Tag Archives: Bush

when the past keeps coming back … no lessons learned


In this era of trump, you would think we would be living our 21st Century lives but the past keeps coming back …    so, here’s a repost from ThinkProgress of things we need to be aware and hopefully get rid of by voting for the Democratic Party to end the era of trump ASAP

By ThinkProgress War Room 4/25/2013 

13 Reasons To Be Glad George W. Bush Is No Longer President

With the opening of the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas, Texas there has been some creative re-telling of history and the Bush legacy — a legacy full of terrible consequences, intended and otherwise, that we’re still having to deal with to this very day.

Here’s a reminder from our ThinkProgress colleagues why you should still be happy that those 8 long Bush years are over:

  • Authorized the use of torture

Though the US Code bans torture, Bush personally issued a memorandum six days after the September 11th attacks instructing the CIA that it could use “enhanced interrogation techniques” against suspected terrorists. The methods included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and “stress positions.” A recently-released bipartisan committee concluded it was “indisputable” that these techniques constituted torture, and that the highest authorities in the country bore responsibility for the creation of torture programs at Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black sites” around the world

  • Politicized climate science

Bush’s “do-nothing” approach to climate change prevented the U.S. from pursuing meaningful action. Though he claimed that global warming was a serious problem that was either a natural phenomenon or caused by humans, the administration routinely edited scientific reports to downplay the threat of climate change, censored CDC testimony that climate change was a public health threat, and promoted climate-denying studies financed by ExxonMobil. At the end of the Bush presidency, a top intelligence adviser warned the incoming president that climate change was a massive destabilizing national security threat that would lead to “Dust Bowl” conditions in the Southwest.

Rather than consolidating gains after the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bush and his neoconservative allies pushed for removing Saddam Hussein from power, kicking off a war that led to one mistake after another. Ten years later, the war is estimated to have cost cost up to $6 trillion and resulted in the death of more than 100,000 Iraqis, 4,000 Americans and another 31,000 wounded. Meanwhile, Afghanistan saw a resurgence of the Taliban after Bush shifted resources to Iraq.

  • Botched the response to Hurricane Katrina

Bush appointed Michael Brown — a man whose only real qualifications were political connections and a sting at the International Arabian Horse Association — to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2003 and he preceded to undo everything the Clinton Administration had done to make FEMA functional, botching the response to 2004′s Hurricane Frances so badly as to prompt calls for his firing. But Bush kept Brown on board and, as a detailed timeline of the response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrates, neither man took the storm seriously until it was too late. Bush, who famously said “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” midway through the crisis, thus presided over the most deaths due to a single natural disaster in the United States since 1900.

  • Defunded stem cell research

At the turn of the century there was perhaps no greater hope for finding cures to illnesses ranging from Alzheimer’s to diabetes than ongoing stem cell research. But months after taking office, Bush eliminated all federal funding for any new research involving stem cells, citing a religious objection to the use of embryos — even though the embryos in question were byproducts from couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and would have been destroyed by IVF clinics regardless. Twice more during his presidency, Bush vetoed legislation that would have restored funding.

  • Required Muslim men to register with the government

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, instituted an anti-terrorism program to register all male immigrants between 18 and 40 years old from 20 Arab and South Asian countries. Thousands of innocent men came forward to register, only to be rounded up for minor visa violations. Roughly 1,000 men and boys in the process of applying for permanent residence were arrested and confined in standing-room-only centers, enduring invasive strip searches and beatings by guards. Many were deported, while others were held for months after their immigration cases were resolved, without a shred of evidence they had any links to terrorism.

  • Reinstated the global gag rule

On Bush’s first day in office he reinstated a rule that prevented any non-profit doing work overseas from using any of their own, private money to fund family planning services. This so-called “Global Gag Rule” posed a serious threat to international maternal health, but it also cut off funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives, child health programs, and water and sanitation efforts.

  • Supported anti-gay discrimination

In 2004, President Bush endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), which would have banned same-sex couples from marrying in the U.S. Constitution. The Massachusetts Supreme Court had just ruled in favor of marriage equality, and Bush hoped to block the ruling from taking effect because “a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.” Though the FMA failed numerous times in Congress during Bush’s tenure, he exploited the issue of same-sex marriage to turn out conservative voters for the 2004 election. That year, 11 states added constitutional amendments outlawing same-sex marriage.

  • Further deregulated Wall Street

Under Bush, federal agencies eliminated regulations on predatory lending, capital requirements, and other Wall Street practices, allowing banks to engage in riskier and more destructive practices that contributed to the financial crisis that started on his watch. Bush’s Treasury Department also pushed for even further deregulation that would have given Wall Street more oversight over its own practices even after the housing collapse had begun.

  • Widened income inequality

The per-person benefits of Bush’s tax cuts accrued to the top one percent of Americans, as the rate for capital gains dropped to 15 percent. The CBO found that federal income taxes dropped far more as a percentage of the one percent’s income than for any other group after 2000.

  • Undermined worker protections

Under Bush, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, whose mission is to protect safe working conditions, issued 86 percent fewer rules or regulations and pulled 22 items from its agenda of proposed safety and health rules. The office’s funding and staff were also consistently reduced. Meanwhile, funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency charged with helping workers who claim discrimination against their employers, was similarly low and staffing fell even as the number of complaints increased, leading to a rising backlog of cases.

  • Ideological court appointments

Bush filled the federal bench with ideologues, including two-lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. These conservatives believe that corporations should be able to buy and sell elections, ruled against equal pay for equal work, and have sought to undermine a woman’s right to choose.

  • Presided over a dysfunctional executive branch

A 2008 analysis by the Center for Public Integrity documented more than 125 executive branch failures over Bush’s two terms. These included government breakdowns on “education, energy, the environment, justice and security, the military and veterans affairs, health care, transportation, financial management, consumer and worker safety,” and others. “I think we’ll look back on this period as one of the most destructive periods in American public life . . . both in terms of policy and process,” Thomas E. Mann, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution observed, noting “genuine distortion in the constitutional system, an exaggerated sense of presidential power and prerogative and acquiescence by a Republican Congress in the face of the first unified Republican government since Dwight Eisenhower.”

Miss Him Yet?

Then again, is it just me, or is this era of trump really feeling like more of the same, but it’s real doom and gloom?

A Victory for Tax Fairness:


National Women's Law Center - Don't Discount Women: Demand Fair Change Not Spare Change
Did your Senators do the right thing?
                Find out how your Senators voted on ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. And send them a quick message!
Take Action

The Senate voted 51 to 48 to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans. Ending these tax cuts would save $1 trillion over the next 10 years and help protect programs that are critical to women at every stage of their lives.
While some Senators did the right thing, others did not. Take two minutes to find out how your Senators voted and send them a message.
Our advocacy isn’t done when the vote is tallied. We need to make sure your Senators know that you are watching their votes because this issue will come up again.
We can’t afford to give even more tax breaks to those who need them least when so many women and families are struggling just to make ends meet. Ending the Bush-era tax cuts on income above $250,000 would help protect programs like child care, Pell Grants, Head Start, Medicaid, and Title X family planning services.
Please hold your Senators accountable by sending them a quick message.
Want to do more?
Next week the House of Representatives will be voting on this very same issue. Let’s help continue the pressure by calling your Representative today at 1-888-744-9958 and say that it’s time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share: we need to end the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000.
Your calls and emails are making a difference! Thanks again — and keep it up!
Sincerely,

Joan Entmacher Joan Entmacher Vice President, Family Economic Security National Women’s Law Center   

P.S. Remember that next week the House is voting on this same issue. So please get ready to make a quick call in support of ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.

Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two percent


National Women's Law Center - Don't Discount Women: Demand Fair Change Not Spare Change
                Stand Up for Tax Fairness
                Call your Members of Congress at 1-888-744-9958 and tell them that it’s time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share.
Call 1-888-744-9958 today!

It’s go time!
In less than 24 hours Congress will start to vote on whether to end — or extend — the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two percent.
Ending the Bush-era tax cuts on income above $250,000 per couple, as President Obama and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) have proposed, would help restore fairness to the tax code and protect programs vital to women and their families. It would give 98 percent of Americans their full tax cuts next year. And the wealthiest two percent would still receive tax breaks on their first $250,000! We simply can’t afford to give even more tax breaks to those who need them least when so many women and families are struggling just to make ends meet.
Calling is easy. And only takes a couple of minutes. Dial 1-888-744-9958 and listen to easy instructions and a sample script.
Ending the Bush-era tax cuts on income above $250,000 would save about $1 trillion over the next ten years — funding that’s urgently needed to protect programs like child care, Pell Grants, Head Start, Medicaid, and Title X family planning services. It’s time to stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of women and families. The richest Americans need to start paying their fair share of taxes.
There’s no time to waste: Call your Members of Congress at 1-888-744-9958 and tell them that it’s time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share: we need to end the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000.
Your Senators and Representative are getting ready to vote and they need to hear from you right NOW! Tell them that you expect them to stand up for women and families — and end the Bush tax cuts for the richest two percent!
Sincerely,

Joan Entmacher Joan Entmacher Vice President, Family Economic Security National Women’s Law Center   

P.S. When we are this close to a vote, calls are one of the most effective ways for us to make an impact. Please take just a few minutes to call your Members of Congress at 1-888-744-9958.

Tell Congress: Women Can’t Afford More Tax Cuts for the Richest Two Percent


It’s time for Congress to restore some fairness to the tax code. As early as next week, Congress will start to vote on whether to end — or extend — the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two percent.

Extending the Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $250,000 per couple as President Obama has proposed would give 98 percent of Americans their full tax cuts next year. And the wealthiest two percent would still receive tax breaks on their first $250,000! We simply can’t afford to give even more tax breaks to those who need them least when so many women and families are struggling just to make ends meet.

Call your Members of Congress at 1-888-744-9958 and tell them that it’s time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share: we need to end the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000.

Ending the Bush-era tax cuts on income above $250,000 would save about $1 trillion over the next ten years — funding that’s urgently needed to protect programs like child care, Pell Grants, Head Start, Medicaid, and Title X family planning services. It’s time to stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of women and families. The richest Americans need to start paying their fair share of taxes.

Can you take five minutes to make a call? Calling is easy. Dial 1-888-744-9958 and listen to easy instructions and a sample script.

Your Senators and Representative need to hear from you! Tell them that you expect them to stand up for women and families — and end the Bush tax cuts for the richest two percent!

Sincerely,

Joan Entmacher Vice President, Family Economic Security National Women’s Law Center

P.S. Know someone with a phone? Please multiply the power of your action by forwarding this to friends, family and colleagues who can help generate some calls.

A message from Alan Grayson



Pulling No Punches                      

           

           

Our favorite Congressman, and yours, was on national TV again last Thursday.  The subject was Mitt Romney and George W. Bush – what do they have in common?

REV. AL SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. The similarities are striking. How is he going to be able to run on this?

FORMER REP. ALAN GRAYSON: Well, first of all, I think America doesn’t need another President who’s simply trying to one-up his daddy. It seems like Romney’s main motivation is that he wants to be President because he father couldn’t make it. And I think that America has just had a bad experience with people who run for office because they want to be something, instead of people who run for office because they want to do something.

But there’s an additional problem here. The additional problem is that [Romney] was born with a silver spoon in some orifice, and he never was able to get it out. He acts like one of those out-of-touch rich people who has no way to relate to America’s suffering.

And there are a lot of people in America who are suffering.  If America consisted entirely of millionaires and billionaires, he might be the ideal president. But that’s not where America is today, and for the rest of us, he is a horror. . . .

SHARPTON:  It’s basically been a [Romney] campaign so far just attacking President Obama, and really not laying out a plan, and involving some of the same players that brought us into a foreign policy that was disastrous.  But it’s also on the economic side, Congressman, let me show you this. If you look at the facts, Romney is further right than George Bush. Let me show you on the economy side, Bush passed a huge tax cut. Romney is proposing a cut four times larger. Bush enacted Medicare expansion, Romney wants to end Medicare as we know it. Bush signed an increase to minimum wage, Romney opposes increasing minimum wage. Bush says global warming is caused by humans. Romney says we don’t know what causes global warming.

I mean, this guy is to the right of George Bush, which many of us thought was politically impossible.

GRAYSON: Well like George Bush, he thinks the only problem that’s facing America today is that rich people don’t have enough money. And he is bent on solving that problem with his tax cuts and tax giveaways for the rich, and for multinational corporations, at the expense of everyone else.

[Meanwhile,] the war against the poor continues, the war against the middle class continues, the war against women continues.   It’s like that old headlines in the New York Post. We are going to see it again. You remember the headline.  “Ford to New York: Drop Dead.”  Well, we’ll soon see the headline “Romney to America: Drop Dead.”  He’ll only be happy when he can strap us to the top of his car. . . .

SHARPTON: Now one of the things interesting, Congressman, is that . . . many prominent members of the Bush family, but not George W. Bush, have endorsed Mr. Romney.  George H. W. Bush has endorsed.  Barbara Bush has endorsed.  Jeb Bush has endorsed.  No George W. Bush yet.

But Rolling Stone uncovered this sound of Bush endorsing Romney for governor back in 2002, so George W. Bush has supported Romney. Let’s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH: I strongly stand with Mitt Romney because I believe he is the best person for the job of governor of Massachusetts. He’s got a record. He’s done things in life. He started his own businesses. He’s an entrepreneur.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I wonder if we’re going to hear echoes of that soon, since [Romney] is using all of [Bush’s] advisors and some of his policies.  Even though he is going to the right, maybe we will hear that voice resonating again, telling us about Mr. Romney’s record and how Willard knows what to do with government.

GRAYSON: I don’t know. But I will tell you this. According to polls that I have seen, George W. Bush is no more popular than venereal disease at this point. Maybe we will see him attack Romney because Bush attacking somebody would probably make him more popular than Bush endorsing him.

SHARPTON: Former Congressman Alan Grayson and David Corn. Thank you for coming on the show tonight.

Alan Grayson:  our fearless voice on national TV.  And come November, again in Washington – if all of us join together, and make it happen.