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
43. "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency [in Iraq]," W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, told Salon.com on Sept. 16. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. . . . The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed."
44. Most arguments against stem-cell research are based on confusion between embryos and fetuses. Stem cells aren't harvested from aborted fetuses; they're harvested from embryos, which are babies the same way acorns are trees. Bush certainly knows the difference, but he doesn't want to tell America the truth and risk alienating pro-lifers. And so he allows millions of people to die or suffer horribly from diseases (like Alzheimer's) scientists believe could be cured via stem cells.
45. Since Sept. 11, the Justice Department has detained more than 5,000 foreign nationals in anti-terrorism sweeps. In all this time, the Justice Department obtained exactly one jury conviction, and on Sept. 2, 2004, a Detroit federal judge threw it out. While W's goon squads have been expending massive resources to round up and hold thousands of innocent people on flimsy evidence, how many real terrorists have they let slip by?
46. Campaigning in 2000, Bush warned that Al Gore would "throw the budget out of balance." In the past four years, Bush and a GOP Congress blew a 10-year budget surplus once estimated at $5.6 trillion, leaving us with an estimated $5 trillion deficit. According to the Office of Management and Budget, this year's deficit will run about $445 billion.
47. Before Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, Bill Clinton told him that bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban would most occupy the new president's time. That message was reiterated in a Jan. 25, 2001, memo from the White House's counterterrorism expert, Richard Clarke, who asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee meetings. Clarke, who was frustrated that no early meeting was scheduled, wanted principals to accept that al-Qaeda was a "first-order threat" and not a routine problem being exaggerated by "chicken little" alarmists. In July 2001, an FBI agent in Arizona sent a memo to headquarters warning of the "possibility of a coordinated effort by Usama [sic] bin Laden to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation schools." That memo and the Clarke memo were ignored for months. According to the 9/11 Commission's official website (www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/staff_statement_8.pdf), no Principals Committee meetings on al-Qaeda were held until Sept. 4, 2001.
48. By his own admission, Bush is not a reader. Among the things he apparently doesn't read are his Presidential Daily Briefs. The infamous brief for Aug. 6, 2001, headlined "Bin Ladin [sic] Determined to Strike Inside U.S." stated, "Al-Qa'ida [sic] members--including some who are U.S. citizens--have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. . . . FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." The same day that brief arrived, the Associated Press reported that Bush, vacationing on his ranch, enjoyed a fishing trip and a leisurely morning jog.
49. Showing just how concerned W's administration was about terrorism leading up to Sept. 11, on Sept. 10, 2001, brand-new Attorney General John Ashcroft cut the FBI's request for new counterterrorism money by 12 percent . . . a decision he presumably regretted somewhat the following morning.
50. On March 23, 2004, Bush actually had the plums to declare, "Had my administration had any information that terrorists were going to attack New York City on Sept. 11, we would have acted."
51. Bush's health plan is so awful it makes Kerry's awful health plan look . . . well . . . less awful. No worries: just don't get sick. Ever.
52. On Aug. 10, 2001, the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer noted that "if you add up all his weekends at Camp David, layovers at Kennebunkport and assorted to-ing and fro-ing, W. will have spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route." After Sept. 11 Bush's vacation time decreased . . . by a whopping 2 percent. In an April 11, 2004, story headlined "Bush Retreats to a Favorite Getaway: Crawford Ranch," the Houston Chronicle noted that with 33 trips to Crawford; 78 trips to Camp David; and five to his family's compound at Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush spent all or part of 500 days--or about 40 percent of his presidency--at one of his three retreats.
53. We don't have space to detail the whole 2000 election debacle, so we're assuming you know about the sleazy doings of Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris in Florida and how thousands of Florida's African-Americans were falsely (and deliberately) classed as felons and thus barred from voting. If not, go get crazy with Google. Anyhow, after Bush finally declared himself the winner, he pledged to modernize America's voting systems by 2004. Well, surprise, it's still a mess . . . something Republicans will take advantage of again this election. They've been pushing "e-voting," using machines leaving nothing behind for a recount, machines made by Bush's buddies. In the highly contested state of Ohio, Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been trying to bar thousands of newly registered Democratic voters based on a paper-stock technicality. There are even accusations that Jeb Bush is resorting to horrifying new methods to scare blacks away from the polls: armed agents recently visited Florida's elderly black people in their homes, told them they were part of a criminal investigation, asked confusing questions about their voting records and waved guns around. (The facts are at paleblue.us/archives/000912.html.) Jeb doesn't deny armed agents visited the homes of old black people, but he denies the agents deliberately intimidated anybody. Every vote counts—except the ones never counted.