Thursday, October 14, 2004
January 25, 2004
Welcome to the Inaugural Email Message of
based on the belief that
The Truth Shall Set You Free.
As an introduction, you do know me. I am your friend, your neighbor, your family, your customer. Somehow I have your email address.
We probably don't agree on everything, but chances are we've smiled together.
All I ask is that you, and the people you share this with, be open and willing to know more than you have, and vote. It has never been more important.
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Know Bush Fact #1:
The story is famous now, at this point — overused by Bush, but one more time now, with a different ending. Within a few days after 9/11, Bush visited Ground Zero, he threw his arm around a tired firefighter at the scene and assured him and the other rescue workers. . . he was with them.
The next year – he pocket vetoed $150 million in emergency first responder grants.
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That’s how it started – the email messages. With my own personal email address book, I started with about 100 names, but I used a new email account - email@example.com - with messages from. . .
First name – “One Person”;
Last name – “MakingADifference” – all mushed together.
At last count, I was sending out KnowBush Facts to about 4800 addresses, and I know some of those got forwarded to many more.
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Know Bush Fact #2 January 28, 2004
John O’Neill was our former FBI Deputy Director. He had been in charge of investigating:
the World Trade Center bombings of 1993
and the attacks on
American troop barracks in Saudi Arabia,
Embassies in Africa,
and the U.S.S. Cole, all under Clinton.
During the summer of 2001, he told French researchers:
"The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism
were U.S. oil corporate interests,
and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it...
All the answers,
everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization,
can be found in Saudi Arabia."
In late August, John O’Neill quit the FBI. He was disgusted with the Bush Administration's refusal to investigate Saudi ties to Al Qaeda,
His new job was Head of Security at the World Trade Center, where he was killed on September 11.
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The first messages were short. To the point. Look! Did you know this?
I didn’t think so. I wasn’t hearing any of this. At least, not back in January, oh no. No, not quite yet.
I didn’t know at the time, in January, that something had just happened in Washington that made it even less likely to hear such stories.
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Know Bush Fact #3 February 1, 2004
The policies of the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, have changed drastically. It started when Bush appointed 3 of the 5 people on board, including its Commissioner, Michael Powell – the son of Colin Powell.
On June 2, 2003, those 3 appointees voted away checks and balances that had been developed over six decades, by allowing corporations to own significantly larger slices of the media pie – letting far fewer independent sources of information have a voice. There were bills, threatened vetoes, court orders, lobbyists, meetings behind closed doors, votes and revotes, broken promises–
Ending with 24 little lines deep inside a huge omnibus spending bill passed in Congress on January 22, 2004 that made that dreadful change in the FCC rules.
Two companies in particular benefitted the most from those 24 lines: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News, and Viacom, which owns CBS.
In January, CBS announced it was refusing to air a 30-second ad from MoveOn.org during the Super Bowl. The ad showed children at work, paying off the deficit. The Boston Globe called it “gentle yet powerful.”
But it didn’t reflect well on Bush. And here he’d been so nice to them with this new FCC law.
So, CBS claimed it was their policy not to run advocacy ads. Although there could be some argument that any ad is. . . an advocacy ad.
What a nice favor CBS did for Bush.
Democratic House members wrote to CBS:
“The choice not to run this paid advertisement appears to be part of a disturbing pattern on CBS's part to bow to the wishes of the Republican National Committee.”
Close. Maybe the Republicans had bowed to the wishes of CBS. After all, the Bush 2000 campaign did receive more money from the big media corporations than any campaign in history – $1,070,728.
[And then I wrote:] BUT YOU CAN STILL SEE THE AD! During the Super Bowl half time show, switch to CNN to watch the ad CBS won’t air. You won’t miss anything.
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It’s fitting that this Fact about the FCC was at the beginning. It is the reason we’re here. Here, trying to find out more than we’re told. More about private deals – and not investigating.
And donations – and favors – and favors - and favors.
I know this isn’t new.
But something is new. The consequences are much bigger than they used to be, even while the broadcasters are no longer obligated to serve the public. So, unless we choose to pay attention and seek out different voices, we could miss interesting moments like this. . .
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Know Bush Fact #4
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Thursday, January 15, 2004. The city of Atlanta was ready to celebrate, with speakers, musicians, dancers all set to go. Suddenly, too bad. Everything had to change. George Bush was coming to town (Bush is comin’; Bush is comin’!). This year, election year, it was time for a photo op with Coretta Scott King at the gravesite.
Why hadn’t he come the other years when he’d been invited!? His election year posing was an insult, especially when left the King Center to attend a $1.3 million fundraising dinner on his own behalf.
The next day, his real compassion for American Blacks was demonstrated when he managed to “recess in” Judge Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. “Recessing in” means sneaking in someone he wanted but that the Senate would not allow, but he can do because the Senate is out on Recess. It’s sneaky and selfish – and he’s done this a lot.
Of course, there’s a reason the Senate wouldn’t confirm him. Pickering has a horrible history regarding civil rights and voting rights.
Happy Birthday, Dr. King!
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A RESPONSE: stop sending these to me.
So, who am I to tell people about this stuff? A working mom, a sometime actress – I only have an associates degree from college. But I did start paying more attention.
Know Bush Fact #5 February 9, 2004
Bush went on “Meet the Press” back in February. It was a big deal. He had to defend going into Iraq.
As usual, he said that Saddam Hussein had to be removed. After all, he “used weapons against his own people.”
I’d heard so much. But he never says more than that. What is that about? I googled. Oh. There’s a reason he doesn’t say more about that.
First, it happened a long time ago, back in August 1988. Saddam did use chemical weapons against the Kurds on the Iran border at the end of the Iran/Iraq war.
But he did that using helicopters that Reagan sent him in 1983.
As a matter of fact, Donald Rumsfeld himself accompanied those helicopters, and personally delivered a hand-written note from Ronald Reagan to Saddam Hussein, on December 20, 1983, restoring diplomatic relations and material support.
Starting the next year, in 1984, Reagan authorized the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to provide the bacteria that leads to anthrax, bubonic plague and botulinum toxin to his friend in Iraq. Bush the 1st continued these deliveries – and more.
According to a House Committee on Government Operations Report, up until the day Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 – long after Saddam had “used weapons against his own people,” Bush’s Dad sold $4.8 million in advanced military technology products to Iraq.
So, the next time you hear Bush say that Saddam had to be removed because he "used weapons against his own people," remember what he's leaving out of the story.
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These facts were so astonishing and inflammatory, and so enlightening, that I knew I would have to supply a Google search path to the actual documents, and that became my policy from here out.
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Now, here’s a word Bush never wants brought up again:
Know Bush Fact #6 February 13, 2004
Harken Energy, a little Texas oil company. In 1986 – that was the year Bush suddenly sobered up – Harken Energy came in and rescued a failing Texas oil company called Spectrum 7 – George W. Bush’s company – which had previously come in to rescue Arbusto – George’s previous failing Texas oil company – as a tax write-off. When Harken bought Spectrum, Bush was made Harken’s Director – consulting, that is – and major stockholder.
According to Harken’s founder, Phil Hendrick, “His name was George Bush. That was worth the money.”
I guess so. In 1988, Daddy Bush was elected President, and in 1989, Harken Energy, despite having no previous experience in international drilling, got a 35-year exploration contract with the emirate of Bahrain.
Even so, Harken lost money - millions. But with the help of its accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, the shareholders didn’t know about the huge losses. There was a phony subsidiary sale and purchase, a cooked-up loan, and profits posted.
The SEC caught up to the accounting tricks, declared the subsidiary sale bogus, and called for a new profit and loss statement. Immediately, Bush dumped his stock, selling it for $848,560.00, before the new profit and loss statement was released – before the stock value collapsed – and used that money to buy into the Texas Rangers baseball team, where they made him Managing General Partner. A few years later, when Bush sold his share of the team, he made a stunning profit of $16 million, particularly because of automatic bonuses written into the contract by James Doty, his personal lawyer.
Meanwhile, though, Bush neglected to report the questionably-timed sale of that Harken stock until 8 months after the federal deadline. The SEC investigated.
But by then, his dad had set the SEC up to favor his son. James Doty, Bush's lawyer, was the SEC General Counsel, in charge of initiating litigation, and the Chairman of the SEC was an old family friend and economic advisor, Richard Breeden.
The investigation was dropped.
When Bush ran for governor of Texas in 1994, he repeatedly told reporters he had been "exonerated" by the SEC, and that had to be repeated by his Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in 2002.
But that’s not exactly true. The SEC officially said "there was no case there," but in a letter to Bush about the decision, it said that the end of the probe "must in no way be construed as indicating that the party has been exonerated."
Google "Doty +Breeden +Harken".
Anybody thinking about Martha Stewart right now?
As Molly Ivins said: “George W. Bush should declare himself a conscientious objector in his own war on corporate crime.”
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RESPONSE TO # 7:
You can remove me from the mailings. I would vote for Mickey Mouse before I vote for George Bush. I do not need to know all the garbage.
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A couple of years ago, after 12 years of self-employment, I needed a real job, and found one that worked for me – great hours, benefits – doing data entry – pretty tedious. But I could wear earphones. And listen to the radio, National Public Radio. Every day, for 8 hours.
I got to hear whole interviews – full discussions. And authors, and authors, and authors.
Like. . .Kevin Phillips! Former Republican White House strategist, and author of American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush .
The day of that interview, I left work and headed to the book store. I entered - I saw it - on the best seller shelf - by The DaVinci Code - approached it [mime wings] - picked it up - and as I was beginning to dare to open it, a man in his 40s stepped over and said, “You know, this was on the radio today.”
“I know – I heard.”
(The knowing look.)
Here’s another favorite of mine: Y’all may know Molly Ivins. If not, allow me to introduce her. She is a nationally-syndicated columnist, I’m guessing in her late 50's, raised in Texas, was in school with Bush, educated back east and returned home to be a great observer of Texas politics. With Lou Dubose she wrote Shrub, published in 1999. Late last year, they came out with Bushwhacked.
“Our biggest problem with the Bush administration is that for us it’s deja vu all over again. We spent six years watching the man as governor of Texas, the basis for our 1999 book, Shrub. We were tempted to begin this book by observing, ‘If y’all had’ve read the first book, we wouldn’t had to write this one.’”
Oh, look! I got another email back.
“Your a moron. [Please note: “your” is spelled wrong.] you wana debate someone about this stupid crap your sending out? debate me. “
I should point out that Molly Ivins says it’s really important that we learn how to talk to people who. . . disagree with us.
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Know Bush Fact #9 February 22, 2004
On Bush’s very first working day in office, January 22, 2001, he banned U.S. federal funding for any international health clinic that mentions – not performs but mentions – abortion .
Clinics in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, with too little resources to operate, closed.
Bush kept going. The next year he pulled U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which had been providing family planning services in 156 countries, along with HIV prevention, maternal care, disaster relief, literacy, and income-earning skills.
UN officials estimated the effect of the loss of U.S. funding and education caused as many as 800,000 more abortions for the year, as well as the deaths of about 4,700 women and 77,000 children.
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Know Bush Fact #11 February 28, 2004
When the World Trade Towers collapsed, they filled the air with glass fibers, concrete dust, fiberglass, asbestos, mercury, PCBs, lead, benzene, fire and smoke.
Within days, Bush’s new Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, announced that air quality “was not a cause for public concern” – that the air in lower Manhattan was “safe to breathe.”
In August 2003, the Inspector General of the EPA revealed that the White House along with the National Security Council edited the EPA press releases right after 9/11: "Reassuring information was added" and "cautionary information was deleted."
We now know that 78% of the rescue/recovery/cleanup workers have serious lung ailments, 88% have ear/nose/throat problems, and hundreds of fire fighters are out on disability, permanently.
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It was stories like that, where Americans were betrayed – so his corporate friends wouldn’t suffer financial repercussions – that made me obsessed with telling on him.
My good friend said, “It’s the closest thing to a calling I’ve ever seen.”
Know Bush Fact #12 March 4, 2004
"Faith-Based Initiatives" – it doesn’t sound bad. Faith. A heart-felt quality.
But a White House Office of Faith Based & Community Initiatives? Yep. An executive order from January 2001 – with offices in ten federal departments. In 2003 Faith-Based initiatives received $568 million in Health & Human Services grants – to do social services, healing work.
What happened to “separation of church and state” ?
Apparently there is some separation, because the state doesn’t oversee these churches and the way they provide social services. They aren’t required to meet professional standards or do criminal background checks.
Bush had experience with this in Texas. As Governor, he pushed the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law – which required the state to adopt “the least restrictive means” of enforcing regulation.
So, let’s look at how it went in Texas.
There was Roloff’s Homes for wayward women, girls & boys. Apparently, there were no wayward men in Texas. It was founded by Lester Roloff – a man who barnstormed, literally, in a single-engine Sessna, around Texas, preaching and stumping for Karl Rove’s gubernatorial candidate: “Brother Bill” Clements.
Now, Lester was a reckless pilot, believing the “touch of an unseen hand” - those were his words” would bring him home. It did - but the last time it was to that home in the sky - or rather first there and then there.
The problem was his reckless belief. . . also caused the deaths of four young singers from his choir who were in the plane that day, too.
Lestor’s replacement at Roloff’s Homes was “Wiley” Cameron, for a while, until his Biblical style of discipline – “If thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die” resulted in his being charged with torturing two boys...
While his wife lost her right to care for children when a young girl in her care was bound with duct tape, kicked in the ribs, and locked in solitary confinement, where she was forced to listen to 32 hours of taped Roloff's sermons.
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Know Bush Fact #15 March 17, 2004
"There’s no certainty in war but the certainty of sacrifice." For some.
Not for Bush.
In 1997, a Lt. Col. Bill Burket overheard a phone call on a speakerphone from Governor Bush’s Chief of Staff Joe Allbaugh to Adjutant General Daniel James, at the Texas headquarters for the National Guard, in which General James was told that in preparation for an official biography of Bush, there shouldn’t be anything embarrassing in his National Guard files.
Days later, Lt. Col. Burkett was lead to a remote room in a remote building on the base where he saw files being opened and pages removed and dropped into a trash, pages that read “Bush, George W. 1Lt”.
In 2001, Bush appeared to reward the Chief of Staff and the General when he appointed Allbaugh head of FEMA, and General James Director of Air National Guard.
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What matters in this mess with the National Guard, beyond memos, missing records, and failing to show up for a medical exam and drug test – is the insulting hippocracy.
Bush claims to be a war president. He tries to look like he understands the losses felt by Americans with family members who go to Iraq. But all he can do is show up in costume to announce “Mission Accomplished!”
But. . . I have an idea. . .
In order to resolve, once and for all, the missing National Guard year, why don’t we give him another chance, and let him serve that year now!
Wonder what that would do to his policy?
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Know Bush Fact #16 April 20, 2004
Bush issued a directive on the eve of the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq:
"There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel."
In Vietnam, they were called “body bags”; in ‘91, they were “human remains pouches.”
Now, under Bush, they are using the term "transfer tubes."
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Know Bush Fact #17 March 30, 2004
With all the talk about Weapons of Mass Destruction, especially those nuclear fuel rods that Colin Powell talked about at the U.N., you’d think that would have been a priority once we got there.
But it wasn’t.
3 weeks after the U.S. invasion, when asked about the WMD’s, Rumsfeld said:
"When there happens to be a weapon of mass destruction suspect site in an area that we occupy and if people have time, they’ll look at it."
The biggest danger was that nuclear materials that we knew to exist could get in the hands of terrorists. Wasn’t that why we went?
But, even a month in, the International Atomic Energy Agency, I.A.E.A., realized U.S. forces had done nothing to secure Iraq’s major nuclear sites!
The IAEA requested they move quickly to do so, specifically emphasizing the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research facility, only 11 miles from Baghdad.
April 25, The Washington Post reported that Defense officials couldn’t say if the vast nuclear repository’s deadly contents had been stolen, because they hadn’t had anyone there yet.
It wasn’t until June – two months later – that the U.S. and I.A.E.A. secured Tuwaitha.
Too late. It had been looted. Files and containers were missing, barrels containing radioactive material were dumped.
Some of the missing material was eventually found and purchased back, but not all of it. We don’t know where it is.
With Bush, we’re not safer from terrorists with nuclear materials.
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Even more because you probably hadn’t heard it. At least, not until maybe two days ago when there was a brief announcement saying that the IAEA was concerned about the whereabouts of the missing nuclear material looted from sites in Iraq.
That’s the point. I found it in one book. This one. But when I Googled, I found many stories about this.
That’s the way I’ve collected my material. One sentence or paragraph in one book, or frequently from “Now with Bill Moyers” – and then a Google.
Oh, the stories you find! Not just from bloggers, but reports by journalists from all over the world, and tons of official documents and transcripts.
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Know Bush Fact #19 April 8, 2004
No Child Left Behind. Educators hate it. And not because they’re lazy. It’s blowing all their time with the kids, teaching to a test, with impossible standards. Disabled kids have to pass, too. The funding isn’t enough to make it possible. And the repercussions are very serious.
Molly Ivins, who saw this program in Texas, with its failures hidden – and she suggested: Follow the money.
There’s money in this? Sure. Who publishes the standardized tests? Oh.
They also publish the worksheets, the lesson plans, the textbooks, the accountability system in charge of research, development, scoring, reporting, tracking, intervention programs – all officially a part of the No Child Left Behind Act – even the website that provides the school evaluation service.
And guess what? Great Grandpas Prescott Bush & James McGraw, Jr. were best friends back in the 1930's, when the families would vacation, and invest, together.
Through the decades, the family paths to power have interwoven. In recent years:
• Harold McGraw, Jr. handled grants for Barbara Bush’s literacy foundation, and Barbara’s husband, Bush I, gave McGraw, Jr. the highest literacy award.
• McGraw-Hill in Houston gave the Highest Educator Award to Rod Paige, and when Paige became Bush II’s Secretary of Education, he showed up as a keynote speaker for McGraw Hill.
• McGraw III was on Bush II’s transition team. Laura Bush’s Chief of Staff was a Media Relations Executive at McGraw Hill.
• And last, there’s John Negroponte. He was Reagan/Bush’s Ambassador to Honduras during the 80's where he secured covert funding for the Contras by lying about human rights violations. In the 90s he became Executive Vice President for Global Markets for McGraw Hill, until there was another Bush in the White House. Then he was made UN Ambassador, and, now – He’s our Ambassador to Iraq!
• Last year, in March 2003, to coincide with Bush’s invasion of Iraq, McGraw-Hill published Team Bush: Leadership Lessons from the Bush White House.
Oh! A footnote: The infamous book Bush couldn’t put down on September 11? My Pet Goat ? It was published by McGraw Hill.
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Know Bush Fact #20 April 13, 2004
Okay, let’s talk tax cuts. In 2003, Bush said:
"These tax reductions will bring real and immediate benefits to middle income Americans. Ninety-two million Americans will keep an average of $1,083 more of their own money."
Okay, sounds good.
But The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The Brookings Institute Tax Policy Center, Citizens for Tax Justice, and many other analysts, Bush got away with saying this because he used the word “average.”
Watch. If you take a group of ten people [walk line]:
9 are unemployed. This lucky person makes $1,000,000. Total their wages, divide by ten, and you get an average income of $100,000. But it doesn’t have anything to do with reality.
And that’s how Bush can make such statements about his tax cuts.
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Know Bush Fact #21 April 23, 2004
There used to be an Om-buds-man for the EPA. Fellow named Robert Martin. You could turn to him if the EPA wasn’t doing their job, investigating, enforcing regulations, cleaning up. He kept the EPA true to its mission.
Problem was, he was investigating Citigroup, and a deal it had made with the EPA and its Shattuck Chemical Company in Denver.
Then Bush got into office, appointed Christine Todd Whitman to the EPA. Her husband is a top investment manager for Citigroup.
Martin questioned the conflict of interest. Whitman closed his independent office, and moved him inside the EPA.
Then when we was traveling on business, she siezed his files, especially that Citigroup one, changed his locks, took away his duties, and stripped him of his title.
Robert Martin, who listened to those sickened by toxic waste for nine years, resigned on Earth Day 2003.
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Know Bush Fact #22
"The corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government." - Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
For example, and these are just a few:
No, I won’t do it to you. The list of lobbyists employed by the Bush administration is very, very, very, very long. A lobbying background is the greatest common denominator all through the White House and Cabinet. They are there get corporate goals accomplished while they’re running the show.
For now, I’ll only point out a few of note:
Bush’s Chief Strategist – Phillip Morris.
White House Chief of Staff – General Motors.
J. Steven Griles,
Deputy Interior Secretary – the most powerful lobbyist for the energy industry, serving the Mining & Oil industries
and a personal fave:
Chairman of the Bush/Cheney 2004 Campaign, &
former Chairman of the Republican National Committee:
Marc Racicot – Enron.
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Now, about my subtitle, “Launching Facts that Shock & Awe.” I thought it was appropriate, as I tried to figure some way of picturing email messages flying out of this Republic stronghold.
Then I thought I should look up the term. Sure haven’t heard about it for a while, but it was the original battle plan for Iraq – in which we hit Baghdad with large numbers of precision guided weapons all at once.
According to one of its authors, Harlan Ullman, in January 2003 – Quote – "We want them to quit. We want them not to fight, so that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes." Endquote.
Harlan seeks to – and I quote – “achieve a dominancee that is so complete and victory is so swift that . . . the message is so unmistakable that resistance would be seen as futile.”
Excuse me, when did we become the Borg?
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Know Bush Fact #23
Immediately after 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld created The Office of Special Plans, and handed it over to Defense Undersecretary Douglas Feith.
Feith is one of the leaders of the infamous neo-conservatives, a group who had been arguing for regime change in Iraq for almost a decade. Rumsfeld and Feith staffed this office with more like-minded neo-cons, and it became their job to re-review the intelligence that had already been reviewed and rejected as “not credible” by the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.
They took this intelligence, and reworked and regrouped it so that it best suited their plans, and then funneled it straight up to the White House, as Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Al Qaeda, WMD’s and Iraq.
We only know about it because of retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski. She called their cherry-picking of information and manipulation of intelligence "a subversion of constitutional limits on executive power and a co-option through deceit of a large segment of the Congress."
Unfortunately, this was the intelligence that was used to convince Congress to authorize Bush to use military force in Iraq, if necessary.
When the intelligence agencies testified that they weren’t pressured to provide intelligence with a particular slant, it was true. It was the Office of Special Plans that did the deed.
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Know Bush Fact #24
On June 26, 2001 the State Department issued a worldwide caution to Americans traveling or living abroad. The National Security Agency’s ECHELON electronic spy network warned that Mideast terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American culture.
That same month, Bush made it easier for Middle Easterners to get into the U.S.
His Administration announced THE VISA EXPRESS – expediting visa applications through out Saudi Arabia! Here is the announcement from the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia:
"Now all Saudis and non-Saudi applicants may obtain visas at their own convenience by submitting their applications through any of ten designated travel/courier companies operating throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. . . Applicants will no longer have to take time off from work, no longer have to wait in long lines under the hot sun and in crowded waiting rooms, and no longer be limited by any time constraints. Effective immediately!”
Applicants didn’t have get photographed anymore, or even apply in person.
That’s how three of the Saudi hijackers in the September 11 attacks came into the U.S.
In the first 30 days after 9/11, the U.S. Embassy at Jeddah, one of three offices in Saudi Arabia, issued 104 visas through VISA EXPRESS, denying none.
This VISA EXPRESS program was not shut down until June 2002, when a lone journalist courageously broke the story, and was promptly questioned by White House security.
It appears that Bush’s desire to cater to the Saudi’s made him very CARELESS with the SAFETY of those for whom he had, in his own words, A CHARGE TO KEEP.
On that note, we could all use a quick break. I’ll be back in ten minutes, with a very important Conclusion to KNOW BUSH.ACT II
Is everybody registered? If you or someone you know haven’t, there’s still hope. Yesterday was the deadline for mail-in registration. But you can still walk in to the Salt Lake County Elections Clerk’s office at 2001 S. State Street up until the 25th of October. And we’ve got forms!
I also want to point out that my email address is in your program. I will be sending out the final two most important main messages, which are at the end of this show, and more.
Finally, this is my last scheduled performance. However, my whole point is to share this information, so I am willing to perform this show, as is or edited to fit a time constraint, so if you have a little space and some people, email me.
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This Second Act is dedicated to the Security Moms. I understand. We all want our families safe. That’s why it’s important to Know Bush.
Know Bush Fact #25 May 22, 2004
Last year in April, Bush was traveling the country, pushing his tax plan. One of his stops was The Timken Company in Canton, Ohio.
Now, the 100-year-old Timken is a Fortune 500 company, a steel ball-bearing manufacturer, with sales in 2003 of $3.8 billion.
The press was there to photograph him speaking to the workers:
"The greatest strength of the American economy is found right here, right in this room, found in the pride and skill of the American work force. . . Here at Timken, last year, productivity rose 10 percent. Which means that America can compete with any nation in the world because we got the finest workers in the world."
A year later, in May of this year, those finest workers were told the Timken Company was closing the doors of the three ball-bearing plants that were the economic heart of Canton, laying off 1,300 employees.
Timken tried to blame the union, but the union was blindsided. They weren’t in any talks.
But someone was in talks: Timken had been talking to China, about building new ball-bearing plants there.
Now, the Chairman of the Board of Timken, Mr. W. R. “Tim” Timken, who’d made the decision to close the plants. He:
• earned over $2.6 million last year
• and will get $59,000 in new tax breaks from Bush this year
• while 89% of Ohio residents will get less than $100 in tax cuts.
Apparently that corporate tax break didn’t help the U.S. economy.
By the way, this Tim Timken is a Bush “Ranger”, which means he’s personally responsible for raising over $200,000 for Bush’s campaign.
At one of those fundraisers in Cincinnati, last December, Tim Timken had the chutzpah to denounce a liberal philanthropist’s very large gift to MoveOn.org’s voter fund campaign, as “an attempt to buy democracy.”
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This is a response I got to Know Bush Fact #25:
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, I worked for Henderson Rim and Wheel in Salt Lake City Utah. Timken Bearings were among the finest quality products our customers in the trucking and shipping industry had come to rely on. The quality was unmistakable, and to hold and view a Timken Bearing, they seemed indestructible. How sad that something so traditionally American will now have stamped on its side, "Made in China," while the Americans who built careers around manufacturing them go to the unemployment lines. SHAME ON YOU GEORGE W. BUSH for standing by and not discouraging the outsourcing of these "old line" American jobs! The heart of Ohio, in the heartland of America, has blindly and selfishly lost its life sustaining beat. What other great American treasure will go next?
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So, U.S. jobs aren’t safer.
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Know Bush Fact #26 May 30, 2004
Remember last spring when Bush was going to give a series of televised Monday night talks. He never did more than one, but in the middle of that one, Bush made a point of thanking former Secretary of State James Baker.
My ears perked up. Why did he just do that?
I went to Google.
Oooooo. There’s many reasons he should thank James Baker.
James Baker has a very powerful law firm in Texas called Baker & Botts.
Remember James Doty, the Texas Ranger purchase contract-slash-Security and Exchange Commission lawyer? He’s from Baker & Botts. Thank you.
Remember Chairman Breeden of the Security & Exchange Commission, Bush family friend and appointee who closed the Harken case? He’s from Baker & Botts. Thank you.
Remember Florida in 2000, and the legal team that won in the Supreme Court? They’re from... Baker & Botts. Thanks. . . a lot.
But there’s more.
Remember James Baker as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush? While they were in the White House, the Cold War ended.
And as soon as the two of them graduated from the White House in 1992,
James Baker became the Senior Counsel for The Carlyle Group.
The Carlyle Group is an investment company formed by former ranking Republicans in the early 1990's to take advantage of the end of the Cold War by buying up defense and intelligence businesses that were out of work.
Baker then hired Bush to be a very well paid guest speaker who could bring in the the very wealthy from the U.S. and foreign governments, just by sitting back and schmoozing.
Nice gig, James Baker - thank you.
Of course when the younger Bush took the White House, that Carlyle/Daddy Bush - White House Bush connection was even more. . .“schmoozable”.
Now if Carlyle/Daddy Bush has taken those fees and reinvested them in The Carlyle Group, and I do not have the evidence to show that he taken up that option, but if he did, with the defense and intelligence contracts of its many subsidiaries in the Middle East these days, Carlyle stock portfolios have grown and grown and grown.
Understand this, the Carlyle Group makes money from war, from selling weapons, helicopters, tanks, intelligence. The Carlyle Group, and their once out-of-work arms manufacturers have had much sales in the last couple of years.
Bush, White House Bush, could very well be looking to inherit untold millions/billions from his father. Is it any wonder he’s been so determined to abolish the inheritance tax, what he calls the death tax.
As Molly Ivins says: Follow the money. See who benefits.
Wow, thanks James Baker.
One last story to explain James Baker.
The families of the 9/11 victims have filed a trillion law suit with one of the defendants being the government of Saudi Arabia, for funneling money through charities to Al Qaeda. And you know who’s defending Saudi Arabia? The firm of Baker & Botts.
Thank you, James Baker.
But none of that makes me feel safer.
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Okay, this one’s simpler.
Know Bush Fact #27
Bush’s first Civil Administrator in Charge of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Aid in post-Saddam Iraq was Retired General Jay Garner.
He arrived in Baghdad on April 21, 2003 and said his top priority to restore basic services. He said:
What better day in your life can you have than to be able to help other people, and that is what we intend to do."
Garner believed that the military should be used as a "merciful instrument in shaping future humanitarian operations."
He met with delegates from the entire political spectrum of Iraq and together they planned a national conference at the end of May to elect the first post-Hussein Iraqi government.
But within days he was yanked out Iraq by Bush and replaced by J. Paul Bremer – who immediately announced there would be no such conference.
And within weeks, Bremer dissolved the Iraqi Army, putting 400,000 people out of work. Garner had told them they would rebuilding Iraq. Bremer destroyed their livelihood.
Do you know who terrorists consistently are? Unemployed, resentful men.
Garner felt you didn’t want to end the day with more enemies than you started with.
Bremer, who worked for Henry Kissinger for decades, told Cincinnati business leaders:
"We're going to be on the ground in Iraq as soldiers and citizens for years. We're going to be running a colony almost."
June 6, 2004
Iraq isn’t safer.
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Know Bush Fact #28
The Bush administration, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH), and the Advertising Council worked with the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign on a PSA to encourage first-time mothers to breastfeed exclusively for at least six months.
The PSA showed for the first time statistics on the increased risk of obesity, diabetes, ear infections, leukemia, diarrhea, asthma and pneumonia – not just that breastfeeding was a good thing to do, but evidence that it was actually dangerous not to.
But the pharmaceutical companies saw it posted on the Ad Council’s website.
And it turns out the pharmaceuticals own the formula companies - Enfamil, Isomil and Similac.
The pharmaceuticals gave 87% of the campaign contributions in the last four years to Republicans.
The lobbyists arrived at the office of Secretary Tommy Thompson, who had only sold his sizeable stock portfolio in pharmaceuticals in time to take this job. The lobbyists worked on him, members of Congress, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Suddenly the science behind the ad’s claims was called invalid and the ad was sent back for editing. References to diabetes and leukemia were cut, specific number were gone, and once again, the American public was kept in the dark, with just another reminder that breastfeeding is a nice lifestyle choice.
So, the pharmaceuticals do very well this way. First the make good money on baby formula. Then they get to profit for the rest of the person’s life providing medicine and other health care products needed to handle the problems the unnatural formula helped create. Now there’s a win win – or a loss loss.
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Babies aren’t safer.
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Know Bush Fact #30
Now, let me take you back in time – 4 years, 2 weeks, 5 days – to Tuesday, November 21, 2000. Two weeks after the election. Still no president.
On that day, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against Bush, who was demanding that the recount be stopped. No. The Court said the votes from the three counties in question should be recounted, and have the results in by Saturday, the 25th, at 5:00 pm.
But the Bushies were ready. Because, you see, on the previous Saturday, the 18th, the word went out! Up the coast, to the Republicans in Washington, D.C.
PSSSSSSSST! WE NEED THE REINFORCEMENTS NOW!
It got passed around. PSSSSSSSST! “The campaign will pay airfare and hotel expenses for people willing to go.”
And if that wasn’t good enough, there was another backup plan. HIRE THE REINFORCEMENTS!
So, Tom DeLay, whipped up 200 Republican Congressional Staffers, put them on the Bush/Cheney payroll, and headed on down to Florida.
In nothing but the finest! A fleet of corporate jets, including. . . some from Enron – and some from Halliburton!
Now, it’s November 22, Wednesday morning. About 2:30 AM. Dick Cheney wakes up to his 4th heart attack and calls out, Lynn.
Later,the sun peaks out from behind the Stephen P. Clark Government Center for Miami-Dade County, and the three members of the Dade County Board of Canvassers dutifully arrive to go up to the 18th floor to recount the votes.
But there’s a crowd gathering. They... they... they seem irate, upset.
The Board is nervous. Tension is rising. Try thought they might, they can’t concentrate. Finally, the bravest one comes out and announces that they would be retreating to a smaller office on the 19th floor, where they could get the job done – so they could examine and count the 10,750 disputed ballots – away from this crowd.
The hired Republicans smelled the fear. THEY SEIZED THE MOMENT!
Someone shouted, “Shut it Down!” Actually, it wasn’t “someone.” It was U.S. Representative John Sweeney, from New York.
The mob went wild.
They charged up to the 19th floor – pushing – banging on the walls – chanting
"Stop the count, stop the fraud!" – and blocked the office doors.
Honestly. This is what was reported in the November 24 Wall Street Journal.
The Washington Post photographer nabbed a shot. And when folks in Washington, D.C. looked at it, it was, “Why, we know those guys! Look! There’s. . .” ... a lot of familiar faces. The photo is now easily found on the web, usually with a lot of circles and numbers, followed by a list of names, all Chief Counsels, Policy Analysts, Legislative Directors for top Republican Congressmen, and another one there was even Joel Kaplan. **THE FORMER LAW CLERK OF . . . SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA** and Policy Advisor for Bush/Cheney 2000.
• House Majority Whip Tom DeLay’s Policy Analyst and his Former Legislative Director
• Majority Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice
• Regional Political Director for the Bush/Cheney 2000 Campaign
• House Republican Conference Analyst
• General Counsel to Chairman Don Young of the House Resources Committee
Another recognizable protestor not in the picture was:
• Joel Kaplan. **THE FORMER LAW CLERK OF . . . SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA** and Policy Advisor for Bush/Cheney 2000.
These were not just Congressional Pages and Gofers.
And they sure weren’t Floridians.
The Board shut down the recount – for good.
Later that same day, Bush filed his petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, and the rest is. . . Well, you know.
The next day was Thanksgiving, and that night those high-flying Republican protestors were rewarded with a Thanksgiving celebration banquet at a Ft. Lauderdale Hotel, where they got a conference call from George W. Bush himself, thanking them, and a private performance by none other than Wayne Newton – honest to God – "Danke Schoen."
Democracy isn’t safer.
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Know Bush Fact #31 - Four years later.
The Republican National Convention. Monday.
"It is my great honor and privilege to nominate George W. Bush, a strong and compassionate leader--
Then on the second day, the theme was: "People of Compassion"
I’m sorry – but just because you can say the word "compassion", over and over again -- saying it does not make it true.
Now, the definition of "compassionate", according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is: "having or showing sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it."
Forgetting the word, let’s look at actions:
Repeated in several sources, including the New York Times, is a story about Bush and his childhood friends in Texas. Why, when those rains would come, thousands of frogs would come out. And then, the bored Texas boys, led by little George. . .
''Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them, or we'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up.''
Later, at Yale, as President of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Bush got busted – for leading a sadistic, illegal torture on new members: The tip of a wire hanger was bent to form the Greek letter Delta, heated over a flame, and then used to brand fraternity pledges in the small of the back, creating a second degree burn that left a half-inch scar.
But this got Bush his first interview with the NY Times. I mean, his Dad was already somebody in Washington.
Never one to admit a mistake, he said:
"It was no worse than a cigarette burn. . . There's no scarring mark physically or mentally.''
Still later, when Bush was the Governor of Texas, the Guiness Book of Records reported that Texas held the title of "U.S. State with the Most Executions," with George W. Bush signing 152 of the 244 death warrants, 40 of them in 2000 – the year he first campaigned as a "compassionate conservative."
Those around him aren’t safer.
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Know Bush Fact # 32
There are 15,000 chemical manufacturing facilities, oil tank farms, pesticide plants, etc. – containing deadly chemicals – with no standardized security measures – EASY TO HIT - EASY TO POISON OUR AIR ON A HUGE SCALE. Now, that would be devastating. .
Right across the Hudson from Ground Zero is the Kuehne Chemical Company of Kearney, New Jersey. In a 1999 then-mandatory safety report, it says that a rupture to one of their tank cars "would be immediately dangerous to life and health for a distance exceeding fourteen miles. The total population in this radius is approximately twelve million."
Troy Morgan, the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Specialist, calls these tanks "the poor man’s atomic bomb."
And in April 2002, a reporter entered 60 dangerous chemical plants, strolling through unguarded gates, driving up to pipes and control rooms, climbing on tanks. He finally said, "I wonder what it would take for me to get arrested at one of these plants?"
On February 6, 2002, George Tenet, then Director of the CIA, testified that Al Qaeda could be planning to target chemical facilities.
Are we going to ignore warnings again?
Oh yeah. Deliberately! This is where Bush’s stand on deregulation outweighs his concern for keeping us safe.
Attempts in Congress to establish enforceable security standards at these chemical plants in the Homeland Security Bill, were shut down by money... lobbyists... from the chemical-industry who suddenly appeared.
Even Christine Todd Whitman tried to do something right. She tried negotiating for a year – with the industries? No. With the White House itself. But Bush would not approach anything that held the chemical industry to a standard.
Her last chance was to just use EPA authority and go in and inspect. But her plans were leaked before she could do it.
That summer, The American Chemistry Council paid more than $1 million in political contributions, most of it to Republicans.
Bush, changed his position (flip flop!) in favor of the Department of Homeland Security Act, without any binding provisions for security at chemical plants and it passed.
Finally, once the new Department was in place, Bush took away all EPA authority over chemical security and transferred it to Homeland Security, which was already overwhelmed and underfunded.
Even Christine Todd Whitman quit after that.
Now chemical security is handled on a voluntary basis. The trade association put out a code, but it doesn’t even include employee background checks or fixing fences.
We’re seriously not safer now.
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1. Bravo - Wow - you are here in Utah? Unbelievable.
2. Why don't you keep your lie's and trash about this great president where it will do its best work. UP your ass.
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On NPR a couple of weeks ago, they asked people what they thought was the most important book, with all the political books, to read before the election. Time was I’d say Bushwhacked; I’d say House of Saud. But now I know, it’s this one. See what you think.
Know Bush Fact #33
RFK, Jr. wrote: “George W. Bush will go down in history as America’s worst environmental president.”
Wow, this much historical significance, and we don’t know much about it.
But energy, chemical, and industrial farm leaders know. More to the point, they set a goal, put out the money, and got what they wanted – Bush Cheney 2000.
George W. Bush – while Governor of the state of Texas, Bush conferred with Alcoa, Exxon, Shell, Amoco, Enron, & Dow Chemical – and their $1.5 million in campaign gifts – and state laws changed accordingly.
Companies in Texas were authorized to monitor their own nasty pollution on a voluntary basis. As long as they reported their mistakes... and promised to clean up – there would be no fines, no public disclosure and no government follow up.
Then there’s Dick Cheney. Well, it turns out that Cheney wasn’t just the CEO of Halliburton between White House gigs. He was also fundamental in developing and promoting “Wise Use” – a pseudo-practical way of perceiving the earth as something to “use wisely” – and it’s become obvious that making lots of money quickly for a few is his idea of Wise.
Remember, Cheney protected the privacy of the meetings he held within days of hitting the White House -- with Enron and other energy leaders -- all the way to the Supreme Court, where his friend of 30 years, Antonin Scalia, refused to recuse himself.
Gee, the Vice President is fighting tooth and nail to keep knowledge away from us. Shouldn’t that make us curious? Would we walk away from a child fiercely defending the door of his closet? Wouldn’t we know that we’d better get a look?
That’s why distractions were so important.
But you see, this is hitting us where we are most vulnerable – our children.
Asthma, from increased particulates in the air, is now the most common childhood disease, with death rates increasing steadily, regardless of improvements in treatment.
At the same time, one out of every six American women has so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for autism, blindness, mental retardation and heart, liver and kidney disease.
In August, the EPA announced that all fish in 19 states are now unsafe to eat because of mercury contamination, as well as at least some of the fish in 48 states are now unsafe to eat. Actually, the only two states where they’re considered “safe” are Alaska and Wyoming, where Republican legislatures wouldn’t pay to test the fish.
The greatest source of the polluting particulates in the air, as well as the mercury in our water and fish are the 1,100 older coal-burning plants that have failed to make improvements to meet new standards. Clinton’s administration had initiated serious investigations and prosecutions against the 70 worst of these plants. Then Bush arrived.
This is an industry that donated $48 million to President Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 cycle and has given $58 million since. One of the first things that Bush did when he came into office was to order the Justice Department to drop those lawsuits.
The Justice Department lawyer said that this had never happened before in American history, where a president accepts money from industries targeted for investigation and prosecution, and then orders the justice department to drop those investigations once he gets into office. There were 70 utilities involved here and, according to EPA, just the criminal exceedences from those 70 plants killed 5,500 Americans every year. Then the administration went and rewrote the Clean Air Act, gutting the New Source rule, which means those plants will be able to discharge ozone and particulates forever.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., October 7, 2004, Mother Jones Magazine
They got their ticket, all right.
What if all that talk about “torte reform” - putting caps on damages – isn’t really about the cost of medical care and health insurance after all– or those nasty lawyers with their frivolous law suits?
What if Bush is pushing to put caps on damages to stop much bigger suits from lots more victims – trillions of dollars the polluting companies should pay if their disdain for their victims is revealed.
Maybe he’s afraid of us all suing him – Bush himself – for all the destructive poisons he’s allowed to be unleashed upon us.
Maybe Bush isn’t even safe.
This has nothing to do with Republican vs. Democrat. As a matter of fact, Bobby Kennedy Jr. Says:
“While claiming to embrace its values, the Bush administration has stolen the soul of the Republican party. The president and his cronies have taken the conserve out of the conservative.
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Earlier I spoke of Shock & Awe. This final message includes a little of both.
Know Bush Fact #34
One last thought from Robert Kennedy Jr asks: What do you expect from a president who believes in Creationism?
It’s true. Last year, the Bush leadership of the National Park Service offered a new book for the Grand Canyon Park’s bookstore. It’s called The Grand Canyon: A Different View, and it offers a Biblical explanation for the canyon’s existence, to the horror of Park Service geologists.
Now, I do realize that questioning George Bush’s theology can be tricky. Most people believe their leader needs spirituality. Our country was built on the desire for religious freedom, but Christianity, its largest religious base, does make some more comfortable and others less.
Maybe the split is because of two different ways of experiencing Christ. One view takes the teachings of Jesus, and the way he lived, to be a guidepost for learning, for how we treat each other, and how we connect with a universal wisdom.
The second view believes that by giving oneself over to Jesus Christ, a person is saved, and thereafter may have Jesus by his side, guiding his actions.
It’s the difference between pondering, reflecting, considering what is the highest good when there’s a choice to be made – “What would Jesus Do?” – versus “Jesus is with me; therefore I’m right” – assuming certainty, because to question or consider is an act of doubt, and doubt destroys salvation.
So, what’s Bush’s view?
We do know that Bush was an alcoholic, for about 20 years. We also know that he had trouble with business, and was basically always rescued by investors who had their own agendas. He was bottoming out when he had that famous conversation with Bill Graham around his 40th birthday. That’s when Bush says he was born-again, and stopped drinking. That sounds good, and it is the entire basis of his Faith-Based services.
But those who work with addictive personalities know that it’s not that easy to face one’s demons, and that there is a strong tendency to replace one addiction for another. This is where Dr. Justin Frank’s book, Bush on the Couch, offers unique insight. He points out how Bush’s religion has both given him his sense of purpose and eased the anxiety he had earlier numbed with alcohol.
Unfortunately, we can also see how it’s affected his entire approach to the Presidency.
During the 2000 campaign, Bush “I feel that God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it; … I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.
Maybe that’s why he had no qualms about cheating to get to the White House. Whatever it took because God wanted him there.
Then there was 9/11, and theologians recognized immediately that his Christianity shifted gears. It was no longer about personal salvation. It was about Biblical prophecy, the fight between good and evil. “Our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.”
He even went so far the next year to take utilize language from the Gospel of John:
“This idea of America is the hope of all mankind. That hope drew millions to this harbor. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.”
Originally that statement refers to the light of Christ and the word of God.
So, America has become the Godhead, and we can only imagine what that makes him.
This is even more frightening when the enemy Bush attacks are Muslim, and it becomes a mighty religious war - so irrational - so all consuming - and so willing to fulfill prophecy.
Where does this fit with foreign policy?
On March 25 of this year, 3 days before Condoleeza Rice went on 60 minutes to discuss terrorism, she and her top Middle East aide, Elliott Abrams, met with a group of apocalyptic Christians led by Reverend Richard G. Upton, of the Apostolic Congress, to discuss Israel and Palestine.
Now, the Apostolic Congress claims to be “the Christian Voice in the Nations’s Capitol,” and its followers strongly oppose a Palestinian State as it gets in the way of fulfilling the prophecy of Christ’s return, and their Rapture.
Rapture – That’s when Christ comes and you either get taken up because you’re good, or you stay, because you weren’t good enough, and suffer the Apocalypse.
According to Upton, he talks to the White House twice a week. The official seal of the Apostolic Church is almost identical to the Presidential Seal.
So Abrams met with Upton and argued that the Gaza strip was not significant Biblically, and could be sacrificed. Only when Upton accepted this, did Bush announce his endorsement of a peace negotiation for Israel that included disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
When this story leaked, if you were quick, you could follow the link to the Apostolic Website it still included The Rapture – It’s been cleaned up recently, but still, it does include pictures of Upton with Bush and with Karl Rove.
You can still find other websites on the Rapture – with the Rapture Ready News - daily updates about the Middle East , hurricanes and volcanic eruptions – or the Rapture Index which is scoring in at “Hold on to your hats” – and, of course, the great excitement over Bush leading the way to the great clash at the end of times.
Hmm. Wait a minute. What if that’s why he has deliberately created an impossible deficit and economy. What if that’s why he’s so freely allows the life of the earth to be destroyed. And what if that’s why he manipulated intelligence to lead us into an impossible pre-emptive war with no strategy for peace.
Remember Lester Roloff? His faith made him a happy man, in life and in death.
But, in case you don’t think it’s time for you to be in the back seat when Bush is recklessly piloting, then we have to know these things.
Otherwise we could be destroyed while all we’re doing is facilitating a wealthy, cruel, spoiled brat’s final fantasy [inhale] of getting away with everything!
Know Bush? There’s so much he doesn’t want you to know.
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