The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Saturday, July 31, 2004


 
You know the story "My Pet Goat"? That was the children's book that Bush was reading to the classroom when he was informed that the US was under attack. As you probably know, instead of doing anything, he sat stupidly for 7 minutes.

Here's the actual reader review of the book on Amazon.com:

Presidential material, through and through!
After reading the enclosed story "The Pet Goat," I was stunned by its lyrical beauty and easy cadence. The tempo, the choice of words, and the layout on each page captured my imagination so much that it took me about seven minutes to recover my bearings.


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Today Bush actually SAID this:

"The impact of our growing economy is being felt in Washington, where estimates of government deficits are shrinking. Because of my policy of strengthening the economy while enforcing spending discipline in Washington, we remain on pace to reduce the deficit by half in the next five years."


Is he actually delusional, or does he actually believe that people are THAT stupid?



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"Yesterday, the president said to Americans that we were turning the corner, referring to the economy. Well, let me ask you, if you're one of those 44 million Americans that don't have health insurance are you turning the corner? If you're one of those people who has a job ... that's been forced overseas, are we turning the corner for those folks?

The last time we had a president who ran on a slogan of turning the corner was Herbert Hoover, and he ran on the prospect that prosperity was just around the corner. I don't want to run talking about turning the corner. I'm running to climb the mountain and get to the top." - John Kerry

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Bush says the economy is on the upswing.

He says that at least once every six months. Hasn't been true yet.

But he's basically admitting that his reign has been one look economic downswing.

He won't do anything different, though.

So why the hell would it change?

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Remember when the Republicans claimed to be against "big government." Does anyone actually believe that anymore?

Apparently, Bush regards himself as ONLY the President of his supporters. Has any other President, in all of American history, had such an imperial attitude? None that I can think of.

Some would-be spectators hoping to attend Vice President Dick Cheney's rally in Rio Rancho this weekend walked out of a Republican campaign office miffed and ticketless Thursday after getting this news:

Unless you sign an endorsement for President George W. Bush, you're not getting any passes.

The Albuquerque Bush-Cheney Victory office in charge of doling out the tickets to Saturday's event was requiring the endorsement forms from people it could not verify as supporters.

State Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell, speaking on behalf of the Republican Party, said Thursday that a "known Democrat operative group" was intending to try to crash Saturday's campaign rally at Rio Rancho Mid-High School.

However, some who left the office off Osuna NE without tickets on Thursday said they're not affiliated with an operative group and should have a right to see their vice president without pledging their allegiance to Bush.

"I'm outraged at this. I'm being closed off by my own government. It's crazy," said East Mountains resident Pamela Random, who added that she is an unaffiliated voter.


Gee, George, THAT'S the way to be a "uniter and not a divider." Decide that the people PAY YOUR SALARY don't have the right to see you if they don't belong to your party.

For God's sake, get these clowns out of the White House before they pervert democracy any further.

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Some Americans still think of George W. Bush as "decisive." Me, I tend to think that that's ONLY a positive quality if you make good decisions. Going off half-cocked with dead certainty when you are dead wrong is pretty damned destructive.

But for those who are enamored of "decisiveness," let's make a REAL comparison:

Kerry earned his Silver Star when he rescued a fellow soldier who had been swept off their swift boat while under enemy attack. Without hesitation, Kerry turned the boat around, went back, and personally went out on deck to pull the man into the boat, with the enemy firing at them.

When George W. was told "The country is under attack," he sat there, unable to decide what to do or not knowing what to do, for SEVEN FULL MINUTES.

Which of these two, based on those two accounts, is more heroic and decisive?


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Friday, July 30, 2004

And here's Ron, Jr
 
It's quite long. Heres' the whole thing.

"Does anyone really favor an administration that so shamelessly lies? One that so tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself? That so willfully misrepresents its true aims and so knowingly misleads the people from whom it derives its power? I simply cannot think so. And to come to the same conclusion does not make you guilty of swallowing some liberal critique of the Bush presidency, because that's not what this is. This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush.

If ever there was a time for uniting and not dividing, this is it. Instead, Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term.

I write and speak as nothing more or less than an American citizen, one who is plenty angry about the direction our country is being dragged by the current administration. We have reached a critical juncture in our nation's history, one ripe with both danger and possibility. We need leadership with the wisdom to prudently confront those dangers and the imagination to boldly grasp the possibilities. Beyond issues of fiscal irresponsibility and ill-advised militarism, there is a question of trust. George W. Bush and his allies don't trust you and me. Why on earth, then, should we trust them?

Fortunately, we still live in a democratic republic. The Bush team cannot expect a cabal of right-wing justices to once again deliver the White House. Come November 2, we will have a choice: We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government. We can choose, as a bumper sticker I spotted in Seattle put it, SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT."

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Ouch.
 
Looks like Ron isn't the only member of the Reagan family who doesn't think very highly of Boy George.

"The widow of former President, and Republican icon, Ronald Reagan has told the GOP she wants nothing to do with their upcoming national convention or the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.

Nancy Reagan turned down numerous invitations to appear at the Republican National Convention and has warned the Bush campaign she will not tolerate any use of her or her late husbands words or images in the President’s re-election effort.

“Mrs. Reagan does not support President Bush’s re-election and neither to most members of the President’s family,” says a spokesman for the former First Lady."

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Corruption
 
Have you noticed that there is corruption and criminality in everything George W. Bush touches? First Halliburton, and now this:

A comprehensive examination of the U.S.-led agency that oversaw the rebuilding of Iraq has triggered at least 27 criminal investigations and produced evidence of millions of dollars' worth of fraud, waste and abuse, according to a report by the Coalition Provisional Authority's inspector general.

The report also says that U.S. civilian authorities in Iraq failed to keep good track of nearly $1 billion in Iraqi money spent for reconstruction projects and can't produce records to show whether they got some services and products they paid for.


George W. Bush murdered Iraq so his cronies could fatten themselves on the remains.

There is no other reasonable conclusion.


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"Now I know that there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities. And I do, because some issues just aren't all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so.

As president, I will ask the hard questions and demand hard evidence." - John Kerry

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Chalabi and Al Sadr
 
How badly has Bush screwed up foreign policy? So badly, it's hard to imagine it being any worse.

As evidence of how totally mismanaged this whole affair has been, look at Ahmed Chalabi, the fellow who was Bush's ally, chief source of information, and the fellow we had originally tapped to rule postwar Iraq. What's he doing now?

Forming an alliance with al Sadr - the leader of the insurgency that's shooting at us.

"At the same time, [Chalabi]is reaching out to Iraq's most prominent anti-American Shiite cleric, Muqtada Sadr, whose followers come mainly from Baghdad's urban underclass and the impoverished south of the country. Political analysts here believe that the new approach will eventually win support from a significant segment of Sadr's followers if Chalabi chooses to run for office — and, as expected, Sadr chooses to wield his power from the pulpit instead.

That would give Chalabi and his new organization, the Shiite Political Council, mass support that could yield considerable clout in the majority Shiite community."


Remember all that crap about how the Iraqis were going to be throwing flowers? Chalabi is where it came from. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld believed everything he said without question, despite his criminal history.

Now, he's buddies with the enemy.

Has Bush made ANY correct decisions?

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Nobody will listen to Al Sharpton simply because he's Al Sharpton. Which is a shame, because when the man is on, he's on. And he was on. His response to Bush asking for the Black vote on the grounds that voting for Republicans would give blacks "leverage" was dynamite:

Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us.

This vote can't be bargained away.

This vote can't be given away.

Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.

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One thing the Democrats are doing that is quite good - and I think they should do more of it - is keep a strong focus on foreign policy. Yes, talk about the economy. Yes, talk about health care. But somewhere in the back of almost everyone's mind is the unsettling awareness of the fact that a terrorist attack can make all of that meaningless in a hurry.

That's why I think the most rivetting part of John Edward's speech - which was chock full of economic,"two Americas" stuff - was actually this:


"We're approaching the third anniversary of Sept. 11, and one thing I can tell you: when we're in office, it won't take three years to get the reforms in our intelligence that are necessary to keep the American people safe.... And we - John and I -we will have one clear unmistakable message for Al Qaida and these terrorists: You cannot run. You cannot hide. We will destroy you."


Bush has failed to do the job. Instead of destroying Al Qaida, he let them regroup and strengthened them by using their attack as an excuse to fight somebody ELSE.

Foreign Policy is NOT one of Bush's strengths. Edwards put it perfectly: it is THREE YEARS, and we STILL haven't reformed the intelligence failures that led to 9/11: these clowns are spinning thier wheels while danger gathers.

Kerry won't take the attention off of our REAL enemies to go fight a personal vendetta; that's Bush's specialty. And he won't use an attack on the United States as an excuse to test radical theories of warfare, like the neocons have done. And he won't leave our armed forces overworked, tired, and stretched too thin occupying ONE country while the REAL threat gathers someplace else.

George W. Bush has engineered a foreign policy disaster.

Foreign policy is not one of his strengths.

Domestic policy is not one of his strengths.

He has no useful strengths. The only real ability he has is the ability to smear his opponents.

And who the hell needs that in a chief executive?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004


 
Photos courtesy of www.moveleft.com, God bless 'em.

When John Kerry was touring Cape Canaveral, he was required to wear a space suit, which can look mighty stupid on a person, and he did.

John Kerry in a tuquoise suit crawling out of a hatch


The Republicans tried to make hay out of it by sending the stupid-looking photo to all the major newspapers.

The Kerry organization responded by sending this:
Bush and an Australin Prime Minister (probably John Howard) , wearing blue kimonos with silver spots




They also sent photos of Bush as a cheerleader and Bush picking his nose, but the Daily News, in a rare moment of reserve and delicacy, decided NOT to print these:









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And here are more photos of Bush that it would be fun to see it the local newspaper.

Hey, if Bush makes people laugh, it might be the only positive he's ever accomplished. He should be thankful.















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Reagan Snubs Bush
 
Apparently, it isn't just Ron Reagan, Jr., who doesn't think a whole lot of Boy Bush. Nancy feels the same way.

Much to the dismay of the Bush campaign, Nancy Reagan has just said no to appearing at the Republican National Convention next month.

GOP strategists had hoped the former First Lady and Hollywood actress would make a cameo appearance onstage after a video tribute to her late husband, particularly after her Bush-bashing son, Ron, agreed to speak at the Democratic convention last night.

GOP sources, meanwhile, confirmed his mother will not be at their Aug. 30-Sept. 2 convention - and some speculated her son might be behind the snub.

"I do not expect her at our convention but she knows she is welcome," Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie told reporters here yesterday....

A downcast senior GOP official confirmed Nancy Reagan had never committed to appearing at the convention, but was nevertheless dubious of the official explanation.

"The 'not feeling up to it' line is bull----," the official said. "Something happened in the last month, and whatever it was was real."


It looks like the ONLY convention this year that will feature a Reagan this year will be the Democratic one.

Poor right-wingers: trying to claim the mantle of a man who was certainly very conservative, but who would despise them if he were alive. Because he was conservative, not a lunatic.

The modern Republican Party is actually THAT extremist.

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Bush Sets Record!
 
"The White House will project soon that this year's federal deficit will exceed $420 billion, congressional aides said, a record figure certain to ignite partisan warfare over President Bush's handling of the economy."


When Republicans claim that they believe in fiscal disciple, the ONLY appropriate response is mocking, derisive laughter.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A star rises
 
Barack Obama gave a speech - and flat set the convention on its ear. Unbelievable.



On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, Land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention.

Tonight is a particular honor for me because – let's face it – my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya.

He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack… his father – my grandfather – was a cook, a domestic servant.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son.

Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place – America – that stood as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother.

She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.

Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression.

The day after Pearl Harbor he signed up for duty; joined Patton's army and marched across Europe.

Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line.

After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA, and moved west, in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter.

A common dream, born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love… they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.

They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They are both passed away now.

Yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation – not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy.

Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That is the true genius of America – a faith in the simple dreams of its people.

The insistence on small miracles.

That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm.

That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door.

That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son.

That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted – or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans – Democrats; Republicans; Independents – I say to you tonight: we have more work to do.

More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour.

More to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits he counted on.

More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Don't get me wrong.

The people I meet – in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks – they don't expect government to solve all their problems.

They know they have to work hard to get ahead – and they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or the Pentagon.

Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn – they know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.

No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems.

But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.

They know we can do better.

And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice.

Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer.

That man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and sacrifice, because they've defined his life.

From his heroic service in Vietnam, to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country.

Again and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available.

His values – and his record – affirm what is best in us.

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded; so instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he'll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home;

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves...

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies, or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option, but it should never be the first option.

Awhile back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois.

He was a good-looking kid, six two or six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile.

He told me he'd joined the Marines, and was heading to Iraq the following week.

As I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child.

But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us?

I thought of more than 900 service men and women -- sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns.

I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never– ever– go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear.

We have real enemies in the world.

These enemies must be found.

They must be pursued – and they must be defeated.

John Kerry knows this.

And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America.

And he knows it's not enough for just some of us to prosper.

For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga.

A belief that we are connected as one people.

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewherewho can't pay for her prescription, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother.

If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It's that fundamental belief – I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper – that makes this country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family.

E pluribus unum.

Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America – there's the United States of America.

There's not a Black America and White America and Latino America and Asian America– there's the United States of America.

The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats.

But I've got news for them, too.

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States.

We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about.

Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope.

John Edwards calls on us to hope.

I'm not talking about blind optimism here – the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

No, I'm talking about something more substantial.

It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.

The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores.

The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta.

The hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds.

The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation.

The belief in things not seen.

The belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.

America!

Tonight, if you feel the same energy I do, the same urgency I do, the same passion I do, the same hopefulness I do – if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as President, and John Edwards will be sworn in as Vice President, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you and God bless you.


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Heroism
 
The Reverend David Alston served on a swift boat with John Kerry, and gave a speech at the convention. The speech received what I thought was disgracefully little attention from the news media. So I thought I would share it here. The whole thing. Without comment.

"Good evening.

My name is David Alston, and I am a minister from Columbia, South Carolina. I join you here tonight in Boston, birthplace of the American Revolution, to celebrate the bedrock ideals on which our nation was founded - freedom, equality, and democracy.

I also come here tonight to honor a friend of mine, a man of courage and conviction who has fought for these ideals his entire life: John Kerry. Many of you in this hall already know John Kerry well. Others across this land are still learning about his long and distinguished record of public service.

I know him from a small boat in Vietnam, where we fought and bled together, serving our country. There were six of us aboard PCF-94, a 50-foot, twin-engine craft known as a "Swift Boat." We all came from different walks of life, but all of us - including our skipper, John Kerry - volunteered for combat duty. And combat is what we got.

We usually patrolled the narrow waterways of the Mekong delta, flanked on both sides by thick jungle. As our crewmate Gene Thorson put it, we were a traveling bulls-eye. And we often came under sudden attack from the enemy, hidden in the shadows. Machine-gun fire, rocket-propelled grenades, it all came fast and furious, and Lieutenant Kerry had to make quick, life-or-death decisions for the entire boat.

You have to realize, a Swift Boat isn't armored. The hull is aluminum, about as thick as two nickels. And in the middle of a narrow river or canal, with no cover at all, even small-caliber bullets could punch right through it - and often did.

Manning the deck guns, most of us got wounded sooner or later, including Lieutenant Kerry. It would have been easiest, in an ambush, to simply rake the shore with return fire and roar on down the river to safety. But Lieutenant Kerry was known for taking the fight straight to the enemy. I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos.

Once, he even directed the helmsman to beach the boat, right into the teeth of an ambush, and pursued our attackers on foot, into the jungle. In the toughest of situations, Lieutenant Kerry showed judgment, loyalty and courage. Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

And when the shooting stopped, he was always there too, with a caring hand on my shoulder asking, "Gunner, are you OK?" I was only 21, running on fear and adrenaline. Lieutenant Kerry always took the time to calm us down, to bring us back to reality, to give us hope, to show us what we truly had within ourselves. I came to love and respect him as a man I could trust with life itself.

I am a man of faith, and I did not come here tonight to glorify what we did. I came here to share my personal knowledge of a young naval officer who rose to the challenges and responsibilities of leadership, and who has always shown the courage to speak truth to power.

The 27th Psalm tells us, "Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear. Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident" I stand before you tonight alive, while many of our brothers never made it home. I am grateful to have lived to enjoy my children, to see them grow up. But I stand here before you only because almighty God saw our boat safely through those rivers of death and destruction, by giving us a brave, wise, and decisive leader named John Kerry.

Today, 30 years after Vietnam, American soldiers are once again fighting and dying on distant battlefields, at war with an elusive enemy. We pray for these brave men and women. They are our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones. Their loss brings all of us sadness beyond measure.

In a few short months, we will choose our next President. I believe we need to elect a man of faith, experience, and wisdom. A man who knows that defending America means defending our most fundamental rights. A man who knows that leadership is not just about telling others what to do, but inspiring them to do it. A man who knows the true meaning of freedom, equality, and democracy. And that man is my former skipper, my friend, and our next commander-in-chief, John Kerry.

Friends, here in this city more than two centuries ago, patriots launched a revolution that changed history. Generations since have marched, fought, and died to defend the sacred ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-and to make these ideals a reality for every American.

It is now our turn to defend these ideals. It is our time to speak out. It is our duty to exercise our most precious right as Americans: the right to vote.

So come November 2nd, join me in casting your ballot for a new, principled, and courageous leader-America's next president-John Kerry.

Thank you."

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Carter's Speech
 
I've never thought of Jimmy Carter as a particularly dynamic public speaker. But he delivered one terrific, terrific speech. He really smacked Bush around. But the fact that he didn't even mention Bush's name, and the fact that it was coming from such a genteel old Southerner made it seem less harsh than it was. But this speech contains MANY oblique little jabs at the Shrub. He was pointed, blunt, uncompromising, and absolutely correct. I think I'll place some of the swipes in boldface.

"Thank you very much. My name is Jimmy Carter, and I am not running for president. (Cheers, applause.) But here's what I will be doing -- everything I can to put John Kerry in the White House with John Edwards right there beside him.


Unlike Al Gore, President Carter puts John Kerry front and center. Good.

"As many of you may know, my first chosen career was the United States Navy where I served as a submarine officer. At that time, my shipmates and I were ready for combat and prepared to give our lives to defend our nation and its principles. At the same time, we always prayed that our readiness would preserve the peace. I served under two presidents -- Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower -- men who represented different political parties; both of whom had faced their active military responsibilities with honor.

They knew the horrors of war, and later, as commanders in chief, they exercised restraint and judgment. And they had a clear sense of mission. (Applause.) We have a confidence -- we had a confidence that our leaders, both military and civilian, would not put our soldiers and sailors in harm's way by initiating wars of choice unless America's vital interests were in danger. We also were sure that these presidents would not mislead us when issues involved national security.

Today our Democratic Party is led by another former naval officer, one who volunteered for military service. He showed up when assigned to duty and he served with honor and distinction. He also knows the horrors of war and the responsibilities of leadership. And I am confident that next January he would restore the judgment and maturity to our government that nowadays is sorely lacking. I am proud to call Lieutenant John Kerry my shipmate, and I'm ready to follow him to victory in November.


And unlike Gore, Carter gives distinct second place to economic issues and focuses on national security as of prime importance. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, foreign policy is NOT one of Bush's strong point, and it seems that Carter thinks so, too.

"But the biggest reason to make John Kerry president is even more important. It is to safeguard the security of our nation. (Applause.) Today our dominant international challenge is to restore the greatness of America, based on telling the truth, a commitment to peace, and respect for civil liberties at home and basic human rights around the world.

Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered, and we are left increasingly isolated and vulnerable in a hostile world. Without truth, without trust, America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between a president and the people. When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together begin to weaken."


Remember when Bush was regarded by the bootlicking press as "forthright" and "honest." How much has changed. Talk about lies, and the lack of honesty, and the violation of trust, and you don't even have to mention his name. Everyone KNOWS who you are talking about.

"After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world.

But in just 34 months we have watched with deep concern as all this good will has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. "

"What a difference these few months of extremism have made."


He used the "E" word!

"The United States has alienated its allies, dismayed its friends, and inadvertently gratified its enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy of preemptive war. With our allies disunited, the world resenting us, and the Middle East ablaze, we need John Kerry to restore life to the global war against terrorism."

These are some of the prices our government has paid with this radical departure from basic American principles and values that are espoused by John Kerry. In repudiating extremism, we need to recommit ourselves to a few common-sense principles that should transcend partisan differences.

First, we cannot enhance our own security if we place in jeopardy what is most precious to us; namely, the centrality of human rights in our daily lives and in global affairs.

Second, we cannot maintain our historic self-confidence as a people if we generate public panic.

Third, we cannot do our duty as citizens and patriots if we pursue an agenda that polarizes and divides our country.

Next, we cannot be true to ourselves if we mistreat others.

And finally, in the world at large we cannot lead if our leaders mislead.

You can't be a war president one day and claim to be a peace president the next depending on the latest political polls.


The Democrats should take this and use it verbatim for a campaign commercial.

"But I am not discouraged. I really am not. I do not despair for our country. I never do. I believe tonight, as I always have, that the essential decency and compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.

And so I say to you -- and so I say to you and to others around the world, whether you wish us well or ill, do not underestimate us Americans.

We lack neither strength nor wisdom.

There's a road that leads to a bright and hopeful future. What America needs is leadership. Our job, my fellow Americans, is to ensure that the leaders of this great country will be John Kerry and John Edwards.

Thank you, and God bless America."


And thank YOU, Mr. President.

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"It reads like a mystery, a novel. It's well written." - Bush, on the 9/11 Commission Report.

Holy CRAP, what a dork.

He's probably waiting to see how it turns out.

"Uncle Dick, this is a fun book, but who's this 'Bush' character? He seems totally clueless!"

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Gore's Speech
 
Here 'tis.

"I’m going to be candid with you. I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election. But you know the old saying: you win some, you lose some. And then there’s that little-known third category."


Al starts with an old joke he's used a thousand times. He should have tried a new one. But the rest of the joke is new, and rather clever, I think:

"But I didn’t come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don’t want you to think that I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep. I prefer to focus on the future, because I know from my own experience that America’s a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote."


A Republican friend of mine says, "Well, maybe when Al grows up, he'll win the popular vote," which I must admit is a good riposte. But I think Al's dealing with the 2000 election in a self-effacing manner is rather effective. And this is strong and resounds somewhat:

"The second lesson from 2000 is this: What happens in a presidential election matters. A lot. The outcome profoundly affects the lives of all 293 million Americans, and people in the rest of the world, too. The choice of who is president affects your life and your family’s future."


And he's right to point out the fact that these clowns aren't "conservative" at all. What the hell, exactly, are they conserving?

"And it is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home tonight who supported President Bush four years ago: did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for? Is our country more united today? Or more divided? Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled? Or do those words now ring hollow?

For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all? For example, did you expect the largest deficits in history, year after year? One right after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?"


His rap on the economy is accurate, but pretty weak: he's right, of course, that the new jobs being "created" aren't as good as the old ones, but without specifics, the statement has no force. The specifics are that not only are their one million fewer jobs, but the new jobs being created have an average salary of 9,000 a year LESS than the ones being lost. 9 grand a year. That's one large chunk of change.

He's good to challenge the Naderites, too:

"And I also ask tonight for the consideration and the help of those who supported a third party candidate in 2000. I urge you to ask yourselves this question: Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates? Are you troubled by the erosion of America’s most basic civil liberties? Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismantled to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis? No matter how you voted in the last election, these are profound problems that all voters must take into account this Nov. 2."


And THANK GOD, the Democrats aren't ONLY talking about the economy, but are having to courage to "bring it on" when the subject is Iraq. Bush has ROYALLY screwed up foreign policy like it's never been screwed up in my lifetime and the Democrats should say so loud and clear:

"Regardless of your opinion at the beginning of this war, isn’t it now abundantly obvious that the way this war has been managed by the administration has gotten us into very serious trouble? Wouldn’t we be better off with a new president who hasn’t burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world? Isn’t cooperation with other nations crucial to solving our dilemma in Iraq? Isn’t it also critical to defeating the terrorists?

We have to be crystal clear about the threat we face from terrorism. It is deadly. It is real. It is imminent. But in order to protect our people, shouldn’t we focus on the real source of this threat: the group that attacked us and is trying to attack us again: Al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden? Wouldn’t we be safer with a president who didn’t insist on confusing Al Qaeda with Iraq? Doesn’t that divert too much of our attention away from the principal danger?"


This is all good. But he should have talked more about Kerry. His buildup of Kerry at the end of his speech comes across as an afterthought, and lacked specifics. Democrats should NOT be afraid of specifics.

"For example, he had the best record of protecting the environment against polluters of any of my colleagues bar none. He never shied away from a fight, no matter how powerful the foe. He was never afraid to take on difficult and thankless issues that few others wanted to touch. like exposing the threat of narcoterrorism and tracing the sources of terrorist financing. He was one of the very first in our party to take on the issue of drastic deficit reduction. And he’s developed a tough and thoughtful plan to restore our economic strength and fiscal discipline."


This stuff cries out for fleshing out with specifics. HOW did the expose the threat of "narcoterrorism"? HOW did he take on deficit reduction? This is stuff most Americans are unaware of, and they should be MADE aware of it.

Vague BS favors the Republicans. Specific facts favor the Democrats.



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FEEL-GOOD SPEAK
Cheney this
BY CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK, FOURTH DISTRICT, MASSACHUSETTS

With increasing pressure on the FCC to step up its role as censor, finding language that appropriately communicates the depths of one’s feeling (especially when speaking on the record or within earshot of the press) while remaining within the bounds of propriety has become difficult. As a public-spirited move, I am recommending to my fellow elected officials — and to others engaged in public controversies — a semantic solution to this dilemma: use the word "Cheney" where discretion is required in the expression of frustration, anger, or extreme derision.

Here are some examples of how this would work.

• Go Cheney yourself.

• How the Cheney would I know?

• Cheney you.

• I don’t give a flying Cheney.

• Who the Cheney do you think you are?

In some cases, substitution of Cheney for its synonym would be particularly appropriate. For example:

• George Bush sure has Cheneyed up the situation in Iraq.

• The Bush administration’s position is that it is none of our Cheneying business who helped formulate its pro-oil energy policy.

• In some cases, Halliburton seems to be Cheneying the American taxpayer.

Vice-President Cheney himself said after using the blunter word that it made him feel better. It makes me feel better to suggest a way of expressing the same sentiments while paying appropriate tribute to the vice-president’s role in our society.


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As you probably heard, President Clinton gave a great speech last night. Here's the text:

Some excerpts:

"Republicans in Washington believe that America should be run by the right people, their people, in a world in which America acts unilaterally when we can, and cooperates when we have to. They believe the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their economic, political and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on important matters like health care and retirement security.

"Now, since most Americans aren't that far to the right, our friends have to portray us Democrats as simply unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America. But we don't."


"you might remember that when I was in office, on occasion, the Republicans were kind of mean to me. (Laughter.) But soon as I got out and made money, I became part of the most important group in the world to them. It was amazing. I never thought I'd be so well cared for by the president and the Republicans in Congress. (Laughter) I almost sent them a thank-you note for my tax cuts until I realized that the rest of you were paying for the bill for it, and then I thought better of it."

They chose to protect my tax cut at all costs, while withholding promised funding for the Leave No Child Behind Act, leaving 2.1 million children behind.

They chose to protect my tax cut while cutting 140,000 unemployed workers out of their job-training programs, 100,000 working families out of their child-care assistance, and worst of all, while cutting 300,000 poor children out of their after-school programs when we know it keeps them off the streets, out of trouble, in school learning, going to college and having a good life!


They're taking police off the streets while they put assault weapons back on the street. Now if you agree with that choice, by all means vote to keep them in office. But if you don't, join John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats in making America safer, smarter and stronger again. (Cheers, applause.)


Now we tried it their way for 12 years. We tried it their way for 12 years. We tried it our way for eight years. Then we tried it their way for four more. By the only test that matters, whether people were better off when we finished than when we started, our way works better. (Cheers, applause.)

It produced over 22 million good jobs, rising incomes for the middle class, over a hundred times as many people moved from poverty into the middle class, more health care, the largest increase in college aid in 50 years, record homeownership, a cleaner environment, three surpluses in a row, a modernized defense force, strong efforts against terror and a respected America in the world. (Cheers, applause.) It worked better.


Strength and wisdom are not opposing values. (Cheers, applause.) They go hand in hand. (Continued cheers, applause.) They go hand in hand, and John Kerry has both.


"My friends, at every turning point in our history, we the people have chosen unity over division, heeding our founders' call to America's eternal mission to form a more perfect union, to widen the circle of opportunity, deepen the reach of freedom, and strengthen the bonds of our community. It happened every time because we made the right choices.

In the early days of the Republic, America was divided and at a crossroads, much as it is today, deeply divided over whether or not to build a real nation with a national economy and a national legal system. We chose to build a more perfect union.

In the Civil War, America was at another crossroads, deeply divided over whether to save the union and end slavery. We chose a more perfect union.

In the 1960s, when I was a young man, we were divided again over civil rights and women's rights. And again we chose to form a more perfect union.

As I said in 1992, I say again tonight: we are all in this together."


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Monday, July 26, 2004


 
Somebody told a reporter to "SHOVE IT"?

ALRIGHT! That's TOUGH, BLUNT, and HONEST! It's about time someone had the guts take on that damned LIBERAL MEDIA!

What?

Ummm...you say it was a DEMOCRAT who said it?

Umm...I MEANT to say "She must be a DANGEROUS LOOSE CANNON."


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Is anybody out there still a Naderite?

Perhaps THIS will dissuade you.

"Consumer advocate Ralph Nader's quixotic presidential campaign says it submitted about 5,400 signatures to get on the Michigan ballot, far short of the required number of 30,000. Luckily for him, approximately 43,000 signatures were filed by Michigan Republicans on his behalf, more than meeting the requirement."


Get it straight, people: I KNOW you'd like to reform the Democratic Party. But if Bush gets four more years, you might not be ABLE to vote for a non-Republican in 2008.




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"We don't ask enough questions. We didn't in the run-up to the war. The Senate was silent. When it came to the run-up to the war in the last few days, the silence was deadening -- we failed." -Sen. Robert Byrd

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"I feel good about the way he [Kerry] relates to voters. I'm going to give a talk and get out of town." - President Bill Clinton


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"By coming and making news of the event, you [the news media] are saying this is important. Then you get there as reporters and say this is all fake. If it's that bad, why are you here?" - Jay Rosen, Chairman of NYU's Journalism Department, on Convention Coverage



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Some right-wing lunatics were protesting at a Kerry campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio yesterday, and they started screaming "FOUR MORE YEARS, FOUR MORE YEARS."

Check out what Kerry responded:

"Four more years of what? Four more years of jobs being lost, four more years of the deficit growing bigger and bigger? Four more years of losing our allies around the world? We know we can restore our alliances around the world and make America strong again."


Nice.

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Friday, July 23, 2004


 
Remember those records about Bush's National Guard service that were destroyed? Ooooooooooops.

Pentagon Finds Bush's Guard Records

The Pentagon on Friday released newly discovered payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard, though the records shed no new light on the future president's activities during that summer.

A Pentagon official said the earlier contention that the records were destroyed was an "inadvertent oversight."

Like records released earlier by the White House, these computerized payroll records show no indication Bush drilled with the Alabama unit during July, August and September of 1972. Pay records covering all of 1972, released previously, also indicated no guard service for Bush during those three months.


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The 9/11 Commission Report is on the shelf of your local bookstore (and how do they DO that so fast?  What, did they print and distribute a million copies last night?)

Every partisan asshole in the country is busy mining it for ammunition, but I intend to listen to nobody and read it myself.   I'd like to buy the book, in order to keep my eyeballs from falling out, but the whole thing IS online right here, for those who have the strength to read it off of a computer screen.

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We all know that the Republican will invent scandals out of whole cloth.  So when they actually HAVE something to criticize - like the business of Sandy Berger taking his notes and some copies of documents - they pile it massively high and deep.

For the record though:  What Berger did was REALLY stupid.  But it didn't compromise a damned thing, and, for whatever reason he did it, it obviously wasn't to hide anything, since the original documents remained right where there were.  He took copies.That matter was settled on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," with Dobbs interviewing two members of the 9/11 Commission:

DOBBS: Let me ask you, not necessarily directly on point, but certainly related. Sandy Berger, the former head of the national security -- national security adviser under the Clinton administration, accused of, and admitting taking classified documents from the National Archives, those notes, whether copies or originals still unclear. Did the commission review that material, to what -- can you shed any light on what happened there? Slade Gorton, first.

GORTON: Well, we can't shed any light on exactly what happened there and on Sandy Berger's troubles with the Justice Department and the Archives. What we can say unequivocally is we had all of that information. We have every one of those documents. All of them have -- are infused in and are a part of our report.

DOBBS: So the commission was denied no information as a result of whatever Sandy Berger did or did not do at the National Archives?

GORTON: That's precisely correct.


GORELICK: And we have been so assured by the Justice Department.

Lou Dobbs Tonight, July 22nd 2004



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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bush Blocks Tax Cut
 
The Bush White House has finally met a tax cut it didn't like. Which tax cut? A tax cut for the middle class.

"The White House helped to block a Republican-brokered deal on Wednesday to extend several middle-class tax cuts, fearful of a bill that could draw Democratic votes and dilute a Republican campaign theme, Republican negotiators said."


Got that? They decided to vote against the tax cut because too many Democrats would be for it, and they wouldn't be able to play politics with it.

That's not my spin on it. The Republicans actually SAID that.

"Claire Buchan, a White House spokeswoman, said the administration was still trying to negotiate. But Republican Congressional officials said the administration did not want a deal that Democratic lawmakers might support, giving them a tax-cutting credential, too.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, had already said he would retain most of Mr. Bush's middle-class tax cuts, and many Democratic lawmakers said they would vote for a modest extension of the tax cuts even if the extension was not paid for.

"If the Democrats had been on the same side, it would have taken a lot of arrows out of the quiver,'' said one Republican staff member."

It doesn't get clearer than that. In order to prevent the Democrats from looking like they favored a tax cut, the Republicans BLOCKED a tax cut that they claimed to support because the Democrats favored it.

In other words, Bush killed the tax cut because too many people thought it was a good idea.

The Republicans have basically admitted that they AREN'T in favor of tax cuts for the middle class - they just like to PRETEND that they are so they can play politics.

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Republicans don't want you to vote.
 
When I was growing up, it was considered an assumption of decent citizenship that voting was good. And it was believed that every decent American had a vested interest in getting as many people to vote as possible. Because voting is synonymous with Democracy, itself. Public Service announcements would say things like, "If you can't vote my way, at least VOTE." And civic groups formed with one, non-partisan purpose: to increase voter turnout, whoever those voters would actually choose. That was what it meant to be a good citizen: encouraging voting.

Which makes you wonder how these right-wingers actually justify, even to themselves, their attempts to depress voter turnout.

State Rep. John Pappageorge, R-Troy was quoted in July 16 editions of the Detroit Free Press as saying, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."

"I'm extremely disappointed in my colleague," state Sen. Buzz Thomas, D-Detroit, told reporters Wednesday during a conference call. "That's quite clearly code that they don't want black people to vote in this election."

Blacks comprise 83 percent of Detroit's population, and the city routinely gives Democratic candidates a substantial majority of its votes.

Pappageorge's remark reflected the GOP's failure to send black voters a persuasive message, said Rep. Alexander Lipsey, D-Kalamazoo.

"This is the endgame strategy the Republican Party has decided to utilize, rather than positive strategies," he said. "They are strategizing, "How can we get those folks we don't care about from going to the polls?"'
It honestly makes me wonder. The Republicans consciously know that the fewer Americans who vote, the better it is for their party. How can any decent human being not recognize that that means there is obviously something radically wrong with what they stand for?

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As you probably know, the other day George W. Bush turned self-delusion into an art form with THIS truly remarkable statement:

"The enemy declared war on us, and you just got to know nobody wants to be the war President. I want to be the peace President."
- George W Bush, Cedar Rapids Iowa, July 20, 2004

Needless to say, he said this to a roomful of handpicked supporters, probably because he didn't want the top news story of the night to be the loud guffaws he would have received from an audience of sane people.

Gee, George, if you want to be peace president, you sure have a funny way of showing it. And here I thought you were bragging when you said this:

"I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. "
- George War Bush, NBC's Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert, February 8, 2004

But one thing that has gone unnoticed is that Bush, remarkably, appers to be imitating a guy he no doubt thinks of as a liberal panty-waist, Dennis Kucinich:

KUCINICH: As president, I will see myself as a peace president.
George Bush: The Peace President.

It doesn't GET more Orwellian than that.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Dueling Quotes
 
"To whom much is given, much shall be required." - Jesus Christ (Luke 12:48)

"By the way, to whom much has been given, much is owed." - George W. Bush, July 20, 2004

Attribution

Thanks to Board of Pomposity for bringing this one to my attention.

 




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Tuesday, July 20, 2004


 
Jon Stewart is a better reporter than damned near any TV talking head who claims to be part of the "legitimate" media.

Isn't it a shame that our most responsible reporter is a comic?

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There ARE a few real Republicans left who aren't maniacal radicals. They're either staying home or voting for Kerry.

One of the Environmental Protection Agency’s earliest leaders, flanked by Republican state politicians, blasted the president’s record on the environment Monday during a news conference organized by an anti-Bush environmental group.

Russell Train, a Republican, was the EPA’s second chief under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. But he said Bush’s record is so dismal he’s casting his presidential vote for Democrat John Kerry in November.

"It’s almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection," he said. "I find this deeply disturbing."

Train also accused Bush of letting weakening the Clean Air Act. The record, he added, falls short of those set by former Republican presidents ranging from Theodore Roosevelt, who advocated creating national parks and forests, to George H.W. Bush, who supported new anti-air-pollution standards.

The Bush record is "appalling, with very, very few exceptions," Train said. He described presidential policies as "geared to rolling back environmental protections."

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Well, isn't that special
 
I've had about enough of this administration's lying, duplicitous bullshit. I have had it so up to here I'm ready to spit blood.

It doesn't MATTER how often his lies are exposed. He just ignores it and LIES AGAIN.

And it doesn't matter how much disaster he causes. He just ignores it and does the SAME THING AGAIN.

And the worthless press refuses to call him on it.

Bush, CIA at Odds on Iran
The president's interest in a possible 9/11 link goes against the agency leader's assessment.

President Bush said Monday that his administration was investigating possible links between Iran and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a statement that distanced the president from acting CIA Director John McLaughlin, who had downplayed a possible connection a day earlier.

"As to direct connections with Sept. 11, we're digging into the facts to determine if there was one," Bush said of Iran.


Translation: "I don't give a crap what those who have some experience and knowledge say about it. I know better, even though I don't know a damned thing, and even though I've been wrong about every prediction I've made so far. I DON'T LEARN."

If this moron is re-elected, he fully intends to start a war with Iran, and he is doing the SAME DAMNED THING that led up to the war with Iraq: he's cherry-picking intelligence, and putting pressure on the intelligence community to tell him what he wants to hear instead of telling him the truth, and he's blithely ignoring all information that conflicts with what he's already decided.

As is his usual pattern, he has decided on a course of action, not because of the realities of the situation, but because of his ideological world-view. And, instead of making decisions on the basis of what's actually happening, he will try to spin reality so that it justifies his pre-planned decisions.

Iran's emerging prominence in the Sept. 11 investigations looms as a potentially difficult issue for the White House, because it could raise new questions about why Bush led a war against Iraq but so far has taken a distinctly less bellicose stance toward Iran.

McClellan argued that the United States indeed had been "confronting" the threat from Iran, which Bush in 2002 listed, along with Iraq and North Korea, as part of an "axis of evil." He added, however, that Iraq was "a unique situation" because it had invaded its neighbors and had possessed and used weapons of mass destruction.


And in addition, he's STILL blathering out that crap about Iraq and their weapons of mass destruction, and what a terrible threat they were. And at this point, if we had a REAL press, they'd be openly asking whether the man is delusional or simply lying. Because it is CERTAINLY one or the other.

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Here's a cost of the war that didn't even occur to me: with the National guard over there, what do we do if we need them HERE?

"With tens of thousands of their citizen soldiers now deployed in Iraq, many of the nation's governors complained on Sunday to senior Pentagon officials that they were facing severe manpower shortages in guarding prisoners, fighting wildfires, preparing for hurricanes and floods and policing the streets.

Much of the concern has focused on wildfires, which have started to destroy vast sections of forests in several Western states...."We're praying a lot that a major fire does not break out," Ted Kulongoski, the governor of Oregon said. "It has been dry out here, the snow pack's gone because of an extremely warm May and June and the fire season came earlier."

He added, "You're just going to have fires and if you do not have the personnel to put them out, they can grow very quickly into ultimately catastrophic fires."





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Monday, July 19, 2004


 

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Mea Culpa
 
The Times has decided to apologize for its gross irresponsibility which has resulted in thousands of deaths - so far.

"We did not listen carefully to the people who disagreed with us. Our certainty flowed from the fact that such an overwhelming majority of government officials, past and present, top intelligence officials and other experts were sure that the weapons were there. We had a groupthink of our own.

"If we had known that there were probably no unconventional weapons, we would have argued earlier and harder that invading Iraq made no sense."


"Sorry about that, guys. Our bad."

The time for reponsible reporting is BEFORE you go to war, you idiots.

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Sunday, July 18, 2004


 
Remember when they used to call it "bribery" and "graft"? Now they call it "political contributions."

But if DeLay goes down - Lord, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

In only a few e-mails, Enron employees laid bare the reality of politics: the money trail from companies seeking favors from lawmakers with the power to grant them.

The e-mails circulated among Enron officials in 2000 and 2001, before the collapse of the Houston energy company, are under review by the House ethics committee, which is considering whether to investigate the fund-raising activities of the No. 2 leader in the House, Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas....

Attention has refocused on the e-mails since a Texas Democrat filed an ethics complaint last month against DeLay. Rep. Chris Bell accused the majority leader of soliciting and accepting political contributions from a Kansas energy company, Westar Energy Inc., in return for legislative favors...

The e-mails show ``pretty clearly corporations were being asked for contributions by members of Congress who held the fate of legislation important to corporations in their hands,'' said Trevor Potter, president and general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance monitoring group.


We need laws that call this crap exactly what it is: bribery. It should be plainly and clearly illegal.

There's only one problem: the ones whose job it is to PASS those laws - are the ones DOING it.

Maybe Dante was right and they'll wind up boiling in pitch for all eternity.

One can always hope.





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As a fine complement to "George W. God," below, Nicky Kristof exposes the hideous underbelly of the Radical Religious Right.

"If the latest in the "Left Behind" series of evangelical thrillers is to be believed, Jesus will return to Earth, gather non-Christians to his left and toss them into everlasting fire:

"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."

These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.

If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of "Glorious Appearing" and publish it in Saudi Arabia, jubilantly describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims by God, we would have a fit. We have quite properly linked the fundamentalist religious tracts of Islam with the intolerance they nurture, and it's time to remove the motes from our own eye."


I think that the only difference between the nutjobs here and the nutjobs there is that we have a stable governmental system to keep the nutjobs over here from actually committing violence. If our society was as chaotic as the societies in the Middle East, some organizations of the "Christian" right would be just as prone to atrocities as the Al Qaeda Muslim fundamentalists.

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Saturday, July 17, 2004


 
Mrs. Ignatz thought I should post this. She's right, I should:


"Oh shit, he is even dumber than I thought!"


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George W. God
 
Man, you go away for a few days, and when you come back, the first thing you read is this:

"I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.’’
 
Bush apparently tossed out THAT winner while addressing some Old Amish.

Look, I'm a very active member of a Christian Church, myself - but that statement is scary.
 
It's one thing to pray that God speaks through you or to hope that God speaks through you. It's a whole other thing to just assume He DOES.

And it's downright delusional for a politician to say that if God DOESN'T speak through him, he can't do his job.

But it MIGHT explain why Georgie can't imagine ever making any mistakes.

And I think it's fair to ask if he reacts with such hostility to questioning because he thinks questioning him is some sort of blasphemy. After all, God speaks through him. So questioning what he says is the same thing as questioning God, right?

And I think it's time that the press started seriously asking if the Man In the White House has Messianic delusions.

This may sound weird, but one common end-time scenario bandied about among fundamentalists and evangelicals involves the belief the second coming will be preceded by the Mother Of All Wars in the Middle East.

I have wondered more than once if Bush may be so bull-goose loony that he somehow INTENDS to create the Mother Of All Wars in the Middle East because he believes it is a necessary first step toward the Second Coming. And he wants to bring that about.

That may sound crazy, but the more I see this guy in action, the more I wonder about it.

It may sound crazy - but what the man has done has BEEN crazy.

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Monday, July 12, 2004


 
You need two Johns to flush the crap out of the White House.

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Florida
 
Gee - why don't people trust the Bushes to protect our voting rights?

Here's the whole article in case you aren't registered:

Voter list mess shows officials can't be trusted

BY JIM DEFEDE

Sharon Lettman-Pacheco was driving to her office in Tallahassee Saturday when her cellphone rang with the news that Florida had just scrapped its voter purge list of 47,763 suspected felons.

''Completely?'' she asked. ``You mean we finally wore them down? Wow.''

As a national field director for People for the American Way, Lettman-Pacheco had been fighting the list for months. PFAW, along with the ACLU, the NAACP and other groups, were convinced that many of the names on the list were wrong, and that individuals -- especially blacks -- would be barred from voting this year as they were in 2000.

They wanted to verify the list's accuracy, but the state refused to make it public. The groups, along with members of the media and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, then sued the state.

On July 1, a Tallahassee judge ordered the list released, but before he did, The Herald obtained a copy, analyzed it, and found more than 2,100 people who were on the purge list despite having their rights restored through clemency.

Rather than admit the list was filled with errors, Secretary of State Glenda Hood defended her agency's shoddy work and attacked The Herald. She even had the chutzpah to offer a ''tutorial for all reporters'' last week on the purge list and how it was created, ''in order to prevent factually inaccurate articles such as those reported by The Herald'' from being repeated.

Turns out, it was Hood who needed the tutorial.

Since The Herald story, more revelations have followed. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Wednesday that out of the nearly 48,000 names on the list, only 61 were Hispanic. Once again Hood and her boss, Gov. Jeb Bush, stood by the list.

Then on Saturday, The New York Times showed why Hispanics, who largely vote Republican, were kept from the list while blacks, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, remained. It turns out, the Department of Corrections database follows the federal standard for race, classifying Hispanics as white, and the election department rolls identify voters by ethnicity. Since the two databases didn't mesh, the identity of Hispanic felons couldn't be verified and were therefore kept off the list.

''Unbelievable,'' Lettman-Pacheco sighed. ``Unbelievable.''

Soon after the Times story broke, Hood, who, at this rate, may soon be as reviled as her predecessor, Katherine Harris, finally caved in and dumped the purge list.

''That's what I call justice,'' Lettman-Pacheco said, applauding the media and groups such as her own for discovering a serious flaw that would have been ignored by the state.

''At the end of the day, though, it is the state that has a responsibility to put in place systems that are fair and equal,'' she said. ``And Florida is simply not doing things fairly. With all the billions of dollars we have allocated in our state government, you would think they would have an information technology division that was objective and knew what it was doing. Or was this intentional?

''This kind of malfeasance of justice clearly has every degree of manipulation written all over it,'' she continued. ``But I'm going to let the public decide how deliberate it was.''

''I can tell you with the utmost certainty that it was unintentional and unforeseen,'' responded Hood spokeswoman Nicole de Lara.

I don't know how de Lara can be so certain. I don't know how she can so casually disregard the possibility there's been an orchestrated attempt to defraud the public and that no one in the state knew about the flaws.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no more trust. There are no more second chances. Glenda Hood must resign. She is either amazingly incompetent or the leader of a frightening conspiracy, but either way she should go.

Next, the governor should remove himself from matters affecting elections and an agency such as the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights should step in and assume direct oversight of the state's election system.


Florida is simply a joke that just isn't funny any longer.



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Suspending Elections
 
You know the old saying: you aren't paranoid if they really ARE out to get you.

Officials discuss how to delay Election Day


Is this a call for a legitimate contingency plan, or a blatant, cynical attempt to ensure power? Tough to say, actually, but it is certainly either evil, or simply wrongheaded.

"U.S. officials have discussed the idea of postponing Election Day in the event of a terrorist attack on or about that day, a Homeland Security Department spokesman said Sunday.

Newsweek said the discussions about whether the November 2 election could be postponed started with a recent letter to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from DeForest Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Soaries, who was appointed by President Bush, is a former New Jersey secretary of state and senior pastor of the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset.

Newsweek reported that Soaries expressed concern that no federal agency had the authority to postpone an election and asked Ridge to ask Congress to give his commission such power."


Don't you just love the way right-wingers insist that the Federal Government has too much power - but now they complain that it doesn't have the power to suspend elections?

"Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned last week that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network want to attack within the United States to try to disrupt the election."


Hmmmm. So if Osama Bin Laden attempts to disrupt the election, they are going to make sure he accomplishes precisely that: They will do what he WANTS them to do, and disrupt the election.

After all, what could be a greater "disruption" than postponing or cancelling it?

John Kerry should use this nonsense to show some REAL Presidential leadership, which has been sorely lacking from this White House. Kerry should give a public address saying something like, "No damned terrorists are going to delay national elections in the United States for so much as one day. And I am confident that should a terrorist attack occur just before or on election day, Americans will climb over the rubble to get to the polling places... and they will do it in record numbers."

Not only would such a statement simply be right, but Kerry saying it would certainly tighten the elastic on George W. Bush's shorts.

And perhaps everytime we hear "terrorists want to disrupt the election," the rank-and-file (that's you and me) should respond with, "Well, that must mean that the terrorists want to keep Bush as president."



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President Abraham Lincoln - a REAL war President - on the possibility of suspending the 1864 election during the Civil War.

This was written with armed enemy soldiers just miles from the Capitol.

Response to a Serenade

November 10, 1864

It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.

On this point the present rebellion brought our republic to a severe test; and a presidential election occurring in regular course during the rebellion added not a little to the strain. If the loyal people, united, were put to the utmost of their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided, and partially paralyzed, by a political war among themselves?

But the election was a necessity.

We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is but human-nature practically applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case, must ever recur in similar cases. Human-nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental, and undesirable strife, has done good too. It has demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national election, in the midst of a great civil war. Until now it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows that, even among candidates of the same party, he who is most devoted to the Union, and most opposed to treason, can receive most of the people's votes. It shows also, to the extent yet known, that we have more men now, than we had when the war began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, patriotic men, are better than gold.


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On Larry King Live, King asked Kerry why he didn't plan to see Fahrenheit 9/11:

Kerry said: "I've seen it. I've watched it for the last 4 years."

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Sunday, July 11, 2004


 
Interesting. Drudge has this:

ENRON DOCUMENTS SHOW TOM DELAY'S REDISTRICTING EFFORTS... MORE... WASH POST PLANNING ENTIRE ABOVE-FOLD FRONT PAGE SPLASH, NEWSROOM SOURCES TELL DRUDGE. 3,200-WORD STORY... // DeLay requested donation come from 'combination of corporate and personal money from Enron's executives,' with the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting effort in Texas," said the e-mail to Ken Lay... The e-mail, which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of ENRON, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by POST that show DeLay and his associates directed funds from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers... MORE...


The question about Delay, of course, isn't whether or not he's corrupt - that's a given - but what lunatics actually vote for him?

It is also good to remember that the entire Republican Congress has voted to give this disgusting man power and authority.

So Delay's corruption smears the whole party.

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Truth
 
There are times when I genuinely like Kerry, and this is one of them.

He appears to be unwilling to allow the GOP the grandiose claim of being the party of "values," and he brings it right to them on something they consider their exclusive territory. And he puts it in stark, clear, moral terms:

President Bush has governed in a dishonest fashion, trampling values on every issue except fighting terrorism and leaving voters "clamoring for restoration of credibility and trust in the White House again," John F. Kerry and John Edwards said in an interview.

"The value of truth is one of the most central values in America, and this administration has violated" it, Kerry said in an interview with The Washington Post aboard the Democrats' campaign plane Friday. "Their values system is distorted and not based on truth."...

In one of a series of interviews since teaming up on Tuesday, Kerry and Edwards predicted they would win the political fight over which party best exemplifies the values and ethics of most Americans, but Kerry said they would wage that battle on their terms and not what he called the Republican Party's "little political, hot-button, cultural, wedge-driven, poll-driven values."


Nice. It's about time that someone pointed out that you can't lie all the time, and still claim to represent "old-fashioned values." And pointed out that their "values," like everything else, is all talk and no substance.

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Saturday, July 10, 2004


 
From - believe it or not - TIME Magazine. Great picture, too.



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Destroyed Records
 
Just a little info about Bush's Guard records being destroyed. This little snippet come from the Dallas Morning News way back in February:

Retired National Guard Lt. Col. Bill Burkett said Tuesday that in 1997, then-Gov. Bush's chief of staff, Joe Allbaugh, told the National Guard chief to get the Bush file and make certain "there's not anything there that will embarrass the governor."

Col. Burkett said that a few days later at Camp Mabry in Austin, he saw Mr. Bush's file and documents from it discarded in a trash can. He said he recognized the documents as retirement point summaries and pay forms.

Bush aides denied any destruction of records in Mr. Bush's personnel file. "The charges are just flat-out not true," said Dan Bartlett, White House communications director. He said the president has been forthright in producing all documents relevant to his stint in the Texas Air National Guard, from 1968 to 1973. He dismissed Col. Burkett as a disgruntled former officer of the Texas Guard. Mr. Allbaugh, now a Washington lobbyist, called Col. Burkett's assertions "hogwash."


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Friday, July 09, 2004


 
From the Associated Press:

"Contrary to U.S. government claims, the insurgency in Iraq is led by well-armed Sunnis angry about losing power, not foreign fighters, and is far larger than previously thought, American military officials say.

"The officials told The Associated Press the guerrillas can call on loyalists to boost their forces to as high as 20,000 and have enough popular support among nationalist Iraqis angered by the presence of U.S. troops that they cannot be militarily defeated.

"That number is far larger than the 5,000 guerrillas previously thought to be at the insurgency's core. And some insurgents are highly specialized - one Baghdad cell, for instance, has two leaders, one assassin, and two groups of bomb-makers."


As per their usual pattern, this administration totally screws things up by assuming the BEST-case scenario, and basing thier decisions on the assumption that everything will be just rosy.

And that's giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that their problem is just incompentence, as opposed to lies and villainy.


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The Bush campaign is running an ad called "First Choice" featuring Senator John McCain, implying that he was Kerry's "first choice" and Edwards was actually his second choice.

Two obvious points:

1)CHENEY was actually Bush's "second choice," and he chose himself after McCain turned Bush down.

McCain: “I’m not running for vice president. President Bush in 2000 asked me if I was interested in being vice president. I said no then. I’m not interested in being vice president now.” [NBC, “Today,” 3/18/04]

McCain: “I don’t want to be vice president of the United States... I would not be vice president of the United States on either ticket. I told President Bush when he asked me in 2000 when he asked me if I was interested.” [CBS, “The Early Show,” 3/18/04]


2)McCain flatly denies that Kerry asked him to run.

Here's the interview:

SNOW: Well, you're absolutely right though, it's going to be fun to see. Now John Kerry, is it true that John Kerry asked you to be his vice president?

McCAIN: Uh, no. No, it was never offered.

SNOW: It was never offered. So, it may have been discussed elliptically, but never flat out request.

McCAIN: Never was an offer, no.

SNOW: When you had conversations, did you think it was a little weird that he’d be calling you, even in general terms about this sort of thing?

McCAIN: Well, he and I have been friends for a number of years because of our efforts on POWs and MIAs which was a very hot issue back in the early 90's, a lot of people have forgotten about it, but it was a- and we worked together to try to resolve that issue and I appreciate the work that he did on it. And, so it’s not unusual for us to have conversations.

SNOW: Right. But, so- I want to just lay to rest once and for all: never approached you, never hinted that he wanted to talk to you about being vice president. All that kind of stuff was made up.

McCAIN: Well, I cannot attest to that. All I can tell you is my conversations with him were private conversations, but he never offered it.


So, Kerry never asked McCain to run, and Bush's "First Choice" statement is bullshit.

But isn't it interesting watching Tony Snow, on "Fair & Balanced" Fox News so blatantly indulge in innuendo and try to lead McCain into declaring that Kerry ("elliptically") asked him to run, while McCain refuses to bite. Snow DOES eventually back off, though.

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