Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Even Republicans Are Backing Kerry!
Republicans For Kerry
Below is the current Press Release from Republicans for Kerry.
Below that are articles to show that both Moderate Republicans and some noted Conservatives are upset with Bush, are critical of him, and are bashing him!This is excellent documentation to be forwarding to people as the Republican Convention starts up because this will show people what is truly behind the mask and makeover that will be what the Republican Convention is really all about!Please also let people know about the Republicans for Kerry organization so that they will clearly see that there are many mainstream thinking Republicans who are supporting John Kerry because they want their Party back from the extremist leadership of Bush and want new Party leadership that will be in the mainstream!Check out their website at http://www.republicansforkerry04.org/
Check out their yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/republicansforkerry04/
where they currently have 733 members and are growing fast. Check out their online forums at http://republicansforkerry04.org/phpBB2/
These links and the articles below contain some really excellent information for people to see as the Republican Convention is going on this week!
Just Being Anti- Bush Is Not Enough!
Just Being Anti-Bush Is Not Enough To Win
By Sam Webb, Chairman of CPUSA
It was no surprise to me that virtually everyone I met during a recentthree-week trip across the Midwest was quick to remind me that this electionis the most important in their lifetime. While agreeing that the overridingpolitical task is to defeat Bush and his counterparts in Congress and electKerry and a more people-friendly Congress, no one reduced this to simply acontest between the Democratic and Republican parties.This election, they told me, will continue the nearly 24-year struggleagainst the forces of extreme political reaction who are now entrenched inthe White House, Congress and Supreme Court - but with this difference: Nov.2 could well mark a turning point for better or worse.A Bush victory would give the ultra-right a green light to ramp up theirproject to drastically and unilaterally reshape the domestic andinternational landscape in the interests of U.S. imperialism.On the other hand, a victory by Kerry and the broad democratic movement thatsupports him would be a body blow to the extreme right, bring some relief onbread and butter issues, and lift the siege on our nation's constitution.It also would create a much more favorable political terrain on which thepeople's movement could struggle for its agenda, beginning with an end tothe occupation of Iraq.Thus the stakes are high, and what adds to the drama is that the electorateis so divided that the outcome will depend on which campaign is able to turnout the biggest vote.Given these circumstances, what should be the role of left and progressivepeople?It is not to parse every word, vet every speech, and scrutinize everystatement of Kerry. Nor is it to damn Kerry with faint praise. Rather itsmain task, as I see it, is to bring into sharper focus the differences inthe two lines of policy represented by Kerry and Bush, to delineate thevastly improved political playing field that a Kerry victory would bring,and, above all, to become involved in the grassroots efforts to mobilize thevote.In so doing, the left will help voters gain an understanding of the biggerpicture, extend the practical efforts to reach the electorate, and enhanceits connections to the main democratic organizations - connections which arecritical to post-election struggles.Across the country there is a growing anti-Bush feeling, but that alone isnot enough. To win requires that millions be convinced that the differencesbetween Bush and Kerry are real, substantial and consequential to theirlives on the whole range of issues: Social Security, Medicare, health care,overtime, minimum wage, public education, affirmative action, civil rights,reproductive rights, immigrant rights, gay rights, civil liberties, taxpolicy, environmental protection, Cuba, preemptive war, and nuclear weaponstesting and use.Even on Iraq, there are differences between the two. But more importantly,the defeat of Bush would be a repudiation of his policies of war andoccupation, and that could not be ignored by a Kerry administration.Thus, the remark heard in some left circles, "I will vote for Kerry but holdmy nose," misses the point and is demobilizing. It may bring some momentaryself-satisfaction to those expressing it. But it will do little to convinceswing, undecided, or stay-at-home voters to go to the polls.In my experience, aside from right wing talk show hosts and their loyallisteners, few people believe that Kerry is a candidate of the left andprogressive movement. Most know that he is closely tied to the U.S. rulingclass and a defender of capitalism, as is Bush.That common class affiliation and fondness for the "free enterprise" system,however, doesn't prevent millions of voters from understanding that Kerry isa political centrist and espouses different policies than Bush.Nor does it keep them from realizing that a Kerry victory would give thebroader movements more political leverage than they now have.The biggest danger in this election is not that people have unrealisticexpectations of a Kerry administration, but rather that a substantialsection of voters still believe that it doesn't make much of a differencewho they vote for on Nov. 2. The responsibility of left and progressivepeople is not to spend their time bellyaching over Kerry's shortcomings, butto convince millions of people that there is a choice and that the outcomeof this election will have enormous consequences for our nation's future.Sam Webb can be reached at email@example.com
Mc Cain Transcript: Mc Cain Does Not Attack Kerry; unfortunately supports Bush
Below is the link to and transcript of an interview> that John McCain had with > Judy Woodruff on CNN on 8/30/04.> >
Though McCain is campaigning for Bush, he still does>not attack John Kerry, > he compliments him, and he also admits to> circumstances that are happening that > Bush likes to avoid talking about.> >
Here are some examples of good things and true> statements that John McCain > had to say:>
> "John and I -- John Kerry and I are friends and have> been friends for many > years. We worked on a lot of issues together, the> POW/MIA and others."> >
MCCAIN: "There are a lot of issues that the> president hasn't taken my advice > on."> > MCCAIN: "I believe that John Kerry served honorably.> And are we now going to > go back and re-examine every medal that every> candidate for public office or > every office holder got? This is so injurious and so> angering to me. I've spent > the last 30 years trying to heal the wounds of the> Vietnam War? Why? Because > there were 18- and 19- year-old kids who served> honorably in Vietnam, came > home and were given a very bad reception by their> fellow citizens."> >
MCCAIN: "I have every reason to believe that John> Kerry would be a good > president of the United States."> >
WOODRUFF: Do you think this country is going to> remain divided after this > election, no matter who wins? > >
MCCAIN: "The way this campaign is going, yes. But if> I were President Bush, > as soon as I'm reelected I would make my top> priority trying to bring this > nation back together. > > This is the worst, most partisan environment that> I've seen in 22 years in > public office. And I deeply regret it. I deeply> regret it. We are friends; we're > not enemies. We have a common enemy. Maybe we ought> to start work together to > address that challenge."> >
I am glad that John McCain sees that point about> partisanship but Bush does > NOT see it! Check out what Both George W. Bush and> Laura Bush told Larry King > about the subject of partisanship in this country> right now:> > http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0408/12/lkl.00.html
Open up this link for the whole interview > >
CNN LARRY KING LIVE> > Interview With George W. Bush, Laura Bush> >
Aired August 12, 2004 - 21:00 ET> >
KING: The other night we were talking concerning> that. There seems to be a > lack of civility in America, angry people, talk> radios's angry, people are > angry, people hate you, hate other candidates. It> eased for a week during the > Reagan funeral. What do you make of this? What's> going on in America?> >
G. BUSH: I think there may be handfuls of people> that are very emotional, but > I think by far the vast majority of Americans are,> you know, are -- want to > know whether they're going to be able to work, and> whether or not the > government is doing its job of protecting the> country...> >
KING: Is the smaller group louder?> >
G. BUSH: I think it's pretty loud, but they> certainly don't represent the > majority of Americans.> >
KING: You don't, so you think there's less civility> in America?> >
L. BUSH: Well, I don't know if I would say less. I> think every campaign, you > know, in the end, has a part of it that's> (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I think that's > what we're seeing in this one.> >
KING: Is it hard to stay away from it? I mean, is> there a desire to...> >
L. BUSH: It's hard for me.> > (LAUGHTER)> > I don't like it.> >
It is very clear that John McCain sees the truth> about the divisiveness and > heavy partisanship that is going on now in this> country and that Bush either > does not see it or will just not admit to it.> > I would say that Bush would never admit to the> positive statements above that > John McCain said about John Kerry but he should. I> would ask Bush supporters > if they agree with Bush or McCain about the degree> of partisanship in this > country now as well as if they would agree with the> positive statements that > McCain said about John Kerry!> > This is what we need to be showing to people and> telling people so that they > can see through the propaganda and smokescreens of> the Bush campaign and the > Republican Convention!> > Please forward this information on. This is as> credible as it gets when we > are all reading the exact same quotes coming> directly from John McCain (who is > supporting Bush) on the topics of John Kerry and the> worst amount of > partisanship that is going on now in this country!>
Bush Is Not The Image of Texas
In this media-saturated age, sound bites stand in for truth, and image becomes reality. By virtue of the bully pulpit of his presidency, George W. Bush has become the image of Texas, and it appears to the nation--even to the world--that this man is the very ethos of the Texas mind and heart. Too many people believe that the President defines what it means to be a Texan, that his walk is our walk, that his talk is our talk, his politics are our politics, his values are our values. Read More...
After two years of brag and bluster, yesterday George W. Bush admitted on the Today Show that he can't win the war on terror. Many Texans who remember how Bush's "education miracle" vanished like a mirage or how his irresponsible tax cuts left the state with a crushing deficit won't be surprised that he's failing again.
DriveDemocracy is proud to support a bold group of Texas artists who aren't afraid to point out that W. is "all hat and no cattle." We're only on the second day of our four day fundraising effort to help the Texas Arts Community and DriveDemocracy members are over half-way to our fundraising goal!
To contribute to the effort and help us meet our $10,000 goal, click here: https://www.onlinecontribution.com/drivedemocracy/
Today we're continuing our convention special with an essay from best-selling mystery author David Lindsey. The full essay can be read at the DriveDemocracy homepage.thank you for your courage and committment,
Glenn Smith, DriveDemocracy.org
Sept. 1 '04 Democracy For America Meetup
Austin, TX Democracy for America Meetup is happening
-- please join Supporters of Democracy on Wednesday, Sep 1 @ 7PM. We hope to see you there.Here are the details:What: National Democracy for America Meetup Day
When: Wednesday, Sep 1 @ 7PM
Who: Supporters of Democracy and friendsWhere: Scholz Garden1607 San Jacinto Austin, TX 78701
When you get there, look for the Supporters of Democracy near: Entrance
DNC was about it, press already forgets it.
Label our choice of unity for all to see: United Not Divided? Remember Sep 12? ...?*
Discuss voter registration opportunities both in Bflo and elsewhere*
Work to support Dean Dozen Candidates in your state----------------------------------------------------------------Message from Democracy for America--------------------------------------------------This month's voter registration initiative is off to a great start. We now have an updated voter registration page on Democracy for America with additional information and resources:http://www.democracyforamerica.com/newvoters
Next month, we're planning to continue our registration drive and we're going to ramp up efforts to collect absentee ballots. We're also planning house parties on Sept. 2, the day that President Bush speaks to the Repub. Convention. Host a house party:http://www.democracyforamerica.com/houseparties
Austin Police Officer:
Abuses Working Hours!!!
Reading The Paper And Eating Donuts For Hours On End At An Austin Gas Station!!!
See for yourself and visit him at Ed Bluestein (183 South) and Loyola in NorthEast Austin
Some of Austin's Finest Are Not So Fine.
An Angell For Austin EXCLUSIVE
Want to see your tax money in action?
Visit the Exxon Tigermart located @ Ed Bluestein and Loyola.
If you visit between the hours of 7 am and 10 am, you'll see first hand the type of law enforcement your tax money is paying for.
I'm on the road for my job. I work for a non-profit Hospice. I'm a smoker and nothing goes as good with a menthol smoke as talk radio and a fountain style Diet Pepsi.So I stop at a gas station in NorthEast Austin to supply me the Salem's and my thirst quencher.But I don't enjoy them as much as I used to.Why?Because a member of Austin's Finest likes to read the paper and enjoy the Krispy Kremes next to the pepsi dispenser.This wouldn't bother me if it was a break.But lets be honest here. On any given day, you'll find the stereotype of an officer; overweight, reading the paper, eating donuts...AND THIS IS DONE ON YOUR DIME!If you ever wonder where your tax money goes, stop by the Exxon at Ed Bluestein (183 south) and Loyola. You'll see for yourself.While you are there, see if you can get a badge number and the name of his boss.Stay Tuned for more as I get to the bottom of it.
BOYCOTT!!! Harbison Auto Sales in Round Rock Texas
Monday, August 30, 2004
ANTI- BUSH PROTESTORS STORM NYC
Urgent Action Alert: Stop the Smears from Bush and the Republicans
Weeks after Sen. John McCain asked him to, George Bush still refuses to condemn the lying smears made by a shadowy Republican front group against John Kerry. The attacks made by the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" have been universally condemned by editorial boards across the country:
"An ugly attack... dishonest and indecent." -- St. Petersburg Times
"Shameful... including letting someone else do the dirty work." -- Las Vegas Sun
"A flood of misinformation, rumor, and outright lies." -- St. Louis Post Dispatch
But George W. Bush won't condemn the group's lies. Why? Maybe because one of his top veterans' issue advisers was in one of the ads. Maybe because he has a long history of letting other people do his dirty work for him.
Take Action Now
The Democratic Party is standing up for John Kerry and actively repudiating this vicious smear campaign. Today we took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times asking readers to join us in this fight -- and we need you to join us as well.
We want to show George W. Bush that the American people aren't going to stand for this kind of negative, lying smear. Sign the Democratic Party's petition today and tell Bush to reject these gutter tactics, and listen to John McCain by smearing the ad.
Tell Your Friends
Spread the word about the vicious lies in this smear ad. Encourage your friends to take action by signing the Democratic Party's petition to George W. Bush.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Soldiers Of The Patriot Act
Are You Being Watched?
An ACLU open records request revealed recently that the Austin Police Department has been conducting undercover surveillance of anti-war activists. An APD assistant chief told the Daily Texan that the only reason APD doesn't constantly surveil activists covertly is that activists don't regularly plan events.
TELL THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT =
WE HAVE RIGHTS!
Free Speech is at risk! Stop The Bush Administration's Patriot Act !
This story was first broken in a UT student magazine called Issue, see http://www.issueonline.org/files/Feb_Small.pdf
, by a researcher working with the ACLU surveillance working group. That researcher, Jordan Buckley, published a longer article in the Texas Observer
, which is not available online.
Undercover officers at anti-war meetings!!!
APD officers were secretly present at protest plannings
By Clay Reddick
The Daily Texan, February 19, 2004
Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas prove that undercover Austin police officers attended anti-war meetings in March.The Texas ACLU obtained two memos in November discussing undercover police protest planning meetings. One of the documents details a detective's observations at a March 23 direct-action training where protesters practiced civil disobedience. On March 24, about 40 people were arrested while protesting against the war in Iraq."In an attempt to gather intelligence information regarding mass civil disobedience, members of the Organized Crime Division were requested to participate in training sessions and actual protests in an undercover capacity," the memo says.Texas ACLU lawyer Ann Del Llano said police waste resources when investigating nonviolent protesters, and such police activities may be unconstitutional."These people intended to commit a Class C misdemeanor," said Del Llano. "Police should focus on violent crimes [instead]."APD Assistant Chief Robert Dahlstrom said the department uses undercover police to better protect both demonstrators and police."If they're using dragon sleeves or tripods, we may not have the equipment there [so] that we don't hurt people," Dahlstrom said. "That's our goal."He said protesters usually cooperate with police when planning events."We have always and will continue to work with the organizers," Dahlstrom said. "We are not against protesters."Missy Bolbecker, who attended the March 23 meeting and was arrested at the protest, said it was not surprising that police attended the meeting."What we were doing was very public," Bolbecker said. "That's part of what protects us - we're not doing anything secret."In one of the documents, Chief Stan Knee commends four undercover detectives who participated in training and protests before and after the U.S. attack on Iraq on March 19.A memo from Derry Minor, one of the undercover detectives, describes a protest training session Minor attended March 23 at the AFL-CIO building on 11th Street. Minor said attendees learned how to counter police tactics such as using tear gas, horses and special formations.Several people volunteered to be arrested and break windows at the protest the following day, and leaders discussed providing legal assistance to anyone arrested, the memo said.The protesters' plans were relayed to arrest groups in the APD organized crime unit, and undercover officers were told to wear masks during the arrests to protect their identities, the memo said.Dahlstrom said undercover officers are identified by demonstrators at almost every protest, but none have ever been attacked.APD also videotapes mass demonstrations, Dahlstrom said, but it does not keep a database of protesters."We use the videos for training our crowd management team," Dahlstrom said. "We hold on to them in case there's a civil lawsuit."If the videos are not needed for a lawsuit, they are erased after two years, Dahlstrom said.APD does not have undercover officers investigating protests all the time, Dahlstrom said, because protesters do not regularly plan events."Until then, we're doing [undercover] narcotics work," he said.He declined to comment on how many staff hours APD devotes toward undercover surveillance.Bolbecker helped organize the March 24 Unholy Trinity Tour demonstration in conjunction with American Friends Service Committee and National Youth and Student Peace Coalition. Protesters marched from the federal building to Fox 7 News and ended the event at the CSC Dyncorp building.Actions were planned by several affinity groups, and there was no single protest leader."No one can really speak for the group," Bolbecker said.Bolbecker believes police identified her as a leader anyway. She was arrested on Cesar Chavez after stepping off a curb to walk around people crowding the sidewalk. Across the street, about 30 people were intentionally arrested in front of Dyncorp.
Friday, August 27, 2004
"Moderate" Face of Republican National Convention Can't Hide the Truth:
Bush Administration "the most anti-gay in history of gay rights movement," says National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
August 27, 2004 - New York City - With Republicans planning to present a moderate and compassionate face during the Republican National Convention, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today released a summary of the Bush administration’s record on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, calling the Bush-Cheney team "the most anti-gay administration in the history of the gay rights movement." The Task Force, the oldest national gay rights organization in the U.S., issued three reports on presidential candidates in 2000 and several reports on the Democratic and Republican candidates this election cycle.
"The Bush-Cheney Administration actively opposes every major policy initiative we care about - a federal nondiscrimination law, a hate crimes law, family protections, AIDS prevention, you name it,” said Matt Foreman, the Task Force's Executive Director. "Ideology and religious zeal have replaced science as the driving force within the federal health care and research bureaucracy. And worst of all, President Bush has joined forces with the anti-gay industry, who scapegoat gay and lesbian families to promote their broader agenda of intolerance. This, from our perspective, is the true face of George W. Bush’s presidency."
Given the Bush-Cheney Administration’s across-the-board opposition to any form of legal equality for gay people, and given that, as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said recently, the theme of the RNC Convention in New York would be “compassion,” the Task Force questioned the timing of Vice President Cheney's recent acknowledgement that he has a lesbian daughter and that he disagrees with President Bush on the need for a constitutional amendment to prohibit marriage for same-sex couples . "While we welcome the Vice President's words, actions are what count in politics. This administration has attacked equal rights for gay people and gay families on all fronts, including consciously using gay marriage as a wedge issue to divide the nation, win re-election, and fuel anti-gay organizing," Foreman said. "That is the reality behind the face of 'compassion.'"
According to the Task Force, of twelve key policy issues of concern to LGBT people, Bush either opposes equality or has taken no affirmative steps to advance equal treatment. Bush opposes lifting the military ban, has spoken out repeatedly against gay parenting, and has refused to state his position on Social Security survivor benefits for same-sex couples, safe schools initiatives, and other issues. (A chart summarizing these positions appears at the end of this release.)
The Task Force said it was particularly alarmed by the degree to which the Bush Administration policies have been dictated by far right, Christian evangelicals. "Since Carl Rove decided that the key to the President's re-election would be turning out 4 million evangelicals whom he thinks stayed at home in 2000, this Administration has catered to every demand of the religious right, blurring the cherished line between church and state," Foreman said.
The Task Force cited a range of decisions and policies showing the influence of far right Christian evangelical political pressure, including the "Faith Based Initiative" which allows faith-based service providers using federal tax dollars to ignore state and local nondiscrimination laws, the nomination of rabidly anti-gay individuals to the courts, and imposition of scientifically-unsupported "abstinence only until in a biblical married relationship" policies here at home and abroad. (A summary of some of these issues appears at the end of this release.)
- ### -
BUSH POSITIONS ON KEY LGBT ISSUES
Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Laws - OPPOSESGender Identity Non-Discrimination Laws - UNCLEARHIV/AIDS Prevention & Treatment – OPPOSES*Lifting Military Ban - OPPOSESInclusive Hate Crimes Laws - OPPOSESSocial Security Survivor & Spousal Benefits – OPPOSES**Domestic Partnership – OPPOSES***Civil Unions - OPPOSESMarriage - OPPOSESAdoption - OPPOSESLGBT-Supportive Education Policy - UNCLEARFederal Marriage Amendment – SUPPORTS
UNCLEAR = Unfortunately, the White House Press Office ignored repeated requests to complete a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force survey on twelve key issues of concern to LGBT people.
For a comparison of the Bush and Kerry positions on LGBT Issues, go to the Task Force election center at: http://www.TheTaskForce.org/electioncenter
*The Bush Administration has a mixed record on HIV/AIDS issues. While the President last year proposed a dramatic increase in funding for international prevention funding for domestic HIV/AIDS prevention has remained level. Bush has aggressively promoted abstinence-only-until-marriage both domestically and in Africa. Congress and the Administration have investigated AIDS service organizations for alleged obscenity violations, and investigated sex research through the National Institutes of Health.
**The Bush Administration has not taken a clear stance on the provision of Social Security survivor and spousal benefits for same-sex couples. However, Bush’s support of the Federal Marriage Amendment would preempt any court ruling in favor of equal treatment of same-sex couples under Social Security policy.
*** In 2000 Bush said, “In the private sector [domestic partner benefits] are perfectly fine.” On the governmental level, he said, the decision should be left up to cities and states. As governor however, Bush did nothing to advance domestic partner benefits, and in October 2003 he endorsed Marriage Protection Week, which opposed any form of partner recognition for gay couples. Bush has not indicated whether or not he supports domestic partner benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees.
The Influence of Far-Right Christian Evangelical Political Activists on Federal Policies
Through its "Faith Based Initiative" the Bush Administration has extended federal contracts to faith-based service providers that discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion and sexual orientation and had openly called upon Congress to enact legislation allowing faith-based service providers using federal tax dollars to be able to ignore state and local nondiscrimination laws in hiring. Deploying a theme used by the anti-gay movement since the 1980s, the Administration has inaccurately portrayed sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws as a hindrance to serving the needs of African American and Latino urban poor.
The Bush Administration has stifled potentially life-saving scientific inquiry. Last year, under pressure from the Traditional Values Coalition, the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) audited 250 sexuality-related research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), causing researchers to self-censor when submitting federal grant proposals to avoid undue scrutiny. Scientists have been vetted with leading political questions, and as a result appointed to or fired from research advisory councils. Four thousand scientists, including 48 Nobel Prize winners, have signed a declaration condemning the administration’s abuse of science.
Under pressure from the religious right, President Bush has nominated individuals with extreme anti-gay views to the federal bench and other federal positions, including nominating Christian evangelical Jerry Thacker, who has called AIDS the "gay plague," and homosexuality a "deathstyle" to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. (The nomination was withdrawn.) Similarly, William H. Pryor Jr., who was put on 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in a recess appointment, has said, "God has chosen, through his son Jesus Christ, this time and this place for all Christians... to save our country and save our courts" and in a brief in a brief before the Supreme Court compared homosexual acts with "necrophilia, bestiality, child porn, incest, and pedophilia."
The U.S. remains the only industrialized nation that has failed to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, (CEDAW), acceding to the Christian right's characterization of CEDAW as promoting "lesbianism."
The Bush Administration opposes comprehensive sex education, has aggressively promoted "abstinence-only-until-marriage" policies, and has defunded AIDS service providers for advocating safe sex. Bush has said young people should delay having sex until they are in a “biblical married relationship.” Studies have shown that "abstinence only" programs do not work in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Coupled with the administration’s opposition to same-sex marriage, they implicitly promote lifelong celibacy to young LGBT people.
The just-adopted platform of the Republican Party moved even further to the right and now contains, in the words of the Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero, "radically extreme language that goes even further than calling for a ban on same-sex marriage" that seeks "to marginalize part of the American family by barring not just marriage but also civil unions, domestic partnerships, and indeed any benefits or protections for gay and lesbian families."
BOYCOTT FOR EQUALITY
"Boycott for Equality" on October 8 2004
A newly formed group based in Atlanta called Boycott for Equality is urging all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Americans and their straight allies to "drop out" of the U.S. economy on Friday, October 8, including skipping work by using a sick or personal day, not making any purchases, and not using cell phones."On February 24, 2004, the President of the United States declared war on gay/bisexual/transgendered Americans when he decided to support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage denying us over 1,000 rights and responsibilities that all other Americans currently enjoy," said a statement from the group on its Web site.For more information click on www.boycottforequality.com
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Howard Dean In Austin Texas
Howard Dean addresses crowd at Huston-Tillotson
By: Jitin Hingorani
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean made a stop in Austin Sunday to motivate Texas Democrats to take back the White House. Hundreds of supporters showed up at Huston-Tillotson College in East Austin to hear Dean's message. They call themselves Deaniacs for Kerry - supporters who believe Dean is making an impact on Texas Democrats. "Howard Dean got us energized, and I think we are tired of what's going on and we're finally saying enough's enough. We're gonna' take it back," Austin Democrat Joene Grissom said.
The crux of Dean's message is that Democrats need to take back Texas by relying on grassroots organizing. "We've been away from that too long, and I'm pretty optimistic. I don't want to give up on places like Texas," Dean said.
Mr. Dean comes to Austin
Howard Dean is encouraging Texans to become politically active on the grassroots level.
Dean showed his support for candidates on the Dean's Dozen list - people like Richard Morrison, who is running against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and David Van Os, who is running for Texas Supreme Court Judge. "I'd like to think that there are a sufficient number of Texans who are angry with what's going on, including the outsourcing of jobs, including the reduction in health insurance for Texans that we will get out and vote," Austin Democrat Odessa Pierce said.To make sure of that, more than 400 volunteers from around the state received political training over the weekend. "We've learned mainly how to target our voter base, how to identify the Democratic vote, how to get out and get them out to the polls," Houston Democrat Steve Gross said.Dean said the Democratic political fervor in Texas is exciting, but it's still going to take every voter to turn the tide.
"American voters are pretty smart. They're much smarter than people in Washington give them credit for, and they basically sort this out themselves," Dean said. "This is the most energized I've ever seen the Democratic Party in Texas and we're really trying. We're all working hard," Gross said.
Democracy for Texas
organized the event. The group is part of Democracy for America
, an organization Dean founded.
Did Dubya really EARN these medals?
Find out for yourself. See posting below for a link. (...photographed w/,medals he did not earn)
The President's Choice Ride While at his Crawford Ranch!
Do you really want this man running our country?
Oust Tom Delay!
The following message was sent to me in an e-mail by Mitch Dworkin who is a Campaign Manager for Richard Morrison.
I found it very interesting and have decided to post it word for word.
Hello Everyone:Below is a nice report of a Texas Tom DeLay protest event. Tom DeLay received more protesters than supporters at the University of Houston event that he spoke at and the police would not interfere with the protesters when DeLay's aids asked them to on two occasions!Below that e mail is an excellent article about Tom DeLay from Richard Morrison who is Tom DeLay's Democratic opponent. Richard Morrison Calls on DeLay to Choose Constituents Over Campaign Contributors!Below that article is the link to and Home Page of Richard Morrison's campaign website. Richard Morrison is running an excellent campaign against Tom DeLay and he deserves any help and support that you can provide no matter where you live!Richard Morrison getting rid of Tom DeLay is not just a Texas issue only, it is a national issue. Tom DeLay will only get in John Kerry's way in Congress when John Kerry becomes President and Congress will be much better off with Tom Delay sent back to Texas for good along with George W. Bush!I hope that this message will help to encourage more protesting of the Republican Convention that is coming up in your local areas as well as in New York, more protesting of extreme Republican candidates like Tom DeLay, and will help to support Richard Morrison's candidacy to unseat Tom DeLay!Richard Morrison is doing us all a big favor in running a very serious campaign to get rid of Tom DeLay and he truly deserves our help and support. Tom DeLay was at about 49% in the latest polls that I heard of so Richard Morrison has excellent chances of defeating DeLay!Mitch DworkinCampaign Manager, Gary R. Page for Congress, Texas Congressional District 24http://www.johnkerry.com/index.htmlhttp://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/releases/ Official Kerry campaign press releases on the issues so that we can define what John Kerry is really for on the issues and to clear up the distortions of John Kerry from the Bush campaign, their surrogates, and the RNC!http://www.morrisonfor22.com/ Richard Morrison for Congress Website.Â http://www.garyrpage.com/ Gary R. Page for Congress Website.Â Please check us out and consider helping us to be a voice for John Kerry's agenda in Congress against Bush's agenda along with Richard Morrison!
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
VP DICK CHENEY COMES OUT AGAINST BAN ON GAY MARRIAGE
Following is the initial transcript from remarks made in Davenport, Iowa, today, Aug. 24:
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was asked: "I need to know, Sir, from your heart -- I don't want to know what your advisers think or even your top adviser -- I need to know, what do you think about homosexual marriages?"
The vice president replied: "Well, the question has come up in the past with respect to the question of gay marriage. Lynne and I have a gay daughter so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. We have two daughters and we have enormous pride in both of them, they're both fine young women and they do a superb job, frankly, of supporting us, and we were blessed with both our daughters.
"With respect to the question of [unintelligible word] relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everybody. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to. The question that comes up with respect to the issue of marriage is, what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government, if you will, to the particular relationship?
"Historically," Cheney said, "that's been a relationship that's been handled by the states. States have made the basic fundamental decision what constitutes a marriage. I made clear four years ago when this question came up in my debate with Joe Lieberman that my view was that that's appropriately a matter for the states to decide and that's how it ought to best be handled.
"The president has, as a result of the decisions made in Massachusetts this year by judges, felt that he wanted to support a constitutional amendment to define at the federal level what constitutes marriage, that his perception was that the courts in effect were beginning to change without the people being involved, without their being part of the political process -- that the courts, in this case a court in Massachusetts, were making the judgment or the decision for the entire country, and he disagreed with that. So where we're at at this point is, he's come out in support of a federal constitutional amendment and I don't think that, so far, it hasn't had the votes to pass.
"There is the federal Defense of Marriage Act that passed in 1996 and, to date, it has not been successfully challenged in the court, and it may be sufficient to resolve the issue," Cheney said. "At this point my own preference is as I've stated, but the president makes basic policy for this administration and he's made it clear that he does in fact support an amendment on this issue."
Statement by Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director:
"We are heartened that by taking a stand for his daughter, at long last Vice President Cheney is standing up for real family values.
His words, however, mean very little unless the Bush/Cheney administration withdraws its aggressive support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, the so-called Marriage Protection Act and numerous other attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families that have been put forward over the last three and a half years.
We look forward to the Vice President using his extraordinary influence with the President to make this happen."
More information on the struggle for marriage equality can be found in the Task Force Marriage Information Resource Center at http://www.TheTaskForce.org/marriagecenter
Download the free Task Force Policy Institute report, The Bush/Cheney Administration on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues at http://www.TheTaskForce.org/downloads/BushCheneyKeyIssues.pdf
Monday, August 23, 2004
GEORGE W. BUSH PHOTOGRAPHED WEARING MEDALS HE DID NOT EARN!?!
Swing States for the 2004 Presidential Election
Here are the swing states for the 2004 election, listed in order of importance:
5. New Mexico
7. New Hampshire
8. West Virginia
Habitat For Humanity :Thru The Eyes of a Non-Habitat For Humanity Homeowner
Habitat For Humanity. The website to this organization has glorified the Habitat For Humanity Agenda.Recently, especially as a new homeowner, I have seen the way that people in these homes cheat the system.In a typical Habitat home, such as some of them in my neighborhood, you will notice many similaries.A single parent, with more than 3 children, who does not work. Or, A two parent household, with one or both of them on Social Security Disability, for no obvious reason. I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM IF THERE IS A TRUE AND BLATANT REASON TO GET A DISABILITY CHECK, however, if you are ok enough to do yard work and run around the block in the mornings, I do not belive you should be getting a free handout when it comes to a home.In my community, which is only 10 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas; the city had the idea along with the developers to make a community in which there was great diversity. My house, which cost me $115,000 of which I have a thirty year loan, is smaller than some of these Habitat homes that are going up in this community. The Habitat home comes fully landscaped and fenced in. I had to do this on my own. My point is not jealousy. My point is that I work 6 days a week and can barely make ends meet. Have next to nothing left to grocery shop with, and cannott afford decent medical care to to recent cut backs from my insurance plan forcing me into higher prices for meds, etc.When it comes to food for the non- working Habitat homeowner, Capital Area Foodbank in Austin delivers 6 to 7 banana boxes of food so that the family can eat.This floors me.The Habitat homes are purchased only at cost, so for example, a $100,000 home will only cost the Habitat Homeowner about $50,000.On to the topic of Healthcare.Recently the City of Austin was able to get a Hospital District passed, so that tax money can pay the healthcare industry off for these non working individuals needs.To the left of my property, two homes down lies section 8 housing; of which I was not made aware of when I bought my home. the residents in these also receive free food, and a few weeks ago when they had to call an ambulance, who do you think is footing that bill? Me, the worker, all the while the non-workers are getting ahead.Already, if you look at this, I work 6 days a week to pay the bills of my home. I have a $115,000 mortgage I'll pay on for 30 years, with interest.Meanwhile, the Habitat for Humanity home owner will pay on the $50,000 mortage, but INTEREST FREE!It is clear that the system is in need of a cleaning.The question is:Will you go out and vote on local Austin Issues and attend your neighborhood meetings? or, will you sit back, keep your mouth shut, and continue to work, living paycheck to paycheck...While the rich get richer, the poor get rich as well, and the middle class worker stays in the rut.Don't get me wrong, I am just about as Democrat as you get, but when I see corruption in a welfare system I am going to call them out on it.Here is what Habitat for Humanity's website greets you with:For over 25 years, Habitat for Humanity has helped low-income families reach their dreams of a place to call home. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat constructs and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner-partner families. Habitat houses are sold to these families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build even more Habitat houses.If you belive this is a good thing, I challenge you to come to Heritage Village subdivison, in Austin (183 and MLK)... and observe for a day which cars remain at home and which cars leave for work. Of course it will be the homes with the metal roofs. Why metal roofs? This is what Habitat for Humanity uses. Drive around the subdivison, and take note: The homes with shingles above are homes that were not handed to us on a silver platter, and our cars are gone because we are at work.It is time to clean the Non- Profit industry. Serious Reform is a must.There is one honarable way to own a home: work, and get it on your own!
RUN FOR IT!
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Just Released from the DCCC
On November 2, we will elect John Kerry as President. But reversing the damage that George W. Bush and his allies inflicted on our country will require more than just switching residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Unless we also restore Democratic control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom Delay will do everything he can to thwart the new President. He will particularly use House budget authority to continue pushing the GOP's radical right-wing agenda seeking to divide Americans, rather than unite us.
Please contribute today:https://www.democraticaction.org/getinvolved/donations/newcongress
Your contribution today to the Campaign for a New Majority can bring new leadership in the House that will stand ready to work with President Kerry rather than against him. Leadership that will work to protect our families, our workers, our environment, and the security of our citizens at home and abroad.
A REAL Plan to Win Back the House
The Campaign for a New Majority is a real action plan targeting key races around the country. It is a detailed blueprint designed to give us the 12 seats we need to win back a majority in the House. The same 12 seats that President Kerry will need to right the wrongs of President Bush and Tom DeLay.
The effectiveness of this plan has been demonstrated in special elections in Kentucky, South Dakota, and North Carolina. Three wins in three times up to bat — and two of these victories in areas that voted overwhelmingly for President Bush!
Please contribute today:https://www.democraticaction.org/getinvolved/donations/newcongress
Key to the success of this program is a vastly expanded role for reaching out through the Internet to both activists and interested voters. Your contribution today will help us develop and expand key components including:
Majority Makers: An online tool that allows you to set up your own headquarters to help fundraise and "people-raise" by recruiting new donors and volunteers.
Majority Parties: We are recruiting hundreds of activists nationwide to host gatherings over the next 3 months to energize old and new voters to our cause.
Majority Meetings: We will be organizing a series of events around the country to bring interested Democrats together with Members of Congress and other Democratic candidates to talk about issues, goals, and strategy.
With just 12 additional seats needed to win a New Majority for President Kerry, programs like these can bring thousands of new donors and activists to this fight. Please contribute now: https://www.democraticaction.org/getinvolved/donations/newcongress
How vital is it that we achieve this victory?
Just consider the importance of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission in ensuring the continued safety and security of the American public. As you know, President Bush and Republican leadership stonewalled creating the Commission. And after the report's release, Speaker Hastert insisted that he was in no rush to implement any of the recommendations.
That is why House Democrats gathered in Washington last week to press the Administration on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. We are committed to seeing that the bipartisan commission's hard work is not buried under bureaucracy or sidelined by Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert.
A new President and new House leadership is now within our grasp. Please contribute to the Campaign for a New Majority:https://www.democraticaction.org/getinvolved/donations/newcongress
Thank you for your support. With less than 80 days remaining, we are counting on YOU to make a difference.
Rep. Robert T. MatsuiChairmanDemocratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Running for Office in Austin Texas
Recently, I have been considering a possible run for office. I sent an e-mail requesting information on this process, which I have deemed very helpful.
Below is a copy of that email if you yourself might like to run for office.
The next City Council election will be held in May 2005. At that time,there will be 3 council positions up for election. The positions are Places1, 3 and 4. You may run for any one of those positions. The City Clerk'sOffice will have a candidate's packet available for people who want to runfor office. The information will also be on our website. These packetsshould be available in December. If you go to our website right now, youcan still view the candidates packet from the May 2003 election. Some ofthis information will change, such as the number of signatures required onthe petition and we will make sure we have the most current filing formsprescribed by the State.If you wish to run for a school board position, you will need to contact Dr.Zoe Griffith at 414-4142. She handles elections for the Austin IndependentSchool District.Here is the election website: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/election
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact medirectly at 974-2499. Sincerely,Rosemary YbarraManagement AnalystOffice of the City Clerk
Friday, August 13, 2004
In The Words of Bush
"Just remember, when you're talking about, oh, we're just going to run up the taxes on a certain number of people -- first of all, real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes."
George W. Bush; April 9th, 2004; Annandale, VA
If you have any doubt about who W. is working for, just do a little research into his so called "Tax Cuts". Democracy For America, which is run by Former Presidential Hopeful Howard Dean, has a website up. Please visit the site to see a state by state breakdown on the crisis of the Bush Administration Tax Cuts. WWW.BUSHTAX.COM
The Top Ten Reasons We Need To Oust Bush
1. Bush is destroying workers rights and outsourcing jobs instead of protecting the right to organize and creating new jobs rebuilding schools, bridges, roads and hospitals
2. Bush is privatizing Medicare, Social Security and public education with phony reforms instead of enacting health care for all, protecting retirement funds and full funding for public education through college.
3. Bush is bankrupting the Federal Government with giant tax cuts for the very rich and super-funds to the military instead of securing the budget for human needs by taxing the rich and spending on human needs.
4. Bush is rolling back civil rights gains instead of enforcing and expanding affirmative action to end racism in all areas of life.
5. Bush is curtailing women's rights and choice by undermining Roe v. Wade instead of upholding the right to choice and ending the gender wage gap.
6. Bush is abusing immigrant workers in low-wage jobs instead of providing a clear path to citizenship and equal rights.
7. Bush is exploiting and ruining the environment by protecting corporate polluters instead of conserving our natural resources for the public good.
8. Bush's war in Iraq is a disaster for our security and economy. He is pushing for more preemptive wars and for first strike nuclear military policy instead of negotiations and cooperation utilizing the UN.
9. Bush is denying civil liberties and free speech in the name of fighting terrorism instead of repealing the USA Patriot Act and helping cities, towns and states fund firefighters and police.
10. Bush discriminates against Gays and Lesbians with a Constitutional Amendment instead of expanding civil rights and liberties for all.
Had enough?Vote Nov 2
Speak Out Against The Patriot Act
Center for Constitutional RightsThe Center for Constitutional Rights
have filed a challenge to the Patriot Act in a Los Angeles court. You can read more about that here
, and you can their analysis of the Act here
The Patriot Act
Patriot Act: What it is
On October 26, 2001, just six weeks after the devastation on September 11, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act. Ashcroft and his cronies wasted no time in attempting to further their agenda at the expense of a traumatized nation. USA Patriot is an acronym for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism", but all that elaborate language does not succeed in hiding the dangerous nature of the document.
So just what does the Patriot Act give the Bush administration the right to do? Well, for starters, it allows the FBI to monitor everything from e-mail to medical records to library accounts, providing frightening access to once private information. They can now legally wiretap phones, break into homes and offices, and access financial records without probable cause.
The Patriot Act broadens terrorism to include "domestic terrorism" which could potentially be used to target activist groups within the country speaking out against Bush's treacherous deeds.
The Patriot Act also disregards attorney-client privilege and authorizes government surveillance of previously confidential discussions.
Immigrants can be detained indefinitely based on suspicion alone, and the Patriot Act aids the excessive amounts of deportations that are taking place.
Calling this the Patriot Act is quite a dangerous action within itself, because the implication follows: if you speak against the Patriot Act, well, you sure aren't being a good citizen in our country's time of need. When Bush labels his actions as the model of patriotism, he then classifies all dissent as un-American. While this may be comforting to him, it is actually an insult to patriotism. Protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights demonstrates a great respect for the government of this country and the rights of its citizens, and that sounds downright patriotic.
Read the text of the Patriot Act here
Patriot II: What it is
It's not over yet. Currently, the Justice Department is working on the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, an extension of the Patriot Act that has been dubbed "Patriot II". Perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of this bill would grant the government the right to detain someone indefinitely without ever disclosing their identity, allowing the person to ultimately disappear. It would also broaden local police's ability to spy on "terrorist" groups, including domestic religious and political organizations. The government could take sweeping "anti-terrorist" action, like obtaining an individual's financial and library records without a warrant and allowing wiretaps without a court order. How else could this affect you? Well, if you engage in civil disobedience, the government would have the right to strip you of your citizenship! Had enough? Stop this act before it starts!
You can read more about Patriot Act II, and the text of the proposed act at the Center for Public Integrity
or through the ACLU
Representative Bernie Sanders
, a Vermont Independent, has proposed a bill
that would revoke the sections of the Patriot Act that allow the government to invade your privacy at bookstores and libraries. The bill is currently stuck in committee, despite having 141 co-sponsors. For an explanation of the bill, visit the ACLU
. E-mail the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
and put pressure on them to push this bill forward. Also, contact your Representatives
and tell them to sign on as co-sponsors to the bill if they have not already. For a list and description of all pending anti-Patriot Act legislation, check here
for information on how to stop the NEW Patriot Act before it gets off the ground. Demand an end to the elimination of civil liberties masked as anti-terror legislation!
(Article borrowed from MichaelMoore.com- Please Visit His Website Often and Much!)
Healthcare and the Middle Class Employee
Healthcare is currently in dispair in this country, this city, and many other cities around the Nation.
George W. Bush's tax cuts have hurt lower-income workers harder than you might think. How do I know this? I am one of them.
I take two prescriptions to treat my PTSD and severe Chronic Anxiety. Two and a half years ago, when I started at my job (a local non-profit healthcare agency) the big sell was only having to pay one dollar from every paycheck towards insurance.
Then, the tax "cuts" were put into place by Bush.
Not only have my copays gone up, but the out of pocket expense for medication has gone up. Let me give you an example. For one prescription, it costs me 45$ to visit the doctor. To fill that one prescription, before the tax "cuts" cost me only $20. Now, it is much different. The full price of the prescription is $132.41 . For me to fill that prescription today, my copay is $109.41 . The "insurance" only pays $23.00 towards the medicine. So, for example; it costs me $154.31 to fill one prescription. Hard to do on $10.37 an hour.
Here is some information about the Bush tax "cuts" to help you understand the crisis.
Children’s Health Coverage Slashed: 169,300 fewer children will have health insurance coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and by 2005, 332,000 few children will have be covered under Medicaid. ["State Budget for 2004-05 and Implications for Vulnerable Populations," Center for Public Policy Priorities website
] The Center for Public Policy Priorities website has data detailing the impact by county of budget cuts to Medicaid and CHIP
, including reductions in coverage overall, for pregnant women, and children.
Adult Medicaid Recipients Coverage Slashed: Mental health counseling, podiatric and chiropractor care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids will no longer be covered for adult Medicaid recipients, ¾ of whom are elderly or disabled. Each month, 8,300 fewer low-income pregnant women will qualify for Medicaid maternity coverage. [CPPP, 10/15/03
Professional Fees Raised: Fees went up for doctors, nurses, home builders and inspectors, locksmiths, shrimpers, tow truck operators, architects, engineers, and plumbers. ["New State Laws, Fees, Charges, and Out-of-Pocket Expenses Impact on Texans' Lives and Livelihoods," Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 8/03
As you can see, the so called tax cuts have created an even bigger crisis in healthcare.
Recently, I got into some poison ivy. I've had to call in sick for two days, as the eyes and around the eyes are the worst with big red spots and extremely itchy. Today was payday. After paying basic bills, I have under a hundred dollars left. So, therefore, with the copays so high and my low wages it makes it impossible to go to a doctor.
In turn, my employer loses me for days while I fight the infections without the help of the steroids I need. While I am out from work, the temps that replace me when I am out cost more per hour to have working than I do. So, as you see, while I suffer... Even my employer suffers with having to pay additional wages to a fill in.
There is no common sense in the current state of healthcare in America. For the average American worker, healthcare is out of reach.
The bottom line is:
To get proper medical attention, you have to be rich.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
W Puts Millions At Risk
Bush's International AIDS Policy
Last Summer George Bush took a trip to Africa
to speak on the global threat of AIDS. In previous State of the Union addresses, Bush pledged money and support to fight the global threat of AIDS
. What is Bush's policy to combat these global emergencies? At the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Bush Administration officials "emphasized abstinence
as an important way to combat AIDS."
The decision to withhold $34 million
—about 10 percent of the fund's total budget—from the world's largest international source of funding for family planning came on the last day of the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, where US officials emphasized abstinence as an important way to combat AIDS.
In Washington, family-planning activists and some members of Congress said the decision was a political move to curry favor with conservative voters who want to restrict family-planning
practices worldwide. Some cited a 2002 investigation by a State Department team and a 2003 State Department human rights report, which both said that the fund was working to combat coercive family-planning practices in China.
''Our own State Department gave the UNFPA a clean bill of health," US Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a New York Democrat, told reporters. ''Once again, President Bush right before an election is appealing to a conservative base. They are putting millions of women and children at risk with this decision."
Turning the corner or U-Turn?Budget deficit hits record $395.8BTreasury says July deficit was bigger than expected; final 2004 gap could set a new record.August 11, 2004: 4:10 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. federal government ran a larger-than-expected budget deficit in July, bringing the year-to-date shortfall between receipts and spending to a record of nearly $400 billion, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. In its monthly budget report, the Treasury said the July deficit was $69.16 billion, based on revenues of $134.42 billion and spending of $203.58 billion. That was above the $61 billion shortfall Wall Street economists had expected and wider than July 2003's $54.24 billion deficit. With only August and September left in the 2004 federal budget year, the red ink through the first 10 months totaled $395.8 billion. That's ahead of the revised record budget gap in 2003 of $374.27 billion. The final 2004 gap is widely expected to set a new record topping $400 billion. In its recent budget review, the Office of Management and Budget said it expects the deficit to be about $445 billion this year, while the Congressional Budget Office has projected a more conservative $422 billion. While those estimates are lower than ones made at the beginning of the year, they have not insulated the White House from political attacks by Democrats. Democrats have placed much of the blame for the return to annual deficits -- after surpluses seen from 1998 through 2001 -- on the Bush administration's tax cuts. The gap has also helped prompt the administration to call, early this month, for an increase in the federal borrowing limit for the third time in four years. Without a hike, Treasury Secretary John Snow warned in a letter to Capitol Hill leaders, the government could run out of financing means in mid- to late-November. That could set the stage for a partisan struggle over raising the ceiling this fall. Through July, the government had raised $1.535 trillion in revenues, up 4.0 percent from the same period in 2003. Spending, driven by a hefty gain in defense outlays, rose at a faster 7.2 percent clip, to $1.930 trillion through July.
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