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Impeach Bush

Poll: Bush Hasn't Made Case for Iraq War

War on Terror Causing World-Wide Rights Abuses

Bush Orders Military to Build Limited Missile Defense *

The Media--Powell on Iraq

The Clinton Record

From Bozo to Churchill

Lott the racist--the blind media

Violent Crime on the Rise, Second Year In A Row

Monthly Budget Review: -$114 billion deficit

Poll: Bush Hasn't Made Case for Iraq War
abcnews/ap
December 17, 2002
LOS ANGELES

More than two-thirds of Americans believe the Bush administration has failed to make its case that a war against Iraq is justified, according to a poll by the Los Angeles Times published Tuesday.

Ninety percent of respondents said they don't doubt Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction. But without new evidence from U.N. inspectors, 72 percent of respondents, including 60 percent of Republicans, said the president has not provided enough evidence to justify starting a war.

The Times poll, which interviewed 1,305 adults nationwide, was conducted from Thursday to Sunday, in the week after Iraq handed over its massive report on its arsenal to the United Nations. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Support for a possible war appears to be weakening, with 58 percent saying they support a ground attack on Iraq, according to the poll. In an August Times poll, 64 percent said they would support a ground attack. In January, the Times and other polls found support for military action more than 70 percent.

Yet almost three-quarters of Americans support the way Bush is handling the threat of terrorism, and nearly three in five like how he's handling the country's affairs.

Sixty-three percent of those polled said war would be justified only if the United Nations finds a pattern of serious violations by Iraq. Only 22 percent agreed with the administration's position that any error or omission in Iraq's arms declaration is adequate to justify war; 6 percent said it would depend on the nature of the omissions; and 9 percent said they were not sure or declined to reply.

If U.N. inspections fail to find evidence of Iraqi weapons programs, almost half said they would oppose war. Only 41 percent would favor war, and 10 percent said they were undecided. Only 26 percent said they were willing to support war if the United States acted alone.

Respondents also believe war would have serious ramifications at home and abroad. Sixty-seven percent said war would likely increase the threat of terrorist attacks in the United States; 51 percent said they feel it would destabilize the Middle East; and 45 percent said it will adversely impact the U.S. economy.

Commentary:
Bush still has the advantage as Americans continue to have there collective senses bombarded with war talk month after talk. Americans seem to get it. Thank god. But there are troubling signs left. A majority supports war now even though they know of no proof against Iraq. Howeven when queried further Americans seem to get it again. No matter how the press spins it, Bush is losing is war on the Constitution and International Law.


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War on Terror Causing World-Wide Rights Abuses
abcnews/reuters
December 17, 2002

— HELSINKI (Reuters) - The U.N.'s human rights chief said Tuesday that the U.S.-led "war on terror" was hurting human rights and exacerbating prejudices around the world.

"The war on terrorism has had some damaging effects, I would suggest, on human rights standards across the world," United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights Sergio Vieira de Mello told a news conference in Helsinki.

Governments across the globe have invoked the "war on terror," announced by President Bush after Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, to justify activities that de Mello said are damaging human rights in the industrialized and developing worlds.

De Mello said he understood the need to provide security against attacks on civilians after the September 11 attacks which killed more than 3,000 people. But he said that the "war on terror" had aggravated existing prejudices.

On Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers seized four airliners, smashed two into the World Trade Center in New York and another into the Pentagon near Washington. The fourth crashed in a rural Pennsylvania field.

The U.N. human rights chief echoed the worries expressed by his predecessor Mary Robinson last month about the rise in discrimination against Muslims.

"Arabs and Muslims at large are experiencing increasing incidents of racial discrimination ... Singling out, finger pointing and ... even in some instances (violence)," he said.

The United States blamed the September 11 attacks on Saudi born Islamic militant Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network. Several of the suspected hijackers were Saudis.

De Mello also said anti-Semitism was an issue that needed to be met head on.

He declined to predict if he believed there would be a war on Iraq, but said that the United Nations had learned its lesson from past conflicts and would be ready to act if a humanitarian crisis developed.

"We must at any cost prevent civilians from becoming what some irresponsible people call 'collateral damage'," he said. "In Iraq...civilians have suffered enough."

De Mello, speaking earlier at conference on racism and xenophobia, also said he would unveil a plan in 2003 for improving relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim world, warning that differences would lead to disaster. "I intend to take an initiative in 2003 to improve understanding between the Muslim world and ourselves and open a new era," de Mello said. "If we continue on this (current) path, we will end up in disaster."

He did not comment further on the initiative, saying he was still consulting with governments.

Commentary:
Bush was right about one thing, our freedom is being challenged. But not by bin Laden but instead by our government. Human rights around the world are being violated by governments including the US government in a vain attempt to stop a repeat of what on 9.11 by 20 nuts. How anyone can think the actions of 20 nuts are worthy of war with a great power is still beyond me. Will we go to war if five nuts attack us, how about one nut? Good grief!


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Bush Orders Military to Build Limited Missile Defense *
nytimes.com/ap
December 17, 2002

WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Tuesday he will begin deploying a limited system to defend the nation against ballistic missiles by 2004.

As a candidate, Bush promised to build an anti-missile shield, and earlier this year he pulled out of an anti-ballistic missile treaty to advance the plan. Tuesday, he cited the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America as evidence that the country faces "unprecedented threats" and needs the anti-missile shield.

"When I came to office, I made a commitment to transform America's national security strategy and defense capabilities to meet the threats of the 21st century," Bush said in a prepared statement. "Today I am pleased to announce we will take another important step in countering these threats by beginning to field missile defense capabilities to protect the United States as well as our friends and allies."

He called the initial stage "modest," but said, "These capabilities will add to America's security and serve as a starting point for improved and expanded capabilities later as further progress is made in researching and developing missile defense technologies and in light of changes in the threat."

The plan calls for 10 ground-based interceptor missiles at Fort Greely, Alaska, by 2004 and an additional 10 interceptors by 2005 or 2006, defense officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Bush said the "initial capabilities" will also include sea-based interceptors and sensors based on land, at sea and in space.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other defense officials scheduled afternoon briefings to explain details of the plan.

The Washington Times first reported the plan in Tuesday's editions.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the likely next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, lauded the decision to proceed on missile defense and said Congress would likely approve additional money. He said an extra $1.5 billion would likely be needed over the next two years for the program that was budgeted for $7.8 billion in 2003.

"Today, the United States cannot stop a single ballistic missile headed for an American city," said Hunter, R-Calif., who chairs Armed Services subcommittee on military research and development. "The consequences of such an attack would be devastating, and the danger continues to grow as nations such as North Korea, Iraq, and Iran continue to develop, purchase, and sell advanced ballistic missile technologies."

But David Sirota, spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, questioned Bush's priorities.

"If George Bush thinks we are so flush with cash that we can afford billions to deploy a technology that might not even work, then why has he repeatedly rejected funding for basic security like border patrol, Coast Guard and immigration services that we know is desperately needed to prevent another September 11th?" he said.

Bush's announcement came six days after the latest test of the system failed when an interceptor rocket did not separate from its booster rocket and destroy a Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile as planned.

Three of eight tests of the interceptors have been judged failures by the military.

Once U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty became official last summer, the Pentagon moved quickly to start work at Fort Greely -- 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks -- on six underground silos for missile interceptors.

The treaty had barred such construction by either the United States or Russia. Bush gave Russia six-months notice of the withdrawal in December 2001.

The initial Bush plan is more limited than the Strategic Defense Initiative envisioned by President Reagan in 1983 that came to be known as "Star Wars."

Still, Bush expanded the program significantly from the ground-based plan pursued by President Clinton by also ordering research and testing on sea-based and space-based systems.

The Pentagon has begun conducting tests with short-range missile-defense systems that were prohibited by the ABM Treaty and has built and tested mobile and sea-based sensors to track missiles.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the missile defense timing had nothing to do with North Korea's recent admission that it had a secret program to enrich uranium to make nuclear weapons. But, he noted, Bush cited North Korea as a threat when he promised during his campaign to build an anti-missile safety net.

"Throughout my administration, I have made clear that the United States will take every necessary measure to protect our citizens against what is perhaps the greatest danger of all -- the catastrophic harm that may result from hostile states or terrorist groups armed with weapons of mass destruction, and the means to deliver them," Bush said in his statement.

The United States has asked to use a radar complex in northern England as part of a global missile defense shield, the British government said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's Downing Street office said the government had made no decision on the written request to use the Royal Air Force base at Fylingdales in North Yorkshire.

American officials have also asked NATO member Denmark if it can upgrade a radar station at an American Air Force base in Greenland as part of the missile defense system, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday. Greenland is a semiautonomous Danish territory with no say when it comes to defense and foreign policy.

Commentary:
The stupidity of this headlines shows how fast the media has become hood-winked by Bush and his cronies. Bush can't order the military to build missile defense any more than Clinton could order healthcare to be reformed. We have a congress and they will decide this issue. The press continues to give Bush absolute power. Scary huh?


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The Media--Powell on Iraq
cnn.com
December 16, 2002

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday became the first senior Bush administration official to say publicly that "there are problems" with Iraq's declaration to the United Nations about its weapons programs.

Powell said a final U.S. analysis of the document should be completed by the end of this week. White House officials said the administration is preparing an assessment for the U.N. Security Council but said they were aware of no plans to release a public analysis.

At a news conference in Washington, Powell said: "We said at the very beginning that we approached it with skepticism, and the information I have received so far is that skepticism is well-founded. There are problems with the declaration.

"We are sharing the problems we see with UNMOVIC and IAEA," he said, referring to the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and International Atomic Energy Agency, "and we're in discussions with the permanent members of the Security Council. We will withhold making a final judgment statement until we have completed our analysis."

Powell said that President Bush and other world leaders remain hopeful that the situation will be resolved peacefully.

But if Iraq is deemed in violation of a U.N. resolution, "then I believe the international community has an obligation to act," Powell said, adding that its actions could include military force.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix is slated to make a presentation Thursday to the Security Council evaluating the Iraqis' nearly 12,000-page response, Powell told reporters.

A preliminary U.S. analysis provided to the inspectors said that the United States believes Iraq fell far short of the requirement for a full accounting of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs, according to several Bush administration officials.

But the White House has consistently declined to discuss the U.S. assessment publicly. Press secretary Ari Fleischer has repeatedly -- and again at his briefing Monday -- refused to offer any preliminary analysis or to commit to a deadline for any final analysis.

After Powell made his remarks, a White House official familiar with national security concerns said he was aware of no administration plans for a presidential speech or other public assessment of the Iraqi filing. But the official said the administration was preparing a detailed report to the Security Council for this week.

The official said it was unclear to him whether that report would be a written analysis or an oral assessment.

CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King contributed to this report.

Commentary:
Let me see if I get this. Bush and his cronies have problems with the Iraqi report, but they don't plan on telling us what they are? The era of propaganda has infested every part of the media. These mindless-drones need to go back to school and learn what real news is.

So how can you tell a real story from a fake one. Simple. A real story answers these five questions, who, what, when, where and why. A story is not a real story until it answers all five of these questions. What is the evidence the US doesn't like? We don't know. Therefore, this is not a real story. It's propaganda.


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The Clinton Record
cnn.com
December 9, 2002
Opinion: Mark Shields

Editor's Note: This opinion has nothing to do with GW, but it helps put things back into perspective. We can only hope and pray that another decent and moral president will carry on his legacy. A president who believes America has a future. A president who thinks we don't have to borrow money and give it away to make ourselves feel good about ourselves. A president who doesn't have to make war with the world to keep his poll numbers up. A president who tells us the truth. Where will we find another William Jefferson Clinton?

WASHINGTON (Creators Syndicate) -- In 2002, Rep.-elect Michael Michaud, D-Maine, was a genuine exception among Democratic House candidates: a blue-collar, dues-paying union member who had worked in the paper mill for 28 years, who is pro-life and who, in a district previously represented by moderate Republicans -- former U.S. Sen. Bill Cohen and current U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe -- defeated Snowe's longtime chief of staff.

All this, mind you, after Michaud publicly embraced the Man Republicans Love to Hate, former president Bill Clinton.

Here, according to the estimable columnist E.J. Dionne, is what candidate Michaud had to say to Clinton in October before 2,500 Maine citizens in Augusta: "The country's economy was in the ditch, and you made the hard decisions and turned things around. But the Republicans in Washington could never give you any credit. Oh no. They said it was not Bill Clinton who brought prosperity, it was the House Republicans and Alan Greenspan. Guess what? We still have the House Republicans. We still have Alan Greenspan. And where's the economy? Back in the ditch." This Michaud fellow is clearly on to something.

For the past decade, it has been a conservative crusade to: a) deny Bill Clinton's policies any credit for the historic prosperity the nation enjoyed during his presidency, or b) deny that those good old Clinton days were really that good at all.

First, when Clinton won the White House, the federal budget deficit was at a historic high of $290 billion, 10 million Americans were out of work and the nation's economic growth rate under the outgoing Republican administration was the lowest in more than half a century. Clinton introduced his controversial economic plan that raised the income taxes of the richest 1.4 percent of Americans. We immediately heard from the Gloom and Doom congressional Republicans, every one of whom voted against the Clinton plan. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, announced, "This tax bill is a one-way ticket to a recession." House Republican Whip Newt Gingrich predicted, "This is the Democrat machine's recession, and each one of them will be held personally accountable."

What followed is unarguable: creation of more than 22 million new jobs; the nation's lowest unemployment rate in 30 years; the lowest unemployment rate among women in 40 years; and the lowest Hispanic and African-American unemployment rate in history. The nation went from the largest budget deficits in history to the largest budget surpluses in history, while the average family's income went up more than $5,000.

Faced with a recession that never appeared, Republicans went from assigning blame to denying the improving economic situation. In 1996, GOP presidential nominee saw the dark side: "(Clinton's) big-government policies slammed on the brakes, starting with the largest tax increase in the history of America.. .. His economic legacy is the Clinton crunch, slow growth, high taxes and stagnating wages."

Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, agreed, "Two factors combine to make up the Clinton crunch: taxes going up and incomes going down." That November, three out of four voters said they were better off economically than four years earlier, and Clinton became the first Democratic president since FDR in 1936 to win a second term.

Time to switch arguments for the GOP in the face of a booming economy. Former Vice President Dan Quayle spoke for many in his party: "We do have prosperity, but let's give credit where credit is due. Ronald Reagan started the prosperity we have today. George Bush continued it (sic). And Bill Clinton inherited it."

After the federal budget deficit had gone down each of the Clinton years and the cascading tax revenues generated by the prosperity led in 1998 to the first balanced budget in 30 years, Clinton still got no credit. "The federal government is balancing its budget, thanks to the Republican Congress," said Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi.

But what about the continuing great economic news under Clinton? Lott offered kudos: "I agree that Bill and Al deserve a lot of credit, but I'm talking about Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan." Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, agreed: "I agree that Bill and Al are responsible for the prosperity we are currently enjoying across America. That's Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan."

So Bill Clinton had nothing to do with the nation's economic record of the '90s, according to fair-minded Republicans. But wait, President George W. Bush in his speech on corporate responsibility blamed the altering economy on the Clinton economic expansion: "We were in a land where there was endless profit. There was no tomorrow ... and now we're suffering a hangover from that binge."

Let's be blunt. Bill Clinton gave his political opponents a pistol loaded with his own reckless and unacceptable self-indulgence, and then re-loaded it on the way out the door with his pardon of the loathsome Marc Rich. But Mike Michaud was right. Bill Gates is still there. Alan Greenspan is still there. The House Republicans are still there. Ronald Reagan's tax and budget policies are still honored in the White House. The only two things missing are a good economy and Bill Clinton.

Commentary:
Let's not be blunt..let's get off our moral superiority kick and tell it like it is. No republican president or congress is or was more moral and more right than Bill Clinton. 'dem be the facts.


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From Bozo to Churchill
Fair.org
May/June 2002
By Mark Crispin Miller

Countless leaders have been deified by national emergency, but few have been remade as quickly and completely as George W. Bush. In many cases, those who had misread him as a simple tool, braying automatically at his most trivial mistakes, now automatically revered him. Such converts suddenly agreed with those who had seen Bush's flaws as signs of latent greatness--thitherto the notion only of a large plurality, but now the common wisdom.

And so, before you knew it, the seeming bozo was our savior. Not only were his famous foibles magically erased, but Bush's entire political pre-history also slipped right down the memory hole--the fraud and thuggery in Florida, the Supreme Court's complicity, the appointment of John Ashcroft, the budget-busting tax cuts, the moves against Social Security, the screw-you foreign policy, the slash-and-burn environmental policy, the lame prescription drug plan, the Jeffords controversy, California's power black-outs, Dick Cheney's Enron black-out and the many other signs of Big Oil's toxic spread, and on and on. Such a tacky record contradicted Bush's recent incarnation as America's Augustus, and so the record (briefly) disappeared.

Certainly the corporate media did all they could to reinforce the mass amnesia. Eager, as ever, to exploit the craze, and also to score brownie points (or still more brownie points) with our now-towering leader, they glorified him with a panting desperation that recalled the war-time cult of Stalin. We had the cable operations vying to outdo each other with slick, airless "profiles" of his brilliant leadership--shows that might as well have come straight from the White House. ("And he will not waver!" Andrew Card said at the end of one on CNN--10/20/01.)

We had the national dailies and top TV pundits, along with scores of lesser lights, promiscuously classing Bush's pip squeak rhetoric with the most exalted works of war-time oratory. ("When he said ‘Let's roll' at the end, I think there is a bit of Churchill in that, in the sense that he was saying, ‘This is not the beginning of the end, it is perhaps the end of the beginning,'" Chris Matthews yelled at Larry King on November 8.)

In an extraordinary act of self-abasement, Newsweek's Howard Fineman (12/3/01) deemed Bush "a model of unblinking, eyes-on-the-prize decisiveness," called him "eloquent," "commanding" and "astute," and treated his simplistic tag-lines as articulations of a reasonable policy: "From where does George W. Bush--or Laura, for that matter--draw the strength for this grand mission, the ambitious aim of which is nothing less than to ‘rid the world of evildoers'?"

And in February, there was "War and Destiny"--not a network miniseries, but a reverent spread in Vanity Fair, which lionized the presidential team with solemn head shots and TV-wrestlers' nicknames--Cheney was "The Rock," Ashcroft was "The Heat"--while ranking Dubya with Demosthenes. ("It's been a while since presidential rhetoric could raise the hairs on your arm," wrote Christopher Buckley. "Is this really the same frat boy who choked on his tongue talking about ‘subliminable' advertising? Johnny got his gravitas.")

Discreet erasures

Such overt Caesarism was continually reinforced by the discreet erasure of all incongruous information. Just as the news teams prettified the "war on terrorism"--and did it gladly, as if such a whitewash were a patriotic act--so did they work to idealize the man ostensibly in charge, by tuning out or under-playing all discordant facts about him.

There was, first of all, his non-election. The media chose, in mid-October, to postpone reporting on the long-awaited recount of the votes in Florida--because, they said, we were at war, which made resources tight, and also made the whole thing "utterly irrelevant," as the New York Times' Richard Berke asserted (Salon, 9/29/01). That the war was partly in defense of "democratically elected government," as Bush himself had said to great applause, did not, apparently, strike such reporters as ironic.

Then, a month later, the media did Bush/Cheney an enormous favor, by killing the important news that Gore had won the vote in Florida, and so, according to the Constitution, ought to be our president. This inconvenient finding was played way, way down, as, by and large, the newsfolk either sat on it (ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News) or brazenly distorted it, highlighting Bush's slender victory just in those four counties where Gore had sued for hand counts. Such disinformation came from several broadcasts, but it was the New York Times that started it, with a front-page obfuscation that gave lots of ammo to Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge (The Nation, 12/17/01).

It was more as our commander-in-chief, however, than as the leader of a great democracy, that Bush was constantly made over by the media, whose watchdogs guarded his persona with the loyalty and zeal of presidential handlers. Thus they kept on talking up his day-to-day performance, while spiking contradictory reports. When, at the end of September, CBS (9/25/01) confirmed that Air Force One had not been targeted on 9/11, the other media held back, as if to certify Bush's excuse for speeding out of town.

Links with the enemy

Far more troubling, however, was the media's failure to report those stories that would surely complicate Bush's posture as a pure crusader. Our press has told us very little of the links between him and our new enemy--such links as would have had the anchors turning somersault if it had been Bill Clinton.

Concerning Bush's family, first of all, the watchdogs have been perfect lambs. Most of them spiked the news that the bin Laden family owned a small piece of the Carlyle Group, employer of the senior Bush (an awkward fact reported by the Wall Street Journal--9/27/01--and that drove the bin Ladens to sell their shares); or that Salem bin Laden, Osama's older brother, seems to have invested in Arbusto Energy, George W. Bush's fledgling oil concern, back in 1976 (a story noted in the foreign press, and, stateside, only by such plucky independents as the On-Line Journal--7/3/01).

The media have also been too tactful about Carlyle's profits from the "war on terrorism," through the (aptly named) Crusader, a giant, pokey howitzer made by United Defense, a Carlyle subsidiary. Although the Pentagon itself had hoped to phase it out (in Kosovo, it proved to be not worth the cost), that $11 billion turkey was resuscitate by the terrorist attack. "On Sept. 26, the Army signed a $665 million modified contract with United Defense through April 2003 to complete the Crusader's development phase," reported the Los Angeles Times (1/10/02)--and few others, including Multinational Monitor, Red Herring and Paul Krugman in his New York Times column. (The deal was never mentioned on TV.)

And while the media laid off such family ties, so did they play down, or ignore, the larger links between the evil ones and our own government. There was the poignant case of John O'Neill, the Twin Towers' security chief who died on 9/11, and prior to that one of the FBI's top counter-terrorism experts. In November, it emerged that he had finally quit the Bureau in disgust because the State Department interfered with his investigation of certain of Osama's siblings, then living here in the United States. O'Neill believed that he was stopped because of oil, and our unofficial closeness to the Saudis.

That story broke in France, in an exposé by two investigative journalists (Jean-Charles Brisand and Guillaume Dasquie, Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth), whose findings were then carefully neglected in this country--although there was one brief item deep inside the New York Times (11/12/01). (O'Neill's death inspired many patriotic eulogies, but none made mention of the reason why he changed careers.) Clearly, the U.S. media were loath to follow any leads that might somehow implicate Bush/Cheney in the great disaster.

Weird uninterest

Such deference may explain the media's weird uninterest in the catastrophic failure of intelligence and military readiness that was so horribly revealed on 9/11. In the months after, Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker (10/8/01) was strikingly alone in looking into the CIA's malfeasance. Otherwise, the press appeared to share the view of Bush, who went to Langley two weeks after the attack to praise the agency for its great work (9/26/01): "I can't thank you enough, on behalf of the American people. Keep doing it."

By failing to look into it, the media have, unconsciously or not, colluded with the White House, whose big-time occupants do not want 9/11 publicly investigated. When, in January, Congress was preparing hearings on the matter, both Bush and Cheney lobbied hard to get them dropped (New York Post, 1/30/02)--a move that most Republicans did not support (and that the media, by and large, did not report).

While the media did take the lead in glamorizing Bush, however, they were not forcing that heroic view on everybody else, but merely coming up with the heroic view that, for the moment, many people wanted. Traumatized, the journalists and many in the audience were eager for George W. Bush to be another Roosevelt; and they were just as eager not to know whatever disenchanting truths an independent press would try to tell them.

Thus the terrorists did land a blow on our democracy, by knocking millions, briefly, to their knees--TV journalists included. "George Bush is the president," Dan Rather said to David Letterman (9/18/01). "He makes the decisions--and, you know, as just one American, he wants me to line up, just tell me where. He makes the call." (Moments later, while reciting lyrics from "America the Beautiful," the anchorman broke down in tears.) That fearful, warlike mood was all-pervasive after 9/11.

Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at New York University, is the author of The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder (Norton). This article is excerpted from the new preface to the updated paperback edition.

Commentary:
The media made Bush into a god. Now what are they going to do with their creation? I like this part; '"And he will not waver!" Andrew Card." Guess he didn't think Bush would start doing Iraz, then Iran, then... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...


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Lott the racist--the blind media
Fair.org
December 11, 2002

Six days after Trent Lott's latest endorsement of racism, media have taken notice. But the story of Lott's long-term involvement with racist and neo-confederate causes is still largely untold.

At a 100th birthday party for retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond on December 5, the incoming senate majority leader had this to say about Thurmond's racist 1948 presidential campaign on the Dixiecrat ticket: "I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of him. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

The senator from Mississippi's endorsement of a campaign whose official slogan was "Segregation Forever!" would seem worthy of further investigation. But media attention to Lott's comments has come slowly: It took five days for the story to gain serious national coverage. As columnist Joe Conason pointed out on Salon (12/9/02), "The attitude that ignores or downplays Lott's remarks is what used to be called 'institutional racism.'"

Finally, on December 10, all three network nightly news shows weighed in, along with ABC's Nightline; that morning had seen the first New York Times coverage of the story, and the first wave of scolding editorials (Washington Post; New Orleans Times-Picayune; Bangor Daily News).

The day after the Thurmond celebration, CNN's Jonathan Karl interviewed Lott on Inside Politics (12/6/02), but the issue never came up. And on NBC's Meet the Press (12/8/02), host Tim Russert put the Lott question this way: "John Lewis, a congressman, former civil rights leader, said that Strom Thurmond ran a segregationist campaign in 1948 and that Trent Lott is just dead wrong.... How big of a problem is this for Trent Lott?"

The response of Russert's panelists was instructive. Instead of criticizing Lott, Washington Post columnist David Broder noted: "Race remains, much as we would like it to be otherwise, a very, very important factor in our national life. And it is a decisive factor in Southern politics.... As long as that racial divide continues, any kind of comment like this on Senator Lott's part is going to have all kinds of bad resonance."

Fellow panelist and conservative columnist Bob Novak actually defended Lott, saying, "I don't think he was at all serious, and I don't even think we should dwell on it. The idea that race is important, I think, is the biggest problem for the Democrats as it is for the Republicans." On the same show, conservative New York Times columnist William Safire seemed to think the moral of the Lott story is that African-Americans should vote Republican: "The thing that comes to mind with me is what we've all said here, that the black vote is monolithic, that it's running 90 and 92 percent Democratic. I think that's bad for black Americans."

But not all conservatives took Lott's side; in fact, the vociferous criticism of Lott from the right seemed to give centrist or liberal journalists permission to write about the story. Among Lott's conservative critics were the National Review Online's David Frum (12/9/02), Andrew Sullivan (andrewsullivan.com, 12/9/02), the Wall Street Journal editorial page (12/10/02) and the Weekly Standard's David Brooks (Nightline, 12/10/02). In one of the first pieces on the scandal, Washington Post (12/7/02) reporter Thomas Edsall quoted Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol's reaction to the comments: "Oh God. It's ludicrous. He should remember it's the party of Lincoln."

Lott's Racism: A Long History

Kristol's comment is telling. In fact, Lott's public record on race going back more than 25 years indicates that the incoming majority leader has consistently preferred the legacy of Lincoln adversaries such as Jefferson Davis to that of Lincoln.

Lott's long history of support for racist and neo-Confederate causes is generally missing from coverage of the Thurmond controversy. On December 11, the New York Times and Washington Post did report that in 1980, then-congressmember Lott told a crowd at a Reagan rally, "You know, if we had elected [Strom Thurmond] 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today." But with few other exceptions, coverage of Lott's record seldom goes beyond the current scandal and 1998 revelations of Lott's links to the racist Council of Conservative Citizens.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, Lott was behind a successful effort to re-instate the citizenship of Confederate President Jefferson Davis (Associated Press, 6/2/78). In 1981, the year he became house minority whip, Lott prodded the Reagan administration into taking the side of Bob Jones University and other segregated private schools that were suing the Internal Revenue Service to restore tax exemptions withdrawn a decade earlier because of the schools' discriminatory racial policies (Washington Post, 1/18/82).

In 1982 and 1990, Lott voted against extending the Voting Rights Act, the law passed to insure that minorities-- especially Southern blacks-- had access to the voting booth. In 1990, he voted against continuation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the crown jewel of civil-rights legislation that desegregated education and public accommodations. In 1983 Lott voted against a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr., and in 1994 he voted to de-fund the MLK Jr. Holiday commission.

Lott's appointment to chair the 1984 Republican Platform committee occasioned a soft New York Times article (8/14/84) describing Lott as "a legislator who displays political shrewdness while avoiding making waves." That was the same year Lott boasted in a speech to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, "The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform" (Southern Partisan, 4th quarter, 1984).

A few months later, in an interview with the neo-Confederate magazine Southern Partisan (4th quarter, 1984), Lott-- himself a member and promoter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans-- repeated Jefferson Davis' posthumous endorsement of the GOP platform, throwing in a reference to the Civil War as "the War of Northern Aggression." No one asked Lott then if the original "party of Lincoln" was becoming the party of Lincoln's chief nemesis.

It wasn't until 1998 that national press scrutiny (with help from FAIR) focused on one neo-Confederate group-- the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The CCC is the successor to the notorious white Citizens Councils, whose history dates back half a century to the 1950s when the groups were referred to as the "uptown Klan." Today's CCC rails against "race-mixing" and immigrants, and proudly associates with extreme rightists, from white supremacist David Duke to French racist and anti-Semite Jean-Marie LePen.

In December 1998, Lott denied any personal knowledge of the CCC, falsely claiming through a spokesperson that his links to the group amounted to a single speech made over a decade before he'd entered the Senate. In 1992, Sen. Lott praised the CCC as keynote speaker at its national convention; in 1997, he met with top CCC leaders in his Senate office; his column appeared throughout the 1990s in the group's newsletter, which once published a cheerful photo of Lott and CCC members who were also his close relatives. Lott was also the guest of honor at a 1982 banquet hosted by a Mississippi chapter of the old white Citizens Councils (Extra!, 3-4/99).

In his defense of Lott (Meet the Press, 12/8/02), Bob Novak said, "Trent Lott got out there and he winged it. That's one of the dangers of not having a text. He thought it was a social occasion. He's thinking what comes to his mind." That sounds like a perfect reason to continue investigating Lott's racist connections.

Commentary:
The media still doesn't get it do they? They've done everything in their power to protect Lott from himself but now he's imploding and they can't bail him out anymore. How is it possible Lott could rise to a position of power in the republican party, be leader of the party, be a racist, have a media that knew he was a racist and still be where we are today?

A suggestion: Maybe the media should start telling us the truth. Btw, a quick look at news websites and little or nothing about Lott the racist and almost everything on who will replace him and/or the Party voting soon. Where are the "Lott the racist" stories? Running those stories would expose the thing the media fears the most---that their primary job is to keep us uninformed.


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Violent Crime on the Rise, Second Year In A Row
Reuters.com
December 16, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of crimes in the United States rose in the first six months of the year, adding to the increases that began in 2001 after a decade-long decline, the FBI said on Monday.

Murders went up by 2.3 percent from the first half of last year, the FBI said its report on crime statistics. The report did not say why crime was up, but experts have cited a number of factors, including the sagging U.S. economy.

The FBI said the total number of violent and property crime offenses reported to law enforcement authorities from January through June increased by 1.3 percent.

Murders and rapes increased while robberies and aggravated assaults declined. The total number of violent crimes dropped 1.7 percent, but that decrease was more than offset by a greater number of property crimes, leading to the overall increase.

Property crimes, which include burglary, larceny, theft, and motor vehicle theft, increased 1.7 percent. All of the offenses recorded gains, with the biggest jump of 4.2 percent occurring for burglary and motor vehicle theft.

The FBI said crime numbers increased in large cities and in the suburbs, but fell in rural areas and in small towns.

By regions, crime increased nearly 6 percent in the West, and by 0.6 percent in the South. Decreases occurred in the Northeast and in the Midwest.

Commentary:
When Bill Clinton said; "It's the economy stupid" he was right. Budget deficits or surpluses, crime, poverty, unemployment etc. are all related to the economy. When will republican presidents figure this out? A republican thinks he can fix things by borrowing money (deficits) and giving it to the rich. There is no evidence their solution works, but we have to give them points for trying the same formula over and over. No matter how many times they're proven wrong, the Party spouts the same old propaganda. Since the era of the Reagan tax cut in 1981 the US has created $5.2 trillion of debt. Borrowing money is this generation's legacy. Shame on the republicans.


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Monthly Budget Review: -$114 billion deficit
Cbo.gov
December 10, 2002

The federal government incurred a deficit of about $114 billion in the first two months of fiscal year 2003, CBO estimates, $52 billion more than the deficit it recorded over the same period last year. The budgetary outlook for this year remains particularly uncertain because most of the appropriation bills have not been enacted and because of the possibility of military action.

The Treasury reported a deficit of $54 billion in October, slightly more than CBO had projected on the basis of the Daily Treasury Statements. Revenues were higher than CBO had anticipated, primarily from corporate income taxes. Outlays were about $2 billion more than CBO estimated, largely as a result of higher-than-expected spending by the departments of Agriculture (USDA), Energy, and the Treasury.

The federal government recorded a deficit of $60 billion in November 2002, CBO estimates, $6 billion more than in the same month last year. Receipts fell by $1 billion relative to last November's total, while outlays rose by about $5 billion. Small declines in receipts from individual and corporate income taxes were nearly offset by modest increases in receipts from social insurance and excise taxes. The increase in outlays was primarily the result of higher spending for Social Security, the Defense Department, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, and the Food and Nutrition Service.

The estimated deficit for the first two months of this fiscal year--$114 billion--was about $52 billion greater than the shortfall for the same period last year. Revenues declined by $33 billion, while outlays grew by $19 billion.

In the first two months of fiscal year 2003, total receipts were $245 billion, down $33 billion from the same two months last year. A large part of that decline occurred because receipts in October 2001 were boosted by $23 billion by legislation that allowed corporations to delay making their quarterly estimated payments of income taxes normally due in September 2001. The quarterly payments were back on their normal schedule in September 2002. In addition, withheld receipts of income and payroll taxes in the first two months of fiscal year 2003 were $5 billion lower than during the comparable months of last year; that decline resulted from weak income growth and cuts in income tax rates enacted last year. The drop in net receipts in the first two months of this fiscal year also reflects an increase of $4 billion in refunds of corporate and individual income taxes.

Net receipts from corporate income taxes were negative in the first two months of fiscal year 2003 because corporations received $7 billion more in refunds than they paid in taxes. In recent months, many firms received refunds of past taxes as a result of weak profitability and the tax cuts enacted in March 2002 as a part of the economic stimulus legislation. Net receipts for the year will turn positive in December because quarterly estimated payments are due for most corporations.

Outlays grew at a modest pace in the first two months of this fiscal year, increasing by 5.6 percent over the levels recorded for the same period last year, CBO estimates. After adjusting for shifts in payment dates and certain accounting changes, that rate of growth falls to 4.8 percent. (Outlays grew by about 8 percent in fiscal year 2002, adjusted for calendar shifts.)

CBO is adjusting its estimates of the year-to-year change in spending in 2003 to reflect the new accounting treatment for certain health programs administered by the Department of Defense (DoD). Those accounting adjustments primarily affect the allocation of costs between DoD's military and civilian operations, which are shown separately in the table at left (under "defense--military" and "other programs and activities"). In the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, the Congress provided a new health care benefit for military retirees, their dependents, and surviving spouses who also are eligible for Medicare. This benefit was paid out of the annual appropriation to DoD in fiscal years 2001 and 2002 but will be paid out of a trust fund beginning in 2003. This trust fund is financed through monthly accrual payments made by DoD and payments by the Treasury (both are deposited into the fund). To more accurately compare spending between fiscal years, CBO has subtracted the accrual charges from defense and nondefense spending in 2003 and has added the benefits paid by the trust fund to the defense spending totals.

Defense spending is averaging about $30 billion a month so far this fiscal year. This level of spending is similar to the monthly average recorded in the second half of 2002, but it represents a 9.9 percent increase relative to the same period last year (after adjusting for timing and accounting shifts).

Spending for unemployment insurance in the first two months of this year was significantly higher than for the same period last year, largely because of the temporary extension of benefits that was enacted last March. Those emergency payments, which have averaged about $1 billion a month, will expire on December 28, 2002.

Outlays for other programs and activities are running about 5.2 percent ahead of last year's pace, CBO estimates. This category includes nondefense discretionary programs being funded by a continuing resolution, which runs through January 11 and limits the rate of spending to the amounts provided for 2002. Among the agencies experiencing above-average growth so far this year are the Department of Education and USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and Agricultural Marketing Service.

Commentary:
Bush promised us years of surpluses. Where are they? Bush said we had enough money to give some of it away. Where is it. Bush said we had enough to money to increase Military spending, Social Security and Medicare. Where is the money? Bush said he'd pay down all the debt in 10 years. With deficits like this and those projected, Bush is expected to create more debt than any president in history. Yet, the press continues to allow him to lie to the American people. Why are these lies acceptable? Have Americans grown tired of hearing the facts? The massive deficits during the first two month of this year hasn't made a headline yet on the major news websites. Why not? How much longer can the press protect Bush from Bush? Hail the era of propaganda and opinion passing as news.


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