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Impeach Bush


'Empty Warhead' is NOT a warhead

Government's Gloomy Fiscal Forecast

Race Bad--Athlete Good, Bush and Michigan

N. Korea Says No to US

Majority opposes unilateral Iraq war

Bush Is Planning to Give N. Korea Fuel

Ex-Speechwriter Recounts 'Axis of Evil'

Bush Wants National Data Base of Gambling Proceeds

Polluters to Buy Credits *

'Empty Warhead' is NOT a warhead
cnn.com
January 16, 2003
Posted: 5:04 PM EST (2204 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- As U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq entered a new level Thursday, one team discovered empty chemical warheads and international officials began talking tougher about Iraq's responsibility to be more forthcoming about its disarmament efforts in order to avoid a possible military confrontation.

In another milestone Thursday, U.N. inspectors paid their first-ever visit to the private homes of Iraqi scientists as part of the hunt for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. The homes were not listed as declared sites by Iraq, suggesting that inspectors may be working on an intelligence tip.

About 150 kilometers (93 miles) southwest of Baghdad, another team of arms inspectors found 11 empty chemical warheads and another one that needed further evaluation at the Ukhaider ammunition storage area, according to a U.N. spokesman, who said they were all in "excellent condition."

Dimitri Perricos, leader of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, said the find was "not a smoking gun" that might indicate Iraq had violated U.N. resolutions.

The chemical warheads the inspectors found were on 122 mm rockets similar to ones imported by Iraq during the late 1980s, the spokesman said.

The UNMOVIC team used portable X-ray equipment to analyze one of the warheads and collected samples for chemical testing.

Hossam Amin, head of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, dismissed any allegation that the find is significant, calling the material "forgotten."

"It is neither chemical, neither biological," Amin said. "It is empty warheads. It is small artillery rockets. It is expired rockets. They were forgotten without any intention to use them, because they were expired since 10 years ago."

He added that "this type of rockets were declared in 1996 and again in the new declaration."

Although the United States has long disputed Iraqi declarations that it has disarmed, the White House took a wait-and-see approach to Thursday's discovery.

"Very dangerous" was how Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix described the situation in Iraq as he announced Thursday that Baghdad had illegally imported arms-related material to the country. He said it is not yet clear if the material is related to weapons of mass destruction which Iraq is prohibited from possessing or manufacturing.

Blix, who spoke bluntly at a briefing with reporters after meeting with European Union officials in Belgium, said Iraq has to be more active in addressing the concerns of the United Nations and the inspectors. An alternative to cooperation, he indicated, would be the specter of military confrontation.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana used similar rhetoric, calling for a "more proactive contribution" from Saddam's regime so that the world, the inspectors, the [U.N.] Security Council is convinced that he has disarmed from all weapons of mass destruction."

Meanwhile, Time magazine, quoting well-placed sources, reported Thursday that Saudi Arabia was pursuing a plan to engineer a U.N.-sanctioned plot for Iraqi generals to overthrow President Saddam Hussein.

A U.N. resolution would declare amnesty for most Iraqi officials if they helped with a transition of power in Baghdad, the magazine reported.

The report said that Arab diplomats believe the elite Iraqi Republican Guard would turn against Saddam and that he would not accept exile.

In another effort to avert a possible war, Turkey announced Thursday it will invite ministers from five countries -- Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria -- to attend a meeting to discuss ways to peacefully resolve the Iraqi crisis.

CNN Correspondent John King and CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.

© 2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

Commentary:
The DoD Dictionary defines a warhead as; "That part of a missile, projectile, torpedo, rocket, or other munition which contains either the nuclear or thermonuclear system, high explosive system, chemical or biological agents, or inert materials intended to inflict damage."

Now that the media and Bush are in an endless spin cycle it's time to take a few seconds and say, IT'S NOT A WARHEAD. There, I feel better.


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Government's Gloomy Fiscal Forecast
CBS News/AP
Jan. 15, 2003

(AP) President Bush's budget chief said Wednesday that the White House envisions federal deficits in the $200 billion to $300 billion range over the next two years, a dramatic worsening of the government's fiscal picture since last summer.

Budget director Mitchell Daniels also refused to say when federal surpluses would return, commenting only, "Stand by."

Daniels provided no precise figures, saying only he expected shortfalls over the next two years to be in the range of 2 percent to 3 percent of the size of the economy. The nation's economy — the total value of the goods and services produced annually — is estimated at about $10.5 trillion.

The acknowledgment of the bleaker fiscal prospects was sure to fire the partisan budget fight between the Bush administration and Democrats, who have accused Mr. Bush of ignoring revived federal deficits and even fueling them by proposing new tax cuts.

In remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and later to reporters, Daniels downplayed the near-term shortfalls, which stand to surpass the record $290 billion in red ink that occurred when the first President Bush was held office in 1992.

He said deficits of 2 percent to 3 percent of the nation's economy would be manageable. Compared to the size of the economy — which many economists consider the best way to measure the country's ability to afford them — the shortfalls peaked at 6 percent in 1983 and remained in the 4 percent and 5 percent range in much of the 1980s and 1990s.

"We ought not hyperventilate about this issue," he said.

In July, the White House projected deficits of $109 billion this year and $48 billion in 2004. It also predicted that surpluses would return as early as 2005.

Daniels blamed the worsened fiscal picture on a continued collapse of federal revenue collections, reflecting the weak economy and financial markets.

© MMIII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Commentary:
Boy, what a mess. If I were president, this would be my main priority. That and the foreign policy mess in North Korea. Too bad we don't have a president who gives a damn.

This president will most likely produce more debt than any other president in US history and he'll be loved and admired by conservatives (just like the debt-ridden Reagan presidency). Deficits are future taxes plus interest. So when GW tells you he's giving you a tax cut, don't believe him. He's just postponing when you have to pay for all his spending.


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Race Bad--Athlete Good, Bush and Michigan
cnn.com
January 15, 2003

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA
At the University of Michigan, minority undergraduate applicants to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts receive a 20-point bonus on the basis of race out a 150-point system, which takes into consideration other criteria, including academics. Race is covered in a category called "other factors," which also includes:

Geography
10 points - Michigan Resident
6 points - underrepresented Michigan county
2 points - underrepresented state

Alumni
4 points - "legacy" (parents, step-parents)
1 point - other (grandparents, siblings, spouses)

Essay
1 point - outstanding essay (since 1999, 3 points)

Personal achievement
1 point - state
3 points - regional
5 points - national

Leadership and service
1 point - state
3 points - regional
5 points - national

Miscellaneous
20 points - socio-economic disadvantage
20 points - underrepresented racial-ethnic minority identification or education
5 points - men in nursing
20 points - scholarship athlete
20 points - provost's discretion

Source: Center for Individual Rights

Commentary:
So here's how it works. If you're a moron and you can play sports you get 20 points. No problem there. No court challenge, no president saying it's wrong to be a moron who can throw a ball. If you're a moron and your daddy knows the guy making the decision or daddy donates lots of money the provost (head collage dude) can give you 20 points. No problem there either. If you're poor, you get 20 points. But if you're of color and get 20 points, well that REQUIRES the President of United States to step in and fix this unAmerican injustice. Good grief!

For those who are slow, this is called "playing the race card," and pandering to racists.

Oh, and let's not forget what else happened on this day that was drowned out by this silly president interfering in local school admission policy. The Federal Reserve released its updated Beige Book showing the US economy is in deep trouble. And Bush's OMB says we'll have deficits of between $200-$300 billion this year and next and possibly for as far as the eye can see (stories that were buried by the major news networks). Where is the president focusing his energy? Like a laser on the economy? Nope. On school admissions. Go figure.


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North Korea to U.S.: No
APWire/Miami Herald
HANS GREIMEL
Associated Press
Posted on Wed, Jan. 15, 2003

PANMUNJOM, Korea - North Korea on Wednesday rejected U.S. offers of dialogue and possible aid if it abandons its nuclear ambitions, calling them "pie in the sky" and a "deceptive drama" to appeal to public opinion.

One day after U.S. officials held out the prospect of food and energy supplies, Pyongyang declared it would not accept any offer of dialogue with conditions attached.

Washington's "loudmouthed supply of energy and food aid are like a pie in the sky, as they are possible only after the DPRK is totally disarmed," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to the official news agency KCNA.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Spokesman Ari Fleischer said Wednesday the White House had heard no official word from Pyongyang.

"That's an additional unfortunate comment that North Korea has made," he said of the North's reported dismissal of a possible aid deal.

The United States has been seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis, and in a further step toward a peaceful settlement, North and South Korea on Wednesday set dates for Cabinet-level talks Jan 21-24.

U.S. envoy James Kelly, before meetings in Beijing on the North Korean stalemate, said he was "reassured" by efforts to persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons development.

Kelly earlier this week had extended one of Washington's tentative aid offers. And China has offered to host negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

Still, there were signs the North has increased military patrols near its border with the South, and the reclusive regime in Pyongyang kept up its stream of anti-American invective through its state-run media.

In addition to rejecting the possibility of aid, the North also blamed nuclear proliferation on the United States and accusing Washington of using its weapons to threaten and blackmail other nations.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been rising since North Korea admitted in October to having a secret nuclear program. Last week the communist regime withdrew from a global treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons, and threatened to resume missile tests.

The U.S. military spotted increased patrols by North Korean soldiers over the past week in part of the Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula, said Lt. Col. Matthew Margotta, who commands a combined battalion of U.S. and South Korean soldiers.

But the activity in the 2 1/2-mile-wide, 156-mile-long DMZ were "not alarming, just unusual," and were probably "triggered by a heightening of tensions," Margotta said.

The North Koreans have also occupied a guard tower in the DMZ that hadn't been used in years, he said.

In a speech Wednesday at the Yongsan command headquarters for U.S. troops in South Korea, President-elect Roh Moo-hyun called the U.S.-South Korean alliance the "driving force" for security in the region.

"We can never accept North Korea's nuclear weapons program," Roh said, calling for international diplomacy to defuse the standoff. "The South Korean-U.S. alliance should be the basis for this effort."

The United States keeps 37,000 troops in South Korea, and the accidental killing of two teenage girls by American soldiers driving a military vehicle had increased calls that the force be scaled down.

The North has continually tried to drive a wedge between the South and the United States, its key ally, and on Wednesday called for a joint Korean struggle against "U.S. imperialists."

"If the North and South join forces and take a joint stand, we can protect the nation's dignity and safety against U.S. arrogance," said Pyongyang Radio, monitored by South Korea's national Yonhap news agency.

Also Wednesday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, urged Russia to get involved in diplomatic efforts, saying Moscow could play a "vitally important role."

Throughout the conflict, the North has maintained its insistence that the United States sign a nonaggression treaty in exchange for dialogue - a condition it repeated Wednesday.

"It is clear that the U.S. talk about dialogue is nothing but a deceptive drama to mislead the world public opinion," the news agency report said, quoting an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman.

He also reportedly said the stalemate could be resolved only when both sides negotiate "on an equal footing through fair negotiations that may clear both sides of their concerns."

Also Wednesday, the news agency rejected international concern over its nuclear programs and blamed nuclear proliferation on the United States.

"In 1945, the U.S. produced three A-bombs and tested one of them in its mainland and dropped the other two on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, inflicting nuclear holocaust on the Japanese for the first time in human history," the dispatch said.

The report, monitored in Seoul, said the United States and other countries were trying to shift the blame to North Korea, pressuring it to rejoin the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which says only Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States can have nuclear weapons.

Commentary:
I have to admit I didn't see this little wrinkle coming. The North wants conditions from the US (they always have), the US wants conditions too (Bush playing catch-up) but I didn't think the North would say no so fast. There's almost no chance of ending the nuclear program anymore. If it does stop, it'll be by luck.

Can we say Bush screwed-up any louder?

The North thinks Bush is wacky, and of course he is. They're trying to defend themselves against this nut. There is hope at the end of the tunnel. Japan has more influence with North Korea than the US and that's the key. If Japan can be convinced to give N. Korea aid, this crisis will go away.

If North Korea has nukes (not likely), it'll probably use them against Japan (ie:not China or South Korea) and it'll use them only if the US attacks them. If the US becomes responsible for another nuclear attack on Japan, the Japanese people will never forgive the US. It's in Japan's and the US's national interest to end this crisis Bush created. Axis of evil---huh? Stupid presidents!


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Majority opposes unilateral Iraq war
Miami Herald
Posted on Sun, Jan. 12, 2003
BY MARTIN MERZER
mmerzer@herald.com

With U.S. troops mustering in the Persian Gulf and the nation on the cusp of war with Iraq, Americans in overwhelming numbers oppose unilateral U.S. military action, a national poll conducted last week for Knight Ridder newspapers found.

Many survey respondents said President Bush has not effectively explained why military action might be required. Nearly one in five said they still do not believe that Iraq poses a serious threat to the United States.

A robust majority of Americans --83 percent -- would support going to war if the United Nations backed the action. But support for war dwindles rapidly without U.N. approval.

Fewer than half of the respondents said they would support an attack on Iraq if the United States were joined by only one or two key allies. And 59 percent said they would be opposed to an attack if the United States decided to go it alone -- a switch that presents the Bush administration with a political and diplomatic quandary.

Unambiguous evidence that Iraq has nuclear, biological or chemical weapons is a key requirement for the broad international support that Americans crave. Yet a majority of poll respondents, while convinced that Iraq harbors such weapons, said they doubt that U.N. inspectors will find them.

''We have been given no compelling reasons for going to war,'' said Bill Quarton, 52, of Ann Arbor, Mich., who was among the poll respondents who said they were opposed to unilateral U.S. action against Iraq.

``Our government acts as if it knows something terribly important and we should go ahead with this, but we haven't seen anything to substantiate it. The whole scenario makes me very uncomfortable.''

The survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates questioned 1,204 American adults between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Among the survey's other findings:

  • Most Americans do not want to rush into war. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said the United States should continue to work toward achieving its goals in Iraq without war. Only 27 percent favored quick military action.
  • Still, more than 60 percent of those surveyed said they would support an eventual war if it were the only way to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or end the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
  • In fact, the arguments against war are much less compelling to Americans than the arguments in favor of military action. In particular, the arguments that war with Iraq will hurt the economy, damage relations with our allies, or divert attention and resources from the goal of tracking down those responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, don't carry much weight.
  • Two-thirds of the respondents said they believed that they had a good grasp of the issues surrounding the Iraqi crisis, but closer questioning revealed large gaps in that knowledge. For instance, exactly half of those surveyed said that one or more of the terrorist hijackers were Iraqi citizens. In fact, none was.
  • The informed public is considerably less hawkish about war with Iraq than the public as a whole. Those who show themselves to be most knowledgeable about the situation are significantly less likely to support taking military action against Iraq, either to remove Hussein from power or to disarm that nation.
  • Asked to rank the various threats facing the United States, more than twice as many respondents (49 percent of the total) chose al Qaeda rather than Iraq as the greatest peril. By a similar margin, respondents believe that dealing with al Qaeda should be the nation's top foreign policy priority.

BUSH'S ARGUMENTS

His clarity is questioned
by more people than before

With war possibly only weeks away and another crisis brewing with North Korea, the survey found that Americans exhibit considerable uncertainty and ambivalence about world affairs.

Among other things, they are evenly divided about the president's effectiveness in explaining what's at stake in Iraq and why U.S. military force might be employed.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said he has not clearly explained his rationale for another war against Iraq; 46 percent believe that he has.

The result shows some slippage for the president since September, when other polls asked a similar question. Then, 52 percent believed that the president had clearly explained his position; 37 percent disagreed.

''He's the best,'' said Jose Velez, 25, of Lehighton, Pa., near Allentown. ``After Sept. 11, President Bush didn't take any chances, and this is part of that.''

Dan Yeager, 24, of Grand Ledge, Mich., saw it differently.

''I think going after Iraq is just for Bush's own popularity and to finish off his father's work,'' Yeager said. 'He's not clear about why he wants to go to war. I think he just wants to do it and he's just saying, `Back me.' ''

Yeager and many other Americans also worry about the economy. As a group, respondents were evenly split on whether foreign threats or the economy should be the administration's top priority.

''We're going to spend a lot of money sending all these troops to Iraq, and right now we have a problem of our own with the economy,'' said Lydia Sepulveda, 41, of Weston. ``A lot of people are without work.''

Still, the 27 percent who consider Iraq the most important priority of U.S. foreign policy are more likely than others to want the White House to devote most of its time to an overseas crisis rather than the economy. Fifty-two percent of those people feel that way.

Only 42 percent of those who believe that al Qaeda or North Korea poses the most serious foreign threat want the White House to prioritize those issues over the economy.

When it comes to North Korea, a majority believe that the United States is imperiled by that enigmatic, hard-line regime and that the United States should maintain or enhance its military presence in South Korea.

But there is little support for U.S. military action against North Korea, a nation that American officials say probably has nuclear weapons.

Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed said the issue should be resolved diplomatically; only 15 percent said the United States should prepare to take immediate military action against North Korea.

''I'm a war veteran and I don't believe in going to war over other people's problems,'' said Robert Wilkinson, 75, of Ojai, Calif., near Ventura. He is a veteran of World War II.

Returning to the Iraqi crisis, a commanding 91 percent of those surveyed believe that Hussein is concealing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Sixty-five percent believe that U.N. inspectors are not likely to find those weapons.

If war proves necessary, Americans seem willing to tolerate a long military presence in Iraq. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they would support eventual military action even if it required U.S. troops to remain in Iraq for five years.

The survey also demonstrated that many Americans remain altruistic and idealistic. They worry that the Iraqi crisis could mark a fundamental shift in American attitudes toward war.

Two-thirds of the respondents said that Hussein's record of using chemical or biological weapons against his own people provided a good reason for going to war -- the same number that cited American self-defense against a terrorist attack.

Forty-six percent of those surveyed said the possibility of a high casualty rate among Iraqi civilians was a good reason not to go to war.

At the same time, the nation is evenly divided over the Bush administration's advocacy of preemptive strikes -- those launched before an enemy attacks American interests at home or abroad. Forty-three percent said the policy violates American ideals and could establish a dangerous precedent.

''We should be the country that sets the standards,'' Quarton said. ``This amounts to punishing the criminal before the crime is committed.''

Forty-five percent support preemptive strikes.

''If somebody says he's going to kill me, am I going to wait until he does?'' Velez said. ``There have been a lot of threats. How many people have to die over here before we do what we have to do?''

A POLITICAL DIVIDE

Support for president's view
greater among Republicans

As one might expect, support for war among Democrats and independents is much more conditional than support among Republicans.

While Republicans widely endorse the policy of preemptive strikes and would support war with Iraq with less than the full backing of U.S. allies, Democrats and independents tend to see preemptive strikes as bad policy and make their support for war contingent on a U.N. resolution.

Many Americans are willing to support the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary, but an equal number remain discomforted by that concept.

Forty-six percent would approve of a U.S. nuclear response if Iraq used chemical or biological weapons; 45 percent would not want a U.S. response with nuclear bombs.

Asked whether Israel would be justified in responding with nuclear devices to an Iraqi chemical or biological attack, Americans felt quite differently. Sixty percent said Israel would be justified; 30 percent disagreed.

''It would be a grave error,'' Quarton said. ``Two wrongs do not make a right. It would poison a large part of the world. It would create hatreds that might take centuries to resolve.''

The survey also suggested shaky factual underpinnings in many of the nation's opinions.

Nearly one in four respondents believe the Bush administration has publicly released evidence tying Iraq to the planning and funding of the Sept. 11 attacks, and more than one in three respondents did not know or declined to answer.

No such evidence has been released.

Copyright © 2003, Knight Ridder Inc.

Commentary:
Considering this is zero opposition in the media or by the democrats it's amazing Americans are this reluctant to go to war. Perhaps if the media stops its endless political campaign ads for the republican party (War With Iraq, Count-down on Iraq etc.) the country will wake up from the propaganda fog and think for itself.


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Bush Is Planning to Give N. Korea Fuel
AP/Washington Post
By Jennifer Loven
Associated Press Writer
Monday, January 13, 2003; 8:27 PM

WASHINGTON –– The Bush administration walked a diplomatic tightrope Monday, talking of energy assistance and other help for North Korea while insisting such tantalizing prospects wouldn't be a prize for Pyongyang's increasing bellicose behavior.

The administration argued this fine point: that talking with North Korea about its willingness to back off its nuclear weapons programs is different from negotiating over what the impoverished nation would get in return.

It also asserted that quick and verifiable action was required from North Korea before any would be taken by the United States.

"North Korea wants to take the world through its blackmail playbook, and we won't play," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.

The communist country withdrew from the landmark Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty last week and has threatened to resume long-range missile tests and to begin reprocessing spent fuel rods from its nuclear reactor to make atomic bombs.

The standoff began last fall when the United States said North Korea had acknowledged a secret nuclear weapons program. In response, the United States suspended fuel shipments. Then North expelled U.N. inspectors, made monitoring difficult by removing cameras and seals at its facilities and said it reactivated its Yongbyon nuclear facilities.

An American envoy in Seoul, South Korea, responded to the escalating situation by saying the United States is willing to consider energy aid – if Pyongyang ends nuclear weapons development.

"Once we get beyond nuclear weapons, there may be opportunities with the U.S., with private investors, with other countries to help North Korea in the energy area," Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly told reporters.

Fleischer said Kelly's statement didn't represent "anything new" in the administration's policy, but merely added specificity to a joint statement last week by the United States, South Korea and Japan which held out hopes for improved relations.

The White House also said dangling the prospect of economic assistance does not run counter to Bush's vow not to reward threats.

"There is a perfect consistency here," the presidential spokesman said.

"North Korea needs to eliminate its nuclear weapons program in order to reap any benefits of responsible participation in the international community," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher added. "The issue is whether they're going to promptly and verifiably dismantle the uranium enrichment program. The issue is whether they're going to re-establish the monitoring, the seals, the cameras."

Over the last week, the White House's stance toward North Korea has seen subtle changes, with the United States first offering talks in the joint communique and now economic incentives.

All the while, the Bush administration has been buffeted by critics from both sides, with some pressing for engagement with North Korea to help diffuse the crisis and others urging against any appearance of capitulation.

Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said Monday that the United States should not submit to North Korean threats, but must open negotiations.

"That's the only ball game in town," he said in an interview. "You're going to have to talk to them."

A bipartisan group of senators, meanwhile, advocated a more aggressive policy – including regularly intercepting weapons shipments and enhancing the U.S. military posture in the region with troop reinforcements and exercises. Among other moves urged by legislation from Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, John McCain of Arizona and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, plus Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, are a tough inspections regime to end sanctions.

"We should do nothing less in dealing with North Korea," Kyl said.

Also Monday, the president celebrated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States with a tribute to the contributions of the Korean American community and the U.S. relationship with South Korea.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
It never ceases to amaze me how dumb a president or members of congress can be. N. Korea said it went nuclear because of a threat by Bush. Bush is now saying the US won't attack N. Korea. N. Korea has already won the game. Poor Bush is still moving his pawns in the opening gambit.

The best Bush can hope for is a return to the policy President Clinton started--giving them oil in exchange for no nukes. The inconsistances of Bush boggle the mind. How is it possible he gave our oil to a country he believed to be evil? How is it possible he gave them oil for two months AFTER they said they had nukes and broke an agreement with us? Perhaps, N. Koreas is evil in the way of Reagan's Soviet Union. Reagan lifted the grain embargo President Carter put on the USSR--thereby feeding our enemies---the evil empire.

How one wins a war when we feed them or give them oil is beyond me. It's all fluff boys and girls. Don't be fooled into thinking there's a coherent policy behind this tripe.


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Ex-Speechwriter Recounts 'Axis of Evil'
Ap/Washington Post
.By Tom Raum
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, January 14, 2003; 3:02 AM

WASHINGTON –– Axis of hatred?

That's the phrase former presidential speechwriter David Frum says he penned for President Bush's 2002 State of the Union address. By the time Bush delivered the speech, the words had been famously transformed to "axis of evil" and referred to Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

Frum, who worked for Bush from his 2001 inauguration to February 2002, describes the genesis of the phrase in "The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush." It is the first book published by a former Bush White House insider.

"Axis of evil" was the most enduring characterization to emerge from that speech, and its appropriateness still is debated. Supporters point to North Korea's escalation of nuclear tensions to show that Bush chose his words well.

But critics, including some Republicans, suggest the provocative nature of the words may have emboldened North Korea's reclusive government and played to anti-American hard-liners in Iran while undermining efforts by reformers.

Regardless, Frum wrote that he meant his "axis" to apply to links between terror-supporting states and groups such as Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network. "Together, the terror states and the terror organizations formed an axis of hatred against the United States," Frum wrote. Initially, North Korea was not included.

Michael Gerson, the chief White House speechwriter, "wanted to use the theological language that Bush had made his own since Sept. 11 – so 'axis of hatred' became 'axis of evil.'"

"North Korea was added to the axis last," Frum wrote. He cited North Korea's history of "reckless aggression" and attempts to develop nuclear weapons for the addition.

"Once he (Bush) uttered it, 'axis of evil' ceased to be a speechwriter's phrase and became his own, and he defiantly repeated it over and over again," Frum wrote.

Hired as an economics speechwriter, Frum dismissed suggestions that he resigned under pressure after an e-mail by his wife to family and friends crediting him for the "axis of evil" phrase became public. He said he resigned voluntarily, contending "a war presidency had decreasing need for the services of an economic speechwriter."

Frum's book title refers to what he calls Bush's increasing maturity and self-command after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. "George W. Bush was hardly the obvious man for the job. But by a very strange fate, he turned out to be, of all unlikely things, the right man," he writes.

Frum's account is generally complimentary, although he writes that Bush "has many faults."

"He is impatient and quick to anger; sometimes glib, even dogmatic; often uncurious and as a result ill informed; more conventional in his thinking than a leader probably should be. But outweighing the faults are his virtues: decency, honesty, rectitude, courage and tenacity," he wrote.

He said Bush was "an exacting editor."

"One of my first efforts for him included the phrase 'I've seen with my own eyes ... .' The words 'with my own eyes' were circled and a sarcastic 'DUH' scrawled beside them with one of his heavy marking pens."

Cabinet members and many White House staffers don't come off very well.

Frum cites "a dearth of really high-powered brains" in the Bush Cabinet. One exception, he suggests, is Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, "whose mind could truly be said to sparkle."

He also praises Budget Director Mitch Daniels for being "witty and ingenious" and calls White House political adviser Karl Rove "a risk taker and an intellectual ... a reader and a questioner – a curious man, always eager to learn."

Otherwise, "Conspicuous intelligence seemed actively unwelcome in the Bush White House." Former presidential counselor Karen Hughes "rarely read books and distrusted people who did – anything she did not already know she saw no point in knowing," he wrote

Chief of Staff Andrew Card is described as cheerful but stingy with staff salaries and the enforcer of the administration's "code of unspotted loyalty."

Male White House staffers wear blue and gray suits, seldom brown, he wrote, and "women could wear brighter colors – but never higher than the knee."

"With the sole exception of Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Bolten's occasional excursions with the actress Bo Derek, the only time the personal lives of Bush staffers made the newspapers was when one of them announced an engagement or the birth of a child," he wrote.

And the White House reaction to the book? "We're not in the book review business," said Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. "I added it to the collection of books I don't have time to read."

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
How is it that intellect has become so unwelcomed in conservative circles? The real legacy of Reagan (besides his debt) is the conservative belief that any moron can run the country. Moron's can destroy our future with deficits and debt (future taxes) and they can give us endless wars, but they can't lead. Real leaders know the US is the world's only superpower and they use that power wisely and sparingly.

Karen Hughes distrusts people who read books. I'm guessing most people who read (this website) wouldn't be trusted in this White House.


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Bush Wants National Data Base of Gambling Proceeds
Washington Post
By Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 14, 2003; Page A02

The Bush administration wants to expand the collection of overdue child support payments by making it legal for the government to intercept winnings from casinos, racetracks and other forms of gambling.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said yesterday that the budget President Bush plans to release in three weeks will include about $40 million over five years to set up a data system to link the names of parents who owe child support with the names of gambling winners.

Thompson said government projections indicate that such a system would reap $709 million over five years and $1.9 billion over the next decade. HHS officials said the policy would help 120,000 families in the next five years and 330,000 over the next decade, out of about 17 million child support cases nationwide.

The effort, which would require a change in federal law, would mean that "gambling winnings may be returned to where they rightfully belong -- to children," Thompson told reporters. It also might deter delinquent parents from gambling, he said.

Finding new ways to enforce child support is an administration priority and fits into federal attempts since the 1990s to wean poor mothers and their children from public assistance. If delinquent parents -- usually fathers not living with their children -- made their support payments, the reasoning goes, fewer mothers and children would be poor enough to qualify for welfare.

A year ago, Bush proposed several other strategies to increase the flow of child support payments as part of his proposal to refine major welfare changes adopted in 1996. Congress, however, did not complete the work of renewing the welfare law last year. Bush is set to deliver a speech today in which he will advocate accelerating that process in the new Congress.

The proposal to intercept winnings from gambling will be included in the fiscal 2004 budget, not the welfare bill. Thompson's announcement is part of a political tradition in which administrations selectively preview aspects of their budget that they believe will attract popular support.

Under current law, the government may seize lottery winnings from parents who are behind on child support. The proposal would extend that authority to all other gambling venues. If Congress approves the plan, HHS would create a new, secure Web site listing people delinquent in support payments and how much they owe. The owners of gambling establishments would be required to check the name of every winner against that site, then deduct the amount they owe, plus a fee, before handing over the proceeds.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
Be honest. Do you think this is what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote an amendment protecting us from unreasonable search and seizure? Another government run data base and I think we all know how it'll work. Gambling establishments will have to enter the name of every winner to see if it matches. The government will then have a log of every search. This can then be turned over to the IRS or anyone else. More conservative big government.


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EPA to Allow Polluters to Buy Clean Water Credits *
Washington Post
An Impeachable Offense
By Eric Pianin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 14, 2003; Page A03

The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to allow industrial polluters to purchase "credits" from lesser polluters to bring them into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

The proposed National Water Quality Trading Policy, announced by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, is similar to a market-based system that has operated for years under the Clean Air Act to limit the threat of acid rain.

The new policy uses economic incentives to enforce water quality regulations. It would allow industrial, agricultural and wastewater treatment plants and operations to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing offsetting credits from facilities in the same watershed that have exceeded their mandated water quality standards or from non-regulated farms that have helped clean up water.

A dozen states, including Michigan and Connecticut, have experimented with water pollution credit trading, but the EPA program would make such trading a national policy over the coming year or two. The administration and other advocates say it is a cost-effective alternative to traditional regulations that require industry to install expensive anti-pollution equipment.

The new policy was unveiled three days after the administration issued new guidelines and launched a new rulemaking process that may eventually remove as many as 20 million acres of the nation's wetlands from federal protection from industrial pollution or unlawful development. The rulemaking was prompted by a 2001 Supreme Court ruling denying federal protection to certain isolated and non-navigable waterways and wetlands, but critics say the administration is attempting unnecessarily to broaden the impact of the ruling.

The administration recently announced another move to reduce federal oversight of a key Clean Water Act anti-pollution program and instead "trust states" to clean up more than 20,000 dirty rivers, lakes and estuaries. It also has issued new guidelines specifying steps developers may take to replace or restore destroyed wetlands that puts much greater emphasis than before on protecting larger watersheds than trying to hold the line against future net losses of marshes, swamps and bogs.

Whitman said at a news conference at the National Press Club that the administration is "very intent on protecting the nation's watersheds," adding that "our new water quality trading policy will result in cleaner water, at less cost, and in less time."

But environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers and the Sierra Club charged that Whitman and the administration are systematically undermining progress under the Clean Water Act.

"The cumulative effect of these policies is very damaging," said Nancy Stoner, director of the NRDC's Clean Water Project. "It's really Christmas all over again for corporate polluters."

Environmental groups were divided over the water pollution trading proposal: The World Resources Institute, an environmental policy group, hailed the plan as a "win-win" for industry and the environment. But dozens of groups and activists signed a letter urging the EPA to postpone the new program until there are adequate safeguards to ensure measurable water quality improvements and to prevent even limited trading in the toxic pollutants most likely to create toxic "hot spots" in rivers and lakes.

Environmentalists are particularly concerned that the administration intends to forge ahead with the new trading program while delaying a program known as Total Maximum Daily Load, which requires states to address pollutants in diffuse runoff from lawns, streets and farms as well as concentrated pollution from smokestacks and drainpipes.

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 -- after the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland -- with the goal of eliminating discharge of pollutants and to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." The overall act focused heavily on forcing factories and sewage plants to upgrade their anti-pollution technology.

Yet nearly one-third of major industrial facilities and government-operated sewage treatment plans have significantly violated pollution discharge regulations during 2000 and 2001, according to a study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Moreover, 45 percent of the nation's water bodies are still impaired by sediments, nutrients and microorganisms from industrial and agricultural runoff that is not directly regulated, according to studies.

"We know now that the biggest challenge remaining to us is non-point source [or diffused] pollution," Whitman said. "This trading program is one of the best ways to get at it."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
Why is it that conservatives hate conserving so much? Conservatives don't give a rat about their deficits (under Reagan or Bush), don't care about the environment, or saving anything for the next generation. Modern day conservatives are well adapted to the "Me Generation."


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