It's Still the Economy

"I don't care what number crunchers say," Bush declared in March 2002, disputing economic statistics that minimized the effect of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the national economy. Yet when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from a 3.3% annual rate in the second quarter of 2003 to a 8.2% annual rate in the third quarter, the White House trumpeted the news as evidence that its policies were successfully stimulating the economy.

Low interest rates and an influx of cash from tax cuts had led analysts to predict a growth spurt, but the size of the increase in growth rate took many by surprise. Household spending increased from 3.8% in the second quarter to 6.6% in the third quarter; corporate spending increased by 11% over the same period. Exports increased by 9% in the third quarter, helped by a dollar whose value relative to other currencies had declined, making US goods cheaper.

But, in the view of many analysts, a growth spurt driven by consumer spending and funded by a tax cut is unlikely to last.

Pox Americana

by Barry Crimmins
Reprinted from the Boston Phoenix with permission of the author.

It was the worst of times, and it was the worst of times. The 12 months labeled, stored, and referenced as "2003" will be forever remembered as a "war year." And wars are the worst of things upon which to waste years.

Is Bush A Bigger Liar Than Clinton?

by Bill Gallagher
Reprinted from the Niagara Falls Reporter with permission.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." -- President Bill Clinton.

"I came to this office to solve problems not to pass them off to future presidents and future generations." -- President George W. Bush.

DETROIT -- Pick your favorite presidential lie and measure its impact, especially on our children.

Bill Clinton's big lie was stupid, self-absorbed and degrading. It got him impeached and put the nation through a long, painful ordeal as the president squandered his leadership to protect his own hide.

Clinton's recklessness distracted us from more important matters, but as despicable as his private behavior and public lies were, they will have little, if any, consequence for future generations other than for historical curiosity.

George W. Bush's lie is ongoing and his reckless government spending and borrowing will do serious long-term harm to the U.S. economy and burden our children and grandchildren with unconscionable debt.

Petroeuro Futures

Public statements by the administration, and stories in the mainstream media have not generally ascribed any economic implications to the war in Iraq. If the economy and the war in Iraq are connected in the political consciousness of most Americans, it may be, as recent polls show, only that most Americans now consider Bush's performance poor on both fronts. Meanwhile, most of the administration justifications for the war have now been shown to be false. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's public revelation in July that there was no Iraqi attempt to purchase fissionable material from Niger was apparently regarded as so threatening that administration officials may have committed felonies by identifying Wilson's wife, a CIA operative, in retaliation. As we've noted elsewhere in The Dubya Report, despite continuing efforts to link the war in Iraq to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush himself recently admitted there was no connection. Similarly, while Dick Cheney referred to an alleged Iraqi connection to al-Qaeda as recently as a September 14 appearance on Meet the Press, the likelihood of any recent relationship was dismissed by a Top Secret British intelligence report leaked to the BBC in February. The October report by former UN weapons inspector David Kay and his team of 1,500 investigators not only documents that no actual weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) have been found in Iraq, it also demonstrates that, while Saddam Hussein may have wanted to rebuild the weapons program he had in the 1980s, he was prevented from doing so by the UN sanctions and inspections.

How the Poll Results on Iraq Were Manipulated

by James Zogby

Reprinted from Arab News with permission.

Early in President Bush's recent public relations campaign to rebuild support for the US war effort in Iraq, Vice President Cheney appeared on "Meet the Press." Attempting to make the case that the US was winning in Iraq, Cheney made the following observations:

9/11 Redux

Over the last two months Bush invoked the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in response to questions about:

  • Campaign fundraising
  • Tax cuts
  • Unemployment
  • The deficit
  • Airport security
  • Afghanistan
  • The length, cost and death toll of the Iraq occupation

and to justify his energy policy.

Power Plays

"Politics, not lack of power, is to blame for the great American blackout," wrote the Economist on August 21. While cautioning that "not all the facts are in," researchers at Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), a private energy consulting firm, have tentatively concluded that the massive power blackout of August 14 began with a series of failures by First Energy, a power conglomerate created from the merger of Toledo Edison, Cleveland Electric, Ohio Edison, Pennsylvania Power, Pennsylvania Electric, Metropolitan Edison and Jersey Central Power & Light. The nation's fourth largest investor-owned electric system, according to its web site, First Energy has been cited previously for plant mismanagement and accounting irregularities.

What Happens When The Big Cheese Stands Alone?

by Jim Lobe
Reprinted from TomPaine.com.

Some call the present era one of U.S. "hegemony." Others, especially in Europe, call it "empire."

Either way, apart from the zealots of the Christian Right and pro-Likud neo-conservatives in and outside the administration of President George W. Bush, the growing consensus among foreign policy thinkers is that the more Washington indulges its unilateralist and military instincts, the faster its present hyperpower status will erode.


byBarry Crimmins
Reprinted from the Boston Phoenix with permission of the author.

You can spin wars and bloat-the-rich tax policy out of lies for only so long

White House puppeteer-in-chief Karl Rove will no doubt erect the Iraq "triumph" as the main support beam in the "Elect George W. Bush — Just This Once" campaign in 2004. By this time next year, it might be wiser to run W. as the propagator of the SARS epidemic.

Even America’s lap-dog corporate media have begun to question the court-appointed prez’s trump-card war (at least every now and then when they tear themselves away from crucial updates on Laci Peterson’s condition). Dems who supported the Iraqi invasion can follow the media’s lead and make the plausible case that they had been misled to war by Rove’s charge Bush, a marionette that never runs the risk of making the Pinocchian transformation from wooden creature to human being. After all, such a metamorphosis would require truthfulness.

Iraq's free fall

by Imad Khadduri
Reprinted from YellowTimes.org.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This apparently became the case a few months after the end of the 1991 war when Hussain Kamel, the man in charge of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, ordered the destruction of the chemical and biological materials and their warheads. The nuclear weapons program had already come to a halt on the first night of bombing in January 1991. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. Hussain Kamel even disclosed the location of the hidden documents relating to the remnants of the chemical and biological programs during his futile escape to Jordan in 1995.


Subscribe to RSS - 2003