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14
votes

Greatest Bush Administration Screw-ups

It's still too early to tell, but there is a growing list of evidence that the Bush administration has be the most disastrous in history.

Greatest Bush Administration Screw-ups

11.

2
votes

Abu-Ghraib

Abu-Ghraib

In 2004, the world was shocked by images of torture and sexual abuse of detainees by the US Army in Abu-Ghraib, an Iraqi detention facility. Abuse included sodomy, rape, torture, and homicide. Criminal investigation were held, with dozens of officers convicted and court-martialed. But reasons leading to the Abu-Ghraib abuse trace back to high-level Bush administration policy. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush cabinet members authorized aggressive interrogation techniques, including sexual abuse. The legality of such techniques were later defended by Vice President Cheney.

12.

2
votes

Ban on Government-Funded Stem Cell Research

Ban on Government-Funded Stem Cell Research

In 2001, an effective moratorium was put in place by the Bush administration on government funded stem-cell research. Stem-cells are undifferentiated cells taken from a human embryo, whose remarkable properties can be used to develop cures for debilitating conditions like Parkinson's disease, sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Bush's constraints on stem-cell research hampered scientific progress in this field for 8 years, until overturned by Obama in 2010.

13.

2
votes

No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2001 as one of the Bush administration's first initiatives. NOCLB put in place new systems of accountability, requiring states to administer aggressive standardized testing, and funding towards this end. Although the act received overwhelming bipartisan support, in practice, it puts shallow emphasis on testing as opposed to quality of eduction. Today, US students are taking more tests than ever, but rank 27th in math and 22nd in science according to global country surveys. That's lower than some third-world countries.

14.

2
votes

The Patriot Act

The Patriot Act

Passed in the fervor and fear of 9/11, the Patriot Act reduced and in some cases eliminated various restriction on law enforcement, including electronic surveillance, control over financial records and bank accounts, and detention of immigrants. It was a massive bill passed all-to-quickly by a bipartisan Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. The Patriot Act curtailed civil liberties, being overly-broad and applying to terrorist, suspect, and law aiding citizen alike.

15.

2
votes

Waterboarding & Extraordinary Rendition

Waterboarding & Extraordinary Rendition

In 2003, Secretary Rice, Vice President Cheney, and Attorney General Ashcroft met with and approved CIA interrogation techniques that included waterboarding, week-long sleep deprivation, and forced nudity. Waterboarding is considered a form of torture by veterans and legal experts. Leaked memos later revealed that the US uses extraordinary rendition, whereby terrorist suspects are shipped to 3rd-world countries like Egypt or Jordan, and tortured proper, no-holds-bared.

16.

2
votes

Derailing NASA

Derailing NASA

In 2004, Bush announced plans to return to the moon by 2018 and land a man on Mars. While honorable goals, in reality, Bush's plan forced NASA to focus their limited budget on a quixotic plan, diverting funding from research. When it finally became clear that Bush would be unable to fund the moon and Mars missions as promised, NASA's already thin budget was wasted on a project that would never see the light of day. All this at the cost of practical missions, which were scrapped or delayed.

17.

1
vote

Record Budget Deficits

Record Budget Deficits

By the end of his term in 2008, Bush had expanded the federal government deficit by a record $700 billion. This after have inherited a budget surplus of $127 billion from Clinton in 2000. 8 years of Bush tax-cuts and massive spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars were the direct causes the greatest, and arguably most wasteful deficits in history.

18.

1
vote

Man Shot in the Face

Man Shot in the Face

In a hunting accident in 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney shot friend Harry Whittington in the face with a shotgun. Whittington, a 78-year-old Texas attorney, suffered a non-fatal heart when one of the pellets lodged itself into his heart. Cheney and Whittington both claim the incident was accidental. After an investigation, authorities concurred, although members close the investigation said the story was incomplete. Weeks after the incident, Cheney's approval rating dropped to 18%.

19.

1
vote

Nomination of Harriet Miers

Nomination of Harriet Miers

With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, in 2005, Bush nominated as her replacement, Harriet Miers, former White House Consul. Under inspection, Miers was another unqualified Bush crony nominated to a prestige position as reward for her loyalty. After a few brief Senate confirmation meetings and much public outrage from both aisles, Bush quickly withdrew the nomination in favor of conservative, but well-qualified, Samuel Alito, who was confirmed.

20.

1
vote

Politicization of Government

Politicization of Government

Perhaps the most invasive affect of the Bush administration has been the politicization over government. Under Bush, traditionally apolitical organizations like the EPA became political; traditionally political organizations like Congress, became bitterly partisan. Progress went to a standstill as everything became right and left. Entirely nonpartisan efforts like science investigation of global warming and CIA-intelligence gathering became skewed. Organizations like the EPA, CIA, NASA, and the Department of Justice became bastions of bias and agenda-pushing. Simply put, the appointment of Bush loyalists undermined core government functions.

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