Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Deconstructing Rudy

Since nobody in the media has enough balls to do it, I will gladly point out the lies, the deceptions, and the bullshit in Rudy Giuliani's speech from last night's Republican Convention. All day long the media has praised him for his inspirational speech, but those of us who know the facts disagree. Let's take a look.

Giuliani didn't waste any time, so neither will we.

He's not even a full minute into his speech and he's already deceiving the listener. When George Bush said "They will here from us," he was talking about the people who attacked us. Saddam Hussein did not attack us! The President has even acknowledged this. However the Republicans continue to speak as if he did. It's no wonder a good portion of people in the country think Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

Moving along:

WTF? Now I wasn't there, so I guess I'll have to take his word for it; but what pisses me off about this statement is the implication that nobody else would have reacted the way George W. Bush did. The implication is that everything he has done since that point has been exactly right and anyone else (pronounced Al Gore) would have completely f@*ked it up. Now I know that the Republican Party is one of arrogance, but this is unbelievable. This is an attack on every single person that is not a conservative. This one statement says that anyone who is a liberal is a pussy.

Anyone with half a brain could have done what Bush did atop the rubble on September 14, 2001. As the leader of the country it is your job to go to the site and say comforting things to the families of the victims and vow to exact justice on those responsible. He was simply doing his job. It didn't take a genius to figure out what he had to do. What's sad is that it took him three days to get the balls to do it.

Next on the list:

Except for that time he said that he didn't think the war on terror was winnable. Ooops!


This is not true. If you look back on John Kerry's record in the Senate, you see that he has voted consistently on a number of key issues. For instance, he has always been for gun control, abortion rights, law enforcement, and education. He has always been against unnecessary military spending, fiscal irresponsibility, and tax incentives that favor the wealthy. The Bush administration likes to point out that Kerry has voted for tax increases anywhere from 98 to 350 times. This is simply not true. Many of these votes were actually votes against a tax cut weighted towards the wealthy. They say that he voted against the $87 billion necessary to support the troops. Once again, not true. As Kerry himself has said, he did vote for it before he voted against it. He voted for a plan that would allow us to fund the entire $87 billion by rolling back the tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America. What he voted against was borrowing money to pay for equipment our troops should have been supplied with before they were sent into battle.

By the way, if you want to know about John Kerry's "clear, precise, and consistent vision," all you have to do is go to his website and read it.


This is a fallacy. The fact that we are currently fighting in Iraq, which the Republicans claim is part of the war on terror, has actually made us less safe. As I said in yesterday's post, we are spending billions of dollars over seas while ignoring problems at home. 95% of the cargo entering our ports goes uninspected. Our nuclear facilities and our water facilities remain unprotected and vulnerable to an attack. Our borders are as porous as they have ever been. The fact that we have diverted our money, our forces, and our attention away from our actual homeland security indicates to me that we are not safer her despite what the 9/11 Commission has told us.

Although the pundits and the bobbleheads keep saying how powerful his speech was, it was full of lies and deceptions. Oh, and disrespectful references to September 11. I know, Rudy was there, but that doesn't give him any more right to revel in the blood of the victims than it does me. During the speech he made no less than twenty references to September 11, the President's visit on September 14, terrorists, the World Trade Center, and hi-jacked plans; including one extremely shameful reference to watching a burning man leap to his death from atop the towers. He does this because even Rudy knows that the only thing our President has to run on is his few shining moments atop the rubble three days after we were attacked.

It was a shameful speech. It was embarrassing and insulting. It was 100% George W. Bush.

Monday, August 30, 2004


Kissfan's Guide To The Republican Convention

As the Republican Convention revs up, there are a few things to keep in mind. Somewhat of a viewer's guide, if you will, for those of us who know the truth.

As any intelligent person knows, numbers can be manipulated. If you don't have all the information, numbers can be made to say whatever you like. For instance, the viewer is bound to hear about this administration's record on job creation. They will gladly tell you that they have created over one million jobs in the last year; but what they won't say is that they are still 1.8 million jobs short of breaking even over the last four years. They will tell you that their tax breaks have benefited everyone and stimulated the economy; but they won't tell you that the middle class is now responsible for the largest portion of the tax burden. They will tell you that we are "turning the corner" and moving forward with the economy; but they will fail to mention that 1.3 million more people have slid into poverty in the past year. Although some of these statements contain a small shred of truth, none of them tell the whole story and that's the way the Republicans like it.

What you see is not necessarily what you get. Over the next four days, you will see a number of familiar faces: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger. None of these men represent the true Republican party. As the Republicans repeatedly accused the Democratic Convention of hiding its true liberal face, the Republicans are hiding their true conservative face. In fact, the facade they're presenting for the public disagrees with the Bush administration on a number of key issues. Issues like gay rights and abortion in particular. I find it interesting that the people the Republicans have chosen to represent them are closer in ideology to the Democrats than they are to their own party. This administration of compassionate conservatism doesn't feel comfortable enough in its own skin so they hide behind the moderates in their party. They don't want the coveted swing voter to know how far to the right they really are.

I know that a lot of people view John McCain as a hero, and in terms of his military service, he is just that. But after what he was subjected to by the Bush campaign in 2000, his willingness to support the President for reelection makes him no better than a cheap whore who blows her pimp for free to get the good tricks. As I said in an earlier post:

Although they would have you believe otherwise, John Kerry is a true hero. He volunteered to be put in harm's way when he could have just as easily chosen the easy route our president and vice president did. He risked his own life leading others in a war that he later opposed because he felt that it was his duty to the country. He earned commendations for his bravery and leadership and decorations for his sacrifice. Despite what others would have you believe, John Kerry earned every award he received. His military records have verified that. After he returned from his service, he took a position that placed him at odds with many of his fellow soldiers. He didn't do this because he wanted to be on television, he didn't do this because he didn't honor his fellow soldiers service; he did this because he believed that people should know the truth. He once again put himself in harm's way, taking the lead in an antiwar stance to correct the injustices and atrocities that were taking place in Vietnam despite the backlash that he surely knew would come.

Even though the Republicans would like you to believe that they are protecting you from harm, they are not. Billions of dollars have been wasted on a war that has nothing to do with our safety. As you watch the convention you are likely to hear about how safe we are, but going back to an earlier post:

It is my belief that this war has actually left us less safe than we have ever been by diverting our money, our military, and our attention away from the true risks. We abandoned the search for the true enemy to go after a man that posed no threat to us whatsoever.

Many of today's conservative pundits have spent a great deal of time talking about the upcoming election. However, instead of telling us about the great things George W. Bush will do for us, they have devoted more time to spreading lies and distortions about John Kerry. For example, I offer this editorial by Diana West of the Washington Times:

Not only does she perpetuate the discredited claims of the Swiftboat Vets, but she claims that Kerry's campaign is based solely on his "biography." I find this statement to be utterly preposterous. For starters, John Kerry has offered an often ignored plan for the future. That is the basis for his campaign, his biography is merely prelude. Second of all, they are supporting a man whose own "biography" has been kept hidden from the general public. If you don't believe me, try asking him a question about the "lost years." And as long as we're on the subject of living in the past, it's no secret that the Bush campaign is running on the President's few minutes of glory atop the rubble on September 14, 2001. It's too bad we haven't fulfilled the promises that he made to us that day. But that's just nitpicking, isn't it.

The Republicans will put on a brave face and their talking heads will brandish the latest poll numbers that show them leading nationwide, but they are scared. Why? Because they have nothing to run on besides those few minutes atop the rubble after September 11 and people know it. The polls they are citing are small. They have small sample numbers, a larger margin of error, and are therefore less reliable. According to the latest Zogby/Williams poll a majority of people support John Kerry.

This is why they are spending more time talking about John Kerry than their own candidate. They are scared and I believe they have good reason to be.

So don't fret, don't worry, and remember: Don't believe it.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


The Dangers of Beer-Goggling

Approximately four years ago things were going great for me. My life was peaceful, my job was great, my debts were shrinking, and I had more money than I really needed. It had been tough, but things were finally looking up. So I decided to celebrate. On Tuesday, November 7, 2000, I went out for a good time; a few drinks, a little dancing, you know how it is. What ultimately happened to me that evening is still a little blurry. I remember meeting someone who seemed like a decent person. Someone you could sit down and have a beer with. However, I remember disliking the person on a moral level, so I went in search of someone else. That's when things got strange. I remember accusations, arguments, apologies, and a lot of confusion. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up and found myself in bed with this person.

At first I was pretty stunned. This had caught me off guard. I soon became angry when they refused to leave. Although I wanted to be fair and polite, they were making it hard for me to remain calm. Things really escalated when they resorted to name calling and threats of legal intervention. I tried to protest the situation but I was drowned out. What could I do?

After a while, it became clear that I was stuck with my new companion so I tried to make the best of it. However, we butted heads early and often. For instance, I had heard rumors from friends about my new companion's past and it wasn't encouraging. Rumor had it that this person was known for excessive drinking and possibly abusing drugs. When I asked, I was told that those days were in the past and I should mind my own business. When I inquired about broken promises and failing to follow through on commitments I was met with denials, convoluted stories, and secrecy. Again, what could I do? It was my house and my new companion was making it very uncomfortable for me. However, I stuck it out because I was given the promise that things would improve. I could count on it. This person had integrity.

So here we are, almost four years later and I'm still stuck with this person. Not only have things not improved, they've grown exponentially worse. Over the last four years I have been in a downward spiral. My job was outsourced to Mexico and my companion has been horribly irresponsible with money. I'm so far in debt now that it's going to take me years to get out. My friends have almost all deserted me and I find myself fighting with people for no legitimate reason.

When I really started digging into my companion's past I found things that turned my stomach. They have been sleeping around for years. Sneaking around behind my back to sleep with others. Secret meetings and phone calls, shady deals, and pacts with people of questionable moral standing. Not only that, but my house has fallen into a state of disrepair. After years of hard work I am watching my home crumble around me. All of my plants have died, the air has become stagnant, and I don't think the air conditioner is working correctly. My pets have all become ill, the floors are filthy, and I can't get anyone to help clean up.

Unfortunatley, my place was broken into a few years ago and some significant damage was done. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but my companion has me a little scared about the chances of it happening again. I'm told that it's pretty likely. Luckily though, every time I forget about the risks, my companion is quick to remind me so I don't get too comfortable. (Although I'm beginning to think that these warnings are being used to control me.)

I hesitate saying anything, but I think I've met someone else. Someone who gives me hope. Someone I feel that I can trust. Unfortunately my companion found out that I had been spending some time with my new friend and has begun spreading lies. These are some of the most awful distortions I have ever heard. Listening to them, a person would think that my new friend was deceptive, dishonest, and evil; but this just isn't true. I know because I've checked.

I'm hoping that things will turn around for me soon. In fact, my new friend and I are making plans to get away. It looks as though we can both get together in November. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Too Quiet?

John Kerry has taken a lot of criticism lately for being too quiet over the Swiftboat scandal. A number of critics and bloggers have accused him of being weak, or worse, trying to lose. Now some may call me naive or say I suffer from wishful thinking, but I believe that Kerry may be doing himself a huge favor by staying quiet. You see, George W. Bush is his own worst enemy. Much like Nixon, the person to bring down George W. Bush will most likely be himself.

John Kerry and John Edwards have been quietly touring the country extolling their message on huge crowds of faithful listeners. Meanwhile, the media can't seem to get enough of the controversy created by the Swiftboat Vets. Why doesn't Kerry say something? Even when asked directly, Kerry seems to skirt the issue. So we are left wondering: are the accusations true? Could he be lying?

The answer is no. As we have learned over the last several days, it is the Swiftboat Vets that are lying. The ironic part of this situation is that the evidence of their lies has been found in their own military records. The accounts stated in their own awards citations confirm that John Kerry's version of the stories are true. So either the Swiftboaters are lying or we are left to believe that they too received medals through deceptive methods. I guess we can take our pick on that one. And with the recent resignations of Ginsberg and Cordier, the Bush campaign has its own questions to answer about their involvement with the Swiftboat Vets. According to a recent poll, most people think they were involved anyway. By remaining quiet, Kerry allowed this scandal to work itself out without having to get his hands dirty in the fray. Sure, the scandal may have cost him some points in the polls, but keep in mind the polls that show the ads causing damage were taken before most of the Siftboat Vet's lies were exposed.

By letting George Bush do all the talking, it appears as if John Kerry is allowing his opponent to define him. However, I think that the person being defined is George Bush. In attacking John Kerry, Bush is placing himself in a vulnerable position because in order to attack someone you have to take an opposing view. Kerry is simply allowing Bush to paint himself into a corner.

Now I grant you that George W. Bush seems to be saying some pretty significant things. For instance, at a campaign stop in Ohio Bush gave his standard stump speech. It was described by CNN as follows:

While this sounds like a good thing, a closer examination shows that this is simply empty language. Name me a candidate that doesn't want to keep jobs in the United States, help small businesses, support home ownership, and pursue tax relief. Even Ralph Nader can agree with those goals. But this is typical of the George Bush campaign; say things that sound great and can't be challenged. They have no substance whatsoever. Notice that there is a lack of a plan behind these goals other than continuing what we've been doing. Unfortunately for Bush, we know how well his plans have worked so far; growing number of people living in poverty, increased number of people without health insurance, continued struggles in Iraq, Osama bin Laden still free and al Qaeda still in operation, and 1.8 million jobs lost. By remaining quiet, Kerry is allowing Bush to continue with his empty speech and define himself as a candidate of nothing but failures.

Surely, Kerry knows the statistics. Surely, he follows the news. I'm sure we will hear a lot about these failures and more during the debates. Now I expect that George Bush will receive a boost in his poll numbers from the upcoming Republican Convention, but after that he has to face the music. As long as John Kerry can keep pressing the issue of his failures, George Bush is trapped by his own language. He either has to defend a failed policy or flip-flop. John Kerry doesn't have to be an asshole about it, like Gore was perceived in the first debate of 2000, but he does need to be persistent. When asked specific policy questions, John Kerry has to answer with his own stance and state the stance of his opponent as he has already defined it. If he keeps Bush responsible for his own words, he can't lose.

With a quiet approach, John Kerry is going to defeat George Bush. By allowing Bush to speak unanswered Kerry is allowing the President to define himself with empty language, failed policy, and personal attacks. It's a dangerous slope for the President and in the end, I believe it will be his ultimate undoing..

Friday, August 27, 2004


Help, Please!

Can somebody please explain to me how John Kerry's statement to Congress in 1971 got American soldiers killed? We heard this same bullshit about Iraqi war dissenters. How is my saying "I think Iraq is a mistake" going to get a soldier killed? I keep hearing this from the Swiftboaters and their supporters. To my knowledge, not one person died in Vietnam that wouldn't have died otherwise because of John Kerry's statement. That has got to be the most outrageous claim I have ever heard.

Somebody, please explain this to me!

Thursday, August 26, 2004


Republicans Hate Love The LA Times

Today, the LA Times released it's latest national poll showing Bush leading Kerry by three points.

Of course the Republicans are touting this as legitimate polling. Not that I doubt the legitimacy of the LA Times, but when the Times released a poll earlier in the election cycle that showed Kerry in the lead the Republicans claimed that you couldn't trust a shoddy liberal rag like the LA Times. The talking heads from the right claimed that the Times had slanted their sample group by including too many registered Democrats. In their eyes, the poll was untrustworthy and a perfect example of the liberal media bias.

Oh, what a difference two months can make. On today's Rush Limbaugh Show, the flunky filling in (I don't know who it was and I don't think it really matters) was about to have an orgasm talking about how much this must be distressing the Kerry campaign. Of course they don't discuss any of the internal numbers, that wouldn't support their cause.

All this Republican bluster just goes to show that they are willing to support anything that helps their cause. This is the reason that Bush is unwilling to denounce the Swiftboaters. Remember it was this exact same kind of smear tactic that Bush used to help defeat McCain in the 2000 primaries and now that it's proving useful again he's not going to denounce it just yet. I guarantee that if the Swiftboaters were targeting Bush instead of Kerry, the Republicans would be acting exactly the way the Kerry campaign is. Luckily for Bush, there is no Air National Guardsmen for Truth.

As for the poll numbers, it's still within the margin of error so I'm not going to get too worked up about it. After all, the only poll that really matters will be taken on November 2.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


It's The Loyalty Stupid!

Believe it or not, I think we can learn a lot about the Swiftboat Vets by looking a little closer at the Abu Ghraib situation. You see, Army Spec. Joseph Darby, the whistle-blower in the prisoner abuse scandal, now has to be kept in a secret location because of threats made against him.

Why would he be receiving threats? Because he broke some unwritten code of loyalty. He "narc'd" on his fellow soldiers. He dared expose the corruption and filth that was taking place. Outside the walls of Abu Ghraib, I think most civilians view his actions as a brave thing. He stood up for decency and civility. He stood up to an abusive regime, so to speak. (Sound familiar?) So why the threats? As any elementary student can tell you, it's because he told. He's a tattle-tale.

This is the same motivation behind the Swiftboat Vets. All you have to do is listen to their latest commercial.

When is telling the truth dishonorable. When is exposing corruption and lawlessness selling out? It all comes down to the loyalty. He wasn't supposed to tell anyone. His crime is that he had a conscience. This is what they're pissed about. He told. It's not about his policies. It's not about his voting record in the Senate. It's about his loyalty to them. He broke it and they're pissed, plain and simple.

Was Kerry saying that every veteran of the Vietnam war was guilty of these atrocities? Hell no. No more than every soldier in Iraq is responsible for the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. When Kerry testified he was simply sharing the testimony of honorably discharged veterans. These atrocities took place and he was telling the truth about it.

So what the Swiftboat Vets are really saying with their ads is shame on John Kerry. Shame on him for telling the truth. Shame on him for having a conscience. How dare he try to be honest and help others. He's setting such a poor example for America.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


This Is Progress?

According to out president, we are making progress.

His definition of progress is obviously different than mine. In my opinion, progress would be moving closer to a stable country and a decline in the casualty rate for our soldiers. Now we know that a stable Iraq is still quite some time off and if Bush would read a paper once in a while, he might realize that the casualty rate isn't declining but rising. Tracking the casualty numbers since the beginning of the year, we see that the numbers have been going up in recent months.

How is this progress? More of our young men and women dying is not progress. Admitting mistakes, developing a real plan, repairing damaged alliances; this would be progress. Everyday we hear from the White House that we are making progress, moving forward; but we aren't seeing any proof. Just because they say it's so doesn't make it true.

I think we can add this to the list of things that John Kerry should seize on. Where is the proof? Show me real progress. They keep saying, we've opened schools, hospitals, fire houses, etc. This isn't progress, they were already open. They closed because of the war! They say an evil dictator has been removed. Yes he has been, but now an interim government appointed by an accupying force is in control and they are closing media outlets, talking martial law, offering amnesty to some of the insurgents, etc. They say the Middle East is safer because an unstable element has been removed. However, we've already said that Iraq is still unstable.

So once again, where's the progress? John Kerry needs to ask George Bush to show real progress. Show us a real plan. Don't just say it's so, prove it.

Monday, August 23, 2004


To Debate Or Not To Debate

A little over a week ago, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced the moderators of the upcoming general election debates. The schedule and locations for the debates was announced on November 6, 2003, with the format for each being announced on June 17, 2004. As is the tradition, there are three debates scheduled.

But yesterday as I watched Meet the Press it seemed unclear whether or not the President intends to take part in all three.

Did I miss it, or did Mehlman not answer the question?

Apparently when his aides say “President Bush is committed,” they don't mean to the debate schedule. What's he going to do? Call in sick? Claim there's a terrorist threat? Skip? This is ridiculous. If the president truly does look forward to the debates, why can't he guarantee that he'll show up for them? Obviously it's an attempt to add some drama to the situation. Will he or won't he? Of course he will, if he doesn't he's a coward. He has to show up. But why do they play this game? Why the secrecy? Is he afraid the topic of military service might come up? I'll bet it does.

John Kerry should jump on this. Make it known that the president is waffling on whether or not to do the three debates. Force President Bush to commit one way or another. It’s about time the president played defense for a while. With the Republican Convention coming up, John Kerry needs to get a little momentum going again. Steal the spotlight back from the Swiftboat Vet controversy and go on the offensive. Make George W. Bush answer questions for a change.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


This Can't Be Good For Business

If you're a member of the Swiftboat Vets for Truth, the last few days have been awful. Granted, you're getting more attention than ever, but it's not really the attention you had hoped for. First of all, you've got the Washington Post exposing the discrepancies between Swiftboat member Larry Thurlow's story and his own military records. Then you've got the New York Times exposing all of your ties to the Republicans, the Bush administration, and Karl Rove. Next, you've got KnightRidder basically outing the entire group as liars. And now, there's this from the editor of the Chicago Tribune:

Too bad for the Swift Vets that this comes at a time when they're preparing to roll out a new ad critical of Kerry. Had this article come out a few days earlier, they maybe could have saved their money. But now they're not only out a significant amount of money, but their credibility has been severely damaged. How are they going to counter this? Call him a liar too? By saying that John Kerry got his medals by lying, they are imsinuating that the Navy gave out awards without just cause thereby dishonoring a great number of soldiers who served and won medals themselves. If by making general statements about war-crimes in Vietnam, John Kerry was dishonoring those who served, then the Swiftboat Vets are dishonoring those who were honored for their service. In a sense, they're saying that all medals won during Vietnam will have to be reviewed for their integrity. If I were a veteran, I'd be pissed.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Bring Me The Head Of Saddam!

A bust of Saddam Hussein is on display at the Kentucky State Fair.

How tacky is this? It's as bad as President Bush keeping the gun Saddam was holding when he was captured. Too bad Saddam isn't dead, we could have displayed his corpse like we did with Uday and Qusay. Hell, we could have put him in a glass case with dry ice and paraded him around the country for all to see. Let everybody see how tough we are.

Now maybe some kindly reader will correct me, but I don't recall reading about the Hitler bust tour after WWII. And I don't recall reading about the Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis bust tour after the Civil War. To me, this all seems rather childish. Kind of a spoils of war dick measuring if you will. George wants to show everyone how tough he is and how great a military leader he is. Truth be told, most armies could have overthrown Saddam's undermanned, underfunded, underequipped troops. I'd be more impressed if we could put something on tour that showed evidence of a stable, peaceful Iraq; maybe something that didn't represent 950 dead Americans.

Imagine if after 9/11 al Qaeda were to have attacked the Lincoln Memorial and then put the bust of Abraham Lincoln on display for all radical Muslims to fawn over. We would have launched a nuclear strike on the entire region within the hour. There's no way we would have stood for this. This is how the insurgents and anti-American forces in Iraq are feeling right now.

If we're trying to encourage the opposition, I think we're doing a damn fine job of it. So much for trying to bring peace to the Middle East.


Will We Tolerate This?

I can’t believe that we are going to tolerate this.

This type of rhetoric sounds very familiar.

Iran is currently taking the same position against us as the one we took against Iraq. Attack them first if we think they might attack us.

It will be interesting to see how we respond to this. If we deny the claim that we are going to attack, will they believe us? Or will they treat us the same way we treated Iraq when they denied having any WMD? Will we call them aggressors and condemn them if they attack Israel the same way we attacked Iraq? Or will we be sympathetic and understanding claiming that they have the same right to protect themselves as we did? What if they don’t have UN approval? Will we say they are reckless for acting unilaterally?

I don’t see us allowing this to happen. I see the White House condemning this as a rogue nation bent on destruction. Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? This is how the majority of the world now sees us. We should be embarrassed.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Quick! Can’t Wait!.....Okay, Now Wait.

On Monday, October 7, 2002, President George W. Bush made the following statements to the American people:

In other words, we can’t wait. No time, hurry up, let’s move, etc. Waiting is bad.

But on Tuesday, August 17, 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said “not so fast.”

In other words slow down. Haste makes waste, chill out, relax, etc. Waiting is good.

Is it just me or are we getting mixed signals here? The way I understand it is it’s okay to rush into war on faulty intelligence but we should wait before reforming the agencies that provided us with the aforementioned faulty intelligence. Makes sense to me! (All sarcasm mine.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


They Wouldn’t Do That Would They?

New York Democrats have made the outrageous claim that George W. Bush is exploiting 9/11 for political gain.

Being skeptical that the President would stoop to such a low level, I had to check this out for myself. So I began reviewing the President’s speeches from the campaign trail, searching the text of his recent speeches for instances where he mentions “September the 11th.” Here’s what I found:

A grand total of thirty-nine times over a four day period. I think you get the picture.

To think that our President would exploit the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent people for his own political gain is repulsive. It desecrates the memory of the victims and insults their families. And this doesn’t even take into account the commercials we’ve been seeing. (Which child do you pick up first on September 11th? WTF?) It also doesn’t include the number of times the Vice President, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense have made reference to 9/11 for political gain. That count could reach into the hundreds over the same four day period.

Our administration wants us to remember that picture of the President standing on the rubble at Ground Zero with his arm around a firefighter. Why? Because he has nothing else to run on. They certainly don’t want us to remember that he has hardly mentioned Osama bin Laden’s name lately although on that September day back in 2001 he promised us all that those responsible would be brought to justice. They certainly don’t want us to remember the “Mission Accomplished” stunt aboard the aircraft carrier or that almost 800 more soldiers have been killed in Iraq since that point. They obviously don’t want us to remember that this will be the first administration since Hoover’s to preside over an economy that has a net loss of jobs. They don’t want us to remember anthrax, WMD claims, spy planes in China, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, intelligence failures, an August 6th PDB, Valerie Plame, Abu Ghraib, and a myriad of other issues. But I remember. I remember them all.

No, they want you to remember the President in his one shining moment. They want to revel in the blood of thousands and hope we’ll all forget everything else.

I can’t forget. I won’t forget.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Obama-rama (Pt. 2)

Yesterday I had the good fortune to hear Barack Obama speak at a public event in west central Illinois. After seeing him at the Democratic Convention and hearing all the media hype, I was concerned that he may not live up to the expectations. I could not have been more wrong. What I saw and heard yesterday was not as polished as what many of us saw on television, but it was much more personal. He spoke of the hope and goodness of all Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike. It wasn't the usual my opponent said this, my opponent said that , like we get from our current leadership in the White House. It was encouraging and forward looking. In, fact I can't recall him mentioning a single conservative by name or even making reference to any individual. The most memorable statement I heard was this (I'm paraphrasing):

Afterwards, he was gracious enough to shake hands, take pictures, sign autographs, and even debate a gentleman on the merits of the assault weapons ban. (I was unable to hear the entire conversation, but I believe Mr. Obama took the man's name and address and promised to write to him on the subject.) He was courteous, generous, humble, and eloquent at all times. I know the pundits are referring to him as a rising star, but without seeing him in person, you just can't grasp the quiet strength of this man. He is truly remarkable.

You can visit his website here and read his blog here.

Monday, August 16, 2004


The Bubble Boy

If you watched Real Time With Bill Maher this past weekend, you heard them make reference to this point. Past presidents have often lamented about the lonliness of the job, but President Bush and his handlers are embracing it. The President and the Vice President actually seem to revel in the fact that their handlers are insulating them from any and all dissent. For starters, you may remember the loyalty oath rally attendees were forced to sign.

The latest example of this is the Presidents newest campaign feature: the "Ask President Bush" question and answer sessions taking place on the campaign trail. First of all, these are Bush supporters who are not likely to press him to answer difficult questions. Second of all, some of them aren't even asking real questions.

Are you kidding me? They ask tougher questions when you're ordering at Burger King. This is like a reporter asking "Mr. President,... what should America do, collectively, as you instructed before 9/11? Should it be "pray?"

But he likes it this way. Look what happens when he gets a tough question:

Huh? (Just for the record, sovereignty means supremacy of authority.)

Now we've all heard about people being ejected from Bush events for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts, and most of us know about protesters being kept blocks away from Bush events so the cameras don't accidently pick them up; but now we have the F.B.I. investigating posiible protesters at the Republican Convention in late August. And to make sure that the vote goes as well as possible, the president's brother is sending out the state police to help supress the democratic black vote in Florida.

When is this guy going to have to face something hard and make it on his own? He's been living in a bubble of protection and privilege for his entire political career. You see, his handlers know that he's unable to think on his feet. They know that once he gets off the script, anything can happen. So they keep it as controlled as possible. No tough questions, no dissent, no thinking allowed.

John Kerry has to take advantage of this. During the debates, Kerry has to make sure that he takes the fight to him. Put him on the defense early and keep him there. Make George Bush answer questions and when he doesn't, say so. Don't let him skate by. If Kerry puts him in a position where he has to think on his feet, Kerry will win hands down.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


Why Kerry Said "Yes"

There's been a lot of back and forth lately about Kerry's response to the question about his Iraq vote. I, myself, have spent some time trying to figure out what to make of it. However, I think that a couple of articles really make a much stronger case than the Kerry campaign has managed so far.

First is an article from Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo:

Next is an article from Ickabod over at Right Side Down:

Both articles are well worth the time and they do a good job of summing up what the Democratic talking heads SHOULD be saying.

Friday, August 13, 2004


Heading Towards The Line, It's Kerry - Bush!

According to the latest poll numbers from Quinnipiac University, John Kerry has pulled ahead in the Florida polls. With Nader in the race, Kerry, leads Bush by a margin of 47% - 41% with Nader pulling 4%. Without Nader in the race, Kerry leads 49% - 42%.

An article from the Houston Chronicle also shows Kerry leading in Michigan and New Hampshire. This is putting quite a bit of pressure on George Bush. My favorite excerpt from the article is this:

Now I don't want to put too much stock into these polls, but it appears as if the Republicans are moving into panic mode. The personal attacks have increased dramatically. Bush has been mocking Kerry about "new nuances," while Cheney has been ridiculing Kerry for wanting to fight a "sensitive war" (although Majority Report Radio has an interesting post on the sensitive comments), a Republican senator is trying to cast Kerry as a French looking socialist, and on top of all this, you've got the Swiftboat Vet's ad and new book claiming Kerry is "unfit for command." (Did anyone else see Chris Matthews bitch slap John O'Neill on Hardball last night?) In my opinion, it always looks desperate when politicians resort to personal attacks.

With the Republican Convention coming up, I think it's safe to say that these polls could still shift. Public opinion is easily swayed. I expect to hear 9/11 at least a hundred times during the convention itself and there is still the possibility of a "terrorist attack" (October surprise anyone?) to consider. I also half expect to see a major improvement in the hunt for al Qaeda, maybe even a picture of bin Laden in shackles shown during the convention. Nothing is impossible.

But for the time being, things are looking better for John Kerry. I'm encouraged by the numbers and I think it shows that personal attacks don't have the effect they once had.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Two-Fold Terror Threats

Here's one from the "Let's Scare the Hell Out of Them" files.

This fake terror threat works on two levels:
  1. It reminds people of terrorism (like we could forget), and
  2. It discourages people from buying their prescription drugs from Canada, helping ensure the pharmaceutical companies make a profit.

I'm impressed. Our government is becoming more efficient. No more single objective terror threats for us. I guess 9/11 has changed everything.


Yum! Crow!

The Washington Post is re-thinking it's war coverage.

I think this article, much like the New York Times article from May 26, 2004, critical of their own pre-war reporting, accomplishes a couple of things. First of all, this puts a huge dent in the theory of a "liberal media." If these articles prove anything, it's that the media is NOT liberal. Just because a newspaper prints something negative about a conservative, it does not make them liberal. (Although, if they don't print the negative stuff, they can somehow call themselves "Fair and Balanced.") Throughout the entire Monica Lewinsky scandal, I can not recall President Clinton whining about the "conservative media." The media prints the negative stuff as well as the positive. It's what we call reporting. In this case however, it looks as if the media was actually helping the President.

I also think this article lends credence to all the Michael Moores, Al Frankens, and a myriad of bloggers out there that have been criticizing the media for blindly following the President. I believe Michael Moore called it "cheerleading." They simply weren't willing to ask the questions that needed to be asked. Our government likes to talk about accountability, especially in education, but nobody in the media was willing to hold them accountable. They slavishly reprinted the lies to avoid being labeled liberal or unpatriotic while knowing full well that the intelligence was shaky. Any high school journalism student can tell you that that is just sloppy reporting. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

I think the Washington Post and the New York Times are on the right track by issuing these apologies, but now they have to do the hard part and actually make the change. One of the things that has kept this President afloat so long is the media's willingness to blindly go along with whatever he says. If the media were to finally leave him, I believe the general public would soon follow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


The Return Of Jaffar

Maybe we should have interviewed this guy before we invaded.

When asked about his reaction to what Bush and Blair were saying about WMD before the war, he responded:



What If God Was One Of Us?

As I was reading this morning's New York Times I came across an article about George Bush campaigning in Florida. It was a rather typical article, he says we're safer, makes fun of Kerry, handpicked crowds cheer, etc., etc. But then the last paragraph caught my attention.

This started me thinking. What if God really was in the White House? (Clearly this gentleman could not be implying that President Bush is God because that would be blasphemy. So this must mean that God is one of the President's advisors.) What kind of advice would God give our President?

For starters, God is all about honesty. I think the first piece of advice that God would impart to President Bush is that he should come clean. Simply tell the truth about everything. He could start with his military record, move into the "lost years," then to his Harken stock deal, on to the 2000 election, moving right along to his administration's attention to terrorism before 9/11, then on to what he was really thinking in that Florida classroom when he was told that the country was "under attack," what he knew about Saddam's WMDs and when he knew it, the truth about PNAC and it's influence in his administration, the Valerie Plame leak, why he opposed the 9/11 commission, why he originally opposed the Democrat's idea for a Department of Homeland Security, his family's ties to the Saudi royal family, why Halliburton keeps getting no-bid contracts despite screwing us whenever they can, and finally, who was on Dick Cheney's energy task force.

Next, if there was still time, I think God would encourage President Bush to re-examine the Ten Commandments. Most notably, number 6: Thou shalt not kill. The God I know would not condone the killing of innocent civilians. After all, we are talking about a God who preaches peace. Peace can not be attained through violence. I believe that God would support a more diplomatic approach to our situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think about the shirt I saw that said "WWJB;" Who Would Jesus Bomb. I'm pretty sure the answer to that question would be nobody. Peace, harmony, love, and respect, that's what God would tell George.

I also have to believe that God would want to talk to President Bush about tolerance; treating others as you would hope to be treated; accepting others no matter what their differences are. Jesus and his disciples were discriminated against for their different views and ideas and this was to be a lesson to us all. I believe that God would urge our President to be more accepting of all races, religions, and even sexual preferences. Although the Bible is clearly against homosexuality, it's also for the equal treatment of all. To prove this, Jesus even befriended an alleged prostitute. Surely we can be accepting of two people who love each other want to get married.

But as we all know, these things haven't happened. So I guess we have to conclude that Gary Walby of Destin, Fla., was mistaken when he said that "God is in the White House." Although it might be nice if He were.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


The Stem Cell Sell

The debate over stem cell research is heating up as the November election nears. President Bush is standing by his earlier position of $25 million for research and the order that no new stem cell lines can be created. Meanwhile John Kerry has promised to lift the current ban and give scientists more freedom and his running mate, John Edwards, has said that the administration would give $100 million for research and establish ethical guidelines for scientists to follow. To combat the Kerry plan, the President has resorted to using his secret weapon: Laura Bush.

First of all, let's talk about this statement. If we had applied this logic - let's not do it because we're not sure it will work - to other things in our nation's history, what would the outcome have been? Would we have a vaccine for polio? Would we have landed a man on the moon? Would Hitler have been defeated? The list could go on and on. Somtimes we have to take a risk if we hope to gain anything.

But let's get to the heart of the Bush administration's opposition to stem cell research. Quoting from the AP article:

Religious groups, also known as Bush's base, are the driving force behind his decision. If President Bush were to support this research, he risks angering his largest group of supporters. However, the views of these religious groups is inaccurate as was pointed out by Ron Reagan in his speech at the Democratic Convention.

Many people have spoken out on both sides of this issue. Bush and his religious base have called this "junk science," while others have called this a the future of medical research. While the Republicans focus on the fact that it probably won't cure Alzheimer's (which is the popular misconception because of the stance taken by Ron Reagan and its association with the recent death of his father), they neglect to consider that it could cure diabetes, Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries, and a number of other devistating illnesses.

In my opinion this is a risk that we can't afford not to take. By pandering to his religious base, President Bush is playing politics with the lives of millions. We've already watched him do this in Iraq with our young men and women and now he's doing it here at home. The President likes to claim that he is decisive and doesn't follow the polls, but what he really means is that he's not going to follow the general polls. He only follows those polls that reflect the opinions of his base no matter what risk it may pose to others.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Thank God For Helen Thomas

Taken straight from today's press briefing:

Helen Thomas has more balls than all of the men in the room put together. With more people like her in the media we might not be in the shit-hole in which we currently find ourselves.


John McCain: Hero Or Whore?

I don’t know what to make of John McCain these days. Most days he appears to be one of the only honest politicians in Washington. His willingness to cross party lines to take a stand for what he believes is right is nothing short of commendable. But these days I have to question McCain’s judgement.

This past week we saw the release of a scathing anti-Kerry commercial by a Republican-funded group calling themselves Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. A commercial in which veterans claiming to have served in Vietnam with John Kerry, although none of them actually served on his boat, state that he has lied about his military record and is unfit to serve as our President. John McCain has called the ad "dishonest and dishonorable" and has called on the White House to condemn the ad as well. (The White House has declined to do so, stating simply that they have never questioned Mr. Kerry’s military service.)

Now if anyone should know about "dishonest and dishonorable" politics it is John McCain. While running for the Presidency in 2000, McCain was himself the victim of a smear campaign. In South Carolina, for instance, the Bush team push-polled some very damaging rumors concerning McCain’s history. Rumors such as McCain’s wife, Cindy, was a drug addict. They insinuated that McCain was mentally unstable due to his time in a POW camp and that he had collaborated with his captors. They even claimed that he had fathered an illegitimate black child with a prostitute. So when Joh McCain calls something "dishonest and dishonorable," you pretty much have to figure he knows what he is talking about.

Later in that 2000 campaign a group calling itself Republicans for Clean Air launched another smear campaign criticizing John McCain’s environmental record. The group ran a series of false and misleading ads in New York and other states prior to their respective primaries. What’s significant about these ads is the involvement of a woman by the name of Merrie Spaeth. Merrie Spaeth is now the media contact person for the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. So when John McCain states that the Swiftboat Vet’s attack against Kerry is "the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," he’s pretty damn close to the truth.

What makes me question whether John McCain is a hero or a whore is that despite all of these tactics used against him, he continues to campaign for George Bush. Even though the White House will not condemn the Swiftboat Vet’s ad, he continues to promote Bush on the campaign trail. McCain is allowing himself and his popularity to be used by the Bush administration for their own gain while John Kerry, his friend and fellow Vietnam vet, is being smeared by the same people who smeared him. To me this is like professing your love for a woman who screws your friends when you’re not around.

Where is that commendable John McCain who is willing to cross party lines and stand up for what he believes in? Where is his integrity? Where’s that honesty? It’s disheartening to see him allowing himself to be used like this.

So I ask you, the reader:

Is John McCain a hero or a whore?

Saturday, August 07, 2004


He's Kidding, Right?

Last weekend, while campaigning in Arizona, Dick Cheney questioned the race of a photographer before providing press credentials.

Can we all spell racial profiling? First, you must sign an oath of support to attend a Bush Cheney rally, and now you must be from an approved race to take a picture. Land of the free indeed!

Friday, August 06, 2004


Wrong Corner George

When George Bush says that the country is "turning the corner," he needs to be more specific about which corner he wants turned. Today's jobs report looks like we've turned the corner into a really dark alley in a bad part of town.

Maybe he's just looking for a place to park so he can check the map.


Let's Get 'Em

I can still remember the first few days after 9/11 when the country and the world were united in our cause to find those responsible. Then came the anthrax attack. The U.S. couldn't catch a break. Everywhere we turned we saw terrorism. It was a very uncertain time. For the first time, we viewed ourselves as vulnerable. Our leaders leveled accusations, made promises, and quickly embarked on a noble journey. The "War on Terror" was under way.

That was almost three years ago and our original goals still have not been met. Not to worry though, because in this election year we can expect to see a renewed interest in the safety of our citizens. Take note of the terror arrests lately. Everywhere you turn in the news these days there are reports of terror suspects in custody (like here, here, here, and here in today's newspapers alone). Not only that, we are now seriously pursuing the person responsible for the anthrax attacks. What's that old saying? Better late than never?

Why now? To me it seems too convenient. The Republican Convention will be taking place in a few weeks and I expect to hear about these arrests at least as often as we heard about John Kerry's Vietnam service. They are going to parade these arrests and investigations around the stage in order to prove that we're fighting hard and making progress. (I still half expect to see bin Laden brought in from the back in shackles.)

The question I have is this: Why didn't these things happen three years ago? Had we been this aggressive three years ago, instead of detouring into Iraq, we may still have the support of the rest of the world. Al Qaeda may be in shambles. We may have even found bin Laden by now.

This type of aggressive attack on al Qaeda was promised to us three years ago. It is now taking place for political gain. The Bush administration is banking that people will have the attitude of "what have you done for me lately." I say it's too little too late.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


Isolated Incidents

Luckily for poiliticians, the general public has a short memory. If a person can ride out a scandal long enough, people tend to forget about it or become bored with it and unless something brings it back into the media spotlight, it's gone forever. Remember Rep. Gary Condit and missing intern Chandra Levy? Gone from the media, gone from our memory. Such is the case with the prisoner abuse scandal. Remember the outrage and disgust upon seeing those pictures for the first time? Remember the embarassment when you found out that it was Americans who were doing those things that we always suspected other countries of doing? Remember our government insisting that this was an isolated incident ivolving a few rogue MPs? Now, it's more recent than Gary Condit and maybe not so far gone, but the media had virtually let it die. Until now.

With the preliminary hearing for Pfc. Lynndie England, the scandal has come back full force. We're going to start seeing the pictures again and we're going to start hearing the stories. This has to scare the hell out of certain people in the Bush administration because details are going to come out that they would prefer stay hidden. Like the fact that Military Intelligence ordered certain detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison to be kept hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Donald Rumsfeld must be thrilled to have this come out. For months now he's been claiming that these MPs were acting on their own and now Staff Sgt. Christopher Ward testifies that this was directed from MI. This is the ironic thing about trials, sometimes the truth actually comes out. I can't wait to see what truths come out in the trial of Saddam. Will he be allowed to talk about the support the United States gave him during the eighties? What about the biological and chemical weapons that we gave him? What about our support for him in the Iran-Iraq war? The Bush administration might want this trial held in private to save Poppy Bush's reputation. It could get ugly.

Anyway, back to the abuse. We were told that Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident, but yesterday three British former "enemy combatants" released a 115-page statement claiming abuses at Guantanamo Bay.

Isolated indeed.

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