Although I feel the E.W.'s paralysis of choice and fear of belittling the grand scale of Bush's actions by itemizing them, while speaking to my friend, an undecided voter, he proposed that I, rabid liberal, list the top 5 reasons for why I am voting the way I am voting. He said he was getting his rabid republican/conservative friend to do the same. I told him that I would rather give two lists: Top 5 Reasons Against Bush, and Top 5 Reasons for KerryEdwards. Here is the Top 5 reasons I am voting against George Bush this coming election (whenever I say Bush, unless I say otherwise, I am referring to all that is his administration):
1. George Bush's Foreign Policy
Well, This is pretty broad but I think partitioning out each grievance would be at the expense of the scope you get when its all under the same heading. This scope reveals that all of these horrible decisions are not in vacuums but are all parts and pieces of an overarching, dangerously short-sighted foreign policy. What am I talking about? This:
- Asinine war in Iraq; the idiocy and danger of this irrelevant war is more evident each and every day. If you don't know what I am talking about inquire within, because there really is too much to innumerate here (books are being written about parts of this War and its botched "Peace")
- Diplomacy is for Sissies Doctrine: Colin Powell is the least traveled Secretary of State in US History, but it doesn’t matter because the only way we've fostered any new relationships is by opening our checkbooks. We've marginalized the United Nations, a boy that has done some much good in its 60 years or existence. We’ve alienated every ally we've once had (including Britain after Blair gets kicked out). The results of which are no more evident than the current situation in Darfur. The estimated million Africans dead offers the world its first truly altruistic opportunity since Rwanda. But because the US has spread itself so thin militarily and cannot respond as effectively it must resort to calling for internat'l help. But since the nations that are in a position to help have been continually told to fuck off for the last three years there is little inertia to enter into a US led mission. Its a pity people are dying because of this petty difference and if I were in charge of France of Germany I would have already intervened, but it shows that there are consequences for actions and I guarantee if the US had not gone into Iraq (at least without the UN's support) the rest of the world would be tripping over itself to help and I would support that military action with every fiber of my being.
- Ridiculous Military Ventures; From the 'tail-hook Mission (un) Accomplished' stunt that cost tax payers $ 3 million extra for the jet when the carrier was safely within helicopter range even though Bush ordered the carrier be stalled for 3 days (3 days those troops lost the chance to be with their families for no reason other than W.'s dress-up party) to out recent adventure in the Orient (for more info click here) to Ridiculously Untested and Horribly Expensive Missile Defense (which will be 'operational' in a month or so despite failing every test except for the one where the MDef. team were given the coordinates and trajectory of the enemy missile, even then they missed but not by much....hopefully we will scare potential enemies with the bill).
- Blackmailing poor countries out of their rights (as given by the WTO) to purchase generic AIDS drugs the only way poor countries can hope to combat the disease where generic drugs cost $200 per patient compared to $10,000 for brand name. The US has renegotiated trade agreements with countries which mitigate debt if they refuse to buy the drugs, these countries cannot afford to pay the debt they owe so they cannot do anything but accept. FUN!
2. George Bush's Fiscal Policy
Once again a broad reason but with many examples linked to systematic policy not freak occurrence. This is how this admin. thinks.
- Tax cuts, Tax cuts, Tax cuts. No matter who you talk to, there is little sound economic theory behind supply-side/trickle-down economics. It’s a sham, and has always been a sham, sugar coated in words like 'stimulate economic entrepreneurs' and 'create jobs.' But the reality is that it does neither. What is does is give rich people more money (which they don’t spend) and takes away funds from social programs designed to help the population that need them, badly.
- Tax cuts despite 2 wars that have thrown us into billions upon billions (soon to be trillions) of dollars in debt and threaten the economic viability of this government for future generations. Today we rely upon 2 billion dollars a day of foreign investment to maintain the status quo of operations. That is simply an unacceptable amount of reliance upon foreign aide when we have the resources to pay that 2 billion but have squandered more and more of it every year of this president.
- Continued support of outsourcing labor while instructing companies how to avoid paying workers overtime compensation. The Dept of Labor released a document to companies telling them how they can avoid paying workers overtime under the new laws that were written to "protect the worker.” Also the Admin lobbied for a series of legislative initiatives that would basically prohibit certain workers for being eligible in the first place for overtime while allowing the managers to require workers to work said extra hours at regular wage.
3. Deceit, Deception, and Depravity in the Whitehouse
This is a topic where I don’t know how or where to begin. That being said this list is inadequate because I just can't keep track of every example. I will try however to give examples from every year of his presidency.
4. Politicizing of Science
- Energy Commission: Cheney had a gathering of Energy Execs (including Ken Lay) from the major corporations to draft the energy policy of this administration. It locked the doors and withheld information on what happened and who was there in what capacity. Very important questions especially because it’s illegal to withhold that (Freedom of Information Act is the relevant law I believe). The Sierra club took Cheney to court and before the trial was to be brought up in the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia took a completely benign duck hunting trip with the Cheney for no reason at all other than to kill ducks and in no way did they discuss the upcoming trail....right. (Also that trip was paid for by taxpayer money which is also illegal.) Surprisingly enough Scalia did not recuse himself, and the Supreme Court sent the decision back down to a lower court, basically assuring that it won’t get decided until after the election.
- Stone walling of the 9/11 commission: Bush and his counterparts in the legislature did their damndest to stop the 911 commission from being formed, being non-partisan, and having access to sensitive information. He did not allow any of his Whitehouse to be interviewed under oath until he gave in to public pressure even then he delayed the interview every time. He lobbied for a sooner deadline, withheld documents, and anything he could to make sure they didn’t find anything they could blame him for. It was disgusting, and no one really talks about it anymore.
- Abu Gharib and the Dept of Justices defense of Torture. We replaced rape rooms with sodomy cells. And don't buy that this is a few bad apples, this goes straight to Rumsfield and the Command in Iraq (possibly even to Bush himself). 94 incidents reported cannot all be random, there’s systematic problems and a culture of torture created by our disregard for the Geneva Convention in Gitmo (interrogators form Gitmo were flown into Iraq, not to mention the hundred of privately contracted interrogators which is flat out illegal because they are not under the jurisdiction of international law since they don’t technically represent a state). Simply stated, this has endangered our troops and will continue to endanger them in future conflicts. No longer can we expect any of our enemies to adhere to the Geneva Convention. Pray for any of our future POWs.
- The Dept of Justices refusal to seriously investigate any charges against the Whitehouse. Valerie Plame was an undercover agent in the CIA and was outed by a "Senior White House Official" which is a TREASONOUS OFFENSE! No indictments, subpoenas [sp?], or interrogations on the record. The actuary that determined the cost of the Medicare/Prescription drug Bill was forced to lie to Congress about the actual cost by his superior who threatened to fire him if he didn’t. Not only is that superior not being investigated, he now has a job working for a major Pharmaceutical company that received major kick-backs from the bill he made his actuary lie about. Ridiculous. An FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds, double checked a bunch of translated documents that were translated by a fellow officer and found that "Intercepts relevant to the terrorist plot, including references to skyscrapers, had been overlooked because they were badly translated into English" and not only that but the translator that did that poor job was also a "a member of an organization with ties to the Middle East that was a target of an FBI investigation." She blew the whistle on this and tried to get her message to her superiors and five months later, flagging what she said were several other security lapses in her division (such as hundred of un-translated pages that were label impertinent that contain specific information about terrorist attacks and mentions 911 related information), she was fired for no reason. Attorney General John Ashcroft has ordered that information about the Edmonds case be retroactively classified, even basic facts that have been posted on websites and discussed openly in meetings with members of Congress for two years as well as prohibiting her to testify in court. Cover up? No way!
- Inquire within for further examples...I don’t have the stomach to keep writing about this without murdering people.
- The Administration has gone out of its way to twist science to match and support its politics.
- The administration used politically tainted science to influence federal institutions that regulate food and medicine, conduct health research, control disease and protect the environment.
- The Bush administration went against scientific consensus by posting a fact sheet on the National Cancer Institute's website that implied there is not enough evidence to rule out a link between abortion and breast cancer. Which is false, completely false.
- Bush appointed marketing consultant Jerry Thacker, who has characterized AIDS as the "gay plague" and has described homosexuality as a "death style"—to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS in Jan. 2003
- When the Food and Drug Administration recently decided against making emergency contraception available over-the-counter without a prescription, it ignored the recommendation of its own expert advisory committee and staff scientists
There are simply more examples than I can name here but in general, the federal funding for research and development (that totals over $100 billion dollars) is expected to be conducted independently and objectively. Yet the Bush Administration has:
5. The Baggage that comes with Voting Bush
- obstructed ongoing research by threatening political scrutiny of projects that concern social conservatives;
- obstructed agency research when the results might conflict with the Administration’s agenda;
- undermined outcome assessment, both by creating easy-to-reach performance measures for politically favored programs and by eliminating programs that identify effective initiatives that conflict with the Administration’s ideological agenda;
- blocked publication of research that may upset an affected industry.
: Ashcroft, Rumsfeild, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perl, Frum, etc.
Yes, if you don’t see a difference between Kerry and Bush, or between the Dems and Republicans, here are some tangible answers to what voting for Bush means beyond his own incompetencies and policies.
John Ashcroft...wow, where to start?
How bout something small like under he erased about half of a study that criticized the diversity of his department. An internal report that harshly criticized the Justice Department's diversity efforts was edited so heavily when it was posted on the department's Web site two weeks ago that half of its 186 pages, including the summary, were blacked out. The deleted sections showed the department's record on diversity as "seriously flawed, specifically in the hiring, promotion, and retention of minority lawyers." The unedited report, completed by the consulting firm KPMG, "found that minority employees at the department, which is responsible for enforcing the country's civil rights laws, perceive their own workplace as biased and unfair."
Or maybe something insane like Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he will issue new gender-persecution regulations limiting battered immigrant women seeking asylum in the United States. Immigration and women's rights groups have expressed concern that Ashcroft does not support regulations proposed by former Attorney General Janet Reno that would have allowed battered women to be considered for asylum. The decision stems from a case involving Rodi Alvarado, a Guatemalan woman whose husband threatened to kill her if she returned home. Alvarado was granted asylum by Reno, who reversed the INS' original decision. Ashcroft is reportedly reconsidering the decision to grant asylum to Alvarado, who could be forced to return to Guatemala.
Hmm how about something more racist like The Justice Department announced the Absconder Apprehension Initiative, targeting immigrants from Middle East nations against whom deportation orders are outstanding. The department seeks to apprehend and interview Middle Eastern citizens. Or how Ashcroft has systematically undermined Affirmative Action (but that’s no surprise considering his fantastic record on diversity hiring).
Or you could consider the origins of the Jose Padilla case. "There was no publicity when Mr. Padilla was arrested in May 2002. But on June 6, 2002, Colleen Rowley gave devastating Congressional testimony about failures at the F.B.I. (which reports to Mr. Ashcroft) before 9/11. Four days later, Mr. Ashcroft held a dramatic press conference and announced that Mr. Padilla was involved in a terrifying plot. Instead of featuring Ms. Rowley, news magazine covers ended up featuring the "dirty bomber" who Mr. Ashcroft said was plotting to kill thousands with deadly radiation. Since then Mr. Padilla has been held as an "enemy combatant" with no legal rights. But Newsweek reports that "administration officials now concede that the principal claim they have been making about Padilla ever since his detention — that he was dispatched to the United States for the specific purpose of setting off a radiological `dirty bomb' — has turned out to be wrong and most likely can never be used in court.'"
Or you could remember the example of Ashcroft's cover up of SIbel Edmonds shocking discovery that the FBI fired her for blowing the whistle about their incompetence.
Or keep in mind that he was held in contempt of congress when he refused to turn over Dept of Justices memos concerning torture his department prepared for the White House almost two years ago. Fortunately, his stonewalling didn't work: The Washington Post has acquired a copy of the memo and put it on its Web site.
Or you could just keep it simple and be enraged by the PATRIOT Act or the DOJ's defense of Torture. It’s up to you.
And as always this list is simply a tip of a huge iceberg. If you want more examples or you don’t think these examples are all that bad, please let me know and ill hook you up.
The Ashcroft part has taken about 30 minutes so I'll keep the remaining ones short. Cheney while CEO of Halliburton illegally dealt with the regimes of Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria (in Libya they sold materials that although useful in oil industry could be used to make nuclear weapons!!). They have botched the reconstruction of Iraq and overcharged the military by billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars that they receive with no competition.
Cheney has lied repeatedly about the Iraq-Al'Quaeda connection in the face of the 9/11 Commission Report that categorically denies such relationship ever existed.
And, of course, he also may very well be a card carrying brain-eating zombie. Who knows these things?
- Rumsfeild, Wolfowitz, Perl and the NeoCon Cabal.
Completely F---ED UP the War in Iraq, the post-war transition, the War in Afghanistan and its post-war transition, and forced generals who (correctly) predicted that the US needed a larger amount of troops in Iraq to retire. Oh and of course the Carrier Invasion Force to China exercises. The Cabal started its own intel gathering office (Office of Special Plans) which gathered uncorroborated intel on the WMDs in Iraq. They all also lied about Iraq-Al'Quaeda relationships. Oh yeah Wolfowitz and the Cabal has wanted to invade Iraq since 1992 an even made an attempt to lobby support for invasion by blaming the Oklahoma City Bombing on Saddam. They do not have a sound understanding of history and they want to dominate the world militarily. THEY NEED TO GET THE F OUT!
- As with the majority of Bush's Appointments he has a cabinet that is filled with industry executives and special interest members.
Tommy Thompson the Secretary for Health and Human Services is a former TOBBACCO EXECUTIVE and Stock Holder with Phillip Morris!!!!!!!
Spencer Abraham the ENERGY SECRETARY had the most contributions and connections with Car companies like Ford and Chrysler and has continued to defend Car Co.s from a fuel economy standard.
This is just a taste! Go to this site http://www.opensecrets.org/bush/cabinet.asp
for the complete picture. Opensecrets is nonpartisan site that documents where and who is involved monetarily in politics and business.
Some Honorable Mentions include
Social Program Photo Ops
(over the course of the last 3 and some years, Bush has flown around the country and visited social programs such as AmeriCorp and Jumpstart, had his picture taken and said some nice words and within the month the funding for everyone of them has been cut or rolled back, but the pictures are nice I hear),
(its hard to make people care about this if they don't already. Its really important and Bush is doing his darndest to destroy it as much as he can but no one seems to care),
(self-explanatory, monetary transfers and the incest of politics and corporations spawning the current pork-barrel offspring),
(FCC, EPA, ADA, and many others have had their missions subverted to push deregulation of industries like big Parma),
(it has never been worse than in this admin where Def. Dept appointees retain their jobs at the Boeings and Lockheeds that they left while also working for the govt, they know which side their bread is buttered on),
(not just NCLB, the under funded piece of shit that it is, but also the HealthCare initiatives rammed through that might as well be an free money machine for big Parma, as well as other examples) ,
Erosion of Civil Liberties
(PATRIOT Act: the FBI can now read your library history without a warrant thanks to Johnny A, etc.)....
As you can see, there are certainly more than 5 and I could probably rant about why W is the worst president in history till my fingers fell off but this it the most important that popped into my head as I was writing this. Like I said, itemizing them out may not be sufficient in illustrating the sheer scope and range of douchebaggery that infests every single aspect and individual in the Bush Whitehouse.
This is probably the most mentally and emotionally draining thing I've done since laboring through 40 pages of an Ann Coulter book. This top 5 is the tip of the iceberg there’s so much more shit in the details and so much more that I don’t even know about, I'm sure. But it’s a depressing start.