Friday, July 30, 2004


Kerry'd Away

When it mattered most, John Kerry delivered.

It was a speech of personal accomplishment and a forward-looking goal. He met the President on his terms, taking on the issues that President Bush has been running on and putting his own personal stamp on them. John Kerry did not shy away from any of the issues, even if he did not address them by name and his attacks on the White House were well worded and precise. It was a speech to be proud of.

Of course the pundits criticized his delivery because he didn't allow the audience to respond in full. However, if he let the applause go on, he would have run long and gone into prime time on the west coast and Rush and the others would have faulted him for trying to monopolize the spotlight. It's a no-win situation. But my view on things is this: If that's all the Republicans can find to complain about, they have big problems.

Thursday, July 29, 2004



Back on July 7, I was reading Josh Marshall's blog and I came across this article that was quoting an article from the New Republic.

Not being a huge fan of consipiracy theories and daring predictions, I wasn't really too sure what to make of this. Then today we hear this:

Pretty scary stuff. Everyday I grow more and more uneasy about another "surprise" come October. Maybe they'll trot out bin Laden or maybe there'll be another attack. It's hard to say what depths the Republicans will sink to.



Back on July 7, I was reading Josh Marshall's blog and I came across this article that was quoting an article from the New Republic.

Not being a huge fan of consipiracy theories and daring predictions, I wasn't really too sure what to make of this. Then today we hear this:

Pretty scary stuff. Everyday I grow more and more uneasy about another "surprise" come October. Maybe they'll trot out bin Laden or maybe there'll be another attack. It's hard to say what depths the Republicans will sink to.



Back on July 7, I was reading Josh Marshall's blog and I came across this article that was quoting an article from the New Republic.

Not being a huge fan of consipiracy theories and daring predictions, I wasn't really too sure what to make of this. Then today we hear this:

Pretty scary stuff. Everyday I grow more and more uneasy about another "surprise" come October. Maybe they'll trot out bin Laden or maybe there'll be another attack. It's hard to say what depths the Republicans will sink to.


Answering Chris Matthews

The last several nights, I have been watching MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic Convention and each night Chris (the screamer) Matthews has asked the same question. "How do the Democrats overcome that image of George W. Bush standing atop the rubble at Ground Zero with his arm around a relief worker speaking those inspirational words?" So far, none of the pundits seem to have an answer. Well, I have an answer for Chris and a suggestion for the Dems.


Show Bush saying "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon." Show him vowing to find those responsible and bring them to justice. Then, show the video of the capture of Saddam Hussein. All the Dems have to do is ask the question: "Did we get our man?"


Is It Just Me?

As a good liberal, I have spent the last three evenings watching coverage of the Democratic Convention. I loved the opening night speeches, and as I posted yesterday, Barrack Obama was amazing. Last night I found Rev. Sharpton amusing, to say the least, and I was impressed by John Edwards' speech as well. I think he will be a real asset to the Kerry ticket.

But as I watched (PBS and MSNBC), something occurred to me. Now, it could be that I'm a little slow in coming to this conclusion but I feel it's something that needs to be discussed. (Preferably by someone with a little more exposure than me, but it's a start.) Which of the two major parties is most closely associated with religion? Of course it's the conservatives. Ask the religious right who they support and they'll gladly tell you, George W. Bush (or whomever the current conservative candidate in the race is). Now stop and ask yourself, which of the two major parties is most closely aligned with the principles of Christianity: acceptance, forgiveness, charity? Is it still the conservatives? No, it's the liberals.

Think about the story of Jesus for a moment. He spoke of love, peace, and charity. He was willing to be associated with an alleged prostitute and he healed the sick. He turned the other cheek in the face of confrontation and he sacrificed for himself and his own prosperity for the betterment of others. Do these sound like the qualities of the conservative party? Not the conservative party that I know.

Let's try a few more questions. Which party is opposed to a woman's right to choose? That would be the conservative party, because, in their eyes, abortion is murder. However, how many abortion clinics have been bombed by conservatives? How many abortion doctors have been killed by conservatives? Are violence and murder a part of the Christian principles that I'm unaware of? I don't seem to recall those.

What about matters of finance? Which party advocates the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor? That would be the conservatives. (Did you know that for every Dick Cheney who saved $300,000 from the Bush tax cuts that there were 250 Americans that saved $0? That's how you get an average tax cut of $1200 per person.) I don't recall Jesus condoning this practice. Jesus advocated charity.

What about acceptance? Which party was it that advocated civil rights? Which party was integral in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? I don't think this one was the conservative party. In fact, I recall our current conservative president being in favor of ending affirmative action. As Rev. Sharpton said last night (I'm paraphrasing here), if our current president were in office in 1954, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wouldn't have been able to get into law school.

So what conclusion can I draw from all this? Obviously, Jesus was a liberal. In fact, he may have been the first, and most ardent, liberal. So why does the religious community support Bush? I know, God works in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004



If you watched the Democratic Convention last night you saw the future of our party. Barack Obama delivered the speech of the night. Possibly the speech of the future.

This was one of the most powerful speeches I have ever heard. It was optimistic, it was inspiring, and it was delivered with a sincerity that we don't often see these days. Even Tucker Carlson had to agree it was pretty impressive.

In my opinion, this is the direction of the new Democratic Party. With Bill Clinton, we became complacent, docile. Honestly, did you really think Al Gore was going to lose in 2000? I didn't. I don't think a lot of us did. We quit fighting for the things that got Bill Clinton elected and we rested on our laurels. We got fat, we got lazy, and we got weak. (If you need evidence, just look at the 2002 congressional election.)

We're getting strong again. Barrack Obama is the example. He is going to be one of the leaders of the new Democrats. Revitalized, optimistic, energetic, and inspirational. We will take this country back and it will again be a better place.

UPDATE: Read a transcript of his speech here. It's worth it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Are We Really Safer?

According to the 9/11 Commission report our country is safer, but not safe enough. In that respect, this article from the New York Times is not encouraging.

Our current administration likes to say they are making us safer, yet they are allowing this to happen. Where did the money they promised for our first responders go? Maybe to our needless war in Iraq? As I've said before, the war in Iraq is not making us safer. We are less safe every day that cuts like these are made. We need to refocus our efforts to secure us here at home. Stop playing cowboy and chasing phantom weapons on the other side of the world and actually make our security the most important issue.

We can not risk another four years of irresponsible behavior in the White House. We need a leader that will really protect us.


Burning Down The House

Last night I was reminded what it was like to have a President that could inspire me. The Democratic Convention began with Al Gore, whose speech was humorous yet also a stark reminder of what could have been. It was surgically sharp in its points about voting and its importance. I admire his humility in the face of what must be a very bitter pill.

Gore was followed by former President Jimmy Carter. As John Stewart called him afterwards, Carter was the "Velvet Hammer." It was somewhat shocking to hear a man who has won the Nobel Peace Prize utter such sharp criticisms. He was extremely passionate and wonderfully eloquent. Jimmy Carter is probably the most honest politician of our time and I take what he says very seriously. He makes a very strong case for John Kerry.

Eventually, we got to Bill Clinton. If there is a man that can inspire the masses more than him, I have yet to see it. His speech started slow but turned into a laser precise dissection of a failed Bush policy. His speech was inspirational, educational, and self-deprecating. I was nothing short of "dazzling."

It was nice to see someone, in this case several someones, who can give a speech without smirking, hunching over the podium, and checking his notes every five words. Last night we saw what the President has been, should be, and could be again. In the words of William Jefferson Clinton:

"Send John Kerry!"

Monday, July 26, 2004


Kerrying The Party To Victory

Lately I've been seeing a lot of interactive electoral maps on the internet. The best one I've found is available through the L.A. Times. Not only does it show the states and how many electoral votes each has to offer, it also shows polling data for each state giving the latest percentages from a variety pollsters. At present time, the polls show that John Kerry has 186 of the necessary 270 electoral votes in his favor with another 209 up for grabs in the swing states.

However, if you examine the poll numbers and assign the electoral votes to the candidate currently leading in each swing state you end up with KERRY - 296 and BUSH - 242.

I have to assume that Kerry's people are aware of this and are planning to capitalize on it at this week's Democratic National Convention. This is a time for Kerry to solidify his base, appeal to the swing voters, and clarify his message. Recent polls show as many as 30% of respondents saying they don't know enough about Kerry. Now is his time to change that.

Two things to keep in mind:
  1. Elections are always a referendum on the incumbent, and
  2. Undecided voters tend to vote for the challenger.

November could be good!


Richard Clarke Agrees

Last Wednesday I posted my opinion concerning the war in Iraq and its effect on our country's safety. Basically, my opinion is that the war has not made us safer and the money spent on the war could have been better allocated to beef up security here at home. Well it seems that Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief in President Bush's National Security Council, agrees.

I like it when things work out this way.

Friday, July 23, 2004


Will Work For Food

Here in central Illinois, we don't appear to be benefiting from the economic recovery that the rest of the country is allegedly experiencing. While we continue to read/hear about 100,000 jobs being created each month, we are losing thousands. Mitsubishi Motors in Peoria recently announced they will lay off 1,200 employees to help "pare mounting debt." Earlier we learned that Maytag in Galesburg announced that all 1,600 of their workers will lose their jobs as the plant relocates to Mexico. On top of all this, it also announced that Butler Manufacturing, also in Galesburg, will be closing its doors putting nearly 280 people out of work.

So where are all of these jobs? According to this article in the New York Times, Bob Herbert says the new jobs aren't going to the unemployed.

I think the statement "there is something wrong," is long overdue. In the last few months, two cities here in central Illinois have lost over 3,000 jobs due to economic problems, yet we continue to hear about the nation's recovery. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the average hourly work week is trending downward, meaning many of the new jobs are not full time and are therefore not likely to include benefits. At the same time, the average real earnings are also trending downward, meaning people are taking home less money.

So where is this recovery taking place? I know one thing, the job recovery is not taking place here in middle America.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Feeling Scared?

The Republicans are getting nervous.

November could be fun!


It's Not My Fault

I expect ot hear this a lot over the next several days. Here it is almost two hours before the release of the 9/11 commission's report and the Republicans are already on the tube saying "It's not our fault." According to the commission's findings, blame should be placed on basically everyone.

First of all, I see this as a cop-out. Victims families were looking for something difinitive and what they got was a general statement saying "well, somebody screwed up."

Second of all, I think this commission was put into an almost impossible position. If they find blame with either the Bush or the Clinton administration, it could effect the outcome of the election. For instance if they were to place the blame on Bush, it may very well cost him the election in November giving the perception that the commission was biased

Finally, there is still the issue of disclosure by the White House. If they didn't feel that they were guilty, why did they continuously block access to documents, officials and information? Why wouldn't the President and Vice President testify under oath? Why did they oppose the commission in the first place? I'd be interested to see if any of those questions are addressed by the commission' report. I doubt they will.

What I don't doubt is that the Republicans will be dancing around all over television holding a copy of the report and saying "It's not our fault," when what they should be saying is what Richard Clarke said on the day of his testimony:

But that would take integrity.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Closing In On 1,000

The U.S. death toll in Iraq has now reached 900, and by the November election we will surely have surpassed the 1,000 mark. All for a needless war. I say needless because it's not making us safer despite what our current administration would have you believe.

I believe that there is a widespread misconception that most liberals do not support the war on terror. I have to admit that I don't think that this is a winnable war. I equate it to the war on drugs. It's a noble cause, but an unattainable goal. This does not mean that I am not in support of making our country safer. I'm all for that. I do not wish to see another 9/11. Ridding the world of terrorism would be a wonderful thing, right up there with world peace. However, the war in Iraq is not the answer.

President Bush has repeatedly called Iraq a "central front in the war on terror." I disagree. In my opinion, the central front in the war on terror is right here in America. Instead of spending $100 billion in Iraq to root out a WMD program that was virtually nonexistant and wasn't threatening anyone, why not spend that money here in America to help secure our borders, ports, nuclear facilities, water facilities, and airlines? 95% of all cargo that comes into our country's sea-ports goes unchecked. Securing our border with Mexico has been underfunded for years. We've been told repeatedly about the dangers of an attack on our nuclear power plants or about the ramifications of a chemical/biologocal attack on our nation's water supply yet most are unguarded. And it goes without saying that we are all aware of the dangers posed by hijacked airplanes, yet we are unable to fully staff each airport with qualified screeners and each airplane with an air marshall. Couldn't that $100 billion be used here at home to correct these issues?

Furthermore, if Iraq is only a part of this global war on terror, how long before we get to the next step? The Korean conflict was labeled a "police action" and we still have troops there fifty years later. How long will we have to keep troops in Iraq? Fifty years? Our military is already stretched to the limits from the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. How do we propose to continue fighting this war on terror? Normally, I'd say we could use our coalition allies, but Kazakhstan's 25 troops probably won't be too effective. Neither will Estonia's 31, or Macedonia's 37. Of the 154,000 troops in Iraq 84% are American. Our biggest ally, Great Britain has only committed 9,000 troops; a mere 6%. That's some coalition we've got. We are basically fighting this war on our own. And in the process, we are weakening our position to fight conflicts in other regions. We can't/won't even respond to the crisis in Sudan. Would we even be able to respond to a crisis here in America?


So why have we wasted almost 1,000 American lives? Why have we destroyed hundreds of families? I have my theories (PNAC), but I can't really give any difinitive answers. It certainly isn't to protect us. It clearly has not made our country safer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


More Halliburton Shenanigans

Halliburton is under investigation again. This time it's for doing business with Iran.

How many times has this company screwed our government? Among other things, they've overcharged for oil, they've overcharged for meals, their employees have been taking kick-backs, and now we find out they're doing business with Iran. Isn't Iran part of the "axis of evil?" Isn't our government looking into Iran's ties to 9/11? According to John W. Dean, Halliburton was also doing business with Iraq as late as 1998. That too was prohibited. Who's next? Syria? North Korea?

Now you may be asking yourself, how are they getting around the law to do business with these countries? They're doing it by using foriegn subsidiaries. It's the same way they get around paying U.S. taxes. They do their business through companies based in the Cayman Islands and other locations around the world that are immune from U.S. restrictions. Sounds fair doesn't it?

So while Halliburton is patriotically doing what it can to help the United States in the war on terror, they are also doing what they can to ensure that they make a profit wherever possible. I'm sure the Bush administration will take care of this right away. Maybe Cheney will make sure they get another no-bid contract to punish them. That'll teach 'em!


Who Knew Linda Ronstadt Was Trouble?

Linda Ronstadt was kicked out of a Vegas casino because she voiced her support for Michael Moores' Fahrenheit 9/11.

I think there are a few items that we can take from this:
  1. Conservatives are overly sensitive. Liberals are supposed to sit and heal when Bush gets praised but Conservatives can hold their breath and throw a hissy fit.
  2. Vegas is just as afraid of Bush/Cheney/Rove as is business (think Slim-Fast and Clear Channel).
  3. More importantly, it appears as if three-quarters of the audience was okay with her statements and stayed. I'm sure the liberals would be happy with seventy-five percent support come November 2.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Losing Power

President Bush is experiencing a slow and painful political death. Naturally in an election year, Democrats are fighting Bush's proposals in congress; but it now appears as if Republicans aren't cooperating either.

We keep hearing about how much the conservatives love Bush, but where's the love from lawmakers? Maybe they've realized that Bush's agenda is alienating a large portion of the population. Issues such as the Patriot Act and constitutional amendments banning gay marriage are simply too divisive. Supporting these agendas could cost a person their seat in congress.

Bush's greatest appeal is to the far right. He's pandering to the minority of his base. His inability to compromise combined with his inability to admit fault is narrowing his appeal. He's becoming a neo-con despite billing himself as a compassionate conservative. He's pigeon-holing himself. He talks a big game, but the Emperor has no clothes. Moderates are beginning to distance themselves.

How does this play for the November election? I think his low-to-mid forties approval rating tells the story.


He's Going To "Pump (Clap) You Up!"

California Governor Ahnuld Schwarzenegger actually called Democrats "girlie-men." My only hope is that the Democrts responded by saying "I know you are, but what am I." Next thing you know, Schwarzenegger's going to challenge them all to a fight after work by the flag pole in front of the Capitol Building. I'm so glad things are being handled in a mature way.

Friday, July 16, 2004



With all of our efforts focused on terrorists getting nuclear materials/secrets from rogue nations, we apparently forgot to close the gate at home.



I know this is kind of "old news," but Slim-Fast has dropped Whoopi Goldberg as their spokesperson. This is only the latest in a very disturbing trend. For those of you who aren't aware, Whoopi Goldberg made some disparaging remarks concerning George W. Bush at a John Kerry fundraiser. Apparently, the remarks concerned the homophonic relationship between the president's last name and a slang term for a part of the female anatomy. Not necessarily original material, but it was enough to anger the Slim-Fast corporation.

We've seen this before. This week it's Whoopi Goldberg and Slim-Fast, a few months ago it was Howard Stern and Clear Channel. Both of these "artists" were fired from their respective employers because of "offensive" material. Both Goldberg and Stern had a reputation for this type of behavior. You can't tell me that Clear Channel wasn't aware that Howard Stern was offensive. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Clear Channel signed Howard Stern BECAUSE he was offensive. It was his controversial material that made him famous and was therefore going to make Clear Channel a lot of money. The same goes for Goldberg. She has been performing her raunchy, albeit funny, comedy material for years. This is what made her famous (before Sister Act of course). Slim-Fast knew this when they hired her. Now both companies act as if they are surprised by the behavior.

I think this feigned outrage actually has a different source. It goes back to the Dixie Chicks and the controversy caused by Natalie Maines' comments about their embarrassment over the President. The band was ostracized by main stream radio, labeled as un-American, and even threatened with death. Why? Because they dared to criticize authority. Our country's founding fathers are regarded as heroes for doing that. No, I think it comes down to something else: FEAR.

Fear is what fuels these decisions. Fear of the government's wrath. Fear of the media scrutiny. Fear of being labeled "un-American." Fear of losing money because of the Republican's/conservative's fake outrage. Dick Cheney says "Fuck you" on the Senate floor to another elected official and he's blowing off steam. Howard Stern and Whoopi Goldberg make the same jokes they've been making for years and it's a scandal. It's not a scandal, it's fear. People in this country are afraid to criticize the president because we are at war and it would be unpatriotic.

I call bullshit! Our country was founded on criticism and dissent. Questioning authority is what eventually made us the country we are. However, our government has us so afraid of being labeled that we will do anything to stay in their good graces. Watch the media. They grill John Edwards on his lack of experience, yet they ask Laura Bush which glamour pictures of her daughters she likes best. They question whether or not John Kerry actually earned his purple hearts, but refuse to press George W. Bush to actually release all of his military records explaining why he was suspended from flying and whether or not he actually fulfilled his required service time. Why do they do this? Fear. Fear that they will be cut off from the White House. Fear that they may not get the next big scoop. Fear that they won't be allowed to ask another pointless question at the next scripted Presidential Press Conference. Fear of Karl Rove and his pack of attack dogs.

Thomas Jefferson said: "When the government fears the people, there is liberty; when the people fear the government, there is tyranny." This is tyranny. This is what we supposedly removed Saddam Hussein for. If you can't speak out against your government, then the government has total control. We can not let this continue. Our country has survived and flourished on dissent. I urge you to speak out whenever and wherever you can. Hang signs, pass out flyers, volunteer for a campaign, or just talk to people. Do not be afraid, it is almost over.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


To Have And To Hold - As Long As You're Not Gay (Not That There's Anything Wrong With It)

This is a sham, a fraud, a ploy or whatever other synonym you want to use. The Republicans knew that there was no chance of the gay marriage amendment passing the Senate but now they have ammunition. By pushing this vote forward in place of other more useful and legitimate legislation, the Republicans have forced their Democratic rivals to take a stand and define their position. Now they will use it against them. They won't tell the truth and say things like "He/She voted not to write discrimination into the Constitution," or "He/She voted to uphold the civil liberties of all Americans." No, they'll say things like "He/She voted against traditional family values," or "He/She voted to destroy the American family as we know it." Kind of like they distorted John Kerry's voting record in their newest commercial.

First of all, I want to talk about the government's role in marriage. I, for one, seem to recall something about the separation of church and state. If a marriage is something that is sanctified by God, how is it that our government can regulate it? Why do you have to purchase a marriage license, from the government, to join in a holy union. The line between church and state seems a little blurry here. If church and state are truly separated, as the founding fathers intended, the government has no role in marriage. In many other countries around the world, marriage isn't recognized by the government because of its association with the church. These countries require that a couple enter into a civil union in order to be recognized as a couple and entitled to inheritance and benefits. Two ceremonies, one for the government and one for the church. Now that's true separation.

Second on my list, why would we, as a nation, want to write discrimination into our Constitution? All twenty-seven amendments to our Constitution, with the exception of the eighteenth (prohibition) that was later repealed, were written to expand the rights of American citizens. An amendment banning gay marriage would restrict those rights. What's next, gays can't vote? Gays can be forced to serve as slaves? Who's next? The Jews? The French? Where does it stop? Whatever happened to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" So much for land of the free.

I think what bugs me most about the situation is that our president is "disappointed" that the amendment didn't pass. So our president is truly for discrimination? When he took his oath of office he stated:

Was there some part of that oath that he didn't understand? It doesn't say "change to fit my homophobic views." It doesn't say "except for homosexuals." It says preserve, protect, and defend. How does this amendment preserve, protect, or defend? It doesn't. It shows the republicans ignorance. It exposes them as the homophobic bigots that they are.

Bush claims that he will pursue the gay union ban. I say go right ahead. It will continue to be defeated. I have to believe in my heart that we are the country we claim to be: equality for everyone, regardless of race, color, or creed. If that is true, this amendment will never pass and the Republicans and the amendment's supporters will simply be seen as the bigots they are.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


We Were Right Wrong Financially Sound To Go Into Iraq

Amid reports of flawed intelligence, exaggerated claims, and secret documents, this article from the L.A. Times finally reveals the truth about our reasons for war in Iraq.

As is usually the case, it was about money. Numerous blogs have been pushing this idea for months now; Michael Moore even alluded to this in Fahrenheit 9/11; now, a major newspaper. Could our media be turning a corner? Doubtful.

Do you remember the Oliver Stone movie JFK? Donald Sutherland's character, known only as X, was a former Black Operatives official who stated that war equals money. This has never been more true than it is now. Companies like Lockheed/Martin made billions in the destruction of Iraq and now companies like Halliburton are making billions in the reconstruction.

Energy companies stand to benefit greatly from the U.S. friendly Iraqi government's access to the country's large oil reserves. Now we don't know anyone in the White House that has an interest in oil reserves. Our National Security Advisor didn't sit on the board of Chevron or anything like that. Our Vice President didn't oversee the operation of any company making a profit from this war.

To quote the article: "We see no conflict of interest in using our knowledge and contacts in Iraq that we developed through our previous work with the INC to support economic development in Iraq."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


We Were Right Wrong To Go Into Iraq

President Bush is still having to defend his decision to go to war in Iraq. Sixteen months later, and he still feels like he has to convince us. The problem is that we are becoming increasingly more skeptical (finally).

Peace was never threatened by Iraq. This is an empty statement to make you think the government is doing you a favor by "protecting" you. Not only was peace never threatened, neither was my freedom. I'm tired of hearing that the troops are "fighting for my freedom." I was already free and Iraq did not have the capabilities to take my freedom from me.

However, I think the focus of this discussion about the war in Iraq needs to focus on the concept of preemption. What we did in Iraq was not preemptive. It was preventative. John W. Dean does a good job of explaining the difference between preemptive and preventative military policy in his book Worse Than Watergate.

This would explain why many of our allies were so strongly opposed to our Iraq policy. It also points out another deception by the Bush administration. We were not acting in self-defense. We were the aggressors. We were arrogant in our policy and our approach.

Fortunately, the American people are beginning to see the light. According to the latest poll numbers, people see Bush as arrogant.

Maybe we're getting some where.

Monday, July 12, 2004


So Many Things ....

I apologize for not posting on Friday. My ISP sucks. All morning I was unable to connect and I was out of town most of the weekend. Living in the sticks definitely has its drawbacks.


A lot of blogs have been floating the idea that the Bush administration would delay the November election under the pretense of security. I originally thought this to be a little extreme, but now this.

Knowing how the Bush administration reacts to negativity (terror alerts), could this be the next step? Would they actually delay the election if things looked bad? I know that this seems to be far-fetched, but what about our recent terror alert.?

Would they really postpone the election if Bush was losing? The Republicans recently held the Senate vote on the Patriot Act open past the allotted time so they could get the votes they needed. They did everything they could to block the recount of votes in Florida in 2000. They tried to block the 9/11 Commission, have been dragging their feet on the Valerie Plame investigation, and they continually use national security and terror threats to divert attention from negative news. This would be a bold move, but I guess it has to be considered. This administration is not going to want to give up its control. It's sad, but this may be realistic than I had thought.


To quote the Church Lady: "Well, isn't that convenient." According to this New York Times article, Bush's military service records were destroyed. Of course they were. There's an election coming up (maybe). If they weren't already destroyed to hide the fact that he's a deserter, they certainly are now that he's running against a Vietnam vet.

I don't think that you should be judged by things you did thirty years ago, but this is an issue that goes to the heart of the Bush administration. They hide the truth. Some would call that dishonest. I call it lying.


According to a recent study, most Americans object to viewing graphic images of the war.

This is part of the problem in today's society. Not only do people not understand the consequences of war, they don't want to understand. They want to live in their sanitized little world where America is always right, the government is always trustworthy, and the world always looks up to us. This is a fantasy. A delusional, twisted fantasy. Americans will sometimes kill, lie, and betray if it benefits them in some way. We are no better than any other nation when it comes to greed. In some ways we may be worse.

I, for one, think it's important that people see these images. The nightly news won't show them because they don't want to offend anyone and our government certainly isn't going to show them; it might make people feel uncomfortable about what we're doing. Hell, our government won't even show flag-draped coffins because it would have to admit that people are dying. Without seeing these photos, supporting the war is equal to blind faith.


Finally, I learned something really important about John Kerry from the Today show. According to a photo taken for Time magazine, JOHN KERRY USES A MAC! He gets my vote!

Thursday, July 08, 2004



This is total horseshit.

These warnings are scare tactics; nothing more. It's a win/win situation for the Republicans. If there is an attack, they say "See, we told you so." But if there's no attack, they say "See, we're protecting you." They win either way and the public feels safe.

The Republicans are panicking. Kerry announces Edwards as his running mate, two polls (NBC, CBS) show Bush trailing by a significant margin, Bush and Cheney's approval ratings are sinking, and we suddenly have a terror alert. That should divert attention back to the fact that we need Big Bush to protect us. Because God knows that nobody can protect us like Georgieboy.

Every time something comes up that shows the Bush administration in a vulnerable position, we're reminded of terrorism. This is the real Bush/Cheney campaign tactic: SCARE THE HELL OUT OF THEM! They have nothing else to run on.


Just What The Democrats Need

Democrats have said that the immediate Republican response to John Edwards selection as Kerry's VP shows how scared they are of Edwards' appeal. Maybe they're right. According to this article in the Houston Chronicle, Bush/Cheney have good reason to be scared.

Ohio is one of those states that Bush narrowly won in 2000. Losing it in 2004 could swing the election in favor of Kerry. Keep in mind that the 2000 election was won and lost by a total of one state. With Florida going to Bush, the total difference in electoral votes was a mere four, giving Bush one more than the required 270 electoral votes to win. Ohio would provide Kerry/Edwards with 21 electoral votes creating a 42 vote swing in the results. This is assuming that Kerry/Edwards can win the states that Gore won in 2000.

Ohio could prove troublesome for Bush because of the deep losses in manufacturing jobs. Even if he is able to regain a majority of the 3,000,000 jobs lost nationwide, the best that he can claim is status quo. The American people have to decide if that's satisfactory. Is it okay for the country to spend four years working to get back where we were? That's a tough sell when your trying to run on your record of "progress."

Maybe the most telling part of the article came in the numbers.

I think Ohio will look great in blue.

By the way, if you're concerned about Edwards' "lack of experience," check out these facts courtesy of The Rude Pundit.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


You Mean John Edwards is a Democrat?

I'm shocked! I was just looking at the information provided by concerning John Edwards and I have to say that I am floored. You mean to tell me that he actually supports gun control? And he supports a woman's right to choose? How appalling.


Maybe the Republicans are more out of touch than I thought. John Edwards is a Democrat! Of course he supports these things. That's what Democrats do. If he didn't support these things we'd call him a Republican.

I don't understand the logic in this. This type of information only plays to their base. Only the Republicans are going to look at this information and feign to be outraged. Democrats are going to look at it and say "Hey, he stands for the same things I do." I thought the idea was to peel off votes from the other parties. Maybe I was wrong.

Let's take a look at some of the other issues they are knocking Edwards for.

  • Edwards Twice Voted Against President Bush’s Jobs And Growth Reconciliation Tax Act Of 2003, And Twice Against 2001 Bush Tax Cut. (Fine by me, the tax cut doesn't benefit anyone but the rich)
  • In 1999, Edwards Twice Voted Against Implementing $792 Billion Tax Cut. (Maybe because the rich are rich enough)
  • Edwards Opposed And Blocked The Bipartisan Energy Bill. (Ken Lay doesn't need any more money)
  • Edwards Voted Twice Against The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Package. (Maybe because it's not a "benefit")
  • Edwards Says He Is “Opposed To Vouchers, [Has] Always Been Opposed To Vouchers.” (Vouchers will not improve schools, just shift the problems from school to school)
  • In 1999, Edwards Voted Against Banning Partial-Birth Abortion. (Because the law does not allow for medical necessity)
  • Edwards Voted To Allow Federal Money To Be Used To Distribute Morning-After Abortion Pill In America’s Schools. (A woman's right to choose)
  • Edwards Voted To Require Federal Licensure And Registration Of Gun Shows. (Makes sense)
  • Edwards Voted Against Voluntary Background Checks For Gun Purchases. (They should be mandatory)
  • Edwards Supported Background Checks At All Gun Shows. (Good idea, close that loophole)
  • Edwards Said He Would Not Support Defense Of Marriage Act. (That's because it should be called the "Gays can't marry act)
  • Edwards Believes In Right To Privacy When It Comes To State Sodomy Laws. (What two consenting adults do in their bedroom is their business)
  • Edwards Supports Partner Benefits And Gays In The Military. (What? He's not a homophobe?)
  • Edwards Sided With Unions Over Bush. (So he's for unions fighting for worker's rights? How awful!)

    See what I mean? He's a Democrat, that's one of the reasons Kerry chose him. The way I see it, the Republicans are calling a duck a duck. If they really want to dissuade Democratic voters, show how he supports Republicans. I don't think they thought this one through very well.

    Of course the media is still whoring for the man and talking only to the Republicans. As I write this, I'm watching the Today show and I have yet to see them talk to a single Democrat outside the Kerry campaign concerning John Edwards. Makes sense to me. The Republicans obviously know Democrats best.

  • Tuesday, July 06, 2004



    PINKY: "What do you want to do tonight, Brain?"

    BRAIN: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world"

    (Now replace Pinky and the Brain with Bush and Cheney respectively and I think you'll get the idea.)

    According to this article in the New York Times the CIA witheld pertinent information concerning Iraq's WMD programs.

    The implication here is that the CIA is to blame for our president leading us into an illadvised war. Our president and his staff couldn't possibly be to blame. However, as you will see, war was an easy sell to this administration. I can't imagine that the Bush/Cheney team was real eager to disprove anything the CIA might have said concerning Iraq and their WMDs. They already had a plan in place and were simply waiting to act.

    Our story begins way back during the Bush I administration. After the fall of the Soviet Union, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney authored a plan to maintain America's military at Cold-War era levels. With the help of Paul Wolfowitz, then Undersecretary of Defense, and Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Cheney wrote the "Defense Strategy for the 1990s." It has been described as follows:

    The plan basically stated that the United States needed to be ready to combat any other country from rivaling our power. To do this, "the United States could no longer assess its military needs on the basis of known threats. Instead, the Pentagon should focus on maintaining the ability to address a wide variety of new and unknown challenges."

    In early 1992 Powell told members of the House Armed Services Committe that the United Stated required "sufficient power" to "deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage." He went on to say "I want to be the bully on the block."

    At the same time Powell and Cheney were trying to sell this plan to Congress, Wolfowitz was incorporating it into U.S. policy.

    You can check out the more detailed points of the plan in this 1992 article from the New York Times.

    Now, as we all know, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Powell and Bush I were defeated in 1992. Unfortunately for them, the Clinton administration did not embrace their plan. This doesn't mean that the plan was forgotten. Wolfowitz, who was opposed to ending the first Gulf War without removing Saddam from power, called for the Clinton administration to finish the job. He even proposed launching a preemptive strike against Iraq in 1996. He wrote in an editorial "Should we sit idly by, with our passive containment policy and our inept cover operations, and wait until a tyrant possessing large quantities of weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated delivery systems strikes out at us?" He felt that it was necessary to "go beyond the containment strategy." As we all know, Clinton didn't heed the advice.

    In 1998 the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neocon organization of which Wolfowitz is a member, wrote a letter to President Clinton urging him to remove Saddam from power.

    Who signed this letter? A number of familiar names. Of the eighteen signators, eleven now hold appointments in the Bush II administration. Who are they?

  • Donald Rumsfeld - Secretary of Defense
  • Paul Wolfowitz - Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Richard Armitage - Deputy Secretary of State
  • Elliott Abrams National Security Council
  • Richard Perle - Chairman of the Defense Policy Board
  • John Bolton - Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
  • Paula Dobriansky - Under Secretary, Global Affairs
  • Zalmay Khalilzad - Special Envoy to Afghanistan
  • Peter W. Rodman - Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
  • William Schneider, Jr. - Chairman of the Defense Science Board
  • Robert B. Zoellick - U.S. Trade Representative

    All of these people supported the use of military force to remove Saddam Hussein from power prior to taking office. Paul Wolfowitz, along with Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, supported U.S. dominance throughout the world. Don't you think that maybe these guys were a little too eager to bother with contrary evidence? Can we really pretend that the responsibility for our current situation in Iraq falls squarely on the CIA alone?

    (Sidenote: One of the members of PNAC that didn't sign the letter, was our very own Dick Cheney. According to former Nixon Counsel John W. Dean's book Worse Than Watergate, Cheney refrained from signing the letter because his employer, the Halliburton Company, was illegaly doing business with Saddam.)

    Blaming the CIA for our illegitimate war in Iraq is a ruse to deflect accountability away from the current administration. Even if the CIA presented select evidence, this administration was hungry. Hungry for war, power, and dominance. Don't be fooled, they knew what they were doing. Maybe not Pinky (Bush) but the Brain (Cheney) understood all too well.



    Call them the two Johns or John John or whatever you want. John Kerry and John Edwards sounds good to me. Of course the Republicans are wasting no time in attacking Edwards. Within minutes of the announcement, released over 30 pages of "information" on John Edwards. Of course the information is about as reliable as their information on John Kerry (see yesterday's post). And in the great media tradition of whoring for the money, the "news" shows are only talking to the Republicans concerning Kerry's choice. Like they have a clue. They think Cheney's the "greatest vice-president this country has ever had." Check back later today for my view of Cheney and this article from the New York Times.

    As for John2, I will support them all the way.

    Sunday, July 04, 2004


    Lying in the Bush

    With this week's expected announcement of his running mate and the upcoming Democratic Convention, John Kerry stands to garner a lot of attention. This should be to his advantage. Considering that a large portion of the American public claims to know very little about him, the fact that he and Bush are running neck-and-neck in the polls is fairly impressive. But beginning with yesterday's commentary in the Washington Post, John Kerry is positioned to make his move in the race for president.

    Kerry has been called a number of things by the Bush administration; most notably "weak on defense" and a "flip-flopper." Truth is, neither of these labels fits. Has he changed his mind on some issues? Who hasn't over the last twenty years? As I recall, Reagan was once a Democrat. People change their views. It happens. So to say that he's a "flip-flopper" is irresponsible. We all change our minds as we grow and, hopefully, get wiser. Our president should know all about changing his mind. He's done it on a number of issues himself; the 9/11 Commission comes to mind.

    As for being weak on defense, Kerry is anything but. According to Bush and his supporters are deliberately misleading America concerning Kerry's voting record.

    In a series of articles concerning this subject, debunks the Bush attack. Not only has Kerry been supportive and strong on defense, he has voted for Pentagon money bills 16 of the 19 years he has been in the Senate, but he has been prudent in his decision making, stating that "there's no excuse for casting even one vote for unnecessary weapons of destruction." His voting record reflects this attitude.

    In true Republican fashion, the hypocrisy of these attacks is astounding. While claiming that Kerry is weak on defense, they are failing to mention that Dick Cheney and George H. W. Bush voted against the same weapons that they are accusing Kerry of voting against.

    Check out all of the articles at Some of these articles will point out some of Kerry's more misleading statements as well a George W. Bush's. The key point is to be informed. Know that Kerry is not the waffler that he has been made out to be. As this campaign hits the homestretch, look for Kerry to define himself beyond the boundaries of Bush's advertisements. And as people learn more about him, and in turn more about the Bush administration's hypocrisy and deception, expect Kerry's lead to increase. Bush can not hide from the truth.



    Happy Fourth of July!!! Be proud of your country, even if you're embarrassed by your president. It'll all be over soon!

    Back Monday with a new post.

    Friday, July 02, 2004


    Now You See It....

    The job report for the month of June was released today and the numbers were much lower than projected.

    Overestimating is not necessarily a bad thing. I've done it myself on occasion. For instance, I've often overestimated my tolerance for alcohol. These things happen. And yes, we did gain jobs. That is a good thing even if it is not as many jobs as we would like. Anything to recover the 3,000,000 we lost is good. But many analysts see this as troublesome for the economy. If jobs continue to grow at this slower rate, Bush has no chance of recovering the jobs that were lost before November. This is one of the key issues in this year's election.

    Now overall, I don't find the slower than expected job growth issue as troubling. What does bother me, is what else is contained in this report.

    In other words, the jobs that were added were less than full-time, which means they aren't likely to include benefits (ie-health insurance). Now I realize, a job is job. Any job pays more than no job at all. But when the government states that they have added jobs, what they are neglecting to report is the quality of the job. A person who lost their job as a salaried employee two years ago and then takes a job working the fryers when McDonald's expands for summer help is still considered a job added. Not quite the same thing though.

    Even more troubling, is the fact that they have revised the job numbers for April and May. And not in a positive direction, I might add.

    This is something our government is good at. Stating one thing and then later revising the numbers or backpedalling from their promises. Remember the $15 billion promised to fight AIDS in Africa in last year's State of the Union Address? Guess how much money was budgeted by the White House. If you guessed $0 you are correct. How about the money promised to fund No Child Left Behind? (As an educator, this is a big issue with me and will be the subject of a future posting, I'm sure.) Did you know that it was underfunded by $10 billion dollars? Probably not, because this administration makes a big deal about announcements, but then quietly goes about the actual business. The big announcement makes the news, but the quiet deception doesn't get covered. It's like the fine print in those television commercials -stunt driver, closed course, do not attempt, weight loss not typical, etc. -, you really have to look close to see it.

    So when Peter Jennings says the economy added 112,000 jobs last month, keep in mind that there's more to those numbers. You see, numbers are wonderful things. They never lie, as long as you're given all of them.

    Thursday, July 01, 2004


    Odd Bedfellows

    What is up with Ralph Nader? According to this article in the New York Times, he is now affiliated with the Reform Party.

    Clearly Nader has become desperate. After the results of the 2000 election, people have abandoned third party candidates in droves. The only way that he can get any support is to join forces with the opposition. Liberals have shunned him because of his perceived role in Gore's defeat, so he has to go to the conservatives for support.

    Conservatives realize Nader's value to them. Liberals realize Nader's threat to them. Apparently the only person that doesn't understand his role, is Nader himself. Does he want another four years of Bush? Is Nader a closet Bush fan? I know, he claims that there is no difference between the two major party candidates. He may be right, but does he really want Kerry to lose that badly? Does he really want Bush to win?

    Any votes siphoned off by Nader will come from Kerry. The conservatives see this as a win/win situation for them. Nader is their tool, their bitch. By allowing the conservatives to help him get on the ballot, he's become a part of the problem he professes to fight against. He may as well join the conservatives.

    This election comes down to one issue: Do you want George W. Bush to be re-elected or not? If so, vote for Bush. If not, you really only have one choice: John Kerry. A vote for anyone else is a vote for Bush.

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by