Sunday, August 29, 2004

80 Questions for George W. Bush

On the eve of the Republican National Convention is New York City, a few Kerry Bloggers have posed the following questions for George W. Bush:

1. Why is it that you did not inform congress of the CBO's estimate that the Medicare bill was going to cost more than you promised even your own congress? (They had set a limit)
2. Why did you sign it months before you told anyone it would cost more?
3. Why did Cheney choose to fight to hold on to his energy meeting records, right up to the Supreme Court?
4. How many secrets of what you have done, are we going to discover after you have departed?
5. What joy have you brought to this world? Our people are booed at the Olympics-Powell could not even go there...The world despises us, the middle glass is mired in debt, there is more poverty, less education, less first responders, less security (except for you and congresses shelter) less of everything. You have almost succeeded in ripping the hope from the hopeful in America.
6. How much does a gallon of milk cost?
7. How many total deaths & casualties in Iraq war? (U.S.Coalition/Iraqi/Journalists/Workers)
8. If you knew then what you know now, would you have invaded Iraq?
9. Did you foresee the Iraq war costing 200 billion dollars and thousands of American soldier’s lives & limbs?
10. Do you know who exposed Valerie Plame as an undercover agent?
11. What is the percentage of earnings a working class family pays for housing? Food? Healthcare?
12. What is the effect of healthcare costs on the economy? Employment?
13. Would you advise your daughters and nephews to enlist for service in Iraq? Have you?
14. Now that you have liberated Iraq, will you support their desire for a Fundamentalist government?
15. Why did the lucrative school testing contracts, which are the main part funded from the "No Child Left Behind" bill, get passed along to your cronies?
16. Can you bring us up to date on the Enron investigation?
17. Can you bring us up to date on the Halliburton investigation?
18. Can you bring us up to date on the Harken investigation?
19. Recently, a Fox News reporter was fired for refusing to report a lie. She sued for wrongful termination, but on appeal, the courts held that the United States has no law that requires news to be true. Do you support this opinion?
20. Your father has had several skin lesions removed from his face. Why do you oppose environmental legislation that would reduce skin cancer rates?
21. Do you believe that certain parts of the Constitution are outdated?
22. How many convicted felons are currently serving in your administration?
23. In your State of the Union speech, you stated that the presence of "25,000 liters of anthrax ... 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin ... materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent ... upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents" posed an imminent threat to this nation.
24. Where are the WMD?
25. How did you get your position in the TANG considering your extremely low test score?
26. And to follow-up, how did you get an Honorable Discharge when you failed to complete your service?
27. Who short sold United and American right before 9-11?
28. After Andrew Card notified you on 9-11 that America was under attack, why did you spend almost 20 minutes reading a story about a pet goat?
29. How do you plan to balance the social services spending in Iraq vs. in the United States?
30. Your first round of tax cuts resulted in a loss of over 2 million jobs. You promise your next tax cut will create 1 million new jobs. Can you do the math?
31. Three times, you have stated that it would be easier if you were a dictator. Why do you think that's funny?
32. What possessed you to use the 9/11 national tragedy as a punch line in your 'Trifecta' joke? And to follow up, why did your partisan republican audiences laugh with you?
33. Why did you ask the president of Brazil if there are any blacks there?
34. Why did your administration lobby Tom Daschle to drop the investigation of 9-11?
35. Why haven't you let the public see the 800-page 9-11 investigation report?
36. Are you actually afraid of Helen Thomas?
37. When Florida was called for Gore, why did you insist that results were going to change?
38. How do you explain the worldwide animosity America now faces? Would you agree that the sentiment is more anti-Bush than anti-America?
39. Why didn't you take steps to protect the hospitals, museums and nuclear power plants in Iraq?
40. Where is Saddam Hussein?
41. Where is Osama bin Laden?
42. Why didn't you remove any doubt about your presidency by demanding a full recount of the Florida vote?
43. If universal healthcare is important for Iraq, why not here?
44. Will you take the tests that you require schoolchildren to pass?
45. Why did you tell the FBI to back off the bin Laden family?
46. You know that your National Security Advisor lied about the possibility of commercial aircraft being used as weapons. Why didn't you fire her?
47. How many federal employees were fired following the catastrophic intelligence failures on 9/11?
48. What will you do to make sure elections are properly audited in the next election?
49. Why did you and Secretary of State Colin Powell cite a forged document as evidence of Iraq's alleged nuclear program?
50. Can you explain why did NORAD deviated from Standard Operating Procedure on the morning of 9-11, failing to scramble jets? If not, can you tell us the status of that investigation?
51. Why did your spokesperson deny that you were drafting a second Domestic Security Enhancement bill (Patriot Act II)?
52. With Homeland Security initiatives like First Responders being under-funded, how do you reason that creating more foreign enemies is making us any safer?
53. Can you explain why $50 million allocated to investigate the Columbia Shuttle disaster, yet only $3 million was allocated to investigate 9-11?
54. Why has your Justice Department consistently refused to supply information to Congress on how the USA PATRIOT Act is being implemented, especially in light of the fact that passage of the act was conditional upon adequate oversight by Congress? 55. Why are you so obsessed with secrecy? Do you have something to hide?
56. Why did you renege on your campaign promise to support the Kyoto Treaty on global warming?
57. Why did you fail to fund your "Leave No Child Behind" initiative?
58. Where were you, Mr. Bush, between 1972 and 1973 when you were supposed to be in the national guard?
59. How do you justify the budget cuts for veterans benefits at precisely the time you are ramping up the military for permanent war?
60. Is it true that you are recruiting soldiers in Mexico?
61. Why did you and others in the White House start taking Cipro right after 9/11? What did you know that the rest of the American people didn't?
62. Would your administration be more concerned with finding the anthrax killer if republican senators and the Washington Times had been targeted?
63. Do you think anyone buys your 'cowboy' act? Isn't your 'ranch' a cynical campaign prop?
64. It has been reported that you said, "who cares what you think?" to a man that questioned your policies in Philadelphia. Is this 'compassionate conservatism' or simple contempt?
65. Mr. Bush*, do you still "not give a damn" where Osama Bin Laden is?
66. When was the last time you gave a speech before an audience that was not handpicked?
67. Do you believe that dissent is unpatriotic?
68. Why are people who would protest your appearances rounded up and arrested before the events, held without charges, and then released?
69. In 1989, you reportedly said that you are a media creation. Has anything changed?
70. Do you believe that the apocalypse is underway?
71. What is your role in the apocalypse?
72. When will Christ return? What are the signs?
73. How can you expect people to be excited about your “Ownership Society” when they cannot pay their bills and put food on the table?
74. How many people are really unemployed?
75. Why are there no unemployment extensions?
76. What are your real plans for Social Security?
77. How can you expand reforms to higher grades and junior colleges, stressing basic skills for the workforce of the future, when NCLB has not been successful?
78. Why did you cut funding for Mine Safety Enforcement by $15 Million?
79. What exactly does "catastrophic success” mean?
80. What does “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello

These are fun questions...most of them show why JK is behind and slipping. And why most dont have a clue.

The one I like which illustrates this is:

<<80. What does “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?<<

My response would be "What does it mean to you? Where in The Constitution did you find those words?"

Anyone want to tell me?
Robert G. Oler cvn65vf94@hotmail.com

9:52 PM  
Blogger Pamela Leavey said...

Robert,

This is among the best explanations I have found on this subject. Separation of chruch and state means a lot ot me personally.

****************

Church/state separation in the U.S. Constitution:
The framers of the U.S. Constitution were concerned that European history might repeat itself in the new world. They wanted to avoid the continual wars motivated by religious hatred that had decimated many countries within Europe. They decided that a church/state separation was their best assurance that the U.S. would remain relatively free of inter-religious strife.

In 1789, the first of ten amendments were written to the Federal Constitution; they have since been known as the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

This was ratified by the States in 1791.

The first phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." is called the establishment clause. It has been interpreted by the courts as requiring a separation between church and state. That is, the government (and by extension public schools) may not:

promote one religion or faith group over any other
promote a religiously based life over a secularly based life
promote a secularly based life over a religiously based life.

Three tests have been developed to decide the constitutionality of laws that have a religious component:

The Lemon test: This was defined in a Supreme Court ruling in 1971. 10 To be constitutional, a law must: have a secular purpose, and
be neutral towards religion - neither hindering nor advancing it, and
not result in excessive entanglements between the government and religion.

The Endorsement Test: Justice O'Connor created this criteria: a law is unconstitutional if it favors one religion over another in a way that makes some people feel like outsiders and others feel like insiders.
The Coercion Test: Justice Kennedy proposed this criteria: a law is constitutional even if it recognizes or accomodates a religion, as long as its demonstration of support does not appear to coerce individuals to support or participate in a religion. 11

There is some opposition, particularly among Fundamentalist Christians to this interpretation of the First Amendment by the courts. They feel that the Amendment should be interpreted literally to mean that the government may not raise any one denomination or religion to the status of an official or established religion of the country. They feel that the First Amendment contains no wording that prohibits the government from engaging in certain religious activities, like requiring prayer as part of the schedule at public schools, requiring schools, courts and government offices to post the Ten Commandments, allowing public schools to have organized prayers as an integral part of public school sports events, praying before board of education or municipal government meetings, etc.

The following phrase "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise thereof... is called the free exercise clause; it guarantees freedom of religion. This passage does not promise absolute freedom of religion. The courts have found that parents cannot deny their children badly needed medical attention and rely on prayer; the Amish can be compelled to wear slow vehicle reflectors on the backs of their buggies; a congregation cannot generate annoyingly excessive noise during a service. The limits of this clause are continually being tested in the courts on a case-by-case basis.

"Wall of Separation" between Church and State
Thomas Jefferson, as president, wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut on 1802-JAN-1. It contains the first known reference to the "wall of separation". The essay states in part:

"...I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State..."

During the 1810's, President James Madison wrote an essay titled "Monopolies" which also refers to the importance of church-state separation. He stated in part:

"Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history."

The US Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment as if it requires this "wall of separation" between church and state. It not only prohibits any government from adopting a particular denomination or religion as official, but requires government to avoid any involvement in religion.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/scs_intr.htm

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pamela:

Thanks for posting that. It got to my main point…that the “separation of Church and State” isn’t in the Constitution either implied or explicit…it is from a Thomas Jefferson letter.

Kerry is losing right now for a variety of reasons; his campaign is just to darn slow in responding to attacks and many (not you) of his supporters (all you have to do is read the Kerry Blog) are just walking around with blinders on…but the main reason is that we are stuck with discussions on questions like this.

The issue of a separation of Church and State means a lot to me as long as the issue is the government supporting some religion. We as a people had a bad experience with that in England (and it included both the concept of the involvement of The Catholic Church and is replacement with The Church of England) and government should not be fooling around in religion here.

BUT that separation does not mean, as some imply that only those who do not have a faith in the Bible can interpret The Constitution. People of faith, and that includes me need to be careful to not interpret The Constitution (TC) in a Biblical light. I might believe some activities are “wrong” from a scriptural standpoint but TC allows them—for example I believe in the Bibles stand on homosexuals; but TC I believe allows Gay Marriages. Scripture is a recipe for personal morals TC is a recipe for public governance.

But the reverse is true as well. People who don’t believe in a spiritual order should not try and impose social policy that they happen to believe in on TC. There is no Constitutional right to abortion on demand for the entire term of a pregnancy. I believe the Court got it right with Roe in terms of the Constitutional “pneumbra” of Privacy (and happen to agree with Roe). The argument that a persons body is their own to UNLIMITIED do with as they wish fails Constitutional test after Constitutional test.

Moreover the questions that are the topic of this blog are mostly ramblings of an uninformed base. The NORAD question is frankly ridiculous as anyone who was in the military on 9/11 knows. It points to some “conspiracy” which is even more ridiculous.

Kerry is losing on issues because he cannot no matter how many such as Ron try square the war in Iraq, he has no real solutions for it, he has no real domestic agenda that he has brought forth and he has really demonstrated no real “take charge” leadership. The campaign is trying to win by running out the clock and that just became a bad strategery.

We are going to find the GOP has a pretty good head of steam coming out of NY. They have put the last three weeks to excellent use. They are going to spend a few days being decisive (and wrong but that wont matter in absence of something that is right). If that doesn’t change this campaign is in trouble.

I’ll close with this. I go to a fairly right wing church, most of them support Bush and most of them have little knowledge of TC or the Bible. But many of those supporting Bush do so in no small measure because the Democrats have to pander to the likes of NARAL and other groups which constantly belittle people of faith and the beliefs that they hold.

For many of them “The separation of Church and State” has become code words for “your views don’t matter because we are smarter then you.” And most who repeat that phrase as mantra (not you) don’t really have a clue what it means.

You do.

Robert G. Oler

7:21 PM  
Blogger Pamela Leavey said...

Robert

As a woman freedom of "Choice" means a lot to me. I don't believe that the government has the right to make a decision on this issue besed on "faith". We are a country of diversified faiths a good politician does not make his political choices based on faith. If people from some religious faiths can not understand that, that is a sad shame.

I get that many right wing fundamentalists would have us be a one faith country and that is what many fear with Bush.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get that many right wing fundamentalists would have us be a one faith country and that is what many fear with Bush.
By Pamela Leavey, at 4:51 PM


Hello Pamela.

Perhaps; I don’t know if its one faith or more or less on “religion” (aka Christianity) but its no matter. Law in this country should not be made on faith it should be made on The Constitution.

There is no “pro choice” or “pro life” doctrine in The Constitution (TC)…what there is is a right of privacy which is not exclusive. A person has a right to be secure in their person…but that right is not absolute. The Police can invade it with a warrant or warrantless on exigent circumstances. Nor does a person have the right to unlimited speech. Or control over their bodies. Try and insert your body into a “secure” area and the Courts have ruled it can be removed. Try and commit suicide and the Courts can commit one.

There is no ultimate right to privacy. Abortion is I think Constitutional right up until there are societale rights to protect “a child in waiting” (to paraphase Roe). Roe is the law and we as a party I think are ill advised to push it past that. We simply lose when we do.

My main point is this. Most Americans support Roe because it is one of those rulings from the Court which achieves equilibrium in the body politic. I support Roe not because it agrees with my religious values but because it agrees with my Constitutional ones. I support homosexual marriage because it agrees ith my Constitutional beliefs.

I think that most Americans of faith who support both points of view do so because of their beliefs in TC (or in fairness). And many of us understand the Constitution a lot better than those (not you) who advocate a “complete right” (NARAL’s line) that is out of Constitutional whole cloth.

Robert G. Oler

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One question for John Kerry...1) Where did you get the bunny suit?

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush is one of the worst presidents we have ever had! He is using the government to make money for him and his friends and not one seems to realize that.

Abortion is wrong 100% wrong and I know this because my Church and my family have given me these values. Yet I am pro choice because this is america and I don't believe that I should have the right to tell you that you can't have one if you wish. Just as I don't want anyone to take away my right to own a gun, hunt, and live in the persute for happiness.

45 million american have gone into poverty since GW has been in office that speaks for itself that he is incompotent. The republics say it is Clintons fault well Clinton was one the the best presidents we had. Even though he did somethings in his private life I don't aprove of that doesn't make him a bad guy.

Most republics don't like Welfare like GW. And you have no business voting for him if you get it. Not just welfare as you think but also if your child has ever had a school lunch, or excepted money to go to a University.

It makes me sick to hear people say they are a Republican and when I hear it I try to ask them why and most of the time they don't know but everyone has become so thick headed in this country about politics that they won't even listen to anyone cause there dad was a Republican. Well if I was German and my grandfather was a Nazi I won't be one.

I wish eveyone would do everything with an open mind cause GW almost has me convienced he is the Anti-Christ, and the scares the shit out of me as it should you.

And as for the coment Aronald S made at the RNC. He can go to hell cause that is completely untrue. Toby Keith played there and I don't know what he sang but it should have been "I want to talk about me" cause that is all the republicans in power care about right now themselves!

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people are so wrapped up in hatred for one particular person (GW) that this visceral disgust blinds them to anything positive he has done. If I asked any of these people to name one good thing he has done and they can't reply with at least one answer than they are more blind than I thought. If you think nothing positive has happened over the past four years than your mind is more malleable than Jell-O and you have only Moore and the liberal press to thank for that. I could name a few good things that John Kerry has done most notably his admirable Vietnam service. He would probably be an OK president if elected, and I would support him whole heartedly if so (I wont be voting for him though). Try to take an OBJECTIVE look at the two candidates and not just the talking points that both sides put out. When you do you might realize that GW is the right man for this time in history.

9:34 AM  

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