The Bush Files

A sampling of the day’s best independent news, views, and resources on US politics, keeping an eye on the Bush Administration. Updated each weekday.


Apr. 6, 2001

A day late, 2,500 votes short — The Consortium
One day after it published a story which prompted hundreds of news outlets to declare that George W. Bush would have won a Florida recount, The Miami Herald published a clarifying article which essentially said Gore was just as likely, if not more so, to have won a recount based on the Herald’s own research. Needless to say, few papers picked up that story.

Bush nominees have Contra ties — Guardian (UK)
Human-rights activists are gearing up to protest the nominations of John Negroponte as UN ambassador and Otto Reich as a State Department attache to Latin America. Both have ties to CIA schemes in which Central American insurgents were trained and financed by the US to topple democratically elected governments during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.

Finnish guys done being nice, at last — Helsingin Sonomat
OK, maybe it’s of more international diplomatic concern that the Bush administration has irked the Chinese, but Finland is rather peeved with Dubya, too. Like their counterparts in other European nations, Finnish ministers call the US decision to flout the Kyoto treaty “selfish and irresponsible.”

UN says Bush global warming claims bogus — New Scientist
Dubya claims that the world’s scientists are divided over the causes of global warming. But the UN says only a tiny minority of scientists doubt that human activity contributes significantly to the phenomenon, and that overall, researchers are about as close to unanimity on global warming as any scientific community can come.

Apr. 5, 2001

Canada leader calls Bush reckless, ignorant — Toronto Star
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is totally fed up with Dubya, after a meeting in which he had to explain to the US leader where Prince Edward Island was before discussing the US ban on potato exports from that province. Chretien also criticized Buysh’s “cowboy” style while handling the delictate spy plane situation with China and characterized the president as politically naive. (Thanks to Patrick Cain for the link.)

Critics knock “Condoleezza” oil tanker — San Francisco Chronicle
How close is the Bush administration to Big Oil? Too close, say critics. Chevron named a massive double-hulled oil tanker after Condoleezza Rice several years ago when she was on the petroleum company’s board of directors. It’s unseemly and potentially disruptive to diplomatic relations, critics say, for the tanker to retain the name now that Rice is National Security Adviser, especially in light of human rights abuses in the countries where Chevron does business.

Apr. 4, 2001

Bush guts AIDS office anyway — The Data Lounge
When White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card announced in February that the Bush Administration intended to close the White House offices of AIDS and race relations, a huge public outcry ensued. In typical Bush White House fashion, officials hung Card out to dry, saying his statement about the closures was a “misunderstanding.” The storm blew over, and it seems that now the AIDS office, at least, is empty anyway: all that remains seems to be a perfunctory Web site with a telephone number no one answers. Even the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS reports that it isn’t sure if the office exists any longer.

Bipartisan my foot — The Columbus Dispatch
Writes the Dispatch’s Jack Torry: “[O]n issue after issue, Bush has passed on chances to reach across party lines. He preaches bipartisanship, but instead of patiently stitching together coalitions on taxes, health care and the environment, he is governing as a staunch conservative in a hurry to be great.” (Thanks to David P. Lantz for the tip.)

Bush’s compassion is wallet-deep — The Chicago Sun-Times
Columnist Andrew Greeley says that so far, Bush’s reputed “compassion” has extended only to the rich (massive tax breaks proposed for the very wealthy) and special coprorate interests, such as the oil industry (proposed drilling in the ANWR), the mining industry (no more restrictions on arsenic in drinking water or CO2 emissions in the air), and big business (no ergonomic regulations for employers). (Thanks to Bambi Bellows for the tip.)

Apr. 3, 2001

The US as ‘rogue state’ — Guardian (UK)
The rest of the world is so peeved over Bush’s decision to turn his back on the Kyoto protocol that the Guardian (UK) describes America as “the ultimate rogue state.”

There’s no shortage of natural gas — Reuters
Bush wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to natural gas exploration, yet much of the natural gas already being dug up in Alaska is going unused. “I’m not sure what [Bush] means,” said Chuck Logsdon, chief petroleum economist for the state of Alaska. “Clearly there’s lots of stranded gas in the Arctic, both in Alaska and in Canada. We’ve got lots of it, and it’s not going anywhere right now. Heck, we’ve got a whole bunch of it at Prudhoe Bay that we want to sell.” (Thanks to Kaushik Banerjee for the tip.)

Apr. 2, 2001

US elections too bad to be monitored — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The nation’s voting system is so troubled, according to former President Jimmy Carter, that the US would not qualify to have monitors from his Carter Center oversee federal elections. (And we were only joking when we suggested election monitors before the November election.)

Chafee chafing GOP — Roll Call
Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee has indicated that he’s likely to jump the GOP ship and vote with the Democrats against Bush’s budget, because he believes the tax-cut component is recklessly high. Roll Call quotes one GOP Senator as saying, “People are really pissed off” that Chafee seems determined to abandon his party on such a crucial component of Bush’s agenda.

CO2 flip-flop pushed by former auto-exhaust lobbyist — The Center for Public Integrity
George W. Bush’s decision to reverse his campaign promise to limit carbon dioxide emissions was routed through a White House aide who was recently a top lobbyist for a major automobile exhaust system manufacturer.

Canada happy to accept US drilling in Arctic — The Toronto Star
Canada objects to Dubya’s proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but says the oil rigs are welcome in its own Arctic regions. The US is hinting that it would like to explore potential natural gas reserves in the Northwest Territories, and Ottowa seems more than happy to oblige, much to the horror of Canadian nationalists and environmentalists, according to The Star.