Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Will there be change, part 1

Before I start I would like to point out that we need to come together and respect President Bush. Sure, I disagreed with most of his policies, but he was still my President. Far too often in politics we lack the respect that we owe to these people. These people live inside of a fishbowl for years just to serve us. Sure, they have power and money, but they do this for us. We owe them a great deal of gratitude, and we should actually honor them for this.
I am just so sick of seeing the disrespect that we give to our fellow humans, let alone our leaders.

Today was a day of change, a day of great celebration. Yet, it was also a day of mourning and sadness. We replaced one leader for another in the act that made America so special. That is, we switched parties with no violence. We replaced one president, Mr Bush with another, Mr Obama. For all pomp and circumstance, was there actually much of a change?

I am not going to go into much detail today (will get into large amounts of detail on Friday) but I really want to know what you guys are thinking. Will this 'change' actually occur? Or, are the same influences going to be applied to both?

Will create a full entry on this for Friday, but until then, think about it...

Now, go out and have fun celebrating this great day.


Anonymous said...

I have no respect for men who would betray our trust and their sacred offices to commit crimes with the goal of furthering their own power and wealth.

Barga said...

Crimes, the last president who committed a large crime while in office was Nixon, so what are you talking about?

Ben said...

people like anonymous are the ones who will say this stuff about bush - without using their names - and then tell us we all need to come together and support Obama.

No thanks.

Barga said...

we need to come together and support obama
yes, we can question, but we must support

Ben said...

Why should I? Why should I when the other side never did?

Peter said...

Because Ben, You're better than the other side. It's one of those that you shouldn't fight on the enemy's ground, Fight where you want to. Insulting and demeaning you opponent only demeans you and your argument while often distracting both you and others from the actual argument.

Barga said...

Pretty much what peter said

Plus, also remember, I am that other side and I DID

Ander said...

No, we don't need to come together and respect President Bush just because he occupies a position in a system we respect.

I personally don't respect any form of authority or governance at that level but you do so I will give you the benefit of doubt on that.

Why shouldn't we respect him? (The main points)

As Texas governor:

-- lobbied for a national radioactive waste dump in Texas;

-- told the public it was mostly for x-rays and other hospital waste;

-- solicited nuclear power waste from other states;

-- corrupted the state's environmental standards to accommodate polluters;

-- failed to provide protection from industrial pollution, air toxins, and hazardous wastes;

-- did it all secretly;

-- stripped municipalities of local control over land use and environmental protections;

-- let state parks languish in decay and disrepair, and this was only his environmental record.

Elections 2000 and 2004 - Tainted by Fraud

-- millions of absentee ballots never mailed to Democrats or arrived too late;

-- malfunctioning voting machines in Democrat districts wiped out huge numbers of crucial votes;

-- according to Greg Palast, over three million votes cast but never counted because of rejected "provisional ballots" (for registered voters unlisted on rolls); "spoiled ballots" (ones malfunctioning machines didn't count); uncounted absentee ballots for minor reasons; and black and Latino voters stripped from the roles for the same reasons as in 2000;

-- major deviations in 30 states between exit polls and final results; way beyond margins of error and indicative of fraud; in all but four states, discrepancies favored Bush;

-- Ohio was ground zero, much like Florida in 2000 that also went for Bush in 2004; 357,000 Ohio voters, overwhelmingly Democrat, were prevented from voting or their votes weren't counted; Bush carried the state by 118,599; clear proof he lost; Kerry won, and was elected president;

-- Democrat precincts got too few voting machines; voters were obstructed by long lines, malfunctioning machines, numerous instances of being told they were at the wrong precinct, and most disturbing:

-- one in every four Ohio registrants showing up to vote discovered they weren't listed on the rolls because Republican Secretary of State and co-chair of Bush's reelection committee, Kenneth Blackwell, ordered them purged.

These and other fraudulent practices greased the way for George Bush's illegitimate reelection and the continued fallout from it.

After the Cold War ended in 1991 Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz designed what they called the Defense Planning Guidance or Wolfowitz doctrine. It was an early plan for what later emerged in the late 1990s and in the Bush Doctrine.

In 1997, the plan was revived by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in a (2000) document called "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century."

It stated: "America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of US military forces." It further called for "American hegemony" and "full-sprectrum dominance," and said achieving it would be long-term "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor".

A number of PNC members joined the Bush administration, key among them Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz - fully committed to what emerged as a "Global War on Terrorism" starting off in Afghanistan, Iraq, and against any perceived homeland threats. Their vision:

-- unchallengeable dominance;

-- ignoring the rule of law;

-- waging wars of aggression called liberating ones;

-- making torture official state policy;

-- suppressing civil liberties for our own good;

-- targeting Muslims, Latino immigrants and others of choice for political advantage; rounding them up; denying them due process; incarcerating and/or deporting them, and much worse as discussed below;

-- building Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mass detention camps for "enemies of the state" or threats to "national security;"

-- deploying paramilitary enforcers (like Blackwater Worldwide, formerly Blackwater USA) on US streets;

-- silencing dissent;

-- turning elections into farces; pre-determining outcomes for favored candidates; letting kabuki theater, horse race journalism, and trivia substitute for real news and information; turning democracy into fantasy;

-- fostering social decay at home; and

-- institutionalizing spying and police state repression for enforcement.

Bush entered office with an approval rating around 50%. It first rose slightly, then dipped below 50% in late August. It all changed on September 11. Bush's rating skyrocketed to a temporary high above 90% and stayed above 80% through year end. That event transformed a mediocre president overnight to a combination of Lincoln, FDR and Churchill, according to some observers and hyperactive media pundits.

After he peaked, it was downhill to 60% at yearend 2002, around 50% in late 2003, then around 40% or lower to more recent months when he's ranged from the low to higher 20s. Until American Research Group's September lowest ever for a US president at 19%, Research 2000 scored him lowest at 22% in late July.

The US Space Command produced a 1998 document called Vision for 2020. In May 2000 ahead of Bush taking office, it was released as the Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Vision 2020 with a sweeping aim - to achieve "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any potential challengers with all weapons in our arsenal, including nuclear and others of mass destruction.

The December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review reasserted the same prerogative to unilaterally declare and wage future wars preemptively with first strike nuclear weapons, and by inference, all others as well. It also reclassified nuclear weapons as conventional weapons to be used in theater warfare. This means a general in the field of combat can decide to use a nuclear weapon without the authorization of the president.

On September 11, 2001, Bush addressed the nation and declared a "war on terrorism," asked for world support to win it, and began what became "our government's emergency (preventive war strategy) response plans." He planned to ignore the law and wage a global war throughout an "arc of instability" from the South American Andean region (mainly Colombia) to North Africa through the Middle East to the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere in Eurasia.

On September 17, Bush signed a secret presidential finding (similar to EOs) empowering the CIA to "Capture, Kill or Interrogate Al-Queda Leaders." It authorized establishing a secret global network of facilities to detain, interrogate and otherwise mistreat whomever is called a "terrorist threat" and began his administration's official sanctioning of torture.

On November 13, he issued Military Order Number 1.It disturbed one analyst enough to call it a "coup d'etat" and "watershed moment in (the) country" and hinted at what would follow: violating the rule of law, suspending civil liberties, and usurping absolute authority to act against anyone - later called "unlawful enemy combatants" or "terrorist" threats, including US citizens stripped of their constitutional protections. And it was only the beginning. From then followed:

-- the use of National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives (NSPDs and HSPDs); they're much like EOs and presidential findings with the "full force and effect of law;" they relate to national security and remain classified unless made public; Bush issued dozens of NSPDs and over 20 HSPDs;

-- the October 25, 2001 NSPD-9 signed into law official administration policies adopted on September 4, 2001 - seven days before 9/11 with every expectation they'd be implemented; it's titled "Defeating the Terrorist Threat to the United States" and referred to Al Queda and so-called terrorist networks of Muslim fundamentalist extremists;

-- later NSPDs related to combatting WMDs, the Iraq war, biodefense, using space for "full spectrum dominance," and much more;

-- the combined NSPD-51/HSPD-20 deserves special mention; it was similar to Ronald Reagan's Executive Order 12656 that empowered the executive in cases of "any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States;"

-- it established "Continuity of Government (COG)" procedures under a "Catastrophic Emergency" that may be anything from a real or contrived "terrorist" act to whatever the president calls a justifiable "emergency;" it established unprecendented powers free from constitutional constraints - to claim a "national emergency," declare martial law, and govern as a virtual dictator with limitless police state powers; some COG powers were invoked on September 11, 2001; they've remained in force since, and on August 28, 2008, George Bush continued "the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency;"

-- the USA Patriot Act - written well in advance of 9/11; passed and signed into law 45 days later on October 26; it capitalized on a window of hysteria; granted unchecked powers to the executive; and subverted sacred constitutional liberties of free expression, religion, right to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances; due process; and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures - in all the ways now allowed through a process of institutionalized spying and monitoring of all our behavior and practices at the government's discretion; the Act also (for the first time) created the crime of "domestic terrorism" to apply the definition to US citizens as well as aliens;

-- the November 25, 2002 Homeland Security Act (HSA); also written well in advance of 9/11 as a companion anti-terrorism bill and included the repressive Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) - to terrorize legal and undocumented immigrants, mainly Latinos and Muslims; DHS centralizes unprecedented military and law enforcements powers in the executive branch for greater global dominance; like the Patriot Act, it sweeps away constitutional protections and justifies it in the name of "national security;" it coordinates it with the October 2002-created US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in violation of the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse Comitatus protections against US military forces deployed inside the country except as expressly authorized by the Constitution or in cases of internal insurrection;

-- the late September 2006 Pentagon Global Strike Command called the Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike and Integration; it followed from the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that planned policy five to ten years ahead and remains classified except for excerpted parts; they relate to offensive strike systems and a revitalized defense infrastructure to meet emerging threats; the tone is belligerent and declares preventive wars on any nation, groups or force anywhere (including internal ones) and allows NORTHCOM, DHS, and other domestic security agencies unrestricted countermeasure powers - indicative of a police state;

-- within days of 9/11, torture became official US policy and was authorized by a blizzard of presidential directives, memoranda, and other official documents from the highest levels of government; domestic and international laws and norms were rendered invalid, and a new repressive order replaced them; the rule of law no longer applies, and constitutional protections no longer exist at the president's discretion;

-- Congress was fully obliging; in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, it officially sanctioned torture after intervening against the Supreme Court's Rasul v. Bush (June 2004) ruling granting Guantanamo detainees habeas rights; it also ruled they had none.

--The Military Commissions Act subverted the High Court a second time in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld when it held as follows: Guantanamo Bay military commissions lack "the power to proceed because (their) structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions (of) 1949;" Congress responded with sweeping MCA powers, reaffirmed torture as official US policy, and let the president designate anyone anywhere in the world (including US citizens) "unlawful enemy combatants" and empowered him to arrest, detain, and torture them indefinitely in military prisons as well as deny them due process in civil courts;

-- Sections 1076 and 333 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2007; they ended the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse Comitatus protections against US military forces used for law enforcement inside the country, except as explained above;

-- Congress passed the Real ID Act of 2005 that, if implemented, threatens personal privacy; originally, it was to become effective in May 2008 to require states to meet federal ID standards; so far, however, it's in question as at least two dozen states passed laws prohibiting it use; it requires every US citizen and legal resident to have a national identity card that in most cases is a driver's license; it's to contain personal information required to open a bank account, board an airplane, be able to vote, or conduct virtually any essential business; in the future it may also contain a radio frequency identification (RFID) computer chip to track all our movements, activities and transactions at all times - a police state dream; the legislation so far remains stalled;

-- institutionalized spying now policy under George Bush with Congress complicit in its implementation; since late 2001, the National Security Agency (NSA) did it illegally; the 2007 Protect America Act amended the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to allow virtually unrestricted mass data-mining and intercept of all types of domestic and foreign communications of anyone - foreign nationals and US citizens; it authorizes unrestricted warrantless spying for any claimed "national security" reason;

-- Congress further violated Fourth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures by passing the 2008 FISA Amendments Act; it gutted FISA by weakening standards of proof and warrants required for surveillance and granted telecom companies retroactive immunity for warrantless spying post-9/11 - now institutionalized unchecked, unrestrained and easily abused;

-- through late November 2008, Bush issued around 280 Executive Orders in additional to his signing statements, presidential findings, and official executive memoranda; the July 17, 2007 EO was particularly egregious: "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq;" under it, Bush usurped authority to criminalize the anti-war movement, make First Amendment protests illegal, and assert power to seize the assets of persons violating this decree; he effectively criminalized dissent;

-- the Bush administration may be the most secretive one ever in a democracy; he placed limits on presidential records, the Freedom of Information Act, and a free and open society by usurping power to classify information for "national security" and create a new array of categories called "sensitive;"

-- in November 2006, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) amended the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act; it criminalized First Amendment activities advocating for animal rights - like peaceful protests, leafleting, undercover investigations, whistleblowing and boycotts; it makes these forms of animal protection advocacy a crime;

-- the House overwhelmingly passed the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007; it's now in the Senate where if passed and signed into law will effectively criminalize "thought" and further erode constitutional protections;

-- Sections 1615 and 1622 of the 2008 Defense Authorization Act; they authorize DOD to militarize state and local law enforcement authorities during a national emergency described as "an accident of national significance or a catastrophic incident;" they effectively established a martial law apparatus at state and local levels to work alongside federal agencies - without congressional approval.

Bush's War on Working Americans

Taking from the poor and middle class. Giving to the rich. That explains a lot about Bush's plutocratic scheme, his "ownership society." To transfer trillions of public and private dollars from millions of working Americans to giant corporations and the wealthiest segment of society.

Corporations alone are hugely concentrated and virtual monopolies. Of the world's largest economies, at least 51 are corporations. Most are US-based or controlled and function as what Noam Chomsky calls "private tyrannies." More than ever under George Bush. They're run by well-connected, powerful figures comprising the top 1% of the nation's affluent. They (and others in the top 1%) own around 70% of the country's wealth in the form of stocks, bonds, land, business assets, natural resources, and other investments.

In contrast, 90% of American families have little or no net worth with all their debt burdens taken into account. And millions now face the potential loss of their homes because of unaffordable mortgages and the nation's grave economic conditions afflicting them. More as well. Since the mid-1970s, wages haven't kept up with inflation, and benefits have declined and are disappearing.

Jobs are offshored for greater profits. High-paying manufacturing and other good ones are lost, replaced by lower-paying, less skilled, many part-time ones, and a huge reserve army of unemployed and underemployed to contain wage pressures. Union membership has plummeted from a post-war 1950s 34.7% high to around 12% now and only 7.4% in the private sector.

He took on public sector unions straightaway; denied 170,000 DHS employees civil service protection and the right to bargain collectively; and targeted all federal workers for lower pay, fewer benefits, loss of unionized rights, and in many cases their jobs.

He one-sidedly supports business. Stripped workers of their bargaining rights. Denied pay raises for 1.8 million federal workers on the pretext of a "national emergency" and millions more overtime pay. He appointed anti-union officials.

Since 1999, and especially under George Bush, consumer debt grew twice as fast as income. Millions live in poverty, many millions more just above it. At least 47 million Americans have no health insurance.

The nation's 140 million working population has been gravely harmed. Today's wealth gap is unprecendented.

These conditions have accelerated under George Bush. He shamed the nation by:

-- targeting the poor, middle America and people most vulnerable;

-- stripping away opportunity;

-- shifting wealth to the rich;

-- making speculation even more of a growth industry;

-- designating everything for privatization;

-- aiming to end public education and hand it to profiteers for plunder; and

-- creating the grimmest and most unparalled economic conditions since New Deal reforms improved things in the 1930s.

For every uncovered corporate scandal, countless others exist and remain hidden. Here are a few lists during 2001, 2002 and an earlier 2000 one:

-- Adelphia Communications (2002) involving billions of illegal off-the-books loans to top executives; also overstating financial results by inflating capital expenses and concealing debt;

-- AOL Time Warner (2002) for inflating sales by booking barter deals on advertising; AOL may have overstated revenue by $49 million, and the company took a dubious $54 billion writedown for "good will" to end 2002 with the largest loss ever in corporate history - $98.7 billion;

-- Bristol-Myers Squibb (2002) for inflating its 2001 revenue by $1.5 billion by so-called "channel-stuffing" - the practice of forcing wholesalers to accept more products than they can sell to clean out company inventory and claim added sales;

-- CMS Energy (2002) for illegally executing "round-trip" trades to artificially boost energy trading volume;

-- Duke Energy (2002) for the same offense;

-- Dynergy (2002) for the same one;

-- El Paso (2002) - the same one also;

-- Global Crossing (2002) for engaging in network capacity "swaps" with other carriers - to inflate revenue and for destroying evidentiary documents to hide them;

-- Halliburton (2002) for inflating sales by booking barter transactions as revenue;

-- Kmart (2002) - regarding anonymous letters from company employees alleging the company's accounting practices intended to deceive investors about its financial health;

-- Merck (2002) - for recording $12.4 billion in consumer-to-pharmacy co-payments the company never collected;

-- Mirant (2002) - for fraudulent accounting practices that boosted revenues and understated expenses;

-- Peregrine Systems (2002) - for overstating $100 million in sales by improperly recognizing revenues from third-party resellers;

-- Quest Communications International (2002) - for illegally engaging in "round-trip" trades to boost trading volumes and revenues;

-- Tyco (2002) - for its CEO's indictment for tax evasion, improper use of company funds, and illegal merger accounting practices;

-- Xerox (2000) - for falsifying financial results for five years to boost income by $1.5 billion, and last but not all

Worldcom (2002) - the second most notable scandal after Enron for overstating cash flow by $3.8 billion; booking operating expenses as capital ones; for SEC charges of $9 billion in fraudulent accounting practices; and for founder and CEO Bernard Ebbers illegally taking $400 million in off-the-books loans.

Here's a brief look at George Bush's eight year (economic) balance sheet:

-- an unprecedented $8 trillion housing bubble now imploding;

-- millions of foreclosed homeowners and millions more at risk;

-- the likely deepest economic calamity since the 1930s and potentially one even worse;

-- skyrocketing job losses;

-- rising bankruptcies;

-- failing banks;

-- consumers maxed out on credit and strapped by debt;

-- the American dream an illusion; from eroded household wealth, declining wages and benefits, and soaring expenses;

-- trillions of dollar losses; likely many trillions more ahead;

-- a potential devastating deflation and eventual potential serious inflation from excess money creation;

-- multi-trillions in toxic debt; from asset backed securities (ABS); not by mistake; by design; as F. William Engdahl explains in his new book: "Power of Money;" to profit hugely and create a banking panic; for greater concentrated "financial and economic power in a few private hands;" globally under JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup (if it survives), Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America; masters of the universe;

-- an unrepayable national debt; in the tens of trillions;

-- speculative finance turned more than ever into a growth industry;

-- toxic waste derivative schemes in place of legitimate investments;

-- massive unchecked fraud;

-- "banksters" rewarded instead of punished;

-- the economy reeling from mountains of debt, frozen credit, mortgage delinquencies, growing defaults, rising unemployment, and the possibility of something much more serious ahead.

It's spreading everywhere, touching businesses and households. The result of speculative finance, corruption, and irresponsible governance, now threatening the nation with economic decline or possible ruin.

A full Bush legacy accounting requires volumes. The above is just a sampling. For good measure, however, more examples are below from the many during his tenure. They range from neglect to outrage to scandal to high crimes and misdemeanors:

-- sending young men and women to fight illegal wars; then provided the sick and wounded with third world health care on return; some even charged for it; others get little or nothing;

-- irradiating vast areas of Iraq and Afghanistan with depleted uranium contamination and other deadly toxins; they cause every imaginable health problem to those exposed and their families;

-- issuing an executive order (EO) revoking Gerald Ford's ban on assassinations and thus making the practice (along with torture) official state policy;

-- willfully leaving New Orleans vulnerable to what FEMA in early 2001 called the most likely potential US disaster - a major hurricane and flood in the city; ethnically cleansing poor blacks post-Katrina to let corporate predators seize their land and property for profitable development;

-- rejecting the Kyoto Protocol ratified by 182 countries as of May 2008;

-- showing contempt for environmental issues and giving corporate allies license to pollute;

-- increasing defense spending to over $1 trillion dollars annually with all budgeted categories included plus multi-billions more in secret off-the-books allocations;

-- at the least, having full knowledge and allowing the 9/11 attack to happen; then rigging the 9/11 Commission to whitewash the investigation and leave the most important questions unanswered;

-- promoting the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act; now hurting homeowners in trouble and facing foreclosure; others as well from lost jobs and illness;

-- trying to privatize Social Security for Wall Street; to end the most important federal program keeping millions of seniors out of poverty;

-- ending Medicare through huge annual premium increases; gradually eliminating Medicaid as well for the indigent;

-- hiring journalists to be paid propagandists;

-- supporting ending Net Neutrality and allowing service providers to censor content;

-- vetoing stem cell research legislation twice;

-- supporting the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 to give loggers license to clear cut;

-- spening billions on "missile defense" that, in fact, is for offense; provocatively installing it close to Russian and Chinese borders;

-- wanting a constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be only between a man and a woman;

-- adding a signing statement to the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act asserting executive authority to open US mail;

-- supporting the 2005 Energy Policy Act and 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that mandate biofuel production and use; a scam to create food shortages; let prices rise and enrich agribusiness; they're also a genetic Trojan horse for Ag biotech giants like Monsanto to colonize our fuel and food system, raise prices, control output, and make it all GMO - known to harm human health;

-- favoring the abolition of the separation of church and state;

-- supporting nuclear proliferation for commercial and military purposes;

-- signing the 2006 Secure Fence Act to build a multi-billion dollar barrier on our southern border with Mexico to deter unwanted Latino immigrants;

-- in 2003, exempting 20 million acres of wetlands and streams from Clean Water Act (CWA) protections;

-- letting the dollar depreciate 40% from 2002 - 2008 and now manipulating it higher to facilitate reckless money creation and borrowing; and

-- allowing market manipulation to let oil and gasoline prices skyrocket to benefit Big Oil allies.

There's more as in the administration's final days George Bush is rushing through new "midnight regulations" that will be very hard to change. They include:

-- allowing uranium mining near the Grand Canyon;

-- permitting loaded firearms in national parks;

-- prohibiting injured consumers from suing negligent manufacturers in state courts; requiring pro-business federal ones to handle them;

-- further gutting the Endangered Species Act by no longer requiring government scientists to assess how imperiled species will be impacted by mining, logging, drilling, highway building, and other development; climate change and other environmental considerations will also no longer apply;

-- opening two million new acres of mountain state lands to shale oil development;

-- opening additional acres of undeveloped lands to mining;

-- letting Big Coal dump waste from mountaintop mining into neighboring streams and valleys; letting the industry build plants next to some sites formerly restricted for environmental safety;

-- trashing the Clean Water Act by letting Agribusiness dump, or let seep, animal waste into US waterways; another new regulation will exempt factory farms from reporting air pollution from animal waste;

-- exempting big chemical companies from monitoring their lead emissions; also classifying three billion pounds of hazardous waste as "recycling" and letting another 200 million pounds be reclassified as "fuel;"

-- restricting the government's ability to protect workers from exposure to toxic chemicals and other substances; also weakening the Family and Medical Leave Act to make it harder for workers to have time off for serious illness; another favor to truckers to permit longer driver hours on the road - up to 11 hours a day with only 34 downtime hours between hauls;

-- a vaguely written rule to make it harder for pharmacies and health care providers to participate in abortions; also to provide information on contraception, family planning and artificial insemination;

-- limiting vision and dental care for over 50 million low income Medicaid recipients to make hard-pressed states and poor people cover more of the cost;

-- relaxing air pollution standards near national parks;

-- enlisting state and local police to illegally spy for the federal government; and perhaps more still in the administration's final days - to add an exclamation point to an ugly legacy.

Once these rules are published in the Federal Register, the new administration will be hard-pressed to expunge or change them. Doing so takes time, in some cases years, at a time the economic crisis, foreign wars, and other priorities take precedence.

The Center for Public Integrity published its "Broken Government By the Numbers" under George Bush. Some include:

-- 45 million (more likely 50) with no health care and tens of millions more with too little;

-- 60% of EPA scientists report political interference with their work;

-- of 1273 whistleblower complaints from 2002 - 2008, all but 17 were dismissed - a mere 1.3%;

-- 190,000 missing US-supplied weapons in Iraq;

-- $212.3 million in Halliburton overcharges for oil construction work in Iraq plus countless millions more for its other services and products; much the same is true for other companies with close administration ties;

-- record fiscal deficits, expected to reach or exceed $1 trillion for FY 2009 and successive years thereafter;

-- a record $9.91 billion for government secrecy in 2007;

-- 800 government laptops with sensitive information lost by FBI, DEA, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;

-- 30 million pounds of tainted beef recalled in 2007 and concern for how much more is never found or reported;

-- DOD weapons acquisition budget exceeded by over $300 billion plus trillions of unaccounted for defense allocations;

-- less than 3% of US electricity needs provided by alternative energy;

-- the horrific toll in Iraq and Afghanistan - to US forces and local populations;

-- $100 billion or more in annual federal tax revenues lost by letting corporations and the rich use off-shore tax havens;

-- $60 billion in annual Medicare fraud;

-- lax FDA, FAA, OSHA and other government agency enforcement endangering public health and safety;

-- 20,000 annual US deaths from power plant and diesel vehicle pollution;

-- 60,000 newborns a year at risk for neurological problems because of mercury emissions from coal-fired plants;

-- 935 "demonstrably false statements" in the run-up to the Iraq war;

-- 760,800 disability claims backlogged and awaiting hearings by the Social Security Administration as of October 2008, and

-- 806,000 veterans' disability claims in 2006 (mostly from the Iraq and Afghan wars); the backlog reached 400,000 in February 2007.

Ander said...


Assessing the Bush Legacy: The Measure of the Man and His Administration

by Stephen Lendman

Barga said...

wow, dude, I don't have time to respond to all of that

that said, please email me

Ander said...

Now Obama, continues to support the war on terror calling the war in Iraq the "wrong war". Well what is the right war? The war on Pakistan. This will continue the militaristic legislation and perpetuate an aimless war. He also supports the bailouts and is calling for more. We have been told for decades that budgets are tight and we need to cut funding to social programs, yet private companies are getting richer and richer and almost overnight the government can come up with $1 trillion to give to corporations for their mistakes. What about education and health care? where was that $1 trillion before?

He appointed key members or former members of wall street to be on his economic team. Why would they stop supporting their own interests to start suddenly support ours?

Obama calls for a domestic police force that is twice the size of the one we have now and one that is also funded twice as much.

It goes on and on and I can provide you with all the articles and sources you like.

Will there be change? Maybe in strategy. They may run a hearts and minds campaign to win us over in starting another war or whatever they want to come up with. Will the plan change? no. It's been there for years in secret documents.

Ander said...

I didn't expect you would. I was just going for shear volume to show how fucked in the head he was and how little respect he deserves. He should be in jail.

Duncan/Cupe said...

Being a foreigner in this political mayhem, I went out of the norm and liked Bush.

I am not a political junkie, I don't analyze someone and say that he's bad because of current events.
There are just too much things that have happened, too much are opaque. Things need to be considered in the future.

Can we blame Bush that under his watch that the economic crisis went out of control or should we blame the congress for not legislating to stop this? This can go on forever.

As for Bush, it's very sad that he doesn't at least get a rest in all this disapproval. Shoe attack and "nah nah nah nah hey hey goodbye" at the inauguration. While we thank god for freedom of speech, at least we should give him some respect for keeping the country safe.

Barga said...

Hey, welcome to my site, hope that you stay and comment often...

"Being a foreigner in this political mayhem, I went out of the norm and liked Bush."

--in this country that is really not that far outside of the norm--

"I am not a political junkie, I don't analyze someone and say that he's bad because of current events.
There are just too much things that have happened, too much are opaque. Things need to be considered in the future."

--Read the post that just went up (part 2), it addresses this issue--

"Can we blame Bush that under his watch that the economic crisis went out of control or should we blame the congress for not legislating to stop this? This can go on forever."

-_Arguably we can, it was his watch after all--

"As for Bush, it's very sad that he doesn't at least get a rest in all this disapproval. Shoe attack and "nah nah nah nah hey hey goodbye" at the inauguration. While we thank god for freedom of speech, at least we should give him some respect for keeping the country safe."

--I agree that we should respect him--

Ander said...

"There are just too much things that have happened, too much are opaque. Things need to be considered in the future."

Yes that's why you look at policies, their intentions, their outcomes, and the perspective from which those policies were formed. It's not that hard.

"Can we blame Bush that under his watch that the economic crisis went out of control or should we blame the congress for not legislating to stop this? This can go on forever."

We should blame both of them. When you look at the information(current events and the policies behind them) it ends rather quickly. It doesn't go on forever. These are human created problems and they can be fixed with human solutions.

"As for Bush, it's very sad that he doesn't at least get a rest in all this disapproval. Shoe attack and "nah nah nah nah hey hey goodbye" at the inauguration. While we thank god for freedom of speech, at least we should give him some respect for keeping the country safe."

Keeping the country safe? If anything he has made us less safe. We have bombed 2 countries. Supported Israel in all of their campaigns of violence and you think we are safer for pissing off the world with violence? I have no respect for someone who supports the death penalty for non-violent drug offenders but can order the slaughter of thousands and displacement of millions. For....oil and money. Those were/are people. With lives. Like you and me.

Ander said...

That's not to mention our campaigns of violence in south america as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ander...heady stuff. I wonder if you'll be as hard on Obama when he continues most of the Bush war policies, as he - without question - will...

Peter said...

Ander, a word of advice on Sources:

Places that talk of monitoring the New World Order and that engage in 9/11 Conspiracy theory are generally NOT recommended.

Ben said...

No of course he wont be......he will just find new stuff to cut and paste.

Ander said...

I would like you to disprove it and where do they say 9/11 was a conspiracy?

George HW Bush used the term to describe the plan for government, Henry Kissinger has used it in recent weeks. Rockefeller has. There is a plan for shaping the world in their image and you would be foolish to think otherwise. What you want to call it is up to you. If you want to call the plans by their formal names fine, they are provided. If you want to sum it up under "the New World Order" yeah you are pushing territory with people who think the government had robot planes and blew up the buildings and all that bullshit. But those people can easily be discredited because there is no evidence for what they are saying. What there is evidence of is complicity by our government and our policies setting the stage for the events at the very least. The point with 9/11 is what it was used as a pretext for. The plans implemented under the 9/11 flag and justified with it were in the planning stage for years before 9/11. Bill Clinton wrote the Iraq war resolution. Bush picked it back up after 9/11 when his approval rating shot through the roof. Patriot Act was being written before 9/11. Continuity of Government was started in the mid 80's and has had shit added to it ever since.

Yes of course I will be. maybe you should have read what I just wrote about him. I have problems with the people who actually occupy government offices but I have more of a problem with the offices themselves. No matter who occupies those offices I will have a problem with until the position is gone. it's easy to find evidence and reasons for them not to be there.

Ander said...

I subscribe to follow George HW Bush's version of the NWO

Ander said...

Henry Kissinger


Ander said...

Ok, not even disprove the theory, I would like you to explain what GHWB and his policy advisors are talking about when they talk about the New World Order.

Ander said...

These are people that run the wheels of government and all it's power, and they have a plan for how to use it. Doesn't that seem pretty logical? So what is the plan? It's hard to figure out because there is such secrecy for "our safety" but don't you think if it's really in our interest and was the best course of action, they would just tell us? Instead of misleading people to calm them to get votes next election, they told us what was going on so we could make better decisions in our personal lives.

Ander said...

Ander said...

80 million hits per day. More than The Council on Foreign Relations.

Barga said...

This is what happens when we do not give enough respect


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