Bush Buddy System

Why are Taxpayer Dollars Being Used to Put SUV 'Ads' in National News Service?
Bush Buddy System

Going through US Newswire this evening, we were shocked to find not one, but four news releases placed by the US Census Bureau touting the fact that SUV registrations were up: Sample headline: "SUV REGISTRATIONS UP 79 PERCENT IN ALABAMA SAYS CENSUS BUREAU. Press release text sample: "Sport utility vehicle (SUV) registrations in Hawaii increased 69 percent between 1997 and 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. SUV registrations jumped from 64,400 in 1997 to 108,500 in 2002...etc." These press releases are several hundred dollars a pop! And the only reason for placing them is as a sales pitch: Hey, your neighbors are buying SUVs, so better run out and get one and keep those oil barons and auto moguls happy! This is OUTRAGEOUS! Using taxpayer dollars to promote gas-guzzling vehicles with poor safety records that run counter to any type of energy conservation or greenhouse gas mitigation plan.

Bush Blocks Long-Overdue Corporate Accountability Reform to Please His Biggest Donors
Bush Buddy System

After handing corporations and special interests a staggering $136 BILLION last week, Bush is now making it easier for his porky pals to elude accountability a while longer so they'll keep those campaign bucks coming in. Public Citizen reveals that an SEC rule proposed in Oct. 2003 that would make it easier for concerned investors to place their own nominees on a company's board of directors and thereby keep cos. more honest, is being blocked by Bush. The rule was one of the most universally supported SEC reforms EVER. But a powerful handful of CEOs are - naturally! - against the reform. Leading the anti-reform crusade are 53 Bush "Rangers," "Pioneers" or "Super Rangers" who have collectively raised over $8.3 million for Bush." DOES ANYONE NEED FOUR MORE YEARS OF THIS?

Bush Signs Bill that Hands $136 Billion of YOUR MONEY to Corporations and Special Interests
Bush Buddy System

AP: "With no fanfare, President Bush on Friday signed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades, showering $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups. Intended to end a bitter trade war with Europe, the election-year measure was described by supporters as critically necessary to aid beleaguered manufacturers who have suffered 2.7 million lost jobs over the past four years." What kind of bizarro world spin is this?! The "manufacturers" have "suffered" job losses? HUH? Try the AMERICAN WORKERS have suffered job losses, while the manufacturers have cut or shipped overseas 2.7 million jobs. "The centerpiece [of the bill] is $76.5 billion in new tax relief for the battered manufacturing sector, but manufacturing is broadly defined to include not just factories but also oil and gas producers, engineering, construction and architectural firms and large farming operations."

FEMA FRAUD! Is Bush Buying Support in Miami-Dade County with Millions that SHOULD have gone to Harder Hit Areas?
Bush Buddy System

MSNBC "More than one billion dollars in hurricane aide has been distributed so far. So whereâ??s the money going? Two reporters at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper...discovered FEMA's given Miami-Dade County $21.5 million to cope with Hurricane Frances -Thatâ??s almost TWICE what FEMA has distributed in hard-hit Indian River County following the same hurricane. What's surprising about that? "I live in Miami-Dade County..." says Sun-Sentinel report Sally Kestin. "It wasn't exactly a day at the beach, but there wasn't any damage." Yet more than 19,500 Miami Dade residents have applied for FEMA aid. Because the applications are private, it's unclear who the victims are requesting federal money."We don't understand. Who are these people? Where are they? Where's the damage?" says Sun-Sentinel reporter Megan O'Matz. VERY good question!

Bush Administration Appears to Distance Itself from Drug Barons before Debates
Bush Buddy System

For over three years, the Bush administration has engaged in an unprecedented giveaway of federal resources and taxpayer dollars to the drug industry. From Medicare Reform that unleashed a tripling of key drug costs to the use of the US military as "captive consumers," untallied billions have been dumped in the drug barons' laps. Now, to have a phony "constructive action" to tout right before the debates, the Bush administration announces that it will call a moratorium on the use of National Institutes of Health researchers as on the cheap or free consultants to the drug industry. For at least three years, researchers have tried to alert the public to this flagrant conflict of interest. But only now, when it offers a sound byte does Bush actually do anything about it - and then only a moratorium!

Thanks to Bush and His 'Leaders in Congress', Eli Lily's Pays 2/3 LESS in Taxes Now than in 2001
Bush Buddy System

IndyStar: "Eli Lilly and Co. used legal tax breaks to cut its federal income tax rate by two-thirds between 2001 and 2003, according to as study released today.The report, which was based on the public filings of 275 large profitable companies, was conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The Washington research organization is associated with Citizens for Tax Justice, a non-profit group supported in part by labor unions. One-third of the companies examined paid no federal income taxes in at least one year between 2001 and 2003. 'The sharp increase in the number of tax-avoiding companies reflects the results of aggressive corporate lobbying and a White House and a Congress eager to do the lobbyists' bidding,' said Robert S. McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice and a co-author of the report."

Average US Citizen Paid more Federal Income Tax in 2003 than AT&T, Time Warner, and Disney Combined
Bush Buddy System

US Newswire: "Many of the nations largest, most profitable companies are paying little or no federal income taxes, according to a study released today by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The study examined federal income taxes paid by 275 of the country's largest, most profitable companies and found that the overall effective tax rate on these companies between 2001 and 2003 was 18.4%, nearly half the statutory 35% rate. Nearly a third of the companies paid zero taxes or received a rebate in at least one year between 2001 and 2003. 'The data indicate that in 2003, the average American taxpayer paid more in federal income taxes than AT&T, Time Warner, and Disney combined,' said Steve Hill of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute. Together, those companies earned $8.7 billion, but received an estimated $543 million in federal tax rebates." And funny, none of those savings went back into new jobs.

Edwards Says Bush is Like Ken Lay and He's Using America as His Enron
Bush Buddy System

Democrat John Edwards compared President Bush to former Enron Corp. chairman Kenneth Lay on Tuesday and predicted Bush "is going to be fired" by voters for the way he has run the country. Lay, a Bush friend and campaign contributor, resigned under pressure after the giant energy company's collapse and has pleaded innocent to charges of fraud, conspiracy and false statements to banks.."I think he believes that he's Ken Lay and America is his Enron. The truth of the matter is that what happens when a CEO runs a company the way that George Bush has run America, they get fired. "And that's exactly what's going to happen. George Bush is going to be fired by the American people." YOU GO, J.E.!!

PAY OFF: The Industries Who Give Most to Bush Screw Americans Worst
Bush Buddy System

Bush is whining about trial lawyers this week. What a joke! The only reason he's whining is because they gave a near-equal share of donations to Bush and Gore in 2000. You won't find Bush bitching about the screwing given Americans by the banking industry. Or the insurance industry. Or the healthcare industry. Or the pharmaceutical, real estate, oil, tobacco, or gambling industries (which are now aggressively exploiting American youth, bringing ruin and misery to millions). Why? Because they paid him off enough to win both a blank "check" from his administration and his silence when they commit outrageous against the public. Read 'em and weep.

Insurance Industry Fixed Hurricane Frances Payout Limit BEFORE the Storm Made Landfall
Bush Buddy System

So what's wrong with this press release from the Insurance Information Institute: "The historic one-two punch of Hurricanes Frances and Charley will make the claims handling process in Florida more difficult, but still manageable, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The I.I.I. stressed that the insurance industry anticipates such catastrophic events and has sufficient financial resources to pay the claims."Charles and Frances together do not pose a solvency-threatening event to the industry," said Robert Hartwig, chief economist." Here's what's wrong: this press release was issued on Sept 3 - BEFORE Frances made landfall! How would they know the storm wouldn't threaten their solvency unless they had pre-set a pay out limit?

Did Bush's Insurance Pals Inflate Charley's Cost to Aid Bush Campaign?
Bush Buddy System

There is no question at all that Hurricane Charley was a huge disaster that left a horrific swath of damage. But - was it extensive enough to now be ranked the FIFTH most costly disaster in the world since 1970 and the FOURTH most costly in US history, outranking even Hurricane Floyd and Hugo? Isabel, which wiped out homes from North Carolina to Delaware - most of them middle class and lower income residences - did not even make the list. But then, 2002 wasn't an election year. Guess it pays to live in a swing state where the governor is the president's brother.

Bush Deploys Federal Health Workers to Help Jeb - Why Haven't Other Disaster-Struck States Gotten the Same Aid?
Bush Buddy System

US Newswire: "HHS is deploying approximately 70 nurses and five pharmacists to four locations along the eastern seaboard of Florida to provide services to special needs shelters. These shelters are set up to provide basic nursing and medical care to individuals already suffering from sickness or injuries or at high risk of illness often due to age. These shelters are located in Indian River County, St. Lucie County, and Martin County. HHS also is assembling six additional teams to deploy to Florida, as the need arises." This is a great idea - except it has only been used, to our knowledge, to help out in Bush's brother's state. No such aid has been dispensed to any of the other states hit with tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes in the past three years.

The Industries that Gave Most to Bush are the Ones that Have Screwed America the Worst
Bush Buddy System

What TWO key things do the pharmaceutical, insurance, electric, oil/gas, and outsourcing-addicted industries have in common? 1) They gave the most to G.W. Bush; 2) they have been screwing American citizens royally since Bush took office. Each has cleaned up at America's expense: pharmaceutical and insurance got the Medicare scam windfall and Bush's refusal to regulate these monsters; the electric industry got the Clean Air Act gutted; the oil/gas industry: unlimited access to Cheney's energy task force, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve refill scam windfalls (which helped drive oil up to nearly $50/barrel;; ousourcing-addicted industries: Bush's blessing to ship 1.2 million jobs overseas. What Americans got: SCREWED!

Bush Admin Shields Fanatical Bigot (and Possibly Torture-promoter) General from Consequences
Bush Buddy System

Common Dreams: "The Defense Department would be wrong to exonerate an Army general who sparked international ire for describing the U.S. war on terrorism as a Christian battle against Satan, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "We are concerned that the Defense Department is not taking this case seriously," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "General Boykin's conduct was utterly outrageous and should not be treated lightly." According to the Washington Post, a DOD report recommends that the Acting Secretary of the Army find Boykin, who is STILL a high-ranking military intelligence official (suspected, by the way, of complicity in Abu Ghraib torture crimes) be completely exonerated of any charge. In fact, we bet Bush & Co. rewards Boykin's paranoid-schizophrenic excesses with a promotion!

Four of Bush's Sneak Recess Appointments Were Doled Out to Top Campaign Fundraisers
Bush Buddy System

Common Dreams: "On July 30, Bush quietly appointed major fundraisers as ambassadors to the Bahamas and Estonia as well as to 2 positions on the board of directors of the Inter-American Foundation. The 4 Rangers and Pioneer - fundraisers who have collected at least $200,000 or $100,000 for Bush - were among 20 'recess appointments.' Said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. 'Once again, Bush has repaid his premier financial backers with plum appointments. And once again, the administration has skirted public and congressional oversight of its activities.' Nearly one of every five of Bush's elite fundraisers in the 2004 or 2000 elections has received a presidential appointment. At least 173 Rangers and Pioneers (or their spouses) received appointments ranging from jobs in the exec branch to federal advisory boards to spots on the Bush-Cheney transition team. This tally includes 4 Cabinet secretaries and 29 ambassadors." OBSCENE!