Reasons to Vote George Bush Out of Office
George Bush might be the worst president in U.S. history. (Nobel
Laureate George Akerlof has an
opinion on that assessment.)
This page gives a detailed list of just why the Bush administration is
so awful. As many items as possible are backed up by cites, so this page
has lots of links.
A disproportionate share of the references on this page are to N.Y. Times articles. These are
generally available free for a week after they appear, then you must pay
for them. You must also register to use the Times Web site. However,
similar references can generally be found in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, or Los Angeles Times, which have varying
registration and archiving policies. Some items will be reported on by the
Wall Street Journal or The Nation, to take rather different
ends of the political spectrum.
Do you know of a good a reason to vote GWB out of office, one that's
not on this page yet? If so, and if you can provide a citation, send me mail and I'll put it up here.
Please take a look to see if the reason is already here, and please do
include a citation.
The New York Times endorses
Kerry and damns Bush.
This page is divided up into the following general sections:
Other Resources to Help Vote GWB Out
I'm not the only person to have had this idea. Here are other pages you
- wage-slave.org's Scorecard of Evil.
Note that the Scorecard of Evil was last updated in October, 2003; still,
it's nicely designed and damning.
- MoveOn's Daily
MisLeader page, which takes a "Just the facts, ma'am" approach to
calling attention to the misstatements of this administration.
- The folks at One Thousand
Reasons have been at it much longer than me.
- 525 Reasons to Dump Bush is
counting down to election day.
- The Independent counts Bush
by the numbers: Four years of double standards.
- David Neiwert is putting together a comprehensive essay on the
failures of George Bush. And do take a look at his long and thoughtful
comments on Bush, the Nazis, and America.
- The New York Times columnist Paul
Krugman is hard-headed, to the point, and brilliant on the subject of
GWB and the Republicans.
- Check out BushFlash.com,, which has
lots of vote-him-out media.
- David Corn has a book and a Web site devoted to The Lies of George W. Bush.
Read it and weep.
- Be a poll-watcher and help improve the validity of a process that is,
alas, strewn with voting machines from Diebold and the like: the Verified
Voting Foundation/VerifiedVoting.org's TechWatch
- Working Assets has a vote-protection program. Email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Even some Reagan conservatives think a
second Bush term is a bad idea.
- George Soros thinks Bush is endangering our safety, hurting out
vital interests, and undermining American values. He has some ideas
about what you can do.
- The fine people at FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy
Center of the University of Pennsylvania, are dedicated to holding politicians accountable and making the
facts known. Yes, they nail my candidate too, and that's how it should
- The NY Times has had a series of editorials
discussing the candidates' stances on various issues.
- The NY Times also has a series called Marking
Votes Count, concerning flaws in the mechanics of voting, districting,
- TruthOut.org has many, many stories
about the Bush admin.
- Do read a few blogs, will you? For instance:
Ralph Nader is a reason we're in this mess in the first place. George
Bush "won" Florida by a heavily-disputed 537 votes. More than 93,000 votes
were cast for Nader. Now Nader is running again, and he's accepting
money from Republicans, who see him as taking votes from Kerry.
A vote for
is a vote for George Bush. Don't waste your vote on
Defeat George Bush. Vote for
John Kerry and John Edwards.
George W. Bush and His White House
George Bush was not much of a student and not much of a businessman, but
he made a lot of money anyway, thanks to his friends and his father's
friends. Here's some information on GWB, his family, and his
administration, including references to books about the Bush admin:
- Investors in his oil companies lost money, but not George.
- The Bush family is very friendly with the House of Saud, rulers of
Saudi Arabia. Could this be why we're in Iraq instead of pressuring our
"allies," the Saudis, about conditions in their country that give rise to
terrorism? Read some excerpts from Craig Unger's House of Bush, House of
Saud in Salon. (You might have to be a premium member, but
you can get a free day pass.)
- Read about the corrupt Riggs Bank and its
connections to both the Bush family and the House of Saud.
- The NY Times wasn't thrilled with House of
Bush, House of Saud, however.
- Read about how four generations of the Bush family have profited
by manipulating American foreign policy, in Kevin Phillips's
Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of
- Sometimes you have to laugh at
it all anyway.
- The Bush administration plays hardball with any former
officials who aren't loyal to the death. Paul O'Neill, Joseph
Wilson, Richard Clarke: watch the smear campaigns.
- Bush administration won't declassify all of Richard Clarke's
testimony. Instead, they're going through it with
a fine-toothed comb declassifying selected sections - for partisan
purposes and to smear Clarke.
- Bush has spent nearly
40% of his time in office at one presidential
retreat or another.
- Unlike George Bush, Hans
Blix wanted evidence about WMD in Iraq.
- Read about Richard Clarke's Against All Enemies and Steve
Coll's Ghost Wars, both of which are critical to understanding
failures in intelligence in the Clinton and Bush White Houses.
- The Republicans really don't want you to vote. Read about voter
- Where was George? Lots of stories emerge about his military
- George Bush didn't go to Vietnam, and he didn't do much of a
job of fulfilling
his National Guard duty, either.
- Read an analysis of GWB's military
- Nicholas Kristof notes that credible witnesses now say Bush
didn't serve in Alabama.
- Various documents suggest that Bush got
special treatment in the National Guard.
- Bush's former business school professor says he
was a dunce.
- The Nation find that it's likely Bush left his Texas Air National
Guard unit in 1972 for reasons pertaining to his inability
to continue piloting jets.
- U.S. News & World Reports can't figure out how Bush
got an honorable discharge.
- Salon's Eric Boehlert has looked
at the documents in question.
- Some information about how Christian fundamentalists are trying to
- Graydon Carter on what
we have lost under this administration.
- The L.A. Times wonders about Bush's
intellect and ability to lead.
- An NPR report on the
systematic exclusion of dissenters from Bush campaign speeches and
other tactics that sound like something out of the 1930s or
- Ron Suskind on how
the Bush White House does it.
The Stolen 2000 Presidential Election
and Potential Issues with the 2004 Election
- The Orland Sentinel has the
report on 2000.
- The United States Commission on Civil Rights believes that
African-Americans were systematically
deprived of their right to vote in Florida in the 2000 Presidential
election, when George Bush's "margin" of "victory" was under 600
- Nobel laureate and former president Jimmy Carter
thinks the 2004 Florida general election may not meet international
- Bad stuff continues to go on
- Overseas voters may
not get to vote.
- Electronic voting machines are problematic. There is a lot of
information out there about them. Start with Bev Harris's site, Black Box
- Want to do something about this? If you're a nerd...er, technical
profession, try Verified Voting's TechWatch. If
not, just go to Verified
Voting's main page.
- Voter suppression, Republican style, or, Have They No Shame?
- BushGreenwatch keeps
tabs on the environmental record of the Bush administration.
- Bush administration
opens an additional 300,000 acres of Tongass National Forest, Alaska,
to road-building, a possible first step to more logging.
Bush plan lets regional directors of the Forest Service open
forests to logging without even conducting an environmental impact
- Bush administration's proposal to eliminate
the Roadless Area Conservation Rule in national forests. (Bad
environmental protection and also bad economics: roads are built to
subsidize the timber industry, which pays less in user fees than the
government spends on the roads.)
- Support for drilling in ANWR
- Using forest fire prevention as an excuse for more logging in
- Rollback of allowable arsenic levels in drinking water
- Rejection of Kyoto accords
- Overruling stricter CA environmental laws
- Foxes guarding the henhouse: here's a good rundown
on Bush's anti-environment, environmental advisors.
- More foxes "guarding" the henhouse: The L.A. Times reports that
lobbyists for coal-fired power plants wrote
the new regulations regulating mercury emissions from coal-fired power
- Appointment of Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey,
the "Garden State" as EPA head. Subsequent blocking of her every
decent instinct, resulting in her early departure.
- Gale Norton, former Colorado AG and formerly serving under James Watt,
as Sec'y of the Interior. "Norton began her private legal career as a
staffer at the anti-environmental Denver-based Mountain States Legal
Foundation where she spent four years before being elected to two
terms as Colorado's attorney general. Other Mountain States Legal
Foundation alumni include Anne Gorsuch, Reagan's controversial EPA
head who was forced to resign amidst scandal..."
Summitville Mining Co. disaster, a disaster both ecologically and
financially. An instructive lesson on the dangers of allowing
companies to police themselves, and it
all happened when Norton was AG in Colorado. The New York
Times reports that "Even some Republican groups have
expressed concern over Bush's choice to make Norton responsible
for managing nearly half a million acres of federal lands and
enforcing laws that protect threatened and endangered species."
- Increased development in national forests:
an interview at his ranch, Bush said he was reviewing (i.e.
sturing the possibility of abandoning) regulations that protect
roughly 60 million acres of nation forest from development.
The White House blocked the Environmental Protection
Agency from warning homeowners about the dangers of
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "The Environmental Protection Agency was on the verge of warning
millions of Americans that their attics and walls might contain
asbestos-contaminated insulation. But, at the last minute, the White
House intervened, and the warning has never been issued.
The agency's refusal to share its knowledge of what is believed to be
a widespread health risk has been criticized by a former EPA
administrator under two Republican presidents, a Democratic
U.S. senator and physicians and scientists who have treated victims of
The Bush administration claims to favor states' rights, but that
states rights suddenly become irrelevant when states try to protect
the environment. Elizabeth
Shogren of The LA Times reports:
WASHINGTON — No recent president has been quicker than George W. Bush to embrace the virtues of state and local control. But when it comes to the environment, William Becker discovered, that commitment can evaporate when state regulation would be tougher on industry than federal rules.
Becker, who represents administrators of state air-pollution programs in Washington, met with White House officials last month to appeal to them not to weaken the Clean Air Act.
He used the administration's own rhetoric about the value of local decision making to support his case. Surely, he said, the administration would not stand in the way of states that wanted to enforce tougher clean-air rules on utilities and major polluters.
Loosened EPA air pollution standards for oil refineries and
manufacturing plants, which allows them to modernize their facilities
without installing pollution-control equipment—a rule change that
could actually increase the level of dangerous pollutants emitted into
the air. A spokesman for the NAM, which fought for the change, called
the new rules "a refreshingly flexible approach to regulation." [In
general, "flexibility" is code for "less enforcement."]
Moved to renew thirty-six oil company leases of land off Santa
Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties for possible future
development, arguing that the California Coastal Commission had no
authority to restrict oil drilling in coastal waters. Bush's move was
blocked by a three-judge panel, which ruled in early December that the
state has the authority to review potential effects of oil drilling
along its coast—a ruling the Bush Administration is likely to appeal.
Allowed logging companies to cut down old-growth trees in our nation's
forests under the guise of reducing the risk of forest fires.
Rolled back safeguards, opposed by the American Forest and Paper
Association, that protect fish and wildlife from logging in 155
national forests with 192 million acres of public land in forty-four
states. It removed a Clinton-era regulation requiring comprehensive
environmental impact statements whenever the Forest Service revises
its forest management plans. The Bush plan, instead, will give each
forest manager discretion in deciding whether and how to assess
environmental impacts; a move that the environmental group Defenders
of Wildlife said would allow "reckless logging by timber-industry
profiteers and the destruction of habitat for many species of
Reversed a Clinton Administration rule banning snowmobiles in
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Approved the drilling of two new natural gas wells in Texas's Padre
Island National Park adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico—which lies along
the nation's longest stretch of undeveloped beach and which is home to
eleven endangered species.
Allowed Calpine, a private utility company that contributed to the
Bush campaign, to construct of a forty-eight-megawatt geothermal power
plant in the Modoc National Forest in California. The Clinton
Administration had blocked this proposal because of concerns by
environmental groups and by Indian tribes that consider part of the
area sacred. In approving the project, the Bush Administration
rejected a recommendation by the Advisory Council on Historical
Preservation, a federal agency.
- Changes in dolphin-safe tuna identification, December, 2002
Administration order takes 200 million acres of federal land out of wilderness category, opening it to development.
- The Bush administration allowed
timber industry lobbyists to dictate a five-point plan that will allow
more logging in Pacific Northwest national forests.
- EPA relaxes rules on sale of
sites contaminated with PCBs
- EPA decides to drop
investigations into 50 power plants for past
violations of the Clean Air Act; instead, cases will be judged under the
new, less stringent new-source-control rules.
- Courts overturn the Bush administration's attempt to
roll back Clinton-era rules on air-conditioner efficiency.
- The Bush administration is trying to revamp rules
protecting watersheds and streams from being destroyed by the
strip-mining technique called "mountaintop removal."
- The EPA's job is now promoting
energy, not protecting the environment.
- Bush administration changes the rules of the Northwest Forest
rules on logging and species protection.
- The Bush administration has quietly undone 30
years of progress on clean air.
- The head of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy lost his job
the whistle on the Bush administration's whitewashing of a major
- Scientists say that White House staff members played down
the environmental and health hazards of mercury while working with
the EPA to draft new regulations.
- Bush administration proposes rolling
back Clinton-era regulations on logging and road-building in
- Bush administration's attempt to change rules on dolphin-safe tuna
are ruled purely political,
with no science involved.
- National Park Service to allow up
to 720 snowmobiles per day in
Yellowstone National Park.
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has written a book, Crimes
Against Nature, about how the Bush administration has undermined
- If you think global warming isn't real, perhaps you should visit
- The Sierra Club has a list of 300 Bush administration crimes against
Other Scientific Matters
- Bush administration proposes a very strange variety of "peer
review," most likely to tie up
environmental and health regulations under a crushing burden of
- The House of Representatives has an ongoing investigation of how
politics is affecting science under the Bush administration.
- Bush administration challenges a World
Health Organization study and recommendations concerning obesity.
- A group of sixty scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, believes
the Bush administration has "deliberately
and systematically" distorted scientific fact in service of policy
goals. (For more information see the Union of
- The Bush administration has lied about stem
cell research as much as about WMD.
- Want research into cures for diabetes, Alzheimer's, and other
devestating chronic illnesses? Too bad the most promising current area
cell research, which is opposed by religious conservatives to
whom the Bush administration panders.
- Union of Concerned Scientists cites more instances of Bush
of science to fit policy goals.
- How Science Became a Partisan
Issue under GWB.
Money, Finance, Economy
- Cash bonuses for political appointees restored.
- Planned privatization of up to 850,000 federal jobs. This is
worse than it sounds at first sight. For the employees it means the
loss of union protection. For the rest of us it means network of
private/public contractors that owe their livelihood entirely to
- Admin kills mass-layoff report as of December 1, 2002
- Bush's abysmal job-creation record: worst since record-keeping began.
- Federal deficit reaches $455 billion for fiscal year 2002-2003, 50% higher than predicted in Feb. 2003.
- Two million jobs lost under Bush.
- Problems in extending unemployment benefits
Stunning fiscal irresponsibility. The deficit under Republican
(The non-partisan Congressional Budget
Office has a Web site with lots of worthwhile information about
- Huge deficits (a consequence of huge tax cuts and a crashing economy)
- Paul Krugman on The Tax Cut
Con, Sunday NY Times Magazine, September 14, 2003.
- Even the
Monetary Fund thinks the ballooning
deficits and current tax policy
United States are terrible for the world economy.
- Ousted former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill blows the
whistle on the Bush tax cuts: even Alan Greenspan thought they were
- White House projects deficit of more
than $500 billion this year; the recently-passed sop-to-the-drug
companies will cost about 1/3 more than originally projected.
- The Bush administration may have threatened
to fire the chief Medicare actuary if he disclosed to Congress
his calculations on the cost of the Medicare drug benefit
- Then-Medicare administrator Thomas Scully may have forced
the chief Medicare actuary to keep his calculations secret.
- The Bush Administration has planted
propaganda as fake news stories in praise of the new Medicare
- The new Medicare law, covering prescription medications, knocks
seven years off Medicare solvency.
- The Bush admin. claims 308,000 jobs were created in February, 2004,
but 47,000 of those jobs were
"created" because the CA grocery workers' strike ended.
- It's the dishonesty, stupid, says Paul Krugman: in the way the Bush
administration talks about Bush's National Guard service and about
- Corporations are paying less
taxes than ever, thanks to the Bush tax cuts.
- Bush's tax ideas probably would raise your taxes
and mine while lowering those of the rich.
- It's the economy, stupid: only
96,000 jobs created in September, 2004.
The Hyperpoliticization of Policy
John DiIulio observed, first-hand, the lack of
policymaking in the administration: "everything is
political". Note that this is an administration that's both
hyperpolitical an hypersensitive: the administration
politicians of "politicization" merely for attempting
to debate administration actions.
- The Boston
Globe tells you all about how the Republicans in Congress are
undermining the democratic process:
- John Ashcroft (afraid of calico cats; covers century-old statue with
fabric fig leaf; odd view of Constitution and Bill of Rights; etc.)
- John Ashcroft's 2000 Senate re-election campaign committee is in
hot water over campaign finance law violations.
- Judicial appointees (multiple problem nominees; opponents of
abortion, disability rights, etc.)
- Convicted Iran-Contra criminal Elliot Abrams (pardoned by Bush 41)
as Middle East guy in the White House.
- Attempt to appoint of Henry Kissinger to head 9/11 investigatory panel
- Appointments of Iran/Contra veterans John Poindexter, John
Negroponte, and Otto Reich to responsible positions in the
- People like Gale Norton and Christie Whitman to environmental areas
- David Hager, FDA Womens' Health committee chair
in Christian healing (Hager was appointed to committee but not as
- Alberto Gonzalez, White House counsel and possible future Supreme
team takes over the White House counsel's office.. These are the
people who brought you the impeachment of Bill Clinton:
- A lawyer who wrote part of the Starr Report and handled the investigation into the death of Clinton White House counsel Vincent Foster.
- A lawyer for the Senate Whitewater investigation.
- A lawyer who testified to Congress in defense of independent counsel Starr's tactics and had a prominent role defending Bush in the Florida recount.
- A lawyer who was an outspoken television commentator in defense of Starr during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
- Others who fought for Bush in Florida and earlier worked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
- The Environmental Working Group has
a good rundown of Bush's anti-environment, environmental advisors.
- Judge appointed by Bush says GAO has no right to know which people
helped develop energy policy: he says the GAO has no standing to sue
- Replaced three ruling-class members of his economic team (SEC
chairman Harvey Pitt, a lawyer for the major accounting firms;
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, former CEO of Alcoa; and chief
economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey, former Federal Reserve Board
governor) with three other ruling-class members (John Snow, chief
executive of CSX Corporation and former head of the powerful Business
Roundtable, to the Treasury post; investment banker William Donaldson
to the SEC job; and Stephen Friedman, former chairman of investment
banking firm Goldman Sachs and current director of unionbuster
Wal-Mart, as chief economic adviser).
- Former Treasury Secretary O'Neill has
a low opinion of President Bush, it seems.
- Charles Pickering nominated for court appointment, rejected,
renominated after 2002 elections.
- Charles Pickering rejected again, then installed by Bush in early 2004
during the Congressional recess. Bush termed "unprecedented" the
Democrats' blocking of 4 of his judicial nominees, apparently forgetting
that the Republicans blocked
114 of Clinton's nominees.
- The right-winging of the Federal judiciary—not just the Supreme
Court, which gets attention, but all levels.
- Miguel Estrada, nominee without a record: the Bush administration
not release his writings as assistant solicitor general, claiming this
would be "unprecedented," even though Bush 41's administration was willing
to release such material written by Robert Bork. (Estrada withdrew in
- The Houston school district, from which education secretary Rod Paige
the number of assaults in the district by failing to report crime in
the district to the Texas Education Agency.
- The Houston school district also falsified the number of dropouts to
make their programs look better and provide support for unproven changes
in education policy that the Bush Administration wants. (This was a
story during July and August 2003.) To quote the article cited above,
"Houston, however, has been held up as a pillar of the so-called
Texas miracle in education, though it was battered earlier this year
by disclosure of false school statistics: a state audit found that
the authorities had failed to report properly thousands of school
dropouts, giving the district an impressive-looking but fake dropout
rate of just 1.5 percent."
- Families of new nominees to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
donations ($800,000) to Bush.
- The newly-appointed Special Counsel removes job
protections for gay and lesbian federal employees.
- Buried in the No Child Left Behind Act is a provision requiring
secondary schools to provide contact information on students to the
military or face loss of funding. This legislation is also full of
educationally disastrous provisions—part of the right's
desire/plot to destroy public education. See the NY Times's education
columns for lots of information about this.
- No Child Left Behind Act — underfunded,
turns successful schools into "failing schools."
Pell Grant formula changed;
84,000 students won't get them, hundreds
of thousands more will have reduced grants.
- No Child Left Behind Act crowds
existing classrooms and disrupts good
schools without improving supposedly bad schools.
- Bush administration refuses to add money to
budget for federally-funded meals for school children, , which was
proposed to help improve the quality of food served and reduce vending
machines with junk food in the schools. Instead, administration will try
to weed out the ineligible.
The No Child Left Behind Act requires
developmentally disabled kids to
meet the same milestones as nondisabled kids, thereby turning more
schools into failing schools.
- Student loan lenders cost
taxpayers hundreds of millions while the Dept. of Education claims it
can't do anything.
Information from a friend on the Well who is involved in energy
policy. Note that this is mostly speculation about bad things that
might happen under this admin. If you're interested in discussing this
with him, I'll be happy to provide his email address:
Let us consider what the world might look like in 2003:
- The forthcoming demise of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935
- The elimination of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978
- The repeal of utility merger review authority by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- The grant to FERC of pre-emption authority over state transmission siting (following no more than one year of a state review process)
- The grant to FERC of federal eminent domain over transmission siting, and a provision for compensation for "regulatory takings" not involving the property actually taken for transmission equipment
- Consolidation of NEPA and other federal environmental review for transmission facilities on federal lands managed by other agencies under the Department of Energy
- The expansion of FERC regional transmission authority, including intervention in the so-called free market for wholesale power by providing financial incentives to participants in so-called voluntary regional transmission organizations
Here's what the administration has already done:
- Failure to act when Enron & other traders were putting CA through
energy hell. From
"Commenting on the ongoing energy crisis in California, Bush said
California will have to dig itself out of whatever hole it is in."
- A good site on "deregulation" policy:
- Drilling in the Alaskan wildlife refuge: From the New York Times
article Norton Confidently Makes Case for Alaskan Oil Drilling
"Ms. Norton told a Senate committee that the energy shortages gripping
California were just one indication of a "very long and serious
problem" that demanded an effort to begin tapping the vast oil
reserves believed to lie beneath the refuge's coastal plain."
- Connections to Enron and supppression of attempts to investigate same
- Refusal to reveal with whom Cheney met during development of energy policy
- Judge appointed by Bush says GAO doesn't have standing to sue Cheney to get list of people who helped develop energy policy
- WSJ reports 12/6/02 that potential appointees to OSHA were asked
who they voted for for president in 2000 and where they stand on
- More info on the politicization of science: a report from
Wall Street Journal.
From the San Franicisco Chronicle:
Criminal justice experts say they have become increasingly concerned that the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft is moving to exert political control over previously independent agencies within the department that collect crime statistics and grant crime research awards.
At stake, they say, is the integrity of statistics about whether crime is increasing or decreasing and the findings of scholars about what causes crime and the best ways to reduce it.
The agencies, created by Congress, have long been independent of the attorney general and in the past were allowed to release reports or make research grants without clearance by the attorney general's office, former directors of these offices said.
But a number of employees in those agencies as well as former officials and leading scholars said in interviews that over the last year and withincreasing speed recently, political appointees under Ashcroft have worked to undermine that independence.
Passage of the USA PATRIOT act
Creation of the Homeland Security Department
- "This would be a heck of a lot easier if this were a dictatorship"
New Cabinet Level Agency Proposed Panel recommends sweeping national security changes (CNN, 1/31/01)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A blue-ribbon commission unveiled a detailed
report on national security Wednesday, calling for sweeping changes in
the way the government handles what it calls a "significant and
growing" threat of terrorism on U.S. soil. One of the panel's main
recommendations is for President Bush to create a new Cabinet-level
National Homeland Security Agency to handle prevention, response and
recovery to terrorist incidents. (Note: this was pre-WTC.)
- Secret detentions of US citizens
- Roundup of immigrant men by INS, December 2002
- TIPS program
- "Total Information Awareness" (TIA)
- Anti-terrorist legislation used for other things: North
Carolina methamphetamine producer charged under state law prohibiting
production of weapons of mass destruction. (Admittedly a state case,
- Bush calls for broader
police powers to fight terrorism. Translation: broader powers of
and seizure; greater use of the death penalty.
- Bush wants federal agents to be legally allowed to have
access to private records and compel testimony without a judge's
approval. Even Republicans like Senator Arlen Spector are
concerned about these provisions.
- Do you think we have the right to protest? George Bush's people make
sure he never sees protestors and make sure protestors get arrested
for the content of their protest signs.
- Do you think we have the right to protest, revisted? The FBI has
instructed police to keep
tabs on those opposed to the Iraq war, and federal prosecutors issued
grand jury subpoenas to the student chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
at Drake University after the NLG conducted a seminar about stopping the
occupation of Iraq.
- Revisting the right to protest yet again: There's more
spying on dissenters by the FBI, in the name of "fighting
- The Bush administration says that Federal law does not recognize a
patient-physician privilege and patients "no longer possess a
reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely
confidential." This is a change from past administration statements, and
it's all because of abortion.
- The Republican National Committee is prepared to harrass
TV stations airing MoveOn's ads.
- The FBI is preemptively
questioning political demonstrators to
forestall protests at the Republican National Convention.
Disclosure and Secrecy
The Bush administration decides to refuse
information requests from Democrats.
From a column by
Al Martin (1/31/01):
What will it be like with George Bush Jr. as president?
It will be a return to the "Bush" form of government -- namely a government of shadowy cliques, secret commissions and de facto star chambers.
The new Bush Administration will probably accelerate the pace of re-arming China to make China the new boogeyman because nobody makes any money unless there's a boogeyman.
The Bush Administration will then use that as an excuse to pump up defense spending, to wit, all defense contractors have given very generously to the Republican Party. Consequently, years later, a new Bush Administration will institute tax cuts for the wealthy and try to eliminate estate taxes which Bush has talked about in the past.
By the end of the first term of a new Bush Administration, all the surplus which is supposed to be used to reduce the national debt and repay the money his father swiped from social security would in fact be absorbed in new spending and tax cuts. [Note that this is true; the surplus is gone and the federal government is going to be in very big trouble in around 2010, a couple of years past what may be a second Bush term.]
From The New York Times:
Government Openness at Issue as Bush Holds Onto Records
By ADAM CLYMER
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 — The Bush administration has put a much tighter lid than recent presidents on government proceedings and the public release of information, exhibiting a penchant for secrecy that has been striking to historians, legal experts and lawmakers of both parties.
Attorney General Ashcroft won't
talk to print reporters.
- US attempts to block endorsement of condom use to prevent AIDS at
UN 2002 population conference in Bangkok and tries to
"reproductive health services" and "reproductive rights" endorsement
because those include abortion.
- Material on condom use, HIV prevention, breast cancer/abortion
removed from HHS/CDC Web sites. (NY Times, Nov. 26, 2002)
- Abortions don't cause breast cancer, according
to a new University of Oxford study,but that's some of the material
removed from HHS/CDC Web sites.
- Administration continues to follow
conservative agenda instead of good public health practice regarding
condoms and AIDS.
- W. David Hager appointed to (
FDA Advisory Committee for
Reproductive Health Drugs.
- Clinton-era ergonomics standards repealed
- The Eli Lilly clause in the Homeland Security Act, relieving the
company of responsibility in any thimerosol-related lawsuits; request
on Ashcroft's part to seal documents related to existing claims.
- Lowered product-labeling standards, allowing food makers to list
health claims on labels before they have been scientifically proven.
National Food Processors' Assoc. lobbied for this.
war on women and abortion.
- US reneges on contributions to family-planning funding because of
fake China issue
- Nicholas Kristoff on women and
children dying or ill in Africa because of the family-planning and
women's health cuts.
- Relaxation of rules
requiring hospitals to provide emergency care
- At the request of top Bush administration official, the Dept. of
Health and Human Services played
down significant health disparities among different racial groups. A
number of members of the House of Representatives are
up in arms over this.
- Bush administration goes to court to block lawsuits by consumers who
say they have been injured by prescription drugs or medical devices,
contending that consumers
cannot recover damages for such injuries
if the products have been approved by the Food and Drug
- OSHA needs to be more business
friendly, so no new regulations to prevent TB, etc. in the
- Newly-proposed regulations would bar
HIV-prevention education materials from mentioning condoms.
Women's and Minority Rights
- Bush declares a national Sanctity of
Human Life Day on January 19 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of
Roe v. Wade.
- Bush and the Republican Party are out to ban
abortion, whittling away the right to choose, bit by bit. To
start with, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division will
prosecute doctors who perform late-term abortions.
- On Martin Luther King's birthday, Bush denounces
- George Bush supports writing
discrimination into the Constitution.
- Bush expected to sign the "Unborn Victims of Violence" Act, further
undermining Roe v. Wade.
- Department of Labor removed
reports on women's inequality in the workplace from its Web site.
- Under Ashcroft, voting
rights may be treated very differently from in the past.
- "He doesn't tell Bush what to think," says a White House adviser
and Cheney friend. "It's a process. He lays it out. He guides Bush's
thinking to a conclusion. But
he knows the conclusion going in."
US wrecks cheap drugs deal—Cheney's intervention blocks pact to help poor countries after pharmaceutical firms lobby White House.
By Larry Elliott + Charlotte Denny/The Guardian
Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, last night blocked
a global deal to provide cheap drugs to poor countries, following
intense lobbying of the White House by America's pharmaceutical
Faced with furious opposition from all the other 140 members of the
World Trade Organisation, the US refused to relax global patent laws
which keep the price of drugs beyond reach of most developing
- Giant, noncompetitive rebuilt-Iraq contracts awarded to
Halliburton, Cheney's former company
- Cheney's continued
financial ties to Halliburton, a legal conflict of
- Halliburton's off-shore subsidiary - the one that can legally
do business with terrorist countries such as Iran and Libya - has
no off-shore offices and is not staffed entirely by non-US nationals, in
violation of the law. In fact, its mail is all forwarded to the US and
its address is a bank. This was set up while VP Cheney was an official of
- The director of Central Intelligence testifies that he has had to privately
correct the publicly stated views of the President and
- Halliburton unable
to account for where $1.8 billion went.
- The Canadian Broadcasting Company has shown an expose
of Cheney and Halliburton.
War on the poor, middle class, and working classes
- Tax cuts for the rich.
Read about how Bush
and Greenspan disagreed.
- Bush admin proposes 50% cut in tax on dividends, with 10 year cost
to Treasury of $100 billion dollars or more and tax benefits
(overwhelming to the richest taxpayers.
Editorial: 'Class warfare' / Who's victim, who's aggressor?
Published Dec. 20, 2002
"Waging class warfare" is an accusation often and easily thrown at people who object to federal tax and spending policies that favor the wealthy. Sometimes that accusation has the ring of truth, but sometimes it better fits those who make it than those it is meant to describe. Now is one of those times. Consider these recent developments and then decide: Who is waging class warfare on whom?
- President Bush recently informed federal workers that waging the war on terrorism would mean they couldn't have their 4.1 percent wage increase next year and would have to settle for 3.1 percent. Bush also reinstated annual bonuses of up to $25,000 for political appointees in the federal government. The bonuses had been scrapped by President Bill Clinton, who concluded they were used mostly to benefit political cronies of the White House.
- Last week the Treasury Department proposed new rules for pensions that would protect employers from claims of age discrimination in converting traditional pension programs into a new type. Those new pensions would mean reduced benefits for many older workers and reduced costs for companies.
- $300 million cut from program that provides heating subsidies to the poor
- Homeland Security department has a free hand to bypass civil service rulesi n promoting and firing workers and allowing the President to exempt unionized workers from collective bargaining agreements in the name of "national security."
- American companies may win government contracts even if they have moved offshore to evade corporate taxes (Homeland Security Act rider)
- Pay raise cut for 1.8 million Federal workers
- Refused to support an extension of unemployment benefits to about 750,000 American families whose benefits would run out three days after Christmas, until pressured by Congressional Democrats a week after front-page headlines announced that the nation's unemployment rate had reached 6 percent (an eight-year high) and that each week an additional 95,000 workers will lose their benefits.
- Proposed changes in rules covering employee pensions that will save companies money but threaten the retirement funds of older workers.
- The push to privatize Social Security
- Bush tries to change the
definition of who is eligible for overtime pay, reducing the number
eligible by up to eight million works; six Republicans cross
the aisle to block the legislation.
- New overtime rules go into effect; up to six
million workers who currently get overtime wages may lose them.
- Census bureau reports that 1.3
million more Americans are living in
poverty and 1.4 million more Americans lack health insurance.
- The Bush administration wants to cut
rent subsidies for poor families in NYC and New England. (They
subsequently backed down.)
Outsourcing and Deregulation
- Possible outsourcing of Park
- Possible outsourcing of air
traffic control jobs. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer put it, "The
next time you're taking off or landing in the Seattle area, will you be
comfortable with the notion that some of the airspace is being managed by a
company that won the job by submitting the lowest bid?"
The Overall Bush Credibility Gap
As brought to you by House
Not to mention the NY Times, which tells you about the ways the
Bush campaign is distorting the facts.
- Pattern of blocking full Congressional investigation of how it
- Administration wants the Thomas Kean-headed investigation over
and done with by May 27 - well in advance of Election Day.
- Initial appointment of Henry Kissinger, who would not disclose his
customer list, as chair of the Federal investigation committee (widely
- Censoring of eventual investigation because of
information about Saudi
government and its ties to Bush family.
- EPA Inspector General finds EPA and White House suppressed
information about air quality in NYC following September 11
- Bush administration falsely associates Saddam Hussein with September
11 despite there being no evidence of his involvement; high percentage of
Americans think Hussein
- Why do we know so little
about what happened on September 11?
- Lots of info on discrepencies
in the details of the events of September 11.
- Condi Rice won't testify
before the 9/11 committee. What aren't you allowed to say?
- Former Clinton and Bush administration counterterrorism coordinator
Richard A. Clarke recounts Bush's focus
on Iraq the day after 9/11 and the difficulties he had setting up
a meeting about Al Qaeda.
- One week before 9/11, Richard Clarke urged the Bush administration
in writing to consider how they would feel if hundreds
of Americans were killed in a terrorist strike.
- Despite an unprecedented number of warnings on terrorism in the summer
of 2001, the Bush administration had little
sense of urgency, according to director of central intelligence George
- The White House is suppressing thousands of
pages of Clinton Administration documents relating to September 11.
- A number of White House counterterrorism officials left
after September 11 because of the Bush Administration's obsession with
- Bush was
warned on August 6, 2001 that Osama bin Laden planned an attack on
the US that involved hijacked planes.
- Read about how Bush
has screwed New York City since September 11, 2001.
- Senator Bob Graham thinks the Bush administration has covered
up Saudi Arabian involvement in the September 11 terror attacks.
- The FBI is sitting on 120,000 hours of terrorism-related recordings
that have not
yet been translated, yet this same FBI has fired about a dozen
translators because they are gay.
- The White House is blocking
a damning CIA report until after the election.
War on Iraq
- The war
allies' view of the U.S. and not for the better.
- Bush finally tells us something about what
the war might cost as he asks for $87 billion more for Iraq.
- Paul Wolfowitz admits that he was
wrong to claim that Al Qaeda and the remains of Saddam Hussein's
government were working together against America.
- There are virtually
no controls on U.S. spending in Iraq.
- Still no weapons of mass destruction. The NY Times editorial pages ask Colin
Powell about this.
- Secretary of State Colin Powell tries to wiggle
out of his 2001 statements saying that Iraq had not developed "any
significant capacity" in weapons of mass destruction.
- A group of businessmen with close
ties to the Bush family forms a company to advise companies that want
to do business in Iraq.
- Did the Bush Administration start planning the Iraq war immediately after September
11 even though there was no evidence of a link to Iraq?
- A government task force said that the Iraqi oil industry was in bad
shape, but the Bush
administration lied publicly and said that Iraqi oil could finance the
- David Kay's report say that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were
destroyed in the first Gulf War and subsequently, but Bush claims
the report vindicates the war.
- A year-long State Department study accurately
predicted the current (October, 2003) problems with the occupation of
Iraq, but the Pentagon ignored it.
- Iraq contact the US and tried to
make a deal to avoid a war, but the US wouldn't deal.
- Bush wanted to oust Hussein
from the start of his presidency, according to former Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill.
- Guess what? The "intelligence" that was the basis of claims about
weapons of mass destruction was badly
- Kenneth Pollack, who supported the war (see his book The
Threatening Storm), discusses the lies that
got us into Iraq.
- David Kay, former lead U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, says the weapons
of mass destruction were gone long before the U.S. invaded.
- Bush administration denies that it said what it said
about Saddam as an imminent threat.
- A terrorist the Bush administration knew about but did nothing about.
- The war in Iraq removed from Afghanistan special forces who
had spent months establishing trust with the Afghans and looking for
Osama bin Laden.
- Expect a civil war
in Iraq because of our invasion.
- Just where ARE those billions going, anyway? Not to take care of our
soldiers: U.S. ground toops are buying
their own body armor to use in Iraq.
- Secretary of State Powell admits that the evidence he submitted to
the U.N. as justification for the war may have
- News about the bungled
occupation, from an eyewitness.
- Even many loyal Republicans are
looking askance at the Iraq quagmire.
- Business Week says Blame
Bush for What Came After September 11.
- It's not going well in Iraq and the
future is bleak, according to a secret memo of the Coalition
- Jeffrey Record's book Dark Victory explains why the
war in Iraq has made us less safe.
- Read an interview
with Jeffrey Record.
- The Bush administration isn't going to hold anyone accountable
for Abu Ghraib.
- Abu Ghraib detainees were hidden
from Red Cross inspector by the Army at the request of the CIA.
- The National Intelligence Council is pessimistic
about the outcome of the Iraq war.
- The National Intelligence Council's prewar assessment of Iraq predicted
that an American-led invasion would destabilize Iraq.
- A number of military experts say the
war in Iraq is lost, it's helping Al-Qaeda, and there is no good way
- And plenty of people think Republicans are ill-equipped
to fight the war on terror.
- The British ambassador to Italy says that George Bush is the
best possible recruiter for Al Qaeda.
- The BBC News wonders How
bad can things get? and makes it clear that the answer is "very
- That organ of the liberal media, Military Week, thinks Bush/Cheney
- A soldier currently deployed in Iraq discusses why we can't
- CBS killed a story about how
Bush made a deceptive case for going into Iraq.
- A representative of Bush's re-election campaign helped
draft Iraq PM Iyad Allawi's speech to Congress last week.
- The New York Times reports in great detail about how
the Bush administration turned dubious intelligence into a justification
for the war.
- J. Paul Bremer - remember him? he used to run Iraq for the U.S.? -
says that he
had doubts from the start about whether there were enough U.S. troops
in Iraq to establish security.
- The top American weapons inspector in Iraq reports that Iraq
destroyed its WMD within months of the 1991 Gulf War and the last
Iraqi factory capable of producing militarily significant quantities of
such weapons was destroyed in 1996.
- Dick Cheney says the above report justifies
the war. What? Peace is war!
- George Bush agrees
- The Times reports on Catastrophic
Success in Iraq, where our strategy didn't foresee the current
- Pat Robertson reports that Bush said there
would be no casualties in Iraq.
Other Weird Stuff
- Faith-based national parks: the National
Park Service removes gay rights demonstrations from the films at the
Lincoln Memorial and allows creationist information to be sold in the
Grand Canyon book store.
Last edited: October 20, 2004, but note that this sometimes
changes daily and I forget to updated the date.
Go back to Lisa Hirsch's Home Page.