Saturday, September 17, 2005

Keep Diebold OUT!

A new ruling from the U.S. Election Assistance Agency (created under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, passed afer Dumbya stole the election from Al Gore), states that those mechanical lever voting machines used in Connecticut and New York City are illegal, since they don't leave a paper trail.

Excuse me? Where was this commission in Ohio last year?

I'll tell you where they were: ducking out until they could re-select Dumbya, and then pass these rules to knock out older, blue states voting machines in time for the next elections in 2006 and '08.

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Two Elections That Might Change the United States

Both Afghanistan and Germany hold elections this evening as America sleeps.

Security, especially in the south and east where the Taliban are most active, has been the main worry in the run-up to the parliamentary and provincial elections but Afghan and U.S. officials say they are confident polling can be held.

"I think that tomorrow what we are going to have with the elections here, we're going to have a record turnout," Eikenberry told Reuters in an interview at the main U.S. base in Kabul.

The Taliban, who have denounced the polls and called for a boycott, have claimed responsibility for killing several candidates, the latest shot on his doorstep early on Friday. They have vowed attacks on foreign troops over the election period.

Eikenberry said security for the $159 million U.N.-run elections was good but he expected more trouble.

"We are up against an enemy that will not hesitate to attack unarmed election workers ... to try to attack innocent Afghan citizens trying to express their will in a representational government," he said.

Obviously, it would be a real coup for Al Qaeda if the Taliban could convince the regional warlords (not hard to do to be honest about it) to switch sides, and repudiate these elections and by extension, the United States. That would then give them two nearly contiguous nations to control (Iraq and Afghanistan) with only Iran in between.

Do the math.

Also note this tidbit:

But Eikenberry said the insurgents would not succeed.

"Tomorrow that election is going to go. There will be some violence, but it's going to go," he said. "Tomorrow, when you think about this, in a country of 26 million, we're going to have over 10 million people that go out and express their will to put a representative government in place."

Meaning voter turnout, under the threat of guns and bombs, is expected to be higher than the last US Presidential election, percentagewise. Sad how we frittered away our democracy.

In Germany, things are poised for some real changes to US foreign policy.

Relations between President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder are businesslike after a period of estrangement over the Iraq war. But Bush may be dealing with a potentially more supportive leader in Berlin if Schroeder loses parliamentary elections Sunday to Angela Merkel.

Merkel has made it clear she wants to improve relations with the United States, although some analysts say the difference would be more a matter of tone than substance.

Schroeder has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war and this has been an irritant in his relations with Bush. But Merkel has also said she wouldn't send German troops to Iraq.

Couple of points on this. First, Merkel is pretty solidly behind Bush as indicated above, however, she is also firmly against Turkey joining the EU, which means Turkey, altho a solid democracy, would start to see more of the opposition fundamentalist Muslim population gain favor. Excluding Turkey, a staunch US ally, from the EU is an huge mistake, in my opinion.

So how's the election stand?

On Sunday, an estimated 69.1 million Germans -- among them 2.6 million first-time voters -- will head to the polls to elect a new parliament with 3,648 candidates vying for 598 seats. Polls will open at 8 a.m. CET and close at 6 p.m.

Latest opinion polls show support for the conservative alliance of Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) at between 41 and 43 percent and about 8 percent for their preferred coalition partners, the free-market liberal FDP.

Schröder's Social Democrats (SPD) came in second at 32 to 34 percent, while their junior coalition partner, the Greens could take six to seven percent of the vote.

Sounds like a slam dunk for Merkel, but German politics is weird. No one candidate ever gets a controlling faction in the government. Second, the undecided category in this election, less than 24 hours away, is 20%.

One in five voters haven't made up their minds. Add to this a new liberal faction, the Left Party, could steal up to 8% of the vote and align themselves with the SDP, you might end up seeing a coalition government of the CDU and the SDP.

Put it this way: it would be like our elections used to be, where the VP could be Republican and the President Democrat. Imagine President Kerry and VP Bush, and you'd have an idea of what a ruckus Germany is in for.

Keep a close eye on these two elections, especially Germany.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Karl Rove: Janitor

Who's in Charge? Karl Rove!

Who's in Charge? Karl Rove!

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Thursday, September 15, 2005; 12:00 PM

All you really need to know about the White House's post-Katrina strategy -- and Bush's carefully choreographed address on national television tonight -- is this little tidbit from the ninth paragraph of Elisabeth Bumiller and Richard W. Stevenson's story in the New York Times this morning:

"Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort."

Rove's leadership role suggests quite strikingly that any and all White House decisions and pronouncements regarding the recovery from the storm are being made with their political consequences as the primary consideration. More specifically: With an eye toward increasing the likelihood of Republican political victories in the future, pursuing long-cherished conservative goals, and bolstering Bush's image.

That is Rove's hallmark.

Holy shit. Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house....

Der Shtupid Get Shtupider

Aide: Schwarzenegger to Seek Re-Election

The question has to be begged: hasn't California suffered enough?

My guess? This is a trial balloon designed to either a) puff up his next film or b) find out really how unpopular and what a failure he is.

Anybody Remember The Honeymooners?

Bush: Rebuilding Must Address Inequality

"Hello, inequality!"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

OK, This Is Scary....

Forget Katrina. Forget Iraq.

Iran offers nuclear know-how to Islamic states

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran is ready to share its nuclear technology, considered to be a front for bomb-making by Washington, with other Islamic countries, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The comments were likely to heighten Western concerns about Tehran's nuclear program just ahead of a key meeting of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog this month which could decide to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for punitive action.

"The Islamic Republic never seeks weapons of mass destruction and with respect to the needs of Islamic countries, we are ready to transfer nuclear know-how to these countries," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

The remarks were made during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, IRNA said.


Satellite photos show N. Korea nuclear activity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New satellite photos show for the first time that North Korea has resumed some work on a nuclear reactor that could enable the communist state to vastly increase stocks of weapons-grade plutonium, but the activity seems to be modest, an analyst said.

The photos, obtained by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, also appear to confirm earlier reports that the North Koreans have unloaded and restocked a smaller plutonium-producing reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, the analyst, Corey Hinderstein, told Reuters late on Wednesday.

ISIS, which has often produced authoritative research on North Korea and Iran, ordered the images from a commercial satellite firm. U.S. intelligence is believed to have higher-resolution images but they are classified.

The new data comes to light as six-country talks designed to end the North's nuclear weapons program have stalemated in Beijing. Negotiators will try again to break the deadlock on Thursday.

So basically, while Bush bullied a non-WMD nation, these guys have had the run of the table and are now prepared to share what they've learned with such bastions of freedom as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

What a bunch of dickheads...

Take The Shot, Chuck

The only way to get through the "cone of silence" is to rattle the nominee. Take him down a notch, and ask him about the adoption.

Roberts has successfully sidestepped and parried questions on how he would rule on controversial cases, and committee Republicans were so confident in the 50-year-old judge's ability to emerge unscathed Thursday they've waived any time they could use to help him recover from any potential slip-ups.

"I expect you will be confirmed," said Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, one of many GOP senators who already have Roberts sized up for the black robes he would don on the Supreme Court.

"If people can't vote for you, then I doubt that they can vote for any Republican nominee," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (news, bio, voting record), R-Utah. With all 10 Republicans likely to vote from him next Thursday, the only question left was how many, or if any, of the committee Democrats would approve of his candidacy.

Democrats were upset that Roberts avoided many of their questions by saying he couldn't comment on issues that could come before the Supreme Court, justices he may work with in the future or cases that are before the U.S. Appeals Court he's already on.

He said it so many times during the hearings that senators started saying it for him. "As I've explained, that is an area --" Roberts began when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., asked him about abortion.

"Apt to come before you. Right," she finished for him. "That message was well-conveyed."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Offered Without Further Comment

Tom Friedman's column in the NY Times today

Janadas Devan, a (Singapore) Straits Times columnist, tried to explain to his Asian readers how the U.S. is changing. "Today's conservatives," he wrote, "differ in one crucial aspect from yesterday's conservatives: the latter believed in small government, but believed, too, that a country ought to pay for all the government that it needed.

"The former believe in no government, and therefore conclude that there is no need for a country to pay for even the government that it does have. ... [But] it is not only government that doesn't show up when government is starved of resources and leached of all its meaning. Community doesn't show up either, sacrifice doesn't show up, pulling together doesn't show up, 'we're all in this together' doesn't show up."

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

No Doubt, A Lot of Poor People Have DVD Players....

Again, from the LA did they have enough people to cover the blackout yesterday????

September 13, 2005

Save Yourself
New Orleans had a plan to warn the poor, but it sat on a shelf in L.A.

By Nicholas Riccardi and James Rainey, Times Staff Writers

NEW ORLEANS — After years of warnings, community leaders this summer prepared a video guide to hurricane evacuations with a stark message: Many of this city's poor, including 134,000 without cars, could be left behind in a killer storm.

But the 30-minute DVD still has not arrived. Some 70,000 of the newly minted videos that were to be released this month remain on warehouse shelves in Los Angeles.

Their warning: Save yourself, and help your neighbors if you can.

"Don't wait for the city, don't wait for the state, don't wait for the Red Cross," the Rev. Marshall Truehill warns in the public service announcement.

The program, titled "Preparing for the Big One," was one of several related but incomplete plans aimed in particular at the one-quarter of the city's population that did not own cars or have ready transportation out of town in the event of evacuation orders.

Churches had agreed to provide rides to those without cars as part of "Operation Brother's Keeper," but a pilot program had been started in only four large congregations.

Yah-huh. All those DVDs sitting on the least now we know why there was all that looting. People couldn't wait to get their hands on this DVD to figure out what to do next, eh, FEMA?

Keep These Articles In Mind.....

Next time some shithead right winger tells you how the Feds reacted admirably after Katrina and how the state and local officials are to blame for the aftermath....

Note in particular this:

Claim #5: National Guardsmen took time to arrive because governors of afflicted states didn't request them fast enough

Kelly erroneously suggested that another reason the federal relief effort was delayed was because "[National] Guardsmen from other states cannot be sent to a disaster area until their presence has been requested by the governors of the afflicted states."

In fact, as Media Matters has noted, according to Department of Defense officials, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour had requested additional Guard personnel before the storm hit. And, as the Associated Press reported on September 3, Blanco accepted an offer for additional troops from New Mexico the day before the hurricane hit, but that help was delayed by paperwork needed from Washington.

And now to the ridiculous claim that Blanco refused to delcare a state of know, I was paying attention, and so was Media Matters. Apparently, Rush had his head up his pilonidal cyst:

Falsehood #7: President Bush called Blanco, asking her to declare a state of emergency and evacuate New Orleans, but she refused

On September 6, Limbaugh offered a revised version of the dubious claim by other conservatives that it took an August 28 phone call from President Bush to convince Blanco to order the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. Limbaugh stated, "President Bush on Sunday [August 28] begged the governor to get everybody out of [New Orleans]; declare an emergency. She said, 'No, I need 24 hours to decide.' "

In fact, as Media Matters has previously documented (here and here), an August 28 statement by Blanco and a September 7 statement by White House press secretary Scott McClellan make it clear that the president called the governor shortly before the start of the August 28 press conference at which Nagin called for the evacuation of the city, casting serious doubt on the claim that Bush's phone call was a factor in the decision to evacuate.

Additionally, Limbaugh conflated Blanco's decision to "declare an emergency" with the decision "to get everybody out of [New Orleans]." Media Matters has previously documented that these were separate events: Blanco declared a state of emergency for Louisiana on August 26 and Nagin declared the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans two days later, on August 28. Moreover, it was Blanco who asked President Bush to declare a federal state of emergency in Louisiana on August 27, not the other way around, as Limbaugh claimed.

Limbaugh also conflated the president's telephoned request for Blanco to push for a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans with a separate request the president made to deploy active-duty and National Guard troops to the relief effort under joint federal and state command. "Under the White House plan, Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré would oversee both the National Guard and the active duty federal troops, reporting jointly to the president and Ms. Blanco," The New York Times reported on September 5. In an interview that aired on the September 5 edition of CNN Live at Daybreak, Nagin told CNN's Soledad O'Brien that Bush made this request during a meeting aboard Air Force One on September 2, and that Blanco told the president she "needed 24 hours to make a decision." Blanco refused, fearing she would "lose control when she had been in control from the very beginning," according to the governor's press secretary, Denise Bottcher, who was quoted by the Times.

From the September 6 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: We also know that President Bush on Sunday [August 28] begged the governor to get everybody out of there, declare an emergency. She said, "No, I need 24 hours to decide." We now have the mayor, Ray Nagin -- and we have the audio of this, it happened on CNN today. The mayor is now trying to pass the buck to the governor, claiming that the governor was the one that was holding up the decision-making process. We also know that the governors, governors are in charge of the National Guard. Everybody wants to know: Why didn't Bush send the Guard? Well, the governors have to do this, and that's why Bush wanted her to declare an emergency, so that he could get a foot in the door.

More On Poverty in America

I posted an interesting graph (linked in the header to this piece) about poverty levels in America over the past 40 years or so. Hurricane Katrina, and the awful images of poor people sitting on roofs, begging to be rescued, drove home for many Americans the awful truth of the present administration: ain't nothing compassionate OR conservative about Bush.

From today's L.A. Times:

The poverty level today is within a range common over the last 35 years, Census Bureau figures show, but recent trends are moving in the wrong direction. In the last 35 years, the poverty rate has twice peaked at about 15% — during the economic slowdowns at the beginning of Ronald Reagan's presidential term and the end of George H.W. Bush's.

As the economy expanded through Clinton's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty dropped by nearly 8 million, and the poverty rate fell to just above 11% by 2000. Those were the sharpest reductions since the 1960s.

Since George W. Bush took office, the share and the number of Americans in poverty have increased for four consecutive years. The overall poverty rate remains lower than during most of Clinton's presidency. But at the same time, 5.4 million more Americans are living below the poverty line today than when Bush took office, and the poverty rate has climbed back to 12.7%.

In all, the Census Bureau says, nearly 37 million Americans now live in poverty, which it describes as an annual income of less than $19,157 for a family of four.

Republicans generally blame the economic slowdown Bush inherited from Clinton and the aftershocks of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for that disappointing record. Democrats say the numbers show that Bush has not fulfilled his promises, especially from the 2000 campaign, to focus on the poor with a "compassionate conservative" agenda.

Policy analysts in both parties generally agree that the health of the economy is the biggest factor affecting the poor.

In their policies aimed directly at the needy, the two parties offer a mix of convergence and contrast.

Clinton bequeathed the Democrats an agenda centered on demanding and rewarding work. He supported time limits for welfare recipients — but also championed policies meant to bolster the working poor, such as increasing the minimum wage and expanding the earned-income tax credit.

Most Democratic ideas for tackling poverty now follow those tracks. Edwards — who stressed poverty with his "two Americas" theme during his vice presidential bid — has campaigned across the country this year for state ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage. Now, he is urging a modern equivalent of the New Deal's Works Progress Administration to employ low-income New Orleans residents to rebuild the city.

While supporting welfare reform, Bush has highlighted other initiatives: subsidies to help more low-income families purchase homes, tax cuts for the working poor, education reforms targeting inner-city schools and, above all, efforts to encourage greater cooperation between government and religiously based charities that aim to not only provide aid but also change behavior. At the same time, the president has sought budget reductions in several traditional anti-poverty programs, such as Medicaid, housing vouchers and community development block grants.

Meanwhile, some conservatives say the aftermath of Katrina may set in a motion a giant social policy experiment by dispersing families from poor neighborhoods in New Orleans to new opportunities in distant communities. That may test the theory that poverty persists partly because much of it is concentrated in neighborhoods with few role models or stable families.

"My hope is we will look at that experience and the ones who broke out of poverty by having to move and say that is another avenue out of poverty and learn from it," said Douglas J. Besharov, a social policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

In other words, the Democrats want to fix the problem, Republicans hope it goes away.

Nice. Really fucking nice.
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Monday, September 12, 2005

E. L. Doctorow on Bush

I leave you with this to ponder this evening:

An essay by E.L Doctorow

Edgar Lawrence Doctorow occupies a central position in the history of American literature. He is generally considered to be among the most talented, ambitious, and admired novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. Doctorow has received the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith
Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howell Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the residentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

Doctorow was born in New York City on January 6, 1931. After graduating with honors from Kenyon College in 1952, he did graduate work at Columbia University and served in the U.S. Army. Doctorow was senior editor for New American Library from 1959 to 1964 and then served as editor in chief at Dial Press until 1969. Since then, he has devoted his time to
writing and teaching. He holds the Glucksman Chair in American Letters at New York University and over the years has taught at several institutions, including Yale University Drama School, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of California, Irvine.

I fault this president (George W. Bush) for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and sake of the
brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted be what they could be. They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or
wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life. They come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it.

So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options, but when it is the only option; you go not because
you want to but because you have to.

This president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing --- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate.

And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead; he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty; he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance; he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills --- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax
burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a- half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneously aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of demoacy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

E.L. Doctorow

On Reflections of 9-11: Why We Are In This Mess

Greg Palast is a journalist in the grand tradition of the muckrakers of old: he's not afraid to publish things that "fall into his lap" on background. Naturally, this makes him anathema to the Main Stream Media and the conservatives it panders to. So Greg is a reporter for the BBC :)

Greg's special assignment for the Beeb is to investigate and report on the Bush family. If there is anyone who knows these people more intimately than Palast, it would be Dumbya's therapist.

A couple of years ago, Palast wrote a book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." In this book, Palast explores the links between the Bushes, the Saudis (including members of the bin Laden family, AND Osama himself).

I detailed some of these in an earlier post on this blog regarding Kofi Annan and his son.

Fascinating book, and I urge you all to read it.

But wait, there's more!

Last night, I was watching Free Speech TV (available on Dish Network and worth signing up for Dish alone, but also on some 140 cable systems as a local access channel), when I come across a televised documentary, originally aired on the BBC in 2003, but updated shortly before the 2004 election, by Palast, based on his book.

So I had the chance in an hour to reflect on what led up to 9-11, and why our President was clearly the wrong man to be leading this country at this precise moment.

Why? Well, for one thing, Bush's connections to the Saudis and in particular, the bin Ladens. Why were Saudis allowed to leave the US without being questioned regarding possible information in connection to 9-11? Why did these include bin Laden's own family members?

Palast talks about Bush's connections to one James R. Bath, who was the American investment manager for the bin Laden's and happens to have been in the Texas Air National Guard at the same time Dumbya was.

In fact, he was drummed out the same day as Bush.
“Bath, 55, acknowledges a friendship with George W. Bush that stems from their service together in the Texas Air National Guard.” Jonathan Beaty, “A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes,” Time Magazine, October 28, 1991.
“In a copy of the record released by the National Guard in 2000, the man in question, James R. Bath, was listed as being suspended from flying for the National Guard in 1972 for failing to take a medical exam next to a similar listing for Mr. Bush. It has been widely reported that the two were friends and that Mr. Bath invested in Mr. Bush's first major business venture, Arbusto Energy, in the late 1970's after Mr. Bath began working for Salem bin Laden.” Jim Rutenberg, “A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines,” New York Times, May 17, 2004.

For another, how about the money he received from Saudis for his failed oil businesses?

Or how about how Harken Energy was given an exclusive drilling contract by the Bahrainian government while Bush was on the board of directors? No problem, you say, happens all the time? Harken Energy had never done off-shore drilling before in its existence, was not the low bidder and beat out such heavyweights as Sun Oil, Texaco, Exxon, and BP.

Of course, given Bush's track record in business, it was only a matter of time before Harken would go belly up. After all they bought Bush's own business, Arbusto Oil, after it went bust.

In fact, in 1990, despite lawyers' warnings not to do so, Bush sold all of his Harken shares...just before it went out of business. The SEC investigated, and while they cleared Bush of any wrongdoing, a copy of the letter from the lawyers advising him not to sell because it was a conflict of his fiduciary duty as a director, was not made available to the SEC until the day after they announced their decision.

And the payback for all this? Well...

For example, in 2003, meetings were held with the Bush and Blair administrations in which a plan was devised and actually written down to divvy up Iraq's oil fields.

So why isn't this happening? Good question. Turns out Cheney decided to intervene after Rob McKee, a former executive vice-president of ConocoPhillips, designated by the Bush Administration to advise the Iraqi oil ministry, raised serious objections about how much money the private oil companies would lose if the oil industry was privatized along the lines of how the neo-cons wanted it.

So we've been fighting, and losing, this war, our "war on terror", for the benefit of the oil companies that are making $3+ per gallon on us now.

Watch more here:

Iraq's Oil

Bush-Bin Laden

Oh! And how can we forget how Bush Stole the 2000 ELECTION!
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