Tag Archives: Bush

McBush on Russia-Georgia War

Apparently Bush promised Georgia’s Shashkashvili that the U.S would have his back if he took action in South Ossetia. Sashkashvilli is a smart, U.S. educated politician. He should have known better than to believe the Bush Administration promises, but he did. If anyone is to blame for tipping the dominos that led to the current Russian massacre of parts of Georgia, it is George Bush. He misled Americans into initially supporting his war in Iraq, and he misled Georgia’s government and people into thinking the West would support their  government against the runaway south ossetians.  

The question here is, what is in this war for Bush and his neocronies?

The answer is oil, specifically the oil pipeline going to the Georgia port of Supsa. Oil is the same answer for what Bush stood to gain by going into Iraq.

The short term answer is that a line of thinking suggests that Russia-Georgia conflict favors the McCain candidacy. For example, some people confuse McCain’s bellicosity with strong and intelligent leadership.

Assuming, however, that Russia ceases fire shortly, and the conflict herein is resolved diplomatically, the few day war served to pump up right wing neocons, including McCain. Having tasted blood in the caucasus, McCain is likely to advance the clarion call of Bush/Cheney to bomb Iran this fall.

Stay tuned…

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Going to War with Iran: Anyone Listening?

one reason that McCain, right wing 527 startups. the Bush machine and so forth seem so nonplussed at Obama’s 15 point lead in the latest Newsweek poll is that they have something really big up their sleeve– a missile. Please read link.  With Cheney controlling the flow of info to the president, and with the Air Force and Navy prepared the lead the way, it seems the US with Israel are planning offensive military measures against Iran before Bush leaves office.  As Matt Rothschild from the Progressive suggests, impeachment is the only way to stop this.  such an october surprise would hand election to McCain and lots worse. Read link below by Ray McGovern, and see my posts June 6 and April 11:

US to Bomb Iran B4 Bush Leaves office

Bush Ready for War on Iran

Back when the country was being readied for a post 9/11 terrorist attack, talking heads focused attention on the increasing flurry of emails, internet stories, and so forth as signs of a coming attack. The warning levels increased along with the intensity of buzz.

and so it goes.

As the country enters summer, and Bush is on his final european junket, the flurry of stories has increased regarding the iranian threat and Bush options for countering the iranian threat before he leaves office.  The NYT today has German Chancellor Merkel agreeing with Bush’s call for aditional sanctions against Iran, but she stops short of saying, as he does, that all options remain on the table.

The shame of it all is that based on recent events, the country and world has no way of knowing whether stories coming from the White HOuse are True. Quite the opposite.  We have been taught to believe its propaganda. And this is scary and unacceptable in a democracy.

Consider that the current drum beat contradicts the NIE Report issued December 2008 that says Iran suspended its nuclear enrichment program back in 2003. Consider that since 2003, Secry State Rice has repeatedly spoken about increasing pressure on the iranian regime.  Such pressure would come to include sanctions and since late spring 2005, the Bush regime  would embark on a major covert initiative to discredit and unsettle the Iranian regime.  Now that none of this has much worked, the drumbeat has focused more exclusively on the likelihood of missile strikes against Iranian”nuke”  targets, or all out war.

With seven months to go, it seems that Bush and a still acquiescent Congress has deemed that impeachment against the president is no longer viable, but apparently another war dreamt up by this president remains a real possibility.

 

 

 

Border Residents Fight Back Against Surreal Border Fence Boondoggle

Two fine articles in Truthout this morning.

Cusack’s War, Inc.

Border Communities Sue

and one cool Youtube story (TYT) on the border fence

Border Fence story

In the first article, Jeremy Scahill writes abut John Cusack’s latest film War inc., a MASH-like social satire on the corporatization of the Iraq war.  The second article is about Peter Schey seeking a preliminary injunction at the border for border towns suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Bush Administration over construction of the border fence, which is being built in an illegal, arrogant and stupid way. 

The border spectacle connects both articles because Cusack’s War, Inc., could easily have a sequel called, The Border, Inc. Same patterns, different locale.

The Texas lawsuit argues that Bush is making unconstitutional use of eminent domain by building the fence on the property of dozens of border residents, some of whom have had the land in their families for more than 250 years since receiving a land grant from the spanish viceroy.  DHS is forcing people off their land without consultation, providing just compensation or fair process.

Not only is Michael Chertoff and Bushco cavalierly disregarding the constitution, they are doing so to advance the interests of Boeing, its subsdiary– Power Contracting, and Republican donors Sundt Construction, and Kiewit Brothers.  Sundt is known for having built the secretive Los Alamos, and Kiewit built the secretive NSA facility at Fort Gordon.  Since the Army Corps of Engineer contracts with these companies could be revoked upon the inauguration of a new president, the administration is in a  mad rush to finish doling out contracts and sinking financial,  administrative infrastructure costs before the end of the year, personal and public property be damned. 

Consider this. Bushco is not even eviscerating the constitution for its own misguided principles: unitary executive or other wacko, unconstitutional neocon stuff, but rather, it is using its unitary powers thesis to advance the cause of its corporate cronies, buds, donors, and friends.  Payola and Payback on the most grotesque scale.

And once again, livelihoods and human lives are disregarded along the way.

 

Did Supreme Court “Gin” System for McCain?

Justice Scalia is on record saying he doesn’t want folks to dwell much on the Florida recount and 2000 Bush v Gore decision. Quite the originalist,  and disregard for precedent notwithstanding, the decisions is dead as a doornail just like, Scalia suggests, the constitution itself.

Sure, it unconstitutionally imposed George W Bush on the country for the last 7 1/2 years, framing a presidency upon extralegal and unconstitutional moorings. And in this regard, the administration did not disappoint.

And now, scanning the horizon to see how it might affect yet another presidential election, the Court recently focused its attention on the state of Indiana (Crawford v Marion City Election Bd.).  In the wake of this decision, as the NYT reports, Missouri lawmakers are seeking a constitutional amendment that would mandate proof of citizenship to vote.

If a referendum on this matter is held in Missouri in August as currently planned, and it passes, the vote could swing this key swing state to McCain.  If other nativist state legislature get wind of it, the Court’s Indiana Case will then open the door for other states to similarly disenfranchise racial minorities under the auspices of excluding non-citizens.  

At issue is the desire to exclude noncitizens from the polls. Apparently, the fear of an immigrant casting a vote for president is mobilizing nativists and xenophobes to plan a constitutional amendment mandating proof of citizenship to vote. A passport, birth certificate… many folks don’t possess either.  Once again, immigration is being used as the wedge to exclude minorities from the political system.

If McBush wins Missouri this November, chances are it won’t be because of his compelling policy positions. Rather, it is likely to be because 240,000 mostly African American voters will be denied their vote.  

 

Conservatives Waging War on Nonprofits

Robert Koulish

The Bush administration’s proposed 2008 budget, which threatens elimination of 141 programs, is a reminder of another war – the one against nonprofits.

Since 9/11, nonprofits have been financially starved, privatized out of business and even criminalized, under the “material aid” provisions of the Patriot Act. The Bush budget attempts to escalate this low-intensity conflict against nonprofits.

The seeds for the war on nonprofits lay in the 1971 “Powell Memo” penned by corporate lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell. The memo instructed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to confront nonprofit critics of the business community, personified by Ralph Nader and the American Civil Liberties Union. It urged forming right-wing think tanks and philanthropies, hiring intellectuals and confronting progressives.

The Powell Memo has been credited with providing a blueprint for conservative dominance after the 1978 midterm elections as well as the surge in right-wing think tanks and civic organizations, and the “K Street Project” for conservative domination of lobbying firms.

After 9/11, confrontational strategies against nonconservatives took an unprecedented turn with funding cuts, financial audits and National Security Agency surveillance of political opponents. Suddenly, policy wonks, social workers and civil litigators were subject to investigation as if they were suspected terrorists.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, audits of 501(c)3’s engaged in social programming have risen sharply, with Greenpeace, Advocates for Youth and the National Endowment for the Arts enduring such politically inspired harassment. The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights report that Greenpeace and dozens of other progressive nonprofits have also been targeted for NSA and Pentagon spying.

Another strategy is to deprive nonprofits of resources. Recent Bush budgets have drastically cut such strategic initiatives as Community Development Block Grants, Community Outreach Partnership Centers and the Community Reinvestment Act. The evisceration of these programs has had the effect of securing the demise of nonprofits.

Privatization provides another means of accomplishing this. In New Orleans, multinationals such as KBR have replaced nonprofits in delivering services. Federal funds earmarked for emergency social programs – funds ordinarily channeled to nonprofits – ended up in Halliburton’s bank account.

Regrettably, the nonprofit sector has adapted to these attacks by emulating conservative strategies – and turning these strategies not on the conservatives but on itself.

The nonprofit sector increasingly boasts a “big box,” one-size-fits-all culture. Look no further than the Red Cross in post-Katrina New Orleans. New York City’s Foundation Center says the Red Cross, which raised perhaps $2 billion for Katrina relief despite widespread accusations of mismanagement, “ranked as by far the largest named recipient of contributions from foundation and corporate donors in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

To its credit, the Red Cross is favored for its convenience, economy of scale and historical legacy. Unfortunately, its economy of scale is responsible for sucking the air from donors, crushing smaller nonprofits, and making decisions that are not responsive to local concerns. The “big box” phenomenon overlooks grassroots organizations with records of responsiveness and accountability.

Conservatives have won an enormous amount of turf in their war on nonprofits. Progressives must take back the nonprofit sector and its mission of caring for people.

We need a progressive version of the Powell Memo that calls on adherents to create a movement that goes beyond what liberal think tanks are doing. This movement should include progressive media programming, progressive news sources funded by foundations and philanthropists, new think tanks and political strategies that solidify progressive values and lead to political success at the local, state and national levels.

Congress must be urged to reverse the damage to the nonprofit sector and establish a new progressive agenda that supports local associational life and a government committed to the things the private sector cannot do.

The alternative is a nonprofit agenda that will continue to strengthen and perpetuate the very conservative system that seeks its demise.

Robert Koulish is a political scientist and France-Merrick professor of service learning at Goucher College. His e-mail is rkoulish@goucher.edu.

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