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Just Water Under the Bush

In: Miscellaneous

Submitted By tlove725
Words 3024
Pages 13
Just Water Under The Bush?
By: Janice Foster
There is a term that old folks often say to refer to something that has taken place in the past that cannot be changed and therefore you just get over it. This is easier said than done especially if you are the living reminder of what cannot be changed. All of us have been affected by George w. Bush and his administration whether it is good or bad, directly or indirectly. There are some of us who have been affected in ways that you can only imagine. Sometimes even though something has taken place in the past it can have an important bearing on how you prepare for your future. For Katrina and 911 victims, the term may not be so easy to apply in their lives.
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. George W. Bush is the oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush was elected president in the 2000 general election, and became the second US president whose father had held the same office. Bush did not get into office without some scandal and controversy because On December 8, 2000, the Supreme Court of Florida ordered that the Circuit Court of Leon County tabulate by hand 9,000 ballots in Miami-Dade County. It also ordered the inclusion in the certified vote totals of 215 votes identified in Palm Beach County and 168 votes identified in Miami-Dade County for Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., and Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democratic Candidates for President and Vice President. The Supreme Court noted that petitioner, Governor George W. Bush asserted that the net gain for Vice President Gore in Palm Beach County was 176 votes, and directed the Circuit Court to resolve that dispute on remand. The court further held that relief would require manual recounts in all Florida counties where so-called “under votes” had not been subject to manual tabulation. The court ordered all manual recounts to begin at once. After two recounts, Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore filed a lawsuit for a third. The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore resolved the dispute. The Florida Secretary of State certified Bush as the winner of Florida. Florida's 25 electoral votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, enough to defeat Al Gore. Many believe that Bush cheated his way into the White House and the fact that his brother was the governor of Florida during that time did not sit well with a lot of nay-Sayers. On September 11, 2001 just under eight months into Bush’s term the Twin Towers were struck by two airplanes. This horrific event that took place in New York is known and often referred to as 9-11.
September 11, 2001 was the date of the deadliest attack by foreign foes on mainland United States. At 8:48 that morning, an American Airlines flight that had been commandeered by hijackers on a Boston to Los Angeles flight crashed into the north tower of New York City's 110-story World Trade Center (WTC). Eighteen minutes later, a second hijacked plane, a United Airlines flight also en route from Boston to Los Angeles, hit the south tower. As TV viewers watched in horror, flames engulfed both buildings, and soon both crashed to the earth. Nearby structures, including the New York Stock Exchange, also suffered heavily. At 9:40 a.m., American Airlines flight 77, hijacked after taking off from Dulles Airport near Washington, crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane, United Airlines flight 93, en route from Newark to San Francisco, crashed in western Pennsylvania when heroic passengers attacked the hijackers, foiling a possible attack on the White House or the Capitol. Although lower than initially feared, the death toll was horrendous. In addition to the nineteen hijackers, 246 passengers and crew on the four planes died. The total killed at the Pentagon was 125. At the World Trade Center, some 2,600 perished, including 343 firefighters and many police officers. For months afterward, the New York Times published poignant biographical profiles of the dead. President George W. Bush, addressing a joint session of Congress on September 20, identified the perpetrators as members of Al Qaeda, a network of Islamic extremists led by Osama bin Laden, of a wealthy and prominent Saudi Arabian family. Bush proclaimed an open-ended War on Terrorism against evildoers worldwide.
In January of 2002 President George W. Bush's state of the union speech, he identifies Iraq, along with Iran and North Korea, as an "axis of evil." He vows that the U.S. "will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons." Later, President Bush publicly introduces the new defense doctrine of preemption in a speech at West Point. In some instances, the president asserts, the U.S. must strike first against another state to prevent a potential threat from growing into an actual one: "Our security will require all Americans be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.” On March 20, 2003 the War on Iraq also known as Operation Freedom began. The Bush Administration's justification for the actual invasion of Iraq concerned the threat of Hussein-controlled "Weapons of Mass Destruction" which could be given or sold to terrorist groups wishing to use them against the United States. Other justifications included turning Iraq into a friendly ally from which other Middle Eastern invasions could be mounted to freeing the Iraqi people from the oppressive of the Ba'athist regime. Some have even suggested that the mission was personal for President George W. Bush, who wanted to finish the job his father, George H. W. Bush, had started during the First Gulf War in 1991. This ill-begotten war was supposed to only cost us $65 billion. It has now cost us over $300 billion and continues to suck $6 billion a month out of our children's futures. Meanwhile the three warring tribes Bush liberated are using our money and soldiers' lives to partition the country. Operation Freedom continues to date and although many have speculated as to when Troops will retreat and end this senseless war, no date has yet to be set. Bush was re-elected in 2004. Some $40 million was raised by private sponsors such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Cinergy, Occidental Petroleum and the Nuclear Energy Institute. The money was to be spent on parties, parades, and other celebrations before and after the actual inauguration. Donors received special tickets and seating at the events. While Bill Clinton's second inauguration in 1997 cost $42.7 million, Bush drew some criticism for planning such an extravagant celebration. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated the inaugural events as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). The designation provided additional security measures and a higher number of security personnel. Bush was surrounded by Secret Service officers and police on all sides of the procession from the Capitol to the White House and snipers were positioned on top of buildings. Due to the tight security measures the most significant threat to materialize was a snowball thrown at Dick Cheney's limousine. There were many protesters and at least one fire, however, but this did not threaten the safety of the event in any significant way. Bush remained in his own limousine until he reached the last leg of the journey down Pennsylvania Avenue, where, as is traditional, he got out of his car and walked the rest of the way. This was the most heavily secured inauguration in the history of the United States. In the months leading up to the 2004 election, both parties made efforts to register new voters. In some cases, Republicans challenged or prepared to challenge the validity of many new registrations, citing instances of fictitious names such as Mary Poppins appearing on the voter rolls. Democrats accuse the Republicans of using this as an excuse for vote suppression. There were also complaints about the rejection of registrations by government agencies. College students encountered difficulties in registering where they attended school and some officials rejected voter registration forms on grounds that were contested, such as a failure to use paper of a particular weight (Ohio) or a failure to check a box on the form (Florida). Aside from such official actions, there were disputes about other voter registration activities. In Nevada and Oregon, a company hired by the Republican National Committee solicited voter registration forms, but was accused of filing only the Republicans’ forms and shredding those completed by Democrats. Nonprofit organizations, ACORN and the NAACP, were accused of submitting false voter registration forms and of carelessly or deliberately failing to submit some valid ones that they had received. An analysis of Florida voter rolls in December 2004 alleged that over 64,000 registered voters had names that also appeared in a Social Security database of death claims, according to the Chicago Tribune. The first month of Bush's second term was largely spent in debate over one of his stated goals, partial privatization of Social Security. The plan called to give younger workers the option of redirecting some payroll taxes into their own private account. Current retirees and those soon to retire would see little change, but opponents of Social Security reform contend that later retirees would receive lower benefits. Congress' budget analysts estimated that the program's trust funds would be depleted in 2052, and something had to be done to save the program. Republicans even argued that the trust fund had already been spent for other purposes with no plan to pay it back and that Social Security would run out of funds by 2018. Democrats, however, accused the President and other Republicans of creating a Social Security scare, and that the program was not in as much danger as the Republicans had claimed. Social Security plan remained a priority for Bush's national agenda for several months but it proved unpopular with the majority of the public and ultimately no reform came to pass.
During Bush’s second term he was highly criticized for his actions or should I say lack of in the case of Hurricane Katrina. On Monday August 29, 2005 at 6:10 am, Katrina made landfall. National Guardsmen accompanied by buses which totaled 475 in all and supply trucks arrived at the Superdome. FEMA director Brown said that he had only earlier that day learned that the New Orleans Convention Center had contained thousands of people without food or water for 3–4 days. He said trucks were on the way and should be there anytime. At this point major news sources had been reporting on the situation for a few days. On Friday, September 2nd, seven days after firm predictions of a Category 4 hurricane, a convoy of several dozen trucks and buses rolled into New Orleans carrying food, water, and other supplies. However, when the Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 tsunami struck the politically fractured city of Banda Aceh without warning, Indonesian officials not only knew about the situation on the ground, but delivered 175 tons of food only 2 days after the disaster. This was due to the fact that the transports were of a worldwide effort, whereas the Katrina relief effort was handled by the Federal government, alone. African Americans across the country have had stronger reactions to the disaster in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast than have whites. Blacks make harsher judgments of the federal government's response to the crisis, perceive the plight of disaster victims in a different light, and feel more emotionally connected to what's happened. More than eight-in-ten blacks (85%) say Bush could have done more to get relief efforts going quickly, compared with 63% of whites. Blacks are also considerably more critical of the federal government's performance in general 77% say the federal government's response was only fair or poor, compared with 55% of whites. While both of these attitudes are also strongly related to partisanship, these racial differences remain even when party affiliation is taken into account. The disaster has had a far more significant personal impact on blacks than whites. African Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites (43% vs. 22%) to say they have a close friend or relative who was directly affected. African Americans are also much more likely than whites to report feeling depressed and angry because of what's happened in areas affected by the hurricane. Blacks also hold more sympathetic attitudes toward the people who became stranded by the flooding in New Orleans. An overwhelming majority (77%) say most of those who stayed behind did so because they didn't have a way to leave the city, not because they wanted to stay. Most whites agree, but by a slimmer 58% to32% margin. Most blacks (57%) also think people who took things from homes and businesses in New Orleans were mostly ordinary people trying to survive during an emergency. Just 38% of whites see it that way, while as many (37%) say most who took things were criminals taking advantage of the situation. New Orleans has not fully recovered but their spirit remains triumphant and full of zest. I hope to go to a Mardi gras celebration before the end of next year.
In July 2006 Bush used his first Presidential veto on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would have expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. A similar bill was passed in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in the early summer of 2007 as part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 100-Hour Plan. However, Bush vetoed the second bill as well and the votes in Congress were still not enough to override the President's rejection of the legislation. The economy had seen a fairly large growth in Bush's second term until a huge increase in the price of oil occurred and the subprime mortgage crisis went into full swing. In the fall of 2008, the economy suffered its most serious downturn since the Great Depression. During the presidency of George W. Bush, several American politicians sought to either investigate Bush for allegedly impeachable offenses, or to bring actual impeachment charges on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. The most significant of these efforts occurred on June 10, 2008, when Congressman Dennis Kucinich, along with co-sponsor Robert Wexler, introduced 35 articles of impeachment against Bush to the U.S. House of Representatives. The House voted 251 to 166 to refer the impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee on July 25, where no further action was taken on it. The Kucinich/Wexler impeachment resolution contained 35 articles covering the Iraq war, the Valerie Plame affair, creating a case for war with Iran, capture and treatment of prisoners of war, spying and or wiretapping inside the United States, use of signing statements, failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas, the 2004 elections, medicare, Hurricane Katrina, global warming, and 9/11. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the most substantial portion of the articles of impeachment introduced by Kucinich and Wexler. 15 of the 35 articles directly relate to alleged misconduct by Bush in seeking authority for the war, and in the conduct of military action itself. Five other articles address allegations partially or tertiarily relating to the war, including the "outing" of Valerie Plame, treatment of prisoners (both in Iraq and from operations in Afghanistan and other countries), and building a case for Iran being a threat based in part on alleging Iranian actions in Iraq. Valerie Plame was a former CIA Operations Officer who was outed by someone in the Bush Administration. Official court documents released later, on April 5, 2006, reveal that Libby testified that "he was specifically authorized in advance" of his meeting with New York Times reporter Judith Miller to disclose the "key judgments" of the October 2002 classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). According to Libby's testimony, "the Vice President later advised him that the President had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE (to Judith Miller). According to his testimony, the information that Libby was authorized to disclose to Miller "was intended to rebut the allegations of an administration critic, former ambassador Joseph Wilson." Despite several efforts to impeach Bush George remained in office for the full duration of his second term. After Bush left office in January 2009, he and his wife settled in Dallas. During his first year of retirement, he delivered several speeches to mostly private audiences but avoided criticizing his Democratic successor, Pres. Barack Obama. In response to a request from Obama in January 2010, Bush and former president Bill Clinton assumed leadership of private fund-raising efforts in the United States for disaster relief in Haiti, which had been struck by a devastating earthquake earlier that month. George W. Bush currently has a book out called Decision Points which is a re-cap of his two terms and many of the decisions that got him criticism and applauses. Decisions that got him voted into office not once but twice and decisions that caused him to get a shoe thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Does George Bush think about what he could have done differently? or does he not think about it all. I often wonder does he realize the damage that he does to this country and those in other countries as well or is it all Just Water Under The Bush.


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