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G. W. B u s h

In the relatively brief period of time since his 'anointing' by the Supreme Court, G.W. Bush has managed, with astonishing rapidity,to destory our economy, eviscerate our environmental laws, tarnish our international reputation, and erode our civil liberties. Finally, after arrogantly dismissing our allies who opposed him as well as the UN and at the cost of our country's international respect, he has realized his dream of dragging this nation into a war for which the price tag remains a closely guarded secret, the consequences of which could well be catastrophic.

The Economy
Extract from Statement on the Bush Presidency Issued by National Executive Committee, CCDS "While economic pundits, including the Wall St. Journal, now speculate openly that the nation is on the brink of Depression, Bush and his cohorts press their cuts for the rich as an elixir to combat the escalating economic slump. Tax cuts, especially geared to the wealthiest, have never done anything to spark economic revival and will do nothing other than bring about deeper cuts in social programs affecting the working poor and unemployed."
Nobel-Winning Economists Assail Bush Tax Scheme
From the National Democratic Committee
A group of 450 economists, led by 10 Nobel Prize winners, condemned President Bush's latest round of tax giveaways for the wealthy, saying they will do nothing to help the struggling economy and will damage America's fiscal situation for years to come.

In a statement and New York Times full-page ad issued February 10 by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank, the 450 economists said the Bush tax scheme would do nothing to create jobs for the millions of Americans seeking employment or help the economy in the short term. Their statement questioned the Bush administration's motives in floating the plan. "Regardless of how one views the specifics of the Bush plan," the statement read, "there is wide agreement that its purpose is a permanent change in the tax structure and not the creation of jobs and growth in the near-term."

What's more, the Bush tax scheme will cause grave damage to America's fiscal health, according to the economists. They say that "passing these tax cuts will worsen the long-term budget outlook, adding to the nation's projected chronic deficits," and will weaken our ability to fund Social Security, Medicare, and other vital programs.

Democrats have proposed alternative stimulus measures that would include immediate, short-term tax cuts to boost the economy. According to the economists' statement, "to be effective, a stimulus plan should rely on immediate but temporary spending and tax measures."

The full statement is available from the Economic Policy Institute.

The Environment
Part One from GWBush Watch
Part two from:

ANWAR: The Cost of Bush's Six-Month Oil Supply
The Miami Herald reports: "A handful of his most controversial policies have made headlines, notably his abandonment of an international treaty on global warming, approval of a federal dump for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada and his proposal to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But Bush's administration has slipped a number of major policy changes under the public's and the media's radar by quietly issuing executive orders that don't require congressional approval, making announcements late on Fridays, rewriting highly technical environmental regulations and muzzling dissent within the administration."

Halfway through his term, President Bush has done more to change the way federal environmental laws are defined and implemented than any other president in the last three decades, leaving his mark on virtually every aspect of national environmental policy.... ...Critics say Bush has steadily rolled back fundamental environmental protections, siding with business and industry at the expense of the public and the environment.

"I think it's fair to say that we have never before faced such a fundamental challenge to every aspect of environmental protection," said Greg Wetstone of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "These are not changes at the margins. It's sweeping, it's across-the-board, and it's coordinated through the White House."

More on the Environment from Molly Ivins

Excerpt from The Guardian

The rising tide of anti-war sentiment has produced some remarkable recent poll findings in western Europe. Three out of four Germans, for example, say that they consider President Bush to be a greater danger than Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

As is also the case in France, three out of four of those polled in Germany say that they are opposed to a war in Iraq, even if it is specifically authorised by the UN security council.

In Spain and Italy, majorities against war are over 60%, despite the expressed support for US policy of the countries' respective leaders, Jose Maria Aznar and Silvio Berlusconi. These largely Catholic countries will have listened to the Pope's recent denunciation of war as a "defeat for humanity".

An interview from Salon with John Kiesling, the US Diplomat who resigned last week over Bush's war on Iraq.

March 19, 2003
Don't count career U.S. diplomat John Brady Kiesling among those surprised by the administration's failure to rally support among its traditional allies for a war on Iraq. As political counselor assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, he found himself in charge of explaining U.S. talking points for the war. And late last month, frustrated by an inability to make sense of the administration's need to invade Iraq, Kiesling finally gave up and quit in protest.

"The talking points were pathetic," he says.

Now, after having served 20 years in embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca, Kiesling has become the first American diplomat to leave his job in opposition to U.S. policy on Iraq. In a blunt letter dated Feb. 27, Kiesling told Secretary of State Colin Powell, "The policies [diplomats] are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests."

Moreover, in the push toward war, "We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known," wrote Kiesling. "Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security."

Interview continued...

Erosion of Civil Rights:
Extract from ABC News 3/19/03 We no longer have First Amendement rights?

Senator Daschle made these comments following Bush's speech on Monday night:
"I'm saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war."

The South Dakota Democrat added that he was "saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country." The Republicans are quite exercised by Dachle's remarks:

In a statement, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asserted, "Those comments may not undermine the president as he leads us into war, and they may not give comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close."

Interview with Nancy Chang, Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Scott Harris Almost a year and a half after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., civil liberties advocates are continuing to assess the damage done to the American Constitution and Bill of Rights through the USA Patriot Act pushed by the Bush administration, passed by Congress and signed into law with little serious scrutiny or debate. The legislation has been widely criticized for unnecessarily curtailing civil liberties of citizens and non-citizens more sharply than at any time since World War II.

But as the White House prepares for war with Iraq, officials at the Justice Department have been working behind the scenes to further clamp down on constitutional rights. A document recently leaked to the Center for Public Integrity confirms that the Bush administration has drafted new legislation dubbed the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003." The bill, which remained secret even from members of Congress until leaked to the press, would prohibit the release of information on people detained as terrorist suspects, create a DNA database of individuals alleged to have links to terrorist groups and rewrite federal bail laws.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Nancy Chang, senior litigation attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She discusses provisions of the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act," and her fear that if signed into law, the bill would further erode civil liberties for all Americans.

Nancy Chang is the author of "Silencing Political Dissent,"published by Seven Stories Press. Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights by calling (212) 614-6464 or visit their Web site at: