By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
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 Guardianof 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.