Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So I had this forwarded to me..

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington , DC 20520


I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.

-- I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

-I graduated from Yale University with a low C average.
-I was a cheerleader.

--I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.
--I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas . The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
--I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.
--With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry, including Enron CEO Ken Lay, I was elected governor of Texas.

--I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
--During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.
--I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
--I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.
--With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

--I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record. I
-- invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.
--I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
--I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
--I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
--I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the US stock market.
--In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
--I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, had a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
--I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President. I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
--My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.
--My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
--I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.
--I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
--I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history. I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
--I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.
--I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
--I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.
--I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
--I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
--I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.
--I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
--I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.
--I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.
--After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
-- I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S.the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
--I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
--I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.
--I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families-in-wartime.
--In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.
--I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
--I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.
--I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden [sic] to justice.

--All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
--All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
--All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
--I am a member of the Republican Party.


Oddly enough, some of the things on this are distortions, some are probably untrue, and some are very true but are not the evil that you think that they are.

Now does this mean that I suddently support the Republican Party in general or the President? Nope.

For example, there is the business about the 2000 election and the Supreme Court. Personally, I think that the court reached the right decision, though probably not in the right way. The real problem, to me, was that Gore was only asking for a few disputed counties, thereby saying that the rest of the counties votes should not count as much as theirs.

Another example is the International Criminal Court (improperly identified as the World Court of Law). This is a relatively new international court which the U.S. has not ratified the treaty for and which the government (meaning the Senate leadership and the President) will not push for ratification. It should be noted that the previous administration, that of Bill Clinton, signed onto to the agreement. However, the Clinton administration did so only so that it would be part of the negotiations. Even though the treaty creating the court was completed during the Clinton administration, Clinton took the position that as drafted, the treaty would infringe too much upon U.S. sovereignty and would open the possibility of politically motivated prosecutions. Then, there are also the constitutional questions with regards to joining such a court.

Then there is my favorite charge against Bush: that he is the first president to order an unprovoked attack on someone. The American Indians were not angels, but simply stating that we never provoked them into attacking us, or vice versa, is to ingore history. As far back as the colonial days, there were Indian tribes we favored and those that we attacked. We have ordered Marines to land in Central America, South America, Korea (in the 19th Century), and a variety of other places. Those operations were not on the scale of the Iraqi campaign, but at the same time, they were often done under the rubric of taking up the white man's burden or protecting a trader (who often times turned out to be afoul of a local law). My favorite was our invasion of the Phillippines during the Spanish-American War. Instead of letting the local insurrectionists finish off the Spanish forces still on the islands, we landed Marines and soldiers and took the surrender of the Spanish and then forced the surrender of the Phillipino insurrectionists who wanted to establish their own, independent, country.

Was it wrong to invade Iraq? In my opinion, it was not. Then again, I probably would have supported most of the other small wars in this nation's history.

Finally there is the issue of allowing Red Cross representatives in to see Guantanamo Detainees. Now, while I do think that there needs to be some oversight in these cases, the people at Guantanamo are really not prisoners of war. The Third Geneva Convention identifies members of militia or volunteer corps as:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
Now, for the most part, the people held at Guantanamo do not fall into any of the categories listed above which would get them the protections under the Geneva Conventions. Because they were captured while, allegedly, taking part in hostilities against the United States, they have forfeit their protections by operating in the way that they do. Essentially, they are outlaws. (Which, I sometimes think is a concept worth having again)

But as for the rest of the stuff in the resume... I just wonder why it is that we keep electing him. Unlike some presidents he seems not to be able to tell when something should be kept secret and when it should be open to public debate (i.e. his Texas documents or the meetings of the Cheney enegery committee).

He has also introduced a meaness into the office. To him any dissent is wrong and un-patriotic. He does not attempt to engage in debate, just in demagougery.

And then there is his relationship with the truth. At least when Clinton was in office, he was only lying about who he was shtupping.

Even knowing all this, and admit it, this information was out there, how have we continued to keep these people in office? In my opinion one reason: the Democrats have failed to provide a compelling vision of what their policies would be. Its 2006 and we still faced with candidates running on the platform of "I'm not with George W. Bush".

Oh well.

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