Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The rich get richer...

There is at least one constituency group that has made out like gangbusters these last few years under President Bush, according to the Wall Street Journal:


The WSJ reported Tuesday that the number of millionaires in the U.S. is up 14 percent. The 2004 World Wealth Report revealed that the U.S. and Canada added more new millionaires last year than Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East combined.

“In the U.S., rising stock markets, strong real estate prices, wealth-friendly tax cuts and low interest rates combined to create strong returns for the wealthy.”

And needless to say, they aren’t exactly spreading this wealth around (except for their donations to the Bush election campaign). Meanwhile, the economy continues to lose jobs as it sputters along while the government racks up record deficits.

Tortured reasoning

Here is an interesting article in Slate about President Bush’s chief legal counsel Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales, a political appointee from Texas, was apparently the author and co-author, respectively, of two of the infamous memos that try to provide justifications of the torture of foreign prisoners.

The thing that caught my attention, though, was the headline Slate used for the story out on their front page:

Bush’s Execution-Lovin’, Torture-Denyin’, Treaty-Hatin’ Lawyer

It would be funny if it weren’t so true.

Celebrity endorsements update

Time to update my running list of celebrity endorsements for this year’s presidential campaign.

Needless to say, John Kerry is the runaway favorite among most celebrities.
According to The Hill:

“A horde of celebrities has asked if they can help the Kerry campaign defeat Bush in November. There were so many requests, in fact, that it’s almost more celebrity help than the Kerry campaign needs or can use.”

Here are the latest additions to the Kerry celebrity endorsement list:

Jon Bon Jovi
James Gandolfini
Steve Buscemi
Richard Belzer
Robin Williams
Billy Crystal
Neil Diamond
Robert Redford
Tom Hanks
Danny DeVito
Dave Mathews Band
The Eagles
Sheryl Crowe
Bruce Springsteen
Emmylou Harris
Blink 182
Willie Nelson
John Mellencamp
Wyclef Jean
Whoopi Goldberg
Ben Affleck
Rhea Perlman
Ben Stiller
Dustin Hoffman
Richard Gere
Jessica Lange
John Williams (film score composer)
James Brolin
Ted Danson
Mary Steenburgen
Jason Alexander
Christina Applegate
Oliver Stone
Sharon Stone
Angelica Huston
Tobey Maguire
Brad Pitt
Christian Slater
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Barry Manilow
Jack Nicholson
Martin Sheen
Maya Angelou
Michael Douglas
Wesley Snipes
Goldie Hawn
Sally Field
Christopher Reeve
John Travolta
Annette Bening
Kevin Spacey
Alan Cumming
Ed Begley Jr.
Steve Harvey
Leslie Ann Warren

And those previously mentioned:

Meg Ryan
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jennifer Aniston
Kevin Costner
Barbara Streisand
James Taylor
Larry David
Carole King
Dennis Hopper
Kathleen Turner
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
Aaron Sorkin
Quincy Jones
Penny Marshall
Bette Midler
Jerry Seinfeld
Uma Thurman
Stephen Stills
Chevy Chase
Kevin Bacon
Paul Newman
Kate Hudson
Russell Crowe
Harvey Weinstein
Jennifer Garner
Robert DeNiro
Michael J. Fox
Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary)

As for the Bush campaign, the list is sparse by comparison. A web search only came up with three new names I had overlooked before:

Golfers Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller
and comedian Dennis Miller

Previously mentioned were:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Bruce Willis
Tom Selleck

I’m sure there are a few more out there but so far they aren’t making themselves too visible.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Summing up the outrages

It is difficult to summarize all of the outrages of the Bush administration into just one paragraph, but Eric Alterman makes a good effort:

“It’s hard to say which is the best representation of what this war is doing to and has done to this country.  Is it the lies that were told to get us into it?  Is it the fact that we are picking up innocent people off the street and torturing them?  Is it that we have suspended the most basic civil liberties in our own country?  Is it that the work of professional intelligence agencies has been corrupted?  Is it that we have drawn resources away from the fight against Al Qaida which has completely regrouped?  Is it that we are creating more terrorists?  Is it that more than 700 Americans have been killed and thousands have been seriously injured?  Is it that thousands of Iraqis have been killed but nobody is keeping an account of the numbers of their deaths?  Is it that we are now more hated around the world than we have ever been?  Is it that we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars while actually decreasing our security?  Is it that we are doing all this while starving the most crucial homeland security programs?  Is it that everyone who told the truth about what was being planned has been dismissed and seen their characters attacked?  The usually soft-spoken and moderate intelligence analyst and author Thomas Powers does not exaggerate when he notes that Bush and the neocons have "caused the greatest foreign policy catastrophe in modern U.S. history." 

And that is just the foreign policy outrages.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Emperor Bush has no clothes!

A group of 26 former diplomats and military officials have joined forces to oppose Bush's reelection campaign.

"Prominent members include retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East during the administration of Bush's father; retired Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., ambassador to Britain under President Clinton and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Reagan; and Jack F. Matlock Jr., a member of the National Security Council under Reagan and ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991."

"We agreed that we had just lost confidence in the ability of the Bush administration to advocate for American interests or to provide the kind of leadership that we think is essential," said William C. Harrop, the first President Bush's ambassador to Israel, and earlier to four African countries."

Finally more people are starting to come forward and admit that the emperor has no clothes. The group is supposed to issue a formal statement on Wednesday so I will link to that when it becomes available.