set other times by making lewd comments or groping her. His campaign apology, she said, minimized the extent of his behavior."

    March 2, 2004

  • Aristide said he was kidnapped by the U.S., forced to leave Haiti. "I call it a coup d'etat," he said. Reuters
  • And similar activity in Venezuela: Reuters
  • Bush essentially skipped the '60s. He was neither a warrior, nor a fighter against the war. He was sheltered from the whole thing. He was never really involved. "Bush ... was a privileged son who took his entitlement to eventual power for granted. He did some sporadic time in the Texas Air National Guard while others worked in the Peace Corps or fought in the war against poverty. He worked, off and on, at businesses his father gave him to run, while many of his classmates carved out careers dedicated to changing society. Truth be told, he didn't really become a responsible man until he became 40 years old. Call him the anti-'60s president. His views on abortion, same-sex marriage, waging war and social and economic justice were not forged during his youth. They were hatched as part of a middle-aged quest to pursue his family's dynastic political power. His views are far more conservative than most of the huge generation that embraced greater tolerance and liberal social attitudes." SF Gate
  • Trial of McVeigh accomplice is blowing the FBI's story apart. The theory that McVeigh was a "lone mastermind" of the crime is long gone as the FBI has acknowledged that it suppressed evidence of a gang of neo-nazi bank robbers that apparently had a greater role in the crime than McVeigh. Independent
  • Pressure mounts on Blair over legality of war. The Herald
  • "The sight of George Bush questioning the fitness to lead of the president of Haiti is a bit like watching Hitler accuse the chief druid of the Ku Klux Klan of racism. Over the past few years President Bush (and his loyal lieutenant President Blair) has proved that he is not fit to lead. " The Herald

    NEWS SCAN

    March 3, 2004

  • Republican rebukes Bush. Madison Capital Times
  • Why they had to crush Aristide. The Guardian
  • Chavez calls Bush 'Asshole', says New York Times.

    March 4, 2004

  • Here is a strange glimpse: The Conservative Book Club. Find out how Clinton caused 9/11 when he wasn't even president, and Bush, who was president when that massive complex of failures took place, was a great hero. Find out "how the Left has corrupted our culture and obliterated our values" in The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values. Read how the horrible Bush years are really a "legacy" of the Clinton years, which -- although they seemed economically prosperous and peaceful at the time, were really just setting us up for the catastrophes of the Bush years. Read how feminism is attacking our boys. Find out about "The Bias Against Guns" in a book of the same title.
  • Confidence in America's military involvement in Iraq has dropped to its lowest level since the war began - slightly more than a quarter of U.S. adults say they are "very certain" the occupation of Iraq was the right thing to do, according to a series of surveys about Iraq conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University. Redding.com
  • Ted Rall on the Haiti coup, the second time Aristide was pushed out by elements from the old dictatorship under a Duvalier and a Bush. Rall says, "the International Monetary Fund was trying to subject Haiti to a 'structural adjustment' plan that would have radically curtailed social services in order to redirect government revenues towards paying off its foreign debts and increased the viability of its existing free trade zones for American transnational corporations hoping to use the nation as a tax shelter. The U.S. and IMF asked international aid agencies to impose a virtual economic embargo upon Haiti, crippling the economy and leading to the crisis that sparked the coup."
  • Bush Hides White House's Complicity in Haiti. The Daily MisLeader
  • Molly Ivins: "The media made O'Neill's not very new tale that this Administration meant to invade Iraq from the git-go the big item, but the real story in O'Neill's recollections is both simpler and more depressing. It is what has bothered people about Bush from the beginning: He's not bright enough to be President. For a long time, anyone who questioned Bush's ability to think was pointed to the opinion polls and told that discussing whether or not the President is borderline stupid was bad manners and counterproductive. Actually, that is the main problem with Bush: He neither reads, nor writes, nor speaks well. It turns out that a C average is not good enough for the Presidency." The Progressive
  • New Yorkers are not into Bush's planned performance at Ground Zero, according to Salon. "It's totally inappropriate," says Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband, Ronald, was killed at the World Trade Center. "The president won't testify before the entire 9/11 commission, he won't testify under oath, and he fought the creation of the commission for one year. So for him to have the audacity to even think of going to ground zero is absolutely deplorable. That's sacred ground. That's solemn, holy ground where my husband and 3,000 others were murdered. It doesn't belong to politics."
  • Bush Stonewalls 9/11 Commission, Leaving Families to Wonder Why. "If the terrorist attacks occurred during Bill Clinton's presidency and he was stonewalling a commission investigating the events, every right-wing wacko on the planet would be howling like a stuck pig," says the Niagara Falls Reporter

    WEEKEND NEWS PATCH

    March 6, 2004

  • Funny how the PR president deals with all problems with a photo op. He was criticized for putting the WTC in his ads when he has blocked investigation of the tragedy at every point. So what does he do? Give up the suppressed documents? No, he goes to a 9/11 memorial for a press event.
  • The 9/11 victim's families are pissed at Bush for his use of 9/11 in his ads to make political hay out of it. (CBS) Bush is on the defensive about 9/11 ads. (Guardian, Voice of America. None of these articles mention the complaints of the victim's families who say: He's blocked the investigation into what killed our families, how dare he try to take political advantage of the tragedy by portraying himself as the hero of it!
  • Bush on the economy: delusional -- "'The economy is getting stronger,' Bush said from an outdoor stage at a family-owned company, Rain for Rent, an irrigation system business. 'One of the reasons why I think we're doing so good here in America is because of the tax relief we passed, is because people have more money in their pockets.'" Right, George. Go back to sleep. Guardian
  • Kerry says Bush is trying to "scare America" with those ads. He's right, ya know.
  • Kennedy: Bush engaged in "pure, unadulterated fear-mongering, based on a devious strategy to convince the American people that Saddam's ability to provide nuclear weapons to Al Qaeda justified immediate war."
  • Roe v Wade was almost overturned in '92, but Justice Kennedy changed his mind. A lot closer than you may have thought.
  • Bush's Dark Age Intervention
  • Expect the Republicans to "elevate the sense of threat." That is one of the principle strategies advocated by Dick Morris, Machiavellian Republican political hack, who says, "While his anti-Kerry ads are running, the president himself needs to make Americans understand that the war on terror is still atop our national agenda. He needs to elevate the sense of threat so that his advantage as a war president begins to count." Morris isn't telling Cheney anything. What else would you expect them to do? Don't fall for it, America. Time to really be the Home of the Brave, to take this country back from the fascists. See Morris on "How Bush can destroy Kerry fast".
  • Voices of outrage rise around the world against the U.S. intervention in the overthrowal of Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti. Independent
  • Norman Solomon on U.S. intervention in Haiti. "With very little U.S. press coverage of such economic matters -- and, likewise, scant attention to the collusion between the Bush administration and disreputable opponents of the Aristide regime -- media acceptance of the current U.S. military intervention in Haiti was predictable." Common Dreams
  • Bush ads use dead bodies as props. Daily Misleader
  • "Kerry not only voted for the invasion, but expressed his disappointment that it had not gone according to plan. He told Rolling Stone magazine: 'Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did.' Neither Kerry nor any of the other candidates has called for an end to the bloody and illegal occupation; on the contrary, all of them have demanded more troops for Iraq. Kerry has called for another '40,000 active service troops'. He has supported Bush's continuing bloody assault on Afghanistan, and the administration's plans to 'return Latin America to American leadership' by subverting democracy in Venezuela." New Statesman
  • Maureen Dowd: "Bush continues to imply that we should be scared because we're not safe, so we need to keep him to protect our national security. Which seems like a weird contradiction. If he's so good at protecting us, why aren't we safe? The president [sic] doesn't hesitate to exploit 9/11 in his ads, even as he tries to keep 9/11 orphans and widows in the dark about what really happened. " NY Times
  • Again, Maureen Dowd: "Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, George Tenet was asked why the C.I.A. never picked up the trail of Marwan al-Shehhi, the pilot who crashed Flight 175 into the south tower on 9/11. Thirty months earlier, German intelligence had passed on a hot tip to the C.I.A. the Al Qaeda terrorist's first name and phone number. 'The Germans gave us a name, Marwan that's it and a phone number,' the director of central intelligence replied, adding: 'They didn't give us a first and a last name until after 9/11, with then additional data.' For crying out loud. As one guy I know put it: 'I've tracked down women across the country with a lot less information than that.'" NY Times
  • "The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is refusing to accept strict conditions from the White House for interviews with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and is renewing its request that Mr. Bush's national security adviser testify in public, commission members said Tuesday."
  • Krugman on Greenspan and the bait-and-switch class war tax swindle: "during the 1980's the Greenspan commission persuaded Congress to increase the payroll tax, which supports the program. The payroll tax is regressive: it falls much more heavily on middle- and lower-income families than it does on the rich. In fact, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, families near the middle of the income distribution pay almost twice as much in payroll taxes as in income taxes. Yet people were willing to accept a regressive tax increase to sustain Social Security. Now the joke's on them. Mr. Greenspan pushed through an increase in taxes on working Americans, generating a Social Security surplus. Then he used that surplus to argue for tax cuts that deliver very little relief to most people, but are worth a lot to those making more than $300,000 a year. And now that those tax cuts have contributed to a soaring deficit, he wants to cut Social Security benefits. he point, of course, is that if anyone had tried to sell this package honestly - 'Let's raise taxes and cut benefits for working families so we can give big tax cuts to the rich!' - voters would have been outraged. So the class warriors of the right engaged in bait-and-switch."
  • This Plague of Fear: A Thought by a Writer by Magie Dominic
  • Congresspeople question administration's handling of Haiti. Newsdays

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