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Friday, October 17, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

What's Happening on Saturday, October 18, 2003?

Governor Marc Racicot, Campaign Chairman, joins former Governor Victor Atiyeh and former Senator Mark Hatfield in Portland to announce the Bush-Cheney '04 Oregon state leadership team.

President Bush is in Manila where he will address a joint session of the Philippine Congress, the first American President to do so since Dwight David Eisenhower in 1960. He will visit landmarks the Rival Monument and the Malacanang Palace. The President will also call on President Arroyo, who will host a state dinner in his and the First Lady's honor Saturday evening.
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Iowa Bush-Cheney Team Gearing Up

Today, Iowans from every corner of the state joined together in Des Moines to plan for victory in 2004. Bush-Cheney Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman joined Iowa Chairman David Roederer to announce a diverse group of leaders who'll work hard for the next 12 months to spread President Bush's positive message to all Iowans.

After a morning of discussing grassroots organizing, the state leadership team held a press conference. Leaders like Rosanne King and Tamara Scott spoke about the President's plan to create jobs for every American who wants to work and the historic No Child Left Behind Act. Veteran Curly Hultman spoke about the President's commitment to protecting Americans from terror threats and Coach Dan Gable rallied the assembled crowd of supporters with his comments about the progress that can be made for our country during President Bush's second term. Check out coverage of the Iowa Team on the evening news tonight and in papers throughout the state tomorrow!
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Michigan Team Primed for Victory

Michiganders from across the state showed up in East Lansing on a perfect, crisp fall day to lay the ground work for an aggressive grassroots effort. After spending the morning learning about current and future Bush-Cheney '04 plans in the state, attendees anxiously milled around the press conference site prior to the Michigan Leadership team announcement. Votes in the House of Representatives on the President's request for $87 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan held B-C '04 Chairwoman Rep. Candice Miller in D.C., but that didn't stop her from calling in to radio shows and doing satellite interviews with local TV throughout the state -- including all three networks in Detroit. The press conference, led by Campaign Chairman Racicot, focused on the President's leadership on important issues like education and Homeland Security. After the press conference, local media swarmed around key Leadership Team Members conducting one-on-one interviews, while other Team Members buzzed around campaign staff sharing their strategy and planning ideas.

UPDATE: The AP gives a roundup of the campaign rollout. Here's another piece that previews campaign activities in Michigan.

Posted by Jennifer Millerwise, Midwest Press Secretary at 06:13 PM
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from Bush's Blog:

House and Senate Passes Funding for Iraq by Large Margins

Less than a half an hour ago, the U.S. Senate passed a bill funding the reconstruction of Iraq in a vote of 87-12, showing strong support for the President's plan. The U.S. House of Representatives also passed the President’s $87 billion request to fund military operations and rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan in a 303-125 roll call vote. This important funding will allow our troops to carry out the three main objectives of the President’s plan: improving security by aggressively hunting down the terrorists; expanding international participation; and helping these countries become free, democratic, and stable nations that reject terrorism.
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Tune in Michigan!

Tune in to your 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. local newscasts for coverage of the Bush-Cheney '04 Michigan state roll-out. Governor Marc Racicot, Campaign Chairman, was on hand in Lansing today to announce the Bush-Cheney '04 state leadership team.
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from Bush's Blog:

Congressman sees progress in Iraq

Congressman John McHugh, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House International Relations Committee, returned on Wednesday from his third visit to Iraq. Since his last trip in May, Congressman McHugh saw remarkable improvements on the ground and praised the coalition’s progress towards reconstruction.

"These people for the first times in their lives have an opportunity to do something not for one man but for their entire communities," he said. ...

They visited one rebuilt school in Baghdad. It was similar to any classroom in America, he pointed out. "For the first time the students were getting lessons that weren't stilted to creating a god-like image Saddam Hussein. We met with the teachers. They weren't shy to tell us how appreciative they were. But, they also gave us a list of things they felt they still needed," McHugh said. ...

"There are a lot of good things going on that people aren't hearing about," McHugh said. "That's why those of us who have some responsibility in this area wanted to go and see things for ourselves."

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from Bush's Blog:

Picking up Steam

Gary S. Becker, the 1992 Nobel Laureate in Economics, writes in this week's BusinessWeek that "the American economy is beginning to pick up steam." Focusing his analysis on productivity, Becker concludes that we are on the cusp of another technological boom:
The evidence on productivity is particularly important since growth in technology and productivity are the most significant determinants of improvements in the standard of living. ...

However, the productivity gains of the past several years are much less dependent on IT and are more widespread in the economy. I continue to believe that even after the burst of the bubble in high-tech stocks, the U.S. economy is in the relatively early stages of a major technological revolution. ...

...the most significant news from the past few years is the continuation and possible acceleration of the sizable productivity advance that began almost a decade ago.

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Tax Relief is Helping America's Economy Turn the Corner

The Las Vegas Review-Journal on the economic recovery:
A robust, 12.2 percent growth in retail sales over the three-month period that ended Sept. 30 suggests that the national economy is poised for a major rebound. A number of private economists believe an annual growth rate of 7 percent or higher is possible for the third quarter -- more than double the pace we experienced earlier this year. Ten of the nation's 12 Federal Reserve districts reported a pick-up in growth, with increased hiring by temporary employment services -- a reliable predictor of job creation -- also included in the good news.

Why the unexpected turn of events? Independent analysts credit the latest round of tax cuts pushed by the Bush administration, which for the most part accelerated reductions in marginal tax rates that would otherwise have taken effect years down the road. Consumers have more money and are spending it; businesses are investing in new employees, buildings and equipment; investors are returning to the markets.

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from Bush's Blog:

What's Happening on Friday, October 17, 2003?

Ken Mehlman, Campaign Manager, is in Des Moines to announce the Bush-Cheney '04 Iowa leadership team.

Governor Marc Racicot, Campaign Chairman, joins members of the Michigan congressional delegation in Lansing to announce the Bush-Cheney '04 state leadership team. Racicot will also deliver remarks at the Arab American Institute's National Leadership Conference in Dearborn.

President Bush is in Tokyo, Japan for the first stop of his weeklong trip to Asia. In meetings with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the President will discuss the war on terror and thank Japan for their participation in the reconstruction of Iraq.

The Vice President delivers remarks at Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy in Houston, Texas.

Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman is in Iowa to deliver keynote remarks at the World Food Prize Symposium.
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Thursday, October 16, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

United Nations Security Council Unanimously Passes Iraq Resolution

The United Nations Security Council today passed the U.S.-backed resolution on Iraq with a unanimous 15-0 vote. Resolution 1511 calls for an expanded role for the United Nations, encourages member states to offer troops and financial support to rebuild the country and addresses the transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to the Iraqi people. The President issued the following statement shortly after the vote:
I welcome today's unanimous passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1511. The world has an opportunity -- and a responsibility -- to help the Iraqi people build a nation that is stable, secure, and free. This resolution will help marshal even more international support for the development of a new, democratic Iraq. I look forward to continuing to work with the United Nations to aid the transition in Iraq to self-government and help the Iraqi people rebuild their nation.

Read the AP's coverage of the U.N. vote.
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President Bush Live

President Bush will be discussing the economy and the war on terror from California at 12:30 PM eastern time. Be sure to tune in all three major cable networks.
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from Bush's Blog:

Growing Economy Gaining Momentum

More evidence of a surging economy comes in reports this morning from the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Reuters. The Post says that retail sales are remarkably strong and that the economy could grow by as much as 7 percent in the current quarter -- thanks in large part to the President's tax relief:
[R]etail sales grew at a 12.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, despite a 0.2 percent decline last month. Some analysts said the federal personal income tax cut that took effect July 1 was partially responsible for the jump in spending.

"You give consumers a tax cut and they'll spend it," said Ken Mayland of ClearView Economics in Cleveland. "That's the way America works." ...

Mayland said he is optimistic that a sustainable expansion is underway.

A Wall Street Journal editorial says that "the good economic news keeps coming" and argues that the benefits of tax relief will be long-lasting:
But there's no doubt that the second round of Bush tax cuts, which advanced the marginal-rate reductions to this year, are having exactly the growth effect that supply-siders predicted. They boosted incentives, both for individuals and small businesses that pay taxes at the individual tax rate, and investment has accelerated in turn.


This Reuters article offers proof that sustained economic growth is starting to help job seekers. Jobless claims continue to fall and inflation remains low.

The President's sound economic policies are clearly paying off. Learn more about the jobs and growth agenda that is fueling the momentum of our growing economy.
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from Bush's Blog:

Senators Optimistic About Iraq

Having just spent time in Iraq last week, Senators Craig Thomas and Conrad Burns have seen firsthand the progress of reconstruction and are optimistic about Iraq's future. Both are quoted in the Casper Star-Tribune today offering support for the administration's plans to rebuild Iraq and the efforts by the Iraqi people to establish a democratic government.

"They are rasslin' with this thing," Senator Burns said. "These people have courage you won't believe. They are going to have a constitution."

"I was surprised just at the look of things," Thomas said. "People on the streets, the cars, the shops, were going pretty much as you imagine they would in normal times."


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from Bush's Blog:

Iraq is the Central Battle in the War on Terror

In remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives yesterday, Rep. Mark Green made clear the challenge we face in Iraq:

Iraq has become in my view the central battle in the war against terrorism. We’ve received many reports of terrorists entering Iraq from countries throughout the region. We must remember that they’re entering Iraq not because we are failing, but because we are winning – because we are succeeding. This is the time we must push on – we must build on that mission – we must give our diplomats, we must give our soldiers, we must give the leaders the tools and the resources they need to finish this job. To fail to give this money to our troops – to fail to give money to the reconstruction they are overseeing

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

Economic Data Fuels Hope for Growth

A new report issued today by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is more good news for the recovery. Revisions to July and August retail sales suggest that third-quarter economic growth could be the strongest in years. CEOs and economists alike are optimistic and credit the President’s tax relief with giving the economy a boost at just the right time. Here's a sampling of what they said:

"The previous month's retail sales numbers were revised significantly higher, and if you simply do the arithmetic, I'm willing to bet it's been a long, long time since we've seen consumers this charged up, if you'll pardon the pun," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics in Pepper Pike, Ohio. "Consumer spending is the biggest piece of GDP, and retail sales suggest we're going to see a gangbusters third-quarter GDP figure," he said. (Reuters)

"What we are likely to see now is a pickup in production, so the economy has good momentum," said Kevin Logan, a senior economist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in New York. (Bloomberg)

Some economists said the benefits of the tax cuts will be even greater next year. Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist for Miller Tabak & Co., said "the tax cuts that will be realized in 2004 pack a wallop that is greater than the effects of the tax cuts that will be realized in 2003." (Bloomberg)

"The last couple of months have been a lot more buoyant," said Paul Charron, chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne Inc. (Bloomberg)

"We're very bullish" on the prospects for sales and the economy, said Brad Anderson, chief executive of Best Buy Co. (Bloomberg)

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from Bush's Blog:

Voices from Iraq

By a 71 to 26 percent margin, Baghdad residents want American troops to stay, according to a recent Gallup survey. The Manchester Union Leader summarizes this significant finding in an editorial today, and also remarks on Iraqis' tremendous enthusiasm for sharing their opinions now that they are free. It concludes:
This is the second poll in recent weeks to find among Iraqis a generally positive opinion of the war’s results. Yet the big media continue to portray Iraqis as anti-American and opposed to the war, which has helped drive down Americans’ support for the war and the rebuilding. How different the world could be if America’s most influential media outlets reported the news instead of spinning it.

The Green Bay Press Gazette interviews troops from Wisconsin serving in Iraq. They say that rebuilding Iraq is challenging work, and that everyday things are improving:
Local veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom are optimistic that Iraqi citizens will find something that many here take for granted.

Hope. ...

"It was obvious a lot of them weren’t happy being under Saddam," [Sgt. Erika] Stein, 23, said of the Iraqi citizens.

"They were happy to see us. As we drove through the cities, we were getting people cheering us on. There are the few that will sit back and won’t say anything, and maybe there are a few that didn’t want us there at all. People are afraid of change."

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What’s Going on for Wednesday, October 15, 2003?

President Bush travels to California where he will deliver remarks on housing and the economy at Ruiz Foods in Dinuba. He will then attend a Bush-Cheney ‘04 luncheon in Fresno and a Bush-Cheney ’04 evening reception in Riverside.

Commerce Secretary Don Evans is in Iraq to meet with students, business leaders, local officials and entrepreneurs to discuss the economic progress made since the liberation of Iraq.

Treasury Secretary John Snow is in New York City today for a series of meetings with Wall Street economists, followed by remarks on the economy at the conference board's 2003 annual dinner.

Tune in! Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is on Fox News Live at 11 a.m. and CNBC’s Capital Report at 9 p.m.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

300 Grassroots Supporters Rally in Arkansas

With over a year to go until the election, 300 northwest Arkansas supporters of President Bush gathered to rally over the weekend. In the words of one supporter, "This may be the off year. But folks, it's critical that we get started now."

We agree. To get involved today, visit the Action Center, send a message to your friends, and sign up to be a Bush Team Leader.
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Editorial: Unite in push for Cuba's freedom

The Miami Herald editorial board today applauds the administration’s policies towards Cuba. On Thursday, President Bush announced three initiatives to assist the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom and to prepare the U.S. government for the emergence of a free and democratic Cuba.
We welcome President Bush's restatement last week of U.S. policy toward Cuba. Included were old and new measures designed to help Cubans on the island, and that prepare the United States for Cuba's inevitable transition to democracy. ...

A new Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, headed by cabinet members Mel Martínez and Colin Powell, will search for ways to encourage Cuba's transition to a free society. Such clout, if applied, could help unite the international community in promoting change. After the Cuban regime's crackdown on dissidents and summary executions of three men who attempted to flee the island, the world realizes that Cuba's problem is its brutal dictator -- not U.S. policy.

Click here to read the Miami Herald's editorial.
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The Environment: Separating Facts from Attacks

In the Los Angeles Times, Gregg Easterbrook takes a close look at President Bush's environmental accomplishments and finds that its critics might be a tad disingenuous:

Practically all commentary about the Bush environmental record goes on in this humor — it's a disaster, it's a nightmare, the world is ending. ...

[M]ost of the charges made against the White House are baloney — baloney being rolled and deep-fried with cheese for purposes of partisan political bashing and fund-raising.

What's the story you haven't heard on the President's environmental record? More Easterbrook:
Bush has implemented three major new environmental reforms for which he has received zero credit. He ordered that diesel fuel be reformulated to reduce its inherent pollution content — over the howls of his natural constituency, Big Oil. He ordered that new diesel trucks and buses meet significantly stricter emissions standards — over the howls of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, in whose Illinois district sits an enormous diesel-engine factory. Third, he imposed new emissions standards on a range of previously unregulated machines — construction vehicles, outboard motors, all-terrain vehicles and others.

Taken together, Bush's three dramatic anti-pollution decisions should lead to the biggest pollution reduction since the 1991 Clean Air Act amendments.

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from Bush's Blog:

99% of America's Counties Represented

The President’s campaign announced today that 262,000 people have made a contribution to his re-election campaign.

Grassroots supporters like yourself make up the vast majority of those contributing to the President’s re-election. In fact, contributors to the President's re-election campaign represent over 99% of America's counties. Now that's broad, grassroots support that represents America.

Check out the official press release here.

Setting the standard for full disclosure, you can find the names of all contributors on the Web site at www.GeorgeWBush.com/Donors/. Check it out; see if you can find your name, if you can’t, go here.
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What's Going on for Tuesday, October 14, 2003?

President Bush participates in a photo opportunity and remarks with the 2003 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs at the White House. The President will also do interviews with Asian journalists to preview his upcoming trip to Asia. He leaves on Thursday for the APEC Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. President Bush will also visit Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia as part of his trip to Southeast Asia to attend the Leaders' Meeting.

Mrs. Lynne Cheney attends a Bush-Cheney ‘04 fundraiser in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Monday, October 13, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

Editorial: America Needs Healthy Forests

The Rocky Mountain News editorial board weighs in today with a piece urging Congress to pass legislation to grant the federal government additional tools to address the problem of unnatural fuel buildup in our forests. President Bush’s Healthy Forest Initiative focuses on reducing the risk of catastrophic fire by thinning dense undergrowth and brush in priority locations.

The President believes that Healthy Forests is an American issue that requires consensus to do what is right to preserve and protect our national forests.

Thankfully, lessons have been learned and better forest management is on the way. President Bush has provided leadership with his Healthy Forests Initiative, which asks for legislation that speeds up thinning to reduce the risk of catastrophic fires. To enact it, the House has crafted H.R. 1904, Rep. Scott McInnis' "Healthy Forests Restoration Act," under which environmental and judicial reviews would be streamlined and the use of lawsuits curtailed to permit thinning projects on 20 million acres of fire-prone federal land.

...we're also optimistic the House-Senate conference will produce a bill with real impact. Without it, the Forest Service won't be able to implement fuel-reduction projects before the next fire season. For those of us in the West, that could mean a summer of choking on smoke and praying for rain.

Healthy Forests is just one part of President Bush's comprehensive agenda for a cleaner environment.
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Editorial: Why We Went to War

This editorial on Iraq by Robert Kagan and William Kristol should not be missed. Kagan and Karistol outline exactly how our nation knew that Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction were such a danger (for starters, Iraq admitted to producing 3.9 tons of VX nerve gas and 8,500 liters of anthrax -- and never once accounted for these weapons). The article quotes former President Clinton saying in July of this year:

When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn't know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don't cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions.

The authors conclude that the President made the right decision in going to war:
The reason for war, in the first instance, was always the strategic threat posed by Saddam because of his proven record of aggression and barbarity, his admitted possession of weapons of mass destruction, and the certain knowledge of his programs to build more. It was the threat he posed to his region, to our allies, and to core U.S. interests that justified going to war this past spring, just as it also would have justified a Clinton administration decision to go to war in 1998.


Read the whole thing.
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No Child Left Behind Earns High Marks in West Virginia

President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act is profiled in this report from Parkersburg, West Virginia. The sweeping education reforms win praise from a local school superintendent responsible for implementing them:
"No Child Left Behind addresses achievement overall and achievement in subgroups," said Bill Niday, Wood County Schools superintendent. "It addresses highly qualified teachers, school choice and accountability of all students. Any enrolled student is included in accountability.

"Education has moved from compulsory attendance to compulsory education with this act," he said. ...

The legislation was designed to change the culture of American schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options and teaching students based on what works. The education reform law also calls for stronger accountability and instruction provided by highly qualified teachers.

"I believe the legislation will lead to an improved education for all students," Niday said.

Learn more about these historic education reforms at GeorgeWBush.com/Education/.
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Commentary: Read the Kay Report and judge for yourself

In a hard-hitting Chicago Tribune column, Dennis Byrne addresses the Kay Report and the weapons activities that have been found in Iraq:

In Kay's complete testimony, you will find descriptions of Hussein's tenacious pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. The report describes actual weapons materials, including some hidden at the homes of scientists; secret laboratories, some apparently used for human experimentation; intentionally destroyed documents; clandestine efforts to procure long-range missiles, to perfect weapons of mass destruction delivery systems and to reignite a nuclear weapons program; intentional deception of UN inspectors, and possession of prohibited equipment, such as centrifuges, some of it buried in back yards--all in violation of the UN resolution. All of this evidence proves that the United States did the right thing by enforcing the UN's own resolution when the UN would not.

Byrne adds this point about why the U.S. was right to act when it did:

Waiting it out, as Kay's report demonstrates, was not an option. Waiting it out is not a policy; it is the absence of policy. Giving Hussein another opportunity to ignore the rightful demands placed on him by the UN would have been a green light for him to embroil the Middle East in more instability and, of course, more suppression and killing of his own people.

Here's more about what Dr. Kay found in Iraq.
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Welfare Reform Helping Workers Find Jobs

The New York Times looks at how welfare is being transformed -- and the progress being made to give people the tools they need to find work:

"Welfare" used to mean a monthly check that could be immediately converted to cash. But statistics tabulated by the Department of Health and Human Services, at the request of The New York Times, show that the proportion of federal and state welfare money spent on cash assistance declined to 44 percent in 2002, from 77 percent in 1997. The proportion allocated to various types of noncash assistance shot up to 56 percent, from 23 percent in 1997.

"The program has been fundamentally transformed," said Wade F. Horn, assistant secretary of health and human services in charge of welfare policy.

The federal and state money is used not only to provide a minimal income to single mothers, but also to help them move from welfare to work, hold onto low-wage jobs and move into better-paying jobs.


President Bush is committed to building on the successes of welfare reform. Learn more about the President's compassion agenda.
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What's Going on for Monday, October 13, 2003?

The President will make remarks on Columbus Day at 10:25 am at the White House. Make sure to check for the remarks on the cable news networks.

"When Christopher Columbus set out from Spain in August 1492, he launched an era of discovery and exploration that continues today. On Columbus Day, we honor this Italian explorer's courage and vision, and recognize his four journeys to the 'New World.'"
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Sunday, October 12, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

Good Signs on the Job Front

The Alameda Times-Star (CA) editorial board takes a look at the economy today and concludes that all signs point to a strong recovery. The President's pro-growth policies and strong third quarter growth have laid the foundation for a promising forecast:

The economy is growing again, thanks in part to President Bush's tax cuts, but high productivity has been keeping unemployment high - until lately. Just last month and this, there have been signs that things are getting better. Small signs, but important signs. ...

Growth in the second quarter was a healthy 3.3 percent. Some think growth in the third quarter could turn out to be as high as 5 percent.

The tax cuts have stimulated growth because of the money they have put in the pockets of consumers, who account for two-thirds of the economy and have been spending large amounts of what they have received through rebates and reduced tax withholding in paychecks.


Read the editorial here.
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from Bush's Blog:

Saddam banknotes go up in flames

Coalition forces are helping Iraqis lay the foundation of a free economy. This coming week, Iraq will celebrate an important milestone with the introduction of a new currency. Instead of the face of Saddam Hussein on banknotes, the new Iraqi dinar will bear the images of Iraq's proud heritage. The new currency will be used throughout Iraq and it will help to unify not only the nation's economy, but the country itself.

To mark the historic changeover, banks are burning their old Saddam dinars and looking forward to both the new currency and a bright economic future:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 11 - Iraq's central bank has fired up its furnace and consigned thousands of banknotes bearing the smiling face of Saddam Hussein to the flames ahead of a massive currency swap to start next week. ...

The changeover "will help stabilise the economy and help give Iraqis confidence that Saddam is gone", said Lieutenant Colonel Scott Schmidt of the 230th Finance Battalion, who helped oversee the operation.
...

The Babylonian ruler Hammurabi, credited with creating the first written code of laws in human history, graces the new pink 25,000 dinar note, worth about $12 (7 pounds). The other side shows a smiling Kurdish farm worker holding a sheaf of wheat.

Astronomer and mathematician Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham, born in Basra in 965 and known as Alhazen to medieval scholars in the West, is on one side of the 10,000 note, the only other human figure on the new notes.

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Friday, October 10, 2003


from Bush's Blog:

US training of Iraqi solders creates more than just military bonds

Iraqi Civil Defense Corps recruits and U.S. Army Sgt. Dujon Moss built a trusted friendship during the process of reconstruction in Iraq. Iraqi soldiers or military college students commend their American drill sergeant after completing training, ready to help protect their newly freed country.

The U.S.-led coalition plans to recruit and train about 21,000 corps members by February. They will staff checkpoints, protect convoys and try to root out loyalists of ousted President Saddam Hussein, who are still well-armed and mounting daily attacks in some parts of the country. After Iraq has a constitutionally elected government, the corps is likely either to continue as a national guard or be folded into the new Iraqi army.

At the recent ceremony, 228 men graduated. Moss helped train 55 of them.

As an instructor, Moss wanted to teach more than just military skills. "I wanted to give them hope," he said, "to let them know they are somebody and they can be successful if they just apply themselves."

"Now we've learned the real meaning of being a soldier," he said. "We are quite ready to serve our country, and now I am starting to love Americans because we actually met here people such as Sgt. Moss."



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Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman on Radio

Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman will discuss the latest campaign developments at 5:05 PM eastern time today on the Ken Hamblin Show. Click here to listen live in Windows Media.
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from Bush's Blog:

Six Months Ago...

Yesterday marked the six month anniversary of the liberation of Baghdad and the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The world won’t soon forget seeing the statue come down, but it has been harder for us to see the progress that has happened since.

Ambassador Paul Bremer, head of the interim authority in Iraq, briefed the media in Baghdad yesterday on the accomplishments in Iraq and gave a powerful look at the capital city six months later. Coalition forces have completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects and his report on their strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq should not be missed.

In six short months we have accomplished a lot. We are also aware that the progress we have made is only a beginning. A quarter century of negligence, cronyism and war mongering have devastated this country. Such profound damage cannot be repaired overnight. ...

We are fighting terrorism here and we will continue to fight it until it no longer threatens the hopes of Iraqis, the hopes of the world.

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from Bush's Blog:

Economists Predict 5% Growth

The Wall Street Journal Online posted its October economic forecasting survey this morning and the results are more good news for the recovery! The economists surveyed raised their estimate for third-quarter growth to 5%, up from the 4.7% rate they predicted in a September survey and from 3.6% in August.

The economists surveyed attributed the recent strengthening of the economy to President Bush’s pro-growth policies.

Many economists attributed the strength in consumer spending to the latest federal-tax reductions. Some economists said they were caught off-guard by the extent of the stimulus created by the cuts, which included rebate checks for some families of as much as $400 per child.

Consumer spending rose a strong 0.8% in August from July, after a 0.9% advance the previous month. September data aren't yet available, but if the rate continued -- and economists have their doubts, given a slowdown in auto sales last month -- that could mean quarterly spending growth not seen in more than 15 years.


Read the article on WSJ.com (subscription required).
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Ralph Reed on CNN

Bush-Cheney '04 Southeast Regional Chair Ralph Reed is currently on CNN. Be sure to tune in.
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In New Hampshire, Bush on Offense

An editorial in this morning's Manchester Union Leader covers President Bush's visit to New Hampshire and gives him high marks for his leadership on the economy and the war on terror:
“Just as our economy is coming around, some are saying now is the time to raise taxes. To be fair, they think any time is a good time to raise taxes,” [the President] joked. “At least they’re consistent. But I strongly disagree. A nation cannot tax its way to growth or job creation. Tax relief has put this nation on the right path, and I intend to keep this nation on the path to prosperity.”

The economic numbers from late summer and early fall are bearing this out. Consumer spending is on the rise, as is job creation. ...

About both the economy and the war on terror, President Bush made a great deal of sense. He has a clearer vision and a better understanding of these things than many give him credit for.


Read the entire editorial (free registration required).
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from Bush's Blog:

Vice President Cheney on TV Now

Vice President Cheney is giving an important address on the war on terror right now. Tune in on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
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Matalin on Imus Now

Mary Matalin is currently on Imus in the Morning on MSNBC and local radio. Be sure to tune in!
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from Bush's Blog:

Andrew Sullivan on What We Have Achieved in Iraq

On his blog, Andrew Sullivan picks up on some compelling facts about our remarkable progress in rebuilding Iraq over the last six months:


  • Six months ago there were no police on duty in Iraq.
  • Today there are over 40,000 police on duty, nearly 7,000 here in Baghdad alone.
  • Last night Coalition Forces and Iraqi police conducted 1,731 joint patrols.
  • Today nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning.
  • Today, for the first time in over a generation, the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
  • On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts—exceeding the pre-war average.
  • Today all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
  • Many of you know that we announced our plan to rehabilitate one thousand schools by the time school started—well, by October 1 we had actually rehabbed over 1,500.
  • Six months ago teachers were paid as little as $5.33 per month.
  • Today teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
  • Today we have increased public health spending to over 26 times what it was under Saddam.
  • Today all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
  • Today doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.
  • Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
  • Since liberation we have administered over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq’s many children.


Sullivan aptly concludes:

This is what some in this country want to stop. This is what would never have happened if we'd let Saddam Hussein stay in power. It's simply beyond me how anyone can describe this war as about "oil" or about "imperialism" or about "greed" or "militarism." It remains one of the most humanitarian acts in modern history. And, if successful, it could turn an entire region around - a region that has been the main source of real danger to itself and to the West in my lifetime. I'm banging on about this not simply because it's by far the most important issue in our politics right now, but because a willful and petty disinformation campaign is being waged to distort this achievement, undermine it, and reverse it. We mustn't let that happen. We cannot let these people - and ourselves - down again.

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About this site:

The Bush Administration is one of the most secretive and insular administrations in U.S. history. They seek advice only from their closest allies, and routinely thwart attempts that seek greater visibility into their decision-making process.

Indeed, much of the Administration's playbook seems to have been written by party hardliners years before Bush took office.

In our democracy, we have the notion of governments "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" not by presidential fiat no matter how divinely inspired he believes his positions to be.

The president has the responsibility to listen to all the American people, not just a select group of political allies and cronies. This is what distinguishes America from the repressive dictatorships of the world.

This site is a small attempt to encourage greater openness and public participation. It allows people of any political stripe to post comments to Bush's otherwise closed web log.

Note: The comments don't write themselves, so speak up!

- oakland

October 16, 2003. Oakland, CA