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The Wizard of Oz letter

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The curtain is finally pulled on the MisAdministration:


'The Wizard of Oz Letter'




Bush pulls back the curtain on who really runs the White House



By Eleanor Clift


Updated: 1:50 p.m. ET April 02, 2004


April 2 - This was the week the curtain got pulled back on the Bush presidency. In exchange for allowing Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath, President Bush gets to bring along his vice president when he appears privately before the commission.


A top Republican strategist dubbed the legal document striking the unusual deal “the Wizard of Oz letter” because it strips away the myth that Bush is in charge. Until now, it’s been all speculation about Vice President Cheney’s influence. With the revelation of the tandem testimony, nobody with a straight face can deny Cheney is a co-president or worse, the puppeteer who pulls Bush’s strings.


Aside from being fodder for the late-night comics, the arrangement confirms Bush’s inability to articulate anything without a script--or a tutor by his side. There’s a reason lawyers don’t take testimony in groups. The whole idea is to get individual recollections and then compare stories to uncover contradictions. Try thinking about it this way: can anyone imagine Bush’s father in a similar situation bringing his vice president? (For those who need a refresher course, the elder Bush was a rocket scientist compared to his son, and the vice president was Dan Quayle.)


Even President Reagan testified alone on the Iran-contra scandal. He didn’t insist on having Vice President Bush sit beside him. Of course, Reagan couldn’t remember much of anything. His faculties were failing as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, which he later revealed. Still, Reagan permitted his testimony to be videotaped.


This is a defining moment in the Bush presidency because it reveals weakness at the top.



What Cheney and the tight circle around Bush are protecting is the myth they have created since 9/11 of a war president astride the world stage.

Anybody who punctures that imagery is destroyed. Richard Clarke is only the latest in a series of insiders who have pulled back the curtain. At the center is an incurious president who is so inarticulate that he can’t be left on his own to make a sustained argument on behalf of his policies without falling back on rehearsed talking points and sound bites.


The Democrats must be greatly tempted to lampoon Bush, but they should leave that to Jay Leno and Jon Stewart. John Kerry is smart to stay out of the way when it comes to the 9/11 commission. The Bush strategy is to muddy the picture, castigate Clarke as a disgruntled partisan, and portray his criticisms as nothing but politics. But Clarke’s book is flying off the shelves, and his revelations will be followed later this month by a sequel to “Bush at War” from Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, which the White House is nervously anticipating.


Also due by the end of April is a memoir/expose by Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who angered the administration last year when he went public with his finding that Iraq had not sought uranium from Africa. Wilson’s wife was then exposed as a CIA operative by columnist Robert Novak, who was acting on information provided by the administration. Wilson’s book is titled, “The Politics of Truth.” It could be subtitled: “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”


Wilson praises Clarke for how he’s handling himself in the media spotlight. “He’s a ferocious bureaucrat,” says Wilson, “and I mean that in the positive sense of the term. He learned to operate in that environment.” When 9/11 commissioner Jim Thompson confronted Clarke on the gap between what he is saying now and the rosy briefings he gave while working the White House, Clarke explained that was politics. Wilson says an effective response would have been to point out to the many lawyers on the 9/11 commission that White House aides are paid to make the case for the president just as lawyers make the case for their client. “If you can’t abide it, then you step away,” says Wilson. “Clarke was in it for the long haul, to roll back Al Qaeda.”


Clarke said under oath that he would not accept a job with the Kerry campaign, and he asked an activist group (MoveOn.org) to stop using his voice on an ad bashing Bush. What Clarke said has been said before, that the Bush administration was slow to recognize the terrorist threat before 9/11 and that going to war in Iraq was unnecessary and has made us less safe. The difference is who’s saying it. Clark is not some Washington time-server. He’s the ultimate serious guy who knows what he’s doing and cares passionately about countering terrorism. He was Bush’s crisis manager on 9/11, the man who sat in the chair in the Situation Room while other top aides fled to safety.


The person whose reputation got hurt the most during the Clarke counterattack was Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who went to the Senate floor to threaten Clarke with perjury. It was crude character assassination, and it opened the door for Democrats to make the same accusation against Condoleezza Rice, who has made more conflicting statements than Clarke. The danger is not that Rice might actually be prosecuted, but the charge is political mud, and it might stick.



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In every election since George Bush first ran for Governor of Texas, Democrats have sought to portray him as a stupid moron who is controlled by his advisors and who has succeded only because of his daddy. And in every such election, George Bush has won and the Democrats engaged in this line of attack have lost.


Do you ever learn? If you think that the George-Bush-is-a-Stupid-Daddy's-Boy line of attack is effective, just ask Ann Richards and Al Gore how well it works.

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>Do you ever learn? If you think that the

>George-Bush-is-a-Stupid-Daddy's-Boy line of attack is

>effective, just ask Ann Richards and Al Gore how well it



The biggest mistake that the Democrats keep making with Bush is to think he is dumb. That is why he also made the Democrats eat their lunch with the 2002 congressional elections by under estimating him and thinking he was dumb.


If they really want to beat him in this Election they will get past the "he is Dumb" stuff and bring up some real issues. God knows there are many to raise. Hopefully they will not rely on the same failed Dumb strategy of the past...if so I fear W will be around for 4 more.

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>In every election since George Bush first ran for Governor of

>Texas, Democrats have sought to portray him as a stupid moron

>who is controlled by his advisors and who has succeded only

>because of his daddy. And in every such election, George Bush

>has won and the Democrats engaged in this line of attack have



>Do you ever learn? If you think that the

>George-Bush-is-a-Stupid-Daddy's-Boy line of attack is

>effective, just ask Ann Richards and Al Gore how well it



I suppose i could ask Ann Richards, but he didn't beat Al Gore. Oh, that's right, Shrub did beat him, 5-4.

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>I suppose i could ask Ann Richards, but he didn't beat Al

>Gore. Oh, that's right, Shrub did beat him, 5-4.


The New York Times says that you're lying. So does every other media outlet which actually counted the ballots. All of them concluded that George Bush would have won on the vote EVEN IF the recount had been concluded. That won't stop you from repeating this lie, though. Guess what that makes you?


The New York Times, November 18, 2001:


Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote




"A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year's presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.


Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court's order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.


Even under the strategy that Mr. Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida standoff — filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties — Mr. Bush would have kept his lead, according to the ballot review conducted for a consortium of news organizations."

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It makes me a truth teller, Dougie. As usual, you search out 'facts' that support your views, yet conveniently ignoring reality and the true issues at hand:


Fact: Al Gore won the popular vote.

Fact: Thousands of Florida voters were disenfranchised by Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris.

Fact: George Bush was appointed to the presidency by a Supreme Court vote of 5-4.


Nation Investigation Reveals Florida Officials Shut Out Tens of Thousands of Black Voters on Election Day


NEW YORK - April 12 - While stories of Florida's hanging and dimpled chads have covered news pages since Election Day, a new Nation investigation reveals that Florida elections officials -- including Secretary of State Katherine Harris -- engineered an electoral system that was stacked against black voters from the start and was in place well before the election.

According to the investigation by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Lantigua in the April 30 issue of The Nation, Florida's black community -- bitterly at odds with Jeb Bush -- mounted a voter registration drive that increased black voter turnout in November by an astounding 65 percent. In what many in the black community saw as a direct response to their efforts, the state took steps that led to the wrongful disenfranchisement of many current voters and failed to make preparations to accommodate the huge numbers of new black voters.


"Despite one well-reported incident involving a police checkpoint near a polling place, disfranchisement 2000-style did not depend on intimidation," Lantigua writes in The Nation. "Instead, Florida state elections officials and hired data crunchers used computers to target thousands of voters, many of whom were then purged from the voter rolls without reason. And many thousands more saw their votes thrown out as a result of error-prone voting machines and poorly designed ballots, the results of an underfunded and chaotic electoral system."


In all, some 200,000 Floridians were either not permitted to vote on Election Day or had their ballots discarded and not counted. A large and disproportionate number were black, according to The Nation, which has been recognized for its ongoing reporting on the Florida election debacle.


"The Nation's investigation into the way Florida, under Governor Jeb Bush, systematically purged the state's voter rolls and denied tens of thousands of African Americans their right to vote is a frightening wake-up call for our democracy," according to Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. "The revelations in our story cannot undo the corruption in Florida's election last November, but they can and should spur reforms that will ensure that 2000 is the last time that African Americans will be unfairly targeted and denied their rights in the voting booth in Florida or anywhere in America."


A pending NAACP lawsuit charges Secretary of State Harris and other Florida officials with violating the 14th Amendment and the 1965 Voter Rights Act and demands many reforms to the Florida electoral system. In its March interim assessment, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission said it had uncovered evidence that is likely to lead to "findings of probable discrimination."


According to The Nation's investigation:


-- In 1998 and 1999, Florida contracted with two data analysis firms to purge the voter rolls of felons and other ineligible voters. (Florida is one of only 14 states in the nation that does not restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.) In both cases, the results were error-filled and targeted blacks in extremely disproportionate number. "I felt like I was slingshotted back into slavery," Reverend Willie David Whiting, a black pastor from Tallahassee, said after arriving at his polling place to find himself listed as a convicted felon and refused the right to vote despite never having spent a day in jail.


-- Emmett "Bucky" Mitchell IV, the assistant general counsel to the Florida Division of Elections who headed the purge effort, knew that the purge lists would include people who were not felons because of the intentionally loose standards used to draw up the purge lists. Mitchell justified the standards to The Nation on the following grounds, "Just as some people might have been removed from the list who shouldn't have been, some voted who shouldn't have." In other words, because an ineligible person may have voted somewhere else, it was acceptable to deny a legitimate voter the right to vote. Mitchell said this policy was approved by the former head of the Division of Elections, after consultation with Secretary of State Harris.


-- More than a year before the election, thousands of complaints were already coming in from citizens who had been unfairly purged. Many more wouldn't discover the state's errors until Election Day when they were not allowed to vote.


-- Florida state officials refused to appropriate $100,000 targeted for voter education that had been requested by county supervisors -- education that was critical for many of November's first-time black voters. The lack of informed voters, along with the lack of sufficient machines and poll workers, contributed to the chaos on Election Day.


The Nation also details numerous other problems that came to light after the election, including cases of voters who registered in plenty of time but were not allowed to vote. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund documented numerous incidents where Latino voters were improperly denied the right to vote. The organization also cited polling places that could not provide bilingual ballots and had no bilingual poll workers, as required by law. Furthermore, there were many occasions where Florida electoral laws were misunderstood by poll workers to the detriment of voters.


Nation contributor Gregory Palast documented Florida's improper purging of out-of-state felons, whose right to vote had been automatically restored, in a report in the February 5, 2001 issue of The Nation, which can be accessed at http://www.thenation.com. Subsequently, Florida changed its policy.


John Lantigua shared the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for his work at the Miami Herald on voter fraud in the 1997 Miami mayoral race.



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Dougie's the liar here. He loves twisting the truth into unrecognizable contortions.


The Supreme Court appointed Bush to the Presidency, pure and simple. It intruded in the grossest possible way into a process that has historically been considered a responsibility of the states: conducting elections. The State of Florida was industriously dealing with resolving the issues of its flawed election in 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and STOPPED THE PROCESS, DECLARING BUSH THE PRESIDENT.


Anything subsequent to that, including the questionable recount by the press, is meaningless, because once the Supreme Court acted, the fat lady had sung.


Dougie has failed, in other threads, to answer what he would say if the press recount had revealed that Gore had actually won in Florida. Given the closeness of the election, that's a real possibility. Would Dougie still be crowing about that press recount even though the Supreme Court had anointed the wrong man? I doubt he'll answer in this thread. But you might want to ask yourselves, gentle readers, how YOU would react if that were the case, and it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Supreme Court staged a judicial coup d'etat.


Dougie keeps saying "it can't happen here," even when we've just lived through the most glaring evidence that it HAS happened here! It's a very strange world Dougie lives in, that trailer park of his! I hear it's called the Rod Serling Memorial Motor Home Resort. . .x(

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