President Bush. Katrina Aftermath; Tornado in Alabama

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Please view the scene in Huge Storm Slams Midwest

Pardon the commercial prologue.  Please observe Tornado Tears Up New Orleans  March 1, 2007

Today ravaging tempests are wreaking havoc in the Southeast.  Tornadoes Kill at Least 14 in 2 States.  Eighteen months after another deadly storm, Hurricane Katrina, President Bush travels to New Orleans reassuring the public that he all is well.  The Midwest is reeling; devastating snowstorms hit the heartland.  The ground is giving way in California.  A San Francisco landslide displaced sleepy residents. A wide swath of the North Beach hillside came thundering down on buildings below.  Unusual tornadoes are swirling in the skies above Southern Florida.  Hail and freezing rains are falling in many regions.  America is not alone.  Severe weather is everywhere!

Humans waited too long to heed the gentle warnings of Mother Nature.  She has been speaking to us for years.  Now she is screaming; “Help me!  Help yourselves!”  Our sweet Mother is no longer politely asking us to care for her.  She is demanding we do so.  This gracious, gentle, and loving spirit hoped we would treat her with reverence.  We did not.  She gave and we took.  Mother Nature can bequeath no more.  She is depleted and desperate.

We have a lesson to learn, as does the Bush Administration.  When we do not attend to the needs of nature, or do so belatedly and half-heartedly we pay the price.  People worldwide are realizing the cost of defiance.  Citizens had ignored the harm they did to this planet for decades.  Only late in the last century were people beginning to clean their globe. The Bush Administration took office in 2001 and reversed the trend.  The President, the Vice, and their Energy Commission denied that humans had a substantial effect on the environment.  They declared global warming a myth.  Industry was once again allowed to reap it’s bounty more recklessly.  Now we sow and see what was always evident.  Nature can only take so much abuse before it reacts.  Witness the winter storms everywhere on Earth.

Weeks ago our President relented, perhaps, humans are responsible for climate change. His proclamation was feeble.  George W. Bush states there is a problem.  Pretends to have a plan and then, does nothing.  The President turns his projects over to private industry, passes his work onto government agencies, and then declares he is done.  He has done all he can, and life is good.  Perchance life is good for Mister Bush; however, common citizens are struggling to survive.

Facts continue to elude this “environmental” President and “compassionate conservative.”  We witness this again today,  March 1, 2007. Weather continues to rape the land; red tape rankles the residents.  Nothing has changed. Yet, our President says, it has.

“Times are changing for the better.  People’s lives are improving.  And there is hope.”
~ George W. Bush [March 1, 2007]

There is so much pretense and more posturing.  Today President George W. Bush is traveling to New Orleans.  He is looking over the wasteland, explaining how he contributed to the cleanup.  He sent Billions of dollars.  He decrees the people need to do their part; they need to bring the area back to life.

In an interview on National Public Radio, when asked why he neglected to mention Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast region, President Bush stated . . .

Well, I gave a speech that I thought was necessary to give. On the other hand, I had been talking a lot about Katrina and about the fact that I worked with the Congress to get about $110 billion sent down to both Mississippi and Louisiana to help them on their reconstruction efforts. Obviously, there is more work to be done. But to take the housing issue, for example, we have sent money down to the Louisiana folks, Louisiana Recovery Authority, to fund their plan. And the money is there and the money is available. And now it’s up to the folks down there to get this plan implemented so people can start rebuilding their houses.

If there’s bureaucratic slowdowns in Washington, we’ve got a man named Don Powell who is working to address them. But no, our response to the Katrina recovery has been very robust.

Robust; perhaps for a few.  The President only observes what he wishes to, hopeful circumstances.

Bush Tours Katrina-Ravaged Areas
President Reassures Victims And Taxpayers Of Commitment To Rebuild
Long Beach, Mississippi, March, 1, 2007

AP) President Bush on Thursday returned to the battered Gulf Coast, declaring “there is hope” for the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged region where his administration was widely accused of botching the initial recovery efforts.

Mr. Bush toured five homes in a neighborhood still recovering from the devastating hurricane 18 months earlier and is scheduled to meet with Mississippi officials before continuing on to New Orleans, a city whose population dropped by about 50 percent in the wake of Katrina and which is reeling from a surge in crime and a lack of social services.  Large numbers of New Orleans residents are so frustrated they are thinking of leaving for good.

“I want the taxpayers of the United States to see firsthand what their money has done to help revitalize a series of communities that were literally wiped out,” Bush said.

The taxpayers do see what the President again purposely avoids.  Mister Bush is not traveling to areas still untouched eighteen long and miserable months later.  George W. continues to ignore what he chooses not to know.  He paints a Presidential picture; it pretty.  Yet . . .

The Katrina Index, a monthly report by the Brookings Institution research group, says many indicators suggest the recovery effort is moving slowly.  The report for February [2007] says demand for essential services continues to overwhelm supply, with overfilled emergency rooms and waiting lists of students for public schools.

The report said 56 percent of public schools remain closed in New Orleans.  It called on decision-makers at all levels to remove excessive bureaucracy that hinders repairs to housing and infrastructure.

Democratic leaders of the U.S. Congress are pushing for legislation to help get federal aid money to residents faster.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement that Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster compounded by a man-made disaster.

Mister Bush, if there is hope to be found it will not flourish as long as your Administration disregards reality.  Anticipation and eagerness are not gifts from a government that tells the citizens all is well when they know it is not.  I beg and plead.  Please venture out.  Travel to the areas still in ruin.  Then listen to us.  Let us know that you feel our pain.  We cannot continue to pretend all is well.  The weather outside tells us it is not.  As you visit homes rebuilt, more are being buried under the weight of snow, winds, and water.

The stormy weather and the strident Mister Bush . . .

  • Tornadoes Kill at Least 14 in 2 States, By Brenda Goodman. The New York Times.  March 1, 2007
  • pdf Tornadoes Kill at Least 14 in 2 States, By Brenda Goodman. The New York Times.  March 1, 2007
  • San Francisco landslide displaces residents.  Associated Press.  MSNBC News.  February 27, 2007
  • Snow, ice create chaos for the holiday, By Andrea Stone.  USA Today.  February 18, 2007
  • Hail damage delays next US shuttle launch.  ABC News Online.
  • Tornadoes kill at least 19 in Florida.  Cable News Network.  February 3, 2007
  • Ice storm prompts emergency in Oklahoma. Cable News Network.  January 12,2007
  • England in grip of severe weather.  BBC News.  February 8, 2007
  • Bush Vows to Speed Up Aid for Gulf Coast, By Robert Pear and David Stout.  The New York Times.  March 1, 2007
  • pdf Bush Vows to Speed Up Aid for Gulf Coast, By Robert Pear and David Stout.  The New York Times.  March 1, 2007
  • Agency Affirms Human Influence on Climate, By Andrew C. Revkin.  The New York Times.  January 10, 2007
  • pdf Agency Affirms Human Influence on Climate, By Andrew C. Revkin.  The New York Times.  January 10, 2007
  • Bush attacks environment ‘scare stories’,  By Antony Barnett. The Guardian  April 4, 2004
  • Hurricane Preparedness.  The White house.  March 1, 2007
  • President Bush Meets with Gulf Coast Grant Recipients  The White house.  March 1, 2007
  • President Bush Visits Hurricane-Battered US Gulf Coast By Voice Of America News. 01 March 2007
  • The Katrina Index,  Brookings Institute.
  • Bush; ‘I’m “Trainable” and the Decision-maker’ on Iraq Troop Levels

    © copyright Betsy L. Angert

    Please view either or each.  Keith Olbermann :: Bush – The decision maker or . . .
    Please preview the CBS coverage of the press conference.  Pardon the obligatory advertisement.  Bush: ‘I’m The Decision-Maker’

    Today, President Bush meeting with his new top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and the press bought back memories.  As I listened to George W. Bush speak on Iraq, I was reminded of my youth.  The once self-proclaimed “decider” explained he is “the decision maker.” 

    Back in the day, my parents worked with patients labeled “mentally retarded.”  Often these “special needs” persons were not as they appeared to be.  Diagnosis means and methods were poor.  People’s chosen perceptions played a more prominent role than “reality” might have.  The same may still hold true today and likely, it does.  Nevertheless, I recall dinner conversations and terms flying around our family table.  One was “trainable.” 

    Apparently, there are differences even within the dynamic of “retardation.”  Some are mildly affected, thus “educable.”  Others are moderately influenced; thus, they are considered “trainable.”  The severely or profoundly slow may require life-long care and supervision.  These persons are often confined to institutions. 

    I have never thought George W. was or is as others state, the stu*** word.  Nor do I think he meets the criteria for special needs.  I think the man is infinitely shrewd.  Yet, I do wonder; perchance, is the White House the proper setting for such a character.  Might this haloed hall be the best prescribed treatment center for a chap such as Bush?

    This morning I realized that my own analysis was flawed.  George W. Bush is trainable.  The “decider” spoke, as he had never done before.  He labeled himself the “decision maker.”

    I pondered.  I recall when Mister Bush articulated his regret.  He acknowledged that the characteristically George rhetoric may be too dramatic.  George W. Bush expressed his intent to capture Osama Bin Laden and bring him home, “dead, or alive!”  President Bush, when proclaiming his frustration offered, “You are either with us or against us.”  He told his enemies, “Bring it on” and they have.

    Most surprisingly to me was that George W. Bush stated his wife spoke to him of his cowboy-like language.  Laura advised him to watch his tongue.  It seems the leader had; he is learning his lessons.  Thus, I conclude, George W. Bush is “trainable.”  That is good to know.  You go George.  Please impress them, preferably, with your intellect and give up the statements of grandeur!

    As I read the text and reviewed the video of this last exchange with the press I can only conclude, training a tyrant is a slow process.  Once a “decider” decides, as far as they are concerned, they are done.  No further discussion is needed.  Mister Bush may speak to the media more eloquently; however, little has changed.

    Bush says ‘I’m the decision-maker’ about sending troops to Iraq
    By Jennifer Loven
    Associated Press

    9:50 a.m. January 26, 2007

    WASHINGTON – President Bush, on a collision course with Congress over Iraq, said Friday “I’m the decision-maker” about sending more troops to the war.  He challenged skeptical lawmakers not to prematurely condemn his buildup.

    “I’ve picked the plan that I think is most likely to succeed,” Bush said in an Oval Office meeting with senior military advisers.

    The president had strong words for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are lining up to support resolutions opposing his decision to send 21,500 troops to Iraq.  He challenged them to put up their own ideas.

    “I know there is skepticism and pessimism and that some are condemning a plan before it’s even had a chance to work,” the president said.  “They have an obligation and a serious responsibility therefore to put up their own plan as to what would work.”

    Despite doubts in Congress and among the public about his strategy, Bush said lawmakers agree that failure in Iraq would be a disaster and that he chose a strategy that he and his advisers thought would help turn the tide in Iraq.

    Hold onto your hats.  Grab your saddles.  People we are again in for a rough ride!

    Rally ’round.  The Trainable Decider is expecting or creating trouble again . . .

  • Keith Olbermann :: Bush – The decision maker YouTube
  • Resources for Working With Youth of Special Needs.  University of Illinois Extension
  • Bush: ‘I’m the decider’ on Rumsfeld, Defense secretary: Changes in military meet resistance.  Cable News Network  Tuesday, April 18, 2006
  • Regrets? Confessions? Bring ’em on!  By Leslie Savan.  The Boston Globe. June 2, 2006
  • pdf Regrets? Confessions? Bring ’em on!  By Leslie Savan.  The Boston Globe. June 2, 2006
  • Bush: ‘I’m the decision-maker,’ By Mark Silva.  Chicago Tribune.  January 26, 2007
  • Bush says ‘I’m the decision-maker’ about sending troops to Iraq, By Jennifer Loven.  Associated Press.  San Diego Union Tribune.
  • Bush: ‘I’m the decision-maker’ on Iraq troop levels.  Cable News Network  January 26, 2007
  • President Bush Meets The Press; Oops, It’s Tony Snow ©

    This week, within a two-day period, we the American people had the privilege of hearing President George W. Bush twice.  On Sunday, January 14, 2007, the President spoke with CBS News, Journalist, Scott Pelley.  The two casually walked through the woods at Camp David.  The, sat face-to-face and chatted.  Pelley posed poignant questions.  The men met with families of the fallen soldiers, and Mister Bush  explained his surge strategy to the troops while with Pelley. 

    Despite or perhaps because of national disfavor and “condemnation on Capitol Hill,” President George W. Bush met with the press.  Characteristically, in years past when times were tough the President hid from the press.  That posture seemed to be effective. Now it seems, such a stance has proven itself to be ineffective.  Perhaps that is why W. is changing his course.  Possibly poor planning in the past forced Mister Bush to reassess.  Perchance he decided it would be wise to meet with the media now.  It could not hurt, or could it. 

    Days later, on Tuesday, January 16, America was given another chance to assess.  The President, again sat for the cameras.  This time he appeared on Public Broadcasting, Nightly News Hour.

    The full interview can be viewed through the NewsHour Interview President Bush Defends Decision to Send Additional Troops to Iraq link.

    In an extensive conversation with Jim Lehrer, President Bush explains why sending more troops into Iraq will help stem the violence, why withdrawing now would be a expedited failure, and how Americans can participate in the struggle for freedom.?

    Transcripts from these interviews are infinitely interesting.  I invite you to read the full text from 60 Minutes broadcast as well as the content of the conversation between Jim Lehrer and George W. Bush.  There is much to assess. 

    Presidential proposals are worthy of note as is the appearance of the President.  We might wonder why this long cloistered leader now appears before us.

    The forty-third President, well known for his disdain of media is now making use of the airwaves as he never has.  Little more than a year ago, Eric Alterman of The Nation wrote . . .

    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has insisted that the media “don’t represent the public any more than other people do . . . I don’t believe you have a check-and-balance function.”

    Bush himself, on more than one occasion, has told reporters he does not read their work and prefers to live inside the information bubble blown by his loyal minions.  Vice President Cheney feels free to kick the New York Times off his press plane, and John Ashcroft can refuse to speak with any print reporters during his Patriot-Act-a-palooza publicity tour, just to compliant local TV.  As an unnamed Bush official told reporter Ron Suskind, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.  And while you’re studying that reality–judiciously, as you will–we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.  We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”  For those who didn’t like it, another Bush adviser explained, “Let me clue you in.  We don’t care.  You see, you’re outnumbered two to one by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read the New York Times or Washington Post or the LA Times.” 

    Now much has changed.  Media savvy magistrate, Tony Snow rules the roost or at least this former Fox News commentator determines when the “decider” needs to speak to the nation.

    Since Mister Snow was appointed Press Secretary, there is a notable increase in Presidential meeting with the press.  Granted the trials and tribulations as they relate to terrorism, Iraq, and hopes of retaining Republican dominance in Congress contribute to the upsurge; however, it seems obvious that Tony Snow bring us Bush at his best or worst.

    After all, we cannot ignore that George W. Bush is still George W. Bush.  His smirk and secretive stance lingers.  It looms larger as we listen to this inept Executive Officer discuss his newest combative campaign.

    Mister Lehrer inquires and President responds . . .

    MR. LEHRER: But to be very direct about it, Mr. President, you had a few years here and you’ve been in charge.  And you’ve made a lot of decisions; you’ve made a lot of judgments about things and they haven’t worked.  And so now, you’ve made a new one.  So why should anybody expect the new ones to work when the prior ones did not?

    PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, actually – I will sound defensive – but some of my decisions actually have worked, like getting rid of Saddam Hussein and helping the Iraqi government form a unity government that is based on a novel constitution for the Middle East.  As a matter of fact, in 2005, I thought – I mean, in 2006, I thought I’d be in a position to remove troops from Iraq, in other words, hand over more of the authorities to the Iraqis so they could take the fight, and then this sectarian violence that you described broke out.  And the question is, do we try to stop it?  Do we help the Iraqis stop it?  And a year ago, I felt pretty good about the situation; I felt like we were achieving our objective, which is a country that can govern, sustain, and defend itself.  No question, 2006 was a lousy year for Iraq.  And so the question I’m now faced with is do I react to that or do we just begin to leave, which is – some people – decent people on Capitol Hill think we ought to do.  I made the decision, let’s succeed; let’s work for success not work for failure.

    MR. LEHRER: What does success mean in these terms now, Mr. President?

    PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, well, success, Jim, means a government that is providing security for its people.  A success means for the American people to see Iraqi troops chasing down killers with American help initially.  A success means a Baghdad that is, you know, relatively calm compared to last year so that people’s lives can go forward and a political process can go forward along with it.  Success means the government taking steps to share the oil wealth or to deal with a de-Baathification law, to encourage local elections.  Success means reconstruction projects that employ Iraqis.  Success also means making sure al-Qaida doesn’t get a foothold in Iraq, which they’re trying to do in Anbar province.  So success is measurable; it’s definable; and last year was a year in which there was a setback to success.

    Contrary to the Bush premise, there is no unity in Iraq.  Witness the hanging of Saddam Hussein.  Rumors were realized; the hanging was a revenge killing.

    Tensions between the White House and the Iraqi government resurfaced today as the US president, George Bush, criticised the manner of Saddam Hussein’s execution.

    Mr. Bush said the hanging had looked like “kind of a revenge killing” and had dented the US public’s faith in the Iraqi government.

    In remarks bound to grate on Baghdad, Mr. Bush said the episode had shown that the government of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, still had “some maturation to do.”

    The execution of Saddam, amid taunting by his Shia guards, and the subsequent hanging of two of the dictator’s co-defendants sparked anger among Iraq’s Sunnis, deepening the country’s sectarian divide.

    The President simultaneously referenced unity as he reluctantly admitted the likelihood of revenge.  George W. Bush could not ignore the words of puppet Prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, though he would have liked to.  The Iraqi leader also addressed the issue of division.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who didn’t attend the execution, used it as an opportunity to plead for national unity to ward off deadly sectarian violence which is straining Iraq’s fledgling government.

    “In the name of the people I call on all men of the past regime and manipulated by it to reconsider their stances,” al-Maliki said in a written statement released after the execution.

    The smell of death hangs in the air.  Americans may wish to believe that Saddam was a tyrant and a killer of the masses. Their assessment may be correct.  However, if we are to judge, we must also consider and evaluate our own actions. Nation columnist Robert Dreyfuss remarks . . .

    Since the US invasion of Iraq, by one widely reported estimate, as many as 655,000 Iraqis have been killed, in air strikes, by bombs, in death-squad executions and generalized civil strife. Now, add one by hanging: the kangaroo-court trial and execution of Saddam Hussein. In life, even in prison, he inspired many loyalists to fight for his legacy; but his death is certain to spark even fiercer violence, not just from his remaining lieutenants and senior Baath party officials but throughout the broader Sunni Arab community in Iraq. It pushes any hope of Sunni-Shiite reconciliation farther away, inflames passions on both sides, and solidifies the image of the United States in Iraq as a bloodthirsty occupier.

    Convicted of war crimes by a puppet Iraqi regime that dispensed with niceties such as evidence and rebuttal, Saddam Hussein was blamed by his fiercest critics–such as Kanan Makiya, author of Republic of Fear, and others with strong motive to inflate the scale of Saddam’s crimes–of killing 300,000 Iraqis during his thirty-five-year rule (1968-2003). In less than four years, George W. Bush has more than doubled that, with no end in sight. As war criminals go, Bush wins hands down.

    The 655,000 US victims in Iraq do not include the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children, who died during a twelve-year era of US-imposed sanctions on Iraq from 1991 to 2003, but those deaths, at least, were obscured by a fig leaf of legality, since the sanctions had been approved by the UN Security Council. Bush’s Iraq War had no such cover: It was deemed “illegal” by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general.

    Yet, the President of the United Sates wants us to believe that what we did was best for the Iraqi people.  Those in Iraq will tell you, they are worse off since America and its dwindling allied forces imposed their will.  Numerous individuals “living” in Iraq wish for what was under Saddam Hussein’s rule. 

    CBS News Journalist Harry Smith went to Iraq to speak with the citizens in Baghdad.  A distressed Iraqi citizen declared . . .

    “When the Americans started this whole war issue, we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we walked toward it.  But when the war happened, that light was the American train coming the other way that ran us over

    Another Iraqi expressed . . .

    “I think we had higher expectations of what the Americans can do.  I hear it from many friends, who say, ‘Do you really want me to believe that America cannot fix this?’  ”

    So, asked Smith of the young men, “You know people who would like it better the old way?”

    “Yes,” responded No. 1.  [a name given to identify the participants while maintaining their anonymity]  “It breaks my heart knowing that, because it was so bad, but now, they feel it’s worse, and they just wish that Saddam’s regime could come back.”

    Perhaps our President might re-think his decisions.  How does he want to be remembered.  The President says he ignores the polls.  He does not worry that his numbers are down and are decreasing steadily.  According to our Commander-In-Chief, it matters not that he is no longer popular.  However, historians muse.

    As President Bush enters the last two years of his White House tenure, the question of his legacy has become a lively topic among historians and political commentators.

    If the attacks of 9/11 were the transcendent moment of the Bush presidency, analysts say, the long and difficult war in Iraq has fundamentally defined it.

    The war has gone badly, the president’s approval ratings have plummeted, and voters rebuked the GOP in November by giving Democrats control of Congress. Some experts predict Mr. Bush will be among the bottom rung of American presidents.

    Supporters point to accomplishments: tax cuts and the appointment of conservative judges at home, routing the Taliban in Afghanistan and efforts to protect the U.S. homeland from attack after 9/11.

    “It may be some time before we know really what the outcome is in Iraq,” said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University.

    There also are questions about whether Mr. Bush’s choice to invade Iraq jeopardized the hunt for Osama bin Laden and a wider war against terrorism.

    Maybe the younger Bush is considering the same.  Perchance the widespread Republican losses during the recent midterm elections gave George W. reason to pause.  The passing of former President Gerald R. Ford may have brought forth the idea of “legacy.”  President Bush may be considering the quality of his own.  The coupling of these events may have stimulated his mind.  Possibly Mister Bush reflected and decided to reach out to the American people, or is Tony Snow the mastermind behind these novel public Presidential appearances.

    Poor Tony; he has his work cut out for him.  We saw this in 2006.  George W. Bush is not necessarily a welcome guest.  He did not advance the cause.  The conventional wisdom; coattails can carry a candidate along.  However, this President’s presence is not now thought persuasive nor is it helpful.  In Florida, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist left town when George W. Bush came a courting.  Crist knew as did many party loyalists throughout the country, a Bush appearance could bring a contender down.  Charlie Crist wanted to win and George W. Bush is not a winner.

    Bush out on the stump might not be the best strategy Mister Snow.  Though George W. admires former President Reagan, the junior George is not the charismatic man with a childlike charm Reagan is or was. 

    George W. is one of the boys.  As many voters remarked over the years, he is the guy you want to go have a beer with.  Yet, there are those of us that do not hang out at the bars backslapping.  Some of us long for substance! We welcome it.  In assessing the lack-luster plan the President presented before the war began, the strategy he later proposed, or the newer strategy he now endorses, we recognize, this man does not exude depth. 

    Sadly, Mister Snow you may be fighting a losing battle.  A President, even one that is the son of another prominent Head of State is not presidential by default.  Birthrights do not breed brilliance.  George W. Bush can be trained, tutored, taught to be other than he is; however, he is, whom he is.  A smirk is a smirk is a smirk.  Did you see the sneer on our Commander’s face when Jim Lehrer stated . . .

    MR. LEHRER: The best route. How would you define, finally, where the best route is going to end? If you – in other words, you have a plan now –


    MR. LEHRER: — and eventually, the plan is going to have to result in something. You said yourself it’s going to have to result in something on the ground.

    PRESIDENT BUSH: Right. Right. Right.

    MR. LEHRER: What is that result going to be?

    PRESIDENT BUSH: A Baghdad which is less violent, neighborhoods that are not being cleansed of sectarian violence, and a government that has got a security force – army and national police force – that is chasing down killers, whether they be Sunni killers or Shia killers. In other words, a country that is beginning to function, first and foremost – a government functioning as – to provide security for people. Most people want to live in peace, and yet, the violence is such that they’re not able to do so.

    Yikes!!!  Mister Snow was that not what existed prior to our invasion.  People in Iraq led stable lives.  There was less violence than there is now.  It was possible to live a life.  Communities functioned.  There was electricity, running water, schools, and hospitals to serve the citizens. Currently, there is just chaos.

    Oh, Mister Snow, as much as I enjoy watching Gorge W. attempt to justify his foibles and fumbles, and I do, I feel so badly.  While fighting the war in Iraq is “difficult,” doing your job must be beyond belief.

    Snow Sources. Bush References . . .

  • President Announces Tony Snow as Press Secretary.  Office of the Press Secretary.
  • Was Iraq Better Off Under Saddam?  CBS News.  May 24, 2006
  • pdf Was Iraq Better Off Under Saddam?  CBS News.  May 24, 2006
  • Bush Going For Broke With Troop Surge. 60 Minutes Exclusive: President Has Made Up His Mind And Takes Full Responsibility.  CBS News.  January 14, 2006
  • pdf Bush Going For Broke With Troop Surge, 60 Minutes Exclusive: President Has Made Up His Mind And Takes Full Responsibility.  CBS News.  January 14, 2006
  • Nightly News Hour Podcast.
  • FOX News’ Tony Snow Among Possible White House Spokesman Candidates. Fox News.  Wednesday, April 19, 2006
  • President Bush Defends Decision to Send Additional Troops to Iraq. Transcript.  News Hour.  Public Broadcasting Services.  January 16, 2006
  • pdf President Bush Defends Decision to Send Additional Troops to Iraq. Transcript.  News Hour.  Public Broadcasting Services.  January 16, 2006
  • Online NewsHour: Newsmaker Interview. President Bush Discusses Iraq.  Public Broadcasting Services. January 16, 2007
  • The Online NewsHour: An Interview with President Bush. Public Broadcasting Services. January 16, 2007
  • Bush’s Press Conferences: Why The Uptick? – Public Eye  CBS News.
  • Bush’s War on the Press  By Eric Alterman.  The Nation.  April 21, 2005
  • All the President’s Pressers  October 16, 2006
  • ’60 Minutes’ should’ve aired more of its Bush interview.  MarketWatch  January 17, 2007
  • George Bush Interviewed on 60 Minutes  YouTube  January 15, 2007
  • Countdown: Iraq: Bush’s Broken Egg. YouTube  January 17, 2007
  • Witness: Saddam Hussein argued with guards moments before death.  Cable News Network. December 30, 2006
  • Bush: Saddam execution looked like revenge killing, By Mark Tran.  Guardian Unlimited. Wednesday January 17, 2007
  • The Consequences of Killing Saddam, By Robert Dreyfuss.  The Nation.December 31, 2006.
  • How to define Bush legacy? By Wayne Slater and G. Robert Hillman.  The Dallas Morning News. Monday, January 8, 2007
  • The Law. Bush Versus Attorney General Gonzales ©

    This issue confuses me, entertains me, scares me, and fascinates me.  I am thankful that the “letter of the law” was followed, a warrant was granted and that is good, particularly in light of recent revelations.  I do think the principles that guide society are important.  I prefer to believe that politicians are altruistic; when bribes are buying influence, I shutter.  Nevertheless, I am conflicted.  Having experienced an administration that routinely violates the law [thus far, 750 of them in fact], alters the Constitution, and hides behind privilege, I fear for what might be.

    Representative William Jefferson, a Louisiana Congressman is under investigation.  The charge is bribery.  Apparently, serious allegations have been made.  It is said that this prominent political leader was videotaped accepting $100,000 from an informant.

    The case against Mr. Jefferson has been building for months.  This week the court awarded a search-and-seizure warrant.  Federal Bureau of Investigation examiners were sent out.  Ninety thousand dollars in cold, hard, and ice-covered cash was found in the Congressman’s home freezer.  The suspect’s computer was taken from his office.  The money, while fascinating, has caused little clamor.  The legality and constitutionality of a Congressional office search has brought much comment.

    Rummaging through the workplace went on for eighteen long hours.  Others in Congress, also under investigation; however, on different charges, feared for themselves.  These persons were decidedly nervous.  They questioned privately, might these unprecedented exercises affect them?  I wonder how it might affect us all.  When there is no separation of power, no checks, or balances, what is there?  Oh yes, totalitarianism, exactly what this administration claims we are fighting against.

    Publicly, some Congresspersons rancor was raised.  They asked what of our system of checks and balances.  They pondered and proposed legal scholars to do the same.  Does a practice such as this suggest that we, as a nation, endorse policies that negate the separation of power?  These rabble-rousers, normally calm and contrite were criticized.  It was said they are more worried about themselves than the law of this land.  However, orators such as House Speaker Dennis Hastert declared, “Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years.”

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, proclaimed, Justice Department investigations must follow “constitutional protections and historical precedent.”  House Democratic whip, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, chimed in stating he has “grave concerns” about this search and seizure.

    Democratic Representative William Jefferson, who has not yet been charged, felt justified in stating an FBI search of his Capitol office “an outrageous intrusion.”  The Congressman said, “There are two sides to every story.  There are certainly two sides to this story.”  He was empathic; though asked by leader Pelosi, Jefferson said, no, he will not resign.  Interestingly, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales might.

    Attorney General Gonzales conceded, “I will admit that, these were unusual steps that were taken in response to an unusual set of circumstances.”  Nevertheless, he thinks these actions were necessary and just.  You might recall, dear reader, this same man thought it wise to discount standards set by Geneva Convention.  He stated they were obsolete.  Principles of compassion, and humanitarian gestures are archaic.

    George W. Bush did as well; however, now, with the weight of polls looming large on his shoulders, he is more repentant or reluctant to cause himself greater grief.  The President is seeking solace and therefore, wants to end the wrangling.  King George II wishes to give each side time to think, a novel concept coming from this White House.

    Mr. Bush explained everyone needs time to cool down.  Possibly, they might meet in William Jefferson’s freezer.  In an attempt to achieve greater calm, President Bush has asked the Justice Department to seal all the documents and keep them for 45 days.  Mr. Bush is expectant that in the interim more facts will emerge, tempers will cool, and all persons involved might have a cleared perspective.

    The Attorney General is clear.  Gonzales has offered to tender his resignation if the President enforces his command.  Cool, as cash is in a well-insulated freezer.

    References For Review . . .
    Bush challenges hundreds of laws By Charlie Savage, Boston Globe. April 30, 2006 for PDF Bush challenges hundreds of laws
    Congressman in bribery inquiry won’t resign Associated Press. MSNBC. May 22, 2006
    Angry lawmakers demand FBI return seized documents CNN News May 26, 2006
    GOP, Dems blast FBI for searching congressional office. CNN News May 25, 2006
    Alberto Gonzales: A Record of Injustice Center for American Progress
    Memorandum on the Geneva Conventions Center for American Progress
    Hastert Irate at ABC Story; Bush Freezes Files, by Luke Burbank. All Things Considered. National Public Radio. May 25, 2006
    Gonzales was ready to quit over evidence, By David Johnston, Carl Hulse, New York Times. San Francisco Chronicle. Saturday, May 27, 2006
    Hastert, Pelosi issue rare joint statement Joint Statement from Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Pelosi. By Lynn Sweet. Chicago Sun Times. May 24, 2006
    Bush Orders Jefferson Documents Sealed CBS News. May 25, 2006
    Finally, a search warrant is used–and Republicans in Congress don’t like it By Mitchell J. Freedman. MF Blog. May 25, 2006

    Outsource US All, Begin With Bush ©

    I received this press bulletin weeks ago and I was overjoyed.  The opening statement was “For Immediate Release.”  I meant to share it in the moment; however, my delight overwhelmed me.  I misplaced the pleasurable piece.  Still, the thought stayed with me.  I found my way to this announcement again.  Now, I am offering it to you in hopes that it might be genuine.

    You too may have acquired the same and dismissed it.  Possibly, you thought it to be only humor; however, I wonder.  Is it not accurate that all actions begin with a thought?  Might we not all think this to be true?  If we believe together, and if we all regard this as fact strongly enough, might it not come to pass?  Let us commune with the powers that be and hope that GW’s connection to God is no more influential than our own.

    The document addressed the Outsourcing of our President, Bush Would Become A Statistic. 

    After my initial read of this proclamation, I began waiting anxiously.  was supposed to be the day of action. However, nothing happened . . . sort of [See Article dated March 12, 2006, Feingold to call for rare presidential censure]

    In this journalists’ copy, the media, the public, we, were told that the President of the United States was finally going to become one of us, an authentic US citizen.  He would experience life as we do, with no guarantees.  The concept of a “stable career” would be fleeting.  Plans were in place. The President’s job security was awash.

    Ultimately, King George II would lose his pension, health care, and perks.  The oft-mentioned “even playing field” that GW spoke of would be his reality, just as it is for the vast majority of Americans.  I was looking forward to the day; however, March 12, 2006 came and went. Perhaps, this was only a delay.

    Truly, no time is needed to transition; we will be merely switching from one that knows nothing of Constitutional law, democracy, diplomacy, or the Geneva Convention to another.  Mr. Singh will serve us well, or at least as well as we have been served in the last five years.

    President Bush would finally experience the “justice” he continually reflects upon.  He would be treated as we are.  That is fair.

    George W. Bush would be visiting Iraq, a country he has long been obsessed with.  We are told the Iraqis are planning to welcome the former authoritarian.  Mr. Bush is expecting to receive a warm greeting.  He believes the Iraqis will welcome him with open arms and flowers, just as he thought the troops he commanded would be. Then he will be transferred to India where he will “work for a living”, a concept novel to this silver-spoon-fed-forked-tongue man.

    In preparation, Mr. Bush made this excursion on March 3, 2006.  He flew to India, met with business leaders in that country and said, “For the sake of workers in both our countries, America will trade with confidence.”

    This fiscally responsible autocrat, Baby Bush, is finally willing to cut expenses, the cost of a country doing business with Bushit.  This “compassionate conservative” will receive his reward when this truth comes to pass . . . George W. Bush “Outsourced to India.”

    His legacy will be complete.  His desire to accommodate business interests only will be fulfilled.  It will be the best of corporate policies to outsource the costly profession of President of the “United” States.

    The author of the following missive is unknown, I only wish it were me. I want to share what I believe is a brilliant writing.

    Bush Outsourced to India

    Congress today announced that the office of President of the United States of America would be outsourced to India as of March 12, 2006. The move is being made to save the President’s $400,000 yearly salary, and also, a record $521 billion in deficit expenditures and related overhead the office has incurred during the last 5 years.

    “We believe this is a wise move financially. The cost savings should be significant,” stated Congressman Thomas Reynolds (R-WA Reynolds, with the aid of the Government Accounting Office, has studied outsourcing of American jobs extensively. “We cannot expect to remain competitive on the world stage with the current level of cash outlay,” Reynolds noted.

    Mr. Bush was informed by email this morning of his termination. Preparations for the job move have been underway or sometime. Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices, Mumbai, India, will be assuming the office of President as of January 12, 2007. Mr. Singh was born in the United States while his Indian parents were vacationing at Niagara Falls, thus making him eligible for the position. He will receive a salary of $320 (USD) a month but with no health coverage or other benefits.

    It is believed that Mr. Singh will be able to handle his job responsibilities without a support staff. Due to the time difference between the US and India, he will be working primarily at night, when few offices of the US Government will be open. “Working nights will allow me to keep my day job at the America Express call center”, stated Mr. Singh in an exclusive interview. “I am excited about this position. I always hoped I would be President someday.”

    A Congressional spokesperson noted that while Mr. Singh may not be fully aware of all the issues involved in the office of President, this should not be a problem, because Bush was not familiar with the issues either.

    Mr. Singh will rely upon a script tree that will enable him to respond effectively to most topics of concern. Using these canned responses, he can address common concerns without having to understand the underlying issues at all. “We know these scripting tools work,” stated the spokesperson. “President Bush has used them successfully for years.” Mr. Singh may have problems with the Texas drawl, but lately Bush has abandoned the “down home” persona in his effort to appear intelligent and on top of the Katrina situation. [See Video of Bush being warned of Katrina]

    Bush will receive health coverage, expenses, and salary until his final day of employment. Following a two week waiting period, he will be eligible for $240 a week unemployment for 13 weeks. Unfortunately, he will not be eligible for Medicaid, as his unemployment benefits will exceed the allowed limit.

    Mr. Bush has been provided the outplacement services of Personspower, Inc. to help him write a resume and prepare for his upcoming job transition. According to Personspower, Mr. Bush may have difficulties in securing a new position due to limited practical work experience. A Greeter position at Box-Mart was suggested due to Bush’s extensive experience shaking hands and phony smile. Another possibility is Bush’s re-enlistment in the Texas Air National Guard. His prior records are conspicuously vague but should he choose this option, he would likely be stationed in Waco, Texas for a month, before being sent to Iraq, [for training] a country he has visited.

    “I’ve been there, I know all about Iraq,” stated Mr. Bush, who gained invaluable knowledge of the country in a visit to the Baghdad Airport’s terminal and gift shop. Sources in Baghdad and Fallujah say Mr. Bush would receive a warm reception from local Iraqis. They have asked to be provided with details of his arrival so that they might arrange an appropriate welcome.”

    [I added the following for it seems the author never took GW to India, as his title intended; therefore, I will.]

    After experiencing Iraq, Mr. Bush will be placed in his new position in India.  In preparation, he visited this area a week before the expected formal outsourcing.  Once employed in India Mr. Bush will answer telephone calls from Americans.  His words, likely, will not be understood easily.  No need to worry.  Mr. Bush often speaks and people wonder, “What did he say?” He is used to this by now, or is he?

    There are times when his audience questions his words loudly, they protest and burn effigies.  This is what occurred in the President’s most recent trip to India.  What can he expect when the President finds himself outsourced there?

    ~ Censure, impeach, or outsource this President. Let us act, the sooner the better.  Think hard dear reader, focus, concentrate, visualize.  Let us bring back what we believe in, “power to the people.”

    Further sources for your pleasure . . .

  • Bush planned Iraq ‘regime change’ before becoming President, By Neil Mackay
  • Transcript of Iraq Seminar with Richard Perle and Kanan Makiya, Sponsored by Benador Associates
  • Impeach Bush
  • Deficit Is $521 Billion In Bush Budget, By Jonathan Weisman. Washington Post
  • White House denies Bush God Claim. BBC News
  • Thousands protest Bush in India. Wednesday, March 1, 2006
  • Outsource Bush Now!! By Roseeriter
  • Cindy’s Coalition Broadens; The Bush Brigade is Dissolving ©


    They buried their son on Monday August 15, 2005; they mourned for a day more.  Then, the parents of fallen soldier, Marine Lance Corporal Edward Schroeder II, spoke out.  They meet with the press, on Tuesday, August 16. Through the media, Paul Schroeder and his wife Rosemary Palmer pleaded with the President.  They said, Please “send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether.”

    Ms. Palmer spoke tearfully.  Irritably she stated, Mr. President “We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out.”  The soldier’s father expressed his belief; his son and other Marines are “being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq.”  Mr. Schroeder continued, “Our comments are not just those of grieving parents.  They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief.

    Anger is an honest emotion when someone’s family has been violated.” His wife added accusingly the idea of “staying the course is” is rigid and not realistic.  The mother said the “war has gone bad.”  America’s young are dying.  She offered “Whether he leads them out by putting more troops on the ground or pulling them out – he can’t just let it continue.” Nevertheless, the President does.

    When asked of the Schroeder-Palmer remarks, the office of our Commander-and-Chief said he declines to comment.  The White House reminded the press and the public that the President addressed this issue last week.  Allen Abney, administration spokesman offered, Baby Bush stands by his earlier statements.  He will do as Rosemary Palmer declared he could not, he will carry on the war effort just as he has.

    For the Commander-and-Chief, the Schroeder’s be damned.  Cindy Sheehan, the mother of fallen soldier Casey Sheehan be cursed, all those that support a change in strategy, according to the President, know nothing.  Yet, these know nothings are growing in numbers.  They are building a broad coalition; the Bush alliance is disbanding.

    Since August 7, 2005, Mrs. Sheehan has been holding vigil.  She is waiting for the President to speak with her, not as he did in June 2004 when she was one of many, merely the “Mom” of a fallen soldier.  She wants a genuine meeting, a give and take; she is not interested in obligatory gestures.  She stands strong in protest, just outside the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas.  Support for Cindy Sheehan is growing.

    [Tonight, candlelight vigils are being held throughout the country for Cindy and Casey Sheehan.]

    In the recent media meet with Paul Schroeder and Rosemary Palmer, the couple spoke of Mrs. Sheehan.  They stated, “We consider her the Rosa Parks of the new movement opposing the Iraq war.”  Sheehan, the Schroeder-Palmer family, and other military families are uniting.  They are joining the activists and the peaceniks.  As casualties are mount as American boys and girls come home in body bags, a new coalition gains ground.  This one asks for peace, demands action, and does not promote greater aggression.

    Families such as the Schroeder and the Sheehan’s want the President and the Pentagon to present an exit strategy, to propose a new plan. For these families and for others, it is clear, the current policy is flawed; it is not working.  Daily deaths in Iraq are evidence of this.

    The parents of young Edward, young Casey, and the parents, wives, sons, and daughters of other American soldiers believe, the battle was bad; though it was not as awful as victory. The President declared the war a “success” in May 2003.  However, since that date, more soldiers have been killed.  The slaughter increases each and every day.

    Currently, there is greater rebellion, greater strife, and less unity in Iraq.  The elections did not bring democracy as the President proclaimed; they brought division.  Americans are beginning to realize this.  They see the war on their televisions; they read of the rebellion in their newspapers, and, most importantly, as the bodies of their beautiful babies arrive home in flag draped coffins, they know that this war was not worth the effort. The toll is too high.

    Citizens in the United States are waking up.  They accept reports that the administration lied. The public now believes that we entered the war on false pretenses.  There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction.  We the people of the United States were led to believe that Saddam Hussein attacked the World Trade Towers and that he was the enemy.  However, they learned.  He was not the man behind the attacks.  King George II knew this all along.  He lied.

    In recent months, polls show that US citizens wants out of this war. Nearly three-quarters of Americans think the number of casualties in Iraq is “unacceptable.”  Six in 10 say the war was not worth fighting. More than four in 10 believe the US presence in Iraq is becoming analogous to the experience in Vietnam. Perhaps most portentous for President Bush, 52 percent said war in Iraq has not contributed to the long-term security of this nation.  America is not safer.

    See The Washington Post Poll Finds Dimmer View of Iraq War, by Dana Milbank and Claudia Deane

    Not only are citizens in this country rejecting the war and expressing a desire to leave, those in other nations are as well.  In other nations, the people spoke out sooner and leaders heeded the calls.

    After the bombings is Madrid on March 11, 2004, the people of Spain protested loudly.  Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took action.  The Spanish leader pulled troops out of Iraq in April 2004.

    On November 4, 2004, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany made an announcement.  He too, declared withdraw.  All 300 Hungarian troops stationed in Iraq would exit by the end of March 2005.

    Poland announced several weeks earlier, it would start to reduce its 2,500-strong contingent in January 2005.  The Polish were considering a complete withdrawal by the end of year.

    On the same day that the Schroeder-Palmer family spoke of the need for an exit strategy, the main opposition party in Japan declared their own. The party leaders stated, should they win the upcoming election, they too will plan a pullout from Iraq.

    Italy has stated that they will withdraw from Iraq. The Italian government plans to begin removing troops in September 2005.  Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told Rai state television the pullout would take place “in agreement with our allies”.  Italian forces comprise the forth-largest foreign contingent in the US coalition.  They have 3,000 troops in this war-torn nation.

    There have long been rumors that the United Kingdom is considering an exit.  The majority of people in the UK have never supported the Iraq war.  Millions were protesting on the streets of London before Bush/Blair released the first bomb.

    In truth, the Broad Coalition that Bush spoke of never existed. Ivo H. Daalder, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies wrote of this in the Brookings Daily War Report, March 24, 2003.  In his exposé titled, The Coalition That Isn’t, Daalder, offered,

    Take the list coalition countries the White House is updating daily. Sure, there are some important allies aside from Britain?”notably Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Italy as well as number of “new” Europeans. Only three countries of these allies are actually contributing combat troops and capabilities (2,000 Australian troops, a Danish submarine and naval escort, and 200 Polish troops and refueling ship)?”all in all less than one percent of the total number of troops in the region. The rest of the list is a motley crew of supporters?”including such powerhouses as Afghanistan, Albania, Macedonia, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

    No, the big-bad-broad-coalition never was, and with time, the sham of it will no longer be.  Each day it becomes leaner, not meaner.  However, fortunately, the true coalition is building; it is growing behind parents such as Cindy Sheehan, Paul Schroeder, and his wife Rosemary Palmer.  May the coalition for peace be our guide and just as in the childhood rhyme, may the big “cheese” stand, alone.

    I refer you to an excellent resource.  The Global Policy Forum.

    Wikipedia, Multinational force in Iraq, is also a good source of information.

    US and Coalition Troops in Iraq, June 2005 offers an interesting story.

    Possibly the best resource is IRAQ INDEX, Tracking Reconstruction and Security, in Post-Saddam Iraq, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Booking Institute may be the best resource.  The following statistics are taken from this source.

    As of May 6 – June 15, 2005
    • US 150,000
    • United Kingdom 8,000
    • South Korea 3,600
    • Italy 3,000
    • Poland 1,700
    • Ukraine 1,650
    • Georgia 850
    • Romania 800
    • Japan 550
    • Denmark 530
    • Bulgaria 400
    • Australia 400
    • Remaining 17 coalition countries 1,520

    Update . . . You may wish to visit MaxSpeak. On Thursday, August 18, 2005, he wrote of another call for withdraws from Iraq.  Wisconsin Senator, Russ Feingold, made this request. Max muses; will this be the position of others in the 2008 election. Please read 08.

    McCain Claims, Bush Not Missing in Action ©

    Though I did not see or hear the dialogue, when I heard of it, I was struck.  Senator John McCain, a former Prisoner of War, admittedly, does not always agree with the President.  However, today, this compassionate conservative offered his support.

    In an interview aired on Fox News the Senator stated, “I have seen him, I have seen his care, and I have seen him grieve. And I’m sure he wouldn’t like to hear me say this, but I saw him afterwards. He was very, very grieved. And that’s the job of the President of the United States. He fully appreciates the tragedy of the loss of these brave young Americans.”

    However, Cindy Sheehan does not believe that Mr. Bush cares.

    • If you have not before, Please listen to Cindy and hear her plea.  Look into her eyes; see her face, her tears, and her pain.  Again, I offer the link to an advertisement paid for by the Gold Star Families for Peace.  I think this a worthwhile viewing.  The singular spokesperson is Cindy Sheehan.  She speaks to the President and asks him to care as he has not in the past.

    Mrs. Sheehan said the June 2004 meeting lasted ten minutes.  Mrs. Sheehan was among a group of families meeting with Mr. Bush and Senator John McCain.  She said of the President, “He called me Mom.”  She states, that felt disrespectful.  It created a distance and for this deeply grieving mother, for this person, Cindy, it was a show of insincerity.

    Mrs. Sheehan offered she did not feel as though she was a unique person to this supposedly compassionate man.  Cindy Sheehan wanted to have an opportunity to ask questions and to state her genuine concerns. This was not possible in the time or space allotted. Sheehan asserts reports of her sentiment and her appreciation for the “the gift of happiness,” were distorted.

    Please refer to the original reference, as published in TheReporter.Com.

    Bush, Sheehan’s share moments By David Henson/Staff Writer

    Mrs. Sheehan believes the Reporter article misrepresented her and her feelings. It put forth an image that promoted the Bush war agenda.  She states that does not want her story to be used as propaganda.  The President needs no more proses.  He has plenty advancing his intention to kill.  She does not want her words to be among these.

    However, the Sheehan situation is, in some cases, advancing the President’s cause.  People are pouring into Crawford; many are coming to express their disapproval of the Sheehan family.

    Matt Drudge,  a man considered to be an “Internet gossip” is also gaining greater fame from the Sheehan story.  Drudge is claiming that this protesting mother has “Changed her story on Bush.”  Media Matters for America challenges his assertion.  They are “Tracking a lie through the conservative media” and reporting on Cindy Sheehan “changed her story on Bush”?

    There are so many liesThere are so many “lies,” “tall tales,” and “truths” in the wind.  Mrs. Sheehan is only asking for an audience with the President, asking him to address some of these issues.  Yet, her request for transparency and compassion are denied.

    Mr. McCain speaks of compassion, his own and the President’s.  Yet, he states in this Fox News interview he has no memory of Cindy Sheehan.  This fascinates me.  Was the meeting so meaningful that it was not memorable and if so, can we trust his recollections of the President?  I would be interested in hearing Cindy Sheehan speak of the meeting again and this time, I would hope she would mention her impressions and interactions with Arizona Senator John McCain.  These might be quite revealing.

    Transcript: Senator McCain on ‘FOX News Sunday’

    WALLACE: Let me switch, if I can, to another subject: Cindy Sheehan, I suspect you know who she is?

    MCCAIN: Sure.

    WALLACE: The woman whose son was killed in Iraq last year, who’s now camped outside the president’s ranch. It’s clear that she has joined with some left-wing anti-war groups and has even taped a commercial, which we’re going to show later, in which she accuses the president of lying.

    Question though: If you were the president, would you meet with her?

    MCCAIN: I don’t know if I would or not, Chris, because he did already meet with her once, as you know. And that, I think, probably was sufficient. But this thing has blossomed.

    Look, I’ve been with the president of the United States when he has met with the families of those brave young men and women who have sacrificed. I have seen his compassion. I have seen his love. I have seen his concern. So any charge of insensitivity or uncaring on the part of this president, is absolutely false. He cares and he grieves.

    WALLACE: Now, I know you were on that campaign trip in June of 2004. Were you in the meeting with him when he met with Cindy Sheehan?

    MCCAIN: I don’t — you know, I don’t remember her, because there was a number of families. We sort of met separately, but I did see him encounter and try to do his best to comfort these families, and I saw…

    WALLACE: So when she talks about callous, jovial, acting like he was at a party?

    MCCAIN: I have seen him, I have seen his care, and I have seen him grieve. And I’m sure he wouldn’t like to hear me say this, but I saw him afterwards. He was very, very grieved. And that’s the job of the president of the United States. He fully appreciates the tragedy of the loss of these brave young Americans.”

    Does he?  Does Senator McCain?

    • Please read an excellent essay by Steve Soto, The Left Coaster.  He offers a comprehensive study of The Real Reason Why Cindy Sheehan Is A Threat To The GOP

    Publicly Rice Supports Bolton. Yet, Privately? ©

    President Bush nominated John R. Bolton for the office of United Nations Ambassador.  There is much public support for Mr.  Bolton; however, there are those on both sides of the aisle that do not believe that he would serve this nation well.  Privately, there are questions and concerns.  However, the President stands strong; he wants the former Under Secretary of State to represent our country.  The President is very vocal in his support of Bolton.  He is certain that he made the “right” choice and “Right” it is.  Though many express qualms; the president continues to persevere.

    There are those that speak softly of their reservations; among them is Republican, Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio.  After hearing testimony from people that voluntarily came forward to testify against this nominee, twenty of them staunch republicans, Voinovich publicly voiced his concerns.  The hearings were postponed; the vote to approve was delayed.  Karl Rove, the “architect” and the president’s most powerful political adviser stepped in; he called Mr. Voinovich to stress the need for unity.  Chief of Staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., chimed in as well.  Each reminded the Senator that publicly support must appear solid.

    Condoleezza Rice sings the party line; she also supports the appointment of this nominee with resolve.  She has reason.

    The reason, she does not want Mr. Bolton to serve as deputy Secretary of State!  Miss Rice acknowledges that John would prefer a position in the State Department; however, she is certain that she does not want to work with Mr. Bolton directly.  She knows that Bolton helped the President to get into office in 2000 and that the Administration feels a need to return the favor.  Condie understands the Administration’s belief; John “deserves something.”  Nonetheless, she cannot bring herself to work closely with this man.  Therefore, she offers her outspoken support to the nominee.

    When the President first nominated Bolton to serve as United Nations Ambassador, Republicans and Democrats alike wondered whether Rice influenced the choice.  It is well known that that Rice wanted Bolton in a position where his contribution to policy would be limited.  She felt certain that Bolton needed to be controlled; he needed to be given instructions and be forced to follow these.  She also believed that Bolton was a loose cannon.  Is it possible that Secretary of State Rice persuaded the President to appoint John R. Bolton to the United Nations to avoid having him in the State Department?

    It is; after all, she could easily make the case.  “Bolton’s critical stance toward the United Nations dovetailed perfectly with the administration’s own thinking.”  If she pressed her points well, she would be free; Condie would not be burdened with a closer confluence.  Hence, Miss Rice publicly announced her support for the appointment.  She made calls to members of congress, Democrats and Republicans.  She asked them to endorse the nominee.  She requested confirmation and reassured them.  She emphasized that Bolton would be “strictly scripted by Washington.”

    Three Senators confirm that Miss Rice spoke with them, stating, “We think that we can control him.  If he strays from the reservation, he’s out.”  Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-Rhode Island) said Rice “was clear that he was going to work for her.”  The Los Angeles Times reports that a senior State Department official said that he could not comment on Rice’s private conversations, however, he did offer this: “The secretary has made clear she proposed John and she wanted John for the job.”  Of course she did, she did not and does not want an intimate working relationship with a man such as Mr. Bolton.

    Therefore, Secretary Rice pushes the appointment.  The man that calls her “part of the family,” does as well.  Miss Rice and Mr. Bush are working on this mission together.  They each are adamant; they state John Bolton is a team player.  Is he?  Let us look at the record, his history of plays and ploys.

    Within the Bush camp and from the first there was a known riff between the neo-conservatives such as Vice President Dick Cheney and the more moderate republicans such as Secretary of State Colin Powell.  It has long been believed that Powell was given his Cabinet position because he had the support of the “people;” however, he was never a party favorite.  He was not among the religious or reactionary “rights.”  Therefore, he was considered a problem before he began his service.

    It is said that hawkish Vice President Dick Cheney saw the predicament and took action; he sent John R. Bolton onto the scene.  Those in the State Department believe that Bolton was placed as an adversary, his assignment: obstruct the efforts of the more restrained Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Bolton did!  Bolton was being a team player; the question is which team was he on.  Was he working for team USA, or for team Neo-Con?  Was he working for either team, neither team, or was he merely teaming his interests with individuals whose beliefs parallel his own?

    Possibly the Bolton biography will provide a greater perspective.  Bolton, a lifelong conservative, was a student organizer for the father of true neo-conservatives, Barry Goldwater.  He worked diligently on the Goldwater presidential campaign.  Mr. Bolton was the protégé of extreme conservative, former Senator Jesse Helms [Republican- North Carolina].  He served under both Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  Bolton, like G.W. and his Dad, is a graduate of Yale University.  Mr. Bolton studied law and it was in this capacity that John R. Bolton endeared himself to Bush 43.  As a well-trained attorney and as a self-proclaimed life-long combatant, he was able to fight for the President in the 2000 Florida election recount.  Bolton helped the president to win his first national victory.

    Though Bolton has allied himself with Neo-conservatives, those that know him said that he is actually an advocate of “America” first.  He believes the interests of the United States are foremost.  Bolton has no desire to protect, preserve, or prolong international relations.  The “United Nations,” for Mr. Bolton is an oxymoron; his only allegiance is to his country, his beliefs, and his preferred policies, accurately assessed or not.

    According to MSNBC and Newsweek, as an envoy Mr. Bolton is “alleged to have misused or hyped flawed intelligence against Syria, China, and Iran.”  He has hidden expert information and threatened subordinates.  He has belittled intelligent agents for not doing as he deems is best.  He has attempted to fire experts when they have been unwilling to supply [the false] data that would benefit his cause.  His cause, America above all others; other countries be damned.

    In July 2003, while in Seoul Korea, just before engaging in crucial six-nation talks, Undersecretary of State Bolton gave a speech.  In this talk, Bolton denounced North Korea calling it a “hellish nightmare.”  In referring to its leader, Kim Jong-il, he pronounced him a “tyrannical dictator.”  This action was considered characteristically “undiplomatic;” the timing unbelievable.  Superiors at the State Department felt forced to have Bolton return home.  Asking him to negotiate with those that he demeaned, debased, and degraded would not be wise or politically correct.

    Months later, in November 2003, Bolton was responsible for the stalled agreements with Iran.  Our ally, Britain was working with us in an attempt to end nuclear proliferation in the country.  Talks were not going well.  British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, noted that Bolton “was making it impossible to reach allied agreement on Iran’s nuclear program” Straw, complained to then Secretary of State Colin Powell.  He stated that Bolton was a hindrance and not a help, his language was harsh, his stance inflexible.  Colin Powell realized that negotiations were at a standstill. Powell searched for answers.  He asked a state department aide to speak to experts from Bolton’s own Nonproliferation group.  He hoped to determine the truer estimations for what was and what could be.

    The aide discovered that Bolton had been withholding information and was choosing to use language that distorted the nonproliferation experts’ own conclusions.  The aide passed this information on to then Secretary of State Powell and finally, with accurate facts in hand, the Secretary was able to resolve the nonproliferation issue.  The talks succeeded; however, with no thanks to Bolton.

    More recently, it was discovered that these experts told the aide that they feared retaliation from Bolton.  These State Department officials said that they were frightened of the man; his erratic behavior was stifling.  The aide, when interviewed revealed that that the experts were “adamant that we not let Bolton know we had talked to them.”

    In December 2003, the United States and Britain were working together; they were attempting to achieve a nonproliferation agreement with Libya.  They tried to force Libya to surrender its nuclear program.  However, Bolton undermined the process here as well.  In fact, Newsweek reported that the negotiations “succeeded only after British officials “at the highest level” persuaded the White House to keep Bolton off the negotiating team.”

    There is so much more that gives Miss Rice pause.  Bolton’s interactions with associates is noteworthy; and not for the good.  Yet, there is the party position.  This was well stated by Republican Senator Norm Coleman while speaking on Public Broadcasting’s, Nightly News-hour.  Senator Coleman stated, “This is about the president’s choice of a person  . . . the president has said that we need to reform the U.N. He’s chosen someone who is blunt, who is tough; that’s needed in these times.”  Admittedly, Coleman acknowledges, “there is some division, but I do believe the president will be able to pick the person he believes is most suited to the difficult task of U.N. reform.”  Bolton was chosen to do as he does best, bully.

    It might be said that in the past Bolton did as he was hired to do; he obstructed and intimidated.  It might also be mused that if one does as he is hired to do, then he is, in fact, a “team player.”  We might also consider that Bolton did not work in collaboration with Britain, with Powell, or with his own “team” of experts, and that the word “team” is loosely defined for a man such as Bolton.  What is well defined and without doubt, Condoleezza Rice, though publicly supportive of Mr. Bolton, does not wish to be on the same team, or at least not in the same dugout with this man, John R. Bolton, and so the beat goes on!

    For other thoughts on Bolton, please visit  . . .
    LeftCoaster, “Win Some, Lose Some”
    Daily Kos, “Last Gasp for Moderate Republicans?” by Hunter.
    Update; a recent report from The American Prospect, “The President’s Man” by By Terence Samuel