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August, 2009

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Another Broken Promise: Obama Ignores "Bush's Lawless Behavior" (August 26, 2009) , NYT ED

...Mr. Obama and his political advisers continue to shrink from the broad investigation of the full range of his predecessor’s trampling on human rights, civil liberties and judicial safeguards that would allow this country to make sure this sordid history [of]...lawless and morally repugnant detention behind [us] for good.

Indeed, the administration seemed reluctant to make public the C.I.A. report, which was released under a court order and was heavily censored, with whole pages blacked out — including the four pages of recommendations. Before Mr. Holder announced his investigation, the White House made it clear that it was unhappy with his decision — repeating its sadly familiar line about “looking forward, not backward.”

Attorney General...Holder displayed real courage and integrity in ordering the investigation. But he stressed that it was limited to the specific interrogations outlined in the C.I.A. report, and did not amount to a full-blown criminal investigation of the Bush-era detention policies.

The interrogations are certainly worthy of criminal investigation.... A long-secret report written by the CIA's inspector general in 2004 and released on Monday...describes objectionable and cruel practices well beyond waterboarding. They included threatening a detainee’s family members with sexual assault and threatening to kill another’s children; the staging of mock executions; and repeatedly blocking a prisoner’s carotid artery until he began to faint.

The report said the interrogations generally followed guidelines approved by Mr. Bush’s Justice Department, which dedicated itself to finding ways to authorize abuse and evade legal accountability. But it offered a scathing condemnation of those guidelines, which it said diverged “sharply” from the practices of military and police interrogators, and the positions of pretty much everyone else, including the State Department, Congress, other Western governments and human rights groups.

The inspector general said that, in some cases, interrogations exceeded even the Bush Justice Department’s shockingly lax standards. The report offers one more compelling reason for a far broader inquiry into Mr. Bush’s lawless behavior. It is possible to sympathize with Mr. Obama’s desire to avoid a politically fraught investigation. But the need to set this nation back under the rule of law is no less urgent than it was when he promised to do so in his campaign.

That will not be accomplished by investigating individual interrogators. It will require a fearless airing of how the orders were issued to those men, and who gave them. Only by making public officials accountable under the law can Americans be confident that future presidents will not feel free to break it the way Mr. Bush did.

Ridge Quit, Suspected Bushie Pressure To Raise Death Threat Was Political (August 21, 2009) , NYT

Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.

After Osama bin Laden released a threatening videotape four days before the election, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pushed Mr. Ridge to elevate the public threat posture but he refused, according to the book. Mr. Ridge calls it a “dramatic and inconceivable” event that “proved most troublesome for all of us in the department.”

The provocative accusation provides fresh ammunition for critics who have accused the Bush administration of politicizing national security. Mr. Bush and his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, were locked in a tight race heading into that final weekend....

“There was absolutely no support for that position within our department. None,” he writes. “I wondered, ‘Is this about security or politics?’ Post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president’s approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level.” Mr. Ridge said that confirmed for him his decision to resign the next month....

Darth Cheney Sees His First Term Puppet As A Second Term Wimp (August 13, 2009) , WashPost

"In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him," said a participant in [a] recent gathering, describing Cheney's [comments]. "He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney's advice. He'd showed an independence that Cheney didn't see coming. It was clear that Cheney's doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times -- never apologize, never explain -- and Bush moved toward the conciliatory."...There is a sting in Cheney's critique, because he views concessions to public sentiment as moral weakness. After years of praising Bush as a man of resolve, Cheney now intimates that the former president turned out to be more like an ordinary politician in the end.

Bush Leads Worst Calls Of The Financial Crisis (August 8, 2009) , HuffPost

Note: HuffPost has selected the worst calls made during the financial crisis, and the web site's readers have voted on the top ten. For our money, what's left of it afer the Bush financial meltdown, the worst calls can be ranked on the basis of who said them. --Politex

1. George W. Bush: Our financial system "is basically sound."

2. Sen. John McCain: "The fundamentals of our economy are strong."

3. Ex-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson: "I don't believe more regulation is the answer." 4. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke: The subprime crisis was "contained."

5. Sen. Chris Dodd: "Fannie and Freddie are very solid institutions."

6. Rep. Barney Frank: Fannie and Freddie are "not in danger of going under."

7. Daniel Mudd, former Fannie Mae CEO: A government takeover was "very unlikely."

8. Former AIG CEO Joseph Cassano: "It's hard for us to see.. losing $1 on any of those transactions."

9. Lloyd Blankfein, CEO, Goldman Sachs: "...people are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."

10. Jim Cramer: Bear Stearns "is fine...don't move your money."

Drugs: Bush--not Obama--Pioneered Socialized Medicine in U.S. (August 6, 2009) , The Hill

"It was George W. Bush that passed the largest socialized expansion of our government in my lifetime," Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) argued in an interview with a Fox affiliate in Arkansas. "It was called Medicare Part D prescription drug program. The 10 year period for it was well over a trillion dollars." He said that program exceeds the cost of the healthcare reform bill now before the House. "The price tag is now under a trillion. That is over 10 years," Ross said. "That is less money than what George W. Bush passed." Ross's words are a thinly-veiled shot at Republicans who argue that Obama's healthcare plans would result in a massive expansion of government, and create a "government-run" healthcare system.

Song ID? Forget It: Bush-Backing Clear Channel Radio Charged Musicians (August 4, 2009) , Nancy Sinatra

A PROUD DAY FOR AMERICA: OUR FIRST NON-AMERICAN PRESIDENT! (August 3, 2009) , Jerry Politex, JoeBama Watch

Bush, Paulson, and Greenspan, The Three Stooges Of The Economic Meltdown (7/21/09), Michiko Kakutani, book reviewer

"Under Bush's Authority": Cheney Directed TWO Secret Assassination Teams (7/16/09), Benjamin Sarlin/Seymour Hersh

Bush Supremes' Selection And His Gut Decisions Show GOP Irrationality (7/15/09), Dowd

Bush "Violation" Killing America's Lakes, Rivers Upheld By His Supreme Ct. (6/23/09), NYT

Bush Attempts to Re-Write History, Blames Obama For Bush Mistakes, Huffington (June 19, 2009)

Bush, Rice Lied To the American People
Secret Deal With Israelis Contradicts Public Policy
(June 4, 2009)

Bush, Obama, Senate Defeat Constitution In Wiretapping Case (June 4, 2009)

Readers' Poll: Do You Agree With Bush's Explanation Re Regulation? (May 30, 2009)

Groundhog Day: Bush a Tragic Figure, Still Denies His Incompetence (May 29, 2009)

How Bush Used Pliant Mainstream Media To Push War Lies (May 24, 2009)

How Cheney Runs the New "White House Boy Toy" (May 20, 2009)

Bush Saw Iraq As Holy War, But What About Obama in Afghanistan? (May 19, 2009)

Bush/Cheney Shouldn't Speak For GOP, Unless They Want To Confess (May 16, 2009)

"President" Cheney Speaks For Puppet Bush Administration (May 12, 2009)

Mailbag (May 6, 2009)

...As for your attack on socialism, I recently read this comment in the NYT:

"There is another historical base to the Dutch social-welfare system, which curiously has been overlooked by American conservatives in their insistence on seeing such a system as a threat to their values. It is rooted in religion. 'These were deeply religious people, who had a real commitment to looking after the poor,” Mak said of his ancestors. 'They built orphanages and hospitals. The churches had a system of relief, which eventually was taken over by the state.' So Americans should get over ‘socialism. This system developed not after Karl Marx, but after Martin Luther and Francis of Assisi.' 'Socialism' is then something of a straw man...rather than political ideology, religious values and a tradition of cooperation are what lie beneath the modern social-welfare system." --Jerry Politex

Bush News

Judge OKs probe of torture complaint against Bush officials
Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush Officials
How Close the Bush Bullet: We've Been Living Under a Dictatorship
Yoo, Bush and The Subversion of Liberty Conspiracy, 2001-2008
A Major Difference Between Conservatives and Progressives: Glorification of Leader. See Bush
The Morning After Pill Conspiracy: Bush Politicized FDA
Under Bush: Labor Agency Is Failing Workers, Report Says
E.P.A. Plans Closer Review of Mountaintop Mining Permits
Federal judge ordered CIA to produce unedited summaries of purged torture docs
Turley: Cheney war crimes probe would be 'shortest in history'
Former Powell chief: Cheney is 'dangerous'
Stewart to Cheney: Drink a cup of 'shut the f**k up'

Bush Farewell: Declares "Peace of Mind to Seniors" Creates Perscription Drug Nightmare

Mailbag (3): Hagiographer Claims Bush Not Accountable For Economy

Bush Legacy Team Accelerates Drive to Scrub History of Prez Failures

Mailbag (2): Hagiographer Claims Bush, Alone, Could Not Have Destroyed 9 Trillion Economy

Mailbag (1): Hagiographer Provides Rationale For Bush Watch to Continue

Cheerleader Bush Stiffs President Cheney At the Last Minute, Dowd

Editorial: Bush Watch to Continue

Bush Leaves Smiling Because He Won, Jerry Politex



The Bush Administration: Legacy of Liars, Politex

Obama Slams Bush Administration in Inaguration Speech (excerpts)

DON'T SAY "FAREWELL," GEORGE, JUST LEAVE, Jerry Politex and Gail Collins

BUSH WATCH MAILBAG: Thank you for the sanity :) Thank you for BUSH WATCH.  It has proven to be a terrific resource of information over the last few years.  I have always relied upon it to provide insight and accuracy compared to what is provided on the 6:00 news. Now that Obama is looking like he will win today I feel like my blood pressure will go back to normal.   Just imagine the rest of the world will look fondly upon us again. --Eric Robinson

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Bush And The Carlyle Group
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