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Even though Bush may spend the majority of his time
hobnobbing with donors at the fundraiser, because he will briefly visit Dr.
King's grave, he is allowed to deem the entire trip "official" and then bill
taxpayers for portions of the huge cost of hotel rooms, rental cars,
security, and travel. And those are no small costs - the Washington Post
notes that Air Force One alone costs $57,000 an hour to operate.


On last year's Martin Luther King Day, President Bush eloquently honored the
memory of Dr. King, saying "I believe [in the] power of his words, the
clarity of his vision and the courage of his leadership." This year,
however, instead of honoring the legacy of Dr. King, President Bush has
decided to use Martin Luther King Day as tool to force the federal
government to subsidize a fundraising trip for his re-election campaign.

The New York Times reports that the President "hastily planned" a visit to
Dr. King's grave, and then will immediately go to "a $2,000-a-person
fundraiser in Atlanta." Even though Bush may spend the majority of his time
hobnobbing with donors at the fundraiser, because he will briefly visit Dr.
King's grave, he is allowed to deem the entire trip "official" and then bill
taxpayers for portions of the huge cost of hotel rooms, rental cars,
security, and travel. And those are no small costs - the Washington Post
notes that Air Force One alone costs $57,000 an hour to operate.

Civil rights leaders are outraged at the blatant exploitation of Dr. King's
birthday as a tool to force taxpayers to bankroll a political fundraiser.
Rev. Timothy McDonald, an organizer of Atlanta's Martin Luther King Day
celebrations said, "It's the epitome of insult. He's really coming here for
the fundraiser. The King wreath was an afterthought." Despite Bush's
platitudes about Dr. King's legacy, he is so focused on his fundraiser - and
so neglectful of the Martin Luther King Day celebrations - that he has done
little to prevent his visit's security detail from limiting access to a
historic black church where a civil rights symposium will be taking place.

In response to Bush's visit, protestors are marching "with bullhorns, signs
and thumping drums, shouting for the president to stay away." They say that
on top of Bush using Dr. King's grave as pretext for a fundraiser, his
policies have directly insulted Dr. King's memory. As Rev. Raphael Allen
said, "His administration has never supported anything to help the poor,
education, or children. It's all about isolationism and greed for the upper
class. That's not promoting the legacy of Dr. King."

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Bush Booed at Martin Luther King Gravesite 15.Jan.2004 16:56


Bush Booed at Martin Luther King Gravesite
By Randall Mikkelsen

ATLANTA (Reuters) - In a sign of the difficulty President Bush faces as he tries to win black support for his reelection, several hundred protesters loudly booed him on Thursday as he laid a wreath at the grave of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

"Bush go home" and "peace not war" the predominantly black crowd of protesters shouted from behind a barrier of buses, as Bush paid tribute to King on the 75th anniversary of his birth.

Bush wants to improve his standing among black voters this reelection year, after winning less than 10 percent of the African-American vote in 2000.

The president was accompanied by King's widow Coretta Scott King, and sister, Christine King Farris. He placed the wreath, bowed his head for a few moments, and departed without speaking or facing the protesters as the boos from the crowd increased.

The protesters carried signs with slogans like "Money for jobs and housing, not war" and "It's not a photo-op George."

A White House spokesman defended Bush's visit to the grave of the assassinated civil rights icon.

"This is about paying tribute to someone who had a tremendously positive influence in shaping the world that we live in today ... it's a solemn moment, a nice way to honor Dr. King," spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

Bush was in Atlanta as part of a two-state swing during which he also raised $2.3 million in campaign funds, trumpeted a reelection endorsement from Georgia Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, and promoted government aid for religious charities.

King's birthday is commemorated by a national holiday on Monday, recognizing his non-violent leadership of the black civil rights struggle in the 1950s and 1960s.

"Today, all Americans benefit from Dr. King's work and his legacy of courage, dignity, and moral clarity," Bush said in a written statement proclaiming the annual holiday.

Bush faces a stiff challenge in wooing black voters.

"Bush's policies contradict everything Dr. King stood for," said Ann Mauney, a member of the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition.

U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, criticized the grave visit as "yet another symbolic gesture that lacks any real substance."

"Every policy decision of the Bush Administration including the war in Iraq, healthcare, jobs, the economy, judicial nominations, housing, the environment, as well as secondary and higher education, has done nothing to strengthen Dr. King's dream," Cummings said.

Earlier on Thursday, Bush hailed King's legacy during a visit to the predominantly black Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal church in New Orleans. "I'm really not worthy to stand here, when I think about the fact that ... this is the very place where Martin Luther King stood, as well, some 42 years ago."

He also promoted his program of government aid for religious charities, which is popular among some black clergy. He announced new rules that help "faith-based" charities compete for $3.7 billion in Justice Department funding.

Bush raised $1 million at a New Orleans campaign fundraiser, and $1.3 million in Atlanta.


No Surprise 15.Jan.2004 17:13

ed harley

He hasn't stopped exploiting the graves of the 3,000 or so people killed at the WTC, either. He's one of the most despicable men alive, and believes in nothing but himself.

What a statesman eh? 15.Jan.2004 17:24


Everywhere Shrub goes the people love him! LMAO The only places where he can take refuge are in his armor-proof limo, in the midst of his fellow right-wing Repulsicans at barricaded fund-raising events, and at "terrorist"-secure military bases where he preaches to those who he unjustly sends off to die. Hail to the king of the world! Whip those unruly subjects in line! I George II am either to stupid to know, or just don't care that I am so despised by my subjects. Fucking sad.

Required reading 15.Jan.2004 18:52


"Act of State" and "Orders to Kill" by William F. Pepper.

The definitive account of the events surrounding the death of King.

If you haven't read them, you don't fully understand the nature and methods of this nation's ruling class.

Bush Solicits Ghost of MLK for $$ 15.Jan.2004 19:33


Today bush went to pay homage to money. Puke.

Remember the TRUE Meaning of MLK day 19.Jan.2004 11:56


Dr. Martin Luther King taught compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and ministered about GOD. Why think about the negative qualities about our president when we could be rejoicing in the message of truth Dr. Martin Luther King left us. He stood up for the righteouse, and spoke about love and understanding. It reminds me of a great quote by Martin Luther King-"One day we must come to see peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means" Being angry at our president is not going to bring us any closer to peace, we must develop understanding, forgiveness and love for ALL beings.