Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Doom & Gloom

Kerry's been whining and moaning about the deficit and the state of the economy, portruding an aura of morbid gloom everywhere he goes. Unfortunately, reality has decided to intrude into his little fantasy. "ECONOMY SET FOR BEST GROWTH IN 20 YEARS."
WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy appears headed for a banner year despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates.

In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

There were strong 4.5 percent growth rates in 1997 and 1999, when Bill Clinton was president and the country was in the midst of a record 10-year expansion.

But if this year's growth ends up a bit faster than that, it will be the best since the economy roared ahead at a 7.2 percent rate in 1984, a year when another Republican president - Ronald Reagan - was running for re-election.

"We are moving into a sweet spot for the economy with interest rates not too high, jobs coming back and business investment providing strength," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Bank One in Chicago, who is predicting GDP growth of 4.8 percent this year.
Since he can't rely on the economy's job losses anymore, he's gone on to say that the jobs aren't good enough. To be more specific, John Kerry and his friends like Moveon.org have been saying that the quality of those jobs is much lower than the quality of jobs that have been lost.

However... Factcheck.org, a nonpartisan and nonprofit consumer advocate for voters, has a lengthy article out disputing with facts what the Democrats have been saying. Factcheck.org has totally destroyed the home grown falsehoods that John Kerry and Moveon.org desperately needs to be true for the Democrats to have a chance in November.
Empoyment has recently increased by more than 1 million in categories that on average paid above the median earnings of $541 per week, while employment was virtually unchanged in categories paying below the median. That's comparing the most recent 12 months with the same period a year earlier. By that measure, the jobs gained are overwhelmingly good jobs -- the very opposite of the claim made by Kerry and his allies.
And of course, let's not forget this: "BUSH VINDICATED BY ECONOMIC RECOVERY"
— President Bush appeared to have a spring in his step Thursday after news heralded the economy had doubled its rate of growth over this summer and reduced one of his greatest political liabilities heading into an election year.

"The economic figures for the third quarter show that the economy grew at an annual rate of 7.2 percent. That's the fastest growth we've had in nearly 20 years. Consumers with extra cash from the tax cuts earlier this year increased their spending at the fastest rate in 15 years," Bush told workers at a factory in Columbus, Ohio.

Businesses like the one the president visited have finally started spending more as well, a double dose of encouraging news that lifted the economy and gave Bush license to claim his economic policies have been vindicated.

"The tax relief we passed is working. We left more money in the hands of the American people, and the American people are moving this economy forward," Bush said.

Though economists differ on how much of a role the tax cut played, no one disputes it was one of several factors that lit a fire under consumers and the economy

"Part of it is the refinancing earlier this year. Part of it is because the stock market is doing better and people psychologically feel better. But a decent-sized chunk of this is the tax cut," said Greg Valiere, chief strategist of the Schwab Washington Research Group (search).

But not everyone thinks the economy is in such great shape. Democrats who have made the issue one of their chief criticisms of Bush, said Thursday's numbers are welcome news, but they are being built on the backs of future generations.

It shouldn't be surprising the economy is growing because the government has been writing hundreds of billions of dollars of "hot checks," said Sen. Kent Conrad (search), D-N.D., pointing to the $374 billion deficit in the last fiscal year.

Democrats added that growth in gross domestic product (search) needs to be accompanied by more jobs.

"Where are the jobs? The American people will not settle for, nor should the Republicans celebrate, a jobless recovery," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (search), D-Calif.

The economy has lost more than 3 million jobs since Bush was inaugurated, but several forecasts now predict the economy will create 1 to 1.5 million jobs over the next year.

"You can make the argument that the employment picture is turning and turning significantly. I think hiring will pick up. I think the unemployment rate, which is now 6.1, will be down to 5 ½ by late spring," Valiere said.

Already, companies have greatly increased their hiring of temporary workers, the last step before they start creating more full-time jobs.

And more stimulus is on the way, say supporters of the president. This year's tax rate cuts and marriage penalty breaks went into effect in July but are retroactive to January, meaning taxpayers will get back another $30 billion or so when they file their taxes next spring, just as the presidential campaign gets into full swing.
And this: "CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HITS 2 YEAR HIGH"
NEW YORK (AP) - Consumer confidence rose for the fourth straight month in July thanks to steady improvements in the job market, the Conference Board reported Tuesday, putting the indicator at a two-year high.

The New York-based research group reported that its index for consumer confidence rose to 106.1 in July, up from 102.8 in June and well ahead of the figure of 102.0 that investors had been expecting. It was the highest level for the indicator since June 2002.

Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, said the gains were fueled by a better outlook for jobs, "and unless the job market sours, consumer confidence should continue to post solid numbers."
As Kerry went on his tours last night, the economy continued to grow stronger. State by state job data showed widespread growth across the nation, jobless claims fell, and industrial production surge. A Washington Post editorial takes on Kerry's "gloom-mongering" in the face of an ever-improving economy, and concludes that Kerry's attacks on wages have virtually no basis in fact:
Moreover, job creation, which appeared surprisingly weak a few months ago despite strong economic growth, is now healthy -- and statistical revisions suggest that it was robust as far back as March and respectable in January -- just when the gloom from the Democratic primaries was at its fiercest. After suffering a net loss of 2.7 million jobs between March 2001 and August 2003, the economy has gained 1.4 million jobs.

Now comes the next round of political gloom-mongering. Sen. John F. Kerry, the victor in the Democratic primaries, has been telling voters this week that although job creation may have recovered, wages are the real problem. "In the last year, wages have gone down, and prices have gone up," the candidate told an audience on Tuesday. Actually, hourly wages for non-supervisory workers have risen this year by 2.2 percent as of May, so they kept pace with consumer price inflation. Precise statements about whether the new jobs being created pay more or less than average are not possible, because it takes months for these data to be assembled. But it is possible to say that new job creation, which in the early stages of the recovery was concentrated at low-paying employers such as restaurants, has now broadened to include manufacturing and other sectors where wages are higher than average.
The unemployment rate today is (5.5%) is lower than it was in 1996 (6.2%). The inflation rate today is (1.9%) lower than it was in 1996 (2.6%). The mortgage rates today (5.86%) are lower than they were in 1996 (7.81%). As always, I blame the Bush tax cuts. And it would appear that economists credit them as well.

Friday, July 23, 2004

9/11 Commission: Bush Vindicated; Clarke Discredited

Now that the 9/11 Commission Report has been released, and the more information regarding Berger comes to light... Could Clarke be linked to the center of the Berger probe?

And thus Clarke’s moral reckoning begins.

The 9/11 Commission has released its report. Apparently, it’s far less partisan a document than I suspected it would be. Suffice it to say, I'm not likely to see it quoted in any Kerry campaign ads. Presidents Clinton and Bush were both "genuinely concerned about the danger posed by al-Qaida," it states.

"Rather than finding that there was a failure at the presidential level, what they find though is that there are failings and that there were deep institutional failings within our government," an unnamed official told the Associated Press. "And that's what they really examine at some length over a long period of time — that there were a variety of factors spanning many years and many administrations that contributed to a failure to share information amongst agencies for both legal and policy reasons."

Whoa, whoa, whoa … wait one minute.

What about all that stuff we heard from Richard Clarke about President George W. Bush not taking terrorism seriously? What happened to all that? "Bush lied?" I can almost hear the moonbat screeching right now.

Based on what the 9/11 Commission reports, we can only conclude Clarke’s entire book tour and song and dance act were part of a fraud. According to Clarke: “The Bush Administration saw terrorism policy as important but not urgent, prior to 9/11. The difficulty in obtaining the first Cabinet level (Principals) policy meeting on terrorism and the limited Principals' involvement sent unfortunate signals to the bureaucracy about the Administration's attitude toward the al Qaida threat.”

Recall Clarke’s testimony - it caused a firestorm in the press that continues to this day and has even risks legitimizing the orgy of Bush-Hatred that has consumed the mainstream press. Of course, many of us saw Clarke for what he is (along with Moore) … a bureaucratic lifer who sold out to a major publishing empire for a quick payoff. But those were in the minority.

But the conclusions in the 9/11 Commission report indicate that commissioners and staff did not believe Clarke’s testimony either, or at least they didn’t take it seriously. Contrary to the radical Left’s mantra, Bush didn’t know … Bush did take terrorism seriously before and after 9/11. It also lended further credence to the Iraq/Al Qaeda connections (not to 9/11, but in general), where Osama Bin Laden and Hussein contacted each other numerous times. (Along with the Al-Zarqawi links)

But Richard Clarke, on the other hand, joins the ranks of Joe Wilson and Sandy Berger and Michael Moore… just another Bush-Hating huckster who sold snake oil for fifteen minutes and will be lucky if one day he’s the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question.

In a less biased media environment, the 9/11 Commission report would discredit Richard Clarke … And his political cheerleaders like Kerry.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Media Tries to Stand It's (Shaky) Ground

Documenting the extensive account of which their bias pervades the media would be an impossible task, so I have settled for merely taking one situation then analyzing the disingenuity in each paper and the surrounding reports of it.

The editors of almost every news report I've seen who quote General Mattis saying "I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my men." Remember when that stray bombing supposedly killed all those innocent Iraqis at a wedding? Wellll, let's look into that, shall we?


As exhibit A, I present to you a verbatim transcript of the press conference in question.

As exhibit B, I further note the pertinent part of the conference:
Unnamed Reporter: What happened yesterday at 3 a.m. in Al Qaim? Was there a wedding on? A wedding celebration?

Gen. Mattis: You joined us a little late, as I said to the young lady here, I said how many people how many people go to the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border and hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization? Over two-dozen military-aged males... let's not be naïve. Let's leave it at that.

(Question unintelligible)

Gen. Mattis: I can't...I've seen the pictures, but I can't...bad things happened. Generally...in Fallujah, I never saw a Marine hide behind a woman or a child or hold them in their house and fire out of the building. I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my Marines.

As you can plainly see, General Mattis clearly shifted his point of reference from the site of the so-called 'wedding party' to Fallujah. When he said he did not have to apologize for the conduct of his Marines, he was contrasting his own Marines' tactics with those of the insurgents, who make a common practice of hiding behind women and children.

Contrast this with these accounts:

The Globe and Mail:
"Bad things happen in wars," said Major-General James Mattis, the U.S. Marine commander in charge of occupation forces in western Iraq.

"These were more than two dozen military-age males. I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my men."

That's right, they blow the quote, they take the last sentence out of the Fallujah context and mix it in with the "wedding," and they don't bother with the ellipses normally expected of a journalist when he omits portion of the text of remarks.


From the UK Guardian:
Major General James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, was scathing of those who suggested a wedding party had been hit. "How many people go to the middle of the desert ... to hold a wedding 80 miles (130km) from the nearest civilization? These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive."

When reporters asked him about footage on Arabic television of a child's body being lowered into a grave, he replied: "I have not seen the pictures but bad things happen in wars. I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my men."

Again, no ellipsis. They quote Mattis as saying he has not seen the pictures but in the transcript he says he had. And again, the last sentence is removed from its original context and placed in with the wedding stuff.


The New York Times:
Maj. Gen. James Mattis, the commander of the First Marine Division responsible for the remote stretch of desert where the strike was carried out, asked, "How many people go to the middle of the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization?"

At a news conference in Falluja, west of Baghdad, he said that two dozen men of military age were among those killed.

"Let's not be naive," he said. "Bad things happen in wars."

"I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my men," he added.

Again, the decontextualization from Fallujah. And I'm still looking for "bad things happen in wars" in the transcript.


Reuters:
"How many people go to the middle of the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization?" Mattis said in Falluja.
"These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive...Bad things happen in wars.

"I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my men."

Again, Reuters seems to invent "bad things happen in wars," skips the expected ellipses, and distorts the context of Mattis's assertion that he does not have to apologize for the conduct of his Marines. (Why are so many outlets distorting the exact same way? Are they not doing their own reporting, perchance?)


Agents France-Presse:
Asked about the footage, Mattis said: "I have not seen the pictures, but bad things happen in war."

In this case, AFP quotes Mattis as saying the enemy owes the world an apology. But bizarrely, they say he was referring to the Nick Berg beheading--NOT the alleged wedding party. Look over the transcript. There's no mention of the Berg beheading anywhere.

The Independent engages in perhaps the most egregious distortion of all:
"These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive," Major General James Mattis, commander of the US 1st Marine Division, said. But he had no explanation of where the dead women and children in the video came from. "I have not seen the pictures but bad things happen in wars," he said cryptically. "I don't have to apologise for the conduct of my men."

Ummm, there's nothing "cryptic" about the General's comment to someone actually familiar with the source material, putz.

The Washington Post, to its credit, gets it right.

For the most part, though, the news outlets are committing the same sins: distorting the general's meaning by omission, by skipping the ellipses (in the same places), and by making the same mistakes.

Essentially, it looks like they're quoting each other, or some apocryphal Q source material. They're not quoting General Mattis. They didn't even show up at the press conference, and they didn't bother to get a transcript or listen to the tape. But all these reporters are passing their crap off as if they were right from the source material.

Absolutely, completely pathetic.

If this is what passes for news coverage, then they ought to fire their reporters and hire some boy scouts to write for them. At least they'll be honest.

Asshats.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Stronger From Coast to Coast

New state employment data released today confirms the robust economic recovery from coast to coast. Local communities across America are benefiting from the President's pro-growth agenda as more and more Americans are going back to work.

In Ohio, the unemployment rate dropped by two tenths of a percentage point and the job market in the Columbus area remains healthy:
Unemployment in the seven-county Central Ohio region eased to 4.5 percent in May, from 4.7 percent in April.

About 40,500 Central Ohioans were looking for work in May, out of a work force of about 904,000, according to the Ohio Job and Family Services Department. Unemployment stood at 4.9 percent in May of 2003.

Across the state, unemployment declined to 5.4 percent in May, from 5.9 percent in April and 5.9 percent last May.
Wisconsin's economy is on a roll, with unemployment at a three year low:
Wisconsin's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate plunged to a three-year low of 4.6 percent in April from 5.1 percent in March, the state Department of Workforce Development reported.

The unadjusted rate was 5.1 percent, down from 6.2 percent last April and the lowest for April since 2001.

Wisconsin's nonfarm economy employment was estimated at 2,799,100, up 39,600 from March and 38,100 from last April. Employment gains over the year were reported for every major industry except manufacturing and government.
In Washington state, a broad-based, sustained economic recovery is underway:
Washington's unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in May, continuing a downward trend that began last fall.

"It seems like the recovery is taking hold and getting strong," said Greg Weeks, director of labor market and economic analysis for the state Employment Security Department. He said the employment gains seem to be general and across the board, not confined to one specific employer or industry.

Manufacturing gained 1,900 jobs and business services grew by 2,500 jobs from April. Retailers added 3,500 jobs and construction gained 5,100, mostly summer hiring.
Maine's unemployment rate fell dramatically last month:
Maine's unemployment rate dropped by six-tenths of a percentage point in April to 4.3 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman says the jobless figure dropped from 4.9 percent in March as a result of an increase in the number of self-employed.
In Nevada, unemployment is at its lowest in four years:
Unemployment in May in Nevada fell to 4.1 percent, its lowest rate in nearly four years, another sign of the revived economy in the state.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported today there were an estimated 43,000 people without jobs last month, down 12,900 from May of a year ago. The 4.1 percent compares with 4.3 percent in April, and it is the lowest rate since August 2000 when the rate was also 4.1 percent.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Kerry Misery Tour: Jobless Claims Drop Sharply

On the fourth day of John Kerry's pessimism and misery tour, a new report was released showing initial jobless claims falling sharply last week by 15,000. More telling is the long-term trend: average jobless claims this year are well below where they were last year -- and the current figures are indicative of sustained job growth.
The number of Americans filing initial jobless claims fell to 336,000 last week as rising demand prompted companies to retain workers, a government report showed.

First-time applications for unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 in a week curtailed by the national day of mourning for former President Ronald Reagan, from a revised 351,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said in Washington. The four- week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, fell to 343,250 from 346,000.

The average number of weekly claims this year has fallen to 346,917 from about 402,000 last year as rising sales and profits have given companies confidence to boost hiring. The U.S. economy added 1.2 million jobs in the first five months of 2004 and those gains are likely to be sustained, economists said.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Dean VS Dean


There's only ONE MAN who can take on Howard Dean. And that man is... Howard Dean!

On War with Saddam Hussein's Iraq:
"Is the security of the United States affected by what's going on in Iraq today? … I don't believe it is." (Meet the Press, March 9, 2003)

"There's no question Saddam is a threat to the U.S. and our allies." ("Face the Nation," September 29, 2002)

"I think Saddam must be disarmed." (Associated Press, Feb. 5, 2003)

"Now we're stuck there, because there was no serious threat to the United States from Saddam Hussein…” (Debate, Durham, N.H., December 9, 2003)

"I never said Saddam was a danger to the United States, ever." (December 10 news conference in Concord, N.H.)

"I'm not against attacking Saddam Hussein." (News conference, September 19, 2002)

"I opposed the Iraq war when everyone else up here was for it." (Debate, January 4)

"It's conceivable we would have to act unilaterally [in Iraq]." (Des Moines Register)

"Why do we have to do everything in a unilateral way? It's not good for the future of the foreign policy of this country…” (Face the Nation, September 29, 2002)

"We clearly have to defend the United States, and if we must do so unilaterally, we will." (Face the Nation, September 29, 2002)

"I disagree with unilateral war." (PBS Newshour)

On Capture of Saddam Hussein:
“This is a great day for the Iraqi people, the U.S., and the international community.” (Dean statement)

“The capture of Saddam has not made America safer.” (Dean speech to Pacific Council)

Should Osama receive the death penalty or life sentence in prison?
“I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials.” (Interview with Concord Monitor)

“…as an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves.” (Phone interview with AP)

Race in America:
“There are also a very significant number of folks in this state to whom it [the confederate flag] is a symbol of oppression and slavery.” (Charleston Post)

"I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks." (Des Moines Register)

"Dealing with race is about educating white folks…." (Boston Globe)

"I am tired of being divided by race in this country." (CNN "Rock The Vote" Democratic Debate November 5, 2003)

Medicare And Social Security:
"The way to balance the budget is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else." (Newhouse News)

"I have never favored Social Security retirement at the age of 70, nor do I favor one of 68." (Debate, August 5, 2003)

"I also would entertain taking the retirement age to 68." (Meet the Press, June 2003)

Death Penalty:
"I don't support the death penalty for two reasons. One, you might have the wrong guy, and, two, the state is like a parent. Parents who smoke cigarettes can't really tell their children not to smoke and be taken seriously. If a state tells you not to murder people, a state shouldn't be in the business of taking people's lives." (Slate.com)

“…The death penalty would be a just punishment for certain, especially heinous crimes, such as the murder of a child or the murder of a police officer. The events of September 11 convinced me that terrorists also deserve the ultimate punishment.” (Statement, June 2003)

Middle East Peace Approach:
"We have to stop terrorism before peace negotiations." (Forward)

"[I don't] believe stopping the terror has to be a prerequisite for talking." (CNN)

Any Final Thoughts?
“Trying to have it both ways demonstrates neither strong leadership nor good judgment.” (Boston Globe)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

F9/11: The Temperature At Which Fat Burns

I am going to deconstruct this Fahrenheit 9/11 of Moore's, and compile and update a list his lies and distortions as information comes.

CLAIM: The USA invaded Afghanistan to secure the area so an oil/natural gas pipeline could be built by UNOCAL. This oil interest had influenced Bush's policy decisions toward Afghanistan and the war, partly influencing friendly relations with the Taliban.

LIE: Unfortunately for Moore, UNOCAL gave up trying to build that pipeline back in 1999. There is no pipeline being built, and none was being contemplated at the time. The UNOCAL pipeline was 'purely a Clinton-era proposal'. It was Clinton, not Bush, who was in talks with the Taliban over the pipeline. And when the Taliban visited the country, it was neither Clinton nor Bush who invited them, but UNOCAL.

Isikoff of Newsweek Reports:
Whatever the motive, the Unocal pipeline project was entirely a Clinton-era proposal: By 1998, as the Taliban hardened its positions, the U.S. oil company pulled out of the deal. By the time George W. Bush took office, it was a dead issue—and no longer the subject of any lobbying in Washington. (Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force report in May, 2001, makes no reference to it.) There is no evidence that the Taliban envoy who visited Washington in March, 2001—and met with State Department and National Security Council officials—ever brought up the pipeline. Nor is there any evidence anybody in the Bush administration raised it with him. The envoy brought a letter to Bush offering negotiations to resolve the issue of what should be done with bin Laden.

CLAIM: Moore implicitly claims that Al Gore would've won 2000 'in under every scenario', had Bush not stolen the election.

LIE: After the election, independent news media organizations sent their own people to count the ballots and find their own results for media purposes, and as Newsday points out, made interesting findings . As it turns out, had the Supreme Court allowed yet another recount, Bush would've won anyway. If the statewide recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court had gone ahead, the consortium found that Bush would have won the election under two different scenarios: counting only "undervotes," or taking into account the reported intentions of some county electoral officials to include "overvotes" as well - which happen to be the methods Gore was pushing for. The scenarios posed by the New York Times, CNN, and other major news organizations contradict what Moore alleges. (How do you 'steal' an election if you were always ahead, anyway?)

CLAIM: Saudi Arabia had given a whopping $1.4 billion to family and friends of George W. Bush.

LIE: Isikoff & Hosenball Report:

About $1.2 billion of that comes from BDM through a defense contract which allowed us to train their military forces in the 90's. BDM was owned by the Carlyle Group at the time.
But a cursory examination of the claim reveals some flaws in Moore’s arithmetic—not to mention his logic. ... Leave aside the tenuous six-degrees-of-separation nature of this “connection.” The main problem with this figure, according to Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman, is that former president Bush didn’t join the Carlyle advisory board until April, 1998—five months after Carlyle had already sold BDM to another defense firm. True enough, the former president was paid for one speech to Carlyle and then made an overseas trip on the firm’s behalf the previous fall, right around the time BDM was sold. But Ullman insists any link between the former president’s relations with Carlyle and the Saudi contracts to BDM that were awarded years earlier is entirely bogus. “The figure is inaccurate and misleading,” said Ullman. “The movie clearly implies that the Saudis gave $1.4 billion to the Bushes and their friends. But most of it went to a Carlyle Group company before Bush even joined the firm. Bush had nothing to do with BDM."

DISTORTION: Bush was at a fundraiser, when he said his audience was an impressive gathering of the "haves and have mores... Some people call you elite, I call you my base."

Well, indeed, he was at a fund raiser, no doubt about that; but so was Al Gore, and the fundraiser was for... Catholic charity. Of course, if you take Moore's quote as an indication that Bush caters to his elite base, well then you can take Gore's own words at face value:
"I never exaggerate. You can ask Tipper or any of my 11 daughters."

CLAIM: Bush let Osama Bin Laden's family & other Saudi's fly out of the country without any security check. He let terrorists go.

LIE: But that's not what happened. As it turns out, the flights that sent the Saudi's out of the country after 9/11 were approved by none other than Richard Clarke - former terrorism czar and author of the less than complimentary "Against all Enemies". This was done only after the FBI had run security and background checks on the people in question, as well as interrogations. Only after they were cleared were they allowed to leave.
Much has already been written about these flights, especially the film’s implication that figures with possible knowledge of the terrorist attacks were allowed to leave the country without adequate FBI screening—a notion that has been essentially rejected by the 9/11 commission. The 9/11 commission found that the FBI screened the Saudi passengers, ran their names through federal databases, interviewed 30 of them and asked many of them “detailed questions." “Nobody of interest to the FBI with regard to the 9/11 investigation was allowed to leave the country,” the commission stated.

Richard Clarke:
“I thought the flights were correct,” Clarke told ABC News last week. “The Saudis had reasonable fear that they might be the subject of vigilante attacks in the United States after 9/11. And there is no evidence even to this date that any of the people who left on those flights were people of interest to the FBI.
And the only way you could associate Bin Laden's family with 9/11 is if you believe in guilt by association - which is ridiculous because there is no evidence of any ties of collaboration between the two. In fact, what is not told is that Bin Laden is an estranged member of his family (the black sheep, if you will) and that Saudi Arabia kicked him out of the country for attempting a revolution; not good grounds for any kind of cooperation. The family members that appeared were tertiary; keep in mind that Osama's family is humongous:
... Moore assures us that bin Laden is really tied to his family. His proof: a guy on film said that at bin Laden’s son’s wedding, a “few family members showed up.” Bin Laden’s father fathered 50 children alone. A few relatives showing up at – not bin Laden’s – but bin Laden’s son’s wedding is pathetic at best.
Also, under oath, Clarke immediately claimed that the decision to let the Saudi's out of the country, out of concern for their safety (and after they had been cleared) "never went any higher" than Clarke himself.

CLAIM: Bush is in the pocket of the Carlyle Group. The Group's heavy investment influences him greatly.

LIE: Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are many other prominent men of power actually further indebted to the Group (Al Gore), but George Soros, none other than the man who is the source of such accusations against Bush, actually has more to do with the company in terms of monetary interest. In fact, Michael Moore himself is linked to the Carlyle Group. And even better, the company plays a large hand in distributing Fahrenheit 9/11:
But it turns out that Moore, not Bush, may have the more active financial relationship with Carlyle. Reports Sunday's New York Post: "The Carlyle Group - which [Moore] bashes in the movie as some sort of shadowy war profiteering company - has become part owner of Loews Cinemas, which is currently showing his film."

How much of Caryle's bin Laden-tainted cash has found its way into Moore's pockets - the portly propagandist isn't saying.

But ignoring everybody else, and getting back to Bush, he actually severed ties with the Carlyle Group, and his decisions hurt the Carlyle Group, acting against the interest of the company. Not such a puppet, is he?
Most importantly, the movie fails to show any evidence that Bush White House actually has intervened in any way to promote the interests of the Carlyle Group. In fact, the one major Bush administration decision that most directly affected the company’s interest was the cancellation of a $11 billion program for the Crusader rocket artillery system that had been developed for the U.S. Army (during the Clinton administration)—a move that had been foreshadowed by Bush’s own statements during the 2000 campaign saying he wanted a lighter and more mobile military. The Crusader was manufactured by United Defense, which had been wholly owned by Carlyle until it spun the company off in a public offering in October, 2001 (and profited to the tune of $237 million). Carlyle still owned 47 percent of the shares in the defense company at the time that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—in the face of stiff congressional resistance—canceled the Crusader program the following year. These developments, like much else relevant to Carlyle, goes unmentioned in Moore’s movie.
The film also notes investments in United Defense, a military contractor, by the Carlyle Group, a firm that Bush and his father have been involved with which counts members of the Bin Laden family among its investors. He states:
September 11 guaranteed that United Defense was going to have a very good year. Just six weeks after 9/11, Carlyle filed to take United Defense public and in December, made a one-day profit of $237 million. But sadly, with so much attention focused on the Bin Laden family being important Carlyle investors, the Bin Ladens eventually had to withdraw.
Moore's phrasing suggests that the Bin Ladens profited from the post-Sept. 11 buildup with the United Defense IPO but were forced to withdraw after the stock sale. However, Labash notes that the Bin Ladens withdrew before the initial filing, not afterward, missing the big payday Moore insinuates that they received.

CLAIM: The White House blacked out a reference to Bath’s missed physical from his National Guard records because it was trying to conceal the Bath connection. After being hired by the bin Ladens to manager their money in Texas, Bath “in turn, invested in George W. Bush.”, implying a sordid connection of illegitimate influence between the Bin Laden's and Bush.

LIE: NEWSWEEK REPORTS:
The use of innuendo is rife through other critical passages of “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The movie makes much of the president’s relationship with James R. Bath, a former member of his Texas Air National Guard who, like Bush, was suspended from flying at one point for failure to take a physical. The movie suggests that the White House blacked out a reference to Bath’s missed physical from his National Guard records not because of legal concerns over the Privacy Act but because it was trying to conceal the Bath connection—a presumed embarrassment because the Houston businessman had once been the U.S. money manager for the bin Laden family. After being hired by the bin Ladens to manager their money in Texas, Bath “in turn,” the movie says, “invested in George W. Bush.”

The investment in question is real: In the late 1970’s, Bath put up $50,000 into Bush’s Arbusto Energy, (one of a string of failed oil ventures by the president), giving Bath a 5 percent interest in the company. The implication seems to be that, years later, because of this link, Bush was somehow not as zealous about his determination to get bin Laden.

Leaving aside the fact that the bin Laden family, which  runs one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction firms, has never been linked to terrorism, the movie—which relied heavily on Unger’s book—fails to note the author’s conclusion about what to make of the supposed Bin Laden-Bath-Bush nexus: that it may not mean anything. The “Bush-Bin Laden ‘relationships’ were indirect—two degrees of separation, perhaps—and at times have been overstated,” Unger writes in his book. While critics have charged that bin Laden money found its way into Arbusto through Bath, Unger notes that “no hard evidence has ever been found to back up that charge” and Bath himself has adamantly denied it. “One hundred percent of those funds (in Arbusto) were mine,” says Bath in a footnote on page 101 of Unger’s book. “It was a purely personal investment.”

CLAIM: Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, was once a UNOCAL consultant.

LIE: Not so, says a UNOCAL representative.