Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Days of PROGRESS!!!

This is from today's Progress Report ... GOOD JOB Mr. President!!!:

Obama's 100 Days Of Progress

President Barack Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 21, 2009, with two broad mandates bestowed upon him by the American people: repair the mess that President Bush and his administration left behind after eight disastrous years in office, and enact a bold, progressive agenda that includes fixing our nation's health care system and seriously addressing global climate change. Obama went to work right away, pushing the "biggest, boldest countercyclical fiscal stimulus in American history" through Congress -- a $787 billion dollar measure that not only creates jobs but also provides investments in energy, transportation, education and health care. Obama also announced his intention to shift focus and resources away from Bush's misbegotten adventure in Iraq and refocus on Afghanistan, where the security situation is worse than it has been since the start of the U.S.-led war there in October 2001. Now, a series of recent public opinion polls shows that the American public not only overwhelmingly approves of the job Obama is doing as president, but they also believe the nation is heading in the right direction -- "the first time in years the nation has held such an optimistic view of its future." For example, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 50 percent of Americans now say the country is on the right track (48 percent say the wrong track), compared with just 13 percent who had the same feeling last October (85 percent said the U.S. was heading in the wrong direction at that time). Indeed, in his first 100 days in office, Obama has received the support of the American public to implement the progressive agenda he campaigned on.

BREAK FROM BUSH: Shortly after taking office, Obama worked quickly to repair the damage done under Bush and has, in total, issued 29 executive decisions reversing Bush administration policy. On his first day as president, Obama signed an executive order mandating the closure of the Guantanamo Bay terror detainee prison camp within one year. The next day, he ordered military leaders to establish a plan for a responsible withdrawal from Iraq,and he signed executive orders ending CIA secret prisons and ending torture by requiring that all interrogations abide by the Army Field Manual. Obama put these first actions as president in simple terms. "We intend to win this fight" against terrorists, he said. But "we are going to win it on our own terms." On the domestic front, Obama reversed Bush's restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in March, asserting that his administration would "make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology." In London at the G20 Summit and in other European capitals earlier this month, Obama reassured America's friends and allies that the United States would reengage the world as an equal partner. "We're starting to see some restoration of America's standing in the world," Obama said in London. " It is "very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to dictating solutions." As far as "dictating solutions," Obama also ditched Bush's "with us or against us" foreign policy mindset in dealing with America's allies and adversaries. Indicating his sincerity in reaching out to the Muslim world, Obama granted his first television interview as president to Dubai-based Al-Arabiya. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama said, adding, "We are offering a hand of friendship." Most significantly, Obama also opened the door to direct dialogue with Iran last month, sending the government and its people a "groundbreaking" "special message" on Nowruz, the start of the Persian New Year, in which he said the U.S. is seeking "engagement" with Iran "that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

A PROGRESSIVE AGENDA: On Jan. 29, Obama signed his first major piece of legislation, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an equal pay law making it easier for workers -- most of whom are women -- to initiate pay discrimination lawsuits. "We are upholding one of this nation's first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness," Obama said at the bill's signing ceremony. Six days later, Obama signed a bill expanding publicly funded health insurance for children, known as SCHIP, legislation Bush had vetoed twice despite strong bipartisan support in Congress. The bill reduces the number of uninsured children by about half over the next four years and will "boost the number covered by the program to 11 million." "In a decent society, there are certain obligations that are not subject to trade offs or negotiation -- health care for our children is one of those obligations," Obama said. And just last week, the President signed a $5.7 billion national service bill championed by Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) that "triples the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years and expands ways for students to earn money for college."

THE NEXT 100 DAYS AND BEYOND: Obama and Congress have yet to finalize legislation that would fully accomplish health care reform and solve our climate crisis, but these two major issues remain on the front-burner and have received significant attention in the administration's first 100 days. The economic recovery bill passed earlier this year contained key health care provisions that lead the way toward reform, including $19 billion for health care information technology to implement electronic health records and an agency to "conduct and support research that would assess the benefits of competing treatments," both of which aim to reduce future overall costs. Moreover, Obama's budget creates a "reserve fund" as a down payment to reform the health care system. The stimulus bill also provided a boost to a green economy. In what The New York Times called "the biggest energy bill in history," the Recovery Act provides $91 billion for clean energy investments. In a further indication that addressing climate change is a top priority for the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed this month that greenhouse gas pollution endangers the health and welfare of the American public. The move finally complies with the Supreme Court's 2007 ruling -- ignored by Bush -- that such emissions should be regulated by the federal government under the Clean Air Act. Obama's budget contains key energy provisions that also aim to limit greenhouse gases and build a clean-energy economy, such as a mandatory cap on carbon emissions which is expected to raise hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years that will go toward clean energy development and tax credits for working Americans.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Radical Right???

Why do conservatives/resmugnicans/rethugnicans/republiCAN'TS HATE America so much??? ... this is from today's Progress Report:

100 Days Of Opposition

Tomorrow marks the first 100 days of the Obama administration. Tomorrow's Progress Report item will highlight the past 100 days of progress. But today, we're focusing on how the conservatives have chosen to spend their first 100 days.

In the first 100 days of the Obama presidency, the country has been confronted by a myriad of challenges. President Obama has faced an inherited economic recession -- including widespread foreclosures, a banking system plagued by toxic assets, and mounting unemployment -- as well as two wars, international terrorism, global climate change, millions of Americans still without health care, piracy and now, the threat of a flu pandemic. But instead of engaging in a substantive policy debate with the President, conservatives have spent the past three months immersed in a radical transformation, lurching further to the right. Indeed, the brand of conservatism now in ascendancy embraces apocalyptic rhetoric, cheers on reflexive attacks on Obama, and fuels a steady drumbeat of conspiracy theories. With control of neither the White House nor Congress, conservatives have looked to hate radio talkers like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh for leadership. The new Republican Party chairman, Michael Steele, has also championed the fringe voices of the right wing while threatening to punish members of his party who make any attempts at bipartisanship. The single greatest achievement of the conservative movement thus far has been the staging of anti-Obama, anti-tax "tea party" protests, which were attended by over 100,000 people country-wide and quickly embraced by GOP leaders as the future of the party. The tea party protests, along with the near universal party-line votes opposing Obama's agenda items show how conservatives acting on Limbaugh's pre-Inauguration Day proclamation that he hopes Obama fails.

EMBRACING RADICALIZATION: While the mainstream of America is more and more progressive in its policy solutions, the Republican party appears intent on tapping into a darker undercurrent of right-wing rage that has proliferated since Obama's election. Public servants for the "loyal opposition" started using the rhetoric of armed opposition to Obama, such as Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) call for people to be "armed and dangerous" over Democratic energy proposals. But as the conservative lobbyist-orchestrated "tea parties" gained momentum, GOP lawmakers issued more brazen calls for violence. Appearing before throngs of anti-Obama protesters, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) called for "revolution," as he declared that the attendees were the patriots who would, quoting Thomas Jefferson, refresh the tree of liberty with the "blood of tyrants." During the tea party fervor, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) called for assassinating Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) over taxes. Speaking to reporters after a tea party, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) suggested that his state may have to secede from the Union, a call then defended by former Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX). A Department of Homeland Security report on growing threats of right-wing domestic terrorism has become a rallying cry for conservatives, as members like Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) remarked to an audience, "Welcome, right-wing activists, is that what we are? Extremists, yeah, well I'm gonna get me a button." Going forward, House Republican leaders are now routinely stating that Obama's green economy proposals equate to a "declaration of war" on the country.

REFLEXIVE ATTACKS: Although conservatives and Republicans have made a point to tell the press they are focused on simply "putting forward positive alternatives," they have spent most of the first 100 days incessantly searching for ways to smear the president. Whether they are complaining about Obama's suit jacket policy, jabbing him about his use of a teleprompter, or ridiculing his wife for serving soup to the poor, conservatives have found no alleged fault too trivial. Exhibiting a certain form of creativity, they scoured Obama's trips abroad for evidence that he somehow hates America. To conservatives, Obama's brief bow to the Saudi King was proof that he is a "hillbillie," and the fact he shook hands with the Venezuelan President an example of his "shallowness." Obama's personalized gifts to the Queen of England were a sign of his apparent narcissism, according to conservatives, and when Obama spoke to the Turkish people on America's religious tolerance, he was -- in the eyes of Fox News pundits -- betraying the "Judeo-Christian ethic." The compulsive assaults on Obama have not only generated a cottage industry of newly-manufactured insults, but they have policy implications as well. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) thought he could score political points by mocking spending on volcano monitoring programs, but a federally-funded monitoring system detected an eruption in Alaska a month later. As Republicans reflexively decried almost all spending programs in the Recovery Act as useless "pork," Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) employed the same political rationale to cut pandemic flu preparedness funds from the bill -- just months before the current swine flu pandemic threat.

NOT GROUNDED IN REALITY: In their quest to discredit Obama, conservatives have increasingly left the facts far behind. Playing upon myths forged during the presidential campaign, Republicans like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and a chorus of talk radio hosts have spread the lie that Obama will "take away your gun." However, in the age of Obama, conspiracy theories have not been bound to only fringe members of Congress and right-wing radio. A bill aimed a preventing the creation of a "global currency" to replace the dollar -- a non-existent threat hyped by the right-wing echo chamber -- gained at least 30 GOP co-sponsors. The pattern has persisted on every major agenda item Obama has put forward. Republicans have falsely claimed that an MIT study showed that a cap on carbon pollution is a $3,100 light-switch tax. When the author explained the study actually found a $65 cost in 2015, conservatives declared the cost was then $3900. GOP talking points opposing Obama's Recovery Act were laden with accusations similarly made of whole cloth. For instance, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) joined other Republican lawmakers in decrying a made-up high-speed train supposedly designed to run "straight from Disney[land] ... to the doorstep of the Moonlight Bunnyranch in Nevada." And during the first public debates over health reform, the conservative establishment converged to support a "report" by Hudson Fellow Betsy McCaughey that erroneously suggested that investments in comparativeness effectiveness investments would create a "new bureaucracy" to "monitor doctors."

Friday, April 24, 2009

BASTARD republicans!!!

This is from today's Progress Report ... the republiCAN'Ts are still acting like they're in high school ... the need to grow up and want America to succeed NOT fail:

Obstructing Progress

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that in the next five weeks until Memorial Day recess, the Senate will "tackle a hefty legislative agenda that includes bills to rein in predatory practices in the housing and credit card industries and a reform of government procurement." Looking back on what Congress has accomplished since the beginning of the year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, "The three pillars of the president's budget -- education, energy and health care -- have already been advanced down the field to a significant extent in the first three months." The optimistic tone of the Democratic leaders in Congress, however, is not shared by their counterparts in the Republican Party. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said in a press conference yesterday that, in the last four months, "it's become clear to him [Obama] that the idea of bipartisanship 'was a ruse.'" However, the seeming absence of bipartisanship isn't a result of the Obama administration's lack of trying. Congressional Republicans have done little but delay key executive branch nominees and attempt to block key legislation, all the while failing to offer any alternative ideas of their own.

DELAYING NOMINEES: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected to a motion to begin debate on the nominations of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) as Secretary of Health and Human Services, David Hayes for deputy secretary of the Interior Department, and Thomas Strickland for assistant secretary for fish and wildlife at Interior. Regarding Sebelius, McConnell said he objected because members of his caucus had not yet had time to consider her candidacy properly. However, the real reason is that a select few in the Republican caucus are attempting to delay her appointment -- at the insistence of right-wing social conservative groups -- because of her commitment to pro-choice women's health policies. The delay is reminiscent of what transpired after Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill's nomination, when a small group of Republican senators -- including John McCain (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Sam Brownback (KS) -- announced their opposition, claiming Hill "lacks experience in the Middle East." As the National Security Network's Max Bergmann pointed out, they really took issue with his desire to avoid bombing North Korea. Further, the only substantive result of delaying Hill was to hinder the Obama administration's ability to effectively and efficiently make progress in Iraq. Indeed, Gen. David Petraeus was reportedly "frustrated by the delay." A similar chain of events is likely to play out with Sebelius, Dawn Johnsen, Harold Koh, and many other key nominees. The goal in holding up Obama nominees, it should be clear by now, is not to find better qualified nominees or answer substantive concerns. Rather, it appears to be part of an attempt on the part of Republicans in Congress to "obstruct and delay" the implementation of the legislative agenda the American people voted for last November.

BLOCKING THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA: Since January, Congress has expanded access to health care for low-income children through the passage of SCHIP Expansion, laid the ground work for economic recovery with the passage of Obama's Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and passed a budget resolution that demonstrated the Obama administration's intention to push for real progressive changes in the tax code, the health care system, and environmental regulation. On health care in particular, congressional Republicans have worked hard to register their opposition to reform. As the Wonk Room's Igor Volsky explained yesterday, "Key Republicans voted against the popular SCHIP legislation, eight Republican senators (including health care heavy weights Grassley and Hatch) voted [in committee] against Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, misrepresented the intent of health information the stimulus, and have already taken the public option off the table." But both the Senate and House leadership are serious about making health care reform happen this year. Due to obstructionism, however, they may now have to implement health care reform through the budget reconciliation process, which would allow the reform measures to be "protected from filibusters and passed by a simple majority vote." Republicans used reconciliation to pass the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, key provisions of their signature legislative agenda in 1994, the Contract with America, and on many other occasions in the last 30 years. Now, however, the Republicans have developed a bit of "political amnesia" and are calling the use of reconciliation the "Chicago approach to governing" and "a declaration of war." Further, they are plotting retaliatory parliamentary tactics -- including refusing to attend committee hearings and demanding that the text of bills, often hundreds of pages long, be read aloud -- that would "grind the Senate to a virtual halt." Yesterday, however, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) conceded that Democrats have the "right" to pass health care reform using the reconciliation process.

FAILING TO PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE: While Republicans have worked hard at saying "no," they have repeatedly failed to offer realistic alternative proposals. Several days after presenting his budget proposal, Obama pointed out during a prime-time press conference that congressional Republicans were failing to offer concrete alternatives to his budget. In response, Boehner hurriedly assembled a news conference to introduce their alternative "budget." "Here it is, Mr. President," Boehner declared, brandishing a glossy 19-page document in his hand. The only problem was that Boehner's budget didn't contain any numbers. When Republicans finally offered a detailed plan on, ironically, April Fool's Day, it did not appear to make any more economic sense than the brochure of recycled ideas they released the week before. Indeed, despite the growing recession, the plan called for a five-year spending freeze which, as the Wonk Room's Pat Garofalo explained, would "negate the stimulus, while betting economic recovery will occur thanks to an abundance of supply-side tax cuts." This trend appears likely to continue. Indeed, in a week dominated by congressional hearings on energy and health care, Boehner mentioned each issue only once yesterday in his press conference -- and that was to tell reporters that House Republicans still have no alternative health care plan and no alternative energy and environment plan. "Our health care solutions group is continuing to do their work. Our energy solutions group continues to do its work." Still, he insisted that "you'll continue to see us try to be the party of better solutions."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Put Them In JAIL!!!

This is from Monday's (4/13/09) Progress Report:

Gone But Not Forgotten

It has now been three months since President Bush and his family boarded their plane back to Texas and handed the reins of power over to President Obama. Yet Bush administration officials are pushing to make sure that the American public remembers them -- or rather, remembers what they want them to remember. While Bush has been focusing on fundraising for his presidential library and hitting the lecture circuit, his top aides have been aggressively taking to the airwaves to criticize Obama. With Obama's approval rating still above 60 percent, these aides are pulling out all the stops to shape Bush's legacy and pass blame on to his successor. However, there's little proof that these attacks are working. In a recent C-SPAN poll of presidential historians, Bush made a list of the top 10 worst presidents in U.S. history. Even abroad, officials are attempting to hold the Bush administration accountable. Last month, a Spanish court "agreed to consider opening a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials...over allegations they gave legal cover for torture at Guantanamo Bay."

THE DECIDER: Even while still in office, Bush was looking forward to making a "ridiculous" amount of money on the lecture circuit. According to his bio on the Washington Speakers Bureau website, the point of his speaking tour is to promote his policies that were "controversial at times" but "kept the country safe for more than seven years." Bush is now lecturing approximately once a week. His first appearance was in Canada, where activists and human rights lawyers tried to bar his entry into the country. Bush has also been working to raise $300 million for his presidential library, although "the prospect" of being identified "in perpetuity" with Bush's agenda "freezes the blood" of some of Southern Methodist University's leading academics. Even though he is writing a book on his time in office, Bush is not sitting around and reflecting on his missteps and regrets. "He's secure in the place he's in. He's confident in the decisions he made. There's none of that 'Shoulda, woulda, coulda,'" said former aide Dan Bartlett. One event that Bush is trying to wipe from the American public's minds is the Iraq war. His advisers have said that the war is "unlikely" to be one of the topics of focus at the presidential library; in fact, Bush's official 483-word bio on the library website doesn't have a single mention of Iraq. A newly released five-minute promo video for the library mentions the word "Iraq" just once, although it devotes a full 35 seconds to clips showing extensive footage of 9/11 and Bush's subsequent reaction.

THE LOYAL BUSHIES: Finding work has been tough for many former loyal Bushies. A Washington job recruiter estimated that only "25% to 30% of ex-Bush officials seeking full-time jobs have succeeded," a rate that is "much, much worse" than when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton left office. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has been one of the most high-profile job seekers; he has blamed his troubles on the "rough economy" rather than his incompetence while in the Bush administration. Others have been lucky enough to stay in the public light by appearing on cable news. Fox News contributor Karl Rove continues to use his platform to attack the Obama administration -- even though Bush has said that Obama deserves his "silence." Last week, for example, Rove called Vice President Biden a "blowhard" and a "liar." He also went after Obama for praising the "Turkish secular movement" while abroad, even though Bush did the same thing while in office. Former chief of staff Andrew Card's objections have been less substantive, focusing on the fact that unlike Bush, Obama does not require his staff to wear a jacket at all times in the Oval Office. In January, Card said that the new dress code showed a lack of "respect" for the office and created a "kind of locker room experience." Most recently, the President's brother, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, has made headlines for telling Obama to leave his brother alone. "If I had one humble criticism of President Obama, it would be to stop this notion of somehow framing everything in the context of, 'Everything was bad before I got here,'" Jeb Bush told Fox News's Sean Hannity last week, not noting that his brother also repeatedly attacked Clinton. In addition to attacking Obama, these Bushies have banded together to create a Bush-Cheney Alumni Association, committed to "help build a lasting legacy for President George W. Bush and the Bush-Cheney Administration."

SAME OLD DICK: The former vice president has been one of Obama's loudest and most controversial critics. On March 15, Cheney received widespread attention -- and criticism -- for saying that Obama is "making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack." Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod responded that although Bush has "behaved like a statesman...I just don't think the memo got passed down to the vice president." Both Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder similarly came out and condemned Cheney's comments. Cheney is also up to his old secrecy tricks, refusing to transfer his records and gifts to Bush's presidential library. Next week, top administration officials will be gathering in Dallas for a reunion with the ex-president. One person who won't be there? Cheney, who is still reportedly at odds with Bush over his decision not to pardon Scooter Libby.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Who Helped Bush???

This is how far behind I am on some of my e-mail reading ... this is from the January 16th Progress Report:

The 43 Who Helped Make Bush The Worst Ever

Next week, "change is coming to America," as President George W. Bush wraps up his tenure as one of the worst American presidents ever. He wasn't able to accomplish such an ignominious feat all by himself, however; he had a great deal of help along the way. The Progress Report heralds the conclusion of the Bush 43 presidency by bringing you our list of the top 43 worst Bush appointees. Did we miss anyone? Who should have been ranked higher? Let us know what you think.

1. Dick Cheney -- The worst Dick since Nixon. The man who shot his friend while in office. The "most powerful and controversial vice president." Until he got the job, people used to actually think it was a bad thing that the vice presidency has historically been a do-nothing position. Asked by PBS's Jim Lehrer about why people hate him, Cheney rejected the premise, saying, "I don't buy that." His top placement in our survey says otherwise.

2. Karl Rove -- There wasn't a scandal in the Bush administration that Rove didn't have his fingerprints all over -- see Plame, Iraq war deception, Gov. Don Siegelman, U.S. Attorney firings, missing e-mails, and more. As senior political adviser and later as deputy chief of staff, "The Architect" was responsible for politicizing nearly every agency of the federal government.

3. Alberto Gonzales -- Fundamentally dishonest and woefully incompetent, Gonzales was involved in a series of scandals, first as White House counsel and then as Attorney General. Some of the most notable: pressuring a "feeble" and "barely articulate" Attorney General Ashcroft at his hospital bedside to sign off on Bush's illegal wiretapping program; approving waterboarding and other torture techniques to be used against detainees; and leading the firing of U.S. Attorneys deemed not sufficiently loyal to Bush.

4. Donald Rumsfeld -- After winning praise for leading the U.S. effort in ousting the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2001, the former Defense Secretary strongly advocated for the invasion of Iraq and then grossly misjudged and mishandled its aftermath. Rumsfeld is also responsible for authorizing the use of torture against terror detainees in U.S. custody; according to a bipartisan Senate report, Rumsfeld "conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees."

5. Michael Brown -- This former commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association was appointed by Bush to head FEMA in 2003. After Katrina made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, Brownie promptly did a "heck of a job" bungling the government's relief efforts, and was sent back to Washington a few days later. He was forced to resign shortly thereafter.

6. Paul Wolfowitz -- As Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2005, Wolfowitz was one of the primary architects of the Iraq war, arguing for the invasion as early as Sept. 15, 2001. Testifying before Congress in February 2003, Wolfowitz said that it was "hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself." Wolfowitz eventually admitted that "for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction," as a justification for war, "because it was the one reason everyone [in the administration] could agree on."

7. David Addington -- "Cheney's Cheney" was the "most powerful man you've never heard of." As the leader of Bush's legal team and Cheney's chief of staff, Addington was the biggest proponent of some of Bush's most notorious legal abuses, such as torture and warrantless surveillance, and is a loyal follower of the so-called unitary executive theory.

8. Stephen Johnson -- The "Alberto Gonzales of the environment," EPA Administrator Johnson subverted the agency's mission at the behest of the White House and corporate interests, suppressing staff recommendations on pesticides, mercury, lead paint, smog, and global warming.

9. Douglas Feith -- Undersecretary of Defense for Policy from 2001-2005, Feith headed up the notorious Office of Special Plans, an in-house Pentagon intelligence shop devised by Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz to produce intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. A subsequent investigation by the Pentagon's Inspector General found the OSP's work produced "conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence."

10. John Bolton -- As Undersecretary of State, Bolton offered a strong voice in favor of invading Iraq and pushed for the U.S. to disengage from the International Criminal Court and key international arms control agreements. A recess appointment landed Bolton the job of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, despite his stringent animosity toward the world body. Today, he spends his time calling for war with Iran.

11. John Yoo -- As a lawyer for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Yoo authored a series of legal memos giving military interrogators authority to use torture and coercive techniques when interviewing terrorist suspects. Yoo said that only those techniques that inflict pain equivalent to "death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions" constitute torture. Last year, he refused to answer whether or not the president could order a detainee to be buried alive.

12. Ari Fleischer -- Bush's first press secretary helped redefine the role as that of liar-in-chief rather than informer of the public, earning a reputation as "the world's most dishonest flack." Whereas his successors sometimes looked uncomfortable lying, Fleischer was having fun, spinning a cowed and gullible press corps through two massive tax cuts and the initiation of a war undertaken on false pretenses.

13. John Ashcroft -- In 2003, as Bush's first Attorney General, Ashcroft approved waterboarding and other torture techniques on detainees. Ashcroft's nomination was controversial, as he had a history of opposing school desegregation. The chief architect of the invasive Patriot Act, Ashcroft maintains to this day that Bush is "among the most respectful of all leaders ever" of civil liberties.

14. Henry Paulson -- Even as the financial system was crashing down around him, Treasury Secretary Paulson insisted for months that th e banking system was "safe and sound." Once he decided that the economy needed saving, Paulson requested nearly unfettered authority to send billions of taxpayer dollars to banks with no oversight.

15. L. Paul Bremer -- This Presidential Medal of Freedom winner took over the Coalition Provisional Authority in May 2003. Under his mismanagement, the insurgency exploded in Iraq. Bremer claimed he had all the troops he needed to secure the country, overestimated the strength of the new U.S.-trained Iraqi army, disbanded the Iraqi army leaving thousands of Iraqi soldiers with no income and no occupation, and enacted a de-Baathification law that barred many experienced Iraqis from government positions.

16. Bradley Schlozman -- As a recent DOJ Inspector General report demonstrates, Schlozman was a central figure in Bush's politicization of the Justice Department. Violating civil service laws, Schlozman used political and ideological considerations to ensure that only "right-thinking Americans" received jobs. He eventually lied to Congress about his efforts.

17. J. Steven Griles -- A former energy lobbyist and no. 2 official in the Interior Department, Griles went to jail for lying to Congress about illegal favors he did for corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Griles also abused his position "to unlock nearly every legal barrier to exploitation" of our nation's oil and mineral reserves. Before his conviction, Griles left the White House to become a lobbyist for ConocoPhillips.

18. Condoleezza Rice -- As Bush's national security adviser, Rice was another strong advocate for invading Iraq, once famously warning that the U.S. should attack Iraq and not wait for solid proof of its WMD because "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Rice also ignored an urgent warning from the CIA before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that a strike inside the U.S. was imminent.

19. Scooter Libby -- Cheney's former chief of staff was a key player in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame as part of the Bush administration's quest to punish Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for publishing an op-ed debunking one of the White House's main justifications for invading Iraq. Libby was ultimately convicted of perjury and obstructing justice in a federal investigation into Plame's outing but later had his 30-month prison sentence commuted by Bush.

20. Monica Goodling -- Goodling was the most notorious graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University during her tenure in the Justice Department. As the White House liaison at the DOJ, she based the department's hiring of candidates on their sexual preference, GOP loyalty, and adherence to conservative ideology.

21. Alphonso Jackson -- As Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Jackson let the U.S. housing market crumble while he was busy giving lucrative contracts to his golfing buddies, retaliating against Bush critics, and erecting giant photo homages to himself.

22. Michael Hayden -- As director of the National Security Agency, Hayden ran Bush's warrantless wiretapping program and misled Congress about the program's legality. After moving to the CIA, he dismissed the destruction of evidence implicating the CIA in torture as "in line with the law."

23. Lurita Doan -- The former head of the General Services Administration (GSA)who doled out a no-bid contract to a friend, Doan famously hosted a meeting of White House political operatives where she asked how GSA employees could "help 'our candidates' in the next election." After the Office of Special Counsel called for her firing, she was forced to resign at the request of the White House.

24. Gale Norton -- A former industry lobbyist and Bush's first Secretary of the Interior, Norton pushed a radical ideological agenda "through regulatory rollbacks, suppression of science, preferential treatment, and collusion with industry" -- including doctoring scientific findings on the impacts of oil drilling on caribou. After resigning under the cloud of ties to Jack Abramoff, she joined Shell Oil.

25. Lester Crawford -- After promising to act on the morning-after contraceptive pill during his confirmation hearings, the former FDA Commissioner "indefinitely postponed nonprescription sales of emergency contraception over the objections of staff scientists who had declared the pill safe." Crawford resigned after just two months on the job and later pleaded guilty "to charges that he hid his ownership of stock in food and drug companies that his agency regulated."

26. Harriet Miers -- Well-known for being Bush's failed Supreme Court nominee, Miers also thought it was "important" to her as White House Counsel that Rove protege Tim Griffin was installed as a U.S. Attorney, making her a central figure in the U.S. Attorney scandal. She is said to have called Bush "the most brilliant man she had ever met."

27. Hans Von Spakovsky -- Originally a political appointee in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, Spakovsky "injected partisan political factors into decision-making" and used every opportunity "to make it difficult for voters -- poor, minority and Democratic -- to go to the polls." In 2008, Spakovsky withdrew his name from consideration for the FEC, following months of opposition from lawmakers and civil rights groups.

28. Tommy Franks -- As head of U.S. Central Command from 2000 to 2003, Franks oversaw Osama bin Laden's great escape from Afghanistan, gave orders for the stabilization of Iraq via PowerPoint, assumed that the U.S. would draw down to 25,000 troops by the end of 2004, and had American soldiers stand idly by as chaos and lawlessness took hold after the invasion.

29. Thomas Scully -- As chief administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Scully was the White House's head negotiator on the Medicare prescription drug bill. Scully threatened to fire chief actuary Richard Foster if he revealed that Bush's Medicare Part D legislation "would cost 25% to 50% more than the Bush administration's public estimates."

30. Julie MacDonald -- A top Interior Department appointee, MacDonald "interjected herself personally and profoundly" and "tainted nearly every decision made on the protection of endangered species" over a five-year period, intimidating the staff with "abrupt and abrasive, if not abusive" tactics. MacDonald also leaked government documents to a young acquaintance whom she met while playing "internet role-playing games."

31. William Haynes -- As the former general counsel at the Defense Department, he was part of a five-person team of high-level administration lawyers, dubbed the "War Council," that tossed the Geneva Conventions aside and hatched out the legal framework for torture in secret meetings.

32. David Safavian -- Safavian was (twice) tried and convicted for his role in the jack Abramoff scandal. Safavian was found guilty of "lying and obstructing justice" in an attempt to cover-up "his many efforts to assist Abramoff in acquiring two properties controlled by the GSA."

33. James Connaughton -- As chairman of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, Connaughton wrote EPA press releases downplaying the danger of the air quality in lower Manhattan following 9/11. "A former lobbyist for utilities, mining, chemical, and other industrial polluters," Connaughton insisted "there's a lot of disagreement" about humans' impact on global warming, and he touted a bogus study purporting to show that the 20th century was not unusually warm.

34. William Luti -- A former Navy officer and Cheney aide, Luti was dispatched to the Pentagon in 2001 to work underneath Feith to find "evidence" to support his boss's belief in conspiracy theories linking Saddam to al Qaeda. Luti was an integral component of Cheney's campaign to pressure intelligence professionals to conform their judgments to administration policy rather than reality.

35. Susan Orr -- As Assistant Deputy Secretary for Population Affairs, this former Family Research Council official oversaw funding for the only federal program that provided contraceptive services to low-income Americans. Orr cheered Bush's anti-contraception record, saying, "Fertility is not a disease. It's not a medical necessity that you have [contraception]."

36. Christopher Cox -- Under Chairman Cox, the Securities and Exchange Commission censored internal reports showing that it ignored critical signs pointing to Wall Street's meltdown. Cox's SEC also failed to detect Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme, despite a decade of warnings.

37. Elliott Abrams -- An Iran-Contra convict pardoned by Bush 41, Abrams was named by Bush 43 as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations. As a founding Project for a New American Century signatory and a staunchly pro-Israel neoconservative, Abrams supported expanding Israel 's 2006 bombing of Lebanon into Syria and advocated a Fatah coup after Hamas won the February 2006 Palestinian elections.

38. Philip Cooney -- A former oil lobbyist who served as chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Cooney doctored climate reports to "soften" words and phrases linking greenhouse gas emissions to global warming. After his political interference was revealed, Cooney left the White House to become a lobbyist for Exxon.

39. Colin Powell -- Though Bush called him "an American hero" when he appointed him to be the first African-American Secretary of State, Powell placed an ugly "blot" on his record when he pushed the Bush administration's faulty case for the Iraq war in a speech to the U.N. on Feb.5, 2003, using inaccurate information. Liberal hawks and the media rallied around Powell's false case, calling it the "winning hand" for war.

40. Elaine Chao -- The Labor Secretary made it through all eight years of the Bush administration, driving morale at the Labor Department so low that staffers threw a "good-riddance party" to cheer her departure. She leaves behind a "deeply troubled department" that "spent eight years attacking workers' rights, strong workplace health and safety rules, and unions while they carried the water for Big Business."

41. Julie Myers -- After being hired as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement based on little more than her personal connections, Myers made herself famous by awarding "Most Original Costume" to an employee who dressed up in blackface and a prison costume for Halloween. She was also heavily criticized for conducting politically-motivated immigration raids.

42. Wade Horn -- As Assistant Secretary for Community Initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services, Horn funneled millions of tax-payer dollars into right-wing abstinence-only programs. Shortly before he resigned, it was revealed that he had given nearly $1 million "to the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), where he was the president for at least three years until joining the Bush administration in 2001."

43. George Deutsch -- As a young, inexperienced press officer for NASA, Deutsch "told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word 'theory' at every mention of the Big Bang." He resigned in 2006 after it was discovered he had lied on his resume, falsely claiming that he had a journalism degree from Texas A&M.

Dishonorable Mentions: Bush appointees who didn't quite make the list included a child pornography aficionado, a patron of hookers, a shoplifter, a mail fraudster, an operator of an illegal horse gambling ring, and a CIA official who took bribes in the form of prostitutes.