Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation

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Chapter 1—A Very American Coup

The information about Jeb Bush’s wife and her run-in with US Customs is found in The Hill, “Gov. Jeb Bush: Florida Republican is Younger, Taller, and More Partisan than George W,” Marcia Gelbart, July 30, 2000.

The investigation into the purged voter lists was reported in The Nation, “Florida’s ‘Disappeared Voters’: Disfranchised by the GOP,” Gregory Palast, February 5, 2001; The Nation, “How the GOP Gamed the System in Florida,” John Lantigua, April 30, 2001; Los Angeles Times, “Florida Net Too Wide in Purge of Voter Rolls,” Lisa Getter, May 21, 2001; and, “Eliminating Fraud—Or Democrats?,” Anthony York, December 8, 2 000.

Problems with blockades at some polling locations are discussed in the New York Times, “Contesting the Vote: Black Voters; Arriving at Florida Voting Places, Some Blacks Found Frustration,” Mireya Navarro and Somini Sengupta, November 30, 2000; and also in the Washington Post, “Irregularities Cited in Fla. Voting; Blacks Say Faulty Machines, Poll Mistakes Cost Them Their Ballots,” Robert E. Pierre, December 12, 2000.

The House of Representatives held hearings in February on the early calling of election results, as reported in the Washington Post,

“Election Coverage Burned to a Crisp; House Grills Networks’ ‘Beat the Clock’ Approach,” Howard Kurtz, February 15, 2001.

The Bush cousin connection is also documented in the Associated Press, “Fox Executive Spoke Five Times with Cousin Bush on Election Night,” David Bauder, December 12, 2000; and the Washington Post, “Bush Cousin Made Florida Vote Call for Fox News,” Howard Kurtz, November 14, 2000.

A series of articles in the New York Times chronicled the counting of the overseas absentee ballots: “How Bush Took Florida: Mining the Overseas Absentee Vote,” David Barstow and Don Van Natta Jr., July 14-15, 2001; “How the Ballots Were Examined,” July 15, 2001; “House Republicans Pressed Pentagon for E-Mail Addresses of Sailors,” C. J. Chivers, July 15, 2001; “Timely but Tossed Votes Were Slow to Get to the Ballot Box,” Michael Cooper July 15, 2001; and “Lieberman Put Democrats in Retreat on Military Vote,” Richard L. Berke, July 15, 2001. Following the release of these articles, Katherine Harris allowed inspection of her hard drives as reported in the Associated Press, “Computer Analysts Gain Access to Secretary of State Katherine Harris’ Computers,” David Royse, August 1, 2001; and the New York Times, “Florida Gives Computers in November Election to News Groups for Inspection,” Dana Canedy, August 2, 2001.

The time of the Supreme Court decision can be found in The Nation, “The God That Failed; Florida Supreme Court’s Rulings on the Presidential Elections,” Herman Schwartz, January 1, 2001; CNN Saturday Morning News Transcripts 08:00, December 9, 2000; ABC News Special Report, 2:47 pm, December 9, 2000.

Justice O’Connor’s comments regarding her retirement were reported in Newsweek, “The Truth Behind the Pillars,” Evan Thomas and Michael Isikoff, December 2 5, 2000.

Information regarding the family connections between the Supreme Court and the Administration is from the New York Times, “Contesting the Vote: Challenging a Justice,” Christopher Marquis, December 12, 2000; and the Chicago Tribune, “Justice Scalia’s Son a Lawyer in Firm Representing Bush Before Top Court,” Jill Zuckman, November 29, 2000.

Scalia’s statement can be found in the text of the decision: Supreme Court of the United States, No. 00-949 (00A504) George W. Bush et al. v. Albert Gore, Jr et al., Scalia, J. concurring opinion. 531 US__(2000). December 9, 2000.

Theresa LePore’s party switching is accounted for in the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, “Disappointed, Lepore leaves Democrats,” Brad Hahn, May 9, 2001.

One of the best overall examinations on widespread illegalities and efforts to deny the right to vote to black citizens in Florida can be found in the report issued by the United States Commission of Civil Rights, “Voting Irregularities in Florida During the 2000 Presidential Election,” June 8, 2001. It can be found at

Cheney’s history on abortion can be found in the Boston Globe, “Conservative Tilt in Congress Merged with a Moderate’s Style,” Michael Kranish, July 26, 2000; and the Los Angeles Times, “Would vote differently on ERA, Head Start, not Mandela,” Michael Finnegan, July 3 1, 2000;, “Dick Cheney voted conservative, played moderate,” July 24, 2000. Cheney’s defense department experience can be found in his official biography at Cheney’s stock investments are detailed in, “Top of the News: O’Neill to Sell,” Dan Ackman, March 26, 2001; “Cheney’s Oil Investments and the Future of Mexico’s Democracy,” Martin Espinoza, August 8, 2000; the Sacramento Bee, “A Go-Round on Foreign Policy Ride,” Molly Ivins, March 11, 2001; The Guardian, “Eyes Wide Shut: Scruples Fade in Dealings with Burma,” July 28, 2000. Further investigation into sales between Halliburton and Iraq is from the Washington Post, “Firm’s Iraq Deals Greater Than Cheney Has Said; Affiliates Had $73 Million in Contracts,” Colum Lynch, June 23, 2001.

Aschroft’s record on abortion is discussed in “Controversy on Abortion, Civil Rights Liberties,” at, “An Ashcroft Justice Department,” December 23, 2000. Ashcroft voted on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act S.2056, vote number 1996-281, September 10, 1996; and Aschroft’s vote on the death penalty appeals bill can be found at Senate Bill #S.735, vote number 1996-66, April 17, 1996. Ashcroft’s

history with executions as governor and his stand on the war on drugs can be found at, in the article “An Ashcroft Justice Department,” December 23, 2000. Aschroft’s vote on increasing penalties for drug offenses was a part of Bill S.625; vote number 1999-360 on November 10, 1999. Molly Ivins writes about Ashcroft’s interests in Claritin in “Cabinet Diversity?; Check Out the Bush Team’s Corporate Logos,” February 12, 2001. His NO vote on including prescription drugs under Medicare is found on Bill HR.4690, vote number 2000-144, June 22, 2000.

Ann Veneman’s background is discussed in Molly Ivins, “The Early Days of Bushdom are Not a Pretty Sight,” Molly Ivins, January 29, 2001; and the New York Times, “Transition in Washington: Agriculture Department,” Elizabeth Becker, January 19, 2001. Veneman’s net worth is detailed in The Guardian, “History’s Richest Cabinet Takes the Gilt off Bush’s Tax Cut,” Julian Borger, February 7, 2001.

Rumsfeld’s background is described in The Nation, “Rumsfeld: Star Warrior Returns,” Michael T. Mare, January 29, 2001; and In These Times, “The Rummy,” Jason Vest, February 19, 2001.

Spencer Abraham’s environmental record and history with the department of energy are from The Nation, “The Three Horsemen of the Environmental Apocalypse,” David Helvarg, January 16, 2001; the Environmental News Network, “Energy Secretary Nominee Tried To Abolish The Energy Department,” January 8,2001; and, “Who’s Who in the Bush Cabinet,” Geov Parrish, January 16, 2 00 1.

Tommy Thompson’s abortion record as governor can be found in “Who’s Who in the Bush Cabinet,” Geov Parrish, January 16, 2 00 1; and his links to Philip Morris are described in another AlterNet article, “Bush’s War on Children,” Jonathan Rowe and Gary Ruskin, July 3, 2001.

Gale Norton’s background is detailed in the New York Times, “Far, Far From the Center,” Bob Herbert, January 8, 2001; and the New York Times, “Norton Record Often at Odds With Laws She Would Enforce,” Douglas Jehl, January 13, 2001. C.R. Bard’s court troubles are detailed in PR Newswire, “C.R. Bard, Inc. Executives Sentenced to Eighteen Month Federal Prison Terms,” August 8, 1996.

Colin Powell’s relationship with AOL/Time Warner is discussed in the Associated Press, “Stocks, Speeches Add to Powell Wealth,” Greg Toppo, January 17, 2001; and The Financial Times, “The Americas: All the U.S. President’s Very Rich Men,” Peter Spiegel, March 8, 2001; Paul O’Neill’s Stock Holdings Are Detailed, The Nation, “The Man from Alcoa,” William Greider, July 16, 2001; and the Houston Chronicle, “Alcoa Strikes Curious Water Deal with San Antonio,” Nate Blakeslee, September 3, 1999.

Karl Rove’s industry connections are reported in the New York Times, “Bush Aide With Intel Stock Met with Executives Pushing Merger,” June 14, 2001; and Abilene Reporter-News, “Mauro Raises Questions About Bush’s Aides Link to Tobacco Industry,” August 31, 1997.

The information about Kenneth Lay comes from the New York Times, “Power Trader Tied to Bush Finds Washington All Ears,” Lowell Bergman and Jeff Gerth, May 2 5, 2001.

Additional information about the members of the coup comes from the Center for Responsible Politics and

Chapter 2—Dear George

For information on the Bush Family fortune and its ties to Nazi Germany, check out the Boston Globe, “An American Dynasty” (Part 2), Michael Kranish, April 23, 2001; Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “Author Links Bush Family to Nazis,” November 12, 2000; the Jewish Advocate, “The Bush Family—Third Reich Connection: Fact or Fiction?,” Susie Davidson, April 19, 2 00 1.

Information on the individual contributions to the GOP during election cycle 2000 can be found at the New York Times, “The Republicans: The Few, the Rich, the Rewarded Donate the Bulk of GOP Gifts,” Don Van Natta Jr. and John M. Broder, August 2, 2000; and The Center for Responsive Politics,

You can keep track of what Bush did and does during his administration by reading Molly Ivins’s column syndicated by Creators Syndicate (an archive can be found at or by checking out the following Web sites: and

The account about Bush’s favorite book can be found in the Arizona Republic, “’Hungry Caterpillar’ A Favorite with Bush,” October 17, 1999. George Bush graduated from Yale in 1968. Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was published in 1969. The Associated Press ran a story, “Bush’s Alleged Grades Published,” by Brigitte Greenberg, November 9, 1999, that featured his transcripts. Information about Bush’s reading habits comes from the Washington Post, “Shades of Gray Matter; The Question Dogs George W. Bush: Is He Smart Enough?,” Kevin Merida, January 19, 2000; and the New York Times, “Bush Is Providing Corporate Model for White House,” Richard L. Berke, March 11, 2001.

Bush’s drinking and DUI past were found in the Washington Post, “1986: A Life-Changing Year: Epiphany Fueled Candidate’s Climb,” Lois Romano and George Lardner Jr., July 2 5, 1999; Associated Press, “Bush Pleaded Guilty to DUI,” November 2, 2000; Dick Cheney’s DUI charges are mentioned in, “Bush Stays in the Clear—For Now,” Jake Tapper, November 4, 2000. In addition to covering his DUI arrest, Time, “Fallout from a Midnight Ride,” Adam Cohen, November 13, 2000, includes information on Bush’s earlier encounters with the law.

The Laura Bush car accident details are discussed in USA Today, “Laura Welch Bush: Shy No More,” John Hanchette, Gannett News Service, June 23, 2000; and the Plain Dealer, “Reserved Texas First Lady is Primed for National State,” Julie Bonnin, July 31, 2000.

George Bush’s response to the question of whether or not he used drugs is found in the Washington Post, “Bush Goes Further on Question of Drugs; He Says He Hasn’t Used Any in the Past 25 Years,” Dan Balz, August 20, 1999.

The Boston Globe traces Bush’s experience in the National Guard in “1-Year Gap in Bush’s Guard Duty: No Record of Airman at Drills in 1972-1973,” Walter V. Robinson, May 23, 2000. James Baker’s alleged comments were reported by conservative columnist William Safire in 1992, and fallout from the remarks is found in the Associated Press, “Report of Baker Remark Draws Ire in Israel,” March 8, 1992; and the Sunday Telegraph, “Jewish Backlash Could Cost the President Dear,” Xan Smiley, September 27, 1992.
Chapter 3—Dow Wow Wow

If you were as shocked as I was that your pilot may be on food stamps, here’s where you can get the facts on that—and more: Aviation Week & Space Technology, “Old Values Clash in Comair Strike,“James Ott, April 2, 2001; Cincinnati Enquirer, “Key Issues in the Strike,” March 27, 2001; New York Times, “Small Jets’ Big Stake in a Strike,” David Leonhardt, June 16, 2001; Star-Telegram, “American Eagle Pilots Reject Contract,” Dan Reed, August 17, 2000; Associated Press, “Express Pilots Vow to Strike as They Head Back to Bargaining Table,” Pauline Arrillaga, June 28, 1998; Associated Press, “Continental Express Pilots Start Informational Picketing,” M.R. Kropko, October 14,1998; Orlando Sentinel, “High-Flying job Doesn’t Make Big Bucks,” Roger Roy, March 16, 1997; Philadelphia Daily News, “US Airways Attendants Rehearse Strike Movements in Philadelphia,” March 24, 2000; Chicago Daily Herald, “Airline Worried About Spring Travel as Flight Attendants Threaten Strike,” Robert McCoppin, January 20, 2001; NPR/Morning Edition transcripts: “Holiday Airline Travelers May Experience Flight Problems Due to Full Flights and Labor Problems Between Workers and Airlines,” November 21, 2000.

Statistics on personal and corporate wealth come from Associated Press, “Income of the Richest Up 157%,” Alan Fram, May 31, 2001; and the Institute for Policy Studies Report: “Top 200: The Rise of Corporate Global Power,” Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh, December 2 000.

Information regarding corporate taxes can be found in The Cheating of America, Charles Lewis and Bill Allison and the Center for Public Integrity (HarperCollins), 2001, pp. 11-13, 15, 79, 82-83.

Chapter 4—Kill Whitey

Many of the statistics about the economic and social state of African Americans in this country can be found in a report by the Council of Economic Advisers for the President’s Initiative on Race, “Changing America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being by Race and Hispanic Origin,” September 1998.

Information on the disparity in health care is found in the following articles: the New York Times, “Blacks Found on Short End of Heart Attack Procedure,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg, May 10, 2001; the Associated Press, “Race Bias in Stroke Treatment Found,” Melissa Williams, May 4, 2001; and the Daily News, “Black Maternal Deaths 4 Times the White Rate,” Leslie Casimir, June 8, 2001.

The statistic about the use of guns in the home to shoot an intruder comes from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “Guns in the Home” fact sheet.

Chapter 5—Idiot Nation

Literacy figures come from the Dept. of Education National Adult Literacy Survey; Literacy Volunteers of America.

Bush’s gaffe is detailed in the New York Times, “Deep U.S.-Europe Split Casts Long Shadow on Bush Tour,” Frank Bruni, June 15, 2001.

The contents of his commencement address at Yale are described in the Associated Press, “George W. Bush commencement address at Yale University,” May 21, 2001.

Previous incidents of government officials’ lack of knowledge came from the St. Petersburg Times, “Politics is Nothing New in Choosing Ambassadors.” July 2 1, 1989; The Economist, “Ambassadors; What Price Monaco?,” March 4, 1989; the Associated Press, “European Press Has Fun with Clark Performance,” Jeff Bradley, February 4, 1981.

Accounts of Bush’s lack of knowledge of the capitals of major countries were reported in, “Briefs or No Briefs?,” Jake Tapper, April 26,2001.

The Des Moines Register reported on the basic history test that top college students failed in “America’s Best & Brightest Are Clueless About Our History,” Donald Kaul, July 7, 2000. It was also featured in University Wire (UVa), “Education without Knowledge,” Bryan Maxwell, July 13, 2000.

Statistics about university class offerings came from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “The Selling Out of Higher Education,” Samuel Hazo,

September 3, 2000; and New York Times, “Much Ado—Yawn—About Great Books,” Emily Eakin, April 8, 2001.

Negative quotes about teachers come from the New York Times, “Education Panel Sees Deep Flaws in Training of Nation’s Teachers,” Peter Applebome, September 13, 1996; the New York Post, “The Teacher-Pay Myth” (editorial), December 26, 2000; Investor’s Business Daily, “Why Bad Teachers Can’t Be Fired,” Michael Chapman, September 21, 1998; Douglas Carmine, quoted in the Montreal Gazette, “Bring Back the Basics,” Brandon Uditsky, January 6, 2001; National Review, “Firing Offenses,” Peter Schweizer, August 17, 1998.

The story about hiring teachers from abroad: New York Times, “Facing a Teacher Shortage, American Schools Look Overseas,” Kevin Sack, May 19, 2001. Teacher shortages in New York are from the New York Times, “Teacher Pact Still Far Off,” Steven Greenhouse, June 5, 2001; New York Times, “Nation’s Schools Struggling to Find Enough Principals,” Jacques Steinberg, September 3, 2000; New York Times, “Survey Shows More Teachers Are Leaving for Jobs in Suburban Schools, Abby Goodnough, April 13, 2001. School facility information comes from the Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Conditions of Public School Facilities. The Washington Post, “26 DC Schools Cleared,” Debbi Wilgoren, September 12, 1997; and “Angry Judge Closes 4 More DC Schools,” Valerie Strauss, October 25, 1997. The janitor shortage was reported in the New York Times, “Janitorial Rules Leave Teachers Holding a Mop,” Shaila Dewan, May 28, 2001.

Information about Bush’s library tax cut comes from the Dallas Morning News, “Libraries Want to Shelve Bush’s Proposed Cuts,” April 13, 2001. Jonathan Kozol’s discussion of the state of school libraries, “An Unequal Education,” was featured in the School Library Journal. Additional information on school libraries and Richard Nixon’s connection to them can be found in the Christian Science Monitor, “Even in Information-Rich Age, School Libraries Struggle,” Marjorie Coeyman, February 6, 2001; and Education Week, “Era of Neglect in Evidence at Libraries,” by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, December 1, 1999.

Sources for the answers to the pop quiz: Annual salary—Source: U.S. Vital Statistics, Table #696—Bureau of Labor Statistics; 911 response Ladies Home journal, “Before You Call 911: Is this emergency number the lifesaver it should be?,” Paula Lyons, May 1995; Extinction countAssociated Press, “11,000 Species Said to Face Extinction with Pace Quickening,” September 29, 2000; Ozone hole size—the Christian Science Monitor, “Ozone Woes Down Below,” Colin Woodward, December 11, 1998; Detroit vs. Africa: Detroit = 19.4% (199l)—Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Kids Count” Report, April 25, 2000; Libya = 19%, Mauritius = 19%, and Seychelles = 13 %—UNICEF; Newspaper Guild; Justice Policy Institute, “School House Hype: School Shootings and the Real Risks Kids Face in America,” Elizabeth Donohue, Vincent Schiraldi, and Jason Ziedenberg, 1999.

Much of the information about corporate presence in schools comes from the Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education, Third Annual Report on Trends in Schoolhouse Commercialism, September 14, 2000. Additional material comes from the Associated Press, “Marketing to Free-Spending Teens Gets Savvier,” by Dave Carpenter, November 20, 2000; “The Commercial Transformation of American Public Education,” 1999 Phil Smith Lecture by Professor Alex Molnar, October 15, 1999; MotherJones, “The New (And Improved!) School,” Sept/Oct. 1998; Mother Jones, “Schoolhouse Rot,” Ronnie Cohen, January 10, 2001; New York Times, “Five-Shift Lunches to End?,” Richard Weir, May 17, 1998; Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Coca-Cola Learns a Lesson in Schools,” by Henry Unger and Peralte Paul, March 14, 2001; The Nation, “Students For Sale: How Corporations Are Buying Their Way into America’s Classrooms,” Steve Manning, September 27, 1999; the Washington Post, “Pepsi Prank Fizzles on ‘Coke Day,“’ by Frank Swoboda, the Washington Post, March 26, 1998.

The threatening kid profile came from “Risk Factors for School Violence,” Federal Bureau of Investigation Study of School Shootings, September 2000.
Chapter 6: Nice Planet, Nobody Home

Pepsi recycling information comes from “Dumping Pepsi’s Plastic,” Ann Leonard, 1994 (article appears at and telephone interview with the author; Sword of Truth, “India: Dumping Ground of the Millennium?” Keerthi Reddy, January 13, 2001.

The story about Congressional recycling was featured in the Associated Press, “Texas Congressman, Environmental Groups Target House Recycling,” Suzanne Gamboa, September 20, 2000.

Air pollution rates were calculated with information from the Environmental News Network, “Air Pollution Kills, But Deaths Can Be Prevented,” August 30, 1999; and the American Lung Association, “American Lung Association Fact Sheet: Outdoor Air Pollution,” August 2000 update.

Information on gas mileage capabilities can be found in Automotive News, “Chrysler: CAFE Hike Possible,” Arthur Flax, May 8,1989; Automotive News, “More Horsepower!,” Charles Child, June 24, 1995; and the Washington Post, “The Regulators; Battling to Raise the Bar on Fuel Standards,” Cindy Skrycki, May 16, 2 000. How much SUVs consume is from Sacramento Bee, “Scary Talk from Shrub and the Veeper,” Molly Ivins, May 3, 2001. And the amount drilling in the ANWR would produce is quoted from the New York Times, “Cheney Promotes Increasing Supply As Energy Policy,” Joseph Kahn, May 1, 2001.

Despite pressure from environmental groups to veto a transportation bill that protected the SUV loophole, Clinton signed it anyway, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Protecting Mother Earth and Gas Guzzlers,” Debra J. Saunders, December 14, 1999.

The study on global warming was reported in the New York Times, “Panel Tells Bush Global Warming is Getting Worse,” by Katharine Seelye and Andrew Revkin, June 7, 2001; and USA Today, “Climate Change Report Puts Bush on Spot,” Tracy Watson and Judy Keen, June 2 0, 2001.

The New York Times articles referred to are: “Ages-Old Icecap at North Pole is Now Liquid, Scientists Find,” John Noble Wilford, August 19, 2000, and a correction published on August 29; the asteroid

article was “Asteroid is Expected to Make a Pass Close to Earth in 2028,“MalcolmW. Browne, March 12,1998, and “Debate and Recalculation on an Asteroid’s Progress,” Malcolm W. Browne, March 13, 1998.

Sacramento Bee, “America isn’t Immune to Animal Diseases,” Deborah S. Rogers, March 30, 2001—based on a 1989 study by the University of Pittsburgh that states that 5% of deceased Alzheimer’s patients could have instead suffered from CJD.
Chapter 7—The End of Men

Where we stand with the women’s movement: The only woman on the ballot of a major party was Geraldine Ferraro, who ran for Vice President with Walter Mondale in 1984. The five women governors are: Jane Dee Hull (AZ), Ruth Ann Minner (DE), Jane Swift (MA), Judy Martz (MT), and Jeanne Shaneen (NH) (National Governors Association). According to the Center for American Women and Politics, there are 13 women Senators and 60 female members of the House of Representatives (as of July 26, 2001). The four Fortune 500 companies which have women CEOs are Hewlett-Packard (Carly Fiorina), Avon Products (Andrea Jung), Golden West Financial Corporation (Marion 0. Sandler) and Spherion Corporation (Cinda A. Hallman). The top 21 universities (according to U.S. News & World Report 2001 College Rankings) with women presidents are: Princeton University (Shirley Tilghman), University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Judith Rodin), Duke University (Nan Keohane), and Brown University (Ruth Simmons—who is also the first African-American president of an Ivy League institution).

Statistics on the poverty rate of divorced women come from the Society for Advancement of Education, “Count the Costs Before You Split,” April 1998.

Equal Pay Day was ‘celebrated’ in 2 001 on April 3, the same day the US Department of Labor released a report that measured the wage gap, the Chicago Sun-Times, “Women Still Earn Less Than Men,” Francine Knowleds, April 3, 2001.

Men’s and women’s health comparisons come from The Economist, “Are Men Necessary? The Male Dodo,” December 23, 1995;

“Men May Be the Weaker Sex,” Linda Carroll, January 16, 2001; and National Institute of Mental Health, “The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America“/Hoyert DL, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL; final data for 1997.

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