Bush Vetoes Health Care Bill and lies, lies, lies. October 4, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Dubya, health care, Morality, News and politics.
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As he promised, Bush vetoed a bill which would have provided health care for millions of uninsured kids. So what bullshit reason is he going to give for his hatred for the poor?
“Here’s the thing, just so you know, this program expands coverage, federal coverage, up to families earning $83,000 a year,” he said. “That doesn’t sound poor to me. The intent of the program was to focus on poor children, not adults or families earning up to $83,000 a year.”
Leaving aside for the moment that Bush doesn’t have a single fucking clue what poverty is, this might–might–be a good point if a) Bush wasn’t spending many times as much on his lie-based war as the sChip expansion would cost, b) poor kids weren’t getting coverage too, c) no families who aren’t poor could benefit from insurance help, and d) he wasn’t lying through his teeth:
But supporters of the bill immediately seized on that claim and said it was not true. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a loyal supporter of the Bush White House, responded angrily to the president during a Capitol Hill news conference.
“Are families of four making $83,000 going to get benefit(s) under this? Not unless the administration agrees to it. This bill does not call for that high level of expenditure,” Hatch said.
Hatch explained that the only way such families would get SCHIP coverage would be if their states petitioned the administration for a waiver — just like under the current program. When New York, made such a petition, the Bush administration turned it down.
So Bush is afraid that a future administration might expand a program to help more people, and that’s why he vetoed it. So helping kids is a problem for Bush, but in fairness to him, he’s been busy lying about torture:
White House on Thursday reiterated its position that the United States does not condone torture. The statement comes in the wake of a New York Times report alleging that the Justice Department authorized harsh interrogation procedures in secret memos.
The Times reported that in 2005, as Congress passed a law banning cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees, the Justice Department secretly issued a legal opinion saying that the CIA’s harsh interrogation practices are not cruel, inhuman or degrading. Another memo explicitly authorized exposure to extreme temperatures, physical beatings and more.
According to the newspaper, the decision came after the Justice Department publicly withdrew an earlier memo that condoned extreme interrogation procedures.
This President thinks he is above the law. I look forward to the day he stands trials for the war crimes he has committed. When that day comes, I hope well-insured American children will gather around to watch.
Bush: up yours, children! September 21, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Dubya, health care, Morality, News and politics.
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As you probably know, Dubya is set to veto a bipartisan bill which would reauthorize and expand the hugely popular children’s health care bill. What would be so objectionable that Bush would veto a measure designed to make sure kids have health insurance?
Instead of posturing by sending him a bill they know he will reject, Bush said, the Democrats should embrace fiscal and social responsibility and pass a bill that provides for reasonable increases in spending on health insurance for uninsured children without veering toward the “federalization of health care.”
Somehow this makes me more angry than Bush’s lies about Iraq. I’ve had years to get used to that, but it’s hard for me to imagine even Dubya opposing health care for kids. And for the least fiscally responsible President in recent memory to complain about an increase in the cigarette tax to pay for health care is beyond laughable. And “federalism” is code for “don’t worry, my extremist base, I’m in favor of helping my rich buddies with no-bid contracts while screwing over children of poor and middle class people.”
But unlike on Iraq, the Dems don’t seem ready to roll over for Bush on this one:
“The president hides behind the word ‘federalization’ because his political base opposes doing what is decent and humane,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
Where was that kind of clear thinking and courage when Kerry was running for President?
Naturally, Bush feels differently:
“What I’m describing here is a philosophical divide that exists in Washington over the best approach for health care,” Bush said. “Democratic leaders in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by expanding federal health care programs. Their … plan is an incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every American.”
Simply put, Bush is lying again. This isn’t about a difference of opinion for how to provide health care: Bush is offering no alternative plan. It isn’t like these kids are being moved from private health care to publicly funded care. They’re without health insurance and the plan is designed to fix that. So the “difference of opinion” is only this: should children have access to health care? Even most Republicans are behind this plan.
George W. Bush, meanwhile, would rather watch children go without health care than pony up $35 Billion to help them.
Meanwhile, the Iraq war cost has surged past $450 Billion dollars. Lying to get into a war and botching rebuilding is “fiscally responsible” but helping kids is “federalism”–from a state-administered program, no less.
The next 486 days can’t go by fast enough.
Bush to rule of law: fuck you–again! July 20, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in constiutional issues, Dubya, News and politics.
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In case you missed it, Bush is now claiming that he can claim executive privilege, and thereby ensure he is accountable to no one. His people won’t answer subpoenas and if they’re held in contempt, prosecutors have now been ordered* not to bring such charges before a grand jury.
Shaun Mullen is right on target when he says that this latest outrage is not so much a “constitutional crisis” as it is “… the latest chapter in an ongoing constitutional crisis involving a rogue president who continues to insist that when he invokes executive privilege, inks a signing statement, unilaterally suspends a bedrock principle of the American legal system or violates an international treaty, he is accountable to no one. Ever.”
Separation of powers be damned; oversight be damned.
*Bush: “Fuck you if you notice the irony of forcing the DoJ to do as I want in response to a scandal created when I fired those who didn’t pursue my narrow ideology.”
Let them eat cake? July 16, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Dubya, health care, wingnuts.
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Being without health insurance is no big deal. Just ask President Bush. “I mean, people have access to health care in America,” he said last week. “After all, you just go to an emergency room.”
This issue’s been pretty thoroughly covered, after all. I’ll just note that only a rich person who’s never been poor would think bankrupting oneself (in an age where credit card companies continue to keep you broke after a bankruptcy) is a solution to health problems.
Scooter Libby 2, Justice 0 July 12, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in constiutional issues, Dubya.
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In my continuing quest to note just how unjust was Bush’s
pardon commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence, I note that a judge just handed down a 2 1/2 year sentence for the crime of leaking baseball players’ grand jury testimony to the media. Naturally, the Libby case came up:
White also rejected Ellerman’s argument that he should get a lighter sentence because President Bush commuted former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s 2½-year prison sentence for perjury to probation. White said to do so would open the door to doling out unduly lenient sentences for other white collar criminals.
Remember, the White House has been pushing for more mandatory sentencing rules. But that only applies when the convicted felon isn’t Dubya’s friend.
“If Mr. Ellerman is dissatisfied with his sentence, he should seek a commutation from the president,” White said.
Ouch. I can’t disagree with Judge White: leaking Grand Jury testimony isn’t good. Still, a tough blow for Mr. Ellerman.
The politics of terror July 11, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in constiutional issues, Dubya, Iraq, Middle East, News and politics.
Dubya and his cronies are at it again, making vague assertions about an al Qaeda cell that might be on the way or in the US already (Oh Noes!!1!) while Chertoff has apparently confused bad take out with terrorism. The timing, of course, is no coincidence: Bush’s massively failed Iraq policy has collapsed to the point that he’s in real danger of having his own party join with the Democrats to force a withdraw, and so it’s time to divert attention with breathless threats. Jill over at Brilliant at Breakfast explains exactly what’s going on:
So as you hear Michael Chertoff over the next 48 hours opine that it’s such a nice day for a terrorist attack because terrorists like to attack during the summer months, watch Olbermann’s reports again. Think about the trouble Bush is in. Think of the trouble he was already in during the summer of 2001. Then remind yourself that there are many ways to be a terrorist. The Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of — or threatened use of — force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.” That this Administration has already a) made up threats that don’t exist, and b) exaggerated threats that aren’t significant, well, 2 + 2 = 4.
There is no doubt that the U.S. has long been guilty of terrorism under this or any similar definition. We have interfered in other nations political process, threatened and attacked sovereign nations who were no threat to us, and had our political leaders–especially in this administration–use fear as a coercive technique on our own people. I’ll say outright what Jill has already highlighted: the Bush administration is a terrorist administration which uses fear and threats to hold power and manipulate the public will.
I’ve not yet commented much on Impeachment, but I will now: I’m not sure Impeachment is a political winner for the left, and I do not care. The simple truth is that Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and it’s time for Congress to take a stand against him. Whether we have the votes is irrelevant, as is political expediency. All that matters is that this man–and his puppet-master-in-chief, Dick Cheney–has done this country great harm, and done so in violation of the Constitution and the treaties which the Constitution demands he uphold. That same Constitution gives us one recourse, and it is time to use it. Impeach Bush and Cheney. Drag them into trial, and outline the dozens of abuses from the past six and a half years.
Iraq fails to meet any benchmarks July 9, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Dubya, Iraq, Middle East, News and politics.
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Remember when Bush “agreed” to benchmarks on the condition he not be bound by them? Well, now we know why he wouldn’t agree to such a thing:
THE Iraqi Government is unlikely to meet any of the political and security goals the US President, George Bush, set for it in January, when he announced a major shift in US policy, Bush Administration officials say.
Any. The Iraqi government can’t meet a single objection we’ve set, which is a poor reflection on the leaders, and a far worse reflection on the work we have failed to do in stabilizing that country and giving it wise council.
There are rumors flying that Bush is going to have to change course now, since these benchmarks indicate such complete and obvious failure. But I don’t believe Bush will do any such thing. My prediction: Bush will make a speech with vague promises about “redeployment” of resources and the like, but the goal will remain what it has been for some time: refuse to admit defeat no matter what, “stay the course” and make the next President clean up after him.
He probably doesn’t see it that way, and no doubt thinks he’s building his legacy, but there can be no doubt that at this point he is simply stalling. I predict he will continue to do so until Congress finally listens to the electorate and forces his hand. This might be closer than we think, given the increasing Republican scramble from Bush, a scramble which would explain why Bush is likely to continue to stall by giving lip service to changing course.
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In a move sure to send shivers down the spine of sane people everywhere, Dubya has met with Dobson about Iran, in a move that starkly mirrors a similar conversation just weeks before the Iraq invasion. And what did Dobson have to say? You guessed it:
“The world looked at Hitler and just didn’t believe him and tried to appease him the way we’re hearing in Washington today,” Dobson remarked. “You know, the President seems to me does understand this, as I told you from that meeting I had with him the other day, but even there it feels like somebody ought to be standing up and saying, ‘We are being threatened and we are going to meet this with force — whatever’s necessary.’”
I’ll give you a minute to let the terror subside. Just take deep breaths and remind yourself that Dobson may not entirely control the White House.
Feeling better? No? Me either. I’ll just add this: the world didn’t believe Hitler? What the fuck does that even mean? It’s like an incomprehensible sentence from a Freshmen Composition paper: “When it comes to Hitler, there are many different viewpoints but many people think that we did not believe Hitler enough.”
This is a man giving foreign policy advise to the POTUS. No wonder Iraq has been such a disaster.
And the Iran War looms ever closer February 20, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Dubya, Iran, Middle East, News and politics.
US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.
It is understood that any such attack – if ordered – would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.
The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment.
So we’ve already planned our attack. Of course, we’re denying it:
But diplomatic sources have told the BBC that as a fallback plan, senior officials at Central Command in Florida have already selected their target sets inside Iran.
But that doesn’t add up. By all reputable accounts, Iran is years away from being able to build nukes, if they’re even really trying (forgive me for not blindly believing Dubya on that one). Why have a plan of attack on a country that is no threat and is years away from being able to be one?
I’d wager a large sum we have no equivallent plan to deal with the Saudi royals, though they’ve done far more to shelter terrorists than Iran.
Bush plans to take us to war. And it remains to be seen whether anyone will stop him.
Bush to democracy, Iran, America, reason: Fuck you! January 12, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in constiutional issues, Dubya, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, News and politics, Terrorism.
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In a story that didn’t see almost any coverage here, but on Wednesday American forces raided an Iranian consulate in northern Iraq and “detained” its employees. As for what official status the building had,
Iranian and Iraqi officials said the building was an Iranian consulate and the detainees its employees.
The US military said it was still investigating, but that the building did not have diplomatic status.
This is a non-trivial debate, as if the building had diplomatic status this would be every bit as much an act of war as if Iranians had, say, seized an American embassy. But regardless of whether the building had such status, the timing of this raid (coinciding with Bush’s address and it’s threats against Iran) add to the already strong evidence that Bush is attempting to force an armed conflict with Iran, military appraisals, international law, the Constitution and the will of the American people be damned.