11-17 I'm trying to find where I got this.
"March 4, 2006 I said it, and I'm right on this time. Somehow being right about this just doesn't have that 'feel good' feeling about it."
Bush, who calls himself a conservative, has spent more money than all previous presidents COMBINED. He doesn't do this alone. I recently watched a program showing how congress has just gone wild on a spending spree and Bush has not vetoed a single item. See the connection? Senators would be bribed with like 15 or 20 million dollars if they would vote for a certain thing e.g. NAFATA. I believe the program was a series on PBS called NOW and while a very left wing program you can't deny facts. So just why is it nobody does anything? Think about this. Our only chance is if al Qaeda sneaks a nuke into Washington DC and incinerates those greedy ass holes. The Smithsonian would be a loss but just thinking about 50,000 lawyers going up is smoke makes my heart flutter. Think about it, please......
George W Bush, a failing tax shelter salesman (in the 80's) bought a 2% interest [with $600,000] of borrowed money, on a scheme to buy the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, and bilk the residents out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The first thing they did was threaten to move this mediocre team somewhere else. So the Arlington voters, in a special election voted in a one/half percent sales tax increase to buy land and build a new stadium for the team. They needed 17 acres for the stadium but Bush wanted 200 acres for development. Not everyone wanted to sell at the bottom price offered so Bush had the city seize the property under the power of eminent domain which although you are supposed to get a fair price simply declaring e.d., automatically lowers the price of everything. The Mathes family didn't think the $800,000 offered for their 13 acres was a fair price and had the means to take them to court. After a short deliberation the court awarded the Mathes with 5 million for their property and although they still didn't want to sell were forced out. Their land eventually ended up as parking lot at the edge of the complex. The city had created a sports authority who built a beautiful brick and granite stadium and then negotiated a rent to own deal for the stadium on a dollar for dollar basis, 0% interest including the cost of maintaining the stadium. On top of that they had the option to buy the stadium for $60 million even though it cost 3 times that to build. The lawyer who represented the sports authority in this miraculous deal was Ray Hutchison a Republican insider married to Senator Kay Hutchison, the leading Texas authority on municipal bond finance.
Are you following this? Bush [with a 2% interest] and his investors bought the 'Rangers' (baseball team) for 86 million. They got the city to clear 200 acres (evicting people using eminent domain) and build a beautiful stadium for them @ Zero percent interest, rent-to-own and an option to buy at any time at 1/3rd the cost. All at taxpayer expense.
They sold the rangers nine years later for 250 million, 164 million profit and still 38.5 million less than the subsidy. Bush called it a 'win win for investment' in 98. (Win for him, win for his investors and the taxpayer picked up the bill) On his 98 tax returns he made public, he reported 17 million in long term income gains. Based on the stake he made, he should have reported just over 2 million but the rest was the 10% from the investors, not an uncommon business practice. But the 15 million is specifically addressed in the IRS rules and should have been taxed at 39.6% because it was not long term gain as Bush reported. A difference of about 3.7 million. It was about this time (1989) Bush (GW) bought his ranch near Waco with his 'earnings.' Bush was elected governor of Texas in 94.
The chance of Bush getting audited by the IRS was highest in 99 & 2000 & it just happens that those two years for the first time ever, the IRS concentrated on people earning less than $25,000 a year. I left a lot out, it is actually much worse then I can tell in so many words.
Snippet taken from a book by David Cay Johnston
called "Free Lunch."
Lets not forget what Bush (one of em) did for
medicare part IV the multi billion
give-a-way to the pharmaceuticals. The
US government will now pay pharma directly for
medicare prescriptions. No chance for fraud
And when people tried to buy the same exact drug
from cheaper places their mail was intercepted
From the Boston Globe
US steps up seizures of imported drugs
Warnings sent for prescriptions
By Christopher Rowland, Globe Staff | March 26, 2006
Thousands of Americans who order prescription drugs from Canada have received written notice that their medications have been seized, part of a US government crackdown on the cross-border discount trade.
The increase in seizures and the strong legal warnings issued to consumers mark a shift in policy for the Bush administration, which until now has rarely acted against individuals who buy drugs from Canada. The enforcement policy, which began last fall, is drawing fire from members of Congress.
Nancy Popkin, a Salem resident who has been ordering the osteoporosis treatment Fosamax from Canadian pharmacies for years, was one of those recently targeted. Popkin said she was surprised when, instead of her usual shipment of 12 tablets, she was mailed a form letter accompanied by a flier featuring a snake coiled around a drug bottle.
The notice, from the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, said her medication had been seized because ''virtually all" drugs imported by individuals into the United States are unapproved for consumption here or are dispensed without a valid prescription. The letter cited a federal statute, although there is no penalty for violating it.
Popkin was warned that only drug makers can import
prescription medications from foreign countries --
even if they were manufactured in the United
There is not a lot of this info left on the WEB, politicians have a way of 'cleaning up' history... gb
Tuesday, Feb 27, 2001 03:25 PM PDT
The Bush pardons
Now this is Rich: They include a Watergate felon, a Cuban exile terrorist and a Pakistani heroin smuggler. But where was the outrage then?
Hearing all the indignant noise about the Clinton pardons, the average citizen might understandably think that the granting of presidential clemency had never been tainted by campaign contributions, political connections or insider access. That mistaken perception, promoted by lazy journalists and partisan pundits, is being exploited by Republicans on Capitol Hill (who are never, ever influenced by rich donors).
The truth - as anyone who glances back into the history of the first Bush administration can quickly learn - is that Clinton hasn't done anything that his predecessor didn't do first and, in some cases, worse.
The widely and justly criticized pardons of Caspar Weinberger and other Iran-Contra defendants by George Herbert Walker Bush should have been just the beginning of that story. Yet, for reasons best known to the incorruptible watchdogs of the Washington press corps, Poppy's self-interested mercy upon Weinberger instigated no searching examination of the other pardons granted by the departing president. Indeed, the final dozen pardons given by Bush - including the unexplained release of a Pakistani heroin trafficker - received virtually no coverage at all.
The elder Bush delivered a few highly questionable pardons well before his last days in office. The very first of his presidency went to Armand Hammer, the legendary oilman best known for his relationships with Soviet leaders dating back to Lenin. In an investigation that grew out of Watergate, Hammer had pleaded guilty in 1975 to laundering $54,000 in illicit contributions to Nixon's reelection war chest. By the summer of 1989, when Bush gave Hammer what he wanted, the aging chief of Occidental Petroleum had been pestering government officials on his own behalf for several years.
Considering his original offense, it was ironic that Hammer won what he called the "vindication" of a presidential pardon only months after he poured well over $100,000 into Republican Party coffers, and another $100,000 into the accounts of the Bush-Quayle Inaugural committee. (In author Edward Jay Epstein's excellent biography of the oilman, there is a photograph of Hammer, his girlfriend and President Bush together at the White House in April 1990. Such visits were perks for members of Bush's "Team 100," as the GOP's most generous donors were known.)
At the time, Hammer's pardon made news, partly because his request had been turned down by President Reagan several months earlier. But nobody seemed to notice the nexus between the oilman's generosity to Bush and the new president's mercy upon Hammer.
The only hint of Hammer's influence-buying came from former Watergate prosecutor Henry Ruth, who wasn't consulted by the White House before Hammer's pardon was granted. "My view of the pardon process is that it should be given only in extraordinary circumstances, and I haven't heard of any" in Hammer's case, Ruth told the Los Angeles Times. Ruth thought the undeserved favor had been given only because Hammer was "rich" and "powerful."
Another intriguing fact went almost unnoticed back then, too. Hammer's team of attorneys included not only a close friend of Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, but also a very close friend of Bush's new White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, whose job included passing on pardon requests to the president. The Gray pal hired to help Hammer was a former Reagan Justice Department official named Theodore B. Olson. Now that Olson has been nominated as Bush's solicitor general, perhaps he will offer insights on the history of presidential pardons during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Surely Olson would testify that campaign contributions and insider influence should have nothing to do with the process.
An even more dubious case than Hammer's also
reached Bush's desk during the first year of his
presidency. In 1989, prominent Cuban-Americans in
Florida began agitating for the release of Orlando
Bosch, a notorious anti-Castro terrorist then
serving a prison term for entering the United
States illegally. American intelligence and law
enforcement authorities firmly believed that Bosch
was responsible for far worse actions, including
the 1976 explosion that brought down a Cuban
airliner, killing all 76 civilians aboard, although
Venezuelan prosecutors had failed to convict him of
that terrible crime. There was certainly no
question that Bosch was an advocate of terror and
had been involved in numerous bombings.
According to CNN
Bush as businessman
How the Texas governor made his millions
Brooks Jackson/CNNMay 13, 1999
Web posted at: 6:00 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT)
ARLINGTON, Texas (May 13) -- In Austin, Texas, not everyone admires Gov. George W. Bush.
Radio host Jim Hightower is one such Bush critic. "He says he's a compassionate conservative," Hightower said. "I say he's a crony capitalist."
"Crony capitalist?" Maybe. Multi-millionaire? Certainly.
Bush started in the Texas oil business, after Yale University and Harvard Business School. Wealthy family friends and others invested millions with him, but with poor results. A 1985 disclosure shows Bush's track record: Investors got back only 45 cents on the dollar, but few complained.
Investors also got tax deductions averaging more than 80 cents on every dollar invested. Those early Bush ventures were mainly tax shelters.
When his father was president, there were suspicions that the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain tried to enrich the younger Bush. Bahrain granted an exclusive drilling contract to Harken Energy Corporation, in which the younger Bush held stock. But he says he opposed the deal.
Bush spokesperson Karen Hughes says, "He felt the company just was not large enough, that it was outside the scope of their experience." And the deal turned out to be a loser, abandoned after two expensive dry holes.
In 1990 Bush unloaded most of his Harken shares for $835,000 about two months before Harken announced a big loss. That triggered an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into possible insider trading by Bush, but the SEC took no action.
A look at Harken's stock price may show why: Bush sold for $4 a share. Harken stock did dip to $2.38 the day after the bad earnings were released, but four days later bounced right back to $4 a share, exactly what Bush had been paid.
And the stock kept rising: Bush attorney Robert Jordan said, "A year later, in fact, the value had doubled to $8 a share."
So Bush could have done much better if he had waited.
Bush did not make his fortune in the oil fields. He made it at a major-league ball park heavily subsidized by taxpayers.
Bush takes credit for conceiving The Ballpark at Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers baseball team, which he bought in 1989 with a wealthy group of investors. Among them: billionaire Richard Rainwater of Fort Worth.
Bush invested just over $600,000, but Arlington taxpayers invested a lot more.
"It was $135 million worth of sales tax money," said attorney Glenn Sodd. "The city donated a good bit of land to the project. They got a sales tax exemption on all the items that were purchased for the stadium. We have a property tax in Texas and they were given as part of the deal a property tax exemption." A total of at least $200 million, according to Sodd.
And there's more: Sodd sued the Rangers on behalf of two families whose property was seized for stadium parking. A jury found they were paid about one-seventh of what the land was worth.
But the Rangers defend the deal.
"Basically, what we think we did was to create a model public-private partnership in which both sides came out ahead," said Bush partner and Rangers President Tom Schieffer.
Bush declined to be interviewed, but Schieffer says taxpayers got their money's worth.
"That's what we have always said in this process: 'If this wasn't good for Arlington, don't do it.' And that's the way we took it to the voters," Schieffer said. "We said, 'This is going to be good for the Rangers, no question about it. This is going to be good for us. But if it's not going to be good for you, don't do it.'"
The team threatened to move, and Arlington taxpayers voted in a half-cent increase in the sales tax. The vote was 2-to-1.
The new, subsidized stadium turned out to be a great deal for Bush. He was the most visible partner, and the publicity helped launch him into the governorship in 1994. And when the team was sold last year Bush's share came to at least $14.9 million with perhaps another $1 million or $2 million still to come.
Jim Runzheimer is one Arlington resident who opposed the deal.
"He put $600,000 into this project and he did a little bit better than Hillary Clinton," Runzheimer said. "She only made ... $100,000 or $200,000, from her dealing in commodities. Gov. Bush has made $15 million."
"Looking at it from the perspective of a businessman, this was an awfully sweet deal for the business," said Sodd. "Looking at it as a public official, we think it's lousy policy to use government money to subsidize billionaires in the pursuit of their business interests."
So Bush, the businessman, did prosper. But not by his bootstraps -- with help from wealthy friends and taxpayer subsidies.
The Failed Corporate Record of George W. Bush
Several researchers have investigated the business history of the Bush family. The facts that they have uncovered are not very pretty. The business record of George W. Bush holds some revealing insights to how his presidency has operated, and helps to explain why the country has fallen so deeply in debt and has so many other problems.
As explained by Kevin Phillips in his book, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, George W. Bush's businesses fail but he makes millions. Among Mr. Bush's business ventures:
Arbusto, an oil exploration company, lost money, but it got considerable investments (nearly $5 million) because even losing oil investments were useful as tax shelters.
Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. bought out Arbusto in 1984 and hired Mr. Bush to run the company's oil interests in Midland, Texas. The oil business collapsed as oil prices plummeted by 1986, and Spectrum 7 Energy was near failure.
Harken Energy acquired Mr. Bush's Spectrum 7 Energy shares, and he got Harken shares, a directorship, and a consulting arrangement in return. Harken, under Bush, brought in Saudi real estate tycoon Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh as a board member and a major investor. Over the next few years, Harken would turn out to have links to: Saudi money, CIA-connected Filipinos, the Harvard Endowment, the emir of Bahrain, and the shadowy Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
A 1991 internal SEC document suggested George W. Bush violated federal securities law at least 4 times in the late 1980s and early 1990s in selling Harken stock while serving as a director of Harken. This is essentially the same kind of activity that Martha Stewart is going to prison over. Except at the time of the investigation, Mr. Bush's father was president and the case was quietly dropped.
In his book, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, John W. Dean explains that his family name and his father's prominence were significant factors in George W. Bush's business "success", or, were significant factors in repeated saves from serious business and financial failures. Both Arbusto/Bush Exploration and Spectrum 7 failed with Bush as chairman and CEO. At Harken, Mr. Bush was relieved of day-to-day management responsibilities but still served on the board of directors. Dean also notes:
George W. Bush claims his formative years, which he extends to age 40, are out of bounds. Yet those are the years when one's character and values are formed. Bush had occasionally overindulged with alcohol, and he was a bit of an irresponsible youth.
Dean believes Mr. Bush took advantage of his insider information when he sold his Harken stock in 1990, but he escaped SEC penalties because his father was president and many of the investigating officials had Bush family ties and other conflicts of interest. Many of the facts about the Harken deal remain buried and Bush has stonewalled all efforts to find out more.
Our first oil company/MBA president naturally views the world through the eyes of a CEO, according to Eric Alterman and Mark Green. In their book, The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America, they describe how this results in a probusiness/anticonsumer record, including crony capitalism with the awarding of post-Iraq war contracts (Halliburton, Bechtel, and MCI/Worldcom getting most of the contracts). Alterman and Green note that the first 2 years of the Bush administration coincided with the biggest corporate scandals and bankruptcies since Teapot Dome in the 1920s. Mr. Bush had to manage a falling economy riddled with corporate malfeasance. Companies on the corporate rap sheet:
MCI/Worldcom -- the single largest corporate securities fraud in U.S. history.
Harken Energy -- Bush's behavior on Harken's board of directors was similar to that of the companies caught in the corporate scandals. Mr. Bush received several memos from Harken officials about the impending financial crisis in the company, sold his stock, then several days later the Harken financial problems wewre made public. He failed to file notice of these sales to the SEC for 8 months. The SEC simply stopped their 1990-91 investigation.
Halliburton -- Dick Cheney served as CEO and chairman from 1995-2000. He sold Halliburton stock before bad financial news regarding his company was made public. Halliburton committed fraud on its investors by overstating its earnings.
As he did to his unsuccessful businesses, George W. Bush is doing to the country -- leading it down a path of failure:
huge federal deficits
The Bush family has had financial and oil business ties with Middle Eastern countries for decades. As explained by Kevin Phillips in his 2004 book, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush:
"No other political family in the United States has had anything remotely resembling the Bushes' four-decade relationship with the Saudi royal family and the oil sheikhs of the Persion Gulf" (page 315).
The investment firm, The Carlyle Group, is run by the Bush crowd (George H.W. Bush, James Baker III, and Frank Carlucci have been/are its top managers and advisers). The Carlyle Group served as an interface between these Bush characters and the Saudi bin Laden family. "Some commentators felt that some connections between the bin Ladens and their black-sheep relative (Osama bin Laden) persisted" (page 315). This connection directly links George W. Bush to Al Quaeda and leads to the logical question: In spite of the president's rhetoric, are Mr. Bush and Osama actually working together? Could that be why Osama bin Laden hasn't been caught?
"Greg Palast (asked) 'What made this new president [George W. Bush] take particular care to protect the Saudis (after the September 11 terrorist attack), even to the point of stymieing his own intelligence agencies?' The answers, he said, kept coming back 'Carlyle' and 'Arbusto,' the two prominent interfaces between the finances of the Bush family and those of the bin Laden family" (page 316).
The Bush administration demanded major deletions (especially in the 28-page section dealing with the role played by the Saudis and other foreign governments) in the 2003 joint report of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on the origins of the 9/11 attack and how it might have been prevented (page 316).
Kevin Phillips comes to a frightening conclusion about the Bushes and America in his book on page 330:
Mr. Bush's main advisor, Karl Rove, is an avid reader of Machiavelli. Machiavelli wrote his books, The Prince and The Discourses, during the early sixteenth century at a time when his own Florentine republic was undergoing political turmoil. "French, German, and Spanish imperial power was overrunning Europe, including Italy, through a scale of wealth and military capacity that doomed many of the old city-states. Florence (Machiavelli's home), one such, surrendered its republican status in the 1530s and took the Medici as hereditary rulers. ... the advice Machiavelli gives in The Prince was dedicated to the Medicis and designed to work in the new princely, aristocratic, and neo-imperial milieu of 16th-century Italy."
"The possibility that the United States could edge toward its own Machiavellian moment in an early-21st-century milieu of terrorism, neo-imperialism, and dynastization is not far-fetched."
"Chapter 4, in its discussion of Bush domestic policy and 'compassionate conservative' rhetoric, has already referred to Machiavelli's advice that the Prince should lie but must 'be able to disguise this character well, and to be a great feigner and dissembler.' Moreover, 'to see and hear him, he [the Prince] should seem to be all mercy, faith, integrity, humanity and religion. And nothing is more necessary than to seem to have this last quality. ... Everybody sees what you appear to be, few feel what you are.'"
"Other advice dwells on the merits of fraud, hypocrisy, faithlessness, and related practices, and 20th century academicians have noted Machiavelli's appeal to leaders like Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini. Doubtless there are also hundreds of copies of The Prince at the CIA. Which makes it revealing, and arguably ill advised, that the two political advisers to the two Bush presidents should claim it as a bible of sorts."
"Even in religion, Machiavelli's advice to emphasize it is relevant to the early-21st-century United States. His career in Florence overlapped that of Friar Girolamo Savonarola, the Religious despot who ruled the gasping republic from 1494 to 1498 with a politics of fighting sin and immorality. Doubtless the youthful Machiavelli absorbed how close Savonarola came to achieving a theocracy even in republican Florence. Not a few Americans see a little bit of Savonarola in George W. Bush."
"The advent of a Machiavelli-inclined dynasty (the Bush dynasty) in what may be a Machiavellian Moment for the American Republic is not a happy coincidence, but one that demands attention."