We'll leave this BlogSpot site here as an archive - or as Condoleezza Rice would call it, "an historic document" - immortalizing the muck we've eagerly raked in the past.
Blogger: July 3, 2003 - December 8, 2004
Hoffmania Posts for Tuesday, November 2
My Internet Time Ticks Down...
(NEGRIL, JAMAICA) - ...at least for tonight. Official State Election Sites:
Follow Ohio here.
Follow Florida here.
Follow Pennsylvania here.
Follow Michigan here.
For any state, do a Google Search for "[NAME OF STATE] state election". Bypass the news nuts. Keep your sanity. Stay calm. Kerry's right. No matter the outcome, things will change for the better, no matter who wins. I'll be up watching with you guys from the cloudy Caribbean - hoping America wised up in time for a brand new tomorrow.
Hit the button. In the middle of two thunderstorms, I'm here at the internet bar in Negril, Jamaica. If you wanna join our little support group, we're here from 6 to 8pm EST. Let us know how voting went in your area. I'll be alternating chatting with taking swigs of Red Stripe, so the evening may get a little funnier as time goes on. And remember...
(NEGRIL, JAMAICA) - America was once seen as a friendly country by Jamaica. In fact, there are very few countries Jamaica really has a beef with. But we've always been seen as a dependable ally, if for no other reason than their dependence on our tourism.
So when Jamaica - also known as Mother Nature's Beautiful Daughter - is expressing fear at another four years of a Bush presidency, there is something horribly wrong. Ian Boyne of the Jamaica Gleaner wrote a powerful essay in yesterday's edition, and I'm posting it in hopes that many Americans will see how our government has been downright scaring other countries. If this is an image you like - a government that's seen as a bully to the gentler parts of the third world - then I guess my desire for you to vote for Kerry might be far fetched.
Read this. Pass it along. It's something missing from American media - perspective. I'm unashamedly reprinting the whole thing here. It's worth it. Boyne wants to speak to America through his homeland newspaper. We're happy to give him his voice.
"In the 25 years since I started working in mental health, I have never experienced the intensity of focused fear on the outcome of an election as I am experiencing this year. Many of my patients are as afraid of having another four years of a Bush presidency as they are of the terrorists."
New York Psychologist Mary Frederick.
IT'S NOT just many Americans who are scared to death of George W. Bush's return to the White House for another four years: Much of the world is equally, if not more, terrified at that not unlikely prospect. Never has a U.S. President caused as much consternation and apprehension in the international community as has George W. Bush, America's 'born again' president. Many Americans are worried to death that Mr. Bush has so squandered America's goodwill and has so angered militant Muslims and other American detractors that American security is actually more threatened, rather than strengthened, under the Bush presidency.
The Europeans and the people of the Third World have perhaps even greater reasons to be alarmed at the prospects of George Bush's being declared winner on Tuesday night: It will mean a victory and the legitimising of a most pernicious doctrine, that of pre-emption; and the justification of a style of leadership which elevates force over international law and unilateralism over multilateral cooperation and consensus-building.
No less a prestigious journal in international relations than Foreign Affairs, in its just-released November/December issue, raises serious questions about the dangers of the Bush Doctrine of Preemption, or anticipatory self-defence. In an article on 'The sources of American legitimacy', Robert Tucker, professor emeritus of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University, David Hendrickson and Robert J. Fox, distinguished service professor at Colorado College say, "How to restore legitimacy has thus become a central question for U.S. foreign policy."
The scholars show the long history of American adherence to the principle of international law and multilaterialism, however chequered has been the practice.
"Just as civilisation itself is distinguished by the insistence that conflicts be settled by means other than brute force, so U.S. post-war leaders insisted that international relations be ordered by the same principle."
The scholars note the contempt of the Bush administration for international law and any notion of constraint on U.S. power. They quote Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton, who said in the late 1990s that, "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so, because over the long term the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States."
This is the kind of official arrogance and demagoguery which have characterised the Bush administration, and which accounts for the fact that the entire world will hold its breath on Tuesday to see whether such an administration will be unleashed on the world for another four years. As America is the only superpower standing, with unprecedented power as an empire, it is vitally important that it has a leader who respects international law and who is not a law unto himself, listening only to God.
Hendrickson and Tucker in their Foreign Affairs piece say that Europe's aversion to the world's greatest power "taking the law into its own hands" is not simply postmodern sensibility. Objection to such unilateralism "has been at the core of Western reflection on international relations since the birth of the modern state system and it was axiomatic to America's founders who erected the constitutional regime on the proposition that power must be checked and balanced."
The scholars commented poignantly: "It is a part of the pathology of U.S. power today that the evident need for a constitutional check on the world's most powerful state a constraint the United States would welcome if it were true to its political heritage is now seen to stem from spiteful anti-Americanism."
The Bush administration's failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on the environment, as well as the Comprehensive Test Tan Treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the International Criminal Court, as well as its declaration of war on Iraq without United Nations authority, is part of its official doctrine of unilateralism and global supremacy. Its vision of the New American Century is a frightening one, and one which will keep the world awake on Tuesday to see just who its next world leader will be.
KERRY FOR WORLD PEACE
John Kerry is not what the doctor ordered, so to speak, but he is better for international peace and security. He respects the rule of law and believes in working closely with key players in the international community. He would restore the multilateralist approach to US foreign policy (though I make the disclaimer that US foreign policy practice before George Bush was not ideal and made in heaven).
John Kerry would begin to build back the soft power of the United States and would win back key constituents in Europe, the Middle East and the wider Third World. John Kerry has had to talk tough and to demonstrate that he can be a big bad wolf, too. America after 9/11 has no patience with a pacifist. That's why John Kerry is running and not Howard Dean.
"This election fundamentally is about the safety of our children, our streets, our airspace," says former Ronald Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein in an interview with U.S. News and World Report (November 1, 2004) The American election is not about the economy, social security, education etc. It is about the war on terror and who is the best man to protect America's interests.
John Kerry has to pander to these interests and concerns. The world only benefits because Kerry believes that in delivering security to his fellow Americans he needs the cooperation of the Europeans, Middle East players and the United Nations. He believes that he can't go it alone. (See America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order, by Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, foreign policy scholars trained at Oxford and Cambridge. It unmasks the new world order of the doctrinaire set now influencing the Bush administration).
POLITICS OF FEAR
This election, more than any other, is about the politics of fear. John Kerry can't ignore this. He has had to spend all of his time over the last few months trying to convince American voters that he is tough, resolute, decisive and is a butt-kicker when needs be. The Republicans have cast him in the role of a flop-flopping 'softie' who would endanger the security of the American nation and would, in effect, be an invitation to terrorists.
The extent to which George Bush emerges the victor on Tuesday would be the extent to which his politics of fear has triumphed. Fear is a most powerful human motivator, far more powerful than reason, Kerry's chief weapon. But fear almost always trumps reason.
For many, the thinking is as simplistic as that of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo: "The simplest of all issues is war: It's incredibly easy to understand: Evil people came and killed 3,000 right in the heart of our country. We have to destroy them and we have a president who is a genius at communicating simply..."
Kerry is a more nuanced thinker, not given to simplistic arguments and clichés, the stock-in-trade of George Bush. But simplistic, either-or, black-and-white rhetoric works far better on the campaign trail, as Kerry might learn painfully on Tuesday night.
The Economist this week makes the point that over the last four elections no incumbent President has received more votes than the opinion polls indicated he would, but that the challenger usually receives about four per cent more. So the President's getting 50 per cent in the polls and Kerry's getting 46 per cent should not be as worrying to Kerry. If the President falls below his 50 per cent and is seen in the polls as having just 46 per cent or 48 per cent then he should be concerned. It is felt that the swing voters are likely to vote against the incumbent. But then this is no ordinary election. The world did change since September 11, 2001.
The Kerry campaign, I still maintain, has hurt itself by not cleverly and astutely addressing the concerns of the religious community. Many secular commentators don't realise the power Bush wields though the support he receives from Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. Anti-Catholic feelings run strong in certain conservative religious circles in the United States, plus the fact that Kerry is pro-choice and opposes Bush's proposed constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of man-woman marriage.
People are wondering why is Bush getting so much support from black Americans and Kerry getting less than is traditionally garnered by Democrats. Many blacks are religiously conservative and we underestimate the power of religious television in America. The American Religious Right is not just praying and fasting but working at the grass roots to keep their Born Again President in office to withstand the forces of The Devil who wants to keep religion out of schools, sanction gay marriage and push the "abortion and feminist agenda".
The liberal Nation magazine, in its November 8 issue formally endorsing John Kerry for President, deplores the fact that Bush has "pandered to a base of religious fanatics, many of whom are looking forward to a day of 'rapture' when Jesus returns to earth and kills everyone but them." But it is a powerful base.
WAR AND THE ECONOMY
The shocking report of a group of scientists on Thursday that up to 100,000 civilians might have been killed since the war in Iraq will make little difference to the Fundamentalists and those gripped by fear. That US$140 billion has been spent on a war which was illegal and unnecessary and which diverted resources and focus from the real war on terror and Osama bin Laden will mean little to many American voters.
On the economy, the Bush administration has been a failure. A US$236 billion surplus has been turned into a $422 billion deficit. As of September 30, the US debt is US$7.3 trillion, a record high. The minimum wage is now at an inflation-adjusted 50 year low. President Bush is the first President since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs approximately 800,000 over his four-year term. The Bush administration implemented regulation which made millions of workers ineligible for overtime pay. Twenty per cent of Bush's tax cut recipients receive 68 per cent of the benefits.
On economic and security grounds, the Bush administration has been a failure: No weapons of mass destruction found, no links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda verified, no links between Saddam Hussein and September 11. A war which has been bungled and which has claimed more than 1,000 US lives and over 7,000 injured, with insurgencies rising every day.
Yet, George W. Bush is likely to win the elections on Tuesday. Perhaps his Fundamentalist brothers and sisters are right that the world is really coming to an end.
I'd like to be online for a live chat right here at 6pm Election Night. If not, please talk among yourselves - it'll be a great support group of the people who frequent this joint. Just click the button to join in.
(Actually I wrote this yesterday, but I didn't get to the internet bar until today.)
It takes the removing of one's self from the country in question (USATB, or The Un-united States of America Thanks to Bush) to obtain the moral and psychological clarity to see that because Osama bin Laden pops up to tell that country, "Howdy! I'm still here" - it's fabulous news for the Bush campaign! That's the conclusion of the CNN pundits whose network manages to seep into the Jamaican TV landscape.
Yes, the videotaped proof that American Enemy Number One can run and can hide from Bush to attack another day indeed spells absolute doom for - of course - John Kerry. And to think we all believed that Bush's capturing of OBL was the October surprise! This is even better than Karl Rove could have possibly dreamed in the deepest depravity of his sheer genius! But there he is - OBL on videotape putting down both guys - proving beyond all doubt that this wasn't some historical footage, as Condi Rice would call it...but a tape made . If Kerry doesn't drop out of the race this weekend, he's crazy!
For the benefit of those who aren't catching the extreme sarcasm, allow me to turn it off.
WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON BACK THERE? OBL's alive, and that's good for BUSH!?! Because it reminds Americans what we're fighting against, and that Bush is the man best suited to fight this guy...who...he still hasn't...y'know. Caught. Or even irritated. Think about that. Bush hasn't even annoyed bin Laden. In fact, from what I saw, bin Laden got some pretty tricked-out video equipment since we saw him last.
Folks, Jamaicans are laughing at our government. They are. A country whose voting choice is always between the Jamaican Labour Party and the Jamaican Labour Party Lite? THEY'RE LAUGHING AT US! They wonder why any living soul who can add two single-digit numbers together and have the common sense of an average house fly would want to re-elect "dat crazy mon."
Why? Because we're Americans, dammit. And we're not gonna let no other country tell us what crazy mon to waste our vote on. (Sarcasm again.) It does seem so simple - no matter where you are. And yet, no one seems able (or willing) to make sense of it.
But here we are. As I write this, I'm on the cliffs of Negril looking westward at the vast sea, knowing that over the horizon, people are paying twice as much as we are to stay in Costa Rica. The difference between there and here? Trees.
Yes, Hurricane Ivan did a splendid job of removing just about every shade-producing vegetation from this part of the island. We're seeing it eight weeks after Ivan, and I gotta say that I'm more surprised at what survived than I am at what didn't. While walls and roofs were destroyed, the little thatched-roof bar which our friend Dennis runs was practically spared in pristine condition, along with his Red Stripe stock, which we plowed through last night.
I must say, that despite everyone seeming totally exhausted from getting the area ready for the start of the season next month, spirits are running high, and the people are still an absolute joy to be with. Everyone has a great Ivan story, and we have two weeks to absorb them all.
Also still in business are the mosquitoes - my favorite pet away-from-home whenever we're here. This time, we not only brought the repellent of the gods, but a Sunbeam bug zapper ($24.99 at Costco). The first night, we toasted about 15 of the little bastards, and we were feeling pretty full of ourselves. That is until this morning as I was brushing my teeth, and the following conversation took place.
MOSQUITO: Here. On the wall.
ME: (spitting) What?
MOSQUITO: Well played. That Sunbeam thing.
ME: Well, the citronella was useless and the coils are lethal to everyone except mosquitoes and why the hell am I talking to a mosquito? And more important, why the hell aren't you speaking Patois?
MOSQUITO: Doesn't matter. So what are you using for skin protection?
ME: Avon Bug Guard Expedition. It works!*
* - Not a paid endorsement
MOSQUITO: Yeah? C'mere. Lemme clue you in. C'mere. I won't bite.
ME: Yes you will.
MOSQUITO: Okay. I'll give you that. But I wanted to clue you in. See what's left of those trees out there? We've been through a friggin' hurricane that shut down the hotel next door. How do I look?
ME: Uh...good I guess.
MOSQUITO: So your spray from Avon's SKin-So-Soft division and that little spark machine in the bedroom? Please.
ME: Gotcha. Can I give you anything to send your guys over to the yuppies in the next villa and leave us alone?
MOSQUITO: No. Sorry. Democratic meat is much better.
ME: But not as thin-skinned as we used to be.
MOSQUITO: Does EVERYTHING you do - even this imaginary conversation with a damned mosquito - ALWAYS have to be political? Now, rinse and we'll talk again.
ME: No we won't. (SLAP)
MOSQUITO: Now you've pissed me off.
So Bullitt, a pissed off mosquito and I will learn to coexist for the next two weeks. After November 2nd, we expect all of you to do the same. It's a metaphor for something, but I'm too relaxed to recognize it. Peace.
(Internet service provided by Easy Rock Cafe. Internet and cold beer. Sweet.)
Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', this is my message to you-ou-ou:
Singin': don't worry 'bout a thing,
'cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Tonight, we head out to our little corner of sanity. The electicity is still spotty after Hurricane Ivan. The supplies will not be as plentiful. The menus will have fewer items from which to choose. But we'll be spending a lot of time looking at the insides of our eyelids with the sounds of tree frogs trilling as our background music. And using 20 cans of Avon Expedition Repellent to ward off those damned mosquitoes.
I'm feeling really good about the election right now. The winds are just too powerful at Kerry's back, and the stormclouds are finally - FINALLY gathering over the once-unstoppable Bush disaster. The media are waking up. The public is waking up. Funny - America, once proud of being cutting-edge and forward thinking, has simply been either too alseep or too afraid to realize what the rest of the world has known for a couple of years. Bush is a menace to safety. A menace to the economy. A menace to morality. A menace to security.
He had the eyes, ears and hearts of an entire planet when the worst attack on American soil occurred on his watch. Instead of accepting that love and loyalty, he squandered it just so he could get his hands on his personal bogeyman. As the monster who didn't make threats but who actually DID attack us is still at large, the wrong bad guy is sitting in jail - as his former country burns with the same smell of death that he himself ignited a decade ago - this time, under the failed "leadership" of the Bush administration.
Meanwhile, as an estimated $220 billion gets plowed through in Iraq, Americans are still scraping to put meals on their tables. To get education for their kids. To get a damned job long after their unemployment benefits have dried up. To get decent pay for the first-responders who risk their own lives in every American town. America is burning with a much different fire. These are our people. Our parents. Our kids. And we must take care of them.
But this adminstration - as much as they like to think of themselves "compassionate" - calls spending anything on Americans "a handout." "Rewarding the lazy." And as a testament to insanity, they have no problem diverting that money to a war that was so horribly ill-conceived and hideously ill-planned that we're now actually fighting the very people we were supposed to have liberated.
The utter failure of this, now the biggest issue of the campaign, is just one of the many reasons the Bush administration must be stopped.
Thanks to not only the nerve and temerity of a doctor/governor from a small New England state who gave America permission to criticize our government's dismal mistakes - but to a persistent band of fighters armed with keyboards and internet connections with odd names like Atrios, Kos, Bartcop, Buzzflash, Calpundit, Blah3, the late great MWO and too many more to mention - we have proven to the nation and the world that rolling over and playing dead is no longer an option.
We're here. We're proud. And God DAMN it, we're Americans. We're patriots. We love our country. It's out of that love that we're overtly and openly challenging a thug cartel which has harmed our land, our people and the people of the world community, which we must recognize as no less important and no less human than ourselves.
The Bush criminals have never learned that strength does not come from using force, but from setting an example as to how to AVOID using force. They never learned that Bush's presidency could never - by ANYONE'S estimation - be seen as a mandate of the people when 500,000 more Americans voted for his opponent. They never learned that avenging the lives of 3,000 souls in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania by taking the lives of tens of thousands of other souls in a non-involved country is an affront to decency, morality and basic common sense.
Factor in their horrendous record on the environment, corporate crime, education, and just about every single bread-and-butter issue affecting the majority of working America, and you'd be hard pressed to find one single solitary reason to give these bastards another four MINUTES of power, let alone four more years.
Word is spreading. People are paying attention. Brain cells are igniting. John Kerry and John Edwards are looking destiny in the eye at this minute, and it's calling them to duty. We must heed the call - not just for Kerry and Edwards, but for an entirely new team of responsible attentive fellow patriots as their cabinet. If we can get a few more seats in the house and senate, so much the better.
George W. Bush - we've seen your resume. We've seen your job performance. It is with no remorse whatsoever that we declare you - fired.
Celebrate the one night where you are the star. The night where you make the decision to send our country into that new direction.
The night where you can honestly and proudly say, "I did everything I can to save my country."
Know that I'll be on a friendly little island celebrating with you, hearing it on the local radio station translating the patois rolling out the speakers, and cheering for President-elect John Forbes Kerry. The future begins now. We're gonna win this thing.
America, the greatest country in the world (proven by our resilience against the last four years), has more than earned it. See you on the other side of victory.
Imagine That: Still MORE Bush Military Records surface
As much as I try to pull myself away, something keeps pulling me back in. I'm hoping that just one - JUST ONE of these seemingly countless strikes which glaringly demonstrate the lack of character and utter lack of courage of this little crackhead will stick. Just one. Then I can vacation peacefully.
By Matt Kelley, Associated Press Writer | October 26, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Unearthed under legal pressure, three-decade-old documents portray President Bush as a capable and well-liked Air National Guard pilot who stopped flying and attending regular drills two-thirds of the way through his six-year commitment -- without consequence.
The files, many of them forced to light by Freedom of Information lawsuits by The Associated Press, conflict with some of the harshest attacks Democrats have levied on Bush's Vietnam-era service, such as suggestions that Bush was a deserter or absent without leave.
But gaps in the records leave unanswered questions about the final two years of his military service in 1972 and 1973. Chief among them: Why did Bush's commanders apparently tolerate his lapses in training and approve his honorable discharge?
Bush's commanders could have punished him -- or ordered him to two years of active duty -- for missing drills for six months in 1972 and skipping a required pilot's medical exam. Instead, they allowed him to make up some of his missed training and granted him an honorable discharge.
"Obviously, the commander saw the lieutenant's interest in the guard was waning," said retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., a former head of the Air National Guard. "Had he been good before? Yeah. Does that mean he should nail him to the wall? No. The culture at the time was not to enforce that."
But the culture apparently did not apply to everyone. Although no records mention any punishment against Bush other than being grounded, the Texas unit's files show another airman was ordered to involuntary active duty in March 1972 as punishment.
Lately, they've been making real news themselves. Seems a lot of emails from Bush-Cheney campaign operatives have been accidentally finding their way to Chickenhead's GeorgeWBush.org domain. Hit their "Dead Letter Office" link, and you'll see them all there, along with this explanation.
OCTOBER, 2004: Recently, we at GeorgeWBush.org happened to notice that our mail server had a default "catch-all" mailbox, which for the past several months had been quietly gathering any and all e-mails addressed to [INSERT-ANYTHING-HERE]@georgewbush.org. We felt the need to share.
10.26.2004: Readers may be interested to learn that the "caging" e-mails below (one and two) are indeed the same documents referenced in Greg Palast's latest BBC Newsnight investigation. We sent them to him last week prior to assembling this page.
Max Cleland recently returned from a campaign swing up to Minnesota, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. In Minnesota, we drove up to St. Cloud where Max addressed a full room of college students and locals. He told them, "You're it. You will influence this country."
The polls are absolutely deadlocked. LA Times and Rasmussen have dead heat ties in their polls today. Bush is still pulling sub-50 numbers which do not bode well for an incumbent. Not in the least.
We can win this. We can absolutely win this thing. We're going to. The news points to it. The groundswell of discontent points to it. We must make sure that when your friends, co-workers, family go into that voting booth (or that card table, depending on your district), they add up everything that has happened to them in the last two years alone. The only conclusion is to elect a strong, experienced and respected John Kerry one week from today.
There are so many ways to counter their arguments, it's almost comical.
"I don't want to be taxed." Baby, you're gonna be taxed. There's no way around it. With Bush's request for another $70 billion dollars for war funding, you're paying. This brings the share for every living adult over 18 to more than $1000. Over a thousand dollars is coming out of your paycheck for war ALONE. And the wrong war at that.
"Democrats are tax-and-spend." We're always faulted for mopping up the economic messes created by Republican presidents. Reagan and Bush I crippled our economy. Clinton fixed it. Bush is crippling it again. And I'll bet every last dime I have that whoever you talk to about taxing and spending has not received an iota of tax relief from Bush. With tax cuts for the rich and money being spent by the trillions by this administration, SOMEONE will pay. Guess who? With Kerry, at least the burden will be distributed fairly to mop up THIS mess.
"Bush is a strong leader." Let's make this clear. Bush is weak. He's small. He's afraid. He's afraid of confrontation. He's afraid of disagreement. He's afraid of the rest of the planet. He's afraid of contrition. He's afraid of showing remorse. He's afraid of showing any strength in negotiating. He's afraid of THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. That's why he screens his rallies so tightly. That's why he never seeks anything except praise and dripping adulation from anyone around him. He's afraid he might have to face something that he's not capable of dealing with. We don't need a timid leader, but we have one. Bush is as scared as a chipmunk. He was scared as a serviceman, and he's scared today. We need someone better than this. We need someone stronger than this. We need John Kerry.
"Bush will protect us from the terrorists." Hate to tell you this. He didn't. His staff didn't. His security advisor didn't. His defense secretary didn't. They all failed him. The ones who DID warn him aren't there anymore. So who's left? The ones who ignored the warnings. I would not trust any of these people to babysit my cat. Not one conviction has come out of all the arrests they made. Not one person who failed us on 9/11 has been fired. John Kerry will replace every last one of these incompetents with people who know, who care and who will WORK. And with 380 tons of lethal explosives now in the hands of terrorists, Bush has proven himself a miserable failure.
"The economy is on the upswing." Please. This one would make the strongest of us turn and walk.
On and on, every one of their arguments do not hold a dewdrop in this last week of the campaigns. We were scared when we were attacked on 9/11. We cannot be scared now. We need to be strong enough to walk into the polls and fire this inept CEO president. We all have stock in this country. That stock is at an all-time low, economically, morally, and in the eyes of the rest of the world.
We must end the reign of fear. We must hit the reset button. We must get John Kerry elected next week. Your country needs you. Answer the call. Do not sleep through this one.
We're stronger than they are. We need to show it.
Just wanted to get in these few words before Bullitt and I take off for our annual two-week battery recharge tomorrow night. We'll be cheering on John Kerry and John Edwards from our Jamaican hideout (yes, we already voted absentee), with a big ol' stock of cold Red Stripe to toast these good men. Since this might be a working vacation, I'll hop online from the local internet bar from time to time to make sure you guys are behaving yourselves.
I first wrote "I Need a President" during the disastrous end of the 2000 Election. I ended my piece with these words: "Yes, I need a president. But I must wait for now."
The time of waiting is over.
I need a President who does not believe in suppressing votes as he clings to a warped sense of his own entitlement to power. I need a President who does not fear the voice of the people. Not the President of a sanitized America-by-invitation-only, but a President of the people, by the people, and for the people.
I need a President who recognizes that America is a member of the world community and not its master. I need a President who faces the world with a welcoming hand, not a closed fist. A man who embraces questions, and not the coercive rule of unchallenged reign.
I need a President who believes science is a tool for healing and not just a profitable device for the creation of Smart Bombs and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I need a President who sees that stem cell research benefits not only the diseased but also the soldiers with spinal cord wounds and brain trauma inflicted in their service to America.
I need a President for whom "liberal education" is not a partisan pejorative but rather the old-fashioned definition of a balanced and well-rounded education, an education not of political bent, but of the beauty and diversity of life's great treasures. I need a President who sees education as a right, and not a privilege only for those who can afford to buy knowledge.
I need a President whose environmental policy is not only for the wilderness, but also applies to the workplace.
I need a President who understands that family health should never be dependent on family wealth.
I need a President who knows well that secrecy is a cancer on democracy. I want a President who has overcome the fear of battle, not by sending others into combat, but by standing face-to-face against the ravages of war and bringing honor home to the fight for peace and open government.
I need a President who understands that if money is free-speech, the middle class and poor will never have a voice in today's corporate politics; that the dreams of Main Street America will be smothered by the greed of K Street lobbyists and their financial owners.
I need a President who recognizes that corporate crime should not be a reward system for crooked CEOs, while punishing workers with financial ruin. I need a President for whom accountability is not a bookkeeping technique that ensures increased stock value at the cost of American jobs.
I need a President who knows that God is not spelled G-O-P.
I need a President who recognizes the requirement for checks and balances on government, not checkpoints on citizens.
I need a President for whom liberty is not a license to plunder budget surpluses for the benefit of wealthy campaign donors. I need a President, not a corporate puppet, or a panderer to the bigotry of puritanical zealots and self-righteous hypocrites.
America needs a President to whom freedom is not a focus group slogan, tested as justification for the lethal lies of a manufactured war. Not a President who finds humor in the deaths of soldiers in order to get a laugh from the dining room divas of corporate Media.
America needs a President, not a saint without human error. America needs a President who recognizes his own fallibility and rises to the need for change.
America needs a President whose compassion is without label or restriction, who lifts the poor and ignored without making himself tall by standing on the dead and downtrodden. A President who does not limit the colors of America to red, white and blue, but includes each and every variation that weaves the whole fabric of this richly textured nation.
America deserves a President, not an owner.
I deserve a President, not George Bush.
John Cory is a Vietnam veteran. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V device, 1969 - 1970.
One by one, former Bush administration officials tell their stories about their experiences serving with George W. Bush.
And as a special surprise spokesman (I said it was MY dream), Ari Fleischer.
And their stories are why they think John Kerry should be president of the United States.
"Why Didn't We Get That Son Of A Bitch When We Could?"
Bush is still batting .000 in capturing/killing his arch enemies when he was a hair's breadth of zeroing in on them. First he botched getting bin Laden at Tora Bora - and it may have been even worse than we thought.
And today, we see he squandered his shot at al-Zarqawi when he was dancin' on that proverbial silver platter.
By SCOT J. PALTROW
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 25, 2004; Page A3
As the toll of mayhem inspired by terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi mounts in Iraq, some former officials and military officers increasingly wonder whether the Bush administration made a mistake months before the start of the war by stopping the military from attacking his camp in the northeastern part of that country.
The Pentagon drew up detailed plans in June 2002, giving the administration a series of options for a military strike on the camp Mr. Zarqawi was running then in remote northeastern Iraq, according to generals who were involved directly in planning the attack and several former White House staffers. They said the camp, near the town of Khurmal, was known to contain Mr. Zarqawi and his supporters as well as al Qaeda fighters, all of whom had fled from Afghanistan. Intelligence indicated the camp was training recruits and making poisons for attacks against the West.
Senior Pentagon officials who were involved in planning the attack said that even by spring 2002 Mr. Zarqawi had been identified as a significant terrorist target, based in part on intelligence that the camp he earlier ran in Afghanistan had been attempting to make chemical weapons, and because he was known as the head of a group that was plotting, and training for, attacks against the West. He already was identified as the ringleader in several failed terrorist plots against Israeli and European targets. In addition, by late 2002, while the White House still was deliberating over attacking the camp, Mr. Zarqawi was known to have been behind the October 2002 assassination of a senior American diplomat in Amman, Jordan.
But the raid on Mr. Zarqawi didn't take place. Months passed with no approval of the plan from the White House, until word came down just weeks before the March 19, 2003, start of the Iraq war that Mr. Bush had rejected any strike on the camp until after an official outbreak of hostilities with Iraq. Ultimately, the camp was hit just after the invasion of Iraq began.
Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who was in the White House as the National Security Council's director for combatting terrorism at the time, said an NSC working group, led by the Defense Department, had been in charge of reviewing the plans to target the camp. She said the camp was "definitely a stronghold, and we knew that certain individuals were there including Zarqawi." Ms. Gordon-Hagerty said she wasn't part of the working group and never learned the reason why the camp wasn't hit. But she said that much later, when reports surfaced that Mr. Zarqawi was behind a series of bloody attacks in Iraq, she said "I remember my response," adding, "I said why didn't we get that ['son of a b-'] when we could."
Shut up about how Clinton could have had bin Laden. The guy who offered him up was full of shit. These were two verified chances that Bush absolutely screwed up, and our troops are dying as a result.
Forget all the fake emails about flu shots, securing the mansions and swift boats.
Forget "flip-flop," goose hunting and wind surfing.
Forget wolves, being resolute and the bump in the jacket.
Forget all the cute slogans, the petulant sniping and the smirking.
Most of all, forget any rationale the Bush administration has made before or after the fact for the war in Iraq.
Forget all of it.
America is waking up this morning - not to a new snippy slogan by George Bush about John Kerry - but to a frightening discovery and an inescapable blunder of historical proportions, broken on the web last night by Talking Points Memo.
Some 380 tons of explosives, powerful enough to be used to detonate nuclear warheads, are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that was supposed to be under American control, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says.
Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told CNN the Iraqi interim government reported several days ago that the explosives were missing from the Al Qaqaa complex, south of Baghdad.
The explosives -- considered powerful enough to demolish buildings or detonate nuclear warheads -- were under IAEA control until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. IAEA workers left the country before the fighting began.
This is not a side-effect of a new democracy. This is exactly, precisely, definitively the opposite of what Team Bush assured us of what the singular original mission of the Iraq War was:
Keeping WMDs from getting into the hands of terrorists.
Thanks to the chaotic and irresponsible non-planning of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and a badgered Powell, their mission was a total failure. A disaster. A complete and utter "gimme" to the very monsters we were trying to stop.
One of the things we won't forget is what Rumsfeld said about the looting that occurred when we hit Baghdad.
"The task we've got ahead of us now is an awkward one ... It's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that's what's going to happen here. And for suddenly the biggest problem in the world to be looting is really notable."
Not just arrogant, but a blinding miscalculation by the very man who should have known better - and didn't. They weren't looting TVs. They weren't looting museum pieces. They were looting stockpiles of intense explosives which are killing soldiers and citizens, now an average of eight times a day, according to CNN this morning.
Another thing we won't forget is the indelible image of President Bush strutting on the deck of the USS Lincoln, declaring major combat operations completed under a banner boasting "Mission Accomplished."
We're now finding out this morning that the mission failed and failed horribly. The terrorists who - if they existed at all in pre-war Iraq - had been marginalized to the point of irrelevance, have now been handed incredibly destructive explosives, elevating them to almost heroic status among the people who were supposed to throw flowers and chocolates to their "liberators."
Our troops are more precious to America than being the pawns and disposable resources this administration has made them in Iraq. Bush and his thugs have thrown these incredibly trusting and brave souls into a hellhole of Bush's creating.
To put it simply: Bush's reckless war has placed 380 tons of lethal explosives right into the hands of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
If this revelation by the IAEA doesn't torpedo the Bush campaign, and blow a crater into their entire argument for the Iraq war, then there's something horribly wrong with the American voters. The story is out there. It was the lead on CNN and MSNBC this morning. The responsibility to accept and process that information lies with the viewer.
And if the viewer sticks their head in the sand because of blind loyalty to this failed adminstration, then we're no longer the America we remember.
John Kerry will be joined in Philadelphia today by the greatest diplomat in recent history. The world will applaud the return of President Bill Clinton to the political stage, if half of America, still mired in fake outrage over his singular misstep, will throw mud at the notion.
With this story and the right people delivering our message, let's hope those Americans will finally accept this as a serious slap into reality, and make the right decision November 2nd.
Okay. I Want Kerry to Take Office NOW. Today. Immediately.
Or maybe I should say that I want my mommy. This is - again - what I feared most about invading a country accused of having WMDs but not having a reason to use them until they're invaded. Josh Marshall, give us the bad news.
This has been rumored in Washington for several days. And now the Nelson Report has broken the story.
Some 350 tons of high explosives (RDX and HMX), which were under IAEA seal while Saddam was in power, were looted during the early days of the US occupation. Like so much else, it was just left unguarded.
Not only are these super-high-yield explosives probably being used in many, if not most, of the various suicide and car bombings in Iraq, but these particular explosives are ones used in the triggering process for nuclear weapons.
Theresa Chambers has become a poster child for the destruction of enduring American institutions. In this case, the National Park Service and the national monuments it protects.
Until last July, Theresa Chambers was the U.S. Park Service Chief of Police. She was responsible for security and public safety at U.S. National Parks and Monuments in urban centers, including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials on the Washington Mall along with many other parks and monuments in the nation's capitol.
On December 2, 2003, Chambers was interviewed by a Washington Post reporter. She spoke candidly of the challenges the Park Service Police faced with stepped up demands for homeland security and declining Park Service budgets. "My greatest fear," she said, "is that harm or death will come to a visitor or employee at one of our parks, or that we're going to miss a key thing at one of our icons."
On December 5, 2003, the National Park Service stripped Teresa Chambers of her gun and badge and placed her on administrative leave for "violating federal rules" regarding the discussion of budgets and for "giving away critical public safety information."
Theresa Chambers decided to fight back. She challenged her dismissal, and as a result, was subjected to a nasty campaign of reprisal by political hacks within the Interior Department. Someone sprayed pepper spray, the noxious chemical weapon used to control violent criminals, into the open door of her office. The harassment included computer break-ins, planting false rumors, leaking misleading portions of confidential reports, and intimidating her supporters from speaking out.
In fact, what has happened to Theresa Chambers is but one example of a "culture of fear" that now exists within the Interior Department. In August, the Interior Department's Office of the Inspector General released an investigative report that included a survey of 25,000 employees. More than one quarter of those who responded said they fear retaliation for reporting problems.
President Bush often has cited his work in 1973 with a now-defunct inner-city program for troubled teens as the source for his belief in "compassionate conservatism."
"I realized then that a society can change and must change one person at a time ..." Bush said in a video shown at the 2000 Republican National Convention about his tenure at P.U.L.L., the Professional United Leadership League, whose executive director, John White, had played tight end for the Houston Oilers in the early 1960s.
But former associates of White, who died in 1988, have disputed in recent interviews much of Bush's version of his time at the program.
"I was working full time for an inner-city poverty program known as Project P.U.L.L.," Bush said in his 1999 autobiography, "A Charge to Keep." "My friend John White ... asked me to come help him run the program. ... I was intrigued by John's offer. ... Now I had a chance to help people."
But White's administrative assistant and others associated with P.U.L.L., speaking on the record for the first time, say Bush was not helping to run the program and White had not asked Bush to come aboard. Instead, the associates said, White told them he agreed to take Bush on as a favor to Bush's father, who was honorary co-chairman of the program at the time, and Bush was unpaid. They say White told them Bush had gotten into some kind of trouble but White never gave them specifics.
"We didn't know what kind of trouble he'd been in, only that he'd done something that required him to put in the time," said Althia Turner, White's administrative assistant.
No documents from Bush's time with P.U.L.L. exist. The agency, which closed in 1989, left most of its records behind when it moved to a new location in 1984. The building's owner, Southern Leather Co., said those were discarded. No one seems to know what happened to any remaining records after 1989. White's widow declined to be interviewed.
But many people recall Bush's tenure at the agency.
Turner, who said she has avoided reporters for years, agreed to be interviewed only after phoning her pastor for advice.
When she hung up the phone, she turned to a reporter: "My pastor says if you found me, I should tell the truth."
The Nation throwing its support to Kerry is about as shocking as Al Franken's "surprise" endorsement of him on Friday's Air America show. But what they have to say should be of huge importance - and motivation - to all of us.
And by the way, if you have any friends or family who insist on voting for Bush - and will not change their mind - tell them, fine. You'll give them Bush. But please, for all that is fair, please give us consideration for the senate and Congress candidates who are running in their area. Remind them the war is costing every American adult an average of $918 (less if they're rich enough to get a tax cut, and therefore more if they're not). If they'd rather have the money stay here and help our own economy - don't give one party continued unchecked access to our money. Please. Vote for the Democrats.
LINK - The comedian also takes a light swipe at news programs that may not all run on cable. When reminded that the Television Critics Association voted his "The Daily Show" the best news and information program of the year, Stewart says, "I think in some respects, they were punking you, as opposed to praising us."
Some people can't stand what has happened to their hometown paper. Hoffmania! contributor Kevin has fired this off to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
There's [sic] rumors on the Internets [sic] -- as Dubya himself would say -- that the venerable Plain Dealer is being forced by its publisher to endorse a deranged, incompetent, murdering religious visionary for the presidency of the Republic.
By extension, that suggests that you are, in the public interest of the people of Northeastern Ohio, endorsing the most corrupt and corrosive administration in the nation's history, as well as the most dangerous cabal of power-seeking sociopaths ever unleashed on the planet.
I refuse to believe these rumors. Such a thing would be unthinkable in the Ohio where I was born and raised, a landscape populated by gentle folks of infinite politeness, who exercised charity and compassion as second nature, who impulsively came to the aid of strangers, who played dumb for effect, were sharp as horse-traders and could spot a con-man two cornfields away.
Although I left my home state 30 years ago, I have carried my "Ohio-ness" proudly into my adult life. Now, alas, for the first time, it makes me ashamed.
The Ohioans I knew could have no use for a man who would deceive them into not one, but two, senseless and bungled wars. They would burn their own fields before they would condone the pointless deaths of our own children, the murder of thousands of innocent people who have never harmed us, and the wholesale torture and abuse of individuals not even charged with a crime.
The Ohioans I knew would not conscience the covert dismantling of the Bill of Rights, the arrogant cronyism that places corporate self-interest above the popular will, and a government that cows its citizens with endless speculation of horrific attacks by nameless bogeymen straight out of a cheap dime-novel.
Above all, the Ohioans I knew did not care to be lied to by the people they trust. And if there is a dark side to being an Ohioan, it is that we never forget an act of betrayal. We carry our memories well and long.
And it's never too late to settle an old score.
Presidents come and -- hopefully, in this case -- go. But the day will come when the PD may be asked to explain why, at the precise moment when its wisdom and resolve could have made a difference, it cast its lot with an administration whose only gift to Ohio will be four more years of war, lost jobs, sinking incomes, gutted educational systems, deteriorating infrastructure, declining social services and local municipalities scraping to survive.
If the Ohio I remember still exists, you'd best have one hell of a spectacular excuse.
...you'll know it's a desperate last-ditch job-saving election gambit by the crackheads. The story of the FBI finding absolutely no proof of such a plot isn't just in a few fringe outlets. It's EVERYWHERE.
On November 2nd, Bush will rue the day he screened people out of his pep rallies. Why do we keep hearing stories like this from the Bush squirt parties, but never from the Kerry rallies? I know. A stupid question.
Depending on what side of the fence people are on, crowd control was at an all-time high or low at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township during President Bush's visit Friday.
A 27-year-old registered Republican and member of the U.S. Army, along with three other people around him, was forced to leave the arena before getting inside.
The Wyoming Valley man who did not want to be identified by name because of his loyalty to his service members is being deployed to Iraq in two weeks. His Army service and status were verified.
He explained that he was attending the event in hopes of finding the right candidate to vote for on Nov. 2.
"I thought seeing Bush would be enough to sway my opinion one way or the other. After today, it definitely has swayed," he said.
While waiting in line, he noticed a stranger standing alone and invited the person to stand with him.
"I didn't think that would be a problem," he said.
It turned out to be.
Individuals from the Bush campaign spotted the individual with the soldier and identified the person as a Democratic supporter.
The spotters, and eventually police, asked the Democratic supporter to remove a jacket, a sweater and some other articles of clothing in what was described as basically a police search.
The soldier said the Democratic supporter did what was asked without any complaint. The person also provided a ticket to the event.
The soldier said that when he asked why the person was being hassled, the spotters said the Democrat's name wasn't on their "master list."
"So I asked if we could see the master list? They said they didn't have it," he said.
The soldier said he stood up for the supporter, but was in no way hostile, because he was there to see the president and hoped to justify voting for him.
Not long after showing his own ticket and being told he wasn't part of the "master list" either, the police asked the soldier to leave. He was told the event was for Bush supporters or undecided voters only.
Until Friday when he left the arena, the soldier was an undecided voter. Now he's voting for Sen. Kerry and volunteering for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.
"I thought the whole Bush message was compassionate conservatism. I didn't see anything compassionate from the Bush people," he said.
There's a lot of talk about how the CPD editorial board voted 5-2 to endorse Kerry, but they were all overruled by the publisher - and a Bush endorsement was supposed to appear in the Sunday editions. LINK1 - LINK2
But it appears that editorial will have to wait another day. The editorials for Sunday have no such endorsement. Guess the heat got to 'em. Congrats to dKos and Rittenhouse for getting the troops fired up!
It seems we're getting inundated with false emails every five minutes here. First, it was the 57 quizillion dollars it would take to retrofit and secure Kerry's houses. Now there's one about the flu vaccine shortage being blamed on a lawsuit leveled by John Edwards.
Apparently, their beeg fat "news special" last night was so watered down and defanged, that it's got the wingnuts' underpants tied up in knots. Lucianne.com, the Freepers and ChronWatch are all up in arms this morning wanting Sinclair to burn in the pits of hell for backing down from lying through their transmitters - calling them the worst thing they can think of: Kerry sympathizers.
Yeah. I feel sorry for the whole damned lot these jerks. Enjoy each other. Tear each other to shreds. I got baseball to watch. And a Whopper with my name on it.
If you thought politicians would be more responsible having to state their approval of political ads, you haven't been paying attention to Bush. This is one of the most deceptive and fear-inducing ads of the campaign. It's this kind of dark thinking which is turning Americans off to these jackasses by the boatload.
And the terrorist attack they refer to is the 1993 attack of the WTC's garage. They intentionally mislead here so people don't remember Cheney's abysmal intel/military/security voting/recommendation record from back then.
Blah3 points out that the Dems have a counter-spot ready to go when the Bush Crackheads unleash theirs. It's just a touch more positive - and invokes the very symbol of America's strength. Touche'.
ST. PAUL (AP) - Former Gov. Jesse Ventura now supports John Kerry for president. You'll just have to take Angus King's word for it.
In a bizarre news conference Friday in the Capitol complex, Ventura stood silently next to the former Maine governor in an event billed as independents for Kerry.
King said Ventura wouldn't be talking but had authorized King to answer questions on his behalf. Ventura, King said, had changed his mind after saying last month that he didn't like either of the candidates.
Asked if Ventura's presence meant he was endorsing Kerry, King replied: "Yes."
First Mick Foley. Now Jesse. It doesn't get any better.
Today's story of Margaret Hassan is gut-wrenching. I saw the video of her pleading for her life this morning, and it's probably one of the saddest sights you'll see this side of 9/11. This woman, who has devoted her life to aiding and comforting others is now living in hell and terror which was not there in Iraq until Bush's Bring-It-On war.
I just had another chat with a fellow worker - a very pleasant one, I'm happy to say - who as a surprise to me said she's going to vote for Bush. Why? She doesn't want to spend all that money for welfare people and the oh-so-harmful domestic programs.
I told her, "Look - you're paying. If that's your concern, don't worry. You're paying. Your share of the Iraq war so far is already over $600."
She said she didn't mind paying for that. I got all frowny-faced with her and said, "Y'know...I'm funny this way. I'd rather we kept the money here and helped Americans who need the help - not a country that needs our help only because we blew them up. And I'd sure rather have that $140+ billion spent on securing our citizens and getting the REAL bad guys who actually attacked us. Call me crazy."
At least she looked like I gave her something to think about. She finally said she's not crazy about either candidate. I told her to look past the candidates and go several deep in the bench - the cabinet - and at least give THAT some thought.
Maybe I didn't change her mind, but she was receptive. And when walls come down, fresh air blows in.
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation's children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliche about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy. Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal - Bush has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American can't be found to do it - and you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail.
The only way Americans will have a presidency in which neoconservatives and the Christian Armageddon set are not holding the reins of power is if Kerry is elected.
If Kerry wins, this magazine will be in opposition from Inauguration Day forward. But the most important battles will take place within the Republican Party and the conservative movement. A Bush defeat will ignite a huge soul-searching within the rank-and-file of Republicandom: a quest to find out how and where the Bush presidency went wrong.
Kim Griffith voted on Thursday - over and over and over.
She's among the people in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties who say they have had trouble with early voting equipment. When they have tried to vote for a particular candidate, the touch-screen system has said they voted for somebody else.
It's a problem that can be fixed by the voters themselves - people can alter the selections on their ballots, up to the point when they indicate they are finished and officially cast the ballot.
For Griffith, it took a lot of altering.
She went to Valle Del Norte Community Center in Albuquerque, planning to vote for John Kerry. "I pushed his name, but a green check mark appeared before President Bush's name," she said.
Griffith erased the vote by touching the check mark at Bush's name. That's how a voter can alter a touch-screen ballot.
She again tried to vote for Kerry, but the screen again said she had voted for Bush. The third time, the screen agreed that her vote should go to Kerry.
She faced the same problem repeatedly as she filled out the rest of the ballot. On one item, "I had to vote five or six times," she said.
Michael Cadigan, president of the Albuquerque City Council, had a similar experience when he voted at City Hall.
"I cast my vote for president. I voted for Kerry and a check mark for Bush appeared," he said.
He reported the problem immediately and was shown how to alter the ballot.
Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrera said she doesn't believe the touch-screen system has been making mistakes. It's the fault of voters, she said Thursday.
Cadigan, for example, could have "leaned his palm on the touch screen and it hit the wrong button," she said.
And Griffith leaned her palm on the touch screen five or six times? Yeah. Sure.
And this is just with EARLY voting. November 2nd is going to be a frigging hellhole, which will make Kerry's victory nothing short of remarkable. We've reached the point where you have to bring a cmcorder into the voting booth with you.
About 2400 people gathered to hear Coulter defend President Bush and bash the Democrats. And she delivered.
"The Democrats have no actual policy proposals of their own unless constant carping counts as a policy," Coulter said.
But outside, protestors showed that not everyone welcomed Coulter's visit, and at least two even made it inside.
As Coulter addressed a question about terrorism, she stopped mid-statement: "You take away the terrorism and liberals would hate..." at that Coulter gasped as she looked to her left, and began backing away from the podium. Two men ran by, on-stage, and each threw a pie a her. They were mobbed as they tried to exit the auditorium.
"Could the Marines please find them?" Coulter asked aloud, speaking of some of the men in the audience.
They missed the direct hit, but keep trying. Apparently, she sees pies as a WMD.
"You gotta start travelling with a bodyguard. It's a crazy time and liberals are out of their minds and look, someone can harm you and it does make me think maybe I should start travelling with somebody," Coulter said.
According to a stunning report posted by a retired Navy Lt Commander and 28-year veteran of the Defense Department (DoD), the Bush administration's assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to "plant" WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by "friendly fire", the Environmentalists Against War report.
Nelda Rogers is a 28-year veteran debriefer for the DoD. She has become so concerned for her safety that she decided to tell the story about this latest CIA-military fiasco in Iraq. According to Al Martin Raw.com, "Ms Rogers is number two in the chain of command within this DoD special intelligence office. This is a ten-person debriefing unit within the central debriefing office for the Department of Defense."
Convert this to ballots, you guys. Get Out That Vote. You voice will be the loudest this election because you have so much at stake.
LINK - Just weeks before the Nov. 2 election, researchers at Harvard's Institute of Politics found that 52 percent of all students want the Massachusetts senator elected president, 39 percent support Bush, and 8 percent are undecided.
In 14 hotly contested swing states, the poll shows Kerry leading Bush by 17 points among students.
The data suggest more students are leaning toward Kerry than six months ago, when Harvard last surveyed them. That poll, released in April, found Kerry leading Bush by 48-38 percent with 11 percent undecided.
Nashville Scene argues its case for the next president.
LINK - George Bush's judgment is so tragically simple as to make us fearful for this nation. When an enemy in Afghanistan attacked us, he instead attacked Iraq. When the economy tanked, he gave money to the rich. And when he wasn't doing any of the above, he was putting on his cowboy hat, swaggering across America and projecting the image of America as Badass.
George Bush ran on a platform of compassionate conservatism. But when the world got dicey and his tiny viewfinder of a mind couldn't handle reality, he morphed into a schoolyard bully. If anything makes this newspaper regret this man's presidency, it is that the strongest nation in the world doesn't need to be a bully. Bullies are bullies because they're insecure and weak and dumb. This nation is none of the above. George Bush is all of above.
And so we endorse John Kerry. We do so without shouting his name from the mountaintops. But we do so knowing that he has a fully formed brain, that he fought honorably for this country and that he would work to regain the respect of nations around the world. We have no confidence he would figure out Iraq. We have no idea how anyone figures that out.
On the domestic front, we feel that John Kerry would respect ordinary working Americans, that he would work to reform entitlement programs for the sick and elderly, and that he would be more involved at an intellectual level with the policy discussions in which every president should be immersed. We also have more confidence in Democrats to get the debt under control. Republicans have totally lost their grip on proper fiscal stewardship.
Over time, John Kerry has grown on us. To a Southerner, his pedantic delivery and royal elocution can be a bit much, but in the debates we've slowly come around. We are confident John Kerry will at least engage with the complexity in today's world. It's not just that Bush won't do that. It's that he can't.
Two sides of the UK troop movement in Iraq from the BBC. Of course the flowery perfume-laden bullpoop hype comes from _____(guess which country)_____ and the tough questioning comes from _____(guess again)_____.
Richard Boucher, US Department of State spokesman:
It just demonstrates, once again, the kind of role that Britain is prepared to play in a matter that affects their security and our security, the security of all of us, and that is stabilising Iraq and helping the people of Iraq take control of their destiny and reconstruct their country.
Geraldine Smith MP, Labour (former supporter of war and one of more than 60 Labour MPs who called for a parliamentary vote on the deployment):
We're being told that this is an operational necessity, and if this is true it must imply that the Americans have insufficient of the right type of troops and equipment on the ground in Iraq. And we really need to know why this is so. After all, they are the world's superpower. It does beg the question is it because George Bush is not prepared to commit additional American forces before the presidential elections?
I might be wrong. I might be premature. But all signs are pointing to the Bush campaign getting THISCLOSE to a lot of emergency damage control. Bush's sewer has been stuffed so heavily, that it's backing up and spilling out all over their plans. Lots of stuff today...
Addressing the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Wednesday night, George Tenet, former director of central intelligence, called the war on Iraq "wrong," according to Clark's article today. Tenet added that while the Iraq war was "rightly being challenged," the CIA was making important strides toward success in the greater war on terrorism.
The city's main police union broke with a tradition of backing Republicans for president and voted to endorse Democrat John Kerry, largely because he honored their picket line during the Democratic National Convention this summer.
The union's 50-member House of Representatives gave its backing to Kerry on Wednesday, following a personal appeal by U.S. Rep. William D. Delahunt, D-Mass., to support the hometown candidate.
Former Republican Gov. William Milliken - who served a record 14 years as Michigan's chief executive - is endorsing Democrat John Kerry, saying President Bush "has pursued policies pandering to the extreme right wing."
"I have felt a growing sense of concern for some time and I don't think that I couldn't speak out as a Republican and as a citizen," Milliken said in a Monday interview with The Detroit News from his Traverse City home. "To me, this transcends politics."
There has been little movement in how voters assess the candidates on the issues. But a separate Pew Research Center poll of 803 adults shows that Bush's own approval measures have weakened appreciably. Bush's overall job approval stands at 44%, while solid majorities disapprove of his handling of the situation in Iraq (56% disapprove) and the economy (55%). Even on terrorism, the president's strongest issue, his approval rating stands at 49% the lowest level since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released a report today of an inquiry he initiated on June 27, 2003 and conducted by the SASC Minority Staff.
The report demonstrates how intelligence relating to the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship was exaggerated by high ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the Administration’s decision to invade Iraq when the intelligence assessments of the Intelligence Community did not make a sufficiently compelling case.
If you see the Bush Bandwagon broken down on the side of the road, do not stop. Keep speeding into the future. With resolve.
Maybe it's time we talked about how removing Bush-F***Yourself will also mean the extrication of the most incompetent, dishonest and dangerously reckless cabinet in history. Ashcroft. Rumsfeld. A defanged Powell. Wolfowitz. Rice. All these people have been completely negligent and underachieving in their duties.
Let's start the discussion. Who would you like to see in a Kerry cabinet?
Yes, "Jon Stewart" has become a verb - as in Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) Jon Stewarted Sean Hannity tonight on the teevee right after the Cheney interview. Wackyguy posted the transcript at Kos. Why? Because FoxNews.com only posted the Cheney interview. Guess the kitchen got too hot for 'em.
Here's the Jon Stewarting:
HANNITY: ...joining us with a Democratic reaction to the interview that I just had with the vice president is Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu.
Let me put on the screen here a Fox News poll from yesterday as it relates to the vice president and his daughter, and I was asking him about it. Kerry's reference to Cheney's daughter: 25 percent said appropriate, 64 percent said inappropriate.
How do you feel about it? Was it inappropriate?
U.S. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Well, first of all, Sean, let me say, I wasn't call what just happened with the vice president an interview. I think it was an info-commercial for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. With all due respect...
HANNITY: Hey, Senator, if you want to insult me...
LANDRIEU: If I got to watch the interview...
HANNITY: Senator, Senator, I think you're a lousy senator.
LANDRIEU: I'm not insulting you. I'm giving you my opinion about the what the interview ...
HANNITY: Senator, if you want to insult my interview, you can...
LANDRIEU: It's what the interview was.
HANNITY: This is an opportunity to go a little deeper and get a little bit more knowledge in a very comfortable environment for both candidates. So if you don't like it, I don't really care, but we have offered it to both sides in the name of fairness.
So if you want to come on the program and try and insult me or insult the channel, that's fine, but you have been a guest on this program multiple times and for you to do that, I think, is a cheap shot by you. So we'll move on.
Do you think -- to answer the question -- do you agree with the poll or do you disagree with the poll?
LANDRIEU: Sean, I'm not trying to be disrespectful to you. But I'm entitled -- I'm not trying to be disrespectful to you, but I'm entitled to my opinion. You asked me to come on the show and respond to the interview.
HANNITY: I didn't ask you that question though. I asked you about Dick Cheney's daughter.
LANDRIEU: I understand. And I'm going to get there in just a minute.
HANNITY: If you want to be insulting, if you want to make cheap shots, you can...
LANDRIEU: You asked me to come on this program...
HANNITY: Right. So why don't you answer the question I asked you...
LANDRIEU: You asked me to come this program and respond to the interview.
HANNITY: Answer the question then.
LANDRIEU: So I was thinking what I thought about the interview.
LINK - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is married to a Kennedy, joked at a public-policy conference that his sex life suffered after he endorsed President Bush at the Republican National Convention.
"There was no sex for 14 days," he said. "Everything comes with side effects."
Schwarzenegger, whose wife is TV journalist Maria Shriver, had an audience of about 1,000 people in stitches Monday as he took part in a lecture series organized by former Clinton administration chief of staff Leon Panetta.
Ha ha ha! Coincidentally, thanks to Bush, hundreds of soldiers can't have sex either, because their lower bodies have been blown to bits over nonexistent WMDs! Ha ha ha! Funny, funny muscleman!
And of course, holy guy Pat Robertson vigorously supports Bush. Do you see the sense in all this? If not, remember that there's nothing in the Ten Commandments about lying. (Theologically speaking, the "bear false witness" thing doesn't apply to just plain lying.)
The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, "We're not going to have any casualties."
Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."
"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "
Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
Or so it appears here. Google News shows that the more-insane-than-the-Freepers Lucianne.com (links to Google, not Lucianne) has its servers in Taiwan. As usual, crapping on Americans to get their Americanier Than Thou message across. Jerks.
It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.
"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."
When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."
None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration's great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush's much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss.
The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grass-roots movement led by the families of those slain.
And then Bush refused to testify to the commission under oath, or on the record. Instead he deigned only to chat with the commission members, with Vice President Dick Cheney present, in a White House meeting in which commission members were not allowed to take notes. All in all, strange behavior for a man who seeks reelection to the top office in the land based on his handling of the so-called war on terror.
In September, the New York Times reported that several family members met with Goss privately to demand the release of the CIA inspector general's report. "Three thousand people were killed on 9/11, and no one has been held accountable," 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser told the paper.
The failure to furnish the report to Congress, said Harman, "fuels the perception that no one is being held accountable. It is unacceptable that we don't have [the report]; it not only disrespects Congress but it disrespects the American people."
The stonewalling by the Bush administration and the failure of Congress to gain release of the report have, said the intelligence source, "led the management of the CIA to believe it can engage in a cover-up with impunity. Unless the public demands an accounting, the administration and CIA's leadership will have won and the nation will have lost."