Consensus Reality
Friday, March 26, 2004
incompetence as an excuse

So Rice really just one of the Bush Cartel guys. She shares with the rest of them the amazing ability to use incompetence as an excuse for failure and get away with it.
She's only there because she loyally defends all the failures of the Bush Cartel. Incompetence doesn't get you fired in the White House. Nor does dishonesty get you fired in the White House.

The only thing that gets a person fired in the Bush Administration is telling the truth.

summary of powell's career by the Associated Press

Iran Contra Alumni in Bush Government
By The Associated Press, March 13, 2002

Former Iran-Contra figures who have been given jobs in the Bush administration:

-COLIN POWELL. In 1968, as a staff army major in Vietnam, Colin Powell played a direct role in suppressing the inquiry into the My Lai massacre, and into related atrocities against civilians. As a White House fellow during the Watergate years he earned a reputation -- but only for keeping his mouth shut.

As a military assistant to Caspar Weinberger during the Reagan administration, he helped to deceive Congress about the trading in heavy weapons with Iran, about the exchange of those weapons for hostages, and about the diversion of the illicit proceeds to finance another illicit operation in Nicaragua.

In Panama, in 1989, he helped shape an operation that totally disregarded international law and took many civilian lives.

During the Gulf War, he strongly opposed any military help for the Kurdish and Shia rebellions against Saddam Hussein.

In the Bosnian conflict, he publicly opposed any intervention against Slobodan Milosevic and his forcible creation of a "Greater Serbia."

As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bill Clinton, he repeatedly intervened to influence political decisions, not only about the Balkans but about the right of homosexuals to serve in the military.

Friday, March 19, 2004
Misleading Public Statements

President Bush, VP Cheney, and Top Advisors Made over 200 Misleading Public Statements on Iraq Threat
A detailed report and accompanying searchable database released by Rep. Waxman identifies 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice in 125 separate public appearances.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Iraq war 'may have been a mistake': Italian minister

ROME (AFP) - An Italian minister broke ranks with his pro-war government on Iraq (news - web sites), telling a newspaper that last year's invasion could have been a mistake, and was in any case not the best thing to have done.

"The war may have been a mistake. Perhaps there were ways it could have been avoided," said European Affairs Minister Rocco Buttiglione in an interview published Thursday by the daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

Poland was 'taken for a ride' about Iraq's WMD: President

WARSAW (AFP) - Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said that his country had been "taken for a ride" about the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride," Kawsniewski said Thursday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Powell Reassures India on Technology Jobs (NY TIMES)

"Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, encountering the other side of a tempestuous debate in the United States, sought to assure Indians on Tuesday that the Bush administration would not try to halt the outsourcing of high-technology jobs to their country."

"The Iraqi people were better off with the former regime," - CBS

"The Iraqi people were better off with the former regime," said one man in the area of the blast. "Now all the Iraqi people are just getting killed."

The Bush administration offered prayers for the victims but said such attacks would not change U.S. policy.

Barron said she's seen other car bombings, but "this is one of the worst, if not the worst, in terms of chaos and ensuing flames and debris."

The Moonies (fron an article by Maureen Dowd)

In January 1986, Mother Jones featured an article entitled "Unholy Alliance" by Carolyn Weaver which detailed a letter written by Tim LaHaye to Colonel Bo Hi Pak of the Washington Times, (which is owned and operated by the Moonies) thanking him for his contribution to LaHaye's organization, American Coalition for Traditional Values.

In 2001, the St. Petersburg Times opined, "We believe Mr. Bush and his supporters deserve to have their philosophy placed fairly before the public, without the distorting lens of liberal media bias. Therefore, without further ado, we give you the verbatim comments of the President's good friend and spiritual comrade: the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

"You must realize that America has become the kingdom of Satan. Americans who continue to maintain their privacy and extreme individualism are foolish people. The world will reject Americans who continue to be so foolish.. . ."

"We must have an autocratic theocracy to rule the world. So we cannot separate the political field from the religious. My dream is to organize a Christian political party including the Protestant denominations, Catholic and all religious sects. We can embrace the religious world in one arm and the political world in the other."

Coda: "I want to salute Reverend Moon. He's the man with the vision." - former President George H.W. Bush. [St. Petersburg Times]



A BOSTON GLOBE reporter at the center of a growing controversy over comments made by John Kerry last week in Florida now claims he "screwed-up" -- and John Kerry never bragged how "foreign leaders" privately backed his presidential bid!

"I mistranscribed a key word," explains Patrick Healy, a political reporter for the BOSTON GLOBE who covered the event in a pool capacity.

"Listening to the audio recorder now, in the quiet of my house, I hear 'more leaders' and I am certain that 'more leaders' is what Senator Kerry said."

Agency initiates steps for selective draft
Congress shows little support for effort to draw skilled Americans


WASHINGTON -- The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is adamant that he will not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is remote.

Nonetheless, the agency has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.

"Talking to the manpower folks at the Department of Defense and others, what came up was that nobody foresees a need for a large conventional draft such as we had in Vietnam," said Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System. "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft."

Flahavan said Selective Service planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts began last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.
Monday, March 15, 2004
John Forbes Kerry's initials are JFK
Bush political propaganda disguised as news:

U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny

Published: March 15, 2004

ASHINGTON, March 14 — Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, which would be offered to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.


The videos are intended for use in local television news programs. Several include pictures of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare law on Dec. 8.

The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, which called them video news releases, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

But the production company, Home Front Communications, said it had hired her to read a script prepared by the government.

Medicare Analyst Confirms Muzzling
By Tony Pugh
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Saturday 13 March 2004

He said his boss told him he'd be fired if he gave lawmakers higher cost estimates for the prescription-drug bill.
WASHINGTON - The nation's top Medicare cost analyst confirmed yesterday that his former boss had ordered him to withhold from lawmakers unfavorable cost estimates about the Medicare prescription-drug bill. He said the estimates exceeded what Congress seemed willing to accept by more than $100 billion.

Richard Foster, chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said that in early June he received a written note from Thomas Scully, then the centers' administrator, ordering him to ignore information requests from members of Congress who were drafting the drug bill.

The Inquirer Washington Bureau reported the episode in an exclusive published yesterday, but Foster's comments were his first on the matter. Yesterday, House and Senate leaders called for investigations into the alleged muzzling. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D., S.D.) said the allegations justified reopening the vote on the drug benefit. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D., Mass.) wrote President Bush demanding to know what cost estimates he used in pushing the new drug benefit, which Congress passed in November and which Bush signed into law Dec. 8.

a near-perfect campaign stop
At $6 an Hour, Who Needs a Tax Cut?
By Paul Vitello

Friday 12 March 2004

-- a near-perfect campaign stop:

President George W. Bush arrived on schedule. He gave his speech. He moderated a panel of five people on a makeshift stage in front of a sign that said "Strengthening America's Economy." He wove their stories seamlessly into the fabric of his re-election campaign. He engaged in self-deprecating humor that even a detractor might find charming.

And then he left -- to a standing ovation -- shaking hands all the way to the exit door of U.S.A. Industries in Bay Shore, where his campaign made this first of three stops on Long Island yesterday.

Security people kept reporters from interviewing the workers at U.S.A. until the president was on the way to his next stop.

But when workers were finally interviewed -- these people who made up the bulk of the president's cheering audience in New York -- Bush's performance turned out to be, if anything, even more impressive.

"No speak English," said the first worker, smiling apologetically.

"No speak English," said the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth workers way-laid in the crowd.

But you think the tax cuts should be made permanent, as he says?

"Sorry, no English," said another.


But if that crowd is ready-made -- the work force of a small auto parts factory whose owner has received tax breaks from the Republican-run state and town governments, and who employs large numbers of non-English speaking immigrants happy to work for $6 to $9 an hour with few benefits -- why bother?,0,3618648.column?coll=ny-li-columnists

Friday, March 12, 2004
Black Box Backlash
by George Howland Jr. , Seattle Weekly

Bev Harris of Renton created a firestorm with her national Internet campaign against electronic voting

She learned that Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., had an ownership share in Election Systems & Software (ES&S), whose Web site brags that its equipment counted 56 percent of the nation's votes in each of the past four presidential elections. Moreover, ES&S voting machines count all the votes in Hagel's home state of Nebraska, except in those counties that tally ballots by hand. While there is nothing illegal about the senator's stake in the company, it didn't seem right to Harris. When she posted the information about the situation on her Web site, she promptly received a cease-and-desist order from ES&S lawyers. She e-mailed the cease-and-desist order to 3,000 of her media contacts.
On an unprotected Web site, she found 40,000 files of Diebold Election Systems' source code—the guts of software to run touch-screen voting machines. At first, Harris wasn't sure what all the weird files were, so she called Allen and directed him to the site. What are we looking at? she asked. "Incredible stupidity," he replied. .
Harris' instincts about posting the source code proved to be dead-on. Four computer scientists from Maryland's prestigious Johns Hopkins University examined the code and released a scathing review of it. "Our analysis shows that this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts," their report stated.

Science Distorted by Bush Administration

On a wide range of issues, objective scientific analysis has been suppressed or distorted when it fails to support the White House's political goals. UCS has launched a major campaign to stop this misuse of science before it damages our health, safety, and environment.

Union of Concerned Scientists:
Medicare plan cost estimates withheld
Inflation Index 'Missing'
EPA gave misleading assurances about the air quality in new York
Medicare plan cost estimates withheld

By Tony Pugh, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.

When the House of Representatives passed the controversial benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months the administration's own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that.

rest of article


Inflation Index 'Missing', but Alternates Show Giant Jumps
Dan Spillane - Citizens for Corporate Accountability

(SEATTLE) March 8 - The US Bureau which reports an important US inflation index has postponed indefinitely releasing the figures. The US Producer Price Index (PPI) has not been released for January, and will not be for February either.

According to a report, there are software and computer problems that are delaying the release for an 'unheard of' amount of time. However, other departments in the same Bureau haven't had problems reporting indexes, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

EPA acknowledged it gave misleading assurances about the air quality

"Federal officials announced a week after Sept. 11 that the air in downtown Manhattan was safe to breathe. But last fall, the EPA acknowledged it gave misleading assurances about the air quality, downplaying health risks from the debris. "

"The government, the EPA and everybody else attached to them misrepresented to the public that downtown New York was safe and could be reoccupied, when it wasn't safe, when it was filled with asbestos, lead and arsenic, the air was horribly and dangerously polluted and people have been getting sick," said Richard Shandell, another lawyer involved in the suit.

"EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City," said Administrator Whitman. "We are working closely with rescue crews to ensure that all appropriate precautions are taken. We will continue to monitor closely."13 September 2001

Tuesday, March 09, 2004
US row as Kerry claims foreign leaders' support

Julian Borger in Washington, Tuesday March 9, 2004, The Guardian

The Democrats' US presidential candidate, John Kerry, yesterday caused political uproar by claiming he had the private support of foreign leaders who wanted President George Bush beaten.

Speaking to supporters in Florida, the Massachusetts senator declared: "I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy.' Things like that.",13918,1165346,00.html

Kerry would win US presidency if election held now: poll

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) would beat President George W. Bush[R] by a significant margin if a presidential election was held now, according to an opinion poll.

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey indicated the Massachusetts senator would win 52 percent of the vote compared to Bush's 44 percent.

Kerry accuses Republicans of stealing the 2000 election

Kerry promises vigilance at polls

By Brian E. Crowley, Palm Beach Post Political Editor
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

WEST PALM BEACH -- John Kerry said Monday he is ready to go to court -- even before the November election -- to ensure that he does not lose Florida's 27 electoral votes because of ballot problems.

And he directly accused Republicans of stealing the 2000 election for George W. Bush in a contest that was finally settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, giving the president a 537-vote victory.
Graphical Timeline for 9-11 2001
Submitted to the 9-11 Comission on 3/9/2004
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
9/11 Panel Threatens to Issue Subpoena for Bush's Briefings

February 10, 2004

"The White House has acknowledged that one briefing Mr. Bush saw in August 2001
referred to the possibility of a Qaeda strike with commercial airplanes."


Monday, March 01, 2004
9/11 Timeline

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