A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Why a Vote for Kerry Is a Vote for Strength


A while ago, Rob sent me a letter by a conservative named Matthew Manweller, that makes the case for Bush. The letter makes the argument that by voting for John Kerry, America will become weaker, and that it will reveal that weakness to its enemies.

One great response to the letter is in a column Thomas L. Freidman wrote on Thursday. Find it here.

In the column Freidman laments the loss of the political center in America, and asks what we can do to bring it back. One of the proposals he makes is to change American foreign policy. He claims that America is stronger when its leaders are respected in the world, and that this administration is not respected in the world.

I agree.

But in response to Mr. Manwell's letter, I would add that in my view, it is both brave and honorable for us work for change when our leader is leading us down the wrong path.

Especially in such scarry times it's natural to want to stick to your guns, to yearn for stability, to try to ride things out with the leader you've got.

But Bush, while having some successes, has acheived those successes despite a series of successive blunders that have plunged the U.S. into a weaker position than it had been and than it could have become before his administration.

That's why voting for change this November 2nd proves that Americans can still do big things. It proves that Americans are strong of character, strong of spirit, strong of mind, and that we know WE CAN DO BETTER.

And not just in the War in Iraq either. WE CAN DO BETTER in the The War On Terror, in the Economy, in Social Justice, and in Foreign Policy.

And voting for change this year will not proclaim to future Presidents that they can't make unpopular decisions. Presidents have paid the price for making unpopular decisions before, only for their successors to turn around and make unpopular decisions that changed America and the World for the better.

So I disagree that voting for Bush will show America's weakness. A win for neither man will "encourage" the terrorists. They're already encouraged enough by U.S. Foreign Policy and by radicalism in their homes. I don't care what the terrorists think, they're going to attack us at home and abroad no matter who's in the White House. Voting for change and getting on the right track in Iraq will not give the terrorists the advantage.

It will give US the advantage. It will put us on the right track.

Voting for change in turbulent times is a sign of confidence in our Democracy.
It's a sign of strength of conviction.

And that's really why this is the most important election of our lives (so far). But not only because it will determine the future of the United States and the future of the World, but because it will show the world if we really believe enough in our founding principles to change course in terrifying times to return to those principles.

Be damn proud of your vote for Kerry, and don't let anybody tell you different.

Keep the faith.

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Economist Endorses Kerry

The Economist magazine, one of the most respected magazines in the world, has endorsed John F. Kerry for President. The authors acknowledge that Kerry isn't perfect (something this writer has acknowledged for a long time) but finally come to the conclusion that Bush doesn't deserve another term. The Economist, which supports free trade, low taxes, and the War in Iraq, is not the New York Times or the Washington Post. It has a tradition of objectivity, endorsing Bush in 2000.

They make the argument that Bush started out with good ideas, but has mismanaged the War on Terror as well as The War in Iraq-- losing America's credibility through hypocrisy. They mention the Guantanamo Bay detainees and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal as key blows to Bush's believability.

The authors also make the point that judging by his record, Kerry is a fiscal hawk, and see his social liberalism as an asset. They also insist that Kerry is the man to admit mistakes and change course when circumstances dictate a different direction. According to them, Bush's recalcitrance and fealty to the Religious Right make him the wrong choice for America.

Here is the article.

Good signs, my friends.

Keep the faith.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Polish Woman Kidnapped

Teresa Borcz, a Polish woman possibly working for U.S. forces in Iraq and a former employee of the Polish embassy there, has been kidnapped. The group responsible, calling itself Abu Bakr Siddiq Al-Salafiya, has demanded the withdrawal of Polish forces in Iraq.

In a video released on Al-Jazeera,
the woman called on Polish troops to leave the country and for U.S. and Iraqi authorities to release all female detainees from the Abu Ghraib prison. The announcer said she had been "working in Iraq for a long time."

In Warsaw, a Polish Defense Ministry official said she apparently did not belong to any of the Polish military units. Polish television TVN24 reported that all Polish journalists in Iraq have been accounted for. (CNN)
Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski,
said the woman could be an employee of a private contractor working for the US-led forces in Iraq, but that she was definitely not attached to the Polish contingent. (Al-Jazeera)
According to Polish national newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Teresa Borcz was working for Haliburton. A co-worker of hers in Iraq doesn't believe that she could have been working for Americans since "she really didn't like them very much."

Her husband is an Iraqi man who studied acting and directing at the National School of Theater in Krakow from 1993-6. She has been working and living in Iraq for over 30 years. Earlier, when asked if she felt more Polish or Iraqi, she answered that she felt more Iraqi, and has even converted to Islam.

According to Onet.pl, her mother, who before 2003 had spoken with her on the telephone on a regular basis, last saw her in 1981. She said:
"She has been living there for a long time, and well. She has been helping Polish companies there. I haven't had any contact with her since January of 2003, and now all that's left for me is to pray and wait."
In 1994, she was released from her duties after one year of working at the Polish Embassy in Iraq due to suspicion of accepting bribes and working for the Iraqi intelligence services.

The possibility exists that she was simply living in Iraq and minding her own business. She was taken from her home in the middle of the night.


These terrorists have greatly underestimated the Polish people. After enduring unspeakable horrors under both the Nazis and the Soviets, Poles know the meaning of sacrifice.

They are also extremely stubborn. This kidnapping will not weaken the will of the Polish people.

Poland is still a very homogeneous country, so Poles have very little contact with Muslims. Predjudice is not uncommon. At most, this kidnapping (even though this woman no longer considers herself Polish) will only make the majority of Poles hate the terrorists (and probably Muslims in general) even more.

It's already evident that the terrorists' tactics have acheived exactly the opposite effect they were hoping for. Already, Prime Minister Marek Belka, President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski and Foreign Minister Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz have all excluded any possibility of negotiation with the terrorists.

In this blogger's experience, Poles have been vaguely angry that their country has been asked to participate in the War in Iraq, losing troops and journalists without receiving what they see as the proper respect and prestige. However, in the first few hours of this crisis, the reaction of Poles has been muted at best. One Pole I encountered has said, "well, it's sad, but we've got to clean up that mess over there."

Of course, Poles are showing sympathy and concern for the woman, and are clinging to hopes of a rescue mission. They're happy that she hasn't been captured by Zarqawi's group, and that the group's ultimatum has no deadline. Most are taking these as good signs that she may survive this ordeal.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

No Search At Al Qaqaa

NBC Pulls Story

After reporting yesterday that an embedded reporter had witnessed an unsuccessful search of the now-famous and looted Al Qaqaa weapons housing facility, NBC has retracted the story, now reporting that there had been no such search. Speculation had it that Saddam's troops had spirited the explosives away to an unknown location. CNN.com- Report: Explosives could not be found when U.S. troops arrived

MSNBC - Timing of theft of Iraqi explosives remains a mystery

Reporter Lai Ling Jew, who was embedded with the Army’s 101st Airborne, Second Brigade, said Tuesday on MSNBC TV that the news team stayed at the Al-Qaqaa base for about 24 hours.

“There wasn’t a search,” she said. “The mission that the brigade had was to get to Baghdad. That was more of a pit stop there for us. And, you know, the searching, I mean certainly some of the soldiers headed off on their own, looked through the bunkers just to look at the vast amount of ordnance lying around.

And here comes the best part:

“But as far as we could tell, there was no move to secure the weapons, nothing to keep looters away.”

Even as the flawed NBC story was circulating, Pentagon and Iraqi Government officials were contradicting it. (Emphasis mine)

In reporting the theft on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (who got their information from the Iraqi Government) said that the explosives had been looted from the sprawling Al-Qaqaa military base, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, since January 2003 due to a “lack of security” at the former Iraqi military facility.

At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, which had been under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact. The site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. MSNBC

And here is what Bush supporters respond with:

"But other Pentagon officials, also speaking on condition of anonymity, suggested that the explosives could have been hidden elsewhere before the war."

Are you telling me that just before the war we watched Saddam's forces load 380 tons of high-explosives (that we knew were there thanks to the IAEA) onto trucks and ship it across the country-- and we didn't shoot at them? And we didn't follow them? And we don't know where they are now?

That makes Bush an idiot and a bastard.

I suppose we didn't see it?

Difficult to believe-- What were all those satellites doing before the war?

Bush is unfit for command.

Keep the faith.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Real Conservatives Speak Out for Kerry/Edwards

I have listed several conservatives on this blog that have voiced their support for Kerry/Edwards. Here is a comprehensive list. It's pretty eye-opening.

Here is a sample of what some of them had to say:

"George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost any kind of thoughtful conservatism, "- Scott McConnell, Editor of "The American Conservative" magazine.

"We need a leader who is really dedicated to creating millions of high-paying jobs all across the country."- Lee Iacocca

"Bush's supposed support for Israel is an illusion. The real Bush record on Israel consists of missed chances and neglect. Four more years of the same is unthinkable. Everything in Bush's record shows he has neither understanding of diplomacy nor interest in it....John Kerry's approach to foreign policy is fundamentally different from Bush's. Kerry is obviously eager to plunge into diplomacy, and to create confidence in agreed solutions." - Gershom Gorenberg, The Jerusalem Report

"I think that we are less safe today than we were three or four years ago. And I’ll tell you something else: I have recently had discussions with several former national security advisors -- people who were national security officials in former Republican administrations -- who have told me they feel the same way. They fear that the administration’s policies are further endangering and undermining the security of the United States."- Clyde Prestowitz, former Reagan aide.

"My Republican Party is the party of Gerald R. Ford, Michigan's only president, who reached across partisan lines to become a unifying force during a time of great turmoil in our nation's history. This president has pursued policies pandering to the extreme right wing across a wide variety of issues and has exacerbated the polarization and the strident, uncivil tone of much of what passes for political discourse in this country today."- William Milliken, former Governor of Michigan (1969-1983)

"Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory. I will swallow a lot of petty policy differences...to get a man in the White House with brains enough not to blow up the world and us with it."- Charley Reese, conservative columnist

On the same site, you can find this list of newspapers which endorsed Bush in 2000 and have decided that four years is enough (so much for the "liberal media" conspiracy, these newspapers have been genuinely convinced):

  • CO: Daily Camera (Boulder): 10/17
  • CT: The Day (New London): 9/26
  • FL: Bradenton Herald: 10/18
  • FL: The Orlando Sentinel: 10/24
  • GA: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution : 10/9
    (In 2000, The Atlanta Journal endorsed Bush; the Constitution endorsed Gore.)
  • IL: Chicago Sun-Times: 10/24
  • IL: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights): 10/17
  • ME: Bangor Daily News: 10/23
  • MI: Flint Journal: 10/24
  • MI: The Muskegon Chronicle: 10/17
  • MO: Columbia Daily Tribune: 10/17
  • NM: The Albuquerque Tribune: 10/12
  • OR: The Oregonian (Portland): 10/10
  • TX: The Lone Star Iconoclast (Crawford): 9/26
  • WA: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: 10/10
  • WA: The Seattle Times: 9/9
  • WI: Wausau Daily Herald: 10/23

The Detroit News, Detroit's conservative daily newspaper, has refused to make an endorsement this year.

Proof again that Bush is for big-government neo-con social conservatism, and not for basic conservative values. Consider yourself a conservative? Vote Kerry/Edwards.

Keep the faith.

P.S. This information brought to you thanks to Electoral-Vote.com.

Tons of Explosives Supposed to Be Under American Control Missing

The Bush administration's incompetency in Iraq rears its ugly head again. One day after 44 newly trained Iraqi policemen and their drivers were massacred after being allowed to travel the dangerous Iraqi highways unarmed and unescorted, reports have surfaced that 380 tons of explosives supposed to be under the guard of the American forces in Iraq have disappeared.

CNN.com - IAEA: Tons of Iraq explosives missing - Oct 25, 2004

"The Iraqi letter to IAEA identified the vanished explosives as containing 194.7 metric tons of HMX, or 'high melting point explosive,' 141.2 metric tons of RDX, or "rapid detonation explosive," among other designations, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, or 'pentaerythritol tetranitrate.'"

BBC- Tons of Iraqi Explosives Missing

"The IAEA said the US-led coalition had been warned about the danger posed by the explosives on several occasions. It says the coalition forces were specifically told to keep the material secured."

According to experts "the explosives could be used in powerful conventional weapons or to detonate nuclear devices."

A spokesman for the IAEA said that the organization had been informed by the Iraqi government on October 10.

The Iraqi interim government has blamed the disappearance of the explosive material on "theft and looting."

In 2003, the material had been under the supervision of the IAEA, who had to abandon the site due to the beginning of the Iraq War.

The Iraqi government has said that it's most likely that these explosives are already in the hands of terrorists and insurgents.

The administration has informed reporters that National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was informed about the theft one month ago.

Mohamed El Baradei, the Director General of the IAEA, has said that he is "very concerned about the disappearance."

Very concerned? Putting it lightly, don't you think?

John Kerry used stronger language, calling Bush's failure to secure such a tremendously dangerous quantity of high grade explosives "stunning incompetence"

That's more like it.

Senior Kerrry advisor and former advisor to President Clinton, Joe Lockhart, posed some difficult questions for the administration:

"How did they fail to secure nearly 380 tons of known, deadly explosives despite clear warnings from the International Atomic Energy Agency to do so? And why was this information unearthed by reporters -- and was it covered up by our national security officials?"

The Bush administration has conceded that the baffling and terrifying disappearance of these explosives is "bad news for the President."

When are we going to stop believing that this President is better for the safety of America? If he can't even keep explosives (that he had was specifically warned about) out of the hands of terrorists in Iraq, what makes anybody think he can keep this country safe? What makes anybody think he can finish the job in Iraq? These explosives are in the hands of terrorists because of the war in Iraq.

In other news, the price of oil reached new highs today as a result of oilworker strikes in Norway. It's reached up to $55.60 in European trading.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bush Out in Left Field

Today, President Bush landed in a stadium in Palms Park, Florida, on Marine One to make a campaign speech.

From CNN.com:

CNN.com - Bush kicks off daylong Florida barnstorm - Oct 23, 2004

As music blared from stadium loudspeakers, the presidential helicopter, carrying Bush, his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and first lady Laura Bush, landed in left field, dusting the crowd with dirt from the warning track. Bush emerged to the theme of the 1980s hit movie "Top Gun."

Hilarious. Just hilarious.

Frankly, I would have expected the GI Joe theme, but Rove knows best.

What an advantage that he gets to fly around Florida-- purely campaigning-- in Marine One. He's President, I won't begruge him it. If the President's going to be campaign hopping, better that he's in the safest possible vehicle. Just means he gets to buy the extra bells and whistles like baseball stadiums and Kenny G compositions. Think Kenny G's voting for W? They've both got that initial thing going. . .

Ohio is pulling away for Kerry. If we can squeak through in Wisconsin, I think we've got it, Florida be damned.

In any case, keep the faith.

Ohio Republicans Oppose Voting

From the The New York Times

Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections.

How dare the Democrats be so aggressive as to register thousands of new voters!

And the Republicans say that contesting signatures by Mickey Mouse is repression.

The organized left's efforts to, quote unquote, register voters - I call them ringers - have created these problems," said James P. Trakas, a Republican co-chairman in Cuyahoga County.

The "qoute unquote" is my favorite part.

Look, I'm sure these Republican lawyers will find problems. Since in Ohio thousands of registration forms have been outlawed, surely some now un-registered (perhaps dis-registered is a better word) voters will show up in places where they're (now) not registered (anymore). And yes, I've heard the story about somebody accepting crack for returned registration forms. Tell me, when the information on those forms doesn't check out and is impossible to include on the voter lists, how're you gonna get outlaw voters? If the info checks out, then you've got another regitstered voter-- crack addicts get to vote too. Sounds like it was somebody trying to meet their quota to me. I don't condone the actions, but I still want as many people as possible to participate in our democracy. Just because the voter was bribed to regiester doesn't mean that person shouldn't be able to vote.

The bigger problem is this: These election-checkers will be in primarily Democratic areas, and could possibly cause two tremendous problems:

1. They check so many people, unreasonably, as to slow down the voting. Most of those folks will be voting before or after work, or on thier lunchbreak, and can't spend all their time waiting in line while a Republican checks every voter in line for proof that they've lived in Ohio for more than 30 days.

2. They will tie up the results in these districts, the primarily Democratic ones, in court for days and days. While that happens, the numbers from the primarily Republican districts will come in loud and clear. As the votes in Ohio for Bush mount, and votes for Kerry continue to come into question, there will be a vicious attack, reminiscent of 2000's accusations of people voting two or 10 times, and accusations of the Kerry campaign lining up crack addicts to vote in places where they don't live. There will be continued pressure to accept the vote count as it is, and the country won't care much, since it'd be just those bribed crack addicts who were trying to vote for Kerry, not honest, hardworking folk.

--This just in: a judge in Ohio has just ruled that provisional ballots should not be issued to voters who are in the wrong precinct.

And what if, pray tell me, a voter has been accidentally left off the voter list or has recently moved? A provisional ballot doesn't have to be counted unless it's found the person is really a voter in that precinct, so why not just give one to anyone who wants one?--

People should not be allowed to vote twice, of course. But the Republicans' actions in Ohio won't stop that, it will just eliminate the legitimacy of every vote cast for John Kerry, and disenfranchise those who have the most to lose.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Kerry Panders to NRA

As everybody has probably seen already, Kerry went hunting today on a supporter's farm near Youngstown, Ohio. --A big mistake.

I don't know if Kerry owned a gun before one was given to him on the campaign trail this year. I don't know if he hunts. But I know one thing:

Even if he owned a gun, even if he hunted, even if there were photo, video, and DNA evidence, nobody would believe it.

The Republicans and the NRA have done such a good job of painting Kerry as an elitist that Kerry's believability as a "regular guy" has been completely eroded. Any voter out there voting on the 2nd Amendment made up his mind long ago.

I'm really surprised that Kerry's team made this mistake.

"If John Kerry thinks the Second Amendment is about photo ops, he's Daffy," says the ad the NRA said would run in The Vindicator. It features a large photo of Kerry with his finger on a shotgun trigger but looking in another direction."Link

A photo-op. Whether Kerry really hunts or not, that's what it was, and it's obvious. Not only does it make Kerry look false, it does much worse. It shows he's giving in to the NRA-- even when he doesn't have to.

Kerry was a soldier. He knows his way around a gun. He's used guns. He's shot guns. He knows how to take care of a gun. He knows their dangers. He can take one apart and put it back together. If the Kerry campaign wanted to convince anybody that Kerry had no aversion to guns, all they had to do was bring up Kerry's military background. End of story.

Instead, we got an obvious photo-op, and it opened the door right up to Republican attacks. Damn.

Let's get one thing straight. THE NRA IS NOT OUT TO PROTECT GUN OWNERS' RIGHTS. They are working to protect themselves and keep themselves in business. By opposing any sort of sensible gun-legislation, they are working directly against the rights of responisble gun owners.

In Michigan, for example, convicted felons can go into a gun shop, ask to see a gun, test it, and tell the clerk to sell it to his friend. The clerk is then allowed (implicitly, not explicitly, according to a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision) to advise the friend to lie to the gunshop owner, and say that the gun is for him. This is all thanks to NRA sponsored legislation.

Is any responsible gun owner in favor of such nonsense?

All this means that one day, something much, much worse than Columbine is going to happen.

And when it does, the response is going to make the Million Mom March look like a high school marching band. Gun reform will be demanded, and it will have to be done. And it will be much more restrictive than anything Kerry is proposing.

And another thing: It's not so bad that Kerry has been portrayed as the non-everyman. Bush and the neo-cons have been portraying Kerry as a French-speaking smarty-pants. Especially in today's geopolitical environment, I'd like somebody intelligent and thoughtful in the White House; I think other Americans would too.

Kerry has continually fought for veterans. Bush won't properly equip our troops. Kerry killed the enemy under fire. Bush couldn't even show up for a National Guard physical. Who would you trust with your gun?

Bush and the Draft

Bush says there will be no draft, and you can believe him if you want. But this is what Bush said last weekend about how he's going to win the war on terror:

"Our goal is to defeat terrorism by staying on the offensive."

What do you think "staying on the offensive" means? More than likely, it means attacking Iran, Syria, North Korea, or all three at the same time, and almost certainly before we've finished the job in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Where is Bush going to get the troops for that?

Offense wins games, defense wins championships.

The Bush administration is a bunch of offensive coordinators with a west-coast offense. Might have worked to overthrow governments, but to win the wider war on terror, we're going to need a head coach. One who knows that more offense means more troops, and more defense means a safer world.

Kerry's Secret Weapon

This year, college students are going to vote in big numbers, and they're going to vote for Kerry.

"College students say they are much more interested in politics this year, more likely to identify with a party and more likely to vote, a new Harvard University study shows.

And it appears a majority of those responding to the survey intend to vote for Sen. John Kerry." Link.

Rock the vote kids. We value your experience as well.

P.S.-- That experience probably includes verbal abuse from young Republicans. Give those arrogant bastards hell.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The List Gets Longer

Yet another respected Republican, Former Senator from Kentucky (1968-75) Marlow W. Cook, has endorsed Kerry for President.

As a Republican, Cook makes it clear that he is "not enamored with Kerry," but adds:

"I will take John Kerry for four years to put our country on the right path."

In the article, he admonishes the Bush administration for its secrecy, its abuse of power, and its Iraq policy. A large focus of the article however is focused on the Bush fiscal policy. I feel that Republicans who are not fundamentalist or socially conservative, but who are fiscally conservative really need to hear his message, so I have reproduced it here:

"Lyndon Johnson said America could have guns and butter at the same time. This administration says you can have guns, butter and no taxes at the same time. God help us if we are not smart enough to know that is wrong, and we live by it to our peril. We in this nation have a serious problem. It's almost worse than terrorism: We are broke. Our government is borrowing a billion dollars a day. They are now borrowing from the government pension program, for apparently they have gotten as much out of the Social Security Trust as it can take. Our House and Senate announce weekly grants for every kind of favorite local programs to save legislative seats, and it's all borrowed money . . .

"Those of you who are fiscal conservatives and abhor our staggering debt, tell your conservative friends, "Vote for Kerry," because without Bush to control the Congress, the first thing lawmakers will demand Kerry do is balance the budget."

--An excellent point, the implication being that when Bush is in the White House, Congress will be too weak and afraid to demand a balanced budget from him.

--Please also take into account that Kerry has a strong record of being fiscally conservative. Take for example his proposals to decrease the intelligence budget in 1994 and 1995 (by $6 billion). The Bush campaign likes to point to this proposal as a sign of Kerry's weakness on national security. What they neglect to mention is that this was a highly bi-partisan measure to cut government spending (and nobody saw 9/11 coming). Bush's appointee for Director of the CIA, Porter Goss, proposed a a cut to the intelligence budget in 1995 that was bigger than that which Kerry supported. Link.

Fiscally conservative? Rational? Vote Kerry.

P.S. Check out the Electoral Vote Score today. Things are going our way. Keep the faith.

Michigan's Absentee Ballot

There have been some reports of the Michigan absentee ballot being skewed towards Bush. A printing error on some ballots put the first arrow next to Kerry, meaning that if you chose that arrow, you were voting for Bush (the first arrow always goes to the incumbent). I am now on the record as saying I don't think this was a Bush conspiracy, but an honest mistake. However, a careful look at the ballot before it was sent out could have easily prevented this problem. Check out what it looks like here.

As many of you know, I am from Michigan, and I have voted absentee ballot this year. The example in the above link is from the 4th district, which is not my district. My ballot was in the same format, but did not include this error-- Thank God.

Keep the Faith.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

From One Aspiring Dictator to Another

After failing to get the endorsement of the New York Times, President George W. Bush went out and got the next best thing: An endorsement from Vladimir Putin.

Putin said, "International terrorists have set as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his election to a second term. If they succeed in doing that, they will celebrate a victory over America and over the entire anti-terror coalition. In that case, this would give an additional impulse to international terrorists and to their activities, and could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world."

Translation: Vote for Kerry and terrorism will get worse.

Funnily enough, Putin disagrees with the war on Iraq:

"Today, our views on [Iraq] differ from the views of President Bush."

Translation: We don't like the war on Iraq, but we'll support Bush since as long as he's in office the U.S. won't make a big fuss about all that violation of human rights stuff going on over here.

Bush and Putin get along great and have more in common than one might at first think.

1. They are both hilariously shorter than most other world leaders.

2. Their best argument for staying in office is that they are "Strong Leaders."

3. They both favor suppression of the media. And if you don't think Bush supporters want to give the media a Putin-style makeover so that Bush is praised from every corner, then please just check out the comments here.

The original post is here.

And if you don't think this administration is authoritarian, and getting more so by the second, then you haven't been paying attention.

The Real Choice: Putin-style repression or Kerry.

Vote. Keep the faith.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Finally, Finally, Finally: A Voice Of Sanity

Today, the Editorial Board of the New York Times has endorsed John Kerry for President.

Read the endorsement.

I don't expect anyone to be surprised by this, but it's a damn good article, and a fantastic articulation of why it's vitally important that we kick Bush to the curb.

Here are some choice excerpts:

We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core.

So much for the Republican "morality" argument. By the way what's so moral about starting unnecessary wars that kill thousands of civilians?

Anyways. . .

There is no denying that this race is mainly about Mr. Bush's disastrous tenure. Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right.


When the nation fell into recession, the president remained fixated not on generating jobs but rather on fighting the right wing's war against taxing the wealthy. As a result, money that could have been used to strengthen Social Security evaporated, as did the chance to provide adequate funding for programs the president himself had backed. No Child Left Behind, his signature domestic program, imposed higher standards on local school systems without providing enough money to meet them.

. . .

The president's refusal to drop his tax-cutting agenda when the nation was gearing up for war is perhaps the most shocking example of his inability to change his priorities in the face of drastically altered circumstances. Mr. Bush did not just starve the government of the money it needed for his own education initiative or the Medicare drug bill. He also made tax cuts a higher priority than doing what was needed for America's security; 90 percent of the cargo unloaded every day in the nation's ports still goes uninspected.

. . .

Like the tax cuts, Mr. Bush's obsession with Saddam Hussein seemed closer to zealotry than mere policy. He sold the war to the American people, and to Congress, as an antiterrorist campaign even though Iraq had no known working relationship with Al Qaeda. His most frightening allegation was that Saddam Hussein was close to getting nuclear weapons. It was based on two pieces of evidence. One was a story about attempts to purchase critical materials from Niger, and it was the product of rumor and forgery. The other evidence, the purchase of aluminum tubes that the administration said were meant for a nuclear centrifuge, was concocted by one low-level analyst and had been thoroughly debunked by administration investigators and international vetting. Top members of the administration knew this, but the selling went on anyway. None of the president's chief advisers have ever been held accountable for their misrepresentations to the American people or for their mismanagement of the war that followed.

The international outrage over the American invasion is now joined by a sense of disdain for the incompetence of the effort. Moderate Arab leaders who have attempted to introduce a modicum of democracy are tainted by their connection to an administration that is now radioactive in the Muslim world. Heads of rogue states, including Iran and North Korea, have been taught decisively that the best protection against a pre-emptive American strike is to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.

. . .

If he wins re-election, domestic and foreign financial markets will know the fiscal recklessness will continue. Along with record trade imbalances, that increases the chances of a financial crisis, like an uncontrolled decline of the dollar, and higher long-term interest rates.

The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages. We get the radical goals but not the efficient management. The Department of Education's handling of the No Child Left Behind Act has been heavily politicized and inept. The Department of Homeland Security is famous for its useless alerts and its inability to distribute antiterrorism aid according to actual threats. Without providing enough troops to properly secure Iraq, the administration has managed to so strain the resources of our armed forces that the nation is unprepared to respond to a crisis anywhere else in the world.

And why Kerry is better:

Mr. Kerry has the capacity to do far, far better. He has a willingness - sorely missing in Washington these days - to reach across the aisle. We are relieved that he is a strong defender of civil rights, that he would remove unnecessary restrictions on stem cell research and that he understands the concept of separation of church and state. We appreciate his sensible plan to provide health coverage for most of the people who currently do without.

Mr. Kerry has an aggressive and in some cases innovative package of ideas about energy, aimed at addressing global warming and oil dependency. He is a longtime advocate of deficit reduction. In the Senate, he worked with John McCain in restoring relations between the United States and Vietnam, and led investigations of the way the international financial system has been gamed to permit the laundering of drug and terror money. He has always understood that America's appropriate role in world affairs is as leader of a willing community of nations, not in my-way-or-the-highway domination.

We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better.

And there's more. I strongly suggest you read the endorsement.

Kerry has taken the lead in the Electoral College today, but only because of a 1% lead in Wisconsin. Still, the trend is good.

Keep the faith. . .

Quote of the Day

"I have made more friends for American culture than the State Department. Certainly I have made fewer enemies, but that isn’t very difficult."
--Arthur Miller

Now think about that in today's context. It should keep you laughing (or crying) all the way to the voting booth.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Annan Tells It Like It Is

In an interview responding to questions about the recently released Iraq Survey Group Final Report, Kofi Annan challenged allegations from supporters of President Bush that Russia and France supported sanction reduction in return for oil vouchers.

BBC NEWS-- Annan rejects Iraq oil bribe claim

"The UN Secretary General has dismissed allegations that France and Russia might have been willing to ease sanctions on Iraq in return for oil.

Kofi Annan said in an interview to British television channel ITV the claims were 'inconceivable.'

'These are very serious and important governments. You are not dealing with banana republics,' he added.

The allegations were made earlier this month in a report by the US-led Iraqi Survey Group.

Chief US weapons inspector Charles Duelfer said he had found evidence in documents that Iraqi intelligence under Saddam Hussein had tried to bribe foreign nationals from a number of countries to obtain the lifting of sanctions.

Particular attention was allegedly given to French and Russian nationals due to the fact that the two countries hold permanent seats on the UN Security Council.

But Mr Annan firmly dismissed the claims: 'I don't think the Russian or the French or the Chinese government would allow itself to be bought because some of their companies are getting contracts from the Iraqi authorities,' Mr Annan said.

'I don't believe it at all,' he added."

-- Here's an excerpt from the report about Iraq's attempt to bribe Russia.

"The former Iraqi Regime sought a relationship with Russia to engage in extensive arms purchases and to gain support for lifting the sanctions in the UNSC. Saddam followed a two-pronged strategy to pursue weapons capability while also coping with sanctions imposed following invasion of Kuwait. The Regime continued to import weapons and technical expertise, while seeking diplomatic support for lifting/easing sanctions. Iraq sought to tie other countries’ interests to Iraq’s through allocating contracts under the OFF program and entering into lucrative construction projects to be executed once sanctions had been lifted. At best, the Iraqi strategy produced mixed results. Russian commercial interests provided a motivation for supporting Iraq; Russian political and strategic interests set limits to that support" (emphasis mine).

-- The report accuses the Hussein Regime of doing everything in its power to gain the favor of Russian and French governments, but (as far as I was able to find) falls short of saying that those attempts had any effect. (In fact, the report admits Saddam's convincing strategy to make the sanctions look more inhumane than they were. In view of this deception, couldn't France's and Russia's support of sanctions relaxation been a legitimate policy?)

Bush says that Kerry is not respecting our allies when he says we're going it alone. How much harder does it make U.S. work in the United Nations when the Bush administration is making claims like these? Conservatives say that the U.N. has abandoned us. I wonder why? If the Bush administration is going to accuse these countries of accepting bribes it needs to produce evidence. Frivolous accusations will make it significantly more difficult for the U.S. to work internationally-- and not only in Iraq. Whether the neo-cons want to believe it or not, one day we will need it.

And again, from the BBC Report.

"In the same interview, being broadcast on Sunday, the UN secretary general also said the US-led war on Iraq had not made the world a safer place.

'I cannot say the world is safer when you consider the violence around us, when you look around you and you see the terrorist attacks around the world, and you see what is going on in Iraq,' he said.

-- Well, we all know how conservatives feel about Kofi Annan, but he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and very well respected throughout the world. I, for one, trust his judgement more than Bush's. But this assessment is not a matter of judgement. It's a matter of turning on the television and facing reality.

And They're Complaining About Pennsylvania??

Press Release from America Votes October 13, 2004


REAL America Votes urges FAKE America Votes
to Stop All Misleading, Unethical and Illegal Activity

WASHINGTON DC - A group directly funded by the Republican National Committee has been accused of destroying thousands of Democratic registration forms, and participating in unethical activities in a number of states this cycle, while misrepresenting itself as America Votes.

According to a report by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, NV, former employees of “Voters Outreach of America,” also calling itself “America Votes” have witnessed the firm “rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.”

The group, run by longtime Republican operative Nathan Sproul, has been exposed for its unethical and potentially illegal tactics in Oregon, Nevada, and West Virginia. It also reportedly has been active in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Florida, under the names “America Votes”, “Project America Votes” and “Voters Outreach of America.”

Here is an excerpt from the cease and desist letter:

Sproul & Associates, a Republican political consulting firm in Arizona, was trying to set up voter registration drives at Oregon libraries. Letters sent by your firm to libraries claimed, “Our firm has been contracted to help coordinate a national non-partisan voter registration drive, America Votes! in several states across the nation.” (Mail-Tribune, 9/21/04)
The toll-free number which librarians were given connects to an answering machine stating that if the caller is interested in canvassing neighborhoods in support of the GOP, he or she should leave a message with contact information. (Mail-Tribune, 9/21/04)
Despite your statement that your group had not heard of America Votes, your employee Sue Noel, told a local newspaper that your group was indeed aware that you were using our name, and that you had also set up operations in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Nevada. (Mail-Tribune, 9/21/04)

Your efforts in West Virginia relied on hiring temporary workers who were instructed to mislead potential voters – particularly Democrats. Workers were told to portray themselves as non-partisan, but to only register Republicans. One former worker called your efforts “unethical” and “sneaky.” (Charleston Gazette, 8/20/04).
In Nevada, former employees of Voters Outreach for America (AKA “America Votes”), have exposed the organization’s practice of destroying registration forms completed by Democrats. When called for comment by a reporter, your group’s local office had been vacated and unavailable to respond. The FBI is now investigating. And the Oregon Secretary of State is investigating similar allegations in that state.
Your organization has placed classified advertisements around the country looking for staff. These advertisements are paid for by the Republican National Committee. In fact, the Republican National Committee has paid Sproul & Associates close to half a million dollars this election cycle.

When it comes to voter disenfranchisement, the Republicans remain Kings of the Hill.

They can't be trusted to keep our democracy safe. On November 2nd, vote Kerry/Edwards.

. . . if your registration form hasn't been shredded . . .

*Note: Please follow the additional links on this page. Lots of folks have caught this. The link to the Charleston Gazette will only take you to the home page. If you want to read the article, type "misleading voter registration" in the search box, indicate "Library" and click "search." If you want to read the whole article you'll have to register and pay $2.25, but there's a summary there. All the rest of the links will take you directly to the resource.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Michigan's 11th District

Please support Phillip S. Truran in Michigan's 11th district. He has been endorsed by The Michigan Federation of Teachers, UAW, Communication Workers of America, and Pride PAC, not to mention both of Michigan's Senators and Governor Granholm.

Thaddeus McCotter is the current representative of the 11th District. He needs to go.

Thad McCotter's record speaks for itself. Check it out here

Thursday, October 14, 2004

"Clear Win" for Kerry in Debate #3

In the USAToday/CNN instapoll after debate #3 tonight, respondents answered that they thought John Kerry won the debate tonight by a margin of 52% to 39%.

Bill Schneider on CNN called it a "clear win."

What did you think?


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Neither Rain nor Snow nor the Republican Party

My ballot has arrived. Guess who I'm going to vote for.

Ralph Nader is on my ballot-- as "No Party Affiliation." Last I heard, he was still trying to get on with the Reform Party. Does that mean that they sent these ballots out with the case still pending and they put him on there just in case? What if I vote for him and then he doesn't get on? I will have voted for a non-candidate! My vote won't be counted!

And that's just the 11th district, Michigan ballot.

Does anyone else see this red storm rising?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Just Torture


Why hasn't the Kerry Campaign played the "Torture Card" yet? Is it too sensitive, or are they waiting until closer until the election? The closer it gets to the election, the worse it will look, and then they won't be able to play it.

Torture in Iraq happened on THIS ADMINISTRATION'S watch. Hell, I can find an argument against the war in Iraq and an argument against this administratin in that one sentence. Shouldn't they have thrown this into the ring long ago and made it a Dubya character issue? It sure makes me wonder about him. Both he and Rumsfeld got off scott free. A lot of folks didn't like that.

Is it already too late? Are they just incompetent?

Something We Can All Agree On

Jaques Chirac is a threat to world security.

He's also the biggest obstacle to American and European reconciliation.

His foreign policy is reckless and selfish. His domestic policy is hard-headed and hypocritical.

Yesterday, after thousands of French businesses signed contracts worth $5 billion with the Chinese government, Jaques Chirac called on the European Union to lift its arms embargo on China.

For the E.U. to do so would be a mistake-- for France, for Europe, for China, for America, and for the world. And I find it hard to believe that Jaques Chirac doesn't know it.

The ban came into effect 15 years ago, shortly after the Tianenmen Massacre in 1989.

Over the past ten years especially, China has made exceptional progress as a country: going from a protected economy to one of the world's most open markets, joining the WTO, and winning a bid to host the Olympics in 2008. Economically and diplomatically, China is heading the right direction.

Regrettably, gains have failed to come in the area of human rights, as evinced in the high level of political repression that occurs on the mainland and has begun to show it's ugly head in Hong Kong.

And distressingly, China continues it's beligerent rhetoric against semi-independent Taiwan.

China does NOT need more weapons which it would surely use to threaten Taiwan, a U.S. ally. They are already reportedly pointing hundreds of missles at the island already. China has no other real threats in the region.

Please remember that according to the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, The United States is legally (and, I would argue, morally) obligated to intervene militarily in any attack on Taiwan.

It's clear what Chirac wants: A multi-polar world order where other powers (notably France) balance the United States. His policy in the E.U. of scolding new member countries as "little children who ought to do what they're told" and of creating a coalition of powerful E.U. countries to push ahead with federalism shows that he wants to bring France (and not the E.U.) back to the level of prestige and influence it possessed hundreds of years ago. By arming China to the teeth (i.e. enough to overwhelm the United States), Chirac believes France would gain a world ally with the power to acts as it pleases without any repercussions.

In endorsing an end to the embargo, Chirac is playing a dangerous game. He's making two dangerous gambles: first, that China won't try to overtake Taiwan militarily with these new weapons and second, that if they do the U.S. will feel too overwhelmed to take action.

Although number one is a smart bet, it's nowhere near "a slam-dunk" (--not even a George Tenet one). More aggressive Chinese rhetoric is leading to a more restless Taiwanese population who want their independence. President Chen Shui-bian who favors independence, was recently reelected: something the Chinese are none too happy about. There is still great tension in the region.

Number two is a bad bet. The world loses out either way. Americans won't stand for China trouncing on Taiwan's flourishing Democracy, I don't care who's president. But even if he were right, the sacrifice he's willing to make is startling: Taiwan's democracy.

But considering Chirac's proclamation that France would not help in Iraq no matter what is evidence that Chirac will even gamble chaos in the Middle East for a chance to counterbalance the U.S. No price is too high to regain France's old prestige-- and power.

The optimists' view I suppose, would be that he knows the European Union will decide not to lift the arms embargo, and made that statement just to get $5 billion for his French businesses.

Either way he's a sleazebag. And dangerous.

Back in the Saddle Again

The Bush team is back at what they do best: lying to the American people in an attempt to scare them into licensing the Bush team to 4 more years of running our country amok.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, John Kerry said this:

''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. . .
''As a former law enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''

Bush campaign Chairman Marc Racicot, in an appearance on CNN's "Late Edition," interpreted Kerry's remarks as saying "that the war on terrorism is like a nuisance. He equated it to prostitution and gambling, a nuisance activity. You know, quite frankly, I just don't think he has the right view of the world. It's a pre-9/11 view of the world."

What is the right view Marc? Is it the old let's kill them until they stop hating us view?-- 'Cause I think that one's going around in circles. Oh yes, Marc, could you also tell me when the War on Terror, under George W. Bush is going to end? Funny, he hasn't really given a very concrete answer. I guess the War on Terror will be going on long enough to keep scaring the people into voting Republican.

I have some bad news everybody:


I'm sorry I had to be the one to tell you, but that's that. Terrorism has existed as long as political opposition has. It's been around since organized crime (it is organized crime), gambling, and even prostitution-- and it's not likely to end soon.

We can reduce it. And that was the clear spirit of Kerry's statements.

Bush's policy of destruction, which increases the very root causes of terrorism--Hate and Poverty-- is no way to do it. Hate and Poverty must be decreased in order to stop terrorism in the long term, and that means we can only solve terrorism in the long term with Democracy, Education, and Jobs.

Where there's war, Democracy, Education, and Jobs have no chance.

The longer we're warring (we'll never stop fighting terrorism) the bigger chance we have of losing. WE MUST WIN NOW. Peace is needed for Democracy, Education, and Jobs to survive.

This is not a battle that the U.S. can fight alone. It needs the whole world behind it. Terrorism is a global problem, that can only be solved with global solutions.

We will never think of terrorism as a nuisance that is a mere trifle to be dealt with. But it was, and can be again, something that happens rarely. Do you think Bush's belligerent policies will make that happen? Do you know how? He hasn't told us.

My friends, I'm afraid if Bush is reelected, the War on Terrorism will be far longer than any of us now imagine.

And maybe I was wrong. Maybe we can eliminate Terrorism. Maybe some day in the future if we come to our senses and mix Peace, Democracy, Education, and Jobs.

The Truth would be nice too.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Steve Reifman

Steve Reifman is the Democrat running for the House of Representatives in Michigan's 9th district. If you'll be voting there on election day, please check out his site. He's running against incumbent Joe Knollenberg.

Last year, Joe Knollenberg voted with President Bush 100% of the time.

Last year, Joe Knollenberg received a 0% rating from Disabled American Veterans.

Since 1999, Joe Knollenberg has received an average 1% rating from League of Conservation Voters. Last year, he received 5%.

His seat is considered safe, but it seems like he's pretty out of touch with the voters of Michigan's 9th district.

Let's surprise them in Washington.

Let's make this Joe Knollenberg's last year.

Please support Steve Reifman.

If you want to see Rep. Knollenberg's startling record for yourself, you can find it here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bush's Credibility Issue, #5: Health Care

Dear Conservatives,

I was willing to take your candidate as a man with honor who just proposes the wrong solutions to our problems, but I was wrong. I should have remembered John McCain and South Carolina.

Today, Bush called Kerry's heath care plan "Hillary Care." While I try as much as possible to keep things around here civil, I must say this: Bush is a lowlife slimeball. Kerry's plan is in no way like that of Hilary Clinton's. If you want to know the real story, it's this:

Kerry is actually offering TAX REBATES to SMALL BUSINESSES for offering their employees complete health care. Companies will be able to benefit from a tax deduction that reduces their risk in paying for catostrophic costs. Since most people in America work for small companies, it's bound to benefit large numbers of Americans. By making small businesses more competitive as employers, (more of them will be able to offer their employees health care) this would also make the job market more competitive. Hell, it would make the whole economy more competitive.

Has the truth finally come out that Republicans are really against tax cuts for small businesses? Yes, Kerry will rollback taxcuts for those making over $200,000, to do this-- so fine, Mr. Bush, call him a tax-raiser if you want. Faced with Bush's alternative: gigantic tax cuts for pharmaceutical companies who don't need them and in turn also won't lower drug costs-- and that's all of it-- which would you choose? To compare Kerry's plan to a nationalized health care plan which the Republicans rallied the whole nation against, is not only below the belt. It's downright false.

If you want to read the plan for yourself here's the link.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Kyoto, finally

I'm late on this one too, but as many of you know, I'm in the mountains and can't get at the computer every day. But this is important.

The Russian Government has agreed to sign the Kyoto Accords, bringing them into effect, since the required 55% of polluters will have signed.

If you think that these accords, if enacted in the U.S., would have hurt our economy, just look at the devestation in Florida. Now multiply that on the scale of a global disaster. That's the economic devestation environmentalists are talking about. Now, tell me again how Kyoto is bad for our economy.

The U.S. and Australia are the only two developed countries that have not signed this agreement. And Bush talks about how he's a strong leader?

Looks like you missed your chance to lead again, Dubya. We're behind-- again.

Condoleeza's Box

On the Sunday news programs, Condoleeza Rice, the President's National Security Advisor took some time to try to help the President make the argument he couldn't during the debate. Firstly, she said that Kerry advocated an abstract sounding World Test for preemption:

"I heard Senator Kerry say that there was some kind of global test that you ought to be able to pass to support pre-emption, and I don't understand what that means."

(She doesn't understand? Perhaps she'd like us to forget that she has a Doctorate in Political Science!)

Conservatives have jumped on this phrase to declare once again that Kerry would ask "for permission" to defend the country.

Normally, at this point in the blog, I would be lamenting that the Kerry campaign took so long to respond to such criticism, and writing what they should say. Turns out Kerry is on the ball this time. This is what he said to a group in New Hampshire (where, by the way, he has to campaign now--he had it wrapped up there a few weeks ago, ugh):

"I can do a better job of protecting America's security because the test that I was talking about was a test of legitimacy, not just in the globe, but elsewhere. If you do things that are illegitimate in the eyes of the other people, it's very hard to get them to share the burden and risk with you."

Not only that, if your country is really and truly in danger from a specific threat, especially if you're the U.S., countries will be lining up to help you. Look at how the world rallied around us after Sept. 11th. It's not about asking permission, it's about a critical world eye which sees the difference between self-defence and using revenge as an excuse to settle old scores. It's important that the world see any war we fight as legitimate so that we can continue to lead. Oh, and also, if you think some country will be pointing nukes at us, and John Kerry will wait for the U.N. to approve a war before he defends this country, think again. Then agan, if you think that some country will be pointing nukes at us, and the U.N. will want us to wait at all, then you've got international politics all wrong.

It comes down to this: Even though John Kerry has really fought for this country, the Bush administration wants to scare America into thinking he is a long-haired hippie pacifist. Don't believe it.

Second, Condi said, "the idea that you just deal with Osama bin Laden and you're through with the war on terror simply is not a good understanding of the war on terror," implying that all the Kerry campaign wants to do is get rid of Osama bin Laden.

Of course, she's right that you can't just deal with Osama, but her implication (read the article) that Kerry would have stopped there is irresponsible. By the way, when will the Bush administration stop? After Iran, or Syria, or North Korea? He still hasn't told us. Perhaps it will go on forever. . .

Pretty soon we'll run out of money and troops to "defend ourselves" this way. Perhaps we ought to start finding ways to give these people jobs so they don't spend all their time thinking about new ways to commit terrorist atrocities.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Eisenhower's Son Endorses Kerry

I'm a little late on this. You'll have to forgive me, I'm stuck in the Polish mountains, and this was the first chance I had to get to the internet cafe to post. The news in my opinion, is quite big. Dwight Eisenhower's son has endorsed Kerry. That's Ron Jr., and Dwight's son now who have seen the light. No children of Democratic presidents have switched sides. Here's his article, in The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News:
Another View:
Why I will vote for John Kerry for President

After the Republicans flaunted Zell Miller like a prom date's panties, the Democrats would do well to point out all the Republicans who have switched sides. Remember Jim Jeffords? There are also rumors that Senator Lincoln Chafee wants to switch as well. The Democrats would also do well to point out that the South is no where near as Republican as popular theory suggests. The Dems are set to win four of the five seats they're giving up in the South. Bush is looking weak in North Carolina. With Edwards on the ticket, Kerry just might have a chance there, but the priority must be to keep West Virginia. Anybody else out there think we can do it?

And way up north, the Dems will almost certainly pick up a seat in "Republican Alaska."

Perhaps the South is (and other very "Republican" regions are) finally realizing that it's not only determination, but determination to do the right thing in Iraq, with the Economy, with Health Care and with Education that will be best for the country. Determined is fine, but although W. is very determined, and he is also very, very wrong.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Kerry Wins First Debate

He didn't flip-flop, he didn't get too complicated, he stayed on message. Kerry landed some haymakers, and Bush repeated more of the same "we will win!" without explaining how. Kerry laid out his plan: Adding more troops, involving allies, and isolating terrorists, not letting the terrorists isolate us.

Bush implied that Iraq attacked the U.S., offered no solution for Sudan, Iran, or North Korea, and (best of all) praised Vladimir Putin!

He also spent a good five minutes on Poland: He mispronounced Kwasniewski, implied that Poland is heavily involved when they have less than 1000 troops, and seemed to forget that the Polish people (while supporting the war) oppose Polish troops in Iraq. Let's also not forget that Poland's tour in Iraq is being paid for by NATO (i.e. the U.S.).

Here are some questions to ponder:

1. Should we leave open the possibility of bilateral talks with North Korea, or should we exclude them from the get-go?

2. Kerry says that he can bring allies into Iraq. France and Germany have said that they won't commit any troops there, no matter what. Does that mean that Kerry is talking nonsense? Are France and Germany the only ones who can help us out?

3. We can all see that President Bush has belief and conviction. Is that enough? Or do those beliefs and convictions also need to be right?

4. I'm watching the post-debate coverage now. On CNN Karen Hughes' voice was clear and crisp. Then they cut to Mike McCurry, and his audio was almost inaudible. Is CNN biased towards Bush? Were the questions biased toward Kerry?

5. Who do you think won?

Debate #1

To all Warsaw Station readers:


Then come here and let me know what you thought of the performances, and who you think won. I'll post a blog on it tomorrow.

Good news, Kerrry fans: According to most polls Bush is expected to win, so it's his debate to lose. If Kerry does better than expected, he'll be perceived as the winner. Stay tuned. . .

Political Junkies need no sleep.

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