January 2005 Archives

Walking the Talk

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I called my Senators, Hutchison and Cornyn today to urge them to vote against Alberto Gonzales' confirmation as Attorney General. I advised them that it is my belief his advice to the President led directly to the headlines that swept around the globe about American torture and abuse of prisoners. Further, I said those headlines led to putting our troops in greater harm's way if captured, and aided and abetted our enemies in their recruitments against us. Once again, it felt good to walk the talk, whether my Senators heed my advice or not.

One of the many biggest mistakes the Dem. Party made over the last 4 years was Terry McAuliffe. Terry was an attack dog, and he partially set the standard and tone of the Democratic opposition to the GOP. One does not attack a campaign of a rival who claims compassion, inclusion, and respect by attacking their character. In 2000, I was working with a local Dem. group on a local water issue. I told the Pres. of that group that Terry McAuliffe and those like him would lose the elections in the future. He of course, disagreed. The proof was in the pudding.

McAuliffe's fundamental flaw, was in using attacks on the issues and character of the GOP and Bush as a means to an end, Winning! That is a contest which both sides play, but, frankly, the GOP is much better at it. Also, the GOP had much more to play with by virtue of the Dem's having become such a huge Big Tent party accommodating such a wide range of minority issues. The Dem's allowed their minority issues to become the focal point for criticism by the GOP, almost completely obscuring the Dem's major, centrist, and moderate platform issues.

(Reuters) - The White House estimated on Tuesday that the U.S. budget deficit for 2005, including an extra $80 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan operations, will total $427 billion.

"In the 2006 budget that we release on Feb. 7, OMB will estimate that the 2005 deficit, including the outlay effects from the supplemental we are discussing today, will be 3.5 percent of GDP or in nominal terms $427 billion," said a senior administration official in a news briefing.

The President's Inaugural Speech was not specific on foreign policy plans. It was full of promise for liberating oppressed peoples in the world using the words freedom and liberty numerous times to describe America's foreign policy goals. The Constitution of the U.S. does not contain any such mandates to liberate peoples of other nations.

The Constitution does not outline war as a virtue in the name of freeing people from their governments. The Constitution of the U.S. does outline the duties and responsibilities of our government to protect and defend our nation and to engage in international trade and trade regulation. So, where does the President get his mandate for liberating the world's peoples and mirroring their governments, cultures, and societies to reflect our own?

As the President is sworn in for another 4 years, one news source, The Independent, marks the occasion with an article about Americans leaving America. 7.2 million Americans have already chosen to live overseas, and more are to follow. It is a poignant counterpoint to Washington's festivities with more fire power encircling the President than can be found in much of Iraq. The President's route was wall to wall uniforms, looking more like Mushaaraf's police state, than the United States.

If this emigration movement grows in a big way, the day may come when a President like GW Bush can walk down Pennsylvania Ave. without even secret service to be found. That will be due to all dissenting voices and opposition to such a president having migrated to Canada or Mexico and beyond. What kind of America would that be? Surely, many Bush supporters would regard such a futuristic scenario as heaven on earth. But, it would also create a group think, America: an America not dissimilar from China or Cuba today. An America where the people speak with one voice, one patriotic voice coming from one person, the President.

Back in September of 2003, I wrote an article entitled, 2004 Election Issues (The Economy) in which I warned of the coming economic "perfect storm" in America's future. Confidence in the Bush administration on domestic policy at the time ran contrary to the thrust of this article. Today, however, more economists are seeing the gathering storms coalesce on our economic horizon and are issuing the same stern warnings I did a year and a half ago.

Forbes sponsored an article on MSN, 4 Economic Prophets of Doom, in which highly regarded expert's warnings are becoming ever more dire. What will it take for the Bush Administration to begin to seriously address these warning signs? Economic collapse and severe economic depression cannot be averted upon arrival. Like the Titanic, it must be steered away from collapse long before collision is imminent, or the severe consequences will be inevitable. Below are excerpts which all thinking, politically active Americans should pay heed to.

The Bush Administration is pushing hard for Tort reform. A tort is an act by one party which contributes to the harm or loss of another under civil law. The President says tort reform will greatly reduce the cost of health care in America. That is not true. The fastest growing costs in health care do not come from insurance premiums for malpractice insurance. They make up only a small percentage of health care costs overall.

But, if the President's tort reform did reduce malpractice insurance premiums, it would be because injured parties will be less able to find an attorney willing to risk the full cost of losing the case. Most attorneys handling torts are paid on a percentage basis of the awards from the suit. If the President's tort reform is enacted and it does lower malpractice insurance premiums, it will only be due to the fact that the harmed or injured cannot afford to sue.

The amount of disturbing news this last week has been a bit overwhelming. Water, Inaugural, Money, and Reform were all key stories that deserve more scrutiny and should be raising alarms. Water - President Clinton is seeking $45 million to provide clean, safe drinking water to Tsunami victims in the Indian Ocean region. That should is good news. But, this week also saw our government pooh pooh reports of airline diesel fuel in American drinking water nationwide.

Here is a quote from the Washington Post article:

Perchlorate has been found in at least 35 states, and more than 11 million people have significant levels in their drinking water. The Food and Drug Administration also recently found the substance in milk and lettuce.
At high doses, perchlorate can interfere with the thyroid gland, which helps regulate many bodily functions. Animal studies have suggested it could cause thyroid tumors. In children, the thyroid plays a major role in development, raising fears that exposure to perchlorate by pregnant women and young children could cause brain damage.

The U.S. opened a Pandora's Box when it developed and used nuclear weapons in WWII and then utterly failed in its nuclear non-proliferation efforts. President Bush is bankrupting America with a "star wars" defense system which has seen billions wasted on basic tests of the system which failed. Now, Russia has made the "star wars" defense system obsolete before we can even get a defensive missile to even marginally work the way it is supposed to.

The "star wars" (National Missile Defense NMD) system has been criticized as a horrible investment of tax dollars by scientists and experts since its introduction in the Reagan years. Now, will Bush finally give it up and stop this hemorrhage of wasteful tax spending?

The United States has a plan to imprison for life terrorist suspects. Not a problem except for the fact that the U.S. doesn't have sufficient evidence to even indict them, let alone try these people in the courts and get a conviction. This kind of government action is precisely one of the reasons the Colonialists overthrew the British Government in the Revolutionary War more than two centuries ago. Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R), called it a "bad idea". I would go further and call it entirely UNAMERICAN. The Bush administration is showing its willingness to bury the most basic core principles set out in our Constitution for expedience. I cannot recall a more traitorous act against our Constitution by a sitting President.


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