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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Is Bush Growing Up?

    Bold Visions Have Given Way to New Reality
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 — It was an evening for President Bush to confront America's anxieties — and his own.

    Only a year after Mr. Bush stood in the House, describing in bold ter.ms how he planned to spend the political capital he had amassed in the 2004 election, the president who addressed the nation on Tuesday evening was far less ambitious, his tone noticeably different.

    The Texan who swept onto the national political scene six years ago talking about drilling for new energy supplies and preserving the American way of life vowed on Tuesday night to wean the nation from its reliance on oil. Instead of urging Congress to drill in the Arctic, the president who had waved off the critics who portrayed him and Vice President Dick Cheney as captives of the oil industry asked Congress to finance federal research into alternative fuels and lithium batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=9280
    What You Need to Know: For five years, President Bush has consistently
    steered the nation away from alternative fuels and towards greater
    dependence on polluting imported fossil fuels.

    BUSH HAS INCREASED DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mer/pdf/pages/sec1_15.pdf Sixty-six percent of oil consumed in the United States comes from foreign sources, up from 58 percent in 2000. Americans now spend $200,000 a minute on foreign oil, and more than $25 billion annually goes to Persian Gulf states for oil imports.

    The energy bill supported and signed by President Bush dropped a provision that would have required utilities "to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity through renewable fuels by 2020."Â? The proposal, championed by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), was "was a low-cost, market-driven approach to cutting demand for fossil fuels and easing air pollution."

    The same energy bill failed to take any steps that will substantively reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Specifically, the final version "rejected a Senate provision that required reduction of oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2015." Under the bill, "our need for imported oil will continue to grow for as long as models are able to project."

    A president who has rarely dwelled on the impact of globalization for American workers was suddenly looking over his shoulder at China and India, and committing the federal government to a quest for 70,000 teachers and 30,000 scientists to prepare American students for a new era of competition.

    It was, in short, a speech rooted in some harsh global and political realities, and one unlikely to rank among Mr. Bush's most memorable. Instead of evoking the grand ambitions that have suffused his presidency since the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Bush emphasized the familiar and the modest. At a moment of partisan fervor, he offered an olive branch, reviving a pledge to lower the temperature. "Our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger," he said.

    Yet by any measure, Mr. Bush's options are far more limited than they were a year ago. Much of the momentum he boasted about in the days after his re-election is gone, some of it lost on a bold Social Security initiative that never took off, some washed away by the deeply disorganized federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

    The budget deficit, rising again despite Mr. Bush's promise to cut it in half by the time he leaves office in 2009, effectively handcuffs him when it comes to new initiatives. The few new ideas he unveiled were largely thematic, not backed by broad programmatic initiatives.

    Three years into the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush tried anew to strike a tone of optimism, saying that "we are in this fight, and we are winning." But he also bowed to the country's anxiety about finding a path out of a mission that seems to become harder each day, and he warned anew of the dangers of premature retreat. "In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders," he said.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=9280
    NATIONAL SECURITY -- BUSH ADMINISTRATION SHOWS LESS URGENCY IN DISRUPTING TERRORIST FINANCES: In October 2005, President Bush signed the Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2006 claiming the Department has had great success in cutting of the flow of terrorist assets. "We http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0051018-2.html disrupted terrorist planning and financing, as a result of the reforms," said Bush. In fact, USA http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...-freezes_x.htm
    Today reports, "The amount of assets frozen by U.S. anti-terrorism units is declining dramatically each year, prompting a former Bush administration official who helped oversee the program to suggest that a 'lack of urgency' is hurting efforts to block terrorist fundraising." In the 16 weeks after 9/11, 157 suspected terrorism fundraisers were identified and assets valued at $68 million were frozen. In contrast, for the entire year of 2005, 32 suspects or organizations had approximately $4.9 million in assets frozen.
    Mr. Bush's approval ratings, which soared over 90 percent in the days after the terrorist attacks, bounced around in the 30's last fall and now hover anemically in the low 40's. His party, beset by a lobbying scandal and a breakdown in discipline on Capitol Hill, is nervous about the coming midterm elections.

    With three years left in his presidency, Mr. Bush is certainly far from that lame-duck moment he used to joke about on his campaign plane — that point in his second term when he said he would "quack like a duck." On Tuesday alone, he won two major victories, the confirmations of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the Supreme Court and Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    Both appointments promise to leave Mr. Bush's stamp on Washington long after he has retired to his ranch and begun building his presidential library.

    But in acknowledging on Tuesday that Americans face "a complex and challenging time," Mr. Bush was doing more than issuing a call for global engagement. He was also acknowledging that five years into his presidency, the citizens of the world's most powerful nation do not feel that their status has brought them security.

    "He needs to reassure us on the economy, and reassure people there is a future they can be positive about," said Michael K. Deaver, the image maker who helped make Ronald Reagan — on whom Mr. Bush has tried to model much of his presidency — a master of optimism. "People have been saying no to that question everyone asks — 'Am I going to be better off a year from now than I am today?' — and that has been going on for the past two or three years."

    Mr. Bush's prescriptions Tuesday night were largely familiar: making tax cuts permanent, keeping markets open, keeping health care costs down. What was new was his Advanced Energy Initiative, though the increases he proposed in clean-energy research, better batteries for hybrid cars and new ways of making ethanol largely piggyback on programs already under way at General Motors and Ford, Toyota and Honda, rather than charting a new course.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=9280
    The Truth About Health Savings Accounts


    President Bush will use the State of the Union address to promote "health savings accounts" as a solution to America's health care crisis. Health savings accounts (HSAs) were dramatically expanded in the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. Generally speaking, they are tax-free savings accounts combined with high-deductible insurance policies that people obtain through their employers or buy independently from insurance companies. "In exchange for paying at least the first $1,050 of their medical expenses each year (or for families, a deductible of the first $2,100), consumers are supposed to benefit in two ways: lower monthly premiums and the ability to put pretax dollars into a savings account that grows tax-free." But, multiple studies http://www.cmwf.org/publications/pub...?doc_id=274002 have shown that HSAs are likely to increase the number of uninsured and increase health care costs, http://press.arrivenet.com/politics/...hp/729495.html all while costing taxpayers http://www.cbpp.org/5-10-04health-pr.htm tens of billions of dollars. In other words, President Bush is proposing to do for health care what he's already tried with Social Security -- placing more of the cost burden on individuals, while making the system more attractive to the wealthy but less effective for ordinary Americans who need health coverage most.

    Last edited by sojustask; 02-01-2006 at 06:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Bush Begins To Grow Up?

    And his proposals to "encourage children to take more math and science" had echoes of President Bill Clinton, whose incessant talk of remaking the work force to meet the challenges of a global economy were often referred to derisively during Mr. Bush's first term as feel-good economics.

    "Second-term presidents often gravitate toward foreign policy," said Doug Sosnik, who drafted many of those policies for Mr. Clinton. "What's happened to this president is that there is more pressure to attend to the domestic needs of the country. And it's hard, because he has less room to operate and less money to spend."

    Mr. Bush has more leeway in the area of foreign policy, but even here, limits loom larger than they did a year ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=9280
    INTELLIGENCE -- U.S. COVERT PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN IN IRAQ MAY BE VIOLATION: The U.S. military has defended its practice of secretly http://www.latimes.com/news/printedi...2.story?page=1 paying Iraqi newspapers to print favorable stories written by American troops. "The
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...3001876_2.html realities of the environment here demand something more ambitious than people might understand," said one officer in Iraq. But a newly declassified Oct. 2003 Information http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEB...B177/index.htm Operations Roadmap, personally approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, suggests that this practice may be a violation of Pentagon rules. The Roadmap "appears
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...eadlines-world to prohibit U.S. troops from conducting psychological operations, or psy-ops, targeting the media." "It's clearly a violation based on the language used in the Rumsfeld document," said one Pentagon official.

    Facing public hearings in February on his once-secret program to conduct eavesdropping, without the benefit of warrants, on telephone calls between the United States and abroad, Mr. Bush defended his order anew as "a terrorist surveillance program." He also argued, in an expansive reading of existing case law, that he had acted "based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute," an authority that he said the federal courts had approved.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=9280

    LAWLESS SPYING THREATENS LEGITIMATE TERRORIST INVESTIGATIONS: When laws are broken, the legal system imposes consequences. Revelations about the National Security Agency wiretapping program throw into doubt a wide range of investigations and prosecutions in the fight against terrorism. In criminal cases that can put terrorists behind bars, judges now have to worry that evidence was based on illegal wiretaps. According to several FISA judges quoted by the Washington Post, there are serious concerns that "legally suspect information" acquired through warrantless surveillance was used to obtain FISA warrants, potentially rendering the warrants illegitimate. More broadly, convicted terrorists will be emboldened to challenge their prosecutions, perhaps giving them the opportunity to operate freely once again. Washington Post, 12/21/05

    LAWLESS SPYING WASTES VALUABLE INVESTIGATIVE RESOURCES: According to the New York Times, a massive amount of time and resources were devoted to the warrantless domestic spying program but obtained minimal results. The FBI was bombarded with long lists of phone numbers generated by the NSA program. According to a senior prosecutor: "It affected the F.B.I. in the sense that they had to devote so many resources to tracking every single one of these leads, and, in my experience, they were all dry leads." Long after 9/11, "the N.S.A. material continued to be viewed as unproductive, prompting agents to joke that a new bunch of tips meant more calls to Pizza Hut."
    New York Times, 1/17/06

    The Bush Administration is claiming executive power far beyond our historical understanding. Among recent examples: the administration claims it can wiretap without a warrant in the United States, contrary to federal law (FISA); it can torture, contrary to international law and the recent McCain Anti-Torture Amendment; and it can hold a U.S. citizen in detention forever, with no judicial review, simply because the President labels the citizen an "enemy combatant." These positions constitute a direct attack by the executive branch on the checks and balances designed to protect our
    nation's democracy.

    In the face of Iran's defiance of full international inspection of its nuclear program, Mr. Bush declared that "the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons." But in contrast to the confrontational tone that suffused his State of the Union speech of January 2003, which made the case for confronting Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Mr. Bush made no threats about what would happen if Iran continued down its current path.

    Instead, he struck a decidedly moderate tone, careful not to outstep the European allies with whom he is trying to repair relations. And he seemed to recognize, said Lee Feinstein of the Council on Foreign Relations, that "clearly Iran has more ways of making our lives difficult in Iraq."

    It is worth remembering that Mr. Bush has more time left in his presidency than John F. Kennedy served in his. Three years is a lot of time, and as Mr. Bush proved after Sept. 11, it only takes one day to redirect a presidency. But the path he described Tuesday night aimed more toward the middle lanes he talked about so often in the early days after he arrived in the White House, rather than the shifting of tectonic plates that he tried to engineer in the past four years.

    Last edited by sojustask; 02-01-2006 at 06:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: Is Bush Growing Up?

    there is a saying that you cant define the truth but you can define a lie and what is left is the truth.i tend to subscribe to this theory.not because i want to.but because it just makes sense.a sense i dont fully understand but somehow trust.if not in a daring way since it goes against the grain.hehe!!send lots of money and i'll forget the whole thing!!ok.here's a tip for us bottom feedin cheese connesuirs!if your choice is to waxy(cheap) in texture.freeze it(freezer) till it crumbles like it was aged a 100 yrs!!hehe!!
    Last edited by lexx; 02-03-2006 at 09:48 AM.

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