Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Conservatives Debate Harry

The debate among conservatives over Harriet Miers has devolved into a simple question: Is the Supreme Court nominee qualified because of her belief in the Constitution, or unqualified by her lack of intellectual heft?

On the one side, James Dobson and President Bush speak for her conviction. On the other, George Will, William Kristol and others decry her lack of constitutional law bonafides.

Let’s look at some more of the PROs and CONs expressed by conservative pundits and politicians.

Unlike Justice O'Connor, Miers believes in legal rules, that law has content. She is not one who would vacillate back and forth in a world of murky standards like O'Connor.

But nominating a constitutional tabula rasa to sit on what is America's constitutional court is an exercise of regal authority with the arbitrariness of a king giving his favorite general a particularly plush dukedom.

The type of Justices Bush has selected -- well-qualified, traditional conservatives who believe in judicial restraint rather than judicial policy-making -- may do more to change the course of our nation than the presidency and Congress combined.

But the president would have been better served by a bench-clearing brawl. A fractious and sparring base would have come together to fight for something all believe in: the beginning of the end of command-and-control liberalism on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The very fact that Harriet Miers is a member of an evangelical church suggests that she is not dying to be accepted by the beautiful people, and is unlikely to sell out the Constitution of the United States in order to be the toast of Georgetown cocktail parties or praised in the New York Times.

But the president insists that if she's good enough for him, she's good enough for the rest of us. "I know her character," he declared. "I've worked with Harriet. . . . I know her heart. . . . I know exactly the kind of judge she'll be." Message: Trust me.

As the leader of the Texas Bar Association, she proved to be a very effective leader opposing the American Bar Association's official stance in support of abortion, including active support of taxpayer-funded abortions.

That she is a trusted friend of the Bush family and a born-again Republican and evangelical Christian are not enough. That Dr. Dobson has been assured she is pro-life is not enough. After all, we have a president who professes to be "pro-life," yet cannot bring himself to say that Roe v. Wade was an abomination he hopes will go the way of Dred Scott.

We are now at war and therefore the great issue of our time is the Article II powers of the president to wage war. Miers has been immersed in war and peace decisions and therefore has a deep familiarity with the tough constitutional issues regarding detention, prisoner treatment and war powers.

But is Miers the best of the best by any objective measure? Since Bush made it clear that he wanted someone who did not have judicial experience, let's look at female lawyers who do not wear black robes. Just for fun, let's compare Miers resume with that of radio-talk show host Laura Ingraham.

Miers and U.S. Circuit Judge Priscilla Owen were once vying for the affections of Texas Justice Nathan Hecht when things turned ugly. The image of this Southern, Christian lady elbowing out the much younger Owen, maybe even telling her to "hit the road, honey," implies a certain amount of chutzpah on the part of the nominee I find appealing.

Welcoming Miers to the Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist said she "understands judicial restraint" and called her a "pioneer" in Texas legal circles. Miers also won a quick and enthusiastic endorsement from the Senate's top Democrat, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who months ago advised Mr. Bush to nominate her.

Oh, oh! Why is she supported by a leading Democrat? But the real point is that this is the way Republicans and conservatives argue the case. Is she qualified? What is her constitutional philosophy? Those are the only things that matter.


Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Another abortion statistics Resource... LifeLaw.org . A discussion forum for all that deals with such hot-button issues as abortion statistics .

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note that almost half of the pregnancies reported in the United States are terminated. But, it's more interesting to note that those chosing to terminate pregnacies cut a wide swarth of American society. A majority of the women terminating pregnacies are married, middle class and upper-middle class women, such as married women living in areas such as Palo Verdes Peninsula. This is why the debate over Roe v. Wade is not particularly interesting. Whether Roe v. Wade is overturned or not is irrelevent. Abortion has become mainstream and part of the American culture, and is here to stay.

Also revealing was that in California, pro-life groups could not even obtain majority support for a partental notification inititive.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Report: Laura Bush in 1963 Car Wreck
By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - At 17, Laura Bush ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing her boyfriend who was driving it, according to an accident report released to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Mrs. Bush is the wife of Republican presidential nominee-to-be George W. Bush (news - web sites), the Texas governor.

``It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large,'' said her spokesman, Andrew Malcolm. ``To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it.''

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Mrs. Bush did say in March, when asked at a campaign stop about the crash, ``I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing ... for the family involved and for me as well.''

According to the two-page accident report released Wednesday by the city of Midland, Laura Welch was driving her Chevrolet sedan on a clear night shortly after 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 1963, when she drove into an intersection and struck a Corvair sedan driven by 17-year-old Michael Douglas.

Although previous news accounts have reported Douglas was thrown from the car and broke his neck, those details were not in the report.

The speed of Laura Bush's car was illegible on the report. The speed limit for the road was 55.

Neither driver was drinking, the police report said.

Laura Bush and her passenger, Judy Dykes, also 17, were taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries, according to an accident account printed at the time in the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

The police report indicates no charges were filed. That section of the report was left blank.

``As far as we know, no charges were filed,'' said Midland city attorney Keith Stretcher. ``I don't think it's unusual that charges weren't filed.''

The police report was released after an open records request was submitted to Midland officials in March. City officials had declined to release the records because the victims were under 18.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Bush Harken Insider Trading Collection

Don't let Bush fool you, he's as slimy a businessman as any that ran Enron.

Harken Energy Chronology
October 25, 2002

The purpose of this chronology is to show plainly and clearly that:

1. President George W. Bush did indeed have material non-public knowledge of adverse financial conditions at Harken Energy Co. prior to the sale of his Harken stock and therefore violated 15 U.S.C. § 78u-1 , insider trading of securities based upon material non-public information.

2. The Securities and Exchange Commission was indeed aware of Bush’s insider trading violation and chose to stand down.

3. While serving on the Board of Directors at Harken Energy Company, George W. Bush’s performance, motives and ethics were no different than those of the corporate executives and officers of Enron, Worldcom or any other national corporation being criticized by Bush for doing what he did.

4. The Aloha Petroleum sale was an act of fraud and Bush was in a position to know it and prevent it.

5. George W. Bush sought business dealings with people strongly connected to and involved with BCCI, the empire of fraud and crime.


Harken Energy Corporation Internal Documents
October 31, 2002

"The documents the Center [for Public Integrity] has obtained do not unambiguously resolve the question of what Bush knew about the sale of the Aloha subsidiary."

Board was told of risks before Bush stock sale
October 30, 2002

"One week before George W. Bush's now-famous sale of stock in Harken Energy Corp. in 1990, Harken was warned by its lawyers that Bush and other members of the troubled oil company's board faced possible insider trading risks if they unloaded their shares."

Harvard invested heavily in Harken
October 30, 2002

"Back then there was relatively little focus on one major reason for the loss: Harvard Management's large and ill-timed bet on little-known Harken Energy Co., whose board included George W. Bush, then the son of the US president and now the president himself. Even as losses mounted, Harvard Management bailed out the troubled company, first by splitting up Harken and then by sheltering Harken's liabilities in a partnership"

Bush Oil Firm Did Enron-Style Deal - Report
October 9, 2002

"President Bush's former oil firm formed a partnership with Harvard University that concealed the company's financial woes and may have misled investors, a student and alumni group said in a report on Wednesday."

Memos: Bush knew of Harken's problems
July 12, 2002

"When President Bush sold more than 200,000 shares in Harken Energy Corp. in June 1990, he said he did not know the company was in bad financial shape. But memos from the company show in great detail that he was apprised of how badly the company's fortunes were failing before he sold his stock -- and that he was warned by company lawyers against selling stock based on insider information."

Bush: Don't do as I did. President's proposals would bar type of loans he got from Harken Energy
July 11, 2002

"President Bush borrowed money from oil company Harken Energy Corp. while he was a member of its board, a practice he condemned this week as part of his plan to curb corporate abuse and fraud, the White House acknowledged Thursday."

Bush and Harken Energy
July 10, 2002

"Although the law requires prompt disclosure of what are called insider sales, or sales by senior executives, Mr Bush did not inform the securities and exchange commission (SEC), the US market regulator, until 34 weeks later. So technically Mr Bush was at fault."

Bush and Lay: A Common Pattern of Stock Dumps?
February 2, 2002

"In June of 1990, Bush sold two-thirds of the Harken stock he had received in the Spectrum 7 deal--and collected $318,430 more than it was worth when he first obtained it. Get low, sell high? Anything wrong with that? The month before this sale, Harken appointed Bush to a committee to determine, as Ivins and Dubose put it, "how restructuring [of the firm] would affect ordinary shareholders." According to Ivins and Dubose, who note the previous reporting work of "U.S. News and World Report," when Bush served on this committee, he was privy to information indicating the company was in trouble. He then dumped his stocks before this news became public. "U.S. News" concluded that at the time of the sale there was "substantial evidence to suggest that Bush knew Harken was in dire straits.""

Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings
July 30, 1999

"By the end of September 1986, the deal was done. Harken assumed $3.1 million in debts and swapped $2.2 million of its stock for a company that was hemorrhaging money, though it had oil and gas reserves projected to produce $4 million in future net revenue. Harken, a firm that liked to attach itself to stars, had also acquired Bush, whom it used not as an operating manager but as a high-profile board member."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- srv/politics...

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SEC Issues Subpoena To Frist, Sources Say
Records Sought On Sale of Stock

By Carrie Johnson and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 13, 2005; Page A01

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has been subpoenaed to turn over personal records and documents as federal authorities step up a probe of his July sales of HCA Inc. stock, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued the subpoena within the past two weeks, after initial reports that Frist, the Senate's top Republican official, was under scrutiny by the agency and the Justice Department for possible violations of insider trading laws.


Frist aides previously said he had been contacted by regulators but did not mention that the lawmaker had received a formal request for documents. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the investigation, said Frist is expected to testify under oath about what he knew about the company's health in the weeks before he sold stock. Frist has told reporters that he did nothing wrong and that he directed the sale to eliminate potential conflicts as he considered a 2008 presidential bid.

The formal request for documents usually presages an acceleration of a federal probe. In Frist's case, regulators had to proceed with caution due to his status in Congress and their mutual desire to avoid triggering constitutional objections to the release of documents. The disclosure of the subpoena comes as Democrats blasted Frist anew for his financial and personal ties to Hospital Corporation of America, a Nashville chain founded in 1968 by his father and his brother, Thomas Frist Jr. Critics yesterday seized on a report that Frist held a substantial amount of his family's hospital stock outside of blind trusts between 1998 and 2002 -- a time when he asserted he did not know how much of the stock he owned.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Frist earned tens of thousands of dollars from HCA stock in a partnership controlled by his brother, outside of the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest.

"It seems that for years, Frist may have misled his constituents and the American people about his health care industry stock holdings and the conflict of interest they created as he drafted our nation's health care policy," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney. "This deal raises even more questions about the Republican culture of corruption in Washington, D.C."

During his decade in the Senate, Frist has been active in shaping health care policy, including creation of a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Republican ethics lawyer Jan W. Baran also scored Frist for his handling of his trusts. "This shows Senator Frist's capacity for clumsiness and bad timing," Baran said. "He was trying to insulate himself from political charges and now finds himself trying to defend himself because of the transparency of his holdings."

The subpoena for documents related to the July stock sales was written carefully to avoid asking for documents related directly to Frist's legislative actions, according to sources. By keeping the request focused on his personal activities, experts said, the SEC avoided raising objections from Senate lawyers who might otherwise have fought the request on the grounds of constitutional separation of powers.

The wording in the subpoena also ensured that Frist did not have to tell colleagues about the document request or to otherwise involve them in the investigation, congressional aides said.

The executive branch is prohibited from seeking documents or testimony that relate to "legislative acts and the motivation for the performance of legislative acts," said Kenneth Gross of Skadden Arps, an ethics law expert. The ban is part of what is called the Constitution's "speech and debate" clause, which insulates Congress from unwarranted intrusions by the executive branch of government. Writing a subpoena that does not run afoul of the clause -- and also possibly trigger a public disclosure of the subpoena -- required careful work.

"There are some gray areas, clearly, and it could be tricky," said Baran, of Wiley Rein & Fielding. Members of the House of Representatives must disclose to the full House when they are subpoenaed. The Senate has its own rules that sometimes require the body to deal with subpoenas, experts say, but the Frist subpoena apparently has not triggered any of them.

A spokesman for Frist said yesterday: "As we have indicated, Senator Frist has been fully cooperating with the authorities conducting the inquiries and will continue to do so, including keeping our public comments to a minimum. The issuance of a subpoena would be an expected and normal part of that process."

Within days of Frist's July stock sale, HCA warned investors about weaker-than-expected financial performance, which sent the stock price spiraling downward by 9 percent in one day. Frist may have begun the process of selling the stock April 29, months before the company's troubles were clear, according to e-mail messages between the Tennessee Republican, his chief counsel and his personal accountant that were reviewed by The Washington Post.

Former SEC enforcement chief and retired federal judge Stanley Sporkin said the agency has a "rich history" of probing officials at the highest level -- from Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas to Carter administration budget chief Bert Lance.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, a former House GOP member from California, has removed himself from hearing evidence on or voting on the case, citing his ties to Frist.

Staff writer Charles Babington contributed

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. House Majority leader Tom DeLay was arrested on Thursday after he turned himself in at a sheriff's office in Houston to face money laundering and conspiracy charges, his lawyer said.

DeLay posted a $10,000 bond and was released near midday. By going to the Harris County Sheriff's Department in Houston, he evaded the media corps that had gathered at a courthouse where he had been expected to appear in his home district in Fort Bend County outside Houston.

A warrant had been issued for DeLay on Wednesday in what an official said was procedural step that would require him to surrender and be fingerprinted and photographed by authorities.

DeLay is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Friday in Austin.

DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, accused Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle of engaging in vindictive politics and trying to smear DeLay by having the arrest warrant issued.

"Now Ronnie Earle has what he was after, which was a mug shot," DeGuerin said.

DeLay was indicted by a state grand jury in Austin for conspiracy and money laundering in a campaign finance scheme tied to his political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, or TRMPAC. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

DeLay is accused of laundering $190,000 in corporate campaign contributions through the Republican National Committee for distribution in 2002 to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature.

Texas law forbids the use of corporate money in political campaigns and DeLay has denied any wrongdoing.

"He's ready to fight," DeGuerin said.

Also on Thursday, DeGuerin filed a legal motion calling on presiding state District Judge Bob Perkins to recuse himself from the case because of donations he made to the
DeGuerin also asked the court to move the trial out of Travis County because of "massive and unrelenting media coverage."

DeLay was indicted on September 28 and immediately resigned as majority leader, the second-ranking position in the U.S. House of Representatives, as required by House Republican rules. He was allowed to keep his congressional seat.

DeLay and his lawyers have filed motions to dismiss the charges.

TRMPAC's activities contributed to Republicans taking control of the Texas Legislature for the first time since the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.

DeLay helped choreograph a Republican campaign that led to a controversial remapping of Texas congressional districts and added five Republicans to the U.S. House.

Along with the TRMPAC investigation, DeLay has been criticized in the past year for ethics problems involving lobbyists, fund-raising and foreign travel

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did George W. Bush once have a financial relationship with Enron? In 1986, according to a publicly available record, the two drilled for oil together--at a time when Bush was a not-too-successful oil man in Texas and his oil venture was in dire need of help. Bush's business association with Enron, it seems, has not previously been reported.

In 1986, Spectrum 7, a privately owned oil company chaired by Bush faced serious trouble. Two years earlier, Bush had merged his failing Bush Exploration Company (previously known as Arbusto--the Spanish word for shrub) with the profitable Spectrum 7, and he was named chief executive and director of the company. Bush was paid $75,000 a year and handed 1.1 million shares, according to "First Son," Bill Minutaglio's biography of Bush. Under this deal, Bush ended up owning about 15 percent of Spectrum 7. By the end of 1985, Spectrum's fortunes had reversed. With oil prices falling, the company was losing money and on the verge of collapse. To save the firm, Bush began negotiations to sell Spectrum 7 to Harken Energy, a large Dallas-based energy firm owned mostly by billionaire George Soros, Saudi businessman Abdullah Taha Baksh and the Harvard Management Corporation.

The deal took months to work out. In September of 1986, Spectrum 7 and Harken announced they had reached an agreement. Spectrum 7 shareholders, under the plan, would receive Harken stock. Bush publicly said that Spectrum 7 would continue to operate in Midland, Texas, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harken and that he would become an active member of Harken's board of directors. As Minutaglio noted, the deal would give Bush about $600,000 in Harken shares and $50,000 to $120,000 a year in consultant's fees. It also would provide $2.25 million in Harken stock for a company with a net value close to $1.8 million.

As the details of the Spectrum-Harken acquisition--which Bush badly needed--were being finalized, Enron Oil and Gas Company, a subsidiary of Enron Corporation, announced on October 16, 1986, that it had completed a well producing both oil and natural gas in Martin County, Texas. An Enron Oil and Gas press release reported the well was producing 24,000 cubic feet of natural gas and 411 barrels of oil per day in the Belspec Fusselman Field, 15 miles northeast of Midland. Enron held 52 percent interest in the well. According to the company's announcement, 10 percent belonged to Spectrum 7. At that point, Spectrum 7 was still Bush's company. Harken's completion of the Spectrum 7 acquisition was announced in early November.

To spell it out: George W. Bush and Enron Oil and Gas were in business together in 1986--when Ken Lay was head of Enron. (Lay was named Enron chairman in February of that year.) How did this deal come about? Was this the only project in which Bush and Enron were partners? A call placed to the White House produced no response. Karen Denne, an Enron spokeswoman, says "I can't tell you anything about" that project, explaining Enron "sold all its domestic exploration and production assets about two years ago to EOG Reources" and probably did not retain records regarding that well. As for the possibility Spectrum 7 invested in other Enron ventures, she notes, "You're referencing something that happened in 1986. I can check, but we're pretty short-staffed now." Elizabeth Ivers, a spokeswoman for EOG Resources (formerly Enron Oil and Gas), says, "If we did have any records on that well, it would be nothing that we would share with the public. We do not disclose the details or specifics of who we have well interests with."

After the Enron affair began generating front-page headlines, Bush attempted to distance himself from Enron and Lay. In early January, the President claimed he and Lay had not always been close pals. "He was a supporter of [Texas Governor] Ann Richards in my run [against her] in 1994," Bush asserted, noting he did not get "to know Ken" and work with him until after he won that election. But campaign records show Lay donated three times as much money to Bush in that race as he did to Richards. Moreover, contacts between Lay and the Bush family pre-dated that campaign. In 1992, Lay chaired the host committee for the 1992 Republican convention in Houston, where Bush's father won his second presidential nomination. And Lay was a sleepover guest at the White House of President George H.W. Bush.

The Enron-George W. Bush connection goes back further than the President has suggested. But does that mean the relationship between the younger Bush and Lay stretches to the mid-1980s? The deal could have happened without contact between Lay and Bush. But most company heads would be interested to know that the son of the sitting vice-president had invested in one of their enterprises. If Lay had been aware of the partnership, that would not prove the two were pals or that Bush and Spectrum 7 had received undue consideration from Enron. But given Enron's penchant to use political ties to win and protect business opportunities, it is tough not to wonder if this Bush-Enron venture involved special arrangements. This is certainly one more Enron partnership that deserves scrutiny--especially since George W. Bush has yet to acknowledge it. The Spectrum-Enron deal is either an odd historical coincidence or an indication there's more to learn about the Bush-Enron association.


On March 6, two days after this story was first posted, "The New York Times" ran on the front page of its business section a story headlined, "Bush Joined Unit of Enron In '86 Venture To Seek Oil." The article, written by Jim Yardley, essentially reported the facts noted above. Halfway into the piece, it noted, "A columnist in The Nation, the liberal political journal,...wrote about the deal this week in its online edition."

While the Bush White House did not respond to a request from "The Nation" for information, White House spokesman Dan Bartlett told the "Times" the President "has no recollection of this specific deal." Bartlett maintained that in 1986 Spectrum 7 was involved in more than 175 wells. Ted Collins Jr., who was president of Enron Oil and Gas at the time, told the newspaper that Bush did not have "a special relationship" with the company. Collins also asserted that Lay back then "wouldn't have known who Spectrum 7 was and that George W. Bush had anything to do with a company called Spectrum 7."

Since the story was originally posted, I have found records suggesting that Bush's Spectrum 7 had a second partnership with Enron. In May of 1985, a subsidiary of InterNorth, an Omaha-based energy company, announced the completion of a well in Martin County, Texas. According to "PR Newswire," the company said that Spectrum 7 owned an 18.75 percent interest in the well. (The rest was held by the InterNorth subsidiary.) The well, like the one mentioned above, was located at the Belspec Fusselman Field. That same month, InterNorth merged with Houston Natural Gas (HNG)--which gave birth to Enron. HNG/InterNorth changed its name to Enron in 1986, and the InterNorth subsidiary that had invested in the well with Spectrum 7 became part of Enron Oil and Gas. If Spectrum 7 and Enron Oil and Gas had retained their interests in the well, that would mean that Bush's oil company was in partnership with Enron before the deal reported above. Since Bush, according to his spokesperson, does not have a memory for such details and EOG Resources says it will not release any information about wells it has owned, it will be tough to confirm that the InterNorth-Spectrum 7 venture became an Enron-Spectrum 7 enterprise.

On another, more important, Enron-Bush point: Way back in 1994, I reported that Rodolfo Terragno, a former Argentine cabinet minister, had claimed that when he headed the Public Works and Services Department in 1988, George W. Bush, whom Terragno did not know, called him and pressured Terragno to award a pipeline contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Enron. (See http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020204&s=corn.) Terragno, who said he resisted this and subsequent importuning, could not provide proof that the call had occurred. (How can you prove you were phoned by the son of the Vice-President?) Bush's aides denied Terragno's account. But it's worth taking a second look at those denials.

At the time I was pursuing the Terragno story, Bush was running for Texas governor, and I asked the campaign whether Bush had spoken to Terragno about the pipeline project and whether he had any business relationship with Enron. Bush aide Karen Hughes faxed me a terse statement: "The answer to your questions are no and none. Your questions are apparently addressed to the wrong person." An Enron spokesperson said, "Enron has not had any business dealings with George W. Bush, and we don't have any knowledge that he was involved in a pipeline project in Argentina."

The recent news about the 1986 Enron-Bush venture in the Belspec Fusselman Field undermines (to be polite about it) those 1994 statements from Bush and Enron denying any business relationship between the scion and the company. The existence of this oil partnership in 1986 (or one in 1985) has no bearing on the veracity of Terragno's tale. But it shows the credibility of the Bush gang and that of Enron deserve questioning when either one is talking about the other.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been charged with perjury, making a false statement and obstruction of justice in relation to the investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame a CIA agent in an act of retaliation against administration critic Ambassador Joe Wilson.

Mr Libby has stepped down from his role in the White House pending the outcome of the case against him.

The case arises out of a 2003 column by political commentator Bob Novak which named Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson's wife, as a CIA agent. Mr Novak quoted senior administration sources implying that there had been an element of nepotism in Mr Wilson's appointment to travel to Niger to investigate allegations that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium yellow cake to make a nuclear weapon.

Mr Wilson's trip in turn was prompted by a series of documents which Mr Wilson reported had been forged.

However in spite Mr Wilson reporting back that the allegations were flawed they were nevertheless included in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address immediately prior to the beginning of the war against Iraq.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is currently holding a press conference to describe the decision to indict Mr Libby

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush Cheerleader Photos

Did you know that GW's only real claim to fame, is that he was head cheerleader at his all male private high school? No? Attached please find a news article that mentions this, plus some real and unreal photos of GW in action.

cheerleader.jpg, image/jpeg, 150x125

Reinventing George W. Bush: From Cheerleader to Cowboy

Many Americans are comfortable with the managed, false persona they have of the current President of the United States. They view George W. Bush as a rough-riding Texan who, when not attending to the affairs of the most powerful nation in the world, is busy clearing brush on his West Texas ranch. In truth, George Bush is far from being a "common" man as he does not understand the trials of American life. He may not even be considered a true Texan.

President Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut. As his father made his first million in the oil industry, the Bush family spent George and Jeb's childhood in between Midland, Texas, Kennebunkport, Maine and Jupiter Island, Florida. As part of the Bush-Walker clan, the family had access to luxurious homes and compounds around the nation.

As a child, George pursued his interest in baseball but was known for inability to hit a ball. This probably didn't matter much to the young George Bush as he was probably the richest kid on his team, owning over a million shares of his father's company at the time.

Bush's high school of choice was the elite boarding school, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. While in high school, Bush gave baseball another shot but found his calling in being the head cheerleader for the all-boy school (he should be thankful that he did not attend a Texas high school).

After graduating from the same high school that his privileged father attended, George Bush headed off to Yale University as yet another legacy admission (Bush now opposes legacy admissions despite his own reliance on them along with one of his daughters). Bush's first year at Yale concluded with his grades swirling to the bottom 20% of the student body just as kegs of beer swirled into emptiness. At the conclusion of his Yale experience, Bush left his mark on the prestigious school with a "C" average and no academic or athletic accomplishments.

Upon his graduation from Yale in 1968, George Bush, in order to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam, enlisted into the Texas Air National Guard with the supposed help of the then Texas Speaker of the House, Ben Barnes. After jumping the waiting list and joining the Guard, Bush applied for pilot training stating that "flying is a lifetime goal." Shortly after the announcement of drug testing in the military, Bush failed to show up for his annual physical examination and lost his flight status. Bush's stated lifetime goal of flying crashed and burned.

On month after the loss of his flight status, Bush requested a transfer to Alabama in order to work on the senate campaign of Winton Blount After a bit of back and forth, Bush eventually received orders to report to a unit within the Alabama Air National Guard where no one could recall his presence on the base. Subsequently, Winton Blount lost his bid for a senate seat with the help of the young Bush.

One year after being grounded from flight, George Bush requested a discharge from the Texas Air National Guard in order to return to Massachusetts and attend Harvard Business School (Bush should be able to relate to a "Senator from Massachusetts" as he spent many years there himself). The request was approved the next day by his commanding officer and Bush was released from the National Guard, six months shy of his obligation not including any time allegedly missed in Alabama.

While at Harvard, Bush frequently walked with pride, wearing an old flight jacket from the Air National Guard which showcased his former pilot status. To his credit, Bush survived the rigorous MBA program. Upon graduation, Bush loaded up his Oldsmobile with clothes and $20,000 in "trip money" and headed to Midland, Texas to settle in. After an extended detour to China via Hawaii, Bush finally made it to West Texas in order to make his mark on the oil industry just as his father had done.

Over the years in Midland, Bush managed to run several oil companies into the ground. While on the verge of collapse, his final company, Spectrum 7, was purchased by Harken Energy leaving Bush with several hundred thousand dollars and a seat on the board of directors. At the time, Harken was largely owned by billionaire George Soros and wealthy Saudis.

In between infrequent board meetings Bush stayed busy by pretending to play baseball as an owner of the Dallas Rangers. While only owning 2% of the organization (using money from a shady sell of Harken stock), Bush took the lead as the front man for the Texas baseball team. As his father was waging the first war in Iraq, Bush sat in the Ranger's dugout requesting sunflower seeds from bat boys.

Bush served on the board of Harken until 1992 and resigned after producing a SEC investigation that attracted unwanted attention onto Bush Sr. and his floundering reelection campaign.

After his father's defeat in 1992, George Bush decided to run for governor of Texas and in 1995 was sworn in after garnering just 53% of the vote. As governor of Texas, Bush managed to increase the high school drop out rate from 21% to 43% while changing the methodology so that the public thought that the number was actually 2%. Bush also managed to grasp the national record for executing more people than any other governor in history.

In 1999, Bush began his campaign for the presidency and the rest is, of course, history.

Clearly, the cowboy image that Bush's handlers convey to the public was created to distract from his life of privilege and under-achievement. Having been born into wealth and influence just as his father, George W. Bush rode his father's coattails into the halls of the White House.

George Bush never had to worry about not making an insurance payment, car payment or mortgage payment. Our "wartime" president has never lived the mundane life of waking up each weekday, commuting to work and putting in a set number of hours only to return home and do it all over again, day after day after day. Bush has never experienced the redundant yet challenging life required of many responsible Americans. Given the extreme amount of time Bush spends on holiday, he could never fathom only having two weeks of vacation per year.

America should be aware that despite the façade created by his public relations team, George W. Bush is yet another privileged child who has never truly experienced American life, American struggle, or sadly, even the satisfaction of overcoming extremely difficult times through hard work and self reliance. While George W. Bush seems to have done many things in his lifetime, where are the actual accomplishments that make him a fit and qualified leader of this great nation?

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Actual GW Bush head cheerleader photo
by Jaguar Johnny Monday, Oct. 11, 2004 at 9:41 AM

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