Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Having Trouble Explaining Just Why Your Swing Voter Friend Should Vote Democrat? A Viewing Of Fahrenheit 9/11 Is A Useful Intervention!
Flip-flopping charge unsupported by facts; Kerry always pushed global cooperation, war as last resort
By:Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief
Thursday, September 23, 2004 Washington -- No argument is more central to the Republican attack on Sen. John Kerry than the assertion that the Democrat has flip-flopped on Iraq. President Bush, seated beside Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said Tuesday: "My opponent has taken so many different positions on Iraq that his statements are hardly credible at all.'' The allegation is the basis of a new Bush campaign TV ad that shows the Democratic senator from Massachusetts windsurfing to the strains of a Strauss waltz as a narrator intones: "Kerry voted for the Iraq war, opposed it, supported it and now opposes it again.'' Yet an examination of Kerry's words in more than 200 speeches and statements, comments during candidate forums and answers to reporters' questions does not support the accusation. As foreign policy emerged as a dominant issue in the Democratic primaries and later in the general election, Kerry clung to a nuanced, middle-of-the road -- yet largely consistent -- approach to Iraq. Over and over, Kerry enthusiastically supported a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even as he aggressively criticized Bush for the manner in which he did so. Kerry repeatedly described Hussein as a dangerous menace who must be disarmed or eliminated, demanded that the U.S. build broad international support for any action in Iraq and insisted that the nation had better plan for the post-war peace. There were times when Kerry's emphasis shifted for what appear to be political reasons, such as the fall of 2003 when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean surged to the top of Democratic polls based on an anti-war platform and Kerry's criticism of the president grew stronger. There are many instances in which clumsy phrases and tortuously long explanations make Kerry difficult to follow. And there are periods, such as last week, when the sharpness of Kerry's words restating old positions seem to suggest a change. Yet taken as a whole, Kerry has offered the same message ever since talk of attacking Iraq became a national conversation more than two years ago. "Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm (Hussein) by force, if we ever exhaust ... other options,'' Kerry said 23 months ago on the Senate floor before voting to authorize the force, imploring Bush to take the matter to the United Nations. "If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community," Kerry said, insisting that Bush work with the United Nations. "If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out,'' Kerry said. Republicans have hit the flip-flop charge hard. The Republican National Committee produced an 11-minute video, widely distributed on the Internet, which features dozens of seemingly inconsistent Kerry statements and the soundtrack to the 1960s television show "Flipper.'' Bush supporters distributed Kerry flip-flop sandals to delegates at the GOP convention last month, the Bush campaign produced a Kerry flip-flop game for its Web site, and the president brings it up almost every day on the campaign trail. The crux of the flip-flopping charge is based on pitting Kerry's pointed criticism of the war against his October 2002 vote to authorize the use of force, a vote the Democratic senator defends to this day. Republicans are not the only ones who characterize the vote as an endorsement of war. Many Democrats, including Dean, warned that a vote in favor of the resolution would be tantamount to giving Bush a blank check to go to war. Even today, many Democrats are aghast at Kerry's insistence that, knowing everything he knows now, he would cast the same vote. Kerry, who was one of 29 Democratic senators to support the resolution, said the vote was appropriate to strengthen the president's hand in negotiations, and he draws a distinction between his vote and an endorsement of the March 2003 attack. "Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq,'' Kerry said on the eve of the vote. "Nor does it mean we have exhausted all of our peaceful options to achieve this goal.'' Republicans ridicule such distinctions and use Kerry's vote as the basis for their assertion that Kerry once favored the war. "He voted for it,'' said Republican national chairman Ed Gillespie when asked Wednesday to back the charge that Kerry supported the war. "Look at the coverage at the time, it was pretty clear what was going on.'' Yet in the fall of 2002, several months before the air strikes on Baghdad began, Bush himself insisted the vote was not the same as a declaration of war but instead gave him the hand he needed to negotiate the peace. "If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force,'' Bush said in September 2002. "It's a chance for Congress to say, 'we support the administration's ability to keep the peace.' That's what this is all about.'' The Bush campaign frequently cites Kerry's seemingly incongruous statement at a West Virginia rally in March as another example of his inconsistency. "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,'' Kerry said regarding the Bush administration's request for more funding for the Iraq operation. The line has been used in Bush campaign commercials, and the campaign distributed a memo Tuesday suggesting the vote raises doubts about Kerry's commitment to U.S. troops. The White House is aware that the statement does not reflect a contradiction but an inelegant way of defending a pair of Senate votes. Kerry voted for a measure that paid for the $87 billion by reducing tax cuts for those who earn more than $300,000. He voted against a measure that paid for the $87 billion by adding to the deficit. The biggest shifts in Kerry's language seem to appear at the high-water marks of the war -- shortly after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003 and after the capture of Hussein the following December -- when he seems less critical of the Bush policy. Two days after Bush stood before the "Mission Accomplished'' sign and declared major combat over, Kerry participated in a forum with rival Democratic presidential candidates. ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked the candidates if the war was the right decision at the right time. "I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity,'' Kerry said, "but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. And when the president made the decision, I support him and I support the fact that we did disarm him.'' By contrast, Dean in response to the same question called it the "wrong war at the wrong time,'' using language very similar to what Kerry has said recently. Perhaps the words that Kerry will have the hardest time explaining today are those he uttered three days after Hussein was captured. Dean, who had emerged as Kerry's strongest challenger for the Democratic nomination, said that while Hussein's capture was good news, it had not "made America any safer.'' Kerry seized on the statement, telling students at Drake University, "Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.'' Kerry's enthusiastic words seem to conflict with his statement Monday at New York University. "Saddam Husein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell. But ... the satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure,'' Kerry said. For a candidate who has been in elected office nearly a quarter of a century, Kerry has at times shown a remarkable inability to explain the nuances of his position. Asked by radio host Don Imus last week to explain how he could be so critical of the war yet stand by his vote to authorize the use of force, Kerry responded with a 324-word answer, including a discussion of no-fly zones and Iraqi tribal separatism. The response left Imus -- a self-described Kerry supporter -- perplexed. "I was just back in my office banging my head on the jukebox,'' Imus told listeners when the interview was over. "This is my candidate, and ... I don't know what he's talking about.''
Kerry on Iraq Oct. 9, 2002 Senate floor speech on Iraq resolution: "In giving the president this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days -- to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.''
Sept. 9, 2003 Speech announcing presidential campaign, Patriot's Point, S.C.: "I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations. I believe that was right -- but it was wrong to rush to war without building a true international coalition -- and with no plan to win the peace.''
March 18, 2003 Statement on the eve of the attack on Baghdad: "Even having botched the diplomacy, it is the duty of any president, in the final analysis, to defend this nation and dispel the security threat. ... Saddam Hussein has brought military action upon himself by refusing for 12 years to comply with the mandates of the United Nations. ... My strong personal preference would have been for the administration ... to have given diplomacy more time.''
Dec. 3, 2003 Speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City: "Simply put, the Bush administration has pursued the most arrogant, inept, reckless and ideological foreign policy in modern history.''
Sept. 20, 2004 New York University: "President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq?''
George W. Bush's Real Flip-Flops
Below is some of the best documentation that I have seen of George W. Bush's real Flip-Flops on 30 different issues with the links provided to verify the sources!
This is excellent material to show people especially right before the first presidential debate takes place so that we can win over more swing voters, open minded and thinking Independents, and disillusioned Republicans.
Hopefully even Bush supporters who see this will give this material some serious consideration!
Please tell everyone you can about this information far and wide to show that it is Bush who is the real "Flip-Flopper-In-Chief" while John Kerry is NOT a Flip-Flopper: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/archive/2004/09/23/KERRY.TMP
It is very important that people see this information to show Bush's real record of Flip-Flops and to clear up the distortions of John Kerry and his record by the Bush campaign and the RNC!Can George W. Bush be trusted with another term as President knowing all of this information and with Iraq being in the mess that it is in under his leadership? I would say that the answer to the question is a very firm "No!"
The Republicans Are At It Again! Dozens Of Parents Circulate A Petition To Remove Election Booths From Schools!
HUDSON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Dozens of parents have signed a petition asking town officials to remove election booths from schools out of concern for terrorism.
Sally Morgan cited the potential for terrorists to try to disrupt the November 2 presidential election, as well as the school hostage crisis in Russia earlier this month in a petition sent to the town's Board of Selectmen.
The petition, signed by 125 parents, asks town officials to move polling places to more secure locations such as the town library, fire stations and churches.
Selectman Joseph J. Durant argued that pulling the election booths would rob students of an opportunity to see how democracy works.
He also denied a threat to children exists.
"I think when fear and insecurity is introduced into Americans' everyday lives in something as simple and fundamental as this, it is a sad state of affairs," he said.
Morgan has also taken her concerns to the town's School Committee, which has reviewed voting day security at the schools.
Edwards Accuses Bush Campaign Of Lying
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AP) -- John Edwards accused President Bush's re-election campaign of lying in television ads about John Kerry's Vietnam War service and his plan to reform health care.
"They will absolutely lie about anything," the Democratic vice presidential candidate said Monday at a rally in Victory Park attended by hundreds of well-wishers.
health care ad claims that Kerry
would put health care decisions in the hands of government "bureaucrats" at a cost of $1.5 trillion.
Independent analysts estimate the cost at $895 billion over 10 years, which Kerry says he would pay for by repealing Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
"There's not a single new government program in our health care plan," which calls for strengthening existing government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, giving tax breaks to employers that provide health insurance, and allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada, Edwards
The North Carolina senator also criticized the Bush campaign's attacks on Kerry's military service and Republican attempts to portray Kerry as a supporter of al-Qaeda and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
John Kerry "is the one candidate who's actually led troops in battle," Edwards said, referring to questions about whether Bush completed his Vietnam-era service in the Texas Air National Guard.
Edwards said Monday that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
have been consistent -- but consistently wrong.
"He will never admit he's done anything wrong," Edwards said of Bush. "They've made a lot of mistakes, and our troops and our taxpayers are paying for that right now."
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Edwards refused Monday to cross a local firefighters' picket line and attend a Democratic fund-raiser.
He was scheduled to attend a reception at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, that organizers hoped to raise about $500,000 for the ticket.
Outside the hotel, more than two dozen firefighters picketed over contract negotiations with the city.
"Once the campaign learned there would be a picket line at the event due to a contract dispute with the city, we canceled this trip," said Kim Rubey, a spokeswoman for Edwards. "John Edwards does not cross picket lines."
Monday, September 27, 2004
Dear readers on my blog:
You and I have a special friendship and I want to share my dream of the future of this
country. It's a dream where we will all be treated equally under the law. And I am
writing to ask you to vote for John Kerry and John Edwards on November 2 to make this
dream a reality.
While this election impacts all Americans, it is absolutely critical to us. Another four
years of George Bush is nearly unthinkable. It means a continued abandonment of sound
HIV/AIDS policy and funding, a continued attack on basic protections for ourselves and
our youth, and a federal bench, including the Supreme Court, packed with more Justices
like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
Permit me a quick synopsis on the Bush record:
• Advocates for a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage, civil unions
and domestic partnership benefits
• Believes that gays and lesbians should not be protected from workplace
discrimination, calling such needed protection "special rights"
• Cuts funding for AIDS care and prevention programs and nominates homophobes
to his own Advisory Council, including one who called AIDS a "gay plague."
We cannot accept the status quo. We can make a difference by electing John Kerry and
John Edwards. John Kerry is a leader who has stood with us in our darkest days -- from
standing up to DOMA, to fighting the horrendous Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy,
to calling for full federal protections for our families.
In a Kerry/Edwards administration, hope is on the way for HIV. They support fully
funding Ryan White AIDS Act, allowing states to use Medicare to care for people with
HIV and fully funding the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative.
I am proud to be a GLBT American and I want to live in an America that will judge me
for my contributions to society. President Bush believes that our rights as Americans
should be relegated to second-class status simply because of who we are. John Kerry will
ensure that our rights as citizens are upheld. He's been at our side for over two decades.
This election may very well determine our future. Please join me in voting for John
Kerry and John Edwards on November 2 and ensuring that all citizens of our great nation
will be treated equally.
Joshua P. Angell- Voice Of The Austin Majority
Sunday, September 26, 2004
For Austin to really understand how the Eastside works, and how it could work better, and how it can help the rest of town work better, it's the people of East Austin, not the properties, that need to increase in value.
So, it's official: East Austin is either being "revitalized" (if you approve of it) or "gentrified" (if you don't). The Statesman says so. As you may remember, the daily informed us last month that East Austin property values have gone up at "twice the countywide average." You don't say. The Statesman based this front-page news on Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) data, which is, to say the least, an imperfect indicator of what's happening on the ground. Home sales on the Eastside, while unquestionably more common than they were five years ago, are still quite rare compared to other parts of town. But each of those few sales can affect the appraised value of every home in its neighborhood, which generally spawns a spate of protests to TCAD by current homeowners. When those protests are resolved, the East Austin appreciation rate may be more "in line" with the countywide average.
Of course, properties on the Eastside have been so consistently redlined and undervalued that an appreciation rate of four or five times the countywide average would be required to bring them near the value of the mythical "average Austin home." (My own house, when I bought it, was appraised for one-fourth of the seller's asking price, which was still well below the median home value back in 1993.) The average single-family home appraisal in the 78702 ZIP code - less than $40,000, according to the daily's own report - is still the lowest in the county. (This ZIP is second-to-last, trailed only by neighboring 78721, in the more germane, to real estate folks, figure of appraised value per square foot.)
An altogether more interesting fact was buried in the jump of that front-page story: "In some areas, such as the Stonegate neighborhood and... the homes near the East 11th and 12th Streets redevelopment, values did not change from 1997 to 1998." Presumably, these examples were not picked at random; Stonegate was at the center of the Tannehill Apartments imbroglio last fall, and the "East 11th and 12th Streets redevelopment" is better known to y'all as the always-interesting Austin Revitalization Authority. Apparently, TCAD does not see the same rapid, wholesale "gentrification" of the inner Eastside that has been identified, and laid at the Central East Austin neighborhoods' feet, by many supposed Eastside "leaders."
What's happened instead, one thinks, is that the Statesman and other local opinion-makers have finally noticed that East Austin is actually a pretty nice place to live. And the thought that a low-income neighborhood is not, by definition, a blighted slum causes them too much cognitive dissonance. So, to resolve this discord, we're being "informed" of an economic trend that really doesn't exist, and in turn being denied the true story.
There is apparently a policy at the Statesman against referring to these inner Eastside neighborhoods by name - such as Guadalupe, Blackshear, Chestnut, or Swede Hill, the last being my own neighborhood. (The May 28 piece does, however, refer to "Tarrytown.") Ten days later, Rich Oppel added his two cents to the daily's East Austin yahoo-fest with an editorial in which he also refers specifically to Guadalupe and Swede Hill, but mentions neither by name. We are, instead, a "site" where ARA director Byron Marshall speculates the authority could direct the first phase of its $9 million publicly funded renewal project, along I-35 toward MLK.
Oppel quotes one developer as saying "the people who take advantage of [Eastside renewal] now will truly be the pioneers and the settlers, and they will be pleased by their choice." No word on what the people who've already made that choice - and who've for their trouble been castigated as racists, gentrifiers, interlopers, obstructionists, and in my neighborhood's case (a personal favorite) "white devils" - are supposed to do to welcome these new "pioneers." Get out of the way, one supposes.
This should gall you as much as it galls me, since in my years living in, and fighting for, exactly what Oppel now touts as the Eastside's bright future - a centrally located, affordable, historic, and culturally diverse mixed-use inner-city neighborhood - among our most formidable foes has been the Austin American-Statesman. Apparently, the vitality that Oppel has so recently discovered on the Eastside is now mentionable because the daily can pretend that people like Marshall are responsible for creating it. News flash, Rich: Had you hopped in a cab the very first day you arrived in Austin and hopped out on the inner Eastside, you would have seen exactly the same signs of "renewal."
Because the people who are renewing the Eastside are, of course, the people who live there, and the people who work and attend school and (significantly) go to church there, not the ARA or any developer-come-lately. They are not all Anglo, as is often advanced by those who decry "gentrification" or even those who applaud it. In his piece, Oppel quotes local star architect Juan Cotera as lauding "Anglos who've come in and fixed up houses" in the Guadalupe neighborhood. Said houses, according to Guadalupe neighborhood leaders, are actually owned by Hispanics. (To his credit, though, Oppel does describe the inner Eastside as "ethnically mixed," a truth that has long evaded many ARA supporters.)
Whoever we are, black, brown, and white, we are the same people who have been slapped around repeatedly by the daily, and by the Eric Mitchell Mafia, for holding the silly notion that, since we are responsible for the current (and not insignificant) vitality of East Austin, we deserve some sort of authority in affairs affecting our neighborhoods, and most specifically within the ARA. We now have that voice, of course, much to the chagrin of most of the original ARA board members, who seem to have responded by not showing up at board and community meetings. (This as reported by several new ARA board members.) As a consequence, the vision of the ARA has changed profoundly in a few short months. Gone (for now) is the talk about a regional shopping mall, or a strip of chain stores and downtown-spillover office space.
Instead, we now hear talk of 11th and 12th Streets being a bona fide mixed-use "urban village" designed to meet the needs of people who actually live in East Austin, now and in the future. Which is what the neighborhoods have been advocating for years - not just in word but in deed - and which is what the Eastside used to be in its glory days, the memory of which is supposedly the touchstone of the whole ARA effort. In fact, it's what much of the inner Eastside is now, which is easier to see if you don't focus your attention entirely on the more derelict reaches of 11th Street.
We have corner stores, places to eat, parks and libraries, small businesses, civic institutions and churches by the score, all intermixed with residential neighborhoods that, if they could be better, could also be a whole lot worse. (Interestingly, the African-American "community leaders" who orate about their Eastside ventures being altruistic, about wanting to "give back to the community," have little evident interest in "revitalizing" some of Austin's real slums and slums-in-waiting, like Colony Park or St. John's.) If "vitality" is to be our benchmark for neighborhood worthiness, then much of East Austin is a whole lot better off than many nice, white subdivisions north of Hwy290, where public life is nonexistent and the streets empty out during the workday.
What's in a Word?
Yeah, yeah, you know. Many will read these words as the excuses of "gentrifiers" who want the Eastside to remain "charming" and derelict so that their money will go farther and longer, so they can buy up more homes. The notion that there is much on the Eastside that is good, and worth saving, and that can serve as a model to other neighborhoods and future "renewal" efforts - that is, the notion that poor or working-class people can create and enjoy quality lives - is curiously hard to sell to many Austinites. For whatever political or social reasons, they prefer that the Eastside remain a problem that can only be solved by the local political equivalent of martial law.
Which brings us to the nubbin of Eastside dialogue, the reason anybody cares about our relative appraised home values. Nobody (except some of the people who live in these places) seems to give a rip about the wholesale "gentrification" of West Campus, or Hyde Park, or much of South Austin, or even (at this late date) of Clarksville, since the history of the original black settlement by that name is generally misunderstood if not completely forgotten. And what about places like Oak Hill, which used to be kinda working-class until swamped by luxury suburban sprawl? The real "gentrification" - if we understand the term in its economic sense, the destruction of class diversity and affordability - is happening in Hays and Williamson Counties, not in East Austin.
But the whole city seems to have an opinion about the "gentrification" of East Austin, an opinion that's usually premised on one, or both, of two intentional misreadings of the term. The first is that "gentrification" is something that only white people do. This is a tired old canard, but the Mitchell Mafia, and its ideological soulmates in Latino neighborhoods south of 11th Street, seem to believe it in earnest. (Although they violently reject the corollary, as well they should, that upper-class persons of color, solely by dint of their ethnicity, are "ghettoizing" Cat Mountain and Oak Hill.)
Just for the record, while Anglos do form a minority of residents in the 78702 ZIP code, they do not - according to 1990 census data - constitute a generally wealthier segment of the area's population. The notion that African-American or Hispanic developers building, or aiming to build, properties that cost far more than those already standing nearby, owned, or occupied by working-class Anglos, are "gentrifiying" those neighborhoods - often while enjoying one or another subsidy for "affordable" housing - is too weird to have been acknowledged in most of Austin's public discourse in the 1990s.
The other fallacy is that only residential property contributes to, or is subject to, "gentrification." If a family, of any race, buys a home, fixes it up (if necessary), and lives in it, they're "gentrifying" the neighborhood. If a law firm comes in, buys the same home, fixes it up, and offices in it, the effect goes unnoticed. This is what happened to the inner west side, the downtown blocks around Austin Community College, where homes identical to those east of I-35, in the same condition, and at the same distance from the Capitol and Congress Avenue, have become completely unaffordable for residential or even neighborhood-retail uses.
This dynamic, of course, gets sped along when big new commercial projects, such as what was formerly envisioned by the ARA, get plunked down next to existing homes. (Or even at some distance from them, a concern of many Eastsiders as they follow the proposed redevelopment of Mueller Airport.) If the ARA, or other developers before and since, had succeeded in turning 11th and 12th Streets into a large-scale, completely commercial district - Mitchell's vision from the get-go - it's likely that, within a generation, the surrounding neighborhoods would become predominantly commercial (or multi-family), and homeowners could not afford to buy there. And future city leaders would scratch their heads and wonder what happened to all the downtown housing.
The Future Is Now
Which is yet another cause for concern when reading Rich Oppel's vision of East Austin - which, in fairness, is not just his vision, but a good distillation of macro Austin opinion. Perhaps it's good that mainstream public opinion has abandoned the pretense that the Eastside is a slum (and, particularly, a slum of color) in need of redevelopment. What has replaced it, though, is a call to the marketplace to buy up East Austin while it's still cheap. Oppel closes his column with a fake ad for luxury condos occupied by "young professionals" - his illustration of the thesis that "East Austin will become desirable."
Well, Rich, for thousands of people who live here, East Austin is already desirable. And it's because of us that you can see the signs of vitality that so impressed you - vitality that exists even though it's a working-class neighborhood, your paper's spurious reading of the tax rolls notwithstanding. For Austin to really understand how the Eastside works, and how it could work better, and how it can help the rest of town work better, it's the people of East Austin, not the properties, that need to increase in value.
(by Mike Clark-Madison, of the Austin Chronicle)
Bush Claims The USA Is Better Off After 4 Years Of Making His Right- Wing Agenda His Top Priority. Are You Better Off Now? Polls Suggest People Are Much Worse Or About The Same As They Were 4 Years Ago. Is This True For You?
What has your life been like over the past 4 years of Bush?
35.8 million people now live below the poverty line.
12.9 million of those living in poverty are children.
The official poverty line is an income of $18,810/yr for a family of four.
A single parent working full-time for minimum wage makes $10,712/yr.
45 million people lack health coverage.
1,800,000 jobs lost in the private sector since Dubya took office.
40 percent of homeless men are VETERANS.
Surely America can do better.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
BUSH 'TOOK COCAINE AT CAMP DAVID'
And wife Laura liked dope, says book
GEORGE W Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David, a new book claims.His wife Laura also allegedly tried cannabis in her youth.Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."Other acquaintances allege that as a 26-year-old National Guard, Bush "liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine".Bush has admitted being an alcoholic but, asked during the 1999 election if he did drugs, he said: "I've told the American people that years ago I made some mistakes."I've learned from my mistakes and should I be fortunate enough to become president I will bring dignity and honour to the office."Later an aide clarified his remarks saying Bush hadn't taken illegal drugs in the past 25 years.Kelley says that the Bush family covered up scandals because of their wealth and influence. She claims George W started drinking at school and continued at Yale university to overcome shyness.Former student Torbery George says in the book: "Poor Georgie. He couldn't relate to women unless he was loaded."Another says: "He went out of his way to act crude. It's amazing someone you held in such low esteem later became president."--------------------
"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."
Peace Rally in Austin
On October 2, people from all over Texas will converge in Austin to express their feelings about the conduct of the war in Iraq.
For more details, go to www.austinagainstwar.org.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Unveils Satirical Voter Education Campaign - Welcome to the United States of Gaymerica
www.gaymerica.org explores 'the future' as predicted by anti-gay activists
This week, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force unveiled a controversial new e-marketing voter education campaign satirizing the hateful and divisive rhetoric being used by anti-gay forces to incite irrational fears in the American people. The "Welcome to the United States of Gaymerica" campaign illustrates the absurdity of these divisive, fear-mongering, and false assertions by way of an "over-the-top" view at what America would look like if their assertions were carried to their expected conclusions. The three part Internet film begins with an introductory black screen message, followed by the satirical Gaymerica Web page, and concludes with a get-out-the-vote message and resources.
Modeled after other Internet-based education campaigns and donated to the Task Force, the Gaymerica campaign is designed to reach lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and those in allied communities who may not have otherwise been reached with Task Force and others' analyses of key issues facing the LGBT community this election cycle and the positions of candidates on those issues.
"Gaymerica.org is specifically meant to reach those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities who may not be planning to vote this year," explains Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. "Perhaps they are younger, or cynical, or turned off by the process, or simply don't pay attention to elections at all. Research shows, to catch their attention, we have to cut through all of the Web and e-mail clutter that is out there, do something edgy, controversial and different than our typical 'mainstream' messages - which are often humorless and always very serious."
Foreman continued, "The reasons being given by opponents to equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are absurd and based on irrational fears. These fears are being used to divide the nation - and to justify the discrimination and injustices our people face in the workplace, in health care benefits, in hospital visitation rights, in taxation, and in many other areas. All of this must be rejected and voting is a way to do that."
Gaymerica contains the anti-gay myths and slanders seen and heard everyday on the Internet, in the mainstream media, and even on the floor of the U.S. Congress. For example, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) said "if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery." Taking off on this, the Gaymerica site has a satirical article about the U.S. Senate passing a "Bovine Love Amendment" legalizing bovine/human marriage. The story states that opponents are challenging the law "on the grounds that 'I moo' does not sufficiently express the will of the betrothed."
The Task Force said it was aware that some people may find the material on Gaymerica controversial, or perhaps, even offensive.
"What is truly offensive is the ugly, divisive, and false information anti-gay forces have been purveying for more than 30 years. Instead of diminishing over time, these attacks are escalating. This past Sunday, for example, Dr. James Dobson, head of the $125 million behemoth Focus on the Family said '... we profoundly disagree with what [homosexuals] want to accomplish with children.' We need to expose the absurdity of their claims, particularly since they are almost never challenged by the media or by non-gay political or faith leaders. Satire is a good way to do that."
The Task Force said it hoped people would forward the site on to others, and that it would spark thought and discussions about the lies, distortions, and myths told about LGBT people, that people would visit the Task Force Web site to learn more about the issues, and above all, be encouraged and energized to vote.
For more information about our opponents, check out the reports in the Task Force Marriage Information Resource Center
, online at http://www.thetaskforce.org/marriagecenter
For more outrageous anti-LGBT quotes, download the free quote compilation
PDF, "Know Thy Enemy" online in the Task Force Resource Library at: http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/KnowThyEnemy.pdf
New Democrat Network Says:
Squander. It is the word that comes to mind to describe the results of the Republican agenda. Surplus into deficits. Strength into weakness. Growth into decline. Responsibility into recklessness. Confidence into fear. Everyday they are making a mockery of our proud democratic traditions, squandering an inheritance they did not earn and clearly do not honor.
That’s why this week we’ve escalated our new national campaign to Restore the Promise of America. This week we launched our video on our new and improving web site. Next week ads begin to appear on the internet. And soon after, we will launch television ads in at least three critical states making our case that with Democrats all of us will have a better life – that it is our agenda and plan that will Restore the Promise.
You can watch our compelling video
, learn more and contribute to the campaign. With your help we can take this powerful argument to Americans needing to hear our story. And if you believe in our efforts, please email our video to people you know who might want to join us in this critical fight.
To help you understand how completely the Republicans in Washington are failing all of us we send along a powerful editorial from The New York Times. We hope you will take the time to read it and take action by supporting our national campaign today.
Congress Slouches Toward Home
The New York Times Editorial, September 24, 2004
The Republican-controlled Congress is shambling to the end of one of the lightest workloads in decades without a hint of embarrassment, concentrating on the defense of the flag, tax cuts and marriage while failing at the most demanding obligations of government.
When the lawmakers get back home, voters should ask them how they could quit their posts while leaving a dozen basic spending bills in next year's budget unfinished - hung up once more in back-room feuds about pork and logrolling. The assault weapons ban was allowed to lapse to appease the gun lobby. A simple $5 billion corporate-tax plan to satisfy a violation of tariff laws remains mired in a $150 billion pork fest, while American products suffer retaliatory sanctions in the billions. As for fully financing and enforcing the No Child Left Behind Act, voters have to settle for lawmakers' posing tenderly with schoolchildren.
Equally disturbing is how our elected representatives have been spending their time.
Eager to help the middle class, a goal no one can argue with, they threw moderation to the winds this week on a $145 billion extension of existing tax cuts benefiting families. They hoped voters would not notice that they had not bothered to find budget savings to offset the costs of this program, and that these tax cuts will spawn a borrowing binge by the government from banks around the world. The loans will come due for America's children and grandchildren, whose earnings may just as well be stamped "Payable to the Bank of China." Republican leaders did find the fiscal constraint to brush aside proposals to extend minimal credits for millions of children in working-poor families, only to add a $13 billion dollop of tax boons to corporations.
The House began its work on the decades-delayed reform of the American intelligence agencies by announcing that its kudzu patch of competing committees, one of the central points of criticism by the 9/11 commission, was too sacred to touch. Beyond that, House Republican leaders' most enthusiastic response to the call for reform seemed to be in trying to tack on a Patriot Act postscript that would grant law enforcement even more powers that could curtail civil liberties.
Republican leaders have also been chipping away at the Constitution by proposing to deny judges jurisdiction to review selected acts of Congress. The House passed a measure yesterday retaining the Pledge of Allegiance's "under God" phrase and prohibiting any federal court - including, outrageously, the Supreme Court - from judging the law's constitutionality.
In essence, the House proposed to protect a patriotic ritual by trashing the constitutional system it celebrates. This measure was spurred by discontent over a 2002 federal appeals court ruling that invalidated the recitation at public schools of the pledge with the "under God" phrase in it, and the Supreme Court's recent choice to dismiss the case on technical grounds rather than addressing the merits. It echoed the mean-spirited and unconstitutional Marriage Protection Act, which the House approved in July to bar federal courts from reviewing the legal definition of marriage.
The other day, Congressional Republicans celebrated the 10th anniversary of their ascendancy to power with the Contract With America, somehow failing to mention that their fervid conversion to unchecked deficits was not exactly part of that contract. Once upon a time, gridlock was considered the ultimate problem with Congress. That looks better than what we're getting right now.
Mary Beth Cahill: "the result of this presidential election will be decided by a slim margin in a few states..."
We all know the harsh realities of Iraq. Unfortunately, George Bush has no plan to get us out of Iraq. Now George Bush thinks the future of Iraq is brighter than the future of America. He actually said that yesterday, "I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America."
We don't need to tell you how important this election is and why you need to be involved. The news speaks for itself. Online supporters like you have supported this campaign and the Democratic Party with your contributions. We'll need your help with next week's deadline and we also need you to take action in other ways.
The result of this presidential election will be decided by slim margins in a few states. A vote-by-vote battle is now shaping up that will decide the winner on Election Day.
Now the Democratic Party is putting in place the largest and most aggressive field program ever. Tens of thousands of people are working every day, but more help is needed.
What do we need the most? The maximum number of volunteers working on the ground in "battleground" states every day until Election Day. And you can help us make that happen.
There are two ways you can help:
Join the new JohnKerry.com "Phone Corps" to activate volunteers in swing states by making phone calls. We need your help to call and schedule volunteers for shifts to go door-to-door and perform other tasks. Every volunteer you schedule will make dozens of voter contacts.
Go to a swing state! Battleground states are ready to put out-of-state volunteers to work for a weekend or even full time from now until Election Day. Change your life for the next six weeks and move to a swing state -- organizers even have housing ready for a limited number of volunteers. Or get together with a few friends and make a weekend trip.
In 2000, Al Gore won Iowa by 4,000 votes -- that's two per precinct! He won New Mexico by 400 votes. The Democratic Party's "road trippers" and the Kerry Phone Corps will move more votes than that in 2004.
You've known all along what's at stake in this election. With less than seven weeks left, now is the time to get active to guarantee that we take back the White House.
Please sign up for Road Trip to Victory
or for the Kerry Phone Corps
Mary Beth Cahill Campaign Manager
Michael Moore Begins 60 City Tour
Tomorrow I begin a little 20-state, 60-city tour to try and convince the fed-up, the burned-out, and the Nader-impaired to leave the house for just a half-hour on November 2nd and mark an "X" in a box (or punch a chad or touch a screen) so that America and the world can be saved. (I don't mean "saved" as in all workers will henceforth control the means of production. That's, um, going to take a few more years.)
What I'm asking is that our fellow Americans, as the collective landlord of a public housing project at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., take just a few minutes to evict the tenant who is currently wrecking the place (not to mention what he's doing to the rest of the neighborhood). After all, isn't this one of the coolest things about a democracy, getting to give some payback to those in power? "YOU'RE FIRED!" Oooh, that feels good -- especially if the recipient of the pink slip is someone who wants to send your kid off to war.
So, having nothing better to do for the next month (and eager to visit such swinging states as Iowa! Ohio! Arkansas!), I have decided to go to every battleground state in the country and do whatever it takes to get out the vote. I will do your laundry, I will clean your house, I will give you a year's supply of beer nuts if you will commit to me to go to the polls on Tuesday, November 2.
I'm calling it "The Slacker Uprising Tour
," a coast-to-coast effort to bring the non-voting majority out of hibernation and kick some political butt. My goal is to get as many of the 100 million non-voters in America as I can to give voting a try -- just this once. I want at least 56% of all eligible voters to vote and thus set a modern-day turnout record.
I'm putting out the red alert call to slackers everywhere to help me lead this revolt. I want everyone in their teens and twenties who exist from one packet of Ramen noodles to the next bag of Tostitos to take your fully-justified cynicism and toss it like a Molotov right into the middle of this election. As "non-voters" you have been written off. But if only a few thousand of you vote, it could make all the difference. You literally hold all the power in your hands. That's even cooler than holding a TV remote.
I, the original slacker -- I, who have endured all sorts of attacks for my slacker demeanor -- yes I am coming to an arena or stadium just outside your dorm room (or that little space off the furnace room where your parents still let you stay, rent-free). Why arenas and stadiums? Because there are so many of us -- AND they serve beer and chips. From the Sun Dome to the Key Arena, from the Patriot Center to the Del Mar Race Track, I will be there and I will bring prizes and presents and clean underwear for all in need.
Before I arrive, I have arranged for free screenings of "Fahrenheit 9/11" in each city. When I get there I will have with me dozens of voter registrars who will register new (or recently transplanted) voters (please check here for voter registration deadlines
-- they are fast approaching in most states in the next 10 days!). Absentee ballot applications will also be available. And the good people of Move-On
and other groups will be present at each of my appearances to sign up volunteers to get out the vote on election day.
Details of where I will be appearing will be available in your local media. Many venues, due to advance word already out there, have "sold out" (at most stops, students get in for free and community people pay a nominal fee -- usually $5 -- to cover costs). Again, check your local media to find out the times and dates and how to get advance tickets.
A partial list of the cities I'm visiting includes: Seattle, Big Rapids (MI), Mt. Pleasant (MI), Tucson, Dearborn, Phoenix, East Lansing, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Albuquerque, Toledo, Columbus (OH), Ames (IA), Cleveland, Fairmont (WV), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Bethlehem (PA), Fairfax (VA), Carlyle (PA), State College (PA), Minneapolis, Gainesville, Nashville, Miami, Memphis, Orlando, Salem (OR), Jacksonville, Tampa, Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Madison, Green Bay, Las Vegas, Reno, Denver, and, of course, Tallahassee, Florida. Others will be posted later.
While on the road, I will try to keep my blog up-to-date and post some pictures we take in each city. The three campuses on the tour which register the most students to vote (or who have the most non-voters committing to me to vote) will receive a special scholarship from us at the end of the tour.
Thanks, in advance, to everyone out there who is working hard during this election. I know it will make a difference.
Let's leave no non-voter behind.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Austin Activist Asked To Back Down
By now, my loyal followers know that I don't stand by and let the rich, money grubbing, lying Republican business owner's in Austin take advantage of my working class ass and people all over Austin just like me.
I recently ran a map and pictures of Heritage Village on the website. I also ran word for word a flyer that was circulated in this east Austin community- and I ran the truth- in my own words in a column bashing developers of the community, the Section 8 Program- and realtors that may have told homebuyers here what they believed to be true at the time, or, possibly enhanced their words a bit to help make a sale.
Today, phone calls were put out by realtors and builders and it is rumored that even the developers made calls to home owners here denying the words that were stuck to doors on a flyer- and posted here on my website. They have asked that the activity of Free Speech not be committed here- after all, before we got vocal; not everyone knew what was going on here.
And what is going on here will continue to be posted here on this website- just as any other situation of this matter would be posted here.
The flyer that was circulated demanded that the developer, Richard Huffman release his duties as Heritage Village's HOA president and turn them over to a professional group.
However, today we were told this probably can't be done on the 12$ a month each home owner here pays to be part of a Home Owner Association.
Heritage Village is a development of 56 homes in east Austin.
This means that at 12$ a home, multiplied by 56, that Richard Huffman acting as HOA is in charge of $8,064.00 a year to oversee this neighborhood.
All we want to know, is where is this moneyt being spent, if it is being spent at all- and why are we getting the run- around when we report problems that are going to make this neighborhood a problem neighborhood?
Voice of The Austin Majority started as my little blog- Anti- Bush and Anti- Republican, but has grown to a group of Austin area activists that share posts and use this very valuable form of media.
The reason I started this blog was to stop the religious right and their agenda.
Now, the rich Republicans that I am working to stop have hit my community and I will not stand for them taking advantage of my hard working middle class community.
So the fight has only just begun...
And no, mouths will not be shut.
In fact, as an activist- my mouth just got bigger and my agenda even stronger.
The struggle to make Heritage Village a beautiful and problem free neighborhood will be won.
A construction worker told me that one of the builder's here has possible plans to run politically for office in Austin.
I say, I don't yet know what you will be running for-
but you can be sure I will sign up as the proud DEMOCRAT running against you!
Sincerely and in solidarity-
Joshua P. Angell
Over 1,000 American Soldiers Have Now Died In Iraq.
George Bush Has Failed!
You know that George Bush has failed to plan adequately and refused to heed the advice of military commanders regarding Iraq, and you know that John Kerry has a plan to renew international alliances to bring stability and peace.
Now we need your help. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and spread the word that when it comes to winning the peace Iraq, John Kerry is the right choice for America.
Send a letter to the editor of your local paper.
View The Truth About John Kerry
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- Democrat John Edwards said Thursday that President Bush has done too little to make the nation safer
, reaching out to women voters who have said in surveys they believe Bush would do a better job than the Democrats of protecting the country.
Filling in for John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who was nursing a voice hoarse from a campaign-trail cold, running mate Edwards said Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney allowed Osama bin Laden to escape, provided too little money for port and chemical plant security, went to war in Iraq without a postwar plan and diminished U.S. standing in the world.
"The greatest tribute to those who died on September 11 is to build a safer world where terrorism falls and democracy rises," Edwards said. "John Kerry and I will honor those who fell on September 11 and those who have subsequently fallen in the fight for freedom by leading a relentless fight to crush terrorism and restore America as a safe, strong, respected nation once again."
In a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll, Bush and Kerry are running even among women voters, a group Kerry needs to win to have a chance in November. Gore won the women's vote by 11 percentage points in 2000.
On the question of who would do a better job of protecting the country, Bush had a 14-point lead over Kerry in an AP-Ipsos poll earlier this month.
Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, said Bush was not telling the truth about the situation in Iraq.
"George W. Bush needs to come back to planet Earth," he said. "Don't you think the American people deserve a president who will absolutely tell them the truth?"
Edwards pointed to comments Bush made earlier in the day claiming progress was being made in the war in Iraq.
"The only two people in America who believe no mistakes have been made in Iraq are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney," Edwards said. "Things are going worse and worse."
Edwards spoke before more than 500 noisy activists as he filled in for Kerry, who was resting his voice for next week's presidential debate.
He appeared with prominent female backers at an event billed as a conversation with women and families.
Edwards on Kerry: 'He is going to tell you the truth'
He argued that he and Kerry are the candidates who can be trusted to keep America safer, pointing to "the incompetence of the Bush administration."
By contrast, he said, "our commitment is real and strong. We will do absolutely everything that needs to be done to keep this country safe."
"Every single day John Kerry is president of the United States, he is going to tell you the truth," Edwards pledged.
Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, described Edwards' comments as "remarkably pessimistic and defeatist."
"John Kerry's running mate took his cue from Michael Moore," Jones said of the maker of the anti-Bush documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11. "It is essential to have a commander in chief who does not vacillate and shift with the political winds."
Women joining him onstage included Kristin Breitweiser, who lost her husband in the attack on the World Trade Center and was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the September 11 commission.
When families of victims pressed Bush for an accounting, she said, he resisted.
"I voted for President Bush. I would have liked him to be my biggest ally," she said, adding that her first plane ride since September 11, 2001, was with Edwards to campaign.
"The only way we will be safer in this country is if we have Senator Kerry as president," she said. "I don't say that lightly."
Also joining Edwards was Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack, who endorsed Kerry even before Iowa's leadoff precinct caucuses last January.
"I want to feel safe again," Mrs. Vilsack said. "I feel safer knowing they will bring our sons and daughters home to rebuild our own communities."
Also joining Edwards was retired Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, the Army's only female three-star general, as well as women with husbands and children in the military and families of some September 11 victims.
Kennedy said she was backing Kerry and Edwards because "they have a plan" to conduct the war in Iraq.
Edwards was joined by singer Carole King at Cedar Rapids event later in the day. Before singing favorites such as "You've Got a Friend" and "I Feel the Earth Move," she enthusiastically endorsed Kerry.
"When I, as a woman, as a mom, as a grandmother, as an American citizen who happens to be famous, when I ask myself who is better qualified to lead, I know that John Kerry is a proven leader," she said as many in the crowd waved "Women for Kerry" signs.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Michael Moore Says: "Dear Mr. Bush..." You Are The Flip Flopper
Dear Mr. Bush,
I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq? You, your Dad, Rummy, Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed your minds so many times, I am out of breath just trying to keep up with you!Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have taken over the years represents your CURRENT thinking:
1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM. On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your dad and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Rummy looked so happy in the picture
. Just twelve days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands of Iranian troops. Your dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because The Donald R. went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddams right-hand man
, Tariq Aziz, just four months later. All of this resulted in the U.S. providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled Saddam
to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post reported that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the Reagan/Bush administration wanted Iraq to win
its war with Iran and anyone who helped Saddam accomplish this was a friend of ours.
1990: WE HATE SADDAM. In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore
so they attacked Iraq and returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.
1991: WE WANT SADDAM TO LIVE. After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell told the Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose up. But then we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam, the Bush inner circle changed its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites. Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.
1998: WE WANT SADDAM TO DIE. In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the Project for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton
insisting he invade and topple Saddam Hussein.
2000: WE DON'T BELIEVE IN WAR AND NATION BUILDING. Just three years later, during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election, when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer where you stood when it came to using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright pacifist:
I--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously. --October 3, 2000
2001 (early): WE DON'T BELIEVE SADDAM IS A THREAT. When you took office in 2001, you sent your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in front of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about Saddam Hussein. Here is what they said:
Powell: We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they have directed that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was 10 years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. --February 24, 2001
Rice: But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt. --July 29, 2001
2001 (late): WE BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US! Just a few months later, in the hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy, you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You wanted only to bomb Iraq and kill Saddam
and you then told all of America we were under imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way. You led the American people to believe that Saddam had something to do with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's sanction, you broke international law and invaded Iraq.
2003: WE DONT BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US. After no WMDs were found, you changed your mind about why you said we needed to invade, coming up with a brand new after-the-fact reason -- we started this war so we could have regime change, liberate Iraq and give the Iraqis democracy!
2003: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Yes, everyone saw you say it -- in costume, no less!
2004: OOPS. MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED! Now you call the Iraq invasion a "catastrophic success
." That's what you called it this month. Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died, Iraq is in a state of total chaos where no one is safe, and you have no clue how to get us out of there.
Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?
I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop," so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just one: Flop. That is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors and the "intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.
And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you call the "many positions" he has taken on Iraq. By my count, he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position. You told him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast majority of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed you. You see, Americans, like John Kerry, want to live in a country where they can believe their president.
That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the war, he supported YOU. And YOU let him and this great country down. And that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to the polls on Election Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping us and the rest of the world off.
We can't take another minute of it.
Just Released: TEXANS FOR TRUTH
Dear DriveDemocracy Member,
Today, thanks to the support of over 7,000 individual contributors, Texans for Truth has launched a new campaign calling on President Bush to immediately release all of his military records. As questions continue to linger over President George W. Bush's service record during the Vietnam War and the Bush Administration dodges media requests for Bush's full military records, the ad also connects Bush's behavior in the National Guard during Vietnam with the current deaths of National Guardsmen and women in Iraq today. Click here to see the ad: http://texansfortruth.com/
On February 8, 2004, George W. Bush appeared on Meet the Press and told Tim Russert and the American people that he would, "Yes, absolutely," release his military records. Bush has yet to sign the legal consent form to release of his records and White House spokespeople continue to dodge reporter questions regarding Bush's service history.
We are calling on President Bush to honor the promise he made to the American people that he would release all of his military records. If he has nothing to hide about his missing year from service during the height of the Vietnam War, the only way to clear this up for voters is to sign the legal consent form and immediately make his records public.On September 8, Texans for Truth released a television advertisement featuring former lieutenant colonel Bob Mintz saying he never saw Bush during the time the President says he served on a Montgomery, Alabama base for the Alabama Air National Guard, despite the fact that he was looking for Bush. The advertisement began running Monday, September 13, 2004 in swing states that have sustained the highest losses of lives in Iraq.
Next, we announced a $50,000 reward to anyone who can prove Bush fulfilled his drills and duties at the Montgomery, AL where he was assigned to serve between 1972-1973. No legitimate witnesses have come forward, just days before the offer is set to expire on September 30, 2004.
Thank you for your generous support of our efforts to bring the truth to light,Glenn Smith Texans for Truth
We All Could Benefit From This DVD
I just received a fantastic progressive training DVD in the mail. I watched it several times and strongly encourage all Democats and progressives to buy the DVD (only $15) and pass it around to your friends.I think this video is perfect for training progressive activists so that we can get ON MESSAGE and stop losing the good fight with word semantics when logic is on our side. Please check it out! You won¹t be sorry.
WIN WITH LANGUAGE
I know that the election is soon, but this could still make a difference.
Wendy Foster Dicksonwww.CommonSenseMom.com
Michael Moore's E-Mail Will Move You
Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"
Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.
They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.
Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"
No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.
Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.
My friends, it is time for a reality check.
1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people
. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week
. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.
2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.
3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).
4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.
So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."
Yes...Yes...Yesssss...He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...
WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?
Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?
Below are the latest Press Releases from Republicans for Kerry and some really good information from Republicans for Kerry!
I highly recommend Republicans for Kerry because this is a nationwide and fast growing organization that is doing much good for John Kerry.
They are also one of the best chances that we have to win over the majority of disillusioned Republicans, Independents, and undecided swing voters that we need to get to win this election! Please 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 extreme neocon leadership of Bush and want new Republican 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 763 members and are growing fast.
Check out their online forums at http://republicansforkerry04.org/phpBB2/http://www.republicansforkerry04.org/downloads/JustTheFacts5.pdf
Ed Tovey's comparison of Bush rhetoric to actual results, excellent information on the real Bush coming from Republicans for Kerry.http://www.backtothemainstream.org/
Tell the Republican Party to "Come Back to the Mainstream!"Republican Leaders Speak OutIn a statement published August 30 in The New York Times, seventeen leaders and former elected officials called on the Republican Party to come back to the mainstream, including... These links and the Press Releases below contain some really important information that is highly relevant to the main issues of this election. It is nice to see that Bush has some serious opposition coming from within the Republican Party!
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 and to clear up the distortions of John Kerry from the Bush campaign, their surrogates, the RNC, and the Republican Convention!Â http://www.garyrpage.com/
Gary R. Page for Congress Website. Please check us out and consider helping us to be a voice for John Kerry's agenda in Congress against Bush's agenda!--------------------
Subj: press release: Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?
Date: 9/22/2004 10:02:34 PM Central Standard Time From: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent from the Internet (Details) Greetings. You're receiving this message because you expressed an interest in RepublicansForKerr04.org press releases, or your name was suggested to us for distribution of press material. The release appears below as a link to prweb.com as well as inline text.If you wish to be removed from the RepublicansForKerry04.org press release distribution list, please simply reply to this email and let us know. We make every effort to remove duplicate addresses, but if you receive more than one copy, please let us know as well.Regards,The R4K04 Teamhttp://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/9/prweb159961.php
Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?On October 28, 1980, in the second presidential debate, Ronald Reagan asked a question that resonated throughout the campaign that year: "Are you better off than you were four years ago? During this election season, many members of â€œRepublicans for Kerry are asking themselves the same question:
Hilliard, OH (PRWEB) September 17, 2004 -- Veronica Reynolds, age 80, a registered Republican and a retired local high school secretary, will vote for John Kerry this year. When asked for her reasons, she quotes a question that Reagan asked 24 years ago. "Are you better off than you were four years ago? Four years ago, I took a wonderful trip to New Zealand,Reynolds tells RepublicansForKerry04.org, and now I can no longer afford to travel out of this country. In fact, I have six children, four of whom live in states other than Ohio. It concerns me when I pay for the air fare to visit them.Like many retired people, Reynolds has suffered a tremendous loss in her retirement savings over the past three years.Also, like many older citizens, Reynolds takes prescription drugs for a medical condition in her case, a chronic pre-cancerous condition for which she takes two tablets three times a day. She opted not to participate in what she called worthless prescription help for Medicare,however. I had to laugh, sadly, when the pharmaceutical companies raised their prices,she says, adding that she was appalled at media reports that Bush new plan will reduce her Social Security benefits by 17%, and increase her Medicare premiums in 2005.At a personal level, Reynolds knows that she is worse off than she was four years ago, but she is even more fearful for the nation if Bush is given four more years in office. He will continue to destroy our country,she says, noting that if we disagree with his policies, we are accused of being un-American or not supporting our troops. Separation of church and state is on its way out. Foolish amendments to the Constitution are on their way in.In a neighboring state, 46-year-old Republican Debra Vanderpool, her husband, and their sixteen-year-old daughter, live in Towanda, in northeastern Pennsylvania. Like Reynolds, the Vanderpools are struggling day by day. We wonder sometimes where we are going to get the money for groceries next week, Vanderpool says. Four years ago, we had less money a month then we had now,she recalls, and we were making ends meet. We were getting groceries and paying bills and getting to go out to dinner or a movies once a while. So I ask myself am I better off than I was 4 years ago. Well the answer is no.Vanderpool is also concerned that the US entered into the war in Iraq under false pretenses, and believes that has destroyed our relationship with our allies. Our brave soldiers are dying everyday For what?â€ she asks. Many people were for the war because we believed in the existence of the WMD. Bush has lied to the people of this country. There are many reservists and Guard families out there that are about to lose everything because their spouses are out fighting in Iraqâ€¦. They and their families are clearly much worse off than they were four years ago.
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Moderate Republicans Say Cheneyâ€™s Remarks Undermine DemocracyMembers of Republicans for Kerry are outraged by Dick Cheneyâ€™s remark in Iowa two days ago, and they believe that it is an intentional attempt to create fear among Americans to undermine the democratic process of this national election:Mesa Arizona, September 9, 2004Harry Wettig, a lifelong Republican and retired public servant of 34 years who served in the Army Air Corps as a twin engine pilot in WW II, is outraged by Vice President Cheney's remarks two days ago in Iowa. Wettig says, "Dick Cheney made the ultimate threat to the American people when he said, 'If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.'" In Wettig's view Cheney was really saying "If you don't vote for George and me, it is your fault when you get hit by the terrorists again."Wettig asks "Mr. Vice President, how much more terror can you hope to inspire? Your remark is trying to undermine the democratic system of this country. It is clearly un-American." Wettig operates the web site "RepublicansAgainstBush.info" that has been tracking Bush administration actions and policies on issues important to moderate Republicans, including security. He believes that there is nothing in the Department of Homeland Security's current plans, or in the words of Bush or Cheney to make the American people feel any safer. â€œAll we hear from them is that the level of terror for today is â€˜orangeâ€™. That is not protectionâ€Rich Fletcher, of Durango, CO, who calls himself â€œanother Republican for common sense,â€ agrees with Wettig. â€œImagine the temerity of two draft-dodgers calling their Vietnam veteran opponent a threat to national security!â€ Fletcher believes that the writings of White House insiders like Richard Clarke and Paul Oâ€™Neill show that in the period leading up to the 9-11 attacks, the administrationâ€™s attention was focused mainly on planning a Cold War-style strategic missile program, and as a result terrorists slipped past them. â€œThen when Mr. Bush used 9-11 as an excuse to launch Americaâ€™s first unprovoked attackâ€”against a nation that hadnâ€™t had a hand in 9-11 and was under intense surveillance and inspectionsâ€”he generated unprecedented hatred in the world toward the United States,â€ Fletcher suggests. â€œDid that decision make us safer?â€â€Today I'm fighting to see that the Bush-Cheney ticket doesn't win on its second attempt,â€œ says Fletcher. â€œI'm deeply concerned about the current direction and lack of ethics represented by Bush-Cheney. As far as I can tell, they have no moral compass and absolutely no shameâ€¦.True Republicans would never set out, as they have, to dismantle the very republic after which our party is named.â€ Echoing the sentiments of many Republicans for Kerry, Wettig concludes in a recent essay, â€œWe live in terror not because of any threat from the hard-working Muslim family down the block, but from the terror-mongering of the Bush-Cheney camp. Never before have the words of Franklin Roosevelt, a Democratic President but one who cared deeply about the average American, rung so true to the moderate Republicans of this country: â€˜Our greatest fear is fear itself.â€™ I hope the nation shows Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush that they canâ€™t threaten their way into another disastrous four years.â€ [For additional information contact email@example.com
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In This Election, It Isn't Easy Being Christian
Christians object to their faith being appropriated for political purposes; preaching anger and revenge in the name of Christianity ignores the New Testament messages of grace, love, and inclusiveness:Indianapolis, IN, (PRWEB) September 9, 2004 -- As the 2004 election approaches, many Christians believe their fellow Christians are deserting the principles of their faith to follow a banner of anger, revenge, and punishment.One of those is Gregg Hodgson, 67, an Indiana businessman and former banker who has served as campaign manager for Republican political candidates. A self-described "quiet Christian," Hodgson has devoted his recent years to helping people plan their own small businesses. "I've worked, one-on-one, with nearly 2,000 small businesses," he says. "It's the talent I've been given, and I try to make a difference with it before my own Judgment Day arrives.â€œToday, Hodgson has decided to back the Kerry-Edwards ticket. "I'm rather conservative," he explains, "so I can't possibly support an administration that throws away a nice surplus and turns it into the worst deficit we've ever seen, in four years. The worst part of the deficit â€“ which is being called our first 'permanent deficit' â€“ was caused by Mr. Bush's lavish tax-breaks to the wealthy,â€ says Hodgson. â€œEven ignoring the way he exalts the rich, which of course isn't a Christian principle, what do we have to show for all that wasted money? Virtually nothing. It'll get even worse for the not-so-rich, too. Our treasury is broke, so we'll have to slash education, health-care and environmental programs.â€Hodgson also decries the Bush administrationâ€™s way of governing and campaigning, which he labels, "fear-based manipulation, with nothing behind it." He suggests that politicians who appeal to our primitive fears, angers, and desires for revenge are stuck in the Old Testament, and are forgetting the New Testament messages of inclusion and love.Hodgson acknowledges that there was a political aspect to the decision by the early Christians to build on the Old Testament. But he worries when he sees modern-day Pharisees attempting to hijack Christianity for political purposes."The Old Testament can be handy for bad guys," Hodgson observes. "Whenever they want to appear 'righteous' while exalting the rich, bullying the poor, passing judgment on others, or attacking others with vengeful anger,â€ they usually invoke the Old Testament.Real Christians should not be fooled, Hodgson warns. "We've seen plenty of demagogues in our time, wrapping themselves in the flags of Christianity or patriotism so they could gain power. Christ repudiated the vengeful aspects of the Old Testament in very strong language. He ordered us to treat others as we'd want them to treat us â€“ the toughest lesson anyone has ever tried to teach human beings. That's why he accompanied it with blanket forgiveness. He knew we'd often fail at it!""Angry, judgmental, revenge-filled people may call themselves 'Christians,' or even 'Fundamentalist Christians,'" Hodgson concludes, "but the Prince of Peace would know them as the very people he came to save! He'd forgive them, of course, but he'd weep bitterly at the harm they do in his name."For a copy of John Bugayâ€™s â€œThe Christian Right Need Not Fear a Kerry Presidencyâ€ and other articles on this topic, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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