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Sunday, February 26, 2006

BUSH AND THE GOP don’t want criticism when it is due they want IDEAS…well here’s one… BRING BACK THE DRAFT!!!!

It will take a lot more than spouting the GOP/Fox News Line and putting another SUPPORT OUR TROOPS bumper sticker on the back of the minivan to get our Troops out of this mess in Iraq now with all but an official declaration of Civil War.

Funny how at the beginning of this mess in the making in Iraq Bush and the GOP wanted no input or criticism as they JAMMED this war down the throat of America, but now that it is obvious that BUSH BLEW IT in Iraq and the finger pointing starts these same jackasses that got us into Iraq want ideas and not the“WELL DESERVED CRITICISM AND FAULT FINDING” now that ALL that they predicted about Iraq and their NEO CON “WET DREAM” WORLD is crumbling before our collective eye’s. I’ll offer an Idea that I have suggested since the beginning, that being ‘BRING BACK THE DRAFT!!!!! The first ones to go will be the flag-waving Morons and their children over the age of 18 that cheered on this half-wit and his misguided and Ill conceived NEO CON debacle in Iraq. For those of you that are of age that supported this war of choice why isn’t your gutless ass over there NOW????? I don’t want to here any lame ass excuses anymore.

I and a lot of others that questioned this disaster i.e. THE IRAQ WAR at the outset have had enough of our patriotism questioned by the uninformed jackasses that elected Bush and supported his war, but now find it hard to visit their recruiters or to have their kids to do the same especially now that the NOBLE CAUSE is heading south.

Also those that have served I thank you for your service, but that service in NO WAY makes you a better American than me. If it does then are you a better American than Bush, Cheney, or any of the other KNOW IT ALL Neo Cons that have been wrong on everything since Day one of the IRAQ DEBACLE that never served??? And if military service is the measure of Patriotism in the post 911 world then what are the gutless chicken hawk YOUNG REPUBLICANS waiting for with Iran on the brink of nuclear capability and Iraq descending into Civil War???

For those of you that supported this war and have family overseas in it, THEY CAN THANK YOU and the other RED STATE Morons for the misery that will be coming in the near future as Iraq continues to Spiral downwards, their tours are extended and our troops get caught in the Middle of the coming Sectarian Civil War.


If the draft does come back, for those like me that never supported Bush or His BS war just declare that you want the same deferments that Dick Cheney got for Vietnam or just say when Bush’s Drunken Daughters ship out you’ll follow suit and sign up. Simple as that, if you support this war go to your recruiter ASAP. Otherwise you’re a verifiable gutless CHICKENHAWK that is only ONE step above Hanoi Jane Fonda in the Food chain.

So all you Young Republican get cracking and report to your Recruiter and do what Bush, Cheney and the Neo Cons so aptly did not in Vietnam that being “SERVE”. No more excuses the lines are drawn.


JOE SMOE: AMERICAN CITIZEN

Thursday, February 23, 2006

BUSH'S NEO CON FANTASY TURNS INTO A NIGHTMARE:Dozens Slain in Iraq Sectarian Violence

Thanks to this half-wit and his GREED/LIE DRIVEN AGENDA we have it… CIVIL WAR in Iraq. Bush and his Neo Con handlers/CABAL have taken us to world of HURT. I think it would be safe to assume with the deteriorating situation in Iraq, the Election of Hamas and other Islamic Whacko Parties in the Mid East that the WHOLE NEO CON philosophy is a miserable and verifiable failure!!!!

The only ones that I can see being happy with this is the BIBLE BANGING RABBLE that gave him the 2004 elections. Yep, one-step closer to ARMEGGEDON.

Now we are gonna really need more Boots on the ground just to insure the entire region is not destabilized. To all you gutless flag-waving chicken hawks, your clueless Fuhrer needs you now more than ever..see your recruiter or have you know it alls got anymore bright ideas to dig the HOLE that country is in due to Bush and the GOP deeper???

I know…I know….911 and more TAX CUTS.

As the Right Wing Agenda would say “ THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT …THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING”!!!


Joe

Sunday, February 05, 2006

IN BUSH’S GAME OF FOREIGN POLICY CHESS…. IRAN HAS HIM CHECKMATED

Bush in his 2006 State of the Union Address sounded like the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar “"In a time of testing we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders," he said. "If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our shores." Hmmm sounds like the Emperor is still bent on world domination! – I am sure all conquering leaders have repeated this speech throughout history. Conquering leaders usually rationalize their adventures from a defensive prospective and rarely offensive! If we don’t get them, they will get us! How appropriate?


But talk is cheap! – Julius Caesar’s adventures were done at the time when the Roman Empire was at its accession and not its decline. No my friends, Bush is not Julius Caesar but another Caesar, Nero! Soon you will see that the peoples of the world will let Nero play his banjo, because this Texan Nero has no power to dictate events in the Middle East or for that matter anywhere else! He is a spent force! Here’s why?

What can the Texan Nero do to make Iran stop its obsession to develop nuclear weapons? The answer is nothing!

What are the options?

1. Bomb the nukes from the air? Iran has distributed its facilities all over the country? Bombing will not get all of them. However, bombing Iran whether the US does it alone or the Israeli’s do it or a joint operation between the two, will only make the Iranians more united in their pursuit to get nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the hard-line Iranian government will increase its support for Iraqi terrorists. Let’s be honest, wasn’t it the Texan Nero who labeled Iran as one of the axis of evil? Didn’t we just invade both of their neighbors? Gee!!! I suppose they are not going to arm themselves to the teeth! Any government given the current circumstances will do whatever to protect themselves! So if we bomb, let us not forget who controls the Iraqi government, the Shiites aligned with the current Iranian government. If you think things are bad in Iraq now, wait until the Shiites get involved in bombing our soldiers! It will truly be hell for us there!

2. Invade Iran? Are you kidding? We can’t control an Iraqi population of 25 million how are we going to occupy a country of 80 million? Do we have the money, the power, the resolve to now occupy two countries of 105 million people just to destroy the Iranian nukes? Bush maybe stupid, but I doubt if our military or our population will support an invasion of Iran. Israel cannot do it alone! – They have to cross Jordon, and Iraq to get to Iran. If they try to invade Iran, Israel will be no more!

3. Negotiate? Negotiate what? What leverage do we have over Iran? What can we possible offer them? No my friends, the US alone cannot offer them anything them. How about the Europeans? What can they do? – Absolutely Nothing! The Europeans cannot invade Iran or help invade Iran, because their peoples don’t trust us and hate Nero! – Sanctions? So the west will put economic sanctions on Iran, and Iran will gladly buy from China, Russia, and India etc. as well as sell all their oil to them and there will be plenty cold dark winters for any country that join us in this misguided adventure. You think you are paying for high gas prices now? Wait until the West forces sanctions on Iran!

Russia and China will just sit on their hands and laugh at the west! - Russia does have a problem because they are fighting Islamists in Georgia, Chechnya, and places in their empire. They may be worried that these Islamists will get a hold of a nuke, but by kissing the Iranians butts and actually cooperating with them, the Iranians will not give the nukes to the Islamists in Russia, Russia will sell their nuclear technology to Iran and make some money. Don’t forget that the Russians and the Chinese don’t want the American Empire to continue our pursuit for global domination! So why should they help us? In fact, it is my opinion, that the standoff with Iran over the nukes will actually strength both Russia and China.

A possible solution.First, the US has to convince the world, especially those in the Middle East that we don’t want to dominate the Middle East. Let us first try to convince these peoples that we are going to give up our 50 or so military bases in Iraq and set a timetable to leave. Have the UN involved so people will start to believe us! Second, Israel must convince the Islamic world that they have no desire to dominate them!

The Texan Nero, the rightwing Israelis, the American Neo Cons and the American Jewish Lobby will not like it! But Israel has to give up their nukes.

To resolve this mess, I predict the following could happen:

Iran, and the Arabs as well as Turkey will secretly meet with China and Russia and come up with a plan. The plan will be, to have a real Middle East conference, involving the members of the Security Council, all the governments of the Middle East including Israel. To the dismay of Israel and the US, the world’s people will declare the Middle East a nuclear free zone and the only country that has nukes Israel will have to give it up! Everyone will love this solution. The Iranians will be the heroes of all the world’s 1 billion Moslems because to the Moslems the Iranians are the only Moslems that forced Israel to capitulate! What will Israel get? A final peace settlement and capitulation of their territorial ambitions and their nukes! What will the US get? – A stable supply of oil, our troops out of Iraq, a Middle East peace treaty that every president from Eisenhower, to the Texan Nero desires. I really believe that Israel and us can settle all this if we both give up our desires to dominate other peoples of the world! Maybe the rest of the world would love and respect us again! – I can only wish!

The Beachboy



Friday, February 03, 2006

GALLUP/CNN/USA TODAY POLLS: Majority in U.S. Say Bush Presidency Is a Failure

Give it time it will get worse ( just like the prediction I made at the first of the year)..just in time for the MID TERM ELECTIONS.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

BUSH'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS:
SAME OLE...SAME OLE.....


As I said in the previous post the Bush STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS would be nothing but a lot of LIES, half Truth, and GITTERING FEEL GOOD GENERALITIES and this proves it and with facts to back it..unlike Bush's lameass speech This was all taken from the site www.THINKPROGRESS.org. Here is the original link : http://thinkprogress.org/?tag=State%20of%20the%20Union

They have done a great job debunking and pointing out the BS and the Lies that Bush put forth in last nights speech. Once again thanks to www.thinkprogress.org for taking the time for doing this and allowing me to use it.



SOTU: The White House Is Set To Repeat Its Mistakes After Katrina
Bush said: “As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity.”
FACT — WHITE HOUSE STONEWALLING KATRINA INVESTIGATIONS: Congressional investigations into the administration’s inadequate response to Katrina have stalled because the “Bush White House is now refusing to turn over Hurricane Katrina related documents or make senior officials available for testimony.” [MSNBC, 1/26/06]

SOTU: Poverty Has Worsened Under Bush
Bush said: “In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country.”

FACT — POVERTY RATES HAVE INCREAED UNDER BUSH: The poverty rate has risen each year since 2001, with 12.7 percent of the population now living in poverty. African-American poverty has risen from 22.7 percent in 2001 to 24.7 percent in 2004, and child poverty has gone from 16.3 percent in 2001 to 17.8 percent (1.3 million children under the age of 18). [U.S. Census Bureau, Aug. 2005, Tables B-1 and B-2]

FACT — BUSH TAX CUTS TARGETED AT HIGH-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS: The tax bills enacted since 2001 “have helped high-income households far more than other households,” according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Households with incomes exceeding $1 million have received average tax cuts of $103,000, “an increase of 5.4 percent in their after-tax income.” But in 2005, the bottom fifth of households “will receive an average combined tax cut of $18 from these bills, raising their after-tax income by 0.3 percent.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/17/05]

SOTU: The Bush Administration Continues To Bungle Katrina Reconstruction
Bush said: “A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency – and stays at it until they are back on their feet.”

FACT — KATRINA RECONSTRUCTION HAS BEEN SLOW AND BUNGLED: “[I]n certain respects, little has changed” in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, according to the Wall Street Journal. Only one-fifth of the city’s original population has resettled. “The Crescent City largely has shriveled to ‘the sliver by the river,’ as residents now call the thin ribbon of neighborhoods near the Mississippi River that didn’t flood,” and “neighborhoods still are abandoned wastelands of uninhabitable homes and sidewalks piled with moldy garbage.” [WSJ, 1/13/06; AP, 1/12/06]

FACT — ADMINISTRATION REJECTED RECONSTRUCTION PLAN: The White House rejected a Louisiana reconstruction plan — the “most broadly supported plan for rebuilding communities,” and instead backed $6.2 billion in block grants that Congress provided last year, which Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) called “unacceptable.” [Times-Picayune, 1/25/06; New York Times, 1/30/06]

FACT — KATRINA RECONSTRUCTION FUNDING HAS BEEN TAINTED BY POLITICS: The $29 billion in aid passed last month was tainted by politics: the package “gave Mississippi about five times as much per household in housing aid as Louisiana received,” a “testimony to the clout” of Bush’s political ally, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R). [New York Times, 1/5/06]
SOTU: The Bush Administration Has Betrayed The Public Trust

Bush said: “Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility – and that is a pledge we must never forget, never dismiss, and never betray.”

FACT – BUSH HAS REFUSED TO COOPERATE IN LEAK INVESTIGATION: Bush reportedly knew about Karl Rove’s role in the leak investigation two years ago, yet has not come public with the information, despite his repeated promises “to get to the bottom of this.” [NY Daily News, 10/19/05; Washington Post, 9/30/03]

FACT — BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS STONEWALLING ON ABRAMOFF CONTACTS: The White House continues to stonewall on Jack Abramoff’s contacts with the administration. President Bush refuses to release records of meetings and photos with Abramoff, which Bush has confirmed do exist. A growing bipartisan list of lawmakers have called for the White House to come clean. [White House, 1/26/06; Los Angeles Times, 1/30/06]

FACT — BUSH HAS STRONG CONNECTIONS TO INDICTED CONSERVATIVES: Bush’s election campaign has received over $100,000 in campaign contributions from guilty lobbyist Jack Abramoff and halted a federal investigation into Abramoff’s activities in Guam. Two of Bush’s administration officials — Scooter Libby and David Safavian — have also been indicted and are no longer in serving in federal office. Rep. Tom DeLay, who had to step down in Sept. 2005 as Majority Leader on criminal charges, has been a critical ally to President Bush in pushing his agenda. [Washington Post, 1/5/06; Los Angeles Times, 8/7/05; Washington Post, 9/20/05; CNN, 9/29/05]

SOTU: Bush Has Cut Science Education Funding
Bush said: “We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. … If we ensure that America’s children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.”

FACT — BUSH PROPOSED FIRST CUT IN EDUCATION SPENDING IN A DECADE: Bush’s budget for FY 2006 proposed the “first cut in overall federal education spending in a decade.” The administration requested a reduction of a half billion dollars, or 0.9 percent, from the current spending plan. [Washington Post, 2/7/05]

FACT — SCIENCE EDUCATION HAS SUFFERED UNDER BUSH’S TERM: No Child Left Behind has actually hurt science education, by testing exclusively on math and reading. Some “teachers are being told to stop teaching science and get back to reading and math,” complains Gerald Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. [Business Week, 3/16/04]

SOTU: Bush Wanted Renewable Energy Cuts
Bush said: “The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources – and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.”

FACT — BUSH PUSHED FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY CUTS IN LATEST BUDGET: President Bush’s FY06 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy programs envisioned “reductions totaling nearly $50 million - an overall cut of roughly four percent.” [Renewable Energy Access, 2/28/05]

FACT — BUSH REJECTED BIPARTISAN PLAN TO SET GOALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY: Last year, President Bush “oppose[d] efforts to include a national renewable energy requirement for utilities in Congress’ broad energy legislation.” According to the Union of Concerned Scientists it “is a cost-effective, market-based policy that requires electric utilities to gradually increase their use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and bioenergy,” to between 10 and 20 percent by 2020. A 10 percent standard “would have virtually no impact on electricity prices and could save consumers as much as $13.2 billion.” [Reuters, 2/10/05; Union of Concerned Scientists; Union of Concerned Scientists]

FACT — BUSH ENERGY BILL CONTAINED LITTLE ON RENEWABLE ENERGY: The energy bill supported and signed by President Bush dropped a provision that would have required utilities “to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity through renewable fuels by 2020.” [New York Times, 7/26/05]

SOTU: Dependence on Foreign Oil Has Increased Under Bush
Bush said: “Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.”
FACT — BUSH HAS INCREASED DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL: Sixty-six percent of oil consumed in the United States comes from foreign sources, up from 58 percent in 2000. Americans now spend $200,000 a minute on foreign oil and more than $25 billion annually goes to Persian Gulf states for oil imports. [Energy Information Administration, 1/06; American Progress, 2004]

FACT– BUSH ENERGY BILL WILL NOT REDUCE RELIANCE ON FOREIGN OIL: The energy bill signed and supported by President Bush “rejected a Senate provision that required reduction of oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2015.” Under the bill, “our need for imported oil will continue to grow for as long as models are able to project.” [U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, 7/05]

SOTU: Health Savings Accounts Fail To Provide Savings Or Address Costs
Bush said: “We will strengthen Health Savings Accounts – by making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get.”

FACT — HSA USERS MORE LIKELY TO HAVE DIFFICULTY PAYING MEDICAL BILLS: Individuals with high-deductible insurance plans (HDHPs), which are mandatory with health savings accounts, are “more likely than those with traditional medical coverage to have difficulty paying their medical bills. Forty-nine percent of consumers with deductibles above $500 per year wound up with outstanding medical debt, vs. 32% with regular coverage.” [WebMD Medical News, 1/27/05]

FACT — HSA COST SAVINGS ARE ILLUSORY: HSAs are supposed to save costs by discouraging people from obtaining unnecessary health care. But about 70 percent of costs in the U.S. health system are for the top 10 percent most expensive people. These people’s costs are well above the deductible, and they usually require hospitalization or are chronically ill. A high deductible won’t change their behavior. [New Yorker, 8/29/05]
FACT — HSA USERS PAY MORE OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS: According to one study, “more than two-fifths (42 percent) of individuals with HDHPs [high-deductible insurance plans] and 3 in 10 (31 percent) in CDHPs [”consumer-driven” health plans] spent 5 percent or more of their income on out-of-pocket costs plus premiums in the past year, compared with about 1 in 10 (12 percent) in comprehensive health plans.” [Commonwealth Fund/Employee Benefit Research Institute, December 2005]

FACT — HSA USERS MORE LIKELY TO AVOID, SKIP, OR DELAY HEALTH CARE BECAUSE OF COSTS: Individuals in health savings accounts were “significantly more likely to avoid, skip, or delay health care because of costs than were those with comprehensive insurance, with problems particularly pronounced among those with health problems or incomes under $50,000.” Over 30 percent of individuals in these programs “reported delaying or avoiding care, compared with 17 percent of those in comprehensive health plans.” [Commonwealth Fund/Employee Benefit Research Institute, December 2005]

SOTU: Bush Has Overseen Massive Deficits
Bush said: “Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars.”

FACT– BUSH HAS PRESIDED OVER SUSTAINED, RECORD DEFICITS: In his 2002 State of the Union address, Bush promised that “our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short-term.” Bush has not kept his promise. The 2005 U.S. budget deficit was $319 billion, the “third-largest ever.” Goldman Sachs predicts $5 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years and Federal Chairman Alan Greenspan argued last April that “the federal budget is on an unsustainable path. … Unless that trend is reversed, at some point these deficits would cause the economy to stagnate or worse.” [Bush, 2002 State of the Union; Fox News, 1/25/06; Center for American Progress, State of the Economy, 1/26/06; Alan Greenspan, 4/21/05]

FACT — BUSH TAX CUTS WOULD WORSEN THE DEFICIT: The President’s tax cuts would only “expand the deficit over the next five years,” despite his promises to the contrary. [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Press Myths]

SOTU: Making Bush’s Tax Cuts Permanent Would Be Costly
Bush said: “Because America needs more than a temporary expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. I urge the Congress to act responsibly, and make the tax cuts permanent.”
FACT — TAX CUTS WILL COST $3.4 TRILLION OVER TEN YEARS: The cost of making the tax cuts permanent will be $3.4 trillion through fiscal year 2015. This includes the cost of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax relief associated with these tax cuts. [Congressional Budget Office, 1/26/06]

FACT — PERMANENT TAX CUTS OVERWHELMINGLY FAVOR THE WEALTHIEST: If Bush’s tax cuts are made permanent, the top one percent of households will gain an average of $71,420 a year when the tax cuts are fully in effect. By contrast, people in the middle of the income spectrum would secure average tax cuts of just $870. [Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, 12/20/05]

Bush said: “In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left 880 billion dollars in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses, and families – and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth.”

FACT — DEFICITS CAUSED BY TAX CUTS NEGATE ANY POTENTIAL ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Studies by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JTC), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) all confirm that deficits undermine economic benefits of the cuts. In their analysis of the 2003 tax cuts, JTC found that any economic benefits of the tax cuts would “eventually likely to be outweighed by the reduction in national savings due to increasing Federal government deficits.” [American Progress, 1/26/05; CBO, October 2005]

SOTU: Bush Job Growth Lowest Since WWII
Bush said: “Tonight I will set out a better path – an agenda for a Nation that competes with confidence – an agenda that will raise standards of living and generate new jobs.”

FACT — JOB GROWTH UNDER BUSH LOWEST SINCE WORLD WAR II: Even since the 2003 tax cuts, job growth has been historically weak, growing at less than half the average rate for similar periods in comparable post-war recoveries. [Center for American Progress, State of the Economy, 1/26/06]

FACT — FEDERAL SPENDING ON WORKER EDUCATION AND TRAINING IS LOW: Federal spending on employment and training for dislocated workers in 2005 was just $1.5 billion, less than the amount spent on highway aid and less than was spent in 2000 ($1.6 billion), when the unemployment rate was lower. [Detroit Free Press, Bruce Katz Column, 1/23/06]

FACT — WORKERS ARE LOSING PENSIONS: The share of workers with a pension declined from 50.3 percent in 2000 to 40.6 percent in 2004. [Congressional Research Service, Pension Sponsorship and Participation]

SOTU: Bush Did Not Inform Appropriate Members of Congress
Bush said: “Appropriate Members of Congress have been kept informed.”

FACT – BUSH BROKE THE LAW BY NOT INFORMING APPROPRIATE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: The non-partisan Congressional research service concluded that the Bush administration broke the law by not informing the full Intelligence Committees. The New York Times reports:

A legal analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concludes that the Bush administration’s limited briefings for Congress on the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping without warrants are ‘’inconsistent with the law.'’

SOTU: Bush Falsely Claims That Previous Administration Did The Same Thing
Bush said: “Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have.”

FACT – BUSH IGNORE THE LAW, OTHER ADMINISTRATIONS FOLLOWED IT: The White House has made this claim before and the AP debunked it:
McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.
“I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds,” McClellan said of Gore.
But at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.

SOTU: Bush Pushes Two Hijacker Myth
Bush said: “We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know their plans until too late.”

FACT – WE KNEW THE TERRORISTS WERE THERE BEFORE THE ATTACKS. BUREAUCRATIC PROBLEM, NOT SURVEILLANCE LAW, WAS THE REASON THEY WERE NOT DETAINED: Cheney made the same claim a couple of weeks ago, and the Washington Post debunked it:
But Cheney did not mention that the government had compiled significant information on the two suspects before the attacks and that bureaucratic problems — not a lack of information — were primary reasons for the security breakdown, according to congressional investigators and the Sept. 11 commission. Moreover, the administration had the power to eavesdrop on their calls and e-mails, as long as it sought permission from a secret court that oversees clandestine surveillance in the United States.
The bigger problem was that the FBI and other agencies did not know where the two suspects — Cheney’s office confirmed that he was referring to Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar — were living in the United States and had missed numerous opportunities to track them down in the 20 months before the attacks, according to the Sept. 11 commission and other sources.

SOTU: House Conservatives Are Holding Up Bipartisan Compromise On Patriot Act
Bush said: “These men and women are dedicating their lives to protecting us all, and they deserve our support and our thanks. They also deserve the same tools they already use to fight drug trafficking and organized crime – so I ask you to reauthorize the Patriot Act.”

FACT — HOUSE CONSERVATIVES HOLDING UP PATRIOT ACT RENEWAL: Sixteen provisions of the Patriot Act were set to expire at the end of 2005. Last summer, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan compromise bill to reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act and include amendments to guard against government overreach. The bill was rejected by House conservatives and altered significantly in conference. [American Progress, 11/17/05]

SOTU: Bush Administration Flunking on Homeland Defense
Bush said: “Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home.”

FACT — FLUNKING OUT ON HOMELAND SECURITY: The 9/11 Public Discourse Project (formerly the 9/11 Commission) has given the administration failing grades on its efforts to improve homeland security. Former Gov. Thomas Kean (R-NJ), former chair of the 9/11 Commission, said that homeland security is “not a priority for the government right now. You don’t see the Congress or the president talking about the public safety as number one, as we think it should be, and a lot of the things we need to do really to prevent another 9/11 just simply aren’t being done by the president or by the Congress.” [NBC Meet the Press, 12/4/05]

FACT — FIRST RESPONDERS A LOW PRIORITY FOR BUSH: Just 6 percent of national security spending is devoted to homeland security and the administration still has “no system in place that allows emergency personnel to communicate reliably and effectively in a crisis.” The government has also cut funding for state and local law enforcement and first responders by more than $2 billion from FY 2005 to FY 2006. “While the terrorists have been learning and adapting, we have been moving at a bureaucratic crawl,” said James Thompson of the 9/11 Project.[Chicago Tribune, 12/16/05; American Progress, 10/27/05; American Progress, 9/9/05; American Progress]

SOTU: Bush Approach to Iran Has Weakened U.S. Position
Bush said: “The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions – and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.”

FACT — BUSH MIDDLE EAST POLICY HAS WEAKENED OUR HAND: By invading Iraq without enough troops and without a plan for stabilizing the country, the administration allowed an historic expansion of Iranian influence westward into Iraq, even as the country’s new leadership has drifted further towards radicalism and rabid anti-Semitism. The Bush administration substituted a policy of dual containment (of Iran and Iraq) for something more dangerous: a single-minded focus on Iraq that has hampered our efforts to fight global terrorism and strengthened Iran’s influence.

FACT — BUSH OPPOSITION TO NEGOTIATIONS WEAKENED OUR HAND: The Bush administration dismissed three separate invitations to open back-channel communications with Iran’s government under the more moderate President Khatami. It refused to participate directly in the talks involving Britain, France, and Germany, despite warnings from diplomats and the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) that the talks were likely to fail without U.S. involvement. Instead of being an active player, the Bush administration sat on the sidelines and ceded leadership to others. As Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) stated last November, “The United States is capable of engaging Iran in direct dialogue without sacrificing any of its interests or objectives.”

SOTU: Bush Has Failed To Support The Troops
Bush said: “We must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in its vital mission.”

FACT — THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION’S FAILURE TO PROVIDE BODY ARMOR HAS COST LIVES: The New York Times reported that a “secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor.” Body armor “has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field.” Additionally, the Pentagon has refused to reimburse troops who purchased their own armor. [New York Times, 1/7/06; AP, 9/30/05]

FACT — PENTAGON WORKING ON PROPOSAL TO TRIPLE COSTS OF MILITARY HEALTH INSURANCE (TRICARE): The Penatgon is proposing to “triple some Tricare insurance costs for military retirees and their families.” “Increases would be substantial — as much as $1,200 more a year by 2009 — with no end in sight because the plan calls for annual rate hikes in 2010 and beyond that would match inflation.” [Army Times, 1/26/06]

FACT — BUSH ADMINISTRATION NOT PREPARED TO DEAL WITH TROOPS RETURNING FROM THE BATTLEFIELD: “US soldiers returning home from tours in Iraq, meanwhile are initially showing a higher incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than in other American conflicts. Around 317,000 veterans who received a primary or secondary diagnosis of PTSD were treated at medical centers” run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Experts say the sharp increase does not begin to factor in the potential impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The Bush administration has consistently underestimated the level of resources needed. [AFP, 1/27/06; Washington Post, 12/27/05, 6/24/05]