August 29, 2002

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A popular lapel sticker at the Earth Summit shows the Toxic Tinhorn alongside Dr. Evil, the maniac who plots world domination in the "Austin Powers" spy comedies.

His shunning of the U.N. talks on what are life and death problems for poor nations may end up hurting his efforts to win backing for his "war on terrorism," critics add.

"International relations are a two-way street," said George Miller, a Democratic Congressman from California visiting the conference to support efforts to fight global warming. "When the U.S. is asking the countries of the world to line up behind it on terrorism we have to understand that many agenda items here are life and death issues for those countries."

Or, White House Assures Conservatives That Bush Tax Threat That Would Further Cripple The Economy Is Being Done For Political, Not Economical, Purposes.*

The White House plans to push forward with a package of tax cuts for investors, but administration officials have made it clear to concerned conservative economists that the measures are designed more to help Republicans in the fall elections than to pass Congress this year, says a Washington comPost article.

Worsening federal deficit forecasts released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office have made lawmakers in both parties skeptical about more tax cuts. Treasury and White House tax experts met yesterday to hash out the package, but progress stalled over the cost.

Lawrence B. Lindsey, Bunnypants' chief economic adviser, indicated he had no illusions that the tax cuts would pass in the limited time Congress has left before the midterm elections. Instead, participants said, the White House would be giving GOP candidates an answer to Democrats who blame the president's party for this summer's dramatic stock slide.

"This will be an investor-class-oriented tax cut designed to boost the value of stocks, but it is also being crafted as a political document," said Stephen Moore, president of a conservative political action committee. "Republicans need something to run on, and they need the president's leadership [sic]. This will be precisely for that purpose."

Tom "Isadora" Daschle and Dick "Fluffy" Gebhardt, crying in the ladies' room, could not be reached for comment.

*Thanks to


Testify!* has the audio and the transcript links to the PBS interview with Scott Ritter and David Kay, two former weapons inspectors who worked in Iraq.

MARGARET WARNER: But you heard Vice President Cheney say that, in fact, he didn't believe inspections did really work and that Saddam Hussein was able to continue working on his programs even during inspections.

SCOTT RITTER: That’s absolutely absurd. Look, I ran the concealment investigation program from 1993 to 1998. And I can tell you right now that while Iraqi cooperation wasn't perfect and while they did conceal, what Vice President Cheney said to the American people is tantamount to a lie. The CIA knows that, Hussein Kamal, the son-in-law of Saddam Hussein when he defected clearly stated that under his instructions all weapons programs were eliminated. This is fact. He didn't lead us to a document. The Iraqi government did. The bottom line is inspection worked. That's the fact. No matter what Dick Cheney says in terms of rewriting history, inspections worked and if given a chance could work again.

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