September 7, 2004 Tuesday
BUSH 'TOOK COCAINE AT CAMP DAVID'
Bush Says Kerry's
Using Old Dean Lines
Documents to explain his gaps in service are missing
The Associated Press -- Sept. 5, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts….
Kitty Kelley's book comes out 9-14-04. One of the tidbits it supposedly includes is that Poppa Bush's nickname while he was in Congress was "rubbers". That must mean he always wore his galoshes.
“Too many OB/GYNs (obstetricians/gynecologists) aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” –- George W. Bush
"A Bush administration official said that we are moving closer to capturing Osama bin Laden. Well of course we're moving closer, it's almost Election Day. I'm predicting we'll get him Monday, Nov. 1." -- Jay Leno
White House blocked probe of Sept. 11-Saudi link: top U.S. senator
AFP -- Sept. 5
The White House blocked a congressional investigation into alleged links between the Saudi government and two September 11, 2001, hijackers, a top U.S. senator wrote in a book.
7 Marines Killed in Blast Near Fallujah washingtonpost.com
Many Dead From Baghdad Clashes Radio Free Europe
Campaigning Begins for Afghan Election Guardian, UK
Hope you survived Frances OK, and thanks for all the hard work you do.
It shows in your intelligent, classy, funny, and always interesting page.
I think you and the Large Editor will enjoy this insightful column by
Sebastian Mallaby. He brings up some excellent points.
Thanks, Leslie. Excellent column.
Frances missed me and the Large Editor. We didn't even get a drop of rain here, just a windy day. Of course, I was fully prepared with substantial hurricane supplies. Good food, drink and plenty of candles. Of course, I have plenty of duct tape and plastic sheeting to protect me from the terrorists!
Russia Admits It Lied On Crisis washingtonpost.com
Eleven Shot, One Stabbed in Caroline County Washington Post, DC
Diagnosis: Not enough doctors Toronto Star, Canada
"Last week we captured bin Laden's cook and chauffeur. Doesn't that seem kind of weird? Who knew Osama bin Laden had a cook and chauffeur. Doesn't that seem weird that Osama bin Laden has a cook and a chauffeur? You know what that means? He might be a Republican." -- Jay Leno
The odd couple . . . tragically hip . . . monster review
AZ Central.com, AZ -- Sept. 3, 2004
Conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh is dating CNN anchor and former Phoenix TV reporter Daryn Kagan, a spokesman for Limbaugh confirmed to the Washington ...
Why would Daryn Kagan date Rush? Is she on OxyContin or something?
Spy Case Renews Debate Over Pro-Israel Lobby’s Ties to Pentagon Collective Bellaciao, France
`American Dream' goes up in coal dust Chicago Tribune
“On paper, DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is a colossus, and I had naively expected that its headquarters would be equally impressive… This couldn't possibly be it. "Yeah, just down there," said a passerby emerging from beneath a brick archway that led to a narrow fire lane forking off from the desolate courtyard. The little alley was barely wide enough for a car, much less a Cabinet secretary's motorcade, and at the end of it was a dull gray steel door, such as you might see at the side entrance of a warehouse or a seedy after-hours club. A small plaque was affixed to the unpainted wall: The Department of Homeland Security.” -- By Matthew Brzezinski September/October 2004 Issue Of Mother Jones
FYI: Matthew Brzezinski is the son of Zbigniew Brzezinski
Hurricane Frances aftermath. I wonder what Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell would have to say about this picture?
Clinton heart surgery a success Boston Globe, MA
Missing student found unharmed The UCLA Daily Bruin, CA
Fewer Texans support war, poll shows Dallas Morning News (subscription), TX
Condit suing over stories linking him to Levy's disappearance Knoxville News Sentinel, TN
Bush’s nomination for head of the CIA, Rep. Porter Goss (R-Sanibel, FL)
Rep. Porter Goss (R-Sanibel, FL) refused to investigate allegations that a
politically motivated White House source leaked the identity of CIA operative
Goss made light of the uproar, saying, "Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation," a reference to President Clinton's sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky….
Gee, I wonder how the employees of the CIA feel about Goss?
Halliburton may lose Iraq contract CNN International
Flavored Birth Control Pill.
The Cadbury's Candy Co. (tm) and Merck Drug Co. (tm) have combined to
market the new mint flavored birth control pill that women may take
immediately before sex. The pill will be distributed by the large major
drug store chains and Wal-Mart's (tm) Pharmacies. They're going to be
1983 -- The year in which Donald Rumsfeld, Ronald Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, gave Saddam Hussein a pair of golden spurs as a gift.
Bush's war-on-terror flip received far less coverage than Heinz Kerry's "shove it" comment
Media Matters for America reviewed coverage for the days following Teresa Heinz Kerry's exchange with the editorial page editor of a right-wing newspaper (whom she told to "shove it") and the three days following Bush's remark that "I don't think we can win" the war on terror (a statement that flatly contradicted a remark he had made one month prior, and that, according to USA Today, he then attempted to "adjust"). MMFA found that the media covered Heinz Kerry's comment on 187 more occasions than they covered Bush's comment in the three days following each incident....
CIA Glance AP
Go-F*** -Yourself News
Cheney's Praise of Bush Takes Dig at Clinton -- and Reagan New York Times, NY
$10.9 million -- Average wealth of the members of Bush's original 16-person cabinet.
$42,000 -- Average savings members of Bush's cabinet received in 2003 as a result of cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes.
A Trailing Kerry Has Been There, Won That Los Angeles Times
Kerry Launches Second Attack on Bush ABC News
`W stands for wrong,' Kerry declares The State, SC
GRINCH THAT STOLE VETERANS OVERTIME PAY
Monday, September 6, 2004
by Greg Palast
In celebration of the working person's holiday, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has announced the Bush Administration's plan to end the 60-year-old law which requires employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime.
I'm sure you already knew that -- if you happened to have run across page 15,576 of last year's Federal Register.
According to the Register, where the Bush Administration likes to place its little gifts to major campaign donors, 2.7 million workers will lose their overtime pay for a "benefit" of $1.53 billion. I put "benefit" in quotes because, in the official cost-benefit analysis issued by Bush's Labor Department, the amount employers will now be able to slice out of workers' pockets is tallied on the plus side of the rules change.
President Bush announced in his convention acceptance speech this week that he was changing overtime rules to give workers "comp time" off instead of pay. He forgot to mention that a couple of days before, on August 23, his Labor Department had already put in half the plan -- eliminating overtime pay for millions -- while failing to put into the regs one word about comp time. In the pre-September 11 days, we used to call that, "lying."
Nevertheless, workers getting their pay snipped shouldn't complain, because they will all be receiving promotions. These employees will be re-classified as managers exempt from the law. The change is promoted by the National Council of Chain Restaurants. You've met these 'managers' - they're the ones in the beanies and aprons whose management decisions are, "Hold the lettuce on that."
My favorite of Chao's little amendments would re-classify as "exempt professionals" anyone who learned their skill in the military. In other words, thousands of veterans will now lose overtime pay. I just can't understand why Bush didn't announce that one when he landed on the aircraft carrier.
CHOICE NUMBER FOUR: BREAK THE LAW
Now I should say that, according to Chao's press office, the changes will actually extend overtime benefits to 1.3 million burger flippin' managers. How does that square with the billion dollar "benefit" to business owners? Simple: The Chao hounds at the Labor Department suggest that employers CUT WAGES so that, added to the new "overtime" pay, the employees won't actually take home a dime more.
I can hear the moaners and bleeding hearts saying this sounds like the Labor Department is telling Big Business how to evade the law. Yep, that's what the Department is doing. Right there on page 15,576 of the Federal Register it says,
"Affected employers would have four choices concerning potential payroll costs: … (4) converting salaried employees' basis of pay to an hourly rate that result in virtually no changes to the total compensation paid those workers."
And in case some employer is dense as a president and doesn't get the hint, Comrade Chao repeats, "…The fourth choice above results in virtually no (or only a minimal) increase in labor costs."
For decades the courts have thrown the book at cheapskate bosses who chisel workers out of legal overtime by cutting base pay this way… but now they'll have a new defense: Bush made me do it.
But then, there likely will not be any cases against employers anyway since Chao herself is supposedly the labor cop whose job it is to stop paycheck theft. She's well qualified for that job. Her resume reads, "Married to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky." I called her press office to ask if she qualifies for overtime, but they'd left the office early.
And there is good news for our sporting President. Word from the White House is he'll be golfing on the Labor Day weekend. Under Chao's rules he need not worry if he wants to replay that hole. "Exempt professionals" who cannot earn overtime - once defined as doctors, lawyers and those with specialized college degrees - will now include anyone who provides skilled advice… like caddies ("You might try the other end of the club, Mr. President").
Greg Palast, nominated Britain's Business Writer of the Year by the UK Press Association for his writings in the Guardian papers, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy."
This month, Palast, who has returned to his native USA, will release, "Bush Family Fortunes," the 70-minute film on DVD his investigative reports for BBC television. View a 2-minute preview, or order it, at http://www.gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm
Sign up for Greg Palast's reports at http://www.gregpalast.com/contact.cfm
Reprinted With Permission
Judge demands to know why Olson sentence doubled Los Angeles Daily News, CA
"In an interview with USA Today, former first lady Barbara Bush says she tries to avoid news coverage of world events. So apparently it's hereditary." -- Jay Leno
Dancers Robert Tannion, left, and Desiree Kongerod perform on stage in Austrian composer Klaus Obermaier's performance 'Apparition' at the Ars Electronica digital art festival in Linz, Austria, on Sept. 4. The annual digital art festival Ars Electronica ends Sept. 7. (Rubra)