(The following information reflect the opinions of Stilldigging.com)


[The questions that must be asked]

August 16, 2002

Skirting the Democratic process again?

1. This time the Bush administration comes under fire for trying to operate
under a veil of secrecy


Davey 'veil of secrecy? Sounds like the CIA'
Tim 'Well Bush's dad was CIA director in the 70's'

Davey 'Yeah but this is the executive branch, whose powers are traditionally checked
by the other two branches. Congressional scrutiny, congressional oversight, inquisition, inquiry,
the people have to know, checks and balances, balance of power, this is the Democratic process. '
'The Constitution demands that Congress scrutinize what the president is doing, as a precaution,
against the concentration of power and official tyranny, the Constitution demands that they make
'his business, their business, to create that dependency necessary for checks and balances.'

Tim 'except in time of war or emergency, the president becomes the central orchestrater '
'of government.'
Davey 'obviously you mean the war on terrorism'
'what exactly does this mean? Do we defer all Constitutional authority to the president?
Of course not.


Davey 'Even during time of war, even if the focus is on the president,
the separation of powers, checks and balances, still apply. Congressional scrutiny
is still necessary, we must still function as a democratic society.'

The Bush administration comes under fire for skirting congressional scrutiny
(NYT Aug 15 )

The Justice Department has stymied Senate Judiciary Committee inquiries
with 27 unanswered letters.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has threatened to subpoena the Justice Department.

In the past the White House has refused congressional inquiries on Cheney's energy panel.
August 14, the Justice Department resists inquiries by the House Judiciary Committee,
on their new police powers under the Patriot Act.

The House Judiciary Committee responds:
Rep Conyers of Michigan "yet another shot in this administrations ongoing war against
open and accountable government"
Conyers continues that Ashcroft doesn't want his activities over sighted and wants congress to butt out

The GAO responds: David Walker, Comptroller General, said the administration was less than forthcoming than any he could remember

The Senate Judiciary Committee responds:
Chairman Patrick Leahy "Since I've been here I've never known an administration that is more difficult
to get information from"

Leahy in referring to the Justice Department's attitude said their position is "we will tell you when we want
you to know, we won't tell you anything else"

Yale Law Professor Harold Koh, "law enforcement [is the] area where you need
strong independent oversight


[The questions that must be asked]

August 10, 2002

Skirting the Democratic process again?

1. This time at the expense of poor kids?
August 7, 2002 The Bush administration comes under fire from the GAO and 2 senior senators,
for allowing funds to be diverted, from programs serving poor kids. (LAT Aug 8 A14)

The GAO says the white house exceeded their legislative authority,
2 senators call Bush's waiver illegal and threaten legislative action,
The GAO chastises the HHSD,
The GAO states that there are 5 million poor kids that remain uninsured,
The Times states that this echoes a common theme, that their policymaking,
sometimes excludes Congress and the public.

Davey 'How can we do this to the poor kids of America? America's future.'
'Didn't we just shell out 31.5 billion dollars in bailout money to South America?'
Tim 'the IMF did

Davey 'Didn't Bush just sign a 28.9 billion dollar emergency spending bill?'

Tim 'Well these poor kid programs, Medicaid and SCHIP cost 232 billion dollars
last year'

Davey 'yeah but 19 states only spent less than 25% of their SCHIP funds.
What'd they spend the other 75% on? Why are there 5 million uninsured poor kids?
'Passing a waiver that allows states to divert money from poor kids, it just doesn't sound right.'

'The same waiver also allows states to bypass the democratic process,
excluding the input and oversight of Congress, state legislatures, and the public'
what're you kidding me?'

2. August 9, 2002 The FCC orders television manufacturer's to switch to Digital by 2007,
against widespread industry objections (NYT Aug 9 C5)

Davey 'orders? Can't they at least debate the issue? Why ignore the free market system? '
'the law of supply and demand? One would think the consumer would dictate this type of market'
Tim 'Well, when the switch finally happens, the FCC reclaims the old broadcast '
'spectrum. '
Davey 'so? What strategic purpose could that serve?
Tim 'I don't know, I just thought I'd mention it'
Davey 'whoever holds the patents is gonna be mighty rich'
'there we go again, the self serving corporations'

Politics getting in the way?

1. In this particular case Hillary seems to be having trouble getting money
for World Trade Center workers (LAT Aug 9 A12)

Davey 'Let see if I got this right, we shell out 31.5 Billion dollars to bail out '
'South America,
Tim 'The IMF paid the money'
Davey 'Bush recently signs a 28.9 billion dollar emergency spending bill, '
'and Hillary can't get a few dollars for new radio's? for those emergency workers '
'over there at ground zero'

Tim 'well she also wants money for a Health Tracking System'
Davey 'How much money could that possibly be? '
' what's a Health Tracking System? '


[The questions that must be asked]

August 7, 2002

Skirting the Democratic process?

1. August 7, 2002 Fast Track is signed into law, allowing the president to bypass congress
in negotiating trade deals. (NYT Aug 7 A5)

2. August 6, 2002 The president bypasses congress, while in recess,
to appoint a high level position in the Agriculture department. (NYT Aug 7 A13)
Another appointee with questionable finances, at a time when the administration is beleagered
by corporate scandals, low investor confidence, and a questionable corporate past.
Senator Tom Harkin, from the same state of Iowa, said "Mr Bush was bypassing the senate".

Davey 'Harkin?'
Tim 'I know what yor thinkin, no it's not Harken, Bushes old energy company,
it's Harkin, spelled with an I'
Davey 'oh'

3. Is there adequate compensation for displaced workers? Subsidized health insurance, job training benefits.

A religious president skirting the moral issue?

A year ago, August 9, 2001, Stem Cell Research, the destruction of human embryos
made the headlines as a great moral issue, and federally financed researchers were barred from
any further destruction (NYT Aug 7 2002 A1)

However, 7 months later, last March, with little fanfare, this limitation was reversed.

Davey 'How we suppose to maintain that strict religious sense, with decisions like this'
Tim 'Religious sense? For what?
Davey 'the war on terrorism against the so called religious Jihaders'
'we ain't bowing to corporate demands again, are we?'