Friday, April 14, 2006


Bush and Co. has taught us a hard and fast lesson about ourselves. On the one hand, we allowed ourselves to be bought and sold by Bush’s twisted metaphors and hallowed promises that we were too uninformed, lazy or complacent to realize. And then there were the outright and countless lies coupled with empty if not self-defeating promises (thanks to the likes of evil doer types like Cheney and Rove) that we all too willingly embraced. As I have ranted and raved about in previous posts, we have been oh so duped. In all fairness to everything, the evildoer types counted on our complacency to realize their goals. And we let them get away with it. Shame on them. Shame on us.

The Bush handlers, immediately after 9/11, seized upon a devastating occasion to hold our nation hostage to their ideology. Prior to 9/11 Bush’s presidency was more or less mired in nothingness. (Oh to return to nothingness.) When the horrific 9/11 event hit us, Bush fled from reading My Pet Goat to elementary school students in Florida to a national bunker in somewhere in nowheresville USA, while the puppet master Cheney, who is quite obviously running the country, holed up in a White House bunker with his wife and other neocon extremists. Perhaps it was in the WH bunker that the magic bullet to save the Bush administration was conceived. This group very cynically and willfully confiscated the catastrophe of 9/11 to advance their ultimate goal to finish the unfinished business (thanks to Bush 1 in their minds) of domination of Iraq and to foment grief and mayhem in the Middle East. Divide, conquer, subjugate, and dominate. Motivation? Do I have to tell you? I think you get it.

Now that the mainstream media has finally awakened to the reality that we are going economically, ethically, and geopolitically straight to hell, where do we go from here?

IS THERE ANY ETHICAL LEADER LEFT AMONG US? Who is that person of character and quality who has the stamina and moral strength to bring us back from the abyss of hell? Who, at this point can possibly right the wrongs and clean up the domestic and geopolitical carnage wreaked by the GOP? Hello? Is anyone out there? LS

IF YOU WANT TO HOLD BUSH AND THE GOP ACCOUNTABLE, LOOK AT THE NUMBERS AND FOLLOW THE MONEY. (Ignore the Bush/GOP numbers - you know now that they are make believe - find the real numbers.) LS


April 14, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist
Weapons of Math Destruction

Now it can be told: President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney based their re-election campaign on lies, damned lies and statistics.

The lies included Mr. Cheney's assertion, more than three months after intelligence analysts determined that the famous Iraqi trailers weren't bioweapons labs, that we were in possession of two "mobile biological facilities that can be used to produce anthrax or smallpox."

The damned lies included Mr. Bush's declaration, in his "Mission Accomplished" speech, that "we have removed an ally of Al Qaeda."

The statistics included Mr. Bush's claim, during his debates with John Kerry, that "most of the tax cuts went to low- and middle-income Americans."

Compared with the deceptions that led us to war, deceptions about taxes can seem like a minor issue. But it's all of a piece. In fact, my early sense that we were being misled into war came mainly from the resemblance between the administration's sales pitch for the Iraq war ˜ with its evasions, innuendo and constantly changing rationale ˜ and the selling of the Bush tax cuts.

Moreover, the hysterical attacks the administration and its defenders launch against anyone who tries to do the math on tax cuts suggest that this is a very sensitive topic. For example, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa once compared people who say that 40 percent of the Bush tax cuts will go to the richest 1 percent of the population to, yes, Adolf Hitler.

And just as administration officials continued to insist that the trailers were weapons labs long after their own intelligence analysts had concluded otherwise, officials continue to claim that most of the tax cuts went to the middle class even though their own tax analysts know better.

How do I know what the administration's tax analysts know? The facts are there, if you know how to look for them, hidden in one of the administration's propaganda releases.

The Treasury Department has put out an exercise in spin called the "Tax Relief Kit," which tries to create the impression that most of the tax cuts went to low- and middle-income families. Conspicuously missing from the document are any actual numbers about how the tax cuts were distributed among different income classes. Yet Treasury analysts have calculated those numbers, and there's enough information in the "kit" to figure out what they discovered.

An explanation of how to extract the administration's estimates of the distribution of tax cuts from the "Tax Relief Kit" is here. Here's the bottom line: about 32 percent of the tax cuts went to the richest 1 percent of Americans, people whose income this year will be at least $341,773. About 53 percent of the tax cuts went to the top 10 percent of the population. Remember, these are the administration's own numbers numbers that it refuses to release to the public.

I'm sure that this column will provoke a furious counterattack from the administration, an all-out attempt to discredit my math. Yet if I'm wrong, there's an easy way to prove it: just release the raw data used to construct the table titled "Projected Share of Individual Income Taxes and Income in 2006." Memo to reporters: if the administration doesn't release those numbers, that's in effect a confession of guilt, an implicit admission that the data contradict the administration's spin.

And what about the people Senator Grassley compared to Hitler, those who say that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans will receive 40 percent of the tax cuts? Although the "Tax Relief Kit" asserts that "nearly all of the tax cut provisions" are already in effect, that's not true: one crucial piece of the Bush tax cuts, elimination of the estate tax, hasn't taken effect yet. Since only estates bigger than $2 million, or $4 million for a married couple, face taxation, the great bulk of the gains from estate tax repeal will go to the wealthiest 1 percent. This will raise their share of the overall tax cuts to, you guessed it, about 40 percent.

Again, the point isn't merely that the Bush administration has squandered the budget surplus it inherited on tax cuts for the wealthy. It's the fact that the administration has spent its entire term in office lying about the nature of those tax cuts. And all the world now knows what I suspected from the start: an administration that lies about taxes will also lie about other, graver matters.


Ken sent this humdinger today. Do your homework and look up the Sensenbrenner Bill in the Library of Congress. It takes a lot of time, patience and work BUT DO IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD if you want to know the truth and be able to make informed decisions, dudes and dudettes. LS

This blows my mind: The GOPs introduced a bill in congress turning illegal immigration from a civil offense to a felony. The Democrats fought tooth and nail against this, almost unanimously.

This has turned out to be a bad political move for the GOPs, so guess what they're doing? They're running Spanish language ads saying the Democrats are trying to turn illegal immigration into a felony. I think this will explode in their faces. -K (Me too! LS)

More on the RNC's Immigration Bamboozle
By Justin Rood - April 14, 2006, 4:39 PM

As Josh has mentioned, the GOP is claiming that Democrats have voted to make illegal immigration a felony crime. Exactly the opposite is the case. Ken Mehlman's RNC is even running ads based on this lie.

Here's what happened: Late last year GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) wrote and sponsored a bill that makes illegal immigration a felony. It's currently a civil offense.

After he got the bill out of committee, it caused such a hue and cry that Sensenbrenner tried to backpedal, and offered an amendment to soften his language, and make illegal immigration just a misdemeanor crime. (That's still worse than a civil offense.)

Over 190 Democrats joined 65 Republicans in voting against that amendment because they didn't think it should be criminalized at all.

The bill went to the floor with the felony language included; it passed on overwhelming Republican support.

The RNC wouldn't return my calls, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) office was closed. When I reached a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), he told me that the GOP claim was based on the committee's vote on the amendment: "It was based on the 191 dems voting on the Sensenbrenner amendment to change it from a felony to a misdemeanor."

So while a GOP Chairman came up with the idea of making immigration a felony, introduced a bill to make it a felony, and pushed it through the House on Republican votes, the Democrats' refusal even to make it a misdemeanor means they're the ones who want to make it a felony.


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