December 2003 Archives

by David Remer PoliWatch.Org

Announced today, Attorney General Ashcroft is said to be recusing himself from the investigation of the Whitehouse leak of the identity of a CIA operative who happened to be the wife of a much publicized critic of this Administration. However, on MSNBC, a Dept. Of Justice Spokesman said the Justice Department would still remain involved in the investigation though a special prosecutor is now appointed to pursue the investigation. The article states: "the U.S. attorney in Chicago, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, will take over the investigation and report to Comey, who is Ashcroft's top deputy." Somehow, this does not appear to be a recusal. The DOJ spokesperson on MSNBC indicated the decision was made to promote the appearance of independent invesitgation and prosecution.

Appearances, must maintain those appearances, despite what is going on behind the scenes. On the other hand, once an independent prosecutor has been appointed, to whom should that investigator/prosecutor report to? Certainly not the Republican controlled Congress, or the President. For obvious legal reasons, they should not report to the Judiciary. So, while Ashcroft's decision fails to impress skeptics such as myself that paritality has been removed and the facts will be ascertained and revealed, I am not sure there is anything better that Ashcroft could have done.

by David R. Remer PoliWatch.Org

These United States, under the Presidency of George W. Bush, with tremendous assistance of dire and challenging times not of his choosing or making, have taken the first major step down the slippery slope toward the end of a great civilization. As Rome bribed the barbarians, only to whet their greed for more, as ancient Greece with its wealth and democracy fell into complacency, apathy, and political expediency, as the Great British Empire upon which the sun never set lost its great dominion by spreading its power and reach too thin, we Americans are following all of these same paths toward diminishment, failure, and demise as a once great nation.

Most of the problems facing our nation are not of the President's making. Having said that, the solutions to these problems are nowhere to be found in this Administration. The questions require non-traditional answers. The problems require innovative thinking and creative solutions. Most of all, they require a deep and brilliant understanding of history. What we have for leadership in both the Whitehouse and the Congress, are politicians instead of statesmen, tacticians instead of problem solvers, and short sighted parochial viewpoints instead of long term learned and pragmatic policy priorities.

In current events are stories of bribing North Korea and Libya to conform to our will to stand down from their threatening postures. (The Libyan bribe is particularly interesting since, in stead of money and trade, the door is being opened for Libyan conquest beyond its own borders.) The Romans tried bribery, and the more they bribed, the more barbarian leaders came to threaten in order to be bribed. The more short term success Rome experienced with bribes, the further Rome expanded its reach into barbaric lands. Which in turn, led to more threats, more bribes, bigger threats, bigger bribes, and one day Rome could no longer provide an army large enough to maintain its presence throughout the empire. The empire declined into the dark ages. Note however, the decline began with the first bribe, a couple hundred years earlier. The decline began with a failed policy even as the empire was expanding its reach. What appeared to be a solution, proved to be the end of the empire in due course.

And like the great British Empire, the U.S. now has a military presence strung out around the globe. Our military is stretched so thin, that if an adversary were to launch a military attack upon our troops overseas other than in Iraq or Afghanistan, or commit a breach of treaty, the U.S. would have no choice but to withdraw from current engagements and, or, reinstate the draft. Withdrawing from current involvements would be tantamount to failed leadership, foresight and preparedness. It would also support international claims that the U.S. had gone too far in its invasion of Iraq. Reinstating the draft would result in Viet Nam era type demonstrations, and draft dodging, and demoralized troops who have no affinity nor respect for this Administration's policies or leadership.

Like Ancient Greece, the non-voting middle class are far too engrossed in their personal lives and pursuit of wealth, to afford the time to stay up on politics, policies, and the extremely tiresome task of trying to flesh out the truth from all of the political rhetoric, lying, misrepresentation, and mudslinging din. Like the middle class Greeks around 300 B.C., we pay our representatives, soldiers, and police to mind our interests for us. When the call rang out that the invasion was underway, the middle class said, "I paid my taxes, let the Spartans do what they were paid to do". Vastly overwhelmed in number, the Spartans fought and failed. They failed because their calls for assistance from the middle class merchants went unanswered. Our democracy now calls out to the vast middle class to get out and vote in order to save our democracy from what it has become, government of the few, by the few, and for the few. But the call goes unanswered as only half of potential voters respond.

America needs leadership with this kind of education. American needs leadership capable and willing to wrestle these problems with new techniques, ideas, and a pragmatism that leaves no room for idelology or traditional status quo rhetoric standing in the place of viable, workable and reasoned solutions. America needs leadership capable and willing to take on the really big problems whose solutions can only be found in action adhered to for decades. Three and one half billion people in this world live on $1.00 or less per day. The United States population is only 280 million. Want to fight terrorism? Address the needs of those 3.5 billion people who have nothing to lose and everything to gain by suicidal bombing of the seemingly uncaring well to do. At the very least, give them hope for their children's future. Addressing their needs will require decades of committed action to long term plans that are practical, possible, and motivating.

The best this Administration can come up with is war with oil rich nations, new trips to the Moon, more nuclear weapon research and development, space based strategic weapons hanging over the heads of the rest of the world's peoples, huge tax cuts to insure next years election, and huge deficits and national debt to become the inheritance of whomever should be so unlucky as to become president after George W. Bush leaves office. We must do better than this in selecting our leaders if we are going to avoid that irreversible first step toward the decline of our status as the greatest nation on earth.

by David Remer PoliWatch.Org (Dec. 19, 2003)

Last night on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, the Republican jugular was exposed. Chris Matthews repeatedly asked Peggy Noonan, a most eloquent conservative spokesperson and top media champion for President Bush, a question which she simply could not answer. Recent polls were being discussed, specifically the bump in the President's ratings after the capture of Saddam Hussein. All was looking good for the President, when Chris Matthews took note of the fact that 52% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

It has been unequivocally established that there in is no evidence at all that links Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and the other panelists agreed. Peggy Noonan took exception and Chris Matthews asked Noonan whether she believed Hussein was responsible. She gave an evasive answer; Matthews asked again; another evasive answer; and 3 or 4 more times Matthews tried to get Noonan to state the fact. She couldn't. And in not being able to admit the fact in public for reasons outlined below, and by evading and redirecting the subject numerous times, she appeared to be a person without credibility, without honesty, and this she did on prime time TV.

This is the jugular of the Bush Administration. The polls showing more than half of Americans are still misinformed by the President and the Vice President as to the absence of any connection between Hussein and 9/11 and therefore, they are interpreting the capture of Hussein as a victory over the terrorists who caused 9/11. Hence, the bump in the polls.

If the opposition spends its money and expertise in educating the public on the facts, in very much the same manner as Matthews did for his audience with Noonan, support for the President will drop like a stone. Why? Because upon learning the facts and accepting the truth, they will be embarrassed for having been so gullible and have only the President to blame for the embarrassment. Then, they will have to ask why the body bags and tens of billions of tax dollars were spent in a, go it alone if need be, invasion into Iraq? Finally, they will have to ask how much safer would we be had we spent those military lives and monies going after the actual terrorists responsible for 9/11.

The enjoyment by the Bush Administration of their bump in the polls is a direct result of a lie held by half of the American people. A lie deftly designed by this Administration and one it has spent virtually no effort to rectify in the minds of the American people. The Bush Administration will have to answer the question in the debates, 'Was Hussein responsible for the 9/11 attacks?' If he tells the truth, those 52% will feel duped. If he lies, every person who holds facts and evidence to be the cornerstones of reality will pounce upon the President as a liar and a cheat.

Ralph Nader's testing of the waters may not be as absurd as it first seemed. Ralph Nader is almost always ahead of the curve when it comes to exposing government's pulling the wool over the eyes of the people. He knows he cannot win, but, if he can expose the deceipt, he can seriously impair the President's reelection bid. The Green Party and Democratic Party should also follow that lead if defeating this President is the first goal.

The Washington Post notes in an article yesterday entitled, White House Web Scrubbing, that the Administration has been observed scrubbing former statements which no longer look good, accurate, or truthful. This won't make a dent in the public's awareness simply because it is not newsworthy enough to permeate the media.

It will be impossible for the President to avoid the no win answer to the Iraq - 9/11 link, unless he avoids debate altogether. I would not be surprised if that is in fact the strategy the President follows. He will probably state as President he has not the time for politics, he has a country to run. This President is shrewd and politically saavy, and must avoid having to answer for the misunderstanding by the American public which he fostered and nursed for political gain.

by David Remer PoliWatch.Org

In a fascinating article of how things get done in Wa. and how Coporations and GOP bedfellows procreate new ways to get the workers to underwrite and subsidize corporate interests, this NY Times article by MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, is a must read.

The gist of it is that as companies consoldate and or go bankrupt and yield their customer base to more successful or larger companies, the company taking up the customer base or buying out a smaller one, has to underwrite the pension plans in existence belonging to the failed or bought out company. United Parcel Service (UPS) is in just this situation where having taken market share and customers from a host of smaller companies (generating immense growth in UPS revenues, by the way), it is lobbying Congressional members to change the law so that in the future, UPS will not have to pick up the pensions, but, rather the tax payers will.

Following is quote from the article:

The company says it remains willing to pay for its own employees' pensions and even for the obligations it has already assumed from other companies. But it wants to make each company solely responsible for its own workers' benefits in the future. If a company defaults, those obligations would then go to the federal government.

So what is wrong with this? Simply the fact that UPS has the revenues and profits from the new customers resulting for smaller companies having gone out of business. If they could afford with a nice profit margin, their own pensioners in the past, surely, with the new customers and increased revenues and profits from those new customers, UPS can surely afford to pick up the pensions of the bought out companies, as well.

So this is pet legislation and sweet deals between the GOP and corporations are born. Very Interesting.... This kind of working class tax subsidy to the wealthy corporations has simply got to stop. Make your voice heard... Write someone about this. I did.

by David Remer, PoliWatch.Org

I am very glad for the Iraqi people who suffered under Saddam Hussein. I am glad for the American and allied troops who have sacrificed, and their families, that Saddam's capture will give them a brief moment of satisfaction. But, justice applied to the man, and a modicum of revenge satisfied, little else has changed. The power struggle in Iraq will continue to cost American and allied lives. 'Collateral damage', meaning unintended death and maiming of innocent men, women, and children will continue. The draining of billions of tax payer dollars will continue as the occupation in Iraq continues for at least as long as George W. Bush is President, or the President learns the definition of diplomacy abroad. For our troops in Iraq, I am very glad they have something to celebrate, but, it will be a short lived celebration as the fighting continues.

It would appear the capture of Saddam Hussein is of little consequence in the long run with regard to the issues mentioned above. How, by whom, and where Saddam is tried for his crimes, however, is the new controversy facing the U.S. and the world's other nations as we move forward from here. The International Court has no death penalty, only life imprisonment. President Bush and millions of Americans are going to want Saddam's death after proceedings are completed. The Hague is the obvious choice for such a hideous man who has committed horrid crimes against humanity.

But, where will President Bush's administration seek a death penalty, under what jurisdiction, and for what crimes? Now, the issue of whether Hussein had anything to do with the 9/11 atrocity becomes important. If the U.S. hasn't the evidence to make that case, and desires to try Hussein in the U.S., what crimes has Hussein committed within U.S. jurisdiction? If it is to be crimes against humanity, can the U.S. set itself up as a single nation capable and willing to use its military and economic might to try foreign persons for crimes committed in foreign lands? This can and will tear deeply at what diminished diplomatic relations the U.S. has with other important nations around the world. Not being very knowledgeable in international law, I can only wonder and hope there are options under NATO to try the dictator the U.S. supported as a lesser of two evils during the Iraq-Iran war and the Iranian hostage crisis so many years ago.

Gore Provides Renewed Hope

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by David Remer - PoliWatch.Org

I watched C-span's coverage of Al Gore's announcement of endorsement for former Gov. Howard Dean. As my previous writings indicate, I have held out no hope that President Bush could be unseated. Tonight, however, listening to Howard Dean speak prior to Al Gore's statements, (they were together on the same stage), a tingle went up my spine. I listened to a candidate who can and does connect with listeners, a candidate who will balance social need priorities with conservative fiscal priorities and who will shut the door on the lobbyist bidders who circle through President Bush's revolving door.

With Al Gore's support (and it will be tremendous considering he got more popular vote than Bush in 2000) the prayers of the Bush Administration that Dean be the one to face in November, appear to have been answered. And Bush should be remembering that old wisdom, be careful of what you wish for, you may get it. I now see a campaign by Dean that can, not only draw the core of the Democrat loyalists, but, also appeal to a large number of independents and 3rd party voters. I even see the possibility of Dean drawing Republican votes in November from those who are convinced that fiscal constraint and small government are words which no longer have meaning or even exist in the Bush vocabulary anymore. Dean, a fiscal conservative, has the potential of being viewed by conservative independents and some Republicans as a better choice than Bush on those issues.

In an AP article by Ron Fournier

Gore, who captured the popular vote but lost the electoral count to George W. Bush, said Dean's stance against the war, above all else, swayed him.

"I realized it's only one of the issues, but my friends, this nation has never in our two centuries and more made a worse foreign policy mistake," Gore told several hundred people at a downtown convention center.

As the American losses in Iraq and Afghanistan mount, and the national debt breaks 7 Trillion dollars damning the earnings future of the next generation due to 40% tax rates needed to pay the interest and draw down the debt, Dean's appeal could grow across the political spectrum. Though Green Party members are rejoicing over the prospect of defeating a Democratic candidate for mayor of San Francisco, the disdain the Greens hold for the current administration will assure the bulk of their 3rd Party votes will go to Dean in 2004 regardless of whom the Green Party selects as Presidential candidate. The same may be true of a good number of Libertarian voters via protest votes. Until now many pundits have said Bush's incumbency would guarantee his reelection provided the economy is in healing mode. This kind of unwritten coalition vote of 3rd party, independent, Democrat and some Republican voters opposed to the record of the Bush Administration focused on the liberal social and conservative fiscal stances of Howard Dean, could indeed change that foregone conclusion.

I have little doubt that Bush campaign workers are going to wish they had time and a half for the hours they are going to have to put in now, to figure out how to stop the Dean Train headed straight for the Whitehouse.

Economic perspective.

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by David Remer PoliWatch.Org

In a NY Times article entitled Employers Balk at New Hiring, Despite Growth By Louis Uchitelle it is reported that the work force grew by only 57,000 jobs last month, only a third of what most forecasters had projected.

Folks, a little perspective is needed here. More than 3 million jobs have been lost since the last presidential election. If last month we had created 500,000 jobs, we would have a reason to celebrate, because that would represent 1/6 of the jobs lost, being recreated. But, the fact is only 57,000 jobs were created. At this rate it will take over 4 years to recover all the jobs lost in the last two years.

The jobs lost were mostly full-time jobs with benefits. The new jobs being created are largely part-time, temporary, and full-time near minimum wage with no benefits. It is a mistake to believe the President as he touts the economic recovery while raising $1,000,000 in an hour at a speaking event. Yes, the economy is improving for the President and his corporate buddies. But, for those of us who work in the middle or lower class, it is actually getting worse with each passing month that this President remains in office.

A squeaky revolving door

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In recent weeks we've seen two egregious examples of how oligopolies use their clout to get government favors that small companies could never get. This kind of influence is pervasive in a country where political contributions buy favors and where access means you get to "help" lawmakers write legislation or draw up contracts. In these cases what's remarkable is the billions and billions of dollars involved.

It's rare that the one aspect of that influence, revolving-door hiring practices, is as nakedly revealed as it was last week. The revolving door involves the hiring of key government employees who have been in charge of negotiations with a key industry group, so that they get an exorbitant non-government salary as a reward for their compliance. Of course, this is always denied by the companies who "just want to hire the best man or woman for the job."

Case one is the bidding war to hire Thomas A. Scully, the head administrator of Medicare. This comes a week after the passage of ambitious new Medicare legislation, in which Scully had a major role. According to an article in the New York Times, ("Health Industry Bidding to Hire Medicare Chief,' 12/3/2003)

Mr. Scully has made no secret of the fact that he has been looking for jobs
outside the government for more than six months -- even as he spent hundreds
of hours in closed sessions with House and Senate negotiators working out
countless details of the legislation, which makes the biggest changes in
Medicare since creation of the program in 1965.

Scully is reported to makes $134,000 a year in his government post; he could earn five times that in the private sector. Five companies are bidding for his services, three law firms with extensive practices related to the health care industry and two investment firms with large health industry holdings. All of these firms are closely allied with companies that stand to make a big pile of money through the new Medicare rules.

According to the Times article:

A summary of ethics rules issued by the Department of Health and Human
Services says employees who have begun seeking jobs in the private sector
must immediately recuse themselves from "any official matter" that involves
the prospective employer. This covers legislative initiatives and proposed
rules, the document says

But he received a waiver from another administration bureaucrat, allowing him to go on with negotiations. Despite the protests, Scully may wel get away with it.

But even more scandalous was the Boeing revelations. Here the scandal is in its crisis, with the CEO and CFO out the door and a big shakeup underway along with Congressional inquiries. It all happened when CFO Mike Sears, hired a Pentagon procurement officer (Darleen Druyun) who was instrumentally involved in a dubious contract for leasing air-tankers. Note that unlike the health industry, who look set to reward Scully for his helpfulness through third parties, Boeing made the blunder of hiring direct.

The attempt to lease 100 air tanker refuelers had already been attacked by congressional Republicans and Democrats long before. It turns out that leasing the planes would cost the government more than buying them. Senator John McCain, a Republican form Arizona, protested loudly so the Pentagon re-negotiated a compromise where the government would lease only 20 planes, and buy the rest, resulting in billions of dollars of savings off the original contract.

According to an article from military analysis site Jane's News Online (12/5/2003)

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), an ethics watchdog group,,, had filed a complaint with the Defense Department Inspector General on 6 October alleging improper ties between Boeing and Druyun who was then in US Air Force acquisitions. The complaint disclosed that Druyun's daughter was hired by Boeing under suspicious circumstances and that a Boeing executive offered to buy the Druyun home while she was still overseeing billions of dollars in Boeing contracts. Druyun was subsequently hired as a vice president at Boeing. The complaint explicitly raised the question of when Boeing offered Druyun the job.

The revelations about the quid pro quo for the contract ahs caused new investigations and a threat to cancel the deal. But here's where the virtues of oligopoly come in, a trend that has been growing in the defense industry. Only one other country is capable of supplying the contract, Anglo-French Airbus. Boeing has steadily acquired or driven off all American competitors in this area. So, in spite of Boeing's continuing recent history of illegal practices, and unfair dealing, the Bush administration has nowhere else to go. It's unlikely to hire airbus when national security is on the line, thousands of US jobs are in danger, and the company is half-French. The result is likely to be a slap on the wrist, a few execs out of a job, and then business as usual.

[Oligopoly Watch]

A Vote For Revolution

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Under our current system of government, we no longer have a democracy. Sounds like an outrageous statement doesn't it? But, consider the following. A democracy is a government of the people, whose decisions are made by the people and for the best interests of the majority of the society's people. But what we have today does not meet that definition. The reason is that 1/2 of the eligible voters don't vote, and 1/3 of registered voters are not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican party, therefore, the Democratic and Republican voters don't even add up to one half of the eligible persons to vote.

I vote. I won't vote Democratic or Republican. Like the majority of Americans, I will not vote to support the two party system that fails to represent me. I will vote, as I have for decades, with hope. Many would argue that my vote will be wasted, since a vote for a third party or not voting at all, simply results in the maintenance of the two party system with help from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) controlled by the two major parties.

The winning candidate never represents a majority decision of the people anymore. A plutocracy is a government run by the wealthy. An oligarchy is a government run by a small number of the population. Given that our government's officials are elected by a minority of adults in the country, and their decisions are bought and sold through compromise of wealthy special interest lobbyists and donors as a few hours spent watching C-Span makes evident, we have a plutocratic oligarchy, not a democracy. We talk democracy to get votes, but, make no mistake; our government's decisions and lawmaking are based on plutocratic lobbyists representing an oligarchy of corporate, business and wealthy individual's interests.

So, why bother to vote if you are not a Democrat or Republican, eh? My reason is that I believe in democracy and democracy demands of its citizens that they be informed and that they vote. I feel a responsibility to the future of my daughter's generation to do my part to further democracy regardless of how futile it may be. Also, as long as I vote, I can hope that others will too.

However, I am convinced that our growing plutocratic oligarchy will collapse under its own weight of corruption and failure as democracy. Precisely because 1/2 of the eligible voters don't vote, and 1/3 of registered voters are not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican party, the minority Democratic and Republican parties will be successful and their very success in elections will insure their inability to change their non-democracy ways.

This plutocratic oligarchy will fail, in time, and then, and only then, can we reinvent democracy that will work in these modern times. The current system of the worst government that special interest money can produce cannot be undone as long as the two party strangle hold on the election system (FEC) remains. However, if the Democratic and/or Republican party recognizes that the system is headed toward collapse and revolution, they may "see the light" and reform their non-democratic ways. That would likely be too late, however, for once they realize it, so will the majority of citizens in the country and then, why should the citizens believe either of the two major parties who brought the system to the brink of revolution?

Chinese history, especially in the 20th century, teaches that revolution and servicing the interests of the majority of the population are the only options for a government. Mao Tse Tung reined over the revolution that was necessary to unify the nation. Subsequent leaders have diligently worked to represent more and more of the people's interests to the point of now endorsing democratic changes at a measured pace. They know that if the future of China does not rest in some form of democracy, it will result in yet another revolution.

Our government under the two party system must choose to reinstate democracy of, by, and for the people, or face revolution in the end. I can find no viable third parties that could return, through acquisition of office, democracy to the American people. Therefore, I can only look forward to the two parties changing their successful winning strategies (extremely unlikely) or revolution. By voting Green or Independent candidates, I further the cause of one or the other of the possible outcomes for our system returning to the principle of government of, by and for the majority of the people.

Revolution in America? Not possible, right? Not with a middle class. That has been the thinking of scholars and philosophers in the 20th century. But, this is the 21st century and the middle class that believed in, supported, and were largely fulfilled by, the two party system, no longer exists. The majority of adults are frustrated with government, and its constant reversals of policy which provide no long term stability, planning, or implementation of solutions which can only be fulfilled by long term adherence to those solutions. In addition, more and more middle class Americans fail to see any positive return from their taxes that even comes close to the value of the work they put in to earn those tax dollars.

This kind of frustration, lack of faith and belief in the government, and disappointment which is becoming a majority sentiment, will only grow. Revolutions are not born on a day when millions wake up on the same morning and say, that's it, I have had enough. Revolutions are like a garden. Frustration, disappointment, and anger are the soil, fertilizer, water, and sunlight. All that is left to make something grow, is a seed. The seed will be a spokesperson with access to a mass audience, who taps into the soil and says, today is the day. Today we plant. Like Mao Tse Tung, the right person, at the right time, with access to enough disenchanted population, is all that is needed to start a revolution when the people are ready to demand change. Whether it be peaceful or violent, it will come if the soil bed is prepared. And we are preparing it today.

In my daughter's generation, or her daughter's generation, if the two party system does not alter it's selling of government to the highest bidding special interests, if the government does not find a way to unite a majority of citizens behind it, over the next generation or two or three, a revolution will be inevitable.

Thus, my vote for Green or Natural Law Party, or simply not voting at all, is a vote to further either a wake up call to the two party system to act as a democracy, or a revolution. And that is a vote I believe is very worthwhile casting, either way.

Nader testing the waters.

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Ralph Nader has thrown his influence behind Dennis Kucinich to date. In a CBS News article it is reported that Nader is testing the campaign contribution waters in consideration of a possible run for the Presidency in 2004. Ralph Nader was seen as a spoiler representing the Green Party in the 2000 elections by Democrats. Others have argued that Ralph Nader merely represented the disenchantment of Democratic voters who may not have voted at all if Nader had not run.

Ralph Nader has been a watchdog on the corruption of government by corporate and special interests for decades. A strong environmental defender, he has developed a loyal following with his political bids for office. The CBS article also states

Nader has sent letters to Republican and Democratic party leaders urging more of a focus on issues such as universal health insurance and corporate fraud. Amato said Nader is still waiting to hear back from party officials.
There is a Nader web site under development now which will debut soon,

Being an independent with a liberal lean with identification with Green Party values, I have been a long time supporter of Ralph Nader. He does have all the charisma of bespectacled sub-atomic particle physicist, but, his anlysis, legal expertise, and values regarding government have always made a great deal of sense to me. As a candidate for President, there is no hope of his winning. But, as a candidate for President, he has, and will elevate voter's awareness of the issues he represents.

by David Remer - PoliWatch.Org

The President has boxed himself into some no-win boxes. He can spin and stutter until doomsday but, the pork filled Medicare Bill and the steel tariffs, are boxes with no way out while saving face.

Senator John McCain and many other conservative Republicans who believe in the 2000 Republican's platform calling for fiscal restraint and downsizing government are beginning to become quite vocal. Many are now calling for President Bush to veto the pork spending in the Medicare bill, and the comprehensive prescription coverage they believe should be provided only to the needy. Bush promised a prescription drug plan, and he lobbied heavily in Congress to get it passed. Now that he has it coming to his desk for signing, he is losing the respect and confidence of conservative Republicans who see their President growing the national deficit, debt and government in unprecedented ways. He is also giving Democrats, who were initially shocked that their Medicare baby had been coopted by the President and Republicans, the ammunition they will need to attack the big spending, budget busting, deficit hog that the Republican party is becoming with Bush as it's head.

The steel tariffs imposed by President Bush early in 2002 for political gain, are now hurting the President's numbers in a handful of important swing states whose workers are seeing job losses as the companies they work for are losing profits and laying off due to higher steel prices which the tariffs created. We know the tariffs which would obviously backfire on the U.S. was a political ploy as evidenced by the President's actions afterward. It is expected the Whitehouse will announce removing the steel tariffs this coming week, in response to political pressure coming from both domestic and international concerns, again for political gain. Except, now he cannot have it both ways. The policy which threatened the American economy with international tariffs placed on American exports was either the wrong policy in the first place, or it is wrong to lift them now, since, the American steel industry is little better off than it was before.

Like other policies like No Child Left Behind without the funding to enable it, a swift war in Iraq, that now appears to have a future of American involvement without end, this President's actions and decisions are now being scrutinized, and the polls are showing the results with as many Americans now stating they will not vote for the President as those who will. Wouldn't it be an amazing thing if Bush's 200 + million dollar reelection war chest fails to buy another 4 years showing that America's government cannot be bought and sold to the person with the deepest pockets?


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