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US Politics Archive

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Richard Goldstein: Bush's Basket  - Bush may be a master of populist pretense, but he can't claim to be self-made. His saga rests on his quest to be a man. The real triumph of Bush's media team is not a matter of lighting and positioning but of creating a presidential persona that radiates stead-fastness, plainspokenness, sexual continence, and righteous religiosity. These are the hallmarks of conservative macho.
   But something about Bush's image seems as artificially enhanced as his crotch. His need to flaunt it can be read as a response to anxiety. If you have to show your balls, maybe it's because you can't take them for granted. That isn't just Bush's problem. If macho seems so tragicomically x-treme these days, it's because many men think masculinity could actually disappear.

Monday, May 19, 2003

The Philosopher: The late Leo Strauss has emerged as the thinker of the moment in Washington, but his ideas remain mysterious. Was he an ardent opponent of tyranny, or an apologist for the abuse of power?

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Old Memos Detail Link of Money to Influence: "piles of documents unearthed in the ongoing lawsuit over the nation's campaign finance law, widely known as McCain-Feingold ... the documents, many of which were subpoenaed over the past year and made public for the first time this month, provide an unusually detailed look at how the Washington money culture operates. In them, political operatives privately worried that their political attack ads might skirt the edge of legality. Senators shamelessly courted campaign contributors. And corporate executives plotted how to pursue their legislative goals by answering the parties' never-ending call for campaign funds."

Friday, April 25, 2003

Bush Goes AWOL: "Bush has inspired new terrorist threats to the United States--according to the official testimony of his own CIA--where none existed. At the same time, he purposely starves those localities and institutions on which the complex and expensive task of terrorist protection ultimately falls. "

TRO - "55 Most Wanted" Playing Card Deck Aims for Regime Change in U.S.: In the wake of the U.S.'s "pre-emptive" destruction of Iraq, her people, and her culture, the Trade Regulation Organization is issuing a "55 most wanted" playing-card deck similar to the one that the Pentagon issued two weeks ago in Iraq.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

The Carlyle Group - Former World Leaders and Washington Insiders Make Billions from the War on Terrorism: "How will President George W. Bush personally make millions (if not billions) from the Wars on Terror and Iraq? The old fashioned way. He'll inherit it. Meet the Carlyle Group Former World Leaders and Washington Insiders Making Billions in the War on Terrorism"

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

'Fearless' Dean Wins Converts: "Dean, 54, a doctor who served as governor of Vermont for 11 years, gets his biggest applause when he starts his closing choruses of, "We want our country back." It is now as much a part of his stump speech as was the line borrowed and paraphrased from the late Sen. Paul Wellstone that he used repeatedly in February and March: "I am Howard Dean, and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Dean said he believes that line -- "We want our country back" -- generates such a visceral response among Democratic activists because "people are in despair about what is going on. "

Thursday, April 10, 2003

House Democrats Want Halliburton Probe: "Questioning whether Vice President Dick Cheney's former company has received favored treatment from the Pentagon, senior House Democrats asked Congress' investigative agency Tuesday to delve into contracts awarded Halliburton Co. over the past two years.
   Halliburton's KBR subsidiary has a record of gouging the government in contracts awarded without competition, Reps. Henry Waxman of California and John Dingell of Michigan contended in a letter to the General Accounting Office.
   Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the lawmakers have ignored the exemplary record of the Houston-based firm that employed Cheney as chief executive officer from 1995 to 2000 and still pays him deferred compensation for his services during that period.
   ....  -A GAO finding in 1997 that the company billed the Army for questionable expenses for work in the Balkans, including charges of $85.98 per sheet of plywood that cost $14.06.
   -A year 2000 follow-up report on the Balkans work that found inflated costs, including charges for cleaning some offices up to four times a day.
   -$2 million in fines paid in February, 2002, to resolve fraud claims involving work at Fort Ord, Calif. The Defense Department inspector general and a federal grand jury had investigated allegations by a former employee that KBR defrauded the government of millions of dollars by inflating prices for repairs and maintenance.
   The Securities and Exchange Commission already is investigating Halliburton's accounting practices, looking into an accounting change made in 1998, during Cheney's tenure as CEO

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Arrogance of Power: Today, I Weep for my Country. by US Senator Robert Byrd Speech delivered on the floor of the US Senate:
  ... We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split. 
  After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe. 
   The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.

Friday, February 14, 2003

George W. Queeg: Krugma - What really has the insiders panicked, however, is the irresponsibility of Mr. Bush and his team, their almost childish unwillingness to face up to problems that they don't feel like dealing with right now. I've talked in this column about the administration's eerie passivity in the face of a stalling economy and an exploding budget deficit: reality isn't allowed to intrude on the obsession with long-run tax cuts. That same "don't bother me, I'm busy" attitude is driving foreign policy experts, inside and outside the government, to despair.

Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences
By US Senator Robert Byrd, February 12, 2003 
   To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war. 
   Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing. 
   We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular war. 
   And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world. 
   This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Ralph Nader on Oil and the War Against Iraq: "The connections between the Bush administration and the oil industry are clear and pervasive. A remarkable 41 members of the administration have ties to the industry, and both the President and the Vice President are both former oil executives. National Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice is a former director of Chevron. President Bush took more than $1.8 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries in the 2000 election. The Bush people and the oil moguls do agree with one another in part because they are one another...
  The American people have a right to know what is being discussed in these meetings about the oil industry's designs on this gigantic pool of petroleum and what, if any, assurances they are being given by what is supposed to be our government.
  Clearly, there is a better means of achieving U.S. energy security. Instead of relying on costly military ventures in unstable countries to ensure a steady source of oil, we need a national energy security strategy that is expeditious, self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable.  "

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Crowd Estimates: 30,000 to 500,000 ( "U.S. Capitol Police suggested yesterday's antiwar street march drew 30,000 to 50,000 people. Protest organizers said that the number was closer to 500,000. District police settled on "an awful lot of people." The truth might fall somewhere in between the guesses, or it might fall somewhere beyond the edges. That's because no one really knows how many people showed up."

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The honorable Mario Cuomo: Mario Cuomo Talks To The National Press Club January 7th, 2003

Chicago Passes Anti-War Resolution 46-1 - Vote Follows Extensive and Personal Debate (Chicago, Jan. 16, 2003) (from yahoogroups portside group)
  After one of the most mesmerizing, impassioned and personal debates ever to occur in Chicago's City Council Chamber, Chicago has become the largest and most prominent city in the nation to formally oppose a unilateral pre-emptive strike on Iraq.
  One by one, black and white, Latino and Jewish, men and women, the Aldermen stood to draw attention to their own particular concerns with the current path of the Bush Administration. Many pointed out that the real dangers this nation faces today are the rising rates of unemployment and economic stagnation. Others were concerned about the double standard the administration is showing with respect to North Korea. And some drew attention to the prospect of young sons and daughters coming home in body bags from an ill-conceived war.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Dick Cheney, chickenhawk ( "Vice President Dick Cheney has never shown much interest in meeting his responsibilities as a citizen or an elected official. During the Vietnam War, Cheney avoided military service. Like so many of the current advocates for war with Iraq, he did not want to upset his career plans by wearing the uniform of his country. The political career that got a jump-start during the Vietnam era has been a successful - and lucrative - one for Cheney. But he has never gotten over his aversion to fulfilling his public responsibilities...
   So when it was revealed Friday that Cheney would not be coming to Madison - because, his office said, "his calendar wouldn't allow" the visit - no one was surprised. 
 The prospect that Cheney might come to Madison inspired widespread organizing by religious, political and community groups that oppose war with Iraq. "

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Why Does President Bush Want to Drop Bombs on Innocent Iraqis?: Transcript of White House Briefing - January 6, 2003

Friday, December 20, 2002

Ashcroft's tough Sell: "Jan. 16, 2001 | [John Ashcroft's] ultraconservative record on such issues as abortion, affirmative action and civil rights has already stimulated intense controversy. And opponents of his nomination have sharply questioned the Missouri Republican's racial attitudes because of his opposition to a Federal judgeship for African-American jurist Ronnie White and his endorsement of the Southern Partisan, a racist, pro-Confederate magazine which has praised the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Now Ashcroft has been asked to explain why he met last fall with Thomas Bugel, the president of the militantly racist Council of Conservative Citizens and a veteran leader of segregationist groups in the St. Louis area. "

Collected by Jonathan March with Radio Userland software