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Step off, old man!
Tuesday, 14 September 2004
Sorry, Grandma...
After the Bush Administration lied about the cost of the prescription drug benefit and squashed an employee who felt Congress was entitled to know the real cost, this should come as no surprise.

Courtesy of USA Today:

"With a new Medicare drug benefit set to begin in 2006, Americans 65 and older can expect to spend a large and growing share of their Social Security checks on Medicare premiums and expenses, previously undisclosed federal data show.

Information the Bush administration excluded from its 2004 report on the Medicare program shows that a typical 65-year-old can expect to spend 37% of his or her Social Security income on Medicare premiums, co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses in 2006. That share is projected to grow to almost 40% in 2011 and nearly 50% by 2021.

Unless Congress does something to hold down costs confronting seniors, the official projections suggest that health spending will consume virtually the entire amount of Social Security benefits when children born today reach retirement age."


Posted by brettdavey at 2:11 PM EDT
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Run Bill run
I've heard internet rumors that Bill O'Reilly is thinking about running against Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate. Please, Bill, do it! Can you imagine what a thin skinned psycho like O'Reilly will do when he has to answer questions from the media and he can't order his flunkies to unplug their mikes?

I'm betting even money that his head will explode about midway through the campaign.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:49 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 September 2004 1:51 PM EDT
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Shocking double standard
Whew! The jackasses on cable television are really getting themselves worked up because Paul Begala and James Carville might be advising the Kerry campaign while retaining their seats on CNN's "Crossfire."

Excuse me?

Not a peep out of the cable clowns when Joe Scarborough proudly sat on the stage between Bush at a Florida rally. Not a peep out of them when Sean Hannity actually narrated an RNC video during the Republican convention.

Lead Fox crybabay O'Reilly was more upset than everyone. Of course, O'Reilly didn't mention his fellow right wing whores who were doing the same thing for President Bush. I guess when you're bent over in the same position, it just looks normal.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:47 PM EDT
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Bush the Scared Rabbit, Matt the Water Carrier
Did you see Bush yesterday when some reporter had the temerity to ask him why he didn't do anything about the assault weapons ban? GW was on the front porch of a country store and he whirled around to take the question and then he froze when the reporter spoke up. He then skulked away while one of his press agents jumped in front of the camera.

Can't the President answer one goddamned unscripted question? I swear, his face looked just like it did when he sat in the classroom, reading with children, while the country was under attack.

And Matt Lauer turned up the whore-meter to 10 yesterday and today when he interviewed Kitty Kelly about her new Bush book. He admitted he had been called by the White House and boy did he carry their water. Kelly had no chance to explain herself; instead, he hopped all over her, acting like a bad ass. Even so, I was left with the distinct impression that she was a lot smarter and tougher than him.

Everything she said, he jumped right to the response from either the White House or Saudi Arabia to discredit her. "What do you think the White House is going to say?" she asked. I liked when she said the Bush family image is that of a postcard a/la Donna Reed but in reality, there is plenty of the Sopranos mixed in there.

And if she is such a vile liar, why is the "Today" show having her on three mornings in a row?

Posted by brettdavey at 1:31 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 September 2004 1:52 PM EDT
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Monday, 13 September 2004
Is Bush with us or against us?
I hope Kerry has the balls to ask Bush point-blank during the debates, "You went to great lengths to cover for the Saudi government after 9-11, even though the majority of hijackers were Saudi nationals and there was evidence pointing at government support for their actions. Your great family friend Jame Baker even provided legal representation to the Saudis when they were sued by the families of 9-11 victims. Is it your job to protect your friends in the Saudi goverment or to give the American people the truth? To paraphrase what you said three years ago, are you with the American people or against us?"

This is from Eric Alterman's column "Altercation" on www.msnbc.com:

"Even so vociferous a critic of the unelected Bush, Cheney, the Neocons, and the religious right as myself could not bring himself to imagine in that horrific week with the smell of the smoking ruins literally polluting the sky above my house, that America's president, its vice-president and their advisers would be capable of the following:

Bush and company specifically ignored multiple warnings of just such an attack.

Bush and company lied to the heroes of 9/11 about the health and safety implications of breathing the air down at Ground Zero--my own family included.

Bush and company immediately sought to manipulate the grief and anger of the attacks to launch an unnecessary and counterproductive war against Iraq which has resulted in over a thousand needless American military deaths and U.S. soldiers turning into occupiers and in some case torturers.

Bush and company lied to the nation about the responsibility for the attack, trying to pin it on Saddam Hussein who had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Bush and company allowed its friends in the Saudi royal family to hide its relationship to the killers.

Bush and company made only a lackluster effort to capture the killers, allowing many to escape at Tora Bora and pulling agents and resources out of Afghanistan to feed its obsession with Iraq.

Bush and company did everything they could to prevent and later, undermine an investigation of why 9/11 was allowed to happen.

Bush and company continue to ignore their responsibility to protect the nation from another attack, failing to protect its ports, nuclear and chemical plants, and its most vulnerable urban targets and instead, have actually gone out of their way to inspire more such attacks, despite intelligence warnings on this very topic.

Bush and company have destroyed the sympathy our nation enjoyed (and deserved) in the immediate aftermath of the attack and have instead turned that sympathy into global hatred and disgust, further endangering our citizens.

Bush and company have repeatedly manipulated the powerful imagery of the attacks for their own partisan political purposes.

Bush and company have repeatedly cowed the media into ignoring, and when that's impossible, apologizing for, much of the above."

Posted by brettdavey at 1:33 PM EDT
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Define or be defined
Define or be defined is often the whole ball game in the world of presidential politics. Kerry's a flip-flopper, right? Check this out from the Associated Press.

"If he is a flip-flopper, Kerry has company.

_In 2000, Bush argued against new military entanglements and nation building. He's done both in Iraq.

_He opposed a Homeland Security Department, then embraced it.

_He opposed creation of an independent Sept. 11 commission, then supported it. He first refused to speak to its members, then agreed only if Vice President Dick Cheney came with him.

_Bush argued for free trade, then imposed three-year tariffs on steel imports in 2002, only to withdraw them after 21 months.

_Last month, he said he doubted the war on terror could be won, then reversed himself to say it could and would.

_A week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush said he wanted Osama bin Laden "dead or alive." But he told reporters six months later, "I truly am not that concerned about him." He did not mention bin Laden in his hour-long convention acceptance speech.

"I'm a war president," Bush told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Feb. 8. But in a July 20 speech in Iowa, he said: "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."

Bush keeps revising his Iraq war rationale: The need to seize Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction until none were found; liberating the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator; fighting terrorists in Iraq not at home; spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. Now it's a safer America and a safer world.

"No matter how many times Senator Kerry flip-flops, we were right to make America safer by removing Saddam Hussein from power," he said last week in Missouri.

Bush has changed his positions on new Clean Air Act restrictions, protecting the Social Security surplus, tobacco subsidies, the level of assistance to help combat AIDs in Africa, campaign finance overhaul and whether to negotiate with North Korean officials....

Posted by brettdavey at 8:42 AM EDT
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Sunday, 12 September 2004
Don't have an opinion
If you want to become President, you should avoid having an opinion on anything until you run for President. Here's what I base this on: Kerry volunteered for Vietnam even though he had misgivings about it. Bush was for the Vietnam War but wussed out so he wouldn't have to go. Kerry saw how wrong the war was so came back and tried to do something about it. Bad move because he opened himself up to a load of criticism.

Kerry should have done like Bush and wallowed around as a failure in everything he did for the next 15 years. Of course, Kerry didn't have the family name to trade off of, but he could have done just fine. Instead, he chose to run for office to help average people live better lives. What the hell was he thinking?

Posted by brettdavey at 11:25 AM EDT
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Nothing else matters
I'm not too concerned about national polls. It's just more important to watch the electoral map and I think Kerry can pull that off.

That is, if the election is on the up-and-up.

How the election might be stolen or manipulated is the topic of discussion from www.inthesetimes.com.

"First is the likelihood of an October surprise. Bush's brain, Karl Rove, is widely believed to have a nasty trick or two up his sleeve. Pakistan may have trapped Osama bin Laden in an Afghan cave and could be planning to produce him just before November 2--three years after our leader promised to bring him in "dead or alive." A few months ago, Mideast press reports warned that trucks hired by the United States were shipping weapons of mass destruction into Iraq--for timely discovery. And the way has been prepared to postpone the election if we suffer another terror attack.

Second, 98 million U.S. ballots will go into computers that could be used to falsify the results--with no paper record available for recounts.

There is some evidence that voting machines turned elections in Georgia and Minnesota in 2002. A week before the Georgia vote, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed popular Democratic Sen. Max Cleland ahead by 5 points. He lost to rabid rightist Saxby Chambliss by 7 points--an inexplicable 12-point swing. Georgia was the first state to use electronic voting devices almost exclusively. In Minnesota, Sen. Paul Wellstone was a shoo-in for reelection when he died in a plane crash. Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale replaced him and led significantly just days before the election, but Republican Norm Coleman won by an unexpected 11 points on Election Day.

With more states using electronic machines lacking paper records and more Republican electoral tomfoolery afoot in Florida this year, Kerry may need a strong turnout in the honestly counted states to prevail."

All of that is scary and of course, you can't put it beyond the thugs in charge to give the collective finger to the US populace. Let's repeat: all they care about is maintaining their power. Nothing else matters.


Posted by brettdavey at 11:22 AM EDT
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Did they know?
Why doesn't anyone care that the Bush Administration disregarded the Geneva Convention in abusing prisoners and actually hiding them from the International Red Cross. This really must comfort our troops knowing that they are also subject to this type of treatment now. And don't tell me a few lower level types were responsible for this.

This is from today's Washington Post about the upcoming Seymour Hersch book.

"Senior military and national security officials in the Bush administration were repeatedly warned by subordinates in 2002 and 2003 that prisoners in military custody were being abused, according to a new book by a prominent journalist.

Seymour M. Hersh, a writer for The New Yorker magazine who earlier this year was among the first to disclose details of the abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, makes the charges in his book "Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib" (HarperCollins), which is being released Monday. The book draws on the articles he has written about the campaign against terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hersh asserts that a CIA analyst who visited the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the late summer of 2002 filed a report of abuses there that drew the attention of Gen. John A. Gordon, the deputy to Condoleezza Rice, the White House national security adviser. But when Gordon called the matter to her attention and she discussed it with other senior officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, no significant change resulted. Hersh's account is based on anonymous sources, some of them secondhand, and could not be independently verified.

Hersh also says that a military officer involved in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq learned of the abuses at Abu Ghraib in November and reported it to two of his superiors, Gen. John P. Abizaid, the regional commander, and his deputy, Lt. Gen. Lance Smith.

"I said there are systematic abuses going on in the prisons," the unnamed officer is quoted as telling Hersh. "Abizaid didn't say a thing. He looked at me -- beyond me, as if to say, `Move on. I don't want to touch this.'"

Hersh also reports that FBI agents complained to their superiors about abuses at Guantanamo, as did a military lawyer, and that these complaints, too, were relayed to the Pentagon.

Hersh's thesis is that "the roots of the Abu Ghraib scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists" who have been charged so far, "but in the reliance of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on secret operations and the use of coercion -- and eye-for-eye retribution -- in fighting terrorism."

In particular, Hersh has reported that a secret program to capture and interrogate terrorists led to the abuse of prisoners.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Pentagon said: "Based on media inquiries, it appears that Seymour Hersh's upcoming book apparently contains many of the numerous unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies which he has made in the past based upon unnamed sources."

The statement added that several investigations so far "have determined that no responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have authorized or condoned the abuses seen at Abu Ghraib."

The Pentagon's statement is a classic non-denial denial. While there may not have been an official program that was OK'd, it seems most likely that the higher-ups knew what was going on.

Posted by brettdavey at 11:18 AM EDT
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Friday, 10 September 2004
The roundup
I've had a really crazy week so I haven't posted much. Here's a little roundup as we head into the weekend.

* Polls: If you're a Kerry supporter, the polls over the last couple weeks might have you in a tizzy. Don't worry. This is Bush's bounce following the convention. It's doubtful his lead will get any higher. There are a variety of polls out; the ones that give Bush a five point lead or less are probably on target. Anway, national polls don't mean that much, not when the election will come down to what happens in fewer than 10 states. There's a great site called www.electoral-vote.com that updates where the race is electorally, according to the latest polls. Check it out.

* Bush's Guard service: I can't get too worked up about the Bush Guard revelations. Let's see: a rich, connected kid used his family's name to get him out of going to Vietnam? Shocking. Here's what's essential in this discussion. A professor of Bush's says the President supported the Vietnam War. At the same time, he did everything he could to avoid going. Kerry, on the other hand, was conflicted about the war, but volunteered to go. That's all you need to know. As for the Bush documents being forgeries, let's just agree on this: Dan Bartlett and the White House communications staff never questioned what was contained in the memos as being true. Their interviews were funny: they never disputed the facts; they just kept saying the whole thing was dirty politics.

* The media: Dreadful. Really abysmal. I want to throw up everytime I hear some media joker lament the lack of substance in the election. If you ass clowns in the media did any actual reporting, maybe that would change. Just imagine if the New York Times sent its fashion editor to cover a baseball game. The story might read, "The New York Yankess baseball team, dressed in smashing pinstripes, seemed to be sending a message to the rest of the league that baggy uniforms are in." You probably wouldn't learn until the 15th paragraph whether the Yanks won. It's the same thing with general political reporters. They invariably focus on the personalities or "he said-she said" conflicts that invariably rise during campaigns. Why don't they have reporters who are experts in health care or terrorism covering these issues? Laziness. That's all it is. And not so incidentally, this plays right into the Repugs' hands. Simply put: they don't want anyone to analyze their record which is quite possibly the worst in modern history.

* Cheney's comments: Fear. That's all they have to sell. Someone put it best by asking if FDR would have taken such delight in exploiting Pearl Harbor in a run for President. Of course not, but Bush doesn't care because he obviously sees the worst terror attack in US history, which took place under his watch, as the highlight of his first term.

Posted by brettdavey at 10:38 PM EDT
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