bush lies.

Friday, November 05, 2004

From Concession Speech by Adam Felber
There are some who would say that I sound bitter, that now is the time for healing, to bring the nation together. Let me tell you a little story. Last night, I watched the returns come in with some friends here in Los Angeles. As the night progressed, people began to talk half-seriously about secession, a red state / blue state split.

The reasoning was this: We in blue states produce the vast majority of the wealth in this country and pay the most taxes, and you in the red states receive the majority of the money from those taxes while complaining about 'em. We in the blue states are the only ones who've been attacked by foreign terrorists, yet you in the red states are gung ho to fight a war in our name. We in the blue states produce the entertainment that you consume so greedily each day, while you in the red states show open disdain for us and our values. Blue state civilians are the actual victims and targets of the war on terror, while red state civilians are the ones standing behind us and yelling "Oh, yeah!? Bring it on!"

More than 40% of you Bush voters still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I'm impressed by that, truly I am. Your sons and daughters who might die in this war know it's not true, the people in the urban centers where al Qaeda wants to attack know it's not true, but those of you who are at practically no risk believe this easy lie because you can. As part of my concession speech, let me say that I really envy that luxury. I concede that.

Healing? We, the people at risk from terrorists, the people who subsidize you, the people who speak in glowing and respectful terms about the heartland of America while that heartland insults and excoriates us... we wanted some healing. We spoke loud and clear. And you refused to give it to us, largely because of your high moral values. You knew better: America doesn't need its allies, doesn't need to share the burden, doesn't need to unite the world, doesn't need to provide for its future. Hell no. Not when it's got a human shield of pointy-headed, atheistic, unconfrontational breadwinners who are willing to pay the bills and play nice in the vain hope of winning a vote that we can never have. Because we're "morally inferior," I suppose, we are supposed to respect your values while you insult ours. And the big joke here is that for 20 years, we've done just that.

It's not a "ha-ha" funny joke, I realize, but it's a joke all the same.
[Fanatical Apathy, 11/3/04]

From Never mind the ballots by anarcho
So, to summarize, you can lose more jobs than any President since the Great Depression. You can preside over millions of families losing their health care. You can take away working people's overtime payments. You can impose a tax cut which benefits the already ultra-rich elite ("my base" as he famously admitted). You can lose all three Presidential debates (and look like an angry moron who makes stuff up). You can smear someone who fought in the war your dad's contacts got you out of (and go AWOL while defending Texan bars from the Communist threat). You can start an unnecessary war based on lies that killed 1,100, mostly working class, troops as well as countless Iraqis while wasting $200 billion and increasing the risk of terrorism. You can fail to live up to your promise to "smoke out" Osama Bin Laden (and get your cronies to proclaim his latest video as a "gift"). You can introduce torture as state policy in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. You can create a global gulag system centred on Guantanamo bay. You can poison the environment by undermining and/or not enforcing environmental regulations. You can give hundreds of millions in no-bid contracts to the Vice President's former company. You can turn a substantial budget surplus into a gigantic deficit. You can let 9/11 happen and then fight the creation of the 9/11 Commission, resist speaking to them and then do not act on their recommendations. You can value faith over science. You can refuse to speak with the press or the public and can let only supporters into your election rallies. ...and you win the popular vote by several million votes.

Welcome to George Bush's America, where the majority of voters have just announced to the entire planet that they are fine with all this. This was an important announcement, particularly for Islamic terrorists whose worst propaganda has just been confirmed. But this is unfair. Only 51% of American voters (representing around 30% of possible voters) choose an ultra-rightwing big-business theocracy as its preferred ruler, rejecting scientific progress along with human rights and supporting aggressive imperialism as the foreign policy of choice. Yet it is clear that the other 49% (representing around 30% of possible voters) are considered irrelevant. Not only are "liberals" demonized by the right, which expresses utter hatred and contempt for them, the Bush Junta quickly talked of its new "mandate" given by having a staggering 1% more voters than the losers. Given the radical right-wing agenda they imposed after stealing the election in 2000 (and without a popular majority) we can only expect one thing - even more of the same but supersized.
Why should 51% of the populate dictate to the other 49%, particularly when the former want to impose an authoritarian regime? In an anarchist system, those communes which wanted to live free would simply secede. Those who wanted to impose their way of life ("family values") would be able to impose it on themselves and no one else.

So, perhaps, that is what America should do. Let the two Americas be free. Let the Blue states secede and let the Red States create their authoritarian big business friendly theocracy. Let those who reject this dogma be free to be themselves. The same within the Red States themselves - why let one community dictate social rules to another? Only a genuine, bottom-up, federal system can ensure that social and individual freedom exists. That explains why the right would never allow it. Given a choice between a theocracy and freedom, most will choose the latter. Being yourself, not what a priestly or statist hierarchy decrees for you, is inherently appealing. Hence the pressing need for the right to seize state power.
[Infoshop News, 11/4/04]

Looks like we're in for a wild ride.

From What do we do now? Politicos, academics and artists - Huffington, Paglia, Lamott, McInerney, Moby and more - respond to the prospect of four more years of Bush (this excerpt by Mark Crispin Miller)
First of all, this election was definitely rigged. I have no doubt about it. It's a statistical impossibility that Bush got 8 million more votes than he got last time. In 2000, he got 15 million votes from right-wing Christians, and there are approximately 19 million of them in the country. They were eager to get the other 4 million. That was pretty much Karl Rove's strategy to get Bush elected.

But given Bush's low popularity ratings and the enormous number of new voters - who skewed Democratic - there is no way in the world that Bush got 8 million more votes this time. I think it had a lot to do with the electronic voting machines. Those machines are completely untrustworthy, and that's why the Republicans use them. Then there's the fact that the immediate claim of Ohio was not contested by the news media - when Andrew Card came out and claimed the state, not only were the votes in Ohio not counted, they weren't even all cast.

I would have to hear a much stronger argument for the authenticity, or I should say the veracity, of this popular vote for Bush before I'm willing to believe it. If someone can prove to me that it happened, that Bush somehow pulled 8 million magic votes out of a hat, OK, I'll accept it. I'm an independent, not a Democrat, and I'm not living in denial.

And that's not even talking about Florida, which is about as Democratic a state as Guatemala used to be. The news media is obliged to make the Republicans account for all these votes, and account for the way they were counted. Simply to embrace this result as definitive is irrational. But there is every reason to question it ... I find it beyond belief that the press in this formerly democratic country would not have made the integrity of the electoral system a front page, top-of-the-line story for the last three years. I worked and worked and worked to get that story into the media, and no one touched it until your guy did.

I actually got invited to a Kerry fundraiser so I could talk to him about it. I raised the issue directly with him and with Teresa. Teresa was really indignant and really concerned, but Kerry just looked down at me - he's about 9 feet tall - and I could tell it just didn't register. It set off all his conspiracy-theory alarms and he just wasn't listening.

Talk to anyone from a real democracy - from Canada or any European country or India. They are staggered to discover that 80 percent of our touch-screen electronic voting machines have no paper trail and are manufactured by companies owned by Bush Republicans. But there is very little sense of outrage here. Americans for a host of reasons have become alienated from the spirit of the Bill of Rights and that should not be tolerated.
[Salon, 11/4/04]

[Mark Crispin Miller is a media critic, professor of communications at New York University, and author, most recently, of Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order.]

Thursday, November 04, 2004

From The Godly Must Be Crazy: Christian-right views are swaying politicians and threatening the environment by Glenn Scherer

There go the Bush Supporters!

Forty-five senators and 186 representatives in 2003 earned 80- to 100-percent approval ratings from the nation's three most influential Christian right advocacy groups - the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council. Many of those same lawmakers also got flunking grades - less than 10 percent, on average - from the League of Conservation Voters last year.

These statistics are puzzling at first. Opposing abortion and stem-cell research is consistent with the religious right's belief that life begins at the moment of conception. Opposing gay marriage is consistent with its claim that homosexual activity is proscribed by the Bible. Both beliefs are a familiar staple of today's political discourse. But a scripture-based justification for anti-environmentalism - when was the last time you heard a conservative politician talk about that?

Odds are it was in 1981, when President Reagan's first secretary of the interior, James Watt, told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. "God gave us these things to use. After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back," Watt said in public testimony that helped get him fired.

Today's Christian fundamentalist politicians are more politically savvy than Reagan's interior secretary was; you're unlikely to catch them overtly attributing public-policy decisions to private religious views. But their words and actions suggest that many share Watt's beliefs. Like him, many Christian fundamentalists feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire. They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed - even hastened - as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.
[Grist, 10/27/04]

I swear everything I hear about these people makes them sound worse and worse. I wish the damn Rapture would get here already. I want to be Left Behind.

From CHURCH & STATE: A lunatic Christian cult has the run of the White House and the ear of the president. What do they want? The end of the world. Be afraid. by Neal Pollack

General Jerry Boykin, messenger of God
Writers for alternative newspapers on the West Coast generally aren't prone to making hyperbolic, paranoid statements, but I'll smash the mold: Our country is being run by a lunatic Christian cult. The evidence grows tumescent. Example one is General Jerry Boykin, a deputy undersecretary of defense who, after September 11, started making the rounds of evangelical churches preaching that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would "only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus." The U.S. is in a "holy war," he preached, against Satan, who wants to destroy our "Christian army." Guess what work Boykin was engaged in while making those speeches on the weekend? That's right. He was helping Donald Rumsfeld craft the specifics of Operation Copper Green, that top-secret Christian program that got us into so much trouble at Camp Redemption. At one of his preaching sessions, Boykin established the pecking order of moral authority. "George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the U.S.," he said. "He was appointed by God." Yes, sir! God approves of making prisoners masturbate each other, sir!

Hah-hah, you say. This is just one crazy general, an aberrational escapee from the lost reel of Dr. Strangelove. I mean, a guy who throws a retreat at Fort Bragg for Baptist preachers, like Boykin did in April 2003, must be one of a kind. One reverend wrote in an invitation letter, "It is believed by you, me, and others that we must find a group of men who are warriors of FAITH, pastors who have the guts to lead this nation to Christ and revival!" But still, this isn't the kind of country where preachers go to military bases to watch a demonstration of "today's war-fighting weapons" with a high-ranking federal military officer.

Actually, it is. This is also the kind of country where the president meets with the members of a radical, far-right millennialist Christian sect three weeks before he counteracts all known international law and opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation. That sect, known as the Apostolic Congress, opposes any deal with the Palestinians because it believes that Christ won't return to Earth until all of Israel belongs to the Jews and Solomon's temple is rebuilt. To those of us who like a dose of sanity in our morning coffee, such ideas are anathema, but to President Bush, they're a daily briefing. Even Ronald Reagan, that holy-rollerist of presidents, didn't give apocalyptic Christians weekly telephone briefings on White House policy. It's almost impossible for Kofi Annan to get a meeting with the president, but Robert G. Upton, of the United Pentecostal Church, can say, as he did a couple of weeks ago in that house organ of fundamentalism, the Village Voice, "We're in constant contact with the White House."
[The Stranger, 6/10/04]

And this is the crew that was just re-elected. Scary.

From A moral dilemma by Sidney Blumenthal
Using the White House as a machine of centripetal force, [Bush puppetmaster Karl] Rove spread fear and fused its elements. Fear of the besieging terrorist, appearing in Bush TV ads as the shifty eyes of a swarthy man or a pack of wolves, was joined with fear of the besieging queer. Bush's support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage was underscored by referendums against it in 11 states - all of which won.

The evangelical churches became instruments of political organisation. Ideology was enforced as theology, turning nonconformity into sin, and the faithful, following voter guides with biblical literalism, were shepherded to the polls as though to the rapture. White Protestants, especially in the south, especially married men, gave their souls and votes for flag and cross. The campaign was one long revival. Abortion and stem cell research became a lever for prying loose white Catholics. To help in Florida, a referendum was put on the ballot to deny young women the right to abortion without parental approval and it galvanised evangelicals and conservative Catholics alike.

While Kerry ran on mainstream traditions of international cooperation and domestic investments, and transparency and rationality as essential to democratic government, Bush campaigned directly against these very ideas. At his rallies, Bush was introduced as standing for "the right God". During the closing weeks, Bush and Cheney ridiculed internationalism, falsifying Kerry's statement about a "global test". They disdained Kerry's internationalism as effeminate, unpatriotic, a character flaw, and elitist. "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," Cheney derided in every speech. They grafted imperial unilateralism on to provincial isolationism. Fear of the rest of the world was to be mastered with contempt for it.

This was linked to what is euphemistically called "moral values", which is social and sexual panic over the rights of women and gender roles. Only imposing manly authority against "girly men" and girls and lurking terrorists can save the nation. Above all, the exit polls showed that "strong leader" was the primary reason Bush was supported.
[The Guardian (UK), 11/4/04]

America is sick, and getting sicker. It is becoming apparent that this election was a triumph of Christian fundamentalism over reason, a false image over the truth, and fantasy over reality.

From Bush's fundamentalism: the president as prophet by David Domke and Kevin Coe
In his address to Republican Party delegates and the nation on Sept. 2, George W. Bush used the words "freedom" or "liberty," in some form, 34 times. This is a remarkable number, even for a president known for his ability to hammer home a message.

Among these instances was this declaration: "I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world."

Bush's fusion of a religious outlook with administration policy is a striking shift in modern presidential rhetoric. Presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have spoken as petitioners of God, seeking blessing and guidance; this president positions himself as a prophet, issuing declarations of divine desires for the nation and world. Put simply, Bush's language suggests that he speaks not to God, but for God.
Roosevelt in 1941, in a famous address de-lineating four essential freedoms threatened by fascism and Nazism, said: "This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God."

Contrast that with Bush's claim in 2003 that "Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity." This is not a request for divine favor; it is a declaration of divine wishes.

Such rhetoric, consistently emanating from this president and administration, has transformed Bush's "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" policy to "Either you are with us, or you are against God." To the great detriment of American democracy and the global public, the president's view looks and sounds remarkably similar to that of the terrorists we are fighting.
[Seattle Times, 9/23/04]

From Stand and Fight by Katrina vanden Heuvel
We saw two turnouts and Two Nations last night. Both sides of the chasm saw a major turnout of its voting base. Karl Rove talked about creating a permanent Republican majority. But the truth is, he has a divide-and-rule strategy. And the electoral college amplifies the rural, socially conservative vote. (Twenty percent of voters considered "moral values" - eleven states had anti-gay marriage ballots - more important than the economy or Iraq in this election.)

Perhaps more astonishing than the polling on the murky issue of morality (why aren't poverty and unjust war considered immoral?) are the figures reported in the New York Times: "Voters who cited honesty as the most important quality in a candidate broke 2 to 1 in Mr. Bush's favor..." The most mendacious Administration in American history won the honesty vote?

Progressives, who were on the defensive two years ago, added millions of new voters as well, and tapped a new energy and activism that will last far beyond November 2nd. The extremism and incompetence of this rightwing cabal has sharpened our focus to a razor's edge.
But this morning, we woke to a country at war with itself - as well as Al Qaeda. As America fights Islamic fundamentalism abroad, progressives are re-fighting the Enlightenment here at home. (The two new Senators from Oklahoma and South Carolina are leaders of our homegrown Taliban.)

This is war at a very deep level about how this country will proceed and this war isn't over, it's just renewed.
[The Nation, 11/3/04]

I believe that religious fundamentalism - Christian and Muslim both - is the greatest threat facing the world today. Unfortunately, America's voters chose to increase that threat on Tuesday.

From The Day the Enlightenment Went Out by Garry Wills
Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?

America, the first real democracy in history, was a product of Enlightenment values - critical intelligence, tolerance, respect for evidence, a regard for the secular sciences. Though the founders differed on many things, they shared these values of what was then modernity. They addressed "a candid world," as they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, out of "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." Respect for evidence seems not to pertain any more, when a poll taken just before the elections showed that 75 percent of Mr. Bush's supporters believe Iraq either worked closely with Al Qaeda or was directly involved in the attacks of 9/11.

The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate. It is not what they had experienced from this country in the past. In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies.

Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists. Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed.

It is often observed that enemies come to resemble each other. We torture the torturers, we call our God better than theirs - as one American general put it, in words that the president has not repudiated.

President Bush promised in 2000 that he would lead a humble country, be a uniter not a divider, that he would make conservatism compassionate. He did not need to make such false promises this time.
[New York Times, 11/4/04]

It occurs to me that Mr. Bush's ascendancy is a symptom of a much larger problem involving the people of America. More than half of them have now affirmed an utterly failed Bush presidency in which he mentions God every third word while giving money to rich people. How will we keep folks in other countries from thinking of Americans as greedy, religious idiots?

From Bush claims "historic victory" in speech
Bush described his second term as a "new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation." He said he presides over "one country" with "one constitution" - and with "one future that binds us."

He said the campaign has ended - but that the nation goes forward "with confidence and faith."

Concluding his acceptance speech, Bush said he sees a "great day coming" for the country - and that he's "eager for the work ahead."

Opening the appearance, Vice President Dick Cheney said the GOP ticket had worked hard and carried a message of "hope and optimism" across the country.

Cheney thanked voters for sending Republican majorities to both the House and Senate.

He told the crowd that Bush had set out a "clear agenda for the nation's future" - and that America responded by giving him a "mandate."
[Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/3/04]

That's funny, I don't remember Cheney's message as being one of "hope and optimism". I remember it being one of "fear and intimidation". Maybe that's what he meant to say. Also, I don't think 51% of the vote is really a "mandate", is it?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


I tried earlier, and no one wanted to believe it. Maybe now you do? *THE FIX IS IN.*

If we're afraid to call it as is, there's no chance we'll ever see democracy or a Democrat elected in this country ever again. PLEASE WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES.

Here are some facts:

(1) All exit polls had Kerry ahead in in FL and OH.

(2) All Democrats were completely confident, based (I'm sure) on internal polls. Kennedy said Kerry won. He was sure. So was the DNC chair, who referred to Kerry as president-elect.

(3) Canadian TV (CTV) said it will be an early landslide (their word) for Kerry. They had inside information.

(4) Exit polls have always been correct - until they pulled Florida away from Gore, and Bush took power by force. Since then no exit poll has ever been any good. Coincidence?

(5) In the midterm elections, the VERY SAME thing happened as tonight. Polls nationwide favored Democrats, and then the GOP won every state -- and the exit polls vanished!!! Pollsters had never been so wrong. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME MACHINES WERE USED.

(6) We all know who owns the Diabold (Diabolical) voting machines. And it ain't the Democrats.

(5) Every historical predictor pointed to a Kerry victory: the large turnout, Bush's approval ratings, the economy, and the fact that he consistently polled under 50 or even 48%. No president had ever won with such low numbers.

And then magically everything reversed itself and Bush wins. Do you guys believe this is for real?

I don't know what we can do. But at the very least I suggest:

-- Write letters to every paper and every person you know, outlining the facts above (plus everything you can add about the electronic voting machines -- lots of info out there).

-- Write Kennedy and others who KNOW Kerry had the real vote. We need them to come forward and speak out.

-- We need strategy. We can't just go and protest and be angry. It will look like we can't accept defeat. We need to get our facts and target our message. Or else forget about this country.
[Democratic Underground, 11/3/04]

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Monday, November 01, 2004

From Gore Vidal: Novelist, Essayist, Playwright, and Provocateur

Gore Vidal
On the eve of the presidential election, we are honored to bring you a BuzzFlash interview with the man some regard as the ranking literary political and social critic from the left, Gore Vidal.

Since we’re all enmeshed reading about the GOP’s massive dirty tricks campaign to steal the presidency – again – we’ll get right to the interview and direct you to the PBS program American Masters to read his fascinating and in-depth biography at your leisure.

We spoke with Gore Vidal on why he thinks George W. Bush will lose this election, the historical figure he would most like to speak with to gain insight into our current politics, and why the "American story" is so far removed from our true history.

Vidal's most recent book is Imperial America : Reflections on the United States of Amnesia, Published by Nation Books.
BuzzFlash: Hypothetically, if Bush gets a second term either through legitimate or illegitimate means, what, if any, lessons from our history can we draw from to get through Bush’s reign? Although it certainly won’t stop Bush from invading another country or looting the country, what perspective do you think people should have? Because although it may seem like it, the sky isn’t going to fall on November 3rd, even if our Republic does.

Gore Vidal: Yes, even if Bush loses, he’s going to try to stay in office. I think the first thing he’ll be faced with will be the revolt of the generals. They don’t like seeing the troops thrown away, and they certainly don’t want to be thrown away. And they’ve been ignored by this fool Rumsfeld, and they’ve allowed a little group to misdirect American foreign policy and have us invade innocent countries, and make ourselves hated by the world. I think the military will be the first to blow the whistle.

BuzzFlash: Would you say that George Bush’s presidency is the embodiment of everything that the Founding Fathers feared when they drafted the new Constitution?

Gore Vidal: I have never myself put it so baldly, but I accept your definition. They are turning in their graves.
[BuzzFlash, 11/1/04]

From One Nation Under Bush: At a campaign rally, Republicans recite the "Bush Pledge" by Chris Suellentrop
"I want you to stand, raise your right hands," and recite "the Bush Pledge," said Florida state Sen. Ken Pruitt. The assembled mass of about 2,000 in this Treasure Coast town [Port St. Lucie] about an hour north of West Palm Beach dutifully rose, arms aloft, and repeated after Pruitt: "I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States."

I know the Bush-Cheney campaign occasionally requires the people who attend its events to sign loyalty oaths, but this was the first time I have ever seen an audience actually stand and utter one. Maybe they've replaced the written oath with a verbal one.
Because I've been traveling "outside the bubble" of the campaign planes for the past week, I arrived at a Thursday rally for Laura Bush before it began, and I sat with the local press. For only the second time, I witnessed a Bush campaign event in full. It wasn't a particularly notable experience, except for the fact that it opened with that weird pledge of fealty, reminiscent of the cultlike cheer that Wal-Mart forces its employees to perform.
[Slate, 10/28/04]

Now they're pledging allegiance, not to America or the flag, but to George W. Bush. Good grief. How much farther can they take this? Will they worship him next?

AFGE National President Rebuts Bush False Claims on Border Security and Veterans' Programs
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) rebutted statements made by President Bush in the third presidential debate on two key election issues: securing America's borders and funding veterans' programs. AFGE represents 600,000 federal workers throughout the United States in agencies including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

"Government employees know the reality of America's porous borders and the care veterans are not getting. That reality directly refutes the assertions made by President Bush in last night's debate," said John Gage, AFGE national president.

In August of this year, AFGE conducted a poll among the frontline federal workers who secure U.S. borders, Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection inspectors. Almost two-thirds said they have not been given the "tools, training and support" they need to successfully complete their mission, which includes preventing terrorists from entering the country, and nearly half said the nation is no safer today than it was on September 11th, 2001. Adding to the difficulty of protecting Americans from terrorism is a hiring freeze throughout DHS, which has directly impacted the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection divisions.

"When a clear majority of America's frontline border protection agents consistently asserted in the survey, in question after question, that not enough has been done to secure our borders, the staffing and the resources should have been added immediately," added Gage. "To the risk of every American, that didn't happen under President Bush."

On the issue of funding for veterans' programs, President Bush's own Secretary of the VA, Anthony J. Principi, admitted that Bush shortchanged the VA system by $1.2 billion in 2004. The Bush Administration plans to increase out-of-pocket fees and co-pays next year, which by its own admission, will deter 200,000 veterans from utilizing the VA care system. At a time when the veteran population is aging and will require more care, President Bush has proposed cutting the number of VA hospital beds by 37 percent. Despite rhetoric about supporting our troops President Bush has proposed cutting the staff that enrolls veterans in the VA system and processes healthcare claims. So far, about 20,000 soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have requested either services or benefits from the VA.

"America made a promise to our soldiers, to care for them when they returned home as veterans. Under President Bush, America is breaking that promise to our veterans," said Gage.
[American Federation of Government Employees, 10/14/04]

Try telling any of this to one of Bush's supporters. They insist on seeing him as "making us safer", ignoring expert opinion, eyewitness testimony, and objective facts. It's unreal.

From The Fabric of Deception and Liberal Complicity by Paul Street
Why did The 9/11 Commission let George W. Bush get away with denying that he had been given abundant reason to have acted to pre-empt the Sept. 11 terror attacks? The commissioners knew very well that numerous attempts had been made within the US national security bureaucracy to wake the criminally negligent Bush administration up to the grave and imminent threat that came to fruition on the terrible day that Bush turned into his defining moment and political jackpot. Before Bush looked two commissioners in the eyes and lied about his pre-9/11 ignorance about the danger posed by al Qaeda, the commission had reviewed mountains of evidence that totally contradicted the president’s testimony.

According to Benjamin De Mott in a recent issue of Harper’s, there was no chance that the commissioners would have called Bush on this deception. This was because “challenging the chief executive as a liar entailed an unthinkable cost - the possible rending of the nation’s social and political fabric.”

Let’s call this the De Mott Proviso (not something De Mott himself embraces, by the way): “mainstream” politicos and other key opinion-shapers can’t expose the president as the lying liar that he truly is because doing so will upset the dominant social order.

I don’t know if De Mott’s explanation is correct, but it’s worth noting that Bush lies about practically everything, from his own youthful behavior (which included dodging service in a bloody imperialist war he vocally supported) to the purpose and consequences of his “middle-class tax cuts,” his ecocidal environmental record, and the reasons he invaded Iraq and...the list goes on.

If “independent” commissions (and “opposition" presidential candidates) can’t call Bush a liar without unraveling “the social and political fabric,” then the lion’s share of the president’s rhetoric and conduct would appear to be off the table of serious criticism.

Has Bush been granted the Divine Right of Presidential Bad Faith, Necessitated by the Requirement to Preserve Social Hierarchy?
[Dissident Voice, 10/31/04]

From A Few Questions for Bush’s Christian Supporters about Bush and God: Questions I wish one reporter had the guts to ask! By Lonna Gooden VanHorn
If God is guiding Bush, why have so many of his decisions been so wrong? If we are blessed to have Bush as president, why are so many of us so much worse off in 2004 than we were in 2000?

Many Christians believe that America is a country special to God. Many fundamentalist Christians and other Christians believe that with George Bush as president, God is in the White House.

George says he asks for guidance from God and he asks God for wisdom. I believe him. I have never doubted his sincerity in his belief in God.

My favorite verses in the Bible are ones written by Paul “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his Counselor…?” Romans 11:33 –36.

I don’t claim to know the mind of God. Neither did a truly great president, Abraham Lincoln, who said he could not know the mind of God. He said he could not say God was on his side. He only hoped that he was on God’s side. But, Bush has reportedly said both that he speaks for God and that God speaks through him, and Bush supporters believe Americans are blessed, both as a nation and as people to have him as president. With those facts in mind, I have a few questions.

[The author proceeds to raise numerous interesting quetions that should be asked of the president.]

If Bush is elected next week, honestly or dishonestly, and dishonestly seems more likely, we will all find out in a year or two the damage Bush has done to our country. Unfortunately, the damage from his first four disastrous years will become most apparent in the middle of the next presidential term, be it Kerry or Bush who becomes president. Economists believe we have some hope of getting out of the mess Bush has gotten us into if Kerry is elected. If Bush is elected, many say that a South American style fiscal meltdown is inevitable. Bush’s economic policies are so disastrous they have the IMF concerned.

If Bush is elected and his “guidance” over the next four years is as mistaken as it was this four years, God help us all!!
[OpEdNews.com, 10/28/04]

If it's really true that God put Bush in the White House, He must hate America for some reason. It's probably because of all the "pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, [and] People For the American Way". Remember? Jerry Falwell said that's why God allowed 9/11 to happen. So be comforted - it's all God's Plan.

From Even Republicans Fear Bush by John Nichols
Former Republican members of the U.S. Senate and House, governors, ambassadors, aides to GOP Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush have explicitly endorsed the campaign of Democrat John Kerry. For many of these lifelong Republicans, their vote for Kerry will be a first Democratic vote. But, in most cases, it will not be a hesitant one.

Angered by the Bush administration's mismanagement of the war in Iraq, record deficits, assaults on the environment and secrecy, the renegade partisans tend to echo the words of former Minnesota Governor Elmer Andersen, who says that, "Although I am a longtime Republican, it is time to make a statement, and it is this: Vote for Kerry-Edwards, I implore you, on November 2."

Many of the Republicans who are abandoning Bush express sorrow at what the Bush-Cheney administration and its allies in Congress have done to their party: "The fact is that today's 'Republican' Party is one that I am totally unfamiliar with," writes John Eisenhower.

But the deeper motivation is summed up by former U.S. Senator Marlow Cook, a Kentucky Republican, who explained in a recent article for the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper that, "For me, as a Republican, I feel that when my party gives me a dangerous leader who flouts the truth, takes the country into an undeclared war and then adds a war on terrorism to it without debate by the Congress, we have a duty to rid ourselves of those who are taking our country on a perilous ride in the wrong direction. If we are indeed the party of Lincoln (I paraphrase his words), a president who deems to have the right to declare war at will without the consent of the Congress is a president who far exceeds his power under our Constitution. I will take John Kerry for four years to put our country on the right path."
[The Nation, 10/31/04]

I'm pretty sure there are more Republicans who support Kerry than there are Democrats who support Bush.