Monday, April 25, 2005

More Big Lies. Backstabbers, Inc. Blatant Hypocrisy. No Rollback Just Yet.

When The Lies Are So Big...

Today at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush pretended to care about the soaring price of oil and it's relationship to sharp price increases at the nation's gasoline pumps. Excerpt:

CRAWFORD, Texas (April 25) - President Bush on Monday pressed (begged) Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah to help curb skyrocketing oil prices that are hurting American families and businesses, and a top adviser said a Saudi plan to increase production would have an impact.

''When you increase the capacity by a significant amount, which they are talking about, that can't help but have a positive downward effect on prices,'' said Bush's national security adviser, Steve Hadley.

As Bush and Abdullah met for several hours at the president's ranch, the Saudis presented a plan - outlined last week in a speech by Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi - to increase production capacity to 12.5 million barrels per day by 2009 from the current 11 million limit. If necessary, Saudi Arabia would eventually develop a capacity of 15 million barrels per day. The kingdom now pumps about 9.5 million barrels daily.

The talks also included Middle East peace initiatives
(failures), the pace of democratic change in the desert kingdom and counterterror efforts. But the White House, with gasoline prices averaging over $2.20 a gallon nationwide and dampening the president's popularity, was eager to telegraph any results that could help ease the pain at the pump.

Full Story:
I heard a sound bite from this tool Hadley on NPR this afternoon. He acts surprised that, as the weather improves across the country, people will want to take more trips in their cars. Shock! Dismay! Amazement! He is also probably one of the same knobs who expressed bewilderment that the demand for home heating oil in the northeast increased from November through March. We may be looking at the next Nobel Laureate in Economics...

I'll Take Backstabbing Sons Of Bitches For $200 Alex

This one literally makes me sick...

WASHINGTON (April 25) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether U.S. prisoners of war who say they were tortured during the 1991 Gulf War should collect a $959 million judgment from Iraq.

The justices let stand a lower court ruling that threw out the lawsuit by the 17 former POWs and 37 family members. That ruling, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year, said Congress never authorized such lawsuits against foreign governments.

The dispute pitted the Bush administration, which argued the money was needed to rebuild Iraq, against former service members.

Full Story:
How on earth can anyone accept this type of behavior? Is this what Dubya meant when he said "help is on the way" to audiences of military personnel? And pardon me, but didn't Congress just give Bush ANOTHER $81 billion Greenspans (on top of the previous aid packages) to help "rebuild Iraq"? And as an aside, are Tom DeLay and Bill Frist upset with THIS judicial ruling?

Predicition: Unless SOMEONE in the Democratic Party (or a sane Republican or ten) draws a line and says "NO MORE!", Jeb Bush will be pulling the same shit when soldiers sue for damages inflicted upon them from THIS war. And his response will be: "That money is needed to help rebuild Iran (or Syria, or Lebanon...)

I'll Take Blatant Hypocrisy For $200 Alex?

In yet another example of picking on certain types of "enemies" while ignoring and encouraging others, we have a story by Jerry Meldon and Robert Parry from Consortium News. Excerpt:

While the Bush administration holds dozens of suspected Muslim terrorists on secret or flimsy evidence, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists slipped into the United States via Mexico and traveled to Florida without setting off any law enforcement alarms.

Though the terrorist’s presence has been an open secret in Miami, neither President George W. Bush nor Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered a manhunt. The U.S. press corps has been largely silent as well.

The reason is that this terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, was a CIA-trained Cuban whose long personal war against Fidel Castro’s government is viewed sympathetically by the two Bush brothers and their father. When it comes to the Bush family, Posada is the epitome of the old saying that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

The Bush administration – which has imprisoned Jose Padilla and other alleged Muslim “enemy combatants” without trial – has taken a far more lenient approach toward the 77-year-old Posada, who is still wanted in Venezuela for the bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane in 1976 that killed 73 people. Posada also has admitted involvement in a deadly hotel bombing campaign in Cuba in 1997.

Full Story:
How's that for having both sides of the argument? Since Posada is one of our guys, he's okay, especially if he's not a Muslim. But he'd best not get too uppity lest he learn the same lesson another Bush family asset, Manuel Noreiga, learned the hard way -- know your place!

No State Income Tax Rollback In Bay State

In a move certain to rankle Massachusetts taxpayers, the State Legislature declined to roll the state income tax levels to a voter referrendum mandated level. Excerpt from

BOSTON -- House lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected efforts to cut the state income tax rate from 5.3 percent to 5 percent during their first day of debate Monday on a proposed $23.7 billion budget plan.

By a 135-21 vote along partisan lines, the House voted instead to ask the state Department of Revenue to study what effect the cut in revenue would have on the state and local communities. House lawmakers also rejected an effort to make charitable donations tax deductible. Republicans led the charge on both questions.

They pointed to a ballot question overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2000 to cut the income tax rate from 5.85 percent to 5 percent over three years. In 2002, as the state's economy soured, lawmakers froze the rate at 5.3 percent. As the state's economy sputters to life again, it's time to fulfill that promise, Republicans said.

"Why is it OK to raise taxes during an emergency and then never cut them again?" said Rep. Donald Humason Jr., R-Westfield.

This is a sticky situation. I remember during the first Bush recession of the early 90s. The state lost a lot of jobs, even when sweetheart deals were made with major companies (like Raytheon where I worked, and from where I was eventually laid off), so things aren't as cut and dried as they seem. Also, look at the key phrase, "as the state's economy sputters to life again". That tells you that we aren't out of the economic tall grass just yet. Besides, Representative Humason's words sound eerily like Governor Bush during Campaign 2000, and look what happened.

I'm certainly not a proponent of higher taxes, but it seems to me that if we can weather this lousy economy for a while longer, then when things really get moving, the rollback will have a much bigger impact on people's spending power.

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