St. Cloud gets an important visitor on the campaign trail. I can’t believe they got a 757 (you may know it as Air force 1) to land at the St. Cloud airport. He’s the first sitting president to ever visit St. Cloud, and I’m surprised he did. There’s only 100,000 or so in the community, and his wife had already made stops here. But, Bush has jumped 10% in the nation wide polls as of late, and no doubt St. Cloud was the key. No Doubt.
there were a few protesters out and about as i drove through town that morning. i wasn’t able to read all of the signs, but the one i saw read: “Bush, Like A Rock, but Dumber” I’d imagine the other signs were better.
Bush was later heard yelling at a protester, saying “I know you are but what am I” and “just when I thought you couldn’t get any dumber, you go and do something like this. And totally redeam yourself!”
September 18, 2004 — 9:07 am
A friend from work’s mom went to the Bush deal and brought her 16 yr. old grandson. The grandson had a Kerry t-shirt on and security wouldn’t allow him in. He offered to take the shirt off and they still wouldn’t allow him in. That’s pretty weak in my book – no matter which party you support.
I guess we can add freedom of expression to the list of other things that Bush has destroyed in this country – list as follows:
1. Budget – It was balanced when Clinton gave him the reins but now we are in the red futher than the 90 elections (remember Ross Perot and his platform?)
2. Jobs – we are at an all-time low and it’s not getting any better
3. There was that small issue of invading a country w/o sufficient evidence to justify it (see budget)
4. The role of leader/embassador/role-model on foreign relations. We’re pretty much on our own with Bush, with the exception of a small island on the other side of the atlantic known for their fish and chips – and they are becoming wary as well. This will take a LONG time to repair.
Just a few – I’m sure I could offer several more but this is just a comment
September 20, 2004 — 6:43 pm
They don’t allow any non-Bush supporters at any of his rallies because they know what will happen if he’s called out and his team hasn’t prepped him on how to answer the question. It embarrassing to me to have someone leading our country who is just plain dumb. My comments aren’t geared to attack the guy just because he’s republican. I know if McCain would’ve gotten his party’s nomination at the last election, I would’ve voted for him. But our current leader has done a lot more harm than good.
September 21, 2004 — 10:24 am
Bush by numbers: Four years of double standards
By Graydon Carter / Independent
1 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security issued between 20 January 2001 and 10 September 2001 that mentioned al-Qa’ida.
104 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein.
101 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned missile defence.
65 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned weapons of mass destruction.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.
73 Number of times that Bush mentioned terrorism or terrorists in his three State of the Union addresses.
83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam, Iraq, or regime (as in change) in his three State of the Union addresses.
$1m Estimated value of a painting the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, received from Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States and Bush family friend.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned Saudi Arabia in his three State of the Union addresses.
1,700 Percentage increase between 2001 and 2002 of Saudi Arabian spending on public relations in the United States.
79 Percentage of the 11 September hijackers who came from Saudi Arabia.
3 Number of 11 September hijackers whose entry visas came through special US-Saudi “Visa Express” programme.
140 Number of Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated from United States almost immediately after 11 September.
14 Number of Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) agents assigned to track down 1,200 known illegal immigrants in the United States from countries where al-Qa’ida is active.
$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.
$0 Amount approved by George Bush to hire more INS special agents.
$10m Amount Bush cut from the INS’s existing terrorism budget.
$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash.
$5m Amount a 1996 federal commission was given to study legalised gambling.
7 Number of Arabic linguists fired by the US army between mid-August and mid-October 2002 for being gay.
George Bush: Military man
1972 Year that Bush walked away from his pilot duties in the Texas National Guard, Nearly two years before his six-year obligation was up.
$3,500 Reward a group of veterans offered in 2000 for anyone who could confirm Bush’s Alabama guard service.
600-700 Number of guardsmen who were in Bush’s unit during that period.
0 Number of guardsmen from that period who came forward with information about Bush’s guard service.
0 Number of minutes that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, the assistant Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, the former chairman of the Defence Policy Board, Richard Perle, and the White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove the main proponents of the war in Iraq served in combat (combined).
0 Number of principal civilian or Pentagon staff members who planned the war who have immediate family members serving in uniform in Iraq.
8 Number of members of the US Senate and House of Representatives who have a child serving in the military.
10 Number of days that the Pentagon spent investigating a soldier who had called the President “a joke” in a letter to the editor of a Newspaper.
46 Percentage increase in sales between 2001 and 2002 of GI Joe figures (children’s toys).
2 Number of Nations that George Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into office.
130 Approximate Number of countries (out of a total of 191 recognised by the United Nations) with a US military presence.
43 Percentage of the entire world’s military spending that the US spends on defence. (That was in 2002, the year before the invasion of Iraq.)
$401.3bn Proposed military budget for 2004.
Saviour of Iraq
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.
2.5 Number of hours after Rumsfeld learnt that Osama bin Laden was a suspect in the 11 September attacks that he brought up reasons to “hit” Iraq.
237 Minimum number of misleading statements on Iraq made by top Bush administration officials between 2002 and January 2004, according to the California Representative Henry Waxman.
10m Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets on 21 February 2003, in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, the largest simultaneous protest in world history.
$2bn Estimated monthly cost of US military presence in Iraq projected by the White House in April 2003.
$4bn Actual monthly cost of the US military presence in Iraq according to Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld in 2004.
$15m Amount of a contract awarded to an American firm to build a cement factory in Iraq.
$80,000 Amount an Iraqi firm spent (using Saddam’s confiscated funds) to build the same factory, after delays prevented the American firm from starting it.
2000 Year that Cheney said his policy as CEO of Halliburton oil services company was “we wouldn’t do anything in Iraq”.
$4.7bn Total value of contracts awarded to Halliburton in Iraq and Afghanistan.
$680m Estimated value of Iraq reconstruction contracts awarded to Bechtel.
$2.8bn Value of Bechtel Corp contracts in Iraq.
$120bn Amount the war and its aftermath are projected to cost for the 2004 fiscal year.
35 Number of countries to which the United States suspended military assistance after they failed to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from prosecution before the International Criminal Court.
92 Percentage of Iraq’s urban areas with access to potable water in late 2002.
60 Percentage of Iraq’s urban areas with access to potable water in late 2003.
55 Percentage of the Iraqi workforce who were unemployed before the war.
80 Percentage of the Iraqi workforce who are unemployed a Year after the war.
0 Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender in May 1945.
37 Death toll of US soldiers in Iraq in May 2003, the month combat operations “officially” ended.
0 Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home that the Bush administration has permitted to be photographed.
0 Number of memorial services for the returned dead that Bush has attended since the beginning of the war.
A soldier’s best friend
40,000 Number of soldiers in Iraq seven months after start of the war still without Interceptor vests, designed to stop a round from an AK-47.
$60m Estimated cost of outfitting those 40,000 soldiers with Interceptor vests.
62 Percentage of gas masks that army investigators discovered did Not work properly in autumn 2002.
90 Percentage of detectors which give early warning of a biological weapons attack found to be defective.
87 Percentage of Humvees in Iraq not equipped with armour capable of stopping AK-47 rounds and protecting against roadside bombs and landmines at the end of 2003.
Making the country safer
$3.29 Average amount allocated per person Nationwide in the first round of homeland security grants.
$94.40 Amount allocated per person for homeland security in American Samoa.
$36 Amount allocated per person for homeland security in Wyoming, Vice-President Cheney’s home state.
$17 Amount allocated per person in New York state.
$5.87 Amount allocated per person in New York City.
$77.92 Amount allocated per person in New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University, Bush’s alma mater.
76 Percentage of 215 cities surveyed by the US Conference of Mayors in early 2004 that had yet to receive a dime in federal homeland security assistance for their first-response units.
5 Number of major US airports at the beginning of 2004 that the Transportation Security Administration admitted were Not fully screening baggage electronically.
22,600 Number of planes carrying unscreened cargo that fly into New York each month.
5 Estimated Percentage of US air cargo that is screened, including cargo transported on passenger planes.
95 Percentage of foreign goods that arrive in the United States by sea.
2 Percentage of those goods subjected to thorough inspection.
$5.5bn Estimated cost to secure fully US ports over the Next decade.
$0 Amount Bush allocated for port security in 2003.
$46m Amount the Bush administration has budgeted for port security in 2005.
15,000 Number of major chemical facilities in the United States.
100 Number of US chemical plants where a terrorist act could endanger the lives of more than one million people.
0 Number of new drugs or vaccines against “priority pathogens” listed by the Centres for Disease Control that have been developed and introduced since 11 September 2001.
Giving a hand up to the advantaged
$10.9m Average wealth of the members of Bush’s original 16-person cabinet.
75 Percentage of Americans unaffected by Bush’s sweeping 2003 cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes.
$42,000 Average savings members of Bush’s cabinet received in 2003 as a result of cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes.
10 Number of fellow members from the Yale secret society Skull and Bones that Bush has named to important positions (including the Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum Jr. and SEC chief Bill Donaldson).
79 Number of Bush’s initial 189 appointees who also served in his father’s administration.
A man with a lot of friends
$113m Amount of total hard money the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign received, a record.
$11.5m Amount of hard money raised through the Pioneer programme, the controversial fund-raising process created for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign. (Participants pledged to raise at least $100,000 by bundling together cheques of up to $1,000 from friends and family. Pioneers were assigned numbers, which were included on all cheques, enabling the campaign to keep track of who raised how much.)
George Bush: Money manager
4.7m Number of bankruptcies that were declared during Bush’s first three years in office.
2002 The worst year for major markets since the recession of the 1970s.
$489bn The US trade deficit in 2003, the worst in history for a single year.
$5.6tr Projected national surplus forecast by the end of the decade when Bush took office in 2001.
$7.22tr US national debt by mid-2004.
George Bush: Tax cutter
87 Percentage of American families in April 2004 who say they have felt no benefit from Bush’s tax cuts.
39 Percentage of tax cuts that will go to the top 1 per cent of American families when fully phased in.
49 Percentage of Americans in April 2004 who found that their taxes had actually gone up since Bush took office.
88 Percentage of American families who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes.
$30,858 Amount Bush himself saved in taxes in 2003.
9.3m Number of US unemployed in April 2004.
2.3m Number of Americans who lost their jobs during first three Years of the Bush administration.
22m Number of jobs gained during Clinton’s eight years in office.
Friend of the poor
34.6m Number of Americans living below the poverty line (1 in 8 of the population).
6.8m Number of people in the workforce but still classified as poor.
35m Number of Americans that the government defines as “food insecure,” in other words, hungry.
$300m Amount cut from the federal programme that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes.
40 Percentage of wealth in the United States held by the richest 1 per cent of the population.
18 Percentage of wealth in Britain held by the richest 1e per cent of the population.
George Bush And his special friend
$60bn Loss to Enron stockholders, following the largest bankruptcy in US history.
$205m Amount Enron CEO Kenneth Lay earned from stock option profits over a four-year period.
$101m Amount Lay made from selling his Enron shares just before the company went bankrupt.
$59,339 Amount the Bush campaign reimbursed Enron for 14 trips on its corporate jet during the 2000 campaign.
30 Length of time in months between Enron’s collapse and Lay (whom the President called “Kenny Boy”) still not being charged with a crime.
George Bush: Lawman
15 Average number of minutes Bush spent reviewing capital punishment cases while governor of Texas.
46 Percentage of Republican federal judges when Bush came to office.
57 Percentage of Republican federal judges after three years of the Bush administration.
33 Percentage of the $15bn Bush pledged to fight Aids in Africa that must go to abstinence-only programmes.
The Civil libertarian
680 Number of suspected al-Qa’ida members that the United States admits are detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
42 Number of nationalities of those detainees at Guantanamo.
22 Number of hours prisoners were handcuffed, shackled, and made to wear surgical masks, earmuffs, and blindfolds during their flight to Guantanamo.
32 Number of confirmed suicide attempts by Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
24 Number of prisoners in mid-2003 being monitored by psychiatrists in Guantanamo’s new mental ward.
A health-conscious president
43.6m Number of Americans without health insurance by the end of 2002 (more than 15 per cent of the population).
2.4m Number of Americans who lost their health insurance during Bush’s first year in office.
$44m Amount the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign and the Republican National Committee received in contributions from the fossil fuel, chemical, timber, and mining industries.
200 Number of regulation rollbacks downgrading or weakening environmental laws in Bush’s first three years in office.
31 Number of Bush administration appointees who are alumni of the energy industry (includes four cabinet secretaries, the six most powerful White House officials, and more than 20 other high-level appointees).
50 Approximate number of policy changes and regulation rollbacks injurious to the environment that have been announced by the Bush administration on Fridays after 5pm, a time that makes it all but impossible for news organisations to relay the information to the widest possible audience.
50 Percentage decline in Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions against polluters under Bush’s watch.
34 Percentage decline in criminal penalties for environmental crimes since Bush took office.
50 Percentage decline in civil penalties for environmental crimes since Bush took office.
$6.1m Amount the EPA historically valued each human life when conducting economic analyses of proposed regulations.
$3.7m Amount the EPA valued each human life when conducting analyses of proposed regulations during the Bush administration.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned global warming, clean air, clean water, pollution or environment in his 2004 State of the Union speech. His father was the last president to go through an entire State of the Union address without mentioning the environment.
1 Number of paragraphs devoted to global warming in the EPA’s 600-page “Draft Report on the Environment” presented in 2003.
68 Number of days after taking office that Bush decided Not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases by roughly 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. The United States was to cut its level by 7 per cent.
1 The rank of the United States worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
25 Percentage of overall worldwide carbon dioxide emissions the United States is responsible for.
53 Number of days after taking office that Bush reneged on his campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
14 Percentage carbon dioxide emissions will increase over the next 10 years under Bush’s own global-warming plan (an increase of 30 per cent above their 1990 levels).
408 Number of species that could be extinct by 2050 if the global-warming trend continues.
5 Number of years the Bush administration said in 2003 that global warming must be further studied before substantive action could be taken.
62 Number of members of Cheney’s 63-person Energy Task Force with ties to corporate energy interests.
0 Number of environmentalists asked to attend Cheney’s Energy Task Force meetings.
6 Number of months before 11 September that Cheney’s Energy Task Force investigated Iraq’s oil reserves.
2 Percentage of the world’s population that is British.
2 Percentage of the world’s oil used by Britain.
5 Percentage of the world’s population that is American.
25 Percentage of the world’s oil used by America.
63 Percentage of oil the United States imported in 2003, a record high.
24,000 Estimated number of premature deaths that will occur under Bush’s Clear Skies initiative.
300 Number of Clean Water Act violations by the mountaintop-mining industry in 2003.
750,000 Tons of toxic waste the US military, the world’s biggest polluter, generates around the world each Year.
$3.8bn Amount in the Superfund trust fund for toxic site clean-ups in 1995, the Year “polluter pays” fees expired.
$0m Amount of uncommitted dollars in the Superfund trust fund for toxic site clean-ups in 2003.
270 Estimated number of court decisions citing federal Negligence in endangered-species protection that remained unheeded during the first year of the Bush administration.
100 Percentage of those decisions that Bush then decided to allow the government to ignore indefinitely.
68.4 Average Number of species added to the Endangered and Threatened Species list each year between 1991 and 2000.
0 Number of endangered species voluntarily added by the Bush administration since taking office.
50 Percentage of screened workers at Ground Zero who now suffer from long-term health problems, almost half of whom don’t have health insurance.
78 Percentage of workers at Ground Zero who now suffer from lung ailments.
88 Percentage of workers at Ground Zero who Now suffer from ear, nose, or throat problems.
22 Asbestos levels at Ground Zero were 22 times higher than the levels in Libby, Montana, where the W R Grace mine produced one of the worst Superfund disasters in US history.
Image booster for the US
2,500 Number of public-diplomacy officers employed by the State Department to further the image of the US abroad in 1991.
1,200 Number of public-diplomacy officers employed by the State Department to further US image abroad in 2004.
4 Rank of the United States among countries considered to be the greatest threats to world peace according to a 2003 Pew Global Attitudes study (Israel, Iran, and North Korea were considered more dangerous; Iraq was considered less dangerous).
$66bn Amount the United States spent on international aid and diplomacy in 1949.
$23.8bn Amount the United States spent on international aid and diplomacy in 2002.
85 Percentage of Indonesians who had an unfavourable image of the United States in 2003.
90 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 26 September 2001.
67 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 26 September 2002.
54 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 30 September, 2003.
50 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 15 October 2003.
49 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president in May 2004.
More like the French than he would care to admit
28 Number of vacation days Bush took in August 2003, the second-longest vacation of any president in US history. (Record holder Richard Nixon.)
13 Number of vacation days the average American receives each Year.
28 Number of vacation days Bush took in August 2001, the month he received a 6 August Presidential Daily Briefing headed “Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike US Targets.”
500 Number of days Bush has spent all or part of his time away from the White House at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, his parents’ retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, or Camp David as of 1 April 2004.
No fool when it comes to the press
11 Number of press conferences during his first three Years in office in which Bush referred to questions as being “trick” ones.
Factors in his favour
3 Number of companies that control the US voting technology market.
52 Percentage of votes cast during the 2002 midterm elections that were recorded by Election Systems & Software, the largest voting-technology firm, a big Republican donor.
29 Percentage of votes that will be cast via computer voting machines that don’t produce a paper record.
17 On 17 November 2001, The Economist printed a correction for having said George Bush was properly elected in 2000.
$113m Amount raised by the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, the most in American electoral history.
$185m Amount raised by the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign, to the end of March 2004.
$200m Amount that the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign expects to raise by November 2004.
268 Number of Bush-Cheney fund-raisers who had earned Pioneer status (by raising $100,000 each) as of March 2004.
187 Number of Bush-Cheney fund-raisers who had earned Ranger status (by raising $200,000 each) as of March 2004.
$64.2m The Amount Pioneers and Rangers had raised for Bush-Cheney as of March 2004.
85 Percentage of Americans who can’t Name the Chief Justice of the United States.
69 Percentage of Americans who believed the White House’s claims in September 2003 that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 11 September attacks.
34 Percentage of Americans who believed in June 2003 that Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” had been found.
22 Percentage of Americans who believed in May 2003 that Saddam had used his WMDs on US forces.
85 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a map.
30 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find the Pacific Ocean on a map.
75 Percentage of American young adults who don’t know the population of the United States.
53 Percentage of Canadian young adults who don’t know the population of the United States.
11 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find the United States on a map.
30 Percentage of Americans who believe that “politics and government are too complicated to understand.”
Another factor in his favour
70m Estimated number of Americans who describe themselves as Evangelicals who accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and who interpret the Bible as the direct word of God.
23m Number of Evangelicals who voted for Bush in 2000.
50m Number of voters in total who voted for Bush in 2000.
46 Percentage of voters who describe themselves as born-again Christians.
5 Number of states that do not use the word “evolution” in public school science courses.
This is an edited extract from “What We’ve Lost“, by Graydon Carter, published by Little Brown on 9 September
September 21, 2004 — 11:11 am
thanks for putting that in there Tim.
September 22, 2004 — 10:23 am