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Old June 17th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by General Lee View Post
In a world where we constantly complain about politicians swaying back and forth with their political beliefs/stances on certain issues, we finally had a president that stuck with his plans and didn't waver.

(1) Flip-Flop #1: Bush has flip-flopped about whether capturing Osama Bin Laden is an important priority for his administration.

FLIP: A week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush said he wanted Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive."

FLOP: But he told reporters six months later, "I truly am not that concerned about him. It's not that important. It's not our priority." He also did not mention bin Laden in his hour-long convention acceptance speech this year.

Bush didn't order U.S. troops into Tora Bora to capture Osama Bin Laden right after the Afghanistan invasion. Instead, he relied on warlords who were of dubious loyalty and ability to find Osama Bin Laden and other members of Al Qaeda in that mountainous region. Later, when Iraq became this administration's priority, it shifted special forces from Afghanistan (where they had been searching for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda members to Iraq).

What Bush has said about bin Laden at various points in time, depending on how he was trying to spin things:

FLIP: Capturing Osama Bin Laden is the number one priority:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

Washington Post, 9/17/01, UPI: Bush said he wants accused terrorist leader Osama bin Laden "dead or alive.” “I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'"- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

AP, 12/14/01: President Bush pledged anew Friday that Osama bin Laden will be taken "dead or alive."

FLOP: Capturing OBL no longer a priority:

G.W. Bush, 3/13/02: I don't know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."

"...Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all. So we don't know whether he's in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know...."
- Bush, in remarks in a Press Availability with the Press Travel Pool, The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on official White House site

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."
- G.W. Bush, responding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts, 3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02) ]

Secondary Sources: A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY by Karen What Bush has said about bin laden... spin: and "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(2) Bush flip-flopped on whether former Baathists could participate in the new Iraq government.

FLIP: May 16, 2003: U.S. civil administrator L. Paul Bremer announces a sweeping operation to ensure that Baath Party members are removed from critical positions in the public sector. This ban could affect as many as 30,000 senior Baath Party members.

FLOP: Thursday, April 22, 2004: "The White House confirmed Thursday that the administration is moving to change a postwar policy that blocked members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from Iraqi government and military positions. . . . The sweeping ban was put in place by civilian administrator Paul Bremer, but he now wants to change the policy as part of an effort to convince Sunnis, who dominate the party, that they are welcome members of the postwar political transition in Iraq.""

"Policy easing to bring Baathists into new Iraq" by John King (CNN Washington Bureau) Thursday, April 22, 2004

"U.S. Reaches Out to Former Members of Baath Party and Senior Iraqi Military Officers"
(3) Bush opposed the creation of an independent Sept. 11 commission, then supported it.

FLIP: BUSH OPPOSES CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11." [CBS News, 5/23/02]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION "President Bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." [ABC News, 09/20/02]
(4) Bush has waffled on whether to adopt the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
(5) Bush has flip-flopped on whether the War on Terrorism is winnable.

FLIP: First Bush claimed he can win the war on terror: "One of the interesting things people ask me, now that we're asking questions, is, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course, you can." [President Bush, 4/13/04]

FLOP: Bush says war on terror is unwinnable: "I don't think you can win [the war on terror]." [President Bush, 8/30/04]

FLIP: Bush then says he will win the war on terror: "Make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win [the war on terror]." [President Bush, 8/31/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(6) Bush has flip-flopped on Yucca Mountain.

FLIP: Bush Said He Would Listen to Local and State Officials When Deciding on Yucca Mountain. In late May 2000, Bush released the following statement in regard to storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain: "I believe sound science, and not politics, must prevail in the designation of any high-level nuclear waste repository. As president, I would not sign legislation that would send nuclear waste to any proposed site unless it's been deemed scientifically safe. I also believe the federal government must work with the local and state governments that will be affected to address safety and transportation issues." [Associated Press, 5/23/00]

FLOP: Bush Decided to Send Waste to Nevada Despite Sufficient Science or Agreement with Local and State Officials. In February 2002, Bush decided to send nuclear waste to Nevada despite opposition from local and state officials and without sound science to prove it would be safe at Yucca Mountain. "President Bush said today that a 57-year accumulation of nuclear waste from power plants and weapons should be buried in the Nevada desert at Yucca Mountain, declaring that an end to the 40-year search for a place to isolate radioactive waste was necessary to 'protect public safety, health and the nation's security.'" [ New York Times, 2/16/02] Source:

Source: http://.org/news/200408100002.html
(7) Bush has attempted to have it both ways on assault weapons.

FLIP: Bush promised in 2000 to renew the assault weapons ban.

FLOP: Then he said and did nothing as Congress let it lapse.
(8) In 2000, Bush argued against new military entanglements and nation building. He's done both in Iraq.

FLIP: BUSH OPPOSES NATION BUILDING... "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road." [Gov. George W. Bush, 10/3/00]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS NATION BUILDING "We will be changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people." [President Bush, 3/6/03]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)

[More on the nation building flip-flop: Nation building: During the 2000 campaign, Bush called for a “humble” foreign policy and disparaged President Clinton’s interventions to bring stability to international hot spots as fuzzy-headed “nation-building.”

Here's what Bush said about nation building during the October 3, 2000 debate with Gore:

"MODERATOR: New question. How would you go about as president deciding when it was in the national interest to use U.S. force, generally?

BUSH: Well, if it's in our vital national interest, and that means whether our territory is threatened or people could be harmed, whether or not the alliances are -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force. Secondly, whether or not the mission was clear. Whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be. Thirdly, whether or not we were prepared and trained to win. Whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped. And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy. I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. "

Source: Transcript of October 3, 2000 debate
(9) Bush opposed the creation of a Homeland Security Department, then embraced it.

FLIP: BUSH OPPOSES THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY..."So, creating a Cabinet office doesn't solve the problem. You still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated. So the answer is that creating a Cabinet post doesn't solve anything." [White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 3/19/02]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY "So tonight, I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people." [President Bush, Address to the Nation, 6/6/02]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(10) Bush first refused to speak to the members of the 911 Commission, then agreed only if Vice President Dick Cheney came with him and provided that their testimony was secret and not under oath.
(11) Bush argued for free trade, then imposed three-year tariffs on steel imports in 2002, only to withdraw them after 21 months.

FLIP: BUSH SUPPORTS FREE TRADE... "I believe strongly that if we promote trade, and when we promote trade, it will help workers on both sides of this issue." [President Bush in Peru, 3/23/02]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS RESTRICTIONS ON TRADE "In a decision largely driven by his political advisers, President Bush set aside his free-trade principles last year and imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel to help out struggling mills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two states crucial for his reelection." [ Washington Post, 9/19/03]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)

FLIP:After instating the tariffs, he ultimately lifted the restrictions on trade in response to the threat of WTO sanctions.
(12) Bush and Cheney have been hypocritical flip-floppers on the question of whether we should prosecute the war on terrorism and assert our national power in a way that is "sensitive."

Bush and Cheney have attacked John Kerry for saying that America needs to fight "a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror," highlighting and ridiculing Kerry's use of the word "sensitive." The fact is that Cheney and Bush have used the word in the same context.

FLIP: Cheney said, " America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive."

FLOP: Cheney neglected to mention that President Bush and other top administration officials - including Cheney himself - have publicly called for "sensitive" use of American military power.

Here is a selection:

On 3/4/01, at the christening of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, President Bush said, "because America is powerful, we must be "sensitive" about expressing our power and influence."

On 1/7/03, Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the president's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the administration asks "our troops to go out there and be, on the one hand, very "sensitive" to cultural issues, on the other hand, be ready to respond in self-defense to a very ticklish situation."

On 4/13/03, Cheney said, "We recognize that the presence of U.S. forces can in some cases present a burden on the local community. We're not "insensitive" to that. We work almost on a continual basis with the local officials to remove points of friction and reduce the extent to which problems arise in terms of those relationships."


1. "Cheney blasts Kerry for 'sensitive' remark," Chicago Sun-Times, 08/13/04,

2."Remarks by the President at Christening Ceremony for the USS Ronald Reagan," The White House, 03/04/01,

3. "DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers," U.S. Department of Defense, 01/07/03,

4. "Remarks by the Vice President at the Washington Post-Yomiuri Shimbun Symposium," The White House, 04/13/04,
(13) Bush has flip-flopped on whether his legacy will be as a war president or a peace president.

"I'm a war president," Bush told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Feb. 8. But in a July 20 speech in Iowa, he said: "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."
(14) Bush keeps revising his Iraq war rationale.

The need to seize Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction until none were found; liberating the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator; fighting terrorists in Iraq not at home; spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. Now it's a safer America and a safer world.
(15) Bush has changed his positions on new Clean Air Act restrictions.
(16) Bush has changed his positions on protecting the Social Security surplus.

FLIP: BUSH PLEDGES NOT TO TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS... "We're going to keep the promise of Social Security and keep the government from raiding the Social Security surplus." [President Bush, 3/3/01]

FLOP: BUSH SPENDS SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS The New York Times reported that "the president's new budget uses Social Security surpluses to pay for other programs every year through 2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in Social Security funds to other purposes." [The New York Times, 2/6/02]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(17) Bush has flip-flopped on tobacco buyouts.

FLIP: BUSH SUPPORTS CURRENT TOBACCO FARMERS' QUOTA SYSTEM... "They've got the quota system in place -- the allotment system -- and I don't think that needs to be changed." [President Bush, 5/04]

FLOP: BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL SUPPORT FEDERAL BUYOUT OF TOBACCO QUOTAS "The administration is open to a buyout." [White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo, 6/18/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(18) Bush has changed his positions on the level of assistance to help combat AIDS in Africa.
(19) Bush has changed his positions on campaign finance reform.

FLIP: BUSH OPPOSES MCCAIN-FEINGOLD... "George W. Bush opposes an infringement on free expression." [ Washington Post, 3/28/2000]

FLOP: BUSH SIGNS MCCAIN-FEINGOLD INTO LAW "[T]his bill improves the current system of financing for Federal campaigns, and therefore I have signed it into law." [President Bush, at the McCain-Feingold signing ceremony, 03/27/02]
(20) Bush has changed his positions on whether to negotiate with North Korean officials. While he has been dithering, North Korea has been moving forward with their nuclear program.

FLIP: BUSH WILL NOT OFFER NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA INCENTIVES TO DISARM... "We developed a bold approach under which, if the North addressed our long-standing concerns, the United States was prepared to take important steps that would have significantly improved the lives of the North Korean people. Now that North Korea's covert nuclear weapons program has come to light, we are unable to pursue this approach." [President's Statement, 11/15/02]

FLOP: BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFERS NORTH KOREA NCENTIVES TO DISARM "Well, we will work to take steps to ease their political and economic isolation. So there would be -- what you would see would be some provisional or temporary proposals that would only lead to lasting benefit after North Korea dismantles its nuclear programs. So there would be some provisional or temporary efforts of that nature." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 6/23/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(21) Most recently, Bush did an about-face on whether the proposed new director of national intelligence should have full budget-making powers as the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission recommended.

FLIP: Bush at first indicated no.

FLOP: Then he said yes.
(22) Bush has taken multiple positions on how this nation should deal with Iran.

He has alternated between calling them a part of the axis of evil one day and acting calling for engagement the next. While he has been dithering and wavering, Iran has been growing less democratic (1000s of reform candidates were disqualified in the last election by Iran's clerics) and has been moving forward with its nuclear program and continuing to export terrorism.

In his 2002 State of the Union speech, Bush boldly condemned Iran along with Iraq as a fellow member of the so-called "Axis of Evil." More recently, Bush has eagerly courting Iran as a key facilitator in negotiations with the Shiite rebels in Iraq. Washington has eagerly sought Iran's good offices to get hostages released in Iraq and to reach a compromise consensus in dealing with the militias in the Shiite holy city of Najaf.

Sources: Original research and writing & "Analysis: Bush flipflops on Iraq crisis" by Martin Sieff UPI Senior News Analyst Published 4/20/2004 12:24 PM
(23) Bush has taken multiple positions on whether budget deficits matter.

In 2000, he claimed to be for balanced budgets. Four years later, now that he has turned record budget surpluses into budget deficits, he claims that deficits are not a problem, and that it is the size of the budget deficit relative to the GDP that matters...
(24) Bush has flip-flopped at least three times on whether patients should have the Right to Sue their HMOs.

FLIP: GOVERNOR BUSH VETOES PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "Despite his campaign rhetoric in favor of a patients' bill of rights, Bush fought such a bill tooth and nail as Texas governor, vetoing a bill coauthored by Republican state Rep. John Smithee in 1995. He... constantly opposed a patient's right to sue an HMO over coverage denied that resulted in adverse health effects." [Salon, 2/7/01]

FLOP: CANDIDATE BUSH PRAISES TEXAS PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "We're one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage... It's time for our nation to come together and do what's right for the people. And I think this is right for the people. You know, I support a national patients' bill of rights, Mr. Vice President. And I want all people covered. I don't want the law to supersede good law like we've got in Texas." [Governor Bush, 10/17/00]

FLIP: PRESIDENT BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION ARGUES AGAINST RIGHT TO SUE "To let two Texas consumers, Juan Davila and Ruby R. Calad, sue their managed-care companies for wrongful denials of medical benefits ‘‘would be to completely undermine' federal law regulating employee benefits, Assistant Solicitor General James A. Feldman said at oral argument March 23. Moreover, the administration's brief attacked the policy rationale for Texas's law, which is similar to statutes on the books in nine other states." [ Washington Post, 4/5/04]

Additional source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(25) Bush has flip-flopped on abortion.

FLIP: In 1978, as a congressional candidate, Bush supported a Woman's Right to Choose... "Bush said he...favors leaving up to a woman and her doctor the abortion question." [The Nation, 6/15/00, quoting the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 5/78]


[Governor Bush, 10/3/00]

Secondary sources: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(26) Bush has flip-flopped on OPEC.

FLIP: BUSH PROMISES TO FORCE OPEC TO LOWER PRICES... "What I think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price." [President Bush, 1/26/00]

FLOP: BUSH REFUSES TO LOBBY OPEC LEADERS With gas prices soaring in the United States at the beginning of 2004, the Miami Herald reported the president refused to "personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds." [Miami Herald, 4/1/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(27) Bush has flip flipped on Iraq Funding.

FLIP: BUSH SPOKESMAN DENIES NEED FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE REST OF 2004... "We do not anticipate requesting supplemental funding for '04" [White House Budget Director Joshua Bolton, 2/2/04]

FLOP: BUSH REQUESTS ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR IRAQ FOR 2004 "I am requesting that Congress establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund for the coming fiscal year to meet all commitments to our troops." [President Bush, Statement by President, 5/5/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated) http://www.americanprogressaction.or...JcP7H&b=118263
(28) Bush first said that we didn't need more troops in Iraq, then he reversed himself.

"Bush said that we didn't need more money in Iraq, then we did. Bush said Preemption was a great idea —— on to Syria, Iran and North Korea! Then it wasn't —— hello, diplomacy! Bush said that we didn't need the U.N., then we did."
(29) Bush flip-flopped on Condoleeza Rice Testimony.

FLIP: BUSH SPOKESMAN SAYS RICE WON'T TESTIFY AS 'A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE'... "Again, this is not her personal preference; this goes back to a matter of principle. There is a separation of powers issue involved here. Historically, White House staffers do not testify before legislative bodies. So it's a matter of principle, not a matter of preference." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 3/9/04]

FLOP: BUSH ORDERS RICE TO TESTIFY: "Today I have informed the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States that my National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, will provide public testimony." [President Bush, 3/30/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(30) Bush flip-flopped on Science.

FLIP: BUSH PLEDGES TO ISSUE REGULATIONS BASED ON SCIENCE..."I think we ought to have high standards set by agencies that rely upon science, not by what may feel good or what sounds good." [then-Governor George W. Bush, 1/15/00]

FLOP: BUSH ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS IGNORE SCIENCE "60 leading scientists—including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents—issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels." [ Union of Concerned Scientists, 2/18/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated) http://www.americanprogressaction.or...JcP7H&b=118263.
(31) Bush flip-flopped on Ahmed Chalabi.

FLIP: BUSH INVITES CHALABI TO STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS...President Bush also met with Chalabi during his brief trip to Iraq last Thanksgiving [White House Documents 1/20/04, 11/27/03]

FLOP: BUSH MILITARY ASSISTS IN RAID OF CHALABI'S HOUSE " U.S. soldiers raided the home of America's one-time ally Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday and seized documents and computers." [Washington Post, 5/20/04]

Bush then denied that he had ever really known "Chalabi:
THE PRESIDENT: My meetings with him were very brief. I mean, I think I met with him at the State of the Union and just kind of working through the rope line, and he might have come with a group of leaders. But I haven't had any extensive conversations with him.

: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(32) Bush has flip-flopped on whether Weapons of Mass Destruction have been discovered in Iraq.

FLIP: BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03]

FLOP: BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons. And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(33) Bush has flip-flopped on the Environment.

FLIP: BUSH SUPPORTS MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE... "[If elected], Governor Bush will work to...establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide." [Bush Environmental Plan, 9/29/00]

FLOP: BUSH OPPOSES MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE "I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act." [President Bush, Letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 3/13/03]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)

[It should be noted that George W. Bush has compiled one of the worst environmental records of any President in the history of the United States. His improperly named "Clear Skies" initiative repeals and weakens public health protections of the Clean Air Act, diluting standards while extending the time in which companies are required to comply with reductions.

Under "Clear Skies," individual facilities will actually be allowed to boost their pollution emissions, the amount of coal that will be burned by power companies over the next 20 years will increase, and greater emissions of mercury and smog-forming nitrogen oxide will occur. In November 2002 and again in August 2003, the Bush administration altered a provision of the Clean Air Act known as "New Source Review" (NSR) to weaken emission control standards for polluting coal-fired power plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, and other facilities. In every proposed budget, the Bush administration has recommended reducing environmental enforcement funding, undermining the EPA's ability to enforce environmental laws and regulate corporate polluters. In fact, the total number of EPA staff conducting inspections and enforcing environmental regulations is currently at its lowest level since the agency's founding.]

(a) Page on Sierra Club's website:

(b) Page on website of the League of Conservation Voters:
(34) Bush has flip-flopped on a WMD Commission.

FLIP: BUSH RESISTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE... "The White House immediately turned aside the calls from Kay and many Democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by congressional committees and the Central Intelligence Agency." [NY Times, 1/29/04]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE "Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, chaired by Governor and former Senator Chuck Robb, Judge Laurence Silberman, to look at American intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction." [President Bush, 2/6/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(35) Bush flip-flopped on whether to grant a Time Extension for the 9/11 Commission.

FLIP: BUSH OPPOSES TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have decided to oppose granting more time to an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [Washington Post, 1/19/04]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION "The White House announced Wednesday its support for a request from the commission investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks for more time to complete its work." [CNN, 2/4/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(36) Bush flip-flopped on whether to impose a one Hour Limit for 9/11 Commission Testimony.

FLIP: BUSH LIMITS TESTIMONY IN FRONT OF 9/11 COMMISSION TO ONE HOUR... "President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning, commission members said Wednesday." [NY Times, 2/26/04]

FLOP: BUSH SETS NO TIMELIMIT FOR TESTIMONY "The president's going to answer all of the questions they want to raise. Nobody's watching the clock." [White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 3/10/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(37) Bush has flip-flopped on Gay Marriage.

FLIP: BUSH SAYS GAY MARRIAGE IS A STATE ISSUE... "The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [Gov. George W. Bush on Gay Marriage, Larry King Live, 2/15/00]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [President Bush, 2/24/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(38) Bush has flip-flopped on whether there was a Saddam/al Qaeda Link.

FLIP: BUSH SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEEN AL QAEDA AND SADDAM... "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." [President Bush, 9/25/02]

FLOP: SAYS SADDAM HAD NO ROLE IN AL QAEDA PLOT "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11." [President Bush, 9/17/03]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(39) Bush has flip-flopped on whether a U.N. Resolution was necessary and desirable before the Iraq war

FLIP: BUSH VOWS TO HAVE A UN VOTE NO MATTER WHAT... "No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. And so, you bet. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam." [President Bush 3/6/03]

FLOP: BUSH WITHDRAWS REQUEST FOR VOTE "At a National Security Council meeting convened at the White House at 8:55 a.m., Bush finalized the decision to withdraw the resolution from consideration and prepared to deliver an address to the nation that had already been written." [ Washington Post, 3/18/03]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(40) Bush has flip-flopped on whether the U.S. should be involved in trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

FLIP: BUSH OPPOSES SUMMITS... "Well, we've tried summits in the past, as you may remember. It wasn't all that long ago where a summit was called and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intifada in the area." [President Bush, 04/05/02]

FLOP: BUSH SUPPORTS SUMMITS "If a meeting advances progress toward two states living side by side in peace, I will strongly consider such a meeting. I'm committed to working toward peace in the Middle East." [President Bush, 5/23/03]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(41) Bush has flip-flopped on whether restrictions on 527s are necessary and appropriate.

FLIP: Bush opposes restrictions on 527s: "I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising [in McCain Feingold], which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import." [President Bush, 3/27/02]

FLOP: Bush says 527s bad for system: "I don't think we ought to have 527s. I can't be more plain about it ¼¼I think they're bad for the system. That's why I signed the bill, McCain-Feingold." [President Bush, 8/23/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" ( September 2, 2004, Updated)
(42) Bush has flip-flopped on whether Medical Records should remain private.

FLIP: Bush says medical records must remain private: "I believe that we must protect...the right of every American to have confidence that his or her personal medical records will remain private." [President Bush, 4/12/01]

FLOP: Bush says patients' histories are not confidential: The Justice Department...asserts that patients "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." [BusinessWeek, 4/30/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(43) Bush has flip-flopped on whether timelines for dictators are appropriate.

FLIP: Bush sets timeline for Saddam: "If Iraq does not accept the terms within a week of passage or fails to disclose required information within 30 days, the resolution authorizes 'all necessary means' to force compliance--in other words, a military attack." [LA Times, 10/3/02]

FLOP: Bush says he's against timelines: "I don't think you give timelines to dictators." [President Bush, 8/27/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(44) Bush has flip-flopped on the Great Lakes:

FLIP: Bush wants to divert great lakes: "Even though experts say 'diverting any water from the Great Lakes region sets a bad precedent' Bush 'said he wants to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chréétien about piping water to parched states in the west and southwest.'–– [AP, 7/19/01]

FLOP: Bush says he'll never divert Great Lakes: "We've got to use our resources wisely, like water. It starts with keeping the Great Lakes water in the Great Lakes Basin...My position is clear: We're never going to allow diversion of Great Lakes water." [President Bush, 8/16/04]

Secondary source: "President Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" (September 2, 2004, Updated)
(45) Bush flip-flopped about who created the "Mission Accomplished" banner and what its significance was.

FLIP: May 2, 2003: Bush is flown to the U.S.S. Lincoln aircraft carrier, dressed in a flight suit, and then proceeds to prance around the deck. Above him, the tower was adorned with a big sign that read, "Mission Accomplished." Declares a premature victory in Iraq, in the process revealing how little planning he has done for the Iraq occupation and how unrealistic his assumptions are about that occupation.

FLOP: October 28, 2003: Six months after he spoke on an aircraft carrier deck with the death toll rising in Iraq and reality on the ground looking increasing chaotic, Bush (at a press conference) claimed that the administration had nothing to do with the banner being hung up on the aircraft carrier and said that the Navy called for it, and that it was hung up to mark the accomplishment of the ship's mission, not the U.S. mission in Iraq. At a news conference, Bush claimed that the "Mission Accomplished" sign "was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished."

Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said at the time: "The mission for the sailors and crew on board the ship was accomplished. There are some continuing objectives we have on the security front, on the reconstruction front, on the political front."

FLIP: October 29, 2003: the administration acknowledged that it was the White House who created the banner. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, asked by reporters about the incident, called it "one of the most significant embarrassments of the entire Iraq experience so far. As he noted, "we've lost more lives since (Bush) declared victory than we lost prior to the time we declared victory. And this latest fabrication is yet another illustration of their (the Republican administration's) unwillingness to except reality. The administration "said that the Navy called for it, and that was a fabrication because they then later acknowledged that it was the White House who created the banner."
(46) Bush Flip-Flopped on arsenic standards.

FLIP: March 2001: Bush Administration rollback of drinking water standards for arsenic threatens American families. Scientists have shown that arsenic can cause several types of cancer, and any further delay in reducing levels in drinking water places millions of Americans at risk. The United States adopted a 50 ppb standard in 1942 before arsenic was known to cause cancer. The EPA had worked for a decade on establishing the new, 10-parts-per-billion standard. Congress had directed the agency to establish a new standard, and it had authorized $2.5 million a year for studies from 1997 through 2000. A 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) had concluded that the existing 50-ppb standard "could easily" result in a 1-in-100 cancer risk and had recommended that acceptable levels be lowered "as promptly as possible." EPA policy-makers had thought that a 3-ppb standard would have been justified by the science, yet they took cost considerations into account and went for the less stringent 10 ppb. After years of scientific studies, a thorough analysis of the costs to communities, and a mandate by Congress to develop a new standard, the Clinton Administration issued a new 10 ppb drinking water standard for arsenic in January 2001, the same level as the European Union and the World Health Organization.

The Bush administration walked away from this approach. It said in March 2001 that it intended to withdraw new drinking water standards designed to protect the public from arsenic pollution. This rash move could have threatened the health of 13 million Americans whose drinking water has elevated levels of arsenic.


FLOP: in response to widespread public outcry about Bush's weakening of the arsenic standards in drinking water, Bush ultimately reversed himself and agreed to impose the tougher, more protective Clinton standards on arsenic in drinking water.
(47) Bush Flip-flopped about manufacturing job loss and his "manufacturing czar."

FLIP-FLOP: The administration has proposed creating a 'manufacturing czar' to try and help out the hardest-hit sector of the U.S. economy. Then, they didn't appoint anyone for months. Then, they finally announced that they've chosen Jason Raimondo to fill the job (which turns out not to be a new job after all). At the same time, the president is in Ohio, denouncing Democrats as 'economic isolationists' for their opposition to outsourcing. Then it turns out that Raimondo's company had shifted jobs abroad and, under attack, Bush withdraws his nomination.

Source: Matthew Yglesias, "A Day of Flip Flops," The American Prospect, March 12, 2004.
(48) Bush said we must not appease terrorists, then lifted trade sanctions on Pakistan, which pardoned its official who sold nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
(49) Bush Flip-flopped and Broke His 2000 Promises to Reform and Strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and to Not Raid the Social Security Trust Fund.

FLIP: In his August 3, 2000 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Bush pledged that "[w]e will strengthen Social Security and Medicare for the greatest generation and for generations to come." He also vowed to put Medicare on "firm financial ground." About social security he said: Social Security, he said, "has been called the third rail of American politics, the one you're not supposed to touch because it might shock you. But if you don't touch it, you cannot fix it. And I intend to fix it." Bush made an unequivocal pledge not to raid the Social Security trust fund to pay for deficits in other parts of the federal budget. “We're going to set aside all the payroll taxes for one thing, Social Security," Bush said in a stump speech four days before the presidential election.

FLOP: Four years later, Social Security is untouched and unfixed. And, with the government going from budget surplus to deficit, Bush has retreated from his promise not to spend the Social Security surplus. Bush has pulled more than $350 billion out of Social Security surpluses to pay for discretionary government spending. Overall prospects for the future look even bleaker. With record deficits replacing record surpluses and the Baby Boom generation nearing retirement age, the current Social Security surpluses are expected to join the rest of the federal government in a bath of red ink. Bush's drug law wound up costing double what Bush projected and Medicare's chief accountant, Richard Foster, was warned that he would lose his job if he told Congress and the public the true costs of the drug bill prior to passage. While the Medicare legislation made nods toward structural changes in the program, it did little to address the program's long-term solvency or to control increasing costs. Call these broken promises or flip flops- its your choice!


1) Washington Post Thursday, September 2, 2004; Page A01

2) CNN Transcript of Bush's 2000 acceptance speech at the RNC:
(50) Bush flip-flopped and broke his 2000 campaign pledge on the uninsured.

The 2000 Bush campaign faulted Clinton for an expansion in the rolls of the uninsured, to 43 million, and said, "Bush will reverse this trend by making health insurance affordable for hardworking low-income families." But that did not happen, and the number of uninsured continued to grow -- by about 5 million during Bush's presidency -- along with health care costs.

Source: Washington Post Thursday, September 2, 2004; Page A01
(51) Bush flip-flopped on his 2000 Promises to the Military and Veterans.

FLIP: During the 2000 campaign, one of Bush’s favorite lines was that under Clinton, the ““military is over-deployed, under-trained and underpaid.”

FLOP: Under Bush, however, the military has been stretched even thinner and has faced administration efforts to trim expected pay raises. The Army Times, an independent newspaper that covers military affairs, reported that Bush tried “to significantly cut the 2004 military pay raise ” from 3.7 percent to 2 percent. The Bush administration also got into trouble last year when it tried to cut combat pay and family separation pay for the men and women serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(52) Bush flip-flopped on whether they would arrest Al Sadr.

FLIP: First, Coalition Provisional Authority chief administrator L. Paul Bremer was adamant that U.S. troops were going to arrest firebrand Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr.

FLOP: Now, they are not.

Source: "Analysis: Bush flipflops on Iraq crisis" by Martin Sieff UPI Senior News Analyst Published 4/20/2004 12:24 PM
(53) Bush flip-flopped on whether the U.S. would reach out to the international community for help with Iraq.

FLIP: President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were adamant that the United States was not going to the United Nations to seek more support in Iraq at the expense of delegating any authority there.

FLOP: But in his nationally televised press conference in April 2004, the president took pains to praise the mission of U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and emphasize his determination to back it to the hilt. Bush's decision to name Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte as his first ambassador to an at least titular independent Iraq after the scheduled handover of sovereignty on June 30 was widely taken as a sign that Bush is finally prepared to let the world body have more of a say in helping restore that country.

Source: "Analysis: Bush flip flops on Iraq crisis" by Martin Sieff UPI Senior News Analyst Published 4/20/2004 12:24 PM
(54) Bush has flip-flopped on how to handle Fallujah.

FLIP: After the murder and mutilation of four U.S. civilian employees in Fallujah in central Iraq, U.S. officials in the country were adamant that overwhelming force would be applied to go into Fallujah and impose law and order, U.S. style.

FLOP: Then, U.S. forces held back from Fallujah and U.S. Marine forces were given the go-ahead to return to their old "softly-softly" policy that senior officials angrily repudiated after the killings. -FLIP: U.S. military commanders gave a grim ultimatum to rebel forces in Fallujah to surrender all their weapons or be crushed.

FLOP: Then that ultimatum was watered down. Only heavy weapons were ordered to be surrendered. The rebels will be allowed to retain their light weapons, including automatic rifles. That is a crucial concession to any militia or guerrilla force as possession of such weapons gives them the power to continue to enforce or even extend their political control over their subject population.

Source: "Analysis: Bush flip flops on Iraq crisis" by Martin Sieff (UPI Senior News Analyst) Published 4/20/2004 12:24 PM
(55) Bush and Cheney have flip-flopped on Defense System and Intelligence Funding Cuts.

FLIP: As Defense Secretary under the first president Bush, Cheney called for a whole bunch of defense systems to be eliminated or cut as the Cold War was coming to an end. Bush's own father, who was then President, and Richard Cheney, who was then Secretary of Defense, proposed to cut or eliminate several of the very same weapons that Republicans now fault Kerry for having opposed.

In his first appearance before Congress as Defense Secretary in April 1989, for example, Cheney outlined $10 billion in defense cuts including proposed cancellation of the AH-64 Apache helicopter, and elimination of the F-15E ground-attack jet. Two years later Cheney's Pentagon budget also proposed elimination of further production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and targeted a total of 81 Pentagon programs for termination, including the F-14 and F-16 aircraft. And the elder President Bush said in his 1992 State of the Union address: "After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B - 2 bombers.... And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles." So if Kerry opposed weapons "our troops depend on," so did Cheney and the elder President Bush.

The Cheney Record: Cheney Proposed Cutting F-16 Aircraft. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Cheney said, "If you're going to have a smaller air force, you don't need as many F-16s... The F-16D we basically continue to buy and close it out because we're not going to have as big a force structure and we won't need as many F-16s." According to the Boston Globe, Bush's 1991 defense budget "kill[ed] 81 programs for potential savings of $ 11.9 billion¼ ¼Major weapons killed include[d]... the Air Force's F-16 airplane." [Cheney testimony, House Armed Services Committee, 2/7/91; Boston Globe, 2/5/91]

The Cheney Record: Cheney Proposed Cuts to B-2 Program. According to the Boston Globe, in 1990, "Defense Secretary Richard Cheney announced a cutback ¼¼ of nearly 45 percent in the administration's B-2 Stealth bomber program, from 132 airplanes to 75..." [ Boston Globe, 4/27/90]

The Cheney F-18 Record: Cutbacks Hit Industry Hard Workers and the industry were hit hard by Cheney's decision for "major cuts" in the F/A-18 program and upgrades to the F-18 in the late 1980s [Flight International, 6/27/90; Los Angeles Times, 12/17/89; Aerospace Daily, 5/26/89; Aviation Week and Space Technology, 5/1/89]

Dick Cheney, the first President Bush's secretary of defense (and now vice president), three days after the 1992 Bush of the state of the union, boasting of similar slashings before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

"Overall, since I've been Secretary, we will have taken the five-year defense program down by well over $300 billion. That's the peace dividend. —And now we're adding to that another $50 billion —of so-called peace dividend."

Cheney proceeded to lay into the then-Democratically controlled Congress for refusing to cut more weapons systems.

"Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s, and F-16s—all great systems—but we have enough of them.

Gen. Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the same hearings, testified about plans to cut Army divisions by one-third, Navy aircraft carriers by one-fifth, and active armed forces by half a million men and women, to say noting of "major reductions" in fighter wings and strategic bombers.

President Bush's own father, the first president Bush announced in his 1992 State of the Union address that he would be ceasing further production of B-2 bombers and MX missiles, and would cut military spending by 30 percent over several years.

George HW Bush's 1992 State of the Union:

From George H.W. Bush's 1992 State of the Union speech: "Two years ago, I began planning cuts in military spending that reflected the changes of the new era. But now, this year, with imperial communism gone, that process can be accelerated. Tonight I can tell you of tic changes in our strategic nuclear force. These are actions we are taking on our own because they are the right thing to do. After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B - 2 bombers. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles. ...The Secretary of Defense recommended these cuts after consultation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And I make them with confidence. But do not misunderstand me. The reductions I have approved will save us an additional $50 billion over the next 5 years. By 1997, we will have cut defense by 30 percent since I took office. "

FLOP: This year, in their ads, in their speeches on the stump, and at the Republican National Convention, Bush and Cheney and their supporters have repeatedly attacked Kerry for having taking Cheney's advice and having voted against these defense systems.

Bush’s campaign chairman Marc Racicot on Feb. 22 accused Kerry of ““voting against the weapons systems that are winning the War on Terror”” and says Kerry was for "canceling or cutting funding for the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the B-1B, the F-15, the F-16, the M1 Abrams, the Patriot Missile, the AH-64 Apache Helicopter, the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and the Aegis Air-Defense Cruiser." Another Bush campaign spokesman said Kerry has a "32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems" (a clear impossibility since Kerry has been in office less than 20 years.)

In fact, as has noted: "Kerry's votes against specific military hardware were mostly against strategic nuclear weapons including the B-2 bomber, Trident missile and anti-missile items, not against conventional equipment such as tanks. And Kerry has a point when he says 'I've voted for some of the largest defense and intelligence budgets in our history,' which is correct. He's voted for military spending bills regularly since 1997."

And Republicans go too far when they claim that Kerry voted against such mainstay weapons of today's military as the M-1 Abrams tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the Patriot missile. (See this Republican National Committee "fact sheet," for example.) These claims are misleading because they rest on Kerry's votes against the entire Pentagon appropriations bills in 1990 and 1995. Kerry also voted against the Pentagon authorization bills (which provide authority to spend but not the actual money) in those years and also in 1996. But none of those were votes against specific weapons systems. Kerry's critics might just as well say he was voting to fire the entire Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. It is also true that Kerry proposed in 1995 another measure that -- among other things -- would have cut the US intelligence budget by $300 million per year for 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Republicans fail to mention, however, that this was another broad, deficit-reduction measure that didn't just target military spending. When he introduced it Sept. 29, 1995, Kerry said it would cut $90 billion in federal spending, of which $10 billion would come from defense spending, and $11 billion from terminating the international space station program.

Starting in 1997 Kerry voted for every regular Department of Defense appropriations bill and for every authorization bill as well. Kerry Has Supported More than $4.4 Trillion in Defense Spending Including Voting for 16 of the Last 19 Defense Authorization Bills. He Voted for the "Largest Increase in Defense Spending Since the Early 1980's." In 2002, John Kerry voted for a large increase in the defense budget. This increase provided more than $355 billion for the Defense Department for 2003, an increase of $21 billion over 2002. This measure includes $71.5 billion for procurement programs such as $4 billion for the Air Force's F-22 fighter jets, $3.5 billion for the Joint Strike Fighter and $279.3 million for an E-8C Joint Stars (JSTARS) aircraft. Kerry's vote also funded a 4.1% pay increase for military personnel, $160 million for the B-1 Bomber Defense System Upgrade, $1.5 billion for a new attack submarine, more than $630 million for Army and Navy variants of the Blackhawk helicopter, $3.2 billion for additional C-17 transports, $900 million for R&D of the Comanche helicopter and more than $800 million for Trident Submarine conversion. John Kerry has supported approximately $250 billion in Intelligence funding over the past eight years alone. The report concludes that Kerry has supported a 50% increase in intelligence funding since 1996. [Senate Intelligence Authorization Funding voice votes 9/25/02, 12/13/01, 12/6/00, 11/19/1999, 10/8/98 & 9/25/96; 1997, Senate Roll Call vote # 109; Jewish News Bulletin of Northern California, 4/5/02]

Kerry has supported at least $8.5 billion in defense authorizations for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003]

Kerry has supported at least $21.5 billion in defense authorizations for the M1 Abrams Tank.[Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003]

Kerry has supported all five new aircraft carriers since he joined the senate: Since 1985, John Kerry has voted to start work on each of the five new aircraft carriers: the USS Stennis and the USS Truman in FY88, the USS Reagan in FY93, the USS Bush in FY98 and the newest (yet unnamed) carrier in FY01.

CVN-74 (Stennis), CVN-75 (Truman): "The Congress authorized full funding in 1988 for CVN 74 and 75."

Kerry voted FOR the authorization conference report for FY88 [;]

F-15: Kerry supported at least 19.5 billion in defense authorizations for F-15 Fighter Jets. [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003] Kerry supported at least $25 billion in defense authorizations for the F-16. [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003]

John Kerry has supported at least 10.3 billion in Defense authorizations for the B-1 Bomber. [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003]

Kerry has supported over $16.7 billion in defense authorizations for the B-2 program. [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003]

Kerry supported at least $10 billion in defense authorizations for the Patriot program. [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003] Kerry supported at least $60 billion in defense authorizations for the F/A-18 and F-18 Fighter Jets [Total Funding Support from Kerry Votes for Defense Authorization bills 1985-2003]

Kerry, a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has strongly supported recent increases in Intelligence funding for the CIA, FBI, NSA & Other Intel Agencies. In the wake of 9/11, he has supported the bipartisan call for an even larger increase in intelligence funding. According to a report issued by the Center for Defense Information entitled "Intelligence Funding and the War on Terror" John Kerry has supported approximately $250 billion in Intelligence funding over the past eight years alone. The report concludes that Kerry has supported a 50% increase in intelligence funding since 1996. [Senate Intelligence Authorization Funding voice votes 9/25/02, 12/13/01, 12/6/00, 11/19/1999, 10/8/98 & 9/25/96; 1997, Senate Roll Call vote # 109; Jewish News Bulletin of Northern California, 4/5/02]

Sources for Flip-Flop #55:

[1] "Fact Check: Did Kerry Oppose Tanks & Planes? Not Lately"



(56) Bush and Cheney flip-flopped on the $87 Billion.

FLIP: The White House actually threatened to VETO the $87 billion bill.

The White House did so when the Senate was considering a version of the bill that would convert part of the $87 billion into a loan, rather than a grant, and when the Senate was considering a version that would have offered an additional $1.3 billion for VA medical care and would have expanded benefits under the TRICARE program.

The evidence:
Item #1: White House Groans Over Loan (Washington, Oct. 21, 2003)

"The Bush administration threatened for the first time Tuesday to veto an $87 billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan if Congress converts any Iraqi rebuilding money into loans. ...Loan supporters say that with some of the world's richest oil reserves, Iraq should be required to eventually repay some U.S. aid. That is especially true with the United States facing record federal deficits, and many members of Congress hearing requests from their home districts for more funds for local roads and other projects. ...The loans-vs.-grants debate concerns only a portion of the massive bill, which provides nearly $66 billion for U.S. troops in the field."

Item #2: FOX News story: White House Veto Threat Tuesday, October 21, 2003,2933,100777,00.html

"The following letter was sent to Congressional lawmakers by the White House to convey the Bush administration's views on the Iraq spending package being debated: '... the Administration strongly opposes the Senate provision that would convert a portion of this assistance to a loan mechanism. If this provision is not removed, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

...Both the House and the Senate versions of the bill contain provisions that are not directly related to on-going military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere or relief and reconstruction activities. The Administration strongly opposes these provisions, including Senate provisions that would allocate an additional $1.3 billion for VA medical care and the provision that would expand benefits under the TRICARE program."

FLOP: The White House then attacked Kerry for voting against a version of the $87 billion.

The Senate ultimately passed the version of the $87 billion that the White house had wanted Kerry and a number of Senators voted against the bill. Bush then repeatedly attacked for voting against this version of the $87 billion bill, saying that it was outrageous that he had "voted against our troops," while glossing over the fact that he had threatened to VETO the $87 billion himself.

"The new spending is expected to push an already record budget deficit higher than $525 billion for the fiscal year that began October 1, or about 4.7 percent of gross domestic product, a level that worries some White House economists"


[Here is how Kerry explained the $87 billion vote on the Don Imus show:

KERRY: You know, Don, it’s so simple for thepresident to joke about very serious issues when young kids are dying because he didn’t make a plan to win the peace in Iraq. And I take that very personally as somebody who fought in a war which he chose not to...

KERRY: When say I voted for it, I was willing to vote for the $87 billion providing we paid for it! Providing we asked Americans to sacrifice, all of us together. So Joe Biden and I...brought an amendment to say, Hey America—rather than have a $690 billion tax cut for everybody over the next ten years who are earning over $200,000, why don’t we take just $600 billion, and that way we pay for the war right up front and not add it to the deficit. Guess what? George Bush said no. The Republicans said no. And what they’re doing is trying once again to mislead America as they do so effectively, make a joke out of something that’s serious.

(57) Bush Flip Flopped on the question of whether a National Sales Tax is a good idea.

FLIP: Tuesday, August 10, 2004: At a town hall meeting in Florida, Bush said that a national sales tax was "an interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously." Bush also said at the Florida meeting: "We're working to simplify the tax code."

"A comment Tuesday at a town-hall meeting in Florida has reignited the long-simmering debate in conservative circles over whether Washington should rethink the way it levies taxes. When a supporter asked President Bush about scrapping the current tax code and replacing it with a national sales tax, he replied favorably: "I'm not exactly sure how big the national sales tax is going to have to be, but it's the kind of interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously. Since then, White House spokesmen have not ruled out the idea."

Sources; Christian Science Monitor

Kerry Raps Bush's National Sales Tax Quip
Associated Press (Aug. 12, 2004)

FLOP: Then the next day, in response to a negative public reaction, the administration tried to walk away from Bush's embrace of the national sales tax concept.

"Administration officials on Wednesday denied that President Bush is considering a national sales tax, a day after the Republican incumbent created a stir by calling such a tax 'an interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously.'.... two administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Bush was not considering a national sales tax."

Source: White House Backs Off Bush Sales Tax Quip
By Tom Raum
Associated Press Writer
Published: Aug 11, 2004

FLIP: Then Bush said that a flat tax was "an option" and the Administration said that both the flat tax and a national sales tax were ideas that deserved consideration in a second term.

"A questioner asked about the possibility of a flat tax Saturday at an "Ask President Bush" campaign forum in Broadview Heights, Ohio. Bush was noncommittal but did not shoot the idea down. "It's certainly one option," he said. Asked to elaborate Sunday, a senior administration official said a flat tax and a national retail sales tax -- which would replace the income tax with a tax on consumption -- 'deserve consideration.'

...The administration official said Bush would instruct the panel that proposals should be revenue-neutral -- that they would bring in the same amount of money as the current system. "

Source: Bush Reiterates Call for a Simpler Tax System
President Says Current Laws Are a 'Complicated Mess'
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 6, 2004; Page A04

FLIP: Wait until after the election, if Bush is reelected, we may see a national sales tax proposal... There is a lot of enthusiasm for this idea on the part of many in the GOP.

In September 2004, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has published a report on the effect of replacing the federal income tax system with a national sales tax system. The Study can be viewed at Among other things, the study found that:

"For 2005 (a relatively low-tax year), we calculate that the required break-even sales tax rate would be between 45 percent and 53 percent, depending on how certain tax-base issues are resolved. A recent analysis by William Gale of the Brookings Institution finds that to match expected federal revenues over the upcoming decade would require a sales tax rate of about 60 percent. That figure is consistent with earlier analyses by Citizens for Tax Justice and the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

.... Replacing most federal taxes with a national sales tax would mean very large tax increases on most Americans and very large tax cuts for the wealthy. A few important points can be highlighted:

* In virtually every state in the union, the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers would face much higher taxes under a sales tax. Nationwide, these tax increases would average about $3,200 a year.
* Put another way, on average the 80 percent of Americans in the middle- and lower income ranges would pay 51 percent more in sales taxes than they now pay in the federal taxes that the proposed national sales tax would replace.
* In contrast, the best-off one percent of all taxpayers nationwide would get average tax reductions of about $225,000 each per year. Besides shifting the tax burden away from the well off and onto low- and middle income taxpayers, a national sales tax would also shift aggregate taxes away from better off states and onto poorer states and states with a high proportion of elderly residents."
* The revenue losses from a 30 percent national sales tax could be roughly offset by entirely eliminating all Social Security and Medicare hospitalization benefits forever.
* If instead the revenue losses from a 30 percent national sales tax were subtracted proportionately from Social Security and Medicare, on the one hand, and from the rest of the government, on the other, then in 2005, tax revenues available for Social Security and Medicare hospitalization benefits would be cut by 41 percent. Revenues available to pay for all remaining federal programs would fall by $450 billion. That's almost as much as the entire defense budget in 2005."

(58) From "Kenny Boy" Lay (CEO of Enron) to "Ken who?"

FLIP: "Ken Lay is a close personal friend of the President, who calls him "Kenny Boy," and was the first person the administration turned to on important issues of energy policy.

According to Vice President Dick Cheney, Lay met privately with him in April 2001 "to talk about energy." Lay was "the only chief executive of a major player in the electric power industry to confer privately with Cheney as he formulated his national energy strategy." Lay said that he was "flattered that [Cheney] decided to meet with me, and at least hear me out as to some of the things I thought were pretty important that should be considered for his report." At the meeting, Lay handed Cheney a memo outlining "eight points spelling out Enron's case for why federal authorities should refrain from imposing price caps or other measures sought by California officials to stabilize runaway electricity prices." At the time, Enron was manipulating the market to bilk hundreds of millions of dollars from West Coast ratepayers, with company traders caught on tape "gloating over the crisis they helped create." Nonetheless, "seven out of eight recommendations were adopted in the administration's final energy plan." And the president is still pushing the Ken Lay plan as the solution to the nation's energy woes.

BUSH APPOINTED LAY'S RECOMMENDATIONS TO FERC: According to Lay, shortly after Bush became president, he "had two or three meetings with various people in the White House on the whole issue of energy policy." On one of those visits Lay says he "presented a list...which, in fact, had some recommendations as to people that we thought would be good commissioners [on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)]." The commission is an extraordinarily powerful agency that controls regulation of the nation's energy industry. Subsequently, Lay was called upon to conduct phone interviews with potential nominees to FERC. The White House has confirmed that "two people on Ken Lay's list -- Pat Wood and Nora Brown -- were in fact picked by President Bush for seats on the [five member] FERC."

FERC COMMISSIONER CLASHES WITH LAY, IS REPLACED BY BUSH: In the first months of Bush's presidency, Lay called then-Chairman of FERC Curt Hebert and asked him to force companies to grant Enron access to the electrical grid. According to Hebert, he was not "willing to do what [Lay] wanted me to do." PBS was told Lay threatened to withdraw political support from Hebert if he didn't comply with Lay's request. By May, Vice President Cheney was already referring to Pat Wood --one of the commissioners recommended by Lay who supported opening up the electrical grid -- as the new Chairman of FERC. In August, President Bush replaced Hebert with Wood. Wood subsequently approved Lay's request that Hebert had rejected as bad policy.

LAY AND ENRON WERE BUSH'S #1 CONTRIBUTORS: All the access Lay had to the White House didn't come cheap. Enron was the #1 all-time contributor to George W. Bush, contributing $550,025 to his campaigns by mid-1999. Lay himself donated $250,000 in soft money to Bush's political campaigns. He also was a Bush Pioneer in 2000, meaning he personally raised over $100,000 for the president. Lay and other Enron executives pitched in another $300,000 to pay for Bush's inauguration festivities."

Source: Center for American Progress

FLOP: When embarrassing stories about Enron's misdeeds came to light, the Bush administration attempted to downplay Bush Relationship with Ken Lay.

"The White House is trying to put at least an arm's length between President Bush and indicted Enron executive Kenneth Lay, a campaign benefactor Bush nicknamed "Kenny Boy" when the two were up-and-comers in Texas.

It has been "quite some time" since Bush and Lay talked with each other, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Thursday, brushing off questions about whether the two were friends.

...Lay clearly favored the GOP. He and his wife, Linda, donated $882,580 to federal candidates from 1989-2001, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. All but $86,470 went to Republicans.

McClellan declined to discuss...

Lay's relationship with the Bush family dates from at least 1990 when he was co-chairman of former President Bush's economic summit for industrialized nations, which was held in Houston. Lay also was co-chairman of the host committee for the Republican National Convention when it was held in Houston in 1992.

The Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said the Lays had given $139,500 to George W. Bush's political campaigns over the years.

Those donations were part of $602,000 that Enron employees gave to Bush's various campaigns, making Enron the leading political patron for Bush at the time of the company's bankruptcy in 2001.

In addition to Lay's political campaign donations, he and his wife contributed $100,000 to Bush's 2001 inauguration. Lay also was a fund-raiser for Bush, bringing in at least $100,000 for the president's 2002 campaign. That put Lay in "Pioneer" status as one of the president's top money-raisers."

Source: Bush-Enron Ties
White House Downplays Bush Relationship With Indicted
Ex-Enron Chief Kenneth Lay
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