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Reclaiming Our Voices
Saturday, August 21, 2004
The Case Against Bush
Mood:  irritated
Topic: The Case Against Bush
Taken from the DNC Women's Vote Center:

George Bush did get around to talking about a second term agenda during his convention acceptance speech. To help keep his speech in context, here are some quotes from the speech candidate Bush made 4 years ago to the Republican National Convention -- and what he did since then:

Candidate Bush said: "we will extend the promise of prosperity to every forgotten corner of this country"

President Bush did: Latest census figures show poverty has increased by more than a million Americans, and real median family income has gone down by more than $1,500 since 2000.

Candidate Bush said: "We will make prescription drugs available and affordable for every senior who needs them."

President Bush did: The White House prescription drug bill does more for drug companies than for seniors; forbids re-importation from Canada or negotiation for lower drug prices.

Candidate Bush said: "Now is the time to make Head Start an early learning program."

President Bush did: No increases for Head Start above the rate of inflation; the result is that only 60% of eligible children are included.

Candidate Bush said: "When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming."

President Bush did: Iraq. Iraq. IRAQ!

If you hear from anyone who was impressed by the speech, remind them: There's a big difference between what candidate Bush promises -- and what President Bush delivers!!

Bush Flip Flops? Oh My!

Nice to see GWB get caught up in a nuance. I can almost hear him say "I actually said the war couldn't be won, before I said it could be won." But will this make the Republicans more understanding of Kerry?

Will the media represent his nuance as a flip-flop, the way they have doggedly misrepresented Kerry's voting history on the 87 billion Iraq war funding? Kerry voted for a funded version of the appropriation, then voted against an unfunded version, knowing there were three months before the money was needed for the troops. But that nuance seems to have escaped the media.

Or how about the claim that Kerry voted against several weapons systems that we now use in the war on terror. Turns out this was a general appropriations bill voted on in 1991, during the cold war thaw. Some Republicans voted in favor of it. It was also supported by then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. But, the media went along with this distortion, too.

Reference: In an interview broadcast on NBC's "Today" show on 8/30/04, Bush was asked if the war on terrorism would ever be won. "I don't think you can win it," he replied. " But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." On 8/31/04. Bush later told conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh that he had meant the war on terror would not end with a conventional peace-signing. He also reversed himself in a campaign speech on the 31st as well, saying we would definitely win the war on terror.

One day after saying the war on terror could not be won, President Bush on Tuesday sought to calm a political storm by asserting he had been less than articulate and that America would prevail.

Can you spell (or pronounce) nuance? Is that French?


Why did VP Cheney tell Senator Leahy to (blank) himself?

In the Autumn of 2003, when the infamous $87 billion appropriation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was being considered in Congress, Senator Leahy and others added an amendment to the appropriation to exact harsh penalties against corrupt war profiteering. The corruption came about by a lack of planning against corruption for post war Iraq. The cap of the iceberg of this corruption was the uncovered Halliburton's price gouging for gas, through a subsidiary. (You may remember that VP Cheney was the CEO for Halliburton before becoming VP. Halliburton was awarded no bid contracts in Iraq, and memos suggest that the VP had knowledge and consent.)

The amendment to penalize this type of corruption was voted down on party lines, with the Republican majority defeating the amendment. This was seen as a failure of government to safeguard American tax dollars. Legal experts say that present laws against this type of corruption do not adequately address this problem outside the US. That is why the amendment was needed.

As an aside, you may have seen the Bush - Cheney ad, with Senator Kerry saying, "I actually voted for the $87 billion appropriation, before I voted against it." Many news networks play that clip, repeatedly, but never play Kerry's entire statement. The Bush - Cheney team uses this vote and this quote in their ads, to show that Kerry flip - flops, and that he doesn't support our troops.

Senator Kerry voted for the first version of the bill, that included a roll back of some of the tax cut for the wealthy, in order to pay for it. This first version probably also included the anti-corruption amendment. When that one was voted down, an appropriation without these amendments was passed by the Republican majority. Senator Kerry voted against it, because it was unfunded, at a time when our deficits are ballooning.

Keep in mind, that there were still 2 to 3 months left of a previous appropriation for the troops, so they were still covered. If the Republican favored version of the appropriation had failed, they would have simply had to restore the prior amendments, to get it passed. I believe this appropriation also gave money to Iraq, rather than provide loans, and that President Bush threatened to veto it, if it provided loans rather than a give a way.

Remember, all this is going on our nation's credit card, which is almost maxed out. We are approaching our legal debt ceiling. This past spring, when voting on another Pentagon appropriation, Republicans tried to sneak in a debt ceiling increase, but it was not allowed.

So let's summarize. Our tax dollars are being sent to Iraq without safeguards from corruption. This money is being borrowed from Japan and China, two of our largest economic competitors, as well as our Social Security surplus. Last Winter, Alan Greenspan did admit that the deficits are becoming a problem, but that we shouldn't roll back tax cuts, instead we should decrease Social Security benefits to the baby boomers. Meanwhile, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren can inherit the responsibility of paying back Japan and China, while Iraq is flourishing from the second largest oil reserves in the world.

Finally, Republicans have used one vote by Senator Kerry, to make him look like an indecisive, troop - abandoning liberal. Not a bad day's work for Republicans. In truth, Senator Kerry's vote was an attempt to make us more responsible for our spending, now. Remember how the President talks about an era of personal responsibility, even though nothing is ever his fault, and he doesn't make mistakes? I'm satisfied. I think Bush & Cheney deserve another term, don't you? Certainly, there is no need to impeach anyone.

Information is from multiple sources. For more information on the spoils of war, go to http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/iraq/index.html for a radio report.

Posted by pencandle at 8:31 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 4, 2004 8:54 PM EDT

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