President Bush-One Major Miscalculation
By Jerri Ann Lewis
In a recent interview with Time Magazine, Bush said he had made a "miscalculation of what the
conditions would be in post-war Iraq".1 I beg your pardon Mr. President, but I believe "miscalculation" is
a bit of an understatement. Actually, the last four years have been nothing but one big miscalculation.
The first indication to the beginning of a poor presidency should have been the botched
Presidential election in 2000. We, the American citizens, had no idea what the consequences of our grave
miscalculation would be. We certainly did not expect airborne terrorists, anthrax-filled envelopes, and
the deaths of over 1000 American soldiers that died for those mysterious Weapons of Mass Destruction.
No one could have predicted the increase in Americans standing in the unemployment line, the increase
in Americans without healthcare, and the amount that is poverty stricken due to our poor economy.
Let us now examine the 'miscalculations' that President George W. Bush has made since he
stepped into the White House.
1) Fear Factor- more than Reality Television.
On September 11, 2001 the United States was sucker-punched when three American planes were hijacked and
thousands of people died. This led to a snap -decision to go to war with Iraq by our Commander-in-Chief.
At this time the Department of Homeland Security was also created by the Bush Administration in order to
warn Americans to what degree a terrorist threat is likely to occur and how to be prepared.2 However,
the real question is, with the majority of our military deployed oversees and the creation of the "DHS",
are we really any safer?
2) Fear Factor II- The Return of the Scare Tactics.
Some have even resorted to the use of fear to hamper Americans from voting against the re-election of President
Bush. To quote Dick Cheney: "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make
the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll
be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."3 We should not be
scared into voting for what we believe. What kind of democracy is that?
3) How many more are going to die?
The war lasted a few months; however, the U.S. occupation in Iraq is not over. Over 1,000 American troops have
died and over 7,000 have been wounded.4 Those are the ones that have paid the ultimate price for one of President
Bush's miscalculations. However, the horrible deaths and injuries of our beloved soldiers were not the only
costs of war. The ever mounting American deficit, the record high-gas prices, the detention camp scandals of
torture, rape and murder, and the sacrifice of privacy all stemming out of fear and a direct result from a war
full of "miscalculations".
4) The Almighty $.
Due in part to the war, the United States deficit is the worst it has ever been. The deficit has declined from
$5 trillion in protected surplus to $4 trillion in protected deficit. The war itself has added more than $125
billion to the deficit.5 While there have been numerous contributing factors, 23% of the Federal deficit has
also been attributed to the tax cuts by the Bush Administration alone. This is projected to only get worse
if President Bush remains in office.6
5) High prices fueled by gas and oil.
The price of gas and oil have reached record-highs since the beginning of the Iraqi war. Americans have seen the
price of gas reach over $2.50 per gallon.7 As we empty out our pockets at the pumps the demand for gas does not
dwindle, in part because Americans have no choice but to pay the high prices in order to go to work. The Bush
Administration has ignored the possibility of more fuel-efficient cars by failing to require automakers to use
this technology.8 Again President Bush has chosen to fuel the gas and oil companies rather then addressing jobs,
our economy along with our critical environmentally issues.
6) Be quiet. The walls have ears...
With the sacrifice of lives from the terrorist attacks and war came the sacrifice of our civil rights. The
Patriot Act was created after 9-11 to "protect" the citizens of the United States. However, what has truly
happened is that our privacy has been compromised. Our government now has the lawful right to search our
records and our lives without a court warrant if it is believed that there is a "significant purpose" to do so.
That is, if you might have information to an investigation then you may be subject to a search and seizure of
your life.9 So be very careful the next time you want to research terrorists on the internet or check out a
book on bombs at the library.
7) The Scandal heard 'round the world.
Everyone is aware of the detention camp scandals that were made public in April 2004. Photographs and videos
depicted the horrible mistreatment of Iraqi detainees of which an estimated 90% had been wrongly imprisoned.
According to reports by the Red Cross and other organizations, abuse of Iraqi prisoners had been occurring
for over a year without any intervention by U.S. government officials.10 The pride and honor that existed within
our country has been ripped from our very core because of the lack of action by the Bush administration.
8) Jobs Wanted.
"Although unemployment fell from 5.9 percent to 5.7 percent in December , only 1,000 new jobs were created.
Furthermore, the work force typically grows when the economy advances, but in this instance it shrank due to
the 309,000 people who stopped looking for work."6 Since President Bush entered the White House there has
been over 2 million manufacturing jobs lost, partially due to outsourcing.11
9) The President and the Paupers.
Directly related to outsourcing and the increase in unemployment is the increase in the poverty level in the
United States. Poverty has risen by 1.3 million (1 in every 8 people) according to the 2003 Census report.
The poverty level has been steadily increasing since President Bush's term began.12 The fact that Americans
are only getter poorer does not concern the President much since he and his acquaintances are only getter richer.
10) No Insurance, No Service.
Consequently Americans without healthcare has increased by 1.4 million according to the 2003 Census report.13
While the number of Americans without health insurance has soared, so have the profits of drug companies as
they continue to raise the prices of prescription drugs.5 How can Americans continue to afford medicine
without insurance, without jobs, and without money? Pharmaceutical companies cannot continue to make money
off people who cannot afford to live.
11) Aging American
The new Medicare Bill presents an injustice for American senior citizens now and in the future. The Bush
Administration used questionable means to push the new bill through that prohibits Medicare from negotiating
better prices for seniors. In addition, drug companies continue to benefit due to the ban on the importation
of cheaper drugs.5 There is truly no help for the old.
12) Scientific Un-discoveries.
Scientific research like the research of stem cells could make new medical breakthroughs with Alzheimer's
and Parkinson's diseases and diabetes possible. However, the Bush Administration has allowed their religious
beliefs to interfere with the research on stem cells for the same reasons that they are against abortion.
"We don't even know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything - much less that it's very close"
to yielding major advances, [Laura] Bush said.13 We will never know if it will cure anything unless there is
research done on it. Therefore, while George Bush remains president, these medical advances remain undiscovered.
13) The X Chromosome.
President Bush has made his anti-choice views very clear prior to and throughout his entire term of office. Now,
the right of women to choose to have an abortion as been compromised by the Bush Administration. The "partial-birth"
ban has now been enacted. Even though some feel that late-term abortions are gruesome, in cases where a woman's
life is at risk should she be denied the right to live herself only to possibly bring a baby into the world without
a mother?5 This is a choice that has been taken away from a woman and her doctor by the Bush Administration.
Is this the first step to bringing back the coat hanger?
14) Global Gag Rule.
The Bush Administration has also used their power to undermine Family Planning funds. President Bush has refused
the release of funds for Family Planning, which enables many women in America and other countries to seek
medical services for contraceptives, pregnancies, and abortions. This not only places women at risk for
unwanted pregnancies and medical complications, but also limits sex education to women and increases the
chances of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.14 The reality is that S-E-X is going to happen
whether we discuss it or not. Thus, promoting sexual and reproductive health is a must in today's society.
15) "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a
literacy test." -President George W. Bush15
The idea behind the No Child Left Behind Act is that teachers are to ensure that every student is taught
each lesson before proceeding to the next. The school boards then require standardized tests to be given
to make certain that all children are learning. Due to this the child is now pressured to perform and the
teachers are pressured to teach a child to test instead of teaching to educate the child to retain the
knowledge for the future.16 The No Child Left Behind Act in reality leaves most children in the dust.
President Bush also broke his promise to "spend more on our schools." He not only refrained for spending
money on education, but he made budget cuts totaling $90 million only four weeks after signing the education
16) You May Not Kiss the Groom.
President Bush's "Mission from God" is actually his attempt at 'playing god' by forcing his moral and political
views onto American citizens by denying them the rights and privileges that made this the United States of
America. He has amended the constitution to deny people the opportunity to marry the person they love by
defining marriage as a union of a woman and a man.18 In the President's eyes, anything else would be a sin.
17) Gone with the Wind-Power.
There will be no alternatives such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy if Bush has anything to do about it.
President Bush created a secret Energy Task Force to discuss solutions to America's energy problems that
required guidance from utility companies and the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy industries. Only after
a court order, (heavily censored) documents were produced that proved they used these "suggestions" in their
energy plan, often exactly as stated. Oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy industries are given billions in
subsidies in the new energy plan. Domestic oil and gas drilling and an increase in the use and production
of nuclear energy and coal, were highly favored over renewable, less pollutant-producing, energy sources.
18) What a Waste.
Of course, where there is Nuclear Energy, there is Nuclear Waste. The question then becomes what to do with
the nuclear waste? The Bush Administration has considers multiple resolutions to the dilemma. Suggestions
such as leaving the waste in warehouses stored in large drums, burying the waste-filled containers, or
sending the waste into space have been contemplated.19 There are over a hundred sites in America alone where
nuclear waste is held permanently or temporarily. The Bush Administration has voted for a high-level nuclear
waste depository to be constructed in a remote desert area in Nevada called Yucca Mountain, an ancient volcano.
Plans for one main long-term storage facility were proposed because of the threat of terrorist attacks.
However, the possibilities of transportation accidents or terrorist attacks before the nuclear waste even
gets to the dumpsite have been ignored. The transport of the waste would involve thousands of casks traveling
by road and rail through 43 states.20 Therefore, the chance for unsafe levels of radiation leaking into the
environment during transport and disposal is a major concern.
19) Is it hot in here or is it just me?
Global Warming was another one of President Bush's 2000 election promises that he failed to address
during his tenure. Since then reports, including one produced for the Pentagon, have found that we are
already experiencing climate changes, drought, damaged farms and changes in migration patterns due to global
warming. Meanwhile, President Bush continues to ignore the problem.21 Global Warming is a crisis due,
in part, to human activity. This matter must be addressed while the damage can still be repaired.
20) Heck no, Bush won't go.
The Kyoto Conference in Kyoto, Japan was a gathering of worldwide government officials to discuss the problem
of climate change and the ways this problem could be reversed. President Bush sited several reasons that
opposed the Protocol. "Bush's announcement resulted in almost world-wide condemnation and many pointed to
Bush's controversial election which included backing and contribution of millions of dollars by the oil
industry, as factors in this decision."22 Once again, President Bush chose money over our existence.
21) Cloudy Days and Cloudy Nights
The Bush Administration promotes the Clear Skies Initiative as a plan that is supposed to do exactly that.
It is supposed to fund programs to reduce air pollution, set air-quality standards, reduce smog and emissions
from industries, and stop acid rain. It sounds impressive; however, in truth, the act delays essential
emission cuts up to 10 years, permits industries to evade expensive improvements necessary to control pollution,
and it undermines other state laws that address pollution problems within the states.23 Hence, there could be
gray skies for us.
22) There is a fly in my water.
"An overwhelming majority of Americans recognize the value in protecting the water quality of streams and lakes
and conserving our remaining wetlands, which provide habitat for wildlife, absorb floodwaters, and filter
pollution from water."24 Of course, President Bush is not one of those Americans. He proposed a plan to
change the Clean Water Act that would remove the protections on many wetlands and streams and issued guidelines
for agencies not to impose regulations protecting those waters without gaining authorization from headquarters.
Without enforcing the protection many wetlands and streams are in danger of pollutants that make the water
not safe for recreation, that threaten public health, that diminish public drinking water sources, and that
reduce the quality of drinking water. It also jeopardizes threatened and endangered wildlife species that
depend on the wetlands and streams for survival and could increase the chances for flooding. What good could
come of this? The answer again revolves around money. Without a Clean Water permit developers could fill
wetlands and streams and mining companies, industries, factory farms, and sewage treatment plants would no
longer need to spend money to dispose of the waste.24
23) Land HO!
The conservation and preservation of our nation's land is incomprehensible to President Bush. Just as numerous
other environmental issues, this one is just another issue that he can modify for his own gain. He sees U.S.
public land as an additional way to make money. The allowance of oil drilling on public lands, the allowance
of off-road vehicles use in National Parks and the authorization for timber harvesting in National forests
are just a few ideas that the President has developed that would add zeros to his bank account as well as
the banks accounts of many big corporations. In the meantime, he would undermine the laws that were made
to protect these glorious lands.25 If President Bush is allowed to continue his reign you may have to cancel
that camping trip that you promised your children next year.
24) Lions, Tigers, and Bears, OH-Who Cares?
Endangered, threatened, and rare species have had to endure habitat destruction, loss of food sources, and many
other problems attributed to human activity. Due to one human group in particular, the Bush Administration, we
could see a reversal of all the accomplishments of the Endangered Species Act. The Bush Administration wants
to cut the agency's monies that are used to respond to lawsuits or obey court orders on endangered species, which
would leave most suits worthless.26 With this and the Administration's views on public land, the future of
endangered plants and animals could be in even more trouble. Do we really want the only wildlife that our
grandchildren get to see to be in zoos?
25) Forest Fever
The Bush Administration also favors stopping the Survey and Manage Plan of forest management. President Bush
believes that allowing loggers to thin, and possibly clear-cut, old growth forests would create "healthy forests"
with less risk of forest fires. In reality, the smaller trees, underbrush, and debris left by the loggers would
fuel future fires better than the untouched old-growth forests.27 This would also endanger the lives, homes,
and food sources of many forest organisms. However, by altering the environmental laws protecting these forests,
President Bush can damage these areas to please the multi-million dollar lumber industries while satisfying
his hunger for money.28
26) Return of the Theft- Election 2004
It seems that the only things he has 'calculated' are ways to beat the system.
President Bush's reelection campaign oozes deception and lies. He managed to steal the first election.
Now, as the 2004 Presidential Election nears President Bush has managed to change or cover-up reports in
order to aid his reelection. The Bush Administration has requested a change to how data is compiled for
the poverty and healthcare information on the Census Reports. They have also dropped the government's
monthly report on mass layoffs.29 Rather than finding solutions to the problems facing healthcare and other
economic issues in America for the last four years, he is, instead, trying to find ways to skew the data in
his favor in time for reelection. Some reports have stated that the President is trying to rig the Florida
votes again. The reports suggest that President Bush and his brother, Governor Jeb Bush, tried to hire a
legal firm (run by two of the President's buddies) to defend the Broward County Board of Elections in Florida
in case there are any lawsuits files against it during or after the 2004 election.30
He claims his entire presidency has been about war for the security of our country.
His 'goal' was to make America safer, cleaner, and healthier. However, by revising Medicare and drug
policies, reversing environmental laws, and refusing to bring our service men and women home we are not
even close. The preservation and protection of our country and our world is at stake. We cannot risk
another four years!
This November DO NOT miscalculate your vote. VOTE FOR CHANGE!
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