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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
    litigation and provide businesses with broad based incentives to clean the air But in the early years of the Clean Air Act environmentalists didn t trust market solutions enough to endorse cap and trade By the time they changed their minds it was too late Polluters had lost interest in improving the way the emission control system works figuring that in a political scene increasingly dominated both by money and by conservative ideology they could buy themselves the right to spew at will And so it has turned out True the Bush administration says that it favors a cap and trade system it has even introduced legislation to that effect I could explain the defects of the Clear Skies Initiative its conspicuous failure to deal with greenhouse gases the glacial pace at which it proposes to reduce emissions of those pollutants it does control many estimates say that it would actually allow more pollution than would a strict enforcement of current law But it s a moot point Last week s announcement is I believe a signal that even Clear Skies isn t going to happen Aside from cynicism which has been an almost infallible guide to administration environmental policy so far how do I reach that conclusion Here s one reason If a cap and trade system is just around the corner why not wait and introduce the whole system at once As the E P A press release last week correctly declares under the Clear Skies Initiative NSR new source review would no longer be necessary But then why did polluters so badly want an immediate end to such review before a new system could be put in place And why was the administration willing to accept lots of bad press for a clearly anti environmental move if it was seriously planning to impose new controls in the next year or two The obvious answer is that both the polluters and top administration officials know that Clear Skies is figuratively and literally a smokescreen Here s another reason As long as new source review was in effect the regulated industries had an interest in fundamental reform a sensible cap and trade system could have both reduced pollution and increased profits But now the polluters have gotten what they want they would be hurt not helped by new restrictions There s no longer any basis for a deal that clears the air Administration officials still insist of course that they plan to proceed with clean air measures And it s possible that they will eventually do the right thing But don t hold your breath waiting In fact it might be a good idea to breathe deeply now while you still can 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

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article47_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
    Rep Michael Bilirakis That bill seeks full retirement and disability pay though veterans groups tracking the bill say a compromise is in the offing to phase in the program over five years to about 90 000 seriously disabled vets In a July 8 letter to the House Armed Services Committee Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld maintained that allowing all career disabled military to receive their due in the so called concurrent receipt legislation would break the federal budget He estimates it would cost 57 billion during a decade Funny there doesn t seem to be much concern in the Bush administration about breaking the disabled vets some of them living at or near poverty by maintaining the status quo Or for that matter about the federal budget deficit that s spiraling out of control thanks in large part to Bush s trillion dollars plus in tax cuts over the same decade Seems that most everyone s playing politics with this issue just as they ve reneged on past promises for critical veterans health care benefits and fair compensation for military widows and widowers In the Senate there are 65 co sponsors to allow full pension and disability to career military and in the House there are 352 members backing Bilirakis bill Yet the vote is being held hostage by House Speaker Dennis Hastert and others They hope to spare Bush from the public relations fiasco of a veto just as America is embroiled in a war on terrorism and young men and women are being injured and killed in Iraq House Democrats hoping to create a re election liability for both Republican members of Congress and Bush in 2004 signed a discharge petition to force a vote on Bilirakis bill and there s talk that Hastert is pushing the White House to come up with a compromise before the August recess The career vets cause has brought 52 retired generals and other high ranking officers to their defense We urge you as commander in chief to speak for the thousands of disabled GIs who faithfully served their country for an entire career were disabled in service to their country and now find their retired pay taxed at a rate of 100 percent of their disability compensation they said in a letter to Bush Maybe Bush s political czar Karl Rove will add up the numbers of vets their families and supporters who go to the polls and see what s at stake Or perhaps the White House believes the vets are bluffing when they vow not to be snookered again by promises never delivered Soon enough the old vets who gave their all for their country will get their chance to show Bush and members of Congress up for re election just who s bluffing now Myriam Marquez can be reached at mmarquez orlandosentinel com or 407 420 5399 Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article48_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
    possessed a nuclear missile in 1991 could we have persuaded such a broad coalition to drive him from Kuwait Or if the Taliban had a single missile capable of pulverizing Washington would we have been so quick to go into Afghanistan You won t hear President Bush saying so but the scenario that preoccupies many of those in and around the Pentagon is this one Taiwan decides to risk a climactic break with mainland China The mainland responds with a military tantrum America would like to defend the island democracy against the Communist giant but we are backed down by hints that Beijing cares enough about this issue to launch nuclear missiles American voters may or may not support a conventional war for Taiwanese independence they re much less likely to support one that risks the obliteration of our cities Ah but if we have an insurance policy a battery of anti missile weapons sufficient in theory to neutralize China s two dozen nuclear missiles we would feel freer to go to war over Taiwan The logic of missile defense is to make the stakes of power projection compatible with the risks of power projection says Keith B Payne a deterrence theory expert and an ardent supporter of missile defense Missile defense in other words is not about defense It s about offense This debate about missile defense is one we re not having The schemer rationale exists mostly between the lines It is implicit in documents no mere citizen reads like the Quadrennial Defense Review and encoded in speeches There is little frank discussion of it in publications for non specialists One exception is the right wing National Review whose editor Richard Lowry has articulated the force projection rationale clearly Why is everyone being so coy about this For one thing the dreamers just plain defense argument is easier to grasp and much easier to market In principle it s hard to argue that a system that could shoot down a rogue missile or two would be a bad thing to have Even liberals are buying into it Their reservations are framed almost entirely as variations on Is it worth the cost Can we afford the money to make the thing work Is it a better value than the alternatives Is it worth the political angst of withdrawing from the ABM treaty Personally if missile defense is about defense I can imagine better ways to spend 100 billion Defending our porous seaports against a nuclear device in a tugboat or shipping container seems like a more urgent investment And if we re really worried about an accidental launch from a decaying Russian missile command center we might revive a bright idea the physicist Sherman Frankel developed a decade ago retrofitting nuclear missiles ours and theirs with devices so they could be disarmed and destroyed after a mistaken launch Incredibly civilian rockets have post launch destruct devices but not nuclear missiles But after Sept 11 the public is less likely

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article49_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
    Bush administration says about taxes in the next few weeks will be designed to maximize that public confusion First administration officials will claim that people who want to cancel future tax cuts want to raise taxes This is like George W Bush s claim that the Enron chairman Kenneth Lay supported Ann Richards in the Texas governor s race he did give Ms Richards some money but he gave Mr Bush much more That is you can try to rationalize it with fancy word play not cutting taxes is raising them from what they would otherwise have been right But it sure feels like a lie Second they will throw up a smokescreen of confusing figures to hide the agreed fact that tax cuts are a major reason for the abrupt collapse of the projected surplus Let me repeat the words agreed fact Recently four independent projections were made of the budget surplus over the next decade one each from the Democratic and Republican staff of the House and Senate All four projections marked down previous surplus estimates by two thirds all four attributed about 45 percent or 1 7 trillion of the decline to the tax cut Everyone expects the estimates that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office will release tomorrow to look very similar Third they will claim that the future tax cuts are just what the doctor ordered to deal with the current recession The C B O disagrees it declared in a recent report that accelerating those tax cuts would be ineffective as a stimulus measure And if tax cuts now are ineffective tax cuts later are even less effective Finally the administration will try to convince you that the return of deficits won t hurt you personally But for millions of Americans deficits will soon began to pinch hard A case in point Just a few days ago a bipartisan panel recommended increases in Medicare payments warning that a failure to raise them would jeopardize access to care for the elderly and disabled Indeed over the last few years many H M O s have either pulled out of Medicare or sharply raised co payments causing thousands of retirees to lose benefits in some cases cancer patients have been forced to cancel chemotherapy But though in the past Congress has usually followed the panel s recommendations congressmen are now doubtful whether they can provide more money in the current budgetary environment That shrieking you hear is the sound of Medicare patients being denied coverage to make room for tax cuts And the chest thumping you hear is the sound of an administration trying to prevent any rational discussion of the fiscal mess its tax plan has created Copyright 2002 The New York Times 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 domestic and international

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article50_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
    next year then move some of it back then change accounting rules that have been in place for 65 years then bump up the estimate of economic growth all so that the administration can pretend that it is keeping its promise The Congressional Budget Office which does honest work but under certain constraints more on that in a minute is supposed to release its own estimate today but the main results have already been leaked They show a deficit outside Social Security this year a tiny surplus next year then a return to deficit in 2003 and 2004 And these numbers read properly flatly refute two of the arguments you ll hear over the next few days First the administration will tell you that the return to deficits is the result of the economic slowdown Not so the C B O like the administration assumes that the economy will recover next year but projects that we will be in deficit through 2004 Why Because the tax cut grows over time and the revenue lost because of that growing tax cut is more than the revenue gained from economic recovery Why has the prospect of surpluses been replaced by the prospect of deficits even after the economy recovers To coin a phrase It s the tax cut stupid Second the administration will try to blame big spenders in Congress for the deficits But who are these big spenders The only major new spending items in the C B O projection are for defense and education both in response to administration initiatives And it s the administration not the Democrats that has described the defense increase as a mere down payment on much larger future sums Those future defense increases aren t in the C B O projection because the rules under which C B O operates force it to project the budget as if current policy will remain unchanged So the C B O projection leaves out the budget busters it knows are out there such as Donald Rumsfeld s next installment and the cost of fixing the alternative minimum tax Put those items in and the picture is clear the surplus is gone and we won t see it again as long as the tax cut goes through as scheduled I ll turn in future columns to the reasons why this year s deficit is not a bad thing but those future deficits which will be much larger than the C B O projects are very bad things indeed But the important point for now involves honor and credibility Mr Bush promised not to dip into the Social Security surplus he has broken that promise Critics told you that would happen they have been completely vindicated Mr Bush told you it wouldn t he lied 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

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article51_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
    few weeks two numbers have led to a spate of optimistic pronouncements One is the preliminary estimate of second quarter growth which came in at a 2 4 percent annual rate about one point higher than expected The other is the rate of new applications for unemployment insurance which has fallen slightly below 400 000 per week But while the growth and new claims numbers were good news they didn t tell us that the economy is improving All they said is that things are getting worse more slowly This should be obvious when it comes to growth I saw headlines saying that in the second quarter growth soared even rocketed Huh That 2 4 percent growth rate was a bit less than the average during our job loss recovery Just to stabilize the labor market in its present dismal state would probably take growth of at least 3 5 percent it would take much more than that to return the economy to anything resembling full employment Meanwhile about those unemployment claims somehow that 400 000 per week benchmark has acquired a lot more significance in people s minds than it deserves For example claims came in at 398 000 yesterday and this was treated as good news because it was barely below the magic number Well here s some perspective since November 2001 new claims have averaged 414 000 per week A number a bit lower than that might mean stable or slightly rising payroll employment but as we ve just seen that s not nearly good enough For comparison in 2000 a year of good but not great employment growth weekly claims averaged 305 000 My conclusion is that the state of the unemployed won t improve unless claims fall a lot further than they have So is a real unambiguous recovery just around the corner Recent economic reports have had a good news bad news feel to them Businesses are starting to buy some equipment that s good But they seem to be engaging in replacement investment not capacity expansion that s bad Consumers are spending that s good But rising interest rates seem to have ended the refinancing boom that put cash in consumers pockets that s bad And so on The best guess is that growth in the second half of the year will be faster than in the first half possibly high enough to create some jobs but not high enough to make jobs easier to find In other words in terms of what matters most the economy will continue to deteriorate All this is of course an indictment of our economic policy a policy that has managed the remarkable trick of generating immense budget deficits without giving the economy much stimulus But that s a subject for another day 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

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article52_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
    point out that for all Moore s chesty threats the club has yet to actually beat an incumbent and its overall won lost record is decidedly mixed At the end of the day these guys have more dollars than political sense is the way Scott Reed a Republican strategist put it In politics however there are times when the facts aren t as relevant as the perception The club may not as yet have unseated any Republicans but the looming certainty that it could and will go to any length to succeed terrifies vulnerable incumbents A few years ago it would have been unthinkable for moderates in both parties to talk of a 350 billion tax cut at a time of deficit spending as a compromise and yet that is precisely what just happened in Washington Moore s tactics have helped tilt the terms of debate in the Capitol During the 2002 campaign cycle in addition to spending several million dollars on polling and ads the Club for Growth collected at least 3 2 million in bundled checks for its chosen candidates according to the Center for Responsive Politics One of the lucky recipients was David Fischer a Maryland lawyer the club backed in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Congressman Wayne Gilchrest Fischer described to me how the club sent him about 225 000 roughly three quarters of the total cash donated to his campaign I felt like one of those congressman back in Abscam when they used to get those packages of money Fischer told me We were taking in 25 or 30 grand a day To be the target of the Club for Growth is a different experience altogether Just ask Sherwood Boehlert an 11 term moderate congressman from New York who was singled out by the club last year and barely survived What we didn t see coming was the last 10 day onslaught of money manpower and mailings Boehlert says And those mailings if I believed that about a candidate I wouldn t have voted for me either Like some other Republicans at whom the club has taken aim Boehlert isn t really sure why He voted for both Bush tax cuts along with rollbacks of the marriage tax and the estate tax When I mentioned this to Moore he was unmoved He s been one of the most liberal Republicans in the House Moore said adding that conservatives consider Boehlert to be a big spender We re not only about tax cuts Moore reminded me and it s true the club claims to judge candidates not just by their commitment to tax cuts but also by their determination to rein in government waste The club is agnostic on social issues to such an extent that Moore has banned the A word abortion from its meetings But for an organization that claims to be so ideologically pure the club doesn t always apply these principles consistently As Moore readily admits spending has multiplied like a virus in Washington under Bush and the Republican Congress but while the club gleefully goes after Boehlert and other moderates on taxes it has yet to take aim at a single conservative for going soft on spending Sometimes in fact the club isn t at all concerned with a candidate s fiscal ideology like for instance when that candidate s name is Arnold Schwarzenegger Earlier this summer Moore held an event with the Terminator as he considered entering the California governor s race on the recall ballot A few weeks later at a staff meeting Moore and his deputies discussed the actor s potential candidacy Where is he on policy one staff member wanted to know Oh he s terrible Moore said Horrible He says he s a fiscal conservative but He trailed off in laughter If Schwarzenegger would just agree to back a flat tax proposal and to rule out any new taxes Moore said the club would get behind him anyway This kind of inconsistency hypocrisy would be the less charitable word has led critics of the club to conclude not unreasonably that its talk about cutting taxes and slashing spending obscures a less lofty agenda Moore wants that scalp on his wall and the easiest way to get it is to single out moderates like Specter and Boehlert because moderates are always vulnerable in Republican primaries They go after the low hanging fruit says Sarah Chamberlain Resnick who runs the Republican Main Street Partnership Resnick s group a coalition of Republican moderates is vowing to raise at least 5 million to fight Moore in critical states next year which suggests incredibly that a president poised for coronation could instead find his party drawn into civil unrest The Bush White House has created such an aura of discipline that Republicans in Washington often behave as if their offices are bugged faithfully mouthing the message of the day And so the most intriguing question about the Club for Growth one that divides Republicans in Washington is whether Moore is the pest that the administration just can t seem to exterminate or actually a secret ally of the White House Put another way if Karl Rove is really so angry at Moore s antics why does the club still exist For much of the first two years of the administration Moore was part of the right wing cabal that administration officials would consult on a regular basis But Moore proved himself disloyal by publicly criticizing Bush and opposing some of his appointments I don t really like the Bush people very much Moore says I was never part of a fraternity or anything like that and the Bush White House is like a club Rove has good reason to wish the Club for Growth would go away It will be hard to achieve his goal of expanding the G O P s margin in the House and Senate if Republicans face divisive primary fights in critical swing states It s not

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article53_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
    who witnessed another napalm attack on 21 March on an Iraqi observation post at Safwan Hill close to the Kuwaiti border wrote the following day Safwan Hill went up in a huge fireball and the observation post was obliterated I pity anyone who is in there a Marine sergeant said We told them to surrender At the time the Pentagon insisted the report was untrue We completed destruction of our last batch of napalm on 4 April 2001 it said The revelation that napalm was used in the war against Iraq while the Pentagon denied it has outraged opponents of the war Most of the world understands that napalm and incendiaries are a horrible horrible weapon said Robert Musil director of the organisation Physicians for Social Responsibility It takes up an awful lot of medical resources It creates horrible wounds Mr Musil said denial of its use fits a pattern of deception by the US administration The Pentagon said it had not tried to deceive It drew a distinction between traditional napalm first invented in 1942 and the weapons dropped in Iraq which it calls Mark 77 firebombs They weigh 510lbs and consist of 44lbs of polystyrene like gel and 63 gallons of jet fuel Officials said that if journalists had asked about the firebombs their use would have been confirmed A spokesman admitted they were remarkably similar to napalm but said they caused less environmental damage But John Pike director of the military studies group GlobalSecurity Org said You can call it something other than napalm but it is still napalm It has been reformulated in the sense that they now use a different petroleum distillate but that is it The US is the only country that has used napalm for a long time I am not aware of any other country that uses it Marines returning from Iraq chose to call the firebombs napalm Mr Musil said the Pentagon s effort to draw a distinction between the weapons was outrageous He said It s Orwellian They do not want the public to know It s a lie In an interview with the San Diego Union Tribune Marine Corps Maj Gen Jim Amos confirmed that napalm was used on several occasions in the war 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

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