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During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion

Think Progress- By Travis Waldron at 11:49 am

After pushing the government to brink of shutdown last week, Republican Congressional leaders are now preparing to push America to the edge of default by refusing to increase the nation’s debt limit without first getting Democrats to concede to large spending cuts.

But while the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion.

At the beginning of the Bush presidency, the United States debt limit was $5.95 trillion. Despite promises that he would pay off the debt in 10 years, Bush increased the debt to $9.815 trillion by the end of his term, with plenty of help from the four Republicans currently holding Congressional leadership positions: Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl. ThinkProgress compiled a breakdown of the five debt limit increases that took place during the Bush presidency and how the four Republican leaders voted:

June 2002: Congress approves a $450 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $6.4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor vote “yea”, Kyl votes “nay.”

May 2003: Congress approves a $900 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $7.384 trillion. All four approve.

November 2004: Congress approves an $800 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion. All four approve.

March 2006: Congress approves a $781 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion. All four approve.

September 2007: Congress approves an $850 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $9.815 trillion. All four approve.

Database searches revealed no demands from the four legislators that debt increases come accompanied by drastic spending cuts, as there are now. In fact, the May 2003 debt limit increase passed the Senate the same day as the $350 billion Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

When Bush was in office, the current Republican leaders viewed increasing the debt limit as vital to keeping America’s economy running. But with Obama in the White House, it’s nothing more than a political pawn.

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Bush’s Waterboarding Admission Prompts Calls For Criminal Probe

Huff Post- Dan Froomkin-  First Posted: 11-11-10 03:49 PM   |   Updated: 11-11-10 04:01 PM

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday joined a growing chorus in the human rights community calling for a special prosecutor to investigate whether former president George W. Bush violated federal statutes prohibiting torture.

In his new memoir and ensuing book tour, Bush has repeatedly admitted that he directly authorized the waterboarding of three terror suspects. Use of the waterboard, which creates the sensation of drowning, has been an iconic and almost universally condemned form of torture since the time of the Spanish Inquisition.

Except for a brief period during which a handful of Bush administration lawyers insisted that the exigencies of interrogating terror suspects justified its use, waterboarding has always been considered illegal by the Justice Department. It is also a clear violation of international torture conventions.

The ACLU is urging Attorney General Eric Holder to ask Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate Bush. For nearly three years now, Durham has been acting as a special prosecutor investigating a variety of torture-related matters involving government officials considerably lower on the food chain. Just this Tuesday, it was widely reported that Durham had cleared the CIA’s former top clandestine officer and others in the destruction of agency videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects — but that he would continue pursuing other aspects of his investigation.

“The ACLU acknowledges the significance of this request, but it bears emphasis that the former President’s acknowledgment that he authorized torture is absolutely without parallel in American history,” the group wrote in its letter to Holder.

“The admission cannot be ignored. In our system, no one is above the law or beyond its reach, not even a former president. That founding principle of our democracy would mean little if it were ignored with respect to those in whom the public most invests its trust. It would also be profoundly unfair for Mr. Durham to focus his inquiry on low-level officials charged with implementing official policy but to ignore the role of those who authorized or ordered the use of torture.”

In his new memoir, “Decision Points,” Bush recalls his thought process after CIA director George Tenet asked for permission to waterboard alleged al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in early 2003. Bush’s response: “Damn right.”

MORE HERE

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This, like, sorry excuse for a human being has an ego bigger than the national deficit. His plans for a teabagger happening by the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC , IMO, should be dealt with in the same way, as the Demonstrators in Saint Paul Minnesota were, by the Bu$h administration. We haven’t forgotten the cordoned off areas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets used to disrupt any and all dissent against the policies that brought us to war. We haven’t forgotten losing our freedom to, what was called, Homeland Security. We had eight years of unprecedented police and military control that prevented demonstrators from being anywhere near what they were demonstrating against and intimidation by police in full riot gear, that often resulted in arrest or injury.

Beck has allied his movement with Dick’s Army, Freedom Works, and they are openly planning on busing people in for the event. People who have no idea of what a demonstration is really about. Teabaggers have no clue about the police state that has been in place during the eight years of the Bu$h regime, and would be totally amazed when confronted by the corporate military complex who Glen Beck really represents.

Essentially, in Bu$h speak, the enemy would be emboldened by such disrespect for the commander in chief and the demonstrators would have to be cordoned off a couple of blocks away from our national monuments. Needless to mention, Black Water helicopters, Humvee’s, and water cannons would have to be in place to cover any eventualities…G%

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Conyers Slams Authors Of Torture Memos, Announces Hearings

TPM Muckraker

Justin Elliott | February 19, 2010, 5:44PM

In a statement this afternoon, [Friday], House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says that the Justice Department torture memo report released today makes “plain that those memos were legally flawed and fundamentally unsound, and may have been improperly influenced by a desire to tell the Bush White House and the CIA what it wanted to hear.”

Conyers, who posted the DOJ documents on his Web site, continued:

“The Office of Legal Counsel has a proud tradition of providing independent, high quality legal advice to the executive branch. The materials released today make clear that the lawyers who wrote the torture memos did not live up that tradition.”

He announced the committee will hold hearings on the matter.

Here’s the full statement:

“For years, those who approved torture and abuse of detainees have hidden behind legal memos issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel,” Conyers said. “The materials released today make plain that those memos were legally flawed and fundamentally unsound, and may have been improperly influenced by a desire to tell the Bush White House and the CIA what it wanted to hear.”The Office of Legal Counsel has a proud tradition of providing independent, high quality legal advice to the executive branch,” Conyers continued. “The materials released today make clear that the lawyers who wrote the torture memos did not live up that tradition. While the Department ultimately concluded that the lawyers did not breach their minimum professional obligations, I certainly hold top lawyers at OLC to a higher standard than that, as all Americans should.

“Given the serious nature of the issues raised in this report, the Committee intends to hold hearings on these matters in the very near future.”

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Keith Olbermann blames Bush, Cheney for 9/11 attacks

Raw Story- By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, February 13th, 2010 — 3:11 pm

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 changed American politics forever. But in spite of the warning signs raised by the U.S. intelligence community, the Bush administration seemed preoccupied with other issues, aloof to the alleged threat until the day both towers fell.

Why then, MSNBC’s liberal host Keith Olbermann asked on Friday night, is it “taboo” to blame the Bush administration for allowing the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on their watch?

His conclusion: For their lack of vigilance and because they “did not prioritize,” President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are to be faulted for the attacks.

RELATED: O’Donnell shouts down ‘enhanced interrogation’ defender

Provoked by former Bush and Rumsfeld speechwriter Marc Thiessen’s allegation that President Obama is “inviting” another attack, Olbermann noted that when President Bush was warned by the CIA that terrorists were targeting the United States and may be planning to use airliners, Bush replied, “All right, you’ve covered your ass now” and proceeded to do nothing about it.

Joining him in the discussion was Lawrence O’Donnell, who had been cut off earlier that day by MSNBC’s resident conservative Joe Scarborough in the midst of a tirade in response to Thiessen’s claims.

O’Donnell, an MSNBC political analyst and former chief of staff to the Senate Finance Committee, held nothing back in his second shot at the former speechwriter’s assessment of Bush-era terror politics.

“Mr. Thiessen also claimed that torture, which, of course, he will not recognize by that word, saved Los Angeles from its own 9/11,” Olbermann began. “Is this that Liberty Tower, Library Tower, Liberia Tower crap again? Is that what he’s talking about? Is this something else they’ve made up?”

“It’s a very wearisome story that they refused to put away,” O’Donnell began. “It has been debunked time and time again. Timothy Noah on Slate, every time it comes up, he very patiently lays it out again as he did today, that the arrest of the ring leader of this so-called plot occurred the year before the waterboarding occurred of Sheikh Mohammed, and which they now claimed we got the information to stop the plot that had already been stopped. And the FBI has said this is ludicrous, that it did not happen. The FBI doesn’t believe the so-called plot even could have been carried out.”

At the time, intelligence officials attributed the claim of a foiled attack on the Library Tower in Los Angeles — which Bush called the “Liberty Tower” — to political posturing, suggesting it had been nothing more than talk.

“The FBI has always thought that this was not a serious threat and whatever it was, was stopped a year before the torture that produced the evidence according to this guy,” O’Donnell said.

“Why is it OK in polite company to say Mr. Obama is inviting attack, but you still can`t say that Mr. Bush not only invited attack but he sent the night watchman home?” Olbermann asked.

“Keith, it’s unconscionable to me,” his guest replied. “You know, I mentioned his oath of office to him because I took an oath of office to work in the Senate. It changes your relationship to the institution and to the government. And there are things after that, the places you don’t go. You don’t go to the spot that says this sitting president of the United States is trying to get this country attacked. You don’t go where Dick Cheney went in the 2004 campaign, saying John Kerry would allow an attack. You don’t go to those places. And it is just unconscionable to see someone do it after taking an oath of office to serve this country.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, broadcast Friday, Feb. 12, 2010.

This video is from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Friday, Feb. 12, 2010.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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OBAMA CARRIES OUT BUSH/OILCO PLANS IN MIDEAST

WHY WE WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST

YOUTUBE: THE DOORS
“Intro Apocalypse Now”
It didn’t end well…

Solar, Shmolar, It’s Oil & Gas We Really Want

Dick Cheney’s Assassin-In-Chief, General “Spook” McChrystal, hinted to the new Rupert Murdoch Wall Street rag that we are losing in Afghanistan. This was his preamble to a demand for dropping another 10,000 American troops into the Hole In Nowhere. McChystal’s predecessor in the Hole was fired for suggesting we needed 10,000 more troops in Afghanistan.

But wait, there’s more! McChrystal is offering a different strategerie in the Hole: Instead of actively going after the hostile Afghans, we will passively wait for them to come after us where we hide among the less-hostile Afghans. In Vietnam, that was called “The Strategic Hamlet Program.” No relation to the melancholy Dane. But it still had a tragic ending.

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OBAMA OUTSOURCES AFGHANISTAN

JUST IN CASE AFGHANIZATION DOESN’T WORK

Anti-War, Anti-Bush Candidate Follows Bush Iraq Strategies & Tactics In Expanding Afghan War

So. It’s come to this. This mellow Hawaii dude, this Harvard man, this community organizer, this brother from the South Side of Chicago, with the African-Muslim name and the fiery black Christian preacher, this guy who promised to “end the war within eighteen months,” this “socialist’ is turning out to be pretty much Bush. He’s not going to rule out or prosecute torture. He’s going to cover it up. He’s not going to close Gitmo and bring about fair & speedy trials in civilian courts inside the US. He’s pulled some troops out of Iraqi cities, but not out of Iraq. He’s going to redesignate them as “non-combat,” not redeploy them. So.

Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan, against their will. We’re losing people there now, and in Afghanistan, where there’s a troop buildup and a major offensive going on. It’s not going well. How do we know that? For one thing, there’s a new “Phoenix Program” under the command of Dick Cheney’s personal global & domestic assassin, General McChrystal. Can Cointelpro be far behind? Plus, we’re starting to hear the kind of bullsh*t we used to hear from Defense Secretaries like Melvin Laird and Robert McNamara about “winning hearts & minds” and “Vietnamization,” i.e. turning the war over to the locals. That was a disaster in Vietnam. We got our asses kicked out of there when it failed.

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