Monday, March 29, 2004

Sunday, March 28, 2004

W Didn't listen to his pappy

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (A Word Transformed): "there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different --and perhaps barren --outcome. "

...and then there was the admonition, "Whatever you do, son, DON'T PEAK TOO SOON!"

Friedman Can Dream On

Op-Ed Columnist: Awaking to a Dream: "I am so hungry for a positive surprise. I am so hungry to hear a politician, a statesman, a business leader surprise me in a good way. It has been so long. It's been over 10 years since Yitzhak Rabin thrust out his hand to Yasir Arafat on the White House lawn. Yes, yes, I know, Arafat turned out to be a fraud. But for a brief, shining moment, an old warrior, Mr. Rabin, stepped out of himself, his past, and all his scar tissue, and imagined something different. It's been a long time.
I have this routine. I get up every morning around 6 a.m., fire up my computer, call up AOL's news page and then hold my breath to see what outrage has happened in the world overnight. A massive bombing in Iraq or Madrid? More murderous violence in Israel? A hotel going up in flames in Bali or a synagogue in Istanbul? More U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq?
I so hunger to wake up and be surprised with some really good news пїЅ by someone who totally steps out of himself or herself, imagines something different and thrusts out a hand.
I want to wake up and read that President Bush has decided to offer a real alternative to the stalled Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming. I want to wake up and read that 10,000 Palestinian mothers marched on Hamas headquarters to demand that their sons and daughters never again be recruited for suicide bombings. I want to wake up and read that Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia invited Ariel Sharon to his home in Riyadh to personally hand him the Abdullah peace plan and Mr. Sharon responded by freezing Israeli settlements as a good-will gesture.
I want to wake up and read that General Motors has decided it will no longer make gas-guzzling Hummers and President Bush has decided to replace his limousine with an armor-plated Toyota Prius, a hybrid car that gets over "

911 Whisteblowers that got FIRED

Michael Springman

WHO: Twenty-year State Department veteran, and former head of the visa bureau in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

CLAIM: He was repeatedly overruled by high-level State Department officials to issue visas to bin Laden recruits so they could receive training in the United States. Says this continued at least until the summer of 2001. (Notably, 15 of the 9/11 hijackers first entered the US through Jeddah.) Springman protested.

RESULT: Fired. Springman says he believes that the victims of 9/11 "may have been sacrificed in order to further wider US geopolitical objectives."

Sibel Edmonds

WHO: FBI translator

CLAIM: That a Turkish "spy ring" operated in the translation department with the apparent protection of FBI brass, falsifying intercepts containing explicit, actionable warnings of 9/11. That members of this ring were involved with the subjects of the intercepts. And that high-ranking officials asked her to falsify her translations and bribed her to keep quiet.

RESULT: Fired. After taking concerns to upper management, was dismissed with only one reason offered: "for the convenience of the government." Escorted from building by agents who said "We will be watching you and listening to you. If you dare to consult an attorney who is not approved by the FBI, or if you take this issue outside the FBI to the Senate, the next time I see you, it will be in jail." Told by John Ashcroft that he was invoking "State Secret Privilege and National Security" to keep what she knows from reaching the public.

Robert Wright

WHO: FBI special investigator

CLAIM: That FBI agents assigned to intelligence operations actually protect terrorists from investigation and prosecution. That the FBI shut down his probe into terrorist training camps, and he was removed from a money-laundering case that had a direct link to terrorism. Says the FBI "intentionally and repeatedly thwarted his attempts to launch a more comprehensive investigation to identify and neutralize terrorists."

RESULT: Suspended and ordered to remain silent. Subject of at least three internal FBI investigations. Has written a book that the FBI is not only refusing to allow publication, but is not permitting anyone to even see it.

Lt. Col. Steve Butler

WHO: Vice Chancellor for student affairs, Defense Language Institute in Monterey.

CLAIM: In a letter to the editor of a local paper, Butler wrote "Bush knew of the impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. What is...contemptible is the President of the United States not telling the American people what he knows for political gain." During Butler’s term as chancellor, 9/11 hijacker Saeed Alghamdi was enrolled at the Defense Language Institute.

RESULT: Disciplined, lost his position and threatened with court martial.

Indira Singh

WHO: "Risk architect" consultant to JP Morgan Chase.

CLAIM: That Ptech, a software company founded by a Saudi financier on the terrorist watch list, had troubling access to sensitive US institutions, which was apparently of no concern to the institutions involved or the FBI. For instance, a "person of interest" from Ptech “had a team in the basement of the FAA for two years” before 9/11. One of Ptech’s projects gained it access to "all information processes and issues that the FAA had with the National Airspace Systems Agency."

RESULT: Warnings went ignored by institutions and the FBI. Told to keep quiet. Subject to surveillance and threats.

Colleen Rowley

WHO: FBI field agent, Minnesota office.

CLAIM: That FBI head office perversely thwarted the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, throwing up unusual roadblocks which prevented exposing the terrorist use of flight schools in the summer of 2001. That Dave Frasca of the Radical Fundamentalism Unit altered her report, rendering it impossible for the FBI to pursue the matter further.

RESULT: After 9/11, Frasca – the senior official who altered Rowley’s report and sat on the Minnesota office's request to investigate flight schools, even though he had received a similar request from the Phoenix office – is promoted and commended.

John O’Neil

WHO: Former FBI head of antiterrorism.

CLAIM: That his investigations into al Qaeda in general and the Cole bombing in particular were subverted by senior officials, and the situation had become much worse under Bush. Authorisation to re-enter Yemen to investigate the Cole denied by US Ambassador Barbara Bodine. Quit the FBI under a cloud.

RESULT: Killed in the World Trade Center. [OK, he wasn't fired exactly]

Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick

He worked for Clinton and was carried over into the Bush madministration. Seymour Hersh reported he quit when Smirk and Sneer paid no heed to terrorism. A few months later -- 9-11.

From an interview with Will Pitt of DU and

Interview: Sidney Blumenthal with William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t | Interview, Monday 08 December 2003


On terrorism, they assigned the matter to Vice President Dick Cheney “for study.” Anyone who has been in government knows that when you do that, you are essentially taking it off the table and not taking it seriously. As I reported in my book, Donald Kerrick, who is a three-star general, was a deputy National Security Advisor in the late Clinton administration. He stayed on into the Bush administration. He was absolutely not political. He was a general. He told me that when the Bush people came in, he wrote a memo about terrorism, al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The memo said, “We will be struck again.” As a result of writing that memo, he was not invited to any more meetings. No one responded to his memo. He felt that, from what he could see from inside the National Security Council, terrorism was demoted.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Hardball lives up to its name ...

Judging by how he took on Bush campaign advisor Tucker Eskew last nite, apparently Matthews isn't rejecting that vertebrae transplant ...

MATTHEWS: There�s a riff of four or five jokes where he made fun of the fact he couldn�t find weapons of mass destruction.

Now, the reason I raise this is, we were just over at Walter Reed. There is like almost more than 3,000 seriously injured guys, amputees, the people that fought that war thinking they were protecting this country from weapons of mass destruction. They weren�t because the guy didn�t have any weapons of mass destruction.


ESKEW: They did.

MATTHEWS: They did what? They protected us from weapons of mass destruction?


ESKEW: They protected us from Saddam Hussein.


MATTHEWS: But not weapons of mass destruction, which was the case made to them and their families.

ESKEW: It was a case made.



ESKEW: It was a case.


MATTHEWS: What was the other case made before the war?

ESKEW: Oh, come on, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Before the war.

ESKEW: Before the war.


MATTHEWS: To Europe, to the world.


MATTHEWS: When we went to U.N., the case was they, had weapons of mass destruction.

ESKEW: That was a central part of the case. It was at the forefront of the case.

MATTHEWS: Well, it�s not true.

ESKEW: And it remains at the forefront of the case.

MATTHEWS: It does? How?

ESKEW: Of course it does.

MATTHEWS: How does it still become an issue for the war?

ESKEW: Because I think the president has made clear that we disarmed

a dictator, an evil man who had the capacity


MATTHEWS: Without the weapons, he was just evil. But he wasn�t a threat to us, was he?


ESKEW: He was the same sort of threat to George W. Bush that John Kerry acknowledged that he was over and over and over again.

MATTHEWS: You�re shifting here.

ESKEW: No, I�m not. I think the case is that the American—bipartisan—on a bipartisan basis, the American leadership in this country understood the man.

MATTHEWS: Nice try.

ESKEW: Come on, Chris.

MATTHEWS: When you come up with the evidence, you�ll have the case made for the war. The case for the war was, they were dangerous to us because they might use nuclear. They might use nuclear. They might use biological or chemical against us. We have a Department of Defense, not offense or war. It�s called the Department of Defense.

ESKEW: I think there will be a debate in this campaign about whether or not we�ll be on offense.


MATTHEWS: If you can�t show that we went to war to defend this country, you got a problem on your hands.

ESKEW: I can say the president will make the case that we went on offense, not only against terrorists in Afghanistan, but against...

MATTHEWS: Oh, offense. So are we going to call it the Department of Offense now or defense?


ESKEW: Well, we�re going to fight it as a war. John Kerry has said he wants to fight it as a law enforcement action.


MATTHEWS: So you hold to the argument as a spokesman for the president that the president of the United States was right last night to make fun of the issue of why he went to war?

ESKEW: Listen, you can put it in that context, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Four jokes.

ESKEW: The president—come on. The president has talked about WMD over and over and over again, since David Kay reported and before.


MATTHEWS: Would you have him tell those jokes as he tours the hospitals?


ESKEW: He tours the hospitals an awful lot. He doesn�t need a lesson in compassion toward the American soldiers, Chris.

MATTHEWS: No, it�s just he has a—maybe there�s a question here of taste.

ESKEW: I think the president has very good taste.


MATTHEWS: You felt the jokes were right?

ESKEW: That�s self-deprecation, Chris. I think you misinterpret it.

MATTHEWS: So you think the guys who got hurt and killed in this war thought it was funny?

ESKEW: I wouldn�t say that and I don�t think you really mean that.


MATTHEWS: I just don�t think it was funny. I was there last night.

I didn�t think it was funny.

Defining your terms: Terrorist

I haven't been happy with the definitions I've seen. This seems to fill the bill:

Terrorist: one who attacks civilians with the intention of instilling terror in the general population to further a political agenda.

...Got a problem widdat?

The Next Sound You Hear

may be a crash...

"the question is not if we are going to have more attacks on U.S. soil, but when. That may not be news, but it is clear Americans are in denial about this truth, and that denial, unfortunately, will set you up for failure in your personal finance.

As a result of the Afghan and Iraq wars the global political landscape has become more destabilized than before. The Israeli roadmap for peace has collapsed. The Pakistani offensive against al-Qaida now looks like a farce. And the post-Madrid television warnings from bin Ladin's mastermind al-Zawahiri that "death brigades" are 90 percent in place to carry out new terrorists' attacks inside America's borders have an ominous promissory ring to them, as did the warnings of the blind cleric during his trial after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

So the "when" we heard from Buffett and Rumsfeld appears much closer on our radar than a few years ago. Indeed, the current 9/11 hearings reveal an inept government intelligence system that can easily be outwitted by determined terrorists armed with low-tech weapons focusing on new and unsuspecting targets.


we are already mired in World War III, a global cultural war that has been accelerating for over a decade, and we must fight enemies who have made it clear in no uncertain terms that they will be trying to kill us and our way of life for generations. "

...I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could find someone with a more pessimistic outlook but why bother?

They must all be liars

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "They must all be liars < RoughJustice > 03/26 07:57:02

Alterman is replaced by pod pundit: 'Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, Max Cleland, Paul OпїЅNeill, General Zinni, and Dick Clarke are all unpatriotic liars and weenies right? Has to be true; otherwise, this administration is both incompetent and dishonest. And thatпїЅs not possible. I mean, on the one hand we have people who have given their entire careers to serving the American people and in many cases, paid dearly for it. On the other, we have a guy who didnпїЅt bother to show up for his cushy National Guard service during a war he supported, spent most of his first forty years drinking and carousing, and having been made wealthy by his fatherпїЅs associates, fell into the job of president where he (undeniably) misled his country into a war based on falsified evidence. Gee thatпїЅs a hard one. ..."

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Outsourcing is a chicken coming home to roost

And she's a monster...

"The real solution to outsourcing
Equipping all of America's students to compete

Marshall Loeb writes: (CBS.MW) -- Beneath the passionate debate over U.S. companies outsourcing jobs to low-wage foreign workers in far-off countries lies a new and worrisome truth: They're gaining on us.

People in the Third World are rapidly acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to close the gap in the great competitive race against the U.S. It is the race to win -- and hold -- markets around the world.

Robert Hormats, vice chairman (International) of Goldman, Sachs, sums up the issue: "Historically, developing countries have been competing against us on the basis of cheap wages. Now, increasingly, they are competing against us on the basis of high-quality goods. We don't have much alternative to raising the quality of our work force. The answer to the challenge of outsourcing is to address the problems of education and training that we have at home."

In other words, the way to combat outsourcing is not to slap tariffs or import quotas on foreign goods, not to bar U.S. companies from producing their goods and services as efficiently and inexpensively as they can, but to equip American students with the skills and knowledge required to beat the competition in the Darwinian global economy.

That is being done -- but only for part of America's students. U.S. universities are unquestionably the world's best -- not only those of the Ivy League and other elite private schools, but also good old State U. They attract striving students from the world over.

Many suburban and private high schools and primary schools also rank high.

Too many left behind

But not so the public schools in a distressing number of America's big cities and rural communities. The hard truth is that too many of them have produced a generation of semiliterate students.

As our economy grows more competitive and complex, the U.S. is rapidly -- and perhaps dangerously -- becoming two nations.

One America is educated, skilled, confident, secure, equipped to compete in the new global economy. But the other America is undereducated, unskilled, demoralized. Its people, in the urban ghettos and the rural hollows, fall farther and farther behind.

One of our nation's basic challenges is to find the means for the American underclass to lift themselves out of their economic and educational slough. The harsh reality is that many of our public primary and secondary schools are just not educating our young people to get jobs and hold onto them, or even to begin to cope with the increasingly complicated demands of the modern, global economy. Until they do, outsourcing will be a major migraine.

We are not going to end this crisis simply by throwing money at it. But if you think we, the people, can solve it without spending more tax money, think again:

We will have to lengthen the time that the schools are kept open, perhaps from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every working day and for a full 12 months every year. We will have to give millions of American kids a place to go and something constructive to do while both of their parents work.
We will have to put a higher premium on being a schoolteacher and we'll have to give that job a loftier status, as it now has in Europe, Asia and elsewhere abroad.
We will have to make teachers more accountable for their work. The educational system must be far more willing to weed out ineffective teachers and reward the superior ones.
We will have to adopt national standards for our students to meet and national testing to measure their performance. The key reason is that if and when they get their jobs, they will be competing not so much against workers in the next town or the nearest big city or the next state but against workers from just about any part of the world.
At the elementary school and high school level, we are not winning the education competition. Goldman Sachs's Hormats points out that when essentially the same math and science tests are given to students from many countries, the U.S. typically hovers around the middle. When compared with students from European and Asian countries, the U.S. ranks low.

Business must lead

If this situation is to be rescued, private business must help take the lead in improving public schools. Business has the talent, the treasure and, yes, the political influence to help change our schools in a most dramatic way.

As an opening step, our business leaders -- those who do the hiring -- should speak up. They need to tell local education officials just what sort of training graduates will need in order for companies to hire them. We need graduates who have a firm grounding in four basic subjects: reading, writing, mathematics and computer sciences.

We are entering an era when whole countries and individual companies will be valued and rewarded according to the quality and exercise of their brainpower. The most valuable form of capital will be human capital, the intelligence and ideas, the resourcefulness and industriousness of a nation's people.

Companies and other institutions will climb or fall along with their ability to seize upon new ideas, to carve out and capture new markets, to invest wisely in research, and to turn research into useful, marketable, urgently demanded goods and services and to make steady, incremental, day-to-day improvements in their products and services. Steadily improving education will go far to create all that.

As Hormats says, "Either we rise or we sink. Every time we have faced global competition, we have prevailed. There is no reason why we can't do it this time."

Documentation of warning ignored

"(CBS) Two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, an analysis prepared for U.S. intelligence warned that Osama bin Laden's terrorists could hijack an airliner and fly it into government buildings like the Pentagon.

"Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House," the September 1999 report said.

The Bush administration has asserted that no one in government had envisioned a suicide hijacking before it happened.

"Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people," Mr. Bush told U.S. Air Force Academy football team members.

"What it shows is that this information that was out there did not raise enough alarm with anybody," Fleischer acknowledged.

Bush, Powell and Rumsfeld have been using carefully crafted "legal" statements this week in which they say that had they known planes were to be hijacked and flown SPECIFICALLY into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, they would have taken steps to prevent the incidents.
They knew and did nothing. "

... I prefer the less confrontational "They should have known and failed to act."

"We decide, you vote accordingly"

FOX gets caught playing fast & loose with quotes ...

Here's former Reagan Navy Secretary John Lehmann ...

I never got Jim Thompson to stand before 50 photographers reading your book. And I certainly never got 60 Minutes to coordinate the showing of its interview with you with 15 network news broadcasts, the selling of the movie rights, and your appearance here today. So I would say, Bravo. (LAUGHTER) Until I started reading those press reports, and I said this can't be the same Dick Clarke that testified before us, because all of the promotional material and all of the spin in the networks was that this is a rounding, devastating attack -- this book -- on President Bush. That's not what I heard in the interviews. And I hope you're going to tell me, as you apologized to the families for all of us who were involved in national security, that this tremendous difference -- and not just in nuance, but in the stories you choose to tell -- is really the result of your editors and your promoters, rather than your studied judgment, because it is so different from the whole thrust of your testimony to us. And similarly, when you add to it the inconsistency between what your promoters are putting out and what you yourself said as late as August '05, you've got a real credibility problem. And because of my real genuine long-term admiration for you, I hope you'll resolve that credibility problem, because I'd hate to see you become totally shoved to one side during a presidential campaign as an active partisan selling a book.

Here's how Fox News described Lehmann's comment ...

"You've got a real credibility problem," John Lehman, former Navy secretary under President Reagan, told Clarke, calling the witness "an active partisan selling a book."

Clarke responded: "I don't think it's a question of morality at all, I think it's a question of politics."

Now, get a load of this Clarke guy! Okay, wait, don't get a load of him yet. Lehmann's broadside was harsh enough. Did Fox accurately portray what Lehmann said? I'll let you decide.

Okay, now ... get a load of this Clarke guy! Lehmann accuses him of all this terrible stuff. And this character Clarke comes back with, "Hey buddy, morality, shmorality. It's all politics to me!"

Hmmm. Actually, that wasn't his response. That was his response to a completely different exchange, which came later ...

THOMPSON: Mr. Clarke, in this background briefing, as Senator Kerrey has now described it, for the press in August of 2002, you intended to mislead the press, did you not?
CLARKE: No. I think there is a very fine line that anyone who's been in the White House, in any administration, can tell you about. And that is when you are special assistant to the president and you're asked to explain something that is potentially embarrassing to the administration, because the administration didn't do enough or didn't do it in a timely manner and is taking political heat for it, as was the case there, you have a choice. Actually, I think you have three choices. You can resign rather than do it. I chose not to do that. Second choice is...

THOMPSON: Why was that, Mr. Clarke? You finally resigned because you were frustrated.

CLARKE: I was, at that time, at the request of the president, preparing a national strategy to defend America's cyberspace, something which I thought then and think now is vitally important. I thought that completing that strategy was a lot more important than whether or not I had to provide emphasis in one place or other while discussing the facts on this particular news story. The second choice one has, Governor, is whether or not to say things that are untruthful. And no one in the Bush White House asked me to say things that were untruthful, and I would not have said them. In any event, the third choice that one has is to put the best face you can for the administration on the facts as they were, and that is what I did. I think that is what most people in the White House in any administration do when they're asked to explain something that is embarrassing to the administration.

THOMPSON: But you will admit that what you said in August of 2002 is inconsistent with what you say in your book?

CLARKE: No, I don't think it's inconsistent at all. I think, as I said in your last round of questioning, Governor, that it's really a matter here of emphasis and tone. I mean, what you're suggesting, perhaps, is that as special assistant to the president of the United States when asked to give a press backgrounder I should spend my time in that press backgrounder criticizing him. I think that's somewhat of an unrealistic thing to expect.

THOMPSON: Well, what it suggests to me is that there is one standard of candor and morality for White House special assistants and another standard of candor and morality for the rest of America. I don't get that.

CLARKE: I don't think it's a question of morality at all. I think it's a question of politics.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

When someone says Martha Stewart had it coming, you gotta ask

aren't there bigger crooks out there in dire need of investigation?

CBS News | Bush Sold Stock Despite Promise | July 16, 2002пїЅ15:01:38: "(CBS MarketWatch) Two and a half months before George W. Bush sold his stock in Harken Energy Corp., he signed a 'lockup' letter promising to hold onto the shares for at least six months, according to internal company documents obtained by the Washington Post.

The Post reported late Tuesday that the letter, signed by Bush on April 3, 1990, is now being compared with the account his lawyers gave federal securities regulators who examined the stock sale as a possible insider trade.

According to the Post story, the letter Bush signed promising to hold onto the stock was released by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Freedom of Information Act. At the time he signed it, Harken was considering a public stock offering to raise money to solve a cash flow problem.

The President's lawyers have said that Bush had a pre-existing plan to sell his stock in Harken and other companies to pay a tax bill and a loan he owed for his stake in the Texas Rangers ball team.

In June 1990, Bush sold about $850,000 in shares of Harken, just weeks before the oil and gas company reported an unexpected loss. Eventually, the SEC forced Harken to restate its financials to show a loss of $12.6 million for 1989, disallowing the accounting it used for the sale of a subsidiary to a group of insiders."

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Those Wacky Scots

Ya think maybe they're mad cuz he let 3 of em get away??? Or maybe for performing surgery without a license?... News - Latest News - Man Who Killed Armed Intruder Jailed Eight Years: "Man Who Killed Armed Intruder Jailed Eight Years
A man who stabbed to death an armed intruder at his home was jailed for eight years today.

Carl Lindsay, 25, answered a knock at his door in Salford, Greater Manchester, to find four men armed with a gun.

When the gang tried to rob him he grabbed a samurai sword and stabbed one of them, 37-year-old Stephen Swindells, four times.

Mr Swindells, of Salford, was later found collapsed in an alley and died in hospital.

Lindsay, of Walkden, was found guilty of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Haworth said: “Four men, including the victim, had set out purposefully to rob Carl Lindsay and this intent ultimately led to Stephen Swindells’ death.

“I believe the sentences passed today reflect the severity of the circumstances.”

Three other men were charged with robbery and firearms offences in connection with the incident, which took place in February last year.

... Write Congress! Write Blair! Free Carl Lindsay NOW!

No Drug Company Left Behind

(CBS.MW) -- The Medicare program will be forced to dip into its trust fund this year and will be insolvent by 2019, seven years earlier than previously forecast, if it continues on its current path, government-appointed trustees warned in their annual report Tuesday.

"The financial outlook for the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund that pays hospital benefits has deteriorated significantly from last year, with annual cash flow deficits beginning this year and expected to grow rapidly after 2010 as baby boomers begin to retire," the report said....

The enactment of the Medicare prescription drug bill -- pegged at a cost of $534 billion by the Bush administration over the next decade -- helped push the Medicare insolvency date forward by two years, the trustees found."

...Got a problem widdat?

OttawaCitizen questions Sharon's judgement

and finds it acceptable ...

Ottawa - network: After reviewing Yassin's particularly nasty habit of encouraging and glorifying mass slaughter, they get down to the Brass Tack: "Could it be that the benefits of eliminating Mr. Yassin are outweighed by the costs, such as renewed terrorism and international criticism?

We don't think so. Killing Mr. Yassin hasn't made Israel more vulnerable to attack. For Hamas, the fact of Israel's existence was always sufficient motive. When Israel elects left-wing governments, Hamas sees it as a sign of weakness and calls for more martyrs. When Israel elects hawkish governments, Hamas sees it as provocation and calls for more martyrs..."

Monday, March 22, 2004

Quotations About Killing of Hamas Leader

Some comments after Israel's killing of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin:

"Israel has been the embodiment of restraint -- How long do you think the US would dick around with Mexico if scores of Mexicans were wandering around blowing up American malls and pizza parlors? " - RoughJustice

"The war against terror has not ended and will continue day after day, everywhere. ... This is a difficult struggle that all the countries of the enlightened world must participate in. It is the natural right of the Jewish people, like that of all nations in the world that love life, to hunt down those who rise to destroy it." - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"The operation attests to complete lunacy. The decision came from the gut and not from the head." - Avshalom Vilan, a lawmaker from Israel's dovish Yahad Party.

"This is one of the biggest crimes that the Israeli government has committed." - Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia.

Yasser Arafat "is like a man who was hit on the head because they killed Yassin and now they could kill him. He feels his turn is next and he is sad and worried." - an aide to Arafat, describing the Palestinian leader's reaction.

"Yassin is a man in a nation, and a nation in a man. And the retaliation of this nation will be of the size of this man. ... You will see deeds not words." - Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.

"The Zionists didn't carry out their operation without getting the consent of the terrorist American administration, and it must take responsibility for this crime." - Hamas statement.

"We are deeply troubled by this morning's incident in Gaza." - White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

"What peace process, when the situation is on fire? Nobody would have imagined that matters would go this far. ... Its repercussions are unknown." - President Hosni Mubarak, on how the assassination would affect the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

"We are annoyed and pained by what happened despite our arduous and persistent efforts with all sides, including the Israeli government, to refrain from its policy of military escalation." - King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Israel has the right to protect itself against terrorist attacks, but "is not, however, entitled to carry out extra-judicial killings." Yassin's assassination "has inflamed the situation ... Violence is no substitute for the political negotiations which are necessary for a just and lasting settlement." - European Union foreign ministers' statement.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Red States: the New Welfare

The Carpetbagger Report: 'Givers and Takers': "Givers, Pink explains, are those states that contribute more to the federal government in taxes than it receives in federal spending. In other words, for every dollar a taxpayer in Minnesota sends to Washington, he or she receives only 77 cents in return. Takers, meanwhile, are the opposite, receiving more in federal spending than it pays in federal taxes. North Dakota, for example, has a return of $2.07 for every dollar paid in taxes.
There are 33 'Taker' states, 16 'Giver' states, and one -- Indiana -- that breaks exactly even with a one-to-one ratio.
But that's not the fun part. The angle Pink emphasized is how Givers and Takers vote. Pink explained:
The Democrats' electability predicament comes into focus when you compare the map of Giver and Taker states with the well-worn electoral map of red (Republican) and blue (Democrat) states. You might expect that in the 2000 presidential election, Republicans, the party of low taxes and limited government, would have carried the Giver states -- while Democrats, the party of wild spending and wooly bureaucracy, would have appealed to the Taker states. But it was the reverse. George W. Bush was the candidate of the Taker states. Al Gore was the candidate of the Giver states.
78 percent of Mr. Bush's electoral votes came from Taker states.
76 percent of Mr. Gore's electoral votes came from Giver states.
Of the 33 Taker states, Mr. Bush carried 25.
Of the 16 Giver states, Mr. Gore carried 12.
Juxtaposing these maps provides a new perspective on the political landscape.... Republicans seem to have become the new welfare party -- their constituents live off tax dollars paid by people who vote Democratic. Of course, not all federal spending is wasteful. But Republicans are having their pork and eating it too. Voters in red states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are some of the country's fiercest critics of government, yet they're also among the biggest recipients of federal largess. Meanwhile, Democratic voters in the coastal blue states -- the ones who are often portrayed as shiftless moochers -- are left to carry the load...

Is there a way out for Democrats? Maybe not. With Republicans holding the purse strings, it's the Democrats who are being taken.

Wait, does this mean that conservatives and GOP activists who rail against government, taxes, and federal spending are actually shameless hypocrites who enjoy feeding at the public trough? "

...or is it just a quirk and red states have been sucking on the public teat at the expense of blues year in and year out, in Democrat and GOP administrations? In other words, has the imbalance changed since Dubya took office?

The bottom line on Kerry's "secret friends"

I think Kerry is probably telling the truth but what kind of idiot makes that kind of claim if he's not willing to back it up?

A: yet another Massachussetts liberal idiot destined to be roadkill under the Bush steamroller

He's not burnt toast yet, but the selector knob is already set to "dark"

Friday, March 19, 2004

Kiss that bullet train bye-bye

'America's Risky Rails
Why the government is investing so much in airline security while leaving trains vulnerable

Monday, Mar. 22, 2004
Anyone who has boarded an Amtrak train since Sept. 11, 2001, must wonder how long the delusion can last. How easy it is to waltz into a teeming station 10 minutes before departure, pull your ticket from a machine and glide onto the train without any inspection of your ID or your bags. Your shoes are of no interest to anyone. It's as if Amtrak has been exempted from modernity, and all the fuzzy charm of taking the train remains untouched by time. ',9171,1101040322-600882,00.html

... if ever there was a technology with a bulls-eye painted on it, it's high speed rail

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Don't sell those junk bonds!

Interest rate hikes keep receding beyond the horizon so hold on to those ARMs and hi-yield securities, and you don't need to rush the refi...

March 17, 2004 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- Extra-low borrowing costs are likely to stick around through most of the year as the anemic jobs market restrains the Federal Reserve from raising short-term interest rates.
That was the view expressed by a growing number of private economists after Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and his colleagues said Tuesday they can be 'patient' in ordering rate increases. Fed policy-makers said that 'new hiring has lagged' even though the economy is growing solidly.

'Don't expect the Fed to raise rates anytime before the election unless we get an unexpected multi-month pop in payrolls and a rise in inflation,' said Sherry Cooper, chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. 'Even a rate hike in November or December seems to be a long shot now.'

... bummer about the job search. Pass me the Grey Poupon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Nader: What Impact?

God, I hope the Zogman is right ...

James J. Zogby
March 9, 2004

" national polls would be impacted by his decision to enter the 2004 presidential contest. The early results are now in and it appears that, at least at this point, Nader takes some support from the Democrat, Senator John Kerry. Without Nader in the race, most polls are showing Kerry leading over Republican incumbent President George W. Bush by one to four points. When Nader's name is added, however, the polls show Bush beating Kerry by one or two points.

In many ways, this year's contest may be a replay of 2000's presidential match up.
...But now for a reality check: This year's election will be like 2000's race in only one way; it will be close. Voters are already showing signs of being evenly divided. What is different is the intensity of the division between those who support George W. Bush's reelection and those who support John Kerry. It appears, even at this early point, that both Bush and Kerry are each guaranteed at least 45% of the vote leaving less than 10 percent still to be decided. While early polls show Nader picking up some of that undecided vote, I believe that as we get closer to the November election those voters will make a decision between Bush or Kerry, ultimately leaving Nader with less than one percent of the overall vote. "

...Got a problem widdat?

Monday, March 15, 2004

Careful what you say, carefuller whut u write

Headline: "Pot calls fridge black!"

or just pop over to since Blogspot is putting up an "out of bandwidth" warning

...Got a problem widdat?

Feeling a draft?

Washington -- The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.

The Selective Service System has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.

Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System, said planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts had begun last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.

"Talking to the manpower folks at the Department of Defense and others, what came up was that nobody foresees a need for a large conventional draft such as we had in Vietnam," Flahavan said. "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he would not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is likely far off.

A targeted registration and draft is "is strictly in the planning stage," said Flahavan, adding that "the whole thing is driven by what appears to be the more pressing and relevant need today" -- the deficit in language and computer experts.

And the Let Them Eat Cake Award goes to ...

Antonin Scalia! ...

from the Washington Times, no liberal rag: Scalia spends so much time stumping for his wack-o views (and duck hunting with Cheney)he can't be bothered to show up to vote in court. But the last line here is simply vintage Antoinette: "The Sixth Amendment gave even indigent defendants the right to an attorney, but the framers never meant to have government pay for the service"

"WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- Justice Antonin Scalia was giving a speech in New Orleans Tuesday and, unlike the rest of the Supreme Court, did not consider a death stay request from an Oklahoma inmate -- one more sign that his outside activities might be seriously interfering with his duties as a justice.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Scalia was giving a speech Tuesday at a conference sponsored by the Louisiana Organization for Judicial Excellence, based in Baton Rouge. Times-Picayune writer Gwen Filosa said the organization "advocates merit selection of judges -- a system that typically involves a governor picking a state district or appeals judge from a list of names winnowed by a blue-ribbon commission -- rather than direct elections."

There was no indication that Scalia was so busy with the speech that he did not have time to properly consider Brown's documents. Justices usually participate in votes on death stays, no matter where they are or what they are doing. Modern communication allows them to cast votes from Europe or Asia, even during the height of the summer recess, while clerks back in Washington handle the paper work.

One tenuous clue as to why Scalia did not participate in the Brown vote may be found in the text of his New Orleans speech. Scalia criticized activist judges across a broad range of issues. Among the targets of his criticisms was how the courts interpret the Sixth Amendment. The Sixth Amendment gave even indigent defendants the right to an attorney, but the framers never meant to have government pay for the service, Scalia told his audience. "

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Unasked Question Dept: Secret flights from Konduz

Rummy, you got some 'splainin to do...

"HERSH: Okay, the cream of the crop of Al Qaeda caught in a town called Konduz which is near ... it's one little village and it's a couple hundred kilometers, 150 miles from the border of Pakistan. And I learned this story frankly-- through very, very clandestine operatives we have in the Delta Force and other very...

We were operating very heavily with a small number of men, three, 400 really in the first days of the war. And suddenly one night when they had everybody cornered in Konduz-- the special forces people were told there was a corridor that they could not fly in. There was a corridor sealed off to-- the United States military sealed off a corridor. And it was nobody could shoot anybody in this little lane that went from Konduz into Pakistan. And that's how I learned about it. I learned about it from a military guy who wanted to fly helicopters and kill people and couldn't do it that day.

JANE WALLACE: So, we had the enemy surrounded, the special forces guys are helping surround this enemy.

SY HERSH: They're whacking everybody they can whack that looks like a bad guy.

JANE WALLACE: And suddenly they're told to back off--

SY HERSH: From a certain area--

JANE WALLACE: -- and let planes fly out to Pakistan.

SY HERSH: There was about a three or four nights in which I can tell you maybe six, eight, 10, maybe 12 more-- or more heavily weighted-- Pakistani military planes flew out with an estimated-- no less than 2,500 maybe 3,000, maybe mmore. I've heard as many as four or 5,000. They were not only-- Al Qaeda but they were also-- you see the Pakistani ISI was-- the military advised us to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. There were dozens of senior Pakistani military officers including two generals who flew out.

And I also learned after I wrote this story that maybe even some of Bin Laden's immediate family were flown out on the those evacuations. We allowed them to evacuate. We had an evacuation.

JANE WALLACE: How high up was that evacuation authorized?

SY HERSH: I am here to tell you it was authorized — Donald Rumsfeld who — we'll talk about what he said later — it had to be authorized at the White House. But certainly at the Secretary of Defense level.

JANE WALLACE: The Department of Defense said to us that they were not involved and that they don't have any knowledge of that operation.

SY HERSH: That's what Rumsfeld said when they asked him but it. And he said, "Gee, really?" He said, "News to me." Which is not a denial, it's sort of interesting. You know,

JANE WALLACE: What did we do that? Why we would put our special forces guys on the ground, surround the enemy, and then-- fly him out?

...The initial plan was to take out the Pakistani military. What happened is that they took out al Qaeda with them. And we had no way of stopping it. We lost control. Once there planes began to go, the Pakistanis began-- thousands of al Qaeda got out. And so-- we weren't able to stop it and screen it. The intent wasn't to let al Qaeda out. It was to protect the Pakistani military. "

Friday, March 12, 2004

Social Security books are crooked

Sure, we're putting more in now than is being paid out.

Sure the surplus has to be invested somehow, and certainly US Treasuries are a safe place to park it.

But the gov't is applying accounting standards which would get a CFO a long vacation behind bars. They are double booking the revenue -- it appears as an asset in the 'trust fund' and as general revenue to offset the current deficit. This is how the national debt managed to rise every year of Clinton's administration, 'surplus' or no. But as every embezzler knows, the juggling act can't go on forever.

In about 15 years, a whole lot of chickens will be coming home to roost.

Greenspan recommends the inevitable

i.e. raise taxes, cut benefits:

Greenspan: Job Growth Will Pick Up Before Long | "Greenspan said Thursday that 'employment will begin to increase more quickly before long,' and that erecting protective trade barriers was not the answer to the nation's current worries about the loss of jobs to foreign competition.

During his testimony before the House Education and Workforce Committee, Greenspan said nothing that made analysts waver in their belief that the Fed will keep a key interest rate at a current 45-year low of 1 percent for most of this year. Fed officials will meet on interest rates Tuesday.

But Greenspan did wade into the hot-button political issues of job losses and Social Security. He said erecting protectionist barriers was not the answer to foreign competition and that Congress would at some point have to address the problem of the pending retirement of 77 million baby boomers.

Greenspan repeated his warning that Congress will have to trim future Social Security benefits, but he added that he thought a tax increase would also be needed to close the massive funding gap.

For the good of the economy, he said, Congress needs to get most of the savings by trimming benefits."

Thursday, March 11, 2004

The unemployment survey flap

Bottom line is there's not much change in jobs since Jan 2001 but 8 million more adults in the most jobless recovery since they started keepin stats.

"Household numbers not that much stronger than payrolls

Democrats have been hammering Bush for months, saying he has the worst economic record since Herbert Hoover presided over the Great Depression.

Republicans counter that the economy is expanding at the fastest pace in 20 years and that hiring isn't nearly as rare as Democrats say.

Each side points to a government survey to bolster their arguments. Democrats say payrolls are down 2.2 million since Bush took office. Republicans say employment is actually up about 500,000.

The election could turn on which arcane government statistic is most trusted: The payroll survey of 400,000 business establishments or the employment survey of 60,000 households. Read about the payroll data and the household survey.

New research from the government suggests the two alternative views of the U.S. labor market aren't as far apart as they appear.

Both surveys show a weak job market since the recession began in March 2001, just two months after Bush took office, according to a paper written by economists at the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read the paper.

Over the past eight years, the two surveys, when properly compared, show nearly identical job growth, the economists say. During the late 1990s' boom, the payroll survey showed stronger growth, but since the recession hit in 2001, the household survey has caught up.

The two surveys are designed to look at different aspects of the labor market. The payroll survey tracks employment from the employers' point of view, looking at the number of workers in each industry, their hours and their pay.

The household survey looks at jobs from the workers' point of view, measuring the employment rate for various demographic groups and tracking the number of multiple job holders or the number working part-time.

The two surveys have been almost impossible to compare directly, until now. The payroll survey showed businesses employed 130.2 million workers in February, while the household survey showed that 138.3 million Americans said they had a job.

Most of the 8.1 million gap is due to differences in each survey's coverage. The household survey includes agricultural workers, self-employed workers and unpaid household workers. The payroll survey counts multiple jobholders twice.

A second complication is that the household survey is adjusted for new population estimates only infrequently, making direct comparisons with past data unreliable, the government says.

Labor Department economists now have created an adjusted household survey more comparable to the payroll survey.

As of February, the adjusted household survey showed employment of 130.4 million, not significantly different from the 130.2 million reported in the payroll survey.

Since Bush took office in January 2001, the adjusted household survey shows total employment growth of 214,000, an average of less than 6,000 new jobs a month. In the meantime, the adult population grew by 8.5 million.

While 6,000 jobs a month is nothing to get excited over, it's better than the payroll survey's average monthly job loss of 59,000. At least the sign is right: It allows the Bush administration to claim that employment has risen during his term.

Whichever survey you trust, it's been the weakest job market of any recovery since the government began tracking the data in the 1930s.

Most economists, including staunch Republicans such as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and nonpartisan economists who work for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, say the payroll survey is the more accurate reflection of the job market.

Economist John Irons says the fastest way to lose credibility in his profession is to claim the household survey is better or that economists disagree about which one is superior.

"The payroll survey is better, and it is what everyone uses -- there is as much disagreement on this as there is on the question of whether or not the earth is round," Irons wrote.

Those reassurances haven't stopped some critics from arguing that "something is different" in today's economy that the payroll survey is missing; namely large number of entrepreneurs who are starting their own businesses or consultants who have a strange "neither-here-nor-there" relationship with their "employer."

Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, has held hearings into the "mystery" of the two surveys.

Commentator Larry Kudlow wrote in the National Review that the "softer payroll survey" is not believable.

Economist Tim Kane of the Heritage Foundation said the payroll figures are just "an illusion." Kane argues that the new adjusted and smoothed data prove that the payroll survey should not be trusted.

"There is simply no way that the economy could grow this rapidly and not experience significant job growth," said Brian Wesbury, chief economist for GKST. Wesbury says the payroll survey is missing the "eBay economy" that's driven by entrepreneurs and consultants.

However, Wesbury's thesis is shot down by Robert Barro, a Harvard economics professor writing in the Wall Street Journal, who notes that self-employment as a percentage of employment is no higher today than it was in the mid-1990s. Self-employment can only explain a tiny fraction of the gap between the two surveys.

Other critics of the payroll survey say it misses start-up firms, pointing to the embarrassing revisions after the fact from the early 1990s that showed payrolls were much stronger coming out of the recession than the contemporary data showed.

But the BLS learned from that mistake and it now finds and tracks new firms much faster than it used to. The recent benchmark revision to the payrolls showed the government had actually overestimated the number of new firms being formed.

Acknowledging that the payroll survey has its flaws, Fed Gov. Ben Bernanke said, "the truth probably lies in between the two series," adding that "somewhat greater reliance should probably be placed on the payroll survey."

Barro agreed. "It seems best to weigh both (surveys) when evaluating the recent performance of the labor market." Barro wrote in the Journal.

If Bennett, Kane, Kudlow and Wesbury are right that the household survey is the accurate gauge of jobs, one of the Democrats' major talking points against Bush loses its bite. President Bush would no longer be lumped in with Hoover as the only presidents to have net job losses over a full four-year term.

Ultimately, it won't be economists or statistics that decide the matter. Voters will make a judgment in November based on their own experiences and those of their friends and families.

Call it the voting booth survey."

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Greenspan's cohones grandes

Maestro of Chutzpah
The New York Times
March 2, 2004

The traditional definition of chutzpah says it's when you murder your parents, then plead for clemency because you're an orphan. Alan Greenspan has chutzpah.

Last week Mr. Greenspan warned of the dangers posed by budget deficits. But even though the main cause of deficits is plunging revenue - the federal government's tax take is now at its lowest level as a share of the economy since 1950 - he opposes any effort to restore recent revenue losses. Instead, he supports the Bush administration's plan to make its tax cuts permanent, and calls for cuts in Social Security benefits.

Yet three years ago Mr. Greenspan urged Congress to cut taxes, warning that otherwise the federal government would run excessive surpluses. He assured Congress that those tax cuts would not endanger future Social Security benefits. And last year he declined to stand in the way of another round of deficit-creating tax cuts.

But wait - it gets worse.

You see, although the rest of the government is running huge deficits - and never did run much of a surplus - the Social Security system is currently taking in much more money than it spends. Thanks to those surpluses, the program is fully financed at least through 2042. The cost of securing the program's future for many decades after that would be modest - a small fraction of the revenue that will be lost if the Bush tax cuts are made permanent.

And the reason Social Security is in fairly good shape is that during the 1980's the Greenspan commission persuaded Congress to increase the payroll tax, which supports the program.

The payroll tax is regressive: it falls much more heavily on middle- and lower-income families than it does on the rich. In fact, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, families near the middle of the income distribution pay almost twice as much in payroll taxes as in income taxes. Yet people were willing to accept a regressive tax increase to sustain Social Security.

Now the joke's on them. Mr. Greenspan pushed through an increase in taxes on working Americans, generating a Social Security surplus. Then he used that surplus to argue for tax cuts that deliver very little relief to most people, but are worth a lot to those making more than $300,000 a year. And now that those tax cuts have contributed to a soaring deficit, he wants to cut Social Security benefits.

The point, of course, is that if anyone had tried to sell this package honestly - "Let's raise taxes and cut benefits for working families so we can give big tax cuts to the rich!" - voters would have been outraged. So the class warriors of the right engaged in bait-and-switch.

There are three lessons in this tale.

First, "starving the beast" is no longer a hypothetical scenario - it's happening as we speak. For decades, conservatives have sought tax cuts, not because they're affordable, but because they aren't. Tax cuts lead to budget deficits, and deficits offer an excuse to squeeze government spending.

Second, squeezing spending doesn't mean cutting back on wasteful programs nobody wants. Social Security and Medicare are the targets because that's where the money is. We might add that ideologues on the right have never given up on their hope of doing away with Social Security altogether. If Mr. Bush wins in November, we can be sure that they will move forward on privatization - the creation of personal retirement accounts. These will be sold as a way to "save" Social Security (from a nonexistent crisis), but will, in fact, undermine its finances. And that, of course, is the point.

Finally, the right-wing corruption of our government system - the partisan takeover of institutions that are supposed to be nonpolitical - continues, and even extends to the Federal Reserve.

The Bush White House has made it clear that it will destroy the careers of scientists, budget experts, intelligence operatives and even military officers who don't toe the line. But Mr. Greenspan should have been immune to such pressures, and he should have understood that the peculiarity of his position - as an unelected official who wields immense power - carries with it an obligation to stand above the fray. By using his office to promote a partisan agenda, he has betrayed his institution, and the nation.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Waffle Wars

Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it.

Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.

Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.

Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it.

Bush is against nation building; then he's for it.

Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.

Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.

Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian State.

Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution.

Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't.

Bush first says that 'help is on the way' to the military ... then he cuts benefits

Bush-"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. Bush-"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care.

Bush claims to be in favor of the environment and then secretly starts drilling on Padre Island.

Bush talks about helping education and increases mandates while cutting funding.

Bush first says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea. Now he will

Bush goes to Bob Jones University. Then say's he shouldn't have.

Bush said he would demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq. Later Bush announced he would not call for a vote

Bush said the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the sailors. Bush later admits it was his advance team.

Bush was for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US. Bush after meeting with Pres. Fox, he's against it.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

"The governor -- who first told voters he did not need any
special-interest money and then redefined special interests as only
Indian tribes and labor unions -- said through a spokesperson Sunday
that he did not intend to accept contributions from any bond
dealers who would directly benefit from the sale.

But what about not accepting dollars from CEOs of investment banks
that employ bond dealers, attorneys for the bond dealers, spouses of
bond traders, investors likely to buy the bonds and others with
less-obvious financial interests? In addition to the investment
community, we should expect Johnson's pharmaceutical industry
colleagues to be on hand Tuesday. An audit by the Bush administration's
Department of Health Services shows that pharmaceutical companies owe
the state of California
$1.3 billion in rebates for prescription drugs purchased by the state
Medi-Cal program -- enough to restore the $900 million in proposed
budget cuts to health-care programs for children and the poor.

Yet Schwarzenegger has not collected on the debt, and his own audit of
state finances made no mention of the money owed. You can be sure the
drug executives want to keep it that way.

Commercial real estate interests that operate nationwide are also
likely to be at dinner. They desperately want California's recovery to
be dependent on the $15-billion bond measure because the alternative
revenue source for Schwarzenegger would be to reassess commercial
property values for tax purposes. That alone would cost commercial real
estate interests about $4 billion per year. That's probably why
mega-developers A.G. Spanos and Castle & Cooke have already given
$500,000 between them."