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An Open Letter to "President" George W. Bush

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Dear Governor Bush:

You and I‑‑we're like family.. Our personal connection goes back many years. Neither of us has cared to publicize it, for all the obvious reasons‑‑mostly because no one would believe it. But because of something personal, something the Bush family did, my life was profoundly affected.

 

Let's come clean and admit it: it was your cousin Kevin who shot Roger & Me.

At the time I made the movie, I didn't know that your mother and Kevin's mother were sisters. I just thought Kevin, whom I'd met when he was shooting his own film at a cross burning in Michigan, was one of those bohemian artist types who lived in Greenwich Village. Kevin had made a great film, Atomic CafЋ, and on a lark I asked him if he would come to Flint, Michigan,


and teach me how to make a movie. To my astonishment he said yes, and so for one week in February of 1987 Kevin Rafferty and Anne Bohlen traipsed around Flint with me, showing me how to work the equipment, giving me invaluable tips on how to make a documentary. Without your cousin's generosity, I don't know if Roger & Me would have ever been made.

 

I remember the day your dad was inaugurated as President. I was editing the film in a ratty old editing room in D.C. and decided to go down to watch him be sworn in on the Capitol steps. How weird it was to see your cousin Kevin, my mentor, sitting next to you up on the dais! I remember also walking down The Mall and seeing the Beach Boys playing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" at a free inaugural concert in honor of your father. Back in the editing room, my friend Ben was on the screen, all choked up about going crazy on the assembly line and singing the same Beach Boys song over scenes of Flint in shreds.

 

Months later, when the film was released, your dad, the President, ordered a print of Roger & Me sent to Camp David one weekend for the family to watch. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall as you all viewed the havoc and despair that had been visited upon my hometown‑thanks, in large part, to the actions of Mr. Reagan and your father. Here's something I've always wanted to know: At the end of the film, as the deputy sheriff was tossing the homeless kids' presents and Christmas tree out on the curb because they were $150 behind in their rent, were there any tears in the room? Did anyone feel responsible? Or did you all just think, "Nice camerawork, Kev!"?

 

Well, that was the late eighties. You'd just given up your hard drinking; after being sober for a few years, you were trying to "find yourself' with Dad's help‑an oil venture here, a baseball team there. It's been clear to me for some time that you never had any intention of being President yourself. We all stumble into jobs we don't want at one time or another‑who hasn't done that?


For you, though, it must be different. After all, it's not just that you don't want to be there: now that you're there, you're surrounded by the same gang of geezers who used to ran the world with Pops. All those men roaming around the White House‑Dick, Rummy, Colin-‑not a single one is a pal of yours! It's all the old farts Poppy used to have over to the house for a good cigar and vodka as they dreamed up plans to carpet bomb the civilians of Panama.

 

But you're one of us‑‑a Boomer, a C student, a partier! What the hell are you doing with that crowd? They're eating you alive and spitting you out like a bad pork rind.

 

They probably didn't tell you that the tax cut they drew up for you to sign was a swindle to take money from the middle class and give it to the super‑rich. I know you don't need the extra money; you're already set for life, thanks to Grandpappy Prescott Bush and his smart trading with the Nazis before and during World War II. (During the late 1930s and through the 1940s, Prescott Bush, George I's father and Ws grandfather, was one of seven directors in the Union Banking Corporation, owned by Nazi industrialists. After filtering their money through a Dutch bank, they hid an estimated $3 million in Bush's bank. As a principal player, it's unlikely that Bush would have been unaware of the Nazi connection. The government eventually seized the assets and the bank dissolved in 1951, after which Prescott Bush‑and his father, Sam Bush‑received $1.5 million.)

 

But all those dudes who gave you a record‑breaking $190 million to run your campaign (two‑thirds of which came from just over seven hundred individuals!), they want it all back and more. They're going to hound you like dogs in heat, making sure you do exactly as they say. Your predecessor may have been renting out the Lincoln bedroom to Barbra Streisand, but that ain't nothin': before you know it, your pal, Acting President Cheney, will be turning over the keys of the West Wing to the chairmen of AT&T, Enron, and ExxonMobil.


Your critics berate you for taking naps in the middle of the day and ending your workday around 4:30 P.M. You should just tell them you're starting a new American tradition‑lunchtime naps for all, and everybody home by five! Do that, and trust me, you'll be remembered as our greatest President.

 

How dare they suggest you're not getting anything done in office? Not true! I have never seen a new President busier than you. It's almost as if you think your days as The Man are numbered. With the Senate already gone to the Democrats and the House on its way in 2002‑‑well, hey, look at the bright side, you'll still have two more years before all those sore winners who voted for Gore give you the boot.

 

Your list of accomplishments-‑in just your first few months in office-‑is brutally impressive.

 

You have:

 

*Cut $39 million from federal spending on libraries

 

Ґ Cut $35 million in funding for advanced pediatric training for doctors

 

Ґ Cut funding for research into renewable energy sources by 50 percent

 

Ґ Delayed rules that would reduce "acceptable" levels of arsenic in drinking water

 

Ґ Cut funding for research into cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks by 28 percent

 

Ґ Revoked rules strengthening the power of the government to deny contracts to companies that violate federal laws, environmental laws, and workplace safety standards

 

*Allowed Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton to request suggestions for opening up national monuments for foresting, coal mining, and oil and gas drilling


*Broken your campaign promise to invest $100 million per year in rain forest conservation

 

*Reduced by 86 percent the Community Access Program, which coordinated care for people without health insurance among public hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers

 

*Nullified a proposal to increase public access to information about the potential ramifications of chemical plant accidents

 

*Cut funding for the Girls and Boys Clubs of America programs in public housing by $60 million

 

*Pulled out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol agreement on global warming, ultimately signed by 178 other countries

 

*Rejected an international accord to enforce the 1972 treaty banning germ warfare

 

*Cut $200 million from workforce training programs for dislocated workers

 

*Cut $200 million from the Childcare and Development grant, a program that provides child care to low‑income families as they are forced from welfare to work

 

*Eliminated prescription contraceptive coverage to federal employees (though Viagra is still covered)

 

*Cut $700 million in funds for public housing repairs

 

*Cut half a billion dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency's budget

 

*Overturned workplace ergonomic rules designed to protect workers' health and safety

 

*Abandoned your campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to global warming


*Prohibited any federal aid from going to international family planning organizations that provide abortion counseling, referrals, or services with their own funds

 

*Nominated former mining company executive Dan Lauriski as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health

 

*Appointed Lynn Scarlett, a global warming skeptic and an opponent of stricter standards on air pollution, as Undersecretary of the Interior

 

*Approved Interior Secretary Gale Norton's controversial plan to auction off areas close to Florida's eastern shore for oil and gas development

 

*Announced your plans to allow oil drilling in Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest

 

*Threatened to shut down the White House AIDS office

 

*Decided no longer to seek guidance from the American Bar Association on federal judicial appointments

 

*Denied college financial aid to students convicted of misdemeanor drug charges (though convicted murderers are still eligible for financial aid)

 

*Allocated only 3 percent of the amount requested by Justice Department lawyers in the government's continued litigation against tobacco companies

 

*Pushed through your tax cut, 43 percent of which goes to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans

 

*Signed a bill making it harder for poor and middle‑class Americans to file for bankruptcy, even when facing overwhelming medical bills


*Appointed affirmative action opponent Kay Cole James to direct the Office of Personnel Management

 

*Cut $15.7 million from programs dealing with child abuse and neglect

 

*Proposed elimination of the "Reading Is Fundamental" program, which gives free books to poor children

 

*Pushed for development of "mini‑nukes," designed to attack deeply buried targets‑‑a violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

 

*Tried to reverse regulation protecting sixty million acres of national forest from logging and road building

 

*Appointed John Bolton, an opponent of nonproliferation treaties and the United Nations, as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

 

*Made Monsanto executive Linda Fisher deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

 

*Nominated Michael McConnell, a leading critic of the separation of church and state, to a federal judgeship

 

*Nominated civil rights opponent Terrence, Boyle to a federal judgeship

 

*Canceled the 2004 deadline for auto makers to develop prototype high‑mileage cars

 

*Named John Walters, an ardent opponent of prison drug treatment programs, as drug czar

 

*Appointed oil and coal lobbyist J. Steven Giles as Deputy Secretary of the Interior


*Named Bennett Raley, who has called for the repeal of the Endangered Species Act, as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science

 

*Sought the dismissal of a class‑action lawsuit filed in the United States against Japan by Asian women forced to work as sex slaves in World War II

 

*Appointed as solicitor general Ted Olson, your chief lawyer in the Florida voting debacle

 

*Proposed to ease the permit process for constructing refineries and nuclear and hydroelectric dams, including lowering environmental standards

 

*Proposed the selling of oil and gas tracts in the Alaska Wildlife Preserve

 

Whew! I'm tired just typing this list! Where do you get the energy? (It is the naps, isn't it?)

 

Of course, a lot of the above is supported by many Democrats (and I'll have a few words for them later in the book).

 

But right now, I'm concerned about you. Think back‑‑what was your first act as "President"? You remember: before you would get in the car to ride down Pennsylvania Avenue in your inaugural parade, you insisted someone get a screwdriver and take the D.C. license plates off the limo because they contained the words "Support D.C. Statehood." Here it is, the biggest day of your life, and you're pissed at the license plates? You have GOT to relax!

 

I guess, though, I started worrying about you long before that day. A number of disturbing revelations regarding your behavior surfaced during the campaign. Eventually they went away, but I continue to have concerns about your ability to function on the job. Please don't take this as prying or moralizing‑we'll leave that to Cheney! It is simply an honest attempt at intervention from a close friend of the family.


Let me be blunt: I'm afraid you may be a threat to our national security.

 

That may seem a bit strong, but I don't make this statement lightly. It has nothing to do with our minor disagreements regarding executing innocent people on death row, or how much of Alaska to carve up with oil rigs. And I'm not questioning your patriotism‑‑I'm sure you'd love any country that's been this good to you.

 

Rather, it has to do with a number of behaviors many of us who care for you have witnessed over the years. Some of these habits are a little surprising; some you can't control; and others are, unfortunately, all too common among us Americans.

 

Because you have your finger on The Button (you know, the one that could blow up the world), and because decisions you make have vast and far‑reaching consequences for the stability of said world, I would like to ask you three pointed questions‑and I would like you to give me, and the American people, three honest answers:

 


Дата добавления: 2015-09-11; просмотров: 5 | Нарушение авторских прав

INTRODUCTION | A Very American Coup | Secretary of Commerce‑Don Evans | Secretary of State‑Colin Powell | National Security Adviser‑‑Condoleezza Rice | Are you a felon? | Dow Wow Wow | Kill Whitey | Hire only black people. | Don't buy a handgun. |


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