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COVER Story    Orange County Weekly    Vol. 10 No. 05    October 8 - 14, 2004

59 Reasons Why Bush Sucks
Why you'd have to be a freaking idiot to vote for this guy

by Greg Stacy


There are so many reasons to oppose four more years of George W. Bush 
it can be hard to keep them all straight. And so we provide you with 
this handy guide, listing 60 reasons (in no particular order) why 
this administration sucks major butt.



1. Despite Bush's endless assurances that "Americans are safer," he's 
done astonishingly little to protect the continental U.S. from 
terrorist attacks. His administration spends more in Iraq in four 
days than they've spent protecting our ports in four years, and Bush 
has blocked mandatory safety and security requirements at 
nuclear/chemical facilities (such requirements are unpopular with his 
corporate buds), leaving these facilities perilously vulnerable.

2. While there's no established connection between Saddam Hussein and 
Sept. 11, there are established connections between Sept. 11 and 
Saudi-government officials, who not only provided funds to the 
hijackers (15 out of 19 of which were Saudis), but also supported 
front groups that funneled millions in aid to al-Qaeda and other 
terrorist groups. Say what you will about Michael Moore sometimes 
getting screwy with the facts, but his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 
does raise serious questions that the major media should have at 
least asked about the special treatment given numerous 
Saudis-including Bush's longtime family friends the bin Ladens-to fly 
out of the U.S. in the days after Sept. 11.

3. Bush often reminds us we should be grateful to our soldiers, but 
in 2003, he proposed closing seven veterans hospitals, cutting combat 
bonus pay 33 percent, cutting assistance to soldiers' families by 60 
percent and cutting $1.3 billion in veterans' health care. So far, 
Bush has not attended the funeral of a single soldier killed in Iraq.

4. Native Alaskan villages are being destroyed as sea ice melts and 
huge waves pound the coastline. El Ni?o caused China's Yangtze River 
to overflow, killing more than 3,000 people and leaving 230 million 
homeless. Despite this and substantial evidence that global warming 
is real and man-made, for four years, Bush has misrepresented science 
in order to avoid passing measures that could annoy his campaign 
supporters in the fossil-fuel and auto industries. Bush has allowed 
companies to set their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas 
emissions, and surprise, they set themselves very unchallenging goals.

5. Bush has his sights set on eliminating Social Security and is 
pushing for a system in which individuals' contributions go into 
private accounts. This is a fine way to prepare for your dotage . . . 
as long as you're not, y'know, one of those yucky poor people.

6. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have elevated conflict of 
interest to an art form. Before he joined the administration, Cheney 
was CEO of the giant energy company Halliburton, and he still 
receives deferred payments from the company. Halliburton's a major 
contributor to the Bush administration, and Bush has paid them back 
in many sweet, sexy ways. In January, he announced we're going to 
Mars, and an industry official told the Washington Post, "Halliburton 
would benefit considerably." Bush allowed hydraulic fracturing--an 
oil-and-gas-exploration technique pioneered and primarily used by 
Halliburton--even though studies showed the technique could leave 
toxic chemicals in drinking water. And then there's Iraq. The Energy 
Task Force Cheney headed to develop a long-range plan to meet U.S. 
energy requirements naturally ignored ideas for reducing oil 
consumption and in March 2001 submitted a report containing a map of 
Iraqi oilfields, refineries, pipelines and terminals, along with two 
charts outlining Iraqi oil and gas projects. In 2003, without 
competitive bidding, the Pentagon hired Halliburton to rebuild Iraq 
and restore the Iraqi oil industry. After the company overcharged the 
government $61 million, the White House removed a provision from the 
$87 billion Iraq spending bill that would've held Halliburton 
accountable.

7. In Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, you can see for yourself what 
a useless lump Bush was on the morning of Sept. 11 as he sat in that 
classroom, staring into space while kids read My Pet Goat. This time, 
Moore's actually hired some decent factcheckers, and for a 
line-by-line, factual backup of many of the film's most damning 
claims against Bush, citing a variety of sources, visit 
www.michaelmoore.com/warroom/f911notes/.

8. Even now, Bush laughably points to Afghanistan as one of the 
successes of his administration. Although military and intelligence 
officials believe we had bin Laden surrounded in the caves of Tora 
Bora, Bush pulled out our troops, sent them to Iraq and left the bin 
Laden hunt to Afghan warlords. Bin Laden's still at large, and since 
August 2003, more than 1,000 people have been killed in violence 
linked to a resurgent Taliban.

9. Fossil fuels will be gone within your lifetime, and while Bush's 
administration has been touting hydrogen as a potential replacement 
for oil, it takes more energy to create hydrogen than we'll ever get 
from the stuff. Unless we get serious about alternative fuels--and 
pronto--expect ever-skyrocketing oil costs, bloody wars over 
resources and economic collapse.

10. Bush's campaign has cleverly turned many of Democratic nominee 
John Kerry's seemingly irrefutable virtues against him. Problem: Bush 
supported the Vietnam War but stayed home and partied, while Kerry, 
who was against the war, went off to fight courageously, won medals 
and came home to tell America of the horrors he'd witnessed. 
Solution: Swift Boat with a dash of ribbon-gate. Problem: Bush is an 
inarticulate ignoramus, while Kerry is well-spoken and sophisticated. 
Solution: portray Kerry as a French-talking, out-of-touch egghead 
(and make lots of jokes about him being rich, even if your guy comes 
from big money, too). Problem: Bush is small and graceless, while 
Kerry is imposing and athletic. Solution: use the footage of Kerry 
snowboarding and windsurfing to make ads about him "changing 
direction," impugn his masculinity wherever possible, and joke about 
his tan. Problem: Bush is mindlessly set on a suicidal, unpopular 
course in Iraq, while Kerry's position evolved, like most Americans, 
from pro to a firm con. Solution: flip-flopper! Hey, this stuff 
writes itself. Well, actually, horrid little men write it in darkened 
rooms, and Bush sneakily benefits while publicly deploring the sorry 
state of modern campaigning.

11. Last March, members of Congress hosted a peculiar ritual for 
South Korean cult leader/ex-con/multibillionaire Sun Myung Moon, who 
was given a jeweled crown and pronounced the "King of Peace." Moon 
has declared that gays are "dung-eating dogs," American women are 
"prostitutes" and Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves by 
betraying Jesus. He did time in the 1980s for tax fraud and 
conspiracy to obstruct justice, and there are extensive reports he's 
allowed followers to be tortured. Nevertheless, he's enjoyed a long 
relationship with the Bushes, and a Bush Sr. spokesman told the 
Washington Post, "[Moon's] group is about strengthening the family 
and that's what President and Mrs. Bush are deeply focused on." 
Various Moon VIPs have scored peachy government gigs, and under W's 
Faith Based Initiative, the federal government has given Moon grants 
supporting school programs focused on Moon's anti-sex teachings. 
Makes you long for Jerry Falwell.

12. In the 2000 debates, Bush promised he'd create millions of new 
jobs through his tax cuts. He promised he'd support allowing 
Americans to buy less expensive prescription drugs from Canada. He 
promised to end Washington's partisan squabbling. He promised that if 
he sent American troops into combat, "the force must be strong enough 
so that the mission can be accomplished. And the exit strategy needs 
to be well-defined." If you want to predict the next four years, just 
assume Bush will do the exact opposite of what he promises in the 
2004 debates.

13. On Aug. 24, a high-level, independent Pentagon panel found 
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
failed to effectively oversee detention policies at U.S. prisons in 
Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba, leading to the infamous rape and torture 
of men, women and children at Abu Ghraib. This torture was not simply 
a few hillbillies gone out of control; it was the direct result of 
this administration willfully flouting the Geneva Convention. 
Rumsfeld's resignation is expected shortly after hell freezes over.

14. Bush's Medicare Modernization Act is actually a devious way to 
gradually kill off Medicare altogether, splitting seniors into 
warring camps by adding a new, private Preferred Provider 
Organization option. More affluent seniors will pounce on this 
option, poorer seniors will stay with traditional Medicare, and the 
private competition will drive premiums ever higher as benefits for 
basic Medicare become ever worse. And as Medicare is dying, the 
healthier, wealthier seniors will have little incentive to fight for 
it. As taxpayers, we're going to pay a hell of a lot for Medicare in 
our lives, but by the time we're old enough for it, it won't be there 
anymore.

15. The Patriot Act does little to defend you from terrorists but 
greatly increases the government's power to get all up in your mess. 
Phone and Internet records can now be searched without warrants; 
police can see what books you've checked out of the library, but 
libraries are prohibited from informing you about the inquiry; your 
religious and political activities can be scrutinized even if the 
government doesn't suspect criminal activity; you may be jailed 
without being charged, denied a lawyer or the chance to confront 
witnesses against you, and held indefinitely without a trial. Bush's 
boys apparently still don't feel they've dismantled civil liberties 
enough: they're reportedly at work on the Patriot Act II.

16. On Sept. 24, The New York Times reported the Republican National 
Committee sent mass mailings to West Virginia and Arkansas warning 
that "liberals" seek to ban the Bible. The mailings featured images 
of the Bible labeled "banned" and a gay-marriage proposal labeled 
"allowed." RNC spokescreature Christine Iverson was unapologetic: 
"When the Massachusetts Supreme Court sanctioned same-sex marriage 
and people in other states realized they could be compelled to 
recognize those laws, same-sex marriage became an issue. . . . These 
same activist judges also want to remove the words 'under God' from 
the Pledge of Allegiance."

17. You know those tax cuts you've been getting during W's term, the 
ones that didn't quite take the sting out of getting laid off? On 
Sept. 23, Congress approved a $145.9 billion package to extend three 
cuts, despite an expected record $422 billion deficit this year. 
Democrats and moderate Republicans argued to extend the cuts one year 
and pay for them by closing corporate tax loopholes, but Bush held 
out for a plan extending the cuts five years while keeping his 
beloved corporate cats as fat as ever. Bush's fiscal policy is not 
unlike his energy policy: we'll relentlessly draw from a finite, 
diminishing pool, and by the time it runs dry, we'll be dead and 
somebody else can clean up the mess.

18. During a commercial break on a 2000 Late Night With David 
Letterman appearance, the cameras caught Bush cleaning his glasses 
using the shirttails of Maria Pope, one of the show's producers. Our 
president used a stranger as his Kleenex. (See the clip at 
www.bushflash.com/unb.html.)

19. With nuclear tensions escalating with Iran and North Korea, Bush 
is touting a $100 billion missile-defense program that wouldn't stop 
a tetchy mosquito. On Oct. 3, the Associated Press quoted Loren 
Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute think tank in 
Washington: "In terms of operational realities, it is a very 
rudimentary system that requires much further testing and could not 
stop a substantial attack against the nation."

20. Bush's administration is steadily chipping away at reproductive 
rights. Bush has appointed a host of anti-choice federal judges. He 
slashed funds to the United Nations Population Fund, a program 
supporting groups that educate the women of poor nations about their 
reproductive options. He signed a bill banning a late-term abortion 
procedure, a bill two federal judges found unconstitutional. Although 
laws already cover crimes against pregnant women, Bush signed the 
redundant Unborn Victims of Violence Act as a shout-out to 
pro-lifers. He's suggested doubling the federal funds for 
abstinence-only sex-ed programs, even though graduates of such 
programs are statistically more likely to engage in unprotected sex. 
Sure, the majority of America is pro-choice, but since when has Bush 
let the will of the people affect his decisions?

21. "Sanctity of Marriage": pure crap.

22. Remember the recent headlines when Yusuf Islam, formerly known as 
Cat Stevens, was deported after his name was spotted on a U.S. 
security "watch list"? Turns out the whole thing was due to a 
spelling error. Nice to know our government is devoting the proper 
resources to persecuting singer/songwriters of the 1970s.

23. Although Bush hardly spent his youth (or middle age) in a state 
of monk-like sobriety, his administration will bust you hard if you 
party like he did. His Justice Department has invoked the War on 
Terror to crack down on minor drug users, running hysterical ads 
equating marijuana use with supporting terrorism. Last year, Cheech 
and Chong's Tommy Chong did nine months of hard time for selling 
glassware that could be used to smoke pot. Chong wasn't dealing 
drugs; he was a glassware pusher. The day Chong was arrested, 
Ashcroft declared in a press conference, "The 
illegal-drug-paraphernalia industry has invaded the homes of families 
across the country without their knowledge." Jesus . . . Tommy Chong? 
Cat Stevens? Is Bush working his way through Nixon's old enemies 
list? Watch out, Hanoi Jane!

24. Bush's administration doesn't just invoke the War on Terror to 
justify busting folksingers and pothead comedians. They invoke it to 
bust unions, too. On Jan. 7, 2002, Bush issued an executive order to 
de-unionize 500 government positions (mostly support staffers like 
secretaries, paralegals and clerks) because the presence of unionized 
workers would not be "consistent with national security requirements 
and considerations."

25. During his 2000 campaign, Bush pledged that if elected, he'd 
support the continuation of the assault weapons ban. Bush lied, of 
course, and AK-47s will soon make a legal return to the streets.

26. Pseudonymous bloggers Julius Civitatus and Biltud compiled a 
chart showing the Bush administration announces new terror alerts 
(alerts often discredited later) whenever the headlines look bad for 
W and that Bush's approval ratings typically rise as a result. 
Following some rough weeks for Bush this summer, on Aug. 2, the 
Department of Homeland Security raised the terror alert at several 
large financial institutions in New York City and Washington . . . 
based on info later revealed to be three or four years old. That same 
day, Bush's daughters visited New York's Citicorp Building, one of 
the buildings supposedly in grave danger. See the chart at 
juliusblog.blogspot.com/2004_08_01_juliusblog_archive.html.

27. At this writing, the headlines are full of the "Rathergate" 
fiasco, so much so that nobody mentions that while the memo itself 
was a rather obvious forgery, all the evidence suggests Bush did 
skate on his National Guard service. A chastened CBS has shelved a 
long-planned 60 Minutes piece investigating how the Bush 
administration justified the Iraq invasion by using forged documents 
claiming Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger. CBS now says 
it would be "inappropriate" to run it this close to the election. 
Some might say the Rather memo came along at the perfect moment for 
the Bushies.

28. "In the CIA's core, U.S.-based bin Laden operations unit today 
there are fewer Directorate of Operations officers with substantive 
expertise on al-Qaeda than there were on Sept. 11, 2001. There has 
been no systematic effort to groom al-Qaeda expertise among . . . 
officers since Sept. 11. Today, the unit is greatly understaffed, 
[and] the excellent management team now running operations against 
al-Qaeda has made repeated, detailed and on-paper pleas for more 
officers to work against al-Qaeda . . . but have been ignored." 
(Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit)

29. While Bush's camp has tried to convince America the terrorists 
want Kerry to win, Bush is actually a superb recruiting tool for 
al-Qaeda: he is despised by the rest of the world, and he's 
overseeing a disastrous occupation of Iraq that brings more people to 
the terrorist cause every day.

30. After Sept. 11, there was an outpouring of goodwill toward the 
U.S. from the nations of the world, something Bush has squandered 
with his macho posturing.

31. This administration treats America's workers with shocking 
contempt. On Oct. 2, Congress voted to oppose Bush's efforts to 
rewrite overtime pay rules so an estimated 6 million workers would 
lose overtime benefits. In a May visit to an Arkansas Wal-Mart, 
Cheney said, "The story of Wal-Mart exemplifies some of the very best 
qualities in our country." Do America's best qualities include paying 
workers poverty-level wages, providing such crappy health benefits 
many employees rely on public assistance, and locking employees 
inside stores overnight? Referring to workers who've dared to take 
Wal-Mart to court over such labor practices, Cheney snarled, 
"America's entrepreneurs should be able to hire productive workers, 
instead of hiring lawyers."

32. Millions of jobs have been lost in the past four years, yours 
perhaps among them. But don't worry; as Cheney has helpfully pointed 
out, you can get by just fine selling your possessions on eBay!

33. On Jan. 8, 2002, Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act 
with much fanfare. The program was to have provided American schools 
with critical resources while holding them to strict new standards. 
And then Bush mercilessly cut the program's funding, leaving millions 
of children behind. For the 2004-2005 school year, NCLB will be 
underfunded by $9.4 billion, affecting nearly every district in the 
U.S. Bush once famously asked, "Is our children learning?" No, Mr. 
Bush, thanks to you, they unfortunately is not.

34. No Child Left Behind also included a provision whereby public 
school districts-to qualify for the federal funds--have to provide 
personal information on high school students to military recruiters.

35. At a White House press conference on Sept. 23, Bush giggled as he 
said, "I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track [polling] 
in Iraq was better than here in America. It's pretty darn strong. I 
mean, the people [of Iraq] see a better future." Well, no wonder! 
Bush is hell-bent on bringing decent schools, universal health care 
and free elections to Iraq . . . and apparently just as hell-bent on 
preventing us from getting that stuff here.

36. Flashback to May 2003: Bush in a flight suit on the deck of an 
aircraft carrier bearing a "Mission Accomplished" sign.

37. The National Guard exists to protect the continental U.S. from 
invasion, domestic terrorists, etc. Bush has sent almost the entire 
National Guard overseas. What happens if an armed militia mounts a 
major attack on, say, New York City?

38. On Sept. 24, the Washington Post quoted Bush on Kerry's promise 
he'd increase taxes only on Americans earning more than $200,000 per 
year: "[Kerry] says he's going to tax the rich. Rich hire lawyers and 
accountants for a reason--to stick you with the bill. We're not going 
to let him tax you because we're going to win in November." Just like 
that, Bush--who's worked tirelessly on behalf of the grossly 
affluent--takes Kerry's promise to tax only the wealthy and twists it 
around. Anyone else smell Karl Rove in the room?

39. While Bush maintains he has no plans to revive the draft, the 
military is facing a critical personnel crisis. There's no end in 
sight to the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, our allies are pulling 
out their troops, thousands of U.S. soldiers who were due for 
discharge instead had their service extended (in violation of the 
contracts they originally signed), hundreds have gone AWOL, and more 
than 1,000 have been killed with more causalities on a daily basis. 
Bush will not pull us out, and he can't afford to lose. If you want 
to lose some sleep tonight, visit www.blatanttruth.org/draft.php and 
read their biased but not easily dismissed arguments for why a draft 
is looking increasingly likely.

40. The Plame Affair should have been a scandal so big it had a 
"gate" at the end, but sadly it petered out at Affair. In the summer 
of 2003, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote a New York Times 
opinion piece in which he revealed that in 2002 he traveled to Niger 
on a CIA assignment to investigate claims Saddam Hussein was trying 
to buy uranium. Wilson said he'd reported back the allegations were 
probably bogus, yet Bush still mentioned the uranium plot in that 
year's State of the Union address. One week after Wilson's Times 
piece, conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote an article defending 
the White House, in which he argued Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, "an 
Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction," arranged Wilson's 
Niger trip. Plame had been a covert operative before this, and 
revealing covert operatives is crazy illegal. The Washington Post 
later reported that over that summer, two administration aides had 
contacted six separate journalists to reveal Plame's identity. Wilson 
contends the White House leak was intended as a grim warning to the 
intelligence community, cautioning them against publicly questioning 
the administration.

41. "A reliable source who has just returned after assessing the 
facts on the ground for U.S. intelligence services told me that in 
Iraq, U.S. commanders have plans for this week and the next, but that 
there is 'no overarching strategy.'"--Sidney Blumenthal, writing in 
The Guardian of London in September.

42. According to the Supreme Court, the FCC is required to protect 
the American public's right to a "wide diversity of viewpoints from a 
multiplicity of sources." But a diversity of viewpoints is the last 
thing Bush's boys want. In the past four years, the FCC has been 
handing control of the entire media to a few conservative 
conglomerates, thereby enriching Bush's corporate pals and squashing 
critical voices in one masterstroke. Last year, FCC Chairman Michael 
Powell-son of Colin--approved relaxed media-ownership rules that 
would let a single company (like, say, Fox) own a daily newspaper, 
three TV stations, eight radio stations and a cable system in the 
same city. This June, a U.S. appeals court blocked implementation of 
the rules, ordering the FCC to review them further, but it's only a 
temporary reprieve. In the meantime, the FCC's trying to stamp out 
what remains of free speech, making a big show of going after smut 
(Janet Jackson's boobie) and dissent (Howard Stern). For years, Stern 
supported Bush, but this year, Stern came out strongly against the 
administration. The FCC promptly hit Stern with an unprecedented, 
$500,000 indecency fine . . . for material that aired a year before. 
In this repressive climate, broadcasters aren't taking risks. The 
Bush-friendly Clear Channel dropped Stern's syndicated show from its 
stations, Disney dumped Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, CBS canned 
The Reagans, etc., etc.

43. "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency [in Iraq]," W. 
Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's Strategic Studies 
Institute, told Salon.com on Sept. 16. "We see larger and more 
coordinated military attacks. . . . The insurgency has shown an 
ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill 
the ranks of those who are killed."

44. Most arguments against stem-cell research are based on confusion 
between embryos and fetuses. Stem cells aren't harvested from aborted 
fetuses; they're harvested from embryos, which are babies the same 
way acorns are trees. Bush certainly knows the difference, but he 
doesn't want to tell America the truth and risk alienating 
pro-lifers. And so he allows millions of people to die or suffer 
horribly from diseases (like Alzheimer's) scientists believe could be 
cured via stem cells.

45. Since Sept. 11, the Justice Department has detained more than 
5,000 foreign nationals in anti-terrorism sweeps. In all this time, 
the Justice Department obtained exactly one jury conviction, and on 
Sept. 2, 2004, a Detroit federal judge threw it out. While W's goon 
squads have been expending massive resources to round up and hold 
thousands of innocent people on flimsy evidence, how many real 
terrorists have they let slip by?

46. Campaigning in 2000, Bush warned that Al Gore would "throw the 
budget out of balance." In the past four years, Bush and a GOP 
Congress blew a 10-year budget surplus once estimated at $5.6 
trillion, leaving us with an estimated $5 trillion deficit. According 
to the Office of Management and Budget, this year's deficit will run 
about $445 billion.

47. Before Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, Bill Clinton told 
him that bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban would most occupy the 
new president's time. That message was reiterated in a Jan. 25, 2001, 
memo from the White House's counterterrorism expert, Richard Clarke, 
who asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee 
meetings. Clarke, who was frustrated that no early meeting was 
scheduled, wanted principals to accept that al-Qaeda was a 
"first-order threat" and not a routine problem being exaggerated by 
"chicken little" alarmists. In July 2001, an FBI agent in Arizona 
sent a memo to headquarters warning of the "possibility of a 
coordinated effort by Usama [sic] bin Laden to send students to the 
United States to attend civil aviation schools." That memo and the 
Clarke memo were ignored for months. According to the 9/11 
Commission's official website 
(www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/staff_statement_8.pdf), no 
Principals Committee meetings on al-Qaeda were held until Sept. 4, 
2001.

48. By his own admission, Bush is not a reader. Among the things he 
apparently doesn't read are his Presidential Daily Briefs. The 
infamous brief for Aug. 6, 2001, headlined "Bin Ladin [sic] 
Determined to Strike Inside U.S." stated, "Al-Qa'ida [sic] 
members--including some who are U.S. citizens--have resided in or 
traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a 
support structure that could aid attacks. . . . FBI information since 
that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country 
consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of 
attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New 
York." The same day that brief arrived, the Associated Press reported 
that Bush, vacationing on his ranch, enjoyed a fishing trip and a 
leisurely morning jog.

49. Showing just how concerned W's administration was about terrorism 
leading up to Sept. 11, on Sept. 10, 2001, brand-new Attorney General 
John Ashcroft cut the FBI's request for new counterterrorism money by 
12 percent . . . a decision he presumably regretted somewhat the 
following morning.

50. On March 23, 2004, Bush actually had the plums to declare, "Had 
my administration had any information that terrorists were going to 
attack New York City on Sept. 11, we would have acted."

51. Bush's health plan is so awful it makes Kerry's awful health plan 
look . . . well . . . less awful. No worries: just don't get sick. 
Ever.

52. On Aug. 10, 2001, the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer noted 
that "if you add up all his weekends at Camp David, layovers at 
Kennebunkport and assorted to-ing and fro-ing, W. will have spent 42 
percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route." After Sept. 
11 Bush's vacation time decreased . . . by a whopping 2 percent. In 
an April 11, 2004, story headlined "Bush Retreats to a Favorite 
Getaway: Crawford Ranch," the Houston Chronicle noted that with 33 
trips to Crawford; 78 trips to Camp David; and five to his family's 
compound at Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush spent all or part of 500 
days--or about 40 percent of his presidency--at one of his three 
retreats.

53. We don't have space to detail the whole 2000 election debacle, so 
we're assuming you know about the sleazy doings of Jeb Bush and 
Katherine Harris in Florida and how thousands of Florida's 
African-Americans were falsely (and deliberately) classed as felons 
and thus barred from voting. If not, go get crazy with Google. 
Anyhow, after Bush finally declared himself the winner, he pledged to 
modernize America's voting systems by 2004. Well, surprise, it's 
still a mess . . . something Republicans will take advantage of again 
this election. They've been pushing "e-voting," using machines 
leaving nothing behind for a recount, machines made by Bush's 
buddies. In the highly contested state of Ohio, Republican Secretary 
of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been trying to bar thousands of 
newly registered Democratic voters based on a paper-stock 
technicality. There are even accusations that Jeb Bush is resorting 
to horrifying new methods to scare blacks away from the polls: armed 
agents recently visited Florida's elderly black people in their 
homes, told them they were part of a criminal investigation, asked 
confusing questions about their voting records and waved guns around. 
(The facts are at paleblue.us/archives/000912.html.) Jeb doesn't deny 
armed agents visited the homes of old black people, but he denies the 
agents deliberately intimidated anybody. Every vote counts-except the 
ones never counted.

54. That Swift Boat horse shit. If you were dumb enough to buy any of 
it, you deserve whatever freakin' president you get. Bush has made 
half-hearted denials that he had advanced knowledge about the ads, 
but on a Sept. 28, 2004, appearance on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, 
he was non-committal about whether Karl Rove knew about them, saying, 
"I don't think so." When asked if his campaign people would give him 
a "heads up" if they'd coordinated the ads, Bush replied, "Not to my 
knowledge."

55. "[Iraq] is far graver than Vietnam," retired General William 
Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told Salon.com on 
Sept. 16. "There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in 
both cases we mindlessly went ahead with a war that was not 
constructive for U.S. aims. But now we're in a region far more 
volatile and we're in much worse shape with our allies." Odom also 
said he's never observed so much tension between a presidential 
administration and senior military officials, not even during 
Vietnam: "There's a significant [military] majority believing this is 
a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have 
been the Iranians and al-Qaeda."

56. In a Nov. 28, 2002, Toronto Star interview, New York University 
professor of culture and communications Mark Crispin Miller explained 
there could be something sinister behind Bush's notorious verbal 
gaffes. "I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality," Miller 
said. "I think he's incapable of empathy. . . . He has no trouble 
speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's 
talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge. When he 
struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine; it's 
only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or 
idealism, or altruism that he makes these hilarious mistakes." Miller 
cited an example from early in Bush's presidential tenure: "I know 
how hard it is to put food on your family." Miller: "That wasn't 
because he's so stupid that he doesn't know how to say, 'Put food on 
your family's table'-it's because he doesn't care about people who 
can't put food on the table. When he tries to talk about what this 
country stands for or about democracy, he can't do it."

57. In a Sept. 14, 2004, Boston Globe article, Michigan physician 
Joseph Price told columnist Alex Beam that Bush's mangled syntax 
could well be the result of "presenile dementia." Price noticed 
telltale signs of the disorder when his kids gave him a daily 
tear-off calendar of "Bushisms" for Christmas. "They are horrible," 
Price told the Globe, "but they are also diagnostic." Price's 
suspicions were also piqued by a long article about Bush in The 
Atlantic that reported Bush had been articulate through his 40s, 
which would rule out diseases like dyslexia that typically develop in 
childhood. In a letter published this month in The Atlantic, Price 
describes presenile dementia as "a fairly typical Alzheimer's 
situation that develops significantly earlier in life. . . . 
President Bush's 'mangled' words are a demonstration of what 
physicians call 'confabulation' and are almost specific to the 
diagnosis of a true dementia."

58. The idea that the leader of the free world is either a sociopath 
or suffers from a degenerative brain disease is too terrifying to 
contemplate. Best-case scenario: he's just a plain old dumbass. Keep 
your fingers crossed, kids.

59. Because this schmuck makes Nixon look good.


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put him in jail!  the WORST president in US history


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