Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
BOSTON - Addressing guests at a $2,000-a-plate fundraiser, George W.
Bush pledged Monday that, if re-elected in November, he and running
mate Dick Cheney will "restore honor and dignity to the White House."
"After years of false statements and empty promises, it's time for
big changes in Washington," Bush said. "We need a president who will
finally stand up and fight against the lies and corruption. It's time
to renew the faith the people once had in the White House. If
elected, I pledge to usher in a new era of integrity inside the Oval
Bush told the crowd that, if given the opportunity, he would work to
reestablish the goodwill of the American people "from the very first
hour of the very first day" of his second term.
"The people have spoken," Bush said. "They said they want change.
They said it's time to clean up Washington. They're tired of politics
as usual. They're tired of the pursuit of self-interest that has
gripped Washington. They want to see an end to partisan bickering and
closed-door decision-making. If I'm elected, I'll make sure that the
American people can once again place their trust in the White House."
Bush said the soaring national debt and the lengthy war in Iraq have
shaken Americans' faith in the highest levels of government.
"A credibility gap has opened between the Oval Office and America,"
Bush said. "The public hears talk, but they don't see any result. But
if you choose me as your next president, the promises I make in my
inaugural address will actually mean something. The president of this
country will be held accountable for his promises, starting Jan. 20
of next year."
Bush said that, if chosen to be the next president, he would "set the
nation on a course to a new, different, and brighter future."
"One thing is clear - it's time for a fresh beginning," Bush
said. "Choose the ticket that leads to freedom, peace, and security.
Choose Bush and Cheney."
Cheney spoke Monday at an event in Atlanta, addressing a crowd of
2,500 supporters from the tobacco and soft-drink industries.
"After these past three years, we need to rebuild a government based
on old-fashioned American values: duty, dignity, and responsibility,"
said Cheney, who has served as a Wyoming congressman and U.S. vice-
president. "George Bush is a man of these values, and he's ready to
begin to put them to work in Washington."
Cheney continued: "George W. Bush will lead this great nation by
building coalitions, not burning bridges; by serving the people, not
special interests; by looking to the future, while borrowing from the
great lessons of the past."
Cheney said he and Bush will return "time-honored American values" to
the White House.
"In years past, American citizens looked to the president as a
paragon of decency, a beacon in the storm," Cheney said. "When did
America lose her way?"
In an interview published in Tuesday's Washington Post, Bush-Cheney
2004 campaign manager Ken Mehlman summarized the new platform.
"Bush-Cheney 2004 is a campaign built on straight talk," Mehlman
said. "It's time for a president who can be a role model for
Americans. Bush is the man for the job. He'll finally restore
integrity to the highest office in the land. Won't you give him a
U.S. military 'sure' of catching bin Laden this year
STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, January 29, 2004
The U.S. military is "sure" it will catch Osama bin Laden this year,
a spokesman said Thursday, but he declined to comment on where the al-
Qaida leader may be hiding.
Bin Laden, chief suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that sparked
the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, is widely believed to be holed
up somewhere along the mountainous Pakistani-Afghan border with
former Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
Following last month's capture of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein,
American commanders in Afghanistan have expressed new optimism they
will eventually find bin Laden. Spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty
said the military now believed it could seize him within months.
"We have a variety of intelligence and we're sure we're going to
catch Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar this year," Hilferty
said. "We've learned lessons from Iraq and we're getting improved
intelligence from the Afghan people."
Hilferty declined to comment on where exactly bin Laden or Mullah
Omar might be hiding, but his optimism coincides with comments from
U.S. officials in Washington that the military is planning a spring
offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida holdouts.
American forces are pinning hopes for better intelligence from locals
on new security teams setting up in provincial capitals across a
swath of troubled southern and eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani
The security teams are supposed to open the way for millions of
dollars in U.S. development aid and allow the Afghan government to
regain control over lawless areas largely populated by ethnic
Pashtuns, from which the Taliban drew their main support.
This month alone, about 70 people have died in violence, including
two international peacekeepers killed by suicide bombers in the
relatively peaceful capital, Kabul. The Taliban claimed
responsibility for those attacks.
The spring offensive touted by U.S. defense officials Wednesday would
come just when the new security teams are supposed to be up and
running, and warmer weather opens the high passes through which
Hilferty declined to comment on the proposed plans, saying he could
not talk about future operations.
Pakistani officials said Thursday they would not allow American
forces to use their territory for any new offensive.
"As a matter of fact they (the United States) have not contacted us
for this purpose," said Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, a senior Pakistani
security official who coordinates with U.S. counterparts on
An intelligence official said Pakistani authorities also had no
specific information about bin Laden's whereabouts.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a key U.S. ally, would face
withering criticism from political opponents, particularly Islamic
hard-liners controlling two key border provinces, if American forces
were deployed inside Pakistan.
Pakistan says it has arrested more than 500 al-Qaida men over the
past two years and many of them have been handed over to the United
In January, Pakistani forces raided a border village where al-Qaida
fighters were believed to be hiding. The interior minister said 18
suspected terrorists were captured, but he did not identify them.
The area is close to the Afghan provinces of Paktika and Khost,
regions where the U.S. military says bin Laden loyalists are active.
The 11,000-strong U.S.-led force hunting insurgents includes about
500 soldiers stationed at Khost airport and more troops at two
smaller bases in Paktika. All three regularly come under fire.
Soros prepared to dig deep to oust Bush
Thursday January 29, 2004
The 2004 US presidential election will be a referendum on the Bush
doctrine of preemptive military action, George Soros, the financier
and philanthropist declared today.
But getting rid of Mr Bush is not enough, Mr Soros argued, saying
that the US needs an alternative vision. The man who famously who
made a fortune betting against the pound in the late 80s, said
America had "gone off the rails" after September 11 and that it was
important to "puncture the bubble of American supremacy."
In London to promote his latest book, The Bubble of American
Surpremacy - a tirade against the Bush administration - Mr Soros told
a packed auditorium at the London School of Economics that he was
prepared to use some of his vast fortune to turf Mr Bush out of the
Reiterating his willingness to put his money where his mouth is, Mr
Soros said: "I am ready to step in to rectify the disparity of money
for Bush and against Bush."
Pointing out that Open Society, the foundation he created to promote
democracy around the world has $450m (£248.4m) in assets, Mr Soros
said he was prepared to commit about $12.5m to "political action"
against Mr Bush. In fact, Mr Soros told the Washington Post in
January that he has donated $15.5m to groups dedicated to prising Mr
Bush out of the Oval Office.
Expressing his concern at what he saw as a critical lack of debate on
Mr Bush's policies, Mr Soros said the president had wrapped himself
in the flag and accused the administration of having created
an "Orwellian truth machine that manufactures truth."
"It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society
in the world should have fallen into the hands of ideologues who
ignore the first principles of open society," Mr Soros writes in the
Bubble of American Supremacy. "Who would have thought... that the US
itself could pose a threat to open society? Yet that is what is
happening, both internally and internationally."
If Americans voted Mr Bush out in November, Mr Soros said, the Bush
doctrine would be seen as an aberration is US foreign policy, if not
then the world would have to live with the consequences. Mr Soros was
not asked which Democratic candidate he favoured, but he indicated
how tough it would be to beat the president because of the rude
health of the US economy.
"Karl Rove (Mr Bush's top political strategist) has done an extremely
good job in pumping up the economy - he is the one who runs the
economy - and they have made a more or less jobless, but profitful
recovery. It's been very successful. The price will be paid in 2005
and afterwards," Mr Soros said.
The Hungarian émigré said, however, that turfing Mr Bush out was not
enough. Mr Soros urged the development of what he called the
community of democracies that could form a more effective
multilateral bloc outside the UN.
"The formation of an influential democratic bloc of nations would
change the character of the UN, making it more effective in
influencing the behaviour of its members," Mr Soros writes in his
book. "Repressive regimes would be excluded from active decision
making; failed states could be put under protection of the UN. The
currently insoluble problem of using the UN to interfere in the
internal affairs of sovereign states could be on the way to a
Soros Lashes Bush With Warning Of Post-Election Blues For US Economy
By Philip Thornton
The Independent - UK
The economy of the United States will "pay a penalty" next year when
the White House's politically motivated growth boost runs out of
steam, George Soros warned yesterday.
In a vitriolic attack on George Bush, Mr Soros said economic policy
in the US was wholly devoted to securing a second term for the
The blunt warning from the world's most famous financier came as
official figures showed the US economy grew more slowly than expected
over the final months of last year, knocking US financial markets.
Speaking in London to promote a book attacking US foreign policy, Mr
Soros said he believed the US economy would continue to show strong
growth this year.
"Right now we have a very favourable conjuncture because the US
economy is in the hands of Karl Rove, the strategist arranging for
the campaign of Bush," he said. "Everything that could be done to
pump up the economy has been done - successfully so far."
Mr Soros said the world's largest economy had also benefited from a
rebound in the world economy and the fall in the dollar, which had
boosted US exports. "But there will be a penalty to pay after the
election, so it looks good this year but less good from 2005."
Mr Soros - best known for betting against the pound during the 1992
ERM crisis and "breaking" the Bank of England - refused to be drawn
on the direction of the financial markets.
According to Wall Street speculation, Mr Soros and a number of other
wealthy business people have taken a massive "short position" on the
dollar - betting that the US currency will fall. So far, it has
fallen 18 per cent from its peak.
Mr Soros said toppling President Bush was the "central project of my
life", and he added: "I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."
He has donated $12.5m (£6.9m) over the past year to fund political
activities that oppose Mr Bush's re-election.
"I think Bush is changing the character of the US and leading it in
the wrong direction," he said. "A bunch of ideologues has captured
the executive and taken America too far to the right."
Official figures showed the US economy grew 4.0 per cent in the
fourth quarter of last year. This was below forecasts of a 5 per cent
rise, and well below the third quarter's blistering 8.2 per cent
The figures revived concerns over the strength of the US recovery. In
early trading, the Dow Jones share index was down 66 points, or 0.6
Economists said the growth might not be enough to lead to the job
creation that has so far been absent from the recovery.
Patrick Franke, at Commerzbank, said: "Demand growth of 4 per cent
won't be sufficient to generate employment growth strong enough to
lower the unemployment rate. This in turn would leave the expansion
The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 2.6 per cent, a
sharp slowdown from the tax cut-induced 6.9 per cent gain in the
previous quarter. Growth in business spending and residential
investment also slowed.
Pixar, Disney partnership talks collapse
Jan. 30, 2004 | LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The collapse of talks between
Pixar Animation Studios and The Walt Disney Co. on a new deal
pressures both companies to produce hit films at a time of growing
competition among computer-animated filmmakers.
Pixar, with a string of computer-animated blockbusters to its credit,
including "Monsters, Inc." and the "Toy Story" films, broke off
negotiations Thursday to extend its partnership with Disney and said
it would seek a more favorable deal with another studio.
"After 10 months of trying to strike a deal with Disney, we're moving
on," Pixar chief Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We've had a great
run together _ one of the most successful in Hollywood history _ and
it's a shame that Disney won't be participating in Pixar's future
Pixar still owes Disney two movies under the current deal, "The
Incredibles," which is scheduled to open in theaters in November,
and "Cars," which is to be released next year.
The Emeryville, Calif.-based studio, which co-produced last year's
top-box office draw, "Finding Nemo," has long chafed under its
contract with Disney, which retains the right to make sequels to
movies such as "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc."
The companies share box-office receipts and licensing revenues.
Disney chief financial officer Thomas Staggs said the company
rejected Pixar's "final offer" because it would have cost Disney
hundreds of millions of dollars it is entitled to under its existing
agreement "while not providing sufficient incremental returns on new
collaborations to justify the changes to the existing deal."
A person familiar with the talks said negotiations broke down because
Pixar wanted to reclaim the copyrights to the five films it has
produced with Disney so far, plus the two left in the deal. Such an
accommodation would have presumably revoked Disney's right to make
sequels and potentially denied the company millions of dollars in
Pixar also wanted to pay Disney a flat distribution fee on all future
films, including ``The Incredibles'' and ``Cars.'' Disney was willing
to adjust its compensation on the two remaining films, but would not
agree to return the copyrights, said the source, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
Analysts said that while Disney may have been wise not to agree to a
deal at any cost, it now has two years to show it can make successful
animated films without Pixar's help.
Disney has had mixed success over the past few years with its
animated films, producing such box office disappointments
as "Atlantis" and "Treasure Planet" and modest hit like "Lilo &
Stitch" and "Brother Bear."
"I think that if Disney can move in that direction successfully, it's
not going to be devastating," Janna Sampson, co-Manager of the
AmSouth Select Equity Fund and director of Portfolio Management at
Oakbrook Investments. "That's the wild card -- can Disney get its
animation studio to produce the kind of hits Disney used to produce
without anybody's help?"
Disney recently closed its Orlando, Fla., animation studio and has
pared its staff of animators to 600 from a peak of 2,200 employees in
1999. For the first time in years, it has no traditional hand-drawn
films in production.
Disney plans to release its first in-house computer-animated
film, "Chicken Little," in 2005, the year its current Pixar deal
expires. Disney also is producing other computer-animated films,
including ``A Day With Wilbur Robinson,'' to be released in 2006.
Dear friends and loved ones,
My apologies to Peace & Justice listserv because I'm pulling out all
the stops with this Email because we have to prevent this. None of us
likes George W. Bush, so let it be known that we have to impeach this
man. This is outrageous that the Bush "administration" is planning
ANOTHER attack. This also proves that they instigated the FIRST one
Please forward this Email to everyone you care about. Marshal law
means that nobody can leave US soil. They're locked in so cannot get
out. I don't want to see this happen to anyone who is in the United
States no matter how much they've insulted me.
TV Execs Meet To Discuss Coverage Of Next Attack On US
Portland Indy Media
A summit meeting of TV anchormen and their bosses with Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge to discuss how they'll cover the next
terrorist attack on America.
ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, & Fox reps present. Steven Brill had a summit
meeting of TV anchormen and their bosses over dinner at his Fifth
Avenue apartment on Tuesday night with Homeland Security Secretary
Tom Ridge to discuss how they'll cover the next terrorist attack.
Brill, whose book "After" detailed the response to 911, spearheads
the America Prepared Campaign to educate the public. Joining Brill,
his wife Cynthia and two of their three kids for dinner were Fox News
Channel boss Roger Ailes, ABC News prexie David Westin, CBS News
chief Andrew Heyward, CNN anchor Aaron Brown, plus Peter Jennings and
Tom Brokaw. Combined with Cheney's speech that the "next attack will
be worse, tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties" and Tommy
Franks "next attack = martial law" and the draft bill in congress
(mandatory service for all men and women 18-26) and the 40,000 troops
already serving against their will and neo-con obvious dreams of
What about William Safire's prediction of an October surprise attack?
I think we'd better think pre-emptively and stop these guys before
the next attack hits.
Spread the message far and wide - martial law is not acceptable....
and Bush and company will be the major benefactors of another attack.
Please let us stay on topic and be civil.
-Home Page- www.cia-drugs.org
Castro Says Bush Plotting to Kill Him
Fri Jan 30, 2004
By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer
HAVANA - Fidel Castro accused President Bush on Friday of plotting
with Miami exiles to kill him, and said he would die fighting if the
United States ever invaded to oust him.
"I don't care how I die," Castro said at the end of a 5 1/2-hour
speech that began Thursday night and continued into early
Friday. "But rest assured, if they invade us, I'll die in combat."
The Cuban president didn't back up his accusations with details. He
spoke at the close of a conference bringing together activists across
the region who oppose the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Castro has insisted over the past year that hardline Cuban exiles in
Miami have been pressuring the Bush administration to invade the
island - a charge U.S. officials deny.
Castro also has increasingly referred to his own mortality in recent
years, promising to remain in power until his last breath.
"We know that Mr. Bush has committed himself to the mafia ... to
assassinate me," the Cuban president said, using the term commonly
employed here to describe anti-Castro Cuban Americans. "I said it
once before and today I'll say it clearer: I accuse him!"
Castro has accused past U.S. administrations of seeking to
assassinate him, and during his early years in power there were
numerous documented cases of U.S.-sponsored attempts on his life.
The assassination of foreign leaders as U.S. policy was later banned
in 1976 by an executive order signed by then-President Gerald Ford
and reinforced by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Castro also criticized the Bush administration's Commission for a
Free Cuba - a panel set up in October and headed by U.S. Secretary of
State Colin Powell.
When the United States announced creation of the commission, Powell
suggested that the goal is not to ease Castro out but to plan a
strategy for Cuba once the 77-year-old leader is no longer in power.
Earlier in his speech, Castro called on the more than 1,000 activists
from across the Americas gathered here to work against the U.S.-
backed free trade pact, which he said will only further impoverish
The Bush administration has progressively hardened its policies
toward the island. Cuban authorities charge the strategy is aimed at
wooing voters in Florida, home to most of the Cuban-American exiles
living in the United States.
For more than four decades, the two countries have been without
diplomatic ties and a U.S. trade embargo against the island makes
most trade between the nations impossible, except for sales of farm