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Howard Dean's Gamble

South Carolina (with favorite son Edwards), Missouri (with ex-favorite son Gephardt), Arizona (Lieberman's focus), Oklahoma, Delaware, New Mexico, North Dakota. These are the primary states to be decided Tuesday. So where was Dean today? Michigan. Dean's not advertising in any of Tuesday's primary states. What's happening?

Edwards is putting all his marbles in South Carolina. Gephardt expected to take Missouri or drop out. When he dropped out after Iowa, Dean got caught with his pants down. Maybe that's why he fired political guru Joe Trippi the other day and hired an ex-Gore political operative. Dean expected to take Iowa, come on strong in New Hampshire, and do just ok against winners Edwards in South Carolina and Gephardt in Missouri. Then on to a big win in Michigan, the state with the most delegates to date.

Now, it looks like Kerry can take Missouri without much of a Dean threat. The media is now calling Missouri the key state in Tuesday's primaries, and when Dean was asked about Missouri after his second place outcome in New Hampshire, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He gulped and said he had good organizations in St. Louis and Kansas City. And that was it. He has little confidence in stopping a Kerry surge in Missouri, now that Gephardt's gone.

Now, we're clear on Dean's strategy. As far as first place finishes go, he's blowing off the Tuesday primaries. He said today that he doesn't expect to win a single Tuesday primary. Instead, like Edwards in South Carolina, Dean's putting all his marbles in Michigan, which holds its primary next Saturday. if Kerry were to take Michigan, too, it may be all over for Dean. --Politex, 01.29.04


Good And Bad: A Guide To The Dem Candidates

In order of the number of delegates to date.

JOHN KERRY (20): The good side is Kerry has his long-time experiences as a Senator and is a balanced political leader. The bad side is he takes 20 minutes to give a 10 minute speech. Sounds like a stereotypical D.C. orator, and that's bad.

JOHN EDWARDS (18): Voted a better speaker than master-speaker Clinton, language-mangling Bush, and any of the other DEM candidates by both Shield AND Brooks on PBS. People who listen to him like him. That's good. He started out not taking himself seriously enough, and is only now attracting some big campaign cash, and that's bad.

HOWARD DEAN (7): A moderate governor becomes the anti-Bush voice of a progressive foreign policy and a semi-progressive social agenda. He and young activists have brought enthusiasm and cash into his campaign via the Internet, which is good. He's lost some moderate Dems and over-30 voters in the process, and that's bad.

DENNIS KUCINICH (0): The good news is that he's the clearest voice of Peace in the group. More than Dean, the candidate of the progressive left of the Dems, with little chance of being nominated, and that's bad.

WESLEY CLARK (0): It's good that he's backed by Michael Moore, who is looking for a debate between "The General and the Deserter." Other than Moore, he has yet to create strong populist creditials to contrast with his moderate Republican background, and that's bad.

JOE LIEBERMAN (0): Like Kerry, a man of long-time experience as a Senator, which is to the good. But less balanced as a political leader, being a "New Dem," which is "the Republican wing of the Democratic Party," and that's bad.

AL SHARPTON (0): He's brought intelligence and wit to the Dem debates, not to mention a great singing voice and some dynamite dance steps, as he attmpts to fill the political shoes of Jessie Jackson, all to the good. He's seen, however, as a leader of a safe constituency with no hands-on experience in public office, and that's bad.

But, hey, what do I know? In a Slate interactive survey I learned that the candidate closest to my political beliefs is Carol Moseley Braun. --Jerry Politex, www.bushwatch.com, 01.23.03


Michael Moore, Nader, And the Green Machine

Michael Moore has decided to leave Ralph Nader and the Green Party behind, promising to actively work for the DEM nominee from now to the end of the 2004 presidential election. Right now, he's backing Clark, and he's already adding some zest to the campaign, introducing Clark to an overflow crowd in New Hampshire, saying he's looking forward to a presidential debate between the General and "The Deserter." (wp, 01.18.04)

Moore wrote on his web site that the reason he flipped from a third party position to the DEMs is to help "save the country from catastrophe." The catastrophe is, of course, Bush, which is what we've been saying since we started Bush Watch in February, 1998. As we saw it then and as we see it now, the only party capable of beating Bush is the Democratic Party, and voting for any other candidate is, in effect, voting for Bush. So, when will Nader and the Greens get the message?

Ralph Nader, unfortunately, is turning himself into a joke. Unwilling to leave the national political stage for the greater good, Nader argues that many on the Far Right would vote for him if he were to run in 2004, thereby helping the Democrats. What nonsense. He's been carrying that message to fringe groups of dissatisfied, third party voters on the left, looking for a third party other than the Greens to do the organizational busy work for another presidential campaign.

As for the Greens, they still plan to field a presidential candidate at their upcoming convention, using the party's campaign apparatus, considerable in some states, to siphon votes from the DEM presidential candidate. This is folly, particularly given what the Green Party was supposedly formed for: to protect the environment. Isn't that why they called themselves the "Green" Party? Here we have the most anti-environmetal President in modern times, and the party built to defend the environment plans to help him win by not supporting the only candidate capable of beating him.

Some Bush Watch readers have suggested that we ignore Moore, Nader, and the Greens. After all, they only represent, say 1% of the vote. That may be so, but it's an important 1%. First, these folks are on the same side of the political spectrum as the Dems; secondly, a higher percentage than in most parties are activists. As the days go on, with Bush in control of the money, the government megaphone, and the press, the one thing the DEMs must count on to win is grassroots support, a point most recently made by Paul Krugman in the NYT.

Right now, then, we're waiting for all those letters supporting the DEM presidential candidate from Nader and Green followers that, in the past, have arrived like clockwork any time we wrote anything negative about Michael Moore's politics. --Jerry Politex, 01.18.04


Has Bush Repaid The Man Who "Fixed Florida"?

Just as Christmas is the time the GOP Congress leaves Washington after insuring that the long-term jobless will not get their unemployment checks during the holidays, Christmas is also the time Bush appoints a former cabinet member who lacks credibility to carry out a sensitive task while festooned with the tinsel and blinking lights of obvious conflict of interest charges. This is the second year in a row for both traditions.

Last year it was Kissinger, who resigned from the 9/11 Commission a month after being appointed by Bush because The former Sec. of State refused to disclose his consulting firm clients, some of whom were thought to be Saudi citizens. When Kissinger resigned he cited perceptions of conflict of interest for doing so.

This year it's former Sec. of State James Baker, whose law firm, Baker Botts, has Saudi Arabia as a client. Bush has appointed Baker as his envoy, to restructure Iraq's debts owed to other nations, and Saudi Arabia says Iraq owes it $43 billion. Conflict of interest? Of course, but Bush has ignored that because the appointment does not need Senate Confirmation and he claims that the puppet Iraqi Governing Council, which includes a convicted bank swindler, requested it.While Baker has said he will forgo resulting earnings from both Baker Botts and his role as senior counselor at Carlyle, where he and Bush's daddy flaunt their Saudi connections, it's well-known that Baker earns his bread on the basis of his ongoing international political connections, and he can forgo money now to make more money later.

As consiglieri to the Bush family and its fortunes, Baker knows how important it is to protect their interests. According to BBC TV "colleagues," Baker's usual noncommittal mask may have slipped recently when he said, in "substance," to a gathering of key Russian players, that he "fixed" the Bush election in Florida. Not only is there a perceived conflict of interest between the Bush appointment and the way Baker earns his living, but also there is a perceived conflict of interest between the Bush appointment and the debt Bush owes to Baker, "fixed" or otherwise. Clearly, Baker should resign the Bush appointment. During this season of giving, both men should give us a break. --Jerry Politex, Bush Watch, 12.12.03


Has Bush Repaid The Man Who "Fixed Florida"?

Just as Christmas is the time the GOP Congress leaves Washington after insuring that the long-term jobless will not get their unemployment checks during the holidays, Christmas is also the time Bush appoints a former cabinet member who lacks credibility to carry out a sensitive task while festooned with the tinsel and blinking lights of obvious conflict of interest charges. This is the second year in a row for both traditions.

Last year it was Kissinger, who resigned from the 9/11 Commission a month after being appointed by Bush because The former Sec. of State refused to disclose his consulting firm clients, some of whom were thought to be Saudi citizens. When Kissinger resigned he cited perceptions of conflict of interest for doing so.

This year it's former Sec. of State James Baker, whose law firm, Baker Botts, has Saudi Arabia as a client. Bush has appointed Baker as his envoy, to restructure Iraq's debts owed to other nations, and Saudi Arabia says Iraq owes it $43 billion. Conflict of interest? Of course, but Bush has ignored that because the appointment does not need Senate Confirmation and he claims that the puppet Iraqi Governing Council, which includes a convicted bank swindler, requested it.While Baker has said he will forgo resulting earnings from both Baker Botts and his role as senior counselor at Carlyle, where he and Bush's daddy flaunt their Saudi connections, it's well-known that Baker earns his bread on the basis of his ongoing international political connections, and he can forgo money now to make more money later.

As consiglieri to the Bush family and its fortunes, Baker knows how important it is to protect their interests. According to BBC TV "colleagues," Baker's usual noncommittal mask may have slipped recently when he said, in "substance," to a gathering of key Russian players, that he "fixed" the Bush election in Florida. Not only is there a perceived conflict of interest between the Bush appointment and the way Baker earns his living, but also there is a perceived conflict of interest between the Bush appointment and the debt Bush owes to Baker, "fixed" or otherwise. Clearly, Baker should resign the Bush appointment. During this season of giving, both men should give us a break. --Jerry Politex, Bush Watch, 12.12.03


An "Oops" Theory of Bush Policy

Since Bush sees himself as a CEO-President and the members of his administration see themselves as being part of a corporation called the U.S. Government, we need only look at how corporations operate to understand the workings and motives of the Bush Administration.

A recent David Pogue story in the NYT identified corporate "stealth inflation" as miscellaneous fees added on to your bill when upping your basic bill would not be competitive. We're talking about "handling," "restocking," etc. They all do it, using different terms relevant to their services. But what do corporations do when their miscellaneous fees are not competitive? Of course, they charge you to see a list of the miscellaneous fees they're charging you, knowing that most folks are either too busy or too lazy to ask.

Pogue suggests some corporations have gone one step further, charging you an "oops" fee. That's when a mistake has been made in your bill and a promise has been made to fix it, but the same mistake happens the next month, forcing you to call again. Sometimes the mistake has been built into the billing through wording. One victim saw the mistakes as "a new business model developed to prey upon busy lives." The corporations call these "random errors," but the gap is great between the PR person who tells you that and the person on the other end of your initial irate phone call. One such person says, "I see dozens of accounts every month where we have made a mistake...We are basically encouraged to ignore the mistakes and make the customer go away. When it take...minutes to unravel the mess but we are only given...seconds to handle the call, most customer service reps look for the quickest way to dispense with the call...With the millions of dollars we are getting from those who are not catching us, it more than makes up for the lost business."

The Bush Administration like such corporations, is more interested in the bottom line (the payoff to its wealthy backers and the rewards to its executives) than the service they are paid by all of its citizens through taxes to provide. Like such corporations, the BushAdmin believes it can fatten the bottom line by similar distortions of actual policy and obfuscation because most citizens are either too busy or too lazy to either understand how they are being screwed or to do anything about it. Those who complain are given the PR runaround by BushAdmin spinners and/or the mainstream media, which, being corporations, themselves, have become more reporters of the status quo than watchdogs of democratic values.

Pogue offers one ray of hope for citizens screwed out of their money by corporations: "The more customers catch the errors and push back, the more it will cost the companies to handle them --and the more likely such problems will be prevented." This is true in the voting booth when it comes to our government, but, as in the case of Bush, too much damage has already bveen done. Our government is not a corporation. Its bottom line is not to turn a financial profit for those who pay to put a person who thinks like a CEO in the White House. It should serve the needs, equally, of all of its citizens. But until our citizens truly understand the distinction between life in a corporate state and life in a true democracy and reject CEO presidents, it ultimately doesn't matter how many citizens complain. --Politex, 12.08.03


How Bad Is This Mess And How Long Will It Last?

The mess is the rapid destruction of this nation's social and civil rights programs since FDR by Bush and the Republicans. The mess is also the growing control of our government by the corporate culture that has placed Bush and the Republicans in power. The mess is the Bush administration's substitution of its laws in place of Constitutional safeguards in the name of national security. The mess is the control of our foreign policy by the Bush necons'. Based on four reports, it's growing increasingly doubtful that, as things stand right now, the nation will get out of this mess in your lifetime.

According to a Stephen Skowronek, a Yale political scientist, The FDR era began to weaken, a normal condition, and ended with Jimmy Carter, and the Regaan era is still going, with Bill Clinton representing the occasional wild card. With each passing GOP president after Reagan, however, it should be getting harder to continue the "regime," since success breeds complacency, and it's up to the new, weaker Republican president to start a war to keep the party on top. With Bush, however, the party continues to be robust because of its top-down structure and its well-organized ideology. Skowronek believes that internal divisions, not the opposition, brings down the ruling party, and we're not seeing that with the GOP under Bush.

Conservative apologist David Brooks in his most recent NYT column, appears to agree with the Skowronek thesis, but sees the Republican period of dissolution in terms of decades, not years:

"The good news for Democrats is that the [Republican] majority will ossify. It will lose touch with its principles and eventually crumble under the weight of its own spoils. The bad news for Democrats is that, as Republicans can tell you, the ossification process is maddeningly slow. After the New Deal, it took 60 years."

If the Republicans remain in power for decades to come, perhaps it's because of what the Reagan era Republicans have in common, other than a conservative ideology, which, polls tell us, the American majority does not support. Reagan, Bush, and Bush Jr. have positioned themselves as semi-articulate, anti-intellectual, non-thinkers who react to circumstances with instinct and platitudes. Texas State history professor James McWilliams sees this strain of American politics going back to Andrew Jackson, a man of "dubious literacy" who was elected by the people because he "would not let law get in the way of war" and "acted first and thought later" as he "justified the slaughtering of the Seminoles" on the basis of his emotions.

Bush is similar to Jackson as he "puts forth the image of a rugged individualist, a doer, a true frontiersman, a man who's never quoted a law in his life but has made laws to suit his base urges, a plowman rather than a professor. Who knows why we lap it up, but lap it up we do....The nation has no patience for long-winded justifications. In fact, it is suspicious of them. Until someone figures out that the house of cards the administration has built must be crumbled by a yeoman with a sledgehammer and not a smarty-pants with a book, King George's manifest destiny will be to reign as the favored son of King Andrew."

But it's not that simple. Unlike the FDR era, the Reagan era under present Bush control of all three branches of government is marked by both powerful actions to dismantle the liberal-moderate government structure and equally powerful actions to make sure that the FDR era never happens again. Some believe that, little by little, the reins of government are being taken out of the hands of the voters and placed under the control of Bush conservative ideologues and corperate representatives, often being the same people. Under such a scenario, some wonder if our nation as we know it will remain after a second Bush term in office. John Stanton, co-author of "America's Nightmare" writes, "With the election of Bush II in 2004, the ideological and economic fracturing of America will be complete and, for the foreseeable future, permanent. The three branches of the US government, corporations, and the majority of state's governors and state houses will be controlled by those Republicans and Democrats who have become indistinguishable in their belief that the government's only role in America is to make it safe and ludicrously easy for small and large corporations to make a profit without the drag of government regulations, programs and taxes that, in their view, steal from the bottom line ."

For those who don't believe that the conservatives' fracturing of America will be complete within a second Bush term, there is little doubt that that is their ultimate goal, and Brooks' 60 years is a long time. Meanwhile, standing against such an outcome is an ineffectual Democratic Party and some form of social upheaval like the Great Depression that caused the beginning of the FDR era. --Politex, 12.01.03


Bush Midland Fantasy Plays Buckingham Palace

I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
But in Midland, Midland
That's how conditions are.
Everyone in town is treated equal.
And all have an equal shot at pots of gold.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
To fantasize forever than right here
In Mi-id-land.

Harry Truman was the Man From Independence (MISSOURI) and Bill Clinton was the Man From Hope (ARKANSAS). They really lived there during their lives, so the literal connection of the town's name to the man was easy to sell to the rubes, and it wasn't an attempt to cover up wealth. But JFK from Camelot (BROADWAY), rather than Hyannisport, was. Jackie's brainchild, it was an attempt to appeal to an idealized vision of her husband as leader of the free world where politicians were just and ladies were fair. And in Camelot, King Arthur wasn't a philanderer. America's Camelot Couple were perfect for the fashion mags. Now we have Bush, the Man From Midland (FANTASYLAND).

When Bush visited England last week, he continued mouthing his myth of Midland, where he lived during his grade-school years, as a kind of culmination of the American egalitarian dream of fair-minded, just diversity and opportunity for all: "I never dreamt when I was living in Midland, Texas, that I would be staying in Buckingham Palace." Frank Rich, writes in the NYT, "Mr. Bush, who was born in New Haven, lived in Midland until only the age of 15 before moving on to such hick venues as Andover, Yale and Harvard when not vacationing in family compounds in Kennebunkport, Me., or Jupiter Island, a tony neighbor of Palm Beach."**

But Midland wasn't a hick venue when Bush lived there as a child, it was a destination for young, Ivy Legue Easterners from wealthy families, eager to make a quick buck in a booming oil business that was set up for success through laws that their relatives helped pass back in Washington. Midland tells us more about Bush than he would want us to know, and it tells us pretty much the opposite of what he wants us to believe.

"If those of us born after 1960 have at times doubted whether the dull, conformist culture of the fifties could have existed in the monochromatic form given to us in books, Midland suggests that it did, and maybe still does. Poppy Bush once called it "Yuppieland West" in a letter, while in 1969 D. W. Meinig, a scholar of geography and culture, called the city's unbearable whiteness of seeming perhaps the purest example of the "native white Ango-Saxon Protestant" culture in Texas....Just as the textbook picture of the fifties adheres to this city more than others, sociologist David Riesman's label of "other-directed man," for that era's creature of the crowd, may fit Bush even better than it fits other politicians.

"On the whole West Texas is a strongly conservative political area, with a form of conservatism which very directly reflects the more general history and character of the region," wrote Meinig in his book Imperial Texas, "...a combination and blending of the provincial, rural, folk conservatism of the native Texan-Southern tradition with the strongly ideological economic conservatism of the newer wealthy class." Ivy-league frontiersmen like George H. W. Bush brought Republicanism to Midland long before the rest of the state fell for the G.O.P., and as it turned out oil and Goldwater mixed quite well. Author Larry L. King, who went to high school in Midland, described the city for the Observer in 1964 as "where the oillionaires and neanderthal Republicans with low, sloping foreheads and angry John Birchers (in full tremble over flouridation of drinking water and impeaching Earl Warren) play, and the skies are not cloudy all day."...In Midland, a city built by the uprooted upper class, the virtuous-capitalist mystique remains strong. If George W. Bush is a native Texan, then dewey-eyed boosterism is his native tradition," remarks Karen Ollson in the Texas Observer

"By the early 50's Midland had become the corporate center for the West Texas oil boom. The two main undustries in the town were creating oil companies and building tall buildings to house the companies. Junior's father was involved in the former, Laura Bush's in the latter. The bosses lived in Midland, the grunts in Odessa. Midland was a town of around 20,00 people. "One out of every forty-five people in the town in the late seventies had reached millionaire status." Odessa, on the other hand, was murder capitol of the nation one year, "with 29.8 homicides per 100,000 residents, gunn[ing] its way past Miami to take dubious honors as the most perilous city in the nation." "Poppy Bush's story in Midland was pretty similar to the others who lived in Midland. A young man from the East, educated in the better schools, who succeeded where others failed because he had the needed connections and money to make it through the rough spots. The city of Midland pretty much became a physical reflection of such men. "The Midlanders had "Eastern roots that often included four years at St. Paul's, or Choate, or Lawrenceville or Andover, followed by four years at Harvard or Yale or Princeton or MIT. Men with...teeth sharpened to razor points by years spent dutifully at the knee of their good daddy capitalists back East. Although he turned out to be the most famous among them, George Bush was just one among friends. As the years passed the place because even more exclusive. Residents named streets Harvard and Princeton. They played at the Polo Club, which had been started by a graduate of St. Paul's and Princeton whose father had been an executive at U.S. Steel. They clearly saw their town as the one exception in an area of the country" best known for its ignorance," writes H.G. Bissinger in "Friday Night Lights."

Nevertheless, Candidate Bush used his fantasy vision of Midland as part of his presidential campaign, and still carries it today right into Buckingham Palace, a familiar kind of place that he used as a hideout during his trip to England, keeping away from the kind of folks he claims he grew up with in Midland. As Bush continues to sell his Midland myth to the rubes, it might be well to remember this letter to the NYT written by UCLA Professor Elma Gonazalez in 2000:

"George W. Bush waxes nostalgic about the values of the West Texas town where he grew up, declaring that "anybody could succeed, and everybody deserved a chance" (transcript, Aug. 4). I also remember the West Texas of the late 1950's and early 60's, when my family and many other Mexican-American families migrated to the region to pick cotton. I remember the signs on the restaurant windows in Lubbock and other regional towns that warned us, "No Mexicans or dogs allowed." This same region had official policies for segregated schools during the time that Mr. Bush is memorializing. So what does this say about Mr. Bush? That he didn't know these things were happening? Or that he knows but that they don't factor into his vision of the past because they didn't matter?" --Politex, 11.24.03

**NYT Columnist Sucks Up To The Bush Midland Myth
"One of Mr. Bush's strengths as a politician is his optimistic nature, but I now fear it is also his central weakness in governing. Reckless overconfidence led him to adopt fiscal policies that will leave our children indebted, and this same cockiness led us into Iraq. Brash optimism perhaps has its roots in Mr. Bush's hometown, Midland, Tex., an oil town that regularly rewarded hard work with a gusher, a place where everybody you meet displays this same hearty can-do confidence. In Midland, Mr. Bush unfortunately absorbed the lesson that risks in the desert pay off." --William Kristoff, 11.05.03


President Bush Visits California -- Talks to Victims of Fires
Remarks by the President to the Travel Pool
Harbison Canyon, California

Analysis of Excerpts of Bush Remarks by Politex

Q Mr. President, clearly the residents here appreciate your coming and your seeing the devastation here. Do you bring additional help, beyond what has been announced, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: No, what I do is I answer questions, Ed, as to whether or not the help that is available is being delivered. Hopefully, I get the truth. I mean, if there is a frustration at the federal level, I need to know about it. I haven't heard that yet. I've been -- frankly, Mike Brown and FEMA have been getting high marks. But I want to see, as best as the President can possibly see, the truth....The best thing I can do is to listen and hug and empathize as best as I can empathize.

(Analysis: Bush is saying he's created enough of a national deficit through his tax cuts to the wealthy and his wrong-heading throwing around of tax-payer money in Iraq, and he's not going to give money to Californians who voted for Gore, so they'll have to make do with what they got, but he's prepared to hug women and children, as long as there's a photo-op camera around.)

Q You said that Saddam Hussein is no longer a menace, but there's reports that he may be behind these attacks. So how can we be sure that he is, in fact, no longer a menace?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, he's no longer running a country. He's no longer got rape rooms; no longer raping young girls, having young girls raped because their families don't agree with them; he's no longer torturing people; he's no longer developing mass graves -- remember, we discovered thousands and thousands and thousands of men, women and children in mass graves in Iraq. He's no longer running the -- no longer threatening people, and he is no longer in power. We'll get him, we'll find him.

(Analysis: Aside from additional evidence that sex is going to be a major theme in the Bush 2004 campaign and the Dems better wake up about it, Bush is saying there's now a need to start talking about Saddam again, now that his Iraq occupation is going down the tubes. It's a good way to misdirect the American people away from the present problems in Iraq, caused by his policy failures. He's also saying he should have tried to get the American people to agree to invade Iraq on the basis of Saddam "raping young girls," rather than lying about non-existent WMDs and Iraq's non-existent terrorist connections. But then, of course, he'd have to prove what he's saying now, somehow limit his allegations to Iraq, and establish a U.S. policy of rape as a reason to invade a country.)

Q He's not behind these attacks, though?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I'm sure he's trying to stir up trouble. As I've said, Saddam loyalists, those are the people, the torturers and murders and thugs that used to benefit from Saddam Hussein's regime are the ones -- some of the ones creating the havoc, trying to create the conditions so that we leave, testing our will. And I'm sure that -- I don't know, look, I can't tell you what he's doing. All I can tell you is, he's not running Iraq. And all I can tell you, as well, there's a lot of -- some people who are upset by the fact that he's no longer in power.

(Analysis: As with Bush's State of the Union speech and supposed Saddam connections to 9/11, believed at the time by nearly half of the American people, Bush knows if you keep repeating a circumstance, like the present chaos in Iraq, and a name, like "Saddam," people will start to believe that there is a connection, even though no assertion of one is being made.)

Q Mr. President, as you know, Sunday was the deadliest day in Iraq since the end of major combat. What was your reaction to the downing of the Chinook and the 16 soldiers who were killed on board? And, also, should Americans be prepared for more such deadly days ahead?

THE PRESIDENT: I am saddened any time that there's a loss of life. I'm saddened, because I know a family hurts. And there's a deep pain in somebody's heart. But I do want to remind the loved ones that their sons and daughters -- or the sons, in this case -- died for a cause greater than themselves, and a noble -- and a noble cause, which is the security of the United States. A free and secure Iraq is in our national security interests. We are at war.

(Analysis: This is Bush's timid response to the largest murder of American troops since last March, and he buried his comments in a second-string press availability that further buried his remarks in a story focused on California wildfires. Bush used pretty much the same line about the hate crime murder of a black man in Texas, not wanting to address the specific death, but asserting a saddness for any death. Bush, of course, doesn't want to remind Americans that Americans are dying in Iraq under his occupation on a daily basis. That's why, unlike Clinton but like his father, he forbids cameras when the dead American soldiers land on American soil, he refuses to attend funerals of dead American soldiers, and he doesn't make public statements of mourning each time there is news of more American deaths, as presidents, as leaders, are supposed to do. His mean-spirited, politically-motivated (see today's NYT, 11.05.03) attempt to hide his connection to the deaths of Americans in Iraq is disgraceful. --Politex, 11.05.03


Madrid: Bush Tries Spin To Fix A Leaky Roof

You're this poor guy in a third world country. You don't have a full-time job and you just make enough money to live on the poverty level, you're not in good physical shape, you owe people $120, and you don't know when, if ever, you'll get ahead enough to pay it back. While you have property-wealthy relatives, they haven't helped you in years, and you've written additional IOU's on that future. You live in a small hovel with a leaky roof, and it's making you sick. You need $55 to repair the roof so you can get on with your life, and a village help group, supported, in large part, by the wealthiest man in town, decides to hold a village benefit for you, appealing to your neighbors for help.

The wealthiest man in town has already given you money to deal with other problems, and his wife has told him that if he gives $20 more to you, their circumstances are such that the additional gift would have to be half grant and half loan, and the wealthiest man replied that if that were the case, he wouldn't give you anything. You have no idea when you would be able to pay back another $10 added to your previous loans of $120. This all took place before the idea of a village benefit came up.

The wealthiest man plans to take credit for raising the $55 to fix your roof, but he doubts that that much money can be raiased in the poor village, so he announces that the money collected will be less so his neighbors wouldn't see his collection plan results as reflecting poorly on him. After the benefit, the help group announces that $33 has been collected, so some of the leaks can be fixed, and both the wealthiest man and the help group take credit for a successful benefit collection and announce that accomplishment to the village.

However, when you ask for the money to fix your leaky roof, it isn't there, and you're told by both the wealthiest man and the help group that they have no idea when the money will be available, and they don't know how much of the announced money benefit will ever be forthcoming. Here's why:

$20 of the $33 claimed to be collected by the help group turns out to be the $20 that the wealthiest man promised prior to the benefit. Further, there's no guarentee from the wealthiest man that you'll ever get the $20, since he said he wouldn't give you a cent if one half of the $20 were in the form of a loan, and his wife is still holding him to it. So, although the help group claims that $33 has been collected from the benefit, only $13 has actually been promised.

It turns out that 3/4 of the $13 promised funding comes from just 3 sources, only one of the which is an actual neighbor, since the other two sources are local lenders. Indeed, 2/3 of the $13 the help group claims has been promised is in the form of loans, so you'll owe $120 plus $9 in new loans, totalling $129 that you can't pay and bringing down the neighbors' actual contributions to $4. From that, subtract contributions from neighbors prior to the benefit, the known fact that some neighbors at benefits never live up to their contribution promises, and items contributed but not needed to fix a leaky roof. Round that figure to 50 cents, leaving $3.50 for a roof costing $55 to fix.

Also, those neighbors who have contributed the $3.50 of the needed $55 have not promised you when they would give you the money, some of that money is contingent upon the contributing neighbors getting loans they have previousl made to others paid back, another portion is in promises to help fix the roof made by relatives of the neighbors and the cost of that help is sure to be inflated, and another portion of the money is being withheld for the time being, since the neighbors have questions about what you did with the money they previously gave you in response to other problems.

For now, you owe money you can't afford to pay back, you have a leaky roof that will cost $55 to fix, and you have nothing in hand except promises that might get you $3.50 at some future date. Meanwhile, the help group is claiming a successful benefit collection of $33 and the wealthiest man in town is claiming credit for it, saying that the groundswell of support by your neighbors, which doesn't really exist, is a tribute to your neighbors' trust in him.

This story, of course, is a retelling of the World Bank-UN Madrid conference, where the BushAdmin hoped to cover a large part of the needed $55 billion for the rebuilding of Iraq through contributions by countries, and failed, but is covering its failure with spin. For the financial details, go HERE --Jerry Politex, 10.26.03


Paul Krugman, Wiley Cayote, And The Dark Tunnel

Princeton economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman gave a twenty-minute talk in downtown Austin on the lawn outside Threadgill's restaurant on Saturday evening before an enthusiastic crowd of hundreds which included Dem U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, LBJ White House press sec. Liz Carpenter, and Texas syndicated columnist Molly Ivins. Photos HERE

His most telling comment, for me, was that what we're seeing today in Bush and his administration is the flowering of the conservative, far right movement that has its seeds in the distant past, and even if Gore had become president, the pressure of slurs, lies, and distortions directed upon him from the right would be such that, in the eyes of many Americans, he would have been made responsible for 9/11. In short, the uncivil, anti-democratic, vicious, and unrelenting barrage of conservative, far right invective is such that eventually, sooner or later, the conservative, far right movement would have its day. If not with Bush, it would be someone else in a later election.

The point Krugman was making is that the conservative, far right movement in America is not something that can be stopped, but something that must be lived through. Eventually, Krugman implied, we will come out at the other end of the dark tunnel. He identified that time as being after the "Wiley Cayote Moment," the time when the big players in the American economy look down and realize their heedless momentum under Bush has taken them off the cliff, into thin air, and then they, and we, fall into the abyss. Krugman put no specific time upon this event, but implied that the day would mark the beginning of the end of the conservative, far right hold on America. But what will be left of the U.S. by then?

If Bush wins the election in 2004, and the important signs right now suggest that he will--I'll save a discussion of that statement for another editorial-- the abyss that we will fall into will be more than economic and may very well be permanent. At the rate Bush and his administration are going, by the end of his second term in 2008, he will have managed to destroy most of the remaining fruits of the progressive revolution that began as a legislative response to the Republican-passive Great Depression of the '30's. Further, the social and legislative institutional forces that would be needed to turn Bush's destruction of a progressive U.S. around will have been destroyed as well. For example, while the Dem presidential candidates split hairs about exactly how far each would go as President in rolling back Bush's tax cuts, the fact is the U.S. House will remain Republican through this present decade, thanks to Tom DeLay's redistricting ploy in a number of states, and rolling back Bush's tax cuts is not an option. As Krugman notes, the Republican plan is, through tax cuts and various deficit spending, to shrink social services in this country down to the size of an infant and then drown it in the bathtub.

Churchill once wrote a book about English blindness to the Nazi threat prior to WWII, called "While England Slept." Let's hope no one writes a book about American blindness to the conservative, far right threat prior to the fall into the abyss, called "While America Slept." However, I'm afraid hope is not nearly enough. --Jerry Politex, 10.19.03


What's Wrong With American Politics?

What's wrong with American politics may be what's wrong with politics world-wide, with adjustments made for level of technology and type of government. But since the U.S. presently is the world's greatest power, its politics can cause harm in the farthest corners of the globe.Two newspaper pieces this week pretty much tell us what's wrong with American politics.

In a New York Times editorial Thursday we were informed that a large bulk of those who voted for Arnold Schwartzenegger in California said they voted on the issues, but agreed with the pollsters that Arnold did not discuss the issues they supposedly voted on. Arnold had previously said that voters aren't interested in "details," that's why he felt justified in talking in the vaguest generalities through a campaign short enough to get away with it, with few interviews and press conferences, and no unscripted debates. The Dems, of course, weren't much help, choosing to attack Arnold as a Hitler-loving groper, rather than what he most assuredly was, a man who knows next to nothing about the problems of the California economy, argues with his advisors who do, and promises to make the economy worse by taking away taxes already on the books, thus making the deficit even greater, by at least 50%. Then, immediately after he's elected, Arnold announces his economic transition team. Why didn't he do that during the campaign, when he could be asked specific questions, and his transition team could have provided the answers that Arnold apparantly is incapable of giving on his own?

In a Buffalo News story that same day, Bush congratulated the American people who decided, in his words, to do "the right thing" in having the U.S. go to war against Iraq. Although his Administration-rigged Kay report said there were no WMD found in Iraq during their 6 month search, Bush declared that "our investigators have found evidence of a clandestine network of biological laboratories, the advance design work on prohibited long-range missiles, elaborate campaign to hide these illegal programs," indicating those were the reasons Bush took us to war. Yet, none of this evidence confirms the BushAdmin reasons given to both Congress and the U.N. for wanting the U.S. to go to war. The reasons were that Saddam had both WMD and the delivery systems to use them against us, and there is no evidence of either assertion. But if Arnold is right, if the public is not interested in "details," the beginning Bush counter-attack over Iraq, geared to rewrite history through marketing, will work for him in the months ahead.

Political commentators, on the left as well as the right, point to an important similarity between Bush and Arnold: they have generally pleasant, positive personalities that work well with the American people. Both their rivals lost in that department. Gore seldom seemed natural during the campaign, and by the time he let it all hang out during his convention speech, his new persona felt forced. Davis was even worse, generally coming across as the unfeeling robo-man Arnold pretended to be in movies. Naturally, the voters gravitated to the natural, friendly guy, as we all do in life. But the difference between life and politics is that, unlike life, where there are some honest people who are what they appear to be, in politics such folks are few and far between. I don't want to sit down and have a beer with a politician, I want him or her to tell me what they would do while in office and how they would do it, then I would check out their track record, their background, their career to find out how many lies they've told me. Politicians don't want that. They want you to vote for the fantasy, the spin, not the reality.

The California Recall came about because Californians became pissed about the economy, and they tried to do something about it. The Iraq War came about because Americans became pissed about terrorism, and they tried to do something about it. In both instances, the politicians lied to them. The reality in California is that the majority didn't like Gray Davis as a person and were willing to believe that he was responsible for California's economic troubles, even though neither the Governor nor the Legislature are in control of an economy that is 80% mandated prior to having anyone sit down and discuss what to do. The reality in the U.S. is that the majority like Bush as a person and were willing to believe his lies about Iraq and its supposed WMD and its non-existent ties to world terrorism.

The job of politicians is to get elected, and most of them are willing to do pretty much whatever it takes, and that includes lying to the people, appealing to their everyday greed and prejudices, changing the terms and content of the discourse to topics that favor them, no matter how important they might be to the needs of the people, and controlling the media that reports what the politicians want you to hear. It's no accident, for example, that a recent Univ. of Maryland report found that those who received their news from Fox were the most hawkish and had the most misperceptions. "The report, Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War, also found that the more misperceptions held by the respondent, the more likely it was that s/he both supported the war and depended on commercial television for news about it. "

All of this being said, it is still up to the American people to ferret out the truth behind the lies the politicians tell and the media reports. It is up to the American people to prevent the politicians from turning political campaigns into beauty contests. In short, it is up to the American people to stop rewarding the very politicians who are ultimately responsible for the anger that they feel, those who have turned our Democratic process into a mindless commercial and our citizens into unthinking fans. --Jerry Politex, 10.10.03


Black Thursday For The GOP
WMD Found At Home, Not Iraq

In one tumultuous 24-hour period yesterday, the ravens of darkness in the Republican Party came home to roost, and the nation learned that weapons of mass destruction are here at home, not in Iraq.

First came the news that the Bush Administration came up empty in its six-month attempt to find the weapons of mass destruction that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz and Perle said were in Iraq and pointed to as our reason to go to war. Rather than admit defeat, Bush's minions asked for an additional $600 million to continue their fruitless search. Sen. Pat Roberts, Repub head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was clearly pissed, calling the original claims of the Bush Team "sloppy."

Then we were reminded that both Bush and Ashcroft knew about the leak of the name of the CIA spy 11 weeks ago and did nothing.* Now they are working hard to keep the probe in-house and are furiously spinning and obfuscating by creating a wealth of detail and intra-agency finger pointing. But Krugman writes, "Someone high in the administration committed a felony and, in the view of the elder Mr. Bush, treason. End of story."

Meanwhile, from sea to shinning sea, voices of Republican WMD were being discredited. On the East Coast alleged drug abuser Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN because of remarks that many found racist. ESPN was cautioned by observers for its blatant attempt to politicize sports in the name of ratings and garnering favor with the Neocons presently attempting to control the media, just as Fox, CNN, and MSNBC have done and PBS and NPR are being pressed to do. On the West Coast the LAT came up with a solid story about Arnold's alledged history of abusing women in public. Previously, quoted Hitler admirer Schwarzenegger said it was not true, then he said he lied about such behavior for publicity purposes, then Thursday he apologized to nameless women for nameless behavior that he said he was sorry about. The very fact that both Limbaugh and Schwarzenegger have loyal followings after their respective repulsive behavior says as much about a large segment of American voters as it does about them.

On the other hand, the good news is that the American voter may finally be getting a fix on the hypocrisy, duplicity, and uncivil arrogance that appears to make up today's Republican Party. Thursday's New York Times/CBS News Poll found that a majority of Americans do not share Bush's priorities and are uneasy about Bush's ability to make the right decisions on either domestic or foreign policy. No wonder, since the bleak aggression of the Neocons and the evangelistic blindness of the Christian Conservatives do not represent a majority in this country. Bush has conned the majority of Americans with his lies and distortions of his policies. As Bob Herbert puts it, the White House is feeding Bush's "credibility into a giant shredder," and the hypocrisy and lies of fellow spotlight Republicans like Limbaugh and Schwarzenneger do nothing to defend the Republican Party from such charges. --Politex, 10.03.03

*Dems smell a rat, noting Rove has worked on previous Ashcroft political campaigns and Bush's campaign money manager used to be Ashcroft's deputy.

Notes Towards A GUT Of BushAdmin Policy

In the world of physics no one has been able to come up with a GUT, a grand unified theory of the physical world, a theory that meshes micro-physics and macro-physics into one, coherent vision. It's not that scientists haven't tried. Some think that J.H. Schwarz's string theory is moving in the right direction.

Similarly, some have offered a GUT of the Bush administration, a theory that meshes foreign and domestic policy into one coherent whole. I think those who view the unified policies of the BushAdmin as an outgrowth of a quest for empire, as outlined in the neocon PNAC manifesto, are moving in the right direction. In this scenario, domestic policy becomes a complex of money-making activities used to drain funding from social programs and placed into corporate programs used to build a world-conquering military force and feed the nation's wealth into the corporate elite that produces the needed weapons and national infra-structure and political bureaucracy needed to support the quest for empire.

My BushAdmin GUT theory provides a smaller big-picture than that paradigm of one-world empire, but allows for some of the same assumptions. Since the recent presidential campaign, stories in the mainstream media have implied that Bush intended to drain the national treasury of surplus money and plunge the nation into a deficit by rewarding those who put him into office with huge, unaffordable tax cuts. The next step was equally predictable, that both needed and ongoing social programs in health, education, welfare, environmental, and retirement funding would be cut as much as possible in the name of tightening one's belt to balance the budget, but only after as much money as possible had been shifted into the hands of the wealthy. Based on past Republican administrations, this outcome was predictable. What was not predictable, however, was that the BushAdmin has gone one step further, plunging the country into massive debt that, like a perpetual motion machine, will keep running long after Bush leaves office, no matter if that is in 2004 or 2008, and, at the same time, turning up the volume on the government's propaganda machine, telling the nation's citizens to forget everything Republicans have been saying for decades, that debt is a good, now that they are creating it.

Also unpredictable is that the BushAdmin has been carrying out the same strategy in its military policy, which is what our foreign policy has now become with the neocon defeat of Colin Powell after his disgraceful UN speech and the takeover of the policies of the State Department since the war in Iraq by Rumsfeld sympathizers and Conduit Rice. Since the campaign, Rumseld has argued through cheerleader Bush that the Pentagon will shift its frocus from troop numbers to more, updated, futuristic, tactical, weapons of war. This was described as giving us more mobility and speed. Troop numbers were seen as old-fashioned. In reality, what was going on was that the Pentagon was creating a war machine, not a peace machine, and keeping the actual body count as low as possible so as not to stir the nation's citizens into unwanted action Today, more troops are needed to keep the peace in Iraq, but we don't have them, just like we don't have the money for social programs. The BushAdmin boils down to an administration geared to win wars and reward the rich who support and gain wealth from our war machine at the expense of keeping the peace and fairly supporting our citizens who are not rich. Just as Republicans call our country's social programs unneeded humanitarianism, the Rumsfeld Pentagon really believes that the rest of the world should serve as the humanitarian arm of the United States, cleaning up the messes we make through war and the corporate plunder that follows in its wake.

Make no mistake about it. Rumseld's generals are not about to ask him for more troops. Apart from the British, whose leaders are carrying Bush's coat in hopes of a tip, the relatively few troops that we are gathering from nations, generally small, poor, and in need of U.S. help, are little more than a privatized army. The world's major nations are not about to provide troops to a country whose uncooperative methods and dreams of empire for the benefit of corporate power the BushAdmin represents are crystal clear. --Jerry Politex, www.bushwatch.com, 08.27.03


Revenge Of The Neocons:
Goodby Colin, Welcome Princes Of Darkness

Prior to his war against Iraq, Bush's foreign policy was thought to modulate between his father's cautious approach as reflected by his Commanding General now Sec. of State Colin Powell and the more agressively military approach of Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, with White House national security adviser Condi Rice moderating the two sides.

Since then, Powell's credibility has been damaged by his UN speech in which he pointed to still-questionable and still-undocumented evidence of weapons of mass destruction as the reason for going to war against Iraq. Rumsfeld's crediility has also been damaged for the same reasons, but to an even larger extent, since some of the reasons he had previously given for going to war against Iraq Powell purposely kept out of the UN speech, calling some of the deleted reasons "bullshit." The jury is still out on Rice. Since she recently decided to take the blame for not letting Bush know that his State of the Union reference to Iraq seeking uraium in Africa was not credible, in fact, that it was deleted from his previous speeches, either her credibility, her competence, or both are in question.

With this as background, Monday's Washington Post story that Powell will step down from his Sec. of State cabinet position in 18 months indicates that the Bush Administration will be even more hawkish, more aggressive, more desirous of empire building, more dangerous if Bush is given a second term in office. This is said for three reasons, all of which have to do with those favored to fill key positions that will become vacant with a Powell resignation.

First, if Rice were to become Sec.of State, not only would we have someone whose credibility and competence has not passed the test of time in office, but we would have someone who,given her recent track record, is more inclined than Powell to favor the neocon hawks, who presently fill the majority of key seats in the administration.

Also, if Rice were to become Sec. of State, her old job might very well be filled by her second in command, Stephen J. Hadley, who was responsible for placing the "16 words" in various Bush speeches, backs a robust nuclear weapons program, and has been involved in creating public support for the Iraq war since November of 2002. He was Assistant Sec. of Defense during the Reagon-Bush administrations. His hawk credentials are long-standing.

Finally, Deputy Defense Sec. Paul Wolfowitz, another Reagonite hardliner, whose fellow neocon hawk Richard Perle has carried around the nickname of "The Prince of Darkness" for over a decade, has been mentioned as a front-runner for either job. During the presidential campaign, the New Republic's Jacob Heilbrunn wrote,"Wolfowitz's neo-Reaganism will have an impact on [Bush's] thinking. Reaganites tend to see the bold exercise of American power not in static cost-benefit terms, but in dynamic risk-reward terms."

During that campaign when fighting broke out in East Timor and reporters wanted Bush's opinion on it, he told a New York Times reporter, "I may not be able to tell you exactly the nuances of the East Timorian situation, but I'll ask [Condoleeza] Rice, or I'll ask Paul Wolfowitz, or I'll ask [former hawk Sec. of Defense] Dick Cheney. I'll ask the people who've had experience." Unfortunately, Bush hasn't changed since, and with the resignation of moderate Powell and with conservative hawks, liars, and incompetents like Rice, Hadley, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Cheney providing supposed Bush cheerleader with skewed intelligence, a second Bush term of office is a pretty bleak and dangerous proposition --08.04.03, Jerry Politex


All Our Children

The homecoming this past week of Army Private Jessica Lynch was of course poignant and worthy of celebration.

Not only did this obviously gentle young woman have the courage to go to war when called, but she showed a brand of courage that might be considered even more praiseworthy at her tender age. She showed the world her moral courage. Young Private Lynch had the guts to admit that her injuries were not inflicted by enemy weapons, as was originally reported by an overeager press and lying Pentagon, but were in fact the result of a vehicle collision between two American Humvees. Her insistence on accuracy was a gesture of respect for her fallen comrades.

Mechanized warfare is dangerous to living things. Most of us are somewhat aware of that. When we go there we go at our greatest peril. When we send our children there, we must accept - as they themselves do -that many will never return. Those who do, will come home bearing the scars and the medals of their sacrifice.

Lynch was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The Bronze Star is recognition for heroism or meritorious achievement in ground combat. The Purple Heart is awarded to those wounded in action.

This begs a troubling question. Private Lynch's non-fatal injuries, acquired in a vehicle accident, are worthy of (and acknowledged by) a Purple Heart. No one disputes that. Why then are the numerous FATAL injuries that have been sustained by our troops in vehicle accidents in Iraq (17 since May 1st ) being virtually ignored altogether? Also being ignored are the six fatalities from friendly fire, the seven from accidental explosions, the six more from air crashes, and so on all the way up to 52 unreported deaths to date since May 1st alone. In fact, the majority of fatalities among American soldiers - the majority! - are being deliberately ignored by the press, the military, and the Bush Administration in reporting the war's casualty statistics since Bush's "end of major combat" speech in May.

Before May 1st some 140 Americans had died in Bush's Iraq war. Since May 1st another 100 soldiers have died there, none of natural causes. That's 100 deaths in country since Bush decided it was over, not the 48 we're being spoon fed by the obedient and credulous mainstream press. To make the casualty figures seem less dire, less "major," we're being told to ignore deaths from injuries not directly inflicted by Iraqis.

If these 52 known fatalities are not combat related deaths, then why did these kids die in Iraq? If these 52 known fatalities were not combat related deaths then why is a Purple Heart awarded for identical proximate cause in a non-fatal, albeit highly publicized, injury incident? Like so very much about this war, neither the numbers, nor the morality reconcile.

Today, the death toll was reported as 163 killed since fighting began. But the actual death toll among American military forces in Iraq reached 240 today (244 by some estimates). Every one of them counts to somebody, even if not to our "leaders." Of all their lies, damned lies, and statistics, this one is surely the most vile.

--Dom Stasi, 07.28.03


Sleep On, Sleep On, In The B43 Matrix

The common Republican in the street, the common Republican on the farm and the ranch, the common Republican working in the factory or in the service sector is not and will not benefit from the policies of the cabal in Washington D.C.

The common Republican is simply the latest dupe in the con of a one-party system masquerading as two. Politics is the art of persuasion and modern propaganda is the science of mass persuasion. The FCC has ruled so as to concentrate the access to the technology of mass persuasion.

The cabal has persuaded many citizens to follow a war policy for the most shoddy of reasons understanding that nothing brings a social group together like an external threat; and clearly understanding that the leader who challenges the threat - more or less successfully - will be viewed as the horse to bet on.

The cabal has persuaded many citizens that legislation and Executive Orders clearly and unabashedly aimed at dismantling the social services infrastructure of national and state government by wreaking national economic havoc is in their immediate best interest. The slop from the tax cut isn't going to return the economy to any form of health. Unfortunately too many people have too much debt and as interest rates begin to rise during the initial 'recovery' the debt will start to crush the common Republican.

The cabal is attempting to redraw congressional districts in Texas simply to increase the Republican majority in the U.S. House. Including such districts as one that will stretch in a slender strip from Austin to the Mexico border - some 280 miles.

The cabal has largely deleted the global warming assessment from its own EPA report on the state of the environment.

The cabal, largely populated by people who claim to think the government can not do anything right, trust it to not take innocent lives via the death penalty. B43 was the killingest governor in the history of Texas, and could well oversee more federal executions than any President in history.

The cabal has now destabilized Afghanistan and Iraq and has not evinced interest in committing the resources needed to rebuild those areas and give them a serious opportunity to develop anything other than an increased distrust and disdain for the U.S.

Please understand that B43 and the cabal are not here to take care of you and make your lives more comfortable and secure. Their interest is in using your energy to fuel the continued accumulation of power and material wealth by the cabal.

This is no conspiracy theory, simply a summary of facts available to all. Wake up or sleep on fitfully in the Matrix of B43! --Christine, 06.22.03

You're Being Dixie Chicked By The FCC

Today is a very important day for Colin Powell's kid, head of the FCC, because this will be the day that a Bush Republican majority at the FCC will vote to take a big slice out of democracy through news control. By allowing fewer corporations to own larger portions of the media market, the average citizen will be getting the same slanted information over and over, although it will appear that it is coming from various sources. The corporate fat cats call that "fair and balanced." For them.

Yesterday, Jim Hoagland, Washington Post pundit and sometimes apologist for the Bush administration, had the temerity to imply that even if Bush had distorted the intelligence he was given by the government intelligence community in order to further his war agenda for Iraq, and even if the media was too willing to go along with the Bush agenda rather than carefully looking at the evidence, he had faith in the intelligence of the American citizens to discern what is truth and what is lie, and act accordingly.

Hoagland concluded that Americans did just that when they backed the Bush war agenda in Iraq, even though a Cox poll at the time reported that 40% of Americans believed that Iraq had a direct hand in the 9/11 attack. Americans were given that lie by the Bush administration's manipulation of the media and the media's willingness to be manipulated. And now, today, the Republican majority will vote to reinforce that kind of thinking by allowing a larger control of its news content by even fewer corporations.

Twent years ago, a book dealing with the needs of democracy for news diversity vs. the needs of media corporations to fatten their bottom lines listed over fifty corporations as major media players. A more recent edition of the book had the number down to ten. Today's FCC decision probably will shrink that down to five. Clearly, this is harmful to the democratic process, for without news diversity, our leaders, with the help of the media, can manipulate our citizens to believe most anything.

Without a diversity of news from a diversity of mainstream sources, our democracy is in danger. What does Hoagland think citizen discernment is based upon, reading the entrails of a chicken? --Politex, 06.02.03

Bush's Supply-Side Leadership

Bush has taken Reagan's excuse for giving more money to the wealthy-- supply-side economics-- and applied it to the policies of his administration as a whole. Supply-side theory postulates that giving money to the producers and investors allows them to take that money and produce more, creating jobs and greater consumption by the workers because they have more money to spend. This theory contradicts the classical model of consumer need and desire stimulating cause for production. Supply-side economics didn't work for Reagan and it's not working for Bush, but in both cases the rich have gotten more money, and that's the point of this GOP excercise in reverse Robin Hood economics.

Ever since Bush was selected by the Supreme Court to live in the White House, we've seen supply-side theory --giving the people what you want to produce-- being employed on the domestic front. It's a matter of government selling its citizens things they don't want to buy. The people voted for Gore, but the Supreme Court gave us Bush. The people want Church and State separated, but Bush and Sec. of Ed. Paige give us faith-based public education. The people said they preferred medical care and better education to tax cuts for the rich, but to no avail. The people want a clean environment, but the corporations pulling the Bush strings give us dirty water and dirty air. The people want fair, unbiased judges, but Bush appointees have solid records of being against civil rights and workers' rights. Initially, the people didn't want a war in Iraq, but the growing documentation of administration lies indicates that supply-side propaganda changed that. Now, mainstream pundits are beginning to wonder what kind of "democracy" Bush wants to provide for the Iraqi people.

Clearly, the Bush administration is a supply-side government. Don't give the people what they want to buy, but what you want to sell them , then invest in distortions and lies to make your sale.

Bush has been called disciplined and determined, but these are hardly positive traits if they are used in the creation of policies that harm us. Bush has been called a leader, but what good is a leader who takes us in the wrong direction? --Politex, 04.28.03


Last year Bush reportedly waved to Ray Charles during the White House correspondents' dinner. A White House spokesperson later said Bush was actually waving to someone past Ray Charles. Last night, live on C-Span, Bush did it again. --Politex, 04/27/03


Can you imagine the American response if the Truman administration brought in Hitler's Gestapo to help police Berlin after the war? Well, that's what's happening in Iraq. The Bush administration hired members of Saddam's police force to help stop the looting in Baghdad. What kind of a message does that send to the "hearts and minds" in the Middle East? And what kind of message is sent by having, according to NBC, the Bush-appointed Viceroy of Iraq, former U.S. Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, planning to live in Saddam's Baghdad Palace? --Politex, 04.18.03


WHY RICHARD PERLE WON'T GO AWAY

With Dems in Congress and the media looking into conflict of interest allegations having to do with Richard Perle's private business dealings and his key role in creating U.S. foreign policy that has led to the present war in Iraq, Bush and Rumsfeld had to take the heat off in an attempt to cut off further probes into the complex of ideological, government, business, and Israeli connections that could prove embarrassing to the Bush administration. Thus, Perle pulled a Kissinger and resigned as chairman of the influential Defense Policy Board. Then Rumsfeld indicated that Perle's gesture was all show and no tell by stating that Perle would remain on the Board as a member, thereby allowing him to continue doing what he's been doing. Perle will remain a key member of the Bush Global Dominance team and will continue to walk the corridors of power and get the word out through a complex of friends in high government places and friends in key media and think tank positions. What follows is just one descriptive slice of Perle's incestuous family of conservative hawks who are pulling the strings that make up Bush's foreign policy and world view. While Jeb Bush was brought into this family through his involvement with the PNAC, George Bush is the only major hawk who was not. That's because Bush is a cheerleader, not a thinker, and he appears to be most comfortable when angrily using confrontational rhetoric and tearing up over religious pronouncements. --Jerry Politex, 03.28.03

"...William Kristol [,son of Irving Kristol, is] the crown prince of the neoconservative clique and editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. In 1997, he founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a front group which cemented the powerful alliance between right-wing Republicans like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, Christian and Catholic Right leaders like Gary Bauer and William Bennett, and the neocons behind a platform of global U.S. military dominance.

"Irving Kristol's most prominent disciple is Richard Perle, who was until Thursday the Defense Policy Board chairman, is also a "resident scholar" at the American Enterprise Institute, which is housed in the same building as PNAC. Perle himself married into neocon royalty when he wed the daughter of his professor at the University of Chicago, the late Alfred Wohlstetter the man who helped both his son-in-law and his fellow student Paul Wolfowitz get their start in Washington more than 30 years ago.

"Perle's own protege is Douglas Feith, who is now Wolfowitz's deputy for policy and is widely known for his right-wing Likud position. And why not? His father, Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist Dalck Feith, was once a follower of the great revisionist Zionist leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, in his native Poland back in the 1930s. The two Feiths were honored together in 1997 by the right-wing Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

"The AEI has long been a major nexus for such inter-familial relationships. A long-time collaborator with Perle, Michael Ledeen is married to Barbara Ledeen, a founder and director of the anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum (IWF), who is currently a major player in the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and another neo-con power couple David and Meyrav Wurmser co-authored a 1996 memorandum for Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu outlining how to break the Oslo peace process and invade Iraq as the first step to transforming the Middle East.

"Though she doesn't focus much on foreign-policy issues, Lynne Cheney also hangs her hat at AEI. Her husband Dick Cheney recently chose Victoria Nuland to become his next deputy national security adviser. Nuland, as it turns out, is married to Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol's main comrade-in-arms and the co-founder of PNAC...." more


Let's be clear about the Senate Dems' successful vote to trim Bush's new tax cut plan from $739 billion down to $350 billion in the face of Bush's request for $75 billion to pay for the first six months of the war. By the time it gets out of the Repug House-Senate committee whose job is to iron out differences between the two houses of Congress, the new Bush tax cuts will be back up to $739 billion or close to it. And then the Senate will vote for it and defeat the Dems. That's because two of the Repugs who voted with the Dems on a 51-48 vote, Voinovich and Snow, have gone on record as saying they will support whatever comes out of committee. In Washington, that's called "politics." Anywhere else, that would be called "hypocrisy." --Politex, 03.26.03


U.S. AND U.K. PROPOSE "DROP DEAD" DATE OF MARCH 17 TO U.N. "After the Blix U.N. report this morning of limited cooperation by Iraq and a with a desire to extend the armm-twisting period to try to gain a majority, Colin Powell and Jack Straw produced an amended resolution to the U.N., asking the security council to approve a proposal to have Iraq totally disarm by March 17 or face war. However, in his remarks this past week as well as at last night's press conference, Bush has said that he desired a regime change in Iraq, something the U.N. resolution does not demand. Accordingly, even if the U.N. were to reject the U.S.-U.K. proposed resolution, Bush has asserted the desire to go to war on the basis of something the U.N. isn't even considering, the removal of Saddam from power. Clearly, the message Bush is sending to the U.N. is that it may as well vote for the new U.S.-U.K resolution, because even if it doesn't, Bush may very well go to war on grounds that the U.N. isn't even discussing. Thus, Bush continues his attempt to bully the U.N. into submission, an undiplomatic approach to a serious world situation that most other countries will not take kindly and will well remember in future negotiations with the U.S. " 03.07.03
politex |related stories

BRIT TROOPS REPORTEDLY TOLD OF MARCH 17 INVASION " 3.07.03
afp |related stories


I wore my flag tonight. First time. Until now I haven't thought it necessary to display a little metallic icon of patriotism for everyone to see. It was enough to vote, pay my taxes, perform my civic duties, speak my mind, and do my best to raise our kids to be good Americans.

Sometimes I would offer a small prayer of gratitude that I had been born in a country whose institutions sustained me, whose armed forces protected me, and whose ideals inspired me; I offered my heart's affections in return. It no more occurred to me to flaunt the flag on my chest than it did to pin my mother's picture on my lapel to prove her son's love. Mother knew where I stood; so does my country. I even tuck a valentine in my tax returns on April 15.

So what's this doing here? Well, I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows, official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the good housekeeping seal of approval. During the State of the Union, did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag? How come? No administration's patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies. And the flag bestows no immunity from error. When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little red book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread.

But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American. They are people whose ardor for war grows disproportionately to their distance from the fighting. They're in the same league as those swarms of corporate lobbyists wearing flags and prowling Capitol Hill for tax breaks even as they call for more spending on war.

So I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the coalition of the willing (after they first stash the cash.) I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what Bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. And it reminds me that it's not un-American to think that war except in self-defense is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve, and diplomacy. Come to think of it, standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country. --Bill Moyers


WHO IS GEORGE W. BUSH, PART ONE. Since some are beginning to see Bush's war upon Iraq as being just a matter of time, something both Cheney and Rumsfeld have written they wanted since the Clinton administration, and since members of the Bush administration have indicated that they want the war to be seen as a cautionary warning to the world, and since similar hawks have pointed to other countries as possibly being next on the Bush pre-emptive war list, and since Pentagon officials plan to meet next August to consider the creation of more sophisticated nuclear weapons that could be used in such battles and the breaking of relevant U.S. treaties to do so, observers are growing even more concerned about George W. Bush, the man who would trigger such actions.

Gone are the days in this country when folks could seriously portray Bush as simply an addled preppie whose linguistic pratfalls identify him the way Chevy Chase's Saturday Nite Live pratfalls identified Gerald Ford. Gone are the days in Europe when those folks across the big water simply saw Bush as a screwball John Wayne. While many in Texas identified with Bush's tough rancher persona, a man who believes in an eye for an eye and never apologizes for his actions, and while those same citizens approved of his "just folks" semi-illiteracy, political observers assumed Rove would clean up Bush's act when he hit the big stage. But since those traits are an ingrained part of the Bush character, Rove found it easier to just spin the nation's introduction to those Bush characteristics into something positive with, of course, the help of a cooperative media whose campaign reporters, even in the NYT and the WP, generally enlarged Gore's faults and placed those of Bush below the fold. More important, though, Rove used Bush's charm offense of mumbled machismo to hide the more disturbing aspects of his personality through a kind of political rope-a-dope.

By now, with Bush's own words about himself and his responses to events reported in the media, a more disturbing George W. Bush emerges as we move into a period of major crisis. Bush sees himself as a CEO, a businessman president and a cheerleader, someone on the order of Enron's Ken Lay. He sees himself as an autocratic decision maker, one who will neither explain his decisions nor brook disagreement with them. His highest rewards are given to loyalty and secrecy. He sets out problems on the advice of his political expert, Karl Rove, and expects his trusted lieutenants, people like Cheney and Rumsfeld to come up with plans for his approval.

Apart from the questionable view of the world offered by such key idea men as Rove, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, some observers are seriously concerned about the skills Bush brings to his decision making. After a "c" career at Yale and a rejection for admittance to the University of Texas School of Law, he was accepted by the Harvard School of Business, which stressed family, business, government, and academic ties as a guide to success. As a cheerleader for the ideas of others, Bush sees himself as best at selling rather than creating, best at people skills, a role that he previously played prior to Yale while at a prestigious New England prep school. At Yale he became the frat leader for keg parties as well as a member of Skull and Bones, a secret society of future CEO's, government officials, and spooks. In the real world he later failed numerous times as a Texas oil businessman, but was used by those who saw value in the Bush family name. His greatest success before becoming the Governor of Texas was as front man for the Texas Rangers, using his name and connections to get the city to buy up private land for a stadium, pay for it, then give tax breaks to the team, later attending the games and waving to the crowds.

During his campaign for the presidency, Bush was observed to grow incoherent and sometimes angry at the end of stressful days, and his desire for afternoon naps became a running joke. He does not like to read, shows impatience with complicated discussion, prefers to make decisions quickly, and does not dwell on them afterwards. Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder have been said to run in the Bush family among male members, but when Bush was asked about it on Larry King during the campaign, he answered that such questions were brought up by his opponents to discredit him.

One quality that political analysts have always praised in Bush is his ability to stay on message, no matter what. The man is adept at turning his political message into a mantra. Repeating the same thing over and over and over. Never changing his mind, never indicating a need for reconsideration. Unless Rove turns him off, Bush will become obsessive and unmoving with the message, changing his reasons for his decision rather than changing his decision. As the cheerleader of the message, of course, Bush leaves the content and the creation of the political spin (aka: lies and distortions) to others. However, what he invests in the message, including the spin, aside from his endless repetition of it, is his initial decision to run with it, which is based on three elements: his political ideology, his evangelical Christianity, and his ego. (to be continued...) --Politex, 02.23.03


WHO WILL PAY FOR BUSH'S WAR? The Bush deficit of $304 billion, the largest in history as well as the most precipitous, (see above) is pre-budget. With the new Bush budget in place, our deficit is $5.4 trillion over ten years. (Bush is back-loading the deficit so the entire economic penality of what he is doing will not be readily apparent until after he is out of office.) Paul Krugman suggests that we count on that post-budget deficit to increase by around $140 billion evey six months, and that's based upon past behavior and does not count the Bush war against Iraq: "Independent analysts, who take into account the stuff the administration pretends doesn't exist the war, the alternative minimum tax, and so on think we're looking at deficits of 3 or 4 percent of G.D.P., maybe more, for the next decade. And then it will get much worse." We know that a deficit such as that which is predicted could move our country into a depression in ten or so years. But as Bush said as he was leaving Texas for D.C. when told that the state was moving into deficit spending due to his ill-advised tax cuts, "That's not my problem." To see how bad it could get, let's look at a NYT estimate of the cost of a Bush war on Iraq.

Military Deployment = $79 billion
Military Occupation = $105 billion (First 5 years only.)
Humanitarian Aid = $10 billion
Governance = $12 billion
Reconsrtuction/Recovery = $105 billion
Debt/Claims/Reparation = $361 billion
Aid To Allies = $10 billion (Does not include quid pro quo deals)
TOTAL: $682 billion

The Bush budget implies a deficit of $5.4 trillion by the end of ten years, but the addition of a Bush Iraq war deficit of .7 trillion will push it up to $6.1 trillion, and assuming Bush will continue his ill-advised economic plans with a GOP Congress in place, the deficit by the end of his present term in office will reach $6.7 trillion. Bush plans to plunder the taxpayers' money coming in to support Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security to bring down the deficit to $3.2 trillion, but pretty much eliminating the three programs by so doing, which is his ultimate goal, thereby destroying the key economic safety nets nearly all of the poor and most of the middle class have. By then, the government will have to delete 30% of its social programs or put heavy taxation in place to avoid doing so. Given the huge deficit we will still have at that point, "the temptation to print money to pay our debts will become almost irresistible." That being the case, inflation will set in, jobs will be lost, and wages will remain fixed as prices go up. By then, of course, ex-President Bush will be saying, "That's not my problem." It will be ours. --Politex, 02.15.03
(previous editorials)


John Ashcroft has created closely-guarded draft-legislation that extends the powers of the Patriot Act in ways not previously imagined by the average, trusting citizen. PBS calls it "a sweeping expansion of the government's police powers." Secret arrests of U.S. citizens. Government stripping of U.S. citizenship. Government surveillance of citizens without judicial sanction or oversight. Powers so frightening to one insider that he or she leaked the document to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, which, in turn, gave it to PBS to place on its web site. (see below) CPI's Charles Lewis tells PBS's Bill Moyers (see below), "The realm between public and private, between foreign and domestic, all these things have morphed into the citizen against all of this out there this morass of regulations and rules and intrusions. And at the same time they can come after you, get your credit card data, your library records, your Internet searching, everything. And they'll decide whether or not you're a suspect or not. Whether or not they like you. If you're a disfavored political group, or from the wrong ethnic background, then you might become on the radar screen of some folks that you don't know about, you can't find out about, and they can do things. They have this is incredible power." Lewis notes that the Ashcroft draft-legislation was leaked now so that people would know about it and do something to stop it before we're in the middle of a war or a terrorist attack: "I'm afraid they're waiting for a war or something and then they're gonna pop this baby out and then try to jam it through." --Politex, 02.08.03

NOW With Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers-Charles Lewis Interview

Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003

Song Of The Expanded Patriot Act


When Bush Watch first saw the light of day five years ago, there were no Bush web sites, pro or con. Bush was ending his first term as governor of Texas, and he didn't have a web site, either. The State of Texas had a governor's page and that was it. A really drab page with a gunmetal gray background and a few bigraphical facts about Bush with a dorky picture of him, everything stuffed in the upper left-hand corner. Times have changed, both for Bush Watch and Bush. We've grown enormously in readership and site size, and now there are thousands of dorky pictures of Bush throughout the country. During this birthday month our most fervent hope is that next year will be the last year of Bush Watch. With your help and the help of tens of millions of other voters in 2004, Bush Watch and Bush will say goodby to the national scene, and not a moment too soon. --Politex, 02.01.03


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