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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    according to Fred Kaplan in Slate the administration s latest budget proposal for homeland security actually contains less money than was spent last year Meanwhile urgent priorities remain unmet For example port security identified as a top concern from the very beginning has so far received only one tenth as much money as the Coast Guard says is needed But it s not just a matter of money For one thing it s hard to claim now that the Bush administration is trying to hold down domestic spending to make room for tax cuts With the budget deficit projected at more than 400 billion this year a few billion more for homeland security wouldn t make much difference to the tax cutting agenda Moreover Congress isn t pinching pennies across the board last week the Senate voted to provide 15 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of nuclear power plants Furthermore even on the military front the administration has been weirdly reluctant to come to grips with terrorism It refused to provide Afghanistan s new government with an adequate security umbrella with the predictable result that warlords are running rampant and the Taliban are making a comeback The squandered victory in Afghanistan was one reason people like myself had a bad feeling about the invasion of Iraq and sure enough the administration was bizarrely lackadaisical about providing postwar security Even nuclear waste dumps were left unguarded for weeks So what s the explanation The answer one suspects is that key figures above all Donald Rumsfeld just didn t feel like dealing with the real problem Real counterterrorism mainly involves police work and precautionary measures it doesn t look impressive on TV and it doesn t provide many occasions for victory celebrations A conventional war on the other hand is a lot more fun you get stirring pictures of tanks rolling across the desert and you get to do a victory landing on an aircraft carrier And more and more it seems that that was what the war was all about After all the supposed reasons for fighting that war have turned out to be false there were no links to Al Qaeda there wasn t a big arsenal of W M D s But never mind we won didn t we Maybe not About half of the U S Army s combat strength is now tied down in Iraq facing what looks increasingly like a guerrilla war and like a perfect recruiting device for Al Qaeda Meanwhile the real war on terror has been neglected and we ve antagonized the allies we need to fight that war One of these days we ll end up paying the price Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article15_recpres.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    says Paul Weyrich leader of the Free Congress Foundation and a movement pioneer Likewise the Gingrich era was a lot of rhetoric This Administration is far more serious and disciplined they have better outreach than any with which I have dealt These people have figured out how to communicate regularly with their base make sure it understands what they re doing When they have to go against their base they know how to inoculate themselves against what might happen Norquist s ambition is that building on its current strength the right can cut government by half over the next twenty five years to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub see Robert Dreyfuss Grover Norquist Field Marshal of the Bush Tax Plan May 14 2001 The federal government would shrink from 20 percent of GDP to 10 percent state and local government from 12 to 6 percent When vouchers become universally available he expects public schools to shrink from 6 to 3 percent of GDP And we ll have better schools he assures People like Norquist play the role of constantly pushing the boundaries of the possible I m lining up support to abolish the alternative minimum tax he says Has Bush spoken to this No I want to run ahead put our guys on the record for it So I will be out in front of the Bush Administration not attacking the Bush Administration Will he do everything we want No but you know what I don t care Americans for Tax Reform serves as a kind of action central for a galaxy of conservative interests with support from corporate names like Microsoft Pfizer AOL Time Warner R J Reynolds and the liquor industry The issue that brings people to politics is what they want from government Norquist explains All our people want to be left alone by government To be in this coalition you only need to have your foot in the circle on one issue You don t need a Weltanschauung you don t have to agree with every other issue so long as the coalition is right on yours That s why we don t have the expected war within the center right coalition That s why we can win One of the right s political accomplishments is bringing together diverse once hostile sectarians The Republican Party used to be based in the Protestant mainline and aggressively kept its distance from other religions Norquist observes Now we ve got observant Catholics the people who go to mass every Sunday evangelical Christians Mormons orthodox Jews Muslims How did it happen The secular left has created an ecumenical right he says This new tolerance including on race may represent meaningful social change but of course the right also still feeds on intolerance too demonizing those whose values or lifestyle or place of birth does not conform to their idea of American This tendency Norquist acknowledges is a vulnerability The swelling ranks of Latino and Asian immigrants could become a transforming force in American politics once these millions of new citizens become confident enough to participate in election politics just as European immigrants became a vital force for liberal reform in the early twentieth century So Bush labors to change the party s anti immigrant profile and had some success with Mexican Americans in Texas Norquist prefers to focus on other demographic trends that he believes insure the right s eventual triumph As the children of the New Deal die off he asserts they will be replaced by young leave me alone conservatives Anderson the former Reagan adviser is less certain Most of the people like what government is doing he observes So long as it isn t overintrusive and so forth they re happy with it IV Show Me the Money Ideology may provide the unifying umbrella but the real glue of this movement is its iron rule for practical politics Every measure it enacts every half step it takes toward the grand vision must deliver concrete rewards to one constituency or another often several and right now not in the distant future Usually the reward is money There is nothing unusual or illegitimate about that but it sounds like raw hypocrisy considering that the right devotes enormous energy to denouncing special interest politics on the left schoolteachers labor unions bureaucrats Hollywood The right s interest groups issue by issue bring their muscle to the cause Bush s lifetime savings accounts constitute a vast new product line for the securities industry which is naturally enthused about marketing and managing these accounts The terms especially benefit the well to do since a family of four will be able to shelter up to 45 000 annually that s more than most families earn in a year The White House has enlisted Fortune 500 companies to spread the good news to the investor class in their regular mailings to shareholders Bush s market friendly reforms for healthcare would reward two business sectors that many consumers regard as the problem drug companies and HMOs Big Pharma would get the best of all worlds a federal subsidy for prescription drug purchases by the elderly but without any limits on the prices The insurance industry is invited to set up a privatized version of Medicare that would compete with the government run system assuming there are enough senior citizens willing to take that risk Some rewards are not about money Bush has already provided a victory for pro lifers with the ban on late term abortions The antiabortionists are realists now and no longer badger the GOP for a constitutional amendment but perhaps a future Supreme Court top heavy with right wing appointees will deliver for them Republicans are spoiling for a fight over guns in 2004 when the federal ban on assault rifles is due to expire Liberals they hope will try to renew the law so the GOP can deliver a visible election year reward by blocking it Gun control advocates are thinking of forcing Bush to choose between the gun lobby and public opinion The biggest rewards of course are about taxation and the internal self discipline is impressive When Reagan proposed his huge tax rate cuts in 1981 the K Street corporate lobbyists piled on with their own list of goodies and the White House lost control Reagan s tax cuts wound up much larger than he intended This time around business behaved itself when Bush proposed a tax package in 2001 in which its wish list was left out They supported the 2001 tax cuts because they knew there was going to be another tax cut every year and if you don t support this year s you go to the end of the line next time Norquist says Their patience has already been rewarded The antitax movement follows a well defined script for advancing step by step to the ultimate goal Norquist has organized five caucuses to agitate and sign up Congressional supporters on five separate issues estate tax repeal already enacted but still vulnerable to reversal retirement savings reforms elimination of the alternative minimum tax immediate business deductions for capital investment expenses instead of a multiyear depreciation schedule and zero taxation of capital gains If we do all of these things there is no tax on capital and we are very close to a flat tax Norquist exclaims The road ahead is far more difficult than he makes it sound because along the way a lot of people will discover that they are to be the losers In fact the McKinley vision requires vast sectors of society to pay dearly and from their own pockets Martin Anderson has worked through the flat tax arithmetic many times and it always comes out a political loser The conservatives all want to revolutionize the tax system frankly because they haven t thought it through Anderson says It means people from zero to 35 000 income pay no tax and anyone over 150 000 is going to get a tax cut The people in between get a tax increase unless you cut federal spending That s not going to happen Likewise any substantial consumption tax does severe injury to another broad class of Americans the elderly They were already taxed when they were young and earning and saving their money but a new consumption tax would now tax their money again as they spend it Lawrence Lindsey Bush s former economic adviser has advocated a consumption based flat tax that would probably require a rate of 21 percent on consumer purchases like a draconian sales tax He concedes It would be hitting the current generation of elderly twice So it would be a hard sell School choice is also essentially a money issue though this fact has been obscured by the years of Republican rhetoric demonizing the public schools and their teachers Under tuition vouchers the redistribution of income will flow from all taxpayers to the minority of American families who send their children to private schools religious and secular Those children are less than 10 percent of the 52 million children enrolled in K 12 You wouldn t know it from reading about the voucher debate but the market share of private schools actually declined slightly during the past decade The Catholic parochial system stands to gain the most from public financing because its enrollment has declined by half since the 1960s to 2 6 million Though there was some growth during the 1990s it was in the suburbs not cities Other private schools especially religious schools in the South grew more during the past decade by about 400 000 but public schools expanded far faster by 6 million The point is the right s constituency for school choice remains a small though fervent minority Conservatives have cleverly transformed the voucher question into an issue of racial equality arguing that they are the best way to liberate impoverished black children from bad schools in slum surroundings But educational quality notwithstanding it is not self evident that private schools including the Catholic parochial system are disposed to solve the problem of minority education since they are highly segregated themselves Catholic schools enroll only 2 5 percent of black students nationwide and more telling only 3 8 percent of Hispanic children most of whom are Catholic In the South hundreds of private schools originated to escape integration and were supported at first by state tuition grants later ruled unconstitutional School choice in short might very well finance greater racial separation the choice of whites to stick with their own kind and at public expense The right s assault on environmental regulation has a similar profile Taking the lead are small landowners or Western farmers who make appealing pleas to be left alone to enjoy their property and take care of it conscientiously Riding alongside are developers and major industrial sectors and polluters eager to win the same rights if not from Congress then the Supreme Court But there s one problem The overwhelming majority of Americans want stronger environmental standards and more vigorous enforcement V Are They Right About America Leave me alone is an appealing slogan but the right regularly violates its own guiding principle The antiabortion folks intend to use government power to force their own moral values on the private lives of others Free market right wingers fall silent when Bush and Congress intrude to bail out airlines insurance companies banks whatever sector finds itself in desperate need The hard right conservatives are downright enthusiastic when the Supreme Court and Bush s Justice Department hack away at our civil liberties The school choice movement seeks not smaller government but a vast expansion of taxpayer obligations Maybe what the right is really seeking is not so much to be left alone by government but to use government to reorganize society in its own right wing image All in all the right s agenda promises a reordering that will drive the country toward greater separation and segmentation of its many social elements higher walls and more distance for those who wish to protect themselves from messy diversity The trend of social disintegration including the slow breakup of the broad middle class has been under way for several decades fissures generated by growing inequalities of status and well being The right proposes to legitimize and encourage these deep social changes in the name of greater autonomy Dismantle the common assets of society give people back their tax money and let everyone fend for himself Is this the country Americans want for their grandchildren or great grandchildren If one puts aside Republican nostalgia for McKinley s gaslight era it was actually a dark and troubled time for many Americans and society as a whole riven as it was by harsh economic conflict and social neglect of everyday brutalities Autonomy can be lonely and chilly as millions of Americans have learned in recent years when the company canceled their pensions or the stock market swallowed their savings or industrial interests destroyed their surroundings For most Americans there is no redress without common action collective efforts based on mutual trust and shared responsibilities In other words I do not believe that most Americans want what the right wants But I also think many cannot see the choices clearly or grasp the long term implications for the country This is a failure of left liberal politics Constructing an effective response requires a politics that goes right at the ideology translates the meaning of Bush s governing agenda lays out the implications for society and argues unabashedly for a more positive inclusive forward looking vision No need for scaremongering attacks stick to the well known facts Pose some big questions Do Americans want to get rid of the income tax altogether and its longstanding premise that the affluent should pay higher rates than the humble For that matter do Americans think capital incomes should be excused completely from taxation while labor incomes are taxed more heavily perhaps through a stiff national sales tax Do people want to give up on the concept of the common school one of America s distinctive achievements Should property rights be given precedence over human rights or society s need to protect nature The recent battles over Social Security privatization are instructive When the labor left mounted a serious ideological rebuttal well documented in fact and reason Republicans scurried away from the issue though they will doubtless try again To make this case convincing however the opposition must first have a coherent vision of its own The Democratic Party alas is accustomed to playing defense and has become wary of the vision thing as Dubya s father called it Most elected Democrats I think now see their role as managerial rather than big reform and fear that even talking about ideology will stick them with the right s demon label liberal If a new understanding of progressive purpose does get formed one that connects to social reality and describes a more promising future the vision will not originate in Washington but among those who see realities up close and are struggling now to change things on the ground We are a very wealthy and brutally powerful nation so why do people experience so much stress and confinement in their lives a sense of loss and failure The answers I suggest will lead to a new formulation of what progressives want The first place to inquire is not the failures of government but the malformed power relationships of American capitalism the terms of employment that reduce many workers to powerless digits the closely held decisions of finance capital that shape our society the waste and destruction embedded in our system of mass consumption and production The goal is like the right s to create greater self fulfillment but as broadly as possible Self reliance and individualism can be made meaningful for all only by first reviving the power of collective action My own conviction is that a lot of Americans are ready to take up these questions and many others Some are actually old questions issues of power that were not resolved in the great reform eras of the past They await a new generation bold enough to ask if our prosperous society is really as free and satisfied as it claims to be When conscientious people find ideas and remedies that resonate with the real experiences of Americans then they will have their vision and perhaps the true answer to the right wing National affairs correspondent William Greider has been a political journalist for more than thirty five years A former Rolling Stone and Washington Post editor he is the author of the national bestsellers One World Ready or Not Secrets of the Temple and Who Will Tell The People Copyright 2003 The Nation I Back to the Future George W Bush properly understood represents the third and most powerful wave in the right s long running assault on the governing order created by twentieth century liberalism The first wave was Ronald Reagan whose election in 1980 allowed movement conservatives finally to attain governing power their flame was first lit by Barry Goldwater back in 1964 Reagan unfurled many bold ideological banners for right wing reform and established the political viability of enacting regressive tax cuts but he accomplished very little reordering of government much less shrinking of it The second wave was Newt Gingrich whose capture of the House majority in 1994 gave Republicans control of Congress for the first time in two generations Despite some landmark victories like welfare reform Gingrich flamed out quickly a zealous revolutionary ineffective as legislative leader George Bush II may be as shallow as he appears but his presidency represents a far more formidable challenge than either Reagan or Gingrich His potential does not emanate from an amiable personality Al Gore remember outpolled him in 2000 or even the sky high ratings generated by 9 11 and war Bush s governing strength is anchored in the long hard driving movement of the right that now owns all three branches of the federal government Its unified ranks allow him to govern aggressively despite slender GOP majorities in the House and Senate and the public s general indifference to the right s domestic program The movement s grand ambition one can no longer say grandiose is to roll back the twentieth century quite literally That is defenestrate the federal government and reduce its scale and powers to a level well below what it was before the New Deal s centralization With that accomplished movement conservatives envision a restored society in which the prevailing values and power relationships resemble the America that existed around 1900 when William McKinley was President Governing authority and resources are dispersed from Washington returned to local levels and also to individuals and private institutions most notably corporations and religious organizations The primacy of private property rights is re established over the shared public priorities expressed in government regulation Above all private wealth both enterprises and individuals with higher incomes are permanently insulated from the progressive claims of the graduated income tax These broad objectives may sound reactionary and destructive in historical terms they are but hard right conservatives see themselves as liberating reformers not destroyers who are rescuing old American virtues of self reliance and individual autonomy from the clutches of collective action and statist left wingers They do not expect any of these far reaching goals to be fulfilled during Bush s tenure but they do assume that history is on their side and that the next wave will come along soon not an unreasonable expectation given their great gains during the past thirty years Right wingers who once seemed frothy and fratricidal now understand that three steps forward two steps back still adds up to forward progress It s a long march they say Stick together because we are winning Many opponents and critics myself included have found the right s historic vision so improbable that we tend to guffaw and misjudge the political potency of what it has put together We might ask ourselves If these ideas are so self evidently cockeyed and reactionary why do they keep advancing The right s unifying idea get the government out of our lives has broad popular appeal at least on a sentimental level because it represents an authentic core value in the American experience Don t tread on me was a slogan in the Revolution But the true source of its strength is the movement s fluid architecture and durability over time not the passing personalities of Reagan Gingrich Bush or even the big money from business The movement has a substantial base that believes in its ideological vision people alarmed by cultural change or injured in some way by government intrusions coupled with economic interests that have very strong reasons to get government off their backs and the right has created the political mechanics that allow these disparate elements to pull together Cosmopolitan corporate executives hold their noses and go along with Christian activists trying to stamp out decadent liberal culture Fed up working class conservatives support business s assaults on their common enemy liberal government even though they may be personally injured when business objectives triumph The right s power also feeds off the general decay in the political system the widely shared and often justifiable resentments felt toward big government which no longer seems to address the common concerns of ordinary citizens I am not predicting that the right will win the governing majority that could enact the whole program in a kind of right wing New Deal and I will get to some reasons why I expect their cause to fail eventually The farther they advance however the less inevitable is their failure II The McKinley Blueprint In the months after last November s elections the Bush Administration rattled progressive sensibilities with shock and awe on the home front a barrage of audacious policy initiatives Allow churches to include sanctuaries of worship in buildings financed by federal housing grants Slash hundreds of billions in domestic programs especially spending for the poor even as the Bush tax cuts kick in for the well to do At the behest of Big Pharma begin prosecuting those who help the elderly buy cheaper prescription drugs in Canada Compel the District of Columbia to conduct federally financed school voucher experiments even though DC residents are overwhelmingly opposed Reform Medicaid by handing it over to state governments which will be free to make their own rules much like welfare reform Do the same for housing aid food stamps and other long established programs Redefine wetlands and wilderness so that millions of protected acres are opened for development Liberal activists gasped at the variety and dangerous implications the public might have been upset too but was preoccupied with war while conservatives understood that Bush was laying the foundations step by step toward their grand transformation of American life These are the concrete elements of their vision Eliminate federal taxation of private capital as the essential predicate for dismantling the progressive income tax This will require a series of reform measures one of them repeal of the estate tax already accomplished Bush has proposed several others elimination of the tax on stock dividends and establishment of new tax sheltered personal savings accounts for the growing investor class Congress appears unwilling to swallow these at least this year but their introduction advances the education agitation process Future revenue would be harvested from a single rate flat tax on wages or better still a stiff sales tax on consumption Either way labor gets taxed but not capital The 2003 Economic Report of the President prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers offers a primer on the advantages of a consumption tax and how it might work Narrowing the tax base naturally encourages smaller government Gradually phase out the pension fund retirement system as we know it starting with Social Security privatization but moving eventually to breaking up the other large pools of retirement savings even huge public employee funds and converting them into individualized accounts Individuals will be rewarded for taking personal responsibility for their retirement with proposed lifetime savings accounts where capital is stored forever tax exempt Unlike IRAs which provide a tax deduction for contributions wages are taxed upfront but permanently tax sheltered when deposited as lifetime capital savings including when the money is withdrawn and spent Thus this new format inevitably threatens the present system in which employers get a tax deduction for financing pension funds for their workers The new alternative should eventually lead to repeal of the corporate tax deduction and thus relieve business enterprise of any incentive to finance pensions for employees Everyone takes care of himself Withdraw the federal government from a direct role in housing healthcare assistance to the poor and many other long established social priorities first by dispersing program management to local and state governments or private operators then by steadily paring down the federal government s financial commitment If states choose to kill an aid program rather than pay for it themselves that confirms that the program will not be missed Any slack can be taken up by the private sector philanthropy and especially religious institutions that teach social values grounded in faith Restore churches families and private education to a more influential role in the nation s cultural life by giving them a significant new base of income public money When school choice tuitions are fully available to families all taxpayers will be compelled to help pay for private school systems both secular and religious including Catholic parochial schools As a result public schools will likely lose some of their financial support but their enrollments are expected to shrink anyway as some families opt out Although the core of Bush s faith based initiative stalled in Congress he is advancing it through new administrative rules The voucher strategy faces many political hurdles but the Supreme Court is out ahead clearing away the constitutional objections Strengthen the hand of business enterprise against burdensome regulatory obligations especially environmental protection by introducing voluntary goals and market driven solutions These will locate the decision making on how much progress is achievable within corporate managements rather than enforcement agencies an approach also championed in this year s Economic Report Down the road when a more aggressive right wing majority is secured for the Supreme Court conservatives expect to throw a permanent collar around the regulatory state by enshrining a radical new constitutional doctrine It would require government to compensate private property owners including businesses for new regulations that impose costs on them or injure their profitability a formulation sure to guarantee far fewer regulations see Greider The Right and US Trade Law October 15 2001 Smash organized labor Though unions have lost considerable influence they remain a major obstacle to achieving the right s vision Public employee unions are formidable opponents on issues like privatization and school vouchers Even the declining industrial unions still have the resources to mobilize a meaningful counterforce in politics Above all the labor movement embodies the progressives instrument of power collective action The mobilizations of citizens in behalf of broad social demands are inimical to the right s vision of autonomous individuals in charge of their own affairs and acting alone Unions may be taken down by a thousand small cuts like stripping homeland security workers of union protection They will be more gravely weakened if pension funds an enduring locus of labor power are privatized Looking back over this list one sees many of the old peevish conservative resentments Social Security the income tax regulation of business labor unions big government centralized in Washington that represent the great battles that conservatives lost during early decades of the twentieth century That is why the McKinley era represents a lost Eden the right has set out to restore Grover Norquist president of Americans for Tax Reform and a pivotal leader in the movement s inside outside politics confirms this observation Yes the McKinley era absent the protectionism he agrees is the goal You re looking at the history of the country for the first 120 years up until Teddy Roosevelt when the socialists took over The income tax the death tax regulation all that In foreign policy at least the Bush Administration could fairly be said to have already restored the spirit of that earlier age Justifying the annexation of the Philippines McKinley famously explained America s purpose in the world There was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos and uplift and civilize and Christianize them and by God s grace do the very best we could by them as our fellow men for whom Christ also died But the right employs a highly selective memory McKinley Republicans aligned with the newly emergent industrial titans did indeed hold off the Progressive advocates of a federal income tax and other reforms while its high tariffs were the equivalent of a stiff consumption tax And its conservative Supreme Court blocked regulatory laws designed to protect society and workers as unconstitutional intrusions on private property rights But the truth is that McKinley s conservatism broke down not because of socialists but because a deeply troubled nation was awash in social and economic conflicts inequities generated by industrialization and the awesome power consolidating in the behemoth industrial corporations struggles not resolved until economic crisis spawned the New Deal Reacting to popular demands Teddy Roosevelt enacted landmark Progressive reforms like the first federal regulations protecting public health and safety and a ban on corporate campaign contributions Both Roosevelt and his successor Republican William Howard Taft endorsed the concept of a progressive income tax and other un Republican measures later enacted under Woodrow Wilson George W Bush does not of course ever speak of the glories of the McKinley era or acknowledge his party s retrograde objectives Ari Fleischer would bat down any suggestions to the contrary Conservatives learned especially from Gingrich s implosion to avoid flamboyant ideological proclamations Instead the broader outlines are only hinted at in various official texts But there s nothing really secretive about their intentions Right wing activists and think tanks have been openly articulating the goals for years Some of their ideas that once sounded loopy are now law III The Ecumenical Right The movement is moving with the speed of a glacier explains Martin Anderson a senior fellow at Stanford s Hoover Institution who served as Reagan s house intellectual the keeper of the flame and was among the early academics counseling George W Bush It moves very slowly stops sometimes even retreats but then it moves forward again Sometimes it comes up against a tree and seems stuck then the tree snaps and people say My gosh it s a revolution To continue the metaphor Anderson thinks this glacier will run up against some big boulders that do not yield that the right will eventually be stopped short of grand objectives like small government or elimination of the income tax But they ve made impressive progress so far For the first time since the 1920s Congress the White House and the Supreme Court are all singing from same hymnal and generally reinforcing one another The Court s right wing majority acts to shrink federal authority block citizen challenges of important institutions and hack away at the liberal precedents on civil rights regulatory law and many other matters it even decides an election for its side when necessary Bush meanwhile has what Reagan lacked a Reaganite majority in Congress When the Gipper won in 1980 most Republicans in Congress were still traditional conservatives not radical reformers The majority of House Republicans tipped over to the Reaganite identity in 1984 a majority of GOP senators not until 1994 The ranks of the unconverted Republicans who refuse to sign Norquist s pledge not to raise taxes are now by his count down to 5 percent in the House caucus 15 percent in the Senate This ideological solidarity is a central element in Bush s governing strength So long as he can manage the flow of issues in accord with the big blueprint the right doesn t shoot at him when he makes politically sensitive deviations import quotas for steel or the lavish new farm subsidy bill It also helps that especially in the House the GOP leaders impose Stalinist discipline on their troops Bush also reassures the far right by making it clear that he is one of them Reagan used to stroke the Christian right with strong rhetoric on social issues but gave them very little else the man was from Hollywood after all Bush is a true believer a devout Christian and exceedingly public about it Bush s principal innovation a page taken from Bill Clinton s playbook is to confuse the opposition s issues by offering his own compassion lite alternatives co opting or smothering Democratic initiatives Unlike Clinton Bush does not mollify his political base with empty gestures Their program is his program Reagan talked a good game on the domestic side but he actually didn t push for much says Paul Weyrich leader of the Free Congress Foundation and a movement pioneer Likewise the Gingrich era was a lot of rhetoric This Administration is far more serious and disciplined they have better outreach than any with which I have dealt These people have figured out how to communicate regularly with their base make sure it understands what they re doing When they have to go against their base they know how to inoculate themselves against what might happen Norquist s ambition is that building on its current strength the right can cut government by half over the next twenty five years to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub see Robert Dreyfuss Grover Norquist Field Marshal of the Bush Tax Plan May 14 2001 The federal government would shrink from 20 percent of GDP to 10 percent state and local government from 12 to 6 percent When vouchers become universally available he expects public schools to shrink from 6 to 3 percent of GDP And we ll have better schools he assures People like Norquist play the role of constantly pushing the boundaries of the possible I m lining up support to abolish the alternative minimum tax he says Has Bush spoken to this No I want to run ahead put our guys on the record for it So I will be out in front of the Bush Administration not attacking the Bush Administration Will he do everything we want No but you know what I don t care Americans for Tax Reform serves as a kind of action central for a galaxy of conservative interests with support from corporate names like Microsoft Pfizer AOL Time Warner R J Reynolds and the liquor industry The issue that brings people to politics is what they want from government Norquist explains All our people want to be left alone by government To be in this coalition you only need to have your foot in the circle on one issue You don t need a Weltanschauung you don t have to agree with every other issue so long as the coalition is right on yours That s why we don t have the expected war within the center right coalition That s why we can win One of the right s political accomplishments is bringing together diverse once hostile sectarians The Republican Party used to be based in the Protestant mainline and aggressively kept its distance from other religions Norquist observes Now we ve got observant Catholics the people who go to mass every Sunday evangelical Christians Mormons orthodox Jews Muslims How

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    So Bush must have known before Card whispered in his ear 2 This is confirmed by the fact that shortly after Card spoke to him Bush told a reporter that he would make a statement later Bush would not have said that without discussing the situation with his Chief of Staff and others DID BUSH KNOW THE WTC CRASH WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK This question is answered by something Vice President Richard Cheney revealed probably unwittingly on MEET THE PRESS Sunday September 16th Even without John Cochran s report on ABC Cheney s comments constitute evidence that before President Bush went to the Booker School he knew a plane had been hijacked and then crashed into the WTC Cheney was talking with MEET THE PRESS journalist Tim Russert about the flight path of American Flight 77 which struck the Pentagon Here s the exchange VICE PRES CHENEY As best we can tell they American Flight 77 came initially at the White House and MR RUSSERT The plane actually circled the White House VICE PRES CHENEY Didn t circle it but was headed on a track into it The Secret Service has an arrangement with the F A A They had open lines after the World Trade Center was MR RUSSERT Tracking it by radar VICE PRES CHENEY And when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House was when they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement Etc MEET THE PRESS Transcript Cheney stopped before completing his sentence But it is obvious that the sentence should have ended with the word hit or something similar Thus The Secret Service has an arrangement with the F A A They had open lines after the World Trade Center was hit The Secret Service had a special connection with the FAA so that it could rapidly access information relevant to the President s safety After the first WTC attack the connection between the FAA and the Secret Service was elevated to the level of open lines In a similar fashion orders issued by the FAA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff require heightened contact between the FAA and the National Military Command Center NMCC during hijackings See Guilty for 9 11 Therefore by the time American Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center around 8 46 and most likely before that happened the Secret Service knew what the FAA knew So what did the FAA know The FAA admits that at 8 20 it suspected that American Flight 11 had been hijacked And according to the official story released Sept 14th 8 40 the FAA notifie s NEADS the Northeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD the military s civil defense system about Flight 11 i e that it had been hijacked Newsday 23 September 2001 Therefore based on the official story the Secret Service knew by 8 40 or before that Flight 11 had been hijacked And since the FAA was tracking Flight 11

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    with a vengeance Many examples of this trend can be seen in the airline dot com and telecom industries This process is in turn weakening household spending also at debt s door from a decade of buying based on borrowing Meanwhile large scale layoffs in the public sector are casting ominous shadows over the American workforce increasingly female and nonwhite Spending cuts by state and local governments swimming in red ink don t typically spur private sector employers to spend on new workers In fact such a contraction harms small firms more than large ones The latter have more capital and can survive business downturns longer than smaller companies The Bush administration s response to the budget crises being faced by local and state governments has been to cut taxes for the corporations and the rich for the third time This policy plus increased military spending to invade and occupy Iraq has partly helped to shift the federal budget from surplus to deficit Federal deficit spending can be a useful policy Uncle Sam can build daycare centers hospitals and schools that the American people need This is especially the case when private sector spending is slowing down relative to its income As Martin Wolf wrote on July 2 in The Financial Times the borrowing binge that the U S went on in the 1990s won t happen again this decade During such post bubble times government spending for non military purposes can take up the slack in the economy Uncle Sam can as in the past prime the pump when recession and stagnation arrive But such Keynesian stimulus to address the soft patch in the market is not on the radar screen of the Bush White House It is for now focused on continuing the economic restructuring of the nation couched in the vocabulary of a fiscal policy to create jobs Accordingly working life is becoming more precarious for millions of people in America Just ask them Seth Sandronsky is a member of Peace Action and co editor of Because People Matter a progressive newspaper in Sacramento Calif Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law In accordance with Title 17 U S C Section 107 the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes For more information go to http www law cornell edu uscode 17 107 shtml If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner 1 2 3 4 5 6

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    could use an extra 55 billion these days Or should that money go to the rich who will heh heh heh create jobs with it Almost two years ago on July 23 2001 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered around 10 400 and the experts were still two months away from declaring a recession a wise man asked what the government was going to do when it found out unemployed people don t pay taxes Okay the writer wasn t a wise man it was me lamenting the economy s free fall and government s lack of acknowledgment of the obviously failing economy Only in recent months have politicians started to rein in spending Now finally with not nearly enough money coming in they re starting to lay off employees cut wages and trim services And guess what folks We have a huge shock awaiting us On July 1 2003 we re going to experience what may be the largest single day layoff of workers in American history July 1 is the day the new fiscal year ends It s the day when tons of government employees will be dropped from the payroll I don t have any statistics available I doubt anyone does but I d guess from 5 to 10 percent of all government employees will lose their jobs and start collecting unemployment insurance on July 1 That s the bad news The good news is that George W Bush is still president and he has a secret plan to lead us out of the recession and into prosperity full employment lasting peace and another four years in the White House for him and a bright future for an as yet unnamed future Bush president I m not kidding Much as I dislike Bush I have to give him credit for manipulating the public in a way that would bring tears to P T Barnum s eyes This man is good at what he does Here s his secret plan He will sooner or later continue to crush his Axis of Evil which at last report was Iraq Iran and North Korea However axes being what they are Syria may join the club soon and then there s the problem of Lebanon You get the picture What needs to be destroyed will be destroyed Today Iraq tomorrow Saudi Arabia Who knows What gets blown up must be rebuilt so Bush s success at destroying things will lead to many many new labor opportunities Before long American contractors will have jobs all over the world which will mean a fat handful of new jobs for American experts and millions of new jobs for local people beaten down by war and willing to work for peanuts Finally Bush will discover much to his surprise that all the countries he s pulverized have riches under their soil most often in the form of petroleum So some day he ll come to the stunning realization that the United States controls most

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    Iraqi structure that perhaps he destroyed some perhaps he dispersed some And so we will find them George Bush April 24 2003 We ll find them It ll be a matter of time to do so George Bush May 3 2003 I m not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein because he had a weapons program George W Bush May 6 2003 It has become all too clear in the last several days that the horrid descriptions of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were nothing more than the Big Lie which Hitler described The American people being the trusting TV stoned folks they are bought this WMD lie bag and baggage Imagine the shock within the administration when Lieutenant General James Conway top US Marine Commander in Iraq said that American intelligence on Iraqi WMDs was Simply wrong Conway went on to state about the WMDs that We ve been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad but they re simply not there Imagine the consternation within the administration when Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said on May 28 that For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq because it was the one reason everyone could agree on A short translation of that comment is as straightforward as one can get There was no real threat of WMDs but everyone who wanted the war for whatever reasons decided to settle on that concept because it was an easy sell to Americans still traumatized by September 11 Imagine the teeth gnashing within the administration when Patrick Lang former head of worldwide human intelligence gathering for the Defense Intelligence Agency accused Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld s personal intelligence team of having cherry picked the intelligence stream to make it seem like the WMD threat in Iraq was real Lang went on to say that the DIA was exploited and abused and bypassed in the process of making the case for war in Iraq based on the presence of WMD Vince Cannistraro former chief of the CIA counterterrorist operations described serving intelligence officers who blame the Pentagon for proffering fraudulent intelligence a lot of it sourced from the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad Chalabi Ahmad Chalabi it should be noted is the hand picked by Don Rumsfeld successor to power in Iraq Chalabi was convicted in 1992 of 31 counts of bank fraud and embezzlement in Jordan and sentenced to 22 years hard labor in absentia Even the most optimistic of intelligence observers take what he has to say with a massive grain of salt Certainly as the chosen leader of Iraq a position he has enjoyed thanks to Rumsfeld and his cabal since 1997 Chalabi had no reason whatsoever to exaggerate or lie about Iraq s weapons program Of course The process of proving the presence of Iraqi WMDs has been tortured to say the least Bush

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    is what this war was about and it is about And we have high confidence it will be found Ari Fleischer Press Secretary Press Briefing 4 10 2003 Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are And we have that very high on our priority list to find the people who know And when we do then well learn precisely where things were and what was done Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense Meet the Press 4 13 2003 I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country Whether we will turn out at the end of the day to find them in one of the 2 000 or 3 000 sites we already know about or whether contact with one of these officials who we may come in contact with will tell us Oh well there s actually another site and we ll find it there I m not sure General Tommy Franks Commander in Chief Central Command Fox New 4 13 2003 We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure that perhaps he destroyed some perhaps he dispersed some And so we will find them George W Bush NBC Interview 4 24 2003 There are people who in large measure have information that we need so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense Press Briefing 4 25 2003 We ll find them It ll be a matter of time to do so George W Bush Remarks to Reporters 5 3 2003 I m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming We re just getting it just now Colin Powell Secretary of State Remarks to Reporters 5 4 2003 We never believed that we d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense Fox News Interview 5 4 2003 I m not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein because he had a weapons program George W Bush Remarks to Reporters 5 6 2003 U S officials never expected that we were going to open garages and find weapons of mass destruction Condoleeza Rice US National Security Advisor Reuters Interview 5 12 2003 I just don t know whether it was all destroyed years ago I mean there s no question that there were chemical weapons years ago whether they were destroyed right before the war or whether they re still hidden Maj Gen David Petraeus Commander 101st Airborne Press Briefing 5 13 2003 We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites that you d have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you Paul Wolfowitz Deputy Secretary of Defense

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    too will be restated and the Bush administration will take a one time charge against future credibility In fact should we the stockholders of this operation look back at the original business plan for the proposed Bush administration we will find that almost everything has been restated During the campaign Bush said he would not go in for peacekeeping operations abroad He appears ready to do so in Liberia He also said he would not get engaged as did the previous CEO Bill Clinton in the nitty gritty of Middle East peace negotiation The administration is now choosing intersections in Gaza for traffic lights Restatement follows restatement until we poor stockholders have no choice but to conclude that either the Bush administration did not know what it was talking about when it came into office or does not know what it is talking about now Not even in corporate America can you hold two contradictory positions simultaneously One of them as any CEO can tell you has to be restated The Bush administration s interim business plan called for the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden On account of a botched operation in the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan this now has to be restated Similarly the proclaimed determination to rid the world of Saddam Hussein also has not succeeded As with bin Laden this failure will be restated as not being all that important You learn this sort of thing in business school In fact the entire business plan for Iraq has to be restated It turns out that the country simply will not govern itself that some elements resent the U S occupation and that it will take more troops to administer the country than originally thought In some way this abject failure to plan for an occupation despite repeated warnings will have to be creatively restated To paraphrase the president bring on the restatement The dangers of an immense budget deficit have been restated Rising unemployment has been restated to blame the Clinton administration The critical importance of relations with Mexico has been restated The evils of affirmative action were after the Supreme Court ruled restated and so of course were the reasons for going to war in Iraq Now it is to rid that country of Saddam Hussein and establish the predicates for a Middle East peace I like them both Still all these restatements suggest a business plan that was both flawed from the start and implemented with an appalling level of incompetence Despite that the CEO of this mismanaged operation is not held accountable and remains popular with the shareholders It used to be that the buck stopped with the president To state the obvious that s been restated 2003 The Washington Post Company Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic

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