The Center for American Progress has put out a list of some of the things that President George Bush did while President. It’s entitled “13 Reasons to be Glad George W Bush is no Longer President“. I’m summarizing the list below based on their list but it is pretty obvious that there are a lot of reasons not to miss Bush as President. Most of the things he did are still causing us problems today, like increasing income inequality and deregulating business and investment activity and politicizing the issue of climate change. It seems some people are already forgetting, so I think it’s a great idea to review his” legacy”. It reminds us that there is a world of difference between how President Obama and President Bush and their respective Parties view the future of America and the priorities they chose.
Here’s the list from the Center for American Progress. Go to their original post to see more details.
- Authorized the use of torture
- Politicized climate science
- Ignored Afghanistan to launch a war in Iraq
- Botched the response to Hurricane Katrina
- Defunded stem cell research
- Required Muslim men to register with the government
- Reinstated the global gag rule
- Supported anti-gay discrimination
- Further deregulated Wall Street
- Widened income inequality
- Undermined worker protections
- Ideological court appointments
- Presided over a dysfunctional executive branch
So who’s keeping track of the total bill in dollars that the Federal Government is committing for bailouts?
What’s this talk about a $700 billion bailout? Seems like everyone has already forgotten the other 2008 bailouts the Republican and their free market economy and Wall Street have already foisted on the American taxpayers this year. Seems to me like we’re talking about a Trillion Dollar Bailout Year!
Wasn’t Bear Stearns a $30 billion bailout?
Wasn’t Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a $200 billion bailout?
Wasn’t AIG (American International Group) an $85 billion bailout?
That adds up to $315 billion so far in 2008 and now the latest Wall Street bailout Bush is proposing is for $700 billion more.
Add it up and you’re over $1 trillion dollars.
Shouldn’t we be talking about a trillion dollar bailout? How quickly the other bailouts Bush has committed to seem to get forgotten. What’s next?
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week slapped slapped George Bush’s hand again. They rejected his wimpy do almost nothing fuel efficiency standards for light trucks and SUV’s. See New York Times article. Bush’s proposal was to increase the average fuel efficiency for light trucks from 22.5 mpg to 23.5 mpg by 2010. The standard for cars is 27.5 mpg.
The Court ruled that the Transportation Department did not take into account the economic costs of not reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Washington State was not a party to the suit although it certainly had a chance to join. Washington State’s Attorney General Rob McKenna chose not to participate.
Eleven states , 2 cities and 4 environmental organizations had filed the original suit. Washington State was absent from the list of states that were part of the suit. California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Mexico, Oregon and Minnesota and New York City and the District of Columbia were parties to the suit.
Washington state’s absence from this suit is not surprising. Rob McKenna is a Republican. George Bush is a Republican. McKenna‘s loyalties are first to his party, not our state. In fact all of the states that joined the lawsuit had Democratic Attorney Generals. No Republican Attorney General saw fit to join the lawsuit to try to curb global warming.
Rob McKenna will of course protest, saying wait a minute, Washington state was a party to another significant Supreme Court decision in April 2007 that said the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. In fact he even put out a press release after it was decided praising the decision. The truth, however, is that McKenna did not originate that suit. It was Washington’s current Governor, Christine Gregoire, when she was Washington State’s Attorney General, who joined the lawsuit when it was filed in 2003.
I have previously written about McKenna‘s lack of enthusiasm for bucking his fellow Republican George Bush by his lack of tackling the global warming issue. I wrote the Attorney General asking why he was not involved in the lawsuit last year and urged that Washington state join the lawsuit. I think the year and a half that has passed since then has significantly shown the importance of our needing to act to curb global warming and the need for significant and meaningful action like drastically increasing fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.
You can read my press release here – Press Release – “Attorney General Rob McKenna Should Join Federal Lawsuit on Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Standards“
MajorityRulesBlog Missing in Action – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna
MajorityRulesBlog – Update on Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna Asleep at the Wheel
MajorityRulesBlog 2nd Update – Still Waiting to Hear from Attorney General Rob McKenna
MajorityRules Blog 3rd Update –Washington State Attorney General McKenna Should Join Car Fuel Efficiency Lawsuit
Here is the response from McKenna‘s office and my comments – “Washington State Attorney General’s Office Responds to Not Joining Other State’s on Fuel Efficiency Lawsuit”
Rob McKenna missed his chance to be part of the solution rather than stick his head in the sand. McKenna is running again for Attorney General of Washington. Inaction on critical issues when the opportunity arises like it did for McKenna to join the Federal lawsuit and represent Washington state’s interests are legitimate issues that one can use to evaluate and judge whether a public official is representing the voters interests or not.
Global warming is a significant issue affecting the future of our state. The public has a right to question the inaction of public officials in addressing this problem. On this one McKenna came up missing in action.
Gonzales has jumped from Bush’s ship, swimming after Karl Rove. So will Bush appoint anyone better? What’s the drawing power of Bush these days to attract quality people?
The US Senate is the last line of defense against another unqualified candidate. Also the press must do its job by giving its investigative people freedom to scrutinize Bush’s nominee.
The New York Times mentions the names of 3 possible replacements:
“Among those being mentioned as a possible successor were Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security who is a former federal prosecutor, assistant attorney general and federal judge; Christopher Cox, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy attorney general who is now senior vice president and general counsel of PepsiCo Inc. “
Michael Chertoff according to RightWeb
“is secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A Harvard-trained lawyer who is also a member of the rightist Federalist Society, he served as special council to the Clinton-era Whitewater Commission and as assistant to former Attorney General John Ashcroft (see Chertoff’s DHS biography and “Mike Chertoff’s Dirty Little Secrets,” LA Weekly, January 12, 2005). As head of DHS and council to the Justice Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, Chertoff has been heavily criticized for his role in helping craft the Patriot Act, the Bush administration’s response to Katrina, and the administration’s controversial immigration reform agenda, including the effort to use more law enforcement elements to detain undocumented migrants. Chertoff has also been a vocal proponent of the “war on terror.”
Christopher Cox according to RightWeb was:
“a member of the House of Representatives for 17 years (R-CA), was confirmed as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 29, 2005. During his tenure in Congress, Cox was a vociferous proponent of hardline security policies. He pushed for intervention in the Middle East, supported missile defense programs, and hyped intelligence threats to the United States. “
Larry D. Thompson according to BevNet joined:
“PepsiCo from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where he is a Senior Fellow. He is also a member of the board of directors for Delta Airlines. His government career includes serving in the U.S. Department of Justice, where his role as Deputy Attorney General included supervision of overall operations. In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft named Mr. Thompson to lead the National Security Coordination Council. Also in 2002, President Bush named Thompson to head the Corporate Fraud Task Force. He led the Justice Department’s ongoing Enron investigation, and was responsible for corporate fraud investigations. ”
We all know just what a banner job Bush and the Justice Department did of going after Enron.
Both Chertoff and Thompson are members of the right wing Federalist Society which has been behind the Bush Administrations program of appointing right wing judicial activists to fill judicial appointments as well as other government appointments.
Chertoff is an unlikely nominee, considering his “role” in the Katrina botched response by the Bush Team.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has additional names and comments to the three already mentioned. They are Paul Clement, Jim Comey, Judge Lawrence Silberman, Patrick Fitzgerald, Michael Mukasey, Ted Olsen and Michael Luttig.
Patrick Fitzgerald is an intriguing possibility. He is the US Attorney from Northern Illinois appointed by Bush who became the Special Counsel in the Plame/CIA leak case that resulted in the conviction of I Lewis Libby Jr. Sounds just like what the Department of Justice needs right now- someone willing to pursue justice whatever the outcome.
True Majority is asking people to send letters to their Senators, asking them to do their job and scrutinize carefully whoever it is that Bush ultimately nominates to take over Gonzales’ old job. Most names mentioned so far are not any different from any of the other people Bush has appointed in the past – ones beholden to corporate America and right wing ideology above all else.
The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Karl Rove is abandoning the sinking Bush ship. He gives the reason as wanting to spend more time with his family. There is obviously more to this than meets the eye.
My guess is that he wants to be free to work for the Republicans to try to keep the White House.
Considering all the dirty tricks that are associated with his being around expect him to be a political consultant of one form or another to the Republican Presidential nominees and eventual nominee or the Republican National Party.
Expect that he could pop up quietly working with Senate or House races. And don’t be surprised to see him involved in the effort to chnage the electoral college rules that California Republicans are kicking off.
In a bizarre divided opinion the US Supreme Court has given its O.K. to President Bush to spend tax dollars to advocate for God’s way of doing things. Which God of course depends only on the beliefs of the President. In their logic of law inspired by divine wisdom I guess, they ignored a legal precedent from a 1968 case which said taxpayer dollars spent by Congress could be challenged if taxpayers believed they promoted religion.
The Court tossed out a legal challenge to Bush’s taxpayer funded “Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.” The vote was 5 to 4. So continues the rightward swing of the Supreme Court as Bush’s legacy of appointments to the US Supreme Court gains conservative momentum.
Voters who think who is President doesn’t matter only need to watch the steady drift of the Court rightward and read the bizarre interpretations of the old boy network of corporate right wing conservatism that controls the majority now on the Court. Let’s hear it now for the wisdom of Ralph Nader that there was no difference between Gore and Bush.
Washington Post Bench Conference blogger Andrew Cohen says it very clearly:
“Indeed, so strong is the conservative bent to the court right now that even when its right-facing Justices did not agree on the legal reasons or rationale for their rulings– which was the case in the religion case noted above– they are able to agree to promote government sponsorship of religion and to block taxpayer efforts to prevent it. In other words, there is room for dissent even among the Court’s working majority– a bad sign for liberal judges, lawyers and litigants in the months and years to come.
People can and do and will disagree about the “correctness” of these rulings– but no one should have any doubt now that President George W. Bush’s campaign promise– to take the Supreme Court to the right– has been fulfilled. That question is no longer open to argument and you need only to take a few minutes to read today’s rulings to understand why.”
NY Times 6/26/2007 “Justices Reject Suit on Federal Money for Faith-based Office”
Washington Post 6/26/2007 “Justices Quash Suit over Funds for Faith Based Groups“
Knowing that the Senate was not going to confirm his choice of Swift Boat Funder Sam Fox to be the Ambassador to Belgium, President Bush appointed him and two others to posts using the Congressional recess to make interim appointments. Considering the strong Congressional opposition to the President’s choices, Bush just gave the finger to the Democrats and John Kerry.
Consider the following exchange in the Senate between Senator Kerry and Sam Fox as recorded by Bob Geiger:
“Kerry: Let me ask you about that. On August 5, 2005, John McCain called the SBVT “completely nauseating, dishonest and dishonorable.” McCain pointed out “it’s the same kind of deal that was pulled on me” when he ran against Bush in 2000.
On August 15, John Warner, Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and former Navy Secretary said “I can speak to the process, that we did extraordinary careful checking on that kind of medal, a very high one, that it goes through the Secretary. So I’d stand by the process that awarded Kerry that medal and I think we best acknowledge that his heroism did gain that recognition. I feel he deserved it
.”He was then, incidentally, in the Navy — he signed my award.August 8, 2004, General Tommy Franks called the smear boat attacks “vitriolic and hyperbole.”
On August 7, 2004, Mike Johannes the Republican governor of Nebraska says the ads were “trash.”
Now these are Republican leaders. These are the leaders of your own party. President Bush said that he thought that my service was honorable and they shouldn’t be questioning it. Yet, even when your own candidate does that, you saw fit to put $50,000 on the line to continue the smear.
My question to you is why? When you say you couldn’t have known — these were people very publicly condemning it. How could you not have known?
Fox: I guess, Mr. Senator, when I’m asked I just generally give.”
Fox withdrew his name from consideration after the hearing but George Bush also likes to just give to his friends. “Here’s an ambassadorship Sam. Thanks for doing the dirty work,” Bush silently is saying to himself.
In addition Bush appointed two others to positions that were opposed by Democrats for good reason. As the New York Times notes today in an editorial entitled “No Recess from Bad Appointments“, the other two appointments are just as objectionable to reasonable people and out of tune with what America needs now. The NY Times says “All three are extraordinary bad appointments – and three more reminders of how Mr Bush’s claim s of wanting to work with Congress’s Democratic leadership are just empty words”
“…the appointment of Susan E. Dudley to the Office of Management and Budget, where she will review regulations from major federal agencies before they are issued. Ms. Dudley has made no secret of her hostility toward government regulation, criticizing everything from fuel economy standards for light trucks to a national drinking water standard for arsenic, arguing that the market will almost always suffice. This makes her just right for this administration but wrong for consumers and the environment.
Similarly, Andrew Biggs, the president’s choice to be deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration, is a champion of partially privatizing the program he is being sent to administer. The agency dispenses checks to beneficiaries and traditionally provides factual information on the state of the program. But under this president the agency has become increasingly politicized, using questionable arguments and projections to support Mr. Bush’s drive for private accounts. As a lower ranking official in the agency, Mr. Biggs was in the thick of that politicization. His appointment is a sure sign that Mr. Bush intends to keep using the agency as a propaganda machine to push a privatization scheme that has little public support.”
Again and again we see the blind dogmatism of the Bush/Cheney/Rove and Republican attempts how to run the country to benefit corporate America . Forget Republican promises and words to the contrary- look at their actions. They speak louder than any words coming from the White House.
Back in 1999 Molly Ivins co-authored with Dou Dubose a book entitled Shrub The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. What she said then still rings true today.
Take for example the following:
“…he owes his political life to big corporate money; he’s a CEO’s wet dream. He carries their water, he’s stumpbroke – however you put it, George W. Bush is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America. …We can find no evidence that it has ever occurred to him to question whether it is wise to do what big business wants. He is perfectly comfortable, perfectly at home, doing the bidding of big business. These are his friends, and he takes care of his friends …”
As well as this:
“Where Bush is weak is on the governance side of politics. From the record, it appears that he doesn’t know much, and doesn’t care much about governing…. In fact, given his record, its kind of hard to figure out why he wants a job where he’s expected to govern. It’s not just that
he has no ideas about what to do with government- if you think his daddy had trouble with “the vision thing,” wait till you meet this one. For a Republican, not wanting to do much with government is practically a vision in itself. Trouble is , when you aren’t particularly interested in the nuts and bolts of governing, you end up with staff-driven policy.”
Or policy written by your Vice-President and corporate America.
If only more in the media were as hard hitting and insightful as Molly Ivins was, we probably would not be in Iraq today. Molly Ivins, who died this week, warned us repeatedly but not enough people listened and acted on her insights. She held Bush up to the light for all to see.
In her column entitled, “Call me a Bush-Hater” written in November of 2003, the clarity and directness of her style of writing tells us some of what we’ve lost with her death.
“Then suddenly, in the greatest bait-and-switch of all time, Osama Bin Laden doesn’t matter at all, and we have to go after Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with 9/11. But he does have horrible weapons of mass destruction, and our president “without doubt,” without question, knows all about them, even unto the amounts–tons of sarin, pounds of anthrax. So we take out Saddam Hussein, and there are no weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the Iraqis are not overjoyed to see us.
By now, quite a few people who aren’t even liberal are starting to say, “What the hey?” We got no Osama, we got no Saddam, we got no weapons of mass destruction, the road map to peace in the Middle East is blown to hell, we’re stuck in this country for $87 billion just for one year and no one knows how long we’ll be there”
“… what we need is the Big Picture. Well, the Big Picture is that after September 11, we had the sympathy of every nation on Earth. They all signed up, all our old allies volunteered, everybody was with us, and Bush just booted all of that away. Sneering, jeering, bad manners, hideous diplomacy, threats, demands, arrogance, bluster.”
“In Afghanistan, Bush rode a popular tide; Iraq, however, was a singular act of presidential will,” says Krauthammer.
You bet your ass it was. We attacked a country that had done nothing to us, had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, and turns out not to have weapons of mass destruction.
It is not necessary to hate George W. Bush to think he’s a bad president. Grownups can do that, you know. You can decide someone’s policies are a miserable failure without lying awake at night consumed with hatred.
Poor Bush is in way over his head, and the country is in bad shape because of his stupid economic policies. If that makes me a Bush-hater, then sign me up.”
The complete column was also reprinted in Molly Ivins book, Who Let the Dogs in? Incredible Political Animals I have Known”, which was published in 2004. The words carry as much bite today as they did over 2 years ago.Thank you Molly for speaking truth to power.
Yes Giftmas is upon us. And our intrepid cheerleader Bush not only is trying to rally us to send more troops for sacrifice in Iraq but also to get in the holiday spirit and support Giftmas.
Giftmas is the national holiday that shows support for corporations around the world that are based on ever increasing consumption of goods and materials. In America the Giftmas spirit of worshiping ever increasing consumption levels is tracked closely by watching the up and down gyrations of individual corporations as they report their profits and losses on Wall Street.
As just reported in Marketwatch.com, Bush in his press conference today said “The recent report on retail sales shows a strong beginning to the holiday shopping season across the country,” Bush said. “And I encourage you all to go shopping more.”
After 9-11 Bush you may have remembered also urged people to shop … and to fly on airplanes.
Bush was a Cheerleader in college. It seems he just can’t stop cheerleading for corporate America.
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