The Peach

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Bush Lying To Promote Reform

As if twisting the truth to get re-elected weren't enough, Bush is now back to lying in order to put a positive spin on his whacked-out agenda. In yet another bizarre attempt to promote litigation reform, he is now claiming that asbestos-litigation has caused companies to go bankrupt and is clogging the court system.

All of this is Bush again performing a slight of hand. Even though he conveniently mentioned that over 100,000 claims were filed last year, he failed to mention that only 50-60 of those went to trial. He also failed to point out that Macomb County, Michigan, where this speech was given, is among the top three Michigan counties for asbestos related deaths.

And if that weren't enough to set The Peach's fuzz afire, The Peach finds out that since 1978, 578,000 of those asbestos claims came against none other than Haliburton, VP Dick's old haunting grounds. In fact, the company just recently settled an asbestos claim against them, all while trying to get Congress to bail them out.

Just another instance of Bush distorting facts in order to protect his corporate comrades.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Next Cover-Up Expert

In articles by the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, it appears that Bush isn't nominating Alberto Gonzales for the position of attorney general, but instead as a yes-man to Bush's bizarre sense of legal policies.

The Chicago Tribune piece reaffirms Gonzales' strange interpretation of international law to include a commander in chief's ability to override laws forbidding illegal torture. The question to be put to Gonzales is whether Bush knew of these policies or whether Gonzales recommended these tactics while hiding the truth from Bush.

The Washington Post article seems to point to Gonzales favoring the latter. In 1995 Gonzales, acting as then Texas Gov. Bush's official counsel, sidestepped advising on the legality of a specific death sentence case, and instead constructed a memo which conveniently excluded crucial facts in order to justify an inmate's execution.

And in yet another piece proving that Gonzales' title should be changed to cover-up expert, the AP wire is reporting that the White House is refusing to hand over documents that provide information on the extent of Gonzales' involvement in the decision to allow aggressive interogations of terrorism detainees.

The problem The Peach is having with Gonzales' nomination is that he will not provide Bush with impartial legal advice. That is what the attorney general should do. Instead, Americans are yet again furnished with another lap-dog for Bush's ill conceived notions and policies.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Army Reserve Broken

In an article from the Chicago Tribune, Lt. Gen. James Helmly, the chief of the Army Reserves' 200,000 soldiers, is quoted in a memo to top Army officials that the Reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are quickly "degenerating into a broken force." The general goes on, blaming the deterioration on "dysfuntional" Army and Pentagon policies and their unwillingness to change their tactics. Of the 150,000 American troops in Iraq, 30,000 are Army Reserve.

In his memo the general alerts officials of his "deepening concern" as to the Army Reserves' "inability to meet mission requirements," echoing many warnings that the Army is spread too thin. Though The Peach has always voiced its concerns about American troops, in this case there is a fear that Bush will do what he always does to people who speak out against his methods. Rather then fix the problem, fire the person who points it out.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

NIH Whistleblower Fires Back

In this breaking story from the AP wire, Dr. Jonathan Fishbein has testified that federal officials involved in a U.S. funded study of an AIDS drug used in Uganda endagenered the lives of hundreds of patients because of carless and negligent research practices. Dr. Fishbein went on to state that the consequences of their failure "have grave and sometimes fatal implications for the lives of real patients."

Apparently, top officials at NIH became so invested in the Ugandan trial outcome that they could not be objective and dismissed concerns that the study should have stopped, ultimately keeping the clinics distributing the flawed drug open. Documents show that NIH knew of the problems in early 2002, but failed to alert anyone. The drug, nevirapine, subsequently became the "drug du jour" for Bush's "stop AIDS in Africa" plan.

The Peach has been following this ongoing story and will continue to keep its readers posted.

Another Sign Of Failure

In an obvious rebuke of the Bush administration's Iraq plans, Iraq's president is now urging the United Nations to look into whether the country should go ahead with the planned January 30th elections. Ghazi al-Yawar's pronouncement came on the heels of the assasination of Baghdad's governor Ali Haidri, the highest-profile killing in the past eight months. In an interview with Reuters Mr. al-Yawar had this to say about U.N. involvement:
"Definitely the United Nations, the party who is independent, who cannot be threatened or intimidated and who is credible in the international community, should really stand up for their responsibilities and obligations by saying whether (the election) is possible or not."
He also pointed out that the security situation was dangerously deteriorating, and hinted that the U.S. is ignoring warnings of increased insurgent activity in other cities.

The Peach sees this as another chapter in this administration's failure in Iraq. After numerous rejections by Bush of any U.N. assistance, the interim Iraqi government is now sidestepping U.S. authority to get the U.N.'s "credible" perspective on the upcoming elections.

Monday, January 03, 2005

We're Outnumbered

If Americans really want to know why we continue to fail in Iraq, The Peach suggests they consider this article from Al Jazeera. According to the head of Iraqi intelligence, General Muhammad Abd Allah Shahwani, there are approximately 240,000 active fighters and supporters of the resistance against the Americans. The number far exceeds any figure given by the United States, who continue to place the number at around 25,000. When asked if anti-Americans were now taking control of Iraq, Shahwani responed, "I would say they aren't losing."

If Gen. Shahwani's numbers are correct, that means that U.S. forces are outnumbered by nearly 100,000. This leaves The Peach asking, who's running this circus?