Sunday, February 12, 2006

Update on Bush Statements and Policies ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:03 PM Permalink

"I'm going to bring back integrity and decency into the White House"

Photo shows Bush, Abramoff at meeting
White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said the White House did not know about Abramoff's presence at the May 9, 2001, meeting before seeing the picture, but told CNN, "We now know that Mr. Abramoff attended the meeting." [Ed: Well duh! I guess the 'who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes' tactic doesn't work anymore.]
A senior Bush official insisted the administration does not know how Abramoff got into the meeting or on the White House grounds that day.
[Ed: Suuuure! It's just so easy to get into the White House, and even easier to be in a room with the president!]
N.Y. Times gets photo of Bush, Abramoff
The photograph was taken at a White House meeting in 2001 for state legislators who had supported Bush`s tax cuts. Abramoff and Raul Garza, then the chief of the Kickapoo Tribe, were at the meeting along with Grover Norquist, a friend of Abramoff and anti-tax activist.
The photo was given to the Times by Garza, who is under indictment for allegedly embezzling tribal funds. At the time the photo was taken, Abramoff was trying, unsuccessfully, to get the Kickapoo`s business as a lobbyist.
So Jack (Abram)off bragged about his access to the WH, got a prospective client in to meet Bush, but "Bush told reporters last month that he doesn't know Abramoff." Shorter Bush: "I did not have sex with that man, [but I am screwing the rest of the country."]

The Patriot Act:
Update 20: Bush: U.S. Surveillance Helped Stop Attack
Under fire for eavesdropping on Americans, President Bush said Thursday that spy work stretching from the U.S. to Asia helped thwart terrorists plotting to use shoe bombs to hijack an airliner and crash it into the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa complained he first learned of Bush's remarks while watching TV.

Bush press secretary Scott McClellan said that the White House did reach out before the speech to officials in California and that there was appreciation for the notification.
Probably something like "Now you tell us!? Thanks a lot!"

Then the experts weighed in:
Within hours of the President's speech Thursday claiming his administration had prevented a major attack, sources who said they were current and retired intelligence pros from the CIA, NSA, FBI and military contacted Capitol Hill Blue with angry comments disputing the President's remarks.

I Agree With Bush, It's Definitely An Intelligence Failure:
Ex-CIA Official: Bush Administration Misused Iraq Intelligence
The Bush administration disregarded the expertise of the intelligence community, politicized the intelligence process and used unrepresentative data in making the case for war, a former CIA senior analyst alleged.

In an article published on Friday in the journal Foreign Affairs, Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, called the relationship between U.S. intelligence and policymaking "broken."

"In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made," Pillar wrote.


Protecting America's Homeland:
Passenger Check May Be Vulnerable

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — The newest version of the Transportation Security Administration's proposed system to check the names of airline passengers against terrorist watch lists could be vulnerable to hackers, the agency said on Thursday.
The agency has been working on the program for about four years and has spent at least $140 million.

4 years and $140M for a secure database that isn't secure!?

The Clear Skies Iniative:
Whitman Sued for Calling 9/11 Air "Safe to Breathe"

NEW YORK, NY, February 03, 2006 — A federal judge is allowing a class action lawsuit to go forward against the EPA and its former administrator, Christine Todd Whitman, for telling people the air in Lower Manhattan was safe shortly after the World Trade Towers collapsed.
US District Court Judge Deborah Batts called Whitman's statements "misleading," and "conscience-shocking." She did not grant Whitman immunity from the lawsuit. Residents, students and workers in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn sued in 2004, saying the actions of Whitman and the EPA endangered their health.
Not to mention the 2,752 who died because Bush chose to read "My Pet Goat" instead of the PDB: OBL Determined to Attack In the US.

No doubt this is part of that Healthy Forests Initiative:

Bush administration seeks sale of Forest Service lands
The federal government on Friday unveiled the list of U.S. Forest Service lands that may be put on the auction block, acknowledging that this might be the largest public land sale in decades.

The list of 2,930 parcels in 34 states comprises 309,121 acres, including 85,000 acres in California, 25,000 acres in Idaho and 21,000 acres in Colorado, ranging in size from less than an acre to about 900 acres in Virginia.
The Bureau of Land Management also is working on selling off federal lands to raise about $182 million during the next five years.

And then there's this:

Cubin says she didn't sign bill, can't prove it
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., said Friday she believes she did not sign forms to co-sponsor legislation she in fact opposes that would sell off lands in the West, saying she was listed as a co-sponsor through a clerical error.
The measure would require the federal government to sell off quickly 15 percent of national forest lands and 15 percent of lands managed by Interior Department agencies, except national parks, to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina and other disaster relief.
Cubin on Friday asked the Star-Tribune to produce the document with her signature. A spokesman for Tancredo's office, where the only copy of the document would be kept, said the document could no longer be found.
Tancredo spokesman Will Adams told the Star-Tribune in early January that his office had Cubin's signature on the paperwork to list her as a co-sponsor of the bill.
Brownie, You're Doing a Heckuva Job:
Katrina Report Spreads Blame
Homeland Security, Chertoff Singled Out

Hurricane Katrina exposed the U.S. government's failure to learn the lessons of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as leaders from President Bush down disregarded ample warnings of the threat to New Orleans and did not execute emergency plans or share information that would have saved lives, according to a blistering report by House investigators.
So apparently 9/11 didn't change things that much.

Standard Bushco Response, Kill The Messenger(s):

Florida: National Weather Service to offer early retirement to 1,000

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) -- The National Weather Service has drafted a cost-cutting plan that could offer early retirement to as many as one-thousand of its employees, including veteran hurricane forecasters in Florida.

A voluntary retirement plan would qualify approximately one-thousand of the National Weather Service's four-thousand-seven-hundred employees for early retirement.

Positions left vacant by retirements would either be filled by junior staff members or left vacant, according to a report published today.

In Florida, 68 employees would qualify for the plan, including 13 of the 42 staff members at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Well, it's not like we need experienced hurricane forecasters.


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