Friday, February 29, 2008

Telecom Immunity Threatens the Constitution

George W. Bush and other Republican leaders have admitted that they oppose the extension of the "Protect America Act" passed by the House of Representatives because it does not give immunity to those telecommunications companies who willingly handed over the personal data of US citizens based on nothing more than a request from the Administration. Their reason? They claim that those telecommunications companies might not cooperate next time.

More than one blogger has pointed out that, if telecommunications companies were given warrants and subpoenas, they would have to cooperate next time, or suffer severe consequences. But I haven't seen anyone else make this point: we citizens don't want those telecommunications companies giving up our private data based on nothing more than a request from the government.

In appealing to one fear, the fear of terrorists, Bush and his enablers overlook a greater fear woven into the US Constitution: An authoritarian government represents a greater potential threat to its citizens than any potential terrorist. That's why the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution says:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The "Founding Fathers" knew from experience that a government's powers are so vast, the potential for abuse so real, and the possible damage so grave, that restrictions on the government's powers had to be established. And one of those "safety clauses" was a requirement that the government be forced to show "probable cause" before searching and seizing our effects. I submit that this would include our electronic "effects".

Alex Budarin

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Gospel According to Yoda

"Daniel Jones noticed, as did many other people, that more than 390,000 people across England and Wales had claimed "Jedi" as their religion on the U.K.'s 2001 census. An Internet campaign may have driven up those numbers, but the results held a deeper meaning for Daniel and his brother Barney. That census report became their impetus to start the U.K. Church of the Jedi.

Daniel took on the name Master Morda Hehol and opened the main chapter in Anglesey, Wales, where he lives. Another is open in Surrey, England, and they've had calls from would-be Jedis in Washington and Colorado, people hoping to open chapters stateside. It's no joke to Daniel, who was atheist before adopting Jediism.

"We don't have a deity, we have the Force," says Daniel. "It's more like self-belief. If you believe in yourself, and you manipulate the Force, you can achieve great things."
Services have been held in his backyard garden, with plans to move to a building soon.
"The first part of the sermons we do 'Theory of the Force.'" The group then moves on to classes. "It may be lightsaber training, one month. The next month it may be technology and mind control."

Yes, that includes Jedi Mind Tricks."

Companies Use Fees to Counter Bargains

"From hotels to cell phone bills, companies attach a barrage of hidden, extra charges. One reason is the Internet. Online shopping permits consumers to comparison shop for bargains. So companies are countering low prices with hefty fees. So if a $99 room is snagged at a nice hotel via, then the hotel tends to attach a "resort fee" for towels at the pool or removing something from the mini-bar – even it put back 60 seconds later.

Bob Sullivan, author of Gotcha Capitalism, talks with Steve Inskeep about deceptive fees and why U.S. businesses are so dependent on them."

News web sites draw record viewers

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - A record number of readers visited U.S. online newspaper sites last year, according to figures released on Thursday, confirming the Web as one of the few bright spots for the struggling newspaper industry.

The Newspaper Association of America reported the number of unique visitors to newspaper Web sites last year rose more than 6 percent to a monthly average of 60 million. Monthly visits climbed 9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago."

American Express Hit by Slowing Economy

"One of the country's biggest credit card companies says the slowing economy is hurting its business. American Express says credit card charges began to tail off in December. It's also warning Wall Street that its profits will be lower as more cardholders fail to repay their debts. The CEO of American Express says card spending is still strong, but he pointed to problems among consumers in California, Florida and other parts of the country most affected by the downturn in housing."

Iraqi Death Toll at 151,000

"by Brenda Wilson
A study conducted by the World Health Organization and the Iraq Health Ministry estimates that more than 150,000 Iraqis suffered violent deaths in the first three years after the U.S. invasion.

That's about a fourth of the number of deaths found in an earlier controversial study.
The World Health Organization's study of violent deaths is based on visits to more than 10,000 households throughout Iraq. Ties Boerma, WHO's director of Measurements and Health Information, says the results include the deaths of civilians and soldiers who were part of those households.

"They don't include car accidents and they don't include unintentional injuries," says Boerma. "They just include intentional injuries and armed conflict. In fact, the armed conflict deaths are more than 80 percent of the deaths we got reported."

Researchers left it up to the respondents to define the cause of death.
"If they said someone died while trying to avoid a bomb blast, (you) could define it as an armed conflict death, but that was up to the respondents," says Boerma.
Boerma and his team looked at the period between March 2003 and June 2006, and estimated 151,000 violent deaths in Iraq.

That's a fraction of the more than 600,000 violent deaths reported for the same period by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2006, a survey that continues to be debated in the press and political circles.

Both studies counted civilian and combatant fatalities. Boerma thinks the difference in their findings is that the earlier Hopkins study visited far fewer neighborhoods and villages. Researchers working with Hopkins visited 47 so-called clusters; researchers with WHO visited more than 1,000 clusters.

"Because we are talking about a survey that is much larger, we have a little bit more confidence in that method than in a very small cluster survey," says Boerma.
Boerma admits that even the bigger survey missed areas that were too violent to get into and so they made adjustments for that.

Les Roberts was the co-author of the Johns Hopkins study. He says that they can produce a death certificate for every violent death in their tally and he doubts the surveyors working for Iraq's Ministry of Health can produce the same.

"Every graveyard tally, every morgue description I've seen suggests the majority of deaths are from violence," Roberts says. "There are two possibilities. Our estimate has too many. Theirs has too few." Roberts says he thinks in the case of the WHO study, families were reluctant to admit a family member died a violent death.
However, there are other reports on increases in violent deaths whose trends are closer to those reported by WHO.

It is unlikely that this latest research will settle the question of the exact magnitude of death the Iraq conflict has caused."

Nation's Health Care Bill Hits All-Time High

" by Joanne Silberner"

"For the first time ever, the total spent on health care topped $2 trillion in 2006, according to a government analysis. The details are in the current issue of the journal Health Affairs.
Fortunately, the rate of growth is slowing down.

But that news may not be as good as it sounds.
The analysis was headed by Aaron Catlin, an economist with the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Health spending in the U.S. accelerated slightly," he says. "It picked up in growth to 6.7 percent in 2006. That's up two-tenths of a percentage point from 2005."
That's not much of an increase in growth if you're an economist, especially when you consider it's been twice that rate in previous years.

But in one area, there was a pretty dramatic increase. Spending on prescription drugs went up 8.5 percent. That's $16 billion.

"We attribute about 50 percent of the increase in spending to increase in use," Catlin says. "Some of that increased use came from beneficiaries under Part D."
The Part D beneficiaries are people who have bought prescription drug insurance through Medicare. Some of them didn't have drug insurance until they purchased it through Medicare and were unable to afford certain prescription medications before the plan went into effect.

Where is the health care economy going? The government won't come out with its projections for the next decade until the end of February. But some other health experts say there are big problems ahead: Health care inflation is far from solved.

Health care consultant Bob Lasziewski says it's like a ship sinking at a reduced rate from how it was sinking before.
"Health care is still increasing at twice the rate of inflation," he says. "Five years ago, it was four times the rate of inflation."
But twice the rate of inflation is still unsustainable, he says, especially given what he sees for the future: Doctors and hospitals joining together to resist insurers' cost cutting, and baby boomers continuing to age.

Paul Ginsburg sees other problems. He's president of the Center for Studying Health Systems Change, which has been studying health care costs in 25 communities around the country. For one thing, Ginsburg says, if the economy hits a downturn and wages slump, health care costs will take a bigger bite out of every paycheck.

Plus he expects that the nation's obesity epidemic is going to drive up health costs. And in travelling around the country he's seen marketplace changes that worry him.
"What we've seen is that the hospitals and physicians have identified which services are the most profitable," he says. "So hospitals identify cardiac procedures and physicians have identified imaging. So what's profitable, they're building."

When a new hospital wing gets built, or doctors buy fancy new machines, those new buildings and machines are going to be used. And when they're used, somebody has to pay for them."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Document Shows Army Blocked Help for Soldiers

"by Ari Shapiro

A document from the Department of Veterans Affairs contradicts an assertion made by the Army surgeon general that his office did not tell VA officials to stop helping injured soldiers with their military disability paperwork at a New York Army post.

The paperwork can help determine health care and disability benefits for wounded soldiers.
Last week, NPR first described a meeting last March between an Army team from Washington and VA officials at Fort Drum Army base in upstate New York. NPR reported that Army representatives told the VA not to review the narrative summaries of soldiers' injuries, and that the VA complied with the Army's request.

The day the NPR story aired, Army Surgeon General Eric B. Schoomaker denied parts of the report. Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), who represents the Fort Drum area, told North Country Public Radio, that "The Surgeon General of the Army told me very flatly that it was not the Army that told the VA to stop this help."

Now, NPR has obtained a four-page VA document that contradicts the surgeon general's statement to McHugh. It was written by one of the VA officials at Fort Drum on March 31, the day after the meeting. The document says Col. Becky Baker of the Army Surgeon General's office told the VA to discontinue counseling soldiers on the appropriateness of Defense Department ratings because "there exists a conflict of interest."

When contacted by NPR, Baker referred an interview request to the Army Surgeon General's spokeswoman. The spokeswoman rejected requests for interviews with Baker and Schoomaker.
The document says that before the Army team's visit, people from the Army Inspector General's office came to Fort Drum and told the VA it was providing a useful service to soldiers by reviewing their disability paperwork.

According to the document, joining Baker on the Army team at the Fort Drum meeting was Dr. Alan Janusziewicz. He retired as deputy assistant surgeon general for the Army in October.
"I was part of the team, and I was probably instrumental in the surgeon general denying that the Army had instructed the VA" to stop reviewing soldiers' Army medical documents, Janusziewicz told NPR in a phone interview.

Janusziewicz says he has no memory of Baker telling the VA to stop helping soldiers with their military paperwork. In fact, he says, he thought the VA at Fort Drum was doing the best job of any base he visited. But he also says his recollection of the meeting is spotty, since it took place almost a year ago.

"I believe that document is more likely to represent a miscommunication of intent between what Col. Baker was trying to get across and what folks on the receiving end of that communication likely heard," Janusziewicz said.
The document describing the meeting at Fort Drum says the primary purpose for the visit was to "ensure that there are no other 'Walter Reed' situations at other Army installations." That's a reference to the scandal at Walter Reed Army hospital in Washington, which detailed reports of neglect of soldiers recovering from injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the document, Rosie Taylor, who recently retired as Fort Drum's Disability Program manager, described soldiers at the base in conditions of squalor and neglect. In an interview on Wednesday, Taylor described "soldiers crawling on their bellies to go to the bathroom, or soldiers who'd had surgery who couldn't go to chow because they had no way to get there."

The document says one soldier was bedridden for three days without a change of clothes or meal. Taylor says nobody listened to her complaints until the Walter Reed scandal.
"Every time I walked into a meeting before, it was like 'Oh my God, there goes $70,000.' And after Walter Reed hit the fan, it was like I was getting phone calls, 'Rosie we're doing over a building and we need your advice on access,'" Taylor says.

Taylor says the accessibility problems have generally been solved.
She doesn't remember whether the Army told the VA to stop helping soldiers with their disability paperwork. But she will say this about Fort Drum's VA workers: "They stand on their heads for soldiers. They put their jobs on the line for soldiers. They don't care if they're not supposed to do something; if a soldier needs something done, they do it anyway."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has already asked the Army to investigate the situation at Fort Drum. She called the allegations in last week's report "deeply disturbing."

Whether the situation at the Army base is a result of poor communication, poor memory or something else altogether, the result is the same: For the last year, hundreds of disabled soldiers at Fort Drum have received less help with their disability paperwork than the soldiers who came before them."

Iraq Vets Charged with Murder of Fellow Soldier

February 8, 2008 · A soldier who had survived two tours in Iraq and had been sent home after suffering traumatic brain injury was murdered in December in Colorado Springs near Fort Carson, Colo. Army Spc. Kevin Shields was killed, according to police, by three fellow soldiers who had served with him in Iraq.

People in Colorado Springs were shocked and puzzled. Some contend that the alleged killers were just bad apples. Others questioned whether the accused should have been allowed to join the Army in the first place. The Army said the alleged shooter had post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It is still unclear how that diagnosis will play out as the case goes to court.
Shields was out celebrating his 24th birthday the night he was shot. He had been sent home from Iraq with traumatic brain injury and was waiting for a medical discharge. His mother, Debra Pearson, lives in Roscoe, Ill., where Kevin grew up.

Pearson recalled the night she learned of her son's death. "I talked to my mom," she said, "and we had decided that at 12:30 I was going to call him with her and wish him a happy birthday. That didn't happen. At 11:15, I got the call that he'd been killed."
Shields had been shot in the face, the neck and the groin with a .38-caliber pistol. The night before, he had been out drinking in downtown Colorado Springs with three Army acquaintances, Louis Bressler, Kenneth Eastridge and Bruce Bastien.

Police quickly picked up Bastien, who began to talk. In a document filed with the court by the district attorney, Bastien said he and the other men had gotten so drunk that they had to stop the car at least twice to vomit.
According to the document, after one of those stops, Bastien said he was walking back toward the car when "he saw Louis Bressler shoot Kevin Shields. Kevin Shields immediately fell to the ground. … Bressler then walked over to where Kevin Shields was lying and shot him four more times."

Bressler, the alleged shooter, had been sent home early from Iraq because he had been diagnosed with PTSD. He had received a medical discharge and was taking medications.
Ominous Signals in MySpace Pages
The suspects all have MySpace pages. Bressler and his wife, Tira, each have pages there, which Bressler's lawyer, Ed Farry, describe as "a kind of prototypical page by young people in America today."
"Both he and his wife discuss their adoration of each other," Farry says, adding, "It doesn't show any of the pathologies that — where certain other Web pages show — where people are contemplating bad acts."

True, Bressler and his wife do express their mutual affection on their MySpace pages. But the headline on Bressler's page reads "Chillin an Killin."
Tira Bressler's moniker is Devil's Angel, and buried in her dozens of online photos is a picture of a .38-caliber revolver with five shiny bullets in front of it. Police say Shields was killed with a revolver like that. Bressler was raised by his father in Charlotte, N.C., and did not graduate from high school.
Killin Is Just What I Do'
Then there's Kenneth Eastridge, whose MySpace headline is "Killin is just what I do." There are plenty of pictures of his tattoos: the slogan "born to kill" and a Nazi SS insignia on one arm.
Michael De Yoanna reported on military affairs in Colorado Springs for a local paper, the Independent, and has looked at many military personnel Web pages. He says most are designed to convey reassurances to families.

"What I'm seeing here is a stark contrast," De Yoanna said. "I'm seeing violent statements and a tattoo that's hard to construe any way [but] as racist."
Such tattoos are forbidden by the military.
One photo shows Eastridge in uniform holding a cat with a gaping wound. The caption reads: "Killed another Iraqi pussy." Another shows both an M-16 and an AK-47. The caption reads: Ready for Whatever.

The AK-47 is not issued by the U.S. military, but it is commonly used by Iraqi insurgents. "This is a weapon that should have been turned over to higher commanders and stored," De Yoanna said.
Relating to 'Real Life'
Defendant Bastien told police that he saw Eastridge fire at Iraqi civilians with an AK-47 to make it seem like enemy fire. The Army's Criminal Investigative Division has investigated and so far has not been able to substantiate that charge. Eastridge earned a Purple Heart while in Iraq. His high school near Louisville, Ky., says he dropped out.

Bastien's MySpace page is kept private. He is from Fairfield, Conn., and has a wife and daughter. He returned home on personal leave from Iraq, where he was a medic, and was then held over by the Army because of a charge of domestic violence. Bastien is still on active duty.
Bastien's court-appointed lawyer, Rick Bednarski, would only say this about the case: "I think the military is sending kids over to fight a war, and then coming back and not giving them the right treatment in order to get them to relate back to real life, rather than life back in Iraq."
Shields' family finds it hard to take that Kevin survived two tours in Iraq, only to be killed by fellow soldiers on American soil. Kevin's grandfather, Ivan Shields, raised him from age 3, after Kevin's mother got involved in an abusive marriage. Like lawyer Bednarski, he says the military is mismanaging soldiers' return to civilian life.

"We just feel that the commander out there of that base don't have too good a control over these people," Ivan Shields said. "I thought they run a tighter ship than that."
Questioning Army Admissions
Fort Carson officials say they can't comment on the case while it is under investigation.
Kevin Shields' mother, Debra Pearson, believes the problem isn't so much what happens to soldiers after they get back from Iraq, but how they got in the Army in the first place.
"I believe Bressler and Eastridge had mental problems even before they enlisted," Pearson said. "I just feel that what I know of their background, they weren't very good people before they went in. And I guess I feel that they should have been screened closer before joining."
There is no evidence that any of the three had mental problems before enlisting. Whether they should have been screened more closely before enlisting may emerge as the investigation proceeds.
The PTSD Factor
There is, however, the issue of Bressler's Army-diagnosed PTSD.
PTSD has been used as an explanation, if not an excuse, in other criminal cases. But Bressler's attorney, Farry, says he won't do that.

"I'm of the opinion that the fact that he does have post-traumatic stress disorder has been used successfully by some of the co-defendants in this case," Farry said.
Farry thinks Bastien and Eastridge have fingered Bressler as the triggerman because they think a jury would believe him most likely to have committed a seemingly senseless murder.
Unfortunately, there's more to this case. Bressler and Bastien have also been charged with the murder of Pfc. Robert James. Bressler allegedly gunned James down in a parking lot as James begged not to be hurt. James was robbed of $45.

Police say the three defendants in the Shields murder case may have committed or planned other crimes as well. What may be argued out in court is whether this is just a group of thugs who shouldn't have been in the Army in the first place, or a group unable or unwilling to put aside the mindset they forged in combat."

Arguing the Upside of Being Down

"Author Eric G. Wilson has come to realize he was born to the blues, and he has made peace with his melancholy state. But it took some time, as he writes in his new book, a polemic titled Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy.

At the behest of well-meaning friends, I have purchased books on how to be happy. I have tried to turn my chronic scowl into a bright smile. I have attempted to become more active, to get away from my dark house and away from my somber books and participate in the world of meaningful action. … I have contemplated getting a dog. I have started eating salads. I have tried to discipline myself in nodding knowingly. … I have undertaken yoga. I have stopped yoga and gone into tai chi. I have thought of going to psychiatrists and getting some drugs. I have quit all of this and then started again and then once more quit. Now I plan to stay quit. The road to hell is paved with happy plans.

Wilson has embraced his inner gloom, and he wishes more people would do the same.
The English professor at Wake Forest University wants to be clear that he is not "romanticizing" clinical depression and that he believes it is a serious condition that should be treated.
But he worries that today's cornucopia of antidepressants — used to treat even what he calls "mild to moderate sadness" — might make "sweet sorrow" a thing of the past.
"And if that happens, I wonder, what will the future hold? Will our culture become less vital? Will it become less creative?" he asks.

Wilson talks to Melissa Block about why the world needs melancholy — how it pushes people to think about their relation to the world in new ways and ultimately to relate to the world in a richer, deeper way.

He also explores the link between sadness, artistic creation and depression — which has led to suicide in many well-known cases: Virginia Woolf, Vincent Van Gogh, Hart Crane and Ernest Hemingway, for instance.
Wilson says perhaps this is "just part of the tragic nature of existence, that sometimes there's a great price to be paid for great works or beauty, for truth."

"We can look at the lives of Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Hart Crane and others and lament the fact that they suffered so. Yet at the same time, we're buoyed, we're overjoyed by the works they left behind," Wilson says.
The husband and father of a young daughter also acknowledges that melancholy is "difficult terrain to negotiate in domestic situations." He says there are certainly times when his family hoped he would be "happier," and yet they would not want him to pretend to feel something he doesn't.

Wilson says that by taking his melancholy seriously, his family ultimately will get to know him more deeply and develop a more intimate relationship with him.
"To get to know your partner, your spouse, your friend fully, you really have to find a way to embrace the dark as well as the light. Only then can you know that person," he says."


Breaking News! Obama DEM Front Runner

With the Honorable John Lewis, one of America’s respected black political leaders switching support from Clinton to Obama the democratic nomination changes hands. As you all know until now I have been a Clinton supporter however I too am contemplating backing Obama’s message of hope.

"MILWAUKEE — Representative John Lewis, an elder statesman from the civil rights era and one of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most prominent black supporters, said Thursday night that he planned to cast his vote as a superdelegate for Senator Barack Obama in hopes of preventing a fight at the Democratic convention.

“In recent days, there is a sense of movement and a sense of spirit,” said Mr. Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who endorsed Mrs. Clinton last fall. “Something is happening in America, and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap.”
Mr. Lewis, who carries great influence among other members of Congress, disclosed his decision in an interview in which he said that as a superdelegate he could “never, ever do anything to reverse the action” of the voters of his district, who overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama.
“I’ve been very impressed with the campaign of Senator Obama,” Mr. Lewis said. “He’s getting better and better every single day.”
His comments came as fresh signs emerged that Mrs. Clinton’s support was beginning to erode from some other African-American lawmakers who also serve as superdelegates. Representative David Scott of Georgia, who was among the first to defect, said he, too, would not go against the will of voters in his district.

The developments came on a day in which Mrs. Clinton set out anew to prove that the fight for the Democratic nomination was far from over. Campaigning in Ohio, she pursued a new strategy of biting attack lines against Mr. Obama, while adopting a newly populist tone as she courted blue-collar voters.
Mrs. Clinton also intensified her efforts in Wisconsin, which holds its primary on Tuesday and where she and Mr. Obama now have the first dueling negative television advertisements of the campaign.

In the ads, Mrs. Clinton taunted Mr. Obama for refusing to debate her in Wisconsin. And she and former President Bill Clinton prepared for a new fund-raising blitz to try to counter Mr. Obama’s edge of several million dollars in campaign cash.
Yet even as the Democratic rivals looked ahead to the primaries in Wisconsin, Ohio and Texas, Mr. Lewis said he and other prominent African-American party leaders had been moved by Mr. Obama’s recent victories and his ability to transcend racial and geographic lines.

Though Mr. Lewis had praise for Mrs. Clinton and for her historic candidacy, he said he could decide within days whether to formally endorse Mr. Obama.
He also said he and other lawmakers would meet in the coming days to decide how they intended to weigh in on the nominating fight. If neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Obama receive enough pledged delegates to win the nomination, superdelegates like Mr. Lewis may play the deciding role in who wins.

“If I can be used as a mediator, a negotiator or a peacemaker, I’d be happy to step in,” Mr. Lewis said, adding that he intends to speak to both candidates in hopes of ending the race amicably in the next month. “I don’t want to see Mrs. Clinton damaged or Mr. Obama damaged.”
Jay Carson, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said Thursday: “Congressman Lewis is a true American hero, and we have the utmost respect for him and understand the great pressure he faced. And Senator Clinton enjoys incredibly strong support from superdelegates around the country from all regions and races.”

The comments by Mr. Lewis underscored a growing sentiment among some of the party’s black leaders that they should not stand in the way of Mr. Obama’s historic quest for the nomination and should not go against the will of their constituents. As superdelegates, they may have the final say, which is something Mr. Lewis said he feared would weaken Democrats and raise Republicans’ chances of winning the White House.

Still, the Democratic nominating fight clearly has many turns ahead. On Thursday, Mrs. Clinton unleashed the most ambitious mobilization of her forces in weeks, reflecting the intense pressure she is under from Mr. Obama, the political necessity for her of towering performances in the delegate-rich primaries in Ohio and Texas on March 4, and her fresh hope of an upset victory in Wisconsin.

Specifically, Mrs. Clinton is hoping to gain political mileage by turning one of Mr. Obama’s attributes, his oratory, against him. She is warning voters about politicians who give great speeches and make big promises but ultimately do not deliver on them."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

If God Wanted W to be President

George W. Bush reportedly told a friend, when he began his second term as governor of Texas, that he believed God wanted him to be President. Well, what if it was true? Judging from the fruits of W’s presidency, I think it’s clear that God wanted George W. Bush to be President so Americans would see that

  • “Supply-side” and “trickle-down” economics don’t work.
  • National arrogance and recklessness is self-destructive.
  • Politics based on fear cannot endure.
  • Faith and optimism do not create reality.
  • Republicans are not more “moral” than Democrats, just more hypocritical.


  • Politicians who put little value in government won’t take care of it.