"Bench Marks." Notwithstanding a recent court ruling overturning Bush hits on the Clean Air Act, April Reese reports in E Magazine (January/February 2004) that environmental groups see a crisis looming in the judiciary: About 50 federal-bench nominations are on tap for consideration by the Senate, and Bush has a record of nominees who value property rights over environmental protection (www.emagazine.com).
"Killing Medicare." Both liberals and conservatives, the mass media tell us, can find things to love (and hate) in the new Medicare bill just passed by Congress and signed by Bush. But taking as her example the troubling experience of California Medicare HMOs, Trudy Lieberman of the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union argues in The Nation (Dec. 15, 2003) that this Medicare "reform" actually lays the groundwork for growing privatization that will leave the sickest seniors in the traditional health-insurance program and burdened with rising premiums (www.thenation.com).
"The Radical: What Dick Cheney Really Believes." Vice President Cheney's imperial ambitions are nothing new: In The New Republic (Dec 1 & 8, 2003), Spencer Ackerman and Franklin Foer recall how Cheney, as defense secretary for the first President Bush, pushed to destabilize the Gorbachev-era Soviet Union and helped lay the ideological groundwork for what would become W's post-Sept. 11 foreign policy, including pre-emptive war. Ackerman and Foer also demonstrate how the beliefs of "the most powerful vice president in history" led him to his false statements about the Iraqi threat, and to disastrous predictions of Iraqi euphoria over a U.S. invasion (www.tnr.com).
"Bush's War Economy." The Progressive (December 2003) examines why an economic recovery jump-started by Bush's don't-tax-but-spend-anyway fiscal policies won't sustain itself, particularly because of its dependency on massive increases in military outlays (www.progressive.org/dec03/com1203.html).
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