In case you needed a reason to vote against Bush, here are 100 facts, backed up with sources. This is essentially a reprint of the “article” by Judd Legum on theNation.com which can be obtained as a PDF for easy dispersal. My comments on each are in italic. (click below for the full posting - it was a little too long for the front page)
1. The Bush Administration has spent more than $140 billion dollars in a war of choice in Iraq. source: American Progress
War of choice? We were attacked… but not by Iraqis. Saddam, in fact, had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden (among other reasons, because Osama backed people trying to unseat Saddam).
This, I think, is unconscionable. What’s more, Bush blames Kerry for voting against funding for these things, however this vote was more than a year after the troops arrived in Iraq. Kerry’s defense is that he had first proposed an identical bill that funded the supplies by repealing the tax cuts, but the Republicans would have none of it and easily quashed Kerry’s bill. Then they proposed simply going into debt to finance those supplies, which is the bill that Kerry voted against, because he didn’t want to go into debt, and wanted to get a better way to finance the supplies. Note that Kerry’s bill came first.
3. The Bush Administration ignored estimates from Gen. Eric Shinseki that several hundred thousand troops would be required to secure Iraq. source: PBS
Eh. While it turns out Shinseki was correct, he’s not the only general in the armed forces, nor the most influential one (obviously).
4. Vice President Cheney said Americans “will, in fact, be greeted as liberators” in Iraq. source: The Washington Post
What was he smoking, and where can I get some?
5. During the Bush Administration’s war in Iraq, more than 1,000 US troops have lost their lives and more than 7,000 have been injured. source: globalsecurity.org
Yes it’s a lot better than WWII, but then again, Saddam and the insurgent forces aren’t exactly successfully taking over the world.
6. In May 2003, President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit, stood under a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished,” and triumphantly announced that major combat operations were over in Iraq. Asked if he had any regrets about the stunt, Bush said he would do it all over again. source: Yahoo News
Hey, it is fun to play dress-up. It showed a lot of hubris, but this is nothing new. Basically: I don’t care.
7. Vice President Cheney said that Iraq was “the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11.” The bipartisan 9/11 Commission found that Iraq had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks and no collaborative operational relationship with Al Qaeda. source: MSNBC 9-11 Commission
There’s something seriously wrong with him.
8. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that high-strength aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs,” warning “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” The government’s top nuclear scientists had told the Administration the tubes were “too narrow, too heavy, too long” to be of use in developing nuclear weapons and could be used for other purposes. source: New York Times
They needed to get people worried in order to get them to support the invasion. They may have twisted the facts, and certainly presented only the view of the facts that would support their case, but… is this really surprising? It would only be damnable if they knew their position to be untrue.
9. The Bush Administration has spent just $1.1 billion of the $18.4 billion Congress approved for Iraqi reconstruction. source: USA Today
Two years of reconstruction later… what’s taking so long? Mitigating factor: the insurgency. Why spend money to reconstruct something that they’re gonna blow up again anyway. However, if this mitigating factor is to be believed as the cause, that means the insurgency has been FAR more effective than we’ve previously been led to believe.
10. According to the Administration’s handpicked weapon’s inspector, Charles Duelfer, there is “no evidence that Hussein had passed illicit weapons material to al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, or had any intent to do so.” After the release of the report, Bush continued to insist, “There was a risk—a real risk—that Saddam Hussein would pass weapons, or materials, or information to terrorist networks.” source: New York Times Whitehouse press release
I would like to think that the President just knows something we don’t know… but it sure looks like he’s just repeating the official position and not actually responding to that little thing we like to call “reality.”
11. According to Duelfer, the UN inspections regime put an “economic strangle hold” on Hussein that prevented him from developing a WMD program for more than twelve years. source: Los Angeles Times
AND Iraq was in the process of trying to get out from under the sanctions (for obvious reasons) by, instead of capitulating to foreign interests and appearing weak, gaming the system by using cheap oil as a lever. So far, Hussein hadn’t gotten much in terms of military equipment, but he was trying very hard. Time to invade!
12. After receiving a memo from the CIA in August 2001 titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack America,” President Bush continued his monthlong vacation. source: CNN.com
Unconscienable. When something like that alert, about someone the CIA has been seriously upset about for a while, crosses your desk, you do whatever is necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen. Why? If the report is wrong, then you’ve lost time better spent Bass fishing. If the report is right, then you’ve saved thousands of lives.
13. The Bush Administration failed to commit enough troops to capture Osama bin Laden when US forces had him cornered in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in November 2001. Instead, they relied on local warlords. source: csmonitor.com
When you want something done right, like capturing the perpetrator of the largest mass murder of Americans in history and the second foreign attack on sovereign US soil ever, do it yourself. Preventing further terrorism is job #1. Capturing Osama is job #2. This was a major flub.
14. The Bush Administration secured less nuclear material from sites around the world vulnerable to terrorists in the two years after 9/11 than were secured in the two years before 9/11. source: nti.org
Possible reason? Perhaps there was less nuclear material to secure. Fat chance, though. What are they doing?
15. The Bush Administration underfunded Nunn-Lugar—the program intended to keep the former Soviet Union’s nuclear legacy out of the hands of terrorists and rogue states—by $45.5 million. source: armscontrol.org
I can’t think of a single plausible reason for this oversight. When you’re in the middle of a war on terror, you look over your list of current anti-terrorism efforts, you make sure they’re going to work, and then you make them work, by giving them the resources they need. Period. Anything else is irresponsible, which is precisely what is going on here.
16. The Bush Administration has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden’s and Saddam Hussein’s money. source: Associated Press
Cuba is irrelevant. Castro is irrelevant. This is ridiculous. … on the other hand, government waste through lack of coordination is old news. The embargo violation people were probably budgeted for years ago, while the terrorism fighting is new. But so? 3,000+ dead Americans all say: Do whatever it takes. which means “this is now job one, the other crap is irrelevant!”
17. According to Congressional Research Service data, the Bush Administration has underfunded security at the nation’s ports by more than $1 billion for fiscal year 2005. source: American Progress
I just don’t understand this. WE’RE FIGHTING TERRORISTS, DAMMIT! That means, you know, doing whatever you can to thwart them. This? This is not thwarting.
18. The Bush Administration did not devote the resources necessary to prevent a resurgence in the production of poppies, the raw material used to create heroin, in Afghanistan—creating a potent new source of financing for terrorists. source: Pakistan Tribune
Uh, so what? We aren’t preventing them from buying lotto tickets either. Look at it this way, we haven’t crushed clothing sales in Afghanistan either, but the terrorists could easily set up shop as tailors and rake in the dough. Let’s be realistic here. If there’s one thing that funds terrorism, it’s oil. Either address that (take out the Saudis) or let’s not talk about “potential” funding.
19. Vice President Cheney told voters that unless they elect George Bush in November, “we’ll get hit again” by terrorists. source: Washington Post
He’s a scaremonger, so what?
20. Even though an Al Qaeda training manual suggests terrorists come to the United States and buy assault weapons, the Bush Administration did nothing to prevent the expiration of the ban. source: sfgate.com
I thought the manual was amended after the ban’s expiration, but it doesn’t really matter. Let’s be realistic, assault weapons were still being sold in the US, legally and illegally. The ban was on very particular models, so changing the grip or the sight or any of a number of minor cosmetic details would make a banned weapon perfectly legal. Extending the ban would have been a more symbolic gesture than anything else.
21. Despite repeated calls for reinforcements, there are fewer experienced CIA agents assigned to the unit dealing with Osama bin Laden now than there were before 9/11. source: New York Times
You gotta be kidding me. How are these guys planning this war on terrorism, with a Ouidja Board?
22. Before 9/11, John Ashcroft proposed slashing counterterrorism funding by 23 percent. source: americanprogress.org
He’s a short-sighted, stupid man. Big news. He shouldn’t have gotten into office to begin with.
23. Between January 20, 2001, and September 10, 2001, the Bush Administration publicly mentioned Al Qaeda one time. source: commondreams.org
Actions are more important than words. I don’t care if Bush never talked about Al Qaeda publicly. This is really unimportant. What matters is whether he actually did anything about them.
24. The Bush Administration granted the 9/11 Commission $3 million to investigate the September 11 attacks and $50 million to the commission that investigated the Columbia space shuttle crash. source: commondreams.org
Wow. On the one hand, Attack on US Soil #2, and we did nothing? On the flip side, I suppose, it was pretty clear what happened, and the 9-11 Commission did a pretty good job with what they got, plus the Columbia space shuttle crash was a bit more involved—there were pieces everywhere, and it was highly technical. I think this is a minor point, at best.
25. More than three years after 9/11, just 5 percent of all cargo—including cargo transported on passenger planes—is screened. source: commondreams.org
Yeah, this is not good. Especially now that everybody knows it. Admittedly, the 9/11 terrorists didn’t use the cargo hold to transport bombs… but they could have. We have to think outside the box here (or inside the box, rather). What’s the point of giving up civil liberties to things like the PATRIOT Act if we can’t even get the stuff that doesn’t infringe upon our liberties?
26. During the Bush Administration, North Korea quadrupled its suspected nuclear arsenal from two to eight weapons. source: New York Times
So, essentially, now they can blow up all of the major cities on California’s coast, instead of just the two big ones. But, realistically, the North Koreans were gonna do that anyway, and nothing short of an invasion was gonna stop them. They have been playing a game with the world as they work their way to this point for a long time.
27. The Bush Administration has openly opposed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, undermining nuclear nonproliferation efforts. source: commondreams.org
Well, the reason they opposed it was because they want to restart nuclear development in America. On the surface, doing so seems like a bad idea, particularly when you want to continue decreasing the world’s collection of nuclear bombs. But America is the foremost nuclear power, and we need people who know how these bombs work in a very hands-on way. We need to have the best-trained people, and the best equipment. Unfortunately, the people who made the nuclear weapons are getting older and older (WWII was a long time ago), the current technology is aging (and failing) and we can’t let that happen. While nuclear nonproliferation is a very important goal, we need to remain the best and most knowledgeable nuclear experts in the world (no sense in allowing some other nation to discover a method to blow up a continent with a single bomb first, for example), and the only way we can do that is to get our own scientists involved.
28. The Bush Administration has spent $7 billion this year—and plans to spend $10 billion next year—for a missile defense system that has never worked in a test that wasn’t rigged. source: www.gao.gov/new.items/d04409.pdf Los Angeles Times
Good for them. Nobody yet has the capability to really fire ballistic missiles at us, but with North Korea aiming for it, let’s not let them have the first shot, shall we? Plus, this is the same program that originally developed the Patriot Missile concept, which has served us and our allies very well (remember the SCUD missiles sent by Hussein that Israel handily knocked out of the sky?). Plus, nothing works right at first. We’ll get it right eventually.
29. The Bush Administration underfunded the needs of the nation’s first responders by $98 billion, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study. source: National Defense Magazine
That’s just wrong. IF there was another terrorist attack, who would be the first to help the victims? That’s right, the first responders: the firemen, policemen, and so forth. If 9/11 proved nothing else, it’s that firefighters are worth their weight in gold.
Cronyism and Corruption
30. The Bush Administration awarded a multibillion-dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton—a company that still pays Vice President Cheney hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation each year (Cheney also has Halliburton stock options). The company then repeatedly overcharged the military for services, accepted kickbacks from subcontractors and served troops dirty food. source: The Washington Post The Tapei Times BBC News
Now, a certain amount of hanky-panky is going to go on, because people are human. However, things like “no-bid contracts” are more ripe for it than regular bid contracts, and the association with Cheney makes the activity, not to mention the no-bid contract, even more questionable.
31. The Bush Administration told Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan about plans to go to war with Iraq before telling Secretary of State Colin Powell. source: detnews.com
This just shows how completely unorganized they are. That, or indicates that Bush doesn’t think highly of his Secretary of State (which is silly, since he hired him). Disorganization is not something I want in my president.
32. The Bush Administration relentlessly pushed an energy bill containing $23.5 billion in corporate tax breaks, much of which would have benefited major campaign contributors. source: taxpayer.net Washington Post
Corruption? What corruption? The “energy bill” is a farce, and we all know it. The EnergyStar program did more to improve the status of America’s energy grid, per dollar, and it got underfunded.
33. The Bush Administration paid Iraqi-exile and neocon darling Ahmad Chalabi $400,000 a month for intelligence, including fabricated claims about Iraqi WMD. It continued to pay him for months after discovering that he was providing inaccurate information. source: MSNBC
The thing about this is that I can’t think of a good reason why they’d do it that makes any sense. I mean, before we discovered he was just making it up, why were we relying on him so heavily? That’s what the CIA is there for. Afterwards? That’s just dumb. The only reason I can think of is that they liked what he was saying, and it bolstered their case for war.
34. The Bush Administration installed as top officials more than 100 former lobbyists, attorneys or spokespeople for the industries they oversee. source: commondreams.org
I’ve been told, though I don’t know that I believe it, that this is a reasonably standard practice. If so, it’s a bad practice.
35. The Bush Administration let disgraced Enron CEO Ken Lay—a close friend of President Bush—help write its energy policy. source: MSNBC
Well, let’s think about this. The president wants to write an energy policy. So he thinks of who he knows that knows a lot about energy; he thinks of a couple people, and has them give him advice about what the policy should be. Makes sense so far. It was probably poor judgment to go with someone who’d been disgraced the way Ken Lay had been, but it’s certainly understandable, given that he was a close friend. My only criticism? Bush is friends with a real scumbag.
36. Top Bush Administration officials accepted $127,600 in jewelry and other presents from the Saudi royal family in 2003, including diamond-and-sapphire jewelry valued at $95,500 for First Lady Laura Bush. source: Seattle Times
So? Presidents get presents all the time from other countries. These are pretty expensive presents, and the Saudis are scum, but let’s be realistic; the major Saudi families are all involved with the Bush family in several business ventures, and Saudi Arabia is an ally. At the same time, we’re using their airspace for launching attacks in Iraq. If they sent a gift, even a very expensive one, what was Bush supposed to do, refuse it?
37. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge awarded lucrative contracts to several companies in which he is an investor, including Microsoft, GE, Sprint, Pfizer and Oracle. source: cq.com
That’s just… astonishingly self-serving. No question, that’s abuse of power if ever there was one. He’s supposed to serve us, not himself.
38. President Bush used images of firefighters carrying flag-draped coffins through the rubble of the World Trade Center to score political points in a campaign advertisement. source: The Washington Post
So? Okay, so, some of the bereaved may not appreciate it, but under normal circumstances those are public images, and it’s not as if Bush was being particularly disrespectful. Crass, perhaps, but I’ve seen worse.
39. President Bush’s top economic adviser, Greg Mankiw, said the outsourcing of American jobs abroad was “a plus for the economy in the long run.” source: CBS News
And many economists agree. Not a very popular thing to say, but oh well.
And that takes talent. To address the naysayers, yes, a lot of that was due to the economy not doing as well as we would like, and defense spending. Also, as factcheck.org has pointed out, that’s a projected surplus (but, given that we’d had real surpluses of up to $500 billion all of the three years before, it’s not totally unreasonable). But at the same time we had a tax cut. If we really needed the money, what were we doing decreasing revenues?
41. The Bush Administration implemented regulations that made millions of workers ineligible for overtime pay. source: epinet.org
That really wasn’t very nice of them. But if that’s the worst you have to say about an administration, it’s hardly an indictment.
42. The Bush Administration has crippled state budgets by underfunding federal mandates by $175 billion. source: cbpp.org
While this is nothing new, the scale is pretty bad. Unfunded mandates stink, and they always have. These are pretty large unfunded mandates, particularly for a time of economic trouble. Bad government, no cookie.
43. President Bush is the first President since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs—around 800,000—over a four-year term. source: The Guardian
You can look at this as a matter of timing, but the key is not how many jobs were lost, the key is that jobs were lost. Gross mismanagement, or simply a bad economic recession that was gonna happen regardless? Probably more the latter.
44. The Bush Administration gave Accenture a multibillion-dollar border control contract even though the company moved its operations to Bermuda to avoid paying taxes. source: The New York Times cantonrep.com
Uy. Why, do you suppose? The only reason I can think of is that they simply didn’t know. But the criticism is really one based on our outrage that Accenture would do such a thing, and it wouldn’t matter if people stopped patronizing the company for moving to Bermuda. Obviously, nobody cares enough.
45. In 2000, candidate George W. Bush said “the vast majority of my tax cuts go to the bottom end of the spectrum.” He passed the tax cuts, but the top 20 percent of earners received 68 percent of the benefits. source: cbpp.org vote-smart.org
George can’t do math. Surprise! Rich people donate more money to political campaigns. Surprise! Politicians like people who help them win. Surprise!
46. In 2000, candidate George W. Bush promised to pay down the national debt to a historically low level. As of September 30, the national debt stood at $7,379,052,696,330.32, a record high. source: www.georgebush.com Bureau of the Public Debt
And conservatives will tell you that as a percentage of the GDP, it is not a record high. But whether or not it’s a record high doesn’t really matter so much as the broken promise and the fact that it is awfully high.
47. As major corporate scandals rocked the nation’s economy, the Bush Administration reduced the enforcement of corporate tax law—conducting fewer audits, imposing fewer penalties, pursuing fewer prosecutions and making virtually no effort to prosecute corporate tax crimes. source: iht.com
Sheesh. In one sense, it’d be like closing the barn doors after the cows have left, but… even so… that’s pretty bad.
48. The Bush Administration increased tax audits for the working poor. source: theolympian.com
Combine this with #47 and you’ve got to start wondering if he’s got some sort of vendetta against folks who don’t have much money. Surely there’s a less conspiracy-theory explanation, but darned if I can’t think of one.
He learned from the best: his dad. Read his lips, Social Security is safe. Riiiiight.
50. The Bush Administration proposed slashing funding for the largest federal public housing program, putting 2 million families in danger of losing their housing. source: San Francisco Examiner
Why would he do that?
51. The Bush Administration did nothing to prevent the minimum wage from falling to an inflation-adjusted fifty-year low. source: Los Angeles Times
Think of it as intentionally lowering the minimum wage (allowing it to lower itself, see?). In a recovering economy, this may not be a bad thing. But it sure doesn’t make folks who make minimum wage very happy.
52. The Bush Administration underfunded the No Child Left Behind Act by $9.4 billion. source: nwitimes.com
On the one hand, I think NCLB was a lousy law. On the other hand, it supposedly was a way to get more money to the schools. Turns out, no so much with the money, moreso with the just lousy. I want schools to get more money, and Bush doesn’t.
53. In 2000, candidate George W. Bush promised to increase the maximum federal scholarship, or Pell Grant, by 50 percent. Instead, each year he has been in office he has frozen or cut the maximum scholarship amount. source: edworkforce.house.gov
Hard to argue. It is, indeed, a broken promise.
54. The Bush Administration’s Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, called the National Education Association—a union of teachers—a “terrorist organization.” source: CNN.com
Nutjub. Get him out of office.
55. The Bush Administration, in violation of the law, refused to allow Medicare actuary Richard Foster to tell members of Congress the actual cost of their Medicare bill. Instead, they repeated a figure they knew was $100 billion too low. source: Washington Post realcities.com
Liars, eh? Yeah, pretty much. Try to prove something, though…
56. The nonpartisan GAO concluded the Bush Administration created illegal, covert propaganda—in the form of fake news reports—to promote its industry-backed Medicare bill. source: General Accounting Office
More illegal stuff? Too bad it isn’t impeachable. Sorry, guys, only Jon Stewart is allowed to come up with fake news.
57. The Bush Administration stunted research that could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, spinal injuries, heart disease and muscular dystrophy by placing severe restrictions on the use of federal dollars for embryonic stem-cell research. source: CBS News
It’s nowhere near as clear-cut as this. Stem cells are valuable, yes, but the best way to get them is aborted fetuses, which means aborting some fetuses, which nobody really loves. Given that Bush took a middle-ground on the issue that pleased neither side, it’s probably the right choice.
58. The Bush Administration reinstated the “global gag rule,” which requires foreign NGOs to withhold information about legal abortion services or lose US funds for family planning. source: healthsciences.columbia.edu
Because preventing the spread of information always works. Right.
59. The Bush Administration authorized twenty companies that have been charged with fraud at the federal or state level to offer Medicare prescription drug cards to seniors. source: American Progress
Why? Because they were desperate to implement the prescription drug cards. Why? Because they had the blessing of the AARP, which would give them a huge block of traditionally Democratic voters. Why? Because the AARP thought that they could actually get cheaper medicine this way. Turns out? AARP was wrong, thus, so was the Administration.
60. The Bush Administration created a prescription drug card for Medicare that locks seniors into one card for up to a year but allows the corporations offering the cards to change their prices once a week. source: Washington Post
And this is WHY the AARP decided it was a bad idea. Well, one of the reasons, anyway.
61. The Bush Administration blocked efforts to allow Medicare to negotiate cheaper prescription drug prices for seniors. source: American Progress
Good thing the drug companies don’t donate much to the Republican Party otherwise this would look like a… wait, they do? DAMN!
62. At the behest of the french fry industry, the Bush Administration USDA changed their definition of fresh vegetables to include frozen french fries. source: commondreams.org
Weird. And they left ketchup with the “not a vegetable” status? Dang.
63. In a case before the Supreme Court, the Bush Administrations sided with HMOs—arguing that patients shouldn’t be allowed to sue HMOs when they are improperly denied treatment. With the Administration’s help, the HMOs won. source: ABC News
HMO’s stink. They’re the worst way to deal with rising costs that I can think of. (Granted, I can’t think of many.) Way to stick up for the little guy, Bush!
64. The Bush Administration went to court to block lawsuits by patients who were injured by defective prescription drugs and medical devices. source: Washington Post
Good thing the drug companies don’t donate much to the Republican Party otherwise this would look like a… wait, I’ve been over this part already.
65. President Bush signed a Medicare law that allows companies that reduce healthcare benefits for retirees who receive substantial subsidies from the government. source: Bloomberg News
Well, we wouldn’t want to have these elderly thinking they were on the government’s payroll or something.
66. Since President Bush took office, more than 5 million people have lost their health insurance. source: CNN.com
Is this, strictly speaking, his fault? I’m not so sure.
67. The Bush Administration blocked a proposal to ban the use of arsenic-treated lumber in playground equipment, even though it conceded it posed a danger to children. source: Miami Herald
Um, yeah… wow. I’m guessing because it would be too expensive to replace the lumber for public schools?
68. One day after President Bush bragged about his efforts to help seniors afford healthcare, the Administration announced the largest dollar increase of Medicare premiums in history. source: iht.com
Poor timing, indeed.
69. The Bush Administration—at the behest of the tobacco industry—tried to water down a global treaty that aimed to help curb smoking. source: tabaccofreekids.org
Global treaty? Um, okay. Seems a bit silly to me. Why are we making treaties about personal health choices?
70. The Bush Administration has spent $270 million on abstinence-only education programs even though there is no scientific evidence demonstrating that they are effective in dissuading teenagers from having sex or reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. source: salon.com
Wasted money. Big deal. They’re going to refuse to admit that it doesn’t work from now until kingdom come. They advocate abstinence-only programs because it fits in with their moral picture. And if you want to advocate abstinence, the only place it fits in in terms of government is with sexual disease prevention.
71. The Bush Administration slashed funding for programs that suggested ways, other than abstinence, to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. source: LA Weekly
See, this is a far bigger problem than #70
72. The Bush Administration gutted clean-air standards for aging power plants, resulting in at least 20,000 premature deaths each year. source: cta.policy.net
I have no idea why they would do this.
73. The Bush Administration eliminated protections on more than 200 million acres of public lands. source: calwild.org
74. President Bush broke his promise to place limits on carbon dioxide emissions, an essential step in combating global warming. source: Washington Post
Another broken promise? I’m beginning to expect it, quite frankly.
75. Days after 9/11, the Bush Administration told people living near Ground Zero that the air was safe—even though they knew it wasn’t—subjecting hundreds of people to unnecessary, debilitating ailments. source: Sierra Club EPA
…go about your lives, everyone act natural!
76. The Bush Administration created a massive tax loophole for SUVs—allowing, for example, the write-off of the entire cost of a new Hummer. source: Washington Post
So that’s why they’re so damn popular. I was wondering.
77. The Bush Administration put former coal-industry big shots in the government and let them roll back safety regulations, putting miners at greater risk of black lung disease. source: New York Times
Because safety is for wussies who don’t want a strong economy.
78. The Bush Administration said that even though the weed killer atrazine was seeping into water supplies—creating, among other bizarre creatures, hermaphroditic frogs—there was no reason to regulate it. source: Washington Post
Um… right. I’m guessing they didn’t know what the word “hermaphroditic” meant.
79. The Bush Administration has proposed cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by $600 million next year. source: ems.org
Proposed only. But even so.
80. President Bush broke his campaign promise to end the maintenance backlog at national parks. He has provided just 7 percent of the funds needed, according to National Park Service estimates. source: bushgreenwatch.org
SEVEN percent? Wow.
Rights and Liberties
81. Since 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft has detained 5,000 foreign nationals in antiterrorism sweeps; none have been convicted of a terrorist crime. source: hrwatch.org
Ashcroft needs to be fired.
82. The Bush Administration ignored pleas from the International Committee of the Red Cross to stop the abuse of prisoners in US custody. source: Wall Street Journal
If you’re at the point of pleading, you don’t have much of a position. Nevertheless, prisoner abuse isn’t exactly very nice.
83. In violation of international law, the Bush Administration hid prisoners from the Red Cross so the organization couldn’t monitor their treatment. source: hrwatch.org
Further proving how impotent international law is unless the US is there to enforce it.
84. The Bush Administration, without ever charging him with a crime, arrested US citizen José Padilla at an airport in Chicago, held him on a naval brig in South Carolina for two years, denied him access to a lawyer and prohibited any contact with his friends and family. source: news.findlaw.com
85. President Bush’s top legal adviser wrote a memo to the President advising him that he can legally authorize torture. source: news.findlaw.com
The thing with this is that it’s a question of what defines law? Obviously, international law doesn’t have any teeth, so the only law that matters is that law that we’re willing to enforce in the States. Given that the President is the head of the enforcement wing of the government, and given that he can simply classify whatever he wants, technically he can get away with anything. The “is it legal” argument is a pretty specious one, at best. Mostly what it shows is that he wants to do it and wants to feel better about it.
86. At the direction of Bush Administration officials, the FBI went door to door questioning people planning on protesting at the 2004 political conventions. source: New York Times
Because they didn’t have anything better to do, like, you know, finding terrorists or something. Regardless, the RNC beat the 1968 DNC for rowdiest crowd. Didn’t know that? Yeah, wasn’t well publicized. Damn liberal media.
87. The Bush Administration refuses to support the creation of an independent commission to investigate the abuse of foreign prisoners in American custody. Instead, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld selected the members of a commission to review the conduct of his own department. source: humanrightsfirst.org
Nothing quite like the glee of investigating your own boss, is there.
88. President Bush opposed the creation of the 9/11 Commission before he supported it, delaying an essential inquiry into one of the greatest intelligence failure in American history. source: americanprogressaction.org
Yup, pretty much.
And more recently, he’s explained that it’s entirely a state issue, again, admitting that he was going against the Republican Party Platform. Interesting, isn’t it, that the leader of the party disagrees with the party?
90. President Bush said he was committed to capturing Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” before he said, “I truly am not that concerned about him.” source: americanprogressaction.org
Strictly speaking? This is the sort of thing that could change due to changes in the reality of the world. This time? Total flip-flop.
Flip-flop isn’t the first word that comes to mind. Liar is.
While this sounds like a flip-flop, or even a willful misdirection, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It could very well be that, in terms of “evil terror lords who must be taken down”, you can’t distinguish them, but “you can’t distinguish between them” doesn’t necessarily mean that they are connected.
93. George Bush didn’t come close to meeting his commitments to the National Guard. Records show he performed no service in a six-month period in 1972 and a three-month period in 1973. source: boston.com
I’ve talked about this before. I don’t care.
94. In June 1990 George Bush violated federal securities law when he failed to inform the SEC that he had sold 200,000 shares of his company, Harken Energy. Two months later the company reported significant losses and by the end of that year the stock had dropped from $3 to $1. source: The Guardian
Perhaps this is why he was so soft on Enron. It just speaks to a lack of moral rectitude and honesty, even after he found God.
95. When asked at an April 2004 press conference to name a mistake he made during his presidency, Bush couldn’t think of one. source: White House
He was probably thinking “well, letting you in here to ask that question was one of ‘em!” It could be argued that thinking of one’s faults quickly is hard. But I don’t think so. Here: I didn’t get on top of my research work as quickly as I should have, and I procrastinated a lot over the summer. See? That wasn’t so hard.
96. The Bush Administration refuses to release twenty-seven pages of a Congressional report that reportedly detail the Saudi Arabian government’s connections to the 9/11 hijackers. source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Embarrassing one’s friends and business partners is rarely a good idea.
97. Last year the Bush Administration spent $6.5 billion creating 14 million new classified documents and securing old secrets—the highest level of spending in ten years. source: openthegovernment.org
One wonders what they’re trying to hide. It’s particularly jarring, since Clinton spent a lot of time de-classifying documents.
98. The Bush Administration spent $120 classifying documents for every $1 it spent declassifying documents. source: openthegovernment.org
Um. Nearly the same as #97.
99. The Bush Administration has spent millions of dollars and defied numerous court orders to conceal from the public who participated in Vice President Cheney’s 2001 energy task force. source: Washington Post
The obvious question is “what’s he got to hide?” But that’s not the right question. Most likely, some folks were skittish to join the committee, and would only do so if Cheney guaranteed that no one would ever find out they were on the committee. This argument would seem a bit more noble if the committee didn’t amount to a corporate giveaway.
100. The Bush Administration—reversing years of bipartisan tradition—refuses to answer requests from Democratic members of Congress about how the White House is spending taxpayer money. source: Washington Post
Wow. When Kerry gets elected, will he reverse Bush’s new tradition, and answer everyone’s questions? I damn well hope so.