The one I miss the most
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers out there, liberal, conservative or in between.
Enjoy your turkey and your time with family.
Although I don't have an upcoming Kerry administration to be thankful for this year, I have many other things for which to be grateful-- including this blog and the fun we've had here.
What we know
With most of the vote in, the Ukrainian Elections Commission has declared Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner of Sunday's runoff presidential election.
The declaration comes amid many accusations, including from Yanukovych's opponent, Viktor Yushchenko, of improper voting practices and downright fraud.
Among the most suspicious reports is one of a 96% turnout in Eastern Ukraine, the Prime Minister's back yard. Another report speaks of eight ballot boxes in one of Yushchenko's strongholds being set afire.
Yushchenko supporters have taken to the streets, and are protesting as I write.
This is NATO's and the EU's back yard.
So, is anybody gonna DO anything about it? Seems doubtful to me. Will Bush have the guts to stand tall with Kwasniewski? Will Kwasniewski have the guts? Is a worsening of already terrible relations all Yanukovych has to fear?
It's not the Middle East or Africa.
It's not even Southeast Asia. Just Eastern Europe-- where extremism can grow just as easily as anywhere, and where corruption and organized crime are already rampant.
Stay tuned to see if anyone steps up to this plate.
Speaking of irregular voting practices, check this out. I wonder what they'll find in Ohio. . .
Yushchenko on track
It looks like reformer and pro-west candidate Viktor Yushchenko is going to win Ukraine's presidential run-off election.
Moscow has made it clear it favors current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
And some polls are showing him in the lead.
Ukraine needs to join the fold of Cenral and Eastern European (CEE) countries that are turning more and more toward western reform. A victory for Yanukovych is a step closer to Russia, and a step backwards.
A win for Yushchenko would do a lot for the CEE's image, as well as show that a drive for reform and democracy has firmly taken root in the region. It would also be a political victory for Poland, as it would allow the government to begin working at closer ties with Ukraine. Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski has made it clear that he hopes to bring Ukraine closer to NATO and to support Ukraine's membership for the European Union. Poland imports millions of złoty worth of goods and materials from Ukraine, making tighter border controls and higher tariffs since Poland's entrance into the European Union last May very inconvenient.
The leaders of both Poland and the US have demanded a free and fair election.
We have seen the enemy
Please check out this column by Mitch Albom.
Where is the middle ground?
Teresa Borcz-Khalifa freed
The Polish/Iraqi woman had been kidnapped from her home and held by terrorists for nearly a month. She was freed Friday, and arrived in Poland that evening
. She spoke at a press conference in Warsaw on Saturday, saying
"the kidnappers treated me decently. They explained they acted so for religious reasons."
Thank God she's safe. But something just doesn't smell right to me. Anybody else find this all a bit strange? This group has never been heard from before, and can't be connected to Zarqawi. She's married to an Iraqi and has been living there for 30 years. She was suspected of espionage, working for the Polish Embassy while Saddam Hussein was in power.
I have a feeling we'll be hearing more about this.
John W. Snow's visit to Poland
The press release here.
About John William Snow.
Among the questions Gustav will ask him:
1. Why the hell do you keep letting the dollar drop when you know damn well it's killing Polish exporters? We've got cheap goods that your/our country could benefit from, but you're too damn concerned with your bloody tax cuts. By the way, it's no secret that the dollar would be dropping through the floor if your good buddies the Chinese hadn't bought dollars by the truckload. What would you have done if they hadn't?
2. Poland is supposed to be the U.S.'s best friend in (continental, at least) Europe. This was the only country in Europe that favored Bush's reelection. You repay them with a roundtable discussion with the Hungarians, Czechs, and Slovaks? Their populations combined (approx 25 million) isn't even 2/3 Poland's (approx 38 million). A lot needs to be done to promote trade between Poland and the U.S., and you can't spare a one on one meeting for (Polish Treasury Minister) Jacek Socha?
3. Indeed, during your term, direct foreign investment from the U.S. has dropped, while the Polish economy has grown, and is growing at a 5.5% clip. What can we do to make sure Americans get a piece of this action? Could U.S. policy concerning Polish visas be a prohibitive hindrance for Polish businessmen?
4. So, you're from Toledo. You a Wings fan?
Goodbye Colin Powell
Anybody notice nobody's saying anything about Rumsfeld going anywhere?
Rumor has it that Condi is up for the job, and will continue in State the cull begun at the CIA.
In other news:
DNC Chairman: Vilisack or Dean?
Kos is for Dean, so I'm for Vilisack.
Lieberman is for anybody but Dean, so I'm for Dean.
I'm afraid Dean would bring the energy and the new ideas the Dems need. On the other hand, it would send an angry message. . .
Then again, maybe we can hide Dean there at DNC chair.
I'd love a Midwestern governor running for Prez in 2008.
Here's a funny link.
In Case You Didn't Know
Happy Veteran's Day, U.S.A.
Happy Independence Day, Poland.
Not So Fast
John Ashcroft has resigned.
Word has it there'll be a Supreme Court appointment soon.
Yes. Now I get it.
Watch out. There's political capital to be spent.
In order to reflect the new circumstances, Warsaw Station has made some superficial changes. The purpose remains the same: Heated political discussion with a decidedly liberal bias.
The situation is clear. We-- as Democrats, or liberals, or progressives, or even left of center moderates-- have to begin again.
To begin again, we need to know what we really stand for.
When we clarify what we stand for, we can clarify our message.
When we clarify our message, we can win.
What does it mean to be a progressive? What are our core beliefs?
I have my own ideas. But I'm interested in hearing from you.
Warsaw Station Abides.
And So. . .
Everything that can be said about the election has been said. But this post is for us to commisserate.
A great football coach of mine had a great way of taking each win or loss:
24 hours to celebrate or mourn. 24 hours to gloat or whine. Get it out of your system.
At 24:00:01, you start concentrating on the next game. You start putting in the work.
And by that, I don't mean that we start concentrating on 2008-- that's not the next game. The next game is tomorrow, or next week, or next month. We can't stop fighting for a freer, fairer, safer and more accountable America.
Get it out of your system, then wake up fresh, ready to go again.
Use the comments thread to exorcise the demons: angers, worries, and whining will be tolerated for 24 hours after this post.
And then it's back to work.
Chat Room Open
Click on the Chat Room link at right to join in the fun.
Or, just click here.
[Insert Cliche Here]
Tie game. 4th and Goal. No time outs. No time on the clock.
This is going to be a fun one.
So that's why today, at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 1 a.m. Central European Time (just before the results start coming in), Warsaw Station Chat will be open for business. Come to the chat room to debate,taunt, cheer, and mourn-- no matter which side you're on. If predictions are right, we'll be fighting this out until late into the night (or early into the morning).
It looks as if the key states will be Florida and three Great Lakes States: Pennsylvaina, Ohio, and Wisconsin-- as well as possibly Minnesota and Michigan. A quick decisive victory in several of these states by either candidate could mean an early night for all of us. Kerry looks as if he's doing well in most of those states-- polls are swinging our way, early voting is going our way, turnout is going our way --so there's reason to be hopeful.
And after a Kerry win, I'm gonna take a vacation, and then get back to it as the issues heat back up. If it's a contested election or a Bush win, my sleep will continue to suffer without pause.
There's always something to argue about. The truth never sleeps.
Warsaw Station abides. . .
Kerry 320; Bush 218. You heard it here first.
I've had fun these two months or so. I haven't convinced a soul, but I've gained some perspective. Hopefully I've given some too. And I've added to the noise. That's something.
Keep the Faith.